Mar 2011 18

by Brandon Perkins

In the previous installments of our futuristic fiction series, Please Use Rear Exit, Mikhail, who recently x-ed his GF (Katya), ventures out for his first major post-break up night on the tiles with the boys. Meanwhile, Katya is similarly “enjoying” a night out with the girls. However, though the no-longer happy couple are experiencing separate but parallel nights out, they exist in the same universe, so there’s a chance their worlds will collide at some point…

Please Use Rear Exit: Chapter 10 – Devil’s Dance

Their timing couldn’t have been more impeccable, at least as far as the line was concerned. Anything’s bouncers had started to let people in, no longer concerned about maintaining a line outside the doors for the purpose of appearances. And yet, the club wasn’t so crowded that they couldn’t let a three-guy-to-zero-girl ratio slide by every once in awhile. The overall breeziness of the situation put some pause in Mikhail’s step and he had to fight the temptation to run. If Jayson hadn’t pushed him forward, he might’ve discovered a way back.

Once Mikhail’s eyes got used to the overwhelmingness of the scene revealed through Anything’s heavily-tinted doors, it helped take his mind off of things. Lights were shining and skin was glistening. Shoulder straps fell below shoulders while jeans dipped below hips, sprinkling peaks of silk thongs as far as one could possibly see. Maybe this was the reason that their entrance was so easy…Anything actually needed men to balance out the equation.

“This is why we come to places like this,” Jayson said, shouting between Mikhail and Chevy’s ears. “This is why we do this.”

“It’s a playground of the merry,” Chevy said. “Marry anything merry named Mary.”

“Just don’t let me fuck a fat chick,” Jayson said, his tune changing the minute his whistler hit the floor. It was easy to get lost in. A sea of scintillating scandalousness poured out in front of them, waves of skin lost in sin, disappearing in the tide of strobe-lights. Hardly a man in sight, it was an overwhelming opportunity to plunder estrogen, barely buried in shallow water. Mikhail couldn’t even imagine the sex-depraved thoughts on Jayson’s near-drunk noggin, nevermind his own corrupted thoughts of uncontrollable lust. He couldn’t even focus on a single breezy. They were all dancing, unclaimed and in unison. A sea of swaying algae.

Not even four steps into Anything, Chevy was distracted by a small group of people. Several suits intermingled with a few scantily clad, mostly blonde girls. One guy was green and he made a garish decision to don pinstripes and an orange tie, but it didn’t matter to the neophyte he was flirting with. They were probably partners at Chevy’s firm. Committed to the night’s quest but unsure of their own, Mikhail and Jayson stood idly by while everyone else laughed.

“These are the homies – Mikhail and Jayson,” Chevy shouted. He continued on, but no one could hear his desperate pleas, not over Anything’s robust soundsystem. Everyone shook hands and nodded the necessary signs of respect, even as no one had heard a fucking word. Small talk was made that Mikhail wasn’t privy to and he quickly grew anxious. Standing in one spot made his feet burn, especially in the lion’s den of Anything, where Katya’s BFF was known to prowl. Jayson also looked uncomfortable.

“You want something to drink?” Mikhail asked Jayson.


“You want something to drink?” Mikhail asked Chevy.


“You want a drink?”

It was useless. Chevy patted Mikhail on the shoulder and turned back to the suits and their presumably underaged accompaniment. Even if he wanted a drink, he wasn’t trying to hear anything that Mikhail said.

“You wanna explore?”

Jayson nodded and let Mikhail lead the way, leaving Chevy behind. Anything’s apex was the #720’s majestic peak, dwarfing every other ceiling in the category of height, even the main terminal itself. HD supposedly delivered a view of The Internet, but it was still dwarfed by the height of Anything. The glittering walls stretched into epiphany, accompanied by LCD screens that reflected and broadcasted the atmosphere of the entire place. Intimate moments of physical affection flashed by in fleeting seconds of tits and ass on screens above the dancefloor and similar achievements occurred in the flesh below. No one paid attention to the pornographic loops on high when so much PDA was happening on the low.

