Art by Vitaliy Hagen
“And God Spoke to Moses” — Exodus 33:11
“Are you listening Moe? Stop looking at your tablets. Focus on the flame. Tell your people, I the almighty, will watch over them as long as they keep me entertained. ”
T.K. Betel nut is a living, seven-foot-tall tiki. A curio. A half human stick. On a normal day’s stakeout Agent Betelnut will spend hours standing statue-still while tuned into the latest (mostly) fair and no longer completely ad free, news broadcast by the world’s oldest Wi-Fi: the Telepathica Pacifica Network (TPN).
Thousands of years ago, the TPN was set up as a web of psychic protection for plant life around the globe.
The TPN does not accept monetary donations from even plant-loving humans. Throughout the history of plant systematics, the TPN’s green members have all witnessed friends, relatives, seedlings and saplings chopped or mowed down, and mashed into paper currency for humans.
Today,T.K. was listening to the plant-based network while on a stakeout for his carnivorous friends at Interpol. His assignment was related to the protection of front yards everywhere. Specifically, he was there to protect the prestige of the original Don Featherstone lawn flamingos produced by Union Plastics.
Interpol believed North Korea intended to flood the free world with cut-rate birds. If left unchecked, the commies could ruin lawns everywhere with cheap knock-offs.Until now, the free world’s front yards—the ones blessed by genuine Featherstones—had been worth defending against marauding juvenile delinquents — the ones whose parents never lifted a hand to smack some goddamned manners into the noisy “little bastids.” Yeah, the same “little bastids” who made life a living hell for the half human half log, T.K., by tipping him over in public, just because they thought it was “funny.” Brats.
Beneath the hot afternoon sun on a quiet Tuesday, T.K. tilted himself a few more degrees to the east, to help improve the reception on the grassy slope.
This is a little chocolaty taste from my upcoming big-assed novel, Shark Fin Soup….
In this scene, Dauna the Fijian shark goddess, owner and only waitress of Donette’s Cafe on the Bolsa Chico pier, and owner of her own coffee empire is trying to cheer up Bolsa Chico’s Surf Patrol chief who has just been scandalized by his wife across international news….Dauna suffers from Tourette Syndrome, cursed because she used Gods name, in vain, one two many times in her 3000 years on Earth….
“C’mon, Chief snap out of it. One day you’ll fall in love again. Hey, look! I allllllsooooo…” Dauna bent toward Bernie, and reached behind herself “Oh, there it is!” …to reveal… “Ooh! I think that this may be a magic happy birthday hat for you, chief! It is!” She pulled the shiny hat from below her skirt. “I’ve been warming this up for you, hun.” It was a foil hat and the crinkles in the metal made it look happy. She sat down, and presented him with the consecrated flat hat. She opened it up and put it on his sorry head. “It’s magic! You never know, right? It might be. Wow! And It’s so toasty warm. Feel!”
“Muy caliente, eh?” Dauna, stood up and announced to all, “WHAT WOULD YOU EXPECT AFTER SPENDING AN HOUR NESTLED BETWEEN THE HOTTEST ASS CHEEKS in…uh…Oops. Sorry, folks! Not really.” Monsieur Tourette was speaking through Dauna today as if she were a tawdry ventriloquist’s dummy.
She turned and whispered to Bernie, “Did I say something dirty again, hun? Hopeless! I better just go and fetch your…… FUCKIN’ EGGS!” She sashayed to the kitchen and returned a few moments later. “Here they are! Hot, soft and oooey-gooey. Like…me.”
“Huh?” She tossed the plate on Bernie’s table and left him to wallow in his misery. He absentmindedly picked up his fork, and that’s when he heard a choir begin to sing. A choir at the end of the Balsa Chico Pier? Bernie looked up and out the restaurant window and saw only Sol, the restaurant’s mascot seagull who was known for his huge loose bladder and perfect aim on people’s heads. Sol was eating from a drunk’s bait bucket. Bernie heard a chirp and looked up to see another Donette’s ‘regular,’ Dwayne the lizard, scurrying across the ceiling.
My damned life couldn’t get more fucked up.
“God Over Easy.”
The sound of the heavenly Choir resumed. Bernie looked up. Nothing there. He turned back to his breakfast.
