Hare Krishna, Baby
Part 2 of the "Girls" triptych
(Part 1: Our Girl)
My ex-wife Monica and her lesbo lover dumped the little monsterette on me right off the bat, two minutes after I walked in the door.
"You're gonna have to earn your keep, Roger," Colleen, my replacement as Monica's love interest, said. "Me and Monica need to get away, and somebody's got to watch her."
"You could take the little darling with you," I suggested, as I pulled my first beer in ten years from Monica's refrigerator.
Colleen crossed her arms over her ripe round bosom and leaned back against the granite counter top that hadn't been there when I went off to prison. "By 'get away', Roger, I meant from 'her'." She nodded in the direction of the girl, who had just slipped into the kitchen, sniffing like a cat. I took my first good look at the clone, a stout, fat-armed nine year old, with a barrel chest, a flabby belly, and a face like a pie tin full of putty. She stuck her lower lip out and crossed her arms in the fashion of Colleen, as she fixed us with a glare that would have made a rattlesnake flinch. Colleen smiled at her. It wasn't a pretty smile.
"If you and Mom need to get away from me, Queer girl, go," the girl growled. "Leave me here with the jailbird; I can handle him." She jutted her chin at my wife's lover, as my focus sharpened on the little lass's bandy legs, the pig's eyes.
"Lovely," I observed.
The little girl turned her attention to me, to tell me what I could do to myself a graphic, obscene, anatomically impossible command with words I might have considered shockingly crude for an nine year old, if I hadn't known her genetic source, the woman from whom she'd been cloned ...
It was agreed: I could borrow Colleen's car for my drive into the back country, to the Indian casino were I'd hoped to land a job as a cook a skill I'd picked up in prison. Colleen wouldn't need it; they'd already put their packed bags in Monica's car. The two lovebirds moved quickly, flitted out the front door. I followed them to protest the unexpected baby-sitting, to ask where they'd left Colleen's car keys. They ignored me, climbed into the giant white Ford Extreme. From the passenger seat, Colleen tossed me a key ring with a little pink dildo attached, along with the key to her ten-year-old Nissan Sentra, as Monica burned rubber in reverse on her exit from the driveway. The keys and dildo hit the cement with a jangle five feet in front of me.
I stepped out and bent to pick it up, and the girl, Rose 2, hit me with a blast of water from the high-pressure nozzle on the hose, a direct hit on the bull's eye of my ass. I spun around and dodged to the side, bouncing behind the Sentra. The stream of water followed me, exploded on the car's windshield, as the expression of gleeful malevolence played on the little girl's face identical to the expression I'd seen so often on the now departed Rose 1, my ex-mother-in-law. Well, I'd had to take shit from the original she had the whammy on me and Monica, since she all but supported us. But I didn't have to take it from this little bitch; I dropped Colleen's keys and charged through a full blast from the hose that didn't stop until I was on her. Rose 2 screamed and dropped the high-presssure nozzle as I cuffed her head, and she squealed like an eighty-five pound pig as I lifted and carried her writhing, sweaty flesh over my shoulder, into the house, while a neighborhood eavesdropper called the police, and the rosebud gave my kidneys a pounding like they'd never felt before.
Within two minutes of getting my ass blasted by Rose 2, I was explaining to a young female uniformed cop why the girl (was she my daughter?) had locked herself in the bathroom upstairs, and why was my hand bleeding from, apparently, the marks of four little inscisors; and why was I soaking wet.
I didn't answer a single question. Rose 2 was making such a commotion through the bathroom door wailing that I'd molested her (again, a graffic description) that the cop seemed to be just going through the motions with me. Until her backup came. When it did, she bounced up the stairs to talk to the child; and then a stringy-haired social worker skinny as a starved chicken from Child Protective Services pulled up behind the two squad cars in a faded old Hyundai. She elbowed by the two guy cops who were sauntering up the lawn, gave me a look of black contempt and clumped up the stairs in the lady cop's wake. It got quiet up there, and the two guy cops, the back-ups one a wiry black welterweight, the other a big corn-fed crew-cut white kid marched me out of the house and guided/pushed me into the back seat of their car. Neighbors had gathered around in small clumps on the sidewalks across the street. Nosey assholes. I knew enough to keep my mouth shut. "You got problems, champ," the black cop observed.
