Chapter 7 read by Mat



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-But what the hell, ¿am I a banjo player or am I a banjo player?- was all Drew could ask.


Kelsey held onto Drew’s neck, thinking she could make it look like suicide. It was morning now, and she knew that if she didn’t kill Drew now, Drew would keep playing the banjo.


-¡Listen to me, bitch!- Kelsey exclaimed. -¡There is no truth! ¡There’s just the two of us!-


-Then, ¿why are you choking me?-


-¡Look!- Kelsey said, pointing to the Crazy Cart while buffing her fingernails with a brush.


-¿What?- Drew had been trying to breathe through her hands.


-¿What?- Kelsey couldn’t comprehend suffering in any primate this side of Tonto. -You lousy bitch. You try driving the Crazy Cart when it has a bad tire, no brakes and a paper asshole. And just look at you. I shoulda choked the doppelganger out of you when I had the chance.-


-This is no time to throw pies in my face.- Drew said, and the moment her banjo stopped playing, her feet touched the ground and she wiped the pie dreck from her face.


-Jesus H., Drew, ¿where, when and how do you get such congenial ideas?-


-By the grace of Sammy Sosa.- Drew grunted. -Yeah, Sammy Sosa... ¿And who stuck the mini-van up your ass?-


-Get a record out and play it, don’t disarm me with your piss-poor worldview, your chain-smoking and your absurd non-sequiturs.- Kelsey said. -And now I’m going to race around on the Crazy Cart… until DOOMSDAY.-


And when she rode the Crazy Cart, she was like an orangutan in water. It was like God had vaulted down, taken Kelsey’s worries, and moved them into the atmosphere.


-¿What the piss-poor?- Drew asked.


-Observe.- Kelsey said. She mounted the crazy cart and started counting by two: four, eight, sixteen, one million, PEZ… until what she was not doing was riding the Crazy Cart, and what she was doing was Rumpelstiltskin.


Kelsey knew that if they met in the water, she would’ve kicked Drew’s ass and she wouldn’t’ve even needed a ladder. Whenever she did need a ladder, she’d turned every shade of red in the Pirennes and then jump up and down and cry, until the tears came down like God on a trampoline.



This had only happened twice. Once in summer and twice in Spain. You do the Venn diagram.


Although she can kick ass and she can run while yelling her trademark sound “¡Olé!”, Kelsey operated solely on repetition, and she was the envy of every tiny Pope in the water. I’d write that all again, like “¡Olà!” tracing “¡Olé!”, but I’d have to free up a hand or three.


-¡Enough already!- Kelsey said, meaning that the “¡Olà!” wasn’t tracing, it was fragmenting and turning cartwheels. -I don’t want to be an idiot the rest of my life. Let’s go to one of the bat rooms.-


-We are what we inherit from our parents.- Drew said like a record. -I know that I’m 90% water but I don’t know what the other 10% is.-


-Yeah, yeah, you’re a loser, but you promised me you’d at least poke a segue in between your thoughts.- ¡Give that girl a silver quesadilla! -And now this. ¿Where are you thinking?-


Kelsey looked Drew over like Inspector Clouseau eyeing Elke Sommer, and then she looked at her parents.


-¡God FUCKING damnit!- She told the local lizards.


Kelsey knew that you didn’t put a jar of salt on the Snail Welcoming Committee, and she also knew that she was brazenly vying for her parents’s attention. When she saw their reaction she knew that it was only a matter of time before it all started echoing back at her like a tidal wave.


-¿What do you think she’d say if she were French?- Drew said, turning her head 180º.


Drew knew that they’d meet up some day, and when that day came, the water would be on her side.


But before she knew that, she knew how obstinate she could be and how all of this talk of water was just Legos for her Eggo. Kelsey saw Drew as one giant scalp that she wanted to tear from its moorings, one hair at a time.


-¡You’re a monter!- Drew said.


-¿¡A what!?


Kelsey doubled over laughing and then she heard the salt had arrived. Drew hissed like a llama, took the salt and started pouring it all over her self. It was a delicious sensation because she didn’t have antennae.


Kelsey went back to playing dead and parting her hair, and she especially went back to not allowing any segues in between her thoughts. She wanted to kick Drew’s ass, but settled for grabbing her scalp.


And that, my friends, is how Abe Vigoda was born.


-Drew.- Kelsey said. -¿Can I have a piece of your scalp?-


But Drew wasn’t there. She had obliterated her self, lying down and pretending that her head was in the hands of a gorilla.


Kelsey lifted her hand to punch Drew, but there was no Drew - only a banjo playing. She reached into her bland cache of words, but only pulled out her fingers.


Everything went white and pedagogical.


Everything that didn’t go white and pedagogical went suction-cupped and sharpened by a large, granite pencil sharpener.


-¡The water lives!- Kelsey exclaimed, landing a right cross to Drew’s breadbasket of terror.


You might think that that was asinine enough, but there was an animal in the background that didn’t even know there was a narrative moving blandly forward.


Kelsey pushed a pair of salt tablets at a sack full of dirt and snails. But when push came to Ensure, she quickly changed the subject to what a bitch Drew was.


And even more quickly, she changed back to peeling off Drew’s scalp.


And then she injected her self with a deadly venom.

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