I was up for a part in a movie about the first woman to be sentenced to life in prison. I didn’t get very far in the casting process, probably because the movie got changed so much. Instead of a movie about a woman in prison for life, it ended up being a movie about a psychic detective fighting aliens. It’s like how Bring It On started out as a script for Lethal Weapon Five. Hollywood is a weird place. Er, was a weird place I should say, I guess, since it’s gone now.
It would have been a tough role for me because it’s hard to imagine what I would feel like facing the prospect of life in prison. I started thinking about that now because of the life sentence Martialla and I have received by waking up in the future. Uh, present I mean. You know what I mean. At least in prison you have visitors and people smuggle you in cocaine in their assholes. Sure it’s shank or be shanked, but no situation is perfect. What do we have to look forward to here? Does cocaine even still exist? Probably not. Not that I’m into cocaine.
Since we’re post-apocalyptic monster hunters now apparently (that would be a good movie), Adam dispatched one of the village people to show us where the “terra” is so we could monster hunt it. I’m having a hard time figuring out if his tribe are all kids here or if this is just how people act now. Maybe I just think that because they’re so small. This kid (or adult?) was even skinnier than the first one, but he was taller and like us he was wearing a mask, although his was made of animal hide it looked like instead of space age materials. His arms were so thin they seemed like they’d snap every time he moved them.
I asked him why he was the only one wearing a mask but he either didn’t understand the question or I didn’t understand the answer. I’m really starting to get tired of that phenomenon. He did show us how his mask has a reservoir where he packs in some kind of yellowish plants to clean the air for him. Or maybe that’s just how he gets high. I should have asked him about the cocaine. Not that I’m into cocaine.
He excitedly tried to get us to follow him out onto the docks, which looked even more rickety close up. I suggested to him that since we were going hunting after a dangerous water creature, it would make more sense if we stayed on the shore and he just pointed it out to us. Getting that point across took about twenty minutes. I’m really starting to lose my patience with this dumb apocalypse. I’m sure he thought we were being just as dumb since at one point he jumped on his raft and kind of danced around, I guess to show how safe it was. I maintain that regardless of the water monster, the entire dock would have collapsed if Martialla or I (but mostly Martialla since she clomps around like a Clydesdale) set one foot on it.
Eventually he got with the program and led us down the shoreline acting as if walking anywhere was an exciting new adventure he had never done before. I quickly started to regret insisting on going overland because my snakebite started to throb. Every step was jarring up my leg and throughout my body like a little bolt of lightning. To take my mind off the shooting pain, I started singing “Down in the River to Pray”. I won’t lie, I expected the kid (or adult) to stop in his tracks and freak out over hearing such a wonderful noise and stand dumbstruck in wondrous awe but he didn’t seem to care at all. When I mentioned as much to Martialla she said;
“Well you do sound a little flat.”
“I’m not flat, it’s this damn mask! You’re flat!”
I swear it felt like we walked for an entire day but it was probably only an hour. When we reached a point where the disgusting scum-lake was narrow enough that you could have easily skipped a rock to the other side, we stopped and I unabashedly slumped to the ground frontwise to protect my throbbing snakebite. I could sense Martialla looming over me.
“How you doing down there superstar?”
My mask was knocked askew by the ground so I had to adjust it and cough for a while before answering “Never better. Did you know they gave Winona Ryder a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Can you believe that? What did she ever do?”
“Uh . . . Heathers, Beetlejuice, Dracula, the Crucible, Edward Scissorhands, Mermaids, Girl Interrupted, Autumn in New York, Johnny Depp, Matt Damon . . .”
“Shut up Martialla, when did you become Winona Ryder’s publicist?”
“If it makes you feel better she was probably killed when society collapsed, or taken as a warlord’s concubine.”
“Did you stunt for me in the Warlord’s Concubine? I can’t remember.”
“There’s no such movie, you’re thinking of the Warlord of Atlantis which I did work on for one day before the director kicked me off set because I had smashed his wife’s Mercedes with a golf club back in ninety-six. Funny thing was it wasn’t even the right car.”
“Oh yeah, that movie got really screwed up in editing.”
I felt her nudge/prod/kick me with her foot “What do you think of that?”
I turned my head towards the lake and eventually my eyes were able to pick out of the scuzzy oily water a beast wallowing on a muddy hillock. It was about the size of minivan and it looked like what you might get if a hippo and an alligator and a bunch of eels made sweet sweet love in a big pile and then barfed out a baby of some kind. And then you put that baby in a pizza oven for a couple months.
I rolled over onto my side and nodded “Yeah, that’s what I’d call a terror.”