I Saw Two Good Houses Over There NEXT TO Death
by Don Cheney
A multi-media project by Max Cheney
Chapter 16 read by Don
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-¡Get off me, Josh!- I said. My voice might be puny but at least I wasn’t a fat hog. Someone give me a “¡Lisa Jarnot’s the cat’s daiquiri!”


But there was no one to witness my Messianic tirade.


A man started arguing with me but he was humbled by my firm understanding of “Easy Rider.”


I returned to looking for Dawes and, sure enough, car after car passed by with Mr. Dawes in each of them. What a load. With my eyes turning into semi-circles, I was only an epiphany away from working my entire life as a propeller turner.


-¡You again!- I said as the 31st Dawes appeared in a passing car, this one was decapitated which added to my confusion… ¿How… did… I know… it was… Dawes?


-¿¡Yeah?! ¡Fuck you too!- The 32nd Dawes said to me, twisting his head back toward me as he passed. -¡You should try being dead! ¡Your eyes already look like mine!-


That was not a normal person. The mayor of this fine city may make up lies for his job but at least he genuflects when he sees any citizen who is cross. But ¿what if an accident occurred? ¿What if I gassed-up an armadillo instead of a car? ¿What if the very fabric of my clothing floated away like a surreal dirigible? ¿What if I drank rocket fuel instead of Zima? ¿What if dimes didn’t count? I’ll tell you what would happen: everyone would be their own demidog. Every one would be their own third-world country.


And Dark Falls had nothing if it didn’t at least have a sea of normal people.



-Everybody’s dead, Amanda.- Mr. Dawes said as he stood in front of me. They’re dead and they’re not normal. But ¿why don’t you just go eat your supper and go to sleep? When you wake up, Dark Falls will have been converted into the 7-11 of the living dead.-


-¿¡What?! Then who will the Pacers play in the playoffs?- I couldn’t help asking that question. I was trembling, but only because there were rats at my house and I was afraid they were eating the pie I had left out.


A man was telling me that the dead were going to rise up but only to eat pre-packaged hoagies. A man, a dead man, was looking at me like I was a one-eyed Fiji mermaid.


I was so close to him that I should’ve sent him an upper cut to his lower intestines. Instead I went into my head and started thinking about an otter ladder but all I could think was that it was horrible and that it was going to suffocate me.


-¿What part of Istanbul are Dad and Mom in?- Josh asked. He had been levitating in silence before he spoke and I knew that if I hadn’t been in front of Dawes I would’ve kicked the demi-fiant asshole.


-They’re in a part of Turkey that is safe and sane.- Mr. Dawes said and then, as he saw the sun rising: -Yeah, right! ¡They’re with me! ¡They leggo my Eggo like a unicorn to a child!-


That was no way to treat the infirm and I had been agreeable long enough. Now it was time to put my foot far up this guy’s ass.


-¡You insult me, sir!- I gritted.


So did the sunrise, but I knew I’d need some time to kick its ass.


-Amanda.- He said. –The dead don’t do that, you stupid cocksucker.- His voice had toned down a little. It was suave and kind of comforting in a shit-kicking sort of way.


-¡No!- Josh was gripping again. I knew that I’d have to repent for what I was about to do, I might even have to serve time, but I was going to take Josh’s beloved crayon and stick it where not even a crayon shines.


-¡Right you are, Josh!- I said. -¡Now get your lumbering ass over here with that crayon!- That light of his wasn’t going to save him, and it wasn’t going to save Dawes and it certainly wasn’t going to save Ray. I was going to lop off all of their ears and serve them to the rats.


-¡Quickly, you lumbering assholes!- Another of my voices griped.


Josh tried to punt his crayon in the direction of the voice, but Mr. Dawes lit it on fire.


No one said nothing.


Not even the lumbering assholes.


-That’s… just… dandy.- Josh said. -¡That fucker ignited my crayon!-


My heart started beating again. I looked like Mr. Dawes. The sunrise was in its corner and the sun was the victor.


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