Down Belladonna Street (Pt. 1 of 5)

Nobody owns life, but anybody who can pick a frying pan owns death.
-  William S. Burroughs


It’s six AM.
She’s been staring at ceiling for one hour. A good time to get up as any, but the sun makes it a classic.
He just hit the REM sleep. His fingers and feet move in little ways, much like a pup. Those dreams are a thrill.
Her back is, as usual, in pain. But she can reach her walker. The day she doesn’t she’s done for.
In his dream, he runs. Not from something, but towards it. He feels a rush of adrenaline by doing that. Is he remembering?
Those lazy helpers didn't even arrived yet… But no foul, Georgie from security is a darling. He'll get her the smuggled goods before that nasty breakfast.
Or is he fantasizing? It might be both, as the last time such things happened it was all pretty much a messy haze.
She reaches for her radio, hidden of course. Dangit, it's out of batteries. Well, as if it would matter. Music these days is as good as white noise.
A haze of neon red and violet, filled with tribal sounds and nothing but fulfilment. He wished it would come back when awake, so his head fulfilled it to its most when he dreamt.
Anyway, she grabbed her glasses and one of the old newspapers. Better that than nothing, she guessed.
His blood rushed and he sweat, he was almost there. His hands clasped with anticipation, but as he was reached for it… He woke.
After all, she had plenty of time to kill.
And he only wished he could do the later.


Betty was about tired of reading those papers for the gosh knows which time. She peeked out of the door, in the hopes that Georgie would be passing by with the goods.
You know, chips, white chocolate with raisins and that dang coffee hard candy.
The good bad stuff.
And, just as she thought of the food she clearly was not medically allowed to eat, Georgie popped up. He was wearing the grey security uniform, as he usually did, and strolled casually down the corridor with his big rectangular size and lovable manner. His fingers filled with uniquely colored tied ribbons, three in each an avid one could say. That'd be both his age and the amount of elderly people he had to get going with the contraband. He also had a huge "laundry" bag, and one of those squaredy security caps, with the company's badge above the bill.
"Adityi Solutions", written inside the "police knock-off" brazen. No one inside the retirement home bothered to know though. Three quarters of them would need a magnifier to check that too.
He noticed Betty, and after looking to each of his sides he moved towards her in his "stealth" mode.
He just hunched down and walked doing hand gestures.
"Huh… Hello there Mrs. Okeke!"
"No need for formalities Georgie boy, where's my gains?"
"Oh! One sec."
He opened the bag, and inside it there could be seen several other neatly packaged bags, each with a different pattern and visible huge amount of care. The security man checked his ribbons, and untied the bright red ribbon from his pinkie finger.
Georgie handed the old lady the shining silver star pattern bag and a, not surprisingly, red ribbon.
"There you go, ma'am!"
"Ah! Thanks, sweetie. You're the best we could get here."
He blushed.
"No prob, Mrs. Okeke… I just want to make sure that at least once a month you friendly folk can get some nice treats."
"Well, be assured that we are as grateful as we can get when it comes to it. Only the devil knows how they get to make such poor tasting food around here."
"Hehe, I know the feeling ma'am. Ma used to buy food like that for gramps. I tasted it once, but frankly I couldn't say because it basically nothing to the mouth. But what can we do? The doctors pretty much force us to serve that."
"To hell with those demons! Can't believe we stand their machinated nonsense. Well, enough of my silliness, soon Jenkins will get up. You know how he gets when you don't deliver his stash on time."
"Well, yes! I'll be going then."
Betty waved as he went to the other end of the corridor, clumsily as he usually does, and then closed the door.
He had good intentions, making sure to spend some of his money on those elders… He just didn't realize on how that was prejudicial. Their happiness come first to his thoughts than their lifespans, one could suppose.
She carefully separated the contents of the bag on the bedside table, filling her pockets with the coffee candy, carefully aligning the chocolate behind a painting on the wall and placing the chips inside her pillow, while carefully hiding the gift wrap under her bed. Those had to last for a month.
After that, the elderly lady laid back on the bed again, picked one of the coffee candies, unwrapped it and put it in her mouth.
Some people would ask if liking them was a thing she got over time.
She'd say "No, I've always liked those…"
That wasn't quite true.
She despised coffee, having to feel its smell everyday at every hour as her mother worked.
She hated to be woken up early, after a whole night studying, just to be tired and have the house filled with it too.
She didn't like the fact that she had to have it going down her throat as she got older and staying awake got harder.
It was an all around bad experience bringer.
Well, it was until she met him.
He showed up all of a sudden, as she was there sitting alone in the park.
He smiled at her, she blushed. He made a joke, she laughed.
And so they were talking.
And then he asked… "Do you like it?"
A coffee candy in his palm.
And ever since that day, she liked it. Life got a little bit easier whenever she'd have to deal with it.
It eventually became a reminder of how things can change for good.
Her daughter brought her some after his funeral.
She didn't want them, she said "No, I've always hated those".
A couple of years passed, money got tight. She had to leave.
She asked for her daughter to bring some over the phone on her first day there.
And so in the second.
And the third.
But in the tenth she realized no candy would ever get to her.
Betty whipped her tears and put another candy in her mouth.
Yesterday's phone talk was all but nice.
She blinked twice and snapped out from the memories, what time was that?
She picked her nice wristwatch, 9:39 it showed.
'Odd…', She thought.
They caregivers were a lot late. She put the watch, her earrings and necklace.
'Where could those fools be?'


