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This Ain’t the Summer of Love


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Summer S Summers

Title Track #1: This Ain’t the Summer of Love by Blue Oyster Cult:

Track #2: Biscuit, Portishead

It was cold, unexpectedly cold. People always assume it will be hot. But it isn’t. At least not in the place she was sent. She could see her breath with each exhale. Her eyes hurt to stay open. Closing them, she thought about how she ended up in a place like this. Where did she go wrong? The better question might have been- why didn’t she think she belonged here?

“Alright, next up on stage, tonight only, Summer!!!” DJ Ray Droid bellowed into the mic. The opening beats to the first song in her set made the walls thump from the base. Rubbing in the last of her glitter lotion and rubbing away the goosebumps on her arms, Summer came out of her reverie and snapped her g-string into place as she hurried from the dressing room onto the floor.

Plastering a sultry smile on her glossy lips, she sauntered on stage, giving her ass a switch with each step. Her tawny skin glowed with golden glitter, as did her sunny mane. Glints of light bounced off the disco ball in the corner and off of her, creating quite the visual masterpiece. At least, for the four patrons at Beauchamp’s Bar. This dive was far away from where Summer usually danced, but her friend Pippi had called and needed a shift covered. So here she was, shimmying and twirling on the pole for a few middle aged men on their way home to their boring suburban lives. It was her job to separate them with some of the cash burning a hole in their wallets. It was why she chose the songs in her set. Nostalgia coupled with a pretty young woman had a way of messing with the mind.

Bending over, she looked over her shoulder at one gentleman in a polo shirt and khakis. Her warm brown eyes looked at him with longing and desire. Her full lips parted, a hint of what they’d love to do. She licked them, tasting the watermelon gloss. He placed two tenners on the rack. Her lips turned upward in a sweet smile as she sauntered back to the pole. Demonstrating her athleticism for the rest of the song, she spun, lifted, and twirled around all while disrobing and making men feel as though she wanted them and them alone. The song came to a close. Smiling widely, Summer collected the money on the stage and the rack. A man in horn rimmed glasses and a hip haircut approached the stage. Handing her fifty quid, he said, “That’s for the music. You dance great too, though.” She smiled, tucking the cash into her bra, watching him walk away.

The room slowly cleared out, leaving Summer leaned up against the pole, picking at a string on her thong. Frowning, she realized she was actually picking AT the thong. Angie, the bartender called out to her. “Oi! You’re just gonna stand around, may as well clean!” Summer rolled her eyes but laughed, grabbing the glass cleaner and a wad of newspaper. Trick of the trade- newspaper doesn’t leave streaks on mirrors like paper towels do. Getting to work, Summer swayed to whatever crappy tune DJ Ray Droid had started playing while wiping down the mirrors.

“Hey Ang, can I get a whiskey sou…” In the reflection, Summer saw him sitting at the bar. Him. It felt as though ice ran directly down her spine. The wadded up newspaper fell from her hands to the floor. Spinning around to face him and to press her back against the mirror, Summer searched the room. He was gone. No. Not again. She’d specifically stopped smoking that strain because it was causing paranoid hallucinations. Licking her lips, she looked down. Her hand was smudged with newsprint, fingers black and grey. No.

“Whatsa matter, sweetie? You look like you’ve seen a ghost! Wait, did you find a grey hair? Or no, a wrinkle?” Angie barked a laugh, slapping the bar. “Here’s your whiskey sour. You’ll forget all about that wrinkle after a few of these.”

“Ang, was there just a guy at the bar? Sitting there?” Summer asked, trying to keep hysteria out of her voice. Walking to the bar, she slid onto the stool. The edged of the ripped vinyl rubbed against her bare hindquarters. Angie looked at her like she’d gone mad. Good, she felt like she was going mad. “What would a man be doin’ sitting up here when he’s got you up on stage to look at? Nah, bar’s dead. I’m gonna close up. You drink that down and relax.”

Nodding, not needing much encouragement, Summer clutched the pint glass filled to the brim with whiskey...and a splash of sour. Chuckling, she took a sip and sighed. That’ll do right there. Silence the voices, kill the thoughts. Douse ‘em with booze or chemicals. Whatever it takes to get some quiet. Grabbing a bar napkin, she started to rub furiously at the newsprint on her hand. The last time they were this black had been when she’d first arrived in Hell.
November 29, 2016 01:09 am

Summer S Summers

Track #3: Hell, Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Sitting in the cold, dark room, Summer isn’t afraid to admit that she started to cry. It was a long, ugly cry too. The kind where you suck in air and hiccup and snot bubbles come out of your nose. That kind of ugly cry. It’s hard to blame the girl. She was well and truly f-cked. She had died- a hard feat given she was a vampire- and was in Hell. Damnation. She must’ve cried for a good...hour? Week? Time had no meaning there. It was worse than in Vegas at the Baccarat table after too many drinks. Hearing a knock on the door to her cell/room, she wiped her face quickly, not wanting to show weakness.

With a gasp, she noticed her hands were now inky black. What in the actual f-ck! “What the hell is this?” She asked lowly. A low chuckle rumbled in the space as her door opened. “Those are your tears. Obviously. Are you daft? Bloody fantastic,. I get the daft one.” A bright orange glow emanated into the room, backlighting the man in the doorway. Squinting, Summer sniffled and looked at him, saying nothing. “Come. You're presence is requested elsewhere.”

She remained sitting on the ground dumbly. His voice was musical and warm, yet at the same time it cast the hardest fear into her heart. She was petrified. “Now!” He snapped. She was left with no choice. Her body instinctively stood up and followed him out and down a few long, winding and labyrinth-like corridors. Was this the aesthetic they were going for or was it a means to confuse the residents, she wondered idly. Her mind was retreating to a childlike state of whimsy to protect itself from the inevitable. That and her body ached. She felt as if she were going to vomit at any moment and she was simultaneously sweating and cold.

The man stopped and turned around, looking at her as he opened a tall oak door. “It’s both. The aesthetic and to confuse you all. Not that it is hard to do, given the state of new arrivals.” He laughed wickedly, holding his hand out as if to usher her into another set of confusing corridors. Her hands were shaking. Was she cold? It felt cold. Then why was she sweating. The man showed her into an elegantly decorated office. “In here. You’re detoxing, you worthless cretin. Now sit, and wait. You’ve somehow managed an appointment with Management. Congratulations. Try not to suss it up, like you did with the entirety of your worthless life.” Summer wasn’t entirely sure what was more unsettling- his attitude, his ability to read her thoughts, or the fact that she was actually going through withdrawals while in Hell. So this was rock bottom.

The now-dead blonde vampire sat sullen in a plush chair as she waited for whoever “management” was in this joint. Picking at her fingernails out of nervousness, she licked her lips and willed herself not to vomit right there on the floor. The plush carpet looked far too nice to puke on. She didn't need any more trouble than she was clearly already in.

Hearing the clinking of glass, Summer looked up with a start. In the corner stood a tall man with a mane of salt and pepper hair and full beard. The man turned, a crystal tumbler filled with sherry in his tanned, weathered hand. He gave her a winning smile. “Summer Squash Summers. How nice of you to join me.”

Her face crumpled in confusion. His voice left no mistake who he was. The power contained within, the velvet smoothness, the hidden wickedness. THIS was management. But he looked like…”Kenny Rogers?”
November 29, 2016 01:14 am

Summer S Summers

Track #4: The Gambler, Kenny Rogers

His laugh was low and rumbling. “I get that a lot. But no. He’s not even dead yet! And when he does? That man is a treasure. He won’t be coming down here.” Kenny Rogers’ demonic doppelganger quieted as he walked across the room. It wasn’t pacing. Each stride was meaningful. Her anxiety was reaching a fever pitch. Sweat dripped down the side of her face. Wiping it off, she saw that it too was black. A strangled cry tore from her lips. That brought the man’s attention. With a knowing cluck of his tongue, he was suddenly at her side.

Running his hand along the side of her face gently, he looked into her eyes and said, “There you are. Exactly what you need, right there.” Nodding, she instantly felt well. Better than anything she’d ever used back on earth. Damnation, indeed. Maybe Hell wasn't all bad. He clucked his tongue again and sat on the edge of his desk. “Don’t get hooked on it, Summer. You’re not going to stay here.”

