The Things We Do For Fifty Grand
Cutscene: The Things We Do For Fifty Grand
IC Details

A guy in a prison upstate does drugs with the granola chick from the local bar

IC Date: December 09, 2019
IC Location: Upstate somewhere.
OOC Notes & Details
Posted: 17 Dec 2019 02:08
Rating & Warnings: R-18 for implicit sexual content and dark themes. Also cusses.
Associated Plots

"I don't think it's doing anything," George said to the woman from the bar.

"Give it a while," said the woman, pushing a lock of red hair back behind an ear. She was wearing beat up dirty hippie jeans, George thought, staring at them with a familiar sort of consideration. The redhead hung out in the bar off the road that led up to the prison. She worked at some kind of farm, but George knew what she was really growing up there.

What was her name, anyway? Penelope or something? It was something kind of old fashioned, George ruminated, as he scratched his belly and set back in his seat.

They were in the room that wasn't the bedroom in his apartment. It wasn't a fancy place. George had a serene and mediocre confidence that he could get Penelope into the bedroom whenever. He'd certainly spent enough on this -

"What'd you call it? An edible?"

"Yeah," the chick said. "It takes a while. Usually you smoke it, you know."

George raised one hand. He shook a finger and grinned at her; the redhead grinned back. "But this doesn't make you piss hot!" he said.

"That's right," the redhead said.

God, she was hot, George thought. Not even beer goggles. Wasted up here.

"So as I was saying," George said, adjusting himself and settling back into the two hundred dollar recliner he'd bought on the Internet, "I gotta play it safe here because of all of this ridiculous stuff. I told you about Mitch, right?"

"The other guy," Penelope-or-whoever said, "from that private thing."

"Yeah… so we were at this private prison in Alaska, right? Like it wasn't a big one or anything, and it's Mitch who really had the idea, even though I figured out all of the work, did all the, you know, the papers and everything. So we're just there, minding our business, taking care of the screws - I thought this was like a rehab thing, right, or like some deep shit government contractor, but then after it all wraps up and I come back here, what happens? I go on fucking trial!"

"It's awful," said Penelope or whoever.

"It's seriously awful," George said. He leaned forwards and gestured at himself. "I ain't getting any younger here and I had to pay for my own god damn lawyer, too. The judge is just raking me over the coals here, they keep introducing this stuff like, illegal site, blah blah blah - I don't get most of it, it's just so boring, right? But I was terrified. You know? I ain't afraid to admit it to you, Pen, I was terrified. I know what it's like in there, I know what it means to end up a con, I didn't WANT that. I mean -"

George looked at his knees.

"This stuff really isn't doing anything at all."

"You have to give it time," Penelope or whatever said. "You're digesting it. Even if you have a fast metabolism it takes hours, sometimes." She leaned forwards and George looked up and didn't end up looking at her face. "Just relax. Here, why don't I get you a beer?"

"Sure," George said. He watched her go. He decided he didn't feel like smacking what he saw. He'd paid a hundred bucks for two decent brownies in a tupperware. He was certain he'd have his chance. "Sure," he said again when she came back and handed him the beer. "Sure," he said again as she laid down on the couch this time, chin in her hand, elbow on the cushions.

"So I mean I'm a smart guy so I know to keep my head low. I've been in a couple court cases - I could've gone to law school but I had to work for a living, you know? - I been in court and so I know to just look respectful. Mitch does me the biggest favor of his life when he, uh, you know - when he takes himself out - and I figure I owe him one, because I think that got the judge on my side, on account of he knew we were buddies. Like that was half of our defense, right, that we were pals, that we just made a bad call, that we hadn't, DONE anything wrong - we just took a lousy job. And so then two days later, bango bongo here I am."

George settled back in his seat. "It's so unfair, you know that? I mean I know that's whiny, but like, I'm trying to be more emotional and stuff, that's why I'm trying this out. Like I never did anything wrong in my life and here I am, my buddy kills himself…"

"You'll have to thank him for the help," Penelope said mildly.

"Heh! Yeah, sure, I'll call it from up high," George said, staring up at the popcorn flecking of the ceiling. He reached up to finger a medallion that wasn't there, but he remembered: He'd stopped wearing it years ago.

"So I never did anything wrong, nothing really wrong, and I end up having to work out here, federal facility… it's miserable. Like I guess the rent's cheap out here, there's that to say for it."

George lowered his eyes and looked at Penelope's chest. She wasn't looking at him just that moment. It was a curiously shy pose. George liked it. Time to take my shot.

"And I met you," George said.

There was silence in the room for about four seconds. Then Penelope, or whoever, smiled, and looked up.

"Hey," she said, "you wanna know what?"

Score, George thought. He smiled. "What?"

Penelope pointed towards the bottle in his hand. "Ethanol would have improved the process on its own, but since I figured you'd been settling for a while, I put a little something in it."

"Ha ha! That's 130 point, uh - something - that's a crime there, sugar lips," George said, grinning. The beer hadn't had anything in it. He knew what that stuff tasted like. Besides, beers come in a sealed bottle.

It occurred to George - who was, at his core, a smart man, though he had never taken much pains to develop that intelligence - that he hadn't seen or heard Penelope open it.

His smile faded.

Penelope sat bolt upright as if she had seen something. Her smile widened, her face lit up. It was gorgeous, George thought, but he still felt a troubled sensation in the pit of his stomach. He belched, quietly, and said to her: "What?"

