Those Beautiful Golden Arches

By Geoff Marshall

Things can change fast. If you don’t believe me just look where we are now, me and Hector. A few hours ago we were at the McDonald’s across from Walmart in Española. The golden arches were so huge and bright.  Warm too, least that’s how I feel when I see ‘em. Three Egg McMuffins. That’s what I had. I don’t want the Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuits I told them. They’re just “innovations” Mama says.

Hector only had a coffee because Mama wants him to watch his waist. I bet he wishes he had an Egg McMuffin now. Because why? Because now they tied him up. Me too. These kids tied us up and took our van. With us in it. I sure don’t know why they did that.

Hector is good. So am I.  But I think he got knocked out. I tried to stop them from hurting him, but I couldn’t. That girl just stood there, then did something with her leg and I was in the dirt.

Then they tied us up and drove away. I couldn’t believe it because I never was kidnapped before. The girl drove really fast and I bumped my head on the floor. Hector always says there’s a New Mexico pothole with everyone’s name on it.

The kid with blue hair got out of his seat and came back to see us. He looked at Hector’s name tag. I have one just like Hector’s. Mama told him to get me a job, so now I’m his helper. Mama works for the same company but she’s a real brain. Everyone says she has to dissect aliens but she laughs when they do. She says that’s “fabricating”. My name tag says “Junior Infrastructure Technician”.

Hector was out cold so the blue haired kid read my name tag. “Chris, are you ok?” he asked me. He didn’t sound so mean. The girl was driving and she looked back at us.

“Give them some water will ya,” she said.

The kid just said yeah yeah and poured some water into Hector’s mouth. He coughed but woke up. He still didn’t say anything though. Then the kid gave me some too.

“Are they ok?” the girl asked. She turned around and she wasn’t watching the road when she was talking. That’s not safe. She’s not a safe person.

“Chris is ok, that’s the blond one,” the kid said to her, “but the other one’s still groggy. You did a number on him.”

“He’s faking,” she said, then I could feel her eyes on me, “what were you two looking for out there in the desert today Chris?”

Hector turned his head to me, “Don’t tell them anything,” he was faking. He didn’t sound real good though. The kid gave him some more water and he sure drank a lot. The van was pretty hot and we were outside looking around for a while before they caught us.

They drove us back to Española and I saw the golden arches. “Stop here,” I said, then I remembered to say please and I guess the girl thought that was ok ‘cause she did. They left Hector and me in the van. After a while Hector got loose and called for help. While he was talking I read the sign. It says “billions sold” and that sure is a good sized pile of hamburgers.

Geoff Marshall lives in Aurora, Canada with his family (humans, cats, dog) and writes software for a living. He has a BA in English Literature from Carleton University. Follow him on Twitter @g_k_marshall.

Artwork by Lesley C. Weston (Digital Pastel)

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