David loved it. They met in chat rooms when no-one else was around and talked about her exploits. She managed over a few weeks to break down some of the allegiances of months or years. She set one against the other. She slithered between friendships and paraded before the incensed group. She threw a bomb into an already paranoid and distrustful medium and stood back to watch it explode. David joined in sometimes, mostly anonymously. He had a fledgling career to protect. But he participated nevertheless. This was fun.
Once she typed to him:
Schadenfreude: It’s funny, sometimes I’m not just..vicious..sometimes I argue in defence of someone who is being unfairly attacked..in fact..I do that quite often really..
Vlad: I’ve noticed..
Schadenfreude: Have you? How gratifying. I find it interesting..amusing really..that the ones who are the biggest bullies squeal the most when they are similarly attacked.. have you noticed that?
Vlad: Indeed I have, especially since you’ve been around..
Schadenfreude: It is as though the minute you call them on something they immediately become a victim in their own minds, victimized simply by the fact that they were caught victimizing..it’s funny..they think you can’t bully a bully…
Vlad: Indeed it is, but you’re getting dangerously close Schaden to being that which you criticize..
Schadenfreude: Not at all..I don’t claim to be kind, and I’d never claim to be a victim..no matter what I was caught doing..I am what I say, I am what I seem..and that is all..
Some of the girls who were more sensitive eventually fled before the tide of Schaden’s apparent fury and judgment. Others stuck it out obstinately. The more stupid among them, like Lizzie, perpetually tried to attack her in a way that opened the door for reflection of all the criticisms right back into Lizzie’s more than substantial lap.
For a few days at a time she’d wreak havoc and then leave them to struggle to retain some sense of themselves in her wake as she’d disappear again for maybe a week, maybe a month. That was frustrating for David – her absences. She never explained them, she was utterly unpredictable, elusive. And she seemed incredibly reluctant to communicate more personally – via the telephone or in meeting, no matter how David would cajole her in the chat rooms whenever he happily found her present.
He even suggested they try the dreaded Skye option, and he honestly wasn’t sure if he was frustrated or relieved when she refused that option. Maybe a bit of both, and also a bit hopeful since she implied they may meet soon enough in real life, perhaps at a comedy gig. At least he wouldn’t have to worry about camera lens distortion in real life.
Yes, you need all the help you can get said Voice.
Schaden would also regularly tell David that he should expand his net horizons, that the playing fields were more widespread than he imagined. ‘It’s not just little girls that fight and scream and bitch’ she’d say, ‘You should see a bunch of academics going for it, or the would-be occultists that haunt certain sections of the web.’ David was in no mood to play, he resented her absences, and refused to be coaxed. He wanted to be the hunter, after all, and for her to be complicit in the hunt.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2015, All Rights Reserved