By Lucus Anthony Ren
Lucus Anthony Ren
© 2017, Lucus Anthony Ren
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher. Limit of Liability and Disclaimer of Warranty: The author / publisher has used its best efforts in preparing this book, and the information provided herein is provided “as is,” and makes no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaims any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose and shall in no event be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damage, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.
For those who can proclaim, “I ain’t not right.”
As we do with our lives of course there are errors. I ran the usual checks. I write in my own style, objectivity, often included in part of the short as sort narrative. No need to explain why. If you are pejorative in nature you’ll do fine here. It has to be said the admiration goes to my wife Beixi who can live with this.
I believe I heard someone say something, in a way. And it was in this way I learned I was insane probably from birth. Because I didn’t think in any other way, and it was as long as I remembered, that last 39 years. Almost 40. It was 1974, and fear took hold. I’ll finish the story. Mind you I’m not exaggerating. Just I wouldn’t want to understand. I’d be happy to die not knowing the full details.
That sort of love which hung low, and stank of wet cats. How could we possibly go on?
Water used on the plants had an effect causing great excitement. ‘Holy shit what you are feeding your plants?’ drew attention toward the vegetation, further stimulating them. Bottles filled with broken egg shells sunk in water gave off an odour stopping the mind.
I remembered inasmuch before she came to fill them full keeping the stench down. I didn’t get around to that. As far as I knew the eggs had done their work though. If they could talk, some would feel a great deal more comfortable. Others would loose their mind. But as nature works, it wasn’t about to communicate with fictional Anthropic apes such as ourselves infesting its world, any more then it absolutely had to. It flowered when it wanted, produced what we learned to eat, and then died. Sort of human in a way.
I missed the appointment she and I had made because that’s how I am. I forget easily. And rearrange them thinking they are correct and in order, when that could not be further than the truth.
She wasn’t angry. She knew of my issues and dealt with them. Those unaware simply got in the way of life and all you could think of was wishing a grand curse on, and all that surrounded them. There was nothing worse than getting in the way. And she knew this. It was the reason she didn’t let me go out too often. Like some drink to just do it, I did to lose it. That edge walking with me constantly whispering, wanting only recognition in that fact I was on the way out, bore into my brain like hungry beetles such you see on the bottom of the glass after drinking from the cup of life. Jesus what mutant ends am I onto now with them swirling about!
Indeed, I forgot misplaced time or some abstract sense of understanding what the hell I was doing and why frogs kept climbing out of the kitchen sink at night. Every goddamn morning I’d stumble in seeing their eyes watching my every move. How I’d rather follow an old dog peeing on the floor due to bladder control problems then this circus. Now I understand why construction workers party that way. Taking issues off the mind. What remaining mind always loved her, yet cursed with a growing volume in my head, I wasn’t able to render my cause. She realized this would always stay with me.
What natural selection provided for nature, why didn’t it work all the way through leaving intermittent artificial screw-ups? What’s the plan here from the start of all this? Sperms hit eggs, pollen flies. Things die. Two things sure-fire, sex and food. When all fails these will carry, same as social networking rules primate minds. Things you don’t really want to question too much about.
So what’s the difference between natural and artificial selection? Whether the difference in reproductive success is driven by naturally occurring processes, or whether the selection is imposed by humans. Does this mean humans aren’t natural? Well, if you look at the common expression honestly speaking, saying those words appears that whatever just said (before those words) wasn’t completely true. Honestly speaking provokes considerable discussion from describing the word as manipulative suggesting it implies the speaker’s honesty is actually in doubt. So that’s nature? Do monkeys say that?
Monkey 1: Oh I love playing with myself. Honestly speaking it not the same though.
Monkey 2: Screw this.
I thought long about this along with other issues. How to better my procrastination art form topped the list. A close second, how far I could walk while farting, one continuous expulsion. True, diet plays a key role along with constriction. Too much at once and the balloon takes flight. Keep the hole tight. There’s physics here, be careful. And look to see what she was watching . Sometimes listening, she was enough in understanding you can have an orgasm without touching yourself. It struck me the first time I heard this sort of weird literary paradox, it actually is a correct form of English. Just one I wasn’t used to dealing with much. She asked during our first time meeting if I yawned while I slept. My eyes hurt while thinking through that.
I enjoyed her chatter, listening to all sorts of events she had experienced and her list of systems having no sense at all for their usage so why have them. For example the word exactly. She informed me it is a word to prove a point, but no point has actually proven. It usually ends an argument as the other person would much like to avert any further absurdity that could lead to their own confusion. This of course is what the first person had in mind. It was non-stop with those she knew well. You couldn’t get a word out of her when in the company of strangers though. I was on the other end often talking with any person, place, and thing in range. This inflicting illness caused great concern as my brain never stopped. She said when put on the ground I never first walked, must have run head-first into the walls and loved the dents they caused now clearly viewable on its bald surface.
