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And Then Things Got Weird….

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A Midnight Swim in NY’s East River

New Shark Fin Titled copy

Interpol agent Bernie Benedict and the Shark Goddess Dauna pulled into a dirt lot by the river’s edge. The New York skylight twinkled. They stood along the trash strewn bank of the East River.

Dauna took a lighter out of her jeans pocket. “Listen Clam Dip, after our swim, I’m going to take you to a place that’s absolutely to die for.”

“Swim? I thought that we were going to talk over Dim Sum dumplings at Double Chins.”

“Drive over there, next to the outfall. I’ll show you dumplings.”

“You want to swim in the East River? Do you have any idea what’s in that mess?”

“Well, the rainbow plume on the surface suggests kerosene, fuel oil, gasoline, naptha butchering, sewage, and medical waste.” she said while throwing down her jacket.

“I’m not going anywhere near that petri dish.”

Dauna kicked off her shoes. “It’s safe, Hon. The East River is as dead as the River Styx. Most bacteria can’t survive in it. Let’s have a moonlight swim, chew toy. Let’s play.” She threw down the  cigarette. “I’ll protect you.”

“This water will probably dissolve your earrings.”

Bats ^^ö^^ The Witch Meets the Bikers

BATS-FINAL LG>

Find the book BATS at: https://www.amazon.com/Bats-Fred-Barnett-ebook/dp/B00T2XBVYU/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

“Who are you and what do you know about Infinity Upton-Downes?” thundered Tor, the largest of the motorcycle club known as the Hell’s Angles (Architects on vacation). “How would you know that Infinity Upton-Downes ain’t home? Her Witchipedia biography says that she lives in Transylvania year-round. I know everything about her…’cept what she looks like. I imagine that she’s pretty hot after readin’ her novels.”

“Oh. Howwwww do I know she isn’t home, snowflake? ’Cause you’re talkin’ to her, ya big ugly bastard! What happened to your eye?”

“Huh?”

“Your eye! Are ya deaf too? Bend down and let me take a look you got something…right there!” She poked it. “Nyuk, nyuk.”

“Ow! Old bat!”

“You’re fine, petal. Look through this telescope. See!” The telescope left a big black greasy circle around Tor’s poked eye. “So, you don’t believe that I am the famous Infinity? Have you read Tragic Lust #34? Of course you haven’t! I just finished writing it. It’s a romantic called Go-Go West, Young Man.”

Lupta, who used Infinity Upton Downes as her pen name, waved her cane and began to recite:

“Ahem… Time. Stood. Still. Broken by an intensifying vibration, Thunder Thigh’s glistening bronze body began to quake. Handsome Jack’s mighty maracas nearly shook loose. The Paiute guide howled when she clamped down and crushed the stunned studly Spillwell’s notorious hardened spike… The wagon master’s dying wail triggered the legendary Montana avalanche known by all school-age children today as ‘Fuckin’ awesome!’”

Tor turned to his leader, Chester. “Holy Swiss cheese, Chester!”

“Holy…It’s really her!” said Brutehilda, Chester’s monstrous spouse.

Fuckin’ illiterates, thought Lupta.

“Yup. That’s Infinity,” said a Viking-helmeted man in a business suit, named Lutefisk.

Willowy Mina shook her head. She still couldn’t believe that her own aunty, Lupta Axe, was the famous author of the disturbing books that she had been hiding beneath her mattress with her deluxe Willie Wanker Bar.

Seven-foot Tor bent down and kissed Lupta’s black heavy heeled shoes and began to bawl like a baby.

“Enough, my Swedish meatball. You kids won’t find the god-blessed Countess and Prince Vlad at home neither!”

“Of course they’re not home,” said Brutehilda. “Vlad the Impaler and Bathory the Bloody Countess died hundreds of years ago.”

