"The world is a dark, cold, scary and upsetting place! It's full of crime, death, and destruction! But, never fear, never despair, and never feel alone! I know that I never do! Why? Because I have the love of our lords and saviors, the Faces of Demise!"
I spoke in front of a large crowd of people just outside of the DemoniCorp building. My hands waved about, indicating my passion. In one hand, I had pamphlets entailing the good news about the Church of Demise. Such as information about the founders, Nicole Rios, Tricia Peters, Rain Rivers, and PK/08.
The DemoniCorp building was the best place to recruit non-believers, as people of science often denied the truth behind life and death. That's why I decided to host my speech here. Those of science are often sillies who think that logic and rational explanation means something, but those who have been informed of the eternal love given by the Faces of Demise know better!
"I too was once unloved, sad, and forgotten, but then I found the love that Nicole Rios describes in her holy book! The love of demise! Now I never need to worry, because death manipulates us all! And if we're manipulated by death, it means we serve a higher purpose! Just like she did!"
The people surrounding me turn away. I quickly try to hand them my pamphlet.
"Please, take a gander! Have a read! Life is too short! Especially when the faces of demise have no mercy for those who do not love and obey them! That is why I am here to spread the good word! I want to help you all, I want to help you all find your way, and be free and happy like I am! Heehee!"
A few people take some pamphlets, others give dismissive waves while heading inside of the DemoniCorp building. Soon, I'm all alone in the center of the area, with no one else around. I sigh, it's saddening, but that's alright! Because at least I have the warmth and love of Malachi, Misuterio, Pyonpi, Joni Cadaver, and...
*RING RING RING RING*
"My Cognition Phone!" I exclaimed happily. Could this be...? I swiftly tapped the side of my head before greeting, "Hello! Hiya! How're you? This is Araya! Is this my handsome, friendly date for tonight, and possible future husband?" I
I was being set up on another blind date! After all, The Faces of Demise want me happy, and to be with my one true soul mate! The Faces of Demise really are glorious beings who deserve my love and praise since they care so much about me!
"Hello, yes, this is Chaz Brooks VII. I was being set up with you on a date tonight, but... I'm sorry, but I've decided to cancel. You're kind of a sporker, and your religion is a turn off. So, yeah. I don't even think I could be compatible with you if I we did /Euphoria/ together. It seems you're all natural anyway. You're not a Euphoria user, so... yeah. I'm not interested. Goodbye."
I heard the clicking of the call in my ear canal. My heart had stopped for a mere moment. Another man who simply wanted our hearts to be connected by Euphoria. No, no... my tender Faces of Demise would never approve of Euphoria induced happiness! So, him cancelling on me is for the best!
Heehee... though it hurt, I started to feel better already! After all, he Faces of Demise were watching over me! Maybe they were manipulating me to my own demise? Oh boy! I'd finally be able to meet my beautiful, loving, kind faces of demise! To think I could be so purposeful!
Praise the Faces! All love to the glory of Demise! I'm so happy they're in my life. So, so happy! I was so happy that I decided to act as my own personal faces of demise and hug myself! When I hugged myself, it was like the faces are hugging me. Heehee! I'm so lucky to be alive in a world where I'm chosen by the faces to receive their love! Heehee!
I've always hated days like this. Rain, cold, clouds; yeah, they sure do send a shot of the shivers down my spine. Even when I was well-off, and singing for big banquets, large concerts, and private get-togethers, I've hated the rain. But, at least back then I had euphoria to keep me at bay.
Euphoria was my greatest ally, and worst enemy, all at once. It was like having a million problems, and turning them all off. You can't buy euphoria if you don't have credits, and you don't have the kind of credits to buy euphoria unless you make big bank.
Yeah, I made big bank once. Now, I'm a has-been, I'm outdated, a little older, and a little less popular. Popularity is something that fades easily in my world. You're famous one day, and then the next big thing comes along, and you're forgotten. It's sad. As sad as the person who stands outside on the streets with nothing but their voice, and a beat hoping to earn a some quick change.
... Sadly, I'm that person. I'm that person standing out in the rain, microphone in my hand, and a beat blaring from the speakers behind me. I press my lips to the microphone, and give a soulful performance.
"Loooooove is something we aaaaaaall can seeeeeeeee!" I sing without capturing much attention.
I usually head to this district the most, cuz it's where there high paying fatties with wallets as large as their waistlines usually come. But, since it's where the richest come, it's where the people doped on Euphoria usually dwell. That means they don't see the helpless, starving, and... euphoria-less. Instead, negativity is, more or less, erased from their minds.
That's a dangerous way to live, but also one helluva a way to live at the same time. Despite my performance being amazing, flawless, and perfect, as always, none of them recognize me. My former clout isn't even enough for them to break away from their euphoric attitudes for even a second. They walk by, and ignore me.
Of course they do. I'm kind of a no one now. It's been that way for a year. Unless you're able to stay relevant, you lose relevance, and I've lost my relevance. I'm just another face in a crowded area. I could have been speaking for a good cause, and they wouldn't have cared. Euphoria did this to them. It made them numb to the horribleness of the world. God, how I wish I was still one of them.
I wish I had euphoria right now. I wish I could click the side of my head, spend the credits, and all of my worries would float on by like a bad dream smoothing over into a perfect getaway. But instead, I'm here, out in the rain, noticing how no one cares, even though I pour my heart into what I'm doing.
There's only a few types of people who really get anywhere in this world. Actors, musicians, politicians, and, of course, The Kill Watch. You're one of those, you're set for life. You get the goods, you discard the bads, and you live freely.
Well, until you die, anyway. Not that death is all that common for the extravagant since DemoniCorp found the key to living for forever. But, for people like me, death is probably just around the corner. I guess I'm lying; death is also for the Kill Watch, since they put their lives on the line.
