I kept shouting, but this time tried shouting slowly.
“WHY…WAS….THE METAL MAN…AFTER YOU???”
The woman looked up, as if deep in thought, then nodded. “Yes.”
“Yes…what?” I said.
“The metal man was after you,” she said.
“No,” I said, pointing to her. “He was after you…after you!”
She pointed back at me. “After you!”
I shook my head. I could feel my blood pressure boil.
I put my hand on my chest. “I…AM…ME!”
I rested my other hand on her shoulder. “YOU…ARE…YOU.”
I looked right in those pretty eyes. “NOW…PLEASE…TELL ME….WHY…WAS…THE METAL MAN….AFTER YOU?”
Silence. I could tell she was feeling nervous, that somehow, she realized she was disappointing me but couldn’t understand why.”
“It’s ok,” I said.
“It’s ok?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said. “Take a deep breathe.”
“Take a deep breathe?” she inquired.
“Yes.” I took some exaggeratedly large breathes to illustrate, sucking in wind through my teeth then blowing it out furiously. She did the same.
“Better?” I asked.
“Better,” she said.
“Good. Now. Why was the metal man after you?”
She shrugged her shoulders and held out her hands. “Why was the metal man after you?”
I looked over to see my copilot in his seat, doubled over with laughter.
“Is she f$%king with me?” I asked him.
“I don’t think so,” Jones said. “If she is, she’s brilliant. You do realize she’s just repeating everything you say?”
I sneered at the little twerp. “Yeah. I gathered.”
I turned back to my guest. “Are you high?” I asked her.
“Are YOU high?” she asked me.
“That’s a big ten-four!” Jones said before bursting into another laughing fit.
I pulled out a flashlight from my duster and shined it in her eyes. She winced, turned away, then squinted at me through a hand she put over her peepers.
“Would you even know what to look for?” Jones asked.
“Not really,” I said. “I know huff turns them red. She’s not a huffer.”
“She’s not a huffer!” the woman said happily.
“Thank Junzo at least there’s one human in here that isn’t,” Jones said.
I shined the light on the wall. She put her hand on it. I moved the light around and around. Her head spun round and round as she followed it, slapping the wall in various places trying to catch it.
“Come on, Voss,” Jones said. “That’s mean. She’s not a cat.”
“I guess,” I said. I handed her the flashlight. Timidly, she took it. She looked at it briefly, concerned that it was dangerous. Then she began laughing giddily as she waved it all over the cabin.
I returned to my seat.
“Wouldn’t be the first time,” Jones said.
“Yeah, you smug bastard, if you’re so smart why don’t you go back there and try to…”
I was interrupted by the music stylings of the Zimba Zimba girls pouring out of my Sen Pen.
Slowly, I turned my head towards Jones. “Did you change my ring tone?”
“Guilty,” he said. “I thought you’d laugh.”
“You thought wrong,” I said as I fumbled around in my duster for my mobile device. Finally, I located it, pulled it out, and clicked the top.
It projected an image of a breathtakingly hot, super-modelesque purple woman.
And she did not look happy.
“Hello property,” she said.