The early night provided just enough light for both Garry Perry and the Breadman to have a look around and see whether or not there were zombies in the strawberry fields. During the whole time the Breadman recollected his voyage from Calgary to the Slough in that white Wonderbread truck, which he calculated to have driven 1,057 km and not a single step more. He recounted his many glorious stops, to which he said the best of the best had to have been Hope for name sake only in that he was starting a new and it represented little of his past.
“And you past?” Garry Perry asked.
“Oh, no-a real interesting,” the Breadman said, “just a different way of talking.” The Breadman had said this in a very clear, upper class tone that bothered Garry Perry due to its foreignness.
The Breadman talked about the troubles of Highway 3, how difficult and sharp the turns were and where the best viewpoints could be taken in by the eye. He also commented on the oddities of life in the Kootneys, how everyone there acted and thought too slow for his liking. He spared little detail of his trip and was even so minute that he could recall the different kinds of toilet paper used in each gas station he stopped at.
“Da badaly one was ‘dis one named da Race Trac… one-a-ply, one-a-thin layer for da butty.”
The story kept going and going until Garry Perry had heard enough and screamed:
“Aight. Stop id or I’ll make-a-you squidealapid!”
Silence was ordered by Garry Perry. The work in the fields had bothered his thoughts very much and he was tiring not from the searching but from the dark field that he now searched. The drowning conversation forced upon him by the Breadman didn’t help much. It had become obvious to him that there were no zombies walking these fields and he secretly questioned whether any zombies existed at all. Red streaks ran over each cheek and a great pulling tugged at his heart to finish up and head home. The investigation with the Breadman, being stuck in the fields with his feet covered in berry mush, surrounded by little more than the dark shadow of gigantic trees and strawberry bushes that ran on forever and the loneliness that creped in his heart had made him furious. He was sure that it was all the Breadman’s fault for leading him on this adventure, that there were actually zombies travelling this field, earth or universe was absolutely a thought of sheer stupidity. Garry Perry felt at that moment it was time to leave the strawberry field, leave Finn Slough on his new boat and get out of the same old Garry Perry way-of-life he had lived for the last 46 years. It was time to shed his skin. It was time to leave.
“Yah, I knew id. All da stops I knew id. Da Slough wad for me,” the Breadman said. “I knew da same ‘bout Char McCool. A good-a girlie.”
The mention of Char McCool’s name was the final straw. She too was to blame for the search and maybe, thought Garry Perry, maybe they were in cahoots. Maybe they had killed Clay Biffley so that they might stake their claim to his home because the Breadman had to be sick of living in a bread delivery truck and Char McCool had to be sick of living in such a small, disgusting shack. No, that was definitely it. As Garry Perry marched over to tackle the would-be villain, he heard a shot in the air:
“You lads don’t look like your buying,” Reggie Firefeather said. “So get off my property.”
Leaving the U-Pick farm Garry Perry told the Breadman that he was tired and then thanked him for the effort. The Breadman asked him not to give up the investigation, that there was still the Horseshoe Slough area, maybe the police had missed something. But Garry Perry kept on walking towards Finn Slough, saying nothing.
He then turned and followed the Breadman’s path.
ONE MORE SMOKE FOR THE ROAD
9 years ago