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First Contact #6
Oldman Jones
© 2013 James LaFond
Illah’s Eyes
For just a moment Alfred W. Jones felt bad when he admitted to Kendra, the distraught hospital radiology technician, that he approved of risking everything to rescue that young white girl from this Islamic spider plague, just because she was fine. That little tug of guilt in his heart immediately brought to mind his darling deceased wife of 42 years, Illah, who would have winked and understood. He took his eyes and his mind off the mayhem for a moment and looked to Heaven, straight into the ceiling, but really into himself: his own personal heaven where his beloved wife sat in her gazebo that he had built with his own hands and held the hand of their son.
‘You know I got eyes only for you Illah; never strayed, not even a once—but a man has to admire what the Good Lord intended him to!’
Illah, gone now these eight years, after stroking out from grief over the loss of their son, Mike, in Iraq, at the hands of those terrible Islamics, just nodded and smiled back at him. When he saw her like this she never had a voice. And, Mike, he was just a hand to hold, attached to the sleeve of a Marine dress blue uniform, decorated for honor.
‘Maybe I’ll be able to hear you Baby, when I pass—and see Mike’s face too. In any case, I thought you should know; that you all checked out just in time. You would not want to live through this Illah, and Mike would surely do something heroic…’
Alfred came back to reality when he heard the bus door suck open and everybody yelled their encouragement to Jackie and that back-sassing ghetto rug-muncher girl. Confident now that Illah approved of his encouragement in the rescue of what just might be Earth’s last beauty, he slapped Fat Boy on the back as he mumbled for them to rescue their collective darling, and blurted, “Yeah son, the whorl might be goin’ ta hell in a hand-basket, but a body can still agree that a big butt on a pretty little white girl is a sight fo sore eyes!—scoop her ass up Ghetto! Get dem Islamic bugs away from her pretty head!”
His attempt at levity was lost on the others. Kendra groaned as Ghetto stabbed ‘Baby Boy’ in the kidney with Alfred’s very own mop, and then cruelly threw him to the bugs like so much bate for crabs.
‘Well, that young no account hopper was not good enough for that girl anyhow. It was her with the job. He was just the muscle-bound escort.’
And Fat Boy took issue with Alfred’s characterization of the spider-plague as Islamic in nature, “Islamic? They ain’t Islamic, they aliens?”
“The hell you say boy! This is some Islamic shit if ever I saw it. Dey been layin’ low since Nine-eleven cookin’ this here shit up on they unholy stove!”
Fat Boy then turned to Bighead, or Tweet, or whatever his simple behind was called, “They cain’t be Islamic, can they? Shit like this has got to come from outer space right? Jackie been kickin’ their ass since they got here en he callin’ dem shits aliens, right?”
The large retarded boy—a man going on 30-years really—spoke with a slight squeaky voice like a professor, “I grant you that a theological attribution may seem strange. However, there were insect plagues brought down on Egypt in the Book of Exodus; and, although these creatures seem anomalous and uncharacteristically—not to mention unseasonably—virulent, they do have known terrestrial characteristics. It is as if a later day Frankenstein—”
“Frank who?”, Fat Boy blurted, and then the handicapped man lost his train of thought and began fingering his lip and doing his ‘tweeting’ bird whistle that he always did when he read.
Then Miss Betty, the half-crippled hospital lady in the dress suit, spoke up numbly, “Those were profound observations Tweet. Are you okay?”
The big-headed young man looked at her thoughtfully and nodded ‘yes’. He did not say anything, but did stop his whistling.
On Mission
‘It is time to take some charge here Alfred, and see to these folks and this situation.’
He patted both of the young men on the shoulders, “They hoppin’ back on. Boy, sit your ass down. As wide as you is dey ‘ill never get by. Tweet, stand aside by the door to swat off any bugs that might follow them on. Set back Miss Betty—don’t look at that tragic shit Kendra! He helped save his own girl—he’s a hero. Sit back down next to the boy. My boy Mike, he saved his squad; died in combat. It is horrible but is what men do at times like this. Get ready to help the young lady.”
