Wednesday, July 04, 2007

New Beginning 308

The portico of Killer Kowalski's mansion – a burlesque of white marble, fake gold and real rust - glittered in the flashing red, yellow and blue lights of police vehicles. In the wake of the thunderstorm, clear skies brought spotlights from circling news helicopters picking out centurion-like patrolmen in plastic ponchos. An oval colonnade led away from either side of the portico leading to flanking archways marked "Snails" and "Nightingales." Nude sculptures filled a circular reflecting pool in the center.

A garage band and their van, more body putty and playbills than metal, stood to one side. The playbills screamed Squeezy and the Rump Rats Rock Band in hot pink on lime green. The license plate read "Festus." Jules downloaded its information. The band members wore fashionable vests over bare, tattooed torsos, baggy shorts, ankle height socks and reproduction sneakers. The tattooed names included various expressions of Mom, Betty, Latoya and Eat My Burrito.

"The dyed blond face fuzz is my snitch," Detective Reedy said. He marched toward the minstrels. “You're Squeezy, right?” he asked face fuzz.

Face fuzz nodded. "And this is E.Z., the axeman's Peasie, the drummer's Lemon. He's from Yemen.”

Reedy’s eyes scanned the inside of the van, while face fuzz furtively shuffled his feet. “What brings you to Killer Kowalski’s crib?”

Squeezy thrust a neon playbill into Reedy’s line of sight.

Reedy read: Killer Kowalski’s Christmas Concert. He eyelined face fuzz with a laser gauge stare. “In October?”

Squeezy shrugged. “He pays, we plays.”

A minute movement caught Reedy’s eye. A fifth guy, a wide brimmed fedora pulled low over his forehead perched on the pool edge. “Who’s the cat in the hat?”

“Seuss. He writes our lyrics; I think he's vampiric.”

Reedy looked around, shaking his head. What a total mess, he thought. And . . . also, a vampire.

Opening: Dave.....Continuation: Anonymous


Anonymous said...

There's a holiday?

writtenwyrdd said...

blue love beads, Evil?

Dave Fragments said...


Anonymous said...

I believe that is a watch fob

Evil Editor said...

Unelected continuations:

Zack Martinez nodded. He'd been a homicide detective for over a dozen years, yet this was his first trip to Kowalski's. He'd heard about the guy, all right-- all night orgies with models, every drug ever made, bands so hot their names burned your tongue when you said them. More money than God. Christ, he could use a little of that cash now, what with Donna and Nina and Roxy all into him. And Linda. Couldn't forget Linda, no matter how hard he tried. She was one hot tamale in her day, tii. Had she come here with her million-dollar legs and 10000 watt smile, all boobs and lips ripe for the kissing? How had he ever ended up with her, anyway? Oh yeah. She was crazy. He always got they crazies. "The babe in the leather," continued Reedy. "She's the one who's been giving the narco boys the slip. They'd love to bust her. She's gotta know every player in LA."

Zack stared at the wiman. All leather bustier, fishnets, blonde hair down to her ass. Damned fine one, too. Why she could be--

The woman turned around

"Linda," moaned Zack.


Jules eyeballed the bass player, a skinny kid with a pocked-marked adam's apple and a blaze red tattoo of a snail on his left upper arm. The tattoo was right where a bicep ought to be, but wasn't. Obviously a snail, not a nightingale - a Rump Rat, not Squeezy himself.

Killer Kowalski trotted out of the harlequinned mansion, sniffed the air and began to whine, a low growl mixed with a high-pitched yip. His vet ran out after him with a monogrammed Egyptian cotton towel, eager to protect the millionaire pooch from the press.

Jules sighed. Reedy was an idiot. They weren't going to find the illegal fireworks here. It had all been thunder and lightning after all.

--Kate Thornton

"Isn't she a bit young for you?" Jules asked him, deadpan.

"Funny." Reedy spat out the toothpick he'd been mangling between his teeth. "Let's get this show on the road."

"Right." Jules bent down and picked up their bag of tricks, about 30 pounds of surgical stainless, type wicked nasty. "Do you want a wing or a drum?"

"Huh. Whatever. Just so long as it squeals before we're done. I'm getting tired of the NeoHippy movement."

"Amen, brother. Amen."

"God bless the new Constitution."


Reddy approached the informer while Jules sifted data. “Well?”

Face Fuzz nodded to the side and they went to speak in low tones among the pink flamingoes. “You said this was big. You said bring in the troops. All I see is bad taste. That ain’t no crime, not in Nevada.”

