Worldbuilding – Susan’s Apartment

Adam’s Name in Chicago, from 18 July

Susan lives in a very nice high-rise apartment building in Chicago’s business district. It has a basement garage that is staffed with security personnel 24/7. The cars parked there are nearly all high-end luxury or sports cars, almost none domestic, describing the general wealth of the residents. Her apartment is about halfway up, and even the elevator has someone to push the buttons. The hallways are busy during the night, but not crowded. Susan and Adam aren’t alone with each other from the time they pull in the driveway until Susan’s apartment door closes. Even then, the impression of being watched follows them in.

The apartment is perfectly clean. Metal and glass surfaces gleam, wood flooring has the perfect luster, vacuum lines in carpet are undisturbed and straight. Books on shelves are arranged and artwork is hung precisely. Anyone would feel like a slob in contrast to this place, and Adam is no exception.

The artwork is all photography, and is a tasteful mix of famous photographers and Susan’s own work. There are a few floating shelves with books on them, again a mix of classics and an unknown writer named John (the hell was his last name?). The furniture is arranged in matching sets by room, nothing stands out or grants a room any special personality. It’s a two-bedroom apartment, with one windowless bedroom where Susan sleeps during the day, and a second bedroom that has been converted into a darkroom and workroom. The latter is Susan’s most precious space, and Adam will not be allowed in… at first.

The kitchen is unusually small for an apartment of this size, except for the refrigerator. Susan’s is filled with various brands of synthesized blood, a couple of beers, and a water filter jug. Her freezer is empty, save for some ice cubes (re-usable).

In reality, this building is a home for troubled “young” vampires. Susan was “invited” to stay there after her second attempt to flee Chicago and return to Michigan. Security serves the second purpose of keeping tabs on the comings and goings of all of the residents. They report anything troubling and take care of any remains from lethal feedings that happen in the building. They are extremely well paid, and are likely also blackmailed in case of any bouts of disloyalty. The dangers of housing so many vampires in one place, in addition to the natural territoriality that comes with being a vampire serve as motivation for the residents to earn their way back out into the city at large.