by Starsky Hutch 76, adapted from Pulp Fiction, screenplay by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary
The front door of Mia’s home flung open, and Mia Wallace and Floyd Lawton danced tango-style into the house, singing a cappella the song from the restaurant. They finished their little dance, laughing. Then the two just stood looking at one another.
“Was that an uncomfortable silence?” Floyd said.
“I don’t know what that was,” Mia said nervously. She paused, and her mood changed suddenly. “Music and drinks!” she said, with a dramatic wave of her hands as she moved away to attend to both.
Floyd hung up his overcoat on a big bronze coat rack in the alcove. “I need to make use of your facilities, my lady,” he said, shuffling off toward the rest room.
“Go right ahead, sir knight,” Mia said, moving to her CD player to thumb through a stack of CDs and selected one: Chronus. The speakers blasted out with a high-energy number, which Mia played air-guitar to. She danced her way around the room and found herself by Floyd’s overcoat hanging on the rack. She touched its sleeve; it felt good.
Her hand went in its pocket and pulled out his tobacco pouch. Like a little girl playing cowboy, she spread the tobacco on some rolling paper. Imitating what he did earlier, she licked the paper and rolled it into a pretty good cigarette — maybe a little too fat, but not bad for a first try. Mia thought so, anyway. Her hand reached back in the pocket and pulled out his Zippo lighter. She brought it up to her lips and took a long, cool drag. Her hand slid the Zippo back in the overcoat pocket. But then her fingers touched something else. Those fingers brought out a plastic bag with white powder inside, the Fountain of Youth that Floyd had bought earlier from Lance.
Wearing a big smile, Mia brought the bag of CH-X123 up to her face. “Bingo! Floyd, you little cola nut, you’ve been holding out on me.”
Inside the bathroom, Floyd stood at the sink, washing his hands and talking to himself in the mirror. “One drink and leave. Don’t be rude, but don’t do anything stupid. This is the Joker’s girl, and he ain’t dead yet — just sleeping. Drink your drink, say goodbye, walk out the door, get in your car, and go down the road.”
Mia had the unbeknownst-to-her experimental drug cut up into big lines on her glass top coffee table. Taking her trusty hundred-dollar bill like a human Dust-Buster, she quickly snorted the fat line.
Suddenly, her head jerked back, and her hands went to her nose, which felt like it was on fire. Something was terribly wrong. Then the rush hit as a kaleidoscope of colors danced in front of her eyes.
Floyd dried his hands on a towel while he continued his dialogue with the bathroom mirror. “It’s a moral test of yourself, whether or not you can maintain loyalty. Because when people are loyal to each other, that’s very meaningful.”
Mia was on all fours trying to crawl to the bathroom, but it was like trying to crawl with the bones removed from her knees. Blood began to drip from her nose. Then her stomach got into the act, and she began to twitch and spasm as he body began to betray her.
Floyd continued to lecture himself in the bathroom vanity mirror. “So you’re going to go out there, drink your drink, say, ‘Goodnight, I’ve had a very lovely evening,’ go home, and clean the pipes. And that’s all you’re going to do.”
Now that he’d given himself a little pep talk, Floyd was ready for whatever was waiting for him on the other side of that door. He walked from the bathroom to the living room, where he found Mia lying on the floor like a rag doll. She was twisted on her back, and her face was contorted. Not out of the tightness of pain or even the grimace from Joker Venom, but just the opposite, the muscles in her face were so relaxed; she lay still with her mouth wide open, slack-jawed.
“Jesus Christ!” Floyd screamed, moving like greased lightning to Mia’s fallen body. Bending down where she lay, he put his fingers on her neck to check her pulse. She slightly stirred.
Mia was aware of Floyd over her, speaking to her as he moaned, “Mia! Mia! What the hell happened?” in a voice that sounded as if he were trying to speak through water. But she was unable to communicate. Mia made a few lost mumbles, but they weren’t distinctive enough to be called words.
Floyd propped her eyelids open and saw the story. “I’ll be a son of a bitch. Mia! Mia! What did you take? Answer me honey, what did you take?”
Mia was incapable of answering. He slapped her face hard.
A thought hit him like a punch to the gut, and Floyd jumped up and ran to his overcoat hanging on the rack. He went through the pockets frantically. It was gone. He made a beeline to Mia. “OK, honey, we’re getting you on your feet.”
He reached her and hoisted the dead weight up in his arms. “We’re on our feet now, and now we’re gonna walk out to the car. Here we go, watch us walk.” Floyd hurriedly walked the practically unconscious Mia through the house and out the front door to his car.
Floyd drove like a madman, speeding the car into turns and up and over hills. He had one hand firmly on the wheel, the other shifting like a robot. Both eyes stared straight ahead except when he glanced over at Mia. He winced at her slack-jawed expression, mouth gaping, and posture like a bag of water.
“Oh, Jesus!” he exclaimed. He picked up his car phone and dialed a number.
