London by Night
No stranger to death, this femme fatale has been dragged through the dirt to be where she is now.
Evangeline Gray stands at 5’ 6.5” and looks no older than 30. Described as being gracefully slender with defined curves and walks with a delicate yet confident saunter. Raven-black hair, which is mostly kept down (in varying styles) with a slight wave towards the ends, swing against her lower back when she walks, though when it is up it is put into a loose bun which allows her fringe to fall across her face – as normal.
Your mother approve of most of Evangeline’s clothing, though she doesn’t always dress like a Victorian night flower. She has taken the liberty of updating her wardrobe to be more appropriate of the current times, but that doesn’t mean that she has gotten rid of her attire. And sometimes, she mixes the two styles together. Because she can.
After a run in with Tommy O’Malley, she was left with claw marks running the length of her back where O’Malley managed to catch her with a swipe.
TRIGGER WARNINGS: Rape, emotional distress, reference to child mortality
Katheryn Dassindale and Isaac Corringham were married at a young age (Katheryn was sixteen and Isaac was eighteen) and they were already expecting a child when Katheryn was seventeen. Isaac was the eldest son of Ernest Corringham, the current proprietor of the Corringham & Sons perfumery, a perfume factory that had belonged to Ernest’s father, and Ernest’s grandfather before being passed on to him. Whilst there are two Corringham sons (Isaac and Mark), Isaac is due to inherit the factory. Whilst the both of them are very well off, Ernest has more of a soft spot of Isaac so made sure that Isaac and Katherine did not go for wanting. They were bought a house in the Blackfriars area of London, and had enough money to live a rather well-off life.
In the early hours of the 30th of September 1861, Katheryn gave birth to a beauty baby girl whom they named Victoria. Katheryn was in labour for two days but with Ernest’s money, Isaac paid for a maternity nurse to be with her for the duration of her labour. The family was happy and home life was… perfectly Victorian.
When Victoria was five years old, Katheryn fell pregnant again… [Katheryn’s Diary]
I.. I think that I am pregnant again. I am not sure how I can tell Isaac. It is, of course, his. But with the circumstances of this conception… I can’t help but feel a sense of hatred towards this little unborn child. I love them; I want to bring them into our little family. But I don’t know how Isaac will react.
I finally told Issac. He hugged me tightly. He seemed happy, though we have decided not to tell Victoria just yet. We aren’t so much keeping it a secret, but we want to wait before we tell her.
He told me he loved me.
Isaac is very stressed recently. His father has been very sick, and Isaac has been spending a lot of time at the factory. He comes home, very late. And I feel very tired in my state, so I am usually in bed before he gets home. He… He was very cruel to me. I told him no, and he hit me. He hit me over and over again. Then he took me, hard and rough, all teeth and nails and not the tender loving husband I married. Once he was finished, he saw that I was crying. He threw me onto the floor.
I’ve started to lose him. He blames me for the miscarriage. He’s gone out again. And I know that he will come back smelling of alcohol and other women. But what power do I have to stop him? I have none. I see the way that he looks at me now. He tries to hide it with smiles, for Victoria’s sake. But I can see it. I see the hate. And then sometimes, I know he is looking at me but he doesn’t see me.
I know I have lost him. His affections and his love towards me are waning.
Years later and their marriage was now loveless. Ernest had died and left Isaac the factory, as well as splitting half of his money between Isaac and Mark. Corringham & Sons is struggling and Isaac is barely ever at home. When he is at home he abuses his wife and ignores his daughter.
Isaac is dying. He hasn’t told me. But I just know.
I don’t know what happened to us. We drifted apart after my miscarriage. And he continued pushing me away when we found that I couldn’t have any more children. I remember him screaming at me that ‘What good was the Corringham & Sons perfumery if the proprietor didn’t have a son!” He ignores Victoria completely. He’s never hit her, thankfully. The same can’t be said for me.
She knows that he is dying to. He looks awful. He can’t hide it for much longer.
I buried my husband today.
What else is there to say.
I don’t know what we are going to do.
Under Isaac’s reign, Corringham & Sons floundered.
Mark has taken it over now. And he has a son.
We are going to have to sell the house.
I don’t know what we are going to do.
