Let me run an idea by you artsy types.
I had an idea the other day. I sort of want to put some quikrete in a bucket, and then put a sword in the quikrete and then break the bucket away when it dries and use it at a lawn ornament. We’d probably be talking about a child’s sand bucket sort of thing, turned upside down so we’d have a cone and then the sword inserted through a slit that I’d cut into the bottom of the bucket. There would likely be some more work on the idea after, but that’s my basic idea.
For the sword, well, real leather and wood is more or less out. I want this for an outside decoration after all and I know what the elements could do. We’d be talking a very cheap, non-sharp, non-valuable, almost non-sword for the main part of my idea. Something like this, or this or even this thing. My main idea is that it should be cheap, that it shouldn’t be too susceptible to the elements (any more so than necessary anyway) and that people who bump into it shouldn’t get cut. I really want a blunt sword like object that won’t hurt anyone. I suppose for added security I should drill a hole trough the blade and put a bolt or something through it, just to make sure. Any other thoughts or ideas? Maybe I should buy a little half sized sword like this or this and make an experiment first?
Just an idea I’ve got in my head at the moment.
We don’t really have any proper dolmens in America, and thus you almost never find a korrigan hanging around here.
I shall have to content myself with the company of the morgen in our pond I suppose. Wish we had a nyx or a selkie, since they just use their tits instead of buildings and gardens. They also don’t flood the place out, but Breton blood will call, won’t it?
Hercules and the Captive Women is bad.
I mean really bad
Like ‘it almost broke me’ bad
But I have the power of Stan Bush
I have survived.
DO NOT try this at home
I’ve got years of practice
and a serious case of insanity to keep me safe.
A Jack Collier Mystery
By Brett N. Lashuay
Day Nineteen: Piggy’s End
The entry to Piggy’s place was much different this time. I knocked on the door gently and waited for Piggy to come. He opened the door and looked at me nervously, fear leaping across his face. Had he not been the timid type deep down, I think he would have slammed the door and run for it.
“Calm down Piggy,” I said holding out a hand. “I’m not gonna hit you this time.”
“Promise?” he asked.
“Yeah,” I nodded and tried to smile a reassuring smile, “I promise.”
“Okay,” he stepped back and opened the door wide enough for us to enter.
Alice and I walked in, and let him close the door behind us. I went into the living room, which was less than ten steps from the door, and looked around for anything I might be able to sit on. I didn’t see anything that I really wanted to try and deposit my end on so I let Alice and Piggy enter behind me and just stood. I looked at the photo he had said was of his mother and reached for it. I took it from the shelf and walked up to him tapping the glass.
“This is your mother right?”
“That’s right,” he nodded and took the picture from me.
“She was called The Duchess in her professional circles, did you know that?”
“I know who my mother was and what she did,” he bristled slightly at the way I was talking.
“And do you know it was her assistant Amy Cooke that killed her?” I asked.
His tongue worked around his mouth, pushing his cheeks and then the area around his lips out at odd angles. He then set the picture frame down and rubbed his chin for a second, I think because he could cover his mouth when he did. His head made a motion that could be construed as a nod. It might have been him agreeing with me, or just agreeing with something inside his own head.
“Okay,” he eventually said.
“And are you further aware that after doing that Amy Cooke went under ground for a while, later re-emerging as Amy Heart?” I asked and then held my hand out to Alice, as if I were presenting my partner in a magic act.
“I’ve got her full dossier here,” she said handing over her phone.
He went through it fairly quickly, which I decided meant he was just skimming the thing. He didn’t really need to have a full read anyway, just enough to tell him that we were telling the truth. He rubbed his eyes free of what might have been tears and handed the phone back to Alice who stuffed it into her pocket. He looked at me, and I could see that he was really having trouble controlling himself.
“What do you want?” he asked after nearly an hour of looking at me.
“I want to get Columbia home to her parents,” I said. “Her mother and sister and worried about her. I’m sure if his head wasn’t so far up his ass that he can see out of his own nostrils her father would be concerned as well. Do you know where she is?”
