Vibrant Night - Chapter 23

Chapter 23

Elizabeth tightly grasped the edge of the desk at the back of the store while the frigid air thinned and chips of paint fell from the walls.  The donut shop employee had a look of fearful recognition towards the hunched-over, twenty-something white-haired girl who blocked the front door.  Elizabeth's voice strained, "I remember you now.  I know what you've done."

"I don't think you do." Mona turned around and grinned capriciously. "But if you don't shut up, I'll show you."

"I saw you turn him into that." Elizabeth froze after her words, along with everything in the contemporary store.  Donuts motionless.

The donut shop cracked down the middle, splitting in half by invisible force, and dividing Elizabeth and Mona to the building's new, wide-open contours.  Mona was also froze in place with her hand on some strange, fountain pen stabbing into the floor, the building halves flailing downwards.

Elizabeth regained her movement.  She looked down to see Monsieur Malluso holding a crooked stop sign and riding a caravan with a camera on it's head; packaged ground chuck dangled from the giant bat-dog's smog-gushing mouth.  The caravan dive-bombed into the tilted building where Elizabeth was; the girl was now holding the ledge of an upside-down desk, eyes wide and heart pounding.

The donut shop employee reluctantly dropped down onto the back of the caravan while cookies, pies, and donuts scattered downwards in a rain.

The three left behind falling architecture while a flock of birds and flyers made their escape in the opposite direction.

“I've rescued you.”  The caravan said in a rash voice, raising its head and eyes in a slant at Elizabeth.

Elizabeth looked down with wide-eyes at the beast, “...”

The caravan flew towards the desserts that had fallen from the donut shop, gobbling them up.. forgetting that there was anyone on his back.

“You're going to raise my blood sugar if you crash into the ground!” Malluso yelled.

When the caravan started flying normally, Elizabeth looked back on the dark and distant traces of the frantic flock.  Her heart rate beginning to lower, “She's evil.  Why did she help me?”

“We're being hunted.” Malluso replied.

“For what reason?” Elizabeth held onto the tufts of the caravan's fur sticking out from calloused skin; the caravan didn't seem to mind.

“With more action, comes a greater chance of suffering.” Pieces of Malluso's invincible jaw crumbled and fell onto the caravan, black gas forming around his mouth to put the mandible back together. “We have acted near the reach of our dreams, and have thus been bounded to the full effect of our intentions.”

* * *

James ran his fingers over the fretboard in a blur, a metal solo blasting through the back of Null-Mart.  Mycroft sat behind the employee desk, banging his bony head and throwing up devil horns.. while Ecila merely banged the back of her noggin' against the glass where more video games had once been; her mannerism in a show that her eardrums might be about to pop.  Some of the game cases fell off the shelves from her play of self-injury.

James's hand went to the bottom of the fretboard, in a frenzy of high notes that started busting the television sets in the store one by one, glass shattering and insides blowing out.

The end of the metal song came with the end of the television sets.

Mycroft looked around at the smoking destruction with his gummy eyes.  The skeleton's most conjoined thought was voiced-out calmly, “This can't be good.”

* * *

Jeffrey was only a few platforms away from Ratty, he had crawled, jumped, and balanced his way across the now colorful snowy segments of rippling parking lot.  Geoffery watched from the other side, hearing that familiar moisture-sucking-sound from his straw.  The stocky geek remembered he had borrowed the money for the drink from Jeffrey, and it was his third time doing so.

Jeffrey's theatrical boots obtained solid ground, and he began running towards Ratty.  She was walking towards the turned-over pile of pink hats (though there had to be a red hat in there.. somewhere).  It was most deducible to Jeffrey from her behavior that she was looking for answers, revenge, or both-- after what happened with the last hat she had put on.

Ratty stood and looked over the tipped-over tower of head tops.  She began to turn as Jeffrey came to the side, both of them suddenly stopping.

The image of Ratty and Jeffrey duplicated to fives, each image growing more ghostly with its distance from the center.  Their far-off transformation appeared to a panicked Geoffery to be totally confused in gesture, each image of them moving sporadically.

“I.. I thought.. you'd thought.. I you.. never I..” Four Jeffrey's uttered.

“No one appreciates the concept of clones.” The fifth and center Jeff replied.

“Concentrate on.. look for.. concentration.. the hidden colored hats.” Images of Ratty replied.

Across the cracked cement, Geoffery was silent.  Holding his empty slushie, he decided not to litter for once and looked around.

Geoffery went behind the mini-mall where he found a dumpster, sprawled on it in paint, the words, “Someone Here.”

Near the big metal trash-bin there was a silent woman with a beret covering her face, long blond hair, and a half-drunk fifth of clear alcohol next to her.  As Geoffery dropped his empty container into the empty dumpster, he decided upon himself what he had to do to save his friend.

“Look at you, I bet that's all you drink.  Classless.” The woman said condescendingly, she sat up, her top revealing some of her sizeable cleavage.  Geoffery just stared.  The woman looked at her perfectly manicured nails, “I'm too pure to be near someone as a disgusting as you.”

The volume of liquor seemed to wane if only slightly, if only half an inch.

The woman looked like she wanted to get up, and was trying with her hands.  Instead, she leaned over, away from Geoffery towards the back of the dumpster; and began puking.

* * *

Malluso, Elizabeth, and the caravan underneath them landed in front of a Japanese pastry shop, somewhere downtown between an out-of-business bookstore and a nutrition outlet missing a door.  Long, green push-pop popsicles littered the ground.  The marble-headed man found one under the sole of his boot as he got off the bat-dog.  Elizabeth was more careful.  As soon as the young woman was off the caravan, it jolted into the air-- no hamburger left.

Malluso and Elizabeth noticed a terrifying creature made out of trash, the S.U.V., pounding its limbs forward from a football field away.

“This is another shop in the chain, a backup if something were to happen.  Which it has.” Malluso explained.

“Is that thing after me?” Elizabeth asked with a tremble in her voice.

The mace-like formations which made up the ends of the demon's limbs, pounded the cement with a slimy trail.  The S.U.V. was closer now.

A malformed, deep-pitched voice boomed from a speaker inside the S.U.V. “Act with who and what you are, I am sick of who and what I am.”

Malluso unsheathed his sword, “Get inside.”

Elizabeth grabbed the entryway handle, “The door's locked..”

“Act with who and what I am, I am sick of who and what you are.” The speaker garbled.

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