[Author’s note: I’m taking a risk here by putting out an unedited block of the story. Not only does it mis-hit more than a few jokes that could have gotten more lead-in (the dry eye thing in particular didn’t work at the first draft), but there’s the idea of ruining the story for the reader. But, I highly doubt anyone gives a shit, will give a shit, will want to pay for this, publish it or anything else, so here’s the story as it’s being written. If nothing else, it is an example of how I do a vomit draft and can serve as an example for other people doing vomit drafts that their stuff isn’t any worse than anyone else’s. And I didn’t edit that last sentence either.
Hope you find this fun. I’ll be posting through november and hopefully this manuscript will eventually be edited to be a real book. Or not. Tomorrow never knows.
Rog’s head hurt. For a moment he was concerned that he couldn’t see. Then he was absolutely concerned that he could not move.
“Mph Fwrk” he said through lips held closed by some mysterious source. Through a wall or something he could hear voices.
“Is he awake?”
“It’s really hard to tell, Red. His thoughts are…”
“Well they are just kind of stupid. I think he’s awake. He’s concerned about the spell, but the framework of his concern seems…”
“Whatever, he’s awake.” The Woman opened the door as she spoke, striding into the brightening room. “Good morning.” The woman’s smile was just for show. Rog smelled trouble.
“Mwrph” he said back. Rog realized he was lying on a cot. His eyes were, in fact open, and he could see fine. What he still couldn’t do was move.
“Can you loosen up the spell on his mouth. I’d like to talk to our guest.”
Rog’s mouth popped open and he gasped. “Ahhh. You know, it’s a good thing that it’s fall and not spring, boy. I get terrible hay fever.”
The redheaded woman looked back to the person at the door, who Rog couldn’t see, and then back. “And this is a concern to me… why?”
“That trick with my mouth. If I was hella congested, you might have killed me or something.”
The redhead looked at him, puzzled. “You are here, immobile, and after how you got here you are … I … hm…” The woman walked back to the door and closed it. The lights went out again.
Rog could hear rustling in the hall and some voices, but they stayed quiet.
“Hey! Hey! I gotta pee. Hey!” He yelled. After no one responded he said. “Ah. Never mind. Just bring a sponge or something.” Again nothing.
He’d started to think about taking a nap when the door opened again, and the light came on.
“Dude. He’s been immobile all this time?” It was Donnie’s voice. At least he thought it was Donnie’s He hadn’t been in good shape the only time he saw the guy so it’s hard to tell.
“You know I can hear you, right?”
“Oh hey! Yeah.”
Donnie and the Redhead came to where he could just see them. “You know Donnie, I don’t see why we’re even bothering.”
“You’re bothering because boy are you guys in trouble! And it’s getting worse by the minute!”
They both looked at him. Donnie with a puzzle and Red with a smirk. “How do you figure?” She asked.
“Well for one thing, I got the meter on. Limo ain’t cheap and while I was helping your boy here get to his meeting I was on the clock. Totally legit. Like waiting on a fare, you know?”
“No, I’m not… ”
“Yeah, and I figure I been out for at least an hour…”
“Better part of a day, really,” Donnie said.
“A day! Oh boy. You guys screwed it. After 12 hours I’m double time! Keeps people from using short term limos as their own personal drivers, you know. We got rules about this shit and I’m union! You don’t fuck with the union.” He looked at them, then tried unsuccessfully to blink. “you guys are screwed.”
Red looked at the man as if addressing a child. “Ok look, as fascinating as this is, Donnie, please tell me why this guy isn’t going down the memory hole?”
Donnie fiddled with his hands. “Well, I feel like I kinda owe him. He kept me from getting seriously hurt.”
“Yeah. And about that. What are you doing, going off like that?”
He shrugged. I wanted to play pool. Guess I was too good for those guys.”
Red scrunched her face. “We will buy a pool table. We have some considerable problems now and we can’t have people going off. At the very least you should have had some muscle with you. It’s a good thing we have a tracker for you.”
“One of *my* trackers. Yeah.” Donnie said, a little defensively.
“You guys know I’m right here. And my eyes are really fucking uncomfortable. I would really like to blink now.”
To the door she said, “Hey, you can let him have his head.”
“Argh!” Rog closed his eyes and it was like sandpaper. “My eyes … feel … like a Dead show. Visine!”
Red rolled her eyes. “So, this is some kind of blood debit, Donnie?”
“You make that sound dumb. I just feel like I owe him is all. Doc said I’d be dead if I hadn’t gotten to him, much less taken a few more hits.”
“Well I’m stuck with him now.” Red sighed. “This day just … ugh.”
“Does this mean you gonna pay my fare?”
“I think so?” Donnie questioned, looking at Red.
Red turned, her long straight hair flying with the twist. “Well, about that. You see… you know that nice lady that dispatched you and gave you the tracker?”