“No, you don’t get it.” Face Fuzz was nervous. Sweat glistened on his mustache. “This is the rainmaker -- it’s the big one. Look around you. Isn't it obvious? Kowalski -- he’s sick. Don’t you see? Kowalski’s the guy who stole Liberace’s brain.”

“Go get him boys,” Reddy shouted. Within minutes, two SWAT buffalos emerged from the mansion with Kowalski in tow. The man of the mansion was all white tuxedo and sequins, a cloak trimmed with white mink. Reddy strode toward him ‘til they stood nose to nose. “You thought you could get away with it, you sick bastard, but... Fabulous jacket!”

Kowalski smiled. The device was working.


"His goatee reminds me of Harry's third wife and her obsessions with down under dye jobs, trims and perms," Jules said.

Blantan let the remark linger in the air, like flatulence in a Starbucks or a sidewalk dog turd that no one wanted to step on. "Benny's a dependable little moke. Grease his palm with a couple Lincolns and he'll sing grand opera. You know how he got that burrito tattoo?" Reedy asked, parking the patrol car.

"Not that we care, but that won't stop you from telling us." Blantan flipped his ID badge onto the outside of his jacket.

"Armando Cesar De Jesus, the owner of Casa Burrito, made a joke on the radio that any asshole getting a tattoo of their 'Eat My Burrito' slogan could eat free for life. Benny ate nothin' but Armando's jalapeno-laced, hot-to-trot burritos for two years before his innards gave out."

"This is a new highlight in my career; the care and feeding of Benny's bowels. Tell me, inquiring minds want to know, does the snitch know anything or does he just sing for his supper?" Blantan asked.


"In your dreams," Detective Potter said.

The two glared at each other as their teammates enchanted Rump Rats as bludgers and mounted their brooms. Things hadn't been the same since graduation led many of his class into the police force, but at least they all still knew how to have fun every now and then.


Jules looked up from his laptop. "The bass player?" he asked.

Reedy nodded. Jules stared. The front door, a corroded metal contraption with "House of Pain" scrawled in spray paint across both sides, creaked open to reveal a miniature Pomeranian dog, its mouth opening and closing in a series of staccato barks drowned out by the ambient noise. "Great," Reedy sighed. "Killer Kowalski himself. C'mon, Jules, let's go. The Rat says the body is downstairs."

Jules gave a shudder of disgust. The big house up the road had fallen into complete ruin years ago, and the owner had moved into her pet's palace. Once a household word, the name that had made her rich and famous had long since slipped into obscurity along with all the crumbling hotels.

Reedy coughed, a rasp of phlegm in the damp, charged air. "Never forget she's a vampire."

--Kate Thornton

Dave Fragments said...

I'm always amazed by the continuations. These are dazzling. My comments on them:
1. Anonymous (EE's pick): LOL funny- Killer Kowalski’s Christmas Concert with Lemon from Yemen and Dr Suess.
2. Khzar Khum. Steams my glasses and makes my eyeballs pop. Very good
3. Kate Thornton #1: The owner as a dog. Very nice twist.
4. WrittenWyrdd. Deliciously sick and twisted! I like it.
5. Anonymous: "stole Liberace’s brain" – brilliant premise
6. Modesty forbids me from saying anything about my own story.
6. Rei: A timely entry. Very witty!
7. Kate Thornton #2: Very "Sunset Boulevard" ... one of my favorite movies.

writtenwyrdd said...

I did like this, but too much description that doesn't lead me anywhere. I liked the 'burlesque of white marble, fake gold and real rust' but it's a bit clunky; 'centurion-like' was a bit over the top; and the 'oval colonnade' sentence could go away without being missed, because the point seems to be that something has occurred and there are cops all over this place.

On the other hand I thought the second paragraph was terrific, especially the license plate.

Not sure where this is going except it's got cops and a grunge band, but I'd read on.

writtenwyrdd said...

anon 11:38. Um, duh. I was JOKING. ;)

Evil Editor said...

For those interested in the results of the continuation vote, the chosen one had nine votes, while no other had more than one.

Dave Fragments said...

Due to current news events, Killer Kowalski and Bobby Adonis are now Zack Savage, porn star not pro wrestlers. That's too creepy a coincidence for me.

I've been having trouble with writer's block for 3 months. I didn't want to give up what was New Beginning 246. So I took chapter two (this) from and let it live on its own.
WHY? -
A) The Squeezy story occurs in late summer. The other in late winter, early spring.
B) One member of the Rump Rats is a snitch and is known to Reedy. They have history. That's too many elements to introduce in one story.

Anonymous said...

