andy chose rock music. A hard decision, but one she was willing
to make for herself. If you wanted to be strong, you had to pay for it,
a simple matter of trading pleasure for power. She brought the rubber
mallet down strong onto the faces of the smirking musicians. "It's
nothing," she said into the phone, into the ear of her beautiful sister
Janet from Arizona. "I'm just killing bugs. You know. Fleas in the
carpet." Janet said it sounded like music being smashed. A perceptive
girl. "No, just fleas." She hefted the mallet. John Waite was next.
How she loved the British.
Janet grew fierce over the line. If Mandy was up to what Janet thought
she was up to, she was going to have something to say about it. But
Mandy did not worry. Janet was too far away to keep her from smashing
music. She dropped the phone and pounded heavily, sometimes right close
to the receiver. Janet's voice squeaked like angry crickets. She was
having her say all right, obviously jealous of Mandy's success. Mandy
paused her swinging and sat quietly amongst tidy mounds of plastic and
cardboard packaging. Janet's voice had quieted. "Mandy?" it said.
"Mandy?" Mandy hung up the receiver. She stood and viewed the
disarray beneath her. She flexed an arm and poked at the muscles. She
was strong, so strong.
First published: August 1997