My Uncle Frank’s 3rd wife had a really old pug that needed a $7,000 stomach surgery. My Uncle took me aside and offered me $500 if I would discretely “take care of it,” for him. If I wasn’t only making $250 a week working at a gas station I would’ve said no, but $500 is a lot of money. All I needed to do was, help put their old dog out of its misery. So Tuesday afternoon I slipped on over to their house, my Uncle had given me the key. I was to leave the sliding glass door open, all I had to do was reset the house alarm and make sure the dog, Mr. Chuckles was gone, “gone for good,” my Uncle sighed.
The plan was to drive Mr. Chuckles out into the woods and just put a bullet in his widdle head. But when I got old Chuckles outta the car he started wagging his tail and licking my face, so needless to say Mr. Chuckles came to live with me. It was only to be until I could drive him down to a animal shelter far enough away to where he wouldn’t be found. The only problem was over the next week my Uncle sent more business my way via his friends. I was fast becoming a bonafide old pet assassin.
$500 for Sonny, a blind Pomeranian with no teeth, $300 for Felix the incontinent orange cat, and another $500 for Bronco, the German shepard with two bad hips. They all came to stay with me just until the weekend when I could drive them all down to various shelters far, far away.
It was a foolproof plan until Felix began shitting everywhere and Bronco revealed himself not only to be a gimpy dancer but also a problem barker. I came home after a graveyard one morning only to find a notice from the landlord that I had until the end of the day to get rid of all the animals or the locks would be changed and I along with my belongings would be out on the curb.
So I packed up the whole geriatric running crew and began making the trek south. I had only gotten a few miles when my piece of shit Oldsmobile began sputtering and lurching. I realized that breaking down with 4 crippled animals was not the best idea in the world so I slowed down and limped the car down a few back roads until I came to a heavily wooded area. Doing some quick math I realized that I was only about 5-10 miles from my Uncles house and maybe even closer to the other homes. I was going to have to kill these animals right here or risk that they would make some goddamn Walt Disney miraculous journey back to their owners and then I would be in some real weird shit.
Taking a deep breathe, I retrieved my snub nosed .38 from the trunk. The only reason I still even had the gun was that it had been my fathers and I couldn’t bear to pawn it. And I guess I was absentmindedly thinking about Dad when I opened the car door only to be bowled over by an excited German Shepard. And before I got up Mr. Chuckles, Sonny and Felix all leapt out of the car in different directions. FUUUCK!
Scrambling to my feet I knew that I needed to start killing animals pronto because as I looked around I saw all the animals still had their collars with the tags on them. I’m such an idiot. I needed to end this shit right now. I decided to start with Bronco, because even though he had bad hips, he was big and could still cover some ground. So I settled myself and leveled the .38 at the old shepard. Bronco looked right at me and then took off straight into the woods. I went right in after him, into the underbrush. I must have trudged about 50 yards trying to get free of the underbrush and to get a clean shot at that damn dog when I slipped, lost my balanced and tumbled down into a ravine. It was a pretty bad fall, but I jumped right back up. I was OK. I was OK. Shit. I was OK but my ankle wasn’t. I stood up on it and searing pain shot up through me and I almost passed out. Looking around I realized I couldn’t very well hop up the ravine. Maybe I could crawl. Damn it was steep.
It took way to long to crawl up out of there. Probably took 20-30 minutes and I was dizzy as hell. My ankle felt like it was going to throb off. Well only 50 yards or so to the car. I must have crawled for about 100 yards before I could admit to myself that I must have gotten turned around when I fell. I was going the exact opposite way. HOLY FUCKING HELL!
It took me a few minutes to calm down. I would be just fine, I told myself. Just take your time, don’t panic and get back to the car. Even if I took my time it would only take an hour or two at the most. So that’s what I did. I crawled back the way I had come. One hour later I was about half way up the other side of the ravine. Everything was going well if only it wasn’t so damn chilly. Wait a minute. Its late June, around noon time… it was around 75-80 degrees when I left this morning and the sun was still shining bright overhead… shock
“Fuck!” I’m having chills cause I’m going into shock.”
Just take it easy buddy. Take it slow. 30 minutes and you’ll be at the car.
Whats that whirling noise? Colored lights… Truck NutZ.
If only I’d swallowed my pride and stayed in Ohio to run the family business making Truck Nutz. Black spots danced in front of my eyes. Truck Nutz… just rest for a bit… close your eyes.
I must have passed out for quite some time because when I came too it was getting dark. I didn’t feel cold anymore. It just felt real peaceful and I was calm. I couldn’t feel my ankle at all. It was cold to the touch and purple and stiff, stiff just like Truck Nutz. I heard some leaves rustling and I looked up to the top of the ravine. There sat Mr. Bonkers, Felix, Sonny and Bronco. Multi-colored crowns of Truck NutZ whirled and danced above their heads. I reached out to them but they dissolved into the darkness.
“I’m sorry,” I whisper.
And all around me I hear the rustling of each single leaf. Every single one of them crying out to form an 8 octave chorus…
“Truck Nutz” they sing like a veiny glistening shout - a shout that resonates into the heart of all things.
“Truck Nutz,” as the wind scatters beneath the paws of the four ancient animal spirits. Their glowing eyes closing in upon me like windows into another world. Gazing inside I feel the sun. I feel the sun devouring the cold dark night that I thought I was.