The Snipped Red Whip

I saw her first on the bus at dusk on a Monday. We were sitting parallel to each other in the seating arranged for the disabled and the elderly. She had pouty lips with bright red lipstick and long thick red hair framing a pale face. The length of the hair was a theme, coinciding with her long legs and long arms. She stared into me and I thought I had a chance.

Meeting her eyes sheepishly, she smiled and when she smiled the world seemed to light up despite the setting sun. My eyes are a dull gray that’s never been able to move a woman any further than a millimeter either way. There was nothing in my eyes worth a second glance. Her eyes were a deep blue. If I were to stare into her eyes deep enough, I imagine I could see waves and maybe just a little bit of the Ivory Coast.

She was sitting next to Sabrina Waller. Age had shrunk Sabrina 2 inches since I first met her. Her green eyes were slowly turning to milk from behind a pair of thick glasses. Her clothes were walking the tight rope between apathy and neglect, shown apparent by the two month old coffee stain still on her blouse. Sabrina was a friend to anyone and had been for all her 80 years but right then she was listening to Gershwin and removed from the world at large.

5 minutes from my stop and the red headed woman was still staring at me, growing a large toothy smile. From behind Sabrina’s thick braided hair she pulled what seemed to be a piece of red licorice. Dumbfounded, I stared as she retrieved more and more confectionery. Then she bit into the candy and pulled with her teeth until the whole meter long piece was ripped from Sabrina. With an impossible slurp, she sucked it in. I could have sworn I saw it wriggle, resist.

Sabrina fell to the floor and never got back up. Two days later, (if her daughter told me the truth) the doctor declared her dead. I thought of mentioning the redhead with the powerful mouth but I realized no one would believe me. I had been up for 72 hours and I think I’m the only one who saw her. Maybe that’s why I saw her; she’s something that’s always there but it takes a tired mind to see.

When I think of her picking the strands of all those innocent people, I shutter. I’m pretty sure I know what she is and quite frankly I do not appreciate the service she provides. It’s been 48 hours since I last slept and I’m riding every bus I can with the hopes of finding her again. She’s probably looking for me too as my health is not what you’d call good. I thought about just sitting in that comfy chair in my living room and waiting for her to come to me but I feel I must be proactive.

The pistol feels heavier in my bag than it did in my hand.

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Manyara Was Bitten by the Sky

The night was coffee for the soul, black and thick with rising steam. Manyara was more awake now than she had ever been prior. It was an ache, a burn or maybe a bite but ultimately it was past and the future was in front of her. If she kept moving east she’d get home where there was alcohol to numb, a door for locking and a bed sheet to make all the bad things go away.

These type of wounds don’t tend to go away. In fact, most people keep the little biters with them as a sort of ipso facto memento of the scariest moment of there lives. However, Manyara was pretty sure that if she walked enough the thing would just leave. With each step she pressed herself harder towards the house where the ice cream lived and the shower was hot. The pain didn’t matter, she was sure if she could just make it…

Right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot.

The house was getting closer with every step and the cookies and cream in the freezer began to seem like a good substitute for a shower. The bite was a nagging, grating thing that grew more tedious with every step. Switching gears, she decided that the best course of action was to lean on a brick wall in vague hope of eventual relief. A passerby noticed the hobbling woman and called 911 who picked her up 3 minutes and 5 feet later where she had collapsed due to leaking.

Two blocks to the north a man named Tom had missed and died because of it. Manyara did slightly better that night but the curve was not that impressive.

Why The Other Half Mod

It isn’t very hard to change this world. All you really have to do is just go into the proper folders and redo the images as needed. You can make your father thinner, your mother prettier and just get rid of your little brother all together. If you have some skill in coding, you can make yourself a dog to keep you company on those long nights when you thinking too much about how much do four people need to stay alive. Maybe four is too much, maybe the older sibling is the one that should leave.

It’s okay to try it here, a game can always be reset. If you should not want to play the game, then perhaps you can play another. Elsewhere, resets are hard to come by and the alternatives are grim. Best to just stay where you are and dream.

Turn Off, Work, Turn On

Love was on hold with all other emotions. These holds were getting longer and longer. Victoria was thinking about installing a button behind her right ear so she could toggle her emotions more easily. Without need of the adjustment chair, she could just turn off when a driver rode her bumper or a customer demanded a refund for used food. She could turn on when she saw roses or butterflies.

