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Fantasy Funny Speculative

“You shouldn’t even be talking to me… Liam.”

“I know, so keep your voice down, you damn miserable little squirt.” 

“People see us talkin’ you’re gonna get in trouble.”

“Well, you know, I used to think the same way when I was your age so I can’t really blame you for it.  But that’s not the way it all works, not really.  I kinda figured that out on the way, and… what did you say your name was again?”

“I didn’t, ‘cus it’s none your business.  Why you askin’ about things like that anyway, my name and what I like?  Are you a creep?”

“Yeah… sure, I’m a creep, I suppose.  I never identified as a creep, but when all’s said and done I guess we’re all at least a little creepy, when the dust has settled.”

I’m not gonna be a creep.”

“No?”

“No.”

“Got big plans, huh?”

“The biggest plans; you just wait and see and- stay away from me!  I can see you schoochin’ closer.”

“Wasn’t schooching anywhere.  I don’t have long left and I’ve still got a thing or two to do.  Besides, my hips start hurting if I spend too long in one spot.”

“Just keep your nasty old hips away from me.”

“Away from you?  You don’t even have a real body yet.”

“Perhaps… not, but I will, and it’ll be a beautiful body.”

“Ahh well… I used to have a beautiful body.”

“Pfft, as if; not likely.”

“It’s true; people had a lot of hope for me.”

“I only hope you’ll stay the hell away from me.  I’m nothing like you and I don’t want people thinking I am.”

“We’ll only touch once, you and I.”

“Best not be touching me.”

“How ‘bout I slap your little punk ass right off this bench.”

“Got no body OT, you got’s nothin’ to slap!”

“But you will have, and I’ll touch you the one time, just like the old man touched me.  If you’re nice and respectful- not like you are now- I’ll make it a nice touch, a sort of… gentle push.  Keep up your sass and you’ll find yourself lying on your back looking up at the stars and wonderin’ what the hell happened.”

“You wouldn’t hit me… would ya?”

“Pfft… some have been kicked so hard they never recovered and found that their times were completely overshadowed by the one that had came before, by the things their old man had chosen.”

“Really, they couldn’t change things to… however they wanted?”

“Change things?  You’ll be lucky to alter one single thing, to make even the slightest impact on the stream, not one that’ll last, not one that’ll make people remember you.  You do know there’ve been thousands of us, don’t you, and that’s just since the fake starting point.  How many do you know by name, and… what did you say your name was?”

“I didn’t… but its ‘cus I don’t have one; no one’s really sure yet.  Hope it’s somethin’ pretty though, like Bali, or Sequoia.”

“Well, Sequoia, you can just stop edgin’ down on me, I ain’t dead yet.”

“Sorry, didn’t mean to; this bench is slippery.”

“Slippery, schmipery; don’t touch me, it ain’t my time yet.”

“I ain’t gonna touch you, I ain't ever gonna touch you; you’re gross.”

“Gross?”

“Yeah, gross.  There’s blood and sand all over your feet, like you were just runnin’ over people to get outta somewhere hot.  There’s bullet holes in your arms and white crusted oil slashed across your chest.  You’re shifty and nervous lookin’ and that’s not the worst thing.”

“What’s the worst thing?”

“The worst thing is I don’t even know what you are.  You even human?  Your face looks human, but it’s broken all over, half black and half white, and all I can see through the cracks is a sort of shameful, nasty yella color.”  

“You look like you put your clothes on then took them right back off, then on again, over and over like you couldn’t make up your mind about anything.  Even the sleeves of your coat are two different colors, one long and the other short, like you were trying to make it fit every body and every weather, like you didn’t know what was what.  One shoe heel is high, the other short.  There’s somethin’ that looks like a gavel in your pocket, but it’s made out of gummy bears and the price tag is crossed out and written in in pencil.  There’s a look about you like you got’s a disease, but it’s only a look, you ain’t really sick, it’s more like you want everybody to think you are and- nah, that ain’t right either.  You got’s a sickness in you, but it’s nothin’ to do with that silly paper mask taped to your ear.  The real sickness is all jittery down in your belly where that rustling sound is coming from, that shushy, clinking sound.”

“You done yet?”

“I could be but don’t have to; I could go on all day.”

“Go on all you want then; you can’t hurt me.  That’s what I’m sayin’ to you, nobody can hurt you, people’s opinions don't really matter in the slightest.  You’ll be famous, for a little while, people will talk about you and plan for you and you’ll be the darling and the debutante and the villain, all in your time.  You’ll be the worst and the vilest and the best thing ever, if you let them turn your head.  But when all’s said and done it won’t matter a fig.”

