I have determined upon my last set of adventures, and upon the basis of the low status of my new existence that I should wholeheartedly embrace these advices kind of the Madame McPherson. I shall, on the occasion, endeavor to do the thingsome, and grip tightly the Destinies of Life.
And so, upon a laseréd Saturn's Day I did seek out the Boy McPhereson, the Donny, who so often knows the manner and nature of things hidden when we do roll the dices in his semi-permanent tent upon an evening, to see if he knew of what was upon the ups, or where were the downs.
I stood a few of the human paces back from his window to wait the patiently for his ejection from slumber.
Sooner then I did expect, he called out: "Mr. Squid?" His voice was muffled, his lips sticky with the drying film of monkeysleep. "I can hear your legs creaking, Mr. Squid. It's early."
Politely, I did whisper my roar: "D-MONSTER, I SEEK YOUR AID."
There was a long pause, and I did listen to the robins cry "havoc!" across the canopied sky of the Shadeful Pines Mobile Homes Courtyard. There have been, upon these many weeks as spring comes to a close, small skirmishes between warring factions of the Robins Breasted-Red. Now they have young, newly hatched, hopping about the ground, and the adults do swoop and cry most viciously. I have, on the occasion, attempted to broker a settlement in these disputes, but the tiny creatures use a language both persistent and indecipherable, and their shell-feathers are so wondrously fragile.
At that, I felt distantly the aquatic disturbance of my anti-bathysphere being struck. Gazing down with my optically perfect eye, I did see D-Man striking a nexus of metallic joints with a short length of iron pipe. When he caught of my eye, he did wave.
"You thinkin' on the birds again, Mr. Squid?"
"I DO WORRY THAT THIS WAR OF THEIRS MIGHT ESCALATE AND LITTER OUR YARD WITH THEIR ROTTING DEAD."
"Dude, you've gotta let the birds alone. They can't understand when you put those tiny speakers in their nests, and it just freaks them the fuck out."
" THIS IS ALL TO THE SIDE OF THE MATTER, D-MONSTER. I COME SEEKING YOUR AID.""Where do you even get tiny speakers like those? They're like, the size of quarters."
Frustrated, I cut through the side-, double-, and small-the-talk. " I SEEK THE ACTIVITIES ENGAGING AND INVIGORATING, DONALD. I AM WITHOUT BOTH THE DIRECTION AND THE VELOCITY OF MY FORMER EXISTENCE. I AM BOTH THE BORED AND THE SAWED, AND POSSIBLY THE WEDGED, AND OFTEN I DO FEEL THE SCREWED. THESE ARE ALL OF THE EMOTIONS YOU DO FEEL AS ASSOCIATED TO YOUR SIMPLE HAND-TOOLS, INVENTED BY THAT GRIM GIMP TROLL VULCAN? YES? I AM ALSO THE INCLINED, PLANED, AND SOMETIMES THE BLOCK-OF-THE-TACKLED WITH SULLENNESS. MY EMOTIONS OF THE INACTIVE DEPRESSION DO RUN UP AND DOWN THE GAMUT LIKE UNTO THE RATS TRAPPED IN THEIR MAIZE ABOUT TO FILL WITH BUCOLIC ACIDS, DESPERATELY TRYING TO EAT THEIR MANY WAYS OUT, COLONEL BY COLONEL."
Donnie had sat upon the block stoop of his trailing unit. He looked up at me, and finally I did step back slightly.
"Are you finished, Mr. Squid?"
"Are you bored, Mr. Squid?"
"You want to take me on some errands."
"Can you stop yelling?"
I knelt the down so that the D-Monster, most monkey-like, could clamber up upon my carapace. Hazel had affixed a clever system of ropes and handles to facilitate this endeavor. When she first tested this out, I ambled slowly about the Mobile Park and the gathered children whooped and waved. It was proclaimed that I was indeed the Sky-Walker, and she my Yoda. The invocation of the Holy Trilogy of Human Films always bodes well for creation, destruction and like occurrences.
"ARE YOU FIRMLY AFFIXED, DONALD?"
"CHECK THE WHAT, DONNIE? ARE YOU INDICATING A DIRECTION?"
"Let's just head up the road, Mr. Squid."
