Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A Pocketful of Mumbles; Such Are Promises

My esteemed colleague, Krazy Sam has provided the prompt for this Rebel Camp NaNoWriMo chapter. Maybe I'll wind all these prompts into one story and call it The Dumbest Novel Ever. Just a thought:

Mickey James as a young man had been a boxer. And now at age seventy-three, he finally wished again for youth. Not so to be free of pain, nor to be attractive again, nor to be capable of sustaining an erection, but just so he could punch everyone out cold; everyone who pissed him off; pretty much everyone he had anything to do with on a regular basis. His white Rogerco Security uniform grew bigger by the day. He wasn’t getting any fitter, he knew. He was just shrinking.

“I’m disappearing,” he said.

“What’s that, Mick?” asked Earl Baumgartner. Earl filled out his uniform quite sufficiently. The shirt button on his belly could not be fastened, revealing a diamond-shaped view of a baby blue undershirt.

“I never said nothing,” said Mickey.  

“You did. Sounded like you said you’re disappearing.”

“Did not. You’re hearing things you fat-eared Jew.”

“Yeah. I heard things alright. I heard you say you’re disappearing. Well, not fast enough, I say, you cranky old relic.”

“You’re lucky I’m a relic. If I was young I’d punch you out,” said Mickey.

The two sat five paces apart in a tight guard station full of binders and maps and a computer on a computer desk. Earl sat in front of the computer; Mickey in front of the information window. It was his job to provide information. The information he provided was almost always the same: No, you can’t come in. Run along now before I call your folks and tell them what mischief you’re up to.

“If you were young,” said Earl, “We’d be sitting in a cave, painting bison on the walls.”

“Oh, that’s funny, Duke. You’re hypnotizing me with your magic Jew humour.”

“My - what? Are you crazy? Are you completely off your nut?” Earl shook his head in disgust. “You’re demented. You really are. You’re completely off your…”

“What? My nut? Go on. Finish your sentence.”

Earl brought a newspaper up between them. “I have nothing to say to you.”

“That goes double for me,” said Mickey. He raised his own newspaper.

“Excuse me.”

Mickey lowered the paper. The man at the window wore overalls and reflective suspenders. A pencil rested behind one ear. “Yes?”

The man pushed a business card through the slot below the window. “I’m here to do a quote for a new fence,” said the man.

“Shove off. We already got a fence,” said Mickey.

“Yeah, I see that. But that’s a frost fence and they want a privacy fence. Everyone can see what you guys got in there.”

“Fine then.”

“I can come in?”

“No, you can’t.”

“But I’m authorized. Check the list.”

“What do you need to do? Take some measurements?”


“So take them. It’s the same damn numbers whether you measure from the outside or in!”

“How about you just check the list, partner?”

“I’m not your partner. Don’t get fresh with me, son.”

“Check the list, Mick,” said Earl. He’s probably authorized. Earl then pulled a package from his knapsack and began unwrapping a thick bulging sandwich.

Mickey picked up a binder and opened it to the second page. He squinted at the list, then at the business card and then at the list again. He closed the binder, pulled another off the shelf, and laid it open on the counter between he and the contractor. “Sign in,” he said. The contractor pulled the pencil from behind his ear. “In ink!” Mickey shouted. Behind him he could hear Earl smacking away at his sandwich as the contractor picked up the provided pen and applied it to the visitor log.

“Can you believe this guy?” said Mickey to the visitor. “Does he eat like a pig or what? I swear to god, my eardrums bleed when he eats.” The contractor glanced at Mickey then resumed his signing in. “He eats like a monster from outer space,” Mickey went on. “I’d like to staple his lips shut.”

“Do I need a pass or something?” said the fence man.

Mickey produced a pass on a red lanyard. “Even when he’s done eating he still sits there and smacks his goddam lips for another half hour. It’s enough to make a sane man jump off a damn bridge to get away from him. Swipe your pass at the reader to get through the door.”

“Right. Listen, what’s that thing you got in there anyway?”

“None of your beeswax.”

“Seriously. It looks like a space ship or something!”

“What’s your point?”

“Well, what is it really? It honestly looks like a crash-landed spaceship!”

“That’s nice.”

“So what is it really? You building a theme park or something?”

“None or your BEES… WAX! Didn’t you hear me the first time?”

“Go ahead and tell him,” said Earl. They’ll wipe his memory clean before he leaves anyway.”

The man gave Earl a funny look. “What did he say?”

“He said don’t forget your measuring tape,” said Mickey. “Now go on. I got work to do here. And Earl’s got a sandwich to massacre.”

The man frowned but he took his pass and moved on.

Mickey went back to his newspaper while Earl had another sandwich.

“Excuse me,” came another voice, this one had a strange quality to it, like an electronic pulse.

Mickey lowered the paper. “Good morning Admiral,” he said.

The admiral was chubby; about five hundred pounds. He had bluish-green skin, enormous webbed feet and a multitude of thin tentacles sprouting from hips, shoulders and cheeks. His three eyeballs hovered about at the ends of long eyestalks. A pair of unlit cigarettes dangled from an eight-inch-wide pair of lips. “Good morning Officer James,” he gurgled. “How are you today?”

“Not bad thanks.”

“You got a light?”

No comments: