(2018-03-17) Housewarming
Housewarming
Summary: Eddie settles into his new apartment, only to find it infested with wasps, and Norwegians.
Date: 2018-03-17
Related: http://darkwater.wikidot.com/log:2018-03-15-house-hunter:port-angeles-edition
Player Characters: Audgrim, Eddie, Ida

---| Eddie's Apartment - Old Tenement - Baker St. |


This apartment has gone long unloved, uncared for, even actively abused by previous tenants. The scent of mildew and dust lingers. The floor is a once-varnished hardwood that alternates between scarred, pitted, swollen and distorted. The window panes are darkened with dust and smoke to the point where they almost blend with the moisture-spotted beige wallpaper. Allegedly a studio, there is little room even for the scant kitchenette and half bath, both of which are graced with faux stucco walls the color of freezerburnt chicken to go with the mustard colored cabinetry. The appliances are several decades old, mixed off-white, off-pink and hospital green, with rusting "stainless" sinks. Above the stove a previous tenant has carved "SMIEL (:" so deep into the drywall that no patch job can hide it.

Whomever currently lives here might be actively on the run. The only seating is a drab futon on top of an inflatable mattress, both sagging with age, shoved into a corner furthest away from the apartment door. A rolled up blanket offers questionable protection from the sticky wall. Re-used plastic milk crates are incongrous bits of bright color, used next to the futon to hold a crooked light and a collection of third-hand poetry, as well as below the windows for a portable battery powered lantern and a wheezing radio.


It's Eddie's first night in at home, since he got a home to be in, and he's really made an occasion of it: wallowing in the depression of his sagging futon, alone, waiting for the cops to show up. He's got a bag of day-old donuts he hauled out of a dumpster on his way over, he's got a radio tuned to the static between stations, he's got a flickering failing lantern by which to read a yellowed dog-eared copy of Leaves of Grass that obviously has pages missing. What more could a man possibly ask for? Occasionally he checks his watch and looks impatiently toward the door, waiting for someone with a badge and a mustache to kick it in, but mostly he just lays there eating stale bear claws and turning pages and making a disgusted face. He never liked Walt Whitman, not really.

This house doesn't allow for a lot of privacy, although you still have to talk really loudly to make out what people /are/ talking about. So, Eddie would hear the shower in Audgrim's apartment running for a few minutes, a few loud Norwegian curses and some banging as the large Beast hits elbows and knees in the air-plane sized bathroom.

Another minute and the heavy footfalls of his lazy gait in the hallway, and Eddie's door is thrown open to show a clean and totally glamour-doped Audgrim, the sort of glamour one can only get from having feasted on your court's emotions; his shadow is too long and too dark, the smell of wet Autumn dirt and brittle leaves heavy around him. "I found God!" he declares, eyes gleaming madly. Thankfully, when he enters and closes the door behind him, he adds: "Pastor Bobby is Autumn." If Eddie's kept an ear out he knows Pastor Bobby has that tent revival between PA and Forks.

Torn and missing pages do nothing to help Mr. Whitman become an easier read for poor Eddie. The dim yellow lantern light falls upon a page where the upper and lower part have both been ripped off, leaving only a segment.
O I have been dilatory and dumb;
I should have made my way straight to you long ago;
I should have blabb'd nothing but you, I should have
chanted nothing but you.
A cold-sleepy wasp bumbles in after Audgrim, rumbling like a tiny vicious bomb carrier. It veers towards the light and the smell of dumpster donuts, testing the wall for a landing place, dismissing it for its inherent stickiness and instead ends up clinging to the side of the lamp. It starts cleaning itself, in between glancing at Eddie's sweets. A light rain has begun to fall, an icy drizzle to hide the stars behind thick clouds, not that any of this is visible through the murky windows here.

Eddie sits bolt upright as the door swings open. Well, he tries to, anyway, the deflated bedding shifting beneath him so that he just ends up bent into a C. He starts to roll out of bed, when he notices who it is, and what they're saying. When a pal of yours shows up tweaking his head off and shouting about how he found God that might usually be cause for concern, but around this place it's just another lazy Saturday evening, and the detective seems to have adopted a when-in-Rome approach. "That's nice," he says, settling back into his former position. "I'm glad you're making friends." He looks at the wasp as it alights on the lantern, then over to its distorted monstrous shadow on the wall. He lifts his book as if to swat it, then seems to change his mind. At least it doesn't seem liable to start talking about Jesus.

