We are pleased to announce the return of Bud's story, where a more mature and responsible Bud addresses the pressing social issues of our times, then gets really drunk in a small rural Midwestern town, gets lost in the woods is captured by an angry father named Stub, hog tied and mistakenly forced to be the groom in a shotgun wedding.
In a small town between two mountains in northern Warshington state, a little person sat in his rocking chair. In one hand he held a semi-automatic Glock, in the other a half empty beer. On the t.v., Kathy and Regis interviewed Sting. The phone rings.
The little person climbed off the rocker and slowly made his way to the phone.
"Yeah", he answered, obviously irritated by the morning interruption.
"Where?" He ask with eagerness. "St. Louis?"
"How much will I be paid?" The little persons face lightened with his first good news in eight years.
"OF COURSE I STILL GOT THE TOUCH!" He slams the phone down, the onset of his good mood temporarily stilted. From under the kitchen sink he pulls out his travel bag and heads to his room to pack.
Again Bud sat back on his worn orange couch. This time he remembered to get the coffee he had set out for the four previous times he got up. He looked across his room at his bed, his short term memory failing to answer the question why he got up at all. Knowing it was a bad idea, he attempted to retrace his moves of the night before. Starting easy on himself, he was pretty sure he hadn't gotten sick at Candy's bar, since he hadn't gone there. However he might have abandoned his car and ran the remaining four blocks home, screaming and flailing his arms in the air. He was sure he left his car running.
Bud couldn't stand his pounding head anymore. He presses his hands against his scull and screams "grrrrawwwwuuuu!"
"Brad!" Bud cries out "brad! Brad! Bradley, answer me!"
Bradley for practical reasons, omnipresent, didn't answer.
"Brad... Brad... Brad... Why do you make me LOOK SO BAD!?" Bud wipes the snot from his nose.
Bud waves his fist in the air "I know you can hear me! You know this reflect bad on you too." Drool runs down his mouth while he scratches his butt.
At that moment Bud's house mate Lynn pops her head into his room. "Are you okay?"
Bud leans back, "Yea- sure - i'm fine"
Lynn looked around the room, "Who you talking to?"
"You sure your okay?"
COMING SOON CHAPTER
SIX; NASTY THOUGHTS
Bud sat on a park bench drinking a latte. Leaves fall around him. A cold breeze pushed against his jacket. He looked down at his watch, two more hours until he was due at work.
Bud should have seen the rare occurrence of an ice box fire as an omen.
"Branden," Bud's mom Linda asked, as she passed the turkey to Tom, bud's brother-in-law, "You'll take the leftovers home with you. Won't you?"
"Sure." Answered Bud between bites into his sweet potato casserole.
"Why does Branden get all the leftovers." Asked Tom indignantly, then passed the turkey to his father-in-law Conrad.
Adrienne, Tom's wife, Bud's sister joined in, "Yea you're always given Branden everything he ask for," she imitated her mom, "'Here, Branden I made you some brownies, 'Branden would you like our car,' 'oh please Branden take your inheritance now, take all of it,' "
"That's not true," said Bud's mom in her sweet southern drawl, "I love you all equally."
"Could you pass the potatoes, please." Asked Bud.
"He doesn't even have to ask," Tom points his butter knife at mom, "and he gets what he wants."
"CORN PLEASE." Asked Conrad.
"Who has the pickles?" Questioned Bryan, Bud's brother.
Grandpa Woody sat quietly plotting...
"I know you don't love me as much as Branden" Tom pushed the issue.
Adrienne supported her husband, "Yea, you hurt Tom's feelings when you always make brownies when Braden visits, but never for us."
"LET"S NOT FIGHT KIDS." Said Conrad in a baritone voice that could drown out an airport. "A TOAST," Everyone raised their glasses. "TO A GREAT YEAR FOR OUR FAMILY AND PRESIDENT CLINTON."
"Cheers," all drank.
Grandpa sat quietly, still plotting. A plan no less devious than the serpent who got Eve to eat the apple in Eden. A plan so powerful it would not only destroy a family but doom a nation. The day of eternal darkness was near.
"Could I have some more Jell-O please." Asked Heraleen, Bryan's wife.
"Butter please." Asked Bud
"Why is it that Branden," Tom continued to spearhead the house upheaval, "can mysteriously disappear during the middle of dinner and no one cares."
"Yea," said Adrienne, "If I did that mom, you wouldn't talk to me for a week."