I'm not thinkin' clearly, am I? I'm feeling sorry for myself, but it's hard not to. Especially when everyone in this district is so happy, and hopped up on the only thing that matters, and I'm here singin' for chump change.
It's getting late, and dark, so I might as well head home. No cash today. Boy, is my landlord going to be... Oh, she's not going to care. Who am I kiddin'?
After walkin' back, I finally reached the place I stay. It's a small cafe where they sell pastries. I live upstairs, and I help out, but not enough. The owner's great, she took me in, told me I reminded her of a friend.
I open the door to the cafe, and the bells ring. Immediately, I hear the chime of her cheerful voice.
"Salutations, custo...!" Her eyes light up when she sees it's me, "Friend April! You are home! I have baked a new pastry for you to try and give me your opinion on!"
I give a wave,
"Hey, P. Yeah, I'm home." I reply sadly.
"What is the matter?" she frowns, "Did you make any credits by singing? I find your voice to be incredibly lovely, and I think that others would too if they heard it! Do you know just how many people have heard it? Perhaps you are going to the wro--"
If I didn't stop her, she'd continue this, and keep going on, and on.
"N-No, P. It had nothing to do with my voice, or where I was. I just couldn't find anyone who was interested, y'know? Everyone was doin' their own thing, and didn't have time for me."
P frowns before pulling out a plate of pastries.
"Would you like some pastries? They are made with love, and therefore you will be able to taste the love I have put in them, and you too will feel the love, and you will feel happy."
"Um, sure..." I say, taking one of her pastries.
I love P, but she can be a bit of... well, it's hard to explain. Just know, she's chatty, and a little too optimistic. Despite being nearly 70 years old, she's keepin' it tight, but then again, she's a robot.
After biting into the pastry, I smile.
"That was delicious, P. Thanks. I really tasted the love, and I can feel it. I appreciate you bein' so kind, but sometimes I feel bad."
"B-Bad?! Bad is bad, feeling good is what feels good! How do I make you feel good?" P looks worried.
"Um, just keep being you," I smile, "You're as good as they come, and that makes me feel good."
Truthfully, I feel bad because I live here for free, and P works hard to keep this place running. She told me to follow my dream, like she did hers, but I feel like I can be a real burden on her. I wish I could give her more than this, cuz she deserves more. She's one of the best people I know.
"Hey, P. I'm gonna hit the hay. I'll see you tomorrow, kay?"
"Alright! Sweet dreams, April. I will prepare breakfast for you tomorrow, and I will make sure it's your favorite! Hazelnut french toast, with real maple syrup! I have been learning new recipes that wi--"
She was going to continue on if I didn't stop her.
"Th-Thank you, P! I can't wait! Goodnight!"
Who knows, maybe tomorrow will be better? Sometimes I wish I was more like P. You know, happy without euphoria. But, I'm not.
Stay sexy, stay beautiful, stay calm. Oh, who am I even kidding? It's easy to stay the first two, and the second just comes with the nature of being amazingly fantastically gorgeous. My body is covered in a soft, velvet robe. I walk out onto the catwalk, and cameras flash, the clicking sounds match my beautiful heartbeat, which belongs to my beautiful body.
"Is..." I pause dramatically, pouting my lips so they're the puffiest they can be, "What you want!?"
The rhythm of the music matches my motions. My hands reach for the robe, tugging it gently. The crowd is so hot for me right now, and I am so hot for it. Hotter than fire, hotter than lava, hotter than...
"THE SSSSSSSSUN!" I hiss, revealing nothing but my body and the underwear I'm modeling.
The girls around me bleed rockets out of their nose. I hear the sound of some of their ovaries literally exploding. In fact, I see them exploding out of their bodies. An ambulance crashes through the side wall, and scoops up the women that my body destroys.
"That's right, ladies! My body's a weapon of mass," I thrust out my crotch, which literally melts the face off of some poor old lady. Another one bites the dust. "D-struction!"
Perfect days like this cannot be ruined. A perfect show, and perfect moment which are almost as perfect as my...
A call? Coming in at this time? I hear it through my skull, and tap the side of my head in order to answer it. I'm beautiful, so of course they'll pause the show. In fact, even the ambulance pauses saving the lives of the people I injured with my body of mass D-struction so I can take my call.
"Hello?" I say softly with poise, my lips pouting, which drives everyone into a lustful craze.
"Zander, it's your father," A low voice says.
Daddy was calling me? But ... why is daddy calling me?
"Daddy, you never call me... why are you calling? Is ... everything alright?"
N-No... that can't be. G-Grandma Ineke... gone? That was when I realized that a moment could change in an instant. Even on a perfect day. My face started to well up with gorgeous tears of sadness. Oh no, I couldn't hold it in.
"I-I'll... speak you later, daddy! I ... have to go!"
I clicked the side of my head, and placed my palms on my eyes and rushed off. Luckily, the cameras and fans got to see my perfect tush in the same saddened state as me. Grandma Ineke was dead, and... I never got to become closer with her. Now... I would have to... live in an existence that never had her in it!
Woe is me! WOE!
---- A week later, Grandma Ineke's funeral ----
They had asked me to say a few words at her funeral. I had dressed my best for Grandma Ineke. If... she were watching, she would want me to look my best, just as everyone would. I wore nothing but black, and black eye-liner around my naturally mysterious eyes.
Coming up to the stage just in front of where her lifeless corpse laid, I pouted my lips and looked at the family members and friends before me.
"My name is Zander Valentine," I blew a kiss of sorrow towards the crowd who was listening. "And... this may come as a shock to you, but I was never..."
A dramatic pause was what this crowded needed in order to understand my pain. It lasted for five minutes, and by the impatient look in everyone's eye, I could tell they had understood my pain.
