Mr. Fate Escapes

Mike Lemense and Gary Indiana

Some skip like pebbles down a gentle decline: no fear of danger, total inanimate indifference to the course they may take, simply rolling where the desert gale affords them space to tarry. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust; these pebbles so big, eventually crumble as they know they must. However, before the fateful hour calls them to disintegrate like so many child hood dreams, they live a life with manifold calls of the beating heart and a plethora of queries from the perpetually pondering mind


Mr. Fate understood himself as being like one of these pebbles. He didn’t quite understand pebbles, and rather thought the distinction between pebbles, stones, and boulders was a bit unnecessary; akin to that unnecessary distinction between midgets, regular-sized folk, and giants. Up until the moment of this writing, he lived his life as just another person: rolling down the hill to become to dust. Most people didn’t become dust however, and this was a sad truth Mr. Fate would eventually have to reckon with in the cold, back-breaking years of his ride upon the Destiny Express.


Return, tab. But Mr. Fate wasn’t thinking about pebbles just right now, nope, he was writing a 70,000 page epic poem on the nature of the garbage can as he sat in a midnight alley in downtown Detroit. Mr. Fate would have gone loony trying to compose that poem, if it weren’t for the emotional support of his best mates at the pad shelter, Aggie Malloy (Formerly of Rock Battalion League Fame) and Bicks ( Bicks was called Bicks cuzin’ the only thing anyone at that their shelter ever deciphered out of his babblings was the exclamatory nonsense word “Bicks”).


Mr. Fate recognized that this wasn’t going to be an ordinary Detroit midnight when, after his pen broke, Bicks, adjacent to him, looked Mr. Fate in the eye, held out a pen, and said, “Bicks.” Mr. Fate could bloody well infer what Bicks may be Bicksing about at this time of night, but any Bicksfollery and Mr. Fate was sure he would lose focus on his masterwork. Optical illusionsss. Mouths agape to allow seething oral excretions of foam and phlegm. James Fissette on the red line at seven thirty in the morning staring at a crumbled cookie on the ground of the subway. Step-Aunts taking showers before their niece’s big day, only to have their privacy encroached upon by Step-Nephews with no consideration for a lady’s individuality.


“The garbage can...this is the garbage can...”said Mr. Fate aloud as routine police officer approached with a smirk in his hand. Mr. Fate knew that somebody must’ve tasted too sweet a portion of their fate before said fate came to pass, for whenever the cherry tops would dispose of smirks like illicit acts, someone’s been stepping out of their place in line, you can rest assured of that jack-in-the-box.

“You know the rig,” said the blue hero, “a grilled cheese sandwich or you garbage-eating pieces of trash better get out.”


And the blue hero could not tell a lie, as evinced by the smirking sheister’s engaging in same-caste cannibalism, like trash eating it’s own.


When Mr. Fate heard the decorated officer say, “Garbage,” all the parabolas of time, space, and elephants were inverted, and he prepared himself for the beginning. The beginning of his upside-down fight with a right side up code of law that is. Bicks pushed a button on his boombox and fight music began to play; he turned to Mr. Fate, nodded, and Mr. Fate pulled the cap off his pen. Now, just as sure as Mr. Fate knew what Bicks was about exclaiming “Bicks!” and revving up the old fighting tunes on his noisemaker, Aggie knew what Mr. Fate was likely to be doing with that there open pen he clutched like a murder weapon.


The Officer, now with authority, pulled out a cup of tea and aimed to die at Mr. Fate. The officer did not realize that in offering Mr. Fate a cup of tea, he was offering him a remembrance of his fellow South Africans who were tortured and oppressed by the snooty, tea-drinking, treatsie-writing, British people.


“Why aren’t you afraid of my tea?!?!?” shouted the officer

“I’m not afraid of the Red-coats’ guns, I’m not afraid of the stretch wrack, and I’m not afraid of any of your other British voodoo phooey either!” stated Mr. Fate with self-assurance.


Speaking of insurance, the officer’s wife was screwed because her husband, who Mr. Fate was about to put the plug in, didn’t have any for the life of him. So she had been getting her shall we say Freudian, shall we say sexual, shall we say horny, shall we say hedonistic desires fulfilled lately by Aggie who knew a thing or two about turning humble wives into nymphomaniac groupies.


“Bang!” said Mr. Fate’s pen gun as he shot a bullet from himself.


As Mr. Fate’s poisonous ink bullet pierced the heart of the limey tea-providing officer, all three friends let out a collective exhalation of joy. The officer’s heart was drenched in the darkness of the ink.


The trio did not waste anytime on post-mortem reverence however, and booked it like the bookies at the race track till they knew there was no turning-back. They stole a taxi cab and proceeded to drive it very, very fastily. Their uncanny ability to maneuver motor vehicles in ways not previously semantically possible helped them very little in their getaway but assisted greatly to their literary mystique. By the time the meter was at five dollars and sixty cents they had reached that bridge in downtown Detroit, you know, the one. So there they were at that one bridge, hoping to make it to the one train station downtown, you know, by the Chinese place; only problem was they had about seven fitty betwixt the three of them and that ole taxi gas light was flashing. The water level in Mr. Fate’s head was rising. He was about to ‘splode like one of that ole Officer’s tea kettles.

