One Hundred Fifty Three

Time is not validated by memory; memory, in the form of thought, creates the illusion of time. It is the activity of consciousness in the form of apparent contraction and expansion of mind that makes what is eternally present now appear as a succession of events in time.
The Nature of Consciousness, Rupert Spira

Time rolls along, not for us, we don’t age excepting Alice, Misha, and Micha. Alice is ten now, Misha we decide was five, not four, now she’s six-ish, Micha eight. For the last year, both the young ones have alternated sleeping with either the twins or in Alice’s RV. Alice’s place gives them their own beds, although a few mornings Alice finds Misha in Micha’s bed. Less frequently, Alice wakes to find both of them in bed with her. Alice has morphed into quite the big sis, the two kids follow her around when they aren’t engaged in one lesson or another with Natasha and Nikita.
At first we wondered about her increasingly dominant nature, but she’s not that way with the children, rather tenderness itself.
Misha has taken girl to a new level. While the others stick with t-shirts and socks, including Micha, Misha is dresses, nail polish, pierced ears, laminate bracelets, and platinum rings. Alice lets her use lip gloss, a bit of blush, and eye shadow if she’s light with it. Misha’s hair is shoulder length, Micha’s more of a bob.
Both have grown and gained weight, good considering they came to us resembling refugees. Both took to yoga, tumbling and the trampoline. The laundry always has sets of yoga pants and tops to be washed. 
Our year has been one of hiatus, no conflict resolutions, no hunting RSOs. Zero did leave the abuse site open, and she, CC, and Fin, alternating with the twins, took trips to alter the consciousness of the abuser. We don’t torture them into brain resets, it’s tempting but inefficient. One pop from a Glock, discussion over, abuse ends. As you will recall, the twins need an outlet, they have been content to work with the kids, whether it’s a distraction or a gentling down of their double edge razor is unclear.
Zero, ‘The conflict res site has been open the last two weeks, Natasha has accepted the job, a golf pro at a Midwest country club.’
‘One of my Ranger associates used to say all golfers should be shot. When I asked why, his reasoning was circular, because they play golf. I didn’t pursue it, he was certifiable, he did have over twenty kills from a thousand yards or more. Wouldn’t accept any commendations or medals, said he was just doing a job and you don’t get medals for showing up to work.’
‘He had a point.’
‘Yes, and he was particularly adamant about America’s adulation of the military, said it was plain ignorance, nothing glorious about it, even refused to salute the flag. He’d have gotten grief, but they needed him deadly more than they needed another sycophant’s hoorah. I did ask why he joined up in the first place. He said it was the only job where he got paid for killing people, that he could be a contract killer but the work was sporadic and it didn’t come with dental. Despite being certifiable, he had a sense of humor.’
‘Know what happened to him?’
‘I think he’s still in, was when I left anyway. He wasn’t a keep in touch kind of guy.’
‘Neither are you.’
‘Could be why we got along. When do the twins leave?’
‘Waiting on bitcoin, it’s only a fifty grand resolution, the golf pro is a nobody.’
Nikita comes along, ‘Money ees een lockbox, sisters travel tomorrow.’
‘One of us will take you to the airport, what time?’
‘Nine, sister has researched, maybe resolve conflict the same day, for sure the next I will text return flight when ees decide. Now I haf girls for geemnastic tumble,’ she walks off, the kids are already on the mat trying handstands.
CC comes down, ‘Misha is actually pretty, almost beautiful, of course that’s subjective. Micha is quite strong, her whole body is muscle. I sat with Micha and tried different looks, convinced her to let her hair grow a bit longer.’
‘Because of her round face.’
‘Yes, short hair emphasizes it, long hair narrows it.’
‘They spend almost all day together, no fussing, quarrels?’
‘None, they never see us arguing for one thing, and Micha adores Misha, whatever she wants, Micha goes along.’
Zero, ‘She’s more submissive, she likes Alice to tell her what to do.’
‘I haven’t seen Alice take advantage.’
‘No, she’s subtle about it, not as direct as she is with us. Self confidence is her middle name. Has she been too pushy?’
