Part Three -- Stories 41-60
Intro / 1-20 / 21-40 / 41-60 / Others
41. The Pure and the Profane
     I used to say that Kittens was the best and most
powerful thing I've ever written. But after this one, I had to
reconsider. This, I none-too-humbly believe, is a phenomenal
story. Once again, I blazed effortlessly, and loved every minute
of it.
     The only time I had to slow down and actually work at
this one was the sex scene. This one had to be done just right. I
spent many hours honing those two pages of tormented lust,
and I am extremely happy with the results.
     I'm extremely happy with all of it. The highlights for me
are the abovementioned sex scene, Elisa's desperate race to try
and save who she thinks is Broadway, Dominique vs. Elektra in
the basement, and Jericho in the dungeon -- most particularly
his exchanges with first Goliath and then Angela and Brooklyn.
     There really isn't much to say about this one except to
go on raving about how much I love it, so I won't because I'm
sure you get the idea ; )
     Title: in Fantasia, the final segment is Night on Bald
Mountain followed by Ave Maria, and the announcer calls it
something like "a reflection of the struggle between the sacred
and the profane." What a great title! But instead of "sacred," with
its religious connotations, I changed it to "pure," which fits better
and is also nicely alliterative. In this case, there's a dual struggle
-- Elektra is given a choice between Broadway (pure) and
Jericho (profane); Jericho is given a choice between Elektra
(pure) and Demona (profane).
     Memorable lines: So many to choose from, but the best is "As above, so below."

42. Tales from the Skiff
     I had a lot of time left to account for, a few adventures
left untold. I was in such a hurry to write The Pure and the
Profane that I went on and skipped ahead, telling myself I
would go back and take care of some of the others next.
     The first section, "Brendan Vandermere and the Temple
of Doom," came about because  when I tried to turn Brendan
into a hero (man, what a chore!), I knew I had to give him some
interests besides society parties and expensive cars. So, in The
Horror of Innsbrook, I established that he was an amateur
Egyptologist, a hobby of which Margot haughtily disapproved.
     Then I thought it might be fun to introduce him to the
complete anti-Margot (well, that would be Birdie, so maybe not
complete, but certainly far down the continuum). Way back in
the early 1990's when I started editing the facility newsletter,
just for a kick I started running a monthly cliffhanger serial,
"The Adventures of Dakota Jones." It was an easy matter to
transfer Dakota, fedora and all, into my fanfic (and made for a
bit of silliness, for of course Dakota was the original name for
Demona, back when they were thinking of making the show
more of a comedy).
     The goddess Kal-Tet is completely made up; I once
used that name for a variant of the evil deity Calaan in my RPG
     Hans Runolf is Inge's brother; they may even be twins. I
put him in there because when writing something like this, ya
just gotta have Nazis, it's like a rule. The Orb of Isis was
borrowed from an episode of The Simpsons ; )
     For the second part, "Crossbones," I finally decided to
create a brand new clan (not counting the Squids). But I wanted
something different. I've always had a weakness for pirates,
and got thinking about figureheads on ships. Wooden gargoyles.
Then I realized I could play with parallels, which is something I
always enjoy doing.
     I could also get into MacBeth's past. If Xanatos would
make a good highwayman, who not MacBeth as a pirate? Or
maybe it's just that I have a total lech for guys in frock coats
and fold-top boots, that could be it.
     The idea to open and close each segment with Puck
doing his Cryptkeeper shtick came from my pal Denis, who
said it as a joke when he heard the title, but it was such a good
idea that I just couldn't pass it up ; ) Thanks, bro! It also meant I
had to come up with some puns, and I think that took longer
than writing the stories!
     Title: Broadway was joking about telling their
adventures to the clan and once he said it, I knew it had to be
the title.
     Memorable lines: "Bum-ba-dum-dum, bum-ba-dah, bum-ba-dum-dum, bum-ba-dah-dah-dah!"

43. Three of a Kind
     It was time to stop fiddling around and get this darn
story written. I was not looking forward to it, but I'd been
foreshadowing it just about forever, and knew I had to get it
done for better or worse. Since I wasn't really sure what was
supposed to happen, I just started writing and let it go where it
     Luckily, it turned out better than I expected. I went into it
worrying and feeling like it was going to be a chore (and parts
of it were, figuring out all that timeline stuff for the Archmage's
jaunts for example), but I came out feeling pretty good about it.
     Good, even though it was tragic and senseless, ending
with three dead gargoyles, three catatonic society princesses,
and the Sisters confined to live the next thirty-some years as
silent helpless passengers as Tiffy, Muffy, and Babs tour some
of the finer realms of psychiatric treatments.
     Not to mention the Archmage discorporated (again) ...
Jack Chalker's "Rules" say to never believe an evil wizard's
truly dead until he's apparently died a minimum of thrice, so
lemme think ... 1.) His plunge into the abyss in Long Way to
Morning, interrupted by his future self; 2.) His flamboyant
magical end in Avalon Part Three ... that left one more for me to
play with ; ) Guess now he's really gone ...
     I feel really bad for Gabriel, and for those who have
been wondering about him, I promise, he will be reappearing in
another story soon. It's been more than a year his time, a year
spent with Ebon learning to find his way through grief, so he'll
be ready to move on soon. For Gabriel, I would like to play
with the "heroic journey" theme, a la Joseph Campbell.
     Title: ever since I first knew I was going to have to write
this one, that was the title I thought of it by, of course referring
to the three sets of triplets.
     Memorable lines: Gabriel telling off Oberon, particularly "And if you can't be a man, pull your britches up and be a lord!".

