Flight or Light
not just the decibels the band gives off, it’s all the sharp edges of their equipment and props and
utensils. Inflatables, even immaterial inflatables, don’t get along with pointy things. Rufy’s teeth
are blunt enough that they don’t frighten me, and of course he would never put a hole in me
deliberately. But Steen has ferrets.
They are generally kept in a little enclosure near the bus kitchen. I have never liked them. My
former selves have twice fallen victim to their insatiable urge to chew. Steen has had to pay for
new Heidis. Once it was just with money. The second time it was also with advice. And there
was a third time, with sex.
“Steen, I’m gonna wring the necks of those rats of yours.”
“Au contraire; the mustelids wring the necks of rats. What are you trying to blame upon my
darlings now?” Steen continued what he was doing with the synthesizer he had plugged into our
PC in the bus kitchenette area. Rufus pushed the gnawed toes of the latest rubber me under his
impressive nose. He immediately was enraged, not by the evidence, but by the interruption. One
note had input wrong, you see.
“Son of a dick, not when I’m working.” Rufus was not intimidated because he knew he had the
right of it, and eventually his heels were on the floor again.
Was that violet lipstick on Steen’s eyelids? It was on his mouth too… Rufus had thought Steen’s
use of greasepaint was confined to the stage, so why were there traces visible at this hour? Yet
another conundrum could be added to the mystery of the Great Wizard Herren, if he allowed
himself to be sidetracked away from the issue in hand, namely, the wrong done to me.
“You, suh, are the son of a bitch who is gonna replace my ruined woman,” he replied, quite
gently actually, while smoothing his shirt back out. I could tell from where I was hovering near
Rufy’s ear that he was thinking about where his anger had suddenly flown to. It had leaked
away, and Steen was looking back at him with eyes as blue as the sky for once. He looked
puzzled as well. Steen meanwhile strode over to the ferret enclosure to count noses. They were
all there but there was a gap in the wire. Justice was administered to vocalist and mustelid alike.
The two humans were left not knowing what to make of one another.
Thrown together behind the scenes and cramped together touring, lead singer and bassistcomposer
might grate on each other, but when they were together on stage, music resulted. So
they lived with the confusion they felt until it was time to take the stage again.
It turned out that when they were really drunk, Steen and Rufus didn’t just trip each
wrestled and smashed each other in the jaw instead. But the way Virgen Steel was taking off, the
album sales and the world tour, were more important to them both. Something had to give, and
the leader of the Virgens knew it.
It didn’t come as a great surprise to Herren when one of those drunken spats among the cigarette
butts and puddles of beer in the wee hours got them both hard. But Dixon was looking at him
like he’d never seen him properly before. He was merely shaking Steen, not pounding him on the
bar floor any longer. Blue and hazel-green eyes, one rapidly swelling shut, managed to meet and
lock for a crucial second. It gave the bouncer an opportunity to grab hold of them and throw
them both out.
kissed him, kissed the taste of his own blood off Rufus’ teeth and let his lower lip be seized and
savaged by the singer’s massive jaws.
My man was in shock. Sure, Rufus the Rude had enjoyed both girls and boys in all his years with
bands. But why was he sparking with Steen? The guy had three kids with Anna and another on
the way. Yet there was more to Steen than most knew. Rufus had been to his Solstice services.
The man was even consultant on that horror film Lunasad. That’s why he’d asked his advice on
‘astral beings’, trying to get a handle on what I was. Did Steen really want to do this or was he
just trying to keep the Virgens from splitting up?
So he was tempted to use that reddish goatee for a handle and pry open Steen’s mouth but he did
not. He let the kiss take its course and the fire it wanted to start die down. He was breathing like
a bellows but he backed off.
Steen showed that he was a mind reader on top of everything else. He drew away too, when the
stubble on Rufus’ cheek went combing though his little beard in reverse and their lips fell apart.
“Don’t worry; Anna isn’t jealous about men,” he murmured then, and his split lip curled wryly
into a smirk. His hips rocked hard into Rufus and rammed their cocks together.
That did it. Rufus grabbed his ass and spun with him, up against the filthy brick wall, taking
more skin off his knuckles and trying to hammer them into Steen with himself. The Dane
grunted and bucked them outwards again, hard enough to bruise, whereupon they began to rut
until they were both trembling and wet like spent racehorses. Never even got their pants open.
I know. I was watching. That led to a time where Rufus didn’t see me much, even in dreams. But
I wasn’t afraid of losing him like some meat woman would be. There’s only one Heidi. And I
was still learning about myself and what I could manage in this world. Like getting around on the
Internet. My goodness! If I was seeing to Rufus all the time, when would I blog? Internet greatly
eased my frustration at my poor ability to communicate with audible noises, and learning how to
use it kept me quite busy.
