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LGBTQtie Pie

              It was a blustery weekend in Muskrat Flats. The wind was conducting a symphony as the poplars bordering the vineyard...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thinking back to what I'm drinking. I think I 'll drink myself back home cause what is there is what is hurting."

Cause I'm not feeling too good, I've lost a lot of blood.
and I should hope you that will tell my family -
that I want on my epitaph, "Here Lies A Man That Made Them Laugh"
and that's the best you could expect - a clown to be.

F. Alex Johnson

It was a cold brisk winter day in Muskrat Flats, about 15 degrees at the Municipal Airport. The sky was as blue as the turquoise ring around the cobalt center of the eye of a peacock's feather. It was a stunning blue, like you normally don't see. The kind of color which makes you check your glasses to make sure they haven't suddenly decided to become some odd shade causing the color spectrum to burst out of the palette.

The clear sky looked so peaceful. It didn't appear that in less than four hours another blanket of snow was destined to cover Muskrat Flats. It was to be a heavy wet snow. The kind Gomer Eckstein did not want his father, Moe, to be shoveling.

Across town, Moe was in the warmth of the Odd Fellows hall, underneath a wooden frieze with an etching depicting three links of a chain, Friendship, Love and Truth, enjoying his morning coffee and a warm, buttery blueberry muffin.

Moe was doing much better physically. The most recent round of chemo had eradicated the tumors and he was feeling virile, healthy and become his old cantankerous self. Fortunately for Gomer's psyche his dad was directing most of his bitching at either Sid or the printed page.

The most recent piece Moe had published, in Mother Jones, was the funniest Gomer had ever read from his father. Gomer appreciated his father's command of the language. Just as long as his pointed and scathing sarcasm wasn't directed at him, Gomer was happy to see or hear anything Dad had to say. It was when Moe started his sentences out with the words,

"Soooo, Sonny Boy ..." That Gomer felt like he needed to run for cover.

Gomer was sitting at his computer. Trying to dissect his thoughts. Sveltie seemed to have no problem with the recent rekindling of their physical relationship. He was fearing that the old emotions, which were brewing away, were the embers of an unquenchable inferno. He was confused.

He wanted to tell Miranda about the encounters, but that might not fall in line with the principles of the 9th Step, which warn of making direct amends to people we may have harmed, if to do so may injure them. What was he going to do?

It is funny how the brain works sometimes. Sveltie was a willing participant and manipulated the situation to her advantage with Gomer, after all she had her needs, too. At the end of the day, she was hurt by her husband Jerry's sexcapades at the Organic Farming Conference. Sveltie spoke slowly and carefully trying not to get mad.

"How ... could you not even know her last name? Don't you guys wear name tags?"

"I was drunk, I'm sorry." He replied. "What did you and Gomer end up doing that night?"

Sveltie was silent. Maybe these rules they had established to define their extramarital cavortings needed to be revisted. As wild a time as she had with Gomer, she felt anger at her husband and guilt regarding her own actions.

She sat silently as her husband clutched a glass of her Pinot Grigio, the fourth he had consumed that night. He sat silently as well, with tears streaming down his face. He contemplated his situation as he looked down at the glass of wine and the half smoked joint in the ashtray. He knew a little bit more of both would take away the pain, at least until he woke up.

He remembered the days when he, Gomer and Sveltie would party, see the Grateful Dead and rave all night long. He missed those times.

He wanted his friend back - not the guy who he found in their bathroom with a needle sticking out of his arm, and certainly not the guy who stands in the corner smiling and laughing with his clean buddies, like he doesn't have a care in the world.

How could Gomer do what he does and not be high? He looks high when he is on stage. He gets that crazed look that he used to get when they would party. That is the guy Jerry wanted to hang out with, but the second he comes off the stage, he is the new guy, they guy who looks familiar, but the guy he doesn't really know. He is like a pod that has had Gomer's soul sucked out, a pod that Jerry was really beginning to resent.

He wanted what Gomer has, especially now that it seemed his estranged best friend may also have his wife.

Gomer sat in his office at the First Step Is A Doozy Jump School, located at the Muskrat Flats Municipal Airport. He looked out the window, the brilliant turquoise he had so admired earlier in the day had devolved into darkness. As far as he could see, the runway was dotted with equally stunning blue lights. On the desk next to him was the tattered diary, written in blood, left by Sheriff Hawthorne.

The bloody cursive reminded Gomer of a story his father had told him of a General Inquisitor for the Spaniards named Tomas de Torquemada, a brutal and hated man, who signed the fate of many unrepentant Spanish Jews and Muslims in their own blood. Gomer thought to himself, as tawdry and fantastic as this artifact - this hostorical document is, it sure is making the rounds.

Gomer peered at his computer and re-read the passage he had been working on for the Shiva Las Vegas script.

"Cut to a parking lot scene at a Phish show. A tour kid name Poppa K is rolling along with his dog "Ground Score" who is tethered with a hemp leash.

Poppa K hears a particularly good guitar lick come through the air and begins to groove wildly to the music. He is roused from his psychedelic bliss as a Hockey referee wearing a black and white striped shirt, with a orange arm band, black pants and a helmet, comes out of nowhere. He blows his whistle, with his opposite hand he chops his hand on his knee and follows through. He shouts at Poppa K,

"Two minutes for Tripping."

The next scene Poppa K is a hockey penalty box enclosed by 6 foot panels of safety glass. He is distraught and freaking out as Ground Score sits outside the box, incessantly barking.

Gomer chuckles to himself and says of himself,

"What a weirdo!"

His phone rang - It was Miranda, they had a date. Gomer had been telling her about the Sheriff's adventures with the vampires Astrid and Countess Isabella. They chatted for a few minutes. Gomer didn't bring up the subject of Sveltie. Miranda finally said,

"So are you going to read to me or what?"

"Okay, hold on." He put down his phone and tapped his blue tooth.

"Can you hear me?"

"Yep, go ahead," She said. Gomer peered down at the rust colored cursive and began.


I sat in my office. Looking out the window. The moonlight was shimmering through the trees of the mighty maple I had been swinging from just a few short years ago. Astrid was wearing a long white skirt, a blue silk bandanna strategically placed around her long neck from which hung was the oddly complex glass pendant Isabella had been wearing the night before.

