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And Then Things Got Weird….

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******** El Día de los Muertos ********

 

Día de los Muertos is the day that Mexico celebrates its dead. In the United States, this special day is observed by getting drunk and wearing baseball caps backwards — pretty much like every other day.

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This scene takes place next to the cloak room — at the Los Angeles offices of Interpol — on that festive day….mexican shark attacks107

The contessa lifted his chin with her two elegant bebés and spoke. “I know that you are new in town, Bernardo,” she said. “If you get lonely, you can visit me at Adobe Gillis”

“Your generosity is most inviting, señora…”

“It’s señorita — now that you are here, mi Bernardo.”

“Sí, señorita.Bernie hung his head, knowing that he would never be more than a common peón. “As you see by my ragged clothes, I am just a poor simple muchacho, too estúpido to find my own lowly locker.”

“Your fine manners reveal a true caballero, a gentleman of fervent breeding. ¡Let’s fiesta mi amigo!” Señorita Robinson grabbed, what she thought was a bottle of tequila from her locker. Instead, she’d grabbed the bottle of Pulque ‘the drink of the Aztec gods,’ that she’d gotten for a wedding present. She took a swig and handed it to Bernie. “¡Salud, Bernardo!” With her thick hair she fanned the droplets of perspiration about her neck, then yelped, “MÁS COCKAMOLE! Lo siento (sorry) Tourettes.”

“Bernardo tried to ignore that and took his first sip of the forbidden Pulque, — never intended for mortals. One sip would change his destiny.

Daunita smiled hungrily at Bernardo with the same grin that had tried to masticate his mast on the deck of Vinnie Maru. He shuddered.

Do not worry, there is no Big Man José.”

¿Quien? (Who?)

“Drink up Bernardo. If my husband, Gran José, existed, he wouldn’t be  released from jail for another fifteen minutes. Let’s have some fun before he comes to kill you. This is our momento especial. Vamos a bailar—dance with me, vaquero or I will go to confession instead.”

             Jay and the Americans’ “Come a Little Bit Closer” began to play over the intercom.

Bernardo wrapped his arm about Daunita’s delicate waist. Her soft body radiated the warmth of the golden Aztec sun. The effects of the forbidden Pulque were  beginning to impact him.

______________

while innocent youngsters were being killed, at the nearby Raging Hormones Theme Park. 

That part of the plot will resume, shortly. Maybe. Don’t hold your breath.

_________________

Bernardo’s heart soared like the great bird Quetzalcoatl. He felt invincible. He challenged her imagined boyfriend. I will snap the península off the her Big Man José’s postal code! In Bernardo’s mind he was a bronzed warrior bounding up the stone steps of Templo Mayor toward heaven, aware that once he reached the golden crown of the pyramid, he’d draw a deep breath of her scent, a gift for the god Huitzilopochtli. Then, with eyes wide open, he would prove his fearless love to the bronze goddess, Daunita.

At the apex of the temple with arms extended, the enchanted Bernardo would leap into the wind and glide like an eagle above the pink clouds, toward the hot Mexican sun, into the cauldron of the voracious volcano Popocatépetl below.

Bernardo stood, eyes closed, and prepared to plunge. If he must, he was prepared to plunge again and again. 

Daunita closed her eyes, feeling the dream of her brave warrior again and again.

The Collected Letters of Lord Huthbert Grieves and Lady Penelope Weeps from the novel BATS ^^o^^

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From the celebrated Novel, Bats, by Lord Frederick Barnett of Kailuashire 

I.

The Collected Letters of 

Lord Huthbert Grieves and Lady Penelope Weeps

(1779-1790)

A Letter from Lord Huthbert Grieves to Lady Penelope Weeps, Ghoolkamish 

April 30, 1779

Dearest Penelope,

The artillery has stopped momentarily. As I lie awake in my muddy foxhole beneath the night sky of Ghoolkhamish — Alas, my angel, I can only think of you. 

When I come home, my dearest, though it may be five years from this day, I promise we shall marry. Your father hates me, I know, as does your dog — a part of whose shattered jaw is still attached to my buttock. 

Despite what your husband thinks, I know that we can make this marriage work. Though I lost half my face, one-third of my manhood and a nipple in the bloody trenches of Dyfthphedif, I promise that the cottage that I have purchased will be a happy one, surrounded by the warm laughter of children, or — at the very least — very immature adults. 

How is your cough, my Angel? I was distressed to find that your last correspondence had a small bloody piece of your lung stuck to it, Sweetheart. Please hang on to God’s precious gift of life until I can limp to your side.