‘Not at all, as you said, direct, like the twins.’
What do we tell the kids when some of the girls travel? Business trip. They may catch on, and if one or the other does, we will be up front. Neither have presented psychopathic behavior, almost the opposite…is there an opposite to psychopath? Probably not, I suspect there are a fair number of psychopathic spiritual types, religion and spiritualism are both narcissistic, as is meditation, all of it is ultimately about the self. At least we admit it, although Zero says our family is one self, an entity she has been building over our years together. We don’t get into this with the others, it would be manipulative, telling them what they are instead of free to find out for themselves, or not to bother with philosophical personality juggling at all.
CC lives in CC World, but plays her part as makeup artist, fashion expert, and sniper. 
It’s taken Fin a while, but she’s developing telekinesis, a telekinesticist? She’s not as adept as Alice, but with Alice’s help is coming along.
The twins are telepathic with each other, Zero is telepathic only with me. It’s a one way street, I’m not.
The children will have their roles, later, not now, now is for learning, exploring.
Zero is maestro of the orchestra that doesn’t know it’s an orchestra.
Cocktail hour arrives, we’re around the dining table, the kids are on the mats across the room, sitting cross-legged while Alice floats things around them, today a tennis ball. Morshchiny is lying between Misha and Micha, eyes rolled up following the ball. The young ones laugh and giggle when she bonks one or the other with the ball.
‘You’re supposed to catch it.’
Misha, ‘I bet I can throw it past you.’
The ball rises, floats to Misha, she grabs it and throws. The ball gets about three inches from her hand and stops, then drops to the floor and rolls to Morshchiny’s snout. She sniffs, flips her head and the ball rolls to the center of the kid circle.
Micha, ‘Let me try.’
While they’re occupied with magical fun, we’re kicking around consciousness. It isn’t a thing, we aren’t neuroscientists or spiritual seekers, it’s simply more interesting than news crammed to the rafters with political bullshit.
Fin, ‘I was reading some of the books you’ve collected Zero. One man says, I think he says, that everything that has or will happen has already happened. How does that work?’
‘You’re talking about Spira, others have said version of the same thing. We touched on this subject back before you came to us. The thinking is we see slices of events, like we’re in an elevator, or riding a train but we can only see what is visible through the window. Or like an elevator with one narrow window. As it travels up or down all we see is what’s visible through the narrow window. All kinds of things are going on we are unable to see because of our limited access.’
Zoe, ‘So all the events for all time are in place, and we see pieces as our vehicle, train or elevator, travels its route.’
‘Yes.’
Fin, ‘Then everything is determined, all past and future outcomes are in place, we get to see our slice while we’re alive.’
‘That seems logical, but is it true?’
‘How would I know?’
‘Well, you can’t, not completely. I’m riding along looking out my window, you are in a different seat looking out yours. Do we see the same thing?’
‘Well, if I’m in a seat in front of you, I see things first, then you see them, but it’s the same scene…isn’t it?’
‘Is it?’
CC, ‘You see what your brain takes in, Zero sees what her brain takes in. Even looking at the same thing, you register different aspects from what Zero registers. She sees cows to one side, and a barn off in the distance. You see wildflowers and the forest beyond the field, but the cows and barn don’t register for you, nor the wildflowers for Zero. I don’t see any of it because I’m fascinated with my reflection in the window. Why would I look at a cow when I can look at me?’
We laugh, like all humor, it contains a bit of truth.
Fin, ‘Okay, I get that part, but what about the future, is it determined or subject to change?’
‘If an event has taken place, but our experience of it is in the future, what difference does it make? It’s going to seem new to you.’
‘So not matter what decision I make, the outcome is set.’
‘Maybe, but what else might be the case?’
They’re stumped for a bit, we sip, Zoe gets up to boil ravioli and pour a couple of jars of sauce with mushrooms into a pot to heat. 
Alice comes over, ‘What can I do?’
‘Make creamed spinach, but not until a few minutes before we eat. In a few, take the spinach and drain it in the colander.’
Alice guards the stove, we continue speculating on the nature of the universe.
