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July 18, 2013

I Hraet You (75)

Beat 75: Inappropriate Diction for Sixteen-Year-Old Girls

This is not a good situation to be in.

Using the back wall as leverage, Lloyd picked himself up and stared ahead gravely.  That seems to be the theme of this past half-week or so, but in this case it applies now more than ever.  In the past, it was only my own life and my own well-being at stake.  Even if I were to err severely, the damage done to Miss O’Leary could likely be repaired.

He covered his mouth.  But it seems I was much too hasty, as usual.  I’d proclaimed that saving Miss O’Leary meant bringing an end to her trusted advisor.  I’d said so in earnest fervor, but only now am I beginning to realize the weight of such an act.  His fingers tightened.  To take the life of an incorporeal consciousness…is it no different from murder?  Am I in the moral right to do such a thing?  What must I sacrifice to help another -- and what consequences would follow?  And most importantly…

He shot a finger at Deirdre.  “Where did you learn how to FLY?!”

Deirdre chuckled as she floated around the center of the room, with her lips curled into a confident smirk and arms crossed under her mountain range.  “I didn’t need to learn anything, little boy.  All I had to do was imagine it, and I could do it.”

“So it’s the power of imagination, then?  Rather fitting, if you’re supposed to be a creation of Miss O’Leary’s -- albeit a troublesome one.”

“It’s more than just imagination.  It’s power.”  Deirdre chuckled again.  “You’re not getting it, are you?  You’ve lost control.  This place belongs to me -- and whatever I say goes.  Which reminds me…”  She turned towards a door on the side, and snapped her fingers -- and a half-second later, black vines splayed across it.  “You aren’t going anywhere.  Not this time, sweet cheeks.”

“What in the -- how did you do that?!”

“Weren’t you listening?  Whatever I say goes.  Which means that before this is over, I’ll have you wrapped around my little finger until the end of time.  And believe you me, I know how to take good care of my toys.”

Lloyd pointed feebly at her.  “That sounded vaguely sexual.”

“Well, I try to be subtle.  Now come here so I can [MEGA-CENSORED] your [INFINITY-CENSORED].”

“…That was not subtle, ma’am.”

Deirdre tossed up her hands and shook her head.  “Sometimes I wonder if I’ve got awful taste in men,” she said with a sigh.  She thrust a hand in front of her, then reeled it back in.

And Lloyd came hurtling toward her.

“HngaHARARUBARB!” Lloyd shrieked.  He wobbled through the air like a football pass gone awry, but with twice the speed of even the greatest Hail Mary.  His destination?  The beckoning arms -- among other things -- of Deirdre, as she flashed a sultry smile.

Aerodynamics, I beseech you!  Lloyd bent and snapped his body around as best he could -- which meant his torso and limbs whipped in every direction.  He hoped it would be just enough to save him, and throw him off-course from Deirdre’s sensual snare.  It did, but not as he’d hoped; his moves and momentum led to him slamming a foot into Deirdre’s face.  And while she gripped her nose, Lloyd went spiraling onward…at least until he slammed face-first into the stage’s back wall.

“F-feet…why did it have to be feet?” Deirdre growled.  She spun in midair, just as Lloyd started sliding downward.  “You rotten little -- do you think I’m going to let you keep messing with me?  Get down on your knees and apologize before I whip some manners into you!”

Lloyd peeled his face from the wall.  “I do apologize, but…by chance, may we leave the whipping for another day?  I feel as if I’ve been tenderized enough for one day.”

Deirdre bore her teeth, but a moment later slid back into her usual grin.  “Oh ho, I see…trying to get me all hot and bothered, are you?  Well, I see you know how to treat a woman better than I thought.  Maybe you’re more of a man than I give you credit for.”

“That may be the best compliment I’ve gotten in several days,” said Lloyd.  He plopped off the wall and fell onto his back, but quickly leapt to his feet.  “Hmmm.  You may be imaginary, but you seem to have your own sense of independence.  Independence, sentience, confidence…were I a scientist, doubtless I’d be enraptured by your very being, rather than your body.”

“What are you playing at?”

