2nd Excerpt from ‘finding waldo’

2nd Quarter

the saga of goku, I mean, ylgu

Episode 8

BREEDING TO EXTINCTION:

Shadow of The

Red Whale

Chapter 100: one silly Question

By car, by train, by truck, by boat, by river, by foot, I go! I trek! I journey!I wander! I “quest”!!! after only the shine of a single star to find god knows only what!The meaning of life. The reason why my girlfriend dumped me. Can a man find what can’t be found? Are impossibles possible? I swear to god I must be goin’ crazy.

rest stop: J J J

I HIJACK ed a plane across the Pacific Ocean on Qantas flight all day to Australia, where the toilet/wash-cycle spins the other way*. I stole the plane for two reasons: * I went through Europe, and east Asia, and all over the world. One: I’d never seen a toilet bowl spin the other way before; gravity can do crazy things when gravitating south, and those are my only two reasons.

Chapter 101: Girl on girl in girl atop guy on guy in guy atop . . .

This all happened very quickly.

Chapter 102-104

J

L

Chapter 105: Which team won in 2000 and 8?

THE SEA IS green, you know. I crumpled up the last bit of my newspaper blanket and tossed ‘em into one of those crusty lookin’ tin cans ya see all the time by the beach. I was soon eating out of those cans. Now, the reason why people always lay feet forward to the ocean is the same reason why people are afraid of the dark closet,  the crypt,  the monster behind every toilet. I lay backwards, I lay the other way. I was sick of looking at big, deep, unknowable things: the oceans, the seas. .

SOUNDTRACK 18: Wet Willie’s “Keep on Smiling”

VERSE 1: Well you say you got the blues /

Got holes in both of your shoes /

Feelin alone and confused /

You got to keep on smilin, keep on smilin

I give you my sincere word as a dignified hobo, a respectable thief, and an honest cheat: I’m lost.

I said to myself,

Self, don’t give up.

CHORUS:

Keep on smilin through the rain, laughin at the pain /

Rollin with the changes till the sun comes out again /

Keep on smiling through the rain, laughin at the pain /

  Rollin with the changes, singin this refrain

rest stop: J J J

I’m just trying to get to sleep, but obviously, sleep is not one of those things I’m good at,” I tell myself. Sun gone down, I stumbled over on my back and let the wind wet upon my face and the sky tuck me in, and the moon kiss me goodnight, which I shook my head “No-no” to at first, because it was our first date, and I always liked to take it nice ‘n slow before we move in, fuck, or get hitched. I wish you were here to see it with me.

L L L :pots tser

B y the time my head stopped spinning, night had already changed back to day again. Behind me, there came a couple walkin down the sand on tiptoe, the man holding a woman close in his arms and speaking softly to her ear as she giggled. As they came nearer, kinda veering off to the right with the slow-sidewise motion of cows, I reached out my arm towards them and beseeched them gently, “GOT ANY BOOZE?”

The girl just screamed and kicked sand in my face for some reason and the dude, well.

Anyways.

Who cares?

BRIDGE: You’re just hangin out / in a local bar /

And you’re wonderin / who the hell you are /

Are you a bum / or are you a star?

The ocean was adorned with gulls now.

CHORUS:

Keep on smilin through the rain, laughin at the pain /

Rollin with the changes till the sun comes out again /

Keep on smiling through the rain, laughin at the pain /

Rollin with the changes, singin this refrain /

Music stops. Music ends.

To quote Jon Bon Jovi: “ Sometimes you tell the days by the bottles that you drink. Sometimes when you’re alone, all you do is think.”

rest stop: J J J

THE SAND RASPED past my ankles à and here I’ll pause to say that I felt this creeping sensation, like maybe I was being dragged that way too. Something said, “I’ll take you to Atlantis.” How do I know this? A little birdy told me. I was drunk. Statistics show that feathered things are more likely to speak to you when you’re drunk. Some scuba dudes and flippers came to bother me, anyways. One was short and thin. The other was tall and round. The third one à giant. “Ya got a ‘normous beard there, buddy, it hides your chin,” I said to the third. “What’s your secret?” Shivers become me. I was deluged in thought, and the water was freezing ice. They started to drag me towards the sea. “How bout dem Packers, eh?” I says. “You guys like sports?” They said no, thanks. “You guys suck,” I said, and went to sleep. I thought I’d change the theme of our talk, waking up. “So, uh,” I cleared my throat, but the waves went down my mouth right before I could say out in fish speech, “Where ya takin me?” I found myself floating serenely downwards, to some oceanic prairies the color of juice. To be frank, I didn’t care if these three were just about to drown me. If you must know, à Cliffhanger!

Chapter 106

“Hey, don’t do that! I hate it when people do that. It’s dumb. S ay it already.” J

Chapter 107

Mind if I call my father? L

Chapter 108

“O.K. Sure. Go ahead. ” J

Chapter 109

-Hmm. L

Chapter 110

“Hm..” J

Chapter 111

He’s not there.

Chapter 112-115

(These chapter #’s are getting ridiculous now, but you like them still, right? Should I get rid of them?)

SO THEY WERE dragging me underwater, right? And I was about to drown. Just like a cliffhanger, you understand. W hen a person is hanging on the edge of a cliff and about to fall and you wonder if maybe à

Chapter 116-117

(um.)

“They get it, we get it. So get on with it!” J

àis he going to die?

Chapter 118

(Oh, gee. )

“O.K. I’m taking over!” J ANYWHO, SO I WAS GETTING dragged underwater. The three scuba divers, they were treading water above the reef with me floating on the surface, bobbing up and down. And one of them, the guy with the beard, well he stuck this funny-looking suction cup thing around my mouth the shape and feel of a small jellyfish, and then he thrust my head back into the water, where I began to sink and à But I could breathe. .. down, down, down into the Great Barrier Reef.

L L L :pots tser

I THINK they did this next thing for fun, coz they held up a sign that read, “This part’s just for fun. Hold on.” They grabbed big stones the size skulls, and tied them to my wrists and to my feet and to my throat, then to my stomach.

At first I tried to scream! I tried to shout! to whisper: Even to bubble.

I couldn’t strangle out the words. Help me, Now, I wanted to say. Like James Brown. But alas! My mouth was scabbed tight with pressure. . The divers threw me off the edge and I made with a look backwards, but they began to wave at me; then they swam away. Holding up a sign that read, “Having fun yet?”

At first, everything was bluesy. Then it was a pale dusk. And the dusk began to fade into the thickening night.  Darkness thickened. I’m going to die. Am I really going to die?

Then in a haze; a vague outline of a giant’s mouth and tail began to make a red outline through the soft ocean night below me! And I’m allergic to fish. . The outline of a great red whale enlarged from out of the ‘NEATH of me; something I never knew existed. Can it? I didn’t have time to think, to breathe! So instead, I whistled. I can’t whistle, can you? –Definitely should have died earlier.. DUMB! DUMB! DUMB!

The divers, they swam ahead of me, faster than I could sink, and jetted off into the mouth of the red whale the way a squid explodes off a starting line. What in King Neptune’s name are they doing? I thought. And why is that mollusk exploding off a starting line? King Neptune wondered right beside me. He was wearing a shell and it made him look very striking. Soon, soon, and very soon, teeth and tongue and jaw had come over me and sunk me into some damp, damp space. Into the BIGNESS of it. Was, Was, Was

L L L :pots tser

BUT THE GROUND WASN’T wet and the ground wasn’t soft, and the ground didn’t smell like fish paste. Actually, the ground was dry and the ground was steel and the ground was à -Well, it definitely wasn’t a bouquet of roses I’d give to my mom: But it wasn’t fish. That was one quintessential Tic-Tac. A flash of redscared my eyes, and I almost died with surprise. And the first real thing, the only thing, I saw besides FLASH! And BANG! was a plastic grin with rows of sharp canines.Mr. Manning,” I heard a familiar man say this with a pleasant up-turned half-smile: That crocodile grin. “Welcome back to The Good Ship Orphan, baby! Good to have you aboard. Cliffhanger! L “Shh. Be quiet !J

Chapter 123:

Red world

MR. YLGU UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is up-close and personal, I reserve the right to be a master in the art of wickedness. . “

ABEL MANNING, MY buddy, my pal. You look so very, very adorable in that snorkel outfit of yours! I shook tremulously in the cold, dripping and wet and I made out a low “Who is it?” So very wet.

The red lights dimmed and I could almost see his face. I stood in a bath of flagrant heat, and wet stuff; not necessarily water. “ You, Mr. Manning, are indebted with a contract to fulfill, however big or small it may be.” A hand reached out from the light and handed me a grouchy mop of hair and teeth. “Mr. Ill à Ylgu?

“Indeed. . “Golly! you sure had us chasing you round and round the world, now didn’tcha? Ho, ho, whore! “I’ve seen more of the world this way, thank you very much; you’re my favorite Mr. Green Card. My, my! Which side-stop was your favorite? Mine was Spain.” I went to Spain. The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain. Red stuff dribbled down Mr. Ylgu’s fangs, smearing his mask, and running suddenly into his bottle of wine. “Now get to work, janitor.”

Another hand came from nowhere and shoved a soapy bucket into my other hand, that’s the one I use for à oh, never mind. “You have so very much to make up for, my ducky. Get to it or your balls will be à well à we’ll talk about the geography of your balls another time, perhaps, baby.” Mr. Ylgu chuckled in a high octave voice, while the Shivrings giggled a low vibrato. 

rest stop: J J J

I looked around the insides of a sub. Everything appeared rather red and fleshy, but at the same time everything possessed a lifeless, metallic quality: The innards of a machine. Still, you could feel an oppressing dampness. “I didn’t sign up for life, did I?” I looked around. “Shoot.” For embarrassment at the sight of the Shivring taking me captive, drunken, and naked again, I tried to make myself smaller, disappear, fade away; not e xist.

Mr. Ylgu swallowed that bottle of wine in just a few gulps; then he echoed my exaggerated exhale, perhaps sharing my fears, doubts, qualms, my many unnecessaried worries. “Do I really have to read the fine print for you, Manning? Can’t you trust me on my word as a gentlemen and a gambler? Alright, then I shall!” He took out a little black book the size of your pinky nail and read my life story from it in a mere matter of seconds, the rise and fall of some dynasties, empires, and all that rot; ending with a one-word summary: “Cheated.” SNAP! and the little black book closed shut. Here I tinkled. “You have a contract you are obligated to for life, written in blood and broken only by death, baby.” -And grinned, swallowing the little black book. “Your death. . Not to sound rude or bully-some or the least bit obsessive. I say, I’m just not like that. In fact, I’m as cool as they go. Hmm . . . ”

He laid a finger on his black lips made pink with lipstick and let them tap there for a moment, casting a glance elsewhere. I said, “Good morning.” “MR. MANNING! Do shut up, please. For the children’s sake: They’re very impressionable. Do you want them saying ‘good morning’ to just anybody, preferably strangers. That’s how I got them kidnapped!” He pulled at a bit of lace from his strawberry-colored hair, and said quickly, “I’m doing my best, and without a wife what is a captain and his crewless ship? A man needs a maid, and in your case, I will settle on janitor. This ship is not as tidy without you. I can smell the mildew growing on the walls!”

The man in red spoke rather quickly, voice a bubble of emotion: “If you want to be free, then you will be free in death. It’s not my rule, it’s the man upstairs.” He pointed to God, though I’m not sure, but I think I saw Satan grinning.. “Do you desire to be free then, Mr. Manning?” He examined the back of his hand and dabbed a bit of cherry red paint on his fingernails, shaking them in a fanning motion as he blew and shook. One of them broke off and he stomped his high heels, shouting, “Oh poo.” He puckered his forehead and shook his head derisively. “Be a dear and answer the gal darn question already, Mr. Manning. Heck, I have so very much to do in this ship besides tidying up and you’re really the only one willing to do it. Oh! they’re so very, very incompetent. You understand my situation, don’tchu?”

He stood there, waiting, watching, unblinking. Mr. Ylgunever blinked. Unyielding insomnia made sure of that. That and a fear for all treachery. I looked up to him, and made a slow-motion smile go suddenly into submission. “I don’t want to be à free?” “There’s a good dear,” complacently, he patted my skull. “ Then man your post, Mr. Manning! Stand in line with the rest of your orphan brethren,” and sucked on the thumb he had just paper cutted, pointing with the other hand in the direction I should have been going. “Shiver along now. There’s a good boy. Darn tootin! I never knew a better lad.  GET FREAKIN TO IT, ALREADY! HOT DAYUM! So I ran to it, Mr. Ylgu’s wolfish grin snapping after my heels.

L L L :pots tser

I SPOTTED the three divers who had captured my body. You losers,” I said to themà Murdoc, formerly known as The Beard, he looked up from among the three with his sharp little eyes. ‘Yeh know, I didnae want to bring yeh aboard in the firs place. Mr. Ylgu’s orders, is all. He prescribes us all to the notion of duty.

“I just got one thing to say,” I said calmly, politely; judiciously. Everything about this sucks! What is this? A submarine? It sucks . . . Your duty sucks.”

But before I could really say anything: “anything,” Mr. Ylgu and Murdoc got to arguing over nothing in particular; something about “hair conditioner”, and the function of lather, rinse, repeat; and soon Mr. Ylgu threw his hands up in the air and shouted, “You can grow three beards for all I care!” With an enormous, insulting yawn: ‘How’d you like to wear this thing for a change?’ said Murdoc and turned indifferently to the smaller Bobbies and Suzies around him and mumbled something about midgets; while they cried Little people! “Hmph,” said Ylgu, and abandoned the conversation to comb the dust devil out of his hair. He didn’t walk away. He stayed in the room’s corner. He didn’t turn his back or place his hands behind his back. He felt his wrists like they were itching him, like they were manacled to a tree. How strange.

* * *

Nearby, Shivrings aimed imaginary guns at each other and went Pow! Pow! and I fired back, but when Mr. Ylgusaw this, he cut off their thumbs and fingers with an imaginary hack saw, smacked them on the wrist with a wooden spoon, and said, “Bad! Bad! No, my babies! Don’t ever pretend like that again. That is not a thing to joke about!”

What a confusing place to be.

Like I said. I got to mopping in swift, mean little circles, anyways, then slow round gentles. By the way, Daddy: The Fasting are shooting torpedoes and dropping death charges on us again, I heard one of the Bobbies or Suzies say this from above in the high-High. What do you think we should do about it? I propose we run away this time, just to fake them out. What do you think? I’d like to hear your opinion on the matter. Say it here _______.

Chapter 124: Aub-Lih-Gay-Shuns

MR. YLGU UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is up-close and personal, I pee a little. .

MR. YLGU BIT HIS mouth and brought out the pink glow from his lipstick, the red bubbling up to the surface, sucking thoughtfully on a smile. He was played by Tim Curry. “Tell me now, these are the Pirates of the Abyss we’re talking about, right, we’re not talking royal jerk-off’s here?” Mr. Ylgu, he raised his arms in a hugging motion as if to take in all those Shivring around him with outstretched arms. Each of the profiles seemed to be trying to look as amused as they could. Mine was drooling.

Ylgu’s came to me like a bolt of god: “Wipe that liquid off your face and, my gosh! do man your post! Obligations, Manning! AUB-LIH-GAY-SHUNS! You dare not piss me off in my time of destiny. This is no time for ambiguity when we have talk of kings and successions on our hands! Be a dear, be a honey, be a sweet thing, and freakin’ choose sides!” He held up a soundless, invisible watch and went, “Tic. Tic. Tick. Time’s a-flyin.” So I mopped even harder, I might as well, not pretending to understand what he said, and here’s me trying not to gander over at Ylgu’s face and that throbbing fork-tongued vein of his, all yellow and bubbling on his forehead.

He said, “Now what can I do for you, our most humble Janitor? Are you here to clean up the mess that we poor orphans have caused or are you here to clean up the universe as well? Dude, what is it? Spit it out, bro.

“I’ve got nothing to spit. You look tired today.”

“You’re as old as you feel,” said Mr. Ylgu. “Me, I’m feeling forty. That’s not that old compared to you, now is it, bone bag?” said the old jackal. “Whatever you say, old bean.”

Why, you elderly ffart!”

Stinky!” while I fell over, laughing my butt off. “Hey, would you look at that? Yikes!” Ylgu checked the time zones on his imaginary wrist watch, only it didn’t have Mountain time. “I think we’re at war here, darling. Golly, that’s a bitch. Like, whoa! This should be lottsa fun!!”

Chapter 125: In which the Fasting discuss a subject worth knowing

Murdoc nearby went around sulking into the battlefield, crossing his arms and uncrossing them, hanging his head and saying, ‘What’s the point?

A blue explosion that was very wet erupted, and red men no more taller than 2 feet small came in. They crawled in like babies with bayonets, battle rifles; luger pistols, spiked clubs, ice picks; bowie knives chewed in between of their tiny, shiny teeth and gums. Brushed to perfection, you know. Mr. Ylgu ran about, arms flailing like a schoolgirl. What a dope.

THEY came in wobbly, carrying pitch forks like pool sticks. With fat little bellies and stick arms. Five of their eyes searched for me. Is K-E-N-N-Y B-O-Y present, you imagine? I heard one say gloomily. Gremlins, that’s what they reminded me of. They looked like those cute little furry creatures that multiply when you throw water on them. They were wet enough to be twenty of them. They looked so child-like.

One said to two, which was really three. . But it was hard to count  how  many  of  them  there  were  coz  they  kept  on  growing  and  shrinking  in  size  and  shape the way a soap bubble floats off the floor. They said, What you’re thinking of would be closer to the gut of the sub. Everything gravitates south in the end, which in the end, is never The End. The End is the asshole. Haven’t you studied the human anatomy? -Anyways, that’s where the money is, if you wanna know what I think. The money room. Murdoc quietly observed this. “Surely!” he piped.

How’s your promiscuous daughter doing by the way, softball practice and all? said one to two.

Fine. Just fine, said four to one. Let’s go find that bastard Kenny already!

Chapter 126: Have you been missing anything recently? I think I found it

FOR THE PLANET’SSAKE!”

