Chapter 2.06 – Electric Fizz

The ceiling was a different colour.

Babs had insisted on painting their bedroom ceiling yellow, to match the rest of their house. Yellow was her favourite colour, closely followed by orange, so the whole abode was a glowing citrus fiesta, a banana and tangerine dream. A box of warm sunshine, she once called it. Chuck had exchanged a sly eye roll with his daughter over that one.

This room was anything but a box of sunshine. Dark and drab, would be a more accurate description.

It was wonderful.

Chuck lay for a while on this delightfully firm mattress, gazing at this lovely, neutral ceiling as his brain slowly solidified from the fuzzy mush it had woken up as.

Wait. That wasn’t his ceiling. This wasn’t his bed.

You’re not my wife!

The woman beside him blinked open her brown eyes and locked them on to his. It sent an intense, but not unpleasant, pins and needles sensation through his head, which settled into a gentle electric fizz.

For a while, the pair simply stared at one another. Chuck was desperately trying to recall what had happened, why he was here, who she was. He tried to piece together the fragments of memory he had.

He hadn’t gone to work because something had happened, but he had no recollection of what that something was. Babs had been crying; she’d been much quieter than usual. He had a vague memory of telling her that he was going to visit a bar.

Was she troubled by that? Had they argued? If so, she’d had good foresight and he should have listened to her. He had a splitting headache, patchy memory and was in a stranger’s house.

A stranger’s bed.

Blast.

Chuck was a faithful man, a family man. It was very much out of character for him to upset his wife, skip work and go to a bar in the first instance. Flirting with another woman was bad enough but one who was young enough to be his daughter? Going back to her place? What the plum was he thinking?

Was he having a mid-life crisis? He’d always thought that when this moment arrived, he’d regrow his hair one last time before the inevitable balding set in. Or perhaps he’d get that tattoo he’d always wanted and hit the gym so he wasn’t ashamed to show it off.

But no. He’d gone down the ‘lecherous old creep’ route instead.

Fiddlesticks.

The mystery woman smiled, a little.

Chuck had never been in this situation. Before he’d met Babs he’d only ever had one girlfriend. He had never had a one-night-stand, never had the desire to. He didn’t know what the etiquette was, especially as he had absolutely no memory of their night together.

Oh no. He hoped he hadn’t used the condom from his wallet; that thing belonged in a museum.

Time for a pep talk. Right. You can do this. Come clean; let this poor girl down gently, then go and grovel to Babs. He took a deep breath.

“Hello,” he said politely.

He waited to see if she would say something but she remained silent. It almost looked like she was listening and… trying not to laugh?

“There is no easy way to say this. I’m terribly ashamed to admit that I don’t remember anything, Miss—“

“Lilith,” she offered. Her voice was as cool as her expression.

“Lilith,” he repeated. It didn’t ring any bells.

He couldn’t look at her any more. It was her eyes; so innocent and yet so very empty. She reminded him of…

Rose?

He swung his legs to sit up on the edge of the bed; it took a few beats for his head to catch up and in that time Lilith had made her way over and settled beside. She looked concerned but also wary.

“You should rest,” she coaxed. “Mr—“

“Bucket. Charles, although everyone calls me Chuck.” He turned to her, shame written across his face. “I didn’t even tell you my name? Forgive me. Oh Watcher; what have I done?! I don’t remember what I did tell you, if anything at all, but I’m married. I’ve been married for almost thirty years. I shouldn’t have—” he motioned to her, to the bed.

“Bucket?” She seemed to be lost in thought. “You haven’t told me anything about yourself but that’s because I found you on my doorstep, passed out with a knife wound, Chuck,” she said. “Nothing untoward has happened. Not in the ways you’re thinking, at least.”

“It hasn’t?”

She shook her head. He breathed a massive sigh of relief before he registered her whole sentence. “A knife wound?” he asked. His hand instinctively went to the most tender area, his neck. He caressed the sewn seam gently. “Stitches?”

“Five of them,” Lilith murmured. “I’m a surgeon by day; mostly cosmetic, the occasional reconstructive.”

“A surgeon, how fortunate. Thank you,” Chuck said trying to make sense of everything, find a rational explanation for everything.

It was too much. For now, for sanity, he would try to see the bigger picture, rather than getting swamped with the little details.

“Was I attacked? Perhaps mugged?”

“You might have been.” She paused, looking uncomfortable. “I went through your pockets, trying to figure out who you were, who to call and I didn’t find your wallet or phone, only car keys.”

Chuck nodded. “I wonder how I ended up here. Where is ‘here’?”

“We’re in the forest about three miles from the village of Forgotten Hollow. You don’t remember how you got here? How you came by that wound? Who may have inflicted it?” He shook his head and she muttered to herself, angrily. Did she just call him a cretin? “Do you at least remember where you’re from?” she asked.