Your precious letters warm my heart, Darling. I smell your perfume and, with a shield between my mouth and the envelope, kiss the lipstick on the seal before I dream my happy dreams every night.

With my good arm, I long to hug you and keep you warm, even when you cough (Though, alas, I regret, there will be no deep intertwining of tongues).

All my love,

Yours forever — Huthbert Grieves

 April 30, 1779

_____________________

II

The further love letters of Lord Huthbert Grieves and Penelope M. Weeps 

England 1769 -1784

(Sent from Port Apotty, Africa, May 31, 1784)

My Dearest Darling Angel Penelope,

Alas! This will be my last correspondence, my sweet, as I make my way home across the sea to your warm bosom after so many years in the muddy battlefields of Hominahomina. Please have a coffin and a plot prepared for me if I do not make it home alive. Our cavalry surgeon, Doctor Osândă, has informed me that the insect known as Arden’s creeper or the acid roach, has taken up residence in my ear, while I was stationed in the steaming tropical jungle of Haffarredrash. The creature has traveled to the part of my brain called the dorsal hypothalamic, which controls the heartbreaking spread of psoriasis especially in the remaining two-thirds of what the natives call my huk-huk.

Oh, blessed heavens above! Before we left port, I had received a correspondence from my servant, Mr. Upton. He says that you are now a free woman. Joy of joys! Could that be true, my angel of angels?

Upton had written that your childhood sweetheart and spouse of twenty years had passed on after receiving a dreadful blow to the skull. My tears are flowing for you, my love, like the mighty Incontinence Falls of the great Amazon.

Mournfulness overtook me when I had found out your tiny cherubs had been called to heaven on that calamitous evening as well. Your poor spouse and children—all dead—all on the same day! Oh, Providence! Forsooth! I had no idea that you ‘were with children.’ Eight? Well, fuck meself.

I had instructed Upton, my man Friday, to insure the safety of your children, but alas, it was too late. Upton reported that the fire had spread too quickly through the mansion. By the time the frightening oaf had arose from his drunkenness in the barn, the mansion had become a mound of ashes. Thank the Lord that Upton was able to rescue and deliver you to the safety of the barn before the fire spread.

About the pregnancy. For my part, I do pardon you your irresistible charm. Upton can be unruly and some days I question my hiring the brute from the Calcutta Circus. Be assured that he is my “responsibility.” Upton comes from fine stock and I will personally claim the cherub, Uptonette, as a Ward of Court. When he approaches his fourth year, the child will be assured a fine position in a reputable shop.

I am a gentleman, my love. I will support you both until I can find the guttersnipe bastard a suitable place of employment where the sun and lice shall not harm his fair skin.

 The hour of my arrival draweth fast on. Lastly, I vow that mine remaining eye desireth thou above most.

All my love,

Yours forever and ever,

Huthbert Grieves

___________________________

III

(Sent from Bristol, England, May 14, 1784)

My Dearest Darling Huthbert, 

Every day I look for your letters. Today, I feel that cupid is in the air.

A terrible thing happened at the Hollis’ grand mansion next door to my home this week. A terrible man attempted to kill neighbor’s entire family, except for the young wife, Hippolia, a woman who might be mistaken as my twin.

After clubbing the husband, Rhynos Hollis, to death, and presuming that the children were all asleep in bed, the villain set the house on fire. Thank the Lord above that all eight Hollis children were spending the week in London’s Marshalsea Children’s Prison because of a misunderstanding over the property rights of a beaten elder, or they all would have perished in that fire.

 During the blaze, the wife, Hippolia, was dragged outside only to be violated repeatedly until the rapist dragged her blindfolded down to Cornwall, where she was spotted, by drunkards no less, laughing at the Duck n’ Fishes pub. The rough beast continued his assault upon Mrs. Hollis the entire weekend, attracting numerous noise complaints at the inn. Mrs. Hollis had managed to escape from the brute and seems to be handling her weekend of terror quite well. She did tell me that the impetuous monster has threatened to return again, here to Bristol! The cheeky devil warned Hippolia that he will hunt her down like a fox, and imprison her royal suite at the notorious Saint Germaine Hotel in Paris and prod her day and night until her wicked spell upon him is broken. The poor woman. How dreadful!

There is some good news—for you, my hero.

My husband, Owen, has left me, knowing that my heart belongs only to you—and his own heart belongs to his ballet coach, Fabricio. My two children are both fourteen-years-old and have moved away with their own large families. I sit, all alone, waiting ONLY for you, my love. I pray that I may be worthy of such a pure soul.

More good news! My consumption has disappeared entirely since I refashioned my diet to only simple sweets. You will find that there is much more of your dear Penelope to love when you return.

