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Freddy Barnett's

And Then Things Got Weird….

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Freddy Barnett

http://www.amazon.com/Fred-Barnett/e/B002N60GRQ Books: "Bloody Good" (True shark stories), "The Kingdom of the Cats" "Bats" Coming soon: "Shark Fin Soup" "Amok" NetworkedBlogsBlog:Freddy BarnettTopics: Fantasy, Horror, Humor  Follow my bloghttp://widget.networkedblogs.com/getwidget?bid=1453548

Bughouse: Opening page. Look for it. Halloween 2017

Bughouse ebook-3As a child, I lived in a home surrounded by imaginary terrors. My mother used to threaten my older brother and I when we misbehaved: 

“Just wait until your father comes home. Just wait until he comes home.” 

He’d died years earlier and we would shiver in fear beneath the blankets at the slightest noise. “Dad?”

anitas-bald-guy

 

The Origins of the Sawney Beane Clan: The Family that Preys Together

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The Family that preys together

(The Sawney Beane family lived on the Scottish coast of Galloway in the fourteenth century. For over twenty-five years the fiendish clan robbed and ate wayward visitors while living in a coastal cave hidden by the rough surf of the untamed northern Atlantic.)

In the jolly bonnie merry auld 17th century, where the jolly green hills of bonny auld Scotland meet the Jolly auld *Southern Sea, there once lived a very large, jolly, close — very close — family called the Beanes. They lived together at the furthest edge of the southern coast of bonnie Galloway. It was here, beneath the craggy cliffs, beside that cold, gray dreary windswept sea, that the happy Beane clan snuggled every night deep within their warm and fuzzy cave.

And it was in the close proximity of that same warm, fuzzy, snuggly, cuddly, boodgey-woodgey cave, that the Beanes kidnapped, robbed and ate perhaps thousands of “wayfaring human meals on the hoof” for over twenty-five years.

The father and leader of the clan was a big, brawny, toothy, red bearded charmer of Viking descent. His “loving” parents had named him Sawney Eric Beane. The soon-to-be-dreaded Sawney was born within a few miles of Edinburgh during reign of King James the 6th.

Sawney’s own father, Haas, who had married a winsome lass named Naier, was a poor, broken vegetable farmer with a terrible scarred face. Haas, who had raised potatoes on his farm by the “doon” near the “burn” near the meadow’s of heather had become literally afraid of all meat.

Legend says, that Ol…I mean … Auld Haas had been kicked in the head by a bull that he had been cooking, alive, in an open pit barbecue. Sawney and his dear old mum witnessed the incident when Haas, who “just couldn’t wait for the animal to die before he stuck his big stupid head into the pit for a bite,” thus setting his tar-coated beard aflame. Even the lice, living in the tangled coarse mat were smart enough to get away from the heat and bailed. Other assorted and providential vermin were sent sailing from Haas’s beard and into the air when the slightly peeved bovine kicked Haas” literally across his nearly vacant bean.

Haas and Naier Beane became strict vegetarians for the rest of their lives.

At a very early age, Haas’ only son, Sawney, quickly began to tire of his family’s vegetable fare of fungi and potatoes, potatoes and weeds, bark and potatoes and pebbles, bark, roots and potato with fried twigs, sand and mold. When all of the other families were dreaming of sugar plums all snug in their beds, the wee lad would sneak out of his bedroom, clutching his favorite stuffed potato, to hungrily search for rats within the families modest home. During the day, Sawney would hunt bunnies from Updock Bog, insects, and any other available protein.

The young boy began to show subtle traits of viciousness and cunning while still a shiny faced lad. Once, while in a mischievous mood, he ate the neighbors daughter,, and then when asked by local magistrates about her sudden disappearance, “blamed the savage attack on his pet dog Feedo, the pooch already famous for eating Sawney’s tedious homework. Since the excuse seemed plausible enough, the ten pound Scotch terrier puppy, was humanely put to sleep, by Sawney’s uncle Howya Beane, with 150 decibel bagpipe blasts in both of it’s ultra-sensitive fwoppy wittew doggy ears.