"You don't know the half of it," I replied.
They drove me to the station, let me hang for two hours in a tiny interrogation room under a flickering florescent light at a table that was bolted to the floor. Then they loomed into the room together, the two cops who'd brought me in and a plump little raven-haired Latina detective in a black business suit and white blouse. They had computer printouts, a copy each, of a history of me, Roger Neff, and of the address of the house that Rose 1 had bought for Monica and me.
"Holy shit," the black cop said, scanning the first page of the quarter-inch stack.
"You see where the old lady (my now-deceased mother-in-law) cold-cocked this guy back in '02," said the white cop, gesturing with his stack of pages at me.
"With an ashtray," I informed him. I pointed to my front teeth. "She knocked out four of them; it cost her four thousand dollars to have them replaced."
"It got written off as a minor domestic," the white cop read. "Mr. Woose here," he nodded at me, "didn't press charges."
"You let an old lady kick your ass?" said the detective, smirking.
I shrugged. "It was before the emphysema had got to her," I said, running my tongue over the posted crowns. "She was ..." I searched for a way of putting it. "...a formidable force before she got sick."
"This guy's done time," said cornfed, scanning his printout. "Smuggling an illegal immigant. A young girl."
All the cops stopped reading and looked at me.
"Maybe," said the detective, tugging on a diamond post earring, "this guy's got a thing about little girls."
"And two years back," the cornfed cop said, resuming his research, "we picked this little girl up for killing a neighborhood dog with a knife."
"Jesus," said the detective, wrinkling up her nose in disgust." A puppy killer."
"Wasn't a puppy," said corn-fed, his eyebrows arched high as he read on. "It was sixty-five pound pit bull."
The detective snorted a short laugh, then said, "Get real. A little girl, must have been, what, seven years old at the time ...?" She paged through the report to find the incident. "You're tryin' to tell me a seven-year-old girl killed a ..." She found the page. "Holy Mary mother of God, that was the Smithfield dog! I was on patrol back then; that Goddamned beast attacked an illegal lawn guy, chewed his leg off, damned near killed him." She stared off in the direction of the attack for a moment, then said: "We couldn't make a case. Guy hopped back to Mexico, leaving us hanging, and that Smithfield shithead got his dog back."
"Guess the little girl did us a favor then," said the black cop. "And it looks like," he said to me, "that you're lucky that little lady didn't come after you with a blade, leave you layin' out on the lawn like a gutted fish."
I didn't tell him that there would surely be blood in my urine the next time I peed, from the pounding she'd dished out on me.
The dog story indeed, the cloning of Rose Shea was news to me. I'd been in regular contact with Monica and Colleen while I was in prison. I knew the details of Rose's passing after the head transplant they'd arranged to keep her alive a drastic measure mapped out by Monica, because the old girl said if we didn't keep her alive she'd give all her money to the Hare Krishnas when she croaked. But there wasn't a body in the world that wouldn't reject that head, I'd told Monica in my original argument against the deal; and I was right. After a two-week tissue rejection taffy pull on the neck/body border, the stitches snapped, and that gargoyle head shot off the donor neck on a geyser of blood like like a gusher from a fire hydrant.
But it turned out Big Rose had lied about the Krishnas, hedging her bets big time on the immortality thing. In the case of the failure of the transplant, she'd secretly arranged (her lawyer was a snake) to have herself dupicated. Her DNA unbeknownst to Monica, Colleen or me sat submerged in a test tube in a vat of liquid nitrogen in the Loma Alta Life Extension Society's laboratory, in the converted beer warehouse behind the bowling alley down on the Coast Route. Her death set off as per the instructions in her will a new chain of tainted life. The story of my mother-in-law's rebirth was told to me on the drive home from prison, spun like something out of the second Bush president's p.r. machine. A blessed event, said Colleen. The birth, from the body of the Honduran surrogate mom, was a miracle, and the money remained in trust, where Monica and Colleen could bleed it (my words, not hers) as long as Rose 2 thrived. Rose 2 was the joy of Monica and Colleen's life. Then we pulled up into the driveway. Rose 2, wielding a claw hammer, had the baby-sitter Monica'd hired a plump, middle-aged Mexican woman who was probably wishing she'd never heard of this promised land treed in the big eucalyptus in the front yard ...
