Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Two Vignettes in Costume

Halloween was one of the very tricky times of the year for Sarah. One was supposed to get a Halloween costume together - which itself wasn't that hard. Sarah had some skill at costuming. There was a world, in fact, Sarah Jennings: prop master, was instead Sarah Jennings: costume designer, a world that would not involve her wearing an evil goatee (which as a woman would very look very odd but very fiendish - wait a second that was a good idea. Put it on the maybe list.

No, that wasn't the hard part. The hard part was not simply taking her ‘Mazing girl costume and going to parties in it.

This was wrong, she knew, on a number of levels. The most important was that enough people saw her in the exact same getup that it would stretch her secret identity more then it was usually stretched - which was pretty stretched. She depended a lot on the awkwardness of people not saying "Hey are you...?" which wearing the exact same costume was just fucking with her friends at that point. In the comics people always say "Bruce, why, that’s a terrible Batman costume, ha-ha you look nothing like him". Nope she looked a lot like ‘Mazing Girl, thank you.

The second was, well, it was kind of gauche.

The third was, if you assumed it was funny - which Sarah kind of felt it was hilarious - it was the kind of joke you could do only once, and Sarah wasn't prepared to do it yet. Maybe when she was old and retired she could make that joke, and laugh. And laugh. And recall the glory days of her youth.

But in the midst of them she still needed a Halloween costume.

Old fashioned stuff - vampires, werewolves, policemen. She was in entertainment, and that was a little unambitious for her. Yeah, she could, but whatever.

She had seen once something super high concept of someone going as Youtube - (a large cardboard box with a screen on the front) that was clever to a degree, but nothing so clever was coming to mind.

Sexy? Sarah was in her 20’s, and there was the assumption that women in their twenties wore something sexy. She could do sexy - but sexy wasn't an instant trick.

Sexy ‘Mazing Girl? (Her costume wasn't all that sexy)

Wait a second... it was cheap, but she could go to a comic story and do a quick knock off ‘Mazing Girl - that could work.  There was a certain irony to that.

Wait a second...

And in a spark of genius, Sarah decided on her costume.


In your twenties costumes and Halloween really mean parties. If you’re in LA, and in the entertainment industry, it tended to mean a couple of hundred people at the kind of houses owned by people who really can't afford them, but buy them anyway. Right now she was going into the house of Ben Quazail, an actor on a US show she never worked on but had managed an invitation. He lived in one of those really big houses that clutched the edge of the mountions like a jewel, complete with a view of Downtown LA and the ocean. It was really expensive. She hoped, for his sake, that the loan he took out to buy it wasn't too big because you could not afford this on a US TV show salary. 

But, well...it was nice of him to invite Sarah despite the fact that they had maybe exchanged five words over the years. He seemed like a nice enough guy, if a little big on the ‘I’m a celebrity’ vibe. But, well, the booze was free tonight.

Sarah parked her not extraordinarily nice car a ways away, and walked up a mountain to the party.

He was standing by the door. "Hey! Nice seeing you," Ben greeted her, without mentioning her name. He was dressed like Jamie Fox from the movie the Amazing Spiderman 2 - which was a reference she could get behind, in so much as the movie hadn't come out yet. He wasn't African-American, and Jamie obviously was, But she wondered if the light blue makeup was racist. Probably not, in Ben’s case. But Jamie’s. In any case, it was a good costume - it looked as if it was designed by someone who had a good look at the costume from the movie (which again, hadn't come out yet). So there. It wasn't a very good costume in a stand around in normal light sense. Ahh well.

Sarah walked in - wearing her Flame costume.  The Flame, being the other major female superhero in Los Angeles, except smaller and a lot creepier - also with her power to create fire, much more more burny. But the costume...it consisted of a shortish gingham dress, and some light black shoes. Sarah, despite the numerous times she had interacted with the Flame, had never much paid attention to the shoes. They were kind of a classic early 30s number that she had spent a little bit of time tracking down. Superheroic shoes were a trick to pull off, she knew, and she kind of admired them for what they were.

The dress had been tricky. It was a costume that depended on lines, and Sarah’s lines were quite a bit different. She had curves, for starters. She was at least 50 pounds heavier, and 6 inches taller, and a lot of that was chest and thighs. which were both larger, and wider. She tried to capture it, but hints of a parody were creeping in. Sarah was big. The Flame was small. Such a difference could not be hidden.

"Pretty good," said Jane, a make-up artist on the show who was made up to an outlandishly silly degree. A bit thematic.

"Hey, that’s nice," said Max, who was wearing a tuxedo that kind of made him look like James Bond if he told you that was what he was going for. His wife (who should be remembered was a professional model) was wearing the same dress that Famke Jansen wore in GoldenEye - which was a pretty deep cut as far as bond movies went. She looked good though, as did he.

"Wow," a random man breathed as he passed. He wore one of those weird creepy masks from Eyes Wide Shut.

"Is that supposed to me?" a voice asked.

Sarah turned. She half expected, for just a second, to see the Flame. Which would have been awkward. The voice belonged to someone else.

It was a tallish woman with black hair. It took Sarah about 20 seconds to place her, though they had never met before.

"When I played the little sister in Bioshock?" Juliet Landeu asked curiously. "Or Drusilla in Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

"No," Sarah told her. "I’m that superhero the Flame."

"Oh," said Juliet and she wandered off with her husband, gladly not wanting to let the awkwardness drag out. Which was good for her. She was an underrated actress, and had a bit more range then she was given at times.

Sarah felt a little bad for it all. There was no such thing as creativity but still.

And the night went on. Sarah could be hot or cold on industry parties. They had the fun sense of being in a world she wasn't normally in, and meeting genuinely interesting people. Or they could be kind of slogs where she spent her time in the corner, sulking, talking to no one. There was a lot of networking going on at this party, which Sarah - being in the ‘bellow the line’ side of the industry - really didn't have to do much of. However, the house was nice, the booze was good (free) and there was a bit of a dance floor going, which was funny at Halloween. Also, Ben was a nice guy. Several times he complimented her, and hoped she was having a good time.

(Weird about her. She was famous for doing cockney accents. But she was not, herself, English. Ben was English, and had a very pronounced cockney accent which he hid on TV. Reality it was fun).

But she tried to take herself out of reality - to do, as the expression went, a little cosplaying. She did a lot of coworking normally, but playing? She went outside to the balcony and stood-and tried to burn up all of Los Angeles with the power of her mind. It didn't work. But it was fun. She tried to act a bit cold and emotionless, and vaguely...but not quite...evil. It had a sense of fun to it.

"Are you an actress" said Ms. Landieu as she walked up behind her. It didn't quite give Sarah a start, but yeah...

"No," said Sarah.

"You look like an actress," she said "Or at least a pretender. Not that that’s a critique."

"No" said Sarah.

Wait a second...Sarah paused. About a week ago she had met a Hollywood actor who was famous for playing a vampire, who it turned out probably was a vampire. Was this the same cosmic in joke?

Nope. Ms. Landeau had drunk a little too much beer to be a vampire.

"What are you then?"

"Prop master" said Sarah. It should be noted while the title implied the masculine, she had never once heard the title prop mistress used in serious conversation. That would be too cute.

"You have the air of someone trying on something else," observed Juliet. 

"I suppose," said Sarah "Urrr...I shall use my powers to burn you up!"

"Ha!" said Juliet "ha."

Then she wandered away again. She was good at that. Maybe that was her superpower, knowing when to leave. That, and wearing an old fashioned pantomime lion costume really well.

She considered the question for a moment. It was something she wondered, on occasion. Who was she? The old joke about Batman was which was the mask and which was real person. The snidish dorky nerd, the upright superhero... or to put another face on it, the quiet competent professional prop master who was good at stretching a budget, or the practical think-with-her-head, even though she had all the muscle in the world, heroine. Or was she the very sexual being who wore glasses, whose bisexuality maybe less of a joke she presented...or the superheroine who was not always comfortable how her image (and to degree her sexuality) was presented to the world. Or was she the person from the deep south, living in a strange land who felt her southern 'values' a little bit conflicted sometimes, or the flying brick who did legitimately like how strong she was and how it made her feel, despite how little it could really change things.

