I’m sorr I said I would chop your head off.
I’m not going to chop our head off.
I don’t really even think I have the tools for that sort of thing
I like you too much
I’m sorr I said I would chop your head off.
I’m not going to chop our head off.
I don’t really even think I have the tools for that sort of thing
I like you too much
The door to the Burger bop banged open. Then it banged again. Ben2Times didn’t even look up from the fry machine. He had taken to making the salty fries, sifting them around in the hot bin, letting the stinging drips tinge his checkered skin and sut-grimed paws. He liked making the fries. The noise from the entryway and lobby to the Burger Bop registered in his mindport but he refused to look up, he had bigger fish to fry. These fries.
But he couldn’t ignore the static in his head. Some time ago, he wasn’t sure when, all of their new abilities had stopped. It was sudden, and now, back to the old ways. They could plop thoughts in his head at any moment. He could plop his in theirs. It was easy again, except for the static. That was new.
And Stephania. He was still trying to figure how she’d made real things happen, but, whatever, he had these fries. Best to think about fried techniques, and things of that sort.
“Ben!!” someone yelled in his head, he couldn’t tell who.
“Don’t ever call me that,” he finally responded.
“Er… Pardon my trivialities, Mr. Ben2Times, it’s Fritz!” the tinny voice reverbed in one ear, his left one, and the massive static on the right.
“What is it Fritz? I’m busy making fries.”
“Pardon the interruption my good man, I am… we are in trouble, again. My apologies, I am faltering here…”
“Where are you Fritz?” He picked up the handle to the bin and shuffled his friends around. One of them opened it’s eye. It had long eyelashes like a movie star, he thought, and the static started to sing an old-timey tune.
“Can you hear me Ben?!” Fritz’s small voice trailed away and Ben2Times sighed. He grabbed the prongers and clipped the beautiful fry from the pack. She winked at him and curled into the paper film. What a nap.
“What do you need? I’m busy here.”
“Help us! We are trapped— Smithann… Stephania, even Natalaniese.” A whistling roar sounded behind Fritz’s voice. “We cannot weather this climate! These conditions…”
“Hey,” Ben2Times slammed the bin back into the green grease, the neon rivulets splattering the domed ceiling above, “You guys were the ones who left. You left me here. I’m making fries.”
The static roared and Fritz fizzled out and Ben2Times spoke to his fry. “Hey there.”
“Ben!!” Stephania crackled loudly.
“For the love of- what?”
“You have to help us!”
“No, I don’t Stephania.” He winked at the yellow fry and mouthed the words “eat you” The static crackled louder, “I don’t have to help you at all.”
“What kind of a person… give me that…” he heard a strange struggle like an object was being pounded into the floor and rattled around and then Smithann was in his head.
“Oh, hey Smithann.”
“Now Ben,” she said sternly, “Ben2Times,” he heard the strange rattling again, “I know that you are better than this. You cannot still be mad at us for what happened. I told you we were sorry but it had to be done.” She sighed and the rattling grew louder, “We need you.”
“What is that noise, anyway?” he asked and sat down on the blue and white lined linoleum. It had small green splotches that shined transparent when you pressed them. He pressed one side of the linoleum and stared down into the black abyss. He saw a stick of dragon float by. He pressed it again and it closed. He leaned back against the hot machine and closed his eyes. What was it all for?
“It’s a black boxed-in type of object, Fritz said something about putting it in his stupid wheelbarrow when we get outta here so he can research it. It’s the only way we could reach you, we’re stuck.”
“I don’t know where!”
“Well, how’d you get there?”
“You know how we got here!”
Ben2Times sighed and opened his eyes. He switched off the fry machine and waved politely at the fry. She frowned. He tried to wipe the grease off of his shirt and managed to rub it in in the worse way. Yanking the cloth above his head, he reached up into the cabinet for a black Burger-Bop complementary t-shirt, being sure to flex a little for the fry while he did.