At this late hour, Lance had transformed from a bon vivant drug dealer to a bathrobe creature. He sat in a big comfy chair, ratty blue gym pants, a worn-out but comfortable T-shirt that had written on it Free Kid Grundy, and a moth-ridden terry cloth robe. In his hand was a bowl of Captain Carrot Zoo Crew Crunch with Marshmallow Carrots. In front of him on the coffee table was a jug of milk, the box the Zoo Crew Crunch came out of, and a hash pipe in an ashtray. On the big-screen TV in front of the table was the Super-Turtle cartoon.
The phone suddenly rang, and Lance let out a groan as he was snapped out of his cartoon-induced stupor. He put down his cereal and made his way to the phone.
Jody, his wife, called out from the bedroom, obviously awoken by the ring. “Lance! The phone’s ringing!”
“I can hear it!” he said, calling back to her.
“I thought you told those old farts never to call this late!”
“I told ’em, and that’s what I’m gonna tell this old fart right now!” he said, picking up the receiver. “Hello, do you know how late it is? You’re not supposed to be calling me this late.”
Floyd, still driving like a madman, clutched the phone to his ear. “Lance, this is Deadshot. I’m in big trouble, man — I’m on my way to your place.”
“Whoa, hold your horses, man. What’s the problem?”
“I got a chick — she’s O.D.ing on me.”
“Don’t bring her here! I’m not even joking with you; don’t you be bringing some @#@%& to my house!”
“She’s O.D.in’?” Lance asked.
“Yeah. She’s dyin’,” Floyd groaned.
“Then bite the bullet!” Lance exclaimed. “Take her to a hospital and call a lawyer!”
“She ain’t my problem! You #^@%ed her up, you deal with it…” Lance began to look paranoid. “Are you talking to me on a cellular phone?”
“I don’t know you! Who is this?! Don’t come here! I’m hanging up! Prank caller! Prank caller!”
“Too late,” Floyd said. “I’m already here.”
Inside Lance’s house, Floyd’s Malibu was heard coming up the street. Lance hung up the phone, went to his curtains, and yanked the cord. The curtains opened with a whoosh in time to see Floyd’s Malibu driving up on his front lawn and crashing into his house. The window Lance was looking out of shattered from the impact.
“What the hell was that?” Jody squealed.
Lance charged from the window, out the door, and to his front lawn. Floyd was already out of the car, working on getting Mia out.
“Have you lost your mind?! You crashed your car in my #^@%in’ house! You talk about drugs on a cellular #^@%in’ phone–”
“If you’re through having your little hissy fit, this dame is dying. Get your needle, and get it now!
“Are you deaf? You’re not bringing that $%%&% in my house!”
“This $%^*& is the Joker’s mistress, and eventually he’s gonna wake up. Now, if she croaks on me, I’m a grease spot. But before he gives me the permanent grin, I’m gonna be forced to tell him about how you could’ve saved her life, but instead you let her die on your front lawn.”
Lance seemed to shrink with resignation. Even while out of commission, the Joker still managed to scare the hell out of people.
Jody, hearing a commotion, threw off her bedcovers and stood up. She was wearing a long T-shirt with a picture of Sugar and Spike on it. She opened the door, walking through the hall into the living room. “It’s only one-thirty in the mornin’! ‘S goin’ on out here?”
As she walked into the living room, she saw Floyd and Lance standing over Mia, who was lying on the floor in the middle of the room. “Who’s she?”
Lance looked up at Jody. “Get that black box in the bedroom I have with the special shot.”
“What’s wrong with her?”
“She’s O.D.ing on us,” Lance said.
“Well, get her the hell outta here!” Jody exclaimed.
“Get the #^@%in’ shot!” Floyd and Lance both shouted.
“Don’t yell at me!” Jody snapped. She angrily turned and disappeared into the bedroom, looking for the shot.
“You two are a match made in Heaven,” Floyd said, looking at Lance.
“Look, just keep talking to her, OK? While she’s getting the shot, I gotta get a medical book.”
“What do you need a medical book for?”
“To tell me how to do it. I’ve never done this before.”
“You’ve had that thing for twenty-six years, and you never used it?” Floyd asked.
“I never had to use it. All of my friends know better!”
“Well, then get it.”
“I am, if you’ll let me!” Lance yelped.
“I’m not stoppin’ you!” Floyd yelped back.
“Stop talking to me, and start talking to her!” Lance exclaimed, waving his arms as he ran out of the living room into a cluttered spare room. He frantically started scanning the debris for the book he was looking for, repeating the words, “come on,” endlessly.
“Hurry up, man! We’re losing her!” Floyd exclaimed.
“I’m looking as fast as I can!” Lance shouted back, continuing his frenzied search.
“What’s he lookin’ for?” Jody asked Floyd.
“I dunno, some medical book,” Floyd said anxiously.
Jody called to Lance, “What are you lookin’ for?”
“My… uh… medical book!”
