Harrison Gravely – The Fountain And The Fate
The Fountain And The Fate
Fred was driving down the road in his big crimson red truck in Saint Augustine, Florida. It had taken him nine days to get here, just to make a deal with Microsoft. He wanted to be the Mayor of Milwaukee, not waste his time with a stupid contract. Someday, by George, heʼd be the Mayor of Milwaukee. And that some day was going to be this fall. He only had to wait two more months to gain power.
Then he saw what only he could see right now. Surrounded by a bunch of roses and tulips and birds chirping happily, there stood the Fountain of Youth. He parked his truck, got out and walked over. It was as white as the sands of Hawaii. He just had to do something with it. He couldnʼt just drive away. He thought about money, he thought about triumph, he thought about glory. Then he thought about other people. He his idiotic self had realized that the richest man in Saint Augustine would take one look at the Fountain of Youth and sell it for billions. Greed would overcome everyone in the world, thereʼd be catastrophe, chaos. Philosophy, wealth, history, politics, power, freedom, society and life would end. The end of the world. Then he decided that he would take the Fountain of Youth and go to New York City and throw it in the Hudson River. Suddenly he saw a police car come his way. Better hide, he thought. “Or what?” said a voice behind him. Fred turned around and saw an old man with a beard as long as a hedge. “Thatʼs an odd looking fountain,” said the old man. “ That reminds me, I havenʼt had a drink for fifty days since I was in the Sahara Desert. I think Iʼll have a drink,” he said. The old man took one drink and then instead of a man that could have been mistaken for Father Time there stood a five year old boy with a beanie on his head. “I like to skip, donʼt you?” he asked Fred. Then the five year old boy skipped along merrily out to the sidewalk then waited for the light to turn green. Suddenly the ice cream truck came along and a short fat man stuck his head out of the window and asked the boy “Would you like a popsicle, little boy?” The boy said, “Yeah, sure I would like a pop cycle.” The fat man handed him and orange popsicle and said, “That will be a dollar, please.” Fred decided to leave the little whipper snapper to his fooling around and decided to leave. Then he turned around and saw something that he really thought that he couldnʼt possibly see. It was two cops. Great, he thought. Thanks to that old geezer I wonʼt have time to hide. And I can see cops too, which is even worse.
Then suddenly the cops froze right there. They were off the ground. Then they turned around and ran right back. They inspected Fredʼs huge truck from front to back. They took down a few notes and checked out the inside of the truck. Then they went over to Fred. Hey sir, whatʼs your name?” asked the 25 year old cop. “Fred Banks,” said Fred. “And whatʼs your occupation?” asked the 52 year old cop. “Assistant General Manager.” “OK, sir,” said the 25 year old cop. “Itʼs great that you were able to cooperate with us buddy,” said the 52 year old cop. “Well, anyway it was nice meeting you,” said the 25 year old cop. The two policemen walked away, got into their patrol car, and drove off. Then Fred got back to the plan. So anyway he was going to go to New York City and dump the Fountain of Youth into the Hudson River. He took out the cane that he always kept in his suit and tried pulling the fountain with it. Then he tugged and prodded it with his stick. Then he just decided to use his bare hands and it worked. He just wasted his time using everything else except his own bare hands. He put the fountain in the back of the truck and drove off toward the sunny side of Florida where he would eventually meet New York City.
All week he had been driving towards New York or at least he thought so. He was in the middle of nowhere, well not exactly. He was in New Hampshire. He was driving down a country road when he saw a farmer plowing. He came to a complete stop, stuck his head out the car window and asked the farmer “excuse me sir but could you tell me where I am possibly? “Gee, Iʼm not really sure,” said the farmer. “What do you mean your not really sure?!,” yelled Fred. “Iʼm just not really sure?”, said the farmer. “Dumbo!”, Fred yelled and then he drove off.
Three hours later he was driving down another country road when he saw a police station. He stopped there, got out of his car and went inside. At the desk he asked the Sergeant, “Excuse me, Mr. Sergeant but could you tell me where I am?” “No idea sir,”said the sergeant. “Well, would you happen to know any five star hotels?” “There arenʼt any five star hotels in this town sir.” “Well, how ʻbout a way out of here?” “Iʼm not very good with directions sir.” “Well, would there happen to be an airport here?” “Nope.” “Any taxis?” “Not one cab.” “Could I use your phone?” “My phoneʼs broken, sir.” “Dope!” Fred yelled in the sergeantʼs face. He walked out of the station and drove off.
Twenty-four hours later he was at the end of New Hampshire. But before he could cross the border he was blocked by a line of seven weird looking men wearing black cloaks. “Halt,” said the man at the end of the line. “What in the name of all that is holy do you want?!” yelled Fred. “That fountain you carry in the back of your carriage,” said the stranger, “we all want a drink from it. We havenʼt had a drink in twenty days.” “Uh, what fountain,” said Fred, “thatʼs my friend Jeremiah.” “You cannot fool us,” said the stranger. “Do you seriously think that you can have me waiting here for the rest of my life?”, asked Fred. “That depends,” said the stranger. “I guess I have no choice,” said Fred. He got out, opened up the back of his truck and took out the Fountain of Youth. When he got a few feet towards the weird people they circled him. “Say, would you believe that you would experience youth again if you drank from this fountain?” said Fred. “No,” said one of the strangers. Then they each took a drink from the Fountain of Youth and in one second they all became tiny happy babies. Fred stared in horror, then quickly he got into his truck and drove off.
