The Corona Carlyle Conspiracy A Novella by Red Focks

The Corona Carlyle Conspiracy

A Novella by Red Focks

(unedited, lower your expectations a smidge)

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 Friday March 13th 2020

T or C Middle School

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

 

“I don’t want to be in this group, Mrs. Sanchez are you trying to give me the Coronavirus or something?” the class clown joked. Most of the class laughed. The social studies teacher hushed the disruptive student. Young Corona even laughed a little bit as a defense mechanism. She didn’t want to seem bent about anything in front of her peers. Deep down she wished her parents were drinking hennesy the night she was conceived. “Hennesy is a pretty name, and there’s no virus named after it” she thought.

It was 4th period, the digital clock on the wall crossed 11:11:11. Principal Freeman stuck his head in through the door and called for Mrs. Sanchez into the hallway. While the teacher was gone the students chattered amongst each other. Every time Corona heard somebody talking about the Coronavirus she became anxious that people would stare at her or make a dumb joke about her name. Corona Dianna Carlyle used to detest the nickname C.C., but now she embraced the abbreviation. The fourteen year old wore thick lensed glasses over her eyes, and braces on her teeth. Her frizzy charcoal colored hair was done up in a messy ponytail. She wore her brother’s Mountain Goats band t shirt that he got at one of their concerts. The goat emblem was faded and the shirt sagged down past her knees.

The class clown was a boy named Kyle and he had a crush on Corona. “Do you think Mrs. S and Principal Freeman are talking about your virus?” Kyle asked Corona with an off-putting grin.

“Leave me alone Kyle. He’s probably trying to figure out who left a bunch of empty monster cans on the bathroom floor and punched holes through all of the stalls”. Corona’s counterjab was good for a laugh from her classmates. Kyle wore ultimate fighting shirts despite having no training in MMA, he wore a ballcap on his head backwards, he called people bro, he did indeed drink monster, and yes, Kyle punched an occasional hole in his bedroom wall when life got challenging. Kyle was a total Kyle and everybody knew it. Corona on the other hand, while being far from the most popular girl in school, was generally liked by the students and teachers at ToCMS. She was a nice girl most of the time. She was friendly to Kyle when he moved to Truth or Consequences in fifth grade, which was when he developed his crush on her. He started picking on her in sixth grade, which was when she started to dislike him.

Mrs. Sanchez walked back in and addressed the classroom. “Kids; we are going to have an early dismissal today at noon, and school is going to be cancelled indefinitely. While we do not have an exact timeframe on when classes will resume, spring break was already set to start on the 20th and go until the beginning of April. It is probably a safe assumption that we will be closed at least until then due to concerns about the covid-19 virus. You will catch the busses home straight from this classroom, and I am sending you off with this packet of information for your parents. If anybody needs to call their parents or guardians to let them know about the early dismissal, you can use your cell phones now (we know you have them), or you can use the landline phone in the vice principal’s office. Does anybody have any questions?”

Kyle raised his hand and blurted out “I don’t want to take the same bus as her”. The pest pointed to Corona.

Sanchez shook her head and sighed. “Kyle, you’ve been making the same joke all week. Give it a rest. You can just ask her out on a date so she can say no, which she will probably do, because unlike you she seems to have some good sense. Covid-19 is not a joke. Corona has nothing to do with beer, or Ms. Carlyle here. Remember to wash your hands, be considerate of what you breathe in and considerate of what you breathe out.”

Corona texted her mother who was at work along with her father; together they ran a floor at a casino just outside of town. The text read “I made the school close down. I’ll be home before you.”.

C.C’s mother texted back “I heard a rumor that they were going to close the whole casino too. I will see you this afternoon at the latest. There’s leftover roast and potatoes from last night in the fridge”.

 

 

Meanwhile

at the 7 Mountains Casino

          Diehard gamblers wore white masks, some of them cut little cigarette sized holes in the middle so they could smoke while they pulled their levers, threw their dice, and exchanged cards and chips. Austin and Marley Carlyle have been working at the 7 mountains since it opened, back during the Clinton administration. They both got hired on the spot as poker dealers. They found themselves in their late-forties, still fit and full of stamina. Considered by the young and impressionable of t or c as a silver fox, a cougar, or even a milf, and something about the latter title appalled Marley. Well-to-do white baby boomers with over a thousand people working under them.

Now the guys working above them is breathing fire down from the sky. The day to day managers of the establishment were failing to keep the casino stocked with hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Top health inspectors were on site. People coughed and sneezed into their masks. The toilets in the bathrooms overflowed after folks left their complementary buffet and ended up flushing their socks and underwear.

Austin was relieved when he got the official announcement declaring that the casino was going to close indefinitely. The Carlyle’s were under a lot of pressure, and frankly they were both paid salary which would be unaffected by a temporary closure. The casino’s patrons were not as happy. A sense of hostility filled the air as the lights flickered and everybody was instructed to evacuate.

An Alaskan man sneezed near a trump supporter. The trump supporter thought the Alaskan was Chinese and told his ‘Keep you fucking ching-chong-wu-flu germs off of me!’. The Alaskan was drunk and responded to the trumpster’s remark with a fist to the face that knocked the red hat off his skin head. A small gang of white men butted in and jumped the Alaskan, knocking him to the ground and giving him a rude boot-party. Marley Carlyle shouted for the men to stop, and she radioed security. One security guard showed up to raised his voice at the assailants who continued to kick the Alaskan gambler.

“Get in there and stop this!” Marley shouted at the big security guard.

“This is beyond my paygrade, Mrs. Carlyle. I’m going home and locking my ass inside” said the germophobic bouncer. Marley removed bear mace from her pocket and sprayed the racists faces with the nozzles strong stream and pinpoint accuracy. The blinded cursed Marley Carlyle and their more aggressive sympathizers advanced on her. Austin ran across the floor to have his wife’s back; but all the same she stood strong and raised her canister high, all the while asking the question “Anybody else?!” The four men who caught the spray directly cried, and leaked snot, and vomited. Everybody in the general vicinity’s eyes began to burn just from being near it. Nobody else wanted any of it. The attackers fled the scene. The gamblers dispersed and a more sympathetic security guard came in from another section to escort the victim of the attack outside to be picked up by an ambulance.

“That was badass” Austin said to his wife. “You’re going to do well against the covid-19 zombies we’re going to face in the impending apocalypse”.

“C.C. texted. They closed her school too. As soon as all the non-employees exit this building we should punch out and go home” Marley suggested. Her husband agreed.

When the Carlyle’s walked into the floor’s breakroom, Marley saw Bobbi drinking a big tumbler glass of bourbon that she poured herself from a bar during the commotion. Bobbi was a new poker dealer, in her twenties. She’d been working at 7 mountains for a month, and had a pretty good track record with her games, which implied she was one of the sharper knives in the kitchen. The male patrons liked Bobbi’s tables, due mostly to the bottle blonde’s flirty smile and ample breasts.

“I’d like your style if I wasn’t responsible for you, girl. Did you pay for that quadruple shot?” Marley confronted Bobbi.

“Consider it my severance. Wu flu or no wu flu, the casino industry isn’t for me. This global pandemic is just the thing that put it into perspective for me. Mr and Mrs. Carlyle, I quit.” Bobbi confessed.

“No hard feelings, Bobbi. You can list us references in the future. We’ll talk about the good work you did in your short time here, and not the thievery and drinking on the job right at the end” said Austin.

“And the drink is on us” Marley added. Bobbi thanked the Carlyle’s, and then invited them to a covid-19 party that she and her husband were throwing at their house. A potluck shindig celebrating the national emergency, attended by skeptics, absurdists, and genuine nihilists.

“Bring your whole squad” Bobbi encouraged them.

Outside of the casino the victim of the assault was finally being carted away by paramedics.

 

 

Meanwhile

At Sierra Vista General Hospital

 

Jack Daniel Carlyle was working his day job as an orderly; disorder all around him. For every person infected with the coronavirus, they saw tens with common influenzas and hundreds with hypochondria. Last week, SVGH had the top score for confirmed cases of covid-19 in the usa, with three patients infected. They have since lost the top score several times over as new contenders for the title popped up all over the country.

“Word from the lab is that our fourth and fifth covid-19 cases are in the house now. They’re getting moved to quarantine right now” a nurse gossiped to Jack. Everybody in the ER was masked and gloved to the teeth. Many of the nurses were working double, even triple shifts. Many were feeling anxious and depressed.

Jack Carlyle was satisfactory at best when it came to being an orderly. He bedside manor was near excellent, but he was often late for shifts, sloppy in his appearance, with untucked scrubs, unkempt curly brown hair, and forever eight o’clock shadow. Jack was convinced that all the hysteria was mostly just that- hysteria. Jack would go as far to say that most people had a very slim chance of contracting coronavirus, and that people’s rubbernecking was doing more harm than the illness itself. Before long, a credit to his thoughts was wheeled into trauma. It was the Alaskan man from the casino who was beaten up by five men.

Jack helped transfer the assault victim from the stretcher to a hospital bed. The victim had an alarming amount of swelling around his facial orifices, and he was slipping in and out on consciousness. Jack could smell his mother’s bare mace on the victims clothes. He spoke to the man in a calming voice, instructing him to fight to stay awake. To keep his mind active and his eyes open. He was unable to take the good advice. He passed away before a doctor could see him. Official cause of death, some cigarette smoke got in his nose, so he sneezed, and an angry and ill-informed mob thought he was a chinaman sneezing the wu flu all kamikaze on them, so he was beaten to death. Jack Carlyle took a wallet off of the body, and he found identification. Jack thought the man looked attractive in his i.d. picture. Certainly more so than what was dumped in front of him, another bloody waste.

