Episode 19: That Yellow Bitch.
“You want me to what?!” Lizzie Borden, a.k.a. Girl in the Yellow Waitress Uniform, asked.
“I want you to kill you old boss,” Brain repeated. “You have a problem with that?”
Lizzie shook her head.
“Good.” Brain couldn’t get that damned children’s chant out of his head – every time he laid eyes on Lizzie, yellow waitress uniform or not…
Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks.
Well, he had a whack for her to carry out, that was for sure. Even if she did look like a fucking banana. “I meant to ask you,” he added, “Is that your real name?”
Now she gave him a stern look, “Yeah,” she reiterated.
“Just checking,” he said, if only to perfunctorily say anything at all, as he was entirely disinterested in (her) the conversation now. He wandered over to the leaking bag that Kodek had dropped off a few minutes earlier. He was busy being thankful that his examining room had a drain in the middle of the sloped tiled floor, because the bag of alien organs was really leaking now and he would’ve had to-
“Who’s the guy outside?” Lizzie interrupted his mental rant.
“The guy outside?” she thumbed in the direction of the lab door, over the back of her shoulder.
Kodek? Brain wondered.
“He’s just hanging out in the hallway,” Lizzie said.
Not Kodek, Brain realized now that she’d said the guy was still hanging around. That must be Skyboy. Larry the brain went swiftly over to the laboratory door and swung it shut. Lizzie flinched when it slammed, though she tried to look casual about it. Brain then locked the handle on the door, this wasn’t going to be any of Skyboy’s business, after all. Not yet, anyway.
“I need you to have a look in this bag,” Brain said to Lizzie. Now she didn’t look so casual.
“What is it, your fucking lab trash?”
Brain smiled. “No, Lizzie, it’s something… priceless.”
“Well, it’s leaking all over the fucking floor.”
Brain sighed. “Lizzie, you do work for The Corporation, don’t you?”
“Do you want you hundred and fifteen grand?”
“Yeah,” she was starting to get a little pissed now.
“Do you want me to tell Derrikson that you weren’t being one hundred percent cooperative to The Cause?”
Now Lizzie looked to the floor. She meant to avert her eyes but ended up seeing more of that black crap streaming down into the floor-drain from that black garbage bag. Shouldn’t they be transporting organs in some sort of carry-case cooler or something-?
Lizzie cleared her throat. “No.”
“Good,” Brain smiled, and Lizzie thought that was just about the creepiest thing she’d seen is some time. And she’d been there when Johnny Fingers had-
“So get the fuck over here and help me with the bag, then.”
“Help you with it?” she cleared her throat again.
“Yes, help me get it onto the fucking examining table, will you?” Brain was clearly annoyed now, and Lizzie was starting to feel like a kid in primary school who’d just gotten into some kind of trouble with the mean teacher.
“Okay,” she said quietly and stepped over to the black leaking bag. She hunkered down and both her and Brain grabbed a side of the bag, then hoisted it onto the metallic table. It was heavy, she had to admit, though in the back of her mind she though that creepy Larry had been trying to trick her into something. She knew that was how he operated, always with games and trickery. He was definitely a mischievous manipulator.
Once the bag was on the table (and starting to sag open, now, to boot, the stench rising up) she’d expected that Brain would want her to open it so they could have a look at it. Strange thing was, she was under the impression that she was coming to see Brain for some sort of hit order. Wasn’t she supposed to assassinate –?… At any rate, Brain turned away from the examining table and focused his attention on the glass-doored cupboard behind him, where he removed a small brown make-up kit.
“Oh, fuck,” Lizzie said, you don’t want me to do up some fucking corpse for an open casket or something, do you?”
“Why?” Brain asked. “That make you squeamish?”
“Hardly. I just can’t do other people’s makeup that well. And that sort of think is important. Should be left to the professionals, you know?”
“I couldn’t agree more,” Brain stated, and smiled again. This time, Lizzie didn’t think it was quite as creepy.
Must’ve just been letting the whole situation with the bag get under my skin. Yeah, that’s all it was. That fucking bag.
She glance to the examining table.
