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Chum (Installment 4)
by Mark Spitzer (Continued from Cyber Corpse #5/6)

     Bonjovi, Indiscriminate Reader! In our last installment of this psychotic nightmare inspired by the afflicted mind of C»line (then perverted even further by our author), Nadine had Yann by the balls! Now, however, she finds her grip is slipping as Ms. Snooty Patootie eyes her man - but wait! Lesbian love is thrown into the mix, as horrid hags heckle a not-so-lovely scrubmaiden, increasing the already depraved dysfunction of an already demented dystopia!! Expect the worst!!!

                         Chum VII

Wearing jeans and an oversized sweatshirt, April answers the door and sees a vision from the past. It's the two old women again, Widow O'Reilly and Widow Flanahan, looking like pre-World War II bag-ladies, squat and somber, with scarves around their lumpy heads. They are toting overstuffed bags.
     "Oh, do come in," April cheerfully invites them, and steps back. They enter, waddling into the center of the empty room, where they plop down their bags and immediately start rummaging through them. April helps herself to one of their sacks.
     "Maybe this will fit," she says, holding up a flowered dress, then setting it aside. She picks out a couple shirts. Most of the clothes are dingy and gray. Tan and blue are a rarity. Widow O'Reilly shows her a couple skirts.
     "Don't you have anything in happier colors?" April asks, and the widows give each other an exasperated look. They pick through the clothes for a while.
     "Okay," April says, "I'll take this, and this, and this, and this. How much do you want for them?"
     The widows just shrug.
     "Okay," April says, "in the United States, I mean in California, I'd probably pay a couple bucks for each of these in a thrift store, so howabout..." she regards the toothless, wrinkled visages before her, and suddenly feels generous, "Oh heck, I'll give you twenty dollars for everything. I guess I'll be needing some rags anyway."
     April goes to her purse, takes out a couple tens, and returns to the women. She gives them each a bill, but neither of them respond--they just pocket the money.
     "Do you think you can find any shoes?" April asks. "And kitchenware?"
     Widow Flanahan nods.
     April walks them to the door, thanks them, and lets them out. She rolls her eyeballs at the sky, then closes the door. Such people!
     Her kitten comes sliding across the floor, chasing a rubber ball. April bends to pick it up, but it scampers away, spinning its paws on the varnish. She laughs, then goes to the phone and dials.
     "Hi mother," she says into the receiver. "No, I'm in Alaska. Guess what? I'm in love."
     April listens to her mother for a bit, and rolls her eyeballs once again.
     "No mother, it's not a man this time, it's a place. I've fallen in love with a place. You should see it, it's so quaint. A little village on a little island. You should come and visit sometime, I'm sure you'll love it. But you'll have to bring cash, they don't accept credit cards here."
     April listens for a minute.
     "No mother, I'm not moving here... I have moved here. Property is cheap, I just up and bought a place. A lovely little summer home, hardwood floors, front porch, gingerbread trim... it was a steal!"
     April looks out the window and hears the response she expected. Her mother can't believe it. What about her career? What will she do there?
     "Look, mom, I don't know. The way I see it, it's like fate. I was getting sick of all that glamour, all those cameras, everyone wanting something from me. Who needs it? Screw it! I want to do something different. I want to live an ordinary life... like you. Like the people around me. I don't know, maybe I'll write a book or something. I've always wanted to be a writer. Oh, did I tell you, I got a lovely little kitten. Its name is Poo-poo."
     While April's mother has a cow, she looks out the window and sees an old man in his yard, chopping at a stump with an axe. He stops, scratches his head, and bends his back. When he sees April standing in the window, she waves to him and he waves back. Then he goes back to work with renewed vigor.
     "No mother, I don't have e-mail. I don't want e-mail. And please, don't tell people where I am. I'd like some peace and quiet for a bit, if you please. And don't tell Larry Rubenstein yet, I'll call him at my leisure. What? He's there right now?"
     April suddenly finds herself talking to her agent.
     "Hey Larry, what's up? Look, don't tell mom because she'll totally flip, but Karl Ronson is dead. Yeah, we got hit by a storm and... huh? Okay, call me back on your cellular then."
     April gives him the number and hangs up. She could feel Larry starting to go ballistic. Without her, he'd only have the Olson twins. Larry is about to have a shit-fit.
     "Poo-poo!" April calls, but the phone immediately rings. Larry's on I-5, driving back to L.A.
     "Listen babe," he tells her, "you can't just call me from Alaska and tell me this! You can't just tell me that a millionaire and a billionaire go off and the billionaire dies and the millionaire isn't coming back! Have you lost your mind!?"
