09/18/2021

Mike Itaya ~ Rasthole Flats

The very night Suffolk Aquatics wins dis­trict and Kev Drupperman tries to touch my boob, the Kavishnicks (Poppa, Momma, and me)—attempt to out­run bad cred­it (and gen­er­al loser­dom) and expa­tri­ate from New York to Rasthole Flats, Alabama.

First, some par­tic­u­lars: Samantha Kavishnick. Perma-vir­gin. Alabamian?

And here’s what I’m think­ing, from the back­seat of the wooly mini­van. You must not go to Alabama. Kev Drupperman does not live in Alabama. If Kev Drupperman does not live in Alabama, you must not live at all.

Rasthole Flats. A town so ghoul­ish it took two Googlings to find. I read aloud from the web­site: “Chimpanzees Incinerate Rasthole Zoo.” From the pas­sen­ger seat, Momma leans over the hand­brake and punch­es Poppa in his nuggets. He locks arms to keep from swerv­ing while his mouth puckers.

Poppa shakes his head, count­ing the ways this bad life might get even worse.

We stop for late sup­per at a grave­yard truck stop.

Momma: “Look at us, on top of the world.” Poppa stabs his meat with a plas­tic fork and Momma pops his nuggets for ignor­ing her. I fling my chick­en fried steak at the win­dow like a Rasthole chimp toss­ing a Molotov at the zookeeper.

Did the chim­panzee puck­er as he launched?

Does zoo-less Rasthole have a pool to go with its ver­sion of Kev Drupperman?

I’ll ask the chimpanzees.

~

Mike Itaya has pub­lished sto­ries in Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Four Way Review, and Bending Genres. He stud­ies fic­tion at Pacific University.