Escape from The Birdcage Saloon

After The Fire Prescott AZ

Photo by Les Stukenberg, The Daily Courier, Prescott AZ, 5/10/2012


GUN 2013

Chapter 21


What stops

a bad man with a gun


Look in the mirror

bury that pistol

my son


What stops

a bad man with a gun


Here come the


run, man, run


What stops

a bad man with a gun


Stick out your foot

he’ll fall on his face

like anyone


His voice ~ it blows like a hurricane as he sings an epiphanic song.  It vibrates the  chandeliers more so than the spatterings of powder & shot from below.

The birdcage doors, I swear, rattle!  Yet they are only paint on the dome interior.  And the perch that supports the wooden eagle ~ sways amidst the clatter & smoke in the artist’s conception of the bird cathedral, aye, above our lonely heads.

Ca ca ca cahhhhhhh!

The catatonic bodyguards bump & nudge each other back to life, then haul-ass, but one.  This remaining one cajoles Wayne Peeintheair to flee the sputtering flames, but the over-the-edge NRA leader will have none of it ~ pushes his last loyal minion away.

“Save your own bacon.  Don’t worry about mine.  I want to sizzle!” guffaws Peeintheair.  And he continues to two-step around & around in a circle & chortle!

In the blink of a Whiptail Lizard’s eye & the shudder of a Bald Eagle’s wing, the one-eared antihero of American gun-freedom is left all alone in a saloon doomed to collapse any minute ~ alone alone alone but for the White House’s two favorite secret agents, Submissivania Whapp, and yours truly, Rawclyde!

Ain’t we lucky.  We’re still here too.

Submissivania is loaded down with her armaments like a peach tree ripe with summer fruit.  She’s standing behind her cascading wheel-barrow, ready to go.

I make gesture at the back door.  She allows me to grab the wheel-barrow.  We head out.

What are we supposed to do about the abandoned gone-loco NRA leader?  Are we supposed to save him some how?  In reply to these thoughts, the animated ammo below whittles at the floor in a sudden accelerated magnitude.  Peeintheair’s song is drowned out by fierce ammo soprano.  And a whiskey bottle explodes.  It’s a miracle none of us has been hit by a stray bullet.  They’re everywhere!

Clouds of smoke obstruct our view of the whirling nut-cake man as we find an obscure trail and, sweating profusely, push forward ~ zig-zagging around the flames.  Planks are a-crumbling.  Sparks fly!

Under the bullet-shattered exit sign above the rear corridor, I come to a halt.  At the end of the short passageway Submissivania pushes open the backdoor.  She is a sparkling silouette in sunlight.  But I want to take one last look at the blooming inferno behind us.  I’m actually worried about Peeintheair ~ as if he has any chance to survive whatsoever.  I hear no song except that of crackling bullets and flame.  I turn around & peer into the smoke where he is sure to be dancing all by himself in the burning Birdcage Saloon.

The smoke clears for a long enough moment for me to see thru stinging eyes that Peeintheair is not there.  I also see in the dome above, which is partially burned away, that the eagle too is gone.  Did the big bird, once wood, now astral, snatch up Peeintheair and escape through the ruptured dome?  I wipe sweat out of my burning eyes, peer thru the smoke and peer again.  I see flames licking at a pair of empty clodhopper clown shoes.

Another chunk of barroom floor collapses...

chirp chirp


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