|The Story||The Authors|
|...Next on the agenda was the mess inside the Iron Sausage. Demetrius had sealed the fearsome receptacle as best he could under such messy circumstances, but it was far from enough, and three days later, stoked to a powerfully rank-sweet olfactory ardor by the heat from the furnace and the almost negligible ventilation, the stench of the remains had drawn swarms of flies down the flights of winding stairs and through the dark esophagi of the lowest of the cellars to the lightless domain of the Sausage, where they wasted know time in eating, breeding, and laying eggs, which hatched within the hour with their own famished crop of youngsters.|
|By the time Demetrius returned with the rheumy-eyed Janice, the place both resembled and stank like a slaughterhouse.|
|Outside in the barnyard, a hen hastily wolfed down a fat green inchworm before the rooster could deman it of her; she clucked once in triumph, turned her back to him, and began to peck at the wrinkled flesh around her vent.|
|The rooster responded by savagely gobbling dung-beetles from the manure-pile.|
|Demetrius removed his sweatshirt. He gave it to Janice to cover her mouth and nose with. She continued to gag nonetheless. The air was so full of flies they could barely see, and the buzzing of so many pairs of wings completely drowned out all other sound. So they never got to hear Amal's tuneless rendition of Steve Martin's Thermos Song from The Jerk.|
|They wouldn't have been able to hear it anyway, because a Amal and Nigel had left Janice to die. Demetrius' sweatshirt kept the flies out of Janice's eyes and mouth but they swarmed around her bloody fingerless hands. She began to flail her arms hysterically. She dropped the sweatshirt and she began to scream. The flies flew into her gaping mouth. The sight of her made Demetrius gag but he wouldn't leave her there to die like Amal and Nigel did so calously. He grabbed her by the wrist and dragged her out of her room at the sanitorium. They ran unhindered through the barnyard that was tended by the patients. Demetrius thought they were going to make a clean getaway from the Iron Sausage (whatever that was), but he was mistaken.|
|It turned out the flies were waiting behind the corner. There were so many of them that Nigel stopped counting on his toes and became flustered.|
|Janice was getting dizzy from the loss of blood. She could barely keep up with Demetrius but he urged her on. He could see a car on the other side of the banyard fence, parked at the shoulder of the highway. It was a lime green convertable '65 mustang with the top down. As they drew closer to the car, Demetrius could see two figures in the front seat with their heads bent over a map. Janice tripped and fell face first into the dirt, hay and grit stuck to her bloody fingerless hands. Demetrius picked her up and carried her to the car. "Excuse me!" he said to the occupants of the Mustang. "This is an emergency! You must take us to the nearest hospital!" The two women in the front seat turned to look at Demetrius and were stunned to see there old friend Janice in such a horrible state. "Ohmygod!" they said in unison. Janice recognized the voices of Tiki Dinette and Bitzy Bootleg. "Get in the car! Quickly!" Tiki commanded. Demetrius obeyed. He set Janice into the back seat and then climbed in next to her. He looked behind them and saw Amal and Nigel running towards them. "We have to go now!" Demetrius said. "Keep your shorts on, laughing boy." Bitzy said as put the peddle to the metal. Janice stirred. "Where's Vashondra?" she asked.|
|"Shut up!!!" bolstered Demetrius. "you're losing too much blood and you need to save your strength." Shortly the 4 of them reached the the hospital, and hurridly rushed Janice into the emergency ward. Dr. Shmalishickak rushed to their aid as soon as he was beeped. "Gozen get da shtuv ford a sturgery.", bellowed Dr. Shmalishickak. The other doctors and nurses looked blankly at the frantic doctor and friends. Demetrius, with good reason hunted all over for a real doctor. None were found!|
