Oldtown Tilda’s Inferno

cw: mention of consent issues in regards to vampire feedings

Dante’s Inferno was playing at the Oldtown movie theatre. Released in 1911, well before Matilda’s time, the silent film would be accompanied by a live pianist. A twisted journey through Hell sounded like the perfect film for a night where Matilda sought to feed on someone. At least she had the guidance of Catrina. The domina was powerful, understanding and, all in all, a wonderful teacher so far.

That didn’t mean Matilda wasn’t unnerved by the idea of suggesting and feeding on an innocent person. Likely without their consent, as it was typically difficult to come by for vampires in her experience. For a long time, Tilda had lived off blood bags - something she knew she couldn’t keep up if she were ever to get stronger and see the sun again. Which she wanted, more than anything else.

Then there was Dani… She felt, uh, a little guilty about looking for someone to feed on now that her ex-wife was back in the picture. Matilda didn’t know how much to confide in the other woman now that she was moving to Ridgefield. She decided to just keep this to herself, for now.

All of these thoughts swam through her mind as she waited just outside the front doors, tickets in hand. She sensed Catrina’s arrival before she saw the woman. It was hard not to feel the redhead’s strength which towered over her own. Much in the same way Sayed’s did these days.

"Catrina, hello. It’s good to see you." Nervous smile.
The set for the evening was a simply darling idea. A silent film always brought with it fond memories of the quickly modernizing bustle of cities, of how she’d sat through many enraptured by the story and how it worked. With the goal of the night to help ease Matilda into hunting more so, the movie also offered an ideal cover. The dark was a long time friend that always provided and how ironic that it would be with Dante’s Inferno playing alongside.

Walking towards the entrance, she was quick to spot the young woman and was soon upon her, smiling with heart. ”You as well, dearie. Has your week been kind to you so far?”
Matilda's smile relaxed a little. Catrina had a way of disarming her with her kindness. Being called dearie always reminded her of her grandmother, though that didn't mean she would underestimate the powerful woman in her midst. Catrina was a force to be reckoned with, and Matilda was honestly just honoured she sought to help her out from time to time.

"It has. How about yours? Has it, um, been kind to you as well?" Things had gotten significantly better since the bloodlusting incident in November. Matilda even felt a little hope when it came to her vampiric life. Which was nice.
Oh good, it was always lovely to hear that life was going well for her. They hadn’t an easy hand, but it was well rewarding if played right and Matilda seemed to be on her way.

”It was, thank ye. Spring always makes for a bustling fun few months.” A smile before she looked towards the theater.

”Are you ready to go in?”
Gosh, the accent also made her think of her relatives out in Scotland. What a delight! Matilda smiled at the mention of spring. With it brought less nighttime, but people seemed happier. Matilda would take less hours in a day if it meant she got to see people enjoying their lives a little more.

"Yes, I've got our tickets already," Matilda replied with a smile and handed Catrina her ticket. She was still a little nervous to actually feed off someone. Did she lure them outside or sit next to them in the darkened theatre? "How, um, should we go about this tonight?" She inquired as she held open the door, keeping her volume low.
Tickets ready, she nodded, taking the one offered out to her, its paper rough against fingers.

Moving to the door, Catrina looked towards Matilda, considering as they went into the lobby. There were a plethora of options, especially to a talented individual with much experience under their belt. What to do here, however, where Catrina wanted everything to go as smoothly as it could.

”Any number of ways, so long as you are comfortable and have cover. Perhaps, there is someone in the lobby you can proposition before the movie,” she offered, leading Matilda in words and hoping she would craft a scenario with that start.
Before the movie, right. It wouldn't really make her want to stick around and watch the movie but she would try her best to make this as normal an evening as possible. Tilda didn't want to hurt anyone. She just wanted to get stronger. To feel better about her new existence. A big part of that meant feeding on human beings to survive. She couldn't live off blood bags forever.

She also just wanted to impress Catrina a little bit?

Matilda scanned the lobby, looking for someone who was alone that night. She spied someone standing by the washroom and nodded in their direction. "How about them?"
Who would be picked and just what sorts of suggestions Matilda may try left her interested, anticipation thrumming.

A nod and she followed the young girl’s gaze towards the person standing about. ”I think they will do nicely. Will you set up a time for later or now,” she prompted in question.
"I think... I think now," Matilda replied a little apprehensively. She took a small breath in, allowing the scent of butter and popcorn to waft through her nostrils. Tilda decided to approach, giving Catrina a small nod before moving towards her target.

