Taking one last drag on his smoke, and dropping the butt on the ground, Lance said, “Shall we get this show on the road?”
Kitty cringed, pointed at the smoking gun, and said, “We’re not going anywhere until you pick that up, and throw it in the trash. What the fuck is wrong with you? You wanna kill yourself with your filthy habit, it’s your business, as you say, but you have fuck all rigt to leave your filth behind for someone else to deal with.”
Impetuous Lance, thoroughly castigated, quelled his impulse to strike back at Kitty, knowing he had no weapon to strike with. He picked up the butt, stubbed it out, walked to the trash can, and deposited it
Kitty was waiting for him inside the truck, engine running. “That habit you fuckers have is really disgusting,” she said, as Lance closed his door.
The boy sensed this was something that ran deep in the girl. He wasn’t sure what to say. Didn’t know if he should say anything. Maybe just let her settle down, he thought. But that might infuriate her, too. She was wanting to pick a fight, and he wanted nothing to do with it. Surrender. Wave the white flag. Beg for clemency. “You’re rigt. Sorry. It won’t happen again.” Contrition. Sincere contrition. Not good enough.
“Seriously. How many billions of those filthy fucking things do you fuckers throw on the ground every year, half of them washing into waterways, downstream and into the oceans? We should be allowed cattle prod you fuckers every time we see you doing it.”
“You’re rigt. You’re absolutely rigt.”
Kitty let it go, backed the flatbed up, and turned toward the road. Before she could turn and exit, Lance said, “Wait.” There was an old man standing ten feet away, watching them. Thinking he could score some Kitty points with a good gesture, Lance said, “This old guy may need some help.”
“Old woman, you mean,” Kitty corrected. “She was watching us the whole time we were there.”
“No shit? Too ashamed to ask for help, maybe? Lance rolled his window down, and said, “Hi. Do you need some help? Are you okay?”
The woman, or man, smiled. Lance and Kitty both got a blast of the warm and fuzzies. “No, I do not. But thank you. That is very kind of you.”
“Are you sure? Do you need some money?”
“No, I have no need for money. But thank you, again, brother. Please, carry on. Have a safe journey.”
The boy was disappointed. He really wanted to help him, even though he knew, somehow, that he needed no help. Kitty, too, was disappointed she wanted no help her. But she also knew, somehow, that the woman needed no help.
After being paralyzed in a warm, frothy contentment for five seconds, Lance smiled and said, “Okay. Stay safe, brother.”
“Sister,” Kitty said, almost chidingly, as she turned onto the road, and rolled away, north toward Thunder Bay.
“Check out Domino’s, pushing it out, and raking it in,” said Lance pointing to the beehive of delivery vehicles coming, and going out of one of the pizza chain’s strip mall stores.”
“The Star Trib said they are hiring ten thousand people globally to meet the expected demand,” Kitty informed him.
“Well, with the streets empty, they’ll be able to meet that 30 minute delivery guarantee without killing anyone this time.”
“Sure, but they’re gonna need Auschwitz size ovens to do it.”
Before they reached the city limits, they rolled passed a billboard that had been graffitied by someone named questionMark. Six lines:
DANGER IS REAL
FEAR IS A CHOICE
COURAGE A NECESSITY
LAUGHTER A CURE
LOVE A VACCINE
CRISIS AN OPPORTUNITY
“questionMark’s onto something ,” said Kitty.
“He is,” agreed Lance.
questionMark had been on a tear. Every billboard heading north along the north shore of Lake Superior had been hit, all with the same message. As they approached the fifth installation, Kitty really got the message. “Fear is a choice, laughter a cure,” she said. “Make me laugh, funny boy. Gimme some more Daffy Donald.”
“You afraid?” the boy who would be King, asked the girl who would be his Queen, although he knew nothing of that matter.
“Don’t ask. About anything,” she said. He knew she meant it. “Just make me laugh, funny boy.”
“Okay. What do you want? More money, or sex?”
“I already told you I don’t worship money.”
“Yes, you did. Sex it is, then,” Lance grinned, scrolling through his book. In the book, Daffy opens one of his shows with a routine about fucking a closet case football player, at a truck stop, on a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha. Then he goes on about how, after fucking the Cornhusker, his dick turned into an ear of corn as a result of some genetic modification experiment Monsanto had been conducting. And on and on the skit goes.
