Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chapter 11: The Scorekeeper

More NaNoWriMo first draft fun...

Chapter Eleven
The Scorekeeper

“Anybody home?” came a cheerful voice. A unicornish biped humanoid with long red hair and enormous horn; nearly three feet long, appeared at the front door carrying some kind of staff. And on the staff was a headpiece which looked very much like an unsolved Rubik’s cube. Behind the visitor stood an octet of very similar creatures, with the wide flat noses and big eyes, but these all with brown hair, and each their own staves; these devoid of fancy headpieces. They had the horns also but theirs were shorter.

“How DARE you!” cried Bleeekxpritzle, casting his ice cream aside. The old man snorted and awoke. “This is a diplomatic mission as you very well know! What is the meaning of this murderish offense!”  

The red-haired beast who stood nearly seven feet high, turned to look behind himself and then came about again. “I’m sorry. Are you speaking to me?”

“Do you see some other conscienceless psychopath around!” warbled Bleeekxpritzle.

The newcomer nodded and made a brief show of casting his eyes in a brief arc. “Indeed,” he said. “Seven billion or so.”

The Admiral snapped his fingers. “Damn. You got me there. But that is no excuse for your deplorable behaviour!”

“Whatever do you mean, Green Man! I only just arrived. Did I forget to wipe my feet at the door? It’s not like you’re up to snuff with the housework. Look at this place. You could have picked up a little. Even a little scurryfunge might have helped.”

“I have no time for your nonsense, Scorekeeper.”

Bunny was now peeking over the counter at the goings on. She and her companions looked on, bewildered.

“Ah,” said he who had been called Scorekeeper. “You would be incorrect in that assumption. You are likely to have quite a whole lot of time on your hands: for my nonsense, for tic-tac-toe, for picking your nose, twiddling your thumbs and whatever further pastimes you are yet to discover. Sudoku perhaps.”

“Gads! Never!” cried the Admiral.

“So we shall see. You will be brought to justice either way.”

“I’ve broken no oath or convention!” cried Bleeekxpritzle. “And you are no hand of the law! Release us at once!”

“Us? Oh my! Hello Earthlings! The red-haired cubist looked to the others. “Fear no longer. I have freed you from the clutches of the Green Monstrosity. Allow me to escort you to our Hospitality Lounge so we can assess your needs and get you back to your various states of normal as soon as possible! This way please!”

“I will finish my sundae before going anywhere,” said old man Blake.

The Scorekeeper smiled tiltedly and blinked his eyes in twice succession. “And good afternoon to you sir! I am Officer Joneybaloneybingdingeldeedoodleycrackers. But my friends call me Officer Jo. And you are?”

Editor’s note: [Tiltedly…? Really?]

“Bill Blake Senior. And you are interrupting my dessert, Mister Baloneydiddler. And if you are responsible for putting the baseball through the window then you’d better hope there is no glass in my ice cream or you and I will be having a little sit-down.”

“Enchanted,” said Officer Jo. “But we can afford no precious time for pleasantries I‘m afraid. This area is unstable. The Hospitality Center awaits. This way please!” He gestured toward the doorway with his staff.    

“The only hospitality I require,” eeked Mickey Mouse, stepping forward, “Is some consideration in terms of the replacement of one 1954 Rolls Royce six-seater. If your people would please see to that with due expedience, you can then contact my people at Walt Disney Studios to arrange delivery. That is all. Now if you will step aside, My hare friend and I have urgent appointments to keep. I am indeed Mickey Mouse, as you have no doubt observed. And I know that my dear friends at the American White House and at the Pentagon will all be very grateful to you for rescuing me from this Green Monster and for setting me free so promptly. Favourable rewards are yours, Scorekeeper!”

The scorekeeper raised one bushy eyebrow as he regarded the mouse. He then released an involuntary guffaw and then another. Then finally a great peal of laughter burst from him, followed by more and more. Mickey’s face reddened.

“Do not heed the spinnings of this horned trickster, my friends,” said Admiral Bleeekxpritzle. “You see here the face of the enemy of all Earthkind. His people plot solaricide!”

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chapter Ten

Chapter Ten
The Calm After The Storm

“Well,” said Philbert as he raised his head and peeked out the absence of a window. “You’re definitely gonna be shopping for a new limo after all, Mickey-boy.”

All the commotion had settled and all was very strangely quiet. Much of the Queen O’ The Dairy lay in ruins though all five dwellers of the dining area were left unscathed. Mickey, Bunny, Philbert and Sir Admiral Premier Gleeg Bleeekxpritzle were now all risen from the debris-ridden floor and carefully peeking out the shattered empty windows. Six giant mechanical beasts lay in smoking heaps as did two limousines; one formerly white and one black; now one black and one extra-black.

“Start talking, Shrek,” squealed Mickey Mouse. “What putrid swamp o’ Dante’s ninth hell did you come slithering out of and who in all of creation turned this restaurant into a rip-roaring climactic scene from some apeshit Star Wars flick?”

“Inquiring minds want to know?” said Bleeekxpritzle.

“Fess up.”

“Much of that information is not fit for public consumption.”

“You pompous green land squid,” said Mickey, shaking his head, his googly eyes narrowed with malice.

“Don’t have a cow, mouse.” the Admiral gurgled.

“What do you expect I should do instead?”

“Run for the hills! They’ve blundered this attack but they’ll try something else in very short order.”

“Is this the end of the world?” said Bunny.

“No. That’s a little way off. Right now, they just want me dead apparently. Unless this was just a warning; unless they bungled it intentionally.”

“Who are THEY?” demanded Philbert.

“If I said, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, would you believe me?”


“If I said, the rest of the universe, would you believe me?”

Mickey and Philbert exchanged glances. “No,” said Philbert.

“Then what would you believe?”

Philbert shrugged. “The North Koreans?”

Bleeekxpritzle smiled ruefully. “Then why ask?”

“Were you made in a secret government lab?” said Bunny.

“I couldn’t say,” said Bleeekxpritzle. “That sentence doesn’t really translate into my language.” He peered around through the windows. “I don’t know if you want to stick it out for the bonus round but I for one am getting the hell out of dodge. It’s been a slice. Live long and prosper!” With that he waved his hand and marched out the front door…

…Sort of.

He certainly seemed as if he were about to depart through the front door but instead he very suddenly halted at the threshold. His squirmy blue-green tentacles moved about before him in some form of extraterrestrial mime routine. “Shiver me timbers,” he said, and turned around.

“What!” said Mickey.

