Oct 2, 2008
The call came in the middle of the night, just like they always do. They needed my help they said. They were looking for a distant cousin of mine, Rhonda Grundy. She had finally slipped the nets and vanished from her "Private Room" at the Kettering Institute where she had been a guest of the state for about three years.
They seemed to think that she might try to contact me since I had "helped" her out about five years ago when she wanted to move some "Films" of herself on the underground market. I used to have connections there but they've all dried up now, just when I need them most.
My Uncle Sardis was crying into the phone trying to tell me what had happened and I could hardly understand anything he was saying. From what I gathered she had bribed a guard with some undisclosed "favor" and slipped out two days ago.
The whole thing stems from the early on-set of paranoid schizophrenia that began to manifest when she was about seventeen. She took to lying between her bed and the wall and listening to the voices that came up through the vent. She would disappear for hours at a time and her parents would be unable to find her. She began to keep lengthy journals in spiral notebooks of everything the voices told her to do. Finally it came out that the voices belonged to a Council of Elders that controlled the entire world and directed the Secret Course of Human Evolution.
It all seemed harmless enough until the voices told her that her job was to conceive a child and as quickly as possible for their nefarious purposes, which seemed to have some vague connection to the Yakuza, the Bilderburgers and the Freemasons.
She set out at once and began screwing everything on less than three legs in sight. My Uncle Sardis tried everything to keep her home but he had no success. The whole thing came to a head when she was picked up by the local cops in the grip of some kind of bizarre carnal urgency for having a full-on, public gang-bang on the pool table in the back room of a bar called Gummy's with all fourteen members of a local motorcycle club known as The Tiny Goliaths.
Well, Uncle Sardis rushed her to the hospital where they found that she was, luckily, not pregnant but that she was suffering from about twelve various strains of venereal disease. He had her committed not long after that.
I knew that they thought I could help only because they had always thought of me as being a bit queer in their eyes and that I was shady at best and a musician at worst and you know how that bunch lives on the seedy underbelly of an otherwise decent society.
I felt a bit insulted. After all, I hadn't laid eyes on that fruity little bitch in four years and I wanted nothing to do with her. She got angry at me once for not being willing to help myself to the freely offered portion that she felt was well worth my time and effort because of her Important Mission for the Elders. But I have gone to great lengths in my life to avoid the clap and I saw no reason to alter that strategy on her account.
As I listened to my uncle blubbering into the phone, I recalled the last summer I had spent out at his place.
They grew soy up there and the land was brown and green as far as you could see in any direction. I remembered that Rhonda had just turned fifteen that summer and she and her friends would walk in the cool of the evening wearing their one-piece floral jumpers, kicking up dry tufts of the rusty dirt with each step. And you could see their young teenage bodies through the flimsy, cheap material of those dresses when they stood against the sunset. I knew that I could find numerous ways to conduct vile experiments on them even then.
But things had changed and I wasn't about to follow the army that had marched between her legs since then.
My uncle was still blathering on and I cut him off. "Look," I said, "if I hear anything I'll let you know but I don't think she'll be coming here."
Frankly, I wanted nothing else to do with the whole ugly scene.
"I can't help you."
"Do you have any idea where she might go?" he asked desperately.
Jesus, I thought. I'm busy. Then, I had an idea. "Maybe," I told him. "Let me get you a number I have. I know someone who's on the same frequency as Rhonda. Maybe she can help."
I don't know what she'll say when my uncle calls her, but I would love to be a fly on the wall when he does.
I was smiling to myself even as I read him her number over the phone.