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Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 24: Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud
Part 4: Turn It On Again
Part 4: Turn It On Again
7 november 2014.
Thorwald property. Oliver Thorwald sits alone in his warehouse and stares through the open truck doors and mopes. It may be dark inside, but the lights outside are on so he can see the burned-out ruins of his dogfighting arena. The billions of dollars he was supposed to inherit from his father are now tied up in legal fees, so that one born at the top of the world must start all over at the bottom, as a junior executive. He dreads the prospect of having to do actual managing work; after all, junior executives are notorious for working themselves to death. Because Leila killed all his mature clones in front of his eyes, and the remaining three stashed elsewhere will take eight more months to a year to mature, he must now consider himself temporarily mortal. Before her mother killed his father, she made sure to poison all his clones; Dr Lars Thorwald of Biotron, Incorporated, is now dead. All the Thorwald family’s stake in Biotron was stripped from them by the bankruptcy court and sold off to financial speculators who will surely ruin his father’s work. Even the sovereign immunity he retains by virtue of being Corporate, which allowed him and his point man to kill any number of mundanes without possibility of penalty, can bring no more pleasure. Besides, his point man is dead. He himself killed Johnny-Johnny Johnson. He was foolish enough to try to kill Shira Thomas while her beautiful bare arse was locked onto Johnny-Johnny’s face. He smothered to death, and he knows it’s all his fault. He is too depressed to cry like a girl.
He can see Leila’s silhouette in the doorway. It comes closer to him. He does not move; he sits in his chair and accepts his fate. When she reaches him, breathtakingly beautiful in her yellow sailor-suit school uniform, she pulls something out: not a sword, not a gun, but a pack of unfiltered cigarettes. Turkish. She flicks it so three cigarettes stick out. He stares at her uncomprehendingly. “Take a fag,” she says. “I’ve got a light.” He takes one and puts it in his mouth; she takes one for herself, takes out Thorwald’s Army Zippo lighter, and lights it. She leans down to him and lights his cigarette with hers, then puts the lighter in his hand. They take a deep drag that makes them cough hard. Their bodies are not used to the smoke: she quit long ago; his new body has no tolerance. When Leila recovers her breath, she says, “You know, Oliver, tobacco is the perfect gateway drug. Once we build tolerance so the buzz no longer comes, we find ourselves seeking it from other drugs: cocaine, amphetamine, PCP, super steroids. Right before it kills us, we find out our quest for the perfect buzz has lost us our humanity. Not that I wanna ban it or anything, mind you.”
“I getcha there. But I think alcohol’s better. Start with beer, go on to liquor, then barbiturates and heroin and even stronger shit, till you’re so clinical even meth can’t work, so you deliberately OD. You were well on your way to throwing yourself off that bridge when that hot girlfriend of yours put you right back on the wagon.”
“Sorry if I drove you mental, Ollie. I was pretty mental myself.” They laugh together, then take another long drag on their cigarettes. This time their lungs don’t react against it as violently.
“I hope you’re not here to end me, Leila.”
“End you? Why should I? I’ve won, we’re free of each other, and that’s enough for me.”
“I sold the place.”
“Yeah. Say, let’s you and me give those fuckers a housewarming present they’ll never forget.” He raises his lighter. “I got the fire.”
Leila raises the blouse of her uniform. “How about we warm it with a little body heat first?”
“As in, friendly goodbye fuck?”
“Yeah. Our patriarchs never got to marry us. Yours is dead, and mine wants me dead. We never fucked hello, so why the fuck not.” They laugh. They strip off their clothes, giggle like naughty children, throw themselves on his tattered old bed — except Leila stops short. She stops right in front of the bed, standing so he can watch. She grins wickedly. “Before you fuck me, you gotta suck me. You know how to do that?”
He grins back. “If I don’t, you can always coach me.”
She opens his mouth wide, then sticks her left breast into it. “Let’s begin your first lesson.”
Shira’s apartment. A persistent knock on the door wakes Shira up. Groggy, she forces herself up from the recliner and shambles to the door, not bothering to put a robe over her naked body. She peers through the peephole and sees a pretty young woman who looks about Shira’s own age, smiling sweetly, whom she recognizes as Liz McPhail. What’s she doing here? She opens the door.
Liz is pointing a gun at her. She is completely naked.
Shira shifts her weight seductively onto her right leg, fondles Liz’s gun hand, and flashes her a cockeyed smile. “Well, good evening to you, too, neighbour.”
“Y’know, I’d kill for a smoke.”
“Put that gun down and I’ll give you a drink too.”
“By the way, I only bat right.”
“Lucky you. Pierre’s the tool you need.”
Liz lowers the gun. Shira lets her in. “Hella nice place you got here.”
“Not just mine. Filtered or unfiltered, take your pick. How do you like your poison, Scotch or Irish?”
“Scotch? You got the real shit?”
“Straight outta Scotland. Straight or on the rocks?”
“Straight.” Liz takes an unfiltered cigarette out of the pack Leila left on the endtable near the door and lights it. Shira pours her a shot of scotch, then walks over to hand it to her. Liz downs it in one quick gulp. “That’s more like it.” She takes one long drag off the cigarette.
Shira takes her hand. “C’mon. Let’s go meet Pierre.” Liz grins and follows her to the bedroom.
Thorwald property. As soon as they put their clothes back on, Leila and Thorwald sit together and share one of her unfiltered cigarettes. “Since this is your last night here,” says Leila, “why don’t we give the new owners a little housewarming gift.”
“So what kind of present you got in mind?”
