Murder most foul, Part 11

Creepy didn’t quite manage to enter like Clint Eastwood either, but I could tell the same basic impulse had crossed his mind and been similarly thwarted. The music, at least, was now some sort of weirdly-appropriate Country-and-Western techno remix, largely drowned out by the crowd. The reserved tables were now mostly-filled by Nobbo and Wanker’s party guests, many of whom were devouring nachos in an enviable display of wasteful excess. The bar was well-manned by thirsty punters. It was a reasonably busy Saturday – perhaps slightly more so than usual, due to the semi-private function. Nobody noticed Creepy, despite the fact that he was still in his raincoat and still seemed to be carrying most of his ad-libbed weapons.

We stood facing each other down the length of the bar, largely ignored by the rest of the patrons and staff, although bar-muchacho did cast his jaundiced gaze across the newcomer and evidently decided he was no serious threat.

“There you are,” I said, wondering if we could skip the recriminations about me sending him to The Python Lounge if I just told him about the corner-of-my-eye weirdoes quickly enough. He glared at me, letting me know in no uncertain terms that this was not a viable alternative to the bitter outpouring he had been rehearsing on the long walk here. “Look, can we just-”

“The people waiting in line in front of me,” he said evenly, “were debating the merits of tapas restaurants.”

“I … oh,” I coughed. “There was a line? You waited in an actual line?”

“And the people behind me,” he went on, his tone darkening, “had just read Gravity’s Rainbow.”

“Look, that sucks, but I really think-”

“And they thought it had meanings.”

“I-”

“Please note, Hatboy, the plural.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, still trying to be serious but unable to hide a smirk, “you just – you – I just wanted to see if you’d keep pretending to have figured it all out if I led us somewhere completely…” I paused. “Is that … what’s that on your hand?” I leaned forward and squinted, and he tried to cover it up. “Is that an admission stamp?”

“It cost eight bucks to get in,” he muttered.

“And you paid?” I said incredulously, momentarily shocked out of my train of thought and forced to jog alongside. “And got a stamp in case you wanted to go back in later?

“The stamp was the only thing they were offering for the price of admission,” Creepy flared. “I would have gotten more of them but they said no. You’re paying me back for that.”

“Sure,” I hooted, “I’ll take a scraping from my solid gold toilet and get the cash to you by the end of the financial year.”

And then a girl detached herself from the bar and made her way towards us, weaving easily through the crowd with only the occasional smile and murmur of cheerful chatter to the people she was passing by.

She was … well, remarkable, in that most people are remarkable for at least something, but in her case – in this place, at this time – it was accentuated. I won’t bother myself overmuch with describing her, except to say that she had dark hair, and eyes.

Make no mistake, I don’t fudge that grammar idly. I mean it quite as-written. I know, saying someone has eyes isn’t exactly sensational, because most people have eyes.

Not like these ones, though.

These were serious, intent, and brooked neither nonsense nor foolishness. They were the eyes of someone you wanted on your side, because the prospect of having them not on your side was frankly worrisome. These were eyes that had read tomes, pulled all-nighters, seen things they would never forget and perhaps should never have seen in the first place.

I like to think that Creepy and I, on those rare days when we are both magnificent bastards, have eyes like that. From the looks of this girl, she had them three hundred and fifty days a year, with about two weeks of wriggle-room to permit them to be even more hardcore.

“So you made it,” she said. “Good.”

“Um,” I said sceptically, “yes. Hello.”

“You got my invitation in the mail,” she said. “I’m Carl.”

There was a moment’s silence.

Highly unlikely,” Creepy said loftily. “The victim’s name was Carl and that is clearly a male name, and besides, Carl has been murdered. You are clearly an impostor and those,” he pointed, “are fake.”

I glanced at my watch. “Oh look,” I said. “Seventeen seconds.”

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy. https://hatboy.blog/2013/12/17/metalude-who-are-creepy-and-hatboy/
This entry was posted in Chuck Dickens’s “A Christmas Carl”, Creepy and Hatboy Save the World and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Murder most foul, Part 11

  1. dreameling says:

    I’m really enjoying this. Especially since I have no frigging idea where you’re going with this. And Creepy is really growing on me.

    • stchucky says:

      I’m really enjoying this. Especially since I have no frigging idea where you’re going with this.

      I didn’t either, for quite a long time! But now it has all fallen into place and I realise all the pieces fit and always have, right from the start. Which is very weird.

      And Creepy is really growing on me.

      I’m obliged to respond that there are anti-fungal creams that will help you with this problem.

      • dreameling says:

        I didn’t either, for quite a long time! But now it has all fallen into place and I realise all the pieces fit and always have, right from the start. Which is very weird.

