I just finished reading What the Hell Did I Just Read? the third entry in the John Dies at the End series. You can read my review of it over on Goodreads.comhere. (Just on a side note for those of you who are avid readers, I suggest you check out Goodreads.)
This series could very well have been a very straight forward cosmic horror set of books. As a fan of cosmic horror, I have no issues with that. Instead, David Wong manages to take cosmic horror and by using the lens of his characters and narrators create something that stands alone. It is not a standard HP Lovecraft pastiche with the usual imagery that we have come to expect from such fare.
David Wong and John Cheese are by no means your usual “heroes” or even protagonists for this type of tale. Far from scientists or explorers, the less than dynamic duo are slackers with a penchant for narcotics. This is how they are introduced to Soy Sauce, which is where the adventure begins.
Despite the humor found throughout these books, making me laugh out loud at times, the horror is still very much present. These books walk a fine line between the ludicrous and disturbing.
The John Dies at the End series is definitely not a book series that I would recommend for everyone, but if you want to see how things can be done differently.
Click on the covers below to pick up the John Dies at the End series.
Of course, HP Lovecraft is the most well-known in the cosmic horror genre. You can click on the tome below for a the complete works of this master.
Just a quick update about the things that I’m working on. I am currently going through a short story collection set in the Winston & Baum universe. I have the drafts back with notes from my initial readers, but that takes time.
I am also currently working on a screenplay with a filmmaker, but I can’t say a whole lot about that right now. When I can, I assure you I will. I’m super-psyched about it.
I still have a whole lot of stories to tell and am trying to capture them on paper as quickly as I can. Stay tuned for more updates, and tell me what stories did unique things in the comments.
It was the day before Christmas Eve, and the winter winds whipped around the buildings of the city. Staring out of an office window, Lollipop Jones watched the people below hurrying to finish their chores before the official start to the holiday. She shifted the ever-present sucker to the other side of her mouth. Behind her, Pecan Sandie was wrapping presents for the local children’s home. The hulking behemoth that was Pecan Sandie struggled with the tiny tape dispenser. Lollipop heard a frustrated grunt and a moment later the familiar sound of her partner extending his flip-out battleaxe.
“Don’t put any more scratches in your desk,” she cautioned.
When she didn’t hear the sound of the weapon sinking into wood, Lollipop Jones turned around to see what her partner was doing. Pecan Sandie had set the axe down beside the desk and was using the honed edge to cut the tricky tape. “You know they put those ridges on the end of the dispenser for a reason,” she said, smirking at her friend.
“It wasn’t working,” Pecan replied with his rumbling voice that sounded like gravel in a cement mixer.
This close to Christmas, the detectives didn’t expect anyone to be needing their services. Tomorrow, they would go to the Big Red V for chili dogs, an old tradition the friends had held. It had only been a few years since they had been forced to fight their way through a clan of ninjas to get their usual Christmas Eve dinner. Hopefully, this year would not be quite so hectic. Their was a knock at their door, accompanied by the faint sound of bells. Lollipop looked at the door and then her partner. The massive shoulders of Pecan Sandie moved up in a shrug.
Going to the door, the detective opened the door and saw a short individual dressed like a Secret Service agent. “Can I help you?” Lollipop asked.
The diminutive figure held up a finger, glanced around the room, and then whispered into his palm. A moment later, a red-suited figure hurried down the hall and into the room. He was followed by three more of the suited little people. “Sorry for the security,” the red-dressed man said. “They insist, especially at this time of year.”
“No threat too tall, even though we’re small” – Elf Security Forces
His cheeks were red and rosy, while a button nose sat directly in the center of a jolly face, framed perfectly by a white beard. “Santa?” Pecan asked, standing up.
“I told you they’d recognize me,” Santa Claus told his security team.
“We haven’t seen you since that incident with the ninjas and chili dogs,” Lollipop announced.
“That’s true, but I’ve known when you were sleeping and when you were awake, not to mention when you’ve went out of your way to help your clients,” Santa announced.
“What brings you into town early?” Lollipop asked, pulling the now empty white stick from her mouth. Throwing it away, she grabbed a new sucker from her desk and promptly inserted it into her mouth.