“I’ve got to start eating at home more.”

Nothing like home cooking while doing some good ol' reminiscing. Nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong but the thought. Come back to get together next Friday at 23:59 EST!


Outer Yet Same (Pt. 7 of 7)

This is the last part. For the previous part, click here. For the first part, click here.

It opened. I should've known, rumor has it you jerks choose the 'least guessable' codes for every facility main entrance.
I turned, and just as I did I saw the Doctor coming from the corner. I was still catching my breath, but less than an inch away the lurching creature followed him.
I panicked, as I stayed on the door near its hinge, and so both of them hit me, making me fall out of the room. The blood rushed in my veins as I got up. The corridors got orange. I don't know if it was the anger or the sun, but all was starting to boil, in a single motion I pulled out my machete.
All became a blur, as I saw the creature mounted over Jankowski, both by the door. It was doing it's horrid routine, identically to the one done to Sladovich… In a single move it was pulling the Doctor's throat out, but much like the other, it dared to savor the moment.
It dared to enjoy as it brought nothing other than pain and horror, as blood dripped from its claws from the neck of its victim."
The camera shook hard, its holder were extremely uneasy.
"So I cut its main hand out, cut it good. Just to make it sure it could bleed too.
I made sure it felt it, I made sure it knew it was about to die through every second of it.
It struggled intensely as I held it back with my machete, slicing through its pulse as if… No, I was cutting through the enemy's throat. The hellish alien stood no chance now, but…
As it jagged back and forth…"
Gagging followed the continued shaking.
"... The Doctor's throat. I'd guess you can join the dots.
The rest is just as easy, if you pardon my tiredness. We got in, I patched him with the supplies of the Safe Room, I made my calls…
And here we are. Lucky to have this piece of garbage standing by. Hope you listened."
After that, the man got back into composure, took a long breath and told the Doctor to sit. The footage turned sideways and the angle changed, as the camera was put in a small table in the center of the room.
"Now, better you answer my fucking questions. I'll make them numbered, right here and now. Send me the answers, or you'll see the furthest extent of me being pissed."
A series of black cards followed.
"No problem, Barry."
"1. Yes, yes. Outer."
"2. No, not us."
"3. Older? Yes."
"4. Primal? No."
"5. You have the report, Barry."
"6. Perfectly aware. But what can an anthill do regarding the anteater?"
"7. Not our job."
"8. We are not dumb. We don't contain the uncontainable, Barry. You got lucky when dealing with an infant, that's all."
"9. You talk as if battlefields were filled with newborns."
"10. We will act when the proper protocol is filled and the orders are direct."
"11. You did no great feat, just followed protocol."
"12. We do not lie."
"13. Oh, yes."
The recording went back to the General.
"That's it. Now we wait for the recovery team. Can you help me turn it off? I don't..."
The film cut back to the military footage, where the presenter once again returned.
"And with this, our recordings end. Oh, what did the General… think of the answers? Well, I'll be sad to inform you he has never been found. After the arrival of the special team designated specifically by our dear AGENCY. Sadly, only Doctor Jankowski was found and, after extensive interviews and protocol follow-through, he was properly added to the family.
Why were they answered then, you ask? Well, the AGENCY never stops the following of protocol! And, clearly, Mr. … followed it diligently! Not answering them would certainly be a huge lack of respect.
Dr. Jankowski insisting curiosity to have them was of helping too, of course."
The music once again changed, this time to a more suave tune, and it all switched to a recording of our presenter, in his face his lips formed a perfect smile. He wore a yellow sweater and under it a formal shirt, all along a purple tie with a letter soup pattern. Part of his hair was graying and his features were very tender. He didn't seem old at first glance, but was the type that would not be possible to have a good guess regarding that. His eyes had a calming hazel tone, and seemed to penetrate right into the minds of whoever laid on the other side of the camera.
