Conversation from the Lounge

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a/n: This is my laziest writing yet, I think. It’s a revised telling of a scene I originally wrote for a Vampire Diaries fanfiction story, and also makes use of elements from an unpublished story (which I might put up on this site later on.) Conversation from the Lounge is about a play on words, and is much more focused on language itself, but the original scene, which comes from my unfinished Our Playlistis incredibly different. Enjoy! 🙂

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Damon and Stefan Salvatore, Bonnie Bennett, Katherine Pierce and any other characters that may be mentioned/suggested here from the Vampire Diaries series.


Conversation from the Lounge

The written word has only ever been an accompaniment to the spoken word, and despite its more lingering permanence, it will never replace the power of the oral. Words were meant to dance lightly on wisps of smoke in the lounge, carted around between rounds of drinks and fervent kisses. Restrained against the white backdrop of tangible paper, words have gotten themselves stuck up to their knees in quicksand, and the movement across the pages that the reader’s eyes follow meticulously is merely the quaking struggle of thousands of words, rapidly sinking into that callously frozen state while their arms still reach for the vines.

But listen to the words erupting from the drunken man’s running mouth, scrambling off the irrefutable salesman’s chops, slumbering on the lips of the elegant lady in repose, eyes nevermore seeing. Whether stumbling away from a slur, a speed-train or a silence, the spoken word floats on a breeze that does not blow, evermore a presence lingering in the air, occupying the seat beside you, switching on a lamp in the corner of the room, illuminating. They walk, they prance, they skate, they leap, they grind, they flop, they pirouette, they skinny-dip, they somersault, they whirl and twirl, they gasp, they breathe. They are a blur of freedom.

So, speak.


“What can I get you?”

“Bourbon. Light.”

“Say, have you seen a girl with long brown hair, about this height, with an annoying bodacious body and incorruptible arrogance?”

“Damon. How is he ever going to find someone with that description?”

“Actually, she was here. You just missed her by a couple of hours.”

“Darn. Well, Judgy, I guess we’re moving off.”

“Do you still want your Bourbon?”

“Sure. And it’s going to be on the house.”

“On the house.”

“You didn’t have to compel him.”

“Do you want to find Katherine or not? Because vampires are hard to track and I’m not about to sit on some bench in some playground, searching the streets with binoculars and eating stakeout pizza. We just got lucky this time.”

“You don’t even need binoculars. Where did Stefan disappear off to?”

                   “Right here.”

“Here. A full bottle. On the house.”

“How generous.”

“Let me guess. It’s going to be a ‘No, I’m not going to drink!’, said in loud indignation and outrage. Figures.”

“No, I’ll have one.”

“Drink up, lovely.”


Not a bad conversation to grab from the lounge. Everyone else was just talking about office gossip, who’s sleeping with who, which man hates his wife, which woman wants to start her own business, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. The unstimulating run of the mill stuff. But we’ve got vampires, a missing person, and a bit of peer pressure going on, yada yada yada. Makes for a good template anyway.

Now watch as I spice it up with a bit of setting, a couple of characters with faces and names, and a little supernatural breeze.


The bar was seedy, dim lights throwing shadows all over the gyrating bodies. He weaved gracefully through the crowd, attracting quite an impressive number of stares (and an equal amount of glares). He called for the bartender, leaning against the end of the counter. The girl next to him fluttered her eyebrows obnoxiously.

“What can I get you?”

“Bourbon. Light.”

The bartender nodded, moving off to get it, but he was called back. Expectant, he turned around and instantly felt the world slipping to the side, a strange, quiet calmness settling around him, like he was floating underwater, sinking in fact.

“Have you seen a girl with long brown hair, about this height, with an annoying bodacious body and incorruptible arrogance?”

“Damon,” came another voice, this one exasperated, and the bartender turned unseeingly, blank gaze settling on a short girl. “How is he ever going to find someone with that description?”

“Actually, she was here. You just missed her by a couple of hours.”

“Darn,” the guy – Damon, he thought – muttered, faux-pouting. “Well, Judgy, I guess we’re moving off.”

“Do you still want your Bourbon?”

Damon turned back, smiling charmingly. “Sure. And it’s going to be on the house.”

“On the house,” the bartender agreed, wandering off in a daze. Damon smirked. There was a small tap on his arm.

“You didn’t have to compel him.”

“Do you want to find Katherine or not?” he shot back, “Because vampires are hard to track and I’m not about to sit on some bench in some playground, searching the streets with binoculars and eating stakeout pizza. We just got lucky this time.”

“You don’t even need binoculars,” Bonnie huffed, crossing her arms and turning her gaze to the crowd. “Where did Stefan disappear off to?”

