The Pursuit of Presley
By Michael D. Davis
was four days till Christmas and Quartertown was blanketed with snow that
turned to mush upon hitting the ground. Count Whorley Whorton sat in front of
his television in his small apartment, attempting to soak up the heat and
survive another Iowa winter. Through the pocket doors behind him in the office,
Count’s love and partner in every endeavor, Irma Side, sat trying to pay a few
of the red lettered bills. Kenny, a giant from the tip of his toes to the bridge
of his nose, sat across from Irma and complained.
tell you I’m doing my best but I lose’er every time,” Irma didn’t look up at
him or respond which frightened Kenny more than if she chewed him out. “Okay,
okay, I’m sorry Irma, but I’m not cut out for shadowing somebody. I ain’t good
at it. Why don’t you get Alfred Box over here to do it?”
still didn’t look up, but she did respond, “First of all, Alfred just started
this week at the paper as well as working at the Supermart and you can do it
yourself if you stop fuckin’ whining and mebbe keep your eyes open. I’m not
gonna tell our client, hey your wife mebbe cheating, but we couldn’t fuckin’
follow her and find out. Get your head outta your ass, dumb shit.”
you’re right Irma…so, Alfred started at the Times Zephyr? That’s cool.”
I’m trying to work here, leave me the hell alone.”
got up and walked through the pocket door saying, “What ya watching, Count?”
at all,” Whorton took a sip from a large pop and turned the channel, “every
year I watch ‘A Werewolf Christmas’, but this year I keep missin’ it.”
old crappy cartoon special with the narration and all?”
was on his feet faster than Kenny had ever seen him. “How dare you? ‘A Werewolf
Christmas’ is the best Christmas special of all time. All those old cartoons
are the best. What is wrong with you?”
as Kenny was about to respond there came a knock at the door. Not the apartment
door, either, but the office door. All the while looking down at what she was
doing, Irma called out for whoever it was to come in. Quickly, before the
knocker entered, Kenny and Count Whorton slipped into the office, closing the
pocket doors behind them, hiding the messy apartment.
man in an expensive wool coat and Homburg hat with flecks of snow about him
came into the office, shivering. Without moving from the entryway, he said, “Is
this the… um, The Bloody Whorehouse Detective Agency?”
what it says on the door,” said Irma looking up for the first time in this story
to eye the man in the coat, “what can we do you for?”
my name is Doug Astor and I was given your card by a lady at the police
station. She said you could help me.”
gave Count a side-eye look, and said in her high-pitched screechy voice, “Told
ya givin’ those cards to Miss Pinky was a good idea.”
didn’t respond and Mr. Astor continued. “I’m only passing through town, but
last night I was robbed. I am staying at the St. Belvedere hotel and an item
has been taken from my room.”
kind of item, Mr. Astor?”
have a bronze statue worth roughly fifty thousand dollars that was taken.”
a biscuit,” said Count Whorton, “why would you travel with such a thing?”
some pay to see it, but I’m traveling with it now because it looks like it’s
going to be my father’s last Christmas. In actuality, it’s his statue. I just
handle it for him since he doesn’t get off the estate anymore. You see, I’m
taking it to him.”
didn’t you put it in the safe?”
repeated her question saying, “I’m sure a fancy joint like the Belvedere has a
safe for such things, why wasn’t your statue in it?”
good question, I’ve had some trouble with past hotels and their safes, so I’ve
acquired an impenetrable bulletproof case for it. However, last night I took it
out for regular cleaning, then in a moment of stupidity that I regret, I dozed
off. When I awoke my wallet and the statue were gone.”
an attempt to be more of a detective rather than the strong arm he was Kenny
asked a question. “What’s the statue of?”
is a statue of Presley Penguin,” said Mr. Astor making Count jump forward in
don’t mean,” said Count Whorton, “the wisecracking cartoon penguin with top hat
and bow tie?”
damn, he’s my favorite cartoon. His creator, Chuck Freleng, also made my
favorite Christmas special, ‘A Werewolf Christmas’.”
said Mr. Astor, “Chuck Freleng created a lot of the older cartoons.”
a minute,” said Irma, “a cartoon penguin is worth fifty thousand dollars?”
