Tangible Schizophrenia


Coffee Black

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: PG-13. Language and implied violence.
Pairing: Gen Vernita Green pov.
Feedback: Good lines, bad ones, whatever.
Disclaimer: Completely not mine.
Summary: One lump or five?


That's how I like mine. Dark, roasted, zinging enough caffeine to override that backwash of soured adrenaline. In my line of life, you want something that's going to cover up the stench and soak and groan, something that's going to fit in whether you're in the slaughterhouse or the palace. You want to be able to go in, kill, go out and sit down for a nice cuppa at any decent place without raising an eyebrow. Because there's always going to come a day when there's no time for the mental switch-over, when the knocking's at the door and the blood's still on the palms, and the only thing that stands between you and hell is knowing you're already there, walking around like you damn well own the place.

And I do. We do. We're killers, and when I've got a weapon in my hand, that's what I am. When I'm slouched quiet in a corner, no threat crawling up my back, that's still what I am. But just because I can backhand slice a ten-year-old without thinking too much on it doesn't mean that I can't walk around a shopping mall, obsessing over those cute heels or that kickass purse. Every single bitter sting, every bite of rough coffee grain tells me that I'm still with the world. I'm still part of it, and though I might claim to rule a fraction of its lousy-ass grandeurs, I don't have all of it.

Budd knows that, though he's too much of a sway-backed redneck to care. Him and his two sugars, two milks might as well be any other truck-drivin' fool cruising the city's beer-belly. It's like those prodigies that don't give a shit what they've got, long as they can waste it on some kind of crap: racing, women, alcohol, whatever.

The other girls, though? Shit. Elle's straight-up delusional, and we all know it. She takes her coffee fancied up with imported grinds and latte and anise syrup, but all the cream in the world couldn't hide the way she licks her lips at fresh blood. And I've seen O-ren accept java maybe twice in the entire time I've known her. Both times because it was Bill offering.

He takes his black, too. B, though...I can't figure. See, I've seen her in high-end gourmet digs and shitty one-stool dives, drinking everything from Kona to blood-stained motor-oil shit. She doesn't have a pattern--except she always finishes the pot. No matter who starts, it's her with the last cup of bitter, gritty, vitriolic coffee.

That’s one white girl thinks she can not just play pretty suburbanite, but be one, too. Bill thinks she’s happy and content under his wing, but he doesn’t see the way she lingers. Once, she picked up a brain-smeared teddy bear and held onto it for three days. Would’ve have it longer if Elle hadn’t found it, and damn me if that wasn’t a hell of a catfight.

Well, not a chance in hell, B. Not until you learn to take your coffee right--unadorned, but still close enough to the top for you to break surface once in a while.