The Days of Our Pandemic: episode &

apinkyandthebrainhomage by KZ Rochelle (of course)

See what K & Z were up to in the previous episode of The Days of Our Pandemic or follow K & Z from the beginning.

Outside the lavender home with blue violet trim on Wonky Way Lane, a formerly cranberry red Sun Chips bag brushed its way along the street. The bag used to be vibrant, presumably when it was opened and its contents consumed, but that had been long ago. Too long ago to carbon date just when. Back in the time before the pandemic. When children walked to school and ran about the neighborhood, sharing snacks with one another. When adults pulled cars out of driveways of homes and into parking structures of offices and sat next to other adults from a household other than their own. The world no longer operated so carelessly, and the reflection of the sun on the silver foil of the pink-striped Sun Chips bag reminded anyone who could see it that the world was a dangerous place. 

Inside the lavender home with blue violet trim on Wonky Way Lane, K sat backwards on a couch, gazing out the bay window at the sun’s shimmer on the aforementioned Sun Chips bag. She sighed a mournful, longing sigh. As the sigh left her lungs, it took with it the energy that held her upright, and her head descended onto the back of the sofa. Her eyes blinked with the weight of isolation.

K breathed deeply, several times in succession, inflating herself like a birthday party balloon until she stood and walked into the bathroom.

“Good morning, Z,” said K.

“Good morning, K,” said Z.

The bathroom wall groaned.

“And good morning to you, Rochelle,” Z said.

“Z,” said K, “I have a plan.”

You have a plan?” asked Z. “It’s my job to create with my enormous brain while you, you, you –”

“I have a plan.”

Z settled then smirked with the thought of forthcoming entertainment at K’s expense.

“What kind of plan do you have, K? For what purpose?” asked Z.

“I’m going to bust us out of this joint,” said K.

Z looked out from the vanity mirror bemused, as though entertaining a toddler’s notions to fly to the moon.

“Is that so?” said Z.

K searched her surroundings as though a spy were trailing her. “No, Z. There’s no sewing involved. It’s a busting plan,” said K.

“Mmmmm, a busting plan as in the replication of the human form from approximately the torso up.” Z was being purposely difficult. “Will you compose this bust of stone? Of wood?”

K’s eyes were wide with the thought that perhaps she did not know what her own plan was. “Ummm. The bust is — it would be — it’s not stone.” Then a thought occurred to her. “Is it stone? What are the walls made of? Because I’m planning to bust us out of these walls.”

“I see,” said Z. “And how might you plan to accomplish this feat that I have been unable, thus far, to effect?” 

“I won’t use my feet, Z. I’ll use my arms. Actually, is a shoulder a part of the arm?”

“How will your shoulder conduct itself to free us?” asked Z.

“The shoulder is the most important part, Z. See? No sewing.”

“Unless with have to sew your shoulder back on after this impending disaster,” muttered Z to herself.

What is K up to? Can she succeed where Z has only failed? And if so, how will Z take it? Find out next time in The Days of Our Pandemic

Days of Our Pandemic: episode y2

apinkyandthebrainhomage by KZ Rochelle (of course)

See what K & Z were up to in the previous episode of The Days of Our Pandemic or follow K & Z from the beginning.

When last we saw K and Z in episode y, Z lamented her lack of creative energy and therefore her lack of a plan to escape the confinement of these four walls and K danced with her overflow of energy in the face of Draft Day.

“You want me to stop dancing, Z?”

“Yes, K.”

“Why, Z?”

“Because I need a plan and I cannot think of a plan with all dastardly distraction drowning my creative drive.”

“Well, why didn’t you just say so?” said K, who stood statue still. 

Z contemplated her recent efforts. The plumbing debacle, the foiled delivery, the perished paperclip predicament. Her ideas were unique. They were soluble. They should have been successful. But K always managed to get in the way of things going right or well.

K’s statuesque pose began to crumble. “Hey, Z, it’s hard being a statue.” K barely finished speaking before she burst into laughter. “Ba hahaha! It’s hard. Being a statue! Hahaha. Get it, Z? Ha! Because statues are stone. Haha. So they’re hard. Ha. Ha.”

“Hardy har har.” Z did not laugh. She deigned to be annoyed.

“HARDy HARD HARD! Hahaha!” K could not control herself.  

“It’s a solemn, solitary tune on a day I cannot cogitate to create a plan. No laughter, please.”

K’s laughter ceased.

“What will you do, Z?” asked K.

“I don’t know. I’m afraid I have no plan to escape.”

“No plan to escape!?”

“No, not really. And a doleful mood haunts my horizon. I have to have something joyful to look forward to in the paucity of escape. We must organize a virtual happy hour.”

K considered this. “Why must we be virtually happy when we can be reality happy? And why for only one hour? I think there are 28 hours in a day. Or is it 11?”