Once he changed his shirt he walked listlessly over to the walk-in freezer and paused. What was that sound? He looked around him, scanning the dimly lit lobby of the Burger Bop, he didn’t see anyone there. He rested his hand on the cold door and leaned his cheek against it, closing his eyes. The static died down and still nothing. That’s when he heard it.
He opened his eyes and slowly turned around.
He wasn’t sure, but he thought he saw a glimmer in the darkness. Something had giggled—deep and from the gut, and then he heard it again, a maniac sound inside his head.
He slammed his body into the freezer door. It held fast, but at the second time he fell through the door.
There was Fritz. In all his three inches and tuxedo, dragging his wheelbarrow behind him and stroking his beard. Its hairs swept the floor as he walked and muttered to himself. His head snapped up as the freezer slammed.
“It’s you!” His grey face lit up with joy.
“Yes, uh, I’ve come to save you…”
My mom said when I was little to say that instead of yuck. But I had to watch this movie for class credit today and what an epic waste of time. In Pursuit of Silence 2015. I’m trying to find something positive because I’ve been told to look for the good in everything and that will help me with life and being a better person. There’s nothing positive about this movie. I don’t know if somebody really cared. Like, was there a writer who stayed up late nights struggling over the truthiness of the movie and if it was art? Did anybody care? Was it about the money?
Here’s why I don’t like it: First of all, well let me go back. I liked the beginning when there were these still shots that got kinda artsy. I knew it was an artsy movie so i was prepared to be a little bored, but I wan’st prepared to be annoyed.
Who gets to be silent? They were talking about going in the woods and retreats and noise decibals but who gets to worry about noise decibals when you have to pay the rent. By the time it got to the second Japanese tea ceremony and goofy silent guy ordering a subway sandwich on a notepad I had had enough.
A very superficial movie. It should be banned from being screened in schools. They didn’t even really delve into digital. Well, I didn’t see the end because I left to go to the bathroom because I wanted to rip my eyeballs out.
Meanwhile, I did find out there are two actually new movies coming out that look cool. This jd salinger movie and then
which is a movie about the guy who wrote winnie the pooh. Both of these will help me I think get back to Ben2Times and the stories. I’m not a real writer, but I writer short stories and they make me happy. I really want to do that again.
I want you to get the something you came for.
I don’t care anymore.
You won’t be able to carry it home anymore oh
So intellectual guess what?
I don’t give a shit anymore.
I don’t care if ur following my phone
Writing me poems
Making things harder for this around me
You can try to convince me that I’m going crazy… Guess what
I know I’m not.
And I LITERALLY dont give a FUCK what u do u could walk in my house and chop me up into little pieces and I’d be like
yup, that’s cool.
It’s not that I want to die, but if I did, so what? I’m not scared of you.
And I’m not crazy.
So go ahead, try your best, come in daddy give it too me hard
Oh really? U think it’s fun?
I think it’s funner.
Let’s do this shit.
My “friend” today said to not call it writing a novel. She said to do it one piece at a time and don’t say novel. I’m eating macaroni and cheese and I have a headache. I’m writing a chapter today. Tommorw = chapter.
This blows. I don’t like starting. My teacher said if I can do short stories and stuff then I can write. I saw another blog said 3500 words a day he’s doing. I google it and it says thats 7 pages single spaced. So I’m going to do what he’s doing. Doing it now.
I feel weird today. I don’t know if it’s reading this book and thinking about murder and what it means to live as a crazy person and liking this guy and all the stuff I gotta do. Everything feels awful and beautiful all at the same time and it’s making me want to cry but not even in a bad way but not in the usual good way either like i’m too full up with all this love that doesn’t even want to go awaya nd i need to figure out what’s wrong with me. Maybe I’m dehydrated.
I also have bad thoughts. so I guess that cancels that out and its all even again. I like this song :
https://youtu.be/mtf7hC17IBM its how i feel and now i think this blog was all about feeling but my doctor says thats improvement ha
whatevs you care wht i listen to ha Reading the Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes and I keep stopping and thinking the weirdness of everything. Listening to this:
This book is crazy and I don’t want to give it away I just want to talk about it. I like how she’s writing in the present and not all the “he jumped” and “She said” but like it’s happening right now. He jumps. She says.
