I'm stir crazy in quarantine and somehow got inspired by a (dumb) conversation with a relative and a tweet that was posted to tumblr.
Note: this was originally just a one-shot, but I had a few other ideas in regards to what folks might be up to during this hellish quarantine. I don't know how many installments/chapters there will be yet, but this will be updated accordingly. Extra special thanks to David Tai for helping with the main title. Go read his stuff.
The bartender and fighter called King was alone in her apartment, laying upside down on her sofa and staring blankly at the television as Netflix autoplayed the next episode of a documentary series she had started hours earlier but couldn't pay attention to not because of her general restlessness, but because her binge watch had been interrupted by a FaceTime call from one of the worst human beings she knew.
For some reason, her aunt, Maddy, called her out of nowhere to do nothing but complain about conspiracy theories surrounding the virus that brought the world to a halt. The only reason why King hadn't hung up yet was because she was hoping to see her brother, who had his phone confiscated for not cleaning his room.
"Cécile," Maddy snapped. "Have you heard anything I've said?"
"Uh-huh," King mumbled as she continued to look at the television.
"They're saying this virus was created in a lab."
"Did you know there were several scientists who were arrested a few days ago?"
"Est-ce que tu t'en soucis?! Ton frère —"
"Est compromis," King interrupted. "What the hell do conspiracy theories have to do with that?"
"All I'm saying is that this thing is a big deal, and you need to pay more attention!"
"I haven't seen Jean in a month and my bar is closed indefinitely. I'm paying attention!"
With that, King swung her legs over to the side of the couch so she could bring herself upright before she ended up getting a head rush. She positioned the phone against a lamp and crossed her arms over her chest as her uncle, Gary, peered around his wife's shoulder.
"How are you going to stay in business, anyway?" He prodded, his eyes narrowed.
"Prostitution," King answered without missing a beat. "Sally and Elizabeth have brought in so much money."
"Cécile!" Maddy hissed.
"What?" King asked. "People like twins."
The expression of horror on her aunt and uncle's faces was one for the books. King flashed a cheeky grin… and then sighed.
"Not that you actually care," she started, "but we've started delivering liters of our house specials to paying customers. Every order comes with a complimentary roll of toilet paper. It's not doing too badly, but the toilet paper might be problematic in the future."
Maddy gave King a disapproving look.
"Let me guess," King replied, "you think I'm taking advantage of people by selling alcohol at a time like this."
"You could be using that alcohol to make hand sanitizer."
"You've got to be fucking kidding me," King said while rolling her eyes at her aunt's statement. She braced herself for more unwanted comments and outright contempt.
"Did you know that you could use vodka to make hand sanitizer?" Gary asked, seemingly unaware of his wife's statement.
"You should also be taking that toilet paper for yourself," Maddy chimed in.
"You're the worst," King stated flatly.
"And you're being idiotic! Don't you have any sense of self-preservation?! The government has these scientists working on new strains and putting them out there every day," Aunt Maddy declared. "And more and more young people are getting it. If you catch it you're going to die alone, in a hospital — all because you think you're invincible! Think about Jean!"
King glared at her aunt, who was frowning at her.
"We're just trying to look out for you," Gary asserted before either woman could say anything.
"Fuck you," King told the couple before picking up her device and abruptly ending the call.
Fuming, she sat for a moment, lips pressed in a thin line as she tried to put her aunt's words out of her head — not because of how infuriating they were, but because they legitimately stung a little. She was well aware that she wasn't invincible, which, at times, took her down some very dark paths. Nevertheless, she couldn't — wouldn't — think like that. She decided she would try to reach Jean later, but for the time being she was going to rewind her documentary and try not to let her own cynicism get to her.
So there's your look at what King is up to during this pandemic bullshit. Just some quick translations for you:
* "Est-ce que tu t'en soucis?! Ton frère —" = Do you even care?! Your brother —
* "Est compromis" = is compromised, referring to Jean's increased chances of catching disease because of his general health issues.
* King is probably watching Tiger King. Idk. There are lots of documentaries on Netflix.
* In case you've missed this, Sally and Elizabeth are the twin bartenders who work for King. I promise she's not really pimping them out.
Okay, that's it. I'm tired. Thanks to everyone in Discord (you know who you are) for, like, keeping me motivated to publish these things. Remember, folks: social distancing! And wash your hands!