31 – TWILIGHT ZONE ON THE KILLING FLOOR 4

 

Madonna was gob-smacked and slack-jawed by Kitty’s oratorical prowess. It was, for the Queen of Pop, worth every cent the King of Horror was going to have to shell out for the command performance, and she was almost quivering as she waited for the coup de grace.

King just hoped that he would not have to endure his illegitimate son’s mocking, faux whimpering again.

Kitty got back to the business at hand.

“The aliens are waiting, Stephen. They are waiting for you to say something. Say anything. They can’t even be bothered to ask any questions of you, because they know you have no answers. And like them, I’ve heard it all before.”

Kitty was now smirking herself, as she paced the floor, back and forth.

“Our superiors, who have replaced us at the top of the planet’s food chain, are giddy in anticipation of a feeble attempt at justifying humanity’s monstrous treatment of creatures below us in the food chain. They want to hear it from the world renowned wordsmith, the King of Horror himself. They are aching to see how you react to a real life horror show that you have no control over. They know, from their own up close and personal experiences, and eons of the same experiences that have been imprinted into their DNA by their forebears, that you have nothing to say. And although they have experienced it so, so many times before, like closet-case drag queens turning out for another All Hallows’ Eve screening of Ricky Horror, with handbags full of toast, they never tire of it.

“Your own logic is the trap they have sprung on you, and there is no escape. Your twisted perversion of logic has fused with the blatantly transparent hypocrisy of claiming to be humane, to damn you, and doom those you love, who are desperately crying out for your help, pain soaked into every shriek.

Madonna gleefully took the cue, “Stephen! Help me, Stephen! I don’t want to die. Please, save me. Say something. Don’t let them smash my head into a bloody pulp with a twenty pound hammer.”

Madonna’s cackle triggered Lance, who chimed in, “Father. I forgive you for deserting us. Please, father, the illegitimate son that you have forever denied is begging you to save me. Don’t let them kill me. Do you not love me?”

When her accomplices quelled their mocking laughter, Kitty continued. “So, what are you going to say, Mr. Macabre? Huh? Are you going to say that we have to eat animals to survive, or to be healthy, at the very least? Are you seriously going to try that misguided gambit, when the world’s millions upon millions of vegetarians and vegans are living proof that it’s a lie? That would be an extraordinary claim, would it not? Yet you have zero extraordinary evidence to back it up, do you? Fuck no, you do not.”

Miss Kaboodle stopped pacing. She looked straight into King’s now dead eye. She cracked her knuckles, eliciting a quick shriek of idolatrous laughter from Madge, and poured it on, her voice rising and falling.

“Are you going to attempt to claim ignorance? Are you going to say that you really didn’t know any better? You have heard that ignorance of the law is no defense, especially when it comes to capital crimes, haven’t you? And if you don’t call 20 million counts of murder, per day, a capital crime, what the fuck do you call it? Genocide would work, if we weren’t breeding them, solely to be slaughtered, just as is about to happen to us.”

King was visibly cringing. Lance thought he might start twitching, and lose his shit. But Kitty poured it on. He was gonna get his million bucks worth.

“Do you get a little squeamish at the thought that one day your great granddaughter is going to be snatched away from your granddaughter, as soon as she clears the vagina, to be skinned, sliced, and diced, because baby meat is more tender? Do you feel the pain of your granddaughter? Do you think cows don’t feel that same pain when their calves are taken from them to make veal parmesan? Do you think animals are incapable of feeling pain? That they are incapable of feeling love? Do you think your dog doesn’t love you? Are you going to try to claim that you are that fucking ignorant? Because the aliens are just waiting for you to do so, because they will fall down laughing their asses off, while rolling in the blood of your loved ones, when you do.”

Leaning forward, Kitty pointed her rigt index finger at King, and grinning saucily she asked, “How do you like me now, meatmouth?”

Lance and Madonna laughed hysterically. Kitty waited for them to calm their tits before continuing. “Are you going to tell the aliens that you have never heard of the concept of karma? Well, the aliens are your fucking karma, dude, and humanity’s karma bill has been past due for a very long time.

“But don’t get the idea that the aliens are incapable of humanity. No, not at all. They’ve released all the animals from all the zoos in the world, and left it to the veggies and vegans to tend to them. And all those human carcasses you see all around you? Not one vegan, not one veggie.  But the veggies are gonna have to go all in, if they are to join us, as the only humans left on Earth who are not being farmed.”

Turning to Lance, Kaboodle smiled and said, “Lance’s guy, Daffy Donald, has it nailed. It’s all about the money, money, money. It’s an industry. Moe than a trillion bucks a year. Avarice and sadism, that’s what the meat industry is. And you and all the other meatmouths of the planet are balls deep into the filthy shit, and loving it. So, talk to me about socio-economic evolution in the post-Corona world, and how carnivorism fits into it, smart ass. But hold those thoughts, if indeed you have any, for a while, because I’m not finished.”

