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Archive for January, 2012

Robyn’s Run

By William Currens Devol

Copyright January 2012

“The idiot and I are leaving the Pub now,” Robyn said into the cell phone. “If we don’t win this $100, I’ll kick your ass, Neil.”

The idiot in question called himself Dub. The $100 was a bet that Dub’s old, green pickup truck could go from The Pub in Windsor to the Ranch House Bar and Grill in Painesville faster than could Neil’s 2007 Monte Carlo.

Neil was Robyn’s boyfriend, and Dub’s girlfriend Hannah had called Dub to tell him that she and Neil had made the 25-mile run in 18 minutes. When Hannah finished speaking with Dub, Dub handed the phone to Robyn and let her speak to Neil.

When Robyn closed her phone, Dub looked over at Robyn with eyes that were the brightest blue she’d ever seen. Dub screamed, “YIPPY-O-KI-A, Motherfucker,” and floored his old, green pickup truck.

Dub’s truck sputtered and died.

“Jesus,” Robyn thought.

Dub looked confused, but then he smiled and opened his door. He climbed out of the truck and reached behind his side of the old bench seat and came out with a rather sizeable pipe wrench. Dub turned his Indians cap around backwards, flipped the big wrench in the air and caught it after one revolution. Dub then reached under the dash and pulled the lever that popped his hood.

Robyn watched through the cracked windshield in amazement as Dub unlatched and lifted the hood and struck something under it a crushing blow with the pipe wrench. The clang was loud and Robyn jumped in her seat. Dub stared under the hood a few more seconds and then dropped the hood in place, returned the pipe wrench to its spot behind his half of the seat, and climbed back behind the wheel.

Dub turned his ball cap back around and said, “Don’t forget your seat belt.” When Robyn clicked her seat belt into the latch, Dub started the truck.

“Damn,” Robyn thought. “This old bucket of bolts sounds better, but how can a wallop with a pipe wrench make an engine sound better?”

This time, Dub whispered, “YIPPY-O-KI-A, Motherfucker,” and floored his old, green pickup truck.

Space Shuttle astronauts can expect a maximum of 3 Gs when the main engines are throttled up on the final push to orbit. It is uncomfortable, but they can still move and perform tasks with some dexterity. Robyn was pinned to the bench seat and she couldn’t lift her arms. She quit worrying about her paralysis when she looked out the windshield and saw nothing but blue sky and clouds which seemed to rush toward her.

“Hang on Robyn,” Dub said, “This is the worst bit. Give it another 10 seconds.”

Ten seconds after that, Robyn felt like she was kicked in the back. One second after that, she realized she was weightless. One second after that, Dub’s truck swung around to point, nose down at what looked like the United Kingdom.

Robyn stared slack-jawed at the earth which filled the windshield. Robyn then slapped her hand to her mouth. Dub reached under his seat and pulled out what looked to be a waxed, brown paper bag, and held it out to Robyn.

“In here, or we will spend all day chasing chunks,” Dub said.

Robyn grabbed the bag from Dub and got it open and up to her face with nearly no time left on the vomit clock. Robyn retched up beer and food until she was empty. She turned to Dub with the bag to her face and, with her eyes and body language, asked him what she should do with the bag.

“Pinch it shut and give the neck a twist or two,” Dub instructed.

Robyn did as Dub instructed.

“Put it in the glove box and shut it,” Dub said.

Robyn did.

“Thanks. Now watch this,” Dub said. Dub pushed a tri-angular logo on the truck’s radio face plate. Robyn heard hydraulic systems start up, and the entire dash of the truck transformed into what any science fiction fan would recognize as a space ship control console. Rob pushed a light on the console, and the glove box whined and flashed a bright green.

“Take a look,’ Dub said and pointed at the glove box.

Robyn leaned forward and opened the glove box. It was empty and now looked quite deep.

“What,” Robyn said. “What, Where, Who, Where.”

“Dematerializer, Spaceship, in orbit above earth, I am Dubrztsorg, and straight out your side of the truck about 175 light years,” Dub said reaching into the front pocket on his bib overalls and pulling out what looked like a stainless steel Tootsie Pop. “If you are still nauseous, touch the big end of this anywhere behind your ear. Space sickness can be a real bitch.”

Dub gave the Tootsie Pop a tiny push, and Robyn grabbed it as it floated by. She touched the implement behind her right ear and all trace of her flip-flopping stomach was gone.

“Thanks,” she said. “That did something to my inner ear, right.”

“Yep, good call. I knew you were bright the minute I met you. Keep that; it fixes dizziness, nausea, it cures hangovers, and it makes your breathe sweet again,” Dub said.

Robyn smacked her lips together and swished her tongue across the roof of her mouth. Her mouth tasted sweet. She blew her breath into her cupped hand and inhaled through her nose. She smelled cinnamon.

“Dub,” Robyn said. “Who the fuck are you, and why do you have me in earth orbit in an ugly green pickup?”

“Is Neil the one,” Dub looked into Robyn’s eyes and asked. “Is he Mr. Right?”

“What,” Robyn said.

“You say that a lot,” Dub said. “Is Neil your one true love? Do I have a chance with you Robyn?”

“Are you trying to pick me up.” Robyn said with irritation. “Is this how you impress women on Mars? You kidnap them against their will and whisk them into orbit for an ultimate game of put out or get out?”

“Whoa,” Dub said. “I didn’t kidnap you; you agreed to come with me to time the race. I haven’t laid a hand on you, and I said 175 light years, so you ought to know I’m not from Mars.”

“Mars was a figure of speech,” Robyn said.”You haven’t laid a hand on me, that’s true, but pardon me for being freaked out, and how the hell do you plan to win the race, we are in orbit, Dub?”

Dub looked at the watch on his left wrist, “We took off 11 minutes ago; we can stay up another six minutes and still win this bet. Let me try this again, Robyn, are you free to date, and if you are, can I call you and maybe we could get coffee or leave some tire tracks on the moon they can puzzle over if they ever go back?”

“No, Dub, Neil is Mr. Right Now, but what about Hannah? I don’t steal men from other women,” Robyn said.

“Well, that’s a positive development,” Dub said smiling, “Hannah is my sister Hanrztsorg, and she has no problem stealing men from other women. That’s the second reason I asked you about Neil.”

“You’re telling me that your sister is a space slut and she is trying to steal my boyfriend…well, good. Neil was starting to be a real pain in the ass, and I think he’s an alcoholic,” Robyn said. “Hey, are you actually a reptile or some other bizarre alien life form?”

“Nope,” Dub said. “It’s a long story, but the same folks that started my world also started your world.”

“What about God,” Robyn asked.

“I said it was a long story, but for now let’s just say that we have common beginnings and leave it there,” Dub said.

Robyn looked perplexed for only a second and then smiled and said, “You still up for a cup of coffee.”

“Absolutely,” Dub said. He beamed a simile right back at Robyn.

“How’s the coffee on your planet,” Robyn asked.

“It’s called fruzhrf,” Dub said. “And it’s as good as Starbuck’s. On my planet, we have genetically altered the fruzhrf beans to come in black, cream, sugar, and cream and sugar flavors, but, with all our technology, we couldn’t make a decent cappuccino until I bought one on Ebay and sent it home to be reverse engineered.”

“How long would it take us to get there,” Robyn asked.

Dub looked at his watch and said, “Not more than a few minutes, but we’ll lose the race to the Ranch House Bar and Grill if we go.”

“Are you shiting me; fuck the race,” Robyn said. “How the Hell can we go 175 light years in a matter of a few minutes?”

“Well,” Dub said. “The universe is like a piece of paper. You can fold it so one spot is very close to any other spot…I can go on with the explanation, or you can push that blinking green button.”

Robyn leaned forward and depressed the blinking green button.

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