I had tapered my alcohol consumption during the day as I needed to be relatively sober for this meeting. After all, I was the Sheriff. Astrid was peering at me seductively. Celeste was sitting to my left. I was still reeling from the debauchery from the night before. running my hand along Celeste's back and neck. She giggled as my fingers grazed some bite marks on her shoulders.

She was still delirious from the affect of the falling diamonds of light Isabella had conjured up. Celeste was slightly drunk from the having already had a few more than generous "clients" earlier, at the hotel bar.

I have to admit, I have never experienced such an exciting feeling of peace and solace as I did the previous night. I would think that the undead would be void of such feelings, if any feelings at all. But it appears that they feel just the same as their mortal counterparts.

Astrid was looking at Celeste seductively as she removed her vest, revealing that the dress she wore was backless, a daring fashion I had never seen.

We sat there waiting. As Celeste cooed over Astrid's attire, she sounded annoyingly like a school girl as she fawned and fussed, feeling the fabric and running her hands along Astrid's exposed flesh.

My heart leaped with anticipation as the door swung open and Isabella entered the room. I was beginning to wonder where these ladies found their clothes? The were so unlike the fashions to which we were accustomed in Muskrat Flats.

Isabella was wearing skin tight boots which covered much of her calf. Into these were tucked black form fitting pants, made of a material foreign to me, She wore a white silk blouse which was almost transparent. She wore a long black hooded cloak, within which her eyes glowed like those of a cat.

Her tight pants clearly outlined her sexy curves and valleys causing me to lust for a repeat of last night's events. How smooth her leg felt against my face. How excited it was to feel those fingernails, those menacing spikes, dig into my bald head so delicately, beckoning me and easing me closer to the oasis I so desired. Those nails eased me forward as if to indicate that any form of retreat would cause a painful and bloody episode.

I looked up into her eyes. They were made up with dark eyeliner, accenting her already exotic Oriental features..."

"Oriental?" Miranda asked incredulously.

"Hey this was written in the 19th century, don't forget."

"Yeah it just sounds weird."

Gomer got back to the text.

"I kept my eye contact with Isabella. I could hear Astrid and Celeste in the background. Occasionally Celeste would grunt when she was bitten only to sigh shortly afterward."

As I began to taste Isabella's nectar, my hands roamed feeling her flawless flesh. The diamonds began to fly out of hear head like a halo as she experienced the pleasure I was providing. One hand remained on my head as her other hand began to graze my chest. I felt one of her nails tickle around my nipple. I knew what was coming next. I knew the sacrifice I had to make to be so honored to be with this most alluring temptress. I saw white as I experienced the most intense pain I have ever felt including the time I was stabbed in the shoulder by a jealous husband. Isabella beckoned me up so she could taste the blood which was flowing from my chest.

As she suckled, my pain turned to ecstasy as those floating diamonds fell on me like raindrops and penetrated my flesh. I could live forever and not find the appropriate words to describe how I felt.

Before I knew it she was in my head again. Staring right at me smiling silently.

"Thinking about last night, Coleman?"

She shed her cloak and drew the curtains of my office window. Celeste returned to sit next to me as Isabella walked over to Astrid. She placed her hands on Astrid's shoulders and delicately kissed her neck. I marveled at how cruel yet delicate these creatures could be. Again Isabella looked right at me and answered my silent observation.

"Yes, Coleman, we are funny that way. We can be the most gentle and seductive of creatures ..."

As she said this, she began to trace a fingernail along Astrid's back. I noticed her nipples stiffen.
Isabella then increased the pressure carving a deep bloody trail in the white flesh, a trail which would heal as quickly as the flesh had been sliced. She bent down and licked. Celeste poked me to bring my attention to this phenomena, as if I could have missed it. Isabella continued speaking with an almost macho bravado.

"We can also be the most vicious killers. When I feed, unless I want you to know what is happening - to taunt you or to let you squirm before you receive the death you so deserve, it is quick and painless, your soul drifts off and you come around again as someone else."

I looked at Celeste and Astrid. I began to fear for Celeste's life. But then I tried to clear my head of all thoughts since they were being picked out of my skull like ripe apples.

"Do not fear for Celeste, she is with you, I will not harm her."

"Why am I so special?" I asked.

"For starters you are in charge."

"I honestly don't think authority matters to your kind." Isabella answered,

"We have to be careful, we just can't roam the country side killing indiscrimminately."

"Why Do I know about you, you exposed yourself to ME, remember? You seem like you are crafty enough to do what you have to do and make it look like an accident. If you leave a trail of dead bodies around, some one like ME HAS TO DEAL WITH IT!"

"I figured You would understand."

"But I really don't think I do ..."

"Besides, I had to monitor your interest in Astrid, I was very protective of her when she was mortal. That is why Caesar ended up having his "unfortunate" encounter with the Chupacabra.

I began to lose my composure as she walked around my office. She moved over to the Tombstone I had in the corner of my office. She ran her hand against the smooth polished black granite. She glanced over at me and smiled as she recited what she had just read.

"Samuel Coleman Hawthorne III Esq."
"Here Lies A Man That Made Them Laugh" Again I heard her silently.

"Nice tombstone Sherrif, are you going somewhere, again?"

"Jesus Fuck! What the fuck is a chupacabra?"

"It is the mythical creature that attacked and killed Ceasar. They need blood to live just as well as we do. Just ask any of the Mexicans about it, they will tell you."

Hawthorne mimiced them, "Chupacabras eets the chupacabra. Fuck that shit. I want to know why you killed him and left his body to be such a public spectacle. My residents are on the verge of hysteria."

I took a breath and calmed down. I pushed my luck, I knew I was being toyed with.

"I already figured that you killed Caesar. I want to know why. What I really need to know Is what role I play in all of this? Why me?"

Astrid cleared her throat. Isabella looked at her. Then answered.

"Yes you two can go back to the hotel." They left.

Isabella poured me a tall glass of bourbon and handed me one of her cigars. I leaned back in my chair and put my feet on my desk. She sat down and crossed her legs. I noted her dark nipples poking through the gauze seen through material of her blouse. She smiled at me.