32 – TWILIGHT ZONE ON THE KILLING FLOOR 5

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30 – TWILIGHT ZONE ON THE KILLING FLOOR 3

 

Feeling a need to pace while she got into the gruesome scene she was about to paint, Kitty got to her feet. “Now, Imagine if you will, if you dare, Mr. Macabre, that there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, for the entirety of humanity. And try as they did, every person you love, or ever have loved, has been rounded up inside a makeshift courtroom the aliens have put together on the killing floor of a slaughterhouse.”

Turning her back to the table, Kitty paused for a few seconds, then spun quickly, and continued. “They are all in a cage, rigt in front of you. A small cage. A cage so small that they are all standing, because they have no choice but to stand. They are naked. They have been in the cage for several days. They have been pissing and shitting all over each other for days. The only mercy the aliens have shown them has been to hose them down, when the stench became unbearable. They have been denied food and water. They are exhausted. One of them, in fact, has already died, their stiff carcass now cold, presses up against others, who are revolted, but can do nothing, because the aliens couldn’t care less about giving them space. They’re just meat, after all.”

Kitty was calm as she spoke, pacing back and forth, her tone matter-of-fact. The others at the table were mesmerized. King was clearly enjoying the performance, judging by the wry smile on his mug.

“The aliens have picked you to speak for your loved ones. For all of humanity, actually. They’ve read some of your books, and figured that a twisted, ghoulish mind like yours might be able to stay composed enough to offer up some kind of reason why they should not proceed with their plan to farm us. But ain’t a one of ‘em had put any money down on that possibility, because they’ve done this before. They’ve heard it all before.” The last sentence was delivered with a sinister grim directed at King, who returned it.

Once again, Kitty turned her back to the table. This time she spun and raised her voice, “The aliens are making good use of the abattoir, even as this courtroom drama is being played out. From every direction you can hear the sounds of terrified human beings screaming, and waling, as the aliens gleefully bring the knackers’ hammers down on their heads, and then run the still warm corpses through the saws. Can you hear it, Stephen? Does it make you hard? Are you that kinky,” she asked, looking quickly at Madonna, who remained bug-eyed, and silent.

Not waiting for an answer, Miss Kaboodle, carried on. “All around you, you can see human corpses hanging from meat hooks, their heads grotesquely mashed.” Slowly, Kitty whispered, loudly enough for all to hear, while quickly drawing her rigt index finger across her own throat, “Scores of them are hanging upside down, their throats slit, the blood draining from their bodies.”

Stopping directly in front of Mr. Macabre, Miss Kaboodle said, “Not only can you see them, and hear them, you can smell them. Not their fear. No, something much more discernable than that. You can smell their flesh being seared, and roasted, deep fried, and baked. You see, the aliens always have an army of chefs when they travel. And camera crews. They’re actually producing a reality TV show for the folks back home. The chefs are competing to win fabulous prizes, as they create recipes on the spot, rigt in front of the cameras.”

Kitty ran both her hands through her hair quickly, and carried on. “Don’t you think we should produce a reality TV show from inside a slaughterhouse, Stephen? You’d be the perfect host. Personally, I think something like that should be part of the curriculum of every school on the planet. Just a minute a day would do, no need to take up too much valuable time. Then, immediately after that’s done, show the kiddies a couple minutes of a live feed from one of the world’s war zones. You know what Twain said about war, yeah?” she asked, pointing a finger at King.

“God created war so Americans can learn geography,” answered not King, but his son.

Kitty winked at Lance, then turned her attention back to his father. “So, yes, it would be a perfect fit in geography class, the war thing, that is. I have noted a growing number of people saying that kids should be taught to cook in schools, although I understand that is facing heavy opposition from the fast food lobby. But, if it ever happens, don’t you think it only rigt that the kids should know that meat is, in actual fact, murder? As is war.” Kitty’s tone turned from blasé to disgust, “It’s all legal, of course, good for the economy, and all that fucking bullshit. So, why not stick it rigt in everyone’s faces, not just the people who do the murdering, the ones who end up with PTSD. Why not be more egalitarian about it, and share the PTSD with everyone?”

The new champion of PTSD egalitarianism stood behind Lance, and rested her left hand on his left shoulder. She looked down on his head, studying his hair, for a second. She looked at Madonna, unable to read her face, and then at King, who wasn’t looking as smug as he had when he challenged her to run her mouth. He didn’t look the least bit smug, as Kitty’s black eyes pierced his from across the table, trying to get inside his mind. “Have I painted the scene for you, Stephen?” she said with a smile. Can you see it all? Can you smell it? Can you hear them? All the people you love, all the people who love you, out of their fucking minds with sheer terror, waiting for you to win their clemency. Crying out to you to save them.”

Kitty squeezed Lance’s shoulder, and he whimpered, pathetically, “Father! Father! Save me! Save us! Help us. Please! Stop them. I don’t wanna die. I forgive you father for abandoning me. For denying me. I forgive you. Please, save us. I don’t want to die. Why have you forsaken me, father! Do you not love me? Do you not love me, as I love you?”

