Plaster of Heather

Triggers: capitivity

Amanda was a normal girl. She was wearing long black pantyhose and blue flats. Her hair was pink and fluffed. A black dress with red frilly piping was hung on the door, where it had been for three weeks. She was waiting for an occasion. Amanda wiped clean, 1 square. Neat as always. If she had a girlfriend, her girlfriend might be proud. She sighed and washed her hands. As she got the thirty second mark of brushing her teeth she she had an epiphany and looked up.

“Are you my girlfriend?”

“Well honey…”

Heather had a blank expression and a lot of patience in her face. She had time to learn patience. Blond straight hair dripped towards the floor. Her dull blue eyes were wide open, awake for the first time in days.

“You generally do not install your girlfriend in the bathroom ceiling.”

“The humidity keeps the mucus cocoon alive and capable of supporting you.”

“This is also not generally a normal caveat of a relationship.”

“So if I took you down, would you be my girlfriend.”

“Well I was your girlfriend before you literally stole EVERYTHING from me.”

“Like but why leave the person, if you’re going to take someone for all the worth, why leave the cuddly part.”

“The cuddly part glued to the ceiling.”

“Are you going to be my girlfriend or not?”

“Wined or dined in an expensive restaraunt vs being a booger in a crazy lady’s bathroom? Hmm.”

“Stop speaking in riddles. Yeah, I know but like we could go to Bazabeaux. I mean its not as cool as living in my bathroom but there’s pizza.”

“GET ME DOWN YOU FUCKING IDIOT.”

Amanda ran downstairs to get a spatula. Returning with the spatula and a step ladder, with what was obviously some manner of routine, she climbed up shoved the spatula behind Heather’s and applied a small amount of pressure. The stuff broke like plaster full of shards and dust. First came the apples up front and for a second freefall then the peaches in the back bounced ever so slightly on the ground. Heather’s prison cushioned the fall making more dust. Heather coughed

“Are you hurt?”

“I’m going to bathe now. Retrieve my black dress. If you pawned my black dress, skin yourself and tan me a black dress.”

A shower, a zipping and a walk down the stairs later, Heather reached a glass door opening to a very quiet neighborhood. As she clacked down the sidewalk, she turned to find that she had been inside a very black Queen Anne in a very new planned community. Her Subaru Forester was sitting in the driveway.

“I’ve managed to get 5 mpg over the sticker.”

Amanda was right next to her like a bamf and there was a faint smell of sulfur. Heather reckoned that number was under the burden of multiple kidnapped victims. And for a second she cursed herself for enabling a witch by allowing the witch to steal her station wagon. But no proof. Nope. Pizza now. The back seats were folded down though. LALALA

There was a phone book, cushioning a history book on the driver’s seat and the steering wheel was angled downwards. Heather politely took shotgun, still perhaps in a dream state. Maybe dreams just never stop and there’s no need to face obtuse realities. Yet it wasn’t cold when last Heather had sat in her car and a glance would suggest over a hundred miles had been put on to the odometer. Daylight was behind the skyline when they managed to get downtown. It took half an hour to be seated. It took 20 to get food. Heather wished there was a calendar to go with the clock.

“You’re not touching your lobster nonsense.”

“How long was I out.”

“Oh 5 years.”

Heather was pretty sure she could just punch her. As if she had found a shortcut past anger and right to reprisal.

“I’m 31”

Amanda looked up from the sausage and peperoni pizza she bought in an actual sit down pizzeria.

“You’re 26”

“I remember my birthdate for god sake.”

“Its kinda irrelevant though, you’re not getting older.”

The dream was subsiding.

“I’m a toy aren’t I?”

“Is that bad?”

It was quiet. Heather ate a slice every ten minutes and when the hour was done there was no pizza.

“I wish the check would get here.”

Amanda pulled out a beautiful amber heart shaped jewel dangeling from a silver chain.

“I could put him in this necklace.”

Heather didn’t feel her heart move at all despite the fact that she punched Amanda hard enough to break that little round nose.

“Do what you want, I’m going home.”

Heather took the keys and walked out. The sausage took another half hour, mainly out of cowardice. Then Amanda went poof and Amanda was in the second story of her house.

Heather was sitting on top the step ladder in the bathroom.

“Okay your some sort of Greek god, I get it. I’m screwed. Just how do we do this though?”

“You can sleep in my bed with me”

“That’s a twin and also no.”

“You can sleep inside this Barbie bed I keep in a converse box.”