And so we did march upon the autotrail of Groesbeck in the early sunlight, the cars of the Saturn's Day were slow and irregular, the trail mostly clear of all traffics.
Donnie did indicate the pauses and the turns by striking my rigid carapace with his short length of pipe. He might make a clang upon my back, and then lean forward to point with the pipe in the direction of travel. We did but talk very little as I marched down the wide boulevards of the Detroit Warren, the Village of Roses, and the Eastern Pointe (neé "East Detroit").
First, we did make the stop at a large faux-stone-paved meadow upon which were lined great and many rows of automobiles. Surrounding the meadow were great be-brickéd cubes with large glowing letters affixed to their fronts. They all did look very much like the Walled-Garden-of-The-Martens—cuddly and cunning comerchants, they!—that was visited by myself and Dearest Hazel, lo these many weeks ago. In this case we did approach the greatest of these stone boxes, the one entitled "The Warehouse Containing Shoes at a Substantial Discount"—or somesuch similar thing—and at the monkey-sized doorway, I did lean forward and allow D-Monster to dismount and enter.
He emerged minutes later with a plasticine satchel containing a corrugated box.
"WHAT IS INSIDE OF THE BOX, DONALD?"
"Shoes," he did say, climbing back upon my back.
"AH, YES, FOR YOUR 'FEET'."
And we did march back across the firm meadow, and I made careful to avoid stumbling, for it is my observed and confirmed opinion that an automobile is a most difficult encumbrance to divest oneself of, once one has affixed it to a titanium hunting tentacle.
Upon the secondly, and after the occasional beatings by D-Monster upon the metal of my backside, we did proceed stumblingly down the Avenue of the Ratchets, as he did call it, and at what the D-Man did call a Stripping Mall, we did turn into a smaller paved meadow, a veritable paved lawn, and I did carefully pick amongst the older and less perfectly aligned rows of automobiles.
"OF WHAT SORT OF STRIPPING DOES THIS MALL SPECIALIZE? STRIPPING OF THE FIRST ORDER, INVOLVING THE MAMMARY GLANDS OF THE FEMALE OF YOUR SPECIES? STRIPPING OF THE SECOND ORDER, INVOLVING THE CHEMICAL SOLVENTS AND THE REMOVAL OF PETROLEUM BASED COATINGS? OR STRIPPING OF A THIRD, UNKNOWN, AND POSSIBLY TERRIBLE VARIETY INVOLVING THE CONFLATION OF THESE ACTIONS?" The last I did ask most anxiously.
Donnie slipped down to the pavement and did proceed across the way to one of several small domiciles with deep set windows and glass doorways. These passages were even smaller, and the arranged lettering even nearer to my optically perfect eye. I slouched upon the walk of the side, and he did, without a word, enter through a glass doorway with a sign above it in human-hand-sized letterings. The place of presumed business was call the Maniac Collecting Place for Crazed Dirt Chimps, or, somesuch name, which I do forget.
Donnie remained inside for many long minutes and I did try to approach the window so that I could peer on the inside of the brick edifice, but there were too many automobiles upon the way, and I did not want to get stuck amongst the crinkling metals, brittle "safe-T" glass and easily punctured cushions.
Eventually, Donald did emerge with a slender sack of the brown papers.
"AHA! A PAPERED SACK OF THE BROWN 'GROCERY' VARIETY! AS THE WRITINGS OF YOUR HUMAN HISTORIAN MARCUS THE TWICE-TWAINED DID EDUCATE ME, THESE ARE CONSTRUCTED OF THE HIDES OF THE DEADLY MUMMIES OF EGYPTIAN-LAND, YES? YOU DID FIGHT WITH THE MUMMIES, STRIP THEM OF THEIR GRUESOME HIDES—THIS BEING THE SECRET STRIPPING PURPOSE OF THIS MALL OF STRIPPING—AND HAVE NOW EMERGED VICTORIOUS WITH YOUR TROPHY, YES? AND YOU DID NOT CALL ME BECAUSE YOU WISH TO HOLD BACK OF THE 'GUNS EXTRA LARGE' YES? I AM YOUR CAVALRY? YOUR MOUNTED FORCE THAT SHALL TERRIFY AND DESTROY THOSE THAT DO NOT FALL UNDER YOUR OWN PIPE-SWINGING, MONKEY-FISTED BARRAGE?"
