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First Contact #8
Miss Betty
© 2013 James LaFond
Mike? Mike!? Mike!!!
“Mike!,” she yelled, so hard it hurt, as their nice dutiful bus driver walked off, robot-like into the woods.
Betty’s back was killing her. She was in pain 24-7 to begin with, and needed a cane to get around. But after Jackie heaved her unceremoniously over his shoulder and dropped her on her hip, she was nearly in agony. There were much bigger things than her pain going on around her though. She had to pull together with the others to survive.
‘The human race is not going out like this if I have anything to say about it!’
The state trooper was just standing there, staring ahead through his reflective sunglasses, and this brought up her bile, “Officer, why did you tell him to get off. It is not safe out there.”
The trooper said nothing, just robotically turned his head toward her, ‘Oh no, no!’, “Jackie, Shut the door now!”
Like an orderly Jackie did what he was told, darting around the trooper, frantically searching for the mechanism over by the driver’s window, and talking out loud, “I know officer, it’s been a rough day. We have the procedures down—we’ll keep this air tight!”
With those words Jackie got the door shut and began to take the driver’s seat, “So Officer where to?”
The state trooper had now turned and was lurching slowly toward Jackie with one hand, absently trying to find his gun with the other. Betty yelled, “He’s infested Jackie, look out!”
As quick as a jonesing crack-head Jackie turned around with a backhand and slapped the hat and glasses from the face, spun the clumsy officer around facing them, and began to apply some kind of choke hold.
Black Mercedes was sprinting to Jackie’s aid when Alfred said, “Damned sneak-thief Islamics cannot be trusted or underestimated!”
Black Mercedes stopped just in front of Alfred and froze in terror, Malcolm began screaming, Kendra began screaming, and Black Mercedes spoke her best English of the day, “Oh My Gawd!” and covered her mouth with her hands and bugged out her eyes.
Oh My Gawd!
Jackie was grunting and hissing, and stomping the officer’s feet and Big Head Tweet just stepped closer, very curiously, and spoke with detached innocence, “Those little fellows are organized to the point of labor division.”
What Betty saw froze the blood in her clotting veins, “Oh God Alfred, we are lost.”
Jackie answered for poor dumbstruck Alfred and the rest, when he shouted, “This is no problem Miss Betty. This muscle-head has no ground game. Kendra, just stand back and watch your sifu work. I am lacing my lower legs around behind his knees, locking in a set of standing hooks. In a second I’ll have the rear-naked and it’s good night for Officer Unfriendly!”
The scene before them in the aisle was now one of sheer terror. The infested trooper stood like a statue as Jackie apparently climbed him from behind like a small tree. Instead of eyes, the officer’s sockets were each filled with a cluster of the flying spider-beetle-mosquito-fly-eyed horrors, seemingly four to a socket, bloated with blood and joined together as a single organism each.
But that was not the most horrible thing. By way of commentary Black Mercedes answered Jackie’s claim to be giving a grappling lesson, with a shaky, quivering voice, “Yo Jackie Spam, look out fo dat spikedy tongue!”
With that Jackie grunted and peeked over the trooper’s shoulder, at the broad spiked tentacle-like growth that was emerging serpent-like from the once human mouth! And the screams increased from Kendra and Malcolm, and were joined by the hysterical Mexican girl.
‘Oh that is it. This is not some horror movie where bimbos scream and die!’
She then began furiously rooting through her twenty pound purse, the beige one her sister bought her last year.
Alfred put a calming hand on her shoulder, “What’s wrong Miss Betty—aside from the invasion of this here space monster I mean?”
She stopped rooting for a second and looked into Alfred’s kind eyes, as the old dolt pathetically tried to console her as the last of their kind were turned into walking squids. She flashed angry eyes, and then recalled his age, and his decades of toil, and the fact that he really cared. Then she smiled, “Oh nothing Mister Jones, just a tense moment—brought on the need for Mommy’s Little Helper you know.”
Mommy’s Little Helper
Mister Alfred Jones, the work-worn elderly widower, actually laughed good–naturedly in the face of all this grunting slithering terror and horrid screams, and patted her on the back, “I get you Miss Betty, My Illah, after we lost Mike to them terrible Islamics; she had her little helpers too.”
‘Wow, he is a cool cucumber, waxing nostalgic—where the hell are you!’
Then, as she tunneled through the accumulated Big Mac wrappers, coffee cup lids, empty vodka miniatures, and candy kiss wrappers, in a deepening state of frustration, she came face-to-face [ear to mouth rather] with a mind blowing loss of sanity.
As Jackie fought the Monster from the Deep, Kendra and Malcolm and whoever-she-illegally-is screamed, the young doll cried a river, and Black Mercedes said “Oh Ma Gawd, Oh-My-Gawd, OhMyGawd” poor Alfred rambled on, “Yep, it were a Rollin Stone song, a classic. Went out to see them boys, in fact I did. You know they had some soul. So I took my leave from base and drove on up to Altamont Raceway. I always particularly liked that song…”
‘You have got to be fucking kidding me Alfred—where the hell are you Baby—yuk, I forgot the pineapple yogurt. Shit!’
…Amid the screams and sounds of man versus alien wrestling Alfred continued on down memory lane, “Now Gimme Shelter, that was a good tune too, the version Mick did with Grand Funk, live, on the Caught In The Act album, being the preferred rendition. Now, I got to hear that—the straight-up Stones Version—I did, but not Mother’s Little Helper. You see…”
‘I’m going to fucking kill him!’
