By James Lafond
#5: Black Mercedes
The Last Bus on Earth
Unlike the other people—the crazies and the cowards—who were experiencing The Last Day on Earth mass transit style, Mercedes was all right with it.
So what if some Pakistani gas station dude gets eaten?
I ain’t got no car!
So what if some loser misses the bus and gets eaten by bugs?
That’s one less fool I got trying to get into my pants.
So what if I never go home?
The sheet of plastic over the front door is ripped anyhow and the crack-heads just walk right in—feast on those crack-heads Creepy Crawlies!
And work? Work is over and out! That is the worse job I ever had! And Mister Krueger’s slave-driving ass is probably getting infested right now. Yeah Mister Krueger, write me up for being late because of this shitty bus today! Your old ass is probably getting eaten in front of your big ole Lexus right now. But wait Creepy Crawlies, stop it right there: write Mister Krueger up for being late for The Last Day on Earth—now eat his rich ass!
She might be alright with the-world-as-someone-else-had-envisioned-it ending without notice; like getting laid off from Mickey Dees for remodeling. But she was getting mad, at these bugs wanting to get into her. These bugs were just like alien versions of all of the dudes that constantly wanted to get into her, and she hated them just as much.
If only these bugs would just kill all of the dudes, the planet would be much better off.
Shit, these things probably ain’t even aliens, but some shit made by some smart dude for testing cosmetics or some shit; and then just got loose.
Yeah, leave it to a dude to screw things up. I just know a dude came up with this shit here!
Now, the insane male nurse who thought he was Jackie Chan, was asking for someone who could run to help rescue that fine, fine redheaded white girl that she had seen with that muscled-up loser so many times. Mercedes had always been a girl of action, but had not had much luck with women. Now, all of a sudden, she had the opportunity to rescue a smoking hot babe.
Shoot I beat up my little sissy brother for his Vida Guerrero poster—I’ll kill a million alien shits for this beautiful bitch.
And so she stepped up like a WOMAN!
Mercedes put her hands out and bobbled her head at the crazy male nurse who didn’t know if he was Italia-Rican or Greekonesian, “I got yo back Jackie Spam!”
She then turned to the Five Guys line-cook and took his hat as she cracked her gum, “I’ll take this Fat Boy.”
Then the whining nurse gave her some lip about helping out Too Good For a Dude. She shut her mouth up with some lesbo smack-talk and took off her hair, just like she did before all of her fights, “Here, hold my hair bitch!”
Jackie Spam then started tying the doctor’s mask on over her mouth and she gave him the ‘wait-a-second-fool-finger,’ having an idea all of a sudden that no stupid dude would ever think of.
She spit out her gum, broke it into two pieces, and jammed the gum balls in her ear-holes, so no alien shits would crawl up in her brain.
Jackie Spam seemed to approve as he tied-off the face mask and tightened her hat while she grabbed that old fool janitor’s mop for a weapon. They headed for the front door as the bus banked over to where Muscle Dude was battling the alien bugs that were trying to infest him and his—no her!—girl.
The bus hissed to a stop and the door sucked open and they were leaping out onto the grass while the people on board screamed encouragement. The bugs on the outside of the bus were also now getting into it and diving at Too Good For a Dude and her loser boyfriend. This caused the girl that they were trying to rescue and her friend to run away from the bus past the overturned shopping cart that people used for a bench at this stop. Jackie Spam was making karate and boxing sounds while stuff smacked and crunched, and he yelled, “Keep the bugs off of her with the mop. I’ve got your back girl—move!”
Confident that she had her own straight-to-video kung fu dude kicking alien spider-shit ass behind her she went to work, using the slightly damp mop head like a flail to swat bugs.
Then the girl fell over the cart!
The dude threw himself down on top of her.
Then the alien shits started jumping on them!
Mercedes was on it!
She swatted an alien shit from one pretty pale hand and then reversed grip and stabbed the loser in the kidney with the thick wooden mop handle. When the man arched his back in pain and let out a moan she kicked him in the neck with her shin and sent him rolling off of her girl. His mouth and eyes were wide open as the alien shits dove for his face and she whirled the mop in a figure-eight over the stunned and disoriented girl, still hiding beneath her purse.
The man’s eyes were looking into Mercedes with an accusatory glare as one spider each began prying open his eye-lids and others crowded around his lips and prevented him from closing his mouth as he screamed in agony and other bugs converged on him.
Jackie Spam yelled, “Forget him girl, and toss the mop, its infested—her purse too—toss it!”
She threw the mop at the loser who was being turned into a parking garage for alien Spiders. Some of them appeared to be using his neck like a gas station and sucking blood out of it with their big nasty tubes, about the size of a toothpick sticking out from between their sparkly salt-and-pepper-shaker eyes. These bugs were getting bigger and the white X on their back was turning red. A chill ran up her spine as a big juicy one crawled into the man’s mouth and he cried tears of blood as the others entered his eyes. Jackie Spam then smashed something that felt like a stale smores against her neck and yelled, “Move girl!”
A spark lit in her brain and she bent over, throwing the fine little girl over her shoulder in one easy motion, and then running like the fast woman she was, the fastest girl on the Southeastern Technical Track Team. She ran for that bus like a deer while Jackie Spam swatted things off of her, smacked things out of the air, and even slapped her butt like she was scoring a touchdown—No, that was one of those nasty things he just smashed on my running butt!
