Desert Rendezvous (a parody)

Angela was glad Juanita had insisted she come out; it was nice to sit and chat with the gals over a few cocktails. After last call, she said goodbye to her friends and strode out of the smoky bar and into the parking lot. Her eyes scanned the star speckled sky and the cacti dotted landscape. She opened the door of her navy blue Honda Accord and slid in. She fished through her CDs looking for something besides country albums, and settled on a 60s rock mix. She shimmied the key into the ignition and twisted. The desert pseudo-silence grew louder, crickets taunting her. “Damnit,” she grumbled. She cranked it net time for seven seconds and nothing happened. After rinsing and repeating a few times, she groaned and slammed her door on the way out. She swept the parking lot and was surprised to find that she was the last person to leave. She searched the web for the AAA number and called.

“yeah. The Rattlesnake Tavern… yes 505…” She impatiently thumbed through a Reader’s Digest, taking advantage of the dome light still functioning. As she began to decide going out was a mistake after all, an unmistakable glint of headlights in her rearview mirror snapped her back to the moment. Angela began to script what she should tell this stranger, thinking how big of an idiot she was going to look like driving a car with a bad starter. She shivered, but not from cold. Oh well, here she was, the damsel in distress. She decided to embrace the role. Gravel crackled under the truck’s tires as it approached. She studied her exhausted countenance and now unflattering makeup in the visor mirror. He’s just a truck driver–I don’t want to look too good for him anyway. He slowly and deftly maneuvered the rid next to her car and stepped down from the truck. Some boots, ha. She never knew what to make of a man in fancy boots–neither the boots nor the cocky attitude wearers impressed her. The driver was a hair over six feet, built like a baseball player. She stole a peak at his rear end before he turned around.

“How do you do, miss?” I’m Marco with Spare Tire Towing,” his warm voice put Angela at ease like a friend’s hand on her shoulder.

“Hello…Marco. I’m Angela,” she managed to squeak out as they awkwardly shook hands.

“What’s a-matter with the car?

She swept her bangs out of her eyes and replied, “Oh uh, I don’t know exactly…it was running fine earlier tonight and I thought it would be okay…”

“Are your lights working?”

“Yup–yes.”

He frowned. “Bad starter. Gotta tow it.”

“I would’ve been able to jump it if it was the battery” she claimed, trying to impress him.

He looked around. “From wh-” he started to inquire then thought better of it. He linked up the car and wenched it up onto the platform. “Where to?”

“You know I appreciate you coming out here in the middle of the night like this to help me, you look like you just woke up.”

“Thanks,” he rubbed his eyes and chuckled.

“What I mean to say is…do you wanna go watch the sunrise together on the ridge?”

He was unprepared for this question and it hung in the air for a solid moment.

“Uhh…well I guess…I mean… sure.” He grinned and took her hand, helping her into the truck.

The tow truck lazily crawled up the road to the top of the ridgeline just as the golden disc of the sun began to peak over the horizon. She scooted over to him and lay her head on his shoulder. Half the sky was as colorful as a rainbow as the brilliance of the scene began to blind them. The cacti cast long shadows and a hungry coyote chased a clever rabbit through the brush. The pair in the truck held hands and exchanged increasingly bolder glances. Marco opened his mouth to speak and hesitated, “Angela…this is nice,” he leaned in and kissed her. Her lips met his eagerly. Then they trembled as she slowly exhaled and glided her fingers down his chest. He came to her again, gently brushing aside her hair, when her wig fell off! She gasped and shifted away, clutching the hairpiece. He gently seized her chin to raise her head. She hesitantly looked up and to her surprise, he tipped back his cowboy hat, revealing his own stark baldness. He was bald as a baked potato except he had sideburns. She gasped, this time in delight, and pulled him to her. They locked lips and he caressed her back and squeezed her breast gently. She stopped him, “Wait…have you watched the t.v. series Shaft?”

“The whole season, why?”

