Description: Have you ever made mistakes? I mean real mistakes. Mistakes that cost lives, or make you lose the people you love more than anything else in the world? Those are the kind of mistakes that make you hate yourself more than anything. Where you just keep hurting people more and more. And what do you do when a stranger reaches out to help you? A nobody who comes around to take you? To find you? To reach out to you? What if you start making more mistakes then? And hurting the people who care the most about you?
Jezebel wasn't doing very good.
See, her Naerose was gone. Missing. Taken? She had to have been taken. And Abel, and the handsome men that showered her with attention. There were no handsome men. There was no Naerose. There were just women in boxes and baskets that would do anything she wanted, be anyone she wanted. But they were just reflections, mirrors of herself. Men and women who were once like Jezebel. Disgusting, absolutely disgusting. That's not how Jezebel would cope.
How was she coping?
She was coping at the edge of the Rama IX Bridge.
The traffic rushes past behind her on the super-structure suspension bridge, as finishes stepping over the guard rails. She clings on the railings, looking downward. She wasn't drugged. She wasn't drunk. She was clear now, so clear minded, so focused. She just couldn't feel. She couldn't feel anything. She could kill, or save, or protect, or grow. But she couldn't feel. Her glowing mechanical eye focuses down to the river below. Maybe she would feel if she fell. Maybe she would feel if she hit the water at terminal velocity. Maybe she would live.
Maybe she wouldn't.
Father Walter Bardsley...was doing okay. No attacks by Hunters in the last three days. No one calling him a demon or discovering his wings. Plenty of people in the city who could use a slightly eccentric traveling priest.
Thus, in a rented Honda, the only slightly tipsy clerical dragon is tearing down the street with the top and windows down. A very bad rendition of Ring of Fire is belted out in his loud voice. Every now and then he looks out the window. Street walker. Car. Car. Building. Car. Streetwalker. Bridge. Woman about to jump /off/ bridge. Car.
That's about when the singing stops, he switches lanes, and then makes a rather impressive slam of the breaks. Tires screech, and with only panic in his heart, he leaps out the sunroof. Those wings flap, sending him upwards on a convenient draft. Tonight he'll spark many a ghost story, but he doesn't care.
"Bloody hell, woman! Don't you know suicide is a sin!? Away from the bridge my dear!" And unless Jez moves, this over-enthusiastic priest is likely to tackle her down from the thing!
Jezebel wasn't moving.
She was staring down into oblivion, into the depths. Walter was the first one to stop. The sound of honking horns at him messing with traffic in the slightest? He might be the only one who cares in a city like Bangkok. The ex-actress stares down, a smile burned on her lips. Staring down, and down, and down.
And she looks at Walter finally.
"You're the one she wanted to eat." Jezebel sighs, her body swaying. "Naerose. She wanted to eat you. Cook you up, and kill you, and let you be eaten. She wanted that. And I couldn't get it to her! I couldn't be a true friend. And now she's gone. Now they're all gone."
"It really is a sin, isn't it?"
"Killing yourself. It's a sin, like drinking, and whoring, and violence, and foul language, and stealing, and murder, and depravity upon depravity upon depravity. I believed I could be saved. I believed I could have saved myself by giving myself up to Jesus. And you know what mistake I made? I thought I would get something back for it. Saving my immortal soul. And stopping the endless pain." She looks away from Walter, and stares back down to the depths. "Maybe I would drown in sin."
"Or maybe I just need one last baptism."
And Jezebel lets go of the railing.
Walter doesn't even spot the honking cars a rude gesture. For once, the winged one is silent. He listens. It's Jezebel. First, annoyance strikes him. Then this odd resignation. Then worry. Flapping in silence, his face grows the sort of red that only lights his face when he's really running out of patience.
"Jezebel! I would be happy to talk about your cannibalistic friend /and/ your myriad sins after you are not near the edge of a bri..." For a brief second, just as he realizes what she's about to do, he considers letting her. Just a moment. And then he tail-slaps himself. Wings fold, he catches that perfect current, and dives. Like a jet, he spins upside down with his back to the water. Chi and muscles tense alike as he offers himself as a much softer landing than the lake below.
It's to be a baptism for two as he tries to catch the falling Jezebel.
There's likely a string of sputtering profanity from him at the end of this, but by God is this dragon not letting go if he catches her.
It was like flying, briefly.
Jezebel shuts her eyes as she makes the leap.The wind was rushing around her. She didn't hear Walter. She wouldn't hear him. She just wanted the pain to end. And she was having it. She could feel it. But it wasn't freedom she was beginning to feel.
She felt fear.
Terror was seizing her as Walter threw himself at her. The pair were falling, falling faster and faster as the descend to the river below. She lands with a smash into Walter, the impact jolting her more than the warmth of the water. She expected to be stunned. Broken. Unconscious.
She barely felt bruised.
Jezebel immediately treads water, gasping for air. She was saved. Saved by the dragon. And something rises in her. Saved. Saved. Saved. She lets out a scream, and swims at Walter.
