Fiction

Soul_crush

“American Football” Part Three

“Players are permitted a limited assortment of weapons, mainly knives and guns, on the field which they are free to use in play action. They can be challenged if their actions result in “illegal killing” after a Referee signals the end of a play. If there is a challenge, the referees will review the play on video monitors and then return with a ruling, often declaring free execution of the player or players challenged.”

WIKI-EXCERPT, AMERICAN FOOTBALL ARTICLE “POSSESSION”

Jordy was face down and laying on her side on the heated soundproofed silicon tile floor. Louis sat cross-legged, wrinkling his wrinkle-free double-breasted three-piece. He was staring at Jordy’s ass as part of her skirt hiked up a bit and allowed moderate peepage. She wasn’t bad. Took care of herself despite never catering to the Plastic Beauty Surgeons.

He started crawling on his knees to where Jordy was laying. He put a comforting hand on the space above her backside.

“Hey,” he whispered.

“Hey,” she came back.

Jordy sat up and brushed her natural black hair back. Louis put an arm around her shoulder.

“You know what I can’t figure?” Jordy asked under a gravelly voice.

“What?”

“You’re not physically attractive to me.”

“Thank you and Blessed Be.”

“I mean…you’re not physically attractive in the traditional sense. In some cultures, you might even be repulsive.”

“I’m no Nick Roman, but I take your point.”

“That’s not fair.”

“I know, but there is one other difference between me and Nick Roman.”

“What’s that?”

He leaned in close and whispered in her ear.

“I still have my head.”

Jordy laughed and then tears came out of her eyes. He brushed one of them away with his thumb.

“You wanna get out of here?” Louis asked.

“You bet,” she said. He took her hand and pulled her to her feet.

#

“Both teams have the option of incorporating heavy artillery during the punt, utilizing Browning M1917 heavy machine guns that are wheeled into place at the start of the punt and used to cut down opposing team members. Often the Wide Receiver on the Defensive Team will be the likely target for extermination. The field will be riddled with gunfire from both teams and the ensuing carnage must not be disturbed until the play is declared finished. Additionally, landmines are randomly placed or strewn all about the field, and only the Referees know their locations.”

WIKI-EXCERPT, AMERICAN FOOTBALL ARTICLE “SPECIAL TEAMS”

They walked, hand-in-hand, along the famed Eastern Canals of New York, watching their glittering reflection dance in the rippling waters. Jordy sensed she never felt so happy to be with somebody who looked at her the way Louis did.

“You’re from Fresno, I take it?”

“I was born and raised in the Reality TV Camps.”

“Test tube?”

“No, I was actually in vitro.”

“Me too.”

“Nigga, you trippin’!”

“No, serious Nigga. I’m not trippin’.”

“That’s almost gnarly.”

“I know.”

“Anyway,” Jordy continued, “we were always in front of the cameras…and we were primped and we were posed. I was a Massacre-Baby.”

“Really? Wow!”

“You bet! Right after all those people got gunned down, I was conceived. I’m told I was named after one of the victims.”

“Jordy?”

“Yes.”

Louis stopped her by a particularly photogenic set of mini-waves crashing against the concrete perimeter guard. He looked into her eyes and she experienced a rush of bliss never before recorded in the prized annals of emotional history.

“I want to be with you.”

“I know. Now?”

“Maybe when the suns go down and there’s nothing but a green moon in the sky and the stars start dancing.”

“When will that be?”

Louis looks at his watch.

“Hmm, probably eight, eight-fifteen? Anyway. We can go out and have dinner. Antler burgers and boogie fries?”

“Lemme think-YES!” Jordy shouted, clapping her hands. “Let’s have one of those real relationships! We can date!”

“Fuck yeah!”

“We can be boyfriend and girlfriend. I’ll be the girlfriend.”

“My plan exactly.”

“There’s only one…minor little glitch.”

“What?”

#

“While in his own end zone, an offensive head carrier is killed, rendered unconscious, or forced out of bounds, loses the head out of bounds, or the offense commits certain fouls in the end zone. This fairly rare occurrence is called a safety. The player in Offense who is responsible for the safety (and has only been injured) is strung upside-down on the foul post and subjected to torture throughout the remainder of the game or until he dies from his injuries.”

WIKI-EXCERPT, AMERICAN FOOTBALL ARTICLE “SAFETYS”

The morning sun tides cast bright torrents that dance lightly on the heads of the clouds, scattering the beams as far as Orion and the formation of those stars twirl in the gaudy reflection. The beams bounce against Louis and Jordy’s heat-treated picture windows. They wake up together, all smiles and pleasant yawns. The unknown Alien voice is heard.

“Camera 2, close-up Jordy’s face – get her smile. Yes! She’s in love and she loves it.”

“Mrs. Holley,” he whispers in her ear.

“Not yet,” she sing-songs.

“I wonder what the cameras are shooting.”

“Hopefully, the sex scene,” Jordy says, turning over to look at the incredibly unattractive love-of-her-life.

“Here we go,” intones the unknown Alien voice. “Pull back a little and go into slow dissolves.”

The unknown Alien clucked his tongue and shook his head. He was frustrated his purple tentacles with individual and unnervingly articulate digits had been tied behind his three backs with Jordy Gee’s Star Contract and Special Privileges Riders. She was given final approval over every image broadcast from the apartment she now shared with Louis Holley. What’s more, Jordy banned any shots that depicted penetration, so the whole thing carried the air of those insipid ancient movies on the old skin channels.

Over a dinner of cracked Mars spider-crab and a pithy assortment of cod liver pate and breadfruit, Louis popped the question with a double banded ring – yellow metal and a sculpted centaur giving the middle finger in the center. Louis commissioned a life-sized sculpture of same carved from genuine (not fake?!) elephant ivory. This was not faux pas – the elephant population (in both African and Indian republics) had surged in the last fifty years, but shipping and duty ran into the hundreds of thousands.

Jordy was understandably moved. Louis Holley was not a wealthy man. He made roughly seven million dollars a year, which translated to a five-thousand square foot apartment in The Obelisk with arrangeable walls (which made the camera operators happy) and a view of the Old City. Jordy’s contract with the four television networks airing her broadcasts allowed dispensation of something in the neighborhood of two-hundred million plus 40% of the salary’s worth in stock options.

The wedding was going to be traditional Shinto, though Holley couldn’t tell anybody what a Shinto was. Jordy’s cameras followed him everywhere he went, and with the start of the next football season imminent, he was busier than usual. Buffalo had been knocked out of the playoffs two games later when the I-Formation was cut down by suppressing fire on the 20-yard line and the Detroit Wolverines eventually took the whole thing in the Super Bowl against Rochester. Thousands were killed in the ensuing celebration riots.

He came up behind her while she was washing dishes and whispered in her ear.

“This is beginning to wear on me.”

“I know, Sweet-Ums. I’m sorry.”

“How long is this going to go on?”

“I signed for three years.”

“Word?”

“Word.”

Jordy’s headpiece rang a pleasant trill. She scrambled to slip the device over her head and adjust the eyepiece. On the other end was Beverly Maycock. She was in mid-snort when Jordy said “Hello?”

“Miss Gee. We have excellent news. Your child is ready!”

“Child?”

Oh shit – she forgot! In all the romance, the yearning, the belonging – inwardly, downwardly – she’d forgot how she hooked it with Louis Holley; the “how” being that she’d struck an arrangement with Professional American Football in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office to have her eggs fertilized with the sperm of Nick Roman.

