by Marcus Jonathan Chapman
“It’s one quarter for the defenestration, a dollar for fenestration and an extra two bucks to choose the vehicle.” I fingered the two dimes and nickel in my pocket, wondering if I was attractive enough to talk to the lady working the front desk of the “Crimes and Felonies Simulation Center” into letting me choose the vehicle with out the extra two clams.
I took a step back, looking through the window across the plaza at the “Misdemeanors and Minor Offenses Simulation Center,” tucked between the dollar store and the empty one forever hanging a lease sign. I could get more thrills at “Minor Offenses” but the quality, you can’t skimp on quality.
Slapping my three coins on the counter, I said, “I’ll get defenestrated today.” I grabbed some copper from the “take a penny, leave a penny” tray and said, “which vehicles can I select with this.”
Without changing her expression, or tone, she said, “Tell you what, I’ll run the simulation myself. Follow me, sir.”
We walked through the shop, I could hear screaming, thuds, cracks, shattering glass, grunts, wet gurgling and all the sounds a comfortable middle class boy like myself doesn’t often get to hear or experience outside of movies and video games.
We stepped outside to the back of the shop. Parked net to a dumpster was a Ford Taurus, somewhere from the early 90’s.
“Get in.” she said, already shutting the door behind her. I knew where this was going, she would tell me not to wear my seat belt, hit top speed and send me flying through the windshield, but she was hot so I ignored my brain.
She drove, her hands ten and two, no radio, stopping at every light, keeping two car lengths between the vehicles in front. Textbook safe driving. We pulled up to a bakery and she said, “get out.”
Together, we went into the shop. I smelled cinnamon, pastries and apple pie. It was like walking into grandma’s house on Christmas. “One croissant for me and whatever he’s having.” I looked at all the deliciousness on display and selected a cream-filled pastry, “That one.” I pointed.
With pastries in hand we got back in the car. I closed the door behind me and bit into my baked good. The outside was flaky and crumbled in my mouth. Then my tongue hit the warm cheesy filling and I closed my eyes.
My eyes were nailed shut with shards of glass. I felt warm liquid trickling down my head and neck. My face grated against the gravel leaving skin, muscle and tissue on the asphalt behind me as I slid forward. Like soft Gouda between the holes of a grater. My veins and arteries snapping and popping as I traveled forward. The blood vessels twisting and shriveling as they came in contact with the air.
I felt my legs and waist folding over the back of my head as my momentum carried me forward. My face, the sole of a 12-year-olds Vans as she skids her foot on the ground to slow her bike.
My back snapped. My shoulders popped out of socket. My face skin worn away, my skull chipping off and my teeth flying out like corks around the world on New Years Eve. My body stopped and everything was black.
The next voice I heard was gods.
“Thank you for choosing Crimes and Felonies Simulation Center for your real life experiences. Be sure to get out of your chair slowly as your mind may still be adjusting to reality. The light will fade up slowly and then it will be safe to exit.”
25 cents well spent.