Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode three hundred and forty-five.
This week’s episodes are brought to you by Nutty Bites!
Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.
Tonight we encounter Bunny Davis with monkeys on her back, and her shaman friend nowhere in sight.
Blow: A Bunny Davis Tale
Written by J.R.D. Skinner
Art and Narration by Opopanax
and Audio produced by Jessica May
It was painfully early and Bunny was painfully sober.
Her walk had carried her past two separate Wal-Mart outlets, both of which she’d swore at loudly; a six car rush-hour fender bender, the drivers of which she’d shouted down; and Capital City’s own mayor doing a live feed business opening for the local cable station’s morning show.
In that instance, she’d been so annoyed at having to maneuver around the crowd that, as his comically-large scissors descended on the red ribbon strung over the KFC’s doors, she’d vigorously told the posturing idiot what a shitty job he was doing.
The initial moment of the first distraction had been almost welcome though.
Two blocks beyond the opening she’d been brought to a halt at a throaty, “hello.”
The stranger was perhaps five years her elder, but the hints of gray in his hair worked to make his handlebar moustache nearly respectable. His blazer was worn enough to come across as vintage, but the Zeppelin t-shirt he wore beneath was clean enough to keep him from looking like a vagrant.
Tucking the little wooden box deeper into the crook of her right armpit, she paused and replied, “yeah?”
It was his smile that fucked it up.
Years earlier she’d driven a cab, for a few weeks, to make rent. The hours she was given left her mostly in the downtown area, ferrying suits between office skyscrapers. They all had the same ritual as they stepped onto the pavement – a sort of tug-and-tighten they would give their ties and jackets as they exited. Watching them she could tell that most didn’t even realize they were doing it. Practice had made it habit.
She’d quit the job because she couldn’t stand the paperwork junkies’ shitty tipping, and the assholes who ran the stand wouldn’t let a woman work nights.
Now, watching Handlebar pull on his lazy, aren’t-you-special grin, she could see the routine in it as clearly as any one of the execs’ last second preening.
“Oh,” he answered, “you know – it’s a nice morning. The kind that makes me wanna say hello to pretty ladies passing through the neighbourhood.”
It pissed her off more, somehow, that she knew she looked like shit that morning. Despite days of exhaustion, she’d slept no more than two hours before the maddening stability of sobriety had driven her from her bed. An additional sixty minutes of rattling around the apartment without managing to wake Will had pushed her into her sneakers and through the door.
Still, as Tim had told her every time he’d quit and restarted drinking, “a fisher’s gonna fish.”
“Huh,” she said, as her feet regained momentum. “Have a good’un.”
Before she could carry herself beyond conversational range, however, he asked, “aw, c’mon sweetie, you ain’t got five minutes to talk?”
“Hey, no need to be bitchy.”
Her mother would have told the jackass to “blow.” She could almost see the way the woman’s curled mouth dropped the word like a stone – but the response was out of bounds for Bunny. The comeback was all too predictable from these sorts of idiots. No, for today’s hovering sidewalk vulture you had to reach deep.
With the sun shining in her all-too-clear eyes, Bunny had no problem finding the anger to dig.
She stopped and opened the case.
“#####y?” she asked. ”Up until now this was the politest ####ing conversation I’d had so far today. I told the guy in the Honda, who called me a ####bag when I suggested he not yell at his ####ing twelve-year-old, that he’d spend the last seconds of his life giving himself a rim job after I peeled off his ####ing head and worked his tongue like Jim ####ing Henson.
“I don’t ####ing know you, and this ain’t a ####ing online dating site.
“Your bull#### flirtation is just an annoyance, though, until you start pullin’ the excuses – and that’s exactly what bitch is, right? Because it’s gotta be me being pissy and not the fact that your douchebaggery is apparent even to passing ####ing strangers.”
She imparted a final a consideration into the belly of his inappropriate-for-the-season t-shirt, then left.
Soon he was watching the city burn to the ground around him.
The next interruption flew down from the stoop of a brick apartment building that looked to have been built during the ‘70s, but recently re-polished and rented at a price only trust funders and overworked yuppies could afford.
“Hey, smile,” said the slow voiced polo shirt. He was sorting his mail as he spoke.
“What?” she asked.
“You’d look even prettier if you’d smile,” he replied.
“Well, while we’re trading beauty tips,” she replied, “you’d look a lot less like a puckered ###hole with your mouth shut.”
“Hey, I was trying to be helpful.”
“Yeah? Is this one of those shows where you ambush me then go through my wardrobe next and tell me what ####’s not in style? Because I generally don’t take advice from random ####adoos wearing tiny alligators on their shirts.
“Now, if this #### isn’t about to get televised, I’d suggest you show some ####ing respect. If unknown people – generally on your worst sort of days – came up to you randomly and commanded you to lose that ####ing golf gut, you’d get pretty pissed. You’ve got a wedding ring on, and I’m not a ####ing public service sent to your ####hole neighbourhood to beautify the place, so keep your tips for ####ing Cosmo.”
He shrugged and muttered, “bitch.”
“Oh, #### it,” she replied, again opening the case.
Bunny waited long enough to realize the wannabe fashion consultant was being attacked by a pack of feral homeless men, then she proceeded towards home.
The walk’s third, and last, interloper made no effort to disguise his intentions.
“Hey,” he said from the entrance way of a two-pizzas-for-the-price-of-one dive called The Deepest Slice, “you look pretty tired, wanna come have a sit on my face?”
Having spent most of her fury across the entirety of the morning, she answered in an equally direct fashion.
“You kiss your sister with that mouth?” she asked. “‘Cause if you don’t start talking to me only in the way you’d talk to your sister or mom, I swear to #### I will reach down your throat with two hands and sell your organs to the pie-man for pepperoni meat.”
“Jesus,” replied the commentator in the Oakland Raiders jacket, “lighten up. I was joking.”
“####ing hilarious. Now it’s my turn.”
She’d discovered the blowgun’s wooden box, and the handwritten note within, while pulling volumes from the apartment’s hallway bookshelf. At some point it must have been set on top of a row of hardcovers, but, at some point, it had fallen behind the tomes and hidden.
The missive was direct but informative:
A curiosity imported from the Pacific. There appears to be no occult connection, but the poison on each missile brings on violent hallucinations for hours after impact. No long term effects recorded, though the drunk next door is now unwilling to talk to me.
In all honesty, if I never hear from the man again the full dollar I used to coax him into the experiment will be worth every cent.
Though the device is fit but to repel home intruders, or to liven particularly dull luncheons, use it wisely.
Bunny had just been guessing at the cat-caller’s family make-up, but the man’s cheeks were soon slick with tears, and his throat ragged from begging his older sister, Lorelei, to not make him wear the tea party shoes.
“My toes, my toes are bleeding LoreLore – why are you making them bleed?” he was asking the air, from a fetal position on the pavement, when she finally strolled away.
Twenty minutes later, as Bunny dug for the passkey that would let her into her building’s lobby, she couldn’t help but feel like she’d certainly used the device with maximum wisdom.
Flash Pulp is presented by https://www.skinner.fm, and is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.
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