"You must be Tyson Tyson," Tex said.
"And you're surely Texas Bill Garver, the wild western plains sumbitch," the little man replied. "Your fame has spread wide and far."
"Please to meet you, Tyson," Tex grinned, his rows of ultra-white chops lighting up the metallic blue gloom of North 40 land. "Tell me, what's it like up here? This is my first assignment up on the North 40."
"Shitty, just like it is everywhere else around here," Tyson replied. "I've been here since I don't know when, or I got here, whichever comes first."
"Toadsucker said you had a few problems, something about losing the handle," Tex said.
"That rotten wartlipped motherfucker!" the little man spat. "He's all bent out of shape because I've been asking some questions and he doesn't have the answers. Some mighty strange things going on in this place, Tex, in case you ain't noticed."
"Like why aren't we wearing clothes? Like why don't we eat or sleep? Like just where in the hell are we...do you remember where you were before you came to this place?" Tyson was all excited, his jaw muscles jumping like frightened rabbits.
"Yeah, I think so," said Texas Bill. "I was a famous air ace and hero of the Caustic War best as I can recall...led the shitstorm on Mexico City and a bunch of other shit, had more decorations than a fuckin birthday cake."
"You think all that's true?"
"Damn right I do, cause it is."
"I'm not so sure," Tyson replied.
"Well, what the hell were YOU?" Tex asked, getting just a tad pissed at the little fellow because he didn't particularly like to have his heroic past questioned and especially not by some little knothead with a peter little as a redworm.
"Oh, I have a 'past' if that's what you chose to call it," Tyson replied. "Just like everybody else here has. According to what I remember, back in the other I was a producer, a promoter...perhaps entrepreneur would be a better word. "For one thing I produced 'The Suicide Show' for television. It was a weekly series and the premise was we'd find people who wanted to kill themselves and then sign them up to do it in front of our cameras--of course they didn't get anything but a few moments of fleeting fame, but we DID pay their survivors well, perhaps too well. A Congressional sub-committee investigated us and determined that we were exerting undue influence on some of these people...In short, people were killing themselves on national television for the fifteen minutes of fame a fellow named Warhol once mentioned. There were riots when we were canceled, because the viewing public loved nothing more than sitting down with a big pan of hot buttered popcorn and watching some poor fool blow his brain out or hang himself...Those were the two most popular forms, although on one occasion we had this oriental fellow who insisted on disembowelling himself in living color. We pulled a 79 share that night, it broke all records for one night including Roots and the last M.A.S.H. episode!
7 Powers of Wrath:
by Cecelia Chapman