We laughed at the craziness the world offered, realizing unto ourselves; it’s the greatest show on earth. The madness, lone aperture we all have about this place drives what born-given senses out into the open land mine, fair hunting grasslands. The thought of your content cat lazily cleaning itself on sunny Sunday afternoons didn’t fit into any previous worth, until you heard that click arming the mine you just stepped on. Very true the statement, things change fast. But does the mind really know this? Let’s say you’re sitting there and suddenly book a flight to a far off land. Afterwards you don’t recall very well the exact moment or reasoning as to why this occurred. How much thought is just in this fashion? Do genes have their hands in this? We know sexually activity drive can blind. Our tunneled sight of desire demands we act goddamn quickly less our mind explode leaving limpness for the recess play time. We have the growing excite in wanting of seeing a film we’ve longed for, yet a few minutes into it and we feel God has changed, and walking out afterwards thinking there is a hell and I just left it.
We became part of all that. Even walking the naked beaches could not save our souls. Our sight brightened by first light, now near blind falling towards the road-kill life showed in its hallucinatory way, descending into the trap of working for others, not for your own. Bringing that daily bread home. Be so thankful for what ‘they’ give you. Those employing reapers, terrified of life itself negotiating others, biding their will. Convenient slavery. And we were damn well against that! For us it was doing or not live. Yet as madness has it, tardy, leaking through, then deluged. We discussed issues at length with soft force, but seeing adaptation meant compromise there came the call. She couldn’t sleep. Mentioning this several nights she simply laid there watching nothing. Waiting. This night she had a dream. Her eyes changed to grey and while talking her tongue grew spikes. Spikes, I said? Yes. She stood surrounded by people in the dream and started smiling. And the teeth had holes in them. Rotting holes. In a sand storm. I said it’s because dear you haven’t been sleeping well. She whispered, ‘We can never have enough of nature, for mystery and madness reveals the soul.’ Two days later the light went out.
I developed phantom smells. My face hurt. Thinking it’s a by-product of work till stepping off the bus on the way home I mentioned the smell of death was everywhere. Jesus, I smelled it often but now with the wine I had to say it. Normally, I keep things in forever. Brought up not to complain as there are many worse off than you, I had a high tolerance. A ‘mother’ attitude for animals. I had this for people too although I see them more as an infection now. She mentioned the fact there was no smell and maybe I had too much to drink. Nonsense. I had five glasses of fine red Sauvignon well below my limit for loss of motor control, and had eaten. I could tell she was spicy tonight as the conversations with her were short. I simple told her I had this for a while leaving it there. The symptoms were with me for months. The surgeon told me it was a chronic sinus infection I’d had three years or more, reason for the phantom life and facial implosion as the growths developing in the nasal passages and sinus cavities filled causing pressure and extreme oxygen restriction.
It was worst when horizontal on the back. You felt the face being pulled down through the mattress. This night was no different. The next day I saw the surgeon, whose prognoses the sinus was indeed full and required intervention. I took the papers he gave me, and met her in the waiting room. In reading them her sly way changed, her body weight shifting one side to the other. She then sat; her leg began quivering indicating unrest. He writes you have growths in your nose to be surgically removed, and the sinus scraped, she said.
I went home alone while she visited a friend and would collect the prescribed medication required after surgery. A few hours later she came in smiling. I sat there watching her when directly behind I noticed a women like a shadow on her. The twins moved across the room toward me, bent down and kissed me. As she lifted the twin lingered a fraction then smiled through green eyes and holy teeth. Close the eyes and lay-back. Relax. Think of sweet times. The ageing 85 year old Golden Retriever who also farts. Leaning back into the soft cushions in the sofa knowing it’s from over-work, tension issues, banks, crap on TV, and nothing invented worth a damn since fire, I dozed off.
Sleep took hold. With it a dream. The sky blacked-red, dust clouds of thick puss flowed over low hills. I was back in the desert where I grew up. In high school. Running some race on the track. And in the field naked classmates. I often think why should we have cloths? Then how would sex change the hunt? Running around the track the crowd rotated always faced me. I stopped. The dust puss closing in. I stepped onto the field wanting to walk towards them then pulled up for what came next I needed a moment. Now, in today’s age most of us have seen some pretty goddam bizarre things, participated in ludicrous events. As I’d taken that second step onto the field the puss cloud rose over those classmates and started dropping thick chunks of flesh upon them. This being over half the full length of the field away, I could hear them whispering, could feel the heat of their breaths, for in that whispering I knew weren’t kisses, for in that whispering carried a sound not ever heard with earthly ears.
The thought woke me, realizing I participated in many a-foul ideas gone mad, I knew she was able in quieting my inanimate side. Like an animal left with a mountain of food before it, I’d eat till I falling over dead, in pushing the mind and body at any angle, and meet angulus. At full speed. And try to make that turn in consequence of the fact, there are things brought for us we will never understand.
Had I know it was going to be like this, I’d have taken considerably more alcohol and drug to better combat the situation.
