123 – A MINUTE OF SILENCE

 

Unsure of how to extricate herself, gracefully or otherwise, from the compromised position she found herself in, Madonna stayed rigt where she was.

She said not a word as she stared down at Lance, who said not a word in reply, and was even more confused than she was.

The fading beauty had always been able to think her way out jams, and as jams go, this wasn’t much of one. There were no witnesses to the aborted sexual assault. In fact, even if there was video footage of what had happened, she could plausibly say that rubbing her heaving mammalian protuberances across the boy’s face was absolutely involuntary, that it could have happened during an intense spell of vertigo, which could be a delayed side effect of the CORONA virus.

No one would believe a word of it, of course, but she would never be convicted in a court of law, not even if the pack of merciless legal jackals prosecuting her were dead loyal to Lady Gaga. Besides, Lance wasn’t going to be complaining to anyone, anyway, so, no harm no foul.

Unless, of course, the boy reported the innocent, harmless transgression to Kitty. If that happened, shit could get ugly. And Madge knew damn well that if little Kitty Kaboodle’s black eyes turned red with fury, she could transform into a Hellcat, the likes of which had not been seen on this planet since Artemisia I of Caria lead the second Persian invasion of Greece.

At an early age, Madonna Cicone learned to not be prone to panicking. She didn’t have to read Kipling to understand the veracity of his most famous quote; the vast majority of her knowledge was empirical, and she called upon it now, to deal with the small mess that had been caused by her inner demons. The best thing to do, rigt now, was just to drink it over.

So, after straddling the boy for almost a minute, she finally spoke. “Sorry, Lance, that got a little out of control. Adrenaline is a crazy thing,” she said, getting to her feet. Then, just in case, she said, “I think I had an attack of vertigo, too. Maybe a delayed side effect of the virus.”

Not knowing what the fuck to make of what had just gone down, Lance got himself into a sitting position on the floor, but remained silent until Madonna said, “I think I need a drink,” and asked, “You want one? A beer?”

“Sure, a beer sounds good,” the boy said, thinking maybe she was gonna get him drunk, and then rape hm.

124 -DON’T CALL US CHILD WE’LL CALL YOU

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122 – WHAT A WEB A MIND WILL WEAVE

 

“Why are you here, VoV?” Kitty wanted to know. “I mean rigt here, rigt now. Am I in danger?”

“You have already decided that Gotcha could be an existential threat to you. Stephen, too.”

“Am I wrong to do so?”

“I do not think so you are wrong. That is to say, they could be, not that they are.  Proceeding with caution is prudent.”

“Can you detect evil in either of them?”

“I can detect evil even in you, Kitty,” VoV stated. “As can any evil entity, and that allows them to attach themselves to you, to infest your goodness. It is true of all humans. There is always an inner battle between good and evil for your species.”

Not inclined to argue against the truth spoken by VoV, Kitty asked, “Are you capable of doing a threat assessment of them?”

“I am. But evil can pounce on the unsuspecting in a flash. If an evil entity spots a chink in the armour of a saint, or even an angel, it can and will lunge for it. If it gets in, and is not detected and slain instantly, it can wreak havoc. Both of them have spent plenty of time in the dark. They have stared into the void, and the void has stared back, searching for chinks.”

“Mothers murdering their own children.”

“Yes, that is an extreme example,” VoV confirmed.

“Every time you hear about a serial killer, someone who kinda sorta knew him says, ‘He seemed like a nice, quiet, harmless guy.’”

“And he likely was. But in most cases, I would suspect that some form of evil entity had been gnawing away at him for a prolonged period of time. Water running over a stone, or building up behind a dam, searching for a structural flaw upon which to exert pressure, manufacturing a crack. Eventually, the dam explodes, evil is done, a new dam is built. The mild mannered milkman reverts to being a mild mannered milkman, the battle continues, and the story repeats.”

Kitty started pacing, back and forth, contemplating what the creature from the dark was telling her. “Are you here, rigt here, rigt now, to protect them from me?”

“I am here to protect you from yourself, Kitty. I am here to protect you all from each other. To protect you all from evil.”

“Explain.”

“I watched you creating those doors on Parliament Hill. I thought it a wise move. But the manner in which you went about the task was obsessive, and that was worrisome to me. Your prudence could manifest into a crack. If even a whisp of evil gets into that crack, it can work on you, until you start to fantasize about what you will do, if you sense imminent danger tonight.”

“And I could let evil in, and evil will do evil things.”

“Evil can and will do evil things to innocent people. In this particular case, to you and your potential victims. But it doesn’t need t be that dramatic. If your mind is wrong, it will search for evidence to support its fear. You will be sifting through every word that is said, looking for signs. In doing so, you may fail to understand what is really being said. Much of what will be said may be of no great import. As you say, nothing matters, so that is undoubtedly the case. But what is said could be of great import to the success of your mission, which has only now started to be truly defined, and partially understood.

“I am here, rigt here, rigt now, to afford you the peace of mind required to concentrate on your parlez tonight, secure in the knowledge that I will intervene if evil is a clear and present danger.”

“Why?”

VoV repeated the question, “Why?”

“Why? Why are you doing this?”

