One of Sal’s most recent books is on sale now at Amazon. http://tinyurl.com/26u8huk
Kindle edition at http:?tinyurl.com/2f369we
His collection of 164 short-fiction stories, Flashing My Shorts, is great for the reader that just wants to sit a while or read all day.
Two Heads by Sal Buttaci
We called him “The Amazing Spudo,” affectionately, of course, and likewise, of course, when he wasn’t in earshot.
His birth name, a moniker long as a grown man’s arm, began with Theodore David Carlton and ended with Williams, a string of several more names in the middle.
“Theo,” I said one day–we worked together at the airplane factory outside of Abilene. “When you plan on taking care of that?” Nodding towards his head.
Now if you knew Spudo, if you caught sight of that man’s muscle-bulging physique, if you heard him snap his tongue like a horsewhip, you’d think again before you let your eyes wander towards that huge growth sitting tall like a potato spud on top of his head. What made it all the worse, Theo kept his head shaved as if to tell the world, “Ain’t two heads better ‘n one?” On the outside he was tough as nails. Underneath that Spartan pose he was the most sensitive man I’d ever known.
“You mean this?” said Theo, laying aside the acetylene torch and removing his welder’s face guard and pointing at the skull ball planted on the un-pretty left side of his head top.
Now we’d been friends since boyhood when Theo’s other head was no bigger than a pimple, but seems we all grew up since then, didn’t we? And anyways, we’ve always been square with each other except for my kicking in with the crowd who were laying bets on whether the Amazing Spudo would join the carnival, wear two hats, or decide to have a surgeon saw the damn thing off.
“Yeah,” I said. “What are you gonna do? It’s growing bigger every time I look at it. Before you know it, Theo, somebody gonna come along, pump it full of helium, and you’ll be floating up to Mars where you can go live with the aliens.”
“I’d fit right in,” said Theo.
Exasperated, I said, “Hey, it ain’t funny. What the hell’s the plan?”
Theo, the Amazing Spudo, gave me a friendly sock in the forearm and chuckled. “Ok,” he said, “here’s the plan.” He leaned over and bowed his head so I could see the top of his bald dome. What I saw had me draw back like a guy burned with a blast of acetylene.
Theo lifted his head and folded his arms. “It ain’t so bad, Lonnie. The new one’s growing on the right side. Way I figure it, in a year or two, it’ll catch up with the other one and I’ll have three heads!”
“They’ll look like horns!”
“Yeah, and there’ll be hell to pay the first crack I hear from the boys. Think I don’t know about ‘The Amazing Spudo’?”
As life turned out, about a year after Theo’s plan was revealed to me, there was a fire in the airplane factory. He didn’t quite have his horns, so it was no surprise he’d do the angel thing and run back into Building C, drag two workers out, and then dash back in there, only to die in the explosion.
Salvatore Buttaci is an obsessive-compulsive writer whose poems, stories, articles, and letters have appeared widely in publications that include New York Times, U. S. A. Today, The Writer, Writer’s Digest, Cats Magazine, The National Enquirer, Christian Science Monitor, Thinking Ten, Pen 10, and Six Sentences. In 2007, he was the recipient of the $500 Cyber-wit Poetry Award.