     "First of all," April tells him, "stop calling me babe, I'm not your babe. And second of all, don't you raise your voice to me. I don't need you Larry, I don't need Hollywood. Everyone wants a piece of my ass and I'm all out of ass, okay? Find yourself a new piece of ass to peddle..."
     "But April," he says, "the world wants to know. The director's on my ass, Ronson's agency is on my ass, everybody's looking for you! They need you, we need you! You can't just say a guy like Ronson is dead with as little explanation as that! Do the police know?"
     "There are no police here."
     "Great... just great! Look--"
     "No!" April tells him, "You look, I've made up my mind--"
     "You're under contract!"
     "You're under contract!"
     "I'll sue!"
     "I'll counter-sue!"
     "I'll counter-counter-sue!"
     "You will not, I know you Larry."
     "Well, just because I'm a friend of the family doesn't mean I won't be forced to sue. I mean, they're gonna sue me. And not only that, they're gonna ask me where you are and I'm gonna have to tell them. And I'm also gonna have to tell them that you said Ronson's dead. And then they're gonna come looking for you, they're gonna have all sorts of questions."
     "Let them."
     "Babe, I mean April... April, April, April... look, let's talk this out..."
     "Larry," April tells him, "there's no talking. I've started a new life. I'm a writer now."
     "You're a what?"
     "You heard me."
     "But April--"
     "I'll talk to you later Larry. I'll be needing you to wire me money periodically."
     She hangs up and rolls her eyeballs once again. Agents!
     April tries to catch Poo-poo but can't. She decides to go for a walk. She picks up her purse and walks out the door.
     Outside, April admires her new house.
     "You're so cute," she tells it, "with your widdle picket fence and your widdle yard."
     April cocks her head and looks at the yard. Her garden will need work. She'll have to get some flowers for it. And maybe that kid with the Clapton shirt could mow her lawn.
     April starts walking down the street, passing the other summer homes, all of which are abandoned at the moment. She swings her arms at her side and bounces along. She passes Father O'Flugence heading up the hill and waves to him. He waves back, appearing a bit self-absorbed.
     He's probably thinking about the money he pinched from her purse, April thinks, though she really doesn't give a damn about a couple hundred dollars. There were also some other things missing, but she didn't feel like making a fuss. After all, he did put her up.
     April walks on and passes One Eye, who takes off his hat and bows with chivalry. She laughs at that, and notices the solid young buck at his side--a good-looking kid who'd give Brad Pitt a run for his money. He smiles at her, and she smiles back, increasing the wiggle in her walk.
     She comes to the only shop on the island, Mother Kralik's Antiques. It's not open yet, but she peers through the window. Inside, she sees a bunch of worthless junk: model ships, weather vanes, cuckoo clocks, etcetera. And then she sees something that belongs to her: it's her grandmother's golden cross, brought over from Heidelberg circa World War I, which her grandmother gave her for good luck, and she had kept on the ship. But now it's in this store with a price tag on it for a hundred bucks. Shit, April thinks, it's worth at least a thousand in gold alone.
     April goes to the door and turns the knob, but the store is locked. She'll have to come back when it's open and get that back. Christ, her grandmother gave her that cross on her deathbed!
     Slightly miffed, April keeps walking. She passes the local bar and looks inside. An alcoholic is asleep on the bar. It's a rustic little tavern with a jukebox. She puts it on her list to visit later.
     When she comes to the beach, she turns to the left and walks for a while picking up shells. She gets to the spit and crosses it. It's low tide. April walks out to the tip, feeling the sun on her face. It is strong and so is she. The winter is turning to spring. April spins.
     And that's when she sees her boat, half a mile away, laying on its side. She is shocked. There's a gaping hole in it, and the sails are in shreds. Gulls and ravens are perched on what's left of the mast.
     April starts making her way toward her yacht. She finds herself running, and can feel her breasts brutally bouncing. It hurts when she runs, so she slows it down. Damn implants!
     She reaches the wreck and the birds take off, squawking at her. She looks into the hole and sees small crabs scuttling around, then climbs inside and looks around. Eventually, her eyes adjust to the light. The boat is empty. No furniture, nothing. Even the lightbulbs have been unscrewed.      
     Could the sea have done this? No way. There are human scuffmarks in the sand, and cig butts in the window sills.
     "C'est la vie," she tells her ship, climbing out of it. She looks at the tide coming in, and turns around and looks toward the line where the wet sand meets with the dry sand, up by the kelp buzzing with flies. No doubt the tide will take her ravaged craft away.
     Oh well, she figures, she'll just have to get another one. April shrugs and heads to the market to buy some flowers for her yard.

