“Here,” Fritz shoved a tiny square shaped card into Smithann’s hands, “Take this and read it.”
Smithann looked down at the card. There was a naked woman wrapped and huddled in a comfy looking beige sheet with a shell like a snail on the lower half of her body. It looked like she was sleeping with the sea behind her and there was a staircase leading to nowhere and it was the dumbest looking card Smithann had ever saw in her life.
“Ahem…” Fritz cleared his throat, “Out loud. Read it aloud please.”
“Re..Rejuvenation,” Smithann said, “and what does that really mean anyway?”
“My god Smithann!” Fritz exclaimed, “You do not know this word? What were they teaching you here…I do not understand how…”
“Hey wait, we learned about all kinds of stuff.” Smithann looked at him and furrowed her eyebrows. “The Generals of the Third Planetary Mattonorn and the Battles of Artheaver 76, The Kill Links, Math… you know, important stuff.” Smithann said.
“Oh I see,” Fritz replied, “important stuff hmmm.” He took the card from her hands and threw it up into the ceiling of the Burger Bop freezer. They were standing by the stacks of frozen fry mix and had been contemplating taking another trip. There were brochures scattered all over racks number 6 and 7 and this time they would be sure not to be “taken for suckers” as Fritz had put it. Planet Blink had been a bust. They never found the legitimate scrap in that big empty warehouse and had to actually sneak out of there while no one was looking. Not fun.
“Do you think Ben2Times and Stephania know about all of these planets in here?” she asked Fritz.
He looked at her gravely. “We should not worry about these things.” he said.
“Besides, what is a life full of worry? Here, read this one.” He thrust another tiny card in her hand.
This one had a woman with a red draping robe kinda like a Greek or something but she was sitting on a clump of rocks outside at a weird sunset. She was sprawled over the stones with her head bent into the crevice of her arm. There was a pool of water in front of her with a huge red flower bigger than her body floating on top.
“Release.” Smithann said, “I know what that means…”
“Uh huh, so now you see…” Fritz replied
“See what?” Smithann asked and looked at him quizzingly. “What does it all mean? … I’m confused.”
“Those are the cards.” Fritz said. “It means what it says. And you picked them.”
“I don’t like this game,” Smithann replied, “it seems kind of boring.” She threw the final two cards up into the ceiling where they stuck and then froze into the wall.
Then to their surprise the women on the cards got up and walked off of their grid, upside down onto the ceiling, dodging icicles and making their way to the walls.
“Where are they going?!” Fritz yelled.
“Calm down… calm down.” Smithann said as she watched the regal women slowly make their way across the frozen ceiling and down onto the walls,
“Maybe they got bored of all that flower and pond action…” Smithann chuckled and continued to stare mystically at the tiny women. They were even smaller than Fritz, and he was only 3 inches tall!
Smithann wondered if either she or Fritz should go talk to them first and concluded that since she would probably seem huge to them like a golly green giant that Fritz should go say hi.
“Go say hi.” she said, “and be nice.”
Fritz walked over to the furthest wall of the freezer where the first woman was headed. It was the wall way at the back of the walk-in freezer, isolated and partly submerged in the dark. The light bulb shaped square flickered and Smithann wondered why it would do that.
“And Fritz,” she called to him, “I don’t know why I’m saying this, but be careful okay?”
Fritz nodded but as he neared the tiny woman she suddenly let out a wild banshee shriek and leapt from the halfway point on the wall. As she flew through the air towards him her red robe fluttered massively behind her and her face screwed up tighter and tighter. Her red-clawed hands were stretched out in front of her and Fritz wondered if they were what was helping her glide so awesomely.
He moved quickly to the left and she slid in a few feet past him like she was sliding into home base.
“Um… hello there,” Fritz called down hesitantly to her, “…and how might you’re day be going so far?” he asked.
She curled up into a loose ball with her arm draped over her knee and her head resting on top of that arm. It was kind of like how she was before on the her card but without all that other stuff.
“Er…I umm…noticed the fine material of your garment,” Fitz said, “It is very…”
“I wish everyone I knew was dead.” she mumbled down into her arm.
“Um… pardon?” Fritz leaned over closer to her, “Surely you do not mean-“
“I wish…” she looked up suddenly into his eyes and Fritz jumped back, “everyone… I knew…was…dead.”
Fritz just stared at her. Stunning! he thought. Simply stunning. Her wild and dewy emerald eyes twirled in her head and her red, red lips glistened as tiny little icicles froze on her lips and drifted away into the freezer. Fritz leaned in a little closer.
“Well,” he said, “uh… I guess me too. I wish they were too.” He couldn’t believe what he was saying. Why was he saying this?
