Thursday, September 14, 2006


The Drugstore Comic Book Incident (III)

Part three of absolutely, definitely no more than six in a thrilling new hardboiled noir serial.

I’d called the cops from the payphone down the street and they’d arrived within a half hour. The one in charge was an old, familiar face: Lieutenant Finbar O’Nann, who’d been a sergeant on Vice back when I’d been on the force and who had transferred to homicide to fill my shoes after I had… well, after I’d left.

The crime scene boys got busy and O’Nann stood watching with one hand fidgeting about in his trouser pocket and the other full of the sunflower seeds he was partial to. He was big and Irish and short-sighted, with coarse red hair in his ears and nose and on his palms, which rasped unpleasantly when you shook hands with him. I hadn’t this time.

‘Lemme get this straight,’ he said. ‘You happened to be passing by when you saw the door of this store open, so you looked inside and found this.’

‘That’s right,’ I said, and took a nip from my hip flask. He squinted across at me, a look on his face like a thorn tree in winter.

‘You realize I could take you back to the station house and have the truth beaten out of you.’

I smiled. I’d taught those guys everything they knew about extracting a confession by force. I lit a cigarette. The only reason I was hanging around now was that I needed O’Nann’s help – an ID on the stiff, for starters – and I figured he’d be willing to trade. I’d searched the dead guy myself, of course, but he wasn’t carrying any credentials, just fifteen bucks which I pocketed. Hell, I don’t get many perks in this job.

One of the crime scene techs was taking photos. The flash from the camera lit up the walls which were sprayed maroon. Whoever had severed the guy’s hands had done it before he was dead, because the arteries in the wrists had continued pumping. The wounds were clean ones. The hands were missing.

‘Must of tooken his hands to stop us fingerprinting him,’ remarked O’Nann, the fidgeting in his pocket becoming more frantic. He gets off on this kind of thing. The hand holding the sunflower seed was shaking too.

‘Nope,’ I said. ‘In that case they would have taken his teeth as well so you couldn’t check ‘em against dental records.’ I lit a cigarette.

He glared at me. ‘So what do you suggest then, smart-ss?’ He nibbled a sunflower seed.

I shrugged. ‘Hand fetishist, maybe. Check your files. Or he was wearing lots of rings so the killer took the hands to save time. Doesn’t explain why they were cut off before he died, though.’

He agreed grumpily to keep me updated on his findings if I did likewise with whatever investigation I was involved in, and I split. As I left I heard him sigh, and without looking round I knew he’d spilled his seed on the ground.


I walked home through streets that were already becoming muggy again after the rain. The sidewalks were awash and I gave up trying to sidestep the puddles. G-d-damn frigging city with its G-d-damn lousy stinking drainage system. I stopped at my regular all-night liquor store for JD and smokes but it was being held up by a couple of hoods when I went in, so I had to go the one down the street where the owner charged me full price.

Home was a second-storey apartment in a faceless brick tenement in midtown. I moved there two years ago when my wife walked out. She said the final straw was when I gave her that bad case of crabs. I still kick myself today. She loved seafood but I’d left it out of the freezer too long.

I let myself into the lobby and took the stairs, feeling jaded. I had one missing guy, one dead guy and a wicker connection. I’d searched the wicker store before calling the cops, of course, but had found nothing. Maybe O’Nann and his boys would come up with something.

As I climbed the last few steps to my door I listened out for Monstee, my bitch. She’s a rare breed of terrier, a genetic dead-end with blue hair and low cunning. When I get home she sinks her teeth bone-deep into my leg and I kick her off against the wall. She p--ses on my head and I do the same to her. We horse around like this for a good ten minutes. It’s like love.

This time there was no tick of claws on lino, no frantic joyous whimpering. I pushed the door open. Light from the hall spilled into my living room.

I lit a cigarette.

There, crawling piteously across the carpet, was Monstee, her eyes staring at me pleadingly. Red foam was coming out her maw and there was the smell of beefsteak hanging in the air. Right away I knew she’d been poisoned. Standing over her, his face obscured with a nylon stocking, was a man. In his hands was a camera.

Taking pictures of my Monstee.

I was on him in a second but he was fast and brought his hands up and in one of them he had a gun so I kept myself close to stop him being able to take aim. I got him in a headlock and close up I could smell the wicker on him. He grappled me and we turned and crashed, sending the coffee table shattering. He got a good kick in, right up in the privates, and I reeled away but I couldn’t let myself get too far because of that G-d-damned gun so I rolled toward him again and dove for his legs and sent him thudding against the wall.

