Friday, January 18, 2013

Working for Peanuts-Flash Fiction

Another Flash Fiction challenge hosted by Chuck Wendig.  This story I had the following criteria: Alien abduction, Heist gone wrong, and Carnival Folk.  It came out not as well as I hoped but I hope you enjoy it.  Love it hate it or w/e any comments would be appreciated.

About six months ago Philip and his wife went to bed in their trailer and he woke up on a space ship. After hours of poking and prodding the aliens decided that Philip could leave if he would just do them one tiny favor. They wanted him to steal the magic peanuts that the Amazing Fabio of the No Muss, No Fuss Circus fed his tightrope walking elephant. To say that it didn't go exactly as planned would be a massive understatement. First, Philip's wife left him for his best friend, Bud. She wasn't going anywhere near an elephant and no freak, who thought he had been abducted by aliens, was going to make her. Besides Bud owned his doublewide. Then his 1984 Ford Ranger's fuel pump died and he had to shell out the cash for that. That meant he couldn't afford the rent on his trailer and his mom kicked him out.

He always seemed to miss the circus by a week. When he found the circus in Portland it was to discover that Fabio and Binky, the elephant, left to follow the east coast fair route.

He, finally, caught up to them in some po-dunk town in Amish country in the middle of September. Eyeing all the fair food Philip was glad that he was almost done. He only had five dollars left and the thought of another funnel cake made him vaguely nauseous.

Wandering the stalls as he tried to figure out where someone would put a tightrope walking elephant in the middle of town he felt this insistent urge to play the game to his right. Fat Albert was a game of pure chance. You put your money on a color and Albert's owner spins a color wheel that has poor Albert in the middle. Dizzy, Albert makes a break for on of the cups at the end of the wheel. It's not a game Philip usually played. It was far better to play a game of skill where at least you had a somewhat better chance of winning something.

Placing his quarter on lime green Philip listened to the people around him. "Are you going to the Green Dragon tonight," asked some lady that looked a bit like the Amish Philip saw on TV once.

"It's Wednesday, Green Dragon aint open," this coming from some older lady that was, like him, eavesdropping.

Leaning in front of the person she originally asked Amish Girl explained, "they set up a tent and there is to be a show there tonight and tomorrow night."

"Like the circus? That's just what we need more traffic," said some old geezer to Philip's left.

"How do you get to this Green Dragon," asked Philip.

Several dirty looks and mutters later he got about 20 sets of directions that would "take ya right thar."

Trading in the purple stuffed snake, the feathered roach-clip and laser key chain for a bigger prize, Philip swore he saw Albert wink at him as the booth operator handed him a stuffed Dumbo.

He missed Oklahoma where all the streets ran north to south and east to west. Here the roads ran every which way but the direction you really want to go. Thirty minutes and twenty seemingly wrong turns later he arrived at a huge several acre gravel lot with stands and buildings to his left. Pulling into the lot he noticed the huge red and yellow tent at the far end of the lot and that was it. He was expecting a trailer for the elephant and tent and the vehicle that towed it but they were not in evidence. Philip turned around and headed for the lot on the other side of the open-air market to park his sole possession. Immediately upon leaving his vehicle Philip's foot finds a hole and his ankle is sprained. Now limping, he slowly makes his way to the tent to see if he can figure out where the peanuts are and hopefully nab them before Fabio returns.

Upon entering the empty tent he fully the futility of his mission. Turning to leave the this whole sorry mess of a heist behind he felt a cold finger run down his spine and freeze him in place. Knowing that his captors weren't going to let him go back to Hooker, Oklahoma he prepared to be taken back up to the ship to dissect him.

When Philip woke up he was definitely on a space ship just not the one he was on previously. This one was a vibrant puce color where the other ship's exam room was a horrible chartreuse that reminded him of baby shit. Philip heard the swish of the automatic door and he tried to turn his head only to discover that it was firmly strapped down.

"My name is Murray the Magnificent I will be your interrogator."

Murray looked like a colorblind magician. His yellow top-hat and powder pink pants made his neon blue mustachio all the more glaring.

"Where are they," Murray the Magnificent bellowed right before he pressed the button that shot pure agony into Philip's body. "Do not give me that garbage, I know you stole them!" Another bellow followed with another jolt. This was an unpleasant reminder that these creatures could read minds. "I know you stole the peanuts for the Dormati, so tell me where you hid them."

Philip was sure that the first set of aliens called themselves the Bartums. He tried to project that to Murray and hoped that earned him a quicker death.

Murray broke into a fit of giggles that was more fitting for a bimbat then a burly gent in tails. "The Bartums are fools and obviously they chose a fool for their task. You are free to go."

Philip woke up in a park and seeing he had no money or wife he decided to join the fair folk to their next stop.

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