Ulterior Motives

By KN Gould

From CHM #41 November 2023

Hell yes, I’m packing up my shit and getting outta here just as fast as I can. You wouldn’t be asking stupid questions like that if you knew what was good for you.

I don’t care how late it is. Not gonna wait until tomorrow. Might not be a tomorrow for ol’ Pete or anyone else who sticks around. This here park is no man’s land now, you hear me? Heading down to that campground those polo-wearing assholes told us to go to is even more idiotic. Yes, I know the tent has a tear in the roof but I’d rather sleep in a damned monsoon with nothing over my head than go where they want us to. I’ve had worse. They’d have to club me over the head and drag me to that place and even then I’d be kicking and screaming like you wouldn’t believe before I set one foot inside.

No, I will not calm down. Jesus, Carrie, you of all people should know, if I’m this worked up, I damn sure have something to be worked up about.

Okay, okay, I’m sorry I yelled. But darlin’, you gotta trust me on this one. I’m your rock, remember? I keep level-headed when everyone else is losing their shit. You were there that time at our camp over on the butte when that one dude, what was his name? That guy who was nailing Mitch’s girl every time Mitch went spangin’ downtown. Mitch found out and took a baseball bat to that douchebag. Busted him up real good. Woulda killed him too, if I hadn’t talked him down. I mean, I’m wiry and tough, don’t get me wrong, but Mitch had me by close to a hunnert pounds. My skinny ass wasn’t about take the bat from him. I used my old noggin. Kept my wits then, was all soothing and shit. Even told the cops I hadn’t seen a thing when they eventually got off their asses to look into the almost-dead guy in the hospital.

This? This is different.

All right, if I’m going to tell you about it you need to be handing over the rest of that bottle you stashed. Need to take the edge off. Thanks, darlin’. Now, lean in close because nobody else can hear what I’m telling. I don’t trust no one except you but after seeing those alleged social working clowns tonight I’ve gone full-on tinfoil hat. Our tent is too close to those other ones and anyone could be listening.

You wanna know why I’m so hell-bent on leaving our park? Our sweet spot in the soft grass under the bridge overhang so we don’t even get rained on much? Or why you’ll have to kill me before I stake a claim in that oh-so-special campground those bleeding-heart volunteers set aside just for us? I never did tell you how I lost my foot. I’ve seen you looking at it but you’ve been sweet enough to not ask. This fake one’s been a part of me lor a lotta years. Was worn down like this when I got it. No toes, practically a flat block of painted wood. Quality wood, though, good enough to keep me from falling over heading to the shitter. What more do I need?

You know people used to call me Peggy? Because of my pegleg. Like I was a damn pirate or something. Hated it. Didn’t let it show, though. Would’ve only encouraged them. Don’t want them to get your goat, don’t show them where it’s hid. That’s what I’ve always said.

Thank the lord, darlin’. You found the bottle. Hand it over, please. I’ll only need a nip, maybe two.

Sssssssssss, that burns going down. Good burn. I don’t drink half what I used to. Body can’t handle it anymore. I’m forty-six now but this life I’ve led makes me feel like twice that. My scraggly beard used to have a lot more red than gray, you believe that? Quitting the hard stuff is the only reason I’m still around to share this whiskey with you, baby.

Yeah, yeah, I’m getting to the story. I had to have been twenty-one, twenty-two maybe. On the streets at least three years, running with a tiny crew of junkies up in Portland. Me, Sharon, and CJ were pretty tight. They were mostly together, like a couple. Sometimes Sharon might disappear for a day or two but she always found her way back. CJ was a short, funny dude who smoked these disgusting hand-rolled cigarettes constantly.

I trusted them as much as I trusted anybody. If one of us scored we shared with the others…usually. We watched each other’s backs. Nothing too different than now, if you don’t keep your head on a swivel, someone’s gonna make off with everything you have. CJ was clever enough to keep us from sleeping on the sidewalk. Abandoned cars, tents by the highway, once we even had a house all to ourselves for a week before the city came and threw us out, saying we was squatters and the place was rickety enough it likely would’ve fallen down right on top of us any minute.

I don’t remember who brought him into the group, Sharon or CJ. It sure as hell wasn’t me. He sorta appeared one day and was just…there.

“Call me Jackie,” he said whenever someone asked. That’s how he said it too. Call me Jackie, not, my name is Jackie. Thought it was weird even then.

