Glass and Shadow
Part two -- the warm welcome

After the meeting with Avery I went to Moby's, an all-night greasy spoon downtown. The food there ain't the best, but it's cheap and the wait staff don't bother you too much if you linger over a cuppa for a few hours while getting your head together. When I get there, it's getting late, but the place is still half full. Moby's aint the kind of place where some maitre d' dressed like a penguin seats you at a table covered in linen, so I grab an open seat at the counter. It's my lucky night. Dixie's working late. she's my favorite waitress. A tall, blond drink of water with legs that won't quit and a mind to match. We once got hot and heavy in the backseat of her Chevy, but the weird shit I deal with on a daily basis is too much to put a nice girl like her through, so we never got serious. But my palms still get itchy and my mouth waters whenever I see my Dixie. She smiles at me cooly, doesn't bother to bring me a menu and says, "Hiya handsome. What'll it be?"

"Meatloaf special tonight, gorgeous. And coffee. Keep the cups coming."

I plop down the manila folder Avery gave me on the counter. Dixie eyes it cautiously and gives me a curious look, "Looks like you're gainfully employed again. Been a dryspell, hasn't it?"

"So you can see that. I thought a high class job like this would put at least a misdirection spell on confidential materials."

"I can see it and read the name on the label."

I curse softly. You'd think someone who was so intent on discretion would at least learn the basic rules of the game. Dixie watches me cooly while I unscrew the cap on the salt shaker and pour out the salt in a small mound on the folder's cover. I trace a slightly tricky sigil in the pile of salt, pull my leatherman from out of my pocket and jab the meaty part of my thumb. A few drops should do it. Then I say aloud the Name of one of the Seven. The sigil glows faintly orange before fading away. Dixie's eyes widen and she says, "Say, that's a nifty trick. You never told me you could do that before."

"Baby, I got plenty of tricks you've never seen. You just gotta give me another chance."

Dixie smirks, "Maybe when you plan to make an honest woman of me, you can show me the rabbit in your hat. Until then --" Dixie squints her eyes at the folder then whistles, "A girl could use a feint like that to keep her diary private."

"I might show you how for a kiss."

Dixie laughs, "I got other customers, sugar. I'll be back with your meatloaf."

I settle in for some light reading. On the first page there's a picture of the kid. Cute kid. Big brown eyes and a mop of curly hair. He ought to be in commercials or breaking the heart of some junior high girl with scabby knees, not messing with the fabric of the universe and consorting with unnatural entities. Target's history was written in a no-nonsense manner. He was an only child. His parents were solidly middle class and apparently solidly inattentive. Mom was a night nurse at a swanky private hospital. Dad was an accountant for a mid-size firm. The time the family spends together don't amount to much more than a few hurried weekend dinners a month. Little Andrew's been a latchkey kid since about eight or nine, leaving him plenty of time to play with imaginary friends. Only his friends weren't so imaginary. Andy's got three spectres attached to him; although whoever put together his bio wasn't sure if they were familiars, guardians or haunts, or even a mixture of all three. At least one of the spooks had a real nasty dispotion and wasn't a bit shy about manifesting trouble for people with an unfriendly bent towards the kid. And Casper the unfriendly ghost was noted to be especially good at affecting the natural world. But most of this I'd heard straight from Avery's mouth. I was flipping towards the section where the kid's abilities were detailed when Dixie appeared with a cup of hot coffee and my meatloaf, "Hey hot stuff. Got our chef de cuisine to give you a couple of those pearl onions you like, and extra gravy on the mashed potatoes."

"You're the best, doll."

"So. Your new case. Sounds mysterious. Andrew Laveau's a sexy name. Makes me all curious."

"Aw, You know I don't talk about work, not even to you. Nobody hires a blabbermouth."

"Can't blame a girl for trying, Rick. Anyway, even if you don't satisfy my curiosity. Maybe you ought to see Shalene."

"The nail queen? Baby, you know she's a cat and I'm a warm bath."

