delia2_icon.gif tess_icon.gif

Scene Title Epitaph
Synopsis How do you want the world to remember you when you die? The lonely words on cold stone may be the only things that do.
Date November 16, 2010

Dorchester TowersKain Zarek's Tess' Apartment



A distinctly feminine voice calls out from somewhere outside the bedroom where the blond girl lays sleeping. Her father's room, the one with the big bed… the one that still smells like he did. Kain Zarek didn't leave his daughter many things, what he did leave were a lot of unanswered questions and an apartment full of no memories to share.


Shadows of the filmy white curtains play against the wall in shades of blue and grey, the rippling pattern that is usually so soothing isn't so much. Not tonight. Getting up to close the tall windows, Tess slips into a pair of fluffy slippers to protect her feet from the cool floor. They make no noise as she crosses the room, toward the open bays. Reaching out to the handles, she sweeps her eyes over the barren landscape. The naked trees shiver in the crisp wind, their whisper seeming to call out to her.


Down below, the cemetary is void of life. The usual night rounds of the groundskeeper oddly halted tonight. Perhaps as a respect for their newest resident.

Normally Tess isn't the weepy type. But since Kain's death, she's been doing little but. Even in her dreams. So it's no surprise when seeing the cemetery has her eyes filling, then closing. "Quiet. Just be quiet," she whispers to the voice, hands tightening on the handles, but she can't yet bring herself to close them, to close out the cemetery. Or even the voice.

She's been so lonely since Manny gave her the news.


The wind carries the young blonde's name and through the blur of tears the slightest wisp of light bounces amongst the graves and soon it is joined by others. Blinking in and out… in and out… they dance amongst the dead, maybe even in spite of them.

A dry crackling leaf springs free of its perch and flies into the window, hitting the young woman square between the eyes. Had it been alive, it might have been big enough to cover both. As it is, the crinkled brown flake sweeps across her sorrow filled features and slides off to the side, catching in her thin tendrils of hair.

Down below, amongst the trees, a ghostly white form weaves in and around the trunks before finally dropping down and out of sight behind one of large tombstones. The freshly dug earth in front of it victim to whatever nefarious dealings the specter has in store for it.


A hand comes up to bat at the leaf, not moving quickly enough to catch it before it slides off and into her hair. As tears slide down Tess's face, she catches sight of the form below. There's only one place that her mind could go right now, despite the voice being female. "Dad? Dad! Is that you? Dad!" she says, moving forward, leaning forward, nearly going tumbling out of the window in her effort to try to catch sight of the figure again.

All it takes is that call. In the time it takes Tess to blink, her window is far out of reach and she is on the ground. Dressed in only her nightgown, a thin robe, and slippers; the young Zarek treads through the soft mottled patches of grass and behind a large statue of an angel.


The soft call of the wind beckons her still toward the opposite edge, toward the trees. The angel's head is tilted down toward her, if it had always been that way, the blonde didn't notice. Its white pupilless eyes stare down at her, a silent bid for her not to go any further. To stay in the shadow of its protection.


Tess pauses, hesitant, watching the angel, glancing behind her, then back to the statue, before looking beyond it. "Dad? Is that you?" She's worried, yes, but the lure of her dad is too much, and so she continues on, her steps slow, soft, and she tucks the robe more snuggly around her, trying to fight off the chill, not just from the weather, but from the whole situation. Creepy isn't something she's used to. Unless it's a creepy guy. But that…that is entirely different from this.

In among the gravestones the figure comes into view. It's not Kain Zarek but woman with long red hair that's tied into a ponytail at the nape of her neck. With her back turned toward Tess, she's clawing at the loose dirt with her bare hands. Her white gown is soiled with dark mud and streaks of green grass stains from where she's fallen to the ground in her search.


The wind beckons the blonde from a different direction, closer? Away from? It caresses her cheeks, drying the tears from her eyes before swirling up a few wisps of her pale hair and disappearing.

Here lies a miser who lived for himself, who cared

for nothing but gathering wealth. Now where he is and how he fares;

nobody knows and nobody cares

R.I.P. Kain Zarek

"Who…" The question never leaves Tess's lips. Before she can voice it all she sees the stone and all color drains out of her face. "No," she whispers, shaking her head. "No!" she yells, kicking at the stone. Not a smart move, but it was impulse, and one she couldn't check in time. "Oh shit!" She hops around on her uninjured foot for a moment before she starts pushing, tugging, trying to knock the stone over.

"It's not true! It's not! He cared! he cared about me!" She recalls the redhead and glances over, calling, nearly begging, "Help me! Please! It's not right. It's not right and this isn't how he needs to be remembered!"

The woman turns her head, thin and gaunt, but still recognizable as Delia Ryans. Her blue eyes seeming hollow and empty, until a vague flicker of recognition brings them to life in a flutter of her eyelashes. Slowly, she twists her body around and stands until she's facing the blonde and cants her head to the side as her eyebrows furrow.

"Tess?" Her soft voice cracks, sounding thick because she's so parched. "W-what are you doing here? A-are you looking for it too?"