Well that certainly piqued her attention. “Beg pardon?” She sat up at attention, no longer feeling ill at all.

A door opened and a horrific demon not disguised by human glamour shoved two men into the room. Summer screamed and fell out of the chair, scrambling to get away. Not from the demon, as frightening as it was. Her fear was of the men. Nikolaus and Stefan. The men who her degenerate parents had traded her and her siblings to years ago. The men who had turned her baby sisters. And possibly her. She couldn’t remember. She’d blacked out, or her mind had sheltered her. It was a piece missing, one she'd painstakingly been blanketing with chemicals since.

Nikolaus laughed at Summer and crouched over, trying to get a closer look at her. “Hey, Stefan! It’s the other Summers b-tch.” He looked at the Kenny Rogers lookalike and asked with a gleeful expression, “Is she for us?”

Horrified and frightened beyond measure, Summer looked beseeching at the man. “I can’t go with them. I’ll do anything!”

“Anything?” He chuckled, then gave a dismissive wave. The demon dragged them back out as quickly as they came in. “I know you will. See, those two aren’t supposed to be here yet. They owed me ten more souls. Ten more. But your scrappy sisters did them in.”

Summer scrunched her face up. “Wait, what? Spring and Autumn whacked those guys?” Her face broke out into a wide and proud grin. An inky black tear fell from her eye, so proud. “My sweet little dumplings! Oh, I miss them.” Her lower lip wobbled as the realization of all she’d left behind dawned on her.

“Yea, while you were in purgatory, they took care of those two. Back to my point. Your parents owed them a debt. You were the payment. Nikolaus and Stefan owe me a debt. Your sisters have rendered them unable to pay up.” The man stood near her, looming.

Her heart hammered in her chest. How was that possible? She was dead, did she even have a heart? Maybe it was ghost pains. “Are they in trouble? I’ll pay their debt. Consider it done.” She looked at his very expensive shoes, ready. Even if it meant going with Nikolaus and Stefan.

Holding out his hand, he helped Summer up. “Apparently we aren’t the only ones who can read thoughts. Your sisters aren’t in trouble. They killed two men-that gets you high marks around here! Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be seeing them both down here eventually. As long as they keep avoiding branches to the heart during a freak car accident, they’ll remain on terra firma. You will pay the debt of Nikolaus and Stefan, however. Don’t worry so much, it is an easy assignment. I need you to go to heaven. Get in good with management up there. And report back to me. You’ve got the sweet look and now that you’re not detoxing, you’ll fit in just fine.”

Squinting, she looked at him, aghast. “You want me to go to heaven. That is my punishment? There’s gotta be a catch.”

“Recognize when your hand is stacked to benefit you, as it is now Darling Summer. You’ll eventually return to me here, but you’ll be well into your punishment and will have very nice quarters. There is no catch. I mean, aside from duping celestial beings into thinking you are one of them, only to report back to the Prince of Darkness.” His smile was mild, but his meaning was not. She swallowed thickly. It was a strange thing to have your fears confirmed. This wasn’t just management. This guy was Management above all Management. Going to heaven sounded perfect. Maybe she wouldn’t cry black tears. Maybe she’d get wings! And she wouldn’t be in Hell. Or with Nikolaus and Stefan-who’d checked into Hell around the same time she did. Talk about having all the luck!

Nodding quickly, she said in a tight voice, “Alright. When do I go?”

He smiled and turned around, picking up an old phone. “Hey. Yes. We got another one of yours again. Yea, I don’t know how it keeps happening, Selaphiel. Probably a glitch in your categorizing system. Get off my tail about it, I’m sending her up right now.” Her eyes were drawn to his rear, noticing his forked tail. Snapping her eyes up to his face when he disconnected, he downed his sherry and gave her a tight, irritated smile. “Alright, Summer Squash Summers. Time to start your penance. Remember, there’s no coming back down here. I tell you when I’ve gotten all the information I need. Then and only then will you be permitted to come back.”

Why was he telling her that? Like she was gonna beg and plead to leave the streets of gold in Heaven to come back down to the Eternal Fire? Yea, no thanks. She smiled sweetly and nodded in understanding. “Got it, boss. I’ll be up there til you call me home.”

His eyes narrowed and turned pitch black. “Good girl. Now, go.” With a flick of his wrists, she was no longer in the posh office of Abaddon, but in a subdued waiting room with as much character as a dentist's office. A cherubic woman smiled from behind a desk as she greeted throngs of do-gooders and missionaries. A group of choir boys sang hymns in the corner. A tickle ran down Summer’s spine, getting a slight hint as to why he’d cautioned her from thinking she could return early. “Summer Squash? Summer Squash! You’re intake interviewer is ready for you! Get ready to go over all the good things you’ve done in your life! You have an eternity, no rush.”

Scowling, Summer got up. This was gonna be their fastest intake yet.
November 29, 2016 01:22 am

Summer S Summers

Track #5: Where is My Mind, Pixies

Throwing the dirty napkin into the bin behind the bar with a huff of irritation, Summer slammed the rest of the pint of whiskey back. Getting up, a bit wobbly on her new pink heels, she made her way to the dressing room. Her makeup was overly dramatic, perfect for the low light in the bar. It was remarkably whorish for outside wear. With an indifferent shrug, she made a call on speakerphone as she wiped at her face with a wet napkin.

“Eh, Summer.”
“Hey Emily. Is Carl around for a pick up?”
“Yea, he’s here. You at the Windmill?”
“Nah, I’m out at Beauchamp’s. It’s in Hackney.”
“Oi! What the hell are you doing out there? Gotta death wish or summin’?”
She laughed softly. Too late. “Picking up a shift for Pippi. Can he come or what, Em?”
“Pippi? That junkie’s nothin but trouble, girl. You watch out for her.”
Summer was quiet for a moment, thinking how her and Pippi weren’t all that different. “Yea, I know.”
“Alright, he’s on his way. Give him like, fifteen or so. Stay inside, for f-cks sake.”
“Cheers, Em.”

Shoving her heels and makeup bag into a backpack, Summer put on a pair of mermaid scale leggings and a cable knit sweater. Putting her feet into her fuzzy boots, she chatted with Angie until Carl texted her, saying he was out front.

Climbing into the front seat, she grinned as she realized her friend had turned on the seat warmers of his nice Escalade. “Hey Carl. Thanks for the short notice pickup.”

“Eh, glad you called me. Don’t like the idea of you out here by yourself. A girl like you could get hurt.” Unlikely, she thought. Unless it was Them. She shivered and smooshed herself down against the seat. Carl, astute driver that he was, recognized Summer’s need for quiet and gave it to her. The quick ride to the Manor was peaceful in the car. Less so in Summer’s mind, thoughts running like demented hamsters on wheels. Handing him a wad of singles, she kissed his cheek before departing. “Say hi to Emily for me. Tell her I’m fiiiiine.” Carl earned his money by waiting at the door till she was all the way inside.

Shutting the door softly behind her, Summer made her way up the winding stairs to her room on the second floor. The house was quiet, but that didn’t mean anything. Most of her siblings were probably at Mercy. A pang of loneliness hit her, missing them all something fierce. Without shutting her bedroom door, she immediately began digging in her apothecary chest, putting together a chemical ****tail that’d silence the voices nipping at her heels. Scratching her forehead, her hands shook as she picked a few pills and green nuggets out. Odd as it may seem, she didn't like dancing while intoxicated. Maybe just a drunk buzz, but nothing else. Because of that, she was going on several hours of being 'Summer Sober'. Her body was noticing and objecting mightily.

Summer wasn't thinking about that though. She was singularly focused on one thought: she needed to hide. Like, really hide. These f-cking wings were like beacons, leading Them right to her. These pills didn’t hide her. They hid the world. Blissfully. Swallowing down a pair of tiny blue pills with an opened bottle of red wine on her dresser, she sat down on her bed.”Blaize!!” She called out, her voice raw. She was crying. When had she started crying? Damn. Take another drink, Summer. Shhhh make it stop. Lighting a pre-rolled, she inhaled deeply, holding it while she dug out her phone. Who to text. Autumn hadn’t responded to her last text. That being said, she hadn’t asked a question. Winter? Spring? She exhaled deeply, the entire room filled with smoke. The methodical breathing helped calm her nerves some. The pills would help even more in a moment once they started coursing through her bloodstream. Did she have a bloodstream? Who cares. It worked. Scratching at her thigh, she chewed on a fingernail on her other hand. Group text. Everyone loves those. Wait, why was she even reaching out?

