Tag: Situation

  • The Van Helsing Resurgence – Part VI

    By the time Clara was dry and changed, the smell of brewed coffee filled the air. Elizabeth was at the counter, wearing something less distracting, which managed to relieve and disappoint Clara.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    She approached the counter casually, wearing a jean skirt that went down to her knees and a thick white denim shirt. Clara was beginning to learn the joys of a sports bra. While a bit snug, it did much to support the girls without a lot of complexity.

    These clothes were decidedly not Elizabeth’s style. Even now, her friend looked ready for the office. There was an air of professionalism that surrounded her, and this outfit was anything but.

    Elizabeth tossed her two long, grey wool stockings. Clara would not have been caught dead in these during her time, but they suited the overall theme.

    “Here,” Elizabeth said. “You’ll need these.”

    Clara knew they would be itchy for a while, but at least they would keep her warm, even when soaking wet. She sat down and slipped them on sensibly, to avoid making this a sensual experience. In the background, her eyes discerned that Elizabeth was deep in thought.

    “Thank you,” Clara said with a smile. “That smells great.”

    “Anything is better than that diner’s coffee,” Elizabeth said flatly. “Although, not by much.”

    There was a pause as a moment of uncomfortable silence filled the space between them. Something was on their minds, but neither knew how to broach the subject.

    Fortunately, the coffee maker began to make loud noises as the last of the water cycled through the system. Elizabeth turned her attention to that while Clara finished slipping on the stockings. Unlike the rest of her outfit, these were a bit big as though they had been intended for someone much taller.

    On a hunch, Clara looked over towards Elizabeth and noticed that her gold band was gone. A white void was left in its place, a hint that this was not a simple case of guilt or infatuation.

    A cup of coffee, milk, and a five pound bag of sugar was placed on the counter. Elizabeth smirked, choosing to take hers black while Clara sweetened it mildly before taking a sip. They both sighed contentedly, wrapping their hands around the hot ceramic, and let the heat radiate into their hands.

    “That was one hell of a weekend,” Elizabeth said.

    Clara had not been aware of the date, time, or even the season. While the latter was easy enough to guess, weather could nonetheless deceive an outsider.

    “So today is Monday?” Clara asked.

    Elizabeth nodded, looked into the swirling pool of black elixir, and sighed.

    “This was probably the single-most fucked up weekend I’ve ever had,” Elizabeth said. “I can’t tell a soul can I?”

    “No.” Clara said. “How would you treat a patient who described what you went through?”

    “Point taken,” Elizabeth said. She took a sip as a distraction and said, “Saturday morning, I was happily married, looking to help a lost friend. Like most, I assumed that vampires—and angels—were works of fiction.”

    “And—,” Clara tried to say.

    Elizabeth raised her hand, fingers together and palm facing Clara. This was her way of telling the other to stop interrupting, so she could get this off her chest.

    “Today I know that my friend is dead, that these things do in fact exist, and that includes you…” Elizabeth trailed off. Another sip of her coffee imbued her with strength, even if only imagined, before she added, “I also learned that I was never married.”

    “What?” Clara asked, realising why Elizabeth had been pacing before her arrival.

    “She’s on tour,” Elizabeth said. “Those are her things in our—my bedroom. So imagine my surprise when I saw the announcement that she had recently tied the knot with her long-time friend and confidant.”

    “I’m sorry—” Clara tried to say.

    “Are you?” Elizabeth hissed. “I’ve seen how you’ve been eyeing me.”

    “I’m—” Clara said.

    “Sorry?” Elizabeth confirmed. “So that’s what you planned to tell me when you got in here?”

    Clara simply nodded. It was clear that Elizabeth had managed to tie up all of her emotions and thoughts into a coherent bundle. That clarity enabled her to channel it constructively, and spared Clara from having to do the same.

    Elizabeth finished off her coffee and poured herself another. She took a quick glance at Clara’s cup and topped it up for good measure. Clara smiled appreciatively and would not say another world until needed.

    “I thought about going with you, wherever you are headed,” Elizabeth said. “In the end, I realised that you didn’t need me slowing you down. Nor did you need me to muddy the waters with all of this tension.”

    Clara nodded once more and felt her heart grow lighter with every word. Elizabeth was pushing forward the exact same statements that Clara envisioned herself saying. Since these words were meant to soften the blow for Clara, it effectively made this a victory.

    “Either way,” Elizabeth said. “I still have a job to do, kids that need me. At least I can make a difference in their lives.”

    Elizabeth finished off her second cup of coffee, paused, and smiled before she went around the counter. She showed no signs of hesitation and placed her hands firmly on Clara’s shoulders before closing the distance between their lips.

    Clara just went with it, enjoying the fact that someone else knew how to take charge. When their lips touched, all of that tension and anxiety washed away, replaced by a passion that enveloped them.