It goes with the book being about time travel. And then there’s the murdering guy with is freaking me out a little (but not a lot) when I think about the stalker I had. HAs. Ugh. The guy I like I WANT to stalk me and I hope he does but it never really happens like that. I think. I want to write a story with the present tense instead of the past but when i try it feels awkward and like the person if they read it will smirk, smug. Like, “This asshole, who’d they think they are writing this bullshit” and then I keep thinking that and my story dies.
I wan t Ben2Times and the rest of them to come back and let me write something awesome about them but I think I did something wrong, and I don’t know who it is yet.
Ben2Times stared down at the letter and then back up into the bathroom mirror. He looked at himself. Then he looked at himself again. It’s me, he thought to himself, it’s definitely me. He looked at his eyes, nose, mouth… the way his hair touched the top of his fuzzy ears and sparkled silver in the bare light of the bulb, the way his checkered skin gleamed matte in the mirror, he chuckled.
Definitely me, he laughed and shook his head. But the note. But what about the note? He read it again,
Dear Mr. Times,
All is lost. sorry to report all is lost.
Bl . k got ty, and last Tuesday I fo . rgot g.
I’m afraid we have disappointed you.
The i HUMAN, as of now. I therefore void the dog,
escape potential ,
thermore, I have been ignored. Bluntly put, I am probably notxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxd let me dry overnight, x
xxxxxxxxxxxe. Seven dollars. So easy.
She will keep asking you x
but it is not. Sincerely yours,
p.s. We need all seven.
What Ben2Times couldn’t understand was how the letter got under his pillow in the first place. He would have woken up at the slight.
What kind of face was this?
A leech looked up from the dirty basin under the faucet and gave him a hurt look. It had taken him forever to crawl.
Can he hear me? Ben2Times spoke in his head.
“Yes, yes I can.” the leech replied.
Ben2Times didn’t have the heart to answer him. What a life. He didn’t know what was worse, his situation or this leech. The black slimy started to scoot across the grimy basin. It sipped up a drip of rusty faucet water.
“Sucks.” the leech said.
He tried to ignore it and not get sucked into a long super-depressing conversation. He needed time to himself to think.
“It’s just hard, you know?” the leech said and scooted up toward the slope of the basin.
Ben2Times moved his hand away from the edge of the counter and looked around the bathroom for something to stare at in order to look busy.
“I know you’re not deep in thought,” sighed the leech, “you’re trying to find ways to ignore me. It’s okay, I am used to it…” the leech said.
It struggled sadly in it’s crawl but finally made it to the top of the basin and squished there with a sort of sploosh sound.
“Ahhh. That’s better,” it said and looked up at Ben2Times, “say… what is your name?”
Ben2Times ignored it and opened the medicine cabinet. He rifled through the pills and band-aids. The leech started to make a low whaling sound. He ignored it. A band-aid fluttered down slowly from the ledge and landed on its noisy head.
“I like my hat,” the leech said sadly, pausing his pitched whaling.
It stared up at Ben2Times with two big saucer-like eyes. They were blue, extremely light blue like very, very blue. They were like a vast Atlantis ocean, clean. They felt so clean.
“….what?” Ben2Times woke with a start. He had been staring directly into its big beautiful eyes for he didn’t know how long. “What is it that you want from me, exactly? Ben2Times crouched down eye level to the basin while the leech readjusted his position and sighed.
After a time, he felt a cold slime begin to spread over the back of his hand. Ben2Times didn’t move. Didn’t even open his eyes. Why bother?
After a while he felt two sharp pierces in to the inner fold of his elbow but he didn’t move then either. His legs buckled slowly down onto the floor and he leaned his back onto the wall of the dirty bathroom. He listened to the staccato drip of the faucet and felt the cold crawl up his arm and now to this neck. It sat there for a moment.
The smell of old eggs on a motel room hotplate wafted from under the flimsy bathroom door and mixed in with the stale but not altogether unpleasant smell of the leech as it slid up and around his body.