Putting the bottle of wine to her lips, she tapped the bottom to get every last drop out. She kind of wanted a cigarette. No, she wouldn’t. She’d kicked that habit when she died. It was her one string of control she had over her life. She wouldn’t give it up. A gust of wind blew outside, causing a tree branch to hit her bedroom window. With a yelp, Summer ran to the corner and shrank down, cowering. For the briefest of moments, she’d thought that They’d found her. Willing herself to breathe, she had the small and sudden realization that she was losing her sh-t. Like, completely. This simply couldn’t do. She was Summer Summers, dammit. Former Vampire, now Angel! Angel on the lam, hiding. Damn everything, life was actually easier when she was a vampire. If she were one now, she’d not be on Heaven’s radar at all.

A near hysterical giggle bubbled up from her lips. That was it. She could go back. Could she? Had an angel ever been turned before? What was the worst that could happen? She’d already hit rock bottom, and now was being hunted by Hell and Heaven alike. Screw it. It could not get any worse.

From the corner of her room, lips stained purple from the wine, eyes bloodshot from the healthy toke, she texted all four of the siblings she was in contact with. Her hands shook as she thumbed the message, eyes blurred with tears.

My loves: I’m in a bad way. I haven’t told you everything about when I died or why I’m back. But...I need help. I need you. And I need to lose these f-cking fairy wings. Spring- that one is on you. Bring your sharpest switchblade. And maybe a bottle of Jack because that sh-t’s gonna burn.

Tossing her phone onto her bed, she saw a half-full bottle of Mad Dog under her bed. Shout out to passing out cold before finishing a bottle, she thought as she took a healthy swig. The voices were starting to ebb. The calm was rolling in and she was feeling more and more like herself. The wind kept blowing, the tree branch hit the window. And Summer didn’t care. Maybe her family would come, maybe they wouldn’t. She was feeling pretty damned good now either way.
November 29, 2016 02:16 am

Spring Summers


Cobalt eyes opened and stared at the dimly lit roof of the room. Everything was spinning, the needle still fresh in her arm. Spring's eyes squinted and followed the swing of the lamp above her head. Mesmerized completely how slowly the lamp cast the light, and how slowly it retreated to the other side. It was then her clouded gaze fell onto the needle and stared at it bemusedly. She tried to move her other arm to swat it out. Panic shimmered from her glossy orbs. It was that moment she realized her hands were tied to the outlining of what she thought was a chair.

The light paused on the doorway, and she saw the devil's face. "Liebchen, my flower. Daddy is going to teach you how to scream." Her tongue was swollen from whatever liquid was injected into her veins. Opening her mouth to talk all she got in return was the cold harsh air of reality. The shadow monster moved forward to her with something on his side. Small embers of flame danced across the end of it. She had never seen a thing like it. Patterns of breath became sharp with hysteria, and before she could even fix the blurred vision in front of her.

Hot Iron was forced against her lips. Spring caved even after the high he had forced upon her. Tears cascaded down her cheeks, as she let out a heartwretched sob against the iron. Her tongue could feel the steam off the iron tease her for what was next to come. "Get angry, Liebchen." He commanded her and took a fistful of hair. A wrathful shriek left her lips as the hot iron marked into her immortal tongue. The buzz of the light fixture was the only peaceful serenity to carress her ears. It drowned out the ripping noises, the zipper noises. She counted through her agonizing sobs and countless outcries when it would be over.

One swing. Two swing. Three swing.

The soft taps of the rain over her flat stirred her out of her day terror. Narrowed blue eyes watched the sheep below with a spark of envy. Spring busied herself by taking swigs out of a whiskey bottle, and hits from her ciggy. Neither of which calmed her nerves. He was dead now. She was free. Why the f-ck did this keep happening to her? No matter how hard she tried to walk with a sense of elegance, it always ended with her stomping across the floorboards.

Occupying her mind, she started to water the potted plants in her room. Constructed of the old bed she had broken. Buzz. Buzz. The noise made her freeze in place, and then she chuckled at herself. "Stupid b-tch. Oi.. Everything is f-cking fine. F-ck sake." Buzz. Buzz. What the f-ck? Oh right. Her phone.

Spring's gaze glanced over the cell and took on an eerie calmness after she had finalized processing what was on the screen.

Summer needed her.

Spring put out the ciggy against one of the pots, and abandoned the bottle of whiskey. Switchblade equipped, Sunglasses placed over her face. Last minute she took a glance down at her body. Blasted to hell. She almost pulled a Winter and walked out nude. Digits quickly dialed in alignment with her stride across her apartment to assemble a wardrobe. She hit send, and then Spring was on her way to Summer's aid. Something had to be horribly wrong with Summer to want to part with those gliterry fairy f-cking pink wings.

Re: Group
I'm on my way b-tch.

November 29, 2016 01:51 pm

Summer S Summers

Track #6: In Heaven, Bauhaus

Staring at the powder grey wall, Summer decided she ought to paint in her bedroom. She'd have to talk to Blaize about that next time she saw him. Did she need to confer with him before painting her own bedroom? What color should she pick? Maybe just cover the wall with those paint chip samples so she wouldn’t have to decide and she could enjoy all of them all the time. It was safe to say the pills were kicking in. Her phone buzzed beside her. Glancing down, she smiled in a daze, pleased to see Spring was on her way.

“Summer Squash Summers? Right this way, Ma’am!” A very regular looking man sporting khakis and a polo shirt walked over to her. Looking at his clipboard before grasping her hand in a very enthusiastic handshake, he said, “Boy, that is very unique name. Your parents must have been extremely creative!”

Feeling her lip curl up in her usual snarky response, she bit it back and smiled. “Yea! They were um, artists. Traveling...artists. Who loved nature.” Shut up, Summer. The key to lies is to keep it simple, not add a bunch of stupid details. Was being up in this place already hampering her ability to sin? Mother f-cker! She smiled sweetly at the man and followed him into a very large room filled with low profile cubicles. She swallowed hard, wondering if Kenny Rogers wasn’t pulling some kind of trick on her. THIS was clearly hell. Clearly.

The man sat down at a metal desk, guiding Summer to sit in the seat across. “My name is Albert. I’m your Intake Angel. I’ll be with you all along your orientation until the higher-ups think you’re ready to go out on your own. We’re going to be fast friends, I just know it!” His enthusiasm was starting to make her feel nauseous. Or maybe she was detoxing again? Adjusting her legs to sit ladylike, Summer took mental inventory. She needed to be positive. Why was she bristling at every little thing up here? This was heaven, for f-cks sake! She’d literally escaped hell, by the grace of Beelzebub himself, and was in the coveted afterlife location. It was time to chill and be receptive. “I agree, Albert. How about we get started? I’m very eager to begin the next phase of my existence!” Her voice nearly bubbled.

Albert nodded, very pleased to see his charge was just as gung-ho as he was. Pulling out a long scroll, he unfurled it, the majority of it landing on the floor. “Just a few rules to go over and we’ll be on our way for the guided tour!” Convinced she should win an Academy Award for her restraint in not frowning deeply at the rule list, she merely nodded and only heard a few of the thousand rules. Time had no meaning in the afterlife, but Summer was pretty sure they sat their going over rules for fifty years, give or take a week. She forgot most, but the few that stood out were: Curfew was at 9pm sharp. Everyone had to be in their designated rooms by curfew. Worship service was every day at 6 am, noon, 3pm, and 8pm. No taking the lords name in vain, no cursing, no gambling, drinking, drugs, sex with anyone you weren’t married to prior to death, absolutely no looking over the fences, no discussing Downstairs, no peanuts or gluten allowed in common areas, no questioning Management at any time, no interactions with the NDE visitors….

“Wait, what are NDE visitors?” Summer asked, her eyes glazed over and near ready to call up the D-man and make him take her back. Albert jumped up, excited. “That is ‘Near Death Experience visitors’. Come on, I’ll show you where they are. It’s the first stop in the tour, because it’s the only time you’re allowed to see them.” Walking outside, they got into a golf cart and drove down a very shiny gold street. Looking over at her, Albert said earnestly, “The rules- they might seem like a lot. But they are because He loves us. He wants to protect us. That’s why he builds all the structure. By taking away all the big and small decisions, we can simply be happy in paradise. You get it, right? I knew you would.” He said before she answered. They pulled up to a very large stacked building.

