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.