"She's Switched off the Lights"
by Marc Carlson
Copyright 2005 by Marc Carlson
3 June 2005
Final Version:  987 words



Say, you remember Jake's sister Kory, don't you?  Skinny girl, big ... well anyway.  No, his sister by his -mother-, Mrs. D.  Her daddy's some rich dirtbag juicer - used to be governor of Arkansas or Texas or something - with a long string of, well outside interests, if you catch my drift.  Her daddy’s got a bunch of other kids, too. Hell, for all I know, he’s my daddy too.  Supposedly Momma and Big Daddy hooked up at a tavern she was working at this one time.  Who knows?  But Mrs. D. says Kory’s his kid - which shows you what can happen you spend too much time gutting on the grain. Speaking of which toss me another Pearl, this old soldier’s about to drop.

Thanks.   Anyway, back last fall, Kory was off at school over to Aggieville.  She was supposed to be putting herself though Vet school or some such, but just after classes start she ups and disappears.  Gone.  Her Mom's just frantic about it and it was looking for a while like Busty was going to wind up on a milk carton.  The roommate was some older chick who was just pissed off that she'd skipped out on the rent and left all her crap behind.  So Mrs. D goes to Jake, cause he’s made of money, and asks him to help her hire someone to see if they can't skiptrace the kid or something, but no.  Rich as Rockefeller, off all that tijuana gold he gets shipped in, but he can't see spending a few bucks on finding his sister.  He just figures she's R-U-N-N-O-F-T, you know, probably gone underground with some dumb-ass hippy, or God knows what.

     So, by December, Mrs. D’s desperate enough that she tries to get a hold of Big Daddy, to see if he’d come up with some green, but he won't even fess up to the kid being his anymore, cause it seems his wife's some sort of lesbo ice goddess who's got his balls in a box in her dresser and won’t even let him pee standing up without permission.

At Christmas-time, Mrs D's gone off her meds and tries to off herself, and Jake starts to figures she's gonna do something even more stupid if she can't find out what happened to this kid.  So he calls me to ask me to nose around, cause I owe him one after getting clearing up that smuggling rap so he figures I’ll work cheap.  Normally I wouldn’t touch something like this, but when he calls, I'm hauling a mess of Mex pot roast in my rig, sliding up from  Browntown to Chi wth nothing to show for it, but the stink of burning oil and cowshit.  What the hell, it's better than hauling wets - cattle don't whine about every little thing...  Where was I?

Oh yeah.  So I drop off my freight and head on home.  Jake says he'll cover me for anything I'm out of pocket on it so I figure I can milk this for a while, make the old lady feel better, and who knows, maybe find something out.  I hit the Net, and tool around a bit, then turn it over to some pros who turn up about the same nothing I'm getting.  By the end of February I'm getting a little tired of this, and those ice storms we'd had weren't making me any warmer, and I'm figuring that I'll just tell the old lady that the kid OD'd someplace and the state cremated her, and lost the ashes.  God knows THAT happens often enough.

So anyway, this one night I'm out north of town, last place anybody saw her, pulled off on the edge of a county road trying to work out the details with a bottle of Jack when there's this big glowing light overhead, like one of those police choppers, but quiet.  You know how when you have a leeeetle too much you can sometimes forget things?  I don’t do that., but damned if the the next thing I know someone's hustled me into this dark room someplace in front of some little old bald dude with some of those wrap around shades.  So he's jim-jabbering on about God knows what, and I'm looking around, trying to figure out where the hell I am.  And what do I see sitting off in the middle of a mess of stoners off to the side - that's right, there's Kory, looking like she’s been smoking a lot of bad shit -  hell, she's gotta been eating it, seeds and stems and all - and is so stoned that she can't see straight. 

So I flip my smoke off into the old geezer’s face which shuts him up, and pull Beulah out of my pocket, pull back the hammer, and tell him that unless he wants to eat six rounds right then and there, me and Kory are just going to take a little walk.  So I grab her, and damned if I don't black out again and we're right next to my truck, and that quiet cop-ter is flying off.  I shove Kory back into the truck and peel out of that place like my ass was on fire, and no looking back.  When I stop shaking, I head on over to Jakes place cause she keeps babbling about some crap about wets flying her to some guy named Ray Tackle or something, and get this, they'll just come back for her -- they aren't going to just let her go.

After a couple of days of the cops looking at her like she was a loony, she shuts up about that story and just says she doesn't know what happened; Mrs. D's happy as a pig in shit; I'm thinking I have GOT to cut back on the road beers.

Hey, sometimes stories don't have any big meaning...