Tag Archives: Charles Thrasher

RAT

Monday, March 21

“Howdy doody, folks! You don’t see that every day.” The sound of Sandy Crab’s voice, mechanically amplified, drifted across the water.

Sprout pulled up his pants, turned, and silently walked away with all the dignity of a Maori mooning the Queen of England. The members of the Redemptive Action Taskforce were already gathered at Riddlepit.

Sprout had wanted to call it the Radical Action Taskforce. Blavatsky preferred a closer association with liberation theology. It all amounted to RAT in the end.

Umber Schist was trying to find a comfortable position on the couch made of Norwegian wood. There was none. Hurley Hocking also sat on the couch, as far as he could get from Umber. They had a history. Hemp Sessions, the unofficial mayor of Shantytown, was perched on the three-legged stool with the tractor seat. He looked none too steady to Sprout. Maud Seward sat in the austere wooden chair in the corner, her head nodding over her knitting. The chair looked like a piece of modern art disdainful of comfort, much like the rest of Riddlepit. Hattie Malept stood beside the picture window, looking misplaced.

Blavatsky paced the room. The meeting had already started. “…it’s different,” she said. “This is an existential threat. They’ve tightened the noose around our necks and this time they intend to hang us with it.”

“My dear, aren’t you being a bit melodramatic?” Umber said and squirmed on the couch. “We have an agreement with the city council. They ignore us and we police ourselves. Besides, we’re not in the council’s jurisdiction.”

Blavatsky stopped pacing and pivoted. “Something’s changed. The old agreement no longer holds. They’re claiming eminent domain. They’ve plotted streets beneath us. The plan is to fill the bay and build on it. That gives them jurisdiction. And we’re in the way.”

“That’s absurd,” Umber said.

“When did absurdity ever stop bureaucracy?” Blavatsky said.

“If they fill the bay beneath us, then we’ll become houses rather than houseboats,” Hurley Hocking said. Umber looked at him balefully.

“What do they plan to do about it?” Hemp Sessions said.

Blavatsky waved a handful of papers. “This is the proposed amendment to the zoning rules. It states that any inhabited structures floating within city limits that aren’t specifically permitted will be defined as landfill. It’s the city’s charter to dispose of landfill as they see fit.”

“We’ll just have to go somewhere else,” Hemp Sessions said. It seemed to Sprout the mayor didn’t have much loyalty to Shantytown.

“There’s no place left to go,” Blavatsky said. “No place where people can live like they want. The world is being sanitized. It doesn’t include people like us.”

“Then we fight,” Hattie Malept said. Everyone turned to look as if they had forgotten she was there.

“Exactly,” Blavatsky said. “We fight with everything we’ve got.”

“And what do we have?” Hemp said. “A bunch of artists and misfits and panhandlers. People who believe you can control the weather with magic. No offense, Hurley, but really, we couldn’t even organize a bake sale.”

“I agree. We can’t fight them on their own ground,” Blavatsky said, tossing the proposed amendment to the zoning rules on the floor. “We have to change the rules to win the game.”

“Kill them all,” Maud Seward said, raising her head from her knitting. “Let God sort them out.” She seemed to nod off again immediately.

It was rumored Maud had been a member of the Yellow Hand in the early ’60s. The Yellow Hand was a violent revolutionary faction so secretive no one knew their purpose. They were characterized by single-minded viciousness. They claimed to have killed an informant, his parents, his second cousin, and his postman. The postman had simply delivered a letter to the wrong address at the wrong time. The Yellow Hand killed him for incompetence.

“That woman scares me,” Hurley said. “I can’t tell whether she’s serious or not.”

Blavatsky ignored Maud. “We gather information, probe for weakness. People greedy for power are often careless how they get it. They leave skeletons behind. We dig them up.”

“We could ask the spirits for help,” Umber said. “Some of those skeletons might hold grudges.”

“We could reach out to others in the community,” Hattie said. “People like us who feel they have no voice and no place.”

