If you're reading this, then know there is a story here that I'm willing to tell you, and it's a real humdinger if you're a human being. If you're some far future alien life form who happened to get hold of this by some clusterfuck of probability, then it probably won't make hardly any sense to you at all. You can go ahead and read it though, if you want. Maybe you'll like it, who knows... but I doubt it, so you might just wanna file it somewhere and get on with your totally alien and probably totally gross and disgusting alien business. Hey, no harm, no foul.
However... if you're human, then I'd advise that you continue reading, because this is YOUR story! It's all about people... stupid, smart, retarded, insane, evil, benevolent, funny looking, socially inept, miserable, deliriously happy, bright shiny and dusty people, just like you! Plus a few really exceptional ones thrown in here and there. Statistical anomalies.
So, I might ask myself... how do I know all of this, and why should you trust me to continue reading any of it? Because I'm the book, I'm the storyteller, and I'm telling you this. So, you can trust me to know what I'm going about! Ok?
Ok! On with it then.
Firstly. Let's see... um. Dang, there's so many to choose from. So many points of view! It's hard to decide which ones should take precedence. Ok, lemme back up. Let's see... um, um, um, um... Ok! Here we go, this guy looks interesting, and there's a lot of interesting folks around him, too. Huh... WHOA! Oh yeah, this guy is connected, he's a major focal point! Cool. We'll start with him. His name is... hang on... Dempsey Witt. From... Georgia, Podunk county, United States of America plus Baja California, the year 2060 AD.
Ok. We'll start with him.
Dempsey Witt - Dem to folks who knew him, Dim to his friends - was taking the scenic route to work today. It was a fine, almost spring morning in southern Georgia in January. The January dandelions were letting go, the January honeysuckle was in the air, and the smell of springtime in January was almost blowing in the wind, as fine as nostril wine, in the back country of southern Georgia.
'Almost is all you need,' Dim sang out loud to the tune of a hundred year old Beatles song that was squeaking out of the old dashboard sat-radio.
'Oh, and you know what else?' Dim continued out loud, 'Almost only counts in horseshoes, thermonuclear war, and 180 proof distilled spirits!' The proof - no pun intended - was the almost full load of almost 100% pure grain alcohol in the bed of the pickup. He was in a pretty good mood that morning, for a dilapidated old bootlegger, and he hardly even noticed any of the potholes as he bullied the old Ford pickup down the well neglected oil roads of southern Georgia, Podunk county, USA - well neglected in the upkeep, but well familiar in the driving of. That's the way that the oil roads of back country USA had been for the last hundred years, and Dem was sixty-six years old and could vouch personally for a bunch of those years. 'Oil roads were made for runnin' moonshine,' his dad used to say. They were the arteries and veins of it - and right now, Dim was the beating heart that was pumping the vital hooch to the vital organs. If Dim was the heart that pumped the hooch (or mule kick, as his dad used to to call it), then Sheriff Buckeye Buck was definitely the liver that did the processing. Sheriff Buck was the organ that filtered the 'lectric honey (as his mom used to call it) - that Dim delivered, so that it was provisioned fairly and according to the Law of the Land, according to Buckeye Buck that is, who was the hooch accountant, the county liver... Yeah, there ya go! That's the analogy he was looking for!
That's what Dempsey Witt was thinking that morning as he trundled over those ragged potholes. Work for Dempsey Witt was running moonshine, and the running of it was work for Dempsey Witt - Dim, as he was known to his friends, Dem to just folks - and he'd never known anything different for his whole life. Later on he'd maybe think about how strange all of that seemed in retrospect, once seen outside of his world of rural Georgia, right after the universe had exploded in his face, but whatever future that was gonna be, Dempsey Witt had no idea of it right then. He had hooch to deliver today, and not some time hence.
So it was a fine, spring-like January morning in Southern Georgia that Dempsey Witt - Dim to his friends, Dem to just folks; he always liked to make that clear - pulled his old hooch laden Ford 'lectric into the front yard of Madame Maybe's House of Well Repute and Oasis. It was 7:00 AM, and only just seven hours past the state mandated closing time of any and all reputed houses, be they ill or well. Dim (we'll just call him that from here on, ok?) cut the juice to the Ford and parked for a while, waiting. After a medium-sized while, the front door of Madame Maybe's cracked open by just a smidge, and an amplified caterwaul issued forth -
"BEELZEBUB IS A PRETTY GOOD GUY!"
Dim rolled down his window and hollered back -
"AS FAR AS DEMONS GO!"
And again, from the crack in the door -
"BUT HIS BROTHER BAAL..."