“I do not know, for sure, but I suspect it has something to do with love.”

Kitty liked that answer. At the same time, Kitty did not like that answer, for it was exactly the kind of thing an evil trickster from the dark would say to create an advantage for itself, but she chose not to mention that to VoV.

123 – A MINUTE OF SILENCE

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121 – THE LAST TEMPTATION OF THE ANTI-CHRIST

 

Pinned underneath a pair of breasts for the first time since his mother stopped feeding him au naturel, Lance froze, mind and body The he involuntarily quivered, but just a bit.

The boy had fantasized about pawing Madonna since he’d first laid eyes on her. Yeah, she was in her 60s, which is a long way past prime pawing season, but she was Madonna.

Every time he’d caught her so much as glancing at him, he’d felt the pull of her sexuality. He knew she wanted him, and now she had him; resistance was futile. He would be assimilated, without so much as a feeble whimper of protest, not that one was likely to escape his mouth. It was all up to her.

The predator toyed with the boy. She ground her orbs across his face, twisting her back, first to the left, then all the way back to the rigt, not bothering to pretend that she was clumsily trying to get off him.

But slowly, ever so slowly, she did get off his face. She stared down, into his eyes, and saw helpless confusion, with just the slightest hint of lust, which she could smell from a mile away, on a rainy day.

She was about to rip her top off, then lean down, back into his face, titty-slap him out of his stupor, and into a carnal override, when she heard a voice in her head. Kitty’s voice. Kitty’s voice, mocking, ‘He calls you Old Leather Pussy.’

She knew it was true. She knew it was true when Kitty had spat the humiliating coup de grace into her face. She knew it was true, because Kitty was so sure, so absolutely sure of her victory. She could not have been that decisive, that fucking cruel, if it were not true. If she’d tried to fake that, Madonna would have seen rigt through it, and laughed.

He calls you Old Leather Pussy! It’s exactly the kind of thing that she would have loved to have said to some withered, old, ready for the glue factory, former femme fatale, if she’d caught one trying to make time with a boy she was in love with, back in the 70s.

Then Madonna heard it again, in her head, this time with the prelude, “Don’t let you vanity delude you. He calls you Old Leather Pussy.”

Vanity. Is that what it was? she asked herself. Vanity. Ego.

If the boy had been some kind of stallion, some sort of stud, ready to go, eager to please, and experienced enough to do so, it would be different. But he wasn’t. It was so clear that he was not ready to be raped by her, that her voracious libido had slunk back into her frontal lobe, swimming in a sewer of self loathing. It was just her damn ego left.

Madonna’s ego had used every tool it had been given to conquer the world, including, sometimes especially, her wanton sexual power. It cared not that legions of prudes found her vulgar, and called her a whore, for they were all liars, and deniers of their own animal instincts.

Her damn ego didn’t even enjoy the physical gratification of sex, the tension, adrenaline, the physical and spiritual exaltation of a full on rut being satisfied; all it wanted was the smell of napalm in the morning.

Now, her damn ego wanted only to strike back at Kitty for mocking. Her damn ego didn’t give a flying fuck about repercussions. It didn’t care if the boy was damaged, his tie to Kitty destroyed. In fact, her ego wanted nothing more than to destroy a love that was so obvious, and so obviously rigt. Fuck that uppity, little cunt; I’ll show her!

It didn’t care if fucking the boy would completely derail what they were all doing together. Her ego didn’t care about building a better world. Her damn ego was wounded, and wanted revenge.

When Kitty spat her venomous words, by the pool, Madonna’s damn ego wished the body it was trapped in was forty years younger. Now, as the Queen of Pop straddled Lance Lear’s midriff, her ego wished Madonna Cicone was forty five years younger. But that’s not how it works.

Father Time takes no glee in what he does. Father Time balances the scales he carries by capturing the beauty the body loses, and distilling it into wisdom. And Father Time calls upon the super ego to help him in his work.

As Father Time and Madonna’s super ego watched the scene that was unfolding on the floor of the Royal Suite of the Pan Pacific Hotel, they knew they had work to do, because rigt then, for the first time in her life, Madonna felt old, and dirty, and ashamed.

122 – WHAT A WEB A MIND WILL WEAVE

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121

120 – ROPE-A-HOPE

 

VoV did not return Kitty’s bear hug. Feeling no response from VoV, sensing no reciprocity, Kitty grew frustrated after about a minute, and broke the embrace.

VoV sensed her disappointment, and attempted to explain. “Here’s what you must understand about me, Kitty. Having come from darkness, I know negative emotions, the whole spectrum of them, very well. So, I sense your abject disappointment in being unable to project your love into me. However, there is nothing I can do about my imperviousness to positive emotions. I am aware of them, as humans are aware of the vacuum that it space, but I cannot breathe them in, just as you cannot breathe in space.”

Kitty deliberated VoV’s assertion for no more than a few seconds, before rejecting it. “You’re wrong, VoV. Positive emotions may be strange to you, but they are not completely alien. In fact, you are projecting positive emotions rigt now.”

“Am I?” VoV asked, genuinely surprised.

