Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chapter 14

You walk Doc. Jeffy doesn't come because she wasn't ready, and still isn't, but she's getting there. She's looking for her keys right now.
Doc was ready to walk, and still is, but he isn't ready to poop. It hasn't been that long since he ate, and he's a dog, but he's also a snake. And imagination.
You walk and walk and walk Doc and it is dark but you see many things: kids, buildings, gum, marquises, the projected image of a horse, the projected image of a waffle. You used to feel playful. You now feel weird, like a waffle: noncommittal. You turn around.
"No!" Doc says.
"Wow! Really?" you say and turn back around and walk Doc, but obediently this time. It takes a long time for Doc to answer your question: forever, and some time later you will question whether or not anyone else would have heard Doc say "No!" had anyone else been there. You almost question it right
now! but you forget to when Doc slips his collar and looks both ways and races across the street and broadsides a car, because the car came out of nowhere, or, if you like, the car came from above. It alighted neatly about a moment, give or take, before Doc made a mess of it. Now it is bent and now it is folded, and an image of the accordion-necked woman is projected inside your head. Doc is not bent or folded, but dazed or remorseful. He sits quietly staring past the wrinkled car, probably with some sort of emotion, while you refasten and tighten his collar.
Expecting to find the most coincidental personage inside the car, you peer into the tinted window next to the driver's seat only to find the most coincidental personage inside the car. The woman with the accordion neck. You pull on the handle of the door, which is stuck like car doors on wrecked cars always are, and it's late, and you're tired, so you quit, and you shrug, and you feel pretty good about the way things turned out because that woman is scary.
That woman unlocks her door and sidles out and signs, "Thanks, sugar," instead of saying, "Thanks, sugar" in chorus. She doesn't mean it.
"I'm sorry," you sign. "I thought the door was stuck." You pause to examine her neck for any potential accordion properties and find something even more interesting: a hole, from smoking, like in the posters. You breathe a sigh of relief and "I thought you were someone else," you sign.
"Fuck you," she signs and stalks off to the other side of the street where Doc was staring, which reminds you about Doc and how you aren't holding the leash attached to the collar on his neck. "Doc?" you say and you look around and you don't see him. "Doc?" you say and you look across the street where he was staring and you don't see him and you don't see the woman from the poster anymore, and where was she going? and what about her car? Can you have it? You'll come back for it, after you find Doc. "Doc?" you say and you whistle.

