6

6

A Chapter by CharlyeMonroe
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“I just thought it would be nice to have a bottle ready when we walked her out to the car.” Kaite

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“I just thought it would be nice to have a bottle ready when we walked her out to the car.” Kaite

“You know she’s been wasted this entire time. She’s a violent addict, I don’t know how DeeMc put up with her.” JK

“Ren is just violent. DeeMc, I don’t know” Jane “Just like her best friend here.” JK

“It’s just because you’re sisters.” Jane

“I’m addicted to breakfast,” your eyes still closed you caught the voices of your friends plus one Jenny Kryss. You rolled over burying your face in the pillows. You fell asleep with your paws on cradling them between your knees. “JK, go get me a glass of cranberry juice, cottage cheese with salt and pepper, and an English muffin.”

“We don’t have any cranberry juice.” JK

“Liquor cabinet.”

“I’m taking the tequila.” JK

“I don’t give a f**k, just get me the juice.”

“The Jewwwwws,” Kaite put on a German accent

“Yes darling, the Jews,” Jane

“Jenny, quickness,” you turned your head to the side to watch your sister spin on her heels and march out of your villa. “Take some of that goose out of your step, it’s unnerving.” She ignored you throwing a salute and disappearing around the side of the house. You drew your knees into your chest, rocked up into sitting in the middle of your brown suede comforter. You caught a glimpse of the clock, 10:30AM; you stretched your legs out and hiked yourself up against the headboard of the bed.

“So, you’re back in the land of the living, Boobie.” Jane joined you in bed stretching across your lap. She rolled over onto her back. You ran your paws across her belly, she purred.

“Yeah, it’s nice.” You rolled her off, put your feet on the ground and looked out of the window into your backyard. There was a cloud sitting on the earth, condensation ran down the window. “Has it been like this since I left?”

“It’s been foggy the last few days. I don’t know.” Jane rolled over, “Let’s go.” She yawned, “If I lay here any longer I’m gonna pass out.”

“You can stay here,” you stretched cracking your back.

“Bullshit, your brother might slit my throat if he caught me here.” Jane

“You know Dickie loves you,” Kaite chuckled. Jane and Dick had fooled around on a trip to the coast. He chaperoned your party to the Sleepwalkers Festival. Jane slipped him some feel goods while you and Ren wanderlusted after Dixie Lox and her entourage. He had fallen into a bad trip after catching the Nightmare Fever light show. You were backstage with your boyfriend while Ren ran her tongue in your ear. Dick was found floundering in a sand trap a few miles away, but the healing hands of nurse Jane Bangs brought him back around to better feelings. It was still unclear to you as the circumstances that landed her on that path but you wouldn’t pry after the initial shock.

You dressed quickly, black jeans, button up shirt, sneakers and undershirt, butch in shades of grey, Jane and Kaite idling in the car when your sister returned.

“You wanna hear a story?” You were busy brushing your teeth, the reflection of JK standing in the doorway, cottage cheese in small dish salt and pepper specked and topped with toasted muffin held aloft in upturned wrist, bottle of tequila hanging down by her opposite side.

“Rain check Jenny,” You spit a mouthful of foam into the circling water around the drain. “You can have that,” pointing at the black and white bowl of curds that you asked for.

“Why do I even bother with you,” she didn’t budge from her post in your doorway. She sounded sad, the usual vinegar stripped from her tone.

“Are you pregnant?” You twisted your face at those words; you turned your head to actually catch this reaction first hand.

“GOD!” She hurled the dish out the door, however angry she was she kept some wit in her not to toss the cheesy mass all over your carpet.

“WHAT Jenny Kriss!? What is so important?” You met her at the door, your backpack already filled, explosives, binoculars, and a few knockouts; Jane and Kaite loaded the gun case in the back of Jane’s Jeep. You waited next to her. She avoided looking you in the eye. “Jay? I said rain check. I’ll be back eventually, don’t f**k around with that trunk.” You kissed your sister on the cheek, she huffed a bit, and eased out of the hard face she put on for the past 5 minutes.

“Fine.” She turned with you strolling out the door; you put your hand around her waist walking her into the house, a pat on the butt sending her through the door.