"But she's the best clairvoyant in this city and I know you well enough to know that this job is something big. Maybe something you shouldn't go in alone on."

"What makes you think this ain't just some ordinary tail job."

"Because you wouldn't be throwing around serious spellcasting in my diner if it was some ordinary tail job. Let's face it, you're sloppy on the mundane work."

I grunted. Dixie ignored it and kept going, "Besides, you know Shalene is nothing but professional when she's working and she won't let a little dislike get in the way of her getting paid."

"Okay, I'll pay her a visit, see if she can see any traps that I'm walking into," I lie to get Dixie off my back.

"Promise?"

"Do you want me to swear a blood oath on the Seven?" I snarl.

"I just worry about you, is all."

"My meatloaf's getting cold," is all I answer. I can see the hurt in her eyes as she backs away. It gets to me. But worrying about a guy like me is a bad habit for a girl like her. I dig into my meatloaf like everything's alright with the world. Another waitress comes to refill my cup of coffee when it gets low. She's got accusing eyes and flabby arms, and slams down my cup a little too violently for my taste. She's built like a water heater. I hope Dixie's just gone somewhere to cool off, 'cause I don't much like the blitzkrieg look in the eye of this battleax whose nametag reads Helen. I meet those beady, bloodshot eyes with a steady gaze and ask for the check. Helen stomps off, possibly to launch her 1,001st ship, and returns a few seconds later with a bill. I notice that she kindly already included a gratuity of what amounts to roughly thirty percent. I shrug, smile, drop a twenty on the counter and say, "Keep the change."

Helen doesn't smile back. As I get up to leave, I crane my neck and stare past Helen into the kitchen to see if I can get a glance of Dixie, but wherever she's gone, she's not in my line of sight. I walk outside. The night air's taken on a chill that wasn't there before, but I've got a fully belly and soon-to-be full pockets, so I whistle a happy tune. When I turn the corner, the tune's cut dead 'cause I notice three figures leaning against my car. This never means anything good. Still, a man's got to have transportation. I decide the direct approach and call out towards my new oversized hood ornaments and say, "Good evening, fellas."

The figures step out into a pool of light under by the street lamp. They're girls. good-looking and dressed in leather outfits that ought to be illegal. There's a blond, a brunette and a redhead. The redhead looks me up and down and the brunette sashays over to my side. The redhead speaks, "You Richard Hutchence?"

"Friends call me Rick."

The brunette's fist connects with my jaw and I hear a clicking sound as my teeth slam shut. It hurts. A lot. For a few seconds I struggle to stay conscious. Then I spit blood into the gutter and say, "Now, that wasn't real friendly."

The brunette socks me in the stomach. Hard. I double over and make funny noises. I can hear the redhead tsking at me like an old schoolmarm, "Tandy doesn't like smartasses, Mr. Hutchence."

The blond puts a burlap sack over my head. It smells unpleasant, like old potatoes and vomit. I struggle a little and hear the redhead say, "You're coming with us."

A voice I hadn't heard before says softly, "Lullaby," and the air gets uncomfortably warm and visions of blue roses bloom before everything goes dark.

part of the wordmongers' masque

Street Scene
25th street and Park Avenue South



A guy and a girl, walking uptown. Beautiful night.

Girl: I really like your shirt.
Guy: Hey, thanks. I stole it from my father.
Girl: (wrinkling nose) Don't say it was your father's, you sound like a hick. say it's Vintage.

(Welcome to New York.)

Wordmongers' Masque
A Perfect Day.

Waking up I was happy to find myself holding you in my arms. I could tell you were still asleep by the faintly patterned breathing. We were curled up in each other's bodies and the blanket had been pushed down, exposing us to the mild chill of the room. Feeling you shiver, I pulled it back up to your neck.

Gently, you stirred and began to wake up. I placed a soft kiss on the back of your head and pulled you tighter in my arms. It only lasted for a few brief moments as you rolled over, to look me in the eyes. There we lay, content to gaze into each other's eyes, until I moved to kiss you.

