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Blood & Bourbon

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Celia IV, Chapter V

Hurting Hearts

“I told you, when you first showed up. There’s real poison in our blood.”
Ron Landreneau


Thursday night, 10 March 2016, PM

Celia: After her first meeting with Ron, Celia hadn’t let him slip out of her life. She had told him that she doesn’t need him to be her dad, and he wasn’t interested in it anyway, but she’d also told him she wasn’t some money-grubbing child claimant who’d only hit him up for a check when she’d needed it. They’d made plans to see each other on her birthday, get dinner again, and that had been that.

Only Celia had died before she’d made it to her next birthday. So it had been a little difficult to explain to him why she couldn’t meet him until really late at night, when most restaurants are closed. Rather than go out she’d asked if they could stay in and she’d bring something over. He’d accused her of not wanting to be seen with him—laughing, of course, always laughing—and Celia had made it up to him with a fancy bottle of bourbon, steak, and the biggest damn lobster she’d been able to find. Plus a rich key lime cheesecake for dessert. She’d sworn she’d never eat again, but he’d been mollified.

Her grandsire hadn’t been, though. He hadn’t spoken to her directly about it, but Lebeaux had taken her aside to tell her that it isn’t proper behavior to speak to someone like that without permission from who they belong to, which, admittedly, Mel had covered with her, but she hadn’t known that individual people could belong to licks too. She’d been more than a little flustered when the warden was done dressing her down for her behavior, and she’d told him that of course she hadn’t meant anything by it.

After that she’d had to apologize to Lord Savoy. Formally. Explain what she wants with the movie producer. That she hadn’t mean to step on his toes or approach his subject or encroach on his territory.

Now each time she wants to see him she asks if she’s allowed, and since nothing bad has ever come of it he’s never said no. She tells him the when and the where, he either has Mel tell her it’s fine or, if she’s meeting him directly about something else, waves a lazy hand and tells her to enjoy it.

She’d never directly told him that Ron is her dad, but she thinks he might know. That or he thinks she’s sleeping with the producer, and she’s not really sure what would be worse for her. She had explained this time, at least, that she might see if he’s still game to offer her a part in a movie.

It’s in a decidedly not whoring outfit that she shows up at Ron’s place when she’s done with her mother and Emily. A little late for dinner, but still not late enough that she thinks he’ll be asleep. He seems like one of those sleep all day, party all night kind of guys.

She just hopes he isn’t with one of his ladies of the week.

Celia lifts a hand to press the buzzer at his door.

GM: It’s been Mel that does, after the first few times. Vampires don’t like to share, but they can, at least, still let their guards down.

“Yeah?” grogs the now-older man’s voice from the box. He’s past 60.

That’s what all the kine do. Get old.

Celia: “Hey, Ron.” Ron. Not dad or Mr. Landrenau, just Ron. They’d both agreed to that. “It’s Celia.”

GM: “It’s late, Celia,” he grogs. “But whatever, I guess. Come up.”

The Toreador makes her way up to his floor. She doesn’t need to knock. The door’s already open. A girl dressed in suggestive attire is giggling and trading a kiss with the man on the other side. She looks as young as Celia did during her first meeting with her biological father.

Maybe a little younger.

Celia: Not much of a surprise. Diana had been 17. She’d heard he likes them young.

Celia doesn’t apologize for disturbing him at this hour like she might usually have. She’s got some cookies that Mom foisted off on her before she could get out the door, and she nods to Ron as she sweeps past the pair to deposit them in the kitchen for him. He’ll find them later. She rejoins them after a moment.

Maybe the girl is gone.

GM: Perhaps she wonders what Mom would think of that. Giving the snickerdoodles she baked to this man.

Celia: Mom will never know.

Better than throwing them in the trash, anyway.

GM: The girl isn’t gone. She’s dragging things out as she hugs and fondles him. She shoots Celia a jealous look over the older man’s shoulder that clearly says ‘stay away.’

Celia: Celia purses her lips and flutters her lashes at the girl. She unbuttons the top of her shirt. Just one. She’s older than the girl, but she doesn’t look it.

GM: The girl glares at Celia, then makes a kissy face and gets to her knees in front of Ron. He makes half-hearted sounds of protest.

Celia: “Charming,” Celia says dryly.

To remind him that she’s there. His daughter.

GM: “Ah. Shit. Not right here.” He pulls the now-protesting girl up. “Later, all right, babycakes?”

“How much later?” the girl presses, still glaring at Celia.

Celia: “Probably past your bedtime.”

GM: The girl glares harder, as if trying to think of something to say, then just exclaims, “You look like such a slut.”

“Fuckin’ Christ. Out,” grouses Ron.

“She’s just here t-”

Celia: Celia’s lips quirk upward in amusement. She glances down at her blouse and pants. Slut indeed.

She gives the girl a little finger wave as Ron shows her the door.

GM: “Yeah, and you ain’t? She’s my kid, dumbass. Out,” Ron repeats.

The girl looks a bit thrown off by that, then just glares at Celia again and makes her way out in a huff.

Ron closes the door behind her.

“I swear they get dumber every year.”

Celia: “Should have let her think you were fucking me,” Celia says after the door closes. “She’d have doubled down to win you back.”

GM: “Whatever, I guess. Always more.”

Ron’s dressed in a different-colored bathrobe, but still a bathrobe. Seven years later, his diminished hair is whiter, his belly’s larger, and his pudgier, blearier-looking face has more wrinkles. He does not look as if he’s aged gracefully.

He shuffles off to the kitchen. “Drink?”

Celia: “Might try even harder thinking she insulted your kid,” Celia says thoughtfully. She trails after him. “Whatever you’re having.” Same line, every time.

GM: He pours some glasses of what Celia knows by now is whiskey. He plops down heavily on the couch and takes a pull. The bright lights cast longer shadows over is face against the night. Celia supposes she hasn’t been giving him the same skincare regimen as her mom, and he might be 20 years older, but he has not aged as well.

“Little late,” he repeats. “So what is it?”

Celia: She’d offered, though. She still gives him products for holidays, but she doesn’t think he uses them. Shame, really. She imagines he’d be a good-looking guy if she could work her magic on him. Maybe if her grandsire decides to keep him around… feign a heart attack, say it made him more wary about his health, make a few changes… easy.

She imagines the whiskey tastes about as good as the first time. She can almost pretend that the ash is just the result of being filtered through charcoal if she were so inclined. She pretends to sip. Makes a face, as if she’d swallowed.

“You’re right. It’s late. I’m sorry for barging in on you like this. I tried to get in to see you at the office but my assistant has been a little scatter brained lately.” She flashes a rueful smile. He knows what that’s like, she’s sure. How many assistants has he hired for their brains versus their willingness to get on their knees under his desk?

GM: “Scattered brains should be easy to find when there aren’t many to scatter,” he grouses.

“But you’re right, who the fuck hires them for their brains.”