“THE SHIVRING SHALL NOT PREVAIL!”

I’M REALLY A WOMAN!

“HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY WALLET?! IT LOOKS LIKE THIS.” T hat.

“I’VE SEEN IT. HERE YOU GO.”

“THANK YA. BY THE WAY, WHAT’S YOUR NAME?”

“My name’s Tom à Cruise. , What’s yours?”

“ABEL à .. MANNING, ADAM’S SON. OK, SEE YA ON THE OTHER SIDE! I WON’T HESITATE TO KILL YOU IF I GET A CHANCE.” “I’LL BE LOOKING FOR YOU ON THE BATTLEFIELD. IT WAS A PLEASURE MEETING YOUR ACQUAINTANCE.” “It’s a nice acquaintance.” – And thus with that off-tangent semi-historical dialogue, the war between The Fasting Scourge and The Shivring Majority began again.

SOUNDTRACK 19: Alice Cooper’s “Generation Landslide”

VERSE 1:

Please clean your plate, dear /

The Lord above can see you /

Don’t you know people are starving in Korea

-A delightful little war between good and not so good began, and it being so difficult to tell the difference between ‘em: Not so much size or shape, or man vs. man, but nature vs. nature, good will vs. ill will! or should I say?: Ill-Good.

rest stop: J J J

I DIDN’T KNOW which side to root for, did you? This battle between angels and imps: “This won’t be a fair fight, I wager,I said to my various selfs. Quite. “Hey, you quiet!”

YOU!”

“FOR THE SACRED CRYSTAL!” I heard this motif ring loud and clear.

“FOR GEICO!” said the lizard. Uh. I think I broke something, and I think it was my skullcap. My head cracked open, an open yolk, the yellow running out of its skin and into the white around it.

rest stop: J J J

N othing but blurs and scream. . Then I woke up and realized I was already dancing with Death. “KILL THEM, MY BABIES!” Mr. Ylgu sang this off-key note, but in all the confusion who knew who was scratching who? “But try not to make them bleed,” he said. “The very sight of blood nauseates me. I may faint. Oh! And don’t really kill them.”

“You mean death?” one of the various Bobbies and Suzies said behind me. Mr. Ylgu fainted. When the Fasting came, the Dumb One and the Stupid One (the smarter of the two!!) lead their Shivring brethren on with wooden spoons for a smack down with The Fastings, attacking one another’s swords.

Watery blue explosions came through the hulls and everything metallic and boney began to piss. And everything practically died. Blood was pouring. -And while all this blood poured, Mr. Ylgu woke up and laughed. He laughed. Murdoc laughed too: A laugh that may have rivaled, or perhaps even dwarfed Mr. Ylgu’s. Yeah, everybody was having a good time*. * We even had punch and biscuits :_ I laughed too, but my voice wasn’t a match for many a good reason. And the way the two of them fought, this Mr. Murdoc and Ylgu, you’d think that they weren’t real humans fighting; they were more like angels .. with bad humor. Probably devils. I thought I saw a tail. Wings.

“HURT THEM!” Mr. Ylgusounded his feral battle cry.. standing in the back of them, in lunch line, away from the little soldiers toddling off to die. Watching the battle. And turned into a pillar of bats and faded away.

Holy War had begun and what a splendid, little war that was! A few of The Shivring were mowed down by bullets or by the piercing tips of bayonet, but it wasn’t as much as you’d think. Are you paying attention? Damn! This wasn’t that epic of a war like you’d think.

Once someone got her eyebrow cut off and wanted to make the most of it, so she exaggerated the pain a bit, whining and moaning and writhing on the floor in uncontrollable manners just to get Ylgu’s sympathies and some extra cookies from the jar.  It was nighttime by the time the battle went down. I could tell. Our sub had surfaced for the battle to let off water. Father Ylgu was brave at night, but a coward in the morning. So like a demon. The Fasting Scourge should have known it was better to come at daybreak than to raid a wolf’s den at night. Shivring are nocturnal.

rest stop: J J J

FALL BACK, MYFasting brothers!” said a Fasting, him especially so decorated with army medals. He looked like he could just be the captain of a Captain Crunch cereal box. “VICTORY IS NOT WON THIS DAY!” he said, waving the rest of them on to follow with a jovial white flag, retreating.

In Aftermath: Their bones were devoured and the blood that made Ylgu nauseated was drunk like wine by the prisoners, in sippy cups. “Mine’s cherry cola,” a Shivring said. From behind me I watched Murdoc come running towards Mr. Ylgu, a satchel and package in hand, and then stopped quickly, saluting. ‘I ‘ave just sealed off the leaks, and purchased the groceries! You won’t imagine how hard it is to find retail shopping down here,’ he said, remembering not to pick his nose in front of the Shivring majority. ‘Now who wanted Bagel Bites?’ The rats in his beard and the refrigerator in it opened and we all cheered with hurrahs and hurrays. The rats said, “God bless us.  Everyone.” One had a limp, and a little cane. Just tidying up, I suppose.

Ylgu said, “It’d be nice if you’d gather up the remains of my children, along with the Pirates of the Abyss, and pile them together in some sort of — stew or something. Send my orders to Mr. Manning to aid you. But alas!” he looked about him, then added in haste: “Where is my dear Mr. Manning?”

                                                    CHORUS: But I laughed to myself at the men and the ladies /

Who never conceived of us billion dollar babies!

Chapter 127: Think of the Children

MR. YLGU’S FAR-AWAY GUITAR : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is not here, I reserve the right to understand nonsense like it’s right next to me. THE LAST resistance of the Pirates of the Abyss, The Fasting Scourge, were clumped together in the small, round bend of a hallway the shape of a blood-tunnel… Back, demons! one of the little red men with goat’s horns for hair said.

rest stop: J J J

I LOOKED IN THE HIND OF ME AND SEE out of The Fasting Scourge one face that reached out and start to say, “You must be the à He killed them all. Murdoc.

rest stop: J J J

The last resistance has fallen!” Forgive Mr. Ylgu for shouting it, but he had to shout loud. You see, his children had scattered themselves all about the vessel, undoubtedly fattened with Cake: Some were sleeping and had to be wakened; some were just waking up, exchanging quizzical looks, while others were still licking at bits of red wet stuff from the Fasting commander’s collapsed rib cage, which Ylgu had to inform them was completely unsanitary and that they should have better table manners through what is routinely rehearsed everyday from 6-6:30; and that they must always remember to wash, but otherwise they had done a good job!! and he wanted to assail them with pretzels !!! and tell them they were going to be awarded 4 Gold Stars on their Happy Progress Charts for their minimal efforts. A quarrelsome lot, the Shivrings were.

And so, nervously scrubbing his hands with a carnivorous disinfectant, Mr. Ylgu had to shout again! to wake up those who had already been awakened: “The Plunge can now commence, my babies !The last breath the Whale need ever take!” And so, we took The Plunge. Into the deep, dark ink. Was, was, was

echo.  deep, smart ink. 31

.

chapter 128: The Plunge

DESCENDING. SLIDING. SWIMMING. A SPHERE OF LIGHT EMANATED from the surface, only to be eclipsed in the ocean darkness by the heaping bulk of a colossus with metallic red fins. Shrinking into some distance, The Red Whale (“formerly known as The Good Ship Orphan”), an immense fish the size of the highways you drive on, swam downwards, great full strokes from the tip of its whale-like tail and a puff of steam from its steely lungs. Occasionally resurfacing for air, as it didn’t know what it was searching for.

rest stop: J J J

B ut occasionally, we had to surface. And when we did, The Good Ship Orphan brought blue sky and shiny suns wherever it went. It never rained around it once Abel came aboard. “How’s the weather?” I asked The Boat. “There is no whether. It just is,” said the Good Ship. “Whether you’ll believe that, I don’t know.” -.. either so to speak or quite literally, none could tell, for there was never anyone there at the time to tell of it.

rest stop: J J J

Ylgu’s girlfriend was killed off due to editing. “She was my confident,” said Ylgu of the Lady Luck after she was pronounced D-worded. He shielded his weak eyes from the light with the two ebony turtle shells of a sunglass. Snowflames bloomed on his cheeks. His marriage counselor asked him bluntly a little while later: How are you? Ylgu responded “Absolutely positively cherry-cola!!” meaning “I’m fine,” “I’m cool,” “It’s all right;” and nobody knew any different. -“And so it’s true?” said Ylgu.

L L L :pots tser

H e seemed to have shrunken — a whole four inches cut from his stature.

A thought occurred to me of the last time I saw her, though I’ve never really met her: Miss Luck tucking in Mr. Ylguat night who feared the monster in the closet. Not under the bed or under the stairs, but the real monster made of stocking, shadow, and lingerie. In the closet. No one really knew who was driving the thing half the time, even The Orphans themselves didn’t know, or at least they pretended they didn’t know! Murdoc didn’t know. Mr. Ylgu, he didn’t know either. .

The whole of the Orphan seemed to breathe sometimes, not with the roar of engines; but the bones would contract and produce the great in-suckings of breath a pair of lungs might make, and that was when you knew it would rise off the water and into the sky, expanding so it was light enough as an air balloon taken flight! It could dive for 22 hours at a time, maybe more *, and then the breath in its lungs would shrink and the whole Whale would shrink so the walls would crunch together and it would be very difficult to walk.

                   *But if it really needed to, it could breathe for months.

The Shivring, massive in width and height, had to shrink themselves by eating less meals and going on several Atkins diets. Abel even, much smaller than a Shivring, had difficulty going through, and sometimes, without practice, more so. It was never determined where they were going. Murdoc couldn’t walk at all, but had to stay in one room, bored, tapping his heels and crossing his arms, while Ylgu kept himself to his manor.

Indeed, The Good Ship Orphan could expand tenfold until it became the size of a small island chain or it could shrink to the size of a tugboat on Old Man River himself. It was then, when The Orphan was out of breath, that everyone, Shivring or no, complained of cramps, save for Mr. Ylgu who knew how to get it done. “Who’s driving this thing anyways?” says Abel. No one really knows, said a Shivring. ‘Who cares?’ said Murdoc. “Don’t ask me, I have a headache,” said Mr. Ylgu, he said, “I didn’t build the blasted thing,” said Lady Luck’s ghost, she said, But I know who did. It was in Lady Luck that all secrets were held. . Too bad she was a goner.Shoot.

rest stop: J J J

Episode 9

DEEP INK:

Secret of The Blue Desert

[What should the EPISODE ART be for this episode? Maybe I should show a thousand Sperm Whales fighting against one Giant Squid-like creature that has latched its tentacles unto The Red Whale’s hot ass]

C

chapter 129

WHENEVER I GET really depressed I like to think of The Hitchhiker. Whenever I get really happy I like to think of The Hitchhiker. W henever I masturbate, I don’t think of him, but afterwards I seem to think about Cindy Crawford. Whenever I think about anything there’s always these twisted, mutilated faces of Mr. Ylgu and Mr. Murdoc, caught up together as one, and it really gets distracting whenever I think about Cindy Crawford.

Mr. Manning! Wake up.

I don’t like thinking abou Abel. Abel’s not me. Abel’s some other guy! Abel’s a jerk.

“Are you the Sun?”

Sure, why not Princess. Now would you please wake up?

In the end it all somehow gets me thinking about-

rest stop: J J J

THE DEEP, SMART INK. I t’s really dark here! The Good Ship Orphan is a place that only exists when you sleep in it, waking up to find yourself rising into dream. That is the same exact moment when Mr. Ylgu steals the orphans of the world from their cribs.

From where I stood mopping, I could gaze out at a shield of glass and watch night pass us by as it was truly night: Night only happens on the bottom of the ocean. Beautiful,” I commentated.

L L L :pots tser

I wonder how fast we’re going,” I said this unawares.

“Precisely 124 knots, Mister,” and I felt a bit of paint dry on my shoulder. “That is, by nautical terms, anyway,” said the voice. I told him I saw him a mile off. A smile became his entire face: It was Ylgu’s. “Do you like it?” he asked me.

“Boy, do I!” I shouted! What was I shouting about? I asked him what about.

He said, “The fish The fish were silver. I made a haze on the glass just suitable for a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. Wanna play?

“But do you like it?” and this too, Mr. Ylgu said softly.

“Boy, do I!” I said. My answer was curt as a, a, a, a. What does curt mean? “Yeah, sure, whatever,” I said, figuring.

“The Whale, Manning?”, leaning against the door-frame. Ylgu looked like a patron in that light, and I loved him for it.

I leaned against a mop raised to kill 99.9% of bacteria, and braced myself against both wall and bucket. “Mr. Ylgu. No offense, but you seem à crazy. Are you crazy?”

“…Yes. I’m quite mad.”

“But are you insane?” Mr. Ylgu laughed and his features softened from brick to pudding. He wrapped a big-muscled arm around my shoulder with a “There, there, kid, you’re okay,” and wiped a whole lotta bad thoughts out off my hair. “Daddy’s here for you.”

I shrank back like a cactus before a storm. “ Mr. Ylgu?”

Mr. Ylgus poke softly: “As janitor aboard The Good Ship Orphan and under permanent contract and insignia, you are my child, Mr. Manning, taking into effect that all those born without Mummies and Daddies are already mine, rightfully claimed, snatched at birthright. Orphan you are and orphan you will remain.” He brought out that little black book again from his jacket pocket and read me off a page the size of a swirl in your thumb, only this was my fingerprint, the same one I had printed from birth!

“You mean àI shrank, and I shrank like I’m already Alice through a Wonderland door, but three inches is a wonderful thing to be!: I could steal anything this way, unnoticed; so long as it’s under a gram or two, and not much larger than a paper clip.

“I meant nothing more than a hug from father to a son,” this quality Hallmark crap you can only get out of the mouth of a pedophile!!

“I know who my dad is,” I said to him. “And we worked out our issues à for the most part! I really don’t hate him quite so much.” This was my only defense. “So I’m no longer an orphan now. That means I can go, right?” He regarded me, hands folded like a lawyer’s. “I can go, right?” I set a look to stun, and stared at him. Then he turned around, on a heel, turned some more, and walked off with the click-click-click of his high-heels. “C’mon! Please!” I said this, hoping my voice would carry to him faster than I am jogging now! “You have to! Under your own code of honor! You have ta!”

“Kids,” he motioned to a few Shivrings standing in the shadows and they barred the way between me and him.

Mr. Ylgu!” I say. “Only orphansare allowed on this ship! And I’m not an orphan no more!! His figure became far-away, ghost, and as I struggled against Shivring Bobby and Shivring Suzy I couldn’t think of anything else to shout butIf I’m really you’re kid, you’d listen to me. Mr. Ylgu stopped walking all at once, and his shape enlarged, GREW, became huge and horrific, filled the room; but he didn’t turn around, nor did he take a look back.Mr. Ylgu! Please.”

L L L :pots tser

So I’m your father now?” he said. His back no longer faced me, but he regarded me now from his front side as if expecting a full- frontal  attack.

“No! I’m not an orphan!”

“Then we have nothing to discuss,” he said, walking backwards now in little duck steps; opening and closing his fist and fingers high in the atmosphere the way infants wave a bye-bye. “ Good day, Mr. Manning,” he said. “Enjoy the fish, Mr. Manning,” he said. “I know I will.” He snapped his fingers and out of the gloom shot an electric guitar into his hands in the shape of a freeze-framed lightning bolt, and he took pick and nail in hand. And in power stance that continued shrinking backward without stepping, he brought one arm around swiftly down, and began to power-bang the FUCK out of the thing like a certain Jimmy Paige, or Hendrix or one of the Who. And glided ever backwards.

Mr. Ylgu!” I shouted this, reaching out one hand towards him, but the Shivrings wouldn’t let me. I implore you to reconsider, one of them said. Ha, good one! said the two. The Shivring carried me back on their shoulders; they put the broom and soap bucket in my hands. Daddy’s orders, they said. This way the broom won’t lose you, they said. We always know where to find you.

I tried knocking them on head with a “ Shut up, ya crummy bastard!” I said.Why do you keep me here anyways? I’m no use to you.” How boring it is to be the only janitor on board, and so terribly alone!My god! Nearly six weeks of cleaning down here! How much more blood do I have to clean? Everything’s ‘blood’ here, isn’t it? Well, I’m done with you dweebs. I give up, I quit! you hear me.” You didn’t hear me. D addy says you haven’t even touched the second floor à

“I don’t care what ‘Daddy’ says! He’s not my Dad.”

was, was

Chapter 130: Whale breath

BUT A WHALE, EVEN A RED WHALE, MUST take last breath before the plunge into infinity. Because a plunge into the gray is a plunge into a blue desert: Where all colors bleed into one. Where streets are soft rivers. Soft like my little heart here. I carry it in my palm.

Chapter 131: Goodbye, Blue Sky

MR. YLGU’S FAR-AWAY GUITAR : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is not here, I reserve the right to cry alone.

I WONDER IF , IF , IF what? à “Will I really find what I’m looking for?” I don’t say this, but my thoughts get so heavy sometimes they damn near fall off my head! Coz when The Red Whale pierced the bubble of that ocean, I got to clean the grin of The Whale from its baleen mouth all the way up to its snotty, little porpoise nose. It was then that I took a look cross the sea before we took the last plunge to infinity. It was really pretty. Then I went inside, combed my hair. It was wet.

“Ah,” said Ylgu not a moment before, overcoat buttoned. We were outside again. “Living for the wind in my face and the spray of the sea, and the warmth of a woman’s touch. The latter you don’t get so much on this boat, but if — dangit, I ruined your moment, didn’t I?”  Warmth of woman’s flesh: What’s that like? “

Aww . . . ” purred Ylgu. “That’s a pretty sentiment, now, aint it?” looking out. I sat down on the hull of The Whale, too full of gloom to scrape the fish shit and barnacles off it. I love the sea. It looks like shit to me. .

Mr. Ylgu says ya better move yer arse,’ said Murdoc in front of me, not knowing Ylgu was already there. ‘The Whale is almost finished sipping its last breath, ya know. Just wanted you to know.’ ~Hearts~Oh ahoy there, Murder! It’s nothing bad to me. Go ahead. Sink it. I’m in for a swim. Looky here! I brought water wings..”