Yes...she was many things.

Right now, slightly drunk was also on the list.


All of this actually took place on October 30th. Sarah wouldn't actually do anything Halloween specific on the actual date, because she knew that it would be a busy night for her...such as on the actual day.


The fact that it was Halloween was not really interesting to Ellen Gonzales. She was driving home through the valley. She was at the age and economic value when such things seemed kind of frivolous. She was aware of it - maybe she would have a candy bar or something. It was late. She had worked a very hard Thursday at an insurance office, and accomplished very little of actual value to society.

Yet she was driving home with something that did. Eduardo, her six month old son, lsy in a car seat in the back. He’s what she lived for. He’s what she loved. Not much else in the world really mattered. She looked out the window to see some tricker-or-treaters. Ahhh. Someday she would have her own look over.

She drove down Resida over the Los Angeles River. There was a huge concrete ditch 50 feet down to what could be described as...well...a

Huh? A car was suddenly right in front of her.

Huh? She pressed the brake...

Huh? Not working...


She swerved...her car hit the side of the bridge...



She was falling. Straight down...50 feet bellow.

And out of nowhere something flashed into her screen...and she was no longer moving down.

She was still moving very, very fast. The fact that it was no longer completely vertical did not comfort her very much and...

They bounced against the ground.

Ellen should be screaming. Really she should. But she wasn't.

Why not?

She was moving about a hundred miles an hour...and...nope...they were slowing. They were going through the river, which was a long concrete ditch with a very small creek in the middle this time of year, her car still mostly vertical. Actually, maybe 45ish degree angle...

And someone was walking the car now on the ground turning it sideways and...

Ellen screamed. She screamed so fucking loud...

She screamed bloody fucking murder.

She closed her eyes and screamed.

Then she heard a knock on the door. And opened it.

"Hey!" said ‘Mazing Girl, looking in. "You okay?"

Ellen stoped screaming. It was the sensible thing to do.

"What just happened?"
"Your car’s brakes stoped working i think, you ran over the side. I grabbed you in time. We’re at the bottom of the river. Looking like the front took a lot of damage from hitting the railing though. I’m not sure it’s drivable." 

"Huh?" said Ellen. "Can you give me a minute?"

"I can put your car up on the road if you want,” ’Mazing offered. “But you’re going to have to get a tow truck from there."

"Can you watch my kid for a second?” asked Ellen. "I got to do something.”

And Ellen walked away from the car in the middle of the river bottom. ‘Mazing watched her for a second, then realized what she was going to do.

She opened the back seat to look at the kid for a second. He was maybe 6 months old.

She watched him. Despite the fall. Despite the screaming - he wasn't. He looked completely fine for the experience. Chipper, even. Sarah often rescued babies in such circumstances, but rarely were  they so calm She looked at him. He was wearing a diaper and a shirt, and had a surprisingly full head of Hispanic hair.

Sarah just watched him. There didn't seem very much she could do at the moment. He was strapped in as tight as probably was good for him, and didn't seem to want to be. His little hands seemed to be trying to get out, but she left him there. He tried to put a little teddy bear on the strap in his mouth.

she noticed a little pacifier attached to his thing. She picked it up and put it in his mouth.

And watched him.

She tried to ignore the sound of vomiting behind her. It served no purpose for the moment.

She impulsively put her fingers on his hands and shook them for a second.

"Pleased to meet you."

She smiled. Babies liked smiles. He looked up and smiled at her, and spat his pacifier out.

Babies liked that.

Sarah smiled back.

When she was about twelve, and a doctor explained things, the magical changes that were turning her into a woman...and a super being of immense power...one of the things he mentioned was that he doubted she could ever have children. The strong muscles of her uterus probably couldn't grab a fetus, in his medical opinion. Very damm little could cut her skin, probably not that(the werid fact that babies analogous to a sharks remora was brought up).


Motherhood, as Southern Baptist women might define it, was probably out. But maybe it was possible. She had never really tested the theory. She would have made a fucking terrible mother anyway...she barely had her life together. How could she handle something else on top of all that? She was.....

She wasn't married. She was an old maid. She was single and lonely.  She lived in a sucky condo. She didn't have a house. She had a job she kind of despised. Two really, at her most honest. She wasn't a mother, and had no one in her life like this little baby. And Juliet Landeu had been right: Sarah Jennings was a pretender.

"Thanks," said Ellen gratefully. "Do you think I would have....thanks. God...thank you so very, very, much."

Sarah looked away from the baby – no, she looked at the baby. He was smiling. He was happy and for a second she was too, and it didn't really matter that biologically he wasn't hers. In the sense that it took a village to raise a child he was - village being the second largest city in the country, and person being superhero. She was connected to that. She wasn't pretending.

"You must get this a lot," said Ellen. "You know...thank you."

"Not as much as you think" said ‘Mazing Girl. "Can I hold him?"

"You don't have a kid?" asked Ellen.

‘Mazing girl shook her head.

Ellen unhooked the baby and placed him in her hands.     

And Sarah held him for a second, she shook in place just a tad. And felt love for someone she would never see again, or know again. Another anonymous face in the crowded city of LA, but he would always be part of her. Even the fact that his mother was even now taking an iphone picture of her didn't spoil the moment.

Sarah kissed him on his forehead and gave him back.

Then turned to leave.

Oh wait...she promised to help them get out of a ditch. This was awkward.

"Um...I'll fly you up out of the ditch first, then get the car."

And so went Sarah’s Halloween.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Tribe of Gothos

Sarah walked into the nightclub of vampires.

Or, at least, some vampires. There were also people she abstractly realized were what, in a gay/lesbian alliance might call an ally. Which in vampiric terms meant, well, she didn't quite know...bt it was a distinction.

Or maybe there was no distinction.

This was the problem of vampires.

If they were, in fact, vampires.

The club was really a second floor bar, in Hollywood - and a fairly small one - maybe 20 feet wide with a bar, which was tight, with a small dance floor at the end. However, it was well done, with a kind of style that could be described as early, satin sheets everywhere. It felt like the past, but no particular year. A kind of timeless quality that was, thankfully, not particularly steampunk.

Sarah looked at the group of about 20...30...ish people. Most were in the 20s, about 85% were some version of doable, as she remembered Elaine had described them in Sienfield.

Goths mostly. Young, and fairly pretty, if occasionally either very thin or occasionally fat. Though not all. A fair number had the kind of designation that if you put 10 of them in the room at once, you would say - wow they’re goths - but individually, not so much.

The fact that most seemed happy was good. You know, it was a Saturday night, go out enjoy yourself - maybe drink a little blood. Sarah’s job was very often finding people who had elaborate evil plans, who were laughing and enjoying themselves before attempting to destroy the city. This was a much more casual meeting.

Of vampires. If they actually were vampires.

Sarah had walked in wearing her gothiest outfit - which wasn't as gothy at her high point, but what can you do? Sarah had never been a goth, but there was days very early in college where if you put her with those 9 other people that’s what you might want to say. Now she had to skimp a bit for the vaguely punkish black skirt and fishnet top over red tanktop. At least her skin was white. Actually, looking at the crowd, she had the sensation that she was trying a little hard.

Which often happened when she tried something like this. Sarah was going undercover to investigate a reported drug ring, and a guy on the street gave her this name. She wasn't really an undercover type superhero – makeup, costuming: not her thing. However, at some point she got a license from the police that looked legal enough, and also 15 bucks from an ATM, which meant that she could not legally be excluded. And in undercover work, that was often enough. Yes, she looked an awful lot like ‘Mazing Girl even with her - not really a disguise, as she actually needed them, but worked pretty well as a disguise, despite a million superman jokes to the contrary - glasses. However Sarah almost always looked an awful lot like ‘Mazing Girl and it worked well enough. Just being out and about without people knowing your name was a pretty good disguise.

