…And Then Things Got Weird….


March 2018

Grey Matter : An excerpt from Bats ^^ö^^


JPEG Final Tragic Mountain LARGE FLATTENED copy


Elizabeth, dressed in her sweats, was flying casual laps around the turrets of Poenari. She thought back upon her brilliant plan from hours before.

There was that motorcycle gang that had passed my castle at Čachtice a few days ago. Gang? “Those fat old farts!!!!!!!!!!!!!” The only exercise that those porkers ever get is twisting a throttle and lifting a can of beer!!! What the fute was I thinking?!

A week ago Dr. Osândă had told her, “You must calm down, Countess. In times of stress, take a deep breath and focus only on the good.” The eminent psychiatrist had said this ten seconds before Elizabeth eviscerated him, while searching for the suspected broom handle lodged up his rectului.

Elizabeth tried to calm herself down as she sailed through the cool night. Yes, she needed to think positively. She took a deep breath and thought about utilizing the biker gang again. Gang?

“Those fat old farts!” she repeated. Elizabeth was proud of herself. That was much better. Calm, she thought, and with a dozen fewer exclamation marks than the first time .


In the final hour of sleep Vlad had moved to the rafters, where he hung upside down to restore blood flow, from his nether regions, back to his head, which may have ruptured after the fireplace romp with the Countess. In a dream, he flew beside the Poenari walls, counting the impaled bodies of his ancient enemies.

Elizabeth had returned from her night flight wide awake and sizzling . Excitement always made her smell like bacon. She put on her fireproof negligee and walked back down to the cool waters of the River Styx. “Hmmm. What the…?” The bats were crawling upon the yeti-skin rug where she and Vlad had made love earlier. “Hey, what are you kids up to?” she asked the colony.

“Occipital lobes,” they squeaked. “Nommy, nommy, nom, nom.”

She noticed that they were feasting upon small bits of gray matter that had leaked out of both vampires’ pointy ears and were scattered about the snow-white fur. “Unholy guano!” Elizabeth needed to wake Vlad. It was time to break out the good stuff. After six hundred years, the couple had just reached a milestone in their love life: We megbaszed our kibaszott brains out!

The Countess howled up through the tunnels and up toward the battlements to wake her lover. She yearned to tell him about her big plan to save their home, the bats, and oh, what a lovely mess they’d made. It would take something nuclear to really clean that yeti rug.

The disgusted Grim Reaper (I am not your blessed maid!”) had already threatened to resign last night.

*** Adorned in matching…

Barnett, Fred. Bats (Kindle Locations 1906-1930). . Kindle Edition.


Forget Passover. We’re having leftovers.

01 Plague Season for Web

From the novel BATS ^^ö^^

Chapter 6: Plague Season:

Young Jonathan Tepes visit’s his great-great-great-great-great grandfather Vlad Tepes Dracula. After being questioned by the two gargoyles on top of the drawbridge during Plague Season, in full swing, outside, Jonathan finally meets old Vlad.

“Speaking of bats,” asked Jonathan, “what kind of bats were those outside?””

“Ve don’t have…bats. Those vere mosquitos. Big vuns! Velcome home, my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson! Those bats that ve don’t have, do you find them…scary?”

“No. Not scary, sir.” Tired of scrunching his eyelids together, Jonathan took his phone out of his pocket and turned on the candle app called Fliqer that simply displayed a video of a burning candle.

(Eleven-year-old Myron Frickleberg designed Fliqer for rock fans to wave around in the air, like a lighter, during rock ‘n’ roll anthems. Fliqer became a standard for informal candlelit dinners and Myron quickly became a millionaire.)

By the eerie glow of his Fliqer app, Jonathan saw his nefarious ancestor Vlad the Impaler for the first time.

Wow! he thought. The old sucker could be my twin if it weren’t for that silly porn mustache—and he’s evil and much older and not as cool as I am.

Behind the Prince, propped against the wall, Jonathan saw the form of a corpse dressed in a butler’s uniform.

“Follow me into my dining room. There is better light for…reading. The Prince lit his phone’s candle app named Happy Birthday. He opened a hidden section of wall that revealed a long staircase that led into a basement. He spoke as they descended hundreds of feet below the earth. “I vas told by my aunty, who is a vorld-renowned vriter, that you vere seeking out great letters of love and loss. Years ago, a beaten man came to my door. He had been attacked by a rabid badger vhile valking near my castle. Before he collapsed at my feet, he vhispered the name Penelope. I found these letters in his pocket and recognized their significance immediately. The whole vorld had been following the correspondence between Lord Huthbert and Lady Penelope for two centuries. I have…in my possession, the original copy of the final letter sent to Lady Penelope, vherever she is now, dated May 31, 1784.”

