This was it. I took my seat in my favorite red chair and reached across to shake hands with the brunette woman across from me. “It’s truly a pleasure to meet you face to face, Miss,” I paused. “Tipping, was it?” My confusion must have been visible. She laughed.
“Yes, Tipping. Us,” the woman paused for a moment before she continued, “Goblin women have unusual names.” A lion-like tail slowly wrapped around, from the back of the chair, and I gaped. “Oh, come now. Show some decorum. If it helps, pretend it’s stage magic.” Her eyes narrowed for a brief moment. “Compose yourself. We air shortly, you know. Unrehearsed and live. Nobody will edit this to save your face if you stammer.” Her tone was scolding, like a mother whose child refused to sit straight at the dinner table.
Slowly, I took a deep breath and took her in as I calmed myself. She wore very Victorian clothing, with a top hat on her head. Her ears were long and slender, and she held herself proudly. With such a curvy figure, I wondered how she found a tailor talented enough to cover her rather generous breasts and hips. Her scent, as I caught a brief sniff, was earthy and inviting. Those slanted blue eyes drew me in, and for a moment, I forgot about the blinding lights, the layers of makeup, and the cameras.
“And we’re live in three, two, one.” The director called.
I snapped back to my senses. “Miss Tipping, it is an honor and a pleasure to have you here tonight. I trust you have been well?” I smiled, just strong enough to be friendly. Every facial emotion had to be measured. Appearing genial and friendly was part of the job, after all.
Tipping smiled. “Very well, although a tad boring. Life has been uneventful, ever since my brother passed.” She lowered her head and sighed quietly.
I pulled on a troubled face. “I’m very sorry to hear that. You have my condolences-“
She cut me off with a raised hand, enveloped perfectly in a soft, cotton glove. “No need for those, Mr. Lewis. He passed several years ago. I no longer mourn, although I do regret that he is no longer with me. He was very exciting.” Her tone was soft. It was so unlike her earlier curt tone, that I forgot she was acting as much as I. “I think it might be best to move on from such a topic. It is depressing.”
“As you insist, Miss Tipping,” I agreed somberly. For a moment, I pondered my next question, disguised by a solemn, pious expression. A moment of silence for the dearly departed, to the outside observer. Finally, I picked my question, and began to speak. “Being alone so long, surely there must be something you’ve found to keep moving forward?” Not my best, but it wasn’t tactless. A decent enough transition to the meat.
A smile slowly appeared on her face as I seemed to gently pull her from her reverie. Oh, she was an exquisite actress! “I spend much of my time learning about the human body and habits. I read, I research, and sometimes I do personal studies. Humans and goblins are not that different, after all. Goblins happen to have tails, knife ears, and a few unexplainable abilities, but our two races are almost identical, and we are capable of interbreeding, with a fifty percent chance of either race.” Her eyes slowly came to life, and for a moment, I thought she forgot herself.
“So similar?” I asked. “How is that possible?”
She grinned a wicked little grin at me. “Magic, of course. That, or a close common ancestor. It’s possible goblins are halflings of some sort.” She tilted her head to one side. “Honestly, though. All of our breeding capabilities are the same. Ask me anything about a human female’s reproductive system, and I’ll tell all.” Her sharp-toothed grin challenged me, and my mouth opened against my will.
“Well, then. Every man has a horrible, evil curiosity about this one. Describe menstruation, as you feel it.”
Tipping was unsurprised and slowly raised her hand to face-level. It was open, with her palm to me, and her fingers spread. “There are five stages to a period. The first stage is PMS. Emotions run high, and the body has intensive urges and wants. This stage is most feared by men.” She pulled her thumb in, against her palm. “Second is brown spotting. The groin smells strongly, and the scent is, to me, rather intoxicating and alluring. It reminds me of dark chocolate. The brown spotting itself looks like a fecal smear on the underpants.”
Her index finger lowered. “Third. Bleeding. Every man knows this one. The woman bleeds, and usually her mind is her own again. She feels uncomfortable, but she has survived the worst of the emotional turmoil.” Another finger went down. “Four. Irregular spotting. A woman thinks she is done, but she is wrong. She ruins many pairs of underwear in this stage. Unlike the second stage, this spotting is typically red. She feels mostly normal.” Only her pinky remained. “The final stage is normalcy. A woman is no longer bleeding, but her traitorous body is preparing for it. She is fully herself, and the bloating, uncomfortable sensations in her body have left her.
I was awed. She was quite thorough. “Very informative, Miss Tipping. Do you have anything else to share on that topic?”
“Just a few stories, but I’m certain this is neither the time, nor the place for those. They’re not very kind to my public image, you know.”
A grin pulled at my cheeks. “Of course.” This woman was delightful. I leaned forward. “And what have you observed about men, Miss Tipping?”
She raised her eyes to look into my own, and her expression was hard to read. I tried to get a read on her, but could find nothing amiss. She sat up straight and waited several long moments before she answered. “Men are selfish pigs, of course.”
“That doesn’t seem very fair, Miss Tipping.”
She laughed. “That was a joke, dear. Perhaps you could tell more about how a male prepares himself for child creation, instead?”
“I think the viewers would prefer you explain, Miss.” I laughed quietly. “I’m sure it will be entertaining.”