... Repose 2. By Law Whisky (A Zineth Fan Fiction).
Zineth and all associated ideas, concepts, and media are property of Arcane Kids.
Hardly anyone was talking in the store, each person was looking down at their phones, the click-clicking of digits on the plastic screens became a haunting melody that echoed from everywhere. Even the other employees were busy clicking away… Granted it was a phone store, but by God that clicking was loud. A customer walked in through the sliding doors, which made a slight hiss when it moved, a sound that relieved me for a second from the terrible clicking. They walked up to the counter, not looking around, but at an ad on their phone. When they reached me, they looked up, their eyes seemingly turned off, dark. And then they said the one thing that became the staple of my job, the one thing I knew how to say more than anything else. They said in a monotone, “I’d like to buy this phone.” I took my break after getting through the ordeal. I wasn’t able to take it anymore.
Outside the world was open, and the heat from the dessert immense. People walked to and fro, all on their phones. Some playing a game, others talked, took pictures. One particularly sad couple were in a heated conversation over some new glam, standing right next to each other and using their phones to talk. The sky above was blue, and a large poster of an eagle hung beside it. I felt jealous of that eagle, able to soar so high in the free expanse of clouds and space, away from all of the crap that was in the world, all the average and every day. The colors of the buildings were the same as the day before. The people all did the same thing. A small fennec handed out papers. And in the phone shop no one spoke yet everyone was screaming. My eLo-cigarette fell to the ground where I stomped it out, I moved back into the building where I wasted each of my days and continued listening to nothing.
“Law, we’re closing up now,” the manager said, snapping me out of my trance. I packed up my things and went home. I live near the outskirts of the city, where I can peer over the edge of walls and look out at the mirages of the dessert; they often look like cats. The cacti grew, but slowly, and I found myself wondering if anyone else noticed. Even the dunes changed little by little. Inside it was dusty, I don’t clean often, but I don’t make much of a mess either. Besides, as I popped open my phone, the two halves moving the plastic screen out, one of the first apps showed my current state of societal status, and it was a lonelier number than 1. The game that came with the phone was weird, had these little monsters that could level up when fought. I didn’t play it much, but I got the small black figure to around level 20, a respectable amount, I suppose. Staring up at the plain ceiling, the fan rotating constantly, making a circle in the air and going ‘swish-swish’, I fell asleep on my bed.
The next day was the same. I took my break around the same time as the day before, I can only take so much of that ordeal. Today it was noisier, and the sounds around me meant nothing, buzzing of the many bugs in the air. “Did you hear about the new shoes that.... Well, then Greg said to me, how on Earth... Did you know that some poor girl lost her phone the other day? It must have been awful... My glam is so high right now. Why, I could almost say...” Everyone spoke their mind, yet everyone’s mind was the same, so it didn’t matter. No one talked about anything. The wind whistled in my ear, and I was envious of its words. They spoke of faraway places with stories to tell, of new things left undiscovered, and I couldn’t help but wonder why I was told. After all, I was no better than the pitiful people around me. The buzzing continued, each syllable blurred into a long single note. The rustle of paper that small orange fennec was handing out. The wind stopped blowing and left me with nothing to hear, so I put out my cigarette and went back inside.
“Law, we’re closing up now,” the manager said, snapping me out of my trance. I went into the bathroom and slipped into my favored attire. Black sunshade hat, short black duster, brown riding gloves, that cool red shirt, stark white pants, and a pair of tall sand boots. With my things packed up, I figured I’d take a walk around the city, shake it up a bit. And as I left, the sun hit my cool aviators, giving me the appearance of a real bad-ass, the only bad-ass in the whole city. That was a rad thought. The only thing that could make it more rad was if I had one of those Robo-Suits. I couldn’t remember who made them, but they were spendy as hell. Like, not even some rich men could afford them, you almost always had to get a loan. Though loans were easier to pay off for rich men. It was cool, sleek, comprised of four appendages floating in quantum-lock, and able to match the movements of the user. They could soar across the land at speeds over three-hundred miles an hour! I had to take a step back from the pane. Window-shopping was cool; pressing your face against windows like an idiot was not. My dreams now kept safely behind a glass box, I went home, and eventually fell asleep.
