Friday, November 22, 2013



Chapter Five

Just as Randy was bringing the coffee cup to his lips, temporary Nirvana sedating his brain with Happy Thoughts not seen since a rare convergence of post-coital bliss, the aftereffects of a middlin dose of LSD and just the right amount of alcohol, oh those many decades ago more was the pity Gott Damn those Federal assholes for taking the Hearst nickel in bribe for declaring farm hemp, quite a different thing from marijuana, akin to Devil Rum and hence just about the time there was no more liquor to declare illegal, the new War On Un-Protestant Behavior was waged and EEE-Vile Mari-Juana was proclaimed the very newest theory The Gateway Drug leading to Negroes defiling fair Honkey maidens, in surely just a coincidence making tree farming corporations more profit since hemp wasn’t made into paper, there occurred a frightful ruckus and clatter. “Holy Fucking Shit!” was screeched out in dismay, Randy jerked in surprise sloshing coffee over his cup brim and scalding his wrist, Bush The World’s Dumbest Dog bayed in delight and happiness ( not, one might have assumed, in anger and resentment that Dangerous Creatures Stirred In The Night ) and lunged to his feet ( or paws, as the case might be ), promptly shot in between Randy’s legs slapping one limb than the other as if they were pinball props ( what the heck do you call the things pinballs careened against? ) causing further uncoordination from said human along with more coffee escaping from its ceramic bondage, and leapt into the dark on a mission to God only do knows what to however was cursing. How many visitors Randy was going to have today, the day of the Apocalypse ( or, perhaps, the next morning after the Apocalypse, there being little way to tell which side of midnight he was looking at ) was at this moment unknown, but he had a feeling it was coming dangerously close to more than he’d had in the last year all combined. Damn Grand Central Station going on here.


Just as Randy was about to obey the urgent if belated signal from his brain to reach for his rifle, once again ( vaguely, he wondered if he should have cleaned the thing before napping. Surprising, war surplus ammunition had still been available even now and he had quite a bit of it. Of course it was corrosive, but if you just swabbed the bolt face, chamber and barrel with diluted ammonia, available wherever quality grocery store cleaners were sold!, before cleaning as normal you neutralized those chemicals. He wasn’t sure how long you could go without doing so, or what the consequences were if you didn‘t), the voice repeated. “Randy, you fuck, get this dumbass dog off of me”. Ah! John, the prodigal son, had arrived. He must have hit the gang bangers vehicle which was still parked dead as the Constitution under Lincoln’s war regime in the road. There was obviously enough moonlight to get here, so John must have not been paying attention if he hit a few thousand pound vehicle right in his way. Randy should have tied the corpse to the front grill, both to act as a signpost to other trespassers ( “Attention! The owner of this property will shoot you! Pay no attention to any other signs that point out to his total panic and unpreparedness such as stained dirt spots indicative of uncontrolled bowel release or vomiting!” ) and to freak John right the Hell out! Now that would have been hilarious as could be! Thunk. What the hell?! Gross, decaying corpse! HAHAHA. Of course, the man did hit a hulking vehicle and that couldn’t have felt okay. “Hey, John, don’t get up! I’ll be right there. Are you okay? Did the impact knock any sense into your head?” “Randy, I’m going to knock some sense into your fucking head! Just get Shit Tongue off me and I can get up. Seriously, was he just licking his ass? He smells vile”. Randy oh so wanted to explain just what Bush had been eating on, but refrained in the interests of delivery such information later on, its impact doubling after John had both forgotten about the smell and preferable after something was in his stomach that could sour. He just decided to pull Bush off his friend ( with friends like this…).


“Bush, come on, you no account dumb as a box of rocks no good anal spelunking vermin infested ball of fur. Your bestest buddy in the whole wide world, evidently much bester than the jerk-off that feeds your worthless hide, has just arrived at Casa Ass Boil and must be accorded all privileges and honors herein. I’m sure he has better things to do than feed you some jerky” he swore Bush’s ears perked up at the very word, but it was nighttime with mere moonlight and Randy had been brewing up coffee so perhaps his night vision wasn’t back up to snuff quite just yet and perhaps he was seeing things, “which will just give you worms more likely than not although who knows what the Hell the inbred descendents of Sam Walton put into that dog food of yours, but I’m guessing worms it shall be and you’ll want to get up into my bed with me and boot scoot your foul buttocks across my covers trying to get the little fuckers off of you cause they’ll certainly get in the way of your balls to butt licking routine and John my good old buddy who I love even if you hardly ever give ME some jerky, you don’t know how good it is to see you!”.