Sarah looked around. The other viable strategy of jumping in and harassing people at random, while wearing a silly costume, until they responded, may have been better - it certainly would have been faster. However, it could have resulted in the problem she occasionally ran into on the street, that people lied to her,  in the let send  her after our enemies, or into an erotic world of passion and betrayal - otherwise known as a late nite cinemax movie.

The world of the vampires.


Sarah was a super strong, super fast, super tough, and super good looking (okay, maybe not that last one) super hero. The laws of reality only casually applied to her. Which was the problem. Who was she to judge?

Vampires didn't exist. They where creatures of the movies (mostly) and books. There were about a thousand standards of what vampires were. In reality, these people were probably somewhere between a fetish and mental illness.


Well...it’s a crazy world.

Some people had super powers, and there had several cases of people who had superpowers pretending to be vampires - which made sense, if you thought you had superpowers then thinking you were a vampire might one way to deal with that. Or maybe, that’s just what they were.

Whenever she was in places like this she couldn't entirely rule out such things.

As she sat down at a table, knocking it slightly in nervousness, a tall reedy looking man with gaunt features, and a prominent widow’s peak, moved a hand to steady it for her - in what seemed like a genuinely kind gesture, she had the problem.

These were people - maybe evil vampires, but in really if she put a stake in their heart that would probably constitute murder.  Sarah may be a superhero who followed the kind of code of, well, anyone who wasn't a casual psycho. Even for evil people she didn't belive in the death penality. Even for evil. Even for Adolf Hittler in a theroetical time machine(for purposes of this anology for some reason the time machine has a mustache). 

And besides, calling these people evil may be a stretch. Her eyes spotted a corner. A not very handsome man was drinking a girl’s blood from her neck - and given the way the girl looked, Sarah guessed it was consensual. ‘Mazing Girl wasn't going to go to a BSDM club - or the fakey-not-really-BSDM that featured chicks in leather but no actual whips or anything but could get really expensive real quickly and where mainly fake edgy shows for the rich - clubs, and arrest people. That would be wrong.

(Though the latter, when she came across them, did kind of offend her sense of good taste)

Also gay bars. In 2013 that would be beyond terrible. And was gay really a fetish? I mean, to classify them together? Ahh well, no she wasn't going to do that.

However, a drug ring...that was good reason to be here.

"So, why are you here?”

Sarah turned and looked. That was said out loud.

The speaker was a very handsome man - did she know him? He had kind of a male model look to him, with shaggy brown hair and upturned cheekbones. No...not model, more of, like, someone from a boyband - no....maybe, like an actor? He was very handsome with blue eyes. She swore she could recognize the face, but Sarah couldn’t place him. He was wearing a kind of suit that was both a suit and goth outfit - which was quite a trick.

"Oh, just checking things out," Sarah told him.

"No, really...why are you here?" the man pressed.

"Who are you?"

"Oh. My name is Jackson Rathbone."

The name. Yeah. He was in the twilight movies. Which she had seen. Yes. She remembered him. Huh. LA was funny like that. If you look carefully it was easy to find celebrities...sometimes in the weirdest spots.

Jackson spoke, "You didn't answer my question...Amazing Girl."

Sarah paused to consider, and then answered. "I am here looking for a drug ring."

Jackson thought a moment. "A drug ring - that seems like something out of a very edgy episode of Scooby Doo"

Sarah nodded. "I see your point. Hey...wait a second...”

"Oh...are you? Amazing Girl?" said Jackson "I just assumed, but didn't ask-are you"

Sarah paused, and considered carefully, then answered. "Yes. Well its spelled diffrently"

He sat next to her at the table. "Can I get a drink bartender...whisky, Sec... What are you drinking?"

"I wasn't," Sarah informed him.

Jackson nodded. "You do know what the cliental of this club is? I mean we don't post it on the door..."

Sarah nodded. "Vampires."

Jackson nodded back. "You know their laws about denying entry to those over 21? Silly really. I own the place actually. You’re not here to shut us down?"

Sarah shook her head. "No, just looking for...”

Jackson gestured at the room "This is a night club. Probably in the bathroom, but nothing explicit. You doing okay? Please don't attack me or hurt me, or my club...no big battles or dumb things like that."


Jackson chuckled.

"Did you want to call me master?"

Sarah considered this, and anwsered firmly. "Yes."

Okay...this was getting odd. Sarah was telling incredibly deep secrets and sharing information - kind of way-to=blow-your-cover-genius kind of stuff, to a very strange man who looked like a male model and who owned a nightclub for vampires, and...but, well...it seemed so far fairly natural - like she didn't have to give it much thought. Like all of this actually made a lot of sense.

Jackson smiled as a drink came to his table. "I don't drink wine. More of a whiskey man myself. We go through the vino though - it makes them feel good. Posers... 80 percent of them...not that it matters really. I’m not one to judge."

"What’s going on?"

Jackson nodded. "I'm a vampire. Believe it as you wish, I don't give a flying fuck. Probably if you did there would be trouble. So don't believe it. But that, you see, is my vampiric power, or one of them anyway. I can make people do whatever I say if I want them to. Which in this case, I do.”

Sarah nodded. This made sense – except, well she didn't believe him of course - but wait...fuck...ahh probabbly...fuck. Also his last sentance was a bit tortured but the gist was given.

Jackson nodded. "That’s the trick with any kind of hypnosis. It’s never fighting will. Being strong and tough - that makes things easier. It’s directing, not controlling. It all seems so natural and easy."

"So you use it to..."

"Well if I asked you for a million bucks the police would call it fraud, or something equally dreadful. But barring that, just being a douche. MO. Who cares? I talked myself into being a vampire in a movie - actually 5 of them. It amused me.”

That was right. He was a vampire in the Twilight movies. Just not the one who anyone cared or remembered. Probably, in fact, the least interesting one of the vampires.

Jackson considered. "Could have been the big star - but what’s the challenge in that? Really? What’s the challenge in anything? Challenge is over-rated. Why fight the world? Just enjoy it. I got to sparkle for a bit."

Sarah paused. This was something, if it was true, she should really care about, but she didn't quite believe it. And still...this was a nice place...

And wait...had she been told not to believe or do anything about it? Wait this was confusing...

"I am actually 49."

Sarah considered this. Huh? "Awkward age for a vampire."

Jackson nodded. "Tell me about it. But there’s babes blood...and...do you want to have sex with me?"

Sarah didn't hesitate.


Jackson looked her over. "How about now?”

Sarah’s reply cam fast. "Still no."

"Wait...I didn't phrase that into a command." Jackson nodded firmly. "’Mazing Girl: you want to bed down the incredibly sexual magestic fuck-toy that.....”

And Sarah threw his whiskey in his face.

Jackson shook. "Hey..."

Sarah got up and started to walk out. "You didn't finish your thought."

Jackson spoke up. “That’s not how it works."

Sarah shook her head. "Hypnosis needs an element of cooperation to work how you want it to, and I want no part in what you have to offer."

"Yes you do."

Sarah turned. Well, he had a point. This was fun.

Oh fuck...

"Your pathetic, you know that?" Sarah told him, "Using your powers just for sex...what’s the point? Why not just masturbate?"

"Do you masturbate?" Jackson asked with a smile.

"Two or three times a day," Sarah confessed.

"Describe it," suggested Jackson.

"Well, I have a vibrator, but that’s a little strong. First time is usually when I wake up...not all the time, but maybe three times a week...it just feels so good...so I close my eyes, and just really let my body tells me what’s natural, I play with my clit a bit, my boobs...I have really nice boobs.:

"I agree," said Jackson. "Do you get off on humiliation?"

Sarah shook her head. "Not humiliation...sometimes do it after battles...after being in the field. Sometimes just being super strong is such a turn on...lifting tons and tons of weight...wow, it just makes me so wet sometimes...and I have to...well...I just have to release it."

