I’ll apologize ahead of time to R.L. for not getting this post up last week. I’d like to make up some story involving monkeys, time travel, and a fried egg, but the truth is, I just didn’t see it come through Facebook.
Anyway, allow me to present the new work by writer and all around good person, R.L. Andrew, A Lunatic’s Guide to Interplanetary Relationships. She was kind enough to provide a sample of her work, so read on and make sure to follow the buy link at the bottom of the post.
“When perpetual screw-up Shayne James is transported from Earth to another planet, she has no idea she’s the key to saving the universe. When Annu discovers this puny human on his planet, little does he know that she’s the key to the two of them defeating the enemy. He finds her irritating, annoying, and somewhat attractive! If they don’t kill each other, or get killed by an unknown force attempting to take over the universe, they might live happily ever after.”
Chapter 1: Crazy Like a Falling Coconut
Ardrossan, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, Earth
How did I, Shayne James, a Demi-Goddess and daughter of the Great God Ki, end up in a nut house? It’s God damned ridiculous. Literally. I’ve got to get out of here. I can’t do another night in this stupid place.
Shayne shook the gate; her fingers ached and rust embedded beneath her nails. “What kind of screwed up torture is this? Haven’t I suffered enough?”
She surveyed the yard for Geoffrey from Ward 3, her one true fan, believer and stalker. Where he went, hospital staff followed. Yard all clear, Shayne counted on her fingers. “How many weeks have I spent in this shit hole?”
2 or 3? Fuck. I don’t know.
The medication they’d thrust into her made time a slippery worm difficult to grasp. The morning’s pills jiggled next to her phone in Shayne’s pocket. She’d hide them with the others. The few missed days cleared her brain and the memories returned. The instant their effects wore off, Shayne realised the governmental nightmare with its hard beds, terrible food, and bad TV, interfered with her true destiny on another planet.
Shayne kicked the metal lock. Pain shot through her foot. “Shit. Crap.”
She hopped in a circle and cursed dodgy hips connected to short legs. The bastards prevented her climb up the Wistingera hedge beside the gate without assistance, and she couldn’t find anyone to hold her steady without grabbing her arse.
Can’t get out the gate, can’t break the fence, can’t climb the hedge. I’ve tried all the doors. Which leaves what exactly?
Shayne breathed in crazy free air and ran through other options. “Oh fuck it. I can’t think of any. What to do, what to do?”
Her shoulders drooped; Shayne’s freedom remained as distant as Orion.
Even if I did escape, what then? How do I get home and back to Orion? Why can’t a wormhole just appear right here? Huh?
Frustrated with her lack of control, Shayne grabbed the top fence rail and shook. Each rattle represented wasted minutes spent there and the time taken from her future with Annu. The strive for freedom pulsed through her, it interrupted her thoughts and shoved her out of bed each morning. All to face a day filled with half baked escape concepts and pleas to release her Godly self.
Shayne moved her anger down a rung. “That nobody fucking listens to.”
Her arms ached; she relent her hold on the fence. Shayne shifted from the gate across to the hedge filling the fence and smushed into the middle of it. The faint scent of rosemary comforted her, a fresh wave of memories flooded Shayne’s mind.
Shayne wriggled her middle finger, not a scar or mark indicated its former separation.
I can’t believe I got a finger chopped off and it grew back, let alone all the other stuff.
Before being found on the pantry floor by her son and taken to the hospital, Annu held Shayne in his arms inside a stone room. Both Demi-Gods fresh from ascension, and filled with universal power. All they’d been through to get there seemed like a dream, and she’d fucked it up.
Shayne in the ultimate moment of stupidity mentioned Earth one too many times, and in a flash a wormhole ripped Shayne back to her home planet and away from love.
True fucking love and shit too.
Annu’s shocked expression tormented her. “Damn you medication for making me forget it even for one second.”