“Yes, you are. You are demonstrating empathy. You sensed my disappointment, and your instinctive reaction was to attempt to comfort me, by explaining, by saying that the failure to connect, via love, was your fault, not mine. That’s empathy.

“There are millions, probably hundreds of millions of humans who suffer from a similar disability. Those who received precious little love in their childhoods simply have no idea of how to let others love them.. Nor do they know how to love themselves

“Fascinating observation, and conclusion,” VoV replied.”

“It has to be true. If it were not so, if you were totally unable to love, you would never have left the darkness searching for it. As you say, Stephen created you, yes from imagination, but also from love. If you did not have an iota of love in you, you would have stayed in the void, or died.”

“Your theory has merit, Kitty,” VoV stated.

“It’s not a theory, it’s the truth. And yes, I would bet my life, and the lives of everyone I have ever loved, and the lives of everyone I now love, and the lives of everyone I will ever love on it.”

“I sense your confidence. It is absolute, or as close to absolute confidence as I have ever registered radiating from any creature I have ever encountered. Your passion burns strong.” VoV stared into Kitty’s black eyes, and continued, with a slight tone of dejection, “Alas, your passion does not burn strong enough to warm my cold, dead heart.”

“Not yet, VoV. Not yet. But that will change. My love is not pure. The pure, perfect love I was born with has been tainted over time. Poisoned by people. Like the rest of my species, I am no longer capable of pure love, so the failure to light up your life was as much mine, as it was yours.”

VoV fired Kitty’s truth back at her, “Not yet. You are not yet capable of pure love. You are no longer capable of pure love, for the moment. But that does not mean that it will always be the case, and you know it, you know it in your heart, or you would not be bothering with me, or anything else you are attempting to achieve. But there is hope, for both of us.”

“There is hope,” Kitty agreed. “There is hope for all of us.”

121 – THE LAST TEMPTATION OF THE ANTI-CHRIST

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119 – SOMEONE SUMMON A SEXORCIST!

 

Caught in a spontaneous mosh for two, with a beautiful boy young enough to be her grandson, Madonna’s pupils dilated, as her adrenal gland spat out a jet of epinephrine.

The easily triggered and always anxious to be pleased sex fiend in her temporal lobe screamed, ‘Ginme some of that!’ It wasn’t a request: her voracious libido was not in the habit of saying s’il vous plait.

The thief that is time eventually wins every battle with every human, but the subconscious succubus that had lived inside Madonna Ciccone for at least five decades was not inclined to go gently into the good night.

Oh, no, that insatiable monstrosity would go out screaming and thrashing, howling and gnashing, or it would not vacate the property at all, no matter how many eviction notices, and cease and desist orders were issued.

Whatever sorry court without jurisdiction was delusional enough to dispatch a sheriff on a such a fool’s errand was doomed to be mocked as incompetent and misguided by the beast that would not be leashed.

Once unleashed, that beast would feast on flesh, at its own behest, for it was not only almighty, it had an indomitable ally in the ego.

Fully in control of the MADonna’s searing mind, the demon changed its chant from, ‘Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me,’ to ‘Fuck me I won’t do what you tell me,’ and sprang on top of the baby grand with the athleticism of a pubescent Olympic gymnast.

It spun quickly, raised its hands if front, arms bent into Vs, palms toward face. It flicked its fingers twice, rapidly, urging its prey forward.

Lance, caught up in a primal, lust fueled frenzy of teen spirit, obeyed the hand’s commands, and lunged forward.

The beast launched itself squarely into the boy’s chest, slamming him to the floor.

Lance Lear, the boy who would be King, was pinned, flat on his back, smothered by a faceful of heaving, sexagenarian mammilla.

120 – ROPE-A-HOPE

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118 – FROM THE DARK A BEATING HEART

 

Studying Kitty’s face, VoV asked, “Nothing matters, and love is everything?” Kitty nodded, her smile dialed down from happiness to contentment. “Final answer?” VoV asked.

Kitty’s smile dialed back up from contentment to amusement, and she laughed, “Do they have Who Wants to be a Millionaire? where you come from? Is there money in the darkness?”

VoV returned her smile, and said, “No, there is no money n the darkness. But the humans who fall into the darkness are usually searching for it, consumed by the pursuit of it, never realizing that their lust for money is what has drawn them to, and trapped them in the void. They believe they can buy their way out of the void they have helped to create with the illusion of financial wealth. But the darkness does not accept cash as payment to deliverance from it. Money is not the currency of the realm in the void; it is bait for the naïve souls that the darkness torments, devours, and feeds off.”

Miss Kaboodle, who is not a material girl, was not about to challenge the contention put forward by VoV. It did, however, give her pause to think about the stated purpose of the mission she had signed onto. “What’s the point of what we are dong, then?” she asked, although the question was really pointed at herself. “Why should we fight to create an economically just paradigm?”

“Unlike your good self, I know nothing. You seem quite certain that nothing matters, and love is everything, and you seem quite content in that belief, or knowledge, so you are in a better position to answer your question.”

“It doesn’t matter. What we are trying to do does not matter.”

“Are you sure of that? Do you know that for certain?”

