January 12, 2022

Mirror Image


Previously: Being Switzerland

Lost Angeles was full of clubs of every type--even ones Rochelle could've easily gotten into as a minor--and even in the darkest, grittiest ones, there was an air of edgy L.A. glamour. She always wanted to be bold and sexy enough to get into those clubs, but she never felt comfortable enough to do so.

That said, there was something cozy, unpretentious, and unthreatening about Sunnydale's Bronze club. The two-storied club was small, dark, dingy, and unremarkable, yet to Rochelle it seemed like the most fun and magical place in all the world. She wanted to spend as many evenings there as possible. Even though she knew some of the patrons were likely demons (and even though she knew someone was likely to run afoul of a vampire tonight), she felt like she fit right in.

Being Switzerland



The rest of the school day passed in a blur; Rochelle had never been interested in her studies and she was less interested now than ever. But her attention sharpened once she got to the Dragon's Cove and started unpacking some new shipments.

"Hey, Boss?" she asked casually. "What do you know about the history of this town?"

The shopkeeper sighed loudly, hanging his head briefly before turning away from his ledger and saying, "I was afraid you'd ask that."

January 11, 2022

Welcome to the Hellmouth


Previously: New Girl

"Rochelle...Danaia Zimms?"

Her birth name was actually Rochelle Anna Marie Zimmerman, which she never could stand. "Danaia" sounded so much sexier and "Zimms" was short and sweet.

"That's me," she beamed. The principal was a chubby brown-haired man in glasses, wearing what was likely a toupee. His suit screamed "cheap" and had a tiny mustard stain on the shirt of his pocket. He reeked of cigarette smoke (and possibly scotch).

The file he was reading from was a blank sheet of paper in a manila folder. But since glamour was one of the first spells Rochelle mastered, he thought he was reading whatever he needed to read to know that Rochelle Danaia Zimms was just a nice, normal girl he needn't focus on.

January 9, 2022

A Moment in Fandom: #MisSpelled

Writing Rochelle got me remembering MisSpelled, an all too brief web series I used to be obsessed with.

I remember stumbling across it (don't remember how), and wondering, "Why isn't this trending? Why aren't the donations flooding in?"

It's a shame MisSpelled never took off. The cast and crew deserved better.

New Girl

 
Previously: Doing It Over

Her roommates spent the rest of the day cleaning everything they touched. What couldn't be salvaged was tossed while everything else was scrubbed and disinfected. Then they all took turns in the showers. Unlike Rochelle, the vampires didn't care about bathing in cold water.

They ordered her a pizza for dinner, lit the fireplace, and gathered round to tell her a little about their human lives. Kyle had been a freshman on the Sunnydale High swim team. One night, while coming home late from a meet, he was attacked by a vampire.

Josh had been a senior. He'd also been in a Nirvana cover band that often played at the Bronze. Josh was also a bit of a druggie when he was alive. As such, he had no recollection of being attacked and sired.

Samantha was in the same year as Josh and would've been valedictorian. They were lifelong friends who occasionally got high together. Like Josh, she couldn't remember being attacked either, so figured it was during one of their drug-induced hazes.

"Like we said before," Samantha explained, "Sunnydale's on the mouth of hell. At least, that's what the rumors say. The thing about this town is that everything is a little 'fuzzy'. If you try to dig into the history, the timelines are all there, but you get this feeling you're not reading the whole story."

Doing It Over

 

There was being rendered invisible...and then there was being deliberately invisible.

After all, Rochelle wasn't going to sign up for the hell that was high school without doing some recon first. Unlike St. Benedict's, Sunnydale High was a public school, filled with all walks of life. Sure, the building wasn't as old and the students not as rich, but it was a refreshing change for Rochelle, as she quickly spotted multiple brown-skinned kids other than herself, and even teachers.

Pro, she raised an eyebrow, milling through the throne of students in the hall. She took her time, checking out their outfits and hairstyles, eavesdropping on their conversations. Sunnydale kids were small town, and it definitely showed. In the space of five minutes she learned the town only had one Starbucks, and the Bronze was the only place worth going to after dark.

Another pro. Rochelle smirked. She liked the idea of being the "worldly" girl from L.A. who wasn't so easily impressed. It was likely to put other people on the defensive for a change.