Not only was there Steen now, that bad Jenny had been replaced by Patty, and two kids that were
really his. The little girl who Jenny had lost custody of when drugs took her made three. Of
course they all are in his dreams, including the youngest girl who came later, Tia. Their dad calls
Mister Dixon threw up a big subconscious dream divide. His love for me stayed in a dream
closet and if I tried to show myself when Patti was with him, he flew into a rage.
Of course, in waking life Patti didn’t know about him and Steen, not really. She cannot really
fathom the extent of Rufus’ vitality because she’s never seen it all. So I guess you could say
Steen was in the closet too, only in the awake world. It seemed quite the best thing that Steen and
I became friends.
That happened mainly because Steen and I just weren’t in Rufy’s life with Patti at all. When he
was with his family the rubber me stayed in the suitcase, and Steen stayed in the studio, until we
went out on tour again. The tour bus is our second home, our moving castle like in that great
cartoon called Howl’s Moving Castle, you know? Or the pirate ships that fly through the sky in
that other movie, Stardust. We have movies on the bus, of course, and Internet. Everyone in
Virgen Steel lives out of a suitcase and is used to it, not just me.
The wives joke that they are ‘Virgen widows’ half the year. Munsch said it was like being a
whaling ship harvesting the human seas. Something about having children meant that there had
to be nests for them not on the bus, anyway. Frankly, I am not very well informed about how
babies happen in humans. Hey, I may be female but it’s not human female! In my dreams I make
little selves to be my children who look just like me only not all the way inflated yet. I’m pretty
sure it is not the same. Anyway, Rufus and Steen did it with wives while I was still growing into
myself. They left the wives and babies just like the other band members did, each in their
It was a gradual process, while my sparkle self got stronger all the time, until Rufus could feel
me apart from the rubber doll. And of course my sparkles are much more pleasant because they
are really me. I also can fold my sparkles up to miniature and live in his pocket, much more
convenient than that bulky old artifact. But what I’m leading up to is how Steen met me, me not
Rufus had actually got rid of it, preferring me without it, hee hee! He let the roadies use it for
some joke they were doing where they sat it up in one of the seats, or tied it to the front of the
tour bus, in different outfits. He told them Jan was its name, after the singer from the Pictsies
went home to Patty.
All that changed after that time I was with Rufus in his bunk on the bus and we were bonding,
and Steen, much inebriated, fell in on us in the midst of things and blurted, “Is there a bint in
here with you lillebro?” His nose wrinkled up like he could smell me, or maybe I just made it
“Mmm, looks like you’re all ready for me here.” He’d spied Rufy’s erection poking straight up
—how could he miss it?—while I was wrapped around it and using my sparkles on it. Now his
hand swatted me away, dissipating my mouth most rudely, and his mouth and hammy hand
began to work on Rufy’s rod instead.
My annoyance was like needles and I used it to pry at those intruding fingers of Steen until he
yelled “OW” and pulled his puzzled face away.
Rufus got a handful of his long tawny hair and pulled Steen’s head up beside his on the pillow so
they were face to face. Then he sighed. “Yes, there is a bint in here.”
Steen’s hazel eyes got green and round and he turned his head toward where I was and looked;
really looked. He put a finger into his ear and waggled it as if it itched. And then he said, “Astral
I was still mad, though being perceived should have gladdened me. I glared daggers at Steen and
would not speak. It was Rufus who said,
“Heidi, you know Steen. Steen, this is Heidi; Wasabi Heidi.”
Steen grinned and lay back on the bunk next to Rufus. “Why, you are peppery, Miz Wasabi! I’m
pleased to meet you. I’ve heard so much about you.” Meanwhile he was using his free hand to
toy with Rufy’s chest hairs. I knew he was allowed. But now what?
Steen continued, out of one side of his mouth, “I thought she was inflatable.”
How rude, we both thought. “She is. She’s just not physical any more.”
looking down at them smugly. Then I exhaled and draped myself along Rufy’s other side. My
left hip made a lovely pale pink mountain range. I’d seen the original image on the Internet.
Steen’s gaze followed me the whole time. He was aware of at least some of me. He addressed me
directly. “My dear, you are a veritable succubus.”
I rolled my eyes at Rufy in annoyance and resolved to Google that. Whatever it was it didn’t
sound appetizing. But Rufus Dixon thought it was a clever remark. He was grinning. “Hey, that’s
the ticket! We suck you, and you suck us!”
still a bit miffed that our private party had been crashed. How much I would come to depend on
Steen and his companionship I had no inkling.
Steen seemed very aware of my mood. “If you prefer we will think of you as a shakti instead.
That’s much more complimentary, believe me.”
“You mean like in those Tibetan thangka paintings, where the man’s got the gal wrapped around
his waist, and everyone’s got three eyes?” Rufus was grinning even more wide now. Gently he
reached up and stroked the middle of my forehead. It tickled.