Jackson smiled. "I am not so pathetic am I? Compared to you...slut."

Just then a voice came behind her, and over walked a young girl about 20. She was overweight - not the kind of rubenesque hourglass of Sarah, but very much a pear, with fiddly boobs and brown ragged hair. She looked, in short, well...like you would imagine someone who really liked twilight wearing a velvet dress. Not very threatening.

"Masturbating doesn't make her a slut. Having sex doesn't make her a slut. It doesn't make her super empowered, but she does. And you shouldn't do that."

"Yes, Mandin," said Jackson.

"Now apologize to her," ordered the woman.

"I'm sorry," said Jackson as Sarah just watched. The thing of it was his expression never changed. He was snide and condescending to the max, and he still looked snide – yet the apology was sincere. No fight, no clenched lips, It was all natural across his face.

"Jack gets like this," said Nandin, "He’s still very young as a vampire. We can be jerks. But he’s dreamy. Now hug mommy."

And Jackson walked around behind the woman and gave her a hug.

"So you’re the..." Sarah began before being cut-off.

"The head vampire. Yes. That what the Simpsons would call em, and who am I to argue with the Simpsons? Me and my little clan here?"

"Are there any kind of, like, drugs?" Sarah asked.

"Be specific," said Mandin.


"You know I don't think I’ve really seen coke in the scene since the 90s. It was everywhere then. Not to much these days. They go in shifts. Ecstasy; meth. I don't think the kids are doing anything, really, at the moment. But you can ask around. I want to keep a clean club. Marijuana yeah, but you’re not here for that are you?"

"No," said Sarah.

"I think a couple of people smoke, but no dealers like that. Wouldn't tolerate it."

"Must have got some bad info."

"We’re an easy target," said Mandin. "Always have been. Its why we stay in the shadows. No one believes in us. Easy not to believe. You don't believe either."

"Of course not," said Sarah. "This is silly stuff, mixed with mild psychic powers."

"I was a deluded but rich twilight fan, who found a star and am plying him with money to keep him happy as my boy toy. Which is true enough. Do you like the books?"

"Actually...yeah," said Sarah.

"They have their moments. I grew up very Christian, so it helps. Of course, that was the 1860s."

Sarah nodded and turned. “I won't bother you guys anymore then. If you see anything, tell the police about it."

"Will do," said Mandin.

Sarah walked out. Boy this was stupid. Thinking they were real vampires. God, how dumb was that? Still, as she walked outside into the night, there was a way that the night and the moment could make you believe the impossible, the strange and unproven. Something about the moon and the atmosphere, the way the fog moved, yeah, in the right...light was the wrong word. But...shadow. In the right shadow, anything could happen, even undead creatures of the night.

But that was silly.

And Sarah leapt up from the ground and soared 1000 feet up in the air...off into the moonlight.

Which made, like, total sense.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Proper Hygeine is Important

Well, no-one likes to go to a doctor.

For an invulnerable superheroine, this was trickier still.

Sarah was generally glad she had good health - and as far as could be told, fairly normal anatomy. Other then skin that was for all practical purposes unbreakable, bones too...well, general invulnerability, unlimited stamina, super strength. And the ability to hum really well.

However, if you gave her an X-ray (the hospital kind, not the superhuman type) you would find her normal enough lungs, pancreases things of that nature. So it all kind of worked, and kept her in, generally, pretty good health.

Which was good, because doctors tended to, like, to want to draw blood, and things like that.

But she was a having a problem, an embarrassing problem, and on this day she went dutifully to the doctors office, as was allowed under her Trade Guild medical plan...

Her doctor’s office was in a big medical building, which was good. It made it seem fancy and important, which she liked in professional service. Her accountant and her lawyer were all in big buildings too. She thought it would be cool to jump up to their offices and talk to them out the window but she knew the glass in these buildings was very thick and hard to talk through, and in this case she had to show her vagina off which would just be awkward 20 stories up.

And besides, she liked the big brass covered elevator.

She got in with about 5 other people. Elevators were fun. This wasn't a fast elevator. but it was a very nice looking one. She could appreciate good art design, being an art designer herself. If she hadn't gotten into movies, she probably would have ended up as something like an interior designer (she knew a lot of people who worked in her field who did that on the side) and she liked spaces.

She looked into the glass reflection to see a woman standing next to her.

Did she recognize her?

The woman was about 5'1 long black hair wearing a pants suit and a tie with a vest. Stylish enough. She had a slightly serious, sombre look.

She looked a bit more carefully at the woman’s face. Huh? Was there...? Did she know this woman? A good/bad thing about working in TV was that you saw a lot of people. Tons of actors, extras, crew members, passers-by on the street. Most days she was introduced to a dozen people, who scarcely went by her. And in her other line of work...well, even more. She wasn't a politician, but ‘Mazing Girl wasn't above shaking peoples hands.

But this woman...

She was pretty. Very small, very thin, with long black hair, and...


She waited for her to leave, not wanting to make the situation awkward.

However, on the 20th floor Sarah got out...and so did the woman she recognized as The Flame.

They walked forward down the hall - and Sarah opened the door to go into...

"Oh, are you here for Dr. kramer too?" asked The flame.

"Yeah," said Sarah.

She was 90 percent sure. That wasn't a good percentage. Not to really confront someone. Sarah had been confronted a couple of times about being 'Mazing Girl, But she suspected a large portion of her secret identity was based on the concept that people were just too awkward to ask her about it.

However, the woman noticed it before she walked in and whispered.

"Are you...."

Sarah nodded. "And you?”

The Flame nodded.

They walked in.

It was a nice waiting room. That’s what Sarah looked for in an office. Lots of girly magazines to which Sarah didn't read unless she was in a doctors office. Golf Digest which was a better magazine then you might imagine, even for someone who cared nothing for sports and less for golf.

Sarah found a chair. The Flame sat next to her.

"So...what are you in for?" asked Sarah.

"Pap-smear," said The Flame.

"It’s good to check that out every year," observed Sarah.

There was an awkward pause.

"I am having pain when I pee" said Sarah. "I think something with yeast."

"Ugh," The  Flame shuddered.

"It’s getting greener..."

And The Eternal Flame let out a low laugh.

"I can't laugh when I’m in costume."

Sarah smiled at the Eternal Flame and put her hand on her thigh, and shook it.

"Wait, their going to call your name," Sarah said.

"Or their going to call your name," said Flame.

"Yeah," said Sarah.

"I’m going to go up ask to use the bathroom," said Flame. "Tell them. They'll find me as opposed to calling my name out-loud.

"This is silly," said Sarah.

"I agree," said Flame. "It’s the nature of things."

There was a pause.

"However, you know...maybe we can go out for drinks or something like that...no reasons we can't be friends."

Flame closed her eyes. "I don't drink." She walked up towards the receptionist, who led her in.

Sarah waited for a long time. She got an issue of Golf Digest. She then realized that she was the only woman in the room. Which wasn't that unusual for a gynaecologist.

Sarah started to read the magazine, and was instantly entranced in a world of five-irons, tee times, and articles about professionals she didn't know or care about. There was the black dude they profiled. God, that was the first thing she thought about Tiger Woods? She was disgusted in herself.

And she pulled out her iphone and confirmed. He wasn't really black either. Yeah, she remembered that vaguely. He got into some weird trouble a couple of years ago.

And before she knew it was 1:30. Her appointment was for 1:10. No receptionist called her name. She went to the front, and realized there was no receptionist at the desk. She didn't remember her that well from her visit last time, but she was an older black....

Oh, fuck herself.

Sarah shrugged and looked in. She opened the door to the office...

"Is anyone here?" she called out...

And fell over unconscious.


Sarah awoke inside a small cage, inside a large black void.  Beyond the metal cage there seemed to be nothing, no walls, no ceilings, just darkness and black.