“No, K. You misunderstand, as usual. A virtual happy hour exists in a virtual shared space like Zoom or Remo or Google or Duo or Facetime.”

“Ohhhhhhh. Okay, Z. Is that how we plan to escape the confoundments of these four walls.”

“There’s no escaping these confounding misunderstandings, K. I throw in the towel.”

“That towel?” K pointed to the damp towel left on the floor from her pre-dawn shower.

“What’s the use, anymore? We will call a virtual happy hour and drink ourselves out of this blasted mindset.”

“So that’s how we’ll escape the confounds of these four walls,” said K, believing she was understanding. K continued toward the towel. “I don’t know what you need this towel for.” She reached for it. “But you seem sad so I’ll get it for you.”

As K’s arm extended from her torso, her foot tried to move forward. It tried only because it was caught on a taut hose, accessory to the wet/dry vac required to help tend to the water damage in the bathroom. The hose held across the floor like a finish line that did not give way with the first finisher. It caught K’s foot and sent K flying forward. She knocked her knee on the towel and her forehead on the floor.

Rochelle cackled in earnest.

“Not! Funny! Ro! Chelle!” said K, slowly pushing herself up to a seated position.

“I must agree, Rochelle. This is not funny. Are you okay, K?”

K turned toward the mirror to find Z. She smiled broadly and giggled because she was a broadly smiling braud. Even though she didn’t really like that word.

“Yeah. I’m okay. Thank you, Z.” She giggled some more.

“Come here, K.”

K’s fingers grabbed the counter and pulled her upright. She stood a moment then hunched her shoulders over the countertop, resting her face in her hands and her elbows on the counter. She smiled an idiot’s smile. Which was none too different than usual. But what was different than usual was the red flow falling from K’s right eyebrow. 

“A laceration!” said Z.

“Incarceration?” asked K.

“Not anymore,” said Z. “I think you’ve stumbled into a solution and a plan in one fell swoop.”

“I fell and I stumbled and I swooped,” said K. “And I hit my head.” K was puzzled. “Didn’t you see it, Z? I thought you were here. Maybe I hit my head harder than I thought? Or my thoughts are harder than my head? I think?”

“Unlikely,” said Z. “But we will have to take you to the doctor! A brilliant loophole!”

“Oh, geez, Z. Do I have to? I don’t like to go to the doctors. They give you shots there.”

“No shots today, K!” Z’s pep returned to her voice. “We are breaking out of the world enclosed by these four walls! Grab the toilet paper roll and head to the garage, K.”

“Are we going to get more toilet paper, Z? Is it back in the stores? No more hoarding?”

“K, we just went over this. We are going to the doctor.”

“But, Z. I don’t want to,” K said.

“Do you want to get out of these four walls?”

“Well. Yes. But.”

“No buts! We’re getting out! Grab the toilet paper. Take some and dab your eyebrow. You’ll drip on the floor.”

“Right-o,” K said. She slogged along, grabbing and dabbing and leaving the bathroom.

“K!!!!!” Z yelled.

K popped her bleeding head through the doorframe to the bathroom.

“Yes, Z?”

“Aren’t you forgetting something?” Z asked.

K held up the toilet paper. “Got the TP, Z.” She looked around the bathroom. She tried to remember if she was supposed to take the plumbing. Or was it the wet/dry vac? There was a towel on the floor. That didn’t seem like the place it should be. Maybe she was supposed to wrap herself in a towel. Was she supposed to stay fully clothed under the towel? That didn’t sound right. She was going to the doctor after all, the place she first attended in her birthday suit…

What will happen at the doctor’s office? Will K be kicked out for public exposure and indecency? Or will Z be able to set K straight before they arrive? Find out in the next installment of Days of Our Pandemic….

The Days of Our Pandemic: episode y

apinkyandthebrainhomage by KZ Rochelle (of course)

See what K & Z were up to in the previous episode of The Days of Our Pandemic or follow K & Z from the beginning.

No one would know it from the looks of things outside the lavender house with blue violet trim on Wonky Way Lane (largely because no one stood outside the lavender house with blue violet trim on Wonky Way Lane, not with the Venice-canal type COVID cleansing diminishing the human traffic and debris on the road), but things inside the house became drafty after the busted pipe and water park bathroom episode. 

“I’m going to draft the best players!” K told Z as she combed her hair and capped her head to hide the graying roots near her scalp. 

“Mmhmmm,” replied Z who was not at all listening to K. She was too busy contemplating the plan she planned to enact, the plan she kept planning for success, the plan she kept having to redesign, the plan that kept getting thwarted. 

“I have to get the best players if I’m going to win the tournament, Z,” said K.

“Mmhmmm,” said Z.

“And then I can run through the house with arms up in a Rockyesque victory.”

