"Payment received." Mark muttered. | H squinted through the smoke at him, and asked, "For the parts car?" | Mark laughed, "I can’t believe it either. I thought i was going to have to make that old heap part of a concrete foundation, or something." | H shook his head and picked up the hookah pipe again. He examined the smoke from the elusive Jack’s cleaner inside, and remarked, "She gonna be real mad when she finds out we filled the transmission with sawdust." | Mark snatched the hookah out of H’s hand. He positioned it, then tugged a deep hit. He exhaled a gust of smoke that traversed the room and toppled several of the picture frames propped inside of the broken secretary desk. "What did you replace the keepers with it you took the ones from that heap to use in the good car?" | " Lead foil. " H grabbed back the pipe. "Like we used to wrap the tornado pellets." | Mark’s eyes scanned the plains and prairies through the window for a moment, the murmured, "Stupid fuckin tornados, won’t go where ya need ’em to go and when." He looked back at H and asked him, " How do the fire tornado pellets work? Do you need alchemy to make ’em? " | "There’s no such thing as alchemy, Mark." H hauled a titanic hit out of the hookah, then attempted to topple some pictures on the desk across the room also. Instead, he dislodged a small wind-up toy, which came to life, raced out of the desk, and careened noisily about the floor. | " What about those van allen belt deflectors? " Mark frowned unpleasantly at the toy. It was a rabbi that rode a unicycle with arms raised in benediction, and he based at it vacantly, as if he had no idea how such a thing had gotten into his house. "They said on the news during the lunar missions that those deflectors were made by alchemy." | H knew what his Gandolf-like companion meant. "Oh, that technology’s been….um…lost, shall we say?" | Mark tittered, "You mean, lost to china." | "They were up there for months. They even brought a chicken with them." | " Stupid chinese. " Mark produced a long musket pistol from somewhere inside of his chair. He aimed it at the little toy and fired. The seventy-eight calibre ball not only obliterated the toy, but blew a dinner-plate sized hole through the floor. A second later, a watery-eyed prairie dog lifted itself out of the hole in the floor, and began to charter angrily. | "That crate of pellets wouldn’t fit so I just crashed it through the rear windshield." H winced at the prairie dog, and gestured for Mark to dispatch the little pest. | "If you took the good springs from that car, how did you get the out-of-square springs from the good ’76 into that wrecker?" | " I just heated them aglow and stuck them back in. " H added another bud of jack’s cleaner to the hookah. He put fire to it, and watched as the prairie dog took notice of the musket being repacked and reloaded. The dexterous little mammal picked up an unsolved key-chain-sized rubix cube, and speedily set about solving it. | "How did you prevent them from fusing to the piston chambers?" Mark wanted to know. | H laughed both at his reply and at the prairie dog. "Ye Olde Brick Dust….old brick has asbestos in it. WOW, look! The little guy solved that cube!" | B O O M ! ! Mark downplayed the little creature’s ability with, "Aww, it’s the brain vitamins they put in the pet food. One time I saw one of them call up a power company in Arizona and bring in twice as much the needed amperage to make the electric bills twice as much so this lady and her daughters would lose their home." | " I thought groundhogs did that, you know, like Cha-ching pig, at Lar’s wedding, there. " | Mark chuckled, "Yeah, that’s like, ‘Oh how unfortunate of your wife to let you go out that way’, haha." | H pulled on the hookah, then said, "She looked colorblind to me in the pictures." | Mark coughed, " How can you tell that from a picture? " | "I’m a reptilian." H said conversationally as he passed the pipe to Mark. " All twins are reptilians. Any of them can affect you if they have pictures of you, or can know everything about you just by touching a picture. " | "Hypnosis." Mark said knowledgably . " Hypnosis protects you from that. " | H watched him inhale, then took the hookah and dragged at himself. Both men exhaled, and the gusts of smoke crisscrossed the room. Mark looked at H. H looked at Mark. Then the two began to giggle idiotically. | "I can’t believe we shoplifted all that leak-stop." H cackled through smoke. | " Anyone who pays for anything at a wal-mart is a fool. " Mark declared as he recaptured the hookah, "Those stores could be completely shut down if people would go in and fill carts with lots of small items from allover the aisles. –do you know how much it