There were tears running down his cheeks, he bit his lip so hard that there was blood dripping down his chin. He nodded when he looked at me and a sound escaped him. It was half sigh, half sob as it came out. He touched his chin and when he brought away his hand, he noticed the blood. He sort of jumped a little when he noticed the red stain on his thumb and wiped at his lip.
“I’ve gotta go wash my face,” he said looking at his hand. “I’ll take you to where she is. I mean it’s not like she’s being held or nothing. She’s just hanging out. I gotta take a wiz.”
He stood up and walked up the stairs, going into the bathroom. I heard the water run and looked over at Alice, but there was no warmth there. She looked like she didn’t approve of all my methods. She didn’t look angry, just slightly perturbed.
“What?” I asked.
“Are you more subtle when you’ve slept?” she asked.
“Sometimes, but when I’m tired I just cut to the chase and speak my mind,” I said and then winked at her, “by the way, nice tits.”
“Thanks for noticing,” she smiled slightly.
The toilet flushed and the door to the bathroom opened upstairs. Piggy walked around the upper level of his condo for a moment, I heard something rustle up there and folded my arms, letting my right hand slip into my jacket and unclasp the strap over the Webley. He came down the stairs a few moments later with a jacket on.
“Ready to go,” he said.
“You won’t need that,” I said was we walked towards the door. “Already getting hot out there.”
“You’ve got a jacket on,” he said.
“I’m so cool I get chills in an oven.” I said which shows how tired I was. To make such a lousy joke at that sort of hour.
“Me too,” he said and I just shrugged it off as we went out into the already too hot air.
We walked to the car and got in with only seconds to spare before our skin melted off. Alice turned air conditioning down to its lowest setting and blasted the fans so that we were almost frozen solid by the sudden rush of air. Piggy told us how to get to the place where Columbia was. It wasn’t a house but an old office building in Detroit, and probably had been abandoned for several years. I only barely noticed the desolation of Detroit as we drove, feeling more the rumblings of my belly. I looked at my cell phone and noticed that it was well past noon by the time we pulled up.
We walked into the building behind Piggy and just kept walking behind him to a conference room. When we got there, I found just about everyone I didn’t want to see. Columbia sat next to Amy, who was sitting next to Dee’s stupid twin. There was an empty space next to the fat smiling man, and I sort of figured that was the location that had been vacated by Mister Cat. There were a lot of other people sitting at the table, but to describe them, they might as well have just been a pack of cards for all the distinction one had from another.
“Hi Jack,” Amy said, smiling warmly at me.
“You killed my best man,” the fat man next to her said.
“Shut up stupid, we all know that Heart is the Queen around here,” I said and walked towards the table. “Columbia, let’s get you home.”
“Jack,” Columbia whined.
“No,” I snapped. “Get out of that chair and go get your purse. If you want to hurt your father, have the stones to go do it face to face.”
“It’s okay Columbia,” Amy said placing a hand on hers. “Go home and explain to your father exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing. I think Jack’s right, he needs to hear that it’s coming from inside his own home”
Columbia got up without another word and walked out of the room. I looked at Amy, who was looking at me warmly. She smiled and kissed her finger, then pointing it at me and blowing.
“Why the charade then?” I asked. “If you’re going to let me take her…”
“What the hell are you doing?” Amy asked looking at Piggy.
I turned to see a gun in his hand, which he had been carrying under his jacket, which explained why he had it. Had I been thinking, I would have checked him to make sure he wouldn’t do anything like this. The tears were back, which was going to cause him problems if he tried to shoot.
“You killed my mom, you fucking bitch,” Piggy said through his tears.
“This isn’t the time or place,” I said, because I’d heard it in a movie somewhere. “Piggy!”
