Title: Pricks & Thumbs-01
Fandom: Fear Mythos
Characters: Richard Providence
Rating: T (L1 N0 S2 V0 D0)
Warnings: Non-explicit references to porn being made.
Notes: I got this weird-shit idea, and it wouldn’t leave me alone. I don’t know if this is a story I’ll actually ever finish. I’m not sure I know where it’s going. But, it’s a great set up, and I’d be a fool not to at least start it, while I have it.
Hey, Rich Providence here, not that the name probably means much to any of you. You can call me Fish, I guess. Most people do. Just don’t call me Dick. Only the boss calls me Dick. "Dick Wicked". It’s my name in the credits on all our films. Sounds like a porn star name, doesn’t it?
I’m not a porn star. For the record.
I work with a bunch of them, though. I’m digital effects. I know, in the Old World, porn didn’t usually have digital effects, but it’s not the Old World, any more. I don’t even remember it, but they tell me I was born in the middle of the change. Must’ve been pretty awesome, or something. I don’t know. I grew up here, in New Stanton, which didn’t exist back then. I really can’t imagine it not being here, but I kind of remember the town growing up around me, as I grew up. It’s almost a city, now.
I’ve read a bunch of Old World books, and it doesn’t sound all that different to the world I know, except the part where horror novels that weren’t about serial killers or wild animals were apparently regarded as impossible fictions. I don’t know if anything’s impossible in the New World, but we haven’t tried everything, yet. I’m sure of that. Some things don’t work like you thought they would, sure, but I know that happened in the Old World, too. But, nobody’s sure that anything isn’t real. Even the Unmarked are real. I heard that in the Old World, everyone was Unmarked. They’re so weird looking, though, with their plain skin and dim eyes. Maybe they don’t all look like that. I only ever saw two, and they were both pretty old. I don’t know if there are any Unmarked younger than me. I don’t know what I’d do, if I saw one.
It’s weird, though. Unmarked are like… a fetish. I don’t understand it, at all. Give me some Seraphim, any day, or Serpentine. There’s a charm to that scaly skin. I get a little tired of Rubies and The River. I work in porn. Rubies are a given, and The River is always looking for a way in. The River is everywhere and we’ve got special protocols, on set, for anyone doing a scene with it. With any of it. But, the people want to see Unmarked, so we build clean skins, to hide the external vascular systems, the amphibious gills, the scales, the pupilless blue eyes… The marks that extrude are harder — beaks, coils, jackal’s heads, stuff like that. Some people like what we are, what we’ve become, I guess, but Unmarked are the fetish of the decade, and none of them will come near us.
I mean, they’re right. They wouldn’t stay Unmarked for long. Those Who Walk Before would come down from Tower Mountain, and take them. I heard it hurts, if you’re not born with a mark, but nobody talks much about the being taken, or the change, at all. So many places were destroyed, and so much of the last days of the Old World is just… gone.
There’s an old library, about a day’s ride out, by neohippus, but they don’t have any newspapers from the last few months of the Old World. I think the Librarians might know, but they’re not talking. Or maybe they are, and they’re just taking it back, when they’re done. You can never tell, with Librarians. They’re always happy to see me, though. I go out, on the weekends, and bring them the news from town. A handful of books, the daily rag, some industry gossip. Maybe sneak a few un-patched films to them. They don’t seem to have that weird Unmarked fetish. I don’t know if Librarians have fetishes at all, but I figure they do. They’re just like the rest of us, for all that they live only among the books. Might be because they’re banned from most towns. Nobody likes losing their own pasts. Some of us are just a little less bothered by it than others. Sometimes, I come out with a few less memories than I went in, but I always come out with an armful of old books, too, so it works out. Lose a little, gain a little.
Anyway, I figured maybe I should write this all down. Like, if the world changes, tomorrow… nah, then this will probably just go away, like all the newspapers. If I forget, maybe this will still be here. Librarians can make you forget, but they can’t erase history. Not like He Who Walks Before Them, sacred be his name, and all goodness be upon him, and may I never see his face.