"You never stop do you? And you wonder why I exposed myself to you? Do you want to play a little before I tell you my story?" Her sarcasm oozed like honey in November. " I think you deserve a little fun for all of the troubles I have caused you. " She got up and removed her blouse in a storm cloud of shimmering rain drops of light.

"Wow!" Miranda exclaimed.

Gomer stopped reading. He stretched and put the book down.

"So you read this book with Sveltie, huh?" Gomer flushed at the question. He quickly made a decision.

"Yes, yes I did read it with her."

"Hmmm. You will have to tell me the outcome of that story sometime. Uuhhh ... Look hun, it is getting late. I loved your last blog. Call me tomorrow, okay?"

"About, Sveltie ..."

"Gomer, you are a thousand miles away ... right now, I think I understand, look it's complicated."

"I really love you Miranda."

"I know, babe. I love you, too. Look I'm gonna see you in Vegas in five days. I can't wait. Goodnight."

She hung up the phone. Gomer rubbed his eyes. they were tearing up.

"I can't fuck this up." He told himself as he closed Hawthorne's diary.

Across town, Jerry and Sveltie lay in bed. He had stopped at four glasses of wine and began to sober up a little bit. Sveltie lay next to him, snuggling in and deeply inhaling his scent. He kissed her deeply and she reciprocated.

It has been an emotional week in Muskrat Flats as the residents grapple with who they really are, what they need, and what they desire. As was pointed out in the closing of the last installment, many questions have arisen for Gomer, Jerry, Sveltie and now Miranda. Oddly the catalyst for these question comes from a century old book written by the most notorious jokester ever to walk the streets of Muskrat Flats. If Gomer were to tell his father about Hawthorne's diary, Moe might cluck his tongue a few times, exhale dramatically and say,

"Sooo, Sonny Boy ...You what Ken Kesey used to say? "Never Trust a Prankster." That's what he used to say. Remember Sonny, Friendship, Love and Truth, three links in the chain which should never be broken."

Words of wisdom, which will never be heard if the the secret which is wreaking havoc amongst the friends, spouses and lovers caught up in the insanity, is never revealed.

I Can't think of a better time to be ...

Running Hard Out of Muskrat Flats.

Thanks to F. Alex Johnson of the Drunk Stuntmen . I know I took some liberties, buddy. But you write such compelling lyrics. Click down there to read Alex's even more compelling blog -

Fearless By Default

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Shall we go, you and I while we can? Through a transcending nightfall of diamonds?"

It was a brisk morning in Muskrat Flats. Coley Blackstone was walking his dog Chubby. The wire haired terrier began to get excitable as they traveled closer to the pedestrian crossing near the Odd Fellows Hall. Coley became slightly distracted as he and Chubby crossed the street. He was fiddling with the Stocks application on his iPhone when Chubby broke away and galloped toward the entry door to the basement banquet facility. Sid Bartleby was there holding the door with one arm and a box of condiments he had just purchased at the Costco in Dana in the other.

"Comon, Chubby, comon boy!" Hearing this caused Coley to look up. He smiled and waved at Sid as he headed for the same door himself.

As he entered the hall, his senses were bathed with warm and inviting stimuli. The colors of the wains cotting, the paintings and photographs soothed his eyes.

Across the room he heard laughter as five of the older members were ball busting with Paul and Donnie, who were caught up in some sort of rehashing of one of their youthful exploits. The older members hung on, living vicariously through their hilarious accounting of getting their car caught in a plywood covered ditch.

Coley felt the warmth. He felt the warmth of the room, he felt the warmth of the people as some waved to him and others shouted out his name. He felt. Something he hadn't done for a very long time ... just feel. Something he had not done at all, for a very long time. The only time he felt anything was when he picked up a drink or drug. Even when he stopped drinking and drugging and welcomed Chubby into his life, he still rarely felt anything except for his affection for his black terrier.

Through an unexpected act of God or nature, whichever you choose to call it, his clandestine dysfunctional lifestyle of being a "homeless" millionaire was exposed. He saw this as the opportunity to get the psychiatric help he needed, and it was working.

He looked over at Sid who was standing over Chubby tempting him with a nice ripe banana.

"Who's the good boy?" He cooed. "Who's the good little boy? Is Chubby a good boy?"

Chubby sat at attention looking up at Sid,

"ruff ... mmph, ruff." He grunted, followed by a little wheeze as the terrier inhaled expectantly. Chubby got really excited when Coley came up and said,

"What's Sid got, Chubby?"

Chubby really perked up now that his master had gotten involved in the begging stalemate. Sid dropped the banana and Chubby caught it, in mid air, taking his prize under the table where Moe Eckstein was sitting chatting on a cell phone.

"Those blueberry muffins smell as enticing as ever, Sid."

"Thanks Coley, Iva just took a batch out of the oven a few minutes ago. Hey, I wanted to talk to you about the next meeting of the board of directors for the Blackstone Foundation, it would be great if you ...." Coley listened to Sid intently.

Moe was listening to the cell phone as Chubby slobbered his banana noisily under the table.

"Sonny Boy, what are you telling me?" He lowered the volume of his voice to a hush.

"Ex-girlfriend or not, she's married ... to your best friend, comon Sonny, you know better than that. What about Miranda, did you think about her. Wait ... I don't want to know. You were probably fantasizing about her while it was happening."

"Well, actually I was thinking about trying to get the two of them together ..."

"Sonny!" Moe Shouted. Others in the room looked in his direction.

"Dad, calm down it was a joke."

"Eh, some joke, you are going to get hurt, you are going to hurt someone. That girl, that vision of loveliness, Miranda, she's the best thing that has happened to you. Am I right, or what?"

"Dad, I wasn't thinking with the right head."

"Damn right you weren't." Moe chided.

"You should have seen the texts that Jerry had sent her, they seem to have an open relationship." Gomer tried to reason.

"Why are you arguing with me? You know you are wrong. That is why you called me ... huh? Well, am I right or WHAT?"

"Yeah, you're right. you're RIGHT! Jesus Christ!"

"He was a Jew, you know, before he went all crazy and shit."

What?!! Daaad!"