His head turned towards me and he looked like he was about to say something. There was a sound like someone working the slide on an automatic pistol and then another sound of an empty shell hitting a wall. Piggy’s face became one of shock and I turned to see a silenced Ruger in Amy’s hand. She pulled the trigger twice more and the pained look on Piggy’s face grew more desperate. He dropped the gun and fell forward.
“Piggy!” Columbia shouted and fell towards him.
“Stop it you stupid girl,” Amy said standing up and pointing the gun.
My hand must have been moving on it’s own without tell me because when I raised it to point at Amy the Webley was already in it. I aimed it at the center of her head, which would have exploded like a melon if I fired at this range. She looked at me and convulsively pointed her gun at me. She then smiled and tried to play it light.
“Come on Jack,” she said smiling at me and licking her lips. “How is this going to work?”
I didn’t say anything, just watched for the slightest sign that she was about to shoot. Alice went to one knee and tried to pull Columbia away.
“I can skin the wings off a fly in mid air with this thing,” she said tilting the gun but still aiming it at me. “I could easily have killed you last night, but I never wanted to hurt you.”
I just stood, silently aiming.
“You’re not even going to banter with me?” she sounded a little sad. “That’s kind of disappointing. We really should have banter at a time like this.”
“I’m really fucking tired Amy,” I said simply. “Been a long fucking day.”
“Oh Christ! You still haven’t been to bed have you?” she slumped her shoulders and bent her knees to try and look cute, while keeping the gun trained on me. “Jesus Jack, you should just dump this case and get some sleep. I would offer to put you to bed, but you wouldn’t get sleep that way.”
I thumbed back the hammer, as it was the only witty thing I could think of. I heard Alice and Columbia leave the room and head out the door.
“Okay, fine,” She laughed and set the gun down on the table. “Does that make you happy?”
“I’m not going to be happy for some time,” I said as I walked out of the office backward.
“I’m not going to chase you this time,” she said as I backed out of the office. I suppose I probably believed her, but I still didn’t turn around until there was a door between us.
When I got out into the street, I saw a red SUV sitting at the corner, and another drove up behind it as Alice pulled out into the street. I had a feeling we only just missed being part of a much bigger outlay of blood by leaving when we did.
This is part nineteen of twenty-three, come back next week for part twenty and every Thursday until we’re done to see what happens next. If you get lost, one of the tags here should help you. The Liberty tag will take you to the story while the Jack Tag will take you to Part One of every story we post here.
Didn’t post all the pics.
You remember the Dinosaur book? I decided to show you just how huge it is. I got a sword and Hol’s biggest bowie knife for scale.
So we were at the DIA this weekend right?
And I was in the Modern Art Wing with Matt, because there was a wedding and they’d blocked off access to pretty much ALL the good stuff that I like. So I’m sneering at the modern art and trying not to spit bile at the Andy Warhol paintings. Spewing stomach fluids is the only reasonable reaction when presented with a something by Warhol, who wasn’t so much making art as he was trying to convince everyone he was clever, but as I was in public it’s not considered polite.
Anyway, we’re walking around and Matt is valiantly trying to figure out why some of the presentations come with little barriers and others don’t. Just so you can picture them, they’re made up of foot tall metal polls and the polls are strung together with a plastic covered metal cord. So we’re looking at some of the few good things in the gallery (they have exactly ONE Rothko) and Matt was becoming sarcastic about what does and doesn’t constitute art. He began to wonder aloud if perhaps he could get some of the stands and cord and maybe put them around random objects he could get people to admire them as part of the exhibit.
“These chairs for example.” He said pointing to the metal benches I was standing next to. “I bet if I put those around this chair, people would think it was on display instead of being a chair.”
“Matt?” I said, pointing to a plaque on the wall that announced that the chairs had a name, they were made by an artist and had all the normal information. “They are part of the exhibit.”
