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[A_NINmas_Carol: Chapter_3]

by Mimi Jones-Taylor   

          Rick James began to laugh.
          “Hey hey hey!” Rick laughed. “Take it easy, my brutha.”
          “Wait… wait a minute.” Trent shook his head. “You’re not Dave Chappelle here to humbug with me, are you?”
          “Hehehehehehehe,” laughed Rick. “No man. I’m Rick James, bitch! Or well, I used to be. How you doin’ Trent?”
          Trent blinked.
          “Um, well, okay, I guess.”
          “Wanna keep driving?”
          “Keep driving, motherfucker!”
          Trent shifted the car back into gear and drove down the road.
          “So, you didn’t like what you saw in your past, huh?” said Rick. “I don’t blame you. Cocaine is a helluva drug…”
          “Yeah, tell me about it.” Trent said, starting to smile. “That’s what I tried to explain to the last ghost.”
          “Okay, then what’s your problem now? Why you gotta be such a bitch to your band?”
          “Look, I gotta push them, or else they’d be a bunch of slackers.”
          “Slackers, huh? It’s Christmas Eve. Everyone deserves to take a break at Christmas.”
          “Humbug!” said Trent.
          “Believe me, brotha, I know what it’s like to be alone at Christmas, and you wanna up and piss on everyone else’s holiday. Well congratulations, motherfucker. Everyone you know is gonna have a miserable Christmas.”
          “But they understand that we have to get that song perfect, don’t they? I mean, that’s what it’s all about…”
          “Have you lost your mind?”
          Trent gave Rick a puzzled look.
          “Bitch, please,” said Rick. “You don’t have a clue, do you? Pull over the car.”
          “But we’re in the middle of nowhere…”
          “I said pull over the car, damnit! Don’t you know who I am? I’m Rick James, bitch!”
          Trent rolled his eyes and pulled over.
          “Now get out of the car.”
          “Why?” said Trent.
          “Listen, I don’t want me no self-centred little skinny-assed white boy being all self-deprecating on his ass at Christmas driving me around. Get out of the car. I’ll drive myself.”
          Trent sighed, and opened the door. He stepped out of the car and into a bar. The wood was dark and the lights were dim. Trent’s hands began to shake. He turned around to rush for the door, when he ran into Rick James.
          Rick laughed.
          “Where you goin’ so fast?”
          “I don’t know why or how I even got in here,” said Trent.
          “You’re here because your guys are here,” said Rick, indicating the row of filled seats at the bar. “Let’s go see what they have to say.”
          “Oh don’t worry… they can’t see us. Come on!”
          As they approached the group at the bar, Trent could hear the boys in the band muttering their complaints.
          “He’s just a big fucking asshole now,” said Josh.
          “He used to be really cool,” said Jeordie. “He used to throw parties and give presents and everything. And now, since he got sober, he’s totally lost his joie de vivre.”
          “I feel so bad for Alessandro,” said Josh. “He’s gonna barely be off the plane when he has to do that link up in the morning. And then Hitler Boy is gonna start screaming at him because he’s jet lagged.”
          “Hitler Boy is a little harsh, don’t you think?” said Aaron.
          “Maybe. Maybe Kim Jong-Il is a better name for him. Little frickin midget with the superass ego…”
          “You know, if it hadn’t’ve been for Trent, you wouldn’t have a job right now,” said Aaron. “You should be thankful.”
          “I told you he was slow,” Jeordie said to Josh.
          “Look, that might be true,” said Josh, “but after I’ve seen the way he treats all of us, especially tonight of all nights, I would have been better off busking at the corner of Hollywood and Highland.”
          “You guys are so ungrateful,” said Aaron. “It’s really hard being under the pressure that Trent is under, and he can’t even drink to take the stress off. Speaking of, I’ll be right back.” Aaron hopped off the stool, and limped to the bathroom.
          “What’s the matter with him?” Trent asked Rick James.
          “Rheumatism,” said Rick James. “From an old stage injury that he got on the spring leg of the tour. It only started to act up now because of the winter.”
          “But he’ll be all right, won’t he?”
          “I dunno,” said Rick James, “If he keeps pushing himself the way he does onstage, running around, knocking down all that equipment, it could make it worse.”
          Trent looked down at his feet, as Jeordie spoke.
          “That poor kid. He jokes about everything when we’re all together, but deep inside, he’s hurting most of all. Bartender, another round.”
          “Don’t you have to get going home?” asked Josh.
          “Nah, I’ve got nobody to go home to this year,” said Jeordie.  “I was just gonna play Xbox all day tomorrow anyway. I guess I shouldn’t complain about the session tomorrow, then, but at least I would’ve liked to be able to sleep in until noon.”
          “Can we leave now?” Trent asked Rick James. “I’ve heard enough.”
          “Sure.” Rick led the way towards the bar door.
          Trent opened the door and stepped into the aisle of a plane. His ears popped as he realized they were in mid-air. The seats were crowded, and everyone was singing Christmas carols or smiling and laughing with each other.
          “Where the hell are we now?” Trent turned to find Rick James in a big Santa hat sitting in an aisle seat.
          “Alitalia Flight 279 to Rome,” said Rick James. “Italian Christmas Eve. That’s what it’s all about, brotha. Check it out.”
          A slight smile began to cross Trent’s face as he watched the happy passengers split panettone with each other, children laughing…and then his eye caught a lone passenger, sitting next to a window. His eyes were sad, and his face was drawn.
          Trent walked over to the seat.
          “He can’t hear you,” called over Rick James, as he took another sip of champagne.
          “What’s wrong with him?”
          “Well as soon as he gets off the plane, he’s got to go rehearse,” said Rick. “And that’s all he can think about. He can’t think about his family or the joy of surprising them on Christmas Day. He’s gonna be stuck at a hotel, using Garageband to perfect a song. And he’s worried that he’s gonna screw up because he’ll be so tired.”
          “You mean…”
          “Yeah, brotha. He’s more concerned about you than about his family.”
          Trent’s face fell.
          “I had no idea,” said Trent.
          “Come on, we gotta go now.”
          “But just wait, I just want to tell him…”
          “We gotta go now!” Rick James opened the plane hatch door.
          “What are you doing?” shouted Trent.
          “This…” Rick James shoved Trent out of the airplane. Trent screamed as he went tumbling through the air, and landed in a snowbank.  He saw his car in the distance, and turned around to look for Rick James, who was wearing a purple pimp overcoat trimmed with chinchilla fur.
          “Okay, okay,” said Trent. “Yeah, I feel bad. But what can I do?”
          “Listen, brotha, look under here.”
          Rick James opened his pimp coat to reveal two goth children, a boy and a girl, dressed in black.
          “These kids been following me everywhere. This boy’s name is Perfection. This girl’s name is Ego. Beware of both of them, but especially beware of this boy. Because he’ll make you drive everyone away, and make you ruin lives, and before you know it…well, let’s just say tonight was just a small sample of what could happen.”
          “Yeah,” said Trent.
          “Well, I gotta go,” said Rick. “My girl wants to party all the time, and I can’t keep her waiting.”
          “Nice,” said Trent, turning to shake his hand. But he was gone.
          Trent stood alone in the dark street. A cold winter wind blew through his ears. He clutched his arms as he shivered, and walked towards his car.

