The Taylight Zone - Anthology Seven

06 - What it Does to Them - Kimberly, K.J., and Saralynn

She sat by the pool in her electric blue one piece. A towel and chaise lounge were beneath her. A cold glass of lemonade was to her side on a small table as well as the latest addition to the Nancy Drew Files. Practically glued to her ears were a set of headphones connected to a Sony Discman that contained her favorite CD, Hanson's "Middle Of Nowhere".

She bobbed her head to the beat of "MMMBop" and even sang along for good measure. Suddenly, she caught sight of something out of the corner of her eye.

She brought her gaze down to the Discman that contained the brightly colored CD. She brought her arms down to her sides, still staring at the rapidly whirling piece of plastic within even more plastic. It hypnotized her.

She stopped the CD player and opened it to reveal the CD. It whirled a moment more before finally coming to a standstill. She lifted it from it's place and held it out in front of her. Something within her now wanted... No. Needed to know about the people who made this music.

"Sweetie? Lunch is ready."

The girl whirled around in fear, dropping her precious CD. It fell to the ground and shattered into three distinct pieces. The girl bent down and picked up the largest piece. "I am going to kill you."

Her mother backed up in fear. "Oh, honey, I'm sorry. I'll get you another. I promise, I..."

She stopped talking and began a long, woeful scream as the piece of CD sliced across her throat and became covered in blood, still held by her daughter's hand.

It was the one thing she wanted. Them. She had to have them. She didn't know why. Once she had this crazy idea that somehow the CD that she always watched spin had something to do with it.

They'd locked her up one day. They'd put her in this damn padded room with all of this light and white space. She wanted to be in a dark room with walls that crumbled beneath her fingers. She wanted them to be there too.

They would come in soon to give her a shot. Her daily shot. It would make everything all better. They said that sometimes she started rocking back and forth and singing "MMMBop". What did they know? She was singing "Where's The Love". These non-Hanson fans. She'd gladly kill them all.

The door opened in her little padded room of a world. The nurse on duty walked over and jabbed a needle into her hip. A wonderful dark haze covered everything and she began to sing. This time it was "MMMBop".

She tapped the keyboard gently. She couldn't quite think of how to word the sentence she was writing. He felt the need to tear off her clothing. That would work. The people who read this crap didn't care about how well she wrote. They just loved the smut content. She just loved the attention.

She wrote about Hanson all the time. Every story she wrote she put up on the Internet on her webpage. A lot of people went to her webpage. She was one of the best known Han-fic authors out there.

She didn't even remember actually beginning to write about them, but one night while lying in bed listening to "Middle Of Nowhere" she had come up with a story and it had all been centered around Hanson. She sent it to some friends who sent it to friends and eventually she had become an established author.

"Snowed In" hadn't really caused a lot of ideas to flow into her head, although she had managed to come up with a good story or two.

"Three Car Garage" had been the one to really start her with writing everyday. Every time she listened to music, it was Hanson; usually the newest album. She always wrote when she listened to music, and now she couldn't go a day without hearing Hanson, therefore every day was filled with writing.

She was happy to write about them. She could put them in strange situations and try to create how they would respond to the situation. She had a wonderful imagination and loved to use it to make up stories.

"Live From Albertane" had really been the album to make her writing come alive. Every word she wrote while hearing that album, especially the song "Ever Lonely" was a part of a wonderful symphony of words that everyone loved. She didn't care if they liked it because of the content, the characters, or the wording. She posted it if she was proud of it and she was always happy because there was hardly ever a story that she wasn't proud of.

She was a fan-fic author. She didn't love Hanson all that much. But, she couldn't bear not to write about them.

He walked into his younger sister's room. As usual, it was in shambles; clothes, cassettes, and CD's strewn everywhere. He groaned. He hated being the older brother. His mother always insisted he oversee the cleaning of his sister's room. However, she was less than enthusiastic when it came to the task of cleaning, so he was often stuck doing it by himself.

Giving a sigh, he began picking up his sister's scattered belongings. After throwing a fistful of dirty and clean clothes into the hamper, he began picking up CD's. One in particular caught his eye. It was a bright orange one with a strange logo in the center. "Middle of Nowhere" by Hanson. He stared at it for a moment. Then, finally, he tore his eyes away, feeling silly.

Deciding he'd need some kind of entertainment while cleaning, he put the orange CD into his sister's player. Though he'd never admit it to most people, he actually liked most of Hanson's music.

As "Thinking of You" came pouring from the speakers, he picked up the CD case and stared at the orange cover within. Just then, his sister walked in the room.

"What do you think you're doing?" she demanded. She stalked up to him and snatched the CD case from him.

He narrowed his eyes at her. "I'm cleaning your room like you should be doing, brat," he snapped. With that, he tried to reacquire the case from her.

She held the case just out of his reach. "Go away. This is mine!" she cried.

"Give it to me!" he yelled.

"No!" she whined.

He clenched his jaw. "You'd better give that to me," he warned. "Or you'll be sorry." Just then, he picked a large, heavy plate from the floor. With one quick motion, he brought the plate down over her head, hard. It broke in his hand as she fell to the ground in a heap, crying.

He took a step forward. With the jagged piece of plate still in his hand, he stabbed his sister in the back of the neck. After giving out a muffled scream, she fell silent. He grabbed the CD case from her hand. "Told you you'd be sorry," he said quietly.

