It’s All Fun & Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye, An Ear, Two Fingers And A Nipple

…which is why you don’t roughhouse with lepers



Amnesia & Magic

 Part Seventeen

I’m reading the first page, which is in English and all about asking Mother Earth to bless this ritual and confer Her wisdom and a bunch of other stuff. It takes me about a minute and as the last word leaves my lips everything goes crazy.

The cave starts to melt away, replaced by a clearing in the middle of a forest made up of really big trees.

Animals start coming out of the forest. Many of them look like they’ve stepped out of a book of fairy tales.

There are people coming into the clearing. They aren’t Humans or Elves. Not sure if all of them are actually “people”.

I’m glowing like a spotlight.

Dak is laughing out loud.

Then he’s got two knives in his hands (note to self: chide Bill on his frisking skills) and he’s moving faster than any Elf I’ve ever seen and he’s stabbing all of the FBI agents, including Bill. They fall, but there’s no blood and they look paralyzed. Dak is yelling something in Elvish.

He’s about to stab Hoover when the fed hits him with a spell that turns him to stone. I move to attack him, but then stop, because he’s got a gun pointed at Dak.

He’s made of soft limestone, so bullets will knock off big chunks of him. He’ll be in very bad shape when the spell wears off.” He’s smiling this “I’ve got all the cards” smile at me and I swear I’m going to knock it off his face when all of this is over.

Then he loses the smile and tells me to get on with things as he moves in close enough to read the book.

The book is open to the pages the Oldest One mentioned. There are my three choices, but I can also see the faintest image of what Hoover can see. It’s a ritual that will bring all of the Power from the Elven world into our human world. Hoover actually giggles as he reads it. My fist aches to punch him until I’m ready to drop. Instead, I read my three choices, which boil down to…

1: The elves return to their world and that’s it for Magic on Earth forever. The effects of all spells ever cast are negated.

2: Things stay as they are, but the elves channel even more magic to us, this time without the debilitating physical effects.

3: The two worlds merge into one, which they had been about a million years ago.

I can see good and bad in all of these, which makes me hesitate. Then the Oldest One clears his throat and Hoover pulls a second pistol on Dak. All of the people and animals are looking at me.

I take a few more seconds, then make my choice. I swear that I can hear my grandmother laughing.

This Is Not My Beautiful Mouse

…this is not my beautiful knife


Sorry this was so late coming, Gentle Readers.


Amnesia & Magic

Part Sixteen

The Oldest One smiles and nods his head.

Yes, we’ll be chatting. I’m going to tell you a few things about what is coming up. We don’t have much time, despite how things look.”

I glance around and notice that everyone is not exactly frozen, just really slowed down. I also notice that Dak is grinning ever so slightly. What’s he thinking about? Then my train of thought gets back on the right track. Time to have more secrets revealed.

When you get inside the cave, I’ll be there. I’ll make you do a little ritual and then you’ll open the book and some things will happen fast. Don’t worry about them. When things calm down, you’ll see that the book is open to a page that shows three chants and what they do. They’ll be in English, because you’d mess them up if you tried Elvish. You’ll have to choose which one of them you want to do, then do it. After that, really big stuff will happen and I can finally die. The rest of you will have a new world to live in.”

A world of my choosing?” I’m feeling a little pressure here, to say nothing of some self doubt.

Yes. You’ll choose what you think is best for the world.”

I can’t catch a break. Then something pops into my head.

Wait! If my choices are in English, Hoover will be able to read them, and you can bet he will. If I start reading the wrong choice, he’ll shoot Dak.”

The old Elf smiles again.

Don’t worry, Hoover and the others will only see what the book wants them to see. Besides, the boy will be fine. I must go now. I’ll see you again in a minute. Stop worrying, because your choice will be the right one.”

And then he’s gone and I’m walking along and I’m thinking how much I missed just chasing down criminals & cheating spouses and stuff. Dak gives me a quick glance and I’m not sure, but Bill might have flicked me a quick look.

We walk into the cave about twenty yards and sure enough, there’s the Oldest One looking just as he did a minute ago. The cave is lit by torches and seems to go back a long way. Without saying a word, the Oldest One motions for us to follow him and then heads deeper into the mountain.

Eyes open, men!,” Hoover says. Then he turns to an agent and says, “Osgood, take the book and the ring.”