“This looks like a movie multiplex.” Summer observed, bewildered. He nodded and led her into the building. They walked through a series of doors, each room getting darker and darker. The final room was nearly pitch black. There were people standing around everywhere, vivid moving images surrounded each one. Most of the pictures included bright lights, other people, animals, and clouds. “What is this? What are they doing?”

Albert smiled proudly. “All those people are currently having a near death experience. They are here, being shown exactly what it is that will keep the faith alive in them. To give them hope. Isn’t it beautiful?”

Summer’s face scrunched up. “So...the experience isn’t authentic? Why not? It is a movie? Virtual reality?”

Albert fidgeted with his clipboard. “Well, Summer, we don’t question the choices of the Higher-Ups. This is to protect the people, let them get a tiny glimpse at exactly what makes their heart feel happy.”

Summer nodded quickly, perturbed. “Yea, you mentioned that. Protected and sheltered. I guess I just don’t understand why they don’t get to see what actual heaven looks like. Where do they go once they’ve watched their planned flick?”

Albert was visibly unnerved by Summer’s belligerence. “Well...umm, let’s see. They um go to that exit door back there. That is a door that leads right back to earth. That way they don’t get lost and accidentally wander around and stay when they were supposed to return. That would be a pickle!” He laughed, still uneasy.

Summer smiled softly, her mind committing to memory the exact location of the back door. "Yes, that surely would be a pickle."
November 30, 2016 12:49 am

Summer S Summers

Track #7 Oh Death, Jen Titus

The tour continued, with Albert joyously extolling the virtues of the place. He dropped her off at a stack building. It looked like a dormitory at a faceless college. Albert’s face, however, was that of unbridled enthusiasm. “This is stack number six- your new home! Your room is number 1313; everything you need will be in your room ready to go. I got you here with an hour to spare before curfew. That will give you enough time to check out the grounds and get to bed before lights go out. I’ll see you tomorrow at 5am for breakfast before the first worship service. Then we’ll go pick out your wings. Big day tomorrow!” He patted her back as she exited the golf cart.

Walking to the stack as Albert sped off, Summer took in the surroundings. It was beautiful, but void of character. The green rolling hills and sharp cerulean sky made her think of that Microsoft Windows wallpaper that came pre-installed. Artificially beautiful. Calm, but only because it elicited absolutely no other emotion except for indifference. Entering the stack, an older man sat at the reception desk. “Welcome Home, Summer!” He greeted her warmly. She smiled wide and looked around. Again, the same fine yet nondescript finish found in the waiting room flowed into the stack. Plain, basic, inspiring absolutely nothing. The stack had a wide atrium with an elevator in the middle. Summer idly wondered if some opted to simply fly up to their rooms. She fully intended on doing so when she got her wings tomorrow. Why the hell not?

Her room was on the thirteenth floor, the thirteenth door on the right. It was a basic room that looked like an undecorated college dorm, complete with twin size bed and desk. A small window allowed for a view of the Microsoft grassy knolls. Surprisingly, there was no bible in the drawers, but she did find them filled with clothes that appeared to be her size. They were mostly khakis and button down blouses. She had never been too much of a fashionista, but this was kind of ridiculous. Suddenly, bells chimed outside, loud enough to echo through the land. The sun set immediately, sending everything into darkness. The single lamp in her room illuminated itself. It cast eerie shadows on the undecorated walls. Sitting on her bed, she fidgeted. Was she supposed to just go to sleep? Now?! Her mind was wide awake, the implications of the day still finding a home in her brain. Maybe a nice walk outside would wear her out. The halls were dark and quiet. The elevator was shut down. Furrowing her brow, she decided that wasn’t a bad thing. Going down the stairs was quieter, more stealth. The man at the reception desk was gone. Carefully opening and closing the door behind her, Summer slipped outside in the dark of the night.

The air was exactly the same temperature it had been during the day. Everything was the same except the lights had been proverbially shut off completely. It was unsettling. Deciding to go off the road, she walked up the grassy knoll, aiming to see what was on the other side. At the top of the hill, the world seemed to fade and waver before revealing more grassy knolls. Frowning, she thought it seemed very similar to when a world was generating in a video game. It kind of made sense. It was very obvious that nothing here was authentic. She took another step forward onto the regenerated landscape. It felt unsteady beneath her feet.

Between a single blink of her eye, a row of white garbed...things appeared before her. They hovered off the ground about ten feet. The garbs kept their faceless heads in shadows. It was more unsettling than the dentist office feel of the entire place. Summer’s jaw went slack and she took a step back. The Beings lowered, moving closer. Non existent air moved the cloth of their garbs. ‘Looking’ at her, well, as much as they could look, given that the space for their face was void. Not empty, not black. But void. It made Summer’s belly feel as though she’d eaten a jar of grease and everything was flopping around inside. Blinking, she marveled at the fact that what anyone would chalk up to as a wicked hallucination was happening when she was stone cold sober.

Their voices entered her mind all at once. It was a chorus taking over her brain, similar to how one feels when standing right next to a gong when it goes off. Her brain felt like liquid. The vibration slowed until words finally were communicated to her. You shouldn’t be in this place Summer Squash Summers. You should be in Room Thirteen Thirteen. Please report back to Room Thirteen Thirteen.

“I just wanted some air! I wasn’t tired and thought I’d take a walk and look around. See this place on my own..” Wincing hard, she instinctively put her hands to her ears, even though there was no sound, just vibration in her mind. They were yelling. She could tell.

There is no going on your own. There is nothing on your own. You have been blessed to be in this place, where the burden of free will has been lifted from your shoulders. You lack for nothing, and need to think of nothing. You shouldn’t be in this place Summer Squash Summers. You should be in Room Thirteen Thirteen. Please report back to Room Thirteen Thirteen.

Looking up, a bit aghast, she said, “Free will has been lifted? I thought all humans had free will! Why can’t we be given free thought and will? Is this not heaven?” Her voice was getting higher with each question.

Upon entering the Divine Space, you were relieved of your humanity. You are now celestial, where free will is not needed nor desired. You aren’t given it because you do not want it. This is a demonstration of God’s pure love for you and his desire to keep you protected at all cost. You shouldn’t be in this place Summer Squash Summers. You should be in Room Thirteen Thirteen. Please report back to Room Thirteen Thirteen.

Going a bit cold, she stood still for a moment, just looking up at the Beings. They seemed docile enough but their words were deeply disturbing. She’d dated a guy who’d tried the same bullsh-t before. Saying he was doing things to protect her or because he loved her. When it boiled down to the fact that he was an abusive, narcissistic piece of garbage. God, narcissistic and abusive? Say it ain’t so. Nodding, she took a few more steps back.

You shouldn’t be in this place Summer Squash Summers. You should be in Room Thirteen Thirteen. Please report back to Room Thirteen Thirteen.

“I’m going, I’m going! Sh-t! Quit yelling in my brain, you’re making it feel like f-cking pudding god dammit!” She hissed, taking care to keep her voice down. A very low vibration hit her entire body in a wave. The Being’s faces glowed a hot white and she had to look away, the negative light remaining in her eyes. The vibration slowed again to form words, but it remained quaking every organ in her body. She felt as if she were going to hurl all over the perfectly manicured lawn.

You are not to speak such words, Summer Squash Summers. You are not to say the Lord’s name in vain, Summer Squash Summers. You will be relieved of that burden. YOU SHOULD NOT BE IN THIS PLACE, SUMMER SQUASH SUMMERS. YOU SHOULD BE IN ROOM THIRTEEN THIRTEEN. PLEASE REPORT BACK TO ROOM THIRTEEN THIRTEEN.

Eyes watering, she slowly stood up from being crouched on the ground. The Beings now hovered twenty or thirty feet off the ground. The cloth whipped in the non-existent wind faster than it had before. Arms wrapped around her middle, she turned and ran back into the stack. She felt like she was going to puke or sh-t or both. Running up the stairs -all thirteen flights without getting winded- she ran into her room and collapsed on her bed. “Mother fu…” Frowning, she tried again. “Son of a bi….” Her voice and mouth were frozen when she attempted to speak a curse word. “You’ve got to be sh--” With a yelp, she slapped her hand over her mouth, eyes wide. They’d taken away her choice of words. They took it away.

