DEFEAT. 011 – Poor Vanessa

[DEFEAT. is Rendar Frankenstein’s truest attempt at fiction.   Presented in weekly episodes, the novella tells the tale of Daryl Millar – a hero who dies at the intersection of pop culture, science-fiction, war epic, and fantasy]




“Daryl Millar, the good-looking guy I met at work today.”

“At Game World? Damn, Vanessa, you must be desperate.”

Dismissing her little sister’s chiding with a pillow to the face, Vanessa tossed herself effortlessly onto her bed. She was beaming, giggling with excitement at the prospect of Wednesday’s date with Daryl. Despite her unbelievable natural beauty, she had never been asked out.

One possible explanation is that her family’s poverty required her to work nearly full-time, thereby lending support but killing her social life in the process. Had Vanessa’s father (along with eleven thousand other air traffic controllers) not been fired by Ronald Reagan five years earlier, he may never have spiraled downwardly into his current state. Unemployment. Depression. Addiction.

But Reagan was a cowboy: shoot first and ask questions later. As a consequence, slinging pizzas at Game World was Vanessa’s reality.

On the other hand, a more likely explanation is found in the fact that Vanessa was just too damn gorgeous. While economic status certainly factors into an individual’s potential for upward mobility, some are partially exempt from these laws — namely, beautiful women. So even though Vanessa was living on the wrong side of the tracks and forfeited all of her earnings to her parents, boys couldn’t have cared less.

The fact of the matter is that her silky hair, supple breasts and long legs were attractive to the point of becoming repellent. Intimidating. Overpowering.

What a conundrum.

“Margie, do you think you can turn that down a little bit? It’s going to be hard enough to settle down as is, but I’ll never finish my math homework if I can’t even hear myself think.”

The butch and roly-poly younger sister began to lower the stereo’s volume but then decided to stage a protest. “Awh, come on Vanessa, it’s WHAM! They’re my favorite!” At this point, Margie began doing a mashed potato that would have been perfect for a dance floor twenty years earlier, but seemed a bit out of place when set to George Michael’s sultry crooning.

Normally, Vanessa would have gotten fed up with Margie and kicked her out of the room. But at this moment she couldn’t help but join in.  “Ah, who cares about math anyways?” she exclaimed, haphazardly tossing her book under her bed. She was mentally fixated on Daryl Millar’s enticing smile – the flashing of pearly whites that she simply could not resist, and the strange attraction she felt for him because he was self-assured enough to hang with a nerd. “Screw it, how often does a girl get a phone call from the perfect guy? Jake Ryan has nothing on him!”

And so the beauty queen shrieked and danced and laughed with her porky handmaiden, having no clue as to how important she would be in the unfolding events.

Wake me up before you go-go
I don’t want to miss it when you hit that high.