"... Close with my grandmother! While my mother, and father, and grandmother on my mother's side, as well as everyone else, including the world, and all of my fans, and the beautiful women, and men all loved me, my... Grandmother Ineke... didn't!"
I placed the backside of my hand on my forehead. They had to be feeling what I was feeling, which was nothing but sorrow, dread, and anguish. Why... why grandma?! Why did you never love me?!
"I HAD THE LOVE OF EVERYONE IN THIS WORLD," I cried, tears streaming down my face, "EXCEPT THE ONE PERSON WHO MATTERED! The one person who could have truly brought me happiness: my Grandma Ineke who I rarely saw, and spoke with!"
Yes, now that they knew the truth, they too would feel my anguish. They'd feel my melancholy. The melancholy of Zander Valentine, the unloved grandson of Ineke Valentine!
"In fact, Grandma had a tattoo for my father, Daniel, but never one for me... And now, unlike every other child over the age of 27, I will never be close with my grandmother."
I hung my head in sorrow. That was all I had to say. That was all I could say without breaking down completely. I went back to my seat, and sat down. This world truly was hell, and now... I knew why.
There's a quote I like quite a bit. It's by Paulo Coelho, and it goes a bit like this: 'If you think that adventure is dangerous, try routine; it's lethal.' I like this quote so much because it means a lot to me. A routine is something that everyone gets stuck at least once in their life.
My routine has been the same for as long as I can remember. I don't remember much of who I was before I was this. In fact, I don't remember anything at all. All I can remember are the initial feelings of fear that the owners of the exhibit had instilled into me.
I'm Cali. Or, at least that's what they call me here at the exhibit. I'm pretty sure there's a sign above my exhibit that says 'Squid girl' or 'Cuttlefish Person'. My keepers have told me I'm part cuttlefish, and I'm quite the attraction for children and adults alike.
It's mornings like this that depress me most. I often feel like everyday I exist only to prove entertainment for another person. The worst part is... I'm not entertaining because I'm interesting, funny, or a great person to be around. I'm entertaining because I'm disfigured.
My DNA's been spliced with that of a cuttlefish, which has made my arms into nothing but stringy tentacles. I can control each tentacle individually, but it looks so... disgusting that I try not to. In fact, in order to look a bit more normal, I purposely tangle my tentacle arms into something that look a bit more like a human's arms.
As for the rest of me, I'm usually naked. Not that anyone would ever know, as my body textures and colors itself to my surroundings. Unfortunately, if I try to camouflage myself into the scenery around me while visitors have come to see me, I'll be drawn out by the owners of the exhibit. And then, I'll be electrocuted.
It's... kind of a thing they do here in order to make it so we know we're nothing but flashy objects for paying crowds to see.
Memories fill my head. Memories of my first days as an attraction. My tentacles are raised near my face as everyone looks, stares, and laughs.
"P-Please, just sto--!" The flash photography hit my eyes.
Kids tapped my glass, making it echo throughout the exhibit area.
"Ewww, look at her! She's so weird!" I hear them say.
"I-I'm not weird! I-I-I'm just... I'm just..."
My camouflage started to blend into it's surroundings, but the moment it does, the exhibit electrocutes mes, causing me to return back to my normal brownish, orangish color.
I'm dazed, confused, and in pain from the shock. I hear a young boy pull on his mother's sleeve, and pointed.
"Why did they shock it, Mommy?!" he asks.
'It'? Is that what I am? An 'it'? I'm reduced to nothing but an 'It'!?
"It's because she needs to learn her place. If she doesn't learn, she'll be hiding, and no one will come and see her. They're training her. She needs this."
I need to be electrocuted...? I stand up, and force my body to make sure it doesn't blend in to the surroundings. Instead, I watch and stare back at the scary creatures which stare at me. Their cameras send off such bright flashes of white and yellow.
A scary thought fills my head. They now all have photographs of my body. My ... naked, disfigured body. Some photos with their children, some with people making funny faces, but all were with me, who never wanted my picture taken in the first place.
The memories ended there.
I hugged myself in my exhibit. Luckily, today was Saturday, and the exhibit was closed on Sunday. Which meant I got the day to myself. I could just sit here, closed off, with no one. Maybe I could read more, since sometimes the handlers would bring me books to entertain myself with. Or maybe I could just sleep all day...
Truthfully, I wanted to just drown myself in the exhibit, but I could breathe under water. Or maybe hang myself with my tentacles, but I had more than one place I received air. I just... didn't want to continue living this life of nothing but being someone's spectacle. I don't want to live this life anymore...
Being someone's spectacle is no way to live. Being stared at all the time by people who find you amusing because you're strange isn't life. It's hell. This routine I'm in is hell. I just want this routine to end, I want it to stop. I don't want to be in this exhibit anymore.
I don't... want this...
I stood in my bathroom staring into the mirror. The sink had been running for quite sometime. The water contained in the bowl area of the sink was starting to over flow. I dipped my hands inside of the water and splashed it over my face.
"S-Stay cool, Sidney. Phew. Stay cool. You'll be fine. Just call the doctor and tell him. Just call the doctor." I repeated aloud.
My eyes caught sight of the water which was overflowing from the sink, and onto the floor. Silly me! I had barely noticed. I swiftly pushed the button which stopped the water. I took a deep breath and exited my bathroom.
After leaving my bathroom, I headed to my bedroom. My little fantasy realm. It was decorated with posters of my hero, Sharkman. He was a legendary icon, after all! For the past hundred years, he had been fighting crimes, and his stories had only gotten better.
If only Sharkman could help me. Could Sharkman help someone like me? I pondered this, but then remembered I needed to call the doctor. I tapped the side of my head, activating my internal phone. I soon heard the doctor's voice.
"Sidney? Can I help you?" the doctor asked.
