Sunday, August 7, 2011

Renting People

So. I Started writing this strange little tale about a place that rents people. Pick a type of person and the costume for an event. Then, this Egyptian goddess Bastet and a Victorian Vampire named Maximus show up. I have no idea how they got here. They just showed up at Carlita's a couple of days ago wanting to rent a costume and a person to go in the costume. Apparently the two are roommates some time in the future. Maximus (Max or Maxine) likes victorian clothes and the band Pig Destroyer. Bastet is the daughter of the Egyptian Cat Goddess (same name) and she likes to cuss... so I've changed all her F's and S's to a fluffy word just to, ya know, make it appropriate for blogger. It's rather long. And you don't have to read all of it. I just thought, well... OK I'm nervous posting some strange fiction I've only looked over once (or twice...) but I'm doing it anyway. Stepping out of the comfort zone here. I'm not asking you to be nice in the comments. I'm not even asking you to comment. Ok... I'm done with the pre op. Here it is...

P.S. Spatulans, what point of view do you like to write in? First person? Third person omniscient? Why?

“Carlita’s One Night Stand: Thousands of costumes and people to fill them. Need a best friend to tell your secrets to? High school reunion coming up and need someone to fill the shoes of your imaginary girl friend? Is your five year old wanting a cowboy party but you can’t find a cowboy? If you can dream it we can create it. Costumes included in rental price. Prices based on per event. No sexual conduct of any kind. Must sign waiver. Call for more details and to make appointment.”

I read the ad twice. The ad showed a guy in a fat Elvis costume singing into a fake microphone and a woman wearing a stripey pirate dress, tri-corner hat, hook hand, and a lopsided sneer as if she was saying “Argh” as the camera snapped her picture. I couldn’t believe it had come to this. I couldn’t believe I had been reduced to picking out costumes for an imaginary “best friend.”

            “Why don’t you ask for a girl in a china doll costume since that’s seems to be your cup of tea,” Maximus said lazily drinking his coffee.
            “Shut the F-up, Maxine.” He giggled the way some grown men privately giggle when they feel like they’ve succeeded in making another person feel like crap.
            “How did you find out about this in the first place?” I put down the paper and looked at Max from across the 50’s style kitchen table with yellow blotches in the shape of continents. Max bout it at a “Decades Auction.” I’d never been to one but apparently they are all the rage with the “Scream Scene”. Even though he wasn’t a Screamer, Max ran with that crowd because they liked the same music. From across the table his eyes peered back at me like a cloudless day. His legs were crossed under his Victorian style robe. He drank his coffee from a black and gold teacup. Pointer and pinky fingers crooked out. Black polished nails glistening in the lamp light.
I hate Screamers. They’re a bunch of vampire babies who wear Victorian clothes without having been born in the 1800’s and styled their homes in fashions never of the current decade. They collected human mates. They seduced the opposite sex by pretending to only eat animal flesh because the “sensitive vampire” was thought to be sexy, but then drank the person after they seduced them (just enough to keep the person alive) because they thought it was "ironic".  Screamer bars only played scream-o metal from the late 90’s and early 2000’s. That was the only music they listened to because it “speaks of our black souls in an unrelenting yet passionate way” Maximus told me one day. “Plus, they have fraking epic drummers,” he added. Maximus looked the part, but didn't act it.
“Bartholomew needed a human to talk and he's been really obsessed with that chick from that early 2000’s vampire-novel that sparkles or something. So he ordered one up from Carlita’s and had a splendid time cavorting and rolling about in the grass.”
            “It says ‘no sexual conduct of any kind’ and I’ve never known Barth to use many words on a woman.”
            “I know. They literally rolled around in the grass. Carlita’s must have some knowledge of spells that protect their employees.” Maximus placed his teacup on the saucer and fitted a cigarette into the end of a long cigarette holder, lit it and inhaled. “You’d probably benefit from a good roll in the grass, my friend,” he said as he exhaled. “Look at you. You’re inner gruff is seeping out. Plus, you need to get out of the apartment and stop mooning over that Chinese Goddess." 

I really don’t know why Max ran with the Screamers. He was actually born in 1800, didn’t have any humans, and stuck with one mate – a younger, neo-punk vampire with a purple Mohawk. Max’s translucent pale skin had a slight sickly sheen. He was very thin, tall, and poised. But his looks didn’t fool me. I've seen him angry. I privately believed the reason he hung with the Screamers was to gain their trust then slaughter them all in one night with Pig Destroyer playing in the background.
            “After you’ve called and set up an appointment, Bastet, try to wear something that accentuates the Egyptian.” Maximus said as he tapped his ashes into the teacup and jiggled his foot at the ankle. He crossed his arms. "You're almost pretty when you're cat eyes come out and play."
            I wore a black t-shirt and jeans. Black never went out of style and jeans were comfortable and easy. After the get-ups I wore at the palace in Egypt I’ll take comfortable and easy any day. I was older than Maximus by a handful of centuries, had tan skin, dark brown hip-length hair I kept in a ponytail tucked in my shirt. I’ve just started the cussing but I'm enjoying it. 
            “I’ll give them a call.” Max raised an eyebrow. “And change clothes. But I don’t see what some vintage costume store is going to do for a two thousand year old crush on a Chinese storm goddess.”

1 comment:

  1. “speaks of our black souls in an unrelenting yet passionate way” bahaha! Yeah, that's how I feel about country music. :)

    I quite like these two. They seem to be a fun pair in that old, creepy, magical way.