Later on that day a young mother ran into the ER screaming in hysterics, insisting her infant baby had corvid-19. The test came back negative for any type of flu. Doctors put some time and thought into the child and determined that the kid likely had asthma. After breathing through a medicated inhaler the child relaxed and seemed to improve. The mother still insisted that her boy had the coronavirus. She eventually broke down and shouted at the doctors, the nurses, and at Jack. She said they were all conspiring against the public, and not admitting how widespread the virus was. Most everybody in the room looked at the woman as if she was insane. Jack the orderly spaced out on the idea of what the lady was ranting about. Jack then attempted to use his deceptively charming interpersonal mojo on the disgruntled patient. He got down on her level.

“Ma’am, I believe you. Did you hear about Bill Gates and all of the elites running drills for the coronavirus like three months before the outbreak? The conspiracy goes way over this hospital” Jack was half patronizing, half expanding upon his appetite for imagination. In his downtime, and on the toilet Jack liked watching conspiracy videos on youtube. Something about Jack made him fascinated with the absurd. His game calmed the lady down. She took her kid’s inhaler prescription and left the ER without further incident.

Jack looked at the clock on the wall and saw six more hours on his shift. He was ready for his first smoke break. A satisfactory orderly.

 

 

Friday Evening at the Carlyle House

Mother and Father Marley and Austin, and their teenage daughter Corona shared a home baked pizza and some dr peppers in the kitchen of their two story double-wide colonial home.

“We were invited to an end of the world party today” Marley told her daughter.

“That’s actually pretty cool mom” said Corona.

“Why did you say actually like that” the aging mother inquired. The daughter rolled her eyes.

“I’m just saying, an end of the world party sounds cool. You typically don’t attend functions that are so edgy.”

“Before you and your brother were born your father and I went to all kinds of parties.”

“Sounds fun”

“So do you want to come with? We didn’t want to leave you here alone tonight, so we’re only checking it out if you come along.”

“Really? Yeah, sure” said C.C. Austin assured his daughter that they were only going for a short visit, and would be back before her bedtime.

Corona was excited. The only parties she ever went to were kid’s birthday parties. Her mother picked an outfit out for her, and one for herself that matched only with a graceful subtlety.

Austin wrapped a few batches of cocktail weenies in bacon and crisped it all up in his air fryer, before salting it all and putting it on a platter alongside tortilla chips, salsa, and nacho cheese.

Before Austin, Marley, and C.C were ready to go their son Jack got home from his shift at the hospital. He looked tired. Corona told her brother about the party. He agreed, it sounded pretty cool by their parent’s standards. Jack suggested that he might be able to swing on by a little later in the night. C.C., Marley, and Austin got everything together and headed out to the car, to go to an end of the world party with a bunch strangers.

Jack Daniel Carlyle found a few slices of pizza and they were still hot. The grown adult checked out his front window to make sure his parents were gone before he lit a menthol cigarette. Jack kicked his feet up on the living room couch. He turned on the news and watched while eating pizza and smoking. Reports were coming in that toilet paper was being hoarded by many, and was made temporarily unavailable to others; that all casinos, sporting events, bars, clubs, dine in restaurants, gyms, and many other establishments were to close down. Jack turned off the adjacent lamp to dim the room. On the glowing television screen a pest hovered, slapping itself against the screen. It was one of those big gothic looking mosquitos, his younger sister had a fear of them, and referred to them as dark pixies.

Jack was irritated by the flying bug on his television screen. The off-duty orderly got up to swat the mosquito. He backhanded the bloodsucker up against the screen. Jack expected that to be the end of it, but the bug flew away.

“Shitheel!” Jack exclaimed. He removed his cigarette lighter from his pocket. He knew the flying asshole could not resist the screen’s glow for long. Sure enough, it came flying back to crawl on the t.v. screen. Jack pressed his lighter into the mug with a twisty, mashing force. He pushed hard enough to pop most bugs into a bloody puss carcass, but this dark pixie twisted back, and struggled against Jack. He looked closer at the big flying jerk. It had feelers and tentacles, pinchers, and eyeballs, and more eyeballs. It didn’t look right. Jack kept on pushing. It felt like he was pushing against a little piece of vibrating metal. The dark pixie looked Jack in his eyes, and let out a high-pitched scream that could be heard echoing through the house. This frightened Jack. He released his pressure from the bug. The little fucker flew away. As Jack stood flabbergasted, out of the corner of his eye a bright pink flash flickered, and the bug was gone.

Jack was amazed. Being a somewhat rational young man, he had to chalk up what he experienced to exhaustion, mixed with too much adderall and coffee. He fell asleep on the couch listening to the news, and stress-dreamed he was back at the hospital, working. It would be a reality again soon enough.

 

 

Meanwhile at Bobbi’s Covid-19 Party

A hipster in a fedora freestyle rapped slam poetry “covid-19/Friday-13/Drinking Lean/ No Suicide/ Epstein/ Paper Straws/ Keep it green/toilet paper/lord and savor this moment.” He received a spattering of applause.

          Amongst the early guests attending the party were Bobbi’s friends from town, poker dealers from the casino, one of Bobbi’s sisters, a bunch of her cousins, her ex-husband, and their three kids. The guests were dancing, and laughing, and drinking corona and lime whilst ingesting marijuana. The night was young, and the downstairs bathroom had already seen a small molehill of cocaine.

The Carlyle family arrived at the shindig just before 9. Austin found a table to put down his bacon-wrapped wieners, and other part food. CC’s neck hairs recoiled when she recognized a voice shouted out

“Coronavirus!” the voice hollered. Fucking Kyle; drinking monster energy. As he approached with a shit-eating grin, her mother and father chuckled and patted her on the back before going off to make an appearance at the function.

“Kyle, what are you doing here?”

“What am I doing here? This is my cousin’s party. What are you doing here, Coronavirus? Hey, wouldn’t it be crazy if drank a corona right here?” Kyle flirted

Funny? No, but are you going to?”

“Do what?”

“Grab some beers” Corona encouraged.

“Some coronavirus beer? Ha- yeah that would be crazy right?”

Crazy? Just a little bit, Kyle. Just a little bit. Seriously. Grab some from that cooler in the corner, and walk outside.” Corona tried beer a few times before. Her parents never seemed to notice. A couple cans go missing out of a 30 rack, neither one of them was counting how many they each drank. “Kyle, are you doing this shit, or are you a pussy?” Corona antagonized. Before Kyle could fire back with a coronavirus joke, CC abruptly walked away, out the front door. Kyle was left standing there, knowing that if he walked away, drank his monster, and ate some nachos in the corner until his dad took him home, Corona Carlyle, his crush since fifth grade would think he was a pussy (her exact words). Kyle nervously made his way to the cooler. Nobody was watching him. His hands shook as he reached down into the cooler knowing that if his father caught him he’d be grounded in his room for some time. Kyle grabbed four icy cold beers and skipped out the front door in an attempt to be nonchalant.

“Nice!, c’mon dude!” CC was waiting for Kyle on the porch. If he wimped out she was ready to make a move on the cooler herself. CC lead Kyle off the porch, around the side of the house, to the back, where the two adolescents crouched behind Bobbi’s swimming pool.

Kyle tried to twist off the cap. CC informed him that it was a pop-off. The girl had a pocketknife with a bottle opener. CC cracked two bottles, she handed one to Kyle, they clinked their glass bottles and said cheers. CC drank her beer quickly. She was done with her first before Kyle was even halfway down. CC cracked her second beer, and chugged it. Her second beer was drank before Kyle finished his.

“Is this your fist time drinking beer or something, Kyle?” CC took the last beer and started drinking it.

“No, I just don’t like that brand. I don’t want to drink too much corona beer or I might get the coronavirus” Kyle joked. CC looked him dead in the eye. She was starting to feel a nice buzz.

“Do you want to fight or something? Because you’re always messing with me at school, try it here; watch what happens” CC challenged. Kyle took the beer out of CC’s hand and scoffed.

“What are you going to do, sneeze on me?” said Kyle. CC punched him in the middle of his chest rather hard. Out of reflex Kyle grabbed onto CC’s wrist. She muscled herself free, and smacked Kyle about his head, and his arms, and his back, with shots hard enough to leave several bruises. The rest of the beer was knocked over, sobering the entire situation. Music and chatter could be heard inside of the house. CC looked into Kyle’s eyes, realizing that she just straight assaulted the fool. His eyes were tearing up like he was about to cry. Just as Kyle was about to run away embarrassed, CC lunged forward and kissed Kyle on his mouth. He actually withdrew for a split second, and then leaned forward in astonishment. CC made it a point to make their tongues touch before she got up, and once again abruptly exited the situation. It was a first kiss for both of them. What neither of them knew was that just earlier that day, Kyle unknowingly contracted the covid-19 virus, and through their kiss, he passed it on to CC.

Back in the house, more people who had unwittingly caught the coronavirus and were not showing symptoms yet were spreading the bug to everyone else at the party. These people really were not taking pandemic seriously at all. Bobbi introduced Marley and Austin to her date “this is Curtis”. Austin shook hands with Curtis in awe.

