Comic Stripped (END)

Author’s Note: Mature Content Warning – Sex. Violence. Language.

The Getaway

Max Pine sat with rattled and tattered Christine LaBrush in a small room off the kitchen that was kind of like a screened-in porch. He tried to look at her through the glaze of a rhombus evening, a yellow light seeped in from the house. Her eyes were red and puffy from all the crying she had done. He was reluctant to comfort her. He blamed her for the horrible evening he was having, and all Max wanted to do now was escape from this hell. But she started to talk, and he was forced to listen.

“I’m so sorry I put you through this, Max,” she said. I am so humiliated and embarrassed and angry. I just want to have a normal god damn life!”

Max sighed as he pondered a reply. “That’s probably out of the question at this point.”

Christine’s head snapped in his direction, and she scowled at him. “Wow. Wonderful support.”

Max suddenly shot up from his seat. “You know what… Fuck this shit! I’ve tried to be nothing but nice all evening and all I’ve gotten is hateful crap from your father and now attitude from you. You dragged me into this nightmare, and I owe you nothing. I think I will be going now.”

Just as Max was about to leave, Mrs. LaBrush appeared at the precipice to the room. “Everything okay?” she wanted to know.

“I’m actually heading out, mam,” Max said. “Thank you for dinner. Have a pleasant rest of your evening.”

“But you haven’t had your schaum torte.”

Max sighed. “I really should be going.”

“It’s a very difficult dessert to make. I went to a lot of trouble, Max.”

She cocked her head oddly and smiled at him. “Please? It would bring joy to my heart after such a rough and tumble evening.”

Max conceded. “All right. I’ll have some of your schaum torte.”

“Wonderful,” Mrs. LaBrush gushed. “Shall we go into the kitchen. I’ll make some coffee,” she said, and then she looked over at her blubbering daughter / son. “Come now dear and wash up some. Wipe away those tears and pull yourself together.”

The trio sat in a nook with two benches and a table between. Max looked out a large, dark window as he sipped on his coffee — instant Sanka — and ached to disappear from his present situation.

Mrs. LaBrush cleared her throat. “Are you enjoying the schaum torte, Max?”

“It’s delicious.”

“I made the strawberry compote myself.”

“It adds a delectable zing to the entire dish,” Max said with a hint of sarcasm.

“I was thinking, Max,” Mrs. LaBrush began as she spooned a wad of whipped cream-dappled schaum into her mouth. “It is getting so late and it’s such a long ride back to Mankato… Why don’t you just stay the night.”

Max nearly choked on his schaum torte. “Well, if it’s all the same to you, mam, I think I may just walk into town and get a room until the bus comes in the morning.”

“Oh no. I won’t let you do that. We have a big house here with plenty of room,” Mrs. LaBrush insisted.

“I appreciate that, but I don’t think your husband will like me being here overnight. He hates my guts.”

Moody Christine finally lifted her head from her bowl of schaum torte, her inflated fake lips white with cream. “He doesn’t hate your guts. He’s just very overprotective and old-fashioned.”

“He’s a hypocritical asshole,” Max blurted out. “No offense to you, Mrs. LaBrush.”

She smiled in agreement. “He is quite the challenging mate,” she said. She sighed and then started licking at her spoon seductively yet grossly, her eyes aimed directly at Max. He caught on to her flirtation and it sickened him, and he squirmed where he sat. “But don’t worry about Herbert. He’ll drink himself to sleep in front of the television and you’ll be gone before he even wakes up.”

Max’s eyes went from depressed Christine to her mother and then to the gaudy walls and finally the stained ceiling. “I suppose one night wouldn’t hurt.”

“Wonderful!” Mrs. LaBrush excitedly exclaimed. “A sleepover! You can use our guest room — upstairs and at the end of the hall. No one will bother you in there.”

“That will be fine. If it’s all right, I’d like to go up and take a shower and turn in for the night. This has been an overly exhausting day,” Max said, and he wiped his mouth with a napkin and got up from the table. “Thank you for dinner and the schaum torte and the accommodations. Goodnight.”

“Wait,” Christine said. “Would you like me to come sleep with you. I mean… In the same bed, tonight? I need to be held.”

