Wednesday, November 2, 2011

192/365 --Playlist Story-- inspired by "If It Wasn't for Bad" by Elton John & Leon Russell

Pamela Stubbins peeked from behind the gauze curtain veiling her kitchen window as she washed dishes in water hand-pumped from the well.

"What are they doing over there?" she asked her husband Jedediah who was pouring over an old twenty dollar bill he was trying to duplicate with homemade linen paper, vegetable ink, and a single boar bristle.

"What? Who?" he muttered, before leaning back, rubbing his eyes and saying, "get away from the window Pamela--you don't want them to see you, do you?"

"They're not going to see me," said Pamela. She lifted her hands out of the water, absentmindedly, letting water drip down to her elbows and soaking her sleeves, as she stared intently at the neighbors.

Jedediah sighed heavily and returned to his work.

"You just invite trouble, woman," he said.

"You're just talking nonsense. It's just prudent to keep an eye on them. They've been acting funny lately."

"Of course they've been acting funny. Everybody's been acting funny. The whole world's gone completely funny."

"No, it's not, dear. That's silly. I think it's just the neighborhood."

"Dear God woman, do you really believe that?" He finished filling in Andrew Jackson's left nostril and removed the jeweler's loupe from his eye.

"It's not possible that this happened to the entire world. Think of Antartica. All those researchers. Surely it hasn't reached them."

"Oh holy hell!" exclaimed Jedidiah. "What are a few hundred scientists in Antartica ever going to do anything about this?"

"I'm not saying they can do anything about. I do think it will go away on it's own, but then I always--oh, my! My!" Pamela peeled back the curtain and leaned her other hand on the window.

"What?! What are they doing? Get back!" Jedediah leapt up from his chair, spilling a pot of green ink.

"Oh no, look at that!"

Jedediah rushed to his wife's side, leaned over the sink and pressed his face to the cold window.

"What is that?" he said.

"They're...cutting it up."

"How did they capture it?"

"Maybe they found it dead," said Pamela.

"Those things don't die easily. Once they latch onto a host they're pretty much indestructible."

"Well, they're not so bad until they start growing."

"How can you be so optimistic? They're demons."

Pamela clicked her tongue and rolled her eyes.

"Maybe you should go out there and help them," said Pamela.

"Marge and Steve? Are you kidding? They're liable to claw my face off."

"Oh, they're not that far gone yet. Not nearly. Besides, it's just neighborly."

"Woman! I'd just as soon confront them with the business end of a shotgun! Maybe someday soon, if we're lucky, we'll be cutting them up and stuffing them into our compost bin, just as they are now! Look at them. My God, how are they going to get all the wings in there? They're going to have to break the carapaces apart. They don't have the right tools."

"Well you could lend--"

"No. Hmmmff."

Jedediah stomped back to his seat and silently cursed the spilled ink by staring daggers at it. Pamela let the curtain fall and resumed washing a large butcher knife which, with soap so impossible to come by, still stubbornly clung to the grease of the stray dog they ate for dinner. Pamela began to hum to herself, oddly contented.

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