Jimmy Plush and Mittens O’ Hara in “Murder at Little Stonehenge Part 3”

Posted: May 18, 2011 in Uncategorized
  • [Sorry that this is a few days late. I’ve had some really rough news to deal with and am trying to do start some new projects at the same time. Projects which include an Online Writing Workshop this June. If you’re interested, email gacookeditor@gmail.com and I’ll give you some more info]
  • Read Part 1:
    Read Part 2

  • Jimmy Plush and Mittens O’ Hara in Murder at Little Stonehenge Part 3
  • “The brewery,” the sailor spat out so fast, you would have thought it was toothpaste or a vegetable.
    I gave his nose a tickle with my gun.
    “Now tell me who ordered the hit and maybe I’ll let you live.”
    I wasn’t altogether against letting him live. I wasn’t for it either.
    He was stuttering. I hate when people stutter.
    “In spite of the coral reef and the occasional lunatic dressed as an angelfish out here, I can assure you we’re not at sea and I am not the captain of whatever stinking barge you’re used to.  There’s no need for “aye aye” . What I am is an angry teddy bear with a gun pressed against your face. So I’d suggest you answer me promptly.”
    The salt’s face got particularly salty. Really starting to sweat.
    I pistolwhipped him.
    “Now that’s just rude. I didn’t ask a yes or no question and yet you keep answering me in the affirmative.”
    He swallowed. Coughed. Sighed. Breathed in and out a couple times.
    “I don’t know. Nobody sees the boss. My manager gave me a note, said to go to Little Stonehenge, hide and wait to see if anybody tells a teddy bear anything. And if they do…”
    “Kill ’em?”
    It was good to know where he’d come from, but I still hadn’t gotten enough information to put the pieces together. Like most of my cases, this one was getting frustrating.
    “So, you’re telling me that you were willing to take money to kill a stranger, that you don’t know where the moneycame from and that you’ve outlived your usefulness to me?”
    “Aye” you say?”
    I shot him. He’d made me mad and he’d obstructed my investigation. Point blank. Made a real mess. Nothing unusual about that. However, tiny water plants sprouted up where the blood had spilled. That was unusual. I took a note of it. If every time I had to shoot a guy, it left behind tiny water plants, I’d have ducks following me everywhere I went.  A little bit spooky. I decided I didn’t have time to deal with any more of this nonsense, and knowing that the brewery had hired the sailor I figured the meetup with Mittens and the shakedown of Henri Dagon would be much more fruitful than dealing with the crazies at Little Stonehenge.
    I returned to the office, waited for seven o’ clock to roll around. No sign of the kittycat. I’d have to go to the magic show at the Prufrock alone. This worried me. It’s not that I got any pleasure from the cat’s company, it’s more that I knew Mittens had trouble keeping his paws clean and eventually I’d be obligated to follow the muddy trail to its filthy conclusion. Maybe Dagon knew something.
    “Chang,” I said to my chauffeur, “I’m going to need a sledgehammer.”
    “There’s one in the trunk,” he replied. I shuddered a little to think that I was thinking like the real Jimmy Plush. Couldn’t be avoided sometimes. A teddybear’s body and a detective’s problems make a man do bad things. Like caving in an usher’s knees until he lets you get into a magic show carrying a sledgehammer.
    Dagon was a skinny little frenchman with a thick bushy mustache. Not all that impressive. Until he started doing his tricks, that is. Turned confetti into a murder of crows. Sawed a woman in half. I’d seen a woman sawed in half before, but usually inside a trunk. She was lying on a table and he brought the two halves together by simply mumbling some kind of gibberish and making a few hand gestures. This guy was good. Maybe even too good for his own good. For his final performance he transformed himself into a winged African  lion and zoomed in circles above the audience. When the audience called for an encore, he made it snow inside the theater. What an entertainer.
    I went back stage,  knocked on Dagon’s dressing room door.
    “Who is it?”
    “It’s Jimmy Plush.”
    “Ah, ze detective! Come on in, Monsieur Ploosh, but please do be quick about it!”
    I opened the door. Walked in. The frenchman was taking off his mustache and selecting a different mustache from a box of fake mustaches.