Max beamed at her like headlights on bright. “No,” he said, and he left them.


It was uncharacteristic for Herbert LaBrush to wake up in the middle of the night from his drunken stupor and begin to wander around the house, but on that night, something in the walls, the air, shook him and he did.

He fumbled for a familiar switch in the kitchen and clicked on a light. He opened the refrigerator door. He peered inside and the glow of the appliance bulb reflected against his slick dome. He looked for something to eat. He picked a few things up, sniffed at them and then put them back. He opened a carton of egg nog, drank from it, and then wiped at his mouth with his hairy arm.

After he closed the refrigerator, he thought he heard a noise coming from upstairs. He went to the bottom of the stairs and pointed an ear upward. There were noises drifting in the air. Something out of place was indeed going on. Mr. LaBrush tip-toed halfway up the stairway and then stopped. Again, he pointed an ear upward and it was then that he realized what he heard were the sounds of lust being played out in real time. Some sort of lovemaking was happening, live.

Herbert LaBrush gritted his teeth and clenched his fists in a silent rage that turned his face red and caused steam to swirl from the top of his head like in a cartoon.

“That bastard!” he seethed quietly to himself. “He’s having his way with my son… And in my very own house! I’ll kill him! I’ll kill him to death!”

Herbert LaBrush went to the garage. He was fuming and out of his head with debilitating anger when he retrieved an old baseball bat buried in a corner. He held it in his hands. It was heavy and solid. “I’ll knock that sinful fornicator straight to hell,” he said aloud as he took a swinging stance and swayed the bat in the air a little bit. “He’ll never see the lights of Heaven when I’m through with him.”

Once back inside the main part of the house, he quietly crept up the stairs, the filthy moans and groans blurping forth like rapid heartbeat elevator music in a snobby office filled with lonely orifices. He rattled like a fake plastic tree in a turbulent wind.

Herbert LaBrush held the bat high and slowly moved down the dark hallway toward Christine’s old bedroom. It was then, as he got closer and reached for the doorknob, that he became aware his hearing had deceived him, and that the sex noises were not coming from Christine’s old room, but instead, his very own bedroom.

A symphony of confused wrath choked his mind and body as he got closer to the room and suddenly realized that it was his very own wife from whence the sounds of animalistic passion were percolating from. He trembled with pain and anger as he pressed his head against the door and listened to her moist and guttural ramblings as the bed squeaked and the headboard smacked against the wall.

Herbert LaBrush looked skyward, his eyes penetrating the ceiling and beaming straight to Heaven. He shook a fist in the air. “Why have you brought this demon into my house!?” he whispered through clenched teeth and spit. “Why have you allowed my own wife to be speared by such a sinful wretch!? What have I done to deserve this, Lord!?” He panted as he waited for a sign, an answer, but there was nothing besides the orgasmic cries of his wife beyond the doorway.

Herbert LaBrush slowly stretched his sweaty face with his taut fingertips and then kicked the door in and switched on the ceiling light. And there it was, all splayed out in a naked, twisted and jungle steamy mess. The air soaked with the scent of unfathomable love. It was his own son, or the one who used to be his son, an unrecognizable creature now grinding groins with his own mother and drooling like a hell-fired fiend all over her.

Herbert LaBrush let out a horrifying howl and went at Christine with the bat. He first brought it down against her sweaty back and then went for her head and hit a blood-spangled all-American home run across the room. Mrs. LaBrush got splashed in red and then tried to scream as he came at her next and her yellowed teeth soon started to flow down her esophagus and into her guts.

Herbert had completely lost it. He dropped the wet with blood bat on the floor and went down with it when the full scope of what he had done hit him. He stayed like that for a long time, bent over, panting, weeping until finally the sun began to creep up and tap the new day on the shoulder. The smell of death began to rise more forcefully as he went to the phone on the bedside table and called in his confession as if he were ordering a pizza.


Max Pine sat on the curb outside the bus station somewhere in Minneapolis smoking a cigarette and feeling a bit sad. He looked up into the sky and saw birds. Then he thought he heard sirens screaming toward the burbs and he felt somewhat relieved and calm about the fact that he had snuck out of that madhouse around midnight and hoofed it downtown. He had a sense about things like that.