"Comon Sonny Boy. Jenny is a lovely girl. What she and Jerry have between them as far as rules or whatever, that is their shit. You need to think about your own shit. Think about your recovery. Be faithful to Miranda, she's the one, I can feel it, and you KNOW it. I'm not going to tell you what to do, I know Jerry is out of town for a few more days. Just don't get hurt and don't do anything crazy, like smoke that joint in your ashtray."

"I actually got rid of that, I am beyond that, besides I don't want to get arrested for something really stupid, the stuff I get arrested for now, is stupid enough." Gomer became defensive again when his Father started in with,

"Sooooooooooo ..." Gomer took in a deep breath, preparing for more of the same.

"Speaking of Rabbis, Sonny Boy, "Shiva Las Vegas?" - I mean - really! Oy!"

Across town Jenny Smith sat looking through the Sheriff's leather bound writing tablet. The odd, rust colored cursive was no longer shocking to her. The thought that this was written in blood, whose blood, though? His, the vampire's? She found her hand wandering as she tickled her own sides with her long fingernails. Her flesh responded as goose pimples began to erupt where her nails had lightly teased.

She looked at her phone. It had been about 45 minutes since she texted Jerry. Still no response.

"Prick." She thought.

One hundred miles away, his companion from the night before was quietly getting dressed, hoping to sneak out of the room before yet another uncomfortable "morning after" conversation had to take place. She was slipping on her shoe as his phone chimed again. She stopped. Waiting, hoping he wouldn't wake.

He lay there, reeking of alcohol and cigarettes.

"For a guy who didn't smoke, he sure plowed through a good portion of my pack," she thought.

She looked in the mirror, adjusted her hair and the lapels of her business suit, then she looked down at his phone.

"Wake up, Loverboy! Love, Da Wife!" The display read.

"Fucking married, men ... why do I keep doing this?" She asked herself, as she slipped out the door of his room.

Gomer's phone chimed.

"I need to see you again, tonight. Don't feel bad about what happened, it was wonderful."

Gomer sat in a Hot air balloon gondola, in the hangar of his business, The First Step is a Doozy Skydiving School. It was a business that was running itself as his music career began to take off. Why bother closing it? The only condition set by his manager was that he do at least 6 jumps a year. A quota he handily met, last season. Gomer sat in the gondola, re-reading the message. He responded.

"I'd love to see you again. What time?"

Gomer sighed as Sveltie hugged him tightly. He kissed her as her tongue poke playfully into his mouth.

They entered Sheriff Hawthorne's secret room. She sat in the leather chair. Gomer sat in one of the wooden chairs. It looked like she had spent some time in Sheriff Hawthorne's unseen lair, that day. The room was meticulously clean. The cobwebs had been removed, the floor dusted and swept. She left the glasses and the bottle of Absinthe untouched. Unbeknownst to Gomer, she even did a thorough check for more hidden compartments which would yield another one of Hawthorne's treasures under loose floorboards, perhaps, or behind a wall panel.

She leaned back in the chair, lifting her skirt, exposing her thighs. Little wisps of white cotton peeked through the shadows underneath the skirt. Gomer focused his attention on the prize he did not get last night when he only enjoyed her hands and mouth. She leaned back seductively running her hands up an down her legs.

"Read to me." She said as he accepted the book from her. He turned up the oil lamp a little to get more light.

"I can't believe he wrote this in blood." Gomer handled the book carefully as he admired Hawthorne's written words. He cleared his throat and began.

"Still uncomfortable from fantastic events I had witnessed the night before between Astrid and Isabella. I was enjoying some much needed bourbon, in the bar, when my Deputy Sheriff, Waldo Robertson came in and whispered in my ear.

"You gotta see this Sheriff. "

My heart began to pump as Waldo, the only guy I ever met who could out drink me, led me in the direction of the carnival worker's camp which was located in the Flats near the Silver mines. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon. As I approached, I thought nothing would shock me after what I witnessed last night.

What I encountered defied explanation. A circumstance which was happening with increased frequency, these days.

Behind a road wearied coach, I saw a crowd in a large circle. In the middle of the circle was the corpse of a man sprawled out with a large snake, a brownish and beige reptile with dark brown markings - a constrictor, coiled on top of his body.

In the circle was a dwarf, dangling a live muskrat by his tail trying to entice the snake.

"Come, Salazar, I've got a nice rat for your dinner."

The snake followed the dwarf and the rat with his dark serpentine eyes, seeming to not want to move from his perch on top of the dead man.

I asked on of the carnival folk who the man was?

"That's Caesar. He wrestles the Snake. The snake won't let us near him."

The dwarf continued to circle the snake while another of the freaks, one who had reptilian features himself, slowly approach from the opposite direction.

The muskrat hissed and thrashed as the dwarf continued to dangle him in his gloved hand. I feared that the snake would bypass the muskrat and strike at the dwarf, instead. With one graceful move, as the snake coiled and attacked, the dwarf dropped the terrified muskrat and leaped backward.

Salazar the constrictor wrapped himself around the screaming muskrat, snuffing the life out of him quickly. The reptile man quickly tossed a burlap sack over the snake and scooped him up. The crowd moved in to get a closer look at Caesar.

I announced my self as the sheriff and beckoned everyone back. Caesar had a lean muscular build, many tattoos and was missing his front teeth. I turned him over exposing his front. He had a large gash in his abdomen exposing his bowels. Oddly, for such a grisly crime, there was no blood. It was then that I noticed fang marks in his neck. I pulled my knife out, some of the crowd gasped as I sliced his wrist. His body was bone dry, as dry as the silt on which he lay. There was not a drop of blood in sight.

There was a group of six Mexicans who came in close and the started chattering to each other wildly. Crossing themselves, as if God could help them at this point.

"Eets the chupacabra." When he said this word there was more chattering and nodding of heads and sombreros.

Si, Senor, el chupacabra" Then they all began to repeat this nonsensical word.

The crowd began to creep in closer to assess the situation for themselves.

I lost my patience shouting,

"What the fuck is a kookaburra?"

"No senor, Chupacabra. Eet ees a monster, they leeve in the mountains, y suck up you blood. They get the goats and cow. Eets a chupacabra. The vampire. They suck the blood. " Again the crowd of Mexicans was chattering this maddening word. The dwarf and the reptile man continued to tend to the snake, who actually appeared to be protecting the body of his master.