Lupta pointed her crooked cane at Elizabeth’s rumbling Challenger. “Do you see the hottie behind the wheel with red pinstripes in her hair and glowing boobs next to the guy with the funny mustache smoking god-knows-what-unfortunate-creature in his pipe while wiping the unicorn shit off of his shoe? Well, that’s them sitting in the car, turd loaf. You’re looking at the genuine Prince Vlad the Impaler Dracula Tepes,” (From behind the windshield, Vlad smiled and mimed “Hi!” as he lifted his Meerschaum pipe and eyebrows.) “and the Bloody Countess Elizabeth ‘Hot Wheels’ Bathory, the real deal.”  — Elizabeth grinned like a bear trap while flashing her glowing red-hot nipples …. . .-.. .-.. —, which in Morse code translated to “Hello.” They even beeped.

The Tale of Igorrina (from BATS ^^Ö^^)

goreybat.jpg

“I’m bored,” said Mina, who sat with her face in her hands.

“Me too,” said Jonathan while plunking on his dreadfully-out-of-tune guitar.

“Oh, children,” said the Countess. “Let me tell you a story about patience. There was once a lonely little girl named Igorrina who lived just down the road in the haunted forest of Hoia-Baciu.”

“Is there any other kind of forest?” asked the young Mina.

“No. Now listen, my children of the night. Igorinna, who had no friends to play Toe Tag with, was convinced that there was nothing exciting in her future, so she always—always—took her goddamned futen time. She was never in a big hurry to go…anywhere. One day she decided that she’d had enough of this world. She tied the end of a rope around the neck that connected her useless head to her body and the other end of the rope to a young spruce tree, determined to stay there until either death took her away or her dream-boy Prince Charmin’ arrived on his white steed to rescue her from her misery. Local wolves, lynx, and bears also found Igorinna uninteresting and unappetizing. Poor Igorrina spent much of her life in Hoia-Baciu Forest watching the bats and ghosts fly by in the evening while protected only by vicious badgers who lived in the dens that circled the tree. The badgers didn’t care for Igorrina, but were curious to see what might happen to her in the end. They kept her minimally fed with worms, grubs, and insects. Over time, Igorrina had begun to grow old and ugly while tied to the same branch of that same tree for forty-five years until …”

“Until what, Countess?” asked Jonathan. “A handsome woodsman came along?”

“Fah!” said Vlad.

“A knight in shining armor?” asked Mina.

“Fat futin’ chance!” said Elizabeth. “You children can be so gruesome.”

“Of course! The handsome prince!” said Lupta.

“No vay,” said Vlad. “Prince Charmin’, the ass vipe, never showed up.”

Elizabeth continued. “So, sad Igorrina sat, leaning against the tree trunk until, you know…one day, the spruce finally grew tall enough…tall enough to slowly pull Igorrina up by her neck and hang her.”

“No guano! That is so cool,” said Jonathan.

“Talk about patience!” said Mina.

“You kids should see her,” said Vlad. “Igorrina can vear a choker, a string of pearls, a locket, and ten necklaces…at vonce!”

Suddenly Vlad’s eyes seemed to catch fire. His mustache bristled. “Fute patience!” He pounded the table. “I vant all of them out of my castle! Now!”

Pull My Finger! (Another excerpt from Bats by Fred Barnett)

BATS

Excerpt from “Bats” by Fred Barnett (Coming soon!)

“Pull my finger!” 

“One of the oldest, and most effective gags in the world.” ★★★★★ Slime Magazine 

Featured in Auntie Lupta’s Grab Bag of Gags for Hags

and her Big Book of Cogent Curses for Crones

_______________

Time: Modern Day

Candy, the Dominance Pizza delivery person is driving the Bats Mobile full of Transylvanians (vampies, a witch, wolves, and bats) east, toward Čachtice Castle, to rescue the Bloody Countess Elizabeth from the even more evil Van Helsing Twins (Hansel and Gretel). Once she is free, Elizabeth (the only ‘person’ besides Candy who is allowed to drive) must take the entourage, plus her zombie housekeeper, Penelope (looking forward to a “hot” date), west, to save Vlad’s embattled home at Poenari. Candy joins Question Mark (“?”) and the bikers who follow…

_______________ 

Čachtice Castle: The Magic Tower

Gretel Van Helsing was bending down near the Countesses hand. “Her ring doesn’t fit, brother! It’s loose!”  

“Just take it then!” said Hansel.

Elizabeth’s mind was still sharp. A devious message — a trick, from the witch Lupta Axe snuck in to her brain. She must be nearby! Thank you, Auntie! Thought Elizabeth. 

Though her stomach ached from the Naga–Chili-Stuffed dinner earlier, Elizabeth managed to bare her fangs and challenge the twins.“If you think that you can take my father’s ring, I’d like to see you try!”

Meanwhile below…

The Bat’s Mobile, Elizabeth’s 1970 Sapphire Hemi Dodge Challenger, pulled into the driveway of Elizabeth’s Čachtice Castle. The car’s inhabitants had already sung Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer five times, John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt four times and were now into the second verse of the maritime classic “Barnacle Balls the Sailor.” 

‘What if you should get the chair? What if you should get the chair?

What if you should get the chair? Said the fair Young Maiden…’

“All together now!” said Candy, the pizza delivery driver at the wheel.

“I’ll lay a fart and blow it apart!” said Barnacle Balls the Sailorrrr….”

Everyone was singing. Hubba, the wolf, and his mate Hubba Hubba howled along cheerfully, alerting the imprisoned Countess in her tower above. Both wolves suddenly stopped singing. They sensed dread, apocalypse in the air. Their naughty sea shanty changed to doleful wails.

Meanwhile, upstairs …

Elizabeth’s ears perked up. They’re down stairs! Outside! Good doggies!

“Pull it!” said Gretel.

“What?” Hansel looked worried. Uneasy.

“I said, pull her finger! If you won’t, I …will!”

Hansel pulled. Elizabeth threw her head back in a howl of laughter.

“What’s so funny, fiend?” asked Gretel. “We’re going to take everything that you love away from you. Pull harder, brother!

The walls began to tremble and moan. 

Elizabeth was on the cusp of a great release, her evil grin nearly orgasmic, as the dust from the walls shook loose.

“She’s fooled us!” said Hansel. “It’s the old ‘Pull My Finger’ trick …I should have …Duck!”

Amidst the roar, the walls made from hardened unicorn shit evaporated. The canopy of stars twisted as if empathizing with the stricken Countess. Newborn galaxies spun away from the chaos.

Hideo, the vulture, swept down and snatched the Van Helsing twins from the sky as they were blown hundreds of feet above the castle.

The Countess Elizabeth remained on the bare stone floor of the tower which now had no walls. Her nightgown was torn to ribbons. Her furniture and the marble chair were simply gone.

“Jesus! Who cut the cheese?!” said Mina, who was the first to appear at what used to be a doorway. She had literally flown up the stairs to the tower. 

Vlad, landed right behind Mina, began to salivate at the sight of the shredded nightgown, and made the mistake of inhaling before he spoke, “Are you okay, Darl …? Unholy fuhhhque!” His mustache wilted.

Young Jonathan, who had heroically slithered up to the top of the tower to help, nearly lost his footing when he was pelted with hundreds of dead birds. He managed to slither back down to safety.

“Don’t!” The embarrassed Elizabeth raised her hand up in warning as she tried to catch her wind…I mean breath. “Don’t come in! I’m …I’m fine! I’ll get dressed and be right down.” 

________________

Midnight

The Countess Elizabeth Bathory emerged from the main gate, showered and ready for action.

Transformed into a blithering blob of blood jello, Vlad said, “Mlop!” This happened whenever Elizabeth put on her “standard” combat attire: a black backless fishnet halter, tight red cigarette pants, lethal stiletto heels and a very short midnight blue skirt (with a wide array of handy pockets designed to hold zip ties, duct tape, and paper clips). Her red streaked hair was tied in a long braid (I know that you are interested). Vlad had to avert his eyes to restrain his untamed limbă.

