The Band Hallway
Jack, his belly full of pancakes he burnt because he was trying to do seventy things at once this morning, leaves a footprint in his muddy excuse for a lawn as he walks towards Quarryville Road. It must have rained last night, as the entire property is more of a sopping wet marsh than usual today; his feet sink another centimeter with every meter he travels. Growing up, Jack thought quicksand would be a problem that he would often encounter in life, but he was wrong – it’s the quickmud you’ve gotta look out for.
Quarryville used to be a very rocky, dry place, but with global warming and whatnot messing with the weather systems that the humans only started paying close attention to a relative handful of years ago, Jack’s pinprick of northern New Jersey has sogged into a swamp and a half. Following a tickling sensation on his arm, Jack splatters what was once his blood all over his palm and the planet loses another one of its deliverers of population control. The boy literally has to fight the urge to exclaim Get out of my swamp! at the vanquished corpse of his mosquitish foe, lest he come off as weird when he and Isabelle don’t speak at the bus stop.
Then again, it’s not just the weather that makes the Monta’s yard a quagmire – dude lives in a valley between a mountain and a lake.
The Wolffes, Jack Monta’s family, the Portmans, and that weird clan that communicates by clucking like turkeys at each other own the first four houses that the bus driver sees after driving her long metal tube over the Skunksville Dam. After she picks up the first round of the offspring of Treering’s boondocks, she forces the bus up a road that climbs a massive hill that volunteer policemen like to park on so they can involuntarily commit anybody who’s mentally unhinged enough to attempt running up it. The next bus stop is on top of the hill, and on this particular morning the windows are still fogged up from the boggy valley’s moisture. So fogged up, in fact, that the bus driver uses it as an excuse to close the door on the last kid attempting to board, annoyed that all the insects keep flitting in.
“Goddamn, woman! I don’t even want to go to school!” Dakota shouts as he struggles to free his leg from the closed door, the rubber flaps tearing his leg hairs from their follicles. After getting stabbed in the throat and then immediately resurrected by the gray-skinned bus driver’s advanced necromancy techniques, Dakota clumsily walks down the aisle of the moving bus, passes by Isabelle, who looks great this morning by the way, and sits next to Jack.
Jack, his face still imprinted with the pattern of the folds in his pillowcase, is a bit put off by how animated Dakota is so early in the day. The kid is nearly levitating out of his damn seat, it’s as if the extraterrestrial craft on Terry last night was trying to abduct him but the weight of all the track medals he wins is weighing him down. He has this expecting look on his face too, like he’s waiting for Jack to say something to him. Well too bad; sorry Dakota, but Jack missed the announcement of the winner of the contest last night, so you won’t be congratulated before you even tell me what I need to congratulate you on. Asshole. I’m tired.’
Dakota, still holding his smile, nudges Jack in the side.
“WHY DID YOU Do that?” Jack asks, perhaps a bit louder than he meant to. Then, “I’ve been looking at you this whole time. What is it? What do you want?”
Dakota snickers like he just ate a chocolate bar filled with peanuts, caramel, and that fluffy off-white stuff that kind of sounds like nugget. “Well good morning to you too, buddy. Sleep well last night? Dream about any good… footprints?”
Jack rolls his eyes and leans his head against the window like he’s an emo kid starring in the music video for a moody alternative song. ‘What, did he see me leave footprints in my yard from the top of his hill?’ he thinks to himself, saying, “What, did you see me leave footprints in my yard? We can’t all afford to live on top of Frick Hill, Dakota.”
Dakota’s smile evolves into a smirk that sits just below nefarious grimace. He doesn’t even shuffle in his seat.
“I know buddy, it’s just me up there. With Zoey, good ol’ Zane Bucknick, and… well, and the alien.”
Jack spins around so fast that his skin lags behind his skeleton a little bit. “Dude! You watch Terry too, you know that’s an offensive word. What the hell is your problem today, I feel like you’re going to appear in my bathroom mirror tonight. Like, shit.”
