Sunday, June 26, 2005

K-Boy Tries To Get Back Home (a horrific parable)

Summer means horror. In the past, we could count on a page turner or two from Stephen King for that. As he's rediscovered his inner need for deeper meaning, it sometimes seems less scary and more of a parable. With that in mind, we offer this:

K-Boy Tries To Get Back Home

K-Boy was wearing his Chuck Taylors, his jersey, all tricked out vintage style.

Speaking of vintage, he had a Marvin song blasting in his head. Bus rides were retro but he was doing it up in style he figured as he noted the heat inside the bus.

It was late and hot. He was tired. He closed his eyes and listened as the bus seemed to shake and nearly shatter with each bump in the road. While a bead of sweat formed on his forehead, it seemed the a.c. existed more to provide background noise than to cool things down.

He must have been more tired or more hot than he knew because a quick moment of resting the eyes sure enough turned into a nap.

Waking up, he opened he looked around and saw his street.

Congratulating himself on his perfect time, he rang the bell for his stop.

"Stop requested. Please watch your step," said the mechanical voice in English, then in Spanish.

K-Boy attempted to stand and make his way to the front of the bus.

But nothing happened.

He looked down at his knees and willed them to straighten, which they slowly did and he was standing. But his feet felt as though they were weighed down by a million bricks.

The stop was approaching, he had to get moving.

The bus came to a halt. The doors opened.

K-Boy was still struggling to walk.

"Get it together," he cursed himself.

One foot, then the next. Slow, sure but he was moving.

Trouble was, so was the bus. The doors were closing.

"Damn it," K-Boy cursed as the bus continued rolling on.

One foot, then the next. One foot, then the next. One foot, then the next.

So it continue, slowly. Slowly.

Finally he was standing behind the yellow line with the driver directly to his left.

"I missed my stop," K-Boy explained.

Nothing. Man, the driver didn't care.

"Excuse me, could you stop at the next stop?"

Still nothing.

K-Boy reached over and tapped the driver on the shoulder.

"Excuse me."

The driver turned around revealing the sharp lines of bones and nothing else. No cartilage, no skin. No eyes.

The mouth went wide and a ghostly rattle flew out that sounded like the laughter of the damned.

"Damn the heat," K-Boy thought as he looked around and realized he was still at the bus stop waiting for the bus to pick him up.

Heat like this could play tricks on you, mess with your mind.

He watched as two gals, in as little clothing as possible, walked up to the stop. He licked his lips and zeroed in on the the one smiling.

"Hey," he nodded.

They stepped up next to him and nodded back.

"K-Boy," he said thumbing to himself. "What's your names?"

"Don't you remember us?" asked the one smiling.

"No," K-Boy said scratching his chin. "Have we met?"

"Our village was bombed," said the nonsmiling one as the skin on her face began to melt and run in puddles.

"What, what's going on?" K-Boy asked his mouth gaping. "Get away from me, both of you. I'm just trying to get home."

"We have no home," the smiling one said as her organs began to fall out of her stomach. "We cannnot go home. We are no more."

"You killed us," said the other reaching to touch him with a hand who's flesh now began to smoulder.

K-Boy backed away quickly, eyes wide in horror.

As the two women followed, K-Boy tripped and fell on his back. Looking up, he saw the decaying, rotting bodies falling apart at the joints and begin to drop onto of him.

On top of him, covering him, was bones and organs, blood and rotting flesh.

K-Boy begam screaming.

"Holy shit!" K-Boy exclaimed as he woke up damp with sweat, lying in bed.

There had been plenty of nightmares over the years but that was one to remember.

He could smell breakfast cooking from the kitchen. His mother made the best breakfasts. When he was out of the country, the smells and sounds from the kitchen had been something that haunted him repeatedly. The egg frying, the gun shot like explosion when the toast popped up from inside the toaster, the gurgle of the coffee machine, the popping of grease as the bacon cooked in the big, black, cast iron skillet -- the same skillet, the same grease, that his mother would use later to fry up some potatoes that everyone would fight over.

He thought of his mother and how her beautiful dark skin seemed to pale when he told her where he was headed. Orders from Uncle Sam, he'd shrugged.

"He ain't you're uncle," she'd shot back.

And that had been that. She was a woman who made her point and let it go.

That seemed so long ago.

He sniffed the air and wondered what she was fixing. Whatever it was sure smelled good.

Walking down the half dark hall, he could hear music playing softly.

Once I was a soldier
And I fought on foreign sands for you
Once I was a hunter
And I brought home fresh meat for you
Once I was a lover
And I searched behind your eyes for you
And soon there’ll be another
To tell you I was just a lie

God he loved that song.

It was coming from the living room. Must be the TV. What program could be playing Tim Buckley on this Sunday morning?

The smell of hash browns stopped his wondering and he headed straight for the kitchen.

Looked a lot different. Had his mother made new curtains?

His mother . . .

The woman at the stove.

The white woman at the stove.

Not at the beat up old stove, but a shiny, new one.

The table that had some cardboard under one leg to make it set level was gone as well.

And there was a man approaching, a white man.

Who were these people?

He ran out of the house and stopped to look around. This was his block. He checked the outside of the house. It was freshly painted, but it was the house he grew up in.

Slowly, he walked to the porch and then back inside.

There was a newspaper on the table. K-Boy stared at it in amazement.

The date on it read June 26, 2005. But . . .

But it was summer of 1968. Just awhile back, he'd been patrolling the river.

Now, here he was, at last, home.

But his home was no more.

K-Boy yelled, "Where is my mother! Who are you people!"

The woman looked over to the man and asked, "Did you say something?"

"No," the man replied. "Are you going to do the crossword?"

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }