CHURCH, The Television Show
Episode Six Part One
“Is your nephew selling drugs out of his house in Metro North?” The Iron shield asked The Uncle.
“Noodle? What are you talking about?”
“The Gang at Majesty thinks he is.”
“I can’t believe that’s true. Not Noodle.”
“Well, let’s start here: Don’t always assume that you know everything.”
“I can just ask him.”
“No. Don’t do that. They are going to start following him around to see what he’s up to. He hasn’t been showing up for work.”
“I didn’t know that, he doesn’t tell me anything.”
“These people take that sort of trade very seriously.”
“I would too. Selling drugs could get them shut down.”
“It’s not that; it’s that they want control of it. I want you to keep an eye on him. Start checking in on him more, tell me everything that he says,” the Iron Shield manipulated.
“Okay. I’ll let you know what’s going on next time I see you at The Indian Community College.”
“No, that’s not a good idea. Here’s what I want you to do. Meet me on Mondays at the bookstore; meet me on Wednesdays at the library. Always bring a newspaper.”
“What’s going on? Why can’t we just talk at school?”
“Everybody’s watching. This has got to stay very, very quiet.”
“In Factory Town? We’re a world away.”
“Everywhere! Just do exactly what I say and Noodle will be okay.”
Noodle was at his house when he first started to feel the beginnings of a sore throat produced by The Barracuda’s elder killer. But he got out of bed and he started writing. It was a nearing the end of January and he wouldn’t have much longer to edit his old book about a burned firefighter before he returned to work full time and started planning the business owner network in his neighborhood. And then he went to work.
“Do you have any open tables tonight?” A boy asked. “My friends and I would like to get one, depending on how much it costs.”
“We can probably get you a table. The menu has our liquor prices.”
“Can we sit on the dance floor?”
“Not unless you want a two thousand dollar reserve – I’ll call The Hostess for you, she can tell you more.”
The Hostess tore the laminate menu from Noodle’s hand; but Noodle didn’t care, the customer didn’t get a table anyway. Around midnight, The Dancers emerged from the dressing room and took their places upon podiums perched high above the dance floor. The Ballerina was amongst them. Noodle hadn’t seen her at work for a month.
“Ballerina, where have you been, why haven’t you been at work?”
“Well…,” she hesitated, “They wanted to try out a few new dancers…you know what I mean?”
“I don’t know why they’d want to do that. I’m glad to see you’re back because I thought you were fired.”
“I’m glad I’m back too! I really missed it here.”
“Well…Go dance! I’ll see you at the end of the night.”
The boy who’d asked for a table returned to Noodle looking to get on the stage. He was drunk.
“Kid, I can’t let you on the stage. It’s only for the customers who have tables,” Noodle responded.
“But we have a table. It’s up there,” the boy pointed indiscriminately toward the balcony.
“I know that you didn’t get a table. But, even if you’re table were on the balcony, I still wouldn’t be able to let you on the stage.”
“Come on man you were so nice before and now you’re being an asshole.”
“I’m not trying to be an asshole. Those are the rules, and if you knew who I worked for, you wouldn’t bend the rules either.”
“Fuck you,” the kid spat. He stood eye to eye with Noodle, staring him down.
“I can’t let you on the stage,” Noodle repeated and the boy lunged forward to head-butt Noodle.
“Come on kid,” Noodle pleaded, “You have to go back down to the dance floor or up to the balcony. You can’t stand here on the landing and you can’t come on the stage.”
Then the boy pushed Noodle as hard as he could.
“You’re out!” Noodle exclaimed. “You can’t be in here pushing people, especially not the guys who work here. I’m just doing my job,” Noodle said and took a hold of his arm.
The boy resisted. He squirmed and twisted as Noodle carried him down the stairs, and grabbed a hold of the banister with both hands; he wouldn’t let go. The Meat Packer came over to help wrestle him free. The boy thrashed as they gently carried him down the stairs.
“Relax! Just relax,” The Meat packer commanded. ‘Settle down and we’ll put you down!”
The boy relaxed, so they let him go. But as soon as they did he turned and punched Noodle in the face. After that, The Meat Packer leapt forward and tackled the boy to the ground.
“That kid just punched me in the face!” Noodle exclaimed, “After we let him go!”
“Noodle it wasn’t that bad. Go back to your spot, I’ll take it from here.” The Meat Packer said, grabbed the boy the collar, and dragged him head first through the heavy metal doors into the kitchen.
“Noodle, can you really see molecules?” The SquishHead asked.
“What would make you ask that?”
“I thought that’s what you told me once.”
“What I think I said was that I can see the connections between things…between people, between cause and effect.”
“You have a pretty good spot here. Perched above the club, you can see everything.”
“It’s a good look out, but I’m next to all these low frequency speakers. Sometimes I can feel the bass go right through me; it vibrates my organs.”
“Why does it do that?”
“Well, high frequency sounds can travel really far but they get stopped easily in the face of matter. Low frequency sounds can bend around things and penetrate matter – they can go right through walls, and through bodies.”
The SquishHead gave Noodle Big Eyes. “How do you know so much about sound?” He asked. “Did you learn that in cop school?”
“Dude, I’m not a cop!” Noodle responded. “I paid attention in science class, that’s all.”
When the night was over Noodle collected all the radios and brought them to the office. The Barracuda sat at the desk, across from The Underboss’s daughter.
“Yeah, but I heard that you can’t change the BVM card on a Crackberry,” The Barracuda said loudly and slowly, like he wanted Noodle to overhear.
The Underboss’s daughter didn’t responded; she watched Noodle to judge his reaction.
“I don’t know anything about changing a BVM,” The Barracuda continued, “but I heard someone got a call from The Seductress’s number and a different name appeared on the caller ID.”
Noodle didn’t react because he didn’t know what they were talking about; he knew that The Seductress’s phone was stolen from The Marketer’s Office, but he didn’t know what a BVM was or how to change it. So he left the office.
“I don’t think it was him,” The Underboss’s daughter reported to The Barracuda. “He didn’t react at all.”
“Or he has training. I’m telling you, he’s a spy planted to take our whole house down.”
“Come on, he doesn’t talk to anybody nor do any work for US. What could he possibly know?”
“He’s up to something and I’m going to prove it!”
“‘Cuda, I think the kid’s just in his own world.”
Noodle’s friend, The Music Man, gave him a ride home.
“Something is messed up at Majesty. How do we get away from there?” He asked.
“I don’t know, win the lottery!” The Music Man responded.
Noodle went inside his apartment, but he couldn’t sleep. His ears rang loudly. They had been ringing every night after work for the past couple of months, and Noodle thought it was from the loud music; but at the same time, things that people had said a day, a week, and a month earlier flashed through his mind. He sat in a chair on his back porch chain smoking cigarettes; he thought he was just having trouble forgetting what went on at Majesty.
When Noodle woke up in the morning the sore throat had spread to his sinuses. He felt too sick to edit; and then his ears started to ring and he thought about what The Italian Stallion had said: ‘You should get a PeopleFace.’
‘No, I’m not into that,’ Noodle thought to himself.
But his ears rang louder, and something motivated Noodle to set up a profile. He named it Her Majesty’s Noodle!
Noodle added photos and sent friend requests to his coworkers at The Club. By Friday morning the elder killer infection had spread from his throat, to his nasal cavity, and into his sinuses. It oozed from his eye. The pressure inside his face was so great that he was ready for the whole thing to rupture. He would have welcomed that relief.
‘Supervisor, I’m really sick,’ Noodle texted. ‘I haven’t been out of bed for a couple of days. But I don’t want to leave you hanging; so, I’m going to come into work anyway.’
He wore sunglasses to cover up his swollen and infected eye.
“Noodle, why are you wearing sunglasses? The Supervisor asked when he got into work. “You look like an idiot.”
“I’m not trying to be cool or anything; this infection in tearing through my sinus cavities and bursting from my eye.”
“Let me see,” The Supervisor said, “it’s not that bad.”
Noodle made it through work that night, but the next morning he decided that it was time to go to the hospital. They admitted him right away.
“What the problem?” The intern asked.
“I got a cold; it started as a sore throat that spread from my nose to my sinuses. Then so much pressure built up behind my face that it felt like something was going to tear out of it. And now my eye is all messed up and leaking mucus.”
The intern took his vitals, and then the doctor came in to see him. “What made you finally come in?” He asked.
“I work at a nightclub; they had the fog turned up so much last night that I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. I couldn’t breathe and my eyes burned. I think it made my cold much worse because I woke up to the shittiest morning ever,” Noodle answered. “I’m in serious pain!”