Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bear Trap Beatdown Part Four

Wayne waltzed back to Harry, casual as could be, shovel in hand. He eyed the sorry sight before him. Harry was convulsing in the weeds, streaking his formerly immaculate white suit with green and brown. He'd vomited a bubbly mixture of gin and swallowed mouthwash all over his coat, and he was gibbering breathlessly to Wayne.

"Waynewaynewayne help me help me pleeeease. It hurts so bad. I need a drink, I wanna go home, I quit, this is too goddamn much. Oh Christ..."

"Now settle down hoss. I kin see yer in a lotta pain, but ya gotta settle. Lay still now, and I'll have a looksee."

Wayne set the shovel down and knelt in the patch of weeds. He parted the plantlife obscuring his view and took a gander at Harry's mangled arm. The smaller wrist bone, the ulna, stuck out from Harry's wrist just below the metal jaws, stretching ripped skin with its fractured point. Blood splashed from the rent flesh in thick heavy waves, like milk from a jug.

"Lordy, Mr. Salesman, that don't look too pretty. You're goin' empty faster'n one of my beercans. I'll see if Dorothy can muster up some bandages and I'll go down to Elmer's to use the phone. Git you some first aid."

"You... you don't have a phone? I'm gonna die. I'm gonna die in fucking Arkansas in the backyard of a dumb dirty redneck without no goddamn telephone. I shoulda stayed home and drank myself to death. Ow ow ow Shitshitshit. Eeeee. Listen to me, Wayne. Listen! I am not gonna die here with a Hee-Haw motherfucker like you standing over me all googly-eyed looking at me like I'm Jesus reincarnate. Get your fat drunk hick ass moving and do something!"

"Mister, Jesus never cursed like that. You're not such a nice fella after all. I reckon I don't much like you anymore. That's okay. We can do this the hard way, if you like. I'm gonna go grab some tools. You stay put now."



Wayne returned with his daughter. "Now Dorothy, I know this is messy, but you gotta think of it no diff'rent than puttin' down a hog for bacon. You be strong now, girl."

"Yessir, Pop. That poor man."

"Now Harry, we gotta stop yer bleedin before you run drier than a Sunday. I don't know no fancy medicine. Dorothy don't either. I'm gonna use this here torch to burn it shut. It's gonna hurt like the devil, but it's all I got."

"Gimme a tourniquet! Tie me off! I don't wanna lose my hand you scruffy fuck! They can fix it if you tie me off and go get the paramedics!"

"Pop, this fella sure got mean in a hurry."

"Shut up you dirty backwoods cunt! Go get me a bandage. Cloth! Anything! Tie me off!"

"Shut it, hoss. Save yer strength. Yer gonna need it if you don't piss me off enough an' I kill you myself."

Blood continued to spurt in weak little blasts. Harry's breathing grew heavier. Wayne and Dorothy looked at each other. Wayne ignited his blowtorch and hunched down before Harry.

"Now you might have ta hold him still, darlin', but I doubt it. He's a strong critter to last this long, but he's getting weak now. Stay close, though. You never know."

When the cauterizing blue torch flame met Harry's open wrist, Harry finally blacked out.


Harry woke to the setting sun and hot pain. Blinking and opening his eyes, he looked up to see several faces peering down at him. He felt like a trapped animal. Probably a bear. He spoke, his voice weak and hoarse.

"I hate you, Wayne. I hate your fat, ugly daughter, I hate your illiterate manner of speech, I hate your beer soaked flannel shirts, I hate your brokedown fucking cars, and most of all, I hate your greasy little shitstain of a town. You people make me sick. No phone. Not a single phone. Why me? I hate this job. I hate that I'm gonna die in fucking Arkansas. Fuck you. Fuck you all to hell. Right in the ass you toothless cornpone filth."

"See what I mean, fellas? I was just givin' this sad sack a chance ta sell me his gadgets. Hell, I was even nice to 'im. Fancypants here says he was gonna find me that huntin' knife I lost. Then he go an' get caught in this rusty old spring here. I offered help an' all he said was nasty things like 'redneck' and 'gutter trash.' He even called little Dorothy a whore. The man's no good. Bleedin' like a stuck pig he was, 'till we torched his arm there. You see the puddle. Oh, and he was sacriligious, too! Cursing Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the Lord Almighty all in the same breath. I'd just as soon kill him than help him now. So whatcha reckon, boys?"

"I think we oughta give 'im last rites. He's nearly dead, Wayne."
"I think we should go play poker. Leave this fella here for the coyotes."
"I say give 'im a shot a whiskey and a shot from my double barrel. Put 'im outta his misery. Be the Christian thing to do."
"What about target practice, Wayne? I reckon this feller's a bigger target than them zippity squirrels you cain't hit worth a damn."

"Don't be smart, Elmer. I was drunk when I was peggin' squirrels."

"Well shit, Wayne, he's yours. Don't be askin' us. You know we'll go along. Why'd you really ask us over here, anyhow?"

"I figgered maybe I could trade ya'll some of his gizmos for a little help puttin' him under. But that car a his? I'm keepin' that."

"You redneck scum. All of you. You call yourself Christians. I'm lyin' here dying, damnit! Where's your sense of mercy?"

"I reckon I'm fresh outta mercy. Your kind ain't welcome in my country, not with your high class snotty attitude. Tryin' to fleece us, too. That thing wasn't clever enough to save you, huh? That toy ain't worth no fifty bucks. You loudmouth shit. I'll show you what toothless really means. Yessir I will. Elmer, hand me that shovel. Thanks for them dandy metal detectors, Mister Salesman."

Harry's eyes opened wide, blazing bright.


Then they closed.
3:30 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


August 23, 2005 5:44 PM, Blogger Mishka said...

Brutal....but very clever...I like it. Great work!!

August 23, 2005 6:58 PM, Blogger The Everglades said...

Yeah, you've kept my attention all the way to part four. And I'll say that I normally don't like phonetically written dialogue, but you have no problem making it work. I dig it.


August 23, 2005 9:01 PM, Blogger Nobody special said...

I checked your site at least 3 times a day waiting for each new part. :)

Good stuff.

"I'll show you what toothless really means.."

That line's going to give me nightmares!

August 24, 2005 2:38 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Halfway through I had to recline in my chair and stare at the ceiling for a while before continuing.

If that isn't the highest goldang praise, I don't know what is.

August 24, 2005 10:07 AM, Blogger Kerouaced said...

Is that the Dueling Banjos from the Deliverance soundtrack playing in the background? Great ending...

August 24, 2005 11:25 AM, Blogger Other Brother said...

awesome. simply awesome. you've got a gift, steve.

August 24, 2005 11:36 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...

Kerouaced said it, I was waiting for "squeal like a pig." Great work, again.

August 24, 2005 1:01 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Nicely did, Steve.

(P.S. What are the chances that Harry will be named "Salesman of the Year" for his company? After all, he did get rid of all his samples.)

August 25, 2005 1:47 PM, Blogger Lostinspace said...

I'm here to join my praise, even if it is a few days late. Coming as a person who grew up in the south, I actually started to picture parts of Arkansas. Great imagery on the blood like milk from a jug.


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