Chapter 6 of my book is out! Dedicated to @sicarius. Scroll down…

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    CHAPTER 6: CANDY AND THE NINJA

    “Hello?” I whisper. “Babe, is that you?”

    “Candy…?” Hesitant. “You’re in jail…? But, how —– ” Because it’s all your damn fault, you dummy!

    I breathe in. Breathe out. Stay calm now, Candy. I’ve got to butter him up. Make him feel bad.

    I pitch my voice two notches higher.

    “It’s a long story,” my voice is wobbling. I don’t even have to fake it. Because I’m shivering. My knees are knocking together. My goosebumps are popping up all over my back. Which is kind of a nice surprise —– I’d thought THAT part of my anatomy was dead. So, yay.

    “Can you get me out of here?” A burst of icy wind rushes in from the open window. “I’m – I’m s-scared…” The tremor in my voice is real. My bones are quaking. My teeth are chattering.

    “Candy…” His voice has softened even more. It’s working. His heart is breaking. He must be blaming himself. I give myself a silent high-five. I. Am. So. Good.

    Here’s the thing.

    Everyone knows a Candy would die rather than admit that she’s afraid. So for me to actually say it out LOUD, to HIM, no less —- well, it’s a HUGE deal. Earth-shattering, in fact. C’mon, it takes like 12 episodes to TRUST the hero enough to acknowledge your weaknesses in a typical prideful Candy-centred drama! And that I’m telling him now? It’s BIG. A giant step forward in our relationship, and it marks a shiftΒ —– hold on, he’s mumbling something —–

    “I’m sorry, but I really can’t do this with you anymore…”

    What????

    He’s supposed to say he’s coming to bust me out of jail like right now!

    “We have nothing…” His voice shrinks. A bad connection. Or maybe it’s the blood pounding in my head. I could kill him. I could seriously K I L L him right now. His voice returns, hard in my ear, “…I’m sorry…” Shrivels again. I want to T H R O T T L E him, put my hands around his throat and
    S Q U E E Z E —–

    A second later, he’s at full volume. “Please don’t contact me anymore —– ”

    “Babe, I miss you,” I cut in.

    Fast-thinking, that’s me.

    A Candy’s gotta do what a Candy’s gotta do. I can’t just lie back and whimper. Yoda whispers in my ear every night: “Do, or do not. There is no try.” Sometimes, I murmur back. And when I’m in a good mood, I hold longer conversations with him.

    I hear you, Yoda. Loud and clear.

    I’m going to fight for every inch of my babe. Even if it kills me. Or him.

    A beat of silence.

    Then: “Candy…” A sigh. I can hear him breathing.

    “Babe, I miss…” And it spouts from me in a torrent, water pluming from a drain. Or a burst pipe, like the one in my kitchen.

    “I miss your eyebrows.”

    “I miss your smile.” His mouth twitching, trying so hard to resist my allure. And failing each time.

    “I miss your nostrils.” The way they flare, breathe in my intoxicating scent of rank sweat, stale onions and cheap soap.

    “I miss your throat.” The desperate bobbing of his Adam’s apple, fighting in vain for some semblance of control.

    “I miss your stubble.” The feel of it. Scratchy, like sandpaper. The perfect foil for the smattering of blackheads on my chin.

    “Your butt.” Apple-shaped. Toned, but not overly.

    “Your forehead.”

    “Your chest.”

    “Your abs.”

    “Your legs.”

    “Your veins.”

    “Your cheekbones.”

    “Your teeth.”

    A pause.

    “I miss you so much.”

    Another pause.

    I love you. I am about to say it, but I stop myself in time.

    Candy doesn’t say I LOVE YOU till Episode 14. That’s safe. I think. If she says it early, like around Episode 8, you can be sure all hell is going to break loose, and she’ll fall down the stairs, knock her head and develop amnesia. Or the guy will fall down the stairs, knock HIS head, and develop amnesia. So, yeah, I’m not going to jinx myself here.

