Infidelity

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Infidelity

Post by Odon on Wed 30 Mar 2011 - 6:00

Title: Infidelity

Author: Odon

Rated: R. Drama/Angst.

Fandom: Gunslinger Girl.

Summary: When you're trawling your mind for the usual love/angst fanfic material, unpleasant things can float to the surface. This is one of them. You have been warned.

Warning: Contains violence, paedophilia and coarse language.

Disclaimer: Gunslinger Girl is the creation of Yu Aida. No profit is intended in the writing of this story. The Italian government denies using cyborg children to assassinate enemies of the state.

Send feedback to odon05@hotmail.com. Archiving is welcome, but please try and contact me first. My thanks to Nachtsider for the beta work.
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INFIDELITY

She waits in the piazza without any weapons; they are back in the safehouse where her handler sleeps. Tonight she is a normal girl, and the lack of protection makes her nervous as always, presenting an aura of vulnerability that draws them to her like sharks sensing blood in the water.

The Mercedes sedan with the license number she has written down pulls up and flashes its lights. She covers the distance in a rush. The point of contact is always risky; for all she knows those plates might be listed on a police database.

"Licio?" she asks hesitantly, remembering to smile.

"You must be the Little Clockwork Doll," he replies, grinning back with perfectly-capped teeth. Licio is a distinguished-looking man in his fifties (older than he had claimed) with a once-robust body that is running to fat. He wears an Armani summer suit, a Tag Heuer wristwatch, smells of pomade and expensive cologne.

She slips into the passenger seat, and they're off the moment the door is closed.

"I wasn't sure if the picture you emailed me was real," says Licio in a hushed tone. "You're more lovely than I imagined, so sweet and pure."

She feels her cheeks redden, looks down at her hands which are clasped between the heat of her groin and the sick churning in her gut. She forces her fingers apart and reaches over to touch his thigh. It has not taken her long to learn the proper signals; she simply imitates those of her clients. Some are nervous, others charming, most coarse and lecherous or just plain drunk. Regardless, they prefer it when she appears to be the seducer.

"Do you want to drive around a bit first? The river is lovely with the city lights shining on it."

By the river would be lovers walking hand-in-hand, a haunting vision of a parallel universe. She shakes her head firmly.

"That's not necessary. Anywhere you want to go is fine with me."

Lighted shrines to the Madonna slide past beyond the tinted windows. He strokes her hair with manicured fingers while she struggles with the urge to vomit. It is not the presence of this man, abhorrent as he is, but a reaction to her conditioning. She is disobeying the direct orders of her handler, his most explicit command. She has promised never to do this again. No doubt she has promised in the past as well, more times than her failing mind can recall.

Her first sexual experiences had been random encounters in public toilets or the darkness of porn theatres. But chances to escape Agency surveillance were limited and she risked being caught by the police, so now she arranged these meetings through chat rooms accessed via the palmtop she had stolen off Ferro's desk. Licio claims to be a trader in textiles, originally hailing from Veneto. He had boasted of big deals in Lombardy and dangerous friends in Campania, his luxury cars and a villa on the Amalfi Coast. He was proud of his two boys and disdainful of his wife, stressing her ugliness and lack of sympathy. She assumes that much of this is a lie, though she does not know enough about the world outside the dormitory walls to judge.

He asks for her real age. She replies with an obvious exaggeration that would ease his conscience yet tease him about the truth. He asks her name and she gives that of another Agency cyborg. It helps to pretend to be somebody else, making her feel like it's one of the others who is betraying her handler. And acting a role gives her confidence. She can be shy Henrietta or perky Rico or assertive Triela, except her thoughts are confused these days and she is never sure if she isn't really Henrietta or Rico or one of the other girls. The past is scattered like a broken mosaic, and in her dreams she sees fragments of another reality: a grey-haired woman pinning clothes to a line, a girl like herself in tears from a wasp sting, a desk with the aroma of mahogany and roses.