                         Chum VIII

Yann is off at sea, sitting on the aft deck, playing his accordion. The other fishermen are in the cabin cutting up lines of crank. They are heading out for shark, which will be skinned and cleaned, ground up into puppy chow, and listed as "cod" on the label.
     Yann watches the island becoming smaller. Somewhere on those shores, she is walking around with those lips--those lips he cannot get out of his mind--unlike Nadine and her big black bush, which doesn't tempt him anymore. He'd been there, and it was a nightmare.
     April, however, is a woman! A beautiful woman, an incredible woman, a woman he could never think of doing like he did Nadine. April is not that kind of person--she's too good for such filth. Yann could see it in her eyes, the way they shined when she smiled at him coming down the hill that morning. Like an angel.
     The island gets smaller and the lips get bigger. Those luscious, perfect lips, floating on the horizon before him! What he would give to kiss those lips! Maybe he'd even give his life for a kiss. Just a kiss, to be graced by a kiss.
     But this, of course, is what all the men want. Yann knows his visions are nothing special. They are all in love with April--she is the siren of the island. The fishermen had become respectful. They'd make comments about porking the Virgin from behind, but no such words were ever uttered of April, worshipped by all men.
     What a gorgeous day, Yann thinks. It's the first warm day this spring. He takes off his shirt and lets the sun begin to burn his skin, as he drifts with his music. Bubba used to call him a fag for playing the accordion, but nobody else ever complained. Radio reception isn't very good on the ocean, except for a couple classic rock stations which come in fuzzy, so the sailors always welcome the sound. Yann plays on.
     Every song Yann plays is for April. He imagines himself serenading her. He imagines himself doing chores for her. He imagines himself at her feet. He wants to be her dog.
     But then he begins to think again about Nadine. That was a complete mistake! He should've never gone to dinner at her place. Just thinking of that animal act makes the gall rise in his throat. Never again, he thinks. But still, it was good to get his rocks off...