A branch stuck into her back, Shayne wriggled further onto the hospital’s back lawn, a large pile of dried bird poop on her right fared better than her. “We did everything right and in return we weren’t given time to soak in our success; the greatest moment of existence. Let alone kiss and enjoy things. No, not me. I got cosmically shafted. As usual.”
Shayne yanked out a wad of grass and tossed it to the side. “I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind, there’s something pleasant about that place, even your emotions had a gecko, and so much pace. Mmm. Does that make me crazyyyy? Does that make me–oh wait apparently it does.”
Neighbourhood dogs howled, a flock of magpies a few metres ahead shot into the air.
Bastards don’t appreciate a good voice. Oh what does it matter? My new life waits on the other side of the Galaxy, through the stupid wormhole–an hour and a half, several security guards, and several door alarms from here.
Shayne resigned herself to no Knight in shining armour arriving to rescue her from the current dilemma.
Rather, a retard in tin foil waited on this one planet, on the hospital lawn, deep in thought and determined. “It’s not the first time I’ve saved myself. It’s probably like the third. Surely I can do it again?”
I miss my chocolate hulk.
Shayne shook her head, Annu lingered in her mind. Her belly gurgled, doubt poked into her thoughts.
Is he still waiting for me? No, he probably gave up, and I can’t blame him. He’s probably relishing in glory–alone.
Shayne tried to twirl her jade ring, its absence on her naked finger shot another wave of panic through Shayne. She’d grown accustomed to the odd piece of jewellery despite its catalytic nature.
Where did it go? I must have lost it when I burst through the wall. It’s got to be under the pantry shelf.
Shayne massaged a lump in her shoulder and sighed. “Another thing that doesn’t matter because I’m not getting out right now, so fuck it and fuck them.”
She scanned again for any sign of staff; all clear. Eyes squinted; she pulled out a smoke and lit it. Shayne inhaled to her lung’s capacity, held the breath and fought coughing.
Hold it in, don’t waste it. Any second now it will be worth it. You’ve got to cough to get off don’t you?
The scratch in her lungs eased, a warm rush numbed her senses and removed life’s edges. While it didn’t remove the body pain, it made not caring about it easier.
Another toke and the sweet smoke filled her chest. The reason Shayne sat next to the gate drifted away with the breeze.
Three quarters of her mind mushed, the remaining quarter niggled at her.
Focus. Don’t waste more time. Don’t fall back into old habits. Oh yeah – escape plan, future leader, blah blah blah. Wait, focus on what? What else can I do? I’ve got no powers, no ring, no wormhole. A big fat nothing. Protesting gets me nowhere and all my other attempts are well–unrealistic.
Shayne blew smoke rings into the sky. “Where are you when I need you Ghost Dad? Huh?”
He hasn’t answered to that name yet. Maybe I should call him Ki unless he tells me otherwise?
Eyes closed, mid puff–she attempted telepathy again.
‘Ah Ki, can you help me, please? Or am I too far away for you to hear?’
A bird on the lawn squawked, no one else answered her. “Okay so that’s a no then. Fine. Whatever.”
Shayne pushed off the grass and levered up her legs to stand. She pulled the phone from her pocket and re-read Erin’s last text message.
‘I don’t know if I’m coming for a visit tomorrow. It’s hard for me to visit you in there, Mum.’
The words buried Shayne in guilt and mocked her efforts at becoming a better parent, let alone have kids proud of her. “Hah. Another epic fail dickhead.”
Once they know the truth everything will change. I’ve got to make them believe me, show them somehow. Any ideas rolling around in my brain feel free to pop up.
Birds chirped, bees buzzed, and her mind remained empty.
None–really? Oh why is everything so fucking hard? All this thinking is stressing me the fuck out.
Shayne raised the smoke to her lips and killed all negative thoughts. Mid drag, the joint flew in one direction, the lighter in another. Her mouth dropped, Shayne’s last piece of sanity disappeared. A flick on the arm drew her attention to reality and away from herbal oblivion.
