Tuesday, July 20, 2010

FFF #36 - 3rd try - Souvenirs

My third effort for Cormac's weekly FFF challenge

This story came to me one bit and a couple of pieces at a time.  It came so hard, I was sure I had bitten off more than I can chew when I indicated I would write a seperate story using each of the three starters.  I had planned to keep this one to 250 words, but well, 250 words is more difficult sometimes than I think it is. 

Welles says, "In the distance I saw all kinds of birds circling over something, but I couldn't tell what from where I was." 

This starter could be taken almost anywhere.  I ended up with this.


"In the distance I saw all kinds of birds circling over something, but I couldn't tell what from where I was.  But I had my suspicions.  After all, the man's been missing now what?  Three, four days anyway."

"Well sir, saw them birds orbiting something so I crossed the stone wall  into the pucker to check it out.  'Bout fifteen minutes of bushwhackin got me to the clearing.  A couple of vultures looked up at me when I busted through the brush.  It was Gil alright.  Birds had taken his eyes and I'm guessin some furry critters had visited.  Couldn't tell what killed him, he was such a mess.............Damn freaky I'll tell ya.  Draped over that big rock all splayed out like he was."

Wilfred Brackett paused.  Lifting his beer mug, he tried to catch Jeff's attention at the other end of the bar.  No good.  Jeff was too involved in Cleo's cleavage and thinking dirty thoughts.  Cleo was too involved in allowing Jeff to harbor those dirty thoughts. 

"Why don't you two get a room ferchrisakes", Wilfred said under his breath.  He sighed or maybe it was more of a groan as he unwound himself from the bar stool.  Forty years of living off the woods had taken their toll.  He gimped around the back of the bar and pulled another draft for himself.

Sap Benson watched Wilfred.  "Hey Will, what's up with the hand?  Quite a gash there."

Wilfred finished pulling his draft and held up his hand and rotated it.  "Yeah, one of them damn vultures got me when I tried to scatter them.  A feast like Gil drew em from all over."  Wilfred limped back to his stool and struggled up onto it's worn seat.  He took a sip off the top of his beer.  Foam dribbled from the corners of his mustache onto his grey beard.  He didn't bother to wipe it off.

"So whatja do about Gil?"  Sap hated and loved Will's stories.  They never seemed to follow any convenient line.  Came out in bit's and pieces until finally the listener had the full scoop.  But in the end, his tales always satisfied.

Will wasn't about to be hurried.  He turned and looked at Sap.  "Didn't do anything.  I came here."

"You left him out there?"

"Well yeah.  Even after what all the critters had eaten, Gil was still no light weight.  Musta been 250 lbs of dead stinkin meat layin there.  I didn't have my portable winch or a shovel with me.  What the Hell did you think I was gonna do, carry the fat bastard out on my shoulders?  Came here and called the State Police bout twenty minutes ago.  Let them deal with Gil."

Wilfred settled in and concentrated on his second draft.   Sap knew better than to push for more information.  It would come in it's own time.  He continued to nurse that one beer he allowed himself when he came to the Eustis Bar n Grill. 

"Odd thing though." Wilfred set his empty mug down.  "I weren't the first one to find Gil."

"How do you know?"

"The clearing where I found him was right off that old tote road that comes out near the Simmons place.  You know, the old road all them ATVers, motorcycles and those fools who ride bicycles in the woods use to get over to the Gap north of town."

"Yeah, I know the trail.  Use it myself in the winter when I take the sled out."

"Well sir, found a couple of tire tracks leadin from the old tote road right up to Gil's body.  Fresh too.  Had to be after that rain we had this morning."

"What kind of tracks?  Did you call the cops?"  Sap was caught now.   He was even thinking a second beer might be needed.

Wilfred turned and looked at Sap with disgust.  "Some kinda motorcycle or pedal bike they use in the woods I'm guessin........and I just told you I called the cops.  Pay attention ferchrisakes.  Matter a fact, I'm supposed to meet up with them shortly to show them where Gil is.  Figured I needed stop first for some, what do they call it now, hydration?"  Wilfred grinned.

