Fiction: “Terms of the Search Engine”


NOTE: The following incorporates search words used over the last two days to find my blog.

Skinny Benny, they used to call him. Huh!, Benny snorted at the memory. Not anymore. Time and diet took care of that, slowing his metabolism to a meek death crawl. His stomach dropped like a weary sigh with each passing day. From the side he resembled a blue-draped bell. The left side was better — bearable, at least, with a minimum of shock. The right only made him cry.

He sighed and sparked another killerstick. As a result, the interior of his shelled-out unmarked hooptie stirred with the curiosity of the big Pixar logo, caressing the sad interior in rust-colored shadows. The street outside was a flatline for miles at this time of night, quiet all along the watchtower. “Jesaja,” Benny chortled, recalling his grandmother’s invocation of the prophet Isaiah in her native tongue. For true, the boulevard seemed cradled in universal peace. Jesaja.

It was all too dull for Benny, so he thumbed his cell and banged out a few numbers to hail his captain, Anthony Hamilton. “The point of it all,” Tony told him after a few minutes of weary-jawed chitchat, “is that your continued presence guarantees the neighborhood’s sense of universal peace. They eyeball you from unseen windows. Once you vanish, all is chaos and despair.”

At 42, Benny was the precarious thin blue line — well, as thin as his waistline could muster. He made a mental note to lobby the city council to raze all those fucking liquor stores, with their equally poisonous sodas and candies, and replace them all with Baja Fresh. Decrepit spirits joints weren’t just killing the locals; they were destroying his ability to serve and protect. Everyone loses but the bottlers and Frito-Lay. Meanwhile, Benny sucked the cheese powder from his finger in a desperate attempt to deny his complicity, then chucked the Whatchamacallit’s incriminating skin into the backseat.

With every defeated snarf, Brenda came more and more into focus. With her angular face and those sparkling features too alive to behold without shrinking back, she could still pass for a lost David Carradine daughter. Benny’s countenance, on the other hand, plumped into hills hugging the involuntarily laugh lines under his eyes. He hoped they’d someday seal completely so he couldn’t see what a mess he continued to make of everything. Why wouldn’t Brenda leave his expanding ass? He tried finding ways. There was that rep at the Wabash Wildlife Embassy, what the locals in jest called the WWE. Layla was her name. What she saw in him he’ll never know. Maybe it was the badge, the gun, the power. Maybe she was lonely. He prayed for a stunning depth in her perception of him. He prayed for that depth in himself. Perhaps it was love? Ugh. Sigh. Brenda. Layla. It was a triangle with him as the Hostess tip.

A rap at the window jolted him from his wanderings. It was his partner, that weird cop, Sherman, a college boy who packed more books than heat. Today’s page-turner was Songs About Alternative History, whatever the fuck that meant. The boys had a hoot with it at the station that afternoon. “Zat some fag shit?” asked Captain Anthony Hamilton, coming from the bathroom. “No,” came the reply, “it’s a fascinating study of how our patriotic songbook might be different had American history been even slightly altered.” “Fag shit,” Cap sniffed. “All I want from anything with pages is color shots of that WWE Melina Perez pussy see-through.” “Huh?” asked Sherman, after the laughter subsided. “That doesn’t make any sense.”

“Captain Hamilton’s a nice guy, but he’s not intellectually curious,” Sherman was saying now as the partners watched nothing unfold. “Perhaps that’s why he’s still stuck at that rank. How could anyone live without wanting to know?”

Klaatu!” Benny sneezed, decorating the windshield.

“Don’t you ever want to know, Benny?”

Kids, Benny smiled. Always wanting to know. Always wanting more. Until one day they’re old enough to understand the terms of the search engine. It’s the only way to universal peace. Without a self-imposed filter, life is just a hot-blooded rush of west albany graduation 2009 physics porn david carradine’s naked body corpse, the secret poetry of disturbed gibberish. He was here to ensure order. The world didn’t need Skinny Benny anymore; it was ripe for the reign of Jesaja of the streets.

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