The Mustache Man

Chapter Nine


            Carlton tapped the keys at a furious pace. She could have let the program record and type out Pete’s words but she liked the old fashioned feel of the keys. She liked the way her finger flew over the keyboard as the Mustache Man spoke. She loved to touch the keys even though she never needed to touch them.

            “He said he had been hired by the company I bought the car from. I don’t know why but I didn’t believe him and I knew Chance was texting me and I wanted to see her words and I raised my voice. I never raised my voice with Chance except for this one time.”

            “When was that?”

            “I lost it once and she hid in her bedroom with Jewels and the bulldog was the only one who stayed out there. It wasn’t me. It was the other man.”

            “The other man?”

            “The one before me. The one she called, “Satan.” I can’t stand to raise my voice with anyone, especially Chance but this salesman kept insisting I had to talk to him and I told him he could call back another time but he kept insisting and then I got irritable with him. He kept telling me something about the computer on the car and I think I said I am the computer and then he laughed. “

            “You keep saying things like “You are the computer.” What do you mean by that?”

            “It’s why I can’t use them. It’s why I can barely listen to the radio or the television. I merge with the machine.”

            Pete had reached the highest level. He swung on the bar and did a somersault to the next tier. When he landed his feet barely touched the ground.

            “So he kept talking and finally I let out this ear splitting scream to make him hang up and he did.”

            “And you disappeared after that?”

            “No, not then. I was walking down this main street in this small town. I forget the name. I’d begun the descent down the desert prairie that leads to a placed called Strawberry, Arizona. It’s a place I return to again and again like Crestone, Colorado.”

            “After a disappearance?”

            “Yeah. I was in a store looking for some batteries for this thing I always carry.”

            “ A voice activator?”

            “And the television was blaring. I tried to shut it out. They were talking on some news show about how by the year 2025 forty percent of the world’s population will be out of water. I couldn’t take the thought of all that suffering and so I vanished. And that’s when you found me on that street.”


Joomla Templates - by