COMING JANUARY 2022
Soaked in the trenches of adolescence, four teenagers embark into a world of self-discovery in Seattle during the mid-90s. A time when drugs, music, film, books, politics, religion, sex, fashion and pop-culture zealously intoxicated society. Its gritty appeal lure Heather, James, Scott and Kristin deep within the underbelly of the zeitgeist where their innocence is left to combat the propaganda machine.
Friday, September 23, 1994. 4 pm
A red ’92 Pontiac Sunbird convertible barreled down I-90 like no tomorrow.
"Ah fuck me," Kristin shouted.
Heather lowered her white sunglasses varnished in red lenses. "What now?"
"Fucking cigarettes man!"
"Maybe you outta stop going through them so damn quickly."
Kristin pitched the empty box over her shoulder. "Don’t give me shit for the one thing no one should give me shit about."
"Just get off the next exit."
The idea didn’t faze her when she turned off the radio. "Who put that shit on?"
"Change it before I run off the road."
Heather unbuckled herself and reached for a shoebox decorated with bands Kristin manically listened to.
The tip of her finger ran past a row of cassettes until something caught her eye. "Down for Dink?"
"You mean Dave Ogilvie and Dink."
"You want Skinny Puppy or what?"
"You don't know what's in here!"
Gazing forward in a pair of yellow sunglasses with blue lenses, Kristin coolly said, “Quit your shit."
"All you got is Too Dark Park."
"Cuz both bands make my pussy wet."
"How wet you wanna get?"
“Not too wet.”
“Dink it is.”
Heather shoved the cassette in the console not knowing Green Mind would slither from the speakers like magnetic static. Passersby’s looked over with concern as they sang and twirled their hair in circles.
They should've been paying attention to the road, but the lack of focus was a perfect way to start the weekend. But when the nearest gas station appeared, so did Mt. Rainer's pink and orange ice caps radiating in the sunset.
Kristin strolled into the store while Heather lied on the hood of the car. Birds chirped in Douglas Fir and Maple trees as the clouds changed color.
Kristin came out spanking a fresh pack of Camel’s at her palm. Her short-sleeve pink oxford was neatly tucked in a green argyle skirt like a doll. With a ridged demeanor, her yellow bar-laced black Doc Martens magnified it.
Bending over the door, she reached for the 12V lighter to light her cigarette. As she took a drag, she took note of the birds Heather was listening to.
Kristin coolly pressed the death-stick against the cherry and sat next to her friend.
Above them, Joe Camel was plastered on a billboard presumably naked in a hot tub with an ice-cold beer and a jovial grin.
"What city is behind him?" Heather asked.
"Has to be LA."
“Wonder what’s on his mind.”
“Can’t say. He’s wearing sunglasses.”
"What do his eyes have to do with anything?"
"He's in a hot tub at a party in the Hills. He wants pussy or a blow job."
Tapping the cig lightly, Kristin wondered what really went on at those parties. "With a tanned body like that. I’d probably be that chick blowing him underwater."
A woman rolled in the parking lot and threw some papers in the garbage. She forgot something and went back to her car before going in the store.
"Total slut. Course you would."
"Um-hum. Bet it’s huge."
“The guy's famous, who cares if it’s less than 7 inches."
A stream of smoke escaped Heather's lips. "He's a camel Kristin. There something you not telling me?"
When the strange woman in white pants and yellow shirt came out with a paper bag, she waved, but only Heather waved back.
"So is that warehouse thing still going down?"
"I don't know," Heather said, "thought Scott told you about it after school."
"He didn’t say anything.”
"What time is it?"
Kristin tossed the cigarette on the stained concrete and fumbled in the cup holder for a quarter. She walked into a dingy phone booth along the side of the building and shut the door.
It didn’t take long for the line to be answered.
"Hi Mrs. Pruitt. How are you?"
"I'm fine, thank you. How was your week?"
