“Just Another Evening” – Fiction by Dusty Wallace

photoOne of the most bizarre pieces from our decidedly bizarre Fall 2014 issue has to be Dusty Wallace‘s giddy flash of Python-esque absurdity titled “Just Another Evening.”

{ X }

THAT FUCKING ALLIGATOR stretched out on the nine-foot Steinway in the center of the stage was really distracting.

I nudged the guy next to me, “Do you see that?”

He looked offended at the interruption or maybe he was just worried I’d creased his penguin suit. “Yes. Mr. Nakamura’s agility makes Chopin’s Minute Waltz look simple.”

He was probably right. But who the fuck cares about Chopin when there’s an alligator on the piano? And why were me and this posh motherfucker the only people in the theater?

“Perhaps because you’re naked,” said Posh Motherfucker like he’s reading my mind.

Wait a tick… I’m naked. Naked. That explained the draft, but not the alligator.

Mr. Nakamura stopped playing, standing to face the auditorium. “Would you two please shut the fuck up?” he shouted. “It’s hard enough playing with this fucking alligator on the piano. The last thing I need are two disrespectful assholes running their mouths right in the middle of the waltz.”

He sat back down at the piano, cracking his knuckles, and picked up exactly where he left off.

When he hit the last note Posh and I gave a standing ovation. I clapped with such enthusiasm that my penis slapped back and forth on my naked thighs and it sounded like three people applauding.

“Like I give a fuck,” Nakamura said, ambling off stage.

“Well, it was nice seein’ ya,” Posh said.

“Wait, aren’t you gonna give me a ride home?” I asked.

“Why would I do that?”

“I’m naked. I don’t even know how I got here.”

“You find yourself in this position often?”

“What? Fuck you,” I said.

“Good luck finding a ride,” he said. “Maybe you should ask Eric.”

“Who’s Eric?”

Posh pointed to the stage. Only the alligator was in sight, still stretched across the old grand. “You don’t really expect me to…” I began, but when I turned around Posh was gone.

{ X }

Riding an alligator is not as easy as it sounds and it doesn’t sound too fucking easy.

First, I had to get the sumbitch off the piano. I tried pulling it by the tail but it wouldn’t budge, had its claws gripped around the edge.

I sat down and started banging keys as loud as possible and the thing finally slid down to the floor with a thud. Getting up was tricky with the piano stool firmly adhered to my butt skin. But the alligator turned toward me so I ripped away like a band-aid except without avoiding pain. I rubbed at my sore cheeks thinking, what now Eric?

I opened the piano bench and shuffled through sheet music, eventually coming across a half-eaten pack of breath mints. That led me to the logical conclusion to befriend Eric with an offering.

“Here boy. Ch-ch-ch,” I called to the gator. When he got close enough he opened his mouth wide and I could see down into the pits of his stomach. Pink flesh swirled into the gator’s depths and loosely formed the shape of a face, my face. But it was probably just a trick of my imagination which, on occasion, gets carried away.

I tossed the mint into the gator’s gaping maw and it snapped shut violently.

The second mint I left a few feet ahead of Eric so that he’d have to move for his treat. Meanwhile, I circled around the piano and behind him. As he turned his head slightly to grab the mint I jumped on his back.

Let me tell you, gators are uncomfortable. Doubly so if you’re naked. I thought I’d been sliced open scrotum to anus by its sharp dorsal scales.

Surprisingly, the gator didn’t seem to mind the arrangement. I realized we’d get along just fine.

 { X }

A few folks honked at Eric and I as we loped down Route 322. It was a two-lane road and Oklahoma wasn’t a natural habitat for gators.

Tossing mints about ten-feet in front of Eric, I managed to guide him two miles until we reached a small service station.

I went inside and asked the clerk for some more breath mints. There were two problems; I wasn’t carrying cash (no clothes), secondly, they were all out of wintergreen and I just wasn’t sure spearmint would work.

The clerk, a small anthropomorphic hippopotamus named Ricky, was sympathetic to my plight and offered me the spearmint free of charge. It was a nice gesture. Something you don’t normally see from hippopotami.

Finally, after close to three hours (Eric moved slower for spearmint), we finished the five-mile journey to my suburban two-story home.

Mindy, my beautiful wife, was waiting outside with a scowl as Eric pulled into the driveway.

“Jonny Jordan Johnston, where in the hell have you been?” she asked furiously.

“At a concert,” I answered, “Chopin.”

She smiled and gave me a hug.

{ X }

dustyDUSTY WALLACE lives in the Appalachians of Virginia with his wife and two sons. He enjoys reading, writing, and the occasional fine cigar. His story “Shaundra The Watcher” will be featured in ARES Magazine Issue #2. He’s also the editor of People Eating People – A Cannibal Anthology available now on Amazon and other online retailers. You can keep up with him on twitter: @CosmicDustMite or at his blog DustyVersion.blogspot.com.

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