    Clara parted her lips and found that Elizabeth was a step ahead. Their tongues touched, hesitating momentarily before diving into the dance. When Elizabeth pulled back, both of them were short of breath.

    “I needed that,” Elizabeth said. “In a couple of days, once this fucking shitstorm sinks in, I may realise that all of this was a result of you saving my life. Just like you may come to learn that what you needed was intimacy, and I just happened to be there.”

    She then tossed a phone on the counter, along with a charger and cable. It was the phone she lifted from that dive bar, and it seemed to be working fine.

    “You got some messages when I plugged it in,” Elizabeth said as she slid a pad towards her. “I wrote them down here for you and added my number to the phone.”

    Elizabeth walked over to the door and picked up her coat, purse, and keys. She was bundling up for the cold but, despite the journey ahead, she wore a smile.

    “You can grab a coat that fits from… her… closet,” Elizabeth said. “Now if you need a place to crash…”

    “That’s too—,” Clara said.

    Elizabeth cut her off and said, “My couch will always be available to you. Just make sure to use the window, so this door stays locked.”

    With nothing more to say, she left Clara alone in the apartment. Clara let the silence sink in, marking the first time in days that there was not something going wrong or her being driven towards an objective. She gulped a few mouthfuls of coffee. The bitterness reminded her that this was precisely where she needed to be. Heaven was too isolated, sterile, and constricting for her. Clara required the flavour and spice of life in order to be content.

    After her second cup, she sighed softly, grabbed the pad, and admired the woman’s beautiful handwriting. The message was good news but, given who she was dealing with, that situation could turn on her real fast.

    Clara looked at her phone and noted the time. With the better part of the day to herself and with nothing better to do, she began to experiment with the mobile phone. The messages were in there somewhere, and she was determined to find them.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • The Van Helsing Resurgence – Part V

    Clara landed on the fire escape, folding in one wing while positioning the other over her head to get a good rain-free view of what was going on inside the unit. Elizabeth could have been asleep, but Clara suspected otherwise. Sure enough, Elizabeth was up, pacing back and forth while looking at her phone. At what precisely, she did not know, but Clara assumed it was related to what unfolded earlier in the day.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    She observed for a few moments, looking out for nervous tics or any other signs that would hint at her being compromised. So far there were none. Her heart rate remained steady and, while elevated, it was natural for someone who was anxious or under duress.

    Clara sighed, took a deep breath, and knocked on the window. It was time to see if her welcome was worn out; one way or the other, there were things she needed to get off her chest.

    Elizabeth was clearly nervous. Learning about the existence of vampires, tended to make people skittish. The amazon turned around so fast that it nearly startled Clara, and the fact she was armed filled her with a sense of pride. Guns were not effective against all foes, but at least Elizabeth was taking her well-being seriously.

    Clara remained in place—visible, smiling and most importantly non-threatening. This seemed like the best approach, and she wanted to avoid Elizabeth feeling threatened. Shoot first and ask questions later tended to be the mantra for anyone in Elizabeth’s state of mind.

    Elizabeth recognised who was at the window, exhaled in relief, and ran over to unlatch the casement. Clara did the rest, lifting the pane from out of its seat despite the wood swelling from exposure.

    “Where were you?” Elizabeth raced through the question.

    Her eyes were wild, running over every detail of the scene. It had the potential to develop into a thousand mile stare, something that Clara had seen hundreds of times before. She prayed that her friend would be spared.

    Clara did not immediately answer. Instead, she folded her remaining wing, hunched down, and stepped into the apartment. On the counter was the amphora, and Clara buried her desire to indulge in the sweet nectar. She may be a goddess or demi-goddess, but there could be side effects to prolonged use.

    “How did you manage to find that?” Clara asked.

    Elizabeth grunted and narrowed her eyes while saying, “Quit avoiding my question! Now where were you?”

    Clara shrugged but did not smirk since the latter was too dismissive. Elizabeth was not happy, and Clara would need to smooth things over before getting any answers.

    “I was captured. I then woke up in a secret interrogation room located in one of the city’s morgues,” Clara replied, having no clue if there were multiple morgues in the city.

    “How did you get out?” Elizabeth asked, alarmed.

    That question indicated that Elizabeth had followed the instructions to the letter. Hence, she ran off before the troops swarmed their position and captured her. Not knowing what happened easily explained her state of heightened anxiety.

    Clara delved into the situation: the rapid progression of the interrogation, the ghoul, and how she broke free. She also described the brief interaction with Jane and detailed her escape.

    Elizabeth listened intently, her eyes focused more on Clara as she calmed down. While news of a shadow group upset her, being in proximity to her guardian angel did much to smooth things over. That worried Clara, since it would make what she had to say a challenge.

