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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

 

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 Mawth (who ate my shawts)

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A Glahsry of Toims:

Shauwah = Wayuh da wawtah comes outta.

Tiyahd = That means you awtah be snorin.’

Awfiss = Wayuh yous guys woik. 

Jahbs = As in woik, or as in Steve Jahbs.

Fedorah = Yaw hat.

Deezoit = What you get sent to yaw room widdout.

Lepidoptera = A Mawth.

Cullahs = Like ahrunge and poiple.

____________________

Our extinguished Awthuh left out soitin’ coise woids for this awdience, so the stawry is half as shawt as it would nawmally be.

So, here we go….

_____________________

Hi kids, my name is Ahthuh Moidock an’ I was bawn in freakin’ (Oops! I beddah not tawk doity to a bunch of rug rats…). Like I was sayin,’ I was bawn in New Yawk.

Which makes me a ‘what?’

A New Yawkah, of cawse! I don’t live in Joisey awe da lowsy suboibs.’ Me? 

I live in a skyscrapuh dat neahly reaches da stahs. 

Dem stahs is wayuh? 

Waaaay up in da univoise, ya liddle meatbawls!

One mawning, I had to get outtah bed, shauwah, and shave faw woik . I toined to my spouse, Nawmuh, an’ with mawning halitosis I whispid, “I’m goin’ to woik.” Nawmuh was still undah the cuvahs snawin’ an I was still tiyahd. I wuz yawnin like duh Gran Canyon. My mowt tasted like oith woims.

Den I god up, opened my undahpants draw an Oh my gahd, I saw dat awluh my shawts was devowwid! Dare wuz holes in dem everyweah. Dey looked like Swiss cheese! Den I opened the anuthah dressah draw to soich faw a fresh shoit. Awl my shoits was as holy as duh Pope!

Awl duh lawndry was poifahrated!

What kind of lousy bum eats shoits an’ shawts?

Dare must be a doity mawth hangin’ aroun’ owuh apahtment. I was soitin’.

Some stinkin’ mawth had swallahed my Fruit-of-da-Looms. an’ I needed to get to duh awfiss.

My awfiss is wheah?

In a tawl tawl towah, on toidy-toid-an-toid. 

I needed to cawl an extoiminatah, but foist I had to cawl my bawss Oyving, an tell him dat I was gonna be tahdy. “I need to go to the staw Oyving, an’ get maw clohdin,” I said wit a few cherce woids.

Den I looked up an’ guess what I saw? A giant mawth flyin’ aroun’ duh kitchen light. “Get outta my way, ya bum,” he says, zippin’ by, duh size of a seven-fawty-seven. 

Holy simoleons! He tawked. (A simoleon is a dollah.)

I ducked. “Hey watch it! There’s a poysin heah. What do I look like? Chopped livuh?

“Move it, bub,” he says. “I’m flyin’ heah.” 

“Eat dis ya bug” I said, as I trew an umbrellah at his ugly mug. 

“No tanks,” he says. “I don’t eat no freak…uh…sorry…I don’t eat polyestah.”
“Chew on dis den!” Not fo’ nuttin, I trew my deah depahted muddah’s ahmie boots an’ hit duh wiseguy on his toochus. He hit duh wawl behine duh reclinah lowng an’ hit duh flaw. I coulda’ knocked him all duh way to lawng Islan’ if there wasn’t a wawl in duh way. Instead, he got up, brushed himself awf  an’ stahted eatin’ Nawmuh’s boxa chawklit toitles on toppah duh cawfee table. Den he went aftah owuh pet boid Flip’s boid seed (Flip da Boid is a filthy pigeon who lives outside our apahtment). An’ den duh mawth went aftuh a piece of old cheeseboigah dat was hangin’ outta duh gahbidge

The mawth, (whose name was Mawtee accawding to his name tag. Yeah. Shuah. Right), pruhseeded to eat my fedorah an’ my goil Nawmah’s wool skoit. He chawmped on duh chayah, the cowch, duh lampshade, and duh rug, an’ he musta been paht toimite caws he stahted eatin’ duh flaw bawds which is made of boich.
He ate a glass pitcha. The juvenile delinquent was tearin’ up da apahtment. 

“So wayuhs my deezoit, ya bum?” he assed roodly. “Ya got maw clawth?”

“Bum? Does yaw mothah know you tawk like dat? I ought wash yaw doity mout out wit soap!”

“So cawl da marines, an’ bahbahcue me a steak aw somethin’ while we’re waitin’,” he says as he stahted noshin’ on duh caud that was plugged into duh wawl. There was spahks everywhere! 

“Listen!” I says back, as he stahted nibblin’ on my chia pet’s hayah. “Get awfuh my lawn, you lepidoptera you! Get lawst!”

It had been a lawng scawching summah. Even duh neighbawhood dawgs were too wawn out an’ too ty-ud to bahk. (Lass Toisday mawning, I thawt I was on fiah.) “I need to take a shauwah,” I said. “Some people have jahbs. I can’t stay here an’ play witcha. “When I get out of duh  John you bettah be hisstry. Bettah yet, go somewayah else, ya bum, an’ be geography.”  

Foist, I need to find something to wayuh.

Out in duh big city mawths was awl ovah, eaten poysin’s gahments. Awl duh apahtments in awl duh five burroughs had been invaded by a stawm of deez apawlin’ flyin’ tings.

When I looked inside of Nawmuh’s undahwayuh draw, I saw her tings ain’t been bahthid. Her “unmentionables” was unhoit. Undistoibed.

What’s unmentionables, kids?

Why awl dem silky frilly tings dat look like doilies. Awl sawft an…sh…stuff. The mawths left them awl alone cawse…Goils is smaht.

Why is goils smaht? 

Day is smaht becaws day bahthuh to tro in dem mawthbawls into duh drawahs.

An’ mawths hate the smell of whut?
Camfuh!— which is what mawthbawls is made of, ya lugs. Ya monkeys.

So, it toins out dat awl deh guys had to wawk to woik wearin’ dare goil’s frilly shawts — in pastel cullahs even. 

An’ dats awl we waw… ‘cause we didn’ have no trausahs aw nuttin’. No one on duh boulevahd, even dah hoity-toities, caws duh mawths had roond awl ah  clohdin.

So what happened?

We awl had ended up havin’ a big laugh aroun’ duh wawtuh coolah

caws all the palookahs at duh awfiss looked like crawsdressahs.

Wit duh help of duh feminine poysons wit dare wimmin’s intuwishins, we outsmahted duh scoige of da mawths. 

An’ dats why dem mawths is a buncha stinkin’ bugs, and us joiks ain’t. 

Tank youz.

(Next week on Speak Like a New Yawkah:

The extoiminatuhs (might bahthuh to show up if day feel like it.) 

an’ 

Flip, da Boid, will show us how to add duh “f” word and d-bag to a conversation.

Love is a Many Splendored Plant

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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.

#

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.”

 

 

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