More on this later… (Part 7)


It’s a Sunday. 4:00 in the PM.
“You’re gone, baby,” Stu says near his writing desk.

“Gone with the wind. Won’t be seeing you again.”
He pulls a page from the typewriter and tears

it to pieces before walking it outside
and letting the crisp Kansas wind scatter the

tiny scraps of page 18 from his newest
novel, entitled: Killer of Fish, Part II.

He dusts his hands and lights a cigarette as
the wind dies down. The only sound is that of

two distant church bells. “St. Vincent. St. Mary’s,”
Stu says, exhaling smoke like a dragon. “Hey,

he says, looking up at the sky. “Have you seen
the Japanese character for ‘dragon in

flight’? It’s pretty intense. I saw it in an
old book I found at a store up in Winfield

that mostly sells framed cross-stich patterns of things
like frogs and butterflys. Occasionally

you find a gem. You just have to search for a
while to find it. It’s like meeting a good

person in a world filled with shitheads like The
Turgidsons. I just got home and the place is

ransacked. I can only assume they did this
because my crops are still intact and I know

C.C. doesn’t partake in smoking. Ever.
She’s a lunatic, but the only drug she

likes is caffeine. She used to be uptight, back
when we were kids and everyone called her Sue.

I remember one summer she pulled out her
yearbook and told me what she thought of all the

kids in our school. I never told anyone
what she said about them, because that was her

business. I just liked hearing her talk. She
could have read a Chinese food menu and I

would have listened. Then her dad died and … well … she
started dressing like Sara Connor and said

her name was C.C., the way her dad wanted.
See, her pop was a movie critic for the

local paper and he loved old war movies.
He was also a bit of a nut, who had

his name legally changed from William Baker
to Buck Turgidson. He had a weird thing for

George C. Scott, because he named his children George,
Cecelia and Scott. His wife’s name was Bunny

and she died giving birth to her daughter. Folks
say that’s when her old man lost his mind. Bunny

was the only one who thought his awful puns
were funny. Buck lost his job at the paper

after he wrote an article comparing
our handicapped mayor to Dr. Strangelove

and ended the piece with the phrase, ‘They’re stealing
our fluids!!’ 27 times. I heard he

paid the editor 100 bucks to let
that one slide through to the presses, but who knows?

Small towns and their rumors, I suppose. That’s just
how it is from place to place. In Van Nuys the

porn stars talk crazy shit about each other
and what they do when they’re not humping for cash

and the workers at Roscoe’s call the waiters
at Fat Burger morons when they’re not looking

at all the fine-looking ladies strutting their
stuff up and down the street, hoping to be seen

by someone someone else thinks is important.
It’s life – insanity no matter where you

go. I hated California. I missed Sue.
I never wanted to leave Horner’s Corners.

When I came back home I looked her up and gave
her my book – the thing that got me out of Hell

and back to Kansas. Back to my home by the
Walnut River. I love this place. It’s peaceful.

No one bothers me and I don’t bother them.
Well … no one but George and Scott. They’re the ones who

told Sue I was crazy for dedicating
my book to her and Bob Dylan, aka

Bobby Zimmerman.” In the sky, lightning. Then
the rain begins. Soft, at first, then harder. Stu

flicks his cigarette into the bin near the
door and goes inside. Meanwhile, in Winfield…


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