As my lips reached yours, you gave me a quick peck back. And then, rather suddenly, you got up. As you stood you pulled the blanket with you and let it drape over your body. Reluctantly, I pulled on my boxers and followed.

When I'd caught up with you, the bathroom door was firmly closed. I only had to stand there for a moment before you decided to open it. But instead of letting me in you stuck out an arm and handed me my toothbrush with toothpaste already on it.

Brush up,” you demanded.

I grinned and did so, knocking when I was ready to spit. You opened the door while finish up your own teeth. As you set the toothbrush down, you also let the blanket drop. Standing there, exposed, you seemed unable to stop tapping your foot in mock impatience. And I couldn't help but stare. With your beautiful smile you pushed my head towards the sink.

“So sorry,” I half giggled as I rinsed out my mouth. Turning back to you, I tried against for a kiss. There you let our lips lock. It was long enough to be called a kiss, but not long enough to let me taste you. You moved your mouth away from mine, while you slid your hands down my side. From there, you dropped my boxers to the floor to join the blanket and pulled me into the shower.

As you fiddled with the taps, water begun to drip out of the facet. When it started to spray properly a blast of cold splashed off of you and onto me. Even as it happened you squirmed behind me and forced me to take the ice-cold assault. I quickly turned the hot water on and a rush of warmth hit us.

We spent almost an hour in there. Touching. Kissing. Washing. Soaping. Until, finally, the water started to cool off as the tank began to run out. The chill felt weird with your warm body against mine. I turned the water off as you grabbed towels. We were almost dried off before either of us spoke a word. You tossed me your damp towel, wandering away while leaving me to hang them up.

“I get your bathrobe,” you exclaimed, already halfway through putting it on.

“And that leaves me with?” I questioned, laughing at your fit in the giant robe. You started back towards my room and said something I was too busy staring to hear. I followed behind and caught the sound of drawers being opened.

“Clean boxers!” you said as you tossed me a pair, “and breakfast!”

Together we cooked. Made acceptable eggs on my second attempt and toast on my first. You did the bacon, claiming you had “superior cooking knowledge”. We ate our late, almost lunch, breakfast at the table and played footsie. You laughed at my giant, awkward feet... and I mocked your tiny ones. And we held hands in that “just happy to be there” way.

“So?” you asked.

“So what?” I responded, fully understanding the question. I just enjoyed hearing your voice.

“So... what are we doing today?” you replied with just a hint of smile on your face. Followed with an only slightly playful kick.

“Not good enough for us to be together, eh? We always have to be doing something, don't we?” I got up and put our dishes in the sink. When I turned back around, you were standing right there with your hands on your hips.

I couldn't help but kiss you.

“That's your brilliant plan? Kiss me?” you smiled and pressed your lips against mine, “Good enough for me...”

It took a whole of twenty minutes for us to make it back to my bed, stopping to hold and kiss each other. This time, it was me undressing you. I pulled my bath robe off your body and admired you, before you escaped into the warmth of blankets. I slid off my boxers and crawled under them, back to your body.

That's how we spent our day.

Touching. Kissing. Cuddling. And loving. And I couldn't think of anything better.

A mask tells us more than a face.
Oscar Wilde

**Rated R for Adult Content**

Nice Guys Finish Last

"Can I tell you a secret?"

"Yes, of course," I stammer with fake diffidence into my coffee mug. Chicks like her never keep secrets for long.

She leans over the table without even bothering to look around at who may be listening. "What I want more than anything is to fuck to death. I fantasize about violence." She finishes neatly, taking a drag on her cigarette. "You know," she exhales. "Carnal carnage."

Upset? No. I'm not even surprised. "Is that so?"

"Mmhmm," she replies. "Scared?"

Not yet. But what do you say to a girl like Jodi, who fucks for sport and thinks the only good night is one spent freebasing? I say the only thing that keeps her interested.

