Spaceship to Heaven

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The day before Josh Pedigree and Morton Whimble convinced the good people of Gold Oaks that they could be saved from the impending apocalypse, Sam Oberlin walked through the open door of the Happy Acres Sanitarium, and found himself in the real world for the first time since he was five years old.

The door shouldn't have been open, but one of the orderlies forgot to close it behind him when he met his girlfriend behind the building, where they smoked ciggies and smooched.

Sam heard voices, so he followed the noise. Voices at Happy Acres meant food, and he was hungry. "Friev lor krof wep rej."

His hair a tangle of wild grey curls, dressed in his sanitarium blue-and-white-striped pajamas and fuzzy blue bunny slippers, he followed the voices across the street to the gas station.

Josh and Morton stood in front of a pump, a map on the hood, arguing about which town to stop at.

"For chissakes, Morton! How are we supposed to figure out where to go next with goop on the map?"

"Calm down already! That's the fifth cup of coffee you've had this morning. No wonder you're so jumpy." Morton wiped the jelly part of the donut off the map with his finger, which he licked clean.

Josh grabbed the map before it sailed away in the wind. "The good news, Morton, is that you'll never have to worry about being blown away."

Morton made a face at Josh before he took another bite of his donut.

"Just let me make the big decisions, ok? And you attend to the details." Josh closed his eyes and thumped the map with his index finger. "This is our next stop. Gold Oaks."

"Great decision-making technique." Morton shook his head, and brought the donut to his mouth for another bite. But there was hardly any donut in his hand. "What the?" He turned to find Sam smiling a red jelly smile. "Who are you?"

"Quob griiiis ablbloo."

"What?" Josh and Morton asked.

Aseg prae twii." Sam pointed to his mouth.

Morton scratched his head. "I think he's hungry."

"I think I have a brilliant idea." Josh laughed and put his arm around Sam's shoulders. The two men walked into the gas station convenience store.


The clouds hid the sun, and a few raindrops dribbled down Morton's coke-bottle eyeglasses. He dropped the portable amplifier on the gazebo floor, and wiped his glasses with the bottom edge of his shirt. The shirt left an oily residue on his glasses. "Crap."

"Stop whining already." Josh studied the sky. "All we need is a good storm, and the day will be perfect." He turned to Sam. "Now you stand here in front, ok?"

Sam grinned. "Poklu jret." He wiped powdered sugar off his nose and burped.

"Morton, get the model out of the trunk." Josh set up the amplifier, and plugged in the microphone. "Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3." The microphone squealed.

People poured out of every doorway to see what was causing such a ruckus. The town square was soon filled with commotion as people talked and jostled against each another.

The microphone screeched, and the crowd groaned.

"Sorry folks," Josh said, smoothing back his peroxide blond hair. "And good morning!"

"Good morning!" The crowd yelled back.

A bolt of lightning struck the flagpole. Several women screamed.

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