“You don’t understand these people, Shelley. They are *powerful*. He’s over there with his new girl, *plotting* things. Things that can’t be stopped.”
“*I’m* his new girl,” said unruffled Shelley to this, assuming a cute pose in her seat opposite Edward. Ben Left Horn and Mona sat across from them in the balcony area. Indeed they were plotting, or at least Ben was plotting and Mona was acting as a sounding board for his ideas. She was good that way. Ben thought she might be a keeper, one of the true harem he was collecting down through the years. And Shelley… perhaps the new queen, he thought. Queen of the cats.
“If you put back on that Crazy Blue outfit you’ll be gone to me, to the world at large,” Edward continued. “This place, this Nightsity, will suck you in.”
“What do you care? Surely,” she thought aloud, “surely not for the benefit of *Arthur* after all you’ve done to him.”
“*You’ve* done to him,” he retaliated, then got back to the main subject. “*Don’t* take the gig, Shelley. You don’t know where it will lead you.”
I want… adventure, she thought, thinking of boring, stuck-in-the-mud Arthur. The Arthur who gasped at every sentence of the draft of her 5th novel, not believing what he was reading. What did he expect? she thought. He was gone *most* of the time these days. It will all come to a Shakesperian end, she surmised, but then quickly forgot — backtracked. Running away from the sunset, running toward the moon, no matter how full and blood red it was, indicating warning. Arthur was still her hubbie, her lubbie wubbie. Edward was just a distraction while he was away on the Omega continent. *Corsica* continent, she then reminded herself, confusing lies with truth again. *I’m* the one involved with Omega, she quickly remembered. Lonelyheart Publishers. They said to *juice* it up a bit — that’s what all those lonely housewives want. An *escape*, and a steamy one at that. So she had to write more detail, each novel becoming more graphic and revealing than the one before. That was the development. She tried to pretend it was deeper characters, twistier plots. But at the bottom she was seeing the writing clear. DEMO. DEMON. Satan at the middle, doing what he does best. Black Lake; starless.
“You know he use to go by Jer,” Edward said to fill the void. “He and his brother switched names, just to confuse the lot of us, the readers I suppose.” He looks for the 4th wall with this, to no avail.
“Horns?” said Shelley.
(to be continued)