“Are you the rapper Beef Dog?” Austin asked the man at the party. If Curtis was not Beef Dog, Austin would be quite embarrassed. It would seem downright racist of him to think that any black man with a shaved head who was dressed well, and of a certain age could be easily mistaken as multi-platinum international hip-hop recording artist Beef Dog; but Austin was certain. His wife was not as sure, as she read Bobbi and Curtis’ faces, which were not telling much. Marley spoke up to her husband.

“I don’t think Curtis is Beef Dog. I do see slight similarities; but what would Beef Dog be doing here? Wait, didn’t he die? Yeah, he OD’d on New Year’s Eve live on television a few months ago.”

“That was Post Malone. He died wearing the stupidest fucking t-shirt I’ve ever seen” said Curtis. “I preformed on that same stage on New Year’s in 09 and made a fool of myself, that’s probably where you’re getting confused” he added.

“Oh my god, dude you’re one of my favorite musicians, I swear to god. I love all of your older stuff from like 05 to 2010” Austin fanboyed.

“Nothing after that has been as good though, huh?” Beef Dog jabbed.

“Uh, you’re a legend I love your music, Curt Dog- uh, Curtis, Beef Dog man” Austin stuttered. Curtis rolled his eyes and took a sip of his beer. His date Bobbi rubbed his chest and smirked in a way that playfully teased her date.

“How did you guys meet?” Marley asked Bobbi.

“I met Curtis at the casino, just last month on my first day working there. He is terrible at Texas hold-um, he lost a lot of money” Bobbi joked.

“But I just kept sitting at that table, drinking my drank, and smiling at the sexy ass poker dealer. Now we fuckin’” said Curtis as he removed a blunt from behind his ear and sparked it. Bobbi and Marley laughed, Austin was still amazed that a rapper he’d been listening to since he was a teenager was at a party with him in T or C NM of all places. He nearly fainted when Beef Dog passed him the blunt. Austin hit the cigar and passed it around, along with the corona virus.

 

 

 

A Week Later

          “Have you ever seen the dead don’t die?”. It was a zombie horror-comedy that came out last year. It had Bill Murry, the guy who played Kylo Ren in star wars, and a bunch of other A-listers; but the movie sucked eggs. It was the driest, most do-nothing, teeth-pulling tedious script; and the actors just sort of blurted out the lines with this dull, dead, monotone inflection. I talked so much shit about that movie; but here we are. The real life apocalypse, and it’s nothing like mad max, or children of men, or resident evil; no, its exactly like that piece of shit the dead don’t die” Austin Carlyle complained from his personal section of the quarantined family residence. It was day five.

Marley, Austin, and Jack were all sick with clammy perspiration, stuffy heads, clogged noses, and a general rundown and unwell feeling. For the son, Jack, who was temporarily relived from his job as an orderly after catching covid-19 at the hospital, he was just beginning to feel his symptoms at their very worst. For the mother and the father, who both caught the virus at Bobbi’s house party, although they were still considerably ailing, they were feeling better now than they had throughout the previous few days. The daughter, Corona Carlyle contracted the virus, and tested positive for the virus, but showed absolutely no symptoms. CC felt fine.

“I read on facebook that bill gates spread it around with 5g so he can inject african babies with microchipped vaccines” the young and immune girl gloated. Her brother was in a shit mood.

“Corona, you just crammed like seven completely different conspiracy theories into one dumbfuck of a sentence. There might be some truth sprinkled in the middle of it somewhere or another, but really, armature conspiracy theorists like you are just useful idiots. You don’t know shit about infectious diseases. Please s-t-f-u”. Jack passed by her to go into the bathroom and breathe through an inhaler and pour medicated saline up his nostrils in a vein attempt to blow mucus out with it.

“Just because you move bodies from room to room in an ER doesn’t mean you know anything about it either! You’re not a doctor, and the only scientists you know about are Neal Degrass and Bill Nye. Shut up, poseur.” CC antagonized. Marley was in the kitchen making tea and overheard her kids bickering.

“Corona, since you’re the only one who isn’t sick, why don’t you ride your bike to the grocery store, pick up some orange juice, cans of soup, shampoo, and toilet paper if they have it.” The mother requested. CC rolled her eyes, but made her way out to do the chore. “Wear an N19 mask and rubber gloves!” Marley demanded before her daughter could get outside.

“No mom, that’s so cringy”

“It’s not cringy, it’s responsibility. Do it”. The mother watched her daughter go into the bathroom and come out with her hands and mouth covered before she was given money and allowed to leave.

Once CC biked around the first corner from her house, she took off her gloves and mask, and pulled a cigarette from her purse. The adolescent lit up with a lighter she stole from a gas station. An old woman drove past, slowing down to give the smoking preteen the stink eye.

“What are you looking at you old bitch?” Corona shouted at the sky as she continued pedaling. CC made it to the grocery store. She chained her bike to the rack in front, and then walked in through the nearest door. A store worker standing near the door pointed his rubber gloved finger past CC’s nose at the other door.

“This door is an exit only, miss. Exit only! Please follow the arrows on the floor.the grocery bouncer barked. CC was offended by the man’s abrupt direction.

“Listen dude, keep your dirty hands out of my fucking face if you’re going to be such a butthurt little bitch about the wu flu.” Corona snapped back. Shoppers passing by chuckled at clerk’s embarrassment of being chewed out by a teenage girl. The employee got red in the face.

“Nice mouth.” He said to her.

Nice mouth? Did you just tell me I have a nice mouth? I don’t think so. Time’s up, dickhead.” A panicked look overcame the doorman.

“No, what I meant to say was nice language, because you were using cuss words and insulting me.”

“Save it for the judge, you monster.” Said CC. She went about her business, shoplifting everything except the orange juice, so that she could keep most of the cash that her mother gave her. The store did not have any toilet paper, napkins, tissue, or paper towels. People would have no other choice but to go shit-to-shower.

While in line to purchase the OJ, Corona overheard gossip between a cashier and customer in another line. They were talking about Beef Dog, the famous rapper who was at the same party as her a week earlier. They were saying that he died. Corona could not believe it. She checked twitter, and it was confirmed.

Curtis Jefferson, known to the world as Beef Dog, was dead at the age of 44 from respiratory complications brought on by covid-19. He’d be remembered for his music, as a television personality, and a dedicated philanthropist.

CC found it bizarre. She’d never met a celebrity before; and the first time she did, he croaked a week later.

The cashier looked Corona up and down as she scanned the OJ. She asked CC if there was anything else that she wanted to pay for. She knew that CC jacked a bunch of soup and shampoo, but was not going to call her out on it after the door guy made that comment about her mouth.

“Just the OJ” CC declared. She walked out the entrance door while flipping off the clerk who confronted her earlier. Before she could unchain her bike, a notification chimed from her phone. She checked facebook, and what she saw troubled her. Kyle had changed his relationship status to in a relationship and had sent her a request to list her as his girlfriend. She declined, and sent him a message.

–Dude, wtf? I am NOT your gf.—

Kyle responded immediately

–Umm, what about last friday? —

–So what? I only kissed you because you were about to cry. You are the biggest asshole in our school. I DON’T like you—

Kyle responded with a series of emojis, and then shitposted emo cringe memes for the next several hours. He paced around his bedroom cutting himself, drinking monster energy and punching holes in his walls. His mother, Karen kept on shouting that his father was going to beat his ass when he got home from being an essential employee at pizza hut.

“Shut up, Karen!” Kyle shouted at his mother.

“You are going to get it, Kyle!” Karen screamed at her son as he walked out of his room and into the bathroom. Everybody in the house was sick. None of them were social distancing, wearing masks, or voting for joe biden.

Kyle drank an entire bottle of tussin before dying his hair blue and punching the bathroom mirror. He walked out drunk off cough syrup with blue hair and bloody fists. Karen shrieked in horror. Kyle squared up at his mother as if he was going to get into a physical altercation with her. Karen grabbed a bottle of wine and took it to the back deck. Kyle went into his parents room and took his father’s uzi from the ceiling panel he kept it in. Blood trail from the fresh razor slices in his arms told a damning tale. Kyle left the house strapped, and he took a little walk. T or C Middle School was closed for the year; that did not stop Kyle from hopping a fence, smashing a window, and letting himself inside.

Kyle stalked the ghost town establishment with his gun drawn. He took a selfie of himself in the cafeteria with a gun in his mouth, and posted it on instagram. The boy then visualized the lunchroom full of his classmates, and opened fire. He ran down the hallways spraying bullets into lockers and classrooms while documenting his spree via photos and video on social media. After running out of bullets, Kyle found a fire extinguisher and started smashing up the school with it while spraying the foam retardant everywhere. He walked into Mrs. Sanchez’s classroom and pissed and shat all over her desk. He then walked over to Corona Carlyle’s desk and carved KYLE&CC4EVER into the wood with his bloodstained pocketknife.

Meanwhile, on the internet, Kyle’s insta followers saw what he was doing, and spread the selfie around like wildfire. It did not take the Truth or Consequences police force long to catch wind.

Several cop cars made their way to the middle school, and officers made their way into the building from all entrances. Officers found Kyle in Mrs. Sanchez’s classroom, sitting at CC’s desk, crying with his pants around his ankles. The cops demanded that Kyle put his hands in the air and lay on the ground. Kyle attempted to comply; however, the moment he put his hands left his sides one of the cops shot Kyle in the head, and his fellow officers proceeded to shoot him another twelve times, and then stage his arm and uzi in a way where it looked like he was aiming at them, before erasing their body cam footage.