"Are you in line?" Matilda asked the person in question as she drew near, nodding at the washroom behind them.
A school project on Dante's Inferno meant she definitely was going to watch this other Dante's Inferno even if it wasn't the same. Because you could always quip about movies in serious literature papers. Teachers loved that kind of thing.

"Uhm- yes," she answered, hesitation natural even though that was literally the reason she was here. Come on, Lex. Duh.
A subtle breath inward instantly told Tilda she was dealing with a psychic. Great. She certainly had more control over herself than she used to but uh, geez. Also, this person looked young!! Wehhhhhh.

Matilda smiled and stood behind her, trying to act naturally as she sought out eye contact.

"Pretty cool that they're doing Dante's Inferno with a live musician, huh?"
"God, yeah! This place is so cool," she grinned. "I wish it wasn't so far from me but what can you do."

Luckily just then her phone buzzed; some friend from her satire class asking about a homework assignment, so her eyes made no contact with the other's.
"Same!" Matilda replied but was disappointed to see the young woman look at her phone instead of up at her face. Gosh, she was pretty small too. Ugh. Tilda hated this. There had to be a better way.

While the woman looked at her phone, Tilda briefly searched the crowd for Catrina, wondering what she should do. Honesty in a public space about who she was could be dangerous. What if the woman screamed at her?

It didn't help that her fangs were sort of itching to come out, which was just disturbing to think about.

"Are you a student?" She looked student-aged. Tilda offered a close-lipped smile, still searching for eye contact.
”Alright,” she smiled, nodding encouragingly as Matilda stepped away to try her hand.

The girl in question was approached and Catrina drifted nearby, looking over her options of candy. Cardboard, chocolate, and peppermint wafted up, companions that hid the full extent of Matilda’s choice’s identity. Still, the conversation seemed stilted.

Feeling eyes looking for her, she swept bright hair behind her shoulder to catch a gaze and there, help it seemed to say. Brows rose, unsure if she needed to step in immediately, but she’d do if requested though fingers gestured to continue to try. Small talk didn’t always yield immediate results and Matilda did just start.
The question surprised enough to look up, Alexis unaware of any subtext communication to someone else.

"Oh- yeah! How... did you know?" she asked absently, looking up and making eye contact. Had she said that...?
Catrina was watching. Good. That was good. It was also a lot of pressure but that was fine.

Everything was fine.

Matilda suddenly had eye contact and she leapt at the opportunity, feeling a pang of guilt.

"Come outside."

It didn't land. Shoot!!!!

"Have a smoke with me?" Matilda added, hoping she didn't sound too creepy.


Uh. Um. Weird.

"N...o?" she asked and answered, waving at the line. "Waiting for the bathroom still."

Weird. She looked forward then, deciding that was better.
There was an attempt. Direct, but it was one and thankfully quickly saved, the fumble more so a tiny bit socially embarrassing, nothing more. She could keep going, continue pushing, or leave.

A hand turned towards herself with a slight tilt of her head before opening towards the girl, all that to mean either you come here and we try elsewhere or asking if Matilda wanted to continue. Either were fine.
Yeahhhh... that felt awful and all kinds of embarrassing. Matilda nodded, not one to push someone even if she had been trying to suggest the young woman moments before.

"Yeah, no worries mate." Awkward, so awkward!!! She nodded at the theatre entrance. "Enjoy the film." With that, she left, turning away from the student to glance in Catrina's direction, looking visibly apologetic and embarrassed.

As she approached Catrina, she spoke softly. "Well, that was a bust." And it meant she was down a suggestion. Ugh. Being a vampire sucked!
It seemed they weren’t getting anywhere with the girl afterall. Matilda disengaged from the conversation and Catrina would move the opposite direction with the young vampire coming up towards her.

She regarded her with concern knitting into her brow, some amusement flickering at the word choice still. ”These things happen. If you felt it was a block, it was safer for you to leave and try elsewhere.”
Matilda nodded at Catrina, glad for her encouragement even if she felt horrible and embarrassed. She sort of wanted to fade into the scenery and never be seen again but she tried not to think about it too much in the moment. Tilda needed to pull herself back up and try again. A vampire needed to feed, after all!

"Should I try again now?" She whispered, only loud enough so that Catrina would be able to hear. They still had a bit of time before the film began but Matilda wasn't sure she'd be able to get someone somewhere private in order to feed.
Even with the failed attempt, the words seemed to liven her up, a spark still lively in her eyes. That’s what she liked to see and she smiled at the question.

