Junkman seen some things. Lots of gross stuff – dead kids, people’s heads, bags of poo, but strange things too.
Seen things runnin away when he come up with his truck. Little small things, like dogs but shaped the wrong way. Sorta like monkeys, cept the monkeys got stuff all comin out of their back, metal stuff, lotsa hinges and joints.
Usually Junkman just shine his lights on the bins when he come up, scare the things away. Get to where they gettin braver, though. Start to watch him, lookin out from the shadows. Seen their eyes, he do. Started bringing a little hand light, shine’m to get a better look. Monkeys never let’m. Don’t like to be seen full on.
Junkman big, an’ he live hard, don’t like to act scared of no little monkeys, but he get to gettin scared sometimes when he comes to the bins the monkeys be keen on. Starts leavin his truck lights on, pointed at the bins to flash’m good, keeps the monkeys well outa sight. Was one time, though, he come back to his truck and see somethin jump away from his door. Realized the monkeys were messin with his truck when his back was turned.
Junkman starts lockin his door real good, gettin more scared. He don’t like not knowin what in the hell be foolin round his bins, maybe they stealin or whatever an’ thats fine but they give him the heeby jeebies. So he musters up one night, puts on his rough jacket, the leather one he like to wear when he knows boys at the bar gon’ get real rowdy. Puts on his kneeguards the company gave him but he never wore cuz they itch. Wear his steel toes from the ol’ construction job, never able to sell’m anyway.
Parks his truck far back-like, round the corner from one of the monkeys’ favorite bins. Real dark place, up against some stank-ass sewers. Junkman bring a real heavy bit of scrap he found that like to keep under his bed. Brought his hand-light, too. He try to walk real quiet-like, though his boots keep makin a stompin racket so he takes’m off and goes on in his socks even though the ground a bit wet.
He get closer to the bin, start hearin monkey-sounds. Scrabbles, chirps, the like. An’ a sound he don’t like at all – metal on metal, metal on cement. Gives Junkman goosebumps. But he musters up – monkeys been leavin real messes around his bin, he gonna start gettin it from his boss if he don’t do somethin bout it.
So he gets real close and flashes his light.
Junkman blinks in the light, then surprised to find himself hangin in the air from his favorite jacket. Looks down at the monkeys, well that aint right. Looks up and kinda sees in the dark a big arm holdin his collar, jus’ like a spider leg, all joints and axle grease. He gets a panic, but keeps up his brave anyway.
“Put me down ya damn fool monkey ‘fore I smack you wit’ this big ol’ stick!”
He aint move none fer fear of fallin, and done dropped his light at some point, but he hears a sure racket down where the monkeys were. He starts hootin and hollerin, but the monkeys ain’t do shit but keep jabbering away. Junkman startin to feel less scared an’ more mad, so he gets out his phone, sturdy piece of junk, and flashes the little light on the monkeys below.
That got their attention real good.
The arm that been holdin him gone and let go, so Junkman got a nice fall in. ‘Fore he did, he got a good look at what been holdin him in the first place. Big ‘ol spider leg comin out the back of one of the monkeys, cept they weren’t monkeys at all, just a bunch a grubby kids. Then Junkman hit the ground hard and knock himself out.
He wake up and see a kid bendin over him all grinnin like a fool.
“What you want, kid? Drop Junkman around s’more?”
“No way, Junkman. We like you.”
“You little monkeys gone’n make a mess o’ things, drop Junkman on his poor head, hell a way to show likin’ somebody.”
“We don’t wanna hurt you, Junkman, We just can’t have you running around telling folks you seen us though, feel me?”
“Don’t wan’ me tellin folks? Oh the boys won’t hear the end o’ that–“
But then Junkman seen that big greasy metal spider leg hangin near his head. Kid smilin but Junkman only see the shiny cutter come out of the thing, real slow-like.
“We can’t have you running around telling people about us, Junkman. You won’t see us no more, we’ll move on to other bins, but we got our eyes everywhere, you dig?”
“I feel ya kid, Junkman keep his big ol mouth closed for sure. You just stop messin around with my bins and we ain’t got no problems.”
That big shiny blade vanish like a magic trick, kid pats Junkman on the head which make him mad but he don’ say nothin about it, then turn and run off somewhere in the dark.
Junkman don’t say a word to no man, but he still shine his truck lights on the bins.