EDIT: Nevermind. Apparently I just had an html error. All one chapter now.
"I haven't had a drink in nineteen days..."
Nineteen days indeed.
So came the poorly-imitated voice of Colin Raye's "Little Rock" warbled from the overweight--but dressed as if she wasn't--whale on stage who had always dreamed of being a country singer, but instead is just a prime candidate to be laughed off the stage of American Idol auditions, from which she then goes home and indulges on a gallon of Ben and Jerry's I'm a Fatass flavored ice cream and dying from taking too many crybaby pills in her bed which sags to the floor beneath her crushing weight until the medical examiner brings the crane the next morning to have her removed for burial in a ditch somewhere beside a road never traveled. Except by Robert Frost.
"You saw all of that?" asked Shadow with true incredulity.
"Sure," said Jenn, smiling.
"What about this guy?" asked Tara.
"I can't be held responsible....'cuz she was touchin' her face. I won't be held responsible,"
The horrible screaming, intense voice of the kid with too-long, grungy hair, ripped jeans, holding the mic in both hands while his eyes closed--further leading to the intense vibe he was going for--singing Verve Pipe's "The Freshman" cut through the air like the cocaine-laced razor that would surely do its work on his inner thigh later on when he went and hung out with his antiestablishment crowd that thought the definition of fun was sitting around making one-liner jokes about old movies and old video games that they thought they had just made up, but had actually been around for years and scoffed at because they were dumb then and most certainly were dumb now until the cops came by, busted them for possession of illicit substances, booked them and threw them in a cell containing a toilet with no lid just to scare them, but he freaks out so much that he begins crying like a baby and hanging himself with the spiked belt he wears but never buckles to keep his pants up because he can't face going to prison and getting assraped like the bitch he is.
"Wow," said Miracle Man, unimpressed as usual, until he went home and found that his Diet Dr. Pepper had been switched out with sugar water which would send him into a diabetic coma for five years when he would wake up only to find that The 'Fax now ruled the world and broadcast "Hey Lawrence" running in a 24-hour loop on all television and radio channels in the world for all time.
"Okay, no more of that, seriously," said Double M with true terror.
"Can we have Jason on stage again? Jason, come to the stage!"
"Miracle Man says 'nay!'" shouted Larnce at the top of his lungs, standing so roughly that he shoved his stool back into a particularly hot-looking honey with a dental floss-sized mesh top over her chest. She glared at him as only the aesthetically gifted can.
"He just sang!" said Shadow, joining in the 2nd Continental Congress of Never Letting Franklin on the Stage Again.
Yea, verily, in the two months that Franklin had been on stage singing "Stairway to Heaven", Shadow had lost fifty pounds and switched back to the team of Heterosexuals. It most certainly was not time for him to sing again, not if they wanted to get married, have kids, and a job before they died.
"Just kidding," came the asshole KJ's voice. "It's actually Momo. Momo, make your way to the stage."
While breathing a collective sigh of relief, Momo stood up nervously, blew a kiss at Shadow, then lifted an eyebrow, shook her head as if just realizing that she was now in the Matrix, and made bold strides through the sea of drunk and scrutinizing glances.
"What'd she end up picking to sing?" asked Tara.
"No idea," said Shadow.
"Ask this one," said Larnce, giving a caustic nod to Jenn. "She's the future seer."
Jenn, however, said nothing. She merely watched the stage, as, strangely, everyone else in the bar, including the bartender, had begun to do.
The lights dimmed and a slow piano started and Momo began to sing. "Last night, I waved goodbye, now it seems years. I'm back in the city, where nothing is clear..."
"MANILOW?!" cried Larnce.
"Looks like," said Tara.
"Good song," murmured Shadow quietly.
"Yup," said Franklin.
"Time in New England took me away, to long, rocky beaches and you by the bay. We started a story whose end must now wait..."
The bar was a tableau of unmoving faces, faces that streamed with tears as Momo belted into the mic Barry Manilow's song of regret and nostalgia, a song so powerful that even the burliest biker in the establishment set down his shiev in reverence. Even the Smoke deferred and settled down to the floor, creating an atmosphere more akin to cheaply made haunted houses around Halloween time than a karaoke bar.
"Round of shots!" said Franklin, banging his hand on the table for no reason at all.