Some little voice in my head tells me to go along with this, so I hand over the book and the ring. As soon as he has them in his hands, Agent Osgood keels over dead.

No, not just dead, but dead and turned into some sort of powder. The book and the ring are undamaged, which is more than I can say for everybodys nerves.

I pick up the ring and book and say, “So, Eddie, who should I give it to next?”

He is not amused and I notice that all of the remaining agents except Bill have taken a step back. Dak is trying very hard not to laugh.

After another blood vessel popping moment, Hoover turns away from me and starts walking. We all follow.

When we reach the rear of the cave, it’s really beautiful. There are crystals and those things that point up and down like spikes and even some bats. The Oldest one is standing on a rock formation that looks kind of like an altar. In front of it is a flat space covered with runes carved into the stone. He points to a spot opposite him on our side of the runes, so I go stand there. Hoover is right next to me, Bill is behind him and Callahan is standing behind Dak. Other agents are surrounding us. I notice that Dak is still grinning, then the Oldest One speaks.

With the ring on your finger and your mind clear, open the book and read the first page, Bringer Forth.”

Okay, it’s showtime.

The 63 Things You Don’t Want To Stick Up Your Nose

… we could have made the list longer, but we got too grossed out

Amnesia & Magic

Part Fifteen

Try as I might, I can’t get myself moving faster than a very slow and jerky sort of speed. This must be what having a super slow motion palsy must be like. Dak looks scared and dazed, which I figure is how I probably look.

When the green son of a bitch is about fifteen feet in front of the car, he starts ranting about how he’s going to kill us and take the book & ring and rule the world. What the hell is is with Wizards and monologues about what they intend to do to you? Gangsters don’t do it, spies don’t do it, hell, even crooked politicians don’t do it. Only Wizards will stand there for a couple of minutes telling you all about their big plans. It’s a big fat pain in the ass to listen to, but under normal circumstances, it can give you a bit of time to shoot them or escape.

Not today. Today, I’m not going anywhere or shooting anyone. About all I can hope for is that the ring & book protect me.

As it turns out, that’s part of what happens. The Green Man stops talking and throws some of that black lightning at us, a burst of golden energy shoot out of me and from someplace I can’t see, a blast of blue energy comes into the mix. Everything goes mad for a few seconds and then I can think straight and move slowly, despite every muscle in my body feeling like I’ve been worked over by a gang of thugs. Dak is groaning, but seems to be ok.

Honey, on the other hand, looks like she was in a fire. The interior is completely burned

out and smells terrible. As I stagger out of her, I see that the exterior looks even worse. Shit! She was my first brand new car and I really loved her. She cost me three thousand dollars! Ok, now I’m really pissed off. I swear I’ll shoot the next bastard that looks at me wrong.

Unless it’s a dozen FBI bastards with guns pointed right at me.

Despite being pissed off and hurting, I’m not stupid enough to throw down on them, so I hand over Gladys. They don’t ask for the book & ring and I don’t offer them. Dak gets out of the car and an agent frisks him before escorting him over next to me. That agent is Bill. He gives me a stern look and I give him an even sterner one back.

The Feds walk us a couple of hundred yards to three cars that weren’t there when we drove up. I’m thinking some sort of cloaking spell was used. It must have been a doozy to not get detected by the Green Man.

Then J. Edgar Hoover himself steps out of the largest car and I’m wishing I hadn’t given up Gladys. As it is, the only thing keeping me from attacking him with my bare fists is the fact that he isn’t smiling. Well, that and all of the guns.

When he starts speaking, the power hungry little bastard gets right to the point.

Miss Allen, you are under arrest for acts of treason, premeditated murder, failure to report major magical relics and several more charges. You will now lead us to wherever you were headed where you will then hand over the relics you now possess. Be advised that most of these men are highly trained Wizards, as am I, and we will not hesitate in turning our full Power on you…or the boy. Do you understand me?”

I stare him right in the eye and say, “I understand you. How’s the wife?”

That hits a nerve and he puts his red face right up in mine.

When this is all over and I have things under my control, you’ll pay for what you’ve done, bitch.”

I can’t help smiling. “Bitch? Is that the best you can do? Eddie, you really disappoint me.”