What Bernie saw next was a face staring at him from his sunny-side eggs. Maybe it was the pepper making the design, or the way that Reynaldo the cook had routinely over cooked them.
A tiny bearded face was smiling at Bernie Benedict.
“Waitress!” Bernie screamed. “ Hurry!”
“Hold onto your baguette! GODDAMMIT! I’m covered in chocolate!” Dauna sashayed toward the chief’s table. “What do you need?”
He could only point at the table.
“You didn’t do a Linda Lovelace on the Polish sausage, did you? I don’t do Heimlich.” She looked down at Bernie’s plate of sunny-side eggs, and did indeed see the smiling face of Jesus, in all of his shining glory. Bernie was nearly choking. Unable to grasp the conversation between the waitress and the eggs. “You didn’t RSVP!” Dauna told the eggs. “Are you coming to my wedding in a few weeks?”
Bernie felt paralyzed.
“I’m working on my comeback TV special, shark goddess” said the runny Messiah. “How about I show up at your honeymoon, instead?”
“Hardy har har, smart ass. Stick to preaching.”
“Why are you flirting with Bernie?” asked Jesus. “Poor guy.”
“Lupta, the sage of Kupaio, told me that I must protect him. I don’t know why. Look at this busted up schmo, J.C. He’s feeling really down. Right now, he’s the saddest man in the world. I’m just trying to cheer up the dumb lug. Can I get you some coffee or something, chicken fruit?” she said to the sunny-side son of God.
“Chicken fruit? Have you been behaving yourself? Why are you here, God Junior?”
“I’m honing my rusty social skills. Ahem! Commandment number eight: Thou shalt not steal. Are you listening to me, Dauna? Do not steal Bernie Benedict’s heart. He’s in pain.”
“Excuse me everyone,” Dauna put her hands over her face. “Ah…aH…AH… FUCK!”
“Are you catching a cold?” asked Jesus.
“No. I’m just allergic to bullshit.”
Sylvia Benedict was discovered crying inside of the Sea Lion Beach Geezer World Van by local lifeguard, Brad Stokely, as he was headed home. “I found the woman sitting inside the van, crying over Mr. Noway Sr. The motor was still running. The van’s motor, not the old fart’s. Noway had suffered a heart attack.”
Sylvia , the spouse of beloved Bolsa Chico Surf Patrol Chief, Bernie Benedict, confessed to the ambulance staff concerning the death of her eighty-eight-year-old lover:
“We’d just had a friendly dinner, celebrating Wayne’s new Thriller Driller Penile Implant. He suggested that we to go out and replace all of the steel fasteners on the Long Beach bridge with his new… Oh, poopsieeeeeeeee!” (Crying.) “Wayne seemed fine! He really did. Then, after his little nap time, he wouldn’t respond.”
“That’s quite enough, Mrs. Benedict,” said the nauseous ambulance driver.
The truth was el vomitosio. Somehow, the video of her story ended up on the local news.
Wayne Noway III’s (the grandkid) surfer buddies said that the sixteen-year-old surfer had been “blowing major chunkage,” “praying to the porcelain” and “hurling with a mighty chunder” after reading about what his grandpa and his ex-teacher had been doing. Los barfos, mesdames e messieurs.
My Sylvia! Bernie thought. And…and Wayne’s grandpa?! Noooooooooo!
He had to get out and get some fresh air, now.
After the broadcast, it seemed that the entire town of Bolsa Chico wanted to line the pier and join local hero Bernie, in his major heave fest. It was if they’d all been hit with the dreaded Nosoi flu.
For days afterward, Bernie felt as though he were wearing a big red ‘D’—for Dumbass — on his forehead. Time had come for him to leave his longtime friends, his beloved job and his hometown of Balsa Chico.
Donette’s Cafe, formerly Rosie’s, was built upon the end of the Bolsa Chico Pier, in Orange County, California, in 1956. Recently, it had been purchased by a dark, sultry, dirty-talking shark goddess, Dauna Robinson, who bought the cafe to promote her native Fijian coffee products: the high-octane Getthefuckouttamyway and Outtamywayasshole coffees, grown on her private island of Kupaio. Dauna was the one and only waitress at Donette’s.
