Victoria glances up at the sound of the door opening, but then goes right back to the computer to continue waging her good fight against the system. Poor girl, probably thought she was hearing shit. Stress’ll do that to a ‘man.
‘Maybe I should go and talk to her,’ Sidney debates, but ultimately decides against it. His stomach would do most of the talking anyway.
Slipping past the metal detectors, Sidney stands in front of the sliding glass doors and waits for the delay to allow them to open. He can see her calling his name, saying Hey, wait, I need to give you my number real quick! but of course that doesn’t happen. She’s a pretty girl, yes, with a most bodacious figure about her, but she doesn’t need a man. All she needs is for the library’s computer system to work, and Sidney can’t help her with that. He’s not sure anyone can help her with that, but he is sure he’d like to talk to her again. So perhaps he’ll try his best to be back tomorrow. That’s all any of us can do.
The doors finally open and Albey walks out into the golden glow of the sunset. There aren’t many cars in the parking lot, but Harry’s is among them, and thank goodness for that.
“Still not sure what the fuck that was,” Sidney tells himself as he walks down the steps. “Weird shit, ‘man. Weird town, Logg–”
As he’s stepping down onto the fifth step, a hand grabs Sidney by the bicep and spins him around, as if he was passed by somebody who recognized him and didn’t realize it… but there was nobody else on the stairs.
And yet there stands the man.
Dude’s dressed like the dirtiest of hippies. Jeans with holes in the knees, a rainbow tie-dye shirt, purple John Lennon sunglasses with glimmering gold rims perched on a mug that’s more facial hair than face. The dude has a mane, for Christ’s sake, and Sidney wouldn’t be in the slightest bit surprised to learn this guy wasn’t wearing any shoes. He doesn’t look, though. His eyes are transfixed on the man’s purple circle shades, he couldn’t look away if he wanted to.
“Hey, you’re…” the man starts, but then trails off and smiles. “Shit, my bad. Thought you were someone else.”
“Seemed pretty sure of it, too. What’s the deal, ‘man?”
The man chuffs a tiny laugh. “What’s the deal, you ask? I’m not sure I know you, pal. In fact, now I’m sure that I don’t.”
“Yeah. You could, though,” Albey claps back, channeling a certain writer ‘man with two names. “I’m Sidney, Sidney Blake. My friends call me Albey.”
“Albey,” the man says as he shakes the ‘man’s hand. “That’s a good name. What do you do, Albey?”
“Not too sure yet, tell you the truth,” Albey says with a smile. “I’m getting ready to write a novel, though, so that’s something. I guess.”
“No guessing about it,” as the man with the mane around his head pockets a hand. “Writing a fiction book is most certainly something. Let me ask ya, you got plans to publish it?”
“Nothing concrete,” as Sidney puts both of his hands into both of his pockets. “I’m more focused on getting it written at the moment, you feel me?”
“I do, on a few levels. Of the Tower, some may say.”
Sidney damn near falls backwards off the last step, propelled by the force of his smile. “Yeah, some may say that. Word up, ‘man!”
“Word up indeed. Listen,” as he takes his hand out of his pocket, “I don’t know how long it’s going to take you to make your book, but when it’s all good and made, why don’t you give me a call?”
Finally Sindey feels capable of looking away from the odd man’s purple hippieglasses. He sees that the man’s holding a business card, which he takes. “What are you, a publisher?”
“Something like that,” says the maned hippie. “Get in touch when it’s done. I’ll be waiting.”
He turns to go then, striding up the stairs, and Albey is pleasantly surprised to see the man has wooden sandals on his feet, just like a certain animated samurai who goes by the name of Jack. Jack’s not his real name, of course, the samurai has no name, but others call him Jack, and so the samurai goes by Jack. Sidney looks at the business card in search of the maned character’s name, but he doesn’t find it. There’s only a phone number – a very suspect phone number, truth be told – and on the opposite side, a quote.
“From this day on, we move forever forward,” Sidney reads aloud, fascinated. “Hey, wait!”
The figure stops on the top step and spins around on his sandals. “Yes?”