While waiting for the green light to cross, she let her eyes fall on the small disc spinning in her Discman. Immediately, all of her attention was set on the spinning circle of orange.

A man behind her suddenly pushed at her back. "Green light," he muttered, starting past her.

She looked up at him. "I'm saving myself for Taylor Hanson," she told him, as if he'd asked a question to the effect.

"Yeah, that's great," he muttered, continuing past her.

Dazed, mind swimming in Taylor Hanson's voice, she started across the street.

I love Taylor, she thought, a smile touching her lips. I'm going to have his children.

Just then, out the corner of her eye, she saw a flash of long blond hair. Immediately, she turned toward it. She couldn't believe her eyes. Standing less than ten feet from her was Taylor Hanson.

"Oh, my god!" she squealed. "Taylor!"

He didn't acknowledge that he had heard her.

She waved her arms. "Taylor! Over here!"

Again, he seemed not to notice her.

She decided it was time for more drastic measures. Slowly, she started for him. Finally, when she was within arm's length of him, she grabbed his shoulder and spun him around. Before he had time to react, she pressed her lips to his. "I love you," she said after breaking the kiss.

Taylor looked at her, confused. "Who are you?" he demanded, loud enough that she could hear him over her headphones.

"I'm the girl that loves you, Taylor. I'm saving myself for you," she informed him.

"What?" he asked. "You're crazy. Get away from me." He began to try to push her away.

She only tightened her grip. "But, I love you." She pressed her lips to his again.

Just then, an older woman grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled her away. "What's going on here, Timothy?" she demanded.

The girl looked back at Taylor to see another boy standing in his place. This boy was tall and lanky with stringy, dark brown hair. "Who are you?" she snapped.

"That's the question I should be asking you," he said, lips curling, disgusted.

He eased open his CD case and slid out the familiar CD that made everything better; and yet, worse. He opened his portable CD player and popped in "Middle Of Nowhere", happy at last. He pressed play and leaned back against a shade tree in the park.

He began to hum along happily. These were the times when all of his problems went away. This music was so happy and so real. He didn't think he would still be alive without it.

He winced when pebbles hit his already tender flesh. He opened his eyes and slid off his headphones to look up at the three senior guys who stood there. "Yes?"

"Listening to those god damn sissy boys again, huh? Maybe 'cause you are a god damn sissy boy, huh? Huh?"

He felt the bark of the tree scratch his back as he was pulled to his feet by the tallest of the boys. He dropped his CD player when someone's fist made contact with his stomach.

Normally, he got only verbal abuse for being a guy Hanson fan, but this time it was physical.

He would fight back, but his body was already covered in deep purple bruises, put there by his stepfather. No one understood. They didn't even try to understand.

He was released from his tormentor's grasp and fell to the ground. Blood seeped from fresh wounds on his pale flesh. They couldn't understand.

He stood back up, an angry snarl on his face and a glare in his eye. The attackers had alread started to walk away so they didn't even see it coming.

The first one fell to the ground when the boy jumped on his back. He was killed fairly quickly when his temple connected with the rock on the ground.

The boy was back up in moments, angry still fiery strong. He threw himself at another of his tormentors and fists began to fly. He had the larger boy pinned beneath him. Just as he was about to land a death blow to his larnyx, two or three adults that had been summoned by the third grabbed him from behind and pinned him to the ground.

She sat by herself, singing a little tune that the whole world knew. Her brothers had made it up. She didn't know what it meant; didn't care. All that mattered about it was that it had a good tune.

She looked down at her doll. It's hair now lay on the floor next to the pair of scissors that had been used for the cutting. She smiled at the doll. "Well, don't you look pretty. I want my brothers to look just like you."

She picked up the scissors and made her way up the stairs.

Not finding them anywhere, she walked into her room. Her oldest sister was asleep there. She had been sick for a while. She smiled to herself and advanced with the sissors.

Snip, snip, snip. Her sister's hair now lay in a pile on her pillow instead of attached to her head. She smiled.

Next she reached back and, grabbing a handful of her own hair, cut that off as well.

Almost done, she thought to herself and went off to find her youngest brother.

Her youngest brother was taking his nap at the time being. Soon she made it so that his hair matched that of her own.

Just then her mother walked in to check on the little sleeping one. She screamed.

Smiling to herself, she pinned up one of the latest Hanson posters to her cubicle wall. She began to hum a song to herself as she began to work. The days passed by fairly quickly as long as she had a poster or two for company and a song in her head. She listened to Middle of Nowhere everynight, the music always as hypnotic as the spinning orage disk that she watched throught the window of her CD player.

"Geez girl. You're 23 years old and you have Hanson pin-ups in your office?" one of her co-workers called out as he walked by.

She didn't care. She just ignored them all. They didn't understand the music and she didn't expect them too. After all, she considered herself a kid at heart so why not like a kid band?

And it didn't hurt that the oldest one was cute. She glanced up at the poster of the guitar player hanging directly in front of her desk.

How could she not like Hanson?

The youngest of the three guys sitting in the basement looked up from his drawing and smiled. "Hand me that maroon pencil, will you?" he asked the oldest guy.

The oldest guy handed over the maroon colored pencil. "That looks good so far," he said, grinning.

The middle one cracked his knuckles, bored. "Almost done?" he asked impatiently.

At length, the youngest guy held up his masterpiece, covered in maroon colored pencil. "So," he said slowly, "How do you think they'll react to this color?"