    “I managed to circle back to the dumpsters through the building,” Elizabeth said once satisfied with Clara’s response. “The cops were not interested in the alley. They were focused on what that red-head unleashed.”

    “One hell of a distraction she put on,” Clara said with a grin.

    Elizabeth chuckled nervously. It was clear that these particular memories left her feeling uneasy.

    “Can anyone from your order even define the word subtle?” Elizabeth asked.

    Clara broke out in laughter, saying, “Most can, but I was always the bull in a China shop.”

    “You know they busted that?” Elizabeth asked. “Bulls run around the shelves, showing more grace than some dancers.”

    “Really?” Clara said. “I really need to get started learning all of this trivia and slang.”

    Despite the banter, Clara was acutely aware that Elizabeth was distracted by her chest. The white blouse was sticking to her clammy flesh and showed the perfect outline of her breasts. Fortunately, the bra provided enough padding to conceal her hardened nipples. After all, it was cold out there in the rain.

    “I need a—” Clara said.

    “You need a change of clothes,” Elizabeth said concurrently.

    “That would be lovely,” Clara said with a smile.

    Her eyes avoided the other’s outfit, or lack thereof. Elizabeth wore a bathrobe, and the longer she stood there without adjusting, the more her cleavage showed. Clara knew why she had these feelings. Unfortunately, that did not make this any easier to deal with.

    “Head into the bathroom, take a warm shower, and dry off,” Elizabeth said. “I’ll find you something to wear.”

    With that, Elizabeth made things easier for the both of them. She left Clara alone in the living room. She lingered long enough to shake any cobwebs loose from her mind before moving on to the next step.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

  • The Van Helsing Resurgence – Part IV

    Her encounter with Freyja happened at a critical juncture. Her eyes had once more been opened to the true nature of this world, and she disliked what she saw.

    In her time, she had to contend with vampires, ghouls, werewolves, and all manner of things that went bump in the night. These creatures had always been there, existing in the edges of human awareness, and preyed on both mankind and their fears. Clara had lived through a renaissance of sorts. Ghouls had been dispatched en masse during the Great War, and werewolves were nothing more than an anomaly.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence by Evelyn Chartres

    This world showcased a new order that grew from the loss of the Tower. Drusilla may have been stopped before fulfilling her mission to rise above the fray to rule the world with an iron fist, but her legacy of terror lived on. Clara cursed herself for not having killed that bitch earlier.

    Clara needed allies, people she could rely on, those who were capable of indoctrinating her in the ways of the present day. Weapons may have remained largely the same, but other technologies advanced by leaps and bounds. She was a relic in fashion, language and know-how and, without assistance, would stick out like a sore thumb.

    She knew someone who might help, but that meant abusing her kind nature. For now, it seemed necessary to set aside such concerns. In return, Clara would be sure to shield this woman from harm and, in time, develop a symbiotic relationship.

    Clara stayed close to the rooftops in an attempt to avoid drawing unnecessary attention. Fortunately, the streets were deserted for the most part, and she could risk exposure by crossing them. She kept a sharp eye for anything that followed, but luck was on her side.

    “Allies,” Clara said.

    The Tower had been the nerve centre for their order, but they were also allies to any who fought the forces of evil. Drusilla’s mayhem had stripped the world of an important ally by isolating, but not destroying, the Tower. Clara needed to reconnect with and, hopefully, restore the relevance to her order.

    Now there was a conundrum. Without the Terminus, the nexus of gates that linked the Tower to sites around the world, the Tower would be near impossible to reach. Even if she could find a way to the Tower, what would she find once she got there? A tower of ivory that stretched out into the heavens filled with hundreds of hunters itching for a fight? Or a tomb?

    The absence of answers confirmed that this plan would be executed over the long term. She needed allies now. Perhaps her thinking was a bit circular, but that was a response to the gravity of the need.

    Elizabeth would be her first stop. From there, she did not know. However, Clara theorized that the line between friend and foe would blur, if not disappear altogether. That meant she needed to keep an open mind and sleep with an open eye.

    Clara landed on a rooftop, then leaned over the ledge to look down. On the other side, Elizabeth’s building loomed out beyond the curtain of driving rain. Most of the windows were dark, save for one.

    Clara closed her eyes and focused on her hearing. Eventually, the sound of applause caused by the rain was filtered out. She continued to focus, visualising the area in her mind, and heard one steady heartbeat within that unit.

    There were others in the building which accounted for the neighbours. So far, there were no sounds to indicate the presence of a platoon of soldiers waiting for her. Considering the day she had, that was a good sign.

    “Time to have a little faith,” Clara said. “In myself.”

    With that thought, Clara leapt from the rooftop and glided over to the emergency escape. Every plan needed objectives, and it was time to see how the foundations of her plan would unfold.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!