“Krampus,” the jolly man stated.
Pecan turned away from his wrapping. “The horned, whip guy?” The behemoth asked.
“I’m afraid so,” Santa confirmed. “He broke into my shop, and…”
“Stole all the toys?” Lollipop asked.
“Toys?” Santa asked. “He’s got no need for toys. Every year on Christmas Eve, he tries to capture one naughty child to take back to his dark domain. Every year, I’m able to stop him.”
“Santa, what seems to be the trouble this year,” Pecan asked, offering their prospective client a chair.
Nodding his thanks, Santa sat down and started to explain. “At the center of my workshop is the first Christmas tree. We don’t advertise the fact, but every Christmas tree in the world is connected to that one tree. It’s the nexus of Christmas trees. We use it to get into the homes without chimneys,” the iconic figure explained. “Krampus broke in and entered the tree. We don’t know where he’s gone. My reindeer can track the monster’s scent that’s how I stop him every year. The reindeer can’t find him inside the nexus. We tried before coming South.”
“What can we do?” Lollipop asked.
“I need you to go into the tree after him,” Santa explained. “Krampus is devious and dangerous, but I think you two are up to the task.”
“How do we track him?” Pecan asked.
“You’ll have to search through the nexus for him,” the symbol of the holidays stated. “I know it’s a big job, and I would go in myself if I could, but this time of year, if I go into the tree after him and spend too much time, Christmas will be ruined for millions of children.”
“We’ll do it,” Lollipop and Pecan said in unison.
“Can one of your guys wrap these?” Pecan added.
One of the suited elves stepped up and in moments had finished all of the wrapping. “Transferred from the gift wrap department,” the elf stated.
“We need to go if you’re going to have enough time to find him,” Santa said. “I know this is going to be difficult, but if Krampus gets his hands on any child, it’ll be the end for that little boy or girl.”
“They’ll be a naughty kid, right?” Lollipop inquired to make sure she understood.
“Yes,” Santa confirmed.
“Don’t you give them coal?” The detective asked.
“All children are precious, even the naughty ones,” Santa Claus responded with a twinkle in his eye.
Flanked by the security elves, the detectives followed the big man in red up the stairs to the roof. Opening the door, the duo were surprised to see a red sleigh and eight reindeer. “Where’s Rudolph?” Pecan asked.
“We only bring him along for night flights. He keeps the planes from hitting us,” Santa explained.
Climbing up into the front bench, Santa sat behind the animals. Climbing into the back section, Lollipop and Pecan could not help but take in the expert craftsmanship that had made the vehicle. It looked like it was freshly assembled and painted. Climbing in beside the detectives, the security detail, pushed themselves firmly against the back corners. “You’re going to want to hold on,” one of the elves offered.
Santa began to call the reindeer by name, when he finished, the sleigh shot forward into the sky. The gravitational forces pushed the detectives back against the rear panel of the sleigh. Lollipop’s small frame prevented her from hitting the security elves in the back corner on her side. The elves on Pecan’s side were not as fortunate. A struggling arm was protruding from over the behemoth’s shoulder. Gripping the back of Santa’s seat, Pecan pulled himself forward enough to let the elves squirm out from behind him. “I thought we were goners,” the one elf said to his friend.
Letting go, Pecan slammed back against the wood. “Fast,” the hulking detective announced.
“You think so?” Lollipop asked her partner. “I bet Bill Murray’s never met Santa Claus.”
“He played golf with him at the Glen Campbell Invitational Tournament in 1981,” Pecan informed his partner. Lollipop knew that her friend’s zealot-like love of the comedy icon meant that he was full of obscure facts. The detective never could tell if the facts that her partner spouted were true or made up.
“Yeah, he’s improved his game since then,” Santa announced from the driver’s seat.
Lollipop stared across at Pecan, who just smiled at her.
The ride only lasted twenty minutes. “How did you get from the city to the North Pole in twenty minutes?” Lollipop asked. “I mean the reindeer should have friction burns at the very least.”
The animals were calm and waiting as a small group of elves in overalls came out and began unhitching them from the sleigh. “Seriously, we’d have to move so fast that we should have liquified,” the detective announced.
