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  • Writer's pictureJay F. Servedio

THE BAR BETWEEN DIMENSIONS: Chapter I

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

She wasn’t really paying attention. She was looking through him… staring at his nose, rather. Not that there was anything wrong with it, persay (though it was sizable and a bit crooked due to a walloping of the ass or two). The reason was that Jessi just didn’t feel like listening.

“Uh-huh,” she’d respond, in between Bukowski-isms and “facts” about crystals (which are bullshit by the way, sorry to break it to you). Why didn’t she care to listen? Well, it could’ve been the fact that Greg’s soul patch was in dire need of being removed… or the flip flops, yellow corduroy pants, and purple shirt with the word PHISH on it where the words “Nautica”or “Tommy Bahama” would be on any respectable man’s shirt… Another brilliant guess would be, that it was his relentlessness about his writing (his “feminist” pieces, filled with suggestions on how women would be happier if they just “put in more effort”). If Jessi HAD picked up on any of these things, well it’d be safe to say she’d send a swift kick into the groin of the degenerate and save the world from ever seeing his spawn… but Jessi didn’t pick up on ANY of this because, as was mentioned earlier, dear reader, Jessi wasn’t paying attention.

“Wow,” she said again to Greg, unenthusiastically. She was, instead, recalling the final words of that terrified half naked Furry who had spontaneously combusted and burnt to a crisp in front of her eyes at 1:43pm, earlier that day…


*****

Jessi was four blocks away from her office in Manhattan. To be specific, she worked 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY, 10018. To be more specific, she worked in The New York Times building. Not for The Times, but for a company that rented the south-side office of the thirty-fifth floor. The company was called ZONE, and they designed, manufactured, and distributed artisanal and nature friendly stationary equipment… and they were running out of money.

Jessi, however, was running out to lunch, and knew not of ZONE’s fiscal woes. For someone in human resources, she was rather out of the loop… which leads this humble narrator to assume she was bad at her job. Quality of performance aside, she was on her way to her favorite little Thai place on the corner of 49th and Eighth called “See Ewe Thai.” Every time she would leave, she would tell the waitress, Ivi,

“I’ll SEE YOU LAY-THAI in the week, Ivi,” and laugh out the door. Ivi hated Jessi. And Jessi was craving their world-famous Pineapple fried rice, which is why she was hustling to their store front on the corner of 45th and eighth. It was a short walk and she had an hour and fifteen minutes off for lunch, so why not make the trip (upon closer inspection, one might realize that giving all the employees of ZONE a company card to get lunch, and enough time to go over the George Washington bridge thrice may have been what was leading to their financial follies, but that was neither here, there, nor a part of Jessi’s story)?

As she got within a mule’s kick of the restaurant, she tripped on a falafel that was dropped by an eleven-year-old Armenian boy named Ronald, seven minutes earlier (Ronald was on a field trip with his fifth-grade class and happened to be a huge fan of falafel, so the dropping of it upset him greatly). Jessi hit the concrete hands first, and thankfully only scratched up her palms and knees. However, before she got the chance to brush herself off, a …something… burst through the glass door of an “I HEART NY” memorabilia store.

He… it(?)… was screaming.

Jessi looked up to see what was shouting bloody murder… and could not believe what she was beholding.

It stood at seven feet and six inches tall, with his top half covered in what appeared to be a… furry costume, of an anthropomorphic blue fox. Its bottom half was also blue, and bare as the ass of a newborn babe, leaving his member ( which happened to be in the “sporting mood”) completely exposed for all the world to see. Her attempt to understand what exactly was going on was futile.

“OH MY GOD!” Jessi shrieked.

The “furry” turned to her… and its eyes, THE FOX’S EYES, widened when they met hers. It pointed at her... then the unexplainable happened… the fox’s mouth moved. And with that movement, came words.

“JESSICA JEAN VENDREDI!” Jessi’s confusion began to shape into some unnamable form of fear.

“How the hell do you know my name?” The furry mask opened its mouth again.

“I--” but it was cut off.

“Why are you naked?!” Jessi refused to look down.

“My name is--” she looked down.

“AND WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU HARD?!” The furry suit’s eyes narrowed with immense frustration at the human.

“Look, there’s not enough time to explain! I traveled across thousands of dimensions and timelines to reach you-”

“WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU HARD?!”

“Jessica, this is trivial information! I must inform you about a great danger that-”

“Get the hell away from me, you creepy ass furry!” With that, she averted her eyes.

“But--”

It was then that Salvatore Romano, a heavy set Italian gentleman, saw the insanity taking place and decided to intervene.

“Ayo guy, you deaf or something? The lady told ya to fuck off.” A frown found its way onto the fox’s face… and his appendage proceeded to shrivel. It took a step forward.

“Madame, there is a terrible fate that awaits this universe and all others. I must ask that you heed--” but the thought was never finished, because Salvatore cut him off and stood between Jessi and the "furry", who was now completely flaccid and had its arms raised in a peaceful gesture.

“You better scram asshole, or we’re gonna have a real problem on our hands." Jessi chimed in once more.

“Please, just leave me alone.” The “furry” looked past Mr. Romano and toward Jessi once more.

“Jessi, I MEAN YOU NO HARM, I AM SIMPLY A HARBINGER--”

“She SAID, GET. LOST.” And with that final word, Sal shoved the fox-faced-man backwards. Almost on contact, the "furry" burst into flames. The fox-man’s eyes grew wide, its mouth shot open, and it sent blood curdling screams through the air as it flailed its arms and ran in circles, covered completely in fire.

“JESUS CHRIST,” yelled the Paison. Jessi turned back to see the horrific sight. The fox man yelled in agony and scratched at its… skin. The costume WAS its skin. The fur, the face… they were real. And like the rest of it, they were searing. Passersby stopped passing and started gasping. Pleas for mercy filled the sky, as everyone on the New York City sidewalk watched on in horror. Jessi finally was able to shake herself out of her shock.

“SOMEBODY CALL AN AMBULANCE FOR GOD’S SAKE!” But no one did. They all just stood, petrified as the fox-man’s flesh melted and burned till the smell of smoldering skin and fur invaded the nostril of everyone watching. This unfamiliar creature wailed the wail of a dying man, one who knew his fate was sealed but was not prepared to go. One of immense suffering. It dropped to his stomach and continued to writhe. Jessi couldn’t look away. it squealed and cried in a tongue unfamiliar to her. Tears formed in its eyes and ran down its flaming face as its life force slowly, agonizingly left its body.

Finally, it looked up at Jessi and stared her dead in the eyes before uttering,

“STOP… HIM !” And with that, the last ounces of life left his body. The smoldering remains of the strange blue fox-man stained the New York City Street. The death trance that had captivated so many had finally broken, and the public began to panic. People screamed, authorities were called, and among it all, at the center of all the chaos, stood Jessi, breathing deep breaths and trying to figure out what the hell had just happened.

***

“Uh-huh” said Jessi, one last time before coming out of her daze. Greg smiled at her.

“You’re such a good listener. I feel like you really understand me.” Jessi looked him up and down.

“I’m sorry, who are you?” There was hurt in Greg’s eyes after that.

“Are you serious? We just spent the last hour and a half talking? You seemed so interested in my poetry!” She stared at him for a second in silence. Finally, as politely as one can, she said,

“Please fuck off.”

Greg’s jaw hung open a bit after hearing her request. And for once, he actually listened to a woman. He fucked off.


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