behind the scenes

“What the literal fuck was that!?” Cindy Owens wails eyes nearly out of her head “we’ve got the footage!? What footage do we have!?” looking around at the silent staffers “well!? I’ll tell you” pointing perfectly manicured finger at no one in particular “I’ll tell you what the fucking footage is-a conversation!” stamping and jumping up and down on heeled feet “a short violent free conversation!”
Breathing turned near heaving our host composes herself turning slowly to give cold furious eyes to each and every employee. “Now, I’m sorry y’all, I’m just” sighing and fanning hand over eyelashes “it’s not your fault” grabbing a young grip by the shoulders “and it’s not yours” she quickly shuffles to a make-up artist who she hugs. Shaking her head “it’s not everyone’s fault and I’m sorry” she sniffles a bit and wipes a tear away “the monster got out, but we all know how I get…” with a heavy sigh and fist trapped in her bosom “it’s too protect all of us” arms outstretched “but someone has to be held accountable.” She walks slowly around the circle that’s formed each employee with their individual tell, she knows them all by heart.
The group seems to gulp as she nears their focus “uhh” a small voice and hand pop out from behind several others into the circle. “I… I set up the-”
With a million dollar smile and honey topping the words “walk with me sugar”.
Side by side Cindy Owens and the senior PA walk through the building hallways. Smiling and chitchatting as Cindy calls it “and you know what the little guy tells his teacher he wants to be a peace officer” cue loving motherly sigh “that ones a little angel, only seven.”
The PA pushes her glasses up laughing nervously “that’s wonderful heh kids are… blessings” keep laughing girlie.
“Yes, yes they are. Now, Natalie-”
“Brenda”
Eyebrow raised her eyes narrow “Brenda” pronouncing each letter “tell me how your footage helps sell the Samaritan’s?”
Hiccup this frogs in boiling water “um… well I thought-I-I” Cindy’s eyes are dead, but little Brenda sees hope. Poor little froggy ” just having the footage y’know and giving the public the comparison y’know?” letting out a laugh the water gets hotter.
“No, I don’t know.” Cindy replies dryly our host her lips, and fist are twitching.
“Well y’know you-y’know no one else is-”
She’s had it with the amphibian “no I don’t know how showing” air quotes “the public a clumsy do-gooder in the colors of the dark ages tripping over Alpha is going to sell them!” Cindy’s screaming in the froggie face “do you have any idea what your incompetence could cost us!? Any conceivable idea what this could do to me!?” she turns violently around then in a blink she’s back “no! No! You don’t! That’s why you are going to fix this!” Heaving she attempts to catch her breath now arms length from Brenda.
The PA’s eyes wide words escape her, she wonders if this is real, it is. Keep quiet little lady.
She downs a glass of water brought to her by Brenda’s trainee those made for TV eyes never leaving the senior subordinate. “Ahhhhh” she sighs shooing the junior away. Shaking off the monster her million dollar smile returns “so Brenda” emphasis on the ‘a’ “fix it. Kay?” Brenda nods slowly at first then faster as with both hands Cindy bats her away. Then when the PA has gotten some distance our host sweetly calls “and Brenda” froggie stops, turns, the whole world’s listening as the women make eye contact “if you don’t fix it, don’t bother coming back.”

I am Columbia

“Welcome back!” Cindy Owens smiles through the cameras “we were just talking about the big, big, big, big-big, big story of maybe the century!” the crowd is going wild “and you know I got the footage!” leaning forward mouth and eyes wide she let’s out a “HA!” the audience roars now out of the seats “okay, okay, let me finish everyone” her voice like butter, smile ear to ear, and that I’m not from Texas Texas hair ever so Texas. “Good Samaritan’s are what the news has dubbed them” audience gasp  “ladies and gentlemen tonight we have footage of two of these” air quotes as the crowd is silent “‘good Samaritans’ special, only here on the Cindy Owens show” the audience again erupts as she demures only slightly then with a quick cock of her head ” alright let’s watch!”