Aged twelve, full of hormones he dove off the spring board into the waterless pool. He woke up the night before, shivered thinking ‘Christ, Jesus will they find out..?’ And they’d be damn hungry for his ass too. My God, they could talk, hands waving, standing in a circle scratching rashly-skin. Was he, the genetically enfeebler they thought, a maddened coach of once winners, now unemployed chugging drugs in back allies. ‘Shud-upza really goud!’ the Boss yelled. ‘Ve needs deza boyza backa’. His English was spoken for reasons none of them spoke one another mother tongue. Hand movements, body gestures, facial tics filled in the blanks. Many expelled their intestinal gasses adding aggravation to an already very nervous state. Their circle drew in. The Boss spoke lowering his fatacouse accent with the old dungeons wet walls suppressing their last fresh air. ‘Vez dunta vant Pholco ta vind him versts. Bisquinit is gooda, BUT no vorget I gotta da ballza! Nuw makea I good, get da fat fuck here alive!!’ And they vanished.
Fear being the normal response of all animals when faced with the prospect of death, pain, the fact that humans know about their death in advance has a tendency to change things a little. In a word, it makes us paranoid, and so singling out fat people for any reason whatsoever should be socially damnable as racism, so where does fat acceptance fit here? Well, in his panicky wandering thoughts being discovered and driven head first into a waterless, cemented and very deep, in fact a limitlessly pit, with Pholco laughs following him, his appraisal of fat acceptance delivered through several doctrines, including: (X) it’s somehow simpler or more admirable to try to force all of society in amending its standards of health and beauty, rather than reducing kilos; (Y) our legal system should provide an antidote for every conceivable wrong; and (Z) a minuet per cent of fat people deteriorate from disorders which keep them bovine despite sensible nutritional therapy and an active lifestyle, all obese people should be seen as helpless to exude even an ounce of their weight. To date, the greatest achievement in this movement is establishing it is unethical for doctors under most circumstances to tell patients that they are thickset and need to lose the bulked. Insofar this has increased spending, taxes leading to surgical and chemical on a radical scale used to treat obesity-related chronic conditions. Here of course where dietary and lifestyle changes would be both less invasive and a lot cheaper, the movement is primarily sterile. It simply indicates the successful managerial tactics the movement employed, consequently including an extremist delimitate what healthy eating and lifestyle habits are. With that he fell back asleep smiling.
Let’s face it. If he’d known the truth, he would be rotting in prison cells from Prague to Rio. Truth in its way, was a commodity of peacocks’ screaming in the night. Where mowing the grass was dealt with grit. Now only arrested limp emotions roam hallways. No respect. No need for alertness. Only being acceptable as long as it’s interesting. And it’s the volume. Jesus, it’s scary. Like going into the 25th inning of a baseball game thinking what the fuck am I doing here?
That shitty twelve year old was out and lose. He should have been restrained on the highway. Chained. Buzzards fighting over his sweetly bits. The collective telegrams arrived from hyenas latter. They waited at pool side barely able to hold on as booze bottles trafficked from glasses chiming with their ice song singing away…‘It puzzles me while you’re still alive’. It’s awkward having to deal with them.
In entering their circle you felt the meter drop. They sucked the balance out causing little tornados forming around their mouths. For sober people this was frightening to watch. Those not, had little problem understanding the physics of these rodent twisters. By not indulging, must have driven them mad with defiance in witnessing not just the acts of such devils but their copulation and fornicated demands. Some were used to such sights. Before bouts of meeting and drinking, these fiends where the best in their works of hunt and deceive. Deprivation had its master and by God it was cadaverous!
Editing my thoughts had no purpose when meeting. They looked at you with that great measuring stick. Command. And they were lazy without a good fight. A good war. Their last took twenty years to end. The enemy vanquished. They voted on the lesser of two evils because it was set up that way. It was their raged that tapped into the vain. And God almighty that’s the thing. Facing your own dry rot!
One always had to be on guard around this Don Quixotism. They had their way and you better respect it. With a love for endurance anchoring the brain, their pace set running with refills of 40 proof humping that true tale. The rest simply stood pissing wanting to join, but hadn’t the balls. What waist humanity would’ve become if this fine-hard running group hadn’t steeped in belching, ‘I’m a politician!’
Nearing this group was no different from watching your bare foot bitten by rattle snakes. And helpless to move out of their way. But what about those tourists on the other side of the pool? What they must have thought seeing that party of their own dead-selves and a stranger approaching the mass, in short Bordeaux tinted paints and Straw Hat. Had they known it was wore on the count to keeping not the sun out of the eyes, but the Straw of the head cooking would send them onto another question of why hadn’t they done coke when it was cheaper? Little did that matter now. Those tourist times were up. They’d soon pass away back in their conditioned residences wanting the Great Dream to survive. No matter what.
Their circle opened and we slid in. The sun was hot and damn the Straw Hat worked well. A drink was handed to us singing away. We smiled, and they returned. There was no need for words here. All knew the facts and simply wanted to express in drowning our thoughts before the flight. Glasses lifted, silent toasts made; we drank the table dry and turned away. This all done in seconds it takes for ice to melt on 120 degree asphalt. Because work had to be done, science waited for no one and the twelve year old had a short time left. And this kid was not to walk away.
