Setsuko Had Once Been

  • by Kenthaving pretty feet and unexceptional ankles
  • By a man’s finger nails
  • with a swift rippling movement
  • they had to rip out hundreds of bunk beds
  • “The woman! The woman!”

Tune in next time part 174                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

Setsuko had once been the world’s most celebrated mime, performing for a public that knew nothing of the warring factions, accepting the applause of people she would gleefully garrote if they stepped into the wrong alleyway after a show. She had always been dangerous, but her radicalization was spurred by a review saying she was, “Quiet enough, although not completely silent, and sufficiently amusing for a girl having pretty feet and unexceptional ankles.” It burned to her soul to read that after devoting so many years to ankle-sculpting exercises.

“You will never find me,” her declaration read, “All you will find is the whiteface that I nevermore shall apply. It’s on my dresser. In a jar. By a man’s finger nails, which are in a leather box along with the pliers I used to extract them with a swift rippling movement.”

Her defection triggered chaos among the mime faction, particularly the sleeping arrangements for cadets. They had to rip out hundreds of bunk beds and replace them with hammocks, for obvious security reasons.

The confetti storm dispersed as I put distance between Setsuko and myself, taking care not to burst my jumpsuit and keeping an eye out for the man with the gun. A voice ahead of me cried out, “The woman! The woman!” I thought the rogue mime had somehow cut me off, but Setsuko was nowhere to be seen. A man was pointing up, so I looked at the rooftop across the boulevard.

What I witnessed there chilled me to the bone.

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