Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Troubles with Interstellar Peanut Butter

Nearly late Friday Flash Fiction.

The strange man dressed as Carmen Miranda walked into the bar and demanded to know who had taken his pet iguana. I wondered the same thing sitting at the bar watching from the reflection in the mirror in front of me. The old man dressed in the bright lively colors of the now deceased Brazilian samba singer custom nervously push tables, chairs, and the assorted patrons around looking for his lizard.

“Rupert, old boy,” the old man sang out in falsetto tagging an even higher pitched whistle on the end. “Come to daddy, please. Daddy’s mind starts to slip when you’re away.”

I must admit I started to get really worried when I saw the old man’s fake right boob start moving upward from his halter top on its own accord. Dressed like a biker complete with ragged leather jacket I slowly reached inside it gripping my fingers on the Men In Black issued plasma blaster I kept holstered underneath. Much to my surprise when the fake boob was finally expelled the head of a brown Chihuahua popped up above the halter with it letting out several small yaps.

Seemingly out of nowhere a five foot long iguana appeared from under one of the benches lining the wall with the old man knocking over an older couple sitting at one of the tables in an attempt to reach it.

“Jesus Eddy, “calm yourself before I call the deputy sheriff and have you taken away, again.” The bartender, a man named Little Jake, said coming from behind the bar and assisting the couple that now found themselves sprawled on the floor. “Your scaring the customers and this crappy bar doesn’t get much business to begin with you old fart.”

“Leave Eddy alone boy,” an old man in a wheel chair said on the other side of the bar surrounded by a cluster of the usual customers, local shrimpers and assorted guys who made their living fishing from the ocean. “Eddy didn’t mean any harm, and if the tourists are upset let them leave, It you boy who insists that we cater to these cockroaches.” The man in the wheelchair was Big Jake, Little Jake’s dad and from the articles I read from local papers before leaving MIB headquarters in New York not very impressed that his son was finally coming from behind his legendary shadow standing a strong chance to becoming governor of South Carolina. From the looks I saw Little Jake give his father it was obvious that his emergence into notoriety had a lot to do about showing up his father and not serving the state.

As far as the bar was concerned, Little Jake was desperate to promote the bar trying to bring in more customers selling it’s off the beaten tracks location and curious local atmosphere. Big Jake on the other hand wanted no part of it, pretty much relegating tourists to a form of life slightly higher than mold.

It was too bad about Little Jake, the current governor of South Carolina had helped MIB recently actually leaving the planet on a mission to save a relic from the lost city of Unobtainia . That city had once existed in his state but the inhabitants turned the city into a spaceship and left the earth thousands of years ago. We had left an android of him behind walking the Appalachian Trail as a cover story but the damn thing had malfunctioned and fallen into a cave resulting in fatal damage. After several days with no one hearing from the governor the state had fallen into a sort of panic and when he returned to earth he heroically sacrificed his career to keep the various secrets involved. So while Little Jake might be leaving one shadow behind but for MIB, he still had another to crawl out from.

I had been instructed by MIB High Command to feel out Little Jake; possibly recruiting him but being empathic I strangely felt no human emotion from the man. So I decided to leave him out of the loop and maybe even put him under observation for his seemingly soullessness. Not helping things once he returned behind the bar he pulled out a copy of the magazine published by the college dropout, oxycontin addicted, fat and soulless, talk-radio host.

But he was not my target; my target was the Iguana who actually was an illegal alien living on earth without any MIB or United Nations visa. What was worse was that his home planet, Raptorville, had sent intel saying the good iguana in question was smuggling grade A creamy peanut butter to his home planet which given Raptorvillian bio-chemistry amounted to heroin to them and if we did not stop it a battlecruiser would drop an anti-matter bomb from orbit on his reported location.

Watching from the bar mirror Eddy, still in Carmen Miranda custom, spent the next several hours talking with Big Jake, the fishermen, and another local character that looked for all the world like Nora Desmond. Their collective conversations lasted well into the night forcing me to take a room in the boarding house next door to the bar.

Hours later looking out from the window of my room with torrents ofrain coming down I watched Eddy, complete with Iguana in his arms and Chihuahua sticking out from his halter top where his fake boob should be, walk from the bar to the small cluster of houses that surrounded Little Jake's place and the boarding house where I was located. This small community was entirely locatedon a small island just outside Winyah Bay with the only way to travel to the nearest town was by boat across the bay or the small ramshackle bridge that connected it to a neighboring island then on several miles of very poor roads.

