“Somethin’ ’bout you makes me feel like a dangerous woman…”
Writers Max Martin, Ross Golan, Johan Jens Erik Carlsson
from Dangerous Woman performed by Ariana Grande.
The latex bunny rabbit suit complete with matching mask and ears made her at once seem totally ridiculous and incredibly sexy. Anybody who had ever wanted to fuck Babs Bunny definitely wanted to screw this Ariana wannabe…that is until she pulled the 12mm Uzi from behind her back and started firing into the crowd of fellow cosplayers, celebrities, and comic book fans.
The instant she depressed the trigger, the chorus to “Dangerous Woman” started blaring over the loudspeakers throughout the main floor of the Boise Centre on the Grove convention center, providing musical accompaniment to murder.
She emptied six twenty-two round magazines into the crowd and managed to kill over sixty people and wounded thirty-eight more before escaping out an emergency exit. Police traced the spent magazines, scattered among the dead, to an online firearms broker headquartered near Atlanta, Georgia.
It’s hard to believe it’s been just five months since the Manchester Arena terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 22 young fans at Ariana Grande’s concert.
A month after the tragedy, Grande returned to the city for a benefit concert to help the bombing’s victims and families before continuing on her worldwide Dangerous Woman tour.
The bravery, determination and resilience the 24-year-old showed in the weeks to follow was remarkable. But despite the smiles and flawless vocals on stage, the singer’s healing was far from over.
‘I don’t think I’ve been through anything as traumatic as [what] we’ve been through,’ she explained in a recent interview with Coveteur.
Discussing the reason why she wanted to continue her tour, she said: ‘Calling it off and going home was not an option.
‘The message of the show was too important. For the crew and everyone involved, it’s become more than just a show for us. We are really grateful to be here and really grateful for this show.’
Ariana Grande Opens Up About Healing Following ‘Traumatic’ Manchester Terrorist Attack
by Katie O’Malley – 6 October 2017
“You know dear heart, maybe you’d get more mileage out of your resistance movement if you’d pull a real “Ariana” and try to help people rather than slaughtering them.”
Franky had been with her since the beginning. They’d both lost someone and they both couldn’t stand the thought of going to memorials, giving testimonials, planting flowers, contributing to quilts, and otherwise doing nothing while thousands upon thousands needlessly died each year. However, Maggie’s body count was beginning to rival even the most rabid terrorist, mass shooter, or serial killer.
“Fuck you, Franky. We both know sitting on our thumbs doesn’t do shit. No one takes you seriously unless you’re lethal.”
“Oh and you’re that, gorgeous. You are a dangerous woman.”
“And I plan to stay dangerous. Now come here and help me alter my next costume. My ass will never fit into this skinny little thing.”
She’d killed forty-seven at the Alamo City Comic Con, sixty-two in Boise, only seventeen in Baltimore because her Uzi jammed (she almost didn’t get away that time) and nearly a hundred in Chicago. Dragon Con in Atlanta was her next target. The “Dangerous Woman” killer was on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted list which she considered a badge of honor. Maggie Garrett was going in loaded for proverbial bear this time. The Comic Cons had all installed state-of-the-art metal detectors and body scanners, but Maggie was always ahead of the curve.
The current cosplay character always went heavily armed and every piece of equipment she was carrying was made out of carbon fiber. Everything she couldn’t carry was being shipped in ahead of time and stored as backup hardware for the electrical and sound systems. As always, she’d get inside the day before the event posing as one of the vendors and at the height of the activity, she would suddenly appear in character and then disappear leaving a trail of blood and slowly cooling corpses behind her.
“I must say, I think you’re going to out do yourself this time, Maggie. How many in the audience this year?”
“Probably more than eighty-thousand. Hey, watch it with those pins.”
“Sorry, sweetheart. Art doesn’t come without pain.”
“Neither does murder, boyfriend.”
As Franky kept on working on the costume alterations, Maggie mentally retreated into her private Hell. She had been a sophomore at Boston University on 14 December 2012. She had just walked out of her English Lit class when her cell rang.