costs them to pay some cheeky monkey to put back just one shopping cart full of their junk?" | H nodded, "By noontime, every cart the store had could be filled up. Bezos gets drunk every other week and shouts this kind of stuff to anyone who will listen." | " They should all be closed, they’re no different than the power company: just a ripoff deal that is your only deal and making the real makes you broke, while the overage you paid goes to pay for another store to be built. Look at this musket. You think any company could make something this perfect? No no, what the company does today is figure out how to construct one that will eventually break and cause you to buy another one. " | H agreed, "Like, in this country farmers spray poison on all their crops because after all the people have the freedom to not buy it." | Mark took another pull off of the hookah and passed it to H, who began to prime up another gianormous hit. The bearded one watched in amazement as H hauled and leaned on the hookah until it was transparent. H freed his long hair from the salesh, which, by the way, is not a pony tail, and let it hang to obscure his face as he let smoke pour from his mouth and nose. | "What if her dog jumps out the back window? You know, Yark! Yark! Yark! Yark! Yark! ….Yark?………..yark?………………..yark?" | Mark erupted into a great belly laugh that shook the entire house. He dropped the musket and charaded to H to add another bud to the hookah. Another prairie dog appeared out of the second hole in the floor. It ran over to the musket and began to drag it away from Mark’s chair. | H tossed back his hair in Rita Hayworth fashion, and took a second to admire himself in the mirror hung between the secretary desk and the window vista of crayola green plains. He remarked to Mark, "You know, there’s someone out there right now with a crate of tornado pellets." | Mark snickered, "Probably some guy who lives in a round house." | " Why the hell do these idiots keep buildin’ shit with right angles? " H wanted to know. | "I’ll show you why, Sonny" Mark picked up the fireplace poker and used it to knock off a small antique transistor radio from the mantle behind and above him. He caught the radio and then plunged the poker through the prairie dog’s rear left foot and into the hickory flooring. The little animal shrieked, but neither of the men heard it over the metallic roar of AM radio. …WITH A WOMAN WHO WHISTLES AT THE CROW AND THE HEN AND IT’S AN ABOMINATION UNTO THE LOOOOORD!!!! Mark quickly snapped the device off. "See? Religious sensationalism, that’s why they build everything stupidly, here." | H and Mark looked down at the prairie dog that had begun to chew through its own leg. It oggled back at them resentfully with its watery maroon eyes. Several more prairie dog heads arose from the holes in the floor to whine sympathy, but they rendered no assistance. | "So what do you do with the good ’76, H?" Mark asked, " Do you drive it around, up there, you know, with the top down and your hair in the breeze? …y o u know, looking for wherewolves? Ahhhh-ROOOOOOO! " | "No more cleaner for you." H dismantled the hookah and poured the water onto the trapped prairie dog, which began to chatter indignantly to itself as it quickened its efforts to free itself. | " Hey. " Mark pointed at H’s arm. "Put it back in the sunlight a minute." | H laughed, "Yeah, it sparkles, huh? It’s so funny, i was feeding my face a subway sandwich in arizona, an’ y’know that bitch who wrote them twilight books? Well she was in there sitting behind me. Lookin’ at my skin, the weirdo –all aridzonies are weirdos, Mark. It’s like, i can do something that you can’t do so you start evaluating my skin, then you go home and write a book about what you saw, how original you are. " | "It’s creepy." Mark agreed, and inquired, " …but what causes that sparkling? –alchemy? " | "No, rhode island saugys." H explained, and pointed at the prairie dog. " If we decided to eat that prairie dog we’d cut out his large muscles and fry em up, right? Well, the rhode island saugy company says that is a tremendous waste, and they would grind up the whole prairie dog, just keep grindin an grindin an grindin until he’s like gelatin, then they put him in a saugy. Years of eating them will make anyone’s skin sparkle in the sun. " | " Kinda gross. Can you buy some online? " | "Sure can. Hey maybe we can send her some to say we’re sorry about that windshield." | Again, low rumbling laughter filled the house. | H decided to add another bud of jack’s cleaner to the hookah…


  • Name: Mark Bernstrom
  • Country: United States
  • State: Kansas
  • City: Tonganoxie
  • Address: 23253 Chieftain Road
  • Phone: 913-378-5501
  • Website: