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Welcome to my parlor, said the Spider to the Reporter

Now, it's not that you're suicidal, or stupid, or ensnared by some bizarre magical force only hopped up shamans could explain to you. It's more a compulsion, an instinctual desire to KNOW, brought on by being a journalist for more years than you like to admit. So when you find yourself dropped unceremoniously on the other side of whatever ethereal window you just jumped through, your first reaction is to look at your situation through your camera. It's not everyday you find a rift in the fabric of reality, much less have the blind faith to visit the far side, right? Maybe it will be some teleporter gate to an alien mothership - or maybe you should have left that hip flask alone on the mule ride to Castle Freak-Me-Out.

But too late you discover that the far side is not so far as you would have liked. Granted, you work for a rag which doesn't do many "Alien Abduction!" stories, but what the hey?, you might be able to sell the lot to some supermarket tabloid, and wouldn't THAT be a Christmas bonus worth celebrating about? As you blink away the sudden onset of vertigo, you force yourself to investigate your surroundings through your gorgeous little Olympus Infinity, snapping a picture of various items of interest, including the rapidly disappearing, multi-colored portal/ethereal rift/whatever-the-hey-it-was. As you snap shots of a large Victorian canopy bed, antique furnishings, and a huge stained-glass collage window showing one of the urban-myth 'werewolves' which have been so popular lately, you think aloud to yourself, "This is crazy. Keep it coming, baby... I can smell a Pulitzer... a raise... new car..."

"I can smell something, too, little puppy. And it isn't a man. Who are you, you who dares intrude?" The voice, very soft and feminine and coming from a corner of the room you obviously must have missed, sends you spinning about trying to locate the source. The camera falls from startled fingers, the strap tugging at your neck. Eyes wide, you stare as some... THING uncoils itself from the far side of the huge bed. Whatever it is, the dim menagerie of light doesn't do much to put it in perspective for you.

You suddenly begin wondering once again whether or not you got the right castle.

Written by Eriol

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