Chapter 13

'And this, roughly, is why people don't fuck with Sophie the DOG CATCHER,' you think to yourself.
The skinless Jeffy is halfway inside Doc by the time you think of re-charging your letherman's force-field instead of watching T.V., and then Doc has the cord. Jeffy stopped masturbating and just shivered watching her himself being eaten skinless, and sopping.
"This world is so fucked up," said Jeffy. "It didn't used to be this way. People used to know what to expect--people used to be able to live their lives."
"I don't know," You say. You sit cross legged and naked--sea foam puss bubbles from your wounds, and somehow it makes you feel like a god.
"Before UPMC and The COLLEGE started the joint government, and reincorporated the lawless Yinzer territories--at least progress was slower then. Destracted by war."
Doc wraps himself around you--muffled T.V. voices coming from his innards. You hear a snap as his powerfull esophogus crushes antique hardware--smoke and mercury drifting from his nostrils.
"What was it like in the Yinzer terrotories?" Jeffy asks.
"I'm not a Yinzer." Doc licks your face. You pat his head, and your eyes casually folow his blody along the floor, and out the window. He's 2ft 6.34in in diamater, and you wonder how long is he now.
"Oh. I always thought--"
"Well," Jeffy pauses. "You're so tuff."
You snort. "I grew up in UPMC." You drape your body across Doc. You are not afraid of Doc anymore, in fact you feel affectionatly toward him. He licks your wounds, foam sticking in his mouth like peanut butter--it makes you smile. "In the pre-management labritory."
Jeffy's eyes widen. "You mean. . . you were a bubble girl?"
"Yeah," You say. "Class 1 actually. I was bred and raised for upper level management, maybe C.E.O.." You're being so open with Jeffy now. It's pillow talk, you guess. I mean, you did enough dammage the the poor guy, the least you can do is show the girl some tenderness.
"What happened? I mean why are you out here?"
Your knuckles brush the course wood floor as you lift your hand and slowly make a fist. The motion is remenicent of dropping soap in the shower--the universal signlanguage for the slipps.
"That bad, huh?"
You sit up and Doc gives way, licking the roof of his mouth and sniffing the ground. You stand and stretch, feeling the muscles move under your skin. You unabashedly deslpay your full flexability before Jeffy.
She averts her eyes.
You flip into a hand stand and walk toward the stairs. It's going to be nice to have your home again. Sick of sleeping on lumpy couches, sleeping in the pound--always smelling like dog piss, and battery acid. You walk up the stairs on your hands and when you're near the top you let your feet hit the floor, and push with your hands, coming to an upright position like a slinki in reverse.
You're room looks ransacked and most of your clothes have been shredded by the racoons, but you find yourself a braw and panties and a bulky leather onezi that you used to wear at the pound when you were new. It slows your movements significantly, but it stopps most organic teeth and claws.
You slide down the post back to the ground floor. Jeffy is looking cauciously at Doc, "Does he look bigger?"
"Have you made detective yet? Cuz I'm willing to put a good word in."
"We should really disect this guy ASAP," says Jeffy.
At this Doc reared up, his back pressing against the cieling, razor fins rattling feircley.
"Doc," you hiss. "No."
The mutt lowers it's head guilily. He slinthers in circle wrapping himself into a pile, putting his head on his paws.
"I don't think that's going to be possible," you say. "He's pretty much industructable. Pluss, he's my dog."
"What?" Jeffy looks at Doc and back at you. "But, uh? Well what about the others."
"Gone," you say. "Eaten."
"We need those bio-tags Sophie. This could be huge."
"Well," you say picking up a plastic bag from near the alagator skin chest. "I guess it's time for a walk."
When Doc heard the word "W-A-L-K" he perked up and slithered all around the room wiggling excitedly. You giggle and hopscotch through the tangled body of your dog, and open the door. "Ready?" you say to Jeffy. Jeffy shakes her head.

Chapter 12

"You thought we...I...I wanted to fuck you?" Jeffy asks, one voice atop another, two separate pitches, one a ball--the other a strike.
"Yeah," you say, "that is until the raccoons turned your face into pizza cheese with the sauce bleeding through. But I think I can still have my way with you, if we stay in the dark."
"I'm not really interested," says the alto.
"I'd fuck you right here, dead raccoons and all."
Jeffy's male sexual half walks out of the shadows and into the moonlight, dick in hand and blood in mouth.
The other half, now clothed doubly in what Jeffy had just been wearing and what Jeffy hadn't been wearing, stays in the shadows. You take a step back, half aroused sexually and half homicidal; you don't know which half to fuck and which half to kill, even though the decision seems to have already been made for you.
"I'm not really ready for this, Jeffy--what about Doc?"
"Doc has a sexual disregard mode that stops him from imagining that the act of two violently thrusting bodies on top of one is actually Life Threatening©, which has been copyrighted by UPMC to separate sex from real violence."
"What about sex with a corpse?"
"A cut in state funding prevented those tests from being conducted; I think the money went to our Library instead," he said, looking off toward the glowing hospital on Penn Avenue whose arrival preceded this madness, slipps, pols and all. Doc sits down, heads on paws and other heads on furry remnants.
You mount a distracted Jeffy, who quickly refocuses his energy toward your advance. His penis is thick but sterile--a stainless steel dildo with human flesh; gives new meaning, or at least childish explanation, to the phrases 'Rod of Steel,' 'Metal Boner,' and "Thrusting, mechanized dick," all of which plagued your early erotic fiction like convenient slipps in an unfocused, round robin cyberpunk story.
You measure Jeffy's stalk with your digital measuring device, $98,001 installed at UPMC.
Four and a half inches in diameter, sixt--stop, length is irrelevant. Your urethra spreads and your lips gush, your penis end swallowing his prosthetic in an attempt to rid the world of robot pols with divided sexual urges in snake jaw-widening fashion. But why stop there?
"Stop! What are you doing to me?"
You say nothing, sliding your hand down your own shaft to the switch on your vaccum cock: Suck.
Jeffys hairline whips back, taking his scalp with it--the epidermis splits horizontally, mimicking what the world must see when a forest of perennials is lopped off and leveled, but with added removal of flora, fauna and topsoil. Advanced hairloss, follicles stamped out at the root.
Blink and you missed it. Of course you blinked. Jeffy's now skinfree on the floor having rabid fits, the second noticable problem (after oxygen became privatized and fortified with rabies and aids) of losing your Skin 2.0®, the first being that you're a fucking bloody mess all over the goddamn floor, ya fucking fuck.
"Uncle Frank!" is the only thing you can think to say, as you remove the penis vaccum, now filled to capacity and too heavy to wear any longer. You reach for the TV and a VHS tape.
"What, what the fuck are you talking about? Who the fuck is Uncle Frank?"
"Jeffy, have you seen Clive Barker's Hellraiser?"
"No! I don't get your fucking references? I never have!"
You reach down and grab Jeffy's stainless steel dick, now slick with his own bloodcells and lifefluid. You turn it left and pull it out, revealing a three pronged electrical outlet.
"Plug it in," requests Jeffy's other, less testoneronically driven half.
Now, with the TV playing Hellraiser from Jeffy's dick outlet (or is it an inlet?) you and Jeffy (the other one, the one with skin and outward, fairly traditional female characteristics and real sexual organs not made of steel or subject to a man's sexual blindspot) sit and masturbate until boredom sets in.
"Did I ever tell you about that one time I saw Green Day open up for the Scissor Sisters?" Jeffy asks, spreading his legs until her intentions were obvious enough that even Doc, a sexual conservative and a densely configured cyborg dog with an uninstalled sexual disc drive, takes notice.
"No, but you're going home after the opener."