 The guy looked barely eighteen. Claimed he was twenty-two. Greasy black hair hanging into his eyes and past his ears, horn-rimmed glasses held together with masking tape, a big ol’ butt-chin, and a gap in his two front teeth you could drive a Honda through. Jackie wasn’t much in the looks department. I guess none of us really were, though.

He fit in good enough, flying under the radar. Not pissing anyone off, not letting anyone get too close, you know?

“Where ya from?”

“All around.”

“You got any family?”

“None worth mentioning.”

That was the sort of crap was all you could get out of him.

Jackie wasn’t the one who suggested the boat. That was CJ. Jackie planted the idea though, sure as if it was a sunflower seed.

“Sure is nice down by the river,” I remember him saying.

He was right but it didn’t take a genius to figure that out. The Willamette wound through that part of Portland. Find a good spot and the river could be a convenient bath or toilet or dishwasher. The downside, everyone knew it so it could get real crowded. Crowded enough you had to sleep with one eye open and any privacy was out the window.

CJ spoke up one night. “Jackie here knows a place we can get a cheap boat.”

“What the hell we need a boat for?” I asked, eyeballing Jackie. He wouldn’t look at me, eyes were always averted, maybe at my chest, maybe at the ground.

“Pete, this is a great idea. I only wish I’d come up with it sooner. The four of us, me, you, Jackie, and Sharon, pool our money and we go to Jackie’s guy and get a boat.”

“We ain’t got no boat money. That’s for damn sure.”

“We don’t need much. We’re not getting a yacht or anything, just something that won’t sink while we’re sleeping. A couple-hundred bucks. If we don’t have the cash we go get it.”

“Dunno what kind of boat we can get for that much.”

The boat we could get for that much, I soon found out, could hardly be called a boat anymore. Me and CJ took a look at a sailboat, a thirty-footer. The old girl had seen better days. No mast, no sails, no motor, and the keel was all wonky.

“Not sure she’ll even float, CJ.”

“Sure she will.”

He was right. The boat did float. Barely. He was wrong about how much it would cost, though. Five-hundred is what we finally managed to get Jackie’s guy down to. Wasn’t easy to come up with that much. Sharon scrounged up about eighty bucks. I didn’t ask how. Me and CJ took to spangin’ and collecting cans at ten cents a pop. Might’ve even done a little thievery at the grocery store. You know, swipe some stuff – nothing too expensive – then return it and get cash money. Repeat as needed.

We were still short, even with our best efforts, until Jackie showed up with two crisp hundreds out of nowhere. Like with Sharon, I didn’t ask how he got it. I should have. Not that it would’ve changed anything.

Getting the boat in the water was only a little less difficult than raising the money. The van and trailer we borrowed barely had enough tread on their tires to cover the mile and a half to the river. The sound of the hull scraping bottom as we unloaded was like nails on a chalkboard. We had to MacGyver that shit into the water, especially since the place we picked to put her in wasn’t exactly a boat ramp. Once she went in, though, when I saw her floating there, not sinking or nothing like I half expected her to, I was like, “Wow, this could actually work out.”

Ours wasn’t the only boat on the Willamette that summer. No way CJ (or was it Jackie) was the first to come up with this idea. I gotta admit, those first few nights, falling asleep, swaying with the current, not nervous about someone sneaking up on me…was like heaven. I even wondered if I’d been too hard on Jackie, even if I had kept most of those negative thoughts to myself.

You see, along that stretch of river, there were probably a couple-dozen boats like ours. Barely water-worthy, missing parts, held together with duct tape and a prayer, bobbing up and down, tied off to whatever could be tied off to, resting in a little patch of water near the bank. CJ explained to my dumb ass how the set up worked. Living on our boats kept us out of sight from the upstanding, taxpaying citizens of Portland.

“Out of sight, out of mind,” he said.

If we kept a low profile, we were less likely to get the cops called on us like if we slept in the doorway of a coffee shop or something. Rousting us hobos out on the water is a damn sight more difficult than throwing away our tents if we step away for one minute.

It couldn’t be permanent, of course. None of the boats had their proper registrations – tags and whatnot. Eventually, the Man would get tired of seeing us all giving the whole system the middle finger and they’d move in. Warnings, followed by impounding. That’s what would happen, one by one.