* The Southern Sea is historically the same sea that untrustworthy Bonnie lied over. Could never trust her.

Shark Week is Upon us…and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

https://www.amazon.com/Bloody-Good-True-Shark-Stories-ebook/dp/B00DU48RTY/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8Cover Bloody Good 2013https://www.amazon.com/Bloody-Good-True-Shark-Stories-ebook/dp/B00DU48RTY/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

The Further Adventures of the Cannibalistic Sawney Beane Clan.

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(An excerpt from Shark Fin Soup — A tale of sharks, cannibals, gods and true love.) 

The Beane Stalkers

Once Magistrate Wallass had been given the description of the two trampled Beane children with their unicorn pony, everything suddenly came together in his mind…. Missing people, pickled parts near the beaches where the mysterious Beanes were sometimes spotted. Wallass quickly dispatched a Guaranteed-Over-Month-Delivery message to King James to request reinforcements. 

Wallass needed at least a hundred men to deal with the large Beane family. The outraged King himself joined his best officers plus 400 of his personal guard to deal with this threat to decency and local tourism.

Two months later, The King’s men “immediately” began to sweep the Galloway area.  While patrolling the rocky shore near the cave, search dogs began to howl. The scent of death hovered in the approaching thick fog. Some of the hounds began to dig through the wet sand near the water covered entrance of the cave. As the soldiers rode along the shoreline the tide started to recede. Within an hour the saturated blood-soaked sandstone arch of the cave entrance, and a terrible stench was revealed (Would you like flies with that?).

With flaming torches and swords drawn, the Kings men began to experience the living quarters of “a really unique group of individuals.”

Within the glimmering light of their torches, the damp walls of the cave revealed human body parts-not hung like the spoiled sides of beef on rusty old hooks as in Connor’s Meat Shop-but tastefully displayed, in glorious tableaus, much like one would find painted on the side of an ancient erotic Greek vase. The ghostly glow of the soldier’s torches, divulged bundles of fine clothes and piles of jewelry in many side rooms.

Then little Sprout’s own treasure room was discovered. “Sprout’s Mountain of Bones” the crude sign on the draped door proudly announced (Sprout had learned to read while wandering through victim’s belongings). Inside the cavernous room an amazing sculpture, resembling “a terrible fearsome fish” was displayed as if in a modern natural history museum. It was a grotesque 90 foot monstrosity that had been growing and growing, bone by human bone, for over 8 years.

The terrible Fish Goddess Urtha, also known as Egad.

Count your Beanes

Since they were a very “close” family, the authorities found all 48 Beanes (Yes, there were many new Beaney babies), together in the Great Dining Hall. They had prepared themselves a great “Stew”-Lord Stewart of Gahoolie, and were busy eating him at the Great Round Dinner Table. They did not notice the intrusion of the 400 party crashers.

The quiet family dinner suddenly erupted into chaos when one of the hidden King’s men accidentally passed gas and other soldiers started to groan and chuckle within the shadows.

Deep, Delicate, Fruity, Peppery and Elegant.

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REBIRTH

And hallelujah, Bernie Benedict was to be reborn.

A voice called him ‘apotheothenai’ during his dream. It meant that Bernie had become one of “the apotheosized ones, reborn as a god” just as Hercules and Dionysus had done before him.

Artemis had his body and soul expedited through the River Styx where it went through its final upgrade. Upon Bernie’s golden cart, were his accolades, a God Certificate, a custom monogrammed bathrobe, an official and uncomfortable  golden head wreath along with a fifty-dollar meal credit coupon for the Thank ME,  It’s Friday’s restaurant, inside the Olympus Mall.

After being boinked to death by the goddess Artemis, Bernie now resembled Cary Grant and was fully registered as an “unclassified god.”