Dakota bursts out laughing, his smile finally facing the death it deserves. “Thems is fightin’ words bro, and coming from Mister AlienFootPrint, no less! Damn homie, why are you in such a funkin’ fuck this morning??”
“Why did you call me that,” Jack pouts, arms folded like a bad poker hand.
“Same reason Terry called you that last night, dude. You won!”
Upon hearing those words, Jack enters into something of a fugue state, remembering nothing between that remark and his departure from the bus at the high school. He’s in such a state of shock that Dakota has to carry our boy off the bus in a baby carrier; you see, predictably or not, Jack has never won anything in his life. The closest he’s come is fourth place in a Junior Varsity cross country race. He was in first for the majority of that race too, but then his foot felt like it snapped in half so he had to hobble through the last half mile of the run. He still got a medal because the first twentyish runners in an XC race get medals, it was bronze though. Just like everyone else’s. The weird part: when he finished, literally moments after he limped across the finish line with tears in his eyes, his foot felt fine as a fiddle and he could walk on his own.
But today, or rather last night, he won the single most greatest-est thing that anybody could ever win, ever – the chance to meet his idol. Between the contest, Isabelle going into his house, and the track championship this Saturday, this week is turning out to be the best week of his life. For the first time in his almost seventeen years, our boy feels like it can only go up from here! Oh, and did I mention that Saturday is Jack’s birthday, too?
The three other non-runner students in the entire school who also watch TerryTeam20 (all freshman band members by chance) swarm AlienFootPrint at his locker. He’s flooded with piranha-laced rapids of questions, the children nipping at his clothing as he tries to get away from them so he doesn’t have to visit Missus Logem again. Thankfully, Isabelle happens to walk up and the freshmen scatter, ostensibly terrified of any human with lumps of fat hanging from their chest, regardless of what may or may not be hanging between their legs. Jack is ecstatic to see her at first, but then he remembers why she left his house yesterday and almost wishes he was fish food.
“Hey dude,” Isabelle greets, nodding towards the escaping flotsam. “Why are those kids trying to take your pants off?”
“They’re uh, they’re not, I just, I–”
“And why did you suddenly get so weird yesterday?”
“Ohwellyouknow I just, I uh, I–”
“And why the heck wouldn’t your brother teach me that magic trick?!” feigning anger in a playful way.
“OhumwellI, I-I mean… I uh…” Jack stutters, waiting for her to cut him off again. She doesn’t, instead just looking at him with that little smile. Sheesh, this chick could make a murderer confess. Where the cops at?
“Uh… what? Why would there be cops here, Jack?”
Oh ghad, he said that out loud. That’s rough. Fortunately for Jack, Dakota rounds the corner before he can embarrass himself further.
“Yo Iz,” as the wingman in training leans against the lockers with one arm, attempting to come off as flirty. “How you doin’?” When Isabelle nods her head down, not up but down, at him, Dakota takes his L and turns his attention to Jack. “So dude, I meant to tell you on the bus but I got distracted when you started doing kick flips on that kid’s skateboard. Remember when Terry went offscreen last night? After the ads? No? Well, it was because he made contact, dude! You’re gonna meet the Eee-Tees too, ya lucky bastard!”
Jack’s face boils to a steamy simmer, he feels hotter than the pot of homemade marinara sauce that Coach Scoompa brought to the Cross Country Awards Banquet this past fall.
Isabelle’s eyebrows, meanwhile, ascend to heights heretofore unknown. “Wow, so you kick me out of your bedroom for saying I saw a robot, but you’re meeting aliens? Cool Mont’, real cool.”
Jack tries to say something, he really does, but he’s entirely too distracted by Isabelle’s walking in the opposite direction. So is Dakota, and the majority of the freshmen standing in the hall, boys, girls, and otherwise. Just kidding, there are only two “genders” here; with the government gone, humanity hasn’t been cattle prodded into that corral of mental illness. At least, not outside of New Manhattan; living inside a wall that big’ll make any human doubt their identity.
