Pitted PrunesPosted: July 15, 2015
Jake had been under the car for at least an hour. His tools were scattered on both sides of the driveway, his clothes and hair were soaked in oil and antifreeze, his ring finger was throbbing madly from its smashing, and his stomach was loudly protesting his lack of lunch.
“Screw it, I’m done for the day,” he proclaimed, his face beneath the master cylinder.
Jake wriggled his way out from underneath the car. He’d scooted all the way off the driveway and onto the grass, and he lay there for a moment, watching a pure white puffy cloud pass in front of the sun.
“Jake!” It was his neighbor, Bill. Bill sat on his porch all day, collecting disability and failing to complete crosswords. “What’s an eight letter word for ‘nanant?’ My mind’s a blank.”
Jake sat up to holler back. “I don’t even know what that word means, old man. When are you gonna try sudoku like a civilized person?”
“When I get my damn leg back, you asshole!” Bill chuckled and started filling in boxes with random letters. He’d never successfully finished a crossword in his life.
Jake began throwing his tools on the half a blanket he used to line his trunk, but it was too hot and he was too filthy to finish the job. Besides, he would just be back out here the next day to work on the Rumbler. He looked up once more to say goodbye to the puffy cloud and headed inside to shower and dress in some clean clothes.
The TV was still on from early that morning, before Jake had known his day was going down the crapper. Jake flopped on the couch and grabbed the clicker to channel surf for a while. News, news, chick flick, kids’ show, Wheel of Fortune, news, bad music videos.
Jake turned the TV off just in time to hear the pack of giggling twelve-year-old girls walk by on the sidewalk. Jake remembered that it was Friday, so the girls were most likely headed two doors down to a slumber party. The only problem he’d ever had with that was the night three months ago when they’d decided to roll the entire street. Jake groaned at the recollection of roll upon roll of toilet paper clogging the gutters.
He turned the TV back on. Some true crime crap was droning on–“with the carpet tightly rolled and bound, all that needed to be done now was get it out of the house.” Jake briefly wondered if he had it in him to kill someone and dispose of the body. It sounded like an awful lot of work, and since he didn’t really dislike anyone enough to go to so much trouble, he’d probably take a pass on that.
Jake looked at the clock and saw that it was nearly time for his friend John to pick him up for pool night. Jake supplemented his income with a little sharking on the weekends. And he needs some parts for Rumbler. He turned the TV off again and went outside to sit with Bill while he waited for John.
“Heading out to scam some fish again, eh?” Bill asked, cackling and elbowing Jake.
“You know it. I gotta get Rumbler back on the road,” Jake answered. He was never bothered by Bill’s teasing. Bill was a good guy, except for that whole crossword thing.
Six minutes of male bonding later, John pulled up. Jake told Bill goodnight and hopped in the passenger seat. They headed downtown to Spike’s Bar. Spike himself still tended, and offered Jake his latest creation, the Zombie Cockroach.
“Come on, Jakey, it’s on the house. And with that low shelf crap you always drink, you might even like it.”
Jake broke down and agreed. One sip and half a chew in, he’d cracked Spike’s secret recipe.
“Is this just a Zombie with prunes? You are one crazy bartender, man,” Jake chuckled.
“Got me again, pal. Don’t worry about the prunes, keeps you regular. And I think my bathrooms were cleaned in the 90s, so you’re good to go.” Spike winked.
Jake laughed out loud and stumbled over to “his” pool table. Funny, he thought, I haven’t had enough to get drunk. Oh. I forgot I’m allergic to plums.
John was finishing up a story with some guy, and the last thing Jake heard before he lost consciousness was John’s oft-repeated semi-explanation of why his wife left him–“she came home, took one look in the bathroom, woke me up from my drunken slumber on the couch, and left. Never heard from her again. Our dog was locked in that bathroom with a skunk. Nobody ever knew why.”
More fun and games with The Blog Propellant! I finally decided to bold it up so you’d know what parts I was sticking together with my fictional glue.