Swimming in The Sea of Kosher Bacon. (Acrylic and ink) 2-20-21
Swimming in The Sea of Kosher Bacon. (Acrylic and ink) 2-20-21
Dauna the Fijian Shark Goddess while in her human form, wanted to read Interpol agent Bernie Benedict (aka Cupcake) a story…
“Eric was a particularly evil Viking,” The 3000-year-old goddess Dauna recited. “I’ve got the original Viking text right here. The tale is ‘Den Lille Dragen Båt Som Kunne.’ In English, that translates to ‘The Little Dragon Boat That Could.’”
“Is that book is made of real gold?” Bernie was impressed.
“Sure. Sit, my lutefisk. Lay your horny helmet upon my lap.”
What did she just say?
“Tell me what happened to your lip? Kissing another sexy fish besides your little Dauna?”
“Goldie, my goldfish. She attacked me. I had this feeling that your arch enemy, Edwin MacHeath, set my own pet against me! Goldie jumped out of the tank and bit me on the lip when I was leaving the house.”
“Goldie? Your little Goldie? Goldie Geller? That BITCH! Jesus.”
“Yeah! Jesus was there too (Bernie talked to Jesus on a regular basis because the Messiah wanted Bernie to set him up on a date with one of goddesses that he knew).
“Maybe, Jesus was mad it because I’d walked out on him, late for work. And, to tell you the truth, last night, I was given another ‘physical’ by your ‘trusted’ friend, Artemis. I should probably report her to the Olympus Medical Board.”
“Barely there. Ow (Bernie’s injured flunkerwagger was throbing in pain).”
“SLUT! Sorry.” Dauna moved to the far end of the couch. “It’s okay, Cupcake. Come here, my gold fish warrior. Rest your head.”
Bernie cautiously stretched his tired, hairy, lumpy body across the (barely tolerant) couch to lay his head upon the goddess’ soft thigh. Bernie closed his eyes as Dauna stroked his hair. Dauna’s gentle breathing made him feel as if he were rocking on a boat beneath the stars. He snuggled into her warm welcoming lap. Dauna’s ‘scent’ was now fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. Bernie was calming down (ha ha).
Dauna reached over Bernie, toward the coffee table to grab the ancient book. Somehow, carelessly, she brushed her barely covered nip across his lip. “Oops. Ooh, you poor boy.” She placed her bottle of salt water (she had to drink the stuff regularly while on land) on Bernie’s lap. His pain crested then subsided. “Now, close your eyes and open your mouth. I’ve got something for my good boy — while I read to you.”
“I’ll be fine.”
“You’re still fidgeting. I said, eyes closed, mouth open. Wide, like a grouper.” Bernie was expecting a lollipop or an aspirin. Instead Dauna placed the same thinly covered breast across his mouth, thinking that it would be ‘the civil thing to do.’ Maybe this will finally calm-him-the-fuck down.
“Catch of the day, huh, Bernie? Now, do you promise to stop fidgeting? Put on this bib.”
“So, what’s the big deal About Nommy Nommy Nummy Noms?
That evening, the tall, beautiful Moon Goddess, Artemis and Bernie’s ex-cat Bomba roared up onto the muddy lawn of Bernie’s rented bungalow in Santa Monica with a load of Artemis’ freshly captured handbags in the backseat. ‘Artie’ parked the Barracuda. She had an urgency about her—something very important to show the sleeping Bernie. The door was unlocked—once Artie had twisted off the knob.
Moonbeams were streaming through Bernie’s window when he felt his thighs impacted. Artemis had pinned him down as if he were a specimen. Her smooth knees were on his shoulders. As she stared at Bernie coldly, Bomba the cat had dutifully taken his place next to the door as if to prevent his ex-can opener’s escape. Bernie had no intention of going anywhere; he was quite content where he lie.
“What time is it?” he asked.
“Don’t you dare move a muscle, hot shot,” said Artemis. She reached behind her and flicked Bernie’s injured flunkerwagger (Imprisoned and injured wiener) with a long fingernail. “That oughta wake you up, suckling pig.”
“Damn! What was that for?”
Artemis was a little ticked off over Dauna’s boasting and breastfeeding of Bernie. “It’s just unfair. As a viiiiiirrrrgin, I have these rules I must abide to. That tramp has none. Is it true that Dauna nurtured you like an infant?”
Excerpt From: Fred Barnett. “Shark Fin Soup 2020.” Amazon & Apple Books.
When six-year-old Ether Gray and his four-year-old sister, Anesthesia, took their little brown and white dog, Femur (Woof! Woof!), for his morning walk down tree-lined Sunny Lane. During the late morning, the street was normally empty.
The two Gray kids were not welcome in town.
The Gray children awoke to the festive sounds of local kids laughing and stealing all the cookies and candy off of Wingnut’s counter. From across the street, Old Alvin watched — as the well-bred children of Cowsill ransacked his life.
Even a pauper’s death was preferable to listening to those two lifeless whippersnappers who were still inside his store.
The Gray’s classmates had run out of the store with their booty in a hurry, making believe that they didn’t hear Ether and Anesthesia calling their names.
It was dark when Ether and his little sister had left Wingnut’s. Stolen bags full of “free” chocolaty snacks were stacked up in the little red wagon that the two tykes had borrowed.
The Gray kids and their trusty pooch, Femur (Woof! Arf!) headed off for the Fair.
“Observe, Anesthesia! It’s Goofy Moofy!”
Moofy whined to himself as he lay in the gutter.
“I’ve got ‘man tits.’ My suckling babies are coughing up hairballs! Whaaaaa!” cried Goofy. Moofy was Cowsill’s official town drunk.
Anesthesia was puzzled. She looked up to Ether and asked, “What are ‘man tits,’ big brother?”
Ether began to roll on the subject. “Well, my little sister … Wait! … Sit, Femur! Sit!” ‘Woof! Woof!’ Good boy! … Okay, Anesthesia. Man tits. What Goofy Moofy means is … that he is in possession of rather capacious breasts for a male of the human species.”
“Oh! You mean hooters!”
“Uh — that’s what our father used to call them until mom castrated him with the Hamilton Beach juicer, Anesthesia. A sophisticated person would refer to the mammary glands, respectfully, as breasts. Breastfeeding provides nutrition for baby mammals….”
“What are you kids yapping on about? Please! Stop!” said Goofy Moofy.
“Listen, Mr. Moofy, and you will learn! A mammal is a warm-blooded animal, associated with the class Mammalia. Mammals possess a vertebrate, hair, or fur, and bear live young who are nourished by the secretion of milk by the females of the species by way of special glands, or as my Yale Medical professor called them … ‘a nice rack.'”
(Luckily for Goofy Moofy, he was piss-drunk and had already passed out.
Another lucky soul saved from tedium by alcohol.)
Femur, after licking up the booze in the puddle next to Moofy, was trying to bark “Woofth! Woofth!” (which means: “Hey, I love you, Dog.”).
The little terrier could not walk any farther. Femur needed to be put into the wagon with the bags of Wingnut’s candy.
The trio soon entered the Fairgrounds.
* * * *
To be released in December 2020. My personal favorite short stories.
Later this week: 2nd chances, giant moths, human black holes, nine lives and surfing into LA on tidal waves.
I spent months overhauling my novel BATS. The eBook is only $3.99! Be the first one on your block to have it for Halloween 2021!
What kind of threat can bring our divided America together again?
Rats! Giant rats! Millions of giant rats!
The Duck n’ Fishes
The proprietor and bartender, Shannon was a good listener, up to a point. She had her limits. Her ‘limit’ on this Friday was when Al Nichol wanted to show off his new gun while he was drinking inside her quiet bar.
“I know that clown!” said war vet and helicopter pilot, Al Nichol, who was looking across the bar at the front page of Ken’s newspaper. “Wishy-washy stupid jerk!” Ken was a ponytailed old hippie who demonstrated against the same war.
“The Umberto Vaguerro that I know is a straight-up guy,” said old hippie, Ken.
“It says that Umberto is a painter,” said Ken Robby who had spread the Los Angeles News out upon the bar. “Sorry, pal,” said Al. “Umberto sounds kinda Artsy-fartsy? What does he paint? Protest posters, I bet … when he’s not busy raising crab lice over at Spahn Ranch with Timothy Leary and the Manson girls.”
Ken looked suspiciously at loudmouth Al and quietly shook his head. “No. Umberto paints houses, shrapnel brain.”
“I’m sorry, did I disturb your happening?” said Al. “Go ahead, look out the window. It’s a real love-in on the street today. All of that traffic and nobody seems to be upset. Why aren’t they honking? Those people out there are like lambs on their way to slaughter. THIS is a bigger problem than the incense shortage in Haight-Ashbury! Look at all of them. PITA people!”
“The animal rights group PETA?”
“No! The initials are P-I-T-A, for Pains In The Ass! Have you noticed how many show up on Fridays? They’ve got a plan.”
