Her brain was on fire with ideas, yet could not produce another magical, whimsical word. That’s what writing was supposed to be about, wasn’t it? The magic, the gold dust woman of Hollywood? Her previous work had magic, all right. A title: Ole’ Broken Bones Pete stared back at her from the new open word document. That morning her cell phone alarm pulled her soul back into consciousness playing Kings of Leon’s “Sex on Fire”. She opened her eyes with the thought, “OK, motherfucker, here we go!” She set the alarm an hour earlier than usual so she had an hour to fool around with her ideas before getting into character for her day gig.
She glanced over at a small framed picture on her nightstand. A gift from Jason, an old friend: A kitten staring at a lion through a large mirror. It read, “The only thing that matters is how you see yourself.” She thought about that for a moment.
“Well, it ain’t gonna suck itself, Chloe… get up,” she said.
She bent her arms over her head, arched her back and tightened up her legs, and made that goofy face she made every morning before pulling herself out of her bestie. Chloe was a sucker for clichés and her morning cup of Joe.
“I’m fine, Mom. Really…. I don’t need anything. OK then, tell Dad I said hi…. OK, Mom. I love you too. Bye.” She eagerly pressed end on her cell.
“OK, baby doll, time to pound it,” she said out loud, looking around her studio apartment. Her playtime was cut down to forty-one minutes after a long piss that would make Austin Powers scream, “Yeah baby!!!” after Joe (her morning wood) and a nice long chat with her Mother. As she stared at the blank screen, her thoughts raced to a more simple time. She thought of Joey, a boy from so long ago. Her first kiss, the first time she felt that beautiful warmth in her throat and chest. It was a tragedy. The first boy she ever liked, ever kissed, went missing just a few days later. Sort of a pattern that she was all too familiar with.
Chloe sipped her morning wood. A title came to mind. She quickly typed it out. Chloe discovered the world of online horror fiction a little over a year ago. She had written a few mediocre stories that were accepted by the bureaucrats that run the sight with catchy names like Notthatguy and Mullethead85. Her latest story “Gimme Shelter” was gaining in popularity. A well-known narrator on YouTube took a chance on her story. It got over 175,000 views within a week as did most of his narrations. Chloe’s story was special. To think all she did was recount her childhood growing up a human sacrifice to Satan-in-waiting. Fans of this work craved more of her haunting stories. “This story is too horrifying to be real,” many thought. Once a girl in rags who slept in a cage to the hip 27 year old who lived her life one day at a time. With a hell of a fruit-filled center waiting to be penned out.
“Shit!” she shouted, glancing at the rustic wall clock which read 7:23.
She tapped her pen on her cubical desk to the beat of Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” as she hummed the guitar. She liked to imagine that this song was written about her. She definitely had the attitude and looks, not to mention the Goddess complex confidence needed to be that girl. The 5 o’clock day was still in its infancy. Her career as the next Stephen King would need to wait until 5:30 that evening.
“Ole’ Broken Bones Pete,” she thought. Echoes of dead old memories still pounding in her head.
“Hey chicky!” she heard over her shoulder turning back. She knew it was her buddy Alice just checking in.
“What up, mamma?” she answered tilting her head, hinting at her fatigue.
“Hey, hon, I’m going to Cool Arrows tonight to watch Full Tilt. You in?” Alice looked at Chloe with her puppy-dog eyes.
“Mmm…. I don’t know. I was gonna stay home and write some more,” she said with a dash of boredom in her voice.
“Aww, come on! Go with me. Please? I’ll be your best friend,” Alice said with a childlike melody.
“Oh, whatever, mofo! You’ll be my best friend? I’m your only friend sunshine,” Chloe said
“I am the wind beneath your wings, the peanut butter in your jelly…”
“The rock in my shoe!” Alice interrupted.
Chloe smiled. “Nice. “You need to get out, son! You need to get laid!” Alice grabbed onto Chloe’s hips and moaned as she mock-humped her leg.
“Alice! Stop it!” Chloe said playfully. “OK, I’ll go, you little trouble maker!”
“Disco! I’ll swing by at 8, k? Oh, and we’re goin’ to Mama Margie’s for nachos. Can’t drink on an empty stomach!” Alice finished with a sing-song tone, satisfied with another sweet victory.
Chloe smiled, shaking her head. “Smell ya later!”
Alice was the only friend who was crazier than she was. She was the first to befriend Chloe when she was new in town and still wet behind the ears. She taught her about being independent and free and about being t-r-o-u-b-l-e. She was Chloe’s sister from another Mister, that one.
The Ruby-red slippers of her day would be loud music, Budweiser, laughs and possibly a good lay. It had been awhile. Chloe spent more time at home writing and less time now as the Grand Poobah party-bitch of Downtown San Antonio. Her day would get better, slowly but surely. Eight o’clock, that gave her time to write. She had to have more than just a title.
