The tanzidroni /'tænsɪdroʊni/ is a mulberry-colored stranger with a thick, dark head and tail, and human-like limbs ending in pointed, tapered fingers. Its skin is fleshy in texture, but carries no outward warmth; the tanzidroni's foamy inner substance is similarly lukewarm. This internal tissue appears to glisten with particles or sediment, becoming scintillating to the light. The tanzidroni possesses a small inner cavity, less than three inches in diameter at the widest point, filled with black, rag-like tissues which are not connected to the tanzidroni's inner walls. These structures shrivel apart when exposed to air, and grow over the course of the tanzidroni's life, eventually filling this cavity.
Although not possessing a strong odor under normal circumstances (smelling only of vinyl), under prolonged exposure, the tanzidroni takes on a sickly tinge of artificial fragrances and the by-products from cigarette smoke. When cut, these odors become more pronounced,ᶍ with the tanzidroni's injured flesh occasionally exudingᶄ a white blood, as well. The strain heals itself only intermittently, and with scarring that spreads outward considerably from the point of injury.
ᶍ He wanted it to be good, and it smelled like perfume.
ᶄ He was disgusted with them, and it became a pungent poke.
The tanzidroni's voice is high in pitch. Its language varies depending on external circumstances, sounding either soft and soothing, or ratcheting and spit-clogged. Although recognizably human, it is noticeably factitious when speaking in the latter tone; a distorted facsimile of speech forced out through a plastic container and resonating through thin rubber tissues from within.
The tanzidroni appears exclusively in the uppermost floors of tall buildings, preferring residential apartments above all else. White walls, plush carpets, and large, un-curtained windows all raise the likelihood of a tanzidroni infestation, and within these locations, the stranger grows from a short-limbed, worm-like form, reaching maturity in under four minutes (following considerable writhing).
The tanzidroni maintains a compliant
disposition at all times, and when not around a sensitive, it remains inactive, laying limply across the floor, its body slightly deflated.
When a sensitive approaches the tanzidroni, its otherwise limp body becomes firm and stands upright, with the strain exhibiting no transitionary period between dormant and active states. Immediately curious in its interactions, the tanzidroni approaches sensitives with a dancing feverishness to its motions, each step an attempt at mesmerism but without the rhythmic coordination of some of the more beguiling strains. When allowed, it places its hands upon any sensitive, and touching their body with shudders and curiosity. A tanzidroni left to its own devices will investigate the sensitive's surroundings, and gravitates towards areas or objects꒕ frequented by the sensitive. It possesses no interest in its surroundings, otherwise.
꒕ Inhalations despite the absence of nostrils, the need for familiarity through osmosis.
F. E. Wyssesion. A Second Physician's Reference.
The tanzidroni causes a complete loss of inhibitions towards the stranger itself, and its behaviours and demeanor always further enable the sensitive's own actions. If touched with a tender calmness, the tanzidroni becomes friendly, and its touch, in turn, causes physical pleasure to the sensitive. If attacked, the tanzidroni comes frantic and begins to attack itself as well, its touch causing a dizzying and feverish sensation. It allows itself to be dissected by sensitives so inclined, appearing to take pleasure in being cut apart in this manner, its movement becoming docile꒺ and a slight shudder and narrowing of the eyes with each slice.
꒺ It's shivering, like it's restraining itself; not unable to move, but choosing not to.
Neither social nor asocial, clusters of tanzidroni do not fight with one another or make any attempts to maintain a specific territory,Ꮉ but instead engage in only minor and incidental physical interactions as they swarm to the same goals.
Ꮉ As he laid down on that big white bed he swore small specks of powder lingered still beneath his nosts. And any other time, he might have made some half-hearted snort, but. Instead, he closed his eyes – almost. Thin lids fluttered on the verge of wake-and-not, but dipped close enough to the latter not to notice clash and stirrings in the bathroom, and the open door spilt its light in a knife-slice onto carpet. He didn't, he didn't – he didn't even move as the stranger climbed atop him, though that kind of touch across his hands' back put a smile tween his lips. And something smelled like licorice; too black, too harsh, yet at its core so sweet, too sweet, as memories all clutched too tight. And as his thoughts grew dark, and his knuckles loosened, they slipped away just like the others.
Ben Gabriel. Collections V, The White Lord.
: a night on the town leads to an encounter with a tanzidroni in Gutters
, issue #04. →
The tanzidroni ages only minimally when in a dormant state, and barring external factors, can potentially remain viable for many thousands of years. It undergoes marked wear-and-tear only when active, with its body gradually stiffening and growing prone to cracks in its surface, particularly around the joints. At the end of its lifespan, the tanzidroni dries out altogether. Its inner flesh recedes against its skin, which crumples to the ground; deflated, inert.
Nearby tanzidroni display the slightmost of intrigue in these deflated skins.৩ The tanzidroni's skin continues to be pliable and stretchy for several months following death, until it desists in this flexibility in a sudden transition, all touch causing it to crumble to a black, gritty sand; glinting in dim light, and scattering over time into carpet, between wood slats, and into small holes and gaps.
They rubbed skin upon skin; smearing themselves in the residue. Let's remember how this moment felt, the movements seem to say (romantic).
Idilo Sonári. Demiso.