Aunt Mim instructed Otto to give each of her princes and princesses a tattoo of the well-known androgynous symbol that Quince called himself once upon a time. Tattoo in this scenario was euphemism for tag of ownership.
Aunt Mim had been adding to her royal family for a long time. Scouts other appointed brokers were on the search for runaways, those spun out in drug addictions, street kids who had run out of options and hadn’t been claimed by other traffickers, and other assorted unfortunates.
Mim’s emissaries were chosen for their genuine sincerity, which, all things considered was rare, but more often by their practiced butter-warmth, which you would swear was real – until it was way too late to turn back. The emissaries were drawn to the marks like homing missiles, who moved quickly in learning what their stories were. Kids playing at being “street” would get hugs and good-bye’s in a hurry. The others would be invited to The Honeycomb.
The Honeycomb was a 20-acre estate with an older, well-maintained mansion that was deeded to Merriam (i.e. Mim) in 2000 by Kew Leftler, which she demanded before she would consent to sexual relations with him. She was one of the few who had broken Kew’s heart, which he thanked her for because it proved to him he still had one.
An estate like The Honeycomb costed a fortune to maintain. Merriam remembered visiting Painley Park Studios with Kew and falling in love with the symbol that was stamped on everything there. One night Merriam dreamt she saw the symbol, glowing high on a hill and crowds of beautiful young people in flowing robes worshiping it. She knew her life’s mission. She would begin the religion of Honeycomb of Mim’s Enlightment (HOME.)
Her princes and princesses would first be indoctrinated with neurolingual programming. Once programmed they graduated with a tattoo and a client list. Otto arranged the dates and collected the cash. Most of the time the young royalty were taken by limousine to the client but those special clients who paid extra were flown into the complex by small plane for reasons of confidentiality.
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