An essay by Bob, as provided by Dr. K. Kitts
Art by Scarlett O’Hairdye
Larry invited me up to his cabin to fish and drink margaritas. I knew it was smack dab in the middle of nowhere, but the GPS quit working at the two-lane blacktop, and my cell service failed once I hit dirt. According to Larry’s instructions, I still had five miles to go. The trees towered above the rut-filled road and blocked out most of the sun despite it being mid-afternoon. This was the kind of place where people film horror movies.
I should’ve turned around right then, but things had gone south with my latest girlfriend, Marcie. I needed a place to hang out for a couple of days, and I couldn’t leave my Beemer on the street. Women do mean things to vehicles when they feel they’ve been wronged. I mean really. I didn’t know the other girl was Marcie’s sister.
After a couple of miles of nothing but “no trespassing” and “private property keep out” signs, I was just about to give up when I saw a blue Ford Focus, dodging the biggest divots in the road and heading toward me. I lowered my window as Larry pulled up along side.
“Hey! You’ve made great time!” He pointed behind him. “Just keep heading up the road. I left the door open for you. I’m making a beer run.”
He didn’t drive on, but instead just kept grinning at me like the neighbor kid who rides the short bus. Obviously, he wanted a donation to the beer fund. I smiled back, powered up my window and took off. He’d invited me after all.
The cabin wasn’t bad. It had a modern kitchen, a decent fireplace and a great deck overlooking a large, deep blue lake. I couldn’t see any neighbors in either direction, and I didn’t hear any boat motors.
As I wandered back inside to raid the cupboard, I nearly stepped on a lime rolling across the kitchen floor. I picked it up and tossed it in the fruit bowl on the counter. It felt bizarrely warm, so I rubbed the palm of my hand on my pants. The screen door slammed shut. He couldn’t be back that fast but I yelled, “Larry? Is that you?”
Nobody answered. I went to the front. Looking out, I didn’t see anyone, but I thumbed the lock button on my key fob just in case. The car lights flashed. I fastened the hook on the screen door.
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Spring 2015 collection.
Bob still edits a men’s magazine but has decided he’s too old for bar hopping. He is considering eHarmony.
Dr. K. Kitts is a retired geology professor who lives in the high desert of New Mexico. She served as a science team member on the NASA Genesis Mission and worked with both Apollo lunar samples and meteorites. She has dozens of non-fiction publications, but she no longer wishes to talk about “what is” but rather “what if.” She is currently writing both short and novel-length science fiction.
Scarlett O’Hairdye is a burlesque performer, producer and artist. To learn more, visit her site atwww.scarlettohairdye.com.Follow us online: