Grabbing Back

“At some part of every woman’s soul, they want to be taken by a strong man.”
— Richard Spencer

There was something stirring within Jerry Cornelius. As he sat on the dirty sofa bile rose into his throat, a familiar sensation. And yet, Jerry thought, this is not hate, not like usual. Ordinarily a dispassionate, detached feeling of contempt filled his soul. But this was active, not passive, it asked for action. This emotion rising in his neck, filling his mouth, needed action.

“What is causing this sincerity?” He asked himself. Some desire to act, which normally he staves away from. Jerry had fought aliens, defeated evils, saved and destroyed planets, but now something pulled him forward.

1973
1974
’75
’79
’83
’97
2000
’04
’09
’11
’17

“I’m so sorry,” Jerry muttered as the couple looked up from their carnal embrace next to him on the leather armchair. They took little notice, she continued to thrust into him, the rubber bending and creaking as it rubbed against leather and against skin.

Jerry let himself out, fiddling momentarily with the lump developing in his corduroys. “Fucking millennials,” he said as the electric cars were overtaken by pushbikes on the street before him.

Turning to the left he let this lust for action drag him forward, he was manic, on a mission, turning at streets left and right and straight on straight forward until he reached the edge. “Mind the gap,” he chuckled, and stepped across the Atlantic.

D.C had changed since ’73, unfortunately. The traffic was almost unbearable and he got run over fourteen times walking across the various streets until he found his prey. The source of all his lust surrounded by cameras with a haircut shaved on the sides and flopping on top like the overgrown topiary project of a short man.

Jerry took in a deep breath, muttered something under his breath and sprang forward. Yard after yard he covered in a matter of seconds, springing across the avenue and launching himself towards his target, his fist clenched instinctively.

“Oh,” Spencer said, “Pepe. It’s become a symbol—” at that moment Jerry’s fist connected with Richard’s jaw, sucker punching him into another reality. The cameras vanished, the cars quieted, time stopped ticking on. It was just Jerry and Richard.

“Hello,” Jerry said, “I like your pin. Cute.”

“Fuck off. You just hit me.”

“Observant.”

“Why?”

“Don’t you believe in action? Violence as a carnal response?”

“Not if it involves punching me.”

Jerry leaned to his right — his arm entered an alternate time. When it was retracted, he was holding a comic. “1941 first edition Captain America, a hero of your nation, right?”

“He stands for justice and American freedom.”

“…and yet here he is, his first appearance, punching Hitler in the face.”

Richard stood up, dusted his finely pressed suit which looked too much like he didn’t care how creased it got.

“I find the punching somewhat outdated,” Jerry continued. “But if it sends a message.”

“No harm done, you piece of shit. Who are you?”

“I’m Jerry. Nice to hit you,” and with that he pulled Richard back into the focus of the cameras, turned and fled. Back across the avenue, back across the ocean, back across the gap in time, back across the sitting room, collapsing into the dirt-cheap chair.

“Bugger,” he said, “tea’s cold.”

.
Alex Horn
Illustration: AC Evans


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