Chapter 2.30 – Nightfall

NSFW, dark, abusive, awful (sorry Mona)

We agreed to meet at nightfall, but despite your cool expression and surface aggression, your relief was evident when I finally got around to knocking on your door gone midnight.

You didn’t ask me where I’d been which is just as well as I wouldn’t have told you.

Ah, this old house. A peculiar feeling of familiarity was evoked; once again I had been coaxed here by a woman who thought she had the upper hand. And once again, I played my part. Waiting.


I would have suggested we take a walk; who wouldn’t choose a starlit stroll through the unending, picturesque landscape over a 360 view of slate and beige furniture? You, evidently.

I could tell by your smile and your attire, both of which were somehow even more lacking in coverage than what you’d usually adorn, that you had no intention of leaving the house. I didn’t have to read your mind to know what you were expecting and at that point in proceedings, I couldn’t anyway. But no matter; your cerebral silence is always far more tempting than your empty embrace.

The village idiot had taken his brainless bride to find sustenance, so the house was empty apart from Melinda and ah, a single human. Male and… ha! Trust Caleb not to ensure his quarry was of adequate age. The fool never learns; he is truly quite a marvel of mental moronity.

Your squeaky-voiced chum was almost polite as I greeted her. She had lost a sparkle of innocence; so she had finally taken a drink, I see. I could have had a little fun there; told her that Danny’s sixteen and was pacing the basement, trying to call his mum on the mobile phone they forgot to confiscate, but ah, she already felt pity for me and guilt on your behalf. Another time.

How utterly pointless she is, wasting her efforts on compassion. What does pity do? What use is guilt other than a slow way to dissolve the one who carries it? She didn’t interfere as you dragged me towards the stairs, even though she so wanted to stop you. More for my benefit than yours, I heard.

Well, that did surprise me; I thought she was intelligent.

You explained as we ascended that you thought she was coming round to the idea of me being your -ugh- boyfriend and I nodded. But I know that she was too preoccupied with the finer details of her plan – to set your prisoner free and return to Lilith – to really care about the web that you insisted on being tangled in.

Oh, sometimes it’s so difficult to keep a neutral expression. That Lilith’s dry lifestyle is the preferred option will never cease to amuse me.

Melinda doesn’t trust you any more, Fledgling. She likes you even less than you do yourself. Did you know that? But, much like myself and crucially unlike you, she knows when to yield, when to be vulnerable and how to suffer. I like her more every time I meet her, which, incidentally, is another way the two of you differ.

I’d barely closed the door behind me when you’d pounced, eliminating any residual expectation I had of this being a civil affair. Lilith’s bedroom. This room alone brings back so many painful memories.

Oh, how I longed to feel her dark tresses gliding through my fingers and hear the soft moans that rolled from her throat as you discarded what little clothing you had to begin your blunt assault of my person.

A hard shove sent me back against the door, snapping the robe hook clean off with my spine. Not that you cared; too busy forcing your hand down my pants and calling me your little doggy.

I will admit to some acquired masochistic tendencies, juxtaposition to the daily sadism, I suppose, but I was rather hoping I wouldn’t have to put up with any more of that faux domination bullshit. It was all I could do not to laugh in your tarted-up face as you attempted to ‘dominate’ me. Yes, you were on top but then you sacrificed your own sexual satisfaction in pursuit of mine and thought that you were in charge?

I thought you’d gotten this out of your system last night. I wasn’t sure I could take another epic session while being drained like the cold contents of a used bathtub. I was about to stop you when, as with the previous night, I began to hear the distant whisper of your thoughts resurfacing.

Ah, so there was a discussion about your perceived lack of vampiric power with your girlfriends that fed your inferiority complex and… aha, my name was mentioned. A few times. Once in connection with April and… oho! Well, that should be interesting. And now you need to know if I’m functional.

Will you simply ask me? No, of course not.

You might not like the answer.

As the hours slipped by in a hazy mixture of pleasure, pain and downright frustration, bringing us to the here and now, you’ve evidently had quite a lot of fun in your endeavour, and I with mine. But desperation is starting to take its toll. You question yourself, how I see you, where the ‘problem’ lies.

Look, Fledgling. You know how to work a human man into a frenzy, I have no doubt, and your methods would’ve surely had trigger-happy Caleb covering the walls ten times over, but I’m not a human man and I’m definitely not Caleb.

It’s possible, if you think deeper, but I’m hardly going to tell you how. I want you obsessing over me, frustrated with me, fixated on me by whatever method it takes. I want your entire world, your lust, your anger, your everything. Because when your sole focus is me, that’s when the table turns. That’s when you become deliciously powerful, Fledgling, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. And the best part? You have absolutely no bloody idea what’s going on.