“You should smile more,” you shouted after her as you walked around to the front of the house. The fog was thick cupping your view inside of a grey depth. You caught the sound of footsteps, electricity in the air around you. Your hair stood on end as you made it out onto the gravel of the front garden. You caught a set of white tails circling outside of your field of vision, their steps scattering once you made it to the drive way.

You would convoy to the prison, J and K riding in their cars while you foreran on your cycle. You mounted the black and gold bullet and pulled past a cherry red convertible, someone had a guest, the slight memory of the same car when you got in last night. You kept on your kitty gloves, black on black tiger striped helmet with the spectrum separating goggles on over your eyes. The fog disappeared in front of your lenses and you pulled to the lead place in the pack.

Orial was into the true desert past Zero Ridge into the sand hills that led into the sea. The golden ocean broke; seismic activity shattered this region into dust and breakers between the worlds of water and new blue. You were on open road heading southbound, the jets of heavy metal machines streamed ahead of you in lines of grey. There was a quiet in this world, close to your own but scarcely populated. Was it the speed of some other specification that striped and left the glowing lights of passing cars empty of drivers? You couldn’t recreate the life with these goggles strapped to your face in any of the experiments you tried and you were too afraid to smash the dream to pieces in a hope of reversing the production. You moved between traffic, your motorbike’s black metal tracing the lines between hulking southbound travelers, Kaite and Jane’s cars kept pace cutting in and out of the spaces between. You edged out the rung of commuters into open space, no vehicles ahead of you, you could open up the engine until the next wave hit. You checked your mirrors for the come up of the rest of the gang. Tearing out of the layer of headlights and grills, Kaite was spit out onto the rolling concrete, Jane coming through in close second. Kaite overtook you in a blue streak dashing over the pavement. Her engine howled with the rush of air sucking into its system. You burned to catch up, your two wheels devouring the asphalt. Ahead of you, Neptune’s glowing grin bled, Kaite’s face being pulled from the other side, teeth budding exposing skylight flesh breaking over the bridge of her nose, down an invisible chin and covering forehead. Her hair exploded from the slick globe, cerulean waves cascaded into the backseat, powdery bursts shooting into the sky thrown off from the budding flower. Tires screeched behind you, Jane on two wheels in hot pursuit to catch the molting. You missed the graze of her bumper. You caught the eruption of static from the open top of the jeep. It burned your eyes, you swerved wildly, helmet tossed from your head, the goggles were sent bouncing back into the oncoming cars. The fog was gone, clear road; you recovered from the nearness of flesh spread over highway and burned rubber to your destination.

Camp Orial was the original facility for the research and development of Blue Lite technology. Sizeable contributions from Our Lady University coming out of his undergraduate studies spoke of an all new energy, clean and safe, affordability on par with current systems, nothing comes cheap as is, and to be realistic after a few years of recalibration, lawsuits via disaster, and the obvious restructuring of current system, the want to play nice with the present company before becoming the norm, Jason Ashby was set to revolutionize the way we moved. First came the posts. In a sea of ever pivoting sand, some kind of foundation had to be struck for this place to not be swallowed. Kilometers of super conductive piping ran into the silicon dunes as anthills do. Towering up out the ground came the cells. They grew in fungal clumps, central spore spread out its arms moving in and out of the earth. The final stage was the massive sandcastle amoeba. Your father flipped the switch on the project, electrifying the monster and superheating the conductive material. It was glass blowing on a critical scale. The lightshow was enough to warrant a nickname, they dubbed him, “Kid Lectric” in the interviews. They didn’t do their homework. Extensive mining operations failed to bud anything inside of the range of workable elements for years, there were a few hits off radar, veins of precious metals in year one that helped finance his other projects and kept the staff happy and healthy. He was a wizard when it came to managing the earth’s assets. After the first finds offers came to buy out the development from the Nigerian government but talks fell through. Jason wanted something they couldn’t offer, you never found out what it was exactly but they understood what the next find would be. After tapping into his first fruitless vein, he severed ties with Our Lady. His nerves were shot. In the lost time, your father didn’t see sunlight for three years. He told you it was a kind of self imposed sanction. “The OL ban on genetic manipulation made it that much easier,” he joked with you,
the ban only applied to those not playing ball, of course. On the sixth year, the first above ground it came to him, the reaction was violent, he was hospitalized for a summer, cobalt poisoning, it ran through his system, the metal leaked from his pores, in all respects he should have been dead after the first week, but your dad was a resilient one. He moved off site and when the fall came so did the proposal. Blue Lite was born. Our Lady University maintained the rights to the Orial complex but it was mute without Kid Lectric. It was converted into a research and development center for the competition, then hospital, now detention and rehabilitation center, Jason’s life breath sucking dry and filling the compound in each respiration.

