Louder Fenn

Friday, March 01, 2002

The Spare Midge
Modicum 8

Midge had gone shopping. Singing earrings; mobile tattoos; a small dancing monkey with a choreography co-Am; a real-time shunt into the gallery of Willi Chun himself, who produced livid works of Incompletion every forty two minutes; and, more mundanely, a wardrobe not quite available on little Takla Makan.

Of her new wardrobe she wore a veil (a fabric of suns and moons), white cotton gloves rolled at her wrists, and a calico dress that reached to her ankles. That's all she wore. She told me what I already knew, that the dress could open, in the front, any length up and past her neck — though she would seldom need her neck exposed.

She had also bought a small colony of virgin-maker fleas. They were living inside her. Whenever necessary, they would come down and reconstruct her physical virginity. Every boy, after all, prefers a virgin girl.

Midge had been with five boys that day, taking advantage of her easy-open dress and renewable virginity. She had not asked their names; the second boy, clearly a regular at the Unending Wham, could not even give his name: his face was erased — for his perfect anonymity — and so he had no mouth. Two other boys, apart from the five, had refused Midge's refusals; and she had wounded them. She had also broken a hundred hearts. Her scanself, taken by some roving netjackers, was already populating the Amnet of Rock.

On top of that, she was drunk six different ways.

Midge had never been so relentlessly excessive before. Of course she had also never been eighty nine light-years away from Mother. Midge was now cut off from any judgment. Oh, Mother had not raised Midge to be a good girl, not as such; but she had persisted in trying to raise her. The docspock co-Am — which, I sometimes think, got very frustrated by Mother's incompetence — was forever downloading the latest schemes from a thousand worlds, and Mother was forever applying them to Midge. Whether the schemes counseled discipline or license, Midge's conduct was always subject to review. Midge hated it.

She envied Mother's indifference to me.

Ó 2002 Louder Fenn
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