the Lutum, who turn their heads back and forth this way and that way like a bad tennis match their entire lives, give the appearance of collectivism. but they are only really together when they are as one in their heart. hearts. this doesn't happen very often in their history. but it's happening now. the Eefus is talking in broad strokes again, confident and bold, no sign of injury.
the Eefus: you almost won, young one. cynicism is so easy. and it collects like the waters of the shore. but i had hope. i knew it had to come from the outside. that's the only way to cleanse a corrupt system, to wash the apple. o beloved Madchen...
Madchen: please you're making me blush.
Eefus: that fits well with the apple analogy. i am too old for pleasantries. i don't care about titles anymore i want to win.
Musculo: this is quite troubling indeed. i must win the oblique for i have no shot at the overall.
Eefus: honey you're thinking out loud again.
the Lutum are slowly growing in number. they fill up the grassy arena from all the circular towns around until it turns into an amphitheatre. it looks like an outdoor rally. except it's not boisterous, it's very quiet and attentive.
Musculo crouches in a defensive stance. it's tough to tell that he's crouching with that cloud where his feet should be.
Musculo: she has the ear of 'um. she's the shiny new toy who came in and drained the moat. she was able to crack the Eefus after many men tried and failed. that damn cow. force didn't work. but maybe it wasn't enough force. anyway i need to make my move. a move. Maddie has that look in her eye.
Eefus: can hear every word you're saying.
Madchen spots a broken mass of metal near a prairie mound. she lifts it up with her newly-elected strength.
Madchen: well what do we have here? a fucking drone. you killed my son, you bastard! it's still smoking. no doubt a testament to the empire's strength. even all the way out here, huh?
Musculo: especially here. the drone program started here.
Madchen flings the string of metal pieces over to Harfi.
Madchen: see what you can do with this, dear.
Harfi uses her toenail clipper and MacGyvers the drone into working order. it begins that horrible buzzing sound and floats upwards ominously like a pendant that has lost its lustre. it fits and starts like a wheezing general who knows no other way.
Eefus: make sure that camera is working. the fate of the universe depends on it!
Harfi: oh it's working. it works too well, forever ready to ruin a citizen's life with false information manipulated by tricks and photoshop. irretrievable damning data. Codrus made the cameras indestructible, that was the one task he ever put his all into. only he has the black boxes.
Madchen: damn that god. well let's flip the script. a good camera. a camera only as good as its user.
the camera on the drone rises up and the people come from near and far to meet their new messiah.
Madchen: messiah? oh? i have to be leaving now.
Eefus: my dear you must stay. it is just the beginning.
Eefus: you still have no idea the power you wield. you are a woman through and through! i envy your brand.
Musculo: the more the camera flies overhead, the more coverage it covers and the more eyes see the face of the blushing Madchen. the more she wins the overall. i see it on the drone counter! it's approaching 3 million! luckily i did a thorough canvas of all the backwater counties and rural hick spots beforehand, not anticipating such a turn of events. i had talked to god and thought he was on my side. little did i realize that god talks to a lot of people.
Eefus: my dear they are not drawn to what they see on the screens but by whom. you are electric, they magnetize to your spirit, not your another pretty face. they would come if we had no tv. tv merely heightens emotion.
Madchen: you think i'm pretty? no tv, that's what i've been advocating for.
Eefus: you are such a parent. that never goes away.
Musculo: no tv? what a ghastly thought! how would i learn anything?! how am i losing to this ghastly woman?!
Musculo retreats to his castle in the misty moat. it's the holiday season so the pathway is lit with solar rope LED lights to fend off the early darkness. a green tree droops when he passes browning its green needles as camouflage. "greeting" him is Herlina plopped on twenty bed cushions draped in fake finery still unable to feel the pea.
Musculo: get off your fat lazy ass and make me dinner.
Herlina: bitch i ain't yo wife!
Herlina: i can't tell with you anymore, you have an aspectabund countenance. i've been online.
Musculo paces back and forth, making Herlina nervous.
Musculo: i need a strategy......................hmm i got it! it's cheesy!
Musculo quickly races off and Russell Brand is free to come out from Herlina's covers.
Russell Brand: how was that?
Herlina: oh just fine.
Russell licks his lips. so does Herlina.
Russell: as i was saying, you need a real hard man...
Starscream comes crashing through the stone wall.
Starscream: lay your puny hands off my woman, skinflint!
Russell: oh shit they're bigger in person than on tv aren't they. well, you're done, byeeeeeey!
Herlina: i thought you said you never stop learning.
Russell: go to my website.
and Russell follows Musculo's path out.
Musculo runs a marathon to get back.
Musculo: look, folks! i can make cheese from the Eefus! i am into culture!
Eefus: grab me by the udder, i dare you.
Musculo waves his hand in the general direction of Eefus's underside and poof, circles of cheese come rolling down the hill.
Musculo: this isn't a game. taste the cheese. it's goat's cheese!
the Lutum horde does and it is.
Musculo: *pushing the Lutum away from him* *pushing them* *pushing them* okay, folks, to the voting booths with you. skedaddle. remember Musculo is your man, Musculo gets things done, Musculo gets his goat.
the cats collect the cheese crumbs left behind.
the cats: this ain't goat cheese, it's manchego, the cheese of sheep, we'd know that distinctive flavor anywhere, these sheep were our neighbors growing up on Gromit's farm.
Musculo: luckily for me no one listens to filthy animals!
Carmen is still stuck in the cage.
Carmen: it's nice not having the cats bothering me all the time, harassing my every shoulder. i couldn't think. if you can't think you can't magic.
Russell Brand appears in the cage with her, smushed next to her.
