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. He looked at himself hard. It’s me, he thought to himself, it’s definitely me. He looked at his eyes, nose, mouth… the way his silver hair touched the top of his ears and sparkled in the bare light of the bulb, the way his checkered skin gleamed matte in the mirror like some sort of expensive makeup palette, he soaked it all in and chuckled.
Definitely me, he laughed and shook the weird ideas out his head. But the note. What about the note? He read the note again,
Dear Mr. Times,
When I noticed you there, standing in the crowd, I wallowed in the misery at knowledge that S. will never be the same again. All is lost.
I am sorry to report all is lost. The mission. S.
And Benny lost his top.
Black got dirty, and last Tuesday I forgot to eat the egg.
I’m afraid we have disappointed you.
The implications of the setbacks are implied in this nervous system, and we are keen to report that YOU ARE STILL FULLY HUMAN, as of now.
I therefore cannot, or could not
avoid the dog,
escape potential hallucinates,
refrain from the dreaming,
Furthermore, I have been ignored and possibly contested. Bluntly put, I am probably not the baking soda or the memory cup, and if you put me in the mold, and let me dry overnight, the teaspoon measuring is really easy to make and costs less than a buck apiece. Seven dollars. So easy.
She will keep asking you and they had all the food coloring in them, DO NOT go to the store next Sunday, the stockboys will be piling in with the citric acid, or whatever you need: even glitter. Orginally, it will be cheaper,
but it is not. A specialty, to be sure. Milk classes.
p.s. Where is the image of the swimming pool, the library, and three summers ago? We need all seven.
What Ben2Times couldn’t understand was how the letter got under his pillow in the first place. Naturally a light sleeper, and with Stephania here (well, this Stephania) he or at least she would have woken up at the slight.
What kind of sleuth master tooth fairy was this? Who put the note there, a friend? Why didn’t they steal his stealth blasterCrumb and most importantly, who would leave a note under a pillow with a heart-drinking leech? Who does that?
The 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 thought.
“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 little leech. To be a heart-drinking leech with no living hearts around to suck and die, well, that was a little too much. Too sad for his bones.
The black, slimy leech started to scoot across the grimy basin. It sipped up a drip of rusty faucet water.
“Sucks.” the leech said.
“Well, yeah… I get it,” Ben2Times replied.
He tried to ignore the leech and not get sucked into a long super-depressing conversation. He needed time to himself to think and to figure out at least half of this note.. It could have been meant for him but it also could have been meant for some other Ben2Times. Gad knows there was enough of him running around.
“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 and look busy. Deep in thought.
“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 carried on.
It struggled sadly in it’s crawl but finally made it to the top of the basin and splattered there with a sort of sploosh sound.
“Ahhh. That’s better,” it said looking back at its brown and grey trail and then up again to Ben2Times, “say… what is your name?”
Ben2Times ignored it and opened the medicine cabinet. He rifled through the pills and band-aids. What was he even looking for? He kept looking for something that he knew would come to him when the leech started to make a low whaling sound.
Ben2Times ignored it. A band-aid fluttered down slowly from the ledge and landed on its head.
“I like my hat,” the leech said sadly, pausing his pitched whaling.
Then it resumed the whaling and 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.
“For the love of- what?” Ben2Times finally said to it. 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? You want a new friend?” Ben2Times shook his head while the leech just stared up sadly at him.
“Listen man, I’ve been through a lot of shit these past… what is it two?” Ben2Times said and looked up into the ceiling, “Two years or weeks I’m not sure. But I know I gotta find my friends… and figure out a way to get outta here… and now you show up under my pillow and with this long creepy note and I’m supposed to just be your friend? Come on man…” Ben2Times put his paws on the edge of the counter to brace himself and hung his head.
After a time, he felt the cold slime of the leech 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 dingy 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.
Ben2Times could smell the old eggs frying from the hotplate of the motel room. This Stephania must like hard station3 eggs. Ugh. The smell 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. Was it growing bigger?
“I’m going to eat you…” Ben2Times muttered half asleep and reached up his paw to swipe the leech into his mouth.
It was weird, in his head, he could envision his paw swiping the leech up fast and plopping it into his mouth and bursting through the leathery soft skin with his teeth and feeling the liquid explode around his cheeks but when he tried to move his arm it just twitched slowly up into the air and fell back down.