I began to smile my little dimple of a smile. Shakti. Even the word sounded nicer. I began to
wonder what it would be like to have an eye there where Rufus had touched. He and Steen were
poking each other in the foreheads now, flinching and guffawing. I decided to play along.
I used the mouths in the palms of my hands to take in their cocks, both of them at once. When I
had their attention, I blew up my breasts nice and huge and fed them each a nipple. A fine time
was had by all. Their pleasure and the white evidence of it gave me rainbows of joy.
And before I knew it, the next time my man’s penetration rocketed pleasure all the way to my
head, there was an eye there, like a vertical flower petal. It felt liquid. In time it became my
inside-me view screen, like the PC’s monitor.
I asked Rufus why Steen could see me, later. “He’s not just a Pagan musician, doll. He’s got
hereditary gifts. He’s an actual wizard.”
“You mean like in stories, with a magic staff?”
types in Steen’s family tree, spae-wives and alchemists and Tycho Brahe style physicists and that
sort. But in the 21st century, wizard is not a career path you train for in the Danish state school
system. He had to be something else, too.”
“Oh.” I wondered if maybe Rufus was a wizard too without knowing it, which is why I’d
I didn’t say it aloud, but sometimes he can hear me think. “Most likely,” he said. “Steen’s been
teaching me what to do with it, a bit. The music helps.”
That’s where he always loses me—the music. I will never be a player and singer like him and
Steen, only a listener. I may be made of magic, but what isn’t? It is something that I am proud of
them for doing, and I hope I’m some help, even if I can’t make music myself, or even stay in the
same auditorium when they play.
Anyway Steen came to visit us both more often. Steen didn’t bother me any more than Rufus
bothered his Anna. But then one day Anna’s eldest girl went on tour with us, and began to ask,
It was terrible when they divorced. Lily Herren has her own agent now, but at the time she was
trying to blackmail Steen for a recording contract and told her mother I was a real woman and
that I slept with them both. Anna took their three youngest and Steen never forgave Lily, who
based her whole story on hearsay from the roadies, because she can’t see me; no not at all.
And Patti left as well. In Rufus’ case it was very friendly. The children were grown by then old
enough to go to Swiss boarding schools or Oxford or wherever. He was even a grandpa to
Jenny’s girl’s babies. But when she knew about how close he really was with Steen, Patti felt
that she was no longer entitled to be Queen of Dixonland, I guess. She thought Heidi was really
She told him she was going to run a bed and breakfast, and she did, out of the stately home he’d
bought them. But the place was full of Gideon Bibles. And she was very saintly about never
saying a bad word about Rufus to anyone, or hinting that he liked his own sex. Not her children’s
an operatically trained soprano named Heidi Paaskelin. She’d already had a baby with a German
musician in another band and they seem happy. But Rufus let it be known that he carried a torch
for her, all unrequited. And he made sure Jurgen the Snitch, the roadie who’s always telling
everything to Metamental Magazine, knew about it in this way.
“Hey Max, I need you to go shopping for me. Heidi’s a natural blond but she dyes it that henna
cherry color. Get me a nice wig of that, shoulder length. Jan’s getting a makeover!”
He claimed back the blowup doll that the roadies had made into their mascot and when Max
brought the wig, they rubber-cemented it on. They threw a big party and Rufus made quite a
performance out of dancing with this “Heidi Paaskelin”—they even put her in the stage costume
of animal skins and red war paint. In the morning they left ‘me’ unrolled in Rufy’s bunk, where
Jurgen the Snitch could see. Not only did Metamental tell the world, it was also in Kapow
Magazine the same week!
“No matter if she confirms or denies, Miz Paaskelin is going to love this publicity; and she’ll say
maybe you have a crush on her but she doesn’t fancy geezers like you, dinosaurs of the metal
world that we are, eh?” Steen was chuckling as he waxed his mustaches for their next show.
Rufus dropped the blow dryer and fell to the tile floor clutching at his chest and grinning. He
“Aaaaah! My poor heart! Trampled beneath her spurning spurs! HEIDI!! Aaaargh!” The rest of
the band and crew poked their heads into the bathroom to laugh at him.
I was dancing on the ceiling. That’s my Dixon the clown.
She, the pretend Heidi, was on the next album cover, which came out including the song about
me and Beaver.
Ms. Paaskelin said she felt sorry for Rufus, who was old enough to be her dad. Of course it made
the press, and sold lots of music.
That was after we had become a married triplet, or whatever one should be called. We took turns
being God or Goddess and sailed along in the bus despite whatever the women and children
decided about us.
women were letting Rufus down. In fact it is why I decided to live. But becoming Steen’s as well
took some compromising.