“What indeed,” said the Admiral. The rotund green alien bobbled over to the nearest window and thrust out his feelers. Two of his three eyes, on their stalks, turned to the others. “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”

Mickey ran to the open front door. “Careful!” cried the Admiral. Mickey was not. He hit the invisible force field head-on and bounced back, landing square on his little mouse butt.

“Oh, Mickey-Sweets, are you okay?” Bunny ran to him.

Admiral Bleeekxpritzle stared at his ruined limousine. Between him tearing himself out of the contraption and the fine mess the Zan-wave lasers had made of its remains, there was little the shell of an auto was capable of hiding from the Admiral’s eyes.

“Mr. Willis…” he murmured.

“Blake,” said the old man. The Admiral seemed not to hear.

“Where are you, Mr. Willis?”

“Blake. I’m right here.”

“What?” said the Admiral.

“Nothing.” The old man tediously returned his spoon to the cup where his half-dessert had become very soft and milky.

Mickey had risen to his feet with Bunny’s assistance. Philbert was reclined on a bench, slumped, his arms crossed. Bleeekxpritzle turned and surveyed them all. “My chauffer is gone,” he announced.

“Join the club,” said Mickey.

“The Mickey Mouse Club?”

“Never mind.”

“Something smells fishy in the town of Denmark,” said Bleeekxpritzle. Mickey and Bunny looked at him. “He sold me out. That bastard sold me out.”

“Huh?” said Philbert, looking up.

“My chauffer is suspiciously absent. I conclude that he is some informant who made possible this ambush. It’s elementary my dears.”

“Are we trapped?” said Philbert.

“Come look out this window,” said the Admiral.

Philbert rose. “What?”

“What do you see?”

“Dead laser gun machines?”

“What else?”

“Stores, houses, streets. Clouds. That one looks like an eggbeater.”

“Fascinating. What’s missing?”

“Eggs? Oh - sorry.” Philbert stared for a moment. “Cars. People.”

“Indeed. And what about the light?”


“The sunlight.”

Philbert frowned. “It’s not quite right, is it? It’s like a couple shades off or something.”

“We are looking at an illusion,” said the alien. “We’ve been taken. The whole building has been taken.”

“What!” yelped Bunny. “But I have a nail appointment this aft. Mickey! Do something! What about my nails?”

“Sit down here, Baby. I’ll think of something.”

“Will we be rescued?” said Philbert.

“By whom?” squorbled the Admiral.

“By whoever shot up those machines; whoever saved us from the laser attack.”

“Ah. So that is how you see it? Well, it wouldn’t hurt you to hope. Whoa! Soup’s on!” said Bleeekxpritzle. He had suddenly noticed five large-size blitz cups standing on the serving counter. “That looks like my breakfast! Come and git it afore I slop it to the hogs!” He marched straight to the counter and picked up a cup of rather unadorned and half-melted ice cream. It immediately screamed the ungodliest of screams at him and he dropped it back on the counter as he jumped an involuntary step backward.

But then he realized that the scream had more likely come from the teenage girl who lay on the floor behind the counter in a foetal position, next to a cup which lay on its side in a fine puddle of dairy. She turned her head to peek again at the three hovering eyeballs gazing down at her from the ends of three green stalks and again she screamed.

“I think someone should comfort this child,” announced the alien. “But I may be the wrong candidate, frankly.”

Bunny and Mickey came forward. Bunny went to the girl while Mickey went to the door to the back area. “I’m gonna find a phone,” he squeaked. He pulled open the door and immediately closed it again. “No, I’m not,” he said. Bunny gently pulled the girl to a sitting position and sat on the floor beside her, holding her hand.

Bleeekxpritzle went to the door and opened it for himself to discover nothing but a black void on the other side. So he took his cup to the old man’s table to find the old man half-canted in his seat, his eyes closed. The Admiral sat across from him, took Mr. Blake’s bony little wrist and felt a moment for a pulse. Satisfied the codger was only sleeping, he then took up a random spoon and attacked his breakfast. It was disappointingly plain. Clearly the Tweeporan attack had interrupted the preparation of his meal. And he knew very well that only the Tweeporans could be behind it. And just to remove all doubt, there suddenly came a knock at what was left of the front door.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Lurker Above

Chapter Nine
The Lurker Above

The C.H.B. Lurking Vulture was a Class VII ‘Invisiship’ reconnaissance vessel from the Crafts ‘R’ Us SpaceTrans Company of the planetary system Tweepora Major in the constellation of Orion. It was noted for its cloaking and holographic functionalities but more primarily for its multi-dimensional Tesseract Deck. At the time of the telling of this illustrious tale, this model of spacecraft was only available to the Tweeporan military.

Captain Vaugnobbler and Fleaman Bigbiggerpants sat in the frontal lobe of the ship with a rotating Ouija Cube hovering between them. The two officers each had tall pointed ears, wide flat noses, long flowing wavy blue hair and single horns resembling that of a unicorn. The Captain had the longer horn. Each of them held their palms toward the floating spinning cube and moved their hands in slight gentle undulations.

“We’re so fucked,” said Captain Vaugnobbler.

“She’s coming,” said Fleaman Bigbiggerpants.

“Her gait suggests agitation and incontinence.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Sorry. Not incontinence. Superciliousness.”

“What?” said Bigbiggerpants.


“I think your C-3 nodule has become deflibwaggled.

Captain Vaugnobbler stuck his long index finger into his ear and fiddled for a moment. “You were correct, fleaman. Thank you.”


The hatch spiralled open and a similar looking creature marched in. This one had a horn roughly eight feet long; a length 133% that of her height. “Stop monitoring my gait!” she snapped.

“A thousand pardons, Commander Taumb.” said the captain.

“What the spleen is going on down there!”

“We’re losing the battle sir-ma’am!”

“How - I say - how… is that possible?”

“Bleeekxpritzle and his crew are returning fire. Damage to five out of six Drones-of-Salvation range from serious-critical to critical-alarming. The other is graded worrisome.”

“This was never supposed to BE a battle! I can’t afford to lose five drones!”

“The drone graded worrisome has now been re-graded doornail,” said the fleaman. He shook his head sadly. “Sorry.”

The captain winced and looked nervously at the commander. “We’d had no intelligence suggesting any existence of a Dwingeloopian support team nor of unearthly weaponry, until now.”

“Where in the liverschnitzel did they come from!” snapped Commander Taumb.

“The crew or the arms?”


“I can’t fathom, sir-ma’am.”