|"Dr. Smack" as Shmalishickak was known around the ER, would have to do. There was no more time, Janice was quickly moving into a state of shock. At least Dr. Smack could see the problem, a paucity of digits, and he seemed to making progress with the cryptograms he was drawing on the gleaming white tile wall in treatment room 72. Soon Janice began to relax as the morphine was added to her saline drip which Dr. Smack had installed in her left breast. Quickly and deftly he cleaned and then stabilized the wounds. Stepping in to the corridor he spotted Demitrius and using a flurry of sign language and grunts asked him if Janice would mind having two titanium bio-feedback nuclear powered prostheses in stalled in place of her missing digits. Demitrius was concerned about where the hell someone with titanium hands could go for a manicure but heck, this was all on Janice’s Sears card anyway. "Go for it Dr. Smack! exulted Demitrius, "she always had sweaty palms."|
|As he spoke he felt a particular chill run down his spine; instinctively he turned away and began to examine the thick, matted fur growing in the hollows of his own palms. He ran his fingers through it. He looked closer. It WAS growing thicker.|
|A shadow fell across the furry objects of his shame. A blush rose to his cheeks. He looked up, slowly. Not wanting to. But some force in him insisting upon it regardless. Up. Into the eyes of Bisty Bootleg. Who regarded him from her six feet nine inches with so diverse a medley of bemusement, teasing, fear, and undisguised lust, that his blush was like mercury rising in the thermometer of his helplessness. He stifled the urge to let himself be carried away on a wave of hysterical cackling. She ran her tongue over a much-bitten lower lip. He felt a stirring in the small of his back, as if the Kundalini serpent ("Mighty scarce round these parts lately, Ma'am, but I'm much obliged t'you for asking...") were twisting and whining in its sleep as it dreamt a dream of chasing ten thousand soft golden pussycats across endless fields of candy-striped burlap. She redirected her gaze from his palms to his crotch; he readjusted his glasses on the bridge of his nose. No! This is all happening much, much too quickly, were his final coherent thoughts before he felt himself standing, rising to her as to an occasion, and one demanding much celebration, the raising of twenty-minute toasts to the venerated ancestors, the drinking of frothy mead from the hollowed horns of long-extinct aquatic sheep, the slaughtering and roasting of disobediant children, and the conflagrations of bright and glutinous nebulae as the gods made their milky presence known among their humble worshippers...He lit two cigarettes and passed her one. "Was it good for you, too?" he asked, exhaling a first jet of smoke at the drop-ceiling just as the hospital's Emergency Plague Alert alarms began to skreel.|
|dash dash / dot / dot dash / dash dot / dot dash dash / dot dot dot dot / dot dot / dot dash dot dot / dot dot dot / dash dot dot dot dot dot / dot dash dot dot / dot dash dot dot / dash dash dash dot dot dot|
|The preceding was mistransmitted through a fault of alien bandwidth and the doings of the nefarious Dr. T. Augenthaler, soon to be introduced to these proceedings. Aforementioned to be re-transmitted, as follows:|
|1. dash dash / dot / dot dash / dash dot / dot dash dash / dot dot dot dot / dot dot / dot dash dot dot / dot|
|2. dot dot / dash dot|
|3. dot dot dot dot / dot / dot dash dot dot / dot dash dot dot / dash dash dash dot dot dot|
|Shmalishickak, "Dr. Smack," loved nothing so much as he loved a good stiff Morse Code session on his beloved Semohnsen telegraph machine. It relaxed him; it restored circulation and that quintessentially medico-industrial nimblesse to his stiff, sore fingers between tedious afternoon leucotomies; for the few sane thoughts which somehow, in direct rebellion against the Prime Directive, gained brief footholds in his consciousness, there was nothing like the soft tidal rhythms of the tapping telegraph to relegate such unavoidable mental wisdom-teeth to the medico-industrial waste-bins of the furthest corners of cognition, where they would be carted off with all the aborted fetuses, surplus plutonium, quivering benign masses, dysfunctional occipital lobes, used insulin syringes and other unavoidable by-products of the medico-industrial complex to secret landfills behind public elementary schools. Oh, it was a gasser!, as they used to say in Anatomy 101; he completed his translation/transmission of Chapter 47 of The 120 Days of Sodom precisely at four (Mother will be so pleased, he thought, twinkling), washed and suited, and made his way to Hangar 17, where the poor helpless patient lay wriggling the anaesthetized stumps of what once had been the slender fingers of a concert pianist. Sigh, he sighed, ascending the ramp; intact limbs are such fleeting things, it's a wonder anyone takes them for granted...|
|Poor Janice was too stoned on Pentathol to understand what was happening to her. She stared at the ceiling. Big lights. Round. Round and white. Like moons. Like cheese-wheels. Round, around. Cheese. Moon. Gick.|
|She saw a big monster in the moon. It was scary!|
|"How's tricks?" it winked.|
|But it came out like this:|
|1. dot dot dot dot / dash dash dash / dot dash dash / dot dash dash dash dash dot / dot dot dot|
|2. dash / dot dash dot / dot dot / dash dot dash dot / dash dot dash / dot dot dot / dot dot dash dash dot dot|
|Dr. Smack looked down at poor Janice and leered. He loved it when, helped along by the hypnosuggestibility of the pentatholated patient, he could make his voice come out in Morse. Perhaps he should give her such vocal faculties, as well -- to match the fingers -- but real. An electronic voice-box which translated her every utterance into purest Morse. She was so lovely already; oh, the wriggling stumps -- like the dance of maggots on rancid meat. He shivered. What could better compliment such loveliness than such a cybernetic adjunct to her six senses? He'd link her with the Coast Guard; she'd receive and transmit the frantic SOS's of ships lost at sea, the last skeletal taps of their operators as they went sinking down, down, down to Davy Jones's groaning swards, where feisty narwhals soon engaged them in a thumping bout of water-polo..."Yes," he told himself as he forced himself from his reverie; "it must be done. I will give you life!"|
Janice, for her part, lay Ophelia-like in an old rowboat, drifting with the gentle currents of the Sea of Tranquility, a languid hand trailing in the water, its digits (in her dream) nibbled at by a multitude of k'üm jhaa, those porcine lunar cousins of our own terrestial blow-fish, among the only creatures capable of thriving in those tepid saline waters. The sun was warm on her face, and as afternoon drew on, the blue eye of the earth began to rise at the edge of the horizon. She reclined in the boat like a narcotic odalesque, thinking nothing but the deep blue sky, the swooshing hishing grey waters, the kisses of the k'üm jhaa, nothing else. And so it came as a complete surprise to her when a strange song began to rise, as if of its own accord, in her throat; it tickled; she giggled; it chittered back at her in a series of oddly rhythmic beeps, some long, some short.|
"We-eeird," she giggled, and it dit-ditted back her. "Hey, shut up, chirpy," she slurred, already sleepy from the effort. "Pick on sum'uddy else to dit-dit."
But the dit-dah-dit-ditty appeared to be ignoring her.
Smack's next injection took effect; Janice and her boat rose up from the water and began to spin, flirting with the earth's gravitational pull to see if it could catch them; it did, ultimately, but it took awhile, and by that time both Janice and the boat were too tired to care. Even Smack -- looking down on all this from above with the studied Cheshire of a god surveying his work and finding it good -- was a tad weary from his labors. He pushed a button for the slop-crew to come with their mops and buckets and hoses and clean up the mess, and an orderly to wheel the patient to the Recovery Room. He was ready for a good stiff drink. He'd earned it.
|Fourteen hours later, Janice opened her eyes. The bluebirds were singing in the tree just outside her room at the renown Mike Tyson trauma centre. There at her bedside was Bitsy Bootleg was applying a coat of Cover Girl aerospace grade nail polish to her gleaming, golden hued titanium hands. "Hello there sugar," cooed Bitsy "how y’all feel’n sweetheart?" Janice put one hand down on the bed frame to lever herself up to reply to Bitsy. With a faintly hydraulic sound her nuclear powered titanium hand cut through the steel bed frame and safety rail with phenomenal speed. The bed immediately sagged in the middle, pushing Janice into an upright position. "Shit, will ya look at that!" marvelled Bitsy, "yo is gonna need a manicurist full time honey!!!" Janice looked down at her bright puce nails and uttered a dreamy, "Wow".|
|"I just peed in my pants," she gurgled. Then, in one continuous breath, she asked "WhatamIgonnado?"|
|"It all depends," hissed a voice from the shadows.|
Meanwhile, Demetrius paced the floor. He paced and he paced and he paced. It wasn't fair; no -- fair wasn't the issue -- it wasn't -- it wasn't -- it wasn't natural. He felt queasy. A vodka-and-Xanax hangover plus four cups of greasy hospital coffee in his stomach were slowly churning themselves into the sort of maelstrom from which lone sailors emerge with their hair and beards rime-striped and suddenly ghostly white, hammerhead sharks devoured swimmers in his swollen, soupy meningal waters, and the entire Annheuser Busch clydestale team, new shod in cast iron, were grinding broken glass into the floor of his frontal lobe. But all of the above -- mere physical discomfort and no more -- paled in the face of what he'd seen the night before, when in a momentary, lust-induced loss of Reason he'd allowed himself to be caught in the silken pink web of the Bootleg woman. Bitsy. He shuddered. Teeth. Sharpened. Which God had meant for mouths, for chewing cooked foods, not for...for that. He touched the multiple sets of tiny, twin puncture wounds on his neck, on his stomach, on his...It was too much to bear. His hands shook. He dialed Room Service and ordered an iced liter bottle of vodka, a brace of ten-thousand-year-old quail eggs from the Korean buffet, and another three dozen Xanax. A few drinks; a few Xanax; a few eggs; maybe then he could think straight. He didn't believe himself for a minute but at least it kept him occupied -- anything was better than dwelling on the horror of -- but his thought s were cut short as the door opened and Miss Bitsy Bootleg herself entered, slipping out of an alligator-skin jumpsuit in one fluid motion, dipping a forefinger in her mouth and running it down her breast, hesitating momentarily on the nipple to trace tiny careful circles, continuing down over the slight protuberance of her belly and still lower -- to the sudden sounds of salivating, chomping teeth -- as she crossed the room to the bed where a speechless Demetrius lay as prone and paralyzed as a deer transfixed in a pair of oncoming headlights.|
"You down with me, lover?" she purred.
|"You cut that out, you sound like a pair of wombats in heat!" excoriated Janice. "Look at me here, I am a wounded soul and all you can think about is didlin’ each other right here in my semi private suite. You need to stifle your hormones and get on with the plot!" And with that, Janice attempted to get out of the bed. She moved her right, titanium hand onto the bed rail that was still intact. Still unfamiliar with her new strength, she steadied herself and then without knowing she sliced through the other bed rail. The bed collapsed in the middle trapping Janice like bratwurst in a bun! "Get me out of here!" Janice’s muffled screams could barely be heard through the bedding and mattress. Bitsy and Demetrius had now rolled onto the hospital linoleum with a resounding thump. Bitsy was rapacious in her lust as she forced Demetrius into the most amazing positions. There was no let up. If only Janice could see them she’d be very impressed.|
Poor Dr. Smack, meanwhile, seated across a conference room table from the Gainsbridge Renford Cannon-Fodder XIV, Executive Procurator of Hospital Conundrum Policy, and his assistant, geriatric, halitotic, terminally flatulent Edna Myers, was straddling the proverbial barbed wire fence.|
|Dr. Smack was in trouble and would have to face the hospital review board. The only thing he could do to keep from losing his mind was to send cryptic messages in morse code. But was it already too late? Back in Janice's hospital room, Tiki Dinette, who had been a silent bistander until now, helped Janice wrench herself free from her broken bed. Demetrius was hanging upside down by his belt loop from a coat hook on the wall, begging Bitzy for mercy. "Bitzy!" Tike snapped her friend. "Leave him alone! Did you hear Janice's voice before? She sounds like a telegraph machine!" Bitzy dropped Demetrius to the floor. "That noise came out of Janice?" Bitzy said incredulously. "Yes, say something again Janice." Tiki said. "What the hell are you people talking about?" is what Janice thought she said, but all that came out was some long and short beeps. The others stared at her, mortified. Janice slowly raised her hands to her throat, slowly so as not to cut off her head, and felt an odd lump at her larynx. "Ohmygod!" she beeped.|
|Along the coastlines of the seven seas, Coast Guard operators snoozed at their silent receivers, while somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle, and somewhere in the stormy North Atlantic, and somewhere in the peaceful ebb-tide waters off the quaint seaside town of D'ormouse, California, a hagfish plucked children from their swimming-lessons and devoured them one by one, a yacht spun in the spectral clutches of a waterspout, another tempest-tossed Love Boat pounded out its frantic SOS to avail and went down without a trace.|
|"Quick get Dr. Smack," invoked Tiki "she’s got something in her throat!" "So do I," gurgled Bitzy as she spun Dimetrius around on his back on the slick linoleum. By now Dimetrius was dizzy and Bitsy was sated. Dr. Smack arrived and noting the strange sounds coming from Janice’s throat made a thorough examination. Again with cryptograms on the wall and a series of grunts, Dr. Smack came to a conclusion which he detailed on a roll of Charmin from the toilet. Janice had partially swallowed her dental retainer. Because it was made from two dissimilar metals, was reacting with the acid from her digestive tract creating an electrical reaction. This was for some reason interfering with the defective CAT scanner in treatment room 71 and combined with the broken surgical light in the adjoining surgery suite and was broadcasting a powerful radio signal which was being broken intermittently by the flexing of Janice’s esophagus. The signals were being interpreted as morse code and were wholly unrelated to Inspector Morse on PBS. Not only did Janice have hands better than steel but she could talk to all the ships at sea! Janice instantly knew she had a mission to save mankind.|
And foolish Dr. Smack -- who didn't really believe in karma in the first place -- imagined that the karma for the dead at sea would settle like heaped kelp upon the shoulders of our poor, recently reconstructed Janice, and not on his own.|
This mistake was to prove fatal for some.
But for now, he skipped the length of the second storey to his dressing-room and put on his treasured Dastardly Dan costume. Standing before a full-length mirror, with the black suit, the black boots, the black silk cape ("to inspire fear into the hearts of enemies!") and the great rumpled black stovepipe hat and the cane with the sword hidden inside of it, he regarded himself. "Look at me," he gloated, "I am so evil. So motherfriggin' e-v-i-l-l. So evil I get two ll's in my evil, cuz one just ain't enough..." He gloated. Struck poses. Treasured the outline of his package in the tight, Spanish-cut trousers, and finally unveiled his hideous, evil laugh, the cluck of doom. "Nyuck-yuck-yuck-yuck-yuck," he boomed. "Mooo heee heee ho ho ha ha."
Just then the doorbell rang.
|It was Sam the mailman at the door. Sam took one look at Dr. Smack in his Dastardly Dan ensemble and was overcome with lust. "I would like to serve you tea you NOW!" said Sam|
|The ladies sent away the mailman, locked the door, and they are making tea. The climate becomes hot. On the ladies' bossom tighted the fine, easy silk, and they sighes deep.|
|Within moments, their thoughts turn to erotic fantasies.|
|And in their dreams their eyes rise on fibrous stalks out of and above their wrinkled sockets, like the eyes of curious fiddler-crabs rooting about the shreds of detritus and decay at the bottom of a tide-pool.|
|For it is thus that they survey each other from their respective corners, unbridled lust notwithstanding -- they are as wrestlers circling each other in the ring, and their love-making shall involve neither tenderness nor playfulness nor love, but shall instead be as two crabs beneath a kelp-forest, circling the scant rotten remains clinging to an old clam-shell -- or as the two wrestlers, and the moment climax shall consist not of moans and ecstacies as we have come to think of them, but of headlocks, hammer-holds, row-boats, chicken-wing grips, leg-vises, sumo flips, and the ultimate pin. Winners will beeligible for WWF and/or American Gladiator National Semi-Finals, broadcast live on ESPN. See your TV Guide for exact times and further details.|
|So with Dr. Smack off on his own tangent, Demetrius near death from exhaustion, and Janice's new superpowers, Bitzy, Tiki and Janice left the hospital in search of good deeds to be done.|