Sunday, February 15, 2009

Guffin War, Act 1 Scene 3: Unkind as any, and the wrath of many. (Even the vegetables don't like him)

Enzo tried to wriggle out of the shaft. His legs had cramped from sitting crunched up, and his foot was asleep. He finally flumped out onto the floor, landing painfully on the grate. He proceeded crept down the shiny corridors in a rough approximation of 'stealthy'. His movements were perhaps too furtive, too imbued with pantomime to be be take seriously, but fortunately, his path was unimpeded by even a janitor.

The basement cellblock was patrolled fairly regularly, but its general disuse meant that the average guard would simply avoid it on his rounds. The one prisoner was hardly in any position to escape. Enzo discovered that he could just stroll into the cells, which irked his inner sense of theatrics. At least the security was decent. A multi-variable Tyrell code, virtually unbreakable to anything but a super-computer.

It took Enzo eighteen minuets.

Jean "Cache" Ecureuil was in remarkably good spirits when Enzo found him. His leg had been mangled by the delicate ministrations of the PWI torturers. He smiled wryly when Enzo entered his cell. He even attempted a joke.

"You're kind of short for a.. a..." however the metaphor escaped him "... person here to... rescue me" he ended lamely. "I don't suppose you have a change of clothes on you?"

""Can you walk?" Enzo asked, checking out Ecureuil's leg. "And you're covered in fur, why does it matter?"

"Well, I feel naked without my coat. And yes, I can hobble, if I must"

"Hell, I can carry you out" Enzo gave a boyish grin.

"Please, spare me the indigni- oh, well guess not." Ecureuil was picked up, albeit gently, and Enzo sauntered back the way he came.

************

"Now, that's just not fair!"

Angelica did not look up from filing her nails. "What's not fair, dear?" she asked in a neutral tone.

"That cursed boy just walked out, see? How dare he! In my cells, too! How dare he foil my scheme for information!"

Angelica had long ago learned to deal with her husband's melodramatic posturing. She continued to stare at her nails. Each one just had to be.... perfect. She could and had spent hours working on a single finger. She simply replied, laconically "You have a lousy security staff, Lee."

"But it's just not fair, I tell you. Oh, I am so alone in my plans." Snidely Joanna Whiplash turned dejectedly away from the screen, where he had spent that last few hours morbidly viewing the security tapes. He flung himself backwards onto his desk, nearly knocking over his wife's platinum inlaid nail kit. Her only response was to roll her chair back an inch or so and to exchange her file for cuticle scissors.

"Lee, you know you weren't going to break him, not with the goons you employ. Ecureuil has been around for years, he wasn't going to open up over a mangled leg."

"But I was going to the Council. I was going to present them with information! The location of International Rescue! The member rolls of the Rescue Heroes! Where Dick Tracy gets his great hair!" Again, he flung himself back on the desk, his hat falling to the floor. There was a long pause, as Angelica was displeased by the curve on the nail of her left pinky, not that she showed it. Finally, she merely said "They wouldn't have listened anyways. They never do. Not to you."

"Oh, it''s so true!" He sat up unexpectedly "You've got to help, me, darling, you've just got to! You know I can't do these things on my own!" There was more silence, as Angelica moved on to her right thumb.

"Go home, Lee. I will make things all better."

"You promise, darling? You'll do that for old me?" Snidley was on his knees, starring pathetically with puppy-dog eyes, his moustache drooping. More time passed. His wife did not look at him. It would be false to say that theirs was a relationship devoid of passion. It had plenty of passion, but it was supplied entirely by Snidely. His wife, in the words of Dickens, was as hard and sharp as a flint, secretive and self contained. As solitary as an oyster.

"Yes, Lee. I would do anything for you." She spoke almost without wmotion and continued to focus only on her nail. For a man who wore his heart on his sleeve, Snidley's expression as he gazed at her was relatively inscrutable. If anything, it could be said to be one of longing, if nothing else, but as there was no one there to look at his face, it could have been anything. Finally, mumbling thanks, he rose to his feet and made ready to leave. He paused, awkwardly, next to his wife for a moment before he hesitantly learned down and kissed her on her head. It was treated with as much response as anything he ever did around her. As he reached the door, he paused to look at his wife. She was unimaginably pale. Though once warm, her skin (though flawless) was now almost akin to pure alabaster, with none of the pinkish tones that one might find in an albino. Her hair, once a rich strawberry blond, had also lightened. Some would call it flaxen, but a more correct coloured would be white ash, like one might find in a campfire in amongst the burned wood and marshmallow residue. Her eyes were grey, her lips bloodless. She only ever wore robes de style, in various neutral tones. The only colour on her was what she would paint on her nails after her long hours of maintenance. And what colours they were! Deep royal blues, ebullient reds, vivid robust greens in all manner of valence, tint and hue. But that was the only outward sign of emotion. Everything she spoke was in the same calm, measured tones, and her eyes never betrayed what went on inside her. With an inward sigh, Whiplash adjusted his hat and left. For a while, Angelica continued to work on her digital maintenance. Finally, evidently satisfied with her minutiae of adjustments, she selected from her store the colour of polish she wished to use- a Persian green only commonly found in the paintings of Monet. However, before she began to paint, she paused, and then wheeled herself over to a nearby telephone, an obsolete, though elegant rotary phone. She carefully dialed, and waited for her call to be answered. She spoke as she always did, detached as ever. "Good afternoon, Charles. I need you to get me information. Failure to do so will be perceived by me to be a problem. And like all problems, I will make it go away as quickly and efficiently as possible. Do we have an understanding?" There was a pause.

"Good."

2 comments:

Chelsinator said...

I think you've lost me...

Dolly Verstraeten said...

Someone needs to illustrate these. Mabye a frame per chapter.

I really like Angelica. Caring for nails like she does of with which to bite, scratch, and tear.

Can anyone else see her in a soft black, bateau necked, pencil dress with a slightly fuller sweep? Mabye sleeveless.

I can.