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. Wait, did he still have one or was it replaced, he wondered. What year was this? Had there even been an accident or was this a dream? More like nightmare.
“Yessssss…. W… would you….” the leech whistled and Ben2Times eyelids fluttered as he finally fell completely asleep.
“Ben!!!!” Stephania yelled as she pounded on the bathroom door. Ben2Times eyes eased 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 but he doubt she barely heard him. Stephania finally 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 and making annoyed little grunts, her hand reached and searched behind the piping for whatever was taped back there.
“I know there’s something taped back here…” she muttered to herself, “there’s always something taped back here…”
“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 and she saw the glory of what was inside.
“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 said 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 for an hour or so 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 out the door.
“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
“How can you do those things you do?” Fitz asked the now flattened piece of paper.
“Wha? Why are you even bothering with me?” the paper answered flatly.
“I mean what I say my good friend, how can you do those things you do and still sleep at night?” Fitz demanded and stepped onto the edge of the large piece of paper. He tried to scoot it with his foot but since he was only 3 inches tall the paper loomed and thwartened him.
“Ahhhh… that makes me happy…” the paper moaned and shuddered slightly.
“Ewww… no… stop that.” Fitz demanded and quickly removed his foot. “And you made a huge mistake. You did not answer my question: how can you do the things you do and still sleep at night?”
The paper stop shuddering and sighed. “If you must be a bore about it and take out all my fun… I didn’t make a mistake… I just didn’t answer you. Simple.” The paper sighed again and looked up into the dirty rafters. She didn’t want to be here on Planet Blink anymore. It had been years since a good one and there were never any pencils around. Now this idiot and his ditzy sidekick, Smithann, (what a name) of all people were here on her planet and she had to show up to work and shuttle them around.
“Listen Fitz, I don’t know what you expected, but as the Crumpled Paper Society noted in the travel brochure they sent to your Freezer, we do not guarantee full comprehension of our galaxy nor a safety travel back. Did you even read the disclosure in the second paragraph of the second to last page of the last finale of the third way of being under “Hide this Posting” subtitled Come throat me – w4m (Meadow Valley)?”
“Yes, yes, we have read the fine print and I was just querying ass to why or how you felt the need to…” Fitz persisted.
“OMG” the paper sighed “HERE on PLANET BLINK under the affiliate of Meadow Valley working in accordance with Sierra County we do NOT answer personal queries unless they are listed under the coordinate “Sexual Positions or Methods to Unplug the Sink Disposal for Dummies.” We’ve been over this.”
“I’m sorry Crumpled… I’m sorry Flattened slice of paper, we don’t mean to be a bother, I think Fitz was just wondering…” Smithann interrupted but the paper stopped her short.
“Look at our planet, Smithann. Just look. Do you think we care about your moral ways of being and filthy heart space-filled eruptions?”
Smithann looked around at Planet Blink. It was a barren land of not much to do. Actually the only thing Smithann had seen was this big empty warehouse so far.
The paper watched her and thought about all of the more fun things she could be doing than carting these two morons around. There was a movie playing at the Disease Free Cinematic. She could catch that. There was also a sun shining somewhere in the fourth quandrant near the Very Kinky Sitter. She always liked catch the suns and drive them down from the sky with her laser beam power.
She enjoyed creeping up the horizon, spotting the jumbly, bumbling, stupid happy sun, and BAM! Blasting it suddenly with three red fiery laser beams from her hole punch rings and it would shriek and melt down from the sky whimpering sadly. She knew it could always come back the next day though so she didn’t feel so bad about it. It’s not like she was damaging it forever or nothing. It was fun.
And something to do. Ever since most of the pencils had evacuated Planet Blink there was no one to fill in the blanks (as well as talk to except the tourists.) Yes, the pens were still here but they were boring as fuck and she…
“By the way, you never told us your name…” Fitz asked.
“Your name is Average? Well my, that is quite odd… does it not bother you?” Fitz asked.
“Does the name Fitz bother you?” Average asked.
“Oh my, no, no never. I am named after the great and illustrious wr-“
“Oh save it, we have some more scraps to find before we can stop for lunch.” Average cut in.
Fitz stopped talking abrubtly and he and Smithann started tooking around the barren warehouse for more crumpled pieces of paper or sodden receipts to unfold. Average watched disdainfully as they performed their tourist duties and then she ordered a cup of latte from the main office. She would join them soon but for now she was taking a break, she was tired.
