The Big Bang.
Joannes bedroom. Camera view, inverted. Houston.. looks like were coming out of the lens above the screen.
Tanka! Rudo, man of the hour! Joanne smirked at the camera, clasped in one hand while the other bear hugged both her little brothers underneath her armpit. Well, not so little brothers, yeah? Tanka looked like dude was going to be a football player when he grew up, like shit, was it possible for a seven year old to have shoulders like towers? Damn Taipei 101 or whatever. Here and now Joanne could barely get Tanka to stop laughing and trying to shove her off. NO CAN DO, lil bro, because he was going to be in this family photo and, guess what? He was going to like it? Yes? Hell to the yes? Hell. To the yes. Joanne gathered her hollas from her nonexistent girls in her nonexistent audience. Rudo, meanwhile, gave her an existent punch to the ribs trying to squirm free. Sneaky little shit! Joanne clumsily gave him the old elbow noogie as he snorted, laughing in protest. Tough love baby, tough!
A door across the landing outside her room squeaked open.
Quieter than the shouting of the Coleman kids.
Joanne knew who it was.
Well, it was always them.
Respect your big sis! Joanne exclaimed to the high heavens, her meaty voice booming out.
Filling the void.
Her brothers both laughed and giggled with their still prepubescent choir angel voices. They kept valiantly battling for victory. Yeah, um, about that? Like HELL Joanne was giving them an inch, didnt they know that war was all out?
That war was horrifying?
Not this war?? This war, this was that legs-kicking and arms-flailing, mass of organic Grade A USDA-certi-fucking-fied lean- and quick shout out to Brandon Flowers for being one of only, like, twenty cool Mormons in existence?- this war was adjectives piled to the roof siblinghood, this war was one Joannes hippie two-shoes heart had no exit plan for. This war, she voted for unilaterally, BOOM, politics reference, McAllister would have been proud of his sister from another mister. This war, Joanne decided to win. Outright won with a sudden SIDEWAYS (trumpets triumphantly playing) TACKLEEE (boom boom boom airhorn explosions)! Exclamation, fucking, points! Two hundred pounds of good old Joanne Coleman with the baaaah gawwwd pin to the vulnerable sibling feets. Tanka and Rudo hollered with protest and laughter, breathless chest heaves. Call that shit chess and Joanne figured shed called the checkmate four or five moves ago.
Suddenly. A door across the landing outside slammed shut.
Joanne stopped, but. Her smile never left her frozen, marble-carved lips.
Tanka and Rudo slowed. Dead focused, ears perked.
Not to her.
Noope, no can do! Joannes voice rang till it cracked like a certain Liberty Bell, boom. Cracked. And her grasp slipped and suddenly her younger brothers were free.
Not moving an inch.
What, giving up so soon? Joanne kept her thoughts fresh, slick like a well-oiled machine. She stared her siblings down. So, what? They couldnt handle the Joanne of Arc, her fists of fury loaded up into her magazine belt like machine gun rounds? She dared them. No no, take that back, she DARED them. Two dogs dared them, straight up deuces thrown up as she glared at them with a cocky grin. Boys: peep the teeth, peep the eyebrows raised, peep The Matrix pose all casual-like? Take this on.
Voices started to ring out. No, not in the room with the Coleman kids.
The other residents of the Coleman house. Their voices.
It was their war.
Joannes voice cracked, slightly dry. Slightly weak.
But. She repeated herself with no faltering of her proudly holstered chest, trailing her arms in tight concentric circles around herself, hands cocked and loaded like all types of audacious firepower. Kung Fu Panda Master JO... ANNE! Unless you think you cant beat
She closed her eyes, bowed her head to earth. Sipped contemplatively on the moment of silence.
Punctuated by the unholy noises of Cronus and Rhea screeching.
They were going at it. Harshly, so harshly.
Joanne forced them to become background noise.