“Ahhh,” said K.

“Z! Are you listening to me?! You hate Rocky but you love sports.”

“Hmmm?”

“I said it’s Draft Day for the football card tournament. I’m going to draft Peyton Manning and Randy Moss and Emmett Smith.”

“I thought you said today was Draft Day.”

“I did.”

“Then why aren’t you drafting today’s players? Or at least, just-before-Covid players?”

“I am! I’m going to go for Harry Kane and Lionel Messi and, of course, Virgil van Dyke! The best footballers around.”

Z breathed deeply. “K, those men do not all play the same sport.”

“They do, too. It’s a football draft so you have to draft footballers.”

“And what is a footballer, K?”

“A baller who foots,” said K. “Which can be confused with a ball with feet, but it’s not the same.”

“I don’t even want to know.” Z rolled her eyes. “Whatever sport you end up in, find the women. They’re able to see in ways the men cannot. If you forget the women, you forget half the game.”

“Oh, Z,” said K. “How can I forget the women? I am the women!”

Z thought about it. She knew it was not what K intended to say, but, in a way, she was right. K and Z, Z and K. They were the women. Z a mirror’s reflection of K’s visage — though how her intelligence multiplied in on itself and never refracted to K was a bit of a mystery.

“Do you want to play, too, Z? You can have only women. If you want.”

“No, K,” said Z. “I do not want to play. And you won’t either. We will be far too busy to play any kind of football.”

“Why, Z? What will we be doing?”

“The same thing we do every day, K. Trying to escape the world enclosed by these four walls!”

A beleaguered Rochelle attempted a cackle that sounded like a whimper. And who could blame her? K battered Rochelle in the previous attempt to escape the world enclosed by these four walls. She nearly knocked a hole into one of the four walls of the bathroom where K and Z got ready each morning, where they discussed the day’s plans, where they stood now. Plastic and duct tape covered the wall which K claimed was a remodel and an improvement. She added a new window. Z told her that if that’s what all windows looked like, the world would be a cold and lightless place where the boogeyman could always get you. Hearing this, K, being K, decided to boogie, man. 

And K boogied now, thinking about her footballing team. 

“Can you please cease that needless gesticulation?”

“You want me to stop dancing, Z?”

“Yes, K.”

“Why, Z?”

“Because I need a plan and I cannot think of a plan with all dastardly distraction drowning my creative drive.”

Has Z’s creativity run dryer than her social life? Will she be able to plot her way out of this one or will she succumb to the entrapment of her mind as well as the four walls which surround her? Find out next time in The Days of Our Pandemic….

Days of our Pandemic: episode p4

apinkyandthebrainhomage by KZ Rochelle (of course)

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See what K & Z were up to in the previous episode of The Days of Our Pandemic or follow K & Z from the beginning.

When last we saw K and Z in episode p, part 3, K and Z returned to the bathroom to put Z’s brilliant plan into effect. The plan to escape the confines of these four walls.

“This is it, K. This is the origin, where the nascent bulb of the life of my intelligence blooms out from its hardened edifice and astounds the world with its beauty and splendor. Are you ready?”

“I’m confused, Z.”

“Do you have a question, K?”

“Yes, Z.”

“What’s your question, K?”

“I have several, Z.”

“Fire away, K.”

“Okay, Z. Why is it called shipping if it goes by truck? And why is it called cargo if it goes by ship? Why does the alarm clock go off when it’s coming on? And why are chickpeas called chickpeas when they don’t have chicks or peas?”

“You won’t like my answer, K.”

“That’s okay, Z.”

“You prefer my answer to naught.”

“Not not, K. I have no answer now. Nothing. What is your answer?” said K.

“English is weird,” said Z.

“That’s it? That’s the answer.”

“Yes,” said Z. “I told you you would not like it. However, there’s a bit more,” said Z.

“What’s that?” asked K.

“It can be understood with tough thorough thought though,” said Z.

“Well, that’s simple enough,” said K.

“Let’s begin,” said Z.

“Begin our tough thorough thought, Z?”

“No tough thorough thought you, K.”

“Right-o, Z.”

“But you can begin to put the plan into action.”

“Aye, aye, Cap’n.”

Z could not see what happened next as she was positioned on the counter facing the wall. But she could tell something bad was about to happen because Rochelle started to screech. And just before her screeching hit a frequency to shatter Z’s glass, the screeching stopped. It was replaced with a loud, vibrating thunk that caused Z to turn every which way she could in the vanity mirror in the bathroom in the lavender home on Wonky Way Lane.

Rochelle pulsed like a prostrate, pouting lip. 

Then thunk! 

Z turned every which way she could in the vanity mirror in the bathroom in the lavender home on Wonky Way Lane.

“What is that noise?” Z yelled out into the bathroom.