But I do. It took me a while to understand you. Your defences against my intrusion were unusual from the get-go. Resistance against mind-reading and mind-control is something that one can usually only achieve with rapid humanity loss and excessive coaching and even then, the likes of Lilith could never build up enough defence to block me; naturally attuned, as I am, to the art.

And yet you appear, freshly made, not a kill to your name and fight me right off the bat. How is that possible?

I wracked my brain for days, coming up with every complicated explanation under the sun, running off on tangents and creating complex theories but really, it’s very simple.

Your mind is like a mirror. Your self-loathing causes that mirror to face inwards, a glorious method of self-destruction, for sure, causing you to paralyse yourself in harm’s way the first night we met and to amplify my mind-control, to your own detriment.

So, how is it possible that every tweak and change I have made to you, you have skewed or undone? How is it possible that in trying to access your mind, I am instead accessing my own?

How could you, a novice, wipe the floor with Lilith Vatore?

It’s possible because, with the right circumstances, when your target is not yourself, that ‘mirror’ can face outwards.

You can use other’s powers against them.

You don’t know this and there is no way in damn hell I will ever tell you. All that’s left to figure out is how do I control it and, crucially, how do I best use you to my advantage?

You slap my face and call my name, bringing me back into the room. That definitely helps things along, but really, you should just give up.

Instead, you change tactics again; remembering the first time in the woods and slowing right down. That would be better if you didn’t also sink your awls into the colander of my flesh, which has barely even healed over after your mauling last night.

I briefly consider compelling you off; perhaps slamming you against the walls that have seen it all before as I shred your neck in return and break every bone in your body.

No. I can do this. Focus.

Ah, that painting. I stole it from a mansion one night, on a whim, and gave it to Lilith on her hundredth birthday. It must be worth half a million simoleons and yet here it hangs in this dark, damp room, overseeing this pantomime.

I’m likely becoming delirious because I laugh out loud as you mentally scream at me. It’s so damn human of you to focus on the destination. So mortal to anticipate the ending. I want to tell you to forget the wild fornication; you exist far beyond the demanding urges of the flesh now, you are not an animal.

But I’ll tell you no such thing because she has appeared and stolen my words. The rosy-cheeked, brown-haired, green-eyed girl whose name still alludes me, but whose appearance makes my cold heart sing. Evidence that, at one point in my life, someone truly meant something.

Maybe I even meant something. Well, beyond whatever the hell this wreck we have is. You think you’re on to a good thing. Despite all the evidence I give you to the contrary, you have fallen for me.

I can’t say those feelings are reciprocated, especially not right now.

Damn, you think of strange things when you have sex in this joyless way. The whole act brings up memories that both torment and excite you and, unfortunately, the openness of your mind and the closeness of your body means I can feel what you felt, see what you saw, sense everything you did.

Every damn thing.

Remembering the cold bathroom tiles beneath your knees, the dirty fingernails against your scalp and stale stench of every man who used you may spur you on, but when I have to view this sort of crap, honesty… it’s amazing I’m up at all.

Not that I will admit that I can access your thoughts, of course.

Bizarrely, reflecting this train of thought unearths her again. The cat-eyed demon along with the consternation, deep sense of foreboding and, oddly, yearning she arouses in me.

I don’t want to remember her. I don’t want to think about her. But I must. She is evidence that a lot of what I thought I knew about myself is fabricated, that my inability to lie is, perhaps, a learned behaviour. And if it is, it can be unlearned and I will have no weaknesses at all.

It was surely Lilith’s plan all along; to wipe every memory that gave me strength, weave me a tall tale of so-called equilibrium, all the while knowing that the pursuit of that wild goose would keep me busy until she could find a way to cure us all of the so-called disease.

You asked me to do it for a very good reason.

Like hell I did. Oh, she always was a wonderful liar.

You can tell that I’m distracted again, this time shoving me back on the bed. As my head hits the tenderised mattress, it takes a while for the room to stop spinning. Ugh. That’ll be another three today, in broad bloody daylight too.

I’ve had enough. Seen enough.

“Get off.”

You smirk at me, but you don’t stop. Leaning back down to resume your feed, no doubt. I’m fully aware that the smallest instruction to your subconscious, especially in this heightened state will likely be catastrophic to one of us and, in case it’s me, I shove you off. The mortal way.

It takes a short while for my head to catch up with my body when I rise to sit.

“Problem?” you snarl; a perfect impression of me.

I resist the overwhelming urge to fling you across the room. “I’m not a bloody machine.”

The volume of your musings reduces, but I can still hear you thinking about how you could live off me forever, send me out to slaughter for your needs and what you’d do if I refuse. It’s difficult to keep my ire contained when I’m enervated, but to hell with you. I’m done playing this your way.

You will submit to mine.

