Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chapter 23 -- Four Views

As the sun was going down: From the restaurant, the officer
exits, walks north up the block, passing the dress shop with
the ever unlatched door and ramble of cloth bolts on the floor
still as unviolated as the manikin was naked.
Further up the paved hill to the turn, between the corner of the
bridge and the old merchants' office building, where he'd tucked
his three wheeled 'panda' out of the usual eye range.

A view from within the restaurant's double layer of doors,
through the entry foyer, of the back of the bald and bulky,
badly clothed detective getting into the passenger side of a
green, squared off vehicle, (a cheap import), driven by a
middle aged woman with red hair.

Neither?/both? with a glimpse of the white ambulance van,
(repainted and used to carry evidence), parked in front of
the theatre where the 'body wagon' had been earlier that day;
or of the man in the red shirt standing below the billboard
across the street.

But, all three--officer walking north, turning, sound of small
unseen vehicle leaving; the bald, now yellow orange detective,
(the sunset), being picked up again by the same green car that
had deposited him that afternoon; the second, (evidence) van
awaiting its single occupant's return from the theatre---
all three in the view of the man in the red shirt, standing hip deep
in the overgrowth below the automated, 'beer & pretzel' sign.
Coolly curious, he shlakes through the weeds to look up at the
back of the huge board and the meagre motor generating the
'action', kachucking along quietly in the greying twilight.
What more had he expected??

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Chapter 22 -- The Actual Conversation

"Victor!!", erupted the Inspector.

"How did you recognize me so quickly ?", said the bandaged man.

"The way you shifted your butter knife at the table. That, and the fact you're the only
individual on the whole island in dire enough condition to be wrapped in bandages from
crown to fingertips."

"Hnh. Ohh. Don't make me laugh."

Winsteeple had seated himself at Victor Plesch's restaurant table. "Sorry. How are you
feeling? Are you off the liquid diet?"

"Mmn. I think so. I won't know until they serve my order."

"We visited you a few times--whenever i could get away. But, you were always asleep."

"The only time I can sleep now is in the daytime. From being exhausted into insomnia by
the pain at night. But, thank you both for all the flowers."

"At least you're reading again I see", as he reached over to tap the spraddled paperback
to Victor's left. "One of yours?"

"One of Ima Audun's. I was supposed to review it for the local paper. Before 'The Accident'."

"You know, she was declared officially missing a couple of weeks ago, while you were still
in the hospital."

"No." They were both peripherally aware of Officer Glidden watching them from behind the
dusty plastic fronds. (Like some demigod of his friend's fiction, Winsteeple also had acute

"What actually happened to you that night?" asked Winny, carefully.

"Showing the chef how to prepare lamb leg a la paw paw." Plesch quipped through the
muffle of his head wrappings.

"Giving unsolicited advice in the kitchen again?"

"Two words...flambe'. I've since decided epicureanism is for the Great Unsinged. I ordered
the club sandwich."

"Well, I hope you can manage solid food soon. My wife wants you to come have dinner with
us, whenever you're willing and able."

"A liquid die-et is not con-du-cive to socializing." His friend gulped this almost sheepishly,
and the two were almost moved too close to real tears.

After a few beats, Winny absently touched one of the table's settings. "Syrup dishes...", he
whispered. "My wife bought some like that." Then, rousing, he added more wholeheartedly,
"In fact, she's picking me up out front here any minute!"

Before the bandaged man could answer, Officer Glidden came dutifully around the plants
and announced, "Cloxon's man is upstairs now, sir. Two men are helping him move all the

"Not those two that moved the body??"

"No, sir." He smiled.

"VERY good. You can go ahead and leave by the door here, then. It will save you a lot of steps."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chapter 21 -- Disturbing Words

Down the well-trod steps, and out, into the restaurant.

Around the artificial plants, and there seated at a table, the bandaged man.

A potent, mutual greeting.

'How did you recognize him so quickly ?'

"The way you shifted your butter knife at the table," declared the Inspector, with a slight note
of ironic pomposity.

"That, and the fact you're the only individual on the whole island in dire enough condition
to be wrapped in bandages from crown to fingertips."


A few moments later, Officer Glidden had followed Winsteeple down the same formerly secret steps, but held back, his view obscured by the dusty plastic fronds, on seeing the Inspector
seated with the unusual patron.

His superior had his back to Glidden, so that he could not quite hear easily all that he said to
the man(?), nor could he be certain of his mood. Was this, already, a suspect?

Just as he began to transfer his own unease and curiosity to the bandaged patron, he partly
heard the Inspector ask what, (in fact), had happened to him.

'Shwgth shiff had a three pair of lab legs, Ala Babah,' the impossible reply.

Glidden felt like a child, trying to make sense of such muffled mishmosh, as if he were hiding
from his parents rather than not wanting to burst in inopportunely. Amidst further strings of
muttering, he heard distinctly the words "club", (but unthreatening?), and the more disturbing "die", (said without menace, but with some melancholy or fatigue).

With a few beats more, and the whispered "surreptitious", (so coincidentally & reflectively
accusatory), the officer threw aside his non-professional stance, 'rehearsed' the little message in his head, and came on about to interrupt the Inspector's mysterious meeting.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Chapter 20 -- The Inspector's Notion

Winsteeple stood stockstill, facing the hall entrance into Jampers' office. He felt sure something
vital was right in front of him.

He turned to his right a bit, to take in the vacated desk one last time, still thinking about the body. Officer Glidden was down the hall, making sure the van attendants did not need further help.

When the officer returned, he held back, not fully reentering, knowing not to disturb the ruminating Inspector. Winsteeple beefily gestured at the overabundance of cabinets and carafes.
"We'll have to have all these bottles moved. Likely, their contents will have to be checked for
any poison. And tell Cloxon's man to make note of all the dust, especially on the different stoppers."

Almost unconsciously, he planted himself again facing the hallway as Glidden peered in discreetly. Winsteeple again sensed a nascent notion coming upon him like a shroud of light.

At first he did nothing. Then, slowly and without thought, he turned his bald head to the wall
along his left shoulder and saw with new eyes the black and white print on the wall.
Originally a lithograph ?

He knew now it was not the excessive dust that would matter to him--obviously quite old.
It was the picture itself. Of a grimacing, wide mouthed beast, yes, crouching, one long arm
wrapping its knees. Crouching in a dry desert landscape...

