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Books by Quantum Muse contributors and friends.
Stormcastle: And Other Fun Games With Cards And Dice

by
Jeromy Henry
Assisted

by
Harris Tobias
The Tooth Fairy War and Other Tales

by
Jeromy Henry
THE MUTED SHOUT OF THE GRAY TOWER

by
James Gardner

Sex Sells And So Does Crazy

by

Graeme Tennant



Sex Sells And So Does Crazy

There is a girl with blonde hair kneeling down in front of me. She is looking at library books about Yoga. She’s kneeling on the balls of her feet. She has long hay-coloured hair that runs down between her shoulders. Every few seconds she shifts her weight from one foot to the other, when she does her hair sways between her shoulders. When she grabs a book from the shelf she pulls against the top of the spine with her index finger. She licks her thumb when she turns the pages. She looks pretty close to my age. Maybe a few years younger, I’m guessing she’s twenty-six or twenty-seven years old.

 I try to grab the girl’s attention by knocking my fist on the book shelf three times. “Hey,” I said, but she didn’t answer. She turned briefly and smiled at me before looking away. I step closer. I keep my eyes on the back of her head, watching her hair move back and forth. I can feel my heart began to beat faster. I can smell her lilac perfume; it reminds me of my mother. When her hair moves I can see the nape of her neck, she has dozens of small brown freckles on her back. I try to play connect the dots with them but all I can think of is her breasts. I can feel myself get an erection. Static from the electricity between us makes some of her hairs strain out to touch me, I reach my hand out to grab them but pull away at the last moment. What’s wrong with you, shit or get off the pot. Even harsh words to myself don’t make my decision any easier. I reach out and place my hand on her head. I run my fingers through her hair and move them down to her shoulders.

 She springs up from the floor and turns 180 degrees to face me. Her hair whips out nearly hitting my face. She puts up her left hand in a stop motion and said in a stern voice with only the slightest hint of a quiver, “what the hell are you doing?”

 “I’m sorry I thought you were someone else,” I said fluffing my curly hair with my left hand. I give her my best smile.

She moved two steps backwards.

“Checking out books eh? Got anything else you want to check out? Like maybe these guns of mine.” I flex my biceps. I let out a low growl when I clench my fists and flex again turning my arms down towards my stomach. I clench my muscles so tight my teeth begin to squeeze and grind together.

She gave me a blank stare. “I’m just here doing some research for my class.”

 “Are you a teacher? I love teachers,” I say moving closer.

 “No. Just taking a class,” she said, her eyes darting back and forth.

She’s not a student she’s an actor.

“Student? Don’t you mean actor?”

 “Get away from me,” she said. She began to walk towards the circulation desk.

Why are you wasting your time with her? It’s obvious that she’s not interested in a pathetic, fat, pimply slob like you, the producer’s voice tells me.

As I watched her walk away I noticed a man sitting at a nearby table. He was reading a newspaper while watching me from the corner of his eye. He had short gray hair. His forehead was lined with cavernous wrinkles. His jowls jingled as he ground his teeth. He was muttering into his chest, “get the bible. Get the bible.” There was a large blue ear piece in his left ear, the kind that people working on the show always wear. He glared at me when he saw me looking at him.

A loud ping sounds throughout the main floor of the library as a library clerk checks out books for a patron. The clerk is a young girl with a silver ring in one nostril, her hair is trimmed down to her scalp on one side and long on the other, it’s dyed black and purple. The ping is the same sound that my computer makes, it’s the sound of video subscribers tuning into the camera-feeds.

The man at the table is muttering to himself again. “Get the bible. Get the bible.”

I wander through the lobby looking for cameras. I drag my feet against the dull green carpet. The carpet is worn and frayed in sections from all the heavy foot traffic. In the far corner of the library near the windows that look out over the Assiniboine River past the cubicle study desks; I pass a row of people sitting at the computer stations, most of them are streaming Japanese anime or Chinese soap operas off Youtube. There is a trio of teenage girls with matching designer ripped jeans and ear pieces pacing nearby. The girls all glance at me for a few seconds before turning away and giggling. There are probably dozens of actors and cameras here in the library, each one watching my every move.