The screen behind our host shows an empty street, midtown in the Marina District to be exact. Nothing. Then the click clack of heels-
“Slow it here!” Cindy shouts turning to the audience as old friends over to watch a film “Alpha everyone!” for a moment the crowd vibrates with hushed glee before she signals to continue rolling.
Alpha stops short turning swiftly around, she’s being chased. Taking up the left half of the screen Alpha stands high heel clad and fierce in spotted regalia looking like the Jane Tarzan wished he had. She looks confused. “Stooooop!” two women make the scene one covered in red, white, and blue star spangled and oh so out of date, the other in gold hot pants, tube top and boots looking like a discos wet dream. “Stop right there” the patriotic cutie is breathless.
“I’m not moving” Alpha sighs obliviously disappointed.
“Don’t get mouthy!” miss breathless screams raising her finger “tonight your reign of terror ends! Alpha you are under citizens arrest under clause 2.007-”
Our golden black beauty fights a laugh as our hyena’s jaw drops “you’ve gotta be fucking kidding me…”
“What no… you-you’re coming with meh-eh!?” she shrieks as Alpha sprints away yelling
“find me when you grow up!”
“Come back!” her would be captor screams moving to run but her foot catches hem and face catches concrete. Head spinning she continues ” I am Columbia!”
Her friend lifts her from the ground “yeah, yeah girl you’re Columbia alright.” her voice smooth as she dust off Lady Liberties former who looks sadly up at her “next time a little more physical?”

The screen blinks black and the crowd looks too Cindy for a reaction “well” looks like she was promised blood too “that’s just craziness!” out of her chair she runs to the audience who find themselves in an uncertain frenzy “what do you think about our vero Alpha” she picks a young brunette woman who shakes wildly with excitement-big Owens fan.
“Omg! She’s so cool, but, but I don’t know the Samaritan’s protect the law right? That’s good.” as the crowd buzzes with nervous uncertainty.
Cindy smiles and takes the mic moving to a middle age man ” and you sir, team vero or…?”
The man is urban through and through the girls with him young and well adorned he smiles wide with platinum teeth “team vero! I know that Alpha is one bad bitch, but the Samaritan got the colors of the dark ages on man. And you know I don’t want none of my bitches taking up in no filthy sewers! Never again y’all! ” with that Cindy shouts and prances back to her throne. The audience cheers for their team now dancing to the end of show music “well team vero or Samaritan our audience seems to have decided, I don’t know, can’t say, but I hope you’ll tune in tomorrow night to continue this discussion. I’m Cindy Owens, goodnight Liberation Land.”

 

