“Now head north until you see a Taco Stand with a busty girl on the front and don’t get pulled over. The last thing we need is to get held up by local boys in blue, “demanded The American.
“Yes, Dad,” said Paul Jr.
Sheepishly Carolyn called to her father, “Dad?”
“I…really don’t get any of this. You’ve been an invalid for so long. I had to dress you this morning. Dad, please explain it, help me understand.”
“I can’t, Carolyn. I’ve already told you, my brain is just so…mixed up. Everything is foggy sifted through haze surrounded by smoke. One thought leads to another that it has never been connected to before.
“Well, this is all fun and games to me running from some mysterious death squad , or whatever it is Dad?”
“Paul Jr., I’m not sure what we’re running from, but I know we don’t want them to catch us.”
“Then let’s piece together what we know. Up until a few minutes ago, you were Paul McConnell, eighty year old father and grandfather, bound to a wheelchair for the rest of your natural life. Now you’re…you’re, I don’t even know what you are.”
“I…I don’t know…either, Paul Jr.”
“Who is this Indian, Dad?” asked Carolyn.
“The Indian we’re going to see.”
“Why are we going to see an Indian? This car smells. Paul Jr. you need to clean this thing out…my generation took care of their cars…You try and teach but they never….”
Screaming at the top of her lungs, “Dad!!!!”
“We’re in Santa Fe, Dad. We’re going to see the Indian.”
“ What…Indian… no that’s a terrible idea he wants me dead..thinks I left….”
“Dad! Blue Man Gorge, we know! You said he was our only way out of Santa Fe.”
“Only way out of Santa…then…..they’re coming. Crap! What happened? Never mind. Paul find the restaurant. The Taco Stand restaurant with the girl with the big tits. Uhhhh. I mean breasts. You should never….oh forget it. Paul Jr., you’ve got to drive faster.”
“Not that fast. The last thing we need is to get held up by some the local boys in blue. Carolyn, tell me what happened.”
“We were talking and Ruth got out in the street. A car started right at her, and you jumped out of your wheelchair, ran, lowered your shoulder and the car just…
“Blew up!!! Grandpa Rocks!!!” shouted Marcus.
“Dad, everyone was watching and taking pictures with their cell phones. You told us to run. You told us that if we didn’t find the Indian, we’d never get out in time. You told us their headquarters was too close to run.”
“Is that the name of the Indian, Dad?” inquired Paul Jr.
“No, damn it. We’re in so much trouble. Carolyn, kids…find some paper and a pen. I have to start writing things down, or we’ll never make it.”
Pointing to a small beat up building, “Dad, I see it, the Taco Stand.”
“Marcus, watch your tone!”
“Dad, look, the Taco Stand.
“So what… I hate Tacos. Hey, who’s crappy car is this?”
“Dad, the Indian!”
“The Indian in Santa Fe!”
“Oh, Ok, sorry, pull in across the street at the other taco place. Carolyn you take the kids in and get them something to eat. Paul Jr. and I will go find the Indian.”
“What do you mean?”
“Why don’t you take me?”
“Because Paul’s a man, and ….”
“Dad, Paul’s fifty pounds overweight and had trouble jogging half a mile. Whereas I know how to help you with your Alzheimer’s, I take Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu twice a week, and I can carry you at least fifty feet if you fall.”
“She’s right, Dad. Plus, I’m better with the kids anyway. I’m going to park here, then I’m going inside and eating four or five Chicken Ranch Gorditas with extra ranch and a Mountain Dew chaser. Kids, who wants Cheeseritos and Cinnamon Sticks?”
“Paul, don’t feed my kids that crap.”
Getting out of the car, “Go play kung fu with Dad, Xena Warrior Princess. Also, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is just dancing done by David Carradine.” Slamming the door and turning, “Come on kids.”
“Bye Mom,” tailing after Paul Jr. and Ruth, “Uncle Paul, Grandpa Rocks!!!”
Quietly in the passenger’s seat The American whispers, “Thanks, pipsqueak.”
“Yes,” looking into his daughter’s eyes, “Oh…It’s not dancing, honey. I’m sure Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be very effective when needed.”
“Now come and help me out of the car, I’m having trouble with my legs.”
“Are you ok?”
“Yes, I just need a little help.”
“Ok, put your arm around my neck…and,” trying to hoist her father, “Come on, Dad I need a little help.”
“Try a little harder.”
“Dad, we’re almost there.” Carolyn lifting her father with every ounce of her fiber strains for a nearby bench. “Ok, we did it. Let me close the door.” Catching her breath and beginning to worry, Carolyn walks over to the car and closes the door. Turning back to her father, she notices that he appears to be returning to his prior form, “Can you walk?’
“I think so, but you may need to help me.”
“Help. What happened to your legs? I thought you were getting them back?”
“I was? I mean I thought I was. Oh honey, I don’t know.”
“Dad, this isn’t going to work. Let’s go inside and get Paul Jr. to help.”
“We don’t have time.”
“We don’t have a choice, Dad. I don’t get it, but suddenly, you…you can’t walk again. You’re losing your legs. Let’s move while they’re still working some.”
Paul McConnell is the American.
"The American" is a free web comic and pulp story brought to you by the good people at Pro Se Press.
Written and Illustrated by Fuller Bumpers