When her memory loss started she was issued a Social Welfare Agency card, telling anyone who found this ward of the state to contact a toll-free number. It had been stolen on one of her midnight forays. She had not bothered to ask for a replacement. The name on the card was meaningless anyway, just another false identity. It concerns her more that she cannot remember the name of her handler; she won't risk writing it down on anything that might be lost. She had thought of tattoos, but such self-mutilation would be noted by the Agency doctors. It was best to appear normal; a typical doll of Section Two, where every cyborg was an adult's ideal of youthful innocence.

She brings up the subject of money (to cut short Licio's attempt at conversation) but makes the mistake of pocketing his euros without counting them. He looks at her strangely, but says nothing. There are things about her that should caution any paedophile. She lacks the experienced flirtations of a wanton. She clearly yearns for male affection, but won't pour out her troubles to a faux-sympathetic ear, her secrets locked away by the insidious programming of the Agency. She doesn't ask for drugs or alcohol. Her clothes are clean and costly, not those of a girl living on the streets. To her assassin's mind the deception seems obvious; surely Licio suspects she is setting him up for blackmail or robbery, perhaps even murder? She cannot understand why her sexual appeal blots out their sense of self-preservation. How can she wield such power over men, yet be helpless before her handler's denial?

Sometimes they take her to prearranged love nests, more often behind a convenient bush or on car seats reeking of disinfectant. One man had driven her back to his home, where they'd copulated on a child's bed under the glassy stare of unfamiliar teddy bears. She finds little pleasure in any of these encounters. At first she'd closed her eyes and tried to imagine it was her handler making love to her, but her cyborg senses are far too accurate for such a crude deception.

Only one time had she ever reached climax. It was during the carnival in Viareggio; her 'date' had failed to arrive and after two hours of frustration she took a meandering path back to the hotel, hoping to encounter a late-night reveller too drunk to care how young she was. In a dark alley off the promenade she heard footsteps behind her. Before she could turn a hand smashed her face into the brickwork, breaking her nose. She had fallen to the ground, choking on blood and bile while her unseen attacker tore at her clothes, forcing himself inside before she was lubricated; the pain and brutality exactly what she deserved and for one glorious moment she thought it was her handler come to punish her. The orgasm was immediate and all-consuming.

Her assailant had stopped then; she actually felt him deflate inside her body. Rough hands had squeezed her throat as he shouted, "You're not supposed to enjoy this, you slut!" That was when she broke his thumbs.

The rapist turned out to be a pathetic teenager who grovelled and whimpered over minor injuries she could bear without flinching. The letdown was so total she had shrieked in his face: "COMPARED TO YOU MY HANDLER IS A GOD! HE STRIDES ON MOUNT OLYMPUS WHILE YOU CRAWL THROUGH THE FILTHY GUTTERS OF HADES! IF I BURNT YOU ON THE ALTAR WITH A THOUSAND OTHERS, YOUR SACRIFICE WOULD NOT BE WORTH A SINGLE IOTA OF THE GLORY THAT IS HIM!"

He started yelling for the police then, which was all the excuse she needed. The Agency required that she maintain operational security.

Her conditioning suppressed the emotions of the kill, so she felt nothing when she smashed his kneecaps and broke his neck above the fifth cervical vertebra. But the feelings rushing back as she viewed his corpse were almost sexual in their intensity. In an effort to recreate the experience she often found herself walking alone in the more notorious crime spots of Rome and Naples. So far she had been disappointed.

* * * *

Licio speaks to her twice before she remembers her name for tonight. He locks the Mercedes and they walk across a dingy courtyard to a portico that stinks of urine. He pushes a buzzer set above the intercom; the steel door unlocks without words of interrogation.

The lobby is dim-lit and musty. On a frayed couch before a flickering television lolls a drunk wearing a Brighella carnival costume, stained with vomit. The green half-mask leers at the couple as they wait at the elevator, and he sings in a cracked voice:

There are no graves for little harlots like you
To another girl's memory your handler is true
He'll lay flowers on her tomb when you're long forgotten
And your decaying brain has been discarded as rotten
They'll strip your corpse of every cyborg bone
And place them in another girl, who he'll then call his own.


"Get away from me, you freak!" she screams. The masked figure vanishes like smoke.