For a second, I’m thinking he’s either going to kill me or his head will pop from all that blood rushing into it. As it is, he turns away and tells the agents to put me in a car.

A minute later, we’re back on the road heading for Mount Shasta. A minute after that, I see a white porcupine waving us on. Ten minutes later, a white badger points towards a deer trail and I tell the driver to stop.

We’re damned near at the foot of the mountain and the trail leads up to a cave. We all get out and start walking in silence. Dak is walking between Hoover and some big agent I seem to remember as being named Callahan.

It takes about five minutes to reach the cave mouth, which is about ten feet across and eight feet high. It doesn’t look entirely natural. Parts of it look carved out of the rock, but if it was, it was done a very long time ago.

Just over 5.000 years ago”, says a voice at my side.

After I swallow my heart back into it’s normal position, I turn to face the oldest Elf I’ve ever seen. He’s tall, too, taller than everyone else in the group, which, by the way, has frozen in mid-stride.

Let me guess, “ I say to him, “We’ve got to have a little chat.”

The Girl With Green Nipples Goes To Rome

…Rome, Georgia


Amnesia & Magic

Part Fourteen

About a hundred yards behind us and coming up fast is a thirty foot tall humanoid creature that looks like it’s made out of the very forest around us. It’s got soil and pine needles and rocks and even little trees in it. The eyes look like hollow pits, there isn’t a nose and the mouth is about 4 feet wide. Did I mention that it’s gaining on the car?

A forest elemental,” Dak yells, his eyes the size of silver dollars. “They hardly ever come into this world. Somebody must have summoned it.”

I swerve to avoid hitting a tree after nearly losing control of Honey. I need to keep my eyes on the road. It would be good to outrun this thing, but the road has gotten twisty. A glance in the rear view mirror lets me see that the elemental is maybe fifty yards back.

Dak, what do you know about these things? How can we kill it or outrun it or just get it off our ass?”

He pauses to think for a few seconds, which in our current situation feels like three weeks. I’m of out of Magic, at least as far as Honey is concerned, and I don’t know if I can use the ring or book to do anything. Damn it, I’m a private eye, not a Wizard.

The one thing I do know is that bringing Magical creatures into our world is really big Magic and they don’t stick around long. Of course, that Dragon that flattened half of Mexico City was only around for about half an hour and the Trolls that robbed the Louvre popped out of our world in under fifteen minutes. Unless the elemental vanished in the next couple of minutes, we are in a very bad way.

After taking about half of forever, Dak finally answers me.

Killing it would be almost impossible, Mick. Elementals are real strong and this one can draw more strength from the forest. We won’t be able to outrun it, either. I don’t know why it’s chasing us. Most elementals don’t care about people unless they are summoned or the person has something it wants.”

Ok, so somebody had summoned this thing and sicced it on us. Could have been any powerful Wizard, but my money was on the Green Man. On the plus side, that didn’t necessarily mean that green bastard knew where we were. On the minus side, the elemental was now very close behind us. What the hell could a Wizard have offered it to make us a target? What would an elemental really want?

Then it hits me and I stop the car.

Dak looks at me like I’m nuts, which I mat well be. The elemental skids to a stop behind us and almost falls on it’s ass. I get out of the car and stand facing it in what I hope looks like a friendly stance. Part of my mind is yelling “RUN!” and another part is hoping I don’t wet myself. If I’m wrong about what the elemental wants, both parts might win.

The big guy looks at me, kind of warily. I don’t think he was expecting this.

Hello there, noble elemental of the forest. I greet you with respect. Before you do as you have been ordered, may I ask you a question?”

After a moment, the elemental nods and I start breathing again. Undies still dry at this point.

Am I right in assuming that whoever summoned you told you that your reward would be getting to return to your world?”

He nods again. Son of a bitch, I guessed right!

Well then, if I can send you home right now, would you let me?”

I had no idea an elemental could look surprised. Then, he nods and smiles. Well, I’m pretty sure it’s a smile.

Ok then, let me give it a try.”

I take the book out of my pocket and hold it close. I can feel Magical Power coursing through me. I have no idea how to cast a spell, but I think I might be able to break one with good old raw power. I open my mind to only one thought: breaking the spell on this elemental. Then, I give a good hard push.

I’m not sure how much power I used, but it must have been enough, because first I saw a green aura around the elemental, then it was gone. After that, the elemental faded away and I got dizzy and the next thing I know, Dak is splashing water on my face.