Walter, for his part, is glad for two things: first, Jezebel is in shape and therefore not /that/ heavy. Second, the water is warm, so he's not at risk of hypothermia. He's still vaguely drowning however as wings, arms, and tail flail as he tries to dredge himself up from the water. Spitting out awful water, he too swims Jez's way.
"Priest, remember!? It's my bloody job you sodding idiot! I frankly want to try one of Alexis' suplexes on you right about now, but I'm soggy, annoyed, and not feeling that charitable. Not let's get to the shore! And then we're going to discuss what you have been doing!" OH yes. This is one angry priest.
He'll try to grab her waist with his tail, and start forcibly swimming to the shore. He growls the entire way there, but there's naked concern in his eyes. Only once they get to the shore?
That's where he collapses backwards, huffing and puffing.
If anything, Jezebel was the stronger swimmer.
As Walter starts flailing, Jezebel actually reverses it. Why? Because she didn't want to be saved?
It was because Jezebel was trained better than that.
"Well boy howdy!" Lightning Spangles belts out, as she falls into the ol' watering hole. "Looks like we're in a real barrel of pickles in here!" Right after her, coming down the gold dust chute, was the Hoedown Dillo, splashing right in. "Oh! Oh no Lightning Spangles! I can't swim! Help me!" He cries out. And Lightning Spangles looks to the camera, and nods firmly. "Now y'all, I need to teach you something very important. Sometimes, you'll find yourself in water, just like the Hoedown Dillo here! And you might not know how to swim! Or might not even be able to swim! So Lightning Spangles here is gonna teach y'all what you do when you end up in a water emergency like this one here! First rule of Lightning Spangles Showup Hoedown Water Safety?"
"Panicking is not just dangerous to yourself, but to anyone around you! Lifeguards are even trained to not get near panicking people, cause they'll drown them! That's why I am not getting near you, the Hoedown Dillo!" The Hoedown Dillo gasps, as he begins to calm down. "What am I supposed to do then?" Lightning Spangles tips her hat, and nods firmly. "You need to do the three tricks to keep from drowning! The first one is bobbing! If you notice, if you drop down, you can feel the bottom of the watering hole, right Hoedown Dillo?" The Hoedown Dillo drops down... and then bounces back up. "You're right Lightning Spangles! I can just keep bouncing up and down, and control my situation! But what if I can't touch the bottom?" Lightning Spangles was already ahead of him. "You just tread water! Kick your legs in rhthym to sweeping your arms, like your a big ole buzzard! Just like what I was doing!" The Hoedown Dillo was beginning to calm down more and more. "That sounds good, but my arms are so tired from holding all those bags of puppies back there! What am I gonna have to do if I get too tired to tread water?" And then, Lightning Spangles just lies back. "You just do a float like here, flat on your back, and keep your breathing controlled. You can do this forever!"
"Right until you are rescued, pardner!"
Jezebel reaches the shore, control of her situation. The water was warm. But it was giving her shivers. The terror was running through her. As she walks up on the shore alongside Walter, she was shuddering. And as he collapses, she just... stares at him. "But he didn't show up. And she didn't show up. Nobody showed up, and stopped me, except you. Because it's your job, not because you... not because you care." She begins to grit her teeth, tears building in her eyes. "I hate you. I hate you because you DO NOT CARE! BECAUSE YOU ARE NOTHING BUT DOING YOUR JOB!" She kicks the sand at Walter. Not to hurt him. But to make him dirt. To make him dirty.
To make him on her level.
Walter wants to be angry. Wants to be furious as he's kicked all over with sand. He doesn't have the energy to get up, to yell, to try to reason with the yelling woman. Silence, and she gets to put out her frustratons on him. For a moment, that's fine with him.
"...Are you quite done with the sand?"
Grump. Slowly, he sits up. "Hate me all you like. Jezebel. I am a priest. Would you believe that I /do/ care? I care about everyone who isn't some blood soaked Hunter, at any rate. And that so happens to include you."
He stands up more, out goes that tail, and he darn tries to flick the woman in the nose firmly. "Now come on, let us at least get you to a hotel. We're both soaked, and I can feel my blood temperature dropping already. Move it. You are a very frustrating woman, do you know that? This is the second time I have seen you at near rock bottom. We're going to find a way to drag you /up/ before you get someone hurt. There's a good woman in there somewhere, and we are going to find out where she is. No, you don't get to refuse. This is my payment for saving your arse."
He'll try to grab for a wrist and pull her towards the Honda.
"Towels are in the back seat." Grumble grumble.
She was done.
After just kicking and screaming and just... just hating, hating him, there just wasn't enough energy to do it. Jezebel was trembling. She just wants to be on her knees, and die. As she sinks down, she is knocked backwards on her bottom as Walter flicks on her on the nose. Wincing, she twists up her face. She was engaged, boiling over. And there, she snaps back at Walter as he tries to grab her wrist, recoiling. And there, she lashes out.
"I'm not at rock bottom."
