July 06, 2001 ... Lizard, Come Home

Lizard, Come Home
by Molly/StormBorn

Half-smug, half-amazed, Molly gloated at herself in the mirror. She'd lost a lot of weight in the past year and a half, and the strapless leather ballgown clung to her like a glove. "Whaddaya think, Bill?" she asked. The baby lizard looked up at her and screeched in approval.

"Good lizard," she said, stooping to pat his back. "Don't have any lizard-themed jewelry, but I'll wear these just for you." She showed him the bronze choker in an entwined-snakes design and matching earrings, then slipped on her bronze snakeskin evening sandals. An hour of applying makeup later, and she was ready. "Nighty-night, Bill."

In response, he coiled himself up and tried to roll through the door; she blocked him just in time. "Oh, no, sweetie. Mommy's got to go to the party and you might scare the peoples. You stay here." A forlorn little screech echoed through the door as she went down the hall, but she ignored it.

Downstairs, the party seemed to have taken off fast. "Janette Jelly," inquired a Merc, offering her a little cupful.

"Just one, please," she said, popping it into her mouth. "Oooh, yummy!"

Making her way to the food, she loaded a plate with hors d'oeuvres and carried it over to the bar. "Make me an Assassin, please, Miklos."

"Poof, you're an Assassin."

"Urgh, that's *so* old."

"What's in it?"

"A shot of vodka, a shot of creme de cassis, and float a spoonful of kirschwasser on top."

"No girly drinks for you, eh?"

"I like to taste my booze." Lifting a toast point of Ossetra to her mouth, she paused in mid-bite...what had she just seen go past the open end of the bar? Probably nothing, she thought.


"Kezia! Wow, you look stunning in purple. Are you having a good time?"

She chit-chatted with her friend for a few moments, until Kezia excused herself. All the while she was thinking that she wouldn't have noticed whatever it was unless it was out of place. Miklos refreshed her drink and she took it over to sit with Kimmer and Mindi.

The clamor of the party chattered dimmed a little as they fired up the karaoke machine. "Oh, gods, you did tell them to limit it to a few hours, didn't you?"

"Don't worry." Kimmer patted her hand. "You'll get your chance to dance."

"They brought Elvii, Kimmer! Eeep!" Fortunately the others thought she'd shrieked at the very thought of Elvis impersonators, not because she'd felt the brush of armor-plated hide against her ankle. Hastily, she bent down to fish under her dress.

"What's wrong, Molly?" Mindi asked.

"Oh, er, nothing. Nothing." Bill wasn't down there anymore. Please, she thought, please don't let him go rolling across the dance floor right in front of everybody. If he was just looking for "Mommy," where had he gone? Think, think...

Her widdle wizard-izzums loved three things: snuggling, sleeping, and food. Well, he also seemed to like watching televised baseball, but that was something else. Food, she thought! "Huh?"

"I said, did you try my red velvet cake yet?"

"Uh, no, I haven't gotten to dessert yet." Nice opening, Mindi, she thought. Rising, she continued, "But I think I'm going back for more of the mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Be right back."

As she moved towards the serving stations, she tried to think. Bill ate animal innards--he'd steadfastly refused anything else she'd tried to feed him. The closest thing here that she could think of was the pate assortment. She lingered in front of the hors d'oeuvre table, casually asking the servers how everything was going, all the while she peered around them to see if she could catch site of her pet. "Is something wrong, madam?" one of the servers asked finally.

"Oh, no. It's nothing." She abandoned all thought of diving under the tables to look for the errant lizard. Just then she saw a familiar shape heading for the small room where the extra food was being kept. "Er, good job, carry on. Pip-pip," she added helpfully.

She sauntered over to the door, and stuck her head inside, screeching softly. No answer, and no sight of Bill. "Damn, he moves fast."

"My dear, is something the matter?" Odd how a French accent and a husky voice could make you jump.

"Er, no, Janette. Nothing. Why do you ask?"

"I see one of my petites with her head inside a door making odd noises..." That very expressive Gallic shrug.

"Just checking on things."

"Ah. I see." Janette gave her a suspicious glance, but she left, and Molly let out a little sigh of relief. Ducking down the hall, she went into the booth and closed the door behind her.

"What's up?" asked Teresa.

"Bill got out."

"Should I jump on the console and scream or something?"

"Oh, gods, no." Molly sank to the floor, burying her head in her hands. "I need another drink."

"Are you sure you haven't had too much already?"

"Thanks a lot." She clambered to her feet. "Well, if you see him...um...trap him in something and get a hold of me."

"Trap him in something? Molly, he's three feet long!"

"He's just a baby!" she wailed as she left to continue her search. Upstairs, downstairs, wine cellar, storage rooms. No Bill. Down in the subcellar a nasty thought occurred to her, and she pulled away a crate--muttering 'sorry' just in case--to expose the entrance to the tunnels.

No. She looked down at her shoes and sobbed. No. You can't do this to Mommy, Bill! She grabbed a box of candles from a nearby shelf, blew the dust off them, and went after her baby.

Time: early morning during the Raven party, July 6th

Molly looked again at her shoes, again at the tunnel, then once more at her shoes. No. No, Bill, wherever you are, you got yourself into this and you're just going to get yourself out. She dumped the box of candles back on the shelf and headed upstairs

Returning to the club, she saw that many of the guests had already left. Dang, she thought. Just my luck; I got to sit through most of the karaoke and missed most of the fun part. "Ahem," came a voice from behind.

Stifling a sigh, she turned to face her mistress.

"Your hair is a mess and you're covered with dust. *What* is going on?"

"I--I--" Molly started to sob. "Bill got loose and I missed most of the party trying to find him and I didn't get to dance although what does it matter as men don't seem to want to dance anymore and I still can't find him and I look awful! Waah!"

Janette tsked at her and, putting an arm around the poor Ravenette's shoulders, led her back to the guest quarters. "Now, now, cherie, there will be other parties. And your pet will come home to his mother, no? Yes, of course he will."

Just as they neared her door, they heard a shriek followed by laughter coming from Lorna's room. The vampire and the mortal looked at each other, then Janette tapped lightly on Lorna's door. "Oh, come in! You've *got* to see this!"

There, looking for all the world like the picture of blissful innocence, lay Bill in the middle of Lorna's hospital bed. "My nurse was just getting ready to help me into bed," she told them, "and there--we--he--" she started to laugh again.

"Bad lizard," scolded Molly. Scooping up her pet she apologized to Lorna, Janette and the nurse (who still looked a little dazed), and retreated to her room with as much dignity as she could muster.

Janette, however, followed her. "I'm beginning to see what the problem is," she began.

"Yeah...next time, no pets!"

"I am not talking about that. LaCroix is speaking in that vile gutter-trash vocabulary and Nicolas kept insisting he was Natalie all through the party. It seems that bodies are being switched."

"But...that's not possible, is it?"

Janette shrugged. "I want to warn mes petites. If this happens to the others, it can also happen to me. Please, protect me."

"I will, Mademoiselle!" Molly swore fervently. As the lovely vampire closed the door behind her, Molly sat on the bed dazed, rubbing her cheek against Bill's snout--until he screeched in her ear.

"Bed-time," she declared. "I'll think about this tomorrow."


Subject: WAR: Ravenettes: Lizard, Come Home
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2001 19:09:26 -0000
From: "StormBorn" smolly4 [at] QWEST.NET
Reply-To: StormBorn smolly4 [at] QWEST.NET


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