Lance had resisted the temptation to tell this to Kitty, when she had picked him up on a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha. He wasn’t sure exactly why, but he decided to stick with his instinct and continue to deprive her of that inflammation. He scrolled down to the point where Daffy starts cracking wise abut pussy.
“Okay, let’s try this. Daffy Donald is queer, so pussy has no power over him.” Kitty smiled, expectantly. “So here’s part of one of his routines, in which he recycles Doctor Seuss, and fuses it with the film Dusk till Dawn.”
“The one where Cheech is standing outside the roadhouse, trying to lure customers in?”
“Yes, that one.”
“Excellent! Hit me, funny boy!”
Lance cleared his throat and launched:
I don’t give a fuck about pussy
I don’t give a fuck about white pussy
I don’t give a fuck about hot pussy
Or chicken pussy
I won’t eat pussy in a house
I won’t eat pussy with a mouse
I won’t eat pussy in a box
I won’t eat pussy with a fox
I won’t eat pussy on a boat
I won’t eat pussy with a goat
I won’t eat pussy in the rain
Or in the dark, or on a train
I won’t eat pussy in a tree
Or in a car, just let me be!
I won’t eat pussy here, or there
I won’t eat pussy anywhere!
Lance kept Kitty in hysterics until they hit Grand Portage, where they turned inland, heading west, along a shit-kicked logging road. Kitty killed the headlights when they were three miles from a bridge that had been the main crossing of the Pigeon River, between Minnesota and Ontario, fifty years back in time.
“You knew we’d be doing this during a full moon,” Lance said, impressed.
“I didn’t know any such thing. I was told, and I believed. And so it is.”
“Told by my father.” It wasn’t a question.
“Shut up,” was Kitty’s answer. The flatbed crawled along slowly, quietly, until Kitty finally killed the engine. Opening her door, she said, “Shut up and stay here. Don’t make a sound.”
Wondering if he should man up, Lance whispered, “You want me to come with?”
Kitty whispered, “A girl needs a boy like a fish needs a bicycle.”
Lance whispered back, “You’re really hot when you make with the lesbian talk!”
Kitty couldn’t help but laugh, but did so quietly, then whispered, “Seriously. Just stay here. You don’t wanna see this, or even know about it, so don’t ask when it’s done.”
Twenty minutes later, Kitty was back. “Our visas have been approved on both sides of the bridge,” she said, with a self satisfied smile. Lance didn’t ask. He did, however, take note that the lights were on, but no one was home when they rolled past the check points that had been recently refurbished on either side of the bridge.
A hundred yards north of the bridge Kitty caught a human figure in her headlights. “Holy shit,” Lance whispered, not aware that he was still whispering. “It’s the old guy we met in Duluth.”
“Old woman,” Kitty said, as she stopped next to her.
“Hello Kitty! Well done. Hello Lance, good to see you again, brother. Welcome to Canada.”
Boy and girl, King and Queen to be, Lance and Kitty were filled with the warm and fuzzies again. “Thank you, sister,” Kitty smiled. “All is well?
“All is well, Kitty. You carry on. I will follow.”
“What the fuck is going on?” Lance asked, as they moved forward.
“If I told you… “ Kitty chuckled.
“You’d have to kill me?”
“Not exactly. Not me.”
Kitty nodded, “He might have to kill us both, and that really would mean the end of the world.”
“Holy mother of three headed Jewish whores. What he fuck is going on?” Lance cracked, much to Kitty’s amusement.
“Holy mother of three headed Jewish whores?” the girl laughed. “You just pull that out of your ass, on the spot?”
“Yeah. It’s a gift. One that not everyone appreciates.”
Fifteen minutes later they pulled into the empty parking lot of the Valhalla Inn, just outside the Thunder Bay city limits. Kitty parked rigt in front of the entrance, where Stephen King and, “What the fuck is Old Leather Pussy doing here?” were waiting for them.
“I have no idea,” Kitty said. “He didn’t tell me about this plot twist.”
Stephen King said, “Hello Kitty! Good job. I knew you had it in you.”
Kitty smiled, and took a bow, while Madonna applauded, and cheered,
rah rah rah!
Stephen King turned his attention to Lance. He put his arms out in the mock hug that had swept around the world, and wiggled his fingers. “Hello son.”
Lance smiled, and said, “Hello Pa. Here’s a little something from me and Ma” as he pulled back his fist, and suckered punched his father rigt between the eyes, with all the power he could torque. Stephen, father of Lance, went down like a 220 pound sack of pig shit.