The erotic endeavors of Ela the expert

“Paul”

The apocalypse isn’t all bad.  It’s ninety nine percent bad but there are a couple of good features it has to offer.  I don’t have to sort out my recycling anymore.  I don’t have to wait in line at the bank because there are no banks and even if there were everyone is dead, so no lines.  I don’t have to endure tedious small talk at parties anymore because there are no parties because everyone is dead.  Various other things that all end with “because everyone is dead”.   Who was it that said that hell is other people?  Mike Dunleavy?  Whoever it was that said it they’d be jazzed right now because that particular hell has been greatly reduced in size.

One positive feature that I hadn’t considred but would have assumed to be in place had you asked me about it is the chances of me walking in on Martialla having sex being entirely eliminated.  Pre-apocalypse the chances were already very slim because she was a married lady with her own home and we’re both adults, it’s not like we were college dorm mates.  And post-apocalypse?  Forget about even those slim odds.  No way.   That’s what I would have told you about it had you asked. 

WRONG!!! 

I went into the Texaco/main office/our Paradise command center to ask Martialla something about something and what did I see but her and the Grungeman engaged in a spirited bout of skanko-Roman wrestling.  It was awful.  It was like seeing a mangy frothing rabid wombat attacking a plucked honking goose and the both of them being beaten with a flappy walrus-skin rug with one tusk still on it.  It was all I could do not to throw up right on the spot. 

I’ve seen Martialla nude before of course.  You know how us girls are with our nude pillow fights.  Back in the old days it was fine, nothing to get excited about of course, but she’s an athletic sort so it was fine.  Not the kind of thing you’d want to see but also not the kind of thing that would make you want to pour bleach into your ear to scrub away the memory.  All I’ll say is that the apocalypse has not been kind to her and she wasn’t working with a lot to begin with.  And the guy?  He was just a big ball of guts and flab and rashes and the palest skin I’ve ever seen.  And I say that once having been in a hot tub with Julianna Margulies and Rose McGowan!   

I mastered myself enough to barf out words instead of other stuff “What the hell are you doing?” 

At the sound of my voice Grunge-o jumped up and off (and out) of Martialla and sprinted away like it was the starter pistol at a track event.  He was just gone.  He didn’t try to cover himself or get dressed or anything.  He was just barefoot bounding away like a deer, a deer with his penis flapping in the wind.  I believe it was Dave Attell who declared that to be the true face of fear.  Something along the lines of –  

“The guy gets up and he starts running with his penis flapping around in the air.  He doesn’t even try and cover it cuz he’s so afraid screaming.  This guy is afraid.  Cuz that’s what fear looks like, a man running around with his dick flapping around in the air.  If you walk out of here tonight and you see a man running down the street with his dick flapping in the air run with that man cuz there is some scary stuff coming the other way.” 

I think Dave Attell said something like that.  As her partner disappeared into the compound Martialla just pulled on a shirt and started massaging her new foot like it was no big deal. 

I threw my arms out “What was that?!” 

She glanced in the direction her new friend had run like the devil himself was after him “Oh, he’s skittish.” 

“Not that!” I gestured at the ground where there had been a sex act only moments ago “What was . . .  this?” 

She smirked “Did you parents never have the talk with you Ela?  You see when a man and woman go on a date they go to a fancy restaurant and the man orders a steak and the woman orders something called a salad, and then afterwards they engage in a special kind of hug and then the man loses interest in the woman.” 

“Shut up Martialla, you know what I mean.” 

She rolled back into that awkward overturned turtle/pants putting on pose that you only see in jeans commercials “Well the subtext of what you mean is generally ‘why am I not the center of attention Martialla!’” 

I frowned at her “You’ve really been coming at me heavy with the zingers lately.” 

She pushed her hair back carelessly as she got up/finished dressing “Dying is very liberating.  I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone but it gives you a certain perspective.” 

I looked at her for a moment “So was it any good?” 

She threw her head back in a full belly laugh “No it was awful!  I don’t know what was going on back there, it felt like I was doing the splits at the beach, in the wet sand I mean.  The grey stuff at the edges where you can’t even build a sandcastle because it won’t stick together.  But it was nice to feel someone’s skin against mine for a minute you know?  To have someone hold me.” 

I also looked at the direction he had run “Hmm.  So what’s his deal?” 

“He says that his name is Paul Calhoun.  You were right, he claims that he was frozen, but not from our time.  He said that he was put into stasis in Twenty Thirty-Four because the world was being overrun by necros as he called them.  The way he described them sounded like nano-zombies to me.” 

I scowled “What the fuck does that mean?” 

“I’m thinking that if you get too many nanobots in your blood or the ones you have inside you go crazy or something you could technically die but they would keep your body alive stumbling around, you know, like zombies.  Like zapping a corpse to make the muscles twitch.  Or maybe the nanobots overwrite your brain with their own programming so you just wander around trying to make more nanobots to infect others.  Like that episode of the Smurfs where they all turn purple and bite each other.” 

I looked at my arm as if I could see the nanos swimming in my blood “How is that possible?” 