 No matter what part of the library I go to I can’t escape the smell of people’s cheap, rancid cologne and the clouds of delicious, delicious marijuana that wafts through the air. Dull eyed and giggly teenagers leaf through graphic novels. While men with hunched shoulders and shifty eyes read women’s health books.

In the middle of one of the stacks I saw one of the cameras. The camera was hidden inside an old coffee cup that was stashed in the corner of the shelf. I pick it up and turn it over in my hands. A small hole was poked through the side so the lens could fit through. There was soiled tissue paper and napkins stuffed inside the cup. I brought the cup up to my eye, I stared into the camera. “I know you’re watching me, and I know you’re trying to stop me from getting what I want. I’m not stupid I know this whole place is just another god-damn made up set and everybody here is just a bunch of D-list actors,” I said as I crushed the cup in my hand.

 “I don’t like it when people use that kind of language. You should be ashamed of yourself. Taking the Lord’s name in vain,” a woman said. She was standing to my right with her hands on her hips. She was wearing a yellow raincoat that had worn sections around her waist and elbows where the top coating was missing exposing the light brown fabric underneath. Behind her red tear-drop shaped glasses disapproving eyes stare back at me.

 “You can’t talk to me like that; I’m the star of this show. Me. Not you,” I said pressing up so close to the woman that I could smell the cat piss on her clothes. “Nobody tells me what to say or how to speak. And if they do, I’ll kill them.”

She froze. Her mouth hung open for a moment before she screamed, “Librarians, librarians call the police this man threatened to kill me.”

Who does this bitch think she is? I grabbed her wrist.

 “Get away from me. That’s assault,” she said, in a shrill voice. “Librarians, librarians. Somebody. Anybody. I need help.”

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a camera flash.

I was so focused on the woman that I didn’t notice the nose-ringed librarian coming towards me until she was standing right in front of me. She just stood there, not saying a word with her arms crossed and a sour look on her face. Her nostrils flared as she let out a deep breath through her nose.

 “Screw off you cunt, I’m not in the mood,” I said. I storm past her, bumping hard against her right shoulder.

The people in the library had all stopped what they were doing and were staring at me. “Go to hell all of you. Why is it you’re only interested in watching me when something bad happens?”

They watch you because you’re a mess. Sex sells and so does crazy. The producer’s voice chuckled as it spoke. His voice is probing and merciless. I rub my face with my hands, massaging my temples. I let out a sigh. Why can’t these people just let me have a moment’s peace. I took several deep breaths and tried to calm myself down.

 “Sir, we do not tolerate this kind of behaviour at the library. You cannot behave that way in here. Using that kind of language and assaulting patrons, especially when there are children present is inexcusable. You’ll need to leave the library, immediately.”

 “What if I don’t leave? This is a public space. You can’t tell me what to do. All I want is a break from all these cameras,” I said gesturing at the cameras attached to the ceiling. “Just for a few minutes. You’re telling me that I can’t even get that here? Everything that happens to me is staged for the amusement of others and it makes me sick.”

 “The police are on their way,” the librarian tells me. She stood sideways, her eyes glanced from me to the nearby exits.

 “Well I don’t want to leave. Not until I get to speak with the Director. I’m not going to be treated this way by a bunch of talentless extras like you,” I said shoving the woman. She fell backwards into a pair of garbage bins. The bins let out a loud clang as her skinny arms flailed against them.

A male patron snuck up behind me and put me into a choke hold. His olive green camouflage print sweater was covered in dog hair and smelled like gasoline. He had long, greasy black hair tied into a pony-tail. He pressed his forearm against my windpipe. I gasped for breath, swallowing loose hairs from his stubbly arms. He exhaled sour garlic breath through his nostrils into my mouth. I tried to cough. We struggled back and forth for several seconds before I was able to break free from his grasp. I pushed him away from me.

 “Get away from me you freak,” I said.