"I got A's on my Geography and English exams."
Mrs. Pruitt looked out the window and saw her husband's black Audi-100 pull in the driveway. "That's lovely dear…what the English exam was on?"
"Mrs. Keenan gave us a list of books, so I chose to read one by Philip K. Dick."
"Are you familiar with his work?"
"No, but I'm guessing you are."
"I am. And if I had to choose a favorite it would be The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch."
"Does Scott know that Mrs. Pruitt?"
"One second, dearie—" Kristin heard her kiss her husband before telling him Scott had a call. "I'm sorry about that, David just went up to deliver the message that I'm taking up all your time."
"Oh no, I like talking with you."
"That's very sweet of you."
"Anyhow, what were you saying?"
"Oh yes, I almost forgot. That book has everything science-fiction stories need, but this one has a terrifying portrayal of a working-class society resorts to a certain drug for survival. Situations no one ever wants to find themselves in.”
“Sounds good already.”
“Philip has always had an empathic voice for shedding light on taboo topics like poverty and how it can lead people to do strange things.”
Kristin was glad she told Mrs. Pruitt she enjoyed her company because it was true. Out of all her friends' parents, she was capable of offering advice without being overbearing. If anything, it just exhibited where Scott got his moody and artistic personality from.
Scott picked up the phone and said, “hey."
"Hi, darling, I would've fetched you sooner but we got into a little exchange over here."
"Yup," Kristin replied, "your mom has great taste in books."
"Who would've guessed that?"
Mrs. Pruitt chuckled. “Do you all have plans tonight?"
"I'm guessing that's why Kristin called."
"Yes, I’m sure of it. Alrighty then, I’ll talk with you two later."
"Have a restful weekend Mrs. Pruitt."
"Same to you."
Scott released a long sigh after the line cut-out. "What the fuck was that about?"
"We honestly were talking about books and not you for a change."
"Yah-yah. Anyway, we goin' to that thing or what?"
"Yeah. Heather and I just need to change."
"Go in your uniforms."
"Tell me you're joking."
"No I'm being serious. Fuck man—why you so dense sometimes?"
"Maybe if you weren’t a prick, I wouldn't be a bitch."
Scott was barefoot and the only piece of clothing he had on was a pair of tight black jeans. A green lava lamp morphed over his desk, leaving shadows on a Crass poster as if it were melting into the wall. If anything, he thought it was something the band would expect if that were possible.
"What time you headed over?"
"Meet us at Heather's in an hour since we're still out."
"Yeah, we got lost inside Bop Street Records, again."
"Buzzcocks on vinyl. Thirty bucks. Mint condition."
"Dang, I gotta see this."
Overlooking the excitement, she added that she and Heather were going to grab some grub from “Pagliacci’s” and asked if “James” would want any.
"I'll ask, but get enough in case."
"Okay. Remind him to tell his dad we're crashing at Heather's after Pulp Fiction."
It was six thirty when she hung up and lit another cigarette. She went back to the car where Heather was still laying down.
"It happens," as Kristin looked around suspiciously, "anyway…about tonight. We’re crashing at your place after we snag some pizza?"
"It's not that big a deal."
"We’re supposed to be at your pad tonight."
"I know, but I need a break from my mother—"
"And I don't."
"I know, baby. How about I promise that next time."
Kristin vulnerably held up her palms up. "What if I pinky-promise this time?"
"Come on man, this is royally fucked up."
"Just this once. Please…pretty please."
There was a moment of silence while Heather pouted, but once the frustration subsided, she asked for another cigarette and slid off the car.
"Fine. But if you're lying, I'm going to kill you."
The moon rose in the distance as the two companions got in the car. They’d always enjoyed the cryptic look sunglasses gave people whenever they were worn at night.
Kristin merged on the freeway as the wind weaved through their hair like an invisible hand carrying them forward. Heather switched cassettes and put on The Damned for the whole world to hear.