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Oct 18, 2019 1:59 AM
honeysuckle rose unboxes jeanne
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-- she gestures at her forehead.

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"I know that, honey. But you didn't kill her just because."

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"It's my job."

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"...your sister was a demon?"

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"Vampire. They're -- parasites. It took her."

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"It sounds like that's what killed her."

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Headshake. "Parasites. Not predators."

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"That's not quite what I meant, hon."

She takes a rag from behind the counter and starts passing it over the surface. It's a reflex by now.

"What happens when somebody becomes a vampire, where you come from?"

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...this is possibly too broad of a topic for someone who has gone as long as Jeanne has without talking.

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"...well. Maybe later."

As she cleans the counter the surface ripples with false reflections, trees or clouds behind her.

"In the meantime, honey...I can't bring back the dead, not unless you've got the soul in hand and it's a challenge even then, but I can make changes."

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"Can you change me into her?" she asks, in the tone of someone who is considering hope but has had unfortunate experiences with it in the past.

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"Not unless I knew her, hon. Inside and out. And you don't have her soul. I could get you close, but...I don't think you just want 'close'."

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"Close is better than far."

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"Would that give you any peace?"

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She spends a while trying and failing to compose a response to this complicated question.

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"I understand why you'd want it, honey. You're not the first. But most people, seeing the person they loved most in the mirror every day, hearing their voice, acting almost like them, but knowing...it takes them apart."

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...she gestures at herself: already apart.

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"I'm not sending you back home to be miserable for the rest of your life, honey."

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"I .... don't want to not be miserable for the rest of my life," she says, slowly, not from hesitation but from picking out words one by one like someone typing with two fingers and their eyes on the keyboard. "My sister ... is dead. It's ... fitting and proper."

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"Angel, that's bullshit."

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"Sometimes .... if you love someone ..... and something would make them happy ... you still ... shouldn't do it."

 

"...because ........ sometimes they want. To be sad."

 

 

"And ..... if you really love them ...... you care more about whether they want to be happy ... than about whether they are."

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More perceptive than she thought, this one.

She sighs heavily.

"Then you do know what you're asking me to do."

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She can't reply. She's curled in on herself, shuddering brokenly, as though she'd torn the words from her throat and left herself bleeding out from the jugular.

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...oh, what she’d give to pull this girl back from the pit just an inch. This is a senseless waste of a soul.

But she doesn’t change minds like that anymore.

 

“Do you have a picture?”

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"Do you have paper?"

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