It had been a long night of filing Weekend Treats and marking up the brochures to be sent to all the galaxies they could reach. The more tourists the better, as the old boss used to say, although she wasn’t sure where he was now, as he was rounded up during the Fits and Metaphors.
A scrap fluttered by Average. She knew what was on it even before picking it up, she had seen this one a few times before,
EVEN THE ESCORTS ARENT RESPONDING - m4w (95923)
Average didn’t know how much Smithann and Fitz knew. Obviously, they had responded to her travel agency and paid the fee, but did they even have any idea what they were getting into? Fitz seemed to be picking up on something but she knew she didn’t have to worry a whit about Smithann, that louse. Or is it lice? Average all of a sudden felt sleepy and wished that her one special Pencil was here to correct her. She liked to be corrected. By him, that is.
Suddenly Smithann came running up to her waving a long strip of paper and smiling stupidly. Average tried to turn around smoothly and completely ignore her but Smithann just circled around and still encroach her.
“What is it Smithann?”
“A long one! I found a long one…. maybe it’s enough words to get us up to the slip quota and then we can all go eat, I mean, Fitz is getting grumpy and even though he’s not really, technically my boyfri-“
“No one cares.”
“No, I mean he’s really very handsome and all, but the way things are and such-“
“I do not care.”
“Well, I’m sure if you got to know us more and…” Smithann trailed off and kept smiling at her blandly. Average felt a little bit of bile at the back of her throat and squinted very hard hoping that if she squinted hard enough the child would disappear and she could think of her pencils alone and in reverie.
“Oh, you’re still here,” she realized after a few minutes, “let’s hear it then.”
Smithann unfurled the scrollish piece of paper and Fitz trampled over very noisily while Average waited on the words. She hoped that this time it would be enough. It would be enough information or some new thing where they could take it to the last boss left and maybe figure out a way out of this mess.
And her paper did seem pretty long. She hoped it was the one.
“Ok!” Smithann smiled widely and pushed her blue hair spike down to the left toward her toes, “Here goes, hope I don’t mess it up!”
and respect boundaries. I will be shaved and would like to shower there
world. I a fitting metaph
It’s time – w4m
his is to add some sexy new things d
40’s Dom fall in the whole ppened pretty fast.
Office or HWe are both clean,
We chat about current events, then you ask me to look at your leaking sink.
likes: fun minded people
dislikes: rude/crass p erience when exiseople
Looking for a Grandma type who Still enjoys Co
“Ok stop right there,” Average sighed and looked around the empty warehouse, “There’s nothing new…” she muttered.
A barren breeze shot from the ac unit while Fitz continued to stare longingly at Smithann. The paper slammed her coffee down, “We need to keep searching.”
“Sucked out by the vacuum of space” -a short story. (1 Chapter, section 4)
“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 evil grin and damn that looks creepy” Natalianese paused and glanced around the Burger Bop lobby skittishly.
“Alright Natalianese…” Ben sighed and shook his head, “we’re gonna figure this out.”
“Sucked out by the vacuum of space” -a short story. (1 Chapter section 3)
“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———–
- — the door to the Burger Bop burst open and Smithann came barreling in.
The door to the Burger Bop burst open. The doorstop shrieked and scuttled into the nearest corner, stifling a whimper, a little bloody. Nobody cared.
“Smithann!” Her mom yelled through thought-transference. But Smithann could hardly hear it in her head because of all the letter ‘d’s suspended in the air. She didn’t think that actual physical objects (especially huge, black, and shiny letter ‘d’s) would really be able to interfere with the way they talked. Or would they?
She had seen some weird stuff before- one time her friend Benitha was telling her a story about a guy at school and all of a sudden her eyes stopped peering deep into Smithann’s and her mouth opened wide and gross and the corners of her lips expanded and MOVED up on her face toward her cheeks and these strange guttural shrieks came out of her tube. It was so crazy. Smithann had heard the laughing track in her mind before but she had never seen a display as gross as this. Afterward, Benitha picked up all of her books in a hurry and ran out of the room. They never talked about it again.
The ‘d’s were starting to accumulate and press up against the windows of the Burger Bop. Some were small and very, very tiny. They were getting stuck in the crevices of the Slurpee machine and she wondered how long it would take to coax them all out later. Some were big and teetered on the edges of the counter and near the sack chute. This was bad.