 

 The Journey Back to Poenari

Jonathan poured the remaining jugs of Gibor juice (blood and fixins) into the Bats Mobile’s tank. When he was done, he slid into the middle of the front seat next to the Countess, the only one who could drive. Vlad always took “shotgun.” The two bats Cherubino and Angioletto hung from the bars supporting the convertible top. The wolves, Hubba and Hubba Hubba, sat in the back seat with Lupta Axe.The willowy Mina sat in the middle of the back seat, as she might blow out of the car with sudden gust of wind or a …uh, never mind

Elizabeth’s gloomy zombie housekeeper, Penelope, was humming “John Brown’s Body” as she, herself was a-mouldering in the car’s trunk. 

  The smell of sulphur still lingered in the air outside. The trees around Čachtice Castle continued to burn as Elizabeth and her passengers drove away.

Candy had joined “?” (The hunchback Question Mark) on his Segway and along with Vlad’s new army, the recently “bat indoctrinated” Hell’s Angles Architect and Motorcycle club, they would follow the Countess’ Bats Mobile five hundred miles back toward Poenari.

In the car, Jonathan clicked on the radio. Elizabeth’s daddy’s record “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” was playing. Every time the lyrics “Gas, gas, gas,” came on, the group in the back seat would sing and howl along.

“Cut that out you kids! Or do I have to stop the car!’ Elizabeth yelled.

“Sorry, Countess,” said Mina. “Are you mad?”

“Fuuuuuming!” said Vlad. (He couldn’t resist.)

“That’s it!” Elizabeth pulled the Challenger over to the side of the road. “One more fart joke and I’m gonna get out of the car, break an old harpy’s head, dig a fuckin’ hole, and …and …then I’ll …I’ll…”

“You’ll call me up at dinner time and ask me if I can complete a five minute survey?” yelled Lupta.

“Devious idea, I must admit. Is that what you’d really like me to do, auntie?”

“No.” said Lupta, sheepishly.

“ Then watch it, buster!” yelled the Countess. 

“Lighten up, Elizabeth,” said Vlad. “We’re just breakin’ your balls. C’mon let’s go.”

Countess Elizabeth emotionally overwrought, buried her face in her hands and began to bawl.”

Vlad turned his head toward the back seat. “Do you see what you’ve done to Liz?”

“Liz?” asked Lupta. “Who’s the heaven is Liz?”

This the heaven is Liz! Do you see what you’ve all done to my little Elizabeth?”

Elizabeth shot Vlad a venomous glance.”Little, huh? I could kick yourrrrrr leathery ass.”

“Listen, dearie.” Lupta Axe said to Elizabeth.”How about a snack? Some leftover Caliente Casserole?”

Elizabeth steered the car back onto the pavement.

Vlad turned around. “Lupta, let’s change the subject. Hey! Let’s sing some folk songs!” 

Jonathan, who had begun napping, suddenly looked back toward Mina. “Pass over the guitar, Mina.”

Lupta shouted out, “Jonny, do you know ‘Blowin’ in the Wind?’”

The car jerked to a halt. “Motherfucker! That’s it! I’m gonna destroy that desiccated stick of jerky!” screamed Elizabeth. 

“What’s desiccated,” asked Lupta?

“I’ll show you desiccated!” Two bolts of lightning shot from the Countess’ black pupils, bounced off the rear view mirror, and set Lupta’s dry hay stack of hair on fire. 

Lepta only cackled. 

 

From the Land of the Pharoahs

“Whoa!” shouted Vlad. 

“Watch out!” shouted Jonathan. 

While the Countess raged, the car had narrowly side-swiped a Mummy enjoying a foot-dragging stroll near Astray Trail. 

“Asshole”!!! (Fuckers!!!), said the enraged Kharis. Startled, he had dropped his chalis of tanna leaf tea. “Young Punks” (Young Punks!) He cursed and pointed his amulet at the car as it passed. Disgusted, the mummy tried to resume the slow easy peace of his evening shuffle. Kharis loved his midnight walks which usually culminated in vengeance upon British scientists and the throat of the reincarnated Princess Ananka, the woman who dared to reject him.

