Teenage Wildlife

The Story Chapter Seventeen

Chapter: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

DISCLAIMER:

The following is an ongoing work of composite fiction by contributors from the Message Board. Due to the erratic nature of its construction the editors apologize for any omissions or lack of attribution to the proper authors. This story is on-going and will be archived here periodically. For current chapters, comments, or to add you own chapter, please visit the Message Board. This story is a work of fiction. Names have been changed to protect the guilty and any similarity to actual events is purely coincidental.

**Ramona..Steve Barritz, wasn't he in...

Bowie digs his heels into the ground in an attempt to prevent Trent from pulling him up into the air with him. And then something curious happens. Bowie's weight, as slight as it is, rips Reznor's hand from his wrist. Multicolored wires spark and sizzle as they are exposed to the air. Albarn shrieks and falls to the ground, dead. Bowie looks down at the mechanical hand that he is now holding (it is still jerking slightly, and there is a faint smell of ozone), when Reznor drops down to the ground again.

"You had to go and make this difficult, didn't you?" Reznor asks. "Things would have been much easier on you if you had only agreed to come with me." During this little speech, Trent's voice takes on an increasingly metallic, Schwarzeneggeresque cadence. "You are David Bowie, and you have been scheduled for termination."

With that, the pretty little Trent machine reaches for the Uzi 9mm that is conveniently tucked into his back pocket. Trent raises the gun and aims directly between David's eyes. David, still nimble after all these years, quickly squats down into his Screaming Lord Byron position, and the bullet sails safely over his head. While he's down there, David gives Trent one good shove, and the latter falls to the ground. Not wanting to give up his superior position, David kicks the gun aside and quickly ties the supine Trent's shoelaces together. Trent lashes about in rage, unable to untie the knots. David looks down on him, shrugs his shoulders, and stuffs the mechanical hand into Trent's mouth to shut him up. He then gets up, looks around at the barren field and, noticing the vultures that are circling lazily to his right, decides to head off to his left, towards the deluxe hotel that has been sitting there all along...

** Tara...At the Ritz...

The doorman opens the heavy, beveled glass doors, revealing a lushly appointed lobby. Over-stuffed crimson chairs alit an oriental rug. A questionable sneer from a passing bellboy reminds David of what must be his slightly dishevelled appearance, his jacket suffering from multiple nicks and tears. Ahead and to the right, David crosses the lobby toward a pair of large potted palms opening onto the hotel's lakeside cafe. Charming, really, with its wicker and ceiling fans. David takes a seat at one of the little tables in the seemingly deserted room. A cool lakefront breeze whispers through the room and a weariness comes over him that he seems to be feeling a lot lately. His body aches from all the falls and fights. He wished he'd kept that mechanical ha hand, since he could use a massage.

"Hello, I'll be your waiter today. My name is..."

** Rocketman

...Tom."

"Tom who?" queries David, noting the man's sunken, red-rimmed eyes and listless manner - either a lotus-eater, or too much TeeVee, he thinks.

"Shhhhhhh...." says the waiter, leading him into the dining room. "That's just what They want to know." He keeps looking over his shoulder. "Quick, sit down. NO! For God's sake stay away from the windows!"

David slides into a leather-upholstered booth. The table is not mahogany, it's... well shit, it's ebony, so polished you can see yourself in it. The windows are all block glass anyway. A TeeVee screen mounted in a corner of the ceiling shows a ticker-tape style stream of ones and zeroes. "What on earth are you talking about?" says David, trying to sit in such a way as to keep the plastic fern behind him from poking into the back of his neck.

: "Oh, you can't see Them... but They're always there." He kicks away some slimy thing that has wound its way around his ankle. "And these are only the servants...it's the Ones who pull the strings that really worry me"

"Ah, I see," David says. "You're a loony."

"HA! Do you really believe that? Then repeat after me, ten times slowly, 'Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, shot John F. Kennedy.' Go on, say it. Say it!"

"Look, I think I'd like another waiter. If you keep on like this, I'll have to ask for the manager." As if on cue, the kitchen door opens and the master chef rides in on a jet-black moped, upsetting several tables, much to the chagrin of the old folks who are dining there. Come to think of it, the place is packed. Why didn't I notice all these people, David thinks, becoming a bit worried. And who is that with the mop? Yes there's a young man with a mop diligently working in one corner, nothing unusual, except the place happens to be carpeted. He feels the waiter grab his hand, pushing a scrap of paper into it before rushing out the door with the moped-riding chef hard on his heels.

David looks at the scrap of paper. It reads...

DO U 'AVE ZEE PACKAGE!!!?