Thunk.

Z turned every which way she could in the vanity mirror in the bathroom in the lavender home on Wonky Way Lane until she noticed a flurry of fine white particles filling and floating through the air.

“Oh, no!” Z yelled. “K, don’t!”

But she was too late. K was already in motion, swinging the sledgehammer so that it thunked and pinged over Z’s cries. She swung again, not hearing Z who continued to yell or Rochelle who continued to whimper.

“This is a fun plan, Z,” said K, whose shoes were beginning to feel a little bit damp. 

Z heard running water and wished she had legs to run away on, or at least a dinglehopper to make sure she looked her best.

“It’s a bath room!” shouted K as the bathroom filled with water. “I’m taking a bath in the bathroom because it’s a bath room!”

K was having far too much fun for having caused far too much destruction. 

Two boys’ heads appeared in the doorway.

“Oh, cool, Mom! You made a water park.”

“Bruh, grab a boogie board and close the door. This place is rockin’!” said a second boy.

“Nah, man! It’s sloshin’!” said the first boy.

So, K and her two sons splish splashed as they were taking their bathroom water park bath all the way to Saturday night. Which was that night. 

Meanwhile, Z contemplated where her plan had gone awry and wondered how she could avert a similar disaster if she was forever strapped to K, with her face that looked just like Z’s but held such a different interior. She cursed K and the project and the rule of Covid. And dreamed about the day when she would successfully escape the confines of these four walls. Then she read an article about the cold weather in Texas.

What will K and Z try next? Or are they ready to throw in the towel (or hide under the towel)? Find out in the next episode of The Days of Our Pandemic.

Days of our Pandemic: episode p2

apinkyandthebrainhomage by KZ Rochelle (of course)

See what K & Z were up to in the previous episode of The Days of Our Pandemic or follow K & Z from the beginning.

When last we saw K and Z in episode p, part 1, they were heading from the bathroom to the dining room to see who killed Mr. Body with the candlestick. No. Wait. That’s not right. Why were they headed to the dining room again?

“I’ll show you. Take me to the dining room!” ordered Z.

K carried Z to the dining room. The dining room sat empty — of people — with mostly empty cereal bowls scattered about without their spoons and half-eaten bags of chips falling over more half-eaten bags of chips. A strange greyish liquid dripped off the dining table and onto the floor.

Z saw it all. “Does no one clean up in this place?” Z asked without needing an answer, for the answer presented itself in the environment.

“Yup,” said K, “no one cleans up in this place, Z.” K glowed with pride, and possibly with toothpaste and spittle as well. “Isn’t it lovely?”

Z did not answer. Instead, she pointed to the backyard, that once was green, but like the vibrancy of the lives of those living inside the lavender home with blue violet trim on Wonky Way Lane, it had devolved into a destitute state of dryness. Then brownness. Then dirtness. 

“Do you see that, K?” asked Z.

“It’s a fence!” said K.

“No, not that,” said an annoyed Z.

“It’s a spider!” said K.

“No, not that,” said a peevish Z.

“It’s a family of spiders!” said K.

“No, not that,” said a cross Z.

“It’s a bird! And a plane! No, there are no planes. It’s, it’s –”

“NO NOT THAT,” said a livid Z. “Look at that pile of dirt, you dimwit.”

“Which pile of dirt, Z? There’s dirt all over the place. It’s one big pile of dirt. Speaking of dirt, do you know what I heard? Beneath all the houses and buildings and stuff? It’s just dirt. Can you believe that, Z? Dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt. Is that true, Z?”

“Yes, K. We live in a dirty world,” said Z.

“Yes, we do!” K enthralled.

“And wouldn’t you like to get out into that dirty world?” asked Z.

“Yes, I would! I want to be dirty, too!” said K.

“Then shut up and listen to my plan!”

“Shutting up, Z,” said K and covered her mouth with both hands.

“Do you see that mound of dirt not three paces out from the doorframe?” asked Z.

K nodded her head but stayed otherwise shut up with her hands over her mouth.

“Do you know what makes that mound of dirt?” asked Z.

K’s eyes narrowed. Her mouth emerged like the redness of an injection site. Her lips squinched. Her hands shot up with one finger extended on each.

“Vitamins! There’s vitamins in dirt,” said K. “Hey, Z? How come we don’t eat the dirt if it’s so rich in vitamins?”

“Well, K,” Z let the words fall softly from her tongue, “that’s an example of WHEN YOU SHOULD HAVE SHUT UP!”

“Right-o, Z. Shutting up.” K pressed her lips together by pressing her fingers down on her upper lip and her thumbs up on her lower lip.

Clearing her throat, Z informed K, “The dirt pile in question is a gopher mound.” Z paused to consider how to dumb down the facts for the being before her. “An itty bitty gopher crawled up from under the ground and pushed all that brown dirt out so it could see the sunny sun. Does that make sense to a brain the size of yours?”

