The words over at Three Word Wednesday are earnest, layer and reactive.
Saturday Night in the ‘Burbs
Jon’s spirit guide was a mole that talked with a raspy lisp, kind of like that little guy on that show that yelled something about a plane.
We were all laughing, as it kept yelling at us, “Thish way, thish way!” and we’re rolling on the floor.
Of course, the flames had already reached the ceiling and were spreading toward the stairs before we started to really worry.
We were in Kepple’s basement, the five of us – Jon, Lance, Kepple, Drayton and me - drinking Mezcal and eating mushrooms before going out. Drayton gets the bright idea to start some shit, you know, get under Kepple’s skin since he’s really tripping, so he layers like a dozen board games on this table his mom has being doing a nearly completed jigsaw puzzle. It’s one of those ones with like a gagillion pieces, some famous painting by some dead European dude.
Anyway, Drayton stacks up the games and starts flicking lit wooden matches at the strata of family fun. I think the box of Life caught first, something about the old, oily-fingered box that made it the perfect accelerant for this huge pyre.
That’s when the mole shows up, yelling for Jon to follow.
Of course, the severity of the situation was lost on us. Until Lance begins beating the flames with a broom he’s found, one of those plastic ones, and every arc sends gobs of flaming plastic across the room, igniting books, stacks of holiday decorations in dry-tinder boxes, the ugly-ass wallpaper Mrs. Kepple picked out for the “rumpus room.”
Even the 70s orange shag is on fire, yellow flames on an orange background that quickly goes black.
Kepple’s face-down in the flames, his hands a death-grip around his throat. His polyester shirt is melting patterns across his back.
Drayton screams. Lance is crying in a corner, thumb in his mouth; he's hugging what's left of the broom, just a green metal shaft.
Jon starts to follow the mole through a hole in the flames.
I'm choking, taking in "the big picture" and there's a calm. And then a tug on my jeans. I look down into the beady blackness of a penguin’s eyes looking up at me in earnest.
“OK, sport, this way,” it says, pointing a flipper through a narrowing hole in the conflagration and shaking its beak. “Welcome to the afterlife Einstein.”
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