Walking through the glass doors of the prison you were met with a chilling air conditioned breeze. It was an ice cube sitting in a sea of sand. The facetted ceiling kept it well lit while white light reflected most of the heat away from the building. The waiting room was filled with patrons filling out paperwork for admittance into the other side. You walked to the reception area, Jane and Kaite at your flanks. No one was behind the thick glass window for reception. A screen built into the wall gave out instructions for visitation. You took a clipboard and sat among the line of waiters.

“We could have blown up a wall and gotten in faster than this, I f*****g hate paperwork,” Jane fondled through her purse for a pen.

“Still an option, we’ve got the goods in the car,” Kaite whispered.

“F**k, it’s not gonna take that long.” You passed out ink to your friends. Is this your first visit to Orial? Yes. Are you admitting a patient or yourself? No. Are you visiting a friend or family member? You sped through the questionnaire. Line through the signature slot, a small round black man appeared behind the reception desk. You hurried over with your forms in hand, audible sighs as you arrived before others noticed the opening, their heads lowering back to the entry material. “Hi, I’m here to see Ren Von Yoshida.”

“You don’t need to bat your eyes at me Barty, we’ve been waiting on your a*s all morning. Ya’ll just took your sweet ole time getting out here, right?”

It was a bit of a shock, you giggled a bit nervous, “Yeah, I mean I woke up a little later than expected, but hey I’m here.”

“Mmhm, and who are they?” He gestured to Jane and Kaite.

“Those are my friends. That’s Kaite and that’s Jane,” You waved them over.

“We’re with the Band,” Jane lowered her glasses and winked.

“Yeah, well remember to give the drummer some. Here are your badges.” A slot in the wall spit out three sewn patches, Hi my name is Barty, I am a visitor here. “Tell Ren, P. Green Eyes says what’s up and she’s gotta come to the Lil Ed show, I can get her on the guest list, ya’ll too.”

“Yeah I’ll tell her.”

“Take it easy now.” He buzzed you through the first lock onto the grounds. The backside of the receiving area was a birdcage, the vaulted ceiling lined with reinforcing bars and spotlights. The staff piped in high fidelity slow motion electronica. The sounds were hypnotizing synths wrapping over themselves in rounds every few seconds. This must have been for the heavily medicated members of the prison population, deemed non‐violent offenders, they were allowed to wander freely. Approaching your party in vertical stripped button up shirt and tie, pressed slacks, and spit shined shoes, a man mid fifties and as low as early forties, bald, mustached, dark and handsome. A young white man, tan skin, and bleached blonde hair, full suit hustled to his side, presenting paperwork to be reviewed. You studied the interaction. The pair paused for the brief exchange. The heat never rose. The older man smiled slapping the younger on the back almost knocking him over. The younger man jabbed back at the others waist. He presented his chest as the surface for the paperwork to be signed on. The older looped a large forearm over the younger’s shoulder and pulled him along, both of them still joking as they arrived in front of you.

“Barty Ashby, and you must be Jane Bangs and Kaite Abe. Ren has said so much about you, I’m Timur Noli. I’m the chief officer of Camp Orial, welcome.” He extended his hand for a shake, you slapped him a low five. He laughed it off. “Its nice to see you care so much about your friend to come down in person and clear her name, she has been a colorful presence in her short time here, we’ve had some really good talks.”

“And who is he?” Jane fingered the young man.

“James Jordan of Jordan Consulting and Production. Nice to meet you.” He leaned out from behind Timur waving. He was ghostly thin up close, his eyes and cheekbones sunken into his skull; his tan was definitely a spray on.