Oh, that’s not mental illness? And it has nothing to do with the government pushing an outdated mold on society that isn’t complex, creative, nor comprehensive enough to fit all the humans, leading some of us to question who we are at the most fundamental levels to the point of making some of us think we were actually born wrong, thus making some of us believe we need to be referred to using specific sounds in order to feel whole and legitimate?
Jack and Dakota look at each other nervously, both of them biting their tongues. Finally, Dakota chomps down.
“So… Isabelle was at your house yesterday? In your bedroom? Aaaand you’ve let me talk about extraterrestrials this whole time becaaaaauuuuuse…?”
“No, she was in my kitchen. I don’t know why… why she… buuuhhhhh…”
“Jack? Jackattack, speak to me!”
He would, Dakota, but Jack suddenly feels a hint of queaziness. The hint morphs into a suggestion, then a cultural norm, then it’s drafted into a bill, carried up Capitol Hill, and passed into a law. Then, his head fuller with inapplicable political metaphors than his stomach is with prematurely hatched butterflies whose wings are still too gooey to fly, Jack throws up all over the floor in front of that tiny door that Billy used yesterday, causing a traffic jam the likes of which the band hallway has never seen.
This hallway is usually backed up worse than Treering Ave ever since those low-cost housing complexes were installed, stopped up with students publicly displaying their affection towards one another and similar early-morning high school antics, but there’s never been reason for a dead stop. Jack’s puddle is one hell of a reason though, and when Timmy Williamson and his girlfriend of seven minutes Suzie Queue come tromping down the hallway holding hands for all to see, they’re so distracted by each other’s palm sweat that they don’t even perceive the puke. With a slip and a fall, Janitor Rainfort gets a call that disastrously ruins his morning yoga routine.
Doctor Phanny Tasia
After he rolls up his purple mat, Rainfort changes back into his school-issued janitor onesie and throws his sweaty exercise plantain hammock into the laundry machine. He would take a shower before gracing the halls with his presence, but that hippie kid staying in the custodian’s closet with him used up all the hot water earlier this morning. With his cart still locked and loaded from the shell casing incident yesterday, Rainfort dusts off his shoulders and prepares to embark. But first…
“Yo kid, how’s the thing coming?”
The hippie, covered in grease, Cannabis flakes/stems/leaves, and microprocessors, pops out from a hole in the floor. “Coming along well, my friend. I ran o–”
He’s interrupted when the bell rings.
“I ran out of Cannabis last night, but then a kid I gave Acid to at the assembly yesterday slipped a few grams into my pocket this morning, so it’s all good.”
“Last night? Weren’t you… oh never mind. All you hippie types look the same to me, I swear. Anyway, did you fix my chair?”
“Heh,” the boy/man, depending on your age and the openness of your mind, snickers, his purple eyes shining in the dim light of the oil lantern that illuminates the closet. “Well, I definitely took a look at it. There’s not that much fixing I can do to it, it’s primitive human technology. I’ve seen what it can turn into, but that don’t mean I can bridge the gap, ya feel me?”
“Yeah, I suppose. Hey, are you gonna be here when I get back? You still have to teach me that magic trick.”
The hippie pauses at that, contemplating his next words. There’s really only one place he can go here, but there are multiple avenues that lead to said place. “Yeah, yeah man. I’ll show you how after lunch, say, then thirty?”
Rainfort excitedly nods. “Definitely! I can’t wait to show my boss, he’s gonna freak out. Dude’s deathly afraid of magic, he thinks it doesn’t exist. Hey, what’d you say your name was again? Zan?”
Sam. You were close though.”
The two do a secret handshake they made up yesterday and Rainfort exits, leaving
Sam alone to tinker in the closet.
