Character's Full Name: Ava Dominique Colette
Created By: JP
Character Type: Immortal
Apparent Age: 32
Actual Age: 102
Build: A bit too thin
Personality: Ava has been exposed to so much, she’d nearly impossible to faze. She can be dangerously willful and stubborn. She’s been forced to be very patient.
Ava was born in 1910 into industrial era Philadelphia. Her father Frank Colette was in transit work, which led to the family moving around a lot. Every time she began to make friends and solid relationships, her father had to go elsewhere for work. The only constant in her life were her mother, Esther, and father.
Electric street car introduced into New Orleans in 1923 and her father was sent south to assist with the development. Being only thirteen, Ava moved with her parents. They were in the city less than a week when a car derailed, taking out twenty workers, including her father.
Her mother barely got a cent from the company and found herself nearly penniless in less than two months. Esther found a boarding house for disadvantaged women, which was underfunded and unclean, but willing to take her and her daughter in. Ava came down with pneumonia within a few weeks. Desperate for money to see a doctor, Esther took the advice of some of the other women at the house and sold herself to lonely men.
She was able to get Ava on medication, but her daughter’s symptoms did not improve. Feeling for her, one of the women at the house once again offered her advice – she gave her a name of a man who could help her and the address at which she could find him. She warned her not to offer her body or money as payment as both would be seen as an insult. She gathered the only thing of value she had – her and her husband’s wedding rings and followed the address.
She and Ava arrived at the address to find an old pre-Civil War plantation. It was dilapidated and lit only by candle light. The front yard was heavily shielded by weeping willows and the surrounding swamp land made the area smell of deep earth.
A thick line of red dust was laid across the threshold of the front door and a windchime made of bones hung from the porch arch. Esther nearly walked away, but fueled by the fear of losing her daughter, she rang the bell. She was greeted by a dark skinned woman in traditional African dress who listened to her story and request with a stone cold expression. Once Esther had explained herself, the woman led her inside to meet the man whose name she had been given. Nicodemus.
He was an odd looking man for the era. His slender face was hidden by long, unruly hair and his clothes were spotted with holes and no effort of mending had been made. Yet, he had an oddly warming tone in his voice. Particularly when he said he could cure her daughter. Esther offered the rings as payment and Nicodemus seemed to study them longer than one who was simply assessing the gold would need to. A passing comment about the energy they held meant nothing to her, but he accepted them.
The next part was not as easy. The man explained to Esther that energy and life itself cannot be destroyed or created. All life had to come from somewhere. For every birth there was a death, somewhere of something. In short, to cure an illness, someone else had to fall ill. Nicodemus warned Esther to choose carefully for if she took the life of another, she would in turn pay for that crime in some way down the road. Esther could not imagine choosing someone else to die in her child’s place so she did the only thing she could – she chose herself.
Nicodemus nodded the decision, declining to advise her otherwise and began to gather items together to create a ‘spell’. Esther watched terrified as a group began to chant and dance around Ava as Nico created a thick drink for the girl. He spoke in Latin when she drank it. Esther wanted to run, but she began to feel too ill to even walk. By the next night, Esther was beyond sick and Ava was in perfect health.
Esther died a day later at the plantation without a single regret. She asked Nicodemus to see that Ava be returned, along with her body, to Philadelphia where Frank’s parents still lived.
But once Esther was gone, Nicodemus told Ava it was her choice, not her mothers. He said everyone owned their own decisions. Ava, who had befriended many of the strange people that seemed to linger about the plantation as her mother lay dying, wanted to stay. She had never had friends or any sort of stability before and these people had been kind and comforting to her in a horrible time. She wanted to stay with them. Nicodemus allowed it. She did not see much of him as he usually ‘working’.
She stayed at the plantation for many years, never seeing any reason to leave. She had listened enough to Nico to understand he saw the world in a different way and that he could feel things others could not. Additionally, as she and everyone else aged, he never seemed to. It was clear that he was into witchcraft, but soon she started to think she was something else entirely.
There were some of the ‘family’ who were scared of Nico. And some that were purely obsessed with him. Ava found herself more fascinated than anything. He was like a father to all of them and they followed his word. There were rules, such as no fighting or arguing inside the house. Nico believed negative energy in the house would ruin his ‘work’. He also demanded ‘external silence’ which meant if you talked outside the house about what went on inside, you were banished.
In the early 40s, she had gone into town with a couple of the other ‘family’ members to pick up some items when she met a man named Sean. He was forward, frank and charming. He singled her out despite the fact there were several pretty young women in the group. He asked her to have dinner with him and she accepted. She began a relationship with Sean but always kept him away from her home to respect Nico’s wishes.
Soon, she was head over heels in love with Sean. He was smart, interesting and given her humble beginnings she loved his communist points of view and disfavor of the wealthy.
After they had been dating for several months, Sean arranged a weekend at a resort called El Rancho in a place called Las Vegas. It was brand new and so exciting. She said yes.
She was ready to leave when she was stopped at her bedroom door by Nico who informed her there were things she didn’t understand yet but soon would. He said he wanted what was best for her and he knew this was not it. For the first time in her life, she found Nico’s double talk annoying rather than an enthralling sermon. Sean was so frank and honest. Sean was like a breath of fresh air.
Nico had taken no interest in her or Sean until today and so, she asked Nico to get out of her way. Suddenly, Nico informed her quite clearly that if she left tonight she would never come back. At the time, Ava thought it was a warning that he’d not let her come back and she challenged it by leaving anyway. Sean was warm and welcoming. Nico had always been distant and aloof. He said nothing further as she walked out, just stared at her with that hollow expression that she could never place.
The entire way to Vegas, she was secretly mauling over the decision. Nico had helped her, raised her and kept her without ever asking for anything from her. Given the fact he was gifted beyond this world, she knew she should trust his words. She also knew if she went back and asked for forgiveness she’d get it so why ruin a good time? She put it out of her head.
They were in Vegas for a week when Sean began talking about buying them a house out in NAvada and never going back. It was then that Ava explained that she had to go back to New Orleans. To see her family.
That is when she saw a side of Sean she’d never seen. He became enraged, aggressive and possessive. He was angry that she never told him she had a family, but there was more to it than just anger. He was acting as if she had rejected him out right when that was not the case. She still wanted to be with him, but in New Orleans, not here. He refused to let her leave, saying she belonged to him and needed to forsake all others.
Their fight turned physical and with one single blow, he knocked her unconscious. She woke up on the dusty desert ground, tied up, to find Sean digging a hole less than a foot away. He was mumbling on to himself about how he would never let anyone leave him again. His words were stressed, nearly incoherent.
She tried to free her hands and feet, but before she could, Sean noticed she was awake and began to drag her by her ankles towards the hole. It was a grave. Nico words echoed in her head and she realized he hadn’t meant he wouldn’t take her back, he meant she was going to die. On one hand she cursed Nico for not just saying it but on the other hand she prayed to the gods that he had followed her here.
Fighting to the last, she managed to give Sean a good battle before she finally lost the war and fell six feet down into her own grave. As he began to cover her with dirt, she could hear him speaking even as she screamed. His chilling words informed her that he’d come back for her after she had time to think about what she’d done.
Exhausted and dehydrated, Ava suffocated quickly. Or at least she thought she did. She jolted back to awareness with a mouth full of dirt only to lose consciousness again. It happened time and time again… so many times she lost count.
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