“Good,” she indignantly blurted and then pulled him over again. She slid her hand up his thigh. She rubbed his crotch and began unbuttoning her blouse, when he stopped her and ripped it open, roaring like a lion…only to see she was wearing an undershirt. She gracefully removed this, except for the fact that she elbowed him in the nose as she did. She pouted about the shirt, “My aunt Luna made that for me!” He hastily apologized. One palm on his now-bleeding nose, he unzipped her skirt and gently massaged her. She moaned and wiggled her drawers off. He popped open the glove box and pulled out limited edition Tiger Woods Hole-In-One® condoms. He eased inside her and she pleaded, “Marco!” He flicked her nipple and kissed her neck loudly. She pulled him into her, grasping his buttocks harder with each passionate thrust.

I thought love was only true in fairy tales…” Marco sang softly.

“Or for someone else, but not for me,” she continued. They found a physical rhythm with the tune and grunted with pleasure. They interlocked fingers and he tripled the pace without warning and she panted like a race dog. “Oh, Marco!” She bit her hand. “John…Jacob…Jingleheimer…SMITH!” She burst. Marco’s head reared back and his eyes squinted shut.

“Ah-ah-achoooo!” He sneezed powerfully right in Angela’s face. He sloppily cleaned her off with his forearm, and mumbled, “Sorry,” grinning sheepishly.

She slapped him. “Don’t Stop!” She scolded impatiently. He resumed as adoringly as before, kissing her collar bone and driving deep. This went on for another twenty minutes until she finally felt his hot breath on her neck. They smirked at each other as they dressed.

As Angela waved goodbye as he dropped her off, she hoped he would dial the number she had written carefully on the back of his hand.

Goombatah ch 1 and 2

A table outside a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in the city. The city that never sleeps, that breathes fire, that wallows in swaying power.

A heaping plate of hoppin john sat before Simon. A cool afternoon sprawled across them. “You cower at the prospect, Simon?!” Roger quipped.

Simon mustered a low, grumbling laugh. He wiped the corner of his mouth with the embroidered napkin and sighed. “Roger. I need to talk to you about something serious.”

“Go on, then,” Roger blustered.

“The dry cleaner’s. The count is short.”

“Shazzad.”

“You have some sympathy for him, or what? Get Alfio and get it done.”

“I’m on top of it, I’ve got him over there with Mikey right now. Shit. I’m a captain–I delegate.”

“As you should,” Simon reassured mockingly. “Look at your fat ass–you ordered pasta and steak and finished em both before I finished my lobster and john.”

“The fuck,” Roger chuckled. “Ho! Take it easy, I’m sensitive about it haha.”

The docks. Mikey finds Alfio on his boat, the waves rocking it steadily, with a purpose. “You fuggin bum I knew I’d find ya here. C’mon, we gotta take care of you-know-who-zzad.”

“One moment,” he pled in broken English. He grabbed a rope and tied off the boat again. “Okay. We go.”

“Wait. One mo-ment. Motherfucker. Simon says he saw you with my goomar on Tuesday.”

“Get the fuck out here–of here! Mike, I would never do this you–know you know that. Don’t insult me.”

At Regina’s of all places? Not even a club, something fun? Unbelievable.

“I-a never been to Regina’s!”

“Re-lax. I’m just breakin ya balls. Let’s go.”

“You Americans have a funny sense of humor.” They climbed into the waxed Cadillac and sped off.

Alfio and Mike arrived at the dry cleaner’s three minutes earlier than Mike had guessed due to good traffic–God’s speed for the Devil’s work. The kid at the counter was a punk. Mike flexed and made him shrink and they pushed past him into the office. Behind the counter was Shazzad being felated by an Indian floozy. He looked up and frantically stammered “Oh no no no! I paid.”

Alfio grabbed him by the shirt collar and lifted him up, then kneed him in the testicles. Shazzad yelped, “Motherfucker!” and fell to the ground like a dusty sack of green potatoes. Mike picked him up and slammed him on the desk. Shazzad squirmed helplessly. He was about to punch Shazzad when he paused. He noticed a lego set on a bookcase. “What the fuck hahaha” Mike yucked. Alfio, grab some of those lego men. Alfio did so and tossed them one by one as they entered Shazzad’s nose and he bled significantly. “You’re too old to play with toys. You’re too old not to pay the vig.”

Vig? What Vig? Shazzad coughed. “I’m Muslim”

“Well we ain’t. So fuck you!” Alfio chopped at Shazzad’s kneck as Mike reached into the safe behind the desk and pocket fistfuls of stacked bills. Alfio inquired half seriously, “What do we do with this…cocksucker?”

