[The Rorschalk wakes up from a deep slumber and finds himself on the Floor, but something's different: the disco ball is spinning out a pattern of refracted light he's never seen before, the wardrobe/cleaning closet seems to be opened from the back, the subterranean denizens, Dep and Doomey, and their contrapuntal desks are nowhere to be found. He groans, rolls over and pushes himself to his feet. One glass tile lights up and he steps to it. The next in the sequence forward seems to beckon. Like a trained lab rat, he follows, wondering at what, or if any, point he will merge with the spirit that guides him, as he picks up his feet and plods for what seems like days.]
What, ho! Is that the outline of my colleagues desks yonder?
[His anticipation is shown to be wrong as he draws closer, for it is only the strange backend of the familiar but-not-quite-right wardrobe again, dappled by the shards of the mirror ball's ash colored light spinning in reverse.]
[The rorschalk hears the tickle of Dep's voice travel down the acoustic ban box that is the heavy wooden wardrobe as it resonates down what seems a long distance like a tunnel. Looking at the dark entrance that is in fact what should be the exit, his courage bolstered by the aural assurance that his friend is somewhere there inside, he steps into the darkness and hopes that this still small voice he thought he heard is more than simply the shadows on the wall, repeating an old line from an old novel to shore up his fortitude as he seeks the company of an old friend. Mangling it, changing it's meaning and connotation, as if he were playing a game of telephone with himself, as he goes]
What is remembered ... need never be lost. Remember this, for I do not wish to lose you. What will remain ... when my memory fails you? A stitch in time saves nine? What ridiculousness is this ... a kiss is still a kiss. A sigh is just a sigh-ee-eye. We remember Paris, thus shall we never lose it. If it quacks like a duck ooohhh, who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Spongeblob Square knickers! Dep! Is that you? This dark wardrobe is pulling the varied threads of my mind out at random as if they were a large order of fries!
[Carol slaps her ass into the pilot's chair and looks over the capital spread out on the cherrywood's desktop. She snarls her lips, burps. Her Indian sari is wrapped loosely, and she pulls the tawny fabric tight against her breasts so as not to show the world her tits. She twists in the chair, scanning the capital laid before her. She raises her left hand and scratches at her moused scalp, and she spits tobacco scraps from her lips. She grabs a rouge Pall Mall from the desktop as it rolls from the left edge to the right. She tosses the cigarette to her lips]
Last time we saw this V motherfuckin' C was when he pitched us No Day For A Family Man. And Boligard pitched it up to those wads in the Terminal. Not sure what happened to the capital, but we liked it. Dug it. Understood. So I, unaided, am tossing this up to the Terminal.
[She looks around her, lowers her gaze, blinks, and then blinks again. She pulls some sleep dust from her eyelids and she sighs]
We may sleep. For a while. Let's just sleep. I'd love to sleep. Been up for forever.But seriously, the environment? I can not be more upset about these new folk. These fucks who live in their parents basements? Uhg. Gross.
[Carol lowers her head to her arms crossed on the desktop. Her breathing goes real deep]
[Carol rises from the chair, she shoves it, the pilot's chair, backward with her ass, and then she grabs the underside of the desk's front edge and, using her legs, lifts the desk, and it goes top over bottom, skids up against the wardrobe. It panders there, smoking a little, upset and underappreciated. A desk is just a fucking desk. Unless...]
Please tell me you did not just toss a cap terminalward just cos you liked the last one the VC subbed. You realize you're supposed to read each one? Well... maybe not in its entirety, but at least the title and maybe a few sentences, which is more than a lot of venues read. But anywho/what/how, whatever you chucked upwards (upchucked) you didn't hurl forcefully enough. Never made it to our desks. Maybe get Boli to show you how to throw, girl.
[Carol sits on the tiles up next to the upended Cherrywood, and she grabs up a scrap piece of metal from something or other and she pulls a Sharpie from her inner Sari pocket and scribbles a note to Rockefeller]
The reason to toss up a VC who's been through the process prior is due to proven solid-base aware-crafting, motherfucker. Aware of it's surroundings, the crafting, sunk deep in the pithy dirt that is prose, regardless of perusal. It's like once you open a Dennis Lehane book, you're locked in, and you can't twist your hips, you can't turn around and walk out of the situation. Good crafting locks you in, from the onset. And I never said I didn't glance at the capital, Rock. I did look it over, which you'll see on revue, asshole.
