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Freddy Barnett's

And Then Things Got Weird….

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Mythology

The Beach at Wassup Dock, Kupaio, Fiji.

From the upcoming novel Shark Fin Soup

Ying Yang by Fred Barnett

“SHUT THE באַרען up, לאָך WAFFLE!” screamed queen Dauna, shocking the tourists on their way back to Nyah-Wassup Dock, some of whom dropped their free cups of Outtamywayasshole Coffee. “Oh, sorry, all. That was my morning Tourette’s speaking. What I meant to say was ‘Shut the באַרען up, לאָך waffle!’”

“No offense taken, my queen,” said the crone, Lupta.

The crowd were now focused on Bernie’s terrible choice of Bermuda shorts, as if they were rubber-necking the scene of a tragic car wreck.

“That..schlub,” said Lupta the sage, employing an old Fijian term, “will someday bear your fruit, Your Heinous.”

“P’leeeeease. Fruit?” asked Dauna. “You know that I pass out at the sight of juice. That slob? Really? Dauna’s curiosity about Bernie had been aroused. My ampullae of Lorenzini (sharkie sensing organs) have never felt like this, she thought as her rear / tail end began to sway. 

Bernie, in return, could not take his eyes off of her anxious shifting legs beneath her lucky parreo. Lucky? Why did I think the parreo was lucky, as if it were somehow alive? He watched ‘Her Heinous’ draw down an entire cigarette in a single breath while she took an uncomfortable, yet thrilling inventory of the silly human. Her deep brown eyes seemed to go ‘click click click.’

Dauna was beautiful and she was looking at — him!

Wanting a snapshot of his own, Bernie lifted his new Nikon and aimed. The camera flared, fell and melted in the sand. The insatiable shark goddess queen began to circle the hypnotized tourist. Bernie had a feeling that either he was going to be eaten by, or married to the captivating queen. Same damned thing.

Dauna’s spell was broken when the captain of the dive boat called the tourists back on board. Bernie’s heart was racing as he turned for one last look. The sultry queen of Kupaio was gone. 

She’d driven off, upset about her future.

Every so often, in the silence of night, a mysterious breeze carrying the name “Bernie” would gently jingle the chimes of Dauna’s fun foyer. “Berrrrrnie. Berrrrrrrrnie.”

(Sad violin music.) But forsooth, dear readers, for after Bernie had left the island, Dauna was to be married.

An arranged marriage…

…to a gold-plated schmuck-with-fins named Bunji.

Dauna, upset, drove off in her golf cart, running into some stuff along the way.

Human stuff.

Love is a Many Splendored Plant

03 Telepathica Pacifica 02 b 06 flat

The TPN (Telepathica Pacifica Network) provides the most reliable communications network, for tikis and all plant life, on the planet. The telepathic network has always been very busy, as tiki gods and goddesses chat incessantly like teenage mall rats. There are also the days when the houseplants, who share the TPN, also get busy on the horn. Sundays are especially hectic, when offshoots call their parent plants to assure themselves that they will remain in the will.

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Salad Days

T.K. Betelnut is a Tiki, half wood and half human, which allows him to be mobile. He is on a stake out, working for Interpol on an ocean view hillside overlooking Lanikai Beach in Hawaii. He spots something….

Waiting. Waiting.

Oh! What is this?

T.K. was scoping in on a fine little gynoecium growing on the hillside among the lowlife weeds and kudzu. She stood proudly above the shoreline.

It was a Monstera deliciosa. Not your average dime-a-dozen split-leaf philodendron. She was beautiful. T.K. was hypnotized. He’d never seen such lush foliage. Her big leaves swayed gracefully in the breeze, exposing a good portion of her divine stems. Movie star material.

T.K. soon realized: OMFTikiG, it is her! From television! I’ve got to alert the network! Marilyn Monstera! Someone had discarded Marilyn Monstera on the hillside! Dumped her like a slutty areca palm. And though she faced a scenic vista that any silly human would be glad to pay $500 a night plus airfare for—just the idea that she had been treated like common pond scum or athlete’s foot fungus—discarded like a boring fern, was an insult to her eminence.

Some ROF (rich old fart) had simply left her there, no doubt, when they were redesigning their fancy ROF home on the gated ROF section of Lanikai’s hillside.

The very patient, constipated, angry stick became angrier.