“What are Bleeekxpritzle’s vitals?”

The fleaman frowned. “Jaunty, sir-ma’am.”

“Jaunty? He hasn’t been hit even once?”


“What kind of weapons are they using against us?”

“Class nine Zan-wave lasers,” said fleaman Bigbiggerpants

“Check again fleaman,” said Vaugnobbler. “The Zans belong to us.”

“Sorry” said Bigbiggerpants. He squinted and frowned at the Ouija cube. “Sirs, I assure you: The Dwingeloopian is also using class nine Zan-wave lasers. There’s no doubt about it.”

“I’m not hearing this,” said Taumb.

“Oh no,” said Vaugnobbler.

“I am NOT… HEARING… THIS!” said Taumb.

“Oh sweet Jiminy Christmas,” said Vaugnobbler

“What the holy high-flying solar-pigeon plucking formation have you got the drones in!” the commander wailed.

“They have the ice creamery encircled, sir-ma’am.” said the fleaman who was just beginning to look terrified. “Um… All fire has now ceased.”

“Oh, what a surprise,” said Taumb.

“Commander, I’m profoundly regretful,” said the captain.

“I want this fleaman scrubbing the emergency poop-drive accelerator for the remainder of this mission,” said Commander Taumb.

“Yes sir-ma’am.”

“Is the entire Dwingeloo crew inside the ice creamery?”


“Take the whole restaurant and put it in the Tesseract Deck. Leave a mootcopy in its place.”

“Yes sir-ma’am.”

“And if you snork this up.”


“Life as you know it will be over!”

“I understand, sir-ma’am.”

“For starters I will make you watch every… single… episode… of Married With Children.”

Vaugnobbler shrank back in abject horror. Commander Taumb brought her head around so that her elephantine horn pointed straight at the Captain’s eyes. She then turned and marched out the hatch. It spiralled shut behind her. Vaugnobbler clasped his cheeks in his hands and wailed the wails of the damned.

Finally he quieted and wiped the tears from his face.

“Are you okay, sir?” asked fleaman Bigbiggerpants gently.

“Get out of my sight, poop scrubber.”

“I don’t understand, sir.”

“You can’t put drones in a circle formation and fire at will, you fart-snorting piffle head! Don’t you get it? They destroyed each other!”

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ice Cream, Screams And Laser Beams

Chapter Eight
Ice Cream, Screams And Laser Beams

“Take your time, Guerrero.” said Mickey. “It’s not like I’m in any way important or have anything remotely useful to do with my TIME!”

The driver tried for about the twentieth time to turn over the engine and received the same mechanical fart in response. “I’m sorry sir! Let me have a look under the hood.” He opened the door and rushed out.

“By all means, have a look under the hood,” said Mickey at the departing driver. “Fire his ass the moment we get home.”

“Yes sir,” said Philbert.

“And bust a kneecap. Just one though.”

“Mickey!” Bunny blurted.

“I’m not a thug, Mr. Mouse. I’ll do no such thing. Besides, the car is fifty-eight years old. You didn’t really think it would last forever?”

“The car is fine, Tubby. And if I wanted your pudgy opinion I’d ask for it.”

“You should get something newer. With a larger fridge.”

“And you should know when to shut the hell up, Fatso.” WHAM! Something made a loud booming noise and shook the Rolls Royce. Mickey, Bunny and Philbert stared at one another. “What the fuck is he doing out there?” Mickey demanded. “Go fire him now. Right now! Baby, call us a cab.”

“Call one yourself, you beast,” Bunny snapped. WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! Five more booms shook them.

“What the f-” Mickey started.

A series of high-pitched bursts then filled their ears followed by the sounds of minor explosions and the tinkle of broken glass. The door beside Bunny was suddenly yanked open and the driver appeared there, his eyes just about bursting forth on springs.

“What the hell’s going on out there!” Mickey snapped.

“Oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god!” he explained. And these were his last words. Another high-pitched burst was accompanied by a bolt of blue light which passed through the driver’s body, leaving him collapsed and crumpled over the threshold of the car doorway. Mickey and his companions screamed their very finest screams to date and then beat each other near senseless scrambling to be the first out the opposite door.

Mickey was first out of the Rolls, which proved not to be the cleverest strategy after all, as he tumbled to the ground followed by the others who landed precisely on top of him. Bunny was the last out and was thus the first off the top of the heap and the first to run screaming into the presumed safety of the Queen O’ The Dairy Restaurant And Ice Creamery.

As Mickey followed Philbert along that same short path, terror and disbelief rose in him, flooding him like the worst acid reflux attack ever. He glimpsed giant mechanical beasts looming, a criss-cross of brilliant blue light beams, piercing noises, shattered glass and a glimpse of some beast; some giant green tentacled monstrosity in colourful shorts. Can’t be real can’t be real can’t be real! I can’t die this way! Oh momma I’ve done peed my britches!   

The old man drew the spoon slowly from his lips and savoured the cold creamy yumminess on his tongue.  He gave all his attention to his taste buds. He felt at one with yumness. He scarcely noticed the sound of breaking glass until shards of it skittered along his table; a piece caroming off his dessert cup.

“Oops,” he said. “Billy Junior’s put the baseball through the window again. He’ll be up here in a jiffy, head hanging like a hound dog; the little rascal.” Blue laser beams flashed overhead, unnoticed. One of them passed right above his cranium leaving two holes; an entry and exit, in his so recently pristine bowler hat. The glass front door burst open. “Here comes Billy Junior now…” he said. But instead there arrived a young rabbit in red dress along with the man in black suit and goatee who’d so recently departed, and then something else which he presumed to be a small child in Mickey Mouse costume. They came flying through the door in most chaotic of fashion, yelping and hollering and then they dove to the floor at his feet. “All right then,” said the old man. He ignored them the best he could and continued manoeuvring his spoon back down toward the cup.

What few windows remained in the Restaurant And Ice Creamery were now being blown out by laser beams. Most of these beams were passing through one window or another and exiting through another window at its opposite side of the dining room.

The front door banged open again, nearly coming off its hinges as a giant bluish green mass came bursting through. Mickey, Bunny and Philbert launched into a whole new screaming sensation as they scrambled up against table and chair legs, adding inches to the distance between they and this new threat. Laser beams crashed all around the beast in pretty shorts. His tentacles and eyestalks waved frantically as he too dove for cover, shouting, “Aye Karumba!” in a deep gurgling warbled voice. A table was battered into some kind of instant modern art sculpture as the beefy Admiral crashed into it.