“I didn’t get your name, hippie ‘man.”
The maned hippie smirks. “Call me Mister Kyng.”
Mister King… really? But he doesn’t even look like him. “Really? Like, Stephen King? ”
“Nope, Kyng with a whY.”
“Why with a whY?”
Mister Kyng shrugs. “Why not?”
Fair enough. Sidney nods at the strange hippieman and watches him climb to the landing and walk backwards into the Logger’s Pond Public Library. The doors open without delay and close in the same manner. Sidney just shakes his head.
“Weird shit, ‘man,” as he hits the pavement with his black skater shoes. “Weird town, Logger’s Pond. Weird-ass town.”
Albey finds his car easily enough – Harry parked right next to it, because of course he did – and pulls out of the parking lot without driving a big circle. He gets less glares of misery on his drive down Mane Road than he did driving up it this morning, but he attributes that more to the time of day than anything else. The townsfolk are tired, they’ve been toiling away in their shops and farms and stuff all day. Even hatred takes energy, and shockingly enough, sometimes apathy is just easier.
As he’s coming up on the last block of storefronts before the road gets barren in preparation for the approach to Sawblade Lane, Sidney sees a familiar lump of a ‘man walking away from said storefronts. He’s hunched over in white and black basketball shorts and a gray tee, hands in his pockets, eyes looking at the ground. Sidney takes up his cell phone, scrolls through the contacts, and makes a phone call. He sees the walkin’ ‘man take his cell phone out of his pocket, look at the screen, lock it, and drop it back into his pants. Sidney hangs up before the voice tells him to leave a message after the beep. He takes his foot off the gas and coasts – much to the chagrin of those honking their horns behind him – until he’s neck and neck with the walkin’ ‘man, a man who was once a boy who resembled a fat little piggy in more ways than one, but not in any way that counted.
“Yo, Karl!” Sidney shouts, hanging an elbow out the window.
Karl looks over and jumps as if frightened, then unhunches his shoulders. “Well hey there, Sidney. Didn’t think I’d be running into you again.”
“Guess that’s why you ignored my call, huh?”
Karl shrugs and smiles. At this stage in the game, he knows what he’s about. The line of traffic behind Sidney Blake threatens to break out in a riot by the sound of their horns, so a decision has to be made.
“You walkin’ far? Need a ride?”
“Nah, goin’ for a hike,” Karl says plainly. “Was go’n’a hit one of the trails across from your road. Wan’a come?”
“Nah, I need some dinner,” Albey says, inspiring a slouch in Karl’s posture. He then straightens it with, “I’ll meet you in the parking lot though, shoot the shit a little bit.”
Karl smiles. “Cool, see ya there.”
Sidney hits the gas, but the honking from behind does not stop. Sure, sometimes apathy is easier, but where’s the misery in that?
Karl skulks up a couple minutes after Sidney turned his car off, which was a couple minutes after he parked. Sidney’s leaning in wait against the passenger door, arms folded, smile beaming.
“Karl with a Kay, what’s good homie!” as he extends a hand for a brohug.
“Oh, you found out about that?” Karl says, accepting the brohug but not putting too much into it. “Yeah, it’s Karl with a Kay now.”
“And why is that?” Sidney asks earnestly.
Karl shrugs just as earnestly. “I don’t know… I mean, I know, but…” he shakes his head. “Where the heck have you been, dude? I haven’t heard from you in ages, none of us have. I was starting to feel a little abandoned.”
Sidney’s heart doubles its pace, but then settles down. Harry was full of shit, it’s just a coincidence.
“I’ve been home, mostly. I uh… I’ll be honest, broth’a. The mental health hasn’t exactly been pitch perfect lately.”
“Oh, shit ‘man,” Karl says, dropping his defenses into the dirt. “I’m sorry to hear that, are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m all good. It’s the whole flunking out of college thing, I think. Smoking a little too much pot, too, but I cut that out like a week ago. Head’s still clearin’ up, but I feel better now.”
“Well that’s good,” Karl says, and yes, that is relief Albey hears in his voice. Thank goodness for that.