He was assigned the new name, Cupcaecius and was given a temporary number by Zeus, until a new position on Olympus was created.

Cupcaecius #6753XB had become the newest addition to the great Pantheon on Mount Olympus, after the induction of Salsalius #6754XB, who’d been named “The God of Tacos.”

Cupcaecius emerged from the Styx coffee bar wearing his new bathrobe and holding a steaming cup of Dauna, the shark goddess’, premium blend, Warp-Speed-Get-The-Fuck-Outta-My-Way-Asshole coffee — a product of the blood-soaked island of Kupiao, Fiji.

______________________

A few hours later, Bernie found himself back in his earthly hotel room, watching The God Channel, back in Cleveland at the Flamingo Arms Hotel. The sun was up. Artemis was gone, but her intoxicating scent lingered on his lips; deep, delicate, fruity, peppery and elegant.

Bernie could only remember a few sexy seconds about his date night with the now devirginized Artemis on the moon — Whoa! — vowing that he’d never get that drunk again.

The next afternoon, Artemis and Bomba the Kitty God drove Bernie back up to Mount Olympus to buy more clothing. Still groggy, in his robe, he appeared to be like any other brain-dead god who’d ever been dragged through Olympus Mall. Artemis helped him find a few god-in-training outfits, comprising of a handsome selection of suits and day and evening wear imported from London’s Savile Row. No more blinding Bermuda shorts for the ex Bolsa Chico Surf Patrol Chief. He was now a god and was expected to dress accordingly.

Bernie, despite feeling drained of all bodily fluids, felt more fit than he’d ever felt when he was a lowly human bug.

The next morning, he would pack for a trip down to Earth, where all fucked-out and all reborn-n’-shit, he would join the other love of his life-death-life, Dauna, the shark goddess, at JFK Airport… where, if she saw his ruined chastity trap, there would be some ‘splainin’ to dooooooo.’

Next stop: The Battle Royale of the Shark Gods, on New Year’s Eve, in Jamaica Bay, in Fuckin’ New Yawk.

Love among the Thorns of Peonari Castle

JPEG Final Tragic Mountain LARGE FLATTENED copy

“Groan.”

“Vhat the fote????” Said Vlad.

“Grooooaaaannn…” said a voice from within the crowd of the newly ‘evolved’ Hell’s Angles architect/bikers.

“Grooooaaaannn!”

Vlad’s eyes, full of venom, scanned his new army for the source of the interruption. “Such impudence! Who…?”

“Grooooaaaannn…” said the walking-dead-as-a-walking-doornail wretched maidservant Penelope as she began to shamble between the motorcycles, through the thorns and down the moonlit hill.

Curious about the zombie’s motives, the crowd watched her in silence.

“Mwoooooohhhhh annnnhhh,” groaned piteous Penelope, continuing her trademark shamble.

“What did she say?” asked Chester. “Where is the unfortunate creature headed, Your Highness?”

The Countess Bathory answered, “Penelope is telling us that through these thorns (sniff), brambles, and poison ivy (sniff) is the path…to true love. She was always the optimist, that poor, poor shell of a woman.”

Penelope’s heartbreaking groans faded as she headed deeper into the dense brush. “Mnnnnnungph…!”

“Jeez, she smells,” said one of the newly badass-ed motorcyclists.

Which was a good thing, because…

Downwind, at Poenari Castle, Huthbert Grieves, Vlad’s downcast moping zombie butler, who had bravely remained behind to defend the castle, had caught a scent of something he hadn’t dreamt about for nearly two hundred years. His neck creaked as he looked up toward the ridge outside. No, not smell like  brains. What was that? He sniffed the air and inhelled a smell as sweet and familiar as dead flowers. “P-P-P-P-P…It’sssss herrrrrrr!” He dropped his serving tray and shambled toward the cold moonlight streaming through the window.