"H-Hey, doc! I just, um, well, listen to me! I have a major problem. I'm out of meds, and they won't give me a refill! And without a refill, I'm afraid I mi--"
"Hold on, hold on! You are out of medication? Have you been... seeing anything? Listen, I will make a few calls, and I'll try to get you your medication by tomorrow. If you see anything, ignore it. It's only for a short period of time, Sidney. Stay calm, relax, try to get some sleep, and I'll call you in the morning. Alright?" The doctor replied.
I shook my head, despite him being unable to see it.
"Y-Yes sir! I'll just stay in my room, maybe watch some cartoons, and I'll be fine." I huffed, "Thank you, doc. I appreciate it!"
"Alright, stay safe, Sidney, and stay out of trouble." Click. The doctor ended the call.
Stay safe. Right! I could do that! All I'd have to do is just keep myself entertained. I wasn't tired, so I walked over to my bedroom's TV. I turned it on, and the old Sharkman The Animated Series was playing.
My lips curled into a smile, and I felt happy. I loved Sharkman. It was such a great series. And even though this was old, it was ahead of it's time. I sat on my bed and watched Sharkman appear on screen. His heroics made me want to scream and shout. Boy, would it be cool to be a ...
"Superhero? Boy would it be cool to be a superhero, right, Sidney?"
I blinked. W-Who said that? I stared back at the TV only to see Sharkman staring at me. He smiled with his sharp teeth.
"You want to be a superhero, don't you Sidney? You want to save the day! You want everyone to feel your heroics. Don't lie to yourself!"
"N-No, you're a hallucinati--"
"NO! I'm no hallucination, Sidney. I'm the real deal. I'm speaking from my heart, to your heart! I'm Sharkman, after all! I would never lie to you, would I? You want my type of life! And I want you to take a chomp out of crime!"
"Take a chomp out of crime?" I gulped. Sharkman was right...
"So stop living this lie! Stop being Sidney, and be who you were meant to be! Shark Girl! Take the cosplay costume you have in your closet, and head out into the world. Find crime, and take a chomp out of it!"
"I... I will!" I said with determination in my voice and eyes.
I rushed to the closet, and instantly threw off my outfit, and suited up into my skimpy, yet heroic costume! My life as Sidney was over! From now on, I'd be Shark Girl!
After my costume was fully on, I jumped out of my fourth story window, and landed perfectly on the high heels of my costume. I placed my hands on my hips, and smirked with sharp teeth. Then, I heard it. It was a scream! The scream of the innocent innocence! And where there was the scream of the innocence innocence, Shark Girl's justice must be served!
"TIME TO TAKE A CHOMP OUT OF CRIME... FOR JUSTICE!" I said as I ran towards the sound.
Eventually, I saw it. At first, it looked like a typical man robbing a woman, but it soon morphed into it's true form! THE LIVING BEPSI! It was the Supervillain that the Kill Watch had fought so many times in the past. The Living Bepsi was one of their most formidable foes.
How strange... I could have sworn that the Kill Watch had killed the Living Bepsi years ago. It was in my history books, but... my eyes couldn't be deceiving me!
"STOP THERE, LIVING BEPSI! I, SHARK GIRL, AM HERE TO TAKE A CHOMP OUT OF YOUR CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES!"
The Living Bepsi first sounded like a whiny, scared teen for a second.
"S-S-Stand back, sh-sha-shar..." and then his voice started to sound more like the Living Bepsi. "Shark Babe! Cheeyaaaah."
"Sh-Shark Babe?! That name..." I rubbed my own chin, "You're right, The Living Bepsi! Shark Girl is a stupid name! Shark Babe is my TRUE NAME! And Shark Babe is going to chomp you out of this world, Living Bepsi!"
"I-I'm not the living Bepsi! P-Please, don't hurt m--" ... He changed back to The Living Bepsi. " I'm totally the living Bepsi, Babe. Cheyaaah. And I'm gonna kill some people, so you should like, totally beat me up, so you can fulfill your dream, Babe! Cheyaaaaaah!"
He was right! Not his first part, but his second part where he oddly admitted to me that he was a criminal.
"You're right! You oddly admitted to me that you're an evil-doer, and evil-doers must be stopped at all costs! My teeth are going to knock yours out!" I yelled, opening my mouth wide.
My body dove towards the Living Bepsi. My mouth opened in an inhumane way, much like a shark's, and I soon bit the entire top half of his body clean off! Bepsi sprayed from his lower half. I swallowed the upper half whole.
"Mhm! That was a tasty slice of crime! But shark's are never full!" I shouted as loud as I could. The woman who I saved must have gotten away. "ESPECIALLY THIS SHARK! THIS SHARK IS ALWAYS HUNGRY FOR CRIME! SHARK BABE'S HUNGER FOR CRIME NEVER CEASES! HA HA!"
I looked down at body laying on the ground that had been half eaten by me. More Bepsi sprayed onto the floor. Bepsi was so delicious... it would be a shame to let it all go to waste. I bent down onto my knees, and started to lick up the remaining bepsi that sprayed. It was delicious!
I stood back up. In fact, I could feel myself getting stronger! So much stronger that I...
SHAAAAARK-BABE-DO!" I yelled.
My legs pressed from beneath, launching my entire body high into the air. I was practically soaring, and I soon came landing down onto the top of a skyscraper. I held part of the Skyscraper with one hand, and leaned off the side with the other.
"CRIMINAL SWAMP, PREPARE FOR A CHOMP! SHARK BABE IS HERE, AND WILL PROTECT THE CITY! AH HA HA HA HA!"
I would be the real hero of this city from this moment forward!
I woke up to the sound of the rain tapping on my window. I could smell freshly baked goods downstairs in the cafe below. I really only had two thoughts. The first was that P was going force sweets down my throat so I would be fed, as she was kind of like a mom when to me eating. The mom I never had. My second thought was that I had to go out and panhandle in the rain once again.
