Monday, October 12, 2009

FFF #5 - The Meat Bus

"Come with me, if you want to give............"

What is that extra sensory power that lunatic comic book hero uses when times like this pop up? You know who I mean. He looks like a clown and swings from strands of bodily fluids through the concrete and glass canyons of Nospecialtropolis doing good whether folks want him to or not. He'll be just another citizen minding his own business when he out of nowhere senses bad guys doing or contemplating nefarious and evil deeds. Whatever that sense was, is, or might be, I was feeling it now. Or maybe the back of my neck just itched.

".....back so that others might live........"

The Meat Bus had been circling the block with speakers blaring for awhile today. They usually stopped at some point to take on passengers who never returned. Everyone knew where the Meat Bus went. Only this one was not stopping. Every four minutes like clockwork it would appear around the corner.

".....Fulfill your destiny. Do the right thing.........."

The incessant circling was getting to me. I had been hanging on this corner for years and never once had the Meat Bus done more than a couple of laps, stopped right there 100 feet away, and waited fifteen minutes for anyone dumb enough to jump on board. It would leave empty or full and not show up until the next day. Today however, round and round.

"........Leave this crowded place and come Home..........."

I will admit I have sometimes wondered where the poor slobs who climbed on the bus ended up. The rumor was they became part of the food chain. I don't cotten no rumors. I just know I never see anyone again who gets on that bus.

" a less congested space. Come one! Come all! We have plenty of room."

Jeez, here it comes again. Wait. Hmm. It seems to be slowing down. Yeah, it is slowing down and stopping .......right there in front of me. The clown behind the wheel is opening the door................What? You want me to get on board? Nah. I'm all set. No, really ..........Oh what the Hell, I may as well see where everyone else is going.

The police blotter the next day had a brief entry in it. Another brief entry right next to bank robberies, a couple of murders, and a rape. It seems about 6 this morning one Rafael Ernesto Rodriquez discovered a body in the alley off the 300 block of Lexington Ave. He was wheeling out his garbage to the street when he found what appears to be a young white male collapsed against the wall of his Taco and Burrito eatery. The Paramedic who answered the call says it looks like an overdose. The police who answered the call said they recognized the deceased, his street name was Pony. They knew nothing else. Cause of death is pending.

And so goes my next Flash Fiction Friday. Another effort to create something that was not there before I started.

See Ya........................

(484 / 7005)


BBC said...

Um, I have no idea what in the world you are talking about.

It was cool here all day, are you fixing to batten down the hatches for winter?

My place is small and cheap to heat but I know that many will suffer this year.

If the grid goes down it's no big deal, I'll just move out in the camper where I have propane and wood heaters.

I have enough firewood for about three winters so that's cool. And the camper is all twelve volt except for one light so that's cool also.

If the grid is down for a while I can't get more propane but that's okay, I keep enough in stock to go for about a month without more.

Blah, blah, blah.

Doc said...

I have to say I like it.

I don't know that I "get" it, but I like it.

Is the meat bus broadcasting the message that appears in bold letters between paragraphs? Is this what the character is hearing, is it narration, or in his head? If this is what the bus is playing over the speakers, then it kind of sounds like the blimp that constantly floats overhead in the film Blade Runner. "Come to an off-world colony..."

Does the meat bus represent drugs and alcohol as something one could throw his life away on? Is the hero really being a martyr "so that others may live"? Or has he stumbled upon a Solent Green/organ harvesting scheme?

Am I missing the point or am I supposed to have this many questions?

I enjoy your style and rythem. The language is wonderful and I especially like, "I don't cotten no rumors." Maybe I'm out of line here, but the "where" and "how" need a little fleshing out, if for no other reason than to give the great ending more punch. Maybe just a sentence or two about what he finds on the bus would do it, or even just a bit of dialog.

These are just suggestions from a guy who is a Grade A rookie and couldn't spell manure with a mouth full of it, and should not be interpreted as a harsh critique.

I have to say I like it.


MRMacrum said...

BBC - Apparently you are not alone. I get that response a lot. Hmm. I am cheered to hear you have enough fuel to keep you warm during the big blow up, meltdown, end of the world, blah, blah, blah. I too am ready. Some Slim Jims, a case of Gatorade, and plenty of polar fleece clothing. I am all set.

Doc - Interesting response given I struggled to come up with something off of that first line. All I could think of was someone spouting from a soapbox, speaker system, or from behind a podium or altar. I went with the speaker thing.

It is obvious to me that I missed because both you and Billy are unsure of what I was trying to do. And that is fine. I more often than not miss.

I was indeed hoping to finally have the reader realize the bus, the speakers blaring, etc were all in his head.

I did toy with a paragraph of him on the bus, but it never felt right or tied cleanly into the original idea. Upon reading this again with your points in mind, I can see what you mean.

If I am going to write weird like this, I need to nail it better. Thanks much for the critique. Really.

Übermilf said...

I like that it's open to interpretation. I also took it as a futuristic cure for overpopulation upon my first reading, but I can also see it as a deranged drug addict's fantasy world.

I like that your blog background is black; it adds to the ambiance.

Demeur said...

Seeing as how you have as odd ideas as I do at times, have you ever considered that some time in the past you had a date with destiny on one of your road tours and that this is just some alternate reality? There's a thought to contemplate when you have too much time on your hands.

PipeTobacco said...


My take on the story was that the "meat bus" was something akin to the "Soylent Green" sci-fi book/film about the systematic harvesting of people to be used as food for others.

I enjoyed the entry greatly. I was an idiot and forgot to post my own in time this week even though I had it written. Here it is if you have interest or time to read it:


Alan Griffiths said...

I like this one, the flow, language etc and the whole Sci-Fi feel of it. Good stuff.

MRMacrum said...

Ubermilf - Ambiance is all that matters in this skin deep world. The wonderful part of reading is the writer only takes us so far. The rest is up to us.

Demeur - Every day is an alternate reality for me.

Pipe Tobacco - Again how I wrote it and how it was viewed ended up being two different things. Glad you liked it though.

Alan Griffiths - Yeah I liked the flow in some of it also. But I had trouble with the ending.

Randal Graves said...

The first two things that popped in my head where Soylent Green and They Live, this being a mutated version of their drug-addled love child.