Code Redd

This is a story in response to challenge to ‘Write about an Unlikeable Protagonist in 1000 words or less.’ So I researched serial killers, under ‘What do Murderers Think?’ Warning;it’s dark.  Also, I notice the font keeps switching back and forth from the Ariel, in which I type it on my computer, to Times New Roman, which is the only font this free version of WordPress offers. My apologies.   shortlink

Code Redd          Louise Sorensen February 12, 2012

“It’s so nice to finally meet you in person, Red,” Casey said, reaching out to shake his hand. A little taller than average, prison buff, red hair, she could see where he got his nickname.

Redd took her hand, noted her friendly open expression. “Yes. You too,” he said, with what he knew would be a small sincere smile. It would be such a pleasure to plug you right between your empty little blue eyes. He shifted his glance to one of his handlers, Hank, who caught his look and shook his head slightly, ‘No’. Well, aren’t you just a barrel of laughs.

They were standing around in the green room, waiting to go on. One of the Moonmaids, Masteela, had the top ranking talk show world wide, and his little pen pal Casey was going to tell Masteela, and the world, how she’d ‘saved’ him; rehabilitated him out of prison by the power of the written word, and Love. And they say psychopathic serial killers are incurable. Hehe. He allowed himself a slight humble smile.

“So,” Masteela said, after they’d been introduced to the studio audience and the cameras were rolling, “Casey, could you tell us how you turned around the life of this …unproductive male? No offence,” she said, smiling, turning to Redd. “None taken,” he said, nodding gravely. I’d love to rip your head off and drink your blood.”

“Well, it all began about two years before you people came to our planet,” said Casey. “I wanted to make a difference in the world, so I signed up to be a pen pal to a man in prison.”

“How generous of you,” Masteela breathed, leaning towards Casey. They’d altered their forms bloody fast after coming to Earth, these man hating shape changers. Matriarchal society. How can they love the women, and call the men shit? Masteela fixed him with a glittering eye and he smiled politely and looked down. Do you detect a little of what I’m thinking, Bitch? He calmed his thoughts, and knew that if she was receiving anything from him, it was an image of gentle waves washing up on a beach. You’d like to slash me with your Moonmaid arms, just like you do your own males, wouldn’t you? He suppressed a smile.

The Moonies had insinuated themselves into governments worldwide, practically outlawed males, and in four short years, the human birthrate was down to almost zero, and the Moonies had a strangle hold on the world economies. Because look where men running the world has got you. Consultants! He almost snorted.

“What do you think, Red?” chirped Casey, looking at him expectantly.

“I’m sorry,” he said smoothly. “I was daydreaming. What was the question?”

Masteela gave him a ‘what can you expect from a man look’. Don’t like me being here, do you bitch? But you like to indulge your little pet, Casey, and I’m her little pet. Tamed the bad old serial killer, didn‘t she? Wrote him sweet little pen pal letters in prison until she tamed the beast.

“We see the potential in all members of our society,“ Casey said, patting Masteela’s knee. The Moonmaid tossed her luxuriant hair back, preening. Her shimmering blue eyes, full breasts and hips and tiny waist were Casey’s for the asking. I don’t think she swings that way. Hehe. She’d run screaming from your natural form. Big black eyes, gray skin, sharp fins on the backs of your arms for slashing, long vulture fingers. He stifled a laugh. Stupid bitch! Can’t you see what’s happening, Casey? First the men, and no more men. Then the women, and no more humans.

 The Resistance had sprung up three years ago, when people had begun to see that the Moonies were not completely benign. Two years ago, men like Redd had been released from prison because of their unique ability to tell real humans from shape changers who were wearing a human form. Redd was especially valuable because he was a crack shot. Never missed. Shooting from a distance was one of the few ways to kill Moonies, as they could read the thoughts of most humans. Except for the most extreme psychopaths. Like Redd. He closed his eyes, imagining Masteela in his sights, slowly squeezing his finger on the trigger, the top of her head blowing off, black brain tendrils exploding all over the place…

“I said, how do you like your new job, Dear?” Masteela was saying to him, enunciating slowly, as though he were a five year old.

“Street sweeping?” he said. “I always thought I would be useful to society, Ma’am.” I killed my first human when I was fourteen, bitch. A little neighour girl. But that’s not a job, is it? That’s a life’s work. He would have given anything to stand up, place his hands around Masteela’s delicate neck, breathe in her cinnamon-cheese scent, and choke the life out of her, right in front of the studio audience. He looked around slowly. His handlers, Hank and Mike, highly trained mind shielders, were watching him from the wings. Punishment for disobeying the Resistance wouldn’t be a quick bullet to the head; punishment would be a one way ticket into a locked room containing an already pissed off Moonmaid. He’d seen a video of one in action. They liked to play with their prey. And then eat them alive. Starting with the tender parts.

“Pardon, Ma’am? Do I enjoy my work?” I’ll enjoy ripping you another one, that’s for sure.

“Of course he enjoys giving back to society, don’t you Red?” Casey said, smiling at Masteela. One shot to the head for you, Moonie. And then I’m claiming a reward, or somebody else can kill my quota of Moonies, fuck consequences.”

Yes, Ma’am, I enjoy my work.” He said to Masteela, then smiled at Casey. Business first, then pleasure.

About louisesor

As I say in my twitter profile @louise3anne "I am a part of all that I have met..." from one of my favourite poems, 'Ulysses' by Tennyson.I believe that we are ALL a part of all that we have met. You can also find me on FaceBook.
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4 Responses to Code Redd

  1. I like this story a lot, it’s very well done. I like the challenge of fitting a compelling narrative into only 1000 words, but it’s hard not to get carried away. I would be very interested to read more of this, if you ever consider expanding it or writing more in the same setting.

    • louisesor says:

      Thanks very much, Mathew. It’s not my usual kind of protagonist and the story is darker than I usually write, but it’s a good exercise to write something different than usual. I checked your blog and see that you do terribleminds challenges. I haven’t written my sandwich story yet, so I’ll do that before I read yours.
      A friend of mine has given this story (Code Redd) an extremely thorough critique, and I will be writing an expanded version, when time allows, that will hopefully explain better what I was trying to cram into 1000 words.

  2. This is a very interesting story. I like the way you play off the two forms of evil, and the necessity of Red’s to the human race.

    I think this worked well as a 1000-word story. It is dark. But if you were to expand it, just as a suggestion, I’d take out the backstory part and work that into the later exposition. Then, you can take this as an introduction to the story, and intrigue the readers with the dark thoughts in Red’s mind, and surprise them with Masteela’s true nature right at the end.

    Just a suggestion, though.

    And thanks for commenting on my blog.

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