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Reginald Blisterkunst, Ph.D.
Among the Remembered Saints: My Life and Subsequent Death
Pluto Wars

Greg Chandler
"Bee's Tree"
"Local Folk"
"Roland's Feast"
"Pond Story "

Doug Childers
"The Baptism"

Gene Cox
The Sunset Lounge

Clarke Crutchfield
"The Break-In"
"The Canceled Party"
"The Imaginary Bullet"

Jason DeBoer
"The Execution of the Sun"

Deanna Francis Mason
"The Daguerreian Marvel"

Dennis Must

Charlie Onion
"Love Among the Jellyfish"
Pluto Wars
"Feast of the Manfestation"

Chris Orlet
"Romantic Comedy"

Daniel Rosenblum
"A Full Donkey"

Deanna Frances Mason
"The Daguerreian Marvel"

Andrew L. Wilson
"Fat Cake and Double Talk"


Among the Remembered Saints:
My Life & Subsequent Death

Reginald Blisterkunst, Ph.D.

Part Ten

One or Two Tight Spots

One hour later and still pensive, our man Charlie strolls quietly into the departmental building and is met on the threshold by the feverish-looking Hoary Head of Formalists.

—I know what you're up to.

Christ! thinks O, ice-veined and sweat popping up like needle-pricks on his face.

HH of F, no fool despite the early-onset who-are-you-again and is-this-Coke-can-my-daughter, watches the guilt flash over O's face like heat lightning.

—Yes, that's right, says the Hoary Head, grinning sadistically. I saw you come into the building the other night. I've got a camera right here, dear boy (here he taps on the potted plant and for the first time, Onion sees the winking of the camera's red eye), and you're on tape as clear as ice. So you'd better come clean, if you know what's good for you.

O [sweating]: I've no idea what you're talking about.

H: Fancy a spot of juice?

O: What?

H: You heard me, you limp-wristed multiculturalist.

O: Limp-wristed what?

H: You heard me. Stealing an old man's juice—what the hell's that? A gesture for the Party? A sign of solidarity with the Dykes for Austen? Just what the hell's your game, Onion?

O (sputtering, backing off): You're, you're crazy, you old bastard.

H: I'll see this comes to the attention of Mao, etc.

O: No need. I'm going to discuss it with him now.

And thus manfully strides dear Charlie, affronted by hoary fascist spying, down the lengthy hall to Mao's shut door. Knock knock and, without waiting, he's in the office and gawking at Chairman Mao crouching behind his desk with a plastic grocery bag pulled tight over his head and his what-nots hanging out of his trousers and busily being thrust about.

Herr O: Good Lord.

Mad dash then, a blur of things being folded and shoved away and zipped up, and momentarily Mao is merely sitting and nodding his head benignly, if somewhat breathlessly.

—Just having a spot of lunch, Onion. Um. Do go on.

—Yes, well, sputters our O, look here, Herr Chairman, there's this little problem of the HH of F spying on our fellow faculty comrades, you see, and well, gosh all, I'm just wondering if you couldn't—

Blank, uncomprehending stare on the Mao's visage and then, like a fire catching hold, his face lights up. He is, Charlie notices, rather obviously studying Herr O's snugly zipped fly.

—Ah yes, says Mao. The juice thievery. So it's you then, is it?

—What? No, of course not. You've got it all wrong. I just—

Mao waves him off and winks lasciviously.

—There there. We can work this out, just the two of us, don't you think, dear Onion? Perhaps we can forget the old man altogether, no?

O: I'm sorry?

Mao: Maybe we could come to some agreement, just between the two of us?

O gawks, speechless, as Mao rises slowly, as if he were trying to look like a sword rising from a lake, and then he slinks around to O's side of the desk and lets one fish-cold hand settle onto O's left shoulder.

I'm not a demanding man, Mao pouts. You could keep your wife too.

O sizes up the man from Nehru collar to Mr. Lee slippers and shakes his head.

I—I...I don't need her, O says.

A smile splits Lee's face in two as he lets his arms circle Herr O like twin snakes. Then the right hand goes wandering, sliding down the shoulder and across the chest of poor frozen O, the hand feigning indifference, like an innocent sheep gallivanting across the meadow, and then comes the fly—-zzziiiiiiiiiipppp—and the fish-cold hand slips inside, and O, in a flash of lightning, belts out a womanly shriek and knocks Mao to the carpet. Then, as if he had rehearsed it, Charlie deftly hurdles over the Chairman (who looks up with a we'll-meet-again look on his face) and springs through the door.