“So you cannot bring yourself to kill, Faith, but you can happily depend on those who do to sustain you? Tell me; does killing by proxy scratch that itch? Does it ease your goddam conscience?”

You stare at me, aware now that I can hear your thoughts and wondering how this all went so wrong so quickly, but then your muteness begins to return along with your mask. “Aw, can the big, bad vampire not handle a little nibbling? What difference does it make? It’s not like you’re not killing randos anyway…”

“True. And on any regular night, one kill is sufficient, although I tend to go for two, if I can.”

You continue to stare, wondering where this is going, the mirror slowly turning inwards.

“But last night was not a regular night was it, Fledgling? I tried to stop at two but, thanks to you, that was not quite enough…”

I can tell from the mixture of horror and awe on your face that you can see what I am showing you. Watch your knuckles pale as you grip the sheets in your clenched fingers.

“So there was a third. I’ll add her to your tally. Her name was Chloe. She was twenty-four and setting up her stall at the craft market. She aspired to be a musician, was a sweet soul, charitable and she had a young son. So much to live for.”

The memory dances in the space between us and you start to shake your head as I continue. “Perfect, you might say. I only needed a smidgeon from her, but any vampire who can admit it will tell you; the ones with the greatest desire to live always taste the sweetest, don’t they? It makes it so tempting, doesn’t it? So tragically delectable to give into the compulsion we have to end them.”

I expect you to protest. Tell me you don’t understand what I mean. To lie to me.

You do not.

“Did you… did you…?” fuck her?

Aha. There it is. The only thing you care about. Without Melinda ringing fresh in your ears and with your insecurities gripping you like a vice you don’t give one jot about Chloe’s damn life.

And you hate yourself for it.

I pretend to misunderstand. “Did I… kill her? I did. I kept her conscious while I drained her. Slowly.”

You close your eyes, wanting to form the question but not daring to. I wonder which is stronger; the desire to keep me out or the desire to keep yourself in?

No matter. You can’t keep me out. I talk directly to your mind, telling you exactly what you don’t want to hear. Holy bloody hell, the way her hot, soft flesh trembled against me, how she wept for mercy. You might not bring me to climax, Faith. But Chloe damn did.


Shut up!

I’d like to say that answering back works to quieten her but it doesn’t. Her voice is a whiplash through the limbic and takes me a while to recover, I have discovered during my practice. You’re quick to overlook my hesitation though; you don’t think I can lie to you, after all.

The nerves clearly frayed in us both, you scream at me, “Are you trying to make me feel like shit?!”

“Do I really need to try?”

I stand and dress, calmly, trying not to let on that I’m likely about to faint and that devil woman is still wringing my metaphorical neck. I can’t hear a damn thing from you now. A sure sign that you’re suppurating, once again.

I chance my arm.

“You can spend your existence ‘feeling like shit’ Faith, pretending that your actions have no consequence, or you can come with me and embrace what you are. Your choice.” I watch the expression on your face change as you no doubt fight with how you feel. How it’s not acceptable to feel.

Yet how you’ve always felt.

You turn away; I take that as your answer and open the door to leave. I could offer you reassurance, but I won’t. I want to you to fester, to dwell. I don’t expect acceptance, not yet and not after that. But strangling you with your own self-loathing seems to be a speciality of mine.

“OK, I will,” you whisper, your voice heavy as one word accepts my terms and seals your fate. “Nightfall.”

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28 thoughts on “Chapter 2.30 – Nightfall

  1. Oh you got me! 😂
    You must not apologize but forget that I have ever expressed pity for Seth.
    He is a guilty powerful manipulator.

    I feel called to join Yimi’s dwarf army and bombard him with potatoes.
    Look you’ve made me a violent monster!🤪😬

    I think it’s ingenious how Seth manages to turn the mirror towards Faith so she’s hit tenfold by her own manipulations.

    Do I feel sorry for Faith?
    She has overestimated her own strength and confidently played with a power she is too inexperienced to master.
    I do not know if I should cry or laugh.
    I lean most towards the last option but can hear that my laughter sounds vicious.
    Maybe it’s not just Faith who gets undressed for the skin?

    I’m looking for more potatoes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You do get your Truth Society back soon, I swear it. 👽

      Hey! Don’t blame me for making you a violent monster! Even though it is technically my fault for writing Seth this way, I suppose… let’s blame Yimi because she threw the first potato.

      Yes. He’s had a bumpier ride than he anticipated, but it does not pay to underestimate the so-called ‘Master of Minds’, Faith. Don’t poke the beast.

      I sense a lot of potatoes coming my way. I’m going to go look up some recipes to use them in. 😆

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Ok, so to sum up, both of them think they have the upper hand, both of them are completely wrong about that and both of them are unravelling. Why do I have a feeling this particular trip well end with both of them lying dead in a ditch and cat eyed lady laughing over their corpses maniacally?

