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My Period of Erotic Sibling Representation is Over

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"You show great talent." Akio smiled under half-lidded eyes as he leaned in closer to the display of artwork against the wall. "I'm particularly fond of this nude self-portrait," he murmured, tracing one long, seductive finger up the torso of the pale painted figure.

"Dude," snapped Pip, "that's my sister."

"Oh?" Akio straightened. "Even better."


("Okay," said Wendy, a few days later, "I think I've got the rest of it down, but the part I'm still stuck on is that Joe Ninety even had a heartsword for Pip to steal. Joe Ninety! The guy's not exactly on my top ten list of candidates for bringing revolution to the world, you know?"

The Middleman looked irritatingly zen, as was often his wont. "Sometimes a creepy phallic sculpture isn't just a creepy phallic sculpture, Dubby.")