Looking back then we hadn’t the notion of what the time meant. It was just a year before. We weren’t from here. No one knew us. If a lizard screwing assess was in the government what did it matter? We’d given up on change. That great idea. Sight for us focused on critical events other than washing machines and Moon shots. We stayed tuned listening through clammer towards where there was that opening. What did we know or care of changed the more we listened. And goddamn there were serious noises to contend with. What lunatic went out ranting some soft drink adds ‘life’? Shoot the bastard and his prime membership to whatever fucking club he jerks-off with.
At hand where more important elements at stake. That damn vampire needed trimming and we were ready! To hell with coffee we’d sober on the way to her place our minds function well without. No need to over-load. Keep the point sharp and those true racial bastards would sing as it rammed home in their dark holes. The Holies knew when they created us; we’d screw everything up in a very short time so in their huddle, thoughts of our doomed inheritance made way for a more daring experiment. Need of a better place than this.
With The Holies behind we marched forth knowing after here there was another place needed signing on. And if we found the twelve years of stupidity before eaten dry, probably nothing remaining but a wish of having sold his farts to a worthier mandate then just storing them in jars, later, springing open on rejected twin-friends under thick blankets, it’s understood in fact as in life there are cookies with no preservatives and those high-rollers in government proved the Third Reich didn’t lose all the war. We left the hotel early morning. That wretched sun wanted our payment.
A receding tide exposed a broken pier piling. Barnacles along with other creatures blistered and popped in the sun, wounds cauterizing. Our brain experienced such an event when it gained recognition of the surroundings. Still slumped in the seat I’d fallen into moments ago, in fact became the later part of the next day. We would have known this should our opened eyes searched the time. The sun having crossed the room, leaving the way it entered. Unchanged.
We had to move. Water. Liquids of any kind were needed. Something for the head. Cool the body. We sat there. Suffering. We fell back asleep. And woke in our bed the next morning. She lay near watching us. Our heads being fine we opened our mouths stating the dream we’d had and her twin. When finished she continued looking neither blinking nor moving for unhealthy minutes. We felt an infection starting in our lungs moving toward the throat, rolling in the ears. The poison was working; suffocation would come in a moment. The muscles failed as we wanted to reach, for anything. Only our eyes worked, rolling, wondering. There was a slight change in her gaze. She knew this conclusion. The eyes she looked through darkened. Then the smile came. Her lips parted for a last kiss leaning closer. We saw her split tongue stroked our now frozen eyes.
Both stared into the flat heat watching dust of their deliverance leaving. And knew as all good crooks did, time to get out had passed. Their split-tongues flickered.
‘I told you before. There are no dolphins in your tuna’. Waung said.
‘I heard you the first time. Now listen. I saw a dolphin there’. Seikooc said.
‘Not possible’. Waung said.
‘Why not?’ Seikooc said.
‘Because we are in the Hi-desert’. Waung said.
‘What!’ Seikooc said.
‘Somewhere near a dead hill’. Waung said.
‘You rotten bastard. You drugged me I knew it’. Seikooc said.
‘You were drugged when they dropped you off’. Waung said.
‘They?’ Seikooc said.
‘Guy with a Straw hat and 8-9 women’. Waung said.
‘Jesus almighty!’ Seikooc said.
Meeting With ‘They Don’t Talk Right’
We’ll leave you miserable rotten assess out there. You know we will. What were they thinking? Feeble lot of begotten religious Elvis fanatics. They’d become what right-wing bastards admire most; blatant desire of control. How to progress from here at such a state where body can’t rule and there is not mind? So vision took power when fire hit the drug. This was no scene of decadence, prolific uses of vulgarity or any real form of abuse know to the sane person. We’d simply lost the drive.
Looking at the bunch you’d know inbreeding had its way here. How could they stand themselves? On a singular basis. Mother of God as a whole they were damn too scary to deal coherently with. On any level. Lots of hard liquor and rot gut sausages are what these boys needed. And it better come damn quick! They started playing with knifes and we weren’t happy with any of this except the Tree with the half-eared white cat siting on his shoulder. This hombre was tough and you just knew his cat had the tricks.
We called the front desk, watching the cat watch the window. It was safer. We heard the former vice-president was in town. And wanted distance between them both. What psychotropic storm would erupt with all of us in the same room together! We’d split three ways. Safety in these numbers. The Monkey answered. We gave the order. Ten minutes later the door opened and delivered before these bedlam thinkers their dietary requirements. Soon all would be well in this busting desert metropolis. They would be happy seeing our assess shot out the cannon into Bolivia. That would come later as we’d all skid sideways, dumping ourselves out slamming into that memorial of chaos. And we were truant.