With that thought she ran even harder, literally leaped onto the bus as it stopped and the door slid open—too slowly she thought. Jackie Spam had her back and was swatting bugs while the muscled-up loser, who had never been good enough for this fine girl anyhow, gurgled out his life on the grass twenty yards away.
Tattoo an ‘L’ between his eyes!
A Grown-ass Wom-an
They were now on the bus and everybody was cheering—except for the old nurse that was holding her hair—who was crying. The girl that hung limply over her shoulder began moving her head, “Danny, where’s Danny?”
She went into damage control mode: handed off her hat to Fat Boy; grabbed her hair from the hysterical old nurse; and took the pretty girl, whose name she did not even know, back to the side seats, and lied her ass off, “Hey Baby I got you girl. Danny hopped in a Lexus with some blonde bitch. I’m here for you though, here, let me wipe them tears away.”
She then realized how soft and weak this girl was; how dependent she would be; why Danny, that loser, had fought so hard to protect her. She was like a teddy bear that looked like a Barbie doll. It would be as hard to protect her as it would be to let her go.
She looked into her eyes, holding her head between her hands, not wanting her to see any of the horror outside, while the bus turned around.
They were beginning to have a moment, and then it was ruined by Jackie Spam, who was examining the girl: looking into her eyes; pointing a light into her mouth and ears; checking her hair, “Do you mind Jackie?” His hand patted her on the back, “Good job kid; a mild case of shock, but no injuries or infestation.”
“I ain’t no kid—I’m a grown-ass wom-an!”
His voice had a grinding note of approval, something she had never heard from a man, “That you are—a woman you are; and a warrior! Don’t you forget it!”
He was already walking back to the front of the bus when she felt herself smile, and then felt the little soft hands of her new friend trying to adjust her wig, trying to fix her cheap messed-up been-in-too-many-fights wig, with the pink rose above the right ear. The girl was smiling, somewhat distantly, as she adjusted and primped the wig. She didn’t know what the hell ‘shock’ meant. But she did remember making friends once when she was a kid, with the boy that hid his comic books under the public trashcan off of Bullneck Road, after the kid had been robbed by Jeremy Engle.
“What is your name Baby?”
The girl, perhaps in her mid-twenties, looking a little older so close up, wrinkled her mouth and then smiled, “Tyler, my name is Tyler.”
What a messed up name! This fine bitch should be a Sasha at least.
“Tyler, huh? Since it’s you name, Baby, it’s beautiful.”
She then hugged Tyler and looked out the window over her little petite shoulder at some Christian people emptying out of the church holding up candles and praying, and smiling into the sky and singing. There was a skittering sound and the bugs that had remained on the bus all seemed to leap and turn into little sparkly-eyed hang-gliders headed to church. She tucked Tyler’s head into her shoulder so that she could not see any of the chaos of preseason Christmas carolers getting infested.
After a touching moment Tyler spoke into her shoulder, and she could feel her long eye-lashes brush her neck, “What is your name?”
This had long been a sticky spot for her. Mom had been a stripper who wanted a man with a Mercedes, and had gotten her instead. Then there were all of the other Mercedes out there; not counting the dealerships. She had felt a little better when she got that job working for Mister Krueger, because his bookkeeper was a white lady named Mercedes. That had raised the currency of her own name somewhat; but had resulted in the name that her 114 job-slacking, ass-kissing, back-stabbing—‘good morning Mister Krueger’—fellow cashiers knew her by. It was, however, a name that did have a ring to it.
And don’t you know, that dummies that work in supermarkets need some method of telling one another apart; so they make up names or assign numbers or colors to people with the same names.
She decided right then and there that the version of her name bestowed upon her by schedule-writing Miss Loretta would be the name she left this life with; not the hopeful stripper name her mother had tagged her with when she entered this messed up world. She had been looking away somewhat whimsically as she held the pretty red-haired head of Tyler in her hands. She took a moment, and then looked back into those big green eyes, and snarled playfully, “I’m Black Mercedes. I’m the baddest bitch on this bus—that’s my crazy friend Jackie Spam there, and I ain’t never lettin’ anything happen to you girlfriend—ever.”
The bus was now roaring up toward the college and Tyler was giving her the warmest hug she had had since her granny passed—which was completely ruined by Fat Boy as he screamed like a giant baby. She instinctively tucked Tyler’s head under her chin and looked disapprovingly at the trifling nurse and the old man and the bigheaded retard, as they all gathered around the line-cook who was squirming and holding his hands out begging for mercy in some foreign language that must only be spoken by the wimpiest people on the planet.
Then she noticed the thing attached to his hat—the hat that had just been on her bald-shaved head only moments ago—with two claws, and entering his ear with the four other claws! She felt really fortunate to have been chewing gum—and to have had a brain thank you—and to have taken off that greasy hat. She reached into her jacket pocket and produced a stick of gum, unwrapped it, and then folded it up against Tyler’s tongue, “Chew this Baby, and then stick it in your ears.”
Tyler then got a glimpse of the commotion around Fat Boy and began to shiver.
“Oh Baby, Black Mercedes has got you—ain’t no Creepy Crawlies gettin’ to you—shush, shush. Chew your gum Baby.”
She kissed the top of Tyler’s soft head and then held her tight, looking out the window at the crazy alien-bug-infested world rolling by as Jackie Spam bellowed orders, the old man fussed, Fat Boy screamed, and the bus roared up a deserted street besides which church people were staggering, falling and squirming—one walking out in front of the bus right—“Oh yuck, keep your head down Baby.”