Originally uploaded by JaneDoughnut
Collage work for Parade. At some point I will have to learn to draw.
The zookeeper dreams about a city filled with animals. And what else should he dream of? Ostriches burying their heads in fashion magazines and manicured lawns. Giraffes gossiping at the fence. Fucking turtles blocking traffic. Herds of squeaking rats. Monkeys at keyboards, apes at the bar, primates of every kind flinging shit at each other. It's all he sees all day. What else should he dream of?
Rician tried to walk away from his kill, but couldn't. It wasn't that he felt any moral obligation to stay, or guilt, or revulsion. He literally could not walk away. At about twenty feet he tripped and fell face down in the dust. Embarrassed and glad no one could see, he got up and tried again. But his feet stuck. He could walk back, walk in circles... but he couldn't get more than twenty feet from the mark's body. Some invisible tether was keeping him at the scene.
By sweaty force he finally managed to push his foot forward....
The body behind him jumped.
Which of course caused Rician to trip and fall again, adding a new layer of dust to his shocked face. The surprise sank into his stomach and knotted up. This could be very bad.
Third time's a charm, they say. Pushing one foot forward, he watched the corpse scoot along the ground toward him, ever so slightly, pulled by some astral chord. Left, right, left, he managed to walk away, dragging the body behind him with a blood trail to mark his progress.
He would have to take this up with his client.
She's a bourbon drinker, and the boys don't have anything on her. And she's drinking like it's a Catholic funeral.
Which it sort of is.
She would look so pretty with a gloss of blood on her lips.
"There's a whole world of people who would call what we have to live with a gift," she spat. "Fucking morons. Fucking civilians."
"It saved my life," said Alan.
Glasses are raised to lips and dropped back down to the table. Alan stares into the amber liquid; can't meet anyone's eyes. These could be our last drinks together. We should toast something.
"So why?" asked Kemp.
"How can we not? That's the beauty of our situation. You can see the marks, you can see the Timers, you know exactly when death is coming. And this gives you the opportunity to do something about it. Gives you the imperative. But it's all a lie. There's not really anything you can do. You kill them, and they'll come back. You save someone, and you just kill them more slowly. You interfere, and they mark you. You run, and they catch you."
When you want to see how deep the ocean is, you can't worry about consequence. We're swimming now, we'll wait to see who drowns.
Kemp motioned for another round. "Do we have a plan?"
"I'll deal with Daddy myself."