6 | High Roy

Never seen anything like that before, I said, watching the ranger chide 1.0 in the distance.

Gonna stare at him all day? asked CA Man, sneaking up behind us.

Give me a heart attack, why don’t you? I jumped.

You scare too easily. 

Up ahead on the shoreline, the pig was circling back around with the backpack still in his mouth. 1.0 was muttering in German, paying more attention to the pig than to the woman trying to get him to put on pants.

Never once did the ranger look down. Though, you could see a tiny smirk curling in the corners of her mouth, growing larger with each passing second.

Gonna get my bag from the truck. Gimme the keys, CA Man said.

Let you have my truck keys? Hell no.

You have to trust me sometime, he smirked.

Down inside my stomach, something nasty turned. The hollow glint in his eyes told me that would never happen.

Finally, 1.0 was done being scolded like a child and back to chasing his pet pig all over the shore. Roy seemed amused by taunting his owner with whatever was in the backpack and continued to lead him in figure eights until he caught sight of us.

If you’ve never been in front of a pig running full bore, well, it’s kind of fucking terrifying. All two hundred pounds of pork were forcefully galloping toward us with no sign of intent to stop. Frantically looking left and right, I realized I would probably die in a true fight or flight situation, because I took the worst path: I froze.

At the very last second, the gigantic potbelly came to an abrupt halt and I swear he was smiling at me. Was he mocking me?

Hi Roy, I said.

1.0 came running after him, out of breath, pants, thank GOD, finally on. He apologized for his strange introduction and began to tell us how his machine, which I finally understood was his laptop after a few minutes of rambling, was inside his backpack. 1.0 continued explaining his career in something that had the word privacy in it, which struck me as hilarious considering his nudity when we met.

In the corner of my eye, I noticed Roy had run off again. He was headed toward the group with the rocket on the edge of the shore. The pig was almost as social as CA Man.

A tall man with grey hair and a wild beard bent over to light the fuse just as Roy approached with 1.0’s backpack still in his mouth. One of the rocket launcher’s friends chased Roy around the launch pad in a circle and a half until the pig managed to loop the arm of the backpack over the rocket. Both men took a step back. The two women they were with screamed at the men to help the poor pig and then at Roy to let the backpack go. Neither did either of those things.

The spark racing through the fuse quickly reached its destination. Pig, backpack, and rocket were launched into the air. Poor Roy squealed through his clamped jaw. If only he would have let go of the backpack.

High Roy, I thought.

It was like watching Mad Mike sail through the clouds all over again. Except, when Roy popped back through the other side, a parachute deployed from the back of his rocket. Still shrieking through impossibly strongly clenched teeth, the pig landed gently in the water, two hundred yards or so from the shoreline. 

My machine! 1.0 screeched. 

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