Jimmy Plush and Mittens O’ Hara in “Murder at Little Stonehenge Part 1″”

Posted: May 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

[Jimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective was introduced to the world in either The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction#1 or in Startling Adult Mysteries magazine in the 50s, depending on whether I enjoy lying. He’s a reprehensible little brute, but people seem to respond to him. His adventures actually got me my contract with Eraserhead Press. Here is a special Plush adventure for May Day, an oft unappreciated holiday that I thought could use a little TLC. I’ve considered holiday stories, but I don’t know how much fun a meeting between Plush and Santa would be and I sure as hell don’t want to think about what he does for Halloween. Here is Part 1]

Jimmy Plush and Mittens O’ Hara in “Murder at Little Stonehenge” Part 1

This another one of those stories you hear on Mayday. Stories about druids and cats and sledgehammers and gunplay and private dicks. The usual. So you probably think you’ve heard this one before, or read about it in the paper. I can guarantee you that you didn’t. A member of the Fourth Estate may have been on hand, but by the time the whole fiasco was over with, he had no intention of reporting this. I’ve had some distance from the incident, so I’m willing to share the facts. Consider yourself lucky. Or don’t. If I gave a damn what you people thought about anything, you wouldn’t know I existed.

It started off like every terrible day would start off back then. A wakeup call from Chang, my Chinese chauffeur accompanied by coffee. The coffee would have been a tempting place for ducks to wallow in, sticking their heads in and foraging the bottom of the cup for fish and roots. He was lucky it was lukewarm, otherwise he might have burned his face when I tossed it at him. Of course, pulling out shards of the ugly mug that shattered on impact with his ugly mug must have been no picnic. As a teddy bear, I wasn’t too sensitive about these things because most of my injuries could be dealt with via a needle and thread.

“Chang apologizes for unsatisfactory coffee,” said my chauffeur with one of his patronizing bows.

I waved away the stink of horseshit the apology left behind and got down to business.

“We got any clients?”

The chinaman looked away.

“One, perhaps.”

I took a swig from the flask of gin in my desk.

“Perhaps one client, huh? That’s worth getting up and wrecking a perfectly good coffee mug. Maybe we can tell the landlord that perhaps we’ll make rent sometime next month.”

Chang heaved a ten ton sigh.

“The client is Mittens O’ Hara.”

This was one of the last things I would have wanted to hear. At least I thought so at the time. Over the course of my career, I encountered a great many new and exotic varieties of awful news.

“Not interested.”

The words slid like lukewarm coffee off a duck’s back.

“It’s about druids.”

Another one of the last things I wanted to hear.

“Consider me doubly uninterested.”

The chauffeur took in what I had to say this time, but decided to protest. He did this often enough that I had to wonder whether he was a fawning sycophant or just making fun of me, which I’d think is pretty tempting when you work for a three foot tall teddy bear in a trenchcoat and fedora.

“But most honored Mister Plush, was Mittens O’ Hara not shot the last time he crossed your path?”

“I didn’t shoot him. And maybe I’m just bad luck to cats that cross my path.”

Chang wagged a finger.

“But he was shot because he was providing you with information you needed.”

“He’s with the press. Who wouldn’t want to shoot him? And you forget, Chang that disseminating important information is the purpose of the press. He was not shot because I was doing my job but because he was doing his.”

Chang bowed deep.

“Chang apologizes, Most Honored Mister Plush. It is not in the nature of Detective Jimmy Plush to seek atonement for negative actions.”

The bastard. He knew that would get to me. The lowdown teddy bear detective who had tricked me into switching bodies with him was the rottenest son of a bitch in a city so full of rotten sons of bitches you’d think guys went to the pound to get their rocks off. (Not that I didn’t think there weren’t elements of Nero City’s citizenry that did so.) I did not like being compared to the real Jimmy Plush, especially because I came out on the losing end of the last encounter with the bear occupying my old body. It gnawed at me. It disgusted me. It infuriated me. Even if I was Jimmy Plush right now, I wasn’t Jimmy Plush. And even if I was, I wasn’t the Jimmy Plush that I used to be. Or that he used to be. Still not certain how that worked.

“Fine. We’ll go see the cat.”