Celia: Celia lifts her glass in a ‘cheers’ motion.

“I’ve been thinking about the offer you made me a while ago.” He’d told her when she gets tired of playing online to hit him up and he’d “catapult her into stardom.” His words.

GM: “And you had to come tell me that right when I was getting laid,” he grouses again.

Celia: “Mmm, well, like I said, she’s going to try even harder with you now. Maybe let you do her the back way, you know how girls play shy about that.”

“You can probably convince her to bring a friend or two. Really, I did you a favor.”

GM: “Kid, I don’t care about all those bullshit games at this point. I want more girls, I can buy more girls.”

Celia: “I’ll buy you a girl, then.”

GM: “Lunch is when you normally say these kindsa things, you know. ‘Hey I’m interested in movies.’”

Celia: “I know. I also work through lunch most days, as you know. Business is going well. You should come by sometime.” She tells him that every time, too.

There’s a brief pause. Celia glances down at her drink. She swirls the ice around.

“I had a… nightmare, I guess. That I’d wasted my life online. You told me once that the kid thing doesn’t do it for you, that the legacy you want to leave behind is the movies. Something that breaks records. That’s turned into a classic. That, fifty years from now, people point at and say, now that’s art. People like stories, you said.” She leans forward. “Let’s give them one.”

GM: “I also told you art doesn’t sell. Art makes me you think. People don’t like that. They hate that.”

“But whatever. You want to be on the screen, that’s doable. Another pretty face is an easy fit into Vieux Carre.

Celia: Celia shakes her head.

“How much does an episode of that cost to produce compared to what it brings in?”

GM: “Uh, you bet it brings in more than it costs, or we’d drop it like a hot potato.”

Celia: “Obviously.”

GM: “Average episode costs about a million, anyways. Individual episodes also aren’t what we make money from, beyond selling them to networks for the cost it takes to make them.”

Celia: “Sure, but the demand for this kind of content, and thus the profit, has gone down, hasn’t it? I looked into it a little. Last year there was a garbage movie that brought in a billion dollars at the box office in seventeen days. Seventeen. That’s a record.”

GM: “Sure. It’s gonna get canceled eventually, like all shows. ‘Til then, we’ll milk the cash cow for all it’s worth.”

Celia: “Of course. I wouldn’t dream of telling you to put it down. But while you’ve got that guaranteed source of revenue, why not expand a little?”

GM: “And what do you think I should expand to?”

Celia:RED just released their new Dragon Vista a few months back. There are some studios out there who don’t even have the Epic Dragon, and you’ve still got people who think Arri can keep up.” Celia shares a look with Ron. “Those are the same kinds of places using day-for-night, too. Put Zodiac in front again. Grab a DV, put together a night film. First foray into this, maybe make it low budget. Bunch of nobody actors, keeps cost down on salaries. Horror, maybe, those tend to work well like that. Push it out under a sister company even. Real unknown. But you’ve got the talent here with your DP and FX guys, I’ve seen it. Knock it out of the park. Market the fuck out of it. You’ll see a bunch of copycats, but Zodiac got there first. Stick to the Quarter, even. Amount of ghost stories around here?”

Celia shakes her head.

“You could make something new for each one if you wanted and it goes well, even.”

It hits all the right beats: lets him play up the “local director” angle, uses the newest gadgets on the market, draws on the experience of his guys while still doing something new. Low budget, low risk, potential for a big reward both in profits and in sequels. Worst case scenario he buys a new camera.

And horror movies notoriously get a good turnaround on profits.

She’s not married to that idea, though.

GM: “Right, let’s establish a few things, ‘cause this ain’t the first time I’ve talked to someone, or even a relative, with big ideas who wanted to get into movies,” says Ron. “What are you after? Do you just want your face on the screen? Or do you want to make this specific movie?”

Celia: Celia doesn’t quite deflate, but she nods her head in agreement.

“You’re right. You’re the movie guy. I just got excited.” The smile she gives him is sheepish. She swirls her drink, sending the blood through her body to give herself a flush. It reddens her cheeks, makes her eyes a little shiny. Blame the whiskey and excitement, right?

GM: “Do you want make more movies, have a career in the industry? Do you want to be an actor, a producer, a director, or what? Or just build your brand on top of the MeVid and Instagram stuff? Like, what the fuck are you after here?”

Celia: Celia considers the question. She’d thought, initially, she wanted to be an actress. They make the big bucks, don’t they? But they’re the subject of constant gossip, their every move scrutinized… and they have to do what other people tell them to. Plus they have to be on set early, during the day. She’d have to rely on doubles to take her spot. Producers have more longevity, don’t they? Pick their own projects. Make a pile of money, too. Easy to hand it off to someone else that’s actually her once “Celia Flores” runs out of time.

“Eventually, I think I’d like to produce. Like you do. And I’ll admit that the idea of being on screen while I’m young and pretty enough to do it is appealing as well.”

GM: “I produce and direct. Sometimes write, though not so much now.”

“So what you want is to be on screen, and build that into producing later? Lot of stars who’ve done that.”

Celia: Celia nods.

That sounds about right.

“Do people take them less seriously as producers or directors because they used to act?”

GM: “Used to be actors were just actors—you don’t hear of Gary Golden or Ginger Swan producing movies. But even then you had exceptions. Think Orson Welles. It’s gotten more and more common with time. Actors taking on production responsibilities has changed the nature of filmmaking for the better. The more actors who also direct and produce means bigger creative investment and better conditions for cast and crew. Because working actors understand what’s needed to get the best performances. Think Clint Eastwood. Actor with a rep as an outstanding director and producer.”

“So no, not really.”

Celia: She was thinking more like the female actors who turn into directors and everyone thinks their movies are shit because they’ve got a vagina.

But she nods again.

She can be Clint Eastwood.

GM: “But okay. You just want to get your face on screen, forget a new movie for now. Big hassle to make a movie. Also damn hard to raise money for if you’re brand new and want a high production value. Easier to fit you in to someone else’s project, build your reputation, make your own movies from there.”

Celia: “So you think the show to start, or I should get… like a small part on a movie?”

GM: “Show,” says Ron. “Easier to slip you in. Ongoing thing you can do for potentially a while.”

“Average shooting day is 10-12 hours, by the way. Make plenty time.”

Celia: That’s a problem.

That’s a big problem.

GM: “We usually get 8-24 minutes of usable footage from that.”

Celia: “Why so little?”

GM: “When the fuck doesn’t shit take longer than you think?”

Celia: “It just… seems unproductive, is all.”

“But I guess if you’re shooting 50-60 minute episodes… one episode for every two to three days…”

Celia shrugs.

GM: “The full cast ain’t on set, or even on property, that full time. There’s a lot of moving parts that go into making a movie. Just how it is. That rate’s stayed pretty much the same since I started out, way before you were born.”

Celia: “Okay. So. How does this all work, then?”