I did bring water wings, though they weren’t for swimming. Murdoc spun me‘round. ‘Look, Alf. No kiddin!’ he said. ‘I didnae care if yeh be set free or not à and so fun to know. Hell! you know I’d set yeh free if I could. But even if I could free ya, it wouldn’t free ya from Ylgu coming back and catching you again. He really actually, sorta kinda, maybe . . He’s insane!

“I’m still here!” said Ylgu. .. and so I stopped with the fish shit, and my nose dilated. I wanted to ask him how he knew that I could even swim at all. Miss Angelou, why does the caged bird sing?

rest stop: J J J

T hen he dove down a watery light. Ylgu followed. Murdoc could be seen everyday, sitting on top of the tallest room in the highest tower, reaching out to a green light, muttering some damn obscenities under his damn breath.

I will not tell you what he said, only that it had something to do with real bad eggs and  . . . bring me that bloody horizon. Yo ho.’ He was a definite pirate to some, and a dweeb to me. I looked about my peripherals. The sky, in bloom. The water, so wet. A whole lotta water, and there’s just one boat here! I

followed him down the watery light. “This may be the last time I see your beauty, Surface World,” I said not two moments before. “Or feel your warmth, Sun.” Then I most dipped my hands into a fire of SHINY liquid blue. “You’re my new home now, I guess.” I tickled it. I went, “Goochey-goochey-goo.” Goodbye, blue sky.

Mr. Ylgu’s head popped out the snot hole of The Red Whale’s nose- (it had a mustache) -and he turned to me with the line “Mr. Manning,” he said right quick: “Don’t be late now. Punctuality is a à well, I’m not gonna give you a freakin’ Medal of Honor for it: But it’s a very good quality in a man. Now, get down here!” Feel it now: The pressure is swelling in your ears. Was, was, was

I

t’s migraine heaven down here.

Chapter 132: Don’t Tap the Glass.

MR. YLGU UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is up-close and personal, I reserve the right to celebrate.

WOULD I EVER see that again? “What is ‘that again’, Mr. Manning?” Ylgu said this below me as we climbed sleepily down the Blow Hole’s red ladder. “Be Pacific.” He meant, ‘specific’.

..(They say some travelers lost at sea and drained of thirst find this blow hole, mistaking it for a small island or a rescue boat full of coconut milk and hula girls; only for it to sink down after they plant foot and spear on its metallic red surface. -And no one ever lived to tell the tale thereafter, but then, where do the stories come, I wonder, if no one ever lived to tell the tale “ You are real. You are concrete.”?) I think the answer came in this voice: “Tell me, Abel, what is it that you desire?”.. for those are the last words the travelers lost at sea hear before their island oasis of coconut bras and hula girls sinks to the bikini bottom; (substituting your name for Abel, of course.)

“What is ‘that again,’ Mr. Manning?” said Ylgu, him stopping ohso abruptly and looking up into my drooling face as we climbed down the ladder from Snakes-and-Ladders.

My answer came to me without breathing: “Freedom.” I said this so I didn’t slur the words together.

“So I’ll get you a bigger room! No problem!” he said. “So you’re going to miss this surface world of yours,” he said once we had finally struck the metallic red floor. “And how, may I enquire, do you know for certain that you will never resurface again?” I think of yesterday: “Isn’t this our last plunge, you said it yourself?” I said this to him. “You said this was The Whale’s last breath.”

L L L :pots tser

WE STOOD NOW IN A BLACK freedom. There were no stars, no light, no space for air-oxygenated air molecule: Only a smell and a feel: That lemon-scent and Pledge furniture smell from my constant janitorial services and the feel of something rotting beneath your feet; maybe the corrosive smile of an old friend or the mocking scoff of an old so-and-so: A gorgeous ex calling you up on cell-phone and saying “My life’s terrific! I mean it now. I just paid my mortgage off.”

Well, you can’t very well say, “My house has foreclosed, I was recently a traveling hobo in a pink station wagon for the longest time, and now I’m a janitor for an underwater pirating expedition,” now can you? I had just recently received that call. In short, I’m having a very rough financial strain and a possible nervous breakdown. I’m also feeling rather lily-livered. I tried calling the police, but Ylgu took away my phone.

“Indeed it is, Mr. Manning .. We really are plunging into infinity. That is no question. Yet do not rule out all possibilities of ‘freedom’, baby. You might find that life in the ocean is exceptionally freeing.” I endeavored to punch him in the nuts. I didn’t. “There is more to this world and its light than what can be seen in the heavens, Mr. Manning,” and Ylgu grabbed for my shoulder, twisting it around, or some might say, he pawed for it.

Follow me.” Passing through red corridor with bone-columns on either side like barber shop poles, I spotted this large Wooden Door. A green light the color of Christmas emanated from two demon eyes in the door, glaring down at ya. I t’s not that they followed you when you walked alongside them, they didn’t.

They just made you seem very nervous and small, because they always seemed to look through and beyond you, and never directly at you, and I find that quite outstanding and rude. They never made eye contact. “Is that the light we were talking about?” Ylgu gained custody of my umbrella and shielded my body from the green, emanating light. “I didn’t mean for you to see that. How embarrassing. Pay no heed to it, Mr. Manning. It’s really not as big a deal as you think it is; I’d even go so far as to say it’s overrated.”

Like hell, it’s of no significance! I wanted to say. . I had felt something different. His voice produced a calm quality like the manners of a dinner party on a yacht. “Then why don’t you want me to see it?” I said, and tugged hard at his shirt cuffs. “Hey, c’mon, man! Give it back! Hey!”

Ylgu had taken my umbrella. Mr. Ylgu exhaled. Carefully examining it, he read into the dull yellow scraped on its hole-torn surface, the umbrella, and the two smiley faces stitched cruelly on either side: the one that smiled J , the one that frowned LWhy can I not decipher it? he said this morosely.

“give it back!”

rest stop: J J J

GEE, IT WAS A REAL swell party à and how! à but I was a little disappointed coz there was no freakin’disco ball. There was a stripper or two, but they were all men, and I really wasn’t in the mood for watching a man in a coconut bra and a hula skirt leap out of a cake made of meat. Plus, it was all just for pretend.

We reached the Mess Hall, with all the Shivring in their tall, ivory seat. Everyone was eating people meat. “Among male models, I’m about as hungry as Kate Moss,” I said this to Mr. Ylgu, but he said he didn’t like topical humor. It goes out of date. Most people didn’t probably know who Kate Moss was by now. He was shooting free-throws into a basketball hoop at the other end of the cafeteria.

I said, “Did you hear me? Am I funny?”

There were three times, and three times only on the Good Ship Orphan, for there were no clocks: Snack Time (apple juice and goldfish); Nap Time, and Story Time. Bedtime was an extended part of Nap Time and the food in the Mess Hall was all just one large Snack Time, so those didn’t count. .Those were the three Times as time passed us by. “You do not wish to partake of the Snorgrak? (“that is what they called their people stew in those days: Pronounced Snore-Grawk”)Ylgu said this to me, completing his last free-throw with a softball of fresh skull. He said, “Okee dokey then,” he said, “but you really must rest à rest your arms at least à I’ll be needing your arms: The throat, the legs, the inner thigh; the dangling unmentionables à all those can work out, but the arms at least à rest those.”

“I never see you eat more than a spoonful of Snorgrak, Mr. Ylgu.”

He waved me off, fanning himself at the same time: Deciding to do two things at once. Air-conditioning his pretty little hands. “Shush, kid. Don’t bother me.”

I looked out the window. It was a fish tank. Every fish there was in the ocean. “Do not stay too close to the window,” said Mr. Ylgu. He warned me stern once more and walked off to his place at the high-High-HIGH where he ate on the pedestal of a soap box all by his lonesome.

L L :pots tser

Life hates me. I asked for ketchup in the Mess Hall and they gave me a side of human face with applesauce. “I already fed you, ya ingrates!” Mr. Ylgu said presently, shaking a hangnail, and he stamped his high heels so he slipped on some spaghetti-like food and ended up laughing and shrugging a “What can you do?”

Stay away from the window, Mr. Manning,” he sternly warned me. “What: Don’t tap the glass or you’ll anger the fish. C’mon, dude! Lay off.” He backed off.

rest stop: J J J

T hen I pressed my face against the glass again and began tapping my finger against it so as the fishies and their various swimming excrement sausages could hear me.

Behind me, the Shivrings played pretend games of pirates and fairies and Indians and mermaids. I laughed at the window as Mr. Ylgu walked off, himself not appearing in the reflection of my laughs. Looking back towards the glass I saw a thousand suction cups (or maybe just forty, but that’s a lot too, izzn’t it?) the size of full-sized breasts plopping up against the glasses; and with these dozens of puss-filled eyes the size of large cheeses, and a sharp razor beak the size of a sharp razor beak. Uh. Was, was, was The cheese-sized eyes were staring right through me.

Chapter 133: Send out the Sperm

PEOPLE ALWAYS slack off in the middle.

By people, I mean me, because I am superbly egocentric. -These people, they think the beginnings and the ends are what most matter. What they don’t realize is that the middle makes up almost all of it. The beginning and the end is just the first four sentences! The middle is most of everything. Um.

This particular eye the size of a small house: This wasn’t the middle: This wasn’t most of everything. This wasn’t the beginning. This wasn’t the end. This was just the tiniest part of a giant thing that resembled a squid but probably mostly wasn’t. I’m not sure what part of it I was looking at at the time: In the big picture of the earth, the universe, the geography of an atom, and everything that comes with it, we’re not the center of the big picture: We’re not even in the middle of it.

Don’t be so egocentric. Do be egocentric. Have some self-esteem. We’re important, but we’re insignificant next to the power of the force. I mean, that something or someone powerful out there which binds à the universe à all together? Universal Fiber?

(It had a beak, wings, a tail, and a piggy nose. Wreathed in bubbles.) We’ll call it a squid for now. Anywho, I found out later I was in the exact middle of what would be the equivalent of the monster’s armpit, which isn’t the middle of anything at all*.

* odd place for a pick of eyes

Mr. Ylgu! It’s the Guardian of the Abyss, Abaddon, the Destroyer! It has suction-cupped itself onto the Red Whale in what appears to be the appearance of a à “Dude, I’m aware, I know, I’m not that stupid,” Mr. Ylgu said this calmly, then he said it quite vocationally, then he screamed, straightening his tux, while a large bald spot, hardly noticeable to the private eye, started to pulse on the back of his head as a few stray hairs the size of a grape leaf had fallen off his scalp, his hands shaking.

The immovable mountain said, “Like, who’s job, may I enquire, is it to detain The Guardian? Frickin-Ass!” There was a confusion in the midst of a tentacle bombardment. Send out The Sperm we captured, Bobby said. “That might jiggle them up a bit. Right-On,” Mr. Ylgu said, checking the 24 times on his watch minus the Mountain-Standard time. “And we do not want that Guardian thing to tamper with our little plunge now, do we? Oh no! “Send The Sperm out then. All of the little green ones.”

What does he mean by “Sperm”: Semen? He gonna giz all over that monster? J

rest stop: J J J

AND THE SPERM, RULERS OF THE OCEAN (NOT SEMEN OR ANY WHITE LIQUID THAT COMES out of a male shaft, but whales”) shot out of the stomach of The Red Whale and began to chew. Apparently, the squid thing didn’t like that. “ Don’t move,” Ylgu said, tranquil the way a puppy is when he meets another dog of the same gender. They’re not that tranquil then.. Well, then he was very moved. “NEPTUNE’S EYES HAVE CHALLENGED ME TO A STARING CONTEST, DARE I BACK OFF AND SAY I’M NOT IN THE MOOD FOR IT?” “Do NOT à ” he said again, and peed a little. “ à move. ”

I laughed the hysterical laugh of laughing. “ Don’t tell me it can’t see me if I don’t move because that’s just a little hard to believe in right now à

“You humor me with your smart-aleck rubbish, really, but let’s be serious,” he said. “ She sees you. And by the way she is seeing at you, I would say you are a good, fun supper: Or wait! but what time is it? Maybe her husband just left her after a juicy affair with a jellyfish or a mollusk. Always going for something with no backbone. When’s she ever going to learn? “All she needs is an island-sized spoon and a swimming pool of ice cream and that should set her down a detrimental cycle of weight-gain and–” before he could complete the joke the giant squid-like creature put her tentacles through the glass and pushed her beak through The Mess Hall, her dry mouth clicking, poking out its black pearl of a tongue towards me like she was to French kiss me in a very unpleasant manner, rocking the entire Red World!

“I was right!” said Mr. Ylgu. “Yay for me! It looks like she’s making a come-back and choosing her future mate. How would that work? Can she support children right now?-” He was still joking. But I didn’t laugh.Ylgu!” I said. “I’m not enjoying this juicy affair!”

“That must be one mean cunt.” Her tongue had already roped around me by now, nearly sapping the bones out my legs as she wrapped its girth about them so that I listened to them crack and sing. Mr. Ylgu’s scowl was very mean. “I told you not to stay too close to the window!” he said, waving meticulously behind him. “Children! Bar the stained-glass windows! Use chairs, utensils, pots; bones, knives, human excrement. Whatever you find close at hand!”

rest stop: J J J

I THINK AT THIS moment I asked him why he was going to save me and if so: Why? Mr. Ylgu answered the question I asked him a while back, if he was come to save me; he said, “Not you. Don’t be so egocentric. That Umbrella you have in your hands is a family heirloom! And Daddy wants it back.”

Chapter 134: What’s your name, my pet?

MR. YLGU UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is up-close and personal, I reserve the right, to holler out, “Oh, God!”

SO I SHOT the umbrella in Ylgu’s general direction. “HERE’S YOUR STINKIN UMBRELLA! IT’S USELESS ANYWAYS!” I tried to stay as true to that general-direction-plan as I could and throw it in the wide-roaming space Mr. Ylgu was taking up, I really did, but the damned thing wouldn’t bother!

As hard as I threw it, it flew speedily back to me, and clung to my pants. I asked my date* what in Neptune’s name was this umbrella doing at my feet I’m dodging. I asked her if she thought it might be a frickin boomerang, this umbrella. She said no, dear, I shouldn’t think so. And she asked me why I haven’t touched my garden salad.

* the squid I said ever so shovingly, “STOP PRESSURING ME, WOMAN!”

I must tell you it was very hard reserving a table that would seat her. Mr. Ylgu stepped between us just as we were discussing our futures and if we did have babies, what would the little squids look like, Ylgu laughing rapidly as we sipped our chardonnays, 1929, a very good year for pesticide; and he, Ylgu, bent down over me and said, “Excuse me, ye two lovers.” My lady squid nodded kind and said you’re excused, as Ylgu asked if he could step in and we said he could- WAS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?- only my lady said we shouldn’t dance much on account of her bunions were hurting, and so Ylgu sat down in our love booth and said to me, “So you see, Mr. Manning, I must have you in order to obtain Adam’s Edge.”

“IT’S JUST A STUPID UMBRELLA!”

What was really happening, besides the chardonnay, was I was struggling against the massive tongue of a she-beast called Leviathan, I think, beating the damned thing as hard as I could over her pretty little mouth with a mop. This was a terrible slap to her self-esteem and she cried thereafter. “Women,” said Abel with a mutated laugh “Ho-ho” and a shake of the head. “Always- um. . Actually, I-don’t-know-the-first-thing-about-women.” She smiled at me sardonically.

* * *

The Shivring, they began a certain dance with the tentacles involving much tact and playfulness to keep ‘out of the lava’ so to speak. Them gnawing and chewing at every part of the creature like it were sashimi. Some Shivrings got their faces sucked off from the tentacles or their spinal column ripped off by a few more tongues and swallowed by her many snapping parrot-beaks that just wouldn’t shut up!

rest stop: J J J

AS FOR MR. YLGU? LET US EXPERIENCE his side of the relationship. Leviathan shook her size at Mr. Ylgu. This part is supposed to be serious! Let’s pretend it is for a moment, though I’m not getting much oxygen to the brain right now from all this loss of blood, so you’ll have to bear with me. Geez!

“My pet Leviathan,” Mr. Ylgu said this listlessly-(meaning he said it in a manner that it could not be listed under any emotion or phone book)-and he said it softly. “You have been soà veryà naughty,” he said. “Betraying me and my children and all that sashimi à well, we are going to be sashimi at the rate you’re going: Sucking their faces off. Tsk, tsk. Bad squid! Bad! But how can I stay mad at you? Let’s off this silly betrayal of yours and put it behind us, and I promise I shan’t ever bring it up again.”

I don’t like to be laughed at, and I’m sure neither do you. Leviathan’s eyes turned serious white and she stopped trying to suck me into her beak or whatever, and I’m pretty sure if you looked close enough, you’ll see that a tear came to her eye or maybe it was because I sprayed pepper spray in that particular oval. That is, I think it was a tear. It’s a very comforting thought to think that stupid animals have people emotions too J “Give it now, ole girl,” Ylgu said this, reaching out his hand shortly, standing right in front of Leviathan’s beak so that her sultry breath poured over him in a flood of agonizing steam.

I looked up at Ylgu from where I was.And the old sweater vest who is attached to it,” said Ylgu. “They must both remain intact. Hand ‘im over too.” Leviathan flared up in anger, and out came a long, purple tentacle towards Mr. Ylgu to suck his face off, but he hopped over it. She sent another, like an old man writing Christmas letters to his family, and Ylgu rolled under it. She sent a third letter of contempt. He sliced it in pomegranate halves, so many tiny, flesh-red seeds popped out of the halves. And that was just the thing, this dreadful slicing in half business: With what INSTRUMENT did he perform the slicing and dicing?

rest stop: J J J

Ylgu gripped the umbrella in my hand, as attached to his hand. “But why does it only work when Manning carries it?” Ylgu asked this out loud.. “As insignificant as he is, so insecure and so weak?”

“That’s not a normal gigantic squid, is it?” I said this and paused in my reasoning.

