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 m2

apinkyandthebrainhomage by KZ Rochelle (of course)

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

When last we saw K and Z in episode m, they were preparing to detail the plan to escape the confines of these four walls…

“I will tell you the plan for today,” said Z.

K looked eagerly to Z.

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

“How will we do that, Z?”

“You know the milky white flag right, K?” Z asked with condescension. 

“The one that alerts the authorities we’re out of milk and other food supplies?” asked K.

“The only white flag we have is that one,” Z said pondering the figurative use of white flags and added, “unfortunately.”

“Yes, I know that one, Z,” K said far too enthusiastically for she believed that the whole plan was knowing about the milky white flag. It was not.

“There’s more, you fool!” Z said.

“Yes, Z. More milk. At the stores. That’s why we can raise the milky white flag to alert the authorities to get us more of the more milk from the stores.”

Z talked herself down from the ledge inside her brain. She exhaled heavily. 

“We will raise the milky white flag so that the authorities believe we are out of supplies, but when their automated vehicles arrive, we will be ready, waiting, and steal away in the car before it drives off past the forest and into the hills.”

“We’re going to steal the milk?” K asked Z in confusion.

“Well, no. Well, yes. But no. Before we consume any food or beverage, we must hide ourselves away in the car that moves away from this house and these four walls!”

“Oh, I don’t know, Z,” K said. “I used to like hideaways. We had a hideout when I was a kid with no boys allowed. And a hideout in the closet. And a hideout in the playhouse in the backyard. But that was all before King Covid. Don’t we always hide away now? I thought that our plan was to not hide away. Z,” K wondered, “why would we hide away to not hide away? I don’t understand.”

“Of course you don’t understand, K,” Z said. “Is there anything you do understand?!”

K thought about that. 

She opened her mouth to voice an idea.

She closed her mouth because she forgot her idea.

She opened her mouth again. “I understand that you understand, Z. And that means I don’t have to understand.”

“That’s the first wise thing I think I’ve ever heard you say, K.”

“Thank you, Z.” K grinned. “And I understand that the chemical potential is just the Gibbs free energy normalized to the amount of substance.”

Z stared through the glass. She blinked. She wiped the inside of the mirror with her sweater sleeve. Then changed her sweater rather than don a possibly-smudged thread or two.

“Right. Well,” said Z searching for her immense vocabulary. “Uhhh, the simplicity of the plan will be to our ad-, ad-” The word escaped her.

“It will help us?” asked K.

“Yes, K. It will help us. We will escape the confines of these four walls today.”

“I’d like that,” said K.

“Go,” said Z. “Grab the milky white flag and raise it up.”

K pulled the flag from the bin of flags the state required that she purchase and that every online store sold their own variant of. Hers were from Amazon Basics. Just like her socks. She stepped into the flag room that used to just be the laundry room and hoisted the milky white flag up onto its place on the pole. 

K returned to Z to report her success.

“The flag is up, Z.”

“Good,” said Z. “Now it will just be a matter of time before we escape the enclosure of these four walls!”

“What shall we do while we wait, Z?”

“Get the camera ready, K.”

“Why do we need a camera ready, Z?”

“We will need a camera, K, to record our adventure in the automated vehicle. We will go to the forest but not just any forest, K. We will go to White Mountain National Forest. And Pigsah National Forest. And Superior National Forest.”

“And I’m-the-Best National Forest!” said K.

“There’s no such forest,” said Z. 

Will K ever understand anything Z says? Will Z’s escape plan work? Find out more in the next installment of The Days of Our Pandemic...