44. Hotwire
     Following T.J.'s debut, I was swamped with letters in
support of him, curious to see how he got along with the clan.
Here's this poor guy, his whole life (which wasn't that great to
begin with) uprooted and restructured, thrown into a castle full
of weirdos. Unlike the other friends of the clan, he wasn't
drawn into this by his own desires; he was flung in, and given
the circumstances of his parentage, he had no choice but to
     I didn't want him to automatically befriend the gargs and
be all cool about it, nor did I want him to go to the other
extreme and hate them (seems like most of the people in the
Gargoyles universe are at one end or the other). He had to get
to know them, and will probably always be dubious not only
about them but about his mom, himself, and his place in the
     It also seemed exactly right that T.J. and Birdie would
make a great pair. I don't know why, but it just did. Yet I would
later find out that their relationship turned out pretty quirky.
They end up sharing an apartment (Breeding Season) but I can't
help but think that they're not romantically involved. If there is
sex going on, it is of the extremely casual variety. And I don't
even know if there is. T.J. for some reason wound up striking
me as being ... not exactly asexual but just not terribly
interested. Then again, his experience with the Weird Sisters
may have had something to do with it.
     Anyway ... here's T.J., something of a punk and a rebel
but at the same time a decent guy (he is one of the strangest
characters I've ever created; there is a real ambiguity to him
about every aspect of his life). He has simple tastes and needs.
All the guy wants is to hang out and have a brewski.
     The only way I could think of to find common ground
between him and the gargs was his and Lex's knack with
machinery. But even that isn't quite the same; Lex is a
technogeek and T.J. is a greasemonkey. Once he let himself get
involved, then he could find out that he and Brooklyn had
some of the same casual tough-guy traits.
     The story came about because I had this idea for T.J.
and Birdie to boost a Quarryman van. No real reason; it was just
one of those things that struck me funny. So I crafted a story
around it, and involved Lex and Brooklyn because I don't want
to get too far away from the original characters.
     Title: T.J.'s first appearance was in FoxFire; Hotwire
sounds similar and rhymes so I liked that bit of continuity; plus
it refers to his powers. I was thinking for a time of calling it
"Hotwire and Jailbird," Jailbird being Birdie's nickname after her
trip to the slammer for knocking Margot into a glass-topped
table, and having it be a Bonnie and Clyde, Smokey and the
Bandit, buddy cop kind of car chase wild lawbreaking romp.
But that was a tad too corny.
     Memorable lines: "When I mentioned dying for a beer, this isn't what I had in mind."

45. Dear Diary
     I had to turn Aiden into a gargoyle but I didn't want to
make a great big detailed story out of it. Mostly because I was
psyching myself up to do Breeding Season, and I wanted to get
to it right away because I knew it was going to be another great
and epic ride.
     But I felt Aiden deserved a little bit of the spotlight as
she underwent her big lifestyle change, and the diary format
seemed a good way to keep it short. I didn't have to do long
dialogue exchanges, no descriptive scenes. Just her thoughts,
and a chance to explore some of my theories about gargoyle
biology. Such as the unhinging pelvis. Ouchie.
     And then there was the fact that Aiden, being so nice
and such a wuss was going to be a gargoyle that makes
even the most saccharine interpretation of Angela look tough.
She can't roar, she can't fight worth a damn, she's too meek. I
don't know what will happen the first time Aiden gets in a real
combat (her only previous experience being in Double Date,
when the extent of her participation involved smacking a
Quarryman over the head with her tote bag).
     Title: self-explanatory.
     Memorable lines: So, ha-ha, I just flew back from Central Park and boy are my wings tired!