I leaned down and turned Caesar's head, which turned with alarming ease, as his neck had obviously been snapped. I looked at the bite marks on his neck, once more. I reached into my pocket, checked my watch, and took a pull of the bourbon I had in my metal flask. Caesar's girlfriend showed up and began to wail.

I spoke to the manager of the carnival and told him I would like to talk to anyone who may have seen or heard anything. I would be at the Hotel Saloon.

Just then, under a light silky cloak and umbrella, protecting her from the sun was Isabella. She made piercing eye contact with me. The crowd crept back allowing her to pass as Isabella worked her way toward Caesar's corpse. Astrid was following closely. I couldn't linger too long, looking at her embarrassed as I was, having missed our date, that afternoon. She was so beautiful, as was Isabella.

I couldn't help but notice as Isabella bent down to take a closer look at Caesar's neck, the blue and turquoise pendant she wore around her neck on a long chain was nestled seductively in the valley between her enticing breasts. She must have been penetrating my thoughts as her hand reached for the chain and slid down to the pendant. She lightly grazed the firm flesh of her breast with those razor sharp weapons she called fingernails. leaving a visible scratch which disappeared instantly.

"Even under such disturbing circumstances, you just can't help yourself, can you, Sheriff?" It was the most unsettling feeling. I heard her as clearly as if she were speaking to me, but no words were uttered by her mouth.

"Senorita, Isabella, eet ess el Chupacabra. My brother Juan, fought one in
Guadalupe last year."

"It could be the chupacabra, Jorge. Can you boys, take care of Caesar, clean him up? That is if it is okay with the Sheriff?"

I was dumbstruck. All I could say was, yes, go ahead.

"Si, senorita!"

I began to walk away, as I heard her voice bathing my mind like the most potent aphrodisiac.

"Astrid and I will meet you in our room. Perhaps we can explain what has happened here and how we can make this situation go away. Don't get too drunk, you will miss all of the fun. After all, we have a surprise for you."

Gomer brought his fingers up to his eyes rubbing them. He put his glasses back on. Looking at Sveltie who was looking very aroused and even more comfortable as she had shed her panties and was giving Gomer flashes of what he desired so much.

"Keep reading, your voice is so sexy." He couldn't keep his mind off of her. He had to have her, but continued to read.

"About an hour later, I was about to knock on the door to Room 10 in the Hotel. Astrid answered the door, nude. My heart leaped again as I walked in. On the bed splayed out in the same sheer outfit she had worn the night before, was Isabella. Between her legs was was a familiar blonde head. Circling that familiar head was a multi-colored swarm of light, as bright as the sun, which illuminated the room. One by one the lights began to penetrate the skin of the blonde on the bed.

Celeste, my favorite girl, turned to me and said,

"Coley, you have to try this, I've never felt so good." As she said this, she began to shudder. One by one the galaxy of stars penetrated her soft, white flesh. She was writhing shamelessly as Isabella pierced Celeste's hand which was massaging her golden breast, with a fingernail. I heard Celeste whimper at the She drew Celeste's hand to her mouth running her tongue along the trickle of blood. Isabella continued to stare at me seductively as Astrid began to remove my clothes."

"Man what a Freak!" Gomer said as he got on his own knees, looking up at Sveltie. She ran her fingers through his hair, smiled and asked,

"Are You going to make me see a galaxy of stars?"

Throwing caution to the wind, once again Gomer and Sveltie succumbed to desires which had been building for some time. It was just that each had refused to acknowledge what was happening to them, to each other. Perhaps it was a phase for both of them, perhaps they could just "stop" and resume their lives.

These are questions, the hard questions they have to ask themselves. Where is this going to lead? Is it just fun and games? These questions will just have to remain unanswered until that one clear headed morning arrives. The morning which will probably lead to one or both of them ...

Running Hard Out of Muskrat Flats.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hey, did you hear the one about the guy who got picked up by a Playboy model and woke up missing a kidney, in a bathtub full of ice?

It was a lovely holiday season in Muskrat Flats, with business as usual at the corners of Petersen and McKernan Streets. Inside the old wood framed structure of the Odd Fellows Hall there was a lull in the action between Christmas and New Years.

Jeff Nelson had his work cut out for him on Christmas Eve as the Odd Fellows, once again, gave back to the community by hosting their annual Toy Give away. He and his lovely daughter were dressed as elves while Santa Claus occupied his opulent and gilded throne. Sitting on a little ottoman next to Santa was his special little helper, Chubby, the little black terrier. Chubby had his well chewed plastic banana nestled in his paws as he sat there … just sitting there in his little red veloure coat lined with white trim and a little matching hat which jingled every time he looked up at his master.

A blond boy about 10 years old sat on Santa’s lap, his mother and father looking on. His mom was smiling. His father had a forced smile trying to mask his somber mood. After all, he lost a good job two weeks ago when the Dana Textile Mill, where he was a foreman, suspiciously burned to the ground. The company was flourishing and would rebuild. But, for now, he was taking home about 60% of his salary. In the interim, that left him to make decisions we all make when our bills exceed what we earn, such as buying Christmas gifts for your children or buying food.

He broke into a broad smile as Santa asked his little boy if he would do him a favor.Santa reached into his bag and pulled up a yellowish brown speckled banana and handed it to the child.

Go, ahead, give it to him. He doesn’t bite.”

The boy looked at his beaming father, who nodded his approval. Chubby smelled the treat and perked up. He was excitedly running in little circles on the ottoman with his closely cropped tail cutting through the air at supersonic speed. He even barked a few times. The child handed the banana to Chubby.

Coley Blackstone, in a remarkable Santa Claus voice, let out a hearty “HO, HO, HO!”

The little boy giggled as Chubby began to peel the banana and feast on the perfectly ripened fruit.

There are such idyllic and romantic times to be had at the Odd Fellows Hall in Muskrat Flats proper during the winter Holiday season. The Farm Museum is aglow for its nightly sleigh rides with white lights, lit torches, luminaria and of course the bon fire. Kurt Bartleby adds to the warmth as glowing orange sparks can be seen flying as he hammers away at the forge.

