Pestilynn: A Brothers’ Promise
Anna sat on the crappy plastic recliner chair, laid back as if she were sunbathing in the middle of late June. It drove me crazy at the time, seeing as it was 40 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill and cloud cover. Then again, she’d been soaking in her own sweat not too long prior. Supposedly, she had been visiting her boyfriend, my brother, Rick. He was stationed out in the Pacific during his service, and he emailed me once talking about how, in case something happened, he’d want me to help her get back on her feet.
Well, something did, in fact, happen. Though much of the information was “classified” (fuck that word, by the way. It’s a damn secret, and we all know it), I was able to find out that some political negotiations between us and our Soviet neighbors didn’t end peacefully, and a series of flashpoints have been escalating in the degree of aggression between NATO and Warsaw forces. Kind of shitty, since we’d been working together for the past decade to really help the world.
Anyway, Rick ended up defending some man-made micronations near the Philippines, and took a concussive round straight to the chest. He’s been comatose in the nearby Naval hospital for over a month, and now this chick has been monopolizing my apartment space. She only works twice a week at some coffee joint near the Space Needle, so I have to come home just to see her lazing about. All she really does is watch extreme sports on the computer and sit on the second story balcony on that damn chair.
Fortunately, she got money from the government to pay for our expenses, so she really didn’t need to work at all. Maybe she did it because she felt obligated. Perhaps she was just bored. Hell if I knew. I didn’t even have a clue as to why she got so much cash. For all I could tell, she was military, too. She’ll never tell me. It’s always “I’ll tell you some other day”.
Normally, I’d be at the studio, mastering some Indie artists shitty Alternative album. The roof had a massive leak, though, so I’d been doing most of my work from home. It was getting a bit uncomfortable at that point, so I decided, after watching Anna for a few minutes, that I needed to get out of the damn apartment.
As I put on my coat and grabbed my wallet, Anna walked back inside. “Where’re you going, Andrew?”
“I’m going for a walk. Maybe I’ll visit Rick. Do you need me to pick up anything?”
“I think that I’m fine. Can I come with you?”
I’d been dreading that. “Actually, I hope you don’t mind if I fly solo this time…”
She frowned at that. Her pale skin, long black hair, and dark eyes made her slender frame appear much more threatening than I’d have been comfortable with. “Fine,” was all she said in response, as she walked back out on to the balcony that overlooked the waterfront.
I wasted no time in hurrying out the door. Another trait of Anna Lynn Grimes is her unmatched ability to scare the pants off of a grown man without raising a fist or muttering a word.
After rushing down the stairs to the complex door, and waving to the landlord, Peter, I walked out into the cold air. As if on cue, it immediately began to rain. Just my damn luck. I pulled up my coat hood and began to make my sidewalk journey to visit Sergeant Rick Stevens at what may very well have been his deathbed.
What with the increased tension between the US and Russia, the amount of VTOL flyby’s and military convoys had at least quadrupled each year. You couldn’t walk two minutes without seeing some armed something-or-other passing by. I’d even seen a cargo truck carrying a load of Combat Mech’s to Fort Audrey-Philips, out where Pier 66 used to be. By either luck, respect, or perhaps just the fish and marijuana stench, the Navy had steered clear of Pike Place, so I took that path to the hospital. It was amazing how, even with all the uncertainty of the world, this crazy-ass Seattle culture managed to prevail with an even stronger fire than ever before.
I stopped at a little oriental shop to grab a stick of foreign gum that I couldn’t put a name to. The stuff was damn delicious, though if you asked me what was in it, I’d have shrugged my shoulders with the apathy of a dead man. For me, the experience was a ton better than the knowledge of its contents.
With my taste buds filled with three dollars worth of fruity goodness, I continued back on to the streets of an always-bustling city.
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