Lek the Avenger!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Contest? Contest! Big Idea, Rules, etc!

Contest! Contest! Contest!

We're looking for drawings of Lek, the Avenger to help illustrate the upcoming book of the same name.

YOU are invited to:
+read "Lek, the Avenger" backstory below, and
+draw YOUR vision of this sexy, powerful super-heroine

When you have an image or three, send them in, after reading the Tech Details below. If you can't do pen-and-ink style, or FreeHand, or PhotoShop, or any other fully digital form, you may draw with pens, pencils, felt-tip, chalk, paint or any other medium you choose, and submit your entries to this blog, by emailing to:

karridine-at-gmail.com with "Lek" in the Subject line.

If your entry is chosen for inclusion, you'll receive a CASH Prize and your attributed artwork will be published in the finished book!

Some of the Cash Prizes will be $500, others less. We're working out the details yet, as we want to REWARD all sexy-graphics-artists for their work, one way or another.

You'll retain copyright to your work, and we'll publish under the strictures of Creative Commons Licensing.

This should be fun, and rewarding. Trust Lek, she'll avenge you if we don't treat you right!

So tell all the artists, sketchers, scribblers and doodlers you know, and let them join the fun!


Style Sheet 1: Tech Details

Artists and Artistes:

The style depicted above, heavy on the PhotoShop or FreeHand, is also acceptable for your Contest submissions. There are no limits on the number of Lek, the Avenger entries you may submit.

Entries are to be attached to an email containing:
Your Name (so we can credit your work if used in publication)
Snail-mail address
email address
phone/fax optional

Attached graphics are to be no larger that 400 pixels in ANY direction.
Attached graphics are to be in jpg or gif format ONLY. (No bmp, tif or other formats, puhleeze!)

Remember to read "Lek, the Avenger: Backstory" on this blog, to get clues, tips and hints about Lek and her dressing style.

Lek is of Thai or Lao-Thai racial derivation, but feel free to depict her as Eurasian, Afrasian, red-headed, blond, afro... whatever turns you on!

A sexy drawing is much more apt to win than some anatomically accurate, sterile, cold depiction of Lek as corpse or freckled, wart-spattered, blowzy-haired scag!

Style Sheet: 2

Artists and artistes!

You may choose to do your Contest Entries in the manner shown here, crow-quill pen-and-ink rendering of Lek's subtle and feminine beauty.

Don't EVEN dress her in Victorian drapes, instead you should dress her from Victoria's Secret!

You'll get coloring tips and hints when you read "Backstory", below.

Good luck.

Backstory: Lek, the Avenger



Defender of Thai Bargirls Everywhere

Our story begins inside a typical go-go bar somewhere in the capital city of Bangkok in the exotic Kingdom of Thailand. The name of this particular bar is not important as it might be any go-go bar in the kingdom. The music is loud and fast, the sexy, bikini-clad dancers are in full swing, the happy, horny patrons are drinking beer, the ebullient mama-san is encouraging the patrons to buy ladies drinks for the girls.

In a booth at the back of the room an old lady sits quietly. She is almost hidden by the stack of bikinis she has brought in to sell to the girls. She is a popular figure in the bar as she is also a fortune teller and the girls love to have their fortunes told even more than they love the colorful, handmade bikinis she brings. Her kind face is wrinkled, her hair snowy white, and her lips purple from years of chewing beetle nut. Like many of the dancers themselves, she has no one to support her, but she always has a kind word for everyone in the bars.

She smiles at the tiny, forlorn figure who passes by mopping the floor. But the weary girl doesn’t notice her. The girl’s nickname is Lek and she is followed, as she is each night, by her mangy little soi dog, Issarn. The dog has patches of skin disease and limps badly but is inseparable from and much loved by the girl he follows everywhere.

Lek is from a very poor village in northeast Thailand. She left her village for Bangkok many years before to escape her lascivious uncle, a man who wanted to have his way with her and then sell her to a brothel. Her parents died when she was young and her only sibling – an older sister – ekes out a meager living sewing and cleaning by day and working in a toy factory at night.

None of the girls or customers hardly ever notice Lek, as she seldom speaks and is almost never included in the bargirls’ after hours parties and get-togethers. It is not that they dislike her but there is something terribly sad and forlorn about Lek. And, believing that the girls have enough troubles of their own, she is never willing to share her own problems with them.

Although not unattractive, she wears no makeup and never smiles. Her usual work outfit is a worn T-shirt and pair of faded shorts and sneakers, hand-me-downs from dancers in the bar. Her only friends are her little dog and the fortune teller to whom she occasionally tells her troubles. True, Sombat, the cute young Thai man at the door who encourages customers to enter, seems to like her, but Lek has never responded to his invitations to go out for a late night snack or for a ride on his motorcycle.

But although she passes by hardly noticed by others, Lek is always alert to what is happening in the bar. And, unknown to anyone, over the years she has even picked up bar English. And it seems to her that the skimpily clad young ladies who work in the bar, who dance and smile and go out with men, are seldom appreciated and are sometimes cheated by foreign men as well. She knows many of them are single mothers with a child or two to support, and yet she has seen how little they are respected by men from other countries; customers with money who take advantage of them. And the bar owner is a man from abroad, a loud and callous, coldhearted man who has the power to hire and fire and who fines girls for being even a few minutes late. She has always wished there was something she could do to improve the lives of the girls not just in this bar but in all of the kingdom’s bars; but she is well aware that she is powerless.

But tonight she is thinking of something else. Something the fortune teller told her less than two weeks before. That soon an event would happen which would change her life. It was a vague premonition rather than a specific rendering but the fortune teller seemed so certain. And Lek wondered what it could be.

And why had the old lady given her such a beautiful charm to wear on a chain around her neck? It was an almost flat circle of gold nearly two inches in diameter with a serrated edge. She could not read the engraved ancient Khmer script on the back but on the obverse was the face of a beautiful woman. It was the only beautiful thing Lek owned. And the woman had told her to safeguard it always and to use it whenever needed. But what did she mean “to use it whenever needed”?

Lek lives alone in a windowless little room above the bar. The narrow stairs to her room start in the mop closet at the rear of the bar where she keeps all the cleaning supplies. Lek entered the mop closet and picked up her bucket and carried her mop and bucket out the back door and over to the canal which ran just behind the bar. Her little dog traipsed after her as best he could.

The night was clear and only a few tenuous strands of clouds swirled about the gibbous moon. And, yet, as soon as Lek began her walk to the canal, she felt the wind pick up, and a few cold raindrops splashed against her face. She noticed bolts of lightning flashing in the distance but continued on with her chore. She reached over and emptied the bucket into the canal. As she did so the rain increased and bolts of lightning struck closer and her little dog began barking and yelping. Lek paid little attention and knelt beside the canal to wash out her mop.

Suddenly, amidst great wind and torrential rain and an almost deafening clap of thunder, a lightning bolt struck little Lek and her dog. Lek struggled to walk, to run, but felt completely paralyzed, unable to move, and yet she felt no pain. In fact, as the lightning bolt coursed through her little body, she felt as if an enormous surge of energy was infusing her, transferring an enormous force into her every fiber, giving her strength and power and vigor.

The wind and rain and thunder and lightning stopped as suddenly as it had begun. She rose and turned to look at her little dog. She could scarcely believe her eyes. Issarn’s coat was smooth and beautiful and as he walked a few paces she could see that his limp had disappeared. And, as he barked, he too seemed to have a new sense of confidence.

Lek turned and walked slowly back to the bar, trying to understand what had happened. She entered the mop closet to replace her mop and bucket and to pick up her sewing kit. As she did so, she noticed a long, rectangular black box. And beneath it she spotted the clothes. She had never seen clothes so beautiful; they seemed almost to glow. A spectacular two-piece silken outfit of emerald green with crimson trim. And at the center of the chest inside a crimson oval was the figure of a black scorpion. Ordinarily, Lek would never have dared to try this on but somehow she knew this was meant for her. She snatched up the box and the clothes and reached down to pick up Issarn. But as Issarn backed away, she realized he no longer needed her to carry him up to her room.

Followed by Issarn, she quickly ran up the stairs, unlocked her door and entered the sparsely furnished room. She quickly tried on the outfit which she somehow sensed the fortune teller had left for her. The short-sleeved tunic was tight-fitting and the short, pleated skirt revealed much of her thighs. She slid on the elbow length black fishnet arm warmers, and then the fingerless lace gloves with ruffle trim. The stiletto-heeled white boots fit her perfectly. And last she used the Velcro snap at the neck to secure the green and crimson cape.

She then noticed the much smaller green and crimson cape and realized that was for her dog, Issarn. She quickly fastened it about his neck. When she opened the box, she could hardly believe her eyes: inside were some of the most expensive cosmetics she had ever seen.

When she had finished dressing and putting on her makeup she looked at herself in the mirror. Her complexion was perfect, her smile was dazzling and her straggly hair was now silken smooth and lustrous. She understood now that she was beautiful. It was not a boast or an exaggeration. It was simply the truth. She was very beautiful. And sexy. And erotic. But far more important she realized that, when dressed in this outfit, she was powerful. And she understood why she had been given this power. To fight for justice. She was determined to use this power for the benefit of the girls who gave so much of themselves every night in the bars of Thailand. And who received so little in return.

But if she was to keep her identity secret she would need to change quickly from one identity to the other: from Lek the janitor to Lek the Avenger and back again. And she wondered how she could do this. And then she remembered the beautiful charm the fortune teller had given her. She pulled out her neck chain and studied the charm. In her surprise, she almost dropped it. The face of the beautiful woman had disappeared; replaced by an image of a scorpion.

Lek held the charm in her hand, running her fingers over the Khmer script. As she did so, she began reading the script aloud. A kind of chant, a mantra, almost a prayer. She did not understand the meaning but she recited it as if she had always known it. The second she finished, a bright, almost blinding, light appeared and then immediately disappeared. And there in the mirror was Lek the janitor. She looked over at Issarn and saw he was as before: diseased and sickly. And the face of the beautiful woman had reappeared on the charm. She again ran her fingers over the script and again heard herself reading it aloud. The same blinding light briefly appeared and again she was Lek the Avenger with her Wonder Dog Issarn. And again the obverse of the coin displayed the image of a scorpion.

And now Lek understood that the lightning strike has given her something far more valuable than beauty; something she had never felt before: a confidence in herself and in her ability to perform whatever task needed to be done. No longer would foreign men be able to take advantage of defenseless Thai bargirls. Lek the Avenger and her Wonder Dog Essarn would see to that.

Every month a new episode. First Episode: A loudmouthed Aussie Drunkard Learns a Lesson in Manners!

Dean Barrett