Downtown, as the afternoon sun disappears behind the trees along Petersen Street, all of the little shops are lit up. There is Sid and Iva’s Mercantile. Muskrat Flats Glassworks, where the flame workers can be seen through a large plate glass window spinning their glowing glass orbs on thin rods putting their hands dangerously close to the flame as they concentrate on keeping the centrifugal force and the rotation going - keeping their molten globs of super cooled liquid on axis.

Next door is Cassidy’s Art Supplies, and Mother Maybell’s Acoustic Instrument Emporium. The Artists’ at Link’s Tattoo shop are lounging and looking at flash, some are sketching as customers are mainly coming in to get gift certificates or to talk to Link, who always seemed to be missing. It is like a Norman Rockwell painting, of course if Rockwell did happen to use a tattoo studio as his subject for a Saturday Evening Post cover.

Perhaps it is this way in your hometown?

This holiday season, Muskrat Flats looks a little more like the fairy tale in which we would all like to live at least it does on the surface. Behind the scenes, for the few people in the know, there is a new chapter to be written in the history of Muskrat Flats. And once again, the person behind this most likely charade is the notorious founder of Muskrat Flats, the prankster, the Oddest of Fellows - Sheriff Coleman Hawthorne the III.

Jenny Smith was leaving her office, in the Railroad Station, at the Farm museum and heading out across the snow covered green toward the old Hotel. The hotel now functioned as a educational center where visiting schools groups would meet before exploring the museum. Tucked inside her bag was Sheriff Hawthorne’s leather bound writing tablet. She heard a chime from her bag. She reached in a looked at her phone. There was a message from her husband Jerry, who was attending an Organic Farming conference about 100 miles away in Chesterfield. The message read …

“What do you think of her?”

Jenny rolled her eyes, a bit, and opened the file.

She gazed down at a picture of a smiling brunette, smartly dressed in business attire, with short hair, and small breasts holding up a Cosmopolitan in an oversized Martini glass.

“Cute … are they using organic grapefruit juice in those Cosmos?” She responded.

She kept walking. Her phone chimed again.

“LOL … I think her name is Isabella”

Sveltie chuckled. And replied,

“I thought we had a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy when it came to situations like these?”

As she approached the hotel she made out the form of a shadowy figure lurking on the porch.

Her phone chimed once more.

“Sorry, I’m drunk 8-)” She stopped walking and replied.

While she was typing he chimed in again.

“She seems like your type. 8-)”

“No kidding, watch those cosmos, and b careful. I don’t need u waking up in a bathtub full of ice, missing a kidney, or ravaged by a vampire. She’s cute, just be careful. I’m going to meet Gomer ttyl.”

He replied immediately.

“Gomer, huh?”


“Well, not really.”

“Enjoy your company … Bye love, call me in the morning. And don’t forget to tell her you’re married”

Sveltie began walking again. Someone is going to have some fun tonight, she thought, maybe Jerry will, too…

Gomer was standing on the porch of the Hotel. He was dressed in all black, His pony tail was braided and his facial hair had changed. His goatee was longer and thinner than Sveltie had remembered it. His hazel colored eyes were peering at her over his half moon readers. She said hi and hugged him closely. He felt her warmth momentarily chase away the nippy winter’s evening breeze. She unlocked the door to the hotel and they escaped the cold.

Gomer watched as Sveltie took off her coat. Even bundled up it was obvious her body was probably just as he had remembered it, when they used to play, so many years ago.

There was no real reason why they broke up, they just began to drift apart. They both left Muskrat Flats to attend college. She, in California at UC Davis, And him, in Massachusetts at Amherst College where he gained instant notoriety from both his musicianship, with his band Summa Cum Loudly. It didn’t hurt Gomer’s reputation as news quickly spread throughout the campus that he was Moe Eckstein’s son.

Sveltie turned on the lights. In her hand, she held a key.

“This is interesting, a secret room you say?” Gomer asked.

I figure it has to be either behind room number 8 or 10. It sounded like they had no windows in their room. Gomer shook off his cloak. Sveltie eyeballed him, she never realized that whole Goth look Gomer had kind of gave him Vampire-like characteristics, this caused a little excitement for her.

They went upstairs, it was dimly lit. Gomer and Sveltie strolled down the hall to where rooms 8 and 10 were located. Sveltie opened the rooms and they began to poke around. She began to make small talk.

“How are things going with you, the band?”

“The band has a break for about a month. Morbid Morty suggested we not take any gigs while the case with the Rabbi is still pending. Speaking of Rabbis, I’m going to Vegas next week, I wrote a pilot they are considering shooting for Showtime.”

“Are you Serious? That’s Great!” Sveltie said. Gomer smiled and nodded.

“Yeah, I’m pretty psyched. I mean it’s just a pilot, I hope it gets the nod to go ahead. I’m being considered for the lead character as well.” Sveltie was beaming.

“You’re serious aren’t you? I thought this was one of your jokes.” Gomer looked at her over his glasses and said,

“When you hear the premise you will think it’s one of my jokes but this is for real. … It’s about a Las Vegas Rabbi who is a funeral director. The show is going to be called … “Shiva Las Vegas.” Sveltie’s smiling face dissolved into one that displayed utmost skepticism.

“Gomer …..” she admonished.

“For real, no joke.” Realizing that he was telling the truth She finally allowed herself to laugh even though Sheriff Hawthorne’s Diary was burning a hole in her sack and she was consumed with the desire to continue reading it.

Ok, over here, the grate above the mantel piece … that must mean …” Gomer rushed out into the hall way. He went to the end of where the room would be. Running his hand along the wood behind a large oak trimmed full length mirror attached to the wall. He pulled and it swung outward revealing a door. Sveltie gasped and smiled. She placed the key in the lock and turned.

The door swung inward. Sveltie looked into the darkness with trepidation. Gomer decided it would be a good time to poke her in the ribs. She screamed and pulled away, then socked him in the arm as hard as she could.

“Ow! I guess I deserved that.”

Gomer produced a mini mag light and illuminated the room. It was dusty, and cobwebbed. Looking around he noted it was built for comfort. Along one wall was a painting of a Paris street scene, Montmatre with the unmistakable outline of the Basilica of the Sacre Couer. Next to the painting was a coat rack on which hung a holstered, loaded, six-shooter. Across from this was a small banquette table with two wooden chairs and a high backed leather upholstered easy chair.