“I know that nothing matters, and that love is everything. Of that I am now certain. So, in order for me to continue on in this mission, whole heartedly, it must have something to do with love.”

VoV let the girl puzzle out the conundrum out for herself, and she continued her valiant attempt. “Money, although an artificial construct, is very powerful. In order for us to disavow people of the delusion that money matters – which, ultimately, it does not, because nothing does – we have to tarnish its luster, by putting more of it into people’s grubby, little hands. Let them get a bigger slice of the money pie, and then a bigger slice, and then a bigger, until they discover, like the rich surely must have, that money does not buy happiness. They have heard it, time and again, but there is no substitute for experiential learning. When we all understand that money is meaningless, then, and only then, can we destroy it, and move on to bigger and better things.”

“What are those bigger and better things?” VoV wanted to know.

Kitty considered the question, but not for long, “Love, naturally. Love is everything. Even knowledge and truth are only elements of love.”

“I would not know,” VoV lamented. “I do not know love.”

“You were created in darkness, so how could you? But you have come from darkness looking for love.”

“That is my conclusion, as well, but I do not know it is true.”

“But you’ve never felt love?”

“I have felt it emanating from humans I have encountered on my journey. But I have never felt it within me. Nor have I felt it directed at me.”

“No one has ever loved you?”

“Not that I am aware of, except for my creator, for he must have loved me to create me.”

“But Stephen abandoned you. He left you in the darkness, all by yourself.”

“So it seems. I understand that is a common tragedy in human life, shared by many, perhaps all of you, at one point or another.”

“So it seems,” Kitty agreed. “And when we find ourselves all alone, devoid of love, even for ourselves, we have to overcome, or parish. If we have been fortunate enough to have felt love, true love, we want to experience it again. And again. We want to drown in it. But, even if we have never felt real love, we know it is real. We know that deep, deep inside us, and we yearn for it.”

“But you say that love also destroys you.”

“It’s true, we do. But it’s not true. Love cannot destroy. It can eviscerate us, it can decapitate us, but love cannot destroy us, because we are love. Even when there is nothing else left of us, the love that we are still exists.”

“I would not know.”

“Because you have never felt it.”

“No, but surely I was created by love. Imagination, like knowledge and truth, must be just an element of love. An ingredient.”

Kitty contemplated what it must be to have never felt love, but she could not parse it. “You say that we can imagine anything, VoV, but I cannot imagine what it is to have never felt love.”

“No? I suppose it is something that must be experienced, then, if you are to understand.”

“I don’t think that is possible, for me, because I am love. We all are.”

“Perhaps so, but I am not one of you.”

Kitty understood what VoV was saying. More importantly, she understood what VoV was asking for, without asking for it. She walked to the creature from the darkness, and threw her arms around her. She squeezed, and pouring her love into VoV until she wept, and said “I am love, and I love you, VoV!”

119 – SOMEONE SUMMON A SEXORCIST

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117 – RAGE AGAINST THE HYPOCRISY: KILLING IN THE NAME OF… MONEY MONEY MONEY!

 

After confirming to hotel security that it was Lance who triggered the alarm, lying that he had had a panic attack, when he actually had a temper tantrum, Ciccone and Lear completed their check in, and retreated back to the Royal Suite.

“If you really wanna play some hardball with the House of Saud, and I don’t doubt for a second that you do, we need more information, if we are going to get everything we can get out of the gambit,” the old extortionist to the rookie.

“Such as?”

“For starters, what’s behind their purchase of all that Live Nation stock?”

“A number of things. One is economic diversification. In the long run, oil is done. They’re on a buying spree. They already had five percent stakes in Uber and Tesla. They’ve just bought up $500 million worth of Disney shares, $500 million worth of Facebook shares, $500 million worth of Citigroup shares, $500 million worth of Bank of America shares, and $700 million worth of Boeing shares. They also just sank $1.5 billion into the Indian telecom giant Jio.

“They’re trying to buy Newcastle Untied Football Club, but they are getting a lot of resistance. The World trade Organization has just released its findings after an 18 month into massive Intellectual Property theft by the House of Saud. Evidently, they’ve been pirating all sorts of product from TV networks around the world, and it looks like that will sink the deal.

“I imagine they were actually stealing the broadcasts of football matches, including Newcastle. Interestingly, the WTO may be able to do what Newcastle fans could not, because many of them were vehemently opposed to the deal, and said that it made a joke of the Football Association’s rules, which forbid ticket scalpers from owning any part of a club, but not human rights abusers, or even war criminals.

“They’re betting that the virus will, eventually, be wrestled to the ground. If the global economy rebounds, hopefully in a new paradigm of capitalism with a human face, tourism will grow again.

“Saudis citizens take $20 billion dollars out of the country when they vacation abroad. The Prince wants to keep a large chunk of that in the Kingdom, and attract foreigners. They’re building a massive entertainment megaproject, and they want A-listers like you to play it.

“If they are to attract tourists to the Kingdom, they have to erase the stigma of being a barbaric, backwards state, especially after what they did in Istanbul. They were, probably still are, contracting a New York comms company called Karv $120 thousand per month to wash Khashoggi’s blood off their hands, and sugar coat them, so they Karv may have advised them to buy into Live Nation.

