My, it's been a while. Sorry readers, Real Life happened to me. I moved, then I had all my notebooks in storage for a while so as not to crowd out my roommate, and then came a creative dry spell where I didn't want to draw or write or anything. In the meantime, I'd fallen deep into a new fandom, so I wasn't so interested in revisiting Cossette. Besides, the other three installments to this miniseries were just loosely connected vignettes – they didn't tell a linear story, so it wasn't like I'd left the people who enjoyed those stories waiting on an ending.
But my muse for these stories -I like to call her 'Cossette'- has been in the back of my mind all this time, whispering to me. 'What about the final installment? What about Gothic Lolita?'
So here it is. It's just past midnight on December 1, and my internet is shut off. It just felt like the right time to finally get the story down. I hope you'll enjoy it.
"Why, monsieur," one of the whores hanging off his arm tittered, "you should have told us you already had company for the evening."
"A bit young, isn't she?" The other asked, pressing her breasts to his arm.
The petite blonde draped on the chaise in his hotel room gave a light laugh in response, her candy sweet face brightening in a smile. "What I lack in experience, I make up for with enthusiasm." She turned her gaze on him, and her bright smile turned sultry. "Just ask my husband."
The two whores cackled with laughter. "He's got himself a little wife!" cried one.
"Sorry sir, we don't do business with married couples, I'm afraid!" declared the other.
With that, the two drunken women stumbled out his door, clutching each other's arms and laughing still. He turned the iciest gaze he could muster on the girl.
"What are you doing here, Cossette? You're dead."
"Am I? I hadn't noticed." She stretched out on the chaise, catlike. "What if I told you I was here to consummate our marriage?" She stood up then, walked towards him. The silk of her chemise clung to her scant curves, shifted with every movement she made, and he couldn't help feeling a little aroused by it even now. Even though she wasn't real and he knew it.
"We were never married. Leave me alone and go see your lover." He snarled.
She smiled, unfazed. "Ah, but we would have been if you hadn't murdered me. And besides, I've already been to see Henri." Her smile softened into something warmer and more affectionate than she'd given him, and she seemed to stare through him. "Oh, Henri couldn't have been more elated if Christ himself had come to visit." She gave him a reproachful look. "But you're not happy to see me in the least, are you? Some fiance."
He'd been angry with her already. Her disdainful comment now made him see red. He hit her so hard her head flew to the side, then threw her on the ground while she was still disoriented. He took her then, and she offered no resistance. She never had. And when he was done, she simply stared up at him, cold and composed, with open contempt in her eyes.
"Do you feel better now, Marcelo?" She asked him softly, dispassionately. "Do you feel powerful? Do you feel in control?"
All his anger drained away, leaving only shock and something he refused to call fear. "Why aren't you hurting? You're supposed to be hurt..."
"I'm dead." She shrugged, standing up and smoothing out her chemise. "You said so yourself. And the dead can't be hurt."
"You're not Cossette. You can't be. She wasn't so-"
"Oh, I'm Cossette." She assured him. "I'm just different now because you have no power over me. I don't have to play the proper little miss and keep my silence while you abuse me." She paused, staring at him with eyes as cold and glittering as diamonds. Then she smiled, slowly and thinly. "No living man has power over me, any more. I can do whatever I like. I could even use you for my own pleasure, if I wished."
She gestured, and suddenly he was on the floor and unable to move. She straddled him. She was naked under the chemise and he knew it, and he found himself getting aroused all over again. She must have felt it, because she laughed at him then, low and silky and mocking. Then she leaned down to whisper in his ear. "But I won't do that, Marcelo. Do you want to know why?"
"Why?" He asked in spite of himself.
"Because I'm not like you. I'm not so insecure that I need to force myself on others to feel better about myself. And maybe I was going a little mad too, living my whole life trying to be what other people wanted me to be. But I wasn't weak enough to let my madness consume me." She sat up, letting him see the hate and contempt in her eyes.
Without warning, she plunged her hand into his chest, holding his heart in a vice grip. "You are a pathetic excuse for a human being, Marcelo Orlando, and I will never forgive you for what you did to me. Never. I will torment you until you die, and I won't let your soul rest even then. Whenever you're reborn, even if you never remember your crimes, I will keep finding you, and I will keep making you pay. Forever – til death do us part." She smiled at him mockingly, then vanished, and he ran out of the room.
He heard her laughter in the wind, mocking him as he ran. "What are you running away from, Marcelo dear? I'm just a dead little girl; what could I possibly do to hurt you?"
It had taken hours and lots and lots of wine before he finally dared to return to his hotel room, having convinced himself that his encounter with Cossette had never happened, had only been a hallucination. But as soon as he stepped in, he saw the torn and bloody chemise draped over the back of the chase. Clearly, that was the chemise she'd been wearing the night he killed her.
Marcelo glowered, threw it in the fire, and went to bed. When he woke the next afternoon, the same bloody chemise was draped over the chair near his bed.
Marcelo Orlando was found dead in his room later that week by a maid sent to investigate the stench coming from his room. He had hanged himself. The police found a suicide note on the desk, in which he confessed to the killing of an unnamed 'her' and made multiple mentions of a bloodstained chemise. And a thorough search of his room did in fact turn up a chemise, sized for young girl. But it was clean and appeared brand new. Why he had such a thing and whether or not it was related to 'her,' there was no way of knowing.
Among the onlookers as his body was taken away to the mortuary was a lovely blonde girl in a blue dress. When they put his body in the box and the box in the carriage, she smiled sweetly and waved him goodbye. I'll see you again, Marcelo. Don't keep me waiting too long, alright?
Final Installment of Opheliac: Fin
-The change in POV. All the other vignettes of this verse were from Cossette-chan's point of view, and I wanted to do this one the same way initially. But I decided it would have been kind of a rehash of 'I Want My Innocence Back,' with Cossette being angry and hated Marcelo. So I switched it to his point of view. And looking at how this story developed, I'm not sure I could write it from Cossette's viewpoint and keep all the events of the story intact. I also made the switch from first person to limited third, because I wasn't comfortable doing first-person for Marcelo.
-The title. 'Gothic Lolita' is another song by Emilie Autumn, and yet another one I recommend listening to. My first thought was of the Japanese subculture, but then on reading the lyrics, the reference to Vladimir Nabokov's 'Lolita' was obvious ("If I am Lolita, then you are a criminal..."). And the 'gothic' part? Well, to paraphrase Ms. Autumn, "I can't think of anything more gothic than a little girl who grows up to be completely dead inside." She's not referring to literal death of course, either in the comment or in the lyrics, but I couldn't help but think of Cossette anyway.
-Emilie Autumn. Please give her songs a listen, even if you only listen to the four that inspired these stories! She's an extremely talented vocalist and violinist with a very unique sound, and I can't recommend her music enough.