The creator, Chuck Freleng, hand-sculpted four different statues of Presley
Penguin that were cast in bronze. One is with his children. Another is in a
museum in California. The third was supposedly given away to a friend, but no
one knows exactly where it is and the fourth was in my possession until last
do what we can to retrieve your statue, Mr. Astor,” said Count Whorton.
discussing the situation and price some more Mr. Astor left. As he crossed the
threshold Count beamed, a crooked yellow smile was spread from ear to ear on
his ghostly white face.
is great,” he said.
so great,” said Irma, “it’s just another case.”
Irmie baby don’t you see? We are living Dashiell Hammett’s dream. You, me, chasing
down through the city streets the statue of a bird, Irmie, we are in ‘The
you, every day is a Humphrey Bogart Picture.” Irma got up from behind the desk
and made her way to her purple fuzzy coat on the rack. “I got an appointment
across the alley I gotta get to. Kenny, keep following what’s her name and
don’t be a dumb fucker, you’ll get the hang of it. Countie, you start thinkin’
up ways to work this penguin case. Tomorrow morning, we can go out to the St.
Belvedere and see if anyone saw anything.”
use in that,” said Count, “Mr. Astor said he went to the coppers before he came
here and that’s the first place they’ll start. He ain’t payin’ us to shadow the
blue boys, not that I think Kenny’d be able to do it.”
said Kenny making a face.
figure out where to start.” Irma walked over and gave Count a kiss before
saying, “Gotta go, client’s already probably outside my chamber door.”
Irma left, Count poured some booze into his pop and lit a bent cigarette while
asking Kenny if he wanted to join him in front of the television.
Mrs. DeSilva gets off work in an hour, I gotta see where she goes.”
nodded then said, “That’s an idea, or we could watch Presley Penguin cartoons
for the next fifty minutes, givin’ you enough time to get wherever DeSilva
works. And if Irma asks, we were just doing research on the case.”
thought for a moment then agreed.
Whorton slept most of the next morning, but by early afternoon he and Irma were
on the case. Their first stop was the only gay club in town, Dynamite Dotty’s.
A tight-jeaned man taller than most pine trees escorted them back to Dotty
herself who sat behind a big desk in an even bigger office. Before Stretch left
them to their business, Count said to him, “Would you bring me back a glass of
something? My tonsils are itchy.”
Dotty saw the hunchback in the hat and the fuzzy coat with the scratchy voice
coming into her office she said, “I knew this was going to be a bad day. You’re
never here this early without wanting something, so what the fuck is it?”
rude, yet how accurate. Dotty, we need to see Wilmer.”
still works for Kasper French, doesn’t he?” Irma said taking a seat in front of
he doesn’t, but he does have dealings with him. Fuck, most the town does.”
we need to get to French and the only way I thought of was your brother
Wilmer,” said Count, also sitting.
fortunate for me and Wilmer, fuck.” Dotty leaned back in her chair, “Knowing my
luck, Wilmer would get you to him. Then you’d piss him off drinking his booze
and generally being your fuckin’ self, then we’d all end up floating in the
fuckin’ Iowa River.”
don’t have more faith in me than that?” asked Count just as Stretch came in
carrying his drink.
gonna pay for that?” said Dotty.
I always?” Count smiled and sipped as he looked straight at Dotty who wore a
less amused expression.
Dotty,” said Irma, “we need to get to French for a case. So, we need Wilmer.
You gonna call him or not?”
