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Nuclear Nostalgia


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Dressed to the Nines





Arizona, sixty-six miles outside of Flagstaff:



“Life is full of jazz: that was something the old world was all about. All those big daddy’s stuck in their old ways, so high on cloud nine that they couldn’t face the music below. Chrome-plated chariots, real classy, real smooth-like, cruising the scenes wherever you went; fly funks, with the beautiful broads around their arms, and you could tell that they were all about the jazz; everywhere you went, everyone you saw, they were all dancing to the beat. High rollers, all of them, not caring about the whosits or the whatsits. No way Jack, they were in it for themselves, and they gambled big. They cashed out the only way they knew how: by sending a big palooka for the whole world to see, probably with a fat tag, ‘from yours truly’, sticking out the side. I would have loved to have seen their faces when it all came crumbling down. So where does that leave us? It leaves us singing the old world blues…


‘If you ever plan to motor west,

Travel my way, take the highway that’s the best…

Get your kicks, on route sixty-six…’


And I find myself wandering where others have walked before me: a two-bit pipedream with nothing but dust and wreckage …the wreckage of old world dreams…


‘It winds from Chicago to L.A.,

More than two-thousand miles all the way…

Get your kicks on route sixty-six…’



So how did I get this gig? I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t my fault. Maybe I didn’t play my cards right, took the boot to a few cats that I shouldn’t have; sure, I’ve made mistakes, but I’m only human baby. What can I say? In a place like this, where nuclear nostalgia does something funny to ya, you aren’t exactly rolling clean. It’s only a question of who’s dirtier than the next guy. And true, perhaps I do have a little bit of jazz inside of me. At the end of the day, we all do…


‘Won’t you get hip to this timely tip:

When you make that California trip…

Get your kicks on route sixty-six…’ "





An orange colored sky hangs above the Arizona desert, carried away by Natalie Cole. Her enchanting voice fills the air with color and swing, dissolving the violence that disrupts the night. The body of a man, dressed to the nines, lies strewn across the road, still but cold. A mysterious figure looms above him.


“Wowee papa, you sure gave it to him! You think he’s dead?” Another one kneels down to check the blow above his right temple.


“No, he’s still kicking; just out cold is all.” He gazes over to the holotape still clutched in his hands, “he’s a real city boy, I’ll give him that. All fancied up, strutting around here like a peacock...”


"Daddy, what's a peacock?"


“Never mind that; just pull.”


"Bossy, bossy, bossy..." She fell to his side, each of them grabbing a leg, and carried him away into the sunset.




“Get your kicks on route sixty-six...”

Edited by Keanumoreira
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Something Special





New Vegas prison, Nevada:




A desk lamp flickers to the tune of Bie Mir Bist Du Schoen; in German, it means you’re grand. As the radio hums, the clacking of a foot answers back.


“STOP”, the voice of a man declares sternly. The dim lighting washes over a familiar face, and as instructed, Lorraine ceases. Irritated, she crosses her arms impatiently.


“SIT”, he demands; Lorraine takes her seat, and the warden, his, “Do you know why you are here? In my office? For the THIRD time?”


She peers up at him, almost smugly, “WHY am I here? Well, that depends on what you mean; allow me to clue you. I’m a woman, you see, nearly three-hundred years old, and I’m trapped in the body of a preschooler. Now, I call that irony, and sometimes, when I’m having a bad day, I call it cruelty. You can blame my generation for that.”


A Securitron from the back of the room rolls forward and slaps her upside the head, “Sarcasm, Lorraine? You’re only making it worse for yourself. Why don’t you stop screwing around and answer the question?”


The warden directs his eyes to the Securitron, “That’s why she’s here, isn't it? For the third time?”


Lorraine leans back in her chair, “I already told you; he tried to put the moves on ME. Now I admit, I didn't resist, but then again, how could I? I've been trapped in this godforsaken city for who the hell knows how long, with a bigger drug problem than Marilyn Munroe, and now I have to listen to this funk about how I’m bad news? It hasn't exactly been all that easy…”


“We both know that isn't true. You asked him to sleep with you and he refused.”


“And how the hell do you know that? Is that what he told you? Because let me TELL YOU something: it’s a load of Brahmin sh*t!”


The warden storms to his feet -throwing his chair back in the process- and slams his fist against the table, “I've had enough of this nonsense! Look at yourself; you DO realize what you are, why we can’t allow this?“, he pauses abruptly, noticing that she’s lit a cigarette, “A-are you smoking?”


She shrugs her shoulders thoughtlessly, “So? What, a Betty can’t unwind for a bit? I've had a stressful day, okay?”


“For God’s sakes, Lorraine; you’re a child!”


“I’m not a child, damn it! I just look like one! What, you think I asked for this jive? To get my nose slapped every time I let my hair down? The flappers, the funks; god, not even the paupers or the flops want anything to do with me. All they see is a child, and not the sophisticated woman within.” She takes a puff, almost exhaustedly, “Look, I wasn't actually going to sleep with the guy, okay? I probably had a little too much to drink- wasn't thinking clearly. I mean, sure, I abuse the juice sometimes -I never claimed to be a saint- , but honestly, what kind of a person do you take me for? A lady has her standards, after all.”


“You have no standards”, murmurs the Securitron.


“It’s true”, replies the warden, when Lorraine flicks her cigarette to the floor, shaking her head, “The last time you were here, you claimed that you were ‘molested’.”


“And I was!”


“And you’re lying! Kim did not molest you.” He picks up his chair, leans back, and laughs at the idea, “The man is gay for crying out loud; if it’s not enough that no one wants to touch you, now you’re telling me that Kim has a fling for you? Doll, you’re a real closet case, you know that?”


She cushions her head by crossing her arms behind her, and drops her feet on the warden’s table, “And you’re a real piece of sh*t, you know that?”


“Watch your mouth. And get your feet off of my table!”


“Were you there, huh? Did you see it happen?”


“NOW”, he utters harshly.


“What are you? My mother? ”


“NO! I’m the man who’s going to throw your ass in jail if you keep it up!”


Lorraine smiles and nods, “Yeah, you had to have been there. Makes me wonder something, warden: why did you do nothing to stop it?”


The Securitron slaps the iron on Lorraine and ushers her to the door, “We've had just about all we can handle from you, Lorraine. If you ever step foot near this city again, we WILL kill you.”


She smirks, “Is that a promise?”


The warden kneels down, grabs her by the jaw violently, and directs her eyes into his, “More like a vendetta.”


He throws her into the Securitron, who shoves her out the door. Lorraine looks almost satisfied with those cuffs around her wrists, and admittedly, she can’t help but laugh at it.


“Something funny?”, inquires the Securitron.


“You know the real reason why I’m leaving...”


“No, I don’t.”


“Yeah, you do…he doesn't want to spill the beans, but you know it, I know it, and he knows it; he set the warden up for this because he doesn't want to show his face. Always was a hypocrite, that one.”


The Securitron pushes the door open to the outside, the light of which is stinging, “He’s not your father, Lorraine. He never was.”


“Oh, but he is. He’s programmed lies into your head; it’s all apple butter to you, because it’s almost like instinct. That’s why you can’t make out what’s real and what’s not. With all that music in your head, you can’t hear things for what they really are.”


“Is that so? You lie about everything. Why should I listen to you now?”


“Because I’m not lying”, she peered up at the Lucky 38 as they neared the gates, “Not this time…”

Edited by Keanumoreira
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