Kika Gumi and the Prism Cult – part IX: Fire Watch

We’d been there, sitting, for three months before I really understood that Ayumu and I were no longer lounging around the television in Tarantula’s. The walls had given way to a massive desert, dunes rising like storm tides, some towering what felt like two hundred feet overhead, and night had been running on a perpetual loop since the two of us arrived. Ayumu hadn’t said a single word since I’d woken up from the intense dreams I can only assume he’d forced on me back at the nightclub, he’d simply rigged up a sort of tent, and sat there tending a small fire through the night. For whatever reason though, I felt no need to pick myself up, I had yet to grow hungry or thirsty, and my mind seemed content simply to occupy its time trying to interpret shapes in the clouds. Perhaps the most peculiar of all though, was the way Ayumu stared into the fire, through it, and the fact that every single one of those clouds looked exactly like Kika Gumi.
I hadn’t, in fact, thought of anything but Kika Gumi since back at the nightclub, to a degree that made it seem I might not actually be capable of thinking about anything else. It wasn’t a thing of fandom either, it went so very much deeper than that. Suddenly I found myself questioning the truth of my existence altogether be it not for the fact that Kika Gumi exists. It occurred to me after all those years that I’d spent almost the entirety of my life completely consumed by that strange little cartoon heroine. I’d spent every single day doodling her image on my textbooks during class, rushing home to watch the newest episodes – along with a constant slew of repeats given the show’s prolific twenty year run – every afternoon. I collected the action figures, even joined a weekend club down at the local toy store focused on the trading card game. When the series slumped in popularity, and US cable broadcasters stopped showing it altogether, I became an internet pirate overnight, never missing an episode, even if it meant having to learn a small amount of Japanese to navigate the websites I was required to visit in my search for more. What was worse, the more I thought about it all, the more I began to realize just how much that character looks like me. The same eye placement, same forehead, soft jaw line, she even had the same scar running horizontally across the length of her left eyebrow. She even sounded like me, in fact, I couldn’t even hear my own voice in my head after awhile, it was all her, but then again, I was starting to realize it always had been. If all my memories, and all my experiences had been lived out through a Kika Gumi lens, then what did that really make me in the end? It was right along that train of thought that I noticed the clouds had all formed up into hundreds of tiny, tiled Kika Gumi’s, all screaming my name in unison, all drawing their breath in hard at the same time, sucking me in, trying to eat me alive. That’s when Ayumu finally spoke.
“Tom?” he called out through layer upon layer of raging Kika Gumi heads, “Tom, I think it’s ready”.
“What’s ready?” I shot back with the force of a semi-deflated balloon, though I felt there were at least a thousand better questions that should have preceded that one, I was nonetheless happy someone had decided to come and rip me out of that waking anime nightmare.
“The fire,” he responded, “It took a little longer than I was hoping, and I apologize for the wait, but I believe it’s finally ready for you, Tom, come over here”.
I was more than a little wary at first, not sure if I could trust this strange mountain of a man any longer, not really even sure if he was a man, or if I was even alive for that matter. In the end though, I accepted that I didn’t have much of another choice at hand, I’d need a helicopter to pull myself out of that valley he’d brought me to, and besides, I was pretty sure I could see myself in the flames.
“What am I looking at here?” I asked.
“I think it’s quite apparent that you’re looking at yourself, Tom.” he said, reminding me just how cold Ayumu could make it feel, even sat right next to a blazing campfire.
He was right though, it was apparent, crystal clear to be honest, the flames licked up at the sky like waving strands of window, and Tarantula’s was in full swing just on the other side of the glass. What wasn’t apparent however, was who it was that was moving my body around in there. By all appearances, my body was by the campfire, not wandering around the nightclub, fishing through my things at random. I took a brief second to glance down at my lap, which sure enough was mine, with my thighs attached running a chain through my knees, and coming to a point at my feet. So how then could there be another? Who had cut and molded themselves in my image, and taken my place at Tarantula’s? Who would want to? Ayumu, sensing my existential crisis burning hotter than the fire beside him, leapt in to clear a few things up.
“I understand how confused you must be about all of this,” he said, “That’s why I wanted to ensure that my fire was working properly before I tried to unravel this whole situation for you. It’s important to have a clear view before trying to look out from within”.
“Where are we, Ayumu?” I asked.
“To put it simply, Tom, we’re inside you.” he responded, “I brought you here to help you realize your true potential, but I had to ensure that we defined all of what was here before we tried to build what comes next. I had to let you work through yourself, Tom, come to terms with what you are. I’ve been watching it all with you, and I believe you are beginning to understand”.