“Right here,” Stefan replied from behind her, causing her to jump slightly. Said vampire smiled apologetically down at her.

“Here.” The bartender had returned. “A full bottle. On the house.”

“How generous,” Damon said, insufferable smirk back in place as he poured the alcohol into glasses. He offered one to Stefan, who took it reluctantly. Damon struck Bonnie with a pointed gaze.

“Let me guess. It’s going to be a ‘No, I’m not going to drink!’, said in loud indignation and outrage. Figures.” He tossed a shot back, already moving to pour himself another glass.

“No, I’ll have one,” Bonnie argued. The way he’d said that had been too smug and dismissive to pass her by. She looked for a look of approval or surprise on Damon’s face, but all she found in the fleeting second the glimmering spotlight spun over his figure was a wholly satisfied smirk. He shoved the drink into her hands and she realized a second too late that that had been his plan from the start.

“Drink up, lovely.” He tossed another shot back.


But the words do not just belong to one place, to one type of people. I imagine this conversation could occur anywhere vampires roam, anywhere there is a Damon looking for a Katherine, a Bonnie to finally drink some Bourbon, a Stefan to be nothing more than less-than-average filler that’s not even guaranteed to be funny. Imagine just deleting the horse fodder around the spoken words and copying and pasting those fences into a new pasture eighteen hundred miles away.

The fences will hold.


They always returned to this town, the small town of Forget. Maybe it was the name that kept reeling them back in, the promise that one day, being in this town, they could truly be forgotten. Better yet, that they would be able to forget. Their past was an octopus on their mind, tumorous and clinging.

It was the kind of town that slept through raging tsunamis and hurling typhoons, the kind of town that emerged from all kinds of turbulence unscathed and unchangingly boring, ready to take on the next day with the same routine contentment.

Nothing happened here. It had a year-round population of 927 and in the summer, it was a passover town, where people might stop on a coffee or washroom break on a long leg towards Chesapeake Bay. Today, though, they were in town looking for somebody.

Damon stormed through the doors, striding across the restaurant towards the bar. He left the door swinging wildly. It would have caught Bonnie in the face if Stefan hadn’t swooped in. Pulling the bar stool back, making sure that it scraped loudly against the wooden floor, Damon called the bartender over. The families and lunch-hour old farts slid their eyes over to him, wrinkling their noses.

The bartender ambled over, drying a beer glass with a cloth rag. “What can I get you?”

The guy was a weird one, the bartender thought. Crouched over the bar, eyes pressed tightly together and hand kneading forehead, the guy could have been the modern… what was he called… yeah, yeah, the modern thinking man—too handsome to be truly buried under life’s heaviness, he looked nevertheless like he was weighed down by two-ton trucks perched on each shoulder. And each two-ton truck had a couple of nests full of birds on top of it, and each bird had a green moustache and each green moustache contained several caterpillars. He watched the birds peck at each other, trying to eat each other’s green moustaches, and burst out guffawing, wiping his eye to rub away the tears. His hand slipped into his pocket to finger the packet of weed he had there. He started chuckling lowly under his breath. High on the job. Totally professional. Suddenly, he was grabbed around the collar and pulled forward, across the counter.

“Bourbon. Light,” Damon snarled, before pushing the bartender off, sending him stumbling back three or four feet. Bonnie and Stefan arrived just then, crowding him on either side. The bartender nodded shakily, setting down the glass and rag before turning to get the bottle. He was called back, and as he swiveled ‘round, the colours of the world faded to black and white. The rest of the restaurant, the sounds of the television blasting, the sunlight streaming through dusty windows—it all shrank into darkness, as if pulled by a puppeteer’s strings. He looked into the eyes of a vampire.

“Have you seen a girl with long brown hair, about this height, with an annoying bodacious body and incorruptible arrogance?”

“Damon,” Bonnie said, rolling her eyes, “How is he ever going to find someone with that description?” Damon was just about to shoot back a smart retort when the bartender spoke.

“Actually, she was here. You just missed her by a couple of hours.” How strange, the bartender thought, I spoke without meaning to. The words seemed to creep through the air like dancing slugs, twirling jovially, each holding a cocktail umbrella.

“Darn. Well, Judgy, I guess we’re moving off.” The bartender found the world rushing back in; all the furniture had been pushed back to their original spot by hurrying stage crew, and the light no longer took on the faded tint of 1940s film noir. He shook his head, feeling dizzy, but upon seeing the guy—Damon, he’d heard the girl calling him—leaving, he quickly asked, “Do you still want your Bourbon?”

Damon whirled around. Just like that, the bartender found himself slipping into his earlier trance. “Sure,” he heard the words as if they were swimming in the dark blue depths of the ocean, flitting through underwater cave labyrinths, “And it’s going to be on the house.”