Outside the west windows, soon to be greying in the late afternoon sun moving behind it...
the billboard ! He gaped amusedly at the rocking action of its giant salted pretzel and
big (flat) mug of foamy beer. He was getting thirstier himself, just looking at it.

But, if Jampers really drank so much of this water, where did he go to the bathroom??

There were no amenities in the office itself. And he could not see Jampers galumphing down
the stairs to the street to someplace, and then back up again, every time he...

Glidden, who had slipped in by now, (to view the billboard), now watched the Inspector,
with the enthusiasm of certainty, heave himself the few steps into the cramped hallway
directly opposite the door.

With fingers like runover hot dogs, Winsteeple pawed at the edges of the thin wall, searching
for a crevice, punch or purchase.

When the wall popped open with a gasp to match their own, and let in an L-crack of light,
he half-turned delightedly and greedily pulled the door the rest of the way open.

Not exactly a secret door, but so parenthetically set (by someone) it would remain for private use in this little-visited quarter.

The barely carpeted steps to the restaurant below beckoned.

Of course, he went down them.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chapter 19 -- On the Coast Road With 235X12

nothing but interior, car window views of ocean, ocean, ocean to the right; hillocks and scrub growth to the left. And too many winding curves along the way to take anything in, for all the
leaning side-to-side to stay upright.

"Slow down", commanded Doctor Y. to his robot driver. But, again, there was no reply.
235X12 was in definite need of an overhaul.

Doctor Y. sat up straighter in the limo's rear passenger seat. There were at least a few yards
of road ahead that did not curve so, and would offer him some few seconds of 'melodramatic

He ruminated briefly about the small, flat box now in the specially lined, lapel pocket of his
grey suit jacket. Its last minute retrieval had been a 'coup', yesss...

But, there was the fact of having forgotten it in the first place.

As his body began to lean again from side-to-side with further abrupt coastal turns, 'Y.'
lost the thread of his 'scheming'. His mind jumped to the yellow paperback he had seen
so briefly. Trying to recall just what he had actually read in the silly book.

No matter. Either malicious or stupid, the local writers. They never get it right.

As if to censure his smugness, the speeding limo suddenly hit a rock, moving on, but causing
him to stamp his grey-polished shoe into the floorboard to avoid sliding off the seat & piling in a heap. Gnashing his teeth and righting himself, he cursed the empty grill head of '235' and the
day he'd ever overseen the takeover of menial tasks by his inventions.

But his own memory was no better. He still wanted to recall the book passage, damn the thing.

And this little road trip never afforded him one chance to analyze his errors. Appalling. To walk out without the box...

For an 'evil genius', he was having quite the memory lapse.

Perhaps, he had on 'the wrong attire'. Didn't the Philosopher(s) say something about selecting
the wrong outfit spoiling the whole of the day's actions?

They were always saying some god damn thing.

Was the robot speeding up?? He hated this road, its ugly views. And unpredictable turns
guaranteed to interrupt all thought and render one an insipid, flaming wreck. Figuratively,
if not literally.

'Doctor Y.' would be glad to get back 'up to something' in his sanctum. Up to speed on his

Verbal commands were useless. Crampton 'rared back' to use both of his long, grey legs.

To kick the back of the driver's seat with both feet, again & again. And joggle some sense into his
mechanical chauffeur before they went careening off into the sea like some sorry
cinematic cliffhanger...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chapter 18 -- The Bridge To Nowhere

the 'tourist hit by luggage' sweated and huffed up the last of the Avenue, alone but for
birds he could not locate and the pfuffling in the stronger wind of the red paper lanterns .

the 'tourist hit by luggage' walks onto the Bridge itself now, nearly exhausted by its steep
curve (and all of the earlier, excessive efforts of the day).

at last, cresting its arch, discovering that it stops dead. cut off halfway in midair.

metal tube bars block further progress of the reckless. Relatively discreet warning signs,
placed so as not to destroy the view, balefully glare their advice in three languages.

staggered, he stares uncomprehendingly at the shoreline beyond, the scarcity of roadwork
on that side, and the lime green stone far on the north horizon.

he continues to stay back, well away from the end. turns to take in the eastward side...

standing on the pedestrian's side path, not even daring to lean on the five foot, heavy cement
wall, he immediately takes in the broad bluenesses of the sky and ocean...

the coast road, (the only road really connecting the two ends of the island), bordering and
enclosing a last lap of low water and soft sand way below.

He still could not decide where exactly he was--what island.

There was the declining business 'district' to the southeast, from where he'd just come, (and
spent so much of his time here already, in dubious pursuits). But, no spire visible.
No cathedral of St. Millicent's.

He recalled only fragments of the lost tour guide. Had some sort of block on the island's name.

He ignored the obvious metaphor of the half-bridge for his faulty memory.

Perhaps, the Bridge had been broken off by a massive wave. A tsunami. Or a 'too-sommy',
as the loud old man on the caravan had called it.

The tourist smiled. (Despite everything).

He felt it more likely it was another unfinished boondoggle. And had a vague memory of the
local papers somewhere calling the useless bridge a "promenade".

He wondered if there were any bars sticking out of the end , but would not walk there to see.

Odd that there was still a connecting road, (tho' it was on a rise), at the end of an inlet or
tidal basin. How the water from the ocean to the west (behind him) could just taper off and
end. Not covering the rise, and effectively creating two islands instead of the one.

He realized he was watching a limousine, running on the very road, (already on the north side
of the inlet). Curving 'near' and away again, at what seemed a slow pace, from this distance.

Taking in more of the land, he watched. Might be quite a clip, after all.

Maybe they left something undone.

There was no fencing up, as on continental bridges. A 'good' place for a melodramatic drop...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Chapter 17 -- Plesch

He put the yellow paperback face down, open to his place, on the restaurant table.
He could barely see well enough to read, anyhow, through the head wrappings.

His teeth still hurt. Perhaps he'd been wrong to order the club sandwich, but it was his first
since getting off of the liquid diet.
The restaurant had not changed...since 'The Accident'. Thankfully.

That is, it had not improved nor gained any clamorous clientele. He preferred the quiet,
dining alone, (especially now it was more difficult), even writing here. Or at least
ruminating about his latest novel.