“Do something! Dammit! Do Something!” Mickey screamed as he leapt atop his man, Philbert and wrapped his little three-fingered hands around his neck. He squeezed with all his mousy little might. “You are PAID..! To PROTECT ME, You BITCH! Use your freaking GUN, you fat tub of SHIT!”

The Admiral frowned at this and shot out a tentacle. In an instant it wrapped around the mouse’s neck and yanked him clear of his gasping employee. Now Mickey was the choking one. He spat and sputtered, his eyeballs bulging as Bleeekxpritzle’s tentacle turned His Mouseness to face him, though from ten feet away. “Hey!” said the Admiral. “Peace out, little dude! He’s not even fat!” With that he sat Mickey back onto the floor and released him. The mouse and his companions sat staring wide-eyed at the great squirmy beast while laser beams continued to fly; while the sounds of explosions reverberated outside, and while the old man calmly dined on his strawberry sundae in slow-motion.

“What the fuck are you?” said Mickey.

“Sir Admiral Premier Gleeg Bleeekxpritzle, Fifth Colony, Twin Dwingeloo Galaxies Federation at your service.” The three continued to stare at him. “And who so what the fuck are you, good sir!”

Mickey and his delegation all looked at one another and then back at Bleeekxpritzle. “I’m the single most recognizable celebrity in the history of televised entertainment… bitch!”

“I knew it! I knew it! Mickey Mouse! M-I-C…! K-E-Y…! M-O-U-S-E! I just didn’t wish to be presumptuous!”

“God forbid,” said Mickey.

“Mmmmmmmmm,” groaned the old man, drawing the spoon from his mouth again.

“Someone ought to warn him what’s going on, don’t you suppose?” said Bleeekxpritzle, nodding toward the white-haired old man; the only dining room inhabitant seated on a chair and not low on the floor.

“How about you start by telling us just what the hell IS going on here!” Mickey snapped.

The Admiral glanced up at the passing blue bursts of light. “Ah. Well. We seem to be under attack.” This was punctuated by the crash of a light fixture which had been blasted off of the ceiling and onto the floor.

“Oh, You don’t say? Well then. I‘m glad that‘s settled. Let‘s have tea, shall we.”

“Only in Canada, you say?” said the Admiral. “Pity!”

Mickey turned to Philbert. “Give me your gun.” said Mickey to Philbert.

“I don’t have it on me,” said Philbert.

“You’re fired.”

“I quit.”

“Fine. Get out.”


Mickey pointed at the battered doorway. “Get… out.”

“Yeah, I don’t think so.”

“That would be unwise,” said the alien.

“Oh, and why is that, Admiral Bleak Pretzel?” said Mickey.

“Bleeekxpritzle. Ah - he wouldn’t survive the laser blaster attack. Those are class nine Zan-wave lasers. They’re rather unforgiving.”

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Meanwhile, Back At The Ice Creamery

Chapter Seven
Meanwhile, Back At The Ice Creamery

Pamela carried the strawberry sundae to the table where the old man was very busy getting his skinny old butt in place on the bench seat; his rollie walker within arm‘s reach. She held a spoonful of peanut sprinkles in the other hand. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t clear if you wanted the peanuts or not.”

“That would be splendid and enchanting,” he replied dryly. She emptied the spoon over the sundae. “But no. I’m allergic.”

“Oh, come on! Are you shitting me!” Pamela tore the visor off her head and thumped it onto the table. “I quit. Honestly. I quit.” She stormed away a few steps, halted and turned. The old man was slowly shakingly delivering a bite of sundae toward his open mouth. “Hey, no!” She rushed back and knocked the spoon from his hand. He sighed forlornly. and raised his eyebrows at her. “What are you doing! I thought you said you were allergic!”

“I was joking,” said the old man. He tipped sideways and looked down at his spoon sitting on the floor in a small puddle of ice cream.

“Well, it wasn’t funny.”

“I want another spoon.”

“Oh, you want another spoon? You can have another spoon alright. I‘ll get you another spoon!” She stormed back to the service counter, reached over, grabbed a giant cup full of plastic spoons, marched back to the table and overturned the cup so the spoons spilled down over the dessert. Several remained on the table while many bounced and skittered off.

Those remaining, the old man fingered through, before finally selecting one.

“Thank you,” he mumbled. He sat there among the sea of spoons and began the arduous process of delivering himself a bite. Pamela drew a cell phone from her pocket and snapped a photo of this. She then grabbed back her visor and returned to her station where she went about updating her facebook status.

A shadow then appeared on the glass doorway followed by a man in black suit and goatee entering the ice creamery. He approached the girl.

“Welcome to - dammit. Thank you for choosing Queen O’ The Dairy Restaurant and Ice Creamery. How may-”

“Don’t flatter yourself,” said Philbert.


“This wasn’t my choice. I have a question. Tell me: Is there real cheese in your strawberry cheesecake blitz?”

“Well, it’s real cheesecake.”

“So yes, then? There is real cheese?”

“No. There’s real cheesecake.”

“And real cheesecake is made with real cheese. No?”

“I doubt it. Not around here, mister.”

Philbert sighed. “You don’t know for sure?”

“You think I eat this crap?”

“I don’t care what the hell you eat. My butcher may be a vegetarian for all I know. But I damn well expect him to know what he’s selling me!”

“Corn oil,” croaked the old man at the table. He slowly turned his pale old face to them. Philbert jolted backward, thinking this the face of a vampire before him, with a string of red liquid snaking down from the corner of the old man’s mouth. A glance at the man’s strawberry dish then comforted him.

“I beg your pardon, old-timer?” said Philbert

“Corn oil!” spat the old-timer. “Your butcher sells you meat. This place sells you modified corn oils. It’s a chain restaurant; a corporation. That’s how they do things. It’s not profitable to sell real food. If you want real cheese, go to a market or independent grocer.” He then turned ponderously around and began to arrange another mouthful of dessert onto his spoon.

Philbert eyed the girl behind the counter, who looked back tiredly. “Good day then,” he said. He turned his back to her and departed the store.

Pamela squinted, looking through one of many wide windows at the gleaming white Rolls which the black-suited man approached. “Officious prancing snot,” she said aloud. She had no idea what officious meant but she had heard this phrase uttered once in a movie and it had made her giggle. She was then distracted by a new vehicle pulling into the lot; a long sleek black limousine. “Uh oh,” she said. She put her cell phone device away and immediately began assembling a row of six large cups.