The girls’ whirl-winds talked up the boys’. Neither vocabulary we’d ever understand. We made our way across their swelling sea, to the white cat and it’s Tree. They moved slightly as we approached, knowing we came for them. Wanting not to face me directly, Tree twisted showing the cats tail curling under the shirt collar, twitching causing the shirt to raise and fall, wiggle weirdly, then motionless. The cat turned then looked at us. Then gazed away. As any sober cat would when bored.
Being this close we saw the reason for the ears; it was either obese or cut in half. Trimmed nicely. Still mutated. Tree was almost bald with a slight sagging to the left. A visible tattoo. Personal reminder of a temporary feeling once had. Seemed to be a rodent of some sort. Difficult to understand and even harder to look at, the tail twitched in movements I wasn’t accustomed in comprehending. The peyote we’d taken an hour before was having the way it does. Worse, we’d taken the second thinking the first was a reply from my dealer because of the discussion we’d had the previous morning of his content sucking, that we’d go elsewhere unless, a saint rescued him. That cursed inbred cocksucker will have to be dealt with. But right now we’d have to leave this tomb soon; the midgets and goats would arrive taking me and any other damned cripple.
Remembering some time later, weeks, how the conversation in its snap-shots developed:
Us: Christ man what’s that on your neck!
Tree: Her name.
Us: Your spy…
Us: Most interesting. Does she purr?
Tree: When fondled well.
Us: Winds, here can work together. Better that way. Comprende? You’re Mexican right?…we see it in your tattoo…we know these things… o.k. your spy is mutant, doesn’t bother us.
Tree: We are in mind of the same?
Us: Hell yes! Passionately. Devils kissing.
Tree: An even arrangement then?
Us: You have a political brain, abstract agenda. Communist?… no wait…
Tree: Been to Chile?
Us: Republican. What? Chile?… mmm… not that we recall. Are there elections there?
Tree: Of what nature?
Us: No morals here. Anything. Damn…That spy has interesting eyes. What are…
Tree: Mr Straw Hat…
Us: Yes… speak up man!
He nodded downwards, shoulders dipping. Spy motionless. It must have died while we talked. We followed his motions. Our pants had fallen to the grown. Taken there by midgets who never obviously voted in their sacred straight lives. To these balls-less bastards our taxes are even higher. And no end, ever, in sight of that raise.
We looked to Tree the back of his shirt having a typhoon.
Us: We’ve got to go…. we meet…. the place….
Tree: Of course.
The rest started sliding into the floor as the second button opened.
Even trying to do good, can turn awfully bad quick.
That Love End
What of it? Over time things change. What are we looking at here? Is it objectionable? The context of the meaning? Does it have to be re-invented? Because it has simply lost the weight it once had? Who cares?
She was all for me. There wasn’t something more. That’s the essence. I’m telling the story as told to me. One of the points he love her. I am sure of only a few things here; he’d lost something which he then found, and the trip getting there was different. In my advancing age I would say, scary, not weird as I’m almost eighty-seven. Some, only three actually whom, I told this said it was absolute bullshit coming from the depths of excessive substance abuse.
Genes made him fat. What could he do but watch them devour his life. What’s this about you choosing your parents or, karma made no difference? At eleven he tasted it close. Going on vacation with his parents as the only child to the mountains sounded like heaven. Left alone while they bathed and sunned on the lake near the rented cottages, he walked gathering freshness and hope of manhood. On such a walk he heard the sounds of sex off the trail deeper in the dense forest with its thick shrubs. Having only heard this from televised nature programs he naturally grew very interested, venturing into that mystery.
Following the sex he came upon what, was very confusing. Yet in that moment of both interest and panic, before the striking, he knew life was not going to be as kind as hoped, asking himself would I always be fat, would others treat me unjustly, would I ever have a friend, would women be completely on another table, were answered with the stroking flash that fell him.
It was late afternoon before he stumbled back to the lake, walked right out into its cool waters, hoping to drown. Dazed, unable to grasp the situation he left the cover of the forest and made for the water. He walked as un-casual as his bleeding fatten body manage. Not only the side of his head formed dried blood trails along the back and shoulders, but the words ‘dont’, and ‘talk’ deeply carved on the outside of both arms now looked of thick red roots swinging.
Not remembering arriving at the water’s edge, told later it all came to the point when the screaming started, mad rushing about, thoughts of a massacre taken place and a naked obese bloodied mass was its only survivor. He made it waist deep, then dropped. He’d read when a person is shot with a hand-held weapon, they, don’t go flying about as depicted in the media. More than not, if in a forward motion when the impact took place they will carry-on with several steps. Stand then drop. Usually due to shock rather than the bullet itself. True, there are factor which must be taken into account; size of the cannon fired at the person, distance and all.
He went to the water, as it looked refreshing and wanted to sink till its bottom, in hopes of better understand what had happened. Later it was reported he tried committing suicide. It was good grounds for institutionalization and diagnosed as self-inflicted tattoos collaborating the lack of speech. Arms folded in front, left above right, wording explained the message. He’d have had to write upside down. Being right handed, the letters on the right arm would have malformed, and then hit himself on the back of the head. He was too fat for my hand to reach the back of his head with sufficient force causing such a wound as the one at the base of the skull. None of this was taken into account. Maybe thought of, but not disclosed. He didn’t bother discussing it either.