The next day was my day off. I went out in my favored attire, keeping a cigarette in my mouth; cigarettes are both cool and soothing, plus the eLo kind keep out all the shit. I was on my way to the underground, the place where most of the good stuff happened. All the relative bad-asses hung around there, I could battle a few people’s monsters or even duke it out one on one. But I had a particularly favorite pastime in the underground, associated with my name. My name is Law, but most people who know me call me Law Whisky, and they don’t do it for no reason. On the way I passed by the phone store. I passed by the small square where all the people talk and type and buzz and the wind blows and the sun shines above the high blue sky, and that little orange fennec, miniscule, pathetic guy not much taller than my friggin’ ankle, who waves those damned papers at the passerby’s who rarely even stop to look- It was then that one of said papers happened to fly along the wind and smack into my face. The situation pissed me off, and so I tore the page off of my face to shove it down that idiot’s throat, but something on it caught my eye. The title of the page read, ‘Zine - 037’.
It was an odd page; I’ll tell you that. For one thing, what the Hell was a ‘Zine’? Besides that, the page itself read on and on about something to do with the sun and how it was never cloudy, and conspiracies over the whole thing. The article was presented with little tidbits of scrapping here and there, images and such, with scribbles around the whole thing pointing here and there. It wasn’t linear, no matter how you read it. Yet, no matter how you read it, you always came to the same conclusion. In short, it was the worst thing I had ever read. There wasn’t a sign or commercial that wasn’t better than this crap, it didn’t even make much sense. But it was crap, actual crap from an actual thinking, speaking person. It was something that I hadn’t seen in a long time and was the thing that got me to change my life.
I approached the little guy with an odd and stale stare. He was still busy offering the pages to anyone who passed by, even though it was all he could do to avoid the careless steps of the superzombified. Eventually he noticed me standing over him, limply holding the page in my hand. I still couldn’t believe that this runt was the one doing something so stupid, so stupid and different. As I stood, he looked up and smiled.
“Hi’ya!”, he said in a friendly voice, “I see you got one of my Zines. Must have slipped out of my hand, sorry about that. How’d ya’ like it? I have a running subscription going on if you’re interested. It only costs-”
“It’s crap,” I simply said. He stood with his mouth open like an idiot for a second.
“Well, I’m sorry that you don’t like it. I can take it off of your hands if it’s no interest to you.” He reached up after that, but I only continued to look at him.
“No, you don’t understand, it’s the worst thing I have ever read. This single paged piece of garbage is such a waste of time, I feel sick for reading it, even taking the time to look at it has taken valuable time that I will never get back. I don’t know how you’ve come up with such a stinking pile of-” And this time the tiny canine cut me off.
He put his hands on his hips and barked up at me, “Hey, you know what? If you don’t like it just tear it up! It’s not like it’s my fault you took the time to do something you didn’t want to! Don’t blame me for whether or not you like it, that’s your opinion! And quite frankly, I don’t really care what that is! So sod off if you’re gonna’ just stand there and insult me all day long!”
His yelling was a little high-pitched due to his size, and the whole sight of him standing there like that was too much. I laughed, laughed so hard that my sides began to hurt. He just glared at me with an irritated expression. I held my sides and bent over from the hilariousness of it all. This guy, THIS tiny, insignificant guy was actually talking back! Thinking! Doing what he wanted even though it didn’t matter to anyone around him! The little runt was able to do what I couldn’t, all by himself too. His job must have been ten times as good as the one I had, and that’s when the thought struck me, that’s when I figured out how to get out of my rut.