A crowd had gathered around us, everyone was looking at me with contempt in their eyes and half snarls curled on their lips.

 “I said get off me you freak. This isn’t part of the script. So get your hairy bitch-belly out of my face,” I yell, coughing up bits of his thick arm hairs.

 “What did you say to me?”

 “Fuck off you bitch.”

The man twisted my right arm behind my back, “That wasn’t a very nice thing to say.”

I shifted my weight trying to pull my wrist free. Pain jolted through my body and I shouted, “Asshole.”

He scowled at me. “Is that the all you’ve got? Apologize. Now.”

The smell of his unwashed body odour reminded me of my home town and all the hippy tree planters that would visit every summer. He must be joking to think that I would apologize to a piece of shit like him. “I’m not going to apologize to a hairy cave man like you, and especially not to some rug-munching vegan buzz-kill like her.”

 “Okay then,” he said shrugging his shoulders. That’s when he broke out some kind of crazy Jackie Chan shit, he grabbed my wrist with his left hand and pulled my arm out to his side, then he grabbed my fingers with his right hand and ducked right under my arm. He turned 360 degrees to face me, with a firm grip he twisted my wrist in one direction while pushing my arm upwards. Whatever move it was called, it caused a jolt of pain to rocket through my arm and up through my shoulder. The hippie-hipster pressed his disgusting, greasy, hair in my face. He smiled.

 “You sick dirty bastard, what’s wrong with you? Let go of me before you give me herpes from your fucking nasty breath.”

Another severe jolt of pain racked through my shoulder down to my waist. I squealed.

I could hear the sound of police sirens. The high pitched screech got louder as the car got closer to the library. The flash of the cars red and blue lights reflected off the glass entrance doors.

Within moments a policeman came strutting into the library. He wore a bullet proof vest over a navy blue dress shirt. His thumbs were hooked into his belt loops. His polished black shoes clacked against the linoleum floor.

 “What’s the trouble here?” he asked.

 “Officer, this man has been picking fights and causing a disturbance,” the librarian said. “I want him charged and arrested.”

 “No I wasn’t. It’s all these assholes they started it,” I said.

 “Sir, you’ll have your turn to speak. Just remain calm, and let me handle this,” the policeman said in a slow, calm voice. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead, dried waves of sweat lined the ribbon of fabric underneath his cap. He looked at the librarian first, then to the hippie-hipster, and then his gaze fell on me.

 “Officer, he tried to bite me. I want to press charges as well,” the hippie-hipster said, showing the cop his arm. He spoke so fast that the words spilled out of his mouth.

This is going to be fantastic for the ratings. Fighting girls and cops. Everyone will  remember you next season.

 “That’s bullshit. He was the one who tired to break my arm.”

  “Sir, stop this behaviour at once or I will have to use my taser on you.”

I got to my feet wiping my hands on my pant legs. I walked towards the policeman. Man this is going to make a great episode. I hope the cameras get my best angles. “You want me to stop? Then make me.”

 “Lay down and put your hands behind your head. If you don’t cooperate I will be forced to use my taser on you,” the officer said, pulling out the taser. He moved his right foot backwards, standing at ninety degrees. He unlatched the taser from his belt and pulled it out an inch from its pocket.

I smiled a wide smile for the cameras. A shot rang out. Something sharp hit me in the chest. The claws ripped through my clothes and bit into my skin. Jolts of electricity pulsed through my body; they started as a warm tingle that spread across my chest before turning quickly to a blazing hot fire. My lungs collapsed. I gasped for breath, each breath felt like razors running down my throat. My muscles tensed up as wave after wave of pain coursed through me setting my nerve endings on fire. I went stiff as a planking hipster and fell to the ground.

The policeman pressed his knees down between my shoulder blades. I could hear the click of his handcuffs. They felt cool against my wrists. Cold, and cool. I close my eyes and wait for the fade out to commercial. Two to three minutes later a frigid blast of stale recirculated air starts blasting me in the face. I opened my eyes. I had been locked in the back seat of the patrol car. A crowd of people was standing outside the library, they watched as we drove off.