"You want a lawyer, champ?" said the black cop.
I stabbed my fingers through my hair, and said, "I don't believe I'm gonna need one."
The cops exchanged glances, looking very sure of themselves and the case they had against me, as the door swung open and the social worker from Child Protective Services blew in like a black cloud, spewing thunder with her proclamation: "It's the work of the devil!" She had a clipboard with a two-inch stack of paperwork clasped to her scrawny chest, a look on her face that suggested the insertion of a very large and sour pickle in her ass.
"What is?" said the lady detective, fixing the social worker with a baleful glare.
"The girl's a clone! God's punishing her!"
The cops' postures sagged.
"And that means she's not really human!" the social worker grated, triumphant.
It was true; a Bushian Congress (during the third Bush presidency) had so decreed. Clones were not of God, were not human, and therefore they had no rights under the Constitution. The ranks of maids and prostitutes and McDonalds workers were now filling up with clones created during a legally murky interim between the second and third Bush presidencies.
"Oh Jesus," said the detective, rubbing her eyes with a thumb and forefinger.
"A nasty, deranged little devil spawn!" the social worker fumed, her complexion taking on a painfully scarlet hue. "And you've got no case; she's property, so ..." And so tight was she clasping the clipboard that it broke with a snap, along a horizontal fissure in its middle. "And so you've got to release him."
"We do?" said the detective.
The bottom half of the clipboard broke free and clattered to the floor; the bottom half of the papers held buy the top half clamp fluttered. "Yes, you do; and you've got to give the souless bitch back to him!" With that, the red-faced social worker unwound one snake-like arm from her chest/clipboard and eyes protruberant, lower lip quivering she pointed a blood-red fingernail at me.
"Christ, you can't hurt a God damned dog without having charges filed," said the black cop.
And I leaned back in my chair, sitting on five hours of freedom after ten long years of incarceration, and said: "Just throw my ass back in jail."
The two uniformed cops drove us home, the girl and I cramming ourselves into to opposite corners of the back seat of the squad car. Rose 2 smelling like an old onion snuffled, a viscous, snotty, obsteperous sound.
"I'm gonna cut your balls off, fuck face," she announced to me on the driveway, as I stood and gazed at a Century 21 for sale sign sunk into a clump of cement on the front lawn.
"This wasn't here," I said, "when we left." I touched the cement with the toe of my shoe; it was still wet.
Rose 2 stalked into the house. I drifted behind her, pondering real estate sales. Inside, the light on the holo phone blinked with two messages. I pushed the replay. The first was a the Century 21 agent, a Trudy something. She beamed at me, on a half-sized setting, from the holo pad. She had a ratted out bird's nest of black hair and thin greyhound's face, a diamond the size of a golf ball on the third finger of her right hand. She chirped like a bird at me, though she thought she was talking to Monica: "Hi, Mon honey; I've already got a couple of bites on the house, but I want to remind you, you might want to do something about the mold out there on the wall beneath the patio cover. Mold spooks people, you know. And the toilet in the master bedroom doesn't quite flush the way it should." She smiled, a red gem stone flashing from her right front incisor. She wiggled her fingers at her holo transmitter. "Just a couple of suggestions, honey; we got big money comin' your way! And, oh, about those oils spots on the driveway ..."
I hit the skip button, and a Monica appeared, in a silky kimono with dragons writhing on it, a thin-fabric covering that left nothing to be imaged concerning the shape of her breasts. "Roger," she said from her hotel room in Vegas, as my testicles reacted to the site of her bosom by drawing themselves up painfully against my body. "We worked it out with the lawyer, and Rosey is yours." Colleen floated into holo view, in an identical kimono, one that wasn't belted. The open "V" stabbed all the way down to the top of the tuft of her pubic hair. I punched the image to full-size, as my balls quivered; I groaned, and Monica said: "It seems the will had a few loopholes. You'll get an allowance, enough for an apartment and nine hours a day, five days a week for day care for Rosey, so you can get your cook's job." She sighed, looking resigned. "I think," she continued, as Colleen kissed her ear, "it's best for everyone ..."
