Flash-Fiction-Friday - FF-Bare
by Brian Auspice

I argue with a stranger about something insane. I walk away. I drive to a pet shop. I go inside. It smells like a pet shop. All sorts of exotic-looking fish swim in tanks of deep blue, except for one, which has gone belly-up from lack of lackluster. I spot a python slithering in a glass display. An employee feeds it a severed head. I wander over to the spiders and watch a paralyzed cricket get eaten alive. It reminds me of a large frog I saw when I was a child. It, too, died, at some point, I’m sure. I leave. I come back. I inspect a bird. It tries to talk to me, but it doesn’t speak my language. It squawks something in Greek, or Latin, or a weird dialect of Portuguese. I leave again. I drive to a field and put my car in neutral. I watch dark clouds drift by overhead. I listen to the countless rows of hay sway as God blows on his billion-year-old bowl of soup. I see a scarecrow in the distance. It sees me. I try not to notice. It shifts its eye contact to a crow flying by. I put my car in reverse and slowly back out. The scarecrow cries maggot tears. I laugh a little, on the inside, of course. I merge onto the highway and go seven-hundred miles per hour towards a decaying sunset. I pull over at a diner. I order the special.

“Here’s your hot mess,” some raggedy red-headed skank in a skimpy skirt and loose top says to me as she hands me a plate with a burger on it.

“This tastes like Syphilis,” I reply after the third bite.

Two bikers in a booth behind me take offense to my accusation.

“That’s 100% pure USDA-certified organic Gonorrhea, pal,” the biker with the longer beard says. They stand up and crack their knuckles. I blind them with a fistful of Sweet’N Low and make a break for the exit. They chase after me. I get in my car and floor it. Dust. Gravel. A pair of silhouettes in my rearview kicking the ground and cursing. They’re too lazy to go for their bikes. The booth is comfortable. The coffee is hot. A red-headed skank is there to wait on them from now until eternity.

I drive. I get lost. I consult a map. I spend several hours creeping down dirt roads that don’t exist. I find my exit. I run out of gasoline just as I turn into the parking lot of my apartment complex. I sputter to a stop. I get out. I go home. A stranger is on my couch. I sleep with her. I fall asleep with her.

Brian Auspice exists in an impermeable void between time and space. A gazebo entitled “Deep Blue” is being published by Eraserhead Press as part of their 2014 New Bizarro Author Series. 01001010 01101111 01101000 01101110 00100000 01110011 01110101 01100011 01100011 01110101 01101101 01100010 01110011 00101110 http://bauspice.wordpress.com

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