Online Exclusive Fiction – “Pivot” by Javier Rokusaburo

I felt the blow to the back of my head again. Some asshole dressed likeFrankenstein had elbowed me from behind. I was trapped in the corner of the packed room, talking to some chick dressed in a Playboy bunny outfit with furry cat ears on her head. I turned to look at him doing some frenetic dance with a girl who was painted green from head to toe. No shirt, no underwear. Just some green maple leaves which were still hanging on to her. This was the second time he had gotten me. Even the French maid was beginning to wince at the swinging elbows of his. People around us were dancing but they were just rocking their bodies like being slowly tossed by an invisible wave. Eventually, the elbow came at me again. But I had begun to read the pattern of his jerky motions coming from a mile away and without even thinking, I uppercutted him in the back of the ribs. It was the one punch I really knew how to throw. And it was just about perfect in my cramped little corner. The guy reacted with a “Ah!” and turned to look at me while clutching his rib. His frame was just a few inches taller than me. But scrawny. And it didn’t help that he was wearing a blazer that was a cut too big for him. Everyone stopped dancing and preternaturally stepped to the side. I glanced down at my bright white suit with bright white slacks and bright white slip-on sneakers. I had a pink, v-neck shirt underneath which was all supposed to mimic Don Johnson in the tv show, Miami Vice.

I don’t know where the French maid went, but by this time, Frankenstein had stepped up to me. I never saw a man fall like that. I had pivoted my lead right leg, situating myself partially to his back, and this time threw an uppercut with my leading right hand which slammed right smack dab into his jaw. Whole body straightened out and tipped over like a log, bolted head even bouncing once on the marble floor.

All the costumed bodies were in a frozen stare, the only thing moving a hot, white strobe light blinking a hundred times a minute. Music had continued to blare through the speakers throughout this whole time. I scanned the room for Linda, my ex-girlfriend who I had met earlier in the same Halloween party. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that she was somehow responsible for all of this.

Hours earlier, I was pouring myself a drink at the table when Linda came up to me.

Three of her friends were standing behind her like soldiers, all wearing the all-American, Wonder Woman costume, including her. She looked good with her boobs on display, covered of course, by the gold regalia. And those flawless, bare legs would ensnare any helpless man but myself.

As I pretended to catch up with her, I couldn’t help but wonder how she felt now that I had dumped her a year before. She had been just beginning to show the first signs of, what I later discovered, was a Borderline Personality Disorder. This is not your typical I’m-on-my-period kind of crazy but more like a I-will-fuck-many-your-friends-behind-your-back-then-get-you-almost-fired-from-work-then-have-you-falsely-charged-of-rape-kind of crazy.

My first mistake, after I talked to Linda, was sticking around chatting up some lizards. I ended up talking to the French maid that I mentioned earlier who was actually from Russia with brown skin and these electric blue eyes. In between us talking about some contemporary Russian author I had never heard of, my eyes caught Linda pouring a neon-green liquid from a yellow vial into a punch bowel. This was all happening while her four Wonder Women friends faced the crowd, shielding her.

I looked away confused and whispered something in the French’s maid ear while my hands guided her hips in our dance. “Hey.” It was Linda with a red cup pointed at my face. “We’re passing out drinks to everyone.”

“No thanks,” I said. The Frankenstein dude from before (this was before we scrapped), randomly snatches the red cup from Linda’s hand and downs all of it. I carefully observed Linda’s reaction during all of this: a slight smile, a millisecond glance at me and then strutting away with an oh-well shrug of her shoulders.

That was when Frankenstein started to dance all crazy and shit, and we got down.

I had never picked up a girl after a fight. But I saw the French maid in the back of the crowd, so I said to myself why the heck not and marched towards her. “Let’s get outta here,” I said.

“Where?”

I took her by the hand and we rode a caged lift up to the seventh floor,  pushed aside the scissored gate, and rushed through the hallway where we heard the echoed screams of a human’s voice. I opened the double doors at the end and saw Frankenstein yanked by his arms and legs. He was being held up with the golden whips of the four Wonder Women, jerking around like he was having a seizure.

That was when Linda turns around and her face transforms into a big, shit-eating grin.

Glass cylinders line the walls with something floating inside them. I squint my eyes and realize they are all humans in various stages: fetus, little girl, adolescent and fully-formed female. Their faces seem to resemble Linda’s. Even the eyelashes, which flutter in their sleep.

“I thought I heard someone,” she says, still in her Wonder Woman costume, sashaying towards us.

She grazes her hips and breasts against my body and the French Maid’s.

“Don’t be scared,” she says.

All the mannequins’ eyes open like a butterfly’s wings. Their bodies, underwater seraphims, floating in mid-water.

“We’ll take very good care of you,” they say in unison.

I see a hand fly in front of my face. It’s the French Maid’s. And she is grabbing the shit out of Linda’s crown of black hair. Punching her face, kneeing her stomach. All the glass cylinders release their liquid, water crashing into the floor. Women, little girls and teenagers march toward us like communist soldiers. Even the four Wonder Women release Frankenstein with their whips and circle gold above their heads.

I drag the French Maid towards the double-door while she, herself, is dragging Linda by her hair. “Let go,” I say, and Linda’s head falls with a splash to the wet floor. We run down seven flights of stairs, jump over  passed-out, costumed people on the party floor, and slam open the front door of the mansion.

When we get to the front gate, it’s wide open as if it’s expecting more guests. I look into the French Maid’s electric blue eyes and say let’s get out of here.

 

Some of Javier Rokusaburo’s pieces have appeared in The Milo Review, Star 82, Dirty Chai, Midway Journal, The Potomac, San Diego Poetry Annual, Relief, and Chantarelle’s Notebook. He is a graduate of the Creative Writing MFA program at San Diego State University.

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