And now, for the rest of the love story between Captain Carl and his beloved Juliet.
Three minutes passed in silence, and then Robo-Cobb and Juliet woke up.
“What happened? Is everything alright? Can we go back to the top?” Captain Carl asked.
Robo-Cobb motioned a finger for silence and nodded. He pulled a little pill jar and handed it to Captain Carl. “Take one of these and it’ll send you back to the next level.”
Captain Carl took it and passed it on to Zampanó and the next thing he knew they were back in the nightclub. Another pill and they were brushing dirt and ash from their clothes by the side of the road. One last pill brought them back to Venus, back to the Inception ride.
“Juliet, my love, how are yeh?” Captain Carl said, as he walked over to her to give her a hug.
She flinched and pulled away. She shivered and pulled her clothes tight around her body. Her eyes stared at Carl and her nose flared. Her hair frizzed out and her spine seemed to be coiled unusually tight. Like a music box dancer whose spring is about to snap.
She stared at Carl with dark eyes and said, “y-y-you d-don’t lo-love me.”
“Juliet! What are yeh sayin’? I love yeh with all my heart.”
“Y-you don’t l-love me,” she said. “Y-you n-ne-never loved m-me.” Juliet ran away sobbing.
Captain Carl drew his cutlass and pointed it at Robo-Cobb. “You!” He bellowed. “What have yeh done t’ my sweet Juliet?! I’ll gut yeh and send yeh t’ the bottom of the ocean fer this!”
Robo-Cobb laughed. His face lit up and made thunder sound effects.
“You’re not from around here, are yeh?” Captain Carl asked. “Who built you?!”
“No. While I’ve been here for many years now, this is just a dream. This is simply a situation from which I can not wake up. Believe me, I am the architect of this world, as you are all my puppets. One day I will wake up and you will all disappear and I will return to my true body.”
“You’re a blasted loony! You’ve lost your mind!”
“Do you want to know what happened in the fourth level?” Robo-Cobb laughed again.
Captain Carl just stared at him.
“The first thing I did was I made myself look like you.” He bit his knuckle, giggling. “And I was here, with Juliet, and we were real people, in the flesh and blood, and we had hundreds of little children. She loved every one of them. She picked them up and kissed and cuddled them and put them to sleep. And then I took one off her and smothered it. She tried to stop me but I punched her in the face with my hook hand. She was crying and bleeding. And I took my cutlass and I slashed at the little infants in their cots and every time Juliet got up to stop me I smacked her down.”
“Yeh bastard! I’ll kill yeh for that!”
“And then I took her soft, gentle hand in mine, and I pulled her close and I spat in her face and I said: ‘I never want to see you again’.”
“I’ll kill yeh! I’ll kill yeh!”
“I don’t know why you’re so upset. She clearly doesn’t want to have your kids any more.”
Captain Carl charged at Robo-Cobb, cutlass raised, and a piercing scream rang through the night.
From the top of the Gigantic Death Worm statue, Juliet fell to her death.
Captain Carl crumbled to his knees, a wounded man, he ran his cutlass through his internal power source.
S.T. Cartledge is a bizarro writer from Perth, Western Australia. As of March 2012, he almost has a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing, and Literary and Cultural studies (give it another 4 months). His short fiction and poetry tends to focus on the speculative, the surreal, irreal, the absurd, and the uncanny, and it can be found on Bizarro Central, the New Flesh, The Mustache Factor, and on his blog, the Manifold.