What follows is an aborted story I started writing in August of 2004. I have yet to post it on SRK, but I felt I might want to revive it so I wanted to get the responses here before I went about doing that. So, if you do bother to read through all of this please comment!
A woman gazed at the stars. She finished munching down a sack of cheese puffs, releasing the bag from her hands grasp and allowing it to float lazily in her cockpit. Index Iness pushed her seat backward and lied down, relishing in the peace of being disconnected from the world below her. A fresh cadet of the space traffickers, she had been in orbit on patrol for over twenty-four hours. She warmed up to the sun outside, basking in its heat as if it massaged each pore of her body with tiny fingers. It reminded Index that her brown skin was a little too pale, and that she should maybe soak the pigment up. She only had twelve hours left of tranquility among the cosmos before she would have to return to Earth, back in the office crunching permits and IDs for reckless kids whose parents bought them shiny new flying cars.
After each day, Index would come home to her studio apartment with her shoulders sore from the janitorial work she does for the department. While it wasnt in her job description, she couldnt find it in her heart to refuse her bosses, or her co-workers. Her hands would slip from her apartments own doorknob occasionally, because they would still be soggy after scrubbing down a deep stain from a carpet. Index would walk over to her answering machine every time she arrived home at night, always interested in who would call her.
Usually, its her mother, who dutifully rings her daughter up once a week, wondering how shes faring hundreds of miles away from her country home. Her mother always asks, Index, when are you going to settle down? Index wouldnt respond, because she knew its a silly question. With all of the work she does, she wouldnt have time for a man to break her heart. Index would usually sigh at this point, offer up a half-hearted, well, I dont know, and then ask how her sister is doing.
And that would have been tonight, if Index werent napping in space.
Index could only make out a buzzed clicking sound, and a static voice following it. She was half-awake, her eyelids like anchors. It probably was something important, but she lacked any strength to receive the call. Theyd understand. She wanted to go back to sleeping. Shed had a beautiful dream, where she wandered into a convenience store in a desert canyon with a purple sunset in the horizon, and a giant winged lion wrapped in an Afghani blanket licked her arm affectionately. Or at least, it had seemed beautiful due to typically nonsensical dream logic. The dispatch on the other end of reality however refused to be ignored, and she got emotional.
OKAY, WHAT THE FUCK?! she shouted through the speaker. IVE BEEN ASKING YOU TO GET YOUR ASS BACK TO EARTH FOR THE PAST HALF HOUR NOW! I SWEAR TO GOD, IF YOU DONT RESPOND, ILL BLAST A HOLE THROUGH YOUR FUCKIN WINDOW AND CHOKE YOUR STUCK UP ASS TO DEATH!!!
Index woke up fast.
Ohoh, oh shit! Youre from the department, right?
HELL THE FUCK YEAH, BITCH! Index remembered soon enough that the next patrol doesnt get paid until the last one clocks in at the department. She must be desperate for money, deep in debt, if she fumed over a half hour of wasted work.
Uh, uhright away, sorry! Index sped off, descending into the atmosphere, letting all the pretty colors zip by her.
The cycle was always like this. Every other week, she was up there, taking a vacation from life and soaking up space, counting the days till the next shift. When Index came to her apartment building that night, a sign tacked onto the elevator had the words OUT OF ORDER scribbled onto it. She lived on the seventh floor. She had just bought groceries, and couldnt bring them all up on one trip. She had to park all the way down the street. Index knew bringing her groceries to her flat wouldve been a challenge, but without the elevator, this had become a situation. Index dropped the paper bags she was holding onto the floor slowly, and dropped to her knees.
I just want to relax.
Index got up after a minute, then proceeded up the stairs, five times. She opened the door to her apartment, dropped the bags, locked the door, and hopped down the stairs, fives times, again. She walked outside, out to the end of the increasingly longer street, and knew that this would be the last trip.
When Im finished with all of this, Im gonna grab these ice cream cones and tear them up. Demolish them. Index walked up those stairs again, the trip feeling a little shorter now. Those ice cream cones knew what they were doing when they allowed themselves to be packaged like that. Theyre like little junkie whores!
Huh? Index looked back to see who called. She was on the third floor, four left.
You live here, right? The girl was young, about 19 years old. She had blue, messy-looking short hair, and wore a loose Hawaiian shirt print which featured a red sunset on a small island, with a pair of black jeans. I, uhlost my keys. I was wondering if I can use your phone?
My pho-yeahsure. Index nodded her head up at the next stairway. Im four floors up.
Fuckin A! the girl chimed. I just moved in a week ago. Whats your name?
