Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

The Metal-man and The Chicken-girl- Short Story

The Metal-man and The Chicken-girl
(This is a short story written as a script in case I talk someone into making this into a TV special.)

By SJ Otto

I came into the Ranchararo cowboy bar. It’s complete with country music and a wooden bar area. The seats and tables are also wooden. The bar seemed partial to the color yellow.  Wood isn’t used much today. Most bars are made with some type of plastic or metal. These are modern times.
I went to a table, so I could order lunch. Korvin Richardson was playing on the juke box. He is the last person to win on "Country Mile High," the newest TV and computer show that allows country singers to become instant hits.
Joe the Bartender walked over to my table. I call him Joe the Bartender because that is the only name I've ever heard him called.

JOE: How's your Trump Hoover running? 
ME: Smooth. I can crank that up to 150 if I can find the right track to spin it on. It rides like air. Of course it would, it runs on air rather than tires.
JOE: I think of all the metal-men I have known you have the most piercings I've ever seen.

Joe the Bartender is a metal-man himself. He has tattoos over most of his body and rings of all kinds doing up and down his arm. Since he was wearing his bar tending uniform I could only see those of his face and arms. I also have rings up and down both arms, ear rings, a noise ring and tattoos on my face and arms.

ME: I don't look like a chicken.
JOE: I couldn't serve meat here if I was a chicken. What will you have for lunch? Want to try the pork sandwiches?
ME: You know I can't afford that kind of meet. I'm a working class metal-man. I'm not a 1 percenter.
JOE: We have a new sauerkraut sauce for our chicken strips and we have a butterscotch beer. The beer is not sweat. I know that is something you don't like.
ME: I'll start with the beer. Then you can bring me a basket of chicken strips with that new sauce.  

As Joe the Bartender walked back to his station, I noticed a young blond girl in the corner of my eye. She was very pretty. She wore a synthetic-wool-green and red robe. She was tall, slender with long blond hair. To my surprise she walked to my table.

HILDA: Can I sit with you?
ME: Sure.

She sat down.

ME: Need a drink?
HILDA: I'll have a Rollo Colo.
ME: They have good beer here. They also have a lot of good rum drinks?
HILDA: I can't drink. I'm a chicken. And I don't even like to eat meat. It makes me sick just to look at it.

I could tell right away she was different. She had no Tattoos and no piercings. Of course I could only see her neck, face and parts of her arms.

ME: I don't know many chickens.
HILDA: That doesn't surprise me. Not at all. You do meet them from time to time don't you?
ME: Sure. But I never actually had drinks or dinner with one.
HILDA: Well now you have.
ME: I'm not used to seeing people up close with absolutely no tattoos and no piercings.
HILDA: That's because you haven’t spent any time with chickens. I'll be you've never pinched at a chicken before.

My eyes popped out and my ears stood straight up. Did this women just imply she wanted to have sex with me?

ME: No! I haven't.
HILDA: Maybe you should.
ME: today?! With you?
HILDA: Why not?
HILDA: We can go to my apartment. It is only a few blocks from here. I hope you have a hover-car, most metal-men do.
ME: The Trump Hoover 2030, top of the line. It's right outside.

We hopped into my beast and away we went—60 per hour in town, on a foot of air, which is real high and real impressive—especially for the chicks.

HILDA: There is a liquor store over there. Pull up and go in and get me a fifth of vodka.
ME: I thought you can't drink?
HILDA: What are you a cop?
ME: Well, no!
HILDA: Then pull over and get me some booze.
ME: Won't they drug test you?
HILDA: Yes, but I know when they will test me.
ME: How?
HILDA: There's a pattern to their calls. I know how to beat the system. Besides! I can always get some black market cleanser. It masks the chemicals they use to detect alcohol.
ME: Wow! You're pretty clever.
HILDA: Being a chicken doesn't make me dumb.

We finally pulled up to her apartment. It looked small on the outside. To my surprise it was also small inside. It was the smallest home I ever saw. However it had TVs, computers, laser-boxes, tarme tubes and all the modern amenities. The walls were all blue. She had some tapestries on the wall and a poster from the latest punk-ribo band the Severed Hog Heads. There was only one bedroom and it was small. 
Hilda went to the kitchen and made a drink.

HILDA: Do you want a drink? I have tonic water or white Bubble-fest.
ME: I'll take some with Bubble-fest. I like that stuff.
HILDA: Let's go to my bedroom.
ME: You don't waist any time. No talking, no music to get us in the mood.
HILDA: I live fast and I die young. Why waist time?

So we went into her bedroom and before I could finish my drink she stripped naked. She was one of the most beautiful sites I ever saw. She was thin and yet voluptuous. She had average size boobs. She was blond all over except her pubic hairs which were a sandy blond color. But what really stood out was that she had no marks of any kind. No tattoos, no metal in her at all. It was something I never saw before. It had a kind of beauty I never saw in any other women. Of course I was only 19 and she looked to be a lot older than me.