She gives a coy smile to Licio's shocked face. "Aren't you going to take me upstairs?"

* * * *

The room is too small and has an underlying taint of hashish and sweat. She sits naked on the bed watching the trader in textiles remove his clothes like he was stripping a display mannequin. Her handler is a beautiful man; this one has a bulging belly and hair in all the wrong places. He takes Viagra he keeps hidden in a bottle of headache pills, and offers her drugs that she refuses. She has tried them all - cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamines - to little effect. Whatever medication the Agency uses is a far more potent cocktail.

Licio praises her soft skin and lack of blemish, caressing the body that's been torn by countless bullets and shrapnel. "No needle marks on you, my little love. You are truly as exquisite as a porcelain angel."

She does not respond to his insincere flattery. She prefers clients who describe her in more accurate terms: slut, bitch, tart, whore. The proper forms of address for unfaithful harlots like her.

She lies back and lets him clamber on top; any other position would reveal the uncanny strength and weight of her body. No doubt this is why her handler rejects her, conscious as he is of her artificiality, her human pretence.

"Don't be afraid," Licio says. "I won't hurt you."

He does of course, and as always she embraces the pain.

In the dormitory at night she makes love to her handler in the utopia of her mind and the furtive movements of her fingers. He means every word that he whispers, his gentle kisses are passion incarnate.

The man who is screwing her does not speak of love or porcelain angels; now his language is vulgar and lustful. Perhaps if the Agency had not found her she would still have ended up in this room; a drug-addled child amidst a world of violence and prostitution, the traumatised refugee of a forgotten atrocity. The Fates have a cruel humour.

And suddenly he is finished, collapsing on her and panting like a beached whale. He grunts in surprise when she pushes his body off her without effort.

In the pocket of her overcoat is a mobile phone. It rings as soon she turns it on, listing a dozen unanswered calls. She closes her eyes and places it to her ear.

"Yes?"

"WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?"

The command in his voice is so strong she answers without thinking, giving the address and room number before the phone is knocked from her hand. Licio grabs her arm and yanks her round to face him shouting: "You crazy bitch, what are you doing?! Are you working with the cops?"

She stares at him evenly; she yearns to kill but he is not an Agency target. Perhaps she can provoke him into attacking her.

But Licio lets go without being told. There is no fear in her eyes and that is what warns him; he is a predator and knows when he has been caged with a wolf.

"You should go," she says flatly. "My guardian is coming, and if he finds you here with me he'll kill you."

After the door slams behind Licio she takes out his money and counts it. 500 euros, which she throws into the trash bin without a thought.

She gets dressed but does not shower, even if she had time before her handler arrived. He must see her as she truly is, wretched and reeking of infidelity. But the urge to look perfect for him runs deep, and she finds herself scrubbing her face and brushing her hair. For him she will gladly be as exquisite as a porcelain angel.

It is 01:23 on her watch when she hears his feet pounding down the corridor. She rushes to the door and pulls it open, breathless with excitement.

Her handler smells of blood and cordite and alcohol and fear. His face is flushed and he's breathing heavily, having run up the stairs without waiting for the elevator. In a few long strides he covers the remaining distance, grabbing her by the shoulders and shaking so hard it would have injured any normal child. He screams like a madman, words with more fury than coherence.

"Where is it?! I know you got your hands on another one! Where have you hidden that bloody palmtop?! I'm sick of this, you hear? I'm sick of it!"

Everything she has endured - the constant nausea of fighting her conditioning, the humiliation of the sordid intercourse - is worth it to see this raw expression of her handler's love.

"You promised you'd stop! You begged me on your knees for another chance! Why do I still listen to your lying bullshit?!"

He starts to tear apart the room: ripping the sheets from the bed, destroying the sweat-soaked pillow, emptying the trash bin onto the floor to reveal the money and the pills and the used condom. She watches as his fury builds to a climax, waiting for the inevitable. His drinking has been much heavier of late. More than once she has carried out an assassination alone because her handler was passed out in a cheap bar. Whenever he gets drunk he implores her forgiveness for some unnamed injury; she always grants it (when the smell and taste of other men is still strong in her mind, this reply is actually the truth). In his sleep he cries over severed limbs and flesh charred to the bone. Lately she has been covertly dosing his wine with chloral hydrate to give him an uninterrupted night's rest, leaving her free to prowl the streets for rapists and perverts.

"You just don't care, do you?!" he shouts, advancing on her with fists clenched. "You can see what your behaviour does to me, but you don't give a damn!"

He's wrong; she knows exactly what she is doing. She is punishing him for refusing her advances. She is punishing herself for disloyalty. She is punishing her body for these urges she cannot control or understand, a base yearning for his touch that corrupts the purity of their love.

He hits her breaking every finger in his right hand. More than one client has found that out the hard way.

She bursts into tears, not from shame but sheer relief; the release of emotions an overwhelming catharsis. Her entire body shudders as her handler clasps her to his chest and rocks her gently, saying he's sorry for striking her, he understands her pain, he will never abandon her, everything is going to be all right. Such beautiful, beautiful lies.

"I'm damaged," she sobs into his shoulder. "I'm insane. You've got to have me reconditioned. I'm not going to stop."

"No way," she hears him mutter. "I'm not going through this a third time. I should never have volunteered for this god-awful job."

"I'll be all right!" she says, smiling at him with desperate earnestness. "The Agency can wipe my memories, reset my conditioning like they did with Henrietta."

He clutches her head in both hands and screams: "YOU ARE HENRIETTA!"

"I am?" She feels a burst of warmth as something connects with a long-lost shard of her shattered mosaic. "Then you must be Jose! Hello, Jose!"

"Hello Henrietta," Jose chokes out. He turns his eyepatch to face her, so she cannot see his tears.


THE END.

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Re: Infidelity

Post by boomer_gonz on Wed 30 Mar 2011 - 13:11

Damn, now THAT is how a strong finish is done. Bravo! Good

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Re: Infidelity

Post by theprodigalson on Wed 30 Mar 2011 - 14:11

Well shit. Good read man. Good read.

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Re: Infidelity

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 30 Mar 2011 - 14:56

Full of Win

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Re: Infidelity

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 30 Mar 2011 - 15:58

An excellent story.
But would it ever happen? Never. Conditioning is more powerful than what you give it credit for.

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Re: Infidelity

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 30 Mar 2011 - 16:08

That is why all this is called fiction. W\'ever

Plus if Danjo3 can have a nymphomaniac cyborg, or MP5's Charlie can sleep with half the females in the Agency, then why can't Henrietta, who is clearly besotted with Jose since she first went up on the roof with him, seek sexual satisfaction in other men because she can't with the one she loves?

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Re: Infidelity

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 30 Mar 2011 - 16:17

@Kiskaloo wrote:That is why all this is called fiction. W\'ever

Plus if Danjo3 can have a nymphomaniac cyborg, or MP5's Charlie can sleep with half the females in the Agency, then why can't Henrietta, who is clearly besotted with Jose since she first went up on the roof with him, seek sexual satisfaction in other men because she can't with the one she loves?
Why? Because it goes against Canon.
What OCs does it what they do amoung themselves. Rarely are the canon characters dragged into this myre of filth and dregs. But again, it was an excellent story.

Now if Danjo made Claes the dorm slut or MP5 made Jean screw 1/2 of the females of the canon universe- including the canon cyborgs- including Rico and Henrietta, then I would not be here to admire such degradation of the GsG Canon Universe. But if people do it with their own characters then I have no problem with it. Again, it was an excellent story. I just dont agree with the characters that were used, especially when they are already defined in Canon, and the effects of the conditioning drugs on them also defined in Canon which this story goes against everything in canon. But it he used his own characters, I can see it happening to be a very likely situation. I dont see it happening with Jose and Henrietta.

One more time, it was an excellent story. It is very well written ans structured with a great use of diction and plot formation. By itself I would grade it as a 100% - A+ story. But putting Jose and Henrietta's name in the end make me gag, cough and writhe in the fury that is my strawberry allergy.

Fiction it may well be, but it is fition that does not fit in this universe as is.

Yes, I am a Gunslinger Girl Purist.