Ah, it would have helped if I'd ever heard of Killer Kowalski, who I gather is a pro wrestler? Duh.


Dave Fragments said...

Nostalgia opportunity!
Killer Kowalski was famous for knocking Yukon Eric's ear off his head. It rolled around the ring, famously. He, Killer not the ear, was also famous for putting THE CLAW on Talk show host Don Lane. Wikipedia has the story.

Bruno Sanmartino (the Pittsburgh wrestling hero) battled him for the WWF title back when I was a kid. We had weekly TV matches. We also had "Jumping Johnny DeFazio who later became sheriff of Allegheny County.

Then there was "Crusher" Lisowski, the wrestler who made Milwaukee famous (and you thought it was a beer that made Milwaukee famous, not so, not so).

However, those were other times when Wrestling was different. No steroids or HGH. And just as silly, brutal and fun for 12 to 15 y/o boys and nostalgic 50 y/olds.

My "dead body" is now Zack Savage, a porn star, multi-millionaire playboy.

GutterBall said...

Pro wrestling may not be the sport it used to be, but it is still hella fun to watch.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, EE (& minions).

I did want to point out that in the original cont. the line was:

That cat’s Seuss he writes our lyrics.
Rumor is that he’s vampiric.

Written in trochaic tetrameter, see, which is one of the meters Seuss wrote in (yeah, I couldn't handle the anapestic tetrameter).

I know: I shouldn't be pointing out how clever I was trying to be. Sorry...

Dave Fragments said...

I thought about this these lines over dinner.

"In the wake of the thunderstorm, clear skies brought spotlights from circling news helicopters picking out centurion-like patrolmen in plastic ponchos. An oval colonnade led away from either side of the portico leading to flanking archways marked "Snails" and "Nightingales." Nude sculptures filled a circular reflecting pool in the center."

That means I sat the computer opposite my face and stared at the word while I ate. no music, no TV, just me, food and the words.

I think it should read as below. The colonade and gardens can wait for later.

... glittered in the flashing red, yellow and blue lights of police vehicles. Spotlights from news helicopters highlighted uniformed police.
A garage band and their van, ...

Evil Editor said...

Actually the original read:

“That cat’s Seuss he writes our lyrics.” Squeezy’s peepers narrowed; Reedy suspected the snitch was near. “Rumor is that he’s vampiric.”

I felt the meter was screwed up by inserting the other sentence, so much so that readers might not even have noticed it rhymed. I could return it to the way you had it, without the middle sentence if you wish, though it sounds more like noir detective dialogue with the shorter sentences.

Anonymous said...

Ha! The band members are Easy-Peasy-Lemon-Squeezy!

Does that translate or is it just a British thing?

So... "The Continuator" is British? Or perhaps from the colonies...?

Dave, I knew #6 was you! You captured your own style perfectly, and who else would know Blantan was in the story?

Anonymous said...

No, no -- leave it as you have it. You're definitely the expert here.

I'm embarassed I even mentioned it now. Sorry.

Dave Fragments said...

This isn't the first time I've sent EE my own words as continuation to an opening. It's only a little vain.

I noticed something else, something very subtle. the second paragraph about the garage band has "Jules downloaded its information. " in it. That sentence is like half-painting a landscape, throwing a coffe on it, and then continuing to paint over the splotch. That sentence doesn't belong there. It belongs after Reedy speaks his face fuzz line. It's detective stuff and detective stuff belongs together.
The second paragraph is all about the band and the band members.

And Continuator, I caught all the rhymes and meter. Even separated I caught them on first read. I like to hear the music of words in any story.

writtenwyrdd said...

Maybe "swarming news helicopters highlighted police officers and a grunge band..." You might even keep "in the wake of the thunderstorm."

Sorry, I keep reading 'garage' as 'grunge'. Should it be a garage band at a mansion?

McKoala said...

Wrestling. Eew, eew, eew.

I liked this; but found myself fretting for some action. I spotted the Jules thing! Had no idea where he popped up from, and then he disappeared again!

Dave Fragments said...

WW - It doesn't have to be either - garage or grunge.
That means that I wrote "garage band" for color. Their description should convey that. Adding "garage" is repetative. I'll take it out tomorrow.

Bernita said...

High intensity description.
I like it, except for the "oval colonnade" sentence, which seems unnecessary.
With this style, though, you have to be careful your reader doesn't feel bludgeoned by visual over-load.

Dave Fragments said...

The "oval colonade" description is gone to the "new starts and clever lines" folder. It may never surface again, but then, I might write a satire of Alice in Wonderland.