“What, a bake sale?” Hemp said.

Hattie looked at him like he was a misbehaving child. “A rally, maybe. An event. Maybe a concert for the dispossessed.”

“A children’s crusade,” Hemp said, smirking.

“Something theatric,” Hurley said. “Street theater.” He brightened. “I have some ideas for costumes.” Hurley was fond of dressing up. “We would need a figurehead, an icon, something to focus attention.”

Blavatsky turned to Sprout. “Maybe it’s time to resurrect Mascarita Payasito.”

“Yeah, like a maniacal clown sends the right message,” Sprout said.

“Did I miss part of the conversation?” Hurley said.

“Mascarita Payasito was a luchador,” Sprout said. There were expressions of incomprehension around the room. “A Mexican wrestler in the Mini-Estrella. Don’t any of you watch late night TV? He was a dwarf, a mad clown, a trickster. I played the part for several years.”

“And he still has the costume in his closet,” Blavatsky said.

“The things you learn about your neighbors when a crisis threatens,” Hattie said.

“I doubt I could even fit into it anymore,” Sprout said.

“We could always let the costume out…or take you in,” Blavatsky said.

“You’re enjoying this way too much,” Sprout said. “And it’s not a very anonymous costume. The size gives it away.”

“The idea has merit,” Hemp said, warming to it. “We could introduce you as—what was the name? Payasito?—in a few street protests. Work up to a march on city hall. The costume would play to a television audience. Keeping your identity secret doesn’t matter. The mask becomes the character. Or we bill you as ‘The Little Lebowski’.”

“You will not,” Sprout said.

“Hattie’s right,” Blavatsky said. “We need to find allies. Maybe the people closest to politicians are the ones most willing to betray them.”

“Who are you suggesting, dear?” Umber asked.

“Wives, secretaries, hairdressers, house cleaners,” Blavatsky said. “Maybe their children. If politicians are anything like preachers, their children resent them most. I have a half-baked idea.”

The meeting broke up after another was scheduled and everyone left except Maud who remained fast asleep in her chair, her knitting in her lap. Sprout didn’t have the heart to wake her and was afraid of what she might do with her knitting needles if he did.

Blavatsky came down the stairs in a short dress that clung to her hips and breasts and high heels that stretched her calves. “Ready to go?” she said.

“I feel under-dressed,” Sprout said. “Where are we going?”

“The warehouse district,” she said, “to execute my plan.”

They left Maud in her chair and walked to the warehouse district of Port Angeles, less than a mile from Shantytown. Blavatsky’s plan involved a skate park in the old cannery building. It wasn’t a sanctioned park. The kids had built the ramps and halfpipes and quarterpipes from rusted metal they scavenged in the district. Each wipeout risked tetanus.

“Why are we here?” Sprout said.

“This is our foothold in the lives of the city council.”

“A bunch of rebellious kids?”

“One specific rebellious kid. He was in a class I substituted.” Blavatsky was a substitute teacher in the Port Angeles School system. “I hope to leverage his rage.”

“Dude, the bitch brought her own dwarf.” A skater with a shaven head and a missing front tooth rested his foot on his skateboard. He half turned to a ragged group of adolescents behind him. “We won’t have to use our own when we make sweeeeet love.” He kicked his board into his arms and pantomimed a caress.

“Keep it in your pants, snaggle tooth,” Sprout said. He began to understand Blavatsky’s fashion choices.

“Let me introduce you,” Blavatsky said. “Sprout, this is Henry Stowe, known to his friends as Hardball.”

“Sprout?” Hardball’s friends hooted.

“Where’s the Green Giant?”

“Gonna get me some Brussel sprouts.”

“Hardball is the son of Harriet Stowe,” Blavatsky continued, “Councilwoman and ally of Big Bob Reingold, chairman of the city council. Your mother is an intimate ally of Big Bob, isn’t she, Hardball?”

“What do you know about my mother, bitch?”