        It’s also worth pointing out that the way you used the blog environment to your advantage is quite ingenious: Posting apparently unrelated (as well as differently categorized and tagged) story fragments in a very specific sequence. Of course, if somebody only chooses to read the “Murder most foul” posts, they’re gonna miss out on the game-changing reveal, or at least some of it, so there’s that risk. But I don’t see something like this being doable in print, for example. The moment you put multiple stories by the same author inside the same covers, there’s at the very least an implicit connection between the stories. No such thing with a blog (at least not necessarily).

        Interesting, is what I’m saying.

        I’m obliged to respond that there are anti-fungal creams that will help you with this problem.

        Guess I’m screwed, then, ‘cause I don’t use no creams.

      • stchucky says:

        It’s also worth pointing out that the way you used the blog environment to your advantage is quite ingenious: Posting apparently unrelated (as well as differently categorized and tagged) story fragments in a very specific sequence. Of course, if somebody only chooses to read the “Murder most foul” posts, they’re gonna miss out on the game-changing reveal, or at least some of it, so there’s that risk. But I don’t see something like this being doable in print, for example. The moment you put multiple stories by the same author inside the same covers, there’s at the very least an implicit connection between the stories. No such thing with a blog (at least not necessarily).

        Exactly, and thanks. When I figured out how the story was going to join up, I realised how perfect it was in this medium. I started to think about how I might try to put it together as a short story / novella but as you say, that shock value of realising two discrete stories are in fact the same story coming from opposite directions really wouldn’t work out.

        This was basically a new-age serial, and you can’t do those in many other formats than the blog – and even then, you can only do it once.

        Once it’s finished, I might have to give all of them a category of their own so they hang together. Or repost the entire monstrosity in as-you-should-read-it order (which is pretty much as posted, I think – Let’s Ride makes a nice prologue but it does of course spoil that “what’s Creepy and Hatboy’s mystery all about” question).

      • dreameling says:

        Exactly, and thanks. When I figured out how the story was going to join up, I realised how perfect it was in this medium. I started to think about how I might try to put it together as a short story / novella but as you say, that shock value of realising two discrete stories are in fact the same story coming from opposite directions really wouldn’t work out.

        This was basically a new-age serial, and you can’t do those in many other formats than the blog – and even then, you can only do it once.

        Exactly. And the fact that you can only do it once is both really cool (since it’s almost “live” and so specific to its medium) and really sad (since you probably cannot reproduce it in a non-blog-like medium). So I’m glad I read it here first, fresh from the oven.

        On the flip side, you’ve now set the bar pretty high. How will you ever again meet reader expectations? You might end up the prose equivalent of a Shyamalan! (Just kidding. I know from personal experience that you crap on reader expectations that do not suit your creative agenda.)

      • stchucky says:

        On the flip side, you’ve now set the bar pretty high. How will you ever again meet reader expectations? You might end up the prose equivalent of a Shyamalan!

        Heh, it did occur to me that I’ve really topped my previous blog-writings here. Ahh well, it’s a challenge!

        And since Shyamalan can’t seem to take a dump on a screenplay template without getting it made into a multi-million-dollar movie, I think I could live with becoming the prose equivalent. I am not proud.

        I know from personal experience that you crap on reader expectations that do not suit your creative agenda.

        And if I ever get a full-scale book in print, I would like to have this quote on the back cover.

  2. aaronthepatriot says:

    Awesome. And Gravity’s Rainbow’s meanings are all about how great poo tastes, feels, turns you on…shit like that.

    SEEWHATIDIDTHAR?

    • stchucky says:

      shit like that.

      SEEWHATIDIDTHAR?

      Ugh, that book. Your puns are sweet, sweet music in comparison.

      • dreameling says:

        I’ve never actually read any Pynchon, even though it was kind of a big deal at the university (at least for the professors and students who specialized in postmodernism). I’ve always felt a little guilty about that. Are you now saying I shouldn’t have? (I’m also a movie buff, yet I’ve never seen Citizen Kane, so I could do with less guilt.)

      • stchucky says:

        I think it’s one of those books that people talk about reading, but no, it’s totally not worth it. It’s basically a drug-addled rant and I’m pretty sure Pynchon himself has gone on record saying so, and laughing that people find meaning in it.

        As an example of a latter-day holy madman and his rambling wisdom, it holds a certain charm … but it’s mostly awful.

      • dreameling says:

        Well, now I’m just intrigued!

        I’m guessing something like this makes you guys laugh or maybe cry:

        http://www.amazon.com/dp/0820328111/

      • stchucky says:

        I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

      • dreameling says:

        Wow. WordPress really spares no expense with some links. Automatically embedded videos, fancy Amazon widgets, surprise after surprise.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Careful, there WAS an Ilya sighting earlier. Don’t want to rile him up!

        …I say as I’m clearly trolling him along with you…..

      • stchucky says:

        Hee, you know there was a banana on the book cover.

        But I’m sure Ilya wouldn’t need a companion to this book. He knows it better than that!

  3. “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”

    Does your…does it…when you click on that does the image have a banana on it?

