Friday, November 24, 2017

Played out

We tracked Negative Charge down at one of his hideouts, an abandoned Radio Shack (well, it's still open but it is a Radio Shack) at the Stiletto Flats Galleria. Wanting to waste no time, we presented Jeff's theory and asked him if he was behind it. "That's fiendishly brilliant", he said. "So much so that I wish I had thought of it. Three weeks ago. Before I signed that document. Damn it, that might have worked!" "No, it wouldn't have", Michael replied. "The fact that we're standing here asking you about it now clearly indicates we would have figured it out." Negative Charge sighed and said, "Good point. Hence the reason for us signing. We simply can't win. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go set the clocks on the VCRs." Jeff stopped him. "Wait a minute. Why do all of you seem to be so in line with each other on this, to the point where it looks downright synchronized?" Negative Charge turned and said, "I guess we're finally learning all kind of things from you guys."

With that, we returned to the Unbelievabase. "Well, I guess that's it then", one of us said. Without words between us, because at this point we're so attuned to one another that sometimes we don't have to speak aloud, we started packing things up to be put into storage in case we ever need them again. Pretty soon, the place was practically empty. Michael restored the "broken" washer in the laundromat to fully functional before taking Ulf the Unbelievadog to a boarding kennel. Meanwhile, Jeff drove a bus full of Unbelievababes over to Marissa's newly re-christened "Miss Riss's Home for Wayward Showgirls and Former Unbelievababes". It's right across the street, but Jeff does love a nice bus ride, regardless of the length.

I was the last one, waiting for a truck to pick up the last of the storage containers. That's when I heard a knock at the door. Guess who it was?
Of course.
"Henri Petit! What are you doing here? Is this when you mount your attack? You trick us into breaking down our base, separating from each other and then you move in? Well, bring it on you wee, disgusting, vile..."
Henri shook his head and said, "No, that's not it at all. I just came over because...well...since this is over now...", as he started to choke up. "OUT WITH IT, HORRENDOUS TWERP!"
"Well, all I ever really wanted was for you guys to like me, so we could hang out and be pals. It was all a cry for attention. I just admire you all so much and it was so painful, facing your rejection all the time. And now that the whole thing is over and we're not on opposite sides, I thought maybe we could, I don't know, play a game. Like friends."
He took the game out of the box and set it up on one of the crates, near the window where we saw cars driving by, their drivers oblivious to what had taken place in the amazing-yet-non-descript building they had passed so many times over the years.
"Up to four can play but it looks like Michael and Jeff aren't here, so maybe just you and I?" He looked so pathetic and small and vulnerable and ugly. I said, "Sure Henri. Why not. Now are there actual rules to this game?" He said, "Yes, they're printed on the box down there on the floor." I bent down to pick it up and looked up just in time to see him, in a pair of oversized boots, rearing back to kick me out of the window.
Then everything went black.