ME: You look older than me.
HILDA:  So what? You get to live to be 120 and I will die before my 40th birthday.
ME: I didn't mean anything bad by it.
HILDA: Just shut up and take your clothes off!

Soon we were kissing. And shortly after that we were embraced, both with our arms and our legs. I rubbed and licked every part of her. She seemed fascinated with my many tattoos and piercings. I had to take a few of the piercings off before we made love. She was the best women I every slept with. After we did it about three times we took a breather.

HILDA: Why do metal-men and metal-women need so many tattoos and so much metal in your flesh. Does it really take that much difference?
ME: We don't want to be mistaken for a chicken.
HILDA: You've got tattoos on every part of your body and metal as well?
ME: If I had it all on one part of my body, maybe a leg...what if I lost my leg in a car accident and it had all the tattoos and piercings? Then I would look like a chicken.
HILDA: Don't you have ID that proves you are metal-man beyond a doubt?
ME: Yes. I guess we do overdo it. I'm not sure why. Everybody wants to look their class. I guess that is the main reason.

We sat together with our arms around each other.

ME: I'd like to see you again some time.
HILDA: Forget it.
ME: Why?
HILDA: We're not in the same class. I can't even legally marry you.
ME: We could still see each other.
HILDA: So you can live a nice long life while I get butchered and served as some ones lunch snacks...forget it.
ME: You know there was a time when we couldn't eat other people. It was considered discussing and sinful.
HILDA: That was before the great animal die off of 2094. Before that people ate farm animals. My great grandfather told me he knew when the great die off came that the wealthy would start eating humans. The wealthy always have what they need. They always get what they want.
ME: But I eat meat and I'm not rich.
HILDA: The wealthy always create a middle class that protects them from revolution. It’s a buffer. They need some people to join in just some of their pleasures so those people will think they are part of the rich class. That is where people like you come in. Since the days of the Roman Empire there has always been a lower class, a kind of plebeian. There always has to be the lower classes. In the last few US centuries there were the "poor".... the "poverty." We where killed off by the wealthy because they said we lacked what it took to survive. That was called Social Darwinism. For a while they kept us alive through welfare. After that, they got tired of the expenses of those programs and they went back to killing us off. Usually they just kept us from getting medical care when we were sick so we would die off early.
After the great animal die off they decided to give us what we needed in return for our meat after the age of 35 or so. Suddenly they needed poor folks, but they have to control us and keep us from enjoying life's simple pleasures, such as drinking alcohol. That is not good for the meat or liver. You know the name chicken used to be used for a small bird.
ME: I knew that.
HILDA: They say those birds tasted a lot like us.
You know the rich used to say that God ordered them to eat meat. They also wanted chickens to believe it was our God given purpose to provide meat to the rest of society. They like us to take part in religion to take our minds off of our short and fun-less lives.

She gets up and goes over to a statue of Jesus that is sitting on a dresser. 

HILDA: It just don’t work for me. I’m just not feeling the magic.
ME: Screw history! I still want to see you and you are more than just "meat" to me. You’re smart. You’re smarter than most women I know.
HILDA: You mean smart for a Chicken.
ME: Nooo!
HILDA: If I were really that smart I could go to a school and get a degree that shows I have specially needed skills. Then I could be reclassified as a non-chicken.
ME: Why don’t you do that?
HILDA: Get real! They need people who are technical. I just am not. It’s not possible. I’ve tried.
ME: I still want to see you.

She continues to stand at the statue. She looks over to me.

HILDA: You'll forget me in time. Surely you realize there can be nothing between us.
ME: I don’t think so.
HILDA: Eventually I will be your chicken strips and you can brag to your friends that you got to fuck your food.
ME: Not funny.
HILDA:  OK. I’ll see you at least once more.
ME: How about next Friday, about 7pm?
HILDA:  Fine.  

I got dressed then gave her a kiss. This woman was different. I think often of how I had to see her again. There is something exciting about someone who comes from a totally different world. This woman was from the other side of the tracks and I knew I could not forget her.
Surely in a democracy there is some way to save a girl who is destined to be food. How could our society do like this? If there is a way to break her out of her class I will find that way.

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,[1] is a narcotic to relax you. The other is a fast action poison, Ionoax,[2] 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.
ME: Yes.

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. Russia and China for example.
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![3] 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.[4]
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 Hoover 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.

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.[5]

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 Rollo Colo.
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.[6]
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.

I washed the powder down with Bubble-fest. The powder had very little taste. It was kind of bland.
The DJ began playing music by the Chop Hoppers. The song was called “Gag Me- MagMe.” The music thumped hard like some kind of disco using deep bass licks. I could just about hear the lyrics.)


Just gag me – mag me,
I wanna gag mag,
I wanna mag mag,
I want to puke him up just like a house haunter
So I can puke up a lousy 1 percenter[7]
I wanna grow up to be a fly,
Sail through the open sky,
Just gag me – mag me,
I wanna gag mag,
I wanna mag mag,
Blood flows from my humble schtyck,
My brain slogs down on a gothic shit,
I want to wear the clothes of a 1 percenter,
Gag, mag and chill,
After I kill,
After I kill me a 1 percenter.

