Case File 002: Part 5

by CM Towns

   “Ocarina of Time is definitely the best in the series but I do love the classic Link to the Past. The handheld games are good too. Nintendo always makes fun games. I wasn’t really allowed to play the more violent games so I love Nintendo. Right now I’m working through the new Gears of War though. It’s awesome,” Reed was talking while playing his handheld. He was seated at the round table while some of his teammates were engaged in a round of poker in the new Game Room. At the moment the room just had a couch, lazy boys, and a flat screen TV on the wall with a media center for the game consoles. This way Reed had a room to play and the others could use the theater without Reed throwing a fit. The room also included a pool table much to the delight of Elijah who earlier had won six consecutive games.
   Jessie was seated to Reeds left with Araminta next to her. Both Reed and Araminta were not playing while Jessie was showing just how good she was at gambling. She took a gulp of her beer and thought about the cards in her hand and the money on the table. Araminta had a glazed over look on her face as she was focused on the bag of chips in front of her while Wolf laid down between her and Jessie. Across from Jessie was Elijah with Frank two seats over. Elijah was drinking beer as well and considering his hand with Frank in much the same position. Sally was in one of the lazy boy recliners that Jessie pulled up close to the table so she would be forced to interact with the group. Sally however preferred the company of her tablet computer.
   “Two pair” Frank said. Elijah tossed his cards.
   “Flush,” Jessie said showing her hand and taking the money as Frank cursed before he got up to grab another beer from the ice chest.