Like the cards? the girl asked. Index nodded. You must be a cop or something like that, right? Look at your uniform Index wore a collared white shirt with long black sleeves. This was the standard uniform of public servants like police officers and traffickers. The girl had seen countless action movies where justice-driven officers of the law solely took down crime organization around the world using sophisticated technology and extreme martial arts training. You ever kick a bad guy out a window before, like in Black Buddhist?
Uhnope. Who are you anyway?
You want to knowwho I am?! the girls suddenly stopped walking up the last flight of stairs, paused in awkwardness. You should have asked if you wanted to know!
IM THE DESTINED ONE! SHE WHO BRINGS JUSTICE TO POVERTY! IM SAVIOR MOUNTAIN! You remember that line, right?
Never saw it. From outside Indexs apartment, a phone was heard ringing. Oh, shit!
Youre no fun. Its a line from Black Buddhist, only the cops name is Roguestream Genesis. All too soon, they were home, grocery bags cluttering the floor. Hey, you need any help with this stuff?
UhI got it. Savior nodded and walked past Indexs tiny kitchen/dining room, and into the living room where the phone was. The phone had rung its last, and the answering machine picked up the rest of the call.
Hello Index. Its mom. I just wanted to know if you were back in outer space yet. I guess notI miss you, honey. I wish youd come home with us for the holidays. Your father and sister want to tell you they miss you and love you very much alsogood bye.
Aw. You got a sweet mom. Savior called out to Index from the living room, who was busy unpacking her groceries on the kitchen table. Savior took a gander at the city outside of the living room window, the cold blue neon lights outside illuminating the room. Does she call regularly?
Everyone says that. Index tore out an ice cream cone from its box and began leaning on the wall in the hallway to eat it. She looked at a mirror which stood in front of her.
But she said something about the holidays?
Yeah, sure. She wants me to stay a couple weeks at our old farmhouse. Index looked at her own reflection, at her own hair. She had bright orange hair, spiky at the top of her head with red tips, but its length curled down to her neck. She liked the way it spiked at the top of her head but remained long and curled. She adored the bright orange tint that she was born with. Much more kempt than Saviors messy blue scalp.
What holiday is coming up next?
Only the biggest one! Indexs eyes peered down to her stomach. It was flat, although the scale had said she gained seven pounds before she left for space. Her legs werent as toned as she wanted them to be either. Red and green, yuletide gatheringswhere have you been for the past month? Index sighed, staring at the reflection of her unwrapped ice cream. She put it back in the box, and resumed unpacking groceries.
Out. I was out. Um, I havent had anything to eat all day either. Ill buy that big bag of potato chips from your for a couple dollars!
Deal. Index responded immediately, tossing the sack of fat across the room. Savior grabbed it in one hand and began dialing the phone in the other. She couldnt hear the dial tone, however, and the call didnt go through.
What the hell? Savior shrugged it and tore open the chips.
Do you need a place to stay tonight? Index asked, out of the blue.
howd you know I needed a place to stay?
Your apartments locked? No way to get inside? Umunless you already called somebody.
Nope! Phones dead! Savior grinned. Then well use this night as a valuable opportunity! It was fate that brought us together Index, (God thats a weird name), so well use this time to learn about eachother!
Heh. Index smiled to herself; this sudden friend of hers was a little too enthusastic, but she had charisma and confidence in spades. She was getting kind of fun to hang around, even in these brief minutes. Plus, Index was sure that shed look better standing next to a punk-looking kid like Savior anyway.
Late at night, Index and Savior were in the middle of a kung fu movie marathon the latter proposed to the former.
Why didnt I believe you before? Index asked herself out loud.
Because you werent convinced that movies can cause you to be moved and inspired by the heart and soul of real human beings. Savior heard the phone ring. They fixed the line. Hey, phones ringing.
Get it for me, will you? Index squealed. This Shu Lu guys a total bad ass. He just sliced that guys head in the middle of a crowded restaurantin a space station!
Me get it? Its your phone. And the hero, Burning Lee, is hardercore. He ate a bomb! He ATE A BOMB!
Yeah, but I paid for these movies. You owe me.
Scuse me, but we each paid for half.
I paid half and tax. Thats a three bucks thirty-four in debt you owe me. Index held tightly to her bowl of lo mein, hastily twirling the noodles with a fork and cramming it down her mouth as Burning Lee confronted Shu Lu with a jetpack in the depths of outer space.
Alrig-the phone stopped ringing. Savior lopped back down onto the sofa and put her feet up on the table in front of her. Hehkung fu jetpacks are awesome.
The answering machine started up.
We know youre there Savior. click
Index jerked her head at Savior. Savior jerked her head at the window. Savior darted off the couch and a flying car hovered just outside. Index, dumbfound, just stared at her.
INDEX, GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE NOW!!!