Russell: dahlin you're so far under you don't know it. the cage keeping you afloat is merely a metaphor.
Carmen: what do you mean?
Russell: exactly. that's why you lost. and why you lost your will to live. your identity is crumbling before your eyes. you've lost your way. you don't know what to do with yourself anymore. the loss of your loved ones has finally blindsided you in the middle of a Wednesday night and your tears have turned to nightsweats. you're dancing but you don't hear the music. you forgot how to fight. you can't go to a happy place and wallow and listen to the Smiths and hope for the best. there are no more happy places, Codrus rebranded them all. safe is waif. you have to fight for what you believe!
Russell attaches a safety pin to the lapel of Carmen's brand new soldier uniform.
Carmen: pretty. shiny.
Russell: no. no. this is only the first step. when you see an injustice, you have to beat it before it gets branded. only you can do this. from now on, you have to relearn how to fight!
Carmen drifts off.
Russell: you have forgotten where you came from. how strong you were to survive on earth. this post-Earth stuff is sinchy. you come from a long coil of Amazons. not just warriors, warrior princesses. witches don't just know spells. they claim the earth. spells are as useless as air. if they don't carry the weight of the centuries of oppression which begat their formation. the sound of your sisters,
YOU SEE THE FIRST LEAF OF AUTUMN BUT NOT THE WINTER WHICH PRECEDED IT, CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK.
Carmen spots the first frieze at the foot of the castle.
Russell: that's it. that friezer is frozen like the weather.
Harfi is learning how to manage in crowds. when the herd of Lutum swamp her, she is able to go with the flow rather than react with a trigger weapon.
Harfi: less triggered. maybe it's these two furballs living in my boobs but i'm adjusting to civilian life. i was always the first to go on patrol, to escape the scene, to figure things out on my own, to lonerize.
Russell appears on the path with the two cats on his head.
Harfi: oh, and where was my advice?
Russell: sorry love, my other client ran long. but you know what i say. time doesn't exist. we have all the time in the world to solve our problems if we really want to. the problem is we don't want to. we actively don't want to.
Harfi: relax. my father was a painter. the only corporation i belong to is the military complex.
Russell: captain of industry. the innovators. we have to stop with all the meetings.
Harfi: i learned my lesson on my own. i don't have to fix everything myself. i spilled the last bottle of milk all over our cave. it got everywhere. on all the walls, staining the ancient cave paintings. and that really was the last bottle of milk, they don't make milk in bottles anymore. Cumberbitch was pissed. as far as i could make out his expression through the block of ice. i tried cleaning it up quickly but i was so angry i couldn't do it. i simply couldn't do it. i let it drip. and drip and drip and drip. and soon the cats came and did the job, licking it all up and thanking me for feeding them by sleeping in my breasts. we've been inseparable ever since.
Russell: true. they stepped off me now. they're good guard dogs. took extra long to sniff my many long hairs.
Harfi: i feel the crowd in me now. and it's exciting. it's a rock concert. i can direct them with a thought.
Russell: with a feeling. don't think too much.
Harfi: when the wave hits, i ride it. i'm like a buoy now, not a blockade.
Russell: you were always a boy. but you must become a boat. that is your next lesson.
Harfi: yes, grasshopper. outside isn't so scary anymore.
Russell: no you're the grasshopper, i'm the gardener, uh the sensei.
Harfi: don't spray your pesticide on me. chocolate grasshoppers are a delicacy here.
Russell: never understood that. just cos you add chocolate to it it's still a grasshopper.
Musculo returns in the middle of the night and flips on the radio, adjusting the knob just right, as Johnny Dollar ends:
Johnny Dollar the intrepid insurance investigator will be back next week. keep smoking those low-tar cigarettes till then. and now, the results of the election: Musculo wins the oblique.
Musculo's oblique muscles shatter from all his walking. but the canvassing worked, he is the new Lutum Leader. he is in too much pain to fake his wince into a smile. he lies down on the bed.
Musculo: uh, can i borrow one of your mattresses?
Herlina: *arms crossed* and where have you been, mister?
Musculo: that's master. do you feel a draft coming?
Russell ends his day of critical counsel where it all began, Madchen, crouched with her legs splayed open.
Russell: i always end my night with the best bird.
Madchen: but you never pay for drinks. you...think...i'm...prett...?
Russell: what can i say, i'm a cheap date. i meant the Sandpiper. the ship.
Madchen: fuck you *smiles*
Madchen feels in the underside of her boobs for chipped-off pieces of the aquamarine gem. she lets the blue-green pebbles drop and shatter. she buries the dust into the sand.
the Eefus: you wanna ride me, son? i have the feeling i'm gonna be goat bacon soon.
Madchen: it warms my heart. when i think of you, Russell Brand, i see that young firebrand of a comic spit from art school college or wherever ready to take on the rules of the world. the wild hair like a fucked-up Snape. the sage spiritual shit. the philosophical pronouncements. the tantric tenets. and the general brash crazy demeanor. very unBritish. i knew when i saw you at that whiskey club visiting my husband not on leave that you were more than just another comic, you were a trickster in waiting, you wanted to be a scholar, a poet, a man with a guitar, a worldchanger.
Russell: worldbeater first. but i beat it so hard i was looking for something new.
Madchen: and more profound. as is each of us. we all try the same things and reject them. you reminded me of my son with your charisma. i always tell the story. oh it is so dangerous to have charisma.
the hologram of Russell Brand can't hold anymore under the cold spell and its blue light blends with the blue night's light. the hologram was really...
Madchen: *eyes wide* Lysander!
Lysander: i told you i listened in on our sessions.