As he continued searching, flipping, and knocking over stuff piled up, Jody appeared in the doorway. “What’re you looking for?”
“My special medical book. It’s like a textbook they give to nurses. But it’s got a shiny cover and lots of symbols and stuff.”
“I never saw a medical book.”
“Trust me, I have one.”
“Well, if it’s that important, why didn’t you keep it with the shot?” Jody asked.
Lance spun toward her. “I don’t know! Stop bothering me!”
“While you’re lookin’ for it, that girl’s gonna die on our carpet. You’re never gonna find it in all this,” she squealed, waving her arm at the piles of clutter. “For six months now, I’ve been telling you to clean this mess!”
“Get your ass in here — screw the book!” Floyd shouted from the other room.
Lance angrily knocked over a pile of clutter, revealing a silver-jacketed book with symbols across the front, some of which appeared to jump off the cover. “Hallelujah!” he said, grabbing it and heading for the living room.
Floyd was bent over Mia, talking softly to her, when Lance re-entered the room.
“Quit playing around, man, and give her the shot!” Floyd ordered.
Lance bent down by the silvery case brought in by Jody. He opened it and began preparing the needle for injection. He opened his book and scanned over the bizarre symbols.
“What the hell kind of writing is that?!” Floyd exclaimed. “What the hell have you been feeding me?”
“You’ve been taking this $#!^ since 1961,” Lance said. “Before there was STAR Labs or anything. Where the hell did you think it was coming from? Now, shut up and take her shirt off and find her heart!”
Floyd gave Lance a sour look and ripped her blouse open. Jody stumbled back in the room, hanging back from the action. “Does it have to be exact?” Floyd asked.
“Yeah, it has to be exact! I’m giving her an injection in the heart, so I gotta exactly hit her in the heart.”
“Well, I don’t know exactly where her heart is, I think it’s here.” He pointed to Mia’s left breast, which was on his right.
Lance glanced over and nodded. “That’s it.”
As Lance readied the injection, Floyd looked up at Jody. “I need a big fat magic marker. Got one?”
“What?” Jody asked, staring dumbly.
“I need a big fat magic marker — any felt pen’ll do, but a magic marker would be great.”
“Hold on!” Jody exclaimed. She ran to the desk, opening the top drawer, and in her enthusiasm, she pulled the drawer out of the desk, the contents of which spilled to the floor.
The injection was ready. Lance handed Floyd the needle. “It’s ready. I’ll tell you what to do,” Lance said.
“You’re gonna give her the shot,” Floyd said.
“Nooo, you’re going to give her the shot,” Lance laughed irately.
“I’ve never done this before!” Floyd exclaimed.
“I’ve never does this before, either, and I ain’t starting with the Joker’s #^@%in’ girlfriend! You brought her here. That means you give her the shot. The day I bring a known psychopathic super-villain’s piece of tail to your place, then I gotta give her the shot. Besides, you’ve got better aim than me — than anybody!”
Jody hurriedly joined them in the huddle, a big fat red magic marker in her hand. “Got it.”
Floyd grabbed the magic marker out of Jody’s hand and made a big red dot on Mia’s body where her heart was. “OK, what do I do?” Floyd asked.
“Well, you’re giving her an injection straight to her heart. But she’s got a breastplate in front of her heart, so you gotta pierce through that. So what you gotta do is bring the needle down in a stabbing motion.” Lance demonstrated a stabbing motion, which looked like the Shape killing its victims in Halloween.
“I gotta stab her?!” Floyd exclaimed.
“If you want the needle to pierce through to her heart, you gotta stab her hard. Then once you do, push down on the plunger.”
“What happens after that?” Floyd asked.
“I’m curious about that myself,” Lance said.
“This ain’t a #^@%ing joke, man!” Floyd snapped.
“She’s supposed to come out of it like… that,” Lance said, snapping his fingers.
Floyd lifted the needle up above his head in a stabbing motion. He looked down on Mia. She was fading fast. Soon nothing would help her. Floyd’s eyes narrowed, ready to do this. “Count to three.”
Lance, on his knees right beside Floyd, had no idea what to expect. “One… two… three!”
Floyd brought the needle down hard, stabbing Mia in the chest, perfectly on target. Mia’s head jolted from the impact. Floyd pushed the syringe plunger down, pumping the neon substance out through the needle.
Mia’s eyes popped wide open, and she let out a hellish cry of the banshee. She bolted up in a sitting position, screaming, with the needle stuck in her chest.
Floyd, Lance, and Jody, who were in sitting positions in front of Mia, jumped back, scared to death. Mia’s scream ran out. She slowly started taking breaths of air. The other three scooted halfway across the room, shaken to their bones, looking to see if she was all right.
“If you’re OK, say something,” Lance gulped.
Mia, still breathing, not looking up at them, said in a relatively normal voice, “Something.”
Floyd and Lance collapsed on their backs, exhausted and shaking from how close to death Mia had come.
“So… anybody want a beer?” Jody chirped.