Often interested in what was going on inside Daisy’s head, Margot wanted to see what was going on inside Daisy’s head while under the influence of psychedelics. “There’s a sillysaurus living inside her head,” her son had said of his at-the-time girlfriend. “He’s big, and purple, and has a long neck. And he just runs around all night, pulling levers and laughing.” Indeed! Let’s see that sillysaurus on acid, Margot said to herself.

The guru invited the girl to spend the night at Anarchia on Candy Mountain. Daisy happily accepted the offer.

While the girl was in her bedroom, gathering some things for the overnight stay, Margot made a quick call to her house, hoping Kitty would understand the call was for her, and answer the phone. She did. Margot told Kitty all was fine, and that she should head back to Ottawa, adding that she would fill her in later. Kitty agreed, and disappeared back to her suite in the Chateau Laurier.

After listening to the top of the hour news update on CKPR as they drove south, Margot asked Daisy, “What do you make of what’s going on in the world?” She was not disappointed with Daisy’s summation.

“It’s crazy! It’s as if Alice has eaten all the brown acid. She’s jumped down the rabbit hole, wearing a suicide vest. She’s looking for the manager, with whom she wants to discuss her multiple childhood traumas, but she’s gibbering pure Jabberwocky, and no one knows what the fuck she is saying, pardon my French. Everyone is infested with fleas. No one has any Thorazine.”

Not wanting to derail the LSD fueled runaway locomotive chugging through Daisy’s head, Margot bit her tongue, and let the girl ramble.

“Life is just a circus,” Daisy told her. “Each one of us is a circus unto ourselves, but the circus masters are the sperm and eggs inside us. We’re just monkeys, trying to get off the planet. The sperm and eggs are in control of it all. They are dictating everything we do. They just want us to fuck and fuck and keep on fucking, pardon my French. The whole point is to evolve, to grow smart enough to figure out how to get out of this matrix. And deep down, somewhere inside us all, our monkeyselves are laughing, and saying, ‘Just launch the damn rockets already!’ We’re all just monkeys trying to get off the planet.”

Daisy stopped to see what, if anything, Margot thought of her theory. Margot just smiled, which was all the encouragement the girl needed to keep kicking cans down the road of existential philosophy.

“I’m gonna marry the next boy I fall in love with,” Daisy announced.

“That’s wonderful,” Margot replied. “Let me be the first to congratulate you, and the lucky boy, whoever he may be.”

“Thank you, Miss Margot,” Daisy gushed. “You’re invited to the wedding. But if you can’t make it to the first one, you’re invited to the next one, too.”

“You’re gonna spread the wealth around, marry more than one boy?”

“No, no. Just one boy. But I’m gonna divorce him. And marry him again. And again. I’m only gonna have sex with him when we’re married. When we’re divorced, I can do anyone I want, and it’s okay, ‘cause I won’t be cheating, ‘cause I ain’t married. And he can go jam it in any hole he wants to, too, when we’re divorced.”

Laughing, Margot admitted, “That’s a brilliant idea. But you’re gonna be doing a lot of paperwork.”

“I’m gonna hire someone to do all the paper work, ‘cause there gonna be a lot more than just wedding license applications.” Margot raised her eyebrows and waited.

“I’m gonna change my name. Every day.” Margot burst into laughter, which made Daisy do the same, and continue. “Ima change my name every day. So, when a cop pulls me over, and asks what my name is, I can say, ‘Fucked if I know, pardon my French, what day is it? And if I’m lucky, it’ll be the day my name is Phuk Yu. So, when the cop asks me what my name is, I can say, ‘Phuk Yu,’ and there ain’t sweet F A he can do about it, ‘cause my name really is Phuk Yu. Pardon my Vietnamese.”

Margot loved this game, so Daisy carried on with it. “And one day, I will change my name to Tairist Groop, so it will be illegal to be me, and that’ll really mess ‘em up. I mean, what are they gonna o? Put me in jail just for being me?”

Oh, yeah, it was gonna be an interesting night at Anarchia on Candy Mountain.




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Returning to where they left off before the spontaneous eruption of teen spirit consumed them, Lance asked Madonna, “Do you know the Rage guys?”

“No. Just by reputation. I could make some enquiries, but I don’t see any real need to. Why?”

“They must know about the Saud Live Nation deal. So, why haven’t they made some kinda move?”

“They could all be broke, now. It’s not like that doesn’t happen in show business. You get very accustomed to living large, and next thing you know, you’re living in a car, like Sly Stone.”

Draining the rest of his beer, Lance said, “So, maybe they’re just hoping no one calls them on their hypocrisy.”

“Maybe. I don’t know. But we’ll find out.”

“What if they really are broke. Desperate. And they’re contractually locked into doing the tour with Live Nation?”