    “naturally attuned, as I am, to the art.” Sure, Seth, sure. I doubt there’s anything natural or innate about it. Every time we’ve seen you perform your “art,” you completely missed the intended stopping point during the “delicate process” or whatever you call it, routinely deleting more than you intended. You are sooo in control, and such a natural, sure. Totally not a bull in a china shop. Doing something for longer than others have does not necessarily mean you’re more naturally gifted.

    I’m also inclined to trust Lilith on what she said about Seth having had a good reason to ask her to wipe the memories. She has nothing to gain by lying about that. But of course it doesn’t go with Seth’s narrative about how invincible he is, so he will continue to encourage Faith to propel herself into an abyss through her own making without realising he himself is inadvertently doing the same thing to himself. No weakness at all? Yeah right, he can’t even lie to Faith about supposedly climaxing with Chloe without getting angry cat lady pop up in his head.

    Right, what am I forgetting. Oh, Faith. So her plan was to continue to feed on Seth every night so that she didn’t have to feed on people? And she is shocked to learn that feeding off him means he will inevitably feed more? *infinite facepalms* How does that not click, it’s basic logic. Especially with her family having had such tough funds, it would seem like they may have had an instance of when Faith would have let her little sister go eat the majority of her dinner and she herself went to bed hungry. Same bloody thing, Faith. Why do these people keep thinking blood is of infinite supply – first Lilith’s plasma bags, now feeding off other vampires. They continue to be so annoying short-sighted. Argh. Ok.

    Oh, poor Danny is 16? And calling his mum? Swell. I doubt Caleb was particularly careful in making sure Danny didn’t know where he took him to, or that he “sourced” him from particularly far away. So it’s a matter of time till his parents and/or the police rock up. Though with the police being Ralf, more likely the former, lol. Now, will Melinda have fled with Danny by then? Without Melinda, it will definitely be an interesting dynamic, just Caleb, April and Faith… oh boy. That is assuming Melinda actually follows through with her plan, and is successful in doing so.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And here I was thinking that going right inside Seth’s head would clear everything right up. How can it possibly still be so ambiguous? 😇 (I feel like such a troll, lol)

      Thinking that dead in a ditch is the outcome for Saith is probably a bit optimistic.

      Well, other than not being able to wipe AJ’s brain during his little meltdown, the only person he’s had trouble with does appear to be Faith, but then people do often look externally for blame for their shortcomings.

      You’re trusting Lilith? Are you switching camp? 😲

      Well, Faith knows Seth kills for sport and a few chapters back he was saying how he killed three people and didn’t even drink from the last one, so she was probably not entirely unjustified thinking that he had surplus. And he himself said that he only needed a smidgeon from Chloe to meet requirements, but took the lot anyway. “They continue to be so annoying short-sighted. Argh” they really do. Sometimes I just want to weep at their shitty decisions, but I still manage to fight the urge to give them all glasses or fling them in a fire, somehow.

      Bless him, poor Danny. We’ll see how far Melinda manages to get.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, I feel that way every time I do a 1st person POV too 😄 Just to clarify, I’m not saying I believe Faith has an upper hand over Seth. There’s definitely a hierarchy chain here. It’s just that Seth is not at the top of said chain like he thinks he is, IMHO.

        He’s also left Chuck with some memories of himself, though of course we don’t know if that was on purpose or not. We haven’t really seen him perform mind voodoo on anyone else, so going by pure empirical evidence from the case studies available, his success rate blows. I wonder if he’s been as “successful” with tweaking Lilith’s memories as he thinks he was.

        Lol, keeping you on your toes with my allegiances? Nah, no camp switching. I may have grown more tolerant of Lilith when she finally developed some alcohol fuelled self-awareness, but I wouldn’t say I like her. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I discount everything she says. Libra, remember? 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Other than losing sleep about how I was gonna make this chapter ‘not sexy’ while two attractive, naked characters had sex throughout it, first person POV is so much fun, isn’t it? ‘How can I write this without giving literally everything away?’ Interesting… so who do you think is at the top?

          Yes indeed, his whole deal with Chuck is still rather grey. Lol, case studies. I imagine you with a white coat and clipboard now, poking mini versions of my cast with your pencil and watching them squirm. 😂 Maybe it would be helpful to get Lilith’s POV soon and I absolutely promise that when you do, she won’t be banging anyone during it.

