Tagged: clothes

By the Time Isaac was Done with Me

  • by jenwonder if you even miss me
  • people thought they had a far more sinister meaning
  • dressed in a Hazmat suit
  • mixture of ferocity and jocularity
  • nonetheless churning with anxiety

Tune in next time part 223                           Click Here for Earlier Installments

By the time Isaac was done with me I had learned that her real name was Cleopatra, and I was exhausted from my efforts both conversational and carnal. My mind was nonetheless churning with anxiety over the sinister Tibetan chocolate bar, which manifested in my actions as an odd mixture of ferocity and jocularity. The last time I felt that way I dressed in a Hazmat suit and went to the White House to talk things out with Thor. The thing about Hazmat suits is that most people thought they had a far more sinister meaning than I intended. I was just trying to be funny, but you try telling that to the Secret Service.

I digress.

There were no Hazmat suits in Cleopatra’s apartment so it was easy enough to avoid that misstep this time, despite my compromised mental state. As I was getting dressed in the clothes I’d gotten from Jim’s closet what felt like ages ago, Cleopatra turned on the TV.

“We need to make sure your father’s return hasn’t hit the news yet,” she said, flipping through the channels until she landed on the Contrarian News Network showing footage of my heavily pregnant wife Fleur and her retinue, all laughing at the antics of a troop of mimes.

I wonder if you even miss me, I thought, as she threw her arms around the neck of Viscount Arlo of Svenborgia. The damn Svenborgians were all over this mess.

“That Arlo guy is such a dick,” Cleopatra said.

How did she even know who he was?

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Some Members of My Extended Family

  • by jentried to convey everything by grimaces
  • probably view it as an escape
  • floating upon the surface like corks
  • the launderette they owned
  • We did find a hammer.

Tune in next time part 219                           Click Here for Earlier Installments

Some members of my extended family tried to convey everything by grimaces, Svenborgian UnderDuchess Esmerelda among them. I tuned out the impossibly red dress and focused on her face. I hoped to discover a message in the minute details of the arrangement of her lips, but the image was too blurry.

If the world saw this footage of my father, a man who was supposed to be dead, they would probably view it as an escape. Never mind that he’d never been convicted of anything, or even charged. Certain factions of the public thought my family untouchable, and they resented us for it. They saw life as an ocean, and to them we were floating upon the surface like corks while they struggled against drowning in the undertow. Another way of looking at it is that they saw us as going through life on the gentle cycle in the launderette they owned in this analogy, while they were stuck in the lint trap.

Lint trap!

I tore my eyes away from Esmerelda’s enigmatic face and looked again at her red dress. How could I have forgotten the old washerwoman’s code? It was ancient, taught to first years at the Academy and rarely mentioned after. But still, I should have remembered sooner.

Isaac saw the dawning comprehension on my face. “What does it mean?” she demanded.

We did find a hammer.” I could hardly believe it. The message could only be referring to retired professional wrestler Great Hammer, my brother Thor’s some-time lover. With any luck, Isaac would assume Esmerelda had been at the hardware store.

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Jim Was Always Coming Up with Outrageous Theories

  • by jenin that gentleman’s widely opened eyes
  • these dashing cardigans
  • Tonight: dinosaurs.
  • Her stomach made fish tank noises
  • appeared to have been eaten by foxes

Tune in next time part 197                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

Jim was always coming up with outrageous theories about twins. I guess being the only twinless sibling in the family will do that to a guy. Not that he was a singleton. No, Jim was a triplet, but his co-trips were identical girls and he always felt left out. His experiments were often painful, and I had no interest in seeing what he had planned for today, or how the paper shredders would play into it.

I took a step backwards, away from the false graveyard of office equipment, and promptly bumped into someone standing right behind me. It was Jim, of course, and in that gentleman’s widely opened eyes I saw no hint of brotherly affection. To my surprise, he was flanked by our sisters Jemma and Jemima. It was unusual to see all three triplets together. They were all wearing these dashing cardigans in a blue and green color scheme that told me all I needed to know about where their loyalties currently lay. Normally the girls pledged fealty to the Academy’s chess team, the Anacondas. Tonight: Dinosaurs. If he had convinced them to support the chess hooligans of our greatest rivals, Jim had more sway over them than I had ever imagined possible. Perhaps his theories about twins weren’t as outrageous as I had always imagined.

