Chapter 19

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by Phoebe

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by Phoebe

When we arrive
at the GPS coordinates
of Orange Man's
Los Angeles property,
we turn the car off
in front of an old warehouse
with violet and blue graffiti,
cracked
and shattered windows,
and a thick iron chain
around the handles
of the double front doors
which are clamped shut
with a comically large padlock.

As we head to the trunk
to retrieve the thumb-gloves,
Buttercup turns
to Hooman #A.

Buttercup
Take my picture?

Then she faces towards
the abandoned warehouse,
posing with a serious face.

I jump up
on the bumper of the car
to rub my sleek rosettes
along Hooman #1's hand.

Hooman #1 is careful
lowering the finger-gloves
to the gravel parking lot
then closing the trunk
while also petting me.

Hooman #A takes a pic,
but Buttercup's not satisfied.

Buttercup
It's dark!
Use the flash!

Hooman #A
Oops.
Let me find it...

When he photographs
her again, this time
in a bath of artificial light,
the flash,
on hitting her eyes,
ignites into lasers
that shoot across
the parking lot,
slicing the roof off
a 90s hatchback
before zooming
into the huge padlock,
searing it open.

As Buttercup and I
stroll towards the warehouse
with our tails pointed
high in the air,
Hooman #1
and Hooman #A
huddle close together,
carrying our mechanical gloves.

Hooman #1
You all right?

Hooman #A
Has she always had
deadly laser eyes?

Hooman #1
First time I've seen it, too;
but yeah—probably.

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