I hope you are well. Please tell me when your ship, The Obbrobrio (The Disgrace), comes into my port, my heart of hearts.

If the recipient of this letter is not my beloved Huthbert, please disregard, I prefer chocolates.

My love, you are forever in my thoughts and dreams.

Penelope

_________________

IV

(Sent from London, June 1, 1784)

Penelope,

Oops!

Yours,

Huthbert

One last abysmal Letter from Lady Penelope Weeps 

Sent from: Kent on Birminghanfordkingshire

To: Lord Thaddeus Huthbert Grieves— by way of Lord Ward Toady, Wraithamwichshire, February 21, 1790

_______________

V

 My poor dear Lord Huthbert!  I am in distress!

Since you wrote Oops! as the only and last word in your final letter, I’ve had troubling cogitations, my dearest. For aught I know that you may soon be with the angels, and after losing half of your face, one-third of your manhood, one nipple, and discovering that an acid roach that had entered your brain at Hominahomina, has affected the remaining two-thirds of your huk-huk. 

Three days ago, I found out that you were alive, my darling. Joy of Joys! While I was relaxing at the Drivel Pub in East Piffle I overheard the sailors, talking about how their frigate, the Countess of Cachtice, rescued a man who called himself “Huthbert” within the hold of an abandoned Chinese junk (?). One of the sailors at the Pub, who’d been given the epithet Jack-the-Gaff by his shipmates (Curiously, it was neither of Jack’s rough hands that were shaped like a hook), said that you were found nearly dead aboard a ghost ship adrift among the treacherous whirlpools of Vodu, West Africa. 

Oh dear, what were you doing in China? 

The Daily Advertiser directed me to Charity Hospital in Piffle. Alas, I was barred from visiting your room by the Empiric Doctor Phineus Osândă who instructed me to come back later in the week, as your medical situation was “extremely distasteful.” What could that mean? I thought.

 While resting at the Piffle Inn, I came across this story on the front page of the Journal. A similar story regarding your recent condition also appeared in Lloyd’s Post. 

“One unfortunate passenger, identified as London’s Lord Thaddeus ‘Huthbert’ Grieves was found below decks, soaked in his own blood. Specialists from Shire Bedlam Hospital reported the Lord Huthbert’s colon was “severely damaged by an Asian swamp eel” (Monopterus albus). The grotesque fish had chewed through the poor fellow’s colon!”

Huthbert my love, how on Earth did that abhorrent creature end up inside your lower intestine? What were you doing in China, my heart of hearts? Who were these “opium men” who were “playing a trick” on you, as per the article?

I fear that this may be the last chance to tell you that you have always been the Love of my Life, my greatest thrill, equal to my recent swim in a vat of chocolate, with the two equally pale Cadbury Brothers at their new desert parlor in London. The brothers playfully nicknamed me “Bonbon.”

I ended up marrying the elder of the brothers, Sir Richard Cadbury. I never saw his very wealthy brother, Sir Simon, alive after our dip. The police had come over one afternoon asking questions about a public argument that the two brothers had had in the Lamb’s Lair Pub. It is as though the thick London fog had swallowed Simon. He was a nice lad.

My new husband, Sir Richard, it seems, has had a number of wives but only keeps a picture of his first, Hermia, upon the piano. The sorrowful man had lost Hermia along with his only two children when the three sailed into a maelstrom, though, this time, near the island of Bermuda. Richard often talks of her beauty and her long red hair and warned me that his deceased and beloved Hermia, managed to ruin his following six marriages and mysteriously drove all the ensuing wives away! Richard fears that I will also disappear because of an apparition. You, of all people realize that I am made of sterner stuff.

Oh goodness! As I look from the front window into the moonlight, I can see a woman with long red hair, with two barely clothed moppets in tow. Poor things, so pale and hungry. I will not wake our butler, Grieves, who has already turned in for the night. 

I’ll try to write again, soon. The children are crying just outside my door. They seem to be asking for pudding, of all things. Poor dears. Their cries are weak.  I’ll offer them a warm fireplace and something to eat. 

My heart-root, I have addressed this letter to your very close friend, Ward Toady, at Wraitham, as I cannot seem to locate you, my love, my life. 

Yours in Eternity,

Lady Penelope Cadbury

P.S. Richard said that he would post this for me on the morrow. It is time to greet the poor family outside. More crying. I must go and answer the door.