Hand to her chest, Shayne faced the buzz-killer culprit.
Nurse Rye. Fuck, crap. Of all the people to catch me. Shit, shit, shit.
A thick plume of smoke exploded in the nurse’s face, she coughed in response.
Shayne swished the smoke away. “Oh fu–u–er, flip. Nurse Rye–what a surprise. Damn woman, are you a ninja in your off time?”
Her bowel clenched, the nurse’s presence scared the crap back up into her intestines. A number of excuses ran through Shayne’s mind, all with better things to do than come out her mouth.
Geoffrey’s head poked around Nurse Rye’s middle and pointed at Shayne. “Found you, your highness. See, you can’t escape me. Ha. I win.”
Since arriving at the hospital Shayne followed a Forrest Gump’s reasoning; if crazy is what crazy does, Geoffrey fell into the bat-shit category. “Geoffrey for the twentieth time it’s goddess not highness. And I know–I can’t escape a damned thing.”
A deep growl erupted against Shayne’s ear; she flinched. Geoffrey bolted from the nurse’s side and out of sight.
The nurse’s shadow blocked Shayne’s sun. “Right this is the last time I deal with you. All you do is spout nonsense, smoke drugs and try to escape. If that wasn’t bad enough, and worse still, you refuse to accept the help you desperately need. You make my job impossible. One way or another you will follow the rules.”
The nurse’s grip tightened; she glared at the lighter on the ground. Her crinkled face resembled a prune. “And, you have contraband. Where did you get it from?”
Quick, dick-head make something up.
“Off a visitor. I hid it in my sock.”
I reiterate, dick head.
Nurse prune grunted, a vein pulsed in her forehead. “You’re forbidden from the common room and confined to your bed aside from meal times. Now, I’m taking you straight to the doctor where I’ll give her a full report. Move it.”
Shayne shuffled at the nurse’s side, the nurse’s death grip prevented playing dead. Breasts considered unnatural wonders smushed against her cheeks, with the consistency of tennis balls in wet socks, they swung in hypnotic rhythm. Shayne stifled the urge to poke them to see if they acted like memory foam.
Headed toward the main building, the unlikely duo caught the immediate attention of both patients and medical staff. Crazy and sane eyes followed their path through the main doors and down the hall.
Great, an audience. Like I need another one of those.
Shayne mumbled into inflated flesh. “Couldn’t you have taken me around the side way and maybe made less of a scene?” Her arm throbbed under the nurses grasp. “Ouch, when I’ve got my powers back you bitch, you’re done for. This is totally unfair.”
Heat burned the top of Shayne’s head, the nurse’s voice bored through her soul. “Oh, yes, that’s right, your amazing magic powers. They haven’t done you much good so far have they? And I bet they didn’t remind you about your doctor’s appointment this morning either?”
The small buzz from the half joint went stone-cold dead. Bam, a wet fish smacked Shayne in the face. “No and no. Crap.”
Escape plan escalated to top priority, finding real chocolate can wait.
On a mission, Nurse Rye barged into the doctor’s office. Doctor Unders poked her head above a sea of paperwork. Eyebrows thick enough to hide in covered the middle of her face.
Geez I wish you’d pluck those. Maybe she’ll let me do it one day.
A pen fell from Doctor Unders mouth and landed with a plop on the table. “Nurse Rye, what the hell are you thinking? Remove your hands from this patient immediately.”
The ground rumbled, Shayne suspected steam might erupt out the nurse’s ears.
“If I let her go, she’ll run off again. I caught her out the back alone and smoking drugs–again. She somehow manages to evade the staff and sneak off. How I do not know. And there’s no doubt she’s probably plotting another futile escape as we speak. I have a great deal of work already to do, and not enough people to spend time chasing around after her. She should be medicated adequately so she can’t get out of bed and cause trouble.”
Shayne imagined kicking the nurse’s shin.
If it didn’t get me put in solitary I’d relocate your nose for you.
