Fear & Loathing In The Sunshine State: Epilogue

I slept in ditches, with one eye open. I ate seldom, often leap-frogging from one cut-rate fast-food joint to the next. Life was now an ever-slipping luxury. Home became an abstract. Soon all I knew was Snake and Rape and Chaos, waiting for me with the dying light of the great descending scare-ball in the sky.

When I finally scraped together enough money for a bare-ass economy flight back home, I fled at once to the nearest international airport, only to be told by security that I was wanted for two dozen brutal decapitations throughout the state of Florida.

Hauled by my ankles into a holding room, hours turned to weeks as they grilled me over and over about the pools of blood and headless cadavers I had left up and down the surrounding expanse of US27, of the endless scenes of carnage I had left outside dozens of nursing homes, family restaurants and Montessori’s.

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What really riled the airport officials up however was the brutal genital dismemberment and cold-blooded murder of a 70+ year old businessman in his home on the Matlacha Isles. Mt prints all over the place, naturally.

They waterboarded me pretty good. This clearly wasn’t their first rodeo.

By the time an ambassador finally arrived to spring me, they had carved the entire US constitution into my fucking back. I had been worked over with surgical precision, and now, handcuffed to a diplomatic notary, I hobbled my way to the departure gate like a feckless fiend. Parents shielded their children’s eyes as I passed. Murmurs of speculation under everyone’s breath. There he is, I heard one voice utter just a little too loudly.

They drugged me on the plane the second my belt was fastened. A high dose of Xanax, with a morphine chaser. It’s the only way I could physically get you home, the notary said. They were ready to kill your ass. Had a grave dug out behind the hangars and everything. You’re a lucky son of a bitch, even for a deranged potato-fucker like you.

I tried to reply, but the drugs had began to take hold. Gibberish and a trail of spittle emerged from my mouth, then the entire fuselage began to oscillate at impossible speeds, and in hap-hazard intervals. This is it, I thought, This is how I punch out. Escaping the violent Floridian craziness and getting away with mass-murder, only to peace-out on a cosy 7-hour flight. And higher than giraffe pussy, to beat the band.

So be it motherfuckers, and with that the reality of the cabin bled out. The ceiling became stars, and the aisle floors became a flowing river. The noise and people all faded away into some other lower level. I was back. Back in Carcosa. And behind me I could hear him, sloshing through the water, casting out and laughing. The Bulge, waiting for me in that place I could now never escape from.

For all time. Permanent. And I was okay with it.

I was awoken by the ringing of a phone. My phone. I knew instinctively it would be my editor.

Where the fuck have you been?!? We’ve been canvasing the bars and brothels like no mans business! Jesus Christ I had a obit written up and ready to print for your dumb ass!

He sounded unhinged but pleased. Maybe it was better to break the bad news now, than when he’s on a Blatant Doom Trip. Listen, I said with a harsh croak in my voice, there’s no fucking story. You sent me into a fuck-Hell of a jackpot, and I promise I’ll drink wine from your skull if it’s the last thing I do. I was raped, you fuck! Your photographer duped of every penny I had and saddled me with a psychopath, who then kindly framed me of mass-murder. You getting me? You should do yourself a favour and delete this number, because I’m ready to take your ass into the fifth dimension of litigation!

A moments silence, then What the fuck have you been on, he said. I called to tell you everything is perfect. Your copy was solid. I just sent some liquid your way. Congratulations you psycho, you nailed it!

Confusion spilled over my framework like a sudden rip-tide. This was either a lousy ploy or a twist of Machiavellian proportions. Good, I said. It’s about time a scum-sucker like you appreciated the arts. Take that you shyster bastard!

Look this is getting a lot of press, he replied awkwardly. It’s brilliant, but there’s going to be a lot of injured party’s. Particularly that of Wayne Gardners family. You did oust him as a smuggler of dolphin meat, and a heinous drug lord.

I nodded, saying nothing.

Rest up hombre, he said. There’s a lot of editing to do. Serious coverage. But I’m thinking into the new year. How do you feel about SuperBowl 2020?”

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