Chapter 6: Truckin'

Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me
Other times I can barely see
Lately it occurs to me...

What a long, strange trip it's been


The pair remained pretty focus after that. Neither one wanted to make a week long holiday out of this, and so they just drove, only stopping briefly to pee somewhere on the side of the road. It was in these moments that Faye honestly wished she had a penis. It was just about the only thing it was good for. They were pretty sure they were going in the right general direction. They had swiped a map from a gas station but neither one of them really knew how to read it properly and they had no clue how to fold it. So it flapped around constantly in the wind until whoever was sitting shot gun at the time got aggravated and crumpled it into a little ball. Then they'd get lost and uncrumple it and the cycle would begin anew.

Eventually though, they sort of hit a rhythm, and they began to make what they thought was excellent time. The state boarders just flew and they kept alive on a steady but carefully rationed diet of candy bars and Jolt cola, which Spike kept in his front pocket at all times. Things were going so smoothly, that it was extra disappointing when the car began to smoke and sputter limply to the side of the road.

"What the fuck!?!" Faye shouted at the engine as if this could some how spur it on. "What's wrong with you!?!" She kicked the front tire a few times for good measure.

Spike himself had kicked it a few times, and when that failed to help he was completely out of ideas. So he just on the side of the road smoking.

"I just don't understand it," Faye muttered. "Why the hell would a car just...oooooooooooooh," she breathed suddenly.

"What?" Spike asked.

"The oil."

"The oil? But we just rented the car a few days ago."

"Three months or 3,000 miles. Which we've done. Several times over, I should think. Damn, I feel stupid," Faye thumped down on the road next to him dejectedly.

"So...the car is shot."

Faye responded by making a little gun with her fingers and shouting, "Bang!" Just then a large bird touched down on the hood of their fallen vehicle. Faye and Spike stared for a few moments until the same thought hit them at once. It was a vulture. The great beast squawked loudly and beat it's huge wings.

"Oh, shut up," they snapped back. It was going to be a bad night.


Ein was not very good at catching Frisbees. It took Jet and Ed a few tries to even convince him that a Frisbee was something worth catching as they demonstrated across the length of the park. Ed was quite a remarkable Frisbee catcher, actually leaping into the air and catching it in her teeth like a dog would. Eventually, Ein decided to humor them, and scurried on his impossibly short little legs after the flying disk. He adjusted himself so that he was right under it. All he had to do was stand there with his mouth open, and according to his doggy calculations, the Frisbee should glide gracefully into his mouth. But as it approached him, he realized that the Frisbee was actually pretty big and that Ein himself was pretty little. He suddenly decided that catching the Frisbee was going to hurt, and so instead of waiting for it with open jaws, he cowered under his paws instead. The disk thunked ungracefully off the top of his head and fell to the floor beside him. He then snarled at it, snatched it up angrily in his teeth, and deposited it at his roommates' feet as if to say, "Happy now?"

"Ok, boy," Jet scratched him behind the ears. "We can't all be athletes."

"Jet! Jet! Jet!" Ed started jumping up and down. "Look! Look! Look!" She was pointing wildly at the marquee of a budget movie theatre across the street. Godzilla vs. Mothra was playing.

"You like Godzilla, Ed?" Jet asked, surprised that a kid would be interested in something that ancient. Ed responded by making a blood curdling noise that sounded very much like the King of Monsters himself. "Yeah...I guess you would like Godzilla," he shrugged. "Well, all right. Let's check it out."

Ed whooped in delight and then stomped over to the entrance of the theatre in hurky jerky man-in-a-cheap-rubber-suit motions. Jet truly was enjoying his time off, so to speak. There wasn't anything that was technically keeping him from taking Ein out for a walk or seeing a movie when the two of them were around, it was just there was so much commotion he never thought of it. He might start throwing them out more often.


"We've been out here for three hours, Faye! I thought you were supposed to be good at this!!"

"There's only been one car in three hours and a woman was driving!"

"So? She looked kinda butch. I bet she went that way."

"I didn't see you throwing yourself at her, if you're so desperate for a ride!"