On breathing those cryptic words, Ayumu slowly turned his head with a gesture towards the flames, and the version of myself that was still ruffling through my many boxes, backpacks, and briefcases on the other side. He didn’t need to say it, I was trying my best to fight it those passed few months, but he was right, I did understand, and at that moment I knew who it was in my body.
“It’s her isn’t it?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
“Of course it is, Tom,” he said, “In a way, it really always has been.
“How?” I asked.
“As I said before,” he started, “Kika Gumi was a real person, a hero, centuries before the technological wasteland in which we live today, but she had been living long before those days even, since the beginning of it all. She is more than a person, she is a force, an essential element of the cosmic soup from which our universe burst into reality. That cartoon of yours was simply inspired by the samurai leg of the myth”.
My head began to spin as he continued his diatribe, outlining the ways in which this mysterious “energy” had possessed the bodies of heroic figures throughout the entire course of human history. How it made vessels of the disenchanted, the lost, the nihilists that bore so much doubt in an actual purpose for themselves, or their being. How it made legends of them, one and all, and how it had come for me.
“You need to understand something, Tom,” he began again, “I can see things, things that others can’t, things that haven’t happened yet, horrible, violent things, Tom, and I have seen them. I have sat inside Ambrosia as well, just as I sit here inside you right now, and watched through her fire as well, she was in fact, one of the very first I was ever able to look through. She was a child then, with a weaker mind, one that wouldn’t know how to defend itself from such invasions, and I was in need of practice”.
“Why are you telling me this?” I said angrily, exhausted by his bush-beating around the facts that pertained to my current possession, “Why aren’t you telling me why I’m here? Get to the point”.
“Because,” he shot back, retaining his stoic demeanor, but with a wholly more booming sort of inflection, “I have done this recently with her, and I have seen things about this Yorke she speaks of. He means to hurt us, Tom, both of us, and everyone else at Tarantula’s. There is no hope beyond the sort of miracles Kika Gumi could provide us, and these are only available with your cooperation”.
“Cooperation?” the words fell in a mixing pool of emotions from my mouth, my head swimming in the esoteric thoughts the Zen giant was kicking up in my head.
“That’s right, Tom,” he said, “Kika Gumi has assumed control of your body, something I have taken the liberty of facilitating for her, a duty I have upheld since it was handed down to me by my father. I have brought you here for the good of us all, but I will not force you to stay, her spirit would never be able to assume full control of your body unless you accept its presence anyway, but there is very little time, and from the looks of it, my friend, she has taken quite well to her new home, and appears to share your appreciation for the show that bears her name”.
With another nudge of his bulbous head toward the fire, he drew my eyes back to the scene playing out in Tarantula’s, where I noticed that Kika Gumi – using my body as her own – had indeed been ripping through episodes of my beloved anime while she investigated the surroundings, and appeared quite drawn to it. While I had been busy trying to make sense of the situation with Ayumu, she had also apparently found my old Kika Go! Gumi cosplay garb, and was presently dressing me to match the cartoon hero. When I had first pieced together that costume, many years before, I’d been ridiculed by my friends for dressing like a girl, just as I had always been for watching one on television. Back then, I’d worn the costume with hesitation, just once, and only very briefly, though the gender of the character had never played a part in my enjoyment of it, I had allowed society to shame me for the very entertainment they had given me, and from then on had all but entirely hid my passion for the series. The way Kika Gumi pulled it on though, whether or not it was over the same frail torso, skinny arms, and hairy legs, oozed pure confidence, like those knee high socks, and that pleated skirt had been a part of my body since birth. I am, in every sense of the body and mind, a man, but as many questions as it may arise about old Tom Hannum, I’m confident enough in my own heterosexuality to tell you, at that moment, with Kika Gumi running the show, I made a damn proud woman.
“Yes, Tom!” I heard Ayumu cry out, “Accept her! Release your hold on the self, and let her take hold. Let Tom Hannum become what he was meant to be, let loose the hero of the people”!
His voice taper off into a loud ringing in both my ears as the flames leapt up from the logs laid in front of us, and slid their way through my eye sockets, filling me with a warmth, and a comfort I have never known before. Then I was there, back at Tarantula’s, watching through my own eyes as Kika Gumi ran my arms and legs, and the art raged all around me. The painters all painted, the dancers stepping in synch on the stage, the other comics rolling about the floor in fits of laughter together between one-liners, then the heavy oak door exploded into a hail of jagged shrapnel, and gunfire tore the place in two, like a jigsaw, straight down the middle.

