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September 3, 2012

I Hraet You (34)

Beat 34: Face to Face to Face…to Face

Trixie lurched forward with a sadistic grin, tossing the carving knife as easily as she would flip a coin.  “I’ve decided to do you a service, Lloyd,” she announced, her fingers squirming.  “Tell me where you want it most.  The gut?  The eye, maybe?  Come on, it’s not polite to keep a lady waiting -- show some initiative!”

Lloyd backed into the kitchen table -- though with the wood now lodged into his spine, he’d long since run out of places to retreat.  “Miss Walters!” he shouted.  But he couldn’t bring himself to say any more.

“Oh, so you finally acknowledge me?  At long last, you accept the truth?  Ah, it’s such a relief to hear you accept reality for once; now you know that the one who awakened the killer in me is -- and shall forever be -- the would-be emissary of love.”  A high-pitched giggle escaped from her lips, freshly moistened with a sheet of hunger-bred saliva.  “I suppose this is your last epiphany.”

Lloyd -- already soaked with sweat -- felt waterfalls of the stuff gush from every pore.  Trixie was trying to kill him!  Or was it her?  But who else could it be?  And how did this happen?  Did he truly unlock some buried murderous intent?  Was it all just a ruse by Gaston?  How, and why --?

“You never answered my question,” said Trixie, snapping him back to the present.  “What, you can’t decide where you want it?  Then I’ll choose for you.  I’ll give you the best you could ever hope for…and dig your heart right out of your body!”  She took the knife in both hands and lunged forward.

“I’ll not let you have my heart!” Lloyd yelped.  He threw himself backwards onto the table, avoiding a deadly slice by mere inches.  As he crashed down, he felt the table vibrate as the knife plunged into it.  He lifted his head up a bit to survey the damage; the knife hovered just a millimeter from his sacred spheres. 

Trixie smiled at him.

“…Perhaps my heart is a fair target.”

The southern stabber tugged the blade out of the table; with red eyes alight, she reeled back for another attempt.  But her telegraphing gave Lloyd a day-long opening -- and with a squeaky whimper, he rolled off the table and onto the floor.  He scurried as fast as he could on all fours, passing Trixie and making his way into the den.  “Oh, so you choose to play the fool until the very end?” she asked, pulling the blade out again and turning towards him.  “So be it.  I wouldn’t have you any other way.”

“Miss Walters, I must warn you: a man is at his most dangerous when he’s backed into a corner and seconds away from bursting into terror-born tears,” said Lloyd, backing away with hands raised as Trixie dragged herself into the room.  “If you would dare to mishandle my loins, then…then I will have no choice but to defend myself!”

“Defend yourself?  With what?”

“With…with…with…!”  Lloyd took hold of the nearest and most potent weapon within his reach: a small lamp.  “Ha ha!  Now we are both armed!  If you would dare risk a sound clobbering, then I impel you: come forth, and --”

Ka-SNIKT!

Trixie threw the knife into the lamp with enough force to drive the blade through -- and just barely missing Lloyd’s fingers.  “Eeeek!  I mean…Eeeek-HA!”  He waved the knife-lamp around triumphantly.  “Now you are unarmed!  And with this, your lethality is sure to plumme-”

The next thing Lloyd knew, he ate a knee to the face.

The attack knocked him flat onto the ground, with his limbs sprawled out and mouth throbbing.  But he’d have to put a trip to the dentist on hold -- at the moment, Trixie straddled him with the knife primed for a hearty thrust.  “Are you ready?” she asked.

Lloyd ran his eyes up and down.  “I’m not sure if this is a good situation to be in, or a bad one.”  Trixie gave him an immediate response: she stood up and stomped a foot onto his neck.  “Hrk!  D-definitely bad!” he squeezed through his windpipe.

“Hmmm hmmm hmmm…who would have guessed that getting you to quiet down would be so simple?” Trixie asked, unable -- or rather, refusing -- to restrain a giggle.  She drove her heel deeper into Lloyd’s throat.  “It is a shame that violence alone is the answer…but then again, that just makes it all the more pleasurable.  And yet, the real pleasure has only just begun.”  She twirled the knife around in her hand, and held it in a reverse grip; she could freely stab any one of Lloyd’s body parts and be done with him.

All he could do was hope she’d have mercy, and stab him above the belt.

But the stabbing didn’t come.  In fact, he could feel the pressure on his throat dissipating -- quite literally being lifted.  The same applied for Trixie; she started tipping backwards, rising higher and higher before she dipping past an apex.  The cause?  Likely, the arms wrapped around her chest. 

Likely, the leverage from a pair of arms and legs -- another human body -- looking to bring the pain.

Ka-GERMAN SUPLEX!

Trixie landed on the ground with a crash, flinging the knife into a corner of the room as she went limp.  Lloyd -- sputtering and choking and gasping for air -- rose to a seated position, and looked up at his savior.  But he didn’t notice the looks at first; no, all he needed to hear was that voice.