A few minutes later I heard another song and it was also about killing the1 percenters. A few more songs and there was another about killing a 1 percenter. A few minutes later another one.

HARLEY: Is there some kind of a theme to this music—wanting to kill a 1 percenter?
HILDA: Yeah. It is a common dream. Why not? The 1 percenters came up with the idea to eat us.
HARLEY: But it wasn’t just the rich who wanted to eat people. The majority of society voted to do that.
HILDA: But it was the rich, the 1 percenters who came up with the idea first.
HARLEY: It seems to me like wealthy people have done a lot for society. Besides, wouldn’t you like to be rich someday?
HILDA: Me rich? That’s impossible. Besides, even metal people rarely become 1 percenters. You’ve been brain washed. The 1 percenters want you to believe you can be rich. That way you support all their rights.
HARLEY: Well that just makes sense.
HILDA: No. Not really. Most metal people never get rich and all the privileges that 1 percenters enjoy go only to them. Most metal people will never get to enjoy the spoils of life—other than the right to eat meat—which is people like me.   
HARLEY: Enough politics, let’s dance.

Finally we found something we had in common. Hilda was a good dancer. She really let herself go and we both drifted into the music. The music was actually pretty good, somewhat like goth or punk rock in the late 20th century. Lasers crossed the dancefloor and a fog machine spewed colored smoke across the room.
Then I saw something amusing. There was a couple wearing Pol Pot chic.[8] It was the classic solid black with red and white checkered ties and the black Mao hats.

HARLEY: Wow! I didn’t know that chickens could be Pol Potists.
HILDA: Yes. Chickens like any culture of rebellion.
HARLEY: I kind of like them.
HILDA: For someone who made fun of my Marxist books I’m surprised you like them.
HARLEY: I like their parties. They have cool clothes and they like really cool rock music.
HILDA: Did you realize Pol Pot was a Marxist most of his life?
HARLEY: No. Do you have one of his books?
HILDA: No. He didn’t write any books. He just helped write some documents and no one signed their name to them.
HARLEY: Maybe your books aren’t so useless after all.

Suddenly a young attractive slightly plump girl with rings painted around her eyes and streaks of purple in her black hair came up to the two of them.

RATCHET: Who is this boy?
HILDA: This is Harley.
RATCHET: Hi. I haven’t seen you around here before.
HARLEY: This is my first time at this club. I just moved to town.
RATCHET: My name is Ratchet. What do you do for a living?
HARLEY: I work at Flatco. I make sales.
RATCHET: Wow that is a strange job. I never knew anyone who did sales before.
HILDA: That’s what I like about him. He’s strange.
RATCHET: What kind of music do you like?
HARLEY: I like Jim Bimbo, the Orange Clockers and some oldies rock.
RATCHET: Then why are you here?
HARLEY: I wanted to try something new.
RATCHET: Well this will do it.

Soon another girl came by, a little taller and a red head.

PONNARY: Hello Upyr. (She was looking at Hilda).
HILDA: Hello Ponnary.
HARLEY: They call you Upyr?
HILDA: That’s my clubbing name.
HARLEY: Wow! You all drink Bubble-fest.
RATCHET: It’s the least gaggy of their stupid drinks. I like Whisky breathers when I can drink what I want.
HARLEY: You drink alcohol?
 (Hilda hits him in the arm.)

PONNARY: What are you a cop?
HARLEY: No. (He realizes he made a mistake as most chickens actually drink.) I’m just noticing things. I drink too. I like butter scotch beer.
RATCHET: Where do you get to drink a sissy drink like that?
HARLEY: Um! Uh…Joe the bartender gets it for me.
PONNARY: You have some weird friends. The only chickens I know who can buy that stuff work in bars.
HARLEY: He works in a bar.
HILDA: We were just about to dance is that OK with you gals if we go to the dance floor?

As the music droned on, we went to the dance floor.

HILDA: You’re not doing so hot. You clearly have not been around chickens before.
HARLEY: I didn’t realize you all break the law. You all drink alcohol which is illegal.
HILDA: We don’t follow a lot of rules. Those rules are for those who eat us. We don’t really care if our meat is the best. We aren’t here in this world for that. Most of us feel our lives are a rip off anyway.
Also, chickens have crappy jobs. Remember that. And we can’t afford a new car as the one you drive so don’t tell my friends you even have a car. Also don’t tell them where you live. They will notice you don’t live around other chickens.
HARLEY: OK. I get it. I think I can handle this now. Give me another chance.
HILDA: OK. Let’s go.
HARLEY: Upyr! Where’d ya get a name like that?
HILDA: It just means vampire. It’s an ancient dialect and it sounds cool. I like it.

