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Smells Like Mean Spirit
by Mizhowlinmad (HBF), 2010
Summary: Response to ATSB “Jazz Up a Sentence.” B.A. is busy working, but a certain crazy fool is intent on distracting him.
Disclaimer: This is purely for fun…TAT belongs to SJC and Universal. My apologies also to Nirvana and the makers of Mr. Sketch markers.
Sweat covered B.A.’s powerful frame like a second skin. A horsefly, drawn to the salty smell of perspiration, had alighted on one of the big man’s exposed ankles. From his position beneath the stalled van, he let out a string of muttered words of the four-letter variety. Every few seconds, a rhythmic tap-tap-tap as he continued to gently doctor the injured body of his van.
Decker had just gotten lucky. Happened once in a while. He and his squad had caught up outside Bakersfield…right place, right time. B.A. and the others had easily taken out the tires of the small cadre of MP sedans, but not before the van had crashed through three living rooms and a gardening shed. And now, here they were: somewhere in the desert north of China Lake, with no gas, nothing to drink, and an axle nearly busted.
Worse, Hannibal and Face had gone in search of food and gas. And the crazy fool who was his only company was even worse than usual.
B.A. grunted in concentration. Beads of perspiration poured down his face like huge teardrops. The sooner he finished, the sooner they could get out of this hellhole, and…
“Hey, big guy, you wanna smell this?”
“I wanna smell what, fool?” he snapped, a little more harshly than he’d intended. “You supposed to be watchin’ for Hannibal and Faceman.”
Murdock had apparently been inside the van. He leaped down and squatted so that B.A. could see him. The fool was smiling ear to ear, and held something out in his right hand.
“This,” he repeated, holding the object to his own nose and inhaling deeply. “This is what we call an ol-factory delight, a veritable aromatic masterpiece.”
B.A. put down the wrench he held in one hand. “Nothin’ but a damn magic marker, crazy man. Now shut up and hand me one of those rags.”
Murdock’s smile instantly turned upside-down. “Just a marker? No, this is an ambrosial delight for the proboscis. Here, try this one, you’ll like it. Cinnamon! Put it with the light green one, and you get cinna-mint…”
Carefully, B.A. pulled himself out from underneath the van. His muscular body gleamed with sweat. At the moment, he smelled like perspiration, and gasoline, and brake fluid. Nothing close to cinna-mint. One hand shot out, catching Murdock by the collar of his t-shirt.
“I been workin’ on my van for two hours tryin’ to get us outta here, and you sittin’ around sniffin’ markers?” he thundered.
B.A. saw the other man’s eyes widen, his Adam’s apple rising and falling rapidly. “Well, there are other wonderful smells besides sweat,” Murdock said hesitantly.
“You don’t start helpin’ me instead of messin’ around, only smell’s gonna be buzzards circlin’ around your dead body, fool.”
“Okay.” Murdock gestured with his free hand. “I gotcha. No cinna-mint, big guy.” B.A. let go and he gasped for breath. “Sure you don’t wanna try cherry? Or mango?”
B.A. shook his head. “I wanna try fixing this axle and gettin’ outta here before them MPs catch up. Now hand me those rags…” The big man placed himself on the dolly again, rolling underneath. It was hot, and uncomfortable, and smelly, and it always made his muscles cramp.
But at least it was quiet.
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