But that’s the genius part of the entire thing. Sure, it would suck to get our little homestead swiped out from under us but it wouldn’t be for long. The stormtroopers would get the boats taken out and towed to the impound lot where they’d sit until the fines and fees were paid. When nothing got paid, the owner of the lot would get ownership. And then, you know what happened then?

The guy would sell the shitty boat to the next band of merry misfits who wanted it.

Real circle of life shit, right there. The cops could fool themselves into thinking they were doing their job, impound guy got paid, and the boat would be back on the water in no time.

All that stuff took time. We had at least three or four months before we got hassled enough to have to leave. By then the weather might have changed enough we’d have to get off the river anyways. That was a bridge we’d jump off when we got to it.

CJ found this real quiet section of water, kinda removed from the bigger group of folks in our similar situation. It wasn’t like we were super anti-social, we just liked to keep to ourselves. Other people are nothing but trouble. Don’t look at me like that. You know I’m not talking about you.

There was this fallen log we tethered to and the current was real slow, almost non-existent. If you were to go upriver about a half-mile from our little hobo-flotilla you’d see super nice houses on the bank. Some of them were practically castles. Houses worth millions in spittin’ distance of where we pissed off the side of the boat. Irony, I think that’s what it is.

I told you before, Jackie didn’t talk much. That’s why this part sticks out to me so clearly. One night, this would’ve been a week or so after we put our boat in the river, he piped up.

“There’s these guys, in Siberia I’m pretty sure.”

He took a long drag off the roach he’d been nursing. He’d also brought enough weed for the rest of us. Doing stuff like that might’ve been the only reason we let him keep hanging with us.

“They followed this huge herd of caribou. Charting migration patterns and stuff. Research. You believe that? That’s a job. Following caribou, taking pictures, and writing notes. Anyways, this nature-scientist crew studied the hell out of this herd. Got to know the animals so well they almost had names for half of them. After a few weeks they were able to determine this enormous group of caribou could be broken down into three smaller groups.”

Smoke surrounded his head, I remember even though I was pretty damn high myself. Light from one of our camping lamps made him look…otherworldly. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Jackie never talked this much, not in one sitting, anyways.

“The biggest part,” he continued, “had the normal animals. Males, females, babies, all doing their thing, living their best life, going with the flow, not sticking out from the crowd. They knew, even in their little pea-brains, that was their best bet for survival. Blending in.”

The boat rocked gently, hypnotizing me even more. CJ and Sharon were silent, too. For all I know, they were out cold, not hearing a single word.

“About ten-percent of the herd, those were the invalids, the elderly, the rejects. Runts of the litter so to speak. The healthier animals kept the rejects towards the center of the group, to easier protect them from predators. Bears or wolves, usually, and some of those wolves could grow to be as big as bears, trust me.

“Sometimes, though, the size of the herd wasn’t enough to keep those predators away. Sometimes it attracted more than they could handle. Those researchers were surprised – shocked even – when they saw how the herd dealt with that.”

How’s that? I wanted to ask him but I couldn’t get the words out. My tongue had got too thick. 

“That five-percent, that’s what they estimated the smallest group to be, were the smart ones. Where they went, the rest of the herd followed. The alphas.

“When the wolves got too close, too aggressive, or too numerous, they’d pick off any unwary caribou, taking them down a few at a time. This had to be unacceptable to the alphas but these animals weren’t built to fight. Mother Nature chose for them to be prey. So, what they did instead was adapt. Two or three alphas would choose one of the rejects and approach it. Then they’d surround it and start pushing, herding, getting it to follow them. The alphas would lead it away from the rest of the herd to an attractive location, like a watering hole or something. Pretty soon, other alphas would bring another reject over. Then another, then another. When they had five or six or so, blissfully oblivious of the danger they were in, the alphas would simply walk back and rejoin the herd.”

Then he flicked the butt over the side of the boat.

“Those alphas were cold-blooded. When the wolves came down on those other caribou at the watering hole, they didn’t so much as look back. No remorse. Survival of the fittest. Nature is hardcore. We forget that, I think.”

Jackie said more words telling that story of his than in all the other times I talked to him combined. I passed the hell out right after so I don’t know if he reached the end. He could’ve gone on all night and I wouldn’t be able to tell you any different.

Carrie, this is the part I need you to believe. Or, if you don’t, if you think I’m nutso or a liar, just pretend, okay? Pretend and come with me. We’ll beat feet outta town just as fast as we can. No, no, don’t argue, please. Listen.

