Noir/Wraithling Break Up Special

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Noir/Wraithling Break Up Special
Post by Sadie "Suicide Queen" Hannoura on Yesterday at 12:22pm

Noir/Wraithling Break-Up Special
“Great Romances of the 20th Century”

Cover: Wraithling strung up like a marionette with Torrance lazily pulling the strings, glancing at something more interesting off panel.

Written by: Chuck Palahniuk
Illustrated by: Amanda Connor

It's hard to retaliate to your vindictive girlfriend’s irrational excuses for breaking up with you when you have an extra-dimensional imp clawing into your mouth.

We have front row seats for this theater of mass destruction. The demolition committee of Project Heartbreak wrapped the foundation columns of my heart with blasting gelatin. In two minutes, primary charges will blow base charges and a few square blocks of my soul will be reduced to smoldering rubble. I know this… because Torrance knows this.

As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to have a girlfriend.

I finally met her at Xavier’s Institute for Higher Learning, my senior year of high school.

Torrance Silvey. I hated her.

She had this arrogant, pseudo-intellectual demeanor wrapped up in some punk-goth pastiche facade. Her blatantly-dyed hair fell choppy and black around her face, and her pale eyes, almost a bruised white, were rimmed with eyeliner; she looked like a raccoon. She did nothing but sneer and roll her eyes, and on the rare occasion would turn around in Statistics and borrow a pen from me only to pick at her cuticles and never return it.

She saved me from the Impossible Man by singing a Morrisey song and playing ring around the rosie, and that’s when she took over my head. I remember our first real conversation, after we sold out our fellow New Mutants to Magneto’s Acolytes, one of those conversations where everything clicks, meshes, corresponds, locks, where even our pauses, even our punctation marks, seem to be nodding in agreement.

Flashback Panel:

“This is terrible. I can’t believe I betrayed our entire class,” Will moans, pacing nervously around the lounge.
Torrance takes a slow drag off of her Marlboro Red, then exhales through the nose.“It could be worse. I could cut off your penis while you're sleeping and toss it out the window of a moving car.”
”There's always that.”

When you’re in love, you're never really asleep… and you're never really awake.

I never had a chance to make my move until we enlisted in the Hellions, riding an Iron Bus across the country. We fought Dr. Doom. Saved a city from zombies. Fought a giant Optimus Prime with the aid or a woman with an unhealthy fixation with squirrels. I barely remember any of it. What I remember most, was Jay Livingston. An arrogant ass, and he’s probably also “The Third” or some bullshit title.

Flashback Panel:

“OK, tell me more about practicing sexual acts with the girls back at your school in Australia, Torrance,” Jay smiles, flashing his most panty-wetting grin.
”It wasn't sexual acts, just experimentation,” Torrance shrugs.
”Don't care, make it up.”
Will stands up, “All right Livingston, outside.”
Jay laughs, “I'm sorry? Outside? Should I bring my dueling pistols or my sword?”

Except for their humping, Jay and Torrance were never in the same room. My parents pulled this exact same act for years.

We had an unspoken love triangle. Torrance was as abandoned and noisy as any character in a porn film. She was Jay’s plaything, responding to his touch with shrieks of orgasmic delight. No woman in the history of the world is having better sex than the sex Torrance had with Jay…

… in my head.

Then Jay left, one day. And Torrance was mine. I don’t remember how it happened, and still couldn’t tell you. We were walking down the street to get sushi, and we stopped under an overpass, and I kissed her, hard on the mouth, and she kissed back, and it tasted like ash and smoke, but I didn’t care, even when my lip snagged on her lip ring. She was mine.

We left the Hellions soon after, living in Vegas as only two underaged mutant kids who can teleport and control other people’s bodies could. As it happened, in Vegas there was a minor situation involving a suitcase of cocaine we lucked upon, which took us to Hollywood. If you gave me a million years to ponder, I would've never guessed that true romance and Hollywood would ever go together. The details aren’t important. What is important was that the national news began rattling off Mutant Rights and Mutant Registration, and the next thing you know the White House exploded and three of the most dangerous anti-mutant people around are in charge.

Torrance always was political, and so we reluctantly tracked down our old classmates. The out-of-country ones.

We laid low for a few weeks, but my little firecracker has a way with words that usually ends up integrating her way with fists, and that takes us to now, after a heated argument with Generation X.

“Will, I see in Magneto the strongest and smartest man who has ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. Goddamn it, an entire generation of mutants working for the government; slaves with serial numbers. Advertising has us feeling insecure and unnatural. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Kree/Skrull War. No Infinite Crisis. Our Civil War's a spiritual war… our Countdown is our lives. We've all been raised by Xavier to believe that one day we'd all be superheroes, and New Gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off,” Torrance shouts at me, and her eyes are all fire.

I can’t reply because of the Darkforce creature trying to rip my tongue out. For a second I totally forgot about Torrance’s whole rant and I wonder where that imp’s hands have been. I finally pull it out of my mouth and toss it aside.

“Listen. I tried, Torrance. I really tried. There are things about you that I like, you're smart, you're funny, I never did get to see if you were spectacular in bed… But you are being unreasonable. You have serious emotional problems, deep seated problems for which you should seek professional help, or at least a hug from me.”

“Fuck what you know. You need to forget about what you know, that's your problem. Forget about what you think you know about life, about love, and especially about you and me,” she says angrily, and I can smell the nicotine on her breath.

On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for any relationship drops to zero. When the fight was over, nothing was solved, but nothing mattered.

She disappeared.

Then I lost it. Kinda lost it all, you know. Faith, dignity, about fifteen pounds. I am Will’s heartwrenching, agonizing defeat.

[Liberally cribbed from the very sources you thought of while reading.]

Re: Noir/Wraithling Break Up Special
Post by Last Hero on Yesterday at 12:40pm

You're free, Will. Rejoice.

Re: Noir/Wraithling Break Up Special
Post by BornIn1142 on Yesterday at 12:41pm

The beginning and middle made me feel bad for Will (success). The ending confused me and kind of ruined the emotional impact. Maybe it's the fact that I didn't get whatever references were supposed to be so obvious.

Re: Noir/Wraithling Break Up Special
Post by Sadie "Suicide Queen" Hannoura on Yesterday at 1:28pm

I agree, I wasn't happy with the ending, either. I can say something like, "That's kind of like real life love or ghost stories, there is no actual satisfying ending" and I do agree with that, but yeah, I'm unhappy with the ending.

Since this is basically a Fight Club/True Romance/High Fidelity crib-fest, I'm not terribly upset I opted for the "Fuck It, The End" ending.

Re: Noir/Wraithling Break Up Special
Post by Orchestra the Mighty on Yesterday at 1:40pm

The ending sort of made me doubt if Will ever really liked Torrance, and the middle made me think that he's the one that needs the mental help.

Well done.

Re: Noir/Wraithling Break Up Special
Post by Ixnay on Yesterday at 5:05pm

I liked the end.

And the parts with Jay, just because.

Re: Noir/Wraithling Break Up Special
Post by Sadie "Suicide Queen" Hannoura on Yesterday at 5:33pm

I liked the "best sex ever…in my head" part best.

Re: Noir/Wraithling Break Up Special
Post by Ixnay on Today at 12:59am

Well, yes. And the obvious Bridgett Jones reference in that part.

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