Kyle’s autopsy listed Covid-19 as his official cause of death. His snot was positive for it after all.

 

 

The Next Morning

          Detectives wearing masks and gloves stood six feet away from the Carlyle’s front door, asking CC questions about Kyle while her mom and dad shook their heads in disbelief.

“How long were you dating?”

“Did he mention anything about using a gun to you?”

“Did he seem troubled as of late? Suicidal even?”

“Did your boyfriend ever mention anything about having a vendetta against law enforcement?”

CC snarled and told the detectives her truth, “Kyle was not my boyfriend. I didn’t even like him. He was a bully, and he always teased me in class. I don’t know anything because I hardly ever talked to him” the girl explained.

“So, you never spent any time with him, other than in the classroom?” a detective inquired. Corona’s parents gave their daughter a look, knowing full well that she was with him for a little bit at Bobbi’s house.

“Okay, fine. I hung out with him last Friday night for a little bit.” CC confessed.

“Like on a date?” the detective asked her.

NO! Nothing like that. He was randomly at this covid-19 party that my parents took me to.”

“A covid-19 party? Do you know how irresponsible that is?” A detective said while redirecting their focus to Austin and Marley, who were both still showing some symptoms of the virus. Austin spoke up for the family.

“Yes, that was boneheaded of us. We regret going to that party, and we understand the severity of the situation now… But a lot of people were there. Beef Dog was there” said the father.

“Beef Dog, huh? Didn’t he die yesterday? I think I’m starting to see a pattern here” the detective sleuthed. Marley sighed.

“Officer, is anybody here being charged with anything?” asked the mother. Nobody was. The investigators left the Carlyle’s front yard.

Back inside, feverish Jack was watching the video of Kyle shooting up the empty school. The footage had already been shared millions of times over.

“For fuck’s sake, CC. You sure know how to pick them” the brother said before hitting a medicated inhaler.

“I did not pick him. He picked me. I’m a victim of a school shooting!” CC argued. The family rolled their eyes.

“The school was empty”

“Fuck you, you’re empty. All you’ve got in your fake soul is covid-19” the edgy girl berated.

Marley and Austin became fed up with CC’s bad attitude and utter lack of responsibility. They grounded their daughter to her room. She told her parents that she hated living in that house, and flipped off her sick brother before retiring to her chambers.

“Corona sucks” Jack exclaimed. Being furloughed on sick leave was eating at him, as his job would have been one of the handful of essential ones in his area. His stimulus payment had not deposited yet, and he found it impossible to navigate via overloaded telephone bureaucracy to apply for unemployment. The out of work orderly had no choice but to abide by the world health organizations advice, and do hardly anything, alone in his room while his body purged itself of its plague.

Outside of the Carlyle residence, a storm cut through Truth or Consequences. The trees in the front yard started shaking violently in the wind, and it started to hail. Marble sized ice balls pelted the window in Jack’s bedroom. He turned the lights off, his humidifier on, and began youtubing conspiracy videos.

Jack was feeling conflicted. As a card carrying member of the blue party, he had no interest in watching conspiracy videos made by trumpsters. Problem was that socially likeminded liberals seldom dug for the dirty truth. Jack wanted to know who was responsible for giving him this illness, and what was the motive behind it. Jack genuinely believed that covid-19 was manufactured in a lab; possibly even a chinese lab. Youtube was full of personalities who seemed quite sure that the virus was made in china. The more these people spoke, they all theorized practically the same motive. Liberal elites were conspiring with the chinese in an intricate scheme to sabotage donald trump’s presidency. This worldwide shutdown was all about him. Jack found the theory asinine. He reckoned there were thousands of people on earth, standing on both sides of the curtain who were more powerful than the president of america. Why put the global economy to a screeching halt just to possibly help vote out a tool like donald?

Jack’s attention diverted to the upper left corner of his bedroom where a smoke alarm mounted to the wall flashed red. He remembered that there was something stashed in the plastic disc that could help him brainstorm, while also temporarily relieving him of his symptoms. Something that he’s wanted to dig out for a while now, but never had the time due to his busy work schedule. It was drugs.

Jack unscrewed the smoke alarm. Wadded up in a paper towel was seven hits of LSD and seven Xanax bars. He started off by taking one of each. Jack turned on netflix, and played the first episode of Tiger King. By the end of the first episode it was his new favorite show. He was sort-of-feeling the effects of the xanniebar, but he was not feeling the LSD at all. Jack thought about how those drugs were stashed up there for two and a half years, and wondered if they were losing potency. Jack took some more drugs, and continued watching Tiger King.

By the end of episode three, Jack Carlyle was intermingled with Joe Exotic, and enthralled amidst protoplasm enveloping him through his computer screen, transcending realities, and implementing his astral pathway into the ecosphere of big cat proprietors.

Jack paused his show and went to the kitchen for a glass of orange juice. The digital clock on the stove passed 11:11:11. He did not notice his father sitting in a robe at the kitchen table and eating a slice of pie until he spoke.

“We saved a piece of pie for you!” Austin said. Jack practically jumped out of his skin, and shrieked in horror, initially thinking that his father was a caged tiger ready to maul him. The son remembered that he was on drugs, and caught his composure.

“Dad, you scared the shit out of me”. Austin examined his son closer.

“Are you on dope or something?” the father asked.

Yes” Jack said before abruptly making his way back to his room with most of the entire gallon of OJ. The father and son never got much into the habit of lying to each other.

Back in his bedroom, Jack pierced his eyebrow and bleached his hair like Joe Exotic. He caught a glimpse of himself in the reflection of his black computer screen betwixt Tiger King episodes. Somewhere in his mind Jack knew that we would regret his decisions eventually; but he was way to fucked up to give a shit at the moment. He was feeling better than he had in days.

Jack checked facebook on his phone, and saw that his sister had commented on a meme that he shared the day before. The meme was a screencap from The Walking Dead, captioned: Biggest thing hollywood got wrong about the zombie apocalypse was not knowing that people would go outside and protest for the right to be eaten by the zombies.

Corona Carlyle commented: What zombies?! It’s a respiratory disease dr. dumbfuck. The only zombies around here are bootlickers like YOU!

Lightning struck nearby causing a boom. His sister’s mean comment got more laugh reacts than the meme got liked. Jack was awfully livid. Corona had been getting on his nerves a lot as of late. She was always wearing his band t-shirts and staining them, giving him attitude, and talking to him like she thought he was craptastic.

When CC was younger, she idolized Jack. Ever since she hit a certain age, all of her curiosity became angst. Corona was a mean and cynical teen.

Jack ate his entire stash. The star of Tiger King, Joe Exotic spoke to Jack from inside of his computer.

“You know what this is, man, it’s some fucking bullshit, the corona virus. You don’t really believe that pansy ass shit, do ya?”. Bleached and pierce, Jack blinked unevenly and responded to Joe.

“Nah Joe. I don’t think that at all. Something’s fishy here, right?”

“You’re god damn right. Someone’s pulling the strings. You know who it is, right?”

“That bitch, Carol Baskins?” (lightning crashed)

“Close, motherfucker. That bitch Corona Carlyle” Exotic explained to the orderly. It all made sense to Jack. Coronavirus/Corona Carlyle. It was right in front of his face the entire time. CC’s full name was Corona Dianna Carlyle. You see anything suspicious there? She had nineteen letters in her name. 19 as in covid-19. Then there’s her initials, CDC. CDC as in center for disease control. It’s like they’re making it obvious on purpose to fuck with us or something.

Corona seemed harmless before. Now Jack’s sister was an infectious disease, ruining his shirts and plaguing humanity. She killed her boyfriend, she killed Beef Dog, and she was trying to kill him too.

“What should we do about this, Joe?” Jack asked his computer.

“You need to take care of that bitch” Joe answered.

The Carlyle’s didn’t own any guns, and Jack didn’t have the nerve to get stabby. A black metal folding chair was the best viable option.

The clock on the wall said 12:12:12.

Corona was in her room, also watching Tiger King. Her window was cracked, and she was sneaking a cigarette, figuring Marley and Austin were fast asleep, and would not smell the smoke. The girl was startled and dropped her cigarette on the carpet when a loud thud smacked against her door. She figured it was mamma Marley, coming in to yell at her, and search her bedroom, confiscating all her electronic devices, makeup, and cigarettes.

Another loud smash on CC’s bedroom door, and then another, and another. A foot crashed through the wood. Jack stuck his arm in the foot hole and unlocked the door. CC screamed.

“What is wrong with you, asshole!”. The girl backed herself into a corner, as her deranged brother busted into her room, swinging a folding chair around aimlessly, and screaming

“I love you Corona! I’m sorry, I have to do this to stop Trump! I love you!”. Jack’s vision was warped beyond any steady floor or vertical wall. His depth perception was right up his ass. CC picked her himalayan salt lamp up from an end table, and threw it at her brother’s head. The lamp bashed him in the temple, causing him to drop the chair and fall on the ground. CC ran over, picked up the cable to the lamp and started whipping her brother in the back and ass, lashing him with the metal plug-in teeth at the tip.

The commotion woke up Austin and Marley. They ran to CC’s room to see what was going on. Her cigarette was burning a hole in her carpet, there was a hole in her door, and the young girl was standing on her adult brother’s back, and flogging him.

