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Monday, October 31, 2011

Out Of Smokes - Ep. 3


Brian walked in and went straight for the bed. The rush of recent events was fading fast and he was coming down from his high at rollercoaster speed. He crashed and exhaled loudly, freezing in a comical position, with his extremities wide open. In a matter of second, he felt the predictable jump on the bed and Jack approaching him slowly. The cat took a look at him then pawed at his face.

“Open your eyes, Brian” he said.

“Go away, I want to sleep” the man replied annoyed.

“What did you do, stupid?”

“You know what I did. It was funny.”

“Oh, really? ‘Cause all the great ones liked practical jokes. I’m sure Mr. Ripper, when he wasn’t dissecting hookers, had a part time job as a clown at the circus. London loved him!”

“Fuck off, I needed a laugh…”

“Bah! You’re worthless…” Jack concluded bitterly and turned his tail around, flashing Brian his butt.

“What’s your problem?” Brian snapped, finally fed up with being scolded by a feline.

“My problem?” Jack replied looking back at him. “My problem is that you’re embarrassing yourself and you’re making me ashamed to be your mentor! No cat would ever pull off something like this… It’s so degrading!”

“I’m not a cat now, am I, you smart little fucker?” he said arrogantly, with half a smile and folding his arms to his chest.

“Oh? Then what are you, you dumb tall abstinent man? …That’s right! It’s called wordplay!” Jack growled silently and threw him an evil look.

“I should have you castrated for that…”

“Yeah, whatever, dude… You don’t fit into your society, you can’t get along with anyone, friend or girlfriend… Maybe you’re gay!”

“Maybe I should get a dog…”

“You’re not that cruel. And you’re graceful when you can be, and elegant, and you are very territorial. You’re more of a cat than a human, Brian! You really don’t do or want anything a normal person would.”

“Ok, name one more thing a normal people wouldn’t do!”

“…You’re talking to a cat.”

“My mom does that. She’s normal.”

“Does the cat answer back?”

“Touché.”

“…Now are you willing to listen?”

“I don’t really have a choice, do I?”

“Yes, stop bitching about it like a horny teen pretending she’s not into oral.”

“Wow, that’s a horrible comparison!”

“But, oh, so true!”

“Right. So?”

“So before you fall into depression, because, mind you, you will soon enough…  You have to do something despicable. Something terrible.”

“How about skin a cat and let it dry on the fire escape?”

“Fuck you too. Ok, so, like I was saying, do something horrible! You have to keep the monster fuelled up for now, human. Only so will you be able to go through this transformation…”

“So I am changing… I thought there was something new in the air.”

“Oh, there is! They’re working on some sewer lines down the corner. But that’s beside the point.”

“Fine. Despicable horrible thing it is. But no children or animals.”

“I said horrible, not pointless. A retarded dog in a wheelchair could do that…”

“You’re so good with visuals, Jack!” Brian mocked.

“Suck it up, Susie. Now think! Who deserves having a really bad Monday?”

Brian pulled the crumpled pack of cigarettes from his shirt pocket and flamed one, looking at the ceiling. The smoke ran through his lungs, poisoning a few more cells and released the nicotine into the bloodstream. It rushed directly to his brain, sending a few electrical impulses down his spine and into his arms, making the hairs stand up.

“There you go…” Jack said quietly and curled into a ball, closing his eyes. He chose to sleep on Brian’s pillow.

“You better get your ass off it ‘til I get back” Brian said calmly and went to the kitchen.

Just ten minutes later he lit another cigarette and tested the knots on the piece of string. The brick at the end seemed firmly attached. He lowered it down somewhat and marked it at some point, then took a long drag and those electrical impulses hit him twice as strong, making him grin idiotically like a junkie. Brian dialled a number on his cell phone:

“…What?! You have any idea what time it is!”

“Yes, 10 past 12 actually. I thought you’d be up, Jerry,” Brian said apologetically.

“Oh, it’s you! What the fuck do you want Brian? I went back to sleep 3 hours ago. Bored with your shitty job?”

“Actually, yes. There was something really important I wanted to show you. Can you come to your living room window please?”

“Fuck you, asshole! I’m going back to sleep!”

“It’s about you Beemer… “

“What about my car?”

Brian put the old sink with half a pipe still attached to it on the ledge. He pushed it into position then shoved it good, dropping it like a crazy bomb straight for the BMW’s front window. It smashed loudly and made the exasperating alarm go off in an instant while explaining calmly:

“It just got fucked up.”

“WHAT? Jesus-fucking-Christ! What the hell, man!?” Jerry rushed to the window and before he could open it, a brick came into view.

The string tightened and the throwing force boosted the projectile towards the wide glass. It smashed into it, shattering it and spraying large deadly shards in all directions, most hitting the giant man in the neck and face. One piece, penetrating his eye, was hammered even further in by the brick that ended up hitting his face as well.

Brian fished the brick back, threw it over to the roof across the street and looked down, smoking his cigarette. With the sink’s explosion into the car and the alarm screaming like a banshee being raped, nobody even noticed the second smash and the agonizing yelling coming from the third floor apartment.  The man looked at the fire escape and saw Jack’s head peeking out and looking down from his window. He looked rather calm considering all the noise, then he seemed to understand what was happening and glanced up at the roof with his big yellow eyes.

