Home > Remonstrations of Fingers Rolly > Getting to Know Fingers Rolly (Part Three)

Getting to Know Fingers Rolly (Part Three)

By Bernie Keebler
Senior Staff Writer
File photo

The low moan continues to dusk.  When the desert disappears in darkness, the face of Fingers takes on another stunning transformation.

“There’s them cake hunks in the icebox,” he says aloud.

Indeed, I find a creased and rumpled bakery container filled with asymmetrical hunks of cake.  I push them gently onto filthy plates.  Fingers begins eating almost before the dessert is even before him.

“They had this guy come out and he bought up the earth beneath us,” he comments.  Indeed, an enormous plot of desert land had recently been purchased by the heirs of Ferdinand Buntz, mallows king of Lankville.  Rumors, none verified, were flying around the region.  “What do you think he wants with that land?” I ask.  “The land is an asshole.  What would you do with an asshole?”  He pushes his plate away and then onto the floor.  It lands in a pile of garbage.

“Tell me about your wife?” I ask.  It’s a dicey question; Fingers’ bride had died decades before.

“She was in the stenographers pool at the high school,” he responds in an even, quiet voice.  “They gave her a little cubicle and I used to go in the cubicle and talk to her.  Lovely girl.  Very fat.  But lovely.  She looked like a gibbous moon.”

“And then you moved here, to the desert?”

Fingers slowly shakes his head.  The sweat is pouring off him.  I bear witness to the rising vitriol.

MOTHERFUCKKKKKKKKKKERRRRRRRR.   He gets up and grabs the shotgun again.  I stop him.

“Rest.  Rest in the chair,” I command.  He does as told though I notice that his face has changed again.  I decide to press.

“Why?  Why do you hate the desert?”

But he will not answer.  He is gone now.

For want of something to look at, I find a small stack of old gas station road maps in a heap of floor garbage.  Many are of the desert region.  Opening them, I find a thick series of crude markings in various inks with arrows leading to the margins and annotated with a mysterious combination of letters and numbers.  These markings are virtually impossible to explain so I pocket one of the maps so that it may be photographed later.  It is reproduced here for the first time.


Gas station road map of Desert Region with Fingers’ strange markings.

Hours pass.  My curiosity is insatiable.  I quietly move to the living room and, with the faint illumination of a cellphone, look through the signs again.  Moving to the coffee table, I begin sifting through the mass of papers and letters (many never opened).  Yet, there seems to be no key that I can stick in a keyhole, turn, and, by the rotation of moving cylinders, pin tumblers and so forth, unlock the mystery.

Then, I am surprised by the distant sound of a motor vehicle.  Lights flash across the windows.  It seems to be coming surprisingly fast– the crunch of boots on the gravel outside causes me to freeze where I stand.  Then I drop to the carpet and attempt to construct a hiding fort out of blankets and pillows.  They are outside the door now.

“Flatten them,” someone says.  Boots crunching again, then the sound of my tires being slashed by a knife.

“You jus’ let me know when you’re ready,” the same man says.  It is in monotone; a brutal voice without mercy.

I throw off the blankets and pillows and make a beeline for the backdoor.  I pause only for a moment as a deadly shotgun blast bursts through the wood frame.  It seems to have come from nowhere; almost silent, faintly sibilant.

Then, I am running across pitch black scrubland, away from the house.  A booming roar of an engine starts up and I am now being chased by a raging pickup burying everything in its path.

This may be my end.

The story of Fingers Rolly and Bernie Keebler’s possible murder will be continued in future issues.

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