And so up the hill she climbed.
After hoofing it about halfway up, Cheri paused, unslung her bags, unzipped her hoodie and pulled it off. A deep breath she took as she used her dark hoodie to wipe dry the back of her neck and her arms, clearing them of the perspiration that she had built up. She pinched the fabric of her white tank top at her chest, yanking it repeatedly and swiftly to fan herself and allow for some air circulation to her girlies hiding in her bra and to her taut tummy below.
A smile could not help but pull up those full, dusky lips as she scanned the scenery before her. This truly was an impressive set. Houses and streets alike lovingly crafted to look as if abandoned for years-- decades even. This truly was the work of a multi-multi-millionaire production team seeking to provide the utmost real of realistic experience to those who could afford it. And Cheri was in the audition of her life to be an actor in this setup.
Or was this all merely the machinations of a madman?
Was that why Cheri did not turn around to enjoy the view? What was that little, slick and silvery voice telling her now? Oh, she knew that little voice in the depths of the back of her mind; it was the one that told her, reminded her, drilled her in regards to all the lies she led in this life. And what would it say if she turned around and saw that the set was impossibly stretched out beyond the borders of this town?Another lie swallowed is best chased with a shot from a 9mm gun... "Shut up..."
she growled underneath her breath. The smile vanished. Cheri shook her head several times. She slapped her own cheek twice. Cheri tied her hoodie around her waist and re-slung her bags over her shoulders and continued walking up the hill. “you just shut the hell up...”
The tall, lithe woman squeezed between old, moss-covered boards and emerged from the sew-and-vac shop. She had entered the from the back of the shop, mentioned out loud for the mics and cameras to pick up that she 'needed to pee' and proceeded to find the best hiding spot for her quarter-of-a-million-dollar-USD-price-tagged bags; in the space behind a couple of panels high above in the drop ceiling.
Yes, she did notice the state of overgrowth and look of abandonment after an age, and yes, it did enter her mind that perhaps all the shops and houses would have the same look and setup inside. Every single one of them. And so what would that mean?
Well, she would have to ponder all that later because for now, she came face to face with six magnificent and gorgeous striped beasts. Her mouth dropped open upon the sight; never once did she ever imagine she would be so close to such beautiful animals. A small laugh escaped her as she wiped at her eyes, in disbelief and, or course, in all consuming joy.
Then the rumbling of the apex predator from behind her.
And in that moment all thoughts of wondering where their handlers went ceased to exist. The half-dozen tigers on the concrete were just polishing them off, weren't they? Cheri lowered her chin and slowly turned around. It was so close she could reach out and touch it."You are sooooooo beautiful..."
she smiled with much wist and such mist in her big, dark Spanish eyes, knowing and accepting her fate, "...but you just don't know how beautiful you are, now do you...? And neither do my baby bro..."
She could have easily reached into her waist band and unloaded two rounds, point-blank, into this tiger and then one each into the rest if the loud reports of the initial gunshots did not scare them away. And if need be, her switchblade would have to do. But she did not have the heart to shoot such magnificent and gorgeous beasts. Instead she held up both hands to the striped creature with the glowing eyes, palms towards it, keeping her gaze low and demure."I was only trying to save his life. The money is in the drop ceiling. Please bring it to him,"
she said soothingly but loud enough for the mics to pick up what she was saying, still believing that this was all just a set, right up till the very end, "his name is Arlando Charming Ellison and I love him more than anything. I'm his big sis, Coco. 'Sup, erry'one...
"Hah-ha... Shoot. Maaaaaaan... He ain't never gonna' believe I went off and reached out to pet a tiger..."
And that is exactly what she went and did."Natch..."