Jackie and Tweet were securing the door and the back-sassing ghetto lesbianic was just hauling Hot Stuff by them like a sack of clothes out of the laundry mat, without no never mind. The pretty little redheaded girl was mumbling about her boyfriend. Ghetto roughly slapped Fat Boy’s hat back on him, snapped up her wig from Kendra’s lap, and spirited the smaller girl to the back. The Hispanic lady just sat on the back deck biting her knuckles and looking about frantically.
Kendra was indignant, “That girl is a terror. Someone should have put a skillet upside her head a long time ago!”
Jackie walked between them, “The door is secured and we are headed up to the campus.”, and continued to the back to examine their rescued girl.
Miss Betty shouldered him in the side and nodded to the two young ladies holding each other’s head in their hands, “It looks like love to me—or true friendship. They are so lucky to find each other amid this horror.”
Jackie was back up front now, having checked the girl for shock and spider-infestation, and was leaning on the dashboard discussing the route with MTA Mike. A plan was at least in progress. He just hoped that he could be some help to these young folks. He no longer had the spark of life he once had and doubted his ability to step in if something happened to their natural leader; Jackie Spam, or Chan, or whatever they called him.
Kendra could be heard biting her tongue in repressed disgust over the lipstick moment in the back of the bus.
Fat Boy, for his part, wanted to continue his debate about the spider-menace, “So what makes you so sure these shits are Islamic Oldman?”
Alfred, Miss Betty and Kendra all turned their eyes on Fat Boy; and, all seeing the same thing, just stared with their mouths open and eyes bugging out. Their shocked expressions were so obvious, even to this dimwit, that he knew his fate before he felt the first spidery leg haul the attached head and body into his ear!
The scream that issued from that unmanly boy’s mouth was so shrill and high that one would have thought that a lady soap opera star was being attacked in a slasher movie. His entire body jiggled like a bowl of shaken gelatin, and his blubbery face roiled,“Noooeeeyoooeeeyaaahhh!”
Kendra looked at Alfred with pleading eyes that said, ‘Do something!’
Operation Decontamination
His stomach wanted to flip when he saw that big, nasty quarter-sized bug hauling it’s blood-sucking self into Fat Boy’s ear. But his anger took hold: his anger at the Islamics that had taken his son, and whoever was dropping this shit on them: aliens; Islamics, republicans, or even democrats. He did not care. The hell if he was going to stand by and watch any of his people—and these were all his people now—his scared-ass little crazy family—get infested!
Alfred drew his multi-tool faster than some young hopper would slide out their smart phone and flipped it over to pliers and grabbed that slug-like spidery-butt as it wiggled its way into that fleshy ear, “Oh no you don’t you Islamic-alien-shit! Keep his big ass from jigglin’!”
Kendra grabbed Fat Boy’s right arm. Bighead Tweet grabbed his left arm, and Jackie Spam grabbed his jaw in a vice-like grip. Alfred could feel that he had a good grip, but could also feel something going on inside of the ear, “Shut his ass up! I can’t hear the bug!”
Jackie shoved a wad of surgical masks into the big mouth and applied pressure to the chin and the top of the head to keep Fat Boy from screaming. Alfred took charge, talking to Fat Boy just like he had talked to his dumbass retriever when it got its face stuck in that peanut-butter jar, “Quiet boy. I got a hold of this here shit. Quiet.”
Fat Boy whined and cried, but could not scream. Alfred nodded to the bug and spoke, “Kendra, Jackie, Betty, you the hospital people. What do I do?”
They all gave a blank stare and Fat Boy began to gush tears. Then Tweet spoke up, “The mandibles are surely grasping the internal structures, probably cutting into the eardrum right now. Don’t yank it, or you might leave the thorax and head inside, and that portion of the creature may be able to survive long enough to kill him. The part you are holding is the reproductive organ—the abdomen. Pull it out just a little Oldman Jones.”
‘So that is what these young hoppers call me, huh?’
He eased the behind of the creature out somewhat and then heard a tearing sound and stopped as the boy winced, “I’m sorry son, easy. Okay Tweet, what now?”
The big head lowered and peered into the ear, “Oh, my!”
Fat Boy then choked in terror and Jackie spoke up, “What is it?”
Tweet was calm and inquisitive, “It appears that this little guy is juicing up. You see the bottom of this white X here on the back of the abdomen? That turned red when these guys feasted on Danny out there. But this guy is filling up with clear mixed with red—he’s tapping into cerebral fluid. That sucker is in the brain.”