Keep the scaring supple. You need that, but he forgot. His father had that second heart attack. His mother waited in another city. It was extremely hot. He always wore long sleeve shirts, yet in the haste came to the hospital in a painting T-shirt not wanting the news, rubbing tightening ‘dont’ ‘talk’ tissue. Thirteen years it had taken for her walking in the way she did, sitting diagonally across from him, staring into the wall behind his fat head. He never stopped rubbing his arms.
Where had she been? It was those moments from the time her eyes on the wall till their meeting his. The last of his life he couldn’t fully recollect. Only snap-shots remained. Blurred. A silent world. Obese. It was the deep green eyes she gave. And the tide rolled back.
He couldn’t move. Frozen. Dead. Pulling away she smiled. That most interesting tongue of hers flicking the way it did, moving in and out of his focus, sent him even deeper. Falling far back, not caring of any wanton thing. It was pleasing not carrying his bulk any longer. Raising the arms, dont talk left. Her voice telling the time it was, and she must be going. In the moment he saw the night sky stared from one end of the earth to the other. A Tree of a man having stood several feet away in the desert sand, a darker man with a white cat on his shoulder looking to the left miles away, as white clouds lifted blocking the stars behind, turned his direction slowly upwards. The cat never stirred.
‘You were twelve when you first saw this’. Hearing the cat or the Tree, he wasn’t sure.
‘I do believe so’. He said.
The white clouds had nearly filled the sky. The rain started.
A lighter male voice coming from behind, off the right, ‘Miserable business this. Ends mostly the same. Tits and asses gettin’ in each other’s way. If I had a Colt, I could drill the rat bastard’. Turning he saw a Man with the Straw Hat askew looking to the clouds. Smiling. He stood and started walking towards the Tree and cat. Sand picked up in little twisting storms curling like tails around this Straw Hat man as he strode. Each growing as the man stepped. Nearing the Tree with cat still staring upwards, the twisters a full five feet in height left the Man with the Straw Hat, encircling them both. The wind and sand grew. Till the point came when he couldn’t see either the Tree or the Man with the Straw Hat. Swirling, it moved in his direction. She whispered. Faint but clear to him, ‘Walk away’.
That he did. And in every movement, the sand followed. In her guidance the sand would not retreat. Knew before they, the next place to be it anticipating their movement. The distanced closed. He saw trees not far ahead. They might breakup this wind. He went.
‘Faster’ She urged him.
It was catching them. Sand closing in front. He couldn’t see. In a flash he saw one of the trees pass. The compression of the sand against the other trees as they moved into their circle forced a reaction pushing them upwards. Flipping. They started spinning with the sand. The wind increased. Accelerating. They were inside the funnel of sand. Yet rotating differently from the direction the sand, the force acted as a barrier. A tree would pass, then more sand. Another tree. Sand. Prison. Their eternity.
Other voices came, and the sands twisting grew. The curling increased. He could not understand what was said. Only trees hurled by, coming closer, and stretching longer in this static void.
Faintly, it began. He heard a shuddering sound. Whispers then a louder voice. Then whispers. Incoherent. True infinity. Labour from a mothers’ womb. You thought being fat was the worst of it. Lucky for you there isn’t TV, with mindless mentors scurrying through that gauntlet of plastic tubing their sniveling rotten soul-sucking lives’.
It whispered. The Man with the Straw Hat was near, it was his voice heard. ‘What forms of senses have you man? Like the good that end in life only to eat shit and die? Christ man! Jesus was nailed for your kind and this is it! Strapped you down, forced to watch Castro speeches. With headphones. Very loud! Who’d you vote for? Nixon? Figures. Must be rancid genes you’re thinking with. Listen this place is ruled by swine’s and all sheep under that rule have to move or be fucked completely. If you don’t, life passes by, you’re standing still, making things retreat. It’s what your generation learned. The next will fully understand the power of TV and relentless masturbation caused by realizing your gained terminal insanity is due in knowing what you really want isn’t in reach let alone ever there in the first place.’
The swirling ceased suddenly. He was surrounded by trees which were not what he’d thought, but rather men. The sand and wind slowed leaving several tight whirling tunnels about a foot tall drifting off the ground, encircling the men. He had no idea of how many men. A mirage of men maybe. Yet in this haze something became clearer. Something paled in comparison with the darkness of the men. It slowly grew. Deep grey shifted lighter. In the waving of the group he saw a figure from their left break away and move towards him.
‘Watch this’. She spoke.
Whirlpools of sand entirely surrounded the men, except the shape. In watching he recognized it was the man in the in short Bordeaux tinted paints. The Straw Hat awry. And in a moment the Man with the Straw Hat stood before him. Smiling holding a glass nearly full of light brown liquid. And two ice cubes.
‘Now before we get down to this we should understand maybe there is no Heaven.’ The Man with the Straw Hat spoke.