“So, if you follow me I’ll take you to our friend.” Timur, clearly amused with your reaction to James’s face. He led you across the showroom floor. The men and women mixed around low square tables. The casual uniforms, ugly eye stabbing orange jumpsuit with matching tennis shoes. “We run a pretty laxed show around here but prison orange is a classic.” Timur droned on about security protocol, laughing periodically, he made jokes to himself and Jim, your disinterest in the workings of their system palpable, you caught what you assumed was a dirty look from the deformed face of James Jordan. Jane and Kaite were repeatedly told to stop straying from the group, a boy, maybe 17, curly brown hair had latched onto the party staying a few feet behind. Kaite blew kissy faces at him trying to draw him closer to the bunch before navy suited guards shuffled him away back into the general population.

You entered a long white hall with a mural painted the length of the room, a lake scene. Reflective material crafted the glimmering water under lily pads, bullfrogs swelling and diving beneath the watery fronds playing games, dragonflies darting over the scape. Ren sat cuffed to the far table, her binding not preventing a casual hand wave at wrist level, a squad of guards sat on her sides, two of JCP suits sat closest to her.

“What? You’re two high falooting to give your girlfriend a hug?”

You joked taking a seat across from your hapless friend. You leaned across the table and kissed her on the forehead.”

“I’ll have to insist you don’t touch the prisoner.” Timur piped up from his place at the table.

“Well aren’t you just the big dick Timmy,” you shot him a look of dismissal.

“I enjoy the flattery but that’s beside the point, we can pick that up after the paperwork is completed.” You laughed obviously too loudly, stripping the pleasantry from the joke. James Jordan cleared his throat.

“Ms. Yoshida, these gentlemen are Steven and Stephan Anthony. They negotiated the DeeMc contract and are here to hopefully help negotiate your deal with Jordan Consulting and Production. As your representative, Barty Ashby, is finally present, I believe we can get this deal underway.”

“I f*****g told you I’m not doing a show with you,” Ren. “Barty I’m really sorry about this.”

“Are you serious? I always wanted to be an agent,” you laughed it off.

”Now, Ren, in your assistance of DeeMc, you’ve, however willingly you see it, have seized control of the public conscience with your antics,” Steven Anthony.

“If you look at our spreadsheets here, you’ll see that your one episode of D‐Day, absolutely crushed the records for most viewers tuning in over a 15 minute period for the month of April.” Stephan

“We’re speculating that your presence will create a star rivaling your costar, who has been predisposed to shedding large amounts of viewers every quarter hour entertainment cast.” Steven

“And with her recent disappearance inside of Orial, we are poised to cancel her contract entirely and, we think you would be the an excellent edition to the JCP team.” Stephan

“So what was DeeMc like? I always thought she would be a spaced out little c**t.” Jane

“Pretty much, but she said some really insightful things, this is in the depth of melancholy and poisoning and whatever. She wasn’t terrible, a little YDMMC but at least she knew it.” Ren

“Not terrible, she flipped an SUV on a group of middle schoolers.” Stephen

“They did have guns.” Jane

“She did have a system full of dart frog powder so I can’t blame her. If you snort enough you could chew your neck off.” Kaite

“That’s impossible.” Steven

“I know right,” Kaite winked throwing her hair back.

“Just give her the release paperwork, I’m sick of this.” Jane

“Point is, we don’t have Dorece any longer and you have seized the radar at full beeps. Timur has assured us that you will be well guarded while you serve the sentence that a conviction for conspiracy charges on the count of the kidnapping of Bartiland Ashby. All your normal amenities would be provided, of course its not the home you’re used to, but it will be the closest thing to home we can grant you. Research shows that this conviction will really boost your credibility among the target audience for this time slot. You’ve got the edge of a Dixie Lox right now, vicious but without a bit of the uncertain stare as to what your place is and how to expand. We see you as, from your performance with DeeMc, having a bit more of the charm that made her such a show stealer when she first came onto the scene. There is nowhere you can go from here but up. We are confident that you will be the biggest cross cultural, cross genre, trans media juggernaut since The Mary.” Your attention waned almost from the outset of the conversation, wandering over the mural on the wall. The more you watched the further you were driven into the lapping waves breaking over the backs of silently swimming goldfish. The Mary died in a houseboat fire. Rumor has it that someone on her cooking staff set it. He was arrested and never heard from again. They held floating memorials for her in the middle of the Indian Ocean where her boat sank. She was your first celebrity crush. In an interview it was said that, “She was the first of her type to evolve out of the slop of stardom,” She was on her ninth incarnation by the time you stumbled onto a cache of external hard drives and got you’re first taste. The sound drove you ga ga, if there were a two word epithet that could actually put pins into your first eargasm. You didn’t hold any torches for the dead and once you got it across that she was quite the c**t with a mouth full of diamonds it was nice to have that cherry popped and done with.