"Wanna score a line?" Her face lights up when I drop a twenty on the table and grab her hand. She exits the booth and I twirl her around twice into a dip I saw once in a Gene Kelly flick. She squeals with joy. I pinch her ass and we leave together in my car. Women are so fucking predictable.

Let me rewind. This is not me. This is some caricature of me, this man with the James Dean leather jacket, three days of stubble, and the who-gives-a-fuck attitude. It started last March. I got totally worked over by this girl--I mean worked over bad. She dumps me two weeks after I propose, right? Bitch took my fucking ring and skipped out in the middle of the night like some runaway from a bad after-school special.

So there I was, all bent-up and miserable, crying into my whiskey at Gerry's. I'd been there for days. He crams his cig into the ashtray and spits at me, "Man, how fuckin' long you gonna piss and moan? When're you gonna figure out bitches are bitches and they're nothin' to get worked up over? Jesus, look at you. What the fuck's your problem?"

He was right, but at the time I felt like he'd poured salt over the gaping wound that was my heart. I don't remember answering.

"Listen. Women are easy to handle. All's you gotta do is be an asshole." I do remember sputtering melancholy grunts of laughter at that. "You sick of getting dicked over? You should be the dick. Hell, you know more about 'em than the broads you run with. Look. It's simple. You just live a step ahead of her. Whatever bitch you get involved with, just make sure she never knows you're impressed."

A few days later I stammered out of my misery-induced haze to find out Gerry was right. The bigger the jerk I was, the more they responded. At a bar, I offered a woman a drink and then told her in great detail how I'd like to fuck her brains out. I thought I'd get slapped, like you see in the movies? She was on me like white on rice. Unfuckingbelievable, but true nonetheless. I was shocked.

I've been running this routine since then. I meet a girl, I tell her every dirty thought I have and act like that's just the tip of the iceberg. Works like a charm. If I want to keep 'em around for more than a day or two, all's I gotta do is pretend like nothing they say interests me in the least. They're like trained seals; all they wanna do is get a reaction from an audience. Of course, it didn't take me long to realize I was always scoring the same kind of girl, the kind who like to think they live dangerously but who maybe wear cotton panties or keep pictures of Mom and Dad in their studio apartments.

That brings us back to tonight, when I met Jodi. At a party on the east side, it's easy to separate the fakes from the real deals. I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into her. A breath of fresh air, if you can say that about a chain smoker. So here we are, speeding over to Gerry's for illegal drugs and maybe a bed. Six months ago at this hour I was crying into a bathrobe and watching late night TV with a bowl of cheerios. Now I'm dragging some half-dressed slut to his house for coke and ass.

The convertible rolls to a stop at a light next to a car full of middle-aged businessmen. Jodi is up in an instant, dancing like she's got a pole to work with, writhing and wriggling up from her seat the way a charmed snake would. Her hands trace over her curves and I stare ahead, pretending not to care that these pricks next to us get to see her tits before I do. The light turns green and I gun it, knocking her back into her seat. She grins.

"Horny fucks. They wouldn't know what to do with me if they had me naked on their laps."

"I think they could figure it out." I check my reflection in the mirror. A year ago I would've lolled my tongue and nodded at anything she had to say. Jesus, what a difference.

"Oh yeah? Think you could figure it out?" She's teasing me now, her tongue rimming my ear, her hand creeping up my thigh. I've already got you figured out, Jodi. Had you figured since the minute we met. Instead I smirk and lean back in my seat.

"No problem, baby." I hope it sounds flippant instead of squeaky. I'm already hard and it's a struggle to keep my eyes on the road. My heart's pounding. Don't let her notice how nervous I am.

She is on me in a flash, fingers nimbly working the zipper of my jeans as we merge onto the interstate. She shoves my pants and boxers downward, letting the fabric bunch around my knees while she slides over the seat in one fluid movement. I manage to bring down one hand from the steering wheel, bury it in her curly brown hair. She moans.