“Plot point!” the unknown Alien shouted from his cubicle. “Punch in close for the reaction!”

A single, solitary tear fell from her parched sea-blue eye.

“Now we’re making a TV show!” the unknown Alien said.

#

“Fouls (a type of rule violation) are punished with penalties against the offending team. Most penalties result in murdering an offending player or players and then moving the football towards the offending team’s end zone. This is usually accomplished execution-style with the player put down on both knees on the 250-yard line and shot in the back of the head. The player’s body will remain on the field until the end of the first play.”

WIKI-EXCERPT, AMERICAN FOOTBALL ARTICLE “PENALTIES”

The child has Nick Roman’s distinctive features – a chiseled chin, piercing eyes that evoked a need for sustained and steady homicidal tendencies, muscular upper-body – but being female she was not blessed with Jordy’s beauty. She might have an exceptional career in the female leagues (provided she could be sentenced to death row before the age of 16 – definitely do-able).

“I’ll call her Sasha,” said Jordy filling out the birth certificate information.

“I’m tight about this,” Louis said.

“We could’ve aborted her two weeks ago.”

“If you remembered!”

“I was distracted. You, the show, the magazines, the tabloids!”

“What about the wedding?” Louis asked.

“The wedding is still on!”

For emphasis, she took the camera’s operator head and stared right into his eye-camera and said it again – louder.

The next two days were – as Louis put it – tight. Because of advances in genetic-eugenic science, the baby had grown to full term and then to a size equivalent to four years of age during the quickening. After this, Sasha would begin to grow normally, gradually. For now she was a terror demanding bags and bags of Wee-Cocks (dessicated smoke-flavored rabbit penis, a popular snacking option for children) and urinating all over his custom-made teakwood flooring. Most days he had to follow her around with a scooper while Jordy jet-setted and made more of her atrocious deals.

“I don’t think I’m ready to love children,” Louis told her in bed one night.

She took off her nostalgic reading glasses and shook her head. Not that she needed the glasses – indeed, they had no prescription attachment – she just wanted to look intelligent.

“Why don’t we send her to Reality TV Camp? With your legacy, she’d be sure to get in.”

“If we’re going to have a child of our own, then Sasha should be good practice. I’ll set her up with her own show. She won’t have to go to Camp. We’ll give her an apartment and her own crew and we’ll put in appearances.”

“Are you serious? Would you do that?”

“Absolutely. Maybe our ratings will tank and the networks will void our partnerships and we can get away.”

Jordy had gotten at her predictions and seen that in seven months, her popularity would start to wane. Consumers would get sick of looking at her sweet, innocent face and natural features. The Slutty Girl would come back and she did not want to surf that wave; not being a family woman in the family way.

Sasha, in the meantime, had begun eating stripped flesh. She would tolerate it only slightly cooked – on the rare side and dinnertime was a chore as most of the time, she would jump on the table in the dining room and start growling and shed her clothes and threaten the kitchen staff with sharpened instruments. She had spent her nights tucked in her bed with the portable sharpening kit Olga Stollman got her for her Estimated Birthday.

Manohla Ortiz was not so lucky. After an enormous Thanksgiving feast, she was clearing the table when Sasha lunged from the darkness with one of the missing kitchen knives and stabbed her to death over the leftover oyster stuffing. Sasha crawled into the cavity of the great turkey and stayed there for two days eating the bird’s undercooked insides until Jordy begged her to come out and answer a couple of questions for the Special Forces.

Jordy wrote and recorded a memorial song for the lost Manohla (titled “Eat Me”) and released it as a stand-alone single, where it charted at #1 for 110 weeks, earning a gold certificate. The accompanying music video was banned by the BBC because the turkey that was used in the narrative segment was of a rare breed and therefore protected in the New Anglo Republic, though no one seemed to care enough to press charges. Proceeds (after taxes) were donated to the Ortiz clan. This seemed to satisfy their lust for vengeance, though the Ortiz clan was celebrated for their skill and patience in the art of revenge.

Unbeknownst to Jordy or Louis, the Mayor’s Office had given Nick Roman’s aggression to Sasha during the embryonic stages. This was standard procedure, but nobody had bothered to look at Roman’s criminal record. Virtually all of his sexual encounters had been in the form of same-sex rape. He developed a foot fetish in his early neo-Nazi tweens while forcing senior citizens to wear cheerleading uniforms and mittens made from kitten fur. He advocated the practice of infecting the Sacred Nuns of Vatican III’s Midwest Sector colonies with sexually-transmitted-diseases and was instrumental in (accidentally) developing the SuperHerpes-Complecta virus, resulting in genetically engineered spirochaete-induced brain madness.

As a result of SuperHerpes-Complecta, same sex couples were forbidden from adopting children and praying in public.

For the remainder of her time under Jordy’s roof, Sasha was kept in a transparent plastic box measured five foot by three feet. Her food (the raw meat she craved) was administered through a fabricated two-way box large enough for a plate and very little else. A twenty-four hour guard was retained to monitor her.

#

“As all players in professional football are prisoners in maximum security or on Death Row, there are no rules to emphasize safety. Players are encouraged to be as violent, as merciless, as they can. If players are fatally injured during play action, more often than not, they are put down with a bullet to the face or back of the head during half-time or at the end of a game. A typical professional football game will result in the deaths of 40-50 players, members of staff and hundreds of spectators in attendance. Teams that earn playoff spots are awarded parole. Teams that advance to championships are given reprieve on death sentences and teams that advance to the Super Bowl are released from prison.”

WIKI-EXCERPT, AMERICAN FOOTBALL ARTICLE “ELIMINATION”

Jordy was despondent.

Her immediate family consisted of an unattractive man with whom she fell hopelessly in love and a homicidal, dangerously psychotic toddler harvested from her valuable, supple eggs. Worse yet, the Shinto wedding was scheduled for the half-time ceremonies on opening game day at Duster-Figorelli Stadium, the All-Americans facing the Canton Bulldogs before a paying crowd of 450,000.

She hadn’t time to find the right dress. The fashion trend of the time dictated her dress should be a chartreuse vinyl with holes cut out for the breasts and holes for the vagina and sphincter and she had been shown several examples. She didn’t like any of them, so she decided to go bare-assed nuders, and she was going to have a rough time convincing Louis to do likewise.

Perhaps the cameras wouldn’t focus so closely on his ass. They would all move en masse like houseplants toward the nourishment-giving sun of Jordy’s beautifully bare bottom. Ugly and beautiful, superficially, worked at cross-purposes, but more often than not, they worked together. As the trend moved toward eugenics at the latter half of the century and creating perfect specimens of manhood and womanhood was the standard, there was initiated a direct correlation to the habits of the ugly fold. As such, in short of seventy-five years, the ugly began to grow in popularity. This would explain Jordy’s interest, infatuation, and undeniable bond with Louis Holley.

Television was slow to understand. For an example, it was offered by late-century sexual scientists (the majority, strangely, being men) that because the last fifteen Presidents elected to high office were women in their mid-to-late twenties, and then nearly all of the posts of government were filled by young women – all of them beautiful beyond even the loftiest words and standards, thus the popularity of young, beautiful women surged (to such a point that they were awarded automatic clemency when committing crimes, given immunity for creating international and interstellar incidents, granted free and unlimited health care and cosmetic surgeries, and alloted generous stipends simply for being born beautiful.