A few days, maybe a week later, the four of us had hunkered down for the night. When we had our lanterns turned off, it could get real dark out there on the water. The full moon, or mostly full anyways, made it so you could sorta see. That, and a few faint lanterns hanging off those upriver boats was the only light in all the world. At least, seemed that way from where I was sitting. Sharon and CJ were chatting quiet-like up on the bow (Or is it the stern? I can’t remember). The front of the boat. They like to sleep out under the stars if they could. I could hear snippets of their conversation as I drifted off in my bunk downstairs in the cabin. I always liked to have a roof and some sort of walls around me.

Jackie rigged himself up a simple little tent with a tarp on a line at the back of the boat. Cinder blocks on the corners kept it from blowing away if the wind picked up. I know he was there when we all turned in, I could smell those cigarettes of his as he smoked a few feet above where I laid my head.

I fell asleep quick and slept hard. You only know light-sleeper me, tossing and turning all night and that’s if I don’t throw in the towel and go sit outside the tent so as not to bother you so much. Before the night on the river, I would be on the go all day, wearing myself out in the process, and I’d crash hard at night. Dead to the world.

Water, cold as hell water against my cheek woke me half way. My sleeping bag was soaked. I opened my eyes but couldn’t focus. Everything was slo-mo, fuzzy, like I was dreaming. Beyond simple middle-of-the-night confusion, this was more like I’d downed too many benzos. The air felt thick around me.

A couple of feet of water filled the tiny room where I slept. All the way up to the thin-cushioned couch I’d converted into a bed. And it was still rising.

“Mawk,” I said. Wasn’t what I wanted to say but my tongue wouldn’t cooperate. The sound was more of a croak than an actual word. My hazy brain right away figured the hull had given way and we were sinking quick.

I wasn’t completely wrong.

I struggled to sit up. Rubbing my eyes with river water and shaking my head got rid of a few cobwebs but not enough. I just about went face-first off the couch-bed when I tried to stand up. My foot, my flesh and blood foot, not this fake one you’ve seen me getting around on all the time, was stuck in between the cushions. That’s what I thought, anyways, but only for a second.

Down where I was, only a little trickle of moonlight sneaked through enough to let me see even the tiniest bit. My eyes were clearing up about as slow as my brain. I tried to pull my foot out but no luck. Wouldn’t budge, not one bit. So, then I leaned over to pull my damn foot out with my hands. That’s when I saw it.

The sleeping bag and my feet hanged off the end of the couch, kinda floating there in the rising water. The end of the bag had been tore open like, and my leg was exposed up to the calf. Couldn’t believe what I was seeing, like it was happenin’ to someone else.

That whole leg was numb, no feeling at all. Pain would come later. Pain like I’d never felt before or since. Right then, though? Nothing.

Tendrils, thin white ones like angel-hair pasta, wriggled over my skin and slithered up my leg. The bastards were coming out of the river water. The ones that weren’t attached to me were flailing around like they was trying to find an open patch of Pete to feed off of.

What I could see of my foot was a bloody mess. A billion thoughts ran through my head, none of them making any sense of what I was looking at. One of my toes popped right off as I watched. It bobbed and weaved as it got passed around from one tendril to another.

My brain broke, seeing but not feeling my toe get pulled clean off me like that. Logic and reason left. Only panic stayed.

I screamed. I think I screamed for CJ but I’m not sure.

I used my good leg and pushed myself away from the grip of the worm-things. There was no give. Pain flared for the first time. Nerve pain from deep down, like a dental drill with no painkiller. No flinching away to get away from this. The thing held me firm. It was as if the things withheld the hurt until it knew I was awake and trying to get away. A punishment for resisting.

Survival mode took over. Pure instinct. I kicked and pulled and punched and twisted my body in ways that shouldn’t have been possible. To be honest, darlin’, up until then I didn’t feel much like my life was worth a damn. Never wanted to hang it up or anything but I wouldn’t have been too upset if Death came around looking for me.

I was severely mistaken. In the bottom of that boat, I was a coyote in a trap fighting for my life. Woulda gnawed my leg off at the knee if I could’ve.

Clenched my jaw so hard I broke a tooth. Tendons popped and I nearly passed out with the effort. Through all of it, I could hear the tearing sound of my leg meat separating from my foot at the ankle. When it finally gave, there was a sick popping sound and I went ass-over-teakettle backwards off the couch into the water.

