The Adverb Factory
by Steve Levandoski
“Quickly!” said renowned author Ida Rosenbalm as she helped Dedris Bêcheur, her editor since 1963, lover since 1965, and legal wife since 2015, duck under the automatic garage door to the Adverb Factory.
Decked out in black sweatsuits and skull caps, the ladies pulled Ida’s walker underneath the door just before it closed. They were inside!
“Carefully!” said Dedris, as they navigated past boxes and boxes of –ly’s.
The tennis balls on the feet of the walker made a muted thump as the two shuffled their way to the security office. They prayed that it would be empty, having phoned the night guard away using a made-up family emergency.
“Completely!” said Ida as she double checked the last camera monitor.
They were alone. Dedris needed to take a break on a big black pleather chair for a couple minutes. Her final dose of chemo had done her in.
“Almost!” said Dedris after they made their way to the boiler room that converted liquid Abverberon™ into words that describe the actions of verbs. Idris rustled through her NPR tote bag and pulled out a small thermos that they had bought on their vacation to Dollywood. That’s where they had met the nice survivalist couple who loved to talk guns, bombs, and libertarianism. She smeared its contents onto the boiler.
“Generously!” said Dedris as she snatched the container of C4 explosives from her partner’s hands, just like she did manuscripts.
Ida didn’t put up a fight today. Instead she pulled out a necklace, placed it around her partner’s neck. Then she set the timer that was fashioned out of an old alarm clock for two minutes.
Dedris held up the necklace, put it around Ida’s neck, and read aloud the inscription on the pendant. “Always!”
Tears streamed down both of their faces as they held hands and looked into each other’s eyes. Then, giggling, each produced an airline size bottle of champagne from their pockets, poured it into regulation sized flutes, drained them, and smashed the empty glasses against the wall. The clock ticked down. “5-4-3-2 . . .”
“Finally!” they both screamed.
The blast took down the whole factory with them inside. They completed their mission and the world was without adverbs, Dedris, Ida, or her necklace.
Steve Levandoski has written for The Antihumanist and The Oddville Press and runs Next In Line Magazine. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Lisa, and their pug, Phil Collins. Steve likes most dogs more than he likes most people, which suits most dogs and most people just fine. If you find him roaming the streets off-leash, please do not chase.