On the table was a brass oil lamp, a couple of dusty tumblers on which sat a flat, ornately decorated perforated spoon, and a bottle which contained a greenish liquid. The label on the bottle depicted a leering Red Devil, pouring greenish liquid into a glass which he was stirring with his sharply pointed tail. Next to these items was a wooden box, which Sveltie opened. It looked like it contained crudely made lumps of brownish sugar. It was odd that all of these items had survived so many years. They were very obviously exactly where Sheriff Hawthorne has left them.

Gomer picked up the bottle. There was no writing, just the picture.

“If I had to guess, I would say this is Absinthe.” Sveltie looked around the room.

“How is it that we have never found this room before? The Sheriff was good at keeping his secrets when he was alive, wasn’t he.”

Gomer looked around the room, again. It was so eerie. He felt vibes in the room he could not explain. Sveltie felt the wick of the oil lamp and decided to light it. A warm glow permeated the room casting odd shadows into the corners. The flame leapt as the wick resumed the task it had not performed in decades causing more shadows to dance along the ceiling.

“I feel like he is here, Sveltie. I can’t really describe how I feel right now.” His heart was pumping. He looked at Jenny who had removed another layer of her clothing. She was dressed in a fuzzy purple wool sweater, probably made from alapaca. She had on a long black cotton skirt with black boots which cover her calves just below the knee. She pulled the diary out of her bag and handed it to Gomer.

“If he is here I want him to see what happens.” She said with a look in her eye that Gomer had not seen in years.

“Read.” She simply said. She dusted off a space on his chair and she dusted off the leather chair. She sat there watching him as he read for about 10 minutes, occasionally looking up at her. As she sat there eyeballing him she was rhythmically swaying her leg to and fro, watching Gomer squirm as his erection began to shift uncomfortably in his trousers as he read about Hawthorne spying on the two Vampires as they engaged in their erotic, blood soaked ritual. He was trying to discreetly reposition himself with no luck as Sveltie dropped to her knees and moved forward. Gomer watched her intently as a rush hit him. He began to shiver with anticipation. He managed to ask,

“What about Jerry?” Sveltie handed him her phone which was already cued up to her message inbox. He read through the messages as he felt his belt and pants being undone. He felt the warmth of her breath as she inhaled his aroma and flicked at him with her tongue.

Gomer chuckled, not only at his good fortune, but at what he just read on her phone.

“Missing a kidney in a bathtub full of ice, huh?”

“One of his kidneys is probably already on a plane to Hong Kong,” She said, as she slowly lowered her head causing Gomer to let out a sigh of ecstasy … sure that somewhere in that room, the eager eyes of Sheriff Hawthorne were riveted on the actions of his current guests.

As Idyllic a place as it is often purported to be, sometimes things get a little freaky down on the Farm. At least they do if you happen to be playing on the tracks in Sheriff Hawthorne’s private viewing room outside of room number 10 at the old Muskrat Flats Hotel. A trip to Las Vegas might be just what the doctor ordered for Gomer. It might be the very reason he needs to be …

Running Hard Out Of Muskrat Flats.

To be continued.

Monday, January 12, 2009

"If I needed someone to love, your'e the one I'd be thinking of ... If I needed someone."

There have been weird times in Muskrat Flats for the last couple of weeks. . Some times are too weird to document, others were just weird enough that you can't look nor can they be ignored. Regardless, I will try to document the ones which are too weird.

The folks at the old wood and brick structure at the corner of McKernan and Petersen Street are entrenched in their daily routine. The meals on wheels are going out like clockwork under the watchful eye of Sid Bartleby and Moe Eckstein. Their right hand men Paul and Donnie have risen from the ranks of dishwashers and have become and integral part of the food production and distribution. Their first task, other than train the new kids Harry and Marley regarding the mechanical ins and outs of running the dishwasher, was to train them in the proper scaling and measuring of the ingredients for the blueberry muffins. Those famous blueberry muffins which Sid Bartleby's Great Grandmother Edna began selling at her Mercantile back in 1879, when Muskrat Flats was still a baby, but had already developed its unique and inviting character.

Thank you for all of the kind comments on the pornography I posted last time around. As one reader pointed out,

"Man, Sheriff Hawthorne was kind of a freak, huh?" He sure was, Corey Check.

As this is being written, more on Sheriff Hawthorne's interaction with the vampires Astrid and Isabella is in the works, and you will read it soon.

And Thank You for not throwing Holy Water on me. That shit burns.

If I needed someone ...

If you have read any of my diatribes in the past there are a few points of interest in my life which you probably already know.

I am a 44 year old divorced Father of an 11 year old girl.

I am an addict recovering from the disease of addiction. My drug of choice was anything you would put in front of me, for more than half of my life.

It was crack cocaine and heroin which brought me to my knees and unceremoniously dumped me out of the back seat of a beat up, rusted Chevy Camaro. The old clunker, which was only running on seven cylinders, didn't even slow down as a size 7 Timberland boot catapulted me out the door. I hit the pavement on the road to recovery, bruised,bleeding, tired, hurt and confused. I brushed off my coat, pulled the pebbles and broken glass out of the skinned flesh on my knees and palms and did the only thing I could do ... began walking.

There have been numerous times where I stumbled and fell back down, but I always was fortunate enough to get back up and continue walking. I am still walking that path today.

Yesterday, marked the 6 month anniversary of my clean date. Half a cake. as some folks call it.

I have a problem with women. It is not so much that they have cooties ...

But seriously, every relationship I have been involved in, since I have been separated and eventually divorced from my wife has been disastrous. In active addiction I had two women popping in and out of my life, both were addicts, both were smart, funny, beautiful and very sexy.

Both were relationships I knew were doomed from the start. I am lucky, as are they, that Death wasn't the ultimate price to be paid for that high. All three of us have experienced two of the three guarantees of living a life of active addiction ... jails and institutions.

Detox is what it is, but jail - I was in a lock up for 8 hours. Trust me, that is enough for this addict, kids. Never again.