“Christmas magic,” Santa explained, never losing his smile.
Behind them, hangar doors began to slide shut, cutting out the cold and preventing the north winds from blowing inside. Santa led the detectives through the facility. The elves stopped and stared at the strange pair their boss had returned with. Pecan was taller than Santa with impossibly wide shoulders, while Lollipop was much shorter and lithe. As they passed, Santa greeted each of the small employees, calling them by name. Stepping through an old wooden door that had been carved with intricate designs and patterns, the duo found themselves in Santa’s workshop.
The space was filled with several small benches and tables with different toys on them. “I thought the elves built the toys?” Pecan asked.
“Most of them,” Santa answered. “But I still dabble. Somethings you just never get over.”
Sitting on one of the tables was a small carved train set. Lollipop saw it and bent over to admire the craftsmanship. It had been delicately carved and must have taken days to complete. “That was the first train I ever made,” the jolly man announced, proudly. “Made a great many since, I think my biggest hit was probably the rocking horse.”
Pecan saw the giant evergreen tree sitting in the center of the room. It was decorated in red and white with gold lights shining out through the branches. “This is it,” Santa said. “The first Christmas tree.”
“How do we get into it?” Lollipop asked, brushing her fingertips across the soft down of the evergreen.
“Just a moment,” Santa said.
Leaning forward, he whispered something into the branches and stepped back. A white light began to shine between the limbs, growing brighter and wider until the tree was glowing. “Now, you can step through. When you’ve found him, come back, and the doorway will open for you automatically.”
“What if we have to leave through another tree, how do we get back?” Lollipop asked.
“You have fifteen minutes from the time you step out of a tree before the door closes behind you,” Santa explained.
“See you soon,” Pecan stated as he stepped into the light.
Lollipop followed closely behind her partner. Once they were inside the tree, they found themselves floating in a strange place with multiple points of lights in the shape of Christmas trees all around them. Suspended in this void, the duo tried to find some hint at where the Krampus might be hiding. “Any ideas?” Pecan asked.
“I’m not sure how to track something when there isn’t anywhere for it to leave tracks,” Lollipop answered. “I guess we can try and maneuver around. We’ll see if we can find anything.”
“How do we move?” The behemoth asked.
“Good question,” the smaller detective replied.
After several minutes, the duo discovered that moving around within the nexus point was as simple as thinking. If they wanted to move in a specific direction, they just had to think about it, and they would begin to head that way. Moving through the inter-dimensional space, Lollipop and Pecan searched for any indication that the Krampus had been this way. Lollipop had gone through half of the reserve suckers in her trench coat when something black covered part of one of the Christmas tree shapes.
Making their way towards the symbol, the detectives saw a mark where the light had burned out. It was in the shape of a clawed hand. “We’ve found our way to track him,” Pecan stated.
“You know, one thing bothers me,” Lollipop stated.
“No pine scent,” Pecan replied.
The diminutive detective noticed the lack of smells that one associated with Christmas trees and had expected the climbing into a tree gateway there would be an overwhelming smell. “Okay, two things are bothering me,” Lollipop conceded.
“What’s the other one?” Pecan inquired, keeping his eyes open for any other marked symbols.
“How did the Krampus get into the tree,” Lollipop answered. “You saw how Santa opened the it. How many people could know the secret to opening the tree?”
“We’ll have to check with Santa when we get back and find out.”
“Found another one,” Lollipop stated, pointing to the burned out spot on the door.
“There’s another,” Pecan stated. “I wonder where he’s heading?”
“It doesn’t matter,” Lollipop announced. “We just have to get to him before he can do any real harm.”
The detectives continued following the claw marks until they caught sight of their target. Hulking shoulders that rivaled Pecan Sandie’s sat atop a smaller waist with small goat-like legs. Spiked horns that were slightly curved sat on top of a gray face with burning red eyes. “No!” He rasped. “I was told I’d have more time.”
Krampus – aka not Santa
“Don’t you know that the naughty ones don’t get what they ask for for Christmas,” Lollipop replied.