46. Breeding Season
     It is hard writing a story that spans several months of
time. Other stuff goes on in the world, so it can be a hassle
staying focused and not getting distracted while still addressing
those events and not glossing things over.
     Ever since Passions, people have been after me to let
Goliath and Elisa have a kid. I wanted to take this very slowly,
very carefully. I had to make sure I knew exactly where I stood
in my opinions on gargoyle reproduction and the influence of
magic on crossbreeding. Plus, I didn't want to rush it. I didn't
want to zip them right from a kiss to bed to marriage to family.
     By the time I got to this point, many of my fellow
authors had populated their various universes with whole
throngs of little ones. Did anyone still give a darn how I chose
to handle it? Well, whether they did or not, I gave a darn.
Even if it is going to be a long time yet until we actually see the
finished product in the form of all those hatchlings.
     As I began writing, I realized this was going to be one of
those tales that really has it all. It was funny, sexy, caring,
romantic, sweet ... but it was also dark: Jericho's attempted
seduction of Angela, and particularly Demona's miscarriage --
that horrifying and intense tragedy did what I thought was
impossible, making people actually grieve and feel sorry for
Demona and Jericho, even after all they've done.
     Another one of those spontaneous plot hooks popped
up in this one, in the form of Goliath's alchemist mother. I have
already developed several possible plots which will involve
     Hudson and Delilah. I took some real lumps over
Hudson and Delilah. Some people did not at all like the idea of
Hudson as a sexual character. Does seem kinda weird, I admit.
His relationship with Maria Chavez has never gone beyond the
occasional kiss; they are both just looking for companionship,
not passion.
     But why the hell not Hudson? From Delilah's point of
view, it made sense. So he's old. So what? Look at the movies
pairing older actors with young babes. I just today read that
Catherine Zeta-Jones, who starred opposite Antonio Banderas in
the latest Zorro movie, is now working on a project with Sean
Connery and states that he is the hottest man she's ever met
(tell us something we didn't know, Catherine <g>).
     So he's old? He's not dead, for crying out loud! Why
not let him get some action? And then, just to prove how virile
he is, why not have Delilah lay a record-breaking number of
eggs? Of course, that part was also inspired by countless
cartoons, in which the male critter meets a female critter and
then they march across the screen with a line of little ones that
look just like him ... ; ) Hudson may be discreet, and as Delilah
has similar coloring, it might take a while for the penny to drop,
but eventually someone is going to notice.
     No, I don't know what the deal is with Dr. Johnson.
     Yes, I think the Y2K hype is preposterous and silly ... but
all the same, we're buying a gun and laying in a supply of
emergency foodstuffs ...
     Harry the Hammer (what a name!) uses the phrase "dark
Madonna" to describe Elisa. I borrowed that from Dean Koontz,
who uses it in The Servants of Twilight. We're going to have
trouble with him in the future, I imagine.
     In Future Imperfect, Aiden and Lex learned that Elisa
and her unborn child were killed by a renegade Avalon
gargoyle. Drawing again from Dean Koontz, this time from
Lightning and the concept of destiny struggling to reassert
patterns that were meant to be, I wanted to build on that
possibility and therefore it was inevitable that Jericho should
have the very real opportunity and motive to do it.
     I never intended for him to actually kill her, though,
and I initially believed it would be because he discovered
some nobility buried deep within himself.
     Then I got to know Jericho, and realized it ain't gonna
happen. I had to come up with some other reason for him to
spare Elisa's life, some way that would be almost more warped
than killing her in the first place. So now, from the depths of his
obsessive, jealous, possessive slavish devotion to Demona, he
has become Elisa's secret protector.
     Once again, I got to borrow Chas, who always conducts
himself with cool aplomb. And Birdie, who can't resist being a
smartass even under fire. There has got to be a blowout
between them, Canmore, Margot, and possibly Brendan at some
     Oh, and I screwed up -- I didn't re-watch Mirror
beforehand, so I didn't remember that Puck uses the tower atop
the World Trade Center to juice up his spell. No way T.J. and
Birdie live in an apartment right beside that so they could get
easily to the roof. Blunder. Sorry.
     I thought long and hard on the matter of Amber. Finally,
I concluded that the mother's race dictated more of the baby's
development than the father's race did. As Elektra's mom was a
gargoyle, Elektra is a gargoyle who can pass for human. Amber
is the other way around, a human who can pass for a gargoyle.
     Her feet will require special shoes, her wings will have
to be concealed, but she has no tail and her brow ridges are so
slight as to be almost unnoticeable. I don't think Elisa will have
any problem showing her off down at the station (though I must
confess to thinking about the movie Dumbo; Amber sneezes
and her wings unfurl out of her blankets, wouldn't that be
fun to explain!). She'll have a much easier time denying the day
than Elektra, too, but in the meantime Elisa can enjoy the same
luxury as Eihblin Driscoll -- a child that sleeps straight through,
no noontime feedings.
     It should be interesting to see how things go with Rick
Alvarez, because everyone at the station thinks he and Elisa
have been carrying on a secret affair. Will Rick risk Goliath's
wrath by acting like Amber is his daughter? I haven't yet
     Title: I think I was the first one to coin this phrase,
"breeding season," back when I did A Gargoyles Christmas
Special. I think I was ... but there are a lot of things that
become common use. For instance, I know I was the first to do
the wing joint thing, and the knuckles against the brow ridges
as a show of affection (based on the fist-to-the-temple from
Alien Nation, btw, as is the sexy humming that takes place in
the rookery). Christi gets all the credit for the mysterious "dirty
tail trick," though!
     Memorable lines: The thing about tinted glass, David Xanatos thought amusedly, was how easy it was to forget it was only opaque on one side.

47. Shameless Plug
     I had to. Couldn't resist.
     So self-indulgent! Masturbatory, even! Crossing over with
my own self!
     But I had to.
     My book, Curse of the Shadow Beasts, was due out
soon and of course I wanted everyone who admired my
writing to buy it so that I can make money, launch my career,
become famous, get invited to cons, sell movie rights, buy a
gigantic house that looks like a castle, and spoil myself and my
loved ones forevermore. (to order the book, click here <g>).
     Since I wanted this to be a fun story that didn't give
away too much of the novel, I had to set it as a slight prequel
and couldn't involve Arien because he's too darn moody early
on. So I chose Cat's quarrel with the Ferrets and the matter of
Lord Taron's emeralds, which happen before the book begins.
     The moment I started, having chosen Hudson and
Brooklyn because I still don't give them enough screen time, I
realized all the similarities between Hudson and One-Eye, and
from there everything went great.
     Side note: in the revision of the second and third books,
I noticed that Lord Taron kept wanting to turn into Xanatos ; )
     The opening bit with everyone coming out of the
Danger Room let me sneak a peek at baby Amber and show
some of what will eventually become a problem for Angela.
Goliath is going to dote on that little girl outrageously. This is
going to leave Angela feeling jealous; after all, if not for her
influence, Goliath would still be stuck in that "whole clan
parenting" mindset (or so she believes; I bet Elisa would have
changed his mind sooner or later).
     Title: well, it was, wasn't it? ; )
     Memorable lines: "'Get him'," Brooklyn echoed in disgust. "Any time, any world, it's always the same. 'Get him'."

48. Jericho on the Island of Amazon Women
     When I first set out to do this one, I didn't know if it
would ever be released for public view. This came as a source
of great distress to some, who asked what I was working on
and upon being told that it was a flagrantly dirty story that they
might not be allowed to read, nearly went bonkers. I wouldn't
even tell them who it was for, only that if the person agreed, I
would make it available.
     What happened was this -- at the Gathering, I finally met
in person my good pal Jennifer "CrzyDemona" Anderson, who
along with Kenna "Elisagoyle" Street are the founders of the
Jericho Fan Club.
     Jennifer was the first to send me that bad boy
immortalized in color. Her lechery for Jericho knows no
bounds, and we had spent a few late-night ICQ conversations
jesting about possible permutations thereof. Somehow we got
talking about tropical islands and amazon warrior babes.
     So, with her birthday coming up, I sat myself down to
give her a present she'd never forget. I meant for it to be a short
story, but it kept wanting to grow. I had to strictly curtail myself
from going wild with the amazon culture, describing their city,
and so on. Someday, I will use all the material I cut from the
story as background for a game or something.
     Two names, Anneke (the tomboyish huntress) and
Jae'elae (the amazon queen), are deliberate references ; )
     Basically, this was pure sex with little other redeeming
value, explained away as a dream sequence in a quick subplot
involving one of Gustav Sevarius' experimental compounds.
Jericho was tripping, and whether or not the female pilot who
appeared in his hallucinations actually did anything to him as
he was lying drugged on her cot remains to be seen ...
     I sent Jennifer a birthday card containing the URL, and I
understand she received it with some apprehension which
quickly turned to gales of laughter. As she, like me, is a wanton
thing who thrives on attention, she was quite agreeable to let
me post this as part of my regular fall lineup.
     Title: there was no possible other thing to call this one ; )
     Memorable lines: "Broad of chest, mighty of stature, and more than amply endowed."

