Light and Dark (G) - Mick, Champagne Challenge #176

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Light and Dark (G) - Mick, Champagne Challenge #176

Postby allegrita » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:51 am

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Author's note: This story was inspired by Champagne Challenge #176, Dark. Thanks to choccyterri for reading it over and offering welcome suggestions. :hug:

Light and Dark

The first time Beth saw my freezer, she made a big deal of how pretty the light inside was. (For the record, the light is NOT pretty. Cool, yes. Pretty, no.) She asked me why I picked blue (I like the color), and if the light goes out when I'm asleep (it doesn't), and if it keeps me awake (nope). I answered her questions as casually as I could and changed the subject. I love Beth dearly, don't get me wrong. But you know how she can be. I didn't want her to keep asking questions, because I didn't want her to figure out the real reason for that cool blue light.

I'm afraid of the dark.

I know, I know. Big bad vampire's a scaredy-cat. Go ahead, laugh. It is pretty funny in a way. But it turns out, a lot of vamps are. It comes from way down deep in the brain stem, I guess. When we're turned, our animal instincts go into overdrive. Yeah, we're predators. But even predators are wary of being jumped. And being in the dark brings out all those feelings that raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Imagine the way you feel when you pass a graveyard at night, and multiply it by about a thousand.

When you're first turned, you spend a lot of time locked in a freezer, learning self control. Back when I was a newbie, there was no such thing as a custom freezer, not even for a wealthy vampire like Coraline. So I got shoved into a deep freeze in the fetal position, and I spent a lot of hours in the pitch dark. Yeah, I've got a pretty good case of claustrophobia, too. The light helps with that, and so does the glass top of my freezer.

Josef tells me that when he was a new turn, his sire confined him in a small, stone chamber about the size of a bathtub. That was long before refrigeration, so vamps needed to stay cool however they could. (Back then, wine cellars were big, according to Josef.)

So anyway, that's why I sleep with the light on. And I'm glad that technology lets me do it. One of these days, Beth will figure it out, and get all motherly about it. But it's not really a big deal--it's just a fact of undeath. We cope with it, like we cope with all the other stuff. It goes with the territory.
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Re: Light and Dark (G) - Mick, Champagne Challenge #176

Postby MoonMarg » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:45 pm

:giggle: love it - our boy is scared of the dark. Makes me :heart: him more.
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Re: Light and Dark (G) - Mick, Champagne Challenge #176

Postby Luxe de Luxe » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:26 am

Ha, I like your Mick. Fending Beth off as gracefully as possible while trying to keep his amusing but ultimately sad secret. I really enjoy pieces that look beyond the romance of becoming a vampire. This piece makes us think about what it must really be like to be transformed into something so different from our warm blooded selves. Melancholy and a strong sense of claustrophobia stole over me as I read this. Oh not just because of the vampire preference to sleep in a freezer. The freezers I think can be seen as metaphors for the limited lives vampires have to lead. They're trapped by their conditions.
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Re: Light and Dark (G) - Mick, Champagne Challenge #176

Postby MickLifeCrisis » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:55 am

Alle, I heard this Mick VO in my head clear as a bell. :thumbs: And you really gave me something to think about. I would guess as a new turn you still have some human anxiety to work through along with everything else, and being in a small, dark, cold box could certainly lead to a fear of the dark (even as a creature of the night) and some claustrophobia. Makes the blue light and the glass top so sound practical!

And I loved this line: "For the record, the light is NOT pretty. Cool, yes. Pretty, no." :coffee: Our Mick, perpetually cool.

Luxe de Luxe, what great insight with your comment: "The freezers I think can be seen as metaphors for the limited lives vampires have to lead. They're trapped by their conditions."

Great response to the challenge!
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Re: Light and Dark (G) - Mick, Champagne Challenge #176

Postby allegrita » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:01 pm

Thanks so much, MoonMarg, Luxe de Luxe, and MickLifeCrisis! :ghug: It occurred to me as I was writing the post about the Challenge that it's a bit odd that Mick sleeps with the light on in his freezer, and I started to wonder if maybe he was afraid of the dark--and also, if that might be a common phenomenon in vampires. (After all, Mick's is the only freezer we ever saw.) So, once that thought started bouncing around in my head, Mick began to whisper to me, and I took dictation. :type:

MoonMarg, isn't it wonderful how his little faults and problems make him even more lovable? :heart:

Luxe, I love your insight about the freezer as a metaphor for all the constraints that vampires must endure. I agree, it's interesting to explore the not-so-glamorous sides of being a vampire.

