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My Favourite flavour is vanilla

by Steevang73 

Posted: 13 February 2008
Word Count: 1059
Summary: A serial killer is grooming his victims in the chatrooms and networking sites of the alternate BDSM world, while trying to maintain a vanilla existence. Cathy Eddowes had a near fatal encounter with a BDSM contact she met online and now searches for him over the internet, while warning unsuspectiong others of the dangers that lurk in this ignored counter-culture.

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"We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are everywhere and there will be more of your children dead tomorrow"
Ted Bundy – convicted and executed for the murder of 30 women in the USA.

Chapter One

“You are my slut slave …do it now bitch”
The message appears on the yahoo instant messenger.
Her fingers skip across the keys of the computer keyboard.

Well trained. Efficient.

Her eyes never leave the screen. A shimmer of blue light plays across her pale face. Cathy Eddowes has been looking at the screen for hours. That’s not unusual.
She has a talent, a gift.
She wished she had never discovered it. Wished she never had to use it. She was having nine instant messaging conversations simultaneously.

Broadband made things simple. Connections and downloads were easy. She was nine people, she had nine lives. She would trade them all, given them all up, to find him.

She typed. She chatted. It was a small scene, people knew each other, they looked out for each other. The community always looked out for its own. The vanilla world didn’t understand. Called them freaks, perverts and tried to pretend that the Bondage Discipline Sado-Masochism world didn’t exist.

He would resurface.
He couldn’t stay incognito forever.
No, not his type.

They all have a ‘tell’, they all have a style - she knew his. She could spot it in the messages, tags and headlines he left online.

A door slammed upstairs. The sound of leaden feet bounced overhead. Mike was awake.
Cathy looked upwards. She gulped. She blinked. She knew what was coming. The muffled sound of slamming kitchen cupboards replaced the sound of footsteps.
He would be hungry.
Time to leave the basement office.
Time to live the truth of her daily life.

Chapter Two
It’s seven am. The radio alarm has clicked on and the dulcet tones of Sarah Kennedy from Radio Two fill the bedroom. She used to annoy me. Now, I tolerate. It happens with age.

The baby isn’t awake yet. Not a total surprise but a welcome start to the day.
My boy. My darling boy.

She’s still asleep. The snores are guttural. My wife the sexual camel, one kiss can sustain her for months.
I should have come to bed earlier last night. I needed the sleep.

A price will be paid.

The shower feels good. I’m glad we upgraded and installed this pump fed monster. It can’t quite blast away the dull ache that is lack of sleep. It pounds me into readiness for the day. I focus on the electric whirr of the pump.
I soap.
I rinse.
I clean.

Angel_69 – what did you do to me last night?

My cock swells at the memory. That imagined sweet, petite little woman. How did she know about such things? Why does she know such things? Did I know such things when I was 21? What do I care…my hand takes hold… the water feels good and the memories swell.

It doesn’t take long.

Water. It’s cleaned away the sins of folly for centuries.
The water’s off. I can hear the baby. I snap back to the world. How long has he been crying? I open the door and look for his mother. She has him. She’s sat upright in bed, cajoling him to feed. Disinterest is his mood.
I know the feeling.

As I dress she watches. Those brown eyes focused. There is no interest, she looks at my stomach. I know what she sees. I recognise the look. I wear the same when I see her in that pink bathrobe.

I don’t rise to it. Silence is my weapon. I haven’t risen to her looks for sometime. I hunt for clean jeans. I fail. I locate fresh pants and socks. The stocks are running low. I know she is watching. My boy ignores the breast.

“I have to go”. I offer, as the last sock is tugged on.
“Fine…you should dry your hair properly first”.
I towel it to a matted straw like mass. I pad it down. I see the look.
“Will you put some gunk in it?”
“Does it matter?” my answer is practical.
“Yes”. The riposte is weak. I know I should add gunk. She knows I want to.
I didn’t want to be told.
“I was only asking”. Defensive. A pre-emptive strike. She’s right. She did only ask. It wasn’t rude or judgemental. I’m getting paranoid.

Memo to self: Don’t look for criticism. There is enough already.

Angel_69 – there are no looks. Only words, jumbled garbled instant messaged words.

“You came to bed late." It’s just a question, stay focused.
“Not too late… I thought you were asleep.” I dodge and weave.
“You woke me.” She scores a hit. Can’t feint, I have no counter.
“Sorry… not sleeping well at the moment.” I know what’s coming. I need to escape.
“Mmm, you should spend less time in front of that computer screen then.”
It’s valid. It’s true. I do spend too much time on the computer.
I should stop, for so many reasons she doesn’t understand. I must stop.

“I have to go.” I kiss her. It hits her cheek. I run my hand over my boys head. Disinterest turns to gummy grin. His hair is reassuringly soft. He is lovely. He should be my world. I hate myself.
I don’t put gunk in my hair. I walk for the train. Dishevelled.

As I am at the second stop on the line, I get a seat. The train swells with commuters. Sniffs and coughs abound.
I breathe bacteria and virus.
I stare at the window. I see those brown eyes. I see her face and that look. Guilt flows.

Angel_69 – asks me questions, seeks my view of pleasure. I’m keen to oblige.

Sad faces adorn the heads of the travellers. Suited or otherwise, the frown is the same. A mask of anonymity. All avoid eye contact. Treasure their personal space.
The train’s contents sway and move with the jolts and swerves of the train. Nylon brushes Gortex that rubs shoulders with wool that caresses cotton.
Jackets with shirt and ties, shirts without ties or jackets, jeans with shoes, trainers and suits - the uniform changes, the people remain the same, the journeys are the same.

Our vanilla life.