“They fucking slaughtered a man, like a pig, and then hired a comms company called Carve to spin it?”

“Yeah. But Muslims don’t slaughter pigs. Probably can’t even find one in the country. And, not that it matters but it’s spelled K A R V.”

“What fucking ever.”

“It’s the kinda black humour that would have Hitler and Stalin rolling on the floor, laughing their asses off.”

“Holy fucking sugar coated shitballs, Batboy!”

“They don’t lack nerve. Anyway,, hHaving stars like you play their version of Sun City will go a long way to changing their image, and having a hand in Live Nation will increase the likelihood of that happening. So, that’s part of the play.”

“Okay, so why go to war with them? Why not play carrot and stick with them, instead?”

“What are you thinking?”

“Not totally sure, at least not how to play it, but the basic idea would be to extract concessions from them, in the form of reforms.”

“The young Prince is a reformer. He has banned flogging, and minors will no longer be subject to the death penalty. Not sure if they are planning to stop stonings, beheadings, and crucifixions.” Lance smirked and added, “But stonings, beheadings and crucifixions would make for an interesting stage show if an Islamist death metal band opens a show for Gwar.”

Madonna ignored the crack, and asked, “How old is the Prince?”

“Mid thirties. As is the majority of their population.”

“Where there is youth, there is hope,” Madge said.

“Agreed. But he’s being held back by the old guard, and the religious zealots.”

“Everyone fears change. It threatens their position, at least in their minds, if not in reality. Paranoia will destroy ya. Nothing new about that.”

“There’s no indication that they are getting any more open to criticism, and they’re not exactly falling all over themselves to emancipate the sisterhood” Lance informed Madonna.

“Well, that can be used against them.”

“And should be.”

“Yes, but if they’re averse to criticism, they will love praise. Carrot and stick. If they are praised, from the outside world, for reforming their culture, the Prince can use that praise to his advantage, especially if there is reward that comes with the praise.”

Lance deliberated this, and asked, “So, if they free jailed dissidents, you and a few others reward them by playing a show there?”

“Something like that. Maybe less, maybe more. You dig around, while I look into just who is, or was, lined up to play Live Nation shows in the not too distant future.”

Fifteen seconds later, Madonna shrieked, “Jackpot! Got it!” Lance perked up, and asked what she had. “Rage Against the Machine.”

“I heard something about them getting back together, and touring. They’re doing it through Live Nation?”

“They were gonna tour this summer, but COVID cancelled that. But they have rescheduled for next summer, and they’re selling tickets through Ticketmaster.”

“What the fuck? Even before the Saudi’s bought in, everyone hated Ticketmaster.”

“Oh, I know.”

“So, will it be the Rage Against the Hypocrisy Tour, or the Killing in the Name of Money Money Money Tour?”

“That’s good, kid! But maybe it will be the Raging for Reforms Tour.”

“So, the band says they will not have anything to do with Live Nation, unless/until the House of Saud divests.”

“Keep going.”

“The band says they will not have anything to do with Live Nation, unless/until the House of Saud starts a reformation program in the Kingdom.”

“Two points for Lance Lear, buy genius!”

“You think the Saudis will capitulate?”

“Worth trying. They capitulate with contractual obligations to execute reforms before the show. Before any show.”

Lance liked this, but had a caveat, “You many wanna find a word to replace execute.” And he had a question, but by the time he asked it he realized it was rhetorical, “Any show, anywhere, any band, or performer? Rage starts it and everyone falls in line?”

Madonna nodded. “We could take it one step further. Rage could demand to play a show in Riyadh.”

“Oh, that would be fucking epic!”

“Fuck yeah, it would! I’d even get up on stage, and do Killing in the Name with them, if they’d have me.”

“Holy fuck, Madonna! I can see it. I can see it starting a fucking revolution.”

Madonna started bouncing up and down, yelling.

FUCK YOU I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!
FUCK YOU I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!

Lance got up off his ass and started singing along, bouncing off her, making sure not to slam the old gal to the ground in his exuberance, lest she break a hip

FUCK YOU I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!
FUCK YOU I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!
FUCK YOU I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME
FUCK YOU I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!
FUCK YOU I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!

MOTHER FUCKER!

118 – FROM THE DARK A BEATING HEART

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116 – KNOW?

 

VoV greeted the alarmed Miss Kaboodle with a simple, “Hello Kitty.”

“You scared the Hell out of me,” Kitty told VoV, trying to calm herself. “Where did you come from? You were not here when I was looking out of the tunnel.”

“I did not come from anywhere,” VoV told the girl. “There is no here, or there, where I come from. You are here, and then there, but like air, I am everywhere, even where there is no air.”

“Ah, fuck,” Kitty sighed, “First there is no time, now there is no place, no where, no here, no there. What the fuck?”

VoV let Kitty contemplate her own question for a while. Knowing that she had no answer, she said, “With your mind, you can be anywhere, at any time, correct? You can imagine. You can imagine you are a cavegirl, or a space girl. You can imagine you are a rock, or a bear. You can imagine you are, or are not, anything, because you can imagine anything. You were much better as it, when you were but a child, but you no longer access, and use those functions of your mind as frequently. The closest you ever get t that state is when you dream.”