The sound of the iced cubes kissing one another and the glass reminding him of wind chimes heard on the porch in the summer as a child. Seeing his thoughts the Man with the Straw Hat wiggled his hand propounding the chimes.
‘Bourbon. Refreshing. Have some’. The Man with the Straw Hat lifted the glass directly in front of his lips. He could smell the sweet strength.
‘I think not.’ Behind came a different voice. Looking past the Man with the Straw Hat, he saw the Tree and white cat a few feet away. The cat was rather odd. It never seemed to move and had very interesting ears. They had the impression of being shortened. Its eyes were very dark, black-like. And both were no more than ten feet from the group of men.
The Man with the Straw Hat shook his hand holding the glass again whispering, ‘Lovely this time of year.’ He looked again at the glass, reaching for it but she pulled his arm holding it back. At the same moment the Tree and his white cat placed his hand on the head of the Man with the Straw Hat. Then it happened. The cat blinked its eyes. He stared at their blackness; it was beyond any depth of any darkness he’d known. The cat then closed and slowly opened again, wider than before, nearly twice they. He could look through the eyes seeing the men beyond.
The hand of the Man with the Straw Hat ceased its teasing. ‘Move back,’ She whispered. The Tree and his white cat didn’t move. The hand of the Tree and his white cat slowly lifted the Straw Hat from the Man with the Straw Hat. ‘We should go,’ She sighed.
Through the eyes of the cat he could still see the men. He felt they would advance but could not. Their circled sand bound them. The Tree and his white cat, holding in his hand the Straw Hat faded taking the Man with the Straw Hat and his glass. Like going to sleep, he closed his eyes and everything left. She said, ‘It’s time.’ And I smiled.
That’s about all he told me. We found him in the forest. We were hunting. There was some sort of accident so we got him to the hospital as soon as we could. They did what was possible but he died.
Like I said. I only told a few what you know now. He told me this on the way to the hospital. I thought he was crazy because of his injuries and all. We were all panicking as you could imagine. My friend and his oldest son and I had never been in such a place as this. We had gone hunting many times in that same area of the forest but never was there another soul then the three of us. Those two don’t know what he said in the back as they were terrible frightened and shocked up in the front seat. I stayed with the young man. That’s when it all began. Until they came later. Six month afterwards or so.
It was a terrible sad time for us all. Even worst when they said he hadn’t made it. I couldn’t do much in that trip but hold his hand a keep him warm, talk with him and he wanted to talk. I kept telling him to save his strength. But he just was all hell-bent getting his story out. I could see by the injury this was probably going to be the last thing he told anybody so I just let him get on with it and act interested. Like I said I thought at the time he’d gone over the edge, gibberin’ on the way he did.
Some point after, maybe three weeks I thought I’d heard the back door open and close at the house around five in the morning. I lived alone near the same forest of the accident, naturally I got scared. It was just getting light out. I got up and looked out the window and down toward where I thought a car might be. I sleep very light even for such a man my age. Which you also might be thinking why and old timer would be out hunting. Well, I love the nature and never, ever shot an animal. I was in the Second World War. First in Europe then transferred to the Pacific. There were men under my command. They were killed like just about every living thing was one way or another during that time. Since then it held me prisoner.
So holding this young man close and reliving those horrors of the war put the edge back on me. Looking down from the upstairs bedroom I saw no car. I listened, reached for the shotgun next to the bed. And waited.
I must have stood there over an hour. But there was no other sound. I moved toward the bedroom door, reached and turned the handle. It was locked. But it had none. I could not turn the handle. I felt as I did in the war before battle. Tired. Most times the adrenaline rush just about knocks you out. Sort of a hand-break. Then it’s released. And you go.
Maybe someone was holding the handle on the other side. I tried again with a hard downward jerk ready to step back and fire when the door opened. It still held fast. Locked. I could have course telephone, or climb out the window onto the roof and get into the other rooms. But I didn’t. Instinct said sit tight. Wait. I moved away from the door, sat in the reading chair beside the window and listened.
As you can understand at this point the mind can do well playing tricks. I won’t bother telling you what went through mine that morning as I waited. It’s not the point. From when I tired the second time till sitting there another hour as I had to pee badly, somewhere the door handle became free. I don’t know when exactly. I stood up, tried the door which easily swung open as it always did. Waiting a moment I stepped into the hall. Nothing. I made my way downstairs. Looked the place over. Took a piss. Pulled on my pants and boots and went outside. And the front door was unlocked. Now something did a job on me. If I hadn’t pissed I might have there. When you get old, bladders don’t hold. Very well.
I am extremely careful about locking things. You live out here on your own and it’s your own that falls when the shit happens. I locked the door and went for the phone. I called my friend, explaining the situation. He was on his way before I finished the last sentence. I waited till he arrived, let him in, re-locked the door. He had his double barreled too. We split up and looked through the house. Meeting back at the front door, both finding nothing. All windows and doors were locked. We went outside. With the same results. Nothing.
