Thursday, March 3, 2011

The American - Number 28

Carolyn lifted her father with all of her might. She strained as he feebly attempted to help her. Looking at the frustration in his eyes and trying to talk her way through the pain, she coached, “Just a few yards, Dad.  Just a few yards. Here we are…let me open the door.” 
The door opened to the inside of a less than well cared for fast food joint, which featured a form of taco only known by white Americans as a taco. Paul Jr. sat inside stuffing his face. The children watched in awe as their uncle inhaled sour cream wraps and cheese hunks hidden in meat.  Carolyn knew from the look of excitement in Marcus’s eyes that if he had been in college, he probably would have been chanting ‘Go!’  
Confused and trying to catch his breath,  Paul Mcconnell chided, “Carolyn, we don’t have time for this.”   
The caregiver anger swept over Carolyn.  “Dad, we’ll just be inside for a minute or two until we can figure out our next move.”
“We don’t have time to sit down….and…Dear God!  There he is!”
Suddenly every part of Carolyn that would stand on end out of sheer fear did just that. She quickly lowered her body and turned to look in the direction where her father had seen ‘him!’
“There who is?”
Paul, Senior pointed, “The Indian.  They’re behind the counter.”
Looking as furtively as she possibly could while crouching with an old man on her hip, Carolyn stared behind the counter.  Prepared to see Death itself rolled into the muscled body of a tan plains warrior, she instead found three zit ridden dorky kids  not athletic enough to play sports and too poor to stay home after school.
Confused, Carolyn said, “Dad, there are only high school kids behind the counter.”
“He said he would be here.  And there they are.”
Trying to lower her voice in an attempt to lower her father's,  Carolyn whispered, “Who, Dad?  Who are they? I thought there was only one Indian. Dad, there are only those kids in here.  That’s it. What are you talking about?”
“They’re looking at us all, can’t you see it?  All the eyes there, from the booths, from the streets…Doesn’t matter if they’re here now, or been here, or will be here…They are staring at us…I hear you, DAMN IT! EVERY LAST DAMN ONE OF YOU!!!”
“Dad, please…”
Walking up behind Carolyn, Paul Jr. murmured, “What the hell is going on now? He can’t act like that in here.  Come on, Carolyn.  We have to get out of here.”
Ignoring her brother, Carolyn gently prodded.   “Dad?”
“It’s too late. They won’t let us leave, not the way we came in.  Look at them!  Even if you can’t see them, look at them.  Come on, you have the sight, just like I do.  There they are, spirits, memories, demons, what the hell ever you want to call them, they’re here all around us.  Surrounding me.  Here to drag me down to hell.  And they all work for him.  For the Indian.  There behind the counter! There they are!  The Indian!”
“Crap…They?  Dad I thought the Indian was one person?” And with Paul Jr.’s remark, the room filled with tension like it was high tide.
Sheepishly from behind the counter, one of the teens squeaked,  “Can we help you?”
“No you sons of bitches can’t help me!”
“You can be anyone.  You are everyone. You’re all of them. I know. I knew!  I’d know and I do…I know that face, those faces….You!!! You!!! Indian!!! You’re not going to kill me!!!!”
Trying to help, Carolyn interjected, “Sorry, he’s…”
“You psychotic son of a bitches!  I’m not going to let you hurt anyone!!!!!!”
Paul McConnell, Sr. sprang into the air, hitting the floor in a dead run toward the three high school boys behind the counter; all three of whom lost all ability to control any functions they previously had, bodily or otherwise.
“NO, DAD!!!” screamed Paul Jr.
“Stop! Dad, Don’t go over the counter!!! They’re just boys!”

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

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