“I haven’t heard anyone mention Timothy Leary since 1969. What’s the ‘plan?’”
“Wanna see my new toy? Check this out. I’ve got a .44 Magnum, the most powerful…”
Shannon sprang into action and pounded the bar in front of Al’s face. “Put that damned thing away!” She froze him with her ice blue eyes, finally saying, “I think that you need to stand in the corner and think about what you just did.”
“Sorry, ma’am. I’ll never bring it in here again. But you never know when you’ll need one.” Ken let out a sigh of relief as he watched Al slip the gun back into his jacket pocket.
Both men lived around the corner from the Duck n’ Fishes.
Shannon, was scrappy enough to take on any shenanigans that might happen on her watch. Shannon was on edge trying to give up her lifelong smoking habit.
A line cars had been at a stand still in front of the Duck ‘n Fishes for over a half hour.
“Listen.” Al said to Ken. “We’re both Americans. I know we don’t agree on much, but I believe that we are all in great danger. I think that you know what I know and information like that puts us right at the top of their hit list.”
Ken asked, “Who’s hit list?” emphasizing the syllable ‘belch.’ Ken was trying to steady his nerves with a beer and the newspaper after having sat, for over two hours, in the same Los Angeles traffic Hell outside the bar’s door. He noticed the lack of traffic noise outside. The quiet was … odd.
“Liberal sheep,” said Al. “ I’ve seen you stuck out there on the 405 on Fridays. Sure. I’ve seen your VW van from the air. The rolling pot bordello with the peace sign on the Kremlin-red roof.”
“My mother used to call it my ‘whore house on wheels.’Mr. Nichol, I agree with you — about there being some kind of organized group behind the phenominomin.. phenomenum.”
“You’re not supposed to agree with me, long hair. What are you getting at?”
“Normally, I’d call you a paranoid redneck, but I’ve seen them too. The extra cars. The vermin,” Ken said while pointing to the solid lines of cars outside, “I’ve seen them coming out of their lairs. It seems that we’ve got giant rats, of all things, running an upholstery shop in Tijuana. And I do think that it’s odd that the News put the ‘tar’ story right under the ‘rat’ story. Tar may be the reason that they’ve been driven out of the tunnels.”
“Let me see that.” Al took the paper from Ken’s hand and read the headline. “Now, THIS is a freaky groove, man. Maybe the rats are being forced out of their hiding places.”
Headline: La Brea Tar Spilling into LA River
La Brea, Los Angeles, 6 a.m. December 12, 2012
Tar is appearing in the Los Angeles River channel from the area near the La Brea tar pits. Large black streams have traveled downstream between Marvin and La Cienega. There are a tangle of drains, with overflows built into them … A few very large drains have an outlet at Fairfax and La Cienega, bringing in flows from as far north as West Hollywood. There are still active oil wells in this zone, so it is fair to speculate that there…
“It seems like thousands of them lie in wait in the tunnels until Friday morning arrives,” said Al.
“You may think that I have granola for brains, sir, but the reason I mentioned the tunnels was, one morning, when I couldn’t sleep…”
“I had you pegged for snotty muesli,” replied Al.
Ken continued: “Ha ha…So I went out for an early breakfast and as I drove by the river bed near La Brea, I saw cars pouring out of the portal near Slauson. This was at 4 a.m. I thought that I was still hallucin…dreaming.”
Ken worked from 5:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., six days a week as a security guard for Worldwide Awake Security. He drove from Santa Monica to Downtown and back nearly every day.
“You live over on Cowan, right?” asked Al.
“Yeah. The green house,” said Ken.
“I’ll tell you a little story. You’ll probably think that my head is full of shrapnel. It’s possible. I was a pilot in Iraq, and now I pilot a traffic helicopter. They want to replace me with a drone.”
Al was employed as a pilot for KHLA Traffic Helicopter Watch, though was now on administrative leave because of his alcoholism and violent tendencies. Last month Al had been filmed by police below dropping beer bottles on cars near Pasadena at sunup.
“It wasn’t like I was dropping bottles on real people. I felt as though I was dropping them on the silly rodents that I’ve seen scurrying out of the tunnels in the river bed. These Friday commuters are like rats.”
Ken slid over one barstool next to Al so that his old ears could hear the pilot better.
Al still had some gumption unlike Ken whose only exercise these days was pressing his right foot into the gas pedal. Ken relaxed at the Duck n’ Fishes every afternoon. He would sit for hours looking and dreaming over the blue-eyed owner, Shannon, behind the bar.
“I used to fly over this mess nearly every day,” said Al.