My moan chases hers and we're going 75 down the highway to Gerry's. Her lips wrap around the head of my cock not a second before she plunges fully on to me. I arch my back, let my foot press against the accelerator. This makes her moan again, vibrations permeating every inch of me. Her tongue twirls around me in circles, my hips rising to meet the pressure her mouth provides. This is what I was put on Earth to do: fuck Jodi's mouth while the wind whips through my hair.

"Mmmmf--" The sound gets cut off as I notice the speedometer. 85. 90. The car is racing ahead in overdrive as Jodi does the same on my shaft. My foot feels like lead and I can barely see the cars we're zooming past, let alone think enough to drive. My heart pounds faster in terror and excitement.

"What the fuck? Jodi, stop it!" She grins up at me, precum staining her lips, her arms holding my legs down, one against the gas pedal. "Seriously, that's not fucking funny!" 95. 100.

"Am I scaaaring you?" she taunts, still pinning me to the seat. She is unbelievably strong and I'm still hard and I can't separate those two things in my mind. 105. A road sign warns of something ahead, a chaos of curves I can barely make out as we blur past. That grin, interrupted as she takes me into her mouth again. That grip, holding me against the accelerator as the engine revs in complaint. I'm going to die.

At the last second, I manage to break free of her grip and slam on the brake as the car approaches the first curve. We skid, her mouth still firmly planted on my cock. We spin, her lips milking me with matching intensity. We careen to a stop in an old cornfield just as I release inside her, adrenaline pumping through every tense muscle.

Jodi pops up nonchalantly, dragging the back of her hand over her mouth to erase the excess from her lips and cheek. She leans back in the seat, lights a cigarette, and laughs bitterly into the night air.

"Scared now?" I gulp and try to work my clothing back up to my waist.

"Jesus! You could've killed us both!" I still can't believe it even happened.

"Men are so predictable," she sighs, shaking her head. "So fucking predictable. Look, no offense, but why don't you go back to being a nice guy? The asshole routine isn't exactly working out for you."

As we pull back onto the road, curving east instead of west to Gerry's, I nod. That's exactly what I'm going to do.

Contents

1 Introduction

2 Examples of Errors
      2.1 Bag of Crushed Child
      2.2 Clamdigger
      2.3 Noder Beat
      2.4 Panty Regents of the Planet Vajj
      2.5 Revelation of the Lamb in Four Parts
      2.6 Tiki God

3 Conclusions

4 References

Introduction

I have suffered the intolerable standards of this site silently, indicating errors to editors but never posting. I have been moved to comment at this time due to the grotesque half-truths which recently appeared courtesy of Mr. TheDeadGuy who I am appalled to note holds the position of "god" at E2. Even if Mr. TheDeadGuy's many fanciful allegations were correct they would not change the fact that E2 is riddled with inaccuracies and the editors and "gods" appear only marginally interested in enforcing a respect for factual correctness. For brevity’s sake, I will defer commenting on the fact that members of this site’s hierarchy call themselves "gods." Rarely, if ever has the World Wide Web known so blatant a compensatory measure for undersized genitalia.

I shall cite but a few examples of egregious errors at E2.

Examples of Errors

Bag of Crushed Child

The middle name of "Terry Tedd" who played Officer Simpson in Bag of Crushed Child is "Irving" and therefore he is Terry I. Tedd, not "Terry T. Tedd" as indicated in Mr. Jet-Poop's review. Terry T. Tedd is an entirely different actor known mainly for his softcore porn roles in the 1970’s ("Terry I. Tedd," "Terry T. Tedd"). That they are different people entirely has been well-established and should be immediately apparent to anyone who takes even a cursory glance at their photographs or films-— anyone except, apparently, the sacks of shit who write for E2.