The familiar chauffer in black cap came through the door, glancing at the old man, then giving Pamela a perfunctory nod.

“Hi Bruce,” she said. “The usual?”


“Three peanut butter chocolate; three cookie dough?”

“No. Your six most popular. One of each.”

Pamela chose to interpreted this as the six varieties most easy to make; in other words, the six most popular with her. She began filling the cups. “So who you got in that limo, Bruce? You can tell me. I won’t breathe a word.”

“You ask every day,” he said, shaking his head.

“When are you gonna tell me?”

“Trust me. It’s no one famous,” said Bruce. At least not yet. He leaned against the counter, looking through the window at the pair of limousines; old and new. Pamela continued filling cups with ice cream. “Who’s in the Rolls?” said Mr. Willis.

“I’m not telling,” she said. Bruce half-grinned and nodded. “See!” she said. “See how I can keep a secret! Come on. Tell me. I know it’s like - a whole family or a famous boy band or something.”

“Nope. One guy.”

“No one guy eats six large blitzes for breakfast every day.”

“This guy does. And if you saw him, you’d believe it.”

“Oh my god! It’s Cee Lo Green!”

“No. But you got the colour right - in a manner of speaking.”

“So he’s black.”

“No more clues. Excuse me. I’m gonna use the can.”

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Two reasons I love my job

I wrote almost 4000 words during a 12-hour shift last night. Not bad at all. It was my eighth of ten shifts in ten nights. Very rare for me to work so much. I'm on chapter 21 of the Bleeekxpritzle fiasco. A zany story born of three random jokes told to me at the corrections centre about two weeks ago. And yet it also has a useful message. I think the story gets better as it goes. It'll wrap up in a couple chapters and then I'll move on to something else.

Speedy came to the "front desk" window of the security office for his morning meds around five this morning. He takes a lot of pills. The tenants all have different schedules; different ways of coping. He's excited about this week coming.

"Hey guys, Did you hear I got a job! At least for a couple of days and then we'll see."

"Yeah. We heard."

"I'm gonna be getting a pay cheque! I'm gonna have something for you guys."

"What do you mean?"

"You guys have taken care of me. Rich, you gave me that coat, remember? And Sam, you got me that heater when my room was cold, remember? I don't forget those things. I'm gonna take care of you guys. You'll see!"

I shook my head. "No, Speedy. You just take care of yourself, okay...?" What's that look? Have I hurt his feelings? "Hey, If you really want to go shopping then buy something for your nephews!"

Now he smiles. "Yeah, I will!"

"Yeah," says Sam. "Buy them a couple of squirt guns."

"And then teach them how to rob banks," I say, and we all have a chuckle. Speedy never robbed any banks. He's here for other reasons but we don't need to keep those kinds of details straight at the moment.

I remember six months ago. A previous milestone. I was doing the 1:00 AM head count. I quietly turned the key and opened Speedy's door. He was in bed but awake.

"Hi Rich," he whispered.

"Hey, how are you?"

"Good. I had my first day pass finally!"

"Good for you."

"Did you know I'm an uncle?"

"I didn't know that."

"My sister just had another baby. I got to go to her house for the day. She let me hold the baby."

"That's awesome!"

"Yeah. It was amazing. He's just a little guy. I got to hold him as long as I wanted." He folded his arms to show me how.

"I'm envious. I'd love to be an uncle."

"You know what else, Rich?"

"What's that?"

"I'm done with breaking the law."

I nodded. "Well... Maybe that's a good idea."

"Yeah. I really am."

Chapter Six: The Coach Revisited

Just want to point out that all this stuff is first-draft. There's a lot of cleaning up to do, especially with the course language. What can I say? I find dumb people swearing at each other to be funny. I can't help it.

Chapter Six
The Coach Revisited

Mickey Mouse arrived at the lobby, exiting the stairwell. He was sweating and his black dual-spheroid ear-do again lay crooked. People rushed to and fro, looming over him. He smacked a briefcase out of his way as a businessman rushed by, not noticing the mouse below. “Jackass,” said Mickey. The man looked back in brief horror.

Mr. Mouse emerged onto the street and whistled. A brilliant white and chrome 1954 Rolls Royce with windows tinted near-black then hummed to life and advanced to pull up in front of the clothed rodent. The rear door opened seemingly on its own and Mickey climbed aboard. Immediately the sparkling auto pulled away.

In the rear seats, a black-suited man with goatee sat facing Mickey, while beside the mouse sat a young rabbit in tight red dress and high heels. She immediately grabbed his hand. “I missed you Mickey baby! Gimme a smooch!”

Mickey rolled his large googly eyes. “Bunny, grow up for a minute, will you? Philbert, pour me something bubbly and cut some gouda, will you?”

“Come on, Mick. Smoochey smoochey!” Mick ignored her.

The man opened the mini-fridge. “We’re all out.”

“Dammit. Some Swiss then. Or provolone. Something whiffy.”

“Of cheese, I mean.”

“What! I’m not in the mood for a Monty Python sketch, Philbert. I want some cheese!”

“Well, you ate like an ornery raptor the whole way here this morning.”

“Yeah, and then you finished it off the moment I left, didn’t you? You know you’re putting on a few pounds there Philly. Don’t think I haven’t noticed.”

“Of course, if we took a bigger limousine, we’d have a bigger fridge,” said Philbert.

“I pay for your protection among other things, lest you’ve forgotten.”

“Bigger fridge; more cheese.”

“You gonna be quick on the draw when I need you to be?”

“Bigger car; bigger fridge; more cheese…”

“Eh tubby?”

“Simple relationship when you think about it.”

“Do I need to put an ad in the classifieds?”

“Cause and effect, really.” said Philbert.

“Of for fuck sakes,” said Bunny. “Here we go again; you two.”

“Strawberry cheesecake sir!” barked the driver suddenly.

“What the hell are you on about!”

“That sign in front of the Queen O’ The Dairy. Something about a strawberry cheesecake blitz! Do you suppose there’s real cheese in that?”

Mickey looked for a moment like he would explode. “What the..! Do I look like a fucking ice cream aficionado here! Do I look like a - like a - a polar bear or something..! I pay you fuckers to know these things..! Where’s my bubbly!”

Philbert took a bottle of champagne and began tearing at the gold foil. Bunny selected a flute for herself.

“Should I turn around sir?” said the driver.

“Yes! Turn around! We’re gonna have to go find out, aren’t we! Jumpin’ butt crickets! Where do I find you people? I thought you were from Mexico!”

