One of our winners is driving along the highway and I’m coming up behind him, fast as I can-like. He’s not speeding enough, I don’t think, but that’ll only matter a little bit later and when I’m already done with him. But no, please don’t misunderstand me, please don’t think that me and mine want him for anything confrontational-like, or such. By saying “When I’m done with him,” I just mean when I’m finished talking at him about what it means to have won. I’m just Thirsty, see. That’s me. Thirsty. I’m just hoping he’ll look at me and listen to what I’ve got to say calm-like. And that will be the end of it. Swear on my finite life time. I’m just here to tell the winners.
He’s not used to vehicles shaped like mine and he’s not used to vehicles that drive like mine, so I’ll need to keep my arms so, so softly to my side when I come up on him and maybe then I won’t startle him. That way he won’t see my God-given fists (fifteen units of currency says he’ll call them claws-like later). I didn’t ask God for these fists. No, sir. I didn’t ask to be Thirsty with the foreign scuff. I just came out all like this.
My craft has certain skills even you the reader might twinge at: pedestrian scaffolds, ventricular consults, anterior thrust capacity outside of the visual range and all of that, but sir, please, again, don’t misunderstand, there’s nothing war-like in it any more than yours could tumble down the mountains of my home and flatten a village. There’s nil-chance of any of that unfurling violence-like, so I’m hardly halfway worried about it and only bring it up in here so as to compare it clear-like. But still I know how it reads to be come up on by old Thirsty in the dark and rainy moonlight so I’m being tentative, see?
Running my fingers down the upsides and the downsides of a worry stone will do me no good anyway, but I’ll say it: what if him in the car responds bad-like to my warning that he won? When I’m finished with him or near finished with him, what if he goes all rogue-like and winds up and does a violent-like action upon me and I find myself unable to rear back in time, quick as I am, and nimble? Thirsty is not a being who likes to fight, near as I can say and honestly, but Thirsty needs certain things too, and one of those is to be heard and another of those is to feel that the human he’s been kind to is understanding what he needs to understand. It’s a valuable thing, this winning, and it won’t be let to sit lightly in this rain, I’ll say.
And so he stops his car thinking that Thirsty is one of those typical-like police-type characters that haunt the highways in this sector; I am not that type, but I milk it on account of its value and saunter up. Milk it? Correct phrasing and usage? Close-ish, anyway, and close enough to forget about it.
“Roll down the window, winner” I emit, not voice-like, but into his cortex directly again, on account of its value to making my end-state point with him: this Thirsty is not to be reckoned lesser than. Anyway, he rolls it down, finds me there and shivers though it’s their summer, I think? He’s not realizing yet that he’s not heard my voice any, just felt it, but he’s realizing nevertheless.
“Do you know why I stopped you, winner?”
And he, hands on his steering wheel, keeping them in sight, all trained and nonchalant, he says, or starts to say, or croaks a little then quits: “I’m not…”
“Well enough and good! You have won! It’ll seem a meager winning at first, but trust Thirsty!” And now he’s realized really really realized and turns his head pivot-like toward me and then away all spring-loaded because he wants to see but doesn’t want to see Thirsty all the same. Wants to know how I got in his headspace. This I’ll never understand. If I were he and Thirsty not me, I’d turn old Thirsty full in the face and I stare me down, interstellar all the same.
“Well enough and good!” I repeat. “That was only play-like, of course you don’t know why I stopped you, or even perhaps why you stopped, on account of my lights were askew, but thank you kindly all the same.”
What a privilege it is to talk to these beasts this way in their motorcars.
“You clump up the freeway mightily, friend! And you’ve veered neatly where even I might’ve veered. But I–and oh by the way I’m Thirsty, forgot to mention that near-like–I got you here for only one reason and that’s to talk to you. What a privilege it is to speak to you in your motorcar this evening! You’ve won the show!”
At this he cut his engine.
“There’s something about to be coming eventually, can’t say what it is, can’t say how I know, sorry about that, very apologetic, but understand me that I know. Thirsty doesn’t offer quizzes just to cinch them, no sir! Thirsty’s honest. You can think of this like a lottery win, like the $13,000 your father won in earth years past, only excepting it’s not currency near as I can tell but knowledge and warning and the chance to miss all the danger.”
At this he snipped through his realizing and finally turned and looked at me, Thirsty, full in the face, and saw me as I am. I knew this would get him. Don’t think Thirsty doesn’t know things about even your father!
And so then he looked and so he saw my gray tilted features, cast off a little by the gravity difference and the lackadaisical masking I’d tacked on, these gray features coveted shadows in the moonlight and dim minimal backsplash of head lamps.
“How did you know that?” he asked me. First full sentence he’d said to me, and he even said it clear-like and through his mouth! Well enough and good!
“I know it because I ought to know it, new friend! It’s not much beyond that, wouldn’t lean hard-like upon it else I’ll run out of response modules. You know the lottery, though? Understand it clear-like?”
“Who are you? What do you want? You’re not police.” He stammered now.
“No, no, no, that’s all wrong. It doesn’t matter what I want, near as I can tell, excepting me wanting you to want to find a straighter path forward through the oncoming cinch. And who I am? I’m Thirsty! No police, no crime-like, no window, of course. Forget that soon. Remember though, do not forget what I am about to say as it amounts to your winnings, new friend. When you’re met with the nameless adversity, when first the TVs go haywire with their warnings and all of it’s crashing, this is what you must do: you must step outside your box and turn left, walk thirty feet, turn right, walk thirty more feet, and jump six times trampoline-like.”
Here I zipped under his realizing a secret packet which was more of his winnings.
“Past that, you’ll know by my inspiration-plant what you’ve got to do and where you’ve got to go. I know you’re wonder-vexed and about to bolt, but Do Not Forget, dear friend, do not forget this gift I’m giving you.”
At this he started his engine. And looked down at my folded arms. Saw me claw-like in his realizing. And skidded off, fast enough now. A good sign in old Thirsty’s eye piece.
I’m Thirsty like I was a minute ago, but still as hell now, and walking back now, and sure enough hoping he’ll heed me else he’ll forfeit those winnings.