2010-06-27: Rat Bread



Guest Starring:

Jean Pierre Valois (NPCd by Sydney)

Date: June 27, 2010


A little hospitality doesn't go anywhere.

"Rat Bread"

An Old Farm in Alsace

Post monkey, Lizzie and Gabriel have found themselves back at the old abandoned farm, looking for clues. The tiny blonde creeps around the outside of the decrepit building looking for some sign or indication that there is indeed someone living here. The window panes are brown with dirt that's accumulated over the years, forcing her to rub a small peephole into the grime.

Peering inside, the tiny woman spies an antiquated kitchen with a wood burning oven, a heavy table that might have been used for centuries, and two benches flanking either side of it. To the far wall, there's a sideboard with a half eaten loaf of bread and dusty bottle of wine. From her vantage point she is able to see something that makes her cringe. There's a giant fat rat chewing on the loaf.

"I think someone lives here, Gabriel," she utters quietly, trying not to disturb whoever might be there. Maybe it is just the rat. "There's a loaf of bread in there… and I don't think it's been there for fifty years."

The ex-killer is following along behind Lizzie at a close pace as they creep around the building, keeping an eye out for anyone who may be coming their way. They don't know what's up with this old place, and for all he knows they could be trespassing… even if he highly doubts anything will come of them being on someone else's land. As old and decrepit as this place looks, he would be pretty surprised if someone got upset at them.

Either way, he's ready to take flight at a moment's notice. After all, he is an ex serial killer. Lizzie may not know this, but if his face is put through national databases… he has no idea what will come up. Or if anything will come up. The FBI isn't tracking him down like they used to, or at least as far as he knows.

Still. No chances.

"I don't know," Gabriel says, leaning down and putting his head up against Lizzie's so he can look into the small hole as well. "I don't… I guess. The bread doesn't look that old." He takes another look around… well, as best as he can, anyway, with his one eye that can see through the small, grimy window. "I don't see any monkeys, though, so I'm pretty sure it's safe for you."

And then suddenly an eye looks through the peephole back at the pair. It stares at them. But… it doesn't react? Instead, it backs up.

"Hum de dum de dum de dum~" the old man virtually sings as he shuffles around the house. He eyes the rat eating his bread before tossing a shoe at it. "Yoooou think you can eat my bread!!! HA!!" Yup. He's loud. And then, as if unsure he turns back to the door, his arms out in a fight position as if expecting a serial killer to be behind the door before he reaches for a broom and opens it himself. The broom is thusly wielded like a weapon. "I will take you doooooown!" he peers at the pair and tilts his head at Lizzie and then Gabriel. "Whaddyouwant?!"

At first sight of the old man, Lizzie ducks behind Gabriel for protection. He's a good foot taller than she is and probably twice as wide, perfect for use as a human shield. Brooms are rather frightening when wielded by crazy old men and this one seems a little crazier than most.

Peeking out from behind the ex-serial killer, the dainty blonde's eyebrows furrow before she digs into the pocket of her light jacket and produces the letter, and the key. "We're looking for Jean Pierre Valois?" Her voice is more than a little timid, in fact, she's quivering like a leaf. "I-I'm Lizette Valois…"

Lizzie isn't the only one that's ducking at the first sight of the old man. When the eye pops up he can't help but gasp, and he takes a few steps back, nearly bowling over Lizzie. He manages to prevent her from falling down by slipping one arm around her back, and once he's sure that she's safe on her own two feet, he turns to the old man who is now brandishing a broom at them.

With a simple clench of the fist behind the back, he's hoping the man's broom will snap in two in his hands. If so, perhaps it will freak him out a little bit and get him to calm down. Otherwise, he might have to remove the broom forcibly. They may be trespassing, he may be able to heal, and they may be on a quest, but he isn't about to let himself or Lizzie get smacked upside the head with a broom.