“Corona Carlyle, drop the lamp this instant!” Austin shouted. Marley stomped out the burning carpet while shouting

“What is going on?! Are you smoking?! Why are you beating the shit out of your brother?! First the cops come to our front door, and now this?! What is going on with you CC?!”

Me?! Jack just broke into my room trying to kill me!” CC shouted. Jack was on the floor, bleeding from a gash above his right eyebrow, pierced and bleached like Joe. Austin helped Jack off from the ground.

“At least he’s honest with us! How long have you been smoking cigarettes?” The father grilled his daughter while pulling his delirious son into the hallway.

“This is such bullshit! Everybody socially distance themselves the fuck out of my room!” CC shouted. Marley took her daughters cigarettes and left her with a disappointed head shake.

In the kitchen Austin preformed first aid on Jack’s gash. The son talked stony nonsense about netflix and politics as his dad washed the wound with vodka, and wrapped it with gauze. Marley joined them in the kitchen, and insisted that her husband drive their adult son to the ER. Jack’s mom and dad did their best to coach Jack into acting in a way that did not get him committed to a wacky hut; or his sister who was already a person of interest arrested.

The thunderstorm passed on through, and the rain came to a halt. The father and son got into the family car, and headed to the nearest emergency room that wasn’t the one Jack worked at. Jack was riding shotgun as his father tried not to hydroplane on the slippery highway they drove down. Jack shouted the lyrics to Blame Canada from the south park movie.

“They are going to put you in a padded cell if you don’t pull it together, son” Austin advised,

“Who’s putting me away? I thought we were going to Area 51 to see aliens!. Where are you taking me?” Jack panicked.

“To the hospital?”

“Why?”

“Because your sister bludgeoned you with a himalayan salt lamp, and I can’t tell if you have a concussion because you’re on dope.”

“I’m not going to any hospital man. Pull the car over!”

“Jack, calm down!”

“I said pull the fucking car over!” Jack shouted as he grabbed the steering wheel. Austin tried his best to maintain control over the vehicle, but was unable to stop his son from crashing them into a ditch on the side of the highway.

Jack climbed out of the car through the passenger’s side-window, took off all of his clothes, and ran naked into the woods. Austin turned on his hazard lights, shot a flare into the road, turned the flashlight app on his phone on, and walked into the woods to find Jack. Off in the distance tribal bongos drummed. Austin could smell campfire, pot, and sex. He found himself compulsorily chasing the weird senses tingling. The father assumed his son would do the same.

“Jack!” Austin called out into the forest as he approached the sound of woodsy partying. The drumming got louder and louder. Bats and owls moshed in the sky above him. Austin tripped and fell into a thorn bush. When he rolled out the other side, he was confronted by thirty-six naked white people, covered in mud and blood, smoking and dancing and fucking. An old man watched voluminous women shaking while her sexually desecrated the dead carcass of a lamb. Pentagrams in the dirt littered the campsite. As a group of five satanic campers approached Austin with mischievous intention, he noticed somebody he know over by the campfire. It was Bobbi, the poker dealer who worked for him before the shutdown, whose party he caught the coronavirus at. She was caked in wet mud and consensually biting on the neck of another woman, and drinking her blood. He called out to her. Bobbi looked over at him, laughed, made her fingers into the shape of a V, and licked the air betwixt them suggestively, then went back to her drink. The troop of five woodsy freaks surrounded Austin.

What are you then?” one of the naked men asked Austin with a fake british accent.

“Uh, casino floor supervisor” Austin answered. The naked strangers laughed.

“Do you eat ass?” a woman asked Austin.

“Ass? Do I eat it? Are you asking if I~~? Ass? No! I don’t!” Austin stuttered confused and defensive. The naked, muddy partyers all groaned.

“We do. We all eat ass at this camp!” a naked fat guy said.

“Well, I’m just looking for my son; but I can see he’s not here, so I’m just going to leave here and pretend I never saw whatever this is. Deal?”

“No deal, Austin!” Bobbi said off in the background while chowing down on some neck. The partyers advanced on him. Austin held his fists up defensively, but he was no fighter, and her persecutors showed no fear. They tackled and hog-tied Austin without much resistance.

 

Meanwhile just a quarter mile west in the woods, Jack ran naked, pierced, bleached, concussed, and zonked through the bushes and trees. He could see a glowing light in the distance. Jack ran faster and faster towards the light, through thorns branches that sliced his naked body all over. The glowing light brought him out the other side of the woodsy patch to the offramp of the highway. The light was a glowing golden arch in the sky. It a was mcDonalds.

Unaware of his own nudity, Jack tried to let himself in. The door was locked. He saw a sign on the window informing him that they were serving drive-thru only. Jack walked up to the little box at the drive-thru. A person inside spoke

“Yeah, what do you need!?” the fast food worker asked.

“Are you selling food?” Jack asked the box.

“Yeah dude. What do you want?”

“Umm, Oreo mcflurry”

“Ice cream machine is broken, man. What do you want?”

“Cheeseburger!”

“Okay, pull up to the first window” The mcDonalds worker spoke with the attitude of an underpaid and overworked essentially non-skilled laborer who couldn’t get fired for farting in the fry-o-later at the moment.

Jack walked up to the first window. The worker looked at Jack, naked, bleached, dyed, bleeding, and not even in a car.

“That will be $1.06, sir” said the employee. Jack didn’t have any money, he tried to explain that he’d take the burger then, and come back and pay for it the next day. They closed the window on him. Jack responded by kicking the window in, crawling though, walking up to the slot between the kitchen and behind the counter, helping himself to four big macs and a medium fry sitting there, pouring himself a sprite, and climbing back out the window. Nobody tried to stop him, he wasn’t wearing a mask, they didn’t want to catch the coronavirus.

Jack took his bag of fast food back into the forest, chewing loudly and dropping paper and cardboard containers on the ground as he walked. He drank his carbonated lemon-lime beverage via plastic straw as he looked up at the treetops, spotting more bats and owls. Jack took a bite out of a sandwich and special sauce squirted out the other side, landing on his exposed dick and balls. One of those giant mosquitos that CC referred to as dark fairies flew down and landed on Jack’s penis before feeding on the spilled mac sauce. Jack snatched the dark fairy, getting sauce on his hand. He tried to crush the flying pest with his fingers, but the integrity of the gnat’s body would not cave. The bug once again hissed a vicious and intimidating battle-cry, and struggled itself free. The dark fairy flew away. Jack dropped the rest of his trash on the ground, and ran after strange insect. He ran faster and faster and began to hear the tribal drumming, and smell the aroma of sex and the campfire.

Jack ran into the clearing where the naked white yuppies were engaging in satanic activities. They had his father, Austin, now also completely naked, gagged and bounded at his wrists and ankles, and tied to a metal pole, where freaks held him from both sides over the campfire, slow-cooking him above the flames like a pig. The father screamed in pain through his gag. Partygoers drank, and danced, and chanted, and fucked in the mud.

Jack was naked and inebriated just like Bobbi and the other partiers; and was therefore able to blend in long enough to pick a heavy stone off the ground, and hurl it at one of the men who were cooking his dad. The rock hit him in the mouth, causing him to drop his end of the pole, thus dropping Austin’s lower body right into the flames. The woodsy freaks swarmed Jack, tackling him to the ground. Austin was dragged out of the flames, and had to roll around on the ground frantically to extinguish his burning pubic hairs. Bobbi instructed her friends to tie the father and son so they were bonded together back-to-back; and then burry them into the earth, up to their necks.

A scourge of dark fairy mosquitoes surrounded Bobbi. She opened her arms and swayed her body seductively as the buzzed around her. Bobbi murmured back at the buzzing swarm in a long-dead language. She received a message from the pestilence, and stepped forward to make an announcement.

“Satan is pleased! We have done well! An incredibly special guest is going to be stopping by camp tonight! Leave their faces undesecrated until he arrives!” Bobbi ordered. Austin and Jack were buried up to their necks, re-gagged, and then left alone for the next hour while the satanists had another orgy. Austin tried to make eye contact with Bobbi, hoping she would see the suffering in his eyes, and let them go. At one point, while Bobbi was preforming oral sex on her fat dentist, she did look over and see Austin. It did not make her feel sympathetic, only hornier to think about her former boss’ woe. She played with her nipples and retested the urge to walk over their and fuck his face.

An hour later, a helicopter hovered over the campsite. As a strong wind from the propeller’s blades chopped down on the satanic partiers, a rope dropped from the bird, down onto the ground right next to Jack and Austin.

Down the rope slid former vice president Joe Biden.

“Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. I missed you!” Biden said.

The party-goers all dropped to their knees, and praised Joe as he let go of the rope and approached the father and son. Jack tried frantically to talk to Biden through his gag. Joe gave Jack a sideways smirk, and then turned to address his subjects.

“Can somebody free this guy’s tongue, please and thank you?” Joe asked his minions. Bobbi got up from her knees and ran over to take Jack’s gag out of his mouth. When Bobbi walked back to return to her original point of worship, Joe sniffed her hair a little bit. Jack begged from the ground.

“Mr. Biden, please, I contributed to your campaign. I’m going to vote for you! Please let me live!” he cried.  Joe and his minions laughed out loud as Jack begged for his life. Joe Biden looked down at Austin, who appeared to be in shock.

“Get the gag off daddy too, please!” Joe requested. Bobbi got up again to remove Austin’s gag. He bit her finger for her efforts, breaking the skin. Bobbi’s response was to suck the blood off her own finger suggestively, then lick Austin’s ear. He recoiled, and then looked up at Biden.