... Your superior, Joannes cocky smirk was spring loaded onto a rockets arc. The boys she was destined to beat into their proper places, AKA, R-E-S-P-E-C-Ting their elders. Their expressions slowly morphed. They glanced at each other. Offended. Outraged. O
Um, other O words, O-VER. Fell into the trap? Fell. Into. The... Trap. Welcome to Joannes World, dear siblings. Next step? Booting up the Wii? Mundane. Just a quick press of a barely-there button, a quick strap of a controller around her thick wrist, a few warm up shakes of the body: most holy ark of the covenant of fine booty. Hup hup, she had to put on her game face.
um, what was this? The game was Just Dance? Just Dance? In Joannes house? Well. Hm. That was... Interesting, capital i, smily face, Interesting ( >: ^) )! Interesting in that Joanne had won before the game had even begun. Joanne wore her best game face like her name was Queen Nefertiti and her face was going to be immortalized for all time. Her siblings also wore determination, pride. Have fun with that, sweeties. Til you General Custer this all-out sibling war.
She could read through their eyes.
Consumed by bloodshot white.
Trembling? Adrenaline? Familiar symptoms.
When the screaming wasnt fucking stopping.
Joanne kept smiling. She kept
kept smiling. Kept smiling...
Kept smiling. She shoved the volume on the TV as high as it would go. Motherfucking heavy bass right in her ears, rocking her lungs right out of her windpipe.
What do you know?
The raw throat venom of Mr. and Mrs. Coleman cut clean through everything.
The innocent noise of a video game.
Two different rooms, two different wars. Both wars without winner and loser. Right under their own roof.
Joannes jaw set tightly.
Her death mask. She kept smiling.
The game started. Screaming loud Biebs over the speaker refused to drown out the screaming quiet desperation elsewhere.
But she tried, she tried so hard. Is it too late now to say Sooorrryy!?! She called the lyrics out
Like, giving her main dude, her slightly problematic beauts boy, that good old Justin B. a gospel ovation as she channeled all her energy and efforts into burning thighs, biceps, triceps. Yeah! Feeling the damn burn, could she get a quick whoo for whoo-rking out?! She was racking up the numbers on screen as her controller blazed an insignia through the air. Trailblazing. Take that, air! Joanne was stirring up air molecules like they were goddamn drinks. She and her siblings were drinking that oxygen down!
She could still hear her mom, her dad.
What happened to hating Bieber, Roods? Pretentious little boy even dared to look his mealy little eyes down on absolute pop greatness? Yeesh, some blasphemies were just unfixable by even the best of big sisters. Shrug, shame, S plus M plus H. Meanwhile, Rudo glared back. Guess he hated his little kiddy nickname? Ooh, well, sorry hun. Big sister rights just so happened to include freedom of speech to embarrassing nicknames, as per all the historical documents of all history ever: Magna Carta, St. James Bible, Declaration of Independence, Déclaration des droits de l'homme
rest-of-the-words, Treaty of Versailles, Geneva Convention. That was the sheer fax; still, Rudo started to open his mouth.
Was interrupted by his parents.
- and if you cant even PICK UP the damn groceries on your way back-
... Bieber songs have, like-
- I mean I put TWO fucking payments on that car JUST this month, two goddamn payments? And you just, just DRIVE it up a parking lot asshole like its your damn DILD- Again.
Like, theyre well produced
but, thats all, yknow, Skrillex-
- No, no no. Its not about the fucking car its about the disrespect, the damn audacity to drive it around, like thats not my time- my money- that youre-! Again.
A-And.. Uh, dudes a douche, like.. You-.. know, no
no respect due when he just slaps his voice on, uh, top of actually decent beats and claims fuckin Jesus made him do it for... the kids or, like
- Robert you cant even- I cant- ugh, fucking believe? That you think a car, a hunk of STEEL and PLASTIC, is more important than putting FOOD on the TABLE for your three children-? And again.
Beautiful, red faced, heavy breathing Rudo.
Beautiful. Dead eyed. Rudo.
She refused to accept this.
Joanne just HAD to fire back because Rudo? Her own brother, tightly wound to her by her blood and her genes? Waaaay off mark, way off everything, where was he going without ever knowing the way, wasnt it honestly all-out shameful that they were even related when Rudo was saying things so preposterously ignoramus that he-?