Chapter 11

"Jeffy," you whisper in a most seductive voice. It's a little throaty with sweet melodic undertones. It's beautiful. Jeffy screams. There is a raccoon on your back. He's not terrified for you. There is a raccoon on her back, too. There is a raccoon boxing your right leg and a raccoon crawling up your left and a raccoon dropping from the ceiling rafters and three raccoons hopping down the spirals stairs three steps at a time. They aren't any bigger than you remember, but they are more. They're coming from the kitchen. From your room. From the bathtub. There's one on Jeffy's face and it makes his scream sound funny. You pause to chuckle before grabbing your leatherman from your pocket and brandishing it with a most intimidating air. Some of the raccoons are intimidated but not the right ones. The right ones are the ones digging their claws and sinking their teeth into you and Jeffy. They pause to chuckle before burrowing deeper into Jeffy's soft, warm, smooth skin. Also yours.
Maybe you just have the slipps again and you're pinching yourself to pull yourself out of it. Subconsciously. As hard as you can. On that place on your back where you can't quite reach. And you filed your nails to points earlier today.
"Why the fuck did you bring me here if you knew they were here?" Jeffy shrills, billy clubbing you out of your musings. He's managed to detach all of his raccoons and is now trying to pry the one on your back off your back while you scare other potential latchers-on by stabbing them repeatedly.
"Hey, that hurts," you flirt. You turn to wink but forget to when you see Jeffy's shredded, bleeding and now completely unkissable mug. "Uch" you say. Whether because of your apparent repulsion or because of the raccoon-on-your-back's apparent perseverance or because of the pack of fur hurtling towards her, Jeffy gives up on tearing the thing off and turns his attention to the pack of fur hurtling towards him.
Her eyes flash as she raises his taser majestically in the direction of the attack pack, preparing for another heroic display of self-preservation so characteristic of, and prided by, polls. The lead raccoon leaps forward. Jeffy points, aims, and Doc bounds through the nearest window and swallows the flying raccoon whole, shivering slightly when the electric dart nicks his jaw. He woofs eagerly at the quickly but professionally dispersing pack and pounces, not like a cat. He is bigger than you remember. He is so hungry. He must have tracked you and Jeffy from the pound. You must not have secured the door. Or considered taking any measures to deal with this insatiable and difficult to kill giant. You must have been really, really horny.
As Doc scarfs down the fluffy corpses you take a good long ogle at Jeffy, who has given up trying to aid in the carnage and is now reclining against the far wall enjoying the show, and wonder what the hell came over you. Why were you convinced he was your supervisor? Admittedly, your supervisor is mildly attractive--at least a good bit more attractive than Jeffy, if only because he's a classier dresser. Were you just trying to trick yourself into believing you weren't about to fuck a poll? And how did you think you'd pull it off at your raccoon infested home? There is no explanation.
"Is this place really city-approved?" Jeffy smirks.
"The raccoons didn't used to live here."
"I remember." Jeffy stands up. "So," she says, "are we going to talk or what?"
"I'm not really interested in that anymore."
"...In your job?" Jeffy seems genuinely confused.
"No... in... you know..." Still no light on his mangled face. You search for the right words. "You know... fucking."
"What? What the hell are you talking about?" Now Jeffy looks repulsed.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Chapter 10