It’s hard to find good help these days, but Rainfort always has a way of beating the odds in the most self-fulfilling way. Once an employee now has a subordinate; a dude who never went to high school is now cleaning a high school, and with the help of a human who fits his father’s description of a waste of semen to the t – this is the American dream, a dream that turns into a nightmare the moment Rainfort comes upon the lukewarm pile of bile and banana-chunk pancake bits that was left for him in the band hallway. As he mops, Rainfort vows to figure out the identity of the vomit’s emitter so he can make that leaking sonuvabitch pay for his crimes. Or her crimes, technically.
Just then, Rainfort, his wet mop in mid-stroke, has his entire day ruined once more, and by a faculty member no less! Doctor Phanny Tasia, the one and only, struts out of the tiny door leading up to the projector box wearing not one, but two nametags which are rendered momentarily illegible when he slips and falls into the puddle of student vomit. Rainfort almost falls over laughing whilst keeping entirely silent. He offers his co-worker a gloved hand of assistance. Doctor Tasia takes it and, once he’s standing on his own two feet, begins verbally berating our self-confident sanitation engineer.
“What… what is the meaning of this, this, this hogwash? Or is it hogslop? Tell me mop man, did the pigs bathe in this pishposh? Or are you using it to soak the grime off the floor so you can feed them something tasty?”
Tasia defiantly puts a foot down, splashing the puke onto a once-clean section of floor.
Janitor Rainfort watches this all with twinkles in his turquoise eyes. “Listen pal, the only pig taking a bath right now is you. Hit the showers, you stink like stink smelled something and said Damn, that stinks.”
Phanny is flabbergasted. “How, how dare you! You un-thespian, melodramatic, underdeveloped, side-character of a man! You were just hired yesterday and you dare step to me, the backbone of this school?! You think that assembly yesterday could have happened without me? If I didn’t work here training the children on what to say when they need to be saying, well, well the whole school would be constantly under the influence of drugs!”
Rainfort, his face a wall of stone, grabs his mop above the hairs and presses the end of the handle against Tasia’s mouth, silencing him. “You seem traumatized, friend; you should have a talk with the school psychologist. I heard we just got a new one.”
Phanny smacks the broom away, watching with fire in his eyes as the entire length of the handle splashes in the puke. “I am the new school psychologist, thank you very little, and I think I’ll go see myself now!”
Doctor Tasia marches away down the hall, still covered in what was previously the contents of a student’s stomach, then takes the stairs which lead to the hallway which leads to the stairs which lead to The Addition. Tasia doesn’t have many friends in this school, but the math teacher clique always embraces him with open arms; he doesn’t even want to stay and chat either, he just needs to borrow a key to the elevator so he can wash off in the pool on the roof.
A Substitute Teacher
A greenish-brownish cloud of horrors follows Doctor Tasia as he traverses the locker-lined hallway. Doors slam shut as he makes his way towards his destination, teachers of all the various sciences protecting their students from the noxious cloud meandering past the entrances to their oversized cubby holes in the wall. All but one, that is; a substitute teacher, a proud man by the name of Sidney Halloway who’s filling in for the biology teacher that randomly decided to quit yesterday, decidedly leaves his classroom door open. The students implore him to have mercy, but he doesn’t believe them when they start to complain. He’s had a cold for months now and his sense of smell packed up and left shortly after the illness moved in; he knows how kids are, they’re just trying to take advantage of him. Even that pale, scrawny student in the back who plays the whole quiet kid act. Doesn’t he know that teachers always stay wary of the quiet ones? Like jeez kid, have some semblance of character.
Fortunately for Jack and the rest of his classmates, today is the clothespin anatomy lab. As the students all pin their noses shut, allow me to explain: due to flagrant budget cuts, rather than studying actual biology or fictional biology that was depicted in a popular movie a decade ago, the Harbingers of Hoffman High are examining biologically-based inanimate objects in order to get a grip on the fundamentals of bodily animation. The clothespin, being used as a model of a jaw, showcases how a mouth opens and closes in a way that isn’t as totally gross as using a mouth of a once living creature. There was some resistance to this idea when it was originally floated down the Administrative River Styx, but Mister Queue PrinciPal is far too progressive a thinker to let such a fantabulous idea go to waste.
