The Net Affair

Things are never what they seem, especially in an Internet chat room. Shelley discovered this the hard way.
Shelley tossed her red shoulder-length hair away from her face, with a flick of her wrist. She stared intently at her computer monitor, her green eyes unwavering, not noticing the errant strands falling back across her face. She studied the jumbling screen, the strange abbreviations, the funny, strange names for the people chatting.
Her divorce final, Shelley chose this medium as her entrance into the current dating scene. She smiled wryly, wondering if it wouldn't be easier to simply go to a bar. After all, it was Friday, the empty weekend loomed ahead.
My god, she thought, it's a whole new language to learn . . . AFK, BrB, a/l/s . . . what do they all mean? And why didn't Mark tell me about this new language, when he suggested I visit the chat rooms?
Shelley allowed her mind to wander briefly, picturing Mark's handsome face, smiling at her confusion over the chat rooms. She knew the Jamaican trial attorney had a dry sense of humor, and was probably enjoying knowing she was confused.
Shaking her head, Shelley watched someone called sPaCED_inVaDER3 ask QUEENIE4U a/l/s. She made a note of it, planning on asking her email-pen pal, Mark, to help her learn all the abbreviations. Shelley smiled widely, when she saw QUEENIE4U respond with an answer she understood, 33 y/o Ohio, female.
Ahhh, she thought, so that's it! Age, location and sex . . . just the first letter, to speed things up, I guess. Guess I don't have to ask Mark about it, after all.
She nodded, resting her chin on her right palm as she watched the various scenes unfold. The names intrigued her, some making her laugh, others making her grimace with distaste, understanding the suggestive nature behind them.
Shelley was hooked, drawn into the cyber world within a few moments. She watched all night, resenting the short breaks away from the computer screen her body demanded, to rest her eyes and use the bathroom. By dawn, she felt ready to take her first step into this new world.
Shelly smiled, as she created her cyber persona. From now on, she would be "LadyEnchantryss." She created her persona with a mixture of her favorite celebrity personalities and her own traits. She became a demure lady, resembling her own physical stature - 5'8" tall, red shoulder-length hair, blue-green eyes. She would be courageous, shy, yet out spoken when needed. She was one who could be as fierce as a warrior, but was always a sensual, sexy lady.
Satisfied with LadyEnchantryss' description, Shelley turned off her computer. She stood and stretched, feeling an ache in her muscles.
LadyEnchantryss might be an active, athletic warrior, she thought, grinning, but my 40-year-old body needs some sleep!
Shelley chuckled, realizing she was already attributing a separate personality to her newly-created cyber persona. She glanced at the new computer one more time, then turned to her bedroom.
Tonight, LadyEnchantryss, she thought, tonight you make your formal appearance.
***
Shelley turned her computer on, and quickly dialed into the chat room she had observed the previous evening. The modem made whirring and clicking noises as it connected. She already knew those noises were referred to as a "handshake" between computers. Shelley grinned, anticipating a night of fun.
LadyEnchantryss enters.
KingofHearts waves hello to LadyEnchantryss, giving her a beautiful red @---}-----}----
MystressMidnight tells you, "Watch it, he's a jerk looking for cyber-sex."

Shelley wondered why the MystressMidnight personna had singled her out, gave her a private warning. From last night, she knew if one personna "tells you," that it was a private message, but when the personna "says," it was a public conversation that all could join in. She sent a message back to MystressMidnight.

LadyEnchantryss says, "Thank you, Midnight. I'm new here, so glad to get all help I can."
KingofHearts gives LadyEnchantryss a wet, passionate kiss.
MystressMidnight growls a warning at KingofHearts.
MystressMidnight tells you, "No problem, glad to help. Found, we have to stick together here. Some think they can kiss and fondle, with any new person. And, BTW - you need to learn how to PM."

Hmmm, she thought, that was nice of her. Wonder what 'BTW' and 'PM' mean? She shrugged her shoulders. Guess I should be more forceful. After all, I am a warrior!

LadyEnchantryss snarls at KingofHearts.
MystressMidnight applauds LadyEnchantryss fervently.
Kingof Hearts says, "Damn, no need to be bitchy, Enchantryss. Just trying to be friendly."
LadyEnchantryss glares at KingofHearts.
MystressMidnight tells you, "You go, girl! *grins* See how easy it can be, to set the ground rules? Stick with me, I'll show ya the ropes."

Shelley smiled. She spent the remainder of that night learning different commands from her new cyber friend, Midnight. Within a few hours, she was able to 'follow' other personnas, 'goto' different personnas and rooms, send private messages, or 'PM's,' to the many new people she was meeting, and even stop others from sending her unwanted private messages. She was also pleased to figure out on her own, 'BTW' was cyber-shorthand, for 'By The Way.'

LordDrago strolls in from the cold, dark night, glances around the room, his eyes resting on a vision of exquisite lovelyness. He bows deeply to LadyEnchantryss.
LordDrago says, "M'lady, I beg of thee, a small favor..."
MystressMidnight tells you, "Here comes a real suave gigalo. Watch out for him, Enchantryss. He appears to be a smooth operator."