Hubba the wolf howled toward the moon above. “We saw a mummy, and we have had 500 miles of open window!”

 

God’s “Monkey Wrench”

At 1 a.m. Sinatra’s “Summer Wind” began to play on the car radio, to the Countesses obvious displeasure.”Change the station! Now!”

      Elizabeth had had enough guano for one night. Her rage was suddenly broken when above the loud music, a loud knocking came from the rear of the car.

“What in blessed Heaven? Said the dozing Jonathan.

“Flat tire?” said Lupta. 

“Oh, no. Not now!” said Mina.

“That’s your housekeeper, Penelope,” said Vlad. “She might be lonely, stuffed back there. Maybe she’s hungry. You better pull over. Zombies are ‘God’s monkey wrenches’ to be thrown into the machinery when things seem to be running smoothly. Full of surprises”

Lupta blurted out, “Like a whoopie cushion?”

Frankie Lane music blasted from the radio. Luckily, Elizabeth didn’t hear Lupta’s comment as she steered onto the shoulder.

Jonathan grabbed the keys, jumped out and stood back as he flipped open the trunk. Elizabeth reached for her pistol from beneath the front seat and got out. The rest followed. The light from the trunk shone on Mina as she stood guard with a hammer, a machete and a wooden stake “in case there was any funny business” with the zombie.

“Sonofabitch!” said Jonathan. “Elizabeth! A gun? I thought the miserable woman was dead.” 

“She is, kiddo.” said Elizabeth, firing three shots into Penelope’s wormy cadaver.

“Well, you just killed her again!” said Lupta.

Elizabeth took a breath, relaxed her shoulders, lifted the pistol again. “It’s only murder if she stays dead!”

Jonathan grabbed her wrist. “Stop! Don’t shoot the face! She’s got a big date with Huthbert.”

“Let her rest in peace. She’s dead enough,” said Vlad. “Do you feel better now? We need to get back before sunup.”

Willowy Mina gently removed the gun from Elizabeth’s hand — took aim, and continued to empty two more rounds into the dismal rotting thing named Penelope. “Borrrring.” She handed the gun back to the Countess. “Zombies are like inflatable punching clowns.” 

Vlad sympathetically placed his filthy razor-sharp claws on Elizabeth’s shoulder as she walked around to the driver’s side. “Would you like me to …drive?”

Without answering, the Countess pocketed the gun, climbed back into the Challenger and paused to take another breath before turning the ignition key. “I’ll be okay! Besides, none of you ‘fine nobility’ know how to f’n drive!” Elizabeth said with a snark. “Just be quiet. All of you.” She pulled the Challenger back onto the pavement. “Let’s get out of here.” 

“Well, then,” said Lupta. “You’d better step on the…..”

“Don’t say it!” While hurtling down Route 13 at ninety-miles-per-hour, Elizabeth took the gun out of her pocket and pointed it back toward Lupta. “Not ONE word.” The little witch held her crooked hands up in mock defense.

  This time, Vlad turned his head around 180 degrees, turned crimson and roared within a torrent of bile,“You DO NOT want Elizabeth to stop the car … again, and have ME come back there! I PROMISE that BOTH of you WILL NOT be able to sit for a week …What’s that?” 

Out of the trunk they heard a tortured moan. 

“Oh, no,” said Mina.

“Moses fucking H. Christ! What does that dust magnet want NOW?!?” hissed the exasperated Countess. 

Another Loud bang and “Wwharrrrrrrr Uuuuuumnk!” came out the trunk. (Zombish translation: “Are we almost there? I have to go pottyyyyy.”)

“I dunno. Zombies are kinda cool.” Jonathan said. “They just don’t give a dusty fart about anything. Oops, sorry, Ma’am.”

Elizabeth gave him a look that could kill.

“Too late!” he winked back at her.

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