“I’m not pressing charges on my friend, or client, Estebans. Rules for release, if I’m here then she’s not in here. I bet that self‐defense thing is a m**********r isn’t it, James? I know Ren is very sorry for injuring your staff and the other guards Timur, but she was acting under the impression that her life was in immediate danger, which from what I’ve gathered from your rave reviews, is most certainly the case.”

“We don’t have anything to hold her on, but consider the possibilities.” Timur piped up. “ This is the type of thing that will spell nothing but the best for our parties. Barty, you’re already the sweetheart, don’t let that hold your friend here back. We’ll make sure everything is erased from the records except the right information to make her look legitimate. After that it’s cake and ice cream. I’ll put my best guards on you, and from the looks of it, you’ll be spending a lot of time in Seven Star Lock Up, wink wink.”

“Get me the hell out of here, I’m spent on this donkey show.” She sighed behind folded arms. “Chop chop m**********r, unless you wanna end up like Bernal General. I guarantee the state would love to take this little piece of heaven over because of oversight.” There was a hush on the side of the staff and security. You knew there was a slip, a whisper of something that no one would dare speak, you wondered how much does it cost to make a girl like that disappear having just pulled your own magic act, and with lights, camera, and action.

“You heard our client,” Jane slammed her fist on the table.

“Yeah!“ Kaite mimicking. You joined in drumming the table with your fists on the brushed titanium white tables. The group beat reverberating through the empty conference room, the suits sat in hushed silence not knowing exactly how to react to the display. You pounded harder, the table visibly shaking under the group blows, the men at the table whispered what would be the next course of action.

“Men don’t keep secrets, you f*****s.” You and the furies stopped the rumble and bared your teeth.

“F**k, I never thought they would ever let me out of there until I heard your little broadcast,” Ren shoveled sand from a rocky crevice about two hours past her prison. There were a few communes set up out here. You didn’t consider this as part of the outlands, just dead space buffering the sand from the beach and the salt of the flats. Compounds of crazies littering the landscape said otherwise. Everyone was talking apocalypse every other week since 2012. Spikes in suicide cults rose sharply in 2013. Places like these still existed through out the sands, crafted drift wood bodegas half covered, billowing big top tents bought in the wave left blowing in the wind, their covers bleached out by sunlight still staked to the ground by the bits of magic that gave them their first life. The hardest hearts carved straight into the stone. Manifestos littered the sheer faces of monoliths jutting up from the sand. Temples to the end times weathered into the caves that snaked underneath the landscape, open pits leading into the bedrock. The three of you stood at the mouth one of the hallowed spaces while Ren planted a set of plastiques. “It wasn’t horrible but I would have definitely been cashed out by the time they got word to the rest of the Yoshida Clan. If they have anything together in that nut house, its f*****g air tight, I don’t know what made DeeMc think she could get out, but hey she made it work for her. I’m certain Timur and JJ are f*****g. He was so pissed when the cameras blacked out and she was gone. I heard his voice, Barty, and then Dorece was gone. The whole thing sobered me up really quick, they stuck me in a little white room but I could feel what was going on outside of the walls. I think I’m a tuning fork now, ya know what I mean? Hell I don’t know what I mean exactly, but I like this.” Light beamed through the orifice, Ren walked back up to you to watch the fireworks. She stood fingers crossed over her stomach. Her black hair bore a glistening streak of white over her ear; you wondered if she had notice the patch or if this was a new edition. She smoothed the line into the rest of her hair. You handed over the remote detonator. “Earplugs.” You dawned headphones to cancel out the din of falling rocks and expanding air currents. You gave the international signal that you were good to get this thing going. She didn’t look at you, extending her hand towards the bomb. The blast turned the room into a whistle, bellowing low notes out of the mouth over you. The side of the cavern closed in with dark blocks spilling over the floor. The fissures split through to the ceiling; a cascade of sand ran in from the widening hole. The dust blew down into the recessed cavern, wind breathing in and out the gold droplets until gravity stopped working on the slope outside of the hole. The air settled. You removed your earmuffs and listened to the breeze move out of the pitfall.

