The Old Squirrel King and the Traitor rolled out into the road. Thunder muttered, and an engine revved.
To explain this, I should tell you that people tear down our quiet little street all the time. You see, our street–all two and a half blocks of it–runs parallel to the main road coming into the neighborhood, but the main road has speed bumps. So, various idiots (usually angry soccer mums in minivans or overcompensating jackwads in BEEEG trucks) turn off the main road, turn onto our street, rev up to about forty miles per, just get up to speed when they have to brake and turn again…and stop at the stop sign, where they turn back onto the main road. It doesn’t save them any time, nor does it help them get where they’re going. I suppose they just feel like they’ve gotten one over on the Man, or something. Who knows? Some poor soul–probably a kid–is going to get run over one of these days, and maybe the city will put speed bumps in on our street too. *sigh*
Anyway. Bleeding and battered and slowing down–for he was no spring chicken in squirrel years, our Neo, and he had already held off three jays and a crazed herding dog–the Old King had the Traitor flat on the pavement, and was beating the living hell out of him. “THROW SHIT AT ME, WILL YOU? TRY IT NOW! TRY IT NOW! I KNOW KUUUUUUUNG FUUUUUU!”
And Steerpike!Squirrel, still laughing that crazy high-pitched maniacal laughter, had lost all his discretion. “I’M GONNA HAVE BETTINA, AND THE BACKYARD TOO! HAHAHAHAHA!”
Then there was Yours Truly, standing there barefoot with a golf club and an open mouth, the yellowgreen bruiselight of an approaching storm falling over the entire scene with heavy sticky oppressive heat. Sweat trickled down my back, and the bright idea–I could get the hose to calm them both down, I guess, that’s what you’re supposed to do for dogs, right?–had just wandered through my stunned brain. (Look, I had just hit myself on the head with my own door, all right? YOU try thinking clearly in This Sort Of Situation, goddamit. I dare you.)
The engine growl became a screech, and it barreled past in a streak of candy-apple red. It was the jerkass in the red truck–every afternoon, bass thumping and meaty arm hanging out the window, this balding asshole races down our street. He doesn’t content himself with going forty, like all the other jerkholes who zoom down our quiet little street. No, this former football star (you can just TELL he had his glory days in high school and hasn’t forgotten them, you know the type) guns it around the corner, almost swiping whoever’s waiting to turn left to get to the grocery (yes, that was me more than once) and floors it, trying to achieve sixty before he has to snap on his brakes. I don’t know how many tons his truck is (it’s got to be at least half to haul his huge ass around) but I know he probably has an itty-bitty weiner he is very sensitive about.
Like I said, you can just tell. ANYWAY.
I actually screamed. Yes, my chickadees, I let forth a Vader “NOOOOOOOO!” I don’t remember moving, but I was at the end of my driveway, pavement burning my feet, the golf club suddenly raised. Jackass Redtruck (for such I have dubbed him, and such will be the name called at the trump of Judgment when he is cast unto a fiery pit, and not a moment too soon please God) smashed his brakes. There was an unearthly screech–did I mention he has this truck that looks really shiny, but obviously he doesn’t take care of it?–and smear-scream of rubber laid down.
I would like you, dear Reader, to imagine this. One wild-haired, sweating writer in jeans and a M*A*S*H T-shirt, waving a golf club, running down the street as a spear of lightning flashes, drenching the road with unholy white brilliance. Jackass Redtruck has his door half open and half his copious acres of ass out; I don’t know if he was stopping to scoop up whatever had been in his way so he could take it home and stuff it, or what.
Thunder crackled. I realized what I was screaming. At the top of my lungs. As I ran down the road.
With the golf club.
“YOU SONOFABITCH, YOU KILLED MY SQUUUUUUIRREL!”
I think I saw him mouth one wondering “Holyshit!” before Jackass Redtruck piled back in, slammed the door, and gunned his engine. He raced around the corner and was gone, leaving me to put my own brakes on and stop, sides heaving and feet burning, shaking the club as the rain began pattering down in quarter-sized drops.
“THAT WAS NEO, YOU SONOFAHONKEYTONK WHOREMONGERING BASTARD! YOU KILLED MY SQUUUUUIIRREL!”
Thunder rattled again. There was another flash of lightning in the distance. Well, great, I thought. Oh, great. Dead squirrels and my God, the neighbors probably knew I was crazy, but this is just too much. Why me? Why can’t I have normal wildlife around my house? Jesus.
Then I realized something.
I hadn’t actually seen Jackass Redtruck hit them, and the truck was jacked up pretty high. Maybe, just maybe…
I turned, very slowly, and looked down my street. And I saw…
…to be continued