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Ammo Arms absorbed the landing, turned sideways, laced fingers, and caught the roll on the edges of the hoop that the arms now formed, with me inside. On each revolution, Ammo Arms’ fingers broke from the ring and pushed away …...

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Mad scientist holding up a test tube

Filed Under , , on March 30th, 2019

Ammo Arms (part three)

By Seth Kabala

Ammo Arms absorbed the landing, turned sideways, laced fingers, and caught the roll on the edges of the hoop that the arms now formed, with me inside. On each revolution, Ammo Arms’ fingers broke from the ring and pushed away from the pavement, generating forward momentum and shooting us between the cars and toward the raised bridge.

Toward a dead-end.

Shit, I thought.

Ammo Arms had no such thoughts.

We reached the western edge of the bridge and stopped. The span wasn’t fully vertical, but it looked that way. What now? I thought. Ammo Arms took that as a challenge, again dropped into jack-hammering mode, and began punching climbing holes into the pavement of the raised span. Like ice-spikes used to climb a frozen waterfall, Ammo Arms pounded, grabbed, pulled up, and repeated with the other arm, swinging me back and forth like an ineffective kite tail.

We must have looked like a super mutated version of King Kong, downtown Portland style. No skyscraper windows for us–just raised bridge spans. We’re mutants of the common folk, ya see. We reached the top of the span. In the distance, a helicopter was beating its wings against the air. News? Police? Military? Ammo Arms had a way of attracting all three, so we had to get out of there quick. People were gathering down below, shouting, pointing, and snapping selfies. Never a moment of crisis that can’t be used to bolster one’s online profile.

I saw the Ratterlies deep in conversation, standing just outside the forming mob. I didn’t know what they were plotting, but it couldn’t be good, and I sure wasn’t going to wait around to find out. I looked across the river. The other span was fully 200′ away. “Guess it’s time to swim. Right, AA?” I said. I call him/they/it that sometimes. I sense that AA has a feline component, because he crapped all over that idea.

Once again, AA coiled like he had done in the van, drew in power, the veins and waves of muscle now thrumming with bound potential. I could feel the power. It was like I was surfing on waves of electricity and loving it. The super-charged neuromusculature of Ammo Arms was flowing through me. Imagine the happiest you’ve ever felt, multiply that by 1,000, and you’ll have some semblance of the exhilaration I was feeling, but that feeling was weirdly coupled with cold logic. I knew what AA was going to do a second before he did it. I was scared but not scared, like I was living in quantum consciousness land. Competing emotions aside, I was strapped in for the ride.

AA sprang.

We flew, looking like a monstrous robot with its torso ripped out and shriveled. The shriveled part was me, thank you very much. For a second, I thought we wouldn’t make it. Then AA caught the wind, his hands acting like a sail, gusted over the upraised end of the east span, and grabbed hold. He punched holes and made new handholds, reducing elevation until he had climbed down, and we were standing on the opposite end of the bridge.

Then it was just me. AA was gone. I turned around and looked at the crude handholds smashed into the span. If I curled up, I could fit my whole body inside one of those holes. It looked like a meteor shower with an OCD complex had targeted the span. Neatly patterned holes, slightly offset from one another, zig-zagged from bottom to top, the scent of hot asphalt wafting out from released recesses.

“One bourbon, one scotch, one beer,” George Thorogood sang from the waterfront green-space across the river.

If only, I thought and smiled.

I hopped onto the sidewalk, whistled along to the blues, and swung my arms in stride.

* * *

How’s that for a novel distortion of a child’s observation? I think it has potential. What do you think, dear reader? More importantly what does your wallet think? I have a feeling Ammo Arms will return. If this is your first time visiting The Family Farce, and you’re weirded out by this ridiculous story. I know I’ve done one good thing for you.

You’ll never again be bored waiting for a drawbridge to close.

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Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, and musician. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

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