He shambles out of the park, swaying side-to-side, shyly dominating the Midtown sidewalk. Sun glints in his blonde-bronze pelt, furry toes squashing—or shall we say “squatching”?—his platform flip-flops.
Not that he needs the extra height. At 6’ 10’’, he towers over everyone he passes, including the tiny Russian grandma and her yappy little dog.
He hears a snatch of French Zydeco from a hipster coffee shop, and hops a quick shuffle and turn. He smiles, tipping his head to the babushka. Hot sun glints off his blinding canines.
She nods. They’re old friends, Sasquatch and Baba Yaga.
“I stopped by the other day. So, how they hangin’, Kevin?” she croaks.
He freezes, his canines disappearing in a deep frown, his brow gathering and lowering into a thunderhead. She tips her head, a spark of humor and irony flashing from her one beady little eye. Her dog, Benji, yips, prances, and plops his tiny shaven butt down on the skinny patch of shade created by a newly-planted sidewalk tree.
“You did not just say that to me!” rumbled Sasquatch.
“Oh, but I did, Kevin,” she raised an eyebrow.
“I told you to stay away from my shelter,” he sighed. “I’m working some things out.”
“I spied, with my little eye, the dead bodies hanging in the back of your cave,” she cackled. “The wind from the waterfall makes them sway, like the wheat fields of my homeland. Lovely, Dearie. But it doesn’t keep them cold enough, does it?”
“You don’t understand, Baba. The waterfall provides sustainable hydroelectric power. The bodies are in a state of cryogenic hypostasis. They enrolled in my medical research program because they had no other options. They’re volunteers, hoping for a cure in the future.”
“Well, we’ve been watching the bodies melt in the current heat wave, haven’t we, Benji?” she tugged the dog’s leash to signal their departure. Benji bared his fangs with a high-pitched snarl, and kept his butt on the pavement.
“I blocked off the dam, by the way,” she continued. “There’s no water running through the falls. They should be getting quite fragrant by now.”
“You bitch!” Sasquatch towered and then bent double over her, fists clenched.
“That’s ‘witch’ to you, Kevin.”
“But they’re not dead!”
“They are now,” she shrugged. “Anyway, I was only trying to help you in your 12-step program in Not Eating the Neighbors.”
“I’m fully vegetarian, have been for 38 years,” he gripped the back of his neck with his long fingers and pounded his chest, slowly.
He pointed at her. “You haven’t been going to your NEN-ANON meetings, have you, Baba Yaga?”
“Uh, no,” she hedged, then blustered, “I just decided to not accept unacceptable behavior. I called the FBI, too.”
He rolled his eyes and roared, despairing. A dove-gray Cadillac, rocking on its wheels from the bass of an obscure metal song, swerved as it sped by. A barefoot girl, one pale, unshaven leg draped out the passenger-side window, indolently flipped him off.
Baba Yaga blew Sasquatch a farewell kiss, and dragged the whining Benji out of the shade. “I’ll visit you in prison, Dearie!”
Hobbling down the street, she ducked into the hipster coffee shop.
“Not if I put you in there first,” he grumbled.
Time to make his own phone calls…again. Skinner and Skully at least were reasonable, but he hated dealing with Mulder.
© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2018)
Carrot Ranch Prompt (06/28/2018): In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that is a sketch or about a sketch. It can be “A Sketch of a Romance” or “The Sketch of Aunt Tillie.” Go where the prompt leads you to scribble.
Midtown Global Market Writers’ prompts: Sasquatch, Balls, Watching it thaw, You did NOT just say that to me, and other random phrases I only half-listened to.