Home > Royer's Madcap Experiences > Royer’s Madcap Experiences: Orion Revisted (Part II)

Royer’s Madcap Experiences: Orion Revisted (Part II)

By Ric Royer
File photo

We touched down in Orion about two in the afternoon.  There was a cabstand but no one wanted to go into town.

“You got the wrong kind of bounty in that place,” said one driver, who leaned against a pole smoking a cigarette.  “Yep.  Bad-tasting cake in Orion.  There’s a carrot there, alright, but be damned if you’ll be able to reach it.”

I stopped the folksy platitudes with a hundred-dollar bill.  He looked at it angrily for a moment, then stuffed it in his breast pocket.  “Let’s go.”

“What about that bad-tasting cake?” I asked.

“For the love of deep hell, you can bet I won’t be staying long.  You can hop out in front of the hotel,” he responded.

We cruised into town.  The main street was all boarded up.  “That cannibal, when he got done with his varied subtractions– well, what you ended up with was a landscape that could not be, in any conceivable manner, ample,” noted the driver.  “It was as if mortal man began slowly removing items from a beautiful fruit basket arrangement until there was nothing…”  I stopped him again.  “Drive me over to that diner,” I said.  “That diner may display the signs of prosperity but you will not find prosperity within.  You will find a mere tomb of sandwiches…”  He trailed off and I ignored it.

The door had a little bell on it.  Nobody was inside and light violin music, piped in through vents in the ceiling, played cheerfully.  I sat down and a pretty fair broad came out of the back.  She was older but sturdy and with some curvy whoppers up front.  I pretended to study the menu.

“We’re about ready to close.  All we have left are some bread sticks that Dave made up this morning.  That and a little bit of old coffee.”

“Who’s Dave?” I said.  I pushed the menu sensuously across the counter and onto the floor.

“He’s my husband.”

“Yeah?  How’s that working out for you?”

“Well…you know, we had a cannibal here.”

I nodded.  “Bring me the bread sticks.  What, are they in a bag or something?  Put ’em in a bag.”

She did as told.  I ate them straight out of the bag, slowly, almost ruthlessly.  The heat picked up.

“You…you have a certain way of eating…”  She trailed off.

“Yeah?  What way is that?”  I consciously let a giant blob of half-eaten bread stick fall out of my mouth onto the counter.

“I don’t know…you can…they have tents…”  She was making no sense now.  It was time– I suddenly crushed my lips into hers.  There was still some bread stick there but we worked it out.

An hour later, we were lying in a room above the diner.

“So, I need to get some pictures of some of the big cow-eyed girls you got here,” I said.

“They’ve all gone.  Everybody’s gone.  Orion is a ghost town.”  She lit a cigarette.

“I thought you had driven the cannibal out into the Depths.”

She laughed.  “They’ll tell you that, sure.”

“It’s not true?”

“Of course not.”

I sat down in a chair and stared out the window.  There was a lone shirtless guy down there, parading around in a plastic King’s crown.  He was making a hell of a racket.

“That’s Substitute Jimmy,” she noted.

“Batshit, huh?’

She paused.  “Maybe.  But maybe we all are.”

“Any more of those bread sticks?”  I was suddenly hungry again.  “In a bag, I mean.”

She looked at me for a long time.

To be continued.

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