Holy crap, Mick, you did it!”

Yeah, I sure did, didn’t I?”

Dak helps me up and we get back into Honey, then start off down the road. We’re getting close to Klamath Falls, maybe another two hours to go. After that, Mount Shasta is only couple of hours away. I have no idea where I’m supposed to meet this “Oldest One” that Granny mentioned, but I figure he’s somewhere near our final destination.

I start thinking of everything that might happen between here and there. I also think of what could happen before I get a chance to read the book. In fact, I spend about an hour thinking before I start bouncing ideas of Dak. Yeah, sure, he’s a kid, but he’s smart and he can at least ask me questions I haven’t thought of, which he does.

By the time we stop for lunch, gas and a road map or two in Klamath Falls, I’ve got maybe half a dozen plans for dealing with various scenarios. Most of them are scarily full of holes, but once we’re on the road, Dak and I manage to fill in a couple of those holes. The drive to Mount Shasta is pretty much filled with non-stop “but what if” and “if this happens, then we” talk.

We’ve just turned off the highway onto the road to the mountain when a big black car does the same thing. I’ve been wondering when this would happen. Fortunately, Dak and I are prepared for this.

The car is coming up fast when Dak slides over to take the wheel and I throw open my door, swing my upper body out and give the mugs in that car both barrels of a shotgun. Their grill takes half the blast and the rest shatters the windshield. Quick as a wink, I’m back inside, Dak takes the shotgun and slides over and I hit the gas.

Despite a punctured radiator and no front glass, the goons are still behind us and now they’re pissed off and shooting. Bullets are whizzing by us and a couple hit the back of Honey. That pisses me off, so while Dak steers, I lean out the window and cut loose with Gladys. I his the goon riding shotgun in the throat and he goes down. I pop off two more shots when I hear Dak yelling, “Mick, look at the sky!”

I look up and see clouds forming in an otherwise clear sky, Then those Magical vines appear and I realize the goons were a distraction to keep us from noticing the Green Man’s arrival. All I can do is punch the gas and try to outrun him.

Except that those vines shoot over us and when they touch down, they form a wall across the road just as we enter a flat treeless area. A moment later, the Green Man steps out of those vines, his hands crackling with energy. Before we can do anything, a bolt of black lightning hits Honey and we stop dead.

Not only has he stopped the car, but Dak and I are moving far too slowly to do anything. I can’t even speak clearly. Even thinking is hard.

The Green man is 50 feet away now, walking towards us, laughing. My clearest thought is that he is one ugly son of a bitch.

Terror Of The Crocodile Women

…it was double billed with The Walking Slime

Amnesia & Magic

Part Thirteen

Ham, eggs, home fries & toast, I’m looking at you with love in my heart. It’s a big breakfast, but I’m up to it. Dak is plowing through a plate of sausages and eggs, so we aren’t talking too much. The only time we stop eating is to gulp down hot coffee or milk.

After a couple of minutes, I check out the other patrons of this diner. For the most part, they’re just ordinary working folk with a few travelers mixed in. Nobody gives us a second look and that makes me feel good.

Just as I’m paying the check, two mugs walk in that set off all of my alarms. They’re dressed like loggers, but what logger sports a $5.00 haircut and manicured nails? Nope, these boys are hired muscle and from their overall demeanor, I’m thinking they know their job damned well. They look at Dak & I, but the more intelligent looking of the two gets a puzzled look on his face. That means we don’t look like we should. I can’t quite figure that out. I mean, I drank the potion and I’m wearing the ring, not Dak. How can we both look different?

See, that’s me all over, trying to look a gift horse in the mouth.

As we leave the place, I see Honey reflected in the window of a store, only the car I see is not a Hudson and sure isn’t black & yellow. Whatever Magic is at work, it’s covering Honey, too.

As we get in the car, I take a second to look at our reflections in that window. I’m a middle aged white woman about four inches shorter and fifty pounds heavier than reality. My hair is red with gray and I’m wearing a homemade dress. Dak looks like a cute 12 year old girl. I decide not to mention that to him. I have three brothers and I know how 12 year old boys would react to looking like 12 year old girls. Actually, that probably applies to most guys of any age, come to think of it.