I believe I saw a crack for in his personality at that point. If he’s found bombing a bank in ten years claiming his name is Trevor Durkin, I will fully and completely blame that plaque for the shattering of his mind into tiny violent fragments. We finally admitted defeat upon being presented with three soup pots placed next to three medicine balls on a laminated shelf in an attempt to say something about commercialism. The chief problem with that piece being that it’s more than 20 years old and anything it had to say was either ignored or misinterpreted. I prefer the idea that people saw that and thought “Yeah! I can have more than one soup pot. No! I NEED more than one! I need three of everything! WOOOO! Commercialism here I come!” Teach the artist for being so clever. Frankly I only go in to the modern section to look at the Rothko (sadly, not one of his better ones) and a couple other things, so I was glad to leave.
And before you ask, yes I do understand modern art. I studied it for a while, and I know all about it, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Even though I do have a strange affection for Rothko, Dali, Van Doesburg and Ernst. Besides, I’m a writer, even if I did like something, I couldn’t admit it. All writers are required to think artists are a bunch of wanks because while they were out taking drugs, having sex, and getting paid for putting stuffing into an ugly potato sack, we were stuck sitting in dark rooms learning to write. That sort of thing breeds resentment after a while.
NOW! That is not the funny bit.
Wait for a moment and I’ll tell you the funny bit.
We went to see Public Enemies after the museum and dinner. While leaving the theater I happen to see something that caught my considerable interest and intellect. There was a bench, that someone had put four of those crowd control towers with yellow caution tape around them to make sure no one would go into the box they’d made. And what was inside this box of caution? I had to run to get Matt before he got to his car so I could point at the concrete bench and shout “THEY DID IT! THEY ACTUALLY DID IT!”
And we all stood around the bench, which had been closed off for our safety and convince, to discuss what it meant. There was no plaque, no paragraph of intended meanings, we each had to make up our own minds. There also was no Stone Line giving me a headache by being allowed to exist just one room over. So really, I don’t know why I bother going to museums, art is everywhere, so long as you know to look for it.
Except, you can’t just go anywhere to look at a Rembrandt and then declare loudly and with aforethought of malice. “He is sooo over rated now. I remember when he was just working on the streets and was struggling. He had passion then, now he’s just gone cold.” Or staring at any random Madonna and Child for fifteen seconds and then turn to my companion and say “I don’t get it. What are they trying to say?”
Because A) Fuck people for thinking I should make life easy for them and B) I love the looks they give me when I say things like that.
It is not enough to know the words. It is not enough to understand the words yourself. One must also be able to tell others what the words mean.
Example, there is my personal favorite speech from Hamlet…
How all occasions do inform against me, and spur my dull revenge! What is a man? If his chief good and market of his time be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more. Sure, he that made us with such large discourse, looking before and after, gave us not that capability and god-like reason to fust in us unused. Now, whether it be bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple of thinking too precisely on the event, a thought which, quarter’d, hath but one part wisdom and ever three parts coward, I do not know why yet I live to say ‘This thing’s to do;’ sith I have cause and will and strength and means to do’t. Examples gross as earth exhort me: Witness this army of such mass and charge led by a delicate and tender prince, whose spirit with divine ambition puff’d makes mouths at the invisible event, exposing what is mortal and unsure to all that fortune, death and danger dare, even for an egg-shell. Rightly, to be great is not to stir without great argument, but greatly to find quarrel in a straw when honour’s at the stake. How stand I then, that have a father kill’d, a mother stain’d, excitements of my reason and my blood, and let all sleep? While, to my shame, I see the imminent death of twenty thousand men, that, for a fantasy and trick of fame, go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot whereon the numbers cannot try the cause, which is not tomb enough and continent to hide the slain? O, from this time forth, my thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!
Translation: What the have I done about all this? Am I gonna go out like a bitch? Fuck no! Fair warning. Shit’s on now motherfuckers!
One is an accountant from Devonshire, the other is the great wizard Thoth-Amon
Together… they fight crime.
This message brought to you by the emergency “Yeah, I ain’t got shit today” network.
At least Iago enjoyed being a bastard and didn’t go around saying he was sorry for being a dick only to go on being one anyway.