People walked the cobblestone streets as Ramona and I wandered from vendor to vendor. It was my anniversary party tonight and we were gathering the refreshments. With my cloth bags already full, Ramona was trying to decide which size of rum she wanted.
“I still think we’re buying too much for tonight. Four people aren’t going to finish this off.”
“Tehdusjamkjfsheiojnfmfoem if you’d just invited your work friends,” Ramona retorted.
“I don’t have friends from work.”
“That Celeste woman doesn’t count?” She finally picked out a bottle before the seller could close. The sun was beginning to set and some of the stalls were already folded up.
“I actually forgot about her,” I responded. “And I’d rather we didn’t do this party at all.”
Ramona carefully settled the glass bottle into her own bag as we began walking back to the apartment. “Still not talking to Leslie? Youfejnmvghyhtejly stubborn.”
“I’m not stubborn! I just…don’t know how to start the conversation.”
Ramona rolled her eyes.
“Though maybe it’ll be easier tonight after 216894 talks to Leslie.”
“Maybe,” Ramona muttered.
As we approached the plaza of our apartment complex, I sighed. “Either way I’m going to talk to Leslie tonight. It would mean a lot to me if both of them got along.”
I shook my head. “I don’t know. Maybe it’s because – ”
Bam! The noise stopped us in our tracks at the foot of the stairs.
“What was that?” I wondered aloud.
“Oh, gods,” Ramona whispered.
“That’s coming from Leslie’s place.”
I dropped all my bags and ran up the stairs. “Get help!” I called as I raced to Leslie’s apartment.
I banged on the door. “Leslie!” I yelled. “Leslie!”
A shout rang from the other side. I tried the doorknob. Locked.
“Alright,” I whispered to myself. Slowly, I backed up to the railing across from the door. I took a deep breath, then rammed into the door at full speed, breaking it open.
Leslie was pinned to the floor by 216894 amid broken furniture. 216894 had a knife in his hand, poised over Leslie’s throat, held back only by Leslie’s grip on his wrist.
I ran over. Before I could think, I reached for the knife and kicked 216894 off Leslie as hard as I’d rammed the door, the heel of my boot slamming directly into his neck. He flew to the wall.
Crack. 216894’s neck bent at an odd angle as he slid down to the floor. He was perfectly still.
Silence, interrupted only by Leslie’s ragged breathing. 216894 didn’t move. His eyes were wide open, unblinking.
“Thank you,” Leslie finally said with a sigh of relief. “I knew there was a reason I didn’t like him.”
The knife fell from my hand. “Oh, shit,” I muttered, backing away from the sight. “Oh, shit, oh, shit. What am I going to do?” I continued, turning away.
“Idsgoaiengmdahhgeng,” Leslie said. I heard the shuffling of them moving up from the floor.
“I have nowhere to go,” I complained as my breaths came in short bursts. “I don’t want to end up in confinement, but there’s nowhere to run. What do I do?”
Leslie’s voice droned on behind me.
“I could live in the wilderness! Just disappear into the great outdoors!”
“What?!” I cried, spinning around to face Leslie. They made an exasperated gesture toward their other hand where they held 216894’s now disembodied head by the hair.
“Like I said,” Leslie stated, “I don’t think there’s going to be a problem.”
“Well,” I responded, staring at the green and brown System wires spilling from the head, “that’s new.”
End of Season One.