“Fuuuuuuuu…..” Summer muttered, her face pressed against her dresser. How much time had passed? Damn those pills were strong. Which ones had she taken? Her mouth felt like the Sahara Desert. The Mad Dog bottle was empty. Grabbing her phone, she pulled herself to her feet wobbling, holding onto her furniture for balance. Running a hand through her thick golden hair, she realized it was a tangled mess. She wandered downstairs, desperate for a drink of anything. Apple juice sounded killer. But rum would work too.

Blinking in the low light cast when she opened the refrigerator, Summer rummaged for a drink. Low and behold, there was a bottle of apple cider. Blaize was good. As she swigged directly from the bottle, she idly observed how the house felt like her brothers. It didn’t feel like her own home. None of her other siblings lived here. When had that happened? Why did they all leave her? Why wouldn’t they, she thought as she wiped her hand over her top lip, wet with juice. She was a god damned nightmare. High all the time, having absolutely zero f-cks to give about anything, yea, she’d leave too if she could.

Glancing down at her phone, there were no notifications. Doing that thing where you open it and check anyway just to be sure, she put it on the counter quietly as she burped. Gasping, she looked up with a start. The housekeeper was shuffling through, her coat over her arm. “Oh. Miss Summer, I didn’t realize anyone was home. Should I be going or shall I stay for some work?”

Summer glanced to the wide doors leading to the back garden. It was dark outside. She was unsure if it were evening or early morning. The expertly manicured rose bushes lined the garden sweetly, creating a private sanctuary. Something stirred inside Summer, something outside of the handful of intoxicants she’d already ingested. Shaking her head, she kept her expressionless eyes on the housekeeper. “You should go.” The housekeeper wisely nodded and made a hasty retreat.
December 01, 2016 12:52 am

Winter Summers

"Do you see Winter? How they scream? Trying to be strong girls but we broke them, just like we did to you." Winter shot up, his blue eyes darted left then right. He was in his room safe. They were all safe now, his sisters had done something he never could. They killed them, Winter should have been the one to do it. He should have ended their lives. Yet he couldn't he was to damn weak, even now he knew he could never protect them. Pushing those thoughts away he threw the covers off and made his way to his kitchen to get a nice cold glass of water.

He kicked his clothes out of his way so he could open his door, and once it opened Whiskers darted out going for the small tree Winter had put in his poor excuse for an apartment room. "Whiskers do it and you got you a one way ticket out the door." Lies, all lies he could never put his precious baby out on the street! As soon as he got to the kitchen and grabbed a glass he heard the tree hit the ground. Oh that was it! He went stomping into his living room to let Whiskers have it when his ringtone stopped him in his tracks.

'Cause if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it
If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it
Don't be mad once you see that he want it
If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it'

His eyes once again would glance around searching for his damned phone. After a good five minutes he found it hidden under one of the couch cushions. Now which of his siblings wanted his attention? He didn't give out his number to anyone else, well Gray had it but there would be no reason for Gray to contact him. A stupid sort of smile came to his face as he saw the message was from his wonderful Summer.

As he read the message however the smiled faded and a panic look crept onto his face. What the hell was this? She needed them? What had Summer gotten herself into? Winter sprinted back into his room tossing on the first particles of clothing he could find and went for his door. He turned to address Whiskers only to see him playing with an ornament. That would keep him distracted Winter had nothing to worry about.

Out the door he went, his brother's place was a good distance away so what does Winter do? What Winter does best steal. This time it was a car and he could get in some trouble for this one but his baby sister needed him and no matter what Winter would be there.
December 01, 2016 03:53 pm

Summer S Summers

Track #8 White Light, White Heat. Velvet Underground

~August, Heaven, Room 1313~

Flopped on the rather comfortable bed, all things considered, Summer stared up at the popcorn ceiling of her dormitory. Her heart pounded and she was breathing hard, practically panting. Mindlessly kicking off her shoes, she licked her lips and sucked in a deep breath, eyes wide. She’d never sleep. Not now. Not after those…things.

“Knock knock. I can come back if now isn’t a good time.”

Gasping, Summer sat up. Her room was still dimly lit from just the lone lamp on the desk. It cast an orangey glow around the room. As the door opened, a brighter light shined in. Squinting as her eyes adjusted, she asked, “Who is it?”

Neil Diamond poked his head in, dressed in a white leisure suit. “It’s me, silly. I can only visit after curfew. Since you know, that’s blatantly breaking the rules.”

Frowning in abject confusion, she breathed out in understanding. “Ahhhh, Neil Diamond. I get it. Switching it up from Kenny Rogers. Right? I think Neil Diamond is still alive.”

The man laughed, deep and smooth. “You catch on quick, you little stoner. Look what happens when your mind is clear of those toxins! So, how’s it going? I am guessing you don’t have much of a detailed report for me just yet, being as it is your first day.”

Sitting up fully, Summer crossed her legs under her, staring openly. Damned if he didn’t look just like Neil Diamond. It was uncanny. Shaking her head and blinking, she said, “Dude, this place is utter shi….Aeeee! Do you see this?? I can’t even swear! Those fuc...things did this to me because I dared question them. I was just going for a walk.”

Neil’s thick brow shot up. “They took away your choice of words? Curious. I didn’t know they had that ability. Or rather, I didn’t know they’d bother.”

“Oh, they bothered, those motherfu….Gahh!! Plus the world like, ends. It is almost digital or something. It’s weird man. No choice whatsoever. On anything, ever. Because god loves us. That’s some straight bullsh…” Summer clenched her jaw, furious beyond reason.

Neil’s face grew dark, even though the rest of him nearly glowed white in the room. “This is very good information, Summer. I thought that maybe having you lay low would get good intel, but I’m liking this approach. Keep pushing the boundaries. Test their patience. I trust a Summers girl will excell quite a bit at that task.” He laughed again, loud. “Surely someone will hear me. A man in your room after are on the right track now, babe!”

Shaking her head, she flopped back down on the bed. “I’m trippin’ out over here. What I’d do for a xanax.” Lifting her head off the pillow, she looked at him. “You don’t happen to have one, do you?”

Laughing again, he stood up and straightened his crisp suit. “No. I don’t do drugs or advocate their use. Sounds counter-intuitive, as junkies populate my halls by the hordes. I just prefer a clear mind.” He leaned over, putting a warm hand on her forehead, smoothing her hair back. It was a tender gesture, parental almost. Not so parental was the kiss he pressed to her lips. She felt instantly calmed and drowsy, but clear headed. “Sleep, sweet girl. You have a very big day tomorrow.”
December 07, 2016 11:37 pm

Spring Summers

Anything in her way be damned. As she fled down the hallways of Mercy out the door. Read: Ran so fast she actually tripped on air and collided with the front door. "Mother F-cker!" It wasn't an unusual chorus to hear down the hallway, especially for her. Public transportation was the bane of her existence, right next to all of humankind. She tapped her foot impatiently, as her hands curled around one of the restraints. Why the hell did Blaize have to live a reasonable amount away from Mercy?  

Spring did her best to drown out the barking idiots and annoying pissants around her. Time seemed to chug on sluggishly with each screech of the brakes to a stranger's stop. Her teeth gritted together as she tried to remain focus on the end result. Summer. Bright blues rolled ceiling ward as the brakes on the vehicle shrieked to a halt at her needed stop. She shoved the bystanders out of her way, and sprinted into a run the rest of the way. Through the damp Winter grass she ran up to the manor, feeling the cold air knock into her icy lungs.   

She gave herself a pat down and secretly praised herself for at least grabbing one f-cking cig. Unsure of what would meet her inside, her fingers curl reach for the switchblade she had tucked inside her boot. Wrist flicked  and swayed as the blade released into the air. As if it were an unspoken curse of the day, she wasn't able to get a check on her speed in time. She ran right into the door of the f-cking manor. Her face tilting backwards at the impact, her nose crooked to the side. " Serry Ahferm." Her mouth and nose swelled and reddened. Being mindful of the blade she entrapped her nose between the back of her palms and snapped it back into place.


Spring instantly became annoyed when the front door wasn't even unlocked. That wouldn't stop her from checking on Summer though. She tried to call out from the other side of the door. "SERMER! SERMER!" The inflamed speech made her eyes lower into a glare.  

Since Summer didn't move in seconds time, Spring took on the more melodramatic entrance of jumping through the large living room window. Which only made her land on her arse, surrounding by shattered glass, and the switchblade now had launched itself into the back of the couch.  

Perfect. Spring was perfect at this sh!t. If there was one thing to say about Spring, she was f-cking determined. With a few grunts and muffled curses, she lunged at the couch to try to retract the blade from the couch. "Sermer?! " Frantic to find her sister she skidded through the manor with pieces of glass sticking out of her body.    


December 11, 2016 09:18 pm

Summer S Summers

Track #9 Maiden in the Mor, Qntal

~Present Day~

Hearing the door click after the housekeeper had left, Summer returned to her introspective and melancholic reverie. Feeling utterly alone yet at the same time, inexplicably bound to others, running from others, Summer was exhausted. And very, very intoxicated. Looking outside the wide back windows, her head moved in disjointed pauses. Outside. Outside sounded nice. A breath of fresh air under the moonlight. And she could here. No weird things telling her she couldn’t.

Walking outside, the brisk early winter air swirled around her body. Wanting to feel it all over, she disrobed down to her underwear. She noted the chill in the air but it didn’t bother her. Environmental temperature hadn’t had an effect on her since she returned last month. She could feel the change, but it didn’t bother her in either direction.

Clothes in a pile by the first step down into the garden, Summer basked in the glow of the moon. The only other illumination came by way of city light pollution from the heart of London not far away. It sure was peaceful out here, but still a ways for Carl to drag her sloppy, drunk ass. Getting glitter and fragranced lotion all over the interior of his Escalade. The man was a saint. And she was not. Yet she was an angel of all things. Stretching her arms above her head, she yawned and simply let go. White wings unfurled from her back, the tips bright pink. It was a very unnatural look, but fetching all the same. If you were a 13 year old girl. Or perhaps, a 25 year old girl with the wide eyes of a 13 year old when picking out her angel wings. Glancing over her shoulder, Summer reached up and ran her fingers down the side of one wing. Beautiful, but at the same time, they looked ridiculous. She looked like a god damned Lisa Frank character come to life.

A strangled cry escaped her lips. She was an idiot, and she looked like an idiot. It was fair to say that Summer’s c0cktail of booze and mystery substances from her apothecary cabinet were having a negative effect on her mood and thought process. She was, in short, having a pretty bad trip. But when one is having a bad trip, logic usually leaves the premises. Summer wandered the back garden, the grass cold under her feet. The surrounding quiet was deafening.

On the gardening table sat a grass stained pair of hedge shears. The small bit of unstained metal gleamed in the moonlight. It shined to Summer like a beacon, calling her to them. That was it. She could cut the chains loose and be free. Truly free. Grabbing them haphazardly, using far less caution one should when wielding 12 inch shears, she drags them over to the middle of the garden. Sitting down cross legged, she looks off at the horizon for a good long while. Or five minutes. Time is weird when epically f-cked up. Tears streamed down her cheeks, her face the picture of sorrow and regret. To her, there was only one way out. Lifting the shears, she put a hand on each handle, opening them. Her face changed, showing clarity. Reaching behind her, she slid the shears around the left wing. In one swift move without a single moment of hesitation, she used all her arm strength to close the blades.

An unearthly scream echoed throughout the area. Not a second later, a single grand celestial crack of white lightning lit the entire sky. A single pink tipped wing fell to the ground unceremoniously. Blood streaked down Summer’s bare back, inky black in the night.

“Now what in the devil did you do that for?” A male voice said from behind her.

Turning her head slowly, the shockingly white-hot pain shooting up from her back not letting her move any faster. There, lounging on a chaise was the spitting image of Rocky. As in- from Rocky Horror Picture Show- blond hair with a tan, complete with gold lamé bikini briefs. Clearing her throat, she said in a froggy voice, “So they can’t find me. Obviously. You’d think Abaddon would be smarter than that.”

"Damn fool girl. Are you daft? You think that will stop them from finding you? Like those ostentatious wings have some tracking device that can be left behind if you lop them off like a spindly branch on a rose bush? Sh-t, Summer. I was an angel once too. I can still be found, no matter where I go. Not that I'm trying to hide." He gives a lewd laugh and snaps his briefs. Looking at her glassy, dilated eyes, he makes a disgusted sound. "No. Not daft. High as the heavens, as it were." In a flash, he's at her side, gingerly stepping over the amputated wing. Reaching to her, he strokes her face, sobering her instantly.

At first, the sobriety feels clear, nice, peaceful. There isn't the nagging feeling of finding the next fix. Then comes the torrent of memories, emotions, and thoughts. The very monsters she chases away with smoke, powder, rocks, pills, and bottles. The flood comes in, and out it spews from her mouth. “Motherf-cking, god damned, don’t you EVER touch me again, you stinking vat of chip oil. F-cking eunuch b-stard son of a wh-re! You don’t get to f-cking decide the state of my mind or how high I am? Do you have any f-cking idea how much all of those drugs cost, how finely f-cking curated that high was? Of course you f-cking don’t, god damned prima donna sulfuric sh-t bellend hobgoblin.”

His laugh is clear and lilting, cutting through the mud that is Summer's outburst. "That mouth! You sound a lot like Spring when you get to spitting such profanity. I can't say I don't disapprove. Although I will correct you on a few points. I am absolutely NOT a eunuch, nor am I a b-stard. Not technically speaking. Oh! Speak of the devil, by the way. It appears your baby sister is about to arrive."

At that moment, a crash of glass can be heard all the way out back, followed by her name yelled in Spring's characteristic tone.

"Why's she here?" Summer sniffs, wiping a bloody hand across her face to move a fat tear.

"You sent a text." He says matter-of-factually.

"Yea, what does that have to do with anything?" Her face felt numb. Her body and heart did not. She felt like she wanted to die. What cruel irony, that she couldn't.

He peeks into the manor, then flinches. "She's a terrible aim. That or she wasn't trying for me. Damned girl put a blade right into the couch." Sliding the back door open, he looks at the discarded wing then back at Summer. "I must go. It isn't Spring's time yet to see me." He takes a few steps away, then turns back. "There are two ways they won't take you, Summer. The first being- be one of mine. The other...well, you are back on earth. The land of Free Will. Simply don't go with them if they try to take you. It really is that easy. Granted, should you perish -and yes, you can perish in your current state- you will end up in Heaven once again. If you switch teams,..." He winked. "...You come home to play with me."

With that, he was gone, leaving only the smell of sulfur and poo. Funny, he smelled divine in person. Grabbing her phone, she shot a text to a new acquaintance. One that might be able to help with her new and pointless wound.

"Spring. I'm out back." Her voice was hoarse and weak. She trusted the vampire would hear regardless.
December 13, 2016 01:09 am

Summer S Summers

Track #10 Time is on My Side, Rolling Stones

Two months later

The healing was more painful and lengthy than she had imagined. It was almost as if an angel wasn’t supposed to self-amputate their own wing. Almost. She’d done some stupid shi-t as of late, like- mind bogglingly stupid sh-t, Summer thought to herself as she tightened her white furry jacket around her torso. She wasn’t cold. Rather, the jacket was soft and cozy. Stopping to watch two men beat on upside down paint buckets, she tucked a few quid in their right-side-up bucket and enjoyed the beats. Her stupid choices had been her own though. It was a very liberating feeling. Similar to a balloon being set free, floating off to the clouds. Some of the mistakes still made her face burn hot with a close relative of shame. That part she hated. Intoxicants helped, as always. Her trusted constants, always there by her side, ready to usher her off to another plane of existence.

Handing her boarding pass to the gate agent, the angel smiled widely, ready for her next adventure. Getting the hell out of London for starters. It was starting to feel like the walls were closing in on her there. Even after signing the lease for her flat, she still felt the past nipping at her heels, not to mention other current matters. It was complete and utter sh-t. Taking a leap of faith, she’d sent out a few feelers, approaching an angry looking stranger. That’d been outside her comfort zone. Her comfort zone was on stage or on her couch, eating crap food and watching even worse television programs. So now here she was, headed off to live on the other side of the globe with a bunch of veritable strangers. And it sounded spectacular. She was doing something because she wanted to, for no other reason than that. Just like everyone else did every day. The feeling was nearly overwhelming. The one year anniversary of making her escape was approaching, even though she still felt the nagging sensation she was shackled. These little steps, these little choices all chipped away at the portcullis around her heart and mind.