How long she had been out, she had no idea. She didn't feel any of the after effects of drugs or things like that. In fact, she felt fine.

The cage looked like something you would hold a rampaging gorilla in. lots of thick steel bars, 10 feet by 10 feet. Big...strong. It looked to be very well constructed.

Sarah grabbed two bars of it, and effortlessly pushed them open. She heard the whine of the metal as it went – however, while in the movies this took a while for superman to use his incredible strength against the metal, for her it was easy as plying two slices of bread apart. Actually, as she did so the metal stress literally pulled one of the bars out of the sockets, letting it fall in the air.
Childs play.

She suspected that she had an advantage, no-one would put ‘Mazing Girl in such a light cage.

She put her hand to the ground to feel the floor.

And felt nothing at all.


Sarah shrugged, and grabbed the edge of reality and pulled it back with her arms. Her awesome strength destroyed the fabric of existence easily enough.

The giant black void around her was ripped aside and she saw-a white void. For about a second.

Then what looked to be an Asian garden. The lines of pagodas, chrysanthemums, streams, and pine trees, formed out of nothing.

This looked simple enough.

Then came the ninjas.

They jumped in, spinning about as they tended to do in movies. Wearing black pyjamas, they came in from nowhere.

What her assailants probably didn't know, was that she had actually fought ninjas just last month, actually. The thing about real-life ninjas – they don't wear ninja getups. They actually tend to be real good at looking like normal people, particularly ones you don't notice. They had actually looked like a group of bums.

These looked like something out of a comicbook.

Which was fun for her, as she rarely encountered the absolute comicbook.

One of them came at her with a sword, with a mighty kai, to slash her in her half.

It hit her invulnerable skin and did less then nothing.

She  grabbed his hand and his sword and then proceeded to toss him out of the universe.

But now she had something fun to use.

There were about--oh 20 ninjas.And Conversation of ninjutisus and all...

She started to move faster then the normal eye could process.

She began, moving a 100 miles an hour, to slash them, cutting them up like cordwood. the blade was extremely sharp, and made quick work of them as they fell before they even realized what was happening to them, falling down to the ground in waves of mook. It was fun.

However, for each ninja she dispatched into small ninja chunks - taking one, tossing him into the ground, and cutting him into exactly 5, more appeared. Exactly...

She had managed to dispatch 85 of them in about 20 seconds. However, this was still taking too much time.

She punched the ground. It was something she always wanted to do. Hell, the great danger was less the ninjas then the part of her that just wanted to cut loose, to be the infinitely strong, infinitely powerful person she fantasised about - which was complicated by the fact that she actually was infinitely strong and powerful.

But with at least 500 ninjas, this should help with that.

The punch sent a giant shockwave through the garden, breaking most of the structures, creating a gigantic rift through the environment, a wave of devastation over the ground. The ninjas flew backward from the punch, flying through the air as if they had been hit by a bomb. Which they had, in effect. The ones nearest to the blast almost disintegrated into nothing, and nothing was there, just them.

And five more appeared.

There were now at least 2500 ninjas around her.

And they started to act funny.

There is a concept in video games called frame rate - the idea if too much is on the screen things start to take a hit - and the reality of, say...Call of Duty changes from smooth sense of the real, to a choppy mess.

The same thing was happening with her world. 

They were moving slowly, if at all, appearing in blurry sync, giving a sense that they were copying motions of each other - they flickered in and out of existence, in and out of reality.....

And she noticed to her left a small crack in reality with something past it...

And ‘Mazing Girl pushed her way in.

There probably weren't too many layers left.


She was in a large house. Actually, too large. She was clearly in a hall but everything was at least 10 feet tall. However, it was a hall...the concepts of the universe where ill-defined for space here, ill-defined for reality.

Then she had a sense perhaps of where she was. She was in a child’s home, a child’s space - she was looking up at the railings of a stairway going down into a children’s living room with pictures and shapes that a child would see.  It wasn't her as a child. This was clearly a very large split-level home...almost Victorian. She grew up in a tract home bungalow but it was a childhood nevertheless. She looked around for a second and tried to get her bearings.

Then the voice...

"How long can you hide Jarmin? You are still pathetically trapped in your meaningless existence."

It was a loud male voice that had an outrageous accent. However, she wasn't quite sure of it. Well she shouldn't worry too much about races and stereotypes. That was today’s lesson.

Well, not really, but there she was.

She paused. And realized if someone was hiding she probably should make herself visible.

"Hi! HI!!" she shouted, and then waved her hands.

"What?" demanded the voice.

'You captured me in this reality. Tried to lock me in a cage, Attacked me with ninjas – um, what’s going on here?"


"I don't get that a lot," Sarah said, "But thanks for the compliments."

A door opened. And out came a small man. Wearing a...what looked to be stereotypical...well, Asian clothing (Jesus Christ). She sighed. She really couldn't narrow it down more then that. God she was just the worst person today.

She saw in the door a small boy, standing in the corner turning his head to the wall. He looked vaguely familiar. Well, no matter. Because a huge-10 foot tall Doberman Pincer also climbed out. They normally looked very friendly...but this one...snarled like a wolf

"It’s not your demon American - but it will do I think.”

"No," said Sarah.

She then punched it in its face and it disintegrated.

"What is going?" said Sarah.

Out of a door came The Flame, wearing her street clothes.

"It’s no use,  shalk . You can't fight both of us at once. Your can create your mental prisons, but you still need to use your own mind. You can't keep so many inside at once. You were never that good a jailor."

"But you’re a weak nothing!" said Shalk "A little...”

"well, she is the strongest woman I know," said the flame. "can you destroy him?"

And Sarah leaned in and punched Shalk so hard that the entire mental universe she was in collapsed.


Sarah woke up on the floor outside the waiting room. Her nose hurt. She had fallen funny. Still, she got up and walked into the room.

She saw that the receptionist, a nurse, and her gynaecologist where all waking up in various rooms of the clinics. As she came into the main observation room she saw The Flame doing the same. And next to her the one identified as Shalk was unconscious.

"shalk is an old foe. an enemy from my past. he tracked me down,  i isuppose. Thanks for your help in dealing with him. he’s quite powerful."

Flame’s voice had changed from normal human, to...well, The Flame’s. Sarah hadn't noticed it inside the dream. She wondered which of them was real and which was fake. Still, she just looked very small and vulnerable in her normal clothing. She was so small. Close-up she looked to be maybe 30 - but still, she had the aura of a child, yet there was something haunted about her.

"He attacked at your gynaecologists," said Sarah, "That’s pretty fucked up."

"where we’re vulnerable and human," observed The flame, "smart move. I would have done it. And no regrets either. It’s what I am. I take people like him and punish them. But I am no better. Not really."

Sarah looked at Flame. "   I did see your private....hell i guess. But you don't have to live. there you don't have to be there. come out"

Flame looked forward. "The world requires me to stay there. To be The Flame that guards it. An eternal vigilance. It’s who I am. The price I bear."

Then Ms Cindy Kramer, their gynaecologist, came in. "so what the fuck just happened?"

The Flame smiled. "I think maybe there was a gas leak - this poor gentleman seems to have been effected more...maybe we should call him an ambulance."

"Who is he?" asked Cindy.

"I'm as much at a loss as you are, Dr. Kramer."

"Let’s all go see a doctor. I still feel loopy. It’s like someone talked in my head for the last 4 hours, all in Bhutanese. I mean...a doctor who isn't me. I mean...you know what I mean."

"Um...I  feel fine, but I came for a yeast infection/"

"Go buy some Monistat. And remember: Proper hygiene. If you let stuff fester inside of you it tends to break out into really nasty stuff."

Oh...that was the lesson!!! That was the lesson.

Sarah walked out. She then looked for a second more at Flame. Her eyes met hers, for a second they were human. ThenFlame/Sarah looked down at Shalk. And they were something else. She wondered if the flame would learn it.