“I’m going to eat you…” Ben2Times muttered half asleep and reached up his paw to swipe the leech into his mouth, but missed and only swatted the empty air.
Why would he want to eat a leech anyway? he thought and he felt the cold slick trail of it make a turn towards his heart.
“Ben!!!!” Stephania yelled as she pounded on the bathroom door. Ben2Times eyes fluttered open and closed. He tried to wake all the way up but couldn’t seem to do it on his own. “Help…” he muttered weakly. Stephania heaved the door open with her shoulder and burst into the bathroom.
“What in the-“
The leech slowly turned his head in her direction. It was 15 times its actual size and was now sitting on his chest, throbbing and wet and super, super gross.
“oh…Hello there.” the leech said wetly.
Stephania pursed her lips and marched toward both of them. She stepped right over them and reached under the basin of the sink. Grimacing, she reached behind the pipes.
“Er, excuse me miss,” the leech said, “I was just helping this lad here wake up but I need soooo much assistance as well,” his bright blue eyes grew even larger, “Can you help me-“
“Ah snap! Found it.” Stephania said and ripped the package out from behind the pipes.
“Is that for me?” the leech asked, “no one ever gets anything for me, I am very sad and I-“
Stephania punched her fist directly into the leech’s big mouth while she used her knee to balance the package and open it with her other hand. She ripped it with her teeth.
“Yes!” she yelled when the package finally fell open. “Ye…es?” asked the leech and looked down at the wiggling substance on the floor.
“A beauty!” Stephania said and backed slowly out of the bathroom door.
The small wiggling beige putty slowly pulled itself together on the floor and started to move around and form itself on its own. It looked like what a kid would do to a mound of play-doh if a kid was there but there were no kids and the putty was forming itself.
It was also getting bigger.
How it came to grow or even form Stephania didn’t want to know and didn’t care. As she eased the door shut she could see the final stages of the putty form into a life-sized hybrid Toad Dog type thing and it barked and then croaked and then smoothed out its cowlick in the back. Steam rolled off of it in waves.
“Ewww….” Stephania muttered and locked the door. The last thing she heard was a slurp and a burp, a swoosh and then someone furiously taping up the back of the pipes. Then there was nothing for a while.
She waited to see what would happen but nothing did.
Eventually she ordered a pizza and watched some T.V. but finally clicked it off and dozed in the chair by the bed. Still nothing.
Finally, she heard Ben2Times wake up and shuffle to get his feet under him. She put the remote down as he walked into the room.
“What happened?” he demanded. Ben2Times looked around the battered motel room, “Why’d you leave me in there?”
Stephania folded her arms and rolled her eyes at him. “Because I always leave you in there.”
Ben2Times looked at her and then sat down on the bed.
“Stephania,” he said, “You have to tell me everything. Start at the beginning.”
coming in your television boxesPlanet BlinkA happy and you know this“Sucked out by the vacuum of space” -a short story, Part 7, section 2 What’s wrong with Ben2Timeshey you asked me and I gave it to you
“Oh my god…. I just… I just can’t take it anymore.” Ben2Times stared down Stephania’s unbuttoned shirt while she bent all the way over and gingerly placed several sleeping fries into a Burger Bop sack.
Ben2Times sighed and listened to the rustle of the fries and the drowsy pattering noises of the Burger Bop. Both of them had decided a few hours ago to slow down all the hot and heavy stuff and “just be friends” while they tried to figure out what was going on. “Why are you teasing me when you know how I feel about you?”
“You mean how you want me, not feel about me” Stephania replied. She turned toward Ben2Times and dangled a fry slowly between the two of them and then tossed it in the air and caught it with her tongue. He felt it pop and explode in her mouth.
“There’s a difference you know.” She said and rolled her eyes at him. She turned back to the fry bin but he had seen a hint of a sad smile beneath her playfulness, something was there. Something was off.
“Listen Stephania, I just wanna say… so you know… I…”
She turned back around in a blur, “Oh save it…just… don’t bother.” In mid-swoop she dropped the sack back into the bin and then melted into the floor.
“Wha? What the fuck? Stephania. Stephania, you stop that right now.” Ben2Times looked at the massive green puddle expanding at his feet with creeping irritation. “You rematerialize right now so we can hash this out.”
“I don’t wanna.” He heard her tinker in his head, but it wasn’t booming this time, it was almost like a purr. Not a sex purr, which would have been nice, but a disgruntled purr which I guess you would say is really not a purr and a different type of thing.
The puddle started to seep into the cracks of the dirty lineoleum and he wondered what would happen to her once she decided to come back together. “Fine, you stay down there then. I’m going to get something to eat. And it’s not going to be fries.” He shook off a few green drops that had splattered on his shoe and determined not to let her get to him.
But he knew he couldn’t let it go. He wanted her all the time. Every time. And she played so many games. Why? Was that why he liked her so much?
“That’s why you like me so much!” he heard boom from down in the puddle. Great. Just great. What a head fuck. But he liked it.
Maybe he was lying to himself, maybe they all were. What were they doing here? And where had all the fun flamingos gone? True, they were annoying and loud at first but he had gotten used to them, especially the coke-sniffing ones. There were so many stories to tell about that. He should get a journal. Or maybe he would use the Burger Bop sacks like Smithann did before she left. He was still pretty pissed about that. Each one of them had tried the doors again after they found out she had left, and no one was able to get them back open.
What happens now? He thought as he paced through the lobby. “WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN??” he tried to yell into the small dark and sleepy lobby, but no sound came out.
WHO AM I? He thought and that question boomed from the rafters and echoed back throughout the Burger Bop before settling in the small enclave between the milkshake dispenser and mop area. It turned out to be the perfect spot for sound amplification, as the letter ‘d’s had already found out years before and proceeded to perform small, snobby jam sessions and serve creamy, frothy drinks. He never could figure out where they got that red carpet rope and that one smug ‘d’ with the fucking smug sunglasses at the door that said he wasn’t old enough and his ID was fake and what’s a girl like you doing out this late anyway fuck you door guy you don’t know my life.
Ben2Times slumped down in a hard metal chair in the center of the dim lobby while a few of the oldish looking ‘d’s walked slowly past him wiping their faces with old Burger Bop napkins, trailing crumbs and dust behind. “Hey D” he called out but they just tensed up and kept walking so he knew that they had heard him but were ignoring him as they tried to seem preoccupied with looking up at the flickering fluorescent lights, which were starting to get dim. “Hey D” he said louder, but he now wasn’t sure if they could hear him.
He stared down at the floor. He had felt like this before but the last time there was way more alcohol involved and the wild flailing of heavy weaponry on a sun-blaring afternoon on the Jersey Shore Replicata. The cops were called. When he was shuttled in their pod he didn’t have to think of all these feelings. He might as well give up. What’s the point anymore, he th
Someone’s hands squeezed his shoulders from behind. His body reflexively tried to jump and turn around but the next thing he knew he was in a headlock.
“Shh…. Shhh. It’s okay…shhh”
“Natalianese!?” He sputtered. “Let me go!”
“Shhhhhh….” She whispered loudly into his hear and tightened her hold. He flailed his arms up to grab at her but it didn’t work, she just tightened.
“Don’t resist. Shhhhh….” She whispered while the old ‘d’s pulled up a couple of chairs in the corner to watch listlessly.
“Shhhh…. There’s a woman in the woods. She is fighting the leaves, the wind with her hands. Can you hear her? There’s a man on a basketball court… he just fell, opening all of the locker room doors.” Natalianese hissed as Ben2Times struggled to grasp her face.
“Now he’s closing them, throwing himself into the wall…. he’s crying…. The worm.” She kept whispering loudly in his ear, “An old woman with making is leaping through the door. She has on too much eyeshadow…down on his face and did the worm, crying. Now he’s tuned- black. She’s staring at you…he’s doing a headstand… oh shit. Shit shit shit there’s the leaf woman from the woods and she’s shrieking and yelling at you…..shhhhhhhh”
“WHAT THE FUCK?!” Ben2Times sunk down further into the chair. “…ing nuts… okay… I’ll stop. I’’ll stop resisting. Natalianese…” he coaxed while staring angrily at the ‘d’ as it brushed some lint off its pants, “Let me go please, I won’t be mad. I just…can’t breathe… and I don’t want…to die.”