“How many bites did you take out of the bar?” You exited the mouth of the cave, the sun bright in the sky, you dawned your sunglasses.

“Just two squares, not even the size of those d cells used to fire them.” Ren

“That’s a hell of a blow job,” Jane reaching out of the shaft for a helping hand. At ground level you couldn’t make out the splintered earth, everything remained as granular as ever.

“I stuck them in a crack. The most bang for your buck, ya know.” She tossed a handful of sand into the air and let it sprinkle down.

“Let me do the next one.” Kaite aimed her rifle out over the dunes, her eye glued to the scope she tracked something gliding high on the breeze. You examined her stance. Legs set at shoulder width, she was barefoot, her toes balancing on top of the sheets of sand, pale green toenail polish, they were tiny cacti budding. Her skin the color of diluted amber, she was darker than Ren now, white wine to the color of heavy champagne and a drop of honey. Her breath slow in and out honing in on a pattern you failed to catch. The relaxed heaves broke by a quick trigger pull that jolted through her shoulders, spread out over her chest and dissipated into the ground. “Hit”

Jane’s jeep donutted across the sand throwing plumes of dust up into the wind. The tires made big loops, this was a skill, she stunted till near tipping point over the dunes jerking you and the girls back and forth. You threw your hands in the air in ecstasy, the giggles rushing out of your mouth with the humps on the earth. She tore valleys into the ground the deep v’s refilling after the weight was removed at top speed rolling along as fast as her wheels allowed. The suns heat didn’t sink in like it used to, your bones remained cool in the brightness, no sweat dripping down your brow or between your breasts. It was a midnight sun in the sky burning light, shadows dancing fast beneath its glow, hair whipping wild in the draft. The current ran high, you tuned out the hum of the engine, the revolutions per minute of the electric motor indistinguishable from the air, your friend’s laughs mute, you saw masses of black, brown, and strawberry blonde smiles, their eyes blackened out behind sunglass lenses. Jane pulled full metal towards a new set of rocks on the horizon, you focused on the pebbles attraction to your glasses.

Jane and Kate lived in a sprawling snow white style cottage blown up to monster proportions, oversized wooden mushroom tops crashed into each other sloping down into the earth and wrapping back around the property line. The house was a bit out of place amid the post‐modern stucco clad ranch style houses that lined the lanes of Nosfarlun. After high school Jane’s father, the architect, built the pair their home away from home. Her mother kept a staff of botanists employed for the facilities, the first thing these girls would let go was their gardens and in a desert the salt would suck the life from cacti overnight. This oasis was Nodding land, bobble headed figurines in highway gift shops between diners on your way to the next city, state, the Endsville encircling this hamlet spreading out of control. You sat in basement, windows cut into the walls above sky lighting the marble flat. It was cooler down here, the west wall opening up to koi pond and swing set, a fairy land topiary garden in the backyard, at first inspection one would expect the tiny painted gnome figurines to be playing hide and go get it with pixie folk. Kaite and Ren were outside sunning themselves and probably fast asleep by now, the shadows of towering trees passed over their two bodies lying motionless in the grass. Jane lay sprawled belly down across the chaise lounge opposite you. She had an eye trained on the wall‐mounted television behind cascading sheets of peach hair. She paused the film playing and flipped over onto her back.

“Barty, am I a good person?” Her disembodied voice crept over the table. This was soft speech right above whisper, Jane never asked things like this. “I’m asking because I know you’re probably the best judge. Why are you keeping me around, it’s not like I have anything special, you hold all the cards right? I’m just a f**k up. I couldn’t even get out of a traffic ticket. I was born with this privilege, it’s not like I’ve really worked a day in my life at anything, at least nothing past the surface work. I don’t do theory, and I’m a f*****g nervous wreck most of the time. Neurotic that’s the word; I’m surprised I don’t s**t down my leg just sitting here. That’s the other thing. I’m surprised a lot. I’m f*****g scared Barty.” She wasn’t wavering in her delivery, but she was ever mousy, in the silent room your ears were careful to catch every word.

