Wednesday, October 18, 2006


The Drugstore Comic Book Incident (VII) (ii)

The finale.

The gorilla towered over me, his breath so overpoweringly fetid I wondered briefly which end of him I was facing. Not for the first time my life tried to flash before my eyes, but this time it was tired, monochrome, a wind blowing tumbleweeds down the back alleys of a dead-end one-horse town.

As the ape raised his great hands and clasped them in preparation for the killing blow, I became aware of little details: El Barbudo’s high-pitched snickering like an Italian castrato, the chanting of the crowd, Dr Maroon slipping a piece of gum into his mouth and lifting the lid of a trash can to dispose of the wrapper – hang on, that trash can wasn’t there before

Several things happened at once then.

An arm sprouted from the trash can and grabbed Maroon’s wrist and twisted his gun free, and beneath the lid I saw the face of SafeT, my stool pigeon.

Through the vents in the ceiling dropped floor-length ropes and people began to shimmy down them, commando-style.

The doors thru which I had been brought in heaved open and more people ran in, as did a small blue terrier, yapping ferociously. Monstee!

The gorilla stopped, arms poised above his head, as startled as the rest of us.

There were a dozen or so of them. Sam Bride led; alongside her were assorted denizens of the night who I’d encountered over the years and, critically, done favors for (or possessed blackmail material about). They included SafeT, naturally, and that chainsaw-wielding dinosaur hater from Bo Khaki’s, and the arm-wrestling broad from Boston, and that other dame from Frisco with the poison-tipped stilettoes.

The tableau held for a few seconds, and then battle commenced.

Monstee ran straight for Glark, the wolf hound, and with a sound like a ripe pear being punctured sank her teeth into his family jewels. Mr Dinosaur Hater revved his chainsaw into life and set about him. Sam put away her Browning as Fat Mammy Cat rocketed toward her. It was going to be hand to hand. Cat was well known as an expert in the deadly Chinese martial art of Fah Kyu, and as she aimed a slap upside Sam’s head I winced. But the speed with which Sam blocked it and retaliated with an even harder slap upside Cat’s head made me realise that Sam was skilled in the even deadlier art of Fah Kyu Too.

I weighed in with my fists, giving Ayres’s minions the same rough treatment I’d received as a kid growing up in the docklands of Hell’s Toilet. It was harsh, and it was ugly. A group of them attacked me with heavy wooden sticks. After sustained attempts on their part to force me to submit to their huge poles, I finally beat them all off.

But we were outnumbered and outgunned, and as I planted my steel toecap in yet another crotch, I noticed that my would-be rescuers were all either flagging or captive. Poor Joe K’Mayall had gotten his other hand cut off during the struggle. Before long we were surrounded by guns and stood huddled together. Thru all of this the gorilla had stood frowning, befuddled by the drugs they’d given him.

‘How did you find me?’ I asked Sam.

‘A little bird told me,’ she murmured. Quickly she explained that her trained sniffer sparrow – the one I’d met in my cell - had led her and her posse here. I gave her a smile. I’d been wanting to give her one ever since I’d met her.

I glared up at Ayres and Barbudo grinning smugly atop their pyramid. Ah, well, at least we gave those G-d-damn Southern hicks a taste of Yankee spunk.

Maroon looked up at them enquiringly. Ayres held out his fists, both thumbs pointing downward. Around us the safety catches were eased back.

This was it, then.

Except maybe we had one chance.

‘Guys,’ I called out to no-one in particular, ‘how do you circumcize a whale?’


‘With four skin divers.’

It was the worst joke I’d ever told. I prayed it would do the trick.

Barbudo snarled with contempt. ‘G-d damn it, Pappy! It’s amazin’ t’ think we descended from the apes an’ not the other way round!’

Slowly the gorilla raised his head and stared at Barbudo. Then, with a noise like lava rumbling up from the bowels of the earth, he drew himself up to his full awesome height and let out a roar that drowned out all thought for a few seconds. With a violent jerk of his leg he broke free of the chain that was holding him in place.

It worked! I’d managed to goad Barbudo into displaying his ignorance of basic hominid evolutionary principles and committing a faux pas that to an intelligent gorilla’s ears would have been a grievous insult. (Humans are of course not descended from gorillas, or from chimps either; rather, we share a common ancestor.)

As the gorilla began to thunder his way over and Barbudo started to blubber and squeal, I took the cigarette from my mouth and tossed it onto the pyramid, which you’ll recall was made of comic books. All eyes were on the approaching ape and so nobody else noticed the blaze until it was well underway.

The room erupted. The gorilla reached the pyramid and lashed at it with his ham fists, knocking burning comic books flying. Ayres slid on his tush to the ground and scrambled away. Barbudo tried to do the same as the gorilla grabbed for him. He would have made it if it hadn’t been for his beard, which the ape seized and used to draw him closer. I knew we had to get out of there but I couldn’t help watching for a moment. The gorilla’s hair had caught fire but he ignored it and, clutching the screaming Barbudo under one arm, began to climb one of the steel ladders to the aperture in the ceiling above.

‘No!’ yelled Ayres. ‘The warehouse is above us! The comic books will all go up!’

I grabbed Sam and a dazed-looking McShae and beckoned to SafeT and, Monstee ahead, we ran for the doors. Around us people were burning, screaming, trying to get out. Thru the doors we raced down corridor after corridor, seeking a random path out before the warehouse above us collapsed in a storm of burning timber and buried us. Eventually we reached a dead end. I lit a cigarette.