“On the house,” he repeated, nodding though his neck did not want to, shuffling off even though his feet did not want to. Damon smirked, chuckling derisively at the fool’s back. Bonnie shoved him.

“You didn’t have to compel him!”

He glared down at her but the little nymph stood her ground. “Do you want to find Katherine or not?” Bonnie opened her mouth to angrily reply but Damon steamrolled over her. “Because vampires are hard to track and I’m not about to sit on some bench in some playground, searching the streets with binoculars and eating stakeout pizza. We just got lucky this time.” His eyes flashed, daring her to contradict him. She only huffed, sitting down and crossing her arms.

“You don’t even need binoculars,” she muttered under her breath, knowing he would still hear her. Ignoring Damon’s look of triumph, she asked, “Where did Stefan disappear off to?”

“Right here.” He peeked over from Damon’s other side, waving idly.

“Here.” The bartender returned with a bottle and three shot glasses. With practiced ease, he filled the glasses without spilling a single drop. “A full bottle. On the house.”

“How generous.” Damon grinned, pushing a shot glass to Stefan and pushing down one himself. He moved to slide the last glass over to Bonnie but paused, scrutinizing her. “Let me guess. It’s going to be a ‘No, I’m not going to drink!’, said in loud indignation and outrage. Figures.” He tossed back the last glass.

Her face heated up; the whole room could feel it. Spluttering indignantly, she snatched the glass out of his hand and set it beside the bottle of Bourbon. “No, I’ll have one.” Clumsily pouring it, she ended up getting most of it around the shot glass rather than in it—Damon spluttered indignantly now; blushing a deep burgundy, she awkwardly raised the glass to her lips and gulped it, eyes immediately squinching shut as the Bourbon blazed a trail of fire down her throat. Damon burst out laughing, taking back the bottle and pouring out shots for all of them. Stefan downed his, staring blankly ahead.

“Drink up, lovely,” Damon crowed.


Still not satisfied? Fine. Close your eyes. We won’t look. We’ll only dig out the long-standing earwax and listen. Pay attention to the sounds; I’ll lay them out for ya. This ain’t an exercise of the written word.


“What can I get you?” The wringing of a cloth inside a glass the w h i r r i n g of the fan above people chattering softly utensils clanging against plates the television announcing soccer scores and even further away an ambulance whining :(.

“Bourbon. Light.” Fingers drum knockknock on the counter, s… l… o… w…, rhythmic. Pause. A c     a     l     l     across a sudden vacuum.

The sounds f
                    a
                    l
                    l away like flies dying mid-air, and then comes the s t r u m m i n g of someone’s vocal cords.

“Have you seen a girl with long brown hair, about this height, with an annoying bodacious body and incorruptible arrogance?”

High heels clacking across the wooden floor the soft s w i s h ing of a skirt around slender legs. A sigh.

“Damon.” The sharp exhale through nostrils. “How is he ever going to find someone with that description?” Tongue clicking off the roof of his mouth.

Firestorm averted water gushes d
                                                     o
                                            w
n
                                   river. “Actually, she was here. You just missed her by a couple of hours.”

“Darn. Well, Judgy, I guess we’re moving off.” The scrape of chair hard against wooden boards makes the skin crawl. An e c h o in the wind turning heads.

“Do you still want your Bourbon?”

The rustle of lips turning upward :). “Sure. And it’s going to be on the house.” The snapshot of a camera as he winks; a bleeding laugh and then the shuffling of beat-up shoes the crrrrrrreaking of a cabinet the clinking of glass against glass.

“On the house.” The voice rumbles, a truck hobbling over s c a t t e r e d hot stones.

Tsk tsk grumble. “You didn’t have to compel him.”

“Do you want to find Katherine or not? Because vampires are hard to track and I’m not about to sit on some bench in some playground, search the streets with binoculars and eating stakeout pizza. We just got lucky this time.”

Hmph grumble grumble. “You don’t even need binoculars. Where did Stefan disappear off to?”

“Right here.” A chuckle.

Four knocks on the counter. “Here. A full bottle. On the house.” The quiet gurgling of liquid into tiny glass that chokes—

“How generous.” The clinking of glass against teeth, the (s) t
                                                                                                                u
                                                                                                                    m
b
                                                                                                                 l
                                                                                                                   e of liquid down the hatch, the thump! of glass back on counter.

“Let me guess. It’s going to be a ‘No, I’m not going to drink!’, said in loud indignation and outrage. Figures.” Slurp!

The sound of an imaginary slap! “No, I’ll have one.”

“Drink up.” Gurgle gurgle choke.

End.

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