Prose Header


by Maria Beliaeva

The cars whizzed past without stopping. Emma’s arms were starting to prickle. How long was she supposed to dangle there? A metallic creaking alerted her of the monster’s arrival. She tried to swing herself the other way to get a better look. Sure enough, the winged monster was gliding towards her, like a bloated toad. The lovely Art Deco skyscrapers seemed even more beautiful next to it.

Emma smiled, picturing all the wonderful terrace apartments with their beautiful ladies in silk robes sipping their morning tea. There must be hundreds of them looking at her through their bay windows.

Soon, very soon, Emma would be one of them. She smiled, and almost slipped. The vacuum cleaner she was hanging on groaned.

Suddenly, one of the cars speeding past came to a halt, right beside her. A man with bright red skin and a dazzling smile of golden fangs waved at her from the cockpit. The car eased up beneath her, so that her dangling feet were suddenly standing.

“Hello, beautiful,” said the man, running a forked tongue on his teeth.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” blazed Emma, casting a nervous glance at the iron monster.

“I’m rescuing you from that suicide stunt that was your only means of attracting my attention!” he stuck out his clefted chin in a bad Cary Grant impression.

“You idiot! Ever heard of something called sacrifice?” she fumed, nodding at the monster.

The man followed her gaze:

“Ah, you’re engaged... I see. Well, I’ve never seen an Andromeda refuse rescue from her monster.”

“I know who you are, you creep!” Emma had let go of the vacuum hose, “You are one of those damsel-in-distress-ophiles! I’ll have none of your sexual perversions, thank you. My future spouse is there, in that ship, and he’s come to take me away.”

But the iron monster had stopped. Behind one of the large Plexiglas eyes, Laeo Fontana was shaking his head, hands behind his back.

Emma, Emma... It would never work would it? How could he expect her to be faithful if the moment she was left dangling for all New York to see, she was accosted by clefty-chinned Reddies?

“Navigator, turn back!” he commanded.

With a metallic groan, the monster turned carefully around, scraping a bit off the New Chrysler Building. It would grow back, thought Laeo.

“So... Seems your fiancé’s changed his mind!” said the Reddie.

Emma stared after the retreating monster in disbelief. So close! It had seemed that the silk robe and the tea set and the terrace apartment were already hers, and now... Nothing. Well, don’t sell your virginity before you lose it. Or something.

“Hey, babe. Wanna go check out this new club thing? I was on my way to it anyways...”

Emma nodded, strapping herself next to him into the car. They whizzed through the labyrinth of skyscrapers while somewhere behind their tall silhouettes, the sun sat in a sanguine explosion.

“What is this club?” yawned Emma, still grieving for her lost life.

“A thing one of my friends opens tonight. Hey, don’t worry babe, we’ll get cozy a’right: there’s plenty of private rooms!” he winked, mistaking her restless expression for horniness.

“Sure...” she just said. After all, he seemed nice. For a Reddie.

When they’d had a go in one of the rooms, Emma wasn’t so sure anymore. Of course he was nice. But she was no longer thirteen. She needed trust. She needed a life.

“Where are you going?” she asked, as the Reddie pulled up his pants.

“Back down...” he answered, surprised.

“I suppose that’s fine,” she said, and felt stupid when she did.

Of course it was fine. She knew those damselindistressophiles: inconsistent was an understatement.

“Go. Go find yourself somebody else to rescue!” she waved and he gave a relieved smile.

Or maybe, feed on somebody else’s carcass, she mentally added.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, a silver dragon was gobbling up young socialite Mandy. Lucky bitch, thought Emma. Then, she went downstairs and ordered a scotch and decided she wanted to die. What was the point? She’d rather disappear gracefully than be a laughingstock for all the hip New York scene.

She went out onto the balcony, and jumped.

The fall was smooth and quick, sort of like being on crack. Suddenly, she felt like a giant gloved hand had picked her up. Was it, really? Was it finally happening? Maybe somebody had decided to take her in, after all.“Hey, beautiful!”

She looked up from the velvet seat into which she had landed. A youth with bright-green hair sticking out of a lobster-colored head winked at her in a way he obviously thought was sexy.

Oh no, thought Emma. Oh NO!

Well... She might as well have some more fun before going, right?

Copyright © 2005 by Maria Beliaeva

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