Looming above Crash Walker’s head was a sign with the banner of “BIBLE LAND – PREPARE TO MEET GOD!” There were problems reading the sign because most of the lights in the amusement park were out. A few light towers were on but they were scattered in remote areas around the park. The black-haired man in the cowboy’s outfit raced through the attraction nervously looking behind him. He was now running way from not one, but two psychotic pursuers: The California Committee with their Duffyland park staff and psychotic rogue cop, Sgt. Gene Kurlich. If he were to fall into the hands of either side it would mean his demise. The California Committee had him going there for awhile until he realized that if they could kill Bill Flagg and turn a blind eye to Billy Bell’s death, then he could be put out at any time.
Crash Walker ran through bulrushes illustrating the birth of Moses, then past a big ark with statues of elephants and giraffes in pairs, finally stopping to catch his breath. He could hear running towards his direction. He hid in a corner and ducked down even deeper when lights turned on and sad, weepy music cranked up, a robotic figure of Jesus rolling his tearful eyes to the sky as women in robes tossed roses at him and brutal robotic Roman gladiators nailed his hands to the cross. Whiny violins pumped shrilly through the PA with a tenor operatically singing, “A crown of thorns on haloed head, Jesus saves the noble dead”, over and over. Creepy.
“Hey! Do you hear anybody around the Bible Land section?”
“Nah, it’s just that crummy music playing when you switched on the power”.
“Maybe he’s in Atomic Land”.
“Hell, turn on all the power switches, he’s bound to turn up somewhere around here”.
Walker made a point to avoid Atomic Land so he ran in the opposite direction, and for once he tried to run as quickly as possible and as silently as he possibly could. The trick was to run on the front of his feet and not on the heels. There wasn’t time to take off his cowboy boots so he tried his best to be quiet like it was a matter of life or death. Crouching low and looking out for men dressed like funny cartoon animals wielding guns was not his idea of a good time. The only way he could get through it was by pretending he was acting in a TV show.
Duffyland didn’t suffer from lack of shrubbery so if he needed to duck into a bush he was covered, like now. A walrus and a giraffe stomped around, craning their necks looking for him.
“I swear I saw him running in this direction”, the walrus whined.
“You’re crazy, he wouldn’t head this way”, the giraffe grumbled.
“We gotta catch him, we’re already in trouble for letting that crazy cop get away from us”.
“Yeah, now we have to catch two whackos instead of one”.
“But, remember, no shooting at the cowboy. We can nail the cop but the cowboy gets dragged back”.
Great, crazy Kurlich escaped from the guards, thought Walker . What a bunch of incompetent bozos. So now I have the Funny Animal Nazis chasing me and the even crazier cop nipping at my heels. I wish I was dead already.
After the two Funny Animals ran off Walker skulked ahead to a large entrance with big gray banners with “Civil War World” emblazoned on them. There was something odd about a cowboy running into an area called “Civil War World” but everything about Duffyland was off-kilter.
He ran into the exhibition marked Johnny Reb’s Jubilee. He stopped to listen for footsteps and heard nothing. In the darkness were animatronic robots of Confederate soldiers with rifles. A switch turned on from somewhere in the room and bright lights turned on, banjo music cranked up with screams of “YEE-HAW!” while Confederate soldiers brandishing bayoneted rifles danced and sang. One of them, holding a jug of moonshine relentlessly chased a black slave girl robot, her clothes half ripped off looking terrified. “YEE-HAW!” “Clap yer hands and stamp yer feet!” The drunken soldier chased the half-naked slave girl around the room to the bluegrass tunes.
Crash Walker hoped the loud music wouldn’t arouse attention from his pursuers, but then it got louder. Gun shots rang out, the Dixie soldier’s face flew off his head.
“BANG! A WINNER!” A woman yelled.
Another shot rang out, Walker ducked and saw the bottom half of the black slave girl bullet holed to Swiss cheese.
“BANG! BANG! ANOTHER WINNER!” Walker saw a figure emerge from the shadows in the back of the room. It was April Van Winter dressed in black holding a Luger. “The South won’t rise again, not tonight at least”, she smiled.
“April!” Walker gasped. “Let’s get out of here before I get nailed”.
“Well, maybe I’ll have to nail you!” she pointed her Luger at him. “What with Daddums dead and all”.
“How did you know that?”
