Oasis over coffee

‘So to hear Bruin tell the story is one thing, but I’ll do my best.’ The truck driver sat behind the steaming mug of coffee. Her hair was limp under a stocking cap, even though it was the middle of June. She wore coveralls with no sleeves and her brawny arms were painted with indecipherable tattoos. Her dark, close-set eyes never broke contact with Worm’s. ‘Really, if ya want the whole story, ya gotta find Bruin. Course, I couldn’t find him even if I was looking for him. Ya know?
‘Anyway, so it’s a dark and stormy night. No, really… those storms come up on ya quick out here on the plains. And anyway, Bruin’s just pulling offa the freeway and into an Oasis when—BAM!’ Her hand smacked the table, causing Worm to spill coffee onto his lap ‘BAM! His rig is blindsided by this little two-door thing. Bruin said he couldn’t tell ya where it came from, though maybe from outta the fields, but it hit his rig and there it died. Following protocol, he gets out and approaches the car. He checked for flames or smoke, but didn’t find none. So he opens the passenger door. And holy hell, he says, there’s blood everywhere. I mean, to hear him tell it, Everywhere. Like it pours outta the car onto his boots, ya know? A-and some kid or something is wailing in the back seat and there’s the driver, Bruin ain’t sure if it’s a man or a woman, slumped over the steering wheel not moving.
‘So Bruin, still following protocol, asks if the driver’s okay. But he don’t get no response. And the kid in the back is screaming to beat the band, so he turns to the back and tells the kid ya gotta shuddup. But the kid he keeps on screaming and the driver ain’t moving none either, so Bruin gets back into his rig and gets on the horn. He calls up the sheriff and says they gotta get down there. There’s blood everywhere and somebody is probably dead and the other is dying.
‘So Bruin gets off the horn with the sheriff and he goes back to the car. But this time, ya see, he goes to the driver’s side. And he opens that door. Well, sure enough, he can hear the driver breathing, but just barely, so he starts pulling the body outta the car. All a sudden the body starts screaming even louder than the kid in the back, but actual words. Bruin said the body was a man and he was screaming about his wife. “They’re gonna eat my wife,” he says, “they’re gonna eat my wife!” So Bruin pulls the man all the way out and sees that the blood is covering him, but not coming from him. And the man keeps screaming about his wife. So Bruin, he smacks him across the face, real hard, like to clear him up, ya know? And the man stops screaming, he’s so stunned that he just got hit.
‘And Bruin asks him where the wife is. The man says that it’s her in the back seat. And Bruin tells the man that the sheriff is on his way, just hold tight. And Bruin looks back into the car and looks at the wife in the back seat. She’s got blood coming out of her from all places, but she’s not screaming any more, ya see? So Bruin, he looks closer and he sees that, and I swear this on my dead mother’s grave, the wife, she’s missing both of her arms. Cut clean off, Bruin says.’ The driver paused and finished her coffee in one large gulp.

‘And?’ Worm couldn’t find anything more intelligent to say.

‘And that’s it. The sheriff, he shows up. But the wife she’s dead from losing too much blood. And the man, well he’s in such shock that he can’t even say his own name. So Bruin, he followed protocol and handed the accident off, so he gets back into his rig and continues onto the Oasis. That’s it.’

‘But cannibals? How do you know it was cannibals? That’s the stuff of movies, not reality.’

‘Look mister, I appreciate the cup of coffee, but I’m not pulling yer leg here. This ain’t no Hills Have Eyes, or whatever them movies about the cannibal mutants was called. This is the real thing. Some nice couple got themselves lost on a lollygag drive offa the freeway. They ran themselves into some folks who was hard up for food. That’s that. Desperate people don’t follow no ethics code. They do what they gotta do to survive.’

‘And it was a Dead Town where these people ran into their troubles?’

The driver stood up from the table and pulled her stocking cap over her ears, ‘Mister, ain’t ya been listening? Dead Towns are evil places. All the good went and left years ago. Nothing but bad news. I’d recommend ya stay away from them, even if yer doing a story.’ She turned and walked out of the Oasis, leaving Worm alone in the booth….

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2 Responses to “Oasis over coffee”

  1. Some dude in DC Says:

    I wonder if they ate them raw, steamed, broiled, stir-fried or slowly roasted over an open fire……

    I wonder…..

  2. Guy Says:

    I love how this creepy little story opens into a whole universe in the last moments. It suddenly becomes a prologue to a novel, instead of what it appears to be on its face. Who is this writer/protagonist character? What are the Dead Towns?

    Nicely done. Keep it up.

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