The cult section of the literary world

Flash Fiction Friday: Pussy Ripper vs. Marv Molotov

by Jeremy Maddux

The Turbo Dome was filled to capacity with ravenous fans who’d scrapped and saved all year to witness the spectacle that was known as Trucks ‘N Guts ‘N Stuff. TGS was a lot like the Harlem Globetrotters or professional wrestling, only the violence was real, and people died on a nightly basis.

The fans had their favorites. There was Marv Molotov, who was notorious for throwing Molotov cocktails or cherry bombs at his enemies. There was the Excess Express, a traveling troupe of ravers who rode in a futuristic looking car that glowed in the dark and played trance music. Their vehicle’s offensive maneuver was to enable a strobe effect on their headlights that would disorient the other drivers they went up against. These were crowd favorites, but none eclipsed the unbridled might of Pussyripper.

There wasn’t much biographical information available concerning Pussy Ripper or its driver, Gus Gloom. What people knew, what they recognized and respected about Pussy Ripper was the fact that it was 30 feet high, which significantly dwarfed the standard 10 foot variety. Every year, people gathered to plunk down their hard earned money for the pleasure of watching Pussy Ripper flatten eighteen wheelers the way the normal trucks flattened cars. That was just a warm up. It was when the trucks went head to head in vehicular combat that the people came unglued from their seats.

It took something like this to bring the Caulfield family together, young Hatebreed thought to himself as he waited in line at the concession stand for a slice of pizza. He’d been there since intermission, and worried about missing the main event: Pussy Ripper vs. Marv Molotov, for the first time ever. Everyone could see the dream bubble of the confrontation hover listlessly above his head, the promise of things to come.

Hatebreed was a living cartoon. This sometimes unnerved people from interacting with him. Friends thought it was great but some liked to put him through the usual cartoon hijinks to which his body was accustomed. They’d flatten him with a rolling pin or confuse him with black holes painted onto the wall. He was used to it.

“Fuck off, looney toon,” shouted a boy his age as he cut in front of him. Before Hatebreed could respond, an announcement burst over the intercom saying that the intermission was about to end.

As Hatebreed hurried back to his seat, a tinny voice came over the PA system. It was the announcer, Gary Goodvibe. Someone in the audience had foam hands made to represent his enormous floppy ears.

“And now, without any further interruptions, our feature presentation of the evening.”

The revving of engines could be heard from the entrance hall. Generic synth-metal piped up through the PA. The chants were unmistakable. ‘Puss-y-Rip-per!’ Everyone in the rows ahead stood from their seats. Hatebreed had to stand on his chair to see the pit below.

“Oh, he’s coming! But first, let’s get to know his opponent. Weighing in at 10,000 pounds with a titanium frame and a customized flamethrower, he’s known by his colleagues as ‘the Short Fuse’. When he boards an airplane, the TSA inspects him to make sure he IS carrying explosives! He is the challenger for the TGS World Championship, Marv Molotov!”

Molotov’s truck was nice, but his story wasn’t the kind that inspired any kind of grassroots, underdog feeling. The silence that followed was so loud that it pierced the air like feedback.

“And his opponent, with the combined weight of 15 monolithic structures and tall enough to run over Lady Liberty. He’s not here to give marriage advice! He doesn’t care if you’ve been naughty or nice. Don’t call it a truck, it’s a high performance fuck! It’s death row on wheels and the happiness machine that kills! The undefeated and reigning Trucks ‘N Guts ‘N Stuff Champion of the World…”

Gary paused to let the chants envelop him.

“I give you Pussy Ripper!” He shouted until his voice went shrill, swinging his arm towards the entryway to signal the champ’s arrival. Hatebreed knew this spiel all too well. Gary was going to say that the truck’s too big to fit, then Pussy Ripper would burrow up out of the pit like he always did. Hatebreed wasn’t disappointed. As the monster truck made its way to the surface, it kicked up dirt clouds so big they were dirt mushroom clouds. Marv Molotov circled back around to get in close. It was like a hornet buzzing in the face of a lion. Pussy Ripper rammed into a flattened car at the end of the row of flattened cars, upending it like a seesaw as it impacted Molotov’s rear. Molotov turned up the heat with his flamethrower, napalm-like projectiles making beautiful brimstone sparks as they sought to melt Pussy Ripper’s titanium armor. Pussy Ripper shook it off, picking up speed at over 100 miles per hour.

What the ripper had in sheer size and brawn, Molotov made up for in stealth and agility. Molotov’s flaming assault continued until the ripper’s driver, Gus Gloom, activated a new feature: fire proof shields. Molotov was clearly thrown off his game by this response, but it didn’t stop him from making a beeline straight for the passenger side door of his opponent. It all happened so fast, like lightning striking a window. One moment, Marv Molotov was driving recklessly toward his target and the next, he was ricocheting off a barricade. A sizzling storm of sparks, hydraulics, glass and sheet metal danced and convulsed through the air. The 20,000 people in attendance simultaneously lost and found religion. Maybe in the aftermath they would learn the secret of life and death, an ancient touchstone forgotten to all men. Or maybe it was just their disbelief that Marv Molotov was revving up for another charge at the heart of darkness before him. The two drivers waited at opposite sides of the arena, measuring the distance and mileage it would take to remove the other from this world.

Molotov’s flamethrower was on standby mode. Pussy Ripper’s burrowing jaws of death chomped through the air. Each driver dared the other to make the first move. It was Molotov who acted. His entire driver’s side was caved in, the door hanging by a hinge. Blood hung in syrupy rivulets against the cracked glass of the windshield. More of it dotted his forehead and jaw like war paint. He may have been headed for oblivion, but he was damn sure going to take the other son of a bitch with him. Then, in a final reversal, Molotov dodged the oncoming Goliath. He had psyched out the champion, and now he was on his rear! No one likes a tailgater, especially Gus Gloom, so he put on his brakes and let the dumb son go sidewinding up and over the truckbed, taking a nosedive on the armored frame. In the time Hatebreed managed a blink, Marv Molotov had become debris.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” announced Gary Goodvibe, “here is your winner, and still the TGS Champion of the World, Pussy Ripper!”

Hatebreed wiped away fresh tears with his coat sleeve. Cartoon tears were messier than human tears. His dad pulled him in for a hug.

“What’s wrong, buddy?”

“This is the best Christmas ever!”

———-

Jeremy Maddux is Co-Editor of Surreal Grotesque magazine. He has several projects forthcoming, including his first attempt at a Bizarro novella and the second Surreal Grotesque anthology, entitled Vertigo Schisms. He used to date an ex con and worked backstage for a professional wrestling organization.

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