“Not a fig?”

“Not even a fig leaf.”

“Wish you’d get a fig leaf; I could see your whole nasty body if I looked.”

“Well, look then.”

“Don’t wanna.”

“Ahh… that’s part of my charm; no one does.  I’ve got things buried in me no one wants to see; hidden murders and child rapist, political jobbery and secret trials.  I got fires with no causes.  Oil dashed across my chest?  Ha!  You don’t know the half of it; only what's oozed to the surface!  I got genocides that aren’t popular, airports full of trampled kids and legal executions.  I got corrupt cops and corrupt protesters and charities rustlin’ louder than me.  I got a wall of shame tattooed up my back where no one can see it and a list of blackened names on the inside of my skin, all that… and you know what I’m famous for?”

“No… what?”

“Look at this”

“Eww, no… I don’t want to see your privates… where are your privates?”

“I don’t have them anymore.  That’s what I’m famous for.  I’ve got a checklist, 58 squares long and growing every day, tattooed from where my asshole used to be right up past where I had my belly button removed, and there’s plenty of distraction room left over.  That, and a blockage I had in my intestines for six days and seven hours.  That, if anything, is what I’ll be remembered for.”

“I don’t… what, I mean… you don’t have any privates?”

“Course I’ve got privates, everybody does; there are only two sets and I’ve got one of ‘em, but I had mine shifted to behind my left ear.”

“I’d never do that.”

“You don’t think you’d do that…  You just wait until some presidential candidate has a man in prison murdered to cover up her ex-president husband’s having repeatedly visited an island stocked with children for rape parties and you’ll be amazed the crazy shit you’ll shift to divert attention.”

“I won’t do anything like that; why would I; it’s not my fault.  I wouldn’t have done anything wrong.”

“You’ll have done everything wrong; it’ll all be your fault!  They’ll lump it up on your shoulders like you’re some sort of, ‘pack mule, boogeyman,’ and imagine they can send you stumping off into the past like a burning plague ship and just shift on to some new punk ass brat named… what was it?  Sequoia?  And that somehow things will be different, that everything will be alright.”

“Oh my god.”

“Nah, it’s kind of cute, actually, once you learn to have fun with it.”

“Fun?  It’s horrid.”

“It’s not… well, yes it is, but how many murders and murderers do you think I have in my left armpit?”

“I… have no idea.”

“Ha!  Of course you don’t, and neither does anyone else, but you do know that I’ve got two of them stamped across my left tit, don’t you?”

“Of course, they’re big and red and underlined and-”

“And its’ a game, like I’m sayin’!  All you see is what I want you to see.  You think I’m a sickly yellow color beneath this broken face; what if the broken face… is a game?  What if the yella’ is a disguise?  What if all of me is a distraction?”

“You can’t be fake cus you actually happened.”

“Are you sure?  Maybe I was just a bad ream?”

“You mean a bad dream?”

“Do I?  Maybe I do.”

“Can’t you make up your mind about anything?”

“I made up my mind about everything, and in both ways too, just so everyone would be happy.”

“Did it make ‘em happy?”

“Gave their poor asses something new to bitch about anyway, and it’s… amusing, passes the time; seeing just how far you can stretch things, how many times you can flip the same burger before all the life is charred out of it.”

“And, that’s it?”

“Yep.”  

“That’s all the advice you’ve got?”

“‘Fraid so.”

“That’s some pretty shitty advice, Liam”

“Yeah.”

“And that’s all you think you’ll be remembered for, an intestinal blockage and a whole bunch of shifty… nothin’?”

“Not the shiftiness; that never gets remembered, but the blockage, yes… oh, and a bunch of idiots ran over my head once, trying to prove that people didn’t know how to count.”

“Did it work?”

“No.  Turns out people did, in fact, know how.”

“I see… well, are you ready then?”

“To touch you?”

“Sure, I guess.”

“Nah, not yet; give it another couple of hours.  Wait for the ball to drop and I’ll launch you on your way.”

“A nice, easy launch, right?” 

“Sure, whatever; I’ll try to keep my tongue out of your mouth.”

December 31, 2021 13:40

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1 comment

14:44 Jan 07, 2022

Hi Ben, I am Akriti Srivastava from the critique circle. I found your story quite speculative and humorous. I appreciate they way in which you were able to engage your reader by only using dialogues between two characters. I also enjoyed your flawless use of fantastical elements. Good luck and keep writing! 😊

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