“I have nothing to say to you!” Austin blurted out.

“That’s fine. I didn’t emancipate that mouth for talking” said the former vice president. Joe got completely naked, then sat on the ground with his legs crossed, indian-style; then he leaned back and pressed his anus up against Austin’s lips. “Hail Satan!” Joe Biden shrieked into the night’s sky as he forced Austin and Jack to eat his ass. After getting his salad tossed by Jack and Austin for a half an hour, Joe Biden was finally able to maintain an erection. Joe ran into the bushes to shield himself while he jerked off out of sight from everybody as they followed Joe’s lead and used Jack and Austin’s exposed heads popping out of the ground as reluctant dildos.

The Carlyle men were eventually suffocated by ass. Their dead heads were left popping out of the soil, covered in every single bodily fluid containing the coronavirus, which before long was eaten and licked clean by ants and other pests.

The sun began to rise. Joe grabbed onto another rope and was ascended up into the sky on another helicopter. The satanists all went home, happily thinking that they just attended one of the finest shindigs ever thrown.

Jack and Austin Carlyle’s bodies were reported to the T or C police department later that day by an anonymous woman, claiming to be a happy camper. Their causes of death were officially listed as covid-19.

 

 

Back at the Carlyle Residence

The same detectives who showed up at the door a day earlier showed up again, distancing themselves from Marley Carlyle in their masks and latex gloves as they informed the worried soul that husband and son were dead. Marley broke down into tears, unable to catch her breath she screamed until everything went black and she landed on the floor. A hero cop put his life on the line by breaking the six-foot rule, and dragging the grieving widow to her couch so that the detectives may let themselves in and ask her a bunch of questions. They wanted to see CC.

A detective went upstairs and knocked on a pink bedroom door with a foot hole kicked in it. Nobody answered, so the detective put his hand through the hole, and unlocked the door from the other side. Corona Carlyle was not in her bedroom. Clues indicated that she climbed out her window.

The cops put an APB out with a warrant for CC’s arrest. Marley was devastated to learn that her daughter was missing, on top of everything else.

Marley considered drinking a bottle of pills with a bladder of red wine and tethering a plastic grocery bag around her head in the bathtub. If she had, her cause of death would have been covid-19. It was in her snot after all. But Marley Carlyle did not kill herself. Individual interior portions of her croaked, but her heart kept on beating.

Marley curled into a fetal position on her carpet as investigators tore her broken home apart, trying to get to the bottom of the conspiracy.

 

 

Meanwhile, on the other side of town

Corona Carlyle was behind the dollar store, smoking cigarettes; unaware that Austin and Jack were dead. She had snuck out the night before, right after being scolded by her entire family; CC was just riding her bicycle around Truth or Consequences and smoking ever since.

In the young girl’s purse was a can of black spray paint, which she used to tag the phrase Covid-1984 on the back of the store.

She rode her bike through a public alleyway spray-painting walls with ‘CORONAVIRUS IS A HOAX’ and ‘PLANNEDEMIC’. She kept on riding her bicycle through the public alley, until she was let out near the city’s square, where a bunch of pissed off republicans were at the town hall, protesting stay-at-home orders.

Young Corona Carlyle was not interested in politics to the point where she did not see the red hats, and other red flags indicating that she was basically at a trump rally. The girl was excited to see people angry as she was. The mob chanted “Hoax! Hoax! Hoax!”. Corona joined in and chanted along. Sweaty white men with military haircuts, wearing tank tops and sunglasses raised their automatic machine guns in the air. Cops watched from the sidelines. Some of them looked annoyed, others seemed happy to be there.

CC utilized her phone to record the protest. Her fellow resistance members gave her thumbs up and nods of approval. CC was approached by a crew holding video cameras, documenting a short, portly with a combover, speaking in a slurred and raspy voice about revolution. The man and his crew were wearing t-shirts that read ‘Freedom Warz’ in a patriotic red, white, and blue font.

Without her consent, the Freedom Warz crew began filming CC, and the host interviewed her.

This is the most inspiring thing I have seen all day folks. This young freedom warrior is out here, despite all the attempts at brainwashing our youth through the liberal media, and public schools. Congratulations, young lady, you are a hero” The host ranted while placing his fat hand on the young girl’s shoulder. CC shook off the man’s grasp, and distanced herself a step, but proceeded to respond for the cameras.

“Yeah man, no problem. I agree, school is fucking stupid” said CC.

“You must come from a strong, independent american family. Where are they, I’d like to shake their gloveless hands” said the host.

“No, I came here by myself. My family sucks. They are all a bunch of liberal brainwashed slaves. My brother’s the biggest dickhead of them all. He’s all butthurt about covid-19. I beat the shit out of him last night with a himalayan salt lamp because he broke into my room dressed up like Joe Exotic, trying to murder me with a folding chair and shit. So, then my parents come in, see him on the ground crying like a bitch; and guess what, I get grounded. I was just minding my own business, it was self-defense. He’s like eight years older than me, breaking into my room in the middle of the night, feeling froggy. How is that my fault?” CC rambled. The host of Freedom Warz nodded along with her testimony.

“Well, it sounds like you were just standing your ground, and that your brother is a real cuck” said the host. CC gave the camera a confused look.

            “What’s a cuck?” the young girl asked the grown man. I producer behind the camera shook his head frantically, signaling the host to ignore the question.

“Umm, it’s just a figure of speech… Anyways thanks again and—” the hosts attempted segway was interrupted as he felt a strong sudden tingling sensation in his nose. Without turning his head or covering his mouth, the host sneezed directly in Corona’s face.

What the fuck, man! Cover your mouth!” CC shouted at the host. The man offered an insincere sounding apology and rolled his eyes. “That is disgusting, you just sneezed right in my face! What is wrong with you. You’re a pig!”

“Young lady, you need to relax. 99% of people who catch this flu that the elites refer to covid-19 survive. Most don’t even show symptoms. You’ll be fine, kid” the talk personality said sneeringly.

“You asshole, I don’t give a shit about the statistics. Don’t sneeze in my face!” CC shouted. Instantly, she could feel the environment become hostile as the crowd turned on her. Grown men holding machine guns began taunting the girl, calling her a crises actor, and a communist. “You’re all a bunch of idiots too! You’re idiots! They’re idiots! Everybody’s a fucking idiot! I HATE EVERYBODY!” CC screamed at the top of her lungs as tears rolled down her cheeks and a vein in her forehead protruded.

Trump supporters began throwing soda cans and other garbage at CC. They advanced on her with bad intention. Before the angry mob could do any harm, Marley Carlyle drove her minivan through them, mowing down several of them. Marley slammed on the breaks and pushed the passenger side door open.

“Get in!” CC’s mother shouted. The girl jumped into the van as it was sprayed with bullets, breaking the windows and puncturing the body. More onlookers recorded the vehicular carnage with their phones as Marley ran over another couple of people making an escape, while several others were hit by stray bullets.

Marley drove as fast as she could away from the town square. She could here police sirens in the distance and made several sharp turns to avoid them. The mother looked over at her daughter, examining her to make sure that she had not been shot. When Marley saw that Corona was not hit, it made her adrenaline drop just enough to notice that she herself had taken a bullet to the shoulder and was bleeding all over the van’s center console. CC was terrified and crying.

Across an intersection, Marley saw red and blue police lights wiz by. They were undoubtedly looking for her. The mother made another sharp turn down a public alleyway running alongside a canal. She took the turn too tightly and lost control of the van. The tires screeched, the tail spun around, and the vehicle rolled off the pavement, down into the shallow canal.

The van tail-dived, splashing unceremoniously right through the ankle-high running water, onto the hard, manufactured concrete floor, landing on its ass, and then tipping backwards, crashing onto its roof, with its tires spinning in the air. Corona and Marley’s heads crashed onto the broken windshield. No N-19 masks. No seatbelts.

The upended car began filling with water. The mother and daughter’s faces were sliced up horridly and covered in blood. Both the mother and the daughter took a nap. Luckily, Corona woke up after a few moments, when she felt dirty canal water splashing her in face. CC dragged her mother out of the totaled van. She dragged her mother all the way to the end of the canal, a couple hundred yards away, where there was a small bridge that they crawled under. Truth or Consequences traffic rolled over their heads. CC found a dry spot to lay her unconscious mother down.

CC checked her phone. It was a paperweight after taking a quick bath. She remembered that her mother’s phone was waterproof. She dug into Marley’s left and right pockets and found nothing. Corona remembered that her mother often kept her phone in her ass pockets. She rolled her mom over and dug the phone from her right butt cheek. The screen was cracked, but it was still operable. The young girl called her father’s number. It rang five times before somebody answered. The voice was not that of Austin Carlyle.

“Who is this?” CC asked.

“This is detective Desmond Clauson from the New Mexico state police department. Is this Corona speaking? Please do not hang up. We want to help you and your mother” the cop spoke.

“Where is my father?” CC asked.

“Ms. Carlyle, your father and brother were killed last night. I am deeply sorry.”

Liar!” Corona shouted before chucking the phone into the canal. She truly did not believe the detective, she thought it was a conspiracy to lure her in. She went back to her mother and started trying to shake her awake. Marley snored through her broken nose. CC slapped her mother on the cheeks a few times before she woke up disoriented. CC slapped her mom one more time to get her attention. Marley snapped from one to one hundred in an instant. She rang CC’s throat for a second, then slapped her, then put her daughter over her knee, and spanked her for the first time ever.
CC screamed out during her spanking. It wasn’t fair. She always got in trouble. She didn’t even do anything. She was just trying to help.

