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“All good stories start with four good words, and so too does this one… Once upon a time… A little child was born from the foam of the sea! She tossed and turned until Poseidon, the god of all the oceans in the world, came upon her. He looked down, smiled and took heart and calmed the waters. The little girl drifted for a week toward the warm shores and settled. There, on the brown sands of the beaches she feasted on wild berries and coconut juice. She was soon discovered by a noble Fairy Queen who went by the name of Eurydice. She was a strange woman with a beauty unlike any seen before or since, and whilst men across the globe fought like hell to woo her, none were capable. Because somewhere deep in her heart of hearts, something was wrong with Eurydice. Her heart, her very essence was broken. Who knows why or when this happened. But whenever it did, whatever it was, it would prove irreparable. She was doomed to a deep eternal sadness. Until that day, on that shore, with that child. Eurydice scooped up the girl toward her bosom, smiled and called her Sophie. Yes, ‘twas you, dear Sophie. “Happy for the first time in eternity, the Fairy Queen marched home beneath the gaze of Zeus with her new found kin to be fatalistically met by a lecherous king with a lecherous way and the lecherous name of Lecher. Lecher was horrifically obsessed with Eurydice, vowing and promising his soul that life couldn’t go on without her. He begged, he pleaded, he offered his entire fortune and kingdom to Eurydice if she would be his wife. But the noble queen did not need a wicked king, and rejected the offer outright. How quickly Love can become hate. Feeling castrated, impotent and abused, Lecher marched off, tail between his legs, marching deeper and

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deeper into Hades, the Underworld, and spoke of his misery to Hades, the Lord of the Underworld (who for some narcissistic reason named the entire world of the dead after himself, making it very confusing when discussing him). Hades (the Lord) put his scorched and burning arm around Lecher, searing his jacket, and offered to take his problems off his hands for a small fiscal sum. Lecher, naturally, being lecherous, agreed. “Hades (the Lord) quickly summoned Golgotha, HighPriestess of the Gorgons to Hades (the place). The Gorgons were a hideous tribe of hideous women who resided deep within a hideous forest. Lord Hades gave High-Priestess Golgotha the assignment of killing Eurydice. With snakes for hair, tusks for teeth and open sores covering their bodies, the Gorgons hadn’t many invitations to leave their forest much, and were as jovial as children in a butterscotch factory when hearing from Hades and thusly fashioned pretty pink bows to their snakes, brushed their tusks and applied fresh ointment to their sores for this bright new day of murder. “Looking as presentable as possible, the Gorgons set off, quickly raided and ransacked the palace and beheaded poor Eurydice. On her way out, Golgotha spied you, little Sophie, bundled up like an angel. Having a healthy appetite and knowing the other girls would be hungry after their day of pillage and murder, Golgotha kidnapped you. “It took only a few days for Lecher to heal from his heartache and decide to take a wife (bachelorhood was proving tiring). So he set sail with a ship of whores, planning to marry all fifty-five aboard. After heavy drinking of strawberry wine and gorging on suckling pig, Lecher recounted his tale of murder to his harem of beauties. And though the whore-wives were riveted, there was one set of ears amongst them who heard Lecher’s tales differently. ‘Twas Poseidon, the god of the seas, who had been eavesdropping, and such stories brought sickness to the deity’s belly. Poseidon, in his infinite wrath, quickly drowned the boat, killing all aboard. But this didn’t relieve his consternation; Poseidon had to know what became of you. He sent forth his best spies who returned with word that you were deep within the hideous forest with those hideous women, the Gorgons, marinating in barbeque sauce and lemon cordial.

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“Poseidon rounded up his mightiest army and sent them after you. But the Gorgons were as strong as they were ugly, and slaughtered all of the army but two. But two were all that were needed, for these two grabbed you, dear girl, and ran like the wind, leaving those beastly she-devils behind… But not before Golgotha could curse you… Yes, from that moment on, every soul who would ever Love you, truly Love you in their heart of hearts, would turn to stone and die upon first glance after realisation of their Love. But the two soldiers laughed it off, rebuking the trivial notion of a curse. They journeyed back to the sea, tending to you, coddling you, treating you with such care that it would seem that you three were one family, siblings. But it goes without saying that the curse was not something to be mocked. The younger of the two soldiers made the realisation first; he was the first to truly Love you. To Love you unconditionally, as a brother should of a sister. And upon next glance all was over: for this soldier was turned to stone. “The older soldier took attention to this matter, realising his Fate would be doomed too should he not abandon you from his life. So he left you at Number Four Danube Street Flat Four, London SW3 with a simple note reading, ‘Her name is Sophie. Don’t look at her.’ He returned to Poseidon with a lie that you had died at the hands of the Gorgons. And that is how you came to be my child. But do not fear, Sophie, for I shall never abandon you.”

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For many years it was unclear entirely how accurate this story proved to be; but one thing was certain: Sophie was cursed. Mr. Tiktok determined life would be better for all if Sophie were to stay confined in Number Four Danube Street Flat Four, London SW3. She would be home-schooled by Mr. Tiktok himself. And though Sophie wouldn’t be afforded friends, Mr. Tiktok would go out of his way for the next sixteen years to see to Sophie’s happiness. And though Mr. Tiktok took care of every aspect of Sophie’s life, attended to every minute detail, there seemed to be one minor oversight… What would become of Sophie when the eventuality of death should befall Mr. Tiktok? For Mr. Tiktok did die promptly at midnight on Sophie’s twenty-first birthday, thus bringing a series of new faces into Sophie’s world: from paramedics to police officers to morticians to probate solicitors, it would be the latter of these that would prove to send Sophie’s life into a series of irrevocable fatalities in a search for a sense of normalcy and happiness.

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