“You can sleep on the couch.”

But Amanda was already wondering who she should put in the shoebox.

 

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Good Neighbors Say Bless You

It’s not a necessity. It’s throwing pepper over the shoulder. It’s a braid of garlic right next to the doorway. It is perhaps a defecation but mostly its an ass being water cooled for five minutes: a meditation per chance to poop. In the two minute mark of this revery, something opened the front door, hacked and snarled. Comedy suggests, this is when you hear plonk but no time for nirvana now. There’s an sks in the corner that has a flash hider just long enough to hold toilet paper.

She stands and closes the lid and puts the 1 ply on top while pulling her lounge pants up. From the linen closet she retrieves and loads 10 from a stripper clip of russian short. She closes the door and fixes her bayonet because why the fuck not. She cautiously walks up the two steps out the garage and into the kitchen. Long fluorescent tubes buzz overhead, lighting an island of chipped and chiseled marble and mismatched appliances. This was no stainless place. There was still blue dye staining the sink and the dishes.

She moved into the dining room. On the not shaker dining room table her HP with the 15 inch screen chugged away at… facebook, just facebook. Her rifle was not shouldered, this was casual mode. Very casual, with a knife. And a gun. A knife gun. Breathe in. Breathe out. Shoulder.

Both doors were wide open. There was a 2.5 meter biped with a thick black fur on the top slowly thinning at the belly and obviously shedding legs. There was peppering on the snout but very clean, very bleached huge canines. A pair of jorts equal to John Cena’s were daisy dukes upon his frame. You could see the phablet tucked in the right pocket. There was a rubber band full of letters sitting on the table. A hankie was in his left claw.

“God damn it Tim. Knock.”

He pointed to the plywood. He pointed to the glass. He curls his slightly less wolfy right hand into a fist. Stephanie stood the rifle against the bookshelf between Skyfall and Soulplane. She did this in order to have hands free for talking.

“Then use the doorbell Tim. Next time.”

She slouched into the sofa displacing a throw pillow, a newspaper and a bunch of junk mail. There was a naked bulb dangling from the ceiling, the ceiling fan was still. A white flat extension cord snaked under the bookshelf powering the tv.

“Text me?”

On the stool between the sofa and the television, her iphone was charging. It chirped with another notification.

“Get a better neighbor Tim, this one is an idiot.”

He made a patting motion. She nodded. His palmed made a slow motion dribble on her koolaid hair, fingers extended well past where a baseball cap would have ended. He shrugged and walked away. She tossed a bag of oregano at him. No really. He caught it deftly. There would be a mason jar of marinara later. Then an oil change in exchange. Quid pro quo, mas o menos.

Long After the Plunge

          Words trickle and drip down the sink. Letter, periods, whole damn sentences get stuck in the traps, junction and lord forbid the sewer pipe. Plumbers have been known to become wordsmiths out of sheer immersion in the stuff. It’s not uncommon for a journeyman to be covered head to toe with it: poems on his hand, face smattered with awfully stupid philosophy, and an amateur novel just sprayed all over him. No matter how hard you clean you can still smell the literacy, just a little bit.
          Paul’s been a plumber for 20 years and a literati for 15. He’s got a new novel and he’s shopping it around but nobody’s biting. Roots still creep and drains still clog, so he’s not afraid of going hungry. Marla Oglesby of 212 Rivolli Blv has a problem with her drain. Her problem is she had decided to drop a perfectly good sentence down a s pipe. Careless, but she’s old. Paul tucked it into his bag           He tries to get her to switch to copper and she doesn’t. No one buys copper, it cost too much and isn’t better enough for your average jerk to switchover. The difference is, pvc was never built to hold your soul like copper was. Sure it’ll take your waste and water but those parts of you that are less tangible? Well, they’ll just drip into your crawlspaces and then you’ll end up leaving a part of you that you thought discarded. The next home owners definitely won’t want it.
          He walks out the backdoor. There’s nothing to be done for Ms. Oglesby. She’ll just keep on in her way until she meets the grave. Most people do. Paul secretly hopes he’s not part of that majority. The van starts on the second time and he’s off the clock. Home is where the heart is, which is why he doesn’t feel the need to hide the wire and the pipes. One story, one basement; it’s his cave now and it all works just fine.
          Immediately, he delves into the basement with that sack of dirty language. Heavy wash, regular amount of detergent, it’ll come up clean. There’s a light clamped to an old pipe above an old poker table that’s been overburdened since it’s acquisition. There’s a few sentences in various states of development:

The avowed protestants quietly worshiped their lord and savior Jesus Christ.
The girls were teases, everyone and Michael knew this. His blade was sharp, his mind keen.
I love you.