Just then the front door swung open.  As it is in every small bar in every small burg of the World, every eye in the place turned to see who was coming in.  Two figures were standing in the bright back light of the open door.  They were laughing as they looked around for a place to sit.  Two mud spattered young men settled into a booth along the wall behind Wilfred and Sap.  Their skin tight shorts and yuppie watches told everyone these guys were mountain bikers  from away.  Everyone turned back to what they were doing and ignored them.

Wilfred finished his beer and again extricated himself from the bar stool.  His bones whined and complained as he straightened up.  He turned to Sap. "Want to head up with me to meet the cops?"

Sap looked down at the last gulp of beer in his mug.  He wasn't sure viewing or worse, smelling the rot of a large dead body in the woods was a good idea.  His stomach was skittish around that kind of thing.  But he grabbed his beer and drained what was left.  Hopping off  his stool, he said, "Yeah....Sure.  Why not?"

He and Wilfred headed to the parking lot. A car with Massachusetts plates was parked next to Wilfred's old Chevy Blazer,  Two mud covered bikes were secured into the racks on top of it.  Sap looked the bikes over as he walked around to the passenger side of the Blazer.  Something caught his eye.  He began to open the passenger door, when suddenly he slammed it shut.  Turning he studied the car from Massachusetts.

"Will..........Uh hey Wilfred."

Wilfred had already settled in behind the wheel and was fumbling with his keys.  He looked through the passenger window.  "What?  Come on Sap, we gotta go."

"No Will.  You gotta see this."  Sap pointed to the bikes on the roof of the car from Massachusetts.

Wilfred tried to lean over far enough to see the bikes on the roof of the car next to his.  They were too high up.  Grumbling and fussing, he climbed out of the Blazer and limped around to where Sap was standing.

Still pointing his finger, Sap said, "I thought you said the birds had taken Gil's eyes?" 

Wilfred followed Sap's finger to the bikes on the roof.  All he saw were wheeled contraptions that made no sense to him.  "What are you talking about?  Of course the birds got his eyes.  That's one of the first things they go for."

"Look harder Will, right there on the fork of the green bike."

Suddenly Wilfred spotted them.  Impaled on each fork leg was an eye ball.  Blue just like Gil's.  Wilfred stepped closer to confirm.  Yes, it was indeed a set of eyeballs stuck on these forks.

Stepping back, Wilfred considered this for a moment.  Finally he looked at Sap and said,  "Damn tourists and their souvenirs."


And yeah, that's a picture of my bike.  But I ain't from away. And I ain't from Eustis either.  Although I once had a sticker on my old Datsun pickup that said. "Get Useless in Eustis."  It was from a tittie bar there I absolutely do not remember visiting.

Until next time...........................................


Sue H said...

ha ha! Loved that last line!

However, as I'll be a 'tourist' in Maine in September, remind me NOT to pick up ANY souvenirs!!

PENolan said...

All I can say is that I got as caught up in the tale as Sap.

Cormac Brown said...

Of your three stories, I liked some of the prose of the second, but this was the most well-rounded and enjoyable of them all.

I was going to say something else, but it would fall into bad pun territory. At any rate, top-notch, man.

WellesFan said...

Good one, MRM. Sucked me in from the get-go. Those two chaps from Massachusetts seem like friendly sightseers. (Hey, even if Cormac's going to pass up the jokes, I'm not).

Randal Graves said...

Just goes to show that Massachusetts isn't only full of patchouli hippies. Crazy mofos.

Crybbe666 said...

This is the crowning glory for you, this week. What a fantastic tale.
Like Sue, not sure I want any mementos of my visit, either!

ERR said...

Hilarious. That was a fun read

Nicole E. Hirschi aka CJT said...

ahahaha! That was needed to say the least MRM. Nothing like a great mystery to keep us going. Great takes on all three prompts.