“I’ve been here all this time. Poor dead Daddums!”
“April, put the gun away!”
“THERE HE IS – GET HIM!” A Hippo guard raced in with a Cheery Chimp guard. Van Winter spun around and fired at the doorway by their side, pieces of door jamb flying off. The guards ran outside for cover.
“Let’s go out the back!” Van Winter waved her gun towards the back of the theatre. Walker looked nervously at her, sizing her up. Was she friend or foe?
They found an emergency exit and ran out the back. They looked around to see if anyone was after them and saw a few Funny Animals in the distance running after them. “Let’s head over there, the Drunken Fire Truck ride!” Walker pointed to a garishly painted building with a swinging fire truck on the roof and a mural of goofy, nutty firemen wielding bottles of booze and falling off their fire truck. “Come on!”
“Just a second, darling”, April grabbed him from running away from his pursuers. She wrapped her arms around him in a lover’s embrace, brushed her cool jet black hair against his face and kissed him tenderly. Walker stared beyond her at the Funny Animals catching up to them. He tried to struggle but she had an octopus grip on him, jamming her tongue down his throat and rubbing her slim thigh against his growing erection. He started moaning angrily, unable to break her grip.
“Get those freaks, they’re making out!” A wacky dog yelled to his partners.
April pushed Walker away, spun at her pursuers and opened fire. “Kiss this! My heart belongs to Daddums!” she yelled. Walker ran off but Van Winter stayed behind. He ran behind the Drunken Fire Truck ride and looked around for her. She was gone.
“How the fuck do you get out of this stupid place?” Walker wracked his tormented mind. “I can get out of Pacific Coast Highway, the Sunset Strip, a gay bar in Silverlake, but I’m going to get killed in some shit amusement park, damn it”. Walker decided to just keep moving, no matter what, never stop. He snuck over to a ride called “Doctor Monkey the Crazy Surgeon” covered with a huge mural of a demented chimp in a scapular with a stethoscope around his neck holding a hammer and saw.
He could hear shrieking monkey noises with jungle sounds in the background. He listened for Duffyland guards running around but heard nothing. Feeling tired, he crouched in a corner and wished he had a cigarette.
“In a way I’m glad she’s gone. What a nut, a piece of ass, but crazy as fuck. Fuckin’ Hollywood ”. He shook his head. “And what’s with those guys trying to prop me up as some Governor, ‘King of California’? They must be crazy. I’m not leading anybody, I can’t even lead my way to the toilet. They almost had me there for a minute. Crazy motherfuckers, they killed enough people to get me fried in the electric chair ten times over. I’m finished. I’ll never be a star again”. His paranoia descended into sulking.
He heard a faint stirring behind him, making him turn around. A terrific blow smacked him up the side of his head turning the dark night into a bright, blinding flash. He fell to the ground and looked up at Gene Kurlich standing above him with a fireman’s axe.
“Now I’ve got you, you killing movie star bastard, heh! Nice axe, huh? Drunken Fire Truck, my favorite ride. As soon as I get my cuffs out I’m taking you into custody, Pretty Boy”, he pulled out the cuffs from his belt. Walker was fighting unconsciousness from the blow. “Nope! Showbiz creeps like you aren’t heroes – I’M a hero! People need to worship policemen, firemen, WE run the city, WE’RE the heroes here, not you Liz Taylor assholes”, he said as he grabbed one of Walker ’s wrists, about to clink the cuffs. “If I could get my hands on Marlon Brando, boy, the things I would do to him”.
Walker lurched and punched Kurlich full contact in the groin, pulling his other wrist away. Kurlich doubled over and Walker grabbed the bat away and bunted Kurlich in the face. “Fuck you!” Walker yelled.
Kurlich went for his gun while Walker ran towards the Jet Train, running up the stairs to hide by the tracks. He fired shots at Walker ’s feet, who was racing quickly to the elevated platform. “You can run but you can’t hide”, Kurlich yelled. “I’m bringing you back, dead or alive. I am the law!”
He followed Walker up the stairs to the Jet Train. When he got to the platform and only saw the Jet Train sitting idly by the tracks. “Come on, Cowboy, the sooner you give up, the easier it’ll be on you”.
The complete edition of CRASH WALKER will be available in eBook form on August 2015 via Amazon Kindle, iTunes, Barnes & Noble Nook and other eReaders. Don't miss it!