Bowie gives a thoughtful scratch to his scalp, then sighs and crumples up the scrap and tosses it over his right shoulder. A solitary man sitting in the booth behind him snatches it from the air lightning fast and eats it. Funny that he was facing in the opposite direction, with no window or reflective surface.... Bowie thinks to himself, "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they really aren't all after you. Lucky I'm not paranoid!! Anymore, anyways!!" He is still sitting there pondering when. . .

**Ramona

...yet another waiter comes up, holding a cell phone. "Mr. Bowie?" the waiter asks, and David nods. "There's a telephone call for you." David takes the phone and watches nervously as the waiter practically runs away from his table. But since nobody else around him seems to notice anything out of the ordinary, David just shrugs it off. He puts the phone to his ear, and before he can utter a word a loud drone comes out of the earpiece. Bowie is mesmerized by the sound, which is exactly what it was meant to do. His body is literally paralyzed; the only thing he can move is his eyes, which dart back and forth in near panic. But soon he even loses most of his control over his eyes, and they settle at the one person in the room that is actually facing him. The man smiles at him, snaps his fingers, and the wall of the booth that David has been sitting in rolls back. The entire leather seat is tipped back, and David finds himself sliding down a long dark chute...

He quickly reaches the bottom, where he lands on a pile of strategically placed ultra fluffy pillows. He is still holding the phone to his ear, but it is no longer emitting its drone. Not that it makes much difference, since David still has no control over his body. He notices a small group dressed in surgical scrubs. The man that he had seen in the dining room enters and stands before Bowie. "Thank heavens we found you in time," the man says. "Any longer, and we wouldn't be able to perform the operation." The man snaps his fingers again and two figures rush up to David and pick him up. He is led towards an operating table more expensive and impressive looking than the one used in Dead Ringers. David's still paralyzed body is laid out on the table, and the man, who has just finished scrubbing, walks up to him. "Don't worry, Mr. Bowie," he says, "we'll have those nasty little polyps that have attached themselves to your vocal cords out in no time at all. Can't run the risk that you won't be able to tour later this year. We'd hate to have you lose your voice, now wouldn't we?" The man takes a huge-ass scalpel and takes aim. He twitches slightly. "Oops, silly me, you're still conscious." The laughing gas is applied and...

**Starluck (Laughing In Harmony)

"No! No!" Bowie screams in his head, but to no avail for no one can hear him. Slowly, his eyes roll back in their sockets and he's out like a golf club to a string of Christmas lights.....

He awakens, his eyes slowly regain their vision. At first, he only sees four figures over him. He realizes he is laying down on a ebony table. Dried drool cakes from the corner of his mouth to his left ear. Good God, he feels stupid. "Wha-" he tries to speak. "What *gulp* happened?" "Well, sir, we saw you put the phone to your ear and the next thing we knew you hopped onto the booth table and started shouting something about how your T-bone steak was too dry. Then, you laid quietly down to take a nap," the voice of a frightened young waiter says. Bowie can not yet make out his features. Fully convinced he is back at the booth, he sits up on the table and then.....Damn it all!....Then....he looks down and is spell-bound at the incredulous altitude. "DEAR GOD!" he leans back and clutches the plastic ferns. "What's this!?" "Well, sir, while you were sleeping, you pressed the eject button under your plate of green beans and mashed potatoes. We're leaving the Earth and headed towards Mars." "Mars??" Bowie gives a terrified glare. The two waiters look to each other, laugh in perfect harmony, and morph into little bald doctors who shake hands for a successful operation. "Hullo, Mr. Bowie, how are we feeling? We understand your throat will be sore but soon, you will be just fine. May we interest you in some lime Jell-O?"....

**Ali (Gonna try n' play nice)

David has very bad memories of operations. This one is no less unsettling for being done while he was apparently unaware. 'Wait, wait,' Bowie insists. 'Puppet 1, is that you?'

Ali, who feels it would be better left unsaid.

**LAM (His death shall not go unavenged!)

Meanwhile, back at the Dwarves' cottage: David's crime has been discovered! When Jareth didn't return to the Goblin City his loyal subjects began to wonder, well actually they didn't notice, but his non-goblin Royal Dominatrix did when he missed his evening spanking! Unfortunately she does not have his ability to pop in wherever he wants, so it takes her and a cohort of goblins several days of searching to find what little is left of their beloved king. In fact all that is left was a handful of hair, which the horned one quickly stuffs in her pocket, and a bunch of very fat dwarves who are immediately tortured for information.

When Lady Artist Minotaur is satisfied that she has gotten everything out of the dwarves, she orders them to be tossed into the Bog of Eternal Stench! (Which causes no end of trouble, because they all change their names to Stinky.) And sets out to find Jareth's murderer and have her REVENGE!

