I really struggled with the ending. I actually wrote a different one before deciding on this ending. I hope you like it. I am frankly relieved to have this out of my system. Maybe I can get back to blogging about bicycles and riding again!
Firth came to with his head in the Axon Auto Medic ‘Guaranteed Soothing Or Your Money Back.’ He pushed it away and was greeted by the grinning face of Starth. “Hey hero. You finally awake?”
Firth jerked away and dropped to the floor. He scuttled into a corner and looked wildly around the room. “Where is he? Where the hell is he?”
Starth’s grin grew wider. “Relax man. He’s back in the bathroom sleeping like a baby. What’s the matter, you scared?”
Firth relaxed. Slightly. “You weren’t there. Or rather you were there, but you were passed out. You didn’t see. It was life and death man. If I hadn’t zapped him he’d have killed both of us.”
Starth’s smile wavered and was replaced by a hurt look. “Hey now, I didn’t pass out, I hit my head on something.”
“I hit my head on something” Firth shot back. “You just passed out.”
“Yeah, hit your head on the upper bulkhead when you practically jumped out of your skin” Starth teased.
Firth sniffed. “Screw you pal. I’m the one who saved us both from another one of your schemes gone bad. You laid there on the floor and left me to deal with the human so just piss off.”
“Now, now. Don’t get your panties in a wad. Who knows who’s head hit what and who’s didn’t. Besides, it doesn’t matter. I’ve got him locked up in the bathroom as just as soon as you ‘recover’ we can send him back and find someone else.”
Firth slumped into a control chair. “You’re a menace Starth. You know that don’t you? I mean, you have to at least suspect that you are in fact certifiable.”
Starth laughed. “That’s why I let you hang out with me Firth. You’re always such a ray of sunshine.”
Firth sighed in resignation. “What now?” he asked.
“Now we go back to where we picked the doofus up, drop him off and try again.”
“Did the brain ray work? I mean, I know I hit him with it but he acted kinda funny. Like it wasn’t working quite right or something.”
Starth’s smirk was back on full power. “Will you relax? You hit him with it didn’t you? He’s out isn’t he? What’s to worry? It worked and now all we have to do is put him back and go on our merry way. No one will ever know. Now go back to the controls for the zapper and get ready. Trust me”
Firth rose with yet another long sigh. ‘Man’ he thought ‘Will this day never end?’
Luster awoke on the ground next to his pickup, a half remembered dream fading away. ‘What the hail?’ He spent minutes scratching at his grease stained pate, willing the vision to return but without success. He looked around and took stock. He was stopped in the middle of the road, lights on and engine still running. He had no memory of why, when or even how. He saw the empty beer cans scattered around the ground and came to the logical conclusion. ‘Man, I shore musta tied one on las’ night.’ He filed it away as useless information. He levered himself off the ground, looking for all the world like a scarecrow rising for a new day. He looked around again, his face a moue of concentration. Something had happened but he just couldn’t put his finger on it. Something about a bathroom and some midgets poking him with sticks or…..or was it a dream? A stranger to introspection, Luster damned the dreams to whatever hell they were from, climbed back into the ancient truck and headed for home and perhaps a taste of the high life. Though he’d take what he could get.
But as he drove away, Luster kept returning to the half remembered dreams…
High overhead an argument was taking place.
“Maybe you’re on to something Firth. UFO groupie. Yeah, that’s the ticket.”
“I just want to go home Starth. I’ve had enough for one day. We’re already late as it is. Let’s just chalk all this up to experience and try again next year. Besides, I’m still worried. I can’t shake the feeling that there was something funny about that memory eraser. I don’t think it worked like it was supposed to.”
“Look man, it worked. Ok? We’re in the clear so stop with the whining. Now we’ve come this far and I’m not going home without scoring. That dude didn’t work out but somebody, somewhere on this miserable planet has got to have some beer. And we’re gonna get some.”
6 Months Later
“Good evening America and welcome to the highest rated early morning radio show in the country. It’s Border to Border and I’m your host, Buck Bently.”
“Folks, have we got a show for you. First up is a man who’s had a near death experience, during which he says he was taken to Hell, tormented by small, gray demons and then rescued by God in a beam of pure light. So let’s get right to it. Luster, are you there my friend?”
“I shore am Buckster and it’s a downraht pleasure to be a speakin. To ya’ll tonight.”
“Luster, tell us about what Hell is like.”
“Well Buckster I ain’t never been so scart in all muh life. See, the entrance to Hail is really a bathroom. A white bathroom and……”