Friday, February 6, 2015

I'm Not Synthesizer!

The store's front door creaked open and in walked Lemtata, in her usual intensely-absent trance. She was as usual engaged in intense dialogue with someone who, to mundane eyes at least, was simply not there.

(Jose interrupted his weeping, turned his head to the narrator, and snided, "Yeah. Like her," before returning to his unusual bout of sincere emotion.)

"and George, I told him Slarp! Ghaaaa! Mothafuckah! - Oh hi Mark." Lemtata turned her head a bit to face her new, and in the view of all around her equally imaginary, partner in conversation. "I did not hit her. I did not. hit. her!"

"Damn right you didn't, babe. But you woulda," said Mama Brain, referring to that incident with the black magic marker and the roll of floss five chapters from now. She handed Lemtata a space-age-plastic bag of hardy, white marshmallows off the shelf, and they both nodded knowingly.

Meanwhile, Pennywise had much to mend, and little hope of mending it.

"I - I'm a monster. But - I'm not a monster!" he thought. "Joe?" he said.

"Gurgleblasting. No - waste of life. I'm nothing," Joe babbled.

"Joe. Forget what that said, in this... body? That wasn't me. This isn't me. I don't even know who I am anymore."

"One. Two three. This synthesizer will explode. Waste of life. You... what are you?"

"That's what I'm tryi - Look. I'm not this."

"You... what are you?"

"Why are you rep - oh... sorry.... of course," Pennywisebags said, staring down at Joe with deep concern in his monstrous face. "I suppose you've played the synthesizer too?"

Joe had a new glimmer in his face, like Ronald Reagan being visited by his granddaughter. "Chocolate... so strange... all so strange... how many hours?" His words were as slow as his mind now seemed. "Half-track. My wife missing man talk. Birdmen! Waste of life."

Meanwhile Lemtata was gesticulating like a why-do-Italians and raging in outrage, continuing an ongoing argument with George. "No, it was not empowering to dance in that cage, mister! How dare you!"

She then tapped her foot for a minute, evidently growing ever more consternated at his reply, until she couldn't take it anymore. "WhatdoyouMEANI'maveritableAndrewDworkinlookbusterthat'snotevenaninsultandevenifitwasLOOKbusterI'mnotbelinglikeHER!" I mean, can you imagine youself in that cage? I have no idea how girls put up with that shit! And besides, doing that shit, you're up in the air! And - noooo, I am not interested in your opinion either Mark, you wait your turn - and up in the air outdoors like I was, it's cold! If I catch a chill, it's your, damn, fault, George, and I am not going to be happy!"

Everyone turned and stared. This was the most engaged they'd ever seen Lemtata. No-one was even bothered that it was part of a conversation with an... imaginary... friend?

"Missing man talk maybe good?"

"Maybe good, Joe," answered Pennywisebags, brightening.

"Missing man... maybe... not all missing?"

"It seems your intelligence is returning. I can only hope my body returns."

Entranced, they all overlooked Jose getting up - he'd now overcome the seepage from Joe's tangible hallucination - shuffling over to the old video game, and inserting a pure-energy quarter from Shock City.

The opening jingle played, with a pixelated animation of Mama Brain and Her Electro-Harmonix Work Band playing "I'm Not a Synthesizer" as the opening cutscene. They faded out in 4 shades of gray to be replaced by the action of "Time Pilot Redux," stage 1 - the stage with the World War IV triplane dogfight.

(As curiously similar as Earth's seemingly-carbon-copy second history was to its first history, there were a tiny few, equally curious quirks about it as well.)

"I'm... not... synthesizer. Mama... Brain," Joe moaned.