Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fourth quartet


















Given the intricate intertext that I've subtly woven not once, not twice but thrice, I shall gift thee a chance to play catch-up as catch can. Caught up? Splendid. Tune in next paragraph and subsequent ones for the exciting conclusion to Being the Continuing Continued Adventures of Leon Czolgosz, Irishman.

The turgid roar of unseen turboprops cut through the night, as dark and stormy as the last, yet now distended with the shellshock of Gatling gunned thunderbolts flashing a glance at the steel speeding out of earshot. To the layman, they were simply airplanes. To this Irish agent, the unmistakable whine of political hubris. To this Irish agent lost in the Kingdom, and lost he was, so far off his Occidental mission that he might as well have been working for the Khanate of Cathay. Crouching underneath a precipitation-plundered plum tree, Leon lifted his faux-leather bomber over his head, sculpting just enough dry space to espy the daguerreotype suggestively slipped into his pocket by those ruby-tipped fingers.

"Yeesh, what an ugly motherfucker." Locating this unseemly contact, the one who would ostensibly be able to answer all of his questions -- or so that supposed Daughter of a Bohemian Yugoslav said -- this hideous love child of a leprosy-stricken Liszt and John Merrick, was going to prove easier done than said.

Reaching the covered gate of the castle compound hiding cozily underneath the skirt of Belgrade, Leon hid his faux-leather bomber in the bushy, roadside mud to reveal a suit whose swank would have impressed the son of Beau Brummel if there was still such a creature but we all sadly remember his state funeral on radio, and popped a Winston-Salem, taking a cool drag that fooled the guard just enough to gain him entry.

Wading neck-deep through black tie, black dress, black caviar and, eerily, row after circle after rhombus of too-white teeth, he slowly ascended the gently curving Cararra marble staircase with a velvety élan, instantly recalling his voluptuous captor who, even at distance, cast a smoothly electric gaze that all but erased this too-beautiful crowd, a lush, gaslit hum illuminating -- ah, there, in the northeast corner amidst the murk, his homely quarry.

"Yeesh, what an ugly motherfucker."

"Monsieur?"

"Get gone, garçon," retorted the determined Dubliner as he quickly snatched a snifter of champagne, copped a canape and descended, all in one fell swoop. Sweeping across the parquet, he made an A-line for the hideous monstrosity, none other than the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Forcibly welling up every wellspring of willpower, Leon gently but firmly and most importantly, revoltingly, clutched the Minister's upper limb.

"Ministru, aş dori o vorbă cu tine, te rog."

His eyes instantly glazed over as if someone had poured sugar on them and deftly applied a low flame, for he, like all provincial Yankee double agents, knew no second language.

"Eu spun, domnule ministru, aţi --"

In a continent of shock, Leon stumbled backwards, only a tapestry-laden column keeping him upright until he eventually slumped down in a heap resembling a scorched pile of Hamburger Helper. Futilely gasping for air, a long shadow pierced his personal space, becoming ever darker as the ample assets of the girl with the coffin curl came into view, a ruby-nailed digit flipping his upper lip as her neon-green eyes permeated his every sweaty thought.

"Just as I suspected. No one dare speak the language of the Empire in public save an adult film industry defector -- or the enemy."

"Vai!"

"Oh, my dear, dear Paddy. 'tis a shame you won't have time to get used to those pearly fangs. Someday, I might even have let you take a drink of me," she said, scraping the drop of scarlet beading down his chin, the ruby nail taken hungrily into her mouth.

"Dar de ce?"

"The kingdom's loins needed girding, darling, and you're the grease for the gears of war. Officer, in the name of his Imperial Majesty, arrest this Transylvanian vampire."

As the Yugoslavs roughly dragged him away, Leon cursed the day he learned to play whist.
Chicks. Oh,

fin.

18 comments:

Übermilf said...

You have used many words I like, such as "turgid," "girding" and "whist."

However, that guy does NOT have an Irish name. You thought you'd get that past me, but I'm just too clever for your games!

Also, I don't believe in neon-green eyes.

MRMacrum said...

The best installment yet. Damn that was good. But is it really "fin"?

Hope not.

"easier done than said"

Clever and it made me chuckle.

Tengrain said...

Graves, you swine!

Seek professional help, 'K?

Regards,

Tengrain

Holte Ender said...

So, is the moral of the story, Beware of card-playing Slavs?

Sherry Peyton said...

Is this the new trailer for the Halo movie? I was out getting my popcorn and soda. Hope I didn't miss much.

Dusty said...

Always interesting, usually funny... dude..you never disappoint.

It's a sad day in the blogosphere...Jon Swift has left us. ;(

Randal Graves said...

übermilf, you expect gritty realism from me? Methinks someone's had another bottle of Nyquil.

mrmacrum, thank you, sir. And hey, vampires are already dead, so I'm willing to sell out for another post. Hard cash.

tengrain, I can't help it that I'm slowly going bald.

holte, what do you think was the original cause of the historical tension in the Balkans?

sherry, a shame that that hype machine is getting its own flick, but Castlevania has yet to. Bastards.

dusty, only usually? I'd say I'd try harder, but we both know that's a lie. I saw that, and it sucks. Now that was a funny dude.

Cormac Brown said...

"Leon Czolgosz, Irishman"

Then why is there a picture of Swede and Ava?

Tom Harper said...

Faith and Begorrah, whist claims another victim.

Liberality said...

Chicks. What about them? :)

S.W. Anderson said...

Bravo! This is full of nice touches, with the occasional jarring reference. For example, ahem:

" . . . the determined Dubliner as he quickly snatched a snifter of champagne,"

No, no, no, a determined Dubliner would leave the highfalutin bubbly to fey continentals, reaching instead for a tall glass of (urp) warm stout.

However, you quickly recovered with an inspired bit of richly descriptive detail, with:

". . . slumped down in a heap resembling a scorched pile of Hamburger Helper."

Not one other creative writer in all the world would've come up with that. It's the kind of thing that keeps your stuff exciting and challenging.

Randal Graves said...

cormac, poetic license, my man.

tom, it's a brutal game.

liberality, they're great. ;-)

SWA, ah, but sir, would not a determined Dubliner, in the absence of said glass of warm stout not reach for the only available adult beverage? Begging drunks can't be choosers.

TomCat said...

When does the publisher get it?

Demeur said...

Does this mean the zombies will be back too?

Beach Bum said...

...he slowly ascended the gently curving Cararra marble staircase with a velvety élan...

Do they teach that anywhere? Community college, online, or maybe Velvety élan for Dummies, I'd even buy a tux.

susan said...

'this hideous love child of a leprosy-stricken Liszt and John Merrick'

So many good lines but this one was extra poignant and hilarious. I hope you make a best seller list but better still would be hearing your dialogue on film. I think Johnny Depp would be a good choice for lead.

Randal Graves said...

tomcat, you mean my printer and roll of scotch tape?

demeur, this is America, bub. There will always be zombies. Belgrade's got their own undead problem to deal with.

BB, that's not a bad idea for a book. We could make millions.

susan, I should have flipped the two allusions, rolls off the tongue better. Don't say Johnny Depp, then my wife will be hanging around the set all day.

Dr. Zaius said...

turboprops are never "turgid", but I would enjoy a snifter of champagne and some canapes.