49. Ice Queen
     This was another one I'd been putting off and putting
off. Owen's woman Cordelia St. John remained a lady of
mystery though she had first appeared many stories ago.
     We knew hardly anything about her. She was the niece
of the Illuminati Grandmaster. She had once worked for
Xanatos' European division. She was headmistress of the
Sterling Academy and had a reputation for being strict and
humorless. She had a zero-tolerance policy regarding
pregnancy among her students, yet she had borne Owen two
children without marrying him. She knew about Puck. That was
pretty much it.
     For someone to be that uptight, she had to be repressing
something. But Owen, and even I, didn't expect just how
volatile Cordelia's history would turn out to be.
     I know why it happened. A lot of rough times have
been happening in my family over the past year, and although I
am geographically far removed, I'm still in touch. I had also
been having some personal stresses (the book, for one) which
have resulted in depression and mood swings. Writing this
story was a form of catharsis.
     Although nothing in here relates to actual events in my
life, I have very strong feelings and opinions about sex and
family issues (education, contraceptives, abortion, adoption,
abuse, homosexuality, eldercare, euthanasia, etc.). I channeled a
lot of my own vehemence into Cordelia's tirades. It felt awfully
good, although I shouldn't use my stories as a soapbox for my
own personal beefs and rants. But it felt awfully good. Did I
already say that?
     Like Owen observes, everyone has a button. Everyone
has something about which they are irrationally hair-trigger.
Sometimes for no reason.
     In Cordelia's case, her reason is her family. Specifically,
her mother and her twin sister. The moment I started working
on her background, it was the original can of worms. I felt like I
was taking myself, Owen, and all my readers on a carnival ride
through Hell. That's why it seemed so perfectly reasonable to
have Cassandra St. John and her children be carnies, which
solved another problem that had been bugging me for months --
more on that below under Cats and Dogs.
     It has been pointed out, and quite rightly so, that the
other plot is horribly weak. Yes, it is.
     Title: Birdie refers to Cordelia by that term in Sterling
Silver, and it suits her. It is one of those pairings of words that
works better on paper than said aloud. Go on. Say it. Ice Queen.
Do you sound like Elmer Fudd at Baskin Robbins?
     Memorable line: The other was outwardly well-behaved, getting 
good grades, demure, polite ... but she hated her mother most of all, 
and showed it with freezing contempt.

50. What Might Have Been
     Yet another example of one of those things that must
sooner or later be done. This one was spurred mostly by
Jericho's ceaseless bitching and bellyaching about how Goliath
had selfishly abandoned the eggs, and sparked even more by
Greg's talk at the Gathering 1998 about how his choice to be
put under the stone sleep spell was a suicide moment.
     In my closing notes to this story, I said most of what
needed to be said, so there really isn't much left to do here
except brag about how good I am ; )
     My particular favorite moments in this were the
interactions between Goliath and Jericho, the wedding of
Katherine and the Magus, and the death of Elektra.
     Since releasing it, several people have weighed in with
comments of their own about other changes echoing down
through the millennium, and nearly everybody slapped their
foreheads and shouted "of course!" just like I hoped. Success!
     Title: another case of the obvious.
     Memorable lines: "I canna call ye Magus in bed."

51. Cats and Dogs
     Ever since Club Gung-Ho, I was wondering what I was
going to do for Wolf's comeback. Then I realized I had Fang
numbered among the missing as well, since he had
disappeared at the end of Playing God and Jericho never
bothered to look for him.
     Now, Fang and Wolf together would make for one crass,
crude, grimy story. I set out meaning to team them up and have
them escape from a freak show or zoo or circus, but I kept
kicking the idea around and getting nowhere. I just couldn't see
them working together.
     Besides, I was having a hard time getting a handle on
the freak show. Until, that is, I wrote Ice Queen. Then there was
a flash in my mind and I knew what had to be done.
     One of the most challenging and rewarding things to do,
at least for me, is to take a villain, someone utterly
reprehensible, and turn things around so the villain is a victim
of something even worse. Demona's miscarriage in Breeding
Season is an example of this; I do it in my books; I do it in my
games (much to the annoyance of my players; they hate it
when they all of a sudden find themselves feeling sorry for a
villain they should be trying to destroy).
     Finding someone or something even worse than Wolf
was going to be tough. He was already devolving into a savage
maneating monster. Fang's job is usually comic relief; as
Demona said, he's a fool but he can come in useful. So to take
poor Fang and really mess him up is just plain mean ... not that
it stopped me.
     The St. John kids turned out to be even more twisted
and demented than I thought. I knew Caleb was going to be a
sadist, but I didn't know he was going to be a psychic vampire.
I knew Corrinne was going to be a slut, but I didn't know she
was going to be a bloodthirsty were-leopard. Young Chris'
powers came as a surprise to me.
     And Morgana ... I could have kissed myself when I made
Morgana, for I'd been mulling over what to eventually do with
the legend of Morgan le Fay; I had decided long ago that she
was the human sorceress who originally used Hecate's Wand to
wreak havoc on Avalon. I wanted to bring that more into play,
so having the St. Johns be directly descended from her set
things up for a nice showdown in years to come between the
cousins Patricia and Morgana.
     I don't like Jackal and Hyena very much, have I
mentioned that? ; ) But I was trying to get this story started, it
was going nowhere, and I knew I had to come at it from an
outsider's point of view instead of starting actually within the
carnival. All my attempts at beginning with Wolf or Fang failed
miserably. So, hoping I wasn't making a big mistake, I decided
to try it with Hyena.
     To my surprise, it worked quite well.
     This story is vulgar and violent to the point where
several readers were shocked. But most came to realize that I
was choosing to write that way on purpose, to reflect the vulgar
and violent mindsets of basically my entire cast. In fact, I personally 
really dislike that style of crudity, so it was something of an effort.
     It struck me as ironic and funny that in the weeks that I
was working on this one, there came a discussion in the
comment room about killing off characters. I knew I was going
to do it, not just one but two of the originals, in a really grody
     Title: originally "Fighting Like Cats and Dogs," but it was
too long and clunky and dorky-sounding. So I cut it down to
just plain Cats and Dogs, and carried the theme throughout with
the doglike Pack members and the catlike Fang and Corrinne.
     Memorable lines: the antagonistic exchanges between Wolf and Fang, 
and ... I know I'm mean ... but the part where Wolf stubs himself.