People were crazy, he concluded most days of his life. People were fucking nuts and that’s why he felt it was a wise decision to steer as far away from them as possible whenever he could. This devastating brush with Christine LaBrush and company solidified that fact for him. It felt better to be alone, he knew. It felt better to be alone all right.

Max enjoyed a stale cup of coffee by himself before he boarded the bus. He took a seat in the back by a window and the bus hissed and lurched forward and soon it was out of Minneapolis and onto the open road and back the 80 some miles to Mankato and then the unlocking of the gallery door and releasing the curtains and letting the sun in and sitting at the cash counter and polishing glass doorknobs and feeling good about being fucking independent.

It was another quiet, sunny day… And Max Pine liked that for sure.

END


The Puppets of Kudzu (3)

Author’s Note: Mature Content. The following story contains language that some readers may find offensive. Skip this one if you don’t like that sort of thing.

“I don’t think I want to give you kudzu pie anymore. You’re horrible to people,” Franco angrily ranted.

“Oh, come on. You can’t come down on a guy for just doing his job. I don’t make up the rules. I got bills to pay just like everyone else,” the city man said.

Franco pondered that and then reconsidered. “Okay. I’m sorry. Would you like some lactose-free egg nog to go with that pie? There’s nothing more refreshing than a cold glass of lactose-free egg nog.”

“Sure. That would be great. Thanks for considering my dietary needs.”

“No problem. I’m magical like that.”

 “Say, do you mind if I smoke? I could really use one right about now.”

“Nah, go ahead and suck on your fag all you want,” Franco told him.

“What did you just say?”

“Suck on your fag…”

“I know, I know. That is so gay, mister.”

“Jiminy Effin Cricket! What is it with everyone!? A fag happens to be a colloquial British term for a cigarette!”

Franco plopped down an emerald-green ashtray in the middle of the table followed by a plate with a chilled and wobbly piece of green kudzu pie. He went and yanked a plastic jug of lactose-free egg nog from the refrigerator and filled a tall glass and sat that before the man as well.

“Would you like me to squirt some cream on it for you?” Franco asked him.

“Excuse me?”

“Whipped topping. On your pie.”

“Yes, some cream would be, um, very nice.”

“Here you go. Enjoy.”

“Thanks.”

Franco watched with bizarre fascination as the city official opened his mouth and filled it with a piece of the cream-covered kudzu pie. He chewed. Then he stopped chewing. His face morphed into a horrifying grimace and then a huge and sloppy spew of mashed kudzu pie and cream shot out of his face and splattered all over the table. He made a horrible gurgling, gasping, groaning, grunting noise and clamped both his hands around the glass of lactose-free egg nog and tipped it to his mouth and started to suck and gulp ferociously, wheezing and whining and spitting as he did so. He paused briefly and then suddenly the egg nog came shooting out of his mouth as well and he cried out, “Spoiled! It’s spoiled!” 

The official suddenly stood up, grasped his throat, and then just as suddenly, collapsed onto the floor.

“Holy shit!” Franco Dellaronti exclaimed. “I think I just killed him with kudzu pie and lactose-free egg nog!”

 Cheise Karn Mouise rushed into the kitchen. “What the hell is going on in here!? What’s all the noise? Just look at this disgusting mess! And who the hell is that?!”

Franco frowned. “It was a guy from the city. He gave me a 600-dollar ticket because I left my smashed-up kudzu pie stand in the yard. I’m considered a public nuisance now by the entire neighborhood.”

“That’s totally gay.”

“No, it’s not! I’m not happy at all. In fact, this is all really pissing me off! And just look at this mess and this body! What the hell am I supposed to do?”

Cheise Karn Mouise shuffled over to the coffee pot that sat on the counter and struggled to reach it. “I don’t know. Did you check to see if he’s dead?”

Franco turned to him. “You want me to touch his body? Gross.”

“Maybe you should give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I bet you’d like that.”

 “What the hell does that mean?”

“I thought you were gay,” the puppet said, still struggling for the coffee pot.

“I’m usually very gay, but not today! Aren’t you my friend? Don’t you care about me at all and my need for overflowing happiness?”

“Of course, I care. I’m just not really all that interested in feelings… It’s gay.”