“Yes sir; Guerrero.” The driver slowed and made a sharp u-turn. Philbert was cast to one side as the cork he’d struggled with blew off. Foam gushed onto his dress pants.

“I thought you Mexicans were all about the ice cream! What the..? And I’m not your Guerrero, hombre! You call me sir or Mr. Mouse. Got it!”

“Yes sir, Mr. Mouse!”

“Sack him tomorrow,” Mickey said lowly. Philbert nodded.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chapter Five

Okay, the random prompts for Rebel Camp NaNoWriMo have become a novella with a working outline and everything. I give you:

Admiral Bleeekxpritzle Versus The Drones Of Doom
(To be published in most other galaxies as The Drones Of Salvation Versus The Terrorist Bleeekxpritzle).

Chapter Five
The Coach

“Hmm.. My ride is here,” said Sir Admiral Gleeg Bleeekxpritzle.  “Fare thee well Officer James. You deserve a break today!” The Admiral Premier, Fifth Colony of the Twin Dwingeloo Galaxies Federation, also known as The Bleeekxter according to close friends or The Green Monstrosity according to enemies (mostly dead by the time of the telling of this illustrious tale), left the information window and set off toward the road where a shiny black limousine awaited. His enormous flat feet kicked up great clouds of dust as he stomped across the sandy yard. An expressionless driver emerged in black suit and cap and unhurriedly opened a rear door for the Admiral.

“Good morning good morning, Mr. Willis,” said the Admiral as he scissor-gripped the pair of cigarette butts from his lips and cast them over his shoulder. “It’s good to stay up late!”

“Good morning, Sir Admiral Gleeg,” said Bruce. He pulled a lighter from his breast pocket. “You look very.. relaxed today.”

The Admiral stopped before the driver and searched the pockets of his mammoth Bermuda shorts before locating his cigarette pack. The driver lit another pair of smokes as they were brandished and then he helped push and shove his giant green client through the car door.

“Where to, Admiral?” said Mr. Willis as he entered the driver’s seat.

“To infinity and beyond!” said Admiral Bleeekxpritzle. “But first, to the Office of Light and Wellbeing.”

Bruce glanced at the clock on the console once they were underway. “Will you be stopping for your regular breakfast?” he said, looking up at the smoky haze revealed in the rear-view mirror. From somewhere within it came the warbled buzzing voice of the alien.

“Affirmative, Mr. Willis. Any time is coffee time.”

“Of course, sir. And if you don’t mind me asking, will you be meeting with His Gloriousness Himself today?”

“Negative. Today I will be meeting with the Quasi-Glorious Personal Assistant to His Gloriousness The Bean Pheasant. Her actual name escapes me.”

“I see.” Mr. Willis swung onto the ramp for the expressway.

“Along with a few moderately glowey members of council. Among them, Lady Mimosa; Carrier of the Blessed Fire, Lady Peejchelly; Carrier of The Olde Cheerio And Some Pocket Lint, and of course Miss Zhadow; Director of Ambient Lighting, with whom you are somewhat acquainted, I know.”

Bruce surrendered a half grin while his super serious eyes, of course, remained super serious.

“Oh, and also Lord Pheltphondle, Director of Minor Things Beginning With H. Great Gads! I do hope he‘s not going to prattle on and on and on about hiccups, hen eggs and hex-graphs again. You know, he’s suffered so many demotions since Emperor First Class you’d think he’d grasp his own redundancy and graciously retire! Blaccherrschmawzzle my djeedjif!”

Bruce glanced in the rear-view mirror.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Willis. That was terribly vulgar of me.”

“If you say so.”

“Not that this is any of your business, Mr. Willis.”

“You know,” said Mr. Willis, “Not that it’s any of my business but maybe they should promote Lord Pheltphondle to Director of Life Stages Beginning With R - you know - if they really want him to retire.”

Admiral Bleeekxpritzle puffed furiously, pulled the pair of fags from his lips and said, “I presume that was some hysterical bit of Earthling humour? What is it I say now? Do not give up your hum job?”

“Day job. But it was no joke. Just a suggestion, Sir Admiral Gleeg.”

The Admiral grunted, rubbed out his cigarette butts in the ash tray and began assembling a pair of rum and cokes. “Care for a pause that refreshes?”

“No thanks. I’ve had a few already this morning.”

“Uh oh! Friends don’t let friends drive drunk!”

“Don’t worry, Admiral. I’m a pro. You’ll get to the headquarters in one big turquoise piece.”

“And if we’re pulled over by the authorities meanwhile?” Bleeekxpritzle pulled the spoon from his tumbler and drank swiftly, the ice in the drink still jogging about.

“I’ll blow so green he’ll think it’s Saint Patrick’s Day.”

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Wafers In A Box

I can't apologize enough for this:

“WHAT THE FUCK?” squealed Mickey Mouse. He hit the door-open button of the elevator repeatedly but it was too late. It had just begun to descend. He started hitting every floor button between the fifth and tenth.

“Hey! Don’t do that!” said the box’s other passenger; a portly man in gray business suit.

“Did you shit yourself!” said Mickey.

“Drop dead!” said the businessman.

“I just might!” said Mickey. “I can’t very well breathe, can I! What the hell did you eat!”

“It wasn’t me!”

“Yeah, sure it wasn’t. You shit yourself, didn’t you, you stupid ass.” The elevator made a dinging bell noise.

“Go to hell,” said the man.

“You go to hell, you stinky fucker.” The elevator stopped and the door opened. “Have a nice day, stink-ass,” said Mickey as he departed onto the ninth floor. The door closed behind him.

“Fucking mouse,” muttered the businessman.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A Pocketful of Mumbles; Such Are Promises

My esteemed colleague, Krazy Sam has provided the prompt for this Rebel Camp NaNoWriMo chapter. Maybe I'll wind all these prompts into one story and call it The Dumbest Novel Ever. Just a thought:

Mickey James as a young man had been a boxer. And now at age seventy-three, he finally wished again for youth. Not so to be free of pain, nor to be attractive again, nor to be capable of sustaining an erection, but just so he could punch everyone out cold; everyone who pissed him off; pretty much everyone he had anything to do with on a regular basis. His white Rogerco Security uniform grew bigger by the day. He wasn’t getting any fitter, he knew. He was just shrinking.

“I’m disappearing,” he said.

“What’s that, Mick?” asked Earl Baumgartner. Earl filled out his uniform quite sufficiently. The shirt button on his belly could not be fastened, revealing a diamond-shaped view of a baby blue undershirt.