Bernie rarely drank the coffee, but loved the food. It was the following Sunday, Bernie’s birthday, when he ordered his final breakfast at Donette’s.
The TV was on and…
“Oh, Fuck! No! Not……. on…….. my………goddamned birthday!” Bernie said. The other customers were wondering if the patrolman had caught Tourette’s from Dauna.
Nope. The news was on CNN — and Bernie was pissed. His tragic ‘train wreck’ had gone both bacterial and viral. Millions, perhaps gazillions, were following Bernie’s sad story.
Jonah “The Prophet” (when he was still operating as a non-prophet)
Swallowed By “Great Fish”
JOPPA, Mediterranean Sea
Monday, Fifth Century A.D.
…..They continued to pray, and finally, after ten more lovely coeds drowned, God stopped the storm. They then threw Jonah, the party pooper, overboard.
Jonah immediately fell into the open jaws of the “fish.”
Miraculously, after tree soggy days and three glorious smelly nights in the great fish’s belly, the prophet was spat out alive (and whole), which may have been due either to Jonah’s legendary lack of personal hygiene or near-constant flatulence.
The predator was first assumed to be a cetacean (i.e. a whale, a mammal). It was most likely a shark… and a shark of that size was probably a White Pointer (i.e. Great White).
Sharks can turn their stomachs inside out (yeech). expelling foreign objects, such as prophets, whole!
(This story reached our city desk at 8:30 P.M., 467 A.D., just a few centuries after the event.)
Though the “oral” tradition of storytelling is a vast improvement over the “anal” tradition of story telling (Speaking out of one’s ass), some minor details may have been altered over the years.
“We do know that most of this tale is true, though the facts may not be ‘written in stone,’” said our editor Mr. Hezekiah.
The warm morning sun shimmered upon the rippling sea. A nice sized coconut bobbed up and down just past the surging shoreline and a few yards past the black skinned, golden haired, fifteen-year-old Mmbop Handsun, the prince of his own itsy-bitsy teenie-weenie Micronesian kingdom.
It was going to be another hot one, and Mmbop had forgotten his newest pair of certified-previously-owned Ray-Ban sun glasses given to him, in trade, by a rich tourist woman for one of his prized wood carvings — carvings that he ordered, weekly, from what he thought were poor dumb hard-working saps over in Malaysia. He did not realize that the Malaysians had been outsourcing the genuine Fijian carvings to a sweaty warehouse in Alabama, USA, that employed the children of ex auto workers. Mmbop only paid twenty-five cents apiece for the crude art. Yesterday he’d sold ten oversized one-hundred dollar wooden cannibal forks that his father, the Chief, Papaumaumau, had ordered from Taiwan at 50 cents apiece. It had been a good week, now that he’d also helped his parents decimate and sell off most of the island’s remaining palm trees to the Chinese.
As if any drunken tourist would even notice, there was hardly a substantial palm tree left on any of the High Society Islands within three hundred miles. Coconuts were scarce on both Little Hubba, and Big Hubba-Hubba, the two islands comprising the kingdom of Hubba Hubba Hubba.
“Shouldn’t waste perfectly good food!” Mmbop said, as he pushed his thick blonde dreadlocks back. The golden hair and clear blue eyes were a throwback to his Scandinavian sailor ancestors who’d visited, mated and had been munched on, in Micronesia over seven hundred years ago.
Mmbop lifted himself up, stretching his long thin shadow across the beach.
After eating the sweet coconut meat he would clean off the husk and carve a bearded monkey head for the dwindling tourists that have been disappearing along with the trees. Maybe he’d add a human finger bone through the nose.
Tourists always assumed that the “nose-bone” came from a chicken. Chickens were revered as Gods in Hubba-Hubba. They were only used for their eggs, by order of Queen Erica, after the island’s omelet loving priests had convinced her that the chicken fruit were a gift from Lomalagi (Heaven) and that ‘the sacred chickens, DID, in fact, come before the eggs.’
He watched the coconut bobbing in the water. After the carving was finished, he would add some shell teeth and toy glasses.
Tourists love that stuff, Mmbop thought as he bent forward, and tried to grab onto the bobbing nut that persisted on floating away in the slow current and morning glare. He hit at the coconut with a stick and it turned over. It appeared to have already been carved with a funny beard and a big schnozolla with a human bone through it!