[Carol caps her pen and she pockets it. She gets to her feet and she spins and spins and spins and she tosses the scrap up past the mirrorball, hoping beyond all God-crutch hope that the jagged edge of the metal message might eat deep into the thigh of one of those cocksuckers upstairs. Those gangling bastards]
[She thrusts her shoulders back, juts her hips forward, raises her tits to the mirrorball, and she shouts again]
[Carol staggers up against the ruined wardrobe, her high heels getting all snagged in the hem of her sari. She pulls a pint of Southern Comfort from the insides of her dress. She uncaps the bottle and glugs a few swallows. She step step steps backward till her back's against the wall. She breathes deep]
Rocks blushes. He's not used to being flirted with so transparently and aggressively. Really, at all. Ever. Daddy issues notwithstanding. Not since he took that squash ball in the eye anyway. How to reciprocate. He knows she wants him... how to keep her on the line... Hmm...
The greats, I mean the really Greats, the Geddeses, the Cixins and the Bukowskis, they take chances. Big fucking chances. Huge risks. They try shit. And so of course sometimes their shit doesn't fly for everyone. Sometimes maybe even not at all, for anyone. Whatever. Sometimes they lose. They reach, sometimes overreach. They take the long shots because they aren't afraid to miss. They really experiment and sometimes experiments fail. See, they don't crank out the same genre/formula/pandering drivel to the relentless beat of some publisher's drum. No no no. They make art. Yes, if you've read one Dan Brown masterpiece, you've read them all. No need to read another. Not so with Wallace and his ilk, if he even has any ilk. But,from what you say, apparently so with that VC.
Sincerely, Cocksucker Rock.
PS Boli's dead? Bummer. Dude rocked. Total one-off. Hope you're carrying his baby.
If we're short on cap, I could shit into my hoof and send it to you. I eat a lot of corn. You could count the kernels. It would at least give you hours of entertainment without breaking our heads with some crapital that breaks the speed of stupid.
[Carol settles two fingers on the desktop for Carlin, and she raises these fingers to her lips. She wanders over to DePlancher's desk, her hips wagging, the sari she'd worn earlier having twisted into some healthy, slightly marred leather ensemble, with zippers and bead-strings and vivid stitchery. She plants her elbows on the front edge of DePlacher's desk and she looks into DePlancher's wavering focus]
Girl. How goes the vetting? We've a business to run here, cousin. We, and by we I mean I, need input from you, and we need goodstuff and maybe some shrapnel. Is the capital good or bad? Is there no capital for you to vet? Girl?
[Carol rises and twirls, and she shakes her head, her hair whirling here and there, making a voodoo pattern against the backdrop of sunlight exploding in through the cracked outer shell of eggshell failure, massive failure. And she slams her forehead against DePlancher's desktop. She slams her forehead against the desktop again. And she slams her head against the desktop once more. She shakes her head, licks her lips]
What we want is massive amounts of Goodstuff, cousins. But we might not see that due to the nasty watch going on casual. S'like, Goodstuff flies in low, the radar can't see it, where is the Goodstuff, where'd it get to? Maybe it got all rural, we don't know.
[Carol removes herself from DePlancher's desk. She feels she may have upset the cap farmer, though she was nearly certain she knew the girl, but knowing that knowing a girl can sometimes result in ruining yourself, the girl being a girl, being in-fucking-sane, girlwise, right? She steps back, eyeing DePlancher, eye to eye, and she firms her lip line, solids her jaw, goes to one knee]
We're going to vet some capital, sweetheart. You might wake up, come to. But, regardless, I've got a couple of nasty guys banging up against my ass. I'd call the police, but, what with the deluge, the cops can't be counted on, right? They never show on time, folks. So....we're going to examine cap. And I will swallow the craze that pops and sizzles in my mind, and I will not act on the childish maneuvers of the Terminali, those small folk up above, and we will examine quietly, solidly, and wholly. We're working with needles, cousins. Examining the stuff coming in, nodding our heads but knowing the Goodstuff is real rough and dangerous. We'll find the stuff, fucker. Nothing you upper Terminali can do about it. You upper Terminali can suck my fucking penis.
