Contradiction in Terms
You say to-may-toe; I say toh-mah-tah. Deal with it.
Monday, December 20, 2004

flash fiction: J9

Okay, so this is what really happened to J9.

First off, her name was Janine, okay? I don’t know, I guess she thought it was cooler or something to spell it that way, but really, how late nineties can you get? If you ask me, it looks like it ought to be said like “canine”, you know, like a dog? And maybe that’s why some people keep trying to bring a dog or something into the story, ‘cause everyone has their own version of it, but me, my boyfriend’s cousin’s friend was her dorm mate, right? So I’m telling you, it was Janine, spell it like you say it.

Anyway. Janine was, like, your average, everyday girl, okay grades, nice roommate, that kinda thing. One day, she just wakes up, and her eyesight is blurry. Nothing major, not like she utterly couldn’t see, right? So she figures, okay, her laser-correct is off or something. So she skips class—not like she could take notes—heads off for the mall, gets her eyes zapped. But, nothing. Still blurry.

So then she pops into a diag booth, and the Doc-Box tells her she’s totally fine, except maybe a little dehydrated, which is no drama because she’s on one of those fat-burner whatzits, you know, the ones that really just kill your water retention? And the Doc-Box says, pretty much, destress and it’ll all go away.

Which she does. And everything is chill until—

And this is the good part, that not everybody knows—

She starts telling my boy’s cuz’s friend that her sight isn’t blurry anymore, it’s blocked. And not blocked like she can’t see nothing; blocked as in, there’s an actual black bar across her vision, you get? And cuz’s friend, who’s studying med tech, goes, “Whoa, maybe you had a stroke.” Except, you know, she’s seven decades or something too young for a stroke.

So then J9 goes, no, it’s not just a black bar, it’s a black bar with text on it, okay? And the text says, get this, “This sight is prohibited.”

S-I-G-H-T, you know? “This sight is prohibited. This sight is prohibited.”

So obviously, Roommate connects that J9—I mean Janine—is going whackers or something; and she’s a good roommate, so she’s all helpful and “Let’s go back to the Doc-Box”, which they do a couple days later.

And Janine is all freaky all the way there, saying she’s starting to see things out of total history, like, I dunno, potholes and pollution and poor people starving and, you know, Rizal, I guess. Like she’s gone back through time or something to when things were really crap in the country; before legal linkage, even.

By the time they get to the mall, J9 is seriously zoned, and cuz’s friend can barely get her, ‘cause she’s saying something like the blocks have broke down, and now she can see, but she doesn’t want to see. And she’s starting to really freak out, which of course embarrasses Roommate to death because, you know, it’s so TV, right?

So cuz’s friend has to drag J9 all the way into the mall to the diag booth, because J9 doesn’t wanna go, she says it’s scary, what if the building collapses? But now Roommate knows something is seriously out there, so she practically shoves J9 into the booth and waits outside—which she totally regrets now, but, you know, these things are private, right?

So. Next thing (and I figure this is why people keep talking crap about rabid dogs, because you know about hydrophobia and that, right?), she hears J9 yelling—really, actually yelling, “We all drink the water! We all drink the water!”

Of course Roommate is a thousand times more embarrassed than before, and people are really eyeballing now, but she figures her friend is really spazzed and maybe needs empathy or something, so she yanks open the Doc Box.

And you know the rest: there’s no one there. As in empty Doc-Box.

Now my boyfriend’s cousin’s friend will tell you that she felt, like, some kind of pressure or weight or something thump against her at that point; but if you ask me, she was just so whacked by the whole thing that she fell flat on her ass, you know? Pretty mortifying to tell, I get, but it’s not a crime to just admit it; I mean anyone would be off-balance, right?

So no one’s seen J9 since. I mean Janine.

This weekend, Dean, Vin, Jason, and I got to talking about narrative perspective and turning a blind eye. This is what came out of it.
Nikki bit in at 4:08 PM :: ::
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