WAIT-A-BIT Part 4
_________________NO MAPS IN WAIT-A-BIT___________________
“My name is Frank”
“I`m glad you remembered,“ Hank mutters to himself
I start writing again … now not saying the words out loud as I
I woke up this morning with my head on a small desk
right next to the wood stove. I heard a scratching noise behind me,
and that is usually not a good thing in the Artic, when you`re living without a door.
I go to bed with my gun at night and I rarely clean my
clothes – so I am always ready. And I can leap out of bed and start firing like a Bonzai warrior
You can strap that tarp down pretty tight, tho, and you can hear him if he`s on his way – the Devil Beast. I read:
“The red eyed devil who hates us and knows out minds – the
beast with great claws and teeth who digs better than we can
because he wants to return to Hell.”
“The beast who eats our food and who pisses on the rest
of it, so only he can eat it later. The beast who hides the urinated food deep in a hole of his own choosing;
who scatters our possessions. ……..Who then rapes us
improperly after the despoiling is done.”
“Would you stop TALKING LIKE THAT!” Hank shouts:
“It`s giving me the creeps, this Devil Beast business…. when
did you write that shit? I hope you`re not writing any more…
I don`t think I can trust you – if you`re going to keep writing stuff like that!”
“ You sound like some evil monk in a
subterranean cell….reading out loud by candlelight… in a
monk`s hood..” He looks over at me, he gets
down almost to his knees to look. He falls to his
knees, presses his forehead against the cool clay
of the dugout wall. He turns and looks at me again:
“Shit! That`s what you look like, too!”
“What you were reading out loud – It sounded vaguely liturgical”, Hank says
” I think we have to assume it was liturgical…” I say “that it was a prayer of sorts…. seems like Thomasino was praying to the Devil on Four Legs….I say.
…..He was certain there was no escape from the Beast, the beast was surely and inexorably coming to devour him… …” I`m having trouble with this last bit… He`s scribbling like he didn`t have much time: Thomasino was praying to the GREAT BEAST ON FOUR LEGS: “Please eat my brain first!, it says, “Please eat my brain first…PLEASE! Don`t start with my testicles!“
I say, “What! Me? You think Me? I didn`t write this stuff… No, no this was a vet from South America – came up here to protect the animals..I”
“A war vet?`asks Hank.
“No, a doctor…from South America, a veterinarian. Like I said, he came up here to protect the animals.
“THESE ANIMALS? He came up to PROTECT…..
THESE ANIMALS!“ hANKS shoulders are shaking, he`s laughing.. I gotta get this down… This is crazy… this is
is too crazy…. Hank is scribbling again, “A veterinarian! Ha! Ha!”
“Yeah! I just found his diary. I was reading it to myself..”
“OUT LOUD!“ He turns to me. “You were reading OUT LOUD! It sounded as if you were saying a prayer… it sounded like you were praying to the Devil Beast…?”…. „„ “You weren`t, were you?”
” Of course not!”“Do I LOOK as if I`d do something like that?”
“In that hat with 4 screens, you look as if you might
do anything at all!”
“When we fix that door, I won`t have to sleep in these screens. Then I`ll look normal, you`ll see… and Matilda will, too.” I said.
I nod my head and whisper to him the name – “Matilda.”
Hank`s got his note pad out again, which delights me! I used to do the same thing exactly – whenever I smelt the whiff of a story.
He still thinks he`ll get a story out of this. And when
the story`s finished, he`ll give it to the newspaper And, after that?”
“After that you`ll hit the road, eh, Jack?”„, C-U-LATER!“ Is that what you`re thinking
“Yeah, I have to.. I got my story… too bad about
no job, no boss Henry..no newspaper building, no school,
no A&P… no… ….But I never knew him….”
“You got a map?” he asked.He`s standing again, almost.
“Maps, we had maps galore…. But
after the blast, there weren`t no maps no more.”
Hank had started to untie the tarp;he`d walked over to the tarp hole
“No maps… no more…. no maps by the door.“I said
” Do you think you have brain damage?“ Hank asks
“That`s a hell of a question to ask, just as you`re
trying to leave! Do you mean me?” I say
“ I mean everybody here in town, but you especially,”Hank say
“We coulnd`t find anything…. except twisted up re-bar for our foxhole walls… without the rebar… and all those beasts in the lowlands before the River, we would have been fucked! They can`t dig thru re-bar, you see… So now we`re better off – we`re not totally fucked. We`re just completely screwed…” I`m saying.
“WHAT?” he shouts. His eyes are crazed.
“Soon as the ringing in our ears cleared, we remembered we were hungry” To tell the truth. we couldn`t remember our own names , let alone the name of our town… and so WE CAN`T FIND ANYTHING ON A MAP… EVEN IF WE HAD A MAP, which…….. we…………don`t….we don know what names to match on the map….
“WE DON`T HAVE A MAP!“ i shout back at him
At least that was clear.
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