“Who said she was a giant squid?” he said. “She’s no squid. She is Leviathan! Fine, she’s a squid, but a really special one,” then he cracked it on the head. It didn’t work. “Forget that. We do have The Sperm on our side, you know, and she must be punished for her outrage.”

rest stop: J J J

THE FIRST Bobby or Suzy that gets to the lever! Hey you! Yeah, you’ll do! Send out The Sperm!” Ylgu didn’t say this. Murdoc said this. Ylgu said, “IT’S MY JOB TO GIVE ORDERS. AND ANOTHER THING, MURDOC! Ughhh.” I don’t want you to think Mr. Ylgu actually meant to say “Ughhh,” so I’ll just show you what he was seeing.

See, there was a thingy suction-cupped to his leg so that the whole leg boiled off. Do you see that? It was fed by the tentacles into one of the many purple parrot beaks, where it was then regurgitated and shared. Piggy nose, sniffling.

From Mr. Ylgu: “Really!” and a bit of blood rolled off his lip, because that was his favorite leg and he had bitten his lip at the pain of losing it. And he wiggled his finger just the same as he had warned me to stay away from the window, and that ink: An ink with intelligence; an ink of monsters. Presently, Mr. Ylgu kept to his temper, which was the few thing(s) about him I really admired.

rest stop: J J J

AS LEVIATHAN STARED RIGHT AT YLGU, YLGU stared back, or some might say, he stared shoulder-to-shoulder at her, balancing himself on the one leg he had left, looking at her like she was nothing more than a packet of sauce trying to nibble off his other leg. I wanted to say cmon stupid. I want to say your freakin leg’s off! I wanted to, but I was in a frightful loss of blood and words, and all I could say was that I saw Mr. Ylgu wielding me like a knife as I struggled away, though I didn’t really crawl away as much as I did freak out! I must have said something about his freakin’ leg and its coming apart, because he said to me, he practically announced it, “ ‘Tis but a scratch!”

For the hard of hearing, I will put up readable captions for my bubbles of thought on display: DON’T YOU FEEL PAINT!? I meant ‘pain’ I think. IT’S A VERY COMMON HUMAN EMOTION! Come to think of it, his leg had gott’n blown off before: How’d he get the other leg back? He looked back at me in a bitter way, him saying, “Stuff,” he said things, “Things,” he said; and he lifted me off the ground with an arm and a tentacle. “You are Adam’s Edge: His rightful heir, you get that? For the time being, you must lend me your interior strength, my shining little star.” And so it should be said that Mr. Ylgu began to hop his way towards the singular largest eye of Leviathan: That middle part I may have mentioned before. Was, was, was

Chapter 135: In which the Sperm make quick      delight. Scratch that. Reverse it  ..

MR. YLGU UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is up-close and personal, I reserve the right to reserve rights to stuff.

HAVE YOU EVER watched a kitten play with a ball of yarn?

This  was  nothing  like  that. The metaphor stays. W as it analogy? W as it an allegory? There was no one there educated to know.. This was more like a man, hopping mad, into the eye of a big fish thing; it was nothing like the metaphor. Well, the analogy? Adam’s Edge? I wanted to ask this asking to Mr. Ylgu as he lugged me across the floor by one arm. Do you mean my father? I wanted to say to him.

Originally Mr. Ylgu would have grunted in a meticulous manner, like it was the hardest thing in the world to do to acknowledge me! Now, he sorta smiled.  Tell me, Ylgu. Did you know father? Stitching a needle and a thread through the baby doll wound in his arm, he laughed out and “Belch,” he said. “That monkey’s a joke, a fool, and a failure. You know, I really am glad I à ” he got hit again. “So Leviathan is sending another tentacle our way, let’s see if we can’t catch it,” and Mr. Ylgu participated in a round of chuckling, and screamed like a woman’s scream, cupping painted nails to his head, as he resounded his fearless battle-cry: “Not in the face!”

Another tentacle attempted to grapple us in its love grip, but Ylgu swung me and my freak-show umbrella over at the tentacle and it sliced into the halves of a leaf. Dozens more were sent our way, but each one Ylgu sliced in the halves of various sweet fruits, him slowly making his way towards the Great Eye of Leviathan, stuffing pouring out his ovaries.

rest stop: J J J

DO YOU REMEMBER being born? This was kind of like that, only backwards. .Actually, it wasn’t. Now, right now, I collapsed into a trance: and pieced back together in a thousand jigsaw puzzle pieces.. And my mind and my body, these trivialities were sucked up into a bubble made from the banana yellow umbrella drifting out peaceably from The Whale and to the Blue World, where Chaos raged.

.deg.ar soahC erehw edistuo dlroW eulB eht

(“Hello? Hello.”)

A word of warning to the faint of heart: If you would like to make a call, please hang up and try again. If you need kelp, hang up and then dial your operator. I look and I look and I watch this: I watch the rumble between the Blue Colossus, Leviathan, and a militia of sperm whales as birthed from the underbelly of The Red Whale. Multitudes of warring fish face off against a creature BIGGER than even The Good Ship Orphan what gave me night frights à twice the size and growing exponentially in figures of fives and threes each time it sucked a whale into one of its seven beaks.

.skaeb neves sti fo enO

(“How many decimal places?” / “-About four.”)

In that dazzling yellow bubble I am drifting about like an electric current through telegraph wires: Tap-a-tap-tap: S.O.S. They need bigger words than those smaller words we have in our American-English dictionary: huge, giant, titanic; colossal, massive; we toss these words about so carelessly everyday to describe such things they have lost some meaning, so I will make up my own word: I call this one — bigmundo. Anywho, the whales attacked Leviathan, and Leviathan attacked the whales.. But enough about that. That’s boring. Looky here: The Good Ship Orphan’s big guns shot out sperm whales out of a giant à you know. Mr. Ylgu had a whole aquarium full of hammer head sharks with heads like gavels too.

rest stop: J J J

HAVE YOU EVER been to the bottom of a pool before?

Scratch that: Have you ever tried imitating an octopus or a squid, diving down, down in frog kicks and ink jets where no one can hear you?.. holding your breath, pretending to die? Did you enjoy this? Am I a psychiatrist? .. No!!

But I enjoy asking this! I cannot say many do enjoy pretending to drown, though some say drowning is the most beautiful feeling in the world! Your lungs fill up for the first three quarters of it, and it hurts to not breathe for a while, yes, but once all the pain is over, those that have nearly drowned and lived to brag about it say it’s the most peaceful, wonderful feeling they have ever yet experienced!!

Even than sex? No! Why ever? They tell me I should try it! Stay with me now.

I always imagined doping myself up, slicing my wrists, and throwing myself to the sharks in a distant, uncharted ocean and watching the sharks take me apart without having to have that strange, uncomfortable feeling of being eaten alive. I say that’s the way to go, if there ever was a way. Or jumping insane, backwards, off the Empire’s State Building, and counting how many times I back-flip before I hit a car. I say, that is the way to go.

It was time these whales went themselves, and as you may very well know, whales are air-breathing animals, they don’t breathe in water: They hold their breath. Fish breathe water. Whales breathe tree gas. Now, right now, they too were experiencing the most beautiful feeling in the world.. Many more of these whales got jammed in the clockworks of tentacles, struggling upwards to receive air à spilling white blubber. A surgeon could make a lot of breasts from that blubber. You can just imagine how long this went on. The militia of Sperm Whales. Their tyrannosaur teeth. Dinosaurs!

L L L :pots tser

I went inside.

Chapter 136: “Merry Christmas to all! Now you’re all gonna die!” / or / Which old Witch?

GOOD, JOLLY GOOD,” SAID A TALKING, floating head. YOUR ARM! I wanted to say.

“It can be replaced,” Ylgu said, hovering now in the place of the Eskimo pies; and as I said, he was a man who knew how to laugh a good thing off even as that salty, gooey red stuff called blood spurted out of that mangled stub. “Now lend me your arm, kid.”

SOUNDTRACK 22: Alice Cooper’s “I’m Eighteen” (figuratively speaking, of course)

VERSE 1: Lines form on my face and hands /

Lines form from the ups and downs /

I’m in the middle / without any plans /

I’m a boy and I’m a man /

No way, I wanted to say to Mr. Ylgu. It’s my arm mine please! “The Umbrella,” he said quickly, and his palm stretched out, enlarged, grew in size so that it became a mountain: “Hand me the Umbrella.”

CHORUS 1: I’m eighteen / and I like it!

I looked to Ylgu, not so much up to him as I did look down on him, for, as I have said before, the only thing I admired about Mr. Ylgu was his ability to laugh off desperate moments. He said, “THE UMBRELLA!” So I handed Mr. Ylgu my hand and he made a terrific, sweeping blow towards the tentacle, advertising the Wonder Blade’s technological finesse: It slices, it dices, it blows the motherfuckin squid to pieces!!

rest stop: J J J

BOOYAH,” MR. YLGU MAY OR MAY HAVE NOT HAVE said this, but he did. I told him to admit it, and he said he was all very shamed about it. He killed the monster!!!

How he did it: he carved his way straight up to the single most biggest eye of Leviathan. Wow! Let’s watch while it happened. He was staring right into the eye that stared back at him, and trembled at his calamitous approach. It screamed four-mouthed with hate and puss and an exploding ooze, they were itching to kill. The piggy nose, sucking.

He cracked yet another bottle of wine on a nearby coffee table, forcing the creature to screech back in squid speech and squirt a jet of ink into Mr. Ylgu’s face which bubbled off large quantities of skin with the corrosive smell of rotten fish and not a brush of toothpaste. At this, Mr. Ylgu giggled a Ho-ho-ho Merry Christmas!

He swept the Umbrella up in one powerful swipe of godly strength with me caught up by the arm and said now in a warm and metallic voice: “I’m here to spread your Christmas cheer à from here to the fuck of July. Seasons greetings!” and with that, he unfurled the banana yellow umbrella so it shone at the tip with that bright, green glow of a Christmas tree just wrapped up in your living room, with lights; all this melted into my arm as he held it just. . still; so that the Umbrella was my arm and my arm was the Umbrella. . It worked! It hurt.

(“So how did you escape?” / “Escape what?” / “You know. From the squid.” / “Who said we escaped? Who said anyone did?” / “Cmon, you did escape! You’re here talking to me right now. Cmon!” / “I thought you were talking about something else. Oh, well. What happened is I’m trying things out. What happened is…”)

L L L :pots tser

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A HAPPY ending to a school play before? You can admit that you were. I’ve never known an ending to be happy, though I’ve heard rumors that a few stray endings are. Are they? I think they are..

Watching the ending of Leviathan, I have a hard time trying to find out if this was a happy ending or a sad one: Leviathan, no one cared about her, do you? Let’s say she had to be the villain in this case, so for us it’s a very happy ending: Ding-dong! The witch is dead! Which old witch? The wicked bitch.

Flip it the other way around and see it through her first-person view: No, let’s not do that. That would take too long, and you might head-ache! She was just a dumb old toad anyways.

Time passed me by, gave me the slip, took a large portion of my life, and as soon as the word “Guella Gaal,” came out of Mr. Ylgu’s throat, the two smiley faces on the umbrella glowed fiery green; one frowned L , the other smiled J , and out of their mouths shot a bolt of liquid Green and Blue light the shape of a strand of peach hair I saw on the moon one wintry night. Intergalactic. Pow! Insanity..  Instantly Leviathan disintegrated, coming into crumbs. What was left of Leviathan boiled over, turning into nothing more than a thick pile of slop. And a piggy nose. If you were to see this from outer space, you’d notice the sea had turned to dimples. A little dimple in the ocean there. Yes, you. Right there. I went back to sleep and dreamt of somewhere over the rainbow where there are no wicked witches and ruby slippers are for everyone.. Was, was, was

echo. for every boy and girl. 33

rest stop: J J J

VERY COMPOSED, AND BEING of sound mind and stronger body, Mr. Ylgu giggled out his thoughts: “Good show, Manning! Smashing pumpkins! The Guardian of the Abyss blown apart by the hand of our most humble janitor! I think that’s great!”

How much do they pay me to be their little jerk? Room and board and human scraps, right?

A voice said below: ‘Ey! Mr. Ylgu!’ I thought about flowers. . “Enlighten us, Mr. Murdoc: What now?” Ylgu looked at Murdoc’s shoes, they were dozens of stories below, near the dungeon, and him looking back right at Mr. Ylgu: It being very hard to tell which way was up and which was down; all the playful, throbbing red blood veins of corridors changing their geography all the time like a possessed hedge maze. How are we not drowned by now?

“Look over yonder,” said one Shivring. Where the looking glass once was now was a bubble of green electric, keeping the ship all together, holding the water back with its patience. It planted a tree there with the roots transparent, spreading fingers from it. “That, Mr. Sir àYlgu laughed maddeningly, releasing my arm from the prison of his grip. “is the power of that trinket you got there. And it’s not cheap.”

Mr. Igloo!’ this message brought to you by Murdoc: ‘We’re closin in on the Whale’s Cavern now. Mr. Ylgu winced at the apparent mispronunciation of his name, and said sperm whales come there to that underground cavern like it was singles bar. This implied mating. He said it was a happenin spot. A pause for no other reason than to increase dramatic tension. “Yes: Unplug the ocean’s drain plug. We must swim through it! To the bottom of the Bering Strait!”

He raised one arm in triumph and one of the Bobbies, a stupid one, threw a towel at him. He actually needed a towel, and so, was not ungrateful.

“What’s at the bottom of the Bering Strait?” So clutching my throbbing bones, I examined the green and blue smiley faces which had poked their curious, sniffing noses out my skin in a compound fracture of splintered bone and I almost liked it better that way. It made me look like a badass.

Mr. Ylgu turned about on one leg and hopped and hopped and fell, was lifted back up on his feet by trembling hands, and hopped once more, turning around only quick enough to say goodbye with a wave of his one baby doll arm, empty of stuffing now: “Babies, I must retire to my cabin. But first! Please do lend me a hand. Clap for me, my minions! I did great, didn’t I?” This time, he did the passing out. He passed out and out.

Chapter 137: Alice Underwater, Alice in Chains

MR. YLGU’S FAR-AWAY GUITAR : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is not here, I reserve the right to be a bad ass.

MR. YLGU DID get his arm and a leg back. How he got them, I don’t know. The arm and the leg he had now didn’t look the same as the arm and leg he had before. They were not the same size or color nor nothing, but they worked some-“how?”. Those weren’t his limbs, really, and they hardly worked. But they worked. Ya think? J Shut up. LWanna descend, Mr. Igloo?’ Murdoc said this, and said, “Okay!” to himself. And made for a very happenin place.

rest stop: J J J

MR. YLGU UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is up-close and personal, I reserve the right to sigh about things that make you wanna gas.

WE LAUNCH yesterday,” Mr. Ylgu said, not without massaging his temples. Pressure is rising. . Don’t look down just now ! There was a shriek.

And the plummeting Red Whale, bullied and bruised from Leviathan, became an air-breathing water mammal that slowly fell like a, like a slow rain. I watched it plummet into an underwater ass crack, it creaking and collapsing under the pressure.. Murdoc whistled a melody and Ylgu finished it, Murdoc stopping after Ylgu finished while Murdoc walked away.

I say, Mr. Red?”

“What, baby? .. ” he answered me thusly as he gave out orders to all the various Bobbies and Suzies what stumbled over and over each other. “Ask and you will receive,” he told me between smothered bites of his bread. He was chewing a BLT. Bitch, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich. It was made of hairless dog. Can the Red Whale really make its way through that narrow of a crack? “Indeed it can and it shall, Mr. Manning. Now please don’t task me. Orders must be given and it is I who give them: I didn’t want to be the one to give orders, but, you see, my orders come from below, and their orders come from somewhere else, and it goes on and on, down and down, and the orders never end ‘til Satan: Have you ever met your boss’s boss of a boss? Of course not! Neither have I ! I swallowed so hard I darn near swallow my teeth. “Eh, I dono,” he said before I could produce vowel, or consonant. “How ‘bout you take the night off and we sleep on it?”

rest stop: J J J

W ith a great insucking of breath, everything began to bend inward, sucking sideways into itself. The Whale shrunk. Adjusting in size and shape to the shape and size of the Strait. Sometimes the size of a blue whale, sometimes the size of a can of tuna fish; sometimes the size of an ocean itself, but that’s impossible! and us becoming microscopic titans and titanic amoebas with its reckless size-changing, while its fat head weaved its ways through dark passages illuminated by the solitary glow of a single star light. Maybe The Red Whale was alive..

Size has always been an issue #1 with FANTASY à ever since Alice accepted the little phial’s advice to Drink Me.. No one ever knew what was in what Alice drank, or what Alice was thinking if she didn’t happen to think every little think she ever thinked out loud, but if I were to make a guess, it was pumping through our veins right now.

Mr. Ylgu, he didn’t exactly write me a love letter after that, so I asked him if he loved me, and if he didn’t, would he still let me leave this place? “No.” So I eased nearer the oozing flame of light emanating from a glass window- everything had been repaired- and watched the entire Dark World of the Strait through the flaring enlightenment of it all. I counted the fish out the window.

Fish that were eyeless, mouthless, earless, finless, even gilless, or maybe I’m making that part up.

Fish with glowing antennae attached to their foreheads like a great cosmic zit fit to burst!!Fish with the serpentine bodies of eels, glistening like thunder, and the sensual dance moves of an artist.

rest stop: J J J

THE RED WHALE FOUND a cave. The Red Whale fit inside. “Splenda! I mean, splendid!” Ylgu said this; and he said, “Shall we be off then? Alright. On through the Whale’s Mouth, kids!” Everyone went outside to play. Me, I was going to head out with them too, but a hand grabbed my shoulder, or some might say it was a hook.

L L L :pots tser

MR. YLGU ’S NEW HAND, SEWN on and burned at the seams; it wasn’t a hook. “Mr. Manning,” he said. “Take a load off. Stay aboard! It’s boring out there.”

Here’s one thing you might have noticed standing there in: He forgot to paint the fingernails on his new hand. He probably hadn’t accepted it as a part of his body yet. I said, “What’s out there that concerns you?”

“Why, it’s the secret of the Blue Desert!” he answered, not the normal tone to his voice, then pressed my nose with the finger of his old hand: “ Honk, Honk*.”

