Photo by Ruben Gutierrez / Unsplash

Chapter 15 — Part 2: Part 2

EF Novella Dec 21, 2023

Cliff's Notes

As soon as you finish a film, there's an expectation for you to talk about it. And it's um — the film is the talking.
-David Lynch

The deepest need of the human heart is to be understood.
-Stephen Covey

You will forgive the two directly opposing ideas as quoted above. There is certainly something romantic in writing something personal and dressing it in subtext and symbolism, and then refusing to elaborate on it in any way. Great works of art are augmented by such mystique.

A few problems, then. What I write cannot be considered in any way, a great work of art, and so it follows that it doesn't require mystique to augment it. I will also nail my colours to the mast and say this: I am very much opposed to the idea of The Death of the Author. It is a theory that posits that the author's intention does not matter — only the reader's interpretation. With respect, I believe this to be a load of bollocks. MY INTENTIONS MATTER.

I do not wish for my latest chapter to be misunderstood, and so I will make it clear here, while also commenting on some creative decisions that I have made, unmade, remade, or did not make at all.

So, what was this chapter about?

This chapter was meant to directly address a rather common phenomenon in EroFights. I would describe it as "crossgender guilt and termination". It is when a person behind the screen poses as another gender in EroFights and consequently suffers the guilt of having deceived others.

What typically follows is thus: the crossgendering player will reveal their true gender to someone they trust. They will either be embraced or be rejected. In either of these outcomes, there will follow a period when the crossgendering player will choose to play as their real-life gender — the "honest phase," if you will.

Then the other shoe drops. Their 'honest' character is not as popular as the initial secret crossgender one. They can't cope with how differently they are being treated, and starting from the bottom simply becomes too hard.

Then, they delete their character and are never seen again. There are of course variations of this, but that is the general pattern.

What inspired me to write this at the time that I did was seeing a prominent crossgender character being deleted. I had always wanted to write about this phenomenon and found that reliving how this first affected and hurt me was too painful. However, enough time has passed, and it is an important issue to shine a light on to.

I would like to make clear several things: EroFights is a safe space to act out your wildest fantasies, within legal constraints. If you always wanted to play out sexual scenarios where you are not of your assigned gender, or act out a character that is so far removed from your own personality, or if you just want to explore a fetish — YOU CAN DO IT HERE. In a safe environment. No judgement. That is my EroFights. That is how I view the site, and I hope, how you view it too.

Internet anonymity is something held very dear in EroFights. That means there is no shame in not saying that you are crossgendering. You are under no obligation except those of your conscience to disclose your true gender.

I will acknowledge however that shock, or a feeling of betrayal, when told the true gender behind a secret crossgendering player is just as natural as embracing them. It is natural to be a bit hurt when lied to. What I will ask however is for UNDERSTANDING, and not PERSECUTION.

Nobody should feel bad about playing EroFights the way that they want to.

Remember always that a person exposing the truth to you is risking everything, and is only doing it because the secret is too much to bear any more.

The story in plain text

Foxy wrote a letter to Elodia (our real-life, secret crossgender player), who had mysteriously disappeared. He confided in Winston and sets out on a journey to find her.

Winston finds her, only to realize that she is in fact a he, and loves him all the same, but it's not the same for him, and so he perishes.

Symbolism and other weird references

Let's tackle these quick-fire like. The two parts of Chapter 15 are meant to be mirror images. Part 1 starts with doing chores in a bright Beach House, and ends by Winston refusing to drive Christine, and entering a deep, dark, forest.

Part 2 starts with an elaborate ritual in a dark cave, and ends by Winston driving Christine and going off towards EroFights City. One represents reliving the past (Elodia), the other represents moving on with life.

"Time is a flat circle" is a reference to Friedrich Nietzsche's idea of eternal recurrence. I quite like the idea, and used the concept to represent a flashback not by moving back in time, but by moving forward to confront it.

I wanted the second part to have a noticeably different tone that evoked Norse sagas, because Elodia...or I should say Sandman — that's why he crumbled into sand, yes, I am lazy — is of Norwegian heritage.

A Skjald is a traditional Norse storyteller. It was just a thematic way of me to refer to the protagonist without directly saying so. It also lent the story a sense of being lost and in darkness. Loss of self, in other words.

Wyrd - Fate

Mjod - Mead

Fenrisian Mjod is a Warhammer 40,000 reference. It is the only known drink to be able to intoxicate a Space Marine, and is a favourite of the Space Wolves, essentially space vikings.

There is no such thing as a lanx. I borrowed it from the Black Library novel Prospero Burns by Dan Abnett. The pic of it is of course an AI generated image.

The cave is basically the closet. Not really a very smart symbol there. In fact, the original story had Elodia also lurking in a cave, but somehow, that felt extremely lazy and stupid, as deer do not live in caves. To expand on the would-be symbolism of that element: Winston leaves the caves and comes out [as bisexual]. Sandman never leaves the cave and perishes.

Elodia is a deer because s[he] made an unfortunate typo once and I bullied him relentlessly over it. I have no regrets on this score.

Sleeping on the red snow — means you were killed.

The opening song of Part 2 was Sanctuary by Joji. I listened to the song back then and thought of Sandman and I told him about it. I wanted to be his sanctuary.

The ending song is a Eurobeat mix of Gimme Gimme Gimme [a man after midnight]. The subtext is obvious, but the actual text here is just that he likes Abba and I like Eurobeat.

I've actually written a pale shadow of this story before. A hunter is enlisted by frightened folk to hunt a monster going from one cave to another. I wrote it for Sandman during one of his depressive periods in an effort to get him to respond. It did, which is why this story was used in a story where the quest was to get a reply for Foxy's letter.

Yes, I realised that Foxy never got a reply to his letter. He did IRL though, if that counts for anything.

Some other nonsense

I'm sure I missed on some stuff to explain, but Brooke will look through this copy and tell me, I assume.

[Editor's note: yes, he also missed that Skjald is apparently a word that comes up in Warhammer 40k. Can you tell that this nerd used to be a mod on a 40k forum?]




I can typing :B