It, of course, was a real human head.
Mmbop scooped it out of the surf and carried it to shore.
Granola grinding, hemp wearing, coral hugging tourists don’t want a real human head, he thought. Not even a fresh one like this. Maybe I should toss it back? He shook his head ‘no.’ I shouldn’t waste a perfectly good head. He decided to ‘fix it up’ with a few artful cuts. He reached into the pocket of his Izod swimsuit, which yet another rich tourist had traded him for a necklace of genuine plastic whale teeth, and grabbed his Swiss Army Cannibal Fork, that came complete with a saw blade, a grater, a marital aid, assorted knives, an Egyptian nose hook (for removing brains), a Phillips screwdriver, and a waterproof universal remote.
At home, waiting for him, was his main squeeze, Mmbopalula.
“Maybe I’ll take it to her as a gift.…Besides, nothing turns a woman on like a full head of hair.”
(A Phone Message from the scientist Postel Amok to his Actress wife Margaret Amok 2/16/16 🙂
Le plume de mutant
“Hello, Margaret. This is Postel. I heard you were taking a break from the movies, and it just so happens that I’ll be gone from the middle of May through most of November.
You must come and see what I’ve done to our little island since you’ve been gone. Little Edison misses you and cannot wait to hear all about your movies. I’ve refurbished the pool area with a fully stocked bar, a waterfall and slide, and our satellite T.V. has every channel known to man and beast. You will see my new particle-accelerator that has been placed around the pool area by the time you arrive. Don’t let Edison play with it. It can be potentially catastrophic in unexperienced hands. When I return, I’ll show you how to mix a Nutrino Smoothy — the most popular beverage in the 4th dimension. Ha! Life on the island should be quiet while I’m gone. Doctor Vegzet from Switzerland may stop in to do a few quiet experiments, but that is all.
You won’t have to water the garden or clean the house as I have a new groundskeeper named Zubu who lives in the guest house and is capable of covering most of the chores. Don’t be afraid of Zubu though he seems to enjoy acting like, dressing like, and screeching like P.T. Barnum’s famous Wild Man of Borneo.—Woo Hooo Hooo Hooo!
You may run into a few of my new exotic pets outside, but Zubu can care those as well.
He’ll take care of the animals in our new fresh water lake, which your son, Edison has christened Lake Darwin.
You’re still the prettiest woman that ever lived.
Call me. O.K.? (pause). You got my number, Pumpkin.”
I Love you.
Maggie hated the way the big goofball called her Pumpkin, just to piss her off.
From the tiniest amoeba to the largest pre-historic sloth, the entire Isla de Mismo was inhabited by the one thing that the award winning scientist loved the most, himself and his divine genetic history! He couldn’t wait to share the newest vision of his twisted world with his wife, Margaret, who’d just spent over a year filming make-believe stories in the fantasy land we know as Hollywood. On Friday, she arrived, by fishing boat to their newly designed Bermuda home on Isla de Mismo. From the dock the island seemed to be the same place that she’d left a year ago, with its white plantation style house and colorful row boats fronting the tropical beach.
Postel Amok had won the Nobel Prize in 1986 in Physiology for his work in genetic engineering and his most important project The Molecular Time-clock that would someday “reproduce animals of the past through the use of his own DNA.” Long ago, Maggie had heard her husband rambling on, over dinner, boasting to his scientist friends, “My esteemed friends, I, Postel Amok, will be sliding down the evolutionary chain, into the past, in two-hundred-thousand-year increments.”
The freshwater pond behind the Amok house was fed by Postel’s solar power desalinization plant and was decorated with small islands of coconut trees and a large waterfall to keep the water properly aerated. Maggie watched a school of carp and large lungfish with red markings on their backs, swimming into the shallows. They’d disappeared in the murk before Maggie could get a closer look at them.