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Re: Infidelity

Post by Officer_Charon on Thu 31 Mar 2011 - 1:13

Oh man.... I had a nasty feeling about who this was going to turn out to be... yikes.

Odon, mon ami, you have a talent for tapping the grimdarkness that lurks beneath the surface of this universe and getting down to the grit, without dancing around with pleasantries. As subtle and jarring as a knife to a gut. As odd as it is to say this right after that comparison, fantastic writing, sir!

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Re: Infidelity

Post by Danjo3 on Thu 31 Mar 2011 - 2:39

@ElfenMagix wrote:Now if Danjo made Claes the dorm slut or MP5 made Jean screw 1/2 of the females of the canon universe- including the canon cyborgs- including Rico and Henrietta, then I would not be here to admire such degradation of the GsG Canon Universe.
Thatís always been my rule of thumb too. Britney has a run away sex drive and Annie is just discovering hers, but I try not to take those kind of liberties with cannon characters.

There are of course exceptions. Yes, Amadeo is sticking it to Brit every chance he getís, but I like to think that itís not too OOC for him. And yes, Sandro rocked the little nymphetís world as well, but to be honest I hate his character so I really donít give a shit. Laughing

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Re: Infidelity

Post by Alfisti on Thu 31 Mar 2011 - 3:41

You certainly have a way of making your stories hit hard mate. Disturbing, dark, twisted... in other words: fantastic work.

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Re: Infidelity

Post by Odon on Wed 6 Apr 2011 - 5:01

But would it ever happen? Never. Conditioning is more powerful than what you give it credit for.

Henrietta's conditioning is working fine; unfortunately by this stage it's acting within a mind that's going to pieces. Jose should report what's happening so she can be reconditioned or terminated, but he's got his own guilt issues.

This story takes place two or three years from 'now' (though in canon I imagine Yu will have killed everyone off by then) so it extrapolates from the Jose/Henrietta fratello's currently frayed edges. I tried to imagine what would happen if a cyborg started to break down, not physically like Angelica but mentally. Henrietta was an obvious choice, partially because she's so cute you'd hate to see this happen to her, but also because she's always had that element of creepy obsession (ie. her recreation of Elsa's murder/suicide), and it's obvious her reconditioning isn't as effective as the Agency doctors believe. Couple that with a handler who's drinking too much while facing his own demons...

This story evolved from an earlier idea I had for a murder mystery set within the SWA (if anyone else wants to try their hand at this idea, go right ahead). Bodies would start turning up, killed in a manner that made it obvious a cyborg was the culprit. The Agency would be struggling to cover up the situation while trying desperately to find the killer. Along the way we'd explore the tremendous psychological pressure the girls are under, as they're forced through conditioning into a role that's not natural to them. I would have created my own OC character as the red herring suspect, but in a surprise twist Henrietta would turn out to be the killer (I was going to work it into canon by having this be the real reason Jose has her reconditioned).

Plus if Danjo3 can have a nymphomaniac cyborg, or MP5's Charlie can sleep with half the females in the Agency

Really? I must check out these stories. Wink Where are they posted?

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Re: Infidelity

Post by Professor Voodoo on Fri 8 Apr 2011 - 1:49

Eloquently written, yet stark & gritty...that's a difficult combination to capture.

The highlight for me had to be the clown hallucination and his mocking rhyme...somehow it feels like a very "Italian" touch.
Honestly, even from the first sentence I was picturing Henrietta...I have no explanation why...it just seemed she was a natural fit here.

Well done, Odon! Looking forward to whatever you concoct next!

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Re: Infidelity

Post by ElfenMagix on Fri 8 Apr 2011 - 17:10

@Odon wrote:This story takes place two or three years from 'now' (though in canon I imagine Yu will have killed everyone off by then) so it extrapolates from the Jose/Henrietta fratello's currently frayed edges. I tried to imagine what would happen if a cyborg started to break down, not physically like Angelica but mentally. Henrietta was an obvious choice, partially because she's so cute you'd hate to see this happen to her, but also because she's always had that element of creepy obsession (ie. her recreation of Elsa's murder/suicide), and it's obvious her reconditioning isn't as effective as the Agency doctors believe. Couple that with a handler who's drinking too much while facing his own demons...
Angelica did not break down physically, she broke down mentally from the effects of the conditioning drug eating away at her brain. Just pointing out that even if there was a physical ailment of the brain at work, it is still considered as a mental defect. Now in this case for Henrietta, this is a psychological defeat based on mental issues. Is there a physical connection to this? Maybe, maybe not, until we crack open Henrietta's skull and look at her brain we wont know.