Hands sweaty, breath quickening, you realize your anxiety is getting out of hand. The presence of a polycephalic dog should be enough to spawn anxiety such as this, but deep in your heart, you know this isn't the case. Doc's fine. Doc's no problem in fact. Your dreams of bellow-neck women are no problem. Even the thugs from UPMC are no problem. These are all challenges in the physical world and can therefore be addressed directly with running shoes, knives, boltcutters, lockpicking tools, garden hoes, pens, pencils, high-speed internet, whips, chains, cyanide toothcaps, attack raccoons, or any combination thereof.
The problem is Jeffy. The problem has always been Jeffy. Charming though she is, he's always been somewhat of a dominating supervisor. She came on strong to you the first day you were hired, and you've been dealing with his tongue-and-cheek advances ever since. But whose tongue? And whose cheek? At first you thought you knew, but now you're not so sure. The sodium lights blaze through the crooked blinds, creating one stripe of pale orange across Jeffy's bangs, another across one eye and the bridge of the nose, another across the other eye and check, and down, and down. Your eyes follow the topography of shadow stripe down Jeffy's face and neck.
Shit. What a dilemma. Reality hits you. You're horny as fuck, and you know if you take Jeffy home you'll end up having sex. And it'll be complicated. And there'll be drama. And it'll be messy. And it'll be sloppy. And it'll be exciting. And it'll be hot. So fucking hot.
Shit. You realize the long silence has gone waaaaay past awkward o'clock, and all you're doing now is trying to mask your excitement/fear/anxiety by taking deep breaths. Something has to happen now. Once again, you weigh your options, numbered:
1. You say whatever you have to say right there in front of Doc.
2. You insist on taking Jeffy someplace neutral, perhaps with lots of people around.
3. You take Jeffy back to your house and tell her your theory on raccoon-dog conspiracies.
4. You tell him in the kitchen.
5. You tell her in your room.
6. Jeffy on top.
7. You on top.
In the bathtub.
On the floor.
Against the wall.
Shit. No, not shit, like actual feces. Just shit. As in, make the goddamn decision already.
"Actually," you say, "My place it is."
Jeffy's mouth breaks into a quizzical smile, which you can see perfectly by the light of a pale orange stripe. "Seriously?" he says.
"Seriously," you say, "Right now, before I change my mind." There's no bother to lock the door, because with Doc there, anyone would be a fool to try to rob the place.
You bike down the alleyways, despite the higher chance of running into enlarged raccoon gangs or killer cyber-deer. It beats dodging traffic on Butler Street. Up 54th Street, up and up, and still up, and you're always thankful in moments like this that you don't ride a fixie. You lock your bikes to the bottom of the stairs at the top of the hill, where the road ends for vehicles and can only be continued by those pedestrians fearless enough to trek the stairway through the woods. This is the only way to get to your house, and it keeps the riff-raff out. Unfortunately, it's also a life-threatening endeavor every time you need to go home or leave the house. The woods are notoriously a haven for all kinds of creatures who may or may not want to kidnap you and eat you for dinner or plant cyborg parts into you in the name of science. The stairs are also overgrown with foliage and littered with broken glass.
Your leatherman has a battery-operated forcefield though, and you were smart enough to charge it up at the shop. Jeffy carries a taser and a switchblade. You climb the stairs quietly and get to the top without incident. "Great," you think, "that'll just mean double-unluck on the way down I guess."
Your home, as it were, is actually a half-finished house overlooking Lawrenceville. Someone paid an architect a hell of a lot of money several years ago to design this place, and then the money ran out, and the hill started collapsing down into 53rd Street, and the house was abandoned. The first time you saw it, you thought it was the most magical place in all of Pittsburgh. You finished the upper floor so that it's habitable all year round, but in the spring and summer you pretty much spend your house time on the still bare framed first floor, with the windowless exterior walls and the view of the whole city.
"I never get sick of this view," Jeffy says, "So, is there something you wanted to tell me about the raccoons?"
As you lean in close enough to feel Jeffy's breath on your face, you realize that of all the words poised on your tongue ready to come out, none of them have anything to do with raccoons.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