Marilyn Monstera (Lot#6532uhgy12) was the daughter of Hollywood royalty. A result of Plant Parenthood, her parents were famous as well. Marilyn’s mother, ZhuZhu appeared in nearly every scene in the Thin Man movies of the 1940s. Her father, Moe, acted throughout the 1960s in the Anette and Frankie Beach Party films. Both parents still live in the executive offices of Warner Bros. and had been featured on over two hundred and fifty movie sets. They also were fixtures on Hollywood’s best buffet tables where they sometimes rubbed stems with Bogart, Bacall, Cooper, et al.

Marilyn’s first TV appearance was with her father, Leif, on the Surf City Sinners series (1961–1965), which is still considered a classic of the “swingin’ sixties.”

In the first Surf City Sinners episode, “A Ding in My Heart,” Marilyn’s father is observed “flipping the stamen.” This gesture took Leif Monstera over four hours to complete during forty different takes bungled by two so-called teen idols, Hanky and Panky. Many of the Monstera’s friends and relatives saw the episode from their Southern California living rooms and let out a laugh that was only heard by other plant life over the TPN. A “plant laugh” can register among the botanicals for over a month.

After the stake-out, maybe he’d ask ‘sugar roots’ to take a spin with him in his new photosynthetic Chia. 

Since he first saw Marilyn on TV in1961, T.K. Betelnut, like all other healthy male saplings his age, wanted to toss her salad with a fine vinaigrette.

Love Blooms in The Bacchus Bar

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10 p.m. — The Bacchus Bar — Cincinnati, Ohio 

“Now, give me your other hand,” demanded the goddess.

“What?”

“Give me your paw, impudent varlet.” Her bracelets began to orbit. Artemis began the Olympian Twiddling of Thumbs, an ancient mating rite on the mythical  hill. Bernie babbled something and, by accident, gulped down half cup of forbidden ambrosia.

Bomba, the new God of Kittehs, broke the stalemate as he roared and rolled over below the restaurant’s faux fireplace. He began licking his paws and rumbling. Bernie could see that his ex-kitty’s teeth had become chromed daggers.

Good vibrations, Artemis thought as she sipped. Her drunken twiddling became more of a twaddle. How do I tell the poor sap Bernie that I have to kill him tonight? the goddess wondered.

Go ahead,” Bomba’s yellow eyes said to Bernie. “Pounce on her, can opener!”

Bernie broadcast back in anger: “If I pounced, you big allergen, your mistress would pound me into jelly!”

  Disappointed, Bomba shook his lion-sized head. “Wuss flavored jelly. She’s going to kill you anyways, so you might as well take the leap.” The cat felt embarrassed for the weakling. Sad.

“She wouldn’t kill me. She’s supposed to protect me. I should kick your mangey ass!” shouted Bernie’s eyes back at his ex-cat.

  “You and what army, asshat?” Bomba stared back.

“Isn’t he sweet?” Artemis said, breaking the tension between her two boys.

“Was I just talking to my gluttonous ex-cat?” asked Bernie.

“Is something wrong?” She held up her long slim index finger. “And, yes, I would pound you into jelly.” Artemis stood and turned. “Check out my new blouse.” Her jacket spread wide, revealing a silk ivory halter that flowed like cream over her breasts. “Is this girly enough?”

“Tally-ho!” She was the fox, but Bernie felt as if he were the hunted. Bernie felt, no, he knew that he was tonight’s big game. Uh oh, I’m fucked. Maybe dead, too. He poured from an unmarked green bottle on the table.

Yes, Bernie. Tonight’s your lucky night, wuss jelly, Bomba winked back while chewing on something leathery.

“That’s my old purse,” said Artemis. Now keep twiddling, baby. Yeah, that’s it. So good. Ooooh, right there.”

Maybe it was the god hooch taking over, but Bernie wanted to meet Artemis’ challenge head on. He was feeling great, and was no longer in the mood to play subordinate prey to the Olympian huntress. But before he could finish that foolish  thought, Artemis stood over Bernie to show him what a mistake a challenge would be. Instead, he was checking out her legs. She realized that the stupid human was too lust struck to give a shit.

I going to conquer me a piece of that, he was thinking. So, woozy fucktard that he was, Bernie stood up tall, with intent to commit serious fuckage upon her divine κάτω περιοχές. Artemis, sensing danger, stretched herself taller, noticing that the ambrosia that Bernie drank had had a strange effect on her man toy. He was four inches taller than when he’d walked into the Bacchus Bar. For the first time Bernie was now able to look directly into deep dark her eyes with his own. Artemis heart skipped a beat as she stepped backward. Bernie followed her every step toward the darkest corner of the room as if they were dancing a tango.

