—Well, just give me one quick moment. Whenever I do this kind of unplanned tune-in, I have to psych myself up for at least a few seconds. I mean, I can’t just jump straight into it with zero run-up. Let’s see. The psyching-up should be appropriate to the target.
I know: Scorpio is perhaps the most urban creature I’ve ever met. He used to say he finds the countryside creepy and depressing! That is so him. OK then, so I’ll whip something up from the flesh of the cityscape, to help us get the right frequency here … and thinking so, I let my gaze float across the burning lights of windows (some with insect figures bobbing inside), the slopes of floodlit spires, glowing stores and the cells of moving cars; and I draw forth the frequency of each through the sticky air, teasing up their sounds through the russet-brown city-hiss, all minutely audible and independent elements that multiply in rising, till the cityscape seeps from three dimensions into four. I snake my slender hands around in slow-moving spirals against the panorama, stroking with my copper-coloured nails the web of light that stretches up in strings squeezed out as if from squinting eyes and lashes wet with tears. “Flesh-pain strung in wires of ecstasy,” I say, and pull the sounds and strings together with the eye behind my forehead. They bend in, converge a mile ahead of me and rise as an edifice that soars to the sky like a tower of the gods, made of radiating energy and light. Music rises, cars whine, window squares flicker with their insect dwellers caught as ants in amber, and the tower spins its shafts across the roofs of New York City as my eyes burn softly and wide to the night, Forever’s now…
—And we land beneath a grainy television screen. A speaker plays a drumbeat cut with whips and moans, an endless soundtrack piped to this room tucked away on New York’s West Side, where Scorpio works beneath a camera’s eye. The screen goes black, the soundtrack silent; then a harsh intake of breath.
A second loud breath—then a cone of light falls upon a small pair of breasts, each stroked by a hand of silver fingernails. Each hand’s ring-finger lifts up and pokes through the thin steel ring that pierces erect the tiny meat of its respective nipple. Now the camera rises, shows the whole seated body from above, clad in nothing but a pair of silver high-heeled boots. The head looks up from under long black hair, and Scorpio’s eyes smoulder at the lens and through the screen, into us (though this last is an illusion, as I know he cannot see us).
The image of his skin is burnt out, as through over-exposure in a photograph. The hair of his crotch is a nest of black, in which a shape stirs. The shape seems to wriggle, as with legs—and now it twitches, and a black-thighed scorpion the size of a hand breaks free and sets off up his stomach, gentle on his flesh with its little claws and curling up its bulbous sting. […]
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