After selling their house, Katheryn and Victoria went to stay at a lodging house on George Street, in the Whitechapel area. They took Katheryn’s maiden name so that they would not be found by anyone who wanted money. It was very different from their Blackfriars house, and their high status life. But to make the money stretch further Katheryn decided that this was the best option. They rented an eight pence room, which meant that it had a double bed. It was small, damp, and poorly lit, but it was the best that they could do. They both got a job at a dressmaker’s shop. It was a long walk from George Street, and Katheryn made it explicit to Victoria that where they were living must never be disclosed and that they will not have a job for very long. The room that they were working in was damp and chilly too: when you breathed you could see your breath. The job didn’t pay well, but it was better than nothing, and Katheryn knew that the money from selling the house wouldn’t last forever. With Katheryn’s wage, they could afford to pay for their room and have just enough food to be able to have some money left over. Occasionally they would buy some little things, candles, needles and thread, and other times they would save up and buy a new piece of clothing though they would sometimes get something from their employer. Their lives became one big circle, getting up early and travelling to work, working long hours in poor conditions, taking the long walk back, eating and going to sleep.
I buried my husband three years ago today. Whilst I mourn for him and miss him every day towards the end our marriage had disintegrated. Every day I questioned what we had become. He didn’t love me. He didn’t love our little Victoria.
Life is a struggle at the moment. Long hours with little pay. Of course it is better than nothing, but we have had to adjust to this…new life. It is hard, but we’re getting there. These damp conditions are doing nothing for me though. I have developed a bit of a wheeze when I breathe. I can feel it more than hear it. It’ll go away, I just need to get some more fresh air.
On the 29th September 1876, Victoria awoke late and to find the bed empty. There was a letter on the pillow next to her. The envelope was addressed to her. She sat up, and rubbed her eyes. The day was bright, and sun already shone through the window of the room, casting a rectangle of light on the side of the bed where her mother should have been. She sat up fully, resting her back against the wall behind the bed. Holding the letter in both hands, she breathed deeply. Her heartbeat quickened. A sense of dread rising inside her and scratching at her throat. Holding her breath she opened the letter. It read…
You slept in this morning, I didn’t want to wake you. You didn’t have a good sleep last night. You were crying out in your sleep, but I held you until you were okay. You slept peacefully after that. I know that, after your father died, things haven’t been ideal for us and I am sure that you can agree. We had everything when you were little. And now we have so little, I cannot help but feel that it is my fault. Your father blamed me for everything. You were going to have a little brother or sister when you were about five. But I had a miscarriage. He always blamed me. And I couldn’t have children after that.
Thank you for staying with me, my little Victoria.
I noticed it several months ago now and it hasn’t got any better. Victoria, I’m dying. The cold and the damp, and all of those long walks to work in the rain have taken its toll on me my darling. Every day is like someone is squeezing my lungs tighter and tighter. I gasp for breath and cough up blood. As much as I have tried to hide it from you I cannot any more. Do you understand now why I always made you save your wages? I wouldn’t do this to you, I never wanted to be the mother who left. We would always make it through. But I do not want you to wake up to my body next to you, with my fingers clawing at my throat. I love you too much to do this to you. So I have gone, I am not coming back and I forbid you to come looking for me. I will not be around for much longer, I can feel it as I write this to you.
I have left my savings next to yours. Don’t stay here for much longer, or the same fate will be accursed of you.
Goodbye, my perfect little Victoria.
You are so beautiful.
Until we meet again, though I hope it is not soon.
Your Mother, Katheryn Dassindale xxxx
Victoria took a little while to take in what her mother had written to her. She kept shaking her head and reading it through again and again. Tears began rolling down her cheeks as it suddenly hit her that she was alone. Slumping back down into bed, she clutched the letter in one hand whilst laying the other over where her mother should have been. It didn’t come to a complete shock however. Victoria had heard the way her mother wheezed, the way that she coughed into a hanky, the way that her bones jutted out only just being covered with papery skin that had once been so supple and soft. Wiping her eyes on the corner of the pillow, she sat up and swung her legs over the edge of the bed. Padding softly over to where she kept her savings, she opened up the draw. There were two parcels, one smaller than the other, wrapped in brown paper and tied together with brown string. A small label was attached to it. Happy Birthday Darling.
After getting dressed, she began to pack up the room. She took her mother’s clothing and placed it with hers in a small leather suitcase that they had brought with them when they first got here. She placed most of her money inside it but tucked a small bag of it inside her dress. She carefully wrapped up the picture of her mother and father and tucked it in between some of the clothing that she had already packed. Next went her birthday presents, accompanied by her mother’s note. Candles, the blanket that the broken family had bought together, everything of her life that she could fit into this suitcase. Standing up, she took a deep breath, picked up the suitcase and headed for the street. As she began to approach the front door, she heard two women talking. She wanted to head out without conversation, but Mrs Perry heard the stairs creak, saw her and called her over. When she mentioned her mother, Victoria couldn’t stop the tears. She mumbled about her dying, about how she was alone now. And had nowhere to go. The lady that Mrs Perry was talking to was a Mrs Hetti [Henrietta] Farnborough. She took Victoria by the hands and looked straight at her. She smiled. It was a warm smile. Looking back at Mrs Perry, Hetti said that she could give Victoria a place to stay. After exchanging a knowing smile with Hetti, Mrs Perry gave Victoria a hug before Hetti lead her out of the door.