Welcome to Sunnydale

 

Rochelle stepped the mirror in her Los Angeles bedroom on end and came out on an open road on another. It was nighttime wherever she was; the air was cool and the stars bright above her, so knew she wasn't in L.A. anymore.

She could hear the ocean in the distance, and while she got the feeling she was still in California, something felt different. It was like the very vibrations of the world had changed.

Welcome to Sunnydale, a street sign boasted. She didn't recall the name from any of her geography classes, but when she saw the total population being listed as less than forty thousand, she figured it wasn't the sort of town you'd find on a map.

Rochelle headed into the town, enjoying the slow walk. It was so much quieter than the big city and appeared charming, almost wholesome even, except she noticed after a while that it had an inordinate number of cemeteries.

Through the Looking Glass


Previously: Before

Sunday morning, after a night of no sleep, Rochelle waited until her parents left before getting up. Like always, she showered, fixed her hair, did her makeup, and put on a cute outfit. It was one of the better habits she'd retained from her coven days, only now, she was all dressed up with nowhere to go.

So she went out, and she wandered.

She thought about what she could do with her life next; she needed a social life to start and needed something to do besides school. Joining a church was out of the question. She occasionally had swim meets, but she hated her team and was tired of swimming anyhow. She figured she could join a book club, but then remembered she was only interested one kind of book.

Wait a minute...books.

As if by fate, her feet stopped moving and she looked up. Perhaps by fate, she'd wandered back to the same occult shop she used to go with her former coven.

She knew the shopkeeper, Lirio Santana, probably didn't want to see her, but Rochelle went in anyway. Besides, she had money. The only reason she and Bonnie had learn to shoplift was to make Nancy feel better about always being broke.

Before

 
Previously: Dear Diary

Nancy did not look good.

Strapped into her wheelchair, she sat in the common room, staring emptily at her fellow patients. She was paler than usual, and smelled like she hadn't been bathed in a while. She was even thinner than usual, barefoot, the last of the black nail polish chipping from her fingers and toes.

But she was finally lucid, and Rochelle's heart swelled to see her.

Rochelle had brought a dozen cookies from Nancy's favorite upscale bakery, a place she couldn't normally afford before. The Downs family was pretty much back to being poor; Nancy's mom had blown through her dead boyfriend's life insurance policy and left her daughter to rot in an understaffed, underfunded, poorly lit facility where every orderly looked like a felon.

Prologue: Dear Diary


Previously: Dramatis Personae

Dear Diary,

Yes...it's me.

Let's breeze right past the part where we address my inevitably pathetic return to journaling, cuz what else am I gonna do on a Friday night?

You know...when my dad got the job that moved us to L.A., he made all these promises. He told me how our lives were about to change, and how he was going to give me everything he never got.

So he bought the nice big house in the all-white neighborhood, and sent me to an all-white Catholic school. And while he and I both stuck out like sore thumbs, my mom blended right in.

Any time we went somewhere--clothing shop, grocery store, coffee house--people assumed I was her personal assistant or nanny. She'd laugh it off and say I was daughter. People would then ask if I was adopted.

"They don't mean it like that."

I can't count how many times I had to hear that from her. Clerk follows me around a store? "They don't mean it like that." Cabs don't wanna stop for me? "They don't mean it like that." Neighbors constantly forgetting I live here? "They don't mean it like that." Soulless blond mean girls making my life hell at school? "They don't mean it like that."

Thank GOD I met Nancy Downs.

Rochelle

 
I have been trying for years--YEARS--to get a Rochelle Zimmerman (The Craft, 1996) fic up and running on this blog. Rachel True has been my idol since I was a teenaged Goth kid back in the 1990s, and all these years later, I still absolutely fucking adore her.

Problem was, in addition to my vicious bouts of writer's block, I just couldn't decide on a story for my girl...until I saw Girl from Nowhere on Netflix (which, if you're not watching, I don't know what you're doing with your life) and got back into my own Daos universe. It finally occurred to me: what if, after the events of The Craft, Rochelle found herself in Sunnydale?

Seeing as I'm also still a huge Buffyverse fan, and both the movie and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer show premiered within a year of each other (and since I'm deeply nostalgic for my old Nineties Goth days), I figured...why not?