It wasn’t that deep but it was freezing. The cold held off the throbbing at the end of my leg I didn’t want to think about. I inhaled a mouthful of water and hacked it right back up as I broke the surface. On my knees, the rising river was up to my waist. To my right, there was sudden, sharp crack coming from the failing hull. So loud in the cramped space.

 The stringy tentacles were in a frenzy, whipping around faster than before. A bunch of them cradled my foot, handing it off, carrying it from one noodle to the next, towards the opening leading topside. Even now, I get sick to my stomach remembering that piece of me, disappearing view, covered by those…things.

The floor beneath me sank real sudden-like, just a few inches but I knew I didn’t have long if I wanted to make it out of there.

I moved forward on my knees, my own will was the only thing keeping me going. Splashing and thrashing, spitting out mouthfuls of water and praying not to drown or lose another limb. The wisps of floss that took my foot fanned out along the walls, looking for me, feeling for me. I needed to avoid them long enough to get up those few steps to the open air. Wasn’t sure what I’d do after that but I’d be dead real quick staying where I was.

My hands reached the steps and I cackled like I’d won the lottery. A man appeared in the opening above me. Had he been there the whole time? I squinted to bring him into focus. CJ, that’s who it was. But he was moving all weird, twitching like he was having a seizure. His eyes were rolled back in his head, nothing but the whites. His feet weren’t touching the ground. Those goddamn white tentacles held him up and slowly crept over his entire body.

As if that wasn’t enough to crush the rest of my spirit, another tentacle, way bigger than the others, wrapped around him, slithering up his legs, circling his waist, and inching towards his neck. Out of the tip of this single, smooth, dark purple limb sprang a hundred of the thinner noodles like the ones that stole my foot. They were all connected and they were blocking my escape.

I should’ve died right then and there. I don’t know how or why I didn’t. At night, when I haven’t drank enough to pass out, when I shoot straight up outta my bed while everyone else is asleep, it’s because I can still see CJ, hanging limp in front of me, dead or dying. I hope he couldn’t feel any of it. He didn’t deserve to go out like that. Nobody does.

Everything collapsed inward all around me in one huge crash. The floor dropped out from underneath and I went under. Totally submerged with the crushed pieces of the boat pushing me further down. I couldn’t tell down from up. There was only this sense of spinning in suffocating darkness and getting the little bit of air left in my lungs knocked out of me.

As I tried to get my bearings, I hit up against something solid with my fists. It was huge and smooth. Too smooth to be a fallen tree or the riverbed itself. There was some give to it, like a sturdy muscle.

A thin line of yellow light showed under my outstretched hands. The line slowly widened and got brighter, allowing me to see around me, even as my vision was going out from lack of oxygen.

A single eyeball, twice as big as my own body, that’s what I had my hands on. The dark pupil rolled for a moment before focusing on me. The thing dilated, shrinking down and looking right into my soul. Tentacles, the thick dark ones that wrapped themselves around CJ up on the boat, sprouted from all around the eye like monster pythons knifing through the water into the blackness beyond what I could see. What I could see of the thing was enormous and God only knows how much of it was hidden from me.

I planted my remaining foot square in the center of that devil-eye and pushed with all I had left in me.

The eye tracked me, following me as I fell away from it. It gave off its own light – I don’t know how – so when it closed, ever so painfully slowly, it left me floating in total, icy dark.

I felt myself going. All my fight vanished. This…acceptance came over me and I let whatever was going to happen, happen.

The next bits I only remember in fits and starts. Daylight, staring up at a blue sky with a man standing over me. I’m on my back on a muddy riverbank and he’s shaking me. I throw up, hard.

After that there’s an ambulance ride and an oxygen mask. A hospital with so many people running everywhere all at once.

Then a hospital bed in a room with some other poor schmuck. I’m withdrawing bad – I told you I was still doing the hard stuff back then – and the pain meds they give me only barely take the edge off. I feel bad about how I yelled at those nurses. I was going through a lot, I guess you could say.

Cops came, not sure how long after, to ask me some questions. They told me some…pieces of Sharon had been found washed up not far from where our boat went down. No sign of CJ or Jackie.

“That boat wasn’t water-worthy, not one bit,” one of them said to me. “You’re lucky it kept you afloat as long as it did.”