‘Up there!’ said McShae, pointing at a child-sized hole in the wall some eight feet above us.

McShae bent over and one by one we mounted him and entered his hole. I pulled him up after us and we crawled awkwardly along a seemingly endless tunnel until fresh air breathed on us from ahead. In a minute we were tumbling out on to a grassy bank up river from the warehouse.

I got up and looked back. It was night-time and against the black sky the warehouse was ablaze, millions of dollars of evil smut in the form of comic books going up in smoke. Already the sirens were sounding in the distance. Between the warehouse and the river was a crane and I could make out a figure climbing up its side. It was Bananas the gorilla, still on fire and still holding on to the tiny struggling shape of Barbudo. The pair reached the top of the crane and the gorilla stood there, beating his chest and letting out a bloodcurdling bellow of anger. Beside me Sam gasped as the crane began to topple sideways and, before it hit the ground, Bananas and Barbudo were flung into the murky iciness of the river.

I cursed. Barbudo still had his hands on my Pussy.


We stood, Sam Bride and me, in the organized chaos of flashing lights and ambulance crews and police and I smoked a cigarette and sucked on a bottle of JD. McShae had been carted off to hospital with delayed shock, but not before I’d gotten him to promise me a check for rescuing him since Laughs wasn’t going to be paying me now. SafeT too was under the medics, having suffered minor burns when the trashcan he was dressed in had heated up.

Lieutenant O’Nann came up to us. ‘We got Ayres and Maroon in custody, along with most of the others who didn’t die in the fire. Barbudo we’re presuming drowned.’

I said nothing, just looked out over the river and thought of blackness and cold razor steel and the oblivion of the bottle.

After a minute O’Nann said gruffly: ‘You done good, Eater. The city’s in your debt.’

He held out his hand but I didn’t shake it; it had just been in his pocket.

I poured some JD into a saucer for Monstee and lit her a smoke. In a while I reached into my pocket and said to Sam, ‘I got this for you. For saving me. And because -’

She looked down at the ring, then smiled sadly at me. ‘Thank you, Mr Eater,’ she said. ‘But my heart belongs to another.’ And she gazed out at the river, where the gorilla had disappeared.

I put the box away. Ah well, it was probably for the best. The last time I got a dame to put her finger in my ring it had gotten painful.

‘I would like to give you some jewelry, though,’ I said. ‘As a keepsake.’

She smiled acceptance.

So I gave her a brooch.

You thought I was going to say ‘pearl necklace’, didn’t you?

Is that it?! What about all the loose ends?

  1. He’s probably got an epilogue up his sleeve.

  2. If so, he’d better get on with it.

  3. Does anyone fancy a pint?

A story on power with the mighty Ragnarok, there is a lesson to be learned here, 'buy war bonds'.
Yay! I'm a hero!

Hmm, let's see, my favorite parts....

"Chinese martial art of Fah Kyu.... even deadlier art of Fah Kyu Too.... with a sound like a ripe pear being punctured sank her teeth into his family jewels.... McShae bent over and one by one we mounted him and entered his hole.... The last time I got a dame to put her finger in my ring it had gotten painful"

Of course, I liked the part where you had to explain evolutionary theory to all of us, too. What would we do without you?

A highly entertaining story. You have come through with flying colors, yet again.
"After sustained attempts on their part to force me to submit to their huge poles, I finally beat them all off".

Oh footsie, excellent! The double entendres thick and fast, as usual!
one by one we mounted him.
we surely did.
So does Sam's heart belong to GB or El B?
And is anyone going for a pint?
Bravo! I thoroughly enjoyed every word of that, Foots!

I'm holding out for an epilogue though, (and where's the rumpy pumpy we were promised? Eh? Eh? I had candles and soft music all ready to settle back and read a torrid love scene) and a pint would be nice too, seeing as how you're offering, and all.

I love the SafeT in the bin thing. And while I admire the erudition of the splendid ape and surely love his noble heart, I fear he is more gorilla than I can handle. My heart is as yet an enigma...

Whose round's it first, then? Kitty?
McShae bent over and one by one we mounted him and entered his hole

I thought I was feeling a bit loose this morning. I third the motion for a pint, by the way. I think I need one after all I've been through!
...or should that read, after all of you have been through me...?
Binty, I can't speak for the others but I know I was as gentle with you as I could be as I mounted you and any soft moaning you may have heard was purely incidental...

i still can't believe i turned out evil. a sell out.. ach..
Just like all good things in life... it end with me getting saucer of JD and a smoke! wait! They start that way! wait! They start AND end that way! wait! There am also healthy dose in the middle!
fuck sake are we still on this boring shit? can't you fukcin write somethni about nazis or fannys
Sam, you missed the sex scene in the previous episode: 'Ayres flipped him fondly under the chin'.

Haden Powell: welcome, and fuck you.
All the while poor Old Knudsen lies rotting in a cell, having been beaten up by a bird and a Sasenach in chains, he will indeed eat the cockroaches he finds, building his strength and powers for the final conflict in which he and an army of Nazi Fannys will take over the world, or at least a large supermarket.
1 - Hope so!
2 - Hope so!
3 - Nah, but a coffee would do me a treat.

I can almost smell the charred comics...

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