She shrugged “How is any of this possible?  I’m just saying he said there were zombies and they had robots parts, but for the record I don’t know how much stock to put into anything Paul says.  I think he was a kid when this all happened and I don’t know how much of what he told me is just trauma brain making stuff up.  All he really remembers from his life before is watching TV and that there was candy and pie and it was the best.  He really hates it here.  He had convinced himself those memories were a dream and he was never actually frozen until he saw us.  I think he’s pretty messed up.” 

 “So naturally you had sex with him.” 

“Well when you say it like that.” 

And if you feel like I feel, baby

In the movie when the brave American paratroopers are headed to the dropzone to kill dirty Nazis they sit in rows and they laugh and joke around and swap cigarettes and looking at girly mags and chatter away.  I wonder if that’s a real thing or if it’s just something that happens in the movies.  I grant you that a bus isn’t a plane but regardless there was none of that on the way to Paradise.  The tunnel people just sat there stone-faced (pun) and hardly said a word to each other the entire way.  Martialla and I did our best to gab like girls but it was a long ride and eventually we lapsed into silence as well.  At least until we started to get close and Martialla began gearing up. 

“Is that an axe?” 

Martialla held up the axe she was holding and halfway laughed “Why yes, this is an axe, good eye.” 

“Why do you have an axe?” 

She gave me a quizzical look “Are the nanobots eating your brain?  We’re about to go into battle.  Why wouldn’t I have an axe?” 

I frowned at her “You’re not thinking about going out there are you?” 

She looked at me like I was the crazy one “What else would I do?” 

I gestured “I thought you were going to stay in here with me and shoot people in the back while they were fighting someone else like the heroes that we are.” 

“We don’t have that many rounds Ela, even with just you using what we have you better be careful about what shots you take.” 

I grabbed her arm as the bus swayed “Are you insane?  Why would you go out there with an axe and try to kill anyone?”  I jerked my head at the mob of quarry people around us “That’s what they’re for not us.  We’re the generals who are back in a tent away from the front lines drinking cognac and looking at maps while other people go and die.” 

She eyed them and then whispered back like it mattered “Say it a little louder will you, I don’t think everyone heard.  They’re strong but they’re not warriors Ela, they need someone to lead the way for them, put a little iron in their spines.  I get the feeling that as long as they have someone to tell them to do it they’ll fight fanatically, left on their own . . . I think they’ll just die.” 

My jaw was practically on the floor “And you think the person to do that is you?  You’re my driver!   You’re not a medieval man at arms, if you go out there with an axe you’re going to die!” 

She gave me a cold look “You know how many people I’ve stabbed, bludgeoned, and bashed since we got out of the damn tubes?  Because I do.  I know that exact number.  I stopped being the person who picks up your dry cleaning and breaks up with dudes you don’t want to talk to anymore sometime after the third or fourth one.”

“I’m not . . . I didn’t . . . mean that . . . ” I threw my hands up in dismay “This is different!  This is like a battle. A battle battle.  I’m not questioning your resolve or your commitment or your ability to commit murder or whatever, I’m saying that this is a terrible idea.  We’re too valuable.  You’re too important! Don’t go out there with them, stay here with me.  Who cares if we run out of bullets after twenty seconds, we can just duck down and wait for it all to be over.  If we win great, if we don’t, too bad we’ll try again.  Or not, we’ll go somewhere else and forget everything here.  All that matters is that we survive.” 

She shook her head stubbornly “We’re going to have to take some risks to make this work Ela.” 

I reached out, not even sure why, and was left gesturing strangely at nothing “All we do is take risks!  Every minute we’ve been here is a risk.  I can’t lose you Mar, what am I going to do without you?  If you get killed . . . I don’t know what I’ll do.  Please don’t leave me alone Martialla.  Please.” 

She rolled her shoulders uncomfortably “I’m not . . . I mean . . . I don’t . . .” She sighed “Look, if I fight I might die, if I stay here I’ll live, for a while, but . . .” 

I snorted “Don’t you fucking trying to Braveheart me Martialla.” 

She looked like she was pinching herself on the leg “There’s nothing for it Ela, if we want to win this is the way it has to be.” 

I looked at her for a moment and she looked at me.  When I went in for a kiss her eyes widened in alarm and she threw up an elbow that smacked me in the chest and knocked me on my ass.  I looked up at her with eyes watering, not from the sting of her rebuke, but from the sting in my boob. 

“Ow, Jesus, you hit me right in the nipple!” 

She gawked at me like a sideshow freak “What the fuck was that ?!” 

I rubbed at the pain “I just thought . . . you know, you keep going on about your husband being dead and all . . . so . . . I just thought . . .” 

She all but spat at me “I mentioned it maybe once!  Jesus Ela, this isn’t Cinemax After Dark.  You can;’t just . . . just . . . you just can’t!” 

I crawled to my feet in disgust “What are you so upset about?  How do you think I felt?!  Your lips are so chapped they looked like two dead flat worms dancing on your face, a face which looks like a dried-up old catcher’s mitt by the way.  I was just trying to make you feel better.  Give you a reason to live, whatever.” 

She turned away in revulsion “You are insane.” 

“You’re being more than a little homophobic right now Mar.” 

She spun around, arms failing “You’re not gay!” 

“Exactly, and I was willing to let you . . .” 

She threw up her hand again “Stop Ela, just stop.” 

I pulled my shirt out and glanced down “Jesus Mar, I think you ripped it off.  Thank god it wasn’t the good one.”