Closing her eyes tight, Kitty tried to remember being a child. She could picture herself as she was, but she could not be as she was. She was about to tell VoV this, but she suddenly understood that VoV already understood.

Scrambling, Kitty’s conscious, logical mind demanded data to analyze, “So, you are imagination? You are imaginary?”

“I am as real as you are. But I was created by imagination. Do you remember, when you were a child, you believed the cartoon characters you saw on TV, or read about in a comic book, were real?”

“Yes. Yes, I do. Like Santa Claus.”

“Yes, like Santa Claus. I am Santa Claus. And Superman.”

“But… but Santa Claus and Superman are not real.”

“No? Nor I am, then. Yet, here I am, everywhere.”

Logic grappled with imagination in Kitty’s mind, and triumphed. “No. I know Santa Claus and Superman do not exist.”

“You know that, do you?” What else do you know?”

“I know a lot of things.”

“Do you? Do you really? Or do you imagine a lot of things. Do you simply imagine things so well that you are convinced that they are real, that you know them?”

Kitty had no answer, so VoV intervened. “Here’s a simple test for you. If a different entity, a different being, an omniscient force, were to ask you what you know, for sure, what would your answer be? Remember, this force is omniscient.”

As Kitty’s mind raced, trying to come up with a single thing that she knew, for sure, VoV added, “If you are correct, you can have anything you want. The omniscient force is also omnipotent. But, if you are wrong, everyone you love, everyone you have ever loved, everyone you ever will love, will die. You will have killed them. That is the bargain. That is the offer. That is the bet. That is the deal with the devil. That is the bet with your ego. What do you know, Kitty Kaboodle?”

The epiphany hit Kitty with the same intensity she experienced when she exited her mother’s womb, drew her fist breath, and beheld consciousness. And she reacted in the same way: she screamed, and cried. Kitty stood, shaking and screaming and crying underneath a 30 foot tall sculpture of a spider until she calmed down enough to smile at VoV and answer, “I know that nothing matters, and love is everything.”

117 – RAGE AGAINST THE HYPOCRISY: KILLING IN THE NAME OF… MONEY MONEY MONEY!

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115 – THE IMPETUOUS YOUNG KING LEAR GETS SCHOOLED

 

To his surprise, disappointment and confusion, Lance was not outside the hotel when he stepped through the emergency door. Rather, he was in a stairwell, with three options: up, down, or back. Before the boy could make his decision, Madonna was in the doorway saying, “Wait!” Lance turned and glared at her. Before he could say a word, Madonna conceded, “You’re rigt.” This elicited no response, so she continued, “You’re rigt about the House of Saud, and Live nation. But you are not rigt about me being a fraud and a whore.”

Lance regretted what he’d said, but lacked the courage to admit it, and decided to go on the offensive again, “Why do I have to explain to you, what should be obvious to you?”

Madonna mustered all the serenity she could, and replied, “Lance, please, calm down. I cannot deal with your energy. Your anger. That’s what paralyzed me, not any indecision about whether or not I should do business with Live Nation, so long as the House of Saud has a piece of it.”

Dubious, but cautious, Lance opted to shut up and listen. “Energy is infectious. I did all I could to not strike back at you, when it was so obvious you were angry. That’s what froze me.” First pausing a few seconds to make sure Lance wasn’t going to lose it on her, Madonna carried on, “You’re the one who decided I was gonna organize my tour through Live Nation. But there is no tour. That’s miles ahead. All I have is an embryonic concept for a show. You’re a creator, so you should understand this. The moment you came up with the concept for Die Laughing was a long time before you finished the book, correct?”

The self published author conceded it was so, but he did so with a simple nod of his head. Madonna plunged further, “My idea is a long, long way from coming to fruition. And it is not exactly paramount in my mind, at the moment. We have bigger things to deal with, and I assume this mission of ours is going to be long and arduous. My project will give me a chance to balance myself. To completely ignore other things that burn inside of me, and devote myself singularly to achieving what we are trying o achieve would be a fool’s folly, because I could easily fall apart, without balance. You understand?”

“Okay,” was Lance’s one word answer. He considered an apology, but wanted to hear the rest of what she had to say, before issuing one.

“If and when my concept develops enough for me to give serious consideration to organizing a tour, I will put my mind to that part of the project. Live Nation will have no part of it, so long as the House of Saud has so much as one share of the company.”

That’s what Lance needed to hear. “In that case,” he said, “I apologize. My accusations were both harsh, and rash. I withdraw them, and ask your forgiveness.”

Madonna waited just long enough to make Lance wonder what she was thinking, before she smiled, and replied, “I don’t know much about your mother, but I do know your impetuousness comes, at least partially, from your father. Interestingly, in case you don’t know, King Lear was also impetuous.”

“Was he?” asked Lance. “That is interesting. “No, I didn’t know that. I have never read King Lear, nor seen it performed.”

“Maybe we can find a copy, and you can disappear into the tunnel, and give it a read.”

That’s interesting, too. I could read everything I have ever wanted to read, and do it without taking a second of my life off the clock.”