Monica went dreamy-eyed; and I clicked the message off and star 69'd the call, and immediately got the lovers in the same hotel room, still wrapped in those kimonos (Colleen's still falling provocatively open in front), feasting on five hundred dollars' worth of room service.
They looked at me without passion. Colleen slurped an oyster down. Monica, with a chunk of rare steak the size of a walnut dripping blood onto her kimono from her fork, said, "Hi, Roge, you get the job? You're gonna need it, you know; the allowance you get will just pay for the apartment and the daycare."
"I didn't make the interview; there was a little problem with the police."
'Really?" said Monica, popping the meat into her mouth.
"What the hell are you doing, Monica? There's a For Sale sign out front. You're selling the house?" I said.
"Yep, moving to Idaho," said Colleen, garlic butter glistening on her lips.
"Idaho," I said, dumbly, as if those three syllables somehow contained the solution to the problems that were gelling up on me.
"Yes," Monica said around the chunk of steak. "It's beautiful there."
"Idaho," I repeated.
"Face it, Roger," said Colleen, lifting another oyster. "California's ruined. Traffic congestion, smog, gangs, drug addicts running all over the place, not to mention ..." she tilted her head back and slurped her oyster. The small bump of Adam's apple jiggled in her milk white throat, then she looked back down at the holo transmitter, raised her eyebrows in my direction, and continued, "not to mention ex-cons."
That stung, so I said: "Idaho? Isn't that one of those states like Utah, where they take lesbians out and drown them in a lake?"
Monica counterpunched immediately, without imagination. "Fuck you, Roger."
Colleen laughed, a deep, throaty guffaw; and then, because she knew how much it would hurt me, she spread her legs to allow me a view of her bush, a mahogany-colored patch, shades lighter than the hair on her head. I swallowed hard, averted my gaze, locked eyes with Monica and said, "What's to stop me from telling you two to just kiss my ass, I'm not taking care of that little piglet?"
"Besides the money, you mean?" Colleen said. She brought one foot up and planted in on the bottom of the wicker chair, angled her knee out to expand my view of her crotch. Labia, little and big, came into view. The smaller pair, deeply maroon, glistened with recent activity. I swallowed hard. Monica looked from me to Colleen. Her face puckered into a Rose 1-like ugliness as she assessed the view I was receiving. She called Colleen a slut, then reached over and killed the holo projection.
"I won't need the money," I said, aware of a tremor in my voice.
The phone was on speaker mode now, no picture. Monica her voice tense with barely contained rage at her lover's display said: "Roger, have you checked rent prices? The housing market went bonkers while you were in jail. You think a cook's salary is going to cover your expenses? You ditch Rosey, you'll end up living under a bridge."
I couldn't sway my mind away from the sight of Colleen, couldn't think straight enough to form a reply. The word "whore" huffed through the speaker, from Monica's lips, followed by, from the hallway, a scuff of a bare foot on the floor. Rose 2's head poked around the corner, her lower jaw clamped hard enough to break bones, the look in her eyes as blackly malignant as any I'd ever seem on another human being, with the exception of Rose 1. I looked from her to the blank holo receiver and said to Monica: "What if I just kill her? Won't you two be out of a bit of an income, too?" I Iooked back toward the hallway. Rose 2 hissed like a gila monster and pulled her head back out of view. The speaker phone issued the sounds of a struggle a slap, a curse, feet skipping and sliding along floor. A door slammed in that Las Vegas hotel room. Two seconds later the holo reappeared. It was Colleen, alone, her thick hair ratted out on one side, four close red stripes of a hard slap flaming on her cheek. "God damn it, Roger, don't blow this for us!" she snapped. "If you'll just chill out, think about the situation and make the best of it, we can all be on easy street."
A blush had crept up her neck. The kimono hung wide in front, showing off the glorious inner curves of a substantial bosom, and her eyelids were peeled back wide, showing white all around her green irises. She approached the holo projector, breasts swaying beneath thin fabric. "You know what you need, to calm you down, Roger?" she said. Monica's sobbing, soft and muffled from behind a closed door of the suite's bathroom played a rhythm behind Colleen as she repeated in a husky whisper, "You know what you need, to reset your thinking, get you mind on an even keel?"
