The gripper grinned mischievously. He was going to soak this rube and her body for all she was worth. He realized that he was about to give into his orcish squint once again and tried to stop the inevitable, but could not: at the negotiation table of the Orc's Head Tavern he began to spaz as if he were within the grips of a severe seizure.

The rube was shaken by the boy's fit. "Er, well... are you OK?" She really didn't want to get involved; she wanted to give this freakish little specimen whatever monetary amount he demanded for the map and get the hell out of the pub.

"Yes, yes. Quite." The gripper glanced the girl up and down for the nth time. He was treating her body as if it were a visual amusement park erected for his personal enjoyment. He began to concentrate on what he thought she'd look like oiled, chained and kneeling when suddenly she reached into her purse and placed an object upon the table which commanded the full amount of his meager attention.

"The golden fleece! Where did you get this?"  Bits of drool trickled down his chin.

She didn't think it possible, but she regarded him with even more distaste. "I nicked it from some stinking orc." At least he had stopped leering at her. The gripper picked up the fleece and brought it to his nose. He began to snort it and the girl felt sick. "I should have brought the golden comb instead," she whispered.

The gripper returned to his prey; the evening was going as planned. He had himself a valuable golden artifact for an ambiguous map he ripped off from some random nicotine-addictted wag who had passed out under the bar a couple nights before. Now, to get the girl in bed with him: the gripper searched his memory for his best line and while in deep thought began to scrunch up his facial features in a particularly gruesome orcish manner.

The girl silently pocketed the map and made a mental note to pick up some industrial-strength disinfectant. What could this wretch possibly have to say to her now? He couldn't possibly be thinking of picking her up, could he?

The gripper had just come up with a suitable line that, in his mind, would cause the girl to passionately throw herself at him. So it was unfortunate, really, that he had to do so much thinking and look so repugnant while doing so: in the process of deep thought Fungus the Boggit man entered the bar and throttled him with his bare hands for the sheer, unadulterated pleasure of it.

At that point the girl left the bar, used the map to get out of the simulation and had an uncompromising hatred for any man the least bit overweight and unattractive for the rest of her life.


-- Robb Sherwin
  July 11th, 1998


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