Sometimes it is a bit confusing as to which one is the dream… The girl, The Barzicon?
The Barzicon had his head jammed between the back of the shotgun seat and the door pillar of the truck. His thick lips were pulled back from the double incisors as he hepped and roumaled quietly but impressively deep in his throat. Only the end of his tapered muzzle extended from the window, but it was enough. The two hitchhikers walked rapidly away from the back of the truck where they had exited over the tailgate rather than get close to the thing in the cab. They were engaged in animated conversation and made furtive glances over their shoulders as they crossed the lighted parking lot to the relative safety of the theater entrance.
It had been a perfect test! When he stopped to pick them up he had left the interior light off so they could see only that he had a large animal in the back of the king cab and he’d suggested they ride in the truck bed. They readily agreed since the night was warm and the mall but five or six miles ahead. He knew what they would do. They climbed over the side of the truck and came to the sliding window in the back of the king cab to again express their thanks for the lift before they settled in for the ride. He pulled smoothly onto the road, powered the window open and turned on the dome light. The young woman stuck her face in the window and started, “Hey, thanks for the ride. We just want to catch the nine o’clock flick at the mall. Where you headed?”
“West and Out,” said Harry-Wayne over his shoulder, “but I go past the theaters, so I can drop you off.” Then he threw in the clincher. “Say, uh, don’t lean in too close to that window or reach in or anything, OK?”
“Thanks! Yeah…, sure,” she stammered, pulling her head back a bit but still trying to discern the shape of the animal on the back seat, “it’s big, what kind is it?”
“It’s a Barzicon,” said Harry-Wayne.
“Never heard of that one,” said the girl.
The young man had moved up to the window to get a look. The Barzicon woke up, just as he was programmed to do when Harry-Wayne spoke of him. He roumaled, heaved up on all six legs, turned around and looked into the shocked faces of the astounded hitchhikers. The couple quickly retreated to the tailgate and stared at the horror peering at them from the window. Harry-Wayne watched them in the mirror. Shortly, he told Barzicon to lie down. It took one last lingering look with all four eyes at the attentive couple, ran its double tongue over its lips and squatted down on the seat. Harry-Wayne flipped off the dome light and closed the window. The hitchhikers watched the blank glass carefully even after the creature was gone.
Harry-Wayne pulled into the mall parking lot and stopped across from the theaters. “Thanks!” shouted the girl as they turned away from the truck. The Barzicon sprang to its feet hepping and roumaling and stuck its muzzle out of the passenger window as it rolled down.
Oh, man, thought Harry-Wayne. The routine even rolled down the window at the right time! It was just too cool! This was the best Barzicon yet! The improved routines and the addition of voice controls were going to be great. He couldn’t wait to try this one on a new girl! Oh, God! If only it could be her, the girl from the dream in which he had learned about the Barzicon! Oh, God! Her…
He was in his new truck. This candy-shine blue one! He was stopped. He watched in the mirror as she walked up the road shoulder on the shotgun side of the truck. He turned around, reached back and laid his hand on the Barzicon. He distinctly remembered the fluid texture of the feather/hair on his fingertips. He looked down at the powerful six-limbed body and marveled that it looked so real. His hand rested on the back of its thick neck, just below the now erect and distended purple and yellow crest of feather-like scales that ran from behind the eye stalks on the top of its head to the base of the heavy skull. The top eyes swiveled on their stalks and looked balefully into his, while the front eye pair stared purposefully at the rear side window where the girl would come into view.