Category: Episode 11


Episode 11

Oh what wicked things this way comes….but funny wicked!  Episode 11 is all about that sort of tongue in cheek funny in areas of break-ups, break-ins, and just plain odd.  It is my fondest pleasure to have you walk along this dream that may give you a chuckle featuring the fine work of: Tim Murray, K. Bond, Joseph Bouthiette Jr., Ed Go, Ramona Black, Jeffrey Miller, Garrett Socal and Nathaniel Towers. Have a snappy time.

Aleathia

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The only thing more boring than Rousseau and his dang blame Confessions is being forced to listen to a person explain the meaning behind each of their numerous tattoos. And the only thing more brainmeltingly boring than that is being forced to listen to that same person describe the tattoos they have planned for what little is left of their bare flesh:

“Like I have this Egyptian motif planned where like the left side of my head is going be a sarcophagus and like when I turn my head quickly my face will like resemble Ramses II and my right shin is going to be like a wicked Phoenix rising from the ashes and it’ll like engulf my entire body below the waist and then I’m dedicating my bellybutton hole (I have an innie) to my Auntie Vickie because I used to spend summers with her when I was in junior high and she used to make the best blueberry pancakes ever but then she got ran over by a fire truck no she didn’t die the accident just like left her in a wheelchair and  made her become really shitty about life and like she stopped inviting me over for summer vacation and so I totally miss the old her and her wicked blueberry pancakes so I am getting a stack of buttery blueberry pancakes with faux maple syrup tattooed inside my bellybutton hole as a way of keeping the good memories of the pre-accident version of Auntie Vickie and her blueberry pancakes alive.”

Why had he proposed? They were such good friends. Friends. Never lovers. They had never even been on a date. 
 
Marie had visited him in his home — home or castle, whichever you prefer to call it. The concrete dwelling was hidden from the road and crawled with kudzu vines. 
 
When she entered, The Count (a nickname assigned by Marie herself) sat in a grand chair in front of a roaring fire. He fed his parrot cheddar cubes. The gray bird’s beady eyes stared up  from his impeccable feathered crown. 
 
Marie felt her frizzy hair fall in such a way that she knew she looked unattractive and disheveled. The Count was striking — long black hair and intense azure eyes. She could think of no reason for his interest in her. 
 
Then the marriage proposal ejected from his mouth like an offer for tea.
 
When her giggling friends would ask to see her ring, how could she tell her proposal story? Over cheese, she would have to say.
 
Suddenly, her image of The Count dissolved into a socially inept man with a receding hairline. She leaned forward, wrapped her lips around his extended fingers, and grabbed the cheese with her curled tongue.

KA-BOOOOM!

Kim propels and doesn’t realize one of her prized purple cowboy boots was ripped from her foot as she grinds along the side walk, road rash punishing her from her thighs to her lower back. She also doesn’t realize her toilet just exploded, and that her daisy dukes are still clinging to her ankles.

Tall-scruffy-business-casual hastily approaches. “Are you alright, miss?” He helps her to her feet, and she frantically rips her bottoms up over her bleeding and pain-pulsing, yet still highly attractive ass.

“Uhh, miss, don’t want to embarrass you after just launching from what I guess is your home, but you have, umm, shit stuck to your necklace.”

Kim pulls at her real-silver plated necklace, and feels the now room-temperature feces collected at her throat. Yet, it doesn’t smear; it clings tightly.

“How long has your crap been magnetic?”

Kim’s flustered cries don’t form cohesive words as she continues tearing at her necklace, attempting to either rip it off or remove her bowel presents from it.

“Yup, that’s magnetic all right. My guess?  It collected in your septic system, clinging to any metal parts, and when nothing else could pass through, it exploded. Good luck with that.”

Kim isn’t listening as he walks away. Sirens wail ever-closer, a first response to the explosion, but she doesn’t hear those either.

Sympathy, she feels for him as globs of goo run down his leg.  No—empathy.  This isn’t the last time we’ll be together, she assures him as shivers of Aphrodite’s spit shake the column where he rocked.  She’s not as cruel as she intends, but she has an agenda and way about her that will not move.  The men she moved with moved with her, in any direction she flowed; at times the flow was bidirectional, monthly changing till the next.  Each gave as much as she took, but took less than she was willing to give.  They called her names and let her ride them, but sticks and stones are better tools.  Only one would win momentum, but even he would pay a price.  
           
He asks how he’ll go as she covers her assets.  Don’t be childish, she tells him as he sinks back to bed level.  She begins to move but one last spring forth of him holds her front.  Please, he pleads, please me.  She breaks his grip and gropes the saddle of his rocking:  What we have is too grand to ruin with expectation.  Tomorrow, perhaps, you’ll have it, or perhaps a tomorrow after.  What’s the rush?  Why this ancient rancor?  There’s much joy in the sea of the city—go out and find some fish.
           
She leaves him in hope and coffee; he takes it as she leaves it.  He only wishes vertical were as comforting as she is.  Decades pass; he moves on—decades dust and settle.  In the grass of home, bodies swaying, gentle in the cradle.  And she on clouds between them swings from earthquake to the pasture; only once does she regret the path that she has chosen.  And in that once she almost chose him, but couldn’t touch the pavement.

