“During the escape Malcom knocked out two orderlies and broke the arm of a security guard. Not bad for a seventy-year-old hunchback.” Detective Munson jotted down notes as the Warden continued, “This wasn’t the first time Malcom tried to get out, he does it probably once or twice a year. This is, however, the first time he got away.”
“Any idea where he’s likely to go?” asked Munson.
“The man hasn’t been off the property in over three decades. The world out there would seem so unfamiliar to him. He doesn’t have any home or family or friends out there he could go to. He’ll probably just hide in the first cave or abandoned building he comes across.”
The detective put the cap back on his pen and flipped the notepad closed. He looked through the barred window and saw a sign that read, “Flowery Acres Mental Clinic for the Insane and Wrongheaded Sorts.”
“Thank you for your time, Sir,” said the detective as he headed for the door. “We’ll find your man and bring him in.”
As Munson returned to his unmarked car, a simultaneous car-driver reunion was occurring across town. A small bearded man with an enormous hump on his back had broken into a garage and pulled aside a white tarp that had been covering an ancient jalopy of a car.
“Captain Auto!” The hunchback exclaimed. “You’re still here! It’s me, Malcom! Come back to claim you!” Malcom climbed into the driver’s seat and turned the key that was in the ignition. As the car had been used regularly by many people even in recent years, it started easily and soon Malcom was cruising the streets. The imaginary crows that had two years ago perched upon Malcom’s shoulders began to “Caw Caw!” and the snake wrapped around the hunchback’s neck (as imaginary as the others, but he’d been there twice as long) started to smell the air with his tongue.
The old fugitive drove his ancient car, as it sputtered and smoked, to an empty lot. Finding a cardboard box, he wrote upon it “FOR SALE” and placed it on the window of the old vehicle. Then he simply waited.
After checking in with the police chief (who seemed even grouchier than usual) Munson resumed his patrol of the city. Suddenly a street gang jumped on his car and started smashing it with their lead pipes and crowbars. Munson jumped out of the moving vehicle just in time to escape the explosion.
“Noooooooo!” he yelled. “My car! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” And Munson wept for hours and hours. That car had been his best friend for years. It was also his home. Also, he was born in it. And it had all his stuff in it.
When Munson was finally able to stand again, he began the long lonely trek back to the police station. On his way however, he came across a parking lot where an elderly hunchback was selling a used car. His grief had pushed his job out of his mind and he thought nothing of the hunchback. He would have simply continued on his way, if not for:
“Wanna buy a car, my good man?” asked the old man. “It’s a beauty, it is. It’ll get you where you’re going faster than if you’re walking and it’ll make you attractive to all the ladies.”
Munson tried to politely refuse, but the hunchback bitchslapped him and then grabbed him by the lapels. He yelled, “Buy the car! BUY IT OR YOU’LL DIE! I’M FROM THE FUTURE! I KNOW!”
Once again Munson tried to leave and the old man picked up a rock and bashed the detective’s knees in. “Hah!” he laughed, “And Hah again! Now you can’t walk. You’ll have to buy the car now!”
Munson sighed and rolled his eyes. He looked up at the full moon and thought about it. The guy makes a good point about the not being able to walk, he thought. But it still felt like maybe it was too soon. He wasn’t over his last car yet. What should he do. He lost his train of thought when he heard the old man talking again.
“… don’t care if it’s larger than five, I just think you’d be better off with two of them,” the old hunchback was saying.
“What was that?” asked Munson.
“Never mind that. I was talking to an imaginary horse. Now, will you take the car or not?”
“I guess that I have to,” Munson admitted. “How much are you asking for it?”
The old hunchback kicked Munson in the nuts then jumped into the driver’s seat of the jalopy. “It ain’t for sale! I love it too much!”
Malcom the crazy old hunchback drove away, and Munson never saw him again. Munson never saw the imaginary animals in the first place and he kept on not seeing them forever. Also, he arrested the street gang.
The moral of this story is: The police chief is a werewolf!
Patrick D Ryall, the D is for Skeleton
Originally posted on Contains2 on Tuesday October 5, 2004.