It was about this time that the drug I took started to kick in. I started to feel woozy and then something like an amphetamine rush came over me. The lights began to look brighter. The colors in things began to seem as if they were streaking in and out of where they were supposed to be. I was beginning to feel very paranoid.   

HILDA: I see you haven’t used R-25 before.
HILDA: drink what’s left of my vodka.

She took it out of her black leather purse and I chugged it. By the time we got back to where we were standing, Hilda’s two friends had walked off and a couple was standing there. There was a tall husky guy with spiky blond hair and a short thin girl with red hair.

HILDA: Snake and Arf. How are you two doing?
ARF: Real good Upyr. (They were holding Bubble -fest)Who is your newest guy friend?
HILDA: This is….
HARLEY: Piranha(I said, interrupting her before she could finish.)
HILDA: Right. Piranha.

After all, everyone else had a club name. Why shouldn’t I.

ARF: Is something wrong Piranha? You don’t look so good. Did you take a little too much R-25?
HILDA: I tried to warn him. He hasn’t taken any drugs for a long time. He was trying to quit. So tonight he took a dose and decided to go off the wagon again.

By now, I was starting to giggle and I had a hard time looking people in the eye. As the night went on I was really flying on the stuff.

SNAKE: We have a party later tonight as Bella’s house. You and your dude can come if you want.
HILDA: Normally I would make a night of it. But I think I’ll pass tonight. (She turned to me.) Why don’t we finish the night off at my house? We can get some more Vodka and hang out there.
HARLEY: I agree. (They began walking to the door.)
HILDA : I think you’ve had enough of chicken town for tonight.
HARLEY: But when we get to the liquor store I will pick up a pack of Ass-whole Stout.

So we headed to my car and my night in the chicken town came to an end. It was strange to be such an outsider. I was in a world I knew so little about. These people even had their own culture. But it was fun. They made the best of their short lives.

As Hilda and I laid in her bed, we heard a knocking at the door. Hilda got up, put on a long red robe and went to the front door. She answered and a women, who looked similar to her walked in. She had a bright read dress and a green shirt. She also has long blond hair, flowing to her waist.
Hilda let her in as if she already knew her and why she is there.
As for me, I was hung over —badly hung over.

