this is where shit i write goes.


 The buzzing of a mobile phone snapped me out of the hypnotic repetition that was chopping onions. It was similar to pushing my head through the top of an ice bucket; the sudden awareness of my surroundings outside the soothing motion of my knife was a shock to my system. I jolted; the knife slipped; I was shocked again by the pain of a forefinger oozing blood. I swore, lifting my hand above the cutting board, and looked around at my surroundings for what felt like the first time.
 It was a massive restaurant kitchen, the kind I’d seen in movies. Pots boiled angrily atop every available stove. A few of them were even boiling over with hisses that sounded like a chorus of disapproving WASP mothers. It looked like the kind of place that seemed pre-made with a head chef barking orders at a harangued group of lessers, but it was completely empty except for myself and the buzzing phone.
 “Hold your god damn horses,” I mumbled, holding my hand aloft as I darted around the kitchen, looking for anything that seemed to scream, ‘Look in here, I have bandages, this is a restaurant kitchen, reason would stand to there being bandages here.’ Reason was on vacation, though, so I elected to wrap my finger in paper towels until the bleeding stopped.
 The phone was still buzzing on the counter. It wasn't any brand I recognized, and the screen wasn't buzzing with a phone call as I’d expected. Instead, it was complaining endlessly about an unmarked message:


 Riveting. I picked the phone up with my pair of free hands (having four arms, which was beginning to strike me as odd, for some reason), and a keyboard appeared on the screen.

[oh, good. you finally stopped whatever inane horseshit you were doing. :]
it wasnt inane

 I paused.

it wasnt that inane

[whatever helps you sleep at night. hehehe.]
can i like
help you
[yes, actually.]
[but first, answer a question.]
[why were you just doing whatever it was you're doing?]

 The obviousness of the answer wasn’t followed with that the answer actually was. It had just been the natural thing to do, but come to think of it, I couldn’t remember had led up to me doing that. I frowned.

hey what the fuck is going on
[there it is.]
how the fuck did i get here
why the fuck do i have extra arms
i think
[oooh, extra arms? that's fun.]
[the answer is easy. take a guess.]
alright listen here fucking rumplestilskin i’m not gonna do a fruity little jig and guess your goddamn name
[hehehe. touchy. :]
just answer the question
[guess. :]
oh my god
im dead
i guessed
pay up rumpy
rumplestilskin holy shit can you just answer my mother fucking question
[hehehe. :]
[you’re asleep.]

 I looked around at the empty kitchen, and at the comically large pile of chopped onions.

ive never dreamed this vividly before but i guess that makes sense
[you’re taking this well, cursing me out not included.]
suck my cock
[maybe later.]
[now, as for the help i need.]
[in short, not everyone is experiencing this sort of multiplayer dreaming experience. you’re one of the unlucky few, because those who are in this “world,” for lack of a better term, are usually being targeted by the rat police to be put into a coma.]

 I put the phone down.
 “No,” I said aloud. “I dunno if you can hear me, but that makes no sense and I’m not in the mood.” After a moment’s hesitation, I slid the phone into my pocket, grabbed the knife, and pushed out the double doors of the kitchen.
 I stepped into a mall food court which, like the kitchen, was completely empty. Mall Muzak played over the speakers, echoing through the empty stores. Though most of the store facades were in English, featuring hits such as Fatty Fatgirl and Versace, the supplemental text was almost all in a language I was almost positive was Thai. Or something. I strolled through the shopping mall, one pair of hands in my pockets. I snagged a jacket from Fatty Fatgirl, which was the only store with something my size, for a second pair of pockets.
 In the back of the store was another person, headphones in their ears, looking helplessly around. They spotted me and hustled over, looking confused. I sighed.
 “Where’s the meat section?” they asked. Their voice was thick with an accent I couldn’t place, but I’d bet anything it was Thai, given the lettering.
 “Wait, that’s not fair,” I said. They blinked. “Fuck, uh, sorry. Thinking aloud. Uh, this is a clothing store.”
 “I know that,” they said.
 “I’m also not an employee. But this is a clothing store.”
 “I know that,” they insisted, crossing their arms. “I... well... I guess... I thought there’d be one?”
 “In a clothing store.”
 “It sounds stupid when you put it like that!” they protested. They put a hand to the bridge of their hooked nose and squinted their eyes in frustration. “Why am I looking for meat in a clothing store? Why did my mom send me to a clothing store?
 “Oh, right.” I pulled the phone back out and looked down at it so I’d have something to do with my hands. “This is a dream.”

[are you keeping up so far?]
[are you genuinely ignoring me?]
[i can back off if you want less explanation.]
[i do genuinely need your help.]
[pretty please with a pot of gold on top?]
[beautiful please?]

 “What are you looking at?” asked the person, craning their neck to see the screen. I tilted it so we could both see it. “Oh. That’s odd.”
 “We’re dreaming, numbnuts.”
  “Has anyone ever asked you what a pain in the ass you are to talk to?” they asked, arms crossed. “You don’t have to be pedantic about every single thing, you know.”  I snorted and pushed a pair of invisible glasses up my nose. “Um, actually, yes, I do. Otherwise I... I...” I trailed off, making a blowjob motion.
 They wrinkled their nose at me. “Gross. It’s odd because I can’t imagine why you’re ignoring them. Don’t you want answers?”
 I shrugged and rolled my shoulders with a huff. “What do you care?”
  “They’re my answers, too.”
  “You talk to them, then.” I tossed the phone in an arc towards them. They shrieked, barely managing to catch it with hands much smaller and less docile than mine.   “Fine! I will!”
  “Good. I just told you to.”
 I strolled around the store for a bit, struggling to read the logos on various shirts and idly considering re-checking the cafeteria for a snack or something. Lacking that, I could always look for a store that sold exercise equipment, or something. I always defaulted to exercising when I didn’t have anything else to do, thanks to my brief stint in prison.
 Before I could dwell on my tragic past in a way that was more enlightening to my audience, I happened back upon the person I had met in the store. They were scowling at the phone and furiously texting, completely ignoring me. I checked over their shoulder. To my surprise, their text was in a different style and color than mine. I couldn’t figure out how to get to anything else on the phone, so either they were more tech-savvy than me, or it was mysteriously tailored to each individual person who used it. Given that I assumed the languages we spoke were tailored to our brains, I also assumed our text styles were. Then again, everything was a guess. Maybe it was tied to our temperatures, or the time of day, or the amount of hands a person had.

Why aren’t I allowed to know?
[just make up a name for me if it bothers you so much.]
Names are important. How am I supposed to trust you?
[who ever said i wanted you to trust me?]
The fact that you’re asking for my help. You can’t ask for help without trusting me, even if it’s only a little bit.
[that is incredibly flawed reasoning.]
How about you just give me a nickname to call you?
[that still has power, because i would have chosen it.]
Fine. How about “Shithead?”
[if that’s what you want to call me. :]
I’m not going to call you Shithead.

 “What is it, anyway?” I asked. They started and looked up at me. “Your name, I mean.”
  “Oh.” Their gaze dropped back down to the phone. They continued texting. “It’s Nyaniso.”
  “Cool. My name is...” I faltered. “You know what? Maybe you should give me a nickname.”
  “You people are killing me. You know that? You cannot get far in life without trusting anyone.”

I’m going to call you Intaka. It means “bird.”

  I said, “Was that so hard?”
  “Shut up. Pain in my ass. I’m going to call you...” They narrowed their eyes at me. “Ilitye. It means stone.”
 “Awesome!” I leapt into a power pose, flexing. “Is it because I’m fucking jacked?”   “Yes. Don’t be irritating about it, or else I’ll change it to something else.”   I kissed my biceps and continued flexing as I continued reading over their shoulder.

[intaka, nyaniso, and ilitye. we’re a regular three stooges. :]
I don’t know what “three stooges” is. Can you please give me some answers now, or at least something to do? Watching Ilitye prowl around the store like a cop is putting me on edge.

 “Hey!” I protested. “Do not fucking compare me to those pigs.”