Posted by Mimi Jones-Taylor in tales_of_terror | Permalink


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Aaron's Tiny Tim. I think I nearly choked trying not to laugh.

Posted by: Kim | Dec 22, 2005 2:28:45 PM

"I'm Rick James, Bitch"
a haiku of admiration, by Jane

You had me right there.
Mimi, you are a genius;
We are not worthy.

Posted by: Jane | Dec 22, 2005 2:47:48 PM

mimi, this fucking rocks!

Posted by: bex | Dec 22, 2005 3:51:37 PM

Merci beaucoup, tout le monde! I am very pleased that you are enjoying my story :-) . But I must apologize because I could only reference some Italian pastry here. I wish everyone a Joyeux Noel, and please enjoy some buche de noel or some pannetone.

Posted by: Mimi | Dec 22, 2005 3:56:50 PM

I just figured out that Trent hasn't said fuck once. You replaced "fuck" with "humbug"

That is so fucking great Mimi.

(I know everyone already figured this out. I'm kind of slow sometimes.)

Posted by: Nicole | Dec 22, 2005 7:06:19 PM

Uhhh...you might want to check again Nicole. He says fuck a couple of times in the second chapter. (but I had to go back and re-read cause I thought I had missed something too)

Posted by: Iris | Dec 22, 2005 8:18:18 PM

I think this is officially the funniest pair of sentences I've read all year:

"That poor kid. He jokes about everything when we’re all together, but deep inside, he’s hurting most of all."

Posted by: maise | Dec 22, 2005 8:51:52 PM

Just for the record, Meathead's latest flash cartoon is officially the most sub-par his "work" has ever been.

Posted by: Jane | Dec 23, 2005 7:46:23 AM

Wow, that little piece of Christmas misogyny was like 40 minutes long. Back to baking...

Posted by: maise | Dec 23, 2005 8:03:19 AM

Hmm... I just want to mention that the nearLY album is quite good. A friend of mine (who got a signed copy like Bex) sent me the songs, and it's definitely worth a listen.

Posted by: Kim | Dec 23, 2005 8:11:28 AM

You know, I used to argue with Gabriel in Meathead's defense, but it's true: as funny as he once was, he couldn't be sucking harder now. Also, Maise, you're right; he hates and fears women.

Mimi, you have SO kicked his ass.

Posted by: Dierdre | Dec 23, 2005 8:26:09 AM

Actually, Iris and Nicole, in the past, Trent will use his old profanity, but in the present , because it is Christmas, he is supposed to be using the new one. Hope that has aided you :-).

Posted by: Mimi | Dec 23, 2005 10:33:31 AM

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