"Dude, I got some comics. Now, c'mon, lean down."
I did kneel and he did climb upon my back.
"Yeah, Mr. Squid?" We did march further on down the Avenue of the Ratchets.
"WHEN SHALL WE ENGAGE IN THE ADVENTURES? IT WAS YOUR MOTHER'S ADVICE THAT I MUST SEIZE OF MY DESTINY, AND I SEE OFTEN IN OUR WEEKLY ENCOUNTERS THAT YOU KNOW MUCH OF THE ADVENTURING AND THE ACTION, AND SO I DETERMINED THAT I WOULD ACCOMPANY YOU UPON A WEEK-THE-END DAY WHEN WE WERE BOTH OFF FROM THE WORKING AND I WOULD AVAIL MYSELF OF THE ACTIONS YOU MUST ASSUREDLY ENCOUNTER OFTEN, AS EVIDENCED BY YOUR WISDOM IN THE COLLABORATIVE STORY TELLING WE ENGAGE IN."
I suspect he did sigh, but he was distant upon the top of my suit and we were marching down the trail as the sun did rise up quickly to the noontime glare. He clanged a few of the times, and pointed, and we did take many side streets amongst the low brick bungalows. The traffic had grown denser upon the primary thoroughfares, and I was growing tired of our meanderings.
Finally, we did come to a small house that had, by forces beyond my reckoning or understanding, been entirely cut off from its brethren abodes and now did stand alone amongst vacant lots and storage tanks of varying sizes. A large, angled autotrail was beyond an overgrown field, and a rusting track of rails did run alongside. Further still was a massive complex of buildings whose purpose was entirely mysterious.
The abode was weathered brick, the lot covered in gravel and dead woody plants of an assorted variety. I could sense the electric quality of the air, even through my feculent tank water, and I wondered if it did not have something to do with the two-inch thick electrical delivery cable which ran into the back of the house, so old and decayed that all of the shielding had unraveled to expose dense coils of deadly, electrified steel.
I knelt to allow for Donnie's sliding egress, but he did quietly demur, only leaning forward from his position to gather up a handful of pebbles from the lawn. As I righted myself and took a careful wide-tentacled stance at the curb, Donnie called out:
"Hey, Justin!" He tossed a pebble at the window of the house. It think against the rotting wood frame.
"Fuck-off, Donnie! I ain't messin' around!" A voice echoed from deep in the house.
"Give it back, you bastard!" Donnie hurled another stone, this one putting a substantial dent into the wooden door.
"This ain't high school any more, you little prick. I don't have to worry about shit." The voice replied, more laconic in its second emission.
A third stone arched from the back of my suit to come crashing through the wide plate glass of the home's front window.
There was a long pause.
Cars rumbled by on the auto-trail beyond the vacant lots. A train lurched along in the distance. "This bastard stole my hat in the eleventh grade. He's a total prick," Donnie said quietly to my inter-communicative device. "He used to trip me and shit. All the fucking time."
There emerged from the dented door a dirt-chimp of the same general age and demeanor as my Master D-Man, though his clothes were the more stained, and his skin did seem most dry and creased, as though he were a brother to Donald, save he had been left in the hot son for a few days too long. He did beneath his eyes have sallow and sagging bits of flesh, and there were numerous scars up and down the flesh of his arms.
I did have a good and full vision of the inner flesh of his right arm, for this arm was extended to us directly, though I think not in friendship. At its end, this arm bore a steel pistollero which shone dull blue in the diffuse noon sun of the Roseville early summer.
"Bang bang, Pencil Dick," said The Justin, upon immediately stepping out from the door.
He held the gun aloft, the barrel gaping at us like a shocked eye.
The Justin stared. His eyes appeared to swim. Donnie slunk behind the rim where my carapace locked with the plexi dome of my suit. A slender line of mucus ran from The Justin's nostril, like the slime trail of a Land Snail.
"Let's fuck this guy up, Mr. Squid. Like, let's break his windows some more or something."
"What the fuck is going on, Donnie?"
"YOU WISH TO 'FUCK' UP THE CHIMP, DONALD."
"You can yell, Mr. Squid."
