Choose Your Own Nuthouse
Your clothes are in the trunk, somewhere. There’s a lot of stuff (crap) in there. Odds and ends, a lot of rope, some extremely aged Oreos. None of this really concerns you though, because the horribleness in your drawers is beginning to run down your legs. You strip down in the twilight and rinse yourself off with a beer because you have no water or handiwipes or anything. It’s a tragic loss, a real waste. But it’s better to lose some beer than be covered in…well, at any rate you put it behind you (so to speak), and put on some clean clothes. You are about to burn the old ones (they’re old anyway, it’s easier than washing them, and dude, fire’s fire, y’know?) when your cell phone rings.
“Hello?” You answer.
“Mmm, yeah man. Hey. It’s Harlan. Harlan. So I just thought I’d let you know I’m on my way. Um. Mango.”
You curse under your breath. You’re really not all that fond of Harlan. Nobody is. There’s something fundamentally wrong with him. He’s quirky, twitchy. He says stuff nobody understands, and sometimes says it to people nobody else sees. And there’s the really weird stuff. Like, weird weird stuff. Like automatic doors don’t open for him. When the wind blows, his hair and clothes don’t move. He does not cast a shadow. He knows stuff. Everyone pretended to be his friend because everyone is scared shitless of him.
Nobody told Harlan about this trip. Everyone took a lot of effort to make sure Harlan knew nothing about it. And yet…
You think back to what the voice on the radio said about betrayal.
“Yeah. Good, Harlan. Seeya around then.”
“True. Um. Watch out for the monkey. Grk. Cloudhole.” There is a click, and the line goes dead.