It snowed today, which totally derailed my photo shoot plans. I was all ready to head outside and take some pictures with my new green dress, but Mother Nature had other plans. So this week, I give you another indoor photo with my lovely weeping mask. To see more photos, be sure to check out my Instagram account @maemaccallum. You can also get there by clicking the Instagram icon in the sidebar.
Today is also Wrestlemania, which is a high holy day in my household. So I’ll leave you with part 3 of “The Cockroach Collector” while I go watch wrestling.
With Screams and Axes,
The Cockroaches Waltz At Midnight (Part 3)
The gas station was on a lonely street in the edge of town. Behind it was a thick wood, and if you managed to cut your way through it, you’d eventually find yourself facing the highway. The gas station was open 24 hours, and Art’s shift was from midnight to 8 a.m. It was a mile walk for Art to get to work, and he tried to leave just enough time for him to walk slowly and get there just on time. He hated getting there early, and having to hang around the dingy building, smelling gasoline and old hot dogs.
“Hey,” Art said to Duke in the back room as he hung up his sweatshirt on a hook. Duke had his hands deep in a bag of chips, but pulled one out to give Art a greasy wave.
“Hi man, how are ya?” Duke asked with his mouth full. Duke spent the overnights with Art. He was a man in his forties but perpetually acted like a man in his twenties. After their manager left for the night, Duke would crack open a beer and sip at it at the register in between long smoke breaks outside. Art didn’t mind. The drinking made Duke easier to talk to, and the smoke breaks gave Art moments to himself. After midnight, the gas station received very few customers, and it was mostly a matter of just staying awake. Art didn’t mind the hours though, he enjoyed watching the sunrise.
Howard the manager said goodnight, leaving Art and Duke sitting on stools behind the register. “Try to do some restocks guys. Pretzels are looking a little low over here,” he said as Art nodded and Duke looked at his car outside.
They sat in silence for a while. Art counted cartons of cigarettes while Duke drank his first can of beer.
“Got any new songs for me?” Duke asked with a snicker.
“Nah, not yet. Soon though,” Art said.
“Want a drink?” Duke asked for the third time.
“No, I’m okay.”
“Suit yourself man. Makes the night go by faster.”
“I don’t mind the night,” Art said, hoping Duke would think of something else for them to talk about.
The time passed slowly. Art restocked the pretzels as well as the chips, the sodas, and the condoms. Duke sang along with the overhead music and stood outside smoking. At around 3 a.m. both were back behind the counter. A man came in and went to the fridges in the back. Art looked up, waiting for him to come to the counter to buy a soda or something. Then the man was running past him towards the doors, with bottles of soda and bags of chips in his hands.
“What the fuck!” Duke screamed out, suddenly jumping over the counter and chasing the man out of the store. Art ran after them, screaming for Duke to come back.
“Let him go man. He could have a gun or something!” Art called after Duke’s back, watching the thief and Duke run into the darkness towards the woods. “Damn,” Art mumbled, wondering if it was better to go after Duke or to leave the store unattended. Art did quick math trying to remember how much Duke had had to drink. He took off in the direction they had gone, listening for sounds of a struggle.
Art made it to the woods. Standing just inside the line of trees he called out to Duke. He didn’t hear anything.
“Duke?” Art yelled. “Duke, let it go. We’ll call the cops.” Art listened for Duke’s reply but didn’t hear him. He walked deeper into the woods slowly with his hands outstretched, trying not to trip and fall. All of a sudden, Art heard a hissing in front of him. He wondered if it could be a snake, or air being released from a tire.
“Hello?” Art called out. Then he saw a figure standing just before him in the darkness. It was a man, in a hood. Art approached, hoping it was Duke.
“Hey,” Art said, getting close to the man.
“Hello Art.” The figure said. In the darkness, Art was just able to make out that the figure was not Duke. The face was smiling with gleaming white teeth.