Remember Ephegenia Phibbs?

Not that long ago I was approached by a rather unusual woman by the name of Ephegenia Phibbs who offered to be my ‘roving reporter’ on the goings-on in Argol, the world of Mortal Instinct.

With some trepidation I sent her off and heard nary a word since, until now. I had hoped to hear from her well before this but in a private note accompanying her first dispatch, she hinted that certain events had occurred that would, in the fullness of time, be revealed. I’ve come to understand that such ‘fullness’ is entirely a matter of perspective with Ephegenia.

I will also copy this entry into the ‘Mortal Coils’ where all her correspondence will be archived.

So, without further ado, herewith be Ephegenia’s first post to introduce you the world of Mortal Instinct …


From The Pen Of Ephegenia Phibbs!

Perhaps I’d best start with a bit about myself. I am, to quote Alexander McCall Smith,  who wrote ‘The No1 Ladies’ Detective Agency’,  a woman of  ‘traditional’ size.

I eschew social media as a frivolous pursuit not worthy of my time, unless I am investigating a story. Then my genuine hand-knitted organic angora wool gloves come off and it’s every social media-ite for themselves. I will have my story!

I have traveled rather extensively in the course of my journalistic career, but perhaps not as far as I would have liked at this time in my life. It was for this reason, that when I heard Widdershins (what a provocative and strange name that is!) was looking for a journalist to write about Argol on a regular basis, I badgered her I have to admit, into providing me with access and the means to visit that rather charming place.

I’m sure much has been written about the particularities of travelling through the Gallery corridors. Indeed, I dare say you’ve done it yourself, so I needn’t go into any detail about my own passage, suffice it to say that the temporal dissonance when shifting through distances, dimensions, and time, is less jarring than I feared but certainly more upsetting than I was led to believe. I shall reserve my umbrage for a more appropriate time however.

Upon arriving in the unimaginatively named Hall of Lights my politely passionate Canadian soul resonated with it’s unearthly beauty. It was with a start that I indeed realised how ‘unearthly’ it was. Yes Toto, I was not in Kansas anymore!

The Hall was crowded. Some sort of holiday I supposed. But after circling the milling crowds it was obvious that this was just another day in a rather busy transfer station.

At first glance the Hall seemed echoingly large even with the crowds bustling to and fro throughout its oval-shaped length. But then, for some reason I felt as though the looming crystal walls with their glittering array of Portals were far too close for comfort. Another slightly nauseous anomaly I fully intended to explore, after my digestive system returned to it’s usual  state of orderly decorum.

I was met by an Amazon of a woman. She towered over me by at least thirty centimeters, had short dark blonde hair in dire need of a comb, the most piercing grey eyes, and seemed so vibrantly alive that she positively glowed. No, I mean it. She actually glowed, or perhaps shimmered would be a more apt description, lime green. Bu the look on her face I had to assume it meant she was happy to see me, or a convincing facsimile thereof.

In retrospect I probably should’ve read my briefing material a little more thoroughly, but I do remember something about the indigents of Argol occasionally being able to wear their emotions on their sleeves. Well not on their sleeves, but rather as an aura surrounding their bodies.

Up until that moment I thought the whole concept was a metaphor.

I can see I’m going to have to watch my assumptions while I’m here.

My Amazon grinned cheekily at me and took my outstretched hand in her surprisingly delicate mitt.

“Hello and welcome.” She said. “My name is Pirelle.”


Dogs come when they’re called. Cats take a message and get back to you – Warren Eckstein

Introducing: Ephegenia Phibbs

(With three ‘E’s’)

I first met Ephegenia a few months ago when I was contemplating how to introduce various topics on my ‘Mortal Coils’ page.

Ephegenia is the kind of woman you hope and dread to meet. For the very simple reason that your life will never be the same if you let them get their foot in the door.

Here’s a bit of background I managed to dig up on Ephegenia before I continue the story of how we met.

Ephegenia Phibbs was a celebrity reporter in her tiny village of Railway Stump, pop. 302 (not a very imaginative name in Ephegenia’s opinion, but the most signatures she ever got on her petition to have it changed to Phibbs Reach was four) about halfway between Nelson and Willow Point in the Kootenays. Which for all you folks who live outside Western Canada, is about 650 km east of Vancouver and about 60 km north of the Washington/Montana/Canada border as the snowgoose flies

She wrote the ‘who’s who’ column in their weekly newspaper and the kindest thing that I ever heard said about her journalistic skills was that she has a good heart. Now you’d think there wouldn’t be much of a call for a celebrity reporter but Ephegenia seemed to think so, and she convinced her boss, who coincidentally was her great-uncle’s second cousin, there was a need and that she was the only reporter within a hundred kilometres who had the skills and tact required for such a delicate undertaking.

Ephegenia believed in treating all with the greatest of respect, no matter how recently they’d moved into the region. She even prided herself on including Maysie Dillinger, whose family had arrived in the area long after the railroad went through, among her dearest friends.

Ephegenia spent some nine years reporting on such great stories like the time Wendy Davis posed near naked for a billboard that was to be prominently placed right at the junction of the Crowsnest Highway and Railway Avenue in Salmo. But because of some unnamed indiscretion between Wendy and the advertiser’s daughter, (Ephegenia only had gossip, hints, hearsay and supposition to go on) the billboard never went up. It qualified as ‘celebrity news’ in Ephegenia’s eyes because Wendy was, and still is I suppose, the last scion of the first family of Railway Stump.

Soon after the ‘Wendy Incident’ Ephegenia or Effie, as she is universally known but never called to her face, decided that her true vocation lay in investigative journalism.

A mutual friend introduced me to Ephegenia, and in a moment of weakness I invited her to submit an article on the world of Argol from an outsider’s perspective.

I think it was my innocent use of the word ‘outsider’ that got her hackles up, because she glared witheringly at me over the top of her pince-nez. I believe she wears the glasses as an affectation, her eyesight is sharper than shards of glass.

“A reporter of my experience.” She articulated with hauteur Maggie Smith would’ve been proud of. “Is never an outsider.”

And so, I await her first article, due on Friday, with some trepidation.


“We promise according to our hopes and perform according to our fears” – Author unknown