Back to Bowie:

Having refused the lime jello, David is offered some raspberry jello instead...

**Tara (Mars?)

"Raspberry? Raspberry? Why yes, I guess that'll be alright. Did you say we were going to mars? What's up with that?"

"Oh, its a god awful small affair," said the one who'd had the mousy hair.

"Mars? How is that possible?" asks a bewildered David. "Is there life on Mars?" All of a sudden...

**Ramona (That's what you get for looking for satellites)

Bowie's forehead starts to itch terribly. He reaches up to scratch it, but he feels *something* there. He can't tell what it is, but the doctors' faces split wide open with toothy grins. "See?" one says to the other, "I told you it would work!" The other doctors murmur softly in agreement. David reaches up to feel what is on his forehead; he still can't make it out, but it somehow feels *circular*. Just then, the tiny hairs from his eyebrows flutter down and momentarily block his vision. The doctors *oooh* in unison. David blinks and gets up from his chair and nearly falls to the floor. He looks down and notices that he is wearing 5-inch stacked heel red boots. And he is now clad in a red and green lycra catsuit. With little woodland creatures embroidered on it. The murmuring from the doctors grows louder. David grabs a silver platter off of a nearby table and looks into it. His worst fear is confirmed. His eyebrows have disappeared, and there is a large golden circle in the middle of his forehead. His hair has grown slightly longer, and it has also taken on *that* shade of red. He's also wearing a bit more make-up than he thought he was. David rubs furiously at the circle, and one of the doctors lightly pulls David's hand away from his forehead. "That won't help," the doctor says. "This time it's permanent." The doctor hands a guitar, restrung for a left-handed player, to David. "We are taking you home, Ziggy" the doctor says, and David notices that all the doctors are bowing down to him and genuflecting in awe...

**seekoo

Dr. Eno....Dr Eno...please report to operating room E.... Dr. Eno...We...have, ummm, a situation here doctor...HURRY!

"What the Hell?!?" Eno cries - Bowie is in a corner holding off the staff with his IV stand and a scalpel, which he puts dangerously close to his one good eye. THAT froze them in their tracks!

"What's the problem now? Dr. Eno says in a soft soothing voice. David blubbers "the..they... look what they did to me!!" The wackos in blue masks cry out- "HE DID IT TO HIMSELF!! HE DID!!! REALLY!!" In a stern voice Dr. Eno demands to know if David REALLY operated on himself. "Yes! Yeah!...Well...A bit..a bit...a bit...ahhh...he was like that before!!" "Before- When?" Dr. Eno says with his hands on his hips. "Well, ahhh, in the, ahem,... in the (squeak)seventies, ahhhem." After you put him back the way he was..." Eno screams "I order all of you to test yourselves for the dreaded U2 disease! I heard it was going around! NOW DO IT!"

... a riding crop suddenly materializes in Eno's hand...

"Thank you Dr Eno!!" Bowie cries . "This is for them, silly!! You'll get your turn later," he purrs.

**Ramona

The doctors titter in sweet anticipation, and rush for the best position to be whipped by Eno. David lets the scalpel fall from his hand, and leans up against the wall. Eno raises the whip to strike the first suppliant doctor, but instead of hearing the familiar crack David hears a sharp fingersnap. David looks around him at the frozen features of Eno and the doctors; they resemble nothing more than the mannequins in a window display of one of the more adventurous fetish shops. Just then, he feels a light tap on his shoulder. He turns around and sees Ramona. David automatically cringes and wishes that he hadn't dropped the scalpel, but she smiles sweetly at him. Ramona reaches up on her tippy-toes and plants a sweet kiss right in the middle of David's golden circle. When she pulls away, part of the *essence* of David Bowie leaves the flesh; Bowie's physical body has now become as frozen and immobile as all the others around him. "Wha, what happened?" David asks. "I'm not dead, am I?"

Ramona replies,"Not exactly. You see, you're in a self-contained time-loop right now. I've just momentarily frozen time. It's one of the tricks that I've picked up on my travels. Actually, I have you to thank for all that's happened to me over the last couple of months. You're not going to believe this, but the Knowing Ones actually sought *me* out! I'm one of the very few who have actually absorbed a rock icon, so they gave me a special merit badge." Ramona points to a gaudy patch on the left shoulder of her floor-length kaftan. "I'll be interning in the Knowing Ones' legal department this summer, and the connections I'm going to make there will just be to die for."

