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Whores .09: Junk Mail

05/26/12

  06:51:00 am, by Nic Wilson   , 1472 words  
Categories: Whores

Whores .09: Junk Mail

Lisa wasn?t sure what to expect when she handed over a hundred and change. The man gave her a small parcel, wrapped delicately with a decorative ribbon. She walked it out to the car, which Mae was idling. ?So what?s in the box??

?It?s not Gwyneth Paltrow?s head, if that?s what you?re getting at.?

?But it is a head?? Lisa eyed her suspiciously.

?Nuh-uh; I?m not ruining the surprise.?

?Can I at least ask what?s with all the junk mail in the back seat??

?All will be revealed, in time.?

?How mysterious.?

?Yep. My mystique is how I pick up chicks. But I can start in on the background,? she said, pulling out of her parking spot. ?Today?s the day ballots go out. Basically every state offers voting by mail, because it increases turn-out, by as much as 10%. And it increases participation in the elderly and other people for whom going to a polling place presents a hardship. Conservatives like it because it gets them more elderly votes, and liberals like it because it extends the voting franchise- and because they?re usually better at philosophy than math.?

?Women make up slightly more than half the population, because we live a little longer than men. Women make up about half of mail carriers, as well; it?s one of the rare careers with basic gender parity- so today women are delivering half the ballots. Women tend to get crappier postings- the ones that pay less and are in worse neighborhoods, which includes areas of women?s housing, so the numbers are even a little more skewed than that. But for the sake of simplicity, we?ll ballpark at 25% of the voting population who gets their ballots from a female mail carrier and are themselves female.?

Lisa swallowed. She could see where this was going. ?It?s public knowledge when ballots go out in the mail. So the weeks before, men?s righters harass female mail carriers, stalk them, threaten them. That?s a whole quarter of votes that can be tampered with- and a full half of women?s votes. And because of the nature of mail, they get a chance to tamper with it coming and going.?

?But a mail carrier is basically a harasser?s wet dream; they keep a regular schedule and a regular route. And mail carriers know that it?s not hard for men?s righters to find a sympathetic woman in her area. So even if they try to be tricky about it, there?s really good odds they?ll get found out.?

She patted the revolver in the holster at her hip. ?Normally, on a day like today, I prefer to carry the Casull .454, because for things like this, size does matter. We don?t want to shoot anyone. But if we have to, I want to leave a hole big enough for a rhino to screw. Because today is all about the message. But it?s gone missing. Nature of a shelter- sometimes the anonymity leads to sticky fingers; but I hope it?s just that someone wanted to feel safe.?

Mae pulled over to the side of the road. Lisa could see a woman mail carrier a few houses down. She noticed a few men hanging back, watching her. She caught sight of Mae, and nodded, and reached back into her bag for another envelope, brightly colored and stamped with the words ?ballot enclosed,? visible even from inside the car parked across the street.  

?I want you to know something: today took a lot of hard work, and planning. I?ve been shadowing mail carriers several days a week for months. And we?ve had Jezebel and some others tracking down names, addresses. And then there?s getting other mail carriers to work with us. You want to hand me the first stack of junk mail and my bag? Oh, and I?ll need three cards from that box you picked up at the printers. But don?t look- remember, it?s a surprise.?

Lisa handed her the supplies. ?You slide over into the driver?s seat, and stay in the car, lock the door until I say it?s okay. If anyone but me comes, you gun the fucking engine and get out of Dodge.?

Mae got out of the car, and the mail carrier delivered the ballot to a house practically covered in pink lace. The three men Lisa had seen started walking faster towards her.

Mae set her bag on the hood, and unzipped it. She pulled out an M4 carbine with an under-barrel M203 grenade launcher. ?Fucksticks!? she yelled, to get the three men?s attention. They had just enough time to turn towards her and panic at the sight of the gun before she fired a grenade.

It spouted smoke at them, and after a few short seconds they dropped onto the concrete. The mail carrier nodded at Mae, and continued on her way. Mae signaled for Lisa to follow. Lisa got out of the car, and walked with Mae across the street to the unconscious men.

?The grenades contain Kolokol-1, kind of the Russian equivalent to Buzz; it?s an aerosolized opioid. Functions like a knock-out gas, but really I just gave those men an airborne overdose. It?s pretty fucking deadly in an enclosed space, but out in the open air,? Mae took in a deep breath.

She handed Lisa her phone, the bundled junk mail, and a knife. Mae retrieved an jet injector from her bag. ?I?m going to give them naloxone, which should prevent them from dying.?

?I need you to capture their picture with the phone.? Lisa took a picture of the first man. ?We?ve got an ap on there that will compare their image with a database of jackasses who we?ve spotted following mail carriers around, and identified.? Several other images of the man, taken from farther away, popped up, followed by a name, Roger Garrety. ?The junk mail corresponds to the men in that database; it?s three weeks of it addressed to their homes. Match it to the men, and put one of the cards on top of the stack.?

Lisa used the knife to cut through the string keeping the mail bundled, and was finished with the first two men by the time Mae went back to her bag. This time she pulled out a nailgun. She positioned Roger?s mail over his crotch, along with the card, and nailed it in place. For the first time Lisa paid attention to the lovely brush script printed on the card, which read, ?Respect your mail carrier.?

Mae nailed the second man?s junk mail in place, and saw that Lisa hadn?t finished with the last man, yet. Then she saw the questioning look on Lisa?s face. ?They?ve been threatening mail carriers. We just want them to know we can find them where they live, too.?

?I don?t think they live on the streets; this is where they work. Unless you?re saying they?re all nomadic homeless people, which on a mail carrier?s salary might make sense?? Lisa finished confirming a match for the third man, and arranged the card and junk mail for Mae.

?Well pardon me for streamlining.? Mae said, and nailed the last bundle.  

Mae packed up her tools, and zipped up the bag. Lisa led her back towards the car. She could make out Mae whistling the tune to Up on the Housetop. ?You?re whistling Christmas carols- and that?s still months away.?

?I know. I feel like Santa Clause, only not fat, and my sack is full of ass-beatings and buckshot.? They got in the car, and Mae started the engine.

But one thing puzzled Lisa. ?How?d we know those three would be first?? she asked.

?They aren?t bright. If they were changing things up, you know, different men stalking different carriers, we might have had to go through those bundles in the back, but like clockwork, it?s only ever the same few men. And hey, their sloppiness helps streamline our process.?

Mae caught up with the mail carrier as she walked away from another house down the street. Lisa could read the name Sue stitched onto the silver-haired woman?s uniform. Mae rolled down her window. ?You owe me,? she said, and held two fingers on either side of her mouth and wagged her tongue.

?You are such a slut,? Sue said with a smile.

?You take care,? Mae said, and put her foot down on the accelerator.

?So, you and Sue?? Lisa said.

?God no, it?d be like banging my mom. Just friends.?

?I didn?t think those words were in your vocabulary.?

?I might be a sexual omnivore, but not all meats are created equal; I?m not saying an older woman?s bits go bad, exactly, but the meat isn?t supple anymore, it?s tough and stringy.?

?You seem fixated on meat,? Lisa said. ?You want a burger, don?t you??

She stepped on the gas. ?You read my mind.?

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