Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hey, Mobbers! How about a little fiction story on a lazy Sunday afternoon?

By Buckshot

“Hey Rick”,  Jonesy  yelled toward the telephone receiver he held at arms length. “Sorry to wake ya up, but I need a favor.” Holding the phone away from his ear was a necessary precaution when calling Rick before noon on Saturdays. After the cursing had slowed, Jonesy returned the receiver to his ear.
          “Whatta ya need at this ungodly hour, anyway,” Rick mumbled.
          “I need some help gettin’ something home. You know anybody with a trailer?”
          Rick paused to collect his thoughts, and when he had them both collected, he said “I think so. When do ya need it?”
          “As soon as possible, Bro. I bought this trike at a yard sale, and I’ve got it stored next door at a guy’s shop. I’m afraid his dog’ll eat the damn thing if I don’t get it outa there.”
          Rick swung his feet out of bed and sat on the edge, wiping the sleep from his eyes with the corner of the sheet. “Okay. Give he a couple hours to get the trailer lined out an’ I’ll pick ya up.”

          Two hours later, Jonesy and Rick stood looking at the remains of a once proud Volkswagen powered trike from the seventies. The blue metal flake paint had oxidized to nearly tattletale grey, and every piece of chrome on it was covered with a red patina of rust. The seat cover hung in tatters, and a large ragged hole in the center tunnel allowed an unobstructed view of the ground below. Rick scratched his head and ran his fingers around the jagged edge of the hole in the fiberglass body, then looked nervously behind him. “This guy must have one helluva dog!”
          “Naw,” Jonesy shrugged. “That’s where the tree grew up through it”
          “Tree?” Rick looked at Jonesy like he’d lost his mind. “You bought a trike with a tree in it?”
          “Yeah,” Jonesy said defensively, wiping at the peeling jell coat with a greasy rag. “It’s been sittin’ a while, but I got it for less than the seven hundred bucks the wife okayed.”
          “Hmmm” Rick pretended to be deep in thought. “Maybe if we whip the guy’s ass, we can get your money back.”
          “Awww, come on, Rick. It isn’t as bad as it looks,” Jonesy protested.
          “Yeah,” Rick chuckled, “NOTHING could be THAT bad! Let’s get it loaded up.”

          By the time the trike rested on its nearly flat tires in Jonesy’s garage, Possum had joined the group. A battery charger hummed merrily beside the tragic remains, it’s cables like the life support tubes hooked to a dying derelict.
Possum knelt to inspect the engine that was covered with what looked like ten years worth of dust covered oil. “Will it crank over?” he asked, gratefully accepting the beer Jonesy tossed him.
          “Haven’t tried yet,” Jonesy said, popping his own beer after handing another frosty can to Rick. “Let’s give her a try.” He reached down and turned the key, and the sound that came from the engine was a cross between a squeal and a wheeze. The engine started to crank over, sending an entire colony of black widow spiders scattering toward all points of the compass. Several were blown out the exhaust like hairy eight legged cannon balls.
          “Jesus!” Jonesy yelled, madly racing back and forth, stomping the venomous creatures, some as big as silver dollars. “Come on, guys, help me before they get in the damn house!”
          Ten minutes later, most of the spiders had succumbed to either well placed boots or the can of Raid Jonesy found on the back of the bench. Those who hadn’t had hidden in the dark recesses of the garage until the place calmed down a bit.
          “Well, it does turn over,” Rick observed. “At least kinda.”
          Possum grabbed a can of gas from next to the lawn mower. “Let’s dump some gas in the carb and try it again.” He turned the spout down and dumped a generous dollop of gas down the throat of the carb, watching as it ran out of every shaft, hole, and gasket.
“Give her a try now, Jonesy!” he said, setting the can out of reach of any conflagration that may have ensued.
          Jonesy hit the key, the trike coughed, belched out a cloud of smoke and spider parts, and threw a ball of flame six feet out the exhaust pipe. Another shot of gas, and the engine sputtered to life for the first time since the Nixon presidency.
          Jonesy jumped onto the seat, ignoring the cloud of decomposing foam rubber that shot up from beneath him. He pushed the clutch down and tried to put the transmission in gear, only to be greeted with a grinding noise that sent shivers down his spine. “Damn clutch won’t release,” he grumbled.
“Clutch disk must be rusted to the flywheel and pressure plate from sitting,” Possum said, his T-shirt pulled up over his nose to keep most of the smoke out of his lungs. “I’ve seen it happen before. It’s like direct drive.”
“What do I do now?” Jonesy yelled over the sputtering engine.
“Shut it off, put it in gear, and hold the clutch down. We’ll rock it ‘till the clutch disc breaks loose.”
The wheezing V-Dub engine went silent, a wisp of smoke curling from the exhaust pipe like the barrel of Matt Dillon’s gun.
“Throttle feels kinda sticky too,” Jonesy said, reaching down to wiggle the offending cable where it disappeared under the fiberglass body.
Possum shrugged noncommittally. “One thing at a time, Bro,” he said, as he and Rick leaned their weight against the back of the trike, rocking it back and forth with Jonesy still holding the clutch in. The tired engine began turning over as they pushed it forward.
“Hit the brake, Jonesy,” Rick grunted as the trike chuffed ahead.
“No brakes, either,” Jonesy said over his shoulder.
Possum laughed, his shoulder against the rear nerf bar. “Well, just make sure the ignition’s….” 
The trike started, and lurched forward in a cloud of acrid smoke, the throttle still stuck wide open. It cleared the edge of the garage door by inches, and shot out into the street with the right rear tire off the ground as a screaming Jonesy barely made the turn.
“Off,” Possum finished, watching trike and rider grow smaller in the distance.
They could hear the trike as Jonesy circled the block, the sputtering engine running wide open. He soon came into sight, swinging wide to make the corner, a trail of smoke behind him like a shot up fighter plane coming in for a landing in an old war movie.
“He’s movin’ right along, isn’t he,” Rick said, taking a swig of his beer as Jonesy tore past the house, his hands locked on the bars in a death grip, his eyes as big as coffee cups.
“Yep,” Possom replied. “And the longer it runs, the better it sounds.”
“Why the hell doesn’t he shut the ignition off?” Rick pondered aloud.
“Hell,” Possum said with a shrug, “I don’t know. Why don’t ya run out there an’ ask him next time he comes by?”
“Seems like we ought ta stop him or something,” Rick muttered, craning his neck to see around the edge of the garage door as Jonesy began his third lap of the block.
“Got any suggestions?” Possum asked, as Jonesy shot past the house.
Rick scratched his beard in thought. “Yeah, maybe I do at that.” He trotted across the front yard and grabbed the garden hose out of the flowerbed, testing the spray nozzle to assure himself that it was on. “Those ol’ V-Dubs die if ya spit on the hood. Grab the neighbor’s hose and when he comes around the corner again, let him have it.”
Possum turned his ear toward the screaming trike as it came up the block behind them, the sputtering now having turned to a throaty roar. “You mean IF he comes around the corner again.”
Jonesy took the corner in a three wheel slide, leaning his considerable weight off to the right like a sidecar racer, the tires screaming on the blacktop road. Garbage cans flew, scattering trash in a wide arc as he clipped them with a sliding rear tire. The neighbor ran out, cursing and shaking his fist, throwing one of the bags of garbage he was carrying toward Jonesy, adding to the mess already scattered down the street.
“Man!” Rick said, pointing. “I didn’t know he could ride like that!”
“I don’t think he knew either!” Possum yelled over his shoulder as he ran toward the street, the neighbor’s garden hose clenched in his fist, gushing water.
The combined hoses soaked Jonesy and the trike, the engine once again beginning to sputter as the water shorted out the coil and plug wires. It finally chugged to a halt near the far corner.
Jonesy met them at the halfway point, water still streaming from his red walrus mustache. “Whew! Thanks guys. I thought I was a goner.” He held up a key, broken just below the first notch. “I hit the key with my knee and broke it when the damn thing started, and I couldn’t shut it off.”
“Maybe you should have a yard sale, Jonesy,” Rick suggested. “I hear trikes sell really quick at yard sales.”
“Awww, give me a break, guys,” Jonesy chuckled. “It was startin’ to run really good there at the last, and besides, I’ve still got nearly a hundred dollars left on my seven hundred dollar limit!”
“If you want our help on this project,” Possum said, looking back at the trike sitting in the middle of the road, water pooling under it, “It’ll cost ya more than that in beer!”


No comments:

Post a Comment