August 3rd

Note to the reader: As usual, this assumes you have an understanding of White Wolf’s Vampire: The Masquerade.

Y’know, it’s bloody difficult to establish conflict between a ghoul and their domitor. The way the Bond is written, a thrall will happily tie themselves into knots to justify bad behavior, and - if that doesn’t work – fall into thought patterns that would make an abuse-survivor wince. Thralls love their domitors beyond reason. But not beyond all reason, and it’s into that little slice of leeway that I’m jamming Yvette and Paul right now.

Yvette had to go through a very uncomfortable few days – a test by her domitor’s sire, with the domitor’s consent and cooperation. She’s angry. But she’s also fully bound – no nice little outs like Sally with her Awareness of False Love merit.

But having a character shrug their shoulders and grant forgiveness makes for rather dull reading. Very dull, in fact.

Stipulated: Yvette wants to know why she had to jump through these stupid hoops, and what purpose it served. Paul wants to know why Yvette is a day late. But the reasons/explanations behind all of this creates no conflict. Well, there is Paul’s jealousy to be accounted for, but I’m not yet sure how to deal with that.

Poor Paul. Caught in the cleft stick of giving a damn about his ghoul, but terrified of admitting vulnerability. If he goes off at Yvette for indulging in a get-back-at-the-boyfriend dalliance, then he’s admitting (or I should say further admitting) to what he considers a weakness. Paul does not like feeling vulnerable, not even around someone who is Bound to him. He’s been a vampire too long to put total trust in the Bond – and there’s the ugly fate of his first (and so far only) childe, which I must get into via a flashback, some time.

So, there’s a possibility of some entertaining conflict going on there but… how to resolve it without sliding into certain predictable behaviors? There’s only so much d/s subtext that the genre can support, y’know? Even the vampire genre.

Paul is muttering threats about leaving Yvette, but we both know he doesn’t mean it. He’s wanted his little plaything too long to abandon her in a fit of pique. The fact that he might temporarily leave her as a punishment has crossed my mind, and merits consideration. There’s nothing like apparent abandonment by the domitor to throw a thrall into a total panic. But that potential pathway is still to be hacked out of the jungle of half-formed ideas.

Maybe I’ll run with that. Of course, the trick will be preventing Yvette from hurling herself under a truck in the light of Paul’s departure. Like I said, I’m squeezing a lot out of that thin end of the curve.

So, it seems the why of Yvette’s little adventure is of decreasing relevancy. It’s vampires playing vampire games, as usual and, like Iago, they don’t need much of a reason beyond the “It was necessary” justification.

Yvette and Paul are currently glaring at each other across a beautifully furnished living room in a Parisian apartment but I’m not sure what to have them say, or why. They’re barely a block away from where the original Yvette first met Paul, in fact, but that’s a small refinement that I’m probably going to keep to myself until/unless it has any use in the story. A sort of inside joke, if you will. Mind you, Paul and Yvette are nothing but an inside joke, most of the time.

One of my other darlings – Patricia – is grumbling for attention. I want to finish Dead Time – determine what the ending is, and then write it down – and then pick Trisha up in London and have fun with her post-CAST continuity. I’d like to bring Bev and Eli back into the picture, in fact, but there’s not much justification for it, aside from sheer mischief.

And, god help me, Mercy (one of my extremely derivative characters) is peeking up over the edge of my own personal well of lost plots. But I didn’t know squat about the game-setting that she was dropped into (RM’s Concordia Alliance) and there’s not much point to her outside of it. Sorry, Mercy, I think you’re going to be left to fall back down the well…