They walked for about ten minutes, before reaching another lodging house. It was just off of George Street, but it seemed to look a little more looked after. It was bigger too. And less… mouldy. The two went inside, and into what would have been the front room of the house. At the back was a small desk and two chairs. Gesturing to one of the chairs, Mrs Farnborough shimmied behind the desk and sat herself in the chair. Resting her elbows on the desk she looked at Victoria. She introduced herself, and introduced her establishment. She told Victoria that she could stay here rent free until she was seventeen, as long as she cleaned and cooked and kept the house alongside herself. When she turned seventeen, she could be part of the business. And she would be paid a lot of money for the first go.
That evening, when midnight rang out on the clock Victoria sat cross-legged on her bed and carefully unwrapped her birthday present. The smaller parcel was a locket, and the larger a leather bound diary. Tucking her mother’s letter inside it, she slid down under the covers and slipped into a dreamless sleep.
Tonight was a bad night on the job. I am glad that I stayed away from Hanbury Street. Word’s been spread that Annie’s gone. And gone for good. I was along Wentworth Street, right by where Emma was hurt back in April. I always feel a little uneasy walking there, but it’s where I always find the most business. The evening was going well and then I met a charming well-dressed customer. He promised me a large sum of money in return for my… services. He seemed very sweet, he held my hand and we talked, he made me giggle. He kissed my neck and my lips with such tenderness. We laughed and chatted back as we hurried hand in hand back to Mrs Farnborough’s lodging house. As we entered, he flicked eight pence at the woman by the door and chased me playfully up the stairs. He caught me on the way up, and pushed me against the stairs, kissing me. I kissed him back. It was my job. I wriggled out from underneath him, and ran. Turning back only when I was outside the room, to blow him a kiss, and beckon him seductively with my fingers. I heard the stairs creak slowly as he prowled his way towards me. Then he was standing in the doorway, filling it. He shuts it behind him, and locks it. Once we are alone a dark look spreads across his face.
He had changed then. I…I’ve tried to forget what happened next but every time I shut my eyes, I replay it again and again.
He walks over to me, and I think he is going to hold me. Kiss me like he did on the stairs. He’s holding out his arms, and I move towards him. He pushes me, hard, and I fall, hitting my head on the bed. He picks me up and before I have the chance to dust myself off, he strikes me across the face again and again. I whimper and he only strikes me harder. My mouth is filled with a metallic taste and upon raising my fingers to my lips they come away wet with blood. He forcefully drags me to my feet by my arms, digging in his nails before throwing me onto the bed. The way he ripped my dress and quickly undid my corset strings was like he had claws. I try struggling away from him, so he hits me again. I am holding back the tears. He’s undone his trousers, and is on the bed, prowling towards me. I am his prey and have nowhere else to run. I’m pinned to the bed. He nudges my legs open with his before roughly putting himself inside me. It.. It hurts. I cry out. I’m not ready. I don’t want it. I don’t want him. I’ve made a mistake. He is unrelenting. I shout out in pain. He covers my mouth, before turning me, thrusting at me from behind. I weep now, quietly, but I can’t stop the tears overflowing from my eyes. It burns, his hands are all over me. Clammy, horrible, sweaty hands. He thrusts hard before letting out a moan, his hands grasping hard on my hips. He’s throbbing. He pulls my head up, hard by the hair. His breath close to my ear. “Did you enjoy that?” he rasped at me. His hand grasps my under my chin and nods for me. “Good” came his reply, full of malice and cruelty. His grip tightens around my throat. I’m struggling to breathe. His other hand traces down my back and I stiffen. I’m scared. He forces his fingers inside me, long nails digging into already raw and painful flesh. After what seems like an eternity, the pain relents and he stops. I let out a hushed sigh, relieved. Then he is inside me again. I convulse and clench. I refuse to give in to him, I refuse to allow myself to gain pleasure from this monster! This I can do, to take some power back over my body. He says something gruffly before turning me onto my back again. I’ve stopped listening. Stopped feeling. He kisses me hard on the mouth before forcing his tongue inside me. Then he bites me. Not in a nice way. He wants to hurt me. His bites trail my neck, my shoulders, my arms. But I refuse to cry. I refuse to cry with his glare upon my face. I block everything out. I block out his breathing, the deepness of his thrusts, the noise of skin on skin as he gets faster and faster. My body remains in the room, but my mind wanders. I ignore the way he cries out something incoherently, the wild look he gets in his eyes, the way they roll back as I feel his seed spill inside of me. Then my mind flicks to her. The little bundle I once held in my arms. The little bundle I once cradled throughout the night. The little life I once held in my hands. My little Lucy. My little Lucy Grace. She would have been nine now. I never got the chance to miss her, she didn’t live long enough. And now I am rotten. Rotten on the inside. Barren. Poisoned. Tainted. My eyes sting as my mind and my body bring me back inside the room. He gets up, does up his trousers. He leans over me, hitting me again. He throws a small purse onto the bed, the coins clink against each other as they land on the mattress. All the money in the world was not worth it.