“No way!”


Jonathan gulped. “Thank you, sir. I can finish my work.”

“No, young Jonathan. As Karen Carpenter, that cute little skeleton, alvays sang, ‘Ve’ve only just begunnnnnnn.’”

Apparently, Vlad was as tone-deaf as his kin Jonathan.

“I hear that you vere looking for my banker Karoly. He got a little hung up, but your own father told me to make sure that I gave you…your inheritance.” 

“From his last will?”

“His most recent vill, anyvays. Catch.”

The Prince flung a roll of moldy cash that landed in Jonathan’s hand.



Here’s What You Do With a Drunken Sailor.

New Shark Fin Titled

Meanwhile in Long Beach, California… 

Here’s What You Do With a Drunken Sailor.

“It’s only me, from across the sea said Barnacle Balls the Sailor.”

The evil MacHeath hired a detective, Captain ‘Marlin’ Bill, friend with a great and sensitive snout, to follow Dauna’s (his love’s) pheromone trail across the Pacific. The captain sang as he anchored his boat, The Kegger on a small sand bar near  California’s Anna Copulata Island. That is where he had ‘sniffed out’ the shark goddess asleep at the edge of the water. Bill grabbed a net and sung a line from Minnie the Mermaid, “We lost our morals among the corals,” as he staggered toward her.


At noon, Dauna had found herself a quiet sand bar outside of San Pedro. A place  to rest before heading into the insanity of LA.

Upon the soft sand, with the water gently lapping at her tail, Dauna had fallen asleep.

Tales of mermaids abound. Some sport the tail of a codfish. Dauna, the Fijian shark goddess, in transition from fish to human form, was sporting the lower half — the deadly sword-like tail — of a thresher shark.

Dauna’s long, smooth, rear end kept a slow, rhythmical sway in the cool shallow water. The phantom image of a human wearing funny shorts — the tourist who visited her island — kept finding his way into her dreams.

While Dauna dreamt, her head turned and her eyes squinted to get a different  perspective of the strange human that she’d met before leaving her island home.“Bula, my name is Bernie,” his I.D. tag said. It had been foretold by the island’s crone, that the human with the cheesy Bermuda shorts would save her people. (Humans. Ugh.) Sure they’d have a few laughs, a coupla’ drinks, maybe even a dance or two. And afterward, well, she would chomp on him and wash him down with a hot aromatic cup of ‘A Rocket Up Your Ass,’ her newest coffee blend.  Despite the recent demise of her arranged-marriage husband, Bunji, on the way toward their honeymoon destination only a few days earlier, the journey to California remained important. During the long swim across the Pacific, she’d been contemplating the book Eat, Prey, Spawn — Seeking the predator within. Dauna felt Oprah- style empowered as she swam toward her destiny. 

As she lay face down, a hand began to rub her back. Sensing alarm, she awoke to the scent of dead mackerel, a whiff of peppermint schnapps, beer, Southern Comfort, Seagrams, tobacco, BO and urine, almost hiding the unmistakable scent of “long pig.” A filthy human hand dares to touch me!

Dauna felt the stranger’s shadow looming above, but kept herself still.

Even it’s shadow smelled bad. The disgusting thing was standing behind her, trying to … A net?

Yes, a net. Captain Bill suddenly threw a heavy section of fish netting over her head, and with compulsory drooling, he began to run his hands over the rest of her still half-fish body. He began calling her “his prize” and “his fortune.” He squatted next to her with the intent of lifting the sleeping mermaid into his boat.

She was dead weight, and he was too drunk to budge her.

“Damn! Well, what doooo we have here?” Bill whispered in her ear. “I’ve been following you, my fine little filet. Your boyfriend Mr. MacHeath, told me to look after you! I should take you home with me, and stuff you.” He began to stumble backward but managed to stay standing. “Maybe I’ll sell you to a fuggin’ museum.” Bill was now trying to unzip the button fly on his pants. Wait a goddamn second, babeeeee. How do fuggin’ mermaids make wookie, anyways?” 

Before he could jam his filthy hands into the sand beneath her human breasts, Dauna’s scythe-shaped tail swiftly raised itself from the sand and sliced off Bill’s pickled head. The graceful tail quickly transformed into shapely human legs. She stood and tossed the net aside. Take a breath Dauna.

