Geoffrey Long


The Kingdom is the story of two brothers living on the West Coast. The younger brother, in San Francisco, has fallen in with a group of guerrilla artists who take the "guerrilla" bit a tad too far. The older brother, in Seattle, is trying to get over his ex-girlfriend and failing miserably. When the younger brother gets into trouble and heads up the coast to seek refuge, chaos ensues.

Work in Progress

This is where I'm posting excerpts as I'm going along, so keep in mind that everything on this page is very Rough Draft. --G


Chapter 4


Highway 212

San Francisco, California


Dear Molly,

           Christ. I know I haven’t written to you in a long, long time, and I’m sorry. I’m sorry I disappeared like that, and I know I must have driven you crazy, and if I get out of this I swear I’ll make the trip to come up and see you and Rafe and Mom…

           Right. Oh, God, sis, I wish you could be here right now. On second thought, no I don’t. I’m not sure I’d want you to see me like this. Truth is, sis, I think I may have fucked things up, big time. Maybe I’d better explain.

           I’m in San Francisco. Well, actually, I’m writing this as I’m riding across town in a van. This guy named Leo’s driving, and this other guy named Patrick’s riding shotgun and staring out the window. I’m riding in the seat directly behind Leo, and jotting all of this own as best as I can in that streelight strobe-light thing.

           Shit. I’m getting this all fucked up. Right. I guess I’m writing to you because I’m scared, and if something goes wrong tonight I wanted to make sure I left behind some written record of what was going through my mind. And if anyone else happens to read this (Rafe, this includes you), well, then I hope it makes it a little easier for you to understand why I did it.

            Right. I met Leo about a year ago. He’s crazy, but, in his own words, it“comes and goes.” Most people would consider that lucky, but since Leo wants to be an artist too, and since he claims he can only create when he’s insane, it’s kind of a bitch. I guess I didn’t tell you that part, huh? When I dropped out of UCLA, I knew Rafe would kick my ass, so I decided to lay low in San Fran for a while. That’s when I decided I wanted to be an artist. It’s hard not to want to be an artist in San Fran, ‘cause they’re everwhere down here, and they’re all set for life. They’re rich bastards, designers camping out down in Sausalito and selling their stuff to museums and to advertising companies and to rich bitches who live up in Silicon Valley with their software mogul sugar daddies. They’re all rich, and we, the guerilla underartists, are by and large majorly fucked.

            It’s like this, see -- it’s the whole Kingdom concept, you know? When the King takes power, he kills off all his opposition, or he makes sure that his opposition can’t come to power on their own. That’s the kind of Machiavellian bullshit that’s been going down down here in California. Leo’s uncle’s a Duke -- an artist who works for Theodore Hart, the King. You know Hart? Guy kept showing up on the cover of Fortune a couple of years ago, because he owns WetWorks Limited, this fucking huge content-creation company. WetWorks is basically an artists’ union of sorts, for real honest-to-god artists, not just silicon jockeys. That’s the illusion, anyway -- they were all once starving artists from Sausalito or Soho before they sold out to WetWorks. Now WetWorks pulls all the strings in the galleries down in this part of town, and so you get these galleries carrying the work of all these electric artists, and all the tourists and major corporate people come down and see the work up on walls and feel better about either shelling out all the bucks to WetWorks for their WWW pages in the first place, or feel better about shelling out even more money for the work of real honest-to-God ARTISTS, and you know they have to be artists because they have their work in GALLERIES.

            Did that make any sense?

            The problem is, the same galleries are all under the thumb of Big-Fucking-King Hart, and never mind the fact that the only way to get art up in this town anymore is to be a part of WetWorks, the great kingdom of WetWorks, the greatest and most glorious kingdom under God, and God’s name now is Ted Hart.

            I‘m sorry. Sometimes all of this sets me off, you know? And I’m freaking out, because this van’s heading straight for WetWorks’ el primo gallery, La Luna Bleu, which is run by Leo’s uncle. Problem is, the uncle doesn’t know we’re coming. See, this guy Patrick, in the passenger seat? He’s the head of this kind of guerrilla underground, these guys whose mission in life is to terrorize Hart and WetWorks, “fighting back against the regime” or some such bullshit. I’m still not sure how I got myself into this – Leo and I were chatting on Internet Relay Chat, and then this other guy came in that Leo knew, and Leo introduced us. That was Patrick. We got talking about art and this whole WetWorks shit, and when Patrick found out that WetWorks turned my stuff down (bitch, isn’t it?) he invited me on this little raid thing. I don’t know – I must have been all hopped up on something, but I said yes.

So here I am, dressed in the darkest shit I’ve got, with a backpack full of paint and mail-order-special night vision glasses. Leo’s uncle has a new exhibit opening tomorrow, and Hart himself will be cutting the ribbon. And tomorrow, if you look real close, the work of some guerrilla artists will be there, too, if you know where to look.

            At least that’s the plan. Molly, I’m scared shitless. Yeah, I do wish you were here. I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking, or how the fuck I’m getting out of this. I know what you’d say, Mol, you’d tell me to go look up Rafe. But you know how things are between the two of us these days. I can’t do that, no matter how much I’d like to. For once, Big Brother isn’t watching, and I don’t want to think about what he’d do when he found out Little Brother’s up to his neck in serious shit.

            God, Molly. I wish you hadn’t died on us. I wish I could send this letter.

            I wish I wasn’t alone.

            Shit, we’re there. Gotta go --

                                                                                                            -- Tom