Used To, You Could Tell By The Black Hat

I drink my tea amidst an endless stream of noxious revelry, pantomiming the back-slapping and chest-bumping that tends to accompany such occasions so as to not reveal myself to this party of do-gooders – these Fix It Folks, of which I’ve inconveniently found myself embedded.

Any fool paying attention could see that my smile doesn’t reach my eyes; my hypocrisy’s line in the sand, it seems, that last inch of which I cannot give.

Oh, how I hate them.

*     *     *     *     *

2B began a dancing spin, a whirligig of emotion, across the room, letting her blue Solo cup fly empty from her hand as her long, silver hair twirled around her head in thick, chaotic tendrils.

“This calls for something stronger than tea!” she laughed, grabbing 5B – they hadn’t the chance to learn each other’s actual names – by the hands, forcing the younger girl to drop her cup as well and join in the dance.  “3B, don’t you agree?”

The young girl, 5B, twenty if she was a day, with her deep, dark, purple Kool-Aid hair, laughed, “It’s like a nursery rhyme! ‘3B, don’t you agree?’, ‘3B, don’t you agree?’!” and the two spun in quick circles, round and round.

3B, dark-skinned and thin in his white cotton undershirt and blue jeans, smiled at the two women and then finished his tea; refilling his Solo cup from the gallon jug that 1B was sharing with them.

“Appreciate the sweet tea, ma’am,” he said, walking over and refilling 1B’s cup before replacing it in her refrigerator.

1B returned his smile, “De nada.  Have as much as you like.” Her arthritic hands didn’t seem to be bothering her as much tonight.

4B, a slightly overweight man in his late 30s, came in through the open apartment door swigging the last of his tea.  “That’s it, folks, we’ve done it.  The dimensional gateway linking each of our realities is closed, save for the tunnel that will return us to our individual reality’s Apartment B.

2B and 5B stopped spinning to listen to 4B’s message of all clear.

“So, now, you’re saying a spatial chronoworm – did I get that right?” 2B asked.

“A giant spatial chronoworm, yes.” 4B explained, putting his cup down on 1B’s coffee table, avoiding the Asker and Folks magazines that were splayed out there.

“Right, a giant spatial chronoworm, sorry, ate through the walls of each of our apartments in an attempt to. . .I admit, this is where you lost me.”

4B laughed, “I’m impressed that it took you until there to get lost.  And it wasn’t your apartment walls, so much as your reality’s walls, but that’s neither here nor there.  Spatial chronoworms tend to. . .”

*     *     *     *     *

Admittedly, I miscalculated with the worm.  It quickly got beyond my control, obstinate creatures that they are.  There’s just no telling which way or when that they will go.  The fact that I needed to rely at all on these, these, pedestrian nobodies!  I should kill them all is what I should do.

They’ve served their purpose.  All is safe now; I ought to just wipe them out and be about my business.

Oh, should the Confederation of Scoundrels ever catch wind of this, I don’t know what would happen.  I’d be out every penny of union dues, that much is certain.

Not to mention my parking space.

3 thoughts on “Used To, You Could Tell By The Black Hat

  1. John Wiswell

    The naming convention was tantalizing and drew me along just long enough to ponder if the story had one more level I was unaware of. Very neat work, Aaron, glad to read your work again.

  2. marc nash

    I enjoyed this other than the naming convention! Loved the phrase ‘pedestrian nobodies’ – could see the bile wrapped around those words in his mouth

  3. Katherine Hajer

    I really like the idea of a house party where you don’t have to actually go anywhere, just wait for the inhabitants from the alternative realities to show up. Apparently I have been stuck trying to hail a cab at 3am a few too many times.

Comments are closed.