THE REAL FOLK BLUES
An Unorthodox Fan-fiction By: Licorice-Sama
Author's Note: I usually don't write fan-fiction about fan-fiction, but this was an occasion. My Hemingway and Lorca obsession has found an outlet. Now if I could find a way to incorporate bull-fighting into this. J/K. I may think it's a very romantic sport, and I'd love to get Marcelle all decked out in her toreador outfit, but let's not abuse theme, eh? Just a little harmless fun.
Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon. We know that. I don't own FDD. We know that, too. I'm not making any money off of this. I only own Marcelle and Fennecmon, and the main idea that spawned this. Hemingway and his stories, the story "A Glass of Milk," and Manet's "A Bar at the Folies-Bergeres" belong to their respective owners. I own nothing, basically, so don't hurt me.
Rating: PG-13 +. Not for "sax and violins," but for the fact that your authoress has recently spent two weeks in Northern Europe and Great Britain, and still believes that "F%#!" is part of her vernacular. However, I don't like writing with expletives, so rest assured if I use them, it's usually for a purpose. If not, then I'm a failure as a writer. ;_;
"The real folk blues
I just want to feel real sorrow
It's not bad, a life in the muddy river
If life is once."
"Sisyphus should be happy," Marcelle said to Fennecmon as she wiped down the bar. Starmon had added another two weeks to her punishment that was fast becoming a life sentence. From where she was scrubbing the plank floor, Fennecmon looked up, brown eyes watching as Marcelle moved her rag in circles on the bar. The fennec fox styled digimon said nothing.
When the Blonde and the Cheetah digimon entered, Marcelle didn't look up. She was loading a tray with frothing glasses of milk, and thinking of a story by an early-twentieth century Latin American author she forgot the name of. The story, however, was called "A Glass of Milk." She remembered that distinctly. If Starmon ever left for the evening, Marcelle told herself, she would try to be like the waitress in the story. She wanted to feed a hungry boy with no money, too.
She delivered the tray of milk glasses to the table of Gatsumon near the door. Walking towards the table, she looked only at her destination. She set each glass down before her customers, managing not to spill on her red dress. She had a dress like it at home, only it was black. The brand was Gunne Sax, and they specialized in Western wear.
Promising a dish of vanilla wafers, Marcelle returned to the bar, frowning. This dress was wrong. She always imagined the waitress from the story in a starched blue dress, like the barmaid in Manet's "A Bar at the Folies-Bergeres." How could you be charitable in red, she asked herself. Since when, save for on the cross, did blood mean mercy?
"You have some more customers!" Starmon snapped from his perch behind the bar as Marcelle returned. She looked to where he was pointing and saw the blonde and her digimon. The dish of wafers was ignored and she walked over to the table the Digidestined sat at. Starmon watched her with dark eyes looking over his pointed beak. Although it was light now, Starmon contemplated on how he liked the way her short hair dyed like hibiscus looked under kerosene lights. She always complained about the kerosene lights. The film they made when mixed with dust was hell to clean.
"How may I help you?" Marcelle asked, looking the blonde in the eye. She had cheery eyes, which brightened her face. The blonde's face was like Machiavellian politics: alive with youth, but stern with something determined. Marcelle had a face like Marxism: jaded, but naïve.
"What have you got in the way of food?" asked the blonde. The cheetah digimon looked at Marcelle with big blue eyes from under a mop of burgundy hair. Those eyes made Marcelle think of Sierra Leone.
"Well, there's the roast beef, and vegetable stew, milk & wafers, nice white bread, cake fit for Marie Antoinette, sandwich meats, clam chowder, and some other junk. If you want it, we probably have it."
"We'll take one of everything!" The digimon said with a big grin.
"Make that two of everything!"chimed in the blonde, pulling her red T-shirt down lower over her hips.
"All right," Marcelle sighed. She walked back to the kitchen, shaking her head. When she had looked at those big blue eyes, she knew exactly what was going to happen.
"The dress is wrong," she whispered, and shook her head.
"They're like us!" Fennecmon said excitedly, sitting on the countertop of the bar. "We need to join them!" Marcelle watched the girl and her digimon eat, the food disappearing in fistfuls. Marcelle had her elbow on the bar, and her cheek pushed against her fist. She was not smiling.
"Marcelle?" asked Fennecmon, picking up a wrapper of something vulgar, and depositing it in the trash behind the bar. The girl glanced at the dust-colored fox digimon. She then reached out with her free hand and ruffled the splay of hair between the digimon's large ears.
"What's wrong?" asked Fennecmon. Marcelle sighed, glancing back at the kitchen where Starmon was.
"Starmon's delivering the bill, not me."
When the girl saw her bill and gave an exclamation, hand falling on the table amidst dirty dishes, Marcelle poured coffee in the Gatsumon's lap. He yelled at her.
"Damn!" she said, and stormed out the back entrance. Why couldn't it have just been milk and wafers? Fennecmon mopped up the coffee with a rag.
"Oh dear," said Fennecmon, "I'm sorry."
