Miss Mess: A Story

When Maggie and Bianca received a phone call from Elizabeth responding to their Facebook ad for a third roommate, the two young women had no idea they were agreeing to live with a human trash generator. The ad had been listed for a couple weeks and after receiving a few messages from outright weirdos, Elizabeth seemed like a normal college student by comparison, one who they thought they could even potentially be friends with. When they asked her to list a few facts about herself, Elizabeth responded, “I’m a Fashion Design student who draws inspiration from Vera Wang, I grew up in Maine, and I’m an only child.”

Sadly, Maggie and Bianca were not privy to the implications of Elizabeth’s third personal fact. Sophomore college students themselves, the two of them were just moving into their first apartment after having lived in the dorms the prior year, and so their experience with roommates was limited. In their eyes, the worst possible scenario for prospective a roommate was someone who listened to loud, angsty music into the wee hours of the night (or morning, by then) and who didn’t shower but once a week. They had no idea that the worst candidate for a roommate could be a pretty blond girl with French-tipped nails and a love of classical symphony.

Continue reading “Miss Mess: A Story”

I Fuel the Great Machine: Part XI

(Read parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten!)

The Slanted crew of Senga, Ramona, Gabe, and Agnes hastily made their way to Ramona’s space ship as discreetly as possible. Although everyone at the Slanted satellite base seemed to be caught up in the agenda of their own missions on this highly anticipated Day of Action, Agnes felt tense and self-conscious about the possibility of suddenly being confronted by an authority, as they passed by other soldiers, who were heading with a jog in an opposite direction, or staring at a tablet’s screen as they walked by, or speaking into a watch as they bustled along the hallways. Continue reading “I Fuel the Great Machine: Part XI”

I Fuel the Great Machine: Part X

(Read parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine!)

Running down the hallway of the cubicle complex as the building lights flicker on and off, running as fast as possible but still moving in slow motion, alarms sounding… It’s getting closer, the shadowy figure that’s following… Pushing the body to move faster, but still it’s like treading through thick water… Breaking out into the daylight and reaching the subway station, but the subway doors slam shut just as it’s finally in eye sight, and the train slides along the tracks quickly disappearing, but work will start soon, can’t be late for work, heart thumping… Jogging to work, have to get to work, passing the same street signs over and over again; lost? Which way is it? At the dishwashing station, and suddenly Enforcers are surrounding, yelling, raising weapons, no! Bracing for the blow, Enforcer’s arm raised, and it comes down… In space now, orbiting the bright blue and green planet in a capsule, such brilliant colors, captivated… The world slowly turning orange, red-hot, colors burning, the planet starts dripping—-no, no! It’s melting away, dripping into space… Continue reading “I Fuel the Great Machine: Part X”

I Fuel the Great Machine: Part IX

(Read parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight!)

After laughing together about the impossible task that lie ahead of them in the plant-laden living room of Senga’s office, Senga offered Agnes and Ramona some coffee, in such a hilariously casual way that it was almost as if they were not plotting to take down the greatest super-computer that essentially ruled the planet. Continue reading “I Fuel the Great Machine: Part IX”

I Fuel the Great Machine: Part VIII

(Read parts one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven!)

After breaking several of the Great Slantia’s laws and abandoning a lifetime dedicated to its success by allowing an enemy of the state to kidnap her by boarding a space ship and traveling to a secret rebel base satellite located in the shadow of the moon, Agnes, our formerly unsuspecting retiree protagonist, stood at the door which led to her twin sister, whom she had no idea existed until earlier that day. And she didn’t quite know how she felt about this. Continue reading “I Fuel the Great Machine: Part VIII”

I Fuel the Great Machine: Part VII

(Read parts one, two, three, four, five, and six!)

On the Slanted Satellite Base in the shadow of the moon, in an office filled with human-sized bubbles that contained office work spaces, a woman with a blue Mohawk, a scrawny gentleman who seemed perpetually tense, and a woman with antennae in a business suit spoke quietly amongst themselves while an elderly woman in an orange jumpsuit sat nearby, daydreaming of how it would feel to be a bubble. Continue reading “I Fuel the Great Machine: Part VII”

I Fuel the Great Machine: Part VI

(Read parts one, two, three, four, and five!)

After the first nap she had taken in decades, after being awoken by an ever-frantic Gabe, and after having her disheveled hair fixed by an insistent Ramona who instructed, “Don’t embarrass me,” Agnes stepped off the Mother Ship and docked the Slanted Satellite Base. Continue reading “I Fuel the Great Machine: Part VI”

I Fuel the Great Machine: Part V

(Read parts one, two, three, and four!)

The incredible and tragic story of China’s downfall was told between bites of cheese pizza in the Mother Ship’s common room as it departed Earth’s atmosphere and barreled towards their base, behind the far side of the moon. As Ramona stuffed her face, Agnes listened attentively, while Gabe sat by, rolling his eyes at Ramona intermittently and interjecting where he felt she did an inadequate job of conveying this history lesson. Continue reading “I Fuel the Great Machine: Part V”

I Fuel the Great Machine: Part IV

(Read Part I, II, and III.)

The power cutting out in Slantia was not a regular occurrence; in fact, it was not even an irregular occurrence, but rather not an occurrence at all. Slantia’s underground energy source was so massive and constantly fueled that on this very average morning, when the power cut out at the cubicle apartments, none of the residents knew what was happening. As far as they knew, it was the apocalypse. Continue reading “I Fuel the Great Machine: Part IV”

I Fuel the Great Machine: Part III

(Read part I and part II.)

Agnes had kept the silver fork rather than turn it in, that very strange day at the Factory five years earlier. She told herself that as an honorable and loyal citizen of Slantia, she would keep it in her safe possession rather than offer it to the work-motivators, and disguised that bottomless feeling of fear she so constantly experienced in her stomach as genuine care for the order and well-being of Slantia. She feared the “misunderstanding” of forfeiting it, of the inevitable accusation of stealing–she knew how this sort of thing went–, and so it remained taped to the underside of her bed, tucked in the groove of a plank of metal. Continue reading “I Fuel the Great Machine: Part III”