Vinegar Village (2 of 2)

So, I was sort of sad about the unfortunate death of Mr. Hulk and was walking around the VILLAGE and it was getting a little later in the day and then I soon found myself inside this electric saloon and casino that looked like the old Wild, Wild West but with neon and crackling and rebel rousers in fancy pants and trollops in stilettos all smacking away and laughing really wild, like animals, and there was the smell of perfume and smoke all mingled like hot sex in the back seat of a silver Opal and there I was trying to sit by myself at a small table to smoke a ciggy wiggy and enjoy a few glasses of imported Scotch whiskey, but then people were bumping into me and stealing the other chairs from my table and laughing at me because there I was all alone in this wild crowd and no one seemed to give a damn that Mr. Hulk had just been killed by a yoga chick.

Yeah, no one ever really knows what’s going on inside your own world and why you be the way you be and their bimbo, bozo narrow-minded misunderstanding makes them just laugh and point like a bunch of spoiled bitches. And I grew tired of it all and saw that there was a staircase that went up, up, up and so I went up, up, up.


And up there it was a home-style country scene all warm and soft and peaceful that showed how people used to live like a century plus a go. There was a long hallway with a wooden floor and off the hallway there were several rooms where actors and such were all dressed up in fashion appropriate for the period of time they were portraying and they were pretending to live life like it was when it wasn’t the mad mess we have now.

I looked into the room at the very end of the hall. There was a girl in there wearing a long, green and white checkered dress, like old-fashioned armor for a sinewy body. There was a white bonnet upon her blonde head. She was holding a stuffed dog and walking around the room, a room sparsely furnished, with white walls, white curtains slapping around the frame of an open window. And as she walked around the room with the stuffed dog she talked about life back then and how it was and how she liked to churn butter the best because it was so “sexual” and then she sat on the edge of a squeaky bed clad in fresh, white linens, and then suddenly this young man dressed in similar time fashion and with thick curly dark hair stormed into the room right past me and he moved on her without any hesitation and kissed her right on her unadorned mouth. She looked a bit puzzled at first and then she seemed to get even angry. She stood up, threw the stuffed dog across the room, and started talking about how she would tell on him for his “indiscretion.” There was a momentary pause, and then they both turned to me, smiled, and then bowed like actors.


I went back downstairs to the noise and wild lights. I needed a drink and maybe something to eat. And while I searched for a table in all the hoopla, I saw Mr. Gorgon come in through the doors followed by Mr. English who was holding a girl in one hand and his bottle of Red Wine Vinaigrette Salad Dressing in the other. I moved through the crowd to greet them and to my horror noticed that Mr. Gorgon had big chunks of broken beer bottles sticking out of his stomach and chest. They were real nasty wounds and I could even look inside his guts and see a pile of broken glass there and Mr. Gorgon just laughed and whooped it up and acted like nothing was wrong.

I had to yell over the roar of the crowd to him.

“I think you better go to the hospital. Those are some nasty wounds you got there, Mr. Gorgon.”

He just smiled and looked down at his body.

“What? This? Aw come on, it’s just some bits of broken glass. Doesn’t hurt a bit.”

“It looks rather nasty,” I said to him. “It could get infected and then you’ll be in real big trouble. Maybe even dead like Mr. Hulk.”

“Ah, you worry too much Mr. Hat. Always worried about shit and you never take the time to just relax and have some fun.”

Mr. English leaned in then.

“What’s this about Mr. Hulk being dead then?”

“Yes, he’s dead all right,” I said to him. “That yoga chick shoved him into a tree and done him in.”

“What in bloody hell would she do that for?” asked Mr. English, looking at his chick and shaking his head. “Sounds like one of your friends killed one of my friends, sister. What the hell is up with that then?”

The chick pulled away from Mr. English and put her hands on her hips.

“Well, she wasn’t my friend and don’t get all nasty with me about it. I had nothing to do with it. For all we know, he was trying to rape her and well, then he got what he deserved.”

“Ah, piss off you bitch. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re just a drunk and a stupid girl,” Mr. English said to her.

