Story Go Round 01/19/2002, round 1, #4


Linda lined up the suitcases until she had a neat little fortress in front of the car. Barbie kept her eyes lowered. She took one long last look at the house which had never seemed like home to her, not until that last month. And now they were leaving, and Jasper wasn't going with them. She couldn't decide if she'd miss him or not, though Linda sure would. Linda was in denial, of course. Arms crossed, waiting for Barbie to finish, standing with her back to the back gate where Jasper was even now clamoring to be released from the outhouse. It had been the only way they could assure their escape - lure him in with a good magazine and then board up the door with a 2 by 4. The suitcases had been packed last night while Jasper was watching 'Anaconda' and then secreted to the porch. Now, logistics, Linda thought, as she revved the motor. A nail creaked, and board gave in the outhouse wall as Jasper pounded. Who would dunk hoops or get stuff from the top shelf without Jasper? Well, Dexter might, if they gave him a stool to stand on. But he was off hitchhiking in Aberdeen, and they were headed for Sydney. Barbie took a deep breath and closed the car door, just as the outhouse door burst open and Jasper and a gang of flies erupted forth. "No!" Linda near shouted, "shut the door once you're IN the car." Barbie lit a smile and laughed blondely. When Jasper reached the driveway there was only dust. He could smell Barbie's perfume in the air. He liked that she used half a bottle every day. It overwhelmed his senses and sometimes made him pass out, but it also made him feel like an animal - he could track his beloved by smell, even through the mall or out across the fields. How could they just leave him like an overweight, ungainly glandular freak and neighborhood monster? He closed the distance to the car in a half-dozen steps, lept, and landed like a lizard on the roof, hands draped down grabbing both door handles.

[Afterwards, we went back and groupily added to the story; below is what we added]

Jasper heaved his highbrow head into Linda's window, jabbing an eye with his whiskers. Eau d'Outhouse flowed through the window, Linda's eyes watering from both dire sources. Toilet paper clung to his sticky sneakers, frantically unspooling from the outhouse. In a minute it would catch and hold.

Suddenly like an apparition through the dust, Crocodile Dundee emerged. Arms akimbo, legs spread, he smiled. "G'Day mate, have you seen my fancy 4 x 4?" Barbie seized the wheel to avoid him, miscalculating by miles and ending in his path. The fender bumped snakeskin boots, Crocodile Dundee flipflopped, keeping perfect posture like a popular children's toy. The tp caught, an awesome rip rent the night air, a scream of tortured metal. His mouthin a surprised O, Jasper fell behind with a detached car roof in his grip. Crocodile Dundee landed in the back seat, bent forward in flirty ease.

The tp snapped, and Jasper slid at 45 mph through the mall entrance, crowds parting, sparks flying. Blurring past the Orange Julius and the Waldenbooks, he began the long ride down the escalator.

Amber is purple; John is pink; Alan is blue; Terry is orange