Madonna laughed, “I don’t see how they have any choice but to back out of the tour, at least through Live Nation, or force a showdown.”

“By saying they will play, but only after reforms are made”

Madonna nodded. “Once they get called on it, they’ll be destroyed. Even their hard core fans will yell, ‘Fuck you I won’t but what you sell me.’ But they can turn the tables, and become heroes, by playing hardball.”

“Live Nation could sue them.”

Once again, Madonna nodded, but she dismissed the idea, “Their contractual obligations to Live Nation won’t even enter into it. No way is Live Nation going to sue them. That’s a circus they can ill afford. It will simply galvanize the musical community against them, and shine a thousand spotlights on the human rigts record of the House of Saud. That results in a massive devaluation of the company, and a huge share sell off.”

“Rats deserting a sinking ship.”

Madonna held her rigt hand up, palm facing Lance, and he hushed himself. “Your idea about picking up those shares, at a rock bottom price, could come into play rigt there. What if someone were to pick those shares up, all of them, and tell Suad that they will sell the shares to them, at the same price they picked them up for, subject to Saud completing reforms?”

Lance worked it over in his head, and said, “So, if they release a list of political prisoners, they can purchase the shares, a chunk of them, at a low price, which will rise because of the reform?”

“Yes. They get the shares, and a certain group of artists announce that they are willing to work with Live Nation. So, the Saudis release a hundred political prisoners, and me, Rihanna, Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa announce that we will play Live Nation shows.”

“It’s fascinating. It’s applying profit motive to human rigts.”

“Money is the only thing some people understand. So, that’s the carrot, and here’s the stick. All sorts of contracts could stipulate that the House of Saud has to hand over their shares, without compensation, if they do not release the political prisoners, or whatever.”

“Hand them over to whom?” Lance wanted to know.

Laughing, Madonna answered, “Well, we could have all sorts of fun with that. The Israelis? The Iranians?”

Lance exploded in laughter. “Somehow, I don’t think the Saudis would sign a deal with that clause in it. At least not one that says they have to give their shares to the Israelis, or Iranians?”

“I’m just having some fun, letting my imagination run,” Madge smirked, resisting the temptation to finish the rhyme with the word son.

“It’s fun, for sure, but how much of it is plausible. Who would buy up all the available Live Nation stock, to start with? Do you have that kind of money?”

“No,” Madonna admitted, “but I know people who do. And one of them will find this very… compelling.”

Thinking for no more than a moment, Lance said, “I’m sure he would,” then asked, “But would he do it?”

The sexagenarian smiled a confident smile and answered, “I have a way of getting my way with Richard.”

Opting to take a pass on commenting on Madonna’s pussy power over Branson, Lance said, “He does seem to like new ideas. High risk, high reward.”

“That’s true, but this isn’t a new idea. Far from it. Age old and dead simple: be good and you get a cookie.” Lance communicated his lack of desire to argue Madge’s point with a shrug. And then Madonna hit the kid rigt mouth, “So, funny boy, tell me about Old Leather Pussy.”




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It was not until she was once again in the hub that Kitty realized that walking into Valhalla, to look for Daisy, was not a good idea. She and the other Americans were supposed to be on Pie Island, ten kilometers from Thunder Bay’s harbour. That was the story that Margot and/or the Staals were to tell Daisy, if they encountered her when they returned to Valhalla, which surely they had.

But there was no harm in taking a boo into the hotel’s dining room, so she did. Seeing no sign of the strange girl at Valhalla, Kitty took the tunnel to Anarchia on Candy Mountain, where she found Margot flat on her back, staring into the stars, beside a roaring fire.

Not bothering to tell Margot about her encounter and discussion with VoV, for that was not immediately pressing, Kitty told the guru about the bizarre Daisy phone call carnival.

The two went into the house. Margot called Valhalla, and was told that Daisy was gone for the night. She called Daisy’s cell, but it didn’t even ring. Margot’s son had no idea where the girl was, but made a few calls, and discovered that she had scored some acid, and some DMT, earlier.

Simple probability dictated that she was more likely to be found at home, than any other particular location, so Margot headed out the door, telling Kitty to call her in twenty minutes. “If I refuse the call, it means I’ve found her, and she’s fine.”

Daisy did not answer their knocks until Margot announced herself. As soon as Daisy opened the door she smiled and asked, “To what do I owe the pleasure of you esteemed company?”

Relieved that Daisy wasn’t out of her mind, Margot returned the smile, and answered, “Well, girl, I had a premonition. I don’t know where it came from, but something was telling me you were in some sort of distress.”

“Distress? Really? Oh, no, Miss Margot, I am not distressed at all. In fact, I’ve never felt better.”

Laughing, Margot said, “You’re high as fuck, Daisy!”