No, this way was easier to get through. You never know when an inconvenient memory might change one’s mood and ruin even the sunniest of days. No, this way was better: 9-5 robot, 5-9 human being.

Beep

“Cash or credit?”

Beep

“Paper or plastic?”

Beep

“Would you like the whole till or just the denominations of a dollar and more?”

Beep

The adjustment chair was at home with all it’s knobs and lights. All those customizable settings that could give you so many specific emotions and yet Victoria used the thing to just turn hers off. It was so wasteful, in fact it occurred to her that having the thing on at all was pretty wasteful so she unplugged it. It’s actually a pretty good place to keep ones clothes for the next day.

The OTHER Manhattan

“This isn’t a Manhattan.”

“Rye, bitters, sweet vermouth. It’s a Manhattan.”

“No! A Manhattan is an open faced sandwich with gravy, mashed potatoes and roast beef.”

“That doesn’t sound like it could fit in a cocktail glass.”

“Well, I am use to it coming in a beer glass.”

“And your normal bartender just sort of squished it in there?”

“He used a blender and copious amounts of Dark Eyes Vodka.”

“That sounds utterly depressing.”

“ Not going to argue that but I’m a man on the go.”

“Look either way, I do not have a supply of gravy, roast beef and mashed potatoes.”

The dumpy man on the bar stool sat up and from his bag revealed a sealed ziplock and a jar.

“I assume you have bread, a blender and vodka.”

As the blender whirred, Bob the bartender remembered a time when what he learned in Mixology Ethics 101 still meant something. The ingredients soaked together into a brown, starchy, protein rich, mud. It poured quite smoothly into the beer glass. The burping noise was just air escaping the concoction but Bob was sure that sound was God dying.

“That will be $12.”

“That’s outrageous, I won’t pay it.”

“It’s a meal and a well drink.”

“I supplied most of it.”

“Strictly against the health codes wishes I might add. Anyways you employed my bartending services to make it.”

“Well, if I don’t get a combo deal I don’t see the point at all.”

“Actually $16, you never paid for the other Manhattan.”

With that the dumpy man ran away and never returned. At least Bob knew what he was having for lunch.

Rewriting History on a Mini Cassette Tape

`I want you to know that I couldn’t change this. I tried but I guess there is only so much the universe will allow a man to do. There’s some alcohol right above your head. It’s going to hurt but I think you can reach it. Pour it on the wound. Yeah, I know, more pain but at least it’s cleaner. The coroneh… the doctor said the wound didn’t nick anything. The trick is to keep you from bleeding out.

There’s some linens in that basket you dropped right? Okay, grab the bed sheet and just pull it over to you. Put it over the wound and keep pressure there. Now, there’s help coming, so hold on. Luckily for you, Mrs. Jefferson is the nosiest woman in the neighborhood and she heard glass shatter. She thought it was a domestic dispute, but that’s okay. She’s still being a good person at heart.

They do catch him. His name is Herman Muniz. The vicious little idiot tries to pawn our television. I wanted to kill him but it was too late, he was already in custody. Not that I would have been able to do anything to the punk. You were the stronger one of us and you can barely throw a softball. I’m just a sap. I’m sorry here I am bemoaning life without you and you’re still here. What’s wrong with me?

Don’t answer that. Now if you did like you did the last time when you died, you started to check the messages right before he jumped you with that knife. If I got this right the officer is coming to the door right now and things are about to move very fast. Try not to tell Alex about this, I, I mean he, won’t understand. Honestly, I just barely do. It’s unfair to unload on him just how crazy technology will get in the next few years.

I miss you Nancy, don’t let him miss you too.

Somewhere Down the Reincarnation River Deeply in Love

Todd’s falling down the karma valley and he doesn’t know where precisely it ends. He was the boar that ended with the wolf, taking the wolf down with him. Then he was a dog and she was a cat and he chased her into a puddle with a live wire accompanying. They went up and down the food chain, spider/fly, cat/mouse, bat/wildebeest(?). Each time they ended together and it was messy every time. Then Todd was a boy and she was a girl named Stephanie. He goes in for a kiss. She throws him to the ground and goes back to jump rope. The tumbling continues.

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