[Carol dances around the tiles, stomping here and there]
And hey, Rockefeller, you ever call me Cunt again, I will find some way to ruin the life of your mum and your dad and your fucking fish and your sons and your daughters and your dogs and cats. I will pull the posters from your walls and I will fistcrack your fucking television and I will smash the shit out of your spice cabinet, and I will find out where you live and I will mess up your partner's sleep patterns, though I doubt you have a partner, you most probs live solo, and I'll put a cabinet in your house and I will play it loud. Fucker. Call me cunt. Everything about me will ruin you. Everything of me!
[Carol sits her ass on the pilot's chair, pulls it in close and looks down on the fresh cap spread out on the desktop]
And just so we know what's up, my team don't even close to appreciate the Bulldust team. Years ago the Bull upset the lot of us, and we still have not forgiven him. So, though I know this is awkward and wrong, I can only look upward where I guess the Bull sits in the Terminal eating his roast beef and tortilla chips, and all's I can say is Fuck you, Bulldust. Go to hell and lick the underside of your own ballsack, you bastard. It's been so long, I doubt this Bulldust even knows what the elder Bulldust did. S'like two diff puppets.
[Carol shifts the pages on the desktop, aligns page 1 atop page 2]
[She flips through the pages, 3, 4, 5, 6 and onward.]
[She finishes the capital, taps the pages straight, wags her ass in the pilot's chair, sucks in her cheeks, gathers spit]
Not good enough, cousins. Wish it were.
[Carol twists the capital, and she twists it again, and she twists it again and the capital goes all glitter, and it rains down on the dead disco floor, like rain on a game board, like snow on a ruined, rotting porch]
Smoke Signals, by Stephen Hebert has been Portholed, sisters.
Things seem to be getting kinda dark and ugly down here. Sorry I addressed you by one of the 3,456 synonyms for vagina. The c-bomb's even lamer than the f-bomb in the UK. But I guess here it still has weight. Didn't intend to hurt. Won't use it on you again. Rocks has more respect for your ghost than any other gatekeeper. Gave him a ton of inspiration back when he fancied himself a writer. Knows you respect the craft. Knows you can craft. So whatever your PGP and/or avatar, respect. Respect.
And where are you Dep? I think we need some of your sweet poetry and goodness, help level us out. Before someone gets hurt. Peace.
[Carol thumbs the Bose, Prince's My Name Is Prince explodes from the speakers hanging from the rafters. Carol backs her ass around the dance floor, stomping on the glass tiles, making green tiles pop and then red tiles beam and then white hot light beams up at the mirrorball. She stomps and shakes her head, and she twirls, and she hops hops hops across the Floor, her lips tight, her eyes half-lidded. She comes across DePlancher's desk, leans in and gives DeP a kiss on the mouth, and then she turns and waltzes over to the Cherrywood. Kinski's "A Nap Is a Slice of The World" takes over the Bose speaker. Carol twirls and twirls. Most folks who work at literary venues, magazines, bars, coffee shops, don't dance very well. They don't have a beat. Carol dances really fucking good. She hops and then shifts her hips and wags her ass, purses her lips, squints her eyes, twirls her fingertips, nods her sweaty head. She settles herself behind the Cherrywood, lowering her ass into the pilot's chair, snuggling down into it, wagging her head to the beat of Kinski, and she spreads her fingers and lands them on the desktop with a bang! Kinski fades out. She spreads out the current capital, John Hanna' s Bucket of Bolts. She wags her ass in the pilot's chair as she examines page 1. She hums some tune, something from Van Halen 2. Sounds like Bottoms Up. Outside, the deluge has gone all snow, balls of it]
Wow. I just examined the worst opening paragragh ever. "Franklin was taking a walk in the forest with command in his step. He had a purpose visiting the old citadel now just a mile distant. His elders didn’t approve saying they preferred him to be pulling duty in the village but once a year of so he was compelled to subject himself to the queasy heights of the artifact." I'm guessing the VC does not speak English easily. This guy most probs is from Russia or somewheres. I mean, what the fuck? Why would this god awful bullshit get through to the bottom of the bottoms, the dog is done.