Contrary to our substitute tyrant’s beliefs, schools in general, and especially public schools, exist for students to have a learning environment, not to provide lazy adult humans with occasional odd jobs during the non-summer months. Sewn into the fabric of this institution’s being is something of a self-correcting system: when a teacher is the worst, the students have the opportunity to redefine the very meaning of the worst.
In the front row, three members of the lacrosse club discreetly take out their mini sticks and load them with crumpled pieces of paper. The soccer goalie, still experiencing some ESP side effects from that hippie’s killer Acid yesterday, levitates a mass of pencil protectors and heats them, melting away the polyester fabric and leaving only the glowing metal rings and zipper heads. The one senior who’s still in biology class for some reason takes out the shiv he made from a broken pair of scissors that disappeared from the art classroom two years ago. One of the gray children reanimates a colony of ants that he brought for lunch today. Ponsy, who happens to be on hall monitor duty this morning, caught the vibe from afar and blocks the doorway with his body so nobody can escape. Each and every one of the other forty-two students in attendance today also brandish some form of resistance, but describing them all would be far too extra for such an inconsequential and transitional scene.
All at once the students fling their weapons and Sidney is stoned, battered, and impaled by more school and/or office supplies than are kept in stock by the local Stapled branch. Up to this point, Mister Halloway had been scraping his name onto the chalkboard with his one uncut fingernail, but as he feels foreign objects entering his back and neck, he turns around just in time for a single paper clip to bounce off his belt buckle, which, by the way, says his first name in gigantic gold letters.
He deadeyes that pale, scrawny kid that’s frozen in the follow-through position of tossing a paper clip. As Sidney’s mouth opens, strands of mucus and saliva form bridges between his pallet and tongue. They wiggle as he speaks. “Now, I know that I was just assaulted by every single student in this classroom, but guess what, fuckstick? Yeah you, Casper the Gimp back there. I saw you throw that paper clip.”
As he speaks, a small puddle of blood forms beneath Halloway’s feet, which is even more unsettling once you realize that it had to puddle up in his shoes before it spilled over onto the tile.
“So guess what? You, and you alone, are taking the fall for the entire classroom,” says the substitute teacher at the public American high school.
“Oh no he isn’t!” a gruff and confident voice calls out from the hallway. Mister Halloway, who seems to be having trouble standing up straight, turns to see a custodian, boots caked with crusty vomit, standing with his arms folded at the door. Ponsy is nowhere to be found.
“You, pale kid. You threw up in the band hallway this morning, right?”
Jack is totally silent. So many eyes are on him, so many peeping Toms and Tomanthas staring at this kid who they’ve never spoken to before in their lives, waiting to see what he’ll do. Is he going to cry? Throw up more? He’s whiter than the average polar bear, is he going to shoot up the school?
Rainfort takes his cape off and throws it on the floor of the classroom to reveal a truly disgusting print of a human’s bare foot, but it’s not dirt that’s imprinted into the cape. Not grime, not sand, not that mysterious green stuff that Mister PrinciPal produces in his gullet. No, the footprint isn’t composed of any substance that could possibly make this morning better for our poor, smelly sanitation engineer. The footprint was made with puke… well, it would have been, if Rainfort was wearing a cape in the first place. Don’t worry, it’ll come.
“I’ll take your silence as a yes. You’re coming with me.”
Jack weighs his options, finally deciding to go with the janitor rather than staying to take his substitute teacher’s nonsense. After Jack leaves, a wobbly Halloway turns on the projector linked up to the computer. He’s fading fast, refusing to acknowledge the multiple oozing holes in his back while the ooze continues to seep further into his tattered shirt. ‘I need to show these… these kids that I’m… that I’m cool.’ He brings up a Gooble Chromatic browser page and hits the options button, opening a SecretView page so the search history isn’t saved.