“How’s that for despicable?” Brian muttered.

“Good job,” Jack said matter-of-factly in his head. “You actually redeemed yourself for that awful turkey gag… Honestly, I’m impressed.”

“What will I think off next?” Brian said proudly.

“Get over yourself!” the cat mocked. “Come on, it’s time for lunch. Let’s order Chinese! I love those spicy meatballs.”

Brian descended on the fire escape and looked at Jack like he was some green-headed monster. The cat didn’t say anything; he just watched him approvingly as he tightened the gloves and entered his neighbour’s apartment. He was still twitching on the floor, a leg convulsing in a reflex as Jerry was lying in a pool of blood. Brian carefully picked up the cell phone that was thrown a couple of feet away and deleted the last received call, then placed it back on the nightstand. Luckily it had no blood on it.

The place was a lot bigger than his, wider somehow, and filled with crappy modern art. The kind that Brian couldn’t understand nor appreciate as real art. Crazy paintings and vulgar statues littered the place, while Jerry’s bedroom as the apogee of bad taste. He even had the zebra bed sheets and the  bachelor’s lava lamp. It made the young man shake his head in disbelief. For a moment he had the masochistic impulse to check the drawers but he feared what he would find. Instead he just checked the wallet lying next to the bed. A smile curled on his lips.

“I knew you were stupid, Jerry, but this proves you were really retarded. You’re paying for my car this month, buddy… “

“Well?” Jack asked when Brian returned through the window to his own place.

“Who carries around five thousand dollars in cash?!” he said still puzzled.

“The same person who gets paid five thousand in cashm” Jack answered wisely, without even knowing he did.

“So… Chinese?” Brian asked, taking the gloves off.

“Yes, please!” the cat replied and offered a Cheshire grin.

Brian didn’t feel better or worse. Watching his victim die didn’t stir much emotion inside him – he was positive he would feel more for a wounded animal than that son of a bitch. In fact, seeing that mass of flesh all bloody and vulnerable disgusted him beyond words. He didn’t feel pity but even more appalled by his former neighbour. The cat was right though – he needed to do that. Brian still had a bone to pick with the world, with faith, with what society and probabilities chose for him. This life sucked, he decided. Might as well make fun of its rules…

The cat looked at him rather concerned. He too had noticed the weird flicker in Brian’s eyes.

“I hope you’re being careful” he finally said when Brian still wouldn’t move. Not that he cared much, but he had the phone in his hand and still hadn’t called the restaurant.

“Hmmm?”

“Careful. As in ‘not getting caught, you moron!’… You know.”

“Ah, yes, careful. No worries. I plan to do this for quite some time.”

“You have the same complex all murderers do.”

“What’s that?”

“The fame thing. You want to be notorious. You want yourself being mentioned on the news, but your name still a secret. Until one day you’ll want more and get yourself caught.”

“Maybe. What’s it to you?”

“Well, you’re right!...” the cat said sarcastically. “Because there won’t be anyone calling the Chinese Garden then either! And I’ll prolly be dead from starvation already…”
“Can’t you just ask normally? These wiseass comments are starting to get on my nerves…”

“You realize that makes no sense. You’re talking to your cat and he’s getting on your nerves?”

Brian shrugged. He was right. He dialled the restaurant.

4 comments:

  1. senzatia de ciudatenie e maxima. nu zic nimic inca, astept sa vad unde se duce povestea. e ceva ce nu imi place, dar nu imi dau seama ce... din atmosfera cred. si de la Jack, ale carui motive imi sunt neclare inca. dialogurile sunt mortale, nu par fortate si Jack continua sa ma surprinda. si placut si neplacut. nu stiu ce exact. ce simt eu e ca bucata asta e ca un fel de intersectie, poti sa te duci unde vrei de aici incolo. astept sa vad incotro.

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  2. it would work quite fine as a movie. nice dialogue, witty and flowing. the reason I say movie is because I have to assume a lot of details that would be present in a book. plus, you manage to give me pretty good visuals for the setting, costumes and casting (most of them assumed, as well, but they make sense in my head).
    keep it going. in my opinion, way better than crux. more versatile, funnier, easier to pay attention, good sense of dark humour and less *drama*...

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  3. Comparing this to Crux is like comparing Offspring to Chopin. I'm not going anywhere with this... It's just a way to deal with the frustration. What you'd really like, I think, is The Cat Factor. It's kinda like OOS, but without so much gore. :D I'll see you soon...

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  4. comparison can be done while focusing on a certain aspect. I was not comparing the writing nor the storyline in itself, but I was focusing, however, on the realistic & pragmatic follow-up of writing a story. so, I can do yatta yatta on beauty and metaphors and whatevs, but at the end of the day this has, in my humble opinion, way better chances to provide food. maybe "just dealing with your frustrations" makes your writing more relaxed, not having in mind that "man, this shit must kick ass". from experience, it always works in creative fields.

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