“Of course, Willow Creek.”

“Oh!” She seemed a mixture of confused and aggravated by this information. “That’s a surprise. What else do you remember? Do you recall what brought you to this neck of the woods?”

“No. Wait, what did you say the name of the village was? Forgotten Hollow?”

“Joe’s bar!” he announced, triumphantly. “I was going to Joe’s bar.”

“Joe’s? You drove all the way out here to go to that dump?”

“Yes. It was on the news. I can’t remember why it was important to go there, however.”

Lilith pulled her phone from her pocket. “Let’s find out why Joe’s humble little bar is on the news, shall we?”

She tapped the screen until she was on the news website.

“Oh my word,” she whispered, scrolling through and pausing. “Bucket.”

Chuck leaned over to view the screen that Lilith was staring at.

“That’s why I’m here! It’s because of my daughter!” Chuck declared. “I’m looking for Melinda!”



Caleb handed the keys back at front desk, settled the bill and re-joined the girls without screwing anything up.

“Where to next?” Melinda asked, adding the change Caleb gave her to the stack of notes and having a quick count.

“If we move swiftly, we should be able to get to the docks by sunrise,” Caleb suggested. “There’s a motel there.”

“It is better than this one?” April asked.

“Not really. Although one time I did get an upgrade.”

“You sure know your way around the motels of the world, Fringey.” Faith said. “A girl in every port?”

Caleb squirmed. “I’ve travelled this route quite a few times. We’re following the river, so from the docks, we’ll head through Glimmerbrook and then on to Windenburg. It’s where the three of us used to reside before we moved to Forgotten Hollow. We used to visit, but we haven’t been back for years.”

“So it’s like a holiday home in the countryside! Is it picturesque?” April asked, hopefully.

“Yes,” Caleb replied. “It’s next to a river, surrounded by unspoiled landscape, rolling hills, in the shadow of an old castle…”

“Oh it sounds so romantic!” April gushed. “I can’t wait to see it!”

“Yeah,” Faith concurred. “Let’s go as fast as we can so we have to spend as little time as possible hiding in rooms stained with fuck knows what.”

Caleb took April’s hand and started down the steps towards the main road. As Melinda passed her, Faith whispered, “”Where the three of us used to reside.””

“I picked up on that up, too,” Melinda said. “Who do you think the third one was? Seth?”

“Possibly,” Faith replied. “Seth and Lilith were definitely a thing. Kind of. At one point. It sounds like it all went completely to shit though.”

“I gathered as much.” Melinda studied her friend for a while. “What are you not telling me?”

“I saw him, tonight. He followed us here.”

“He followed us? What did he want? You weren’t out for long so I’m assuming not… you know.”

“No. He wanted a kick in the balls, but he got a thump in the heart instead,” Faith said, laughing.

“Um, what?”

“Come on, let’s not lose track of Clueless One and Two. I’ll explain on the way but I will say this; things could really be changing for me from here on out, Mellybean.”



Chuck had used Lilith’s phone to reassure his very worried-sounding wife that he was alive, although he was sparse with the exact details he gave her in between her constant talking.

Lilith had told Chuck to make himself at home while she hastily set about ensuring that her house look like a regular human’s, starting with locking the pantry and scrubbing the residue of that ‘gift’ from the sink.

Now that she knew who this man was, she knew what that cretin thought she would do with him. She wasn’t going to do it, if only to spite the arrogant swine. She would take Chuck to Joe’s bar and she would leave him there. Forget about him.

Forget about the lot of them.

Chuck had showered, dressed and joined Lilith in the kitchen. She heard his cheerful, rambling thoughts long before she heard him opening her fridge.

“I don’t think there’s much in there,” she said, giving the sink a hasty rinse. “If you’re hungry, there’s a café in the village; I can buy you breakfast.”

“I should provide you with breakfast, Lilith. It’s the least I can do. Besides, you have a few things. Garlic, mushrooms…”

“I have garlic and mushrooms?” Lilith asked, surprised.

Caleb must have bought them from the village greengrocer under duress; the owner was always asking him not to loiter there. Lilith was surprised that her brother had found time to buy random groceries in between all of the treachery, slander and archaic binding rituals he’d been carrying out this week.

Lilith joined Chuck at the fridge and peered in to look at the items he was referring to. There was no doubt about it; inside was a handful of wild garlic and a selection of mushrooms that almost looked like they’d been freshly picked…

She scanned the fridge and her insides tied themselves into knots as she immediately recognised the other item in there.

A fleshy, bean-shaped item.

She watched in slow motion as Chuck reached towards it.

“Ooh!” he enthused. “Yes, we can definitely make something with this!”

The sodding, shitting arse!