“What the fuck does Mom want now?” Maggie was late meeting Shakina and the others for their Chemistry study group, but Mom was paying the freight so she’d better answer.
“Hi Mom,” she put on her most cheerful good girl voice. Then she listened. She stopped walking, dropped her backpack and listened some more. Maggie fell to her knees and started crying. “No, Mommy. Not my little Kimmie. Please, no. Oh Mommy, no.”
Maggie’s Mom had remarried ten years ago and had baby Kimmie with her Step-Dad. She was only six years old when she was shot to death along with nineteen other first graders by Adam Lanza with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School in her hometown of Newtown, Connecticut.
Everyone thought Maggie was a spoiled and pampered little brat who didn’t care about anything or anyone except herself, but her half-sister Kimmie was her entire world. Since the day the little “rug rat” had been born, Maggie loved her and doted on her and would do anything for her. The only thing Maggie couldn’t do was trade places so that she would die and Kimmie would have a chance to live.
No one cared. Everyone made all kinds of nice noises, but the killings kept happening. People with guns, dangerous people, they were the only ones anyone paid the slightest attention to. Now she was a dangerous woman and they were going to listen or she would keep killing until they did. The day she found it impossible to buy one more rifle, shotgun, handgun, or any ammunition for them was the day she’d finally win. If they wanted to put her in prison forever after that, it didn’t matter.
Harley Quinn appeared with a painted smile, a luscious low-cut top barely restraining her “C cup” boobs, carrying a long-handled hammer and twin Glock 19 machine pistols onto the main floor of Dragon Con. Dozens of cell phone cameras were produced and she, along with the other A level cosplayers, were immortalized digitally. Maggie played along like the rest of them while casually positioning herself where she could generate the maximum number of casualties while also having a quick escape route right behind her.
She’d added a new detail to her game this time. Sixty seconds after she was out the fire exit, four explosives would detonate simultaneously, two near the main exits since everyone would be trying to get away, one on the main platform where most of the celebrities would be hiding behind podiums and tables, and one in the generator room to kill the lights and add to the panic.
The hammer concealed a 12-gauge autoloader she’d use to start the fun. The minute she pressed the trigger, her theme song would start screaming all over the complex and then the “dangerous woman” would once again get the attention of the world.
“Murder and mayhem in three, two, one…” She muttered under her breath, pointed the “hammer” into the crowd, and then.
“Somethin’ ’bout you makes me feel like a dangerous woman
Somethin’ ’bout, somethin’ ’bout, somethin’ ’bout you
Makes me wanna do things that I shouldn’t
Somethin’ ’bout, somethin’ ’bout, somethin’ ’bout”
For a second or two, everyone was confused about the Ariana Grande song playing over the speakers, but then thousands started screaming and running expecting to die in the next minute or so.
However none of them did.
Maggie kept pulling the trigger but nothing happened. Then the music died.
“Damnit!” She dropped her primary weapon and reached back for the Glocks.
“Maggie Garrett. Atlanta Police. You are under arrest.”
Strong arms restrained and then disarmed her. She hadn’t noticed that Batman, Sailor Moon, Wonder Woman, The Hulk, and Han Solo had moved in behind her. Then a dozen more conventionally uniformed officers rushed in as backup with a whole bunch more acting as crowd control to keep the audience from trampling each other.
Five years later, Francis “Franky” King visited the person in Federal prison that he’d betrayed. He had been the key witness against her testifying in return for six months in prison and ten years probation. She’d gotten Life plus twenty-five.
“I’ve exhausted all of my appeals you cocksucker. You mind telling me now why you did it? Nothing’s changed. I’m in here and monsters with guns are still out there. You remember. Monsters like Omar Mateen who fucking murdered forty-nine people at The Pulse on June 12th, 2016 including the man you had married just two months before? You said you wanted revenge, asshole. How are you going to get it now?”
