Sleaze Land – Chapter 13 (The Clock Struck Two) Part 1
“There is a reason fairy tales most commonly end with happy endings. It is because nobody wants to face the realization of human depravity.” Asa Don Brown
“Is that James Franco?” a voice asked from the packed beach, as more and more of the new Sleaze Land inhabitants worked their way down to see just what all the commotion was about.
“Nah, it's that No Rules guy. Remember? The one that went on trial after his wife caught hold of them pictures of him and that famous buddy of his with all them trafficked girls, down in Mexico. Member?”
“That famous guy... they hung by the testicles... after he posted all them pictures with those known traffickers? What’s this fella to him?”
“He’s his cohort in crime, I guess. They been stalking young girls online, and feeding 'em into trafficker's hands.”
“Jesus. No wonder he’s running.”
“Won’t make it far, from the looks of it,” the greazy haired man in the tiny white bath towel remarked dryly, as quite honestly, he alone seemed the most cognizant of what was actually going on.
“Yeah? And why do you say that?” the one everyone hated, but loved to tease, asked, as he once more wiped his sticky fingers down the length of his already stained shorts.
But just then the man nobody dared address by his real name came walking up with what looked like a small mechanical shark.
“Put her in the water, and hand me the controller,” the mini-boss in the mini-dress instructed, as if he’d been born to order large burly half-naked men around.
And of course, Tiny followed the man’s orders promptly, and to a T.
“Done, boss,” he told the red-cheeked man, as he handed him the digital tablet that controlled the two-foot drone with the razer-sharp teeth.
“He’s got no reason to go on, as I hear,” the man they all called 'Red' said, in his small way, from the back of the crowd, because it wasn’t really in his nature to call any undue attention upon himself.
“His wife was one of the first to catch the new bug. Her and their daughters. And his son died during the first pandemic; when he was… you know… supposed to be out on that business trip, but was instead making the rounds at some of the new brothels him and his famous buddy had just set up.”
“And how is it you know so much about all of this?” the man named Tiny asked, in a deep growl that was instantly read as a threat, at least by anyone with a fully-functional frontal lobe.
But the man they all now called 'Red' just looked down and away, before anyone could see the blood had instantly fled his once angelic face.
Fled it faster than the California elites had fled after the flood.
Which left him looking like he might pass out at any moment.
“Got him!” the fella no one dared call Dorothy said, as the image of a man swimming for his life appeared on the tablet screen.
“You know,” the man dressed as a teenage girl said into the tablet’s microphone, “all this drone has to do is nick you, and the bugs in this water will do the rest. Turn back now. This is your only offer.”
But the swimmer just kept swimming.
“Is this thing even working?” the frilly man in the even frillier dress asked, with a great deal of annoyance creeping into his rather squeaky voice.
“Can you hear me? This is your only chance to turn back,” he said loud and clear into the tablet’s microphone.
And then he turned to Tiny.
“What’s his name?” he asked the over-grown boy with the decent amount salt-and-pepper chest hair.
But Tiny just shrugged and said, “Beats the fuck out of me.”
The Dorothy fanatic looked around at the crowd hoping someone else would know. However, no one did.
“Listen, buddy. Mr. Footy CEO dude… turn back now, or this is really gonna get awful. Ya?” he said loudly into the microphone.
But the swimmer with the lean legs and the hawkish face swam on. As if he didn’t have a clue as to what was just about to happen.
“How do I make this thing bite, again?” the man in pigtails asked of the large man with the supernatural gift for technology.
“It’s that button, there,” the large man in the tiny lederhosen said, as he pointed to the large red button on the screen, that was labeled ‘BITE’.
“Thanks,” the coquettish man said to his sidekick with so much affection you’d almost be inclined to tell them to ‘get a room’.
But the look didn't linger, and a moment later the sorta-pretty dude had turned back to the lake; and with a malevolent grin the lipsticked man pressed the large red button on the screen.
And less than a second later they all heard a large YELP, sounding from both the lake and the tablet, as the drone also reported back the audio.
Together, the new inhabitants of Sleaze Land stood and watched, as the swimmer grabbed at the bite on his leg. And a moment later a million flesh-eating-fish came swimming to the surface.
“They started out as discarded family pets, if you can believe it. Goldfish turned predatory. Brutal, ain’t they?” the man in the kerchief dress remarked brightly, as he showed the image around to all of those who might think to make a break for it themselves.
“It’s amazing what unregulated capitalism has come up with these past forty years, ain’t it? I mean…. So much of it unintended, of course. But, man-o-man, fascinating to see how nature can be perverted to such a horrific degree. Ouch! That does not look good.”
The almost fragile looking man in the bright blue eyeshadow looked gleefully at the tablet, as the last of the rouge swimmer’s remains were consumed by the mob of damaged looking goldfish, with their red eyes, and their barbed teeth.
“Well, that settles that,” he told the crowd, as he punched the tablet off.
With that he looked back to the spigot-fountain that looked an awful lot like that ridiculous woman from the eighties, and smiled.
“Now, remember, some of y’all still need to sort out yer housing situation, and you’ll be wanting to do that before sundown…”
© Raena Exe 2022
*Inspired by life.
*All characters, places, and events are completely fictional.
*All rights reserved.
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The year is 2024, and after two pandemics and a flood, the Moral Majority has decided to hold a trial. A trial to demonstrate to the world the corrosive nature of unregulated capitalism. Only this trial is being run by those who simply cannot see past the ways of their patriarchal