Suggested Audio Candy:
The Pixies Where Is My Mind?
I felt somewhat charmed as I arrived for the final leg of my ongoing pilgrimage to locate the elusive Bleeding Lotus. No hulking cleaver-wielding butchers, no bloodsucking cannibalistic bitches and no deranged Nazi surgeons. Instead I found myself back in the place where it all began: Bleeding Lotus’ home studio. Everything appeared just as I had left it what felt like an eternity ago and, according to the clock on the back wall, I had been gone no time at all. Perhaps it was defective. Last minute limb checks appeared to flag up nothing of concern and this seemed baffling as I swore blind I felt every last twinge of pain and could recall each wince with far more lucidity than I was comfortable with. I remembered the saying “never look a gift horse in the mouth” and, for the time being at least, consoled myself with being back in a more hospitable environment. Sure I missed the harem full of oily naked sirens but, as it turned out, they were more trouble than they were worth so the studio suited me down to the ground.
Immense relief suddenly washed over me as I heard Bleeding Lotus in the kitchen, frying up a continental breakfast. A couple of arm pinches confirmed that I was every bit present and, while Lotus wasn’t yet aware of my attendance, I could hear him whistling Herbie Hancock’s Rockit as he flipped the bacon. My winning smile returned instantaneously as I prepared myself to greet him with an impish thigh slap and whatever inane one-liner I could concoct with such frightfully short notice. “Poach me an egg biotch!” was the one seemingly most fitting. Thoroughly relieved, I prepared to haul myself up and commence the banter.
The very moment my tush left the leather stool I felt sick to the pit of my abdomen, causing me to projectile vomit a mouthful of acidic bile all over his cherished recording equipment. Ordinarily, this would be swiftly followed by the sound whooping of my ass courtesy of his slender foot. Not today however, although I hadn’t the faintest clue as to what messed-up goat-headed necromancer would be thrust my way next. My next action was to call out but the sound-waves promptly returned my way. As I attempted to vacate the studio I ran face first into a transparent screen across the doorway. Every single sound coming from the kitchen was audible to me yet, Bleeding Lotus had absolutely no concept of my presence. There just had to be another way out of my paradox so I commenced searching every wall seam, feeling for discrepancies with its density. I remained oblivious as the studio equipment behind me suddenly burst into life. With nobody visibly flicking the switches, the whole system booted up and, as I discerned deafening static audio, I decided it high time that I turn to examine the commotion.
“Sit the fuck down Keeper”
The ominous baritone greeting seeped through the subwoofers before me. Whoever this douche was, he was clearly gleaning some kind of sick amusement from making this forceful request when my stool had mysteriously vanished. I slumped against the back wall and slid to my knees, feeling grossly ill-prepared for whatever flaming hoops I would be expected to jump through next. However, I didn’t have to wait long for enlightenment.
“I guess you’re feeling pretty clever aren’t you? You are nothing more than a festering pool of goose phlegm!”
Charming, and after all the shit I’d been through.
While this appeared a perfectly petulant response; I delivered it with little of Tom Atkins’ famous swagger.
“You’re rather partial to Tom Atkins aren’t you boy?”
“How the bollocks do you know that?”
“You’re really not all that taxing to read young man. Now listen up before I extract your spleen through your urethra. There is only one way through the eye of your needle son. I shall set a simple challenge. It’s child’s play really. You must entertain me with one of your delightful pieces of poetry. A simple request. One as revered as the Keeper of the Crimson Quill shouldn’t feel intimidated by such a menial challenge. One tiny little wafer thin poem is all I ask for in exchange for your safe passage”
If I suspected it was too good to be true, then it was confirmed as he continued.
“There is only one stipulation to my challenge. This Tom Atkins fellow. You have something of a man crush do you not”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s strictly platonic”
“Whatever chump. Anyway, my sole condition is this: your poem must focus on the love Atkins develops for a young Hebrew mountain goat by the name of Nathan. It must also feature a pestle and mortar and eight ripened plums. Satisfy my meager demands and I shall allow you to exit this prison. Leave me cold and I will bring all manner of fire and brimstone your way. Then you’ll never solve your precious conundrum you. That is all”
“Okay. Here goes but I want it known that I don’t appreciate being placed on the spot like this”
“Eat me bozo”
The Eight Ripened Plums of Tom Atkins
What a manly mustache and he wears it with pride
Try all you like but he won’t be denied
That whiff of cologne, of whiskey and snatch
I’m telling you Tom Selleck’s just met his match
Don’t write me off yet as my tale has just started
for Tom took a journey to pastures uncharted
to the highlands he hiked for some fresh country air
in sub-zero conditions but Tom didn’t care
He strode through with great purpose, every bit still the man
with eight ripened plums in the palms of his hand
They were picked a week prior just south of Gibraltar
and would grind up a treat in his pestle and mortar
Next day, after drinking a jug of plum wine
Tom went for a stroll just to pass his sweet time
It was then that he met a young Hebrew called Nathan
I think he’s albino, but could be mistaken
They developed a love, so true and fulfilling
Tom forgot Jamie Lee, and the droves of cheap women
He still gets ribbed now, thus he swore not to gloat
of the true love he shared with that hot mountain goat
” That was truly abysmal you festering maggot. I’m going to say this once and once only. I can’t bear to look at you for a moment longer so you’re free to leave. Please do so at once”
He may not have cared for my poem but I’d met his demands and finally earned myself the freedom I desired. A solitary thought entered my mind before exiting. “What of the leather stool? Wherever did it go?” That split second of deliberation proved more costly than I could ever have imagined as I discerned a most unwelcome audio at that very moment. The sound in my ears was the door slamming shut as Bleeding Lotus vacated the apartment. I cried out hysterically but it was all in vain. With one last throw of the dice, I ran to the front door, but when I arrived, it soon became painfully evident that I’d been well and truly thwarted. Locked from the outside. After all I had been through, all that misery and anguish, pain and suffering, I was destined never to actually learn Whatever Happened to Bleeding Lotus. On the plus side, I spotted the elusive leather stool which had now relocated to the lounge. But I just didn’t care anymore.
Truly, Clearly, Really, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2013 (Revised 2015)