   “You were saying?” Jessie asked Reed.
   “I like Gears of War. I’m looking forward to the next Final Fantasy game. You like those?” Reed asked.
   “Couple of my friends do,” Jessie replied.
   “Yeah-they’re cool,” Frank said sitting down. Elijah finished shuffling and then started passing out cards. Frank continued with, “Played them on an emulator. Number eight is the one with-I believe his name is Squall?”
   “That one is awesome!” Reed said happily.
   “Weren’t you watching a video game movie earlier?” Elijah asked.
   “Yep. Mortal Kombat. It’s one of the coolest movies,” Reed said.
   “Hey,” Antoine said walking in. Wolf got up to meet him and Antoine leaned down and rubbed Wolf’s head.
   “Get your homework out of the way?” Frank asked.
   “Yep. Even make up work,” he answered taking the seat between Elijah and Frank. “You okay Araminta?”
   “She’s high,” Reed said.
   “Smoking and drinking, huh? These people are corrupting you.”
   Araminta had a little giddy laugh.
   “Sorry mister straight edge,” Jessie said moving her cards around.
   “Not straight edge. Just always prepared,” he said pointing to her. Jessie shook her head.
   “Wasn’t much smoking going on. Mostly me. Little Elijah. Of course Araminta,” Frank said.
   “Yes, my body is not quite feeling it,” Elijah said.
   “Physiology,” Sally started. “Your body’s current state has a different reaction to the recreational drugs you may already be familiar with.”
   “Weed is not a drug,” Frank said.
   “Regardless of if it is or isn’t, your bodies are reacting differently. For example Jessie can get high and drunk but it takes a great deal of effort,” she said.
   “What are you working on?” Antoine asked looking over to Sally.
   Sally responded with, “Just looking up details about the new space station being built to better monitor possible alien threats.”
   “Call?” Jessie said. Everyone matched the bet and Jessie dropped a full house with three ace’s and won again.
   “You are obviously cheating,” Elijah said.
   “Reed was telling us about the Mortal Kombat movie before you walked in. Also about all his favorite games. You like games right?” Jessie asked Antoine.
   “I do but I don’t get much gameplay in lately. And the old Mortal Kombat movie is fun in a very corny way,” he answered.
   Elijah was dealing once more and asked, “What’s your favorite movie?”
   “Don’t know. Glory I guess?”
   “Good one. Washington, Freeman, Elwes and Broderick. How about the rest of you?” Elijah asked.
   Jessie elbowed Araminta who looked up. “What?”
   “Favorite movie?”
   She thought about it and said, “Pretty in Pink.”
   “Reservoir Dogs,” Frank gave his answer.
   “That one’s good. Though I imagine I’ll probably end up enjoying Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds a lot more now,” Elijah commented.
   “The Hitler killing was nice,” Jessie said. “Sally likes Saving Private Ryan.”
   Frank asked for three cards before saying, “You?”
   “They Live,” she answered.
   “Never heard of it,” Elijah told her.
   “John Carpenter film. The Halloween guy. Stars Roddy Piper,” she answered.
   “The one with wrestler?” asked a half-surprised Antoine.
   “Yep. Him and Keith David fight disguised aliens they can only see with special sunglasses,” she explained.
   “Aw yea-that movie. That one is awesome. My friend show it to me. That street fight between the two is pretty bad ass,” Frank said.
   “How about you Reed?” Antoine asked.
   “Scott Pilgrim,” he answered.
   “Obviously,” Jessie commented.
   “That’s a fun flick,” Frank said.
   “And a good comic movie. I actually read the comics with that one,” Jessie added.
   “Is that the weird one with the guy fighting the girls seven evil Exes? I love that one,” Araminta agreed before chuckling.
   “Seems Araminta likes movies with a romantic angle,” said Elijah.
   “What’s yours?” Antoine asked.
   “In the Heat of the Night,” he answered.
   “Not sure I’ve heard of that one,” Frank said matching the bet.
   “Yes-well, as long as Antoine has I feel okay,” Elijah said.
   Antoine replied, “Sydney Poitier film. 70S, right?”
   “60s,” Elijah corrected him.
   “My dad really likes that one,” Antoine added.
   “Straight,” Jessie said and took the money.
   “How?” Frank asked.
   “You smirk whenever you think you have a good hand. Elijah taps his right hands pointer finger on the table when he’s not happy with his. That and I’ve been beating people at poker since my gramps taught me this game,” she answered.
   “I’ve already lost almost a hundred bucks. I’m done. Let’s do something else,” said Frank.
   “Like?” was Jessie’s response.
   “Truth or dare,” Frank answered with a sinister smile.
   “Challenge accepted,” Elijah said dropping his fist lightly on the table. Jessie shrugged. Araminta shook her head ‘no’ but accompanied it with a smile and a giddy little laugh.
   “I’m not playing,” Reed said.
   “Neither am I,” Antoine said.
   “Araminta and Reed should obviously not be in the game. Sally definitely has no interest. However, Antoine, as team leader you should be in the game to best set a proper example for the likes of us,” Jessie argued.
   “That makes no sense,” he responded.
   “Makes perfect sense to me,” Frank said.
   “High card gets first crack?” Elijah said shuffling the deck. Jessie pulled first and got a 10. Frank pulled an 8, Antoine a Queen, and finally Elijah an ace. “Seems I’m first. Jessie, truth or dare?”
   “Dare,” she responded staring him down.
   Elijah considered his options. He snapped his finger and challenged, “Kiss Araminta.”
   “What?” Araminta reacted a moment before Jessie grabbed her by the chin and planted one on her lips. Araminta was stunned, started blushing and turned away to look down at the table.
   “Did it get a little hot in here or is that just you two?” Frank asked.
   “Frank-truth or dare?” asked Jessie.
   “Dare,” he responded signaling for her to bring it on.
   “Kiss Araminta,” Jessie said. Before Araminta could respond Frank leaned in over the table and gave her a kiss on the lips. Fell back into his seat while Araminta was hiding her blushing face in her hands.
   “That was fun. Kid Victory?” Frank said to the man seated at his right.
   Antoine was laughing and answered, “I’ll take dare. Why not?”
   Frank pointed to Araminta and said, “Your turn.” Antoine did a roll over the the table and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
   “I think she’s about to explode,” Reed said of Araminta’s reddening face.
   “Elijah! Truth or dare?” Antoine asked as he walked back to his seat.
   “I chose dare good fellow,” Elijah said.
   “Kiss Araminta,” Antoine said and Elijah stood up, walked around the table and bowed to Araminta. He took Araminta’s hand who was looking away and kissed it. Everyone had a good laugh as Araminta was breathing hard.
   “Alright,” Elijah said heading back to his seat. “Antoine-I ask you truth or dare.”
   “Back to me already? Truth this time,” he replied.
   “Which female member of our little group do you think is the cutest?” he asked.
   “So this whole truth and dare experience is just to get us to express our hormonal teenage nature?” Antoine asked.
   “Answer the damn question,” Jessie said.
   “Sally,” he answered. Sally had no noticeable reaction from this truth from Antoine.
   “You okay over there?” Jessie asked to which Sally nodded and kept working in silence.
   “Truth or dare Elijah?” Antoine asked.
   “Turnabout? Okay, truth,” he said.
   “Ever had sex with a girl who was only interested in your money?”
   Jessie reached over and covered Reed’s ears who looked up from his game annoyed at being mothered. Elijah nodded and said, “Yes.”
   Jessie removed her hands away and Elijah challenged her. “Dare,” she responded.
   “Frank has his guitar and his little amp over there. Would you mind performing one of your bands songs?” Elijah asked. Jessie shrugged and Frank gathered the things and brought them over the table. Jessie took them and checked the chords.
   “You said you did alternative metal,” Frank said. “Kind of a broad term.”
   “Yeah,” she said as she re-tuned the guitar. “Okay… Apologies for the terrible lyrics,” Jessie says before she starts a riff and after almost half a minute she started singing;

I saw the red storm clouds and knew the fight was on the other side
People tell me I’m prone to violence and I agree with that
Got to get the upper hand-Or I won’t sleep tonight
So I put a bitch under my heels for trying to act bad

If I live another hundred years I won’t get any wiser, I’ll still be immature
Running ragged with this motley crew of American monsters
So if we’re good, whose gonna be bad? And Ol’Scratch says…
‘We’re just going to get worst.’
So I pack some extra grit and put my enemies in the dirt

Click-bang, click-bang, click-bang
Another one goes down
Click-bang, click-bang

I know I got better things to do but I keep on this war path
Tyranny is just a day away if you want to wait
So big red said he was gonna make it worst?
This genuine beast is at the gates asking to try me first?

Click-bang, click-bang, click-bang
Another one goes down
Click-bang, click-bang

Click-bang, click-bang, click-bang
Another one goes down
Click-bang, click-bang

Click-bang, click-bang, click-bang
Another one goes down
Click-bang, click-bang

   Jessie finished and got a round of applause. “Okay, enough of that, let’s keep this game going,” she smiled rubbing her hands together with a devious smile.

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