I just saw a show on the discovery channel about some researchers trying to take some pictures of your cousins and kin off the coast of New Zealand. Not only were the researchers not attacked in their submersible, devoured, or laughed at by your kind, but there wasn't even a hint of your minions’ existence. They tried turning off the lights and being really quiet and everything. What gives?? Why so camera shy?
Oh, and also, this guy was like fondling your dead cousin, flopping its mating tentacle around with his bare hands and squeezing sperm out of it and then sticking his fingers in THAT. Squidly necrophilia. It was not pretty.
Yours, of course,
Reading your query, my whipcrack mind immediately latched onto the image of my dear Cousin Willem, who lives within the very demi-hemisphere you describe. My triple-heart skipped a triplet of beats, then burst into a panicked trip-hammering. Hysterical and grief stricken—yet simultaneously hopeful, as it was, after a manner, entirely unthinkable that Cousin Willem should have been killed and molested by sinister medicos. Following the siren song of this Featherless Hope so I jotted out a sloppy missive and posted it to him post haste and par avion. Within the month I received a response, insisting he was fine, asking how I had become gripped in such an odd impression, and bearing Willem's signature.
Of course, I expected forgery in addition to foul play. You had mentioned discovering this grizzly video footage upon some broadcast channel. I know that many of my fellow denizens of this Weary Pines Park of the non-mobile homes are great gourmands of the televisual programming—some are even possessed of the much-coveted "cable satellite"—and so I asked around and about the grisly and perverse "show" you described.
"I HAVE RECEIVED REPORTS THAT THERE IS AVAILABLE A 'SHOW' OF MY COUSIN'S CORPSE BEING SEXUALLY MOLESTED, POSSIBLY BY A DOCTOR OR DOCTORS. HAVE YOU SEEN SUCH A VIDEO?"
There was a loud "kertwhang!" as Donny's attempted three-points shot struck the hoop, bouncing and skittering erratically off into the bushes.
"Brick!" his opponent, Jarwaun, called out jovially as Trael, Jarwaun's young sibling, himself skittered basketball-like after the ball gone foul.
"Damn!" Donny exclaimed, "Did you put him up to that?" he asked Jarwaun, who replied with a headshake, still smiling broadly, showing all 88 of his pearly little blunt teeth.
"Mr. Squid, you can't just blurt stuff like that out when I'm shooting." Earlier that week Donny had removed the fiberglass cast applied to his leftern arm following the less-than-auspicious conclusion of our bridge misadventure. His arm had been eel-like, hidden away in the forgotten cove of the cast. And like an eel, his skin, having been concealed from the sun's harsh visage, was sallow and sheened, coated in a strange, thin coat of straight black hairs. It appeared thinner than the right arm. Donny absently ran the nails of his right hand down the eel-ish left arm, rasping up small flakes of the scaly, sinister skin.
"APOLOGIES, SMALL VASSAL. HAVE YOU SEEN SUCH PROGRAMS, WHERE THEY DISPLAY AND EXAMINE CORPSES? EVEN TOUCHING UPON THEM IN A SEXUAL MANNER, CAUSING THE REFLEXIVE EXPULSION OF SEMINAL FLUID? I FEAR FOR MY COUSIN WILLEM'S GOOD HEALTH."
Trael, shoulders slumped, handed the basket's ball back to Donny, who took it without looking at the small boy.
"I guess, man. I mean, I've seen a lot of nature shows, they do some crazy—"
"Donny, we seen—" but Donny shooshed Jarwaun, so that we might continue our own discourse.
"SHOWS IN WHICH IT IS DEPICTED THE MILKING OF THE DEAD'S MATING TENTACLE, WITH THE SPERMATOZOA FLOWING FREELY AND COPIOUSLY THERE-FORTH ACROSS THE SACRILEGIOUS HANDS OF THE GODLESS SCIENTISTS?"
"Donny," Jarwaun whined, "Remember? Last summer? It was Search for the Gian—" but Donny made the shooshing gestures of the hand so that he might speak.
"Uhmm . . ." He looked away, off towards the stunted scrub trees that form a thin scrim about the Non-Mobile HomePark, "I've seen . . . I don't think I'd know if it was your cousin. I mean, I've seen shows with specimens that looked like you—but, you know, dead—and—"
"WILLEM DOES NOT LOOK THE BIT LIKE ME; HE IS A COUSIN VIA CUSTOM OF MARRIAGE."
"Well, yeah," he examined the horizon, then the clouds above, "To you I bet he looks totally different, but for us, any old squid would look about the same."
"MY COUSIN WILLEM IS NOT A SQUID.
Donny now redirected his eyes toward me. "What?"
"HE IS THE HUMAN HUSBAND OF MY COUSIN CHTHULI-ANNE. SHE IS REALLY QUITE OF DISTANT RELATION, THEOUGH WE TERM OUR BLOOD-BOND 'COUSIN' FOR THE SAKE OF CONVENIENCE AND CLARITY AND KINDNESS TO ONE'S CHOSEN FAMILY."