Audgrim is prowling the small apartment like a cat chasing an ellusive mouse - but even then, he retains that laziness, tail swishing behind him in figure-eights as he takes in the decor. He eyes the wasp briefly, leaves it to its own, having gotten an appreciation of small critters simply by whom his friends are. He homes in on the donuts, licking his lips. "I think Pastor Bobby remembers." He slooowly leans down to take a donut, eyeing Eddie, as if afraid the other beast will swat him for it.

The wasp apparently takes Audgrim's body language as a sign to go for it. It dives at the treat before the Lost can, digging right in, rumble-buzzing in a cheerfully aggressive way, its fat abdomen doing that twitchy little "warning! warning!" dance. Nom nom nom. Nom nom nom. The wasp shadow on the wall seems to be devouring the shadow furniture.

Eddie lifts the book again, and looks at Audgrim the way he looked at the wasp, a moment ago. After a second he sets it down and cracks a grin and makes a permissive gesture toward the bag, but by then it's too late. Someone else has already got there first. He watches the wasp a while, then shakes his head. "I'd let her have it, if I were you," he says, "she wants it more." He gives another shot at sitting up, and manages it this time after a few false starts, putting his back up against the wall. "Another one? Wish I'd known there were so many, running around. I could have left things up to them and spent my time learning how to knit, or something else productive."

Audgrim's hand is withdrawn with a quick gesture as the wasp beats him to the feast. Partly because that shadow is so impressive, and in his Autumn-doped brain it looks like something out of a proper nightmare; he appreciates it, staring at the shadow that is next to his own monstrous one. His shadow has the shape of a clawed, horned fanged beastly demon which grins approvingly at the wasp's shadow. A clawed shadow hand reaches out to stroke the wasp's shadow on the head.

"We should talk to Tyla again," Audgrim says, leaning up against the window sill and squinting through the murky window. The rain has traced lines in the dirt, making a pattern like modern art.

Outside, the city's lights has turned the cloudscape into a hellscape of lurid oranges, bruise purples and that mood indigo, ever shifting with the changing skies and metropolis. The rainslicked glass adds an additional dimension to it all, making Eddie's windows something that would probably sell well in a modern art gallery.
Another pair of wasps flies inside the apartment, taking advantage of the open door.
And Eddie knows the sound of the high heels that are now clicking their way down his building's hall.

"Because that worked out so well, last time," Eddie says, deadpan. He watches the wasps show up with the same air of general disinterest he seems to be showing everything tonight, just looking at them to have something to look at, then shakes his head. "You can try if you want, but she's screening my calls. I'm too busy anyway, getting hassled by the cops and burning my clothes and thinking about retirement." He cocks his head to one side, listening, and he becomes more animated for just a minute as he scrambles to stash the book between his futon and the inflatable mattress before the owner of those heels can see it.

The muted neon colors play over Audgrim's face as he stares out the window, adding to his eeriness. He tilts his head as he hears the heels, the sound familiar. But he has not yet learned to recognize it as Eddie has and hasn't made the connection between her and the wasps - he doesn't quite has his wits about him right now, with the glamour high buzzing in his head. Eddie's scrambling makes him more alert and he stands up and watches the door expectantly.

"It will be alright," he notes fatalistically, hopefully. Because he truly believes that, and his hope is always contagious - even when he's being a demon with a creepy shadow.

The shadow on the wall stares at the door too, teeth bared and claws raised, just in case.

There is indeed Trouble now in that doorway, as a certain sleuth has so nicknamed her. Legs to make holy men forsake their vows, curves to make them forget their guilt, Ida is smiling with a fourth wasp delicately perched upon the back of one shimmering hand. "At ease, kind Audgrim. I come in peaceful intent." She turns her head, smile deepening to show her dimples, and she lowers her lashes a little to peek coquettishly through them at Eddie. "I told the girls you had dessert. I am glad to find you backed me up." The Fairest murmurs something to the wasp, and it along with the other two descend upon the bearclaw the first is already feasting on. Their shadows merge on the wall, turning a monster into something legendary, a hydra like no other.

