Shorty & Morty
An Extraordinary Homeless Couple
"My daddy told me if I ever lost my legs - to run for it - any way I could." EMF
Hollywood Boulevard - Day…
Peter was a young- homeless runaway who had two missions in life - first he took care of his rubberized blow-up temptress - Babes and then he wanted to emulate his hero – Jared - whose crazed obsessions invigorated Peter’s sense of worth. Babes - Peter’s girl - was no ordinary inflatable Judy or stuffed Teddy bear - she was Peter’s reason for living. Others on the street perceived Peter as slow - some called him a retard or stupid but most passersby dismissed him as just another twisted teen addict on the street – or a douche without a bag.
He protectively clung to his slippery girl as a toddler would to his pacifier. Babes was Peter's baby blanket and shield against perceived threats. She kept him warm on the iciest of eves in Hollywood’s coldest of hoods – the ones that appear Disney-like by day and Kafkaesque by night. He was a young man without a home or a family to turn to but Babes filled Peter with hope that every morning would be better than the day before – even if it wasn’t.
Peter had given up drugs after finding his first true love with a needle sticking out of her arm and her eyes frosted over. No ambulance sirens – no fanfare was made over Angie’s short life. She didn’t even make the local news stations but the homeless were aware that a sister had fallen. Her remains were quietly picked up as police stood around and joked with paramedics from the local fire department. Peter had watched her go and decided that no matter how brutal his past had been at home – he would find a love that lasted and nurtured him. Babes became the object of his affection and they had been together for well over a year. Peter wore a fake lip ring to fit in with the other homeless teens but mostly avoided contact.
Peter watched Celine (Shorty) being carted off in an ambulance with her screaming dwarf boyfriend - Morty - left behind. Peter’s attention span was like a doorknob – left unturned he wandered around in a bubble – he was oblivious to his surroundings. Once rotated – Peter’s retention was without fault. He excitedly whispered into Babes’ ear that Jared would be extra happy to know that Morty was without Shorty – making the dwarf an easier target to get to and now Peter would finally gain acceptance into Jared’s seedy world once he relayed such precious information. Jared could seize the opportunity to enact his revenge on him for a previous encounter which left Jared dazed and humiliated.
Neither condition did he tolerate well.
Hollywood Census Worker’s office…
Mr. Weldon – the social worker who worked with Hollywood’s homeless had yet to diagnose Peter’s dysfunction but he often wondered if the word on the street that Peter was autistic might be true. He was a Hollywood Census Updater who took his job as seriously as a dog would a fire hydrant.
This was Peter’s day to sit across from Mr. Weldon as countless others had previously. Peter and Babes were hailed from the street for the required interview as he strode past Mr. Weldon's office. The social worker pulled out paperwork from his archaic filing cabinet – popped open a soda as Peter sat talking to Babes – trying to explain they would go to Jared later. Mr. Weldon smiled and popped open a snack bag of chips. He was ready to obtain information.
In the county ER…
Meanwhile - back at the hospital - Celine was fighting with orderlies in the hospitals hallway who were removing her makeshift crutch and mannequin legs. The legs were a symbol more than they’re obvious purpose. They were devotedly created by the love of her life – Morty - whose dedication and love for Celine knew no limits. She wasn’t about to part with her legs.
"What are you looking at? Haven’t you ever seen a woman with no legs?" Celine angrily questioned.
A man - dressed in a white coat - stopped by the melee to see what the disruption was all about and with one glance he was mesmerized by Celine. "Yes I have, but it’s more about my perception of someone or something like you. Think of it like coming across a rare piece of art. When you first see it, you're perplexed because you have nothing to compare it to. You might think of it as odd but as you keep looking at it you realize that there is something special about it. Then you realize it's just something beautiful in and of itself. It's something genuine and pure and it's worth admiring.” The physician’s assistant interrupted.
No one had ever spoken such loving words to Celine -with the possible exception of Morty.
His smile was slow and genuine as he untied the straps that bound Celine. His large green eyes hypnotized her with hopes of freedom until she felt the prick of a needle inch into her arm. All trust flushed out of her as the ceiling and other ER occupants began to swirl like a bad day at a gypsy circus. Soon - her head filled with images of puppets and marionettes while elephants screeched by. Celine tried to call out for Morty - but found her mouth went dry and then - the lights went out.
To be continued…
I love these characters, their Krazytown nieghorhoods they reside in with the other misfits, tourists and has been or wannabe - "bluebloods." This journeys beyond the films or the in-character interviews. I hope they will bring you as much pleasure as I had creating them!