[sure. you’ve earned it.]
[a special mission for my most special little boy. :]
I am not a boy.

[sorry. you know what i mean.]
[well, the first thing i need you and ilitye to do is to get rid of someone in that shopping mall. they’ve been trying to intercept our messages for about ten minutes now, and the only people with access to that kind of technology are the rat police.]
What happens if the Rat Police find us before we find them?
[they kill you, which means that you can’t return to your waking body, and you’ll be put into a coma.] [then, presumably, your waking body will eventually die, unless you’re earth’s first immortal.]
That’s not very good.
[no shit.]

 We were cut off by the sound of the bell above the store’s door ringing as a woman pushed her way inside, brandishing a rake taller than she was. I grabbed Nyaniso’s shoulder and pushed them down to the floor, dropping after them.
 ”Shit!” They whispered. “Is that a kêrel?
  “Fucking what?”
  “A cop! A chap! A policeman!”
  “Probably,” I whispered back. I scooted around the counter we were crouched behind, keeping track of her as she prowled around the store. Her face was a mishmash of extra sensory organs: multiple noses, ears, eyes, and mouths. She was clearly on high alert, with her eyes narrowed and her legs tense. The way she moved reminded me of a dog slowly patrolling its territory. If I heard her growl, I wouldn’t be surprised. I continued, “You keep messaging Bird, or whatever their name is. I’ll take care of her.”
  “You’ll what?” They protested, but I had already leapt forward to slink behind a rack of variously-colored tops, none of them any more colorful than a line of suburban houses situated in middle America.
  As I got closer, I could hear a walkie talkie click to life on her chest. Someone spoke to her on the other side, voice masked by static. She clicked the button in response and replied in a murmur, took it off her chest, and carefully set it on a shelf of jeans.
  I continued creeping forward. My thighs were burning with the effort it took to keep moving at a smooth pace and stay low, but my heart was pounding with pride and exhilaration. It had been ages since I’d done anything as competent as this; my days at McDonald’s were full of managers yelling at me for taking a breath and of customers yelling at me for not putting in exactly seven ketchups into their order. Once again, it was like I’d plunged my head into ice water. My every nerve was on fire.
  My shoulder nudged the end of a jacket. The hanger squeaked on its rack, and the plastic clips that held them in place clicked against one another. I swore as her eyes darted to me.
  She yelled, lifting the rake above her head, and swung it down atop me. I rolled out of the way and shifted to my side, driving my elbow into her nose. She yelled again as blood sprayed out of her face in a clean arc.
  I turned, stomping my foot onto the wooden handle. The rake splintered, her hand snapped, and her yell turned into a scream of agony. I grabbed her head and slammed it into the floor, pinning her to the ground with my knee.
 As I twisted her arms behind her, I heard footsteps behind me. “It’s just me, don’t snotklap me,” Nyaniso whispered. “Ai ai ai, you really kicked her shit in, huh?”
  “Can you just fucking ask Birdie what we should do now?” I snapped. She was writhing and spitting underneath me. “This isn’t exactly fucking easy, and she may have attracted some help.”
  “Oh, right! Right!” They paused for a moment, still typing. “Er...”
  “What is it now?”
  “They said you either have to kill her, or wait until she wakes up.”
  “ACAB,” I replied. “Give me that rake.”
  “What?” I heard them take several steps back.
  “You fucking heard me.” I grunted, shifting so I could hold her hands down with my knee. She was fighting back even harder now, occasionally interspersing her grunts with screams.
  She slid out from underneath me, rolled away, and was silenced by the tongs of the rake driving between her clavicles. Her eyes snapped open. Blood began pooling in her mouth as she writhed helplessly, her hands coming to the wound. I sighed and stood, wiping my brow with my sleeve. She gasped and spit blood like a fountain, body flopping like a fish.
  “Oh my god,” whispered Nyaniso. I turned to look at them and shrugged. Their eyes were full of tears. “Oh my-” They were cut off by their own throat as they proceeded to projectile vomit both over me and the soon-to-be corpse.

nope. just need to make the page look more complete.
nope. just need to make the page look more complete.