Bazooka 2

“Where were we?” Buck asked.

“The beautiful lady,” I said.

“Ah,” He indicated simply, jotting down another note (he’d started writing shortly after I’d begun my narrative).

“So I was in the diner and she walked in,” I continued. “I said she is the most beautiful woman in the world, and she is. No doubt, damn near perfection.”

Wearing a short yellow dress and knee high boots, she dressed like she knew it too. Most, out of personal preference and opinion, would describe her as drop-dead gorgeous. In that moment I would have described her as leaning more towards striking; I must be honest, the massive gun slung over her shoulder swayed me. Semi-automatic, I guess. Aside from the waitress and old man near me there were all of five other people in the diner, and when she walked in all eyes gravitated to her.

She strolled with precision, casting her sight steadily around the room until her gaze fell to me. She stopped dead in her tracks, her eyes might have narrowed just an inch. I glanced around, confused and a little nervous as to why this woman fixated on such a lowly person.

Next to me, Santa chuckled and prodded with his elbow. “Another one…” I think he whispered. 

Quicker then lightning the woman reached back and grabbed her gun. “Uh…” I had time to get out before the first bullets flew. She hit the cash-register; the drawer exploded, sending dollar bills flying. The prospect she might be some sort of modern Robin Hood crossed my mind, and I thought that was kinda cool. Then she pointed the barrel at me. I thought, like an idiot, “Why would you shoot me? I’m not full of money.” She pulled the trigger.

I’d like to say my inner superhero reviled itself and I pulled off a daring escapade in which I dodged the bullets, disarmed the perpetrator, and won the heart of the youthful waitress in the process – truthfully the waitress wasn’t youthful, but then again neither am I – thus setting myself up quite nicely for the rest of my life as the town mascot.

What actually happened was far less graceful. I slid off my stool and fell face first to the ground. She shot, and continued to shoot; oblivious she was missing her target. The sound was deafening. I army crawled my way around the counter to find the only two friends I had in the world already there. The waitress and Santa hugged each other with their eyes squeezed shut tightly. 

Everything went quite. Santa opened one eye, then two. He looked at me and motioned. I shook my head. He motioned again, hugging close the waitress for emphasis. Balling my hands into fists I poked my head above the counter and there she was, this time with a rocket launcher. That stupid “Uh…” escaped my lips again. Where had that come from?

The woman heard me. Looking up, her hair fell away from her face in slow motion as she kneeled and hoisted her weapon. I looked back at Santa and the waitress.

Fire and pieces of everything exploded around me. She completely blew out the back of the small diner. Horror struck, I observed a pudgy youth on a tricycle across the street. Frozen in awe at the sudden excitement his chocolate cone dripped down his hand and onto the cement. I saw my opportunity and took it; clambering over the broken bricks down to the sidewalk.

The first words I heard her speak: a cry for me to cease and desist. The boy, jumping back to reality, put feet to peddle and booked it out of sight. I made like him and ran.      

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Bazooka 1

Funny, the interrogation room seemed a lot bigger than I’d imagined it would be. The police officer, Officer Buck, handed me a cup of coffee and sat down opposite me. I cradled the cup of warm liquid and watched as he flipped through what I assumed to be my file. Looking at me, then down at the papers, then back at me he grunted and flipped the whole thing shut. “You’ll have to excuse me; I’ve been up for a while. Uh, Mr Kheschlavesh?”

“You can just call me Mike,” I humored him.

“Mike, why don’t we start from the beginning?”

“It’s kind of a long story,” I offered. The officer smiled and nodded in encouragement. I sighed and began my unfortunate tale. “It all started in a bar.”

I’d been laid-off for the better part of a year; filling out application after application with no luck I decided to take a day off and go to the bar. About a half passed noon the door opened and in walked a young girl, a teenager in her wildest dreams. This was a little concerning, why would a kid be in a bar? But the bartender was already walking over to see all about it, so I shrugged and turned back to my beer. I heard voices then scuffling. “Wow,” I thought. “Girl must really want to grow up fast.”

I felt a hand on my shoulder that spun me fast, bringing me face to face with the young girl. Definitely pre-anything, with short deep red hair offsetting her long cream trench-coat, she looked like an anime character – not that I know what that is mind you. Gripped my shirt she smiled in a way all-together unbecoming of her age. I had just enough time to look over her shoulder to spot the bar tender acting as a floor ornament before the young lady punched me in the nose.

“Wow.” The waitress said as she poured me more coffee. “And you have no idea why she hit you?

“Nope.” I mumbled, slouched at the counter. “At that point everyone else noticed what was happening and dog-piled her. I split as soon as I could and ran here.”

