Free Extreme Fiction

Fairmont

    An intriguing proposition. I'd been thinking about wanting to discuss a few things with Rick Erly. There was no reason for him to know that, however. Still, I wasn't going to just, you know, obey him. So, 
    "I'll be right out," I yelled. "There's something I need to get back in the house here!"
    "Come here!"
    "But I just..."
    "Come here!"
    "In the rain?"
    Well, yeah, that's the way it was going to have to be. Erly couldn't get the MGB over to the curb because there were two parked cars in the way. I pulled the collar of the leather coat around my neck, like that would do me any good whatsoever, and ran to the sports car. The first thing I said was, "What is it with you Seaclears, anyway? You the rudest people in the world or what?"
    "I'm no Seaclear," Erly replied. "I just like the floor show. Now get in the car."
    "If you think you're..."
    Erly looked at his assistant and said, "Charisma, you get in the back." 
    I almost chuckled. Charisma? I thought. This uber-bland young woman's name was Charisma?
    Erly went on. "Loman, you get in the..."
    "Lomax. My last name's Lomax."
    "Whatever. You're still sitting next to me."
    "Hey, you know, I don't see that happening." That's all I needed was for Erly to parade my face all over town so that every black brother in Seatrailia Washington could get a look at me and know exactly where I was and in which direction I was headed. On the other hand, there were a couple questions I wanted to ask Erly and that introverted little girlfriend of his. I thought, Christ, the things I get myself into.     
    "I'm going to feel like a fucking sardine," I said.
    Charisma climbed into the compartment space in the back. Huddled back there, she looked like a baby in the womb. As I climbed into the seat she vacated, I said to her, "Now that looks pretty damned uncomfortable. So where are we going again?"
    "We're going to my place," Erly replied.
    "Your place? Where's your place?"
    "Don't worry about it." Erly hit the gas pedal, and we entered traffic that once again began to swell. The sky lightened behind clouds as gray as lard. Dawn, Seatrailia-style.
    "So I need you to tell me precisely where we're going," I said.
    "We're going to my theater, man," Erly said. "We're going to the Rick Erly Theater."
    "Rick Erly Theater? I didn't know you had a theater named after you. I thought the place you owned was called Naked..."
    "Naked Fairmont?"
    "Yeah, that's right. Naked Seatrailia. Naked Fairmont." Which was cool with me because the Fairmont District was only a couple of miles, driving, from where we were there in New Oslo. If we took a right six blocks down the road, then a left onto Weary Way, we'd be there in ten minutes. Because the heater in Rick Erly's car was on, I started to smell myself real quick. The stink of my sweaty wet feet I smelled. Just my own general body stink  I smelled. Even my breath stank. I'd become a stink factory. I began to feel a little self-conscious. I asked myself, now why did I climb into this car again?
    "At one time, I had four places," Erly said. "Naked Fairmont, Naked University, Naked Greatway, and Naked Seatrailia, which was downtown." 
    "And that was your first place? Naked Seatrailia?"
    "No. Where we're going now. Naked Fairmont. That was my first place." Erly made a snuffling sound with his nose, like he smelled me but was too polite to say anything about it.
    "I started Naked Fairmont about twenty years ago to the day." We reached the Fifteenth Avenue intersection, but, rather than take the right that would take us to Weary Way and, eventually, the Fairmont district, Erly got into the left hand lane.
    "Hey, where you going?" I asked. "I thought we were going to Fairmont."
    "We are."
    "Then why are we turning left?"
    "We're taking a short cut."
    "Uh..." That was pure bullshit. The shortest distance between New Oslo and Fairmont was Weary Way. On the other hand, what the hell? Erly had his reasons for going the way he was going, and I had my reasons to stick with him, so...in for a penny...
    We turned on Fifteenth Avenue and headed north, away from Fairmont, which was due east. On the corner was a Food's Finest! family restaurant. As he took the turn, I watched a family, mom, dad, four kids, all decked out in their Sunday finest, make their way to breakfast before continuing on to church.     

                                                                                        CONTINUE