Parasite

We find ourselves still on the scene. Our huntress blissfully unaware that she is now prey. Finding Alpha exactly where we left her, face smattered with blood, fist still rising and falling with vigor. She’s being stalked. A figure moving in the shadows, salivating, growing restless as the vigilantes victim has been long dead. The hyenas hysterical laughter beginning to drive the creature-certainly it’s a creature-mad.
“DIE! DIE! DIE!” Alpha screams at this point punching carpet, the woman’s head mere goo. Her eyes crazed through the blood soaked mask, she’d waited too long to get this one.
But tonight Alpha’s off the clock and possibly on the menu, “You talk too much!” the words escape the creature’s mouth, which formed the bottom half of what appeared to be it’s head. The sound is of distorted voices speaking all at once but out of tune. Our heroine stiffens, eyes scanning the darkness-no clear escape. Hands over nailed down daggers she begins weighing options. No time. Suddenly every solid object seems to explode as crashing tendrils shot out and passed our crouching hyena. Her eyes dared to move in socket witnessing the sudden pull back. The tendrils had a bulging end, the color a pasty sickly flesh-this is bad.
“Dinner!” cried the creature charging full speed, zeroed in on Alpha. She manges a back flip flying daggers in hand over the moving mass. Landing on feet she prepares for battle eyes having adjusted to the darkness long ago. The creature let’s out an inhuman cry turning to its victim-it’s body an over sized clay figure that seems to melt into itself.
Masses of pasty flesh bubble and move as its head tilts “no eyes” Alpha breathes widening her own as the tendrils shoot out again. Stopping right before contact this time plainly in view. One bulbous end within her eyelashes nearly touching her pupil-don’t blink! As quickly as they came they snap back-run, baby, run!
She doesn’t move. The earthquake starts the mass throwing itself toward dinner who watches wide eyed. Taking note of it’s ever changing flesh she drops to the floor falling on her back.
The creature stands over her wailing-unable to see tendrils shoot out this time from all directions. “Shit!” Alpha screams recognizing the fatal mistake as the mass reforms the creatures shapeless face above her own.
“Diiiiinnner” it moans. Mouth opening wider releasing an unholy sound as it prepared to devour her.
Meeting the end is not tonight’s plan. The animal rages from within; eyes bulging, teeth barred, arms thrashing in their tendrils confines and daggers still in hand. Into the creatures mouth she roars back defiantly clicking her heels together like a battle ready Dorothy she reveals the concealed blades. These ain’t your grandma’s ruby slippers. Continuing to thrash as the creature begins to struggle keeping hold of her, a meeker voice crying ” waited… waited… too long…”
Without waiting for context Alpha takes the opportunity-war boots meeting their target with a bang. The creature cries out rearing up momentarily giving the daggers in hand time to meet their new friend. With that our girl attempts to exit, it doesn’t need to be dead-she just needs to be alive.
Struggling to run she makes her way toward the escape wails and thrashing in the wake “what the fuck are you?” she breathes not looking back that is until that sound hits her ear. Eyes bulging she orders herself “faster! Survive faster!” seeing the beast protruding feelers darting toward her gives that delicious life saving a second wind. No matter how beat down she is she has to make it home.
The earthquake begins as she finds the stairwell, not bothering with steps instead swan dives off the rails-12 floors down.
She begins to count realizing the creature followed suit. One. Her hunter wails “FEEEEED!”. Two. Alpha begins frantically hitting the red button on her choker. Three. The creature still wailing shoots out its tendrils several hitting Alpha pushing her further down “thank you!” she calls out, four. Five. Six. Seven. The creature pulls back it’s feelers letting out an earth shattering wail-one soaked with desperation. Alpha reaches out grabbing on to a hand rail then flinging herself to the floor the creature falling down passed. She doesn’t wait.
Getting into the nearest elevator she begins the slow decent down. Is this safe? No, but remember Alpha is blonde albeit functioning. The music plays typical for the scene- she waits.
The doors open-screams. Not an other worldly beast something more familiar. Alpha reluctantly follows the sound to the stairwell-do not try this at home!
Opening the door she sees the creature holding onto a red, white, and blue clad woman. “Columbia” she sighs as the picture of liberation screams in utter terror, no hope for survival.
Against all better judgement our hyena launches onto the creatures back. Ignoring the gases and fluids bursting from it as she strikes over and over again. The hunted gets the hunter. That is until they witness it’s body break down, suddenly, there is nothing but goop on the floor as though the creature rapidly decayed.
The two made eyes, but both understood-not tonight. Not another motherfucking thing tonight. With that thought Ari pulled up.

When the mouse hunts the cat

Cindy Owens plays on the tiny retro t.v. under her desk the library dead. Tonight we find the little mouse Lisa her platinum bangs disheveled over round silver frames. She’s getting frustrated “the Vero Alpha struck again last night!” she continued to stamp the returns with a huff tossing them more violently into the cart behind her “this time the victims-poor souls-were police officers in the Riverside District. Their names are being withheld out of respect for the families, but the hearts of the Network are with them. Here’s the still of this elusive Vero”. She dared looking at the screen as the crowds cheers turned to a mix of sound distortion a scantily clad woman standing over the officers. She had a printed fur bra and skirt with calf high leather boots her mask the visage of a spotted hyena the image made her sick. The audiences mixed reaction cause hot tears to well in our book worms eyes her cheeks red with fury as she attempts to lift a rather heavy text up from the return pile. “Some have labeled this woman a Vero but others have called her a criminal what do you think?” Cindy began her audience run finding a young woman who grabbed the mic excitingly
“O-M-G she’s totally a Vero! So empowering!” the girl began jumping wildly with her friends.
“Oooh empowering bold wor-” BAM! The Librarian has had enough as the large text smashes her fingers. “Oww!” As she waves her burning fingers in the air Cindy Owens is shut off.
“My!” she exclaims turning toward the attacking b tome it’s cover painted in dust “how’d you get out?” recognizing the book as an artifact she blows the dust away. Embellished and bordered extravagantly the center focus of the cover titled Columbia: the statue of liberty with the visage of Columbia imposing her justice.
“Veros… Just vigilantes murdering freedom!” fist slam on the table “Alpha… you-you’re time is done.” with lightening in her eyes the tiny school girl like librarian runs to the archives grabbing the banned dark age flags and show needles. “You’re time is up!” with a boom of thunder Lisa cackles visions of grand ol’Columbia in her head.