Fully human now, Dauna checked out her fine ass in the reflection of Bill’s sunglasses. She put the glasses on, stripped the captain of his shirt and pants, slipped them on and dragged the headless body across the sand, back to The Kegger. Eighty-proof blood poured from the man’s throat like a spigot. Dauna, a five-foot-four powerhouse, lifted the fisherman’s body by its feet, smashed it against the side of the cabin and spilled the remaining guts on the deck. — All this before Bill’s pickled, brain, bobbing jauntily in the shore-break had a chance to spark its last.

Dauna tossed the head onto a pile of rocks for the harbor seals to play ball with. She sliced and diced the captain with an axe she found aboard and fed the bite-sized chunks pieces to the starving tuna imprisoned in the vessel’s hold. In the crowded tank, over a dozen large fish swam in patient circles around Bill‘s cold beers.

“Let’s have lunch!” Dauna said, tossing scraps and drinking a beer. “Sorry I couldn’t give you something better. Don’t get too drunk off of CAPTAIN FUCKFACE! And before you go home, pick yourselves a designated swimmer.”

Bill’s excess trimmings were tossed overboard for the crabs. The moment that the tuna were done eating, Dauna released her blitzed, but satiated new friends back into Mother Ocean.

“The word ‘dispatch’ came to mind. I like that word. I just dispatched that two legged pile of detritus! Dauna downed a beer screamed to the heavens in her loudest booziest whoriest voice. “Hey MacHeath, you asshole, wherever you are. I just killed your SCHEISSE FUR GEHIRNE (shit for brains) captain! Just call me the FUCKIN’ DISPATCHA!”

Dauna fired up The Kegger’s engine and swerved in the direction of LA and destiny.

Fish often “vocalize” through a series of body movements and grunts.

That night, the school of stewed tuna belched, “I love you, man,” to their buds — between bouts of blowing gastric chunkage. The dudes didn’t seem to care that their freakin’ heads would be pounding major ass the next morning.

Wind. Fred Barnett. 3-21-18

(Painting) DAFUQUE, IOWA – Fred Barnett

Dafuque, Iowa 3-21-18 Fred Barnett

An Elegant in the Room (Updated 3-12-18)

There’s an Elegant in the Room

01 Artemis C27 copy

5:25 a.m. The Interpol Lounge, First floor

Artemis “happened” in the halls of the LAs Interpol offices on a pre-dawn Monday morning.

Sam, the Interpol bartender, was busy washing glasses when he saw the maritime compass on the wall leap into a wild spin. Magnetic storm, he thought, and dismissed the idea, thinking, Hell, this is California. The Interpol bar’s dim lights blinked and failed. Now what?

The bar’s patrons, the agents of Interpol, turned their attention toward the fading moonlight that filled the wide doorway. The moon goddess/goddess of the hunt, Artemis, strutted by the doorway, then backed up to check out the agent with the ‘gift,’ the one that Interpol called ‘the god whisperer.’ She wanted to see what the big deal was about Bernie Benedict, before she headed upstairs to meet with her new friend, the Fijian shark goddess, Dauna.

Artemis’ short white tunic barely covered her six-foot-six athletic body. Her midnight blue braid swung around her bare white shoulder as she turned her head in search of her prey. 

Wounded and calloused, Bernie Benedict, the agency’s newest ‘star’ and investigator of divine apparitions had started drinking with the pre-dawn crowd. He looked up when he saw his co-workers, of all sexes, wheel their heads toward the door. His eyes followed their slack-jawed rapture. Artemis’ dark eyes beamed only at Bernie.

There was silence. A question had popped into everyone’s mind: Why Bernie? In their minds, another word followed: Bastard!

Artemis took in a second look, and giggled as she turned to leave. Bernie didn’t know why he was thinking, Uh-oh. I’m fucked. Shooting stars spun from Sam’s compass on the wall behind the bar and followed the goddess’ mighty stride toward the elevator. Eyeballs collided in the hallway trying to give her twice and thrice-overs.

There was a collective sigh and exhale from the lounge. All the agents had seen her—though they weren’t sure exactly what it was that they saw. There were gasps and tears, as a trail of broken hearts, dreams and longing had lain down in surrender, more than willing, hoping, to die in her wake.

And it was still only 5:30 a.m.

Bernie’s partner, agent Frankie Samidino, had stopped in mid-drink to fill his baby blues. Wow-wee-wow-wow. He’d forgotten all about the two twin Interpol code-breakers, both named Sheila at his side. The Sheila’s were all that, but nowhere near the divine “all” or “that” as the Olympian goddess in the moonbeams. Artemis never had to work at it. She just was.

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