“Come, this way. Let me introduce you to our two very rare Anthracosaurus,” said the groundskeeper Zubu as he walked her along the shore and pointed to two large animals resembling black tree trunks. “They were believed to be an extinct genus of embolomere, from the Late Carboniferous period 310 million years ago.” The Coal Lizards, once found in the Brirish Isles were each over10-feet long —- They also had gapped teeth, like Zubu, like her husband, Postel. “The larger lizard on the left is Sal,” said Zubu, “and his sweetheart is Amanda.” Amanda swung her head toward Maggie from the muddy bank and hissed a warning at the invasive female. Her mate, Sal the scaly brute, complimented Maggie on her legs with a chirp and a tongue swipe grooming his pond scum coated head. Maggie felt the impulse to run but was then drawn in by the red Helix mark on the creature’s black back. Sal turned and grinned the same familiar gap-toothed grin that Maggie did not want to think about.
Though the two twelve-foot-long newts, Sal and Amanda, had lovely ragged grins. They sized up Maggie as if she were a stick of Joe Blow chewing gum.
A frog, the size of a large man, lurched itself onto the muddy shore. It blinked at Maggie.
“That is Beelzebufo, miss,” said Zubu. “That is her genus.”
“Gee, what a cutie,” said Maggie.
“We call her Ribbit. Your husband’s friend Doctor Vegzet, said that he brought Beelzebufo ampinga here from Madagascar, while your husband was working with the atom collider in Switzerland. Ribbit and her family were thought to be extinct since the Cretaceous and still has smaller relatives in South America. She seems to like you, miss.”
Maggie stuck out her tongue at the blank-eyed beast, in fun.
Zubu screeched and leapt, straight up, ten feet onto a jakfruit tree, “No, ma’am! You musn’t tease her.”
The frog rolled out it’s tongue like a New Year’s Eve noisemaker. Maggie felt a little guarded in front of the savage Zubu, but that didn’t stop her from making a “ribbit” sound and a greeting, “Hello Ribbit!” The frog answered her ribbit, and then added a series of other “ribbits” looking at Maggie for understanding? Suddenly, its tongue shot out and grabbed a moth the size of a crow. Beelzebufo held it in its mouth long enough for Maggie to get a reeeeal good look at the moth’s wing. That looked like a,“No it can’t be!” It had the same helix mark as her husband, as the groundskeeper, as Sal and Amanda! The frog nudged its bug-eyed head as if inviting her to “Try one! They’re not so bad, tasty once you get past the hairy wings! Really. Tons of fiber, pumpkin.” Ribbit slurped it down.
Postel has done it! Maggie thought.
Artemis Goes to a Wedding
(From: Shark Fin Soup by Fred Barnett)
A scene from the arranged marriage of the Shark Goddess Dauna, and her chosen beau, the dim-witted, self-absorbed, pretty-boy Shark Demigod Bunji.
The Zeus family couldn’t make it to the wedding. Most of the gods on Olympus had been bedridden with the Nosoi Flu, otherwise known as βροντές και κεραυνούς από τον κώλο, or thunder and lightning released from the γάιδαρος or even more commonly known as sun flares.
Zeus, himself, was too ill to get to the phone, so he asked his wife Leto to call their daughter, Artemis. Artemis the Goddess of the Moon and the Hunt, who was in Wyoming tracking a family of Yetis. She’d been trying to control the spread of Big Foot’s progeny for years. They were becoming a road hazard. She was trying to issue the elders a warning before the issue of total extinction would be their only other option. Most of the drivers who hit them at high speed had thought that the piles of fur and blood had been bears.
“Could you attend the (cough, cough) wedding of the Fijian Shark Gods Bunji and Dauna as our special envoy – as a special gift (cough) from all of the ailing Greek gods?” Leto asked her daughter, Artemis.
“Sure, Mom. How’s Dad?”
“All he can do is sleep. We both had a terrible night. Your poor brother has been sitting on the golden throne since early this morning.”
Artemis would use all of her expertise in planetary design and cosmology to provide the lighting for the royal function. It would be a strenuous evening that would require that she control the movements of the Earth, moon, and stars, providing a light show lasting over an hour until the young marrieds dashed off toward their fahhhhhbulousssss honeymoon.
Artemis was uncomfortable with the idea of marriage, romance, and especially – fahhhhhhbuloussss honeymoons.
While standing in the long reception line, Artemis thought about the bride and groom, Bunji and Dauna. Six sunny fun-filled days! And five glorious nights! … in beautiful, romantic Hawaii! The A-holes. (She could imagine the two, breeding like filthy damned Yetis in the hotel’s heart-shaped tub.)