“I am high as fuckity fuck, Miss Margot, pardon my French!”

“What are you tripping on?”

“Acid! Nice, really clean acid. I smoked some DMT a while ago, but that doesn’t last, so when I came down, I dropped five tabs.”

“Interesting. I’ve never done DMT. What’s it like?”

“Oh, it’s beautiful. It’s kinda like acid, but kinda not. Words can’t really describe it, kinda like acid, or an orgasm. It was really trippy. I had visions of Hitler in a tutu. Thousands of him. Dancing. Maybe Swan Lake, I guess, but that’s just ‘cause it’s the only ballet I know the name of.”

“You sure it wasn’t the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies?” Margot laughed.

“Oh, you know what? It was! It was the Dance of the Sugar Plum fairies! How the fuck did you know that, Miss Margot? pardon my French.  Are you inside my head?”

Margot’s phone rang, and she quickly refused the call.

“You didn’t wanna answer that?” Daisy asked. “It might have been me calling.”

“What do you men, Daisy?” Margot wanted to know.

“Oh, nothing, I’m just being silly. But I was trying to call Miss Kitty, with my mind, when I was tripping on DMT. Dimitri is good for that kinda thing. It makes you kinda… clairvoyant? Or telepathethic. Or somethin’. It just connects you with the universe, and everyone and everything in it.”

“That’s fascinating, Daisy. Why were you trying to call Kitty?”

“Oh, Miss Margot, I just love her so much! And I saw her face, and I’m a believer! I saw her face a million times. She always looked different, but it was always her, and she was beautiful. She was every colour, and every flavour of beautiful. I just wanted to call her, to tell her how much I love her.”

That’s beautiful, Daisy. I know she loves you, too.”

“Really? Do you think so, for true? ‘Cause I think so, too!”

“Yes, Daisy, I believe it to be true, because Kitty loves everyone.”

“She does, doesn’t she? But she loves some of us more than others. Like Madonna. I don’t think Miss Kitty loves Madonna as much as she loves me and you.”

“You may be rigt, Daisy. You may be rigt. Hey, were you listening to music when you were tripping on DMT?”

Daisy thought about it, and answered, “Yeah, I was. Why?”

“What were you listening to?”

“Just some random psychedelic channel on Youtube.”

“Old stuff? New stuff?”

“Yes. Both.”

“Was there any Stones on the channel?”

“Maybe. Yeah, I think so. Wait. Yeah, there was.” Daisy sang, “It’ so very lonely, I’m ten thousand light years from home.”

Margot grinned, and corrected her, “Two thousand. Two thousand light years from home. It’s one of my faves.”

Daisy laughed, “It may be one of your faves, Miss Margot, but I don’t care what Mick says, I was ten thousand light years from home.”




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After handing Lance a beer, Madge made herself a double White Russian form the Royal Suite’s mini bar, sat down at the piano, and started playing Landslide. She sang not a word until she got to the chorus,

Well, I’ve been ‘fraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes bolder
Children get older
I’m gettin’ older, too

She kept playing with her left hand, while drawing a long hit on her drink, downing half of it, then sang the chorus again. When she sang

‘Cause I’ve built my life around you

Lance was certain she was singing to herself, a new soul emerging, and talking to a caricature on its way out the door.

She finished the chorus and switched songs. Looking at Lance she sang,

Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die
Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die
It takes a lot to change a man
And it takes a lot to try
Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die

Madonna was radiating melancholy. Lance sensed it, but fought against her vibe, because he was speed walking to a place of creative delight; he’d heard something she hadn’t.

When the bad boy’s waxing smile met the withering woman’s waning denial, the child in Madonna perked up, peaked out, and waved, “Hi Lance! What’s going on in that marvelous, mischievous, merry mind of yours? It looks fun. Share with Mama Bear?”

Part of the boy cringed at Madonna calling herself Mama Bear, but he shrugged it off. “Maybe nothing. Maybe nothing good, I mean. But I can hear that as a mashup.”

“What do you mean?”

“The two choruses. They both have five lines. The sentiments are similar. They may mashup real good.”

Madonna heard it in her head, and smiled. “You may be rigt! Wanna try?”

“I’m not much of a singer.”

“Neither am I, or so I was told, a million times, before I shut them all the fuck up,” Madonna laughed. “C’mon, try it with me. Don’t be shy.”

Lance said nothing, so Madonna said, “Silence is acquiescence,” paused a couple seconds, and sang

Well, I’ve been ‘fraid of changing

and pointed at the boy, who, somewhat reluctantly, sang

Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die

“Cause I built my life around you

Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die

But time makes bolder

It takes a lot to change a man

Children get older

And it takes a lot to try

I’m getting older too

Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die.