K nodded cautiously, thinking she might have just been insulted.

Her nodding stopped, thinking she might not have just been insulted.

K shook her head vigorously, thinking she might have just been lauded. 

“Out with it,” said Z.

K’s hands fell from her face.

“With the gopher or his cents?” asked K.

“You should have kept it in,” said Z.

“Kept in the gopher or his cents? And does he keep his cents in his pockets or in a gopher piggy bank? Is a gopher piggy bank too big for his gopher pocket? And where does he get gopher clothes? He should wear overalls. Don’t you think gophers should wear overalls?”

Will K discover gophers walk around in the nude and be revolted? or propelled to make clothing for them in order to protect them from feeling embarrassed? Or will Z silence K’s inane questions? Find out in the next part of Days of our Pandemic

Days of Our Pandemic: episode p

apinkyandthebrainhomage by KZ Rochelle (of course)

See what K & Z were up to in the previous episode of The Days of Our Pandemic or follow K & Z from the beginning.

Wonky Way Lane was home to innumerable creatures. Some were constantly fighting over territory and food, like the pair of peregrine falcons who flew ominously into frame. Or the family of rabbits on the east side of the street that engaged in a bitter, broiling battle for rule of the road, until the night one east-sider fell in love at first sight with one west-sider so that the two eloped the next morning and might have never lived happily ever after if it weren’t for Tybalt. But, I digress. For we concern ourselves not with the falcons or the rabbits, the foxes or the fairies. No, our scene takes place inside one home in particular. One house on Wonky Way Lane that housed some wonky ways. That house was the lavender house with blue violet trim, the one that waved a purple COVID flag, where inside, lived K and Z, with whom we are concerned. Or, at least, for whom we are concerned. Observe, Reader, from your safe distance on the far side of the screen lest you spiral into what you discover…

The sun was sunning through the slight window high above K’s head as she brushed her teeth with her eyes closed because the sun was sunning right into her eyes and she didn’t realize it would not if she only stepped one step over to the right or the left. 

“Whmf wef ui boehee, Pee?” asked K over the buzz of the electronic toothbrush inside her mouth.

“What did you call me!?” said Z, enraged by K’s name-calling so early in the morning.

K spoke again. “I faed whmf wef ui suigg boehee?”

“Would you take that blasted thing out of your mouth ere you emit another word in my presence?” demanded Z.  

K pulled the toothbrush from her mouth and cleared her throat to speak. Before she said a word, Z was yelling at her.

“Turn off the toothbrush! Turn off the toothbrush!” Z’s forearm covered her face as toothpaste splattered against the vanity mirror out from which Z looked.

K pressed the button that turned off the toothbrush. 

“Oopsies.” K grinned sheepishly. “Sorry, Z.”

Z removed her forearm as protection and looked at the spotted glass. 

“Well,” said Z with barely veiled disgust, “you’re going to have to clean this up before we get to the plan for the day.”

“The plan?” said K. “Oh boy! Oh boy! I love the plan!” K clapped her hands together and jumped up and down, forgetting the bath towel hanging across a clothesline in the bathroom. She jumped up into it, panicked, flailed, got caught up in it, and pulled the entire thing down on herself.

“Help! Help, Z! Help! Something’s got me! And it’s stolen the sun! Help!” 

Z looked straight out her mirror at Rochelle. “Can you believe this nonsense?”

A low rumble came from the walls themselves.

K’s foot kicked itself out from under the bath sheet.

“Light! I see light!”

Z rolled her eyes.

K continued her fight with the towel. Rolling, cursing, and finally, emerging, she pinned the towel beneath her knee. She shot her hands into the air. “Victory!”

“Yes, hardly won,” said Z.

“Yes! Hard won victory!” said K. K stood and grabbed the towel from the floor. She rubbed the defeated towel against Z’s face until all the spots were gone.

“I’ve healed you, Z,” said K.

“Thank you, K,” said Z, choosing which battles of language to fight with K.

“Now,” said K, dropping the towel back on the floor, “what are we going to do today, Z?”

“The same thing we do every day, K. Escape the enclosure of these four walls.”

“Mwuah ha ha ha ha ha,” rumbled from the walls and ricocheted through the room. 

“Stop! Stop! Stop, Rochelle!” K stomped. She covered her ears. She stepped on the towel with one foot. And got caught under the towel with her other foot before finding her face on the floor not far from where her feet should have been.

A high-pitched squeal akin to giggling fell over and through the room.

K bounced to her feet. “I will not be mocked, Rochelle!” K shouted.

“Enough!” Z’s martinet tone draped over K and Rochelle and even the east and west side rabbits heard. “We shan’t waste the day with such shenanigans. We have plans to enact.”