The ugly masses waged protest after protest, ultimately falling on the gorgeous deaf ears of the accepted population. The tables had started to turn when the many beautiful, young women began to have children and certain defects crept into the genetic makeup and ugly children were being born despite all efforts to correct the underlying cause. Not even the legalization of post-term abortions could stem the tide of so many ugly children being thrust into the populace. In their position of power, groups of these impossibly beautiful young women began to fight for the rights of the ugly and for the first time in the course of history, all sexes, all transgenders, all races, all colors, all religions, and all faces were made equal. Unfortunately, this did not stop the in-fighting as financial orientation never seemed to come up in the debate.

The crime rate flourished – until the death penalty became standard practice for even minor offenses such as spitting on a sidewalk or humming old show-tunes on the Sabbath. Slang became common currency. The use of the word, “nigga”, was approved for all races regardless of their social underpinnings. The word, “mother-grabber”, replaced “mother-fucker” in the communal vernacular, for unknown reasons. The word “Yehoshua” was banned altogether, again for unknown reasons.

“I love you more than anything in the universe and I can’t wait for you to become Louis Holley-Gee.”

“Neither can I, but I don’t wanna go all nuders for the sake of high art!”

“Ain’t art, Nigga. This is football!”

Punch in for dramatic close-up – TONIC!

“Nigga – again, I must say – you trippin’! The half-time performance is supposed to showcase the greatest artists of our time. From Country Western-Techno-Ska to the Primal Screaming Therapy Monkeys from the Genetic Zoo. Why would anybody care if we took our vows clothed?”

“Why would anyone care if we didn’t take our vows clothed? Look, I’ve got a side-line deal with Professional Football and we stand to be solvent for the rest of our lives.”

“What’s that? Another two-hundred years?”

“Something like that,” Jordy said, the brief smile disappearing from her face. The truth hurt. She would be as close to immortal as the dancing autumn stars. Her husband would live to the ripe old age of 228, maybe even another decade, but the privilege of a girl like Jordy, her tutilige at the Reality TV Star Training Camp, and the advanced nature of her social nature and delirious beauty demanded attention be paid to pesky problems like aging. In embryo, she was administered treatments to slow the inherited deficiencies of decalcification and sclerosis. A fringe benefit of being beautiful.

Was it all worth it? All the money? All the security? Had she not had enough of the electronic carousel?

She took her soon-to-husband’s face in her hands. His eyes spoke to her. They said don’t make me do this. For a moment, they were locked in psychic communication. They would have the murderous Sasha then…in their house…for many years to come. They would raise her together and attempt to curtail her habits. They would have a child of their own. Jordy smiled.

“I have an idea.”

“Touchdown celebrations are sometimes performed after the scoring of a touchdown in American football. Individual celebrations have become increasingly complex over time, from simple “spiking” of the decapitated head used in play action to elaborately choreographed displays. Individual arenas have also developed unique celebratory rituals such as the running of “Quick Six” (wherein six cheerleaders from the opposing team are abducted and then beaten, tortured, and raped in front of the cheering crowd in attendance) of the Detroit Wolverines, and the “cannon dance” (wherein the head used in play action is launched from a cannon in the end zone) of the Buffalo All-Americans, after each hometown touchdown.”

WIKI-EXCERPT, AMERICAN FOOTBALL ARTICLE “THE VICTORY DANCE”

There was dead silence in the air at half-time, but it wasn’t due to the game performance. Overall, in the first two quarters, it had been satisfactorily grisly. Wide Receiver Eraldas Nunez managed an early possession tackling Bulldogs Cornerback Billiam Hay and then carrying his head 45 yards on the first down without conversions or challenges for two plays. The All-Americans had the lead at the half 14-0. Incidentally, Nunez was granted parole for getting the team a playoff spot, but on his first day out, he murdered and raped the team mascot so he went back to death row and the team.

Number One Recording Artists The Super-Shits performed their three simultaneous number one recording artist hits back-to-back and then at the same time. How they managed this remains a mystery and audiences around the world suspected some form of subterfuge. True, Siv Banana was a master throat singer discovered in the diamond mines of Kenya who could project three distinct notes at the same time, but his performance was too good. The band was later fined and then sentenced to machine gun execution (to be carried out immediately after the game).

No, it was not the outcome of the first half of the game or the Super-Shits debacle. It was the bride and groom. They came out slowly to a splashy burst of fanfare. The Super-Shits played the Wedding March, but a third of the way through, Sticky Samuel dropped his sticks and Sucker Gin dropped a massive D on his HyperTwin twenty-four string.

Jordy reached out and took his hand and together they walked up the stairs to the gargantuan bandstand.

“Mother-Grabber,” Eraldas Nunez was heard to remark. “You crazy suckas!”

They were clothed. Louis in the standard black and white penguin tux and Jordy in a coordinated white lace gown with a long train that exited the stadium, went around the corner and down fourteen avenue blocks. There were no exposed breasts, no vaginas to mingle with the air, no penis bobbing up and down in the wind. It was dignified. After minutes of this silence went by, Jordy lost her cool and snatched Siv’s microphone piece.

“You better cheer for us or I will murder you all!” Jordy screamed at the standing room crowd of 600,000.

Still there was silence. Not a belch. Not a fart. Not one person crunching a nacho.

“Cheer!” Jordy repeated.

After another moment, the crowd began to roar. It became a swell of deafening noise and then applause. Jordy looked at Siv and The Super-Shits with madness in her eyes.

“Play!”

Siv nodded and looked at his soon-to-be executed bandmates. The Wedding March started up again. A Representative of the Mayor’s Office joined Jordy and Louis on the stage. He read from notes written on the palm of his hand. Unfortunately, he was sweating so profusely some of them blurred, but he made do.

After Louis said his “I do”, there was more applause. Strange, he thought, that there were so many plans and now it was all over and he had nothing more to worry about, except that a child hadn’t been conceived from actual sexual intercourse in years. All the doctors and scientists had finally had enough with natural birth. They preferred to play it safe. At first scheduling C-sections and then outlawing home birthing and finally mixing ingredients in their kitchens, but Jordy’s almost unlimited power gave her and Louis the freedom to do what they wanted.

#

It had been nearly eight months since the time they conceived the child and Jordy was visibly showing. She had trouble getting out of bed. She had trouble sitting for too long. She had trouble standing for too long. She always seemed to need Louis and his hands to steady her. She loved it.

“What’s that?” Jordy asked her daughter, Sasha, pointing to a diagram in one of her books.

“Triangle,” Sasha said, pointing to the object in question.

“That’s right!”

The holographic door lifted and Jordy took Sasha’s hand.

“Who’s that? Is that Daddy?”

“That’s Daddy!”

Jordy clutched the table to stand up. Louis came in with two shopping bags.

“Hey guys.”

“Did you get me popcorn?”

“Yes, I got popcorn.”

“Yay!” Sasha shouted jumping up and down.

It had taken several months of intensive therapy to ween Sasha from her monstrous proclivities, but Jordy and Louis prided themselves on being involved parents and soon (another month to be exact) they would have another kid to worry about and fuss over and chastise and reward. There was no certainty and they liked it that way.

They looked out on the night sky and the stars dancing. They were alone. The networks had lost interest as soon as Jordy started to show so they packed it up and moved on to the next big thing – apparently a star child was set to be born the following winter and they wanted to get a jump on it. Because of the network default, Jordy got to keep all her money.