Meanwhile, in the IT closet, the one information technician who keeps tabs on all the current computer activity going on in the school sits in his chair, coffee cup balanced on his bulbous belly, and stares at the fifty screens in front of him. In the bottom right corner, on the screen representing the teacher’s computer in the biology classroom, the letters P, O and R get typed into the search bar.
Halloway falters. He slams into the ground, unconscious from the blood loss, and the shockwave is so small that neither Jack nor Rainfort feel it as they’re walking down the stairs.
A Dominance Struggle
Jack is petrified – he’s never been in trouble at school before this week. First the suspension, and now he’s getting escorted out of class? During first block?? Given, it’s a janitor that’s taken him out of class today, but still, he can practically hear his Mom’s words in his head. ‘“Jack, it’s okay honey, I’m sure you didn’t mean to do it. I’m not even disappointed, it’s not like you’re addicted to drugs like Sam.” And then I’ll say, “You’re right Mom, but this behavior isn’t acceptable. I’ll punish myself right away.”’
She’ll try to stop him, but Jack knows better than to fall into that trap. He doesn’t need to be standing over her deathbed in fifty years, tears in his eyes, and have her bring up how he was always so good until that one week in high school when he became a problem child.
On their way to the custodian’s closet, Jack and Rainfort pass none other than Mister Queue PrinciPal, tongue-deep in a whole pot of coffee, making his rounds and checking in on all the teachers and students. Well, all the male teachers, anyway; PrinciPal doesn’t dare look at the female teachers while they’re doing their job. No sexual harassment-fueled coups for Mister, thank you quite a bit.
PrinciPal shoots Rainfort a strange look which Rainfort returns to sender, Jack getting caught in the middle of a dominance struggle between the two most powerful alphas in the school. The old master, the king, the monarch on his throne against the traveling warlord and fix man, the one who’s inevitably called to clean up the messes the monarch makes. Again, if PrinciPal was still capable of getting a… never mind.
Jack and Rainfort walk down the hall. The one above all stands where he stands, watching them pass. Once they round the corner, PrinciPal begins his deft-footed approach.
Rainfort, slick with his keys, unlocks the custodian closet and shoves Jack inside before looking over both of his shoulders. Seeing that the coast is clear, he follows his young captive into the dark prison, locking the door behind him. A moment after the door clicks shut, PrinciPal does his geriatric version of a hop around the corner, looking everywhere but finding no young boy. He fears the worst, slowly creeping back out of sight of the closed custodial closet, just lurking there, waiting for something to happen. He takes out his flip phone and presses 7, the speed dial he’s assigned to the school’s SMAK team, and mulls over the screen for a moment. Then he slams his phone closed like a pissed girl at prom does her portable makeup mirror once she’s done fixing her face so she can steal her man back from that slutty tramp – today, this time, PrinciPal’s taking the prize.
The Most Awful Pain Imaginable
“Well congrats, kid. You’ve won the prize,” Rainfort grumbles as the unlikely pair stumbles through the dark, our former struggling to find a light switch. He won’t find one, of course, because the only light source inside the closet is a small oil lantern that ran out of oil minutes ago, but he’ll be damned if he doesn’t try.
Jack thought the suspension booth yesterday was dark, but this closet? This is some higher level of darkness, or would it be a lower level? Because, like, darkness and stuff? Regardless, Jack can’t see shit, and Rainfort could very well slip a hand up his trousers at any second. He won’t, but he could, and that’s really the issue here, isn’t it? The perceived potentiality for pedophilia is greater than it is during the after-mass sessions held in the Serpentine Chapel at the Vatican; it’s not that anything would happen, it’s that it just might.
Jack Monta, his head spinning with the fear of being diddled, says nothing in reply, and the two purple lights shining through the shroud, lights which were probably turned on to set the mood, only do Jack’s deepest fears the worst kind of favors.