Huthbert’s first smile in centuries cracked the parchment skin around his dusty mouth. Her name, buried in his desiccated heart, rumbled and found its way out of his papery lungs and across the lolling stub that was once his tongue. The sound, seeking life, broke to the surface. “Peh-Pehnelllllopeeeee…”

Mayhem and Mayday Aboard the Vinnie Maru

New Shark Fin Titled

Dauna, the shark goddess, feeling all sharky an’ shit, partied as she snapped and slashed at MacHeath’s crew. Suddenly, the entire cannibal crew of the Vinnie Maru, following the example of their crazed leader MacHeath were involved in a defiant bird-finger flipping frenzy. All were screaming:

“Son of a bitch!”

“दुष्ट!”

“κάθαρμα!”

“Drittsekk!”

“Figlio di una cagna!”

“זון פון אַ הור!”

“王八蛋!”

Cannibal heads rolled across the deck, knocking other cannibals over the railings like bowling pins.

Within seconds, Dauna had destroyed all but Captain Debas and…Where’s that yellow-belly MacHeath?

Above the thunder and wind, their fellow half -timbered agent T.K. toppled upon Captain Debas. The two struggled, stood, and tumbled over the railing, the captain defiantly and prominently displayed his yata yata yata blah blah blah for the last time.

Bernie slid backward, covering himself with the blue tarp while trying to avoid Dauna, the shark goddess’ lethal teeth, tail and toxic Tourettes that would make old Barnacle Bill, himself blush.

Bernie would never forget looking into Dauna’s deep brown eyes. “Don’t!” he pleaded. Her eyes were staring directly through Bernie’s while he tried in vain to back away and slipped into the unforgiving metal gunwale, hitting his head. Bernie was nearly unconscious when Dauna,—Sorry about this, sailor— bit into his groin. Snap!

“Chomp, chomp! (“No, I didn’t change his religion,” Dauna would later tell Frankie. “It was only a nibble.”)  That was the last thing that Bernie heard that afternoon, except when Dauna went into another obscenity-laced discourse on the benefits of public mastication.

 

Delirious, Bernie awoke inside of one of the ship’s cabins to the smell of cigarette smoke. A baritone voice repeated as if in a song, “You’re safe now. Are you still with us?”

Frankie had packed Bernie’s groin area with a rank poultice made of pulverized sea stars and seaweed peeled off of the Vinnie Maru’s giant nets.

Bernie had peeked at one point. What the hell is Frankie knitting down there? A sweater? And why is he smoking and sipping a cocktail while he’s OUCH!?

“Stay with me, pal. C’mon, buddy boy? You shouldn’t be wearing bloodstains after five, Clyde. Life’s too short to dress like a shark attack victim.”

The Hell’s Angles Motorcycle Club (Architects) Meet the Vampires on the road to Poenari Castle. ^^ö^^ ^^*^^

1. 4x7 BATS 8-25 MAP Print Proof Flattened w Rose V3 copy

Lupta Axe, the witch waved her cane and began to recite one of her famous stories:

“Ahem… Time. Stood. Still. Broken by an intensifying vibration, Thunder’s glistening bronze thighs began to quake. Handsome Jack’s mighty maracas nearly shook loose. The Paiute guide howled when she clamped down and crushed the stunned studly Spillwell’s notorious hardened spike… The wagon master’s dying wail triggered the legendary Montana avalanche known by all school-age children today as ‘Fuckin’ awesome!’”

Giant Tor turned to Chester. “Holy Swiss cheese, Chester!”

“Holy…It’s really her!” said Brutehilda.

Fuckin’ illiterates, thought Lupta.

“Yup. That’s Infinity Upton-Downes, alright,” said a Viking-helmeted man in a business suit, named Lutefisk.

Willowy Mina shook her head. She still couldn’t believe that her own aunty, Lupta Axe, was the famous author of the disturbing books that she had been hiding beneath her mattress next to her deluxe Willie Wanker Bar Vibrator.