I couldn't find my voice. So close to the holo projector was Colleen now, that everything exept her torso was eclipsed. The kimono fell away. I whimpered. I'd handled celibacy, in the last few years of my confinement, by tossing the pornography and putting the subject of women out of my mind. Cold showers, free weights. Colleen's hand dropped into the holo, fingers splayed as they slid between her breasts. "We can work something out, Roger," she whispered. "Maybe a joint custody thing, me and Monica can take her one weekend a month or something, couple of weeks in the summer."
Her palm, with a gentle rasp, slid over her navel like a salacious lullaby. It was lovely, that hand: smooth-skinned, slim-fingered, with slight bulges at the middle knuckle. The nails were perfect ovals, opal-like, painted an eye-catching shade of red a deep rich color, with brown undertones a color that complimented he mahogany shade of her pubic hair. "Don't make any rash decisions, Roger," she cooed, as the middle finger of that hand disappeared with a kiss, a just-audible sound of the parting of mucous membranes.
My whole body quivered. I don't think I can be blamed ten years in prison, the last three without a voluntary ejaculation (nothing I could do about the dreams). I dropped my pants and waddled into her, ankles ensnared in bunched fabric. And I entered her holo image, that was, of course, empty air. And I took the matter in hand.
She made appropriate noises; her torso squirmed, and I came in very short order, with a force of ejection that sent a milky glob flying in one direction, and me, obeying a law of physics for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction--stumbling backward to fall on my bare ass, with a fat slap on the Italian tiled floor, as Rose 2 stumbled out of the doorway from the hall where she'd apparently witnessed my holo ecstacy. She sported on her forehead, between her eyebrows, the big glistening glob of my seminal fluid, that began as she approached me, mouth agape, stunned to obey its own law of physics, gravity, drooping downward onto the bridge of her nose; and it made me think out of the clear blue sky, or from Rose 1's old threat, perhaps of that silly slab of snot those airport rambling, robe-wearing Krishna nuts plaster onto their faces.
The sight struck me funny. I barked out a harsh laugh, then, grinning like a satiated idiot, I flashed a thumb's up at the girl and chuckled, "Hare Krishna, baby."
Rose 2's expression bunched up, going from over-proofed bread dough to a knotted fist in three seconds flat, as she reached up and wiped my reproductive stuff away with a flat hand. She looked at it, then back to me, her mouth opening into up into a tiny, tight little black hole that let out a shrill harpy's scream. Colleen's image, that had disappeared, post ejaculation, reappeared, full body, kimono-wrapped. Rose 2 blew right through it, crazed, her hands formed up into claws. She went for my eyes. I scooted backwards on the tiles, trying to pull my pants up, as Rose 2 hit me, full of wolverine fury, raging teeth and claws. The weights in prison paid off. A sharp left jab snapped her head back, a prelude to my scrambling onto my knees to grab ahold and wrestle her down. She bit into my chest, just inside my nipple, taking a chunk of flesh that would fill an ice cream scoop. I howled and rammed my forearm across her throat, cutting off her oxygen. She gurgled and writhed, her fight tapering down as consciousness waned, as a woman's voiced chirped through the screen door: "Knock, knock! I'm here with someone who wants to buy this gorgeous house of yours!"
"Shit!" I hissed, letting up on Rose's throat, and turning to see Trudy, the real estate agent, glide across the threshold into the entryway, with a young and very affluent-looking couple in tow. Rose sucked up a gulp of air like a vacuum cleaner then clonked the side on my face with a bony fist, breaking off two molars at the gum line. I cursed, spit out the hard white marbles and reapplied the forearm. The girl made noises like a dentist's suction hose and thrashed anew with her infusion of fresh oxygen, with the blood from my chest wound smeared on her face. I reached with my free hand to pull at my pants. The real estate lady screamed. The man half of the rich couple cried out, "Oh good Lord, he's raping her!" as Rose's legs wrapped themselves into a scissors hold around my waist. She hooked her ankles and tried to squeeze, but her strength was fading as I maintained the pressure on her throat.
Colleen, her voice as tight as a banjo string, said, "Jesus Christ, Trudy, don't! don't!" as the gun that had appeared in the real estate lady's hand went off BOOM BOOM BOOM echoing hugely, like the voice of God, off the hard tiles, sending bullets deep into my flesh and, through me, into Rose's, too.
Published January 2006