Sunday, August 31, 2014

Three

Chloe the serial killer is having the devil's own time dragging the tv pitchman's body into the weeds.

How's that for an opening sentence? Eat my dust, rubes.

She had had her thumb out--
cute as a box cutter in an angel's hand,
chin up
hip cocked
standing in the harsh shine of the rising sun.

She hadn't given a damn about limescale.
She hadn't cared how many ShamWows he had in his trunk.
Now his shitheap Hyundai is parked crookedly on the shoulder,
and one lonesome long-legged caffeine junkie is trying to stash him behind the hollyhocks.

It must be the Bohemian in her.

She has almost got him to the center of the cloverleaf when she hears something.
Shit. She's not alone.
Chloe turns in a slow circle. 
Then she sees a dark form nearly obscured in the shade of a trash tree--
it is the Queen of the Vampires in black panther form,
and she is crying.
Have you ever seen a cat cry?
They do it silently, but with their whole soul.

"Here is the place," she says to Chloe,
"where Athena, Artemis, Hestia and I used to hang out.
In those days, we killed all the developers before they could draw their first breath.
Artemis used to turn guys into jackalopes; no construction crews.
Hestia would build a fire,
and the four of us would pass the Mad Dog around.
I liked us better then."

The tv pitchman forgotten, Chloe sits down in the tall grass,
as the Queen of the Vampires resumes human form.
She continues:
"Now Athena is some muckety muck with the power company.
She lives in a condo,
and her owl is just some detailing on the door of her fucking Audi.

"He used to hunt here, swooping down from the trees,
and Artemis loved him so much, just as if he were her own.
She would coo to him like he was Head Baby at the Adorable Factory.
With a mouse in his talons.
And those big eyes.

"Arty lives with some woman who wears an ankh and runs bullshit workshops.
She's gone vegan, and doesn't even remember Orion at all.
Chloe....?" She falters.

"Yeah, hun? Tell me." 

The Vampire Queen lets out a shaky sigh.
"She...she spells woman with a Y."

"Oh, hun." 

"I know, right?"

They are silent for a long time, the tv pitchman stiffening up beside them.
"What about Hestia?" Chloe asks, putting her arm around her friend.

"She runs a B&B,
making English muffins for couples from East Candyland,
chatting them up, then washing another god damn load of sheets in the afternoon.
What happened to us, Chloe?
We were cool. Why do we suck so hard now?"

Just then, there is a rustling in the grass.
Chloe looks up, the sun seeming to traverse the lenses of her shades.
"Look what the cat dragged in!"

It's the Succubus, fluttering her black wings lazily.
"What's this?" she asks. "GSA troop 17?"

Chloe explains, shrugging a shoulder at her friend sitting next to her.
"She's feeling old and uncool."

"Fuuuuuck," says the Succubus wisely,
as she and the charming serial killer lift the Vampire Queen to her feet.
"What you need is some coffee, lady.
And guess who's sitting in your favorite booth at Danny's as we speak?"

The QOTV sniffles and wipes her face with her sleeve.
"Uh...Emmylou Harris maybe?"

"Nah. Even better. The Dark-Haired Chick."

"She not in Toronto?"

"Nope."

"Not in Chicago?"

"Nuh uh."

Not in L.A.?"

"She's at Danny's, waiting for you, you silly shithead. C'mon. I saw a Hyundai we can steal. We can be there in fifteen minutes."

So the three of them step over the dead tv pitchman and in fourteen and a half minutes,
they are at Danny's Coffee Shop,
once again the cool queens of caffeine.
_____

black night hollyhocks
Although I only used one word ("queen") from the list, it was mood wings's word list that inspired me. This is also for the Real Toads mini-challenge. Kelly Letky's photograph "Dance With The Ghosts of Tomorrow" made me think of the spontaneous scrub that springs up in unused patches of land, like next to freeway interchanges. The top image is hers. 

Athena, Artemis and Hestia are the "maiden goddesses".

Diana the Huntress (Artemis)
Dedicated to cool girls everywhere.  

 

23 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

i happen to like trash trees. have a lot of them here. :) and i'm feeling old and uncool a lot, too. while i'm drinking my last cup of coffee trying to put some life back into me today. :)

ellen abbott said...

I never feel old or uncool. It's the rest of the world that got old and uncool. Nice to see the ladies again.

hedgewitch said...

You turn the gods inside out to show how very much they are the living creations of our psyches, the stuff of ourselves, as helpless in the maelstrom of time as anyone else, and while this is obviously hilarious on many levels, it's very real, too, very much how life can turn out. I hope the wheels stay on the Chariot, and Danny stays in business for a thousand years.