About six months had past since that morning. Winter was on and I was getting wood out the back. I heard a car horn from the front. Walking around I saw a women and man sitting in the car. They got out as I approached. Now you have to understand in this territory even if you go out to pee you carried a firearm. There are animals here wanting to make a meal of you. I always carried my Colt.45 holstered, which alarmed these folks. They looked right at the weapon and nothing more. So I stopped not wanting in further frightening them a good ten yards from their car. The window rolled down on his side, the driver, half-way.
‘Are you Mr Jenkins?’
‘Burough Jenkins of Wyoming?’
‘Are there more of us?’
‘Yes, I am Burough Jenkins of Wyoming. Just amused because my first name is rather odd’.
I get very view visitors and these looked at me strangely. I looked at them feeling not well at all. Damn this felt bad and right quick it became fear, and that turned to panic in a flash as it usually does. But with the age and cold weather they had me. I still hadn’t even dropped the wood when both sprang from the car weapons at the ready, down taking cover behind their doors. What good was that Colt, I thought. Probably frozen in the leather. Bear would have done me for sure. Two other cars drove up having waited for the ‘all go’. Men bounced out as if their seats were on fire, drawing their weapons too.
I was told not to move and drop the wood. What a damn paradox. If I let fall the wood, I’d move my arms. And if I didn’t? Christ. I threw the wood forward lifting my arms out to the sides. They had my firearm. Cuffed my hands. Read my rights. That was it. They took me in the house and sat me at the kitchen table. All eight of them. Six of them divided and went through the house claiming their search warrant was in order. They volunteered this. I hadn’t spoken since outside and hadn’t any intention of talking.
The two from the first car stood next to me going through my wallet which was on the table while the other unloaded the Colt, placing it and the rounds in a plastic bag.
‘Mr Jenkins, I am agent Wilfreed and this is my partner agent Ladison. We are from a special criminal investigators team. You are under arrest for the killings of one, Mr Re Waung and one, Ms Beriko Seikooc on June 12, 1973. Your Colt will be taken for comparative testing against that of the weapon used in the homicides. You may contact a legal representative when we reach the office. Do you have any questions or comments you wish to make at this time?’
The twelfth of June 1973. ‘Of course I did,’ I said. ‘You know that, but your time is all wrong. Not ‘73 but ‘37. And not shot with any Colt. They were left there. Alive.’ I didn’t bother looking at them to know what was going on. Their faces told it all. Ladison left for the car and onto the radio. Naturally. Wilfreed probably had to use the toilet. Times like these human nature is very predictable. I looked at my boots and thought of the young boy again. Seemed everyday one way or another he’d show up. My friend, his son, and I went to the funeral even though we hadn’t known him or his family. The mother was of Eastern European and Asian father, both very staunch individuals. Proud. Resourceful. They seemed most embarrassed by the whole affair, constantly offering apologies. What a damn mess it turned out to be. Shameful elders of their only son. But we had no idea why. The newspapers stated he’d done nothing of interest for years, unemployed, living on his own in some old part of the city.
Ladison came back and motioned what’s-his-name to come outside. Lord with these two you just didn’t know what to think. Except they were inept. Possibly with their entire lives too. Hell we’re all young one time. Well, raised as I was not want fussin’ about when there was none, I stood up and started walking toward the front door seeing to explain. Ladison saw me. And that’s all it took. She raised her weapon and fired three rounds into my chest. Nice tight grouping. Just like they teach you. I’m sure death had me before I hit the floor feeling nothing but the kick of those rounds. Wilfreed tried to stop her, but from the start I knew she was on her own. You see men are easier to deal with. They’re sort of soft. But women, well you can picture, you never really know what will happen next.
Now before you go half-cocked kicking things because of this story, which you probably understand a couple of things by now, but I’m going to tell you some you don’t. Even if you think you do. And you have to figure the rest for yourself.
First, all of this is real. It did happen. I mentioned I’m telling you as it were told to me. As it goes, in ‘37 sure enough Mr Re Waung and Ms Beriko Seikooc were both left in the desert. I was there. That I’ll admit, and you’ve probably made the understanding in their relationship with that young man’s life.
Now it is early December 1973. The young man would have been thirty-six years of age had he not died. What you’ve heard here, involves people trying to locate a boy about the age of ten or eleven in the summer of that same year in a rural desert community, yet the boy was born in 1937. The Man with the Straw Hat, she, the others. They were there too.
We’ll, I’m sure you’ll figure it out as I heard you’re rather clever with this sort of thing.
Just one other. When we found that young man I forgot to tell you the way we found him. We all had long range hunting rifles. He was shot in the chest with an arrow that pinned him to the tree.
- End -
Of these three short stories within Pinned, I believe I heard someone say something, in a way. And it was in this way I learned I was insane probably from birth. Because I didn’t think in any other way, and it was as long as I remembered, that last 39 years. Almost 40. It was 1974, and fear took hold. I’ll finish the story. Mind you I’m not exaggerating. Just I wouldn’t want to understand. I’d be happy to die not knowing the full details.