What I would give to bear children.
After he left, I didn’t go back out that night. I couldn’t bear the thought of finding another monster like him. I swung my legs over the end of the bed, and gently dropped to the floor. Pulling the bath tub out from under the bed, I fill it with cold water, and scrub myself clean with the zinc and alum solution. What is left of the evening runs out of me. Drained, in all senses of the word, I crawl into bed, curling my legs into my chest and weep underneath the covers. Silent tears of hatred, anger, pain, sadness and grief.
The day before Victoria’s twenty-seventh birthday began like most days. She woke up late after a long night of business. Most of her cuts and bruises had healed, though she still had to apply make up to her black eye. She sat up, lit the candle by the side of her bed, and mourned the death of her mother. It was the twelfth anniversary of the day she read that letter. The sunlight was peeking through the window, casting a rectangular glow of light over the bed. Victoria read the letter, as she did every year. Then she closed her eyes, and lay there, clutching the letter, letting the candle burn down, and allowed herself to cry. Then she tidied her room, folding the clothes that were on the floor, smirking to herself as she remembered the escapades of previous night. She stretched and rubbed her neck, discovering several bruises that glowed bright against her pale complexion. She would have to cover those too she thought to herself.
She spent the day inside her room with the window open. The day was bright for late September. She was a little worried about working tonight, because of the terror that was plaguing Whitechapel. Every step on the street was dangerous. But what else could she do. There was a knock at the door, and in came Elizabeth. She gave her a hug and kissed her on the cheek before they head out together. They parted at the door, with another hug before going their separate ways.
After the day’s sun, the heavy downpour came as a surprise to Victoria who was not dressed for the weather. Soaked and shivering she continued walking along Berner Street. At around 1am after an evening of relatively good business despite the weather, she found herself wondering past Dutfield Yard. She heard the sound of hooves around the corner and ducked into a side alley and hid in the darkness of the early morning. She heard a horse neigh loudly, almost sounding panicked. She thought she could hear footsteps, they sounded like they were heading her way. Someone brushed passed her in the dark, then stopped. She was confronted. A gloved hand put over her mouth, and in what little light there was, another gloved hand held a finger to their own lips. The gloved hand took hers and the two of them crept off down the alley, leaving the sound of hooves and the sound of hushed, hurried and anxious whispers behind them.
Being led down a catacomb of alleys, all in the dark, Victoria’s heart rate began to pick up speed. Then the hand let her go. She stopped in the darkness all around her. She was about to call out, when she was pushed up against the wall of one of the alleys. A whisper swam to her ear. “Give me one good reason why I should let you live,” said the whisper, alive with cruelty. Victoria threw her arms out in front of her, finding a neck to drape them around. Pulling her body close to the one in front of her, she hooked her leg around a hip. Trailing kisses and nibbles up the neck her arms were draped around, she found a jaw line and eventually a pair of thin lips. She kissed deeply before whispering “because I am the best at what I do.” To which she was greeted with “You’re just a three-penny-upright” in a snarled, impatient voice. She was pushed back against the wall again, and showered with hungry kisses on her neck and jawline. She blushed in the darkness, readying herself. The kisses stopped briefly before she felt his teeth brush against her skin. He bit her. She gasped at first, as it hurt slightly. Then a shiver of pleasure crept up her spine like a hand caressing her skin; she leant into the wall. She began to feel woozy. Her eyes began to feel heavy and she couldn’t fight closing them. Her head began to drop and her mouth lulled open. Her heart began to slow, and her breathing stopped. She slumped downwards. He stopped biting her, before breaking the skin on the palm of his hand with the claws that came from the nails of his opposite hand. It took a while for him to bleed, but as the scarlet elixir flowed from the gash in his palm, he held Victoria by the chin and allowed it to drop into her mouth. He fed her enough to allow her to reawaken after around ten minutes. She opened her eyes to a menacing face staring back at her. “You are dead, but you are like me” he whispered, baring his teeth enough for Victoria to see his fangs. “You’re lucky you are… alive” and he turned to walk away. “Don’t break the masquerade Miss Gray or I will kill you. I’m not a butcher, I’m not a Yid, Nor yet a foreign skipper, But I’m your own light-hearted friend, Yours truly,” and he took a small bow. “You will have heard of me. They call me Jack. You’ll need to change your name now. Miss Gray suits you, it was the colour of your skin as I drained the life from you. Your name died with you,” and he was gone. He killed three people that night – but only one of them is able to tread the Earth still, only one of them is able to and that is why they called it ‘The Night of the Double Murder’.