He still knew all the staff. The dust-ridden artificial fronds reminded him of the Crimble
woman, still missing. But, that could be a good thing. Criminal ambiance.
A union of neglect in not removing the 'plant', and opportunism (he had encouraged)
in trying to keep the local story alive.

'Speaking' of local stories, the paperback...he did not like to criticize his competition,
but he was certain now that Ima had skipped a step. She should have had her killer
wander through the town, in a different chapter, and then reach the Bridge.

Instead, there was an unfortunate abruptness in his fleeing the courtyard, then
so shortly appearing, gazing down at the river. 'Would he jump...?', the triteness almost

Feeling he already knew the answer, Plesch smiled under the wrappings, hurting his
cheeks a bit.

He would have to paper this over with her, cover his technical disapproval with a barrage
of compliments--so well deserved in other areas.

That is if he ever saw her again. Boris Tate had not heard from her in weeks.

Plesch was well aware of police activity in the neighboring buildings. Doubtlessly, he would
run into his friend "The Inspector"; old Winny and his wife had been so very good about
sending him lots of flowers everyday while he was in the hospital.

And they weren't always easy to come by on the island. Nor inexpensive.

He again studied his butter knife, which he would not be needing.

He did not want to move it too soon. His hands felt hot...he wanted to be sparing in how
often he scuffed them about, trying to use utensils with wrapped up hands.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Chapter 16 -- "Welcome to Tonnalo"

staring up at the dark green, over sized (four or five times the average human) figure...
not feeling welcomed at all.

he found himself looking at the sculpted and cast monument too critically...nonplussedly...
not knowing for sure how he even came to this spot. A weed grown area in the ruined
courtyard, still green but plainly little-visited.

Hadn't he intended to go in a different direction?

The statue had its hands forward in what was supposed to be a greeting to all the island's
visitors. But, they were both upturned almost like shrugging, drying his nail polish, yearning
to catch some falling heavenly martyr, or, worse yet, waiting for yet another handout from
continents West or East.

It inspired no confidence. Nor, really any feeling at all, save diffidence.

The tourist began to reel with sudden, alternate views of the thing, as though floating
above and behind it's head.

Nauseated, he tried to focus instead on the dark olive, hard-to-read plaque closer to
his actual, standing level. The back of his head was throbbing fiercely.

the name on the plaque was in "bot 'n' paid for" went the local joke.

BO-teen'---the guidebook made strains to emphasize.

He suddenly felt like vomiting. An apolitical vomit that doubtlessly would not be taken
that way were he observed by the wrong fanatic policeman or working class loyaliste.

he only wanted to feel better...and not become known, citywide, as in the caravan tour's final
station, as 'the tourist hit by luggage'.

But could not, in fact, recall his own name...what he, himself, was called.

Somewhere in the ruins a dog barked.

Friday, July 31, 2009

[ A Second Interruption ]

It should be clear to anyone actually reading this story, that it has by now quite its own life
and doesn't need much help from found words and the like as laid out initially.

This is hardly the first time that one of these projects turned out other than i'd originally
expected. It's always in the back of my mind that it may 'get out of hand', becoming too
long and seemingly unmanageable.

In fact, I'm learning a lot from doing this one, it's the first time I've been able to work with
one as it forms from my mind almost directly into type.

I kept further ideas for this story riding tucked in my head for a good spell, but ultimately
enough material has accumulated that I have had to make some notes on paper. Chiefly
to keep some of the contradictory elements in view. The variations and options.

This 'book', (which i truly hope it will be one day), has already generated, for me, the bulk of its forthcoming content. There really isn't much room for more. The details of actual execution remain another thing to see.

(If it seems at times that my 'characters' are straying too far into the trite, threatening to
tell another cliche' tale, rest reassured that deteriorations are in store).

It should also be said here, to anyone not 'getting it', that I am well aware of not making ordinary sense in all of these chapters. Ultimately, if done well enough, it's to all make a sort of collective
unsense, (rather than nonsense)---a display of images strewn throo with some of their human possibilities.

And if anyone thinks that such verbal trompling about is off putting and therefore somehow
untrue, how many times today have you encountered an overabundance of choices? And to
the point of near neurosis??

There's certainly plenty of the other ordinary reading about if that's your preference. I have
my own favorites, too.
I just don't wanna write like that! And would rather do a merely passable job trying something i love, than waste my time laboring over the usual.

I am again taking this Section break as my only opportunity to add a few other nagging points.
Points nascent in the first break and waiting for me to catch up:

I did manage the start up of the 2nd blog mentioned. It is going well, too, (to my mind) and has
become my midweek relief from this "Frog blog"'s more elaborate weekend mentations.
I kicked it off with the dictionary words listed here about two months ago---I found they just
weren't going to be needed to 'spice up Frog', and would become unduly digressive if dropped
into all of its other contrived material.

My second blog, "The Twelfth Toe", is remaining somewhat closer to my pronounced goal
of writing and displaying a so-dubbed 'series form'. Tho it too has strayed some from simple
recitation of objects. Maybe I'll have to make a blog one day out of some older projects just
to show, once, what i mean.

Had intended to call it "The Eleventh Toe", but on point of doing found that not only is there
already a novel out by that name, it is also, apparently, a fairly common physical condition.
A twelfth toe much less so!?!

Lastly, want to acknowledge that i have more or less abandoned using the labels for referring
to some backstage machination of writing this. There really isn't much to describe about
process, after a certain fictive potential is reached---in this sort of work, once its generating its
own material for its own world, that's pretty much it. That was the goal, to have something
to write!