To her credit, the Doctor didn’t appear intimidated. “You’ll leave the patient’s diagnosis to me, thanks. Perhaps if you supervised your staff better, this wouldn’t happen. How about you go investigate how Mr. Berris is able to swap his lithium for viagra any time he likes and leave me to my job.”
Saggy old balls dangled for a moment in Shayne’s mind, a cold chill followed.
Nurse Rye released her grip on Shayne’s arm and slapped her own thigh. “Fine. I expect you’ll put her on report.”
Shayne remained wedged between the nurse and the door frame without care. Even if she could move, she’d stay put and witness this show down. “Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead.”
“Stop telling me what to do. If you don’t leave my office now, you’ll have staples to remove from your forehead in thirty seconds.” The doctor grabbed the stapler. “Twenty.”
The tension in the room intensified, Nurse Angry prune transformed into the Furious Tomato.
Despite the nurse’s fury, Doctor Unders didn’t waver her glare. “Ten.”
With a huff, Nurse Rye wedged backwards out of the room.
Once she’d reached a safe distance away, Shayne pushed off the doorframe, past shelves filled with physiology text books, towards the one un-cracked plastic chair. She sat adjacent to a deconstructed torso, and hung pictures drawn by patients.
The childlike art broke up nausea inducing yellow, but nothing hid the aged furniture and pea green stained carpet. Shayne recited by memory the names of each text book on each shelf and artist on the wall.
Dr. Overs used her motherly voice. “Shayne, you forgot your appointment and got caught smoking, again. What are we going to do about this?”
Several of Geoffrey’s pieces took up the middle section. None of hers, she hated art. It ate into her TV watching time.
Maybe I could try being invisible. Eyes closed and focus.
“Shayne? Are you with me?”
Shit. She can still see me. Suck it up. “No, I’m not with you at all. I want to go home.”
Doctor Unders’ sigh ricocheted off the desk. “I get it, we all do. But the fact remains, you are still heavily influenced by your delusions. They haven’t altered in strength one iota since your arrival.”
“Well duh. Because it happened, it’s all true and I’m not nuts. Simple.”
“Do you understand we need actual evidence other than your say so about you being royalty and all? And there’s your physical issues which further complicate things. However, I’m sure we’re close to discovering why you have such high levels of DMT in your blood. That’s one thing at least.”
Why don’t people listen to me?
“For the hundredth time, I’m a goddess not royalty. Different kettle of fish.”
Get it right, you morons.
Shayne picked at a strand on her pants. “Huh? DM what?”
“Aha. DMT is a chemical found in people immediately prior to the moment of death. You have a consistent high level in your blood, which I believe may be linked to this delusional behaviour.”
Shayne tapped her head. It echoed. “You won’t find anything wrong with my brain. What about the –”
Doctor Unders cut Shayne off with a raised hand. “Before you say it, we can’t find any biological evidence of you being immortal or having magic powers, nor of your finger being chopped off and, ah, grown back.”
Stupid narrow-minded people surrounded her. “For the tenth time, you aren’t using the right equipment.”
“Shayne, it’s time you faced facts. This other planet–Orion–with all these people and fantastical events are a creation of your mind. None of it happened. It’s illogical. Do yourself a favour and let it go. Concede you need help. In time, if you respond to treatment, you will be able to go home.”
The strand came loose, Shayne selected another. “No, I won’t change my mind. I can’t, every part of it is real. The good, the bad, the ugly. Somehow, someway, I’ll prove it to you.”
A curl broke free from back of the doctor’s head, it sprung into her face. “Are you still taking your medication?”
I’m still taking vitamins.
The Doctor raised an eyebrow. “If you don’t take the meds, they don’t work. Shayne, I’ve always had a lot of time for you. Yet, it’s a struggle to balance this duality within you. I know there is a healthy person in there. They’re just buried under a mountain of tragic events and bad judgment. When you’re not talking about Orion, and the kitchen hasn’t run out of anything chocolate flavoured, you appear mentally sound. With all this in mind, at this point in time in good medical consciousness, I can’t release you.”