Louis put his hand on his wife’s belly and felt the slow stirrings of sentience. She rested her head on his shoulder.

“You know,” she said, “sometimes I worry about the future.”

“Me too,” he said, “but I know we’ll be fine. Some day we’ll be dancing with those stars.”

THE END

“American Football” Part Two

The team that takes possession of a successfully severed head (the offense) has four attempts, called downs, in which to advance the head at least 25 yards toward their opponent’s (the defense’s) end zone.

WIKI-EXCERPT, AMERICAN FOOTBALL ARTICLE “ADVANCING”

“This looks like shit,” Jordy said with a frown.

“It’s about as good as everything else I’ve seen,” Olga said, pulling out the centerfold.

She flipped through the pages at 15-page spread, the pictorial of her doomed love affair with Nick Roman’s ugly severed head. She cradled it. She balanced it on her ass. She stuck out her tongue and licked the off-color nose. It wasn’t so much the subroutine of tastelessness – that was part and parcel of modern photography. No. It was the color balance. The composition. The washed-out sky. The bloodless pallor of Jordy Gee. She was prettier than this!

She turned and walked down the Avenue of the Forbidden Americas, quickly followed by Olga. They were on their way for an appointment with Beverly Maycock, the Minister of American Football Affairs. It had been weeks since she first laid lusty eyes on Louis Holley, and she secretly hoped his not-quite-attractive kisser would be on display in at least one of the three-million offices in the Teardrop Tower.

Olga passed her hand in front of the door scanner and the holographic wall simulator lifted so abruptly it scared a previously dead-eyed pitbull/rottweiller incarnation. The beast shook a leg and scampered into the street, where it was promptly dessicated by a passing Animal Control Shuttle.

“Oh, poor baby,” whimpered Jordy.

They entered the building and right away were besieged by well-dressed doorladies with glowing wands in their hands. One of the bigger, scarier women came toward them.

“This way for frisk and decontaminate, ladies.”

Olga and Jordy were lined up together and ordered to spread their legs and arms, and then to lean against a sensing wall. Two of the well-dressed doorladies worked them over with the glowing wands. A compartment on a mica counter opened and one of the doorladies stuck her wand in some translucent gel.

“You’re going to feel a slight pinch, ladies.”

The lift was not an issue; 300 floors in less than a minute without so much as a bump or jostle was like heaven. Yet, when Olga and Jordy reached the top floor, they discovered they did not want to walk at all. There was a pronounced limp to each of their respective strides after the affair with the glowing wands. They held hands the rest of the way.

“Slight…pinch…” growled Jordy through gritted, pained teeth.

Beverly Maycock’s office was a maze of glass with some portions tinted varying colors – from the light blue of cubicle solace to the forest green of informal meetings. A path of small lighted arrows navigated Olga and Jordy to their destination: the enormous corner domicile of Beverly Maycock. Two tones indicated their approach and the holographic doors lifted out of view to show Ms. Maycock, a rather stunning older woman of 28, rise from her original hand-crafted walnut writing table.

“Miss Gee,” she said with a brilliant smile.

“How do you do?”

“Very well. Very well. We here at American Football appreciate your visit and are pleased to assist you. May I offer you some cocaine?”

Maycock ran her hand over a molded glass bowl shaped like a football. Jordy had been to many of these high-powered conversations. It was part of her training.

“Please,” she said sitting down in the form-fitting chair. The bottom padding of the chair conformed to fit her backside.

“I was…saddened…to hear of your loss,” Maycock said as she passed Jordy a small plastic spoon.

“I’m fine. I assure you,” Jordy said, snorting. Maycock took a toot herself, to be followed by Olga.

It was a fine blend. Jordy tousled her hair and exclaimed “Motherfucker!” as the powder burned in her nostrils.

“As I understand it, you wish to procure live spermatocyte from Mr. Roman’s remains.”

“Yes,” she said, suddenly alert and itching to bound the walls on either side of the domicile.

Ms. Maycock ran her finger over a green button on the writing table. A semi-transparent screen rose from an unseen console. Rows of numbers appeared before her feverishly red eyes.

“We have his samples on file. Was he your registered boyfriend then?”

“Everything except a marriage certificate,” Jordy said, taking another snort. “Nigga!” She exclaimed.

“What do you believe you can contribute to the mitosis of such sperm?”

“I’ve retained an A-9 Cursory Classification and I have naturally black hair.”

“Impressive, Miss Gee,” said Maycock, even going so far as to lean over and touch the woman’s hair. Jordy went along with the woman’s touch against her vibrant, bouncing hair. She giggled like a little girl.

“Your eggs?”

“My eggs and a map of my chromosome sets are on file with the Mayor’s Office.”

“Excellent. We’ll transfer the files to the Mayor’s Office at close of business this day.”

Jordy rose from her form-fitted seat and shook Maycock’s hand with furious energy.

“Thank you!”

Jordy turned as Olga shook hands with Maycock and that was when she saw Louis. He was walking right to left past Ms. Maycock’s domicile. He locked eyes with Jordy Gee and his face went ultra-numb. Louis stopped in his well-worn tracks and approached her. His face slammed right into the holographic wall just as her face slammed into his from the opposite side.

“Miss Gee, are you well?”

“Huh? Yeah. It’s all good. I’m just buggin’.”

“Of course – if I could have you sign this…”

Maycock produced a thin pad with key-type on a clear facade. Jordy pressed her index finger into the scanner and the pad turned a spring green color.

“And this?”

Jordy pressed her finger to another clear pad which turned the same shade of green.

“Congratulations. Gestation will last a little over two months. Do you have a gender preference?”

“No. I’d rather be surprised.”

“Excellent.”

Jordy turned back to see him, but Louis was gone. Blasted to the wind like a cuckoo’s feathers. She was lost and alone. She exited Maycock’s domicile and saw that the transparent corridors were empty. This strangely unattractive man had lit a billowing fire under the crescent of her ass, and she was not to be trifled with; the leanings and yearnings of this cocaine spoke to an erupting lava fire in her vagina. In fact, it seemed the vagina was throbbing so intensely, Jordy feared her natural pocket would grow legs and fling itself out of her crotch for territories unknown.

And they were unknown.

She followed the scent of man and rounded a corner to a room with no identification stenciled on holographic wall. My man, she thought, perhaps even in the physical sense. She would entrap him for his lawyerly use. Her eyes had gone blistery red as she caught his achy breeze. Why would he hide like this? After the look they shared.

Without thinking, he managed to make her smile at her boyfriend’s funeral.

She saw him on the other side of a glowing orange transparent holographic wall. She knocked three times and he looked up from his tabloid. He passed a hand over a monitor and the door lifted out of view. She had a quick smile on her face.

“Oh I get it,” she said. “You’re trying to play it cool.”

“Nigga please,” he pleaded with a wave of his hand.

“Don’t ‘nigga please me’, Mr. Holley…”

“Call me Louis.”

“Only if you bring it,” she warned.

“Oh, I’ll bring it. As a matter of fact, I already brought it.”

“What did you bring?”

“My…self?”

Again she smiled. Perfect and beautiful. Nothing seemed artificial.

He put the plastic tabloid down on his desk – a standard issue rectangular glass cube. He rose and extended his hand and Jordy moved forward.

“Jordy Gee,” she said.

“Yes, I know who you are. You’re too real to be a whore.”

“Thanks. You’re not so bad yourself.”

“What are you doing here?”