Ignoring Jim and his widely opened eyes, I smiled at our sisters and reached out to shake their hands. With Jemma’s hand in my right, Jemima’s in my left, I executed the secret “twin handshake” we had all developed as children when we wanted to exclude Jim. I was hoping to break through whatever insidious hold he had over them, but to all outward appearances I was unsuccessful. And on top of that, they wouldn’t let go of my hands.

“Jem,” Jim drawled, “and Jem, bring him back out to the operating table.”

My sisters pulled me back into the rocket surgery. My crocs had no traction on the slick floor, especially when they dragged me through Absinthia’s blood. Her stomach made fish tank noises under our feet, all blurbley and squelchy. Her poor corpse appeared to have been eaten by foxes, not operated on by rockets.

I averted my eyes and tried to come up with a plan to escape my nefarious triplet siblings.

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My First Impulse Was to Flee

  • by jenninja assassin on the prowl in west LA
  • twine marks on only one wrist
  • they said he was not the type of person
  • scabs and scars
  • “What’s the matter?” screamed the ladies.

Tune in next time part 195                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

My first impulse was to flee the scene as quickly and quietly as a ninja assassin on the prowl in west LA, to get far away from the stench of burnt flesh, and all of the blood. But I had been on the run for so, so long, and I was exhausted. I felt like a man with twine marks on only one wrist, which is the Contrarian way of saying ‘burning the candle at both ends.’

I locked the door to the rocket surgery to make sure no one walked in on me while I slept, then I curled up on the operating table and took a nap. When people described my brother Jason, they said he was not the type of person who could sleep just anywhere, that he was very finicky about where he bedded down, but they would never say that about me. The slab of stainless steel was an island in a sea of Absinthia’s blood, and upon it I slept like a baby.

When I awoke, I spent a few minutes counting all my scabs and scars, cataloging the myriad ways I now differed from my twin. It wasn’t just our sleep habits that would enable people to tell us apart any longer.

Self-examination complete, I leapt from the table and onto Absinthia’s desk chair. My momentum and the chair’s excellent casters carried me away from the gore, and around a corner. Here was Absinthia’s apartment, replete with bed and shower. If only I’d explored last night I could have slept in comfort. At least I could still get clean.

After my ablutions, I rifled through Absinthia’s closet, hoping to find something a little more dignified than my calico pinafore. In addition to the doctor’s clothes, none of which would fit me, I found a cache of men’s clothing that fit me a little too well. It was as if they’d been tailored for me, which meant they’d probably been tailored for Jason. But the shoes were too small.

“What’s the matter?” screamed the ladies. That’s what I call my intuition, my gut feelings. ‘The ladies’ had never let me down. And right now they were trying to tell me something important. If the shoes were too small for me, they were too small for Jason. That meant, the ladies assured me, that these clothes had been tailored for my younger brother Jim.

I froze.

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I Put All Thought of the Wastewater Treatment Plant Out of My Mind

  • by jenglimpse of a red sweater
  • I have had little experience of women
  • capable of forgetting that he had ever been married
  • until the helicopter came
  • Whenever she wore pants

Tune in next time part 193                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

I put all thought of the wastewater treatment plant out of my mind and delved back into the juicier part of my flashback. I recalled Tessa in her scarlet Academy uniform, and how after she rescued me from the frozen rugby pitch, and in the process saw me naked, I blushed at every glimpse of a red sweater.

You must remember that in this flashback I am a teenager and I have had little experience of women. I don’t like to think of myself as a man who is capable of forgetting that he had ever been married, but again this is a flashback, and the time period being flashed back to predates my marriage to Fleur. I just want to be clear about that. I wasn’t a virgin or anything, but I also wasn’t participating in orgies until the helicopter came in for a landing, as they say. That part came later, but I doubt we’ll get to that in this flashback.

Whenever she wore pants with her red sweater, Tessa got in trouble. Girls at the Academy were expected to wear either skirts or the occasional wetsuit, just as we boys were required to wear kilts when we weren’t training for underwater missions.

Underwater missions! Of course! That held the key to getting me out of this terrible situation.

I quickly stopped my flashback and stared into the face of the fusillade of rockets aimed at my body. There were enough to make any Independence Day celebration envious, and now I knew just how to escape their surgical fury.

