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Brief Candles

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  • Brief Candles

    Title: Brief Candles
    Disclamer:I have no rights whatsoever on anything Joss & co came up with first
    Feedback: Go on, you know you want to.


    William Pratt sat forward breathlessly, his attention fixed on the scenes of murder and betrayal unfolding before him. The theatre was sold out, packed with a horde of coughing, restless people who paid hardly any attention to the players efforts; but to William the stage was all the world, the play the only thing.

    The actors words filled his mind, painting vivid pictures in his imagination of blasted moors and tall stone castles. Oh how he wished his own poor attempts at poetry could resonate like the prose he now heard. Perhaps then he would be accepted by his peers, would find the acclaim he so dearly aspired to instead of being constantly derided for his endless struggles to bare his soul.

    William was not alone though on this most glorious of nights for beside him sat his dear mama, looking slightly uncomfortable amidst the velvet lined opulence of the plush private box.

    His mother had always been a private person, preferring to live a life of quiet, reflective, solitude and, although the family had never been poor, she had never really had the taste for such needless extravagances. In fact if William had not booked the seats as a special birthday treat for her she would almost certainly never have thought of doing so herself

    He turned now to her, squeezing her small hands tenderly and smiled down into her pale eyes. "Are you enjoying yourself mother?" he enquired in a hushed voice "Oh William" she replied, favouring him with her own doting smile "it is such a lovely surprise. You really should not have spent so much though. You do spoil me so very much".

    A feeling of proud satisfaction rose in his breast at these words, so happy was he that he could give the small, sickly woman even the briefest moment of joy.

    "Nonsense mother, making you happy is what my life is for" he protested "besides" he added with a sly smile "I get to spend the evening with the most beautiful woman in the entire theatre by my side"

    He turned his attention back to the stage watching the unfolding action intently, letting the words of the bard wash over him as king and thane met with their deaths and power shifted hands. Deep down he had to admit that his choice of entertainment this evening had not been entirely unselfish. The play had been something he had longed to experience first hand for what seemed like a lifetime, his chance to hear out loud the words he had read so many times. His mother's birthday had given him not just that opportunity but also the ideal companion to share this private heaven.

    Then. almost as if the thought of her had summoned it, a harsh chesty cough erupted from his left. His mother lifted her frilled handkerchief to her lips to stifle the outburst "are you unwell mother?" He asked, panicked concern written on his face, the play hastily forgotten "I have told you many times that I am fine William" she replied, "It is merely a chest cold." but as she pulled the handkerchief from her mouth William spied the small scarlet spots that told of fresh, wet blood.


    The same theatre, the same play, could even be the very same box in fact. This time however his attention was far from the small wooden stage. Instead William the Bloody was watching the crowd gossip and fidget, more concerned as they were with their petty secrets and vain ambitions than the culture they had paid so handsomely for. His eyes were open now to this empty charade, to just how thin the veneer of civilisation that sat on this gathering truly was and his contempt for these sheep was total.

    A young Couple had died to get him back to the theatre this night, although if truth be told the fact that he had found the tickets on their drained corpses was more due to luck than anything else. Soon more of these fools would share in that fate. He briefly glanced at the sweating actors labouring through their lines; the murderess queen now taking centre stage, ready to vent her growing guilt.

    "What need we fear who knows it, when none
    Can call our power to account?--Yet who would
    Have thought the old man to have had so much
    Blood in him."

    "Mmm I like her." Drusilla purred in his ear "She would make ever such a good daughter, and sister." She leaned into him suggestively "and lover."
    He could feel the smoothness of her teeth as she grinned against his cheek; her lips parting as a harsh, playful chuckle escaped her.

    "Dru my love, she's just an actress" he explained again with long practised patience "She's only playing a part. I really don't think that she'd like it with us" he sniffed derisively, "Besides she's not exactly the most attractive."

    She pulled away from him and gave a girlish pout. "Well I like her" she said lowering her head and glancing up at him from heavily lidded eyes . "You told me there would be death and stabbings with long shiny knives and blood, oh so much blood, running free like wild red rivers" her eyes shone at the thought but then her voice grew petulant and she indicated the actors with an indignant arm "but I see no blood. No, I see no blood at all. All this is just pretty words, just airy-fairy, fairytales and make-believe for little children."