 “Officer, I want to know where you are taking me. I have a right to know.”

He didn’t answer my question. He just turned up the radio until it drowned out my voice. The sound of Shania Twain singing ‘It’s Great To Be A Woman’ made bile worm its way up my throat. The cop bobbed his head back and forth singing along, “…men's shirts, short skirts. The best thing about bein' a woman is the prerogative to have a little fun.” He snapped his fingers and sang off key. Who listens to Shania Twain anyway. Gross.

*******

There is a fly on the metal frame of the bunk above me. I can see it perched above me. It’s a big fat house fly, with really hairy legs and big compound eyes that catch the moonlight. At least that is what they want me to think it is. But I know better, it’s a camera-fly, a plant from the studio. I bet that thing has been broadcasting video of me in this cell for hours. I hope the cameras got my good side. I suck in my gut for the camera and run my hands through my curly hair. I grin clownishly, since I know I am being filmed.

The fly’s thin cellophane wings twitch incessantly. It rubs its feelers across its eyes and nose. The fly scurries across the metal frame towards me, probably trying to get a close up shot for all the viewers out in TV-Land. I try to squish it with my thumb, the fly doges quickly, flying above me in semi-circles before landing on the windowsill.

There are two other men inside the cell with me. They’re dressed in clothes that look soiled and smell like shit. One man had a worn Blue Jays baseball cap covered in stains, the fabric is torn along the edges. He rubs his thumb and index finger together, both are stained a dark nicotine yellow.

The second man was wearing a Winnipeg Jets hockey jersey and khaki shorts. He had a great big round belly. He had thick calloused hands that he stuck up into his armpits. Every three minutes he would pull one out and sniff his fingers before sticking his hands back up into his pits.

The producer’s voice in my head whispers, Peter get up, it’s boring watching you sleep, nobody wants to see that. This episode is pulling in terrible numbers. Get up and do fifty jumping jacks. I don’t want to do it, I would rather go back to sleep but I know I don’t have any other choice.

I began to do the jumping jacks. My feet clacked together each time. With each jump I let out a loud grunt. I don’t care what the producer says this episode is one of my best yet. The low numbers are because of that hippie-hipster and that vegan bitch librarian. People like her have been trying to sabotage my whole chances at winning ever since the show began.

One of the other men in the room turned over in his bed, “Hey dip shit cut that out were trying to sleep,” he said before rolling back towards the wall and squeezing out a rancid fart.

I heard whispered accusations emanating from the speakers hidden throughout the room. The voices all spoke at once, all trying to speak over one another, their echoes burned in my ears. What kind of man are you? You can’t even stand up to some artsy-fartsy vegan. What makes you think you’re going to win?

 “Bullshit to you. You think I am afraid of that woman, that’s bullshit. I’ve done everything you asked and more.”

 “Cut that shit out or I will cut it out for you. We’re trying to sleep,” the Winnipeg Jets fan said.

I stopped doing my jumping jacks and sat back down on the edge of my bunk.

Outside of my cell is a television set. It is bolted into the wall, and encased behind a wire cage. The logo for the early morning news broadcast flashes across the screen, This Morning Today. The colours on the screen are tinged a pale green. Two newscasters sit stiffly in front of the cameras.

The news is all made up. It’s all being manufactured for my benefit. Every broadcast is filled with coded messages, too many for me to keep track of. The news is bad for that but not as bad as infomercials, they are the easiest places for the producers to put hidden messages for me to find. Sometimes they put in false leads like the time I saw an infomercial that told me to break open all the bananas at a corner store so I could find the free holiday to Cuba token inside, there wasn’t anything in the bananas. I’m not allowed at that store any more.

The producers want to control everything in my life, even the way I think. The script that runs at the bottom of the screen flashes brightly, the letters began to change before my eyes; the latest update from the viewer polls rating for Peter Holmstrom’s Unreality Star has drawn its worst ratings since the season began. Speculation about the upcoming season finale points to him being removed from the show and becoming a total loser.