GM: “I’ll get you an audition. You don’t do terrible, you’ll get a part.”

Celia: If only she weren’t his daughter, she could sleep with him for a part like every other actress.

“Okay.”

“And you recommend that instead of just… following what you do?”

GM: “What do you mean, following what I do?”

Celia: “I meant like you recommend going from acting to producing / directing instead of just going into the latter?”

GM: “Unless you’re independently wealthy enough to bankroll it all yourself, you will not be fuckin’ producer or director out of the box. That doesn’t happen anymore.”

“And even if you are, everything’ll be ten times harder without industry experience and connections.”

Celia: Celia nods. She gets it.

GM: “Like, I want to open a spa, right now, what the fuck would you tell me? I got money, right, and appreciate chicks who look good?”


Celia: “Hire a good manager.”

Celia grins at him.

GM: “Ha. I bet.”

Celia: “No, right, you’d want to make sure you know what you’re doing. That your techs know what they’re doing. That everything is priced right, that you’re following state board rules, that the marketing is on point, everyone has a license…” Celia trails off.

GM: “And a lot more shit you haven’t listed, ‘cuz you ain’t done this before.”

Celia: “So, really, hire someone who knows what they’re doing so you can learn.”

GM: “By the way though, if you’re serious about starting a movie career, you’re in a good place.”

Celia: “Yeah? Why’s that?”

GM: “Because there’s main two things that get you in, these days.”

“Family connections and money. Talent’s optional.”

“You don’t need talent to make it big.”

Celia: It’s not quite a ringing endorsement to what he’d once said about her being a good actress, but she smiles politely all the same.

GM: “Like, if I hadn’t cum inside your mom, you’d need all sorts of bullshit like acting classes and volunteer experience and a resume and an agent and there’d be a million other bitches and sonsofbitches who want the parts you want.”

“But here I am saying okay, you have an audition, just like that.”

Celia: She doesn’t point out that she’s prettier than the rest of his cast, either.

“I appreciate my luck.”

GM: “I didn’t have family connections or money. I busted my balls to make it in Hollywood. And the industry’s changed since then. Gotten way more competitive, like everything. Busting your balls isn’t enough no more.”

Celia: “And look what you’ve made with it.” Celia gestures around them, to the apartment, then beyond that to the city at large, the company he’s built. “You made everything yourself. You’re not coasting by on a name or looks or money or because you bent over for some guy. And that’s admirable.”

GM: “Yeah, I just sold my soul and make shitty movies. Lot to admire.”

Celia: “Ron… you’ve said that a few times. Shitty movies. Do you want to do more?”

“Has anyone ever asked you that? What you want?”

GM: “Doesn’t matter. ‘More’ doesn’t sell.”

Celia: “Would it make you proud, though?”

GM: “Audiences don’t want ‘more.’”

He gestures around the condo.

“I’d also rather have this than pride.”

Celia: “What if money wasn’t an object? If you could just… make what you wanted to? If you could have that and your condo and the girls?”

GM: “What if unicorns were real? Yeah, I’d clamber on one for a ride.”

Celia: “But I mean think about it, Ron. You’ve spent your lifetime building a company, and you don’t sound happy. And I’m your kid so I’m not going to lecture you because you don’t need it from me. But if you want to be happy, to be proud of the legacy you leave behind… maybe just think about it, you know?”

GM: Ron takes a pull of his drink. “I have this romantic idea, sometimes. When I’m really drunk and my girl’s nodding along to everything I say. Of making the last movie I make a real movie. Being sole producer, spending every cent I have, so no one else gets to sink their claws into it. Writing the screenplay. Directing it. Making do on the lower budget. Using every trick I ever learned, to make something real and beautiful and thoughtful and profound, to say everything I ever wanted to say, that touches people in their hearts and leaves them thinkin’ about it years after they’ve seen it. It wouldn’t make a lot of money. Box office flop. Critics would say it was weird, too different, too nonconventional. Wouldn’t matter, because I’d die in my director’s chair the day of the final shot, or maybe the premiere. But it’d be a cult classic, and a few decades later, it’d show up on all those ‘Top X’ lists and critics would all be gushing over what a work of art it was, and how unappreciated for its time, and how it changed things in movies forever.”

Ron takes another drink.

“And then I see my girl noddin’ and gigglin’, and I come back to fuckin’ reality.”

“And I think, hey. Maybe that would be a catchy movie. Movie about a director who wants to make a not-shitty movie, except the movie actually is just another shitty movie.”

Celia: Celia sets her glass down on the coffee table between them. She doesn’t quite lean forward in her chair, but she does fix him with a look.

“Do I look like I’m giggling and laughing and nodding along? If that’s what you want to do… do it. Start writing it. You’ve got this life here, sure, and you’ve got these movies and the shows you’ll leave behind, and a bunch of kids that will fight over what you leave when you die. Or you could actually do it, be the cult classic, be a name that people remember forever.”

GM: “Leaving aside all the other reasons that’s a better story, and movie, than it is a reality, I’m not about to kick the bucket. I can’t make it before I’m about to die, remember, since it’ll take every penny I have.”

“Though I guess I could kill myself when it’s done. Maybe even make that into a scene in the movie, ha ha. A real fuckin’ suicide. That’s almost beautiful.”

Celia: Celia is pretty sure that’s illegal, but she doesn’t tell him so. He’d know better than her, anyway.

“Could always write it now. Direct it under a different name, push it out under a different studio. Subsidiary, that kind of thing.”

GM: “Were you listening to a damn word I said? Use whatever fuckin’ name or studio you want, those kinds of movies don’t get made, unless you’ve got the money to take total fuckin’ control of production.”

Celia: Celia gives him a flat look.

GM: “Hollywood is an abortion clinic. Good ideas are the babies.”

Celia: “Then change it. Be different. You’re top dog in New Orleans, aren’t you? Do something with it.”

GM: “You are not listening to a damn thing I said! I make a movie that way, it’ll take every last cent I have, bye-bye all this.” He gestures at the condo. “Bye-bye to your inheritance, too.”

Celia: Celia considers him for a long moment.

“I am listening to you. I’m hearing you say that it’s a money problem. That you’d have to spend everything you have to be in charge. But it’s your name on the side of the building, isn’t it? You’re already in control. I know that’s not always how it works when people start throwing money at projects, they all want a hand in it. So… what if I throw money at it? I don’t know if I could bankroll the whole thing, but I could help. If that’s what you want to do.”

GM: “Soon as you take somebody else’s money, kid, they’re also in charge,” Ron says wearily.

He looks at her dubiously.

“The movie’d be a box office flop. Might even never be appreciated, years later. You’d probably just be lighting cash on fire.”

Celia: “I’ll make more money,” Celia says with a shrug. “If it’s what you want to do and I can help, I want to help.”

GM: “Why?”