I could tell the chick was steaming mad and about ready to haul off on ol’ Mr. English, but she clamped her mouth tight, looked up at the ceiling, frantically tapped her toes and then burst out like a tea pot come to boil: “Well at least I don’t chum around with a bottle of salad dressing all day, ya bloody freak!”

The entire place suddenly went silent except for some soft whispers and the shuffling of sleeves against sleeves. “You didn’t have to say that then did you?” a dejected Mr. English said to the chick. “That was a mean thing to say, and in front of all these people, too.”

Mr. English clutched his bottle of Red Wine Vinaigrette Salad Dressing, bowed his head and worked his way through the crowd, out the EXIT and into the night.

The noise began to roar again immediately like some great conflagration in a hip Albuquerque dancehall.

Mr. Gorgon tugged at my sleeve.

“I’m going to the bar; would you like me to bring you back a drink?”

“No, I don’t think so… You’re really not going to the hospital?”

“Hell no, it’s party time mate and I feel fine. I feel fit.”

“All right then,” I said to him. “I think I’m going to leave.”

“Aw, you don’t want to stay and see if I can get more broken glass in my belly?” Mr. Gorgon said with a laugh. “I bet we can find you a girl in here. You just need to loosen up a bit, like me.”

And he slapped me on the shoulder.

“There was a girl upstairs, acting out some scene with a guy who looked like Arnold Horshack.” I said to Mr. Gorgon. “He tried to make it with her, but she got all psycho and said she was going to tell on him. I don’t know who.”

“Well, that sounds bloody weird,” Mr. Gorgon said.

“Yes, it was weird, very weird, but it wasn’t a bad scene. They were reliving history, just for me.”

“Well, there’s a feather in your cap… Mr. Hat. Heh, that’s kind of funny isn’t it?”

“Yes, I suppose it is.”

I drained my last bit of Scotch whiskey and just dropped the glass on the floor.

 “So, Mr. Gorgon, how do I get out of this dream?”

END


The Puppets of Kudzu (END)

Karl from the city went to work cleaning the mess he made in the kitchen as Franco and Cheise Karn Mouise looked on. When he finished, he rinsed out the towel and washed his hands in the kitchen sink. “Well, I suppose I should get going now before they wonder if I went AWOL,” he said to them.

“Can I have a hug before you go Karl?” Franco asked with open arms.

The man eyed him, confused, and wondering. He looked around to make sure no one was watching but then again nobody could have been.

“All right,” he said. “Bring it in.”

“Oh yippy!” Franco squealed, and he wrapped his arms tight around Karl’s body and snuggled him lovingly.

“All right, all right, that will do, mister. Thanks for saving my life. You both take care now. And be sure to clean up your yard before they send someone else a lot less understanding.”

Karl limply smiled at them, went to the door, opened it, and walked out into the mean world.

“Well,” Franco said to Cheise Karn Mouise. “Now that that’s over with. Let me ask you one last time. Are you still planning on staying here to watch your stupid football while I go have a sparkly good time shopping?”

Cheise Karn Mouise looked up at him with little expression. “Yes.” Then he turned and disappeared into the other room.

Franco yelled after him. “Fine! I’m going now. You may choose not to be happy, but don’t rain on my parade. I’m going to be so gay they’re going to have to wipe the smile right off my dead body!”

The front door eventually slammed and Cheise Karn Mouise was all alone in the house, nice and snug in a comfortable chair, and he was glad for the peace and quiet.

After a while, Cheise Karn Mouise fixed himself some microwave popcorn and an iced grape soda before getting back to his football. He watched one game, then another, and was then into his third when he realized Franco had not returned home yet. He clicked off the watching devices and the house was eerily silent except for a lonely low hum of electricity throughout. The light of day was beginning to crisp over. He was oddly worried and went to a window and looked at the street. Franco’s car was still gone. Cheise Karn Mouise tried calling him on his cell phone but there was no answer. He began to think something bad had happened, but he decided to just go ahead and take a nap on the living room couch. So what if he wasn’t home yet? he thought to himself. Franco’s a grown man who can take of himself. Besides, they had gotten into a fight, and he was mad, and he had to play the little game of acting like he didn’t care even though he did care. It was a lot of emotions for a small puppet to juggle. Being really alive, he decided, was tough sometimes.