     At that very moment, Nadine is in the marketplace picking through a pile of melons. She picks one up.
     "Too ripe!" a crotchety voice tells her.
     Nadine looks up. It's Mother Kralik, still pissed off about the cave. Nadine can tell from the tone of her voice. She ignores the old bag, and puts the melon down. She picks up another one.
     "Too young!" Mother Kralik snaps.
     Nadine puts it down and goes for another.
     "Too round!" Mother Kralik says with increasing disgust.
     Defiantly, Nadine grabs a random melon. The moment she touches it, Mother Kralik's bony hand grabs the melon away from her. Nadine spins to face her.
     Mother Kralik, however, doesn't say anything. She just holds the melon in front of her face and burns a scowl across its rind. She is breathing hard to control her rage, and her sinuses are whistling. Then she turns the melon over, revealing a dark, rotten bruise.
     "Too bruised," Mother Kralik says, her nasty brown tooth appearing for a second.
     Nadine grabs for the melon but Mother Kralik pulls it away. They stare each other down, both of their eyes burning with hatred. Mother Kralik smiles, but Nadine keeps her face emotionless. It's obvious who is playing with who. Mother Kralik grunts, puts the melon back, and walks away.
     Exhaling annoyance, Nadine goes back to picking through the pile. She picks a melon up and inspects it for faults. It passes the inspection. She places it in her basket and looks at the form pulling up alongside her. It's that rich bitch April, smiling at her.
     From April's viewpoint, Nadine is the youngest female she's met on the island so far, and intriguing for this reason. April also notes that Nadine's dress is green, whereas the surly old women smoking cigs across the pile are dressed in depressing brown and black.
     Nadine smiles back, just to be polite. Why shouldn't she be polite? Especially since Mother Kralik, Widow O'Reilly, Widow Flanahan, and her mother are watching? So she even embellishes it a bit, just to piss them off--to see her being friendly with the rich bitch.
     To April though, the smile is sincere, and there's something about all those teeth. April doesn't know it, but the reason why many of the old people have lost their teeth and many of the younger ones have most of their teeth is because of toothpaste, which made its debut on the island in the sixties.
     To Nadine, on the other hand, April's smile is insincere. To Nadine, April's smile is saying, "Hello you simple little thing, with your simple little dress and your simple little tits, looking for some simple food to make a simple supper with." But still, Nadine also recognizes something in April which is reaching out to communicate with her--probably because they're not so far apart in age.      
     April settles on a melon. But before she can pick it up, Nadine's hand gently lands on top of hers. They are both immediately conscious of this action, the heat of each other's flesh, and the fact that they are touching. Neither of them move their hand.
     Slowly, seductively, April raises her eyes from the melon, and locks them questioningly on Nadine, who has a peculiar grin on her face. Nadine nods at the melon.
     Spooning April's hand in hers, Nadine rotates the melon. A big, rotten bruise is revealed. It's the melon she and Mother Kralik had been squabbling over.
     April sees the bruise and is appreciative. She flutters her eyelids a bit, and nods thankfully, pursing her lips. Nadine's eyes respond to this, shining brightly back. She takes her hand off Nadine's and reaches into her basket.
     Without a word, Nadine take her own flawless melon out and hands it to April, who accepts. They regard each other for an unusual amount of time, both of them grinning. And then, simultaneously, both of them burst out laughing, as if sharing a secret joke.
     They laugh and laugh and laugh. They laugh up a storm, and every time they try to stop, they burst out guffawing again. They laugh until they cry, both of them holding their sides. April, however, has to reposition her hands to hold her crotch to keep herself from peeing. This makes them both laugh harder. They call attention to themselves.

     "Great," Mother Kralik whispers to Widow Murphy. "Just great. Slut meets slut! Sluts laugh their asses off! Sluts become friends! Just perfect!..."
     Nadine's mother stares straight ahead. The other hags cackle with agreement.
     "I'll tell you what..." Mother Kralik continues, "that slut daughter of yours thinks she's really happy now. Oh yes, she's really really happy... she thinks she's found a friend. She might even have a bit of an eye for that hussie too. But I'll tell you what... that little slut of yours, she's only happy cuz she thinks things are equal with that rich bitch, but that's where she's wrong! Dead wrong!"
     Widow Murphy starts to drool as Mother Kralik hawks up some phlegm, then spits it at her feet.
     "I'll guarantee you this," Mother Kralik tells the hags, shaking her cig in Nadine's direction, "that rich bitch with the fat tits'll have that little slut washing her ass before too long! Yep, she'll be licking her ass, you just watch! I guarantee it--that's what always happens when slut meets slut! Mark my words. You'll see!"
     Nadine and April begin to recover from their bout of laughter. They shake their heads and look at each other, too exhausted to start up again. If someone were to make a fart-noise, they would both lose it completely--which is the look they are warning each other with: Don't say anything funny!
     April leans forward and places a hand on Nadine's shoulder, and Nadine smiles back. It seems as if they're instant friends, because suddenly they hug--laughing about their laughter, but this time with a different laughter--a more-controlled, subdued laughter.
     "Gimme a fucking break," Mother Kralik says, flicking her butt onto the pavement. She turns and waddles away and the other hags follow. Widow Murphy is left alone, a strand of saliva hanging from her chin.