“Oh God Maggie, if there had been some other way, I’d have taken it. You know that. But I just couldn’t…just couldn’t…”
Franky started to tear up. He clenched his fists and pursed his lips trying to regain control.
“Okay, I get it. You can emote with the best of them. That doesn’t change the fact that you turned on me like a poisonous snake, you dog screwer.”
“You’ve got it all wrong, Maggie. I was trying to save you.”
“By making sure I’d be put in a cage for the rest of my life? Nice saving, Franky.”
“Maggie, we both hated gun violence. We hated what it did to us and what it did to the people we loved.”
“Yes, I loved Kimmie and she’d dead and now a thousand Kimmies will die too because I’m not out there protecting them.” She realized that screaming would get her visitor’s privileges revoked and they’d probably toss her butt in solitary again, so she tried to lower her voice.
“That’s just it, Maggie. You weren’t protecting anyone. You were killing them. How many kids do you think died at those conventions? How many Moms and Dads? You weren’t defending gun violence victims, you were creating them. I saw the look on your face as you were cleaning your rifles and shotguns. You weren’t some grim Batman avenger reliving your pain every time you stopped the bad guys. You enjoyed killing, Maggie. You enjoyed it so much, you’d have kept killing no matter what. You had to be stopped so I stopped you.”
“Betraying fucker. If I ever get out of here, I’m going to peel you like a grape. A quick gunshot to the head is too good for you. I’m going to roast your nuts over a slow fire. You’d better hope they can keep me in here, because if I ever get the chance…”
“Time’s up, Garrett.” Two burly guards came up on either side of Maggie. She slammed the receiver back onto its hook on her side of the plexiglass barrier, mouthed “fuck you” to Franky and gave him the finger. The guards each took an arm, hauled her out of her seat, and she half-walked and was half-dragged out of the room.
Frank King stood up, tears slowly trickling down both cheeks, turned and walked away. This was the last time he would ever see Maggie Garrett alive. Two months later, she would commit suicide by hanging herself with her bed sheets.
Three years ago, he’d founded a Gun Victim’s Trauma Center in Tampa. Maybe he couldn’t stop the violence or save the world, but he could do his best to help one person at a time. He’d never be dangerous, but in a dangerous and terrifying world, that wasn’t the answer.
“He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby becomes a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”
I wrote this for the #LyricalFictionFriday writing challenge hosted by Simply Marquessa. The idea is to use the featured lyric from a song or another lyric from the same song as the inspiration for creating a piece of fiction or other creative work.
The lyric for December 21st is “I’m locked and loaded…completely focused…my mind is open…”
I don’t normally explore the entire song or the artist involved when I write for this challenge, but when I plugged the lyric into Google and saw the cover for the “Dangerous Woman” album, I was naturally intrigued. I’ve heard of Ariana but that’s about it (she’s 24, I’m 63, so chances are we have little in common). But I listened to the entire song on YouTube and had to admire Ariana’s singing ability.
Of course, I have little interest in crafting a traditional romantic story, but the idea of a costumed “dangerous woman” brought another theme to mind. I don’t like to write about “social causes” because let’s face it, everyone does it. It’s overdone and it’s preachy and what more could I say that someone else hasn’t already said better?
But the “bunny rabbit” got the better of me, so I went ahead and created Maggie, Franky, and all of their pain. I was still writing when I decided that Maggie had fallen over the edge and become just like the killers she was trying to stop. She figured that if she created enough gun violence, eventually the government would have to create a strong enough set of gun control laws to stop her. But by then, she was never going to stop. She liked the thrill of murder too much and it was the only thing that masked her grief and the horror of her six-year-old half-sister’s death.
Franky understood her because he experienced the same kind of pain, but he was removed enough to see what it had done to her. In the end, he had to save Maggie from herself and from becoming the enemy she was battling against. As you saw, it was already too late. She had irredeemably fallen into the abyss from which there is no return. Franky’s redemption was to keep himself from falling and learn how to fly again.
To read other stories based on the prompt, go to #LyricalFictionFriday