The King of Horror, the master of macabre, looked ill. Kitty Kaboodle, the vegan prosecutor, had wiped the smirk off his fucking face, and it wasn’t coming back, so long as she held the killing floor.

31 – TWILIGHT ZONE ON THE KILLING FLOOR 4

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29 – TWILIGHT ZONE ON THE KILLING FLOOR 2

 

Looking around the table, Kitty opened her prosecution, “We are at the top of the food chain, is the justification put forward for torturing, murdering, and eating billions of innocent animals every year. Pffttt!”

Then, glaring at King, she scoffed, “You’ve heard it all before? Not exactly original. I was hoping for something more, something new, from a man like you, but this will do. But I do challenge you to find something new. I’ve heard it all before.”

Once again looking around the table, the vegan predator said, “Let’s leave aside, for the moment, the idea that we are supposed to be the most evolved species on the planet. The smartest. The most humane. Interesting, isn’t it, that we are so full of ourselves that we simply tack an E on the end of human, in order to produce a synonym for compassionate. To be human is to be humane. To be humane is to be human. I’ll not tarry on this point for long, no longer than it takes to point out that ours is the only species on the planet that engages in all-out warfare, and ask, where is the humanity in that?”

On most every previous occasion that she had prosecuted some dumb fool, who was dumb and fool enough to start bleating for a beating on the issue of her veganism, Kitty had to wait for them to calm their tits at least once by the time she got this far into her case. She was grateful that she had a captive and respectful audience this time. But she was certain that that would change quickly. And it did. Quicker than she thought it would. And what a stupid error it was for King to commit.

“We are on the top of the food chain. I’ve heard it all before.” she repeated, to Stephen’s obvious annoyance.

So annoyed was King, in fact, that he broke his silence long enough to mock, “Are you seriously going to try to dispute that? If so, see Sagan, extraordinary claims…”

Before he could finish making that mistake again, Lance glared at him, and scowled, “Shut the fuck up, and let her speak. You’ll get your turn.”

The prosecutor ignored the commotion, but answered the challenge, “No, I shan’t bother with that. As I’ve already hinted at, being at the top of the food chain does not absolve us of this sin. Instead, I ask you to imagine, if you will, you are hearing the voice of Rod Serling saying, ‘Imagine, if you will, that humans have been replaced at the top of the food chain by a species of sadistic, alien invaders, who have come to Earth to farm us.’”

“Oh, c’mon” King sneered. “Is that what you’ve got? Is that all you’ve got?|”

Lance wasn’t having it. “Shut the fuck up! Where the fuck do you get off? Would you dare condescend to Asimov, if he were the one making this case? Would you have the gall to mock him, if he were going to use a hypothetical argument, a hypothetical argument based in science-fiction, to make this case? Or, do you reserve that shit for those who, for reasons I cannot fathom, you believe yourself superior to?”

King kept his mouth shut, but that did not bring his son’s scathing attack to a grinding halt. “Do you wanna stick your fingers in your ears, and giggle, ‘Na-na-na-na-na-na, I can’t hear you’? Do you wanna run away, saying this is a kangaroo court, in which you have no chance of acquittal, because you were not prepared for this prosecutorial gambit? If so, go on, fuck off. I’ll be happy to sit here, and watch Kitty convict you in absentia.”

Madonna was loving it. “Yeah, Stephen, shut the fuck up, and take your beating like a man. You picked this fight. Don’t be a sniveling bitch. No one has any use for sniveling bitches, least of all anyone at this table.”

Oh, dear, it was gonna be a gangbang. Meatmouth was gonna get beat on like a redheaded stepmule who’d been caught rolling in the hay with the farmer’s retarded daughter. If Kitty wanted to, she could act like a conductor, waving a baton to signal for a blitzkrieg of sonic sadism from her soloists, anytime she felt it might amuse her.

30 – TWILIGHT ZONE ON THE KILLING FLOOR 3

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28 – TWILIGHT ZONE ON THE KILLING FLOOR 1

 

Great writers have amazing powers of observation, so when Stephen noticed Kitty turning down the waitress’ offer of fresh ground parmesan for her penne garlic vodka mushroom, he asked, “You vegan?”

Kitty didn’t much care for his tone, and came rigt back at him, teeth bared, “Gotta problem with that?”

The writer deliberated whether or not he wanted to get into a war of words with the girl, who he knew could be a Hellcat. He’d already touched off two dust-ups with the kinds, in less than 24 hours, not exactly a great way to begin a partnership. The fact that he’d had his ass handed to him both times helped him come to the conclusion that he should back the fuck down, and he was just about to answer in the negative, when Madonna jumped in, “Stephen doesn’t really get veganism. I’ve almost had to stab him in the neck with a fork to stop him from starting up, when I order a salad.”

Having watched Madge cram caviar into her craw before everyone went beddy bye, Kitty was tempted to flash a claw in her face, too, but decided to put the macho meatmouth in his place first, and then move onto fishface, if she was caught up in a faster-pussy-cat-kill-kill frenzy.

“You really don’t wanna get into this with me, meatmouth,” she warned King.

Meatmouth smirked a meatmouth smirk, and confessed, “No, not really.” But he couldn’t stop the knee jerk reaction caused by the insult his ego felt, “But, if you wanna run your mouth, I’m not gonna stop you. We’re the top of the food chain. Get over it.”

Once again, Madonna jumped in. “Lay him out, Kitty. He’s got it coming.”

Stephen smirked another meatmouth smirk, and scoffed, “I’ve heard it all before. But go ahead, little kitty cat, hit me with your best shot.” And he just had to chum the waters some more, “Anyone wanna place a wager on this?”

Madonna clapped her hands, and answered, “Yeah. I’ll bet you a million bucks she wipes the floor with you.” Then, turning to Kiity, she added, “And when you do, the money is yours.”

Little Miss Kaboodle, who was not smirking, said, “I’m not a money worshipper, so I don’t care about that. I’ll do it just for the pleasure of wiping that smirk off your fucking face. But I’ll give you one last chance. I advise you to walk away, or I’ll open you up like a pig on the killing floor.”

King hesitated for a few seconds. He looked like he was reconsidering. He pulled his hands up in front of him, as if he were looking at a poker hand. He looked at Madge, then at Lance, then straight at Kitty. He looked at his imaginary poker hand again, smiled, and said, “Bring it on, Kitty!”

29 – TWILIGT ZONE ON THE KILLING FLOOR 2

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27 – STEPHEN THE HOODY HAS A PLANISH

 

The oldsters were still in the restaurant when Kitty brought Lance back to the table. “Do you wanna talk, now?” father asked son. “At least start what will be a long conversation?”

Lance waved his hand dismissively. “Later. Let’s get back to the business at hand. I am assuming you’re the Belichick of this show. Do you have a semblance of a game plan, or is it all run and gun?”

The Patriots fan smiled. He loved that Lance came up with the Bellichick/Brady anaology without prompting. Looking at Kitty, he wondered if Bill the Hoody wanted to fuck Gisele as badly as he wanted to fuck the Kaboodle girl. “Every game plan has to be tweaked, if it’s not working, and I’m not exactly sure about who we’re playing against.”

A waitress appeared, and asked if the kids wanted their meals now. They did. Having already eaten, Madge and Stephen just asked for more water.

“Are we playing against more than one team, at the same time?” Kitty inquired.

“Probably,” Madonna answered. “Almost certainly, actually, or will be as we move forward.”

“Is anyone playing on our side?” was Kitty’s follow up.

“We have been scouting, and have a short list of potential draft picks,” King said.

“Including the Staal brothers?” asked Kitty.

“Yes. You and I will be meeting them tomorrow,” King said, addressing Kitty.

Kaboodle looked at Lear, “Told you.”

“But they don’t know the bigger game being played,” Madonna said. “Stephen pitched them with the idea of giving away a year’s salary each. They liked the idea. Good guys.”

“Yes, I pitched them, but Madge closed them. She has a way of getting what she wants, especially from males of the species.”

Kitty wondered if she did the brothers, all three, at the same time. She decided that, so far as she was concerned, the Whore of Babylon had, indeed, let the brothers ravage her, like a pack of Japanese midgets gangbanging a naïve, naughty, nubile Nipponese nun, possibly even dressing the part, and wondered if she would fuck anyone who needed fucking to win this game.

Like most people, Kitty assumed that the Queen of Pop had slept her way to the top, sucking a mile of industry dick along the long, lonely road to fame and fortune. And so what, if she had? Good on her, Kitty concluded. Fuck their lights out, and stab a stiletto into their throats, as you trample their spent bodies to climb higher, and higher.

Oh, but wait a minute, Kitty thought. The brothers are coming on the morrow, to meet the King and I? What, exactly, did that mean?

The curious Kitty was snapped back to attention when Lance waved his hand in front of her eyes. “Earth to Kitty. Earth to Kitty.”

Kitty grinned, “Sorry. I got lost in thought. What?”

“Do you agree with this idea?” asked the boy who would be her King… if he’d still have her at the end of this mission, which suddenly seemed more perilous. Or fun? She wasn’t sure.

“What idea?”

“Splitting up. Me and Madonna going to Vancouver, to meet the royal runaways, while you and coach here stay put to tend to other matters.”

Kitty liked it as much as she didn’t. She didn’t like the idea of the whore across the table disappearing onto a tunnel with Lance in hand, and bad intent in mind. She would have to make it clear to the whore that the boy was hers, and hers alone, before they went on their merry way.

She looked at Madonna, who was already staring straight back at her, waiting for an answer. She was thinking ‘I’ll put a stiletto rigt through your esophagus,’ as she said, “Yes. It makes sense. We can get more done.