Natasha, ‘Instead of the future as determined, it changes according to current influences.’
Fin, ‘So it isn’t determined, I need a wine refill.’
Alice collects empty wine glasses and sets our fresh ones. She doesn’t like using the same glass even though the wine is the same. I don’t know why, it’s what she does.
Natasha, ‘Think of the vast universe, we are only tiny bits of matter and have almost no effect on anything, even on Earth, much less in the solar system, the Milky Way and are nothing at all in the next galaxy over. Now, think of an electron cluster as part of an atom. The electrons change orbits constantly, but the atom remains intact. Now the atom is part of a molecule that is part of a chair. All the electron’s wiggling does nothing to change the atom, nothing to the molecule, nothing to the chair.’
‘Ah, so we wiggle around like electrons, which changes our perception because we are in one place and then another, but our wiggling does almost nothing to the planet, and nothing to the solar system, much less the galaxy.’
‘But we think we have changed an inevitable outcome. That time is passing, our location changing, and that our activity, our wiggling, has some effect, but the Earth and the rest of the universe knows nothing of time.’
‘And the universe, like the atom, has no idea an electron is hopping around different parts of it. The electron thinks it is causing all sorts of things when in fact it is just changing its location, its point of view.’
CC, ‘You mean to say I am not a major player in the course of events? I can scarcely believe it.’
Zero, ‘Dear One, from the universe’s perspective, we’re just quarks blinking in and out of existence.’
CC, ‘But I’m immortal.’
‘Universe doesn’t care about your immortality anymore than it cares about a million year old rock.’
‘The universe’s loss.’

One Hundred Fifty Four 

We are born charming, fresh and spontaneous and must be civilized before we are fit to participate in society. 
Judith Martin, aka Miss Manners
--Notions like Judith’s are the reason true creativity is so unusual. She wants everyone to conform to her idea of civility, which is rooted somewhere in the Victorian Era. Nothing original comes from conformity, and why would you want your children to be fit to participate in the human catastrophe called society?

Quiet night after our dialogue, I’m up making coffee this morning, Nikita and Natasha have collected their Glocks, six round magazines to minimize the bulk, I take them to the airport, they’ll have something to eat on the plane, then go find a golf pro and dispatch him to the twentieth hole, aka The Void. No more thinking about backswings and follow through, the twins will give him a hole in one and send him to the sand trap in the sky.
They don’t know who wants him out of the foursome, they don’t know why, nor do they have the slightest interest in finding out. The twins aren’t detectives, they’re assassins, who and why are irrelevant.
Zoe, ‘Eat anything?’
‘Coffee.’
‘I made biscuits and eggs for the others.’
‘If there’s a biscuit left, that’ll do fine. I can hold out for a sandwich at lunch, do we need deli stuff?’
‘No, yesterday CC got sliced roast beef, buffalo chicken, and for reasons unknown, baloney.’
‘I kind of like baloney, yellow mustard, toast or a brioche bun.’
Alice and her posse appear, Micha is in our home uniform, a t-shirt and socks, Misha has a knee length slip dress, wedge sneakers, a fedora, her emerald ear studs, and four platinum filigree rings.
CC, ‘Lookin’ stylish, Misha, the rest of us are homeless chic.’
‘You picked out my clothes, had my hair styled, taught me about blush, eye shadow and did my nails.’
‘I showed you alternatives, before long you will style yourself.’
Yes, we let our six year old do a touch of makeup and get her ears pierced, she’s having fun. Despite the notion a good child should be guided, regulated, constrained, or treated like midget morons, we think society’s idea of a good child is worthless. All you do is crank out little versions of yourself, or tweaked versions, the you, you wanted to be but failed to pull off, often because you had the kid in the first place and now resent them for keeping you from doing all the great crap you believe you would do if you didn’t have to haul little Arabella to dance class. Don’t blame the kid, you weren’t going to write the next great novel, or go to med school, or build a company that would crush Amazon, or even complete a marathon. It’s okay, practically everyone is delusional, reality is too hard for most people, thus superstition and religion, which are the same thing in varying outfits.
