The Girl with the Tungsten Tongue

American Manhood - 1953 02 Feb - cover by Peter Poulton-8x6

She hit the electro-stim and stood feeling the surge, staring out at the city, all grey and black and hazed and piece-meal through the smog and anger that it was like it was streaming live via dial-up. At 24.4 kbps. As if it would take forever to be fully realized. If at all.

The surge did its thing and her heart raced and her mind sliced through the sludge and she turned her back on the city and strode back inside. She knew the town would be there when she got back. It always was. And she hated it for it.

The club was dark and purple and joy-boys were throbbing in the shadows whispering their sweet freaking nothings and jacking juice like it was all-you-could-pray Sunday at the Church of the Wicked Whistler. She cut through the violet black, her thrumming brain smoothing between the sounds of the sleek uber-jazz that made sweet love with the dirty lust and broken dreams that stunk up the joint.

She crossed through, hit the bar, and with less than a smile and more than a nod, she had a tall, thin glass of translucent green poison up to her lips and across her tongue and down her throat. Mixed with the galvanic analeptic doing its thing inside her, the liquor felt and tasted like picking a scab but she downed it anyway. She needed it. The night was young. But it would get old soon enough.

And this was one thing that didn’t get finer with age.

It got deadlier.

She ordered another. Put it inside her, adding it on top of all the other troubles stewing in her gastric juices.

And realized she’d forgotten her gun.



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