But, ehh, she remembered from biology if you didn't let things fester inside  all the stuff in your gut would go away and you would wither and die. So many be keeping the demons had value...and
She walked past the black receptionist and...

Oh, fuck...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Over the Top!

This was one of Sarah’s favourite parts of the job.

Watching teamsters carry heavy stuff.

Sarah, of course, was 'Mazing Girl, and her strength...well, she was very strong. She could have carried pretty much everything in all of the trucks that transported the cast and crew - and not just the stuff in the trucks, but the actual trucks - in one hand. And these were large trucks.

But she didn't.

Union rules.

Teamsters, she observed, had to have existed at some point when the mob were involved in movies. They drove the trucks. All of the trucks. All of the cars. Sarah could drive a truck...it wasn't particularly hard. She could see that woth long hauls, yeah, that made sense to hire someone professionally. But the teamsters rarely drove more then half an hour, and when they did they sometimes helped unload stuff. But it was almost a universal truth that when they were working no one else was actually on set. Sarah had worked on a couple of non union projects and she didn't think for one moment she actually missed them or that things were any slower.

But it was fun to watch them work sometimes.

They were filming at the Brand Library complex in Glendale, which was an exquisite library full of old books, probably donated by someone named Brand. That wasn't important. What was useful was that the outside looked a fair amount like a dance school - or someone had thought so, and now they were filming there for an episode in which the guys went...to dance school, or something. Sarah actually hadn't paid that much attention to the script to be honest. IThey was getting to be a problem really. However, it was cool.

The library actually a bit like a fake Middle East. Dance school? Ahh well, Sarah still had other things to worry about. She had to get some of that powder stuff for dancers for a scene they were shooting in a multipurpose room later. Dancers, it turned out, didn't need a whole lot of props, so she had time to watch the teamsters.

It was fun and lazy.

After they finished setting up, the grips got to work on the lights. They had a lot of them to set up, and very big ones as well for people shooting on video - which didn't actually require a large amount of light to work right. Shooting union in LA was a weird experience. She expected 50% of the people and items on set could be cut, really...and not be missed. She included herself in the list of things to keep despite the fact that really there were very few props to master, and in the field she couldn't do all that much to work on crafting next weeks stuff.

It should have been abstractly terrifying, but ehh...Sarah was a superhero and thus had a pretty good tolerance to fear, fear of giant monsters and evil genius variety. This had also seeped down into not being scared of the economic viability of the industry given multiple pressures.

So she watched the grips. Then she got bored of that and watched the actors.

The two leads where talking about baseball. Really she thought it was a cliche that guys talked about sports. Lazy writing - but yeah that’s what they were talking about. They had both in there own ways had been famous before appearing on the show - but here they where.  It was kind of weird when famous people talked about everyday things. The weather, movies, lunch - all of the experiences of life you have, Tom Cruise has. He wasn’t just a crazy scientologist who acted in movies. She had been on set with him once when he had yapped for half an hour about football (he was a big fan of some team, she forgot which one). As someone who was abstractly famous herself she lacked the self awareness to think too much about that first bit.

But in any case she grew bored with the actors and turned back to the teamsters.

They were behind the trucks, there where about six of them - and to a stereotype all large beefy men.

And they had setup a table to do an organized arm wrestling match.

Oh fuck yeah.

There wasn't beer; there weren’t pretzels, but my god. Sarah was an extremely strong woman - we have established that. She was also really bored by organized sports. We have established that.  But she found watching very large men being strong fascinating.  She also found gay porn fascinating, and they were similar but different. Something about men against men, anger and emotion at war.

And there was yelling.

So, so much yelling.

Sarah paused, leaning against a truck. Several other crew came around and watched - a couple joined in. It was an exterior shot at mid day with two male leads - you didn't need all that much really. A group of extras had been hired - a number of them were actual dancers of the ‘weird when you look at in person’ body-type, popularized by the black swan. Sarah watched their curious eyes. This world must seem so exotic to them.

What, with the grunting and all.

The 6 teamsters where joined by a couple of others. Jonas, a set dec with a southern accent, and Chuck the best boy (who was older then she was). Between takes they wrestled, challenging each other to manly displays of might and method. It looked like the teamsters were good at this - several had the large arms you don't get at gyms in LA, and it looked as if they had given serious strategy to it.

Sarah paused.

Was there a secret underground world of Arm wrestlers on set-did they do this often? She had never noticed it - perhaps so busy caught up in her world and her responsibilities.  If this was so she should quit being a superhero immediately and go to her true calling of being a an arm wrestler groupie.

She would make up a tea shirt of her new identity - 'Arm Poon'.

It didn't take long for her to see the hierarchy.

Mo was their leader. He was the best. He knew it, everyone knew it. He drove the costume truck, and while phrases like the toughest mother fucker alive may not describe him - he had an incredible quiet intensity. He did what was asked, for a teamster had a very svelte physique and once admitted to eating Vietnamese food in a manner that suggested that it had happened before and he wasn't going to make fun of it.

But when he yelled, he roared. And you couldn't top that. A Primitive Kai in the intellectual world of cable cop comedy/action shows.  Was he so strong? His opponents, in their own heads too weak? What of technique?

As he defeated another challenger, the answer was apparent: he was strong.

Sarah watched him.

And she wanted to be a man and have angry anal sex with him

Huh.  That was normal for a woman.

Of course Sarah wasn't a normal woman, no matter how much she pretended. And she was good at pretending, having played several dungeons and dragons games and taken a couple of acting classes and improv in college. But though Sarah was preternatural - born of man and woman - she could do things the rest of humanity could only dream. She was more powerful then he would ever be – ever, ever be. Her lone pinkie had more strength then all of his body to use a clinch. She was separate, different, and yeah, 'better', A word you don't want to use but well...probably probably.

But certainly different. So, so different.

But she pretended.

And so her tragedy:

Superman could never be with the woman he loved.

Hulk could never control his anger.

Batman could never forget.

She could never take part in illegal underground arm wrestling tournaments.

This was her power, this was her curse, Who was she? She was ‘Mazing Girl.

Thankfully it didn't prevent her stealing from...wow, was Spiderman nearly a 15 year old movie? And Was James Franco in it playing just a douche. Wow. Time flies.

Max walked over. Max was her somewhat nerdy, somewhat fat certainly weak armed sissy boy and was the shows gaffer. He looked a little lost. Among the bigger men, not being particularly tall. Gaffing was one of those professions that one might assume a certain blue-collarness...but well.

"Hey chuck can you help with the generator-we have got

There was mighty yell as MO pushed chucks arm down to the table.


Max paused.


"God, that....”

"Doesn't count" said mo "you where distracted. you can have another go"

max coughed. "We got to work on getting the lights up and..."

"You need to be a man, best boy."

Chuck got up. "Later."

Mo watched chuck as he walked away, not getting up from the table.

"You got to stop bothering my assistant," said Max.

"What are you going to do about it pipsqueak?"

"Tell the director," Max told him.

There was a low laugh from the group. And they where right to laugh. That was pencil neck, and even Sarah knew it.

The UPM walked over unannounced. The Unit Production Manager was the person who was in charge of well everything on a set. Whether he out-ranked the director depended on the shows power dynamics - But Mavin definitely was.  The man in charge of the budget, keeping things smooth and organized. He ruled the show while directors came and went.

"You going to take that college boy?" said Mavin. "He’s questioning your manhood"

Which was a real Mavin thing to say. Despite the fact that they had to shoot 48 minutes in 6 1/2 days which was about a minute an hour, which is a lot, he was easily distracted by competitions, challenges or sometimes beams of light. Also, last year Max had taken a community college course in French which was obviously confusing to Mavin. 

Entertainment. You never know where skill and intelligence lands...or doesn't.

Max shook his head "I got stuff to do."

Mavin shook his fists. "Fight, fight, fight!"

Several people started to join them Sarah wasn't one of them, at least, not with her mouth.


"So what are you doing?" demanded Max. "Arm wrestling? What are you, like, 10?"