          Still in Seth’s camp? Phew, you do like ’em bad, huh? 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Haha well you know I’m deranged 😘 Ok, serious answer – do I have to be in either of their camps? The dislike-based camps are much easier in AE then camps dedicated to liking someone 😅 I’m sure by the end of it I’ll just be campless, in the wilderness tent-free under the stars… which basically means I’ll be Seth. So you know… 🤣

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Maybe that’s why he’s nomadic, he didn’t like any of the characters either. 😂 If it helps, I’m in the wilderness too as a neutral-ish party so we can stargaze together. But then we kinda are our own camp. Hm.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. I applaud you. For a moment you managed to convince me Seth is the victim here. But he’s not. He’s agreed to this game. As for Faith, well, she always gave me feelings of… how to call it… unease? It turned into a disgust after this chapter. I know she’s damaged. I know she’s trying to match Seth’s manipulations to beat him in his game and possibly… tame him? But it’s a double-edged sword, because she’s turning into him, and it means she’s losing anyway. Should I feel sorry for her? Maybe. Right now I’m gonna stick to the disgust. I’m sure you’ll change my mind again with your writing, because hands down, you’re that good. 😏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes the line between victim and monster is very thin. It could be argued that every one of the latter started as one of the former, or never really stopped. Disgust is a valid takeaway; nothing about Faith is redeemable here.

      There’s only so many times I can change your mind, right? And aw, shucks. Did my mum pay you to say that? 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. They didn’t confiscate the guy’s phone. And he’s sixteen. Ahh.. how am I not surprised at this trail of evidence they’re leaving around. Yikes.

    Seth’s musings about Lilith and all his other interactions in between makes me wonder if he had genuinely felt for her at some level. He insists that he’s simply playing his mind game on her, what with his thinking ‘she had an upper hand’ but he was simply learning. But then you know what I think about that kidney scene, and here he reminisces rather.. fondly of their er, bodily ventures lol. Maybe he just misses that kind and not whatever Faith is doing to him but I think his current powerplay between Lilith stemmed from a place of hurt. She was using him. The way he thought he could’ve met something to someone when Brown haired green eyed girl appeared in his mind. (Have I mentioned my suspicion that she could be related to Will? Oof.. let’s not think about that.) I have wondered if Lilith had done what Faith did here, given Lilith so desperately held onto her morals I wouldn’t be surprised if she had used Seth to kill and maim and simply fed off him.

    I can understand Faith’s thinking there. But.. well.. its not suited for the comments section haha! And gaah.. I did not need the mental image of Caleb covering the walls ten times over. Let me go puke in a bucket for a bit..

    UGH. Faith and Seth’s angst((?) – probably not using the right word here) are so similar. The way those gross bathroom scenes empower Faith, that feeling is shared by Seth with his catwoman.

    I wonder if Lilith did lie, I mean, he could read her mind to see if she was lying or not right? Unless she successfully lied to herself and changed her own memories.

    I don’t know if it was ever explicitly stated when Seth was converted to a vampire, but he’s definitely not turned when he was 18. Unless he was and vamps can breakthrough and develop their brain, or he was just mature for his age. And confidence and intellect is great but even as I’ve hopped off the Seth bandwagon a while ago, this chapter just confirms my choices.

    I’m aware I’ve been mum about Faith for awhile. I have so much words for Faith, but have no words at the same time. I’ll just let the story take me wherever for her at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes. Caleb doesn’t have a phone so it’s probably not the kind of thing he’d think about and everyone else is neck-deep in their own shit.

      Ooh, theories. OK. Seth made no secret previously that he and Lilith had something ‘wonderful’, although that can have many definitions. Did he say anything about Lilith’s ‘bodily ventures’ here? 😉 With everything you’ve said here, when you scrape away all the violence and hate, Seth’s kinda pitiful, huh? Always used and never loved. Although this is just his opinion, mind.

      Everything is suitable for AE comments section. Say whatever; no censure here. Or message privately, if you prefer. Yeah, trigger-happy Caleb. Ahem. Moving on.

      Have to be some similarities or there’d be no ‘pull’ would there? 😏

      Finding his answers in Lilith seems like the most straightforward method right? So there’s probably a reason why he hasn’t done that.

      It hasn’t been stated when he was turned yet but, correct, he was older than 18. Ah, another one running from Seth’s camp off into the wilderness. Or off to Lilith’s camp? Yes, you’re probably going there. Her camp is nice, if a bit clinical.

      Serious note: I understand Faith intrinsically and know that the nerves her character can touch, especially in those of us who relate to her mindset, can be raw and hard to face. If anyone wants to reach out/vent, please do;


  5. Despite the awfulness of this chapter, none of the clueless foursome thinking to take the guy’s phone made me laugh. Gods, they’re horrible at this. Especially Caleb, but we knew that already. He really has to have everything spelled out for him, doesn’t he? I really can’t blame him though, having a toddler mind and all. My gods the horror of an eternal toddler. You can’t blame them for their mistakes, but you can’t take your eyes off them either, because they can and will do something stupid/dangerous.

