I brought back two nice, fat fish and threw them into the earthen ice box. Fiona Blood Orange was still in the bed, and I kicked at it.
“Hey, wake up. I want some flapjacks. Did you not get my note?”
She stirred in the blankets and moaned.
“Yes, I got your note. I’m sorry, I must have fallen back to sleep. What time is it?” she asked, yawning, stretching her big mouth wide and showing off some chipped teeth.
“Time has no meaning here. Now get up and make me some flapjacks.”
I kicked at the bed again.
“You’re just plain rude, you know that? And where are my drugs?”
“Make me flapjacks and I’ll go get your drugs.”
“You don’t have them?”
“I’ll ride into town and get them… AFTER flapjacks.”
“All right, all right. I’ll make your damn flapjacks.”
She got up out of bed. She was completely naked as she walked over to the cooking area I had there in my cabin. I watched her as she bent over, reached up, exposing her fleshy cracks and crevices as she searched for cooking implements and ingredients.
“Is my little bunny cold?”
“Yes. Can you get the fire going again?”
I stoked the fire and added a few logs. Soon it was toasty, and the scent of flapjacks filled the air. She laid the plate out in front of me and set down some butter and the maple syrup.
“These are pretty damn good, Bunny. You should have some.”
She fixed herself a plate and sat across from me, still completely nude. I stopped eating and set my fork down.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“You’re naked and I am trying to eat.”
She slammed her fork down and got up and put on her clothes. She returned to the table all huffy puffy.
“Don’t be like that,” I said.
“You said I was gross. That was very hurtful.”
“Well, I’m sorry. There’s good naked and bad naked. Sex naked is good. Breakfast naked is bad. That’s just how it is.”
After some quiet eating time, I asked her a question.
“So, did you enjoy our lovemaking last night?”
“It was fine.”
“Well, if you must know the truth, I’ve had better.”
“Then why did you even bother asking?”
“I told you, I am a very curious person who needs to know where I stand in the world and with the people in it.”
“You can leave any time.”
“I don’t want to.”
“Because you love me or because I can give you drugs?”
“How could you possibly think I love you?”
“You told me in bed last night… When I was inside you.”
“It was the heat of the moment.”
“So, you lied?”
“No, I didn’t lie.”
“Then you love me right now?”
“God no! Get over this love shit and get me my drugs. I’m getting nervous.”
I finished my flapjacks and then went out to saddle up my fine horse, Chuck. I rode to Rock Ridge and tethered Chuck at the apothecary. I went inside and rang the little metal bell at the counter. A scrawny, wee man in a white lab coat came out of nowhere and looked up at me.
“Hello there Wild Rick… Wha, wha, what can I get for you?” he said, pushing his thick glasses back against his face.
I started to talk, but then some little old hobbly wobbly lady snuck in front of me.
“Excuse me sir, but is this a daytime face cream or a night time face cream?” She held out a little jar.
“Hey!” I said to the little old lady. “I don’t take too kindly to little old ladies cutting in front of me. I was here first. Now go bug off!”
“Now, now Wild Rick, just settle down, she ain’t hurting nobody,” the trembling, bug-eyed apothecary said to me.
“Hey! Mr. Apothecary,” I said. “I don’t take too kindly to you telling me what to do. I was here first, and I demand some service. My woman needs drugs!”
“Oh my, you’re just a big ol’ bully,” the old lady said to me, and then she kicked me hard in the shin.
I shoved her. She came back at me and kicked me straight in the junk. I grabbed my sack of marbles and nearly fell over.
The apothecary rang for the sheriff. Chuck was impounded and I ended up spending the night in the Rock Ridge Jail for disruptive behavior.
When I returned to the cabin the next morning, Fiona Blood Orange was climbing the walls like a wild monkey.
“Where in the hell have you been!” she screamed at me.
“I had a little bit of trouble in town,” I said. “Sorry.”
“Where’s my stuff?”
“I couldn’t get it.”
She flew into a rage and started knocking all my personal stuff around. I grabbed her by the wrists and pushed her down onto the bed. She broke my grasp and slapped and kicked at me.
“Get off me! Get off me!” she bellowed like a wild woman.
“Shut up! Shut up!” I yelled back. Then I tried to force a kiss. She bit my mouth. There was blood. I got off her, holding my face. I was spitting red, red juice from my head hole. She ran out of the cabin.
“Fiona! Fiona! Come back Fiona. I’m sorry.”
I stayed there in the cabin for several hours waiting for Fiona to return. Daylight was quickly fading. I stoked the fire and decided to fry up the fish I had caught the day before. There was crackling and sizzling and the smell of good food. Then there was a soft knock at the door. Fiona had returned.
“Fiona. I was worried about you.”
She came into the cabin looking like a prostituted zombie.
