I have it on good authority that there are four simple components that, when combined, guarantee a happy existence on this floating space-rock. Unfortunately, I have it on better authority that no-one knows what these four components are. Even worse, at least two-point-three million people are currently pedaling fakes! The nerve!
Episode 1: Death’s in the Mirror
Blue: Sweetie, don’t look now, but I think love wants us dead.
Red: You don’t say? (she smiled here)
Red: Wait, I see it too, that’s death in the green mini-van, right?
Blue: Yep. (Man, was Blue stony eyed, focused like an eagle)
Red: Well I mean, it had to happen eventually. (Giggle)
Red: Just because love suddenly wants us dead doesn’t mean I’m going to let you get away with using words that aren’t words.
Blue: *Thinking…. (How best to trigger…)
Red: Okay, bud, death is literally in our fucking rear-view mirror and you’re choosing now to give me the silent treatment? Couldn’t you have done it yesterday, you know when you wouldn’t shut-up about how the particles at the center of a light bulb–
Red: What the fuck! I wasn’t done… (Scrunches face in that cute way that makes Blue wanna flick her cheek)
Red: Hey! Stop flicking my damned cheek!
10 slow seconds pass as the couple drive down the old 42. Blue notes the rugged and deep cracks whizzing by, trying to focus on individual cracks in detail, but failing each time. Red is seething, furiously slotting her brains available RAM into a single task: realizing a vicious yet sensitive retort to her lesser half. That was it! Her lesser half…perfect!
Red: Blue, before death catches up, I just want you to know that–
Blue: No need to say it, I wish we had time for Pistachio flavored Gelato too, in fact, I distinctly regret not binging on luscious Pistach–
Red: Honey! (Makes a sad face, the one with the faux-puppy dog eyes) Stop interrupting me when we are running from Dea–
Blue: You know, that was kind of rude, dear. I mean I appreciate and support what you have to say, but I was talking. These kinds of lapses in courtesy really grind my gears. Especially when Death is literally in our, and I can not stress this enough, the literal robed-life-snatching-scythe-guy is chasing us in a raggedy green mini-fucking-van.
Red: We should drive faster, shouldn’t we?
Blue: Do you really think we can outrun death?
Red: Yeah, he’s in a min-van.
Blue: Oh, wow. You’re right. Floor it!
And that Red did, floor it, that is. Blue, feeling a sudden rush of confidence, rolled down his window and waggled the center-most flesh-pointer of his right hand at the forlorn-fellow in the green mini-van.
Red: That’s a bit much, what if he makes it hurt more because of that? Wait, oh…shoot.
Blue: Nice going, how are we supposed to outrun death and the law? Especially when the law is in an armored Mustang with a shit-tier paint job?
Red: You gave me the go ahead to do this thing!
Blue: I don’t recall. Wait, don’t slow down! I already lost my licence, what do we do if you get too many points?
Red: Oh shit, you’re right!
As Red slammed on the accelerator, the Law-man, who’d started to pull left, mirrored her wanton acceleration with the vigor and poise befitting a man of his station.
Blue: Oh shit baby, he’s swerving across traffic! Look Red!
Red: I’m going 98 in a 65, Blue, I can’t look right now!
Red: Why are you waiving your arms around like that?!
Blue: I can’t even right now…Baby, you can slow down.
Red: What? Why?!
Blue: Well death totally just broad-sided the law and the two cars are rolling down a cliff in a brutal and fiery, yet romantic, fashion.
Red: Well…I mean…that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? (Her brow had curled into a thoughtful furrow)
Blue: There are worse ways to go!
Suddenly, without a word, Red swerved left towards the cliff. If only I knew what the cliff meant to her. Maybe, it meant hope. As they fell, a stoic and euphoric haze engulfed the two lovers. Neither had ever felt so utterly complete, let alone content, with their menial lives.
Wait, no. Actually, it was shit-show.
Blue: OH GOD!! What are you doing Red?! (A look of terror spread across Blue’s pubescent face as the ground disappeared from under the small car)
Red: I THOUGHT THIS IS WHAT WE WANTED!
Blue: WHY WOULD YOU MAKE THIS KIND OF DECISION WITHOUT CONSULTING ME?!
Red: MAYBE IF YOU HADN’T KEPT INTERRUPTING M–
Unfortunately, the car’s impact against a jagged rock twice its size robbed Red of the chance to realize the irony of her last sentence. If the meaning of that last sentence wasn’t clear, here is Neil deGrasse Tyson with the details:
Neil: The unrelenting G-force of the car’s descent through gravity whilst maintaining its significant velocity was met with an equal and opposite reaction from the rock. This collision, of sorts, caused Red’s head to meet the steering wheel with such a force that it immediately caved in, spraying her brain-stuff all over Blue, who miraculously, despite a really nasty sprained ankle, made a full recovery.
Okay, I have a hard time calling this a chapter as well, it’s not just you. Especially in contrast to the previous two chapters pulling around three condensed pages each. I’ve come back to this snapshot, time after time, only to find it adequately expresses what it needs to. It’s placement is necessary, but brief, and I value concision in my writing.
Start at the beginning, if you’re so inclined: https://bluebeard-art.com/prologue-2/
Nessa felt hot. It was dark, but she could feel the sweat and grime saturating her pores. An unrelenting pressure bore down on her, making it difficult to breath, to move. Not that she could anyway, her senses were numbed, her extremities frayed. What happened? Where the fuck am I? Suddenly, as realization hit, Nessa panicked. I’m in a body bag, shit, the knife, where’s the knife!? She struggled against her bodies unresponsiveness, pronating in a vain effort to make room so she could reach her back pocket. How come, every fucking time I need my knife, it’s just out of reach? What is this weight on top of me? Okay, Nessa, stay calm. Don’t scream, you can get out of this, but not if you alert those fucks that you’re still breathing.
As some of the feeling started to return to Nessa’s extremities, she tried hard to remember what the man had said. He said he’d find me, unless he couldn’t make it out. What if he didn’t make it out? Finally, she managed to roll onto her right shoulder. The bag must be engulfed in something, its being compressed in different areas when I move. With difficulty, she forced her left hand behind her, feeling for the small knife the man had given her. There it is, okay, carefully now, I don’t want it to stab me. The liquid panic, adrenaline, was creeping in, despite her best efforts to keep calm. Pulling the knife from her pocket, she pronated her left-hand outwards, attempting to pierce the bag. Her breathing started to quicken as the bags plastic held strong against the small surgical blade.
Breathing heavily, her lips started to quiver as she frantically dug the blade back and forth against the body bag, as the crushing weight smothered her remaining vitality. A moment later, the small knife pierced the thick plastic body bag. Nessa’s quick sigh of relief was soon replaced with renewed horror and fear as she felt dirt fall onto her small hand, through the bags new hole. They’ve fucking buried me! Unable to contain herself, she screamed in terror. Bladder releasing, she began to struggle violently against the, stoic, prevailing earth, before inadvertently cutting her arm on the scalpel. “Not like this!” She screamed.