And, besides, the labels make a much better index-in-the-making.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chapter 15 -- A Man In Overalls

had stayed away long enough...?? held back from turning the corner too soon...
yes, the black van was still there...

hold back at just the right angle so the blind horse and its carriage would block him from view
he did not want to be seen too soon and yes they were coming out with the body, arguing
as usual...

he did not want to be seen at all as they loaded the body, their proximity to him at the rear end
of the van possibly too near to seem casual they would soon be through...

the horse with carriage, clomping along slowly onto Broadbridge, still betwixt and at a 'natural' their preoccupied eyes there would be no doubt that he was merely tending to the horse in the typical and expected manner...

the overalls felt natural enough, too, and why shouldn't they?

everything was as it should be...where it should be...

was he speaking out loud? the two men were already climbing into the doorless van had they
even glanced at him?? he did not know...

he began to panic as they started the engine, half sensing another vehicle pulling up behind
the carriage, on the cross street but blocked from his peripheral view, he dared not turn...

he felt penned in, did not want to be seen except as 'normal', as anyone would...

as the van pulled away, two more shocks: he spotted the man in the red shirt--still here,
there, across the street,what could possibly keep him here, had he overlooked something
himself?? But he was turning away...heading toward the fence...the vacant lot...

then, back in the street, where the van had pulled away, a yellow book glaring in the sunlight...
could scarcely take it in before the second shock of the black dog sitting on the curb...

but, yes, only 'Flagg', the island's mascot...

apparently finished with his cigar of the day...

and as man stood stock-still, unwilling to stride forth and claim the book for himself,
most aware of the limo (he could feel with the back of his neck) looming behind,

the dog, its mouth open to new games, plumped quickly into the street, nipped the paper
book and ran off with it in the general direction of the courthouse ruins.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Chapter 14 -- Removals

Inspector Winsteeple finally moved aside and let the two men in
the hallway come in to move Jampers' dead body.
Apparently, they had been arguing about the wooden board the
shorter of the two had brought upstairs from somewhere.

"What is that?" , and surprising them, before one could answer,
adding, "A piano top?"

"It was all 'we' could find." replied the taller, as they lumbered it
along the east wall of the office on the way to the oversized desk.

"It'll make the body heavier." stated their superior.

Indeed, they would require some help even to move the overweight
body from its seated position in the heavy wooden chair.

As the two men carefully aligned the board onto the floor, Winsteeple
said, "Wait." And moved in for one last closer look at the tweezers in
the dead man's hand.
They had seemingly clenched tighter only since he had last examined
them here, the gap between their tips narrower by a few micrometers.
(He would have to ask the coroner if this were possible).
And, sure enough, there was a tiny perforation of paper from the edge
of a stamp, doubtlessly the one last held by the collector.
A stamp nowhere visible now. Removed by the killer?

After moving around the desk for another last check of the carpeting
around the various legs and the positioning of the body, the Inspector
stood back, and getting the men started by pulling the heavy chair out
said gently, "Be careful not to disturb anything or I'll hang you both
from the courtyard flagpole."

But, as they struggled to move the body out of the chair, and onto the
piano top on the floor, he did whatever he could to physically help.
As officer Glidden kept an eye on the critical objects and breakables.

Arguing again, somewhat more, in the narrow canehead turn of the hall
about which end of the body should go out first, they settled on the feet,
and except for too-frequent scraped fingers and corners and nearly
dropping the waterlogged corpse down the stairs the two managed to
get the man to the street door without any further assists.

Inspector Winsteeple remained in the office to consider something.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chapter 13 -- The Tourist

Could you direct me to St. Millicent's Cathedral?...that wouldn't sound too
bad...if someone was actually around to ask the streets still empty...

recollection of a fragment from the cheap tour guide--'one of the island's more
famous landmarks'...(of course, these things are always relative)... a moving one
apparently, as the guide also over-indicated...and quite free to wander in 'roam to
one's heart's desire...'.

That is, if this is even Tonnalo.
This is the island of Tonnalo...isn't it??

I forgot its name from the tour guide...since lost...(of course).

Maybe the view from the hump(ed...arch)...of the Bridge
could see the spire perhaps the blow on the head did do some damage
after all..??
the luggage racks on those caravans all but nonexistent...

clingclang of a flagpole hoisting chain turn to see
down the very south end of street
but the flag is limp blue no air no help to see where am

and midway on the pole the air is so still is someone dead
and important?

of course these things are always relative.

slowness of really becoming a disturbing thing.

surely some vehicle
or other, frequenting this area, likely returning at any moment
and unable to proceed can't just keep standing here in the way

could should walk right up the's 'top'
might see better might be seen

but, in fact, it was none of their business.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Chapter 12 -- The Man in the Red Shirt

He had been waiting on the west side of the street all afternoon for Cleo to show up. The sun was
beating down on the back of his neck.
Seated on the stone bench, he played with alternating his fingers' shadows on the pavement.
Dropped his hands alongside his knees.
He was so bored he could pull his own head off and kick it off the Bridge.

He had stopped counting the pores in the bench long ago.
Run out of sidewalk to slide can lids or kick gravel down with the toe of his shoe.
Was no longer consoled by the sound of paper lanterns. No breezes now!

He had already made so many orbits standing 'round about the area, over so many hours, he
barely knew anymore what he had seen and in what order.

There was the tall man in the grey suit who had gotten out of the limo in front of the old
theatre. He had leaned in toward the driver briefly, stood a bit, then walked briskly into
the narrow door by the restaurant.
He had also seen him emerge again, his face strangely distorted by theatrical makeup,
lightly touching his chest pocket with two fingers of his right hand.

He had watched the man that tended that blind horse leave it to go up the same stairs
that the tall man had just left. Watched and heard the carriage, untended, pulled away
up the block and out of view.

Sat, stood, and sat again, long overly aware of the black police van parked across from him.
The one man sitting inside it, silhouetted with his head down as if asleep or
mourning the dead they had obviously come to remove.

He especially recalled the heavyset, bald man glowing in the sunlight like a mound of butter
deposited on the street by a dark green, squared-off vehicle...(one of those cheaper imports
from the continent). And wondered at his ridiculously worn spectacles.

Other than all of that, between his own multiple, restless rotations and 'fascinating',
minute fixations, he had surely only half-heard and half-seen at least fifty other things.
And as sure as the glaring red of his shirt, someone else will have spotted him as well and
let on to the police.

He gave up on it all, no longer caring to gear himself to trying to please them with some
recitation they hadn't even asked for yet.
He stalked into the brushy growth of the vacant lot, determined to divert himself, (and
perhaps cool off), by finally checking back of that billboard to see how it worked.

As he turned, he barely glimpsed the return of the horse drawn carriage around the
sunbright south corner of the theatre. And, turning away on his 'mission' did not care a whit
to prove to himself that he'd also half-heard the limo, as well, turning the corner slowly
behind it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Chapter 11 -- Preturn of Doctor Y.

