Suggested Audio Candy
Marilyn Manson “Resident Evil”
It was a long silent chopper ride from Haddonfield to my next location. Alan could clearly sense the tension in the air as he kept his head down and didn’t engage in the normal small talk. I was disinterested in making a fuss in public so held onto my bitterness towards Bonus Brain the entire journey and didn’t utter a crossed word. That is not to say that I wasn’t positively teaming with rage, bottom line is that things almost came to a head in the old Doyle house because my less than significant other decided to lead my antagonist straight to me. We’d had our differences but, eternal optimist that I am, I’d still hoped for a satisfactory settlement between us. Bonus Brain was citing irreconcilable differences as his reason for his act of defiance but the fact remained that he’d been partly responsible for all the ill-fortunes which had followed me round each subsequent leg of my tour.
Nevertheless I remained open to counseling, as damage limitation, it appeared to be worth taking the punt and stating our bugbears in the presence of an impartial professional. Alan had discussed with me prior to our trip to Illinois that he knew of a particularly reputable clinic way off in a place called Raccoon City. I’m game to try anything once thus I gave Al the nod on departure and we made the five-hour pilgrimage to our next allotted locale. Dr. Albert Wesker came highly recommended and apparently his persuasive methods, whilst unorthodox, had proven successful time and again. Rumor had it that he took up residence in a huge Gothic-styled mansion away from the hub of hubbub, a lavish sanctuary with grounds which stretched for acres. In my consideration, this appeared conducive with finding the resolution I was seeking and also presented a tranquil rest home for me to catch a well-earned breather and for Bonus Brain to achieve his lifetime ambition of finishing Season four of Hawaii 5-0 in one elongated sitting.
Horses for courses, if that was how he desired to spend his down time then I wasn’t about to grumble. If it meant he left me to my own devices then that could only be a plus as far as I was concerned. Counseling would invariably take its toll and become heated before any cooling off commenced, so at least this way, we could go about our own business and allow the dust to settle. I had every intention of taking the tour, finding a log burner to warm my cockles and maybe checking out the sub-basement laboratories while I was there. Old builds fascinate me and, after my close shave babysitting, I was damned well going to explore this shit box from stem to stern. I was done with ominous surprises, too many shit blips had occurred to entertain the notion of taking a singular chance. This would be me, myself, I and not the other guy; I’m self-sufficient and there are bigger haddocks in the paddock just waiting to be fried than a showdown with my impish cross to bear.
So we’re here now, just docked in the surrounding marsh lands as Alan hadn’t been aware of the heliport and, considering the brisk bite in the air, I figured a stroll would be exactly what the doctor ordered. It’s only a click away so I’ll be inside with a mug of cocoa before the reeds resettle. About a hundred and fifty yards to be exact, sheesh this place is a doozy. There’s an ethereal glow about it which I find mildly disparaging, my spider senses are all a tingle and something tells me this house has its fair share of secrets. It’s astonishing what fortifications witness over the course of many decades; a murder here, an antagonism there, a few fond memories but a lot of despair. I’m no Doogie Howser but I did watch a lot of St. Elsewhere growing up and my PhD is in insight, if I get a feeling and it tells me to stay frosty then frosty I remain. For this particular mission my phasers shall be set to stun.
Okay, now I’m feeling more at ease with my chosen getaway, this place is divinity encapsulated. I’d love to share a twinkie with the architects who designed this palatial ornate kingdom, pick their brains and afford them the opportunity of doing likewise. As soon as I step through the front door my pulsating peepers are treated with an elegant swirling staircase, which sings like a jaybird from its root to its lambent apex, doused in red hues of sparse illumination up top. It is decided then, poetry shall be bi-product of my stay here, the history within these antiquated walls will bring out the best from my creative side. Bonus Brain can go flick a peanut, I come up with this shit, not him. He just bitches, moans and then bitches some more about my decisions being off-kilter. Every ship needs a captain and, should I entrust my mental kingdom to that pesky blighter, nothing would get done other than countless Golden Girls marathons and a pissed-in punch bowl.
