House of Glass
The bath water grew cold and it took little effort to pull herself from the frigid waters. Standing, Kabuki pulled a robe over her porcelain and crimson flesh, and slid out of the tub and onto the tiled floor.
She pulled the plug in the bath and began to run a silver comb through her obsidian hair, calmly assessing herself in the mirror of the vanity. The blood left a sticky residue on her skin, and it was the best she could do to clean it off with the make up remover.
She put on her best dress, the red silk with black and yellow butterflies floating delicately on its surface, and then slid her mother’s glass and horn head-dress into her hair.
“Flawless.” She murmured, sliding the glass dagger into her belt, and then caressed her reflection in the mirror.
She stepped over the body and walked out of the room, sliding the washi-board door shut behind her.
** ** **
Her customers were the elite of the elite. Kabuki had no problems earning her silks and food. Working in the same house as her mother was more than she could have asked for. They were the porcelain dolls of the brothel house.
Her mother had a very distinct look about her, accentuated by her flawless heirlooms, passed onto her by her own mother. The glass and gold dagger and her head-dress made of glass and horns. She was possibly the most popular lady in the House.
Giru, the proprietor of the establishment, was proud of his porcelain dolls, and many nights had them perform together on stage.
Tonight was special, tonight the noble himself, Giru watched them dance together, his eyes lustful and dark. His scaled features were relaxed and it was all they could do to try to impress him, dancing as elegantly as they could.
When all was said and done, Kabuki, with her horned head-dress and fake glass swords was sent to the baths to clean up and Katana, her mother was asked to the dragon-blooded noble’s chambers.
When Kabuki entered the bedroom, her mother wasn’t in her pallet. Far from being abnormal, she slid out of her silk dress and adornments and into bed.
It seemed only like minutes later, when she awoke, seeing her mother’s fairly glowing white form across the room, crouched by her pallet across the room. Her graceful shoulders shook, but she made no sound.
“Mother?” Kabuki sat up, and reached toward Katana.
Kabuki’s hand passed through her.
Rearing back, Kabuki shouted with an agonizing flash of pain. Looking down, she saw the horned head-dress and knew the white-glowing form of her mother was gone.
She kicked the head-dress across the room and shook the gooseflesh from her arms. Then she slid the washi-board door open and walked down the hall toward the opulent chambers at the far end.
Inside she could hear rustling of silks, and the occasional strike of the whip. She suddenly felt sheepish, standing at her master’s chambers listening for the sounds of ecstasy she knew her mother made but she knew she couldn’t go back to bed unless she put this worry to rest.
“Flawless…” someone whispered, “Perfectly flawless.”
She knelt and slid the door aside slightly, as quiet as possible. The room was lit by candles, but it was black as pitch out here and no one would notice if she was quiet enough to slip inside. She’d probably just interrupt her mothers work and probably be deducted a meal but the insane feeling of worry wouldn’t go away.
She slipped through and shut the door quietly behind her. Her foot brushed the cool glass of the gold gilded dagger and then the horns of her mothers head dress.
“Flawless. You’re like a perfect diamond my dear.” She heard the whispering voice say again.
The bed was illuminated, by the candles on either side but the curtains that hung over the bed blocked out the two forms.
Kabuki walked around as silent as a shadow, and finally saw the two behind the curtain.
Sitting astride the red streaked white form that lay sprawled across the bed, she saw Giru’s back, and in his hand a whip, that was wrapped about the poor woman’s neck.
Kabuki opened her mouth, either to scream or to vomit, she knew not which, but she slapped her hands over her mouth and ran, only pausing slightly to throw the door open.
The next morning, Kabuki awoke to Giru’s bell ringing on her door. She stood and slid the door aside. She was exhausted, she hadn’t slept much and if at all it was fitful. Giru stood there with her mother’s headdress and dagger. She stared at the items in his hand and then looked up to his face.
“Your mother, decided to accept my offer of a place in my household last night, Kabuki. She told me to hand these to you, as she would not need them since she will be working for me.” Giru said, with a smile, “Congratulations, you shall take her place as the first in this House.”
Kabuki tried to pretend to be excited, even as she accepted the heirlooms of the women in her family. She caught the look on Giru’s face as he left. He knew.
** ** **
That night, Kabuki slid her mother’s head-dress into her hair, positioning the horns just right, and then slid the glass-dagger into her belt. She headed for Giru’s chambers. His wife would take over his position of proprietor after she took care of him.
“This must be…flawless.” She breathed, and slid his door shut behind him.
Exalted RPG---Character background story- or rather a part of it. A bit of a peek into that glassy exterior Kabuki manages to put in place. Enjoy.