Bud ignored their accusations. Instead, he thought of the triple chocolate brownies mom had hidden in the downstairs ice box for him to eat later.
"I think we should have a vote to see who thinks Branden is the parents' favorite," demanded Tom.
Adrienne raised her hand.
Heraleen, trying to be diplomatic said, "well i think parents treat Branden in a way that reflects his needs. You all know he has special needs."
Bud wondered what 'special' ment.
Bryan looked hurt, "I thought I was the favorite."
"SWEET POTATOES" Conrad asked.
"This is excellent turkey." Said aunt Judy.
Uncle John agreed, both obviously ignorant of how the house was being split apart. Irreversible harm being done to the family and the country.
Grandpa still plotted.
"Admit it," Adrienne turned to her mom, "Branden's your favorite.
"That's not true." Mom replied.
Bud raised his glass. "More wine please."
"Anything branden wants, he gets." Said Tom
"Yea!" Said Heraleen.
"It's not fare." Bryan added.
"NOW KIDS," Conrad interrupted, "THIS IS NO TIME FOR ANGER AND JEALOUSY. IN THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS, LET YOUR ANGER GO AND ACCEPT BILL CLINTON AS THE GREAT PRESIDENT THAT HE IS."
Grandpa Woody was now asleep.
The red glow of a setting the sun illuminated a little person who danced a slow melodic jig outside the Bowers' dining room window
It was the aroma of baked chocolate cookies that finally drew Bud out of his seclusion. His unshaven face, disheveled hair and slumped shoulders resembled more a shell shocked soldier wandering dazed in the trenches, than an artist who had just barely met a deadline.
The young painter gazed at his finished masterpiece: Dreamy, the color of rainbows, its presence conjuring images of care bears, warm fires and his father singing traditional Irish folk songs. Or at least that's what Bud saw.
He emerged from his room, a virtual mine field littered with jars of paint and cans of toxic solvents.
Stacks of discarded books and piles of paper scraps formed the crater walls which Bud carefully negotiated to get out.
Bud paused on the second floor landing, inhaling the fresh baked smell. Could one of his roommates really had baked him cookies?
No one was in the kitchen, but on the table was a plate stacked at least a foot high with double chip nut cookies.
A loud knock at the door interrupted Bud's serene moment.
Out the window Bud saw two men dressed in black suits. One's hand concealed something in his coat pocket. Sunglasses hid their eyes and a black Mercedes, its engine running, waited for them on the street.
Bud opened the door, "howdy, what can I do for you?"
The tall man spoke first "Mr. Bowers?"
"Yes." Bud wandered what kind of trouble his alter ego had gotten into now.
"Bradley Bowers?" Said the short one.
"of thirty five twenty two crittenden?"
"that's here" bud emphasized 'here'.
"union pipefitter?" Said Shorty
The tall guy stepped forward. "we are from Silverman and Mccoy and represent the t.v. Show Twin Teaks."
Bud looked confused. "I thought that was cancelled."
"Yes, eight years ago but that is irrelevant. David lynch has retained us to see that his midget is returned to his winter ranch immediately."
Bud shook his head. "you've lost me."
"We would really hate for this to go to court, so please mister bowers, just return the midget."
Bud lost his temper. "I have no fucking idea what you guys are taking about!"
"Hey fella," the little guy held bud back "If that's the way you want to play it, but I warn you Mr. Lynch plays hardball."
The two black suited men left, leaving bud standing alone at the door. "Hey," Bud screamed. "I've got no midgets here!" He slammed the door shut.
He walked from the foyer into the living room and threw himself down on the couch.
Ricardo Montalban sat in the rocking chair. He looked up from his morning paper. "What's wrong Bud," He said in his soothing voice.
"i don't know, Ricardo. It seems that whenever I'm about to make an artistic breakthrough, I get distracted." Bud raised his hands as if he was reaching for something. "I lose grasp of it. My life seems to fall apart and I can't figure out why."
Ricardo chuckled, "That's life Bud."
"I know." Bud shrugged "But sometimes i feel i just need to cut loose. Like there's something holding me back. I see things to literally. The truth dances around me all day and i never see it. To quote my favorite philosopher, 'life is not a cognitive thing. It's a living thing.' i want to live!"
Ricardo leaned forward in his chair. "i see what i can do." Then he yelled, "Tatoo show mr. Bud to... ."