REAGAN: Why are you sleeping so late?
HILDA: That is what a lot of normal people do!
REAGAN: Don't tell me you were our all night again? (Just then I crawled out of bed, put on my blue jeans and walked out of the bedroom.) You're sleeping with some guy?
HILDA: So what? You ought'a get laid! It would help you think straight.
REAGAN: What's this guy's name?
HILDA: Harley.
REAGAN: Hi! My name is Reagan. I'm Hilda's sister.
HARLEY: Oh! How nice to meet you.
REAGAN: Hey! You have tattoos. Are they real?
HARLEY: Yes. I'm a metal man.
REAGAN: Really. I've met a lot of metal people before. I never knew any to date chickens before.
HARLEY: There is as fist time for everything.
REAGAN: I've never really known any metal people that well. I've always admired the metal people. You folks work so hard and you follow the old fashion work ethic.
HILDA: These people don't work any harder than you do. They are born metal people. They don't earn that position.
REAGAN: You're just jealous that you are not smart enough to move up from the chicken class. If you can't test your way out it is your own fault.
HILDA: Oh shut up! The only thing that makes a metal person better than me is the parents they were born from.
REAGAN: You could be a metal woman if you just went to college and studied hard. Being a chicken is your choice.
HILDA: And what is your excuse?
REAGAN: I'm fine with being a chicken. I've done my best. I admit I'm not smart enough. I'm not metal woman material.
HILDA: I may not be college smart, but I'm not stupid either. At least I can see how stupid this system is and at least I can hate it. You're so stupid you just make up excuses for this system and justify it with all the religious crap you believe.
REAGAN: There is nothing stupid about being religious. God made me a chicken because that is my purpose in life. When I die I will reap my just reward in heaven. You will get nothing but hell.
HARLEY: So you're a Christian? (I asked Reagan.)
REAGAN: Yes. And you?
HARLEY: Yes. I don't go to church. But I consider myself a Christian. I was raised a 3rd class Baptist. But since I've gotten older I just don't go to church anymore. I still believe in Jesus and I hope to go to heaven some day.
REAGAN: I do go to church, every Sunday. I belong to the 32nd Street Megan Baptist Church. I believe that my place in heaven is more important than what I get out of this world. I also belong to a Bible study group, The Fishermen Chapter.
HARLEY: I've heard of that group. I haven't really thought that much about religion since my late teens. I don't read the Bible, but I feel it is just as important to have faith in God and a moral sense of right and wrong. I just don't think it is necessary to go to church all the time and study a book. And what about you Hilda?
HILDA: I'm an atheist. I believe that religion is just used by our government to give chickens false hope.
HARLEY: What about metal men like me? Does the government want me to be religious?
HILDA: It's really not that different. As long as you believe in heaven you don't have to worry about what happens in this world. You don't have to care about this world because you believe it is just temporary and not important. God tells you it is OK to eat people, so that is what you do.
HARLEY: Hmm. That is an interesting take. I never thought about it like that before. So Reagan, do you also have a set of those Marxist books, like Hilda does?
REAGAN: No. And I would never have those books in my house. They are anti-God.
HARLEY: They are?
REAGAN: Sure! Karl Marx and almost all those other people who wrote her books are atheist. They believe that religion keeps you from believing completely and totally in their Marxist state.
HILDA: That's ridiculous. They don't believe in religion because it causes people to ignore this world in favor of a non-existent after life.
REAGAN: You got those books from Great Great Great Uncle Edwho was a sore head who believed we can somehow change the system. You would be a lot happier if you just accept Jesus into your life and accept the system for what it is. You can't change it.
HARLEY: That's funny. I told Hilda the same thing about changing the system.
HILDA: You two are just like Frick and Frack. You two should be together.
HARLEY: You two are really different. I can't believe you are so far apart in what you believe. I guess not all chickens believe the same thing.
HILDA: You've got that right. We have nothing in common. And why are you here today anyway?
REAGAN: You promised you would pay me back some of the $30,000 dollars you borrowed.
HILDA: I've got some of it. (She walks into her bedroom, opens and shuts some drawers and walks back out with a hand full of $500 bills.) Here. You can go now.
REAGAN: Don't be so angry. I just know some day you will change your mind and go to church with me.
HILDA: Don't hold your breath.
REAGAN: Bye! (Reagan leaves.)
HILDA: How do you feel after last night?
HARLEY: Terrible. My head hurts, My mouth is as dry as cotton. I feel lousy all over.
HILDA: That was your first time trying R-25. I'm sure you won't feel so bad after the next time you try it. The effects won't be so strong either.
HARLEY: That was weird stuff. Also, you all drink. I didn't realize that.
HILDA: A lot of us are not going to follow all those stupid rules that are designed to make us good meat for someone else's benefit. They can fuck off if they think we are going to follow their stupid rules.
HARLEY: I take it your sister doesn't feel that way about rules?
HILDA: Of course not! She follows all the rules. She is a complete idiot. Her compliance makes me sick. Jean-Paul Sartre said; "I hate victims who respect their executioners."[1][9] I like that quote.
HARLEY: Wow. I think I've read some of his stuff in school.
HILDA: Yes. he has never been banned, as other Marxist rebel writers. That is, not all his works. Some of his writings have been banned—the ones with Marxist quotes and references.
HARLEY: You seem well read.
HILDA: Thanks.
HARLEY: Well, I've got to go now. Next Friday we can go to my favorite club, Kiss-My-Gun. It's not all that far from here.
HILDA: Great! I'll get some temporary tattoos some time this week.
HARLEY: I'll get you some metal rings to go up and down your arms. I have enough experience punching holes in flesh that I can put those in myself. But we better start earlier than Friday. I can get some for tomorrow night. And each night I can add some new ones until you look somewhat like a metal woman. Since you don't like to follow rules I can poke those wholes in you because they will close up easily after we're done for the night. They will only last as few weeks since this will be your first puncture wounds. Those wholes mend when the metal isn't left in them.
HILDA: You know me. I hate to follow rules anyway. What's a few puncture wounds? What should I wear?
HARLEY: It will be casual. Not much different from what you wore last night.

I left Hilda's and headed home. It will be a real interesting night trying to take a chicken to my club, among my people. But I was able to fit into her world, so maybe she can fit OK into mine.

Later that Friday we were at Hilda's apartment getting ready to go to my club, Our Guns Are Fun. She was wearing her usual black. The tattoos and the metal rings all give her a lot of color she usually doesn’t have. 

HILDA: These metal rings are starting to hurt.
HARLEY: I usually don't put that many on at one time. But we're almost done. You'll get used to them pretty quick. I take it you already have your fake tattoos on.
HARLEY: You're looking pretty good.
HILDA: Thanks.
HARLEY: Are we ready?
HILDA: I guess we won't need to sneak in booze to this place.
HARLEY: No. There will be as much liquor as you want.

We hopped in my car and went across town to the club. A few miles down the road, in the middle of the block was the large yellow plastic building. It was built with a modern form of plastic that most of the newest buildings are made with. The building had two large doors. Once inside there were TVs on every wall. It was hard to tell what color the walls really were. Then there was the stage on the back wall. Tonight they had the band; New Hands, to play cover songs. Then there was the black plastic chairs placed everywhere.
Once we got in there, I saw three of my friends, Ted, Ratchet and Edward. They were all dressed similar to me, with various shades of tan pants and hipster beards (that is hipster for that time period). And they all had their own unique types of metal implements on their arms, ears and necks. 
They were standing in the bar area. I went over to the three. Ted and Ratchet had beers. Edward was holding a scotch on the rocks. Then I went up to the bar to get a butterscotch beer for me and a vodka rabbit chaser for Hilda.