Today was going to suck, and right now I wished that I had just a slight amount of Euphoria shocking my brain. I headed down stairs and found my robotic friend as I thought I would. She had a trey of muffins in her hands. They were steaming hot, and freshly baked.
"Good morning! Are you hungry, friend April?!" P chimed, "I have brownie-nut muffins."
So typical, so her... Honestly, P was more than just my friend, she was family. She was my constant moral support in a world that ceased to support me. Her attitude is always peppy, which could be annoying, but in my case, it was a ray of sunshine on a string of rainy days.
"Nah, I ain't hungry, P. But, I appreciate your kindness." I smiled, and gave a dismissive wave.
"B-But, according to my understanding, humans must eat 3 meals a day. A woman your size should have roughly about 2000 calories, or 1500 if you plan on losing we--"
I cut her off. She would have lectured me like a mom.
"No, I'm fine, really. I'm not really feelin' the food today. And Brownie-nut muffins sound... gross."
"Don't worry, I'll be fiiiine. More than fine, P. I'll be super fine."
P smiled, "Alright. Please wear a rain coat, or you may get sick! I would not like it if you got sick. Though I cannot get sick, you being sick would be painful to watch. Not in a literal way for me, but in a figurative way, because I cannot stand to see my closest friend get sick, and suffer through si--"
"I got it! I'll wear coat! See ya!" I booked it, grabbing my coat, and portable music player.
The cold, rainy day was about as dreary as the rest of the city. Those who were on euphoria were noticeable from miles away. They looked as if nothing could get them down, or ever hurt them. Ohhhh booooy, how I wish I had that.
As I walked down the streets, I would often imagine myself on euphoria, and how much I wished I still had it. Those were the gold old days. Those were the days people killed in order to see the name 'April'. But, since my court case, incident, and trial, my fame's diminished, and barely anyone even remembers the name. Now all they know is...
"BUBBLEGUM SUPERNOVA TICKETS! I GOT SOME! SEE 'EM LIVE!" A man shouted. He looked kind of shady.
"Pfft," I scoffed with saltiness in my tone.
Bubblegum Supernova is Bubblegum Metal band that became the 'next big thing' since I had left. Many people often compared them to the best selling band ever, The Heads of Cerberus. But, truthfully, the Heads were nothing special, and neither was Bubblegum Supernova.
Yet, there they were, having shady guys sell shady tickets, living the spotlight, and being famous while I sat her among the rest of the people, unnoticed, unloved, and uncared for. Bitches'n whores, that's all they were.
The shady man approached me.
"Hey dark chocolate," he said in a sultry voice, "How about you? You like Bubblegum Supernova? I got front row seats? Or maybe you wanna see something underground?" The man smirked, "Maybe The Super Marvelous Twins Vs. The Mass Defects? It's gonna be one helluva a fight."
I pushed him aside, and walked off.
"Nah, ain't got time for that. Girl's gotta eat, and sh*t bands, and poor fights ain't gonna do that for me. See ya."
I continued my walk, leaving the shady salesman behind. I was almost to the rich area where I'd preform for chump change, and a little recognition. But then, my internal phone started to ring. I tapped the side of my head without checking the ID.
"Heyo, it's Apriiiiil," I sang.
"April, baby, it's your former agent. I got good news for you!"
My eyes widened at the voice.
"What is it? You got a job for me?"
"Job for you? April, baby, you know after your little stunt with that kid, no one wants you like that. But, I could get you on Bubblegum Supernova's crew. They were wanting some 'eccentric dancers' to teach them some moves. You'd have to do your persona, give a few 'hees' and 'ows,' and teach them what you know, but it could be profitable."
Is this what it had come down to? Me going back to my persona, and teaching some sh*t band a few things so they could preform great shows? What had my life come to?
"I don't know, ain't really feelin' Bubblegum Supernova." I replied.
"C'mon, April... think about it, it's better than dancing and singing on the street, right?"
God f***in' dammit. He had a point. It was better, but still... it was Bubblegum Supernova.
"I'll think about it, and give ya a ring, okay?" I clicked the side of my head and ended the call.
I drew a heavy sigh, which caused the warmth of my breath to be visible in the chilling air. Maybe working for Bubblegum supernova wouldn't be so bad. In fact, thinking about it, I could probably pull a comeback if I played my cards right. I tapped the side of my head, and started to search through my contacts with the phone lens in my eye. I needed to call back my former agent and tell him I'd tak--
My head started to ring again. It was my phone. This time, I decided to check the caller ID with the lens in my eye. It was a video call from a government number. What the...? Was this about my court case? Again?
I answered it. My eyes turned white as the video appeared before my eyes. It was a prerecording of a tan-skinned woman. I knew who she was almost instantly. Who wouldn't? The woman was a goddess... literally.
"Hello, April. I am Nicole Rios, Trinity Member and leader of the Government's Kill Watch Program. Here at the Kill Watch,"
Oh no. No, no, no, no, no. I knew what this was, and my heart sunk. This was...
"We dedicate our lives to protecting the people of the world from common threats. If you've kept up with current events, you'll notice that the former Kill Watch was killed recently in a battle against the terrorist organization known as 'The Defacers of Demise'. With the Defacers of Demise still at large, a new team must be formed, and you have been drafted to serve the Trinity of Demise, as well as your country. Please come to the Kill Watch Tower and claim your new life. If you succeed in your quest, you will be granted temporary immortality, of course."
... I was being drafted. Oh sh*t. I was going to die... I was going to die. I'm going to die. All for the Trinity of Demise. I'm not a soldier! I'm not a fighter! Why did they choose me?! I don't care about the Trinity! Why me?!