52. The Scottish Rogue
     It may be known that I have a great weakness for things
piratical ; )
     This story was selfish. Birdie Yale is the closest thing I
have to a Mary-Sue (an extension of myself for purposes of
wish fulfillment or vanity). And Birdie nailed my personal #2
Gargoyles hunk, MacBeth (Goliath is #1, natch).
     I rationalized the living crap out of it -- she's had the
hots for him since Sterling Silver, he would probably appreciate
a voluptuous woman, etc. But basically, even though it fits well
into my ongoing story structure, I did it because I wanted to,
and because lately I'd been getting requests for more Birdie
     More research, but delightful research this time. Under
the Black Flag is one of the finest pirate histories I've ever read,
full of great info. GURPS Swashbucklers is likewise an
excellent resource. They even agreed on nearly all the points,
which was nice.
     I get a giggle out of paralleling the Pirate Clan with
Goliath's clan. In the first draft, I had Reaper yell at Bloody Pete,
"You are the betrayer?!" but I edited it out because I thought it
might be a touch too blatant. I did use the heartbroken "My
angel of the ..." line and the roar, and would have used the one
about being denied everything even his revenge if I coulda
made it fit ; )
     Someday, when Tourmaline and the other Avalon
dissidents leave, they may well run into the Pirate Clan. Brand
and Tourmaline, maybe? Brand and Hippolyta? Before I can do
that, I'll have to work out these differences between stone-by-
day and wood-by-day gargoyles.
     Yes, Tag and Bonita Alvarez are the ancestors of Rick
Alvarez <g>
     Benedict Tate was the name of Tim's character in an
RPG I ran. There are a lot of in-jokes sprinkled throughout this
tale that are just for him. Bloody Pete was the name of his main
adversary, Ione was a wench whose company he enjoyed,
Alistair was his faithful sidekick, and Benedict's bane in life
was his rich old rat of a father.
     Yes, Brendan did meet Dakota again. No, they didn't
wind up in a hotel room. Yes, I will eventually write more about
     I'm going to have to do a story set in Elizabethan
England because of this. But I will want so much to make it a
Blackadder crossover ... and I don't know if I can pull it off.
     Title: that was MacBeth's nickname way back then, as
established in Tales From the Skiff, so I knew it would be the
title for the one about their history.
     Memorable lines: MacBeth and Birdie in the bar, esp. -- 
    "I'm beginning to think you've seduction in mind."
     "What gave me away?"
     "Your hand on my thigh, for one.".

53. Dark Beauty Part One: Pursuit
     Funny how things happen ... I mentioned the character of Ventura 
just in passing a couple of times, but everyone who knew me also 
knew that I could never be able to let her just be dead and gone 
without ever having any 'screen time.' 
     And of course, they were right. I'd always intended to bring Ventura 
into the spotlight. Even before Jennifer sent me the pic ; )
     I'd originally intended for Ventura to be a fairy-tale heroine type, with 
Gabriel going on his own version of the heroic quest to rescue her. But the 
more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do something different. I 
already had too many sweet, nice she-gargs.
     So, with Ventura, I decided to make her insanely violent, a kick-ass 
killing machine, but at the same time, kinda hot. Always fun. I'd recently 
re-read Dean R. Koontz's novel Mr. Murder, which is the story of a 
psychotic clone seeking to kill and replace the original. It was time to start 
picking on Angela.
     Then I got carried away ...
     ... because, you see, I'd also decided to pick on Angela with Amber. Sibling 
rivalry, jealousy. After all Angela's hard work to get Goliath to accept the idea 
of fatherhood, he goes and starts doting utterly on Amber. 
     I got to do lots of exciting things in this one. Chase Brooklyn all over the 
place, attack the castle, and generally wreak havoc. 
     It got kind of complicated because everybody got into the act -- T.J, Birdie, 
Sevarius, Ebon, Gabriel, the whole gang. The whole reason I sent the Xanatoses 
on vacation was to get at least some of the cast out from underfoot. But then I got 
to insert a little Rugrats moment, which was fun. 
     Memorable lines:
     Lex singing the 'little green gargoyle' song.
     Broadway said it for all of them. "Wow."
     "Somebody's got to play defense."

