Tornado Trailer Park (Pt. 3)
hoisting the New Kids On The Block backpack over his shoulder.
“Listen,” Chip said, handing over a canteen of water. “There aren't a lot of rules around here. Its all pretty lawless. But there is one thing, universal among all the different people trapped in here and it doesn't matter what they look like, that you absolutely can not do.”
“Do not!” Chip said emphatically. “Ever! Make a Wizard Of Oz joke or reference. Ever!”
“Seriously?” Clem asked. “That seems....Really?”
“I can't stress it enough.”
“Why? Is it a superstition or something?”
“Maybe,” Clem said, scratching his beard. “But superstition works a bit different around here. You’ll pick that up soon enough. I’m not certain of the details, but supposedly when a load of people got trapped here back in the thirties a bunch of copies of those books got sent here too. Wherever they went or whoever even mentioned them suddenly came down with a case of real bad luck. Fatal bad luck.”
“Well, I’ll keep that in mind. I guess. Thanks for the grub and the hospitality,” Clem said, reaching out to shake Chip's hand. “You said my trailer landed a bit that way, right?”
“Half of it, maybe,” Chip answered. “I probably wasn't the only one to see it land either. Get to it, get what you need, and try to make it one of those villages on the west side. That's where the humans live.”
Clem had turned and was about to make his way to his trailer when he froze. “What do you mean 'humans'? What else would there be?”
“Well,” Chip said, leaning back against his trailer and seeming to think. “You got the apes. They aren't like the apes from our world. These are the smart kind, like Planet Of The Apes, and they like to take humans as slaves.”
“You're shitting me.”
“Wish I was. The big ones, the gorillas, they aren't so smart. They tend to do all the heavy lifting and the fighting, but they can be okay if you don't act like a coward around them. They sense weakness and they'll make your life hell. Its the chimps you want to watch out for. They're smart as hell and devious. They will....”
“Do they wear little bell hop uniforms?” Clem smirked. “And fly around with little bat wing...”
“Seriously, you will be shot in the face,” Chip stated, looking up along the maelstrom wall as if something was listening. “People will go out of their way to kill your ass for stuff like that. Just don't ever mention it. I'm even tempted to take you out.”
“Okay, geez,” Clem said as he shrugged. Looking out over the ragged debris that stood between him and the shattered remains of his trailer, he let out a sigh. “Thanks again. If I ever make it back out this way I'll stop by.”
“I look forward to it,” Chip said, waving. He watched the newcomer as he picked delicately over the sharp detritus for a while and then began climb his way back up onto the roof of his trailer. He stopped halfway up and slapped himself on the forehead. “Damn it! I should have told him about the snake folk. He's not going to like them much. Oh! And the Old Gods. And the goddamn raccoons. Damn.”
Chip climbed the rest of the way up his trailer and squinted to see if he could make out Clem among the piles of old refrigerators and dismantled trucks. No luck.
“Well...He'll figure it out, I guess,” and then he promptly flopped down in to his lawn chair and dozed off.