“I never said nothing,” said Mickey.  

“You did. Sounded like you said you’re disappearing.”

“Did not. You’re hearing things you fat-eared Jew.”

“Yeah. I heard things alright. I heard you say you’re disappearing. Well, not fast enough, I say, you cranky old relic.”

“You’re lucky I’m a relic. If I was young I’d punch you out,” said Mickey.

The two sat five paces apart in a tight guard station full of binders and maps and a computer on a computer desk. Earl sat in front of the computer; Mickey in front of the information window. It was his job to provide information. The information he provided was almost always the same: No, you can’t come in. Run along now before I call your folks and tell them what mischief you’re up to.

“If you were young,” said Earl, “We’d be sitting in a cave, painting bison on the walls.”

“Oh, that’s funny, Duke. You’re hypnotizing me with your magic Jew humour.”

“My - what? Are you crazy? Are you completely off your nut?” Earl shook his head in disgust. “You’re demented. You really are. You’re completely off your…”

“What? My nut? Go on. Finish your sentence.”

Earl brought a newspaper up between them. “I have nothing to say to you.”

“That goes double for me,” said Mickey. He raised his own newspaper.

“Excuse me.”

Mickey lowered the paper. The man at the window wore overalls and reflective suspenders. A pencil rested behind one ear. “Yes?”

The man pushed a business card through the slot below the window. “I’m here to do a quote for a new fence,” said the man.

“Shove off. We already got a fence,” said Mickey.

“Yeah, I see that. But that’s a frost fence and they want a privacy fence. Everyone can see what you guys got in there.”

“Fine then.”

“I can come in?”

“No, you can’t.”

“But I’m authorized. Check the list.”

“What do you need to do? Take some measurements?”


“So take them. It’s the same damn numbers whether you measure from the outside or in!”

“How about you just check the list, partner?”

“I’m not your partner. Don’t get fresh with me, son.”

“Check the list, Mick,” said Earl. He’s probably authorized. Earl then pulled a package from his knapsack and began unwrapping a thick bulging sandwich.

Mickey picked up a binder and opened it to the second page. He squinted at the list, then at the business card and then at the list again. He closed the binder, pulled another off the shelf, and laid it open on the counter between he and the contractor. “Sign in,” he said. The contractor pulled the pencil from behind his ear. “In ink!” Mickey shouted. Behind him he could hear Earl smacking away at his sandwich as the contractor picked up the provided pen and applied it to the visitor log.

“Can you believe this guy?” said Mickey to the visitor. “Does he eat like a pig or what? I swear to god, my eardrums bleed when he eats.” The contractor glanced at Mickey then resumed his signing in. “He eats like a monster from outer space,” Mickey went on. “I’d like to staple his lips shut.”

“Do I need a pass or something?” said the fence man.

Mickey produced a pass on a red lanyard. “Even when he’s done eating he still sits there and smacks his goddam lips for another half hour. It’s enough to make a sane man jump off a damn bridge to get away from him. Swipe your pass at the reader to get through the door.”

“Right. Listen, what’s that thing you got in there anyway?”

“None of your beeswax.”

“Seriously. It looks like a space ship or something!”

“What’s your point?”

“Well, what is it really? It honestly looks like a crash-landed spaceship!”

“That’s nice.”

“So what is it really? You building a theme park or something?”

“None or your BEES… WAX! Didn’t you hear me the first time?”

“Go ahead and tell him,” said Earl. They’ll wipe his memory clean before he leaves anyway.”

The man gave Earl a funny look. “What did he say?”

“He said don’t forget your measuring tape,” said Mickey. “Now go on. I got work to do here. And Earl’s got a sandwich to massacre.”

The man frowned but he took his pass and moved on.

Mickey went back to his newspaper while Earl had another sandwich.

“Excuse me,” came another voice, this one had a strange quality to it, like an electronic pulse.

Mickey lowered the paper. “Good morning Admiral,” he said.

The admiral was chubby; about five hundred pounds. He had bluish-green skin, enormous webbed feet and a multitude of thin tentacles sprouting from hips, shoulders and cheeks. His three eyeballs hovered about at the ends of long eyestalks. A pair of unlit cigarettes dangled from an eight-inch-wide pair of lips. “Good morning Officer James,” he gurgled. “How are you today?”

“Not bad thanks.”

“You got a light?”

Monday, June 04, 2012

Strawberry season

The Lonely Lumberjack is to thank for this Rebel Camp NaNoWriMo prompt:

The man was short but carried himself lower still, hunched over a wheeled walker as he struggled through the door of the Queen O’ The Dairy Restaurant & Ice Creamery. He wore a long white beard and his white hair spilled out below a black bowler hat. Half-bent, he toddled slowly toward the serving counter where young Pamela stood in three-toned golf shirt, matching visor and name tag. She chomped chewing gum and drummed her fingers on the countertop waiting for Father Time to arrive at the designated Order Here area.

As he inched within two metres of the order area she figured he'd come within hearing range. “Welcome to the Queen O’ The Dairy Restaurant and Ice Creamery! How can I help you?” she chanted gaily. “Shit!” she added. The old man looked up, startled. “I mean - Thank you for choosing the Queen O’ The Dairy Restaurant and Ice Creamery. How can I help you. Sorry. I keep forgetting they changed the script this week. They do that every once in a while just to mess me up and make me look stupid.”

“How dare they,” said the old man dryly.

“I know. So what do you want?” said the girl.

“I’d like to order some refreshment.”

“Yeah, so what do you want?”

He looked wearily at the illuminated display boards behind the girl. “I want a strawberry malt.”

“A what?”

“A strawberry malt.”

“A strawberry what?”

“A strawberry malt.”

“A malt?”

“A strawberry malt.”

“A strawberry malt?”

“Yes. A Strawberry malt.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I want a strawberry malt.”

“Wait a minute,” said Pamela. She turned and left him and pushed through the swinging door. Another girl was standing at the hot dog production area carefully painting a fingernail strawberry red.

“Where’s Steve?” said Pamela.

“How would I know? I’m not his mother.”

“What’s a strawberry malt?”

“How would I know?”

“Oh, for fuck sakes. This old guy wants a strawberry malt.”

“It’s a code word for blow job.”

“Fuck off. It’s not.”

“Give him a strawberry milkshake.”


“That or the blow job, honey. It’s your choice.”

“Oh fuck off.”

Pamela returned to the service counter where the old man looked up at her stone-faced. “We don’t have strawberry malts but we have strawberry milkshakes. Will that be fine?”