"But I don't understand," David begins. "Please don't hurt me anymore. I'm tired of all of this. I've not been able to eat or sleep or anything without worrying what kind of deranged situation I'll find myself in. I don't know what's happening to me anymore!"

"That's what I'm here for," she replies. "You see, it's kind of hard to explain, but there's really no way to get around it. Cloning may be able to replicate the physical, but it's going to be quite a long time before it gets around to replicating, for want of a better word, what's commonly known as a soul or the essence. It just so happens that *your* soul is one of the rarest around. It is Creativity. It is the Neverending Thirst for Knowledge. It is the Strangest Living Curiosity, which can always inspire others and is never satisfied with complacency. And since it is so rare it has to be *shared* with the alternate spectrums of space and time. It..."

David shakes his head in confusion. "Wait, you're losing me here." Ramona sighs, shrugs her shoulders and rips of her kaftan to reveal her customary black jeans and *look-at-me* t-shirt. "I can't blame you," she says, "all that metaphysical mumbo-jumbo never floated my boat, either. Look, what's happening is that I've been chosen to take a small part of your essence and stick it in a new body. Only, and I don't know how this happened, it'll actually be your body, just in an alternate point in space and time. No use whining about it, because there's really nothing that you can do about it. The Knowing Ones have their reasons for doing little things like this, and they're kind of stubborn and set in their ways."

Ramona extends her left index finger in the air, runs it vertically down an imaginary line, and uses both hands to pry open the rip in thin air that she's created. A bright white light is revealed on the Other Side.

"Don't tell me," David begins, "it's a crack in the past, right?" "Oh don't get so cliched on me now," Ramona says. "But this is the way we have to go." "But wait," David says, "what's going to happen when we leave?" He points around at the tableau of Eno and the doctors. "Oh, *this* part of the space-time continuum will start up again once I extinguish my time loop. Nobody will know what's happened. There's still part of your soul in that particular physical body, so don't worry about that. By the way, your 75th Very Special Birthday Benefit at the Universal Amphitheatre was the absolute best show I'll ever see, and I'm sorry for knocking aside Scott Walker when I rushed you on the stage. And yes, you do get that illicit birthday kiss from Iman on your 80th birthday. But it's time we should be going."

Ramona extends her hand to David and he takes it. He walks with her thru the crack, and takes one last look back at the only life he's ever known. Eno's whip crashes down on the doctor's back, and David looks at David. Their eyes meet for one brief flash of a second, and the crack closes in on Ramona and David. "So now what?" David asks. "Well, you see that mountain there? We have to climb it, since the elevator's broke and the Knowing Ones haven't quite gotten around to fixing it. Oh, I should warn you that you're going to change a bit on the way up. You'll get younger and younger, so don't let it freak you out, 'K?"

Knowing that there really is nowhere else that he can go, David allows Ramona to lead him up the mountain's gently rising path. David can feel the years slip away the higher up the mountain he walks. 45...40...35...30...and at 25 Ramona stops and brings out her Polaroid and begins snapping pix. "Sorry," she says, "but I'm just a sentimental fool." They begin the climb again. 20...15...10...5...at 2 he's toddling beside her. When he hits 1, he's having a hard time walking, so Ramona, contrary to her nonexistent maternal instinct, reaches down and carries the infant the rest of the way.

"Once you're born again, you'll have no remembrance of what is happening to you right now," she says, "and anything that you do remember will be put down to deja-vu. Your alternate life, and there are others out there that I've also peeped on, will be just a shadowy memory at best. You may or may not find yourself in different circumstances, but your soul will always be as you know it now." Ramona reaches the top of the mountain. There's what looks like a water slide running down the other side. "Here's as far as I go," she says as she lays the baby on the top of the slide and gives him a push.

*push*

David begins falling down the slide.

*push*

It's getting darker.

*push*

All he can feel now is his own heartbeat.

*push*

"Come on Peggy, just one more," the midwife says in a calm tone of voice.

*push*

And for one last sliver of a second, David's remembers all that his last life was, all his efforts to find that elusive something that his creative spirit has longed for, all the moments of triumph, all the crushing lows, all the happiness and ecstasy that he has given to countless people who's faces he'll never know but who know his face, and of course all the groupies. He feels the midwife's hand as it sharply spanks his bottom--and he smiles at one of his favorite sensations--and then it's all gone. All memory of who he had been bleeds away as the umbilical cord is cut. He begins to cry.

"It's a boy," the midwife says, and she wraps the newborn and gives him to his mother.

"He has the bluest eyes," Peggy Burns sighs in exhaustion," I think I'll name him David."

David closes his blue eyes, and sleeps.

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This document last updated Saturday, 15-Apr-2000 15:37:50 EDT
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