“Yeah, so uh, so what’s up with you? And the Kay thing?”
“Oh. Nothin’ much, just doing the coaching thing, um… it’s kind of embarrassing.” He rubs his arm. “You really want to know?”
“Wouldn’t ask if I didn’t care,” Albey says.
“It’s uh… well, after you left, the uh…” Karl looks for something in Sidney’s eyes. “The Triad kind of broke up, you know what I mean?” Looks like he found it. “And me and Keaton started hanging around Harrington a lot, just because there wasn’t really anyone else to hang out with and none of us had jobs or anything, and uh…” He kicks the ground, poofing a small cloud of dust up around their ankles. “I don’t know. It just seemed that no matter what I did, Harry always liked Keaton more than he liked me, so I… I just wanted to be more like him, y’know?”
“So you changed your name to Karl with a Kay so it started with the same letter as Keaton’s,” Sidney realizes, the haze clearing ever further. “Aw ‘man, you didn’t need to do that! You’re awesome, Carl. Harry is,” a fucking douchebag, is what Sidney wants to say, but that wouldn’t be right. “Harry is Harrington, he’s got his issues just like everybody else. You shouldn’t let what other folks think change who you are, buddy.”
“Yeah, I know… I don’t know. I guess it is pretty silly.”
Sidney pats him on the back. “Perhaps. Sounds just plain human to me.”
Carl smiles. “Thanks, ‘man. Are you sure you don’t want to come hiking? Sunset’s ‘bout’a look sick from the view up there.”
“Yeah I’m sure, thanks dude. I need to get some food in me, I feel like I’m about to fall over.”
“Well what are you standing here for?” Carl asks, putting out an offer for a brohug. Sidney takes it. “Get on home!”
Sidney pulls out of the parking lot as Carl breaches the treeline. The Triad sure did break up… but broken doesn’t mean ruined. Just needs to be put back together is all, like one of those Japanese vases with the gold, whatever they’re called. Maybe Sidney would know the name if he read more books. Or maybe he wouldn’t. Regardless, the drive to the bottom of Sawblade Lane is a quick one, one fortuitously uninterrupted by police sirens, and as he drifts around the circle, he chances a glance up at the menacing structure standing atop a pair of rock walls and blotting out the sky. It’s an orphanage, he’s pretty sure, or at least it used to be. Might even be the orphanage he came from, but he’s never asked his folks about it and probably never will.
When Sidney pulls into his driveway, he sees that his parents are home. That means dinner is probably ready, and Sidney is so ready for that dinner.
“Hey guys!” he says cheerfully as he kicks his skaters off into the wall, closing the front door behind him. “I’m home!”
“We can see that!” says Jeremy through a mouthful of something ambrosial. Beef stew? Pot roast? A brilliant combination of the two? Who’s to say? “Grab a plate, pull up a rock. Your mother just finished dinner.”
“We’re having roasted beef stew,” says Ashley after chewing and swallowing her food like she wishes Jeremy would. “Better hurry up, your father seems to like it.”
“Word, I’ll be right there,” as he slips through the kitchen en route to the stairs. “I just got’a unload real quick.”
They say something, but Albey doesn’t hear it over the pounding of his feet against the stairs. It’s just as well, he’ll be back down in a second. There’s just one thing he needs to do before dinner, and with his backpack off and his pen in his hand, Sidney Blake’s just about ready to do it.
He sits down at his desk, opens his journal to the next blank page, and sets his pen to paper.
Hello Commons, this has been the last subchapter of the third chapter of Untitled Bigfoot Project, a novel about a writer who writes a novel about bigfoot.
Untitled Bigfoot Project is part of the Third Spiral, an anthology of sorts called The Here and Now which is comprised of stories told from the various planes of Existence.
Untitled Bigfoot Project is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
If you like Untitled Bigfoot Project and would like to help support my work, click here and buy an autographed copy of the book (or anything else!) from my store. Alternatively, you can snag a cheaper (and unsigned) copy from Amazon by clicking here OR you can buy the ebook for even cheaper here.
If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. Be well Commons~