Dotty picked her phone up off the desk. “but I’m leaving the decision up to
Wilmer. I’m not going to fucking force him to do it.”
you,” said Irma, taking Count’s glass and finishing it off for him.
a few minutes of semi-pleasant talk on the phone, Dotty hung up and said, “He
said he’d do it. Meet him here around eight and he’ll take you to French.”
stood up saying, “Thank you, Dotty. It’s been a pleasure as always, leaving me
feel all warm and special inside.”
then, I think I’ll be moseying on over to the bar since we got a few hours to
you are,” Dotty said getting up, “you’d drink us out of house and home.”
worry, he won’t,” said Irma, “thanks again and see ya later.” She ushered him
forward and out the door.
was short, with a forever puffed-out chest. He had more spit and fire than
sense, shown by his right ear, which was lopped off in a fight before he got
out of grade school. When eight o’clock rolled around, Count Whorton and Irma
were already at the bar, it was a good twenty minutes after that Wilmer
ready to roll?” Was Wilmer’s greeting.
started saying, “We’ve been ready,” when Count cut her off, asking to have a
word with Wilmer privately. She made her way to the door to wait and Count
said, “Wilmer, I’m looking for somethin’.”
kind of somethin’?”
kind of somethin’ that falls off the back of a truck.”
Count and Wilmer were done talking, they found Irma and went out. When they hit
the street Wilmer said to them, “One of youse is drivin’.”
got behind the wheel of their old Buick station wagon and Wilmer told her when
to turn. A few minutes later they were pulling up to a little old diner. The
place was mostly empty inside. Next to a door on the back wall sat an old man
in a suit reading a sleazy paperback, highlighting the smutty parts. When they
walked up to him the old man looked at Wilmer then hit his fist on the door. A
moment later it opened.
the other side of the door, Wilmer spoke to a man who looked like he’d been hit
one too many times in the head, then left saying they’d get in to see Mr.
French in a few minutes. It made Irma nervous, Wilmer leaving before they saw
the big man behind the curtain, but true to his word they were ushered into his
office only minutes after Wilmer left.
French was a heavy-set man who wore expensive suits and a dead-rat looking
toupee. It was said that when his own mother made fun of the animal hide on his
head, he had her shot. Count and Irma were directed to large leather chairs
opposite his desk, all while trying to keep their eyes off his horrendous
you for seeing us, Mr. French,” said Irma.
welcome, I hear Wilmer’s with you.”
left after Orville Redenbacher let us in,” said Count gesturing towards the
French stared at Count under furrowed eyebrows, making Irma think dotty was
right, they were going to end up in the Iowa River. Then he burst into
laughter, bouncing in such a way that the squirrel on his head came back to
life flipping this way and that way.
Irma but pointing at Count, Mr. French said, “that’s a funny guy.” Sucking back
in his chubby finger, talking through a big smile, “I’ve said before the
bastard’s anywhere from sixty to a thousand years old. All he does is sit there
all day highlighting pages. So, what can I do you for?”
said Count, “we are private investigators and are on the search for a statue
that has been stolen.”
you want to know if I heard anything or even better have it in my possession.”
is what we were hoping Mr. French.”
Count Whorton and this is Irma.”
Count, Irma, let’s see what we can do.” Mr. French hit a button on his desk and
spoke into a speaker, “Get me Luxor.” A few moments later a small man in a
tuxedo with a cigarette stuck on his lip came swaggering in. “This,” said Mr.
French, “is Peter Luxor, my right-hand man and the knower of all things.”
simply tilted his head in greeting to Count and Irma.
these people are looking for a statue that’s recently been stolen, I thought
you may be able to help.”
kind of statue?” said Luxor.
said Count, “about a foot high. It was pilfered from a man who was staying at
the St. Belvedere. It’s worth roughly $50,000.”