* like a clown nose.

Eventually, Mr. Ylgu and the majority of his crew had poured the flood of themselves the hell out the Red Whale, leaving me alone to the Silence. But I can’t stand the Silence. The Silence hurt the quiet of my mind. I need noise, I starve without it! It’s boring in there! Oh, Mr. Ylgu! said a Trembling voice.  And from the carrier who voiced it, a form of grace stumbled from out a dark chasm the color of milk in a bowl of black juice, where the Dungeon was supposedly kept. Mr. Ylgu, wait! You didn’t give me time enough to pack! he said, and sprinted quickly upwards through a corridor like strips of veined celery broke-n in halves.

Follow The Straggler and he will lead you to a very cool destiny.

You should check it out!!

“Huh?” I said this, looking for the jerk who said it. Who’s there?”

Precisely. I’m a ghost or something like it. You catch on quick. Now follow the dude already.

I must be crazy. Now I’m hearing italicized voices. And the Straggler scuttled into corridors like strips of veined celery, still begging for Mr. Ylgu and the others to Wait!; and shivering myself, I snuck up behind him, hidden in the dusk of their shadows. Was, was, was

Chapter 138: déjà vu edited

MR. YLGU’S FAR-AWAY GUITAR : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is not here, I shoot myself for lack of something outrageous.

It looked like a termite’s colony down here. Everything was burrowed out. I followed the voices.

Chapter 139: Think of the children. They can be very useful in small places: Coal mines and such

MR. YLGU’S FAR-AWAY GUITAR : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is not here, my life just isn’t complete.

I found a prison. Y oung men and women by a number grim incalculable were kept neck-deep in a brown water that burned your nose to sniff it. The kids were kept in separate cages than the young men and women. Just dry hay and padded walls like the inside of a McDonald’s Play Place. The floor bounced when you stepped on it; it wasn’t stone. In the core of where all the kidz were kept was what looked like an olive tree all gay and white, where at the base, was a sign that said, “Not for eating.” Where they slept on a puddle of grass, the lawn bubbled like water in a pot.

rest stop: J J J

Zzzz . . .” said a sleepy Shivring on guard. “Don’t know how this thing works, but à !” I

shouted my super-hero war cry: “LET’S MAKE A DIFFERENCE!” My umbrella flashed like a shiny object! The two Shivrings, they just laughed at me in alphabetical order, the Dumb one laughed first, the more Dumb laughed twice, and the big guy scowled and took a step forward: “Settled in nicely, have you?” I’m curious: What the hell are you gonna do after Ylgu beats you until you pray to God that he stops beating you, Abel? Are you gonna — regret that you attacked us ? Cmon and get it over with, then. We’re missing the part where Dory and that stupid clown fish find Nemo… They were watching a movie.

I shouted heroically, “Shoot! I probably shouldn’t tell you, then. I already hit you four times in the ankles.” I took a stand: “Is that a bad thing?” 

They both fell down and started puking. It probably sorta hurt them, I also hit them in the pants. What if I killed you? a small man behind this said real testy like, and braced himself with a pig-snort through his nostrils. He was a bully.

I tried to blast them with a death ray, even making sound effects like “Bang!” and “Shazaam!” and “Flame on!” and “Lumos!” and the most magical one of all “Black power!” but none of it worked. I really thought the last thing was going to do it too, since I saw it work for those sprinters on TV. What were their names? They sure are famous without us knowing what their names are. I wanted to be like those sprinters on TV, black and powerful. This killed the small man in front of me..

rest stop: J J J

Before all this happened, the big guy put his arms ‘round my arms and held me still, and said I admire your persistence, Sir. You look cute trying to save the world and all that!but he died a lot on account of my shooting umbrella, and that’s right with me. I told them they were dead already, but they were past that stage of death and went back into denial, bargaining..

rest stop: J J J

The bug-eyed children hung their heads, and crawled back twards the dark. Another Dumb Shivring came out of the darkness, and said,

Chapter 140: I never knew a more Wonderful bastard

YOU SEE, YOUNGSir,” the Dumb one explained to me. “The Shivring do not fear Mr. Ylgu. On the contrary, we think Mr. Ylgu is a big doo-doo head à

Yippeee!” Murdoc leapt in, hitting them both on the head. They knocked together like the knockers of your sister’s boobs. That doesn’t offend you, does it? Sure, they were unconscious. I thought they were dead just a minute ago. Maybe one or two of us had died. I looked to Murdoc, who breathed real fire. “Oh ahoy there, Murder, you wonderful bastard!” I said. He led me back to the Orphan. He took me to the boat again. “You know the power you have over the crew.” I know my power..

Chapter 141: Gotta catch ‘em all! Pokémon

MR. YLGU UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is up-close and personal, I pee a little.

Mr. Ylgu said something about collecting the children from all seven continents. He often danced in his shoes. They followed his pied piper. Well, they liked his voice. It sounded a lot like Tim Curry’s from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. In fact, if he was played by anybody in a movie, it’d be Tim Curry from 1975. He’d get five awards from it from me, and none from the critics.

Chapter 142: Because he’s a jolly good     fellow, and he dances well

MR. YLGU’S FAR-AWAY GUITAR : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is not here, he’s probably somewhere else.

Mr. Ylgu says he wants to see you.Was, was, was

“Well, I hope he’s ready for a long list of complaints and janitorial expenses. Send him in.”

He’s not goin ter meet yeh in yer friggin janitor’s closet! Don’t be a silly man. Yeh’ll have ter go ter him.

“Well, I hope I don’t inconvenience him.”

You’ll find e’s quite a good-natured fellow, even when e means yeh arm. Huh-arm? Harm? Is tha how yeh say it? Even when he means yeh huh-arm?

Was, was, was

Chapter 143: But Seriously, Folks . . .

MR. YLGU UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is up-close and personal, he’s right here with me.

MR. YLGU SAT real tall and proud on his Ivory Pedestal until I realized his pedestal was a toilet, then he flushed and apologized for the noise, then took me to his other meeting place. He smiled down on me, struggling to fit his clumsy new leg over the top of his bulky old one.

The new leg looked withered and rotten and thin as a scarecrow, and the new arm was wrapped in something resembling a scarlet bandage, which might have been a white bandage at first, though I’m never quite sure. His was a wooden face: Mr. Ylgu’s grim, dissatisfied mouth smiling. He took a drag of something bottled. “Dizzy water,” he called it. The Shivring stood shivering in a cold that wasn’t there.

And Murdoc? I never really know when that guy comes and goes: Always ‘Something ‘portant ter attend to’ with him. “Who are you?” I said this to Mr. Ylgu. “I’m a total card,” he told me. He coughed like a wet blanket. He sneezed like a train. With calm, shivering fingers, he pronounced eloquently,

“Why, I am the Redeemer of Orphans, and you are quite welcome for having sought that answer.” And he bowed slightly in a manner imperceptible. “Their one and only Saviour, that’s what I pride myself as! That, and that alone, Mr. Manning, is who I am. Not Jesus Christ, no! But Judas Christ! “Too much for you?”

You don’t save anyone. You killed Jesus, you whore! Um.

My voice sounded small, weak, bits, insignificant; shreds. The only voice that really seemed to matter was the resonant, deep, warm, and appeasing. The grandfatherly voice of old, kindly Mr. Ylgu! “That is your view, Mr. Manning, of course. And I have mine! Always consider one’s alternatives, Manning, that is something one must always keep to heart. A whore, you say? Never. I killed Jesus? No! I woulda stood up, and saved him!” All these, lies of course. “Keep an open mind, mind you. This is the new millennium. We’re past all that nonsense about rights and wrongs, heroes and villains: The individual creates her own version of truth and reality. Let’s talk about the theory of relativity: my own. If I say it is wrong for one such as yourself to stop me from creating orphans, then what you do is sin in my eyes. You cannot impose your version of reality on my version: We’re all right, all the time, which makes you wrong, every time. A whore? You’re always wrong. I’m always right. A whore?! When everyone’s right, no one is! That’s how the new system works. I think it’s a good one, don’t you?” He led me to a throne and gavel. The Shivring standing in the seats of nobles and gentlemen, jury and fraud, they gathered round.

L L L :pots tser

So!” he said. “My way is simple: Pure: Good,” Ylgu said this, still with that permanent smile scarred into his face. “All one must do to understand my way is to live in it and observe the fruits. “History has shown us that parents often abuse their children and release them from their nest into a society that they are neither capable nor prepared for. I make sure my children are trained extensively so as to avoid that fright. Culture has shown us that children are often led in the tendency to err, to rebel, to give fall and hate and rebellion! breeding mutineers against their parents and stripping them of all their powers to discipline, to instruct, to provide order!” He became suddenly quiet: Reverent; and sitting back primly down, “I intend that my children know order and live orderly. Yet society! Oh society!” His fist made a hole in the air.

How she rots and corrupts her children by her many impurities and toxic environs! She has been a naughty mother, a most bad and ill and corrupt father!!” Then he became tender as the night, beckoning me to join him off to a Ferris-wheel-lit carniv-al. “I intend that my children remain pure just as they were when they were fresh from the womb: hot and steaming.”

Murdoc stared at the back of Ylgu’s head and took on the appearance of one who wanted to do something à  if it was just to turn Status Quo on its top before what was crazy became what was normal becomes what was lost, memory, put away! He was crying.

“And that is why the Shivring call it the Good Ship Orphan, not the bad, we’re not bad: In my first perspective view, you’re the villain trying to stop me from spreading my Christmas cheer,” this Ylgu said, and he coughed into the dry cove of an armpit, then saying: “I think we fail at times to see life through anything other than the 1st perspective. You see, the Shivring are grateful for me.” He placed his new scarecrow hand gently withering over his heart; then saying, “Gratitude is exchanged to me in the form of servitude for me rescuing them from their filthy, idiot parents. However,” and he explained point-counter-point: “If I had not intervened, these poor, poor innocents, these mere kids, why,these babies of my own fruits, they would have been contaminated by the outside poisons of society and the moral refuse of this world, and never have received my hug. I am only protecting them from those poor, poor ignoramuses that mean them huharm, as Murdoc so aptly put it.” I say, Mr. Ylgu? “Ask away, my precious, my indispensable, the most magnificent Mr. Manning; Heir of Adam!!”

L L L :pots tser

I said, “You make it sound like it was a freakin’ burden to take in all these kids from all 7 continents, mess around with their genetics, and make the mutants slave over you.”

“You call what you do moral,” I said, and I made a move at him. “ I call it lies. I call it manslaughter,” I said, I said,I call it kidnapping!I call it à

“MR. MANNING! Please do Shh. Shh. Be cool as beans now, baby: Quiet. Not when the children are sleeping,” said Ylgu, standing up quickly, a finger to his lips, but suddenly doubling over back into his toilet. The Shivring were snoring on their heads. What a jury. He said, “Do give my ways a try.” And then, you’re never going to believe it ! but I passed out into his arms. I think he put his spell on me. . I’m getting much used to this passing out thing. . Some might call it a hobby. Was, was, was

Chapter 144: The Trial

MR. YLGU UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is up-close and personal… May-bells sing! Mr. Manning. Manning ! Can you hear me?

“Who is it? Is this

Jesus, come to save me?”

Tis ludicrous, Mr. Manning, to follow a light bulb or a fire fly. Are you mad?

Huh? I say, who is this? Is this a wrong number? Hello!”

Let me show you my ways, who I am.

Now, right now , I saw a dazzling vampire in white. “Where am I?” His lips, parted, his tongue run dry against the perforated edges of his cheek; he looked around.

You can control this world, Mr. Manning. With Adam’s Edge, everything can be better! All you have to do is use it.

Huh?” was my thought here.

SOUNDTRACK 21: Alice Cooper’s “No More Mr. Nice Guy”

VERSE 1: I used to be such a sweet, sweet thing /

Till they got a hold of me /

I opened doors for little old ladies /

I helped the blind to see . .

L L L :pots tser

One was a Vampire Zombie Hobo (VZH), the other was a Demon-Angel Giant (DAG). Okay, this next part gets confusing, so you’ll have to stay with me. Vampire Zombie Hobo, or VZH, equals Abel. Demon-Angel Giatn, or DAG, equals Mr. Ylgu. Okay. Keep this in mind… THE VZH AND THE DAG HUNG right-side down. And they fell. Are we really falling?

“Steamy,” he said. “Don’t be such a funny old man!” laughed the DAG* from upside-down, which may have really been right-side up, but there really are no directions in space: East is black and down is cherry pie. “Control is what it is,” he said, and the DAG gripped the VZH** with a forceful pinch on the wrist and the VZH’s entire body began a path of violent self-destruction.

* Demon-Angel Giant, Ylgu ** Vampire Zombie Hobo, Abel

I got no friends ‘cause they read the papers / They can’t be seen with me

. . The sky evaporated. “Dude,” said the VZH, who may or not be confused with VCR at this moment. “Stop now!” said the Vampire Zombie Hobo. Please,” said the VZH. “It hurts.”

And I’m getting’ real shot down /

And I’m feelin’ mean

Meanwhile, The Demon-Angel Giant had floated down and flapped the seven wings on his back till he became eyelevel with the old, outdated VZH. He stepped out of a cloud. “ Control can hurt, young Mr. Sir, it must, it’s got to!” said the DAG from his dreamy, languid position and he yawned unapologetically, mouth snapping off from its hinges three-feet wide and tall as a hippo’s jaws, just large enough to gobble up the VZH in one insucking of breathing. Then clicking his jaws: “However, I think you’ll learn to enjoy it with me as your Instructor. Please do look down. It really does look like a blueberry from here, I promise you! Take a seat, any thunderhead or cirrus cloud gone astray will do! The landing’s not that bad, it’s the fall that does it, whatever it may be!

“.eb yam ti revethw . . .”

The VZH did look down à eventually . .. The speck of dust called Earth really did look like a blueberry from up here! only dirtied up by great tracks of muddy footprints called continents and these great swirly-twirly spider webs of cerulean cream and tar called weather, walking over the surface of the small piece of sweet fruit so the blue became hidden behind all the waste. .Dusk was ripening.

CHORUS: No More Mister Nice Guy /

No more Mister Clean /

No more Mister Nice Guy /

They say he’s sick, he’s obscene-hene-hene-hene!

L L L :pots tser

N ot an adult in sight. “What’s the catch?” said the VZH. “Transformation, Mr. Manning,” said the DAG. “That is also a part of Control ! Would you say you had any in all your long life? you could be an ocean-breather*. You could have the heavens as your sippy-cup. * a marlin.

VERSE 2: I got no friends ‘cause they read the papers /

They can’t be seen with me /

The VZH made a motion with his hand in the air as if to say You mean to say!! à And I’m feelin’ real shot down / And I’m getting’ mean / The DAG smiled warmly, hair the color of water when it’s good; snapped his fingers and the seven wings on his back-(one wing with an injured feather)-these all clung thickly to his body and became a flesh-colored tuxedo.

And he seized the VZH by his shoulder and made a second motion with his hand that described the field of Jupiter around them: “You have the ability to direct the bones of this world, to press pause or play on the remote button, to fast-forward, to rewind,” said the DAG. “To sink deeply into your own dreams and mold the world the way you would wish it!” and he gripped the VZH tightly by his fingers so that the blood ran to his forehead and the dizziness. “At your command!” said the DAG: “You can decide the color clothes we wear, the species of people we should visit, the way the clouds tickle past your cheekbones as you monitor us all from above, should you desire; or even who should talk to you or who should not talk to you! People will love you, great and small, from the fleas in your hair to the boogers in your nose. You decide, you decide it all! Even the moment you have an orgasm, twice a night, you decide; and no clumsy, butter fingers à no mess à no spill up! This is your size shoe fits all; whichever size you want, if you’re smelling what I’ve stepped in. Does it smell good to you ?

So you’re saying, I can have everything? Anyone?” the VZH said this quietly as they walked side by north, hand eclipsed in hand, shoulder to pelvis*, one eye down on the children as they passed him West. A string of drool slipped off the rim of the old man’s mouth and dribbled down his chin.

* the VZH’s shoulder was at the DAG’s pelvis.

CHORUS: No more Mister Nice Guy /

No more Mister Clean /

No more Mister Nice Guy /

They say he’s sick, he’s obscene-hene-hene-hene!

L L L :pots tser

They were soon in a field of potential adults. THE DAG SQUEEZED the VZH’s hand now, and all at once the children screamed in agony and convulsed on the fields of juniper and rye as they grew taller and broader and their features became older and finer! Breasts thrust out their chests (twice as they were needed), and their legs became long and shaven and their butts grew firm and shapely with their hips and their clothes turned scarlet and gay, and makeup bruised their faces with paint and their lips became the color of wet cherries and just as sweet à and just as suddenly à The VZH found himself lost in an ivory city of women, women, and women only! and the occasional metro-sexual male. He was quite lost as to why he was there.

The DAG turned Abel’s shoulders. “And all this can be yours for $29.99, Mr. Manning, plus tax for the price of your soul!” this the DAG said with a wink, then stood behind Abel, hands to his brain. He breathed real fire. “You see, imagination alone has the power to dive deeper into the dreams of the unconscious and there are so many people out there, most of them who care nothing to do all day but work, eat, sex, and sleep! not really living, but existing their miserable lives in a four-part Act of Birth, Education, Work, and Decay! a day-to-days tragedy from paycheck to paycheck, them not questioning, not wondering, never dreaming!

He said, “But you know how to focus this confusion, for you lived it, and you broke out of it and came in contact with the Eden tree you weren’t supposed to know about: You can dive so deep into the nightmares of the common man! why, you can pluck out the very core of these tried-out personalities’ inner heads. And these beautiful, young maidens: Well à

A long train of beautiful women that had once been very little boys not so long ago, they were kissing his neck, turning his face from white to a darker, healthier .. How he loved it! Though he thought it rather bland. Was this a dream? “Do you like it: the company treatment, I mean? And talk about the benefit package!” this the DAG said. “They have even sucked the color back into your face.” I shook out of this haze, the VHZ. So pornographic! “I can have all this.” This must be a dream. “Exactly! Well, exact enough. For an additional expenditure. Just a little setback.”