“Are you okay? Where were you?”
She shuffled over to the bed and sat down on the edge of it. She lifted her legs, rolled in, and covered herself up.
“Fiona? Would you like some fish?”
She didn’t say anything. I left her alone and ate everything myself. After eating, I sat by the fire and smoked cowboy cigarettes real slow and just thought about stuff. Fiona fell asleep. I crawled into the bed later. She didn’t move. I had rough and wild dreams about some faraway place called Las Vegas.
When I woke up, the door was open, and Fiona was sweeping the floor.
“What are you doing? Are you okay? Why is there so much sun? I hate the sun.”
“It’s spring. You’ve been asleep for a very long time,” she answered.
And as I held my left hand before my face to shield my eyes from the bright light of day, I noticed there was a ring on my finger. I studied it for a moment. I twisted it with the fingers of my right hand.
“What is this?”
“What is what?”
“This ring upon my finger.”
She set the broom aside and came over and sat down on the bed. She held my hand.
“It’s your wedding ring, dear.”
“Wedding ring? What… Who… I’m married? To whom?”
“You’re married to me jackass, who else. I’m Fiona Blood Orange hyphen Wild Rick.”
“What? How is that possible. How long have we been married?”
“Thirteen years. What’s wrong with you?”
Then two little kids – a boy, a girl – came scampering into the cabin going “Daddy, Daddy,” and they jumped into the bed with me. They started crawling all over me and they smelled like piss and dirt.
I pushed them away and jumped out of the bed. I slapped at myself as if there were bugs crawling all over me. The kids started crying.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Fiona snipped.
I started jumping up and down like a madman, holding my head in agony.
“This isn’t real! This isn’t real!”
“Now just stop it Wild Rick, you’re scaring the children.”
Then I heard familiar singing coming from another room that I never knew was there.
“What’s that door for? What is that?” I demanded to know.
“It’s the bathroom. What the hell is wrong with you?” she asked again.
“A bathroom? I don’t have a bathroom. Not inside.”
I went to the door and tightly pressed my ear against it – my solid black eyes were darting around all wild. I could hear splashing and then the singing came again… “I’m screaming in the rain,” – splash, splash – “just screaming in the rain…”
I backed away from the door and started spinning around like crazy.
“Ahhh! Ahhh! Ahhh!” I yelled, slapping at my own head as everything was tilt-a-whirl madness. “What the bloody hell is going on here!?”
“Stop it Wild Rick! Just stop it!” Fiona Blood Orange hyphen Wild Rick shouted.
She roughly pushed the children out the door.
“Run children, run! Your father has gone well nutty!”
I stumbled and fell to the floor. The door to the bathroom that was never there opened. The Sunday peacock came strolling out wrapped in a white bath towel.
“Top of the morning to ya Wild Rick,” he said, and then he hopped up on a chair set at my roughly hewn table and began reading a newspaper, going “Ah, Hmmm, Oh,” as he scanned the headlines.
“Care for flapjacks Sunday peacock?” Fiona asked the wild bird and then she kissed him.
“Why yes, that would be wonderful.”
“Are you sleeping with that god damn peacock?” I bluntly asked Fiona.
Fiona bowed her head in shame.
“Yes, Wild Rick, it’s true. I’m so sorry.”
“The kids then?”
She said nothing, but merely glanced at the door. I went to it and looked out. The kids were romping around in the yard way out and when their backs were turned to me, I noticed the wonderful plumage sprouting out from them, much more pronounced and colorful on the boy mind you, but both had plumage indeed.
“This is a nightmare,” I mumbled, and then everything was black.
It was a few days later and I was sitting in the Rock Ridge Saloon drinking whiskey and playing cards with my cowboy friend Ralph Red Mustard.
That’s when Fiona Blood Orange came in and plopped down her wedding ring on the bar.
“Were done,” she said. “I love the peacock.”
“I bet you do,” Ralph snickered.
“Fuck off Ralph,” she snapped. “This doesn’t concern you.”
“Now, now Fiona, just simmer down. He ain’t bothering nobody.”
“Of course, I’ll want support from you. Money that is. Lots of it.”
“You’re fucking a peacock and you want money from me? You’re crazy. Those aren’t even my kids. Hell, they’re not even real kids, they’re part bird. Oh, and one more thing, I want my Fiona Apple CD back.”
“You’re the meanest son of a bitch I’ve ever known Mr. Wild Rick… And by golly, I hope you rot in hell.”
She spat in my face and walked out of the saloon.
I wiped her slime off my face, and I ordered up another drink. Ralph and I just laughed and went back to playing cards. Someone started playing the piano and more cowboys came in and then the showgirls came out and we all had a real good time, and it didn’t take me long at all to forget about Fiona Blood Orange. Not long at all.