Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Accidental Taxidermist Part Two

Raccoons breathe like babies, high and soft. Their little panting breaths popped the bubbles of saliva left by their eager tongues.

I flinched, squirmed, and bucked. The raccoons backed away. I could not raise my arms to protect my face or inspect my wound. I was bound, pinned by a crosshatched weave of fine twine tied around gnawed stick stakes. The stakes were planted in a rectangle around my bruised body.

Peripheral vision revealed a dirt cavern lit through a hole at the apex, no doubt the same hole I tumbled down. A haphazard grid of twigs and sticks were woven into the walls, some protruding, others lashed to those. On the dirt floor sat thirty or forty raccoons in small groups, families sharing an evening social in the community center. Many wore little bamboo hats. They chattered in yips, grunts, paw claps, and tail thwacks.

They formed a loose ring around me. I was the topic of discussion. When you're tied to the ground in an underground chamber by an army of intelligent scavenger animals, their human-like behavior is not cute. The chin-rubbing ponderous thoughtful meditation does not reassure. The hateful glare of urine-colored eyes does not fascinate. I wanted out. I wanted a hot shower. I wanted a band-aid. I wanted a salami sub with bannana peppers and spicy mustard. Pronto. I wanted reality.

Instead of straining at all the strings at once, I began to wriggle and pull gently at those binding my right arm, hoping to buy some slack. Punishment was immediate and painful. A massive raccoon, likely the leader, seized my index finger and stabbed underneath my nail with his claw.

"Gah! Fuck! Ow! Stop that, you furry fuck!"

Unintelligible chatter babbled from all around. The fat fuzzy sadist barked, quieting the assembled tribe. He gestured towards a dark passage I had not noticed during my initial glancing survey. Four raccoons bounded up a rickety twig trellis and into a high tunnel. The rest remained around me. They peered intently at the skyhole.

I did the same. Gazing through the hole, I wondered what sort of ill-conceived radioactive laboratory mishap had spawned these angry mutant coons. I wondered how many people had been captured by them. They obviously had practice. I wondered why they'd lured and trapped me. Was I to be food, clothing, or fertilizer? Worse?

I was looking up at hole when the light began to dim. The fading light betrayed the dying of the evening. I considered my options for escape. I had nothing to work with, yet. As frustration set in and I began to panic, the eclipse began. The hole above was closing, the dim light obscured, inch by wobbly inch. I decided I did not like the raccoons' false eclipse. Darkness was my enemy.

Then, the hole fell. They'd pushed a large rock over and through the hole. I shut my eyes. It was all I could do. It struck my right temple. Blackness again.

I awoke in another chamber, tied again to the floor. Most of my shirt had been removed, leaving only a t-shirt collar with loose scraps trailing away. The glow of fire lit a wall of human bones and skulls, lashed together with human hair.

A procession of raccoons used nimble paws to poke sticks into a pit of glowing embers. One by one, they marched up to me and stabbed at my side with hot glowing tips. Their weak jabs did not break my skin, but they branded a constellation of blisters up and down my ribcage. Throughout the ceremony I remained mostly silent, panting, grinding my teeth, trying to find a weakness in their twine restraints.

I began to realize that I would not escape.


Conclusion tomorrow. I'm too busy to run the last lap on this tale today. Sorry. Again.
12:45 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm

7 Comments:

July 05, 2005 12:58 PM, Blogger Kerouaced said...

You inject such fucking funny tidbits into these stories. I burst out laughing. "Many wore little bamboo hats." It's a gift man. To know when to slip that absurd stuff in and catch the reader by surprise. Great work...I could see a book of these stories...

 
July 05, 2005 1:04 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

I suspect you are raccoon food by now, except for your bones, which obviously are being used for decoration. I will get Latigo Flint to finish the story for you.

 
July 05, 2005 5:58 PM, Blogger Lostinspace said...

you wanted a salami sub?! hey. who posted as me last time (the underground la la la comment)? it sort of freaked me out.

 
July 05, 2005 6:04 PM, Blogger The Everglades said...

Part two was worth the wait. As per usual, you write about something that I would never be able to drum up in my own imagination, which is what keeps me coming back.

Blake

 
July 06, 2005 2:25 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

This is good. By the waxed handlebar of Earp this is very good!

 
July 06, 2005 9:33 AM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Thanks all!

LiS, I have another friend who uses the same handle in a fiction group I joined recently. That's him visiting, not someone trying to misrepresent you. All is well.

 
July 06, 2005 9:51 AM, Blogger Wardo said...

It doesn't bode well. The inner chamber has human remains decorating the walls? But...how would the protagonist have survived to write the tale?

I cringed at the passage about getting a rock dropped on your head. I imagine seeing that happen, the shade of the rock appearing, and then the sudden drop of the stone...it worries me.

-A

 

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