|The Story||The Authors|
|Dr. Evelyn Phibes was worried. She'd tried for a while to follow Muffy's trail
on foot but soon realized that it was useless. She'd gone back to get her car.
Not having any idea where the dog could have flown to she was reduced to
combing the streets in the general direction he had been heading and peering up
through the windshield as best she could. She touched the mojo she had around
her neck. This was some bad juju to be sure.|
All along the streets the usual Friday night crowds wandered merrily along their patchouli scented ways. Nothing. Pulling over on a side street she stopped to consider her options. It was then that she heard the sirens
Across the street the arresting, super-schnozzed profiles of the Easter Island
moai statue replicas on the roof of the Ti-ki Lounge stood in oily black
relief against the red-orange ribbon of gloaming at the Western edge of the sky
(where the dusk-ruddied sails of sailing boats and the winking lights of
booze-cruises came rippling Bayward) and beneath them, in the parking lot,
ambulances and police cruisers clustered like feeding pigeons. |
...Inside the Easter Island Ti-Ki Lounge was a scene from Heironymous Bosch. Profusely bleeding customers, many of them noseless, earless, eyeless, de-fingered, de-toed, or scalped, lay groaning amidst the fish-stinking carnage of a hundred crushed lobsters. Some of the lobsters had not yet received the coup de gras, and lay feebly clacking broken pincers or making still-feebler attempts to re-ascend into the air. These a teenage busboy, with a flap of skin hanging over his eyes where a lobster had tried to scalp him, was wandering through the carnage with a deep-fat-fryer basket and pulverizing the dying crustaceans until a police officer but his hand on the boy's arm and told him, "Thanks, kid... Yer doin' yer country a great favor here... But save us a few a dem spiny critters so's we can take 'em down to the station fer questioning..."
Meanwhile, Monty huffed and puffed along, trying desperately to keep up with the dead dog and his train or airborne, hostage-bearing lobsters. The dead dog occasionally turned his head on the grotesquely broken neck to regard Monty down below and utter some cryptic snatch of rhyme at him:
Clickety, clackety, wicker-snicker-snack!
... and barking hysterically to itself as it returned its sinister gaze to forward and mush'd the aerial caravan a few knots faster, causing poor out-of-shape Monty to subject himself to even further physical exertion in the humid San Francisco evening.
To one side sat Monty surrounded by a cadre of plain clothes cops eyeing him
suspiciously. "So..Ah...Darth, ah, tell us again what happened. I'm having a
hard time with this one. Flying dead dogs and swarms of killer lobsters, you
cna understand that."|
A fat one in a Montgomery Ward seersucker suit pulled the match stick from his lower lip and poked Monty's chest with it. "And don't leave out the part about how you weren't hurt in all of this." "The FORCE must've been with him." remarked his overweight and helmet haired companion through a walrus moustache. "Hey Markley, be nice." barked the first plain clothes cop." This fella's the only person to make it through this whole. He's important. Ain't that right, Darth?" All three of the copsleaned in close to Monty's face like hungry dogs hoping to lick a crumb or tow from his chin. He could smell the greasy lunch and cheap cigar and whiskey breath. "From the beginning...again."growled the first cop.
"When they carried off Barbara and that other woman, the Ti-Ki manager, I
followed them," said Monty, still panting from his strenuous and ultimately
fruitless pursuit of the dead dog et entourage. "I followed them halfway
to Marin but then the evening breeze picked up and they shot out of sight,
heading northeast. That's all I know..." |
"Alright, kid" said the fat cop; "I believe you more than I believe Crusty Crustacean here...' All eyes turned to the lobster sitting at the other end of the table, handcuffed to its chair. "This one won't give nuthin' away — it's like he can't speak or something... We tossed him around a cell all afternoon, put cigarettes out on his antennae, and still — not one woid! I tell ya, kiddo, I been around, I worked the Tenderloin twenty-seven years, I seen it all, so believe you me when I tell ya this is one tough lobster!" He sighed, scratching at his shiny, balding scalp. "And his gang's just as tough. We got nothin' to go on here except your fuckin' 'heading northeast on the evening goddamn breeze.' Ah, but odn't worry, kid: we'll get your lady back. Lobsters or no lobsters..."