Arren Vivaldi

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Arren Vivaldi had nothing in the sort of childhood friends, work buddies, a loving wife, or really any sort of positive relationships at all, for one reason, and a good one at that; no matter how close you were to him, Arren Jakob Vivaldi would only use you as a piece in his complicated game of chess that was his life. Anyone who dared get close learned that the hard way.

Take Mitchell Simpson for example. He was friends with Arren Vivaldi for a whole two years during Grades 6 and 7, but it turned out that Arren had simply used Mitchell to get close to the school's golden boy, William Mason. Vivaldi quickly ditched Mitchell and proceeded on with a complicated plot to blackmail William. William was forced to get his baseball teammates and their girlfriends, who were all very popular, to never date or even talk to ex girlfriend Shirley Wallas. Shirley had cheated on Vivaldi with another boy, and he proceeded to persuade the boy to dump her, resulting in Shirley having a terribly lonely Grade 8 and transferring to a different school.

When it came to Arren Vivaldi's plans, he drew no hard lines.

His ill fated pawns would be drawn in like magnets by his wry grin and handsome visage; with creamy skin and wavy hair the color of burnt umber, falling in waves on one side and pushed back another. They would be fascinated by his eyes; a reddish brown hue in one, a black darker than ash in the other. They would admire his ambition, his persistence, his drive, only to never know what he was working towards as they tried to back of their roles as his pawns.

He was an enigma of sorts. Everyone knew he was ambitious, but what was he striving for? And why? He had a plenty good job as a professor of the philosophical sciences, the youngest and possibly the smartest professor in the school. Everyone knew he was making careful, concise moves with purpose behind every action as he advanced on the game board, but what was the name of the game? Fame? Riches? A family?

For whatever reason, Mr. Delilah Black saw it fit to invite the mysterious man to his estate with a motley of other strange sorts. His antics were lost within the loud crowd of psychics, human animals, and other crazy guests, but his uncanny personality was still there, lying in wait as he made observations. Of the woman who walked the gardens at night. Of the strange relationships struck up between unlikely people in impossibly short amounts of time. Of strange habits that he began to see in the others.

Vivaldi reached out to others in exchange for information, playing the role of the virtuous young man, as the fellow informationist, as a polite friends. Which one is really him? Who knows? Does it matter? Where does he fit in at all?

Whatever the case, like the fifty other people in the manor, Vivaldi woke up with a start as a lightning strike shook the estate.

Somewhere, a scream echoed from down the hall. Arren Vivaldi groaned and rubbed his eyes blearily. What does a man have to do get a good night's sleep?  It had only been a few hours since he lied down in his bed after a short chat with Ms. Bennet before dinner and a little bit of studying chess after dinner.

The scream was joined by another one, higher and frantic and bloodcurdling. Panic! it screamed. Panic, because something is wrong! Come as fast as you can! It's urgent!

The panicky scream worried him. Vivaldi sat up, quickly pushing back the covers. Swinging his feet to the floor, he stood on wobbly feet, still in a half-asleep trance, and stepped towards the door. He still wasn't fully awake when he stepped on a pawn from his chess set on accident. Pain shot up his foot as he swore under his breath. At least he was awake now. Making sure to avoid the rest of them, he reached the door and flung it open.

It seemed he was not the only one who had been worried by the scream. The hallway was quickly filling up with people. Women in flowing nightgowns, men in crumpled pajamas, and ruffled hair and bleary eyes. A distinct smell of morning breath had pervaded the cramped space, as did hushed whispers. What's going on? I don't know. Why did someone scream? Where did it come from? I think it came from the dining room. This is creepy.

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