Thursday, 17 May 2012


Carmilla and Kikia sat together before the stage, both of them leaning back and watching the practice performance. Several woman were dancing in unison on the stage, the music from one of the more popular current Khanid plays. The building, one of the larger dance studios at the second city was old and well built, the lights coming in from high windows and various positioned sources to bathe the area as required. Acoustically and visually stunning, it was empty apart from those performing and assisting, and four people in the audience.

Kikia watched with enjoyment at the art, Carmilla with a more critical eye. The three women danced with a gracefulness that almost defied gravity at times. 
"Why did you drag me here Carm?"
"You are working too hard. You need to get out more and relax."
"Who told you that? Rose or Orchid?"
"Neither, Maeve did."
Kikia was silent for a moment then smiled and leant against Carm and sighed softly.
"Yes, I suppose I have been too busy. But here? Watching dancers practice for a Khanid Play?"
Carm chuckled and leant over and kisses Kikia gently.
"Because I want to show you new things. Plus, those are my girls up there."
"All my girls go through this. If a geisha can't dance she learns. These three needed to learn."
"I dont know where you get these girls from. I can never seem to find people like them."
"It's a knack I suppose. Like finding someone to teach them to dance. Someone I trust."
"Who is she?"
"She taught me to dance. Many years ago."
Kikia looked up at Carm but saw the look on her face that told her, do not ask again please. Even after all the time they had spent together, Kiki mused, she still had her secrets. Places she wouldn't let Kikia walk with her. She still had troubles, and occasionally still had nightmares, screaming in the night, waking up more a terrified child than her guardian and protector and lover. But that, that was what made Carmilla more human. One minute she was the walled off psychotic hiding behind a thin facade of civilisation, the next the walls were down and the real Carmilla was there. Small, tired, tiny, alone and confused. At times, it really did seem like there were two of them. Her Carm, and the Little Snake. But with each layer she burrowed into, there were three more waiting.

A woman walked onto the stage in a flourish of robes and rapped her cane onto the floor. The three dancers stopped and turned to her. Several of the stage hands looked as well.
"No no no. You need to feel the music, not just imitate it! All three of you look like cattle in the fields. You  will define grace by your movements. The image of your dancing should move people to tears. But none of you can so much as... gah! Again, from the top!"
The three dancers nodded and assumed the starting positions and waited for the music to restart then began once more to dance, their movements near perfect. Kikia squeezed Carm's arm.
"Can you do that? That dance?"
"Then get up there and show your girls how to do it."
"They need to learn."
"Carm. Now."
The two words were quiet, but carried all the authority that Kikia had. Carm looked at her and smiled then kissed her softly and stood up and climbed up onto the stage, removing her jacket and dropping it to the floor and rolling her arms.
"Girls,   Helena. How are we doing?"

The old woman sneered and then smiled and embraced Carmilla.
"They do good work, but there is plenty of room for improvement. As I said to you once, if you remember."
"I remember. Some times I can't forget. Now, what's the problem with them?"
"Aaaaah, they just dont get the music. They are graceful, but they cannot hear the music, they follow the tune. The passion is not there, only obedience to the tune."
"Obedience is a fine quality in a geisha... but I see. Restart the music, girls, watch and learn."

Carm starts to dance with the onset of the music, her body moving slowly at first, with the beat and faster, a look of concentration on her face as she moves. The three girls watch as she dances, as does Helena, nodding her head as if counting something in secret as she moves. Kikia, her eyes glued to her partner smiles as she watches her. The exquisite movements and timing flawless as she danced. She felt, more than saw the other person sit down next to her and closed her eyes and shivered slightly.
"Hello... Alizabeth."
"Hello... Kikia," said Alizabeth Adrelana.

Alizabeth Adrelana smiled and watched Carmilla dancing and relaxed into the chair. Behind them their personal guards were eyeing each other up. The two of the, Holder and Freedom Fighter watched for a while until one of them broke the silence.
"When I got the invitation I was not expecting to see you here, Kikia."
"Nor I you, Aliza. I think it is one of Carmilla's little foibles that she hopes those she loves will be friendly, quite regardless of their positions."
"Hmm, unlikely to happen I think. But, then again...."
Aliza looked around and noticed just how secluded the place was. Their own guards were on the entrances into the place, and few could approach without warning. Those people that were here seemed to know Carmilla, so, most likely, this was a safe haven.
"I think, this is probably the most neutral ground we are ever going to get."
Kikia turned in her chair and looked at Aliza. Aliza looked back. Here, for both, was technically the enemy.

Carm finished her dance and looked over at Helena. She nodded and the girls all clapped. Together with Helena she worked them through the routine until all three of them were as close to perfect as they would get, then the four of them danced the routine until Helena smiled.
"That is the Carmilla I remember. And your girls have the ability to be good. I take it you will train them yourself  once they leave me?"
"Yes, I look after all of my girls."
"And do they look after you?"
Helena gestured to the two women and Carm turned and watched them, and listened to them. They were both laughing and just talking, like two old friends. They both turned and looked at Carm sitting on the edge of the stage.
"Look at her. Have you ever seen anyone so beautiful?"
"No. That is why I had to have her."
"You know she will never leave me."
"And yet she wears my collar."
"The chains that bind her to me can't be broken."
Carm clapped her hands and giggled at them both.
"Come on, I love you both."
Carm slipped off the stage and walked over to them and sat on the chair elbows, slipping her arms around them both and pulling them together.
"So, who am I going home with tonight?"

Carmilla walks behind Aliza as they entered Aliza's apartment. Aliza shut the door and pointed to the centre of the room. On instinct, Carm walked there and knelt down. Aliza came around and ran her hand over her head.
"You are a good slave, Carmilla."
"Yes, Mistress."
"But you could be better."
"I know."
"You'll never be fully mine will you?"
"No. Not while Kikia and Maeve need me.... but I am yours.  And...."
Aliza put her fingers over Carm's lips and smiled.
"Ssssh. And now.... I am going to enjoy you. Totally...."

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