Tuesday, December 13, 2011

F3 Cycle 59 "Under the Golden Arches of Atlantis"

Flash Fiction Friday Prompt: Road Trip Story
Genre: Open
Word Limit:  1,300



Time had lost all meaning as my hands clutched the steering wheel of my car; my mind whirled in a multitude of other dimensions with minutes being as long as millenniums and eons passing as casually as seconds. The road I was driving stretched before me like a lazy anaconda basking in the sun with me a miniscule ant moving across the length of its body. My journey along the reptilian back had some importance but with reality taking some sort of break everything had lost meaning and purpose.

The road was my only constant, I felt a strange disassociation with all time and space having the ability to be driving across a lonely desert one minute and a crowded city the next. What really worried me was seeing the group of iguana cowboys herding hundreds of kittens across the dry and desolate landscape only to be suddenly replaced by pink flamingo policemen walking their urban beat. Both the iguanas and the flamingos watched me suspiciously as I drove by to the point I would hunker down low to avoid their gaze.

Above me, the sky blazed psychedelic patterns dancing in time to the helium-induced sounds of the Chipmunks singing Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” God himself was present watching over my journey in the form of a joyous and smiling Mickey Mouse sitting on a throne off in the distance. Every once and awhile I would hear his wise and caring voice give me directions. “Turn right at the next intersection,” he would sometime say and I would obey without question.

Of course, Donald Duck was nearby condemned to play the part of a disgruntled Satan complete with pitchfork, forever relegated to participate in all events as Mickey’s fall guy. But, Donald seemed bored with the role and when I occasionally passed him on my drive he was always sitting in some beach chair either reading an Archie comic book or perusing James Joyce’s “Ulysses.” A cooler full of beer and a bowl of chips and salsa beside his chair tempted me to stop and visit but Mickey would always chime in giving me new directions.

Even with the Mouse’s diligent guidance, I began to get hungry and decided to get something to eat. The Golden Arches just happened to materialize in front of me at that moment and I quickly turned into its parking lot so I could grab something from the drive thru. I pulled up to the big board showing all the items on the menu and began staring at the speaker mounted in the center waiting for the person inside to take my order, it was then that I noticed this was no normal fast food restaurant.

Stretching out before my eyes was the legendary Atlantis itself and that it was populated with all the great and terrible people who had ever lived. Sitting inside the dining area I saw Bob Marley wearing an expensive Brooks Brother suit talking with Ronald Reagan dressed in a ragged t-shirt and shorts oblivious to his Nancy and Frank Sinatra passionately kissing behind him. I had to figure Ronnie did not care because he was holding the biggest damn joint I had ever seen with the smoke from the burning end circling his awesome set of dreadlocks hanging down from his head.

Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck were outside in the patio area talking with Plato and Julius Caesar while Mitt Romney was hanging down from a tree playing the part of a piñata. Ernest was screaming out hints in ancient Greek to a blindfolded Plato who was holding the sword taking swings at a smiling Mitt. John and Julius were just standing close by and somehow I knew they were talking about Paul Newman’s famous salad dressings.

As much as I wanted to continue watching everything and everyone the speaker finally came alive with some unknown language blaring loudly from it. I had to figure it was the Arches employee asking about my order and I responded by screaming back “sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit.”

Pulling forward to the pick-up window, I immediately understood why I did not understand the Arches’ employee. The worker was a beautiful chicken with a rich and vibrant plumage of feathers who politely handed me my biscuit then motioned me to look in front of my car. Standing there was Satan Donald Duck holding with his arms around two bikini-clad ladies. His smile was as sinister as the ladies were gorgeous and I could feel his words inside my head telling me I could stay and have all sort of fun for all eternity. The “come hither” look Donald’s companions gave me my curled my toes and made me tingle in places best left unsaid.

Just when I felt myself succumbing to temptation Almighty Mickey decided to reassert his presence. “Recalculating,” I heard him say in his magnificent high-pitched voice and with that, Donald went into his normal fit of rage to fade away along with his awesome babes.

Everything slipped by fast now and all sorts of visions came and went, all blurred with the apparent acceleration of time and space. I barely recognized the sound of my dash-mounted GPS say, “You have arrived at your destination.”

Feeling all sensation slip away, I slumped over laying my forehead on the steering wheel. There I stayed trying to make sense of what I had saw and felt in what seemed like a multitude of eternities. My rest was short as I heard my car door open and my wife slap the back of my head.

“Just where in the Hell have you been?” She asked me, “I sent you out to the drug store thirty minutes ago, what took you so long?”

It all came back to me then, my family and I had all been struck down by the flu and I had been given the mission to make a drug store run. I was now in my driveway not only gathering my small and weak collection of wits but the energy to go inside my house. My sick wife staring at me in disgust while wearing her old sweat suit was enough of a motivator for me to find the energy I needed.

Retrieving the shopping bags containing bottles of cold and flu medicine along with several cans of chicken soap from the floorboard of the passenger side I pull myself out of the car and begin to make what the long walk to the front door.

Just then, my daughter Cindy sticks her head out the front door. “Daddy,” she cried out, “don’t forget to bring Mickey and Donald in with you.” Turning around and looking back inside the car I see that both Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck had been propped up in the front passenger seat, something she had done to provide me company on what was supposed to be a short trip down the road.

Pulling my two road trip companions out of the car, I also see copies of “Islands in the Stream” and “Grapes of Wrath” in the back seat, both high school reading assignments for my son. Finally trudging my way back inside I make a mental note to tell my wife she will make the next store run, if I go back out I just may decide to hang out at the Golden Arches of Atlantis.

13 comments:

Pixel Peeper said...

Wicked flu and feverish halluzinations make for great writing!

Cloudia said...

All hail Mickey on the throne!


Aloha from Waikiki

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Windsmoke. said...

Hallucinogenic cold and flu medicine now that's different. Very well written indeed :-).

Beach Bum said...

Pixel: Something not too far from the truth for me.

Cloudia: Mickey rules!

Windsmoke: Its why my wife goes on drug store runs for us all. Except my problem was hanging too long around the magazine stand.

Glen said...

as surreal as ever - I'd have gone with the duck!

goatman said...

Out there on the sunshine it seemed to be a smooth trip!

Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw said...

If the fever doesn't give you some wicked bad hallucinations, that damn cold medicine will... stay away from the NYQUIL/DAYQUIL... that is one mean bitch pony to get thrown from... trust me!

Clever little tale, Beach... loved the ending!

Randal Graves said...

So *this* is what happens when you do take the brown acid.

Ingrid Hardy said...

Don't... take... the blue pill...! Loved this! Man... no we need a REAL Golden Arches of Atlantis... :-)

Akelamalu said...

Surreal and Cool!

MRMacrum said...

I don't get it. Which part was the hallucination - the beginning or the end?

Nice romping tale.

Beach Bum said...

Glen: Me too, but it just would not have worked in this story.

Goatman: Absolutely!

Veronica: I have to hit the Nyquil sometimes to get to sleep. The dreams are awesome.

Randal: Brown acid? Come back when I have chapter two of my Accidental Love in the Tropics posted.

Ingrid: Yeah, I would have been a sucker in the world of the Matrix.

Akelamalu" Call it a sad attempt to channel Hunter S. Thompson.

Mike Crum: Not sure myself, depends on how my wife acts on any given day.

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