Jimmy Plush and Mittens O’ Hara in Murder at Little Stonehenge Part 4

Posted: May 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

[This is part 4 of an ongoing serial. You can read Part 3 and get linked to parts one and two by going HERE

Jimmy Plush and Mittens O’ Hara in Murder at Little Stonehenge Part 4

Chang parked three blocks away from the Werdegast brewery and with only my sledgehammer, my wits, my custom teddy bear .45 and the cover of darkness to protect me, I went to investigate. As I suspected, the front gate was well protected. Five sailors had a cannon ready and loaded to blow away anything that came in that wasn’t a brewery employee or a shipment of beer. I’d have to go in through the back door, which sure enough was guarded only by a single peglegged pirate swigging grog and whispering sweet nothings to a toy parrot.

He didn’t hear me coming. He didn’t see me coming. He didn’t see the sledgehammer coming towards his groin. He felt it, though. Who wouldn’t feel their testicles getting smashed? As a pantsless teddy bear, I felt grateful that I lacked equipment whenever I had to wreck somebody else’s. The rest of the time, I tried not to think about it, which was difficult, since usually when I thought of how unfortunate I was to be stuck in a teddy bear’s body, my thoughts wandered down there and I thought that pretty often. Anyway, the pirate hit the ground, and I hit the pirate again. Four more times in the head. Messy, ugly, harsh, but necessary.

I waited a minute, to make sure that nobody heard the pirate’s screams of pain and pleas to Zeus for help. They were probably used to him screaming and praying to Zeus for help.Seemed like he was drunk and at least partially insane. Suspicious. Made me regret not going through the front. Might have been certain death, but at least I’d get to know what it felt like to be shot with a cannon and at least I’d be confronting certain death instead of what looked like a blatant trap. I opened the door, walking into what looked like and turned out to be a blatant trap. Lapin had been waiting for me, smug smile on his grotesque bunny face.

He was surrounded by a dozen sailors, tough, ugly customers, armed with cutlasses, belaying pins and harpoons, dressed in white bellbottoms and striped shirts. And up close, I realized that rabbit mask was no mask. Lapin actually had a rabbit head. I’d seen things like that before, but not often. I couldn’t help but stare in disgust.

“Yes, Mister Plush,” he growled, his voice thick with an accent I couldn’t place, “I have a rabbit’s head. It plagues me, it shames me, it reminds me of all that I did to get in touch with my deep reservoir of dark power. But we will not speak of that right now. Seize him!”

The sailors charged at me. It looked like they were foaming at the mouth. The foam smelled like salt water, like the liquid coming out of the “mermaid’s nipples. They moved fast, fought ferociously. Hard to dodge the flying harpoons and quick slashes. I gave pretty good with the sledgehammer, taking out five sets of kneecaps, sterilizing two unfortunate souls without taking so much as a scratch. My size, speed and training in the Chinese fighting arts were an asset in this fight. Not so much as the mouth foaming berserk rage of the sailors, however. I actually got off pretty easy being smacked with a belaying pin and stuffed into a sack. Not that I like getting stuffed into sacks. It’s always unpleasant and has happened to me far more often than I’d like to admit. I don’t like to admit that it’s ever happened.

As usually occurs, when I’m stuffed into a sack, when I was extracted from said sack, I was someplace I’d rather not be. This time, I was being tied down to one of three stone slabs amidst the standing stones at Little Stonehenge by one of Lapin’s sailor henchmen. Two more sailors stood guard over him, one of them holding my sledgehammer. On one side of me on another stone slab was Mittens O’ Hara, on the other side a crying Rowan. Standing over us, looking creepy in a black robe and holding a heavy book was Werdegast Lapin. And standing next to Lapin was the spitting image of Rowan, her crazed druid sister, Rosey, whose supposed disappearance had instigated this “case.”

“How could you, Rowan sobbed? How can you do this to your own sister?”

Rosey laughed a rude, patrician laugh. The kind of laugh you’d expect from a girl who just sold out her sister to a crazed rabbitman.

“Why for daddy’s money of course. It takes capital to rule the world, even with the second coming of an Atlantean Elder God by your side.”

That wasn’t the sort of thing I wanted to hear. Not by a longshot. I had some idea of what was going on now and I wasn’t pleased. All this phony hocus pocus was real and it was going to cost a lot of people their lives.

“Dagon,” I called out, “it’s not just the name of the French magician that trained you. It’s the name of an Atlantean god, too. And you’re going to sacrifice us to him so this god will not just help your rule the world but will return you to normal again.”

Lapin shook his floppyeared pinkeyed head.

“No, Mister Plush. Not at all. I am ashamed of having become such a timid, comical creature. When I become the avatar of Dagon, I will not get back my humanity, I will become something frightful and arcane and aquatic. I had hoped, when I agreed to be the first recipient of Professor Blasko’s process…”

Blasko. I hated hearing that name.

“Professor Blasko? The one who…”

“Yes, Mister Plush, the Professor Blasko who combined science and alchemy to perfect the art of body switching. You’ve had some contact with him, I believe?”

“Yeah, when he tricked me into switching bodies with a cat and then mailed my real body to Argentina!” Mittens shouted, giving me the dirty feline look he’d given me several times over the course of our short acquaintanceship.

The real Jimmy Plush had done that with help from Blasko and also taken my body from me. I could have explained what Lapin meant, but I didn’t. If we got out of this alive, I didn’t want him getting the word out that I wasn’t the real Jimmy Plush. It would mean criminals would no longer fear me and somebody else would take it upon themselves to track down and rid the world of the real thing before I forced him at gunpoint to switch bodies back.

“That’s right. That’s where I know him from.”

Lapin cleared his throat loudly.

“May I finish?”

“Sure, why not?”

He cleared his throat again.

“When I agreed to be the first recipient of Blasko’s imperfect process, I had hoped to become a squid creature or a starfish man or some sort of sharkfaced abomination against nature. But I ended up a rabbit. I had needed Blasko’s process to relinquish humanity and more perfectly practice the magic of the Atlanteans and was willing to give up my head, but not for this perfectly innocuous terrestrial mammal head. Not for this! Now with your sacrifice in the midst of a bloodstained sea…”

I’d known Lapin and the druids had had some screws loose. If I was going to die, I’d have to have the satisfaction of bringing up the one detail.

“We’re not under the sea.”

Lapin approached, slapped me in the face.

“Ignorant bear! How foollish you are! Notice the aquatic plants? Notice the druidesses wandering the grove dressed as mermaids? The ground and the women have been transformed by being anointed with blood and fermented fluid. These things do not resonate well with the Martian magic of the standing stones.”

“Hence the breweries.”

Lapin applauded me sarcastically.

“Very good, Mister Plush. Can you tell me what’s going to happen next?”

An explosion. It wasn’t far away. The brewery where the druids worked, the brewery supposedly competing with Werdegast to make the best beer. The air grew heavy with the smell of booze, burning flesh and bodies. A river of beer, blood, body parts and entrails two feet deep rushed through the grove, stinking, reddish yellowish brown, heads arms, scraps or robes, wooden splinters from barrels, it crashed against the standing stones, which made a screaming sound when touched by it. A whoosh of beer from the other end of the grove as sailors busted open barrels of beer from off a brewery truck. Sea of beer, sea of blood converging at the sacred stones. Swaying fronds of kelp sprung up from the ground, a wall of tall coral encircled us, eyeless fish swam in the shallow water reciting words in a language I couldn’t recognize. Excited druids, those left alive since they weren’t working in or near the destroyed druid brewery from all over Little Stonehenge converged on the center, excited about having flippers where the hands had once been and sharkfins. On their back, they fell to their knees and gave thanks to Lapin, who was reading from the book and convulsing with some sort of otherworldly power. Little Stonehenge belonged to Atlantean sorcery and to Dagon, who was about to emerge and become one with a rabbitheaded freak intent on world domination.

CONCLUDES NEXT SUNDAY!

Comments
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  2. […] Jimmy Plush as well as Mittens O' Hara in Murder during Little Stonehenge … […]

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