Celia: “Because even if I don’t call you ‘dad’ you’re my dad. Because when I approached you years ago you were nice to me, and you could have just blown me off. Because you’re not… fake. You don’t smile and then stab someone in the back, you just say it like it is. ‘Celia, that’s not a good idea, this is what’s wrong with your plan,’ and you do it in a way that doesn’t make me feel less-than. Because I told you years ago I didn’t contact you for your money and you did something nice for me anyway, and now it’s my turn.”

GM: Ron doesn’t say anything for a while.

“What was it you said about who your mom was, way back? Sweetest lady in the world or some shit?”

“There’s a lot more of her in you than me.”

“Lot more.”

Celia: Plenty enough of him in her too, though. With a dash of Maxen on her darkest days.

She leans forward to touch his hand.

“You’re my family, Ron. This is what we do for each other.”

GM: “All right, enougha that mushy shit,” Em’s uncle says to Celia in a gruff but faintly choked-sounding voice. He takes a swig of his nearby drink.

“Someone’ll call you about the details. Audition times and shit.”

Celia: Celia pulls back from him with a smile, folding her hands on her lap.

“I’m looking forward to it. Thank you for setting it up.”

GM: “If you’re really serious about movies, by the way… I can talk to Rick. Rick Towers. We’re friends. He could take you with him to Hollywood. He won’t break his back to start your career, but he can open doors. Help you land some gigs.”

“I might be top dog in Louisiana, but this place is the kids’ table next to Hollywood.”

Celia: That’s certainly tempting. Or would be, if she weren’t predisposed to that certain type of sun allergy that involves bursting into flames at the slightest touch. She nods, though, because she thinks he expects it of her, and because there’s some part of her that wonders if she could make it work.

“I’d have to consider that. I have a business here, would need to sell. We don’t even know if I’m any good at this yet,” she says ruefully. “But… yeah, that sounds really great.”

There’s a pause, then, “do they really sleep with all the girls out there like you say?”

GM: She’s heard about L.A. from Roderick in passing. Anarch city. Anarch capital of the world, really. Vampires involved in Hollywood.

“Yep,” says Ron.

Celia: Not that Celia is opposed to sleeping with people to get what she wants.

GM: “Lot more shit I don’t say too.”

Celia: “Oh?”

GM: “Isn’t shit you’d see goin’ with Rick,” he waves off. “That’s for the really desperate girls.”

“Spreading your legs isn’t shit you’d need to do, either. That happens most with the actresses starting out, who don’t have money or connections. But it’d still help you get places with a body like yours.”

Celia: She should feel a certain way about her dad judging her body, she’s sure. Disgusted, maybe. But she’s dead, and she’s heard worse, and he’d never been much of a dad to her. She’s kind of flattered. She does have a bangin’ bod, she’d made it herself.

“That the kind of thing that’s gonna come back and bite me in the ass later?”

GM: “Sleeping with somebody to get ahead?”

“Pffft. Bite half the asses in Hollywood.”

“Can happen though if you’re careless and the paparazzi are hungry.”

“Then again, all publicity’s good publicity.”

Celia: “Ah. Like people who get work done, right? When it’s bad it’s obvious, when it’s good you can’t even tell. Show some discretion, that sort of thing.”

Is he really suggesting his daughter fuck her way to success?

GM: “Well, like I said. Sex sells. Worked for Paris Fucking Hilton, didn’t it?”

Celia: Christ, speaking of work done, she’d make a fortune in Hollywood.

“I’d actually point to the Kardashians before I do Hilton. She didn’t do much since then. Whole Kardashian clan has ridden that sex tape to success.”

GM: “Guess it goes to say sex sells, but doesn’t have to be your sex.”

“We call people who do that pimps.”

Celia: “There’s a joke in there somewhere about pimping out your own family, I think.”

GM: “You don’t have to sleep with nobody. Just telling you how it works.”

Celia: “No, no, I know, I appreciate how upfront you are about things.”

GM: “But like I said, you got a great body. It’d help you get ahead.”

“If you weren’t my kid I’d have definitely wanted to fuck you.”

Celia: Celia lifts her glass to that.

“Now there’s a compliment.” She doesn’t even sound sarcastic.

GM: Ron lifts his and takes a swig.

“All right. This old man needs to get to bed.”

Celia: “Of course. Thanks for seeing me tonight. And for the talk. I’m really looking forward to this. I’ll send a girl by to make up for the one I chased away.” She rises, holding out her hand. “I can set that in the dishwasher if you’d like. Mom sent cookies, they’re on the counter.”

GM: “Remind me who the fuck she is?”

Celia: They have this conversation every time.

“Diana. The ballerina.”

“Real bendy.”

GM: “Huh. Feel like I’d remember that.”

“Worked with dancers for some movies. You’re right they can be bendy as all fuck.”

Celia: “She didn’t go out for a movie. She said you met at a party.” Celia shrugs.

GM: “Thanks for the cookies, anyway. And the girl.”

Celia: “Anytime, Ron. I’ll talk to you soon.”

GM: Ron sees her out with a hug.

Em watches his uncle walk back to the kitchen and sample one of the foul-smelling, mold-laced cookies. Celia heads for the elevator.

Celia: Celia doesn’t quite head for the elevator. She spends a minute searching her pockets for something, and a moment later there’s a knock on Ron’s door when she comes up empty.

GM: He answers it. She sees he’s munching on one of the snickerdoodles.

“Yeah?”

Celia: “Hey, sorry, I forgot my keys.”

“How’re the cookies?”

GM: “They’re really good. Your mom’s some baker,” he says. He gestures towards the living room. “Take a look.”

Celia: “She is. Taught me everything she knows.” Celia slips past him, moving toward the living room. She checks the table, then the floor, and finally lifts the cushion she’d been on. There they are. “You really don’t remember her?”

GM: Ron shakes his head. “Pretty long while ago, obviously.”

Celia: She pulls her phone from her pocket, taps in the PIN, and scrolls through her gallery. A moment later she has a photo pulled up: she and her mom with Lucy sprawled across the both of them in a tutu and tiara. They all look like they can hardly catch their breath from laughing.

“That’s her.”

GM: Emily took the picture. Ron smiles as he looks at it, but part of him looks reflective too.

Celia: “Her last name was Underwood,” Celia presses. “She was… young. Seventeen when she had me.”

GM: It’s a curious-feeling moment, when Celia looks at the picture too. Someone who did something bad to Celia’s family, but who’s why it exists, and who’s looking at it now so appreciatively.

It’s not even the sole instance of that feeling. Lucy was conceived the same way. In an even worse way. Celia could fairly describe that night as the blackest, most awful night of her life (as well as the last), and for her mom it’s probably the second-most terrible. She remembers talking with Emily about the rape baby her mother shouldn’t have to bear to term. Maybe even slipping an emergency contraceptive. How could anything good come from a night so evil.

But there the result is. She looks so happy. So stitches-in-their-sides happy. She and both her moms. Even Emily, who’d privately agreed with Celia over abortion, said after nine months, “I just can’t believe something like her came from something so bad. Or how Mom… had so much faith that something would. I don’t know were she got it from.”

Celia and Lucy are both rape babies. Sisters by conception as well as blood.

But Roderick said they’re both probably her mom’s favorite kids, because parents do have preferences, especially ones with so many kids.

Ron just looks at the picture thoughtfully.

“So I’d have been… you’re 27… 34.”

“Your mom looks good for her age. I thought I might’ve been a pedophile for a moment,” he says with a faint smile.

“Usually don’t get girls’ last names at parties. Underwood doesn’t ring a bell.”

“Shit, though… you all look happy. Real damn happy. What were you laughing over?”

Celia: “She comes to the spa a lot,” Celia tells him. “Keeps up with skincare. I could do the same for you, if you want.”

She glances back down at the photo.

“Yeah. We were. Are. They’re a good family. My friend Emily took it. Mom kind of adopted her when it turned out she didn’t have a family of her own. She was my roommate in college, and after that first year she came to live with us.”

GM: “Huh. So if she was 17 then she’d be… 44 now?”

“Damn. You’ve kept her looking really good for her age.”

Celia: “I’m good at what I do.”

GM: “I might take you up if that’s the end result.”

“That’s sweet of your mom to do with her. I guess you did say she was really nice.”

“Hot and sweet. She looks like a keeper.”

Celia: “She is.” If only the men in her life weren’t such scumbags.

“I’d be happy to get some work done on you, anyway. We can set something up for next week if you want.”

GM: “Yeah, sure. Call my secretary.” Ron looks back at the picture. “Don’t see any guys.”

“Are Emily and your mom fucking?”

Celia: Celia smirks.

“We had dinner earlier this week and I asked them the same thing. But no.”

GM: Ron laughs.

“But no guys in there? Feels incomplete.”

Celia: “Her ex is trying to win her back.”

“I’ve been trying to set her up with anyone else.”

GM: “Huh. I prefer them younger, but I’d be down to… see where things go.”

Celia: “What, exclusively?”

GM: “Christ, kid. I said see where things go, not jump off a fuckin’ cliff.”

Celia: Celia laughs. “I’ll put in a good word for you.”

GM: “I wouldn’t mind seeing my granddaughter sometime, either.”

“She’s really fuckin’ cute.”

Celia: “Yeah, she gets it from me.”

GM: “She sure does. You got any other pictures on here?”

Celia: “Of Lucy or my mom?” Celia swipes through her phone. Like any twenty-something woman, she has a lot of selfies. But there are quite a few photos of her family as well, and she goes through them with him, pointing out Emily when she gets to a photo of her and Celia arm in arm at the spa. They’re both in gray hooded shirts with pink lettering that says “Flawless League” on them. Celia tells him that her mom found them while she was shopping one day and thought they were too cute to pass up. There are some of Lucy in her dance outfit, a few of Diana after Celia had done her face up for a “girl’s night in,” which is almost like a night out only it’s the three of them after they put Lucy to bed all huddled on Diana’s couch. Sometimes they play with makeup, sometimes they watch movies in pajamas, sometimes they just lounge around making jokes that get more and more lewd while Diana blushes.

GM: The only thing missing from those evenings is alcohol. Diana doesn’t touch the stuff, and since dying, it doesn’t do a lot for Celia either, unless she’s able to feed on a drunk vessel. Emily doesn’t like being the only one in a group drinking (or, since college, drinking alone either), so that stopped happening. Diana (silently) approved that it made the nights in more wholesome. Celia and Emily did their best to undermine that. But Celia supposes they still are, for all the raunchiness of the jokes.

“Lucy,” says Ron, but he still looks over the other pictures.

“Oh huh, that Emily girl’s got a nice bod too. Wouldn’t look bad on camera,” he remarks appreciatively when she comes up. He squints at a few of the pictures.

“What is she though… Hispanic? Indian? The other Indian? Viewers don’t like being confused.”

Celia: “Little white, little Hispanic, then whatever her dad is. Not sure if it’s Native or South Asian or Middle Eastern or all of the above,” Celia tells him, “but she’s in her last year of med school. Not sure she’s looking to switch into film after finally powering through all those headaches.”

“My dad called her a mongrel mutt,” she says cheerfully.

Or was it half-breed? Something rude, anyway.

GM: “Case in point,” says Ron. “You get some multiracial actors, Keeanu Reeves and all, but it’s a strike against. I don’t like to cast them.”

Celia: “But half black and half white is okay?”

GM: “So long as you don’t look it.”

“Or if you do and market it right.”

Celia: Celia glances down at herself. There’s no part of her that looks black. Maybe her butt.

GM: Her mom always called her hair “feisty.” But she can control that now.

Celia: She’d asked her mom once how come she has hair when Daddy doesn’t, and after that Maxen had shaved off the rest of what was clinging to his head.

GM: “He probably would’ve done it anyway, sweetie,” Diana had replied consolingly. “And it is a good look on him, I think!”

Celia: Celia, Isabel, and David had gone in together that Christmas on shoe polish so he could keep it shiny. They hadn’t understood why he’d gotten mad.

Celia: “Lucy passes for white pretty well,” Celia says after a moment, looking down at a photo her mother had sent her of the girl with both cats cuddling on her lap. “She’s… what, half on my side… half on her dad’s? Quarter on her dad’s? He never looked it either, though.”

GM: Shadow and Victor. The calico and black cat have their eyes closed as they contently purr.

It’s something to see them looking so peaceful. All they ever do when they see Celia is hiss, growl, and flee.

“Huh. Lucky her,” says Ron. “Remind me who that apparently handsome motherfucker was?”

Celia: There’s an awkward beat of silence. Then,

“Em.”

GM: Ron gives a flat look.

“Well, what the fuck, I guess. Who’m I to judge.”

Celia: “I, ah, I didn’t know who he was at the time. It wasn’t until after we’d…”

GM: “Legal in California, I’m pretty sure.”

Celia: She’d looked up the laws, after. Apparently in Louisiana she couldn’t marry the guy, but sexual relations were allowed. Weird rules, but then so is fucking your cousin.

“I haven’t told anyone that, since… well. She never met him. And he’s…” Celia trails off, voice dropping, “gone now, anyway.”

GM: “Yeah,” Ron says hollowly. “Drug-related shit. Bunch of people dead.”

“Can’t say I didn’t see it coming. Something like it.”

“I told you, when you first showed up. There’s real poison in our blood.”

Celia: “I’m sorry,” Celia says quietly. “I didn’t mean to bring it up. Are you okay? After… everything?”

GM: “I’m here. I’m breathin’.”

“Poison burns through me slower than him, I guess.”

Celia: “I don’t think that’s true, you know. About poison in the blood. He was… I mean, when I knew him, he helped me out of a bad spot. And you did too.”

GM: “He also killed my son,” Ron says flatly.