Seven-foot Tor bent down and kissed Lupta’s black heavy heeled shoes and began to bawl like a baby.

“Enough, my Swedish meatball. You kids won’t find the god-blessed Countess and Prince Vlad at home neither!”

“Of course they’re not home,” said Brutehilda. “Vlad the Impaler and Bathory the Bloody Countess died hundreds of years ago.”

Lupta pointed her crooked cane at the Challenger. “Do you see the hottie behind the wheel with red pinstripes in her hair and glowing boobs next to the guy with the funny mustache smoking god-knows-what-unfortunate-creature in his pipe while wiping the unicorn shit off of his shoe? Well, that’s them sitting in the car, turd loaf. You’re looking at the genuine Prince Vlad the Impaler Dracula Tepes,” (From behind the windshield, Vlad smiled and mimed “Hi!” as he lifted his Meerschaum pipe and eyebrows.) “and the Bloody Countess Elizabeth ‘Hot Wheels’ Bathory, the real deal.” (Elizabeth grinned like a bear trap while flashing her glowing red-hot nipples …. . .-.. .-.. —, which in Morse code translated to “Hello.” They even beeped.)

The Countess Elizabeth Bathory materialized outside of her car and smiled as she  approached the Hell’s Angles Motorcycle Club. She smiled the same smile that drove Vlad to extinction nearly every night — Oh, how she loved to watch the Prince, blind with lust, batter himself to pieces against the battlements in a mayfly’s mating frenzy.

One biker, wider than he was tall, wearing thick glasses, black slacks, and a white dress shirt beneath his colors moved to the front of the group. “I…I’m Morris Weisman. At your service.”

“Weisman? You don’t look…”

“I don’t look what? Jewish?”

“No. You don’t look…Morris.”

The Countess licked her lips and winked at him. He blushed. Nice color, she thought. Juicy. I bet that any one of these bloated nerds could fill my entire bathtub to the brim with virgin blood.

Morris Weisman, standing next to a Harley Fatboy, continued, “Maybe I’m out of my league in the presence of such beauty, ma’am. Here’s my card. I do renovations for my architect buddies and I want to say that I really admire a set of nice headlights.” He was making Elizabeth very uncomfortable, staring so hard that he was practically looking through the Countess. — He was looking through her.

Vlad, holding a hand over the bump on his head, gasped. “Shall I kill this impudent little man for you, Snugglevumps?”

“Those headlights! Can I kiss them?” said Morris.

“What?! I mean vhat?!” Vlad fired back. His angry mustache started to flap wildly.

“The headlights, ma’am,” said Morris. “ I have to know. Is that a 1970 Barracuda?”

“Huh? Why? Uh… No,” said Elizabeth, a little shaken. “Challenger.”

“Wow!” continued the oblong man. “It’s a 1970 Challenger hemi. At first I thought it was a Barracuda. It does share some of the same components.”

“It’s a 1970 R/T 440 Magnum with the high-output 7.2L 440 cid Magnum big-block V8 engine.”

Morris trembled and fell to his knees and burst into tears of joy.

“Don’t mind Morris,” said a short saucer-shaped biker named Onan. “Morris is a mechaphile.”

“Oh! Morris is a mechanic?” said Elizabeth.

“Well, no, ma’am,” said Morris. “You might say that I really love cars.”

“A mechaphile,” said Onan.” You might say that Morris is into auto erotica!”

“What?”

“A mechaphile, Countess,” said Onan.

Jonathan turned to Elizabeth, “Morris wants to make love to your car, Countess.”

“Seriously?”

“Seriously,” said Onan. “Morris is perfectly harmless. He burnt himself romancing the tailpipe of a Masurati Gran Turismo that had only been parked for five minutes.”

“Well, that’s some sick shit,” said Lupta the witch.

“You’re hired,” said Vlad D. Impaler.

“Yeah! We bad, little mama!” said Morris.