The neighbor started yelling and I cussed back at her thru the wall. I felt sick from the kick to the jewels and I could feel my strength draining. He got in a kick to my head and the floor lurched. I looked up at him, watching the barrel of the gun center on me.

Sic transit gloria Podophagi…


Is this the end for Foot Eater?

a) Don’t be ridiculous, he’s the narrator telling the tale in the past tense.

b)Ah, but he could be telling this story from the afterlife!

c)Who cares, tell me if the dog survived!

"a look on his face like a thorn tree in winter."


Spilled seed, a bad case of crabs - I do so love me some corn noir. I groaned of course, as one must do with corniness of that sort but with this episode you have elevated corn to an art-form, Foots. I groaned, sure, but in a thrilling mixture of exquisite pleasure and pain.

You never disappoint, Footee.

I fear for Monstee though. What will become of Monstee? I care about your life too, of course, but only insofar as I need you to finish the story. But in his brief appearance wee Monstee-dog has somehow managed to capture my heart in a magical, harp-musicee way. His scampy bladder evacuations, his noble canine bearing, his trusty blueness!

What happens to Monstee??
fucking bit of brilliance there my friend.
Footie, you are the man. Spilled seed and crabs had me giggling.

Monstee better make it through, though, otherwise my 2-year-old will be in permanent tantrum mode.

Of course you make it through, duh. If you didn't, I'd have to kick your shite in.
Thanks, ladies (or broads, perhaps). Sam and Sparrow, you'll both be featuring, and Sarah will be back, of course, as she's the client. Monstee, well, who knows...

Everyone on my link list gets at least a cameo.
In that instant, I knew I had to take on this broad, follow her down whatever hellish road she was leading me.

McShae. Maroon. Ayres. Barbudo.

My world went spinning.

Was that my cameo? Or does this snippet from episode one get explained any further?

Oh, and if it turns out you're narrating from the afterlife I'll be seriously disappointed.

My guess is the attacker shot one of his balls off in the struggle for the gun.
Kim, you'll recall that you got a mention in episode two as well. Rest assured, there'll be no loose ends at the conclusion of this tale. Justice will be done.
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Stop pampering to the fragile egos of your Blogging chums, anyway, whens my big part? do I get a trailer?, only green M&Ms,I feel like you've played with me without giving me a happy ending, does this sound gay? great work Mr Foot.
Oh, shit, I'm so nervous for monstee.
Who would want a snuff shot of a cute widdle blue doggie?
Save the dog, save the dog!!!! bitch.


crab... seeds... everything! Good stuff Foot!

If dog do die, have it stuffed and adopt new one!

Poor old pup-boo-hoo. But yah for the fightin' and cursin'!
Finbar O'Nann? Oh you are a one Mr Eater, and no mistake.
The anti mortem explanation of blood on the walls was most informative.

Thus passes the glory from the podophage.
and another thing, wasn’t Sunset Boulevard narrated from beyond the grave? So it’s possible.
Anonymous: car park, now.

Old Knudsen: you'll get your part when I'm damn good and ready for it and not a moment sooner, and you'll be pleased.

SafeT: that would be telling, but you've hit on one of the more important plot strands there.

Andraste: I'm still thinking about it.

Monstee: forget my response to Andraste above, I've made up my mind.

FMC: those sound like crocodile tears, just the type I'm trying to elicit.

Dr Maroon: that's of the podophage. Back of the class, immediately.

Next bit will be up probably Wednesday.
Em, it's present indicitive ABLATIVE is it not? Or should I be taking more Omega 3?
Nope, genitive. Ablative would be podophago, and there'd have to be an 'ex' or an 'ab' before it.
You've all turned into italians, must be an interweb virus.
The ab (from) would be the giveaway right enough. I'll give you that but don't think you've won my friend. Oh no.

"Many are the battles lost, before the ultimate triumph of flutes made from the bones of our enemies"

Sennapod 47 BCE.
And a very good evening to you Old Knudsen.

Do you take a drink old feller? eh? eh? Betcha do. Does the Poe shite in the woods?
Pope even. Hoe Freudian is that?
HOW, I meant to say.

Now that IS weird.
..i read a bunch of comments from the previous posts on this story and on Maroon's blog and i have to say..

if i were a more virtuous woman, i might have a problem about the thought processes around these parts.

(well, i am virtuous, but i have a sense of humor.)
Dear Dr Maroon, I am forever as sober as a judge, nay a doctor, and you tell that Sennapod the watch his lip, and as a great man once said, "No Pope Here!" , so he left a 'we called while you were out' note.
Footsie, this is sheer genius... sorry I joined the game late. But seriously -- I'm rapt.
An onanist head of vice, har, har, har! Footie, you are a one!
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