The Domestic Life of Taelli Darktoggle

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Taelli
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The Domestic Life of Taelli Darktoggle

Postby Taelli » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:38 pm

Part 1

Taelli Darktoggle is not antisocial. Not exactly.

‘Antisocial’ is a term loaded with many connotations and implications and motivations that she is currently unwilling to unpack, partly because Common is not her first language and partly because she is trying very hard to not accidently create a new strain of Plague. With the materials she is currently handling, it is not an impossibility. A small pop comes from inside the delicate glass flask she is holding over a green flame. A small sigh escapes her lips. Antisocial is a term for people who theoretically could interact with others and pretend to be normal, not for people who love, actually love, watching things in flasks go pop in failure. That pop just wasted many hours worth of calculations and materials purchasing and sample gathering. She should be annoyed, and go get a drink. She is elated, but will still take that drink.

You probably shouldn’t be drinking and doing science at the same time, a tiny voice attempts to reason over the buzz of other thoughts. It gets ignored, as per standard procedures.

The flask is thrown into a bin below her worktable with all the care of a thunderstorm in a flower meadow. It makes a satisfying smashing noise. She makes her way toward the stairs leading up out of her lab, away from the addictive clink and pop and smash of her work, shedding her protective coat and goggles along the way. When she reaches for the door latch, she realizes something is making a satisfying smashing noise in her apartments.

That’s my son, she thinks fondly. That’s a misdemeanor, says the voice.

It turned out to be neither, in a strict interpretation of events. The partly-enchanted rug under the dining table, the one that likes to bite feet, had attempted to make an escape out the front door while BB was constructing a tower out of empty bottles salvaged from the debris outside the nearest pub. The escape had failed, leaving nothing but a skewed dining table and a room full of stars from the light reflecting off of broken glass. BB was staring at the ceiling, fascinated. So was Taelli.

A remarkable amount of child-to-parent similarities, she thinks clinically, despite the utter lack of blood relationship. A textbook argument for nurture over nature, though unlikely to ever be used as such, except maybe in a court of law, but if that were the case there would probably be larger fish to fry. I do hope I have taught him well enough to avoid jail. That would be inconvenient for both of us, as I would be forced to break him out using my skills as an alchemist, and no doubt –that much- raw sodium would be rather impractical to carry around, entirely obvious, no it would have to be something much more subtle, perhaps a ferrivorous acid of some kind-

BB steps on a piece of glass with a heavy boot. It shatters. He giggles. Taelli smiles.

She wants to say I love you so much I would break you out of prison by melting the bars off with science, but it comes out “Please do not leave the glass on the floor,” and Taelli prays to a power she doesn’t believe in that he will someday understand that they mean the exact same thing.
Last edited by Taelli on Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tarq
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Re: The Domestic Life of Taelli Darktoggle

Postby Tarq » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:28 am

Taelli wrote:She wants to say I love you so much I would break you out of prison by melting the bars off with science, but it comes out “Please do not leave the glass on the floor,” and Taelli prays to a power she doesn’t believe in that he will someday understand that they mean the exact same thing.

((that is amazing))
Now hang me by this golden noose
'Cause I never been nothin' but your golden goose
Silver tongue don't fail me now
And I'll make my way back to you somehow

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Taelli
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Re: The Domestic Life of Taelli Darktoggle

Postby Taelli » Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:00 pm

Part 2

It was Thursday. In the larger scheme of things, this was an entirely unimportant day, the sort of day that got tossed out with the trash, the sort of day you rip out of your diary and use as scratch paper to write down your shopping list. Not important.

In the glaring light of the present, the spotlight of immediate fact, Thursday was a nearly insurmountable obstacle, a temporal mountain face slick with ice and treachery. Thursday was the day she went Into Town.

Into Town should not have been such a big event. Into Town meant going to the Tinker Town market to get provisions for the week, and restocking supplies, and making questionably pleasant small talk with acquaintances. Into Town meant BB got out of the house and interacted with other adults and occasionally asked for sweets. It all seemed so good on the outside, on paper, on the diagram of pros and cons she had scratched out with her quill in the small hours of the morning.

