Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Outworld Connection

On this summer night, the Wicca Horror Show did its live segments at Ocean World. The three mermaids from Six Forks flew in for a special appearance, performing close to the viewing glass in a private space to thwart photo bombs from dolphins and orcas.

From their press box, Wicca and producer Ed had a good view of the mermaids. In addition to the cameraman, they were joined by a furtive, hooded figure. The main problem for a vampire like Cambris was all the phone cameras she failed to register in. Thus, she was here incognito, and Ed had  good reason for keeping her close.

The movie back at the studio paused for a commercial.

"Now a word from Woofy Pill," Wicca announced. "It's only for men--something about enhancement, whatever that is. Side effects include panting, fleas, and toilet drinking." She gave Ed a snide look. "And you say we're complicated." The nearby sponsor clapped hand to face in disbelief.

Wicca took time to sign her latest poster for a few fans who had actually seen the show. This one was more cheese-cakey than the norm, but managed to look sinister all the same. Signed ones had "Wix" slashed across one corner in lurid violet. "Now then--let's see what the fish women are up to. The blonde in white is Binia; the black hair in blue is Sirtis; and the redhead in green is Ellie."

Ed watched how they were able to stay under for so long. Each had a conch shell she would bring to her face every couple of minutes. Most likely they were suction-activated compressed air devices, with digital counters to show remaining breaths.

Binia "poured" from a pitcher for Ellie, who pretended to drink, then followed up with an undulating napkin. Sirtis read a newspaper, no mean feat underwater. After a short stint of submerged Frisbee, they surfaced to applause at a miniature pirate ship. This would ferry them to a private dock for getting into a truck.

"By infernal night," Cambris intoned. "What wastage of noblesse is this?" Fortunately unnoticed, she became a mist and flowed toward the gigantic pool.

"Krikey." Ed prepared to race her to the scene."I expected her to be a little spacey after three days without a nip. Quick--find us a suitable target."

"She thinks they're real?" Wicca grinned. "Why not. We have mermaids in the Outworld. You know, Vern?"

Ed used his credentials to access the private dock just as Cambris materialized on the stern. The girls had met Wicca before, and knew about the supernatural. But this was something else.

"It's cool," Ed assured them as he threw a mooring line. "That's Cambris. I was showing her a story some guy wrote about a vampire mermaid."

Ellie put fingers to throat. "A vampire mermaid? That's just wrong."

"You mean. . . ." Binia slid Cambris a wide-eyed look.

"Right," Ed said. "She's the real deal."

Cambris glided closer, and the mermaids looked ready to dive overboard. "Not since doomed Atlantis, birthplace of you, my sisters of the sea, was there such exploitation. Who has done this to you?"

Leaning near Binia, Sirtis said, "She thinks we're real. Should we tell her?"

"No," Binia said. "I want to see where she's going with this."

"Allow me to answer that." Ed motioned Cambris back toward the press box. "She's looking for a meal." He looked sheepish. "We have rules, and everything. Only bad guys." He hoped Wicca had scrounged up a suitable mark in her crystal skull. Keeping a nervous track of the vampire, he returned to the press box.

"How about this," Wicca began, displaying an image in the talisman. "Here's a guy handing out anarchist flyers. I don't know what you're looking for, but that doesn't sound very nice to me."

"Boogity," Ed said. "Miss Cambris, you don't have to limit yourself to a nip. Go ahead and break the bank." Cambris' eyes shrank to predatory pinpoints as she awaited a clarification.

"Writers." Wicca rolled eyes. "He means it's time to cull the herd."

Cambris became a mist again, and flowed unseen toward her target, who conveniently lurked in the shadows.

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