As the limousine pulled up beside the curb, its left front tire hit a bump, partially rolling them up onto something.
"Back up a little," commanded the tall man in the back. The mechanical chauffeur did as he was told, without any static. The dapper passenger, already out of the car, gazed in a bit at his driver,
left hand with its long fingernails extended, (absently), like a bird's claw.
"He was supposed to reply", thought Doctor Y. "He must need an adjustment."

As the tall doctor straightened and turned, he looked down at the object, bent and picked it up.
"One of those paperbacks", he muttered.
But as he stood in the street, (there was almost never any traffic), trying to take in the title, the
sunlight was too bright on the book's yellow cover to make it out in the instant he was willing to give to it. What's more, as he squinted, he was also beginning to sweat on his upper lip and simply had to check the spirit gum under his catfish mustache with the nails of his right middle and index fingers.
Satisfied the glue was holding, and now aware the book was interfering with his overall persona,
he tried, (again absently), to set the book down on the limo's fender half-thinking its owner or
some interested passerby might collect it before his quick return.
As he moved away from the car it slid back into the street.

Recovering his real purpose, he strode quickly into the club entrance.

The flattish little box was still right there on the corner of the desk. It even had a thin coating of
dust. How foolish of him to leave it here after all of that precise planning!
Jampers appeared as though he were asleep, his head on the desk.
Doctor Y. lifted the box carefully, using the nails of his hand (like a carnival claw machine),
raised it to his 'gleeful visage' and slid the damnable thing into his jacket pocket.
He hurriedly exited, before anyone else might arrive.

Emerging again, he lightly touches his lapel area to be sure this time of its content, skirts past the black dog nearby, and seats himself in the back of the limousine, immediately calm and collected.
The mechanical chauffeur winds out with the ragged, "a--round--the--block--ik?"
"Rudimentary, my dear 235X12", the living one effuses. As the two pull away and proceed up
the avenue, taking the peeling right turn at the Bridge toward the ocean, just in view, and around the coast road to his personal sanctum.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Chapter 10 -- The Inspector's Trilemma

the body could not be seen from the door, until one entered the room part way, hunched over as
it was on the leftward side of the angled, mahogany desk which was too large for the room.

at a glance, Inspector Winsteeple took in the entirety of the murder(?) scene, the commonplace,
likely-to-prove extraneous details as well as the clearly out of place.
against the backdrop of the brightly sunlit west windows, the pale green walls, the liquor cabinet
and overabundance of water carafes, the tusk or rib bone mounted on a modest pedestal, what
leapt out at him immediately were the plain abnormalities...

the corpse, face down on a broad open book, (obviously, even from here and 'upside down', a
stamp album), had one hand up and was still holding, between thumb and forefinger, what looked to be a pair of tweezers.
he leaned in a bit, arms behind his bulky back, to be certain there seemed nothing in their metal
tips. and noted with a start, in the view of his left eye, the roughly 3x4 inch rectangle, left by
something now missing, in the slight coating of dust on the otherwise immaculate desk.
out of habit, he did not gasp or otherwise indicate this discovery, instead backing away again
to his standing position partly, (and deliberately), blocking the door.

he could hear the murmuring of the van drivers, whom he knew, in the narrow hall behind him,
but gave their words no attention. he acknowledged the officer in the room, to his right---
"Glidden(?)", he half-hinted---who nodded, and spotted the framed, black & white lithograph
(some sort of beast crouching in the desert?) on the wall just behind the rather tall man's head.

there was a coating of dust, much older and untouched than that on the desk, on the picture's
upper edges. perhaps, like the tear in the empty armchair (which looked to be an old one...
the stuffing was grey), it was worth remembering.

"It's Mr. Jampers, sir". "Yes." "He was the theatre manager. This is his office." "mmmp".

The Inspector adjusted his offkilter, black-rimmed spectacles, trying to find their right askew.
He was very nearsighted and almost completely bald, his skin slightly jaundiced a pale yellow
almost the same color as his too-wellworn, linen suit.
His body looked like an upended meatloaf, his head like a dinner roll jammed on top. He
stood heavily, in ill-fitting clothes, about 5 foot 10 and 240 pounds.
His black bolo tie with its hollow-eyed, houndhead slider-clasp did little but disappear.

As Officer Glidden spoke on a mite more on the convoluted Jampers family tree, Winsteeple
bent down to the floor and plucked out, (with his own tweezers), a tiny bit of turquoise gravel from a patch of untramped nap of the flattened carpeting.
He held it up to his bleary eyes, pleased as a child, as the officer watched the whole manouvre.

"Has it all been photographed?"--the officer hesitated, thinking he meant the whole of the gravel
bit---"Especially the desk?" "Yes, sir."
Pocketting the gravel in a cigarette paper, the Inspector heaved himself around to view the
body from behind. As he spun 'round the southwest corner of the desk, he noted the empty
brass ashtray, so perfectly placed as to belie any disturbance.

after reenforcing his first impressions of the upraised hand and the proximate, open-tipped
tweezers and rectangular 'shadow' in the dust, he looked all about the body and the floor
nearest its legs and feet, (still tucked under the desk), slightly and gently moved the head
and, raising himself straight again declared, "There's not a drop of blood visible."

the desk had clearly not been shifted on the carpet in years. pulling the dead man's waxy
chair back he revealed Jampers' enormous, water-logged belly straining it's white shirt
even more than did his own.

three interlocked questions had emerged to him from all of this:
the excessive water intake, tho likely a personal, idiosyncratic habit might bear indirectly
on the means of death?
the missing object that had been on the desk, where & what was it??
and had the motive, or the missing object, anything to do with what had been held in the
stamp-collector's tool???

he would have difficulty listening to his beloved wife, tonight.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Chapter 9 -- "The Case of..."

"The van attendant hurried into the old theatre, striding up the aisle, eyes adjusting to the dim light, searching side and about for something to carry a body on.
Drawn instinctively to the right of the stage and to the wreck of a vertical piano, (it had no keys), he lifted its long board top.
Easily removed, but, surprisingly, inside---a hen's nest with two or three large beige eggs.
As he raced back out with the piano top, he wondered how a chicken could ever nest in such
a spot. How could it find a way to get under the heavy lid regularly enough to warm the eggs?
He could ask his partner but he probably wouldn't take to such irrelevancy."