“I’m going to inseminate my eggs with Nickie’s sperm.”

Louis shook his head like he understood, but then he stopped.

“Why would you do that?”

“I have to have a baby ready soon.”

“Ready for what?”

“They’ve cleared the midseason slots for my show.”

“Are you the star or is this a cast-off thing?”

“Spin-off. It’s a spin-off, Louis.”

“Okay, it’s a spin-off. What can I say? Congratulations!”

Jordy’s smile – a big, exaggerated toothy thing that took up half her face – froze in Louis’ eyes and brightened his existence. He couldn’t believe he was in a room (in his office!) with such an incredible creature. A real woman with a real smile! He thought if were to possess a uterus and a vagina, he would happily carry her child. He would fellate her nightly, sometimes twice nightly.

She held out her arms and jumped on him, wrapping him in a too-familiar embrace.

“I don’t want you to have this baby,” he suddenly blurted out, not even thinking.

“What? Well…I’m not technically having the baby.”

“Test tubes and such?”

“You bet,” she said, putting her finger on his nose.

Louis let go of her embrace. She turned away. Looked down, puzzled, at the soundproof silicon tiles. He went back behind his desk, waved a finger and opened an unseen drawers with the contents conveniently cloaked.

“Would you care for some weed?”

“Oh,” she smiled, “I just did a quarter of a key in Miss Maycock’s office. I don’t know if I’m ready.”

“She has the best shit. How ’bout a depressant to level you out?”

“Okay,” she said turning around.

“I’ll join you,” Louis said, taking out two green pills. “These are called ‘Emerald Drops’.”

“Bitchin’,” said Jordy.

END OF PART TWO

The BlissVille FICTION page is an additional resource for those interested in my short-stories, and I hope you enjoy it   This page will consist of unpublished and previously-published fiction.

I’m not a big football fan. I understand the mechanics and the strategy of the game, but for me the game is more about luck and brute force than skill or logic. Consider that you have 32 teams, and those 32 teams can only play 16 games in a regular season. The schedules are worked out months in advance, so any person with only a rudimentary understanding of the game can determine with a very small margin for error who is going to win. A mediocre team can rack up a winning average based on the schedule for the year. An excellent team can lose half the season when their star quarterback goes down. It can be frustrating.

This story was written in January of 2012 when the New York Football Giants (far from the best team that year) took it all and staged an almost pass-for-pass replay of their victory over the Patriots in 2008. Around this time, we started hearing more about the inherent dangers of this sport. We were seeing strange and violent behavior off the gridiron from key players, so I put it together and wrote this story. It’s rather long so I broke it up in serialized form.

“American Football”

“This time the All-Americans finished what they started. Their blood-covered hands grasped at the edge of failure and sudden elimination and the wiry nerves of their fans fraying into tight knots, the Buffalo All-Americans found a way to earn their playoff spot. They ran at the clutch of now-deceased Nick Roman and Wide Receiver Eraldas Nunez and the revived defense to a 31-14 win over the Decatur Staleys Tuesday night at Duster-Figorelli Stadium in Erie County.”

“Taking a 21-0 first half lead on one decapitation (Corner Ulysses Evans II) and another decapitation attempt to Roman, the stalwart Star-Quarterback blocked a further three tackles and made the last rush attempt himself. Decatur’s frightful line of tackles kept the Buffalo Offense on guard as Staleys full back Ray Parra sliced open Evans’ throat and chopped off the head at three strokes and the Staleys gained twenty-five yards on three pass attempts. Evans’ head was then intercepted at Buffalo’s own 42-yard line.”

“I didn’t like having to lob his head. He was a friend of mine, but he got us the first touchdown,” Roman said shortly before the half. Services were held immediately following the game.

“Parra attempted a decapitation attempt on Roman, resulting only in a gash under his throat, but Roman had to be removed from the field for treatment before re-entering the game in the 3rd quarter. Parra was abducted by All-Americans tight ends Jerome Cusick and Alfonso Caez, chained to a rack and disemboweled before the roaring crowd. Cups of his blood and handfuls of his severed intestines were thrown to a record paying attendance of 550,000 spectators.”

“We got his colon!” screamed one ecstatic fan holding up his son. “We got his colon!”

“I ate his rectum,” observed season ticket holder Louis Moore. “Very chewy.”

“The All-Americans permitted a Decatur comeback to tug within a touchdown with 8:25 remaining on the game clock. Taking a cue from Parra’s earlier attempt, tackle Jinji Wachowski sacked Roman (who had successfully avoided 9-of-12 recent takedown attempts in three games) while Staleys alternate Pro Bowl nominee full back Edward Guzman speared him through the chest and removed Roman’s head making seventy-seven yards before he was himself taken down with three bullets to his head, neck, and chest. Services were held for Roman, but Guzman’s body was mutilated, defiled, and then deficated upon.”

“All-Americans safety Brad Hakeem stepped on a landmine in the red zone 5-yard line during the 3rd quarter punt return. There were 37 deaths, 174 injuries in total charged to both teams including four cheerleaders – three from Buffalo, one from Decatur. The three from Buffalo were dragged to the field and tortured by the Staleys Defensive Coordinator Ryan Smeer and Special Teams Manager Ken Lux before they were stabbed and shot to death. The Decatur cheerleader took her own life with an overdose of sleeping pills and related sedatives prior to the start of the second half.”

“I just thought she was tired,” said Decatur skipper Buzz Brito.

Separate services for Nick Roman and Brad Hakeem are scheduled for later in the week.

#

Jordy Gee couldn’t stop it with the tears. They flowed from silken-pale blue eyes over her impossibly apple-like cheeks; like if apples were stretched over their bulbous rims with the parchment of a woman’s soft human skin. Jordy’s teeth were ridiculously white. Her breasts were ludicrously firm. Her nose was unnecessarily pert, and even the snot that oozed from it smelled of fresh berries.

She was altogether pleasant – on other occasions, not this one. Draped in flowing black lace, she was beginning to regret the agreement that she would pose in the buff at the funeral home where her beloved beau of four months, Star-Quarterback Nick Roman, was laid to rest. Blessed with one-quarter Jewry, he was granted a premium spot between two rabbis in the casket cabinetry.

It was not to be terribly explicit, just nuders reclined on cold concrete slabs, coffins in view holding a selection of roses, lilies, and carnations – all flavor-colored. She wasn’t going to be brandishing the vag-badge or anything, but something in the back of her precocious little mind told her this might not be in the best taste.

“Come on, Kitten,” Jordy’s manager, tubby Olga Stollman, took her arm and chided.

“Go away,” Jordy said in flinty whisper. “I wish to be alone!”

“It can’t be all that bad.”

“My boyfriend is dead! D-E-D…DEAD!”

Olga scratched the growth of hair shooting out of her strategically-placed chin mole.

“Let ’em get a few shots. You signed a contract.”

“Just give me a minute.”

“Have a Downer,” Olga suggested.

“I don’t want a Downer.”

“Have an Upper.”

Jordy shrugged her bony shoulders and rolled her eyes briefly. Without a thought, she straightened.

“All right, but just two.”

Olga popped the lid of the orange bottle and dropped two pills in Jordy’s palm.

“Now go away! I have to think!”

“Okay. Okay.”

Olga waddled away to leave Jordy to her thoughts. Tears came flooding back. She thought of Nick. She thought of the penis she would never have the opportunity to either stroke or kick. She thought of the shattered jaw and the sliced gums and how, in certain and unusual lights, he might have passed for handsome.