Turning to the tree symbol in front of him, Krampus pushed through and exited the nexus. Speeding behind him, the detectives launched from the tree in the corner and landed onto a sofa. Krampus was just picking himself up off of the floor when the duo made their entrance. Rolling to their feet, Lollipop and Pecan moved to encircle the Christmas fiend. “What’s with the noise?” Someone called from the adjoining room.
Distracted by the voice, Krampus gave Pecan Sandie an opening. Running at the horned being, the detective slammed his shoulder into his opponent’s back and tackled him to the ground. In two quick steps, Lollipop was by her partner’s side. “Get off!” Krampus shouted.
“I’m calling the police,” the voice announced.
“Do you have him?” Lollipop asked.
Pecan nodded. “Back to the tree,” he stated.
Lifting Krampus from the floor, the detective forced the punisher of naughty children into the tree, where they emerged once again in the nexus realm. “I will not be stopped!” The fur-covered creature announced, taking advantage of Pecan Sandie’s momentary disorientation and breaking free.
Lashing out with its hooved foot, Krampus kicked Pecan and sent him tumbling away. “Pecan!” Lollipop shouted, heading towards her partner.
“No!” Pecan called back. “Stop him, I’ll be fine.”
As she started to turn and follow the creature, she saw Pecan’s stop tumbling. Floating through the void between Christmas trees, Lollipop trailed after the creature. The detective had been trained by the Fighting Sisters of the Closed Fist, a group of warrior nuns. However, all of their techniques were useless while floating here. For her to be effective, they would have to be on solid ground. From ahead of her, she heard Krampus’ excited squeal. “Finally!”
Vanishing into one of the symbols, the villain left the nexus realm. Preparing for the change, Lollipop followed after Krampus. With her warrior-nun honed reflexes, she was able to adjust her balance and land on her feet, while her opponent was still trying to stand The tree had come out onto a large foyer with a winding staircase. Several bags of presents sat beneath the tree. “This isn’t going to go well for you,” Lollipop told Krampus. “Give up.”
“No,” he rasped. “I’m so close, you can’t stop me now.”
“Look, I appreciate that you want to punish some naughty kid, but we aren’t going to let you do that,” the detective stated plainly.
“Naughty kid?” Krampus repeated confused. “This isn’t about some snotty, little brat. This is something greater.”
“Have it your way,” she replied, putting a fresh sucker in her mouth and dropping into a fighting stance.
Krampus dropped his hands back, preparing to strike with his clawed fingertips. To be as large as Pecan Sandie, the Christmas creature moved with amazing speed. Spinning, Lollipop avoided the attack, while lashing out with a kick. Landing her blow, Lollipop watched as Krampus slammed headfirst into the wood paneled wall, cracking it. “What’s going on?” Someone called from upstairs.
Lollipop thought the voice was familiar but could not place it. It did not matter, she had bigger problems at the moment to deal with. Shaking off the headbutt to the wall, the horned creature rushed forward again. Dropping onto her back, Lollipop placed her feet into Krampus’ stomach and sent him hurtling over her. Rolling across the floor, her opponent knocked over a china cabinet. “All right, who’s throwing a party in my house and didn’t invite me,” the unseen voice said. This time footsteps approached the top of the stairs.
Krampus pushed up to his feet and staggered towards the foot of the stairway. Lollipop knew that she needed to end this fight quickly. Drawing back, she prepared the ultimate technique of the Fighting Sisters of the Closed Fist, the Uber-Death Punch. It was powerful enough to atomize the bones in a human body. Striking out, she saw the punch headed directly for the horned crown of Krampus’ forehead. Dropping prone to the floor, her opponent dodged the blow, which connected with the curved banister railing. The force of the blow rippled up the rail, snapping it free from the supports and acting like a whip as it raced towards the top of the stairs.
A loud thud and a growl announced the arrival of Pecan Sandie. Getting on all fours, Krampus charged, slamming his head into Lollipop. The deadly detective managed to block the blow, but it still threw her into the wall, breaking the boards. Sliding to the floor, she saw Pecan unfold his battleaxe and growl a challenge to the yule time terror. Several strikes from his weapon glanced off of Krampus’ horns, sparking along the floor. Finally, the unseen speaker came into view on the stairs. Lollipop thought she must have a concussion.
