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For tomorrow's solstice - Laura Wise

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June 20th, 2013


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10:59 am - For tomorrow's solstice
I am one of those (perhaps rare) people who likes long nights. This time of year, when the sun sets late and cool is nowhere to be found, is really truly not my favorite. (I also like grey overcast days, which is odd for one who's lived in the Sun Belt most of her life.) But at least I live far enough south in the Northern Hemisphere that my summer nights are still not as uncomfortable as those of my friends who live in more northerly latitudes.

Still, I was wondering this morning -- as I walked the Dangerous Dog in an already hot and steamy dawn -- who else might join me in liking longer nights. Here's my answer, in a vignette --


Randall Dracul, Randy to his (few) friends, “that fucking Drac” to his more numerous enemies and the occasional unsuccessful vampire-slayer, sauntered into the South Beach bar exactly thirty minutes after the sun set over the Intercoastal Waterway.

Amanda Cochran was already there at a table by the window, nursing her Bloody Mary – which she had improved with some pig's blood from her pocket flask – and sighing heavily in advance. Randy was such a drama queen. With a complete lack of surprise she watched him cruise the perimeter of the bar, flashing pearly whites at every potential prey. (He favored pretty drunk girls, said he got a contact buzz from drinking deep.) He was, she had often thought, ridiculous.

Still, there was tradition to be maintained. They had had a yearly ritual to celebrate this day for the past two centuries, and she valued anything that marked time passing, anything that kept her connected to the world. And honestly, she did love him. In her own way.

“Hullo, lover,” Randy said as he reached the table. He dropped a kiss on her hair and then fell elegantly into the seat opposite her.

“Randall, darling,” she said sweetly, and nodded to a hovering waiter, whom she'd tipped earlier.

The server – tall, well-built, smelling of sunscreen and hot peppers – immediately brought over a blood-orange mimosa. “For you, sir. The lady ordered it.”

“Delightful, thank you.” Randy slipped the waiter a folded bill and a wink, and then watched the man walk away.

“Must you,” Amanda said, with no hope of a response, and sipped her drink.

“I appreciate all the beauties of the world, lover, as you well know.” His foot found hers under the table, and when she ground her stiletto into his big toe, he just laughed.

“Sorry I couldn't make it down to Caracas for tonight,” she said. “Thanks for meeting me here.”

“No problem in the world. It's good hunting here in SoBe.” He leaned forward, his black hair flopping over his pale-skinned forehead in a way she wished she didn't find attractive, and sniffed her drink. “Still abstaining, lover?”

“Of course.” Still, when he poured a hefty measure from his own flask into his drink, the scent of human blood made her mouth water just for a moment. There were good reasons in terms of ethics and safety in her choice to avoid drinking from the kind of being she had once been -- all those years ago, a young lady of Boston society, illicitly reading French novels and seeking adventure in the wrong places. But the taste, oh, the rich dark taste of it....

He saw the involuntary lick of her lips, and leaned closer, all cold temptation in his eyes, hot blood in his grasp. “Shall I share this with you, my dear girl?”

She put her hand over her Bloody Mary. “Thank you, darling, but no.”

“As you wish.” He stowed his flask in a hidden pocket of his linen jacket – somehow making this tediously outdated garment look right – and then collected his drink and her free hand. They linked fingers, as they had done for centuries, despite philosophical differences and the occasional bitter fight. This ceremony was too important to lose. “Shall we?”

Smiling, she raised her glass. “To the turning of the year.”

“To the joyous lengthening of the dark,” he said.

“To the joyous lengthening of the dark,” she echoed, “and to our long winters in London,” and together they drank, and then they kissed.

It was only proper, they had long ago agreed, that the creatures of the night had their own ceremonies for the summer solstice.


May you enjoy the Summer Solstice in your own way. :)

(24 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:mobile_alh
Date:June 20th, 2013 03:31 pm (UTC)
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This is quite a treat to find after rising far too early this morning. Very evocative.
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From:laurawise
Date:June 20th, 2013 06:12 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, ALH, thanks and hugs and a good day despite early rising. :)
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From:janus_74
Date:June 20th, 2013 03:37 pm (UTC)
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Loved it!
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From:laurawise
Date:June 20th, 2013 06:12 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, T, and a good solstice to you. :)
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From:paratti
Date:June 20th, 2013 04:56 pm (UTC)
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Loved it!
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From:laurawise
Date:June 20th, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, L, and happy summer solstice in your northern land. :)
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From:mamculuna
Date:June 20th, 2013 08:43 pm (UTC)
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Vampires know how to have fun! Thanks for that.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:June 21st, 2013 12:23 am (UTC)
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These vampires do, anyway! Although Amanda would be safer to hang out with. :)

Cheers and a good solstice to you!
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From:cindergal
Date:June 20th, 2013 09:06 pm (UTC)
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Loved it! Happy Solstice. :-)
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From:laurawise
Date:June 21st, 2013 12:24 am (UTC)
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Cheers, hugs, and a happy solstice to you, C!
(Deleted comment)
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From:laurawise
Date:June 21st, 2013 10:30 am (UTC)
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Rainkatt! [hugs]

I hope your summer is delightful, however it manifests. (Here we're in a proper rainy season, which is pleasing if steamy.) And happy Solstice!
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From:stateless82
Date:June 21st, 2013 01:20 am (UTC)
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So perfectly satisfying.
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From:laurawise
Date:June 21st, 2013 10:31 am (UTC)
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Thank you, S, and hugs and a lovely longest day of the year. :))
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From:roguedemon
Date:June 21st, 2013 01:29 am (UTC)
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Nice. :) I am a night person myself. ((Hugs))
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From:laurawise
Date:June 21st, 2013 10:32 am (UTC)
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Heee -- I am a morning person who likes long nights, which makes no sense at all. :)

Hugs and thanks and a lovely day!
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From:anne_d
Date:June 21st, 2013 01:59 am (UTC)
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Lovely, funny and wistful all at the same time. [hugs]
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From:laurawise
Date:June 21st, 2013 10:33 am (UTC)
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Thank you, A. Hugs and a good Solstice to you!
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From:freixenet
Date:June 21st, 2013 10:51 am (UTC)
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A bit of a bite there, and it's fun to read! (But it makes me not want to visit the Intercoastal Waterway any time soon, SoBe or DayBe.)

Cheers and happy solstice!
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From:laurawise
Date:June 21st, 2013 11:55 am (UTC)
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You can safely go to the Intercoastal, F! I'm pretty sure there really aren't vamps running around. :)

Hugs and a happy Solstice to you!
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From:heron_pose
Date:June 22nd, 2013 03:43 pm (UTC)
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Lovely -- she's terrific! which praise you should take seriously, as I feel that I am Done with Vampires. For now.

You are so generous ....

::HUGS::
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From:laurawise
Date:June 22nd, 2013 11:05 pm (UTC)
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I'm mostly Done with Vampires too! But I couldn't help but write this bitlet, and I can't help but say thank you for reading it. :)

Hugs hugs, H_P!
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From:stevie_carroll
Date:June 25th, 2013 01:03 pm (UTC)
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Lovely stuff!
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From:laurawise
Date:July 2nd, 2013 11:04 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, Stevie! Thanks twice! :)

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