“Wow.” She said again.

“Oww…” I shuttered, adjusting the ice-pack the cook had given me against my nose. “She looked like she was five. A fetus. A fetus decked me.” I said in sad realization.

“What’s the problem bub?” An older gentleman, with a marvelous beard of rare white, seated himself next to me.

“Why didn’t you go home after the bar? Why go to a diner?” Buck interrupted.

“I don’t know,” I shrugged, honestly without a clue. “I just didn’t think about it. Anyways, so this guy asks me, “what’s wrong?” “Troubles with a woman,” I said.

“Ah, I understand bub. Love always had a way of tripping me up too.” The man chuckled and pounded the counter with his wooden palm. The waitress promptly fetched him his own cup of coffee.

I straightened from my weighted position and stared at him. “No, “bub”, love has not tripped me up”, I said with more sarcasm than necessary. “I don’t even know the girl.”

“Really? Well…” The scruffy man scratched his beard in confusion, then drew up a sly smile. “You old dog!” His bellowing tease accompanied a slap on my back. “You’re so good with the ladies you don’t know what to do! Let me give you some advice –”

“I don’t know her! I don’t know what she wants, but something tells me punching random strangers who haven’t done anything wrong their entire life is not how she woos them!” The waitress stood behind the counter, watching us go back and forth with amusement.

“Well you never know. This gal got a name?”

The pain rippling across my face had yet to give way to improvement. “I’m sure her mamma gave her one but I’d be damned if I know. We skipped formalities.” The heat of the coffee burned my nose as I tried to drink. I was sure the little girl broke it.

Somewhat subdued, Santa, as I have since come to know him as, pulled out a small flask and dumped the contents into his coffee. Downing the whole thing in one go he quickly ordered another cup. He then started to sniffle. “My wife –”

“No,” I threw my hands up. “No. We are not going down this road and I refuse to become your best buddy because that is exactly where this is going,”

The bell to the door rang. Everyone turned to see the most beautiful woman alive walk in. I would have liked to know her better. Too bad she shot me.

*Note: I’m super excited about this project. It’s an idea I’ve held onto since high school (feel the oldness!) and am finally setting into motion. This isn’t something I’ll be updating consistently but rather periodically whenever inspiration hits. I want this to be an ongoing story that spans a very long period of time, possibly years. A story that never ends one could say, but builds and changes over time.

Where Is My Home?

Mr. Rickardson-Ticklpic was a grumpy old man, which was understandable considering he had such an unfortunate name to write on all his bills. A Wednesday night, bitterly snowing, he rushed walking home. In such weather the missus would worry herself away by the front door, and he hated to upset her when he dilly-dattled on his way home.  

“Hey Mister!” Mr. Rickardson-Ticklpic paused and looked around. A few feet behind him, perhaps a yard more like, stood a rather desolate looking child. Dressed in stitched together old pillow cases the bright-eyed child would have broken a lesser man’s heart right then and there.

“What do you want?” Called Mr. Rickardson-Ticklpic to the young boy. 

“I’m looking for my home.” The boy answered simply.

“Why are you following me then?”

“Do you know where my home is?” The boy asked.

“Why would I know where that is?” Mr. Rickardson-Ticklpic turned to leave, paused, and faced the child once more. “If you’re looking for someone to pickpocket –”

“So do you know where it is?”

Mr. Rickardson-Ticklpic huffed. “No. Now go away.” With that he turned fully and trudged on.

“But I have nowhere to go. I don’t know where my home is,” Mr. Rickardson-Ticklpic heard the boy crunching through the snow, following. He looked over his shoulder at the trailing boy.

“Don’t you know where the police station is?”

“Yes,” the boy replied. “But I don’t want to go there. I want to go home.”

“Can’t help you then kid,” Mr. Rickardson-Ticklpic tightened his coat. “I don’t know what you want me to say.”

“I want you to say where my home is.” Mr. Rickardson-Ticklpic doubled his pace in the hopes of out-running the small child. “Hey Mister!” The boy called, stumbling but carrying right on.

“What?” 

“Do you have a home?” “Yes,” “Is it warm?” “Yes,” “Is there food?” “Yes,” “Is there a family?”

“Yes, the missus.”

“Wow… That must be nice. I can’t remember my home. I wonder if I had a missus…”

Mr. Rickardson-ticklpic stopped walking and sighed. “Alright kid, come on.” He reached out to grasp the young boy’s ungloved hand; leading him, at a much slower pace, home. 

 

*Note: Hi Followers! I’m back from my trip; I ate too much and saw a-lot (but really I just ate too much). The mountains are beautiful!