With a quick flick of his horns, Krampus sent Pecan’s axe sliding across the floor. “What’s going on guys?” The speaker asked, confusion clear on his face. “You’re not my normal Christmas visitor.”
Both Krampus and Pecan stopped their combat and stared in awe at the newcomer. Bill Murray, wearing a tuxedo with an untied bow tie still tucked under the collar, just smiled and gave a small wave. “Hey,” he said.
“BILL MURRAY!” Pecan shouted as he landed a punch square on Krampus’ jaw.
The blow dropped the monster, easily. Rather than following up and ending Krampus’ threat, Pecan stood staring at his favorite actor, mouth hanging open. Pulling herself free of the wall, Lollipop stretched, cracking her back. “We need to get him out of here,” she announced to her awestruck partner.
“But…” he started.
“Do you guys want some egg nog?” Bill Murray offered. “Or I could make pancakes.”
“Lolli…” Pecan started, biting the corner of his bottom lip.
“I know, but we don’t have long before the tree will close behind us,” she replied to her partner. “Just shake his hand.”
“Autograph…” Krampus rasped, drawing a marker and a worn VHS copy of The Razor’s Edge from his matted fur.
“Wow, don’t see many copies of this,” the actor stated, bending over and taking the items.
“An unsung triumph,” Krampus said, rolling onto his back.
Pecan raised an eyebrow. “It is,” the hulking detective agreed. “How do you feel about Mad Dog and Glory?”
“Great performances, but the world wasn’t ready for it,” the defeated creature stated. “Remake with the original cast now, academy awards.”
“My thoughts exactly,” Pecan exclaimed, lifting Krampus to his feet.
“Pecan?” Lollipop asked, concerned by this change in tone.
“He’s not all bad,” her partner replied. “He likes Bill Murray.”
“It’s true, so far no serial killers or genocidal dictators have been fans,” Bill Murray added, handing back the VHS with a still-drying signature on it.
“Thank you,” Krampus offered. “I’ll go quietly now.”
“Wait,” Lollipop started. “This was all just for an autograph from Bill Murray.”
“I can’t find him on Christmas Eve by normal means, I only smell naughty children. He’s not naughty,” Krampus explained. Bill Murray gave a small bow and mouthed “thank you.” “Tree was the only way.”
“What about collecting a naughty child?” Pecan asked.
“This was a once in a lifetime chance,” the horned creature offered. “I’ll try and get a kid next year.”
“I can’t say I blame you,” Pecan Sandie agreed. “I’d have done it.”
“It’s always nice to meet a fan,” Bill Murray replied. “Hold on just a second.”
Walking past them, the comedic genius disappeared around the corner and came back a moment later. He held three pictures in his hands. “Since you guys seem to be in a hurry, just take these and Merry Christmas.”
Lollipop, Pecan, and Krampus each took one of the pictures. They were autographed stills from some of his most iconic roles. Pecan and Krampus almost giggled, but caught themselves. “Thank you and Merry Christmas,” Lollipop offered. “Guys, we really need to head out. I think we haven’t solved all the problems at the North Pole just yet.”
“Merry Christmas,” Pecan and Krampus said in unison.
Stepping back into the tree, the trio vanished from the actor’s home. He took a moment and looked at the damage to his home. “Nick, I hope your elves are good at wood work,” Bill Murray offered as he went back upstairs.
Due to time passing at a different rate within the nexus realm and the normal world, Lollipop, Pecan, and Krampus emerged from the Christmas tree in Santa’s workshop around ten on Christmas morning. Santa was sitting by the tree with a large contingent of elves. The diminutive workers ran forward to take custody of Krampus.
“Back off,” Pecan instructed, growling at the elves.
“Is everything okay?” Santa asked.
“No,” Lollipop replied. “Someone here sold you out. Didn’t you think it odd that Krampus was able to get into the workshop easily and knew how to activate the tree?”
“I was to worried about the child that he was going to take to think about it,” Santa admitted.
“It’s okay,” Pecan replied. “This is your busy season.”