As if that could explain what happened. I thought they were dumbasses. Ignorant, lazy government employees. Nah, they knew what was up.

I told them everything, spilled the whole honest truth, even the batshit crazy stuff. Didn’t care what they thought, didn’t care if I ended up with those traction socks in a rubber room. Don’t think I’ve ever been so honest, before or since.

After I got done vomiting up my story, this one cop, older guy with his gut hanging over his belt, he gives me this hard look, makes me think I’m in real trouble even though I didn’t do nothing. He leans over real close and his buddy standing in the corner all of a sudden looks anywhere else but at us. I’m expecting to get hit but I don’t know why.

“If I were you,” he said, close enough I could smell the coffee on his breath, “I wouldn’t be telling anyone else what you just told me. None of that shit happened. The boat sank. That’s it. A real tragedy for everyone involved.”

Then he patted me on the shoulder all chummy-like. The guy wasn’t much to look at but he put the fear of God in me with only a few words. He was that kind of fella.

So, I didn’t say anything. To anyone. If anyone asked, I said I didn’t remember. Head trauma and shit. Took some time, but I almost convinced myself it never happened.

Thank you, Carrie, for being so patient. You wanna know why I’m telling you now, when all the time we’ve known each other I never breathed a word?

Promise me you’ll leave with me. Tonight. Once I tell you, we get outta here, as far away as we can get.

Okay.

Earlier, not sure where you were when those guys from the city showed up, I was coming back from the toilet, limping along to our tent, when I saw the crowd all gathered round those three in their bright blue shirts like they worked at Best Buy. The blonde gal was talking as I came up on them.

“No, nobody’s going to kick you out in the middle of the night. This campground we’re talking about has been set aside by the city for the sole purpose of giving the unhoused a safe place to sleep.”

The unhoused. That’s the word she used. Some of the others, you could probably guess who, chimed in about what she could do with her city-approved camp. That’s when the other guy piped up.

“Please, listen. We’re only here to help.”

He held his hands up to get people’s attention. He took his time, looking everyone on the eye. Probably a trick he picked up over the years to gain trust. Took me a minute, not like I was expecting to see him, seeing as how he shoulda been dead.

Jackie. He’d gained weight and cut his hair in the last two decades but it was him. Couple hundred miles and a lot of years since the last time I’ve seen him but I’m sure. Seeing him walloped me like a goddamn train. My mouth went dry and I couldn’t breathe.

“We have transportation for you,” he said. “Vans and buses. They will be here within the hour. You can bring all of your belongings with you. If you just….”

He trailed off, forgetting his practiced speech, still smiling at the rubes he was conning. If I had any doubt it was erased at that moment. The gap in his teeth, it was still there. All this time and Jackie hadn’t fixed his damn teeth. He was looking right at me when he flubbed his lines. He caught himself real quick and went back to working the crowd. But I knew, I could read the stunned look on his ugly mug. Jackie wasn’t the only one who was supposed to be dead.

I high-tailed it right the hell outta there so I missed the end of his presentation. My stomach was all knotted up, I thought I was gonna blow chunks all over. Made it here, I don’t think anyone was following me, and started packing.

See, Carrie, I didn’t know what to make of it at first, Jackie being alive. I’ve been going over it in my head. Him and his old buddies are herding people like cattle in a slaughterhouse. He’s good at it, so good he got promoted. No more sleeping in the streets like when I knew him.

We were on the boat that night because Jackie wanted us there. He knew what was coming and some fat cat wanted me and Sharon and CJ dead instead of the more civilized, productive members of society. Tonight, it’s happening again. I don’t know what’s waiting near the campground they wanna take us to but the end result is gonna be another body count, explained away as some sort of accident. Swept under the rug and forgotten about. No humans involved.

Who knows how many times, in how many cities, they’ve done this. Why do you think government cronies set up to attract people like me and you to their cities? The kindness of their hearts? You gotta be kidding me. We’re expendable. Sacrifices to whatever the eyeball in the river was. Its cousin is waiting for whoever goes with Jackie tonight. Sure as hell ain’t gonna be us.

C’mon, we gotta get. Leave everything we can’t carry. We’re putting as many miles between us and Jackie as we can before sun up.

I’m not ready to walk willingly into that big goodnight. We all gotta go some time but it’s not gonna be tonight and it’s not gonna be like that.

End.

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