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The Amazing Capt. of Wonders

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[Jul. 7th, 2009|08:18 pm]
The Amazing Capt. of Wonders
This is my third writing expansion. Sort of came up with it randomly. I think I may work on it for my large final story, although it will be changed a lot, and involved bugs.

I brought seven dollars in nickels with me. Nickels are fucking worthless, but I found them inside the junk drawer before I left my laundry room for the last time. I was saving those seven dollars for something goddamn important. Not something like food, or hotel rooms, or gas. I was saving it for something that would really change my life.

I wasn’t really a runaway because I didn’t have anything to run from. I was just heading somewhere south in my beat up blue Chevy. I passed Greenley and Pueblo, Springer and Santa Fe. None were quite south enough. When the next town was Las Cruces and the names on the blurry exit signs were starting to sound more and more like Mexico I decided that maybe I was going to hit the edge of my containment, bump up against the wall pathetically and return to somewhere that wasn’t the middle of the desert.

But you know how it is. How right when you think there’s nothing that makes any goddamn sense and you’re ready to accept the universe as some random bitch that has you in its death grip you pull off the heated highway and discover a town called Truth and Consequences.

Truth and Consequences, New Mexico. I’m not fucking kidding you.

I pulled up to a gas station.

I didn’t need gas but I figured I’d stop because my skull was spinning from the long drive. Straight desert roads can really get into your head.

I parked, not bothering to lock my car after climbing out. If someone actually wanted to put in the effort steal the heap of metal then perhaps they needed it more than I did.

The inside of the station wasn’t cool at all. I don’t know what I’d been expecting out in a crappy middle of nowhere place like this, but that heat still hit me hard as I opened a heavy glass door peppered with taped on missing person signs and adds for English lessons.

Everything inside looked like it hadn’t been touched in years. I recognized a stack of those visors with fans on the tips that had been remotely popular in the 1990’s. The candy was covered in dust. The air smelled like the low fan in the back was just circulating rancid odors around each aisle. I probably would have left the place if it hadn’t been the first stop in Truth and Consequences.

“We don’t have beer here,” a male voice, clear of any southern dialect, sounded from behind the counter. I walked forward because I couldn’t see anyone and I wanted to know who the hell was talking to me.

“Across town, on Date Street, they have beer over there if that’s what you’re looking for.”

The guy was slumped behind the counter in one of those swivel chairs, fully compressed so that he was as low to the ground as he could be. His hair looked like it hadn’t been washed since the opening of the establishment and he kept it swept back from his face at an awkward angle like it was held there by the mere strength of the grease that plated it.

“I’m not,” I told him, taking another step forward. Something about this careless jumble of a man just seemed so remarkable to me. His shirt was a loose plaid mess stained with odd colors and cheeto handprints stripped his pants.

“The pumps don’t work either,” his puffy lips spoke the words down at the black and white tiled floor. “And don’t ask for change.”

“I won’t.”

“What’re you here for then?” He was the worst salesperson I’d ever met, and I was still finding myself hung up on every sneered word.

I couldn’t answer him because I had no idea. Maybe they get a lot of soul searchers in Truth and Consequence and he’s used to fucked up people like me wandering the streets for some sort of answer. Maybe I wasn’t the first to come into his store and find myself imagining what life would be liked if I staid where I landed.

I stood at the counter and emptied my deep jean pockets of seven dollars in loose coins. 140 goddamn nickels.

“ I dunno. But I have enough change as it is.”