“Janie, you’re a great person, you’re f*****g Mother Teresa,” you moved to sit next to your friend; she squirmed to get out of your way. You sat where her waist was; she rolled onto her side so not to face you. “Don’t be embarrassed it’s the f*****g truth.”

“I’m not embarrassed, I just don’t believe you. You’re unavailable. You are privileged information. Everything in your head is already there, I’m just a reaction.”

“Jane believe me, you’re the E to my D.” You laid down in spoons with her and wrapped your arms around her waist. You smoothed the hair away from her eyes; the moisture from tears dampened it to a light mat. Jane was generic gorgeous, just like all the other girls. She was above average height and under weight proportionate, an all American minus the filter that made her that much more fun than the doe eyed dears in headlights. Her eyes were sleepy and hazel, and thin lips cased in a sneering smile.

“Don’t say that,” she met you belly to belly. She broke away from your look, bringing her knees up in between you, your a*s hanging off the edge of the chaise. “Sofa King, why are we doing this? It didn’t feel bad at all, killing. It’s different now right? We’re prey. ”

“We’re competition, we were already prey. Well not prey, more like aliens, kind of inedible, but that doesn’t stop someone that would eat stones.”

“What’s good for the goose is gonna f**k them up.” Jane

“Just like foie gras. Move your f*****g legs, you’re hurting my guts, baby.” She wrapped them around your waist pulling you back from the edge. “They’re fat and angry.”

“Bulls on parade. I’m positive there’s someone tailing me, at my meeting some jolly jack f****r kept trying to get me to go home with him. God, no means no. I was getting rear windowed with flashing lights, but I ditched them or at least I thought I did by the train station.”

“You like my shell toes. I’ll make sure you’re stocked next time. We’ve got to go on a fishing trip.”

“No s**t, Kate hasn’t left the house since you went poof and Ren got cuffed.” Jane

“I’ll talk to Casper when I get back to the house.”
“The friendly ghost has been really friendly recently.” Jane

“Everyone knows you don’t get a soul until you’re 27. She’s a femme fatale already. Even if I didn’t ask her she would have been all over it like coke and mirrors.”

“Speaking of which, be nice to Jenny, she was the first one to call me when you were gone so long. She is a little stiff but she’s sensitive.” Jane

“And lazy, but noted.”

“I’m lazy” Jane

“I know honey, you’re good at what you do too just like her. I can’t get close to her right now though. I know she’ll slip me something when I need it. We’ve got to keep up appearances since it’s all eyes on we.” You maneuvered around till you faced outward on the chaise seizing the remote; you flipped to the satellite station, entertainment news. The ticker at the bottom of the screen rolling by headlines.

“You always pick the most vapid s**t to watch,” Jane wrestled the remote from your hand, she clicked through to the guide, locking the e ticker in the crawl space.

“Thanks, I mean I’m not judging your entertainment choice so don’t rain on my parade.” You draped your head with her reddish blonde hair playing peek a boo with the screen. She locked in on God the Devil and Dyonaisis: Gluttons and the Guiding Light.

“It’s history and science, Barty. This is an important case study on the psychological make up of this specific group of sufferers. Knowledge is power, Bity.”

“You know, referring to them as suffers and spouting out buzz words doesn’t make you more convincing, at least my exploitative voyeurism isn’t billed as anything but.”

“Yeah, well... shut up these fat f***s are eating cake. That’s disgusting. Wait is that custard? I guess you can put custard on anything.”

“What else is on?” you rolled your face into her chest faking snores at the elephant show on TV.

“Stop motor boating me.” She dropped the remote on your head and dug herself out of your arms. “I’m making soup and sandwiches. Should we let the dumplings bake?” She stood at the end of the lounge watching Kaite and Ren fast asleep under the leaves.