I have came to accept that I can never choose to associate with these two ever again. Even if we have years of recovery each, it would be a volatile situation for us to be alone together. Each time I slipped and fell, walking that road to recovery, one of these lovely ladies was involved.

So, when I got serious about wanting to live a life free from active addiction, I made a decision to listen to that little voice in my head, the one that always was the voice of reason, compassion and righteousness. That voice, along with that of a very dear friend, both told me that I'm better off single.

"Just work on yourself, when the time is right you will know it." He said.

In the last four months, I guess I have turned into some kind of super stud, because the ladies have been coming out of the woodwork and pursuing me. WTF? Where did that come from?

I mean, the attention is great! I have never been in a position where I was aware that I was the object of someone's desire. I did the little dance and flirted with a few, but the results left me with the same feeling that I am better off on my own.

One, I really liked, but she is an Alcoholic who by her own admission, has been getting "worse lately."

Another seemed pretty normal, and I may have hurt her. That is what happens when you start out a relationship omitting a key piece of information like the "boyfriend" you are still living with is actually your fiancee that you can't seem to dump until you find someone else. I told her she used people like I used to use drugs.

I know, kind of harsh, but that is a whole heaping bag full of insanity to bring to a new relationship, especially if you seriously think that you want to make it one which is going to last.

Right now, there is another woman I have met who possesses traits which are endearing to me. I am very attracted to her. I think there is a mutual affection. Let's put it this way, she actually gives me the time of day.

She has a real job, with responsibility. She is a writer, she has a child, she is a vegetarian, which means she actually cares what she puts into her body. She is almost as tall as I am. Wow! I asked her if she minded that I call her, and suggested we meet for coffee. She agreed that would be nice. Then she dropped the bomb. She only had a few days clean.

I just realized I am getting a headache.

She told me she was going to a particular meeting that night. I actually considered going to this meeting and told a friend of mine this.

"Dude, maybe you should go to another meeting and think about your recovery other than who is going to be at the meeting." Hmmmm... okay. He's right.

His roommate, a female in recovery as well over heard not only what we were talking about but about whom. She got on the phone and said.

"Listen, she is crazy, She says she wants recovery, will go to a meeting and then go out and cop afterward. You need to not be a predator, and leave her alone. I love you, Paul." Then she got off of the phone.

I was aghast. My friend got on the phone and said,

"Did she say "predator?" Yes she did. Needless to say my feelings were very hurt, and I had a good cry.

Although I don't necessarily agree with the term predator, and she recanted that term and better explained her point of view in a follow up conversation, there was truth to what she said.

"I would tell her the same exact thing." She asserted.

Why would I jeopardize my recovery to get involved with someone who is struggling in her own addiction? I really need to take a look at my own motives and and how my character defects are still affecting my decision making process.

I went to another meeting that night,one of my home groups, where I was asked to be the Chairperson. Then I went out after the meeting, for some food, with three other members of my home group, just me and three ladies. I told them all that had transpired earlier in the evening got some good feedback and advice.

This morning, I found out through the grapevine of thinly veiled anonymity,that my friend went out and used that evening. To think I could have been in her company and what my actions may have been? Perhaps being called a "predator" by someone I love and respect saved my life that night. At the very least she put me in a position where I was doing the right thing for the right reason, keeping me out of harm's way.

I am an addict. I have many different things that I am addicted to, whether it be a bag of dope, a rock of cocaine, a tumbler of Jack Daniels, some heady green nuggets, an icy cold balloon full of nitrous oxide, a cornucopia of pills, or a handful of psychedelic doo dads, food or a warm and willing female. I have to have what I want, when I want it, and when I'm done you bet your ass I'm going to want more.

I actually saw someone during a holiday function have a beer and only drink two sips of it. How do people do that?

Everywhere I look, I am reminded that I am an addict.

I went to have my wonderful 16 year old cat, Harrison, euthanized on Thursday evening. My ex-wife and I went together. We took him into the room. As emaciated and ill as he looked he was nosing around the Vet's office as curious as ever, still full of life and energy.

We held him down on the table cuddling him and bidding him farewell. The vet shaved a portion of his leg and out came the needle.

Man, I was fixated on that thing like it was the only object in the room.

She went in.

The anticipation of waiting to see the blood from Harrison's vein rushing back into the barrel of the syringe was unbearable. She missed and had to stick him two more times. Each time my pain and anguish increased, bringing me back to the darkest times in my active addiction where I was dope sick and struggling with a dull, overused needle, probing around ... waiting ... praying to see that rush of blood go into that barrel so I could finish my dirty business and momentarily get back to my so called "life."

I continued to hold my baby, and stroke his bent limp ears, telling him it would all be okay in a few moments. The vet finally hit a vein, the blood rushed in and she injected him.

He got very calm. I continued to look into his eyes and felt his heart beat slow. He stopped breathing. I felt his energy dissipate, leaving his once powerful and majestic body a limp mass on the examination table.

How good that shot must have felt. I bet it would feel great the last time I used, especially if I accidentally stumbled upon the end result I so mercifully delivered to my feline friend.

My ex-wife and I stood there and stroked his limp form for a few minutes, commiserating. I kissed his head, closed his eyes and said my final goodbye as I silently Thanked my higher power for putting me in a position where I did not have to use that day.

Perhaps it was divine intervention the night that I got really high and didn't die even though across town, the very same evening, a friend named Brian did. That should be enough of a reason to not use ever again, but I went out numerous times after that, even after a few more funerals for fellow addicts I knew.

Perhaps it was the same divine intervention that told Tanya to use a word which would slap me in the side of the head, causing me to wake up and refocus my energy on my recovery.

Whatever the cause or reason, once again, I have woken up alive, with a new fire - a new reason to live my life to the fullest.

George Harrison was right on when he said,

"If I needed someone to love, you're the one I'd be thinking of ... If I needed someone."

Perhaps, someday, but not right now. I need to think about that other half a cake.

I am going to help my daughter with her power point project when she gets out of school today. Because I am alive, because I can, because it is the right thing to do, and I can't think of anything else I would rather be doing at 3:30 this afternoon.

Life is short, enjoy it.

Once again, you will find me on the center line of the road to recovery as I am ...

Running Hard Out of Muskrat Flats.