It's a hectic day at Milo's as everybody in town gets ready for the grand opening of the Phoenix. Whole bunches of people running in to grab a quick sandwich and a beer, before heading back out to complete their assigned tasks. I've had the bird practically full time running carafes of Jamaican Blue Mountain over to ita's as she puts the final touches on her masterpiece.
Now, the end is in sight, and Phred and I are getting the bar ready for the big "Phoenix Goes Live" party.
"Yeah, Phred, what's up?"
"Did ya ever get the feeling that you were being watched?"
"What do you mean?" I look around a bit nervously. Hey, it's Sang Sacre, and all manner of weird stuff happens here.
Off my look, he says, "No, I don't mean someone actually watching us. I dunno. I mean, I just have this weird feeling, like we're characters in a movie or a book or something, and a bunch of strangers are watching our every move. I know it's crazy, but I can't shake it."
"Actually, I know what you mean. Every now and then it seems like someone's looking over my shoulder, but when I look, no one's there. But the feeling passes, so I wouldn't worry about it. Besides, no one's interested in us."
I'm not sure what to wear to the big party; I've got corsets, pleather, velvet, silk, satin and just plain me.
I think that I'll just go basic, red, black, and white. Red satin corset. Black velvet skirt. White soft skin. That'll do.
I sink down at the base of the tree and lean my head back, tilting to look at the darkening sky.
"This is it, huh?"
I can't hear her, I never can, even in Shadow, so I look down to see if she's answered my rhetorical question. Those are about the only ones she does.
She's looking at me. Patiently, which makes a change.
"I guess so."
I lean forward and put my blade down gently at my feet.
"I think I'm going to rest for a little, okay?"
As my eyes drift closed, I can see her pace in front of me, not looking at me, but instead at the land around.
"Just for a little ..."
The sun is setting and I'm fresh out of the shower, getting dressed for the Big Night. Got my dragon shoes on and look generally presentable. Walk out into the evening cool, and make a passing streetcar with three quick steps. It's good to be going home.
I put the finishes touches on my makeup-- the theme for the evening is glitter. I'm wearing my dark red Homecoming dress with the corset-y top and looong skirt, and the black-and-gold fairy wings from my Halloween costume. This being Blood, they actually work after midnight.
Perfect evening to go out on the patio and see who comes by on their way to the party. So I walk out to the front with two bottles, one red, one a dark amber Scotch, and a whole lot of glasses.
From the high tower of the Castle I look over the city. It's alive with celebration. The streets are pulsating with light while fireworks lights the skies above. I couldn't ask for a better distraction. I use my handy watch radio to hail the Castle AI.
"Is everything ready?" I ask.
All preparations are complete.
"Excellent. Start the experiment."
I take another look toward the city as a thick fog starts to roll towards the city. Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha!
The chill of a fog rolls across my slippered toes as I step out of my bubble in Dogtown. That's strange, I don't remember fog in the forecast. But what does it matter, anyway? I've got my velvet jacket on, and a sleek new all-graphite Steinberger slung across my back. It's gonna be a good night.
Fog in the Mews is nothing unusual, but it is clinging to my skirt, dampening my skin and collecting in chilling droplets in my cleavage. I look toward Brian, but he's clearly enjoying the sight too much to lend me his coat. We walk toward Town Hall.
Everybody's heading towards the main square outside Town Hall. It's all lit up and I can hear the music already. People are chanting something...
ita! ita! ita! ita!