[Gadget in Overstuffed]
In a rose-budded black bra and a paper-thin plaid skirt riding high against her pasty thighs, a skinny emo-chick rode a giant stuffed teddy bear. She found a pitch next to the treble that made everyone tremble. With the concentration and movements it took to ride a mechanical bull, she grinded away on that marble-eyed beast till time stopped. That bear’s soft exterior was rode further and further and further into a corner.

Beyond her, the purple-clad triplets from The Smoke acted out elaborate ploys of seduction amongst themselves. Dangerously close to incest, a breath’s beat away from sensuous lip locking, they ignored personal space and expressed the personal fantasies of all too many. All except Jayson, who refused to look at them the instant his vision went triple. Beyond them, a group of girls – equally sharp and soft – pranced around their collected pile of designer bags, taking turns bending over to the front, touching their toes. Neither Mikhail nor Jayson could reconcile what was beyond that and it certainly didn’t matter. From there, it was just a mess of entangled boobs and butts.

“This is opportunity knocking on our dancing doorstep,” Mikhail shouted. Everything in Anything thumped so loudly. “This is why we come here, right? You wanna answer this door?”

“Can we get a drink first?”

“Don’t worry, brother. I’m not Chevy,” Mikhail said. “If you don’t want to go off and fuck some random, I won’t chide you into it. Even if I think you’re insane.”

Mikhail was drowned out by a worldly mix of pulsating electronica. Regardless of the roots, it was underlined and exclamated by an oppressive force that purported to be music. Sixteen bars of rapping sometimes littered the noxious concourse, just as often as everything stopped while the music stripped down to a few warm seconds of bossa nova that echoed throughout the establishment with an analog comfort. It was purposefully uneven and everyone was already too fucked up to even bother being bothered. They just went with the jilted turns, overly enthusiastic at the slightest inkling of familiarity. And when party populace knew the song, they let it be known.

“If we get a drink now, we’ll come back to a 50-50 crowd, guaranteed,” Mikhail said, straining his voice, uncomfortably close to Jayson’s ear. “It’s your call.”

“Just don’t let me cheat,” Jayson said, the effort required to be heard perhaps reinstalling his will. “But I want to dance, man. I just need a bottle of beer to dance.”

“A necessary prop?”


Mikhail shrugged and pointed towards the bar. Then Jayson turned his back and ventured off into the bar’s general direction. Although it wasn’t his imperative coming in, Anything was making Mikhail want to dance. Unfamiliar ladies were beckoning. There was still room in the club for the girls to move around, and move around they did. Holding hands, walking to and fro, in perfect step with the aggressive stabs of the night’s soundtrack, they always found a way to move seductively. Walking towards the bar, Mikhail just nodded his head to the beat, as best he could. But it wasn’t easy because the DJ was spinning some Internet-awful techno. Just as his head was about to explode with an aching desire for the DJ to change, an excessive progression of record cuts shredded the soundsystem. The new guy dropped Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Luv U (Give It 2 Me)” for his first selection and Mikhail had to rethink the best laid plans of mice and men.

He punched Jayson in the kidney and awaited a reaction. When Jayson didn’t turn around, Mikhail screamed Jigga’s lyrics as loud as he could as close to his friend’s ear as physically possible without being gay. “I’m a pimp by blood, not relation. You’ll be chasin’, I replace them…”


Mikhail dug into his pocket and pulled out $7 worth of bills and placed them into Jayson’s hand like they were trading daps. Then, steadily striding into an abyss that held no true destination, he went off in the opposite direction. Mikhail mouthed every lyric and felt every kick drum, hitting the escalating anthem with pinpoint precision. Surrounded by sexy, he did his best to swim in it. And maybe every girl looked the same, but he just tried to look cool while collecting an inviting glance or two.

A young thin thing that was way too tall for him smiled in his direction. It wasn’t clear that her warm face was meant for him but he went along with it regardless. She wore a floral summer dress that twirled with more fervor than she did, and the girl could twirl. Curls bounced above her tantalizingly tiny ears. They were simply marked with the quaintest of gold dangles, both of them succumbing to the gravitational pull of her spins. Her caramel skin was just as dizzying, even against the procession of chaos and limbs and outfits and pulsating flashes and bass that swerved directly around her. Mikhail questioned whether he could even keep up with her subtle curves. Her rhythm was impeccably skinny, but he could tell that she noticed his lurking.