The man stood in a brightly lit studio, with some empty chairs and strangely shaped tables behind him.  Its wall gave a certain air of artificiality to it. Like an aspirin or a bad tasting candy. After staring at the camera for a couple of seconds, he opened his mouth to talk in a smiling motion, showing pearl-white perfectly aligned teeth. A clock hanged behind him, it stood still at 5:27.
"You might wonder, children. Why does any of this matter? Why are you being taught about nightmare inducing creatures from outer space through unremarkable and frantic reports? Well, because it shows us the obvious and crystal clear truth  regarding those heinous outsiders. They're out to get us. And, of course, that the illustrious righteous government powers from this planet will do everything at their hands to protect us all! This is certainly history for you by now,"
The camera turned to a window and zoomed into the sky. Several gray spots and circles could be seen staying still near the clouds. They reflected light in a chrome like manner, and seemed to rotate way up in the sky. The camera returned to him.
"But for us here on earth on the this sixteenth day of October of 1967, we complete a whole month of waiting. Waiting to see what those evil invaders are up to, all the way up in heaven, they too waiting.
Well, it happens we're not the best ones at this game."
And, as the presenter finished his phrase, all of the walls of the set fell outwards in a surprising dramatic fashion manner. They fell slowly and in a staged manner, but still managed to make a huge cloud of dust to come up.
It settled slowly, but as it did it revealed a vast desert. Its sky full of dark gray saucers, and in the far back a launch station.
Amidst the dust, our presenter stood immobile as he started to appear to the camera once more. His face filled with a smile still, his eyes semi-closed.
When all settled, he returned to speaking.
"Behind us, right now, the American initiative team of the global effort to stop those bastards. The effort to launch our strongest nukes at their biggest ships…"
He pointed to the biggest saucer in the sky in a quirky manner. It had several spheres and lights under it and seemed to rotate in more than one direction at once.
"...Simultaneously from all over our big round earth, all 27 tactical spots."
A siren started.
"Oh, it seems it's about time…
Yes, time to launch the nukes! Hold on tight, kids.", he said, winking.
He pulled a protective pair of glasses from his pocket and turned to the rocket.
"Any time now."
Complete silence for a couple of minutes, but then, it launched.
"Our victory…"
It kept going upwards, faster and faster buildup towards the main ship.
Every second closer, the ship still and the rocket smaller after every second.
Death to death, as they say.
"...Is granted."
And then, nothing.
There was nothing left in the sky.
No fire, no "boom".
And so the footage cut, the projector were turned off and the lights on. The teacher started her lecture on the film. She talked about the bunker, and how it was used during the period known as the "invested wait".
But it hardly matters.
Somewhere, beyond literal space, an armada cuts itself short by stretching through a hole of their making.
Many of its soldiers crawl down corridors.
Glistening white corridors, with impossibly perfect square tiles. Tiles that fit perfectly while still overlapping each other.
In the walls of these corridors, a never ending line of doors. Doors also white,  in a victorian style and filled with diamond shapes.
The soldiers crawl through these corridors with their hidden features, features which can only be seen there.
They use their heads to carry spears, rocks and marbles. All thrown at them by the younger vermin they set out to squash.
Such species that they were, they may have never known of love. But they knew of something much better.
They knew of irony.
They had whole philosophical schools dedicated to such, it was both their reliever and religion.
Above it only violence.
Violence was their world, their world was the same as their blood.
A world fittingly named after war.
Now a ravaged wasteland, dry and hollow.
But they didn't care.
Now they only crawled down their corridor, as they reached for the right door.
And laughed at the irony, their whole race did.
Laughed as 27 platoons reached for the same door.
In the bunker the children slept, laughed and often listened all about the story of the defeated invaders. Those nasty little creatures.
All the while the sky filled with saucers.
And the American bomb hit them from the skies.
I guess I don't need to say.

There wasn't much left behind.


“What’s one less person on the face of the earth, anyway?”

♫ You might think, that life stinks...
Well, you clearly never been to Belladonna Street! 
Satisfy the urges next Friday at 23:59 EST.