    I’m lingering on Caleb because what’s happening with Saith is almost too awful to put into words. Going to avoid it a bit longer by focusing on Melinda. Very interesting bit we learned through Seth – so she’s planning to take off, and she’s planning to take Danny with her. I wonder if she’ll leave all three of them, or if she’ll try to take April with her. Even if she has written off Faith, she definitely hasn’t “given up” on April. And seeing how Melinda seems convinced that Caleb is bad for/hurting/abusing her and now also pregnant… I can imagine that Melinda would try to talk her into coming along. Which is a whole new drama waiting to unfold. Especially if April agrees and Caleb has to go “get her back”.

    So that’s what Faith’s ability really is. That is incredibly powerful. If she gains control of it, she’ll be able to take down pretty much anyone, I reckon. But she has no idea she can do it and Seth will never tell her and risk losing control.

    “Not that I will admit that I can access your thoughts, of course.”
    Well that didn’t last long, did it?

    Oh, Faith. You should have gotten out when you could. But you’re so caught up in self-loathing and thinking sex is all you have. Even when a man uses that weakness against you, knowing it will tear your heart open, and then tells you to come with him right after, you still lap it up. Faith not caring about Chloe’s death and only wondering if Seth had more pleasure with Chloe than with Faith should probably anger me. But it just makes me feel sad instead.

    Oh gods, and she’s actually going with him too. I compared Saith to a slowly boiling frog the other day and she’s already in hot water, but still not noticing. And by now it’s too late to jump out. Hell, Seth put the lid on so she can’t, and alienated her from Melinda (either directly or indirectly with his mind meddling) so she can’t take the lid off now either.

    This comment is turning into a novel again and I haven’t really touched on Seth. I can see from the other comments that I don’t really have to, though. I’ll just go get some more potatoes for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Noo! You can’t not touch on Seth on a Seth 1st person POV chapter! OK, you can, I’m not about to deny you your freedom if you want to run from the button box, obviously, but damn it! I wanted your rant. 😂

      Excellent summary of Caleb, very similar to what I have in my notes. And yes, could Melinda leave April behind? Could Melinda really leave? Is taking Danny actually a good idea? And would Caleb allow April to leave; could he?

      Of course Seth won’t disclose that. He doesn’t disclose anything…

      …Unless it’s to his benefit.

      *Sigh* Faith is in so deep. This man is blatantly telling her that she’s rubbish, something she acknowledges in herself, but yet he still wants her and, crucially, for a reason other than sex. Of course she’s gonna lap that up. 😓 It’s painfully sad.

      She doesn’t need Seth to put the lid on her pot; she’s been doing it by herself all along.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. *takes a very deep breath*


        Melinda is already more intelligent than you, you bloodless, potato-faced fopdoodle. There’s a reason why Lilith’s lifestyle is the preferred option that “never ceases to amuse” you because your lifestyle is cruel and deranged and psychopathic and so damn lonely that you have to seek out and choose specifically broken people like Faith to drag into it, while all Lilith did to “win” Melinda was try to help. 🥔

        Sure, Seth, take no responsibility whatsoever for mentally causing Faith to hit herself. I don’t know why this still bothers me – he’s done so much worse and no doubt is going to do so much worse from here on out, but him hitting her so hard she fell against the wall, mentally caused or not, is horrible. “You made it worse than it was supposed to be” is no bloody justification. 🥔🥔

        “So, how is it possible that every tweak and change I have made to you, you have skewed or undone?”
        Oooooh maybe because you’re way more incompetent than you think and you’d realize that if you didn’t have to cover your grotesquely overgrown ego with that stupid hat? 🥔

        “I briefly consider compelling you off; perhaps slamming you against the walls that have seen it all before as I shred your neck in return and break every bone in your body.”
        Bloody hell does this mean what I think it means? Has he done that very specific action here before? And seeing how it’s Lilith’s bedroom- I need more potatoes. All the bloody potatoes. Exploding potatoes. Exploding potatoes with little battery-powered radios in them to annoy your deranged mental probes as they explode in your face. 🥔🥔🥔🥔

        “Not that I will admit that I can access your thoughts, of course.”
        Well that lasted a grand total of… what? Half a minute? Psch. Here. Have another. 🥔

        And here is the part that made me rage the most. I could just plop down a hundred potatoes or so down here and be done with it, but I’m going to add words anyway, because I promised a rant. So he knows what her insecurities are, actively works to drive a wedge between her and Melinda (who has been acting as a conscience as Faith’s normal-meter is broken) and then not only throws those insecurities in her face but deliberately uses them to hurt her. Then he implies that she’s rubbish, knowing that’s exactly how she’ll interpret his words. He’s reaching out for her and making her think he’ll accept her “hopeless, monstrous, rubbish self” and stop the bleeding, all the while he’s the one stabbing her in the back with a knife. I don’t even know how many potatoes this comes to. A hundred? A thousand? WordPress will probably ban me if I try to squeeze in that many.