Henrietta's creepy obsession comes from the conditioning drug and from her personality. We dont know but maybe she was a needy kid before the incident that killed off her family. Maybe she was in competition with siblings for parental attention, we just dont know. But we do know that she is constant in want and need of Jose's attention. As such, she would do anything to get it.

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Re: Infidelity

Post by tremec6speed on Sat 9 Apr 2011 - 6:42

Creepy tale indeed!
In my opinion, fan fiction trumps canon. Regardless of what the author intended his or her characters to be and behave like, once it is in the hands of a fan fic author, the skies are the limit in my mind, anyways. To me this is the main appeal of writing a fan fic tale. It is the freedom to do as I please. Although I admit that the further I stray from the original, the less it feels like a fanfiction an more like a story in it's own right, thereby stretching the
'connection' to the canon source material.
I don't know why, after I read the story I imagined Jose's little sister being the one to punish Henrietta with the rhymes. As if saying 'As I was, you once were, as I am now you will soon be.'
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Re: Infidelity

Post by Odon on Sun 10 Apr 2011 - 5:28

@Professor Voodoo wrote:Honestly, even from the first sentence I was picturing Henrietta...I have no explanation why...it just seemed she was a natural fit here.

Probably because the first couple of sentences were a reference to this scene.

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Claes The Dorm Slut

Post by Odon on Wed 13 Apr 2011 - 2:25

@ElfenMagix wrote:Now if Danjo made Claes the dorm slut or MP5 made Jean screw 1/2 of the females of the canon universe

Jean's icy facade cracks as Claes takes off her glasses and lets down her hair, transforming herself via cliched Hollywood magic from an introverted bookworm into a gorgeous nymphomaniac.

"I've read the Kama Sutra you know," she says huskily. "Along with several thousand erotic novels. And you should see what I can do with vegetables!"

She throws herself upon Jean and they pleasure each other shamelessly.

Cut to Jean relaxing in a herbal bath. Too late the shagged-out Field Commander opens his eyes to see Killer Claes raising a huge book above her head. Her de-spectacled eyes flash with anger.

"I remember everything, Jean! Everything! YOU KILLED MY HANDLER!"

"But Claes, I did it for love!" he wants to cry, but it's too late. 'War and Peace' knocks the gun from his hand. 'Lolita' hits him right in the testicles. Then the coup de grace...

The next day Pietro and Elenora are looking down at Jean's corpse.

"I was right. Section Two does have a very hard dictionary."


Next week: Kill Claes, Part One.

Rico pulls up outside Claes' library in a pedal-powered yellow Tonka truck with the words: 'Pussy Wagon' on the back.

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Re: Infidelity

Post by badbart101 on Tue 19 Apr 2011 - 21:41

Complete shock, but at the same time not
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Re: Infidelity

Post by emperor on Thu 21 Apr 2011 - 4:29

I imagined Jose's little sister being the one to punish Henrietta with the rhymes. As if saying 'As I was, you once were, as I am now you will soon be.'

Wow! tremec6,this is an Exellent prose I've ever read,really! Cheers!

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Re: Infidelity

Post by tremec6speed on Thu 28 Apr 2011 - 21:56

Thanks Emperor, eeeeeexcept I didn't come up with that......
In the Time/Life Enchanted World series, (in the ghosts book, if I recall) is where I read that statement a long time ago.

hee hee!
sweat study Embarassed Incoming!
edit: just wanted to add that I did modify the original sentence from the book so as to make sense for this thread. The original line was from a ghost to a human not a cyborg. It went like this:
'As you are I once was, as I am now, you will one day be'
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Re: Infidelity

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