Tamara
Tamara
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Continuity The Devil's Carnival
Age 19
Species Human
Hair Color Brown
Eye Color Eye Color
District Southern District
Journal drowningtadpole
Player Lady Vincira
Theme Song In All My Dreams I Drown

"That is so BOSS!"

The Scorpion and the Frog

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the
scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The
frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion
says, "Because if I do, I will die too."

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,
the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of
paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,
but has just enough time to gasp "Why?"

Replies the scorpion: "Its my nature…"

—from AesopFables.com

History

Tamara is a relatively normal young woman of 19, dealt a less-than ideal hand and dealing as best she can. There wasn't a whole lot of money growing up, and her parents were somewhat less than attentive. She was a kind-hearted girl, kind and trusting to a fault…maybe even a little too naive. Other children were often keen to take advantage of her, which she accepted without question, simply because she believed genuinely that they wouldn't do anything to harm her.

This went on through her schooling, and she had the tendency to fall in with bad crowds. She was picked on, and…perhaps inevitably, she was drawn to the wrong kinds of boys. Time after time, she wound up going out with boys who wanted her for her pretty face, not for anything else. She was a doormat - again, trusting, too trusting.

It was that trust that got her into the fight with her last boyfriend…and then it was that fight that got her shot. She didn't die from the bullet…no, she was thrown in the river, left to drown and die.

Upon her death, she found herself waking at the Devil's Carnival. She was confused, yes, but..she knew on some level that she was dead. Either that, or this was some kind of bizarre dream - she was wearing clothes that looked like they came out of Grease, and she had a ticket for admission that she didn't remember obtaining. After a while of wandering, she found something unexpected…a young man in a cage, done up the same way that she was.

He persuaded for her to let him out, and she did. He persuaded her to be in his knife-throwing act, and she agreed to meet him. She caught him with another woman, and when she started to leave, he chided her for not trusting him…so she agreed to be in his act anyhow. The young man crooned to her, strapping her up to the board, all sweet and gentle…and then threw a knife right into her chest.

Before she knew it, she lost consciousness…and she found herself drowning. Her dream was vivid, painful - an endless expanse of water, deep and dark and cold. There was nothing she could do but struggle until she blacked out….

And when next she awoke, she found herself in a very different scenario. Wearing a white, almost ceremonial gown, clutching a lantern, she was still in the Carnival…but in the center ring, on a stage. No audience…only a horned man, watching expectantly. A song tumbled from her lips, coming from her heart but unfamiliar - and she let it happen, performing it for her captor, singing it with Lucifer himself.

He seemed pleased.

In the end, she fell to sleep again, and awoke again in the 1950's outfit. Something in her was changing…her words shifted to reflect her appearance, her personality started to become more wide-eyed and old-fashioned…and every time she fell asleep, she drowned in her dreams.

Imagine her surprise when, after one of these dreams, she awoke somewhere very, very…different.

Note
Everyone at the Devil's Carnival fits into one of Aesop's Fables. In Tamara's case, her fable is "The Scorpion and the Frog," as told above.

Personality

The first word to come to mind when referring to Tamara is, without a doubt, TRUSTING. It's not that she's naive, necessarily, just that she wants to see the best in people, for better or for worse. As such, it's unfortunately very easy to manipulate her, and she's willing to sit and take the abuse if she believes that she's in the wrong; most of the time, she is quick to blame herself, even if it's clearly not her fault. Despite all of this, she manages to remain relatively upbeat…at least, she puts up a pretty good front. If she made the right sort of friends, she would be more capable of sticking up for herself, but on her own she tends to fold under pressure.

Even out of the Carnival, the programming that was begun in her mind has left a permanent mark upon her. She's somewhere between being modern and acting like a character out of Grease, and she knows it. At times, this is a source of frustration for her…feeling like she's spitting out someone else's words. She's not schizophrenic, nor are there multiple personalities at play…she's merely stuck in-between eras. Her natural rose-tinted-glasses tendencies are magnified under the lens of her programming.

Though she's had a very hard life, Tamara isn't a jaded person - perhaps a little frazzled and tired, but on the whole she's quite pleasant. Being out of the Carnival is rather like a second chance at life for her, a ticket back out of Hell, and she's more than thankful for it. If there is someone who she can help, she will try to do it…she sincerely hopes the best for people, even though she's not seen very much of the best. Part of her things that, perhaps, if she is good enough now, she will never have to go back to Hell.