‘This is it,’ he thinks to himself, trying to steel his nerves. ‘This is where I go through the transition from boyhood to manhood, this is when I become a real-life superhero. Born through the most awful pain imaginable, I alone will save the world. Just gotta… well… just gotta get… oh god, I don’t want to be a hero!’
Before I continue, allow me to speak directly to the reader. I know I done been speaking to the reader every now and then over the course of this printed fever dream, but at least I’m acknowledging it right now. Look, I know pedophilia is a terrible thing and that anybody in their right mind shouldn’t be joking about it, BUT, considering how pedophiles are publicly executed in the most gruesome way possible by whatever community they exist within in this anarchic variant of the now Untied States of America, I think a few jokes can be allowed to fly, similarly to how the fucked up decapitated heads fly from the bodies of the post-guillotine kid sniffers. Oh yeah, the guillotine isn’t just reserved for shitty kings of old. Besides, it’s not like the jokes are going to amount to anything; they’re jokes, just laugh.
The Jokes Amounted To Something
“Did you hear me, kid? You won! Alienfootprint is your VidTube tag, right? You’re the winner of my contest!”
As the most vile of anxiety-ridden future scenarios leave Jack’s clearly not very innocent mind, bright lights flash on and he’s faced by not only a smug Jackson Rainfort, but also by his older brother, who’s sporting that gay-looking pair of purple contacts that he wore at the assembly yesterday. In fact, he’s still wearing the exact same outfit he wore at the assembly, down to the lame-ass tie dye shirt and the ratty jeans with the holes torn in the knees.
Jack stumbles back and hits the door, sending a thump wave that not only travels through the door and into PrinciPal’s ears, but also knocks the empty oil lantern from the rusty hook in the ceiling to the floor, the ancient glass proving to be quite fall-resistant. This soundwave enters PrinciPal’s faded mind and tosses his imagination through a demented circus of repressed memories of his days as a choir boy in Vatican City.
Okay fine, the jokes amounted to something. I was as surprised writing it as you were reading it, so…
“How did… what the fuck?” Jack asks to nobody in particular. “What’s going on right now? I’m so confused.”
“I am too. When did you install these lights, kid?” asks Rainfort.
Sam walks over to Jack and hugs him tight, as if the bastard is so high that he thinks he hasn’t seen his brother in eons. “I’ve missed you man. How’s Mom doing?”
Sam away, redirecting his attention to Rainfort. “Can you please explain to me what’s going on? I thought I was in trouble, Mister Rainfort.”
“Please, Terry is fine. For now. I have other names, but we’ll get into those later. Listen, all you need to know is that you won the contest and I, along with my hippie employee, are here to escort you to the fabulous city of New Manhattan so you can claim your prize.”
At the mention of the word employee,
Sam rolls his eyes harder than the Apex employee was rolling last night.
“The same prize, mind you, that has recently been expanded from just meeting the illustrious Terry to meeting the illustrious Terry and the extraterrestrials who visited him last night! If we can figure a way to summon them back, anyway. That might take a few weeks, we may have to abduct you again. But we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it, coolio?”
Jack doesn’t even know what to say. He pulls out his phone and checks the time – ten o’clock. Wait… the fuck? “How long have we been in here, it’s third block already.”
“It’s almost third block,”
Sam interjects, marveling over his own success in speeding up the passage of what humans call time. “I’ve installed something of a pocket-Universe generator using a reverse-engineered version of Sig– I mean, Ter– I mean… whatever, using that dude’s device that the Zeroc gave him last night. What you call time passes faster in this closet than it does once you walk out that door, so for all intents and purposes, you’re actually in a different Universe right now. Damn, this shit really is a Multiverse. Oof. Hey, speaking of walking out that door, don’t you need to go somewhere, Rainfort?”
Jackson, who wasn’t paying any attention to the noises escaping his subordinate’s mouth, continues whistling the tune he’s been whistling this whole time.
“Wait, the Zee-rock? What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Jack demands, stomping his foot in emphasis as he utters the word that.