First things first, I must find a room which inspires me to pluck these creative feathers from my cerebral poultry. I need a nice docile chamber with somewhere to rest my cheeks and a typewriter to scribe upon; maybe some relaxing audio to set the tone. To my left is a protracted dining room and my tummy has growled neglect several times already so I think it’s high time I feed the monkey. Clearly they’re not expecting the Robinsons as there’s nothing outside of polished crockery and it appears I’m premature for any banquet. Saying that, there is a green herb in the corner which looks benign, that’ll suffice while I track down the maître d’ . I’m no herbivore so I’ll be expectant of prime rib when I finally receive any service. The shrub may taste a little earthy but admittedly I feel instantly galvanized, top of the morning to me, I’m feeling like Lee Majors right now and I’ve had it right back to the tonsils of being The Fall Guy. I’d rather be The Six Million Dollar Man for a change.
At the end of the hallway is a man hunched down, apparently masticating some sort of concealed delicacy. I’ll ask him the crack. “Excuse me sir, I don’t suppose you’d have any Intel on where I can grab a bite to eat would you?” Either he’s doing his best impression of Marlee Matlin or he simply doesn’t discern my voice. Too busy scoffing his face I guess. “I say, old bean, would you be frightfully cordial and inform me as to where I can grab a leg of chicken or a mouthful of pâté. If it isn’t any inconvenience of course.” Okay, there’s a vague hint of sarcasm in that last sentence, not normally my style, but he is coming across a little ignorant and words don’t wrangle themselves. I have limited time to scribe my rhyme, but this petulant mime is just crossing the line. I’m not fine with that! I step a little closer, just enough for my shadow to tap on his shoulder and this time there is a response. About blasted time.
There ain’t a dermatologist this side of Sudan who could slow this guy’s erosion. Admittedly he looks as though he needs the next meal ticket far more than I so I leave him to it. He reminds me a little of those deadbeats back at the mall, all teeth and no tongue, far too touchy feely for even my liking and I can nuzzle with the best of them. He has no discernible etiquette and his steak is far too rare to appeal anyway. Think I’ll just leave him be, he’s hardly the best conversationalist after all. There’s another door at the adjacent end of the corridor but it appears to require some particular key to access so I think I’ll slide into the only other entrance and leave old Nibbles McGee to his raw d’oeuvre. This is more like it, I much prefer the interior of my new coordinates. Glossy marble floor and a quaint little fireplace as center piece, ideal for warming up these chilly feelers. I’ll be toasty in no time.
You’d think whichever regal eagle leased this estate would get the chimney sweep in once in a while. I was prepared for a little leaping cinder or the odd crackle of firewood but a gargantuan descending serpent was never banked on. I don’t like snakes, sorry guys. I know you’re not slimy like folk imagine, you may very well not have a singular bad bone in your bodies come to think about it. But you freak my shit out, I think it’s those beady little orbs. A slow-worm, no harm, grass snake, no foul. A humongous anaconda with retracted jaws spitting toxins however I fast become not okay with. It seems intent on wrapping its coils around me and, considering its girth, that isn’t something I can advocate. Not today, I’ve had too much shit on my end of the stick lately and a snake party is only ever going to end in tears. I’m out of my saddle, it’s time to skedaddle, I’m heading upstream, with a busted up paddle.
Finally, a place worthy of the title down zone. It is every bit the room I imagined, devoid of banana skins and with a vintage typewriter, parchment loaded and ready for the tapping. This will provide the solace I need to rustle up a swift shanty, nothing mighty, just a few rounds from the mind cannon. It’s been a while since I last felt poetic, easing in is paramount as rust has invariably manifested after months without my quill at its most tickly. Just a ‘lil ditty to blow away these here cobwebs, evacuate the bats from the belfry. When I’m done, I’ll make tracks as I’ve had second thoughts about Dr Wesker, besides, Bonus Brain had one too many Babychams and is passed out with his face in the couch. Dude’s even dribbling, he won’t be waking for anyone for at least three hours, by which time I intend on putting considerable distance between myself and this portentous palace.
