Lady Syphilis, a Gambler tale

“Friedrich!” She stood in front of an iron wrought throne with crimson cushions. She was as pale as moonlight but had a deadly grace to her. An air of menace radiated from her and had been known to cause her enemies to clench up in fear. Scars marked her face where her hair didn’t hide it from sight, deep and jagged marks that stole from and accentuated her beauty. Her long legs, perfectly shaped, in knee high black leather boots. A form fitting dress clung to her curves in the same ebony as her hair. She was as much creature as queen.

“Yes milady?” He was dressed in a plain black suit. The type men were buried in. A yellowing white button up shirt beneath the ill fitting jacket. A black tie around his neck. His square jaw and dull eyes hid intelligence. His sloppy hair, more mangled by scissors than cut stood at odd angles. His seven foot frame towered over most who stood before him. And a faint smell of rot and fresh dirt wafted off of him.

“The Gambler, Arthur. Do we have a way to get ahold of him?”

“Arthur?”

“Ashtray.”

“Oh. Him. Yes.” Disgust tinged his tone.

“You really despise him, don’t you?”

“He calls me Lurch. I looked it up. He was the butler on Addams Family.”

“What is that?”

“A black and white show about a family of oddities. Very hard to take seriously.”

“Is it meant to be taken seriously?”

“No, Lady Syphilis. It is a comedy.”

“You are a flesh golem. Is this Lurch also a flesh golem?”

“It is never really mentioned.”

“Is there any similarity between you and this character?”

“Mildly. Circumstantial.”

“He intrigues me.”

“I can download the show if you insist.”

“Hmm? No. Not this Lurch person. Arthur.”

“Why? He is repugnant. An abuser of drugs. An imbecile.”

“He has value. He got me Cleopatra’s taint. ”

“He did?”

“Yes. And went about it in a very interesting fashion. There is more to him than meets the eye.”

“Or much less.”

“Your personal opinion should and will not further influence this matter. I can see many uses for one such as he.”

“Yes milady.”

“Get me his information. I may have a job for him.”

“At once.”

As he left the room, Lady Syphilis sat back on her throne lost in thought. Already scheming. Planning ahead on how to best use the inherent luck the Gambler, Arthur, wielded so recklessly. A smile formed on her face, somewhere between happy and deadly, as she stared into space.

“And I have changed my mind. I would like to see this Addams Family. Download it and have it sent to my chamber.”

“Yes milady.” Anger sparkled across his eyes as he silently cursed the foolish gambler. One day he would happily wring Ashtray’s neck. Pop his head off and watch his body spasm on the floor before him. One day. Soon.

“Say it.”

“I would rather not milady.”

“One time. I am asking. Don’t make me tell you to.”

“The indignation. Ahem. You rang?”

“Hahaha! It is uncanny!”

“It really is not. It is a passing familiarity at best.”

“It really does put a bee in your bonnet Friedrich.”

“It does at that milady.”

“Have you gotten Arthur’s number for me yet?”

“It appears he refused to get a cell phone. Or permanent address. He is a vagabond it would seem.”

“How interesting.”

“If you say so. Repulsive lack of social queues, inability to be an adult. Interesting.”

“Don’t be jealous. Now say it again.”

“You rang?”

“Wonderful.”

“Yes milady. If you say so.”

“I do. Indeed. Does this make me Morticia?”

“I could not say.”

“Could not or will not?”

“Yes Lady Syphilis.”

“Find me the gambler.”

“I will.”

“This is Friedrich.”

“Lurch? What’s up big man?” A cheery voice erupted out of the phone. Firedrich’s hand clenched, dangerously close to shattering the poor thing.

“Ashtray. How wonderful. I was hoping to hear from you soon. You are a difficult, ahem, man to get ahold of.”

“Been out of dimension. They are throwing this rager two levels outside Nirvana. And guess what?”

“I will not. This does not interest me.”

“Kurt fucking Cobain is here! Nearly Nirvana with the lead singer of the band Nirvana. How fucking cool is that? I won a game of mahjong against this Chinese demon and got his invite.”

“Again. I don’t care. I have been trying to reach you…”

“Yeah. I heard. That’s why I called. Please stop. Okay. I gotta go. These Sherpas are about to spike the goat milk with this special hallucogenic honey.”

“Lady Syphilis would like for you to come in and have a talk with her…”

“Oh yeah? Think I have a chance with her?”

“Well she would like to talk to you.”

“Not talk. Something more?”

“Like a partnership? I can not speak for her. Let me know when you can come in for a meeting…”

“No. Like sexually?”

“I will rip your spine out…”

“Look I gotta go. Don’t try to call me, I’ll call you. Maybe. If I remember. Tell the Lady I say hey cutie?”

“I most certainly will… Hello? He hung up. Asshole.”

“How did he manage to escape you?”

“I do not know milady.”

“But he called?”

“Yes. From another dimension apparently.”

“And what did he say?”

“For me to stop looking for him.”

“And that is it? Did you tell him I requested a meeting?”

“I did. And he made a rather risque comment and hang up on me.”

“Risque?”

“He inquired if he would have a chance at having carnal relations with the Lady.”

“Cheeky bastard. Hmmm.”

“Surely you would not consider lying with such a foul miscreant!”

“Said the flesh golem with no penis to the demoness cast from Hell.”

“My lack of sexual organ has no bearing on this. Nor your most esteemed origin.”

“It was a mistake not making you whole. I see that now. At the time I had not been out of the pits long enough to grasp the significance of the act of sex. In Hell it was just another torment. Over the centuries though… I have seen the error of my thoughts. This human intrigues me more so with every new nuance.”

“But Lady Syphilis!”

“But nothing Friedrich. Did you trace the number he used to call?”

“Yes. It is a Domino’s Pizza in Lansing Michigan. A proxy the hackers said. It appears he really was in another dimension.”

“And he said to stop trying to track him down?”

“Yes. He said he would contact me. If he remembers to.”

“Find out everything you can about his past. Curiouser and curiouser I become.”

“As you wish.”

“Carnal relations… Hmmm.”

“I understand that he doesn’t wish to be found. If you could just tell me how to reach him. Oh. He left a message for me? Well that is quite physically impossible in more ways than you can imagine. How is that helpful? Thank you for your time sir.”

“Still nothing? I am quite disappointed in you.”

“He is vexing.”

“No. He is clever and has outsmarted you at every turn. He has proved his value. When is the last time someone has given you this type of runaround?”

“Da Vinci.”

“A genius. Do you see the value in this Gambler?”

“Yes.”

“Begrudgingly he acquiesces. All this time fighting and now you see.”

“He is a tool to be used.”

“Yes.”

“But he eludes me.”

“Then we must find that which he wants most of all. Lure him to us.”

“But he is like smoke. No trail. No past. Nothing to tie him to anything but The Company and they say he is but a contractor. How do we find that which he desires when we don’t know anything about him?”

“There is something. Every creature has desires. Wants. We just have to figure out his.”

“Easier said than done.”

“Then we stop using normal means.”

“Surely you don’t mean?”

“Yes. Hell. Though I am loathe to cash in a favor I feel this one is worth the price. There is more to him than I can see. And I hate a mystery.”

“I know milady.”

“Pack me a bag. I am going to take a trip.”

“Yes Lady Syphilis, at once.”

“Soon we will have entangled Arthur Hardly completely and make him dance for us.”

“As you wish mistress. Anything else?”

“Say it again.”

“Must I?”

“Yes.”

“You rang.”

“Wonderful.”

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