Max looked at the crowd realizing he was the butt of some  joke.

Sarah decided it was time to save the day. She walked over to Max, putting her hand around his shoulder. "You can take this guy."

"No I can't," said Max. "That’s ludicrous, and you know it."

"Fear," said Sarah, "Don't let it be your master...or something to that effect."

Max shook his head. He didn't look scared. Max probably made close to a 100k a year, had a model for a wife, and a very nice home in a Bevery Hills adjacent area. To use an expression one might say, he had won in life. He didn't have anything to prove to it, or the large sweaty teamster behind him. It was a look that briefly gave Sarah guilt as she did.

"It will be fun," said Sarah.

"He’s not going to kill me. But I might hurt my arm or something, and we have a lot of stuff to do today."

Sarah job sometimes was to be brave for other people. To be hope. She knew intellectually "Macho bullshit" for other people was pretty stupid, even for Sarah, who frequently did pretty stupid stuff.  She smiled at him. It was good that he was a sober, sweet man, and for maybe the 10th time in their relationship she wished he wasn't married, Because someone like him would do a good job of maturing her.

"Crying on your woman?" asked Mo.

"We’re not together," Sarah said, maybe just a tad faster then she should have.

"Looks like it" said Mo "Just saying. supose I should envy you. Thats a hot peice of ass. Why don't she come over to my apartment and show her what a real man is"

"FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!" said Mavin.

Sarah paused.  She vaguely recalled that last sentence was a line from a movie, but A: She couldn't place it, and B: She couldn’t be sure it was intentional.

Another part of her cursed. When men sexually harassed her, which happened a lot in her line of work, she couldn't destroy them.   Litterally.

Max sighed, and shook his head.

"I don't have time for this."

"The electrical work on this show" said Mo,"I have always thought was pretty crappy. Now I know why.”

"Okay. Lets do this,"  declared Max, turning and walking back towards him.

Max sat at the chair. "So how do we do this?"

Graham, another teamster who seemed to be the unofficial referee walked over. "Take off that wedding ring. Put your arm on the rest here, then grab hands. First hand that touches the table wins. When I say go."

Mo smiled. It was a very horrible smile. Sarah had seen supervillains, like DECA, smile...but something about this was worse then all of them. It was not unmitigated evil that sometimes the worst but just men who think they have won.

Sarah walked over. "I've been watching. He likes to scream at you when he starts: Psyche you out. Ignore it. Just put your hand into the pressure. Don't let him do a quick drop, just go into it with all your strength."

Mo chucked. "Yeah maybe you should come over to my apartment. Your one hot momma...and I like a little meat."

Max looked at him. There was no fear, just revenge - revenge for insulting something no one should critique.

Sarah shook her head. She would not be having anal sex with him.

Actually it had been a while since she had anal sex. She could go for some of that. It had been a year or so since she had been in a relationship that lasted longer then a month and one rarely did it before...


Sarah knew the next part was very important.

She stood behind Mo to watch over her charge. Graham walked over. Mavin stood over and smiled.

Graham put the competitor’s hands together "When I lift my hand and say go."

They locked fingers. It was very macho. Mo, she noticed, wrapped his legs behind his chair, probably for leverage. If this was a movie one would say 'hey he was cheating, which meant the hero could then start to cheat as well, but well, no... that probably was just good strategy.

Sarah was going to cheat obviously but she didn't have that excuse.

Graham lifted his hand.


Max and Mo started - Mo was obviously a lot stronger, but for a second they went. Mo Bellowed at him in primal rage...and Max started to as well.


Mo didn't know how to respond, but he focused on his grip as the struggle continued.

And Sarah put her foot on his.

And pressed down with her little pinkie toe in his.

Mo felt it - the intense pressure-her little toe had more power then all of his body put together by a very comfterable margin.. His foot wasn't quite breaking but...

"AHHHHHHHHH!" he screamed from both ends.

And Max used the distraction to push his arm down in a mighty burst.

Sarah moved her foot. she was in a crowd of like 5 crew members.

Mo turned around and looked. But to his credit perhaps, he didn't say anything. Sarah guessed he didn't want to whine like a girl, loose his mystique.


"Got stuff to do," said Max, and walked off to the set without saying another word. That was cool. Damm cool.

Sarah walked off as the match broke up. Mo she noted massaged her foot. "I'll get you"

Sarah smiled. She had fought for truth, justice and the American way - which was to use overwhelming force against unsuspecting targets a lot of the time. 

When she was out of sight in the prop van she did a bicep curl...her meaty arm turned into a huge mass of muscle, expanding and growing as the forms on her arm turned into a horseshoe and then a Clydesdale of nearly 20 inches of powerful muscle, stronger then anything on earth.


Damm it. She liked that shirt.

"Need a hand?" said a teamster

"No, I got it," said Sarah.

Sarah shook her head. She needed to get this crap out of her system.

And then she did the other arm.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Forbiden Topic-Lambada

Models were odd.

It started with a camera, of course. One can imagine that it captures reality perfectly but it doesn't quite. Ones perspective subtly shifts between reality and the final image - a view that we expect to take up all of our field of vision is a couple of inches across, but we perceive it as if is. Human beings can barely perceive two dimensional objects as it was - we were designed to see cheetahs on the African plains (in case they were cheating).Our Gentic masters did not intend for people look at a picture ff talking bubbles and barely had figured it out.

So the gods created models.

Models were too tall. Arms too thin, faces often too angular.

Sarah saw a lot of models.

and up close they where a little scarry. the angularity beyond dimensions.

The casting director for the TV show she worked at often cast Sports Illustrated style swimsuit models for the girl of the week for the two heroes of the show.  They had the kind of Star power a cable show could get. However, well....

Sarah didn't admit this and didn't put this on her resume, but early in her career she did work a little bit on porno sets – in, yes, art direction, not having sex on camera. She came into an industry at the same time as one of porn’s periodic drives to put money and talent into the films. It didn't work out (for the industy) but she did have fun making a cool starship and, of her efforts as an actual art director, she was most proud. But the point was: She had seen a couple of stars and porn starlets; some had a little bit of talent. She remembered one in particular who she felt a little sad for, one who actually was a good comic actress, who might have been a good romantic comedy lead if she wasn't doing tickle fetish porn...in peril.

Which wasn't to say models couldn't be talented actresses, or couldn't remember their lines, or read their lines, or emote in the kind of manner that show required, or hit their marks, or interact with other actors, take directions, show up on time, craft a character that develops over 48 minutes, or deal with improvisation, or...wow this sentence is getting long.

But one Thursday morning, on a set at an auto body shop at a valley, a model -Monique Swain - was doing something that Sarah didn't always get. She was making her pay attention to the actual filming in front of the camera.  Sarah was actually kind of busy - she had a Bar shoot in the next episode which, though only for a few minutes, was always one of the more of the more complex things to do in props. Especially because a lot of the props would be used in a fight. She was in the planning stages, talking, emailing, looking at the Amazon style pages that were popping up in the prop game (which where getting real convenient) but...well. She was watching Swain play an improbably beautiful auto mechanic (okay...that was unfair. Sarah’s transmission shop had a grease monkey who was also very pretty. if also a heavily tattooed punk).

Which wasn't Swains character, but.....

It wasn't that she was 'good', but she had the aura of someone pushing as she went through a scene, describing a murder that she may have been involved in. She was supposed to play it superficially tough but inwardly vulnerable - but she had a power that made vulnerability almost silly. Again, not 'good'. But Sarah could see 'something'. The nearly 6 foot actress couldn't quite remember her lines – but, well she had attitude. She had sass. And on the takes she got right, well... Something.

The show’s star was picking up on it, and Sarah could see the respect developing in his face - even though he wasn't of the pair that was supposed to be falling for her. The director was getting impatient.  It was fun to watch.