28 – TWILIGHT ZONE ON THE KILLING FLOOR 1

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26 – BASTARDS BOND

 

“Did you see where my boyfriend went,” Kitty inquired of the front desk clerk. The girl pointed at the exit, and Kitty exited the building, stopping briefly to say, “Would you have the kitchen hang onto our orders, until we get back, please and thank you?” Done.

Lance was sitting on top of a picnictable, staring at his phone, but that was no deterrent to the Kaboodle girl. “You okay?”

Lance’s eyes stayed stuck to his phone for a couple seconds, just long enough for Kitty to get a bit pissy. “Hey! I’m talking to you.”

The boy held up his index finger, and said, “You were rigt. Rupert Murdoch has just announced the print editions of all his Aussie newspapers are closed. No ad revenue. And, Spain just announced they are bringing in universal basic income.”

“It will spread. It has to.”

“Gimme a couple seconds.” When Lance finished reading what he was reading, he said, “Sorry, I was just reading about this Trump Trudeau spat. Check this out. Says that Trump has ordered 3M to stop selling surgical masks to Canada.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah, but listen to this, ‘Canada is the only country in the world that exports the particular grade of paper pulp that is used in the manufacture of surgical gowns and masks. So, when 3M pushes back against Trump it’s because without Canada, the US couldn’t manufacture any of those PPE masks at all.”

“Well, The Donald is doing a great job of making America great again, isn’t he?”

“What is it that the road to Hell is paved with?”

Kitty nodded. Lance pointed at a billboard across the highway and said, “Looks like Trump and Trudeau have something else to worry about. Cross border vandalism.”

Kitty looked at the billboard. “Interesting. They’re trying to keep the virus from crossing the border, but they can’t even manage to keep questionMark from crossing.”

“Or us.” Lance had already been told not to ask about what Kitty had to do to get them into Canada, and he knew she wasn’t going to answer, if he did. He also knew that if he did ask, she could get pissed. Even though he very much wanted to know, he knew he would never know, unless she told him, and she couldn’t tell him anything if she wasn’t talking to him. Or she decided to kill him. So he let it go, wondering if he should have brought it up at all. “Looks like questionMark is on a mission.”

“So it seems,” Kitty said, relieved that Lear decided against asking what she’d already told him not to ask about. “And so are we.”

“Maybe we are. Maybe you are. Maybe I’m not joining your mission. I’m not even sure the stated mission, undefined as it is, is rigteous. Appearances can be deceiving, and it’s not as if he’s some kinda knight in shining armour. Gallant knights don’t fuck and run, leaving damsels out of dress in distress, with a bun in the oven.”

Kitty moved sideways quickly, to prevent Lance from getting further downfield. “Agreed. But I grew up without a father, too.”

“Sure, but not quite the same. Your father is dead.”

“The big man did not man up. He never claimed me as his daughter. Then he got himself killed, because whatever it was he was working on was more important than me.”

There was no denying that Kitty, too, had gotten the shitty end of the daddy stick, so Lance gave her the arms extended, finger wiggle Corona hug. Kitty moved in, pushed Lance’s arms wider apart, threw her arms around him, and squeezed until he reciprocated, which he did immediately.

They hugged each other as hard as they could, both of them feeling the positive energy radiating, and expanding. Twenty seconds in, Kitty broke the embrace, pulled back far enough to look into Lance’s big brown eyes, and said, “You know what’s weird?” Lance shrugged. “He calls you Stephen when you’re not around.”

“That’s why you said, ‘Wrong,’ when I told you my name was Lance, when you picked me up.”

“Yes.”

“Onset of dementia?”

“Maybe. If so, it’s the only indicator I’ve picked up.”

“Scarey to think what would come out of his mind, if dementia pushed all-in on him.”

“It is. Maybe we’ll find out. We’ll have front row seats.”

If we go along with this.”

Kitty grabbed the boy’s hand. “Hey. This is our mission. Those two are not long for this Earth, no matter how fit they are. Their days are numbered, and unless they are characters out of one of his books, there is more sand in the bottom half of their hour glasses of life than there is in the top halves. How much more sand? Who knows?  But make no mistake, this is our mission. They are just along for the ride. To open doors. To introduce us to people we can’t get near, without them. To aid and abet.”

Lance pondered. He liked the sound of it. Loved the sound of it. It was a great storyline, and writers live for great storylines. But in such a story there are heroes and villains. “What if they’re not kosher? What if they are working with the bad guys. What if they are the bad guys?”

Kitty smiled. And laughed. And said, “Silly, silly boy. Simple answer to your silly question, silly, silly boy; we kill them.”

27 – STEPHEN THE HOODY HAS A PLANISH

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25 – KITTY TAKES CHARGE

 

Looking across the table at the old folks, Kitty wondered which of them would be the first to speak, what they might say if she were not there, and if they had any idea how to handle the situation.