"Your cousin is a dude? A man-dude?" Jarwaun asked, brows stitched and eyes forever skeptical.
"HE IS A KIND AND COMPASSIONATE FELLOW—WE DO OFT CALL HIM 'SWEET WILLEM'—HE PILOTS THE BIG-RIG TRUCK IN THE MERRY OLD LAND OF AUSTRALIA, AND I AM CONCERNED THAT HE HAS BEEN MURDERED SO THAT HE MIGHT BE NECROPHILIACALLY ASSAULTED AND BATTERED. I CONTACTED HIM VIA POSTAL MAIL, AND HAVE RECEIVED A REPLY, BUT AM DOUBTFUL OF ITS PROVENANCE AS BEING FROM HIS HAND."
"Is this why you need a stamp the other day?"
"NO, THAT STAMP WAS FOR THE KODAK PROFESSIONAL ULTRA COLOR FILMS FOUR-PACK REBATE SUBMISSION. THIS I SENT NIGH UNTO ONE MONTH AGO. BUT NOW I AM SUFFERED TO LEARN THAT AN ENTIRE GENRE OF PROGRAMMING EXISTS DEDICATED TO SUCH ABOMINATION, AND I FEAR THREE-FOLD MORE FOR WILLEM UNDER THE COLD, EXPLORATORY HANDS F PERVERT PHYSICIANS AND SOUL-LESS PRODUCERS."
"No no no no no!" Donny said, waving his hands in front of him, "No, I didn't understand, at first, that you're cousin was a norm—a, uh, human guy. No, there are no shows where they dissect people's, um, sexual organs and stuff. No."
Trael did speak up from the sidelines "I seen that video."
"What?" Jarwaun asked, confused.
Trael kept his eyes upon the ground, the bare moist dirt at the edge of the basketball's asphalt court. "I seen the video Mr. President Squid talkin' 'bout, where they touch the dead man. In his Area."
"What?" Jarwaun repeated, now incredulous.
"On the Internet. I seen it on YouTube."
"What did you see, Trael?" Donny asked.
"It's just like Mr. President Squid said, they had a dead white man—he was all pale, paler than white—and a man was rubbin' on him down there and then . . . stuff came out."
"POOR SWEET WILLEM!" I gasped.
"You ain't s'posed to be on the Internet when no one around, Trae."
"I know." Trael sniffled mightily. "I don't, anymore. Not anymore."
"DID HE HAVE A CHROMED HOOK IN PLACE OF HIS LEFT HAND?"
"What the fuck?" Donny gasped, seeming exasperated.
Trael thought for a long time. He looked at his tiny hands, at their chocolate-brown backs and cream palms. His hands were very clean, even the pinky curves of nail and cuticle.
"No." He said, "I'm sure, he had two hands."
Had I lungs and breath to hold in them, I would have let fourth a great sigh of relief. "THIS NATURE SHOW YOU OBSERVED, TRAEL, THE MAN IT FEATURED WAS NOT MY COUSIN WILLEM."
"Your cousin," Donny said slowly, "Is a female squid, married to a one-armed Australian trucker?"
"ONE-HANDED, DEAR DONNY. HE HAS HIS TWO NATURAL ARMS, ONE NATURAL HAND, AND HAND FASHIONED IN THE BOWELS OF SCIENCE. IT WAS CRAFTED TO REPLACE A HAND HE LOST IN AN AUTOMOTIVE COLLISION INVOLVING INTOXICATED YOUTHS AND A FARMING TRACTOR."
At this point we were interrupted by Hazel, who jigglingly jogged out to the basket ball's court where we stood "jawing."
"Hey, hon," she huffed, out of breath from her brief run, "I'm gonna go to the store. We need anythin'?"
"ALL-PURPOSE WHITE BLEACHED FLOUR. I WISH TO BAKE THE SCONES AGAIN."
Hazel smiled, eyes a sparkle.
"TRAEL AND DONNY HAVE CONVINCED ME THAT COUSIN WILLEM IS WELL."
She rolled her eyes, and planted upon my anti-bathysphere dome a brief kiss.
"See, I told you you were gettin' all worked up for nuthin'."
A pink blush flushed across my headsac as I nodded. Her kiss had left a lingering smear over my leftern, optically perfect eye, but I was loath to rub it away, despite its deleterious effect on my stereoscopic vision. I closed my starboard eye and peered out through this kiss-smudge, and all the world was rose-red and worthy of love and perfect in the dappled dusklight.
"See y'all in a few," and she jogged away, briefly plucking the hem of her "hot pants" down from their implacable upward creep.
Donny passed the basket's ball to Jarwaun. "I'm glad your cuz's well, Mr. Squid, but I gotta go home," he announced. And he did. Or, in the least, he did leave the court, and Jarwaun and Trael left soon after.
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