“Randy, glad to see you are as insanely stupid and perky as ever. My little ray of sunshine! You have an idea of what the heck is going on around here?”

“Well, I was figuring this was some kind of EMP attack or solar flare. Seeing as how even my cell phone which had been turned off and was underground and surrounded by metal is fried. And watch. And my flashlights. And the car you just happened to NOT see and ran smack dab into. Dumbass. No wonder Bush likes you so much.”

“Here Bush. I got some jerky for you anyway, despite what your master-of-none is saying. I hope you do de-worm in his bed. Crap on his sheets and I promise you more jerky. Yep, that’s the way I was thinking too. A solar event would totally fry every little thing. A nuke burst would be pretty tame compared to what Mother Nature would dredge up, unless you laid down a whole string of overlapping explosions. I can’t image even Russia with the world’s biggest arsenal having the surplus, having to worry about China and all, to nuke all of the West with nothing of importance. Unless they thought Wells still had an air training function. Can’t imaging their data would be that out of date, but who the heck knows. Although, possibly, it could have just been another 9/11 and we nuked ourselves. Crews don’t need to know anything, you might be able to hack into the launch codes if you were the guys that owned the codes in the first place. Then you detonate a dirty bomb, everyone is panicked and out for blood and every Tom, Dick and Wingnut turns the red keys down in the silos. If the assholes did the Towers just to save the economy from The Tech Wreck, turn us into a Police State because they couldn’t afford another world war so we turn inward, I’m sure they’d have little problem EMPing themselves. No fallout to speak of, little infrastructure damage, in a few months a whole lot less mouths to feed. All those useless eaters like Seniors, ghetto dwellers, killing each other off. Suddenly a lot less competition for the world’s resources.”

“Doesn’t that make China a lot more of a likely suspect?”

“Hmmm. I guess it might. I don’t know. I got dozens of theories and it doesn’t really matter a heck of a lot, does it? We know the juice is out. Either way, manmade or not, it ain’t coming back on. Just like Gore Warming. If it was true, or not, did it matter? I mean, now it might be irrelevant if the worlds largest fuel user is no longer burning. Never mind, off on another tangent I suppose. I think though, the main thing is that we know things are screwed. The odds of this being the only detonation, far from anywhere, are low. Perhaps it was a Korean nuke gone astray and it is a singular explosion. In that case, if we act like this is the end of the world, the army moves in and kills us. If we don’t, and other people start acting like this is the end, THEY kill us. I say we go with option first. That way, we will die later if at all. If we don’t act, others get to the limited resources first.”

“Shit, John. I’m not above acting first. That big ass vehicle you crashed into in near full moonlight belonged to a bunch of SLC gangbangers. Oh, they fired first, but the last guy I might have sort-a killed in cold blood. I don’t think I have a heck of a lot to lose if we are just worried about a court of law trying us. Or, a kangaroo court if the military tries us. I don’t even think they will bother to rendition us first, just go about torturing us if it suits them. Let’s go for the gold. My main question is, what the heck are you planning to do to get any supplies back here? I got a grand total of a hundred pounds in my bike trailer. Once. Don’t want to do that again if I can help it. And if we take Bush as an early warning, the lazy fuck will just insist on NOT walking and going by trailer which really cuts down on what we can haul”.

“Of course, I’m assuming there ARE some supplies. All those times I brought us back wheat for packing up the feed store never had much more than a thousand pounds or so in mixed red and white varieties. I wouldn’t touch the corn with your dick, the crap is so full of moisture I can’t believe they can sell it without everyone complaining. Lost three hundred pounds to that before I learned my lesson. Cheese dick motherfuckers are so damn tight with cutting back their profit margin they don’t dry it enough. I almost wish this backasswards burg was a little more cosmopolitan so there would be a few lawyers, politicians and bankers to hang from lampposts”.

“There ain’t enough banks in town for you. Hell, what do we have-like five or six different ones?”

“Those are just retail, franchise types. Pretty innocent of any evil. I’m talking the Big Kahuna, the Federal Reserve Bank and its branches. Those are the bastards that need a karmic cleansing. Who do you think controls the purse strings to corporations, they pull them a little tighter and then I get moist corn that mildews and I open the bag and inhale a lungful of toxic shit and twenty years later I’m dying of some exotic disease so unprecedented the medical establishment thinks it might be delivered to Earth via an asteroid.”

“Hey, there’s an upside of us dying from this. No more bankers and whoever else you were babbling about as I nodded in and out at the start of your tirade. Are you just pissed because you are one who can’t string them up? They’ll get that way soon enough, the ghetto dwellers will hone in on the BMW’s and three piece suits and kill them all for the can of oysters and the bottle of champagne in the fridge. Wait, do rich dudes eat canned oysters? Or are they fresh? Who eats that shit anyway? Although I ate the Frenchie snails one time. Just chewy garlic and butter, damn tasty. I was trying to impress a date. I don’t know if it worked or not although I know I never got laid. She was a Wingnut though, so I think it was her and not me. They don’t think the same as the rest of us. Not that I minded terribly because that was a darn good meal. But, hey, if we could kind of get back to the question at hand? How do we transport supplies?”

“Randy, my fine feathered friend, I have no shitting idea. I think we could cache it locally. Both feed stores are on the edge of the river bottom. Plenty of brush and vegetation. We take a couple of shovels and a pick and...Wait. How the hell do we protect them in their paper bags? I’m sure there are some kind of rodents down by the water. We can take a few five gallon buckets, hope to scrounge some there. Stash ‘em and keep coming back, the both of us. Two buckets each at a time and it shouldn’t take too God awful long. If the food is there. If some shit kicking hayseed who thinks a two acre spot of desert makes him a rancher didn’t just buy up all the wheat for chicken feed the day before and the truck hasn’t come in yet. Not much harm in just a reconnoiter trip worse case. Check out and see what is going on.”

“Are we going now? Later? I’m good on sleep but I imagine you are pretty damn tired pedaling all day. I have no idea what time it is. Can you do some Boy Scout shit and look at the moon and guess what time it is?”
“Do I look like I stayed up late practicing reading the moon and figuring out what time it was?”

“Do I look like I’m a crabby little bitch who lets something like an apocalypse and an all day bike ride get me all pissey? Oh, look, I’m John and I’m a girly man. Boo-hoo, I can’t ride my rusted shit bucket anymore! I’m having such a bad day! I hit my fucking head on a huge SUV that was right in front of me which I didn’t see because my head is up my ass and now I want to take that same level of inattention to the OK Corral!”

“Level of inattention?”

“Hey, it’s a real word.”

“How about I crash here for an hour or two. You go to my place and get all the empty buckets you can find that have lids. That should give me enough time. I’ll still be one hurting unit, but at least I won’t be close to dead. I’ll power nap.”

“I’m surprised you don’t try to tell me you were in a war and learned how to sleep anytime.”

“We’re the same age, dingus. What would I have fought in, Grenada?”

“Get some sleep. I can’t deal with this degree of grumpiness. Your unpleasantness might damage my perfectly adjusted soul.”

“I thought you said you just smoked some guys earlier. How is your soul adjusting to that?”

“My soul won three brownie points for balancing the cosmic scale of justice. I’m friggin golden with Sweet Baby Jesus right about now.”

“I’m sure after a nap I’ll feel the same way.”

“You know sarcasm can stain your soul.”

“Are making this shit up as you go along?”
“I spend long hours making this shit up. Don’t be hating on the effort it took.”
“Say good night, Randy.”

“Good night, Randy.”

“Say I’m a pain in the ass.”

“What do you call a quadriplegic in a pile of leaves?”
“I’m sure I couldn’t tell you.”

“You know, the rustle of leaves as they squirm around under there.”
“THAT definitely stained your soul. Good night.”
“Still golden. Good night.”

