found this story on my mom's computer and was halfway through reading it before I realized I wrote it. Weird, huh? Have no recollection of doing it, but the style is mine and the names of the characters are all from Twin Peaks, so I guess it must have been a fluke sophmore year thing. Probably after seeing Wild at Heart.
So without further ado (except to remind you that if you go to adultswim.com and go to the "fix" section you can watch entire episodes of cartoons that havent even been aired yet!) I present:
By the time we reached Kansas, flat and terrible, we were at each other’s throats. I guess that explains why we pulled over when we saw the third sign, bigger than the other two had been, and somehow more compelling. At our wits end, the three of us were in a very fragile mindset at the moment, our minds honed in to determine the slightest offensive vibe from the others. What I am trying to say, is at that moment, Bobby, Dale, and I, were vulnerable to the prey of any outside stimulus. It could have been anything really.
“To Dorothy Gale’s Home” read Bobby slowly, in that dull-witted voice that had, over the last several days, become increasingly annoying, “heey, sounds interesting.”
“Dipshit” Dale muttered while flicking another cigarette butt onto the floor of my mom’s Volvo “it’s a tourist trap. Dorothy like from the Wizard of Oz? Are you kidding me?” But something in his voice also sounded intrigued too, like I said, we had been on the road for awhile, days in fact, and seemed no closer to our destination to the sunny beaches in San Diego, then when we had left New York. Looking up into the grey and dismal sky, I couldn’t help thinking we were backtracking, at least spiritually. This was supposed to be our senior road trip, our Fear and Loathing-esque journey into the center of American Darkness, but instead, strung out on amphetamines and each other’s company, we had ended up in a situation that seemed more Joseph Conrad then Hunter S. Thompson. We were finding out new things about ourselves every day, but these were strange, gross discoveries rather than the life-affirming kind, like picking up the rock of our hearts and finding maggots and worms inside. Who knew that Bobby would have that weird thing with his humming? Or that Dale, who had originally seemed so cool and zen, could have such a propensity for stinging cruelness. Or me? What was my flaw?
“Hey dumbasses,” Dale called from the back, managing to flick Bobby’s and my ear simultaneously, “I’ve changed my mind. This looks like a good place to get a laugh. It’s going to be the most pathetic thing you’ve ever seen, I promise.” Instead of driving onward, or cursing Dale out, or any number of choices I could have took at that moment, I instead nodded my head, and got into the right lane for our turn. Ah, now I remember my secret. I was the pushover.
The place looked authentic enough, although it had been ages since I had seen the Wizard of Oz. Did they actually film the movie here, I wondered, or were they claiming that Dorothy had once lived in this house? That was a little hard to swallow.
“Maybe this was the house of the girl that the guy who wrote the story based Dorothy on?” I asked, as we pulled into the dirt driveway. Dust flew around us like a sandstorm, and for a moment I got chills, like actual goosebumps, pretending I was in the middle of a tornado. I. Am. So. Lame. Out of the blinding brown cloud I saw two figures emerge, one large and one small, the small one running at a much faster rate towards our car, almost bounding or leaping or......
“Call your fucking dog off dude!” I heard Dale scream, and I turned around in my seat, thinking what is he talking about, we don’t have a dog. One of our back windows had been open since we reached the Midwest, and I now saw the bulking figure of a massive dog head and half torso taking filling up the space where the window had been, pushing itself inside the car. The thing was the size of a dump truck, and approximately as clean. His head was larger than mine, fer Christ sakes, and dripping large piles of drool all over Dale and the backseat.
“Jeez, sorry about that fella’s,” said the man as he came up next to my window, “Toto just gets easily excited, that’s all. We don’t have many people comin’ up nowadays.” I rolled down my window and the man poked his head in, a disturbingly similar gesture to that of his dog, “Ah, three of you? That’s just, just really great. You fella’s gonna get a kick out of here, I can tell already. You just look like the type ready for some adventuring.” When the only sounds to be heard were that of Dale’s muffled cries inside of Toto’s fur, the man nodded to himself, apparently satisfied. “Just the type for some adventuring.” He repeated, backing his head out of my window to pull his dog out of my now-sticky backseat.
“They fucking named the dog Toto?” Bobby asked with equal parts disdain and fear, “Sam I don’t think we’re….”
“Don’t even say it,” I muttered, leaning my head on the steering wheel and trying to untense myself from hours of driving and speed binges, “I have the worst headache in the world right now, and if you say it, I might have to kill you.”
Bobby grinned, “I’ll just think it then.”
“You do that.” I got out of the car and slammed the door, followed by a still-chuckling Bobby and a slightly shaken Dale. The old man and Toto, now ever obedient at his side, beckoned us to come inside.
“I’ll sue that fucker for everything he got,” Dale muttered, patting down his clothes for tears, “him and his little dog too.”
“Em? Company!” the man yelled up the stairs, “make yourself decent and come down.” The man turned and seemed to regard us soberly for the first time. Three boys with shifty eyes and skinny bodies, looking like they haven’t eaten in days and were probably hiding some sort of concealed weapon under their baggy clothes.
“You can call me Uncle Henry,” the dusty old guy said. He looked as worn down as this cottage, with grey hair and faded overalls. I had to admit, if they were trying to go for the drab and grey-toned feel in the beginning of the movie, they were doing a pretty damn good job. While not everything in the house was black and white, the dismal atmosphere and the lengthening shadows on the wall were doing their best to fill for the production. An old grandfather clock ticked loudly, breaking any peace or stillness the room might have otherwise had, driving me half mad to boot. Every tick felt a tiny bomb in my skull. There was something off-kilter about the living room that I could not see, and it was driving me nuts. No, the walls weren’t slanted like I originally thought, no the coffee table isn’t sliding closer to the couch, the pictures of (what I supposed were) dead relatives weren’t watching me, yet I had the impression of being in a haunted house, abandoned by even the ghosts. The worst thing in the world, a boring funhouse.
I closed my eyes and pressed my two index fingers into my eyes. I felt like I was being regarded strangely by “Uncle Henry” but I didn’t care. Driving with two guys you’ve increasingly come to despise while popping pills and snorting drugs may not be the best idea in the world, but at this point it seemed damn near paradise compared to spending another minute here.
“Are you okay son?” asked a woman’s voice, and I looked up to see that an old, grey spinster had silently come down the stairs while I had been locked in my personal hell. I shot my hands down at my sides, but like, casually, you know, so I didn’t look like I just might blow up any second and trash the place.
“Dude, you look like you were just caught masturbating,” Bobby snickered into my ear, but catching a look from both Auntie Em and Uncle Henry, he scuffed his shoes and was silent. Again, just long…..uncomfortable……silence. No wonder Dorothy couldn’t stand it. If I had grown up here, it wouldn’t have taken a tornado and a witch to carry me away. I would have done it with a Bics razor in a bathtub by the time I was twelve.
“Are you boys here for the tour?” Auntie Em asked carefully. I quickly tried to think of any other reason we might be standing in their living room. Maybe our car broke down, maybe we needed directions…..
“Yup,” is what came out of my mouth instead, and suddenly I saw myself from an aerial view