Puffing out her chest, she glowers at Walter, putting on an air of pride. "I'm a senior ranking Shadaloo representative! I am clean now! I am so clean, I am more clean than I have ever been before in my entire life! I am at the top of my life! I am so high off... I.... I... I am a wonderful woman, who every loves, and if you think I am going to go back in the back seat of your car, back at your hotel room, so you can -get your reward-" She leans over and spits up on the sand. She sniffles.
"I took her back to the hotel room, you know."
"My fishy friend."
Walter's dissapproval is plain. He's practically scowling as Jezebel lashes out. Arms cross, and he's glowering.
"Why, I do believe the lady doth protest too much."
"Do you actually mean to tell me...and bluntly I'm a touch skeptical...that you believe that joining a criminal organization and nearly committing suicide not a minute earlier means you are at the top of your life? Jezebel, you're covered in sand, soaking wet, and you're going to get neumonia out here if you don't get some dry clothes! So am /I/ for that matter!"
Another scowl, and he's making for the car. He waves in a 'come on' motion. "And by the Lord, you aren't my type even if I /was/ so uncouth, thank you! Who the bloody hell are you talking about? Just tell me the address and we'll get you somewhere dry, alright?" The dragon man tends to prefer his woman with tails. The honda starts up, and rumbles.
"Well? Getting in, or would you like to shiver to death Miss High Ranking Shadaloo?"
"They aren't criminal."
Jezebel knew she was lying. she was lying so hard. But she.
"When I was alone, when I was alone at that mental hospital, where nobody wanted me, where everyone just threw me away, you didn't come for me. Nobody came for me. Nobody helped me, nobody was there for me. Except them. They were the only ones who cared. They were the only ones who wanted me to be someone. He-" Don't give names, remember? "They saved me. They rescued me from myself. And now I am free, and clean, and sane, finally. I proved to myself that I don't need to be Lightning Spangles anymore." And she starts to smile. Why would she kill herself when she was so beautiful, and powerful, and loved? All the pain of being rejected by Naerose was faded. I mean, she didn't need her. Not right now.
She loved Naerose so much.
As the invitation continues, Jezebel begins to shake her head. "I don't want to come with you. I don't need to. I don't want to." And Jezebel points a finger at the dragon man. "You could have helped me before. You could have done it, and you didn't. And now, you want me? I know your type. You save maiden, and then d-d-defile them as your reward." She turns bright red, as her breathing comes. "I'll... I'll walk. You don't deserve me. And I don't want to make myself unclean with you." She was shivering, she was smiling. She didn't feel cold anymore.
She felt immortal.
The first accusation, Walter lets slide off of him like water. He's dealt with a few people with mental issues before. But he knows this level of nuts is out of his league. All he can do is try to show compassion, pray for patience, and try to hold onto his own sanity.
"Pardon me for not being able to keep track of you! I have plenty of people to save. You, unfortunately, are a long term project. You need help. Real help. Do you have a psychologist? You need one, desperately."
And then his tail twitches and his head hits the wheel. Honk.
"I AM NOT THAT KIND OF MAN!" Howls Walter angrily, looking over and glaring once more. "I treat ladies with respect! And I've never...point being, hard to be a defiler in my case!" His turn to blush. "Stop casting your impure desires onto /me/, Jezebel! Just...here!" He reaches into the back, and tosses a towel at her face. "Just get dry before you get sick, okay?"
Jezebel was just at the car window right now.
She knew how it looked. She didn't care. She hated her savior. She hated him so much. She loved Naerose, but this was what she hated. People who pretended to care. The kind of people who would revive you when you tried to kill yourself with an overdose, and then expect you to blow them in the hospital. She remembered those people well. She even ended up working for one of them. She hated them. She hated them into a hole in the ground, so deep, that the light would not touch them. A burrowing, toxic hatred.
She wanted to love people.
But they had to love her first.
And when she gets the towel thrown in her face, she doesn't scream. She doesn't shout. She doesn't fall to the ground kicking and howling. She just wipes her hair, her face, and she glares daggers at Walter. "You're not even a man." And dismissively, Jezebel looks up and down at Walter from the car window.
"You're just a monster."
And Jezebel turns to walk away.
Walter freezes, silent. She's walking away already as he finally manages to recover from those few stinging words. They pierce more than any sword could, straight through his heart.
He sits there in silence for minutes, before he breaks down sobbing. Curling up in the back seat of the honda, he passes out, dried tears and dirt all over him.
"I'm not...I'm not a monster..." He mutters just before blackness takes him. Even someone that fallen and ill still thinks he's a freak. The pain is just too much for him. Would he ever find true acceptance from humans?
True acceptance from humans.
If Jezebel could see Walter right now? If she could see him sobbing, recoiling in the back seat of his car? If she could see the pain that she poured into him, the hot wounds she reopened out of what amounted to defensive pettiness, a pain reaction?
She would have gone back up to the bridge.
But she doesn't look back. She doesn't hear the crying. She doesn't make any of it real. Because as long as it wasn't real, she wouldn't have to stare in the reflection of just how much pain and suffering she causes by being herself. By being Jezebel.
By being Just Jezebel.
Log created on 18:23:46 02/23/2017 by Jezebel, and last modified on 16:05:30 06/23/2017.