“DEAD!!!!!” she shrieked and leapt up into the air and did a little uppercut hook and then another jab into the air. Then she went suddenly still and dropped her arms flat onto the sides of her body.
Fritz watched as all the emotion drained from her face. “Dead.” she whispered and he nodded and walked closer. “Me, too.”
“Fritz!” Smithann yelled, “whadaryou doin’ back there?”
“Oh, oh!” Fritz snapped out of it and shook his head, “Yes, yes, we are conversing.”
“Good!” Smithann yelled back, “because I can’t find the other one. I lost her!”
“Mmmhmm…” Fritz nodded absently and walked slowly toward the red flowing creature. Beautiful! He reached out to touch her bare shoulder but she knocked his hand away and hissed at him. Somehow, her eyelids opened even wider and her eyeballs bulged from her head. He waited a moment and tried again and this time she let him keep his hand there.
“Are you okay?” he asked her.
He noticed her shoulder was covered in dust, which was weird. “Are your troubles from anxieties? Fears? Do not worry,” he said and tried to massage her shoulder.
“And what is your name?” he asked.
“AHHHHHHHH” she screeched and reached inside her robe and pulled out a collection of huge gold moons.
“Wait… how did those fit in there?” Fritz asked.
“AHHHHHHHHH” she screamed and hurled a huge gold disc toward the other end of the freezer but it shrunk down as it traveled and eventually disappeared into a point.
Suddenly the temperature dropped a few thousand degrees and none of them could move.
Fritz couldn’t really figure out how it had happened but they had somehow moved past the frozen point to some kind of beyond frozen point that was just very slow moving still.
But Fritz had jumped inside his sudsy wheelbarrow right before it happened. Now he cut through the cold with his mind.
“LADY!” he yelled at her in her mind, “you must be very frightened and I know that is why you are acting like this…” he said, “But for us, please, leave this aggression and put your angry moons away. We will not retaliate to you or your fellow beings, please! We insist.” he said.
Fritz peeped his head up from his wheelbarrow and noticed that things were back to normal. It was not one hundred thousand times below freezing and he could move again.
“Whew,” he said, “well that was something.” He got out of the wheelbarrow and squeezed some grey and floppy suds from his pants leg.
The woman was seething in a corner, twisting the corners of her red robe until her hands were raw. Smithann came running up from the other side. “What was that?” she asked.
“I am unsure at this moment,” Fritz replied, “but maybe it is unnecessary to find out, or rather, unwise… we must ensure that it does not happen again. That is the most important thing.” He reached into his wheelbarrow and pulled out a red book with gold lettering. There was a smiling large bald man on the cover with a fancy gold watch.
“What is that?” Smithann asked, “…and how is it dry?”
“Do not concern yourself with that, I must read to this woman and it will calm her and encourage her to speak.” Fritz leafed through the book and came upon a battered clump of pages.
“This book has been proven effective with similar beings I’ve encountered and I am certain it will work again.” Fitz nodded and looked in the woman’s direction. “I must proceed. Excuse me Smithann.” He nudged his way past her and walked straightaway to the seething woman.
“Hello my friend,” Fritz said down to her loudly and slowly, “I will begin reading to you now.”
He cleared his throat, “I am reading to you from the book “SELF MATTERS, Creating Your Life from the Inside Out, by a Mr. Phillip C. McGraw, PH.D.” he said loudly, “It will help you.”
“AHHHHHHHHH” the woman screamed and barreled at him full speed.
“Smithann!” Fritz yelled, “At the ready!” Smithann swooped in and swooped the tiny woman up into her cupped hands and held her there. She bent down toward Fritz and then opened up a little crack between two fingers so that they could peep in and she could hear them.
An angry hand burst through the opening but Fritz just prodded it back in and commenced his reading.
“The Role of Choice.” he began, “We don’t begin life with the privilege and responsibility of making choices for ourselves. Typically, we don’t even begin to differentiate ourselves from other living forms until the age of two. Your dependence on your parents or other adult authorities means that, during your crucial years of growth and learning, they were the people who made your choices for you. Questions about what to eat, what to wear…”
After a while, Smithann could feel the thrashing in her hands quiet down and even her own eyes got a little drowsy and the last thoughts she had before she fell asleep was of piranhas and badgers, an African fish eagle that swooped down to grab a small monkey, it flew high above the water into the air and a ferocious wolverine bringing down a deer many times its own size. Oh and a box jellyfish, shortening tentacles, and a killer nervous system, in that order.
coming in your television boxesPlanet BlinkA happy and you know this“Sucked out by the vacuum of space” -a short story, Part 7, section 2What’s wrong with Ben2Timeshey you asked me and I gave it to you