Sunday, June 18, 2006

FF #41

A cry went up from the crowd when I threw Big Jake through the ropes. He was the reigning Champ but he'd deviated from the game plan and put an elbow into my ribs. That'd pissed me off and I'd back-elbowed him flat out on the mat, then leg slung him through the ropes right onto the judge's table...and I'd caught the look on the promoter's face. Fuck him! I'd salted enough away over the last twenty years to do about anything I wanted and I was tired of playing the loser. If Big Jake wanted to rewrite the script, I was ready to accommodate him. He's big (if you want to call four hundred pounds of fat and flab big) but doesn't work out. When he puts one of us 'losers' into an overhead, we have to push off hard to help him get us up there, then hold onto his shoulder to stay up there while he does his turns...and we all had practiced extra precautionary moves when he 'body-slams us ("drops" would be a better description).

I jumped up on the corner ropes and booed back at the crowd as Big Jake's 'manager' helped push him back onto the mat. Big Jake managed to get up on one knee and I strutted into the center of the ring as I gave the crowd mean looks (and I was a mean, ugly looking dude--thought
about calling myself the "Squashed pumpkin" after I'd given up a short boxing career after having my nose caved in four times and my ears pummeled into cauliflower.

Big Jake looked up at me, grinning that baby-faced, gap-toothed smile the crowd loved so much
but I saw real fear in his eyes. I thought about what I was going to do to this tub of blubber. He'd usurped the script, now it was anybodys ball game-- but I was still supposed to lose.

The ref (a skinny whimp adept at rousing the crowd with the 'slow-count') stepped in between us and made the mistake of trying to shove me back. I back handed him and he flew into the ropes, bounced off and fell to his knees. He waved his arms at the bell ringer and the bell ringer looked over at the promoter who shook his head "no". The ref caught the exchange and stayed on his knees, perplexed at what to do. Of course the crowd, in its usual state of frenzy, took no notice of this.

Big jake had both hands straight out, giving me the classic "no-no-no" plam waving routine but this time he meant it for real. I kicked one flabby arm aside, reached down and pulled him to his feet by his stringy hair. He shrieked like a banshee, then I slammed him belly up onto the mat, put a real backward leg lock on him and snapped his knee. He passed out and I almost felt sorry for him. The skinny ref came warily over, glanced at the promoter who nodded and Big Jake was one-two-three counted out. The ring doctor was already in the ring by the time the bell rang with amonia under Big Jake's nose.

So now, I was the alliance's champ. I knew the promoter was both angry and pleased at this unplanned turn of events, but when the ref handed me the gaudy gold-plated belt, I tossed it across Big Jake's huge gut, gave the crowd the finger and walked out of the arena and the building. The air outside had never smelled so sweet.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

FF #40

Arm aching from hanging here so long. Probably should have hit that damn tree. Where's the friggin' Skit Patrol?...can't hang on much longer...

Should have given up on skiing when I turned forty anyway-- and was really stupid for bringing that new secretary up here with me; bitch wouldn't even get out of bed to go skiing with me.

God, it's a long drop to the bottom. Wonder if it's possibile-- if I fall-- to survive? It did snow all night, maybe a foot of fresh powder down there. On top of what? Four or five feet...or ten or twelve feet? If it's deeper than that, I'll bury myself...wouldn't that be a hoot!

Well, at least the views nice. Geez, that range over there must reach into Canada! Oh crap, the branch just broke! Oh God, I'm falling, falling...what? I'm flying! I'm using my arms like wings!
Or am I dead and this is the way to heaven?

What's that sound? A train?

I open my eyes and my wife sounds like a locomotive, snoring in the bed beside me!

Ah well, such are the dreams of an old rake.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

FF #39

He said little as they paddled their way along the sunken streets. What was there to say anyway? The government-- with less foresight than a kid playing with a gun-- were already jumping on the political bandwagon with promises to bring back the displaced and build a 'safer' city. He washed that thought away as nowdays it made him sick whenever he thought about what they were doing to the country, let alone his city.

He thought about how his grandfather used to tell him stories about the last great flood and how the feeble old man had foretold of the impending disaster (now a stark reality) that would eventually befall this city.

He thought about his father who was foolish enough to build his 'dream' house here, casting aside his own fathers admonitions as "nonsense". Now they were both missing and his gut told him they were drowned under this vast lake of poisonous water which smelled with the stench of death.

His friend Kyle, paddling in the canoe beside his, broke into his reverie: "This looks like my street...I'll go West and meet you back here in a couple of hours."

"Sounds okay," James said without breaking the rhytum of his own paddling.

An arm floated by, still covered by a ripped denim sleeve (a working mans shirt, he thought) with the hand frozen into a rigor mortis claw as if the man had been desperatly trying to hang onto something.

In the distance ahead he spotted the roof of the house his father had built. It was easily recognizable as it was the only brown steel roof along the block of two-story houses. Three of the five houses were gone, blown down by the force of the hurricane winds or perhaps washed away by the brute force of the once rushing flood waters.

He paddled the canoe around the outside of the roof. Although the water was receding, it still was above the eaves of the roof. He lashed the canoe to a vent pipe, put on his scuba gear and stepped out onto the roof. Donning his mask he breathed in the clean air from the tank but his nose still muddled the air with stench. He eased himself down into the murky water and flipped on the searchlight when he went under. The strong beam only penetrated the filthy water five or six feet ahead of him. The windows had been blown out and he swam into one. It was his grandfather's bedroom as he recognized the heavy oaken bed his grandfather had purchased half a century ago. The mattress had been torn apart and he panicked, screaming into the mask, "Goddammed alligator!" Then, as he turned away from the bed, he felt massive jaws clamp down brutally on his thigh.

LOG REPORT by Coastguard Helipcopter Alpha Three: "Canoe spotted tied to roof vent on Potter Street, No sign of life. Returned for flyover two hours later but canoe still empty.