Bootsy makes a late-night callMature

Bootsy walked quickly from the “Art District,” leaving only a thick cloud of Patchouli in his wake. Once he got a few blocks, he found he could breathe again. His plan was to get a new cell phone, but a quick inventory of his wallet produced only receipts and a punch card for a free car wash, which was curious because he didn't own a car. The money he had made in prison was in an untouchable savings account, but he had a debit card. He only hoped there was enough money left in his checking account to cover a new mobile phone – obviously not a top-of-the-line model. He grimaced, he'd be stuck with the disposable kind of phone that criminals called a “Burner.” Use once and throw away so the cops couldn't trace the number when one is engaged in a plethora of nefarious activities.

Bootsy sighed in resignation after he spotted a pay phone at a gas station across the street, only to discover the cord had been cut long ago. He swore and slammed the receiver back into place, then watched as it fell to the sidewalk and rattled at his feet, whereupon he kicked it with enough force to send it forever into the ratty shrubs surrounding the parking lot. He caught a glimpse of his reflection in the dull aluminum of the pay phone casing and winced. There was a streak of dried, brown, crusty blood running along his hairline and down his neck, disappearing beneath his stained shirt collar; it looked like a really bad birthmark. He grumbled, then went inside to ask the attendant for the bathroom key so he could clean up in a sink or something. The attendant looked displeased but Bootsy shielded the bloody side of his head from the spiky-haired kid and used his most personable smile.

All right,” the kid tossed him a single key tethered to a sawed-off piece of a hockey stick, then said, “five minutes and then I call the cops.”

Thank you,” Bootsy said and they both added, internally, asshole, as he walked away. He let himself into the bathroom and was struck by an overwhelming smell of fecal matter, like an physical wall of shit he had to wade through. There was a signed sheet on the back of the door depicting how often “Management” cleaned in there, but Bootsy decided the spiky-haired kid's idea of cleaning consisted of nothing more than making sure the lights had not yet burned out.

His head still throbbed, but he washed well enough to make himself presentable to the Radio Shack staff down the street. He used his elbow to engage the heated hand blower, then stuck his head beneath the air to remove as much of that “Vagrant” look as he could. When he was done, he took the cumbersome, three-foot key ring and brought to one of the closed stalls along the far wall. This, his nose told him, was the epicenter of the disgusting smell, so he nudged open the door with his foot and, sure enough, was greeted with a mound of a combined forty or fifty bowel movements rising up out of the toilet like a Kevin Smith movie he couldn't remember.

Bootsy's gag reflex was pretty much a dormant sense, but his stomach nonetheless churned in horror at the sight.

His mind made up now, Bootsy stabbed the hockey stick as deeply as he dared into the enormous mound of shit and walked out into the night.


The End

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