He tried to make eye contact with her, attempting to work with her furious steps for a millisecond of face to face. It seemed impossible and his glare started to feel like a stare. He thought he saw another smile. Her teeth sparkled in the overhead lights, kissed by puckering lips framed by deep purple lipstick. Mikhail wasn’t sure of her smile’s motive, but he loved it anyway. More significantly, he was terrified of the very real possibility that it wasn’t meant for him.

He needed to meet a girl that wasn’t a friend of a friend or a coworker or someone that he knew from around the way. For his confidence’s sake, he wanted to avoid a girl who subtly warmed to how nice he was or one who was won by his familiarity of the workplace. Mikhail needed an unknown girl to be immediately wooed by the best of his charms and tricked by the worst of his peccadilloes. Every relationship he ever entered began with a friendship and Mikhail made a very vocal mental note to stop the pattern; fuck first, get to know later.

Her spins slowed and Mikhail weighed his next step. Move aggressively or coyly? Unabashedly grind up against her flowing floral print or saunter over casually with every accidental meeting of their eyes? Stay steady or make an all out dash? Then the song changed. Time stopped and so did he. Mikhail lost his rhythm and suddenly became aware of himself alone in the middle of the dancefloor. He walked away before his purposes could ever be known. He failed by trying to avoid failure.

The uncertainty of the new song forced him to wuss out. Within two steps, he rediscovered his bounce, but it was already too late. It was no use turning around, he had to keep moving. If he returned at this point, Mikhail’d just be a creep who couldn’t make up his mind. It was important to stick to a decision. Back there, he probably made the wrong one, leaving a conversation before it even started, if it was even meant for him in the first place. He could have just lightly grabbed her elbow and whispered in her ear that he’d never seen someone so beautiful move so gracefully, that he wanted to discover the center of her gravity.

“Apparently, I need a drink too,” Mikhail said, finding Jayson just a few steps from where he had left him, blissfully ignorant to any dilemma.

Traffic moved swiftly towards the bar. An impossible wait for the restroom was back there too, and Mikhail was already thinking about the temporary cover that it could provide. But his bladder felt strong and such a move would be shrouded in cowardice. He already felt like a sheepish twit. The music quieted as Mikhail and Jayson made their way to the bar, one of Anything’s few logical atmospheric choices.

“I totally bailed back there.”

“Whatchu mean?” Jayson asked.

“Nothing. Just a fail of epic proportions. Don’t sweat it.”


Mikhail got back his $7 from Jayson and walked through the losers hovering around a flatscreen that showed exactly what the DJ was doing on his laptop. A few people leaned against the bar, but he was able to work his way around them. In the middle of the bartender’s back-and-forth pattern, Mikhail found a prime spot to set up shop and wait for a drink. Whichever way the too-sure-of-himself bartender was moving, Mikhail would get to place his order quickly enough. Once he swapped the seven wrinkled bills with the second crisp $100 bill of his night, his ploy worked: Two Belvedere shots and two Miller High Lifes shortly appeared before him. Even as Jayson’s stomach had strengthened over the years, Mikhail was still unsure of how his friend’s puke reflexes would take to the sudden switch in boozes. It was an experiment of sorts. Waiting for his change, Mikhail felt a tug on his elbow, and assuming it was Jayson, he presented a shot in the gesture’s general direction.

“Did you run away back there?”

She was more dizzying up close; her gold dangles caressed the soft nape of her light-skinned neck. Mikhail had really hoped that she hadn’t noticed, but once again, her smile warmed him. This time to his own shame.

“It’s been a weird night, I’m embarrassed though,” Mikhail said. Still holding both plastic shot glasses of fancy vodka in his hands, he nodded towards them. “You wanna partake?”

“I normally stick to brown booze,” she said, “but tonight I might make an exception.”

“Accept my reception, contraception…I mean, I thought you were Jayson, I mean, my elbow was grabbed and it wasn’t him,” Mikhail stuttered and then paused to restart. “Truly, I’m honored, but honestly, it’d be a dishonor to do this without the homie.”