“I want a strawberry malt.”

Pamela put her hands on her hips and clicked her gum noisily. “We don’t have strawberry malts here. Do you understand? It‘s twenty-twelve in case you haven‘t noticed.”

“Twenty-twelve for a strawberry malt? That’s highway robbery.”

“The year is twenty twelve. A strawberry milkshake is two-eighty-nine for a small.”

“I want a strawberry malt.”

“We’re all out of malts. Come back Monday.”

“I want a strawberry malt today.”

“Well, I’m sorry about your luck. Go try the Five and Dime, gramps.”

The man stared at her. Pamela stared back.

He spoke: “A sundae then?”

“No. Monday.” I won’t be working that day, she thought.

“I want a strawberry sundae.”

“You want a strawberry sundae?”

“Yes; a strawberry sundae.”

“Fine. For here or to go?”

The man stared at her. “Where the hell am I gonna go?”

Pamela shook her head. “Have a seat then. I’ll bring it over to you.” She grabbed a cup and held it under the soft serve dispenser, shifting the cup about to create the required swirl.

‘A sundae, without the swirl, is like an oyster, without the pearl,’ the tall and gawky assistant manager had serenaded on the day of her training. And you’re making me want to hurl, she had added silently and then laughed out loud. The assistant manager had laughed then too and winked at her. If only she’d had her spray can handy she would surely have peppered the spindly fucker right then and been out of a job and then horrendous days like this would never have come.

She ran the dish under a stream of strawberry sauce then and looked over where the man was still hunched and ponderously inching toward a table.

“Crushed nuts?” she asked.

The man stopped, erected and stared at her. “No. Just old age and arthritis.” He bent and pushed off again. Pamela frowned, looking back and forth between he and the tub of peanut sprinkles.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Tales From A Tortured Mind

Of Mice And Other Camp NaNoWriMo Plagues On The Otherwise Healthy Brains Of Poor Writers Everywhere. 

It is June 3rd and I have only 657 words written towards Rebel Camp NaNoWriMo June Edition. The five different half-completed projects that were supposed to provide the forums for 50,000 new words this month are all utterly failing to inspire me. For now I am relying on random environmental input to provide prompts to get me going and writing something; anything. This could be dangerous:

Breach of Contract

Mickey looked tiredly about the judge’s chambers. He had an awful lot of books and they did not seem to Mr. Mouse that they must be terribly exciting books. They were mostly thick-spined, dusty and thoroughly uncolourful. Where was Mickey Mouse Goes To College or Mickey And Pluto At The Beach? It occurred to Mickey that the old dog may not truly be a fan.

“Mickey,” said the judge; a looming, loping Great Dane in tall white wig bent half-way toward the ground. “I can not grant you a divorce on the grounds that Minnie is crazy, at least not without sufficient psychiatric documentation.”

“I didn’t say she’s crazy!” snapped Mickey. “I said… She’s  fucking Goofy! Get the wax out!”

“Crazy, goofy - whatever. It makes no difference,” said the dog as he reached across his desk and lifted the lid off his Bobby Orr cookie jar. “Biscuit?” He pulled out a brown bone-shaped cookie and held it toward his diminutive guest.

“I said…” Mickey squeaked shrilly, “That Minnie has been fucking… Goofy! Goofy, the dog. They’ve been fucking. Having intercourse. She is engaging in promiscuous behaviour; committing adultery as it were, in strict contravention of our marriage contract. Get it?”

“Oh,” said the judge.

“And get that smelly thing out of my face.”

Judge Woofenstein withdrew the proffered biscuit and sniffed it, frowning.

“So let’s get this divorce thing done up real swift now. I got a hot little piggie waiting for me down at the marina and I’m bustin’ at the seams to get busy if you know what I mean.”

The judge did not react to this, cross-eyed with pleasure he was, as he wolfed down the biscuit himself.

“You got any cheese handy?”

“No,” said the dog between the licking of his lips. “Oh, wait.” He pulled open a drawer, shoved some briefs around, slammed it shut and pulled open another drawer. He shuffled some things about and pulled out a rubber duck. It’s head was half-chewed off. “A-ha!” Woofenstein cheered.  He then pulled out a chunk of white-and-green cheese and set it on the desk in front of Mickey.

“What the hell kind of variety is that?” squeaked Mickey.

“Blue cheese,” said the judge.

“What kind was it before that?”


“Cool,” said Mickey. He picked up the morsel awkwardly with his three-fingered paw and gobbled it down in short order.

The judge helped himself to another biscuit and ate it noisily. They both slouched in their chairs then and rubbed their bulging bellies.

“She’s fucking Goofy?” said the judge. “Really?”


“Goofy? Our Goofy?”

“Yes! Do I have to paint you a picture!”

“Well, a photograph would be better. You’ll need some kind of evidence obviously.”

“I will?”


“I’m fucking Mickey Mouse, dog. I own this town. Who’s gonna call me a liar?” He sniffed his middle finger, examined it and then sucked it clean.

“You’re fucking who? Oh! You mean you ARE Mickey Mouse. Sorry. I see.”

Mickey glared at him. “I’m not sure you do see, dog. I’m not sure you’re up to this task. Frankly I’m not sure I’ve been backing the right judge. You’re either WITH Mickey Mouse or you’re AGAINST Mickey Mouse. There is no middle ground here. Am I being clear? Am I being perfectly pristinely crystal-freaking-clear here?”

“I’m with you Mickey. I’m with you. We’re cool.”

Mickey nodded. “Get that fucking thing out of my sight, will you. It’s disrespectful. What the hell would Donald say if he was here?”

The judge grabbed the half-chewed rubber duck and shoved it back into the drawer.

“Do I need a lawyer or what?” squeaked Mickey.

“I recommend it.”

“Okay. I’ll put Wyndworth on it. Between the two of you, can you handle it? I really have other affairs to concentrate on right now. This is the last fucking thing I needed right now, that BITCH!”

Judge Woofenstein nodded. “I’m sure Wyndworth can proceed without too much participation from you. It’s not that complicated a matter.”

“Right. He’ll be in touch then.” Mickey popped off the chair. “I’ll show myself out. Thanks for the cheese.”

“Yeah, uh - Mick, your ears.”

Mickey reached up and straightened his crooked ear-do before waving goodbye. He left the chamber without closing the heavy door behind him. The judge sighed. He grabbed a waste basket, went to the guest chair and brushed a few little dark pellets into the bucket.