Zero, ‘Have you noticed the failure of the people to be mature, or at least sensible?’
Fin, ‘You aren’t dissing play are you?’
‘Not at all. We play all the time, trampoline, sex, racing, sex, dirt bikes, sex, shooting people, sex, play is more important than work.’
‘So what do you mean by maturity?
‘In the sense of wishful or magical thinking. It’s one thing to believe in Santa Claus when you’re four or five, quite another for anyone over six to believe that there’s a Guy in the Sky who will dispense favors if they just ask.’
‘Many people have abandoned religion, does that mean they’re growing up?’
‘Some, yes, others merely substitute, drift to a general spirituality that may or may not involve a God. Or participate in some other form of childishness like Wicca.’
Fin, ‘I admit my fiddling with witchcraft was more play than belief, I’d make a lousy witch.’
‘The part about getting naked and dancing in the moonlight has merit, but they insist on dragging in Gods and Goddesses, rituals and practices. At least Wicca has rules so flexible it’s like no rules at all, make up your personal belief system then roll with it. I like the concept, but I don’t need to call myself a witch to validate it, and rules are not only unnecessary, they’re blind spots, obstacles, potholes in the road.’
‘So you like or don’t like Wicca?’
‘On balance, don’t. If I put a stick on the shelf and pray to it every day, I’ll soon believe the stick has magical powers. That’s as delusional as the Guy in the Sky.’
‘Are there people, call them witches or no, who can do supernatural things?’
‘Supernatural in my way of thinking is capacity to do things out of the ordinary, like telepathy or telekinesis. It doesn’t mean magical. Fifty years ago if I said there would be a way to communicate with anyone anywhere with a hand held computer that received messages from the sky, I would have been put on meds. If I had the only hand held computer that could receive and transmit information, they would say I’m supernatural. Now people can’t take their eyes off the screen, the supernatural became everyday mundane reality.’
‘So those of us who can move matter with our mind, or speak mind to mind, are supernatural outliers, eventually everyone will be flipping forks around?’
‘Perhaps. That evolutionary process might be sped up with technology, brain implants, nanobots, gene editing or virtual reality sets; if those don’t work, it may take a thousand years or never.’

One Hundred Fifty Five

Then the meteor hit.
Not really, it seemed like an attention grabber, the first line of a sci-fi dystopian novel. Has nothing to do with our story.
Alice, ‘That’s it, Commandant.’
‘What’s it?’
‘The first line of my novel, or the novel I’m going to write, I needed a general idea, you came up with it, then the meteor hit. I can dream up scenarios from that one line.’
‘Look forward to reading it.’
Zero, ‘It could also be the title.’
Alice, ‘Yeah! But what about my opening line?’
‘Try, it was dark.’
Alice giggles, ‘Either could be the title or opening line, I like meteor in the title and dark in the opening line. Thanks, got to get to my laptop, Then the Meteor Hit, by Alice N Wonderland.’
‘Here’s a second sentence, Three billion dead, millions more dying.’
Alice, ‘Great, and lots of places to go with that opening, anything else?’
‘You going to write the book, or am I going to write it for you?’
‘Will you look it over as I go along?’
‘Sure, and ask Natasha, we’ll co-edit. I bet she comes up with a few ideas of her own, Natasha is wicked smart.’
Alice, ‘I will, when do they come home?’
‘I got a text they arrived, found a hotel, stalking the target today. Now it depends on a quiet spot to swipe left Golfie, or since he’s a golfer maybe hook shot him.’
Alice goes to her RV, a good writing spot, quiet, no distractions.
Misha and Micha come along, ‘Where’s Alice?’
‘In the RV, she’s starting a project, don’t disturb her.’
‘What’s the project?’
‘Writing a book about what happens after a meteor hits the Earth.’
Micha, ‘Aren’t there books about that already?’
‘Yes, and a couple of movies. It’s a jumping off point, a beginning, how she handles details and characters will make it different from other disaster novels or movies. If she does it well, it won’t seem like other stories. Natasha and I are going to edit.’
Misha, ‘What’s edit?’
