By Douglas Hackle
I’ll be the first to admit my forequarters were never too easy on the eyeballs. But now that the hoarfrost has melted, they look good. Cute even.
My hindquarters, in contrast, were always beautiful-spangly, the talk of the village these legs, loins, and ass were. Natural to assume the thaw of the rime patina would restore their handsome appearance, bring back the spangles. But after the melt, my hindquarters are vomit-ugly, no doubt as lifeless-looking as that redneck roadkill I hit-and-ran just before I went to hibernate in this bed last winter. Oh well.
In a whirligig of waking, I shuck a twist of wet bedclothes, fall onto the bare hardwood floor. Little Perkins (that blasted vein poppet) be all up in the corner of the room ’n shit, but I ignore him. I rise to find cheroots and scuppernong laid out on the table, waking gifts sent by the me of five months ago to the me of now. But I’m not interested in the waking gifts. I’m only interested in that ass--I’m hungry for that ass. But that ass wasn’t in the twist of wet bedclothes I just shucked.
Gotta go find that ass.
Naked and awake, dick swinging, I run for the door. Alive and lusty, I am. A veritable veiny dervish. There’s an air of carnival in my warm red blood, a youthful note of defiance in my warm yellow pee. I sprint, stumble through the door to the next chamber. Little Perkins is sitting in the corner just like he was in my winter-room. He’s also in the next room and the room after that. It’s like he’s following me or he’s pseudo-omnipresent. Either way I continue to ignore the little totalitarian bastard.
Man, yo fuck a Little Perkins and fuck a vein poppet! I think to myself in anger.
I navigate a series of zany switchback staircases, smell her perfuming cloy when I breach the top. That ass can’t be too far away now, I think excitedly. I barrel through more doors and more rooms, my nose following the heady note of aged baby seal ambergris through the air. My throbbing vein puppet (not “poppet,” mind you) is engorged with red blood and yellow pee and white semen, ready to take care of that ass, teach it a lesson or two.
When I finally burst into the room where she is, I discover that Little Perkins has gotten to her first. And he’s all over that ass. A dozen of his boys are there with him, more vein poppets--the damned, confounded, creepy-ass things. They’re all over her too, rubbing their spidery blue and red vein hands, vein mouths, and vein puppets (not “poppets”) all over the milky curvatures of that ass.
Little Perkins turns his vein head toward me, though he cannot see me due to the natural blindness of his species. “She woke to the sight of your ugly hindquarters. She’s done with you, dude, done with the idea of you even. That ass loves me now, me and my natty-veiny hindquarters. She’s mine. Ours.”
If this were just Little Perkins by himself, I’d give him a smart box to his vein ear. But I’m outnumbered; despite the vein poppets’ diminutive stature, there’s just too many of them. I have no choice but to leave that ass and her little veiny suitors to themselves.
Dejected and rejected, I drag myself back down to my winter-room. I light a cheroot and take a few sips of the scuppernong, but neither makes me feel any better. I’m hungry, so I dress in full fig and abandon my room once again, go back to the series of zany switchback staircases, only this time I descend to the ground floor. There’s no one in the lobby or lounge, no one at the front desk, no continental breakfast served. So I leave the château in search of food. There’s no valet to bring me my car, so I walk.
The air is warm, and there is still snow on the ground though it will not be here for long. After I walk a few miles down the lonely country road--the only ingress/egress to the château--the breeze wafts the wholesome aromas of coffee, fried eggs, and pancakes to my nostrils. Sure enough, just ahead is a Perkins family restaurant. There are cars in the parking lot. But as inviting as the restaurant looks, I pass it by; for obvious reasons, the restaurant’s name reminds me of that no-good Little Perkins and the painful loss of that ass.
I soldier on and soon alight on a familiar bend in the road, though at first I’m not sure why the bend is so familiar. But then I remember: this is where I ran over that guy when I was driving to the château five months ago, back when I still had that ass (she was lovely in the passenger seat), just before we embarked on our long winter’s nap. This is the scene of the crime, the place of my hit-and-run.
Sure enough, I spot a large mound in the snow on the wayside. Like me, the redneck roadkill has been frozen the whole winter, it’s just taking him longer to defrost. I decide to sit by his side and wait, to apologize to him when his consciousness returns. Perhaps the two of us can travel together for a while, find a different restaurant together. Maybe a Denny’s. “Two heads are better than one,” Little Perkins used to say all the time back when we were still dogs.
But later in the day, when the snow finally melts and the ice flesh finally thaws, consciousness does not return to the still, fat form at my side. The man is dead. I killed him.
Now I understand that not everything that freezes and then thaws necessarily comes back to life.
I get up, resume walking down the road, now intent on turning myself in.
Bio: Douglas Hackle writes fictions that are bizarre, darkly humorous, horrific, veiny, vainglorious, stupid or some combination thereof. His stories have [vein poppet] appeared in several online and print publications. Douglas resides in Northeast Ohio with his wife and little boy, and he’s not exactly sure how that blasted vein poppet be gettin' all up in his bio n' shit.
Visit him at: http://douglashackle.wordpress.com/