[To be continued]

Copyright Wonder Void Studios 2018

Thanks for reading this new chapter of our ongoing serial Kika Gumi and the Prism Cult, I truly hope you enjoyed it.  Be sure to follow us for a new chapter every Tuesday.  Follow us on Twitter: @ItsMrGChris and @RinniKipp for all sorts of flash fiction, illustration, and news regarding our upcoming projects.  With our webcomic So Fantastic! having just finished its 2018 run, we’ll be moving onto new projects in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for some announcements regarding those. Thanks again for the continued support, we’ll see you next time!

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So Fantastic #19 – November 5th 2018

So Fantastic #19

There you have it folks! The final issue of So Fantastic for 2018. We truly hope you enjoyed the ride and can’t wait to bring you more. We’ll be moving on to some exciting new projects in the meantime, so get ready for some all new entertainment straight from the Wonder Void! Thanks again for your continued support, we’ll see you next time.

My Friends!

Hello all! Mr. George Christopher here, and phew! It’s been a busy week. Rinni and I have officially tied the knot, and with all that excitement, along with an unfortunate, yet small family emergency, we will regretfully have to postpone the final issue of So Fantastic’s 2018 run until tomorrow, Monday 11/5. Have no fear though, we will be back on the grind shortly. Thanks for your understanding, and the awesome degree of support you give us on a weekly basis. See you tomorrow!

So Fantastic #18 – October 28th 2018

So Fantastic #18

Thanks for reading this week’s So Fantastic, be sure to follow us for a new strip every Sunday in addition to a new chapter in my scifi/fantasy serial Kika Gumi and the Prism Cult every Tuesday, and a brand new short story every Thursday.  Follow us on Twitter: @ItsMrGChris and @RinniKipp for all sorts of flash fiction, illustration, and news regarding our upcoming projects.  Thanks again for your continued support, we’ll see you next time!