‘We read what she writes, look for inconsistencies, make suggestions, what to delete, what to expand.’
‘What are inconsis…what was it?’
‘Inconsistencies, a woman is wearing a red dress then a few paragraphs later it’s blue, but she didn’t change clothes, the author just forgot it was red. There’s a lot to think about when an author makes up a story, she can’t catch everything, so we edit. In fact, you two can learn about grammar and spelling, Natasha and I will point out what we find and explain why it works or doesn’t, why sometimes what appears to be a misspelling actually makes sense, or what seems to be bad grammar is how the character talks, like Nikita’s accent.’
‘When she says ees for is, and haf, for have.’
‘Exactly. We will know from reading if the character needs to have an accent, or has bad grammar from a lousy education, then we leave it in.’
‘Can we use the trampoline, I mean, will it disturb Alice?’
‘I moved it to the other side of the house, it’s not close to the RV, she can’t hear it, just don’t yell or screech. Writing takes thought and concentration, doesn’t have to be dead silent but quiet is helpful.’
They zip out the patio door to the trampoline. I decide I need a run, take Morshchiny out and we trot around the property once, then she finds her shady spot while I make two more circles at a more brisk pace. Plop in a lounge chair and watch the kids bounce while I cool down for a half hour, then to my shower. As I’m climbing out and toweling, the kids come past to the original downstairs bath and shower, must have left shorts and shirts by the laundry. I hear the water run, can’t see them from here. Zero told me they bathe each other, which is good, particularly for Misha, she’s a girl with a boy part. It doesn’t bother Micha, Zero says she never mentions it. If Misha had any shyness, Micha helped get her over it by not making her thing a thing.
Dress, a few steps to the kitchen, Zoe is staring into the open refrigerator door.
‘I can’t decide whether to make the veal marsala or something else. The twins like it, if they come home tomorrow it can wait until then. So what do I make for dinner tonight?’
‘Nice of you to consider them, but it’s ready to cook now, they can have it the next time, we make it once a month.’
‘True, okay, tonight marsala and fettuccini. We’ll have beets and shredded cabbage with Goddess dressing, that will be plenty.’
‘Where are the others?’
‘CC, Fin, and Zero went to the grocery, we need laundry stuff plus basics, milk, coffee, Splenda, and bread, sandwich bread and bread for tonight, maybe boule or a loaf of French.’
The shoppers come in from the garage, Zero, ‘Got boule for tonight, also French but that’s for tomorrow, breakfast, French toast, and yes, we got eggs.’
Zoe, ‘Good, we go through a lot of eggs.’
‘We bought three cartons of eighteen. If everyone is here, you go through eighteen eggs just for breakfast, there are nine of us now, ten with Morshchiny.’
CC, ‘Wasn’t on the list but we bought a couple pounds of bacon, and Sprout’s had a sale on jumbo shrimp, we can have those for lunch tomorrow, they’re cooked and ready to eat, or will be, still partially frozen.’
‘Leave them wrapped, they’ll finish thawing in the refrigerator.’
Fin, ‘Where are the rug rats?’
‘Playing in the shower, get them out, it’s time for tea.’
‘Alice in her RV?’
‘Writing, leave her alone for now, she may have a roll going, if she misses tea it doesn’t matter.’
Text from Nikita, flight tomorrow arrive ten.
Reply, cu at airport.
Zero, ‘Twins home tomorrow at ten.’
Misha, ‘Great, we need to practice Russian, Micha, or Natasha will give us the death stare,’ they giggle.
Zoe, ‘She give you a hard time?’
Micha, ‘Only if we forget to practice, she can always tell because what we learn she quizzes on the next day, and she goes back to earlier lessons to make sure we don’t forget.’
Misha, ‘Yeah, and either one of them will ask us something in Russian. If we mess up it’s ukhodi i praktika.’
‘What’s that mean? I know a bit of Russian, praktika is practice, don’t know the other.’
Misha, ‘Go away and practice, delivered with the death stare.’
Micha, ‘Come on, Misha, we need to review before dinner,’ they zip up the stairs asking and answering in Russian as they go.