“Nice lady? Gladys is the biggest bitch I’ve ever met!”
“Well she’s had an accident. Ran off the freeway and into a pole. Terribly sad. Freak mechanical failure.”
“No shit. Well that boyfriend of hers was a mechanic. Kept tinkering with the cars around the shop. Probably fucked that up. I wonder if he feels bad or relieved?”
“Hm. Well yeah. And you know Mr. Randal, the owner of your limo company? Yeah, his house had a fire. I’m afraid he died of asphyxiation. Another… accident.” She drew out that last word, sounding ominous.
“Yeah, well, he always was a cheap ass. Probably didn’t change the smoke detector batteries when you fall back like they say you should. He was a cheap ass like that.” Rog hung his head. “Little sad though. How’s the dog?”
“He had a dog. One of those yappy little things don’t like nobody but his owner.”
“I … ” She squinted at Rog. “Exactly how dumb are you?”
He flinched, screwed up his face and then looked around. “On what scale?”
“What’s the scale? I mean, there’s Einstein on one end and a rock on the other. We going metric here or what?”
The redhead shut her eyes and shook her head. “Just… Shut up.”
“Ok, but you’re getting my fare, right?”
“Donnie. He’s your puppy. Get him a room and get him out of my way. We’re in lockdown until we know what’s going on with Ted.” She stormed out of the room.
The two men looked at each other. “You look like shit.” Rog said.
Donnie looked down and then up. “And you look like you pissed yourself.”
“Hey, I told them I had to go.”
“Yeah, whatever. Come on. Can you walk?”
Rog sniffed, gave a cocky grin and said “Yep” as he stood up and promptly fell on his face like a sack of loosely tied sausages.
“Oh geez!” Donnie said, moving to help him up. He winced as he started to bend over and felt his head. “Uh. the doctor said I’m not supposed to bend over or do anything strenuous. And helping you up is both.” He looked at Rog trying to move. The sloppy, sliding motions had no power behind them and he flopped, ragdoll like on the linoleum.
“Yeah, well, I thought this might be comfortable for a while.”
“There must be some residual paralysis from the spell or some toxin left from the darts. Or maybe you just have your extremities asleep from not moving in so long. If so you should start to feel the pins and needles in…”
“I guess about now. Try to move around.”
“What? Screw you pall!” Rog laid out on the floor and tried to hover, spread eagle.
“No, it will help. I think. That’s what I always do when my hands or legs fall asleep.”
“What so this shit happens to you often?”
“Well, I spend a lot of time in the lab not moving much so… yeah.”
Rog moved his thick, stumpy legs to lift his knees and threw his right hand onto his chest. “RRRRRrrg That’s kinda pathetic, dude!”
“Well, it’s a lifestyle choice. Not all of us are the physical type!” Donnie put his fists on his fat hips. “I’m an intellectual!”
“Yeah, I can see that.”
“You know,” Donnie said in a high-pitched lilt. “I’m tempted to tell Red that she was right and that blood debits are kind of for pussies.”
“AAaaaarr. Dude, don’t be a baby.” Rog managed to flop over, which made the wet spot on his pants all the more apparent. “And what was she talking about with a lockdown?”
“Well, you heard all about our problems with our boss?”
“Yeah. Orange overlord. Meanest of the mean. Got it.”
“Well you don’t got it. We run Flanderal industries. Ted’s company. His legitimate company.”
“Your right. I don’t got it. The guy that owns Flanderal’s got to have serious bank. Why is he fucking around being the Orange Overlord?”
“Well it’s complicated, but there are synergies between the two organizations.”
“Organizations?” Rog could finally start to sit up. “What organization. The Orange Overlord was just one guy.”
“One guy that controls territory. you can’t hold turf without boots. It’s impossible to be that powerful. You simply can’t be everywhere. There is a structure and the Orange overlord is at the top.” Donnie got sad and looked to the side. “Or at least he was. And none of us are quite sure what’s going to happen now.”
“So. Question time… Why aren’t the feds on your ass right now?”
Donnie smiled. “There are a lot of layers to the ownership of things. Ted was clearly the majority stockholder, but that could have just been coincidence. Everything is highly compartmentalized.”
“Like a terrorist organization.”
“More like an army. Don’t confuse criminal with sloppy.”
“All right. Fine.” Rog got up on one knee and one hand and hoisted himself up on wobbly legs. “Great. So, you’re organized. You still worked for a bad guy.”
Donnie looked up at him. “Well, so did you.”
“Excuse me?” Rog squinted.
“Atlas limo. A wholly owned subsidiary of Trinary transportation, which is owned by Confed delivery which is owned through an offshore shell company by Flandearal. You work for the orange overlord.”
Rog smirked. “Worked, you mean.”
“Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire?'”
As they left the room, Rog said, “Nah. I don’t cook much.”