Brain opened the make-up case and revealed the stacks of bank notes. All tens and twenties. A hundred and fifteen grand. “And this,” Brain stated, “will be for your professionalism.”
“Of course,” Lizzie agreed,and now she was really starting to relax, though there was still an edge of The Brain that was bothering her. “Who’s being hit, anyway?”
“I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I need you help me with the bag.”
“Yes, again, there’s something you need in there.”
“I don’t think so.”
“Trust me, there is. You need to take it, or the hit’s off. Then I’ll have to call Derrikson and-”
“Yeah, yeah, okay, fuck, let’s just get it over with, then, alright? Whatever you’ve got to give me, just…. Hell, just throw it in the make-up case, then.”
She immediately went to the case and pulled the cash out of it, began to stick in into her purse.
“I meant to ask you one more thing, just out of curiosity,” Brain said.
“Yeah?” She didn’t even look around, didn’t look him in the face. She kept shoving the cash into her purse.
“Why do you still wear that yellow waitress uniform?”
“I don’t know… I guess I kind of like it. It’s like, my costume, you know? Like Wonder Woman?”
“You mean you wear it when you so your hits?”
She shoved the last of the cash into her purse and lifted the empty make-up box in her hands, finally turned around, “Yeah, so?”
And she opened her mouth wide as the thing that had been in Larry the Brain’s hand launched itself at her face and crammed its screaming tentacle down her throat, gagging on that black slime, that same shit that was leaking down the drain, the pulsating body pumping the black blood through the tentacle, expanding the inside of her throat with each beat – pa-PUMP!
Lizzie crashed backwards into the glass cupboard, smashing the glass doors from it, her hands flailing, now her own blood was mixing with the black ooze that was spittling off of the creature’s outer membrane, it’s other toothed-tentacles and her legs thrashing, the metal examining table being kicked over, crashing into the tiled floor, and now there was a rattling at the door, from the other side (the outer hallway) where Skyboy must’ve been trying frantically to break in… Must’ve been wondering what the fuck all the commotion was…
EARLY THE NEXT MORNING, Kodek awoke to find that his left eye was twitching again. Fuck a duck, he thought, and maneuvered onto his side, near the middle of the bed, so that he could face Anna. He thought it might be her fault. Well, not her fault, exactly, but she might be stressing him out. He pushed that thought from his mind and wondered if it had anything to do with the fact he was doing double-duty. Working at the newspaper, and then pulling jobs for The Corporation. Moonlighting. Not as romantic as it sounds. In actually fact, Kodek knew that who he was moonlighting for (if he cared to get specific about it) was Larry the Brain. His eye twitched again.
Damn it, Kodek thought and rolled himself out of bed.
An hour later he was at the newspaper office. He was early, and he figured he at least still had a job there, despite his calling in for a sick day after only a couple of days’ working. Well, he figured, fuck it. If they want to get pissy about it and fire him, the so be it. This wasn’t the only paper in town.
Kodek was down in the archives, and it definitely looked to him like the kind of room you’d see in an old movie where some detective-on-a-hunch would be digging through old police files or newspaper records. The room was dark, paint peeling off the walls, revealing the color of the seventies underneath, and a single window that hadn’t been opened in so long it was really more part of the wall now, anyway, and covered by blinds that were more dust than blinds.
Funny thing was, even as Kodek was looking around, he didn’t even know what he was looking for. Hell, maybe nothing. Maybe we was just curious. Curious, digging through old newspapers. Like that guy in that book… The Shining. He got a sudden chill down his spine, followed by a feeling of deja vu. He didn’t particularly care for either.
After an hour and a half of digging around and reading old stories, Kodek figured he’d best be getting himself up to his desk before they called it another sick day and he really did get himself fired.
It was that last paper that caught his eye as he stepped out. He supposed he shouldn’t have been surprised that he’d recognized his own work. He grabbed the paper and brought it out of the room with him, carried it into the elevator and all the way up to his desk, even stopping for coffee along the way. Once at his desk, he found himself please that he had in fact, not been fired at all. Actually, the editor-in-chief didn’t even really seem like he’d missed Kodek at all. Ah, well, he set the paper down and leaned back in his chair, sipping his coffee. He glanced over at the folded paper, the story that had caught his eye was face-up, and Kodek’s eyes scanned across it.
