Writing and Other Afflictions

"If it was easy, everyone would do it." –Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own"

I’m On My Way To 18, M

I’m ranking the James Bond movie songs, counting down, and writing little flash fics to go with each one.


18. Goldeneye, Tina Turner. Again, there’s not much here to complain about. It’s a mid-level Tina Turner song. She does her thing and it’s cool, but it doesn’t really evoke the movie or anything. See, we’re already starting to get into the realm of “songs I don’t have any particular quibble with but which are unremarkable.” Full disclosure: I never saw “Goldeneye,” nor two of the next three movies. That might figure into the low rankings. Side note: Tina Turner is probably the closest in voice to Bond mainstay Shirley Bassey.


Fiction: Goldeneye

Jake got a gold nose piercing, and Molly got a gold tooth, and they talked big around me and Sherry, like we wasn’t worth what they were just because we didn’t have gold in our face. Like gold is expensive or something; it just looks cool, but I could basically go down to the Lunar Co-op and get a gold nugget for a couple packets of chewing gum if I wanted. If chewing gum wasn’t so damn ‘spensive. So when we got in that fight with the 8-0-1s and Sherry got hit across the face and they said the left eye was a goner, I told her she should get a gold eye.

She was in the hospital, lying back on the bed with a big white patch over the eye, or I guess where the eye’d used to be, and the medibot was ticking down my minutes with big red numbers that even I could read. “Maybe I will, Shooz,” she said, talking slow like when we got drunk, only I was pretty sure nobody snuck sunbooze in the hospital.

“You full-on should,” I said.

“Hey Medibot,” Sherry said, still slurry-slow, but the bot understood and beeped at her. “How much fer a golden eye?”

My numbers were ticking down to zero, and while I hold that rules are like fences–it’s better on the other side of them–I’d already tried to stay past my time a couple days ago and got jabbed by a needle and woke up in the parking lot. Hadn’t figured a way around the medibots yet, so I left Sherry in the middle of a numbers discussion.

“She’ll never do it,” Jake said.

Molly ran her tongue over her gold tooth. “It wouldn’t look right on her.”

But damned if Sherry didn’t come out of the hospital with one eye blue as the seas on Earth up in the sky and one eye golden metal with a black hole in its center. It moved around when she moved her head, and she told Jake and Molly it was just a mini-gyro, but when they were gone she told me she could really see out of it.

I couldn’t figure how; it was metal. To prove it, she closed the other eye, which made her look more normal and I don’t know how that worked, because nobody on the Moon had golden eyes. Mr. Devereux has a glass eye, but everyone else has two working ones. I figured she was just peeking when she reached out and touched me right on the nose, dead center, and after that she didn’t tell me she could see out of it again.

But Jake and Molly were pissed because now Sherry outranked them by their own system. Nose ring, tooth, they didn’t compare to an eye that moved around and gleamed and was worth all their gold put together and doubled. They made noises about how Sherry’d stolen to get it, but we all knew Jake had gotten his nose ring off a guy from the Northsiders, so the noises died out fast. The situation didn’t get better, though, and I was worried our gang might split up, Jake and Molly with their friends, and me and Sherry with ours. I watched Sherry’s back, but they didn’t try anything right away.

No, they waited until one night three months later when I was working on the scaffolding and I’d told Peanut to keep an eye on Sherry. I heard the story from him later: he’d been sitting with her when she fell asleep, and she always slept with the golden eye open. Jake and Molly came up behind him and gagged him, tied him up before he could make a sound. Jake stood over Sherry and reached down to grab that eye, and when his fingers were an inch away, she hauled off and planted her foot between his legs, so hard Peanut could hear it.

Well, Jake deflated like he’d been pressure-bombed, and Molly lurched forward like she could help. Reflex, I guess; we look out for our own. Sherry’s hand lashed out and slashed Molly across the face, and after that the two of them hightailed it out of there.

The weird thing is Peanut told me Sherry woke up after that, and didn’t remember a thing about it. But, he said, when he was telling her, he kept seeing the flickers of light off her golden eye, just like the thing was winking at him.


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