“One of your elves had a little chit chat with Krampus. He wasn’t after a child,” Lollipop replied, telling Santa Claus all about their chase through the tree and meeting with Bill Murray.
“I know about Billy’s house,” Santa admitted. “I sent a crew down to fix his wall.”
“I’ll try and get a child next year,” Krampus stated.
“Who helped you?” Santa asked.
From the back of the gathered elves, one of them took off at a run, leaving the workroom behind. “I’m on it,” Lollipop shouted as she took off after the small fugitive.
She was quick and agile like a reindeer, only instead of gifts she was bringing fistletoe (see what I did there). Before the elf had made it halfway down the hall, the detective was within reach. With a quick kick, she took out the runner’s legs. He tumbled onto the ground, losing his green and red hat as he rolled along the floor. His attempts to fight back were almost cute to the detective…almost, she gave a quick chop to the side of his neck, knocking him out. Grabbing one of his belled shoes, Lollipop dragged him back down the hallway to Santa’s workshop.
“Got him,” she announced triumphantly.
“Okay,” Santa replied. “Krampus, you can go. I’ll see you out there next year.”
“Bye Santa,” Krampus said, running from the workshop towards the sleigh exit.
“Have security make sure he actually leaves,” Santa whispered to one of the elves, who stepped away to follow his orders.
“Why didn’t you destroy him?” Lollipop asked.
“Destroy him?” Santa Claus chuckled, his belly trembling like a bowl of jelly. “I don’t destroy things, other than sadness. Krampus and I are two sides of the same coin. I am the promise of reward to the nice and he is the threat of punishment for the naughty. However, all children are under my protection. Funny thing, all the children that Krampus has tried to take away, they all are on the nice list the next year. Sometimes, seeing that the threat is real, is all it takes.”
“Okay,” Lollipop replied, not really understanding the red-suited icons reasoning. “But what about this guy?”
“Can you wake him up?” Santa asked. “Gently.”
The behemoth stepped over to his partner and shouted in the unconscious elf’s face. With a yelp, the elf woke up.
“Now, Gup-gup what’s the meaning of this?” Santa asked.
“Well, guess I’m on the naughty list for sure now,” Gup-gup admitted. “You were supposed to chase after Krampus.”
“Yeah, but your security detail was waiting in here for your return,” Gup-gup stated. “I wanted you to go in after him. While the workshop was going to be unmanned, I was going to burn the tree.”
A collective gasp came from the assembled elves. “What good would that do?” Pecan asked.
“If the original Christmas tree was destroyed, the connection to all the other trees would be lost. I’d be trapped forever,” Santa announced.
“That would ruin Christmas,” Pecan growled at the captive elf.
“Why would an elf want to ruin Christmas?” Lollipop asked.
“I’d be fine if they canceled it forever,” Gup-gup announced, which drew another gasp from the other elves with one of them fainting.
“Gup-gup, why?” Santa asked, his smile disappearing for the first time.
“I’m allergic to candy canes,” Gup-gup confessed. “Without Christmas they would vanish, not too mention that we keep them all over the place up here.”
“You could just stay away from peppermint”, Pecan scoffed.
“Aren’t you listening, that is almost impossible around this place”, the naughty elf bellowed. “Besides, I’m not allergic to peppermint, it’s candy canes I can’t handle. Any candy in a cane shape. It’s a rare allergy.”
A confused look covered all the faces in the workshop, followed by a short pause.
“Why work here?” Lollipop asked, breaking the silence.
“I’m an elf, I can work here or make shoes. I tried the shoe thing. I’m a really bad cobbler,” the elf admitted.
“Well, we do have one job that you might be able to do,” Santa stated.
Two of the security elves led Gup-gup away. “What are you going to do to him?” Pecan asked.
“We don’t put any candy canes in the coal chutes,” Santa announced. “If he’d said something, we could have transferred him without all of this mess.”
“What if he doesn’t want to work with coal?” Lollipop asked.
Santa shrugged. “We’ll find something for him to do,” the seasonal celebrity offered. “I’ve seen his shoes, he’s right, he’s a really bad cobbler. Now, we need to get you two back home.”