“What will we be acting in today?” asked K.

“I’ll show you. Take me to the dining room!” ordered Z.

You, Reader, may want to avert your eyes to what you are about to see. But Z had no such warning. Discover what Z sees in the dining room, if you can stomach it, which you can, because you stomach K regularly already (and no this does not mean you eat or digest her….please do not do that because that would be an undesirable end to this series…but I think I was trying to tell you something relatively important to this story….Oh yes! You’ll stand strong in the dining room with K and Z) in the next installment of Days of Our Pandemic!

Days of our Pandemic: episode m4

apinkyandthebrainhomage by KZ Rochelle (of course)

See what happened in the previous episode (i) of The Days of Our PandemicOr start from the beginning.

When last we saw K and Z in episode m, part 3, K and Z discovered a present on the porch. What’s it it and whose it from? Read on! It’s time to begin the end of episode m.

K grabbed the box from the porch with greed, as though grabbing at freedom and fresh air itself. She brought it inside, showing Z. She tore into it. 

“It has a note,” said K.

“Show it to me,” said Z.

K held the note up to the mirror for Z to see.

“Open it first!” said Z.

“Well you didn’t say that,” said a peeved K.

K opened the note and showed Z the message on the note.

Z read aloud. 

Dear KZ Rochelle,
We figured those boys of yours must be eating you through house and home now that they’re there at home all the time, so we’re sending you these supplies.
With Love, Your Parents

Z looked up from the message into K’s eyes. “There are boys here?” Z asked far too calmly.

“Yes, Z. My boys,” said K.

“Your sons?” asked Z.

“Of course, Z.” K laughed. “You are so silly sometimes.”

“You have sons!?” Z yelled. “And just what have they been doing this whole time!?”

“I don’t know, Z. Playing video games?”

Just then, K’s phone beeped.

“Oooooh!” said K. “A message.”

K pulled out her phone and opened it up. 

K read the message. “Although your milk flag was noted by our system, you will not receive a delivery today as you are not permitted to receive more than one grocery delivery in a single day. We look forward to serving you in the future.”

“Damn it, K!”

“What is it, Z?”

“Don’t you understand?”

“Yes. I understand that you understand and I understand the chemical potential is just the Gibbs free energy norma—”

Z interrupted K. “I know! I know! You understand the chemical potential is just the Gibbs free energy normalized to the amount of substance.”

“I do,” said K.

“But what you don’t seem to comprehend is that our plan has been foiled!” said Z.

“Shall I put foil on this food?” asked K.

“Oh, goodness,” said Z.

“Good, yes,” said K and she closed up the box to begin wrapping its exterior in tin foil.

With one side foiled, a door squeaked open.

“Hey, Mom,” said a tweenage boy from underneath a cap. “Do you want to play video games with us?”

“I surely do,” said K and ran off to play video games, leaving Z alone on the floor of the foyer next to a large foil-covered box where she sat cogitating how they would certainly escape the confines of these four walls with tomorrow’s plan.….

Will K and Z escape their four walls with tomorrow’s plan? Find out in the next installments in The Days of Our Pandemic

Days of Our Pandemic: episode m3

apinkyandthebrainhomage by KZ Rochelle (of course)

See what happened in the previous episode (i) of The Days of Our PandemicOr start from the beginning.

When last we saw K and Z in episode m, part 2, they were considering all the wonderful national forests they could visit after a successful escape via their grocery delivery steal away scheme.

“But you get the idea. We will visit a myriad of national forests and document our excursions via photography.”

K pulled her phone from her back pocket.

A flash went off in Z’s eyes.

“What was that for?” Z asked through spotted vision.

“To document the beginning of the excuses for photography.”

“Excursions,” corrected Z.

“Exactly,” said K.

“Oh, forget about it,” said Z, extremely exasperated with K and her lacking exactitude yet again. 

“Can we play a game now, Z?” asked K.

“What game?” asked Z.

“Simon Says,” said K.

“Sure, K,” said Z, too annoyed to bother redirecting K. 

“I do love Simon Says,” said K.

“So you say,” said Z.

“Not me, Z. Simon. Simon Says,” said K.

“As you wish,” said Z.

“As you wish for what?” asked K.

“Must we do this again?” asked Z, recalling a similar conversation from yesterday’s attempted escape from the enclosure of these four walls.

“What again?” asked K.

“The same thing as yesterday,” said Z.

“I thought we did the same thing every day,” said K.

“We do,” said Z. “But not that.”

“I don’t understand,” said K.

“I know,” said Z.

“But you know what I do understand, Z?” asked K.

“You’ve already said,” said Z. 

“Yes, The chemical potential is just the Gibbs free energy normalized to the amount of substance. But also,” said K, “what you said reminds me of a game I like. It’s called Simon Says.”

