For this Fiction Friday I’m posting a Jenny Everywhere story that I never got around to finishing.
The important thing is that Jenny has the power to shift between various realities and that, “The character of Jenny Everywhere is available for use by anyone, with only one condition. This paragraph must be included in any publication involving Jenny Everywhere, that others might use this property as they wish. All rights reversed.”
It was alive. It was alive and it called her “momma”.
Casey slid to the kitchen floor with her back pressed firmly to the fridge door. With her eyes closed she forced herself to breathe slowly, 1…2…3. Just as the therapist had instructed. It helped but not enough.
Her shift at Swendon’s had ended early but she was no less tired for it. Casey’s feet ached, her shoulders throbbed. all she had wanted was to get home, have a bit of the tiramisu she and Rog had picked up the night before, and veg. So there had been a little cheer that had gone up in her heart when she had gotten home and found her roommate Jenny and boyfriend Roger were out. She loved her, Jenny that is, but admitted to herself that she could be a little intense. Casey had kicked off her shoes and plugged her music player into its dock, raising the volume as far as she dared and not risk disturbing the neighbors. Soon there was blessed, sublime Hendrix filling the apartment. Casey loved this track, a meandering soulful little thing from Hendrix’s 1973 album Wishfall. Casey listened with a glee of someone who had a secret. There was no one else in the world with this track. Not this world, not this reality, anyway.
Casey danced her way to the kitchen to demolish the remains of the dessert. Instead, when she had opened the door of the fridge a gelatinous shape had sloshed toward her from a large plastic bowl, forming a makeshift mouth and calling her “momma”. Casey had slammed the door shut and pressed herself against it. “Guess Jenny’s been home.” she thought.
Jenny who filled her music player, taking it with a smile then vanishing as she does to who-knows-where. Three days later she’d shown up in the apartment, asleep on the couch when Casey had been heading for the door to start her shift. Without opening her eyes Jenny had shot her hand out offering the music player and Casey had taken it on the fly only to find once she was at work that it had the most amazing things in its memory. Artists and musicians she knew but tracks that had never been recorded. Tracks that sported cover art to albums pressed long after bands had broken up and musicians had died tragic, youthful deaths. Kurt Cobain solo projects, the sixteenth Beatles studio album, and Hendrix’s ‘73 album – three years after his tragic death in Casey’s world.
If Casey every wished she could do the things that Jenny claimed she could do it would probably come down to being about the music. Casey had marveled when they first met in Swendon’s Bar and Jenny had wowed the crowd with an amazing set of songs played on a borrowed guitar. The woman with dark hair and the unseasonable scarf wound about her neck seemed to glow beneath the stage lights and had held them all captive with her voice and made them love her.
Afterward Casey and Rog had struck up a conversation to ask the woman about the song which had haunted Casey with it’s near familiarity, even though she knew up and down that it was something that she had never heard before.
Jenny had given them both a toothy grin, “You like? I love Lennon’s older stuff. Especially after he reconciles with Paul, wow!” Casey, who usually had a good eye for such things was never quite sure if Jenny was asian, or native-american, or something else entirely. But she liked it. Jenny’s eyes were the color of caramel apples and swallowed you whole and if you looked into them too long. You risked losing yourself entirely in their warmth. Casey wondered if the aviator goggles Jenny sometimes sported were to protect other people. Jenny had seen things and was full to bursting with the wonder of whatever it was she had done in her life.
When Swendon’s had closed up the three of them had found their way to Casey’s apartment and talked until Casey and Rog had finally gone to their bedroom. Jenny didn’t join them, not that night.
After that first night Jenny just seemed to become a part of their lives, never imposing, and often gone for weeks on end traveling. Every month Casey would find an envelope in the apartment with Jenny’s name written on it in her spidery scrawl with exactly half the months rent. Jenny didn’t have a room and slept on the couch when she was around. Often she would keep various things she collected on her travels there. It was mostly a good arrangement.
Okay, truth to tell there were one or two quibbles. Like whatever it was in the fridge that had called her momma… to be continued.
© Desmond Manny 2015