You want to throw up. You don't know how long you've been staring at this blank page, or when you regained "consciousness."
You've got the slipps, you've got the slipps bad.
Jeffy is shaking you. "Sophie, Christ! Get a fucking grip!" He's shaking you so hard that you're pony tail has come undone and your black hair seems to crystallise in a million intricate sculptures as you pull yourself back into the crazy fucking daydream that is your reality.
The slips were a newly descovered in the last ten or so years, though they likely existed as early as 2012. Ever since technology started altering the human world rapidly enough that people couldn't keep their daydreams in check by crossreferencing them with the basic rules of reality.
There was a time that seeing a flying zombie robot ment you were daydreaming or crazy, and then you could wake up. Now-a-days that might just mean that somebody designed a zombie robot that flies. Pretty much nothing is impossible, which means the only thing to seporate dream from reality is continuity. It can happen to anybody (especially a writer) but it's still embarassing as all hell.
You've calmed down some--at least you're breathing steadily.
"You weren't picking up your cell," said Jeffy. "I let myself in. You were slipping pretty bad huh?"
"What?" All your taxadermied animals are gone. "Oh, no. Not bad," you say. "Sometimes when I'm really into a story."
Jeffy looks at your blank screen. "You look real deep in there." There's a toothpick lolling inbetween Jeffys lips. "Do you slipp like this a lot?"
"Nah," you say a little two quickly. "What's with you fucking pols anyway? Why do you ask so many fucking questions? What are you doing here?"
Jeffy lifts his hands smiling a bit at your tuff-girl act. "I'm just here to check the mutts for bio-tags before you incinerate em'."
You're still dizzy and watching him think you're cute makes you want to spit. "They're in the Bell Jar."
Jeffy smirks and swaggers off, letting his but twitch in those spandex pants--gun, flashlight, and mace hanging from his hips.
You shut off your screen and keyboard, and rub your face.
"Sophie?" calls Jeffy.
"Duchebag?" you call back.
"There aint no muts in here sweety."
You graon and march over and peer into the Bell Jar. He's right. The thing is empty. You turn toward jeffy and jump despite yourself.
It's Doc. He's doubled in size, and you instantly realize what happend to the other dogs. Jeff looks over toward Doc. "Oh, here's one."
Doc sticks out his toungh, sniffing--weighing his options.
"Letts pop this guy in the tank, gas em', and do that autopsy."
You shake my head. "I don't think it's that simple."
"What do you mean?"
Right now you're afraid for Jeffy's life. You also don't want to talk about this stuff in front of Doc for some reason. You hear youself say, "Let's talk someplace else," even though you don't really want to, but you're choices are limited.
Jeffy perkes up emeadately. "How about your place."
You shake your head.
"Why not? Scared somethings going to happen?"
You shake your head. "Racoons."