French whistled, “That’s a pretty big chunk of change.”
why our client wants it back,” said Irma.
said Luxor, “You people cops? Or what here?”
smiled showing crooked dog teeth, “Private investigators, Mr. Luxor.”
looking for a statue, what is this? ‘The Maltese Falcon’?”
stop joshing, Luxor,” said Mr. French, “and tell us if you know anything.”
is only a handful or two of people in town that would go after a fifty-grand
job. But I haven’t heard a thing.” As he spoke Luxor kept his eyes on Count and
Irma. Even when Mr. French addressed him, he didn’t look away.
like we can’t be of any help tonight,” said Mr. French holding up his hands.
thank you,” said Irma getting up to leave.
said Count doing the same, “thanks a lot.”
problem, come again,” said Mr. French waving them out the door.
in the station wagon, Irma steered them from the parking lot saying, “Now what
do we do?”
laying down in the back seat, sipping from his flask said, “Head around the
block then park it at that gas station over there.”
parked the rusted old Buick station wagon at the gas station and they waited.
Count remained in the back propped up just far enough so he could see out the
window while Irma stayed behind the wheel praying she didn’t get hypothermia.
are we waiting for, Countie? It’s colder than a witches titty out here.”
then he saw it and said, “We were waiting for that.”
looked in the rearview mirror and saw Luxor exiting the diner, heading for a
big black car. He had with him the guy that looked like he took one too many to
the head and a couple of others that were probably born with bloody knuckles.
Irma started up the station wagon and slowly followed them through the dark
the big black car finally stopped was as seedy a place as the diner it
originated from. Parking just outside what looked like an abandoned garage,
Luxor walked up and banged on a dented metal door. A ways away on a street
corner Count and Irma watched from the station wagon.
is he doing?” said Irma.
dented door opened and a skinny guy with more tattoos than clear skin peeked
his head out.
there is asking the homeowner a question,” said Count.
they seemed to have had some words back and forth, Tattoo shut the door on
Luxor. Turning towards the car, Luxor made a hand gesture that had the other
three exiting in a determined fashion. One of the knuckle draggers forced the
dented door back open and they all rushed in like a swarm of bees in spring
with Luxor following behind lazily like the queen bee he was.
don’t think he liked the answer he got to that question,” said Irma.
the better part of an hour, the dented door opened once more, all four of them
streaming out, the queen bee leading the workers. They loaded up in the big black
car and drove off. This time Irma didn’t start up the station wagon.
two of them crossed the snow and slush-covered street on foot. When they got
close to the garage, they slowed up to listen. There wasn’t a sound, not a
voice. Count opened the dented door hesitantly then went in followed by Irma.
was everywhere. The whole place had been trashed, glass broken, shelves
overturned. Then in the middle of the room three bodies lay in a large pool of
blood. Tattoo, who had come to the door was one of them. They were beaten to
death with a couple of hammers, which lay next to the pile of bodies.
I think we know what they were looking for,” said Count.
radio in the corner played faintly, the speaker was saying, “I’m Six-fingered
Sally bringing Quartertown all the hits. Next up, Bobby Darrin singing to all
you with the Christmas spirit.” Count and Irma knew that wasn’t going to be
anyone in this room.
they drove through the cold winter night the only thing Irma said was, “Home,
two in the afternoon the next day Count rolled off the bed onto the floor
causing the feeble old thing to fold back up into the wall with a smack, then
come catapulting back down with a thud. Irma, sitting on the couch, said,
“About time you’re up. Alfred dropped off the list about an hour ago.”
see, after they made an anonymous call into the Quartertown police department
and quickly fled the scene of the crime at the old garage, Irma and Count came
home. Count then proceeded to call multiple times Alfred Box, it being the
middle of the night, he was working his shift at Sweeney’s Supermart. That
didn’t phase Count much. He needed some information and knew Alfred could get
it from his new part-time job at the paper.
like Irma was saying, “He came in, gave me the list, cussed you out then left.
For a little man, he’s gotta lot of anger in him.”
chuckled, laying on the floor, “Naw, he’s just riled up.”
Countie. Here’s the list of every hoodlum and lowlife that Alfred thought could
pull the fifty-grand job. He said the paper has pretty good files.”
us… you know there’s mebbe a body at every place on that list today.”
they worked all night?”
French told ‘em to and the cops didn’t get too close. The Screaming Mimi
can cause people to do crazy things.”
“Oh, and Countie, Wilmer
off a box for you.”
cucumbers with a taste for human flesh, I’m thinking of making a salad.”
a witty one,” said Irma in a sarcastic tone.
than an hour later the pair were in the station wagon marking off addresses.
The first one brought them to an empty house. They probably had the right guy
at the second place, but he was drunk and angry. Apparently so was his dog who
kept showing his teeth and Count felt like they were getting bigger and bigger
with each curl of the gums.
wind had picked up, blowing snow everywhere, making it hard for Irma to see
anything out the windshield. It just wasn’t their day, it didn’t help that Six-fingered
Sally on the radio kept playing the same carols over and over again, pissing
both of them off. When she asked for requests, Count took Irma’s cell phone and
made a call. Soon out of the speakers Sally was saying, “I’ve just had a
profane call from what I would describe as a disgruntled listener and I agree
with him. Count wherever you are, no more carols. This is Six-fingered Sally
playing a classic from Queen. Have a merry musical Christmas.”
third place on the list seemed to be a nice-looking house only missing a few
shingles. Irma and Count knocked on the door till their fingers had frostbite
then they kicked in the door. Well, not as much kicked in the door as paraded
through the snow bluffs beside the house to an unlocked back door. They entered
a dark empty kitchen, meeting a rotten putrid smell. Going through a small
hallway to the living room they found the origin of the stench. A man lay dead
on his couch, beaten to death like Tattoo and the others, his little heater
still running at his feet. The small machine was on oscillate, warming the dead
body and spreading his odor all over the house.
looks like there’s not going to be any good moments today,” said Count turning
Irma, “so, I guess we’ll just have to make our own good moments.”
we always, Countie?”
we do, Irma.” Count looked at the dead guy and smiled, then turned back to
Irma. “I gotta say I didn’t know what to get you, this Christmas. Not a clue.
Then it hit me like a brick to the temple when I was watchin’ cartoons with
Kenny none the less. Because I’ve had some rough years, but today is good
because of you. You are good, Irma. I couldn’t love anyone more, I couldn’t be
happier with anyone more, and I couldn’t need anyone more than I need you. So,
Irma E. Lanchester Side, in the presence of this dead man would you agree to
marry me?” Count Whorton took from the pocket of his overcoat a small box and
presented it to Irma.
first, Irma didn’t move but soon her lips twitched into a big smile and she jumped
forward onto Count, nearly throwing him to the floor. She kissed him over and
over finally stopping to say yes. When they finally regained control of
themselves Count gave her the ring. It was a gold band with a large gold
question mark on the front of it.
sorry about the ring,” said Count, “I got it last minute from Wilmer. He said
it’s all he could get and its real gold, not that I believe him. Sorry, Irmie.”
nothing, I love it and it fits perfectly.” Irma gave him another kiss just as
the furnace kicked on making the smell that much worse.
there was a call made to the Quartertown police detective Klunkel. They even
stayed around to answer a few questions and deflect a few accusations. When
they were back in the station wagon with smiles on their faces the sun was
turning it in. Looking brightly out at the dark night, Count said, “Where’s the
just had a thought about that,” said Irma.
me with it.”
been assuming this was a professional job.”
fifty-grand is pretty professional.”
but it’s a fucking statue of a cartoon character. No one in their right fucking
mind are gonna think a statue of Presley Penguin is worth that much. There’s
Presley Penguin knickknacks at garage sales all the time. What if small-time
asshole looking to knock off Mr. Astor’s wallet, which he did, broke in, saw
the statue and thought Merry Christmas.”
makes sense. Son of a bitch could work there, maid, manager, whatever.” Count
took out his flask and drank saying, “Irmie, hang a u-ey we are headin’ for the
they turned into the parking lot of the hotel Count said, “Like I told ya
before, we may not learn much here because this is where the blue boys would
have started. But I think you’re on to something, Irmie and another thing to
our advantage is Luxor and French don’t know what the statue looks like.”