"What are you reading that crap for?", he heard his partner grump. Jack lowered
his paperback, turning his head to look at him standing in the sun outside the parked police van.
"It's funny, it's got two guys just like us..."
"Nobody could be like us. Get out of there and let's go up and get that guy."
As he already shifted out of the van, heading for the stairs after Albert. The book, tossed onto an off-kilter stack of pop bottle, maps and clipboard, slid out into the street. Its title half visible.

Up the steep, narrow stairs more quickly than usual, an angle turn to the left with more steps,
in dimming light and, at a last little turn in brighter light, presumably from an office where he could hear the Inspector's voice, stood Albert staring back at him.
"What'd you come all the way up here for? Go back down and find something to carry 'im out
on, ya lunk!" Jack turned and hurried back down again, trying not to hit the wall at the bend.
Outside, already back in the sunlight, he thought of the theatre piano in the book and said
out loud, "Whoa, deja vu!!"
He headed straight for the theatre, passing the van on his way, with its open sides and steering
on the right. (Which Albert had to drive in the right hand lanes). He wondered what his book
would've had to say about what was coming next.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Chapter 8-- 'Flagg'

the view from the exact center line of the Avenue...

parked on the right the oversized and outdated police van, its dark paint (yes, in need of a retouch)
apt in this instance, for the vehicle, usually used for hauling off drunken squabblers or for minor police raids, was once again serving extra duty as a body wagon.
empty and waiting on the two men who drove it here. heat from its engine still noticeable.

up the block, in front of the dressmaker's shop, a black dog almost as round as a small iron stove
sits on its haunches on the smoothe, flat sidewalk.
something dark in his mouth.

remarkably enough, the dress shop, apparently out-of-business for some time and even with its
off-hinge door, has been left with all its goods intact save for the few bits of barely observed
detritus blown in from the street.
the familiar bolt of red satin(?) each day still askew across the door gap inside.
unrolled sheaves of yellow something strewn and rumpled on the floor underneath.

outside the black dog, some sort of mongrel mix with a head almost like a larger retriever's,
sits undisturbed, a black cigar, a good four inches long, held in the left side of its jaws...
perhaps, found in the gutter.

the van is cooler now the popping of its frame ceased. too much time has passed for
any slim chance of life upstairs.
if they don't hurry off they'll likely be blocking the street from its usual traffic.

an odor, previously associated with the drivers, (neither of whom were smoking on arrival),
the then unabated heat of their van, or the fickle pollution can plainly be recognized as tobacco.
it is a pure, clean-aired day out...and, indeed, it is the drift from the dog's lit(!) cigar that fills
any nostrils in the near vicinity.

a recollection of a fragment in the cheap tour guide--this must be one of the island's more
famous, (of course, these things are always relative), living 'landmarks', a literally moving one
apparently, as the guide indicated owned by no one and quite free to wander and roam to
its heart's desire...

its toothy mouth seemed to grin around the red-tipped cigar, in evident enjoyment and an
almost surreptitious, telepathic amusement at its recognition.

the slowness of the van attendants really was becoming a disturbing thing. surely some vehicle
or other, frequenting this area, would likely return at any moment and be unable to proceed.
but, in fact, it was none of one's business.

inside the dress shop, beyond the customary 'bald' milliner's head with its tacky blue
and yellow dotted bow tie, a full sized woman's manikin half naked, (if nudity it could be called),
stood twisted, almost as if at her own discretion, partly away from the window.
her face expressing an indecipherable surprise, an arm raised in what could stand as greeting, but for its elbow, (the right), being stuck full in the air at an eighty-five degree angle.

perhaps, she was hailing someone. not the dog, (I forget its name from the tour guide, since
lost), who is oblivious to 'her', awash, that is afire, in his smoker's fix.

the odor of its smoke trail, even from the middle of the street, is pleasant.

the only question is, 'who lights it for him every day??'

Friday, June 5, 2009

[ An Interruption ]

[ As the last posting was 'The End of Section One', for those that didn't notice the label, thot to
take this chance to clarify a few things before continuing with what has proven to be yet another
narrative of sorts, with its own possible plots, deliberately buried tho' they are in multiple choice.

Initially, as can be gleaned from my early postings, (especially the latter part of the second one),
I was hoping and expecting that this project would turn easily to what , for lack of any term
whatever from any other source, I call a 'series form'. They are much easier to do, entailing less involvement in the fabrication of plotting and entangling me less in idea after idea until I get so far ahead of myself I need to make too many notes.

Tho' I am enjoying doing this 'Frog' blog tale and intend to carry on with it, it has already
acquired, behind the scenes a lot of ins & outs, and even a conclusion of sorts.

Whereas, in a 'series form' I will let phrase after phrase of mere noun-adjective, sometimes
a bit of ad/verb object descriptions continue on, grouping after grouping, until an almost-
mosaic presents itself. Sometimes with a character or three or many, sporadically appearing
---or more often their objects.
The only plot that emerges is a sort of plot by default, full of many gaps in time and filled
with a wide array of loosely related connections.

'The Tickled Frog' did not 'wish' to be only that, so I had to go where it wanted. And will
continue to do so.

But, in my true personal tradition of counterintuitively compensating for one excess by taking
on yet another, I am intending to soon begin a second writing blog, unrelated to
the contents of the 'Frog' story, but instead a true 'series form' wherein I can present this other
way of writing to those who may understand.

In the meantime, to spice up the coming chapter mixes for 'Section Two' of this blog tale,
I will add here a string of new word fodder generated again using the dictionary, (as explained
in the early posts).

This working list comes first from the principal words in the latest Blogger random question,
(which 'should have' been worded differently), set up two nights ago:

unlike, dog, turtle, ever, naked, always, pants, took, three, minutes, remember,one.

Respectively add: anoint, smear; halter, noose; corn, corncob; evidence; playing card...rump;
rise, lift for shoes; bedroom slipper; to collide with, run into; complexion, skin; behind me;
mockery; ounce, wildcat, small tiger.

Hey, an' I was going to put a dog in it anyway. You can also expect me to combine some of the previous chapters in somewise--also a surefire way to comb out some unexpected images.

Were there an obvious way to do it on a blog, that suited me, I'd give the Sections titles as well,
as in some of my on-paper projects. You can create them, if they don't simply emerge from
your text creation, by making an anagram of some previous chapter titles of your own or
from some 'source' title. Or do a random word search of some type in the dictionary.

By the way, and in closing, were I to be doing a 'series form' as mentioned I might very likely
take the found words just as they are for starters, then repeat them and recombine them
until they gradually make stranger and longer phrases, ( but almost never complete sentences).
And then continue on like that until the entire book is finished.

That's it for now, from your reluctant peed-ant. Until elsewhen, Grimes.]

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Chapter 7-- The 'Unwitnessed'

from above the wide avenue of "Broadbridge Street", a view including the five buildings on the
right, all derelict and in need of repair: the theatre at the southernmost corner, the restaurant
of very limited functionality, the abandoned dress shop with its still untouched stock, the old
brick office building, the department store on the north end.

no vehicles or pedestrians of any type to checker the area with activity, however slow or fast.

the rail ruts of the cable car, more clearly visible than recently, for the length of this block.
they curve around before the bridge, to follow a two lane road for a bit and disappear behind
the northside storefront.
the narrow little road continuing on up the coast of the island.

lampposts with poster notices of the 'nothing' missing Krimple woman.
debris of various types...can lids, torn paper lanterns, a single leather sandal.

to the left the brush-covered lot and unavoidable,unsightly billboard with its broken-in-place

a half mile away, the rooftops of shacks orange with rust. factory shadows.

a chalkwhite sky---today only a little vile.

in a moment, unheralded by any clang or siren, a police van will arrive to remove the body
from the manager's office.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chapter 6-- The Untended Carriage

were anyone to observe across the widely spaced avenue of Broadbridge street they
would have easily seen the tired man in overalls standing like a statue beside the old
carriage. obviously, he was still uncertain what to do, since the limousine had left in such a hurry.

then, with a decisive burst, he lumbered to the narrow club entrance between restaurant and
theatre, and up the darkened steps to the manager's office, (for nowhere else did it lead).

leaving the untended carriage, full of nothing more than dirt-covered vegetables, to list and
eventually veer away, in a more or less straight line, with its now-familiar, blind drawhorse.

it must have been urgent for the man to leave the pitiable beast in such a hurry.

at least, in a criminal interrogation, that would make a good story.

the man in the red shirt had a restless turn, at every other moment while standing,
more or less idly near the smooth stone bench.
he could study the bench seat and its minuscule pores , nearly abraded away by time and use.
listen to the paper lanterns, red as his shirt, writing curlicues in the wind from the bridge.

there was the huge unsightly billboard in the vacant field to the west.
or watching his shoes as they again slid the crushed bootblack lid further along south, down
the broad paving stones.

but, especially, then, and thereafter for the longest sets of moments, he could stare curiously at
the derelict buildings across the street, the carriage, and the near static man beside it.

he could take in at least three of the buildings on this end of the block, he had realized
over the course of this afternoon, without even moving his head. the dress shop, the
restaurant, and the theatre. wondering for a time, with each orbit of his restless motions,
if there were ever anything still of interest in the forlorn aspect of this defeated area.

or that is how he seems, to the man in overalls, standing in terrified paralysis, pretending
not to look at the man in the red shirt, (he should have worn one himself THAT day...), so
horribly unable to act. the blind horse nudges his leg, as if to bring him back to a reality he
has no hope of escaping.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Chapter 5-- The Peripheral Mr. Jampers

up the steep, narrow stairs more quickly than usual, the angle turn to the left with more
steps, in diminishing light, and the last little added turn of yet two or three more steps.
into the light of the theatre manager's office.

the worn down carpet. the mahogany desk, almost too large for the room, on a diagonal to
the left on entering. the brass ashtray on its corner.

lantern style lamps, variously over-detailed. the black, button-padded chair with the one
hunk of cottony stuffing protruding from the seat back like the tongue of a drooling dog.

water carafes in overabundance, in all parts of the office, but apparently all ready for
and in at least occasional use, being partially filled.
the billboard across the Avenue, obstructing the view through the picture windows in
the west wall.

the bone of an ancient water buffalo, mounted on its curve onto a wooden pedestal with
plaque, setting atop the liquor cabinet. the latter doubtlessly concealing more water
carafes, and completely 'spiritless'.

facing the door: the ashtray more clearly visible, as always in exact equidistance from
both edges of the desk's, (now left), 'upper' corner.

the desk otherwise spotless and uncluttered. except, perhaps, yes, the manager's stamp album. from the right end of the desk it is clear now, despite the upper half
of Jampers's shoulders, as well as his head, bending forward, upon the desk top.

the afternoon light seems too bright for a nap. an implausible excuse, in any case.

And there is not a drop of blood...surprisingly.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chapter 4--Y. Ganh Longh

in front of the large theatre, (badly in need of a retouch), a tall, thin, dapper man in a light
grey business suit emerges with alacrity and seats himself in a waiting limousine.

calm and collected, wearing(?) a catfish mustache, pointed goatee and long fingernails,
the car's new passenger immediately adjusts himself as the mechanical chauffeur winds out
with the ragged,"a--round--the--block--ik?"

"Rudimentary, my dear 235X12", the living one effuses. As the two pull away and proceed
up the Avenue, taking the peeling right turn at the bridge, and toward the ocean just in view.

That must have been Y. Ganh Longh, notorious criminal, (and crassly outfitted), mastermind!

Or, on second thought, that 'must' have been Creighton Q. Crampton, famous actor and man
of a hundred crudely outdated faces, still wearing one of his 'makeups'.

The blind horse nudged near the back of my calf, waking me from my obsessiveness.

I, the man in overalls, standing dumbfounded and caught in mid-action. About to
unhitch the pitiable creature from its burdens.

Until an impulse overtakes the man to see about the theatre manager's safety...

Chapter 3--The Frond Chewer

the large old theatre, its ornamentation inside in great need of retouch work;
and its stage empty except for a derelict piano with all but one key missing.
a nestful of hen eggs in the hollow of the wall.

outside, on Broadbridge Street, an idling limousine with mechanical chauffeur.
on a nearby lamppost, above the 'nothing' news notice with the nice picture of
someone's aunt, a red paper lantern writes curlicues in the polluted breeze.
the original purpose of any celebration a lost mystery.

although, unrelatedly, that someone's aunt could be all-too-vividly recalled,
by all those still living in the area, nibbling at the potted foliage near the
men's lavatory, and always quite ill-timed.

she also used to leave her green leather gloves in the restaurant owner's office.
no, nothing to do with the overly arcane Guild Society.

yellow afternoon light broke through the sickly colorless clouds.

the horse with the glass eyes was coming around into the Avenue again, pulling
its tattered carriage full of dirt covered vegetables. it moved all, at odd angles,
uncannily avoiding a crushed trash can lid, and , as often so, the street car's
rusted rail ruts.

it was a wonder no one had bothered to unhitch the creature.

past four, a salty mist from the ocean, well-in-sight, blew aside all rotten airs.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Chapter 2--That, Which, Who?

the gold painted ornamentation on the outside of the theatre, in need of a retouch.

gradual slope up to the bridge, from the end of the wide avenue, still decorated with
paper lanterns writing curlicues in the air with every breeze. the original purpose of their
celebration a mystery.

fresh air, today, without chemical odors.

wool-lined gloves left on a smoothe stone bench. a crushed can lid on the broadly paved
sidewalk---Jamper's bootblack.

the bow knot tie of a bald manikin head in the window of the clothing shop with the
off-hinge door.

yellow sign under streaked glass: "Light Afternoon Meals".
between this restaurant and the theatre, again, the narrow club entrance.

and not a soul in sight. not even the blind horse.

If the horse has glass eyes, how could it find the next street??

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chapter 1 -- And Not A Soul in Sight ?

large old theatre, ornate, but in decline and empty. derelict piano, one key missing.
nestful of eggs in the hollow of the wall.

outside, on the street a waiting limousine with mechanical chauffeur.
on nearby lamppost, a nothing news notice.
but, a 'nice' picture of Aunt Crimble.

she used to nibble quail eggs near the women's lavatory, under cover of potted foliage.
always well-timed with pleasant weather.

in the theatre owner's abandoned office, the Green Guild Society Brotherhood's
chalkmarked globe. split at a certain significant(?) meridian.

outside again, a horse with glass eyes pulling a carriage without occupants;
instead full of vegetables. the wheels lurch at a nearly unfortunate angle, across
rail car ruts.

and boiling caps on the ocean, not at all near.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Proof Is In The Putting

[Some 'last' words before kicking off a run of imagistic text flow. The idea behind 'numbblog' is to
present, throo recitation and repetition, an alternative to the endless blog runs of photos of the
kids and new kittens for granma I've heard tell of and already mercifully encountered only very
little of, as a newbie to the magnificent world of 'puting.
Having already done several of these writing experiments on paper, (a few to completion), I felt it would be good to initially point out a few tips, only early on, for the two people out of billions that might actually give a rat's.
The little tips are here at the beginning postings, soon to be buried in the past for only the most
diehard who wants to try it for themselves.
My blessings and encouragement to both of you, whoever and wherever ye may be.
I am soon to be off into image land---most of these future blog postings will, to serve and appear
most like little chapters of a book, be bereft of most any explanation. But for the briefest of
notations along the way of just what the self-feeding text flow will be newly feeding on.
Again, for the interested as well as myself. (I might actually want to know what I'm doing
myself once in a while. I find that helps.)]

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Plop Sickens

[Today I'll gather all the words into an initial phrase list, almost as they are, but minus the two from the Blogger question. I always make every effort to drop any actual words from unoriginal
sources, unless it's some sort of trite, everyday expression or interstitial stuff. Other than the bracketted message here, the rest is ready made fodder...]:

theatre, piano key. mechanical chauffeur.

nibble-niche nestful of eggs.

themselves, yourself? Aunt ____ .

nothing news notice.

slowly, under the guise of a boiling cap.// frog under fern leaf.

tickle(d), time(d) weather.

Green Guild Society Brotherhood chalk. globe.

horse with glass eyes. carriage (full of ) vegetables. rail (car) rut.
(no) occupants.

(no) ocean (at all near).

[ In the last lines, the words were shifted around some, already. This could have occurred at
any point. It just happened to be the last ones this time.
Also, various other 'tweakings' have ensued-- I gotta have some kina fun with this 'crap'!].

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Easier Than It Sounds

[For principal words taken from yesterday's randoms, will apply a typical method of mine for
finding additional random words, (namely, contriving to place each of the given words
where they would occur in a different language dictionary's word flow, but, as i am much too
stupid to have learned another language, retaining their English spellings. Then, to get new random words, select, via the English meanings given, a 'next word' or 'near(ly) next word'...];

[Thus, using a Spanish/English dictionary this time, with two words from the Blogger question...]:

-team---(add possibilities) theatre; theatrical,... setting, putting on airs; piano key.

-meat---(add/replace with) mechanical, chauffeur.

[And using principal words from my answer to the Blogger question...]:

-nibble---(add/repl w) niche, hollow in a wall; nestful of eggs.

-themselves---yourself; aunt.

-nothing---news notice. ________ [ And so on, with some of the other words from yesterday.]:

-slowly---under the guise of.__ -boiling---cap.______ -frog---leaf, fern leaf, foliage.

-tickled---time, weather._______ -green---guild, society, brotherhood. chalk.

-horse---vegetables. __ -glass (eyes)---globe.__ -carriage---rail, rut.__ -occupants---ocean.

[Looks like enough starting fodder to me. You can either contrive to write a regular, commonly
styled piece, (however long or short is also up to you); or, if you're a malcontent like me, who is
bored by the prospect of writing all that trite & ordinary ' in between stuff ', take the unfortu-
nately less-travelled road and blow your own mind a bit with some oddball series strings that
seem to have no (obvious, yet) rhyme or 'reason', let alone a conclusion.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Perfect Germ

[ Begin with the rather strange, and already surreal 'random question' unexpectedly provided by
Blogger itself ]:

"If there's no I in team, why is there meat?"

[As with a team of horses, and horsemeat, contrived the almost aurally parallel line]:

"If the horse has glass eye(s), how can it find the next street?"
[Presumably, there is thus also a carriage of some sort, with occupants.]

[Add to this the chance 'heard phrase']: "the slowly boiling frog" , [and my random email title of
last night, (5/12/09)] , "Tickled Green"

[Already a possible working/title]: ' The Case of /the Tickled Green Frog'