Her mom waded in through the ‘d’s, elbowing some of them, and finally stopped in front of Smithann, glaring at her angrily. “What have you done?!” Smithann heard thinly in her head.
“Come on, Mom, you don’t see all these fucking ‘d’s in the air? How would I know-“
Her mom’s eyes snapped closed suddenly and Smithann wasn’t sure if her mom had heard what she said but she really hoped so. She really did. Her mom’s eyes snapped back open and Smithann thought everything was okay but then they snapped back closed again. It started going faster. “Uh-oh,” she thought, “This isn’t helping.”
“Sit down Mom,” she thought, “over there.” But she wasn’t sure if she heard her or not. A lone ‘d’ suddenly popped up by her mom’s head but she didn’t even try to shoo it away with her hand. Her eyes kept doing that weird closing thing while the ‘d’ bounced gently against her temple. Smithann decided it was time to try what she’d been practicing at home, thank God. She opened her mouth but the door to the Burger Bop burst open again.
“What the fuck?” Ben2Times grimaced in his mind and immediately started knocking the ‘d’s out of his way and even stomped one into the linoleum. Stephania stared at him angrily in amazement he hoped and he grabbed her hand and walked toward the counter. He saw Smithann staring at her mom (of all people, damn!) while she opened and closed her eyes… he had seen this before, too. There was so much they didn’t know about him, no one did. Good. He liked it that way, but for now, he didn’t care if they knew or not and the objective was to make Stephania stop clearing her throat and singing that song AND to fix his voice, etcetera.
Now this. Her mom, of all people. Ben2Times let his mind wander back to the freight train that was three years ago. He pictured Smithann’s mom in the backyard in that white bikini, him showing up drunk in the middle of the day and hoping to lean on Smithann’s shoulder… she was so good at being a friend and listening and not putting any demands on him. He remembered Mrs. Filler’s sultry voice… “Call me Natalianese Ben. I don’t mind…”
The way she glared at him when he walked into the backyard, put the lotion in his hands, put his hands on her tits. He… he just… oh well, that was a long time ago and now was not the time to picture it especially with all this interference he might not know what was going through, or capable of going through into their heads.
All of this poured through his head while the ‘d’s bounced gently and ricocheted off their shoulders, floating through the air.
“I feel like you’re doing this to embarrass me.” Stephania heard in her head.
The problem was she wasn’t sure who said it. It sounded so far away. It could have ben Ben2Times but why would she try to embarrass him? She would never do that, not in a million years. Never. For reals, never.
She couldn’t help it that the ‘d’s were doing whatever popped into her head. The four of them had been here for like three years now standing at the counter of the Burger Bop and every time a thought or idea (or memory or wish or just fleeting things) or anything popped into her head the ‘d’s had evolved to start performing it. But were they performing? Now she wasn’t so sure. Maybe they believed it. Could they see her? Could they see Ben?
Stephania cleared her throat. She wasn’t sure but she could almost feel Ben2Times grimace. She looked at him but he was just looking at her in the usual, normal way.
It started 2 years ago. They were all standing at the counter and she happened to think of a leather-studded flamingo gyrating and dancing awesomely to AC/DC’s classic tune “Thunderstruck.” She didn’t know where it came from but she thought of it.
All of a sudden, one of the more hefty ‘d’s started gyrating and moving its bottom and she could swear that she heard the song playing just a little bit in the back of her head. The ‘d’ picked up speed, moving it’s circular bottom and it almost seemed to turn a little pink hue but no one was quite sure, they never had fully agreed on that. It was a moot point now though because since then they had witnessed the ‘d’s doing some pretty weird things.
The thunderstruck flamingo never stopped dancing and eventually started picking up other ‘d’s and tossing them on the wall or seeming to kiss them deeply, swooning to the ground. And at one point most of the other ‘d’s in the Burger Bop started encircling the walls while these connected steel cages glimmered thinly into view and then all the ‘d’ flamingos were inside the connected steel cages gyrating and rocking out while the initial rock ‘d’ continued his gyrations and pure awesomeness. He periodically pulled random ‘d’s from the auditorium-like cages that were now glamoured in the walls and seemed to kiss them deeply, and naturally the swoon. The four of them had about four weeks of hard work sweeping up ‘d’s and it was getting very distracting.
“Stephania!” Ben yelled, “STOP THINKING OF FLAMINGOS!”