                         Chum IX

A couple afternoons later, Yann's boat comes back. They'd filled their boat with an unorthodox meat, in a not-too-orthodox way. After finding a spot with a lot of deep down activity on their fish radar, they dropped in a bunch of putrid cod carcasses weighted down by cinderblocks, and let it all sink to the bottom. Then they dropped in their blood-bombs, which are 55-gallon drums full of chum, sealed shut, then shot full of holes. The barrels sank, releasing bright clouds of fetid fluids, exciting the sharks into a frenzy. After enough were attracted, the fishermen dropped the depth-charges in. When they hit the bottom and went off, hundreds of mudshark, dogfish, manta rays and skates floated toward the surface. The men up top shot all the injured fish and gathered the bodies blasted by the shock. Such fishing methods, of course, were illegal in international waters, but there was no authority in the vicinity to enforce anything--and besides, who cares what dogs eat in Russia and Japan?
     Hefting his duffel-bag over a shoulder, his accordion hanging off his other, Yann walks off the dock and starts up the hill. There is one thing on his mind: April Berger.
     Then he sees Nadine coming straight for him with a mop slung over her shoulder. He considers slipping behind a dumpster, but she has already spotted him. She is marching furiously, with a pack of old women at her heels, still dressed in their cannery smocks.
     "Hey!" Mother Kralik calls after her, twisting her wrists. "Where you going little miss scrub-bitch!? That sure is a nice mop you've got there? Do you use that to douche the rich bitch with!?"
     "Yeah!" Widow O'Reilly puts in. "You better hurry up, chop chop! Wouldn't want to upset the boss!"
     "Hurry up, hurry up!" Widow Flanahan adds. "A servant's work is never done!"
     Even Nadine's mother is there, following the women. She isn't saying anything, but it's clear whose side she's on.
     "Fuck All Y'All!" Nadine screams, turning to face them. She is only twenty steps away from Yann. Then she throws her mop at them, spins, runs to Yann, grabs his arm, and leads him away. And he goes with her, so as not to further embarrass her.
     "What was that all about?" Yann asks, as they round the corner.
     "They're just giving me shit because I've gotta better job than them," Nadine says, fuming.
     "Doing what?"
     "Working for April. She's living here on the island now, you know. We hit it off the other day. Now we're tight..."
     Yann seems impressed, which, of course, is what Nadine was hoping for.
     "So you ummm... mop?" he asks.
     "I do whatever she says to do," Nadine tells him. This isn't the direction she wanted their conversation to go. They stop in front of the Post Office. "She wants me to pick up her mail. C'mon."
     Nadine leads Yann into the office.
     "I'm 'sposed to pick up some packages for April Berger," Nadine tells the clerk.
     "Ahh," he says, "the new girl. She's quite a popular gal. I've got some letters here for her too."
     The clerk hands her a gargantuan bundle of envelopes bound by the largest rubber-band Yann has ever seen in his life. He sets down his load as Nadine starts going through the letters, all of them with yellow forwarding stickers indicating a change of address. Nadine peels one back and sees an L.A. address. She starts going through the letters, reading the return addresses off:
     "New York, Minnesota, Colorado, Manitoba... London, Arizona, Toronto, Rhode Island... what's the deal with her?"
     "Maybe she's gotta lotta pen-pals," Yann suggests.
     "Maybe the whole world knows who she is... and maybe we don't know shit!"
     "I thought you guys were buddies..."
     Nadine doesn't comment. She continues to look through the pile as Yann shifts his weight from side to side, wondering what he's doing with this loon... who... really... doesn't have such a badly shaped ass...
     The clerk comes back with four big boxes piled on a dolly.
     "Well," he says, "here's her mail. If you want to leave a couple and come back later--"
     "No," Nadine says, placing the letters on the top box and hefting it off the pile, "We'll take them all now. Come on, Yann."
     Nadine starts walking toward the door. For a second, Yann hesitates. He looks at the three big boxes wondering if he can balance them all, and then he looks at his stuff.
     "Don't worry about your gear," the clerk tells him, "you can leave it here. I'll be open for another hour."
     Yann nods, and picks up the boxes. They wobble precariously, but he manages to follow Nadine out the door.
     Out in the street, Nadine picks up the pace, walking briskly up the hill. Yann struggles behind her, hardly able to see around his load. The wind is blowing hard, which doesn't make it any easier. They eventually make it to April's house.
     April is out front kneeling by some tulips, a garden-shovel in her hand. Next to her is a wheelbarrow full of flowers for planting. The ones that have already been planted are bending severely in the wind.