18 thoughts on “Chapter 2.06 – Electric Fizz

  1. Lol. So it was Seth who orchestrated breakfast plans. 😂 I wonder what recipe he’s referring to that requires Garlic, Mushrooms and Kidney. My cuisine uses a lot of gizzards and organs but I don’t think we use kidneys for anything..

    Ok, at first I didn’t want Chuck to be on your banner because I don’t want any harm to befall him. But this chapter has him skyrocketing in my books way up there to Lilith’s level of love. Aw man! Now I want him on your banner because I want to see how he fares in AE universe! So conflicted!

    This chapter gives me all warm and fuzzies… I mean, minus the part that Seth is refusing to let Lilith move on by dumping Chuck on her doorstep so she’s reminded of her coven and the grim situation of runaway teens. And well.. cannibalism. Hahaha! Maybe she can convince Chuck the bean isn’t fresh enough. Like you said, Will isn’t the best tasting thing. 🤣 Dump that yuuck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We use lamb’s kidney in a few recipes over here and then I threw in whatever ingredients I thought Seth could forage because I couldn’t imagine him popping to the supermarket.

      I’m sure Chuck’ll fare well. He’s landed with a human-friendly vamp who’s not at all starving and feeling hurt… right?

      I don’t even want to think about eating a human kidney; this chapter makes me squirm. I know, I know… I wrote it but, ick. For some of my characters/plotlines I’ve really got to think and write outside of my comfort zone. 😅

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😮 So I checked and lo and behold, there are tons of kidney recipes in our cuisine. Just my squeamish nature made me oblivious to their existence.

        Lilith has like… the willpower of 3 centuries. She’ll never harm Chuck. Upon saying this though, she’s prone to passive aggressive displays and unhealthy rage-filled lashing. 😭 Nuu… my waifu..

        I get you about going out of your comfort zone! I’m not exactly thrilled writing about some of the themes in my story too. But cannibalism. At the start of S2! Seth is going to give you a fun time. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yum! First banana sausage surprise and now kidney pudding galore. Look at that; AE is opening up a whole new world of culinary delight for you. You’re welcome. 😂

          She does but as she told Melinda way back “Eventually your thirst will just control you.”

          Why do we do this to ourselves? My next story is going to be about a woman who dreams of a picket fence life while she knits and strokes her many cats (and will probably get five times as many followers, lol) but for this one… yeah, let’s throw in some cannibalism. I could launch into my notes about Seth’s thinking here but judging by your last comment, you’ve probably got pretty good idea already of his character and why he’d do this… and what else he might do. Fun indeed. 😬

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You forgot spirulina shake. 😆 Na ah. You’re eating all that on your own. I stopped at the shake.

            Oh gosh you’re right about that. Not to mention internet kitties bag everything! Hooman? Boo. 😄

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Poor Chuck, waking up in a stranger’s bed, finds an unknown and overly young woman by his side.
    Full of peasant remorse, he tries to remember what brought him there. Of course he can not find answers and his conclusions make me laugh out loud. I can see it amusing Lilith too 🤣

    At the same time, I want to say lucky Chuck.
    His luck is that he wakes up in this bed, with this woman.
    Chuck is just as sweet and lovable as his daughter.
    I feel like giving him a big hug. I feel the same way about Lilith. A lot of beeps that create a sweet music ❤

    The little flock on the run is moving on. This is probably a good idea as they have left behind countless suspicious traces.
    I love their ping pong of “wise” words 😂
    Caleb remembers a motel that fills him with fond memories. He gets a lot of speculation started among his fellow travelers, for who is the third person he superficially mentions?
    I am pleased to discover that there are even more undiscovered layers in this story 😊

    ……Which brings me back to Lilith and Chuck.

    The sweet music was quickly interrupted by a more gloomy tone.
    Seth effectively makes sure he is not forgotten, whether or not Lilith wants to forget them all. … and sweet Chuck is soon turned into a cannibal 😬

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did promise you beeps! Sorry it took so long to get them. 🥰

      Ah yes many more layers; we revisit layers from earlier and add a whole new bag of onions. Hopefully peeling them doesn’t make you weep too much.

      Lilith can scrub her sink, but she can’t wash Seth out of her life that easily. As for Chuck… we’ll see.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the music. It got so much sweeter that I had to wait so long 🤗

        And I don ‘t think Seth can be wiped out so easily … not even with a scouring pad.

        Like

  3. I loved the scene between Chuck and Lilith! Him being confused and jumping to conclusions and immediately thinking about groveling to Babs, naww. He’s a good husband. Also Lilith probably hearing everything and trying not to crack up was hilarious. We see her smile so little that the few moments that we do get glimpses are all the sweeter. ❤

    I wonder if Seth erased his memory of why he came to Forgotten Hollow, or if it just took a while for his brain to catch up and leave his dazed state behind. Maybe it’s both?