No one paid him any mind.
"I don't care who you are!" I screamed, angry at the fact that my ninety degree hot tub in ninety degree weather enjoyment had been stripped from me, as well as the fact that I just don't enjoy crazy shit like that happening for no reason. If I'd wanted crazy shit, I'd have gone to hang out with my uncle Jim.
The self-proclaimed Tango just smiled and proceeded to shake a stunned Goji's hand. The Boss's hat had flown into a tree with the previous spume of water and he was now straddling the thing, lumberjack style, trying to scale it to get the hat down.
"Yeah, yeah, welcome," he said, "but no more of that, please. If I wanted explosions, I'd just put Fax on the job."
"Shut up, animal lover," I said.
"You know it," he said.
Gun, on the other hand, had the annoying ability to come out looking fresh and clean, water sparkling in his hair just like in those jeri curl commercials of the eighties. He gave a polite nod to Tango while wiping his sword down with a black hanky he'd produced from God knows where.
Ashkta, Desi, and Pope, however, were in no mood to greet anyone. The ensuing geyser had doused every piece of high-tech equipment out on the deck, as well as soaked Ashkta's book to the spine.
"No!" said Pope, "Why would you do that!"
"Dammit, my purse is wet," said Desi in a rare, multi-word sentence.
And lastly, Faux was nowhere to be seen, which was good, since she was a ninja and that was generally the duty of a ninja, to not be seen, but something told me this was the bad kind of unseen. The kind of unseen that happens when your daughter that you sent off to school as normal but never showed up because some crazy pedophile picked her up with the promise of an acting career but really just threw her in his van, had his way with her, then tossed her in a forgotten ditch along with Fatty McTubbs who sings things like Colin Raye's "Little Rock."
Suddenly, from the house burst forth like lightning, a balding, tall old man, armed with the most advanced vacuum cleaner I'd ever seen.
"Pope!" cried the crazy hermit known as Pope's dad, or Porter.
Without a word, he hit the power on the vacuum and proceeded to vacuum the wooden deck that was outside of all the water from the hot tub and then, like a flash, disappeared back inside.
"Seriously, Pope, your dad's crazy," I said.
"And when will I hold you again....."
"You guys hear that?" said Gun, ears perked up like a dog hearing a cat walking on a sidewalk outside and needs his master's permission to go after it like a shot.
"Hear what?" asked Goji, swinging limb from limb like an addlepated monkey, his hat just out of reach.
"Sounded like Manilow."
"MANILOW?!" I said. "You could just be gay, Gun. You know, I've got a friend..."
"I feel the change comin'. I feel the wind blow. I feel brave and daring. I feel my blood flow...."
"Fuck, now I'm hearing it," I said. "Keep me out of your gay fantasies, asshole."
"I hear it, too," said Pope.
"Who's Manilow?" asked Desi.
"There's our girl," I mumbled.
"Still not hearing anything," said Goji, reaching out his meaty hand for his hat but sadly, just like fame, fortune, and a successful relationship, it remained out of reach.
"And tell me...when will our eyes meet.."
"Hearing it," said Goji, tumbling to the ground with a thud. Squirrels everywhere giggled at his plight.
Gun's nose, ever the hunter, was in the air, sniffing it, as if you could smell music, especially the spectral kind, but it was Gun and questions got you gutted.
What happened next was irrelevant. I was staring at Gun and then I wasn't. Not because I looked away, but more because he just wasn't there anymore. I heard Tango giggling even as Pope and Desi popped out of my sight. Ashtka next, though I swear her glare remained like some deformed Cheshire Cat.
Tango vanished next and then the world, like my sex life, disappated like smoke on the wind.
Sweet Dreams stood empty. The entire bar looked as if it had been vacated faster than one of those sunday buffets that fat people go to after church, the ones where they come back with three steaming plates of garbage that only serves to increase their body fat, ergo their appetite, turning them into hogbeasts so huge that no child is safe from their gluttonous tyranny.
Cigarette butts and beer bottles littered the ground like any place packed on a Saturday night, but there was no one to show for it.
No one save Momo. In her big voice she sang, "When will this strong yearning end...and when will I hold yooooooooooouuuu.....again........again.
As the song ended, she bowed her head and placed the microphone back in its stand, and collapsed.
END EPISODE 2