The news anchor is wearing a white dress shirt with thin horizontal blue stripes, a fat yellow tie, and polyester maroon suit jacket. The studio lights form a pale glow around his body. He flashes a worn plastic smile at the camera. “When was the last time you went to the library? A new study released today says that the average North American only reads only fifteen books a year.”

 “Hey Gavin here’s a joke for you. Why did the librarian slip on the floor? Because she was in the non-friction section,” the female announcer said. She let out a forced laugh.

I couldn’t believe my ears, I can’t believe what she just said, it was so bland, so, so utterly Canadian. That was weak. I bet she spent all afternoon working on that punch line, weak, just weak.

The female announcer had her hair tied in a pony-tail, she wore a red blouse with a black brooch over her right breast. “In other news scientists say that last month’s earthquake in Vancouver should serve as a wakeup call for residents of British Columbia and Canada about having proper natural disaster precautions in place at home and at work.”

 “It’s a wakeup call all right. A wake up call for people to not live in an earthquake zone,” the male announcer said.

 “Seriously. It makes me glad we live here in Winnipeg.”

The producers voice in my head crackles, ‘Peter what are you doing?’ Sitting here crying like a baby is no way to be acting, especially so close to the finale. You might as well say goodbye to the grand prize the way you’ve been acting.

 “Stop it, stop it,” I said, grasping my head with both hands and shaking back and forth.

That’s when I thought back to what the news anchor had said, “When was the last time you went to the library?” Why would he say something like that unless it was a plant from the television producers and they wanted to make me look even worse? These people are assholes. This whole show is rigged; everyone is doing their best to make sure I lose.

I stood up, looked directly at the fly and shouted at the top of my lungs, “Hey jackasses guess what? I’m not going to let a bunch of no-name extras like you keep me from getting the grand prize.”

The other men in the cell grumbled and rolled over in their beds.

 “Cut that shit out god-damnit,” the Jets fan said speaking into his pillow.

 “Screw you, you don’t get to tell me what to do. I want to speak to somebody in charge right now.” I squeezed my head between the metal bars of the prison cell door. I shouted, “Where is the director? I want to speak with him right now.”

 “If you don’t cut that shit out right now I’m going to come over there and I will smash your teeth in,” the Jets fan said. He obviously isn’t a fan of my show.

 

Several hours later I wake up to the sound of a baton clanking against the bars of the jail cells. A fat man with a soul patch and a uniform that was a size too small waddled down the hall, the buttons on his uniform stretching against his belly. He nodded to another guard and our cell doors opened with a loud clank.

 “Holmstrom. Wake up. Your bail’s been paid. You’re free to go.”

“Really? That’s great,” I said jumping out of my bed.

I pushed past the other men, ignoring their stares. Before leaving I turned around and stuck my tongue out at them. The cell door slammed behind me.

My mother was waiting for me in the lobby. Her face was red. She held a tissue tightly in her hand. Her mascara was running. When she saw me she rushed over and hugged me.

 “Peter I was so worried about you. When the police phoned I nearly had a heart attack.”

 “You didn’t have to come bail me out. I would have been fine,” I say.

 “Of course I did honey. Would you like to go get some lunch? My treat.”

“Okay, fine,” I say.

 “Let’s get out of here. I don’t want to spend another minute in here, it makes my skin crawl,” My mother grabs me by the arm and leads me outside.

           

We go to a restaurant called Vegetarian Peach. The walls are painted eggshell and cream. There are dozens of still-life pictures of fruit and scenic black and white pictures of Paris in the rain hanging on the walls. We were seated next to the window.

The waitress brings our order to the table. She balances our drinks on a tray she holds with one hand. I ordered a coffee. The actress playing my mother drinks tea with a slice of lemon. I wrapped both my hands around my coffee cup. I like how the heat spreads out and into my palm. I watched the creamer swirl clockwise inside the coffee cup.

The actress sighed. “I don’t even know what to say to you after what you did yesterday.”

