STAG FINISHED HIS LITE BEER and opened another. He picked up the receiver and pushed the buttons for star 69, the automatic re-dial system.
“Hello?”
“Hi, Bob.”
“Who’s this?”
“Stag.”
“Oh, what do you want?”
“I just pushed star 69 to see who called last.”
“Oh …” Bob sighed. “Isn’t that kind of pathetic?”
“Yeah, I thought maybe Agnes needed me.”
“Why?”
“I don’t know, maybe I should just kill myself. Maybe I should swallow a bottle of Aspirin.”

now, Stag, when you talk like that it makes me wanna come over there and beat you to death with a shovel. You’re like an injured dog lying in the road, bleeding to death.”
“I know. I know. Maybe I should do something. Maybe I should cut my nipples off or join the Army.”
Bob hung up.
Stag lit a bong-load of weed. Man, he thought, I haven’t worked at the mini mart in days. How am I gonna pay the rent? I wonder if Herdando has any good acid for sale.
The phone rang.
“Hello?”
“It’s me.”
“Hi, Agnes.”
“Bob says he wants to hit you on the back of the neck with a shovel.”
“Yeah.”
“Got any smoke?”
“Sure, ya wanna come over and smoke a bowl?”
She hung up.
Something like time passed in Stag’s world.
Then a knock on the door.
Stag envisioned the police. He got up, stashed his dope in a Rambo lunch box, then opened the door.
“Hey, Aggie!”
“Don’t call me that. Where’s the weed?”
Bong-loads …
Later …
“Stag?”
“Yeah?”
“You ever shower?”
Stag looked at her and relit the bowl.
“You know, Stag, that ponytail of yours looks like a natty cat tail. Have you ever seen a Persian cat when it takes a crap and the shit gets stuck to the tail and then the cat goes out to play in the dirt?”
“Yeah,” he said. “I’ve seen that.”
Agnes took in enough semi-smokeless air to stand up. “I gotta go.”
“Aggie?”

The phone rang four times before Stag’s answering machine picked up. The theme from The Brady Bunch came on and the caller hung up.
Star 69.
“Yeah?”
“Hey Bob, it’s …”
“Oh, hey Stag. I just called ya to tell ya that Agnes is at my pad now.”
After a silence Stag said, “I just burned a scar on my stomach by dripping hot candle wax on my belly.” Stag’s tears dripped down onto the telephone.
Bob hung up.
Stag looked at the plastic digital watch strapped to his wrist. “Shit!” He ran into his bedroom and fumbled through his closet looking for a suitable videocassette to tape Mystery Science Theatre.
The phone rang while Stag was busy getting Attack of the Mushroom People recorded.
Star 69.
“Bueno.”
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About Bradley Mason Hamlin


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Bradley Mason Hamlin was born and raised in Los Angeles, educated at the University of California at Davis, and currently lives in Sacramento with his beautiful wife and crazy children. His short stories, articles, and poems have appeared in several small press books, magazines, and literary journals in print...read more and on line. Hamlin created Mystery Island Publications and writes the Secret Society series: Intoxicated Detective. For more information about Hamlin and other wild things�visit: mysteryisland.net
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