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Inside the Rocket Surgery

  • by jenskating together and holding hands
  • then dissolved in acid
  • “You obstinate fellow!”
  • strings of a balalaika being plucked
  • kept the last of my clothes on

Tune in next time part 191                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

Inside the rocket surgery I heard two thumps and a rattle, followed by precise, clicking footsteps. I was pretty sure I knew whose footsteps those were, and it made my heart feel like it was skating together and holding hands with its sweetheart. The doorknob turned and those sweethearts in my chest fell through the ice and then dissolved in acid because the lake upon which they had been skating was not composed of water.

The door swung inward and there she was, Dr Belladonna, the former headmistress of the Academy.

“It’s you!” she cried, happier to see me than I had dared hope. “Unless it’s Jason.”

“It’s me either way.”

“You obstinate fellow!” She stood aside and ushered me into her operating theater. I had no choice but to enter.

The room was well-lit and swelteringly hot, and it smelled of hydrocarbons. Whatever music she was listening to sounded like the strings of a balalaika being plucked with an eggbeater.

“What are you doing in Harmonia, Dr Belladonna?”

“Oh please, we’re not at the Academy anymore. Call me Absinthia.”

“What are you doing in Harmonia, Absinthia?”

“It’s not rocket surgery!” She laughed. “Well, actually it is. I’ve developed a marvelous new technique that turns the whole field on its head. Instead of performing surgery on rockets, I have devised a way to use rockets to perform surgery!” She laughed again, with a triumphant gleam in her eye. “Perhaps I should say ‘developing.’ I’m always looking for new test subjects, and you suddenly appear at my door! I’d say that’s a sign!”

I edged back toward the door, but not quickly enough. Absinthia sprang at me and injected me with some sort of paralytic. I was helpless as she laid me out on the operating table and stripped off my crocs and snowpants. I suppose I should feel grateful that she kept the last of my clothes on, but the calico pinafore was easy for her to pull up to my neck, exposing my entire torso to this madwoman and her collection of surgical rockets.

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Old Nut-Cracker Face Ignored My Question

  • by jensmeared me with lipstick and face powder
  • holds the blanket up to indicate his intent
  • here at last was the elusive
  • clean up after himself
  • and green flannel snowpants

Tune in next time part 185                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

Old nut-cracker face ignored my question and smeared me with lipstick and face powder. He plopped a curly blond wig on my head. “Take off that ridiculous jumpsuit if you want to get away from your mother. I’ll find you something else to wear.” His eyes crawled all over me. “A disguise.” His tone was not unlike that of a pervert who wraps himself in a blanket and hangs out in the bus station, the sort who holds the blanket up to indicate his intent to make your entire bus ride miserable. Pervert or not, though, he was offering to help me escape from Mother and her nefarious plans for me.

I slowly eased the zipper down on my jumpsuit as I watched him dig through crates and trunks and suitcases full of wholesome stripper attire, throwing clothes and shoes and boas everywhere. After what felt like an eternity he finally said, “Aha!” and stood, triumphant. Here at last was the elusive disguise he’d been seeking. He approached me, fists full of fabric, and didn’t even bother to clean up after himself.

Soon I had removed my corduroy jumpsuit and donned an equally ridiculous new outfit. It consisted of a calico pinafore and green flannel snowpants, with a pair of kicky espadrilles for my feet.

I looked in the mirror and barely recognized myself in my new wig, makeup, and feminine clothes. As I headed for the back door, I saw old nut-cracker face struggling into my abandoned clothing.

Why would he want to do that?

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My Lace Jumpsuit Was So Tight

  • by jenThe tongue action is explicit
  • We are not moving
  • in a very satisfactory manner
  • all the men were much too stupid and ugly to mate with
  • “It’s gonna match. It’s gonna match. It’s gotta match.”

Tune in next time part 171                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

My lace jumpsuit was so tight I could only indulge in one Scorpion Angel donut. My captor watched me eat it with unseemly glee in his eye and a bit of drool at the corner of his mouth. No matter how much I cajoled, he himself did not partake. When I had finished the last bite, he put his gun away and licked the powdered sugar from my fingertips. It was very unsettling, but my training had prepared me for things like that and I reacted calmly. The tongue action is explicit and precise in this kind of code, but you have to pay close attention to pick up the nuances.

“Well,” his tongue said. “Time to get going. Tessa is waiting for you.”

Tessa!

I allowed the man to herd me out of the donut shop. If he would lead me to Tessa, I would follow him practically anywhere.

Memory Lane was clogged with tourists on their way to the bachelor auction. My companion and I were trying to fight our way upstream.

He grabbed my hand and licked a message on my palm. “We are not moving in a very satisfactory manner.

Suddenly the tide turned and all of the women surged in the opposite direction. From what I overheard, the bachelor auction was a bust because all the men were much too stupid and ugly to mate with, especially if you were expected to pay.

One of them, an Asian woman with green hair and cotton candy stains around her mouth, spotted a numbered tag fluttering from the zipper of my jumpsuit. She shrieked with delight and pulled a raffle ticket out of her pocket. She compared the numbers, chanting, “It’s gonna match. It’s gonna match. It’s gotta match.”

What would I do if I was this woman’s prize? I had to get to Tessa.

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Even Through I Now Had All the Answers

  • by jenI love the idea of a jumpsuit
  • all I can say is that I was desperately hungry
  • which lay so thickly upon the floor
  • clothed in a captain’s uniform
  • fueled by frustration and alcohol

Tune in next time part 167                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

Even though I now had all the answers, I still needed to disguise myself and escape from Valentine Village. If I was lucky, maybe I’d find Tessa on the way out.

I love the idea of a jumpsuit for everyday wear. It obviates the need to find matching tops and bottoms, and, as a man, the whole peeing thing isn’t really an issue. But while I do love a good jumpsuit, I didn’t relish the idea of a lace one. Since that was all that I had at my disposal, though, I finished stripping my scrivener victim. I even stole his underwear. I know that sounds gross, but all I can say is that I was desperately hungry for my freedom, and my spiky codpiece would have shredded the lace in no time. As for going without, well, did I mention that the jumpsuit was made of lace? I didn’t want to get arrested for scandalizing the hordes of children which lay so thickly upon the floors and streets of this horrible amusement park. Believe me, I would much rather have been clothed in a captain’s uniform.

I squeezed myself into the jumpsuit, which was obviously designed for a less-muscular man. The lace was stretched to the breaking point, and I would have to move very carefully to avoid ripping the seams. The last thing I needed was to end up looking like some combination of Prince and the Hulk, fueled by frustration and alcohol and musical genius.

Shuffling carefully I exited the room. I’d have to hurry if I wanted to stop Mother’s plot.

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This Was Not Part of the Plan

  • by jensufficiently versed in the stranger’s system of stenography
  • sealed in a test tube of acid
  • you’d have to pay pounds and pounds and pounds
  • One September morning
  • a traveler’s worst nightmare

Tune in next time part 165                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

This was not part of the plan. It was in fact a traveler’s worst nightmare. Forgetting for a moment that I wore only a dog collar, a spiky codpiece, and the tinsel still clinging to my thigh hair, I was surrounded by a busload of school children on a field trip, all of them hyper from the cotton candy they ate by the fistful. One September morning, during my first year at the academy, I’d gone on a field trip much like this one, only instead of visiting a whimsically saccharine paean to love we had taken a tour of the recently excavated mime settlement. The looks on the faces of our chaperones were burned into my memory and you’d have to pay pounds and pounds and pounds of either British Sterling or Swiss chocolate if you ever expected me to participate in another field trip in my life. And even then I’d probably rather sacrifice a body part and see it sealed in a test tube of acid.

What I’m saying is I don’t really like kids. Especially not in groups.

The pink, sticky horde took up the entire walkway through the heart of Valentine Village. To avoid them, I vaulted up onto a heart-shaped sign hanging over a shopfront, and from there clambered through a window.

A man dressed entirely in lace frills was seated at a desk, scribbling something in a small notebook. Upon my arrival he leapt to his feet. Before he could sound the alarm, or even cry out, I applied a nerve pinch to his neck and he collapsed.

If I was quick, I could escape this ghastly place. I began to strip the lace costume off my victim, but my eye was snagged by his abandoned notebook. Luckily I was sufficiently versed in the stranger’s system of stenography that I could decipher his notes with little trouble.

What I read shocked me. If it was true, it would blow this whole operation wide open!

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