“I’m not! I’m trying so hard. I’m literally not thinking of flamingos.” She said as she softly hummed “…thuuuunderstuck..”
“Stop it. Just stop it.”
“I’m not.” She whined as Smithann’s mom’s eyes kept closing and opening, which was still really weird and hard for her to look at.
“I feel like you’re trying to embarrass me.” Ben said, but all she heard from far away was “…..emb…rrs…. eeeee.”
She could barely hear him but she knew what he was saying. She decided to just glare at him anyway. He didn’t know. The one thing she did know was that she wasn’t trying to embarrass him. She wouldn’t do that until a million years. Well, at least not intentionally.
“You have to be careful.” She heard from somewhere.
“Duly noted,” she thought, as a leather-studded flamingo drifted by, sniffing coke above her head.
“Sucked out by the vacuum of space”
-a short story
Smithann took her fries out of the bin. She twiddled with the greasy phalange-type crustables and let her mind daydream about Ben2Times. The long spatula probe caught on a lone fry and its collapsible eye bulged open and wearily blinked, then closed. “Come on, sweet sleepy guy…” she muttered distractedly in a sing song voice and the fry fell all the way to sleep while she slid it gently into the sack.
“Order up!” Smithann yelled into her collar which she knew she didn’t even have to say or yell but liked the idea of it anyway. Usually, whenever she just thought a thought it would project out into the air around her, so she didn’t have to worry about using words or things like that. But she liked to practice using sounds with her throat at home when no one was around and it felt nice when she could make it happen. Ddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd
Wow, that was weird, Smithann thought when she noticed all the letter “d”s floating around her in the air. “Where did those come from?”
It was another crap day in another crap bed with another crap shitty pod jumper he had picked up last week. Ben2Times stared at the beige fold of a bedsheet that probably used to be white. He hated this bed. He stared at the helix of crust residue gathering momentum into a weird trail on the sheets and decided today was the day he would make so many changes. He hated this life. He would make more changes than anyone would believe. Starting now!
He grabbed a hefty corner of grungy sheets and yanked with all his might. The pod jumper sprang awake and bounced halfway into the air, her huge green breasts bouncing and awesome, he had to admit. “Get up you cranky green pheromone affair!” Ben2Times yelled playfully into the air. Well really he thought the concept of yelling it playfully into the air and so it happened like that in her brain, so he hoped. But for now he just stared at her creepily and intense until she received the message. She stared back deep into his eyes with rage until the irony receptors on her left skin fluttered and she laughed heartily, bouncing and green and all. God, she is bountiful, Ben2Times thought, but then he shook his head vigorously and cleared his throat in his head. But nothing happened.
He did it again.
Seeing that there was some kind of malfunction or maybe he was having a weird dream or something he tried to figure out what to do in order to fix this problem. He had planned to say, “When are you gonna wash these sheets around here?” or something like that, but none of the words were going in her head and they seemed to be stuck in his, but not really, he couldn’t figure it out.
Ben2Times didn’t know what to do so he walked over to Stephania and shook her shoulders a bit. She continued to stare angrily into his eyes as was par the course but something was off. Usually, when they stared at each other it was easy. They both knew what the other was saying or wanted to say and only very rarely it would sometimes get disengaged, but he knew that that was when she knew she had had an Article 4563 thought and enacted the common drill of erasure which no one had yet figured to encroach or filhack, or so they were told. He shook Stephania’s shoulders a little harder but still nothing happened. Finally, he let his hands fall slack, and they just stared.
After ten minutes, Stephania bent her knee a little and started this weird little stretch dance type thing with her left leg from the knee down. She kept staring deep into his eyes but the rest of her body didn’t really move and the wind from the pod vent curled the bits of hair flying about her intense face.
After her leg stretch she stopped staring at him, which was strange. No one usually does that, at least not in real life. Her head bent down and she let her feet curl into the heavily padded floor. He looked down too and then noticed a pizza crust from the night before bent inside one of the creases of the plush folds so he picked it up, plopped it in his mouth, and continued to stare at the floor. The pizza was good.
He felt a soft tap on his shoulder and looked up. Stephania was staring down at him longingly, or so he thought. Now he couldn’t tell, everything seemed off-kilter. He heard a strange sound and realized that she was clearing her throat. In real life.
It sounded beautiful.