A sharp jolt shook the bar. They all felt the earthquake though no one flinched. Just a typical day in LA.
The two old men never really spoke about their mutual experience with the extra ‘PITA’ (Pains-In-The-Ass) people before today. Though at politically opposite poles, they both had a similar gut feeling about Fridays, that others would seem irrational. The scope of the problem would go far beyond their political disagreements. Al Nichol felt it was time to befriend Ken Rodby because he felt that their great city and all their lives were in grave danger. Ken’s blood pressure was sky high. He was the kind of personality that held it in. Always held it in.
The PITAs came from beneath the Freeways and waited for the clueless humans to reach their ‘bursting point’ while stuck in traffic. The Pitas wanted them to have coronaries. Afterward, shielded from view within the immobile parking lot called the 405, they would gnaw on the human corpses as Friday night descended.
Chapter 26: Sssssss-slaughter is the Best Medicine: Aftermath
It was a miracle that only a handful of people perished in the Black Friday battle for Poenari Castle. Two of the Meine Runt-Pferde mercenaries, Golden Dusche (Golden Shower) and Frechen Säugen (Perky Suckle), were trampled during the initial assault as they stood by the heavy wooden doorway and were relieved of their trendy clothing. There was no stopping the ravenous hoard of Black Friday Shoppers, until every stitch on every mercenary was gone.
After the sale, Elizabeth picked through the leftovers in the castle with her talons and then placed a comforting wing around Jonathan who was crying his eyes out.
“Mina always told people that she was so willowy that she could be blown away with by (sniffle, sniffle)…” he said. “Oh no!”
“By a fart. I know. Rest in pieces, Mina dear,” said Elizabeth as she pulled out her hip flask and saluted the air, “wherever the unholy fute you are.”
“Mina vent out of this vorld a true heroine—a legend,” said Vlad, “She’s probably scattered somevhere over Florida.”
“Her pretty blonde head is probably in Mexico,” said Lupta, noting the prevailing winds.
Question Mark and Candy pulled up on the Segway. “Where’s Mina?”
“Gone,” pined Jonathan. He sighed. “I have this terrible fear that her cute little ass is probably on display in the Brigitte Bardot Museum in France by now. Geez, what happened to your face, Mark?”
“He’s was popping his zits at the escaping mercenaries,” said Candy.
Jonathan sat on a stump. “Oh, ick. An excreter.” Now he was thoroughly ill.
“Poor Mina. I won’t be able to sleep without the sound of Mina’s self-loathing orgasms crying out into the night,” said Elizabeth.
“Mnnnnnnngph?” said Huthbert who shambled out of the woods holding hands with Penelope.
“Grrrrrrrowpt (Mina is fertilizer),” moaned Penelope.
Huthbert nodded and hugged her. They were happy — looking forward to growing mmmmm-M-OLD together.
Penelope moved Huthbert’s dusty hand to her dusty ass.
“Look!” said Elizabeth, pointing to a fine mist seeping through the bricks in the wall.
Lupta Axe turned to see. “Smokey Robinson! It’s a miracle!”
“It’s a Stevie Wonder!” said Question Mark.
“It’s Mina!” said Jonathan.
Mina’s form had taken shape among the vapor. “Yesiree, pardners, I done lassoed me a fart-ado (far-tay-doh) and had myself a rodeo!”
“Mina whips butt!” said Candy, snapping her bullwhip.
“Oh, Mina. Your clothes!” said Elizabeth.
Mina’s little Annie Oakley outfit was left in tatter. There wasn’t enough left of it to be called tatters—plural.
“I must look a mess,” said Mina.
“You’re bleeding, darling,” said Jonathan.
Bat heads riveted. Some turned 360 degrees.
“Let me lick your wounds,” Jonny pleaded.
“Down, boy,” she said. “I’m okay, Jonny. Really! Well…maybe not.”
“We were worried that your cute little—” Lupta began to say.
“My cute little what?” asked the willowy one.
“Your handsome young minstrel was heartbroken,” added Elizabeth. “He was…fretting. Did I just say what I thought I said?”
“Mina,” explained Jonathan, as he turned back into a laid back hip human. “I had this awful vision that your body was blown up and…your cute buns, yes, those, were blown alllllll the way to the Bardot Museum in Paris where they put them on display, and then—”
“Awww, that’s sweet, Jonny.” She turned her back toward him, displaying her last tatter. “Were they displayed…like…this?”
“I know where this conversation is going,” said Lupta. “C’mon, everyone, some of us old folks need to get some endless sleep.”