    The three of them, huh? I wonder if we’ll see the interior that we saw in Lilith’s flashbacks with her, toddler Caleb and Nathaniel. I also wonder if Caleb is going to end up telling the girls about Nathaniel at some point. Faith might ask, especially if she’s thinking that Seth used to live there. It might actually be Seth living with them – but he doesn’t strike me as the domestic type, even if he started seeing Lilith after Nathaniel’s death.

    A thump in the heart. Oh, Faith. That hopeful face is so… gah. She’d completely ignoring everything that’s been right in front of her in order to focus on the parts of him that she likes. I’ve given you so many Seth rants already that I’ll spare you this time though. Just… *facepalm*

    Well, what do you know. Beef Kidney with mushrooms and garlic is an actual dish. Oh man, the horror. Chuck is about to become an unknowing cannibal unless Lilith stops him. I can’t imagine Will would taste good even without the psychological damage the poor guy would sustain if he found out. Not to mention that it would literally be Melindog’s dad eating Melindog’s dad. 0.o

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There may be a few more glimpses of her smiling in upcoming chapters… 😉

      Maybe. Mesmerising does blank a small portion of memory. But of course, this is Seth’s work so it’s anyone’s guess.

      Three of them. I’m sure Nathaniel will… resurface. You can’t imagine Lilith and Seth playing house? I feel another hidden scene coming on.

      Never hold back if you feel a good rant coming on. Better out than in. She may or may not be right to be so hopeful, but she’s definitely correct that things will change.

      Ooh that dish sounds delightful. Clearly that’s what the plan was, then! Yum yum. This is all ten levels of twisted, hopefully Lilith will stop him…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aww Chuck is so precious. I adored the picture of how he envisioned himself during a midlife crisis, with long hair and a silly tattoo. My heart. His scene with Lilith was comdey gold. I’m glad she corrected him, haha. It’s interesting that he thinks Lilith’s eyes have Rose’s level of innocence.

    Headed for Windenburg, that should be a nice change of scenery. Though almost anything would be nice after whatever murkland they’re staying in currently, haha.

    Oh boy, trust Faith to be hopeful about Seth. She’s so messed up. Though at the same time I can’t help but ship them, so maybe I’m just as bad. I’m sure it will be an explosive relationship. Especially once Faith grows into her powers.

    Oh gods, the kidney, yuck. I’d not be inclined to eat kidneys of any variety, but I guess Chuck is used to all sorts from Babs lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, he’s always wanted that very detailed and masculine tattoo, don’t you know. Once I got him tattooed and topless, there was no stopping him, he was running around the town showing everyone.

      I love the eco pack’s industrial/pollution setting; it makes everything look so very shit. Hopefully Windenburg is still as picturesque as Caleb remembers it…

      She is definitely messed up. Explosive, hey? We’ll see.

      At least those three ingredients kind of go together, right? Unlike nearly everything else he’s ever had to eat.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Call me weird but for the briefest of moments I shipped Lilith and Chuck. Just for the thought of how much of her own humanity he could possibly help her regain if she let him. With his good ways. If she didn’t try to control him ofc. I’m gonna hope he’ll stay for a bit longer. Lilith really could use some learning from this nice man.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This whole chapter makes me laugh so hard. Chuck being adorable and Lils trying to hide both her laughter and anger in turns are a good start already. Aww, no, Chuck. She would never call /you/ a cretin. She has that lovely word reserved for someone special. But she can´t have you knowing she might know the one who´d attacked you, now can she? X´D

    *smirk* I also notice Caleb never said a word about the actual house itself, only its surroundings. Hmmm…
    Also… yeah, who was the third? Probably either Seth or Nathaniel. But more likely Nathaniel, given that Seth doesn´t like the inside of houses.

    *cracks up* X´DD See? This is what I meant by the extra mischief that could have been avoided. Seth walked away and then got back because he´d “forgotten his kidney.” I´m sure he put this one together on the fly, after Lilith was so nasty to him. Oh, the expression on her face. I haven´t gotten over it since the first time I´d seen it. …there /is/ a part of my brain that says “Chuck, noooo!” But it´s kind of hard to hear that over the part that´s rolling on the floor in stitches. 15/10, would share the memory. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, special names for special people.

      I’m sure the house is fine and well-equipped for all their vampirey needs.

      Who knows what’s Seth playing at? If Lilith has been nasty to him for centuries, he’s surely used to her by now. Lilith is always breaking the fourth wall and glaring at me in her scenes.

      Like

      1. If it´s still standing, of course. XD

        *clicks tongue* Well, she certainly doesn´t seem used to his thoughtful gifts yet. Some things just never seem to loose their… appeal.
        But yea, Lils just generally glares a lot. XD

        Liked by 1 person

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