- No no no no, you listen to me, Aaliyah, I am doing EVERY fucking thing I can to put food on that table but, oh I dunno, guess what? You use up a WEEKS worth of groceries on a days worth of food? Didnt your damn talks-til-she-drowns-on-her-DAMN-spit mother ever fucking teach you, you know, how to respect your damn food-!? And again.
... Joanne huffed.
Had to think.
Again. They screamed still, again.
The something shaking.
Maybe a table. Being pounded by a fist. Hard to know this time.
Okay listen up, Roods. Bieber is a shit, true, but-
- And no, I am not disrespecting that old hag, Im TELLING the goddamn truth because SOMEONE under this roof has to-!
But! You gotta admit.. a-admit, he.. built a pop empire, a legacy..-
- And DONT bring Joanne into this, Joanne LOVES my food, are
are you going to deny her a good meal over something cold-hearted like a fucking bank account? Robert, ARE you-!?
... Yeah... Like... You know.
Joanne couldnt think of anything except again.
They gamed, in silence.
The game wasnt loud enough.
It never was.
Sia. Fifth Harmony. Silento.
Again. Guns firing bullets. Forever, bullets, cracking through the air.
Again. Screaming. Always screaming.
Always, never stopping, Again.
It stopped. Eventually.
A door across the landing roared open with the crack of wood harshly greeting drywall. Their door opened quickly after. Gently. A red faced man appeared, in a dishevelled polo tee, running two beefy hands through his sweaty short cropped hair.
Still breathing heavily.
Hed bring Tanka and Rudo to soccer practice.
Struggling to keep his voice calm the whole time.
Hah! Joanne was going to take the W here, and that meant, guess what? Two big fat Ls, like lips, smacked over her brothers slightly shiny, sweat sheened foreheads. She smacked them both by her hand like, well. Lips. Multi-purpose metaphor? Mmhm, yes puh-lease! Couple of those with her victory lap, thank you very much. Joanne waved goodbye with an earned tall, cold frosty glass of smug. Yup! Tanka and Rudo were probably counting their lucky stars that they had evac, that their father bailed them out!
With his car
Hunk of steel and plastic. Mom didnt like that car. And Joanne didnt know what to make of that.
She didnt know what to make of the family car pulling away from the rooms window. She was peering through the drawn blinds with a few fingers shoved between two slats. That car was their only car. Joanne had learned at some point forever long ago in the recent past that Dad had never trusted Mom enough to get her her own personal car.
The past. The all too recent, still burned into her memory by branding iron past.
She craned her neck, this way, that way, til she heard bones cracking. She looked for her brothers, obscured, sequestered away under the unfeeling robotic roof of a vehicle screeching away into the distance.
Dad was going too fast.
He did that sometimes.
When he was working off aggression. Anguish. High-blood pressure.
That sort of thing.
She continued to track the car until it vanished around a curb, behind the shrubs of their unknowing neighbors. Then she looked up at the dusk-painted sky.
She wondered if Mira was bright and proud tonight.
If Cetus, in her quadrant of the sky, drowned and swamped the cosmos in her breadth.
She wondered if the stars glared back down onto a tiny blue dot, uncaring.
She wondered without wonderment.
Joanne gazed heaven ward. Until she heard her mother weakly crying.
Then she left the room, praying as always, as ever, that she could so something this time. Anything. Praying.
It was, truly, the textbook of efforts in vain.
((Joanne Coleman continued in Desperate Times))
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South of Frazier's Glen lie smaller suburban homes, eventually phasing into more packed urban development and apartment complexes. This is the other main residential area for students at George Hunter High School; not nearly as luxurious as Frazier's Glen, much of the housing is still fairly comfortable, though a few of the buildings are notably run-down. It remains a convenient area of residence despite the drawbacks thanks to its proximity to both the school and the historic north side of Chattanooga, which is a short distance away by car or bus.
You did not break me. I'm still fighting for peace.
- Joined: March 27th, 2015, 4:13 am
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Unofficial Theme : 'I'm out of sight, I'm out of mind. I'll do it all for you in time.'
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Unofficial Theme : 'We come to you, uncomfortable in our ways. Please don't slam the door all in my face.'
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