A short sleigh ride later, the duo were back at their office building. As the symbolic sleigh started to pull away, Santa called over his shoulder: “Merry Christmas!”
Waving, the detectives returned the sentiments, heading down to their office. “That was strange, even for us,” Lollipop admitted.
“I got to meet Bill Murray,” Pecan replied. “We could have had pancakes with him.”
“I know, I’m sorry,” Lollipop answered.
“I left my axe at his house,” the hulking detective replied.
“We’ll get you a new one,” Lollipop Jones promised.
Back at their respective apartments, the two found their stockings filled. Sitting under Pecan’s Christmas tree was a familiar shape: his axe. Lifting it, he saw a note.
Thought you might need this,
Smiling, Pecan looked at the autographed still from Bill Murray and thought to himself, best Christmas ever.
Thanks for reading everybody. Since Lollipop Jones & Pecan Sandie got their start a few years ago at Christmas, I thought I’d bring them back for another romp. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all, I’ll be back next year with more stories, appearances, and as much fun as I can.
Since you people have been so awesome and followed these two detectives through their adventures, check out the video below to enjoy some classic Bill Murray caroling featuring George Clooney and Miley Cyrus.
Hello everyone. With Halloween a week away, I wanted to reach out with some recommended reading to tingle the spine.
Myself, I have found myself reading a lot of H.P. Lovecraft this month. Not just because I find his stories to be some of the most original for the time, but also how pervasive his influence has been. Granted Lovecraft’s horror is very different from a lot of the modern-day sensibilities. It wasn’t all blood and gore so much as ooze and strange things from beyond the walls of man’s comprehension. If you want specific stories of his, I would recommend Call of C’Thulhu, Shadow Over Innsmouth, Dreams in the Witch-House, and The Colour Out of Time. Click the cover below to pick up a complete collection of his works.
Do you like vampires? There are a lot of great books out there to choose from. Believe, I know, I have a shelf or two full of vampire fiction novels. However, if you’ve never read it, I’m going to recommend Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. It has been touted as “Dracula meets Peyton Place,” which isn’t a terrible analogy. King took a very simple premise of what if Dracula came to a (then) modern, little New England town. I reread this book at least once every 18 months, and it is definitely my favorite King novel. Click the cover below to pick it up.
Are vampires not your thing? Do you prefer another form of undead? The flesh-eating variety? Zombies! Well then, I do have just the book for you. Brian Keene’s The Rising was released prior to The Walking Dead comics and follows a man on a quest to find his son after receiving a phone call from him. I read this book in a single evening, unable to put it down. The zombies featured within are not your typical mindless, flesh-eating fiends. They also aren’t just limited to humans. You heard me right, zombie dogs, deer, lions, and other assorted varieties of undead forest dweller. I would warn you that this book is graphic, but it’s zombies eating people how can it not be? Click the cover to sink your teeth into this one.
Like monsters, but not the undead variety. I might have just the thing.: Crota by Owl Goingback. A small town plagued by a monster that co-existed with the dinosaurs. After the destruction of the dinosaurs and the rise of man, the beast plagued the native American tribes in the area. Until one tribe sacrificed itself to seal the monster underground. It has been freed and is once again leaving carnage in its wake. This was another book that just held me enthralled until it was finished. For anyone who likes a little history, Indian mysticism, and one great monster; click the cover.
Okay, so you haven’t been impressed yet. You feel that horror comes more from a gathered sense of dread than monsters or eldritch terrors from beyond space and time. I can appreciate that, I also enjoy a good atmospheric horror story. What is better than setting a mood than a haunted house? Nothing, that’s what. So, for your entertainment may I recommend Hell House by the great Richard Matheson. Twenty years ago, there was a failed research expedition into the Belasco House, commonly known as Hell House. Now, a new team will be entering into the old mansion to try and prove or disprove the existence of “surviving personalities.” A scientist and his wife, accompanied by two mediums (one the only survivor of the first expedition) are venturing in to confront the horrors of Hell House. A story that builds upon the characters own experiences within the haunted halls, this book will leave you feeling like maybe you aren’t alone after all. Click the cover and peer beyond the veil.