I then did the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done in my life. I went down on my knees, put my hands together and begged, “Please! You’re the first person I’ve met in so long who would say that. I haven’t heard someone else think in forever. You, such a small and miniscule idiot who goes out every day in a fruitless effort to hand out papers full of crap! I don’t know why you do it, but even if you have to, these words, by God! These words are yours! And they mean something! I- I’m so tired of the mundane around here. It never changes. So please, I beg of you. I don’t care if you give me crap wage, I don’t care if you make up impossible hours, I’ll even buy a subscription to this awful Zine-thing. Just please, PLEASE give me a job.”
He stood looking at me, one hand scratching his chin. Then he smiled and handed me the rest of the pages. “They’re called Zines,” he said, “And if you pass out the rest of these today, I’ll consider it. But I’ll expect a full resume and an interview before you start. Can’t give you special treatment just because you groveled.” I took the pages and stood up, brushing away a few drops of rain that had weirdly appeared on my eyes during that cloudless day. “My number is on the Zines, call me when you’re finished and we’ll talk,” he finished. With that, the little runt turned and walked, slowly due to his size, off into the crowd.
It was a while before I got them all out, one person even asked if he could get a subscription, so I pointed him to the number on the Zine. I wondered what that meant, ‘Zine’. The name is commanding, the ‘Z’ did it, and it was directional, like it was pointing at something. Whatever it meant, I liked it. Not the content, but the simple idea of putting your thoughts on paper and having lots of people read it. Plus, from the few I read, it seemed like he put a lot of research into what he was ranting about. Anyway, I eventually called him and set up an appointment, two weeks from then, on a Tuesday. Then, as I was about to close my phone, I looked up and saw the Robo-Suit again. Its empty form seemed to call out to me, and instead I quickly opened the CatCo browser and logged into my BigBank account. Surprisingly, I had a very good credit score, and with a few favors people owed me, I could definitely get a loan. That night I went to bed with three things on my mind. First off there was my upcoming interview, which was a joke. I mean, being talked to by someone so tiny? I chuckled at the thought. Second, my loan was being processed, and my payment for a Robo-Suit underway. Third, even though it was just my future boss, my contact list now had one name in it, Zine Boss. It was somehow comforting, the 0 had become a 1, my social status was not so bad now. My thoughts drifted off as sleep took hold, and I slept peacefully for the first time in a long time.
The next week they dropped it off. It was sleek, powerful, made of four appendages held up in quantum lock, quantum friggin’ lock! And it fit like a glove. I had gotten used to stilts as a kid, so standing in it was easy. I decided to take a small step, and boy was it difficult. I almost fell out of the thing then, but, as I reached out, the machine mimicked my motions and stopped me from hitting the sand. I stood up, it stood up. I waved my arms and it did the same. I tried taking another step, focusing on walking, and the machine moved me at least twice as fast as I normally could. The wheels on the bottom helped propel me forwards while making no noise. It was so smooth too, no jittering or jerking, it just moved as I did. Licking my lips, I decided to skip the tutorial for now, after all, I wanted my money’s worth. Bending down on one knee, like a runner preparing for a race, I took my stance, challenging the desert and its seemingly endless expanse. Then I took off, and in three strides I was already going sixty. Five more and I was over one-hundred. Faster and faster, with each push it sped up more and more. One-fifty, one-eighty-five, two-hundred. The dune went downhill then, and I kneeled, letting gravity pull me down, increasing my speed. When I hit the bottom, I gave it my all. Climbing the next dune, I vaulted over its crest, soaring now, above the dune below. It was exhilarating. I got up to three-hundred and five then, not my personal best, but a good way to start. But I remember it so well, the feeling of freedom as I zipped into the new horizon.
Well, this is my first post here, so please let me know what you think of it. I'm open to critique as well. And if there's anything else I should add for the disclaimer at the beginning, definitely let me know.
"... Don't be distracted by the 'what if's', 'should of's', and 'if only's'. The one thing you choose yourself, that is the truth of your universe." -Kamina, TTGL.