With all the ddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddds floating in the air, Smithann had a hard time with the lunch rush. The fries kept waking up and arguing with each other and she was so distracted that she didn’t lull them back to obey and they fought tooth and nail not to go in the sack. It was tiring. “Come on little babies…” she’d coo but the dddddddddddds would bump and bounce off the sides of her cheeks and sometimes fall down into the fry bin and crush a poor fry flat. It was sad.
One time, a “d” actually flew straight up into the air like a rocket and broke through the pod roof and now she was going to have to explain the hole, the probe, and the pack of buns that blew out before she could get to the second hatch and pressurize. What an awful day. She had to get some help before more d’s were sucked or blown or whatever the fuck was going on. She tried Ben2Times like five times and there was no answer which had absolutely never happened to her before.
Everyone always answers unless they have Moved On and at that point there is a memorial enactment and the Big Like. Maybe she would try her mom, but she knew at that point it would get weird because her mom was always coming up with new theories of why we exist in the world and finding new theorists to meet with her and recondition her vials and so she might save that head of ache and call her aunt. At least she didn’t pod with the doctors like her mom sometimes did (and think she didn’t know). Where was Ben2Times? Why was he unavailable? Who does that?
Stephania cleared her throat again. It felt good. Real good. She thought she just might do this forever. Clearing the throat and being super sexy and green. Guys would like that.
She could tell Ben2Times did. He was feeling it. She cleared her throat again and stared angrily, deeply into his eyes.
Stephania cleared her throat.
She did it again.
The lights died.
When the lights went off suddenly, Ben2Times figured he’d had enough. He cleared his throat. He heard Stephania do the same. Enough of this crap, he thought and nothing happened. He heard Stepahnia clear her throat again and he decided to do something, anything to get something done. He felt his way through the darkness and picked up a Light/Tunes/Cooking rod and threw it into the opposite wall. The crash was loud, but not what he hoped for, not like the movies.
“That was weird.” He heard a booming voice yell.
“Stephania…. was that you?” He heard the words gurgle up from his throat and they sounded tinny, far away. Why was Stephania’s voice so awesome and his so crappy, wtf. He wanted the awesome voice.
“I AM THE VERY MODEL OF A MODERN MAJOR-GENERAL…” her voiced boomed in a sing-song way and he could hear her feet doing a little shuffle in the dark. Well, he hoped that was her feet.
“I’VE INFORMATION VEGETABLE, ANIMA-
“Stephania, stop.” His voice came out even tinnier than before and now he could smell a slight burning in the room and it seemed electrical. He wasn’t sure if it was from the warming rod crash or what was happening. They had to get out of here and start to figure this thing out. Maybe Smithann could help. Fuck. He couldn’t tap her and now he would have to find her. She was probably at work and he’d have to take Stephania with him.
“MINERAL!” Stephania yelled and he found her body in the dark and placed his finger forcefully against her lips. She tried to bite and he grabbed her hip with his other hand to discourage it, and so she licked instead. God, she was sexy. Crazy, but fun and sexy (and maddening), the perfect kind of jumper.
He fished around in the dark and grabbed her black g-string and flip flops, thrust them in her hands, and decided right then that they were going to stop and the Clothe and Go for a proper Citizen 7 shirt and maybe trousers. He couldn’t traipse her to the Burger Bop like this, especially not with Smithann there. True, they were just friends, but it was just not the way things were done. His Papa taught him that 3000 fjoids ago. He had never forgot it.
To be continued!
At the end of the second part of class today I realized that he’s not so bad. (OMG this lady in the library right now is changing the printer paper and shit and is SOOOOO angry. She is old and slamming the drawers and the paper in and looking a us crazily.) In class we talked about the Jihari window and how there are things that you keep hidden from people, things that open, and things that are blind to and things that are unknown. He said that when you write you can go into the unknown and I liked that. It makes me wonder what is hidden about me that other people can see but I can’t see for myself. I know what is hidden about him and he can’t see but I should probably not judge him for that.
But then I wrote in “Freewriting Portion” today that we all do that when we write stories and stuff. Judging. Anyway, wtf with this lady. Today I learned a lot about writing and taking chances so I am going to write a short story and take chances. I’m sorry to my teacher and I’m glad he wasn’t such a cuntbucket today and was nice to me and actually even smiled when I was there. I’m going to keep saying my affirmations and treat people nice and everything like that. It will be great and I think things are going to work out finally.