“My brain,” said Mr. Fate, “damn, it is like really hurting me you guys.”

“Don’t worry so much Par,” admonished Aggie, “it ain’t like we out on a limb n’ you can be sure as pumkin seeds that were going to meet that sweet ole Mrs. Officer at the border by sundown.”
“Bicks,” said Bicks with a frown on his face.
“Yeah, it’s true Aggie,” chimed in Mr. Fate, “you may have to leave that heart string to it’s own picking. And yes Bicks, even though Mrs. Officer eats jalapenos all day, she’s still one of us at the end of that day.”
“Yeah, I just tried em that one time, “responded Mr. Fate, “and just...yeah...never again on those for obla jalapenos espanola senor...haha...”


As Aggie was laughing along with Mr. Fate, he opened the glove box and within it discovered Mrs. Officer’s eye-opened, severed head and said, “O better see this guys.”
“Yup, no ifs and or buts about this mystery Bicks,” grinned Mr. Fate, “too many jalapenos per that little mama sita, mamma mia! Haha! Oy Vey!”


The silver finger stroked the clock. And as the bell tolled across the silent time frame of Aggie’s mourning his decapitated damsel, signifying to all that the times they were a-changin’.


The silver finger stroked the clock. And as the second hand began it’s secondary orbit around the possibilities of cyclical escape that danced in Aggie’s skull he mused, “What is time if I only drown in it?”
“They have to stop...they have to stop...” said Mr. Fate, staring at seagulls circling a current-drifting tugboat.
“You supposing that tug boat charts out as many circles and pyramids and other such traps as our own land-locked, lost steps do, Mr. Fate?” queried Aggie.
“Probably,” said Mr. Fate.
“Yeah, I mean, it’d have to have the perseverance of Magellan to make the same amount of hamster wheel loops I do driving to my grandma’s house,” Aggie quipped.
“Is she still selling ham at the local market?” asked Mr. Fate.
“Yeah, yeah selling that ham, but she at least gets her fair share of variety what with the kosher and the not as kosher and even bacon strips on sundays; naw, no hamster loop for my grand-mammy.”
“I’d like to get to know her, again.”
“You certainly have been there Bicks,” remarked Aggie, “haven’t you, you slippery pig monarch, you!”


Suddenly the gang received a transmission from Sputnik on their taxicab radio.
“Sputnik? That ole piece of tin is still in orbit?” queried Aggie.
“Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep” said Sputnik through the radio.
“Bicks” replied Bicks.
“Beep beep beep beep.”
“Don’t misunderstand our blunt friend Bicks here, he just means to say there’s other well, you know, noises you can make as your signature noise you know.”
“ Beep beep beeeeep.”
“No.” said Mr. Fate, “Sputnik. You can’t really expect us to go to Mercury, today’s fate day!”
“Beep beep beep”


An elderly and elegant-looking gentleman poked his head out in the space between the two back seats and yelled, “Help you young vagabonds, pull me out of this trunkish prison,” then turning his stately gaze on Mr. Fate he asked indignantly, “How long has this once noble American taxi service been corrupted by commie subversion and starry-eyed Hippie freaks with mentally impaired loonies?”


Mr. Fate didn’t say anything but instead pulled out a real gun, not a pen gun you understand, and shot this new gentleman in the head.   
“Par! What the fuck mate? For taking your name after bloody God-given consequence you sure dish out a lot of malicious judgement, don’t ye?”


Mr. Fate was tired of thiscourse, o, I mean, discourse and so he pushed the button to change the car into a rocket ship and the four set off for Mercury. All were filled with expectant cheer and anticipation, staring starry-eyed at the stars with their eyes. Starry-eyed staring at a starlit maze.
“O look!” said Mr. Fate, “Haley’s Comet! O how I’ve missed you. Must you breathe, I need heaven.”
“You know, they said in the Vaudeville and they said all the way across the Atlantic in that can-can joint in old Paris, and they said just about everywhere’s I’ve roamed good sirs, you can’t keep a good man down. Sure as that bullet hit me in the skull, my skull stood strong, living off of the bree and cheese calcium my Mammy always betrothed to me come feeding time,” chimed in the elegant, mortal, but strong-willed man in the trunk.


They stopped at a gas station on Asteroid XJ-75-Square and got some gas, slim-jims, and Bicks also got a hot dog...aaaaaaaaaaaand it was good. The gas station clerk filled Bick’s fragile mental constitution with dark forebodings when he told Bicks, “Hot dogs are what the animal kingdom would call stolen meat...”
“Life is such a mystery” replied Mr. Fate, “all confused up.”
“Well you can confuse up or clarify down whatever you like chillins,” piped in a stout Mrs. Gas Station Clerk from the pump outside, “but anyway you spin it, you’re bound to get to finding your place sooner or later.” She concluded her soliloquy with a satisfied squeeze of the gas pump.

Euphemism Campus Box 4240 Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4240