“Oh Nick,” she sang on the wind and the chirping birds. “You fucking twat…”

“Oh I forgot,” Olga said by way of an acceptable entrance.

“Huh?”

“They had an idea and well, we kept it on ice but I thought it’d be great if we like had you nuders on Nickie’s casket, holding his head between your legs…” Olga held out her arms as if waiting for the pass.

Jordy shook her head, confused.

“Which head?”

#

“American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the severed or decapitated head of an opposing team’s line into the opposing team’s end zone. The head can be advanced by running with it or throwing it to a teammate. Points can be scored by carrying the severed head over the opponent’s goal line, catching a pass thrown over that goal line, kicking the head through the opponent’s goal posts or tackling an opposing head carrier in his own end zone.”

WIKI-EXCERPT, INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN FOOTBALL

Louis Holley stood lonely, hands in the pockets of his double-breasted silver shark-tweed, under the sun-glittered shade of a transplanted Oak. He caught a quick, unfettered glimpse of the lovely dark-haired woman flanked by two very large humanoids – one obviously her slobbering agent, Olga. The other, Funeral Director Tom. They each held stacks of paper for her review.

Holley, being Chief Executor for American Football, was to pay his final respects. Nick Roman was practically legend – having managed to embrace survival for two seasons. First year third-string and then backup Quarterback, 117 completions from 121 attempts, but his receivers were weak-willed and then ultimately torn apart.

Roman graduated to Captain and sacrificed his life to bring the All-Americans to their first playoff spot in over 20 years. That must be his girl, Jordy Gee. She saw him and the skies parted between their eyes. The blobs to her left and right appeared to be blathering on about unimportant matters – or at least, unimportant to Jordy, for she could not take her eyes from Louis and his very-nearly-attractive features. Though, he was not terribly muscular, his intelligence quotient was erect and bobbing up and down in the faint breeze.

He walked toward her; each step harder and harder to take.

“You must be Nick’s Jordy Gee. I’m sure we’ve never met.”

“Are you sure?”

“Sure.”

He took her hand and there were lightning sparks on their respective skins. Olga blocked his view.

“Oh Jesus,” Louis shrieked. Her visage was such that his eyeballs almost melted.

“Miss Gee is very busy,” Olga told him as Funeral Director Tom turned Jordy away and walked her back down the rows of transplanted Oaks to the set of the mortuary and the photographer’s stations.

“What are you up to?” Louis asked, advancing forward.

“I’m sorry,” Jordy said, stopping briefly to shine eyes on him. “I have to do this thing…”

“Excuse us,” Funeral Director Tom belched.

“I’m walking on air,” Louis said with a said smile. With that, he turned and smacked his face into another tree, promptly falling on his back. He heard the click of her heels rushing toward his position. She looked down at him as he looked up her skirt and then her uproariously pert little nose.

“My God! Are you well?” She asked.

“Too many trees,” he complained, adjusting his nose.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that.”

She held out her hand and he took it. He stood immediately.

“Do you believe in sex at first sight?” Louis asked in all seriousness.

“What kind of sex?” Jordy asked. She shook her head. “No, listen…wait a minute. Look. I’m sorry we had to meet like this but I have to do something. I have to do two things and I really wish we could’ve met four months ago. I have to go.”

With that, she kissed Louis on the lips. A quick kiss and not without passion. His was the face of the lovelorn as if the great Bluebird of Happiness had just taken a great and mighty dump on his head. He looked down at his burgeoning erection.

“Down boy,” he warned.

#

The game begins with both teams offensive lines in formation in an effort to sever the head of an opposing team’s line. Because of this, each team’s two Cornerbacks, the Middle Linebacker, and the two Safetys are considered easy targets for decapitation. A head being severed determines which team will kick off to begin the game and which goal each team will defend.

WIKI-EXCERPT, AMERICAN FOOTBALL ARTICLE “START OF HALVES”

The Photographer leaned forward with his Cranial Translation Eye Imagery Headpiece.

“That’s very good. Give me winsome, Love.”

“What’s winsome?” Jordy asked.

“Winsome…the thing with the innocence. Give me childlike, Love.”

“Childlike? I’m nuders.”

“Let’s get the head in there.”

An Assistant brought Jordy the severed head of her boyfriend, Nick Roman. She held it in her palms obscuring the arc of her bare breasts. Strange. The thing felt of a brittle plastic. His eyes were closed but his mouth gaped. The photographer backed off and took wider shots.

“How much am I getting for this?” Jordy asked Olga.

“I talked them up to fifty million.”

“That’s not a lot. That’s barely rent! I want a hundred!”

“You already signed, Sweet-Ums.”

“Big smile,” shouted the Photographer who was not worthy of a name.

“You’ll dine off this for years,” Olga assured her. “I promise.”

“Word?”

“Word,” Olga repeated.

“Any more questions? We’re trying to work here,” said the disgusted Photographer who will never have a name.

“Just one. Who was that mildly attractive man who walked into a tree?”

“That was Mr. Holley, Chief Executor for American Football.”

“Mr. Holley,” Jordy said with a smile.

END OF PART ONE

The BlissVille FICTION page is an additional resource for those interested in my short-stories, and I hope you enjoy it   This page will consist of unpublished and previously-published fiction.

“Dobla a la Izquierda”

The center of the fray, an artificial human rope surrounding National Guardsmen, armed with AR-17 automatic hot-dog guns with self-propelled tear gas grenade launchers, was a sea of black-faced young men. When I confronted on the young men, he at first eyed me like new dinner, but then saw that I was either a woman, a man disguised as a woman, or an alien from another planet.

In any of these cases, I was subject to the dull platitudes of masculine condescension. If I stayed for any length of time in the broken circle, he would’ve stroked my hair and patted me on the head.

“Love is the only way,” he told me.

The peace demonstration had gotten out of hand and soon there were ebbs and waves of naked male bodies everywhere, a hundred feet from the White House lawn, the first death of angry days, and what would soon be designation something called “Fuck Force”.

The idea is to push the soldiers out of their places of comfort with heaving buttock and dangling testicles to lead the way to erotic solidarity. Bets were placed. The soldiers were expected to throw down their guns and join the collage of fluid. Drug policy had been overturned of late. All was permitted. I came back to my days running in cults with my mother.

She packed up our belongings; as much as could fit into the blue-matte painted Catalina. Nothing in the trunk as she’d misplaced that key. She bought the car for $75 American four years after totaling a ’72 Toyota Corona. She had her way with the drink that night and I was asleep in the back. She had asked me to fake the story for insurance considerations, but when it came time for me to tell my story, nobody cared.

We took an apartment in an old building on Lombard Street and 16th Street. I remember the big windows, practically floor-to-ceiling but not appropriately affixed to the structure, so one day on a walk to school, one of the windows came shouting down, shattered on cold concrete ten feet from my departure.

Life was a temporary travesty with my mother at the time. Running from a common law husband into the arms of my most-recent stepfather, a hillbilly named Ducky Lawson who preferred to drive without the benefit of steering. Ducky introduced me to MDA, and he was my first stoned experience. He was not inappropriate with me. He did not take liberties. He liked to watch me stare out the windows of our plant room in the apartment in Dayton. He liked to laugh at me.

“W-what’s tho-so funny?”

He shook his head. He smiled and showed his missing teeth.

“You have no teeth,” I accused, pointing.

He would laugh. He came from down-river, Middletown in Kentucky; enjoyed warm fruit punch. I was not a Philistine. I liked ice with my beverages. He started to make me angry with the laughing. I would leave the room. The places where I lived seemed so much bigger in those days.

Back to the circle – the soldiers were loading ammunition and the black-faced boys continued the sex-play games. The world was their mattress, and a big mattress it was. The middle-aged housewives and children clinging to the backsides turned heads away, obscured the view of the children telling them not to look. Kids, being as curious as alley cats, could not refuse the vision. Many had been instantly pre-converted to the ranks of the love shrine. They could not turn away from peace-loving flower enthusiasts.

I joined Gab Feldshuh in his puce microbus. The floor was layered in purple shag with painted peace signs, DaVinci-like drawings of anatomical Adams and Eves, joined with kisses. Gab was a balding middle-aged Jewish man, the back of his head extended in black curls that connected to a long curly beard that grew to his nipples. He wore thick-framed glasses. The lenses made his eyes seem enormous. He invited me to partake of his weed.

“We grow it for our cancer babies in Fresno,” he told me.

I took a hit.

“You like it?”

Pot is pot. All of it had the same aroma; something akin to a sexual relationship between burning garbage and rubber. It stings in my nose, but I smile, pretending to be interested. The “cancer babies” bit intrigues me so I ask him to go on.

“What does it sound like? Babies with cancer.”

“Newborns?”

He sucks in his breath and then coughs.

“Newborns. Oldborns. All babies the world over.”

“They’re all in pain?”

“Unless they take a few hits of this shit. Then they’re safe.”

“Safe from what?”

“Carcinogens, Key Carbons…”

I take another hit and I feel my eyeballs escaping from my face. They’ve always wanted to escape. Now they have their chance. Before this, I had not indulged, taken with any zest the effect of a drug more potent than cough syrup, or codeine for a toothache.

A young woman entered the microbus and put her hands on my shoulders. She could not have been more than fifteen years of age. She smelled my neck.

“Wow,” she said, “you smell great!”

“Thank you.”

“I’ll be Jack and you be Jill.”

“Okay,” I said.

My mother kept us in seclusion because she was sure Ducky knew where we were. She insisted on walking to me to school until I told her to leave me alone. She kept the shades down and smoked her cigarettes incessantly, sometimes lighting one right after light another because she would forget.

She’d begun to concoct wild fantasy; life on the run and the romance and danger of a woman in peril, always casting herself in the lead role, or the protagonist of a sad story with no ending in view. She would lead in enraged and wild debate about the merits of murder if it is justified, such as in a case of self-defense or what she would call, a “premeditated act of self-defense”.

I tried to stay in school as much as I could; reading from the library until I was told the school had to close. At first, the Assistant Principal went along with it thinking I wanted to consume the knowledge, and arranged for extra hours in the library if I would help keep the place clean. After that I was told to file an application for a public library card.

Ducky never showed. He sent an audio cassette.

“Eenie? Are you there, Eenie? Please. Please come back. I want you to come back.”

All she could say to this was, “How did he find me?”

She had a wad of cash and no job, severed the strings with the family so I figured she’d ripped him off, stole his money and ran two-hundred with me at her strange, sagging breast.

“Guns! I hear guns!” the Young Woman shrieked.

“Oh fuck! Not guns!”

“What,” I said, “what?”

“Guns, man! They got guns!”

“Of course, they have guns. This is the Military. Big Green?”

“Big Green! Shit!”

The Young Woman pulled back a flowered curtain and peered into the swollen abyss.

“Oh, they got Tommy! They shot him in the head.”

“We better boogie,” said Gab.

He put his hand down on my shoulder and used me for ballast to get to the front of the bus. He might’ve mouthed words to me. Words like “be” and “careful” or “hang” and “on”, but I could not hear past the screaming. This was Sacramento, the Criminal Court building in the County Seat. The flood of shirts and ties, and then the Military Green, the Big Green, painted and blackened faces, ashes of human remains from little dragons (flamethrowers) in their hands and bullets and the aforementioned tear gas grenades.

“They killed Tommy! They killed Tommy!”

“I know,” I groaned.

I thought of Tommy. I did not know Tommy. I would never know Tommy. Perhaps a blackened baby boy in stained cuffs, faux-Military ensemble. They call the young the “niggers of the world”, spit on and kicked in the head with great Military Generals who look wonderful posed in full regalia lovingly-framed photographs, leaning over the bodies with long metal straws with sharpened edges sucking the brain matter of the young brains, ingesting the pure youth juices to stay alive forever in magazines and books of the dead and encyclopedias.

So I think of Tommy. Gab punches the gas and we weave dangerously down Capitol Mall to the West Side Highway to the freeway and, hopefully, my very nice hotel room at A & J Stucky.
Stucky…thinking of Ducky…and then back to Tommy.

I imagine Tommy to be sixteen in preparation for the All Volunteer Army; either that or a trip to Canada. He could’ve made it. He would have brought his dog, Skippy, a little terrier who doesn’t need a leash and keeps to himself. He keeps his weed for meditation and sex and his cocaine for waking hours, full and brimming with youthful energy, anger, and defiance. Maybe he dresses like a homeless postman.

We pass the A & J Stucky and I begin to worry, because I begin to see the colors.

“Was this…laced with something?”

The Young Woman (I’ll soon learn her name is Tereza) ignores me, but I could swear she heard me because she has a half-smile on her pretty face. My eyes go heavy. My skin feels wrinkled.

By twelve, I was reading science fiction. This was for fun and not to expand my mind, though those better equipped to read such content would argue science fiction does expand one’s mind. If it did that for me, I would not read it. I would skip straight to Anais Nin, or some such…

I did not want the public library card. While I would be sure to have a better selection of books, I would still have to leave those friendly walls and go home to my madness.

In the sense of the mish-mash of life blurring by open windows, chilly breeze blowing in and my hair dancing on the top of my head, everything appeared to be permitted, but the cost was the cheapening; degradation of value and sympathy toward human life.

Gab was terrified; the first I’d seen of such terror. The Young Woman was horrified; something I expected, therefore I was not disappointed. As Gab ran the red lights over the Mall and past the bridge, the Young Woman turned to face me.

“Do you use birth control?”

Momentarily flustered, I licked my lips.

“Of course,” I said.

“Do you worry about the side effects?”

“I’d rather experience minor side effects than the biggest side effect of all.”

She shook her head, not understanding. After a moment, her eyes became lights. Oh, right… I pushed forward to sit in passenger’s seat.

“Make a left,” I demanded.

“Huh?”

“Make a left. Turn around.”

“Why?”

“You drove past my hotel. I’ll give you sanctuary.”

“Sanctuary? The fuck’s that?”

“Aren’t you a lawyer?”

They came through the common room with two big bags. I could hear liquid sloshing and glass bottles banging about in the overstuffed Gladstone Gab put over his back. We stuffed ourselves into the small, caged elevator and made our way to the 10th floor.

Gab and the Young Woman (name soon-to-be Tereza with a “z”) trembled and breathed heavily as we saw the floors pass quickly and then diminish.

“Calm yourselves,” I advised.

“Can’t help it,” Gab said, “the cops.”

“We hear them,” said the Young Woman.

“Oh.”

I put them in my suite. Two big rooms, the bathroom, and the balcony. Gab ran to the balcony right off, opened the French doors and took a big breath. The sky turned a friscalating Egyptian blue, and the air was clear (as it always seemed to be on the West Side).

“You need anything, Baby,” the Young Woman asked him.

“Drinks,” he commanded.

I sat on my bed and lit a cigarette.

The Young Woman passed me with a quart of red whiskey.

“Can I get one?”

I tossed her the pack. She kept her eyes on me like I was a Narc. First things first. She poured the drink with the ice from the cooler, fixed Gab his drink. I fell back on the mattress and closed my eyes for the time being. A moment later, I woke hearing her cough.

“Are you all right?”

“This-this…(cough) is a real cigarette…”

“Yeah. So?”

“Jesus…(cough)…oh FUCK!”

I hopped off the bed and slapped the Young Woman’s back.

“We gotta find the Brothers and Sisters,” Gab was heard to mutter on the balcony. He had stopped his patrol and sat on the stone tile floor behind the wrought-iron railing. He was rocking back and forth on his corpulent backside. I came to the balcony and sat in a wood slat chair with pillowed ottoman.

“Are they the ones you left behind?”

“I didn’t leave them behind, Lady,” he spat with a little bit of acid.

I shrugged my shoulders and lit another cigarette. Gab shook his head.

“I can’t believe you suck that shit down into your lungs!”

He reached into his breast pocket and pulled out a dram bottle of white powder, presumably coke, stuck it up his nose with the help of a golden baby spoon. Some of it must’ve made contact with his food shoot, because he started to cough almost immediately.

He hacked a thick mass of spit which flew for several feet across the room, arcing like a monochrome rainbow and then landing on the tip of a ceiling fan blade.

“Sorry,” he said.

I went into the bathroom to find a wet towel and a step-stool.

“So I didn’t leave them behind,” Gab continued.

“What was your plan?”

“It was a wash,” he said.

“A wash?”

“It was a wash, man! It didn’t go to plan, man! It didn’t work out!”

“What did you think was going to happen, Gabriel?”

“I thought they’d lay down their arms, peaceably, you know? We could all get together and love each other.”

“Yeah, man,” said the Young Woman (Tereza), approaching from the balcony.

She leaned in, whispered in my ear.

“You have a pair of sunglasses?”

“My sunglasses?”

“Yeah, I really need to crash.”

Inez Rachel Anna-Maria Lopez came to the window one early evening in August on 6th and Pine Streets. First floor of an old townhouse, with rich blue shutters on the windows. She had to move us again (the third time in little over four months) because Ducky kept sending tapes.

“Eenie? Eenie, please! I want you to come back! I’m sorry. I won’t ever hurt you again.”

Eenie put out two fists and mimicked playing a violin for the sad Kentucky clown with the thin, black handlebar mustache. She danced (so divine), twirled to the imagined strains.

“Eenie? I know where you live. I know where you’ll always live.”

At that, she picked up the baseball bat, the Slugger she used for protection from imaginary villains; mostly rapists but some murderers, some plunderers. She swung the heavy thing and brought the end down on the portable stereo, smashing the plastic to pieces. No more tapes from Ducky.

She took me by my arms and squeezed.

“Listen to me,” she breathed, “they’re trying to kill me!”

“Who?”

“Who? WHO!?”

“Who?”

She smacked me hard across my face. I fell to the ground and she stormed off.

“ALL OF THEM!” She was heard to shout from the other end of the apartment.

Inez Rachel Anna-Maria Lopez was a great writer limited to short stories in periodicals of two-thousand words or less. Una Palabra published fifteen stories and two essays. Mightier Than the Sword, the snazzy corporate New England journal edited by Maxine Trout and G. Gary Batist bought twenty stories and she got a book deal. She couldn’t follow through; producing only half the promised 70,000 words so she cashed the checks and took the money.

We went underground February of that year. After that, it was a matter of finding rich benefactors, quick money for survival, the proverbial Sugar Daddy. She would prostitute herself, hunting men, hunting The Man, The Big Man with the Bucks, so it goes.

“You little cunt,” she shouted.

She came back. I was still on the carpeted floor; a line of blood from my nose threatening to splash. She sat on top of me, slapped my face again, dug her nails into my cheeks and tried to scratch the skin. She stopped and figured the tips of her nails were too dull, so she craned her neck and bit into my shoulder. I screamed and she told me to shut up.

She stood and walked away again.

“We can’t crash here, Baby.”

We both looked at Gab. He was shaking his head. He was getting his “bad vibe” face again.

“This shack is twisted. We can’t stay. We have to find our Brothers and Sisters.”

She took my arm.

“I can’t go back out there.”

“You can stay,” I told her.

She squeezes my arm.

“I can’t go back.”

She starts to cry. I put my hand on her back because (up to this point) I’ve never known comfort – the physical act of comforting somebody. I’ve never known sympathy. I’ve never known tenderness. If I looked Inez Rachel Anna-Maria Lopez in the eyes too long, she would smack me.

Tereza, the Young Woman, does not know if she should come closer.

I do not know if she should come closer.

Her body explodes into tears and I take her to my bed and pull out the covers. I tell her to sleep. I dim the lights and move the party to the balcony, where Gab is waiting with his baby spoon and pot. This feels like a siege – the push of William Calley, the chief orchestrator of monstrous Mylai violence; guns to temples and the screaming children, setting still-lively bodies to fire and ashes. He must’ve thought: they’re dead, they just don’t know it.

“What’s the plan?”

“I’m gonna find my bus-“

“It’s down in the garage.”

“Right. I’m gonna find my bus and get my girl and we’re gonna get the fuck out of here, Lady.”

“You know your girl’s name?”

“Tereza-man.”

“You forget my name?”

“Nope.”

“What is it?”

“Rachel, man, Rachel. You know what that means?”

“Lamb or ewe of God, just an animal of God. Nothing special.”

Gab’s face contorted into steel wrinkles. His cheeks were like rusted gates swinging back and forth in a breeze. I wanted to swear at him, but I figured I’d save it for the finale. He had taken the bad air; infidel (brazen cunt) lips parted with questions in her eyes – she dares but oh…oh please don’t kick up any dust over me. It was too late. He stood and rested his belly fat on the rail of my balcony.

“You know how many people are out there?”

“A hundred-thousand.”

He nodded his head and smiled. I could hear Tereza snoring in my bed. She hit the pillow hard.

“Imagine a hundred-thousand airheads wacked out on their own egos.”

“I don’t have to imagine.”

“You have to kill the ego, kill the identity…”

“The individuality…”

“You have to kill the control and then be made whole in a perfect image, not whatever this “God-thing” is but as the Improved Man, the Improved Woman.”

“Is Tereza your idea of the Improved Woman?”

“Naw, man she’s just a kid. I picked her up hitchhiking back into the Valley. Can you imagine what would’ve happened to her?”

“I thought it already happened.”

“You know about me, right?”

“I know you’ve got a 40-room beach house in Del Mar and you pretend to be a penniless little hippie. Do they know you’re a lawyer? Do they know you collect art?”

“That don’t mean shit.”

“You want to fight the man? You want to eat the rich?”

I stood straight and pointed a finger at his curly beard.

“You…are the Man.”

He backed away from me, close to the opposite side of the balcony. His back pressed against the iron. He looked at me like I was the Devil; an interesting face I would’ve loved to see on a few people. I lived with that look for years.

“Wanna see it?”

I raised an eyebrow. I could assume he was referring to the Del Mar palace. I leaned forward.

“Yes.”

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