“Perhaps we should play it then,” said Z.

“Oh can we?” asked K, clapping her hands together. “I’ll be Simon.”

K put her hands on her hips. 

“Simon says…”

So K and Z played Simon Says while they waited for the groceries to be delivered. But they did not play very long. Afterall, Z hated Simon Says. She was not all that interested in Simon or his commands. He was an altogether bossy figure.

“You’re losing, Z,” K said. “You have to do what Simon Says.”

“I think Z says it’s time to position ourselves by the front door.”

K, forgetting they were playing Simon Says rather than the normal Z Says, grabbed the vanity mirror and rushed toward the front door. 

“See if you can open it, K,” said Z.

K struggled with the door. She grabbed the knob with both hands. She turned. She twisted. Then she turned and twisted her wrists so that the doorknob turned and twisted too.

“Ouch,” said K.

“What?” said Z.

“It seems I have a bruised wrist,” said K. “I wonder how that happened.”

“Oh my,” said Z.

“Yes. Oh, my wrist,” said K.

“Okay. Just open the door with your other hand only,” said Z.

K turned the knob with her left hand. She pulled. The door didn’t move.

“It won’t move, Z.”

“I can see that, K. Did you unlock it?” asked Z.

K flushed. She giggled at herself. “Oopsies,” she said.

K unlocked the door. She turned the knob with her left hand. She pulled. The door swung inward.

“Oh, look!” delighted K. “A box for us! It’s a present!”

Is it a present? And if so, what’s inside? Who’s it from? Or is K just confused again? Find out in the final installment of episode m tomorrow in The Days of Our Pandemic.

The Days of Our Pandemic: episode m

a pinkyandthebrainhomage by KZ Rochelle (of course)

See what K & Z were up to in the previous episode of The Days of Our Pandemic or follow K & Z from the beginning.

Outside the lavender home with blue violet trim on Wonky Way Lane, two male rabbits strode nonchalantly down the middle of the road, a road rarely ridden by cars or bikes or even scooters. The inhabitants of the homes on Wonky Way Lane lived, breathed, exercised, baked banana bread, and did not dance much, all inside their homes since the great big and powerful (yet small and slight) Corona Virus began to conquer the world and establish its reign by reining the world in. Each and every home waved the COVID flag in a color designated by the governor and mandated by the virus itself. 

So, inside the lavender home waving a purple flag on Wonky Way Lane, K and Z prepared for the day. Observe, Reader, from your safe distance on the far side of the screen lest you spiral into what you discover…

K brushed powder onto her face, a habit that used to be reserved for days she left the house, but was now an everyday occurrence despite the fact she never left.

“What shall we do today, Z?” K asked the reflection in the mirror. “I’m powdered for the process.”

“The same thing we do every day, K,” Z responded. “Escape the world enclosed by these four walls.”

At the mention of such a plan, Rochelle’s cackling filled the walls themselves and pulsed into the boringly beige bathroom. 

Z covered her ears.

“Stop, Rochelle!” K hit the wall with the outside of her fist. 

The cackling continued.

“RO-Chelle!” K pounded hard enough to bruise the outside of her wrist. In fact, she did bruise the outside of her wrist. K cradled her own hand and Rochelle ceased her cackle with a moan of regret.

“Oh, K,” Z said, “when will you learn?”

“Me?” said K. “It’s Rochelle’s fault.”

The walls creaked.

“Was too!” K yelled.

The walls creaked.

“Too!”

Creak.

“Too!”

Creak.

“Too!”

“ENOUGH, you flibbity gibbets! Rochelle, you know better than to egg K on. She’s not insulated, to insults or anything else, as you are,” said Z.

Rochelle moaned a response.

“I know, I know,” Z told her. “You didn’t insult K, but she’s very tender in this time of isolation. That’s why we must accomplish our goal today.”

“What goal is that, Z?” asked K who had already forgotten Z’s words from a minute before.

“To escape the world enclosed by these four walls.”

“That sounds lovely, Z.” K’s eyelids fluttered like the wings of the butterflies she imagined herself cavorting with in the forest beyond Wonky Way Lane. “How will we do that?”

“That’s what I’ve been working on since yesterday’s Transportationonometeration Machine disaster.”

“Yeah, a disaster,” said K.

“Don’t remind me!” Z exclaimed before muttering to herself something about the feel of paper between her fingers, though K could not compute.

Z tapped her fingertips together as K watched, transfixed. K tried to mirror Z’s motions from the mirror, but she kept missing and grazing the budding bruise on her wrist.

“Ouch.” …. “Ouch.”

“Oh, just leave that to me, would you?” Z said. K stopped trying. “I will tell you the plan for today.”

K looked eagerly to Z.

“We will use the flag system to our advantage.”