Wrangle Me This
I’m the Brutal Word Wrangler
Facetious prose mangler
Every fisherman’s friend
and one hell of an angler
my diamante-strewn dangler
are two Bonus Balls
just waiting to jangle ya
You’ve got me all wrong
I’m not here to strangle ya
But you rustle my thong
and your ass I will hand to ya
I wish you no pain
Just here to fandangle ya
That is the sole claim
of the Brutal Word Wrangler
Just dipping the tip, a quick prick with the stick, nothing heavy. I feel revitalized and ready to say sayonara to this place now. I’ve had second thoughts about my visit to the labs and I think the cutting of losses makes most sense right now. You see what I did there? Independent thinking, no need for Bonus Brain, I can navigate my way through this labyrinth without him. My destiny is just that, ultimately I shall stand or be struck down for my own actions and I have never desired playing lamb to his wolf. I shall tell him of my exploits at a later date, prove to him that I am who I claim to be. Wrangling just so happens to be something I excel at, with or without additional armor shards, the path forward is mine to forge. When I reach the promised land I fully intend on sharing my fruit with him, bygones are bygones in my books. Lover, yes. Fighter, nope. Besides, if I’m entirely honest with myself, the Old Ma Bates affair could have gotten a lot uglier had he not stopped me in my tracks.
Back to the trenches, a twisting hallway with rain-beaten windows at regular intervals. I must be close to the lobby once more, if I carry on along the perimeter then I should be home in no time. I already called Alan from the confines of my safe room and, in true Al form, “ETA ten minutes” was his rejoinder. I need to wiggle my hips a little, it’s time to get my ass to Mars. Actually, that’s exactly where my ass will be heading next but that is another story for another day. Right now, evac is compulsory and things are getting all the more FUBAR with each flash of lightning, as attested by the three snarling Dobermann which have just rappelled through the windows. There’s a dustpan and brush on the mantle piece and it would be customary in such a situation to clean up one’s mess but these mangy mutts look like they’ve been fetching Mrs Baylock’s stick for too long and partial decomposition isn’t all that becoming. Besides, it’s not one’s mess.
The main entrance has a new dweller and that is decidedly shitty news considering this monstrosity makes those dastardly Dobermann look like Yorkshire terriers. Jesus H. Cromwell, these prowling pests can climb walls it appears and they’re all teeth and tongue too. I struggle to recall introduction to a burlier licker than this, I’m sure this beast is a dab hand at cunnilingus but something tells me it’s not face he desires to be sucking. As if that weren’t enough of a pebble in the urethra, there’s a ten foot arachnid hovering over the stairwell, sending out its silky gossamer to form a web of sorts directly above my noggin. That freaking snake’s back too, what better time than to throw a soirée in my honor. However gnarled these creatures may be, however cruel their designs on my personage, it’s the dude at the back who troubles me most.
Looking as though he’s just gone round eleven with The Toxic Avenger and brandishing a simply unnecessarily colossal mini gun which is pointed my way, this badass mutation looks how I’d imagine my nemesis would appear. I think he’s into astrology as he only utters one word “STARS!” Fuck sharing a telescope with this hunk of funk, I’ve never been more out of here. Once again I have been forced into enduring all manner of nastiness en route to running away with tail tucked firmly between legs although this time things have been different. I always look for the positives in any situation, and no onslaught of creepy crawlies should be any different. The fact is, I am yards away from kindly Alan’s chopper and still in possession of each of my appendages, with no help necessitated from Bonus Brain.
I glance back, the old customary adieu, and find it comforting that all my new-found friends have congregated for my send off. They all fell out of the ugly tree; spiders and snakes can suck my ding-dong at the best of times and I’m sick to boredom of shuffling dead heads. Admittedly that lusting licker could have given the mutton lance a slurp or two but I think that nemesis fella is it’s green-eyed keeper and I’m assured I’ve really given him the ache. Minigun pellets ricocheting off the side of the hovering bird make fine point of his disdain but Al is an expert in his respective field and hoiks us out of the danger zone in a jiffy. “Al, tell me you just witnessed my posse of stragglers. I can’t shit a break at the moment, every place I go they all want a piece of me. It’s exhausting”. He looks around at me with those compassionate eyes and reassures me that everything is going to be just dandy. “Time to get your ass to Mars my friend” is his response. Indeed it is Ally boy, indeed it is. “Just one thing, she’s running low on juice so we’ll have to make a quick diversion on our travels. It’s okay, I know a quiet little ghost town a few miles from here where we can refuel. Silent Hill I think is the name.” Fuck sake!
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2014