 “Then don’t say anything.”

 “Is that all you have to say for yourself?”

 I was silent for a moment. I weighed my words carefully, there is probably cameras recording this. “Thanks for bailing me out,” I said.

 “You can thank your father - it was his money.”

“Ha, that’s never going to happen.”

The actress lowered her gaze for a moment before speaking again, “your sister called me yesterday. She is worried about you. She said she saw you a couple days ago, but you didn’t recognize her. She said you aren’t looking well.”

She’s not your sister.

 “She’s not my sister, and you’re not my mother. You’re all just actors. Stop pretending like you care about me. My mother was a famous actress; she stared in tons of movies. She had millions of fans. You’re not her. You’re just a fat, ugly impostor.”

 “That’s a horrible thing to say. Why would you say something like that? She loves you. She’s your family, we just want to help you.” The actress pulled a tissue from her purse and dabbed the tears pooling in the corner of her eyes. “I’ve been thinking, maybe you should take some time off work this summer and take a vacation. You could come back home. You could spend time with your brother and his kids. You haven’t even seen them yet. They are getting so big now. Jamie has even started talking now.”

 “That’s nice but I can’t go anywhere right now. I’ve got priorities here that I can’t walk away from.”

 “Well we can still start planning. I know your grandmother would love to see you again.”

 “If I quit now than I will never get to win the grand prize. It’s so close now I can feel it.”

 “Peter, remember what Doctor Ball said. You need to keep taking your medication. Those delusions you have are just that, they aren’t real. You’re not living in a television show.”

 “That’s what someone on the show would say.”

The actress didn’t take the bait, “So how is work going? Did you ever talk to your boss like I told you too?”

 “No I never talked to my boss. My boss is an asshole and he hates me.”

 “He doesn’t hate you.”

“Sure he does. I can see it in the way he looks at me, talks to me, and the way he treats the other workers better than me. But I’ll show him. I’ll show all of them. The best TV shows are the ones that get into people’s face.” Give them blood and they’ll love you for it.

 “Peter you don’t sound like yourself. Are you feeling alright? Have you given any thought about maybe going back to therapy? Doctor Ball said you were making really good progress. You should really think about going back and finishing the program.”

 “I’m not going back there. That episode was total bullshit. Nobody liked it. The ratings were garbage.”

“You keep talking like you think you’re on television. It’s not healthy. I’m worried about you.”

 “You better be careful mom you’re breaking character, going off script. If you’re not careful you might get replaced next season.”

Someone has put her up to this.

 “Did the producers put you up to this?” I said, looking around the restaurant for any sign of cameras.

 “No Peter, no one put me up to this. I love you, you’re my son and I want to help you. You need help.”

 “No thanks, I know that you’re just trying to keep me from winning the grand prize. I have to stay here until the finale. I know the truth now. It was all a set up, getting arrested. It was so you could put a chip in my brain, so you can monitor everything about me, even my thought. Everyone that tunes into my feed should be paying me money.” I pushed out my chair so hard that it fell to the floor. “I don’t want anything to do with you anymore, or you’re fucking family. I don’t need you. I don’t need anybody.” My mother’s mouth dropped open, a tear pooled in the corner of her eye and sliced its way down her cheek.

 

After leaving the restaurant I walked to the nearest bar I could find. On Lambert street I saw a bar called The Rams Head. There were two dozen multicolored balloons flanking the entrance. A banner written in poor hand writing in multicolored crayons hanging above the entrance said Grand Opening. I pushed the balloons out of my way, opened the door and walked inside.

Inside the smell of bleach was so strong that I could feel my skin itch and my eyes begin to burn. Several booths were built into the left side of the bar while the right side of the bar had a long bar. A jukebox next to the front door was playing La Bamba by Richie Valen. The walls were painted a dark evergreen colour.

A skinny guy dressed in black with a greasy goatee was throwing darts at a dartboard that was drilled into the wall next to the jukebox.