Interestingly, neither of the old folks spoke a word. Figuring he was playing Bill Bellichick to Lance’s Tom Brady in this game, and knowing that he didn’t even have a backup warming the bench, King got up from his seat. Madonna asked, “Where are you going?”

“I’m going to talk to him.”

Playing the role of Gisele, Kitty shook her head, “Sit down.” King froze, but did not do as he was told, until Madonna told him the girl was rigt.

King remained silent, watching the two females staring at each other, trying to guess what was going through their minds. He assumed that they were both thinking what an asshole he was, for any number of reasons, the most likely being that he had never owned up to being the boy’s father. He couldn’t have been more wrong.

The females who sat across the table from one another, staring silently at each other, were thinking about fucking Lance.

To be more specific, Madonna was wondering if Kitty already knew that she wanted to fuck Lance, and was already making plans to do just that.

And Kitty was wondering if Madge knew that she was already onto her.

Then Kitty heard the sound of Lance’s voice echoing forward in time from yesterday, as he burst into laughter when he called Madonna, “Old Leather Pussy.”

The laughter in Kitty’s head was instantly contagious, and she erupted into spasms of uncontrollable hysterics.

In turn, Kitty’s laughter made the old folks laugh, which made Kitty laugh even harder, because they obviously had no clue WTF she was laughing about.

This understanding caused Kitty to marvel at the power of laughter, especially in tense situations.

This made Kitty clap her hands, while staring at King and Ciccone, who were, no doubt, now wondering WTF she was clapping about.

Kitty decided to see if she could make the two of them start clapping, while continuing to laugh out loud, just because she was doing so, neither of them having a clue as to why they were now laughing, and clapping.

Sure enough, they did, which made Kitty laugh, and clap louder, and faster.

And then Kitty remembered that there was some serious shit on the floor, and she had to deal with it.

Rising from the table, Kitty said, “You two stay here.” Then, pointing at Madonna, Little Miss Kaboodle fought the impulse to say, ‘I’m onto you, Old Leather Pussy,’ while saying, “Maybe you can have a talk with him,” pointing at King, “and explain a few things.”

Neither King, nor Madonna had a clue as to what Kitty was thinking that Madge should explain. Both of them wished she would enlighten them, but resisted the urge to ask her to do so, primarily because they both wanted the mouthy kid to fuck off, and let them talk to each other without restraint.

So, Madge said, “Yes. I will have a little talk with him.” Not about how she wanted to fuck his illegitimate son’s lights out, mind you, but she’d come up with some shit to baffle him.

26 – BASTARDS BOND

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24 – A TEMPEST AT THE TABLE

 

Lance was the last of the four to saunter into the restaurant. The sexagenarian at the table smiled as the boy pulled out a chair and seated himself. “Hi Lance. How did you sleep?”

Lear smiled back at Madonna, and answered, “It was quite… satisfying, when I finally fell asleep.”

Kitty resisted the temptation to ask about his dreams, and went the opposite direction instead, “What kept you up? It was a long day.”

“Your game, in fact. I couldn’t get anywhere at all. My reaction times were way off.”

“Understandable,” Kaboodle said, “Everyone has a lot on their minds.”

A waitress appeared, Kitty placed an order, and Lance said, “That sounds great. I’ll have what she’s having.”

Lance asked no one in particular, “What madness in the world have I missed, while daring to sleep?”

This time Kitty couldn’t resist cracking wise, but kept it short, and cryptic, “Per chance to dream?” Lance looked at Kitty, but her eyes were on King, as he answered his son’s question.

“Trump and Trudeau are circling like bull rams, and getting ready to bash heads over cross border medical shipments. Trump has invoked something called the Defense Production Act, to prevent US based manufacturers from shipping critical goods out of the country, in this particular case, N-95 surgical masks.”

“America first is his pledge, so that’s no surprise,” said Madonna.

“There’s been an outbreak in the ultra orthodox community in Israel,” King reported. “Religious leaders all over the world are still trying to deny Galileo. They figure that if they can just get enough of the fervent together in one place, at the same time, they can pray loudly enough to get God’s attention, and he will smite the scientists, who are all the devils in disguise, and restore order to his Kingdom, with the priestly class back in charge. That’s always been the plan, and God damn it, they’re sticking to it, even if it kills them, and everyone else.”

Madge quickly offered an outside the box, comical solution “Maybe Samuel L should dress as an Hasidic rabbi, and do another reading of Stay the Fuck Home, in Yiddish.”

King laughed, “That’s good. But, as is his wont anyway, he should be waving a big ass gun around when doing it. Given how many of the chosen people will die after gathering to pray for protection, I wonder if anyone has considered accusing orthodox leaders of being Nazis.”

Kitty offered a prediction, “There will be gun battles, at least south of the border, when the cops and National Guard try to impose do not gather orders at churches.”

“Praise the Lord,” said Lance, before all four of them followed it up, “and pass the ammunition.”