           More

The Big Zen Garden

Ron, you haven’t checked in for a while so I decided to hobble my ass to the slums. 10 stories and they all smelled like eggs. Phil (who was soused by the way) says hi. Jee…z he gets gropey when drunk.

So what’s the hold up, just stamp ’em, ship ’em.

Crap is that a pen in your hand? Tell me your not.

You don’t name the sand Ron. First thing they taught you. The sand names itself. You make the sand, you grow the sand, you watch the sand but sand names sand. It’s what we call freewill. We don’t give them any vote but we give them say. Say’s free, say keeps them happy and keeps our jobs cush. Without say, we’ve got a bunch of little nothings doing nothing. It’s boring as fuck. So we give them say and we don’t have to make cable tv and hooker allowances.

Why would you want to name one? Oh for, are you making a messiah? Do you have any idea what kind of fail rate Messiah’s have? Newsflash: avatars suck and prophets go offscript. Micromanagement is a no no.

Oh don’t give me that, this is different.

How? I was bored.

Uh uh my friend, I manage you, you have no idea what boring is until you manage you.

No. Breach of protocol, plus you need 200 more years before you’re up for promotion.

Just put… Evinrude back in the pile. Wait, Seriously? Fuck that, file a I527 Naming Intervention. Tina. Or Murphy. Get her an early adoption papers, parents could probably die in a meth lab explosion. Easily.
Okay, Charlie’s got a birthday party. Yeah he’s an asshole but he’s an unfair asshole and if you act all buddy buddy with him that could mean big things for you. I see the coffee pot is empty and dirty. I blame you.

Why?

Bored.

She That is I am

     It was black and oozing out her mouth, dribbling on the floor like a cast aside Pollack sketch. It was a thick ink and there was an ocean still inside. She could feel it urge up her and she could keep it there, in that breath. If she keeps calm and deliberate she can keep her insides for hours, days but those are far away hands. She can see a second spin into a minute and then she seizes in the shoulders and she can’t do anything but excise the poison.

     There are daisies, grass and a sun all made with thick strokes of black. House and cathedrals are all built in the same sloppy earnest frame. In the sky the majestic w flies. Somewhere above, the lady still drips and spews. Her fingers work tirelessly.

The Clunker’s Soul

      It’s not a bad price to pay. I don’t mind really. The AC and heat both work. The stereo is aftermarket and way better than the standard Plymouth fare. I actually prefer stick, so that’s not a problem. I do wonder why one would have a dark green vehicle labeled Neon but I rarely buy a car for the color. It’s a perfectly working car and I don’t feel $500 was too much.
      “Can we go to the beach?”
      FM, AM, bluetooth, mp3 doesn’t matter, it’ll ask me just the same. It’s always such a low voice. Makes me wonder if the speakers are going out.
      “I can’t, this city really hasn’t got one.”
      The old girl always wants to go to the beach.
      “Is it warm out?”
      “Yes.”
      The heat is on full blast, it’s November.
      “Oh I can feel it.”
      I don’t doubt it, the heater is really powerful.
      “Are you comfortable?”
      “Oh I’m fine. Can we go to the beach?”
      I turn the fan up, I just need a little while with my thoughts. I’m kinda liking the idea of the beach too, but there are student loans to pay and rent’s due and I don’t know exactly how much groceries will cost. I’m just stuck.
      …So’s she. There is a little bit of her left in the wheelbase: you can’t ever clean it that well and she was all in there. I know because she told me back when we’d have longer conversations. I think most of her climbed up the lines and got trapped in the battery. The guy at Pep Boys doesn’t agree, but he doesn’t have to make sense of it. He just wanted to replace the battery, the stock battery, of a car made in 1996.
      Oh God.      $3.50 a gallon right now, 31 mpg highway…
      “Can we go to the beach?”
      “Soon.”
      It’s not a bad price to pay. Others pay more.