“Leave her. She’s ob-vi-ously suff-ered enough,” Mike explained laughing. They disappeared into the night, leaving the neon sign lit in their rear view mirror.

Goombatah ch 1 and 2

A table outside a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in the city. The city that never sleeps, that breathes fire, that wallows in swaying power.

A heaping plate of hoppin john sat before Simon. A cool afternoon sprawled across them. “You cower at the prospect, Simon?!” Roger quipped.

Simon mustered a low, grumbling laugh. He wiped the corner of his mouth with the embroidered napkin and sighed. “Roger. I need to talk to you about something serious.”

“Go on, then,” Roger blustered.

“The dry cleaner’s. The count is short.”

“Shazzad.”

“You have some sympathy for him, or what? Get Alfio and get it done.”

“I’m on top of it, I’ve got him over there with Mikey right now. Shit. I’m a captain–I delegate.”

“As you should,” Simon reassured mockingly. “Look at your fat ass–you ordered pasta and steak and finished em both before I finished my lobster and john.”

“The fuck,” Roger chuckled. “Ho! Take it easy, I’m sensitive about it haha.”

The docks. Mikey finds Alfio on his boat, the waves rocking it steadily, with a purpose. “You fuggin bum I knew I’d find ya here. C’mon, we gotta take care of you-know-who-zzad.”

“One moment,” he pled in broken English. He grabbed a rope and tied off the boat again. “Okay. We go.”

“Wait. One mo-ment. Motherfucker. Simon says he saw you with my goomar on Tuesday.”

“Get the fuck out here–of here! Mike, I would never do this you–know you know that. Don’t insult me.”

At Regina’s of all places? Not even a club, something fun? Unbelievable.

“I-a never been to Regina’s!”

“Re-lax. I’m just breakin ya balls. Let’s go.”

“You Americans have a funny sense of humor.” They climbed into the waxed Cadillac and sped off.

Alfio and Mike arrived at the dry cleaner’s three minutes earlier than Mike had guessed due to good traffic–God’s speed for the Devil’s work. The kid at the counter was a punk. Mike flexed and made him shrink and they pushed past him into the office. Behind the counter was Shazzad being felated by an Indian floozy. He looked up and frantically stammered “Oh no no no! I paid.”

Alfio grabbed him by the shirt collar and lifted him up, then kneed him in the testicles. Shazzad yelped, “Motherfucker!” and fell to the ground like a dusty sack of green potatoes. Mike picked him up and slammed him on the desk. Shazzad squirmed helplessly. He was about to punch Shazzad when he paused. He noticed a lego set on a bookcase. “What the fuck hahaha” Mike yucked. Alfio, grab some of those lego men. Alfio did so and tossed them one by one as they entered Shazzad’s nose and he bled significantly. “You’re too old to play with toys. You’re too old not to pay the vig.”

Vig? What Vig? Shazzad coughed. “I’m Muslim”

“Well we ain’t. So fuck you!” Alfio chopped at Shazzad’s kneck as Mike reached into the safe behind the desk and pocket fistfuls of stacked bills. Alfio inquired half seriously, “What do we do with this…cocksucker?”

“Leave her. She’s ob-vi-ously suff-ered enough,” Mike explained laughing. They disappeared into the night, leaving the neon sign lit in their rear view mirror.

Fragment of Fiction

Don’t be dead. Please don’t be dead. Fuck. Jason Ramirez felt cold sweat ooze from his pores as he watched the man stop coughing and his eyes start glazing over. He frantically listened for breathing and felt for a pulse, his hands trembling. No wind in the sails and pulse weak, fading. Fuck. Jason had killed in Fallujah, but always intentionally and from a distance. This…this was entirely…fucked.

His partner Rich pressed the radio button down and stood there, mouth open. Godamnit! Rich! Rich’s eyes and mind began swimming back towards the surface of the grave present moment. Call it the fuck in! Rich’s lips began moving, but Jason couldn’t hear him. All he could hear was that pulse, which weakened by the second. The man’s eyes posed a thousand questions before they had rolled backwards, questions now echoing on repeat through Jason’s head.

Why did you have to kill me? He didn’t.

