Mirrorwound looked into the reflection and frowned. The avatar Grinned back

>I want to tell you a story about how I was begat:

The avatar's skin was perfectly smoothed under layers of painstaking gaussian blurs, a lens flare in the corner of each perfectly symmetrical eye. It's colors looked best on an expensive monitor of course but even at 8 bit the contrasts glowed with fake health and sensuality. A candy skin good enough to eat.

But the illusion was flawed. There was a shadow where there should have been a nose; A gash of pixels that rippled and widened even as she looked. He tested the wound with his fingertips knowing this was folly, knowing that there would only be the touch of cold glass and not the cancerous media_meat, disease, corrupt fascination.

Fingers slipping through glass and then a passing like the cold of a dream just out of reach of remembering

>>I was not always this way. I noticed the first stages of the corruption when I was holidaying in Spain. It was in Granada in the heat of summer and we had returned to the glass tower block of our five star hotel to wash off the dust and market stench before venturing out in the evening. The internal elevator was all glass and mirrors as well, whirling up through 15 stories of air-conditioning, piped music and duty free stores. My face flashing like a strobe as we climbed.

Top floor and straight to the marble bathroom, once more all mirrors, The sound of cold water filling the tub, sharp echoes. The basin had Hollywood star globes over it but two need replacing.

I could hear Troy in the bedroom playing with the Handy-Cam, recharging batteries and rummaging in cases for the spare tape.

"Troy could you please find my migraine tablets, I think one's coming on... too much sun."
My face was glossy, perhaps a little feverish and I could see the veins pulsing on my forehead. The little pin-lights hadn't started twinkling yet but I could sense that my vision was not quite right, like thin ripples of water on a sheet of glass.

There was a dark stain on the side of my nose so I scooped up a handful of water from the bath and splashed my face with it, rubbed vigorously with the fresh monogrammed towel. Not grime, some kind of skin irritation. I sighed and wondered what exotic skin diseases one could pick up in flea markets of Southernmost Spain.

>>Venice has always been my favourite city (said the avatar), so it was logical that I decided I should be born there. You can sometimes catch sight of me at the crest of the next bridge. They are made for showing off.... perfect tableaux. Even the hideous looks like it belongs there.

Troy and I played a mad game, trying to get lost in the maze of canal lamplight, chasing each other blindly through the deserted winter streets. I always knew where we were though... a sixth sense denying me the prize of being able to tell friends at the dinner table about 'the time we got lost in Venice and how frighteningly exotic it all was'. We made our way back to the Rialto. I took the lead as usual, we began to dance on that bridge of bridges...(a sixteenth century galliarde Troy used to teach to a class of flat footed heavy breasted medievalists... true damsels in distress).

I was dressed in a black velvet frockcoat I'd purchased a few days earlier in Florence. Troy had his cyber jacket on, the one with the silicon chips and stainless steel spikes. Pity there was no one to see our show. The galliarde finished, we reverenced, and he kissed my hand...then leaning into me, forcing me roughly back against the stone of the bridge.. kissing harder and less courteously than before..

Milord (I said)... you are too bold!

and he laughed at that, then frowned.
"You really should get that checked out you know." (nodding at the blemish on my face) I traced fingertips unconsciously directed by his words and drew them back black with blood.

I turned away from him and pretended to look at the view, the lights in the water... but it was really to hide the imperfection.

"Yes" I replied, non committal...

Did I hear laugher withering in the shadows below the Rialto.??

A white flash of an arse, a pair fucking, grunting below, oblivious to me playing the voyeur. Or perhaps in spite of me.
a knot of jealously prickled my face and I flushed.

I felt Troy's hands fumble round my waist but I pulled away.

[The Avatar drops it's comede de l'arte mask and grins.]

>>Would you like this dance? I was always there for you. Lurking. I knew you couldn't refuse my invitation. Vienna, Brugges, Paris and Christmas Eve in London. My affection grew day by day as you tried to run from me. I must admit that doubt crossed my mind when you bought that expensive make up at 'Charles de Gaules', but knew you were mine when I saw your eyes in the nightclub bathroom..."Heaven" wasn't it...you'd been dancing in the laser light and the sweat had washed away the mask. I knew I was in love with you when I saw your look of fascination fixed on the fingerprint I'd placed on your face.
Pixel birthmark and gateway to my realm.

Hush sweet MirrorWound, honeymoon's over, time to go home.