A simple premise; a bold promise
To present one story per day, every day—providing exceptional authors with exposure and avid readers with first-rate fiction.

Today's Story by David Macpherson

What did they know the difference between Apache princess and a Portuguese girl living in the desert?

I was a Teenage Mole Rat

“I was a lot of Indian squaws,” Aunt Maria said. If you got her in a conversation about what interesting things a person used to do, and Aunt Maria trumped everyone with that statement.

“We was living in California. But not the glamor California. We lived in the desert. It was where the gold mines sputtered down to nothing, so there were abandoned towns about. We would go and smoke pot or drop acid in the tumbleweed saloons. Kid things, you know.” This was said for the benefit of me and the other cousins. That this woman in a wheelchair not only knew what drugs were, but partook. She knew her audience, I can tell you, we were awed into some form of adolescent respect.

“We weren’t the only ones that used the old towns. Filmmakers with more attitude than money went out there to make piss poor westerns. This was bad news movies, this was movies that would be lucky to be the second feature at a drive-in. They always needed help. Tried to get us to do it for free, but we weren’t dumb. We say, sure I’ll do it, but if I don’t see some money I’m calling SAG on your asses. So we got some pin money to string lights, run wire, professional stuff.

“They had me in the background in Indian villages. Said I had a great Indian look. What did they know the difference between Apache princess and a Portuguese girl living in the desert? I can tell you, nothing. There must be five or seven movie productions where I was running around from the vengeful cowboys. Don’t know if any of them were released. Most of them ran out of money before they had enough footage to even be an awful mess.”

Once, she told me she was the lead in a movie. “This was the worst of things. This was a horror movie. I was the horror. I ran around in my usual clothes and then I got bit by a mole rat that was ruined by the A Bomb and I was a teen age mole rat. I think that was the title: I was a Teenage Mole Rat. After I mutated, they put me in a crazy wig and I wore dime store vampire teeth and attacked nobody in particular. Who knows if it was ever finished? I got three hundred for that. Bought a car with the dough, moved out to San Francisco. Too late for the Summer of Love, but I did okay.”

Sometimes I checked IMDB, to see if my aunt or her films showed up. I never seemed to locate a single one. I told the story once to a group of hipster film buffs and they went crazy. “Do you mean Night of the Naked Mole Rat?” one of them asked me.

“I don’t know,” I said, “do I?”

“Man, your aunt was Billy Sue? She was the naked mole rat? That would be awesome. That movie is crazy. One of the last of the great drive-in flicks. Made no sense, but it was brilliant.” The guy said this with mad zeal and his compatriots nodded like they were responding to a preacher.

This was nuts and I told them that. “My diabetic aunt was not this hot horror chick. She was a Portuguese Indian squaw.”

They told me I had to see it. I had to watch it in the right frame of mind to truly appreciate it. “Stoned out of your gourd,” one of them said. I thought of what Aunt Maria and her friends did in those ghost towns and smiled. One of them promised to send me a download of it.

When I called up my aunt and told her, she was confused. “I don’t remember it being called Naked Mole Rat. It was just Mole Rat.”

“Aunt Maria, they would change the titles all the time. The word naked probably got more cars in the drive-in’s lot.”

When I got the download, I went over to the nursing home with my laptop. She was sitting in her wheelchair, tossing a skein of yarn from hand to hand. “I don’t knit, none of that, I just like the was the material feels, you know.”

I set up the laptop on her bed and opened the attachment and began the film. It was grainy, the sound was bad, but we could figure out enough to realize it was awful. We watched about half of it when we saw a very young Aunt Maria step close to the camera. The next shot was a closeup of her breasts, though you could not see her face in the frame.

“Wait a minute.” She pressed pause on the player. “I don’t remember any boob shots. I kept my shirt on. They asked; I said no. I told them about my daddy’s shotgun, so they shut it. But there they are, the girls, the ta-tas. They don’t look like mine that I remember. Bigger. Bouncier. Guess it’s true that the camera puts ten pounds on a person.”

“I don’t think that’s it, Aunt Maria. I think this was an insert.” I explained how they would use a body double if the actress didn’t undress. They just substituted somebody else’s. “So they aren’t your ta-tas.”

“They are now.” She leaned in close and examined what she saw on the screen. “Yes sir, these are mine now, who’s to say different. I was a movie star and I had a fine rack.”

She put the computer on her lap and rolled down the hallway, “Hey you ninnies, come and see me when I was all hot and naked.”  She made that chair practically sashay as she announced to everyone to come see her new, undiscovered past.


David Macpherson is a writing living in Central Massachusetts with his wife Heather and son George.

Read more stories by David Macpherson


To comment on this story, visit Fiction365’s Facebook page