Monday, August 22, 2005
Bear Trap Beatdown Part Three
Harry returned to Dorothy's ramshackle abode at precisely four in the afternoon. He navigated his way across the dirt driveway past a rusty swingset (Harry thought it odd to put backyard recreation in front) and a ruptured tire to the rickety front porch. He walked up the steps and knocked on the front door.
"Whoizzit?" It was a man's voice. It must be Dorothy's father, Harry's potential sale.
"Harry Lipscomb, sir! I was here earlier, speaking to your daughter."
"Let yerself in! I'm sitting down and I ain't budgin'. Too damn tired. Dorothy, bring me another beer, wouldja hon?"
Harry opened the door and entered the sorry dwelling. A man lay tilted back in a recliner, his eyes glued to a television show.
"So you wanna sell me some sorta magic civil war wand?"
"Not exactly, sir." Harry was standing just inside the doorway, looking lost and uncomfortable. "It's a metal detector, actually. I was telling your daughter this morning how I used it to discover antiques at the Chalk Bluff battleground, and how my wife and I have a lucrative hobby business selling used bullets and other Confederate ephemera we dug from the ground. May I ask your name?"
"Yeah. Call me Wayne." Wayne had still not looked up from the television. The corner of his mouth twitched when the laugh track sounded from the weak speaker at the base of the screen. Dorothy walked into the room, delivered a Stroh's to her father, gave Harry the thumbs up, and scampered back whence she came.
"Wayne, I'd like to sell you a metal detector. Dorothy is very enthusiastic about it. Would you like to inspect my demo unit?"
Wayne finally looked up. He took in Harry's immaculate white suit, blotchy nose, and plastic smile. He looked at the metal detector resting across Harry's skyward palms. "We don't get a lot a salesmen 'round these parts, except for assholes telling me to spray shit on my lawn. I don't give a shit in a tin cup how green my grass grows, so why should I pony up for your buzzing golf club? I don't golf. I hate golf. Rich man's sport."
"With all due respect, sir, this is a metal detector. When waved over the ground, it does indeed buzz when it passes over buried metals. As I mentioned, Dorothy is very excited to try it out."
"That so? All right. I guess I can peel myself up for a few minutes. Show me how this gizmo works. Let's go out back."
The backyard was far more decrepit than the front. Sun faded beer cans littered the bare dirt outside the back door. Sparse yellow grass and thick clumps of tall weeds sprouted in different places with no apparent pattern. A rusted 70's model Chevy sat upon cinderblocks, no evidence of labor current. Cracked tree stumps protruded in three places, lightning victims that had fed the firepit. The firepit itself was large, ranging ten feet across. Burning things was obviously a frequent hobby for Wayne.
"Find my huntin' knife, Mr. Salesman. I lost it somewhere out here when I was drunk last month. I think I was chuckin' it at squirrels. Least that's what Elmer says I was doin'. I cain't remember myself."
"Ridding oneself of pests such as squirrels is indeed a noble endeavor, sir, and I shall labor to retrieve your prized possesion presently."
"I'll try to find it, Wayne."
"Okay, good. Go fer it."
Harry flicked the power switch on the stem of the Viking detector and stepped out into the lawn, ignoring the strident buzzing caused by the littered beer cans.
"Now wait a second, fella. That thing ain't gonna call down no aliens, izzit? I don't need no little green fuckers comin' 'round in the dark a night tryinna steal my Dorothy."
"Oh no sir, absolutely not. I stopped selling alien telephones over ten years ago."
"That supposed ta be funny?"
"I, uh, no sir. Let's see if I can find that prized blade of yours."
Harry wandered throughout the yard, sweeping the detector in wide arcs over the forlorn lawn. He ignored a few quick tentative bleeps, hoping to zero in on an item with significant metallic composition. The knife. He finally got an angry squawk from the detector when he ranged the unit over a particularly thick and tall clump of weeds at the far back edge of the yard, right at the edge of the forest.
"Wayne, I've got something! Have you got a shovel? There's something in this clump of weeds here, and it's big! Bigger than a knife, I imagine, and buried a foot or two deep!"
"Hold your horses, hoss, I'll be right there! Don't want you staining that lily white suit a yours!"
Harry was intensely curious. He'd never actually dug anything up from the ground before. His stories about civil war battlegrounds were wholly fabricated. Instead of waiting patiently for Wayne to return with the proper tools, Harry reached into the weeds and rooted around with his hand, testing to see if the discovery was above ground. His fingers brushed rusted iron, an arch of metal teeth protruding from the dirt. He grasped it firmly and yanked it loose from the dry dirt. It came up with a modest effort. Free of earthen obstruction, the dormant trap triggered, snapping its jaws shut with the vicious muscle of springloaded tension. It clamped upon Harry's wrist, cracking his bones, mashing his flesh, and tearing open his pasty skin.
"Gaaaaaaaaaahhh! Help! Help! Shit shit shit ohmyfuckinggod that hurts! Wayne! Help! I'm stuck! My arm! Oh my arm!"
Harry Lipscomb writhed and bled, screaming, waiting for Wayne to return and help him free.
This tale is not yet finished. Soon, heathens, soon. 6:00 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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