“I bet he meant well, with you. Hell. Maybe he didn’t mean for things to spiral out of control, the way they did.”

“But they always do. Always fuckin’ do.”

“And my son’s still dead, whatever the fuck he meant to do.”

“We’re fuckin’ hurricanes. Calamity wherever we go. We don’t mean it, we really don’t, just a natural fuckin’ phenomenon, right? Still calamity. Bodies. Lives destroyed. Everything we touch, turns to shit.”

“I’d say the whole thing’s a sad fuckin’ waste. I’d say he coulda made movies. But maybe he’d have just… turned out like me.”

Ron sighs wearily.

“Maybe better the poison burned through fast.”

Celia: Celia takes a step toward him. He’d said “no more mushy shit,” but when someone needs a hug, well… Diana had taught her to give ’em out like candy. She does so now.

GM: It’s not a tight hug. It’s not a limp hug. It’s just a heavy one. It lasts a while. Ron feels old and tired. He doesn’t move his arms.

Finally he pulls back.

“All right. Bed’s calling my name.”

Celia: “Right. Sorry for…”

Making him sad? reminding him of his dead son? bringing up Em?

“…lingering. Everything. I’m glad you’re in my life, Ron. I just want you to know that. But get to bed. We’ll talk later.”


Thursday night, 10 March 2016, PM

GM: Ron and Celia see each other off after the former declares “enough mushy shit,” but says he “ain’t sorry” she came by either. Em watches his uncle go take a piss in the bathroom. Celia heads for the elevator.

Celia: Celia heads back home. It’s a short drive from Ron’s place to her place in the Quarter, and she pulls her car into the drive behind a ruby-red… something. Randy had told her a handful of times what it is and she’d always forgotten. Too many numbers and letters in the name for her.

The house itself is brick, three stories, with two entrances. Celia goes around back to find the second entrance, passing through a security gate when she punches in the numbers, then a thick door with a series of deadbolts, and finally another PIN code. She takes a moment to lock up behind her before she ascends to her haven.

It’s a nice place, really: wooden floors, exposed brick walls, open floor plan. The furnishings are very Celia: tasteful, elegant, probably expensive. A lot of wood. A pink velvet couch, too. The only non-Celia thing in the place is the pool table that sits in the center of the floor, currently in use by a man and a woman. A spiral staircase leads upward off to the other side, and there’s a door off the kitchen that probably leads to the bathroom.

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GM: It would be a nice place, at least, in the real world.

Celia: Celia spends some time with Randy and Alana, asking the girl about a series of text messages, then letting her know to expect a call from Ron’s people about an audition. The three get together on the couch to watch a movie together after a while, some action flick with lots of explosions and a British bad guy.

GM: Alana lies down with her head on Celia’s lap, sometimes nuzzling back and forth against the Toreador’s thigh.

She looks a little sleepy, and the boy too, but they try to stay awake.

Celia: Celia runs her fingers through the girl’s hair while the movie plays. She tells them after a while, when it’s clear they no longer care if the hero can save the hostages, that they can head on up to bed and she’ll see them tomorrow evening.

GM: “I’d rather spend time with you, mistress…” the girl murmurs, rubbing her head against Celia’s belly. “I could eat you out, if you’ve had enough of the movie…”

“Babe, I’m always happy to watch anything with you. Or about you,” says the boy, with a brief eye towards the girl. His voice is a little jealous.

Celia: “And what will poor Randy do, hm?”

GM: “I guess he’ll just watch, like always.” The girl starts contently rubbing her face against Celia’s crotch.

Celia: “Mhm,” Celia muses, “but what about the fact that you broke the rules today, hm? You know better than to do what you did.”

GM: The girl looks up and hangs her head. “I’m sorry, mistress. I just wanted to be completely clear with you. I know how much you value your family.”

Celia: “You can’t call me mistress over the phone. You know that we’re already under scrutiny. If the wrong people see it…” Celia forces a sigh.

GM: The girl nods her head. “I won’t do it again, mistress. You can just spank me, once, for every time I don’t address you properly, when you see me again.”

Celia: “I value you your discretion more than I value you calling me mistress. What would I do if I lost you, pet? If someone picked you up for questioning?”

“Don’t you know how sad I’d be?”

GM: “You fucked up is what you did,” the boy helpfully chimes. “Like, don’t blab about stuff over the phone. That’s pretty basic.”

Celia: “You know better.”

GM: “You’d be very, very sad, mistress,” the girl replies mournfully, with a brief dirty look towards the boy. “I should know better. I’m so sorry. It won’t ever happen again.”

She crawls off the couch, prostrates herself on the floor, and starts to kiss Celia’s feet.

“You’re a goddess, mistress. You’re so much smarter, so much prettier, so much more everything than I am.”

“It’s so hard for any of us to match your example. But I’ll always do my best, do better than my best, for whatever you ask…”

Celia: Celia leans forward, touching her chin to lift her face. She strokes her fingers down the girl’s cheek.

“I appreciate hearing that. But you still messed up, and you need to face the consequences. So here’s your choice: no sex for a week… or you can watch Randy and I.”

GM: Randy’s face lights up.

“What kind of sex, mistress?” the girl asks slowly.

“Between you and Randy.”

Celia: “Well, I suppose considering I’ve made him wait this long, I should show him a good time.”

GM: Randy looks like he could cry ‘hallelujah.’

The girl shoots him a hateful look.

Celia: The girl knows how good the sex is, too. She knows exactly what Celia will make her watch. How much satisfaction she’ll give Randy.

GM: “I’ll take… no sex, mistress,” she says slowly. Spitefully. “He isn’t good enough for you. He’d… deface you. He isn’t good enough for you. He doesn’t deserve you and he never will.

“I’ll suffer, and go without, so you don’t have to suffer.”

Celia: “How noble,” Celia says dryly.

GM: Randy’s face seems to almost… freeze, as his breath catches.

Blue-balled.

Celia: “Go on up to bed, pet. I won’t make you watch now.”

GM: And just like that, unadulterated joy shines through on Randy’s face.

“You mean…?”

Celia: She does not mean. Celia has no intention of fucking Randy tonight: he hasn’t earned it. Plus she’s in a possibly monogamous relationship with an old partner who’d been hung up on her cheating last time and she isn’t going to ruin it one night in by fucking a ghoul.

Besides, he’d turned her down the other night. He doesn’t get to fuck her now.

GM: Alana throws herself at Celia’s feet, weeping openly as she clutches the Toreador’s leg like a lifeline. “Mistress, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry I’m so stupid, I’m sorry I’m not good enough, I’m trying, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, please, mistress, please, I’ll do anything, anything, I’m your pet, I’m your toy, I’m your property, I’m nothing, do anything to me, please, please…”

Celia: “I meant the movie,” she says shortly, looking back to the screen. “She looks tired and I’m still mad at you for drinking sewer water.”

GM: And just like that, the look of joy instantly vanishes.