"Sure," Eddie says, leaning to rest his head in one hand and giving a defeated gesture around the room with the other, "make yourselves at home, everybody. Invite the guy in apartment four, why don't you. Bobby Teabag, I think he said his name was. I met him moving in. He's got a lot of interesting opinions on butterfly knives, and white power." He finally rolls his way out of bed and onto his feet, careful not to disturb the banquet, and makes his way over to the fridge. "And all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well," he mutters, hauling out a six pack of cheap generic cola. The cracks one open and leaves it on the floor, for the wasps, then gets one for himself.
Audgrim's shadow reacts to Ida's presence with a monstrous leer, then nods and settles down to become just a normal shadow, leaving the show to the wasps. The Beast himself does thankfully not leer, but his gaze is very appreciative as he watches Ida and her wasps. "Hello Ida. Nice place Eddie have, right?" He's totally serious about this.

He goes to get himself a drink of cola too, having given up the donuts but craving something sweet. "He probably will not like Mrs. Smith in room six," he notes about Bobby Teabag. "She talk to me about black power and something about white men, while shaking a thingie you hit balls with, at me. A bat? All I did was say hi to her and offer to carry her bags after shopping. Maybe she think I want to take her food."

"Well, I do have very strong opinions about knives as well," Ida notes, moving over to where Eddie is with the cola. There's a flash of a smile to the aquatic Nightsinger, "Audgrim, it is good to see you again." She does not take a can, however, instead waits, a teasing glimmer in her eyes. "And indeed, the chosen quarters are most-" She searches for words. Clearly, impressed beyond her local vocabulary.
The first wasp, stuffed with stale pastry, has made its way over to the opened soda and is imbibing. The earlier deep aggressive thrum has lightened slightly. It is fed, it is dry, nothing is daring to interfere with it. Wasp life is good. If only the weather would get warmer and drier. One of the others humms its way over to the wall, inspecting where those shadows were moving so much earlier, in case the movement was a sign of more food or hiding an opening that could be used to make a nest.

"Well let me know if you want to meet the super," Eddie says to the Fairest, offering her a can, "it sounds like there's about to be a vacancy in number four." He looks at the door and thinks about closing it and doesn't. Why bother? He trudges back to his mattress, inspects it briefly for stinging insects, and flops back down. There's a squeal of air escaping from the inflatable mattress, and he sinks about an inch lower to the ground than he was when Audgrim came in. "You heard about Wendy?"

"I like claws," Audgrim says, flexing his fingers. He's yet to pick up any other instrument than his violin and probably won't be swinging knives at anyone anytime soon, not with those claws of his. He drinks cola thirstily and settles on the windowsill again, one leg dangling, tail curling up into a loop, still for once.

"You should live here too," he agrees, shooting the wasp lady a broad grin. His shadow does a thumbs up at this. "Eddie get you good price for room five." He too seem certain Bobby Teabag won't be staying here long.

Audgrim adds, for Eddie: "I heard Wendy is dead." He isn't sure he's asking him or Ida.

There's that smile again, and Ida takes the offered can gracefully from Eddie. As she sips she turns around, taking in the whole of the place. The questionable den. Tracing the carving above the stove, "Well, I can tell that the inhabitants here certainly feel passionately about it. This was done with a butcher's knife, I do believe, I think I see part of the blade still stuck inside. Hm." She leaves it be, instead opting to prowl over to the milk crates below the window. She plays with the radio, changing it from the white noise to music. Something jazzy, swingy, with a lot of sax and drums comes on.
He's mister white christmas
He's mister snow
He's mister icicle
He's mister ten below
This done, she neatly moves the radio over to share a crate with the lantern, moves the other now empty crate out further from the wall, before going over to close the front door, finally. This done, she claims her seat on her newfound plastic crate-turned-throne. The fly Beast now has the best view in the room of her crossed legs. At the mention of Wendy she's stopped smiling, nodding her head as she fetches a nailfile from a pocket and inspects her own set of claws with a slight frown. "At least we have it confirmed that she was not dead when we met her. That thought did strike me."

Eddie draws his thumb across his throat, and nods at Audgrim. "I guess her boss wasn't too happy with her letting us back down the ountain," he says, and that's all he has to say on the subject of Windy Wendy, RIP. He stares up at the ceiling, focusing on the little spots of green-black mold that grow up there. "The Eiffel tower, maybe," he murmurs, tracing one finger through the air. Connecting the dots, to distract him from those legs. "You know you really ought to bring a bottle of something, to a housewarming. I'm starting to think Lillian was right about you being rude."

