Marv, Jake and Luke put on their costumes. White robes with red cross-patches on them and peaked white hoods. The hoods covered their entire heads, with just a pair of eyeholes cut in them.
“Fuck man, this is creepy,” Luke said. “We look just like the KKK.”
“That is the whole idea. Stop being such a pussy.”
Luke glared at Marv. Marv ignored him, began loading himself with weapons.
Jake got out his slang dictionary, opened it to Racial Insults, thumbed to the ‘Negroes’ section.
“Nigger,” he said softly. The word sounded dirty ugly -like an alligator lurking in a Mississippi swamp. He said it again, inserting a southern drawl: “Neegra . . . dumb neegra . . .”
“Will you please stop saying that?” You’re freaking me out, Jake.”
“You’re such a sissy Luke. This has got to be realistic, okay? Just make sure you don’t lose your damn nerve when we pick the neegra up . . .”
“Stop saying it!”
“Dude,” Marv said softly. “You make one giveaway crack when we pick him up, and I’ll shoot you before I shoot him.”
* * *
They stopped the hovercar. Overhead the desert sun burned HOT. In the distance a lone tree watched the sands like the ghost of bad things impendent.
Jake, Marv and Luke pushed the black-hooded man out into the heat. They pushed him along toward the tree, then unhooded him.
Hanson Wayans, middle-aged black businessman, stared at the three Ku Klux Klan members in horror. “I’m telling you I haven’t done anything.”
“But you did neegra,” Jake said, laughing. “Mah sista Peggy said she done see you ogling her.”
Hanson Wayans eyes grew large. “You gentlemen are mistaken; I never . . .” His eyes hardened. “For heaven’s sake - this isn’t Mississippi in the sixties, what sort of shit is this?”
“Consider this time-travel boy,” Jake said, brandishing his knife. “We here don’t take kindly to neegras looking at white women.”
Hanson gaped at the three Klan members in disbelief. “This is America, this is 2032 . . . You know - I had a dream? What is going on!?”
“Ain’t gonna warn you to curb that sassy tongue again boy,” Marv growled.
Hanson Wayans’ bravado drained out of him like diesel from a punctured tank. He stared at his hands. “Why?”
“He just don told you dat nigger,” Marv said. “We’re your Interracial Time Machine. Now pull down your pants boy, he got some cuttin' to do.”
Luke was sweating bullets. He said nothing; he was ready to cut and run. He’d almost not turned up to execute the plan, but that would have shown him to be yellow.
Jake advanced on the black man, waving his knife menacingly. “I’m gonna cut your balls off coon, stick em in a cup, watch you bleed like a stuck pig . . . serve you right for eyeing our women.”
“Yeah boy,” Marv added, “Can’t have you black animals thinkin ah defiling white purity - thinkin ah makin high-yella baboon kids.”
“Then we’ll string ya up to that tree over there.”
“Yeah boy, we gonna have ourselves a sweet southern lynching up north here . . .”
“No you won’t,” Hanson Wayans said quietly. He’d stopped shaking.
“What you say boy?” Jake asked, his heart beating faster. “You tryin to sass us again? What you say, Neegra!?”
“I SAID: NO, YOU WON’T HAVE A LYNCHING!!!”
It happened almost too fast for the eye to follow. In a rippling split-second of madness, Hanson Wayans expanded into a monster.
A Haman. A seven-foot-tall three-eyed, three-armed, legless thing covered with porcupine quills.
Yawning a mouth full of teeth, tongue slobbering, it leapt at Jake.
Marv was however faster. He stepped between them, letting off a volley of explosive shells at the Haman.
The alien tottered unsteadily for ages, spouting green gore, then it crumbled into the desert sand and dissolved into slime.
Luke discovered he’d peed himself.
* * *
The atmosphere on the drive back was celebratory.
“The one thing Haman’s can’t cope with is racial abuse,” Jake explained for the umpteenth time. “Apparently on their home world, they were a maltreated minority, got racial abuse aplenty - it’s why they came to Earth.”
“It seems a stupid way to become accepted; eating people and taking their place,” Marv said.
“So they’re stupid. Fuck em, fuck their home world.”
“I feel sorry for Mrs. Wayans; I know her - she’s a nice lady.”
“When he doesn’t show, she’ll assume he’s run off with another woman,” Jake said. “Much better than being eaten in her bed one night by the Haman.”
Luke said nothing. He was drowning in embarrassment, though his friends had tactfully said nothing about his wet pants.
He knew Jake had the right idea. The government couldn’t very well hand guns to everyone and tell them to start insulting (and shooting) everyone they met; could they?
* * *
They got back into town.
“Hey Luke,” Jake said. “Tomorrow you rent Nazi uniforms - say they’re for a play we’re doing.”
“Shit Jake. That’s what I said the last time. Why’d I always get the bullshit jobs? They’re going to be looking at me like . . .”
“Stop bitching,” Marv said. “You knew the score when you joined Interracial Time Machine - Jake does the planning, I handle the weapons, and you’re the gofer - how’s our organization going to function smoothly if you don’t hold up your end - can’t even handle a simple rental? And who says you have to get the costumes from the same shop anyway?”
Jake nodded. “We need authentic WWII gear, swastikas, lugers, the full works. We’ll be skinheads too - we gotta overload on the sort of shit that freaks Jews out: the next Haman’s masquerading as a Rabbi down at the old synagogue. I’m just not sure which one he is.”
He pulled out his slang dictionary and began to memorize anti-Semitic insults.
"Retro Race Relations Rumble"
Copyright: © 2011 Wol-vriey
Wol-vriey is Nigerian, and quite tall. He believes that there actually are things that go bump in the night.