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You roll along, taking in scenes of uncharted territory while basking in the splendorous freedom of the open road. You have four wheels, a full tank of petrol and not a care in the world. The world is your oyster…or so you mistakenly think. In truth, this particular section of the world belongs to another—The Highwayman. He’s made the tarred narrow swath bisecting these otherwise deserted expanses his own, not by deed or contract, but by sheer force of will. Without a lawman for miles, this strategic hijacker is a self-appointed judge, jury and executioner…if it comes to that. He prefers to merely brandish his club, but the notches inflicted upon it by the skulls of those who would defy The Highwayman’s will are proof that it’s far more than a motivating prop.

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It’s impossible to lay gaze upon The Miser’s wealth of treasures and avoid succumbing to petty jealousy. He has it all, and he has it all on everybody else. But is he happy? Of course he is. He has everything, and your envy is the very proof that material things matter as much as they do. Otherwise, why would he eschew basic gestures of generosity despite having far more than he could ever need? Like all of us, The Miser has chosen what’s important in life, and what means the most to him is stuff, and the accumulation of it. Yes, he has it all…and he intends to keep every bit of it for himself.

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He watches the world like a bloated vulture atop an ivory tower awaiting the expiration of the wretched and the damned. For most, life is a journey versus a destination, but his entire life has been about reaching the lofty space he occupies. His personal voyage is over. Now he’s a fixture on a nearly astral plane of governance where the haves rule the have-nots. To get there, he painted on an uncharacteristically pleasant public-facing persona to garner ballots bearing his name. The road to his enviable place in the political hierarchy was paved with those slips of electoral parchment; so seemingly small and insignificant alone, yet so powerful when lumped together to convey majority-rule. But long gone are his days of groveling to curry the favor of the unwashed masses. A clever politico knows such tactics are only necessary the first time around. The Highbinder now employs more efficient, foolproof tactics for ensuring reelection and acceleration of his agenda.

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Some journey the world in search of that special someone; a soul-mate for which they are perfectly suited to spend eternity. The Bachelor observes this behavior—he can even find the nobility and normalcy in it—but for him, monogamy is simply too cruel a rule. This free-wheeling gadabout sees the fairer half of this spinning orb’s populace as a nearly endless source of pleasure. Were it possible, he’d have his way with all of them, but knowing his earthly and biologic limitations, he employs a more selective, fastidious approach that’s as frequent as it is fleeting, hand-selecting conquests, one after the other, unimpeded by the concept of forever. It’s always a one-time thing. There will be no repeat-performances. It’s going to be what it’s going to be, but it’s also going to be a thorough exploration that touches on all the senses.

bachelor_ctz_01

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There you are, perched atop a barstool, perusing the beer-board, when suddenly you pick up the silhouette of a foreboding figure in your periphery. Though unassuming in most ways, this individual demands your attention—not by might or even with words—but by his mere presence. He stands at the doorway for a moment, surveying the place’s inhabitants, assessing…always assessing. For this is his business, assessment and, of course, collection. Though gaunt as a specter, his right forearm is surprisingly meaty, for it does the literal heavy-lifting. Dangling from the end of that appendage is an empty satchel, but it won’t be empty for long. The Exciseman has come to claim his due and he won’t be leaving until he’s been made whole.

exciseman_01

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