Even my mother Leto would agree that this man looks elegant despite his horrid sport jacket. Bernie with an arm beneath her waist leaned her back and brushed his lips along her graceful neck. Artemis “put the brakes” on Bernie by poking at his new dimple. “The dimple. When did you get the dimple??” she asked, catching her breath.

“Dimple?” he asked, touching it himself.  He sat down. “Can I borrow your hand mirror, darling? Well, god bless the queen. Look at that, will you. Wellllll, what do you know?” He straightened his collar and said, “Nice haircut, too. Did I always have jet-black hair?” Bernie lifted a full glass of ambrosia and toasted his beautiful friend. “‘Lo, apart from Olympus, the moon never looked on aught so grand.’ I believe that was a quote from one of your old admirers, dear. Anteater, or antipasta… Antipater, or some bloody nonsense.”

“Antipater. I killed him. He tried to steal my undies from the Laundromat dryer when we were in college together. I killed him with this.” Artemis put her hand upon her new purse whose handle was a diamond mini-crossbow. “My new purse. Do you like it? Bergdorfs.”

“Right. Smashing, dear. What happened to your cute hunting tunic? I hardly recognized you when I walked in.”

“Don’t worry. This outfit is designed for bagging big game. The element of surprise. My prey will never know what hit him. Now, where were we, dear.”

“Twiddling.” Delicious. Beautiful. he thought. 

Delicious? Beautiful? Hmmmmm, she thought back. She’d never considered the mortal’s compliments before and she’d never been called “delicious.” Pizza is delicious, ribs are…

“Listen, angel,” said Bernie.

“Shut up.”  Artemis pulled him up from his chair by the lapels. “Dance with me.”

As they swayed, Bomba looked at Bernie. “Hey, Bernie, Did you like the little Christmas gift I left you?”

“Oh, the headless dead five-foot tall, nearly-extinct humanoid from Eastern Europe?  Awwwww….Thank you, Bomba. Good kitty. That poor creature—that gift, that you left in the alley for me was an endangered Gibor! One of the last.”

The cat yawned and thought, “Bite me.”

Bernie sent his thoughts toward his cat: “Am I boring you, flea bag?” 

“Bomba’s yawn is his way of saying happy birthday, cupcake.” She toasted Bernie.

“I’m sorry, your lordship,” Bernie said with his emerging Cary Grantish pan-atlantic accent. “Today, my darlings, is not my birthday.”

“Are you going to argue with us? It’s too hot to argue.” A tiny space shuttle circled with the rotating rings on Artemis’ hat along with a few new items of space junk. “From now on,” said Artemis, “this day, December 27, will be your new birthday.”

 

 

The Goddesses of Walmart

01 Artemis Scene Composition II_01

The statuesque goddess was enraged after seeing Bambi’s mother, a sacred deer, being slaughtered by the human hunter. The killer in the cartoon reminded her of the evil monster MacHeath.

Earlier, Artemis was feeling down because she could barely squeeze into her five-thousand-year-old tunic and had to find her new clothes in the big and tall women’s aisle of Walmart. Those shopping trips would be Artemis’ fatal fashion mistake. One muumuu that she tried on, in full view of the security camera that afternoon could have easily tented the Barnum & Bailey Circus including the freak show, concessions, games, the petting zoo and a calliope.

Zeus and Leto often watched Goddesses of Walmart for entertainment. That night they were horrified when they saw their daughter dressed in the giant  muumuu while trolling the aisles for deals on chips and soda.

Then the following celestial evening, after 50,300 hits on YouTube the voguish goddess Leto was forced to watch (in shock and horror) a video of her daughter shopping while dressed in a hideous floral nightgown and tennis shoes.

The hotel phone rang.

Bernie picked it up and handed it to Artemis who was eating bon-bons on the couch. “It’s your dad.”

Artemis grabbed the phone. “Daddy?”

The voice on the phone was powerful enough for Bernie to hear every word. The voice was angry enough to generate lightning from the earpiece.

“Artie. Dear Artie. Your mom and I decided that you can’t come home until you lose weight and come to your fashion senses,” daddy Zeus had said. “And tell your hobo friend to hijack himself a new suit with real pants if he’s gonna paint the town with my baby. Bernie’s friend Frankie should have already told him that life’s too short to dress like a bum. And what the hell is that thing you’re drivin’?”

“Uh…” Munch, munch, munch. “Bernie rented a Chia.”

