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Fractured

Gus Savoie's picture

After a bit of a hiatus - more drivel to share. :-) I thought about NaNoWriMo but since I haven't written word 1 yet, I may as well wait for next year. -G
***

“Gaslight. Patchouli. Dogbreath. Smoke hung in the air, crystallizing and vanishing into an unseen alpha channel zero. Silent. Still. Blue light played on skin radiating flickering ads for cigarettes smoked in cars riding on ferries along a man-made canal through an amusement park driven by a man drinking expensive vodka.”
- Bette R.Oblique, It Make a No Sense (1972)

“Cockmonkeys,” muttered under his alcohol shredded breath. “Every fucking one of them. Goddamn cockfucking shitbagging hypocrites.” Somebody was being a gloomy-Gus.

Laying there in the darkness of the car trunk, Bushe closed his eyes and drew on his accurette. A finely suspended substrate of harmine, caffeine, anti-psychotics and nicotine mingled with ambient air filled the pockets of his lungs with a crackling, cold intensity. The tingling means that it’s working. Black balls swam and dove for his minds eye. Blue lightning sputtered somewhere behind his attention span. He held the breath, auditing the sensations of individual nostril hairs and then released his exhalation slowly. Palm trees bending smoothly in a slow-motion hurricane.

Tucked tightly in against his hips, he clenched his fists and inhaled again. Must remain alert, he reminded himself, resist the urge to doze off. He continued to pump his fists, hoping the increased blood-flow would maintain his wakefulness. He imagined that if he were able to sit up, he would ascertain that he was feeling a bit light-headed.

The dim blueness of the trunk exploded in a burst of white stars. Bushe could taste blood and feel shards of plastic and fuck me, teeth, in his mouth. A shrieking wall of headache swam up and swallowed his entire head, burped contentedly and then shat into his neck-stump. What the fuck just happened?

Fuck this, he thought, and fumbled for ht release flap. Moments later he was sitting bolt upright into a dim, grey twilight. A silhouetted figure was standing there, next to the car.

“Took you long enough to get your ass up out of there.” The words delivered flatly with almost no artillery. “I’ve been waiting. What happened, did you fall asleep?”

“Tell me you have coffee.” As a rule, Bushe ignored 90% of what anybody ever said to him, the other 10% were, he suspected were direct answers to his queries. “These fucking nails are no fucking good – fucking shitware for show-off guidos.”

Phelps handed Bushe a paper cup swathed in corrugated cardboard, steam rising tentatively in the even gloom. As small, white and silver goat approached from the northwest – stepping gingerly along the open, steel grid. Phelps and Bushe watched the mammal grow closer with mild interest.

“Funny how those things have such a hard time with metal grid floors, “ Phelps wondered aloud. “And yet, they can walk on water with relative ease.” He shook his head.

“It’s only funny if you’re a mindless imp such as yourself,” Bushe was good at reassuring others. “Now shut your fucking flaps, that goat is our superior officer.”

“Very ass-toot of you Meester Booshe.” Said the Goat, now that she had drawn near enough to hear both agents. She had abandoned the difficulty of traversing the grate and was now hovering a few inches above the floor.

“What the fuck is going on here?” Bushe’s eyes flicked from the Goat to Phelps as he burned his tongue on the hot coffee. “Or maybe I should ask, where the fuck are we?” Phelps’ body became visibly rigid as he gazed down at the talking goat that levitated slowly toward him. His face slowly twisting into a mixed expression of terror and confusion. Chances are he was feeling emotions he didn’t even know he had. His face would hurt in the morning.

“Meester Phill-pss,” The Goat spat the last syllable out like it was a hair on his tongue. “I yam your new handler-err. You weel call me Miz Cleef. I yam pleeeezed to make you ack-wayn-tense.” Phelps remained frozen to the spot, the muscles along his jaw and shoulders were shuddering in tiny circles.