Into Town. There were so many pieces that were unquantifiable, slivers and pinpricks that one by one meant nothing but all together left her broken and bleeding from a thousand tiny punctures, a failing balloon, a burning zeppelin. The twinge in her hip from walking too far on her bad leg. The spin of the barber shop pole reminding her of the tiny white lines beginning to shoot through her coif. The eyes of the ladies at the fruit stand, who shake their heads when they think she isn’t looking, murmuring poor old maid, took it so hard, could help out, you know.

The worst were the pitying frowns directed at BB, the unspoken challenge she gave to every other gnome when she looked them in the eye and said “This is my ward,” when she wanted to yell this is my SON and just because his brain is wired different from yours and he wears the same clothes every single day and he doesn’t look you in the eye and he still makes the jokes of a child does not give you the right to pity him or think less of him, he is more brilliant than every living member of your family combined, and I should know, I’ve had to work with most of them.

The most lasting is the dull ache that only registers when it sneaks up on her, when BB is distracted by something splashing and she goes to buy candied apples for them both and out of nowhere she remembers a pair of kind eyes and calloused hands and the delicate taste of caramel on his too-thin-to-be-handsome lips and then BB winds up with two apples even though he doesn’t need that many sweets.

The best part of Into Town was going Back Home, back to the safety of a home with a warm fire and the remnants of drawings on the walls and the soft hiss of potions boiling and absolutely no caramel anywhere.
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Taelli
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Re: The Domestic Life of Taelli Darktoggle

Postby Taelli » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:32 am

Part 3

Clients, Taelli had long ago discovered, were a very unfortunate side-effect of having a successful business.

Her gnomish clients were, by and large, not the problem. They mostly consisted of traditionally-minded individuals who distrusted the healers who called upon the Light. These gnomes, scarred survivors of Gnomeregan and all three Wars, wanted something they could touch and feel, clean stitches and a foul-tasting potion. Taelli took a perverse sort of joy in listening to their complaints, knowing that at least for today, the dwarves had one less feverish petitioner kneeling at their temple doors.

The dwarven clients weren’t so bad, either. Most of them came for practical reasons – engineers with questions on the combustibility of different fish oils, local barkeeps looking for a hangover cure to tuck into the pockets of valued customers. One enterprising young man had even requested bottled sunlight so that he could present his sweetheart with a flower box for her window that would still bloom in the rocky depths of Ironforge.

The courtship didn’t last, but Taelli had been reliably informed that the entire wall had needed to be scrubbed down after neighbors complained about the blinding light shining into their windows at all hours. She was still quite pleased about that one.

No, she reflected, it was really the human clients that made her want to lock the door and pretend to not be in. Very few of them seemed to understand the purpose of alchemy, much less respect it. It took a great deal of self-control to not tell them precisely what she thought of their requests – a carefully choreographed dance of half-truths and bland expressions constructed to let her be as frank as possible without actually losing any customers.

To the harried trophy wife: “Truth-telling potions are tricky, but I will see what can be done.” –your husband maintains two mistresses in Ironforge alone, and at least one mister, he is never going to be stupid enough to believe you ‘just wanted to make him tea’—

To the shifty-eyed youth: “I have a great deal of experience in making luck potions.” –no amount of luck is going to get you off of those burglary charges, boy, do you know what dwarves do to thieves? I would be asking for a Potion of Stemming Massive Blood Loss, if I were you—

To the embarrassed blacksmith: “And how long ago did the event occur that you were wishing to forget?” –I can make you a potion, but there is no power in this world that will be able to wash the image of you dressed up as an exotic bird from the collective minds of those brothel patrons, the sequins were a nice touch, very classy—

They were nearly insufferable, all of them, so it was very convenient that Taelli’s control of herself was ironclad. Utterly unassailable.

To the vain playboy: “Your advances are so revolting, I am amazed you have not yet been castrated by one of your previous conquests, if only to repay you for that spectacular rash.” –Darktoggle, you are using your outside voice.

Hm. Oops.
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