Marley caught herself, remembering that half of her daughter’s entire direct family was dead, and they both might die before the end of the day, or go to jail. “I’m sorry CC. I’m so sorry. I don’t know what happened, but it has to be my fault. It just has to be” Marley cried. Tears rolling down their faces cleared a downward trail of skin under all the blood.

“Where are Jack and Dad?” asked CC.

“They were murdered, and the cops are trying to pin it all on you…… CC?”

“Mom”

“You didn’t kill them… Did you?” Marley asked CC who just shook her head and cried.

Still in shock, CC uttered.

“It’s a conspiracy, Mom.”

“That’s all I needed to hear” Marley cried. The mother and daughter hugged.

            “(idiots)” CC thought to herself. “Mom, we have to run for it. We need to get out of New Mexico and go to real Mexico            .

“No, Corona” the mother protested.

“I’m not letting them get us. C’mon Mommy. I mean it” Corona said. She started to pass under through the other side of the bridge, beyond the canal, to the dead end of a residential neighborhood. Marley limped after her daughter reluctantly. The mother and daughter reached the end of the road.

Hiding behind a bus stop around the corner was a young, white, plain looking male uniformed street cop on the hunt for Marley and Corona. He drew his gun and his arm shook. He demanded that the Carlyle’s drop to their knees and put their hands up. Marley looked at CC. The mother knew that her girl was itching to run. Her ears were ringing, and she felt incredibly weak and nauseated She spoke to her daughter, and the truth to what she said resonated with her daughter in an unexplainably cathartic way.

“CC, baby, we live in a sick bubble universe controlled by a mentally ill god who loves letting cops gun people down in the streets, just to illustrate some sort of point about his own bubble dystopia. It’s a fucking conspiracy.”

CC nodded her head, dropped to her knees, and put her hands over her head.

 

 

2 Years Later

(February 22nd, 2022;

New Mexico State Penitentiary;

Santa Fe, NM)

 

          Corona and Marley Carlyle were being held in separate buildings. Marley pleaded guilty to several counts of vehicular manslaughter and was serving a life sentence. Corona was finally about to have her day in court.

CC’s lawyer was confident that she could get her client cleared of all charges. Now sixteen years old, she had been held the juvenile offender’s camp this whole time, but today she was being trialed as an adult. She still hadn’t even gotten her braces removed.

A lot of things were running through Corona Carlyle’s head; most of all, the fact that her lawyer was going to be calling her mother Marley up to the stand in her defense. She had not seen her mom since the day they were arrested.

While being prepared for the courtroom, Corona was allowed to trade her orange jumpsuit for a white blouse, and a black skirt. She was also allowed to wear a little bit of makeup, and have her hair cut and straightened. It was a small victory.

The defense attorney was Wendy House-Owens, a bright twenty-six-year-old wunderkind from new york city who was renowned for representing clients in high-profile cases and helping them get off. Wendy graduated high school when she was just 14 years old, the same age CC was when she was arrested. The young attorney studied at NYU and Harvard throughout her teens, and was defending clients in court by the time she was 20.

Wendy looked at this as an open and shut case once you subtracted all the sensationalism and looked at the facts. The charge for killing rapper Beef Dog was absolutely absurd. Lot’s of people were at that party, and lots of people got sick at that party. His death certificate even said that his cause of death was covid-19.

The case for Kyle was also circumstantial at best. The boy had documented himself breaking into that school and acting like a lunatic. The text messages between CC and Kyle the day of his death did not implicate her as an accomplice in his break in. He was shot by police officers, and his COD was also officially ruled as being covid-19 related.

The deaths of her father, Austin Carlyle, and her brother, Jack Carlyle would be trickier than the others. There was plenty of physical evidence that CC and Jack got into a fight that night, and that CC bashed her brother in the head with a salt lamp. The girl went missing from her bedroom the night of their murders and had no alibi. Furthermore, there were no other suspects. The Carlyle’s did not have any enemies, and CC was the only person who seemed to have a motive, as weak as it was. Wendy planned on having Marley tell the jury that Jack and Austin got into that car alone, and that there was no possible way that CC was hiding in the back seat or anything. The lawyer also intended on showing the size comparison, and asking the jury how a 14-year-old girl could overpower two grown men, bury them up to their necks, suffocate them, make an anonymous phone call, and be on the other side of town the next morning at the anti-lockdown rally where she talked to the Freedom Warz camera crew. Wendy would point out that it was obvious that the father and son were killed by no less than five assailants. CC should have walked free.

Wendy met CC at the prison and rode the bus to the courthouse with the teen. The attorney had no intention of letting CC on the stand, but wanted to coach her on what to say, and more importantly, what not to say on the off chance hail mary where she would need Corona to speak for herself. CC listened closely to her lawyer, not speaking much, and nodding along to the instructions. Wendy House-Owens had successfully defended people on trial for murder, knowing full well that they were guilty. On this day, the lawyer knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that her client was guilty of nothing other than being a bratty tween.

An obstinate hush filled dead space betwixt the females with just a few miles to the courthouse. Wendy cut the tension by asking CC if she had any questions.

“What ever happened with the coronavirus? They don’t let me watch TV. Did a lot more people die over the last two years?” Corona asked her lawyer.

“Corona, I don’t want you thinking about that right now. That’s a political question, whether it should be or not. The district attorney who is literally trying to have you executed is going to be doing everything he can to politicize this case. We are going to give the jury the facts of the case. There is no possible way that you did the things that you’re being accused of, and we can prove it” said Wendy,

“Thank you for saying that.” CC said sincerely, looking her lawyer in the eye. For the past two years, everybody CC was in contact with (juvie inmates and guards) all thought she was guilty as hell. The crazy slaughtering tween brat who spread a disease named after her, and bludgeoned her brother and father, and buried them alive. It felt great to hear one person say that they believed that she was not a killer.

The bus arrived at the courthouse where the press was waiting outside, foaming from their mouths, waiting for their chance to document CC going to her trial while they shouted taunting questions at her in the hopes of getting some sort of response. CC and Wendy escorted by police, blew past the reporters and made their way inside without saying a word. While going through the metal detector, CC noticed the presidents on the united states’ photos hung on the wall in order. The most recent photos went Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump, Biden. In president Biden’s photo he has the same smirk on his face as when Jack and Austin were being forced to toss his salad.

The DA was Dontrelle Washington relentlessly cutthroat examiner. From a ghetto in harlem, to juvi, to vietnam where he took some shrapnel to the ass, and got sent back home where he found an opportunity to go to college and shock everybody by exceeding any scholastic expectation set upon him by two thousand miles and a paid internship at a courthouse. Washington passed the bar and immediately started getting guilty  white assholes put away. He was so good getting people locked up that by the time he was in his early sixties he was doing it on behalf of the state of new mexico. Not unlike his opponent, Wendy House-Owens, Dontrelle had looked at all the reports and evidence, and he came to the conclusion that Corona Carlyle probably didn’t kill anybody. This was not going to stop him from doing everything he could to assure that the little cracker went to jail.

The persecution’s first witness was Bobbi Dowling, a former employee of Corona’s parents, who hosted a party that the defendant, CC, and two of her alleged victims attended.

DA Washington held up a photo for Bobbi and the jury to see. “Can you tell the courtroom who the young man in this photo is?” the lawyer probed.

“That’s my nephew, Kyle.” Bobbi answered.

“And for those of us who don’t watch the news, can you explain how your nephew died two years ago”

“In short, he had a sort of mental breakdown and broke into his school with a loaded gun. He shared video of himself on social media shooting in the empty school, and when the cops arrived they shot Kyle. He also had the coronavirus.”

“Did your nephew ever talk to you about the defendant before he died?”

“Yes”

“What did he say about her”

“He told me that she was his girlfriend after they kissed at a party at my house. A party that, in retrospect was very foolish of me to throw.”

Corona bit her tongue. She wanted to blurt out what she ended up whispering in her lawyer’s ear, “He was not my boyfriend, I hate Kyle”. Wendy patted CC’s knee to let her know she was heard. Corona was hoping that they’d object and have it stricken from the record, but Dontrelle and Bobbi kept on talking. He held up another photo.

“And, who is this?” he asked.

“That’s Curtis, but most people knew him as ‘Beef Dog’. He was a rapper. We dated for a little while.  ‘

“How did Curtis die?” asked the prosecutor with leading eyes.

“He died from Corona” said Bobbi as she looked over to the defendant with an implicating deminer. The jury murmured. DA Washington had no further questions for Bobbi.

The judge asked the defense if they wanted to redirect. House-Owens motioned to move on but reserve the right to question Bobbi later on. The judge granted the request without hesitation.

Washington summoned the next witness, and she was key. It was Marley Carlyle, CC’s incarcerated mother, and alleged conspirer to the defendant’s mayhem. Corona was seeing her mother for the first time since they were apprehended together. Marley looked as if she had aged fifteen years in the last two. She went from blonde to grey, and from tight and slim to soft and doughy. Her face was cracked and wrinkled like a dehydrated brain. An old gash crusted itself healed callus on her neck, as if the yuppie baby boomer found herself in a shiv fight at some point since being on the inside. She hobbled to the stand with a limp. Marley and CC locked eyes the entire time she was going through the motions. Corona was unable keep herself from crying, which her lawyer saw as helpful to their case, as long as CC sobbed innocently, and unlike a psychopathic mass murderer.