She learned quickly. She went back to Mrs Farnborough’s careful not to see anyone. She packed her things and fled into the night. She kept up her business, going under the name of Evangeline Gray. She walked the streets at night. She got the money from the desperate men, upper and middle classes alike. She gave them the pleasures of the night. And fed off of her victims when she kissed their necks. She never stayed in one area for too long. She could work all night, and had plenty of money by the turn of the century.
After all of the years she walked the streets of London, she never sired. She never ghouled. And her dead heart never cared for anyone, never loved. She was full of hatred, and struggled to control the anger she had for everyone around her. She drifted away from the streets at night. She dabbled, but it wasn’t constant. She took it upon herself to protect those that wandered the dark alleys. The mysterious deaths ended with Mary. And no one knew why. Evangeline was puzzled as to why she was the only one he kept.. alive. She always laughed when she said that, and puts a hand on her chest, feeling for her beating heart.
She kept herself to herself, despite being part of the London Fife. She attended what and when she needed to. Eventually settling down in an old pub building, she made herself a home. She hadn’t had a home since she was thirteen. It was only when she was introduced to a ghoul to the Roses’ that when by the name of Merris Lucan did something inside her snap. She saw through the exterior that he was putting on, and saw through to the broken man underneath. She wanted to save him. She wanted to have someone look up to her, instead of being looked down upon by everyone as she always had been. Eleanor did the talking, sung his praises, and she knew that she would finally embrace. It was almost a selfish decision on Evangeline’s part, but she was glad when he was handed over. After her childhood, her adolescence, her embrace, she didn’t want it to be like that for Merris, and went against Gangrel traditions. Misty, her first childe, did not have the respect and the thanks that Merris attempted to express. Unable to embrace properly, Misty and Evangeline had a heated argument, leading to Misty running off.
Whilst Evangeline is happy that Merris has embraced his daughter, Lucy, and his love, Helena, she feels ousted and alone – again. She tries not to be bitter (and perhaps a little jealous), but it comes through it the way that she talks about and talks to Merris. She cares for him. She has a soft spot for Merris’ daughter Lucy though. With her nickname sharing the name of her own child, Evangeline feels strongly for her, and will let her do what she wants – partly because of her feelings towards Lucy, partly because she knows it annoys Merris somewhat.
Evangeline became Priscus after Tommy O’Malley disappeared. She was almost like his second-in-command until the battle with Eleanor and some of the Rose Family occurred. Tommy diablerised four or five people and Evangeline left, disgusted, when she realised he wasn’t going to stop. When he disappeared, she presumed the worst (that his beast had taken over) and took it upon herself to look after the Clan he had abandoned.
After meeting Prince Emily Richards, and heading home she received a letter whilst she was out. It was address to Evangeline and the Lucans’. It recited ‘London’s Burning’ in newspaper print. As it was only Evangeline at the pub, she sent a text to Merris, telling him to ‘lock his doors when he gets home’. He then tells her that his house has already been burnt to the ground and that he is going to Devereux’s house. She doesn’t reply, but packs some clothes, her phone and charger, her leather bound diary, the photo of her mother and father, the locket, with a sketch of Lucy inside it, and a few other personal effects before travelling over [THANK GOD FOR COMMON SENSE].
She hears on the radio later on, that her pub has indeed been burnt down. Whilst Helena tells Merris about her burns, she takes Lucy into the other room where she just sits with her head in her hands. After accompanying Merris to a clearing in the woods as he goes to meet what is left of the Nosferatu clan, they all sit together in the hall. Lucy comes over to her, to make sure she is okay. Evangeline feels strongly for Lucy, so doesn’t tell her to go away and humours her knife tricks. It cheers her up a little, as she would have hoped that her Lucy would have been as beautiful as Merris’ daughter.