Elle and the Deepest Green

You might not have been able to see it through the thick cloud of hysteria we kicked up as we peeled wheels and sped into the distance, mothers shielding their children, uniformed police diving behind dumpsters, the multitude of glass shattered and spreading all the way to the horizon and back, but for what it was all worth, to us that is, there’s no doubt that stealing that truck was a great thing. From there on out our lives should have been better, our families secure, our children so stuffed fat with name-brand groceries we’d have to roll them about the house like something out of Wonka. Then again, it should have been money we found stashed in the back, rolls, and wads, and bags of it, but instead all we found was Elle.
The plan arose out of a lengthy lunch break at Flat n’ Broke Collision, just two miles west of lovely Madison Hill, and all the yuppie hoards that turned their noses up at me and my people, those of us still cutting our knuckles on their gears and grinders that made their lives possible. The paint shop boys, that was myself and James Trench, who we all jokingly called “Hole”, were the first to start rousing the interest of the other guys to the unfortunate, and unrewarding ways of trickledown economics. We’d climbed about the tables kicking away whatever bologna, or rail of high-strength painkillers we might have found impeding the progress of our rally cry. We’d screamed of Marx, Lenin, Che Gueverra, and the 5th of November; we’d hocked up phlegm on pictures of Ronald Regan, and decried the stagnation of the masked protestors who saw it more fit to hijack busy metropolitan parks for the purpose of organizing indy rock concerts than making any sort of attempt at razing the sadistic economic structure. We tore the name patch from our coveralls, and drove our men to the streets where we’d planned to take it all back for the working man once and for all, and damn if we didn’t have a great plan.
We deigned to wait for the routine armored truck delivery which came like well-oiled clockwork every Thursday at 11:45 A.M. Once it arrived we planned to ambush the driver as he made the drop inside, the auto body techs having volunteered to handle the additional guard we knew would be waiting behind to protect the truck. Hole and I had no problem subduing the bulletproof guard; Kevlar can’t do much for a wrench to the knees, and a high-pressure blast of iridescent enamel to both eyes. Wire ties made short work of his struggling, and the trunk of an otherwise mangled Chrysler 4-Door made for the perfect hostage storage compartment. We broke the key off in the lock and rushed outside, sure to stop for a second to readjust the bandanas that hid the bulk of our identifiable facial features from any do-gooders that might be wandering about the premises.
Hank, one of the larger guys from the garage, sporting no less than seventeen separate skull-based tattoos on his left arm alone, had the second guard gripped up beside the truck in a makeshift sleeper hold while two smaller mechanics wrestled the .45 from his hand. I sent a right hook flying and it caught the guard square in the jaw, sending a few teeth and a shot glass worth of spittle flying across the parking lot. A few more wire ties later, and we pushed ourselves into the truck just as a riotous crowd was forming out front of the shop. The mechanics took turns firing what rounds remained in the guard’s weapons from the passenger window, which kept any police stuffed tight under cover, begging for backup that simply wouldn’t make it in time. Then it was off into the sunset with our golden haul in tow, on a beeline for easy street, our pockets crying for the monetary meal they were soon to receive.
About twenty miles or so outside of town, just across state lines, in among a wasteland of corn fields and illegal moonshine distilleries, we caught wind over the police scanner that reinforcements had indeed arrived, but were presently speeding off in another direction altogether, having received a particularly bad tip from a dyslexic passerby. We disassembled the weapons and threw the pieces from the window, being sure to leave a bit of distance between each to prevent quick identification, and Hank went to work with an arch welder he’d stolen from the shop, cutting a hole for us through the cab into the heavily secured cash compartments in the back. Over the course of the next hour, as we sat parked out among the field obscured from view by vegetation waiting for Hank to finish his tunnel, the mechanics went to work stripping the truck of its armor, while Hole and myself did our best to sand off any identifiable paint, and respray it all a flat grey. Just as it started looking like something less from a bank, and more the slapped together box truck of a gypsy farmer, Hank broke through to the back, and we all near started fist fighting to be first inside. Once we all filed through the hole though, and flicked on the flashlights a few of us happened to have hooked to our key rings, the fight became about getting back out of the truck, and as far away as possible from what we found inside.