    “Alright, tell me what goes on at  the brewery, you dirty French snake in the grass, before I smash your magic wand with my sledgehammer!” I gestured with the sledgehammer to indicate I meant magic wand to be a metaphor for something. Might’ve been a little blunt.
    “I’m afraid Monsieur Ploosh, that I do not know what you are talking about. I am a fronchman, Monsieur Ploosh and would not lowair mysilf to imbibe ze beer like a common prostitute.”
    Made sense. He still had to know more than I did, though.
    “Then how come before one of Lapin’s druid girls went missing, she sent her sister a note that mentioned your name?”
    His face turned red and puffy, gouts of fire shot out of his hands. The mustache flew off his face and made a high pitch scream.
    “How dare you mention zat name in my presence! Werdegast Lapin is the most conniving foul magician zat ever lived! He is no drooeed! He is a practionair of ze dark arts!”
    Now I was getting somewhere. And had discovered the mysterious Lapin’s first name happened to be the name of the rival brewery that was responsible for the hit on the mermaid and whatever happened to the cat.
    “So you two ARE acquainted. A black magician who exploits young girls and has no problem violating antitrust laws. Sounds like a real piece of work.”
    He replaced his mustache. Clapped his hands and made a glass of wine appear.
    “”A real piece of work “does not begin to describe Lapin. Lapin was my assistant. A magician with great potential. Potential for good or for eveel. Ze code of ze stage magician is to use magic only to entertain or to perform simple tasks. But he wanted more. He wanted powair and inflooance and was willing to do anything to get it. ANYTHING.”
    Real magic. Just what I needed. I had assumed that druidism was just a sham so Lapin could scam some rich girls out of their inheritances and maybe get a little affection out of the deal, but I’d seen strange things already. The seaweed, the coral reef, the trees growing around the standing stones, the strange cloud of darkness. It would explain a lot, although that would mean there’d be a lot of things to explain.
    “So you’re saying stage magic is real?”
    “But of course!” He laughed and pulled a ten foot long string of handkerchiefs out of his mouth.
    “And Lapin decided to use druid magic to gain this power?”
    He huffed at me, put his nose in the air.
    “NO! Werdegast Lapin is no drooeed! He is only pretending. Drooeedic magic is from the Martian tradition of magic, everyone knows that.”
    Of course, how silly of me.
    “But ze magic Lapin practices is of ze Atlantean tradition, and mermaids are of course from Venus.”
    Of course, how silly of me. How could I have gotten along this far without knowing anything about history?
    “So Lapin has tricked these druids into believing he practices Martian magic by using Venusian magic?”
    Dagon wiped a tear from his eye.
    “Oui. And it is an awful betrayal! The Atlanteans were a cruel and depraved race, skilled in ze dark arts. They worshipped unspeakable undersea gods from Venus, but especially an ancient and terrible creature, which I am ashamed to say bears the name…”
    Blackness again. Cold again. Despair again, a despair compounded by the knowledge that I was about to lose yet another lead. The blackness parted and Dagon was struggling and screaming. His entire body was covered with thousands of barnacles, eyes, nose, mouth, hands. I did my best to pick them off him, but whenever I did, the things took a chunk of flesh with them. There were thousands of the little bastards and they weren’t gonna let go and they weren’t gonna let up until Dagon was dead and it wasn’t long before he was.
    Things didn’t look good. The barnacleridden body of Henri Dagon was proof that the ruthless lunatic I was dealing with would stop at nothing and there was virtually nothing he couldn’t do. Me, there was virtually nothing I wouldn’t do, so I had that on my side. That, a sledgehammer, knowledge of the Chinese fighting arts and a hell of a temper. I got in the limo. Told Chang to take me to the Werdegast brewery. Maybe I’d have a chance of finding Mittens there. Maybe I had just as good a chance at finding myself covered in barnacles. Didn’t matter. It was time to work some magic.
    1. MorbidbookS says:

      Garrett Cook is a serious talented and morose motherfucker who makes us wish print was not already dead — or at least in critical condition. Read him, children. Read him now.

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