Jellybean Highfive and the Solitary Road of Streets

By

Jellybean Highfive’s unofficial detective business was booming -if booms are what explosions make. Oh, the devastation, he thought.

It had blown up in his face, his third case –The Case of the Bulimic Fatty. He had found the truth at the bottom of the case, but had uncovered it in such a way as to cause it to be forever hidden, like King Tut’s coffin. Will they ever find it, he thought. “I wonder,” he said. Probably not, he mused.

He wondered this while walking down a street connected to many other roads. He wondered how anyone could call a street “secluded.” All streets met up with other streets, didn’t they? He tried to imagine a street all alone, on an island perhaps, sad and secluded, with only its top five books to read.

“All roads lead to Rome, Jellybean,” he said to himself, “and Roman roamers roam them. That’s where I come in.” He smoked on a cigarette, imagining himself to be in a movie called “Jellybean Highfive.” He often did this, even while brushing his teeth. He would look himself in the eyes, half-closing them in a dramatic slit, and imagine a gravelly voice-over voice gravely laying out the impossible odds. “But one man stands in the way…Jellybean Highfive.”

His reverie exploded when he realized he was standing in the way –of a pretty blonde who needed to get past him in order to board a bus headed who knows where.

“Pardon the interruption,” Jellybean said, not able to move due to the magnetic magnetism of her face. Like a tractor beaming its headlights at a deer, he was lit up by a terrifying attraction.

“What are you staring at?” she said prettily.

“My destiny,” he whispered, slitting his eyes and cocking his head just so.

“Oh,” the woman said, embarrassed.

“You should never be embarrassed,” Jellybean said, finally moving to the side and making way for her. He extended a hand to help her up on to the bus, then took off an invisible–nonexistent, really–fedora and made a slight bow.

To him, she was the queen of the city just then. It seemed as though the entire street inclined her way. Birds seem to sing, people seemed to hum, and the sun broke through the charcoal crush of clouds to illuminate her lovely face. Then she vomited. She looked around for a moment, then escaped into the bus as the doors closed. The bus lurched forward and disappeared into the maze of interconnected avenues in the auburn autumn afternoon.

Jellybean stood there, spellbound. All he had was the memory of her. Then his mind started working, dots began connecting in his mind. He walked quickly somewhere, using his mind to think thoughts. He got out a notepad and made massive checkmarks in it. He stopped and shouted, “I have it!” in triumph.

But his triumph turned quickly and his face fell. He stood, looking absently around, like a child from a broken home standing in an outfield, realizing that the one he was scanning the bleachers for hadn’t come like he’d promised.

“It’s not the streets who’re secluded,” he said in a hoarse whisper. He noted absently the rushing crush of people everywhere. “It’s the people in the streets.

4-up-on-2011-02-21-at-2325“People,” he said in a gravelly voice, “like…ellybean Highfive.” He looked up at a camera that didn’t exist, stared hard, then looked away. His gaze tracked down the crowded street, as if a bus might stop anytime and vomit out the most beautiful girl in the world.

For more Jellybean Highfive click here and say “there’s no place like home” with your heels.


32 Comments

  1. Loren Eaton

    “All roads lead to Rome, Jellybean,” he said to himself, “and Roman roamers roam them. That’s where I come in.”

    Pure gold.

    I want a Jellybean novel — now.

  2. The One True Stickman

    This is weirdly great. This reminds me strangely of the Budge Nuzzard (for neither Jellybean nor the Budge could remind one normally) and his equally zany, though more short-lived and less philosophical existence.

  3. Jaclyn

    Thanks S.D.! My brain feels less secluded with your characters bopping around in it with mine. Don’t you wish everyone’s fabulous characters could mingle together in some imaginary block party barbecue?

  4. S.D. Smith

    Jazz– Sorry.

    Loren– Thanks, pal. I’m not sure this kind of nonsense could be kept up for a long period of time without the smart people getting suspicious/bored. Smart people like you. Maybe a collection?

    Tony– Love that guy.

    The One True Stickman– Thank you for this name.

    Sir Wilbur– Your head’s a shell.

    Jaclyn– Thank you! That sounds like fun. Though I’m pretty sure Jellybean would make a fool of himself.