________________________________

VI

This last express post was sent on August 6, 1790

From: Lord Ward Toady / Wraitham Hospital, Southeast Londonshireham

To: Lady Penelope Cadbury, London

This letter was never read by the recipient, Lady Penelope Cadbury *Lady P. never had a chance to read her last mortal link to her beloved Lord Huthbert. The letter was found unopened at the Cadbury home a week after her disappearance.

_______________

My Lady Penelope Weeps Cadbury,

My god woman, did you not hear? It is with great sadness that I must inform you that your love, my oldest and dearest friend, Lord Huthbert Grieves, had been brutally murdered in the early hours of February 18. I pray that you will not take umbrage. I was certain that you, yourself, had been murdered back in February. The Lord’s assailant was a maniacal woman with long red tresses followed by two young children. 

The trio were seen by my own hospital staff, hovering near the stone path leading into to the hospital grounds at two in the morning.

No one knows how the fiends had gained access to Lord Huthbert’s private room, as several members of my hospital staff were awake and on duty! 

My primary nurse, Mrs. Walinkova, was first alerted when she heard the voice of a woman screaming your name from the garden. “Penelope! Penelope’s gray matter will be my …pudding!” The woman’s screeching was followed by the wailing of children (“Pudding! Pudding!”) which was heard by the entire hospital staff. 

 The cacophony outside was followed by the agonizing scream of our dear  Lord Huthbert. His private room was on the second story. The staff and I ran to Lord Huthbert’s door. It took four people, ten minutes to force the door open as it was being held shut by a ghostly gale of wind. When my four servants were able to gain access the wind came to a sudden halt. They found Lord Huthbert in the closet, hanging by the neck. My scullery maid, Fifi LaDerrier, reported that the poor man’s skull had been gnawed through as if by a giant rodent. 

After the staff and I had taken Lord Huthbert’s body from the closet and lay him on the bed, Fifi, whispered in my ear — with hot breath — in French, that poor tortured Lord Huthbert was finally at peace. As we drew a sheet over Lord Huthbert’s face, we both caught a glimpse of the Arden’s Creeper (the acid roach from the jungles of Hominahomina) crawling behind the headboard. I could no longer blame Lord Huthbert’s insanity on my souple pâtisserie Fifi! Indeed, It was the roach, boring into the afflicted man’s brain that drove him mad enough to harbor eels in his bottom!  

As the Lord’s body lie covered, a quartet of my servants, who were embracing and adjusting one another’s bed clothes at the chamber window, were frozen by a spine-chilling scene in the garden below. They had become transfixed by three pale figures beneath the cold moon, screeching like Irish banshees and dressed in thin white shrouds — It was the red haired demon and what must have been her two children. As if gliding on wheels, the phantoms left a trail of fresh sea algae along the cobblestones before vanishing into the woods. Wraitham is a two day’s journey to the nearest coast.

Dearest Penelope, I am so sorry to be the one to impart this terrible news.

May our Huthbert rest in peace,

In friendship, 

Lord Ward Toady

P.S. Mrs. Walinkova says that she was familiar with you from the circus days at the Drury Lane theatre. She asked me to relay this message: 

“Cheers, Penny! I am well, and though I no longer soar above the crowds at Drury, Toady says that I still defy gravity. The silly man! Please stop by for draught someday.”

_____________________

Tuck n’ Roll

Unknown
Man goes on Rampage in Hardware Store
Westchester, Los Angeles, December 12, 1964
 
Umberto Diaz had to be calmed by Rampart division officers yesterday , after he went on a rant about finding rat traps. Really big rat traps.
It seems that Mr. Diaz had just returned from Tijuana after getting his classic Chevy “Tuck-n-rolled” at Espinosa’s Upholstery where he had encountered giant rodents — “who talked.” It seems that Mickey Espinosa, who co-owns the auto upholstery shop with his wife Minnie had threatened Mr. Diaz after Mr. Diaz had accused the shop owners of stuffing his car upholstery with dead cats after his car began to smell a week ago — “I should have watched them.” The Espinosa’s told Mr. Diaz that , “There can not be dead cats inside your seats, Señor. We killed all of the cats in Tijuana years ago. They know that they are not welcome here.”
“Mr. Diaz was scaring our customers.” said Harry Meyer, the owner of Numero Uno Hardware on Temple Street. “He was screaming and tearing up our store looking for Human-sized rodent traps and scaring some of our local children. We had to call the police.”
“Minnie Espinosa, the woman at the desk, had a long nose and whiskers,” Mr. Diaz told police. “You could see the outline of her big round ears…

In Enemy Territory – BATS ^^Ö^^ — Chapter 1

In Enemy Territory

Čachtice, Slovakia (Formerly Hungary)

pagebreak

BATS ^^Ö^^ — OPENING CHAPTER — In Enemy Territory

Čachtice, Slovakia (Formerly Hungary)

Inside his melon-sized head, the tour bus driver could hear the voice of Boris Karloff:

“Even your bus is dead, Kimo.”