Sam ughs. “You’ll uh… you’ll get it eventually, brother. I don’t know that I’ll still be here when you do, but you’ll understand eventually.” Sam looks over at the whistling Rainfort – dude’s leaned against a rack of sponges, snapping his finger to the tune of the air escaping between his lips. Sam is mildly irritated by the janitor’s attention-seeking.
“Dude. Go out in the hallway for two seconds, I need to talk to my brother.”
Rainfort just kind of looks at
Sam, like he’s considering him for the first time. Or rather, like he’s considering squashing him like the tiny little insignificantly dime a dozen insect that he is, for the first time.
“Fine, I’ll go… for about five seconds. Then, I’m coming back. That should give you what… at least… at least a handful of minutes to have your little talk, right lackey?”
Sam deadpans Jackson Rainfort harder than Mister Deadpan would deadpan a rusty, dead pan. With a rapid shaking of his head, “Yeah, sure, whatever dude.”
After puffing his chest out and repeatedly punching it like a male silver back gorilla, Janitor Rainfort finally exits the custodial closet, leaving
Sam and Jack alone to hopefully discuss their differences.
Just about four and a half seconds after Rainfort walks into the hall, he is grabbed by the hairs on the back of his neck and thrown into the nearby water fountain by an enraged Mister, an enraged Mister who’s sporting that nasty-ass sweaty white priest’s outfit he donned during the shootout at yesterday’s dope DOPE assembly. See what I did there?
Rainfort, his remaining neck hairs spontaneously growing out and braiding themselves together into a cape, stands off against his nemesis. “What’s the meaning of this, boss? I thought I did a great job here, do we have a problem?”
PrinciPal takes out a black piece of fabric with two holes cut into it from inside his adult diaper and ties it across his eyes. With his mask on, he assumes the identity of The ManHandler, along with a surprisingly low-pitched and masculine inflection in his voice.
“You, The Closeted Custodian, have stolen your last victim. Inside that closet… and don’t even try to argue with me because I’ve caught you red-handed… or would it be white-handed? Disgusting. Irregardless, I’ve caught you in the act, ferrying young boys with velvet voices into your cave so you can have your way with them and then dispose of the bodies in the cleaning acids that my school supplies you with. But today is the last day – I hope you got your fill, you sick fuck, because you’re about to get ManHandled.”
Outside the school, a suicidal young turtle is attempting to cross the road that winds behind the buildings. Having grown tired of her life, she slowly steps across the searing hot asphalt, feeling all the pain in her feet until she feels none of it, the nerves quite literally burned to a crisp by the pavement’s absorbed heat. Fortunately, the shattered glass from the window The Closeted Custodian is thrown out of provides a cool alternative for Shelly to walk on, and the feeling slowly begins to return to her little turtle toes, giving her a whole new lease on life.
Shortly after striking the ground, The Closeted Custodian finds a dripping wet old man, I guess, coddled over him, his mouth breaths violating every law of boundaries that’s ever been passed in this solar system. Then, realizing his adversary weighs literally ninety pounds, The Closeted Custodian lifts The ManHandler up and tosses him back through the window, leaping back into the building after him. All of this is caught on the school’s security cameras by Tod, who immediately tells Todd, who immediately tells everyone else. Before they know it, the entire video surveillance class is huddled around Tod’s computer, waiting with bated breath for one of the superhero cosplayers to come crashing back out of the smashed window.
Hello Commons, this has been chapter 5 of The 2020 Event |The Main Event|, a satirical novel about aliens that do psychedelic drugs and the subjective nature of reality. |The Main Event| is the fourth book of the First Spiral, a longer story called The Highest One Writing.
The Highest One Writing is a story about an author told through the books he wrote. It starts with a self-help book and ends with the destruction of Existence. Also, it may or may not take you to the depths of insanity and back.
|The Main Event| is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
If you like |The Main Event| and would like to help support my work, buy a copy of the book here.
Be well Commons~