"LORD DON'T HE WAIL!" Dim yelled, close to cracking up. And again, from the crack in the door -
And then both of them together, "IS JUST PLAIN PSYCHO!"
The front door to Madame Maybell's House of Well Repute and Oasis slammed open and half a dozen shotgun barrels poked out, pointing in all directions, like some kind of Looney Tunes ensemble.
"We gotcher dead to rights!" came the challenge.
Dim stepped out of the cab of the truck and walked around to the back. "Dead to rights?" he yelled, as he fiddled with the tailgate latch. "You don't even know what that means, you asshole!" Dim yanked the latch up and down furiously about a dozen times, but it wouldn't open. He slapped the tailgate in frustration and yelled to Sheriff Buck. "Gitcher fat ass down here and help me unload these kegs of moonshine!"
Sheriff Buckeye Buck of Podunk county, state of Georgia, USA, lumbered out onto the front porch of Madame Maybell's. "Shut up you dimwit," he hissed, his eyes shifting left and right as he leveraged his considerable bulk down the front porch steps. "What if I was posing as myself as an undercover cop? You don't know who might be hollerin' out the door, hiding in the nooks and crannies and alcoves! Great Godahmighty, son!"
Dim gave the latch of the tailgate one last, exasperated yank and decided to just skip the damn thing. He clambered up over it and into the bed of the pickup and shouted back, "First off, I'm old enough to be YOUR pappy, SON!" Heh, Dim chuckled and thought, I sure get a kick out of myself, don't I? "And nextly, concerning your cornfed paranoia, well... there wouldn't never be no problem of an undercover cop to begin with, would there, you thick country bumpkin! Because you'da justa been POSING as one!" Dim manhandled one of the big aluminum kegs toward the back of the truck. "Kinda like how you're constantly posing as the Sheriff of Podunk county," he added, "when you're really just the Hooch Man for every back-woods whore house and broken down saloon in all of southern Georgia!" Oh boy, Dim laughed down into his chin, he was sure hot today.
Suddenly six girls with shotguns, ranging from about ten to fourteen years of age, burst out of the open door of Madame Maybell's and went charging around where Sherrif Buckeye stood on the steps, like rapids around a boulder, and very nearly sending him tumbling. "You girls... you girls! Dammit, you girls!" blubbered the Sheriff.
Dim looked up from wrestling with the aluminum keg, just as one of the older girls - about thirteen years old, by the look of her - leapt up effortlessly into the bed of his pickup and offered him her shotgun. "Sir, would you mind keepin' a hold of this for me, just for a bit, til me and the girls is done here?" She said.
Dim stared wordlessly at the girl with his mouth hanging open. In all of his sixty-six years, this was probably the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. She was about 5' without an inch to spare, with dark brown hair that went down to her unusually broad shoulders. She was wearing a tank top, on the front of which was printed the image of a fur covered monster that was lifting up the fur fom it's midsection and pointing to a set of well chiseled abs. 'THE ABDOMINAL SNOWMAN' was printed underneath, in large letters. A long, brown summer skirt decorated with paisleys and flowers flowed down from her waist to her ankles, almost covering the pair of well worn sandals that she wore on her small feet. The girl was obviously in great shape, Dim could tell; simply by observing her arms and shoulders, which were smooth and well defined. She was simply the epitome of youthful exuberance.
"Sir, please? Time's a-runnin' out, and we gotta get this evidence to... to..." The girl looked around frantically for a second, as if she were trying to locate... " to where it's supposed to be!" she suddenly shouted. "And right quick! Please, zillions of lives are at stake!" She gave the outstretched shotgun an impatient shake, and Dim took it from her. Then the girl smiled a smile that could have gone down in history, if history had been paying attention. History was busy somewhere else though apparently, so only Dim saw that smile... that heart wrecking, ship breaking smile.
"Thank you sir!" she said, and then to the others waiting below...
"Girls! Let's get to it! You know what to do!" And with a tchika-tchika THUNK, one of em had jimmied the tailgate latch that Dim had been struggling with, and then it was down, and all six of the shotgun girls immediately began unloading the barrels of moonshine and rolling them up to the front porch of Madame Maybe's. "Were rollin' over and turnin' states evidence!" shouted one of the younger girls amidst the flurry of activity. Another, older girl shouted, "Shut UP! This is a black op, STUPID," to the younger one who had just blabbed about turning states evidence, whatever that meant.