HARLEY: Hey you guys!
TED: Hey! How's your Trump Hoover running?
HARLEY: Great. I think it is ready for the mid-level hover tracks. That reminds me. I almost forgot to pay my road fees for that part of town.
RATCHET: Who's the girl?
HARLEY: This is Hilda.
HILDA: Hi! And by the way. Did you guys know that roads were free at one time?
TED: What?
HILDA: The government ran them and they didn't charge everyone fees to use them.
TED: Then how were they paid for?
HILDA: They took it out of taxes.
HARLEY: Hilda is a political freak. She likes to talk about political things, like history.
TED: Wow. That could come in handy...I guess. I kind of hate politics. It's too boring.
HARLEY: How about the Trumpville Tigers. You think they will win tomorrow?
TED: Sure. Say, I’m thinking of getting a Plasmodium Hover Kicker 95. You think those are good hover cars?
HARLEY: Sure. But not until this year’s model comes out.

Just then Eva came up to them. She was wearing red pants and a bright green shirt. She is blond, and had here hair spiked with metal clamps. Her hair looked like a Mohawk. She was holding a Bubble-fest and bourbon.

EVA: Hey Everyone!
ALL: Hey!
EVA: Who is your new bird?
HARLEY: This is Hilda.
EVA: Good to meet you. What do you do for a living?
HILDA: I work as a librarian at the Wal*mart Library.[10]
EVA: I work in a finance office, of Chet and Ormies. How do you like the band they have here tonight? (The music of the band is playing in the background.)
HILDA: Fine.
EVA: They play a lot of songs by Commercial Potential. That is about my favorite band.
HILDA: Really? I can’t say I’ve heard them before.
EVA: Never heard them?! We’re have you been the last year? In a cave? Anyway, I spend a lot of time listening and following my favorite singers and bands. My boyfriend is in a band. He plays an electronic trombone.
HILDA: I don’t really like music that much…What I mean is I don’t really follow any bands or special kinds of music.
EVA: Oh! I see. I’m hoping to be a singer myself, someday.
HILDA: Like being on 'America Wins?' (A more modern version of 'American Idol.') If you win, you get a big recording contract.
EVA: Yeah! I practice my singing a lot. Some days I just get lazy. Sometimes I get as lazy as a chicken.
HILDA: As lazy as a what?
EVA: A chicken. You know. Those lazy people we eat.
HILDA: You just assume they are all lazy?
EVA: Well they are. That’s why we use them for food. They not useful to our society other than their food.
HILDA: Don’t they work and hold jobs?
EVA: Yeah. The crappy jobs that regular people don’t want. They only do them because no one else will do them.
HILDA: But they do those jobs and they are not always easy jobs.
EVA: That doesn’t matter. They only work when they have too. They would do nothing if we let them get away with that. Most of those people have no real talents. No real abilities. My great great uncle said the government used to pay poor people like them to sit around all day doing nothing. They just sat around doing nothing all day long. And they lived to be real old.
HILDA: Well, do you think they are just born lazy?
EVA: Well, generation after generation of those people just sat around doing nothing for so long, it became part of their culture…their personalities. After several generations of people not having to doing anything for themselves they just started to turn out that way. It was obvious these people couldn’t take care of themselves so now we put them to good use. We eat their meat.

Just then Ratchet heard them. His face showed an interest and he walked over to get in on the conversation.

RATCHET: Those people are dumb.
HILDA: How can you be so sure?
RATCHET: None of them go to college. They work at real stupid jobs.
HILDA: They don't live long enough to benefit from college. And they probably take the only jobs they can get.
RATCHET: If they were smart they would get better jobs.
HILDA: So the only thing they are good for is to be eaten?
RATCHET: Eating them is the best thing for them. After all, they can't really do much with their lives. If they lived as long as we do, it would just be a waist of their time and ours.
HILDA: You think they are better off dead?
RATCHET: Well yeah. They don't even notice how short their lives are. They are so dumb they believe everything our society tells them.
HILDA: How's that different from the rest of society? I mean do you believe everything you hear from our political leaders?
RATCHET: Well I'm not saying I believe everything I'm told, but I can tell when I'm being scammed.
HILDA: So they are being scammed?
RATCHET: Well if they were smart they wouldn't let the rest of us just eat them.
HILDA: Have you ever really met any of these people?
RATCHET: Sure. I work with some of them.
EVA: So do I.
HILDA: Have you ever gotten to know any of them? I mean like meet their families or go out for drinks with them?
BOTH EVA AND RATCHET: Are you crazy?
RATCHET: Why would I hang out with an idiot chicken. That would be a complete waist of my time.
EVA: Yeah.

(Hilda walked over to me and asked me to dance.)
HILDA: Let's dance.
HARLEY: Sure. Lets go. (We both walked to the dance floor. A slow song was playing, so we got in close.)
HILDA: I want to leave. Can we go now?
HARLEY: We just got here. And you're doing a good job of fitting in.
HILDA: No. I'm not. I've been defending the chicken class and they must be wondering why I would do that. They seem hateful. If they knew who I was they would hate me. Can we go back to my place?
HARLEY: OK. If that is what you really want.
HILDA: It is.

