Step 1: Get a Lit Match and a Can of Gasoline.

Posted: June 4, 2012 in Allosaurus, sci fi
Tags: , , , , , , ,

In which we continue the adventures of F.R.A.N. from the previous post.

Sit down on the edge of the bed. Bend your knees. You can do this, dammit. Sit!

Okay. Sitting now. What’s next?

Next, take the goggles off. -No, I don’t care that your hands feel too stiff! No whining! Goggles off! You can’t afford to drain the batteries on those! 

Fine. They’re off – AHHHH! why’s everything so bright?

Do you even KNOW how those things work? Your pupils will adjust in a minute. Meanwhile, you don’t need to see to take off the gloves, do you? Big baby.

Fuck you.

Your hands are gonna feel real light, and really weak, in case you don’t remember. Don’t forget to turn the gloves off this time.

They’re turned off. I need to sleep.

Not before you get the boots and the vest off. And power down the dis-entangler. You remember how hard it was to get ahold of one of those things? Months and months setting up fake accounts, going through all that bureaucratic bull AND the visit from BATF? You can’t afford to burn that thing out – saved your ass tonight, didn’t it?

I “can’t afford” any of this stuff. Meh. Maybe I should just go get a real job.

A “real job”? Doing what? Furthermore, who’s gonna hire your crazy ass? You run around all night beating the crap outta muggers and petty crooks.

I mean, instead of that. I could get a real job and go back to being a normal person.

“Normal”? You? Ha! You do realize you’ve been talking to yourself here for the last five minutes? You shot past “Normal” a long time ago, dearie. Not even a dot in the rear view mirror, is it? “Normal”, she says.

Yeah, I suppose you’ve got a point.

Also, you nearly killed that one chick.

That … that was a mistake. You know that. If she’d just done like I said and dropped the gun –

– Blah blah blah. Whatever. Bitch needed to die, if you asked me. You know that. She needed to die, the guy with the little friggin’ hand cannon tonight needed to die – and you let them both live, you big baby. Hell, the only reason most of these losers are alive now, is ’cause no one gave enough of a shit to get rid of ’em. 

I’m not a killer!

Really? What’s the difference between you and a killer, then? Intent? Sense of remorse? Every night when you go out, you do realize you’re armed to the teeth, yes? You got more firepower on you than most police precincts. Also, you know the ones you leave for the cops to clean up? You beat them pretty bad, don’t you? Almost, dare I say it, gleefully. How do you know they don’t die after you’re gone? You don’t know, and furthermore, you don’t really care, do you? 

… Leave me alone. I need to sleep.

Huh. Fat lot of good that’ll do you. You’re still gonna get nabbed by the real cops. Or shot, one or the other. “Waa, I wanna be normal!” Ha ha. 

LEAVE ME ALONE!

Whatever, dearie. Sweet dreams.

~~~

Cheryl rolled over and glanced at the clock radio, softly glowing blue numbers reading way-too-damn-early-in-the-morning thirty. She slept in the spare bedroom now, the one that was originally where they’d kept the little recording studio. Or, rather, she pretended to sleep there. Most nights, Cheryl just waited in the dark.

Worried: “Was that a gunshot I just heard?”

Angry: “She doesn’t care how I feel. Doesn’t care at all.”

Guilt: “I’m just letting her do this to herself. To me. To us. God, why am I such a coward?”

Resignation: “It is what it is. This is our life, now, I suppose.”

Wash, rinse, repeat.

When she heard the door creak open, then the soft click of it closing, Cheryl exhaled. She wondered how long she’d been holding her breath. The heavy steps across the living room floor, then into what used to be their bedroom, found her releasing the knot of muscles in her back. Cheryl wrestled with the urge to go look in on Francine. “No,” she muttered. “If she doesn’t care about herself, even, why should I care?”

Because someone has to.

The urge won out.

Cheryl tiptoed into Francine’s room. The gloves, the boots, the vest, the goggles, all of it, were scattered all around. She used to be so tidy, Cheryl thought. Gingerly, she placed everything into a corner, and looked back at the bed. Francine sprawled across it as if she’d been tossed there, like a rag doll. Still a mattress hog. Still looked so serene in her sleep. Cheryl felt the corners of her mouth turning up slightly, in spite of it all. Then she glanced at Francine’s feet.

Still had the toe tag on.

The smile evaporated. Dutifully, Cheryl reached down to untie it.

words and pictures © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.

Allosaurus continues next time in Oh Boy! Exposition Time!

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Comments
  1. […] from “Step 1″ , the previous post. Read that one first, if you haven’t already. In which case, shame on […]

  2. […] Allosaurus continues in Step 1: Get a Lit Match and a Can of Gasoline. […]

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