Return to Ring around the Rosie (fiction)




Ring around the rosie



"Sight. It's one of those five senses they tell you about. It's a pretty important one - so important there's a name for no longer possessing it. Sure, you can be hard of hearing, or losing your hearing, or going deaf, or be deaf; for all the drama of the situation a person can still feel sounds. A sound is just the result of harmonized displacement of air, due to movement. Vibrations through a medium, that’s what we hear; that’s what our eardrums translate.

"Sight has fewer alternatives. Beyond the carte blanche of color, partial, legal, complete; you're left with a dichotomous classification. You can see, or you can't.

"Well, that’s what they will tell you, anyway. You will soon learn how little people, the people out there, actually see. People shut so much out, actively ignore so much of their daily..."

Shut up.

"What? Am I disturbing you and your sad little vigil?"

I told you to shut your mouth.

"No need for the knife, friend. Your lovely, the one on the couch? She'll be fine. Some people... go under longer."

I came out of it two hours ago. What the hell did you dose her with?

"Same scrap as wafted up your precious proboscis. Give her time, lad. She's possibly making the most of her situation. Possible she wasn't as scared as you... You look like shit, go rinse your face, get some color back."

If she doesn't wake up...

"If she doesn't wake up before you get back she'll not know you left her side. Go on, she's just now kicking back into a R.E.M. cycle, you have twenty minutes. Aye, right down that hall. Second door on your right... Well, dearie - I'm running as thin on stories as your boy is on patience. I'd love for you to tell him one, before his dagger tunes me proper. Where are you?"




A pocketful of posies



"So I ran into Pete the other day. He could score us some Ana."

You can't be serious. Please tell me that you aren't serious.

"I'm not saying I'd want to try it. I'm just saying, you know... we could, together, if you wanted..."

I don't. C'mon, that shit's dangerous. Have you seen all the stories in the news? Abductions, deaths, it's not a party drug.

"I know. I know. Babe - I know. Pete tried it though..."

I don't want you talking with Pete anymore.

"I won't, I won't. I promise I won't. He told me how to find his supplier. And it was just a small itty bitty dose, anyway. Just, you know, a sniff... He said the rumors could have merit."

Which rumours? The one about people's brains exploding if they took a second hit?

"No silly. The other ones. The rumors about the lucid dream state."

Oh, is that all you want? We'll call Aunt Millie. She has some peyote growing under her deck in New Mexico.

"You aren't even listening to me..."

Because it isn't safe!

"I know it's not safe, but, if it's true, and Ana can, you know - if Ana can unhinge our minds and let us remember things that haven't happened yet... I'd feel safe if you were there with me. Safe enough to try it, at least."

What could possibly be so important, out there in that big uncertain future, that you'd want to risk trying Ana?

"I just want to know if we stay together forever..."




Upstairs, downstairs



"You're bleeding. Why are you bleeding? Babe, why are you bleeding?"

I... I don't remember. How long have you been awake?

"What kind of question is that? We just walked in. Where did Lawrence go?"

Just walked in? Check your watch. You passed out for three hours! I've been worried sick. Can you... my hair is dry can you see my back? I don't think this is my blood.

"No, you look okay. What did you do?"

I came here with you. Damnit, I told you taking Ana was a bad idea. What's wrong, hon? You just turned white.

"You... you can't remember why you have blood on your hands. I can't... I can't remember anything we spoke about this afternoon. But I do remember that in about two minutes you check the lock on the door, it's bolted. Then we go to wash your hands, and there's a body in the shower. And we don't recognize him..."

I checked the door just before you came to, it is locked, you can't possibly see the door from here. How did you know that?

"I didn't see it... I remembered it. Oh my god I remembered - I'm going to be sick..."

In here, right in the... there you go. Are you okay?

"Yeah, yeah I think so. I'm okay. Babe? I can't check the bathroom, I'm too scared. Will you? Please? Thank you... just - slowly."

There's nothing in here, hon. It's just an empty... oh shit. Holy shit, holy shit, oh we are in such shit. How the fuck did you know he was in there?

"I told you I don't know, it's... you know those songs you hear and you know that you know the artist's name and it's on the tip of your tongue but you can't quite get it? Right now, babe, I'm getting it. I can't believe Ana really works, this is..."

What do we do next?

"I have to call my boss. This stuff is too dangerous, shit - we need to get this off the streets..."

You aren't making any sense. Why is some stuffy middle management going to care about drug deals? Why would...

"I need to get out of here, before they get here."

Hon, you're losing me. Calm down, just, come back and sit down on the couch, breathe. Who's they?

"She's going to be with them. I can't let her see me, it would ruin everything."

She? Who? Who are you taaahhmmmmrr. Whaah... whaaht aah you dooon?

"I'm sorry, darling. I've forgotten."




We all fall down.



"Mulbrich! Bring me up to speed, got that kid from Channel Five, he picked up a unit calling in to base. Going to be flooded by press soon."

"Captain, crime scene secured just before I got here. Sign of a struggle in the hallway, severe trauma to door handle, deadbolt was locked from the interior, perp exited via window onto the fire escape. Blackburn's working the room, not finding any prints. There's two bodies on the floor, no ID on either."

"Atta girl. No ID on either John? Any chance we have a famous face OD here tonight?"

"Evening, Cap. That's a negative on famous brats, but... Iris, you may wanna take the rest of the shift off."

"Seth, you just worked a crime scene by yourself for a half hour. Lemme earn a paycheck, would ya?"

"Iris, seriously, you do not want to come in..."

"Blackburn, do you have an ID on on of the John Doe's?"

"Seth, let me in. Seth - Seth, move aside."

"Cap! Damn! Thank's for the backup there..."

"Ohmygodno ohmygodno nonono ohmygod..."

"Iris, come on, the room is clean. You can sit down right over... here, sit on this. Hey! Move the fucking body! Inside the bag... work together, damn rookies. Hey - hey hey hey, come on... I need you here for this."

"Mulbrich, can you ID John Doe one?"

"We were, we... ohmygod how did this happen? We were having brunch tomorrow, all three of us."

"Just - giver a minute here, Cap."

"Three of whom? Mulbrich, can you identify him?"

"He's... he was... he's Cass's boyfriend. He's my roomate's boyfriend."

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