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Comments by other Members

rebecca at 08:53 on 14 February 2008  Report this post
This is an interesting concept and I enjoyed it.

The only thing was :
Disinterest is his mood

Only because I have 4 children and have NEVER seen them disinterested in having a feed when crying!

I'm a newbie wrt writing so can't crit this anymore as it was enjoyable and interesting, and if it were a book I would be reading on.


Cornelia at 10:42 on 14 February 2008  Report this post
Ooh, I love these stories about Internet scamming and people having secret lives hidden even (especially) from their loves ones. I loved the Ted Bundy quote. I think you have a strong and potentially enthralling story.

There were parts of the style that snagged, though.

sites of the alternate BDSM world,

I was Ok with the anacronym in the story because it was explained, but in the intro it's just a distraction. Maybe you should either explain it then or use another phrase. Should it be alternative, not alternate?

She used to annoy me. Now, I tolerate. It happens with age.

This made me laugh a bit because I suspect he's all of late twenties . I'm not sure, though. Maybe that's really how he thinks of himself - as one mature, cool guy.

Disinterest is his mood.

Uninterest is the word you want here, because disinterest means objectiveness. However, uninterest isn't a word so you'd have to say 'He's uninterested'.

As I dress she watches. Those brown eyes focused. There is no interest, she looks at my stomach. I know what she sees. I recognise the look. I wear the same when I see her in that pink bathrobe.

The punctuation seems a bit wild here and I can't understand the last sentence although I think you want to say each thinks the other should make an effort to ring the changes dress-wise. This is good because it underlines the immaturity, the gap between his feeling of superiority and the true shallowness of his nature.

It's at this point that all the short sentences get irritating. It was fine at the start when the woman was looking at the computer screen and as a gimmick to get the story started but now it seems unnecessary. It occurs to me you could have the thoughts in italics.

straw like mass

Should be straw-like

Angel_69 – there are no looks.

It took me a moment or two to get this. Maybe something like 'Here's Angel_69 - no looks from her.' would be better.

I like the idea of the vanilla world and the contempt the villain has for the common herd in the commuter train - the part about the materials rubbing together was great, specially the hint of perversion in

wool that caresses cotton.


rogernmorris at 16:51 on 14 February 2008  Report this post
It's a very compelling start, particularly for me the first chapter. You really hook the reader in, getting straight down to telling the story. The present tense helps to create a sense of immediacy, and the short sentences give an urgent, staccato, breathless feel.

I was slightly thrown by the switch to first person in the second chapter. What jars a little for me is that the style, or the voice, is somehow the same as the first chapter, with the same short sentences, but we are now inside the head of the narrator. That slightly worries me. I feel that I want the voice that comes from the first person narrator to be distinct, somehow, from the third person.

Personally I have a problem with first person present tense narration, which may well all be in my head. But it is just a kind of sense of who is this person talking to? And how can they be talking to anyone if they are in the midst of the action being described, as we are led to believe. I have nothing against present tense third person, nothing against first person past tense. But when the present tense and the first person are put together, it never seems to quite work for me.

If I can stop to analyse my prejudice, and I'm prepared to accept it is a prejudice, it's to do with the fact that it's sometimes hard to find an adequate answer to the question "What is this text supposed to represent?" I.e., if it is meant to be the representation of the character's inner voice, internal monologue/dialogue, then it gets tricky. Because you find the narrator saying things that are purely for the benefit of some supposed reader.

What if you rewrote chapter 2 in the third person? You would keep the immediacy, and the close pov-identification of chapter one, and create a more consistent style overall.

I thought
My wife the sexual camel
was very good, very striking.

Jago at 16:28 on 15 February 2008  Report this post
I enjoyed this a lot.

You get us right in there and the staccato style is impressionistic and compelling. I was intrigued the addictive lifestyle of the characters – it's a scary thread that makes me want to know what will happen.

I, too, was bemused by the shift in narrator at the start of chap 2. I don't have a problem with your doing this, but I think the reader needs to know it immediately, rather than reading a few pars before we're up to speed.

'I wear the same when I see her in that pink bathrobe' I didn't get this bit.

I think other readers have picked up the other grey areas.

In general, I liked the style and found this a sinister, compelling opening.


Steevang73 at 17:30 on 18 February 2008  Report this post
Hi all

Thanks for the comments on "My Favourite flavour is vanilla" much appreciated.

I have taken them all on board and will create a revised version.

I'll put up the next few pages of the story (there are 80 completed) and the reason behind the narrative switch should become more evident.


Heckyspice at 16:38 on 25 February 2008  Report this post

Welcome to the group.

I'll comment in a few days after I get a chance to read this again.



Heckyspice at 11:33 on 01 March 2008  Report this post
Hi again Steevang,

Now I have had a chance to read this again and the comments of fellow WW members, I think there is a lot here for you to use. Certainly Roger and Cornelia have picked up a few things you should consider.

In this type of narrative, my choice would not be too use first person. What it creates is many opportunities to Tell rather than Show. The narrator here is untrustworthy as he is explaining and not doing things that show us his life and his problems. We get very fleeting glimpses of a life, so the counterpoint between mundane vanilla and exotic is forced home.

Maybe a way of showing this would be having his wife be the viewer and narrator in the third person. Does she suspect his vices? is it something she grew out of and hoped he would also? Different points of view could unlock more of this stroy than you may have considered.

Short sharp sentences work better in dialogue heavy scenes or where there is a lot of movement and action. Mix it up so that machine gun style writing does not become so prevalent, that longer more throughtful scenes loose resonance. In other words think about the pace and not just the tone.

Let us see some more.

Best wishes

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