the spirit Countie, although you know if we find the statue this way then, I
was right. And if we started the investigation off at the hotel, like I said,
things would have been over in a snap.”
yeah we didn’t find nothin’ yet,” said Count getting out of the car and going
into the Belvedere.
at the front desk in dark makeup with a jet-black Santa hat was a girl who
looked barely out of her teens. As Count and Irma approached the desk the girl
said in an unenthusiastic tone all while looking at her phone, “Checking in?”
we just need to ask a few questions,” said Irma.
kind of questions?”
firstly, what’s so damn important on your phone you can’t look at me when I
girl sighed and put her phone away saying, “I was just watching ‘A Werewolf
my God,” said Count, “I love ‘A Werewolf Christmas’. It hasn’t been on like any
fucking channel this year.”
know,” said the girl, looking at Count, “I’m watching it online. They have the
other ones on a fucking loop, but not the one I watch.”
right there with ya, that fuckin’ blond-haired elf and red-nosed son of a bitch
are everywhere. But no Werewolf Christmas.”
was a statue stolen from a room here the other day, did you happen to see
anything?” Said Irma.
I was off that night, but I heard about it. Apparently, the police were here
talking to everyone. Even talked to me and like I said, I wasn’t here.”
you know of anyone on the staff or otherwise who has a tendency to take wallets
from rooms? Or other items?”
like statues or anything but this night supervisor that used to be here. I know
he got fired for taking money out of rooms and stuff. We’re not supposed to let
him come around the building but he’s dating on and off one of the maids.”
what’s his name?”
and Count thanked the girl at the desk, gave her a card and left. Out in the
station wagon, Irma drove while Count took a phone book that he’d left on the
floor of the backseat and read by the dim illumination of an old flashlight.
There was only two Hazen’s in the book, neither of them was named Dicky, but
they both had the same address.
was well after midnight when Count and Irma rolled onto the Hazen’s street. The
snow had been cleared well and there was only one car parked out on the curb.
When Irma saw the car, she had to believe she was mistaken, but she wasn’t.
They pulled up behind the vehicle and proceeded to get out of their car and
into the one with the hulking figure behind the wheel.
they got in Kenny said, “What the fuck are you two doin’ here?”
said, “I was about to ask the same question.”
followed Mrs. DeSilva here, didn’t lose’er once.”
shittin’ me,” said Count.
I’m not, didn’t lose’er once.”
boy,” said Irma reaching forward from the backseat to pat Kenny on the
shoulder. “But I believe Count was referring to the fact we think the guy in
that house has the statue.”
now what are the chances? So, what we gonna do?”
opened the door, “I don’t see why we can’t knock.”
the front door, Count allowed Kenny to knock and crack the house’s foundation.
Quickly there was a response as a thin man came to the door in his boxer shorts
with a bat. As he opened the door Kenny took it upon himself to pluck the bat
from the swearing semi-nude man’s clutches, it proved to be not that difficult.
From there Count said a cheery hello and the three of them pushed their way
the fuck are you people?” said Mr. Boxer Shorts.
said Count, “are private detectives. I’m Count Whorton, this is Irma and that
is Kenny. What is your name?”
Hazen, now get out.”
could, but you see we have two cases at the moment. One where a woman seems to
be runnin’ around with the local fool. And another where a statue was taken by
what we assume was a low life, small-time, two-bit moron and wouldn’t you know
both cases brought us here.”
woman covering herself with a man’s dirty old robe came into the room asking
what the interruption was. Irma leaned over to Kenny and said, “Is that?”
said Kenny taking out his phone and snapping a shot of Mrs. DeSilva with Dicky
in his underwear (no pun intended). “For the client,” he said.
you fuckin’ people be quiet,” said Dicky, “you’ll wake my grandma.”
keeps gettin’ better,” said Count, moving to sit down in a recliner next to a
brightly lit tree. “Well, look here, Crabapple, I know you got all the brains
of a snowman with a yellow block of ice for a head, so I’ll lay it out for ya.