Margaret said...

I always did kind of like Billy Mays… my daughter did a great characterization of him long ago that used to make me laugh and laugh. But… most pitchmen I advise to never hitch hike - I think one could argue a and win "insanity" ha

Kerry O'Connor said...

It must be the Bohemian in her.
This stand alone line really caught my eye and made me smile. As always, your story-telling is wired directly into the female chromosome and resonate there.

Mama Zen said...

"Head Baby at the Adorable Factory"

Fuckin' priceless, cool girl!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh my God......snorting, grinning....."spells woman with a Y....Oh, hun....I know, right?" and "We were cool. Why do we suck so hard now?" You make my day!

mrs mediocrity said...

I loved your opening line, and what a dance this was... I will think of these fabulous ladies, next time I am outside, dancing with the moon. It will be a fabulous party. :)

mood wings said...

I can't tell you how "true to life" this is for me. This whole exaggerated tale fits precisely with my group of gal pals from high school. Although I'm probably the least cool of the whole bunch at this point, we used to be pretty dang rad. ;) Our coffee shop was a Jim's in San Antonio, though.

I had the best time hanging out with three of these girls during a trip home over the summer. So I can totally "feel" this whole piece.

Now, as for the writing. Again, you rocks my socks off, Shay. Every story-poem is better than the last, and I don't know how that's possible. But I suppose that should be a writer's goal. "You're only as good as the last thing you wrote," they say.

My favorite part is from the beginning all the way down to "It must be the Bohemian in her." Mindblowingly impressive writing. As your other readers like to say, you have me pulling my hair out.

This:
"cute as a box cutter in an angel's hand,
chin up
hip cocked
standing in the harsh shine of the rising sun"

And this:
"and one lonesome long-legged caffeine junkie is trying to stash him behind the hollyhocks"

Oh my word.

This stood out too: "I liked us better then" ... [sigh]

"She would coo to him like he was Head Baby at the Adorable Factory" ... Love.

The build-up of excitement at the end when she dares to believe Emmylou might truly be nearby.

Keep 'em comin', girl!

mood wings said...

Oh yeah. "Woman" with a "y" was also a stand-out.

mood wings said...

P.S. I was often the dark-haired chick in our group. But I was also sometimes the red. And once, [gasp] the ridiculously bleached blonde.

Björn Rudberg said...

Cute as a box-cutter in an angel's hand... Love that line..

Susan said...

"it is the Queen of the Vampires in black panther form,
and she is crying.
Have you ever seen a cat cry?
They do it silently, but with their whole soul.

"Here is the place," she says to Chloe,
"where Athena, Artemis, Hestia and I used to hang out."

And this is ample reason to cry soulfully--but--Oh I laughed! I love your characterizations. I love the scene of sisterly comfort over lost dreams. Please please, let not the dark haired lady get under their skins.

Jazzbumpa said...

Was having a cold one with Thor
when Loki popped in, gave us a toke.

Told us some stories about girls he claimed to know.

Greek girls, some with birds.

Sad stories.

Thor bashed his head in, hammer happy bastard.

I grabbed the rest of his joints before they got blood soaked and beat it the hell out of there,
wondering if maybe this was someplace I didn't belong.

.

Sioux said...

Who else but Shay could put ShamWows in a poem and make it work so well?

This was entertaining...

Helen said...

I'm gonna call you "Bohemian Queen."

Sumana Roy said...

cool :)

Cloudia said...

yes, winning opening lines! So many good things.
"What happened to us, Chloe?
We were cool. Why do we suck so hard now?""

All it takes is the next quest as you show, Shay. We STILL the coolest


ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
=^..^= . <3

grapeling said...

very cool ~

Shadow said...

Caffeine? That's all it takes? Love your stories!

Susie Clevenger said...

I love your storytelling...I have my days of feeling uncool, then I take a peek around me and well, I am hip in comparison. :) Can I join the queens of caffeine? Love that!

Marian said...

pretty cool. i have seen a cat cry. boo. also, i think i bought one of those ShamWows from that guy. good riddance! :)

Sara said...

AHHHH:~) My buddies are back! I'm sorry to be so late to this crazy funny post, but I was away and had, believe or not, no internet. Actually, it was peaceful:~)

There's something wonderful when you write about the QOTV. I think you should do a whole story with them. They are such great characters for a book and "funny dark" is IN if you haven't noticed:~)

Remind the QOTV that she will always be cool to me!