Please! Anywhere but here. Not in front of creepy Čachtice Castle, thought the ‘Type-A-Tours’ the driver with the name tag: ‘Aloha, My name is Kimo.’

“Ladies and gentlemen,” he announced. “We may be here awhile, so you can get out of the bus, walk around a little and stretch if you like.”

Bats and huge fanged moths — the kind that would happily eat your shorts—with you in them — were attracted to the lights within the bus and began pounding themselves against the windows. Anyone who was about to ‘go outside and stretch’ quickly gave up on the foolish idea.

“Look, driver!” Someone stood and pointed out of the right side of the bus. Kimo couldn’t see anything, at first.

“It’s a lady!” said a British woman in back.

Oh, boy…and she has dogs!” said her son. Four shadows trotted from the parked Bats Mobile and took their places behind the Countess. They held baskets in their mouths.

Sure enough, a tall beautiful woman was approaching the bus from the car. She was bathed in moonlight. She wore a bouffant hairdo and a checkered blue homemakers dress straight out of the 1950s. The lovely redhead waved at the unnerved Kimo through the closed door. She held up a pitcher of an ice-cold beverage and a stack of Dixie Cups. He relaxed.

“Oh goody, goody!” a child in the front seat squealed. “The nice lady brought us Kool-Aid!”

What the tourists thought was rain, started to hit the windows. The drops were plague tears. The sound of the wind was a sickening wheeze.

“Let her in, driver! Her clothes are getting soaked” a man from Ireland called out. Soaked? All of the men were suddenly interested. “It must be the lady of the house.”

I hope it isn’t the lady of the house, thought Kimo. The Bloody Countess, Elizabeth Bathory once lived here. That was centuries ago. Still, it is Čachtice!

The canines stood guard in shadows behind their mistress. Kimo opened the glass door—Oh, what the hell—with a hiss. “The dogs will have to stay outside.” The tall beauty, a very well-put-together June Cleaverhe thought, stepped up into the bus taking a wide stance in front in of the passengers. The “nice lady,” wet, was a great deal “nicer” than most had expected. She captured everyone’s complete attention despite their age, sex, race, nationality, or even in the case of Mrs. Bernstein in the back, species.

“Hi, everyone! I’m June Cleaver!” Elizabeth Bathory, The Bloody Countess lied.

Kimo was taken back. June Cleaver?  Cleaver….

Her audience was riveted on the icy pitcher of sky blue liquid that she displayed.

“I brought you some refreshments while you are waiting to be rescued,” said the beguiling housewife. “I’ve got dozens of our best local Batina’s cookies and something to quench your thirst. Here! Pass them back. Thank you. If it’s all right with Mr. Kimo, maybe I could teach you nice folks a little bit about our local cuisine.”

The tired driver nodded, stared out the bus window into the tears and moaning thunder, and decided that he didn’t like the size of those dogs. They were very well behaved and they were all wearing white kerchiefs. No, those are bibs! June Cleaver…June Cleaver. The name was making him nervous.

“We’re proud of our Fritz Haarmann cutlery,” said June. “Mr. Haarmann was originally a meat salesman, but he now manufactures his fine cutlery products in Transylvania.” She smiled at the man sitting in front of her. “Are you from Germany? Then you would certainly appreciate the craftsmanship on these knives. I mean, just look at this beautiful cleeeeeeeeaver!” The big bald German didn’t understand one word. He smiled up at her chilled boobs. She stared at the reflection of the blade on his shiny head as she raised her arm. “Just feel this edge!”

Soon, Mrs. Cleaver/Elizabeth was doing the backstroke up and down the blood-filled center aisle of the bus as her good doggies dragged piles of tourist parts into the Countess’ tear-flooded front yard. Elizabeth’s housekeeper, Penelope, disposed of the bus with an explosion fueled by bat guano.

Elizabeth’s family, leaning against her shiny Bats Mobile, applauded. All of this took five minutes.

*****

After clean-up, the Countess Elizabeth Bathory emerged from Čachtice’ main gate and walked toward her loving family, ready for action.

“How’s it hangin’ troops?” she asked.

“From the rafters, baby!” said Elizabeth’s slobbering main squeeze, Vlad, who was busy aurally undressing her with a combination of suggestive squeaks and smutty echolocational chirps.

“Get a tomb, you two!” said her embarrassed daughter, the willowy Mina.

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