CC, ‘Natasha said they are doing quite well, learning to speak and learning common signs, directions and food in Cryllic. If they want to go further in the written language, she’ll help them after they have reasonable fluency in conversation.’
‘You speak Russian, do you work with them too?’
‘They ask me things, or tell me something, I answer in Russian, don’t drill them like the twins do.’
‘Amazing what kids can absorb, I never found Russian easy but I didn’t pick up bits of the language until I was overseas.’
Alice appears from the RV, ‘Sheesh, my brain feels like it’s been battered and fried.’
Zero, ‘Having a hard time?’
‘No, yes, it’s a challenge, I had too many ideas and had to put things in storage while I worked out the opening. I made notes at the bottom of the page and might use them later. I’m not making any outline and I’m telling the story in the first person, she has no name. Nobody will have a name, no location that means anything, no LA or New York or Miami. I figure if life on the planet is in the process of dying, naming people and cities or states is pointless.’
CC, ‘How are you going to tell people apart?’
‘There won’t be many characters, and I may use what they do as reference points, mechanic, nurse, cop, like that.’
‘Who is the protagonist?’
‘The what?’
‘Protagonist, the main character in the story.’
‘A new word for me, protagonist.’
‘It’s spelled like it sounds pro-tag-on-ist.’
‘The protagonist is a female of course, vague age but not old, young enough to run hard, fight hard, a girl between teen and maybe twenty or so. I’m doing physical descriptions of the characters, their personalities will be revealed by dialogue.’
Fin, ‘You’ve set yourself a challenge.’
Alice, ‘I suppose, but it isn’t like I have to finish by a certain time. I’ll write every day with no goal as to number of pages, I spent a half hour today reworking one paragraph and wound up deleting it.’
Alice may only be ten, but her studies with Natasha are rigorous, she has a wider vocabulary than most ten year olds partly due to Natasha and partly due to hanging around with us with our occasional dips into neuroscience and philosophy. When it was only Zero, I didn’t talk kiddie to her, as we added girls we didn’t talk kiddie to them. 
Why all girls? Would we take on a boy? Yes, it hasn’t happened, Misha an exception, a partial exception, we didn’t know she was trans, otherwise we haven’t had a boy abandoned by everyone or left in the clutches of an asshole. Is it Zero’s doing? She says no. Zero collected all of us, her first acquisition was me, her intent had her reaching out for help, I showed up. She has no agenda to collect only girls. She decides based on circumstances at the time.
After lunch is generally nothing, we drift to our rooms, relax and digest, sometimes into the zone between awake and asleep. Once a week, it isn’t scheduled, one girl or another joins me. Curling up with a smooth sylph leads to intimacies which is why they show up, they know what they want, they know I’m happy to accommodate.
Today, it’s Alice, the exception, she’s only ten. She does like to tease, scrunch her nude against mine, giggles when the shaft rises. She pokes and strokes, nothing else.
Alice, ‘You started with Zero when she was twelve.’
‘Yes, but how old is Zero really?’
‘She thinks two hundred and something, which means she was twelve but not twelve.’
‘Exactly.’
‘This is a complicated group.’
‘We’re all…different, fitting in to society isn’t happening.’
‘You worked with people in your former business, and the army.’
‘The army was suited to me at the time, I was paid to stalk and kill, and they had medical and dental. When I left, I had a few ideas for apps, hired programmers to make them work, I had no idea about algorithms. I showed up at our campus, walked around so they saw the boss, I almost never interfered. I could hardly make suggestions about the software, I did have a sense of how the apps should work, how they should look. I treated employees well, gave them a creative environment and let them have at it. It worked. When I had enough, and enough money to never have to work, I sold the whole thing and walked.’
‘Natasha showed me some of the accounts, to explain why you bought this or that.’
‘I want the girls to be financially literate. If I fall over dead, or get crushed by an asteroid, I don’t want any of you to be bullshitted by some financial advisor or insurance agent. Natasha and Zero know what to do, the others have a working knowledge but they aren’t interested in managing the accounts.’
‘I’m interested, more interested in writing, but I’m good at math. Natasha uses the accounts to drill me on dividends, interest, stocks and bonds, rate of return and percentages.’
