A Disaster of Stupidity

in #writing4 years ago

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Hi all! I decided to take a break from looking at crypto charts and exercise the creative side of my brain a little bit today. This short story seemed like a better idea when I started it, but as an exercise in creativity it didn't turn out too bad.

A Disaster of Stupidity

The last thing Stan had expected out of the day when he contemplated life over coffee this morning was that he would later find himself having a conversation with a corpse. Yet here he was, and there it was, and he'd be damned if it wasn't talking. It's also not what he had expected to find when Susie from the truck stop had called the station and asked him to come roust a fella who had locked himself in a bathroom stall.

“Sheriff Hodge,” she'd said. “We got us a situation out here at the truck stop and we sure could use your help. Some fella came stumblin' in the front door and locked hisself in the bathroom and won't come out. Now he ain't even answerin' when we knock, and there's one helluva godawful smell over by the restrooms now. I think he musta been drunk and passed out in there.” Stan was about to make the rounds anyway and would have been stopping sooner or later for his doughnut and coffee when he got to truck stop, so he headed on over to see what he could do.

Monroe, Kentucky isn't the sort of place that much interesting happens, ever. About the most exciting things to happen in these parts were women birthing babies, horses birthing foals, and old folks goin' home to see the Lord. Not that Stan hadn't seen a corpse or two in the line of duty. There was that city fella last year that ran hisself off the road. He had somehow ended up with a tree branch poked clean through his windshield and skewered his neck. Somehow, that fella had managed to hang on for a whole thirty minutes or so until Stan came along, even with the tree branch through his neck. It wasn't until Stan had pulled out the branch in an effort to help the guy feel better that the blood had come a gushin' and he turned into a corpse. Stan had watched it happen, so he knew from up close and personal experience what a body looked like when it changed from a live one to a dead one.

So when Stan finally got the bathroom door open out at Susie's place he knew he was lookin' at a corpse. It's just the kind of thing you can tell. Which is why he jumped clean outta his skin when the corpse opened it's eyes and looked at him.

“Lord A'mighty, mister. I sure thought you was dead. You sure do smell like it.”

Stan got out his radio and called down to the station. “Debra May, see if'n you can git hold of Billy over in Pokinaw and have him hurry out to the truck stop with his van. We got a fella here that needs to git to the hospital ASAP, and the ambulance is still down for repairs.” She'd said she'd send him right away.

“Now mister, I got some help on the way, so you just sit tight and hold on. I'll be right back.” Stan hurried out of the bathroom and asked Susie for a fan. She had one of those floor-drying types around here somewhere and Stan figured that outta help clear out some of the bad air in there. After propping the door open with the fan and getting it going, he took the glass of water he'd brought back with him and offered it to the corpse. It didn't seem interested.

“Badge,” it said. It was kinda hard to make it out, but that's what Stan thought he said anyway. The bubbling black sludge the fella had around his lips made it hard to tell for sure.

“Badge? Oh, yessir, I do have a badge. Sheriff Stan Hodge, Monroe County.” He showed the corpse his badge just so the fella knew he was official and all.

The corpse, all splayed out on the floor like it was, seemed to weekly shake it's head and tried to point at something.

“Oh, you mean your badge. This name badge?” Stan picked it up off the corpse's chest and read it. “Well I'll be. You're one of them NexiGen fellas. You lot sure do keep to yourselves, so we ain't never met. In fact, you're the first one I met since y'all set up shop out there at the edge of the county last year. All them official government signs do a right good job of keeping y'all pretty lonesome out there, I s'pose.”

The corpse tried to say something else but all that came out was a gurgling sound. The effort seemed to be a bit much for him, so Stan just kept on a talkin' in order to help the guy stay conscious. “Say! Now that I've met one of ya, maybe you could help settle up a bet. You see, my sister Jennie Mae and my cousin Bobby have a bet about what y'all do out there. Jenny Mae figures you folks are the ones what figured out how to make them pet fish glow in the dark. Bobby figures it gotta be somethin' a bit more official than that, what with the security y'all got in place. He thinks y'all are working on getting people to where they can choose the color of their baby's eyes and stuff like that. What is it y'all do out there anyhow?”

The corpse opened it's eyes again, glanced at the badge, and in a gasping gurgle said, “Turn. Over.”

There was a phone number on the back of the badge. “Yessir, Mister, ah...” Stan flipped the badge back over. “Colonel? Stigmetz is it? That's a right funny sort of name. I'll be sure to call 'em and let 'em know where you are as soon as we get you taken care of. Billy's on his way with the van and ought to be here soon enough.”

The corpse weakly shook it's head. “Tell them... containment breech... level... five.” It's head lolled in the direction of the fan Stan had put in the door and then looked pointedly right at him. “Air... born.”

“Hot damn, I knew it. Y'all ain't a runnin a gene-netics company all, is ya. Y'all are a front for a military prison. Just like the government folk to not tell us what's really goin' on out there. You had an escape? I'm surprised, what with all your fancy security out there. So there's an Airborne Ranger out there on the loose? Was you escortin' him? Did he do this to you when he escaped?”

The corpse shook it's head, and coughed up some more of that black goo. Whatever happened when the airborne guy escaped must have really chewed up this guy's insides. Must have been one hell of a fight. “Tell... close... Kentucky.” That's when the corpse actually became a corpse, and what little spark was left drained clean out of it.

Stan stood up and used the back of his hand to wipe the little spittle droplets off his sleeve where the corpse has coughed it's last breath on him. “Debra Mae,” he said into the radio. “Could you call over to the hospital in Pokinaw and tell them there won't be any hurry? This poor fella breathed his last.”

Stan reached over and closed the corpse's eyes. He couldn't help but wonder why the fella had hung on for so long when it was obvious he was already good as dead. Must 'a been some powerful urge to catch the fella that done this to him.

He stepped outside and lit a cigarette while he waited for Billy to show up with his van. While he waited he started to think about how he'd go about catchin' a fugitive who had probably hitched a ride with one of these truckers headed God knows where. With two Interstates to choose from and a hundred or more cars and trucks come and gone just since he got here, Stan didn't have a clue where to start lookin'. He decided that as soon as Billy had things in control here he'd run on out to this NexiGen and at least tell the gate guards about the Colonel. Let them fellas handle it. In the mean time, there was still coffee and a doughnut to be had.

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Enjoyed the story and that's a good idea. Easy to get too cuaght up in damn crypto and nice to step away for a little from it.

Yeah, I've had a ridiculously good couple of days trading and really needed a reality check.

Dang! This is a whole family of great writers! Great story!!

Thanks! to be included with the other great writers in this family is truly an honor. @byn puts me to shame though.

She is fantastic, but I am so glad she sent me over here! I'll look forward to more from you!

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