The only other time she had felt this was that fateful day nearly a year ago. Heading to the unknown. Leaving all the comforts and luxuries she’d ever want.

February 06, 2017 01:20 am

Summer S Summers

Track #11 Let it Happen, Tame Impala


“You. You come here.” The man spoke with a heavy German accent. His hand gripped her upper arm tightly, lightly leaving a bruise. Her and Winter, they bruised like peaches. Grabbing a strand of her locks, he tugged and examined it closely. “This, is this real?”

Summer scowled deeply. “Yes! Get your hands off of me, creepy f-ck.” She jerked her body away from him. She’d been here before, usually to pick up a bag of drugs for the parents. It was an unassuming living room in an otherwise nondescript walk up in the city. A ‘two step’, she’d heard it called. The brothers were a frequent supplier for her parents. Giving the man a bored look, she wondered when she could just get the package and go. She had sh-t to do.

He laughed deeply and tightened his grip. “No no, blondie. You are nearly pure. Vater will be very interested in you. You come with us.” He shoved her to a door in the back of the room.

A chill ran down Summer’s spine. Her walk slowed, fighting him. “Where are you taking me? Just give me the sh-t and let me be on my way!” Her voice was tight with nerves. This suddenly felt different. It was dawning on her that this wasn’t a typical pick up.

The other man put his icy cold hand at the back of her neck and gripped tightly. Bringing his face close to her ear, he hissed. “Don’t worry about your sisters, blondie. Do as we say and everything will be alright.”

“W-what?” Her face contorted into a mask of confusion and anger. Why was he talking about her sisters? “What are you on about? What about my sisters? Leave them alone, you have me. I’ll do whatever you want.”

The brother laughed and loosened his grip on her neck. “There we go. I knew you were the smart one. You are what Vater has requested. Please him and we will have no need for your siblings.”
March 18, 2017 07:26 pm

Summer S Summers

Track #12- Hair of the Dog, Nazareth,

Present day

Leaning against the brick wall, Summer flicked the narrow end of her stiletto manicure against a bicuspid, causing a clicking sound that echoed into her skull. Everything felt wooden. Everytimes she turned her head, it felt as though she were viewing the world through frames, still photographs. In short, she was pretty f-cked up. Even by her standards. Let’s count, shall we? A fifth of rye, bottom shelf because who gives a sh-t, right? Swigged slowly between long and deep drags from a joint.

Despite this, she waited with a glacier's patience. She’d been in a store, helping herself of some cash from an unattended register when she’d overheard a snobbish woman b-tching out an employee for something asinine. It was always for something asinine, wasn’t it? Because really, were any real grave injustices occurring while one shopped? Sure, the lighting in the dressing rooms were unflattering but really, that was no reason to tear into some underpaid person working in the hell that was retail. Summer had gotten quite talented at relieving businesses of additional profits. One area she still needed practice in was relieving borish women of their wallets as they sauntered out of a wine bar after a grueling day of b-tching people out and acting like a general a$$hole. So she waited. Patiently.

Finally, the uncouth, mouthy woman sauntered out. An alligator skin purse hung at her elbow, her lips tinted purple from the red wine. Staggering a little on her too-high heels, the woman teetered to her gigantic SUV. Summer smirked. The woman fished through her purse, searching for her keys when her cell phone rang. “Charles, I already told you, I’m on my way home now. The market was exceptionally busy…..No, they were out of cacio bufala, which I had already said they’d be….oh for ****’s sake, Charles, find the damned cheese yourself if you’re so hung up on it!...No, I will not calm down….”

Summer had tuned the argument out when she spotted a perfect opportunity. The woman placed the purse on the hood and begin to pace as she spoke to ‘Charles’, poor bloke. Can’t blame a man for having a hankering for some buffalo cheese, right? Besides, that b-tch hadn’t even looked for the ‘cacio bufala’. Just as she wasn’t looking now, as Summer’s hand slid easily into the purse. A wallet of matching leather was pulled out, and just in time. “I’m hanging up now, Charles. When I get home, Fiona better be in bed. I have had a day and cannot deal with her antics tonight.”

Tucking the wallet into the space between her pants and the small of her back, Summer smiled pleasantly at the woman, keyring dangling from her index finger. “Excuse me miss, but I think you dropped these?”

The woman gave Summer a tight smile, snatching the keys from her fingers. Flustered at the world, she muttered out a thanks, climbing into the SUV. And off the drunk woman drove, likely to terrorize the streets of Paris before getting home to terrorize Charles. Chuckling to herself, Summer walked down the street, pleased with the outcome. Even if the wallet was empty -as so many were nowadays, what with debit and credit so prevalently used- it was a good ‘get’.

Strolling down the street, Summer retrieved the wallet and did a quick inventory as she thought about its owner. Was she that annoying when she got that trashed? Possibly. Being lost in thought while stoned and drunk on the city streets means one is apt to tune everything out- even a man who’d watched the entire event unfold and now wanted to do a little theft himself. The sensation of his fingers gripping her forearm and dragging her into an alley was enough to snap Summer back into the present moment.

Jerking her arm from his grasp, she yelled, “Hand’s off, f-ckface.”

“Gimme that wallet, and we’ll both be on our way.” The man was a few inches shorter than she was and quite stocky. His nose looked as if it had been broken one too many times.

“Suck it, shorty. This one’s mine. Go find your own soccer mom to rob.” Her tone was flat, nearly bored. Turning on her heel, she aimed to leave.

“I did find the b-tch I want to rob.” His meaty fist flashed out and collided with her left cheekbone, causing her to see stars. The wallet dropped to the ground in a puddle. Damned shame, alligator leather was far too fancy for such treatment.

“Motherf-cker!” She bellowed, pain radiating down her body. That punch was gonna leave a mark. Which would mean days off from work. Very little gave Summer joy like dancing did. And this short rat b@stard just robbed her of that- something far more important than some wazzock’s wallet. Wings unfurling, she instantly sobered. The fact that her carefully curated buzz was now lost infuriated Summer on its own. Add to the fact that her intoxication pushed down the trademark Summers rage, this man was about to learn he picked the wrong b-tch to rob. “You short, insignificant c-ckwomble!” She growled between punches. Her wings had thrown him off guard, stunned him for just long enough she got several undercuts in. Plus two knees to the nuts. Still, he was pretty resilient. They sparred, boxing in the darkened alley, both landing enough punches to make each one uglier than before.

The man crumpled to the ground, blood pouring from his broken nose and split eyebrow. The rage wasn’t satiated. Reaching behind her, Summer grabbed a pink-tipped white feather and yanked. The feather was similar to that of a birds, only instead of having a hollow shaft, hers held a toxin that resulted in eventual death. The only perk to this existence, Summer swore it up and down. Of course, it took a while for feathers to grow back. She’d be careful not to pluck herself bald to kill everyone that worked her last nerve. Funny enough, people didn’t piss her off as much as they did when her wings were out. It was like everything was amplified, including the stupidity of the masses.

Clutching the feather in her fist, she gave him a menacing grin. The act caused a blast of pain through her cheek, thus reminding her of his initial grave error. “How am I supposed to work with a shiner, eh?” She yelled, driving the feather into his neck. Bright gold spread from the point of entry, the man began to convulse. Despite her rage, she didn’t enjoy this part. She didn’t enjoy any of it. She didn’t actually want to kill people. But they pushed her, needled her. The feather would eventually disintegrate, leaving no trace of how he died.

Pulling her wings back in, Summer left the alley. Face a bloody pulp, favoring a few cracked ribs and a bruised organ or two, the angel limped home. The wallet remained sitting in the puddle next to the dead man.
March 18, 2017 07:27 pm

Summer S Summers

Track #13, Sick, Chelsea Wolfe

Two months after abduction, two hours after sunset

Being held captive meant a few short bursts of terror along with long periods of isolation, loneliness and boredom. Oh, the boredom. As best as she could tell, the decently sized suite Summer was locked in was at least on the third floor, possibly higher. The ceilings were high, but the glimpse out the window made it look as though the mansion sat on a hill. Of course her window faced the grassy knolls, nary another soul as far as the eye could see. In other words, nobody to hear her scream. And boy did she. So long and so loud she’d made her lips crack and bleed, losing her voice.