—I say, old man, the HH of F shouts after him, as O sprints the length of the hall and disappears through the front door. Zip up, what? It's turned frigid out there.

Nothing. The door slams.

HH of F turns to Candy Tabitha: He's stealing my orange juice, you know.

CT: I'm not at all surprised.

Sleuthing toward a Brownstone

With no greater events than these in the Longbourn family, and otherwise diversified by little beyond the walks to Meryton, sometimes dirty and sometimes cold, did January and February pass away.

Actually, it was September and October that did pass away, but that will do quite nicely, Jane. Transitions are so tiresome, aren't they, when they span so much dramatically idle time? Cindy still childless, Herr O still porn-mad-Mao-shy, Arb and Candy T still doe-eyed, Duty still diving deep, etc., but none of them putting it all together, damn them. And so from August through Austen to November and on to—dare we say it? Yes, damn it, the end, and after it, nothing but the darkness for your old humble. But no more talk of the burnt-out end of our humble's torrid tale—for one morning, with the winter sunlight glowing golden and the birds chirping about snow, our dear Arb discovers the Humpback slouch-strutting streetward not two blocks from Herr O's departmental building and, true sleuth that he is, he follows her until she enters a dark building with a slip of paper under her arm and returns moments later without it. But then, just as Arb thinks it safe to trace her steps into the building, he spies her watching him from across the street and beats a hasty retreat to Charlie's office, where our poor O is just then considering how to take out a subscription to Boys Talk Dirty without being discovered.

W (bursting in and breathless): I found the Humpback.

—Eh? What? You where?

WA: I followed her to a building two blocks from here. A big—pant pant—brownstone on the corner. I think it belongs to the university, but I couldn't get close enough to read the sign.

C: Brownstone? On the corner? Hmmm. (miracle of miracles: the bastard's forgotten inky buggering for the mo) That's the music building.

WA: Well then. That explains the trombone and the warbling, I suppose.

Nods all around, musing.

Arb to Charlie: I'm going in tonight to find that paper if I have to check every room. Game?

To which Charlie, briefly weighing all aspects of the present, perverted form his life has taken, shrugs and says simply: What the hell.

Zoiks! und dann: Bingo

Fast forward then through six rather dull hours to the moment when, like twin shadows set loose from the solid, our heroic two slip wraithlike through the music building's strangely unlocked front door. Down a long corridor, then a blind turn to the right and the dim prospects of another darkened corridor and then, like a blazing lantern, on the distant wall shines a scrap of paper, beckoning. And so creep creep they slip into the dark passage. Demonic, affectless stillness like unto a frozen Hell lake for a bit, and then they are inside a sudden patch of light cast from a high window, and as he reaches for the posted paper and tears it from the wall, Arb glances wraithward and shout-whispers:

Hey, look at me! I've got a humpbacked shadow!

Huh? Cripes! For verily the Arb's shadow is humpbacked but even as they watch the wraiths flicker, the hump cracks free from dear Arb's shadow-shoulders and flicker-snaps itself into a familiar form, and then our two heroes are snap-whipping double-takes at the frozen Hell Lake, for there she stands in the flesh, the Apparition herself, no more than arm's reach and coming like—yes—like a thresher, clump clump, with her two eyes—due to some trick of the high window—glowing like twin lime-green hell-fire lanterns.

Mad scrambling then, wraith shadows becoming frantic mating spiders, and: shuffle; scuffle; boom; free and running, back across the Frozen Lake and then for a moment the shadows large again and then around the corner and through the door and out, our heroes' heels clicking and clacking carward, while behind them trails nothing but a sustained note of our Humpback's Wagnerian cackling.


Miles seem to pass with the cackle pursuing them unflagging, and not until he has run three red lights does Arb draw curbward and lift the paper into the light, where he and comrade Charlie read:


Bingo, Woody says, like a boy catching a fly. Got you.

Skip a Bit, Brother

Okay, here we go: Heinie's saying the Double was cuckolding him, and that it was the Double, see, who—

Oh, shut up.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12



About the Author

The late Reginald Blisterkunst was a college professor whose areas of expertise were Milton and the Metaphysical Poets. Among the Remembered Saints was his first novel. He also co-wrote Pluto Wars with Charlie Onion, a frequent WAG contributor.


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