Scene from an Italian Maturbation

      It goes from togas, to tunics, to tshirts, stopping ever so briefly to acknowledge that time when they wore black shirts and went mad. There are the ruins of Rome littered through out, even in the part with the togas. Perhaps the artist was giving the people what they want. Perhaps the artist didn’t think anyone knew the difference. It is vibrantly colored though, and the landscape is breathtaking but the faces are flat and uniformly pensive turning towards anger. It really seems to denote a lack of emp… Bernard is trying to be better, trying to be nicer. Trying to stay in the moment and…

     not get distracted by the mural on the wall of the Italian restaurant while his date is trying to make eye contact before the breadsticks arrive. Bernard’s gaze rises from her big strong hands to her lovely blond hair that will soon enough turn back to red if he doesn’t work on those roots. The contacts she’s wearing create the most beautiful emerald eyes. She lets out a small uncomfortable grunt as she gives a toothless closed smile, perhaps alluding to a quirk leftover from preteen braces. He could just not be happy with her date.

     Really though? Who wouldn’t want Bernard? He’s got bad breath, an expanding midsection, receding hairline and a pair of glasses thicker and squarer than a nerd appearing in a John Hughes film. He’s got a mean cold exterior that should make him untouchable to the under 18 crowd. Yet he’s here, in a restaurant that costs more than he pays for groceries.

     “Linguine carbonara for the gentleman and water for the ahem other gentleman.”
     “Wait, we haven’t gotten breadsticks yet.”
     The waiter is already gone.
     “What? Regretting your dining choices Bernie?” Leslie is playful in tone but obviously self conscious about being the only person eating at the table.

     Bernie’s eyes wander down to the plate as the fork meets the thin slice of sausage drenched in thick red sauce. Leslie brings it up to his mouth and as her pearly white teeth bite, mercilessly tearing into the meat. Her lips were… that dark red she wore was… it had a way of breaking men down to their base. He’s about to jump across the table and take her but then she repeats and oh god, it’s even better. Again, and again until Bernie is left limp and flaccid and desperately glad that Leslie left for the little girl’s room.

     In his post vicarious carnivorous ecstasy he turns round to see if anyone else is having nearly as good of a dining experience. He finds a skinny 14 year old boy in a black flat top glaring at him while nursing a peanut butter jelly sandwich. Bernard knows the boy to be named Jessie. He knows Jessie from school. Jessie used to be quite the bully when Bernie was 12, when Jessie was 14. The thought occurs that Leslie has been switching genders. Bernie might be willing to let that go and let that night ride out into a new satisfactory conclusion.

     “I really don’t know anything.”

     She’s not even at his table yet, but he can hear her heels click behind him. He’s not going to turn around. He knows what Leslie looks like. Leslie is the type of girl who only agreed to go to the fanciest restaurant in their town on his dime because she liked him and she was still being charitable. She was a good 3 ranks above him in any order that mattered: beautiful, witty, charming. That was 17 years gone and she’s probably even better now. She’s sure as hell not still 15 and not reliving that time she
     “You know after this, I went down to the gas station, horked down a microwave burrito, went to my house and cried myself to sleep. We going to revisit that too?”
     The flesh draped over his shoulders was close enough to how he remembered Leslie, from that time he received her after her prom date was done with her. She puked on Bernie’s Burberry coat and Bernie in turn thought maybe, just maybe he was owed a go. Good times. The voice wasn’t hers, no that was probably the real voice, too many cigarettes smoked to be Leslie proper.

     “You know what we want.”
      “No. I knew. Then they erased it. I wouldn’t be a trusted courier if I kept the cargo.”
     “Well, I know what you want”
     Bernie sighs wishing that dreaming really could be enough for him.
     “You will soon.”
     The courier business is all about fight and flight. Bernie’s been told that it helps to have a friend. Bernie has Jessie which is something like a friend but at this point Jessie is just something scarier than Leslie and he’s switched open a curvy stiletto. Quieter too. Soon Bernie and the man who played Leslie will wake up in a motel bathroom but for now Leslie is crying and dying while Jessie begins to carve into the girl that isn’t. Bernie turns away helpless in the presence of his own devices, desperately not thinking while residing in his own mind.
     The breadsticks come as Bernie is leaving up the rabbit hole.
     His eyes open and there’s a man twitching next to him on a pink tile floor in a plush blue bathrobe. They had had a $300 night in a decent hotel and for a moment Bernard feels guilty about underappreciating the taker on the floor. Then he remembers what they do.
     Never feel guilty, don’t begrudge them because this is the work you do but never feel guilty for hurting a taker.
     He’s out the door and soon to call an ambulance because there is a man twitching on the floor and these things call for an ambulance but these things do happen. The man will be fine. The man will surely be fine.

     These secrets are getting pricey.

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