L L L :pots tser

OF COURSE IT’S A DREAM, AS YOU YOURSELF HAVE envisioned it many times before! And you can have everything in this fantastical creation of yours. Anything! Taste the sweet pink of the sunset, nibble the blue out of the atmosphere; crunch on the weight of a sea at low tide,” and the DAG bent down so that his head stood at the base of a sudden zipper and he zipped down the zipper. “Now, this is nothing sexual à ” he said, and this time it was a humble voice he used: Quiet, soft; warm. “look into the mirror, baby”.

The path of his hand led me towards a pool of murky gray water where I followed the shadow of his finger and stared down into the heart of it and up into myself.. Zipped away. No more white hair. No more thousands of tiny little Question-Mark scars, sag lines, crow’s feet! NO!! No longer a vampire zombie hobo. Just me, but a better me. Oh my Christ! this I thought inside my new skin. I look better than Fabio! What it sounds like down here: Bees humming in a water bucket. It makes the head spin, the back sweat!! I’m flying!

-And to think, I can have all this with only the loss of my immortal usefulness in the next world! “Do you not see that you are beautiful again, Mr. Manning? In your dreams, baby, you are the Italian male model extraordinaire! The aftermath of the Mirage in the Barrens all undone, like that!” he clicked his fingers and a camera snapped and froze us in that moment forever and an hour, or at least until tomorrow and tomorrow and- “ All you had to do was escape and never face reality again, never have to worry even about anybody other than yourself again~! Just dream, dream, dream your cares away. Your muscles might suffer, but you’ll have a good life.”

L L L :pots tser

THE DAG SHOVED me into the water and dove in himself, dragging me to the deep bottom, the feel of cool oatmeal slime at my toes and a large man squeezing my wrist, where I’m screaming out tiny gray bubbles and watching them become seahorses that laugh and wink at me, nuzzling my face with nuzzly tails. I am swimming in the wetness of an eye; a fish suffocating on water, drowning in air!

Now, right now, red light pours all over my face like it were drizzled on by God. And everything went back to the way it was again, back and back and back! And the bailiff Murdoc and the jury Shivring and the honorable Judge Ylgu presiding, these all formed a circle that became a ribbon of court officials gathered around the weight of my shadow. “Mr. Manning. Are you with us, baby?” Water beads sat on warm shoulders.

They were waiting my soft reply. Ylgu gave me the look of a concerned mother for a kid who she had just discovered was on the drugs. “What are you whispering about, baby, you do that a lot? Speak up! Be free! You don’t have to be so secretive about everything.”

L L L :pots tser

SCATTERED applause rained down from on High: What about all the people who were kidnapped? “Mr. Manning, baby?” Mr. Ylgu said, lifting me up with his one good arm.

“It was all a dream?”

“Will you join us now? Seeing what you can now control? Will you dream with us?..”

              L Abel, please! Wake up! Don’t stay with Mr. Ylgu! He’s joshin ya!J

“I’ll do it, first thing in the morning,” I said. “Just let me sleep some more, Ma, five more minutes,” and caught me some

Zzzzzz’s.

“Sweet Jesus!” Mr. Ylgu said this while carrying me up the Ivory Pedestal and sitting me besides him at his throne on a pillowy cushion made from life. “You could be my right hand heir, so long as you obey me, no questions: Let’s keep the Q’s and A’s to a bare minimum.”

I rubbed my eyes groggily, the way you might after just waking from a seven-year long sleep right in the middle of math class. My eyes were out the window. “ Uh, sure,” was all I can think up to say now, but more meaningless catchphrases will be thought up shortly.

The bailiff Murdoc slouched his shoulders with an exaggerated hanging of the head, and began to walk slowly away.

“To the Pacific Ring of Fire!” said Mr. Ylgu, raising me up in the power of one good arm, as the Shivring applauded my moral degradation.

“To the Ring of Fire,” I obeyed this order with shiv’rous eyes looking to my new Master Ylgu. Must compute, must compute àWhat’s the Ring of Fire?”

“We will rule it all, my son!” And he stood up high, mounting his Ivory Chair and screaming to the congregation: “TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH NOW, KIDZ! WHERE HELL IS. BUCKLE THOSE DAMN SEATBELTS THIS TIME!” To infinity and beyond, I guess.

I said, “Fire?”

“Why in hell not?”

I said, “To the center of the earth too? Ya mean, all the way?”

Mr. Ylgu said, “Where dreams and reality-” he said something beautiful then. You just missed it. .

Ylgu? How we gonna go to the center of the earth in a submarine?”

Mr. Ylgu said, “The Red Whale shall adapt, my son!” And he lifted me in the cradle of his good one and on the throne of shivring shoulders. “It shall drill our way to paradise, baby! Now come! Come 4 times! With Adam’s Edge protecting the Whale, even the most extreme pressures and heat can be withstood, you little wonder child! The center of the earth’s only a play-bake oven.”

I looked to Murdoc, him watching this all from above with a look of chagrin mixed with the empowerment of a challenge: Like he had given up and was gonna do something mean. That walking carpet was so scared he could do anything. People do the craziest things when subjected to high temperatures: and nothing makes a man’s back sweat more than wearing a fur coat in summertime. But forget that. Forget I ever mentioned it. Living in the desert for most of my life, you think I’d never miss the sun. We always pray for rain. They say heat makes people do the craziest things when hot; things they’d never do before. .

Chapter 145: soliloquy

So·lil·o·quy [sə lílləkwee] (plural so·lil·o·quies) n A dramatic monologue in which we seem to overhear the character’s inmost thoughts aloud!

Abel sat in a dark theatre in front of a nameless audience, the solitary spotlight on him and his rocking chair. They shout at him a little, to get it started. . “Hey, we paid 33.95 for this! Move!” I CAN CHOOSE to do anything with Adam’s Edge, can’t I, even make my own make-believe Fuck-Time? But how’s it work? Count for me the reasons like stars why I should do what Mr. Ylgu wants me to do, and you’ll have a very lonely outer-space, with nothing in it. Listen: Can you help me out here? The door’s locked!

Make the right choice, ‘kay? J

Do what you know is right, Abel. L

“But what is right? I’ll say the words of Pilate here: What’s truth?” Abel looked down now at his umbrella, at the two plastic smiley faces that dangled from loose threads. “Do you know?” he said to them.

Seek and you will find, is all, I think Pilate didn’t say that exact mantra.

“That’s all very mystical and all: But what the hell’s it sposed to mean?” Abel stood up out of where he had once been rocking and gave his stuttering soliloquy to a boiling audience who gave him their cheers. They threw a rotten salad bar at him. “By the way: Ylgu!” a Shivring said this. “We’re drawing up on the Pacific Ring of Fire right now! Pretty neat, huh?”

Abel looked out a window fueled by … stuff.  It was great. Smoke blackened the water to wood and soot, and made water gales. It ruled! It was a volcano. It was awesome.

Here’s to sitting on dynamite: “Cheers.” And in all this smoke firing out from the chasms of the dead earth came the face of a Hitchhiker frowning up to meet me. Was, was, was “Why Abel?” this the Hitchhiker asked me. Bye-bye, said Ylgu, woodend face. Excelsior, said Murdoc, woodend teeth. Goo’night!

Adieu.”

To you and you and you! The man whose eyes never dropped never blinked! “My, you’re stupid, Mr. Manning,” I told myself.

Episode 10

THE MACHINE:

What Moans Beneath the Throne of Rot

[What should the EPISODE ART be for this episode?: On this throne sits a cow with a crown of skulls and a woman’s heads and long, beautiful hair on the tip of his scepter, as all The Shivrings bow down to the throne worshipfully. .]

Chapter 146: Useless unless Used

MR. YLGU UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is up-close and personal… he’s never like that. You shoulda seen his wedding pictures!

Ylgu started torturing the suspects. “Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? That’s all I’m trying to ast ! They all looked very serious about this. Cookies were very important now that we had so very little food left. We had been digging to the earth’s core for a matter of years. It was drama.

rest stop: J J J

MR. YLGU GAVE UP FOR THE MOMENT, AND SAID WE MIGHT NEVER HAVE OUR COOKIES!! TOO BAD ‘coshe had just poured sweet milk from her tits. He asked her once again if she had the cookies. Her answer, “Not!” “I’m-beginning-to-think-that’s-all-you-can-say.” He said, “You’re a liar, or I’m a saint,” and pivoted a stern about-face and hollered: “MR. MURDOC! PLEASE! RELEASE THE CHILDREN!” I stood on both feet in the back of that spiral-armed galaxy, I tried to catch a look. It was quiet.

“You’ve lied to me, madam,” Mr. Ylgu said, fluent as hell. “And that’s stupid. As king and under my own regal authority, I’ve a right to flog you. Stupidity is stupid, and thereby, dumb, and something dumb needs no mouth. It needs no tongue. It shouldn’t talk!” and cut hers out with a pen knife. “Now, if you had only given me a bribe. Maybe I would have spared you.” He frowned, looking around, holding the tongue up for all to see. “You and your husband must à ” he bit his lower lip and clicked his throat and had a Shivring pronounce the one-word: D-i-e, and that’s not dice we’re talking.

“Not!” she moaned and sobbed. For she had no tongue now for pronouncing Not! You never seen such waterworks. It was very open-mouthed, and gagging on what was left inside.

YOU WEENIE! a voice said this from the crowd. And I found that the voice was mine. “You can’t do that, you stupid!” My voice became the one whip cracking from the very end of the game, I suppose, and I fell off. I didn’t exactly rub a genie’s lamp and wish it to be mine. My sailor’s legs had gone and been replaced with ballerina’s. I’d lose my long-sought after position, if I said that, which I did, and the punishment was I’d lost all my television privileges, and was forced to stand in the hallway, handing out gum to all those who wanted it. …even though I still kept to my janitorial duties for certain not-to-be-named reasons. Maybe I needed the exercise. “Abel Manning, you’re rambling.” Oh, kick me!

rest stop: J J J

FOR REAL, MR. YLGU LOOKED pissed. “Mr. Abel Manning,” he said this to me like a parent might spell out the whole name of her child before striking it: “Do not say the weenie word!  Who are these strangers that you care about them so? What are their D-ea-eaths to you?”

“They’re people!” I wanted to say, so I guess I said it. If you’re wanting to know, I was wondering over things like I’m screaming? and Why am I screaming?, and I’ll lose my position because I’m screaming, but I found my feet unconsciously stepping forward for me. THEYAREP.E.O.P.L.E, I thought I said, I said, “Heavens.”

“People!” Mr. Ylguthrust himself forward into that crowd; and he was very tall: baring teeth, and teeth, and teeth, and teeth, staring directly into my eyes à so close I could smell his hatred: It smelled like Pledge lemon-scent and furniture cleaner à I could feel his breath wetting on my face like seals upon a seashore: He said, “People are jerks!”

rest stop: J J J

PEOPLE,HE SAID, AND OOZED up to me like a spider. He stood so close I could count his teeth: there were thirty of them. ‘Why? How many do you have? 32!’ Wow, we can compare answers! … This kid had a lot of acne when a child, I’ll tell ya. His teeth said, “A child dies of hunger approximately every five seconds in Africa,” said the man of much information. All canines. “But do you, Abel Manning, do you? Do you ever show even the simplest gesture of action to reach out to those starving youth, those people! and stop their miserable bleching? Unto death do the Fates snip their fragile necks like string and do they retire from this world to the next? Do you do anything to aid those people! however far away they may be? What does the flame of a candle look like before it goes out? Tell me what you know.” The earth quaked inside him.

“Mr. Abel Dreamiden Manning,” said the pirate — and he began to walk in a circle about me, counterclockwise. “How wise we are, how brilliant we are, how able we are to stand up for what we believe is, quote, unquote, ‘right’! Our moral obli-gay-shun unto the world!” He ate a sandwich at that. “But we are only ever able to stand up and label a subject as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’-ARE YOU LISTENING?!” chewing around the sandwich, “at labeling ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’. When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled. O brave Sir Robin! Brave Sir Robin! Brave, sir, YOU.” I stood there, speechless: I am without speech..

L L L :pots tser

MR. ABEL MUSIFER MANNING,” CRIED the evil pied piper; and he paced an elliptical orbit like a fencing circle around me: “In all your good and wise observations of this world and the people who abide in it, oh sir! oh wizard! Ah! Rule us with your scepter the divine and innumerable, o mage, inform us of the infinite stuff of the cosmos! tell me, our most humble janitor, pleez: what is truth?” A pause to reflect tension and the ridiculousness of a young David standing in the way of a Goliath steam bus.

He said, “Conjure me up a dream! Do you alone know the answers? In all the unfathomable, countless strands of oh-the-humanity! wrapped in curtains of uncertainty that have no pull, and no looking behind! why, o most humble janitor, Mr. Manning, please, do enlighten us:  Do answer my most noble inquiries: Drool me up an amusement, a fancy, a fable, a myth.” And bowed so low:. “Fairy tale.

Truth? Answers? And do they exist? I’ve always been a half-hazard believer that every 2 + 2 has a solution.

“What are two people, Mr. Abel Fatiful Manning, brother of Cain, son of Adam, what are two! to allthose miserable lots in Africa that die daily by the wagon-ful? What are people, people, baby! I’m on a roll! Yes! Abel the Janitor, the Hobo, the Wandering Nameless Doof, what are people but dust and fecal matter with no higher purpose than to be controlled by those who know how to market (for those with the high intelligence to produce some quantity of wealth out of their meaningless existences and then to lay them aside to their inheritance to r-ot)?” 

Did you get all that? he asked me. Goodt. Mr. Ylgu continued to pace around me like a real hum-ding, he said: “To be slaves manipulated for the purposes of somebody stronger?” (he said this behind my neck now). “More intelligent?” (he said to my ear). “More cunning?” (he said to my nose). “W-ise?” (he said to my eyes). “YOU’RE ALL STUPID,” he said, shifting back on his feet! He said, in summation, “The human race is a Greek tragedy full of meaningless human emotions that needlessly bar the conquest of the strong, Mr. Abel ‘Clueless’ Manning. Human people! You had best study Social Darwinism, it’ll do you your romantic ways some good, it’ll free your mind,” his laughter gave way to a suddenly dark façade and an appearance of blood came to the surface of the bruises he dug into a lip that quivered. “ And human peoples serve no greater purpose than to be molded into something by which to obtain Control,” I thought I heard him say! I think I hear him now.

Mr. Ylgu’s high brows pinched closely together as his high heels clicked, while I stood here, speechlessly without speech. “Useless unless used,” said a voice inside my inner ear cavity. “That’s what you are, Abel. What can you do with a single piece of jigsaw puzzle? That’s what you are, my friend. “You had better respect the fact. Know it! Let it coarse through you. Become your new and only identity. “You are only a means by which I can obtain. “You are useless unless used. Useless unless used. Useless, I’ll say it once more for memory,” … “:unless used. Do ya got it?” After Mr. Ylgu killed, he cleaned his glasses, not his hands. Um. Was, Were, Was

Chapter 147: His Clothes are Clean, but his hands

The significance of the individual lies in the fact that he and/or she is a being that thinks, that figures, that reasons, that feels, that is, that was, that will be. A daughter of his Highest.

There’s this still-small voice, that if you listen very hard- you’ll still never hear it, you gotta let it say things for itself, coz it’s your conscience: It says, “Who are you? And if you are who you say you are, what difference does that make to me?” This question is very difficult to answer and still has philosophers stoned! Useless unless used: Is this Post-Modern mantra really true? L What does Mr. Ylgu’s contradictory truth prove to this world except that he’s a certified doctor at being an asshole? J

MR. YLGU UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is up-close and personal, I reserve the right to barf on my hands. They’re covering my mouth.

rest stop: J J J

Children are short.

After Mr. Ylgu killed, he cleaned his sunglasses, not his hands.

His clothes are clean but his hands are dirty his hands are dirty but his clothes are clean his clothes are clean but hands being dirty his hands clean or are they dirty well aren’t they? his hands his hands his hand his hands are dirty but his clothes are à

Chapter 148

Some of you are going to die .. Not all are criminals.

rest stop: J J J

Chapter 149

Not all. I don’t want you to think I’m dismissing this thing. It’s very terrible.

Chapter 154 (Continuing On) without the sun

SOUNDTRACK 23: Alice Cooper’s “Welcome to My Nightmare”

VERSE 1: Welcome to my nightmare /

I think you’re gonna like it /

I think you’re gonna feel… you belong /

Now, we dove back in a kind of blackness that rolls the contents of your stomach, through jungles of Lego-colored mushrooms à us passing through an explosion of black gloom, in shade again: perpetual blight; and now through a tunnel of rock. Through a lake.

rest stop: J J J

The amount of earth, the weight and depth of it, was suffocating! One passage led to another! The Fasting who resided down here (who we had begun to call rock-eaters by now) were specter pale. They got plenty of minerals in their diet, but no vitamins!

Their legs were of no use to them, save to use as ropes, stretching them out, and throwing them from crag to crag to climb up high rock faces. And were crawling rather than walking because they were used to bending over into small dark passages where there was nowhere to sit, or stand or sulk or walk or dream or run! — they continued to follow us, banging their hammers on the ivory hull. They created earthquake weather this way.

After so long, you feel you have always been in that darkness, and never seen the sun! I feel I’ve been here so long. VERSE 2: Welcome to my nightmare / “We really must get back to the Earth above.” “E-orth?” this from one of the Fasting crawling on the windows outside with its suction-cupped hands, it snapping at lunar moths caught in the head lights. “Never heard of E-orth before,” it said. “Is that what you call the over world? E-orth? We call it the land of the sun and moon!! Dreadful stuff. What are you doing here in the Mushroom Kingdom?”

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We sweat and laugh and scream here /

‘coz life is just a dream here /

You know inside you feel right at home here /

L L L :pots tser

What the Fasting children did for fun, they could see in the dark, so no one knew!

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I watch them weaving fireflies into their hair. The Good Ship Orphan passed through a wishing well and I found my wish in the bottom along with the wishes of countless others on the faces of Abraham Lincolns, Washingstons, Kennedys, and I took them, I took them all back because my wish didn’t come true!

