The Coin

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"Good evening my friends," rasps a voice from the darkness. A spotlight comes up on the figure of the StealthGoth, smiling maniacally in a strange, yet sweet, way.

"Before the stroke of midnight, my slave Asafoetida and I wish to demonstrate our work which has been created only for the audiences of alt.gothic. While others may hope to show you all what they have taught their slaves, Asafoe and I hope to help teach all of you something different." Pan twirls a coin between his fingers, rounding in and out and around them. Stopping only momentarily, it's hard to make out, but it seems to be nothing more than a quarter...or something of that size and weight. Just a coin.

"First, I hope to show you that while sex does not require domination, likewise domination does not require sex. We hope to rather show you something that you may find in all of you, if you look deep enough. A truth that, maybe, very few know." The coin continues, rounding his fingers in a deftly managed, unstoppable flow.

"Domination is a fine line. For is not pleasure the flip side of pain?" The coin is flipped by his thumb into the air and caught into his other hand where it continues its maneuvers.

"Just two sides of the same emotion. Strong emotions, sure, but these emotions are but one...separated by perception..." He pauses, surveys the crowd. "...and needs."

"With true control of one's emotions, true understanding of the opposite yet same pain and pleasure result. My goal with Asafoetida was not to torture her...torture after all is perceived differently by all. But it was to help her gain this understanding and control over the same-feelings of pain and pleasure."

"They are the flip sides of the same coin." Into the air the coin flies yet again, and once again is caught. "The coin will usually fall one side down...either pain, or pleasure. But if done right...a balance can be kept. And sometimes, if you are good enough, strong enough and have that understanding of which I speak, the coin may land on the edge...somewhere between the two, melding together. Not pain, not pleasure...but both at once." Pan grins at the crowd, still twirling his coin.

"Metamorph, judges, trainers, trainees and, of course, our coordinator..." as he nods towards Metamorph and all others in turn. "I hope you can see tonight that it is possible to maintain a balance...and distribute equally the emotions of both pain and pleasure. The same feeling...both sides of the coin facing upwards and rising. And, before the stroke of midnight, you just might see that balance in my little slave." He grins again...tosses the coin...it lands...ON IT'S EDGE.

The light fades out once again just as something begins to whisper from a distance. The suspense and torment of the audience rises as they wait for this spectacle as promised before midnight's chime. And, the suspense grows and becomes torture...for as domination does not construe sex, torture does not always construe touch.

You can hear it now...the words...they chant:
"Promise carved in stone...
Deeper than the sea...
Sever flesh from bone...
Offer it to me..."

Thank you for reading our introduction.

The Silent TreatmentNote: In the official GothOlympics Program (available in the lobby), fourth page, third from the bottom, you will find the names of Pan and his charge, Asafoetida. Musical selection: Nine Inch Nails' "Ringfinger."

The audience sat as patient as possible, waiting for Master Pan's promise which occurred just after 3PM today, that the demonstration between himself and his charge, Asafoetida, would occur. In torment and with torture they waited for over nine hours. Finally, the applause for the last contestants died down. The GothOlympic Auditorium was silent. The clock struck at quarter to midnight. That's when the lights dimmed, then turned off completely.

A single spotlight focused onto the small figure facing the judges, her face bowed out of view. She was a girl, barely a woman. Her form was hidden by a black velvet cloak. Her shoulder length hair was elaborately put up, a few small tendrils hanging mournfully down. She stood, motionless.

The CoinA second spotlight appeared revealing another figure. His spotlight was much harsher, his body a mass of light and dark. The judges could make out the brow, the bridge of the nose, the shoulders, but not much else. As he approached the smaller figure his spotlight softened, making visible his form. It was like a cross between black and white...only few things gave off the true nature of the form. Wrapped in a suit of black...even the tie was black, yet glimmered vaguely in the light like a beacon. Like a businessman...but of what business none could tell for not even a hint of color shone. The only hint of the true nature from this man, this master, was the eyes...deep and dark, like looking into a pool that barely reflected the moonlight. And the nails...long and black, reaching beyond the flesh of the fingertips. The lips were tinted black also, and the flesh around the eyes. But if not for these hints the figure was wrapped in a stealthy cloak of normalcy...after all the forms of the StealthGoth were many...and this was but one. Eventually, the two spotlights became one. He was right behind her.

They embraced, or rather, he embraced her, holding her in his arms like a doll. The girl lifted her head slowly, as if brought to life by her master's caress. His hands moved upward, one to untie the cloak, the other to turn her head towards him. They kissed, a long, passionate kiss; a kiss so often reserved for the dreams of lonely young boys. During this tongue exchange he slowly slid the cloak off her shoulders. The word "REMEMBER" came into view, carved just below the collarbone...a symbol of punishment due for something that some would even consider simplistic and not deserving of such torment. But this master demanded that his slave ALWAYS remember what he wanted...no matter how insignificant. For was it not her duty to serve in every respect? To know his every wish and cater accordingly? The cloak fell softly and easily off her naked flesh.

He pulled something out of her hair and it fell down instantly. He stroked the black mass slowly, almost tenderly. She moaned, enjoying her attention with relish. Abruptly, he grabbed a fistful of hair and jerked her head back. Staring into the terrified eyes of his servant, he put a finger to her lips and intoned, "Shhhh." As he let go, she fell to her knees, caressing his boots in an effort to be forgiven...he shook his head and looked upwards. On cue, long chains descended from the ceiling, a manacle attached. He thrust her hands into the manacles and they both lifted enough so that her feet were left dangling. He reached to his chest and withdrew, from the dark brass symbol of life which hung about his neck, a knife. From the sheath which was formed from the bottom of the ankh's crossbar, the small knife was drawn forth...the handle that of the infinite life's loop.

The lights went up a menacing red.

He held the knife up to his minion's face. He let it glide across her cheek, down her neck, over the encarved platitude, all the while her features becoming increasingly anxious. Moving like lightning, the master drew a mark across the girl's left breast. She cried out in pain. Without looking up, he uttered an angry "Sh!" and pressed harder. This time she was silent.

He worked his way across her entire body with that knife, quickly and efficiently. Straight lines, circles, loops--all completely random, yet inspired as if pre-planned. None of them deep enough to scar, but it certainly will sting for quite some time. Her flesh was but a tapestry to him. All the while the slave was silent. Tears streamed down her cheeks in muddy black smears. She bit her lower lip so hard a thin trickle of blood oozed down her form. Rivulets of torture and domination dripped lovingly everywhere, down what once was smooth, white flesh.

The CoinFinally, the master was finished. Her blood-soaked body was a work of art. He ran his hands across her, as if reading Braille. Kneeling, he held her foot to his face and drank from the stream that was flowing down her leg. Smears of lipstick mixed with the rivulets of blood to form a darker, deeper color on the heel of her foot. Now it was his turn to show pleasure. He stood up shakily, fighting to keep his balance, his satiation was so intense. He wiped off his crimson mouth and stared at his dripping fingers. Slowly, carefully, he brought his index finger to the center of his charge's forehead and let it slide down. Another semicircle, and he stepped away, spent, reeling. A perfectly painted "P" was emblazoned on his masterpiece, signed by the artist himself. The master said one word before collapsing in a heap on the floor.

"Now."

The girl whimpered, then wailed, then screamed with anguish like she would never stop. The lights faded to black...the screams melting into the darkness.

(This presentation has been brought to you by the cooperative writing skills of StealthGoth Pan and Asafoetida. Thank you for reading.)

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