Celia: Ghouls are a fucking headache.

She disentangles herself from Alana’s clutching arms. She wants to lash out, to berate her and tell her that she deserves it, but it’s like kicking a puppy. It’s just pathetic. And she’s not Veronica, no matter how much sex she has; she doesn’t get off on causing other people pain, even emotional pain. They’re just so… whiny when they’re like this. Is it what she has to look forward to if she and Roderick take that third drink? Christ. No thanks.

GM: Alana grovels on the floor and kisses the ground where Celia’s feet rested. Tears run down her face even as she gulps out between an ear-to-ear smile,

“Thank, thank you, mistress, thank you, thank you, I’ll be good, I’ll be worthy, I’ll do everything you want, everything right, I’m worthless, I’m yours…”

Celia: Is this how her sire sees her?

The thought fills her with revulsion.

GM: “You’re so fucking pathetic, Alana,” Randy says flatly.

So flatly.

An elephant could balance on his voice.

She could swear his balls have already shriveled in.

“There’s nothing sexy about it. Even remotely.”

Celia: “Shut it,” Celia snarls at him. “She isn’t yours to berate. Alana, get up, stop blubbering, and if you call yourself stupid again I’ll have your tongue.”

GM: Randy shuts up.

Alana rises to her knees, head bowed so she still isn’t Celia’s height. “Ye-yes, mistress,” she sniffs. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Just tell me what to do. Please. I want to do, whatever you want me to.”

Celia: “Fix this bullshit between you. Your squabbling is over. We are a team. There are enough people in this city to tear us down without you two doing it to each other.”

GM: “Uh, okay… how you want us to, babe…?” asks Randy.

Celia: “Find common ground. Fix a problem. Go fuck it out of your systems if you need to, I don’t care.”

“I don’t need you to be best friends. You don’t even need to like each other. But you will stop sabotaging and bad-mouthing each other, you will stop making each other feel bad, you will stop trying to get the other one in trouble. Neither one of you is better than the other. You both have your different areas of expertise, and you’re both with me for a reason.”

GM: “…all right. Sure, babe. We won’t fight about shit,” says Randy.

“Okay, mistress,” sniffs Alana. She remains kneeling. “What else do you want me to do?”

Celia: It isn’t this easy. She imagines they’ll have this same conversation next week as well. Maybe she should just lock them in a room with each other. Hit them with some feelings of lust so they can work it out. That always works for her.

“You’ll need a new identity soon, Randy. Your time as Celia’s boyfriend might be coming to a close. Start thinking about what that will look like. And you…” Celia wipes the tears from Alana’s cheeks. “You need more fire inside, pet, if you’re going to be a movie star.”

GM: “Oh. Uh, okay,” Randy says, a little lamely.

Alana basks under Celia’s touch, smiling up at her adoringly.

“A… movie star, mistress?”

Celia: “Mmhmm. I spoke with a producer this evening. We might be making a trip to LA.”

Celia taps Randy’s legs until he turns sideways and moves them so she can sit between them, then pulls Alana up onto the couch between her own. She takes one of Randy’s hands and puts it around herself, wordless permission granted, then tugs Alana until her pet’s back rests against her chest. It’s a Celia sandwich, a ghoul on either side of her. She nuzzles Alana’s neck.

“We’ll figure out the logistics. Press play, Randy, let’s finish this movie.”

GM: “Oh, L.A. sounds wonderful, mistress! Let the whole world see how beautiful you are!” Alana croons, grinding her ass against Celia’s crotch.

Eventually, the movie ends. Randy and Alana go to bed. Doubtless, with sex off the table, they’re both going to masturbate.

No one can get Celia Flores out of their head.

Comments

duckftw Feedback Repost

Ronnie

I’m still deeply amused by the random slut at Ron’s house. Celia is petty as fuck.

Their conversation about it is also pretty funny. Celia’s blatant “let her think you’re fucking me” and casual reference to him sleeping around is a far cry from the kind of chats she’d have with either of her other parents. Makes me wonder what she’d be like if Ron had raised her. Probably turned out more like Emmett did. Awkward.

I think her “I want to get into movies” comes off a little weird. I doubt they’d have had this conversation if Em hadn’t pushed her into getting close to him again. I know that when we made Celia she was going to have more of a relationship with Ron and do some makeup / special effects makeup (for the horror movies he doesn’t produce) and get into it that way, which… obviously didn’t happen and doesn’t work since she’s dead and all. The whole pitch feels kind of clunky though. My idea was to convince him to shoot something at night so that she could actually be in it, since the tech is better now (and in 2016) than it used to be so people can actually shoot at night rather than day-for-night. Maybe it’s just me that thinks it’s weird, I dunno.

Ron not remembering her mom has me curious about what happened that made them sleep together. Sure, he could have been drunk, she could have been roofied, but I think maybe it was more than that. Then again I’m about as conceited as Celia apparently, so of course I think someone was pulling strings all through her life. I’m sure I’ll get to the bottom of it eventually. Or not, who knows.

Pretty cool to get a connection to Rick / LA out of the conversation. Excited to visit.

I don’t think Celia needed to go back here. I did it to deliver a joke and… it just wasn’t funny, made the scene drag out longer than it needed to.

Also wasn’t a huge fan about Emmett following Celia. A, it’s creepy. B, I wasn’t super interested in playing out that scene with Alana and Randy. Also, still felt weird playing with someone else mostly observing.

“Are Emily and your mom fucking?” Lol. Celia asked that too.

They’re both in gray hooded shirts with pink lettering that says “Flawless League” on them. I have this shirt, actually.

Celia: Celia glances down at herself. There’s no part of her that looks black. Maybe her butt.

GM: Her mom always called her hair “feisty.” But she can control that now.

Celia: She’d asked her mom once how come she has hair when Daddy doesn’t, and after that Maxen had shaved off the rest of what was clinging to his head.

GM: “He probably would’ve done it anyway, sweetie,” Diana had replied consolingly. “And it is a good look on him, I think!”

Celia: Celia, Isabel, and David had gone in together that Christmas on shoe polish so he could keep it shiny. They hadn’t understood why he’d gotten mad.

That whole exchange is hilarious as fuck.

Ghouls Scene

Pretty cunty of Celia to use sex against both Randy and Alana here. I guess it buys her a week of not being expected to fuck either one of them while she figures out the Roderick situation, but it still feels cunty if you didn’t know that’s why she did it. I don’t imagine that her “start getting along” speech is going to do anything for them in the long run. I think they both have jealousy or something similar as a vice, so that’s awkward. Oh well.

I don’t really enjoy the way this was played out as the crossover. I felt weird being the only one posting while Emmett was observing. I guess if he’s going to do his ghostly spy thing I’d rather not know about it so it doesn’t affect the way that I play. I don’t think it made me not mention anything specifically, but I was very self-conscious being the only one posting. I know there was meant to be more interaction between the two of them, but we have the dream thing worked out where it’s easier to communicate, so overall I think that waiting for that was the better call.