Chapter 155: The Second Most MeloDramatic Piece of Crap You’ll Ever Catch Pieces Of

“Dangit, dangit, dangit, men!” said Ylgu, stomping his high heels. “Who gave this order?! Tell me, cmon, please? I’ll give you each a cookie.” Then, with hands on lips: “Now who can refuse a galdamn cookie? “Who ordered this order? “Dangit, who?!”

Murdoc stepped forward à nervous, maybe à a towering wall of fur and burgers that, if you looked at it at the right angle, resembled two furry French-Canadians carrying a couch sideways through an apartment room door;  and this he said softly, grinning, ‘I may have given an order or two, Mr. Igloo.Ylgu had already set up shitty mushroom chairs for all the children to sit on. He had personally harvested them from the underworld.

He looked at him, like, “Huh?” To make a short story longer, Ylgu got scared, and he and Murdoc had a staring contest for quite some time; it wasn’t much very fun to watch for Abel, watching Ylgu getting all teary-eyed in the eyes and Murdoc laughing because he had all his eyes hidden behind soft fur. ..Ylgu   won the staring contest, then lost the second one!

The second one was a competitive knowledge competition over soft noodles. Murdoc was a pasta-eater, so he loved that.

After losing the fourth staring contest, Ylgu said over the roaring-laughter: “Oh shoot.” he said that. “Quite,” Murdoc said, and laughed like a little piggy. This was a fight over dictatorship. I’ll summarize. Murdoc said something about Ylgu fearing him, calling him an enormous push-over! and Ylgu got angry, um, and started throwing puppies all over the floor, dangerous, mad-eyed puppies! The horror of it! The in-breeding! Some of the puppies looked like Ingrid Farr! That’s not a real person, so please don’t look it up . . For your sake.

He started punching children and nuns out. One of the nuns said, “Please, Sister! Stop this madness!” He stopped punching children and nuns out.

Ylgu said I know not fear, then Murdoc cracked his face together and said, real savage like: THEN YOU WILL LEARN FEAR!!! WE WERE ALL VERY CONFUSED ABOUT THAT STATEMENT. Said Ylgu, “Children! Children! Seize him! Seize him! No move. There was no laughter. Ylgu said: Desist! That’s an order! Fall back. We were upon him. We wanted better cookies! Abel couldn’t help but laugh along à he wanted to be popular. He saw no fear in the room but Ylgu.. Was, Were, Was

Chapter 156: The Most MeloDramatic Piece of Crap You’ll Ever Hear

MURDOC USURPED control. HE SAID THEY’RE no longer yers ter command. Ylgu peed a little. I think Ylgu said “Now, what is this really about, Murdoc?” if I remember correctly, his voice a ringing falsetto: “Why are you doing this to me now? We’re almost there! I swear, that cookie incident was just my spoiled nervousness.”

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Here, Murdoc let him in that he was a little scared too, but he was confident in his ability to finish the mission . . The only thing he didn’t want any more was Ylgu’s crude leadership skills ruining everything! But don’t worry, Pop, coz you’re my daddy, and I won’t kill  you ’til I rule the world! Shoot. “Why, Dad? Why didn’t yeh jus love me?”  ..

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My son,” said Mr. Ylgu, reaching the tips of his fingers out towards him. Feeling mellow. “You frighten me terribly. But I must confess. I am impressed. You make me proud. What I also must say, is I have also have never desired to kill you more than when you just said that just this now.”

SOUNDTRACK 26: Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out”

VERSE 1: Well we got no choice  /

All the girls and boys /

Makin’ all that noise /

‘Cause they found new toys /

I don’t believe you. Die, now!’ and shot him in the ribs. Ylgu survived, of course. “We got a potty mouth here. Eat shit and kill yourself” He shot him again. This one, Ylgu didn’t dodge, and he fell on his semen. It had made him goo. He had shot him in the balls. A very Pulp Fiction moment. “Do you think maybe we should kill you for shooting us?” but Murdoc shot him and shot him, and shot him again, and shot him once more, and three times in the balls until he was no more than a pile of stupid rubble. Can I just say something? Can I say something here in my à defense? S hoot.

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Presently, Ylgu leapt awkwardly off the ground, took a high heel, and chucked it like a boomerang at a few of the Shivring which knocked a few heads together, but that was the last of the fight (on his part). He used to spank us like that this way: Back when he cared. . He didn’t need balls. He was half woman!

It was then that a Nobody, one of the Tremblings, caught the high heel — and we gathered around Ylgu and bashed him with the high heel ‘til the back of his head looked like the scowling yolk of an egg, oozing: just the way you’d imagine it to ooze. He did need his brain.. The Shivring played a game of duck-duck-poison! and hit him with a shovel. What’s happening? A fight broke out, but it was short as the attention span of a child’s. Ylgu was put in shackles. He had survived.

L L L :pots tser

. .but then he explained it to us ever so clearly how this is the way it’s always been: That there has always been a son named Murdoc, back and back and back; and that the second son Boldwyn, the favored baby, always got murdered by the first son, Murdoc, the spurned and despised killer of the birth-giver, and that this is the way it had always be.. !! Who overthrew the father.

.  .  .

The present Murdoc, then, changed his name to Faja Ylgu. We hate Murdoc. We love Ylgu! We’ll continue to keep serving Mr. Ylgu just like we have been serving Mr. Ylgu, back and back and back. Ylgu is forever!

Murdoc said, “Brethren! Children! Loved ones!” he said. “We must right this horrible wrong!” He, too, was played by Tim Curry, only he wore a beard. And he began to pace in front of us, doing things Tim Curry might have done if just in that situation, which was sing a song about scary stuff- his new disciples, his equals, his honored children and friends! Lock the one they once called ‘Ylgu’ up! Tomorrow is Ylgu’s torture. And everyone gets free cake if they help me clean up pieces of ear I shall shave slowly off bit by bit from his stupid, stupid, dumb head! Rock on!” and played his guitar, just as he always played it.

VERSE 2: Well we got no class /

And we got no principles /

Thus, the new Mr. Ylgu tore off his beard and underneath glowed a flesh-colored tuxedo, reddening at the edges*

* just as it always reddened, back and back.

We ain’t got no innocence /

We can’t even think of a word that rhymes /

The new Murdoc was given a beard to wear.

L L L :pots tser

CHANGE IS hard, it’s confusing: From now on, all Murdoc’s will be referred to as Ylgu’s and all Ylgu’s will be Murdoc’s. This is terrible: The second tear slid into Murdoc’s eye.

CHORUS 2: School’s out for summer /

School’s out forever /

My school’s been blown to pieces

Mr. Ylgu the 14th spoke up. He said, “I need more lipstick.” He looked very pretty in that moment without his beard. Indeed, you could see the resemblance quite clean between the favored child and the man who wore lipstick. In fact, they were exactly the same. “I’ve decided to change the old Ylgu’s plan ter make a better world: My better world won’t have fathers who don’t give a damn‘bout their sons! In fact,” forgive dear ol’ new Mr. Ylgu for quaking a bit at the knees now: He was very new to this being-in-charge business, and crowds frightened him. They always have. “It won’t have any people at all, in fact,’ he said.

Chapter 150 Parallel: scene one 4

The dead do not abandon their sons the way you abandoned me, Father! I’m ending this cycle of kings and successions. I will be the last Mr. Ylgu; I mean it, now. I will. Ahhhhhh!F

orgive him for shouting, and I mean really. It was that damn boom box again ringing in his ear with the Big Butt Song. It had been shouting in his ear(s) all day. That’s not a joke, but you can laugh at it if laughs come. Let’s speed this motherfucker up. I want to watch some TV. He also mentioned: “That lipstick looks cute on you, son.’ Hearts~

School’s out completely

Ylgu is from his post removed. And the Shivring orphans dragged the former Ylgu to the torture chambers while I stood there, sobbing, in confusion.  I finally understood that I loved him. Was, Were, Was What? .

Chapter 157: How many Licks does it take to get to the chocolatey center of a tootsie pop?

THE RED WHALE HAD REACHED infinity.

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IT HAD STOPPED ITS plunge. Listen now, listen! I went around warning everybody not to waste air coz we’re in a submarine while I went on sniffing and snorting as much of the air as possible so he could get high on it. Glue.

rest stop: J J 😉

OUTSIDE THESE windows was an impossibly enormous crystal condensed and extending miles in radius and diameter — 1,500 miles in diameter, or so I had overheard the kids in the Mess Hall say. No magma core, but a chocolate center! The sacred crystal. E-orth was no bubblegum sucker. Earth was a tootsie pop.

A lightning bolt is hotter than the surface of the sun for a moment, if only for a moment. The surface of the sun isn’t very hot. The center of a tootsie planet is hot. Scary~

So! I thought I’d go secret-agent and actually grow enough balls to bail out the former Mr. Ylgu from his well-deserved torture place. Wanna go be secret with me? Wanna play along? Wanna knock some heads? Let’s do that.. There’s nothing else to do narratively! As much as I wasn’t sure about the former Mr. Ylgu, him being a really freaky demon who feeds on human souls**, I think I’d have to settle with him and his world plan over the new Mr Ylgu’s insecure little prom dance of killing everyone.

**and probably dropkicks puppies for fun, Mmm . . . daggers.

Like an earthworm in a nostril cavity, swimming in a deep, deep thought. . I wondered a bit about this and then realized I was cool with saving the world. I just might recruit one extra juggernaut, and we’d do something no one’s ever going to remember.

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Anyways, I snuck over to that cell where I’d heard the new Murdoc had gotten himself chained up for the moment. I snuck over there with that big, agitating feeling that I’d done something wrong, or worse: that they’d hear my sneakers squeaking and my athletic shorts making that whisk-whisk-whisk sound like I was fucking butter. The real sweet thing about having janitorial access to the Red Whale was this: I could go anywhere; I’ve been everywhere; I’ve cleaned everything! even polished the molecules in between the hair follicles of the former Master Ylgu’s back. The torture chamber even: I get to clean the charred pig’s skin off the electric chair! Was, Were, Was I came in a little early . .

The Crystal Was Very Pretty

The crystal smiled like a dazzling display of teeth: In the light, a solar flare; in the darkness, a tootsie pop: Very cool! The tootsie center blushed, and together changed the color of the cosmos to blush… Everything turned the color of pink.

Chapter 158: Haste Muffins

MR. YLGU UP CLOSE AND IN YOUR FACE : Whenever Mr. Ylgu is up-close and personal.. Is this the last one? Hopefully, this is the last one! Murdoc* faked his suicide by hanging his head on a rope made from his own skin. But the reader shouldn’t know he’s faking at this time. * the former Mr. Ylgu. He’ll be known as ‘Murdoc’ for just a little while. Anywho…

L L L :pots tser

So, an open-mouthed guard came in and saw the new Murdoc there, purple-faced!- the guard was anyways, tongue stuck out- Murdoc was anyways- defecating in his pants, I was anyways, reeking like fresh mustard. and poked the new Murdoc with a stick!- the guard did anyways… Um. I hope this name-changing thing doesn’t trouble you. We’ll change it back eventually.

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and Murdoc leapt out at him, but the guard backed off and kicked Murdoc in the face and laughed a little and said, You schmuck, said the Dumb One. Do you really think I’d be so stupid to be, uh? and Murdoc got up and put his hands to the bars and said, ‘Oh poo. I really thought it would work this time. You little blankety-blank you. Can’t you just make this easy on me and let me out?

“Okay,” said the Dumb One.

“Really?”

S ure, why not?! Come on out.

So the door unbolted and Murdoc stepped on out and fell into a torture chamber and the Shivring made their way around him, stuffed his head in a potato sack, and began torturing him. “Now who’s the stupid one, uh?” they said.

The former Ylgu pouted defiance, mad and defeated. One guard said to two once the earth began tumbling, Oh, I get so anxious! Another of them whimpered something, afraid the torturing device might cause him to lose heart! Said the intelligent guard to the whimper, “Sit on it, then.”

Now it Happens.

THERE WAS an intelligent guard in front of the torture chamber, sleeping in typical snoo-snoo fashion, but his eyes weren’t open. Very stupid of him. He had a keychain around his throat.

L L L :pots tser

After strangling him, I wanted to ask intelligent guard #226: Why do you guys always fall asleep when your evil masters most need you to stay awake? You know? At the crucial moments? but he didn’t understand it, so I killed him instead. I would’ve asked him this, but he looked so cute and cuddly, I decided not to kill him; he’s not dead now. . Oh, c’mon! Laugh a little.

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The Former Mr Ylgu was screaming by now. I thought I’d take care of that, now. Anyways.. Listen now, listen! I heard screams from the inside the likes of shouting birds outside your window*..

* the ones that keep you awake all night warning other birds angrily not  to  come  near  its 5 square meter territory.

I threw a boot at it, but that didn’t stop it. Have you ever tried to feed a bird a peanut? They blow up, you know. -Anywho, so I crept up to sleeping guard #2 and tried to steal his keys, because I lost them in the wash; but he told me, “No, you’ve done that already? Don’t you remember what to do?”

I told him, I’m sorry, Bobby, I just — I just can’t work with these conditions. He said he appreciated my humor, but I’d better get back to narrating the good parts. “Well, how ‘bout this, then?” he told me, and slit his own throat, put some ketchup in it. “There you go! There’s a winner! Save the world!” He, like . . Died*. * convenient, I thought

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I really appreciated that, so. . Anyways, I let ole Mr. Ylgu out. He said, “How did you get past the guards?”  I said, “I didn’t,” and they started to catch up to us, but not before ole Mr. Ylgu said, “Make haste!” You remember the recipe for haste now, don’t you ?

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You remember the recipe for haste now, donchu? “You never told it to me.” “ Run!” ..He helped me knead the dough. “Thanks. I really kneaded that.” It’s about time to bake! Oh, c’mon. Laugh with me! L

L L L :pots tser

WHILE UNCONSCIOUS, WHICH is how I like to spend most of my time, I must’ve been out of my mind. Coz I started shouting, “We’re gonna save the world!!”

He said, “I know that. Get up. This is tiring. Make haste! — Oh, shit.”

I said, “Oh, hell. Do you think everybody likes this?” “Likes what?” “Our adventures, I mean.”

You’re starting to sound like Tom Bombadil.”

“You mean Pippin?”

No, that other Hobbit? Bilbo?

“Oh, Mr. Baggins!  Yeah, he helped Frodo in his adventures! Yeah, do you think they think this is funny? I mean, really? Do they take it serious?”

Take what seriously?

“Our adventures.”

“Do who?”

“Do you, even?”

Do what!?

Hey, we’re still coming to kill ya!” said about three or four guards, but they were really fat, so they couldn’t keep up. “Hey, no diet jokes! I’m comin’ to get ya!”

They didn’t fall or anything, but they just gave up. It was all for pretend anyways. They weren’t paid anything. “Aw, forget you!” “Forget you, man!” said the former King of England.

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It’s like you’re not even trying, man! Try this: Zzzzzzzz . . . Hey, I thought so! You wanna fight about it? You wanna write this book? It’s hard! Hey, man, okay? It’s hard! There . .  L

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I think you’re beautiful. Ready, to move on? Really?! Now, here’s how it finished… Haste is made with three things: 1) Very small rabbits; 2) Slow cheetahs; 3) and an ultra-fast fast one.

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Murdoc said to me: ‘You can be of no assistance to me, Mr. Manning the Traitor,’ said the new Murdoc, a walking carpet. ‘Why did you risk all freedom to save me? It irks me to say this, but I am no good.. You should’ve known I’d do something like this if you tried anything.

“I think we’re already running away. If we’re already running away, maybe we might as well do it.”

Do what?

Do what? Oh, save the world, of course!”

We were still running. Murdoc was really very fast. “Okay, then. But I should tell you.”

You already did!’

Cheer up, friend J How’s he going to destroy the world? He’s either going to activate all the volcanoes at once, and drown it out with smoke and lava, or he’s going to move all the tectonic plates at once, and cause the greatest earthquakes earth’s ever known.

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“Let’s kill your son.”

“-Oh. I haven’t forgot. Are we still running?”

“I think we are. Though we passed the door to the new Mr. Ylgu half a dozen times already.”

“Yes, I saw that, but it was embarrassing for me to just stop and go all backwards, so I kept running.”

“-No!”

My predecessors, the former Mr. Ylgu and the one before him, back and back and back, they told me when my day had come to throw them aside and usurp their throne I was s’posed to do it right, that I wasn’t gonna lose my head, so sit on it. Tell me: How do two beat two million?

“You passed it again, idiot! Stupid! Moron! I hate you!” “Fine-” and went back and opened the door. Finally giving in to courage, he said, ‘If I only had that Lady Luck person with me. She was my royal advisor. We’ve got to think, me and you. We’re the heroes in this story, and I don’t see any reason why the heroes can’t win.

“Who’s Kenny Boy?”

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Ya hear that?I leaned my ear down and listened for that echo that had taken me a lifetime to hear. I said, “I think so. Earth’s beginning to move.” I said, “Cool, huh?”

And so it moves,’ the former Mr. Ylgu said this quickly, every syllable a welcome shudder to the songs in his voice. ‘The earth is moving! tilting faster than normal actually. That is a sign, Mr. Manning. Do you feel it?

He told me we’d all be doomed in a moment if he didn’t open that door, so he did. (They were going to rearrange the surface of the earth using plate tectonics.)From now on à ’ wow! ‘whenever you feel a quick jolt, a thud, a bump, a vessel bursting in your brain and feeling its greasy fingers turn down your spine, you shall know, Abel,’ and he spoke soft: ‘A nother lock has been latched on the earth’s crust. And the earth’s crust shall rotate, and the volcanic ashes of the Innermost shall rise up and consume the surface dwellers. As I feel it, my god! there are only thirteen locks left to be latched on the earth’s crust! That means approximately twenty five minutes, give or take a few more.’ He checked his Stop Watch of 24 times minus the mountain. We must make haste, only I forgot mother’s recipe for making it! At once! Johnny Pangaea is nigh!’