54. Dark Beauty Part Two: The Institute
     Then I went and wrote myself into a corner. I wasn't at all prepared to write 
an immediate follow-up to Part One, but I had to. All I knew was that it was 
supposed to be the story of how Gabriel rescued Ventura, and she escaped. But 
to make it a good story, there had to be more to it than that.
     Dean Koontz and John Saul to the rescue again. I'd read Sole Survivor and 
Shadows, and that combined to inspire me with the idea about a place where the 
colleagues of good old Gustav Sevarius were trying to create psychic powers in 
helpless 'volunteers.' 
     Which was where Thailog sent Ventura to get her out of the way, because, like 
Xanatos, he was loathe to waste resources.
     I like the idea of the 'contentment' drug. Being a fairly cynical person by 
nature, one without much faith in humanity in general, I could see plenty of 
real-world practical applications for such a thing ... 
     I also wanted to play with Ebon's memory a bit. Memory is such a fickle thing. 
Poor guy really wouldn't want to remember all the vile things he did as Thailog; 
he'd redeemed himself.
     And because I couldn't resist, the lady pilot who may or may not have done 
something naughty to the delirious Jericho in that naughty Amazon story made 
another appearance ... if she reminds anyone of anyone, I'm sure it's purely 
coincidental ... NOT. ; )
     This one was a real change of pace from Part One. I went from a high-energy, 
intense series of chase and battle sequences to a really creepy trip through a 
house of horrors. 
     Injustice and cruelty to children is one of the things that totally pisses me off, 
so several times while writing, I was furious at the doctors and scientists. My own 
fictional creations, and I was furious. The more I wrote, the more certain I became 
that I couldn't leave those poor kids in that situation.
     But that opened a whole new can of worms. Ebon and Gabriel, trying to take 
care of a bunch of kids? And not even normal kids, kids with weird powers and 
emotional problems. Two Gargoyles and a Baby, sort of. But I couldn't leave them 
there. It'll be interesting to see how they cope with their expanded clan.
     Memorable lines:
     Amber hissing at Ebon.
     Angela's fit of temper at the prospect of reforming Ventura and inviting her into 
the clan.

55 (A). Masks
55 (B). Demon Whispers
     I count these as one because they're both so short, not because they're connected. In 
any way except the obvious -- they're both naughty. In fact, the second one is downright
     These came about because of the debut of the Adult Gargoyles-Fans site. To get 
people interested, I wrote a special dirty story to help launch the site. 
     And then, in a move that has gotten me some anxious e-mail, I decided not to post 
either of them to my own site. Wanna read them? Gotta go to the adult site.
     Masks is an adaptation of a stroy from the "Big Book of Urban Legends," one 
called "Sex with the wrong partner." 
     In the story, a woman wants to test her husband's fidelity, so she pleads illness the 
night of a costume party, then after he leaves, she dresses up and goes and tries to 
seduce him, to see if he'd do a stranger. But when her husband comes home, he tells 
her that he was bored and loaned his costume to another man, so that he could go play 
poker in the den with some other guys who had no dates.
     Which seemed like a perfect game for Fox and Xanatos to play. But, clever as Fox 
is, her hubby often gets the upper hand ...
     Memorable line --  "You sent OWEN?!?"
     Demon Whispers is evil. Quite probably one of the most evil things I've ever written. 
I'm not really sure what made that idea lodge in my brain, but once it was there, I had to 
do something with it or it wouldn't give me any peace. 
     Plus, of course, I'd been getting some shit lately from another of the Prude Brigade, 
and that always spurs me to write something even worse. Sort of the "I'll give you 
something to cry about" school of fiction ...
     What I liked best about Demon Whispers was the prospect of writing it all in that 
unusual style. All a monologue, a la Dolores Claiborne (today, June 20, as I write this, 
I saw in the paper that Stephen King was struck by a van while walking down the road 
-- get well soon, SK!!!).
     And it's always interesting to check in with Demona and Jericho again ... I love 
seeing just how far that bad boy will go to please his loving mother ...
     There's a rumor that this story may be read alound, or possibly even presented 
as a piece of performance art at the Gathering 99, but I'm sure that will forever 
remain just a rumor ...

56  Precocious
     This one is for all the parents who've ever suffered with cranky, sick, teething, 
colicky, or temperamental kids. When they're good, they're very very good, but 
when they're bad, they're horrid. 
     Little Amber Maza is hell on wheels, in this case literally, from the viewpoint of Quarryman-in-good-standing and all-purpose fanatic  Harry the Hammer. 
     I feel obligated to apologize to Thomas "Green Baron" Forsyth, who is such a 
good sport about setting me straight when I put my foot in my mouth when it comes to 
dealing with religion. The one time I go and present a strongly religious character, he's 
a nutcase ... sorry, Thomas! 
     Harry was partly drawn from many of the clients I've worked with. But, crazy as he 
is, there must be something going for him ... and he'll find out in a future story that he 
was more right than he thought ... though not about Amber.
     I had a hard time coming up with a title for this one. It was mostly written (the first 
20 pages) in two nights, and there I was, right near the end, with no title. 
     Finally, on the night I finished it up, I settled on this one and figured it would do.
Good enough. I wanted to have it done and posted before the Gathering and our move 
and general life craziness set in. 
     I enjoyed this one quite a bit, especiallyt the interactions between Harry and 
Dominique, Elisa and Tony, the poor clan and Amber, and Xanatos and Kurt Masters. I 
even got to use that Dumbo imagery, which had been in my head ever since Amber was 
     From the Department of Weird Coincidences -- someone (I forget who and couldn't 
find the e-mail, sorry!) pointed out that Elektra means "amber" in Greek, and wondered 
if I'd done it on purpose with the amber pendant and all that ... nope, it was just another 
of those strange things! 
     Yes, Albert the janitor is an homage to Alien Nation ; )
     Memorable lines:
     “You’re not dealing with Elisa Maza the cop,” she said, voice both low and fierce. 
“You’re dealing with Elisa Maza the mother, and if I don’t get my daughter back in 
the next five seconds I’m going to blow your teeth out the back of your goddam head! 
Do you understand that, Tony?”