I clicked the side of my head and ended the video call. I was panicking. I had to rush back home, and tell P. But... would it really change anything? The moment my life was opening to something new, it was also opening to my inevitable death...
April had gone to her current street gig, and business seemed to be slow. PK had often tried to convince herself it was because people simply hadn't known much about her cafe, but the truth was... it was so small that no one ever gave it a real chance. It had little spotlight.
Still, this is what the android loved with all of her heart. She loved the smell of her baked goods, she loved when people would come in, and she loved serving smiles. It was a nice, peaceful life, unlike what her former friends had chosen. They lived lives full of death, sorrow, and troubles.
PK tried her hardest not to dwell on that, and instead sat in a booth within her cafe. She looked at the television set which was in the corner. She waved a hand and the device turned on. A hologram was projected, and PK turned her attention to what seemed to be the news.
The news had bright letters which read, 'Current Kill Watch Murdered'. PK gasped. This was terrible! How could it happen? The android turned up the volume and listened to the report.
"Rebel Cross, aka ROCKIT, summoned an attack of drones, which fried the entirety of the current Kill Watch. It is a grave loss, not only for the city, but the nation, and the world. Let us hope that their souls now rest on the other side. Rebel Cross left a video to the Trinity, moments before the attack. Caution, this video is disturbing."
A video with a denim vest, mohawk, and skull face appeared on the screen.
"TRIIIIIICIAAAAAAAAA! I'LL F***IN' KILL YOUR SKANKY TIT-NUGGETS, YOU CUNT!"
The male then goes on to hop on some sort of gliding, flying aircraft. He drops bombs on many innocent civilians, and the Kill Watch arrive.
PK pulled her hands over her mouth and gasped. She quickly changed the channel. This show was speaking with a tall, overweight former president with a comb-over, and current politician, Lyle McShidobag.
"The reason the Trinity of Demise currently has so many poor ratings," Lyle gestures his hands, "Is because there are terrorist groups like the Defacers of Demise, who want to side with people like the terrorist, Summer Masing. Summer Masing IS our ene--"
The politician then farted. PK couldn't help but giggle at the release of gas. It seemed he hadn't changed all that much. Still... PK felt saddened by what he was saying about Summer Masing. It had been almost a year since she had been arrested and imprisoned somewhere. She wondered how she was fairing...
PK then changed the channel once more. It seemed to be a commercial. PK watched intently. It was a commercial which seemed to have a cloudy beach, bright skies, and beautiful music.
"What is beyond death? Life is beyond death. Start your life beyond death on... The Other Side."
On the screen was soon another familiar face. Her creator, Nicole Rios.
"Hello, I'm Nicole Rios," the woman greeted, "After you die, there are only two options. Your soul is nothing, or you go onto a place The Trinity of Demise have created known as The Other Side. The Other Side is your own personal heaven, where you and other deceased can roam free. Even visitation with the living can be had."
A beautiful resort of supposedly deceased people plays. Different clips of happy souls are seen.
"The typical age of demise is now at 105, but within the next few years, the Trinity may be raising that age cap so people can work towards their afterlife. Call 1-800-RIP-AFTER for more information. And remember to rest in peace after life... on the other side."
The commercial then ended there. Or so PK thought.
The TV started to become static filled. The cafe's lights started to flicker on and off. PK gripped the sides of her head and closed her eyes in fear.
"Not again... not this... every time..." PK gulped. Her eyes started to open hoping it was over.
When she opened her eyes, she looked around only to see something truly terrifying. On the TV there was a glittery, robed figure with a skull face, and needles protruding out of it's head. It's form was feminine.
"GO AWAY!" PK yelled with as much courage she could muster.
After the yell, the TV turned off. Despite not needing to breathe, PK seemed to be shaken, huffing and puffing in a fear unlike any other. Why did it always bother her? She stood up from where she sat, and went to bake something in order to take her mind off of what she had just seen.
"All rise for the honorable acting face of demise, Nicole Rios."
Everyone rose from their seat, stood to show their undying respect to Nicole Rios, one of the founding members of the Trinity of Demise. She came in dressed professionally. Her long hair was in a lightly secured ponytail that kept all of her strands of hair from falling into her face. Her thick-rimmed glasses stood out the most on her face. That, and the adorable mole right underneath her eye. Despite being over 90 years old, Nicole was keeping it shwagitty.
Out of all the trinity, she was by far the best. Tan, cute in the face, and curvy in all the right places. I could barely keep my eyes off of her. She sat at the head of the court room and looked down at me. In my mind, I was fantasizing about her reaching for her blouse, and slowly unbuttoning it so I could see her mocha-colored bre-- Never mind. That didn't matter.
What did matter was I was now sitting in front of a lot of people, and they were all judging me. My mother was bound to find out, and then this would all be over. I had really hoped that this wouldn't get out to the media. I really hoped I wouldn't be branded as a criminal for forever.
Nicole Rios stared down at me from where she sat.
"So, Thomas Andrew Maguire, aka The Dark Protector." Nicole called out to me. "You know why you're here, right? You have a very expensive piece property belonging to DemoniCorp inside of your bloodstream. And, since DemoniCorp is owned by The Trinity of Demise, it belongs to us. You could be facing life in prison. Tell me, Thomas, how old are you?"
I looked down at the shackles tightly secured around my wrists and and ankles. I leaned forward and spoke into the microphone.
"I'm 14, ma'am."
"14? That's awfully young to start vigilantism. In fact, it's illegal in most areas of the world currently."
"I know. But, a wise person once told me that it's never to late or early to do the right thing."
"That's noble of you, but kind of naive, don't you think? You're not really doing the right thing with stolen property, are you?"
"I guess it depends. In my heart, I felt like it was right, but if I'm doing wrong, I guess that's for you to decide. You *are* a face of demise, aren't you? Don't you know all?"