"Just now," she said back. "I don't know what it was, but you drew back a little."

George laughed. "Yeah, I was thinkin' about how you slipped me a roofie or something, doll."

"Don't call me that," Penelope said, and it didn't sound like a request. She leaned forwards and stood up.

Sweat glistened on George's brow. Something was wrong. He had a fever or something. "I'm having like, uh, a reaction, or something, Pen, I think it's working. Uh, you said it's strong when it's edible, right?"

"Pretty strong," Penelope purred as she stepped forwards, moving closer. She smelled wonderful. Peppermint and something else, like a flower. An expensive flower. George had never bothered to smell flowers since he was a kid, but he imagined - he imagined some kind of tropical thing must smell like -

He reached for his hip. He hadn't taken off his uniform. He still had his gun.

He didn't have his gun. Fear seized him harder, a bilious tension and a nervous metronome in his chest.

Penelope crouched down in front of him. "So," she said, now that she was eye to eye - "Finish your story?"

"Whaddya mean," George said, feeling the bile rising in his throat. He tried to get up, and all he did was jerk violently in the chair, which groaned in complaint, the cheap thing unused to motion outside of its axis of construction.

Penelope's voice seemed louder now, more penetrant. "Your story," she said. "You've been telling me the same god damn story for the last two and a half weeks, day after day of going to that bar and having to put myself up instead of just savoring the fir trees or just estivating or going BACK to my GREENHOUSE or just going somewhere where it is't god damn SNOWING, and I think it would be a real shame if you never got to finish it!"

Penelope spread her hands. She seemed like her skin was made out of jewels. I'm high now, George thought dully. Oh Christ. Christ save me, he thought more.

"I have to keep my VOICE down because of SUPERMAN, which is why I have to work this quietly - Mitch was easy enough, that was just a little bit of a push and something to silt up his arteries -"

"You killed Mitch?" George said dully.

"You're welcome! I'm glad you were able to start a new life out here. Mitch was easy because I was able to put something in that damn candy he ate. You were harder," said Penelope, reaching up to put her hands on George's cheeks. She pressed inwards, flattened the stubble-wrapped skin. "You were always the dubious one and you had that god damned habit of *eating healthy*. Why you couldn't have just leaned into being a disgusting pig like your buddy, like your fellow overseers, I don't even know. Was it your momma? Huh? Did you just get a crush on someone, when you were in high school? Maybe you did bodybuilding? Wanted to get on a team? Did you get busted when you were in the Army - oh, God, you never even told me about how you were in the Rangers!"

Penelope leaned in closer. George could see into her eyes. There wasn't anything human there. She pressed her forehead against his and the wintermint on her breath was infernally hot. Everything was hot now. "Do you even UNDERSTAND me? I had to do this ARTISTICALLY. I wanted to make a statement but you are so insanely, titanically dull that I had to really struggle."

"you're not from around here," George wheezed.

"That's right," she said: "I'm from Seattle. Do you know what my real name is?"

Something was pressing on his chest. Oh god, George thought, I'm too young to have a heart attack. Oh God oh Jesus. He croaked out, "L-listen - just, an, antidote, I'll g-get you, I'll getcha what-ev-ever, oh Jesus, we ain't got anybody there, we ain't got any fuckup we ain't GOT nobody! We ain't even got registration people, we just got that one mutie, he's an account, an accountant, the mutie's just an accountant, oh God, please!"

Poison Ivy slapped his face.

"First of all," she said, with a voice approximating that of God, "the word is mutant. And second of all…"

"I'm not here for the prison at all."

She touselled his hair. And stepped back, walking over to where - Oh God, the gun had been on the coffee table all this time, George thought, how could he have not seen it, how long had it been there.

She was picking up the gun. She was tossing it. It struck him in the thigh, slid down between his legs.

"Personal service! Let's get this over with, George, I have better places to be." She spread her hands: "Take your best shot."

George grabbed for the gun. It felt like it weighed a ton. He raised it up. He kept raising it. It rolled in his hand. With a sickening twist and prod he felt the iron sights bite on his scalp and his hand, his hand, his hand was still moving.

"It's going to feel like forever," Poison Ivy told him.

He felt tears running down his cheeks. Crying like a baby, George thought, as he struggled against the enormous electric sensation telling him to PULL THE TRIGGER. "I don't wanna die," he sobbed. "Please, I'll give you anything, I'll do anything, juh, just -"



"Well, then," Poison Ivy said. "Then -"

His hand squeezed.


Poison Ivy watched for a few long seconds as the smoke cleared.

Presently, she put a hand on her hip.

She stood there, feeling herself waver somehow. A half-minute later she justified it to herself as concern that a purple streak would come by and she'd be struck down. *HE* wouldn't have come out here - if he had been following her, she knew, he would have stepped in before this… He would have stopped her.

Did the Batman love prison guards? She couldn't tell. She'd have to ask the next time they met. She stood in the room, feeling nostalgia near the slowly cooling corpse, for longer than a minute. She shook her head sharply once, sneering at herself. Nostalgia, she thought. For an insane asylum. Maybe I am a little crazy.

"Well, goodbye, George," she said.

As she walked to the kitchen, where she had already left the box of nonsense that would present the image of a methamphetamine operation - one that had gone catastrophically wrong - she mused, "If it helps, you weren't worth the fifty grand."

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