He forced himself to calm down and relax his body, dropping his arms from around her head and trying to signal peace or whatever. “I’m alright… you’re alright.”
“There’s a woman STANDING IN A PARKING GARAGE IN HER NIGHTIE and THERE ARE NO CARS. She is sad. She is holding a knife but not really and in her nightie with her long black hair and now SHE IS IN YOGA PANTS and a close up of her be scary just to look at sad EYE. The sing. Brambles. She is wearing a knife to cut the berries. They are sweet. There is light…”
“Hey uh… Natalianese… I see the berries too.” Ben2Times gasped.
“DO YOU SEE HER EYE? The HUG?@!”
“Yeah uh… I see that too.” Ben2Times replied.
“Good. VERY GOOD. Then dance with me.” Natalianese said and released the chokehold.
She reached down to grab his hand and he spun the shit out of her and body slammed her onto the floor. “Look… I’m not trying to hurt you…” he yelled at the back of her head, “…just gotta make sure you won’t do that again okay?” and he pinned her wrists behind her back and snapped his head up in the direction of the ‘d’s.
“Get a rope from the utility closet or twine or something fuck.” He barked in their direction but none of them moved. He heard the listless clink of a spoon on the side of a cup. One of the more snarky ones took a sip of its drink and crossed his legs in a more British fashion so Ben2Times yelled, “Do it Now!”
A skittish one jumped up and ran toward the utility closet. Where was Smithann? Ever since she came back from her escapade she hadn’t really been talking to them. She said hi and bye but usually her and Fitz just kept talking it up alone in the walk-in freezer… and wasn’t it like super cold in there?
The jumpy ‘d’ walked up and handed him the rope. Ben2Times secured Natalianese and propped her up in a chair.
He looked at her. At least her eyes had stopped doing that weird opening and closing thing they were doing. She seemed pretty normal. But what was all that weird shit she was saying?
“What was all that weird shit you were saying and why did you put me in a headlock?” Ben2times asked and plucked a sweaty lock of hair from falling in her eye.
She glared at him, and her mouth started moving but the sound of her words was not matching up. It was like one of those old movies where the voices were a few beats off from the lip synch and actually he wasn’t even sure if her lip movements were the actual words he was hearing.
Natalianese kept going, “There IS A WOMAN IN A POOL with an old frilly dress… following by her toes and her hair is SUSPENDED AND HER FINGERTIPS are pointing somewhere… now she’s on the bed and looks sad like I am sitting here thinking about really sad thoughts and now I will brush my hair IN THE VANITY and remove my shirt and you will see the back of me with only the back of my bra strap WHICH IS SEXY because it makes you think about my boobs but you CAN’T REALLY SEE THEM YET but you think about it and then I put on a different shirt and all of a sudden I have on a long white nightslip and I AM WALKING IN THE LAKE and it looks like…”
“Natalianese! please, let’s focus on what we need to do…” Ben2Times interrupted but she kept going, talking over him.
“…and it looks like I am walking out to be baptized but it is night and no one is there and you can see through my slip and now for some reason you can see my face and I’m smiling and my teeth are really white and the black water is rising up and hiding my face at intervals and now my smile looks more like an-” Natalianese paused and glanced around the Burger Bop lobby skittishly.
“Alright Natalianese…” Ben sighed and shook his head, “we’re gonna figure this out.”
“What’s going on?”
“Hmm? I don’t know what you mean?”
“Stephania, if you don’t tell me right now what’s going on I’m going to start getting really angry.”
Ben2Times stared at Stephania but also noticed that her left foot was scooting something underneath one of the Full Tread mats by the front door.
“Listen, Ben, there is nothing-“
“Don’t call me that, we talked about this remember?”
“Ok 2Times I am telling you-“
“Not that one either.”