     When April sees Nadine and Yann she jumps up and brushes off her hands.
     "Oh goodie, goodie, goodie!" April sings.
     Nadine hands April her bundle of letters. April looks at them, then tosses them into the wheelbarrow. She grabs the top box from Yann.
     "Oh thank you so much Yann," she coos, "you're such a dear."
     Nadine mimics April behind her back, but nobody sees this. Where April learned Yann's name, neither Nadine nor Yann know. She must've asked around.
     Meanwhile, April has already started tearing into the box. Yann sets the other two down.
     "Oh look!" April gasps, producing a stuffed elephant, "It's Elphy! Oh Elphy, I've missed you so!"
     April starts dancing around the yard with Elphy. She sings to it.
     "Hi Elphy, hi Elphy, hi Elphy... Oh Elphy, Elphy, Elphy..."
     Yann and Nadine turn toward each other and share a look of wary uncertainty. April goes back to the box and starts digging through it. She pulls out newspaper wads put in there for packing, which are blown away by the wind when she drops them on the lawn.
     "And look!" she cries, pulling out a stuffed rabbit, "Bun-bun's here too. Hi Bun-bun!"
     April makes Bun-bun do a little dance. Then she puts it in Yann's face and repeats the dance. Yann laughs, and she hands it off to Nadine, without even looking at her, and goes back to the box.
     "And Brown Bear's here, and Pookie! My friends! My friends have come! It's been such a long time since I've seen them--well, that's not true. I did see them last Christmas but that was... Oh, where's Bun-bun?"
     April looks around for Bun-bun, then sees it in Nadine's hands.
     "Oh, you're hurting Bun-bun!" April cries.
     Everyone looks at Bun-bun. Nadine is wringing its neck.
     "Oh, sorry," Nadine says, and hands it back to April, who dismisses this, and repeats the Bun-bun dance.
     "Hi Bun-bun, how are you?" April asks it, then turns to Yann who is showing some interest. "Bun-bun's the oldest of them all. When I was a little girl, Bun-bun used to have beads for eyes... but I think I accidentally swallowed one, so Mommy had these google-eyes sewn on. Not that I wouldn't've swallowed google-eyes, but I guess they didn't attract me as much. I mean, kids don't want to eat google-eyes, they want to eat candy!"
     Yann is watching April's lips. They are opening and closing, opening and closing...
     "And everyone knows that beads look more like candy than google-eyes do," April rambles on. "Don't you think so Yann? Well, I can't really say for sure. Maybe candy these days looks more like google-eyes than beads do. I mean, candy can be gross these days. I remember this kind of candy that used to come in a little plastic trash can. Do you remember that stuff, it was called..."
     Yann is staring hard at April, nodding at everything she says. Nadine wishes she had that stupid rabbit in her hands again.
     "...Garbage!" April says, "I think, or something like that. Maybe it was called Trash. I can't remember, it had like little sugar beer cans in it, and bad cabbage and stuff. But that's beside the point! The point being, I am so glad to have my aminals here! Didn't you used to have any aminals when you were a little boy Yann? My big brother used to have a stuffed bat, if you can imagine that. I was the baby of the family if you haven't guessed already. It was actually a pretty cute bat though... for a bat. My brother used to take that bat everywhere. That bat's name was Herman. Oh, you should meet my kitty Poo-poo. Yoo-hoo Poo-poo, where are you? I guess she's not around right now. But back to Herman: Herman! Isn't that a whacky name for a bat?"
     "Yeah," Yann agrees, totally involved in April's little-girl world, "Herman's a weird name... for a bat."
     "No it ain't," Nadine breaks in. April and Yann turn toward her. By the startled expressions on their faces, it's as if they'd forgotten she was there.
     "It's not a weird name," Nadine says, trying to control her rage, "It's a good name for a bat. All bat's are named Herman."
     Yann and April give each other a confused look. Then Yann sees something and his eyebrows rise. He instantly becomes excited, and starts to run in one direction, but comically turns in the other. It's a Jerry Lewis move, but real. April laughs.
     Yann runs over to the rockpile in the corner of the yard and gathers up an armful of rubble. He comes back, drops to his knees, and immediately starts constructing a windbreak around a flower which is being battered by the wind.
     "Oh Yanny!" April immediately shouts with glee, "How thoughtful of you!"
     Nadine snarls and turns away. Nobody notices. She goes stomping out of the gate, and turns around. Still, they haven't noticed that she's leaving. Yann is building another windbreak and April is clasping her hands endearingly.
     "You fucking rich bitch..." Nadine sneers beneath her breath, "I'll... I'll... I'll..."
     But she can't think of what she'll do. And besides, she wouldn't have the courage to tell them anyway. So she clicks the gate shut and stomps off down the hill.     