The laughter that ensued was terminated when Madonna said, “That’s gonna happen in every corner, of every continent.”

Kitty pounced, “Not Antarctica.”

Madonna asked, “Penguins don’t pray?”

“I take it you didn’t take a deep dive into Riff n Raff, before you want to sleep?”

Madge grinned, and said, “No. I did not.” King smiled a satisfied smile, which made Kitty smile, but she chose to leave it alone.

“There is something hopeful in the Financial Times,” Madonna reported. The others gave her their attention. “An op/ed by Arundhati Roy.”

“Who dat?” asked Kitty.

Madonna fielded that one quickly, before moving along to read the lead, “Writer. ‘Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.’”

Stephen clapped his hands, “Bravo, Arundhati. I’ll read that in full, later. Brilliant lead, and a perfect segue back our business.” Turning to Lance, he said, “Three D print designs can be sold on Commonwealth.”

“Of course. Anything digital.”

Stephen continued, “And in the post-Corona world, 3D printing tech will explode. Eventually, every hospital on the planet will have top grade 3D printers, so they could print their own masks, ventilators etc.”

“Yes, Lance confirmed. We are going there with, or without Commonwealth. Commonwealth just makes it easier, and allows more people to make money from it. There will be a 3D printer in every house, soon enough. Factories will close, supply chains that span the world, leaving toxic waste in the wake, will dwindle.”

“And if Commonwealth were a reality rigt now, everyone could be ordering all their entertainment from research labs, and hospitals.”

“Yes. If those entities had a Commonwealth store operating. They will be simple enough to set up. But, in a case like this, I think we would just ask creators if they would be willing to sell directly through us, and we would disperse the funds. We could be raising billions and billions of dollars, rigt now, to fund the search for a cure.”

“Amazing,” King said.

Lance nodded, and continued, “But only in emergencies like this would we ever do that. We will not compete with our sellers. We take a service charge on every order, all around the world, so we will not be short of capital. We will own the digital download sector, globally, in perpetuity, and people will be absolutely loyal to us, because we will use the money we make to build a better world.”

Madonna jumped in, “Who else knows about Commonwealth?”

“Aside from a handful of friends, who I used as sounding boards, only two people, and whoever they told. As you know, I couldn’t get anywhere near Branson, so I made my way down my list of people who had at least a chance of getting it, and running with it, if they were so inclined.”

“Entertainment industry players, or tech titans?” Madge asked.

“Show biz,” Lear answered. “The Radiohead guys made an impression by fucking off their label, and putting their shit out themselves, while railing against the injustice of steaming service royalties, so I took a run at them.”

“They didn’t get it?” Madonna said, astonishment dripping from her voice.

“Didn’t get it, so to speak,” said Lance. “I only got as far as their manager…”

“Cliff Hufford?” Madonna asked.

“Yeah. That’s the one. He told me it wouldn’t work.”

“Why?” asked Kitty.

“He had no reason. Just said that was his instinct. He didn’t even attempt to make a case. I asked him to at least pass it along to the band, but he either cock-blocked me completely, or they’re just posers.”

“Who else?” Madonna asked.

“The CEO of Live Nation.”

“Mike Rapino?”

“Yeah.”

“He blew you off, too?” Madge said, astonishment again dripping from her voice.

“Fucker wouldn’t even speak directly to me. He deigned to exchange Facebook messages, but refused to VOIP with me,” Lance answered with a bit of a snarl. “I told him that Commonwealth poses an existential threat to the universally despised Ticketmaster. I told him it was a mistake to keep all his eggs in one basket. Advised him to diversify. As much as any other entity in the world, Live Nation has benefitted from the Internet, digital recording, file sharing, Youtube etc. No one can sell an album anymore, so the only money in music is concerts, and the ticket prices have gone through the roof. Live Nation has made a killing from it. Well, now they’re fucked. They took a billion dollar hit as soon as the virus came to the West. And if it lingers, there will be no concerts for the foreseeable future.”

“Wait,” said Madonna, “Mike just fucked you off?”

“I suppose he read what I sent him, but he wouldn’t engage me.”

“You know he’s from here, yeah?”

Lance laughed, “That’s rigt. I did note that, when I was researching him. But forgot all about it. When Kitty told me we were headed for Thunder Bay, the name was familiar, but I couldn’t place it. That’s why. Rapino is from here. Well, if the plague persists, he may find himself rigt back here, working at the mill, making toilet paper.”

Madonna laughed at the idea. “I know both those guys. They’re not monsters.”

“I didn’t say they are. But they lack vision, lateral thinking ability, hunger.”

“Fat and happy,” Madonna said. “I can call them.”

Lance was quick, and adamant. “No fucking way! Pearls before swine. I offered it to them, they fucked me off, and Rapino wouldn’t even fucking talk to me. Fuck them both. They’re not only not necessary, they’re not wanted on any fucking Arc I am helping build.”

“Tell us how you really feel, Lance,” King laughed.