    This last sentiment surprised William a little. In the glorious blood soaked time he had spent with Drusilla he had quickly grown to realise that her grip on reality was... tenuous at best. Brief moments of crystal clear clarity did flash through her addled consciousness from time to time it was true, but tonight she had seemed to be treating the events on stage as being as real as their own nights of bloody slaughter.

    "Have no fear my dark queen" he reassured her, gazing deep into her eyes "before this night is through I will give you blood enough to fill an ocean. You will bathe in it, swim in it," he pulled her towards him crushing her body to his and whispered in her ear. "drown in it."

    "Oh yes my sweet William" she said with a breathless gasp "oh yes that would be lovely." She caressed his face with a small pale hand forcing his eyes back down to the theatres patrons. "Do it now my love" she pleaded in a soft wheedling voice, her own gaze following his "do it now. For me"

    His eyes ran over the pampered throng below, huddled together like cattle at slaughter.

    Here he sat with eternity before him and limitless pleasures with which to fill it whilst they filled their time with petty intrigues and deceits, wasting their short lives.

    Well no matter, tonight those lives would be made all that much more interesting... and all that much shorter.

    Reaching a decision he leapt atop the box's lip balancing precariously on its very edge. Turning briefly back he gave a deep ironic bow. "For you then, my lady" he said and then assuming his demonic guise he launched himself into the air with a hoarse cry; the cruel, happy sound of Drusilla's laughter following him down into the panicked, screaming mass.


    Spike lurched unsteadily down the deserted street, the near empty bottle of bourbon that dangled from his hand banging rhythmically against his right leg as he went. Why? why had she left him in this pitiful state? Why had she reduced him to this? It just wasn't right he knew, to be behaving like this, to be feeling like this.

    He was a dark warrior, a champion of the night. He should be ripping out throats, fighting to the death, massacring hoards of bloody innocents not drinking himself into a stupor on account of some soddin' bitch.

    He caught himself heavily as he barged into a streetlight and hung there for a second trying to regain a little composure, a little balance. Of course she wasn't just any old bitch, she was his bitch, his dark queen, his salvation from a lifetime of mediocrity... and now she was gone.

    It was his own fault though, yeah he knew that; shouldn't have made the deal with the slayer, shouldn't have gone up against Dru's bloody beloved daddy. The thought of it made him feel sick although maybe that was just the bourbon again.

    Why couldn't he have just gone along with Angelus. Why did he feel this soddin' need to hang on to the things of this world, wasn't like he was really part of it anymore anyway.

    He staggered away from his temporary resting place and began his zigzagging progression down the street once more, thinking back to happier, deadlier times. The trouble was the way that it all just seemed to blur together. Kill after kill after kill. Different faces, different places sure but after so much time how many could he say he really remembered.

    Looking up from his carefully observed route he spotted a young couple carrying a flat pizza box and a bottle of red wine. They walked closely their legs almost brushing against each other as they made their way towards him, they walked with haste as well, hungry for the food and more, hungry for each other; eager to live their short lives whilst they could. Seeing the bedraggled and drunken stranger in their path their broad grins faded and they quickly crossed to the other side of the road, hurrying away from him.

    Spike looked down at the bottle in his hand and lifted it to his lips, draining the remaining liquid in one greedy gulp. That was the problem with living forever, so much bloody time behind you; so much more to come.

    There was only so many new things to try, only so many new indulgences before the novelty died and was lost forever. After that all you could really do was just carry on, just let one foot fall in front of the other, one kill follow the last.

    A quote from a play he had once seen slowly rose in his muzzy brain. He remembered it perfectly. Couldn't remember if it had been Dru or some other bird beside him that night but the words, well they seemed to be painted in mile high letters on the tattered pages of his mind.

    "To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing."

    Said it all really didn't it. Almost made you bleedin' laugh. Here he was with eternal life and he was jealous of these mortals with their short lives that they lived so well. He shook his head trying to clear it of the alcoholic haze that seemed to lie across it like a blanket. Nah, he was just getting maudlin, just feeling sorry for himself ?cos of Dru. What he needed was a kill, a really nasty one, yeah that'd sort him out. Not tonight though. Nah he was in no state to take anyone on right now. He would get his head down; sleep it off through the hours of sunlight and then he would show them. Yeah that was it he'd just bide his time... for now.

    After all there's always tomorrow.
    Last edited by tangent; 16-09-07, 03:05 PM.

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