©Ernest Hogan 2014
Death? Dismemberment? Brain-damage? I was gleefully flirting with them all at 60 mph as I kept pedaling my customized Chinese Flying Pigeon into the downhill slope of Cave Creek Road. Adrenaline spurted into the RC-Cola-spiked-with-Folgers-Coffee-Crystals that had my heart pounding a serious hyperrhythm. Since I can cut in and out of traffic, down sidewalks and alleys, etc., I can get any small package I can strap onto the Pigeon or put in my backpack from point A to point B in Phoenix faster than any motored vehicle can -- especially during rush hours.
I usually deliver disks, sometimes documents, sometimes sealed packages that I don't ask about -- hey, we all gotta make a living somehow, and there simply ain't enough time to looksee if it's legal this week. And how else am I gonna get my burger bucks AND save up for the virtual reality system of my wettest dreams?
This time it was one of those mysterious packages picked up from a nervous taser-toting Nigerian in a Moon Valley parking lot to my long-time, not-quite-a-friend Doc Burnout, who for some reason would be waiting for me in the coffee shop of the Smitty's in Sunnyslope rather than masturbating over the latest Mondo 2000 in his sleazy little apartment across the street, as usual.
Go figure. I shoulda known.
When I zipped into the Smitty's parking lot, past a faded yellow Honda that screeched its brakes as both the driver and passenger gave me the finger, I heard Burnout's raspy voice straining at full volume:
"FOR TOFFLER'S SAKE, FLASH, GET OUT OF HERE!"
And the Nigerian threatened to give me his own special electroshock treatment if I didn't get the package to Doc muy pronto. I was confused.
Then there was the sound of automatic gunfire.
I put the Pigeon into a sideways skid, pointing my left workboot to catch my fall as everything went into slow-motion. I was soon part of a high-tech Hollywood-style macho ballet, trying to kill my forward motion while the Doc and several Asian guys in expensive Italian suits blasted away at each other with Uzis. Tattooed bystanders took off to take extra doses of their medication as I lost control, and tumbled across the sizzling asphalt until I skidded on my skull into an overflowing dumpster.
No pain, not at that moment. Just a gooey blackness engulfing me as I heard:
"We can rebuild him. We have the technology."
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