“Just what they say around town,” Blavatsky said. “But you know what they say. You’ve heard it all. You’re not a fan of Big Bob, are you, Hardball?”

“What’s it to you?”

“I expect you’d like to get Big Bob out of your mother’s bed. And maybe take back some of your self-respect. I’m here to help.”

Hardball bristled at the mention of his mother sleeping with Big Bob. He looked back at his gang. It didn’t seem news to them. “Why should you care what I want?”

“I don’t care really but I’m honest enough to tell you. I think we’re both headed to the same place from different directions. We both want to make Big Bob a little smaller. I can help you. We both get what we want.”

“Why should I trust you?”

“You shouldn’t. At least, not until I deliver.”

“Deliver what?”

“I can teach you and your friends how to kill with your bare hands. Would that be of interest?”

Whistlepig

In mythology, the hero descends to the underworld. What happens when the underworld ascends? Whistlepig, a serialized fiction. Table of contents.

@ Copyright 2018 Charles Thrasher All rights reserved.

Smuggler’s Blues

Thursday, March 24

“Bulldog, come here.” Harry was standing beside an open crate in Spike Africa’s hold. Wood shavings spilled onto the deck. “What do you make of this?”

“Bones,” Bulldog said.

“Yeah, I gathered that,” Harry said. “What kind of bones? Look at the size of them. You think we’re smuggling elephant bones?”

“Who would pay us this much money to smuggle elephant bones?” Bulldog said.

Harry passed Bulldog the crowbar. “Open another crate but be careful not to damage anything. I don’t want Hoffer knowing.”

Bulldog opened a second crate and cleared the packing material. He sucked in his breath.

“What is it?” Harry asked.

“I’m pretty sure this is the skull of Tyrannosaurus Rex.”

“A dinosaur?”

“That’s what I’m saying.”

“We’re smuggling dinosaur bones?” Harry said. “How do you know?”

“I was a Paleontology geek as a kid,” Bulldog said. “Especially dinosaurs. I’m pretty sure this is a T. Rex. If not, it’s something equally old.”

“Why?” Harry said.

“I was a kid. I didn’t know better,” Bulldog said.

“Why are we smuggling the bones of extinct animals?” Harry said. “They’re extinct, right? Who cares?”

“The government of the United States, for one,” Bulldog said, caressing the dinosaur skull. “These bones were probably smuggled out of Mongolia. It’s against the law. There are international sanctions. People pay big money to add them to private collections.”

“People collect dinosaur bones?” Harry asked.

“People collect almost anything,” Bulldog said.

“Harry, you need to get up here,” Nit called from the cockpit.

“Seal these crates so they look like they’ve never been opened,” Harry said, then climbed out of the hold onto the deck.

“What’s the problem?” he asked Nit.

“Them,” Nit said and hitched his thumb over his shoulder.

In the moonlight, Harry could see the white hull and orange slash of a Coast Guard cutter on the same course a mile astern.

“Doesn’t mean anything,” Harry said. “We’re in one of the most heavily trafficked shipping lanes on the coast. It’s probably just a coincidence. For Christ’s sake, don’t stare. Act like you’re completely innocent.”

“If I was completely innocent, I’d stare,” Nit said.

When Bulldog stuck his head out of the companionway, the cutter was only a quarter mile astern and closing. “Holy shit,” he said and disappeared back into the cabin. He returned with an ancient AK-47 and chambered a round.

“What the hell is that?” Harry shouted.

“I’m not going down without a fight,” Bulldog said.

“You idiot. That antique will probably blow up in your hands. If they do board us, you’ve just made it worse. They’re too close to throw the damned thing overboard. It will look suspicious as hell. What else did you bring onboard?”

“A machete. Brass knuckles. A Claymore.”

“A Claymore? You thought we’d need an anti-personnel mine? Get back on deck and keep pumping. And leave that crap below.”