I spotted Eddy going inside a two-story house next the water and once all the lights inside were off I slipped outside and made my way to his backdoor. Using my magnetic lockpick I opened the door and stepped inside. As soon as I cleared the door Eddy’s Chihuahua stepped out from the shadows. Illuminated by the moonlight coming in from the kitchen window Instead of barking a warning the little dog just looked at me and began shaking. Figuring it was scared I took another step forward only to see it begin to do a full fledged Hulk on me doubling, then tripling, then quadrupling its size. I soon had what amounted to a pit bull in front of me with a mouth full of doggy-Hulk teeth looking at me like I was a small snack.

It was predictable but I was still taken back when the dog jumped at me and even with my enhanced reflexes I still had a hard time avoiding the animal. Once it had cleared me though I was able pull out my blaster and zap it while it readied itself for a second jump. The poor animal now looked like a roasted Thanksgiving ham steaming in the rain just outside the door, it was a Hell of a mess and I was glad I wouldn’t have to clean it up.

Hearing the clicking of claws on the hard wood floors I knew the bastard Iguana was getting away. Running through the living room ignoring all the wires and tubes running from Eddy into a Dell computer with obvious alien technology added I gave chase to the peanut butter pushing alien. Curving around the house back toward the water I finally cornered the reptile up against a grove of trees entangled in thorny vines and kudzu, which was like poison ivy to the little bugger.

“Under joint MIB and United Nations regulation 2212 you are under arrest for the unlawful transport of a narcotic substance off planet.” I said aiming my blaster for his scaly green midsection.

“MIB?” Its hissed. I could see the creature looking me over and the biker clothes I was wearing. “I thought you guys only wore dull black suits and drove old and busted cars?”

“Yeah, well you can’t believe everything you see in the movies.” I responded moving closer pulling out the special form fitting restraining cuffs that would go around what passed as his hands and feet.

While in pursuit Rupert the alien iguana had changed his shape back to a more bipedal form and after putting the cuffs on I began escorting him back to Eddy’s house with hope and freeing the old coot from the devices Rupert had connected to him. The rain was still pouring down and I was comfortable it had covered whatever sounds we had made but I could feel Rupert tensing up getting ready for something.

‘Listen copper,” he began, “you can’t send me back home. With the smack I’ve been peddling they will abandon me on some prison asteroid leaving me to crazed inmates. I’m too pretty to me roughed up like that. They might even make me change my sex, it would be humiliating”

“Sorry buddy, can’t do anything about it.” I said genuinely not caring how Rupert would be treated back home. While peanut butter here on Earth was a nice healthy snack, off planet it was so addictive to so many species it scared the Hell out of the more civilized and advanced species of the galaxy. It was one of the reasons that Earth hadn’t had an official First Contact yet.

“That peanut butter is bad stuff off planet and given how addictive it is you probably deserved everything you will get.” I said directing back on course for Eddy’s place.

“How about we trade some information?” It said and given my empathic ability I could feel that he did have something important to share.

“You tell me a little and I’ll think about it.” I said thinking it was probably bullshit but since I was in control I could at least listen. After he told me I scanned the area for a specific type of alien
radiation and found it right were he said it would be confirming the worst of what I was told.

Ten minutes later Rupert was released and running for the water. A high pitched whine was heard a little later with a cylinder about the size of a semi emerging from the ocean just off the island. Bright hemispherical globes spaced around both ends providing the anti-gravity lift. After the craft had gone into warp I pulled out my communicator and contacted headquarters.

“Zeb,” I said watching my boss on the small screen. “Better get a huge containment, robot capture, and interrogation team down here right away. We had a big break in the robot infiltration case and I’ve got one twenty yards away in a house.”

Zeb said nothing but I could tell he was excited. Since the last election some power had been either complete replacing politicians and television and radio pundits with robots or at least taking direct control of their minds with cybernetic implants. Otherwise normal people were claiming the most ridiculous conspiracies without any actual evidence. MIB had known about the robots for awhile but had never been able to capture one without far too many people around, even more than we could safely handle.

I closed my communicator and strolled back over to the bar to keep watch on the living quarters located on the second floor above it waiting for the MIB teams coming down. I figured it was a fair trade to let Rupert go after he gave me the entire story on how he had noticed Little Jake sticking a five inch, obviously alien electronic tuning device in his ear. Apparently Rupert, who had controlled Eddy for years due to him being the heir of a corporate peanut butter dynasty had been able to ease drop on Little Jake as he sent messages to its central command. More than likely the real Little Jake had been vaporized when the robot version replaced him but if everything went according to plan they would still have to acquire about the real Little Jake's fate.

Despite that one brief glimpse of ingenuity Rupert had zero chance of getting much beyond a few lightyears away from Earth since it was a given that MIB headquarters had at first tracked then reported the position of Rupert's ancient and slow ship to the Raptorvillian battlecruiser hanging around in the solar system.

So this crap may play out okay in the end with Rupert changed over to a female on a prison asteroid guarding a clutch of its eggs and the alien robot controlled Tea Bagger conspiracy out of the water and destroyed and to think I never have liked peanut butter.


Cormac Brown said...

Ha! One man's peanut butter...

Beach Bum said...

Cormac: I feel a craving for that crunchy goodness right now.

Middle Ditch said...

Hahahaha .... Peanut butter is addictive!!

Beach Bum said...

Middle Ditch: I thought it was funny too until I remembered how my kids acted when my wife brought home the Southern treat of "Krispy Kreme Donuts". I reached for one and my daughter bit me.

Randal Graves said...

HA! Choosy iguanas choose Jif?

Doc said...

From Carmen Miranda to Sci Fi drug rings, this story has it all! Nicely done BB.


Middle Ditch said...

She bit you? I hope you bit her back! Oh the joy of children.

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Very funny and just what the doc ordered for a sneezing, peanut butter only going down now dieting blender can manage with this 'bug'.... you make me laugh Beach! TY x 1000000000

Übermilf said...

getting a sci-fi story from that starter sentence is truly unique and unexpected. bravo.

MadMike said...

...Carmen Miranda? Lol!!! As to peanut butter I think I need to enter a facility. I am addicted to peanut butter. After all this sports guy (Phillips) checked himself into some sort of rehab joint because he was addicted to sex so why can't I check in with an addiction to peanut butter?

sunshine said...

I really like the sci-fi vibe here. Good stuff B!!
I especially liked that there was a "Cheech" in there. ;P

I'm off to see Paranormal..... wheee!


Alan Griffiths said...

An unexpected sci-fi story and very well done BB.

Hill said...

So peanut butter is now "spice"?


Great story, BB.


zeppo said...

O.K., that was pretty strange. Strange in a good way, don't get me wrong. I was just wondering what you have in your peanut butter in the cupboard, that's all. :)

MRMacrum said...

Reminded me of Adams of Hitch Hiker fame. Bizarre and odd but made sense. Peanut butter, good peanut butter is indeed a soporific. Just sit down sometime with a jar and a table sppon and I know you will pass out before you hit the bottom of the jar. Either that or the bathroom, whichever one comes first.

Beach Bum said...

Randal: Yeah! Only wimps go for Peter Pan.

Doc: The ending was lame, but I couldn't get it right.

Middle Ditch: My daughter would have only escalated the situation so I left her and my son alone with the donuts. I'm fat enough already and actually need to lose weight.

Gwen: Thanks, I'm sort of surprised no one mention my Governor Sandford slam.

UberMILF: Only wish I could have came up with a better ending.

Madmike: I'm addicted to crunchy myself. But no one else in the family likes it.

Sunshine: Too bad the dog got blasted and too bad the action scene was lame.

Alan: Thanks, had to edit stuff out that added detail. I had a segment explaining the evil character that I said looked like Nora Desmond.

Hill: A sci-fi writer named Harry Turtledove had an alien species in a series of his books hooked on ginger, so I figured what the heck.

Zeppo: Just regular old Jiff but my wife has a jar of organic peanut butter that I wouldn't serve to death row inmates. Its nasty.

MRMacrum: Actually, for me peanut butter sorts of clogs the pipes, if you know what I mean.

Oso said...

Beach,one question.Is the character Eddy based on Mike or Vigilante ?