                         Chum X

In the morning, having laid there half the night staring at the ceiling, she knows she has to take action. Nadine gets out of bed and affectionately addresses the fetus she envisions inside her.
     "Don't worry you little shit, we'll get him yet."
     Nadine wakes her mother up by kicking at her door, then puts some water on to boil. She looks around at the kitchen: it's a mess. Now that her mother is a virtual vegetable, nothing ever gets done around the house.
     Her mother comes out and they stare at each other.
     "What the fuck are you looking at?" Nadine greets her, and makes the coffee. They sit down and glare across the table at each other.

     Later, as she's leading her mother to work (the factory having declared that any moron can sit on an assembly line), her plan begins to form. By the time she drops her mother off with Mother Kralik and the other widows, she knows what she will say.      Determined, Nadine marches straight over to Yann's trailer and bangs on the door. Nobody answers. She shoves the door open. The place is dark and empty. It's seven in the morning, why wouldn't he be here? She's checked on his schedule and he isn't going out to sea for two more days.
     "He's with that rich bitch..." she tells her imaginary child, and looks around for something to smash. She particularly wants to smash his accordion, but it isn't there. Nor is his bag he got off the boat with.
     "That Fucking Slut!" Nadine screams, and goes for his toaster, but stops herself. What's she going to do, toss it through the window? That might not look too good. Trembling, she turns and leaves.
     Nadine sets a collision course on April's house, but pauses when she passes the Post Office. She looks through the window and sees Yann's duffel-bag and accordion still there, where he left them the afternoon before.
     "Rrrrrr!" Nadine growls. She starts to wonder if she would really kill that rich bitch--because that's what she's seeing in her head: bursting through April's front door, charging up the stairs, she finds them together in bed, then goes to town with a machete! But first she has to get a machete.
     Nadine decides to play it by ear. Maybe what she's thinking is not the way it is--which has happened before. She can feel the blood pulsing in her head as she nears April's fence.
     And there he is, the big lout! On his hands and knees, patting the earth around a flower. April's yard is covered with flowers, hundreds of them: tulips, roses, lilies, blossoms of all sorts. And all of them, protected by windbreaks made from rock.
     Yann stands up and brushes the dirt off his hands. He's wearing a jacket, so this means he probably went home at some point. Plus, it also looks like he went down to the market and picked up a couple more loads of flowers. He looks around, admiring his work.
     "Hey," Nadine says, her voice cracking.
     Yann is startled. He didn't know she was watching him.
     "Well, how does it look?" he asks, gesturing around him.
     "Why the hell did you do this?" Nadine demands.
     "For the flowers," Yann cheerfully answers.
     "The flowers?"
     "Yeah, the flowers."
     Nadine hesitates, then lets it out: "What are you!? Some sort of Shithead!? You got shit for brains or something!? Where's your brain at!?"
     Yann hears Bubba in Nadine and lowers his head. "I did it for the flowers..." he guiltily replies.
     "Cuz I'll be damned if I marry a Goddamned Shitferbrains!" Nadine tells him.
     "Yeah! Marry! I mean, that's why we're together, ain't it? Don't go telling me you ain't fixing on marrying me! You fucked me Yann! You fucked me good! Are you telling me that you fucked me and you never even wanted to marry me!? Is that what you're trying to tell me!?"
     Yann raises his eyes. She's standing there with her hands on her hips glaring bullets at him. Man, he never should of gone there...
     "No," he says.
     "Are you trying to tell me that all I am to you is some sleazy fishtown whore!? Is that what you're trying to tell me!?"
     "No... I never said that..."
     Then she drops the bomb.
     "Yann," she tells him, "you knocked me up!"
     His jaw drops, his eyes go wide.
     "You?... how?..."
     "Cuz Shitferbrains, you didn't fuck me in the fucking asshole like you should've! And you didn't wear no rubber! You fucked me in my fucking cunt, with fucking cum all over your Rapist Dick!"
     Luckily for Yann, nobody is up or out on the streets to hear this. Especially April.
     "But that was just a few days ago..."
     "Are you calling me a liar? Don't you think a woman knows her own body better than some man!? Are you saying you know my body better than me!? Haw! How dare you stick your slimy dick in me and cream and get me preggie, then go and call me a liar!?"
     "I'm not saying that..."
     "Come here!"
     Yann obeys, and walks up to the fence.
     "From now on we're engaged! Got it?"