57  The Guardians: Alchemist
     What fun to play with the future! And when I could play with the future and the past 
at the same time, who could ask for anything more?
     The trouble with writing about the future, though, as I've already said, is the risk of 
trapping myself. The Guardians series is the actual future, not a possible one like the 
one Lex and Aiden visited. So whatever is the past to those people has to be true. 
     Now we get to see Amber Maza as a grown-up, pretty much just as feisty and stubborn 
as she was as a kid, but with the extra added problem of not really feeling like she knows 
where she fits in. Unlike Elektra, Amber is fully aware of her half-and-half heritage. She's 
different from the other human kids in her generation because she ages a little bit slower 
than them, different from the hatchlings because she ages faster (and had a ten year head 
start while they were still in the egg).
     But even with all of her troubles, Amber grew up as quite the young woman. Tough and 
quick-thinking, a tad on the impulsive side, but fiercely loyal to her family. When her 
father's life is on the line, she will do whatever she has to at whatever the cost.
     It was also intriguing to see the adult version of Alex (and just what did happen to his 
parents? How has Xanatos attained his goal of immortality, and what was the price? 
Heh-heh-heh, only the Shadow knows!) and Patricia. Looks like Brendan and Dakota 
are still around too.
     Fun to know that Demona's still up to no good ... and it looks like Jericho's out of the 
picture by then, and oh, what is in store for her to break every last thread of love between 
Demona and Angela? We shall see ... actually, we shall see not too many stories down 
the line!
     But the most fascinating character of all was Old-Mother. Lori Summers e-mailed me 
a fic-snippet which featured a future Amber, and spoke of how she had inherited a 
measure of inner serenity from her paternal grandmother. I loved the idea, and it got even 
more fun when I decided to let her develop that trait by the example of actually meeting 
the gargoyle in question.
     Old-Mother. If she had a name, it would have been Dierdre, the Lady of Sorrows. A 
long and often-sad life, pitied and considered barren by her clan. When her only egg, laid 
late in life, was all that she had left, she broke tradition and paid special attention to her 
son. She was a character who rose admirably above her personal tragedies to come out 
of it a bastion of quiet strength. 
     Her acceptance of Amber erased any lingering doubts that Amber might have had as 
to whether her crossbreed status would have been abhorrent to the old clan. In the short 
time they were together, Amber learned much. 
     Amber also picked up a raving crush on the Hudson of the past, which was something 
I just could not resist doing. Hudson as a handsome young stud ... way to go! The past was 
a lot of fun. Little Goliath throwing mud at little Iago for picking on a certain brother and 
sister, lusty Prince Corwin (one of the Avalon Clan would eventually be named after this 
uncle of Malcolm). Amber playing with the hatchlings, including Elektra's mother and 
young Demona. 
     I'm glad Old-Mother wound up visiting the future. I hope to eventually detail some 
more of her experiences in upcoming stories, and then maybe have some fun getting her 
safely back home.  
     Memorable lines:
     Alex hammering the table and yelling "Bullshit!" -- Greg at the Gathering 99 ; )
     "It's ... a fist!"

58  Indigo
     Ever since her debut appearance, swinging her tail at Goliath's bachelor party, I have 
been regularly implored with letters wanting to see more of Godiva (uh ... that didn't 
sound quite right; we saw everything in Love Machine already ... but I digress). 
     Having the ghost of Sevarius inhabit her wasn't good enough; folks wanted to see 
Godiva in action, the special kind of action for which I've become notorious. 
     I initially set out to write a naughty Godiva story, plain and simple. But it just wasn't 
working. She was a robot, an android, a machine. I didn't want to re-hash my Trek-fic 
"Fully Functional" and give her an aware personality of her own. Someone needed to step 
in and help out.
     Not Sevarius. That would be just too creepy. And good old Anton, although he was 
once married and fathered a son, just didn't seem a very sex-oriented person. 
     Then I batted around the idea of letting Birdie take her over by remote control, 
teaming up with T.J. as a sort of half-assed pair of superheroes. Rejected that one 
right away, let me tell you! 
     So there I was, mulling and mulling, and then I decided to have someone else take 
over the Godiva body. Thus was born Sabra Indrani. Sabra was always her first name; I 
never had to think about it (similar things happened with Jericho and Elektra and Tiffy 
Vandermere; the name's just there sometimes and there's no way around it). Indrani was 
plucked from my Character Naming Sourcebook (a Writer's Digest Book Club selection; 
if anybody wants to join this really great club, let me know so I can send you my "refer a
friend" postcard and get some freebies! <g>).
     But the more I wrote, the more Sabra turned into a complex and troubling character. 
Not someone resigned to her disability, not someone bravely struggling to do the best she 
can. Not a noble character. She was bitter to the core, hated the world and everyone in in 
and particularly herself. Given the chance at a new body, a sexy fabulous voluptuous body, 
she never looked back. So what if it meant becoming a gargoyle, an outcast, a monster? 
From Sabra's point of view, she already was an outcast and a monster.
     Sometimes stories don't go the way I intend, and this was a severe example. Was
supposed to be a light-hearted sexual romp. Turned dark. Way dark. Like a drug, the 
Godiva bodyand the power of sex became addictive and overpowering to Sabra. 
     Her seduction of Jason (there's a lot going on with him; more on that in later stories),
her encounter with the clones ... and speaking of which, gotcha, I was sure nobody would
fall for that since I'd pulled basically the same stunt in The Pure and the Profane when the 
Quarrymen smashed Hollywood ... her disturbing relationship with Demona and Jericho ... 
all of it adds up to a really strange series of events.
     I still don't know what it is about guys and the idea of two girls ... but damn, judging 
by the letters, that scene with Demona and Godiva in the bathtub struck a collective 
nerve like nothing since the idea of MacBeth and Aiden-in-schoolgirl-uniform.
     Another weird develpment in this one involed T.J. His experience with the Weird 
Sisters must've warped him more than I thought ... he's never seemed all that interested 
in girls since, his relatiopnship with Birdie is occasionally flirty (on her part) but platonic 
... he strikes me as being oddly asexual (odd as hell in my world, lemme tell you!). But in 
this one, he was actually repelled, grossed out, beyond uninterested and into the realm of 
anti-sexual. Not sure what's happening with that boy; I will have to keep an eye on him.
     On an additional note, the early parts of this story were  tough for me because I know 
very little about computers and technology. Thank you, Tim, for making sure I didn't put 
my foot in it too badly! 
     Also, the "Obi-Wan is Hot!" site mentioned by Lex does exist; Birdie and I have a lot 
in common and it was a treat to be able to poke fun at myself when T.J. was appalled at 
the story ; )
     For inspiration on certain scenes, thanks go out to Star 101.5 and their "Saturday 
Night Fever" disco tune program.
     Memorable lines:
     "Don't call me lovebunny!"
     "Try to do a friend a favor for his bachelor party, and --”
    “You louse!” Punch to the stomach. “You cad!” Clout to the head. “You rotten 
no-good son of a --”

