Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Title Used To Be Much...Angrier

I came across this weird lampoon of Lovecraft and those spaced-out Krofft Brothers nightmares of the 70s, H.R.PUFNSTUF and SIGMUND & THE SEA MONSTER. I have one Lovecraftian tale of my own, something I had originally given a much more vile name to. It's a fun story, for those of you that have not read or heard the story yet.


By Wayne Allen Sallee

The last thing Dick Therrio needed, particularly at ten minutes until the shift change, was to have to listen to some crazed drunk running scared from one of his D.T.’s. Truth be told, he didn’t necessarily like to hear the same when he was watching one of those TV reality shows, like Fear Factor or the local evening news.
It had been a long four-to-twelve for Therrio. As the lone cop on the evening shift in Innsmouth Heights, a half- hour’s drive west of Chicago along the Eisenhower Expressway, though still close enough to get some big city crime spillover , the day had started with him leaving the house with mismatched argyle socks (one of the local hookers had said once that argyle made him look taller in person), pulling a cat from a tree, gingerly frisking a transvestite on Innsmouth Avenue, fielding several Laundromats where the South Side Bra Chewer might have been seen, climbing another tree to retrieve what he highly suspected was the same feline, and having a slower-than-usual bowel movement which, if he had been home, would’ve lasted through three puzzles on Wheel of Fortune.
Ten lousy more minutes, and he’d have been down the block to My Donut Heaven, where they had just started their “Show Me The Sprinkles” sale on strawberry glazed. Instead, he was feigning patience as H. P. Bolero, the town’s oldest stewbum, told him the last time anything strange like this had occurred to him was that time in the pool hall last summer when it turned out that everybody he met was named Steve.
“What is it now, H.P.?” Therrio asked without getting up. Even so, they were almost eye-level, what with Bolero’s having shrunken with age. And though he kept it to himself, Therrio did take notice that Bolero had a wilder than average look in his eyes, as though he really did see some hideous creature from perdition’s maw. More than likely, the bum’s crazed visage could be explained by Innsmouth Finance finally repossessing Bolero’s home; a grape-colored 1974 AMC Pacer, currently in repose behind the burnt-out one-screen cinema on Scoville Avenue.
Innsmouth Heights had a propensity for macabre occurrences back in the 1950s, “Draculs and Am’tyville thangs” was how the old-timers described them. Therrio considered the times, though; even the killer the newspaper had dubbed The Sumbitch Horror, along with all the other weirdities, were blown all out of proportion because of communism and LSD.
Indeed, in his 23 years with the police department (counting five years with Andy Frain as an usher at Wrigley Field), the only strange things Therrio had seen involved chemical dependencies: an ancient rumdum with Evercleer in his veins who liked to stumble for handouts at the various train stops along the Eisenhower Expressway, “The Shambler On The Ike” was his unofficial nickname, and Berwyn Croscetto, an artist who lived in neighboring Innsmouth Hills, in the same trailer park as Therrio’s aunt Merline, and who believed he was cursed by an ancient chicken-god from the Yucatan named N’YarlthLopez, and he blamed this malediction for his frequent abuse of amphetamines.
When Bolero said nothing, Therrio prompted him by sneering at him like Elvis. Thinking about jelly donuts helped. “I’m a busy man, H. P.”
“Sorry, Officer Therrio.” Bolero sounded like some Hawaiian native who’d been eating paste. “My gums got stuck together. See, tonight it was Jake’s time to use the false teeth, and...” his voice trailed off. Well, that explains that, Therrio mumbled under his breath, thinking that sharing a toothbrush with your dog was bad enough.
“And now Jake is dead. Devoured! False teeth and all,” Bolero blubbered, looking more like he was dyspeptic. “Officer Therrio, I done lost my best buddy!”
Therrio averted his gaze discreetly, focusing on the Victoria’s Secret catalogue next to the stack of Field Investigation cards he’d one day file away. “From the beginning, H. P. Give it to me,” he wasn’t necessarily directing that last part to the old-timer.
“It was all white and scuzzy, and it came out of a crypt at the cem’tery, it oozed underneath the door even though it had all these eyes and feeler-like things,” Bolero stopped, his throat making clicking sounds as he gasped for air. He described how he and Jake had ended up where they did, and Therrio thought reflectively that Bolero hadn’t said so much in one breath since that time he was arrested after The Doobie Brothers farewell concert at InnsmouthFest. He’d told Therrio how he had been cornered by elderly women, nearly blind by cataracts and Night Train Express, who insisted that he was Antonio Vargas, the actor who played Huggy Bear on Starsky & Hutch and for some reason wanted him to pose with them in a group photo.
“Officer Therrio, I swear, it was some...some kinda dagnab crap from frappin’ hell!” Tears welled in his eyes as he mouthed the name Jake silently.
Once Therrio had heard that the attack occurred at the old Fassl Cemetery, of which going there on a direct line would let him pass right by My Donut Heaven, well, his eyes glazed over like the bloated, caulk-like doughnuts all Innsmouth Heights cops got to eat for free. He left Bolero to sit by the desk until Gallardo came in at 12:15, and he told the stewbum to answer any phone calls with the phrase “and don’t call here again!” before hanging up with mock anger. The routine usually worked for him on those busy week nights when he was out of sorts in his nether-regions.
Therrio took the lingerie catalogue with him, though he knew Bolero wouldn’t even have touched it, as the only way old H. P. Could get an erection would be by sticking his L’il Thunderbird into an electric socket. Therrio himself was so horny at times that simply looking at doughnuts in a glass display case might cause him to attain a blue-veiner.
Now, half an hour later, Therrio had given the cemetery a full search, even asking teenage wannabe satanists out at the south end, chanting to the great beyond in back of the trainyard. He could not find any trace of Jake’s dead body, and when the suspect pair of shared dentures he found near the crypt section turned out to be a gnawed bicycle hand grip, he was ready to believe that Bolero’s brain had finally popped its last rod.
All the walking gave him a need to urinate, and he concentrated more on not dribbling on the magazine, instead of seeing what was oozing in the shadow. A blob of monster ejaculate burbled over the late Jake’s rib cage and false choppers. It was some kinda dagnab crap from frappin’ hell, all right, though Therrio might describe it in more colorful terminolgy.
He released his pump handle to the cool night air and his vitamin-fortified stream gushed out. The shapeless, godless thing crawled over the policeman’s shoes. Therrio sighed as only a man emptying a full bladder can.
Then...horribly, the sigh became a shriek.