“Yeah the sun is past them, they can sleep a little while longer.” She saluted you and took her leave up the stairs. You took the remote and tuned over to the Oceans Network. You watched schools of bioluminescent creatures rise from the depths. The narrators voice a preached the revival of life in these deep‐water trenches. Primordial seas had returned, dumping and changes to the seas currents bread monsters of all sorts. A massive jellyfish drifting by on the screen, its tentacles a glowing trail disappearing into the ink. The earth was a strange place again in the ever‐shrinking universe. The scrolling text caught your attention; an aging stage actor’s speech on the anniversary of the riots surrounding piracy hearings in the Morocco sparked more rioting. He was a notorious a*****e so the fire starting was expected. Waves of discontent were larger than expected. You flipped the channel. It was full‐scale revolution in the streets; the demonstration was in swing and live. Through the streets of a coastal capitol town a bobbing camera captured cars being burned in the darkness. The actor’s head staked and paraded to the ocean in a procession of death silence all the faces uncovered. You wondered how long it would be till it would be quelled. The night vision made the scene demonic, eyes and teeth hyper luminescent as explosions racked the streets. The cliffs above the sea were bright with flare lights and bombed out shells of warships repurposed into reefs. A lavender glow haloed around the moving bodies into deepest crimson in the negative spaces. No reporters were harmed in the filming of this segment, you couldn’t help but smile. The only coupes that happen in the shadows are business backed. Televised revolutions may be faceless but never nameless. To steal a society and brainwash it. The ones pulling back the curtain wanted return on their investments, you thought, if you pay for the bath water it is your pleasure to watch them drink the kool aid. Nothing around here happened in a vacuum. You weren’t sealed in your coffin and you left the boys hanging, on their parent’s doorstop no less. You bit the bullet but didn’t die, nothing burned, and if you didn’t start the fire then but maybe you could spark the fuse. You killed the three b*****d sons of the Blue Lite Contract Group, it only makes sense they would want the maiden of the head and why not a scorched earth policy for placating the watchers, only this time Cinderella was wise up to the wants. What you needed was already in your backyard and it was all too clear on this wasteland. They had their guns drawn but your finger was already fondling the trigger, next step, take their cookies.

You woke up the sleeping beauties; soup was on, chowder and cheese sandwiches. You ate in the grass picnic style, Jane spread out a checkerboard pattern blanket next to the pond, a slow breeze bending the leaves over you, the sun had passed the high noon mark shadows dominating the landscape. The ponds fish nibbled your feet, it tickled at first, you squirmed your toes against mossy stones before easing and letting nature take its course. The water was cold against your skin, the breaking backs of large spotted koi dipped in and out on the water gulping at the dancing insects as you spooned down soup. Damselflies played the pixie around your cups coming to rest on the rims and straws sticking out of wooden cylinders, margaritas. You tossed sacrificed bits of your crusts into the water and watched them devoured by hungry bubble eyed swimmers.

“Sleep over tonight?” Ren huffed out between the action, her and Jane rolling around in the grass; Kaite kept track of the pins. You speared her from the side tumbling end over end sliding across the blanket. You ended up on top, pulling your arm loose and into Kaite’s guard, you pinned her and slapped the ground.

“Not tonight, I’ve got to go home,” you were folded over by Jane. She laid you flat, arms akimbo. You slid your legs wide like a starfish, and before you could slip your arms out of her grip, she took your right. You braced yourself, powered through with your legs flipping over onto her back, your a*s slamming into the ground. She slid out of the way before you landed on top. Kaite had her by the ankles pulling her through you and pinning her, knees up to her shoulders.

“Take me home.” Ren stuck you behind the ear, you spent in slow motion, equilibrium blown, her voice distorted and you were nailed to the ground. Her hand coming down fast, you caught it in high five on the ground.

“Time.” You bucked her with your hips; she folded her legs under you in bottle opener fashion. She stood up dropping you on the ground, now arm out, you took her hand while she heaved you up to your feet. “Hey girls, may I ask you a question?”

“Yes.”

“You ever thought of living for this?”


© 2013 CharlyeMonroe


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Added on January 16, 2013
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Author

CharlyeMonroe
CharlyeMonroe

San Francisco, CA



About
Writer/Artist/M**********r I'm from America, all of it. Monotheist, believer in the one true G-D Every poem is a love poem. more..

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