She called herself ‘Elle’, and I’ll admit she was green, but not the shade that bought you things, a more organic sort altogether. She explained to us that the armored truck was a ruse, people would be inclined to ask far less about its contents if it served a function that already seemed on the straight and narrow. A few paychecks, and a bank deposit or two totaling no more than $1750 remained for the sake of function, but the rest of the cash had been displaced to make room for her. Hank grew tired of the disappointment far quicker than the rest of us, and began to throttle Elle like a stew-bound rabbit, requiring the rest of us to restrain him to avoid killing the only person who could explain to us exactly what we might have gotten ourselves into. She seemed rather unperturbed by the strangling, as if breathing really wasn’t a concern of hers anyway, but she did ask that we do our best to keep that ‘boorish rage hound’ as far as possible from her. She coughed a bit before launching into her story, expelling a few loose bees from her throat in the process, which sent the smaller of the two mechanics fainting to collapse half standing in the corner.
Elle explained that man had all but destroyed the planet, that our plastics had choked the flowing oceans, and our steels had laid waste to far too many trees to keep the ecosystem in balance. As it turned out, ‘she’ had been created as a means of combating the lack of antibiotics available to medical professionals in dealing with the rapidly evolving super viruses of our time. In the past such antibodies could be found in the forests, synthesized from plants and insects that were dying out whole generations at a time as a result of mankind’s growing industry and population. In an effort to prevent the lose of crucial antibiotic sources, a team of scientists from Wynslin University had been tasked with developing a life form that combined the genetic make-up of both man and plant, within which they believed they could grow and harvest an entirely new, and wholly sustainable source of said antibodies. The experiment had been a failure though, she informed us, and had only allowed the viruses to evolve further, making plant life too susceptible to their effects, and before being stashed in the back of this truck, her presence at them alone had already reduced a bustling botanical garden to withered stalks and rotten seedlings. Elle though, she believed that this was the way things should have been, that her creation had been the last step towards mother earth’s total annihilation of ‘meat man’. Sure it was true that the viruses could kill man and plant alike, they could not kill a composite of both, and she believed that if life was to continue on this planet, it would be her kind alone that was deserving of it. A kind that placed plant life atop the same pedestal as human needs, a blur in the lines between flesh and the deepest green.
Hank seemed to finally have enough of her ramblings, and suddenly pulled a ballistic knife from inside his boot, firing the blade from the handle directly into Elle’s chlorophyll eyes. If she felt any pain from the hit , she surely didn’t show it, instead laughing uncontrollably as her optics oozed down the side of her face, and a great river of bees began to rush from between her lips. These were unlike any bees we’d seen before though, and we weren’t ready for the peculiar traits they had developed. As if collecting pollen from a flower, the bees rushed en masse to Hank, ripping tiny bits of flesh from his entire body at once and returning them to Elle which allowed her to grow wildly, and ensured an increase in the bees. Before long all but Hole and myself had been completely stripped to the bone, and Elle had grown so ferociously that the back of the truck ripped apart like a tin can under her pressure.