Lloyd rubbed his hair.  “To be honest, I don’t even know at this point.  What can I do in the face of such circumstances?  What should I do?”  His eyes brightened, and he stared directly at Deirdre.  “Ah!  Perhaps this means that both you and Miss O’Leary can join my harem?”

Deirdre’s grin turned into an all-out snarl, complete with a sound Lloyd had once heard in the forest.  “Bastard…I’m not about to share a damn thing with her!  I am me now!  And I’ll…”  She clapped a hand over her mouth -- and when she dropped it, she had that grin on her face once more, as mischievous as ever.  “My, my.  Trying to get a woman all riled up?  That’s no way to please, boy.”

That reaction…I wonder if that’s the key, Lloyd thought.  Under the circumstances, it likely is.  The question is what I should do with it.  Shall I press her further?  Or is a change of tactics in order?  He stroked his chin in contemplation…and would have kept doing so if he hadn’t noticed that he floated ten feet above the ground.

“I’m still waiting for your apology, boy.  So if you’re looking to satisfy me, you know what you have to do.  Come here and make merry…don’t be afraid to go out with a bang.”

“The sheer density of double entendres is reaching critical mass, ma’am!” But Lloyd’s shout fell on deaf rabbit ears; Deirdre tugged him toward her once more, this time with more than double the force.  He flailed through the air, and in his haste took hold of the stage’s curtains -- the only thing saving him from a potentially-glorious death. 

“You can’t hold on forever, boy!  Now come over here!”

“Th-that won’t do at all, ma’am!”  Lloyd looked over his shoulder; she’d barely moved, yet the force of her attraction seemed to multiply by the second.  “This sort of situation is much too indecorous!  I would expect much more from someone of your caliber -- courtship, wooing, ordering a bowl of spaghetti so we can slurp up the same noodle!  All those things and more are what can help build a relationship; to just skip to the end like this is --”  

Remarkably, Deirdre’s pull on Lloyd started giving way.  Just as Lloyd’s shoulders prepared to give way, he found himself sinking back toward the ground, drifting gently and letting cool air sweep over his worthless muscles.  “So you see things my way, then?”

Deirdre shook her head.  “Not a chance.  I just realized I’d rather have you wrapped up nice and tight before we get started.”

Lloyd didn’t even get a chance to ask.  A quartet of thorny, black vines burst from the stage, and wrapped around his entire body.  Everything below his neck might as well have stopped existing -- though that didn’t stop the pressure from threatening to break him into pieces.  “Ma’am!  This is too --”

“Watch it, sweet cheeks -- If I have to gag you, I will.”  Deirdre beckoned for Lloyd, and sure enough he and his thorny prison drifted toward her.  “I’m pretty good with these vines, you know.  You’d be surprised what I can do with them.  Plus, I bet you never even thought a little midair action was even possible.  Did you?  Hmmm?”

“I would have assumed there was a reason for that, ma’am, since --”

Deirdre pressed a finger to Lloyd’s lips, and caressed his cheek.  “I’d say that I’ll be gentle, but…well, ‘rough’ might be the only way I know how to do it.  So don’t feel too bad if this ends up killing you.  Or at the very least, blowing your mind.”

This is a perilous situation, Lloyd thought.  It seems I have no choice.  I’ll have to overpower her!  He struggled to break free from the thorns that bound him…but then he remembered how useless his body was.  I mean -- I’ll have to overwhelm her!  But how?

Wait.  I wonder if…could it be?  No, no time for wondering; fortune favors those that do their best to avoid a complete mental wipeout by way of ethereal --

“Here I come, sweet cheeks.”

Gaaaaaaaah!   I’ll finish that thought later!

“Hrrmfrmrhnph!” Lloyd shouted into Deirdre’s hand. 

But Deirdre just shook her head.  “Ah-ah-ah.  There’s only one thing I want to hear out of you, and that’s --”  She snapped her hand back as if stung by a bee.  “What the -- did you just lick me?”

Lloyd nodded.  “Well, I WAS trying to speak, so these things can happen.”

“Hmm hmm…my, you certainly bring some interesting ideas to the table.  I like it.  Be sure to do it again once we --”

“I wonder what Miss O’Leary would do in a situation like this.”  Lloyd turned casually to the left.  “I can’t vouch for her actions or preferences, but one can only imagine that she’d offer a venture more in line with my tastes.”