“Wh-at ha-ppened to Mr. Mr. Dr-ew?” Phelps’ voice cracked. He was desperately trying to wrench his facial muscles into a feigned repose. The result was a horrified grimace.

“Jeezus, Phelps.” Bushe kicked the last of his coffee back. “Show a little respect, man. I can see right to the back of your nostrils when you make that face.” This seemed to calm Phelps a little, his expression softened.

“Meeester Drew has beeeen reassign-ed,” The goat named Miz Cleef did a quick, floating pirouette. “Thees is my case nowweee. Asss such, yew are nowwee my sharrgesz.”

“Ucgh,” Phelps stiffened up again at this. A dark patch spread across the crotch of his wool trousers. He sat down hard on the open tailgate of a pickup.

“Eye theeenk that Meester Phill-pss may beee ‘senseetive” to the freek-wenseee of myee voice.” A paper dossier integrated on the trunk of Bushe’s car. “Eye’ll leave yew nowee – yer have yorr orderrsz. Pleeeze-ed to have met yewwee.” Exit goat, via the open porthole to the upper decks.

“Well, that was stupid, short and abruptly idiotic.” Bushe shook his head sadly. “What a lame scene. I can’t believe I’m in this mess. I’m doomed.”

***

Phelps was cleaned up and wearing a dry pair of pants when he found Bushe in the club cabin, laying siege on a stack of blueberry pancakes.

“Shit man. Sorry about that downstairs.” Phelps said quietly as he slid into the booth. “I don’t know what the fuck happened. Every time that thing spoke, it was like being electrocuted in the asshole.”

“You are an electric asshole.” Bushe grunted through a mouthful of syrupy goop. He chewed, swallowed and pointed his fork at Phelps. “I was thinking about what happened up there.”

“Oh great,” Phelps flapped a few singles to get the waitress’ attention. “I can’t wait to hear this.”

“Park the sarcasm, butt-wig.” Bushe gacked back another fist-sized gob of hot, sugared batter. “I haven’t known you for very long, but if I was to begin my theorizing on the assumption that you are not knowingly allergic to goats or have a history of lapsing into near epileptic shock in the presence of goats… would I be on solid ground?”

“Actually, I am allergic to goat’s milk.”

“I don’t recall you suckling on the boss’ teats during our meeting.”

“True.” Phelps gratefully accepted a steaming cup of coffee and a shot of rum from the hatchet-faced waitress. “And of course there was that incident from last summer…”

“Tell me about it while I force-feed myself this last stack of cakes.” Bushe emptied his second syrup caddie onto a fresh plate of steaming pancakes. “Oh yeah… fuck you, Pillsbury Doughfuck.”

“Oh, it’s nothing really.” Phelps stirred his coffee. His eyes glazed over, cracked and respawned as he recalled the previous summer. Bushe kicked him under the table. “I took a shot to the head. I was in surgery for over 12 hours. The doctors did all they could to clear the wound – but there’s projectile still embedded in my brain.”

“Shit, I heard about that, blunderbuss wasn’t it?” Bushe continued forking his face with hotcakes.

“Yeah, our mark was a retired Naval Corkscrewer who was suspected of sniffing corks off the record, if you know what I mean. He’d been reportedly racing through office supply depots on swivel chairs wearing nothing but post-it notes, so HQ immediate suspected the worst. Turns out he was just a bit on the other side of senile.” Phelps held his spoon up. “He caught me snooping through his office late one night and blasted me at point blank with a load of silverware.”

“Ynf grrrk (gack) unf frrk inf nnng?”

“Yep. They had to leave a fork behind. I’m afraid we’re stuck with each other…” He put the spoon down. He hoisted his rum. “To the Life.” He said.

“Whatever.” Bushe sopped at the pool of syrup with his tie. “So where is this fork now?”

“It’s bridging my left and right hemispheres.”

Bushe nodded solemnly and began chewing on his tie. “I think I just figured out your problem.” He slumped back in his seat, satisfied for now.