"What? What what? Speak up! Can't hear so good— You're lookin' for Saint Claire? At the abbey? Down the road!" the old man wields his broom again, still pointing it towards Gabriel. His eyes narrow some as he glances between them. "Up the road!" He points in the opposite direction he'd been pointing earlier.

And sure enough the broom snaps in two. Except, it doesn't have the expected effect. Instead he holds both ends of it towards them now. Excellent. "Abbey is down the road," he points in the opposite direction as last time. Either he's confused, or he's lost…

Lizzie's eyebrows furrow a little in confusion and she follows the pointing up the road, down the road, then looks from side to side as he points to them both at once. All she knows is that they're not in Kansas, he is not the Scarecrow, and they're not trying to follow a yellow brick road. Hopefully. Getting a little braver, she takes one step out from behind Gabriel while sticking quite close to him.

"No!" She practically yells out, "Valois! Jean Pierre Valois!!" To emphasize, she points at the addressee of the letter.

All Gabriel knows is that this guy seems to have lost a few marbles along the way, if you know what he means. The broomstick didn't even phase him— maybe broomsticks break a lot around the guy? As he points opposite directions, Gabriel's gaze follows the broomstick, and ultimately broomsticks, as he points both directions up and down the road. "What?" he says outloud, although it's more to the situation than either Lizzie or the old man.

"VALOIS!" Gabriel says, arms raising up to either side of him as he gets animated while trying to get him to recognize the name. He's slowly giving up hope that this person is going to be able to help them, but he supposes it won't hurt to keep trying for a bit longer.

"Oh!" the man is now smiling as he puts down the two pieces of the broom. "Why didn't you say so! I'm Jean Pierre! Come in!" He looks at the letter rather curiously, sticking his nose right against the paper in an attempt to read it. After failing he backs off some. "Were you needing me to give you directions to the Abbey? It's up the road!" he points before he beckons them come inside regardless.

He motions to the table, "Sit, sit. Want some bread? It's good bread! I made it myself… or… someone made it themselves and it's very good bread!" At this he cuts several slices of the on-the-counter-rat-bread and puts them on plates which he promptly places in front of his guests. "Pleeeease. Eaaaaat!" He beams, he doesn't get many visitors and must bask in the few that he does get.

As the plate is placed in front of her, Lizzie freezes and reaches out to grab Gabriel's hand under the table. Whether he likes it or not, he's going to be her rock during this visit. Especially in light of the hefty slice of rat bread so elegantly set out for her enjoyment. "Uhm… I'm on a diet…" she manages to squeak out before dry heaving once. Gabriel's hand receives a firmer grip.

With her free hand, she places the letter and the key on the table and pushes it gently toward the old man. "Monsieur Valois, you are the Jean Pierre that Evangeline was writing to?" It's almost likely that he can't hear her, just because she hasn't quite managed to raise her voice past the initial yelling match outside.

Gabriel doesn't even bother looking down at the plate, because he is not having any sort of thing to do with bread that was being eaten by a rat. He can tell Lizzie is in the same predicament as he is by the gripping of his hand and the dry heave. While she says she's on a diet, Gabriel chooses to say nothing— after all, he highly doubts the man will force him to eat the bread.

He returns the squeeze from her hand, as he realizes that he's probably going to be the one to help her get through all of this. For now, though, he lets her do the talking to the old man. Should she decide not to, or give him those eyelashes she's so good at fluttering for help, he'll step in and talk to the old man if he has to.

"You only eat pine-nuts? That's a strange diet!" Jean Pierra chuckles now as he sits at the table with the pair. Using one of the pieces of broom he leans forward to poke Lizzie in the ribs with one of the pieces. "You need to eat more bread! Good bread! Niiiiice bread! Pine nuts make you too skinny!"

He then uses the other broom to poke Gabriel in the ribs. "So… why you here?"

Lizzie shrinks away from the broom handle, even going to far as to whimper a little as the old man jabs her in the side. It's a painful experience, especially to a young woman that's not used to abuse. It seems like she's been getting a bit more of that recently. "I'm on a diet.." she repeats, a little more firmly, leaning heavily against Gabriel for some semblance of protection. Again, he's a great body shield. Apparently it's a tactic that works because soon the old man is focusing on him instead of her.

Looking up toward Gabriel, her lips curl into a rather unpleasant frown. "Maybe he just doesn't care about the letter?" Without him, they've reached a dead end. Reluctantly, Lizzie reaches for the envelope and key, intending on scooping it away and back into her pocket.

When the broom handle comes around to Gabriel's end, the moment it's poking him a hand snaps out and catches it in a tight fist. It's more reflex than anything— that, and he doesn't like the feeling of a broomstick poking him in the ribs.

Once he lets go of it, he looks up to the man, putting an arm around Lizzie as she gets close. If she's looking to him for comfort, he can provide it. Especially if the old man is going to start poking them again. "Listen, Old Man," he says, and it isn't a sign of disrespect— he just doesn't know what to call him. "This letter was for you— from Evangeline," he continues, his voice carrying so the old man can hear him, "and this key was stored away with it. Do you know where the clock it goes to is?"

"Wait!" Jean Pierre lifts a hand in the air. "That looks like my Evangeline's writing!" His eyes widen. "Did Evangeline send you?! Why didn't you say so?!" His eyebrows furrow however at the key. Wrinkling his nose he blinks and reaches forward to roll the key over in his hand. "I… I sold the clock… a man… in Paris…"

A swift glance to Gabriel and Lizzie's leaning forward again, interested in what the old man might have to say. Her hand draws back from the letter and her eyes widen a little more, she's actually holding her breath in anticipation of what the old man might say next. The hand that's clasping Gabriel's get a little tighter in its grip, the blonde is definitely on the edge of her seat. "What man in Paris? Do you remember him? What was his name?"

With no more broomstick pokings, Gabriel relaxes a bit— until Lizzie is in the edge of her seat, gripping his hand even more firmly. So the man remembers her… even if Gabriel has to resist the urge to shake his head and roll his eyes. Why didn't they say? They DID say! Either way, the mand oesn't have the clock. Still letting Lizzie do most of the talking, he adds in a snippet of his own once she's done posing questions. "Do you remember how long ago it was?"

"He had a name! And it was a human's name too! None of this Galaxar business that people go by now!" Jean Pierre hmmmms rather loudly before biting into one of the slices of bread and taps his fingers on the table. "But… he was bald! And I remember he insisted on paying in gold. Lots and lots of gold. It was … odd."

"Hmmm. Must've been twenty years ago now. Or five. Five at least. Maybe twenty…" Obviously he doesn't remember how long ago it was.

He doesn't remember anything useful as far as Lizzie can tell, a bald man wanting to pay in gold? That could be just about anyone. The miniature woman gives a pointed glance toward her companion that's accompanied by a rather sad half smile. "I don't even know where to start with that," Lizzie says with a sigh.

Her grip on Gabriel's hand loosens somewhat, which might be good for his blood flow. "Uhm… do you want to go then?" She gives a quick smile over to the old man and holds out her hand, then she hesitates and raises that same hand for a wave. He serves rat bread, who knows where his hands have been.

The ex-killer's eyes widen just slightly at the old man's description of the buyer, but he doesn't say anything. "Yeah," Gabriel says, standing from the table. As Lizzie gives her little wave to the man, he waits patiently near the door, but keeping an eye on her all the same. Who knows what this old man will do next. "Thanks for your help," he says, offering the man a polite nod.

"Sorry I can't remember his name, Evangeline! I promise it'll be okay!" What is Jean Pierre talking about? Regardless, he issues the pair a large wave and a nod of his own. "If you need to go to the Abbey it's down the road! St. Claire is there. Well there's a picture of her and they say she's still there~" he calls while clearing the table of the rat-bread and plates.

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