Saturday, December 08, 2007

jack and the magic bean bus

Chapter Three - The Sun-Dried Stranger

“Oh my, we’re really, really sorry!” apologized the mom as Jack regained his composure at the kitchen sink. “You’ll be fine. Don’t worry,” said the dad in an encouraging way. In between cheers, Jack could hear the kids saying, “Can we keep him? He’s better than TV!” Then one of the kids asked Jack if he would stay for lunch. “No way, kid,” snapped Jack a little too harshly.
“Sorry,” he back peddled. “I’ve got to get going.” Maybe the bleach water was helping to clear up his muddled thoughts the way it would clear up his digestive tract later.
Jack remembered that he had to follow Sister Kim’s instructions and take the beans the kindly nun had given him to the great mountains in the west where he would find Kelby and be safe.
He had stayed here too long. Jack asked for his bicycle, and they all took him to the garage while still gushing apologies. As the garage door opened a young raccoon startled everyone as it darted from behind the lawn mower and out across the yard to the trees beyond. Jack’s bicycle had been waiting patiently in the garage, although its rear wheel was sitting in a pool of fresh raccoon pee.

This brought about a fresh round of cheers from the children and shoulder shrugs from the rest.
With a quick wave and a mumbled thank you, Jack stood on the pedals and rolled down the driveway which was just long enough for him to realize that he was still lost and didn’t know which way to go. The early morning sun was hiding behind a dull gray sheet of clouds and provided no clues, but Jack wasn’t about to turn around and head back up the drive to ask for directions.
Going on instinct, he turned left and cruised up the street, taking it as far as he could before turning onto another street, and then another. Wandering around aimlessly was getting more and more frustrating, until suddenly Jack heard the “Phssss phssss phssss phssss phssss” sound of a flat tire.

“Great,” thought Jack. “Just what I need now.” But as he slowed and moved toward the curb, another rider passed him, grinning and laughing. Jack looked down at his tires and saw that he didn’t have a flat after all. The other rider up ahead had made the sounds of air leaking from a tire to trick Jack.
Forgetting everything else for the moment, Jack began chasing the other rider. The practical joker had been looking over his shoulder and was ready for this. He picked up the pace, but not in time to keep Jack from jumping to his rear wheel and sitting in his draft. Try as he might, the other rider couldn’t drop Jack or shake him off of his rear wheel. Sister Kim had taught Jack well.

Finally, near the outskirts of town, the other rider slowed down and Jack pulled along side him. “Hey, jerk. What’s the big idea?” yelled Jack between breaths.
The other rider ignored Jack’s insult and instead of answering Jack’s question, he simply said, “Hey, you’re pretty strong. I haven’t seen you riding around here before.”
Jack was still ticked off and said, “Whatever. Now I’m really lost.”
“Where are you headed?” asked the other rider.
Jack replied cautiously, “I’m supposed to head west.”
“How far are you going?” came the reply.
“Oh, pretty far, pretty far west,” said Jack evasively.
“Hmm,” said the other rider.

And as they passed a sign showing the towns of Prairie City, Monroe, and Pella ahead, the stranger said, “My name is Scott Dickson. I know a short cut. It only adds about ten miles. What’s your name?”

to be continued...
[a serial by little orphan dbax]


Anonymous said...

kim, i have vague recollections of jack on ragrai in the late 80's/early 90's. there was a stop in Washington and we went to a convenience store where we "borrowed" some beer. jack determined it was a convenience store and it would have been inconvenient to stand in a really long line to pay for the beer. shortly thereafter we were walking down an alley when a large german shepherd attacked. i think he singled out jack as the weakest/sickest of the bunch. we all held the beer while jack screamed "get him off me! get him off me". now, i know from reading your posts you're not a religious man in the traditional sense, but there was some divine intervention as we were too drunk or scared to help poor jack, but that dog did release jack. he had a nice bite mark on his ass. the image was sort of a version of the coppertone sunscreen ads....glad to see no long term effects. btw, where on earth did you unearth the old picture of dogbait, dumpy and the UI cheerleader?

the mostly reverend said...

you'd be amazed the crap i have laying around.

Nic said...

Wow, indeed, I can claim to be a published photographer now! Thanks for starting of my 15 mins of fame when I wasn't looking ...
Hope all is well in the ice storm. May your cycling shorts be woolly and warm.

the mostly reverend said...

too many miller lites?
congrats, famous man.