Outside Marcelle sat, leaned against the adobe, and watched some ants push a dried, orange-colored berry up their ant hill, only to watch it fall down again. They'd follow the berry, and roll it back up the other slope, trying to fit it through an impossibly small entrance to the anthill. It would instead roll down the other slope of the hill. Again and again she watched this. Yet the ants continued, never discouraged, always eager to try again.
Marcelle watched them for a while. She marveled at the ants. Although she had no idea if ants felt anything, she imagined them happy. Then, for the first instance in the long time since she arrived here, Marcelle smiled. She stood up, careful not to smash the ants, and waltzed back into the restaurant. She gave a little laugh to herself, shaking her head.
"Damn you, Camus."
The chastisement Marcelle received was fierce, yet brief. Starmon stood near the stove in the kitchen, and she stood rigid in front of the sink. However, it seemed Starmon couldn't take her blank stare-- the way her eyes looked at him but didn't see him-- and her shrug. He couldn't even stand the way she ran her fingers through her hair. Finally, after a few minutes of unregulated shouting, the hoarse Starmon croaked, "Get back to work." He then disappeared through the swinging double doors to the dining hall.
Marcelle did. She grabbed a rag next to the sink, dipped it into the soapy water stewing in the basin, and stalked into the dining room. She found the nearest table and began wiping it clean. Fennecmon, bussing tables, glanced at her quiet partner. The digimon's brown eyes were wide, and her mouth in a small pout. By reading her partner's face, however, and the way Marcelle swished her rag over the table with short, smooth strokes, Fennecmon was able to return her face to its normal grin.
Underneath that stoic, sculpted façade Marcelle was able to chisel into her features when working, Fennecmon spied an unmistakable smile on Marcelle's pink lips. The little fennec fox digimon said nothing, but continued on with her work.
"Well, I guess we'll be working together," the blonde said, coming up behind Marcelle. The redhead cleaning the table jumped, then spun around, looking at the girl. The blonde was now dressed in red, swishing fabric, too. Her little Cheetah digimon was also wearing the uniform dress. Marcelle grinned, but it didn't extend past her cheeks to make her eyes merry.
"Yeah, I guess so," Marcelle said.
"I'm Erica," said the girl, holding out her hand, "and this is Cheekomon." Marcelle set down her rag and shook the girl's hand.
"Marcelle," she said simply.
"And I'm Fennecmon!" chimed the girl's partner, a tray of empty milk glasses on her head. Erica laughed. Marcelle turned back to the table and picked up her rag.
"You might want to start working," Marcelle advised, "because if you aren't waiting tables when Starmon comes out, you're in deep... well, you know."
Erica and Cheekomon hopped to obey orders. Marcelle kept scrubbing the same table, watching the sunset over the double doors of the saloon entrance. She tried not to think about Hemingway, and the way "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" crept through her mind. She wondered if Erica would be like the young waiter if Marcelle were to say something about not being able to sleep nights, and how nice it would be to have a clean, well-lighted place.
The sun was going down behind far off dusty mountains. The sky was becoming a deep blue. Fennecmon yawned, coming out from behind the bar.
"Almost time to light the kerosene," she said, wiping her brow underneath her fringe with a dust-colored paw. Marcelle rolled her eyes.
"Bloody God yes," she grumbled, "that hellish, dirty kerosene." With a thought of the ants, Marcelle worried that she was the young waiter. However, she countered, in this place, all she wanted was clean. Erica, taking orders at a nearby table, looked over at Marcelle. She had an eyebrow raised. Marcelle smiled, setting down her rag.
"Did you know Hemingway was a chauvinist?" she asked. Erica furrowed her eyebrows.
"Um, I may have heard that somewhere," said the blonde.
"Yeah, it's really apparent in 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro,' but it's also obvious in his other works."
"Oh," Erica said, "Why, do you like Hemingway?"
Marcelle shrugged, walking behind the bar and getting out the matches to light the kerosene.
"I like his writing, but I dislike his chauvinism and alcoholism." Marcelle stood on a chair to light the kerosene lamps above the bar mirror.
"Oh." Erica didn't seem interested.
"Yeah," and Marcelle didn't say more.
Evening shift was quiet, and to keep from feeling bitter, Marcelle thought of the ants. Once, during a lull in the appearance of customers, Erica had asked how Marcelle had ended up here, and why they'd never met her. Marcelle had laughed almost inaudibly.
"Oh, I've just been around," Marcelle said, "with no purpose or anything. It seems that going around and playing vigilante in the Digiworld didn't please that Queen Sonomi character, and with the way tyrants and dictators have, she sentenced me here. My sentence just seems to get longer and longer, but I really don't care. God, I love Greek mythology." With another laugh, Marcelle returned to bussing tables as a few more customers left, and a few more came in.
As the moon rose in the bleak night sky, Fennecmon became tired and began to trip over her feet as she swept and scrubbed the planks of the floor. Marcelle smiled once when Fennecmon fell. She rushed out from behind the bar and set her Digimon friend on her feet.