When the cutter was alongside, separated by only a few hundred yards of water, a bright spotlight raked the schooner from bow to stern. A few crewmen were on the cutter’s bow near the .50 caliber machine gun, still covered. The crew rested their forearms on the rail.

“Act natural,” Harry hissed between clenched teeth, then turned and waved at the cutter.

A voice boomed over a loudspeaker. “Are you in need of any assistance?”

“No,” Harry shouted between cupped hands. “Batteries are dead. Pumping by hand. We’ll make port.”

There was a long pause and the voice boomed again. “Do you want us to report your position?”

“Not necessary. We’ll be in Port Angeles in a few hours. Thank you.”

There was a longer pause. Harry bit his lip so hard he tasted blood.

“Safe passage,” the cutter broadcast and steered away.

“Hellfire and damnation,” Bulldog whispered between clenched teeth.

“Mind your course,” was all Harry said.

By the time they anchored in Slee’s Bay, they were exhausted. They were on the downhill side of night. The Milky Way spanned the sky. They loaded the first crates into the longboat and pulled for shore, Nit on the oars, Harry in the stern.

Nit stopped rowing and looked around. “What are we doing here?”

“Isn’t that obvious?” Harry said. “We’re offloading crates full of bones.”

“I mean, Tse-whit-zen,” Nit said. “This is Tse-whit-zen.” The big man seemed to shrink. “I’m not going near that place.”

“This is where we’re landing the goods. This is where the trucks are waiting.”

“It’s a graveyard.” Nit shook his head slowly and set his jaw. “I’m not defiling sacred ground.”

“They’re dead,” Harry insisted. “Dead as dinosaur bones. What does it matter? We deliver the crates, we get paid. Everybody’s happy.”

Nit could not be moved. “You don’t mess with the dead without consequences.”

Harry couldn’t budge the bigger man and couldn’t wrest the oars from him without upsetting the heavily laden longboat. They returned to the schooner.

“Get out,” he ordered Nit. He took the oars himself. “Bulldog, get in.” Harry glowered at Nit and spit into the bay.

“You’re late,” Sully said when they finally beached the longboat. “You should have been here hours ago.”

“It’s a sailboat, for Christ’s sake,” Harry said. “Schedules are aspirational.”

“Whatever. Just get the stuff ashore before people wake up. The trucks have been here for hours already.”

By the time they unloaded the longboat, Harry realized they wouldn’t finish the entire cargo in the darkness remaining.

“What are we going to do?” Bulldog asked.

“I have an idea,” Harry said. “Row me to the wharf. I need to make arrangements ashore.”

Bulldog waited for Harry at the wharf 30 minutes before he heard the rumbling of a diesel engine. Out of the darkness, an amphibious truck appeared, shouldering the water aside. Harry stood at the wheel. He drove the truck alongside the longboat.

“Shit, Harry. You stole Qwackers?”

“Borrowed,” Harry said. “I have every intention of returning it when the job is done. Climb onboard. We’ll tow the longboat. Hurry up. We’re burning darkness.”

Qwackers allowed them to offload the entire cargo in a single trip. Nit remained onboard the schooner, carrying crates from the hold and lowering them over the side. It took Harry and Bulldog both to stow them in the boat.

Harry drove Qwackers onto the beach, over the dunes, and to the parking lot where Hoffer’s trucks were parked. When Qwackers returned to the water, Sully used a tree branch to brush away the truck tracks in the sand. “Saw it on an episode of Bonanza,” he said.

Harry and Bulldog were motoring back to the boat ramp, towing the schooner’s longboat astern, when Bulldog noticed his shoes were wet. There was water rising above the floorboards of the Duck.

“Harry, we have a problem. I think we’re sinking.”

“What do you mean, sinking?” Harry said.

“I mean the water level is rising above the floorboards,” Bulldog said. “That’s not normal.”

By the time they got the hatch covers off the engine compartment, the water was above their ankles and rising fast. “No time,” Harry said. “Abandon ship.”

