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chapter 9

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Johnny Slipknot

Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 39
Location: The Burned City
chapter 9  Reply with quote  

Trip took a long toke from his one-hitter and blew fragrant smoke on the screen of his laptop in front of him. He leaned back in his chair and propped his feet on the windowsill before him. Taking a moment to savor the warm, salty night air, he picked up his brand new cell phone and dialed up the seven-digit number. It rang five times before picking up.

“Jay, I’m gonna kill you. I'm tryingto--”
“Seth, my friend!”
“Trip? Where the hell are you? It’s been over two months.” Trip could hear the sound of voices and dinnerware in the background.
“I catch ya at chow?” For some reason, it made him giggle. And hungry. He snatched a bag of Cheetos from his backpack and tore them open with his teeth. He was a professional pot smoker. He was always prepared.
“Yeah, I’m having dinner. I’m kinda on a date here. Hold on.” Seth covered the mouthpiece and Trip refilled the one-hitter. When he came back, Seth’s voice was low and concerned. “Look man, I’ve been worried about you. No one has talked to you for three months. Bull and Jay, neither.”
Trip sat forward. “Didn’t you get my e-mail? I sent one to all three of you?”
“Well, yeah. But I can’t open it. None of us. It’s rigged with some kind of Authorization Password or something.”
Trip pushed back and laughed out loud. “C’mon, buddy. All those radio waves have burned up your deductive reasoning. Figure it out. Hey, what’s Jay’s cell number? I can’t find it.” Seth gave it to him. Not finding anything but rolling papers, Trip scrawled it on the wall next to the window with a felt tip pen.
“Thanks dude. Now, get to work on that password. We’re talking life and death here.”
“What are you talking about? Tell me the password. Wait. Fuck that. Just tell me what’s in the e-mail.”
Trip took another toke. “No can do, buddy. Matter of National Security. I could tell you, but then you’d have to kill me.” He crunched Cheetos in Seth’s ear. “Work it out. I’m counting on you guys to come through.” In truth, Trip couldn’t be sure someone else wasn’t listening in, new phone or no.
Seth’s voice had an edge. “What are you talking about? I’m not in the mood for games, Trip!”

The screen in front of him came to life. Trips tossed the Cheetos bag aside and wiped his hands on his jeans.

“Stay cool, Seth. The answer is right before your eyes. Peace.”
“Trip, Goddamn it, don't you hang--”Click.

Cracking his knuckles, he put the computer in his lap and grinned at the glowing dots that moved slowly across the screen.

“Welcome everyone.” He typed in a command and hit enter. The screen switched to a ceiling height perspective of a cluttered living room. The view was a pale green due to the night scope camera mounted inside an air vent, but Trip could clearly make out the three figures in black fatigues as they moved quietly through the front door and into the room.
“My name is Trip, and I will be mind-fucking you this evening.”

He tapped some more keys and the view changed to his study just as one of his guests stepped slowly inside.
“I think I’ll name you Larry.” Trip bit his nails and watched.

‘Larry’ made straight for the computer. Putting his gun down on the printer, he pulled off his black leather gloves and sat down. The screen saver was The Three Stooges causing each other grievous bodily harm. When Larry moved the mouse, Moe, Larry, and Curly vanished and Trip felt a touch of sadness. Larry set in, pulling up file after file. Trip gave it a minute then…

Suddenly Larry was looking at two girls having sex with loud and reckless abandon. He pulled his hands away from the keyboard like they were possessed. When one of the girls screamed “FUCK ME, YOU WHORE!” Larry hit every key in front of him. But no amount of system overrides or pointing and clicking would deter the zealous lesbians. Even the volume knob on the speakers proved useless. Larry finally had to shut the whole thing down, cutting off the redhead in mid orgasm. When his black clad companions looked in at him, he held his hands up and shrugged.

Trip giggled and switched the view back to the living room. “Okay, Moe. Show me what you got.”

‘Moe’ took the answering machine tape from the machine and placed it in his backpack. He went through all the cabinets and drawers in the room finding nothing he deemed valuable. He took all the VCR tapes and started going through the books. All the pictures and posters were taken off the wall and inspected. Moe found the target’s day-planner (a dummy) and packed it away for later inspection. On his way to the kitchen, Moe spotted a cordless phone wedged between the cushions of the couch, antenna end up. Moe hit the TALK button and the LED panel glowed, fully charged, line open. Moe removed his ski mask, pressed redial, and put the phone to his ear. It rang and Moe waited patiently. It rang twice more before he heard a woman’s voice.
“911. Please state the nature of your emergency.”
Moe jerked the phone away from his head...
...or at least he would have if he hadn’t found that it was now super-glued to his ear. There was a sound of tearing cartilage and Moe screamed. He let go of the phone but it stayed stubbornly attached to his ear, which was now less attached to his head. Moe screamed again.

“Sir? SIR? Are you being attacked? Can you tell me your location?” The emergency operator’s voice was clear in Moe’s mangled ear. “If you are being assailed, sir, give me an indication.”

Larry and ‘Curly’ came bursting into the room, guns drawn. Watching Moe’s tortured pantomime for a moment, Curly approached him cautiously and, seeing the problem, grabbed for the phone. Moe slapped at his hands and pushed him away. This caused the dangling phone to swing; tearing more flesh and making Moe scream two octaves higher.

“I hear you, sir. Now, try to stay with me. Do you recognize your assailants?”
Larry rushed Moe, linebacker style, driving him into the couch. Putting his knee in Moe’s chest, Larry grabbed the phone while Curly covered Moe’s mouth with his hand.

“Sir, I can’t hear anything. I need you to let me know you’re still with me.”
Larry gave the phone a hard yank. Curly had to use both hands to keep Moe’s screams muffled. The phone held tight, but the ear wasn’t fairing as well. Struggling to keep their partner pinned, Larry and Curly exchanged looks of desperation. Curly jerked his head towards the phone. Larry shrugged and took hold again. Moe couldn’t take it. He bit down hard on Curly’s hand, forked his index and middle fingers and gouged Larry in the eyes. Unpinned, he leapt to his feet, slapped Curly and kicked Larry full in the crotch. Curly tried to pull the frenzied Moe off Larry, but only managed to yank a handful of his hair. Moe turned and punched Curly in the stomach, dropping him to his knees. Larry let go of his aching testicles long enough to grab Moe around the leg and sink his teeth into his calf.
Amid all the screaming, slapping and biting, the phone and ear gave way. Lying on the floor, pieces of ear still attached, the operator’s voice cut through the mayhem,

“Sir, I have pin-pointed your location and have officers en route. The paramedics will follow shortly.”
The three froze, looked from the blood-covered phone to each other then made a mad dash to gather up their gear.

Trip wiped away the tears and rubbed his aching cheeks.
“I’m sorry Curly. Didn’t have time to get to you. Moe was just too quick. Not much for comic timing, but GOD he’s good at the physical comedy.” He doubled over with fresh laughter. Looking up, he said, “Oh what the hell.”

Just as the three highly trained weapons and stealth-warfare experts were at the door, the stereo system in the bedroom (where Curly had been rifling through CDs) boomed to life. It filled the room, house, neighborhood, and most of New Orleans with an ear-splitting rendition of “Been Caught Stealing” by Jane’s Addiction.

They fled the house in search of their van, medical attention, and new careers.


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