Coming soon chapter
The midget was awakened by a rapid knock at the door, room number eight at the Coral Court Motel.
He opened the door a crack and peered out into the chilly st. Louis morning.
"Laura?" The midget exclaimed with amazement.
"Who else would it be little man!" Laura thrust the door open.
The little man fell to the floor, his gun flying across the room.
He pushed himself up and looked around for the gun. "but its been so long!"
"Well, let me recap then." Laura flipped her hair back from over her eyes. "in a small town in the mountains of washington a body of a young beautiful women is found; me. Later the writers bring me back as her cousin madilean, who happens to look..."
"I know all that, but what are you doing here?"
"to finish the job here you bungled." Laura pulls a german Grosch with a silencer out of her purse.
"wait!" The little man begged. "Lynch's ghouls are everywhere. And anyway the job's almost done."
"you mean..." Laura hesitated.
"well no... Not yet." He dragged his words out in a attempt to make his character more important than he really was. "he's doing it all himself. We can just sit back. He's on a one way trip to la-la land. We can just sit back and watch. Keep our hands clean. Its genius. The easiest..."
"Shut up." Laura demanded.
A neon light from the gas station across the street illuminated Bud's room.
A dark figure appeared outside Bud's door. Bud reached into the top drawer of his desk and pulled out an empty wine bottle (his roommates wouldn't let him have a gun).
In a calm deep voice, much like Marlene Dietrich's, Bud said, "what do you want?"
"Me. Tommy the Tunafish."
"Tommy?" Then bud remembered. "ah, Tommy. How's it been," he lowered the wine bottle. "come in. Its been years! Sit down. It's great to see you, man." Bud hugs his old roommate.
Tommy steps away. "no, i can't stay. The kids are down in the car."
"here, let me read you a poem i wrote." Bud rifles through the papers on his desk.
"no really bud, i can't stay. I just came to deliver a message."
Bud ignores him. "i think it's under here somewhere."
"It's a warning Bud." Tommy pleaded with bud. "I'm trying to warn you!"
"Here it is!" Bud slammed down a pile of note books.
"Bud! Listen to me..."
"Not that one." Bud flipped through the red spiral note book. "here, here, here."
"You're in danger Bud." Tommy shook his arms in agitation. "YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER."
"Now understand tommy," bud looked down at the page. "I'm still working on this."
Bud paused, for dramatic reasons, then spoke.
In black and white
Pulls her hair
Tries to hide her tears
And smears her makeup
Then falls to her knees
Always at the sight of my
"I think i'll be going." Tommy turned and ran out of the house.
"I would like to thank all of you who have muddled through these chapters, wondering what the hell Brad was doing. While not being sure myself, I like to promise you that he is going down a much more fearful path than you...
"Thanks equally for the letters of praise and hate mail. I like to ensure the reader who indignantly asked if Bud was a cross dresser, that he is definitely not! But sometimes Bud is a woman. Also I'd like to point out that Bud's or for that matter Brad's, actions in no way reflect those of a lunatic who at any moment might blow up a shopping mall taking a lot of innocent people with him (I can't tell you how often that analogy comes up).
"Another writer ask, 'What's up with the Twin peaks thing?' to which my lawyer responds '...Mr. Bowers has no knowledge or need of references to the fore mentioned T.V. show. Any similarities are purely coincidental. We're sorry for any confusion.'"
Also I have been told that the "Bud's Story" staff have received several emails complaining about the story's spelling and editing. I too have been frustrated by their seeming disregard for good grammar, but have not yet received an adequate answer.
Finally I'd like to ensure my parents that i'm not sniffing the solvents. This is all just a natural progression of a 32 year old who still hasn't sent out his job resumes. And sorry dad, but as long as i'm writing the story you'll remain Clinton's number one fan.
Happy birthday mom.
Bradley lay on his futon editing the final draft of chapter nine. His coffee had become cold and he decided it was a good time stop and do something actually productive. While he was still trying to figure out what 'productive' encompassed today, the phone rang.
"Hi Tony!" Bradley said with surprise into the receiver. Tony was a friend from college. The two had lived on the same dorm floor and shared many adventures of reckless college behavior typical of the time.
It had probably been a year and a half since the two last talked. Tony was married and had just finished his residency and was practicing medicine in phoenix. Brad, well, he had…
"I've been writing this email story." Brad told Tony. "It's called 'Bud's story.'" Its a light fun read if you can get by the grammar. Would you like me to send it to you?"