Wow, Shelley thought, he is good. Wonder what he wants? Hmmm, who cares. She shrugged her shoulders, smiling.

LadyEnchantryss arches her eyebrow questioningly.
LordDrago says, "A simple request, m'lady. . . a smile from thee, 'tis all I request. Please, let the sun set in shame and the moon eclipse, both paling in comparison, to thine resplendent beauty. . . . Nay, in truth m'lady, 'tis a deep-seated desire, not just a simple request."
MystressMidnight tells you, "Told ya he was a smoothie! *grins*"
LadyEnchantryss smiles.

Shelley began chewing on her lower lip.

***
LordDrago says, "Ahhh, I thank thee, m'lady. . . 'tis a balm for mine soul, to have thine smile upon me."
LadyEnchantryss says, "You flatter me, good sir."
MystressMidnight tells you, "Nice comeback! *grins* He's into old English, get with the program, girlfriend! Enjoy!"
LordDrago says, "Nay, m'lady. . . 'tis the simple truth I speak."
LordDrago lifts LadyEnchantryss' hand to his lips, kissing softly.
LadyEnchantryss sighs deeply, a soft smile playing on her lips.

Man oh man, she thought, I can't believe this! This is just like. . . like a romance novel!
Shelley smiled. She glanced at the clock, surprised to see it was early morning. She didn't feel the least bit tired. She quickly typed a message to LordDrago.

LadyEnchantryss says, "Drago, may I ask you a question? Why me?"
LordDrago caresses the lovely Enchantryss' cheek.
LordDrago says, "Why 'tis quite simple, m'lady. I entered this dark room, and was drawn to thy radiating beauty, as a moth is drawn to the flame. . . ."
MystressMidnight arches her eyebrow, chuckling softly, thinking. . . And another chat-a-holic is born.
LadyEnchantryss blushes.
LordDrago laughs.
MystressMidnight says, "Admit it, Enchantryss, you're now an addict!"
LadyEnchantryss says, "Guess I am, Midnight. I love chatting!"
LadyEnchantryss smiles at LordDrago.
LordDrago says, "M'lady honors me once again with her radiant smile. . . 'twill serve to warm my heart, as I depart thy splendour, to return to the cruel world of reality."
LordDrago lifts LadyEnchatryss' hand to his lips, kissing each finger softly, in turn.
LadyEnchantryss sighs deeply.
LordDrago says, "May your day be filled with warmth and joy, m'lady, as thy presence has given me. Until Fate allows us to meet again, I shall carry thine smile within my heart."
LadyEnchantryss blushes deeply.
MystressMidnight tells you, "Easy, girlfriend *grins* don't you dare faint on me now!"
LadyEnchantryss says, "Drago, it was a pleasure meeting you. Until we meet again. . . m'lord."
LadyEnchantryss blushes as she blows LordDrago a kiss.

Shelley sighed as she watched LordDrago leave the chat room She brought her hand up, resting her chin on it. She was surprised to feel how warm her cheeks were. Grinning, she realized the blush she typed for LadyEnchantryss, was on her own face.

"Hello? You still here, Enchantryss? C'mon girl, get a grip. . . talk to me, Enchantryss, let me know you're stll alive."
LadyEnchantryss says, "Wow."
MystressMidnight laughs.
LadyEnchantrss says, "It felt so real, Midnight. Would you believe, I'm really blushing?"
MystressMidnight says, "Of course I do. Listen, the feelings you have here, are real, Enchantryss. Know why? Cause here, you're anonymous. You can let all your defenses down quicker. Makes it easy to make friends, fall in love, and. . . be hurt. So careful, okay?"
LadyEnchantryss says, "Thanks Midnight. I will. You know, something tells me LordDrago can be very dangerous to me."
MystressMidnight says, "Hey, knowing that, is half the battle Enchantryss."
MystressMidnight winks at LadyEnchantryss.
LadyEnchantryss says, "Well, it's late. I probably better sign off now. Will I see you again tomorrow, Midnight?"
MystressMidnight says, "I'll be here. *grins* Maybe you can meet 'my' special friend, Nightsmystery, too. Dream well, Enchantryss."
LadyEnchantryss smiles at her friend, Midnight as she waves good-night.

Shelley smiled as she clicked on the exit button. She decided to send a quick letter to her e-pal, Mark, to let him know about her night in chat.

Mark,

You were right, my friend, I love chat! It was a bit confusing at first, I will admit. But -- I met some neat people, made some new friends. Hey, thanks for telling me about this! Hope to see you in chat, soon. Oh, BTW, do you know MystressMidnight or LordDrago? And what's your chat name?

Shelley, AKA LadyEnchantryss
***

Shelley turned her computer off and closed her eyes, allowing her head to drop forward, rolling it slightly. Standing slowly, she stretched and yawned. She patted the computer monitor softly, as she turned to go to bed.

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