How can the flag system work to K & Z’s advantage? And will they find success? Continue next time with The Days of Our Pandemic.

The Days of our Pandemic: episode i2

a pinkyandthebrainhomage by KZ Rochelle (of course)

When last we saw K and Z, stuck in the lavender home with blue violet trim on Wonky Way Lane, they were set to begin construction on their plan to escape their four walls through the Transportationonmeteration Machine and head to Tampa Bay.

Refresh your connection with the previous episode.

“Now! My Internet Transportationonometeration Machine! Here are the directions, K. Let’s get to work.” Z held the scroll so that K could see its contents.

“Right-o, Z.” 

K read the directions, her finger smudging lines onto the mirror’s glass. 

“1 large cardboard box. I’ll grab that.” K ran out of the bathroom and returned with a large box in hand. 

“Three inkless pens. Yes, yes.” K pulled two from her back pocket and one from her hair.

“You’ll need the beach-scented candle. It’s very important if we want to get to Tampa Bay,” said Z. 

“On the bedside table,” said K.

“Good, good. It’s coming together.” Z tapped her fingers together like the evil genius she was. Even if she wasn’t so evil. Or much of a genius.

They worked together. K gathered supplies, nailing and gluing the bits together. Z directed K. Until they were on the last steps of the process.

“My Internet Transportationonometeration Machine is almost done. Then we will be out of these four walls! Free to go about in the world as we will.”

“As we will what, Z?”

“As we will, K.” 

K looked at Z waiting for elaboration.

Z continued. “As we desire. However we like. As we want, K.”

“As we want what, Z? Do we want a teddy bear? Or a blankie? Oh! No! How about some chocolates? I love chocolates. I would want chocolates. Or ice cream! Ice cream from an ice cream shop, Z. Can you imagine? That’s what I will!”

“Very well, K.” 

Z calmed K down before noting the last remaining steps.

“All we need now, K, are four silver paper clips.”

“Four silver paper clips,” repeated K. 

“Yes, four silver paper clips.”

K looked at Z. Z looked at K.

“Four silver paper clips?”

“Yes! Four silver paper clips! That’s what I said, K! Four silver paper clips!”

“Are you joking, Z?”

“Do I look like I’m joking, K?” Z’s face set in. Her eyes narrowed. Her brows furrowed. 

“Don’t know,” said K. “What’s joking look like? I only know what it sounds like.”

“Good grief,” said Z, turning her face away in disgust.

“Z, this is what a joke sounds like. What kinds of dogs love car racing?” K paused. 

Z did not respond. She did not even look K’s way. 

“Lap dogs!” 

K guffawed. 

“How about this one? How about this one? What streets do ghosts haunt?” 

Still, K did not respond. 

“Dead ends!” K guffawed again, pounding down on her knee. 

Z looked at K. She waited. 

“Are you quite done now?”

“Almost, Z. Because that’s what a joke sounds like.” K checked her knee for bruises. “I’m set now.”

“The four silver paper clips then,” Z said.

“Ain’t no such thing,” K said.

“Of course there’s such a thing,” said Z.

“Naw, ain’t no such thing,” said K.

“They’re those little curled up metal wires that hold your papers together, K!”

“I know what they is, Z. No one’s got them anymore. On account of no one uses paper. Everyone is virtual. Virtual working. Virtual learning. Virtual dancing. Virtual cooking. Virtual passing over and virtual Christmas with virtual presents. No one’s got paper clips.”

“Are you saying that no one includes us? As in we don’t have them, K?”

K emphasized we just as Z did. “We don’t have them, Z.”

“Then we can’t finish the Internet Transportationonometeration Machine. And if we can’t finish the Internet Transportationonometer Machine, we can’t get on the other side of the screen. And if we can’t get on the other side of the screen, we cannot escape the confounding confines of these four walls.”

K watched Z pace through the mirror.

“Is that a bad thing, K?” Z asked.

“It means we’ve failed, K!”

“Failed at what, Z?”

“Escaping these four walls, K.”

“But we got to hear Rochelle. And gather these goodies like a scavenger hunt. And make this Transmutation Machine. And tell good jokes. And…”

K went on and on. But Z was not listening. She’d begun pondering the activities for tomorrow.

“…and we still have a Zoom!” said K.

“Not me, K.”

“I still have a Zoom!” said K.

K ran to the nearest tablet, logged on, and proceeded to make silly faces at her nephew for the next hour.

While K was thus employed, Z stayed inside the looking glass in the bathroom in the lavender house with blue violet trim on Wonky Way Lane.

She muttered to herself, thinking through details for tomorrow’s plans, when they would try to escape the confines of these four walls.

Will K and Z escape their four walls with tomorrow’s plan? Find out in the next installments in The Days of Our Pandemic...