”If you would like to. Maybe, someone can meet you in the back later,” she offered as a suggestion. Why not sow the seeds now and be assured a sheep without its herd later?
Okay. That sounded easy enough. Assuming suggestion worked or someone was eager enough to meet her after the film began. Matilda nodded in response.

It still made her feel awful. Feeding without telling someone of her intentions. Without asking.

But Matilda wanted to make Catrina proud of her, so she would try her best to follow through. Eyes searching the crowd, she found someone else standing by the door on their own. "How about them?" She whispered quietly.
It seemed the game was still afoot. The question had her looking towards the person in question, sizing them up.

”Give it a go,” she agreed, blinking back towards Matilda. ”What words would you use?”
Oh. Hm. That was a good question. Probably wise to prepare what Tilda was going to say before going up to the person.

"What about something like… ‘Wait for me outside after the film ends?’" Was that too vague?
Matthew was supposed to be here with someone else but that someone had decided to take a trip home forever instead. That seemed to be happening a lot lately to him and other people he knew. So here he was by himself and he was going to enjoy the experience and then maybe get drunk after.

Hell this was the kind of place he could get drunk during the experience and maybe he would.

Right now though he was checking his phone looking for other events he could crash nearby.
Catrina nodded in thought. ”That one should work, but consider other parameters that would make it easier. You don’t want him just outside, you want him somewhere that’s hidden.”
Somewhere that's hidden. Right. That made sense. Ugh. This was going to sound really creepy, wasn't it?

Part of her hoped it wouldn't work.

With a nod at Catrina, Tilda sucked in a breath to steady her nerves and began her approach.

He was on his phone. Which would make this really weird. Awkward. So, Matilda gently bumped into him. On purpose.

"Oh! I'm so sorry!" She smiled apologetically, trying to meet his gaze.

hit on bumping into him :3

He wasn't impolite and held eye contact with the same level of implicit trust strangers offer strangers, but in this instance her collision with his person caused him imbalance, and though he made a good show of not tripping over his own legs his phone flew out of his hand and boomeranged into the path of oncoming traffic, so he dove after it before anyone could step on it.

Grab, crisis averted! But now he was crouched on the floor only giving a strangely angled brief look back at the collider.

"Oh, you're fine; no harm done," he insisted in only the most careful of enunciations, much as his voice was begging to go Angry Glaswegian. Not angry at her, mind. Just the situation. And even then, impotently so at best.
And off Matilda went to her next potential option for the night. Moving to lean off against a wall nearby, she watched out of the corner of her eye, looking down at her phone screen occasionally.

A bump! Now that would start a conversation and hopefully the lad wasn’t a rude one. But, goodness off his phone went and now he was scrambling for it, words kind despite it all. Lips pulled in amusement, she wondered what Matilda would follow up with.
For a second, Tilda had eye contact. Then the stranger dropped his phone on the ground, and she lost it. He was decent about her 'clumsiness'. Enough to make this even harder.

A thought crossed her mind. She had been doing this all for Dani. For the sun. But what would Dani think of her if she found out?

Matilda's smile waned slightly as she considered Catrina; her mentor. What would she think if she didn't go through with feeding on someone that night? Would she be upset? Disappointed?

No harm done. She could leave it that way. Bid goodnight and return to Catrina. Let the man enjoy his life without impacting it more than a possibly broken phone. Oh God. Did she break his phone?

If Catrina wasn't there, she might have just been honest with the man.

So yeah, Matilda backed off. She could consume a blood bag when she returned to Jaime's. Maybe find an alternative way that worked for her and still allowed her the strength and control she so desired.

"Well, enjoy the movie!" Matilda said after a rather awkward beat of silence, waving just as awkwardly. She'd turn to head back to Catrina if he didn't stop her, eyes downcast.
Phone firmly in his grip he rose back to his feet and dusted the device off with his jacket sleeve. Perfectly intact, all good! If the silence was awkward, Matthew didn't feel it. He turned back to the stranger, but she was already making moves to exit. In the opposite direction from which she come, which was a little odd given that she'd come from that direction and bumped into him.

Sure, sometimes after an embarrassment people abandoned their plans but... maybe it was instinct that told him there was something really odd at play here.

"It's not a big deal," he started, but she ended the conversation, and Matthew wasn't in the habit of forcing people to hang out with him. "You too."

And he stayed put for the moment, looking back at his phone.
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