“What?”  A minute ago Deirdre caressed him like a lover; now if she tightened her hand any further, she’d start strangling Lloyd.  “Who said you could think about her?”

“Nobody did, ma’am.  But as I said, one can only imagine.  It’s in times when a man is so very close to the depths of Hell that he ponders on roads untraveled.  That, combined with general curiosity, makes me pine for Miss O’Leary rather dearly.  We’ve done very little conversing when it comes down to it, you see; perhaps --”

“PERHAPS you should only think about me!  And think about what I’m going to do to you!”

Lloyd turned to her and nodded, noting her tightening grip.  “But I have thought about what you’re planning to do to me.  And it makes me suspect that in such a curious situation Miss O’Leary may have the advantage.  Take no offense by my declaration, ma’am; it merely means that you’re ill-equipped for the matter.  In the same sense that one wouldn’t expect a ballerina to tap dance, so too would you be forgiven for being too extreme.”

“So what are you saying?  You want her?  You want HER instead of ME?”

“She seems like the lesser of two extremes at this point, in all honesty.  That said, I suspect there’s only one way to be certain.  If I were somehow able to judge the two of you, side-by-side, then perhaps we could know definitively who among you is -- and I use this term loosely -- ‘superior’.  I’m hard-pressed for precise details and procedures, but I’d wager it could prove effective…either that, or it could be the worst mistake all three of us have ever made.”

Deirdre let loose a snort.  “Mistake?  That would mean I’d let it happen in the first place.  And considering that I’ve got you right where I want you, there’s no need for that.”

“Yes, I suppose you’re right.”  Lloyd offered her a smile.  “How silly of me to compare the two of you.  After all, you ARE the same person.”

For a moment, Lloyd thought that Deirdre would break his neck in two.  He’d practically expected it, thanks to that stone-cold gaze she shot his way.  But remarkably, she didn’t do a thing; her fingers slipped off Lloyd’s neck, and she let her hands hang limply at her sides.

“The same person, huh…?” she asked, head hung low.  But not for long; before Lloyd could say another word, Deirdre threw her head back and laughed, with a hearty guffaw that filled the entire room.  “The same person?  Are you kidding me?  You’ve got a real sense of humor, boy!”

Lloyd kept his mouth shut and stared ahead.  Naturally, Deirdre began staring back, as sultry and mischievous as ever -- but this time, with an air of malice swirling about her.  “But I’m done laughing.  I see what you’re trying to do; you’re trying to use your words to play with my heart, and get me to move exactly where you want me to.  I’d say you’re not as dumb as you look, but I think the ship has sailed on that one.”

She snapped her fingers.  The black vines around Lloyd dissolved into wisps of smoke -- and a second later, Lloyd crashed against the ground belly-up.  “I can see right through you, boy,” she continued as Lloyd sat up.  “I know that you’re trying to play mind games to get what you want.  But that won’t work on me.  As they say, actions speak louder than words -- and if you’re looking to overwhelm me, you’ll have to do better than throw some fancy words my way.”

Oh my.  It would seem as if I’ve made things worse, Lloyd thought with a nervous smile.  But what action can I possibly take?  I can hardly fend for myself in the real world; how can I mount an offense when the audition room has become her domain?

“So tell me, boy.  Just how proud of that mind of yours are you?”

“Beg your pardon?”

Deirdre held her left hand up.  “An idiot who acts like a genius.”  She held out her right hand.  “A genius who acts like an idiot.”  She moved them up and down, giving her the look of a sensual set of scales.  “In the end, which one are you supposed to be?  Which one will win you the girl of your dreams?”  She slammed her hands together.  “Neither of them.  You’ve done well to make it as far as you have with such a defective brain, but you don’t have to go a step further.  Your mind…your body…your heart…all of them are about to belong to me.  That is, as long as I don’t break them too badly.”

Lloyd climbed to his feet and met Deirdre’s gaze.  “I’m afraid I’m a bit more resilient than you might expect, ma’am.”

“Please, call me Deirdre.”

But Lloyd shook his head.  “Why would I ever call you by a fake name, Miss O’Leary?”


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