That statue we know you took, from the Belvedere where we know you used to
work, is worth more than your puny ass organs at a blackmarket yard sale. If I
were to call the big blue men in matchin’ caps right now, your ass wouldn’t be
gettin’ out of the slammer until you had grey hair on your toes.” Count stopped
speaking for a moment and looking at Dicky, the man was trembling in his
shorts. “However, I’m thinking of playing Santa because its, what? One AM on
Christmas eve morning and there’s no reason to disturb Nan Nan Hazen. If you
give us the statue, we will leave you in peace, not calling in the coppers.”
under the tree,” stuttered Dicky, pointing a finger.
go get it then,” said Irma urging him on.
stumbled over to and around the tree knocking off ornaments and kicking
presents. Finally, he stood up holding a badly wrapped green and red box. “Here
it is. I was gonna give it to my Grandma, she likes little statues and things.
Honestly, I was just gonna take his wallet then I saw this.”
yeah,” said Count standing up and taking the box. “I tell ya, ya fool, if we find
that it isn’t in here the only one coming back here is him.” Count threw a
thumb at Kenny. “So, don’t be on our naughty list, fool.”
they left the Hazen place Count and Irma went back to the Belvedere, the girl
at the desk didn’t seem to have moved since they’d last been there. She called
up to Mr. Astor’s room and he came down to the lobby wearing a pair of striped
pajamas that must have been from the Cary Grant collection.
Astor,” Count said, “we want ya to open your present early.”
Astor pushed up his glasses and ripped open the wrapping paper right there at
the front desk. In an old shoebox smothered in green tissue paper was the
bronze cartoon penguin. Presley Penguin was grinning under his top hat, the
little bow tie he wore glinted in the light.
looks great,” said Mr. Astor, “not damaged or harmed at all.”
is it?” said the girl at the desk.
anyone else could answer, Count said, “It’s the stuff Saturday mornings were
they were paid and Mr. Astor was on his way again with his statue safely
secured, Count and Irma went home. On the way, they stopped to send a nice card
to Mr. French and Luxor thanking them for their help in the retrieval of the
bird, hopefully, they’d appreciate the sarcasm. Christmas morning, they headed
over to Mother Whorton’s. She was found stirring a pot of something that
smelled wonderful while a cigarette hung from her lip and oxygen tubes swung
from her nostrils.
always Mother Whorton’s was the beacon for every stray dog in town bringing in
Miss Pinky, Kenny, Dotty, and her new girlfriend. Even the little goth girl who
worked the desk at the St. Belvedere showed up, Irma being the type of person
to invite any and all. At least with Mother Whorton’s cooking, there was no
shortage of food, including when Wilmer showed up late, ate three helpings then
left with a wave.
dinner Count and Irma announced their engagement and showed off the ring. They
were met with excitement and questions about the question mark ring. Mother
Whorton’s only comments were, “Son of a bitch, I thought I’d be dead by the
time this happened, it’s been taking forever. But Irma, are you sure you
thought about this, my son’s an idiot. I’ll pray for you.”
Christmas day started to wear to a close, Irma took Count aside and gave him
his present. When the first bit of colored paper tore, Count Whorton knew what
it was and the hunchbacked old man became a kid again.
Irmie,” Count said, “a VHS copy of ‘A Werewolf Christmas’. You know me so
you know you can watch it every year.”
love you Irmie,” he said pulling her close.
love you too, Countie and Merry Christmas.”
Christmas,” said Count, “to everyone.”
D. Davis was born and
raised in a small town in the heart of Iowa. Having written over thirty short
stories, ranging in genre from comedy to horror from flash fiction to novella
he continues in his accursed pursuit of a career in the written word.