They pulled the longboat alongside and got in just as Qwackers took a headlong dive to the bottom of the harbor. Only a greasy sheen and a few bilious bubbles remained to mark its passage.

“Damn,” Harry said. “We almost got away with it. A few more yards and we would have made the shore.” They returned to the schooner.

In the morning, after sleeping several hours, Harry rowed the crew ashore. He still wasn’t talking to Nit.

A crowd had gathered on the beach. A sheriff’s boat lay just offshore. A diver surfaced and tapped the top of his head with his hand. Harry landed the longboat at the wharf, then joined the crowd.

Sandy Crab, still dressed in blue flowered pajamas, was talking to a Sheriff’s Deputy. “…those damned squatters,” he said, pointing toward Shantytown. “And that degenerate dwarf. He’s a ringleader. Bolsheviks, the bunch of them.”

“A dwarf,” the Deputy said.

“Don’t be fooled by his size,” Sandy said. “He’s dangerous.”

“A dangerous dwarf.” The Deputy seemed incredulous.

“I want him arrested,” Sandy said. “I want them all arrested. Atheists, radicals, breeding in their filthy nest like rats. They resent my success. You better take me seriously, officer. I have influence with the city council.”

Harry found it hard to take a man in blue flowered pajamas seriously.

Whistlepig

In mythology, the hero descends to the underworld. What happens when the underworld ascends? Whistlepig, a serialized fiction. Table of contents.

@ Copyright 2018 Charles Thrasher All rights reserved.

Lili Marlene

Sunday,March 20

Dietrich Hoffer was a thin man wearing antique Pince-nez glasses, precisely trimmed Van Dyke, and hand tailored gloves. He looked like an aristocrat from fin-de-siècle Vienna. He was reading documents in a leather-bound binder which he closed with a precise and measured movement when Harry sat down.

“Harry Wry.”

Hoffer declined the offered hand. “You’ll excuse me. A debilitating nerve condition.”

“I’m told you’re in the import business and you’re looking for someone to haul cargo,” Harry said.

“Who told you that, Mr. Wry?” Hoffer removed his glasses and cleaned them meticulously with a linen handkerchief. It was a surprisingly intimidating gesture.

“I’m not sure, exactly. I was drinking. Your number appeared in my notebook.” He passed his notebook to Hoffer. “That is your number, isn’t it?”

Hoffer replaced his glasses before accepting the notebook from Harry. “It was my number. It’s no longer in service.”

“Yeah, I know. So, you hiring?”

“One moment, Mr. Wry.” Hoffer stood, brushed the wrinkles from of his pressed pants, walked to the old Wurlitzer in the corner of the bar and made a selection. By the time he returned to the booth Marlene Dietrich was singing the German lyrics to “Lili Marlene” in a throaty voice.

“What have you to offer, Mr. Wry?”

“I’ve got a schooner at anchor in the bay with a hold big enough to carry a substantial cargo and I’m desperate enough to carry it no questions asked. Almost no questions.”

“What questions do you have, Mr. Wry?”

“What, when, and how much.”

“And why should I do business with you, Mr. Wry? I know nothing about you.”

“You can ask Lidmann. He knows everything about me you need to know.”

“I will make inquiries, Mr. Wry. Do you have a phone number?”

“No. I live onboard.”

“You don’t have a cell phone?”

“No. Electricity is scarce,” Harry said.

Hoffer looked at him sharply.

“And they’re too easy to tap,” Harry added.

“A wise precaution, Mr. Wry. Very well. Return this evening. I’ll inform Lidmann if I’m interested further.” Hoffer opened his leather binder and waited for Harry to remove himself.

“Pleasure talking to you,” Harry said. It wasn’t.

Afterward, Harry couldn’t remember exactly what Dietrich Hoffer looked like besides the black leather gloves and the antique glasses. Almost immediately the man seemed to fade in his memory like an old photo.