Two days later, he was still in a state that Fred absolutely despised. Rhode Island. Right now he was in a traffic jam. There was a teenager listening to some rap, a screaming baby, and a guy yelling at another guy to be quiet. And other things. Suddenly, five police men were walking on the side of the road. The guy in the middle was the Chief. The Chief didnʼt trust anybody, he didnʼt trust that man walking down the
street, he didnʼt trust that dog, he didnʼt trust any other policeman except himself. “Excuse me, Chief,” said a tiny cop, “But shouldnʼt we-” “Iʼll make the suggestions around here, Henderson,”said the Chief. “Hilton, hand me my bullhorn,” he said. A bald headed cop named Hilton handed him a shiny blue bullhorn with a white stripe. “Attention, drivers,” he yelled into his bullhorn. “You can all go now. The highway has been cleared.” “If you arenʼt outta here in three seconds Iʼll give you a ticket.” Immediately all the cars pulled out. But Fred stuck his head out the window and asked the Chief,”excuse me sir, but do you know any gas stations around here?” “Yes, driver. Thereʼs one gas station twenty miles east.” “Twenty miles east?!” Fred yelled, “Iʼm one step away from having the gas gauge marked empty.” “Well, itʼs the nearest one around here,” said the Chief. “Say, could you give us a left there? Me and the boys would like to get some doughnuts.” “I guess so,” said Fred, “even though Iʼm almost out of gas.” “Great,” said the Chief. He and the other cops got onto the back of the truck and Fred drove off.
When they got to the gas station, Fred stopped the truck and got out. “Weʼre here,” Fred told the cops. “We know that, stupid,” said the Chief, “but thatʼs an odd looking fountain you have in the back of the truck there.” “Whatʼs the big deal, Chief?”, asked Hilton. “I donʼt trust it,” said the Chief. “In fact, I donʼt trust the truck or the driver. Or the gas station either.” “How bout we step off and think about it,” said a cop named Logan. “Say, good idea,” said the Chief. They stepped off and then Fred quickly got into his truck and drove off.
Six hours later Fred was in Ottawa, Canada. In the ice cold air at four degrees he shouted to an Eskimo, “Hey mister, do you know where I am?” “You in Ottawa,” said the Eskimo. “Thatʼs just great. Iʼm like in the edge of Canada, Iʼm not anywhere close to New York City,” said Fred. He stopped his truck took out the Fountain of Youth and sat on the ground next to it. Suddenly, Mr. Sigmund V. Hogg, the richest man in Ottawa, was walking down the icy road, when he saw an odd looking fountain with a weird looking man. “Say sir, Iʼd like a drink from that fountain,” said Mr. Hogg. “Um no Iʼm afraid you wouldnʼt like the type of water,” said Fred. “The water looks OK to me,” said Mr. Hogg. “Well, would you believe that-” “Be quiet,” said Mr. Hogg, “and Iʼll call the cops if you donʼt let me have a drink.” “I guess I have no choice” said Fred. Sigmund V. Hogg took one sip and turned into a ten year old boy. “Hey Mister, can you show me where the ice cream truck is?” asked the boy. “Back in Florida,” said Fred.
Twenty-four days later, Fred was in Cleveland. Driving down the road he saw a bench. He decided to sit over there and have a little picnic lunch of the stale sandwiches in his truck. He decided to put the Fountain of Youth next to the bench so it would look like a regular fountain so the police wouldnʼt see the Fountain of Youth in his truck. He sat down on the bench and took out a cheese sandwich from his hat. But suddenly a police car was coming by and it came to a complete stop. Eight policeman got out. Along with the Chief of the Cleveland Police Department. Unlike the rough police chief Fred had met, this police chief trusted anybody in the entire world. Even himself. “Excuse me sir, no offense, I trust you, I trust your truck and I trust that fountain but whatʼs your name?” Before Fred could answer, a police officer named Finley said, “Hey Arnold, before we go
questioning this convict here, how bout we have a drink of water from the fountain? Iʼm really, really hot from chasing those criminals in the Sahara Desert.” All right, but we need to question the convict right after that,” said the chief. They each stood in a line at the fountain. And in about one second, they all magically turned into fourteen year old boys. “Say,” said Finley, “how did we get into this getup?” “Who cares, Dude?” said the chief, “letʼs go play some baseball.” “All right,” shouted the fourteen year old boys. They all ran to the baseball field that was at the other side of town. That left Fred. Suddenly, he was really, really desperate to get to New York City so he could dunk the Fountain of Youth into the Hudson River. Well, come on then, he thought. Pack up your lunch, get into the old truck and move it! He put the cheese sandwich back into his hat, got into his truck and drove off the other way. In a few days he would get to New York City. He turned left, drove faster and turned on the radio to listen to some 1970sʼ songs.