Celia IV, Chapter V
 

False_Epiphany Feedback Repost

False_Epiphany: “I’m still deeply amused by the random slut at Ron’s house. Celia is petty as fuck.”
I was amused by the girl calling Celia a slut in her blouse and pants
But she did undo a button

duckftw: Celia can be a slut in anything, to be fair.

False_Epiphany: Slut’s a feeling

duckftw: It’s a state of mind
Like being a virgin
I bet if she were raised by Ron she’d be less of a slut.
All those purity balls and rings and lessons from her dad made her rebel
Actually, I’ve been wondering, when and why the fuck did she become such a ho

False_Epiphany: I think you nailed it with rebellion

duckftw: She was just a vampire and I was suddenly like “she’s a whore now.”

Navy: Perhaps she tried to compensate for losing Stephen?

duckftw: Could be

False_Epiphany: Rebellion, vampirism, losing Stephen
All three

Navy: She had to break than off pretty sharply.

False_Epiphany: Mind, it all basically happened at once

Navy: And she was drunk on the power of Presence.

duckftw: She found meaning between her legs.

Navy: Remember what she did to Emmett just because she could.

duckftw: Emmett deserved it.
>>

False_Epiphany: He did

Navy: Can’t wait to get drunk on power.
<<
>>

duckftw: Remember how he turned her down like a tease.
He shouldn’t have worn those pants.

False_Epiphany: I still don’t get why he did that
Danced with her, invited her up to his apartment

Navy: Izzy didn’t want his character to do it.
And that’s reason enough in my book, if the player didn’t want to.

duckftw: Yeah but… why
Izzy is a tease.

Navy: IC, he gave a reason I forgot about.

False_Epiphany: It’s a not a question of what he didn’t want to do, it’s why Em would make all the signs he wanted to sleep with a girl when he actually didn’t

duckftw: ^

False_Epiphany: I think Celia liked the idea of being a bad girl, anyway

Navy: Because as an escort that was drilled into him as the only normal form of interaction he does.

False_Epiphany: There was the whole Cici identity with Pietro

Navy: Man was in deep in that shit.

False_Epiphany: Ehhh, Mark never took Em out on dates or danced with him
They just went straight to the hotel room and fucked

Navy: Mark is only one of his clients.
It was effectively equivalent to one of his paid dates with Sami when she was an escort.

False_Epiphany: Old subject more relevant to an older log, anyway
I thought Celia’s movie pitch came off okay
She had big ideas, Ron proposed something more “realistic,” she was interested
The earlier Ron ideas didn’t happen, but they still could

duckftw: which ones?
oh, the makeup
?

False_Epiphany: " I know that when we made Celia she was going to have more of a relationship with Ron and do some makeup / special effects makeup (for the horror movies he doesn’t produce)"
Yeah
She’s had a lot to keep busy with. Can’t get around to every idea

[…]

False_Epiphany: “Ron not remembering her mom has me curious about what happened that made them sleep together. Sure, he could have been drunk, she could have been roofied, but I think maybe it was more than that.”
In fairness to Ron, he has slept with a ton of girls

duckftw: I know
That’s why I’m not 100% on it being something else.

False_Epiphany: And that ambiguity is just where I like things

[…]

False_Epiphany: “Pretty cool to get a connection to Rick / LA out of the conversation. Excited to visit.”
Yeah, I’d tossed that out on a lark for Celia to take up or decline
Tons of material I could use for an L.A. trip, but game wouldn’t suffer either if she declined

duckftw: I’m looking forward to it.
Provided she makes it through this story arc.

False_Epiphany: I liked how she went back to Ron’s apartment, as we got to have the photo conversation

duckftw: Yeah but the delivery about Emmett being Lucy’s dad was meh.
No reason for it.

False_Epiphany: Yeah, it’s partly how Em had his mind more on the uncle he hadn’t seen in a while

[…]

False_Epiphany: “Also wasn’t a huge fan about Emmett following Celia. A, it’s creepy. B, I wasn’t super interested in playing out that scene with Alana and Randy. Also, still felt weird playing with someone else mostly observing.”
I wasn’t either, and thought this crossover fell pretty flat for a lot of reasons

duckftw: I don’t think it needed to be a crossover.
Em could have arrived after Celia left to see his uncle.

False_Epiphany: What I’d anticipated was Em and Celia chatting and planning and helping one another’s goals, since Izzy seemed like he really wanted/Em could’ve used some Celia crossover

duckftw: Right, but doing it in dreams is easier communication.

Izzy: ^

False_Epiphany: It is, which didn’t work out, but Em was also able to communicate with Sami just fine through the ouija board

Izzy: Very hard to communicate via piecemeal messages that are creepy by design and Pathos-heavy in cost
We disagree on that

duckftw: Yeah but I wrote this dream sequence like three months ago that I’d like to use. >>

False_Epiphany: You’ll get to use it

Navy: Lol.

False_Epiphany: So don’t throw it out

Izzy: having to type out my messages one letter at a time is not my idea of efficient or interesting conversation

Navy: Spooooooooky.

Izzy: especially as it demands, for realism, brief and unexciting communication

Navy: Hey maybe you can get yourself a Skinlands translator.

False_Epiphany: Sure, I just figured you guys would take that as a net positive over not talking

duckftw: It was kind of awkward timing. She could have slept, but we’d already played out later parts of the evening.

Izzy: Well, he’s a ghost and a lot of her situation was unknown to him

duckftw: So we knew she didn’t sleep there

Izzy: he was going to gather intel first

False_Epiphany: Regardless, I agree with your conclusion that if Em is invisibly spying on other PCs in the future, Izzy and I should do it in a secret channel

Izzy: If celia was a ghost and had access to Em, I’d frankly expect the same
not out of maliciousness but simple self-serving opportunism

duckftw: ^

False_Epiphany: I thought that worked very well when we did it during the hunter scene

duckftw: It did
That was a really cool reveal.

Navy: Looks like that should be canonized.

duckftw: And I didn’t feel weird about being the only one posting.

Navy: Good addition to the Decanter ruleset: “When spying invisibly on another character, do it in a private chat.”

duckftw: I don’t think it needs to be a rule

False_Epiphany: yes, it’s more a metagame policy than an actual game mechanic

Navy: I think playstyle is an important feature of game rulesets.

False_Epiphany: but it’s a good one all the same
that could go under the Metagame Policies page
though I don’t know if it even needs its own entry
just something for the GM to bear in mind has worked well and do again in future scenes

duckftw: plus
Like
if the lamp had started shaking or something
Celia would have been like “wtf?”
instead of “knock it off, Em.”

False_Epiphany: You’d be properly freaked
Yep

duckftw: And she’d have definitely banged both ghouls without a ghost audience.
Just kidding though.

Celia IV, Chapter V
False_Epiphany False_Epiphany