(We walked out the door and headed to my car. Then back to Hilda's place. We stopped to pick up a bottle of vodka. Then we ended up in Hilda's Kitchen, sitting at the old wood-like plastic table.)

HILDA: I guess I knew your people were like that, but this is the first time I heard it all from them in person. It's not just an editorial or a sound byte. It is the real thing, up front and personal.
HARLEY: That is what we all have heard our whole lives. I guess it takes a lot for a person to go past all of it and see what the other people are really like. You can't really blame people for saying things they have been taught to say.
HILDA: Maybe I can't blame them for the way they were taught. But would it kill them to at least think about those things they've been told. They may not realize it but they are mean and cruel. They don't know anything about real chickens. Everything they believe is a lie. How can they not see that?
HARLEY: I guess most people never question those things.
HILDA: You aren't like them. How did you see past all of that?
HARLEY: I was horny and you looked real hot.
HILDA: I guess there is something to be said of a person who follows their basic instincts.

It was a few days after my date with Hilda that I got a real surprise. I was walking down the street from my house on my way to my car when two men walked up from behind me. They walked up to my side. The two men were wearing suits and ties, not much different from the grey and dreary suits of the 20th and 21st centuries. They both had thin black ties and grey shirts. They were both tall. One had a slight beard the other was clean shaven. Both had very short hair. Suddenly when there was one on each side, one pulled a gun out and aimed it at my gut. The other man grabbed my arm. Then one of them flipped out his wallet.

OFFICER REEDNICK: We’re police! Keep moving.  (We all walked to an unmarked hoover car.) Get in!

He pointed to the door. I opened it and I got in. A few minutes later and about two miles down the road I was being whisked to an office down a set of steps, in an old ornate municipal building. They dragged me down some steps.  Next they dragged me into an office. There were three blue-plastic chairs, a large plastic desk and we seemed to be in a sound proof room, painted all yellow inside.

OFFICER REEDNICK: I’m Officer Reednick. (We all sit down.) Let’s talk about your girl-friend Hilda. (He moved in close to me. The other man took my hand and slammed it on the desk as hard as he could. I felt some serious pain.)
HARLEY: OW! What is the deal here? So I went out a few times with a chicken? So what? (The two cops pulled me up, one on each side, and walked me to the wall. Then one grabbed my head and one arm. The other grabbed my other arm. My head was slammed against the wall, with my face being slammed flat. They did this twice until blood was streaming from my face. Then they took me back to the chair and sat me down.)
OFFICER REEDNICK: We take your relationship with her very seriously. You took her to a metal bar. We don’t like it when people like you do things like that.
HARLEY: Are you charging me with something?
OFFICER REEDNICK: This is an office of the secret police. We don’t charge anyone with anything. We just take action.
HARLEY: What laws have I broken?
HARLEY: Then what am I doing here?
OFFICER REEDNICK: Every once in a while we have to straighten a few of you metal fuckers out. You think you can do anything you want. So you date a chicken. You’re messing with our meet supply you idiot!
HARLEY: I demand a lawyer!
OFFICER REEDNICK: (He looked at the other man.) He wants a lawyer, Hasbrow! He thinks he is in a regular police station. (They both smile and start to chuckle. Hasbrow punches me in the stomach while Officer Reednick smacks me across the face.) I don’t know if you realize it, but if you murdered your wife, sister, girl-friend, you would get a lawyer and a fair trial. That’s because no one really cares if you kill a relative, except a few friends and relatives. Most of our society really don’t care if you kill a close relative or friend. But you are messing with our meat supply. THAT...AIN'T...GOOD! People in all walks of life depend on our supply of meat. When chickens and metal people start hanging out together bad things can happen. Metals start to feel sorry for chickens. They try and help the chickens get out of their intended destiny. You get what I’m saying?!
HARLEY: Waite a minute. Chickens never escape. Metal people never help them escape.
OFFICER REEDNICK: And that is because of people like us.
HARLEY: I'm beginning to understand why Hilda likes those Marxist books so well.
OFFICER REEDNICK: Those stupid books Hilda has….
HARLEY: But they are about revolution. There hasn’t been a revolution in over 300 years.
OFFICER REEDNICK: And that is because people like us work day and night to make sure such things never happen. Someday Hilda will die or grow tired of those books she has. No matter what happens to her, we will be waiting to make sure no chicken outside of her family ever sees those books. No one will ever see them. And no one thinks of rebelling against the system. We make sure of that. (Officer Reednick smacks Harley again across the face and Hasbrow smacks him again, the same way, almost simultaneous.)  There is no privacy anymore. You may think when you go in your home and close all the windows and draw all the drapes that you are're not. Not EVER!!! We know all about you and that girl. We know everything you do. There is no part of your affair we don’t know about. You need to think carefully about this.
HASBROW: We are trained to inflict severe pain without leaving any visible traces. We can beat you senseless and the next day there are no marks. You need to break this thing with Hilda off and soon.