MLC, I wrote this hoping that it would sound like a voiceover, and your comment makes me very happy. :hug: I have to give props for the "cool" comment to choccyterri. She read my first draft and mentioned that Mick might argue with "pretty", and think of the light as cool instead. And she's absolutely right! :teeth:
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Re: Light and Dark (G) - Mick, Champagne Challenge #176

Postby cassysj » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:37 am

I love this story while it's about Mick and the dark I like the history of his turning and going back to Josef as well. Mick is lucky that the modern world has improved his condition. I like the explanation for the glass too. As usual your Mick is spot on.
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Re: Light and Dark (G) - Mick, Champagne Challenge #176

Postby allegrita » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:30 am

Thanks, Carol! I'm glad my Mick rang true to you! And it's always fun to speculate about Josef's early history. :yes:

The modern era has made it harder for vamps to hide in plain sight, but it does make sense that, along with GPS and digital photography, improvements in freezer technology are a boon to vampires. Especially to a guy like Mick.
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Re: Light and Dark (G) - Mick, Champagne Challenge #176

Postby LaughtersMelody » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:01 am

allegrita wrote:I know, I know. Big bad vampire's a scaredy-cat. Go ahead, laugh. It is pretty funny in a way. But it turns out, a lot of vamps are. It comes from way down deep in the brain stem, I guess. When we're turned, our animal instincts go into overdrive. Yeah, we're predators. But even predators are wary of being jumped.


That's such an interesting thought about a vampire's instincts! :chin: I love, too, the emphasis that it's one of the things Beth is ignorant of. There's a subtle implication that it's one of the reasons Mick is hesitant to turn Beth. Beth tends to see the glamorous side of being a vampire - like that pretty blue light - but not the parts of it that can get - very literally - dark.

Awesome work! :clapping:

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Re: Light and Dark (G) - Mick, Champagne Challenge #176

Postby Ella713 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:07 pm

I LOVE this story! It shows that Mick has something that truly scares him, probably left over from his childhood as well as most fear of the dark generally are and also the irony of the big scary vamp being afraid of something like the dark. Makes me want to wrap my arms around him and tell him everything will be alright. :heart:
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Re: Light and Dark (G) - Mick, Champagne Challenge #176

Postby choccyterri » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:13 pm

:hearts: Oh Alle, you know I loved this voiceover when I saw it. And I'm so thankful that you let me read it, and tell you what I was thinking. :hug: It's great to hear Mick's voice so clearly in our head's explaining something that seems so simple, but there's a pretty complex reasoning behind it. Like other friends here, it makes me want to give him a huge hug. Oh!! But then I want to go and see Josef's huge wine cellar! :giggle:

Thank you so much for sharing with us. :rose:
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Re: Light and Dark (G) - Mick, Champagne Challenge #176

Postby allegrita » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:49 pm

Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Laughter, Ella, and Terri! :ghug:

Laughter, I agree that Mick worries about Beth's "rose-colored glasses" about vampirism. Although in Sonata, she got a hard lesson in the darker, harsher side of vampire society. Maybe vampirism is one of things you can't really comprehend until you've experienced it? :chin:

Ella, I went through a really hard period of being terrified of the dark when I was a child. Maybe that's at the root of my story. I totally want to hug Mick when I think of him suffering from fear of the dark and claustrophobia. :comfort2: He's a sensitive guy--he doesn't get over things as easily as some do.

Terri, you have great insight, and I love to ask you to read my stories because your comments always make me think, and look at things in a new way. :rose:

I want to visit Josef's wine cellar too! But I have a feeling that his current wine cellar is super high-tech. :teeth:
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Re: Light and Dark (G) - Mick, Champagne Challenge #176

Postby Lucy » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:30 am

oh.... Where is the crying emoticon? This is so incredibly heartwrenching and beautifully written.... I could hear his voice. And I wanted to hold him and tell him, not to be afraid of the dark. :heart:
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Re: Light and Dark (G) - Mick, Champagne Challenge #176

Postby allegrita » Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:33 am

Thank you, Lucy! :hug: If my story gave you all those "feels," then it did its job well! :teeth:
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Re: Light and Dark (G) - Mick, Champagne Challenge #176

Postby MickLifeCrisis » Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:58 am

Glad this got bumped! I enjoyed the reread! :reading:
Allegrita wrote:After all, Mick's is the only freezer we ever saw.
In Arrested Development, wasn't there a chest freezer, like someone might have in their garage, in the teen vamp's room? (If it was Hawaii Five-0, the chest freezer in the garage would likely have a dead body in it. :sadface: )

Allegrita wrote:I went through a really hard period of being terrified of the dark when I was a child. Maybe that's at the root of my story.
Although I wouldn't say I was afraid of the dark as a kid, I insisted that the hall light be left on when I went to bed so I could see the strip of light under my closed bedroom door. Sometimes my mom would turn it off thinking I was already asleep, and I'd call out to turn it back on! :laugh:
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Re: Light and Dark (G) - Mick, Champagne Challenge #176

Postby Shadow » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:07 am

I read this back when it was first posted, and figured I would post a comment as soon as I had a minute. (RL has been just a bit hectic!) But it was great having a reread of this story. This piece is so short, but so strong. The image of being locked in a cramped dark freezer is almost unimaginably horrifying. It is very "Mick" that he brushes it all aside at the end, as if it is no big deal. I don't think I can quite buy that! Mick's fear of the dark, as written here, seems so deep and fundamental. I'm glad he has a light in the freezer now!
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