And that’s when he started to cry before he fell into a deep sleep and he dreamt about how he was first created, how he had once been nothing but pieces of a puppet that had to be assembled. He dreamt about how it took the thoughts of some human being in a wood shop down in the snug of Lyon, France to come up with the idea, the design, and to finally carve, shape and birth him into the living world before shipping him off simply for the entertainment of others. He truly was a puppet in a world with countless opinionated hands.

It was later when his phone rang, and it startled him awake. He fumbled in the darkness for his puppet cell phone. “Hello?” he sleepily mumbled.

Franco Dellaronti was crying on the other end.

Cheise Karn Mouise sat up. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

“They beat me up!” Franco said, whimpering.

“What!? Who beat you up?”

“Just come get me. I’m at the First Church of Loving Goodness on 37th Avenue. I’ll be the one bleeding on the steps out front.”

“I should call an ambulance for you.”

“Just come get me!”

Cheise Karn Mouise went to the garage and jumped in his dream car — a Kia Soul specially made for puppets with souls. He activated the garage door with a press of a button on a remote, fired up the car, and tore out of the driveway like a puppet with purpose. “Don’t worry my human friend,” he said aloud to the kaleidoscopic dash. “I’m coming to get you!” and he cranked the volume of his favorite song — Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People — and he drove along to the beat like a ferocious dancing wind to get to Franco before he possibly died.

When his GPS had finally guided him to the church, he saw Franco Dellaronti slumped on the stairs out front, leaning against a silver rail. He worked himself out of the Soul and ran over to him. His master was a bruised and bloody mess, and he carefully shook him a little bit. “Hey man. I’m here. Jesus… What happened?”

Franco looked at him with a dazed expression. “I wanted to say a prayer for you. I wanted to pray that you find true contentment in your puppet life and be gay all the time.” He turned his head and looked at the doorway of the church. “I was in there, giving my prayer and they were going to start a night service and then they told me I had to leave.”

“What on earth for?”

“They said I was a sinner and that I was destined for hell. They said Jesus hates people who are gay. And I wondered, how could Jesus possibly be against someone being happy? Anyways, I didn’t want to leave. I told them I wasn’t finished praying yet. That’s when a group of the church men grabbed me and threw me to the floor. They started punching me in the face, and then the women there and even some of the children started kicking me and spitting on me. I think someone threw a Bible at me. They looked right at me and told me God hated me and that they hated me, too. Then they hustled me outside and dumped me, and I’ve been sitting here all wumbly bumbly and half bleeding to death ever since. Why did they beat me up for just wanting to pray for my beloved puppet friend to be happy?”

Cheise Karn Mouise sadly sighed and then said, “Because they’re hypocritical assholes.”

“I just don’t understand, Cheise Karn Mouise. I just don’t understand.”

“I know. Neither do I, but don’t worry about that now… Let’s get you home. Where’s your car?”

“They set it on fire.”

“What!?”

“Yes. They wanted me to witness the burning. They told me it was a preview to my own personal hell.”

“What horrible people.”

“Yes. I’m going to see a lawyer about all this,” Franco said.

“Good. Can you walk?”

“I’ll manage. Thanks for coming to get me.”

“I should have come with you in the first place. I’m sorry for acting like a dick.”

“Oooooh,” Franco managed to happily squeak through his pain.

“Zip it,” Cheise Karn Mouise said, then he laughed. “Let’s just get out of here.”

They rode in silence for a while until Cheise Karn Mouise suggested they get a late-night treat. He thought it would help cheer Franco up a bit. “How about some ice cream? And not that yogurt crap. I mean real ice cream. Are you in the mood for some 24-hour Cream King goodness?”

Franco Dellaronti brightened through the pain. “Cream King? Absolutely. I want to get something super swirly.”

Cheise Karn Mouise shook his head. “God that’s gay.”

Then the puppet with soul gripped the steering wheel of his ultra-cool Kia Soul as he plowed the night streets, and he was glad to be in a fairly decent mood, his good friend and master at his side, badly beaten, but still alive. Then something in the sky caught both their eyes, and they saw magical electric Jesus riding a bicycle, and he gave them a friendly wave and smile before rising and flying off across the face of the blue-white moon — like an E.T. kid — on his way to space Heaven.

END