It's Action Figure Erotica. It has one rule: the main characters have to be an action figure. Like Sigmund Freud or Jesus.
There's no need for continuity or historical accuracy.
There is a need for sex. Lots of it. And everything legal goes.
Think Robot Chicken. Or what we all probably did as kids with our dolls.
Oh, the requisite disclaimer: any resemblance to real person or persons, trademarked or copyrighted characters or stories or situations is entirely coincidental and fictional.
As with this story: Medusa and the Hindu goddess Kali did not travel across America in quest of a beautician.
The salon in New York had a stinging smell of peroxide, and didn't have air conditioning. A fan turned lethargically and didn't seemed interested in circulating the air. The salon was dark despite the florescent lighting, yet Medusa wore her sunglasses as she thumbed through a magazine.
There were a row of chairs along the front windows, the sunlight cutting across them like a razor blade. Medusa sat in the very middle, her legs crossed, her right foot tapping to an inner rhythm. She was wearing jeans that had been sliced across her thighs and what seemed to be a massive amount of hair was tied back in an enormous scarf. Medusa thumbed through a copy of Time magazine that had a large picture of Marie Curie on the cover. She was standing on the deck of the Titanic waving at the camera.
Medusa sighed as she read the first paragraph of the Curie story and sighed with irritation and thumbed aggressively through the issue. "I'm sick of hearing about the Titanic."
"We'll hear about it for a while," came a voice within the salon.
Medusa looked up at her friend who was sitting in a beautician's chair, while a young woman combed out her hair. Kali had a cape draped around her, and only her lovely golden brown face and yards of silky black hair were visible. She had almond shaped eyes with luscious blue and gold and green swirls pluming from the outer tips. She had jewels along her cheeks and forehead. These weren't ornamental jewels; they grew naturally from her skin. Her lips were full and red and seemed too perfect and plump to be human. But she wasn't human at all.
Kali said, "She did something very courageous and wonderful. The world needs to enjoy the little beautiful moments."
"It gets sickening after a while." Medusa threw the magazine across the room. "Everyone's so fucking happy," she mocked in a high pitched, squeaky voice.
The mass underneath the scarf around her head strangely and incongruously shuddered in a way that was unnatural for hair.
The young hairdresser suddenly looked up at Medusa, as if she heard a glass break.
"Did you just...Did you hear that?"
"No," Medusa and Kali said simultaneously.
"No, I heard something," the girl insisted. She had close cropped pink hair, multiple piercings in her nose and ears, and each of her arms were covered with tattoos. Medusa pegged her as a lesbian. If she wasn't now, she would be by the time she was done with Kali's hair. Kali had that effect on anyone with sexual interest in anything. Medusa resented and envied it.
"You heard nothing," Medusa said curtly.
"Please finish brushing out my hair, darling," Kali said with that honey voice that won over everyone that heard it. But the girl ignored her. She couldn't help it. Medusa's hair now had her complete attention.
"Darling," Kali said
"Forget it," Medusa said, "she's gone. Let's get out."
"Darling, help me get my hair back up," Kali said. The girl started moving toward Medusa and Kali reached out and touched her arm. But the girl pulled her arm away and kept walking toward Medusa.
"What's under your scarf?" the girl asked. This wasn't a question of wonder or childish curiosity: her tone was fearful and skeptical, and no matter how Medusa answered the girl wouldn't believe her.
"Stay the fuck back," Medusa said but with little of the passion that the words demanded.
Kali got out of her chair and pursued the girl. Medusa didn't move. Her foot didn't even stop its bobbing: it never broke its rhythm.
The girl reached forward to touch her scarf and whatever was underneath the scarf moved in a sudden jerk. There was a very loud hiss and the girl jerked her hand back, as if afraid she might get bitten.
Kali grabbed the girl from behind and locked her arm around her neck. The girl struggled, her eyes wide and terrified, and unable to look away from Medusa's head.
Medusa was now smirking at her.
"Please, Dusa, wait outside. It'll subside."
"She wants it. They all want it."
"She's young and curious--"
"And she's in love. I'm afraid I got the girl this time." Medusa smiled and let out a little laugh. It was a dry, sad laugh and came from a tired place. "She's going to be one of the last. I promise. Do you believe me? Tell me you're going to believe me."
"I believe you."
"We just need to get to California and I'll fix this."
Kali corrected her, "If this can be fixed."
Medusa nodded. "Let her go. Give her what she wants."
Kali shook her head, but she knew better. This had happened too many times. Once Medusa attracted attention, it couldn't be dissuaded. "I won't let her go, though," Kali said, surrendering.
Kali closed her eyes. Even she was vulnerable to Medusa and she was a goddess.
Medusa removed her scarf and the girl shrieked. Kali held tight as the girl went into violent seizures.
A few days before the events in the salon in New York, Kali was in Death Valley.
She was removing dishes from a booth table and placing them carefully in a dish tub, absently listening to the news on the TV in the corner. She was also half listening to the couple in the next booth fight over something the man had done with another man. Kali couldn't make out the details. They were sensitive about being overheard.
Two of Kali's arms lifted the full tub, two more grabbed the glasses and the last two got the ketchup and sugar so she could refill them. As she turned, Kali saw the television screen. Everyone in the diner was staring at the screen.
A TWA 747 inbound from Paris had nose dived into the runway as it was attempting to land. Preliminary reports say that the captain had reported three deaths, several attacks on passengers and that one of the passengers was apparently responsible. By the time the plane had crashed and medical personnel were on the scene, no one was left to explain what had actually happened.
The only people who had survived were at the very front of the plane or at the very rear.
Everyone else was dead, or, most bizarre of all, were catatonic or raving and screaming about monsters.
Hideous snake monsters.
Kali took the dishes into the back as she silently cried. As her tears hit the dishes, she heard the small tinkle of music and the dish gleamed under her tear. The death of people always upset her, but this time it was more complicated. It was unavoidable. It was tragic.
As she was doing the dishes, Kali's cell phone rang. With three of her hands elbow deep in the hot, bubbly water, Kali picked up her phone and looked to see who was calling.
It was Medusa.
Kali smiled, answered and made plans to meet her at a salon in New York.
She took a flight to New York the next day and met with Medusa in the salon that after noon.
Kali liked this specific salon. The girls were so wonderful with her hair and so complimentary. She didn't need her hair cut or styled. She came to this salon (and other salons) for two reasons: to have her hair washed and brushed. Kali's hair was sensitive from scalp to tip and she even had a limited ability to move it. When a girl ran her hands through her soapy strands, Kali felt fondled and she would stretch her muscles like a cat and smile and purr.
There was a young hairdresser there that day, one Kali had never worked with before. She had short pink hair and many piercings and tattoos. Kali admired her tattoos, as they were all animals and tribal patterns. The girl couldn't stop complementing Kali's hair, about how soft and alive it felt. Kali moved her hair and let it climb up the girl's face, over her neck, and then down the front of her tank top. The warm dark hair moved through her shirt and wound around her breasts. The girl wasn't wearing a bra.
The girl giggled and insisted that Kali allow her to finish brushing out her hair. She impulsively gave Kali a kiss on the neck and Kali touched the girl's cheek with her fingertips.
That's when the door opened and Medusa sauntered in. She didn't say anything, but sat and crossed her legs.
"Did you have to fly to the US this time? Was it really necessary?" Kali asked delicately.
Medusa took a very deep breath and let it out. It was best not to discuss it now. It would have to wait.
Medusa picked up the copy of Time magazine on a side table, the one with the Titanic and Marie Curie on the cover.