"Don't worry about it," she told the little dust-colored fox-styled digimon, "just do the best you can do, and be happy with what you did accomplish. After all, 'Man is condemned to be free. For once thrown into this world, he is responsible for everything he does.' " Marcelle patted Fennecmon's head. Fennecmon gazed up at the girl. Her brown eyes were large.
"That's sad," Fennecmon almost whimpered, picking up her rag. Marcelle smiled, and stood up.
"I, myself, find it comforting." She walked away to serve a Veggiemon.
"Your digidestined is strange," observed Cheekomon from behind Fennecmon. The fox-digimon turned to regard the cheetah digimon, standing in front of the double-doors to the kitchen.
"I know," Fennecmon smiled, "but she calls it 'afflicted.' "
"We're closin' shop!" Starmon hollered, and began to shoo out digimon. Marcelle smiled to herself, wiped down the bar one last time, then threw her rag in a bucket behind the bar that served as a laundry basket. She looked out the swinging doors into the dark. She shuddered. Although she once loved the night, now it was too black, and it seemed she frightened easily. There were times before she came to this bodega, alone with Fennecmon in forest areas, where every noise she heard made the redhead's adrenaline flow like mercury through her body. The girl, who normally only felt the cold, would feel the heat flush over her at such times, as if she were an old thermometer.
Marcelle had been thankful for the desert. She told Fennecmon when they reached the flat, open expanse of sand and cacti, "It gives me a peaceful, easy feeling. The desert always reminds me of the Eagles." Fennecmon had wondered why predatorial birds gave her such a feeling, and Marcelle had to explain the Eagles were a music group.
Marcelle pushed a lock of hair back from her face. There was a draft that brought the night cold into the warm air of the saloon. It made the redhead shiver. She welcomed the sensation, though. She welcomed it because it wasn't unnatural.
"But if only it was a clean, well-lighted place," she whispered. She waved goodnight to Erica and Cheekomon, and then reluctantly she left the saloon. With Fennecmon at her side, they walked next door to the apartment they shared. They climbed up stone steps in the adobe building until they reached the second floor landing, where there room was at.
Once inside, Marcelle turned on the electric light. It was one of those little round knobs with a switch that she always saw in old movies back on her home dimension. She smiled at the warm glow of the light bulb, bare and burning in the center of the ceiling. Such a nice change from the saloon. No matter how hard you cleaned that place, it was always filthy. Here it was nice. The floor was stone, and the walls were adobe. A small, square window with no pane or curtain stood alone on the wall opposite the door.
Marcelle watched Fennecmon slip underneath a torn black cape on top of a worn, blue velvet pillow that constituted the digimon's bed. Marcelle's bedroll was next to it. Neat and made for the day, one corner was turned down, so that Marcelle could slip in when sleepy.
Marcelle slipped out of her pumps and began to undo the sash at the back of the dress. As soon as the sash hung limply on either side of her hips, she unzipped the back and stepped out of the dress. She slid the dress onto a hangar, then hung it on the back of the door.
Standing before the window, silhouetted by the electric light, Marcelle knelt down before unclasping the clasps on her corset, removing it, and changing into her camisole. She then stood up, turned off the light, and walked over to her bed.
Marcelle finally slipped under the covers and rolled over to lie on her back. She stared up at the light bulb, hands behind her head. The bulb still was giving off heat. Marcelle knew tomorrow she would go back to the saloon, and she would work another day to receive another two weeks of punishment. She knew she'd come back the next day, and the next, knowing full well there would never be charity in any glass of milk she delivered. She knew she'd continue pushing the rock up the mountain, only to watch it continue to tumble down the other side.
Then there was Fennecmon, the cheery mischief-maker sentenced to an existentialist she never understood. A digimon who worked so hard with such loyalty deserved a better fate. Fennecmon didn't deserve to share Marcelle's burden. Neither did Erica or her Cheekomon, for that matter. Sisyphus's fate was for the arrogant, not those three. 'How many times can I survive this existence, seeing those three faces served injustice?' she asked herself. Marcelle turned over to lie on her side.
"I should be happy," she finally whispered to herself. "Many people must be unable to change things."
Author's Note: So, what did you think? Any comments would be greatly appreciated, especially constructive criticism, as I can use that to make my personal narratives, poetry, and fiction for LitMag ten times better! Um... this piece should stand on its own... that is all I can say. Yet, furthermore: there are some certain opinions I expect to hear on Marcelle, and it's not necessarily a bad thing. Don't be afraid to speak your mind on this, just please be rational about it. (I'm not saying you can't be negative, I'm saying no flames, please.)
Thank you for taking time to read this fic. You know, Erica and Cheekomon have grown on me like a fuzzy green mold. ^.^ Originally the two FDDs I had natural aversion to, this exercise has given me a chance to re-analyze these two. Fun stuff. Maybe I'll do a few more of these (not necessarily with Marcelle) for my own benefit.
So much for standing on its own. Jeez. ^.~