He waved to Lidmann on his way out the door, blinked in the bright sunlight, and abruptly ran into a Stetson hat. Beneath the Stetson was a denim shirt, Levi’s and cowboy boots that might have been alligator hide. “Harry Wry?”

Harry lied reflexively. “Name’s Rehnquist, William Rehnquist.”

The man snorted. “A dead Supreme Court judge? Nice touch. Harry Wry, you’ve been served.”

The cowboy hat tucked a folded sheet of paper in Harry’s shirt pocket and pivoted on his cowboy heels.

Gray Marine Engine Works had filed suit for lack of payment. Harry had 30 days to pay the bill or surrender Spike Africa for impoundment.

Before returning to the schooner, Harry made a call from another pay phone in front of the Asian Soho Bistro. Bulldog Purvis answered. Bulldog had crewed for Harry carrying tourists on day trips from different ports around the Salish Sea.

“I may have some work for you if you’re not squeamish,” Harry said.

“It can’t be worse than pumping septic tanks,” Bulldog said.

“That’s what you’ve been doing?”

“It pays the bills. Most months. Like they say, it might be shit to you but it’s my bread and butter.”

“They don’t say that,” Harry said. “If it happens, it will mostly be night work but it pays better than pumping septic tanks. We’ll need a deckhand as well.”

“I’ve got a friend. He knows bow from stern and I trust him.”

“I’ll call you when I know more. There may not be much notice. And Bulldog, don’t tell anyone else about this. Not even your mother or you might not have to worry about where your next meal is coming from. The state will provide it.”

When Harry returned to the Spike Africa, he deliberately rowed around her. She had a year’s worth of marine growth on her bottom. It would take a knot off her best speed but there wasn’t time or money to haul and scrape her. The old girl’s fate wouldn’t depend upon speed, anyway. On a beam reach with a stiff breeze she might make eight, maybe nine knots, not enough to outrun anything chasing her. Her only hope was slipping between ports unnoticed.

On deck, she looked like a horse that had been ridden hard and put away wet. The white paint on her deckhouse was peeling, her teak decks were grey with dirt, and the brass ventilator cowls that passed fresh air below were green with verdigris. The varnish on her spars had bubbled and flaked, exposing bare wood to the weather. The wheel was unmounted from the steering gear and leaned against the deckhouse. Her running rigging was spliced a dozen times over but it would do. It would have to.

Harry sat in the cockpit and admired the graceful sheer of the schooner’s deck. He stroked the teak cockpit coaming. “I don’t see any other way out of this,” he said to the schooner. “We’ve got our backs against the wall and they’re loading the guns.”

That evening he returned to Fiddler’s Green. Lidmann was polishing a pickle jar full of cloudy liquid. He claimed it was the same pickle jar that Gallus Meg once kept the ears she bit off boisterous sailors in her bar on the New York waterfront during the boisterous Age of Sail.

“Lidmann.”

“Harry.”

“Any word from our mutual friend?” Harry jerked his thumb in the direction of Dietrich Hoffer’s booth.

Lidmann sat the pickle jar on the bar. “It’s a dangerous game, Harry. Think twice about making deals with the devil.”

“I don’t have much choice. I got served with papers. The old girls will be arrested if I don’t pay. Once the marshals have her, I’ll never get her back.”

“He wants to talk to you,” Lidmann said. “But Harry, watch your back. The man is a pit viper.”

“Even vipers predictably serve their own interests,” Harry said and hoped it was true.

Harry stood beside Hoffer’s booth waiting for the man to look up from his journal.

“Mr. Wry.” Hoffer was still wearing the black gloves. They looked supple enough to have been made from the skin of young goats—kid gloves. He gestured for Harry to sit.

“Do we have business to conduct?” Harry asked.

“One moment.” Hoffer walked to the Wurlitzer, selected “Lili Marlene,” and returned to the table. “Indeed, we do.”

“My references were acceptable?”

“You qualify as a desperate man, Mr. Wry. When can you sail?”