  5. S.D. Smith

    Oh yeah…Charlene, I have no idea how that happened. It’s a happy accident.

    Has something to do with me posting this story here and at my website, and I’ve been putting those photos at the bottom of these stories, but I changed this one and somehow that mysterious strangeness happened. But it’s consistent with the oddity of Mr. Highfive and his idiotic creator.

  6. S.D. Smith

    Thanks, Whipple. I hope no one was scathed in the implementation of this inanity.

    Note/Fact: My firstborn daughter was born in Whipple, West Virginia.

  7. Profile photo of Eric Peters

    Eric Peters

    @ericpeters

    SD Smith – Do you remember that time you & my son played together, running up and down the aisles in Smittyland, WV? And then the next day he proceeded to vomit? And then, the day after that, you also vomited having caught his contagion? That was pretty cool.

    I relate to your well-written vomit scene. I, too, want this book.

  8. whipple

    Hmm. Whipple, West Va?

    I might have to take a trip. With wrenches.

    Wait, did I just confess to premeditated petty larceny? I feel I may vomit.

  9. Peter Br

    I propose you retitle this Great Expectorations.

    Because, you know, regurgitation doesn’t have the same Dickensian ring to it.

  10. J.B.

    Nice use of the oft-o’erlooked “who’re”.

    Wow, I didn’t realize how dangerous that contraction is until I typed it. Maybe that’s why it’s looked o’er.

  11. Adam Bennett

    Cohesive randomness. I love it!

    “He walked quickly somewhere, using his mind to think thoughts” made me bust a gut (but not literally… that would be ishy)

  12. Aaron Roughton

    Man, this new job is really getting in the way of some good reading. This piece is pure genius. I’m sorry it took me so long to read this, Sam. As if you knew.

  13. S.D. Smith

    Unacceptable, Roughton.

    Whatever “job” might be “paying” you, you know your real job is to read everything at the RR and make the most awesome comments in history that are usually way better than the post.

    That’s your job.

  14. JennyE

    Hilarious! The comments are also hilarious.

    I like how Jellybean’s “unofficial detective business” seems to consist mostly of a notepad in his pocket and his own imaginings. I often imagine elaborate “unofficial” careers for myself, complete with mental voiceover, though mine tend to be less gravelly and more Emma Thomson. And they involve more fame. But my real life with two little people involves quite a bit more vomit, so that seems fair.

  15. Canaan Bound

    Sir S.D. Smith,

    Call me literal, but “Then she vomited” has me all hung up. Did she really vomit? If so, I fail to see how this fits into the story. But maybe that’s the point. Since I can’t seem to move past it, clarification on this matter would be very much appreciated.

    ALSO did you ever see the show Pushing Daisies? It only ran on ABC for two seasons before being cut, much to my dismay. I thought it was pure genius. You and the show’s creator, Bryan Fuller, seem to have a similar knack for naming people and describing events in a ridiculously redundant way. You should check it out. (Seasons 1 and 2 are on Netflix, I believe.)

  16. Profile photo of S. D. Smith

    S. D. Smith

    @sdsmith

    Dear Canaan Bound, aka “Literal,”

    Don’t you act for one second like this work isn’t the top of the line in modern (or ancient) literature! Don’t! Everything in the Jellybean Highfive world makes perfect sense and is brilliant and edgy and cool and provocative. If you don’t get it, then you must be one of those people who aren’t hip.

    I believe “Then she vomited” to be the greatest line in the history of literature and several living legends would spew forth their approval.

    Thanks for reading!

    I haven’t seen Pushing Daisies. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Keep on truckin’.

    Sam

  17. Canaan Bound

    Sam,

    Just to clear the air…I think your work is brilliant. But my whole opinion of this story in particular hinges on whether or not I understand the meaning of “Then she vomited.”

    SO…I still need to know if she literally, or merely figuratively vomited. Please, PLEASE clarify.

    Sincerely,
    CB

  18. S.D. Smith

    CB,

    Not sure what’s happening here. Am I densely missing the joke?

    She literally vomited. Yes. It literally happened in the story.

    I’m surely missing something. I’m like Jellybean in that way.

    I hope this clarifies the vomiting issue. <— Sentence I never thought I’d write.

    Sam

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