Sleaze Land – Chapter 9 (The Mouse) Part 2
“Actions speak louder than words, and it's no more true than with your kids.” Brad Pitt
“Just get in the boat, beautiful.”
Eric Ackles looked from his young daughter’s sad face, back to the curly-haired boatman who was dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, and then back to his young daughter again.
“But…” he began.
“Look, nobody cares, okay? Just get in the boat with the rest of us, so we can shove off. Ya?” the man’s melodic voice matched his smiling face, but there was something sinister in his eyes that Eric didn’t like one little bit.
“My daughter…” the man said, saying it as if he had no clue what should come next.
But judging by the faces of the rest of the men already aboard the large pontoon, it seemed none of them had any clue either, not even as they all had said their farewells to family and friends.
“I…” the multimillionaire began once again.
“Look, I honestly don’t care, man. Just get all the way on board so we can shove off, or I’ll have Tiny back there give us a hand. What say you? Can you sit down all by yourself, big guy?” the cross-dressed boatman asked, with a malevolent look in his eyes that was growing by leaps and bounds.
Eric Ackles looked one more time, back towards his small family, and their shared look of utter disappointment.
And then he tucked his chin to his chest and made his way back to the only open seat.
Which just so happened to be next to the large, burly man with the grey beard, who was dressed in teeny tiny lederhosen.
“Pardon me,” he told the man in a small voice, as he tried to fill the last open seat without bothering anyone.
I mean… it’s not like I’m aggressive, or hostile, or mean, or even rude. In fact, he complained silently, as he sat there as the last of their luggage was loaded aboard, I’m every-bit the gentleman I was raised to be.
“That’s sorta the problem, mate,” the burly man with the hairy chest who sat next to him said, as if he could read Eric’s mind.
“What?” Eric asked, forgetting again he didn’t really know how to fight.
“You lived up to all the expectations of those who you sought to replace – but sadly, never those you intended to lead. Which, if you knew anything at all about leadership, you’d have known... never ever try to lead from the front, mate. I mean... any sort of history woulda taught ya that,” the man said to the group at large, in an bemused growl.
“And who are you?” Eric asked, in his normal (entitled and indignant) tone, because damn… his manager was gonna hear about this… if this guy…
But to be perfectly honest, Eric tended to get lost in any normal social situation - off-set that is - at least whenever he was considered just a normal man.
And so, for a moment, the sallow-faced man had to sit there in silence while he attempted to figure out how to resolve a situation without calling the director, his manager, or God forbid… his wife.
“You guys crack me up, you know that?” the distinctly wolfy-looking man growled from behind a suddenly not-so-subtle snarl.
“And why’s that?” Eric asked, still clinging to his indignation, even though he suddenly realized with absolutely clarity - he had positively nothing to back it up - here - on this boat. Which was taking him to a place that was to be his prison for the next three months.
“Because you all still think you’re getting out of this alive.”
“Pardon?” a big, burly man with the slow-witted tone of a much dimmer person asked, from the other side of the large man with the deep South African accent.
“Who say’s we’re not getting out of this alive?” Clide asked, though he knew he was asking the wrong person.
I mean… who was this guy anyway? If he was so important surely, Clide would already know him.
“History, mate. Don’t none of you ever read any actual history? How do you think power shifts happen? There’s a big flash-mob, a dance off, and suddenly the loser is taking a vacay in Italy? Hardly,” the large man added the last with a large snort of derision, as he mindlessly picked at some pills on his handstitched shorts.
“So, you got nothing. You’re just speculating,” Eric said, again, as if he’d just invented celebrity endorsement scams.
The balding man with the thick beard just smiled, his bright brown eyes twinkling in the late afternoon sun.
“What was the hold-up with your daughter?” Clide asked suddenly out of nowhere, as he was looking for any reason at all to change the subject, even if it was to someone else’s daughter.
“She…” Eric began, but then suddenly he couldn’t seem to find the right words. Words that would allow him to be honest and save face at the same time.
Because they simply didn’t exist.
“She wanted to know why I never did anything to save all of those women abused by their drunk husbands. Or to save those slaved kids. She wanted to know why I just kept ignoring the fact everything I did to make money just kept putting her, and her kind, at risk…” the man said softly, because he knew if anyone could understand it would be these men, men just like him; who were all in the same boat.
So, the round of laughter that erupted from all around him cut him more than he’d been strictly prepared for.
“Oh, my god, that’s rich! They love using our kids against us. But who cares? I mean, it’s not like they’re paying for my kid’s braces. When Jenna grows up, she’ll understand, I took all those rape-story jobs for her. So, she could have a college fund. I mean, what did she expect, that I’d just let her be another one of those hoes that turns up at auditions willing to suck anyone’s cock for a role? Hell no!” Steven Ameel said with a snort of derision, though his sounded petulant and whiny, and not at all threatening.
Unlike the rather frightening man in the teeny tiny lederhosen.
“Man, didn’t some lady shit on your roof?” a seriously annoyed Eric suddenly asked of the man.
But the man who had flooded social media with pictures about that very same topic didn’t back down.
“Look, I do what I have to do to provide for my family.”
“And then… didn’t you get locked out of your apartment, and it took you like six full hours to figure out you were gonna need to ask yer wife for help? I mean... you stood there... barefoot... for six hours doing nothing???????”
The tallish-man with the pinched face and the way-too-high-of-an-ass just stood there with his mouth agape, like a bass gulping for air - staring at the man who had dared to speak to him in such a way.
I mean… they were all of the same ilk, all cut from the same fibre, all in the same tax-bracket – so, who the fuck did he think he was, anyway?
Eric smiled widely for a moment, happy to finally have a firm direction for his ire.
“You’re just as fake at being a man as you are at being a superhero, ain’t ya? Goddamn, no wonder they’re turning your superhero gay,” Eric said, as he laughed directly into the face of the shorter and chubbier Steven.
And with that, the two were at each other’s throats. Literally. With Eric’s large hands wrapped tightly around Steven’s flabbier neck, and with Steven’s fingernails clawing at Eric’s well-tanned throat.
“How dare you!” Eric bellowed.
“How dare you!” Steven retorted, before the large man in the teeny lederhosen got to his feet and wrapped a large hand around each of their necks.
With a tiny tug, he had them separated. And with barely any more effort at all, he tossed them back into their seats.
“There now, you two. Shut the hell up until we arrive at our destination,” he told them from behind his deeply hooded eyes.
“But…” the tall man with the dim voice began, just as soon as everyone was quiet again. “Why are we here? I thought you were just supposed to be the MC, and I was to be the lawyer. It was all supposed to be sham, a game.”
“You probably shouldn’t have said that,” the burly man in the little shorts said, through another one of his authentically happy grins.
And of course, the man knew he'd spoken the truth the second the large man had said it, because all eyes had suddenly turned on him.
“What do you mean, it was supposed to be a joke?” Andrew Jane asked, from a few seats away.
He’d been sentenced to six weeks on the island during his first trial, and as he understood it, he still had four trials to go.
“I thought this is all legally binding. That’s why we signed all of those papers. So, we couldn’t be held responsible for any of this shit again. But, if it’s all just a joke…”
“Oh, I can assure you, it’s no joke. Everything here is completely legally binding. And nothing any of you do will ever get you off this god forsaken island again,” the Harry Styles look-a-like said, as he turned to face his passengers.
“You have all arrived at Sleaze Land. Your last destination on Earth. So, do try to enjoy your time here. Because quite literally it's all you have left.”
© Raena Exe 2021
*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