Teri and I decided to head over to the art district of Morshon Peak, the High City built on the place of the War of Morshon Lutrice. We weren't given license to practice the art out of campus or the campus town so if Teri were to convert which sometimes happened, she could be arrested and then a night of convincing the authorities would commence. So she wore her protection. It made her sick and couldn't drink but she wanted to see Zinshun's dynamic art.
We had to arrive seprately, and she showed up in a form fitting dress that did things with her breasts that made me jelous. She walked up to me with exposed shoulders and a smile that out made me melt. The lights1 around the cafe seemed to dim.
She came to me and kissed me on the cheek.
"Um." I said. "Wow." I said.
She turned around giving me a full taste of her filling out the front back and sides of a dress determining in vain to expose any flaw.
"Did they wrap that on? Who do I thank?"
"Shut up." She hit me with a small clutch. "Help me put this on" She unfolded a piece of cloth that had very subtle straps sewn into it. A wrap covering the socially offending shoulders but worn like sort of like a jacket. Thank you, and she kissed me and slapped a wrist band on me. I could feel all labido leaving my body.
"You give off a lot of energy, I didn't bring enough for drag face, besides I always have to shave right away." More to herself she added, "how does one appear with a day's growth already."
"It's hot. That's how." We turned tward the deep lilting voice to see Joseph White in all her fantastic glamour. "Ladies, how are my little sparrows?"
"Seph, how have you been." Terry jumped up to hug our intruder. "You look fantastic."
"Of course I do darling. I see our Prince Valiant is looking underdressed." She said.
"I didn't know it was to be a Coat and Tie affare." I said truthfully.
"That's okay, you're so cute no one will take offence." She kissed me and turned back to Terri. "Speaking of hot, why isn't lovely Mr. Terry here? With this one I'd think we'd never be bless with this fantastic body." She indicated Terri's body.
She held up her wrist with the protective band. "I wanted to give my man here a night of pure hetero indulgence"
"That is just fantastic." Joseph leaned into me. You are one lucky dog. All the joys of both sides" and walked off.
"I hope he's okay," I said when she was flirting with her next sparrow.
Terri turned to look, "Why."
"Didn't you feel the stubble?"
"yeah, but I thought it might be me." I saw relief and concern in her eye. "Let's go inside."
I led her in and immediately felt out of place. I'd had decided on my nicest button shirt and new Jeans. I even polished my shoes. None of it even got close to the couture of those in attendence. Teri led me to a magicians table, she handed him tickets to which he pulled off the stub portion and handed the other halves and two pairs of glasses back to here. She put a bill down and leading me to the bar handed me on pair of specticles.
"What was that?" I asked inspecting the glasses.
"We need the glasses. Only those on the list get to see the main exhibit."
I looked at the walls covered with paintings and sculptures ranging from amazing all the way to pretenious. "These aren't the exhibit?" The ones I could see had the calligraphic Z and scribble that indicated it as Zinshun's work.
"This is all old work" She handed me the tickets and waved to get the attention of the bartender.
I looked at the tickets and choked on my spit. "Three hundred?" I said a bit louder than I expected. She turned to me a drink in one hand. "Each." I said a little quieter.
She profered the glass. "What of it?" She smiled.
"I don't…" words just got stuck in my mouth. "I can't…"
"Can't what?" She seemed to be challenging. It was times like this I needed a dude and my current best friend was hiding somewhere behind the two most perfect breasts on the planet. I knew I shouldn't get so involved in Terry's friendship.
"It just cost so much, for art. Can you afford this. I'll pay you back I promise."
"I don't need your money."
"It's just…" I staired at the Three zero zero
"Just take your drink." She practically threw it at me.
We walked around looking at some of the most intense images I'd ever seen. There were Moltens (pictures painted with metal made liquid at just above room temprature) and Photo realistics and pure abstracts. I'd done something but wasn't quite sure what and when I brought it up she coldly but politely changed the subject.
Finally I saw Joseph White.
"So you think he's doing okay."
"Seph will be fine."
"Look I'm sorry if I embarassed you. I'm guessing it's about the cost of the ticket. Is it?"
She didn't look at me she just staired forward at the painting. "Look at this one." She said.
I did, it made my eyes water. I could tell it wasn't an abstract but I just couldn't figure it out. Every time I thought I was capturing the image, figuring it out, my focus was forced to the other side of the painting. We stood there for a long time until I started getting dizzy. I hoped using some grounding practice would help so I began a open Zoan. Terri smacked me.