        *Cough* right. Well then. Let’s see if the potatoes actually show up. Fingers crossed.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Now THIS is a rant! I could open my own market stall with all these potatoes. (They sort of look like peanuts/beans on my laptop which adds a fun twist). I try to remain as neutral as I possibly can in my comments, so forgive me if this reply seems stilted, although I’m sure you’re used to all my vague crap by now.

          Of everything in that first paragraph that you identify about Seth’s lifestyle, ‘lonely’ is definitely a crux here. There are not many willing to put up with ‘cruel and deranged and psychopathic’.

          Ah yes, that ‘light pat’ the purpose of which was to remind her ‘who exactly she was talking to’. I don’t know why that still bothers you, it was a funny accident! LOL. Definitely was not a threat that almost came to fruition or foreshadowing of what was to come or anything.

          Hat insult! This made me laugh, despite everything.

          Bloody hell indeed. Those things have happened in that room before, yes. Exploding potatoes now, wow. I don’t think I’ll sell those ones.

          He’s rash when he’s thirsty.

          Two fiery beings who are each perceived by others as rubbish and unlovable. Maybe when they both truly have each other, they’ll find meaning and balance and things will be better. Or maybe fire plus fire will just equal a bigger fire that’ll burn everything around them.


        1. Aw. You didn’t have to clarify that, but thanks. ❤

          I know this chapter is a lot. There are 3 key focusses I’m exploring in AE and this chapter has them all in abundance.


  6. Holy hell, this was a good day for my binge. This chapter was incredible and all the more incredible because I think writing in the second person is hard to do without losing sight of the character. And here, while the “you” did allow me to sort of feel what she’s feeling, it did not feel like Seth was talking to a blank slate. No, it was definitely Faith.

    I knew this story had three young characters and that they were in over their heads, but it didn’t crystallize for me until this chapter. Faith is outmatched. There is something sad and predictable and terrifying about that, and it makes for damn good reading. She is not careful, and of course, she isn’t, she’s 18. But she also doesn’t think she needs to be careful. She knows so little and yet, it’s not her lack of knowledge that puts in her danger–it’s her lack of caution.

    This chapter proves you can be in so many “adult” situations doing a lot of “adult” things and not be prepared to handle them. And that tender vulnerability that is driving Faith’s behavior is also that thing letting Seth manipulate her and it’s made all the more galling by the fact that she is the one who opened the door and let him in.

    Meanwhile, Melinda might be the smartest out of all three of them, and perhaps the one in the best position. Even though it’s “dangerous to go alone” (lol) putting some distance between her and them might be a good thing. She has a lot of empathy, Seth is right about that maybe being a weakness, but it also means she is aware of her surroundings. She can consider how other people might think or react so she won’t go so blindly into dangerous situations like Caleb and blondie, and she isn’t so self-absorbed that she will take any action to relieve her own suffering/discomfort like Faith.

    And like, I love “found family” (my fave trope), but this is one of those instances when I think these three are worse together.

    Weirdly, I’m not even mad at Seth here, because he is exactly what he professed to be: a monster and a predator. Don’t get me wrong, this chapter is chilling and it’s happening because Faith is young and has no sense of her power and wants so desperately not to feel insecure. I mean, I was screaming at her not to open the door and let the monster in, but she can’t help herself. It’s awful. And I can’t stop reading it.

    I do wonder what this looks like down the road. Seth was made a monster and he is planning to do the same to Faith. Is there any way to break this cycle that does not involve inflicting your suffering upon others?

    GAH. So good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As the leader of Seth’s (now very dwindled) fan club, I was wondering how you might take this chapter. I had two versions; one addressed to ‘you’ and one addressed to ‘her’, and chose the former simply because I found it more chilling. Glad that you liked it. Well, as much as you could like this, obviously.

      Faith is definitely outmatched and yes, for all her ‘experience’ she is just a vulnerable teenager in way over her head. They all are, as you identify.

      Seth never claimed to be anything else, no. He is a master manipulator and he will get his way, given any chance. How do you break this cycle? Not all victims become abusers; some break free and, unfortunately, some self-destruct. I have given Faith a number of tools she could utilise to get out; I guess we’ll have to see if she can figure it out, if she ever wants to.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Fire, hm? So I guess this /is/ the chapter that made readers quit?

    *sets to lighting up a proper bonfire while casually collecting potatoes to bake later*

    I do wonder if everything is as it looks here. For example, if the boy´s phone even works down in the basement. And yes, if Melinda is going to try and take April with her. That would be so tragic it would be funny. Even Caleb would totally find them.