    *shudders*

    Think…of where some people like to shove bananas…then remember the spot where I (and many, I’m sure, others) had to stop reading that book.

    dreameling, don’t do it. Don’t read it. Here, I’ll tell you why:
    wikipedia THIS: coprophilia. No, I will NOT provide a link.

    I stopped when that occurred.

    • dreameling says:

      coprophilia

      That sounds artistic!

      • Artistic…yeah…you know? There is a way of painting *kind* of like this, so I guess you could call it art….

        Tell you what. Do a google image search on coprophilia, see what craps up–I mean, CROPS up, crops up, damn keyboard on this computer I swear….

      • stchucky says:

        Do a google image search on coprophilia, see what craps up

        *glee*

        But yeah, don’t do it.

      • dreameling says:

        I once saw a modern art piece with piss and shit shooting through see-through plastic tubes. Beyond catching a hint of spicy aroma in the air, I didn’t really get the piece. But it was labelled art, so there you go. Still, I think I’m just gonna skip the image search. My own piss and shit are interesting enough, as far as they go. (I will read Gravity’s Rainbow, though. Some day. I gotta know what that shit is all about.)

      • stchucky says:

        You guys have both read Arsebook, that should be all the poop you ever need to see or hear about that is not your own.

        And Mr. dreameling is heading boldly into poop territory in the new year. Poop territory, that is, aka. fatherhood.

      • dreameling says:

        You guys have both read Arsebook, that should be all the poop you ever need to see or hear about that is not your own.

        Arsebook totally eclipsed that modern art show. No question.

        And Mr. dreameling is heading boldly into poop territory in the new year. Poop territory, that is, aka. fatherhood.

        You make it sound so much fun, man. (Then again, having watched my wife’s brother and his wife deal with their firstborn these past few years, I think I have zero rosy expectations at this point. (The kid’s adorable, though.))

  4. “I once saw a modern art piece with piss and shit shooting through see-through plastic tubes. Beyond catching a hint of spicy aroma in the air, I didn’t really get the piece. But it was labelled art, so there you go. Still, I think I’m just gonna skip the image search. My own piss and shit are interesting enough, as far as they go.”

    You’re getting the idea. There’s also “art” where the “artist” gets a paint enema and then shits/shoots it out onto canvas. For you to observe in-process. Da Vinci must be rolling over in his grave.

    “(I will read Gravity’s Rainbow, though. Some day. I gotta know what that shit is all about.)”

    Ahh, youthful innocence. I said exactly the same thing, once. After a few books, concluding with 1/3 of that one, I decided Pynchon was MASSIVELY overrated. None were great, all were disturbing, and overall it wasn’t worth it.

    And, fatherhood, dreameling? You claimed before you didn’t know the wonders of the female mouth. Surely you have lied to me! Ask Chucky for my feelings on lies! Are you adopting? Because if I’m not mistaken, you very much need a female mouth and/or other warm bits before fatherhood comes along. Unless you don’t, because you’re not into that, in which case your weeping earlier was a lie.(1)

    ;P

    (1) I suppose you can already see what a hang-up I have over “lying” ;D

    • dreameling says:

      And, fatherhood, dreameling? You claimed before you didn’t know the wonders of the female mouth. Surely you have lied to me! Ask Chucky for my feelings on lies! Are you adopting? Because if I’m not mistaken, you very much need a female mouth and/or other warm bits before fatherhood comes along. Unless you don’t, because you’re not into that, in which case your weeping earlier was a lie.

      In that earlier comment, where you were talking about the female mouth, I thought that you literarily meant the mouth of a female, which, as far as I can tell, is not a prerequisite for fatherhood! And I mean that in a purely biological, totally non-misogynistic way. (USian biology may be different. In your movies and TV shows everybody is always blowing each other, so that could be significant.)

      Unless you’re just fucking with me again. (And I mean that figuratively this time.)

      In either case, thank you for the mental image of a second female mouth. That’s just… oh lord, I mean, well… ugh. Nasty. Man, imagine it talking and snapping its teeth. Oh, god.

      • I’m always fucking with people, figuratively, but way ahead of you on thinking about the “second mouth” having teeth. Been there many years ago, not sure why or the in what setting anymore.

        Now, we’re all free to like or dislike blowjobs, I’m not going to comment on that (anymore) to others. But, dreameling, just a tip…sometimes the ladies like it if you kiss them on the mouth. That’s another thing you can do with the female mouth.

        In my experience, they seem to kind of expect that before you’re allowed to stick baby ingredients in them, or your “stirring device”. But again I guess YMMV!

        (trying to add to the win…great pic, Chucky)

      • dreameling says:

        But, dreameling, just a tip…sometimes the ladies like it if you kiss them on the mouth. That’s another thing you can do with the female mouth.

        Which mouth is this again? I’m so confused right now.

  5. aaronthepatriot says:

    “Which mouth is this again? I’m so confused right now.”

    Honestly IME it helps to kiss both mouths before attempting anything further, but YMMV again.

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