"What are you doing?" she hissed
"I just wanted to clear my head.”
“Stop it your fake field shows.”
That hurt. We don’t talk much about it. I can do most things naturals can. I’m even as strong as most. It does take me a bit longer to build a field but even in a crisis I can cast, and incant like a natural. We know that anyone should be able to take on magics. Till now Terri didn’t ever bring up my handycap.
It’s not. A handycap that is. It’s a minor disability. I never knew it was on her mind. She is right I do have a glow that can’t be hidden, but fake field?
I started to protest but Joseph White leaped on to the stage and began. “Well.” She said dabbing her head with an orange cloth that perfectly clashed with her purple dress. “Isn’t this a special night. So many fine faces.” She presented herself with open arms. “And so much money.” The crowd laughed.
“Okay,” I said to Terri under my breath. “Now I know something is wrong with him.”
She noticed my slipped pronoun. “What’s wrong with him then?”
I was too hurt by the “Fake” comment. I’d almost lost my scholarship, that first year. I had to fight to get a release from enchantment. I couldn’t be an artificer it didn’t work for me.”
“Joseph, never sweats. Joseph is positivly dripping now. Look at his…”
“Fine, HER dress.”
“You are just being a jerk.”
I just stood there. I began to wish for Terry, I even snuck off my bracelett. Terry seemed to understand when I was confused. He didn’t hold things like this against me. I know I and Y are the same person but there are subtle and not so subtle personality shifts too.
“A jerk, I don’t remember attacking your condition.”
“Would you have accepted the ticket if I had my dick?”
“Oh please, is that what this is about?”
Over the susurrous of our argument we heard. “Because I know I came here to see some magnificent work of a man who knows how to turn this crank, I’m guessing some of us came here to make it about them?”
The crowd gathered had turned to watch us.
Terri didn’t growl at me. I know she didn’t but the look she gave sounded like a growl.
“No?” Joseph asked us. “too shy to perform anymore?”
My face was very hot and every scolding I’d ever gotten started to echo in my head. I smiled and let out a small laugh and put my arm on Terri’s shoulder. She jerked herself out of my arm and stepped forward.
The Tosser half back in drag continued his rather impressive introduction and then lowered the main attraction. Eight disks of marble settled to the ground. With a flourish he put his sparkly glasses on and told us to do the same.
On the marble platforms stood in a material so fine, so delicate, were eight statues. The glasses let us see the pieces in how the light was changed as it passed through the figures themselves.
I recognized one. It somehow captured the essence of my Terries. Both I and Y. The statue seemed both male and female. An expert telling, if you will, of the person who right now was so pissed at me that I feared physical harm.
“I’m sorry to inturrupt but can you step back. Your Szu is interfering with the statues.” Joseph seemed very sorry for having to ask and he took a small piece of the stable Szu and had others wave their hands through it. One was a master Mage, a professor from the college. Then me. It sparked and flashed in visible light. When I pulled back there was a piece missing.
Twice, in one night?
It was amazing to look at though.
I found Terri and she said she was going home.
I tried to go after her but she refused and left. I went back in and sat at a safe distance and looked at the statues. They were pleasant and eerie and so detailed. The one of Terri flooded my vision every time I looked at it. Maybe this is why she bought those tickets.
“So what do you think?” All drag persona gone.
“I love them, of course I’m taken by ‘Cerberus’ Folly’.”
“Yeah,” he said with a sigh. “You are a very lucky man.”
Then it made sense.
“Did you give her the tickets?”
“I have no idea what you are talking about. This is a charity event.” Before my eyes he mentally put the dress on and she ended up flitting away to scandalize another potential buyer.
“Hey, why Cerberus?”
She turned and said, “Why? Honey they may not be visible all the time but that magnificent human being has three heads.”
I stayed until I realized I was watching the door more than the pieces of art.
- The synthetic Loshin venom used to create these shone much brighter than the old natural kind. Milking the beast was very traumatic for the thing and LU was instrumental in finding a synthetic that would work as well. Potions masters and Artificers were pissed. They believed they could make a light source that would end the need to harm creatures but it turned out to be the Sciences. They created a liquid that absorbed light then would vibrate at a frequency that somehow caused the synthetic venom mix to glow. I don't know how but I find it facinating ↩