“I’m bad too, Countess!” said a Dane named Magnus, who respectfully bowed down on one knee. He began to cry tears of shame and had a confession to make. “I…I don’t bring my own shopping bags!”

Another biker bowed. A Norwegian named Hakon. Shaking, he also confessed. “I don’t signal when I turn!”

“I…I leave the seat up,” said someone somewhat shamefully from the back of the crowd.

“Me too! I leave the toilet seat up!”

“Toilet seat, also.”

“Toilet seat.”

“Seat.” 

“Don’t listen to these wimps, Countess!” said a handsome Swede name Sigurd. “I cut farts and blame the dog.”

“You’ll tag along in back,” said Vlad.

The confessions went on for ten minutes.

“I steal ketchup packets from McDonalds!”

“I remove furniture tags!”

“Me, Tor…” (Knowing Tor’s vicious reputation, the crowd paused in anticipation) “I do not place my dirty dishes in the dishwasher!”

Fists shot up! Mighty war cries echoed across Bicaz Canyon.

Lupta, standing on the roof of the Bats Mobile, pointed her cane at the Angles. Thin sparks covered the hairy crowd beneath a web of light. “You are going to be bad!” She squeaked. “Timeout bad!”

“Sleep on the couch bad?” someone asked.

“Yes! Go-to-bed-without-dessert bad!” replied the Crone. “Who is the baddest among you all?”

“My husband Siegfried is on our local board of education,” said Inga. “It’s because of him that our kids are now given healthy snacks in school!”

“You bastard! I’ll fucking kill you and your family!” someone yelled. They shuddered. The bikers were confronting the faces of true evil among their own ranks. They’d never met genuine demons. Slack-jawed, they nearly froze beneath a sudden downpour of cold sweat.

Plague Season — from BATS on Amazon. A bat from the Front ^^ö^^ & Back ^^*^^

01 Plague Season for Web

Bats: Chapter 6:

Plague Season 

Two very old granite gargoyles greeted young guitar-slinger Jonathan Tepes as he approached the drawbridge of Poenari Castle, Prince Vlad’s home.

“Vait!” said Wichtoria, the gargoyle on the right.

Opri!” said Wichtor, the gargoyle on the left.

“You should always say ‘vait,’ Wichtor,” said Wichtoria as she strained her long granite neck over the battlement to get a better view of the pale young man in the rapid strobe of the lightning. Jonathan was standing beneath the drawbridge, shielding himself from the cold rain with his guitar case.

“You, down there!” shouted Wichtoria. “Are you here to entertain us? Young vippersnapper, are you…are you the singer James Taylor?”

“What?! Noooo!” said Jonathan.

Rain pummeled the blood-soaked soil and ran in red rivulets toward the moat.

“Maybe you are Jackson Browne then?” asked Wichtoria.

“Yes! You do look very familiar,” said Wichtor. “Are you a wisitor?”

“Wisitor? You mean, visitor? Yes, I am a wisitor!” said Jonathan, looking up at the gargoyles as the rain tapered off.

“I’ve dabbled in songwriting too!” said Wichtoria. “I could sing you some of my songs. Maybe, if you like them, I vill let you record them, Mr. Taylor.”

“Sorry! I only LOOK like James Taylor…before he lost his hair,” said Jonathan. “I’m also mellower!” he shouted while shooing away clouds of gnats, flies, and all manner of pestilence.

“I can’t play guitar with my talons and stony wings,” said Wichtoria. “But I can play a mean blues harp. Maybe we can jam later?”

Wichtor turned toward her sharply. “Enough, Wici!” Then he looked back down on the shivering human. “Young man! Did you park your wehicle in the wisitor parking?”

“Wehicle? Wisitor parking? Why, no!”

Wichtoria said, “If you’re only wisiting, you should never park in the wesidential parking. Parking is wimited. If you need to unload your band equipment, you can—”

“I am a wisitor, I have no wehicle, annnnnd I DO NOT have a band!”

“I am Wichtoria. You can call me Wici. This is Wichtor. He is a ‘sir.’”

“Maybe after your show we can have a drink,” said Wici. The gargoyle winked at young Jonathan. Wichtor shook his stony head in shame.

 “This is not funny,” he said. “It’s freezing and raining!”

“Did you hear that, my little angel? I’m shocked! Did you know that our veather stinks, Wici?”

Poison arrow frogs dropped from the sky onto Jonathan’s shoulders.

“The Prince had me brought here in the taxi. Please!” said Jonathan.

“Oh! So Mr. Big Shot sent for you! Vell then, velcome!” they both said.

“Is it safe here? Everyone down in the village at Poenari seems frightened,” shouted Jonathan. “A woman dressed in black warned me about vampires.”

“Ha! She must have been an oldt vife!” said Wichtor. “Cause that is an oldt vife’s tale! There are no such things as w-w-w-w-wampires!”

“Maybe we should tell our young wisitor about the wampires,” Wichtor whispered into Wici’s ear. “Hey, you! Young man! We do have wampires!”

“What?”

“Only a few,” said Wici trying to calm him.

“No. Don’t make him worry, Wici,” said Wichtor.

“What happened to your accents? The Vs and Ws?”

“Busted! The Vs and Ws were just a setup for the wampire joke,” Wici said. “Actually, we are from Paris, monsieur.”

Something black landed on Jonathan’s collar. “Ow! What the hell just bit me?” he asked, flinging his hands around.

“That was either Cherubino or Angioletto,” said Wici.

“Damn! That was a bat!” screamed Jonathan.

“Transylvanian Mosquitos,” said Wichtor, trying not to drive away his employer’s prospective dinner. “The woods are rotten with…creepies undt crawlies.”

“Can you please lower the bridge?” yelled Jonathan.

Wichtor looked over to Wici and gestured with his talon. “Look at that, Wichtoria! The boy didn’t bring a jacket. Kids these days, I tell ya.”

“Before we can open the bridge, we are required to ask you three questions,” said Wici. “National security. Do you understand?”

“Okay! Please!” Jonathan sneezed loudly.

“Did you hear that, Wichtor? Mr. Taylor, does your mother know that you’re dressed like that? You could catch your life of cold out here. Where’s your sweater?”

“Look! He’s catching pneumonia,” said Wichtor. “Ask him already!”

“Are you listening?” she yelled. “Question number one: Tell me which movie this quote came from: ‘Come…on! Move into the slow lane, you stupid bastard!’”

“The Day of the Driving Dead!”

“Not bad, kid,” said Wichtor, framed by a cloud of descending locusts. “Number two,” Wici continued. “‘Hisssssss…ski.’”

“The Polish Bride of Frankenstein. Too easy,” said Jonathan, teeth chattering.

Lightning struck behind him, pushing him toward the red water of the moat. A hundred pairs of green eyes lit up as the crocodiles waited for him to slip.

“The kid’s good!” Wichtor said to Wici. “For one hundred dolari! Are you listening, young man?”

“Yes, I’m listening! Brrrrrrrr……”

“Well, then you should have listened to your mother!” interrupted Wici. “If you had any brains, the Good Humerus Man would be selling them frozen on a stick. Not even a hat! What they teach you in college? Okay, smarty pants, Wichtor will ask you question number three! Hurry, Wichtor, I think he’s becoming a frozen entrée.”

“Okay! For one hundred dolari,” said Wichtor while the clock from the highest tower clicked. “Identify this famous quote: ‘The bwud is the wife, Mr. Wenfield!’”

“Elmer Fudd as Dwacuwa, 1964! So, where’s my money?”

The two gargoyles looked at each other and shrugged.

“Do you have any cash on you, Wichtor?” asked Wici.

“Do you see pockets here, Wichtoria? The sculptor carved us naked. I have nothing! Nothing! Not even a sock for my schmekel!”

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