     "Yes! Now get down on your knees and do it proper!"
     Yann figures he could do it, or not do it. If he does it, maybe she'll shut up and he can think about this, and figure something out. But if he doesn't do it, then she's gonna fly off the handle and wake April up. And though he knows he should choose the latter, he'd rather have her just calm down, because it means more for him to please April than it does for him to please Nadine--who is obviously delusional anyway.
     Knowing he's fucking up, Yann gets down on his knees.
     "That's right," Nadine says, "on your knees scumdog! Now do it! Fucking propose to me!"
     Yann crosses his fingers behind his back. Nobody would ever believe her anyway. Besides, if it came to that, he'd lie. He has no intention of marrying her--which is the truth he will swear by.
     "Ummm... since you're gonna be a mom, and cuz I'm gonna be a dad... I guess..."
     "Just Fucking Say It!"
     Yann is glad she's on the other side of the fence, because if anybody saw this it would look like he was working on the flowers.
     "Ummm... will you like... like marry me Nadine?"
     "Yes! Now stop gruvling around and get up, and give me a proper engagement-type kiss GodFuckingDammit!"
     Yann stands up, and hesitates. He waits a few seconds, wondering if he should. Nadine's eyes get angrier and angrier. Then, they both hear April behind them.
     "Yoo hoo," she calls, "good morning!"
     They both turn and see her in her doorway, holding her kitten. She's in her bathrobe and not too awake yet. She steps out on the porch and looks around.
     "Oh my God Yanny!" she says. "What did you do? Oh Poo-poo, look what he did! The yard looks gorgeous! Oh Yanny! You sweet sweet man! I had no idea you were out here all night! Oh, it looks fantastic, I'm so touched! What a sweet sweet gesture!"
     Nadine looks at Yann. He's wearing a very dumb-looking grin on his face, staring dreamily at April. Nadine starts to fume so hard she surprises herself by not exploding.
     "Oh," April says, "and there you are too, Nadine, just in time. I was thinking you could do the windows today. There's a bucket in the bathroom upstairs and some Windex too. I've got some rags under the sink. After that, I'll find some other chores for you. Don't you think the yard looks great?"
     "Yeah," Nadine says, swinging open the gate. She walks up to April, walks past her, and into the house. She finds herself walking upstairs to start work--but goes to the window to spy before she begins.
     Down below, April is jabbering away at a hundred miles per hour and Yann is staring at her. He's focussed on her lips, but Nadine thinks it's her tits. She sees April put down the cat, run into the house, then run back with her purse. She pulls out some bills.
     "Come on Yann," she says, holding the money toward him, "take the money. Take it for the work you've done! You've been so good, take the money. Come on, take it! It's nothing to me, I'm sure you could use it more than me."
     Yann shakes his head, refusing to accept. He looks at his shoes and doesn't say anything, while Nadine, above, restrains herself from opening the window and yelling down at him, "Take the money you idiot! We're gonna need diapers!"
     Then she sees April put her hands on her hips and playfully admonish Yann. He still won't accept the money--and Nadine hopes this is because he's so absorbed in his engagement that he can't think straight. But then April saunters toward him like the whore she is, and suddenly throws her arms around him.
     "You're a wonderful wonderful man, Yann," she tells him, and kisses him on the cheek. Nadine sees her slide the money into his back pocket and slap him on the ass.
     At this point, Nadine sees red. She's heard the expression before, but now she's finding out what it means. Everything goes bright dark red--and she feels a twitching in her neck. A twitching that feels like it could take her over if she let it.
     "Rrrrrrr!" Nadine growls. If she doesn't smash something soon, who knows what she'll do?
     April's kitten trots into the room and rubs up against her. Purring, it looks up at Nadine, so trusting and small and fragile. She bends down and picks it up.
     "Hi kitty," Nadine says to the cat.

          (to be continued÷)

     Oi Vay! What Orgiastic Storm is Approaching! What porn shall be born upon the isle? What will happen to April's precious pussy? What Horror? What Fish? What Ripe Juicy Melons?

     Well, there's only one way to find out: Tune in Next Time, or buy the book, to be published in the filthy future (scheduled for spring 2001), by Zoland Books, Zoland Books, ZOLAND BOOKS!!!


Collected Poems of Georges Bataille
Bottom Feeder

The Church, by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

Chapbooks: Motorhead and Notch of the Sorceress (send $5 for each title to MuscleHead Press, 3700 County Rd. Route 24, Russell, NY, 13684).



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