Jason knew this stronger than he knew the ground he was kneeling on over this guy. But shit, he shouldn’t have… Why did he… Godamnit!!! Jason screamed. He couldn’t stop it. A crowd was forming. Rich was becoming more useful. Back up! Stay back! I won’t say it again! He put a palm in an over-zealous onlooker’s chest. Put that camera away! The wait for the ambulance was the longest of Jason’s life as the blue and red flashed on his pale face, minutes melted into months.

This is how Officer (technically Corporal) Ramirez earned his paid leave from the Cleveland Police Department. He beat a man to death. It was an accident, but he couldn’t see it that way. His supervisor had to take his service weapon away from him because he was nervous it might end up in his mouth in the next few days. Jason sat listlessly, waiting for the counselor to see him. He had chewed his nicotine gum until his jaw was sore.

Wednesday

Olympus Mons and Arizona

Olympus Mons and Arizona (Photo credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute)

It sneered at her, laughing. It was big and red. It was Olympus Mons. And it was on her forhead. Sable sighed without reservation. Today was the day she was getting her learner’s permit. She had circled the day in purple gel pen on her Dozen Adorable Kittens bedroom calendar and put a silver star sticker on it. She recognized the irony that the silver star was just as prominent on the calendar page as the pimple on her head that would now be immortalized in a DMV photo.

Lisa didn’t always walk Sable to school, but she did almost whenever she could. Lisa’s being a couple ears older hadn’t hindered the friendship, but catalyzed it. Lisa was an only child and Sable was the youngest of her sisters and as she was quiet, she was the most easily ignored.

It was Lisa who was there to shop with Sable for her first real bra and her who stood by her at the Homegrown concert that no one else would attend with her. Lisa got something special out of the relationship too, however. It wasn’t just getting to act as the older sibling, but Sable had an unconventional way of looking at the world. This was something no one really knew except Lisa because Sable’s sparse use of words led others to be confused if they didn’t take the time to ask questions.

Their chunk of Wisconsin was the type of place in which one never felt the need to have their cell phone ready to dial emergency services or look over their shoulder when walking down a dark street. It was a place filled with gentle naighborhoods and parks and the children’s laughter and hollering that accomanied them.

Naturally, Sable’s mother had to get her hair done, right now, and couldn’t take Sable to the local DMV office. “I don’t know about Billy anymore. He’s not as mature as I thought. I heard that he sent Laura Edwards a picture of his junk after she broke up with him,” Lisa said.

“I’ve heard a lot of things about a lot of people around that school. I haven’t seen much to back any of it up. But you know what I think of Billy,” Sable remarked. Lisa parked her father’s maroon Carolla neatly on Pilgrim Avenue. After Sable was as satisfied as she was going to get with the conealer on her zit, the girls began stepping over the brick walks. They went by the chic restaurants and the small expensive shops that didn’t seem to sell anything useful towards their destination.

A tall man in a ratty trenchcoat blocked the path of the girls. His sunglasses were dark as the alley to their right. “Girls–” he drawled. Lisa pulled Sable behind her and fumbled in her purse.

“Listen, buddy you better–” Lisa uttered.

“Wait. Let’s hear him out,” Sable interjected. Lisa glared at her with agonized disbelief.

“Thanks, little miss. . .”

“Sable. What’s your name?”

“Don.”

“Short for Donald? Like the duck?”

“Yeah, hahaha. I stopped you… …is because I need some help.”

“What kind of help?” Lisa demanded.

“My sister’s getting married and I don’t know what… to get her. I know… it’s strange I just need some help.”

“I suppose you want to hop in your van with you? Not happening, creep.” Lisa grabbed Sable’s hand and took a step.

“What is your sister’s name? Where is she from?” Sable asked.

“Mary. She’s from Connecticut. It’s cold up there.”

“What’s her fiancee’s name? What’s her mother’s name?”

“Dylan. Her mother…her mother’s name is… Jessica.” His eyes watered up.

“See, he’s lying, let’s go Sable!” Lisa begged.

“What happened to Jessica?” Sable inquired.

“Mom… died. It’s okay. In June. I miss her. I found her.” Don explained.

“I’m sorry about your mother, Don.” Sable placed a hand on his shoulder. “Would you excuse us a minute? [to Lisa] “He’s not a creep. He’s just kind of… slow. I’m gonna help him.” Lisa told her she wouldn’t leave her alone with him and she was coming.