“Who the hell gave ya permission to start a ruckus?  Yer a guest in the Hoigleheimer house -- so ya damn well better act like it while I’m around!”

Lloyd’s tongue almost shot out of his mouth.  “Miss Walters?!”

Trixie, indeed.  Another one -- one not so red-eyed and psychotic, but much more welcome because of it.  She tugged Lloyd to his feet, and put herself between him and the other Trixie laying on the ground.  “That one’s a fake.  Don’t get suckered!”

“A-a bit too late for that, Miss Walters!”  Lloyd adjusted his glasses, making sure he had the right view.  “What manner of witchcraft is this?  How on earth can there be two of you?”

“I ain’t got a clue, pal.  But watch yerself -- this faker’s got half a mind to cut ya up.”

“That point has been duly noted.”

Lloyd and Trixie raised their guard as the second Trixie -- the fake Trixie -- sat up.  Would she scramble for the knife again?  Would she lash out at her attacker?  Or would she reveal her true face, with the genuine article now standing before her?  They’d find out soon enough; she rested on one knee, and…!

“Ow!  Aw jeez, I feel like I just got kicked in the head by a horse,” she moaned, rubbing her head.  She looked up at Lloyd, her eyes returned to their usual hue.  “What just -- whoa!  What the hell’s this?  Why’s there another me?!”

“What’re ya goin’ on about, ya fake?” the standing Trixie yelled.  She thrust a finger at the crouched Trixie.  “I just saw ya try and stab Lloyd!  I know ya mighta thought that as a joke, but ya never hafta do it for real!”

Lloyd pointed at himself.  “Y-you thought about stabbing me?”

“Focus, pal!  We got a problem here!”

The crouching Trixie -- with the suplex’s stupor passing -- sprang to her feet.  “Th-that’s right!  We got a HUGE problem here!  That guy Gaston is plannin’ somethin’ big!  Someone’s gotta stop him!”

“Now hold on here!” Lloyd yelled.  “Miss Walters --”

“Yeah?” both Trixies said at once.

Lloyd stared blankly at the two of them for a moment.  “All right.  For the moment, the murderous assailant will be known as ‘Stabby Miss Walters’ and the one with the impeccable dramatic timing will be called ‘Grabby Miss Walters’.  Now then, both of you, stand in front of the wall across from me -- hands behind your backs and feet spread apart.”

“Lloyd!” the Trixies pleaded.

“You needn’t worry, my dears,” Lloyd said with a smile.  “I’ve prepared for this situation through countless studies of the proper material.  Having watched every episode of Sister, Sister seventeen times, there’s nary a man in this world more equipped for the task of deducing who is who than yours truly.”

The two Trixies looked at each other, then Lloyd, and finally each other before moving toward the wall.  “Sure hope ya know what yer doin’, pal,” said Grabby Trixie.

“So what now?” Stabby Trixie asked.  “Is this the part where ya make us say ‘somethin’ only the real Trixie would know’?”

Lloyd stroked his chin.  “Well, that’s certainly a part of it, but --”

“Then how ‘bout I make this real short?  I’m the oldest daughter of the Walters family in Rockwood, a close-knit town in the south.”

“H-hey!  Who gave ya the right to tell my backstory?!” Grabby Trixie yelled.  She turned back to Lloyd.  “A-anyway, I’m from Rockwood, but I didn’t like the way things were goin’ down there, and so --”

Stabby Trixie nodded.  “So I came here to Porbeagle, ‘cause I heard there was a treasure here.  So I figured I’d find it --”

“--And I’d use that money to shake up my family’s influence in Rockwood.  And maybe --”

“--Maybe I’d start my surfin’ career, ya know?  Plus --”

“--Plus I needed a change o’ scenery.  Couldn’t say with my folks forever.  And besides --”

“--I AM a convicted killer.”

The room went silent.

Lloyd held up a hand, trying and failing for a half-minute to form coherent words.  When his mouth finally started working again, he pointed at the two Trixies repeatedly in succession.  “Wait.  Are you -- are you insinuating that…you can’t possibly expect me to believe that…”

“It’s the truth.  I’m a killer,” said Stabby Trixie.

“Inconceivable!  You would have me accept such an absurdity so quickly?”  He folded his arms.  “Then Lady Stabs-a-Lot must be the impostor.  Miss Walters, if you would…”

Grabby Trixie turned away.

“M-Miss Walters.  She…she IS lying, isn’t she?”  A wobbly smile stretched across Lloyd’s face.  “There is simply no way that you are -- that you could be a --!”

He didn’t bother finishing.  A noise behind the couch distracted him, and making him nearly jump out of his pants.  With that good-old-sinking feeling in his stomach, Lloyd turned to face it.  And sure enough, the culprit emerged.

“Ugh…man, my head’s killin’ me.  Feels like I fell off a hay ride,” said the third Trixie.

TO BE HEARTINUED…

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