"Sassy, I see. Alright, how about you just start and tell me how you came in contact with the substance."
I inhaled, and then exhaled rather quickly. This was going to be a long story, but one that I had to tell if I wanted to get out of here alive.
"Well, I guess it all started..."
My mind's memories went back to that day. That day that this all started. It started like every other day. I was riding my bike to school, hoping for the best. When I had arrived at school, I instantly went to my class. After finding my seat, and sitting down, I was greeted by a face that I despised.
"Heya Tommy," she spoke, "So, the con's coming up. How's that sh*t-fest cosplay you're making going?"
It was the so-called prettiest, sexiest girl in school, Midori Thompson. Whoever thought she was beautiful was dead wrong. Maybe that was salt, or maybe it was my disinterest in Asians. Truthfully, I wasn't sure. Midori and I had always been rival cosplayers at conventions.
"You know that Pinkerton Animation is looking for great designs, and original concepts through the cosplay contest this year. Too bad yours will be overlooked, Tommy."
"Shut up, Midori. What the hell do you know? You don't even know what I'm working on." I snipped back.
God, Midori was such a bitch. I hated her with all of me. I often fantasized about ripping out her heart, and feeding it to otters, as crows pecked out her stupid, slanted eyes that everyone thought were so gorgeous.
"Wooooow, someone's in a shwig mood."
"Yeah, I'm looking at your dumb, round face. Of course my mood as shifted from shwag to shwig, so seriously, beat off."
"I'm just saying, you might as well give up, because your cosplay shwacks as much as you do when in the boy's bathroom stall. M'kay? Bye-bye."
Midori smirked, and then left. God, I hoped she would die in a fiery car crash. Seriously, she thought she was so shwiggin' great, but she really wasn't.
"Hey, don't let her get you down, Tom."
I looked to my side, only to see a friendly face. It the person who sat next to me. It was Stacy Watson, the best looking, strawberry-blonde, sparkly blue-eyed girl in my school. She was probably the closest thing I had to an actual friend.
"Thanks, Stace, but she's probably right. My family's low on funds, so I can't really even afford to make a cosplay, let alone even go to Pinker-con this year."
"Aw, that's too bad, Tom. Pastel Pinkerton is going to be there, you know. She's going signing things for her newest spring block of anime. I could pay for you to go, if you want to."
"Thanks, Stace, but I don't think I could. My mom would probably be against me leaving. She gets scared of me being out. Especially with so many scary criminals running around these days."
"You mean like that 'Amoxil' creature the news has been warning about?" Stacy chuckle, and nudged me.
"Exactly like the terrifying Amoxil. My mom heard 'Pink humanoid blob,' and shwigged out." I laughed back. My mom was histrionic at times.
Stacy was going to reply to me, but before she could, our class teacher came in, and started the lesson. After class, I didn't even have time to catch up with her before she left. I decided to walk my way home from school, but while heading there, I saw something unusual.
Police-Grade Pyonpi bots were patrolling the streets. Those were always jarring, since they weren't deployed unless it was something serious. First came Pyonpi Bots, and if they weren't enough, then they'd call in the Kill Watch, the greatest heroes ever known to man, ran by the very sexy Nicole Rios, of the Trinity of the Demise.
I wanted to avoid trouble at cost. I mean, I was a good kid, usually. I didn't pick fights, and usually tried to stray away from anything too dangerous. I often had thought that I inherited my mom's cowardliness at times. In order to stray away from whatever freakshow those Pyonpi-bots were chating, I took the long around home through some back alleys, and that's when it happened.
In the alleyway I saw something terrifying. It was big, pink, and heaving as if it was out of breath. I scared stiff. I wanted to scream, or maybe warn those Pyonpi-bots, because I knew what this was. This was... Amoxil! The super criminal shape-shifter that the news constantly warned about.
"O-Oh my god!" I yelled without thinking.
The pink blob tilted it's head, and then started to morph into what looked like a hippie garbed in colorful clothing.
"Whoa, calm down, my youngling friend of the mighty earth!" it commanded.
"G-GET AWAY FROM ME!"
I bolted in the other direction, but soon felt it's hand wrap around my mouth, and hold me in place. It's limbs seemed to tie me in a way where I couldn't move.
"Listen, man... I'm too weak to fight anymore Pyonpi-bots! Please don't tell 'em that I'm here. Just hide me! Lemme hide with you! I promise you I can help you in return. You want weed? I can get you weed! You want heroine? I'm actually short on heroine, but I know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows another guy, and he can get anything."
I shook my head. I didn't want to comply with this monster.
"Please, just take me home with you! It's never to late or early to do the right thing! Helping me escape from Pyonpi-bots is the right thing, man! Help me escape to a place between places! A spaaaaace betweeeeeeen!"
His words struck me for some reason. It sounded like something Stacy had told me before. She claimed that it was never too late to do the right thing. Why was a criminal like Amoxil preaching to me? Something made me feel bad for him, so I hesitantly shook my head.
"R-Really, man?! You are the greatest! The greatest friend I've ever had on this earth! I swear, you will get so high with me, man. So high."
He unwrapped his limbs from my form, and slowly started to transform into a backpack around my shoulders.
"Listen, just take me someplace safe, and tell no one. This earth is big enough for the both of us, my new friend of the Earth, I don't want to die, so let's leave space for meeeeeeee!"
My heart was racing. I now had a super-criminal on my back. What the shwig was thinking?! I sped back home as fast as I possibly could, headed to my room. There, I took off the backpack that Amoxil had transformed into, and threw it onto my bed.
"ALRIGHT, START TALKING!" I yelled at it hysterically.
It transformed into it's pink humanoid form, and sat calmly on my bed.