When it comes to intelligence, Tamara is average scholastically, if a bit below average. She's got plenty of common sense and wit, but the bullying and exhaustion that ensued made actual school very difficult. Put into dangerous situations, she has the sense to know when something is very wrong…the trouble is that she is easy to convince otherwise if someone tries.

Abilities

No unusual powers, unless having vivid dreams of drowning whenever she falls asleep counts.

When it comes to skills, she's actually a decent dancer and a very nice singer, perhaps in part due to the programming. Having been stuck taking care of many deadbeat friends and boyfriends, she's quite good at domestic tasks like cooking and cleaning, and she's very good at sewing and stitching.

Relationships

The Scorpion - Though not present at the Wake, Scorpion has a massive impact on Tamara. He was the one assigned to her "case" in the Carnival, made to string her along, get her to trust him, and then ultimately kill her. He's a knife-thrower, made up to look like a greaser from the 1950s. She still has the knife that he threw at her with her, and even with what he did, she still wonders if he thinks of her.

Gambit - Remy found and saved Tamara when she appeared in the Southern district. He's the one who told her about bending and where she was, and then led her to Kalliste. Her impression so far is that he's a kind man, and she doesn't have any ill thoughts about him.

Jendayi - During her wanderings in Kalliste, Tamara came across a Puddle-Splattered Jendayi. Thread in progress, but Tamara came away with a couple cuts and a few stitches. Currently is afraid of the child.

Doc Holiday - While she was first wandering in Kalliste,

Zimmy -

Drift -

Songs

Tamara's canon is a musical - therefore, there are three songs that pertain in some way to her. Here I want to share the lyrics to them, and then add my two cents of analysis.

"Trust Me"
Sung by The Scorpion
You're a tough little tadpole to love
Naughty lilies and lures
Oh, I was knocked to the floor
Never tasted as sweet
A poison as you have
You're an urge that can never be cured

You're a bad little love
And I'm yours

So trust me, trust me
Darling dear
I'm so sincere
There's no need to tear
Trust me, trust me
Honey do
Just like I trust you

Babe, you're a hard game to catch
You fight and refuse
Oh, you're a wild little bruise
Never tasted as sweet
A poison as you have
You know you never can hide

You're a bad little love
And you're mine

So trust me, trust me
Darling dear
I'm so sincere
There's no need to tear
Trust me, trust me
Darling, do …
Just like I trust you

So don't cry, crybaby
All dressed in green
How many kisses do you need?
One for your tummy
One for your cheek
One for the devil inside …
Of … me

The Scorpion's serenade to Tamara was the last thing she heard before the drowning dreams began. At the point of the show where this is happening, he has convinced her to be part of his knife-throwing act, blindly following this young man she's never met before in her life. She even caught him making out with The Painted Doll on the stage, but when she confronted him about it, he told her it was nothing and shouted at her: "WHY? You said you trusted me…." After that, she folded, going back to trusting that everything would be all right.

During the song, he's strapping her to the knife throwing board, crooning away as he makes her feel safe, makes her feel loved…and then, in the end, his last knife hits her square in the chest, and she dies.

My thoughts on this song are pretty simple - it's seduction, relatively plain and straightforward. However - the line "you fight and refuse" seems a little incongruous. The most fighting she did was questioning him about Doll…so perhaps he took it a bit more personally than he lets on. Tamara's part in all this is to be the innocent, wide-eyed, trusting victim, even with a guy who she just saw kissing another woman (her lipstick is still all over his face) throwing knives past her. It shows just how willing she is to trust, even if there is obviously something wrong, and just how much she's willing to look the other way. This probably indicates how much of a victim she let herself be in life, and how much she may have done just to prove her trust to unsavory people.

Does this mean that she did something just to fit in while she was alive? Commit crimes? It can't be ruled out…after all, she's in Hell for a reason.

"Prick! Goes the Scorpion's Tail"
Sung by The Painted Doll
Black, black is love's potion
We drink, we drink from its well
And in their name let's drink to true love
Where a toad and a scorpion fell
Yes, in their name let's drink to true love
For true love can break the spell
(For true love can break the spell)

Awake from your dream, frog maiden
Skin green as the emerald sea
Let me tell you a tale of a love that did fail
Prick, prick, prick
Goes the scorpions tale

She blushed as she walked by the water
Having known him the evening before
She liked how he spoke
But aware of his poke
Prick, prick, prick
Goes the scorpions tale

Oh, love it is foolish and green, my love
How quickly we forget the sting, my love
What a pretty and dangerous line, my love
What bitter, yet delicious wine, my love

With a flick of his prick he surprised her
Shell red as the rose in his teeth
“Fair maiden join me
Let us ride out to sea”
Prick, prick, prick
Goes the scorpions tale

