Memento Mori — I

Cohost writing prompt: @Making-Up-A-Villain — Villain who just wishes everyone would get into the true Halloween spirit

Sitting on a warehouse roof and watching the faint but growing flickers from the burning mall, Infernaga swigs dismally from her bottle of cinnamon whiskey.

"It just makes me angry, you know," she rambles to the figure sitting next to her. "Just — everything. Culture boiled down to the cheapest, nastiest, most toxic plastic shit you can sell like clockwork for three months a year and then pack into landfill to poison the planet for the eon post-Anthropocene. Celebrations are meant to mean something, aren't they? Connect us to, to, larger things. Profundity. Not seasonal fucking Twinkies."

"What kind of profundity do you expect," says Memento Mori, from inside the fathomless dark of her hood.

"I dunno, Mo." Infernaga picks at the bottle's label. "All Hallow's Eve, right? More to it than candy and boo, I'm dressed as dollar store Iron Man! and haha, I'm dressed as dollar store slutty."

Inside the heavy, floor-length drape of her indistinct black garments, Memento Mori draws one leg up, turns herself beside Infernaga, and re-extends the long limb behind her, brushing against her back. Infernaga looks at her wide-eyed, skin prickling. A pale hand extends, as much as anyone's ever seen emerge from the black drapery, tipped with black needle claws.

Memento Mori puts a careful knuckle under her chin, turns and lifts her face a little as if to contemplate it, and sets the sharp tip of her thumb to the line of Infernaga's jaw; skin indented, not yet punctured.

"In a season of cold and rot," Memento Mori says, "what more profundity, what more connection to your humanity, would you like than the desperate, fleeting, life-affirming joys of taste and satiation, trickery and colour, and panting...animal...rutting?"

Infernaga makes a whimpery little keysmash noise.