Audgrim's yellow eyes follow the motion of Ida as she sets things right in here. He shoots Eddie one of those 'You're a lucky guy'-looks. Yes, that look. Finishing his drink, he leaves the can on the kitchen sink and stretches lazily, yawning widely. "I'll bring a bottle, next time. We can get drunk. Now? I go sleep."

Perhaps he just wants to give the other two beasts a chance to be alone. Sometimes he does pick up on things, after all. And with his usual lack of ceremony, he stalks out of the apartment and heads back to his own. Outside, he can be heard greeting our favore White Power miscreant, with a; "Hiiiii, Bobby. I think the police was asking about you…"

"I do apologize, where are my manners." Ida dimples, reaching within her coat. She searches around a little, then actually withdraws a hefty looking envelope. That coat must have all kinds of interesting pockets and hidden depths to it. She offers this present to Eddie; it's a plain enough brown envelope but has a blue satin bow around it, held in place with a handcast pewter tie pin shaped like a magnifying glass. It even has a tiny glass lense that, yes, does magnify. The dimples deepen. "Shall I come over and give it to you, darling, or do you prefer to come over here and get it?" All polite interest. She shifts her legs so they cross the other way, raising the question of whether it is her skin or her hose that is shimmering the most golden. Just below the underside of her left knee there is an additional bejeweled sparkle, a stripe of ruby and a lick of sapphire crisscrossing so that the middle glows amethyst.

Eddie aims a lazy wave at Audgrim as the Nightsinger heads out, or else throws an imaginary rock at him for that look he just gave. It's all a matter of perspective. He turns his head from where he's laying, to watch Ida retrieve the envelope. Anything else he happens to see is purely incidental, of course. When he manages to pull his eyes up to that pin, his eyebrows raise and come together. Touched, like. He tries to get up again to go retrieve it, but with his bedding further deflated it takes more effort than he has to give, right now, and he waves her over wordlessly.

If the sleuth will not go to the trouble, then Trouble will come to the sleuth. Ida rises, sashaying over with that little smile. Considering the sagging bedding and the prone Eddie upon it, she takes her seat as gracefully as she does anything. But before she can do more than wave the envelope at him, the mattress hisses again, and she goes with the motion of the plastic ocean, ending up prone on her side next to him. The present lies between their chests. "Darling, please open that before your furniture decides to swallow us all." She is making some token effort to get up. Really, she is. Close enough to count which are lashes and which are wings by her eyes, and almost the individual facets of her would-be iris and pupil.

Closer than they've been since that embrace in the coffee shop, in fact. Eddie takes in a sharp breath, at the surprise of it all and the sudden drop and a couple of other things, probably. He goes tense, and holds it, eyes darting nervously to her face beside his. He closes them, and breathes out, relaxing. "You know I'm going to check that thing for knife wounds tomorrow," he says, as the air mattress continues to bleed out slowly. He takes the envelope and removes the pin, examining it this way and that, casting a little circle of yellow light against the wall when he holds it up to the lantern. He watches that a while, then tucks the pin carefully away, and then ribbon with it. OF course he's going to save that, too.

The mattress gives another lurch, and he finally hurries to open the envelope, before Ida's warning can come true.

It is entirely possible the mattress may have a few extra punctures in it than it did before. Ones that look suspiciously like it was made by the stinger of an insect. Say, a wasp or several. Ida just waits, not moving any closer but not moving away either. She just lies there, a temptation of flowing tresses and curves, her own breathing deep and slow. Her smile warms further when her present is treated so well, and she nods her head, watching.

The envelope holds a trio of books. 'Unsolved Murder Mysteries of Port Angeles', 'Cryptography and Cryptanalysis Of Secret Codes Of The Pacific Northwest' and the third one is The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse - 779 poems from 273 authors span the 19th and early 20th centuries'

Eddie shuffles through the books with a growing secret delight that he can't quite keep hidden, at least not from someone who really knows him who is inches away from his face and close enough to feel his heartbeat ticking up. He cracks open the last one and flips through the pages. "I must pay you too much," he finally says, unable at last to keep a smile off his face, "to waste this kind of money."

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