He had walked in calmly, then backhanded her hard across the face. The force caused her to stumble back, tripping and landing haphazardly across a trunk at the foot of the bed. The pain was icy hot, blood dripped down her chin and neck. Her long, dark blonde hair clung to the sticky rivulets on her skin. Lifting her chin, she met his gaze squarely. He scared her to her core. But he’d done the worst he could already.

How little she knew. Brown eyes widened in the darkened room as she watched his eyeteeth elongate, inexplicably. Against everything she understood to be true and real. Her life changed that night, fundamentally so. More than any traumatic event that had occurred leading up until then. Her humanity had been stripped in anger, taken from her as a knee-jerk reaction from one who’d long ago lost his own humanity. If he’d ever had it to begin with.

Six months later

Summer ran her fingers over the spines of the books. The shelves were full of them, floor to ceiling, wall to wall. He had given permission for her to leave her bedroom suite for the single reason to visit the library down the hall. The butler had accompanied her, locking the door behind her. She’d toyed with the idea of taking the butler out, but given his remarkably undead demeanor, she changed her mind. He didn’t look like Him. He was more gaunt, more theatrically dead. It was a bit ridiculous.

It was there, in the library, where Summer gained her sustenance- intellectually and physically. The boredom was so great, so all consuming, that she’d devoured the first book she’d grabbed in a single sitting- Robert’s Rules of Order. Next down the line was Choosing Civility, followed by The Nature of Prejudice. The books weren’t anything she’d ever have selected in the outside world. Here, they gave her hope. They occupied her mind. When she was reading, she wasn’t thinking. She wasn’t wondering about the safety of her siblings or how her parents could have done this to her.

In the middle of reading a rather titillating chapter in The Content Analysis Guidebook, there was a knock at the door. Placing a kerchief between the pages to mark her spot, Summer answered, “Yes?” The response was merely a formality. She knew who was on the other side. It was the butler, bringing her meal. They were brought to her here in the library as a matter of pretense. Here, it looked as though she were visiting, not a prisoner. At first, the Butler remained as she fed, her being too green and untrustworthy with the Chalice’s. Her strength and knowledge grew, so now the unfortunate soul was escorted in and left alone with her, the door locked yet again. Within the past week, a young woman with wide set blue eyes had been brought to her. She’d never had a regular before. Or rather, the most ‘regular’ she’d partaken in had been a ginger fellow for two consecutive days. Unfortunately, that’d been about a week after she’d been turned. Her second feeding had been a bit overzealous. The ginger simply didn’t survive.

Now that she was stronger and hadn’t killed anyone in over a month, this girl had returned for five straight days. Summer gave her a wide smile, putting the book down on an end table. “Sophie! How nice to see you again. Please, come sit.”

The ghoulish Butler stood at the door. “One hour.” The only two words she’d ever heard him utter, and it was the same every night. Giving a dismissive wave at the closing door, Summer angled her body toward her captive audience. The girl gave a wobbly smile and walked slowly over, sitting perched on the end of a leather wingback chair. Her posture held the opposite of comfort. “I got something for you. Or rather, I asked the butler to fetch it on Wednesday. He gave it to me this morning.” Summer got up, the fabric of her long skirt swishing around her legs. She pushed play on the large, out of date stereo system. Haunting, melodic tunes poured out of the speakers.

Sophie’s darkened eyes perked up a bit. “Chelsea remembered. She’s my favorite.” Summer beamed a wide grin, so very eager for whatever friendship and connection she could get. Even if it was by way of the young woman she’d soon drink from. The notion of not drinking from her did cross her mind, knowing that by consuming this Chalice’s blood she was perpetuating the unwilling and captive behaviors. Selfishness took over, along with hunger. If she didn’t drink from Sophie, they’d just bring in someone else. By then, she’d be too hungry to refuse and would likely kill the poor sod. So, Summer took Sophie’s hand and squeezed. “I am sorry for this. Perhaps when I’m done, you can tell me more about you? I’d love to know more.” Her voice was soft, beseeching. A hint of desperation there. The lopsided friendship along with the throngs of books had given Summer a bolster in spirit and mood. Sophie nodded and gave a wan smile.

Perching on the arm of the chair, Summer leaned close to Sophie, sweeping her dyed black hair away from her neck. This part always felt so cliche. She’d tried drinking from the wrist or other places. But the flow wasn’t as quick. Anything that prolonged the act wasn’t desired. Not by her anyways. Not at this stage. Inhaling deeply, Summer took in the young human’s scent. She smelled of ripe apricots and sunshine. It was intoxicating. Summer gripped the young woman’s slender shoulder as her lips parted against tissue-thin skin. Taking care to be gentle, Summer drank from the young human efficiently. She didn’t linger, even if the hot flow of blood on her tongue begged her to stay. The melodies pouring from the speakers only added to the trance-like ambiance. Summer resisted the lure, difficult as it was. The very idea of burying her face in the sweet neck and indulging was enough to make her eyes roll back slightly. This was one Chalice she didn’t want to kill. With a nearly painful shudder, she lifted her lips slightly and flicked her tongue along the puncture marks, aiding in a quick heal. Sitting back up, Summer arranged the jet black hair around Sophie’s too-slender shoulders. “Thank you.” She murmured, the sentiment not at all adequate.

Moving back to her chair in a euphoric haze, Summer licked her lips and gave a soft smile. Sated, she leaned back and looked up at the ceiling, a bit chagrined despite feeling pleased. Sophie’s eyes were glazed, skin pale. Or more so than the usual pallor the goth girl held. “No, thank you.” Sophie said, her voice faraway. “For Chelsea. I haven’t heard her voice!t, how long has it been? A year maybe.”

Summer rolled her head to the side, looking at the young woman. She took her in, noticing the dirty blonde roots from her dyed black hair. The dark circles under the light blue eyes. Sophie was one of those girls who’d been quite pretty and had fought it. Done her level best to dirty herself up, trying to thwart attention she didn’t know how to handle and call forth attention she did understand. The little goth girl had obviously gotten herself tangled up with some very real life situations. “How’d you get into this, Sophie? Are you...are you here by choice?” It was a loaded question, one that she didn’t think she’d get a honest answer from. Still, it was on Summer’s mind. Even after her change, she still didn’t really know when to keep her mouth shut. It was as though Summer needed Sophie’s permission, her absolution for drinking from her. If she were here willingly, perhaps some of her guilt could be assuaged.

The girl mouthed along with the lyrics for a moment before clearing her throat. “For the most part, yea. I left a far sh!ttier life, Summer. This one matches how I feel inside.” She laughed, the sound raspy and old. “That sounded super emo. It’s true I guess. I get to hang with people I had only imagined existed without any real consequences.” Sophie was likely implying how she’d not been turned, but Summer couldn’t help but think how close the girl came to death each and every time she drank from her. No real consequences- au contraire. Still, Sophie’s words did not ease Summer’s guilt. It didn’t sound like she was in a position to give consent, even if she had followed some dirtbag vamp into his nest of her own free will.

“How old are you, Sophie?” Summer asked. The girl told her, the age both surprising yet not. “Same age as my sisters, two years younger than me. They are twins.” Her eyes cast downward as she thought of Winter and the rest of her siblings, hoping and praying to the entire pantheon of gods that they were safe. That there only concern was that their stupid stoner sister had ran away.

Sophie looked at Summer with surprise. “You have siblings? I’m an only child. I’d always wanted siblings. An older brother and a younger sister.” Summer regaled her with stories of her siblings, revealing how idyllic and annoying it could be to have so many siblings. The hour sped by as the girls talked, their unlikely friendship strengthening with each passing moment. Summer nearly revealed her truth as they discussed her siblings, but oddly Sophie never asked why she was here and they weren’t. Perhaps she knew it was close to when the Butler would come fetch her. Perhaps next time she’d tell her. Or perhaps not.

Summer watched as Sophie was escorted out, the mournful tune on the stereo ending shortly after. Finishing her book, she selected Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law to bring back to her room. When he’d come just before dawn, she’d stare at the spine, seemingly disappearing into the words until he left. As the months inched on, the academic tomes were her salvation, her tether to a semblance of sanity. Sophie’s friendship buoyed her, kept her afloat when she felt like drowning.
June 08, 2017 01:00 am
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