A Chapter by CharlyeMonroe

It was 7:30 when you dropped off Ren at her home in Los Los.

It was 7:30 when you dropped off Ren at her home in Los Los. Mr. Von Yoshida tipped you for springing his daughter in his absence via phone exchanging account information. He promised to reward you regardless of the obligation. He asked to speak to his daughter again. You swirled a glass of whisky and caught the building shouting match. Ren’s living room was unlived in, her mother passed five years ago, then was found living two years ago with a lover and a new hair color in Europe, she agreed to come home only if she could come with her, Ren’s father was progressive, he would have taken her back even if her mother hadn’t been a lesbian. The trio was away in South America. You didn’t know what Ren’s dad did, only that it left her latchkey since elementary school; you took her home then too. She mimed her barking father with her hands pacing the room. She would yell back and then cover the receiver to hide her laughter. They kissed and made up as was the usual course of things. She threw herself onto an ornately upholstered sofa. She opened a cigar box on the table and extracted one of the large hand rolled cigars, little green leaves packed the front of the blunt, she sparked the table lighter and toasted the end, the flame sent up a stream of pale blue smoke. She drew in a lung full and passed the smoke to you.

“Are you serious about killing all of them?” Ren coughed out her words, “Damn, that’s the good weed.” You took a toke.

“As many as I can get to.” You spoke through the fog, “Total war, this s**t is unforgiven.”

“Alright, pussycat.” Ash dropped onto her shirt, she smudged it into the fabric. “If it’s not Christmas, it’s April.”

You pulled into the driveway on your motorcycle, Boo, Jenny Kryss, and Richard sat in grass semicircular around a telescope rig, the picture ran through lens mounted camera into the rectangular touch screen tablet in the middle of them. Statistics ran along the right side of the panel, Jenny mixed sound into the image from her telephone while Richard punched in coordinates from a projected keyboard. The Ashby children were avid stargazers producing a celestial charting website. Boo rolled around in the grass with Oreo and Wafer, growling at the dogs and opening and closing the jaws of the beasts to her amusement.

“Barty, he’s killing me!” she feigned death, Oreo’s jaws pried open around her throat, he dropped his large slobbering tongue onto her face and sprawled out over her, Wafer nipping at her ears. “Ahhh, he really is killing me now. Silly puppy.”

“Where have you been all day, Simpson?” Richard, “I’ve got a job for you.” He waved you over to the screen. You walked over next to him and remained standing running your fingers through his hair.

“You gonna suck my dick?” He swung to hit you but you turned and he struck your hip recoiling back from the strike grabbing his hand, it stung, bone on bone contact. You sat down outside of his reach. “What’s up Dick?” you rubbed the pain out of your hip, Boo and Wafer pawed at your back.

“You’re on narration tonight. Don’t be so stoned or weird,” Richard. You smelled your shirt, there was still a light pot smell coming from it. He lit a cigarette and handed it to you.

“I’m drunk, Jenny act like me.” You kissed your littlest sister on the cheek; she made kissy noises on the side of your face.

“F**k you, I’m DJing.” Jenny was locked into her palm.

“Girl stop, you ain’t no DJ, you just make f*****g mix tapes.” Boo tossed a chew toy at Jenny’s head, she knocked it out of the air.

“And your not Dutch, you just like to stick your fingers in dikes.” JK

“Stop bickering, damnit, we should have been done with this a half hour ago.” Richard

“Oh you know you waited for me to really get going brother bear. Pass me the mic so I can rip this s**t.” You blew smoke rings around the moon. Boo walked around on hands and knees stalking Oreo, sharpening her claws on his underbelly.

“The Universe doesn’t move at your whim obviously, little sister. There are three events happening tonight, you’re just the voice. Boo and myself could have had the whole thing taken care of without you here.” Richard

“Because you can’t memorize a star map.”

“Anyway, we don’t pass through the debris field for another 10 minutes, and yes, Boo set up the rig and dolled out the coordinates since you weren’t here, so yes my failings as an astronomer are few but I’m an excellent big brother, right Boo.” Richard took a sip from the flask in his lap, the clearness in his voice finally apparent he was drunk, the tell tale over enunciation and stresses. “Goddamn it.”

“Dickie it’s okay I’m better than you at stars, I’m better than Barty too.” She did a flip up into handstand and paraded around, panties exposed and her shirt riding up around her chest catching on her n*****s. She tumbled down, then up again, tucking down into a ball and rolling around the yard before springing up the bottom of her shirt tucked into the leg holes on her underwear. “I’m a romper stomper,” she danced around to an unheard beat in her billowing nightshirt. You just noticed the three white hounds watching the proceedings from the edge of the walkway, their gaze disapproving of your giant lap dog, they must have perceived a despondency in Oreo at his reluctance to pin and impose himself on the skeletal girl.

“Looks like someone’s a little toasty.” Jenny Kriss ported her playlist onto the tablet. Track one, she remixed Round About Midnight, scratches and tone shifts phased in and out, she watched you, intently trained on your head nod. She hiccupped, “So...”

“So what?” you feigned ignorance.