    There’s a silence, long and deep. I breathe.

    “But, Candy,” he tells me, gently, “you —- ”

    A click.

    The line goes dead.

    “WHAT THE HELL!” I shout.

    “Time’s up,” the guard shrugs.

    “In here.” The guard unlocks the cell.

    I feel my skin prickle. Eyes are watching me. I sidle in, keeping my head down. I’ve watched a ton of prison dramas and movies, okay? The trick is to play smart and keep a low profile.

    The door clangs shut.

    I stare at my feet. Stay calm. Don’t panic. Start counting. One. Two. Three. Four —–

    “Hey.”

    I freeze.

    “Hey, you down there.”

    My head swings up. Slowly.

    There’s someone sitting up there. Like wayyyyy up there. Perched up high on the wall, legs crossed.

    “Hey,” I whisper. Swallow.

    “I’m Sic. Who’re you?” She’s got on a black balaclava. Like a ninja. Maybe she’s a ninja. Maybe that’s how she got up there.

    “I’m Candy.” Swallow again. “Nice to meet you, ma’am.”

    “Ma’am?” She cracks up, her shouders shaking.

    “Ha-ha. Ha-ha,” I join in her laughter desperately. She stops laughing. Fixes me with a stare that chills me to the bone.

    “Why are you laughing?”

    “Uh. I was just —- uh, happy to meet you.” My palms are sweating.

    “My name is Sic.”

    “Okay. Sure…Sic.” Breathe. “Whatever you say, Sic.”

    “What are you in for?”

    “Being a public nuisance. Destroying private and public property. You?” I say timidly.

    “Shitposting.”

    “Uh, okay.”

    “Do you know what shitposting is?”

    “No.” I dart my eyes toward the cell door. Where’s the guard? “Not really.”

    “Don’t you want to ask what shitposting is? Don’t you even want me to EXPLAIN WHAT SHITPOSTING IS?” She is shouting. Oh, God. Help. Get me out of here, please. Somebody. Anybody. And —-

    —– she’s standing. Oh, my God. How’s she even doing that? She’s standing, her feet on the wall, her body bent sideways, parallel to the floor below, like a scene from The Matrix.

    Wait. She WAS standing. She isn’t standing. Not anymore.

    Because —–

    —– she’s taken off with a grunt.

    She’s barrelling into the air, arms glued to her sides. Like Ultraman.

    And then she makes six convulated loops, stretches out her arms wide, makes a turn, and plunges down. Headed straight for me.

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    She lands with a loud THUMP that rattles the walls, her bare feet arrowed to the floor.

    Right in front of me.

    Like one, short stride from me.

    “Candy.” A snarl.

    She takes one step forward, and we’re nose to nose.

    My blood curdles.

    “Hey, Sic,” I squeak.

    “Candy.”

    “Y-yes, S-sic?”

    Sic stretches out a black-gloved hand, palms up. “Watch.” Wriggles her fingers, and ——-

    C R E A K

    ——– a blade pushes out off the tip of her index finger. Slowly. Noisily.

    It’s coated with brown stuff. I squint to see better.

    It’s R U S T.

    CREAK CREAK CREAK CREAK CREAK CREAK CREAK CREAK CREAK

    It takes ten excruciating minutes and 55 seconds —– I counted —– but, finally, it’s out.

    I’ve never seen a sadder, rustier blade in my life.

    I open my mouth to tell Sic to get a tetanus jab ASAP, but before I can say anything ——

    “You in the boxers.”

    I turn.

    The guard’s unlocking the door.

    The door clacks open.

    “But who —— how —– ”

    The guard shrugs.

    “Gentleman there bailed you out.”

    There’s someone standing in the middle of the hallway. Tall, straight, a glimmer of purple and red in the middle of his forehead, shimmering like a third eye.

    It’s him.

    M. A. Babe.

    MY babe.

    “Candy.”

    “Babe,” I whisper. “You came.”

    I burst into tears.

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