Blue Mountain Taxidermy

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He waited for an hour. One turned to two. It felt longer. The radio offered nothing but country music and bible-thumpers in the mountains. His phone tried with all its might but just couldn’t get a signal worth using. Waiting for Mom on a Sunday at a craft fair was not fun.

“I’ll just be a minute,” she’d said.

He didn’t believe her when she said it. Still, it wasn’t like he’d had a choice. Mom never passed-up a craft fair and she wasn’t starting today.

“How much homemade crap does one woman need?” he wondered aloud. He’d already rummaged through the center console and glove box for something to read.  He’d even take one of his Mom’s “Word Find” books at this point to keep him occupied.

The convention center was massive with four buildings of varying sizes.  The largest was big enough to hold a concert.  Not an arena act but maybe somebody just shy of arena sell-out status. Anyway, going inside was a mistake.  They’d never connect and this torture would just last longer.

The stream of people in and out of the convention center were women of various shapes and sizes but they all had that crazy look in their eyes.  Each thought they were going to take home the cutest little accessory they’d ever seen and their home would be magically transformed into the talk of the town.

“Kill me,” he thought.

He regretted the large coke he’d had earlier and his jittery leg was proof.  He was going to need a bathroom soon…none around.  A $15 admission to the craft fair was starting to look good.

“C’mon, Mom.  Jesus Christ it’s been forever!” he yelled in the car loud enough for a gaggle of Moms to look his way as they crested a sea of minivans. The look was quick but critical as they continued towards the crafty holy land without breaking stride.

“Come back here and I’ll turn that frown upside down,” he muttered and laughed.

Frantic, he scanned the horizon one last time for relief and laughed when he noticed the row of RVs in his rearview mirror.

“Sweet!” he said opening the door. He cleared the parking lot in a flash and slid between two RVs to get behind them.  A berm blocked him from prying eyes. He was barely free of his pants before the stream started and he felt the shiver of relief ripple through him.

A window slid open.

“What’re ya doin’ out there?” came the girl’s voice above and behind him.

“I’m sorry – I’m sorry – I’m sorry,” he kept repeating since he couldn’t stop going. “Thank God I didn’t piss on their RV,” he thought.

The girl behind him started giggling. “Hey when ya gotta go, ya gotta go. Right?”

“Yeah, pretty much,” he said finishing and tucking everything away. He turned to apologize face to face and stopped dead mid-turn.

“Never seen titties before, honey?” the blonde in the window asked with her hands extended up out of sight…probably holding the curtain rod.

“Um…yeah…sure…just wasn’t expecting-“

“It’s ok, sugar. Where’s your girlfriend?  She inside?” she asked twisting her body back and forth.

“I…ah…my Mom is inside.  Look, I ‘m really sorry.  I better get back. I –“

“Wait, honey.  I wanna show you one more thing,” she said with a grin.

“Oh?”

“Yeah, come closer cuz it’s only gonna be a quick peek.”

He stepped closer to the RV.

Hands grabbed his ankles.

A flash of sky was the last thing he saw.

A laugh from the window was the last thing he heard.

A hammer was the last thing he felt.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Carole crossed the parking lot to her Honda and found it empty…no son in sight.

“Jonathan Michael, so help me…”

She loaded her recycled grocery bags full of crafts into the back of the SUV and pulled-out her cell.

WHERE ARE YOU JON?
I MET SOME CRAFT SHOW PEOPLE
ARE YOU INSIDE???
NO – YOU GOTTA SEE THIS STUFF
WHERE ARE YOU?
LOOK BEHIND YOU @ RVS
?
COME TO WHITE ONE WITH BLUE STRIPES
COME TO THE CAR
BRING THE CAR – TOO MUCH TO CARRY
OH?
CMON
K
RV SAYS BLUE MOUNTAIN TAXIDERMY
 
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Comments

Blue Mountain Taxidermy — 26 Comments

  1. I think the title is the most grotesque part of this story. It suggest serial killer; and the idea of someone doing to a person what taxidermists to animals. Gah! I don’t want to think about it anymore.

    • I always struggle with titles. Once it’s titled, it’s done – permanent – finished. I thought using it as the title without any further mention until the last line would work. If this were a movie, it’d likely be direct-to-video complete with a jerky camera.

      “Gah!” is exactly what I wanted – thanks! 🙂

  2. His inner narrative – and occasional outburst – were brilliant! Love the way that kid thinks. I especially liked “they crested a sea of minivans” and “they continued towards the crafty holy land without breaking stride.” I could hear my son’s inner voice here, which is kind of scary. I’ll have to warn him not to pee just anywhere from now on! The twist totally caught me off guard, too. Nicely done.

    • Thank you so much! The inner narrative was hard to keep on track. The initial pass had a great deal of rambling while he tried to busy himself. The hardest part was getting the mother pulled-in at the end to tie it up nicely (no pun intended).

      Thanks for the kind words!

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