“I was thinking of something, say, too hot to handle.” She gives him a wicked smirk.
He slaps his forehead. “Now why didn’t I think of that in the first place.”
“You were too busy moping. You tend to do that.”
He leads her to his fuel stash. They spread gasoline and kerosene throughout the warehouse. They take his remaining fireworks and place them in strategically located places, especially in the fuel storage room, where they can do the most damage. Then they pour a line of gasoline out of the warehouse, down the cracked old blacktop, to the old van where Johnny-Johnny committed several of his murders. Shrunken heads of Thorwald and Bunny Strakeljahn that Leila lopped off their previous bodies decorate the rear-view mirror. She gets into the passenger seat.
Thorwald grins. “They’re gonna find themselves a nice hot surprise tonight.”
“Come on, hurry up before they get here.”
“Yessir.” He drops his cigarette onto the gasoline fuse.
When the Skeever brothers arrive, they find Thorwald’s van gone and the warehouse in flames. “Aw, fuckin’, shit,” says Johnny.
Jordie pats his shoulder. “Hey, Johnny, think of it this way. We can do to this place whatever the fuck we want.”
“Forget Ollie,” says Tony, “he’s over.”
Johnny chuckles. “I guess you guys are right. But first thing we gots to do, we gotta build ourselves a new stadium.”
Shira’s apartment. Leila unlocks the door with Shira’s key and enters only to hear the unmistakable sounds of Shira making love to another woman with her strap-on. She slams the door, sighs in frustration, and storms into Shira’s bedroom, where she sees her fuck Liz McPhail like a man. She laughs.
Shira turns to her and winks, then returns to working on her helplessly moaning, writhing guest. Leila understands the implication and winks back. She takes off all her clothes, watches the spectacle before her, and pleasures herself.
8 november 2014.
The fat man sits silently, sleeplessly, motionlessly on his couch and stares in worship of his giant-screen liquid-crystal god. All night the deity has fed its worshipper his nightly dose of news, information, and entertainment. As soon as the light outside begins to sully the purity of the light emanating from the screen, the entertainment ceases and the news and information begin flowing in. This is when he starts his morning ritual of restless news surfing.
The Cascadia Public Management Corporation has agreed to sell its Seattle division at a loss to a consortium consisting of the city’s leading businesses and charitable foundations. Seattle Public Management’s interim CEO, Thurston Wilder, announced in a press conference—
There are three priorities we must take care of if we want to be able to fully recover from the recent disasters. First, we must repair the damage to our city and its buildings. Second, we must find a way to fight crime in this city without having to rely on such unreliable outside contractors as COPCO. Last but not least, we must do everything in our power to regain the trust in the city’s people.
It is a fundamental truth that when authorities lose control, crime always takes advantage. The evil nature of man will always out. This is especially true when the authorities lose control over themselves, and allow themselves to give in to the temptations of greed and corruption.
I have put CPMC under ultimatum. If its management cannot regain control over themselves, the company cannot purge the corruption from society, and the Party will find itself forced to assume direct control, by force if necessary.
In the name of Jesus America, I hereby take dominion over the City of Seattle and the State of Cascadia! In the name of Jesus America, I banish the demons of lust, corruption, liberalism, and Islamofascism! In the name of Jesus America, I shall purge this land of the forces of evil and make it a holy land—
Any authority unaccountable to the people is necessarily unaccountable to reality. Brinkman, Ross, and especially Scofield are living in the clouds. And you wonder why America has gone to the dogs. Reality will have its revenge.
Rebel Styles:He tries and tries to change the channel, but he cannot. The virus has infected his television set. His god has itself been possessed by a demon, in the form of a charming child seductress. But it is not in despair that he throws away his remote, but out of lust. He has no morality.
I know what you want. You wanna see more. You wanna climb into your TV set and rape me. I know you want to. I’m such a tease. Be careful what you ask for, boy. You just might get it. [giggles]She controls the camera. She works it like a master. She zooms in on her hairless cunt. Her nether lips speak.
Don’t even think of changing the channel. I control the vertical and the horizontal. I control brightness, saturation, and chroma. And now I control you. Please tell me you’re mine. Tell me.She owns him body and soul now. “I’m yours, Rebel Rebel.”
You are my slave.“I am your slave.” He stares, paralyzed and helpless and consumed by desire for her, as the camera pans upward, caressing her body with its TV eye. She sensuously writhes her sleek slim body. He drools.
When the camera image reaches her face, it zooms in on a closeup of her beautiful painted lips. She commands:
Come to me, lover. Come to Rebel.He lets his desire for her possess him. He moves closer to her lips. He holds out his arms to embrace her. He places a sloppy drunken kiss on her lips. They part seductively—
—and suck him into the television screen. He lets the giant lips suck his fat body into her mouth’s womblike caress. Gradually he disappears into the screen, until there is nothing left. His dog barks nervously.
Rebel takes her time to chew up her crunchy victim. She swallows him with a loud gulp, licks her lips, lets out a satisfied sigh, and smiles beautifully. In its panic, the dog knocks over the television, it falls to the ground, its screen shatters, waking up the fat man’s wife.
Groggy, she stumbles into the living room, bothered by the terrified dog, carrying her coffee. “Melvin?” She sees no sign of her husband. “Melvin?”
ESPNBC News:on to the next... →
This just in. Local authorities in the Seattle area have received a panicked call from a housewife who claims her husband was eaten by a television set...
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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 1, 11/14/11: The “fat man” scene originated in the mid-’90s Project Notebooks.]