Truman Humboldt steered the lobster-red rental car onto Interstate 80 at or about high noon and gunned it east toward the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, but he didn’t really know why.
He shoved his favorite Ocean Sounds CD into the dash and tried to relax, but he found that extremely difficult given his very tense and present circumstances. He thought that a fast drive across the gutless landscape would perhaps do him some good.
Truman ground his teeth together and dug his fingernails into the steering wheel as he accelerated the vehicle, his thoughts of emotional relief quickly shredded by visions of his darling Miss Maggie and the retched Mr. Guldencock locked in their nefarious embraces of lust.
“Cinderella from hell! That’s what you are Miss Maggie!” he screamed, nearly losing control of the vehicle. “I’ll stuff you with a slipper you’ll never forget!”
Truman shakily wiped at his brow with the back of his hand and flipped the nervous sweat away. “I’ll show her! I’ll show her how much more of a man I am than gross Mr. Guldencock!” he shouted out, as the sound of crashing ocean waves dramatically poured out of the car’s speakers.
“And just how are you going to show her, Truman?” came the wispy voice like glowing charcoal waving to Heaven on high. “Are you that much more of a man? Truly? Authentically? Are you anything like a lobster would be in such a situation?”
Truman nearly swerved off the road due to the shocking fright of it all.
“Careful now! You’ll get us both killed,” the haunted voice came again. “Well, at least yourself. I’m already dead,” and there was a laugh like how lobsters would laugh if only they could.
Truman turned to look at the shimmering figure suddenly sitting there in the passenger seat. It was the lobster ghost from the ocean beyond who had visited him at home earlier. It was now dressed in a fancy blue suit over a crisp white shirt with a red tie, a big monstrous claw poking out from the end of each sleeve, spindly feelers coming off a maroon head punctuated by two frightening round eyes the color of the black pearls of pirates. Truman slapped at his own face to clear the hallucination away.
The pale, toothless wedge of a mouth moved when the cold-water phantom spoke. “I’m afraid that will do you no good, Truman. I’m real. I’m here with you now. We’re going to spend the day together. And despite your crushing heartbreak at the hands and mouth and other unspeakable orifices of that evil woman… We are going to have a good time. A very good time.”
Truman’s hands mercilessly gripped the steering wheel as he drove on. “Where are we going?” he asked.
The lobster ghost turned and looked straight ahead. “We’re going straight on to Lincoln, Nebraska.”
“How did I already know that?” Truman asked.
“I’ve sprinkled you with lobster intuition,” the ghost replied.
“What are we going to do in Lincoln?”
“You and I are going to have lunch.”
“That’s right. Lunch.”
Truman was overcome with great curiosity now. “Where?”
The lobster ghost turned to him and attempted a smile. “Red Lobster.”
“Red Lobster!” Truman voraciously squealed.
“I can tell that makes you happy. I want you to be happy, Truman.”
“Are you kidding!? Red Lobster is my favorite restaurant of all-time! How could I not be happy about eating at Red Lobster!? But wait…” Truman’s mood suddenly dampened, and he sighed.
“I can’t go to Red Lobster looking like this. I’m not dressed for it.” Truman looked down at himself, ashamed. “I look like I just rolled out of a garbage bin after a night of restless dreaming. They won’t even let me in.”
“Nonsense,” the lobster ghost said, and he snapped the tips of one claw together and there was a great poof of under the sea magic and Truman was suddenly transformed.
He looked down at himself in disbelief, nearly losing control of the automobile once more. “A tuxedo!” Truman yelped.
“A tuxedo that makes you look like a lobster… Mostly,” the lobster ghost proudly pointed out. “How do you like the top hat?”
“It’s fucking great!” Truman yelled out. “Do I get to have a cane, too?”
“It’s in the backseat.”
Truman grinned more right then and there than he had in a very, very long time. “I’m so happy I could cry,” Truman said, and he looked down at the protrusion in his crotch. “Wow. I’m experiencing so much personal pleasure right now that I’m stiffer than a narwhal’s spiral tusk,” and he looked over at the crustaceous phantasm. “Thank you. This means a lot to me… More than you could ever know.”
The lobster ghost softly chuckled. “You’ve had a rough ride most of your life, Truman. A rough ride indeed. It’s time you experience some real joy.”
Once off the exit in Lincoln, Nebraska, Truman craned his anxious neck to see the Red Lobster restaurant glowing like a beacon of love to him in the distance. “Oh, my God! Oh, my God! I see it!” Truman cried out, his guts gallantly vibrating like golden angels trumpeting atop heavenly clouds.
The traffic was thicker than cold gravy in the retail and restaurant clotted edge of town. Truman grew impatient as they slowly crawled toward the Red Lobster, the purposeful architecture reflecting seaside melodies and nuances as it called to him. Truman could almost taste the salty air; hear the clanging bells of the boats, the gruff voices of sea captains as they smoked pipes in yellow wet gear, and the clattering of lobster traps as they’re stacked on the docks by strong men in brown cable-knit turtleneck sweaters.
Truman honked the car horn, rolled down the window and stuck his head out. “Come on you fuckers! Move it already! I gotta get to Red Lobster!”
“Calm down, Truman,” the lobster ghost gently advised. “We’ll get there soon enough.”
“Ugh. I’m sorry. I just get so frustrated with these brain-dead shopping fools trying to get to Sam’s Club and Best Buy, or wherever, just so they can twaddle their lives away in meaningless materialism. And I’m hungry, and I get very agitated when I’m hungry.”
“Just breathe, Truman. Breathe. We’re nearly there.”
Read the previous episodes and keep an eye out for the conclusion of this story… Only on cerealaftersex.com.