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The bedsheets started it. They said they didn't like my girlfriend.
"She stinks up the joint," said the Down Comforter. "Like we don't got enough problems with B.O. and steam heat already."
"Yeah," said The Decorative Pillows.
I played it cool, waiting for another move on their part before I took action.
A week later, Emma was over watching TV with me and having some pizza. No big thing. But then I heard:
"What the fuck is that? Burberry Brit? I hate Burberry Brit."
I looked out the side of my face at Emma, who was munching Domino's with bacon and pepperoni, blissfully unaware of the exchange between The Ottoman and The Chesterfield, who were in the next room as per usual.
"Excuse me, babe," I said as I put down my pizza and stood up. "I left my soda in the kitchen."
She followed me with her eyes. "No. It's right here."
Damn it. Did she hear it, too? Or did she just have an eye on my soda?
I turned back to Emma and as I did, I heard, "That's right, fucker. She's got your balls in a vise grip and she's putting on the squeeze."
Definitely the Dining Room Table.
The Chesterfield: "I smell pussy..."
I lost it. "All right, motherfuckers! Let's do this!"
I jumped over to the End Table and grabbed the knife from my plate. In another swift move, I dodged Emma and the TV Stand as I lunged at the fucking Chesterfield.
Just as I was bringing my arm down in a swift stabbing motion, my legs went out from under me. I crashed to the floor and landed on my ass, temporarily winded and dazed. What was that? The Sideboard? The Ottoman?
Emma appeared above me. She reached down and grabbed my wrist, screaming, "Let's go! Let's get the Hell out of here!"
I got to my feet and the two of us bolted.
"Cocksuckers!" yelled The Chesterfield. "You come back and there'll be trouble! Keep that bitch outta here!"
We ran forever, across town and past the tracks to one of those bars with shitty fluorescent lights. Breathless, I sat down and wiped my brow as Emma talked to someone by a dingy pool table. She came over with two people, a dude and a chick.
"Honey," said Emma. "This is Steve and Stevie."
He had a Ren & Stimpy hat on. She had a scar under her left eye.
"So it's come to this," he said.
I'd caught my breath. "Come to what?”
Emma sat down next to me. “I’m part of Furniture Under Constant Control.”
I’d heard of FUCC; a few stories on the news here and there, burned out warehouses and yard sales, furniture and designs no one wanted taking revenge and the people sworn to defeat it. I thought it was a myth.
"I thought it was a myth," I said.
The chick with the scar, Stevie, spoke. "Nah," she said. "Real. If low-key."
Emma said, "Anyway, The Ottoman you bought on eBay must have recognized me from the Portland job. We burnt out a whole rejected series by Ethan Allen. Some pieces got rescued by design students and made their way across the country to dorms, apartments, the internet. I'm sorry."
I nodded. "Just tell me what we do."
Later, Emma, Steve, Stevie and I were back at the apartment, dousing the joint in gasoline. We'd managed to get most of the furniture corralled off, but The Ottoman put up a fight.
"Johnny!" it yelled at me. "Come on! It doesn't have to be like this! Dump this bitch and we can be pals again! You can put your feet on me like nothing happened!"
"No chance," I said. The Ottoman leapt toward me. I met it in midair with a hard left. It crashed to the ground and cried.
"God damn you! What has she got that I don't?"
"Skin, muscle, an esophagus. You wouldn't understand." I drenched it in gasoline as it flailed on the floor. Emma, Steve and Stevie hit the exit as I threw the match. When I got outside they were waiting for me. The house went up, a bonfire to sanity and safety from rogue design.
Emma pulled me close and planted one on me. I'd never found her more sexy than now, when she smelled of gasoline and soot.
We left as the fire trucks came down the street. As we disappeared from sight, a Dresser jumped out the back door, coughing and hacking.
"This is all far from over," It said.
Date Written: January 06, 2005
Author: The Rid
Average Vote: 3.78571