She pondered if his love was poison
But he pricked her so gently she swooned
His words poured like wine
As their fates intertwined
Prick, prick, prick
Goes the scorpion's tale

Oh, love it is foolish and green, my love
How quickly we forget the sting, my love
What a pretty and dangerous line, my love
What bitter, yet delicious wine, my love

She offered her back quite demurely
He climbed and they swam out to sea
She stroked and she smiled
And his stinger went wild
Prick, prick, prick, prick
Prick, prick, prick, prick
Prick, prick, prick
Goes the scorpion's tale

Black, black is love's potion
Take heed, take heed of the thorns
Don't scream when it stings
Remember that you were warned

Come drink, drink, drink, drink
Drink, drink, drink, drink
Drink, drink, drink, drink
Drink, drink, drink
Drink-drink-drink!
A cup of my scorn!

This song was performed by The Painted Doll just after Tamara's unfortunate demise - a recounting of the fable that her encounter with Scorpion mimicked and a twisted celebration of Scorpion's success. While she sings, Scorpion and a number of the carnies listen, dance, and drink.

Even if she's not there, this song is mostly all about Tamara. She's the toad in the story, and the focus is upon her and her misplaced trust. To me, the most telling bit is actually the chorus: "For love, it is foolish and green, my love/How quickly we forget the sting, my love." This is an apt summary of Tamara as a person…quick to trust, quick to forgive, even when she's the one hurt. At the end of the song, there's a cautionary "remember that you were warned." Tammy is, sadly, the sort to completely overlook warning songs and obvious red flags if someone so much as insinuates that they want her to.

I could carry on about Doll as well, but this is a wiki page about Tamara.

"In All My Dreams I Drown"
Sung by Tamara and Lucifer

The ship, it swayed
Heave-ho, heave ho
On the dark and stormy blue
And I held tight to the captain's might
As he pulled up his trews

You haven't slept
Heave-ho, he said
In many suns and moons
Oh, I will sleep when we reach shore
And pray we get there soon

He said now hush, love
Here's your gown
There's the bed
Lanterns down
But I don't want to go to sleep
In all my dreams I drown

The captain howled
Heave-ho, heave-ho
And tied me up with sheets
A storm is brewing in the South,
It's time you go to sleep

His berth, it rocked
Heave-ho, heave-ho
The ocean gnashed and moaned
Like Jonah, we'll be swallowed whole
And spat back teeth and bones

He said now hush, love
Here's your gown
There's the bed
Lanterns down
But I don't want to go to sleep
In all my dreams I drown

Captain, Captain!
I will do your chores
I will warm your cot at night
And mop your cabin floors
Scold me, hold me!
I'll be yours to keep
The only thing I beg of you
Don't make me go to sleep

The sky, it flashed
Heave-ho, heave-ho
His pillow dulled the brink
The curtains ran between my legs
As we began to sink

I closed my eyes
Heave-ho, heave-ho
As the ship was rent and felled
Eddies in the water headed
To the mouth of Hell

Hush, now, hush, love
Here's your gown
There's the bed
Lanterns down
I'm begging you, please wake me up
In all my dreams I …

Out of the three songs here, this is the only one that she sang, and is probably the most relevant to her personally. After being killed by Scorpion, she wakes on a stage, where she and Lucifer sing a duet. There is no audience besides the carnies managing part of the set, and even they seem to be only there for their station - they bow their heads as Lucifer passes by and don't smile or make a sound. The whole time, Tamara's expression reads as confused and frightened, as well as cowed by her captor.

As for the meaning of the song, this particular number has the most weight and meaning behind it. The song itself talks of a woman and a captain in a sinking ship on the literal level - another interpretation is that the ship is the ferry on the River Styx. In the end, however, this is Tamara's song for a reason.

In connection with the other songs, the concept of drowning can be carried over from the Toad and the Scorpion story. Tamara saying that she drowns in all of her dreams insinuates (besides my personal interpretation where she literally drowns in every dream she has) that she has 'drowned' metaphorically over and over again. This feels like a reference to the relationships that she's been in, and the idea that they have all been ultimately hurtful to her. At the beginning of the episode we see the tail end of one of such relationships…and then we see another such relationship happen with Scorpion.

In the verse where she is pleading, we get another glimpse at Tamara's submissive personality. She's literally begging, bargaining that she'll do whatever the captain wants, that she'll let him punish her, even, if it means she doesn't have to sleep and face her nightmares. She's so desperate to duck her head from conflict that she will actually put herself more into harm's way if it will keep the peace.

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