“Okay, listen Ben2Times, I am telling you— nothing happened.” Stephania said and stood on top of the mat.
“Who’s that under the mat?”
“No, I clearly heard a growl or a grumble or something… are you flirting with one of the ‘d’s again?” He thought back to that awful day when he walked into the utility closet and saw Stephanie perched on top of one of the mops (he didn’t even know she could do that) with a trumped up letter ‘d’ all decked out in Burger Bop napkins folded to look like a gunslinger belt and huge cowboy hat whispering nothings in her ear. Actually, he seemed to be crooning some western diddy softly and rubbing his long pointy extension near her ear. It was awful. In that moment, he had saw her, really saw her for what she was- some two-bit fluesy he met in a Wet Place while proceeding to get hammered.
He thought back to that night… When he walked into the Wet Place he had surveyed the area and immediately noticed her green body spinning wildly on the ceiling. All he saw was this amazing green blur and all he heard was her intermediate shrieks of terror as she bounced off the four walls.
The barkeep looked up at it and shook his head slowly. “Stephania, you’re going to have to come down from there… we got new customers coming in, they don’t want to see that shit.”
“Fuuuuuck yooooouuuuu Bobbbbbbby…”
And then a great green blob of a woman shuddered down in front of Ben2Times and stuck out a hand.
“Stephania. And who are you?”
Ben2Times didn’t know what to say. He just stared.
Her body started to suction back into itself and morphed from a green gelatinous type substance into a sexy green kitten babe shape. She was super hot. He still couldn’t figure out his name or know where to look first.
“It’s okay, I get that. I know I’m green and I can spin, etcetera, but don’t let that get you down… have a drink with me!” And she grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the nearest table.
“It’s all downhill from there, ain’t it?” Ben2Times heard in his head.
His eyes came back into focus and he looked straight at Stephania who was now reclining on the mat. She had her hands folded lazily behind her head and a sly little grin plastered on her beautiful, ah shit, beautiful face.
“Were you listening to my mind!? Please, Stephania, you gotta stop doing that, it’s… it’s inappropriate. For me, please… just don’t do it, okay?”
“Okay.” She shrugged and sat up, stretching her shoulders.
“No, are you just saying okay or are you going to actually stop doing it? It’s important. It’s… it’s just not right.”
Ben2Times rubbed his forehead and kept his hand there massaging the sides with his thumb. He closed his eyes and tried to envision shutting a huge heavy glass dome down over his thoughts. He’d taken to doing that lately or at least trying not to think any thoughts at all, which was harder. Stephania was not helping. She was the only one who could control all of the letter ‘d’s that had appeared out of nowhere and seemed to multiply in the Burger Bop. Whatever she thought, they would do. The question was whether she was making them do things that she really wanted them to do, or if it was random thoughts from her head that made the letters immediately start doing the actions. If it was the former, then he knew that she could control it, and was lying to them all. If it was random, then she really didn’t have control, but also they still wouldn’t really be able to tell when it was a random thought that caused the letters to perform or when it was a planned one.
And would Stephania tell them the truth? How would she use it to her advantage? Ever since their talking started glitching and they found out Smithann could use her voice pretty appropriately (sometimes) the problems had started mounting. They even had to sometimes only use their organ voices in real life now and why was Smithann’s mom opening and closing her eyes so feverishly? And the most confusing thing so far was figuring out when and how to use the voice from his mouth and when to use his thought voice, which was the easiest. Sometimes he couldn’t tell if he was talking in the old way or the new or if Stephania was or not. And when you added in this god-awful stubbornness-”
“Dear god, you sound like a voice-over from the world’s most awful T.V. series.” Stephania interjected.
Ben2Times snapped down his dome and glared at her.
But then he propped up the dome with a hefty yard limb and pushed this out in his brain: “…from the Fuck You Edition of The Bachelor, coming to your television boxes three times a week starting Monday!”
He wondered if she heard it. Or if the dome worked. Oh goddamn her.
“Just tell me what’s under the mat.” Ben2Times sighed and rubbed his temple again.