Dim watched it all with his jaw hanging open. What the heck had just happened? he thought to himself. That smile, from that girl, the beautiful girl... It had poleaxed him! Suddenly Dim was overcome with a feeling of paternal love for her, whoever she was. He knew right then and there that he would die to save her, to protect her... What the heck is happening, Dim stuttered inside his own head. That girl had smiled the most perfectest smile in all of the history of the human race, and... she'd had no idea! How could she have? She was still existing inside of the perfect naivety of unspoilt innocence!
Dim was sure, more sure than he'd ever been in his life about anything, that this girl, who had just smiled that miraculous smile, had no idea that she was the most beautiful newborn woman who had ever just crossed over from childhood, through puberty, and into young adulthood. She just didn't know it. Amazing!
"Lookit em go," commented Buckeye Buck with a smile, as he finally made his way over to where Dim stood stupidly in the bed of the old electric Ford pickup, now empty of 7 and a half barrels of the bestest moonshine in all of southern Georgia. "They're something, ain't they?" Buckeye laughed. "A tad excitable though, but that's youth. Didja see how I almost broke my neck, with all of them tadpoles scurrying past me down the steps? Lordamercy! Dim? Dim, you awake in there?"
Dim came to with a start. "Uh... yeah." He dug around in his pocket for a second, as if he'd lost something, and then his hand just kind of settled there.
Sheriff Buck's eyes narrowed. "Now, Dim, you ain't been at the hooch this early on a Sunday morning, I know you ain't, cause you and me both know that I'd hafta... heh." He'd meant it as a joke, but after he'd said it, it didn't seem like one. Sheriff Buck glanced down furtively at his dusty boots, then up again at Dim, waiting to see how he'd take it.
Dim shook his head in annoyance, as if he were trying to rid it of an infestation of fleas. "What?" he barked, and then noticed Sheriff Buckeye standing right there, leaning against the side of the truck, and looking up at him with the most retarded look of questioning suspicion that Dim had ever seen. It was the look of an ignorant hick, stupid and glazed, Dim thought. For a couple of seconds as he looked down at the Sheriff, he was filled with disgust at the sight of him - 'What a stupid bottom feeder... how do I even know this backwoods inbred hillbilly?' - And then he'd snapped out of it, and saw his friend Bucky again. Sheriff Buckeye Buck. Dim called him Bucky. Young and dumb, yeah, but with a lot more smarts than anyone would ever know, unless they knew him as a friend. Dim felt ashamed for thinking those things about his friend. He'd been discombobulated by the girl's smile, that's all.
Dim recovered his composure and resumed his pocket digging, producing a pack of smokes and a lighter. He casually popped a cigarette out of the pack and put it between his lips, then cupped the lighter flame with both hands and inhaled deeply. "That's real funny," - cough, chuckle - "I guess Boss Hog just caught me red handed being human," Dim said as he exhaled a lungful of smoke.
The import of the moment hadn't been lost on Sheriff Buckeye, though. He'd seen that look of contempt cross over his friend's features, just for a second. With all of the years that they'd known each other and run hooch together, he'd always known that Dim had looked down on him with a certain measure of contempt... an ashamed and we'll hidden contempt, but still there, nevertheless. It's why Buckeye Buck had maneuvered himself in the lofty position of Sheriff of Podunk county, after all. He'd done it for the good opinion of Dempsey Witt, because Dempsey and Buck's dear departed dad, Billy Buck, went way back... back to a time when the Sheriff's name was Witt, and when Buckeye was what you hollered at the scamp that always getting under his dad's heels...
"Was that a gaggle of gun toting girlies I just seen blow through here and carry off a truckload of South Georgia White Lightning, slicker'n goose shit?" Dim suddenly blurted, in an attempt to preempt the gathering mood.
Sheriff Buck relaxed visibly and laughed. "Heh! That's my secret service in training. Ain't they somethin'? A tad bit rambunctious, but that's just young'uns being young and playin' purtend, as young'uns ought ta."
Dim suddenly remembered the shotgun that he'd been holding the whole time, that the girl with the bedazzling smile had asked him to hang onto. He lifted it up for a closer examination. He tested the heft. He released the pump action and opened the chamber, revealing a bona fide12 gauge slug resting within. He turned it over and examined the stock, which had 'Mossberg' printed on one side, and 'SuperSuze', in very stylized, curlicue letters on the other.
"Say, what the hell..."
"Thanks for holding onto my gun, sir! Oh.. and, mission accomplished! I'm special agent Susanna 'SuperSuze' Hicks, by the way! Nice to meetcha, and thanks again for holding my Mossberg for me! Bye!" She saluted crisply, then leapt from the bed of the truck and was gone.