Jackie shouted, “We need to extract. Does anyone have scissors, a knife, tweezers?”
Kendra snapped, “That fine bitch has got some tweezers to pluck her brows I bet!”
Jackie’s voice boomed, “Hey Grown-ass Woman, you on that?”
The sassy girl came forward immediately, like part of a team, “Tweezers, got it!”
Fat Boy was quivering in terror as Jackie inserted the tweezers and worked them in to where he thought the head of the bug was, “I got something that feels like a toothpick. Well big boy, should I pull?”
Tweet nodded and whispered, “Wiggle and pull, be gentle, don’t let it snap off.”
The boy was shaking in terror and sweating a river as Jackie worked the tweezers and Alfred kept steady pressure on the bug’s butt. Then, to their horror, the bug seemed to jettison its own rear-end and began to skitter into the ear!
‘Oh Lord help us!’
As the boy’s eyes bugged out in submissive terror Jackie Spam let go a meow-like hiss and smacked that fat head on the opposite ear so hard that it sent the foreparts of the bug—mandibles and eyes and forelegs and sucker—flying back onto Alfred’s jacket. The crazy man then stabbed the skittering bug with his fingertips, splattering it on Alfred’s jacket.
Alfred looked down at the pliers of his multi-tool at the oozing butt of the dismembered spider bug. Tweet calmly got a lunch bag out from his pocket, collected the slimy slug-butt, and placed it in the bag, examining it, “Fascinating, this—”
Jackie then snatched the baggie and crushed it in his hand, squeezing it until the contents were nothing but milky red pulp. The man-of-action then scraped up the remainder of the bug parts onto the baggie, folded it up, and slid them out through a window which he opened and shut faster than any waiting bugs would have been able to take advantage of. Not that they had any bugs on the bus just now. They seemed to be back down the road feasting on those good Christian people who had come out to greet the end-time.
The bus was now banking onto the community college drive and they were all relieved to hear the whine of the turbine engine. The whine of the engine made him think back to Mike, of what his last sounds would have been; the sounds of his humming vehicle before he got blasted by the damned IED.
He looked up above and saw them there, ‘These folks would all be better off if it was you here to help them Mike. But your Oldman will do what he can. I’ll be seeing you soon I think.’
Jackie was patting him on the back, “Good job Sir. We learned something about the enemy just now.”
The blood-smeared finger then pointed at Tweet, “Big Boy, you keep thinking on these things.”
Jackie then took off his surgical mask—finally—and looked down at Fat Boy, “How are you?”
Fat Boy just looked up and cried, and spoke loudly and off-tune, “I’m deaf!”
Jackie was matter-of-fact but not cruel, “I know kid—I’m sorry. It was you or your ear drums.”
Fat Boy just looked back plaintively and shrugged his shoulders, crying all the more, “I’m deaf!”
Alfred felt as if he needed to lend some structure, some confidence to this insanity, “Kendra, try to make him comfortable.”
He then patted everyone on the shoulder and walked to the back of the bus to welcome the new arrival to their busload of end-time refugees, and also do his best to help the Mexican lady biting her knuckles up on the back deck to feel as if she was part of the group. They had to stick together, had to be a team.
‘You can do that much Oldman. You can keep everyone working together, because them hell-bugs will be working together as sure as the sun shines.’
Through a Glass Darkly
A Bus Tale
songs of aryas
the greatest lie ever sold
taboo you
dark, distant futures
by the wine dark sea
into leviathan’s maw
your trojan whorse
time & cosmos
logic of force
barbarism versus civilization
the year the world took the z-pill
song of the secret gardener
honor among men
broken dance
on the overton railroad
the greatest boxer
masculine axis
winter of a fighting life
orphan nation
america the brutal
night city
when you're food
son of a lesser god
the gods of boxing
thriving in bad places
z-pill forever
blue eyed daughter of zeus
under the god of things
the combat space
advent america
let the world fend for itself
solo boxing
logic of steel
menthol rampage
the first boxers
fiction anthology one
on combat
book of nightmares
within leviathan’s craw
the lesser angels of our nature
the fighting edge
the sunset saga complete
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