Lance turned on King, quickly and vehemently, “Don’t you fucking start with me, old man. You knew I was trying to find someone to pitch this to. And you fucking ignored me. Me! Your own fucking son. Fuck you! Don’t fucking start with me, or I’ll fucking well leave you here to wait for Boomer Remover to deal with you.”

The table fell silent as Lance got up, and stormed out of the room.

25 – KITTY TAKES CHARGE

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23 – IF YOU CAN KEEP YOUR HEAD

 

Unlike Kitty, Lance Stephen Lear was far too wired to even dream of sleep, as he stretched out on his bed, in the room next to Kitty’s. Lance had not committed a foul, almost heinous act just a few hours earlier, his turn was still to come, but his day was almost as bizarre as Kitty’s had been.

It is not every day, after all, that a boy discovers that his father is one of the greatest horror writers  of all time, and that his father’s girlfriend is one of the greatest pop singers of all time.

It’s not every day that a boy gets picked up, while hitchhiking on a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha, by gorgeous girl with a fine-tuned supersonic sex machine.

It is not every day that such a uniquely alluring and mysterious girl tells you that what you are about to experience together has all been foretold, and then proceeds to kill guards on either side of a normally out of commission border bridge, in order to gain entry into a country where cigarettes cost $15 a pack.

But none of those things were contributing factors to the boy’s insomnia. Lance couldn’t sleep because he couldn’t get any traction on the first level of KILLGOD! There were two primary reasons why Lance couldn’t get any traction on the first level of KILLGOD!: one, the game really was difficult, even for a top-notch gamer like Lance; and two, because he was hornier than a two-dicked billy goat, as the kids say.

So, whenever Lance managed to manipulate Jesus into a position where he could prevent a Cross wearing terrorist from killing in his name, Lance’s mind flooded with the memory of Kitty’s sexy ass squirming on his throbbing dick.

If he managed to get Jesus to pull his sword out, his mind would fill with the memory of Madonna leaning forward enough to give him a titty shot, and then pretend that it was unintended.

Then, as quickly as you can say, ‘Jesus Fucking Christ.’ Jesus’ head was rolling on the ground, and his feet were playing football with it.

Understanding that there was no point being twice frustrated, Lance would do what every boy does in Canada, when his dick is throbbing late at night, when alone in a room – he pulled his goalie.

Lance Lear, the boy who would be King of the World, spilled royal seed three times, in an hour, before he finally turned off his laptop, and closed his eyes.

But Lance was not getting away from the hormone monster that raged inside, screaming for immediate attention, that easily.

Lance’s dreams were truly lurid. A shape-shifting succubus transformed from Kitty into Madonna, and back again, every few seconds, as she performed act after seductive act, sending Lance’s dreamself into a state of lust induced vertigo.

Crazed, the boy tossed and turned in his bed, begging, “Please! Please! Please!” loudly enough to awaken Kitty in the next room.

Kitty rushed to the adjoining door to see what the commotion was about, to see if her King to be was in danger. She opened the door, and turned on the light just in time to see Lance’s whole body quiver, as he launched gob after gob of royal seed with the velocity of a Bobby Hull slapshot, the most ambitious of the microscopic swimmers landing on the boy’s left cheek.

“Holy fuck!” Kitty exclaimed when the performance was over, “I wonder if his father’s dick is that big.”

24 – A TEMPEST AT THE TABLE

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22 – KABOODLE STRUEDEL DIM SUM NOODLE

 

Despite the fact that Kitty had committed a foul, almost heinous act, the most bizarre thing she’d ever done in her strange, young life, an act that absolutely compelled her to masturbate furiously, immediately after the performance came to a spine tingling climax just three hours earlier, the girl felt completely at peace with herself. In her mind she relived the whole thing in slow motion.

When she’d finished off the guard on the Mairkan side of the border bridge, and satisfied her insanely surreal, surging sexual appetite, she gleefully skipped across the bridge, and did the exact same thing in the true north strong and free.

Kitty Kaboodle was smiling sweetly as she crashed into a deep slumber the moment her pretty little head hit her pillow. Several times through the night she dreamed of being chased by men in uniforms who were frantic to lay their hands on the fugitive, and bring her to justice. But Kitty was not afraid in her dream.

Oh, no, not Kitty Kaboodle, the beautiful, blacked eyed vixen who would be Queen of the World. Kitty was laughing hysterically as she ran from the flat footed clods who chased her. Kitty wore not a stitch, as she hot-footed it through a Dali-esque forest on the northern bank of the Pigeon River. As she approached the rabbit hole, which was exactly where Stephen King told her it would be, Kitty merrily sang, “Kaboodle struedel dm sum noodle, Kaboodle struedel dim sum noodle,” leapt into the air, and did a graceful swan dive into the underground sanctuary.

Above her, on the surface, she could hear the oafs stammering, “Duh, which way did she go? Which way did she go?”

23 – IF YOU CAN KEEP YOUR HEAD

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