Clamdigger

The phrase "Do you feel dirty? Scrape it off" never appeared in this videogame, not even among the notorious "hidden phrases." Rather, that phrase has its origins in a Slashdot post by Mr. CmdrTaco which gave the phrase in question as a humorous, hypothetical example of the sort of content that could be found by hacking around the game’s code (Malda). At no point did he ever claim the phrase had been used. However, it continues to be cited at sources of questionable quality as an actual example of the depressing phrases concealed within Clamdigger. I do not know whether to laugh or to cry when I think of the hours spent by gaming geeks attempting to locate that specific phrase in the game, where I can assure you it will not be found.

My experience with this error, more than any other, made clear the credibility problem of E2. When I first brought this blatant error to attention of the dipshits who call themselves "editors" here I was told rather huffily by Mr. Lord Brawl to first "message" the author. The user in question has not logged on in over a year. Obviously, "messaging" him will do no good.

Noder Beat

This self-congratulatory write-up refers to Amanda Laing as the "senior editor" of the fanzine. Ms. Laing in fact is the only editor and, one suspects, the sole contributor. She does not refer to herself as "senior" editor in any of the periodical’s seven issues (Laing). Clearly, this is a bald attempt by Mr. Timeshredder to make it appear as though E2 has a larger following than it actually does.

Panty Regents of the Planet Vajj

I do concede that this may be the best review of the lesbian porn classic I have ever read. However, the author claims that author Marie David's novel was turned down "no fewer than sixteen times." While this is possible, I would like to see a source, since all available material (Zachary, Zami) indicates only fifteen publishers ever saw and had the opportunity to reject the manuscript before the sixteenth, Prism Press, made the decision to print this dumb but enjoyable novel.

Ms. bewilderbeast should contact me if she has additional information on this matter. She seems a charming individual, and I find it tragic she should have to keep company in my write-up with these other error-spewing louts.

Revelation of the Lamb in Four Parts

Mr. theFoetus states that Twilight of the Spirit was released in 1972. Guy Ghislaim Martineau completed the film in that year, but it was not released until January of 1973 ("Twilight of the Spirit").

Tiki God

The "hollow earth story arc" ran for only the final four episodes of the Filmation series’ second season, far short of the entire second half claimed by Mr. Quizro ("Tiki God"). For the record, the second and final season consisted of eighteen episodes.

Conclusions

When one considers that the authors of the aforementioned write-ups include two E2 "gods" and two editors, one realizes the severity of this site's problems.

As for disparaging remarks about yours truly proffered by Mr. TheDeadGuy, they only indicate his profound cultural bias. Anyone with even basic cross-cultural literacy knows that among the Tasaday of the southwestern Pacific, large pendulous bosoms on a male indicate social standing.

I do not care that I am not invited to the drunken orgies the Everythingians hold at irregular intervals. Those reading the site should expect at least as much dedication to the truth as to your self-proclaimed community or its collective obsession with lesbian monkey sex.

References

Briedenbaugh, Andrew. Faces of Madness: The Vision of Guy Ghislaim Martineau. Chicago: University of Chicago P., 2000.

Laing, Amanda. Telephone interview. 9 Sept. 2006.

Malda, Rob ("CmdrTaco"). "Digging Clamdigger?" Online posting. 20 Mar. 1999. Gaming Forum. Slashdot. 27 May 1999 http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?cid=15581067&sid=188956.

"Terry I. Tedd." The Internet Movie Database. 8 Sept. 2006. Internet Movie Database Ltd. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1642821/

"Terry T. Tedd." The Internet Movie Database. 8 Sept. 2006. Internet Movie Database Ltd. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1642822/

"Tiki God." The Internet Movie Database. 7 Sept. 2006. Internet Movie Database Ltd. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115682/

"Twilight of the Spirit." The Internet Movie Database. 8 Sept. 2006. Internet Movie Database Ltd. Database Ltd. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0373684/

Zachary, Marcia. "Margaret Darlington Unmasked at Last". Here and Queer. Winter 1986.

Zami, Wellesley. The Strange Lives and Loves of Margaret Darlington. Privately published, Caribou, Maine, 1987.

Zancora, Morgana. Wordmongers' Masque. London: Greenfingers P., 2007.

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