Shayne’s stomach climbed her abdomen, up her throat, and dropped onto the floor. She refused to cry, instead stabbing a pencil at the desk.
Can’t someone cut me some slack?
“First of all, the chocolate flavoured shit’s the only thing substituting for lack of actual chocolate because you consider the wrappers a choking hazard. Second, for fuck’s sake. I AM NOT nuts. Yes, long ago I spent some time in a psych ward for a few weeks. This is different.”
Doctor Unders’ tone softened. “I didn’t say nuts but you had nightmares, migraines, and hallucinations then too. Except for a much more elaborate delusion, how is this time unlike the other? This man Annu you’ve created, coincidentally, turned into the love of your life and a perfect match. And, his mother, Irica, is the mother you’ve longed for.”
Shayne shoved Irica out of her mind, and shuddered. “Don’t talk about Irica again.”
“Alright, I’m sorry. I forgot.”
She’d not let defeat claim her; Shayne grabbed inner strength. “Look it’s not the same at all okay. Well, actually it’s kind of a bit the same, but not. Back then, I saw and heard some strange things which didn’t make sense. Myself, boosted by a few others, thought I’d lost it. Until I travelled to Orion recently, I realised those so called hallucinations were visions of my future, and I wasn’t crazy at all. I did get pulled into a wormhole in my pantry and onto Orion. Me and Annu defeated an ancient God, Sham-man, I mean Shamesh, and a few others along the way. It wasn’t easy. Plus I got kidnapped, froze people, got hurt and all sorts of shit–yet ended up back home, where again, no one believes me. And trust me, if I made up a dream world, do you really think there would be so much death and destruction in it? I’d design it so I walked in, got my powers, and life turned into butterflies and fucking rainbows. Not ended with me here powerless in a mental hospital with a chronic illness.”
Shayne stuck her finger in the hole she’d created in her pants. “Which is caused from me being from Orion not Earth. My DNA isn’t meant for here.”
Doctor Unders glasses dropped on the desk beside the pen. “I thought you accepted you’re sick from the autoimmune disease Psoriatic Arthritis. Shayne, your fantastical evidence can’t be validated. Like the magical ring, which you don’t have, wormholes no one else sees, and life on another planet. Which you claim to be a Demi-God of, and none of it can be proven. And yet it won’t sink in that head of yours. Shayne, what about the effect this has on your kids? If it were true, wouldn’t they believe you? Wouldn’t someone have seen something?”
Bam, smacked on the other side of the face with another wet fish. “Leave Erin and Ryan out of it. They don’t understand yet, but they will. As soon as I get out of here. I just need to get back home.”
“Well I’ve got to tell you, it’s going to be a while and you aren’t getting out of this session. I’ve got 20 minutes left Shayne. Can we talk about your ex husband?”
Where were all these fish coming from?
“No. At least that son of a bitch is dead.”
The doctor probed her face. “Each of these wrinkles is your fault.” Another curl on the opposite side broke free; together the curls formed white horns around the doctor’s face. “Fine. Let’s start from when you moved into the other house.”
Do I spend twenty minutes fighting the session, or play nice and use to the time to figure a way out of this crap hole?
Shayne spotted the Doc’s handbag next to the desk, no easily accessible keys stuck out the top.
Damn, I better think of another idea.
“R.L Andrew is a former Legal Executive, chronically ill Australian writer and Movie Reviewer. Along with many short stories published in International Anthologies R.L. is also a regular, long term contributor to the CrypticRock.com Website based in New York.
Her first book ‘A Lunatic’s Guide to Interplanetary Relationships’ will soon be published by JaCol Publishing, an American based publisher. The sequel ‘A Demigoddess’s Guide to Intergalactic Parenting’ is currently in revision stage.”
Get your copy of A Lunatic’s Guide To Interplanetary Relationships on Amazon.