The Morbid Mind Correctional Facility (1)

For The Morbid Mind Correctional Facility.

The Lord of Life sat in a morbid café on a Sunday afternoon unsunny with rain and cold and a gray veil that seemed to cover everything. He was cold and his heart hurt, and his eyes felt like lead as they pointed to the prophetic pink moon that hovered over a landscape of stone and saguaro. He sighed over the carnage playing like a film in the white ball he held in his hand.

Mummy practitioners of velvet voodoo moved through the air like bellows of cauldrons filled to the brim with coffee and lava and all the hopes and dreams of multi-colored birds and souls. The meat meters ticked away, wishes spinning in a velodrome, the whizz of wheels, the pumping of veins encased in skin, the round and round and round of another yellow child at the edge of the city lagoon where the bum prophets read from their Office Depot plastic binder manifestos on all the injustices of the cruel metal world that loves money more than men.

That messy-faced child in the banana gown wanders the world and now sits in the sand on a cold beach beside a cold body of water the size of a sea. The waves churn a lonely beat out there. A repetitive strong lull. The child with the hair the color of the Black Knight exoplanet, the deepest known black in the universe, beset upon her pear warm face, periwinkle eyes behind orange-colored glasses, plastic, venomous, she recalls the ear candle torture at the Victorian red brick home in a place like Boston or New York or Applesauce City in the far northern regions of the upper upperest Michigan.

Someone played the piano in the parlor, soft and melodious notes, while the girl sat on an antique chair with the scent of chaotic history, her head tilted, the gray-haired woman with the scent of a funeral parlor leering above her with the waxy stick of fire. “But it burns, it hurts, it scalds, it gives me nightmares beneath the cloud-raddled moon,” the girl whined.

“Hush now, Rosalina. Hush your overworked puppy mouth and let me proceed with the procedure.” She peered into the girl’s ear canal and grunted. “Ahh, the demons are on the run. I can see them!”

So, under the cover of night and crawling out from the comfort of a warm bed in her attic bedroom and out onto the rooftop where she saw a sea of other rooftops and stars and smoke and gallantly shining lights of gold and green and corpse blue, she ran away to another day… And that is where and when she looked out at that cold body of water the size of a sea.

A woman dressed as a cocktail waitress, a peacock blue fabric that glints in the sun, walks along the same beach slowly, a semi-automatic rifle perched atop her shoulders behind her neck. She is wearing dark sunglasses and a facial smear of makeup. A police uniform type hat rests upon her head, raven-black hair spills out from beneath it and falls down the sides of her face like thin curtains. There is a lost valley in her rosy eyes when she raises the shades. She sees the girl named Rosalina in the banana gown sitting there in the sand staring out at the water. She stops, cocks her head at the wonder of it. “What are you doing here?” she asks in her husky yet feminine voice. “Are you thinking of wandering out and getting carried away to the arms of Neptune?”

The girl named Rosalina rubs at her nose before turning her head and looking up at the woman. She immediately notices the assault rifle. “Are you going to shoot me?” she asks.

The peacock policewoman smiles for a moment. Then she brings the rifle down and into position. She aims it at the girl and peers across the sight. “Is that what you want? For me to shoot you?” Her finger trembles near the trigger.

“Nah,” the girl halfheartedly says. “Shooting kids is so old school. Get it… Shooting kids, school.” She tries to laugh. “It’s just become such an acceptable art form these days. I was hoping you could be more creative.”

The woman lowered the rifle then swung it around to a place across her back. “Okay… I won’t shoot you. But are you lost?”

“Lost? No. I’m not lost. I just don’t want to be found.”

The woman maneuvered her body to be able to sit down in the sand beside her. “Why don’t you want to be found?”

The girl licked her lips before she spoke. “Because they’re so mean to me. They’re trying to burn my brains out.”

“Who on earth would do something like that? Your parents?”

“No. The foster people. I’m with them because my parents have,” and she looked up at the sky. “Gone on to the realm of the other side.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. What happened?”

The girl studied her intently for a moment. “You’re too pretty to be a police person.”

The woman smiled. “I’m not really a police person. I’m a member of the New American Peacock Brigade. We’re anti-government female vigilantes. Do you know what that means?”

“You’re rebellious,” the girl quipped. “You kill based on random conspiracies without any factual basis.”

The woman laughed. “Something like that… What’s your name?”

The girl hesitated for a moment, perhaps still untrusting of the intruder and possible sycophant. “Rosalina. I’m kind of Mexican. What’s your name? Your real name.”

“My name is Magda. Magda Balls.”

The girl laughed. “That’s a very weird name.”

The woman turned to look out at the cold water that is always there, like interstate traffic. “I know… But you haven’t said. How did your parents die?”

The girl looked down between her knees and began to breathe heavily. Then she started to cry and whimpered through the tears, “They were killed in a hot-air balloon accident in Arizona. My pa ended up nearly unrecognizably broken on top of a saguaro cactus. My momma was smashed to pieces on some beautiful red rock. They said the blood blended in just fine.”

“That’s terrible,” Magda said to her.

The girl turned to look up at her and scowled. “Of course, it’s terrible. Dying in a hot-air balloon crash is a very terrible thing.”

“Don’t you have any brothers or sisters?”

“No. I’m a lonely only.” The girl reached into her pocket, retrieved a pack of cigarettes and tapped one out. She stuck it in her mouth, reached into another pocket for her lighter and set flame to the tip. Her lips clamped down on the white stick and she drew in a drag. Exhaled. Coughed.

Magda Balls was slightly shocked. “Do you really think you should be smoking? How old are you?”

“I’m 10.2… And I don’t need a lecture from an anti-everything female vigilante.”

Magda Balls put her hands out in the air in a gesture of backing away. “Okay… Sorry. I suppose it’s none of my business.”

“Right. It’s none of your business.”

“So, are you just going to sit out here forever? Do you have food? Clothes? Anything?”

Rosalina motioned her head toward the Lidsville backpack in the sand. “I’ve got what I need for now. I’ll just steal stuff if I need anything else.”

“And I thought I was rebellious… Or at least you did,” the woman said with some confusion.

“Right. Whatever.” The girl took another drag off her cigarette and exhaled and sighed at the same time before tossing the cancer stick in the sand. The red-hot tip glowed momentarily and then blacked out completely like a vaporized thought. “I guess I should probably move along.” She stood, brushed the sand from the various parts of her, and reached down for her backpack. “It was nice meeting you I suppose. Good luck with your ridiculous reign of terror.”

“Wait,” Magda called out.

The girl stopped and turned. “What is it?”

“My place isn’t too far from here… If you want, well, I have a pretty comfortable couch. You’re welcome to it until you figure things out. I mean, I just hate to leave you to the dangers of the world.”

Rosalina scrunched her face as she thought about it. She looked all around, and the world did seem very big and scary to her. She knew she was tough, but maybe she wasn’t tough enough.

Magda could hear the wheels turning inside the girl’s small head. “I have Netflix and internet and lemonade and nuts and board games and bubble bath and… I suppose I have everything you could need or want.”

“And you’re not going to try to burn demons out of my brain?”

Magda stood. She was tall compared to the girl. She reached out her hand and cupped Rosalina’s chin. “Absolutely not.”


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