HARRY “SKYBOY” WILKINS IN FREAK SKYDIVING ACCIDENT.
Freak accident, my ass, Kodek thought, remembering the handcuffs…
LATE LAST NIGHT, when Brain yanked the lab door open the doorknob slipped right out of Skyboy’s hand.
“What the fuck’s going on in there?” Skyboy demanded.
“None of your fucking beeswax,” Brain told him, then motioned for Skyboy to take a seat on the couch at the other side of the hallway. Which he did.
“What are you doing here?” Brain demanded back.
“You called me,” Skyboy spat.
“I know, but you’re fucking early.”
“So sue me.”
Witty, Brain mused. The American Way.
“I sent you out to make sure Tai Li had what he needed,” Brain said.
“What, Thai Boy? I did that,” Skyboy said. “He got all he needed.”
“Yeah, you did that, but you did something else, too, didn’t you?”
Skyboy just smiled. “So?”
“I thought we agreed, no joyriding.”
“Oh, come on!”
“This is seriously uncharted business we’re dealing with here, Harry.”
“I know that, Larry.”
Brain backed off. Then he side-stepped to his left. At this, Skyboy hoisted an eyebrow. “What the fuck are you up to-?”
And suddenly, Lizzie Borden came tearing out of the lab like a waitress (in a black-and-blood-splattered yellow waitress uniform) who had just been re-animated in some zombie mad-scientist flick, screaming bloody terror and wielding a fucking fire engine red fire-axe, heading right for Skyboy (and more specifically, his face)!
Skyboy actually caught sight of the open break-only-in-case-of-emergency fire station a few feet down the hall, pulling his little gadget out of his pocket (fuck, that thing was slimy, he never thought he’d get used to that) and he pushed down on the thing’s back, crushing one of its throats (it was only the size of a small toad, but tough as hell, and this was the only thing that worked in a pinch…)
Skyboy was gone. Disappeared. Poof, David Copperfielded right out of the building, right through the thin fucking air, and Brain screamed out “NOOO!!!” even as that yellow bitch crashed through the hallway couch, her axe smashing through the wall, tripping right over the back of the damned cough where Skyboy had been sitting plain as day just a split second earlier.
Brain wrestled the axe away from Lizzie and managed to calm her down, though she would still look comically wild-eyed for a little while yet.
“It’s alright,” he told her. “I have another job for you anyway.” She’d already begun to caress his balls through his lab coat. He wasn’t surprised. Extreme sexualization could be one of the side-effects of these things.
Brain took a look back at the axe in the wall before leading Lizzie back into the lab, and he saw the word scrawled in red across the white paint, the word that hadn’t been there a second ago.
It said, “Rock On”.
“Asshole,” Brain mumbled, and led Lizzie through the open door, while she continued to rub his testicles.
THE PHONE RANG and Kodek quickly swung his feet off of the desk (and the newspaper that had been on his desk). He fumbled around and finally got the phone off the hook.
“Yeah, Kodek here,” he answered into the telephone receiver.
“Kodek, it’s Brain.”
Kodek’s left eye twitched. “I’m at work,” he said flatly.
“I know. I called you there, remember?”
Twitch. “What can I do for you, then?”
“As soon as fucking possible, please.”
That’s when Kodek finally noticed that Brain was already pretty damned agitated, he didn’t need any further egging on from Kodek to help out with that.
“Alright, hang on, let me write down the details.” He moved his coffee mug aside, grabbed a pen and set to write across the edge of the newspaper.
“Harry Skyboy Wilkins,” Brain said, being certain to enunciate each syllable.
Turns out, Kodek didn’t have to write that name down at all, as it was already clearly headlined across the newspaper he was about to write on.
That, and because Kodek could clearly recall killing the man, over a year and a half ago. Kodek cleared his throat, but he wasn’t exactly sure there was anything really there to be cleared.