“The sooner the better. Tonight, if need be.”

“I will let you know in a few days. I’ll leave word with Lidmann. You know Whiffin Spit on Sooke Inlet?” Harry nodded. Sooke Inlet was on Vancouver Island, almost directly across the Strait from Port Angeles. “How long will it take you to cross the Strait?”

“Four, five hours, depending on the breeze and the current.”

“I’ll make the arrangements. I’ll require you to load and depart the same night. Return by a more circuitous route and unload the next night.”

“Where do we offload?” Harry asked.

“Freshwater Bay, near Observatory Point.”

Harry bit his lip.

“Is that a problem, Mr. Wry?”

“Freshwater Bay is an open roadstead. If there’s any sea running it will be difficult to land a loaded boat. It’s also an old log dump. There are a lot of snags close inshore.”

“Do you have an alternative?”

“I do. We could land on the beach at Tse-whit-zen.”

“The site of the graving dock?”

Harry thought Hoffer coughed. Later he recognized it was Hoffer’s dry, humorless laughter.

“Why not? It’s not visible from the street. No one goes there after dark. I know the night watchman. We could land your cargo safely and unobserved.”

“Amusing,” Hoffer said. He removed his Pince-nez glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. ”At the doorstep of the U.S. Coast Guard. Agreed then. I’ll accept delivery at Tse-whit-zen.”

“How much does the job pay? I have my crew to consider, and whatever Sully needs to look the other way, and…”

Hoffer wrote a figure on a napkin and slid it across the table. Harry turned it over. “Damn. Who knew smuggling was so profitable? I guess everybody but me. What is it we’re carrying?”

“I pay you not to ask questions, Mr. Wry. You will deliver my cargo without looking in the crates. If you accept my money, you accept my terms. The consequences for violating those terms are, shall we say, prohibitive. You’ll receive one third now and the balance on delivery. Are we agreed?”

“Agreed.” Harry didn’t hesitate. Later, he wondered why he hadn’t.

Whistlepig

In mythology, the hero descends to the underworld. What happens when the underworld ascends? Whistlepig, a serialized fiction. Table of contents.

@ Copyright 2018 Charles Thrasher All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

In mythology, the hero descends into the underworld. What happens when the underworld ascends?

Whistlepig, a serialized fiction.

Preface
Blood dappling the dust, old bones dancing in the dark.

Chapter 1: Whakapohne
A hallucination audits an introductory class in Cultural Anthropology.

Chapter 2: The Skeleton Forest
Necromancy in the forest of the Makah.

Chapter 3: Schrödinger’s Rat
Quantum rat hunting is inherently paradoxical. 

Chapter 4: Darkness Rising
Shamans don’t advertise in the Peninsula Daily News.

Chapter 5: The Vine of Souls
Ayahuasca is also called the vine of the dead but that sounds unnecessarily ominous.

Chapter 6: Resurrection
A door answered by a dwarf in a kimono.

Chapter 7: The Hanged Man
Purple Martins rain from the sky.

Chapter 8: Nevermore
Rathskill had no compunction about lying to authority.

Chapter 9: Signs and Portents
Behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is

Chapter 10: Scout’s Honor
The blond always goes into the basement. It’s in the script.

Chapter 11: Fiddler’s Green
Pistol shrimp with a cartoon claw.

Chapter 12: Lili Marlene
A sufficiently desperate man.

Chapter 13: The Disappeared
Does the act of questioning your sanity prove you’re sane?

Chapter 14: Hallelujah Bill
Those whose teeth are swords, whose fangs are knives…

Chapter 15: The Green Man
Sometimes myths becomes real.

Chapter 16: Weebles Wobble
The mountain speaks but what does it say?

Chapter 17: Smuggler’s Blues
You don’t mess with the dead without consequences.

Chapter 18: RAT
Kill them all. Let God sort them out.

@ Copyright 2018 Charles Thrasher All rights reserved.