Randy cautiously cracked open John’s door and hollered in a loud and carefree voice he knew didn’t fool the devils inside. “Evil cat dudes, it’s me Randy. Don’t be hating on a brother, now”. Randy knew the cats and in general the cats ignored Randy with the same aplomb a nation state king showed in front of the mud and dung smeared peasants groveling near the throne. As only a feline could, his presence was tolerated and he knew this conditional acceptance could be withdrawn at any time for any reason. On any normal day the absence of an attack or Stink Eye would be cause for celebration, but John’s cats were more ornery than most of their species. Just having John gone, unavailable to pet these demons as they demanded, with lack of treats such as freshly thawed venison, would be enough to push their buttons and set them down the road to rotten behavior. Randy was thoroughly convinced that the only reason he had not been pounced on from above and clawed viciously, if for no other reason than the unmistakably stench of Bush on him, was that John had usually been home at the time. On John’s business absences, Randy usually just passed on by looking for signs of theft or damage. The time or two he had ventured inside, the cats were usually asleep and indifferent. But this time his radar was pinging and his neck hairs were standing to attention. Surely the cats understood what had happened, knew something was amiss, and would be on alert that the new human-cat dynamic could and should be reevaluated towards their advantage. Cats were just like females. They knew, deep down if not consciously, that they were the dominant species, that they were in control. But they always acted like their power could be usurped and acted on such a paranoid level that they invented dangers to their inherited positions. They continually strove to reassert their power and so were always dangerous. Dogs, on the other hand, were more like males. They were dumb and clueless, and happy to be that way. As long as someone licked their balls for them, as long as they were fed and full and got to play with their buddies, all was copasetic in life. Randy was no fool, and prepared for cat attack.


As he eased through the door and closed and dead-bolted it behind him without looking, he swept the flashlight around him. He only had the light because he was too cheap to ever throw anything away and hence had kept the incandescent bulb flashlight. Every other torch was LED and none of them were working. He had a Christmas tin with more LED’s in them, which he knew was EMP proof, but as with many of his supplies at the moment he had little idea where it was. Pursuant to his half-assed filing system for supplies, the one flashlight he never used was on top of everything else and easily available. Randy actually was surprised he was that lucky. Or lucky enough to have other shielded lights. He had prepped for a lot of different emergencies, like the buried silver rounds for hyper-inflation ( hey, it would have been stupid not to buy silver when it was $5 an ounce and an hours minimum wage was higher than that ), but was aware enough to know it could have been something worse like nuclear war. As Randy played the beam of the light around ( he hadn’t been here so many times it was Second Nature familiar with it ), he could swear he saw a blur of reflected light streaking past out of the corner of his eye. He whirled about, of course too late. That damn cat was probably stalking him, and its buddy waiting to ambush his flank. He felt like one of those fuckers in a horror movie. You just knew you were fucked, your adrenaline was skull fucking your brain, you could barely breath. He’d rather go back and deal with criminal Wiggers from the ghetto. He could shoot at them. “Easy, you sleek and perfectly coiffured little rat bastards! I really honest Injun love you guys! John says be nice to me. I’m just here for some buckets, so I can go get you a nice heaping mound of cat nip. MMMMM. Yummy cat nip. Cocaine for you!” Randy, you idiot! The cats had lie detectors built right in! They could tell he was lying, but he was panicking and couldn’t help it. If these Hell spawn attacked him he could stagger home and bleed out while Bush licked all the blood off him. Ingrate twats, all of them! Easy, Randy Boy! Just keep moving to the buckets in the storage room. Don’t think of “Aliens”. Be cool, brother. Don’t remember the quote! “WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE, MAN!”. Damn that was a good movie. Why did John’s place remind him of the space colony buildings, and his cats the Alien? Why couldn’t he think of a cheesey Apocalypse movie where the guy got a harem? Did they have one of those? If not, they should have. Well, on to the buckets and then getting the heck out of here.


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  1. Pretty good. It has more dialogue than much of your fiction, which is good, but you should switch between narration and dialogue more frequently. What the pros call Scene and Carry. Your stretches of each run a little long. I say this as an encouragement and not to be an asshat critic. I like your writing ability.

    On another topic; on this, the 50th anniversary of the Rum Runner's son receiving his lead implants, many people still don't know the last words JFK ever heard. As the crowd cheered and waved Gov. Connoly's wife turned and said: "You can't say Dallas doesn't love you now, Mr. President!" And then the shots rang out. A cruel but true irony. And a little humorous.

    1. His lead implants. I like that! All comments on the fiction are taken in the spirit they are offered, so no worries. I learned from my non-fiction reader comments to a degree, and plan on doing the same here.

  2. Pretty good LB.


    1. Thanks! I'm trying to have fun with it and hopefully that will translate over to the minions

  3. The best part of this post?


    How much will it cost for you to stop this story?

    Ever think about trying to write it while you are drunk?

    You Know Who