The bartender came back with his change and he slid part of it back, asking for another Belvedere shot. Mikhail looked quickly past his sudden suitor and over his shoulder, in search of Jayson. But because the move was a little aloof, he accidentally found some of the masculinity he had left on the dancefloor.

“Let me guess your name…you’re too cute for a normal name,” she said, grabbing his face with the careful firmness an over-exuberant aunt might employ on a nine-year-old nephew. “Bartleby, maybe? Lucious?”

“No, no,” Mikhail said. “I think my sheepishness out there was enough to make Lucifer call me a pussy.”


“Now you’re just listing Keanu Reeves movies.”

“I’m good at this, I swear…Rafe? Crispin? Oliver?”

“It’s Mikhail.”

“Mikhail? You don’t look Russian, I mean, no offense.”

“I’m don’t, I’m not…I mean. My pops thought he was a rebel and my mom thought she was clever, so they named me after Gorbechov at the height of the Second Cold War. At least I’m not Rafe-”

Mikhail felt Jayson looming around the conversation a full six seconds before he caught the sharp poke of a karate chop against his ribs. He leaned back so Jayson could lean in and join the conversation that was still epicentered at the bar.

“This is the definition of a brother from another mother,” Mikhail said. “This is the homie Jayson.”

“Jayson, it’s nice to meet you. But Mikhail, you aren’t getting off that easy. You can’t trick me into telling your friend my name just so you can learn mine. Guess what I’m called…”

“Vodka?” Jayson pondered.

“Well then, to a rose by another name,” she toasted.

Whether Jayson was offering up a suggestion or just gasping at the moment’s shot choice was anyone’s guess but his own. Regardless, the three plastic shot glasses were hoisted and then lowered in the name of monikers. After the initial need to vomit, Jayson’s face morphed into a smile that was as real as the envy in his eye. Then he ducked off.

“Do you have a word for this rose yet?”

“I’ve been calling you Dangles since I first spotted you,” Mikhail said.


“Your earrings. They dangle. And twirl, but twirl doesn’t sound as pretty. Really though, what’s your name?”


“Don’t I wish.”

“It’s Bridget,” Bridget said. “And it’s nice to meet you Mikhail, it’s indeed a surprise.”

During a temporary reprieve from the strobe-light, Mikhail got a good look at her eyes for the first time. A tinge of orange dominated by teal, they glowed and he wondered how he could’ve avoided them prior to that moment, nevermind his slip in simply observing them. Then again, her lips, skin, ears and neck were kind of distracting. And the class of her flowing floral print surely hid a treasure of toned wonders that Mikhail had yet to explore.

“‘Indeed’ might just be my most overused word,” he said.

“Indeed? What’re you some kind of nobleman?”

“A man? Yes. Noble? Only occasionally.”

Some aggressive rap song played in the background and the excruciating drawl of every Gucci Mane syllable was made worse by an abrupt lull in the conversation. He could tell she was examining him. Not with any disdain, just with a mild sense of inquisitiveness.

“Back there,” Mikhail said, “I was seriously ready to grab your elbow and say something before the DJ fucked up my flow.”

“What were you going to say?”

Mikhail was once again turned in the other direction. Jayson had tapped him on the shoulder. He was wearing some shit-eating grin on his face and it was classic. Mikhail wondered what kind of ass Jayson had rubbed up against or how badly some shirtless asshole ate it while trying some dance move out of his league but Jayson’s smile quickly turned sour. His eyes shadowed into solemn. In his shoulders, the boyish lust that Mikhail had anticipated quickly presented itself as a very adult apology. That’s when Katya peaked out over one of those shoulders. Mikhail had to excuse himself from his conversation with Bridget.

Please Use Rear Exit is an online novel set in a futuristic facsimile of Los Angeles literally set inside The Internet on a mysterious public transportation system. You can read about it on author Brandon Perkins’ SG Contributor page and find additional chapters and related media at


  1. […] the previous installments of our futuristic fiction series, Please Use Rear Exit, Mikhail, who recently x-ed his GF (Katya), […]