"You can call me the Hiker, my fellow friendly fire. I'm just a guy trying to live, but the Trinity of Demise have been after me for the past 70 years after I battled them in a forest. It was pretty lame, but I'm safe now that I'm with some kid I barely know."
"You're not safe at all, you idiot! You're endangered, because you're a super criminal, and now I'm in danger because I'm helping you!" I grabbed the sides of my head and tugged at my hair. "Oh my god! The Trinity will be after me! What the shwig did I do?! Holy shwag!"
"Shwig? Shwag? What does that mean? Is that some kind of lingo? I prefer the 60s lingo, man."
"That was over 110 years ago! And get real!"
"I'm only as real as the Earth lets me me! Don't worry, I'll just hide on you, and no one will ever notice!"
"You're going to be my backpack?! I can't take you everywhere with me!"
"Why not? I'm light, portable, and fit in .... THE SPAAAAACE BETWEEEEEN!"
"That song is so old! Why are you singing it?"
"I got high to it once. It's a great song."
"No. No it's not."
"THE SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE BETWEEEEEEEN!"
"SHUT UP!" I was getting irritated. "Get real, because this is serious! You can't be my backpack forever, and I can't harbor you!"
"Oh, okay. Well, my friendly fire of the flames, how about I be somethin' else then?"
Amoxil then wrapped around my body, and started to transform. He made my the outwards appearance of my body look like famous model, Zander Valentine's body. I was jacked. I looked down, and then touched my new form.
"Holy shwig! I-I'm... "
"Hot, right?" my body spoke, "I know! I saw this guy in a magazine, and thought 'Nice bod'. Now you got a nice bod as long as ya let me stay with ya."
"W-Wait, could you give me, like, a super shwiggin' cosplay? I-I mean, costume?"
"What does shwig mean again?"
"It means interesting/cool/neat and various other profanities."
"Oh, I can give you any type of body. But, I'm not good with faces. The only face I can do is my hiker face, because that's all I can do, man. Yup."
Amoxil used his abilities and covered my entire body with a black armor, with a mask. It looked like there were glowing crosshairs in my eyes, and a crosshairs symbol on my chest. It was the shwag. I looked in the mirror, but my slender body made it look a bit strange. Almost like I was an alien in a gimpy suit.
"How about a bit bigger? Like, super intimidating!"
"The SPAAAACE BETWEEEEEEEN!"
Like a battle cry, he sang those words before making me at least 6'2" with a body of a Herculean god. I looked fit in this outfit, and like some sort of super soldier bad-ass. My hands, toes, feet, legs, and arms were able to move so easily too.
"Whoa... Okay, okay... I am DEFINITELY keeping you. For now... But, you have to stay with the good disguises, alright? Backpacks, a nice body, this original cosplay -- This stuff, you get me?"
"Yeah, man, I get you."
"Cool. Now, I have to call Stacy. She said she'd pay for me to go to Pinkercon..."
"Stacy? Sounds like a girl, but I won't assume the gender as long as she doesn't assume miiiiiin! Hey man, you wanna do some blow?" Amoxil asked innocently.
"What the...?! Dude, no!" I snipped back.
"Suit yourself, but I'm gonna need some. Or some weed, or some heroin, or ... alcohol. I'm gonna need some of that, or I won't work well."
"Do you, like, need that to live or something? Are you a creature who survives off of drugs?" I was baffled on why he needed this.
"Nah, I just wanna get high."
I facepalmed. Amoxil was going to be hard to get along with. That much was for sure.
Two weeks later, after having a bit of bonding time with Amoxil, we were going to Pinker-con with Stacy. No one had known about Amoxil for the time, and he had been lazing around, getting high, and doing nothing most of the time.
"Hold up!" Nicole Rios stopped me in the middle of my story. She took off her glasses, and sighed. "So, you're saying that you took in Project Amoxil because you wanted to win the Pinker-con cosplay contest? That explains why The Dark Protector was there to stop the rogue Pyonpi-Bots hacked by the Defacers of Demise. That day, I actually have to thank you for, because you did the world a service."
"Yeah," I nodded, "I saw that the Pyonpi-Bots were acting strange, and they held my friend Stacy hostage. I had asked if Amoxil had any other powers, and he said he could roughly lift the weight of a small car, and he could transform into stuff, but aside from that..."
"It seems kind of useless, Thomas. But, you and Amoxil stopped various crimes from that day forward. You were considered heroes for months, you know. Your Dark Protector persona really instilled hope into others."
"We were just trying to do the right thing. Really, that's all this is... I know he's a criminal, but he really does want to do good, Ms. Rios."
"I can see that. I can see that you two work well together. I've seen the footage of you two in action. He even transforms into a car that you call the..."
"The Protector-Mobile. I tell him not to drive when he's high, or drunk. I know about safety."
"So, after this cosplay event, would you say that your dream was to be a hero? To... save people?" Nikki asked, batting her eyes. She was so gorgeous when she did it.
"U-Um," I choked due to her attractiveness. "Yeah, I think so. Before it was to be a cosplayer, but genuinely, I like helping people, and I don't want to lose Amoxil."
"What about your mother, Thomas. Does she know?"
"No, she does not know..." I said looking down to the ground.
"Alright, how about this. I'm a fair person, I like making dreams come true, and I see you and Amoxil are close. How about you use your heroism to help the Kill Watch? We recently lost a lot of members, and we could use new ones. Keep your age a secret, and no one needs to know. Not even your mother. Or..." Nicole's eyes became hollow, her voice sounded emotionless. "We can extract Amoxil from your body, and you can die in the process."
I gulped. Being apart of the Kill Watch would be cool, but...
"Just do it, man. Do it for yourself, do it for me, and do it for... THE SPAAACE BETWEEEEEN!" I hear Amoxil say, and then say.
I couldn't believe I was agreeing with this, but it was the only choice we really had, wasn't it?