The plot to forcefully unite the world under one love, one rule had begun. The former Ylgu held up a soundless invisible watch and went Tick, tock. So we made haste. Was, Were, Was It turns out haste is two parts flour/sugar/eggs and one part ecstasy.

Chapter 159: Haste Brownies

It was so hard to open that door! But we did it.It’s a rather large sub, Mr. Manning,’ said Murdoc. ‘Another tilt has passed. Quick now! Make haste! You remember the recipe for haste now, don’t you?’ He told it to me. I told him I didn’t understand that at all, and he had better repeat it, or we’d all be left behind in the confusion.

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“Mr. Ylgu?”

“-Yes?” ‘

”You’re all sweaty again.”

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We arrived at the latch, pulled it, went back to the door. We walked this time. We felt like we had earned it.

One of us forgot the keys so we had to go back.

Every star has its twinkle 😉

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“Remember when I used Adam’s Edge!” I say, I said, “High five for that.” I gave him a high five. He didn’t receive it well.

‘ — what you got in the power of the molecules between your molecules, is godly. That was merely an infinitesimal spark. A momentary nothing. It hardly happened at all! If you had used the true Adam’s Edge there would be no earth left savin’.

Plus, hey why don’t we just use it? We tried. It didn’t work this time. It was concentrating too intently on keeping us cool inside the center of the earth. And I didn’t know where it was right at the moment. I think I had left it in my other skin. I found it later. It was watching television.

L L L :pots tser

-And somewhere beyond the portal to the abysses, indistinctly indistinct voices shouting and singing and laughing. Oh, he’s a jolly bad fellow, oh, he’s a jolly bad fellow, which nobody can deny. Sigh. What a bore. ‘Come now, Manning,

“No, not right now, I’m bleeding! Maybe I’ll die!”

“Daddy!” Kenny Boy, a man in flesh-colored pajamas, smiled miles wide down at us, arms opened narrow. He had a pillow in his hands as they had just been pillow-fighting. “Ready ta see the show? I’ve made it jus for you.” He sat on a throne of rotted people. Kenny Boy was the new Mr. Ylgu.

Chapter 160: The Idol and the Throne of Rot

MR. YLGU UP CLOSE AND IN YOUR FACE : But different. Now, there was a throne made of rotted people.

And Ylgu and Abel stood to face it.

Thus begun a battle between good and greater.

.retaerg dna doog neewteb elttab a nugeb suhT

L L L :pots tser

THE TREMBLING MAJORITY STOOD facing us now. .Beards on their heads glowed like hairs in a nostril. They had terrific hair! The largest of the Shivrin sat in the center of it; a painted idol; a halo of bugs crowned his head. Flaming! Him enthron-d on the bones of rotten persons, and rib cages. Molded and hammered into the horse-drawn shadow of two lemon-winged angels. Was, Were, Was  A towering booster seat made generations high. .

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I’D LIKE TO BEGIN this manic-depressive tale with this: “Kenny Boy!” someone shouted this out, real loud, it stung my heart to hear it! It sounded louder than it was. I looked for the someone that shouted. I saw Murdoc, the former Ylgu, swallow hard and thump his withered right palm on the red tint of the spit-washed floor before him. He said, ‘Do the right thing! !

You must forgive him for shouting- (not for headphones this time, they were taken away) -but that his hearing was not what it was after the torturous procedures. Kenny Boy* squealed and began to dance like you might imagine he would, clapping his hands together the way babies clap their hands and howl when Uncle Mike plays a game of “Gotchya nose.” I thought he said, “I sit on the Throne of the Dead, Daddy. Aren’t yeh proud?” What a miraculous feat!

* the old Murdoc, but he wanted to start afresh, so he told everyone to call him the name they called him when he was very little

To this, the former Ylgu said, ‘Nay,’ which is horse-speech for ‘No.

“Why not, Daddy? Isn’t this how you raised me?” The crystal center of the earth caught a cold. Remember that shakey feeling in your feet every time you checked under the bed, your closet, under some stairs; the attic, a basement, searching for a monster when you were very young? That was the feeling.

We Ylgu’s meant to rule the world,I heard Murdoc say. ‘Not kill it.

“We can purify this world, Daddy. Tha’s the way o’ The Machine.” And I was all very confused. Left in the middle of it.

SOUNDTRACK 23: “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” – Tears for Fears

VERSE 1: Welcome to your life /

There’s no turning back /

Even while we sleep /

We will find you /

“Don’t!-” said Kenny Boy, and raising a make-shift octagonal sign he made in arts and crafts class: Don’t call me by the name ‘Kenny Boy’ any longer, Father. Call me Mr. Rogers, for the children’s sake.” He had started to cry. A modest mouse.. He pooped a little. You see all these bones I sit on?” He looked quite hysterical, like he had done something that was unforgivable, but cool enough for everyone that was there, but not right!

“Okay. Rogers, then.”

He was wearing a pretty, bright bow. It was pink, and so was his scepter. The scepter was made of ham hanks. The high cheek-boned skull on his scepter laughed a little, and said, “No, I’m still alive! I’m cool, I’m cool! No, I’m not hysterical, I’m positively riddled with conversation. Go on, ask me anything.” I asked him if he was feeling alive this evening. “Ecstatic, really.” The skull itself was covered with lies, and dotted in what looked like clumps of human hair.

.lleh ot seog eibraB ereh :neeuq nip-up a ,llod s’eibraB a

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NOW FOR SOME BLATANT OVERACTING: “ YOU SEE these bones, Daddy? I rule these bones!” And he looked into the eyes of the skull: not to be confused with ‘to be or not to be,’ so no one cared. “You see their blood? It’s very red, isn’t it? I rule it!” And he drank from the eyes of the skull. “I take their blood.It moves through me. Makes my knees weak and my head strong.

“I heard ‘head-strong’ and that was it.”

“That’s because you’re being obstinate!” With a look down at us, he stood up so that he became higher, taller, impossibly far and away above us à over our heads. Until we noticed he was sitting on a chair. He denounced them:

“They are beneath me. They are below me.” He proclaimed I: I am He who sits on the Throne of Rot. And soon,” he said. “you too will become a part of my. .  Do you get this? Do you understand what I’m doing? I’m better than you.”

Acting on your best behavior /

Turn you back on mother nature /

Everybody wants to rule the world ! . . especially me.

Earthquake weather settled in. . and the crystal tootsie pop center of the earth’s core began to crack, baking in its own oven. It looked like something very terrible was going to happen to the earth, but as I was so caught up in the moment, I couldn’t put my finger on the ‘why.’

Mr. Rogers asked “Where’s the red carpet?!” to one of the various Bobbies and Suzies, because he had to have a red carpet to walk on, to which they asked, “Who are you talking to? Why don’t you just address us by name?” treading on the figures of the dead from the meat locker, a human carpet. So the Shivring rolled out a carpet of dead bodies for Mr. Rogers to step out on, but Mr. Rogers said, “Take that carpet away. I know those people! What are you even doing?”

One of the Suzies rubbed his shoulders. Then, Daddy Ylgu, said the others. What’s with the throne?

“I think this throne’s kinda cool, don’t you?”

That’s a lot of meat you took out of our meat locker. Refrigeration is poor in here. They’ll all rot.

“This is different!” said Mr. Rogers. “This is a statement. This must be done. The carpet of dead bodies à that’s just unnecessary à it doesn’t make the point.”

Which is à 

Stop making me think!” said Mr. Rogers. “It’s hurting my head. Ouch!” Oh sorry, said a Shivring. I should have been more sensitive to your à nerve condition. Mr. Rogers hugged the Shivring at his side — for five bucks — and said, “That’s alright, brother.” “No-” he said.

VERSE 2: It’s my own design /

It’s my own remorse /

Help me to decide /

Help me make the most! /

“And Manning?” Mr. Rogers laughed like we was .. Well, he looked at me and said, “You know this skull that I drink from, don’t’cha?” He threw the precious THING down at me and I bend over the face of one familiar. It wasn’t a dog.

.taiga eb syawla tsum eno; klim s’rehtom now sti

Chapter 151

I would’ve been real freaked at this part, sure, but the Shivring started playing this little game of beach volleyball with my Mom’s head, tossing it around and spiking it with their own farts, and I somehow got caught up in it, and it was such good, clean fun I forgot the whole damned thing was my Mom’s head and started chuckling along with them like we were long time pals, I know, it’s kinda unbelievable; by the way, this was my Mom’s head, but time down here in the earth’s crust really makes you think about things. Like: do we really exist at all? It was really stupid and idiot. Life’s a game. The Shivring really knew how to turn tragedy into .. I just wish I did.

Of freedom and of pleasure /

Nothing ever lasts forever /

   Everybody wants to rule the world

SHUT IT

Mr. Rogers looked real pleased at this new turn of events, but he still wanted to explain himself à public speaking: All villains tend to stray along those lines. They’re terrible lonely people, isolated from their henchmen and expected to work alone in their secret laboratories all night! conducting wild schemes of such chronic hostility, did you know they were people doing this everyday in Norway? hoping they had a Luger to shoot something? they’re quite lethal. So lonely!

He said, “Your mother was canned since she wouldn’t do it with him. Understand? Being an all-night star just to feed the sexual ache of an immortal devil is quite the job, understand?-” He handed me a soda, and said, “Get comfortable. I’m going to  .. Killyouinamoment”

“But!-”

“I don’t even want to hear about it!” said the former Mr. Ylgu, “now drop that skull. I’ve got a gun!”

“He’s got a GUN!” said the Shivring, and fell from wherever they were standing . . The gun fell from Ylgu’s hands as easily as it was pulled.

“I’ve got a plan, now,” said Mr. Rogers, “and you three,” pointing at me, the old Ylgu, and the third one who had joined our side that had got edited out due to time, he said, “It’s just a jump to the left!” and, as if persuaded that way by some magical means, we jumped to the left, and fell into a pit. Only the Shivring weren’t paid, so the pit was only three and a half feet tall. “What?! It’s hard to dig in this thing!” they said. It was all bone.

“You stupids!” said the new Ylgu. “Are you even listening?”

“–No-OOOO!” WE SAID, LIKE WE WERE THREE KIDS YELLING.

“He’s got a GUN!” said the Shivring, and ran off. It was just Ylgu* and Rogers and me, now.

* THE FORMER YLGU

“He’s got a GUN!” The gun fell from his hands as if it were cheese. Uh. This was quite dumb. “Look, this is getting real STUPID, can we fight now?” this Peter Benjamin said. He was our third man for the cause, but Rogers shot him. “Oh, PETER, No-oo!” One of us had fallen in love with HIM, but I won’t say who. This is all very confusing, isn’t it? Do you really want to put this book down? It’s just getting better! Or, it’s getting worse, but I like it.

rest stop: J J J

I mean, it now! So I got up there and I punched him. He liked that. He said, “What are you doing?” I punched him, and I pushed him off his throne, he said, “STOP IT,” I punched him, This is one of the greatest battles you’ll ever see! I punched him and I pushed him off his throne, and I told him, “Move!” I said, “Get out of here!” I said, “You’re scaring people! Stop it!” He said, “Why?” I said, “Well, geez! Lookit!” and showed him his face in the mirror, and he said, “Really?” and I said, “Do you like this haircut?” and he said, “Wh-” but that was only just before I used the electric razor I had hidden to cut off his neck from his head, and there was all the ketchup.

Of course, this really happened, it did, but the razor could only go so far, and the old Murdoc was on the ground. He said, “hasdlfkjioew” It didn’t matter what he said. He was practically losing it!

I told the former Mr. Ylgu, “I don’t even want you to take the throne, I’m losing it. Let’s get out of here.” The former Mr. Ylgu said, “Not without my son!” I said, “Well, you’re a goner, then, let’s get home,” he said, “Can’t!” I said, “Run. Run. Run from this! You can do it! You can just walk away, coz you know this is stupid. This isn’t real;” He said, “You just killed my only son…”

I woke up. Not from a dream, but back into reality again. The blood was on my hands, the hands were his, and I couldn’t believe I had just killed Mr. Rogers. That was when I knew I blew it. I killed Murdoc, the Terrible, the Brat, I know! but the new Murdoc you all know and loved, the former Mr. Ylgu, he said, “The evil’s still there. It’s killing our world! Take my hand!” I took it, and he began to fly. We began to fly out. With leather bat wings. I’m only reminding you this one last time: This wasn’t a dream, I had just killed Murdoc, the terrible, the beast, the brat, I know! But I was feeling like someone, and . . And . . And, really!  I was loving myself. I didn’t wake up. I wasn’t dreamin’.

L L L :pots tser

A WORD FROM OUR sponsor(s): ‘There’s still time!’ said Ylgu. Thank you for tuning in. “Time for who?” The old robot saying: “Does not compute,” comes to mind, and also “Who cares?” No, really it did, that all just happened! The stream of my consciousness rants on and on. . Please keep reading.

All for freedom and for pleasure /

Nothing ever lasts forever /

Everybody wants to rule the world

I’m gonna do my best to get a message through to you!

Chapter 161: Bring plenty of baby wipes

FOR THE FIRST time, I saw him really cry. His son had just died. I never forgave him for crying over the brat, but I did tell him I thoughtfully disapproved of it. Shouldn’t we be going? He reminded me that we were flying, only to where, I asked, and he said, “I want to change something ..” 3 minutes later: Ylgu was gone, and I was alone. He looked down at me, his face the same color, me cradling my mother, or was it a soccer ball? The world may never know. How many licks does it take to get to the chocolatey center of a tootsie pop? said the naked boy to the owl. Since this is a post-modern story, I’ll end on that..

L L L :pots tser

Have you ever time-traveled before? .  . You have?! You’re lying.

Listen!- time-traveling wasn’t enough this time, the former Mr. Ylgu said he’d do something incredible, and time-traveling had been done over and over again, and not really possible ‘least you were the lord fuckin Christ, so the former Mr. Ylgu decided instead to settle for fantasy: He decided he’d exchange his life to the Lord Jesus if only he’d let him time-travel back in space-time and save his son!
Yes. This is really happening. Darkness had conquered out, but the Lord Jesus, being a good soul, having originated in the small town Cana or Galilee, said, “Let’s do it! In exchange for your life, though . . Do you believe this?” (Ylgu narrated this part. Ylgu narrated this part. Ylgu narrated-) I, Ylgu, said, “I don’t really know if I do . . I am a . .”

“A rascal? A f- funny man? A Jezrelite! I don’t care what you are! You’re needed here now, and you’ve got a mission. Will you give your life?”

I, Ylgu, said, “Listen, Jesus . . I don’t really know if this is you or not, I don’t really know if this is really real, or if it’s a dream, will you tell me?” he told me something I’ll never forget, “Never forget this,” and touched my foreskin. It grew a little. 5 inches. Then he gave me a new arm, and he called me, “Son,” and said, “Now rule over half my kingdom. Sit in my chair. Be me for just a little day, what is your decision? Should I keep him in hell, or should I let him go this time? I’m feeling happy, and I want to do something for you: Here’s a button. If you could just push this button . . And it’d undo all your horrible little farts . . All the times you felt fat, or dumb, or irritated, or unwanted, or like you really wanted to fuck yourself and kill somebody, give me all that. You said you wanted science-fiction? We don’t do that here. To Us, it’s all just . . Control, like you said? .  No, something beyond . . is this real, you said? .  .”

I, Ylgu, peed a little at the reality of it all. “Here, put your hand in my side,” he said, and I did, and it was vortex, and on the other side, through blood and water, was my son, and he said, “All time and space passes through me. I am the divine people-alien, I am the Cosmos, but I feel quite generous today, and I want to save your son from hell. Life for life? Do you trust me?”

Ylgu said, “No! No! Just go back! I’d rather not know you’re real! I don’t think this is happening! If it were Buddha, or it were Krishna, or if it were Allah, maybe then I’d believe you, and it would belong in this good novel, and I would trust you, and call you, “King,” but so long as it’s Christ! . . Well. I just mightn’t never believe that.”

“Fine, then,” said Christ. “You will! But know that it is not me that has sentence you to damnation . .. But still. I am the Mover of all Time and Space, and I hear your son crying for, ‘Help!’ Gimme the word, “Truth! Truth! Gimme some truth! What is wrong with this world?” and I’ll save him. But not for you, Mr. Ylgu. Not you! “. . Goodbye, now. Goodbye. I’m slamming the door, and I won’t look back, and do you know WHY? “You don’t even want to know that . . ”

-And left him. To his torture, and his disease, and in the puke, and the famine, and only when Ylgu did look up and saw him slamming the door, and saw the sin raining down upon him, did he say, “Gee. . “ I think I’ve earned this place . .

L

L L :pots tser

I think you saw the Lord right there. . Why are you smiling? Boy, that was weird. Girl, that was amazing! “Take care of Kenny Boy, will you?” It was then, I woke up, and blood wasn’t on my hands, and Mr. Ylgu wasn’t there, but the former Murdoc who became the new Mr. Ylgu took up his sense again, and said, “Where was I?” I told him, Get real! I’m taking you home with me!”

“Why is your face shining?” Because there’s a light over it, stupid! “ Now, will you come with me?” He said, “ . . I’m trying.”

This is my permission to let you go. Set down this book. Noah built a boat. Save yourself! There’s a light up there in the darkness, and it’s calling out to me, and it wants me to tell you this is no game, this is no ordinary book, it’s weird, and that the only reason Fate had me write this moment, was he wanted me to tell you something . . Now, will you come with me. I want to show you something. It is . .  Over here. Come. To the Great Nothing. . Space!  To the last Frontier! . . An idea.

To finding waldo, pt. who? And why are we all here for? And if you put the book down already, good, but if you picked it up, why did you? And can I tell you . . This is the best time of your life right now. Is there a name for when the breathing stops?

Ylgu became that name then. I once accused him of being alive. .

The road behind me is paved with invisible friends and a wet mask of how I looked crying, baptized in my tears. I paralyzed the resurrected Kenny Boy so he would never try that again, anyways! He tried to. He tried.. I leapt with him and a few more sensible others into the escape pod. Then I banged the lever and shot up to the surface.

Echo: Thank you.

echo back: see you on the other side..

Um.

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