“I think you fear giddiness,” Franco sternly pointed out. “You fear your own emotions.”

“What? I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”

“You’re afraid to be happy with who you truly are.”

“God! Quit talking so damn gay… And I know what I am. I’m a puppet who has been blessed with life.”

“Why are you afraid to express your true inner thoughts?” Franco said as he went to him and helped him with the coffee pot. He poured some into a cup and handed it down to him. Cheise Karn Mouise sipped at it, looked up, and tried to smile but couldn’t.

“Do you feel guilty about something? Do you experience inner turmoil?” Franco asked, trying to dig a little deeper into the soul of his friend.

“I don’t want to talk about this anymore. It’s weird. Let me just drink my coffee and go back to my football in peace.”

“It’s not good to hold your feelings in,” Franco told him. “You may explode like an ice cream truck one day.”

Cheise Karn Mouise took another sip of his coffee. “Just drop it I said!”

“All right. All right. I just think it would be a benefit to you if occasionally you tried to get in touch with your feminine side.”

“That has to be the absolute gayest thing you have ever said to me,” Cheise Karn Mouise said.

Franco finally gave up. “Fine. Be unhappy for the rest of your life… So, I guess I am going shopping by myself after all?”

“I don’t feel like leaving the house. I told you that.”

“Are you sure? There’s a new frozen yogurt shop at the mall.”

“Yogurt is gay.”

“Well, I’d be gay too if I was full of fun and fruity flavors with a cornucopia of yummy toppings.”

Cheise Karn Mouise shook his head at him. “Your psychiatrist really needs to get to work on you. Jesus.”

“I’m looking forward to it. Therapy is all about finding your happy place no matter how screwed up you are.”

Then there came a sludgy groaning from the floor as the man from the city stirred. “Oh god, I feel horrible. What happened?”

Cheise Karn Mouise threw his coffee cup in the sink before rushing over to check on the man from the city. He had an idea how to save his friend some cash. “You were choking on a delicious piece of kudzu pie and my friend here performed the Heimlich maneuver on you and saved your life. You should thank him, not give him an outrageous ticket for just trying to bring a little edible joy to the world.”

“He licked my hiney? That’s so gay,” the man from the city frightfully moaned.

“No, you brute! The Heimlich maneuver,” Cheise Karn Mouise explained. “It’s a very helpful medically endorsed physical action used to dislodge food or foreign objects from a choking person’s airway. It saves lives. Just like it did here today in this very house, in this very room mind you. Are you dumb or what?”

The man struggled to get to his feet.

“Oh, good heavens, you’re gross,” Cheise Karn Mouise said with a scrunched puppet face of disgust. “Franco, fetch this poor fella a warm wet towel to clean himself with.”

“Of course, of course.”

“What’s your name friend?” Cheise Karn Mouise asked. “I don’t believe you supplied us with any official identification.”

“My name is… Karl, I think. Hey, wait, are you a fucking French puppet? Am I talking to a puppet? Whose hand you got up your ass?”

“I suppose you wish it was your hand up my ass, don’t you,” Cheise Karn Mouise teased. “And yes, Karl, you are talking to a French puppet. I am Cheise Karn Mouise of Lyon. And I am truly alive on my own. No hand up my ass required. This world of ours is a very strange and horrible place, isn’t it?”

“And yet so beautiful and delightful,” Franco sing-songed as he returned and handed Karl the warm, wet towel.

Karl wiped down his face and the front of his suit jacket and shirt. He looked at the huge mess splattered on the table. “Did I do that? Gosh, I’m so sorry.”

“Well Karl, why don’t you make it up to us. First, by cleaning up this nastiness, and second, by tearing up that ungodly citation,” Cheise Karn Mouise pleaded.

Karl flickered his eyes and said, “Yes, yes. Of course. I was never here. I saw nothing. Everything is in order.” He chuckled a bit. “Do you have any Bounty paper towels?”

“Oooooh,” Franco beamed. “The quicker picker upper. Right away, Karl.”

Karl leaned over and whispered to Cheise Karn Mouise. “Does he always act this gay?”

“Yes, he does. He’s a very happy and positive person and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

“Right, I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just wondering.”

TO BE CONTINUED

Read the previous part of this story HERE.