We get about five miles out of town when my spirit guide, looking like a white jackrabbit, lets me know that I need to turn off of the highway. I do it and now we’re heading down a narrow two lane road running through the forest. I have no idea where we are or where this road comes out.

Dak starts telling me an old Elvish legend about the first time Elves appeared in our world. It seems that there is another world, just like ours, but without humans. One day, a crazy Elf Wizard tells everybody in his village that there is another world without Magic or Elves or magical creatures. Nobody believes him, so he goes off to learn more. Then he comes back many months later that says the two worlds are sisters who have not seen each other since before Elves walked the earth. Again, nobody believes him, so he goes off again and learns even more. When he returns the third time, he doesn’t say anything, but casts a very powerful spell that causes the Two Sister Worlds to blend together just a bit. This happens every so often, usually when Elves and Humans forget about each other.

I tell him that’s a good story and I’m about to tell him one of the many Native People’s versions of it, when my spirit guide, looking like a white moose, blocks the road and nods towards the road behind us. I turn to look.

Oh shit!

The Stupidly Funny, Yet Also Quite Uplifting, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Completely Crazy Cats

…featuring her wacky pal, Vividly Blue Benny

Amnesia & Magic

Part Twelve

Ok, Ok, I’m waking up here. Stupid damned alarm clock!

I’m not even fully awake yet and I slip the ring on my finger. I feel a momentary tingle all over, but other than that, nothing happens. The dream, or whatever it was, of my Granny is very vivid still. Actually, so is the dream about Bill, which is not so welcome after six months of celibacy.

It’s five in the morning and I stumble into the bathroom, noticing as I go that Dak is still snoring. It kind of reminds me of my younger brothers, Al and Andy, both of whom could have slept through a house fire at that age.

When I’m done in the john, I get dressed and then wake Dak up.

Time to wake up and hit the road, Dak. We’ll get breakfast along the way.”

While Dak tends to his morning needs, I take another look at the book and see that the title, formerly runes I couldn’t read, now says “The Book of Changes” in good old English. Ok, so I know one thing the ring does.

I try to open the book to see what the hell it’s all about, but I can’t. Might as well be trying to pry apart to welded pieces of steel. I curse with gusto.

It is not yet time, Daughter of Taeena”, says a voice in my head, causing me to drop the book like a hot potato. After a moment, I pick it back up and slip it into my pocket. I’ll never get used to this Magical stuff.

Once Dak is ready, we pack up our stuff and go check out. Honey is exactly where I parked her and there are two teenage boys lying flat as mackerels on the ground next to the driver’s side door. One of them is holding a lock pick, which I notice Dak pocket, but I don’t say anything about it. I had a lock pick when I was a kid, too.

We drag them a few feet away. Although they are limp and unmoving, both of them are wide awake, courtesy of yet another spell placed on Honey.

Don’t worry, guys,” I tell them. “You’ll be ok once we’re a few hundred yards away. When you can move again, I suggest that you go think about giving up your life of crime. If you don’t, I’ll come back here and turn you both into skunks.” I smile sweetly, but menacingly. One of the boys wets himself.

As we start to drive away, I notice that there is a white dog in the middle of the road. No, not a dog, a wolf. Right there in the middle of the road in the middle of town and nobody, including Dak, seems to notice him. Ok, more ring Magic, just for good old Mick.

The wolf gets up and saunters south, which is the way I was going to turn anyway. After a few seconds, he just fades away. I know what this is all about, what with being half Cherokee and all. This is a spirit guide, sent to tell me how to get to where I need to go. After hearing about such things all my life, I’ve got to admit this is pretty great.

I tell Dak about the spirit guide and he takes it in stride. He tells me that his people sometimes have spirit guides appear to them in times of danger. As we chat, I’m beginning to remember that Elves and Native People have a whole lot in common. I’m wondering what North and South America would be like if Columbus and his crew had all died in a big storm or something.

After a couple of hours pass, I’m sure of two things: I have more than one type of spirit guide, because I’ve seen white deer, white birds, white rodents and even a white swarm of bees. I’m also sure that I’m hungry enough to eat a pine cone.

A few minutes later, we enter a small town that has two diners on opposite sides of the road. In the middle of the road sits a fat white raccoon, rubbing his belly, then pointing to the right.

Who knew that spirit guides gave diner reviews?