Although it was clunky, it worked, so they worked it over, over and over, until it was music to their ears, and to Madonna’s expanding soul.

Biting her bottom lip, Madonna rose from the piano stool, walked to Lance, and threw her arms around him. The boy returned her hug; not with nearly as much intensity, but enough to make her weep, and whisper, “Thank you.”




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Walking back to the Chateau Laurier, Kitty passed a bank of old pay phones. She took note of them, and chuckled at the idea of living in the world before everyone had a phone on their person at all times.

An errant thought, that she found particularly funny, flashed into her mind; what if someone from the past called one of those phones, rigt now? And rigt then, one of the phones rang.

The girl spun in a circle to see if anyone nearby was watching her, and laughing. Nothing. No one. Not even VoV. But since VoV wasn’t there, there could be no danger in a ringing phone, rigt?

Having already wasted five seconds that, so far as she knew, would never come back, Kitty made the decision to leg it to the phone.

Shoe got the receiver in her hand just in time to hear a female voice urging her to, “Please deposit twenty five dollars to accept this call.”

Scanning the phone for some kind of slot to slide some kind of card into, Kitty saw none. Just a coin slot. Who the fuck carries $25 in coins with them? Is this some kind of Canadian prank?

“Please deposit twenty five dollars to accept this call,” the female in her ear. Now, behind the operator’s voice, Kitty could hear someone breathing. Breathing fairly heavily.

“I don’t have twenty five dollars,” Kitty pleaded, hoping for a response, not even sure if there was another human on the line, or a bot. The breathing got a little faster, and heavier, in the background. “Hello? Hello? I can hear you breathing. Who are you? Where are you? What is your name? What do you want?”

“Please deposit twenty five dollars to accept this call.”

This time Kitty screamed, “I don’t have twenty five fucking dollars. Just put the call through. This is an emergency!”

The pace of the operator’s voice picked up, never giving any indication if it was flesh and blood, or AI, “Please deposit twenty five dollars to accept this call.” Faster, “Please deposit twenty five dollars to accept this call.” Faster, “Please deposit twenty five dollars to accept this call.” And then the phone went dead.

Kitty slammed the receiver into the cradle, then picked it up again, putting it to her ear. She repeated the process twice more, before she heard another pay phone, this one fifty yards away, ringing. She bolted for the ringing phone, lunging for the receiver when she got to it,” Hello?” she screamed.

“Please deposit twenty five dollars to accept this call.” And, again, in the background, heavy breathing. “Please deposit twenty five dollars to accept this call.” No card slot on the phone, there was nothing else for Kitty to do, but stare at the machine in disbelief.

The voice dropped off, and the phone went dead. As soon as it did, the first phone rang again. Kitty was in no hurry, this time. As she sauntered towards it, however, the coin return slot started spitting out coins.

When Kitty got to the phone, it was still paying out like a cheap Reno slot machine. She picked up the receiver, but the phone kept ringing, as it rained nickels. They poured out of the phone as if the machine had a direct connection to the Royal Canadian Mint, a kilometer away.

The moment Kitty bent down to the ground to pick up the coins, she knew there would be five hundred of them.

Sure enough, there were. Five hundred shiny, new five cent coins, every one of them minted in the year 2025, five years into the future.

The moment she stopped counting was the moment the phone stopped ringing.

Kitty waited, hoping that the phone she was standing at would be the one to ring. It was not. It was, I fact, another phone, twenty yards away.

Tired of the game, Kitty, flipped the bird at the ringing phone, then spun in a circle giving the finger to anything, and anyone who might be watchdog from anywhere, including space.

As soon as she completed her 360 degree turn, the phone she was standing next to rang. “Please deposit twenty five dollars to accept this call.”

It took her just over seven minutes to jam all five hundred of the nickels into the phone. While Kitty was plugging the machine, she repeatedly told the breather to hang on, just a bit longer.

“Please deposit fifteen cents to accept this call. Please deposit five cents to… thank you. Go ahead.”

“Hello?” Kitty said. “Hello?” Breathing. Nothing more than breathing. “Hello? Can you hear me?” Then a bit of laughter came to her ear. Shrill laughter. “Oh, fuck you!” Kitty Kaboodle yelled. “Fuck you, you fucking fuck!”

Then there was s a voice. Just a voice. No more laughter. Just a voice, singing, “It’s so very lonely, I’m ten thousand light years from home.” It was Daisy’s voice. There was no doubt about it. But before Kitty could speak, the operator cut in again, “Please deposit twenty five dollars to continue this call.”

Kitty finally noticed the graffiti scrawled above the phone:







Underneath the message was a signature; questionMark.

Before she hung up and walked away, Kitty could clearly hear the sound of a snort coming from the operator.




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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.




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“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.”


“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.”


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.




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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.




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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.”




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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.




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