When I looked into Hasbrow's eyes it looked like the dead sea. He resembled an attack animal that had no feelings or remorse about anything he had done nor would ever do.

OFFICER REEDNICK: So after we are done taking you will go back to your car. You will say nothing to no one about our little talk.
HASBROW: I inflict real pain. REAL PAIN! Remember that!
OFFICER REEDNICK: And that is because people like us work day and night to make sure bad things never happen. Someday Hilda will die or grow tired of those books she has. No matter what happens to her, we will be waiting to make sure a chicken inside nor outside of her family never sees those books. No one will ever see them. And no one thinks of rebelling against the system. We make sure of that. (Officer Reednick smacks Harley again across the face and Hasbrow smacks him again, almost simultaneous.)  We know all about you and that girl. We know everything you do. There is no part of your affair we don’t know about. You need to think carefully about this.
HASBROW: You need to break this thing with Hilda off and soon.

I drove immediately over to Hilda's house. I walked up and knocked on the door. Hilda answered.

HILDA: Come in. We are drinking grand drivers.

I walked in. When I got to the table, I noticed something odd. There was already a bottle of Vodka. There was also some Fissy Foam. Fissy Foam is a main ingredient to a grand driver.

HARLEY: You already have a bottle of Vodka.
HARLEY: Usually you have me get you some.
HILDA: I have other sources than you.
(she said almost defensively. I also noticed there was more than one glass on the table.)
HARLEY: Did you have some friends over. I see more than one glass.
HILDA: Yes. I had a little party earlier. You need a drink. (She fixed me a drink and then handed it to me. I took several big gulps of the drink.)
HARLEY: You'll never guess where I was a few minutes ago.
HILDA: Where were you?
HARLEY: The police station. (She didn't seem as surprised as I thought she would.)
HARLEY: They were interested in our relationship.
HILDA: Really?! What did they say?
HARLEY: They said they know everything. They said they don't allow relationships as ours.
HILDA: Did you believe them? (I suddenly got very drunk and very sleepy.)
HARLEY: Why would I not believe them? (And that is the last thing I remember at all.)

So a few minutes later I wake up. I was drugged. I was out for I don't know how long. But my wallet was missing. Many of my rings and metal parts were missing. I got up and looked around. A lot of Hilda's things were gone. Not everything. But a lot of things were gone. I looked by the door and her books were gone.
What had happened? On the table I saw a note. It read: 

Dear Harley,

I'm sorry to rob you like this, but it was the only way I could get an ID card and some of the other things I will need to establish a new identity. I have a friend who has the equipment to alter ID cards. So with that fake ID, the arm rings you gave me and the fresh illegal tattoos I just got from an underground artist I can leave and pass myself off as a metal woman in anther state.
With all of this I can pass by my execution date which is scheduled some time in my late 30s. I think I have what it takes to set myself up as a real metal women, complete with a phony past. You do realize the police still do that for people who want to rat out organized criminals.
I wish I could take you with me. I really enjoyed our time together. But that just won't work. You would be an accessoryto the crime and they could punish you with death.
Anyway this was not really about robbery. I left you your money. And if you see Reednick and Hasbrow again say goodbye for me.

love Hilda.

PS- I changed my mind about your money. I'm going to need all the cash I can get.

And that was it. That was the last I ever heard from her. I didn't get mad. I was glad she got away. I was going to miss her. But she deserved to live past 40. She was right about the ID card. I could easily replace it. Although the government keeps coming up with new ways to prevent IDs from being tampered with, criminals keep finding new technology to tamper with them anyway.
That was years ago. I have never heard from her again. I hope she got away. Sometimes I still dream of making love to her.
The one thing she did leave me was one of her Marxist books. I knew she liked me because she would rather die than part with just one of those books. I found it next to her letter. Strangely enough it was her book on Pol Pot.
So the only thing left I have to remember her by is the book and the letter. And that was it.

The End

[1] A futuristic variation of oxycodone.
[2] A futuristic variation of cobra poison.
[3]  A futuristic version of "spaced out," based on Kuiper Belt being out in space.
[4] A totally electronically synthesized music that has never been heard in this century.
[5] A futuristic version of "chicken shit."
[6] A futuristic variation of psilocybin. 
[7]  A common reference to the other main class of people in this society and their common label…the 1 percenters.
[8] Pol Pot Chic is a subculture that draws inspiration from the ancient guerrilla leader of Cambodia. But it is made up more with style than politics. Pol Pot is now an iconic personality similar to that of Vlad Dracula. That is where Bram Stoker got the name for his vampire Dracula. Vlad Dracula was also known as the Prince of Wallachia (1431–1476/77), a member of the House of Drăculesti, also known, using his patroymic as Vlad Drăculea, Vlad Dracula or Vlad the  Impaler. 
[9] Brainy Quote;

[10] All libraries are privately owned

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