Artemis was not jealous. To her, gods and goddesses should always strive to be above such “base” behaviors. A honeymoon was a primitive rite, common among reeking humanoids, recently emerged from the Tyranno- toilets called swamps.
Above all things, Artemis was pure. Superior as both a goddess and a huntress, she manifested dominion over the animals of the Earth and skies. Dignified.
But then, she has these long legs. Hoo hah.
Cool as the blue moonlight with her long black braid swinging, the majestic Artemis approached the newlyweds, Dauna and Bunji, as they received their guests. She tried her best to bow modestly in her short, off-the-shoulder white tunic. The self-designed garment enabled the Goddess to move quickly when she was in pursuit of fast prey. To Artemis, the bride, Dauna, didn’t look ‘thrilled’ about the wedding. It had been an arranged marriage to bring peace among the Micronesian worshippers of opposing shark gods.
Dauna eyed her new husband, Bunji, trying to gauge his reaction to the long-limbed beauty approaching them. Dauna, a steaming hot goddess herself, looked up and met Artemis’ thinly veiled breasts at eye level. Uh-oh. I’m fucked.
The mighty Chief Kivana, whispered into his stepdaughter Dauna’s ear, “The Huntress is an avowed Oh, my! virgin and a Wowser! legendary man-hater.” At first, disarmed by Artemis’ smile and the spark in her eyes, Chief Kivana found himself enraptured by the goddess’s cherry red lips. The Chief looked at his daughter and then back at Artemis. He shook his head: Uh-oh. Dauna’s fucked.
The young groom Bunji tried to speak next. He eloquently expressed himself: “Hominahominahominahomina.” Then he took a big breath and said, in English, “Miss Huntress. Those, those are some …homina homina …impressive …uh, arrows …in your … thingy. Is…Is that a holster?”
“This thingy is called a quiver, my Lord Bunji. These are my golden hunting arrows. Please, both of you, call me Artemis.”
“Quiver?” (That …uh …sounds hot) the thirty-five-year old Bunji’s fourteen-year-old imagination raced ahead.
“That’s right, Hotshot,” said Dauna to her betrothed. “A soft sheath to keep your shafted projectiles warm.”
It took awhile for Dauna’s comment to register with her new husband. “Oh yeah! Ha! I get it!” Artemis blushed…all over her body.
“Please!” whispered the statuesque Goddess to the couple. “Let’s try to keep this conversation out of the gutter.”
The bride and groom stared at each other in amazement and then back toward Artemis in embarrassment.
“We’re sorry, we were just…” said Dauna.
“I know. Honeymooners. To me, sex is not a laughing matter. I am the virgin Goddess of the Hunt and the Moon. I hunt many types of prey. I also kill to protect the virtue of both myself and the innocent. I hunt nearly anything that moves …except men. They hunt me, then they end up killing themselves as soon as they find out that Artemis, the Goddess, doesn’t need a γαμημένος date! I wouldn’t waste my arrows on such weak and easy targets!”
“Oh, P-leeeeease,” said Dauna, rolling her eyes. ‘Cept that girl is spot on.
Artemis continued on as if nothing had happened. “I must apologize for the absence of the other Olympians tonight, all of whom are suffering from Nosoi.”
“Nosoi Flu?” asked Bunji. “That is nasty.” Mesmerized by the thin material of her tunic, he added, “Goddess! Do you have a card …on you?” He was unable to turn his gaze away from the tall porcelain-skinned wonderland before him. Dauna imagined a target glowing on her husband’s forehead.
“The gods of Olympus have sent me here to help light the heavens and set the mood for your wedding. Let me convey all of our best wishes and Congratulations!”
“I’m, uh, honored to uh meet youuuuuuuuu,” said the groom, who was looking down, maneuvering his shiny black patent leather shoes, so that he could cop a peek up the Huntress’ short skirt.
“Honored to meet you, Artemis,” said Dauna, giving her new spouse a sharp elbow to the ribs.
“Next in line, please!” said Chief Kivana.
Though the Chief hated to see his stepdaughter marry the half-witted mannequin Bunji, his quick thinking probably saved the young groom from getting a golden shafted projectile through his empty skull.
Nantucket is a wee bit of smut available on Smashwords for 49 cents!