4.02.2006

18!

"Drop everything and give me ten...books"

The Galleycat looked at me, her whiskers twitching threateningly from behind the terrapin-top desk. Everything in my head was a muddle. I remembered leaving the house, walking along the boardwalk with the promenading poodles, trying not to think about how your mother wears Army boots, how that turns me on. You'd yelled and asked if you should get some from Bob's Surplus, in the seedy part of town. I'd left, with the dogs, in a huff, saying we'd discuss this when you had calmed down. I walked through the wetlands. The poodles turned their noses high in the air. Like you, they thought army boots and swamplands were declasse. Me, I loved to watch the will of the wisp weaving through the thick, putrid air. I stared at the pretty lights, wishing that I was a good enough writer to turn them into an elegant metaphor.

Next thing I knew, here I was, in this empty place far from the roar of the greasepaint, smell of the crowd that was your life. Our relationship. Never date an actress, they had told me. As always, I hadn't listened. And now, where had it gotten me? I was in a room, all wood and leather and animal smells. There were shelves everywhere and baskets full of crumpled papers. I felt my head for lumps, and that's when the Galleycat appeared.

She was a science-fiction cliche, part woman, part cat, all breast. I wondered what she would look like in army boots. She watched me from behind that desk, her tail swishing meanacingly. In the background, I could hear Bat Segundo interviewing TS Eliot. They were talking about bunions. I tried to keep my cool, show my snark, but when I opened my mouth nothing but "ooo-oo-eek" came out. The Galleycat opened the door of the desk and pulled out the yellowest banana I had ever seen. I leapt from my spot, grabbed it and devoured it with urgency, surprised by my hunger. I picked the piece of fruit apart, pressing its mushy core into mouth as though I hadn't eaten for months.

That's when I looked around the other half of the room where I had been. There were desks, thousands of them. Millions. A monkey at every one. They were drinking coffee and chittering and smoking, like those posters that people used to keep in their cubicles. Some of the monkeys were grooming one another. I looked, puzzled, and made an involuntary ook noise.

And that's when the Galleycat hissed. All the monkeys fell silent. "Drop everything and give me ten...books," her purr belied by her whiskers. The monkeys all shuffled into their desks, and began banging at the keyboards. I looked at the Galleycat and she looked at me. I found an empty desk and got to work.


The Snarks come and go, talking of Michaelangelo...to Bat Segundo no less.
It's better than snoring!

Scoring to come

8 comments:

Sal said...

I'm channeling Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds after this one ...

Inkwolf said...

This....is my favorite one yet! :D Brilliant!

McKoala said...

Then he woke up and it was just a bad dream? For me, it has that feel to it. Maybe it's the banana...

JLB said...

Well done! When can we expect to see the sonnets?

Anonymous said...

Tentative score so far: 78, I think? And plus five for funny? I really shouldn't judge the "funny" part, though. I have a sick sense of humor.

--B

Sal said...

--B

B, is that you?

Inkwolf said...

Well, hon, for what it's worth, you'd have had my vote if you had made the cut!

I think it's well-written, funny, surreal and unexpected. :)

I think it could use a continuation where an attractive young female monkey writes a Shakespeare play, and you help her escape with it, evading Galleycats on horseback, and ending up on a beach where, to your horror, you discover a huge, bronze statue of your wife sticking out of the sand...but that's just me. :p

Bonnie said...

Aw shucks, Inkwolf. Damn the bunions, but I am blushing.