The Metal-man and The Chicken-girl
(This is part two of a short story. It is written as a script in case I talk someone into making this into a TV special.)
To catch up click here or…on with the show:
By SJ Otto
The next day Hilda and I were sitting in the Ranchero cowboy bar, I was sipping on a beer. She had a Rollo Colo.
HILDA: By the way, I don’t know your name.
ME: I’m Harley Atwood.
HILDA: Nice name. (Throughout much of the conversation she is using a monotone voice that shows little emotion.)
ME: By the way- how are chickens killed for slaughter?
HILDA: The slaughter house actually looks like a hospital. They lay us down on a bed and they give us two different drugs, one Bufhulo,[i] is a narcotic to relax you. The other is a fast action poison, Ionoax,[ii] that will leave our bodies before we are made into meat. We can drink it or we can have it injected.
ME: That’s like the old lethal injection executions they did in the late 20th century.
HILDA: Right—before they went back to electrocutions. And they did that so the victim's families could see the criminal’s suffer as they died. Lethal injection was too easy for them. Before they could get closure they needed to see victimizers suffer. (Sarcastically.)
ME: You say that as if there is something wrong about that.
HILDA: I just get tired of all the brutality of this society. It seems like our leaders are always killing someone. And people enjoy that.
ME: That’s the way things have always been. It’s human nature. You can’t change that. I don’t remember a time when criminals weren’t executed—unless you go way back in history.
HILDA: Whatever. Don’t you want to know what they do to us next?
ME: Sure. (By now Hilda is beginning to get sarcastic.)
HILDA: They take our bodies to a real slaughter house. They skin us, gut us and cut our arms and legs into little strips. Some of our other meat is made into steaks. Some of our guts get to be made into pet food. Fingers and other less fun parts are ground up and used for chicken burger. You can eat my liver. (She looks up at him with wide eyes.) Hey! The next time you get behind me, for sex, you can take a bite of my rump roast. He! He! He!
ME: You think that is funny!? It’s kinda gross.
HILDA: It is gross. That is why it is funny. Ha! Ha!
Some of the least edible parts are returned to the family to be buried. That way they have something they can put in the cemeteries.
ME: Sounds nice.
HILDA: It’s real peachy. (Now she is obviously being sarcastic.) Our meat gets sent to restaurants or mega food stores. They die it red to look fresh. That’s because human flesh can come out a dirty gray color. Then they fry our muscle strips or steaks or cook us at about 350. Oowee…I’m sizzling! Good thing I’m dead or that would REALLY HURT!
ME: OK that’s enough about that. I’m starting to regret that I ever ate chicken. I’ve been eating it since I was a toddler and I never thought that much about it before.
HILDA: I’ll bet you’re thinking about it now.
A few minute later the couple decided to go back to Hilda's apartment. I was getting used to it by now. I got in my hover car and the jets took us safely to her house.
We went in the front door. As we walked into the living room, I noticed a whole big book case full of books. She had, authors that I’ve heard of, but I never actually saw their books before; Marx and, Engels, Stalin and Mao. Some of the authors I’ve never heard of before, kwame Nkrumah, Antoni Gramsci and Herbert Marcuse.
ME: What are these books?
HILDA: They’re my collection of Marxist books.
ME: What are they about?
HILDA: Overthrowing governments, political philosophy, revolution, stuff like that.
ME: Has that ever happened?
HILDA: A long time ago.
ME: I thought they were just evil governments where evil people just wanted to own everything.
HILDA: It was a lot more complicated than that.
ME: No one overthrows governments any more. Why would you even keep these books?
HILDA: I can still dream. That is the one thing no one can take from me.
ME: But if no one can overthrow a government why read this?
HILDA: Sometimes dreams can come true.
ME: Wow! Are you ever out there in Kuiper![iii] I’ve never seen any books like that.
HILDA: They’re banned.
ME: I didn’t think our government ever banned books.
HILDA: They say they don’t, but these books were once in libraries, schools and stores. My Grandmother told my mother she used to see them. But they just kept removing them until they were all gone. You can read them on the internet, but you have to go to the underground internet.