‘You ready to get going? Time for tea I think.’
I pull on slacks, socks, my indoor sneakers and a shirt. We go to the main room, Zoe has tea prepped, a plate of sugar cookies in the dining table. 
Zoe, ‘No black tea today, twins aren’t here. Misha, no electronics at tea, shut down and join the rest of us.’
Misha, ‘Done, sorry, caught up in YouTube fashion videos. I’m going back in time, the twenties, the nineteen twenties. Miss Fischer’s Murder Mysteries, a TV series set in Australia that Fin found. The main character wears gorgeous outfits and I am going to put together my own in her style.’
Fin, ‘I never got around to ordering much of it for me. Still like the look though, Misha will be precious in them.’
‘What do they look like?’
Misha hands me the phone, she’s collected photos for the style she wants to copy.
I pass the phone around, ‘I know we don’t do electronics at tea, but this is more show and tell, not just one of us staring into a screen.’
CC, ‘I saw them earlier and we ordered a few things, hats, shawls, long jacket, scarves, a kimono, pendants and brooches. If she takes to it, we can add later, plus she’s growing, the collection will have to grow with her.’
Zero, ‘These are cool, you could do YouTube, a series showing how you pull things together.’
Misha brightens, ‘I can?’
Fin, ‘Sure, I’ll help, we get a few done, I can do the video then post them.’
‘Use a made-up name, and nothing about location.’
‘No problem, I’ll look into it and see what Google requires.’

One Hundred Fifty Six

CC took the SUV to collect the twins since Alice, Misha, and Micha wanted to go. They like CC’s nonsense and they like the twins’ blunt no nonsense. Children are more complicated than adults think, even though adults are the past’s children, they seem to have forgotten as their neurons were pruned and hormones took over, childlike wonder became childishness. Instead of growing wild and free, they become whittled down bonsai trees snipped and chopped into conformity.
‘Welcome back, things went smoothly then?’
Nikita, ‘Da, ees easy, target went to the golf shop, ees closed on Monday, he anyway went to put out new merchandise. Sister comes from behind, hole in one, handicap terminated.’
‘You didn’t feel compelled to whack him with a putter?’
‘Messy, and maybe he doesn’t die with one whack, then more mess. Children are making stylish?’
‘Yes, Fin got Misha interested in a look from a TV series, she’s gotten them a few things but they’re kids and will be growing. Micha wanted in when she saw how Misha looked.’
‘And they can swap clothes, Micha is older but Misha ees same size. Outfits are charming, sophisticate.’
‘Fin is going to get her a YouTube channel, who knows if it will catch on, but they’ll have fun just making the videos.’
‘Da, and will learn about video, best light, angle, making up. They will use a fake name?’
‘Oh yeah, and the videos will be from a production company, F&M Fashion maybe, I don’t know what names they’ll use, maybe the first initial of their onscreen names.’
‘Fin ees also on video?’
‘No, just Misha and Micha, like Misha will apply her makeup, describe what she’s using and why.’
‘How ees Misha to know?’
‘She doesn’t, not yet anyway, CC is going to write the dialogue, she knows cosmetics, hair and clothes. Between CC and Fin, it will look professional, but not too professional, it’s supposed to be fun, quirky.’
‘Misha haf already good sensing humor, better for you tubing eef not all serious.’
CC, ‘M2, you need to pick out your performance names, there are interesting Dutch girl names, Cornelia, Daffodil, Febe are catchy enough without being complicated.
Misha, ‘Cornelia suites Micha, I can be either of the others, what do you think?’
Micha, ‘I like Cornelia, it sounds regal. So, Daffodil and Cornelia, or Febe and Cornelia.’
Misha, ‘It’s better as Cornelia and Daffodil.’
Micha, ‘Well, you’re kind of the main character, shouldn’t your name be first?’
‘No, we’re going to both be on, it sounds better with Cornelia first.’
CC, ‘One thing decided anyway, now Commandant can set up C&D Fashion, then I’ll get us an AdSense account and deal with the rest of it. Natasha, can you help with getting them set up? We need a set, or just use the girls’ bedroom and add a table and chairs so I can video facing them.’