    Now I knew reading minds had its downsides but /ugh./ Actually sharing memories… explains a lot. Blergh.

    *smiles softly while settling comfortably on half a log*

    I remember challenging you to make me hate you, Seth. …well, I´m still here. I saw all of that and I ain´t got half a foot out this camp, even if I have to /watch/ my feet with all these stupid potatoes lying everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This chapter certainly filled my various inboxes with a flurry of colourful language.

      Is anything as it looks? This is all Seth’s opinion and his view of the world is… dark.

      I guess that depends on what’s being shared; grungy bathroom stall activity is clearly not Seth’s thing, but he’s not exactly giving her any hints at all as to what he *does* like so, he can lump it.

      Still here and helping him cook all his lovingly donated produce too. His camp is dwindled from his heyday in the forest, but a number of you still remain on that half log.


      1. Ye-p. Of course it would be dark. And in that darkness, some things will disappear and go unnoticed, while other things others might miss will surface in clear contrast. We have a great advantage here, being able to view things from many perspectives. All we have to do is piece the facets together.

        Very fair. But knowing Faith, she´d do it on purpose if she knew. Bleh.

        Ahhahaha. Yes. I was thinking I would make the good potatoes into a gift for you, actually, given the way vamps and food don´t mix. I don´t want any more of them going rotten here.
        And I´m glad I´m not the only one sticking around… it would be kind of sad, if all of your readers had been blindsided by this. I mean, how are folks surprised by any of this? From a guy who would leave a genuine human heart on his ex´s porch? Come on. Yes, when it comes to making girls “feel like shit” Seth ain´t no slouch and he ain´t no rookie… but we already knew that.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah, the fun part. No matter how many perspectives I give my readers, there’s always one I can’t accommodate for; their own. I love how everyone sees things so differently.

          Faith self-sabotages, sure, but even she has things she’d rather keep private.

          Oh goddess, make sure not to bake any exploding ones into that gift, even though I hear that those are the tastiest. I’ve found a great use for all the potatoes at the end of book two, but in the meantime: (if you follow the forum you’ve probably seen this, but if not, enjoy, lol)

          Plenty of people knew Seth was manipulative before this chapter. I think it was more the delivery method that was the surprise. This could have been a third person POV (where everyone was dressed, lol), this could have been Faith’s POV. But no. This came after a run of more light-hearted chapters and Seth took away his own ambiguity here in a horrible scene, in a horrible way; if it hadn’t ruffled a few feathers, and knocked a few people backwards I’d have been surprised.

          No doubt some were blindsided; very much like Faith herself, wanting to see the man beneath the monster, wanting to find something to justify their attraction and then they get this and didn’t like it. I don’t blame them at all. There’s a certain amount of hope and expectation in anyone who reads any story, and in a casual, live publishing format like this, where no one can skip to the last page and see how it plays out, or read a review and see what the overarching story is like, that expectation is often off the charts, as I’m sure my fellow Simlit writers will attest. Some hope Seth will be redeemed. Some happily embrace Seth as he is, for different reasons. Some even want him to be worse. There’s pressure to develop the story in a way that readers will find pleasing, but, inevitably, people will get let down by our directional decisions and we writers can only sit back and witness the fires in live time.

          All that being said, Almost Eternal has a set plot and I shall not be deviating from it. I’ll stay true to my original idea and then at least I know that one person is completely happy with the story: me. 😆


          1. Don´t worry, the exploding ones don´t survive the baking.
            *laughs very hard* Oh, my. I see Seth´s back in a somewhat good mood and in his “throw more, feel free” mode. Good. (No I haven´t seen that. It´s gold. X´D)

            True enough that the change of tone and the never before seen delivery style were rather jarring… but not in the “badly written” way, just very unexpected. And I´m really happy that you write it so that you´re happy with it in the first place, that´s the most important. There is, just like you say, definitely going to be people who´d have expected, or hoped for, both better and worse. Far be it from me to try and sway a writer in their own story… no, I´m just tagging along for the ride. 😀

            I guess what I´m really trying to say is… yep. It´s a dumpster fire. And yep, some of us readers at some point find out they can´t take the heat anymore, I get that. I´m personally here half to watch that dumpster fire, and I ain´t about to hate on the guy that lights it… ;DD

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Seth doesn’t mind if his attention comes in the form of pelted tubers.

              Ah, well it’d be boring if you always knew what to expect.

              I’m just hoping that I can take the heat from this dumpster fire. I’m already missing both eyebrows and about a months worth of sleep. 😆


              1. Absolutely nothing against “unexpected” at all. 😀

                Eeeek, please take care of yourself. Leave the thing to burn and churn on its own while you catch up on your z´s! Don´t worry, it won´t go out or anything. 😉

                Liked by 1 person

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