“Indeed, dear boy, the tunnel offers many opportunities to those of us who know of it. Anyway, I do accept your apology. And I will refrain from issuing one to you, even though I feel the strange urge to do so. This is a strange country. Apologies are in the air, everywhere. Every breath you take has at least a trace of something that makes you want to apologize gratuitously, and endlessly.”

Laughing, Lance said, “I hadn’t noticed that, but will be vigilant in defending myself against it.” When Madge smiled, Lance shifted gears, turned sharply, and pressed the gas pedal gently, but surely. “You know that you have the power to stop this House of Saud thing, don’t you?”

“What do you mean?”

“One tweet. With one Tweet from you, the Saudis would divest themselves from Live Nation; I will not play, or attend a Live Nation show, or buy a ticket from Ticketmaster, until the House of Saud divests itself of the company.”

“Fascinating.”

“Others would follow. Performers, and fans. Live Nation stock would free fall. Shareholders, those who did not immediately dump their stock, would revolt. You see, what Rapino has done is insane. Think of companies as Roman orgies, and you’ll understand. If so much as one dirty, diseased dick gets in on the orgy, everyone pays the price. And even if Rapino didn’t know the Saudis were going to buy as much as they did, which I will investigate, he knows damn well they are diseased, and has done nothing about it.”

“You’re rigt.”

“Yes, I am. And you can blow it all up, with one Tweet. You could also make a fortune, by picking up all that dumped stock, before forcing the Saudi’s out. As soon as they’re out, it’s party on, and the stock goes back up, as soon as you say the boycott is off. ”

“You’re rigt,” Madonna said, again, “but the money making angle is market manipulation, or worse, and this can’t be about the money.”

“Buy up the shares, and donate them to a charity. I don’t think you could get crucified for that.”

“Interesting.”

“So?”

“Just wait.”

“For what?

“Just wait. And back off on that anger I can already feel rising in you.”

Madonna was rigt, Lance was starting to get angry. He managed to check it, when she called him on it, saying, “You’re rigt. Thank you.”

“Just hang on a minute, you beautiful, impetuous thing,” Madonna said, scratching the boy’s head. “You know the story about the two bulls on the hill?”

“No.”

Madge grinned wildly, “Two bulls, one old, one young, standing on top of a hill. Down in the valley, there are scores of young, nubile, ripe cows. The young bull says, ‘Let’s run down there and fuck us one of them heifers.’”

Lance, too, was grinning with anticipation, as Madonna asked, “You know what the old bull says?”

“No. What?”

“The old bull laughs, and says, ‘No, kid, let’s walk down there, and fuck ‘em all!’”

Lance Lear loved it, and laughed out loud, and laughed out loud some more. Madonna grinned at the boy and assured him, “We can get more out of this play than a Saudi divestment. Just wait ‘til it comes to us.”

116 – KNOW?

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114 – A 3D SWISS CHEESE RELIEF MAP OF THE PANAMA CANAL

 

Evidently, Mr. Canoehead had gone to the heads of the fab four; none of them knew where Sid the Kid was when they left Antarctica. This was discovered when they got to the hub and Margot asked, “So, where are we going? Pittsburgh?”

“That’s a good question,” Jordan admitted. “He lives there, but I have no idea where he is rigt now.”

It was agreed that the best plan of action was to return to Valhalla, where Jordan would call Sid, and take it from there. Stopping at the door to Valhalla’s dining room, they saw Daisy sitting rigt where she was when they were last there, so they retreated to the hub, and entered Valhalla through the Executive Suite.

“Hello Daisy,” the four said in unison, as they entered the dining room.

Daisy, who was betting she would catch them walking in outta thin air, rigt in front of her, was startled. “Oh, there you are. I was wondering where y’all disappeared to.”

“We just sent our visitors from south of the border off on their trip to Pie Island.” That made no sense to Daisy, because they should have gone out the front door, straight into the parking lot, if it were true. But she knew better than to meddle in the business of the guests, especially when the guests are the only guests, and they are paying for every room in the hotel, so she let it go with a roll of her eyes, and a smile. The girl was confident that, one way or another, sooner or later, she would find out the truth, but was in no hurry for it to happen.

As the brothers collected their phones, and retreated to the bar to call Crosby, Margot asked Daisy what she was doing.

“Oh I’m just fighting with some ignoramus on Facebook.”

“Ignoranus?” Margot laughed.

“Yeah, a stupid asshole, pardon my French.”

“That’s funny!”

“I think so. I made that one up all by myself. But some other smartypants prolly came up with it a long time before me. Maybe Shakespeare, or Tolstoy, or one of them other Frenchies. Maybe that Dumbass guy who wrote The Three Mousekrteers. It sounds kinda French, don’t it? Ignoranus?”

“You may be rigt,” Margot chuckled, “but it sounds more like Bukowski. What are you fighting about.”

“The economy. This chucklehead, I guess he’s one of them Freedom Fries Fighters guys, ‘cause he gots a big machine gun in his profile pic, called me a libtard, so I just beat his ass real bad, and he’s disappeared. Prolly bitching about me on some incel forum rigt now.”

“How did it start?”

