PARENTAL ADVISORY: Sharp things are dangerous.the fantastic life and suicide
-- March 14th, 1996 --
"Somebody should seriously sandblast that man's ass," Mary
growled as he stormed out of the room. The bunny was right on
"The Admiral's just trying to do his job!" he tried.
"So was Hitler. Get off my heels!"
"I don't think that's a very ..."
"Oh, stuff a cow up your nose."
The bunny pulled at his tie uncomfortably.
"Why don't you just try the psychiatrist?" he said. "Just once?"
Mary spun around.
"No," he said and then pulled the bunny's hat down to his elbows. Later he would have to soak in warm water for quite some time to regain some of the feeling in the upper bits of his ears.
Mary had disappeared by the time the bunny pried the hat off.
He sagged a little and leaned against the wall with a sigh. He really didn't think he deserved this sort of thing. He had always been a good officer. Honest, well-behaved, courteous and usually exceptionally neat. He had been doing this for as long as it could remember and the pressure was really more than he could handle sometimes. He sighed again and sat cross-legged on the black marble floor, back to the wall, ridiculously stretched hat hanging down over his eyes.
The bunny knew he could find Mary if he wanted to. You didn't work with someone for so long without getting to know them inside out. And that was one of his jobs. But he also knew Mary's delicate balance of moods well, and figured that applying any extra pressure while he was in this one was not a very good idea at all.
He looked around the long hallway, making sure no one was around, and then reached into his expensive black jacket and pulled out a worn packet of cigarettes. He shook one out, stuck it in his mouth and lit it. He inhaled deeply, leaning back against the cool metallic wall, letting the smoke drain slowly out of his body and tried to relax.
Sometimes you just needed to get away, he thought.
Mary again thanked himself for having a wide range of secret
passageways installed in the hat. When he first became a Mad
Hatter he couldn't bear always having to deal with that stupid
bunny. It was well-meaning and all, but it refused to fuck off
when it was told and Mary naturally had a problem with that
type of personality.
Mr. Mary Holiday's room was one of considerable artistic
value. It was a perfect hexagon. Scattered around the floor
were a lot of broken toys and blank-faced dolls. He liked to
carve the faces himself whenever he felt the need.
Butchered guitars hung out of the ceilings and walls, the strings sticking out all jagged and scraggly. A crumpled sitar sat in a heap in the corner. It had an awful lot of knives stuck in it.
The dresser Mary had been issued had what looked like a twisted mess of body parts hanging out of the drawers. Hands and feet mostly, all crushed and bent and smeared red. The mirror had been destroyed exactly seven years ago and replaced with a large gaudy painting of that Jesus Christ person. His eyes had been cut out and replaced with big round cartoon ones, a cigarette was crudely staple-gunned onto his mouth and a strange angular top hat was painted on his head. The entire painting sparkled with glitter in the thin blue light.
White hands strained out from under a large creepy bed and Mary pulled himself forward, groaning loudly. The bed was a huge open-mouthed skull with wide oval eyes and a manic smile that made most people not want to sleep in its mouth at all. Mary wasn't sure why he kept it around other than to make crawling out of secret passageways more annoying. It wasn't like he ever slept in the damn thing.
He dragged himself out onto his cluttered floor and breathed heavily. His room was extraordinarily messy, as he had never allowed any of the previous cleaning crews in here either. He pulled himself to his feet and sighed. It made him nervous to have other people go through his things. His toys and his artwork.
A dark and very scratched glitter-green electric guitar rested against the wall. Mary scowled uncommitally at it and let himself fall lazily backwards onto the skull's mattress tongue.
He felt the layers of gloom sinking in even further.
Mary blinked slowly several times, rolled over on to his side and stared blankly at the wall.
It had scratchy black crayon scrawled all over it in an erratic kind of childish pattern. He couldn't even remember when he drew it, though it must have been some time ago.
"What?" Mary said sharply.
"We've arrived at the next mission location," said the hat. "And Admiral Holden has ordered an inspection and subsequent investigation into the cleaning crew's mass-suicide."
"Ah," said Mary. He closed his eyes and thought about spiders.
"Are you feeling alright?"
Mary clenched up his toes and tried to listen to his moods swing. He knew it was just going to get worse if he stayed here. He made himself sit up and walk into the bathroom.
Splashing cold water on his face, he stared at the black wall where the mirror used to be. In its place was a sign. It read:
"Deep," he mumbled, and then he quietly made his way to the control room.
|This time going through the floor was a sharper blue than usual.|
6:22 pm, March 12, 1993.
And a short while later in a deserted parking lot, just off the
main street of a bustling town, Mary's shiny black top hat
blinked suddenly into existence and waited quietly on the cool
"I was watching!" a shrill female voice yelled at Mary as he
rose out of the floor.
He looked around.
There now seemed to be a woman who looked suspiciously like a bureaucrat in the control room. She had a clipboard and a large red pen. Mary was instantly nervous.
"Did you just KILL that man?!" she yelled at him.
"No," Mary said slowly. "Why do you ask?"
"You threw him off that bridge!"
"I think I read somewhere that idiots float."
"That is true," piped the hat. "But only after they're dead."
Mary glared upwards.
"I demand an explanation!" continued the woman.
"Well, strictly speaking," said Mary, his eyes moving shiftily. "I didn't really kill him. The impact did."
She raised a menacing finger at him. He didn't like that much.
"You're sick," she said.
"That's not what I meant."
"Whatever," said Mary and looked up again. "Hat? Who the hell is this?"
"I'm Inspector Maxine Readily," she said, straightening her white jacket. "And I'll have you know that murder of a living individual is prohibited by seven separate ..."
"Okay, okay," said Mary, "I'm sorry. I didn't know."
"You most certainly DID know!"
Mary looked around, frustrated. He didn't appreciate being hassled upon re-entry. The least they could do was be polite and wait until he had a moment to adjust to the shift in reality.
"Listen, lady, I don't mean to be crass, but shut up. Really. Just shut up."
She glared fiercely at him and made some ticks on her clipboard as she approached.
"I am not going to shut up! What you just did was a crime punishable by ..."
"Here, inspect this closet for awhile," he said and spun her through an open door.
"And give me that thing." He snatched the clipboard away from her and then slammed the door shut.
"Jesus," he said, looking at the clipboard. "She works fast."
He flipped through a couple of pages and then looked up.
"How did she find the crawlspace so fast?"
"Oh no, not you again."
"Yes, sir," said the bunny, bustling into the room.
"Hat!" Mary yelled. "From now on nobody boards or leaves without my approval. Got it?"
"Understood," said the hat.
"Okay. Now. How many hours left in this shift?"
"Three and a half."
"All right. I'm going away now. Everyone leave me alone."
"Especially you!" Mary yelled as he went out the door.
"And if you follow me," the bunny could hear him yelling from the hallway. "Just remember! Brick sandwiches! MY SPECIALTY! Morning, noon and NIGHT!"
The door slid shut and the bunny slumped into the throne.