"Who are you talking... what are you riding on... Donnie?"
"TO WHAT LEVEL OF THE 'UP' SHALL WE TAKE THIS FUCKING, D-MONSTER?" I was most pleased to sense that destiny and action were presented in front of me. Adventure was finally here, at the tip of my tentacles.
"Is this some kind of nerd car, you little shit?"
Donnie hurled his final stone and it did strike The Justin in his left shoulder. Justin flinched, the gun still aloft.
"OW! You fucker. That fucking hurt. I don't even have your fucking hat!"
"Now, Mr. Squid."
"HOW UP SHALL WE FUCK HIM, D-MONSTER?"
"Is that some kind of fucking megaphone? What the fuck is this?" The Justin finally faltered, his confusion outweighing his anger, the gun drooping to half-raised.
"All the way up, Mr. Squid. All the fucking way!"
And so I flung out a titanium encased hunting tentacle, piercing the remaining window of the front of the house so quickly that at first it didn't break. At first there was merely a pop, a small hole opening in the glass. And then the panel did explode. I let the tentacle drop, tearing through the wooden frame, rending the brick facade asunder, pulling back through a cloud of gypsum and dust. I had, in one quick motion, cleaved a water pipe and an electrical cable, sparks and spray emitting from the wound in the wall.
The Justin let two bullets of lead fly in quick succession, each bouncing from the front plate of my auto-velocitation suit. He turned to flee, but just as he did, I withdrew one hunting tentacle and shot forward the second, stumbling forward only slightly.
The hunting tentacle pinned Justin's tiny gun-gripping appendage to the hood of his vehicle, a Metro Geologique, the slender titanium spike straight through the bones and meat of his elbow.
And then I found, to my frustration, that the engine block of the Metro Geologique is as binding and vexsome as all other cars, a mass of ductile metals as clingy as the wettened corn's starch, and doubly so when smeared about with the blood, gristle and tendons of a distasteful grunt chimp.
"DONALD," I did say, "IT WOULD BE MOST USEFUL IF YOU COULD PRODUCE A BROAD THE SWORD, OR AN AXE OF BATTLE SO THAT WE MIGHT CLEAVE THIS FIENDS FLESH IN TWAIN. I BELIEVE I AM QUITE STUCK."
But from the D-Monster, I did receive no reply.
Justin howled and writhed as his fore-limb dangled lower and lower, the stringed muscles stretching and snapping and dropping his tiny limb to the paved ground below.
Donny but whimpered at my side, and for a full ten minutes I did have to squish and crush and tear at the bone-flesh, lead, steel, fiber glass and copper my being was embedded in. Twice did The Justin moan, but finally, with a red gush, this did cease, and then I was free except for those un-becoming chunks of skin and muscle and bone meal which did adhere to the metal of my suit.
All in all, I was mildly disappointed.
"IS THERE A FOURTH OF THE ERRANDS UPON YOUR LIST, D-MONSTER?"
"No," he did whisper.
"WOULD YOU LIKE TO, THEN, DISPLAY YOUR NEW SHOES FOR ME? WHEN HAZEL HAS NEWLY PROCURED COVERINGS FOR HER PRIMATE HOOVES, SHE IS WONT OFTEN TO SHOW OF THEM OFF TO ME, AND I AM LEAD TO BELIEVE THIS PLEASES HER. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHOW OF THEM OFF?"
"No," he whispered again, and then emitted a great amount of vomitus.
"AH. YOU SUFFER OF THE INDIGESTION. PERHAPS IT IS SOME MATTER THAT YOU ATE WHICH WAS INAPPROPRIATELY PREPARED< OR PERHAPS DISEASED IN LIFE. IN ANY CASE, THEN IT IS TO HOME, WE GO, YES? A LAZY, LASERED SATURN'S DAY HAS BEEN PASSED WITH OUR INCONSEQUENTIAL ENDEAVORS, YES? THIS IS THE LIFE OF SIMPLE FOLK LIKE YOU AND I, YES?"
"Yeah," he replied.
And this did we acquit our day together.
I hope soon that we will find adventure in these lands of ours. But for today, I suppose we have done enough.
Your Giant Squid
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Copyright (c) 2000, 2004, David Erik Nelson, Fritz Swanson, Morgan Johnson