A girl, probably the bartender was leaning against the side of the bar. She had long dreadlocks down to her shoulders and thick black rimmed Weezer glasses. As soon as I walked through the door she began to cheer, she grabbed a flimsy dollar store noise maker off the counter and began to blow, it sounded like air leaking out of a flat tire.

“Welcome,” she said. “Congratulations you’re our first customer. You get first pick of some free swag.”

The guy with the soul-patch began taking pictures of me with his digital camera.

I tried to block him from taking the pictures by putting my hand in front of my face. “What is this? Who put you up to this?”

 “Nobody put us up to this. We’re celebrating our grand opening and since your our first customer we have some prizes you can pick out.” The girl with the Weezer glasses pulled out a box from behind the counter. “What would you like? We’ve got some glow sticks, an inflatable pencil, how about a toy gun that lights up? Pew pew,” she said pointing the gun at me and firing.

This is the finale. After all this time, you’ve won.

 “No, no, no,” I said, pulling my hair down over my eyes. “Not like this. Not like this. The finale isn’t supposed to happen like this, it’s supposed to be bigger, better. This is just cruel.” I screamed.

 “Buddy, are you feeling okay?”

“I’m fine I just need some fresh air,” I said as I began to leave.

 “Hey, what about your prize, don’t you want it?” the girl shouted after me, waving the gun in her hand. “Its to-ta-lly harmless.”

I ran. I ran until I started to get dizzy, a blizzard of light flashes filled my field of vision. I stopped on the middle of the Red River Bridge. I was breathing in short, ragged breaths. Each breath felt like it was ripping at the lining of my throat. I dry heave several times before retching over the edge of the bridge.

I heard laughter from a passing car. Three teenagers were staring at me and laughing, “Are you drunk? Or just crazy?” They drove off laughing.

 “Everything is wrong, it wasn’t supposed to be like this. I knew it all along. Everything is rigged against me.” I turned in a full circle. I could see cameras everywhere, on the bridge, on the side of buildings, on the street lamps, in people’s cars, everywhere.

 “I want out, I’m done with being your guinea pig. I’m sick of always being on camera.” I climbed onto the bridge railing and began to walk along its edge. “How are you going to work this into the script?” I shouted.

Are you sure you should be so close to the edge of the bridge like this? You can’t you even swim. You might get hurt. The producer’s voice is louder than it’s ever been, the sound of his voice rattles against my skull. I pick up on his thinly veiled sarcasm.

 “No, I’m not listening to you anymore. Where were you when I needed you, locked away in that jail cell? Or when I was getting the crap beat out of me by the hippie-hipster? You don’t get to tell me what to do anymore.”

I stood on the rim of the bridge. “Attention sheeples, I have something to say. Look around you. What do you see? Cameras watching your every move. Instead of looking at people picking their noses at a stop light they should be looking out for criminals. It’s because of messed up crap like this that I watch TV with a knife. Give them blood and they’ll love you. Well is this enough blood for you?” I shout at the camera mounted on the street light above me.

This is the finale that I have been waiting for, no one will ever forget me, people will be talking about me forever. I’m going to go down in history. I’m going to be famous. I grit my teeth, and bite my lower lip, I can taste the metallic tint of the blood as it slips over my tongue and down my throat. I spread out both my arms and lean forward. For a moment I know what it is to fly. I turn in mid-air to smile for the cameras one last time. I can hear the sound of honking cars and sirens as I fall into the river. The waters embrace is cold, before its deep brown current swallows me whole my life flashes before my eyes. Great. I can’t believe the last thing I get to see before I die is re-runs. 

 

 


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2015-07-09 12:17:35
micheledutcher - Hello drmlgodin, Just by the by: the grammar is better than it was before it was edited. But the premise was just so ODD that I loved it, in spite of the grammar because it was so ODD. And the last sentence - come on, you gotta love the last sentence.

2015-07-03 13:01:05
drmlgodin - The title and premise are great. Love the relentless paranoia. The biggest problem with this story is the shifting from present to past tense and back again. It happens throughout and, together with all the typos, makes a reader feel that work has not yet been put into the editing process.




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