Sarah wondered if someday, if she improved, someday this girl could be, well...a real actress. That was wrong word, as she was on a real show and thus a real actress - but let’s say a real big star. Sarah knew that in terms of looks she was there, and talent - well who knew? In Sarah’s years on the show she had seen a couple of people climb up the acting ranks - which rankled the actors on the show who ended up staying there.

Sarah considered her own dim future. She had never had ambitions of being a director - she had done a couple of short films in college, but found she had no real patience for actors (here was her poopooing the guy). Instead she had always wanted to be an Art Director, and guide the visual style - she admitted she influenced by the movies, the science fiction that had guided her life. She would do concept art, sets, costumes - she would be in charge. Now...

Well, her biggest success was a porn film.

now she was Doing props on a TV show that no one would notice the props on. That she mostly ordered from a book.

And her reward for doing well on it after this show got cancelled – well, was maybe another show where no one noticed the props. She had found a niche on long form episodic TV shows - she could manage props damm well. She had vague knowledge that the network was noticing how low her prop budgets were, and how well she managed it. Maybe she could do a network TV show where no one noticed the props.

There were movies, but, well...she was now been established as good in television, There was sci-fi TV, but no one had shot a sci-fi show in LA for maybe 15 years. She could move to Canada to work on Battlestar whatever...

But, well...she was ‘Mazing Girl. And she defended LA. It was her mistress - and she couldn't leave her career for a little thing like her job.

At last the scene was done.

They were filming three at the auto body shop, but they switched up to one that didn't involve her, so Monique wandered off. Sarah went back to next-weeks shoot. looking at her computer, pressing the buttons...that was her talent. She sipped some coffee.

"Hey," said a voice behind her. "How did I do?”

Sarah turned to see Monique.

"You did pretty good. You do a lot of acting?"

"Not really," said Monique. "Do you want to fuck?"

Sarah paused.


"Do you want to fuck? Have sex? Fornicate?  Make love...copulate, repuplate the little Earth planet..?”

"You can stop with weird metaphors," said Sarah, "Repopulate the Earth planet?"

"Well actually, no. That wouldn't happen," said Monique, "but when I get nervous, I like to have sex. And I am in the mood for, like, a little girl-on-girl, and you’re the only lesbian on the set."

"I'm not a lesbian," said Sarah.

"Well, I saw that you were looking at me, so just how straight are you?" asked Monique "Tell your friends you were with someone who did the cover of Maxim..."

Sarah considered. That would be impressive. She had friends that would in fact impress. It took a lot for Sarah to be with a women, but well, she had dabbled a little bit. 

But she was back to the world of...oh fuck.

"Hey...were you in the short internet movie Superb-girl the Great?"

"What was that?" Monique asked.

"It was about a supergirl who got captured by aliens, put on a rack and tortured with a radioactive dildo...that was not-for legal reasons- kryptonite"

"I don't know what you’re talking about," said Monique. "It sounds very..."

"You were one of the aliens. I remember the costume. I helped design it. Actually, I didn't want to go with straight latex, it was more like a skin. Kind of creepy actually, I remember there’s a shot of you in it in some colored lighting that almost looked a bit like a horror movie. One of the better shots of cinematography I ever did. It was in a brief "underworld is a terrible movie but damm if it doesn't look stylish" phase. I was the art director"

"Now you’re here," observed Monique.

"Yep," said Sarah.

"Okay, I admit it. If you don't tell anyone, you can have sex with me," said Monique

"Do you have, like, some kind of nymphomania?" demanded Sarah.

"Nymphomania is caused by very poor self imagery, slut-shaming does great for it," said Monique.

Sarah paused and considered. Tell someone? Did she think that little of her? Superhero or not, that was pretty fucking low...to blackmail someone over something that, yeah, someone probably knew. But no, she didn't really want to sleep with Monique.

"No." said Sarah. "Sorry"

"Do you want to get to know me?" asked Monique. "We can have coffee, and donuts....want me to love you?”

"Fuck you” said Sarah. ”I have work to do.”

She went back to her computer.

"Come on," pressed Monique. "How do you know you won't like it until you try it?"

Sarah was feeling more and more as if she was in a porn movie by the second.

She looked around. There were still a lot of people, and one actor from the show Firefly. There was no way if she had suddenly entered into a porn movie there would be that many extras.

"Look, ask the make-up girl, or something."

She was just saying that to get her off her tail. It was a pity. There were several gay guys on the set. Cecil, Eric the cinematographer was a very nice man. He owned a pet Sloth with his partner. He had brought it one day to the set to hang out. it was fun. Graham, one of the Teamsters - nice guy.  Bill Edwards, the police chief character - okay he wasn't on the set as he wasn't on call until after lunch, but yeah nice guy. Real gay for a guy playing the tough black guy who took away their badges every episode. Really.

"But I want you," insisted Monique. "You see the bind I am in?"

Maybe if she made out with her, Sarah could shut her up.

But fuck no. There where laws against sexual harassment. She could bring this up with her union, and despite what you may think even if Monique was an A-list actress things would happen. 

"Think of your career," said Monique.

"Okay, by this point," said Sarah, "I think we have established that this has less to do with sex then more then some weird power fetish."

"That’s what sex always is," said Monique

Sarah shook her head. "No. No...fuck, it’s about love...and I don't know what.”

"Maybe I remembered you from the set," said Monique. "Maybe all this time I have lit a torch for you."

"I am going to walk away," said Sarah.

"Good idea..."

Sarah walked.

"...’Mazing girl."

Sarah stopped.

Wait a second. No - she shouldn't have done that.

Stop, I mean.

That was a giveaway.

Waiting, she was pausing some more.

"You think your costume is so great, but really: look at you. A prop designer on a second rate TV show. You think you were hard to find? An amateur detective could find you."

"What are you talking about?" asked Sarah, unconvincingly.

"Were you trying to keep a secret identity? I have...well in fact. Hide in plain sight..."

"What are you talking about" said sarah with a bit more convicibality.

"I could tell you what I do, but then I would have to kill you," said Monique. "Tell you my real name. And note: that is true. Even a CIA operative can't kill an American civilian. But I can. But not you...not right now, that is.”

"You’re a fetish model, turned real model, turned actress on a second rate show. That’s what you do," said Sarah. "Maybe...do you have a line of cookware or something I’m skipping?"

"A cover," said Monique. "But I think you’re confusing me with someone else about the fetish model stuff. Models do look alike. Beautiful women always do. But then, I’m not a real beautiful woman."

Sarah paused to consider.

"I am an angel. Well, an alien really, but angel is better description in reality. I am here on earth to guide the progress of you...well partially through our super agents, the super beings we keep on earth. Such as you."

"Huh?" asked Sarah.

"You’re going to fight Deca, you know. And take what is most precious from him as your own. You will defeat a great impostor, but loose what is most precious in the process. Once these steps are done you will find the real truth, and meet your real destiny, Erica. You will live up to everything that you could, and would, be. There will be a great temptation...but not the kind you think. There will be a great revelation; but of something you already know. There will be choice of the most sadistic kind...and even I do not know how you will answer, but however you do, whatever you do will change the world more then you could ever imagine."

Sarah paused. She let Monique finish before reponding.

"My name isn't Erica."

"Oh?" said Monique.

"And I am not ‘Mazing Girl."

"Oh," said Monique. "Had you going there."

"You’re really fucked up."

"Yep," said Monique. "I am working as an actress you see. It’s a trick my teacher told me to try."

Sarah sighed.

"If you had sex with me, I would have done it though. I didn't really want to but...”

"Can we make out a little?" asked Sarah. "You know, just to impress the friends?”

Monique nodded.

And so they found the back of the garage and they did make out a little bit. It actually wasn't as hot as you might think. Models up close were kind of weird looking sometimes, and to do a kind of favor slap-and-tickle wasn't doing anything to help the process.

But yeah...Sarah had something to tell her friends.

And when she got back she went online and clicked to order Monique’s issue of Maxim. She was good at clicking buttons like that..