“What do you think, c**t?” She hissed at you, you laughed off her ill will.

“It’s good Kryssie,” you kicked her to stop the attitude. “You’re drunk too, I don’t know why you can’t be more fun. We haven’t been together like this since those summer vacations.” You tapped the microphone readying your monologue.

“You and that little demon stripped me and left me in the ocean naked.” Jenny took a shot directly from the bottle of tequila she took earlier in the day. “Damn has it really been that long?”

“Memories,” Richard whistled to his pack, the dogs trotted over in a line stopping on the side of their master. “Lay,” they positioned themselves behind his back in a u shape. Richard reclined into the furry lumps. “We used to get fucked up, it was great.”

“We still get fucked up, respectively,” Jenny.

“So what were you going to tell me this morning?” You put out your cigarette

Jenny laughed to herself a little and took another shot. “Boo Berry has been spending a lot of time with those Sonnison girls, if you catch my drift.” She shot you a peace sign. “And by peace I mean vagina.” She smiled wide and burst into laughter. It took a second this to sink in. The girls where sophomores in college, it was off putting to think your sister on a spit between the two of the. You shook your head to break that train of thought from its tracks but the image was stuck fast.

“So that’s what the fire women were doing here. I caught one in the kitchen naked, Boo has good taste, pardon the pun.” Richard

“This is just so wrong,” you tracked your nymph sister skipping back towards the group.

“What, you’re not going to love your sister anymore because she’s a lesbian, how unprogressive of you.” Richard laughed making the dogs squeak.

“Shut up Dick, you know Boo isn’t a lesbian.” Your sister’s sexual liberation wasn’t as interesting to you as what she was fingering out of their brains. For all her spriteliness, you knew your sister was a class above in capacity. You would have to talk to her in private for the real details, but at the moment you would let your other siblings pry into her love life.

“Boo, are you into thighs and v?” Jenny was pointed in her question, attempting to catch Boo off guard with a sucker punch.

“You mean Maggie and Maddy?” Boo pulled her hair up onto her head and let it tumble down, “I’ve got pictures of them playing the crying game, guess who tucks,”

“What? Tuck?” JK. “You tuck,” Boo.

“Its okay if you’re queer, Boo, you don’t have to be so defensive.” Richard hiccupped playing the good cop.

“Don’t respond.” You winked certain it wasn’t seen by anyone in the conversation.

“Maddy said you two fucked in the kitchen.” She fired back. “And in my room later that night.” Richard

“That was Margie, she said you were better than her boyfriend, rest in pieces, haha” Boo

“Well I guess that counts as a threesome. Point Richard.” Richard “So you’re fine with her sloppy seconds?” Jenny Kryss

“What’s sloppy? She doesn’t have a dick and she has pencil fingers.” Richard

“I’ve got a huge c**k.” Boo

“In your dresser drawer.” JK

“It’s black too.” Boo

“Just the way Barty likes.” Richard

“You know you’ve got a thing for the sistas too, Rich” JK

“You’re f****n right. These white girls are always tryin’ to stick me for my paper.”

“You so gangsta D‐Money.”

“They know how to appreciate me, and they’re loud as f**k when we have sex, none of that demure bullshit, none of the posturing, it’s like the earth is moving.” It had been a while since you heard Richard talk about peaceable relations with anyone; you heard wistful sadness as he took another drink. Was it your own sadness pinging back? You beckoned for a sip and he passed you the flask.

“That’s what he said.” You took your drink and passed back the tin. “You’re empty.”

“Just like you, right little brother?” Richard “Sure thing big sister.”

“As usual I’ll spoil this magic moment of cross gender understanding.” JK burped, one hand covering her mouth, with the other she pointed to the screen. It was the slow unfolding of a dimmer switch. The light of a far distant star in pangs, its emissions on the moons surface ridding it of shadows, the white light ricocheted over icy bits of the universe, a thin curtain between body and celestial being. The planet passed through, shards flickering, the crystallized luminescence streaked down to the earth like splinters into the marble.

You were sitting in the kitchen on an early breakfast late dinner, the tequila kept you well wired through the night till now. You were on the downslide of the drink and now plugged into some self‐pity as was the comedown, you weren’t good with acceptance after the fact. You made a few grilled cheese sandwiches, fat and bread, buttery crunch toasted golden brown, the crumbs stacked onto the plate, you dusted your fingers onto your shirt. The warm gooey cheese was coagulating, your eyes a bit bigger than your tummy, beer goggles and blind ambition, a recall to an earlier time when you would eat as two at this time of the morning. You went to the refrigerator and took out a bottle of mixed fruit cocktail juice. Water running in the kitchen sink, you made a slow look around the door, you left your siblings an hour earlier, Boo in her bedroom while Jenny passed out in the living room where the two of you recorded audio and scrubbed video for the website, Richard was fast asleep on the lawn his sleeping pills finally kicking in. You tried to roll him over to his side before you left, the snarling white teeth hovering around him warned you before you shifted him to a place positive to not let your brother slip into the long kiss goodnight. It was your father. He was washing your frying pan, sleeves rolled, and tie on. He spent his days on the train daily from destination to destination, a slave to his invention. He rode from lecture circuit, to repair stie, to meetings. You never saw him sleep, you never did in the first place, his face still the same as when you were born. The reporters and students were directed to Richard for new steaks in MAG as Jason was now head of the conglomerate and outside of the r and d floor. There was no exclusivity to the technology any more, he saved the system by binding contractors into the machine, every likeness licensed stamped inside of the walls surrounding the labyrinth.