ME: What happens if you’re caught with one?
HILDA: Nothing. They’re not illegal to own, you just can’t find them.
ME: How did you get them?
HILDA: They were handed down from my Great Great Great Uncle.
ME: Wow! It's too bad he didn't leave you anything of value, like gold coins. These books are surely worthless. I don’t know anyone who would want them.
HILDA: They are worth more than gold to me. (By now Harley has a stupid look on his face—a look of cluelessness. The two walk over to a table Hilda has. They both sit down and Hilda goes to the refrigerator.)
Do you want a Rollo Collo?
ME: Sure! If that is all you got?
HILDA: It is.
ME: We should go out some time.
HILDA: I often go to the Grim Reaper for fun with friends of mine.
ME: What is that?
HILDA: It's a rave. It is like a bar except you can't get boos. It is strictly for chickens.
ME: That sounds like fun. Can you take me?
HILDA: How will you fit in looking metal?
ME: Maybe I can wear long sleeves and take out my metal and use makeup.
HILDA: Hmm. It is worth a try. You'll need the right kind of clothes. Chickens wear a lot of orange and black. I think you will like it. There is lots of good music. There is gag-me rock. I love that kind of music.
ME: I’ve heard of it, but I never really listened to it.
HILDA: If we go to the Grim Reaper you can hear a lot of that. The chickens really like that music. It combines ancient blues with ancient goth, punk and gorp.[iv]
ME: Don’t you folks listen to any new stuff?
HILDA: We can do that when we go to one of YOUR clubs.
ME: There are some temporary tattoos we can use to make you look more like me. I’ll bet we can get some fake metal as well.
HILDA: I can’t wait to see how the metal people live. I always wondered about that.
ME: And we can drink in my favorite club. You can two if people don’t think you’re a chicken.
HILDA: Let’s go to the Grim Reaper next Saturday.
ME: It's a deal.
Early Saturday Night, Hilda and I are working on my make up. It took a long time to get all of that metal out of my arms. But I think I'm ready. We hopped in my Trump
and away we went,
over the Ilse Koch fly-way, across town to the Grim Reaper located just outside
of Langcaster Gee-burbs, a suburb for chickens. Hoover
HILDA: Don't forget to stop at a liquor store for some Hi-Po Vodka.
ME: Isn't it illegal for us to take alcohol in this place.
HILDA: What is your problem? Do you always follow all the rules all the time?
ME: I just don't want to get in trouble.
HILDA: Stop worrying and get us two half pints. They don't check for things like that. Don't be such a rabbit.[v]
We stopped for the liquor and then pulled up in front of the old warehouse that had been converted to a club. The building was very drab and gray on the outside. We come up to the heavy metal black door where we were visually inspected by two brightly dressed bouncers, big guys wearing black flannel shirts and pants with orange muscle shirts. I paid the cover of $50 and we went in.
The place was huge, and filled with plastic tables and chairs. Most of the furniture was black, with orange lamps in the middle of the tables. there were strobe globes, orange lasers and a spray of purple light drops hovered in the air over the entire room. There was a stage along the wall with two brightly dressed DJs with their small portable computers. There were large speakers in each corner.
We sat down at a table.
ME: What do they have here besides
HILDA: Bubble-fest, Green Apple near beer, Funsta Red and an ancient drink called Coke.
ME: I'll have Bubble-fest.
A short thin man with goggles on, came up to the table.
MAN WITH GOGLES: Wanna buy some R-25.[vi]
HILDA: Yes. Give him $28 for two spoon bags.
ME: What is this stuff?
HILDA: It get's you buzzed up like alcohol only it's not as intense.
ME: Is this legal?
HILDA: I'm just going to say this to you once. SHUT UP AND TAKE IT!
ME: OK! If you feel that strongly about it.
To be continued…
[i] A futuristic variation of oxycodone.
[ii] A futuristic variation of cobra poison.
[iii] A futuristic version of "spaced out," based on Kuiper Belt being out in space.