So,we got in my custom limousine and drove to O’ Hara’s office. O’ Hara’s floor,  was for the most part a giant typewriter built so he could do his job without hands, much like my custom fingerless .45 was built so I could kill people without thumbs. And people with thumbs as well. I don’t discriminate when it comes to the scum I put down. Seated on the H key, was of course O’ Hara himself, a fat tiger cat whose porkpie hat was adorned with a slip of paper that should have read trouble but simply said “press. But lying across the long spacebar was three and a half feet of leg leading up to two and a half feet of trouble. For those of you unaccustomed to arithemtic, that’s six feet of woman. Although I was presently attached, I wasn’t seeing much of my girl, which says a lot since my girl was taken to wearing a head to toe skintight fox suit and that meant I always saw less of her than I’d like. Stirred some phantom sensations in my netherregions. A lot of girls in town had taken to wearing animal suits. This girl had just taken to masterfully wearing a little black dress. If there was a little less black dress, there’d be barely any at all.

“Well, well, if it isn’t Jimmy Plush,” said the cat in his nasal, irritating voice, “I’m thankful I’ve got nothing but paws so I won’t have to shake your filthy little mitts.”

“I’m glad I don’t have testicles so they won’t shrivel at the sound of your voice. Who’s the dame?”

The dame stood up, causing the typewriter to clack through several spaces.

“My name is Sophie, Sophie Rowan. And before you ask, Mister Plush, yes, I’m from a family of means. I do not expect you to work for me for free. Mister O’ Hara has already been paid a rather substantial consulting fee.”

“Hope you paid him in booze and cheap tuna to save him a trip to the store.”

The kitty hissed. The dame looked like she might do the same.

“Mister Plush, this is serious.”

“I’m sorry, please, go on.”

With shaking hands, she lit a cigarette. Her manner switched from authoritative to flustered.

“A few months ago, my twin sister Rosie ran away to Little Stonehenge to become a druid. I know what you’re thinking, that they’re a bad crowd, that they worship ancient evil gods and dress up as animals and chant on pagan holidays, but I went to visit them and I’ve got to tell you, they’re a kind, humble nature loving people. There’s nowhere else in Nero City where they let so many trees grow and so many animals roam free. They stick to themselves, brew their beer and dance their dances and they don’t harm anyone.”

That isn’t what I’d heard and I wasn’t about to take her word for it, but I didn’t say anything.

“Yesterday, I received a letter from one of her druid friends informing me that Rosey had been found murdered. They suspect that it might have been some thugs from the Werdegast brewery, who have long been threatened by the superior druid brew. I need you and Mr. O’ Hara to unmask the culprit whether it be thugs from Werdegast or someone else.”

I’d tried Werdegast. They had a right to be jealous. To say the stuff tasted like piss did it an injustice. It tastes like the kind of piss a guy should see a doctor about. Still didn’t make Werdegast a murderer.

“I see a few holes in that story. When was the last time she got in touch with you? Did she say anything suspicious?”

“She sent me this. But I can’t make heads or tails of it.”

She handed me a sheet of paper. Couldn’t make out most of the writing. It was all foreign scribbles of some kind. Made me feel funny. There was one phrase I could read. Didn’t mean anything but I could read it. Must’ve been some kind of code. I didn’t like that.Wasn’t the kind of detective work I’m good at. I find people and I make bad people disappear. In this town it usually doesn’t take much detective work to do that. I stuck it in my trenchcoat pocket.

And the room became dark. Sounds like an awkward way to say the lights went out. It isn’t. It became dark. It became cold, hopeless, full of thick shadows, nasty thoughts and impending dread. If the lights had gone out, somebody could have lit a match or something and it would have been brighter. But it became dark, like a boy becomes a man or like milk becomes sour. Got a feeling like I would be much better off dead. And maybe like everybody would be better off dead.

And the room became bright again. Or at least it stopped being dark.  She was gone. Not dead on the floor or anything, like I was used to when the lights went out and somebody had gotten into something too deep. But taken. By somebody who could walk across a giant typewriter without being noticed. And all I had was one sheet of paper.

Mittens shook his fat porkpied head.

“You sure know how to attract trouble, Plush.”

“I think this one might have been her fault.”

I could see on his face that he knew I was right. Wouldn’t admit it at gunpoint, but he knew I was right.

“Anything on that piece of paper?”

I looked it over again, as if there wasn’t only one word that was at all decipherable.

“Nah, not unless you know what the hell Dagon is.”

CHECK BACK ON MAY 8th FOR THE NEXT PART!

Read the first published Jimmy Plush adventure in The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction Issue One:

http://www.amazon.com/Magazine-Bizarro-Fiction-Issue-One/dp/1933929847/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1304289213&sr=1-1

And keep your eye on Chainsaw Noir for updates on Jimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective coming soon from Eraserhead Press

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