“What are you doing awake Barty?” He was drying the frying pan and making his way over to your sandwich. Before you could answer, “Is there muenster on this?” You closed the fridge and went to the cabinet for a pair of glasses. You took a seat adjacent to your dad setting a glass down in front of him. “That’s just juice right? You know I’ve stopped drinking.”

“Ha, yeah it’s just juice. We were up filming the stars tonight, Dickie is still outside.” You poured a glass.
“Ice please.” Jason
“Sure Dad.” You returned to the fridge to fill the cup.

“So, I heard you were kidnapped, I knew that was false. Did you turn in your paperwork? I don’t want you to end up stuck in this place forever like your brother, I told you since you were a little me you had the most potential I’d ever seen.” You made it back to the table and filled the glass with burgundy liquid.

“That actually did happen, I was on the train.”

“I knew it, a vacation is good for a little while, just keep up with your car. How’s Ren doing? What is she doing next year? I’ve got a job for her if she’s available, she’s a smart girl.”

“She’s well, I think she’ll be in the city next year, something about, um, something in OLU’s offsite program, I don’t know, it’s a jump off I suppose.”

“That’s nice, good to have a fall back plan. Is she still fencing? She was really good.”

“She won Globals the last two years, she’s not eligible anymore though.”

“Guess you’ve gotta stop somewhere.” He drained his glass and filled it again.

“Dad, are you happy?” You never asked this question but it had been bugging you more and more recently.

“You haven’t asked me that in a long time. I’m kind of at an impasse right now. Things are well, actually I can’t remember when things were this stable. Still I’m just glad you kids are competent. I mean Jenny is going to be fine, but you and Boo, amazing really. What’s wrong Barty?”

“Men troubles,” you laughed.

“Menstruation? Because if that’s the case, you can tell me anything, this is important.”

“Ha. No Jason, that’s all well and good”

“What happened to that boyfriend of yours? You seemed to really like him.” He finished your sandwich and stood from the table. Brushing past you he washed and dried his dish before taking a seat on the counter.

“I don’t want to talk about it.” You turned sheepish in a second, unsure how to really launch into that end.

“As long as you’re still friends.” “I don’t know what we are.”

“We are battle scars. This is the final charge. If you’re lucky you’ll have more chances to do the things you love. I only had a few options, you know? I’ve never been military minded so I took this route. Just think if I would have gone the other way. I try not to think about it. Some institutions shouldn’t be mechanized to that point. Freedom is important, but if you see something you like you should make the most of it, it might be gone and then you’ll be left wondering. There are plenty of valleys and even more peaks that you roll through. The idea of a bottomless top is appealing but it’s generally volcanic. Plateaus are useless, but burning up inside of something, falling through the earth, metamorphosis, its how you come back out. Repeating the process, your make up changes but the mass of what you are is always going to be there.”

“Why’d you stop drinking?”

“Funny story actually. I was in the capital and you know after those press conferences they have a cocktail hour. So there was a lobbyist there, I can’t even remember his name now, but we went to school together apparently, I mean I’m still skeptical, but whatever. So we’re drinking and you know how I drink, at this point I realize he’s been trying to slip something into my drink but he’s drunk hammered by now so he keeps fumbling the drop. So I lean into him and whisper some gibberish and he bites. So when he leans forward to reply, I grabbed his jaw and punched him in the face. I dislocated his jaw in my hand. That’s when I decided I need a chaperone.” He showed you the bruises on his knuckles. “Your mother never wants to go out anymore, every once in a while when she’s really excited about something but other than that. What else is there for her to see? All her friends are gone, at least the ones I liked having around. These ones are poison. I digress.”

“You know Ren was in jail.”

“I know, I saw her on D‐Day. I thought it was gonna be a good show, I like DeeMc.” Jason

“I never had you pegged for a Double Takes fan.” You punched him in the arm.

“Daughter, I, am complicated” Jason hopped down from the counter.

“Indeed,” you shook your head.

“I made you right.” He mussed your hair, “I’m heading out to the Lake. You’ve got an appointment with Dr. Proctor at ten. Stay off the train.” He buttoned his cuffs and walked out of the kitchen. You cut off the lights and followed suit. Out of the house and across the lawn, you kicked Richard, the dogs bearing their teeth, you sneered back at them. You kicked him again, this time he rolled.

“Go to bed, Dick.” You waved your dad off into the morning air, his car reversing down the driveway, he flashed his brights, then disappeared through the trees and down the road.

© 2013 CharlyeMonroe

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Added on January 16, 2013
Last Updated on January 16, 2013



San Francisco, CA

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..