“Do you want to have a three-way?” the woman in the car asked.  Eloise paused, confused.

“Um…no,” she responded.

“My husband wants a three-way. I don’t know how to find another girl.”  The woman gazed about helplessly.

“Maybe an escort service?”

“I don’t want to PAY for it.”  She looked at Eloise, “Would you be interested?”

Eloise stepped back. “I can’t, I have class.”

The woman frowned.  “And I don’t?”

“No.  CLASS, not class.  As in school.  Finals.”

“Oh.”  The woman sighed.  “Thanks anyway.  Good luck with finals.”

“Good luck with the three way.”

Kathy had already gone through our album collection, writing initials on the ones she insisted she bought—the dishes and glasses had been easier to divvy up, most had already been shattered against the kitchen wall—before she called and said to come over and pick up the rest of my shit.

After I worked up the courage with a couple of shots at Flo’s—just in case she still had some fight left in her—I headed over to what used to be our house just down the street. She must have been furious. The two plastic pink flamingos, the ones we bought at a garage sale two years ago were lying in the muddy front yard belly up. My shit, as she referred to it on the phone was on the front porch—the part of the porch that was not covered—which after the last thunderstorm, a soggy reminder of what we once had.

She wasn’t even home for one last fight. Her kid sister got the honor of handing over the rest of my stuff and then, reminding me to hand over the key. Either her sister feigned ignorance or finally got back at me for the time Kathy and I locked her in the bedroom so we could do it on the couch, she knew nothing of the Elvis on black velvet.

“I know it’s still here,” I said moving past her.

Kathy and I bought it three years ago on our way back from Galena where we had gone antiquing. Some guy was selling them in the parking lot of this abandoned Sonic Drive-in. It wasn’t just any Elvis black velvet painting. This was his “Love Me Tender” days when Elvis was, well Elvis and not the overweight buffoon and rock and roll caricature he would become in the late 60s and 70s. She was just as much an Elvis fan as I was and we both fell in love with it at the same time.

“I think you should wait until she gets home,” her sister said. “If she finds out you were rummaging around the house, she’ll be angry.”

The painting used to hang on the wall in the living room, above the sofa, but it had been replaced with a print of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. I was almost tempted to take that one, too.

There was only one place it could be.

“You can’t go in there.” Her sister moved toward the bedroom door but I moved faster. She stepped out of the way; maybe she thought I would lock her in the bedroom again.

There it was, on the bedroom wall above the bed. There was no way I was going to let this Elvis watch over her while she looked up at him when another man banged her. I pulled it off the wall leaving a faint outline where it once had been.

“What’s mine is mine.” I said and walked out with Elvis under my arm. And then, I curled my upper lip and in my best Elvis impersonation, “the King is gone but not forgotten.”

As dusk set in, the highway heading south was clogged with cars, vans, SUVs, Hummers, tour buses and trucks.  The vehicles were crawling, inch by endless inch, a sea of pebbles at the mercy of a sluggish Friday rush hour tide.  Vonda Barrett was boxed in by a moving van on her left and a Mack truck on her right, each the length of the Great Wall of China, or so it seemed.  She tried to extricate herself from these mountains of steel but it was impossible; she was resigned to the fact that if she dozed off and an accident occurred she’d be crushed to a gory death, and that would be that.  A grape squashed by the foot of a gorilla.  No one would know she was even there.
 
Behind her smoky Goth eyes and platinum blonde hair, Vonda was a small town brunette who used to play baseball and bake red velvet cakes.  At seventeen, she conjured up a new life, turning Halloween into a daily activity.
 
When the traffic began to flow again, allowing vehicles to increase their speed, Vonda was thinking about the Standard Hotel with its white façade illuminated by eerie blue lights, and its quirky, eye-catching upside-down banner that seemed like the work of a prankster or a legally blind hotel employee.  With its live performance art, electric blue astro-turf sundeck, and nightly DJ in the lobby, the place thrilled and energized her.   
 
Vonda closed her eyes and could practically smell the hotel’s heavily perfumed air that seemed imported from some magical place where it was manufactured with a combination of oxygen and opiate.  She inhaled, and pretended.       
 
Just as Vonda opened her eyes, she thought her car had been struck by a missile from the sky, and the world was coming to a deafening, fiery end.  Then came the screeching of metal, and then the blasting or horns like the brass section of an amateur orchestra trying in vain to play the same note.  Like a flash frame in a movie, she caught a fleeting glimpse of her smiling parents before the screen abruptly cut to black.

i.
We brought flowers for our dead lovers. They smelled them and thanked us for the gesture, but we could see suspicion buried in their eyes. They figured we were up to something. We couldn’t blame them. There was plenty of precedent. Disappointed, we left the flowers and marched away to our new lovers.
 
ii.
Our former lovers brought us flowers. We said thanks and smelled them, but we wondered why they brought them. They must’ve been up to something. They were always up to something. Still, we felt bad when they marched away, heads down in that dejected fashion they always had when they couldn’t please us.
 
iii.
When we met up with our new lovers, they wondered where we had been. We were late they told us and why hadn’t we brought them anything. The words hesitated on the way out of our mouths. There was nothing we could say to justify our crime, and we couldn’t shake the feeling that somehow they knew where we had been.