Time for a woman’s touch…

NOTE: If you are not up to date on the story, the first two novels have been run in their entirety at revolutionsf.com.
The Transformation of Lawrence Croft: http://www.revolutionsf.com/article.php?id=1827
Chance of a Lifetime: http://www.revolutionsf.com/fiction2/condorks2/condorks2_00.html

One in a Million – Chapter 12

A Woman’s Touch

D.J. watched Linda and Leslie poring over color charts, scrapbooks, and strips of cloth and was struck by how much they resembled the three witches in MacBeth. Or would have, if they’d brought their other witch with them.

This half of the Sisters were trying to help D.J. decorate his apartment so that it looked like a home and not a bomb shelter. It’s not that the apartment was trashed. Rather, had D.J. left it up to his own tastes, he would have painted all of the walls gray.

He liked gray. It was his favorite color. Neither black nor white, but right there in the middle. If color choice was some kind of statement, as the gay men on Bravo would have everyone believe, gray, to D.J., said “I’m weighing my options.”

Still, his exposure to the Sisters had convinced him that his choices weren’t necessarily conducive to what other people considered tasteful, or even social. So he asked for their help, and they were only too glad to take D.J.’s blank canvas of an apartment and give it the full-on make-over. As a bonus, Leslie told him that, if he let them design his living area, kitchen, and dining area, he could have gray walls in his bedroom. That was all D.J. needed to hear.

Now he was beginning to think this was some sort of character building exercise: how long could a reasonable man spend in the company of women discussing paint colors before he took a baseball bat to his frontal lobe? He’s made it two hours so far, but he was fading fast.

Just to break the monotony of the current ongoing debate of whether or not he was a “Winter” or an “Autumn” he asked, “So, tell me why The Rhonda isn’t here, again?” As annoying as she sometimes was, she had a fourteen year old boy’s attention span when it came to things like this. They would have already been painting walls if she were here.

Linda put down the now battered paint chip book she was thumbing through and shot a worried look over to Leslie, but Leslie didn’t catch it. She kept her head down, turning pages mechanically, and said, “Dunno. Haven’t talked to her in a couple of weeks.”

“But you two are, like, best friends or something,” said D.J.

“Yeah, I know that, but Rhonda seems to have forgotten it!” Leslie visibly composed herself and grabbed at her wine glass. “Something’s going on, and I don’t know what’s up. She’s freezing me out.”
D.J. watched Linda’s face; it was obvious, even to a social retard like D.J. that Linda knew something. But Leslie refused to acknowledge her, for some reason. He more or less understood the importance of one day getting married but there was no way he’d ever be able to understand women.

“What?” he finally barked. “Linda, just fucking say it!”

Leslie looked up. Linda shot D.J. a dirty look. “Linda, what?” asked Leslie.

Apparently, Leslie had to be the one to ask. D.J. threw up his hands.

“I know what’s going on,” said Linda. “Or, at least, I know part of what’s up.”

“Tell me!” Leslie screamed.

“Okay, you know me and Holly set up Rhonda’s website, right?” Leslie scowled and nodded. Linda continued. “Well, I put a back door in, just in case the site ever crashed and we needed to recover Rhonda’s photography or whatever. But I also put in some software that would tell me when her server was getting close to full. Didn’t want any surprises. Not that Rhonda would ever need a server retrofit, or anything. I mean, it’s Rhonda, right? How could she crash a serv—”

“Lindaaaaaa,” Leslie moaned.

“Okay, okay! So, about ten days ago, I start getting alerts. The server is going crazy. So I snuck into Rhonda’s back door…”

D.J. snickered.

“Gross. I hacked Rhonda’s website,” Linda amended, “and, well, it’s like this: she’s auctioning herself off to one of her subscribers. As in, ‘One Night with Rhonda,’ kind of auctioning herself off.”

Leslie’s mouth hung open. “That—that slut! Oh my Gods and Monsters! She can’t do this!”
Linda made another “sorry” face. “This is why I didn’t want to tell you.”

“Is she crazy? She could get raped! Killed! What the fuck is she thinking?” Leslie was on a rampage now. Her wineglass was empty and she was pacing like a caged tiger.

“That’s the problem; I don’t think she is thinking,” said D.J.

“But, as sad as it seems, it’s working,” said Linda. “She’s got over a quarter of a million subscribers right now, and they are all online nightly, trying to impress her with their—I don’t know what. Someone has written a song a night to her, and then there’s artwork coming over the servers, and fuck-all knows what else. Oh, and the porn!” Linda put her hands over her eyes. “If I never see another out of focus erect penis in my entire life, it’ll be too soon!”

“Sounds like you’ve been enjoying the show,” said D.J., smiling.

“It’s not funny, Deej!” said Leslie.

“No, it’s not,” said Linda. “Do you have any idea what kind of sick fuckers are out there online as we speak? And Rhonda is working them all up to a fever pitch.”

“Oh, shit,” said D.J.

Linda nodded. “Now you understand.”

“Yeah,” said D.J. “And we’ve got another problem.”

Both girls swiveled to look at him. “What?”

“I think I know one of the sick fuckers in question.” He picked up his telephone and dialed a number. “Burt, hey it’s Deej. You got a second? It’s about Turk.”


About Author

Mark Finn is an award-winning author, playwright and essayist who is active in Robert E Howard studies. His biography, Blood & Thunder: the Life and Art of Robert E Howard was nominated for a World Fantasy award, and will be re-released in an updated second printing later this month. His comic books SCOUTS! Premeires in March from Ape Entertainment.

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