59  Beth of Both Worlds
    This has got to hold some sort of a record for the longest-put-off thing I've ever written. 
    Unless we count ElfLore Book I, which was about 1/3 done when Becca was born and 
then I only looked at it maybe four times in as many years. But for the record, ElfLore 
Book I is now actually finished, thank you, thank you ::bows::
    Way back a lot of stories ago, I wrote Whirlwind, in which Coyote invited Beth to a bring-your-own-mortal party on Avalon. Then, for funsies, I threw it open to the rest of my 
fellow fanfic authors, inviting them to submit their own versions of such a party. Pick a fae, 
pick a mortal, and have a good time. The results would be posted in Avalon Mists.
    Grand idea! It worked wonderfully! Quite a few people joined in, sending stories ranging
from the touching to the hilarious. And while everyone was having such a good time with it, 
I was able to think about other stories and neglect my own ideas of how said party might 
have gone. Beth and Coyote were far from my mind, and getting further.
    Then the deadline for Avalon Mists was upon me and I realized no one had sent a Party 
on Avalon story for that issue. Whoops! I had to scramble, scramble fast. I knew the title
(yes, it's a groaner, whaddaya gonna do?) and had a very vague basic premise in mind -- 
Beth Maza is called upon to save not only Avalon but Earth as well. 
    Considering how little preparation went into it, I am very pleased with how this one came 
out. It's not great, but it'll do. 
    Beth and Coyote happened  back before I knew where the Demona and Jericho storyline 
was going, sort of my first foray into a quasi-incestual relationship. He's not her relative, but 
he looks like her father ... very Freudian, a little weird. 
    I still think Oberon's a twerp ... that might come through just a wee bit in some of my stories ... 
    So I'm writing along, trying to think of how Beth can save the cosmos, and it just wasn't
working out. She wasn't seeming much of the self-sacrificing type, and Coyote was bound 
and determined to interfere. That paved the way for the division of her into two seperate but 
shared selves, Beth and Mai. She hasn't yet told anyone about that, not even her sister. It's 
all too hard to explain. 
    Because this one actually took place back before Elektra left Avalon, I was able to let her 
be a part of it. And I got to play more with Corwin, who is probably my favorite of the clan 
left on Avalon. 
    Memorable lines:
    "Everything I Need to Know About Life, I Learned on Avalon,"
    "Coyote, explain yourself! Does this little bedwarmer of yours bear your seed?”

60  Revenge of the Amazon Women
     I could not believe it when I went back a year to see how many stories I'd written 
between the first appearance of the Amazons and this birthday sequel. Twelve! Only 
twelve! What the hell had I been doing with my time? Prior to that, I'd been averaging 
two stories a month! 
    Then I realized that in the intervening time, I had also written an entire novel (Black 
Roses), most of another (ElfLore Book I), a few Silver Flame stories, and my Star Wars 
fic. I reasoned that under those circumstances, I could forgive myself ...
    At any rate, here it was September again, and I'd gotten quite a few wondering requests 
over the last year, wanting to know just what had really happened between the lady pilot 
and the drugged, hallucinating Jericho. 
    I thought it was time to set the record straight. And the title, naturally, presented itself 
without question. But I needed a few more Amazons, and as most of them had been 
figments of Jericho's imagination (helped along by pin-ups), I needed some "real" women. 
Did I have any Amazons in my cast? Why, I sure did ... well, one Amazon and a Valkyrie ... 
    So I went back to Club Gung-Ho, picked up Tora Hawke and Inge Runolf, and then 
the mayhem got underway in earnest. The woman of many aliases, code-name Golden,
wanted a re-match. That meant capturing Jericho. That meant catching him alone.
    For those who are curious to know what was going on in Birdie's apartment, stay tuned 
for future stories (Aiden will explain a bit about her part in The Boy With the Healing 
Hands, and we'll backtrack to Birdie and MacBeth in Puck Teaser).
    This story was on the rushed side ... I'd mistakenly believed the birthday girl's special 
day to be the 11th when it was really the 16th. It could have been a bit more polished. But I 
like Wcky's recounting of what happened ... it was interesting to do it as a conversation 
instead of a flashback. I liked dragging poor bewildered Aiden into the middle of it.
    For the record, the line about the pogo stick was deliberate ... ; )
    Memorable lines: 
    "But for all his faults, he has one very large redeeming feature ... two if you count the tail.”
    “I’ve had a lot of practice satisfying demanding females.”


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