Nov. 04, 2009

Chapter 3: Murder House

So, yeah, fine. I'm getting ready for this stupid scifi night thing tonight. You win, stupid internal Rose Monster, with all your needs and boredoms. I'll have you yet. Just you wait.

But, anyway, it turns out the place is on 9th Street, just a couple of blocks from my building, so it's practically a walk anyway. Google Maps shows this big, bright yellow building with a fire hydrant out front being eaten alive by a rampage of undergrowth. And, there's also an extremely blurry bicyclist camouflaging the door. If there even is a door. Plus, when I rotate, there's this kid in a minivan on the Google's left, this pudgy-faced little boy, who is totally flipping me off. A more welcoming house has ne'er been seen.

I flip him off back.

You can't scare me off that easily, Mystery Demon Spawn!

So, the card says every Tuesday at 7pm, plus bring snacks, so on my way out, I stop by Safeway on the corner and grab some chips and salsa. For my own protection, I also buy one of those fake cell phone thingies that give this crazy loud annoying ring whenever you press a button, so it's like, "Sorry, guys! The only people who know this number are my most immediate and most prone-to-death family members, and... I'm sure they're all still clinging to their final threads of life, and... Hello? ... OH NO! ... I'm... I'm coming right away. ... Sorry, everyone, my Uncle Ivan was eaten alive by a rabidly confused elephant! ... he always so loved the safari... Bye!" Or, plus, you can keep pretending to try to turn it off until people are so pissed off at you, they stop trying to bother you anyway. The cold shoulder is sometimes a salvation.

I get the phone that plays half the "Livin' La Vida Loca" chorus before starting over.

And then, I head out into the oncoming disaster.


It turns out, it's a dark red door, like blood red. And, I think that there's a species of weed in the lawn that has achieved sentience and is pissed off that it's still stuck in the ground. Pissed off and wanting revenge. Pissed off and experimenting with motion. (Isn't that, after all, how flight was invented?) There's no doorbell. I knock on the apparently hollow wood.

The door opens of someone else's volition.

He is balding and wearing elf ears. His glasses might be larger than his face. He looks at me like Professor Snape looks at the world, and says, "Ah. Yes."

A voice from behind, a high-pitched male voice says, "Is she here? Is, is she finally here?"

Dr. Balderstein McCreepy says, without turning his face or blinking his eyes, "Yes, apparently." And then, "Come in."

I say, "Umm..."

The Creepster says, "Quickly." And then, "Kids."

I am not a kid, you eary bastard! I say, "I'm here for..."

Ol' Baldy says, "Yes, you're here for our... movie night." He snickers, then cranes his head directly in front of mine and peers from side to side. "Now, please," a dark smile slinks onto his face, "come in."

You know how they tell you when you're a kid that, when there's this dangerous situation, you'll hear these, like, bells going off in your head, and there'll be this big flashing sign reading, "Yarr! This way be death!" well, that's not exactly right. It's more this faint notion that your parents are really disappointed in you right now as you walk into a house that practically advertises itself as a murder factory.

And, the place is all mostly dark. Great. There's just the faint, moving light of a TV up ahead somewhere.

Vampire, the Balding Sensation of the North, says, from behind me, "You will be famished." Yeah, so will you.

I say, "I... uhh... I brought chips."

We're entering a larger room, which contains the TV and also a couple of couches, one with a sprout of hair sticking up from in front of it.

The hair says, "Chips? You won't be needing those where you're going!"

The voice of balding death from behind me says, "Shh! The door has been shut for mere seconds! You know how they can hear through time!"

The hair says, "Oh opened the door to let her in? Let's just invite death to come and join us!"

Death, who has come to join them and is closer behind me than ever, says, "You've been out too long, Apoc, She can't travel like us, yet."

Like us? Holy shit. You know how your parents tell you that when you encounter a band of ghosts, bells will go off in your head, and there'll be this big flashing sign reading, "Run for you life! Booooo!" WELL THAT IS COMPLETELY RIGHT HOLY SHIT

Apoc says, "Well, perfect then. Shall we get started." Exactly like that, not even a fucking question.

Other guy says, "Yes. Girl, we'll need you to-" his hand hits my back.

An icy finger, the poison, begins to spread across my body.

I've got the poison now.


I turn around. I'm shaking like an eight ball.

I say, "AAAAAHHHH!!!" and you know what screw you, I jump on him and unleash my own poison. I'm taking you down, I'm taking you down, when I go down. "I'm taking you down, you bald son of a bitch!"

My bag falls on the ground with a THUNK, and suddenly there's a new sound.

Upside, inside out she's livin' la vida loca

Apoc, from behind, says, "Wow, wait!"

She'll push and pull you down, livin' la vida loca

Death grabs my wrists, and he's staring straight into my face, a complete shadow, and all shadows behind him.

Her lips are devi- Upside, inside out she's livin' la vida loca

He says, "Stop. Resisting." I spit at him.

But, it lands on my chin.

She'll push and pull you down, livin' la vida loca

Another, different, familiar voice comes from behind. "What the Hell is going on here?"

Her lips are devi-

Apoc says, "Sen! Holy shit! She just, like, attacked Stan."

Stan, apparently, lets go of my wrists. I fall down.

Sen says, "Oh, fuck you, Gully." I can hear her voice approaching as it continues. I'm in this, like, hyper-reflexive protective ball. "You guys did you're stupid freaky-" she's right above me now, "-let's weird out the newcomers thing." I peak up as she punches Stan (apparently) in the shoulder (and he says "Oww"), "And you probably took it way too far."

Yeah, so I can't help it. I start crying.


The guy, who's apparently Gully and not Apoc at all, got Sen's yelling for about ten seconds before he broke down and started apologizing, and he's apologized about a hundred times now, which is, like, a hundred more times than Stan has said even anything. He's just brooding in the corner. Completely ignoring me and, basically, Sen too. It's like he was the one who was scared to death by total strangers in a fucking murder house.

Sen makes me some tea, and I don't hear half of what she says, but I say, "yes" enough times that it becomes clear even to me that I'm not leaving.

She says, "I was hoping you'd come last week. We watched Gamera vs. Zigra. Anything modern, and these guys get pretty into it." She devotes a second to glare at each of them. "We've managed to scare off everyone else."

I say, "I'm not surprised..."

Sen says, "Well, you know how it is. Sci fi night gets less fun, so suddenly you miss one night and it's not a big deal, and then you never go again." She sighs. "Plus, Stan eats brains."

Stan is staring off into nowhere, but he licks his lips. I stand up for the thirty-seventh time to leave.

Sen says, "Wait! Sorry, just kidding." She smiles. "Anyway, it's gotten a teeny bit late, but, if you're up for it, we're really a lot of fun during the actual watching. And, 'The Matrix' is... " She raises her voic

Gully says, "Oh, definitely. Your tea'll still be hot," and when I don't respond, "they call it a hot-tea movie, 'cuz if you've got a hot-tea at the beginning, you'll have a hot-tea at the end!"

And, secretly, you know why I'm going to stay and watch this fucking movie? Because of Gully's laugh at his joke. Seriously, his voice is like an tenor, but his laugh is like a bass. It's like this:

... only, like, ten times lower. It's like he's an ent, and most of the time, he's got Merry sitting on his branches chatting away, but when he laughs, you hear the sound of a thousand years. (Also kinda like someone who really can't play the trumpet very well.)

Anyway, it and the tea combined have somewhat soothed my nerves, and maybe this isn't the worst night of my entire life. So, I say, "Sure... Let's watch."

Nov. 05, 2009 →



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