"Hey! I've seen the same movies and beer ads you have. The only people who get picked up on the side of the road are homicidal maniacs and hot chicks! Now shut up and prostitute yourself!!!"

"Well maybe it's you, you ever think of that, you skinny assed little freak?!? I sure as hell wouldn't pick you up."

"Oh, yeah. I'm the freak. Let he who has not gotten chased out of someone else's shower with a shot gun cast the first stone."

"God, I fucking hate you!"

"Back at you!!!"


"Hey, hey, hey! You guys are tossin' some nasty vibes our way, man. You need a lift?" Spike and Faye both turned to see a scruffy looking dude leaning out the side of a large van. There was a distinct...aura permeating the air around him, an aura of the herbal variety.

"Yes!" they both squealed in delight, then Faye added, "Please."

"Jump in," the guy said amiably. "Hey, Rac! Open the back!"

The back door of the van swung open and the bounty hunters were almost knocked flat on their backs from the waft of pot smoke and grilled cheese that came rolling out. "You guys wanna do somethin' about yer car, man?"

"Nah, it's a rental," Spike shrugged. Like he would go back to Earth ever again after this trip.

The driver laughed. "Righteous."

The cowboys made themselves comfortable in the back of the van, which was crowded with two other people and a lot of musical equipment. The driver introduced himself as Fletcher, the guy who opened the door was named Rac and there was a wispy blonde woman who played guitar named April. She reminded Spike a tiny bit of Julia which simultaneously depressed and inspired him, but both emotions were quickly dulled when he got a whiff of the grilled cheese they had cooking off a hot plate. Both he and his partner must have acquired pretty desperate expressions just then because April smiled at them and offered a sandwich. "So where are you two off to?" she asked warmly.

"Arizona," they both replied through stuffed mouths.

"Arizona, huh?" Rac mused as he fiddled with the tuning pegs of his own guitar. "What's in old AZ?"

"I have a package waiting," Faye said in a wistful sort of way.

"That's cool," Rac nodded. It seemed there would be very little in life that Rac would find uncool. "We're going to Vegas."

Faye's eyes lit up like a kid's on Christmas, which filled Spike with a feeling of insurmountable dread. "Vegas," she said in awe. "I thought that got hit pretty hard in the gate explosion."

"Oh, it did," April nodded, working on a sandwich of her own. "They turned all the craters into amusement parks and there's a casino there now called Trump's Pit. It's kind of inspiring and disgusting at the same time," she giggled lightly, and Spike melted in spite of himself. She sorta had Julia's laugh, too.

"I'm telling ya, when the universe ends it's just gonna be the cockroaches and gamblers," Faye said brashly, knocking Spike right out of his reverie. "So you guys play?"

"We gotta have it before we can lose it," Fletcher rumbled in a jolly voice from the front seat. "We have a gig!"

"Did you hear that, Faye?" Spike nudged her with his boot. "You have to have money before you can loose it. Revolutionary idea."

Faye stuck her tongue out at him. "So you guys are in a band?" Faye asked.

"We like to call it a performance group," April grinned.

"And our parents like to call it a waste of potential," Rac added. "We sort of have some trouble finding... direction."

"We suck!" Fletcher chimed in, but he seemed fairly enthusiastic about his suckiness.

"We don't suck," April defended their talents amicably. "See, I think we're all pretty good individually but maybe our group dynamic is sort of lacking. It'll come. You can't force this sort of thing." She spoke in the tone of someone who didn't believe what she was saying but didn't really mind.

"So why don't you guys do solo gigs?" Spike asked.

"Well, April's the only one who can sing and Fletch writes all the songs and I'm good at like...tuning and stuff. And hooking up the equipment," Rac listed their lists of qualifications.

"And you know three chords," April helped him out.

"And a half," Rac brightened.

"Three and a half of the really important ones," April clarified.


There was a brief pause and then all three members of the performance group cracked up hysterically laughing. Rac rolled back and started poking around in his duffel bag.

"You guys smoke?" he asked.

Spike shrugged. "I do today."



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