It takes a moment before recognition hits in Tess's grief-addled mind. "Delia? Lookin' for what? No. This…It's wrong. It's wrong. Help me get it out, please," she says, tugging on the offending stone, tears pouring down her cheeks, ignored for now. "He did care, Delia. He did. And I care. I do. I don't want him to be gone. Not like this. Delia…"

She collapses to her knees there, hands covering her face. "Delia…I tried calling you. I need someone. He's gone and…and…he just started to show he cared," she sobs, before giving Delia another, miserable look. "Did you come because I called?"

"I— No… I don't know." The confused answer ticks upward at the end, almost making the statement into a question. The redhead's eyes go blank for a brief moment, until she shakes her head clear and then stares at Tess once again. Then, the answer. With a single nod, she heads toward the other woman at her father's grave.

Her bare feet sink into the freshly turned soil as the young nurse reaches the tombstone and begins pushing it along with her. Grunting as she tries to topple the marker, she squeezes her eyes shut in concentration.

The slab doesn't budge.

When Delia moves over to help Tess starts tugging again. When it doesn't move she looks helplessly at Delia, then just collapses against the woman, arms sliding around her. Delia isn't Kain, but a friend is still good! "Where have you been? What're you lookin' for that's so important? More important?" she asks, sniffling, clinging to the woman. "Why do you sound so funny? God, you're not hurt too, are you? Tell me you didn't get shot too," she says, panic overtaking grief for a moment, fear for Delia.

Tentatively, Delia's ghost white arms come up to wrap around her smaller friend. She's cold to the touch and stiff, almost as though she should be one of the residents of the yard they're standing in. Unlike them, she's animated. As though uncertain of what to do, her dirty hands pat at Tess' back, leaving long fingered prints in their wake.

"I — No." She didn't get shot, not that she remembers. "There was smoke… smoking." What she's looking for, a fleeting memory now, something that mustn't have been too important. With a final reassuring rub, the redhead pulls back a bit and glances at the stone. "I don't know what I'm looking for, something important. Something I need."

"I didn't see any smoke. Just…just this person, walkin' around. I thought it was dad. Then I found…that," Tess says, unable to look at the stone again. "And you. But why…what could be important in a cemetery, Delia? There's no one here but us. No one…walkin' around. It's empty."

Turning her head, Delia glances around them and then parts her lips to take in a quick breath of air. "Oh!" The soft gasp comes as she steps back to the grave she was last digging at and a soft smile comes to her face. "I remember now…" she emits gently as she points toward the stone. There's no dates, only an epitaph to mark the person laying in the soil underneath.

Farewell friends and parents dear,

I am not dead, but sleeping here.

Prepare for death, for die you must

And with your Delia, sleep in dust.

Tess looks towards the stone and lets out a little sound of surprise. "What? But you're not dead. I just touched you!" she says, scrambling up to her feet and moving to Delia, reaching out and poking her in the arm with one finger, just to make sure. "You can't die, Delia. You can't. I won't let you. I lost dad, I won't lose one of my best friends too."

She looks back to the stone, frowning at it, rereading it, then looking to Delia, struggling to think past grief. Then she reaches out, trying to grab Delia's shoulders and shake her. "Wake up! Don't die. You got that cutie boyfriend, and Quinn, and me! No dyin'! I won't have it! If…if…" She scrambles to think of an appropriate threat. Like shredding suits for Kain. For Delia, it's, "If you let yourself die I'm totally gonna mack on your boyfriend!"

There's a curious twitch to Delia's eyebrows when Tess makes her threat, just before the redhead's bright blue eyes go dull. "No. I can't wake up… I'm lost." She turns to look at Tess and runs her tongue over her dry lips, wetting them. "That's what I forgot… My body. I need to find my body."

Falling to her knees in the dirt, she begins clawing at the ground in front of the gravestone. As she moves clumps of grass and dirt, laying them to the side, she furrows her brow in concentration. "Help me find my body… I can't live without my body."

The threat was an empty one, entirely. Just as the threat to Kain was. When Delia falls, Tess moves with her, looking confused. "How can you lose your body? I mean, you're in your body. See?" she says, giving Delia another poke. "You haven't lost it. You're just…you're just confused, that's all."

Tilting her head toward Tess, the redhead stops before shaking it negative. "No Tess," her voice sounds like she's trying to explain advanced physics to an attention deficit five year old; slow and calm, soothing even. "I'm not in my body…"

There's a whirl of scenery as the wind picks up again, from the gentle call of the blonde's name to a shriek of anger. Slowly, Delia fades from view, the last bit of her to remain is the stain of her near crimson hair against the dusty blue and grey background. It bites at the blond woman, whipping her own tresses against her face and obscuring her vision.

With a gasp, Tess sits up in the bed that used to be her father's. Her heart is racing faster than it ever has before. The cold sweat beading on her forehead and running down her back makes her hair and nightgown cling to her body. That voice. The echo of the last thing Delia said to her…

"I'm in yours."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License