Back out in the open air, we saw that the police had tracked us down, and were surrounding the vehicle, guns drawn and ready to blast us both to pieces. Before a single bullet flew though, the bees had taken the police as well, along with all the journalists, and unfortunate spectators that had decided to swarm the scene. I stumbled through the corn as Hole was swallowed in a cloud of the of the killer insects, and watched through the stalks, huddled beneath what remained of a young photographer’s corpse, as Elle burst like an over inflated balloon, and sent her billions of spores sailing into the wind, straight for the quiet little town of Madison Hill, where the people were sure to wake just a little bit greener in the morning.

Copyright Wonder Void Studios 2018

Thanks for taking the time to read Elle and the Deepest Green, I live to write these stories, and I can’t thank you enough for your continued support. Be sure to follow us for a brand new short every Thursday in addition to a new issue of our webcomic So Fantastic every Sunday, and a new chapter in my scifi/fantasy serial Kika Gumi and the Prism Cult every Tuesday. Follow us on Twitter @ItsMrGChris and @RinniKipp for all sorts of flash fiction, illustration, and news regarding our upcoming projects.  Thanks again for your support, we’ll see you next time!

Kika Gumi and the Prism Cult – Part VIII: Julie’s Big Break

I clawed my way back through half the prison’s ductwork so quickly that I found myself barefoot, and bleeding quite aggressively from a series of small cuts covering near the entirety of my legs by the time I reached my father’s cell. Despite the gravity of what I had only just heard being discussed in Yorke’s office, word of the impending riot seemed not to have reached the guards down here as of yet. Truthfully, I had no reason to assume that Yorke and this mysterious Susan would jump so hastily into such a large-scale plan – they’d at least need the time to round up their cohorts, brief them on the idea before launching into any potentially unwieldy chaos – but I knew well my father’s position in the hierarchy of that prison, and in the town for that matter; dead last, that is to say, a prime target for any prisoners that might be getting loose, and might have a good dozen or so reasons to slip a shank into his back. I had to bring him the news as quickly as possible, we’d need to prepare as well, someone would surely find their way to him, and besides, if there was to be a riot it might be the only chance we ever saw to break out of that shithole ourselves.
Once I heard the guards lock his cell back up, and hurl a few obligatory insults his way, I kicked the loose bricks away from the wall, and slid myself into my father’s cell with such an energy in my eye that he near choked on his liquid lunch when he caught my gaze.
“Julie!? What’s happening? Did something happen?” he cried as he tripped his way from his cot to my side, squeezed me tight in his arms.
“I’m fine…” I said, pushing a little barrier of personal space between us, “…but things are getting out of hand”.
“Out of hand? What did you find Julie? Any information about Yorke?”
“I snuck into his office, but didn’t have too much time to dig around before he showed up.”
“Jesus! He didn’t catch you did he?”
“No Dad, you know I’m better than that. I learned from you, and besides, espionage runs in the family.”
“So does trouble, Julie, look at me.”
Before I had a chance to respond to my father’s poetic dissection of fate, the small window slid open on his cell door, and I hit just the right part of the deck to narrowly avoid being seen by the bloodthirsty face that peered in. It was a guard, one of the biggest in the facility, meanest too, a regular sight around that part of the prison where brute force reigned over essential human rights. What was unusual was the shotgun he was presently clutching in his left paw, his fat sausage fingers barely able to fit through the trigger guard, yet the tool was nonetheless intimidating in the possession of someone with that degree of fire in their eyes. He screamed near incoherently at my father about an emergency lockdown that had just been ordered by the warden. By the sounds of it, a young female prisoner had been beaten viciously over a game of cards by several of the more hotheaded among the C-Block population, and all but a single guard from each unit had been called to remedy the increasingly hostile situation. My father was to stay silent, laid on his stomach in the center of the cell with his feet crossed at the ankles and his hands clasped round the back of his head until the guards returned. Any violation of these orders would result in his being shot by the lone guard that remained, the sights of his rifle ignoring literally every other one of the supremely dangerous D-Block prisoners in favor of potentially having the chance to put a round in the infamous Bullet Hands, becoming a city-wide hero in the eyes of the ravenous public.
Once the small window slammed shut again, I stood up and pressed myself against the wall closest to the door to avoid being seen by the trigger-happy guard who’d no doubt start shooting the cell to swiss cheese if he saw someone else inside, and doing my best to whisper-yell through it, tried to continue detailing my father on the events that had taken place in Yorke’s office. It was a risky move as that guard would likely be listening too, but I had more than a little feeling that this C-Block incident had not been an accident, and was in fact the spark that would be igniting Yorke’s deceptive little riot, and my father needed to know.
“Forget it Julie, there’s no time to play spies here.” he called out quietly, his face pressed deep into the cold concrete floor, “You have to get out of here now, we’ll talk more later”.
“You don’t understand Dad, in his office earlier, I heard Yorke talking to a woman, a prisoner, someone called ‘Susan’” I started to explain, an urgency creeping into my tone that my father quickly picked up on, which I thought at the time was why his eyes might’ve grown so big at the mention of her name.