…And on Alfred rambled, “My fool friend—hmm, was that Edie or what’s-his-name. What the heck was what’s-his-name’s name anyhow? Well, in any case, my friend, a fool really, just had to get up on stage, en got his self all stabbed up by them Hell’s Angel’s don’t you know…”
‘Yes, there you are, you Bad Little Boy you!’
Betty McCormick-Johnson, darling granddaughter of the Sheriff of Talbot County Maryland, drew his old service revolver, a .38 caliber model of reliability, unlike the men who had so often disappointed her, and shoved it in Alfred’s face, “Alfred, shut the fuck up!”
She then leveled the gun at Malcolm while Black Mercedes leaped back out of the way with her natural gun-averse ghetto reflexes. Malcolm immediately swallowed hard and stopped screaming. She then traversed to Kendra, who was still screaming, “Don’t make me do it Kendra. I’m not going out with some dumb bitch screaming in my ear.”
Kendra then froze, and said spastically, “Yes-yes-yes maaaaam.”
She then traversed to the bug-eyed head of the state trooper and spoke calmly, “Jackie Baby, I don’t want to blow your pretty Greek head off of those broad shoulders. So please, lean back a little.”
Jackie leaned his head away but kept an iron grip on the neck, even as the spiked tongue writhed around his hand and began skinning it.
It was as if she could hear Grandpa in her mind, ‘Exhale Little Bet, the far target first, and squeeze.’
The report of the revolver punched a hole in their audio world, and the clustered bugs in the far socket exploded. She aimed at the other eye as Jackie heroically strained to keep it from moving and the tongue unwound from his hand and began coming her way.
‘Nice easy breath Little Bet…now!’
The other eye exploded as the back of the head spattered all over Jackie.
The riders all clapped for her, except for Jackie who was scraping brains, and bone and blood from his scrubs, even as he dragged the twitching body to the front door and yelled for Tweet to come help him.
‘Christ he’s heroic, hot as balls and handsome. But we need a leader; a thinking man.’
She looked at Alfred, still sitting next to her with his hand on her back, “My Miss Betty, that is one heck of a Little Helper you have there! What do you want me to do?”
‘You have got to be kidding me.’
‘What the hell’, “Alfred, you’re driving. Get that door—only the front door—opened for Jackie, ASAP.”
She then looked at Kendra who curled up in a fearful ball, “Check all the windows for cracks Kendra.”
Now she looked to Black Mercedes who was standing at attention right in front of her, “Miss Betty, you some baddass fat-old-white-lady! Whachyou need?”
She smiled and popped the cylinder to clean the chambers and reload, “Get my man cleaned up girl.”
She then looked up at Tweet as he came back from tossing out the body, which she recalled too late had a nine-millimeter auto on it, ‘Shit’, “Could you please watch the backdoor hon? Don’t let it open if Alfred happens to trigger it by accident.”
The large simple man, with an encyclopedia between his ears, nodded ‘yes’ and went back to take his post.
Black Mercedes and Tyler were wiping down Jackie, whose hard muscular lines showed through his scrubs, reminding her of the summer of ’77: sun, fun, rum and…
The sound of the turbine engine roaring to life brought her from her hunk-filled beach reverie. Then Alfred called back to her, “Miss Betty, where to?”
Her voice echoed unnaturally deep in the mostly empty bus, making her self-conscious of sounding a little too much like a man, “To the nearest liquor store Alfred.”
Kendra and the two young girls all looked at her at once. Of course Kendra had to say something negative, “Whatever for?”
‘Oh hell Big Bet, it’s the Last Day on Earth; go for it!’
She then slapped the cylinder shut and leaned back like a man, and nodded to the Mexican girl, “She looks like she knows how to enjoy herself. I think her and I will get a bottle of tequila and pour shots into the hollow between Jackie’s six-pack and his hairy chest.”
Kendra was beside herself, “Miss Betty!”
Black Mercedes corrected her critic, “Miss shit! She Queen-pin Betty up in this joint!”
Jackie was blushing and pretending like he hadn’t heard at the same time, and Tyler was coping a feel—‘That pretty little hussy! I knew we should have left her behind!’
Despite the searing pain in her back and hips the bus roaring up that country road made her feel alive for the first time in decades.
‘Don’t you worry Grandpa. I’m taking ten more with me—at least.’
‘Ten rounds in a world full of aliens? How far will that get us?
‘To the liquor store…I hope.’
The Burner
First Contact #9
by the wine dark sea
on the overton railroad
solo boxing
logic of force
the combat space
the year the world took the z-pill
time & cosmos
son of a lesser god
winter of a fighting life
the gods of boxing
on combat
the greatest boxer
broken dance
night city
taboo you
the first boxers
thriving in bad places
song of the secret gardener
honor among men
into leviathan’s maw
america the brutal
barbarism versus civilization
menthol rampage
the lesser angels of our nature
the sunset saga complete
z-pill forever
book of nightmares
within leviathan’s craw
under the god of things
let the world fend for itself
advent america
the greatest lie ever sold
masculine axis
dark, distant futures
the fighting edge
songs of aryas
when you're food
blue eyed daughter of zeus
orphan nation
fiction anthology one
logic of steel
your trojan whorse
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