Stephania stepped off the mat and bent over breezily in front of him, her blue skirt flitted up so he could see just the very bottom of her pretty cheeks, and he knew she did it on purpose. Why did he buy her the skirt instead of the trousers from the Clothe and Go on the way here? He should have known better. But he didn’t. Nobody does. Nobody ever does.
She stopped short of lifting the mat and bent her head back around to peer at him from under her arm. “But first you have to get Smithann back in here.” she said.
“And get her fucking mom, excuse me, Natalianese from that window, she’s freaking me out.”
They looked over at Natalianese opening and closing her eyes furiously by the door. They had propped her up by a good point in the window so that she could stare out into the world and see all the cool pods and whatnot drifting by. Plus it would be good for security or something, even though she hadn’t said a word since they all got here, but you never know.
“She’s as stiff as a board. It’s really harder than you think moving her when she won’t even bend her feet. I’ll just turn her around.” He said.
“No, I want her here.” Stephania said in a sexy voice, as she gently placed the lifted corner of the mat back down onto the floor.
He walked over and picked up Natalianese like a 2by4 piece of lumber, propping her down in the middle opening of four chairs circled there to hold her up. She looked like some sort of weird totem or whatever you call that long stick thing with the drawings on it. Her eyes kept opening. Then closing.
Ben2Times tucked a piece of her hair behind her ears and adjusted her sweater. It was white. Well, it was a little off-white now that things had happened but still a pretty, and soft, covering. And her skin. Her skin still felt supple. He looked deep into her eyes and wondered what she was thinking. Did she have a dome? Was Stephania listening to her talk? He figured if her words were going somewhere then there must be a way to fix her and get things back on the road. It was starting to feel like they’d been doing this forever. He looked in her eyes again. They didn’t look sad… actually they looked kinda sexy, no, really sexy. Was she coming onto him?
Stephania cleared her throat and boomed across the Burger Bop, “Smithann! Come on, let’s get things going again…”
Well, at least no answer that he could hear. He decided to walk back into the storeroom and bring her out himself. She had been in there for a few days now and he was beginning to worry. They had found a long note written on a few Burger Bop sacks that said she was “finding herself” and practicing “mind-in-edness” tacked to the storeroom door. But when they called her name she didn’t answer and the door was definitely locked.
No one heard anything.
Ben2Times knocked on the door. “Come on, Smithann, we know you’re in there… there’s nowhere else to go.”
“We’re all in this together you know. We really miss you out here. Stephania even just asked about you. She wants to make sure you’re okay.”
“Wait, did you just say nothing or was that in my head? Who said that? Smithann, was that you?”
He decided that he couldn’t keep up at this fruitless mission, so walked back toward Stephania and slapped her on the ass.
“Didn’t see that coming did you?” he said.
She pulled down her skirt and grabbed his arm, right at the muscle.
“Okay big boy… what do you wanna know?” she said.
“Who’s under the mat?”
“It’s… it’s just, well, come on out Fitz.”
A little man about 3 inches tall crawled out from under the doormat. He was scruffy and covered in filthy rag-looking clothes. But the weird thing was that he was wearing 5000 unit shoes… very fancy. He also had a 2000 unit briefcase, three very tiny books under his arm, and a red glistening pushcart. It didn’t add up.
“How did you get in here? Wait, can we leave?” Ben2Times peered down even harder at the little man. “I mean, if he can come in then we should be able to leave, right? I’m starting to ge- wait, what are you doing?”
“Oh, excuse me, I’m just conditioning my beard, it is very long you see, so I must condition it at intervals, didn’t you know?”
Fitz kept scooping up handfuls of white creamy liquid from his barrow and slopping them into his beard. The small hairy mass was long—from his chin to his toes—and it touched and swept the floor, the soapy tendrils responding tentatively as he grabbed and stretched it lovingly.
“It’s what I do.” Fitz said.
Stephania smirked and looked up at Ben2Times. Ben2Times rolled his eyes and looked over at the totem. It closed one eye (in a come hither fashion?) staring deeply at the door but then suddenly———–