“Susan!” he almost shouted, sending the guard to scuffling excitedly about the catwalk that overlooked us.
“Yes, do you know her?”
“I…Susan is a very dangerous woman Julie.”
“Well, I figured that on my own Dad, see, Yorke and her were discussing a plan when I overheard them talking, they’re working together for some reason or another, something to do with Ambrosia, and someone named ‘Aymu’ I think”.
“Ayumu?”
“Right. They’re planning a riot, and that’s what I think all this commotion is about. Yorke wants Susan to break out during it, with her gang. I also found this”.
If my father’s eyes had grown big at the mention of Susan, they near burst from their sockets when I handed him the bizarre schematic I had found among Yorke’s possessions. It was if he’d seen a ghost to be honest, I’d always heard of people turning white with fear, but my father went nearly translucent.
“You found this in Yorke’s things?”
“Yeah, mixed in with a bunch of other paperwork in his suitcase.”
“You’re positive? You have to be sure about this, Julie.”
“Yes Dad, it was his suitcase, in his office, I saw him going through it a few times before. Why? What is it?”
Suddenly a shot rang out from the guard up on the catwalk, and a second later I watched his uniformed corpse take the plunge into a terrified rapist’s open-sky cell. The other inmates came alive at that moment with a fury I hadn’t heard down in this pit since the day they drug my father over here from his isolation cell down a cellar door in the far corner of the prison yard. They were screaming at the tops of their lungs, purging themselves of the rage that had been boiling up inside them during their lengthy stays, the emotion, the human essence that was so regularly stomped out and suppressed by the guards.
“You have to get out of here Julie!” my father cried out in his usual parental tone, once again consumed with the fear that his “precious daughter” might be in even the slightest bit of danger.
“We are getting out, Dad.” I sternly replied, yanking him from the floor, and pulling him towards the tunnel I’d cut into the ductwork, admittedly unsure whether I had even made it big enough for him to fit comfortably through or not. I’d never intended on the two of us leaving the prison in this manner, still vilified by the masses, running for our lives. No matter the bleak and unfortunate ways of the world, I always thought the people would have come to their senses, realized my father was a great man, and only ever wanted to help. If this was to be the way though, then so be it, I would make damn sure that Bullet Hands would rise up again, and prove them all wrong.
“Right up through here, Dad, it’ll be a tight squeeze, but…” as I turned back to ensure my father was still listening, that he’d collected himself, and was prepared for the daring escape, I saw red. Red on the floors, red where my hand clenched his, red about the walls, and all down the front of my clothes; a pulsing, living sort of red that carried far more than just pigment in its viscous binding. Then I saw him their, heaped up lifeless on the floor, his limp hand still wrapped up in mine, blood rushing with force from a fissure cracked in the back of his skull, and standing there above him I saw her, lead pipe dripping with gore, a wicked smile plastered across her face. My skin crawled as she dropped her weapon, I dropped my father, and she knelt down beside me.
“Hello Julie, I thought I might find you here.” she hissed through crooked teeth, her long black hair hanging fresh from some secret prison salon about the exotic furs and reptile skins that composed her patchwork coat.
“I’m sorry about your father, but trust me little lady, he sure had it coming.” she said about as matter-of-factly as I’d ever heard someone talk about blunt-force murder, and I tried to respond in kind, but my ears were ringing, my heart racing so hard I thought I might drop dead beside the poor old man right then and there, so I spit what I could conjure up from my salivary glands right into her evil, condescending face, but she just laughed, and wiped it all away, licking a small bit from the finger of her elbow length gloves just to demonstrate how little my hostile gesture meant to her.
“Just like your mother.” she snarled before ordering a few other colorfully dressed women into the cell to restrain me with a few jabs to the stomach.
“We’ll have a lot more time to chat once this whole riot thing is over, Julie, so I’ll fill you in on the details later. For now though I’d like to introduce myself: my name is ‘Susan B. Atrocity’, and these are my friends. We like to call ourselves ‘The Little Black Dress Mafia’, but from now on, you can just call us ‘family’.
The last thing I remember seeing before they drug me from that prison, and shoved me into the trunk of a town car parked just outside the giant gates, was the death that hung in my father’s eyes. The shock of knowing not just his own life was coming to an end, but that mine was starting up on such shaky ground, and his not being able to protect me any longer.

[To be continued]

Copyright Wonder Void Industries 2018

Thanks for taking the time to read this week’s chapter of Kika Gumi and the Prism Cult be sure to follow for a new chapter every Tuesday, in addition to a new issue of our webcomic So Fantastic every Sunday, and an unrelated short story every Thursday.  Follow us on Twitter: @ItsMrGChris and @RinniKipp for all sorts of flash fiction, illustration, and news regarding our upcoming projects. Thanks again for the continued support, we’ll see you next time!

So Fantastic #17 – October 21st 2018

So Fantastic #17

Thanks for taking the time to read this week’s issue of So Fantastic, be sure to follow us for a brand new strip every Sunday in addition to a new chapter in my scifi/fantasy serial Kika Gumi and the Prism Cult every Tuesday, and an unrelated short story every Thursday.  Follow us on Twitter: @ItsMrGChris and @RinniKipp for all sorts of daily flash fiction, illustration, and news regarding our upcoming projects.  Thanks again for your continued support, we’ll see you next time!