Natasha, ‘I will do Google, you get the setup and start with scripts.’
Zero looks at me, ‘Isn’t dull around here anyway.’
‘Hardly, it’s a fun project for them though, I hope they get a few views.’
Two months float by, CC and the girls have been up in the bedroom a couple hours in the morning and a couple more in the afternoon. Zero showed me the first three videos, each segment is fifteen minutes. Short CC says because content on the subject isn’t infinite.
CC, ‘If they get a following we’ll need to branch out into other areas. Different styles, expand makeup ideas, Misha wants to use Alice, who will be called Febe, as their model. Instead of dressing themselves they can dress Febe in varied outfits and makeup.’
While CC and Fin create YouTube stars, Zero and I cancel two abusers. One was easy, pickup truck, pool hall, Zero plugged him as he got out of his truck and turned to get the case with his cue stick. She left him bent over the seat and his feet on the ground, didn’t take us a day, but with girls at home deep into making video, we checked into Hotel Grand Dame, Victorian décor, lots of velvet, the room immaculate and spacious. After our takeout dinner, Zero had me every way a girl can have a man, then a shortened version in our morning shower. I may need to double up on vitamins and minerals.
The second was more challenging, I’m a big guy, the target was a bigger guy, six six and an easy three hundred. A nine millimeter doesn’t care how big you are, particularly with a head shot. It also didn’t know the beast had a plate in his head, the first round dented it but ricocheted and wound up in his kitchen. He came charging, Zero shot him in the chest but his momentum drove them both over a leather couch. Zero rolled on impact and held on to her gun, but she was momentarily dazed. He was clawing for her Glock when I emptied mine along his spine, neck to tailbone. Hardheaded Fucker.
She wound up with a sprained shoulder and a bruise along her deltoid. Ice and ibuprofen, she was sore for a couple of days, but the girls are tough from our hand to hand training, satin exterior, steel interior.
The first two videos had been uploaded by the time we returned and CC found a site that has templates for the introductory trailer, which suggested that users keep the trailer at thirty seconds, a teaser so to speak. Three adorables introduce themselves and briefly explain what they will do, which is to help girls escape the bland world of flip flops and jeans. Then to collect subscribers, those viewers that want more and want to know when new material is available.
After almost nothing for three months, in the fourth month views went up and half of those subscribed. As happens with the net, numbers reached a tipping point and things got viral. A thousand subscribers, then two thousand, three hundred thousand views, then four.
Zero, ‘Beside the outfits, part of the charm is the girls’ use of both Russian and English. A little mystery, they never say why they speak Russian, so viewers are left wondering, are they Russian on American? Comments are favorable, English speakers learn Russian words, Russian speakers learn English ones. Like a cloche hat, which is French and means bell in English is колокол in Russian, pronounced
kolokol.’
CC, ‘Or kimono, which is prononunce kee-mahna in Japanese but is also kimono in Russian.’
‘If they keep up the languages it may usher in world peace.’
Fin, ‘Comments are favorable, and the language lesson is popular, moms wondering why their little girl uses Russian to describe her frock, or vice versa with Russian speakers. Then they see the videos and make more enthusiastic comments on the clothes and makeup.’
CC, ‘A few prissy comments about makeup on young girls, overwhelmed by mothers glad their daughters are shifting from slob to sophisticate.’
Fin, ‘And when the viewers see the girls’ room, neat, orderly, things hung up in closets, shoes on racks in the closet, nothing dropped on the bed, the floor or draped over a chair, some are inspired clean up their own room. We must have a hundred posts saying a version of the same.’
‘Nobody’s figured out Misha?’
‘Nope, not a hint. Not surprising, she’s the most girly of the three. I think when a boy figures out he’s a she, it makes being a she almost thrilling.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘A kid whose gender matches his or her physical appearance takes it for granted. A trans kid doesn’t, instead they embrace their true identity, revel in it. I assume not so well if parents fixate and attempt to force feed the kid to identify with his or her mismatched body.’

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