“Everyone up here thinks that you’ve gotten weak and out of control. We can’t afford to have the other deities think that the Olympians are pushovers.” Zeus shouted into the phone. “For gods and goddesses sakes, Art-Art, you used to knock ’em dead.”

“Art-Art?” Bernie heard that and giggled.

The goddess shot lethal optikos (eye) arrows at Bernie. “Shut up, sandal licker! No, not you, daddy. There is going to be an epic battle with MacHeath’s army, so I promised to help out Bernie and his trollop friend.”

“You mean Miss Soapy Puppies?”

“Yeah, Dauna.”

“Princess,” the voice said. “Don’t come home until you’ve cleaned up your circle of friends.” Zeus hung up.

“But, daddyyyyyyyy?” The heroic figure wept a flood of diamond tears.

A text appeared.

Final judgment came to Artemis swiftly in a furious “bolt of rejection.” The bolt was hurled in the form of an angry text, with an angry minotaur emoji attached.

Artemis had just been officially banished from her home and family.

“What family, pop?” she texted back. “Do we even have a family name?”

“Good point, pumpkin. Let me ask your mom,” he wrote.

Back on Olympus, Zeus asked Leto, “Dear? What’s our last name?”

He texted Artemis, “You still there? Okay. Your mom says that our last name is ‘On High.’ We don’t need a last name, pumpkin, unlike the Kardashians. We’re bigger than Lady Gaga. We only use first names. Oh, your mom wants to know…what the hell kind of shoes were you wearing on the Walmart show?”

Zeus’ mighty presence was suddenly gone, and Artemis was hurt, and that meant that she needed tacos.

Artemis had become “an embarrassment” to the fashion-conscious Olympian gods, who were tolerant to a point, often turning their backs on lesser Olympian crimes, such as torture, mass murder, incest, rape, infanticide and eating one’s own children.




 

Tales of Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt and Moon.

Artemis, the Greek Goddess unloads a rant on Interpol agent Bernie ‘Eggs’ Benedict, the human that she’s in charge of protecting.

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Cynthia

“I can’t take this! Please!”

“Calm down. I’ll protect you. I am Artemis. I am Diana, I am Cynthia, the moon goddess the virgin goddess of the hunt.”

“Wait. Back up. Did you say virgin?”

“Yes, I did.” Artemis sat up straight and tall. “I’m proud of my job. And it is my duty to defend my sister virgins. Being a goddess is what I do. Sometimes I have to smack filthy men down like mosquitos. Do you think that it’s an easy job? I had to go through all kinds of hell to finally get certified.”

“Certified? You’re kidding,”

Artemis’ tale unfolded. On her first day at Olympus High, she met God, The Big Cheese, who on that day, appeared to her as a popular redheaded cheerleader named Shelly. Shelly helped the tall gawky Artemis get adjusted to campus life. Artemis became the track and field champion at MOWSC, the Mount Olympus West Side College campus. Artemis then ranted on about her life after school. Her “shit jobs” with “shit bosses” and how she dabbled in real estate and interior design in ancient Helena. There was a second time that she ran into, and worked side by side with The Big Cheese in a Naple’s restaurant in 1889. This time he called himself Raffaele Esposito. “It sounded better that plain old God.” When Raffaele invented pizza, he declared that he’d “done enough” for mankind, said, “Fuck it,” and went back to his apartment. 

“Why are you looking at me like that, Bernie?” Artemis covered herself with the sheet.

You were there when God created pizza?”

“Thin crust was my idea. You should try my ricotta gnocchi with sausage and fennel sauce.”

“Marry me!”

“Marry? There are rules. If we are going to marry or mate, I’d have to kill you first. You being a mortal. Alas, it is my sad destiny to run through the heavens, alone, unfulfilled, and nearly naked…” 

“Stop!”

“…for all time. As Artemis continued her sad tale of struggle—hands over her breasts, to the weak-willed Bernie, he, through all-American know-how and due diligence, had managed to sneak his right hand beneath a lifetime supply of generous ass cheek. “You’re kidding about the pizza, right?”

“Kidding? I never kid. Do you dare to challenge the huntress? And move your hands away from my κώλος before I…Bernie? Do you think I’m getting too…uh, soft? Am I becoming a pillow princess? I heard someone called that on TV.” Artemis started to tie her tunic over her shoulder.

“No. You’re the most perfect being I’ve ever seen. Please. Don’t put all of that cool stuff away…”

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