(Part 2 of six day series)

“I don’t know what I expected,” I mutter, looking around a dirty old basement. M and N are doing the same. A bright light comes on. Larry and Butch are standing next to a rickety old door. I feel a breeze. I cringe. It smells like a New Jersey highway.

They push it open and step out, we follow.

I expect a wasteland of dry death or some utopian bubble world. Instead, there is a factory building, rusted and time-worn. I pull out a cigarette.

“Don’t smoke,” M whispers. I glare at him.

“Why not?”

M makes a weird face. “you’re pregnant?” he says.

I light the cigarette, “well, shit on that.”

M frowns, “that makes no sense.”

“I’m having a rough day,” I say, stalking off behind Butch and Larry as they make their way toward the factory. We get inside, it looks like a normal old factory. It smells of wet sawdust and unemployment.

There are men there, a few, bustling around. It takes me a moment to realize that they all have the same face. I shudder. I look at Butch and Larry. I don’t know how I didn’t realize it before. It could have been Butch’s goatee or Larry’s greasy long hair, but, they had the same eyes, the same nose.

“Clones?” N asks, quietly.

“I think so,” I say.

“Don’t they look a bit familiar?” M says.

I eye the men around us. M is right. But, we go below before I can place the face.

Butch and Larry lead the way. We shuffle along and eventually find ourselves in a paper-filled office space. A man with Larry’s nose and Butch’s eyes sits behind a desk. He is better dressed and has better hair, he smiles at us. I decide to name him Slick. He greets N in Russian and then turns to M and I.

“Hello,” he says, “American?”

M and I nod. Slick smiles.

“Welcome to Russia,”

M and I nod again, “We kind of live in Russia,” M informs him. He looks at N. N nods. Slick turns back to us, “why?” he asks.

“We like it here,” M says, over my grunt of frustration.

Slick looks at N, N nods.

Slick makes a face. M eyes him suspiciously. “I know. I know this guy. How do I know this guy?”

I shrug.

I hold up my hand.

“Look, I don’t know, or really care what is going on here, or where here is, but these guys say something about you assholes impregnating me, explain, and fix.”

Slick sighs.

“It is a long story, very long, and very sad.” He sits down. He motions for us to sit on the bench along the wall. M and N do. I stand and do my best to look intimidating. Slick doesn’t seem to notice.

“It all started when he took over the world.”

A Writer and an artist living in Russia

10 Comment on “Sympathy for Slick

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