Thursday, March 29, 2012


Special Attachments
By Tony Rauch

We enter Becky’s bedroom. It looks exactly the same as always, so I don’t see what the big deal is. I stand in the middle of the room and look around, basically expecting nothing to happen at all. The place looks like a mob of angry monkeys went to town on it, just like always. It’s as if none of her belongings are tucked away anywhere they should be. Everything is just strewn about randomly, with clothing hanging from the light and the tops of doors and in puddles on the furniture and floor.

Janey and Tammy stand beside me.

Becky crouches and opens a secret hidden panel in the lower portion of her wall. She reaches in and pulls out a vest of some sort. She lays the vest out on her wood floor. It looks just like a regular vest to me, but then again I’m standing several feet away from it and not examining it up close.

Becky grabs the top of the vest with both hands, stands, holds it out in front of her and looks it over. “Yeah, this should do,” she nods in considering the garment, then steps over to me, holding out the vest. “It also has some special attachments. . . So, you know, just in case we need some extra stuff,” Becky shrugs.

I hold out my arms, “Where’d you get it?” I ask.

Janey swings around and they both help put the vest on me.

“Mom got it,” Becky adjusts the vest, “Brought it home from work.”

The vest is a little heavy and bulky, thick, but with a strange, comforting warmth to it. I look it over, still holding out my arms. The vest has a pleasant green and blue plaid pattern. Luckily the colors match my jeans.

“It’s getting warm,” I smile, looking up to Janey.

“It’s conforming to your body,” Becky steps back, seeing how it fits. “Your mind sends it signals. It senses what you want. Apparently it should do your fighting for you. . . Your nerves or brain signals will tell it what to do. Through sensors in the back. So it absorbs your thoughts. You just gotta think. . . And that’s it. . . Apparently.”

“It’s supposed to send out a pulse to disable your enemies,” Janey nods.

“Cause ‘em to puke on themselves. Crap hot runny crap. Make ‘em go into convulsions, spasms, or terrible giggling or sneezing fits. Snorting fits. Shooting great torrents of snot out of their nose. Great streams of watery snot. . . Whatever. . .” Tammy crouches to look me over, “Yeah, this should disable ‘em before they can get too close.”

“Make ‘em speak in tongues. . .”

“Make ‘em sputter gibberish. Make ‘em do a funny little dance. . .”

“Make ‘em hop up and down, drooling, spitting . . .”

“Or affect ‘em emotionally,” Janey adds, “Flood ‘em with nostalgia. They may curl up and begin sobbing as an old memory is released from their brain, their emotions overcoming them. . . Basically whatever you want or need at the time, this bad boy of rock and roll will send out a pulse to affect their central nervous system, interrupting their brain waves. Basically you’ll be in some sort of control over them for a moment.”

“It’ll freak ‘em out,” Tammy nods, “It’ll do the trick.”

The vest looks like a normal, regular, everyday vest, although a little puffy do to all the electronics and sensors packed into it.

“Looks all right,” Becky nods, “Decent fit.”

“Whoa, I already feel all warm around you,” Janey smiles, “Like I want to hug you or something. As if you’re projecting good thoughts at me, sending me good vibes. As if your brain is radiating lovey signals. Makes me want to do your homework for you. Makes me want to do your dishes and clean your room.”

“Yeah,” Tammy steps back and looks me over too, “Those Jesper twins won’t know what hit ‘em. . . They’ll leave you alone if they ever run into you again.”

“They’ll leave you alone after tangling with this baby, that’s for sure,” Becky nods, “. . . . Trust me.”

- - -
Tony Rauch has three books of short stories published – “I’m right here” (spout press), “Laredo” (Eraserhead Press), “Eyeballs growing all over me . . . again” (Eraserhead Press). He has additional titles forthcoming in the next few months.


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