Chapter 8

    The art of animal magnetism, whether welcome or inappropriate, is a practice learned and layered, developed over many years of creature husbandry and strategic manipulation of various beasts. When pursuing your undergraduate degree at Pitt as an adolescent (after preschool AP Classes and the trading of your recess credits for internships and work credit at the local vet labs and animal-dependent sustainability courses on the outskirts of Lawrenceville and Morningside), you deleted every useless bit of information on the topic of Confrontation with Animatronic/Radioactive Cyborg Beasts, except for one. From Barnyard in Your Backyard: A Beginner's Guide to Raising Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Rabbits, Goats, Cyborg Dogs, Sheep, and Cows in Pittsburgh by Gail Damerow:
"The dark can be an especially dangerous place, especially when pure blackness is punctuated with the glowing eyes of the undead Eunuch Raccoons of the Allegheny. But the likelihood of survival in such a situation has been increased exponentially by Eternal Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's creation of a revolving curfew center for nocturnal animals. The revolving curfew center, which involves welcoming delinquent night creatures into a new neighborhood every month as a means to keeping these raccoons, opossums and roaches off the street and providing a nurturing work environment for them to make pies, may be coming to your neighborhood soon! Don't forget to check your internal calendar and ready your homestead for visitors--you never know how many manicotti you'll need when the weasels show up! Brought to you through partnership with UPMC."

You reach for the light switch and dial 311 in the same motion, but only your phone call goes through, as a chilled, scaly tail impedes your motion to light the room. You swat it away and flip the switch--mandatory speaker phone kicks in: "Hello, You've reached the Offices of Eternal Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. If you are calling about food stamps to feed unexpected guests, press one... ." You hang up. 

The stretched necks of now-visible raccoons resemble Popoids, a crunching, expanding and contracting toy similar to Legos you remember from your childhood. The starving bandits stand around a wooden trunk bookended by the head and rear of a New England Alligator, whose tail was probably what kept you from turning on the light, you think. Each raccoon holds a piece of official mail with your address, today's date, and your name. You, obviously their host, haven't kept track of the days and nights, and since your city-approved squat is stuck in the in-between of two neighborhoods and is debatably in neither and both at the same time (depending on government handouts and take-backs), you feel you've been both cheated and blessed, though you're not sure of the latter. 
Doc knows this. Don't ask yourself how, but he has already told the raccoons, who refused to leave your grounds and accept refuge in more up-and-coming neighborhoods (like Lincoln-Lemington and North Perry), that we cannot provide for them. The alligator, obviously just a modern-day pack horse/oven, awaits instruction from the raccoons, who hurriedly begin pouring into the alligator's trunk your pie and pastry flour, Earth Balance and fruit.
"I can't handle anymore roommates right now," you tell the raccoons. "And aren't you all still pissed about our past?"
The raccoon with the longest, slinkiest neck shrinks back to a normal size, reaches into the alligator's trunk, and pulls out a shoofly pie. 
"A shoofly pie?"                        
The raccoon nods and holds it up as a peace offering.
"That's about as expected as a raccoon riding a bicycle." 
You look around the room and notice all the miniature frames and 12-inch wheels eschew, evidence that the kitchen is also now a bike workshop for your guests. Do you need this right now, at this time in your life? 
You take the pie from the raccoon and shake his still-evolving hand. There's no suspicion here--you just eat the pie and laugh at how absurd it all is. The University, the Health Care, The Immortal Mayor, the hospitality of your guests, who should still probably want to kill you. 
"Hey, did you dissect those other chimeras yet?"
"What? Where is that voice coming from?" you ask. "Jeffy?"
"Yeah," she says, letting herself in from the kitchen window. The raccoons all sniff at her ambiguity, or maybe its her authority that has them interested. You don't know--either is a new smell and worth the interest. 
"I called 311 and, uh, requested your home address," she says. "This is one of the finest city-approved squats I've ever seen! Can I get the tour to see if, ah, the wiring in your bedroom is up to code?"
"I've got to feed these raccoons, Jeffy. There's no time for inspection. And what the fuck do we do with this alligator?"
The long-necked raccoon, answering your question, flips a switch behind the alligator's left front leg, and the reptilian parts retract back into the trunk, pushing out another pie from an enormous coin slot, this time berry. The raccoons all rush up to the pie and wave us off. Doc joins them, as another pie slides out from the trunk.
"Look, we're either going to fuck tonight or we're going to dissect those chimeras," Jeffy says. "It's your choice. But I really do have to inspect your wiring, if you know what I mean."
"Wait, don't you think that this whole scene is a bit pointless? I already knew you want to fuck me. Is any of this even necessary for the story?"
"Story, what story?"