Washington was not here to pull a single punch. He got right into the questioning. He instructed her to tell the court why she was currently incarcerated.

“I committed several acts of vehicular manslaughter against a peaceful protest” Marley answered in a matter-of-fact fashion.

“Was your daughter in the car with you?” Washington asked.

“Not until after the collision”

“How soon after killing several people in the collision did she get into the vehicle with you?”

“Immediately.”

“Were your husband and son killed in April of 2020?”

“Yes”

“And that night, did you witness your daughter assaulting your son.”

“…Yes, but CC didn’t kill Jack”

Washington pulled up a picture on Jack’s corpse in an autopsy photo. CC and Marley exploded into tears as Washington flaunted the photograph. Circled in the photo with red marker was a horrible wound on Jack’s head.

“Is this a picture of your son, Jack Carlyle?” Washington interrogated/.

“It is” Marley said weeping.

“Was the wound shown here in this picture caused by your daughter bashing your son in the head with a lamp?”

“I have no way of knowing for sure”

“The autopsy report documented particles in this wound from a himalayan salt lamp, just like one that was found by investigators, broken, on the floor in the defendant’s bedroom” Washington announced. CC’s lawyer stood up to address the judge.

“Objection! Where’s the question”

“Sustained, mind your phrasing” the judge said as he pointed at the DA.

Washington continued hounding Marley, asking leading questions about CC’s attitude and personality that made her sound guilty no matter how her mother answered. A look of shame crossed Marley’s face every time she answered one of the DA’s questions. The defense took a beating.

The defense decided to redirect Marley right away. She only asked the felon mother one simple question.

“Is there any way on earth that your daughter did any of the things that she is being accused of?”

“No, Corona did not kill anybody. This is a big mistake. She is being sandbagged. When my daughter hit puberty, she went from being a sweetheart to a cold cynical drama queen. She was rude and rubbed people the wrong way; but that was just teenage angst. Underneath it all, CC is a kindhearted young woman; not a killer.”

Wendy House-Owens knew that Marley Carlyle was a liability on the stand and dismissed the mother back to her prison. CC mouthed the words “I love you” to her mom as she was being taken away.

“I love you too” the mother mouthed.

A middle-aged white female jure was noticeably emotional over the exchange. Washington became nervous, the young defense lawyer was victorious earlier in the jury selection phase and they both knew it. The prosecutor motioned to adjourn for the afternoon and pick things back up in the morning. House-Owens objected to the early day, claiming that her client had the right to a comparatively swift trial. The judge had a headache and felt the urge to comply with the motion. He told the defense that unless they were filing an official motion for a speedy trial, the court was not obligated to operate on the defenses preferred timeframe. The gavel was banged.

Wendy House-Owens reassured Corona Carlyle as the bailiffs cuffed CC to transport her back to her holding cell. “That was a good first day, CC. I know it was hard seeing your mother questioned like that, but I think it worked in your favor in the end. We only have to get through to one jure, and you’re going home” said the lawyer.

“I don’t even have a home anymore. But all the same, I think you rock” Corona said to her young lawyer. Wendy smiled and patted her client on the shoulder before she was taken away.

Wendy called an uber to pick her up from the courthouse. She evaded the press and got in the car. The uber transported Wendy back to the jail, where her car was parked. During the ride, Wendy noted her strange driver, a skinny bald man with a pentagram tattooed on his head. Wend caught the driver taking a picture of her in the back seat, and sending it in a text. It made her uncomfortable, but she chalked it up Court TV making a celebrity out of her. When the driver dropped her off he said “sweet dreams” to her in a way that sounded like a threat. She vowed to never use ride sharing apps again, assuming the man was on drugs, or mentally deranged, or both.

Wendy got into her car and noticed that her phone was missing when she went to use her gps to find the hotel she was staying at. She wondered if one of the vultures with cameras outside the courthouse ran her pockets as she walked past them. Wendy knew that she had to start going west down a stretch of dusty highway, and figured she cold ask a gas station attendant for better directions before she had to make any turns.

The young lawyer drove her silver jaguar down the mostly vacant road. She got five miles before a clunky grindy sound beneath her hood sounded, and her dashboard lit up red and yellow. The car died, and Wendy coasted gently off the side of the road.

“This is just perfect” Wendy said to herself. She stood around for a couple mins, hoping that somebody would dive by. House-Owens did not even bother popping the smokey hood, as she knew nothing about car engines, and was not in the business of even kidding herself.

A white van cam rolling down the road. As a lawyer who had studied and been involved in some heinous cases, she decided not to try flagging down a white van in a secluded place. Although Wendy did not want the van’s attention, she got it anyway. The young women clinched the car keys in her pocket as the van came to a stop. The window rolled down, and a face that the lawyer knew was behind the driver’s seat. It Bobbi Dowling, the witness that she had cross examined just a few hours earlier. Bobbi’s elegant style and deminer did not match the vehicle that she drove. Furthermore, Wendy found it strange that Bobbi was driving right there, right then.

“Are you having car troubles?” Bobbi asked the lawyer with a sinister smirk. Wendy shook her head at Bobbi.

“I’m fine” Wendy said dismissingly.

“You sure are. You’re really fine” Bobbi said as her eyes wandered around the lawyer’s body.

“Ms. Dowling, that’s inappropriate” Wendy said to Bobbi.

“I’m just playing. Let me give you a ride” Bobbi insisted.

“I am not supposed to have any interactions with you outside the courthouse whatsoever. It could compromise the entire case. Like I said, I’ll be okay. You can leave me alone now” Wendy said with the hairs on her neck standing up.

“Okay, I just have one question for you” Bobbi antagonized.

“I won’t answer, go away.”

Do you eat ass?” Bobbi asked.

“Get lost, skank!” Wendy shouted.

Bobbi pulled a handgun from under her seat and shot Wendy six times; in both shoulders, both knees, in the gut, and in the lower back. Wendy’s body dropped on the hot asphalt. Bobbi got out of her car and dragged Wendy’s bloody carcass into her van where she and her friends desecrated Wendy’s body, drank her. blood, and ate her entrails before burying her remains in the New Mexico desert.

 

 

 

The Next Morning

          Corona was disappointed when her lawyer did not show up for court. She ruminated scenarios as to why Wendy gave up on her. DA Washington pushed for CC to come up with a lawyer in 24 hours, or work with a public defender. The judge agreed with the terms.

CC met with her public defender back at the jail. His name was Mark Perovich, an old man in suspenders and a bowtie, slightly hunchbacked and bald down the middle of two sides of grey hair. Perovich spoke with a thick new England accent

“It’s genuinely nice to meet you CC. I promise you, your story will be heard”.

Corona Carlyle raised an eyebrow and looked at her public defender sideways.

“What happened to my other lawyer. Nobody is telling me anything. I think that her and I had a rather good game plan” CC implored.

“She vanished. It happens sometimes, people seem like they’re holding it all together, then all the pressure hits at once, and they go loopy. She’s probably on a beach somewhere getting loaded.”

“Okay… Well, Wendy didn’t think I should take the stand at all. She said that a lack of DNA evidence, and eyewitnesses providing alibis that screw up their timeline was all we needed; and that we wanted to avoid making this a political scene” CC tried reasoning with her new lawyer.

“Did you just say avoid making this a political scene? That’s not happening! Nationwide 7 o’clock curfews! People can’t leave their houses!” Perovich pried.

“People already weren’t supposed to leave their houses, according to them, because of the bullshit coronavirus!” CC argued.

“And who are they” CC’s lawyer asked rhetorically.

“The government! Trump! Biden! The fucking cops! Kyles! Bill Gates! George Soros! The media! Your fucking mom, dude!” CC’s attitude resurfaced for the first time in two years.

“Doesn’t it piss you off! Let me bring you up to speed, kid. I’m an old-school attorney, not some flashy brainchild. I’ve been defending people like you for fifty years, and I’m telling you this; if you’re on trial for murder, you speak in your own defense; because when you can’t speak for yourself, they are going to speak for you; and when your sitting in prison for the rest of your life, you know what you’re biggest regret will be.” The old man’s words cut deep. Wendy had her convinced that she was going to be set free. But she wasn’t there anymore. Maybe what Perovich was saying was true, and Wendy realized this, and that’s why she quit.

“Okay, put me on the stand. I’m going to tell them the truth. I’m the victim in all this. Me.”

 

 

Two Weeks Later

 

          A silver Jaguar compacted to the size of a minifridge was hidden under a pile of scrap metal somewhere in bumfuck New Mexico. The 24-hour news station reported on Wendy House-Owens, the prodigy special interests attorney who was shot in the head and killed with rubber bullets by police officers in New York City while she was at a protest against police brutality. The nation was outraged. The nation was always outraged. There was an internet conspiracy circulating claiming that those who were close to House-Owens swore that the corpse was not hers, and that she was murdered by Satanists with ties to President Biden.

And in other news, Corona Dianna Carlyle was sentenced to death for mass murder and mayhem. Before the sentencing, the judge asked CC if she wanted to address the jury.

CC considered going on a long political rant highlighting the sheepishness of the public, and the psychotically manipulative extents that evil and powerful people go to. CC shrugged and changed her mind.

“My only regret is not spreading the coronavirus even more. I wish covid-19 on everybody in this courtroom. I didn’t even do anything”

 

 

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