Jimmy Plush and Mittens O’ Hara in Murder at Little Stonehenge Part 5

Posted: May 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

[The final part of the Jimmy Plush serial Murder at Little Stonehenge. At the end I’m going to make a really great announcement]

Jimmy Plush and Mittens O’ Hara in Murder at Little Stonehenge Part 5

The thing Lapin used to be would have been downright average compared to what the incantation transformed him into. His arms and legs fell off. His torso sank to the bottom of the river of body parts and beer. His head floated in the air, bodiless for a minute until it grew a new body, a lobsterclawed seal the size of a small building. The great god Dagon was a beached seal, floating in shallow beer and blood, staring spitefully through the beady pink eyes of a tiny rabbit head. His sailor henchmen, confused, charged him with their harpoons, belaying pins, cutlasses, my sledgehammer. With a single snip of the claws,the sailor who’d held my hammer was dead, body split in half. Same thing happened to the others. More blood, more limbs for the unholy river of liquor and debris. Apparently just for the hell of it, he did the same thing to Rowan’s traitorous bitch of a sister. No big loss there.

I’d seen Lapin’s magic in use before. I’d felt the blackness and the despair and the sensation that life was meaningless. I expected the great Dagon to emit something far worse. I couldn’t feel it. I couldn’t feel fear of the dark god or of Lapin. There was a calmness reaching for me, emanating from the nearby stones. Their magic had been warped and polluted and misused by Lapin and yet, there was something of them left in them. As Lapin dispatched his allies in a grisly fashion, I worked the ropes, untied myself, then Rowan and Mittens.

“Get out!” I shouted at them, “swim for it!” As much blood and filth as there was, they could still swim it. They didn’t debate it, they didn’t thank me for staying as they swam for safety, they just swam, through booze and parts and stink, they swam, past grasping kelp and hungry fish, they swam. It was almost as much a show of courage for them to swim as for me to stand against Dagon by myself. Having dispatched the last of his allies and having more or less lost two of his sacrifices, Lapin or Dagon was angry. He would still get one sacrifice, one thing connected to him by having experienced the process, one thing that would grant him anything he wanted. He lunged, I dove into the water, swam for my sledgehammer. I had an idea.

Awkward swipes with giant claws, hungry fish, druid bits, beer and blood up to my neck. A lot stood in my way as I swam for the only thing that would give me a chance at salvation. The lobsterclawed rabbithead eel could probably only be stopped one way. If he could be stopped that way. I swam to the sledgehammer, hung onto it for dear life, even as the beer pulled me under. I was starting to feel intoxicated, nauseous. My vision was getting blurry. I had the hammer. I could barely hold onto it, could barely hold onto it, could barely stay afloat and could barely think. And yet, I did not fear the Atlantean elder god.

Lapin didn’t manage the power of Dagon well. You’d think the gods could do more than splash and snip. They probably could, but not when their vessel was a rabbitheaded magician’s assistant who’d sold out his humanity to get all the power he had. Evil’s powerful stuff. It’s everywhere. Like the water that was enveloping me or the booze that was soaking into my brain. I’d seen so much of it and had so much of it around me, that the little glint of hope stood out, the tiny bit of pure essence left in the stones. They wanted me to reach them. A tiny voice emanating from them said “fix us”, “kill us”. It took me all my strength to swim up to the closest standing stone and make a feeble swing at it. Swimming with a sledgehammer is hard. Swinging one in the water is hard. It clinked harmlessly.

I took another swing. Had to to duck under the water to avoid Dagon’s claw. Took another swing.

“C’mon,” I told the stone, “break, you wanna die, die!”

It made a tiny crack. The crack grew.The stone shook. The stone crumbled. Dagon made a noise too awful to describe. The stones were cooperating and the hideous elder god was suffering. My body and my swimming felt stronger, I had a surge of purpose I don’t experience all that often. One stone down, three more to go. Swam at the second stone. One stroke. Crack, crumble, shatter. Dagon let loose another howl of pain. I’ve done some suffering in my life. Ain’t many situations I could have imagined letting loose a noise like this one. Coral died. Kelp wilted. Fish cried. Batwinged pirahnas flew out of the Atlantean god’s rabbit mouth and started eating each other. Wasn’t disgusted. Wasn’t worried. All I could think was to keep swimming and to keep wrecking the stones, cutting him off from the pure magic he’d corrupted. Hit the third stone. Cracked it. Smashed it. Crumbled it to dust. Lapin’s head popped off of the eel body, flew through the air toward me, opening its mouth and baring sharp little rabbit teeth. It latched onto my back, biting down and ripping into my trenchcoat and into my fur. Rabbit head clinging to my back, I swam for the fourth stone, gave it a good wallop with the hammer. A small crack, a big crack.

A blinding white light exploded from the stones. The world went white. I felt the grip of Lapin’s teeth relax and finally, I felt the head let go. I felt the river start to drain out, get shallower until I was standing once more on dry land. My eyes opened to see the elder god gone, the coral gone. The fronds gone. The druid bodies gone. The buildings that had once been in Little Stonehenge gone. Grass at my feet. Nothing left of the whole section of town but green grass and a single tree. I stood around for awhile, proud of having done something good, happy to be in this place of peace. It didn’t last. I had Nero City’s hate and filth and the corruption and gunfire to deal with and I had to track down the bear who’d tricked me into trading bodies. There are times when our lives are touched by divinity and goodness and magic and all we can do is walk away and forget it. Hope had come down to a teddy bear with a sledgehammer following a little voice that just wanted to die. For a long time, that would be the best Nero City would get. Two days later, somebody chopped that one tree down.

The End

And now for my announcement. Ages ago, I announced Jimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective. The book since encountered a lot of delays and had the kind of bad luck and challenges and the kind of triumphs you could only expect from an embattled teddy bear and his equally embattled author. But, after all this time, a lot of work, a lot of different ideas and a lot of effort, Jimmy Plush is on his way. The book is at the printer as we speak. If you like pulp action with meaning, if you like your mysteries tinged with weirdness and violence, if you like adorable teddy bears with guns and attitude you’ll like this. Those of you on the Plushlist get your books a couple days after I get them myself. Those of you who aren’t on the Plushlist, keep your eyes on Amazon.com for a Bizarro summer blockbuster waiting to happen. Plush’s first adventure has appeared in not just The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction but been reprinted in Hayakawa’s Mystery Magazine in Japan, which has reprinted works by the likes of Robert E. Howard, Sax Rohmer and Edward Gorey, all authors that have influenced the world of Jimmy Plush. So keep your eyes on your inboxes if you’re on the Plushlist and on Chainsaw Noir and Amazon if you aren’t. This book has been through a lot and I guarantee what’s come out will be unlike anything you’ve ever read before.

Comments
  1. bizarrojones says:

    This is a must-have for me!

  2. Lee Widener says:

    Man, that cover is DYNO MITE!

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