|The Story||The Authors|
|Meredith awoke with a start. "What an odd dream," she told herself. "I can't remember everything, but wait'll I relate the part about the incredible bus trip to the girls at the beauty salon!" She laughed, stretched, and padded into the bathroom to enjoy her morning shower. The clock indicated 9:45 as she rushed to finish her cream danish and gulp down the last drop of Swiss Mocha. "Mustn't be late for work today," she reminded herself. "I've got the whole world depending on me." This was a reference to her position as first female head of the United Nations. It was a long commute from home to work, but she was always on time, thanks to the resourceful machinations of her team of hand-picked troubleshooters; particularly, Lt. Mike McClure, the best darn fighter-pilot ever to soar over Gulf Stream.|
Not to mention over the Gulf War, where, unfortunately, an overfast bit of shrapnel, flying off a purported enemy munitions cache Mike had just bombed, cut through the fusilage of his fighter jet and severed not one but both of the poor man's testicles before lodging itself so intricately between his coccyx and his duodenum than no doctor had yet been found who would undertake its removal.|
What no one else knew, though, was that the bit of shrapnel had begun to talk to Mike. Specifically, to issue him instructions.
|"why don't you ever listen to me, Mike?" said the shrhapnel lodged in his loins. "I feel very detached from your every day life and honestly, I'm feeling a little neglected." Mike tried to ignore the talking shrapnel and focus on his date, Nikki, who was sitting across the table from him. "Did you say something, Mike," she said. He blushed and said, "no, um.. it's just a war injury." "Oh," she said, "cause I was starting to agree with it for a moment."|
His head jerked up to search her face for some sign of humor. Thank God! She was smirking . Actually, in this lighting, she looked strikingly beautiful.|
"Why are you looking at me like that?" she queried.
"I was just thinking how beautiful you are."
"Beautiful?!" mocked the shrapnel. "how can you call that beautiful, Mike? Can't you see how close together her eyes are? And get a load of that nose!!" Mike looked down at his groin. "You're just jealous. It's as simple as that." he replied.
|"Jealous?!" the thin, high pitched voice whined, bringing to mind that time Mike had tried to fly unhampered by anything, save gravity, and had inevitably cracked his fool head open, and had to be rushed back to civilization, by way of an antiquated, station-wagon ambulance with those really pointy taillights. All the while, in the background, the annoying siren had nearly driven him insane. . . "Pray tell oh beleaguered one, for what reason might I feel jealous? That pointy-nosed bitch will never be as close to you as I am, Mikey." And, as if to drive the point home, the shrapnel nestled in a little closer, sending excruciating pain shooting throughout Mike's body. Much like the rays of the sun reaching out from behind a cloud, to touch those who are enveloped in shadow.|
|"Alright!" Mike winced. "You win!" "Say it." commanded the shrapnel. "Oh, please, don't make me do it." Mike begged. "Say it!" said the shrapnel, punctuating the command by sending another bolt of pain through Mike's body. "Shrapnel is my lord and master!" Mike said as he fell to the ground in agony. "Thankyou. Answer that." said the shrapnel in response to the electronic ringing of Mike's cell phone. Mike did as he was commanded. "Hello?" he said, trying to mask his humiliation. "Mike, where the hell are you?" It was Meredith, Mike's boss. "I'm going to be late for work! You know I can't be late! This is what I hired you for, Mike. Your job is to see that I'm not late and where are you? Your making me late!"|
|Mike winced. "I'm on my way. right now. really. bye." He hung up quickly before Meredith could get her tirade into high gear. Her abuse seemed to be the only real constant in his job and in fact had caused him a certain amount of tinnitus in his right ear from answering her constant calls. "Mike, where the hell are you? It's three AM and I'm out of sugar for my herbal tea. I need it here NOW! before the tea gets cold." Mike, I'm in the ladies room on the third floor and this stalls out of toilet paper. Hurry, you worthless son of a bitch, I've got a meeting with the Somali ambassador in ten minutes." "slow down, stupid" "Hurry up, dipshit" " You call this a corned beef sandwitch? I could shit between two slices of bread and do better." and on and on. At least it paid well. Allowed him to meet beautiful exotic women like Nikki. He sighed. Deep in his bowels the shrapnel snickered. "She doesn't know, does she Mike?" sneered the small bit of metal. When were you planning on telling her? Such a sad story yours is Mike. It's too bad really, Bertram would've really enjoyed her." Mike gasped as another spasm of pain wracked through him. He leaned over and kissed the luscious Nikki as passionately and quickly as he could and hurried out the door yelling for Bertram to get the car. "Yes, yes, yes, Bertram will be dissappointed to find he's missing out today." taunted the Shrapnel with another tweak to Mike's inflamed guts. Bertram brought the car around and they sped out quickly into traffic. Betram was Mike's chauffeur/personal valet who also held the much esteemed position as Mike's "closer" since the accident. The piece of shrapnel may have severed Mike's testicle and made daily shaving a thing of the past, but it hadn't severed his libido. The drive was there only alas, the equipment wasn't. So Bertram was employed. Mike was thus able to continue with the rakish lifestyle to which he had accustomed himself. It was just certain aspects that had to be changed to accomodate his peculiar circumstances. He would still meet and wine and dine the ladies in question and when the moment was ripe begin the seduction. He would pour his soul into it for it was all he had left in the world that he loved. And also as it is true that a disability sharpens a person's other other skills so was it true with Mike. He would drive and lap at sweetest essences of the moment with not inconsiderable skill for as long as he could up to the penultimate moment at which point he would discreetly recuse himself and helplessly watch as Bertram finished his work and the shrapnel sang it's special little song to him.|