Ten minutes until 5. “Oh come on!” she thought. Chloe looked back and forth from her cell to her computer screen to the mundane view of the rest of the cubicles, which contained others doing the same damn thing. Her text message tone blasted: “She’s a Brick House”. Expecting it to be Alice, she checked.
“Jason?” she asked herself.
Jason was an old boyfriend from back home in Lytle. The two met under strange circumstances. Paradise wouldn’t last forever, though. Two years later and Jason moving on to the lucrative world of hunting the paranormal, they remained friends. She hadn’t heard from him in 3 months, though.
Jason: Hey Chloe, sorry I haven’t been in touch. Life’s crazy as always. More-so lately. Can we meet?
Chloe: Hey yourself. Where the fuck have you been?! Yeah, out of work in 5. My place C U.
Jason: Ok. I’ll be there around 6. Some things I need to tell you. I owe you a drink or two.
Chloe: K. C U then.
“Oh Mom, you’ll never guess who texted me today! Jason. Yeah, he’s coming over in a few. Said he has something to tell me. I don’t know. Really! I don’t know. No, doubt it. He’s busy doing his own thing for all that. Besides, who would have me? Thanks Mom… you’re supposed to say that. OK, well, I gotta go drop a deuce. Speaking of, give my love to Dad, huh? I know, sorry. I love you too! Bye!” Chloe tossed her cell on her bed and shimmied over to the bathroom. Normally she brought her friend with her to the bano but this time she needed a moment to think.
He had been there a million times before. For some reason, though, she felt the need to tidy up a little. She played Muse over the loud speaker from her I-pod instead of her cell so she wouldn’t be interrupted every time someone called or texted. Chloe knew she was a more efficient writer when life chewed her up and swallowed her whole. When she felt like hammered shit, had a bad day. Instead of drowning in Crown Royal, floating, losing her self-worth somewhere in the abyss, she wrote. She was also getting better each time. The days of drinking herself into a stupor were nearly over. It was the same ole’ song and dance.
Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock….. knock, knock. said the door. Chloe walked in haste yet trying to remain cool as she opened the door.
“What up, nigga?” Chloe asked the tall, white guy standing at her door.
Jason smiled, “Oh captain, my captain… come here!”
They went in for the hug. Chloe immediately punched him in the arm.
“You shit!! You don’t call, you don’t write… I thought you went ghost or something... aahhh get it?! Ghost?” she pointed her gun-shaped fingers at Jason.
“Nah, just been busy you know? How’s the lady and the tramp? And by tramp, I do mean Alice.” He matched wits.
“She’s good. Good at being a pain in my ass. She’s coming over later, we’re going to Cool Arrows later. Wanna tag?” Chloe invited him.
“With that walking nightmare? No thanks... I’ll pass. I didn’t know you were going out. Sorry,” Jason said, a hint of disappointment in his voice.
“Yeah….. sorry, dude. If I knew I’d be seeing you tonight, I wouldn’t have agreed to go out with the mouth of the south. You know what? I’m gonna cancel,” Chloe resolved.
“No! You go out, have some fun. You look like you could use it.”
“Yeah, but the main reason I agreed to go out was so I can… get some…. I don’t need to go out for that do I?” Chloe stared into Jason’s eyes as she touched his muscular chest, something familiar to her.
She missed him in that way sometimes on those lonely nights and fantasized about the next time she saw him. She would seize the opportunity.
“No, you don’t.” Jason shook his head, wrapping his arms around her waist, then gripping her ass with both hands.
“So, what did you want to talk to me about?” Chloe asked Jason as she lay on the right side of his chest, listening to his heartbeat finally slowing down.
“Yeah, that. Well, first off it wasn’t my plan to do this although I’d be crazy to pass this chance up,” he said. They both smiled.
Chloe looked up at him “This time, I seduced you big boy.”
“Oh, that you did! I feel so used…” Jason said. He let out a slight “Ow!” as Chloe pinched his left nipple with her right hand.
“Really, though, what is it?” She gave him her full attention.
Jason sighed deep. “I’ve… been having dreams lately…. About Joey.” He knew Joey was a touchy subject for Chloe in the past.
“Really? Me too,” she said surprised. “I knew there had to be a reason for it. I think he’s trying to tell us something.”
“Oh, I know he is.” Jason exclaimed.
Chloe sat up next to him. “What?” she asked.
Jason sat up as well “He’s been telling me you’re in some kind of trouble. Something about talking to your Mother on the phone.”
“Hmmm… well, nothing that I know of is wrong. I talk to her almost every day on the phone.”
Jason raised his eyebrow and tilted his head staring at Chloe in horror. “Hey, your mother is dead, Chloe. She died when you were a baby. Both your parents are dead!”
Written by Blacknumber1