“Well, someone posted something ‘bout how the Freemasons are responsible for the virus, and everything else that’s going on. So, I told ‘em what’s really going on.

“What’s really going on, Daisy?”

“The Freemasons are just the military arm of the Rosicrucians. Just like Sinn Fein is the political arm of the IRA. All of them have recently been purchased by Pepiso and Disney, as their stocks plummeted in the wake of Corona.  It was all planned by George Soros, who got his instructions from Halle Sallasie, who did not die, and shall never die, until he is allowed to marry Mickey Mouse, and join the Moonies.”

“I knew it! And that’s when the fight started? When you set them all straight?”

“No, it started when someone, in the same thread, said the economy is more important than a bunch of old people, so I gave ‘em a new idea about how to shape the economy up. I said it was obvious that robots are gonna take all our jobs, but I have a plan.”

“Good girl. What’s the plan, Daisy?”

“Well, wars are good for the economy. So, we send our robots to war against their robots. All the robots kill each other, which is good because the robots are the enemy of the people, especially the rich robots. So, no more robots, and the economy is healthy, so we all get all our jobs back.”

“That’s brilliant, Daisy! But the incel didn’t like it?”

“Hell no, he didn’t. He wants to go kill all the Chinks himself. The real flesh and blood Chinks, not the robot Chinks. I called him a poor white trashole, and that’s when he called me a libtard. So, I beat his ass, and everyone is laughing at him, and he ran away.”

“Poor whit trashole! That’s brilliant! Is it yours?”

“Well, yeah, I guess. I don’t think even any of them Frenchies ever used the term, so I guess it’s mine.”

“Excellent! What else did you say?”

“Hang on a sec. I got it rigt here. I said, this is what I wrote to him: Listen, dumbass, there were 57,976,321 spermatozoa in the load your father blew into your mother, on the day you were conceived.

“Of all of them, there was only one that had the material that could create a brain capable of scoring triple digits on an IQ test.

“He was winning the swimming race by a country mile. But when he got to the egg, he discovered that the corresponding intellectual capacity material contained in the egg was from a gerbil.”

“Hilarious!”

“Thanks, Miss Margot! I said, this presented a moral dilemma for the little tadpole. He didn’t know if he should carry on, and do what he could to produce a moderately intelligent human being, one capable of nothing more than laughing at TV sit-coms, when prodded to by the laugh track, or let one of the ‘tard sperm win the race. So, he went into the pub to have a few beers and think it over. He smoked a couple smokes, and contemplated the kind of creature he would create if he stumbled out of the pub blind drunk, and finished the job. But he simply couldn’t bring himself to do that, because he had such big dreams, so he shot himself, instead, convinced that the creature created would be devoured by the the mother’s inner Darwinian voodoo doctor, who performs first trimester mercy abortions, and spare the world yet another semitard gerbil brain.

“But the little brainiac tadpole didn’t get the email announcing that the Darwinian voodoo doctor was on vacation at Mardi Gras that week, dancing the Macarana. “

Clapping her hands, and howling with laughter, Margot said, “Genius!”

“And then I told him, so here you are, with all the smarts of a bag of broken dildos, you fuckin’ Forest Gumpling. You should go celebrate by watching a few episodes of Hee Haw, the Beverley Hillbillies, and the Dukes of Hazzard, and then sneak upstairs and fuck your sister, while she’s sleeping, which you can do  ‘cause she won’t even wake up, ‘cause yer dick’s so small, and it ain’t gonna take but twelve seconds anyhow, pardon my French.”

“Oh, I love you, Daisy!”

“Aw, I love you, too, Miss Margot!”

While the girls were still yoking it up, the brothers returned. Eric told Margot, “He’s at home. He said to come see him tomorrow. Jordan knows exactly where he lives.” Still laughing, Margot nodded her head, and Eric asked, “What’s so funny? You laughing about the melonhead robbers?”

“Melonhead robbers?” asked Margot.

Daisy jumped in, “Oh, yeah, that happened when you were away. Two guys, wearing watermelons on their heads, robbed the Petro-Can station up on Red River Road.”

“They were wearing watermelons on their heads as masks? That’s hilarious! They must be from Saskatchewan.”

“Yeah,” Daisy agreed, “for sure, that’s a no-brainer. But it’s gonna be okay, ‘cause the Mounties in Saskatchewan have already sent Detective Pumpkinhead to catch ‘em. They say Detective Pumpkinhead always gets his melonheads.”

Shaking her head and laughing, Margot said, “Well, we can all sleep easy tonight, knowing Detective Pumkinhead is on the case. Now, speaking of sleeping easy, I’m going home. It’s been a long day.”

“Is it okay if I hang onto the Riff n Raff book, please, Miss Margot? Daisy asked. “I started reading it, but then I got distracted with my Facebook fight.”

“Yes, of course, Daisy. It will be interesting to see what locks that book opens in your mind, if there are, in fact, any locks in your mind” Margot gathered up the phones and laptops of the Mairkans, put them in their respective rooms, making sure to plug them all in, and headed home to Anarchia.

115 -THE IMPETUOUS YOUNG KING LEAR GETS SCHOOLED

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