Let me guess, you aren’t a serious horror reader and prefer something that takes a more tongue in cheek approach. May I recommend, John Dies at the End? This book has been described as “H.P. Lovecraft as written by Kevin Smith.” Having read the book and it’s sequel, I can wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Following David and his friend John, the book takes a look at the strange adventures of a couple of guys who find that they can see things outside the normal realm of perception when taking a drug, known only as soy sauce. At times very trippy with a lot of fun dialogue, John Dies at the End is a fun romp through what might be considered a horrifying world. Click the cover and be prepared to laugh or get scared.
Haven’t seen anything so far? Prefer a classic? How about Dracula? The most adapted literary character of all time. I’m sure I don’t have to give you too much of a rundown on this one. Lonely vampire moves to the city meets nice girl, only problem is her fiancee and his buddies want to kill him – ever noticed that if phrased right, anything sounds like a rom-com? Seriously though, if you’ve never read it, you should. This book set the standard for the modern interpretation of the vampire. Click the cover, read and listen to the children of the night.
Hopefully, there is something on this list that you will find appealing. Do you have other recommendations for people to read at this time of year? If so, leave them in the comments below. On October 25th, I’ll pick one of the commentators to receive an autographed copy of Winston & Baum and the Secret of the Stone Circle.
After their long hiatus, the daring duo detectives have returned. So, without delay, I present to you
The Thinking Cap of Doctor Felton
Lollipop Jones and Pecan Sandie strolled down the paved pathway between the zoos various exhibits. The petite detective wore her trench coat, and had her trademark confection firmly in her mouth. Walking beside his partner, the hulking Pecan kept glancing at the animals around them. “They got a new lemur,” he pointed out to Lollipop in his usual rumbling voice.
“We’re here on business,” Jones reminded her behemoth of an associate. “After we finish the job, we’ll come back for a visit.”
The duo walked the rest of the way to the small office building located beside the reptile enclosure. Pecan ducked under the doorframe and saw the loudly dressed receptionist staring at his large frame. “Can I help you?” She asked.
“We’re here to see Director Zaius,” Lollipop explained.
“Oh,” the receptionist said, looking at a calendar on her old, outdated computer screen. “You must be the detectives,” she concluded, giving them a once over with her eyes.
Picking up the phone, she pressed a button and began speaking to someone, presumably Director Zaius. A few seconds passed from the time that she hung up to a clearly academic man opened the door behind. “Lollipop Jones, Pecan Sandie?” He asked, glancing at the misfit duo.
“Director Zaius?” Lollipop replied.
“Yes, come back to my office,” the director offered, leading the detectives back to a small room with multiple framed certificates on the walls. “How do you like our zoo?”
“You got a new lemur,” Pecan answered.
“Yes, he came in last month,” Zaius replied. “You have a very good eye, most people can’t tell something like that.”
“Pecan’s got a mind for animals,” Lollipop said, cutting into the conversation. “Why did you reach out to us Director Zaius?”
“We’ve had some troubles here at the city zoo,” he stated. “Nothing too bad, but we would rather have the problem solved easily rather than bring in the police, until we know who they should arrest.”
“So, what’s been happening?” Pecan asked, his voice rumbling around the enclosed office.
“Graffiti,” Zaius said matter of factly. “It’s been appearing almost every morning for a week.”
“Don’t you have security cameras?” Lollipop asked.
“We do, but they always vandalize an area of the zoo where the cameras don’t cover. We’ve never seen anyone coming or going either. Whoever is doing this knows where our cameras are.”
“Or can move around without being seen,” Pecan stated.
“Ninjas?” Lollipop asked.
Her partner shrugged his massive shoulders in response.
“I don’t think it’s ninjas,” Zaius responded.
The detectives looked at the administrator questioningly. “Maybe, it would help if you saw last night’s,” the director suggested, pressing a button on his desk.
A zoo employer dressed in khaki shorts and a matching shirt entered. “Yes, sir,” the man said with a heavy Australian accent, nodding to the detectives in greeting.
“Steve, will you take our guests to the site of last night’s incident and make sure they have anything that they need,” Zaius instructed.
“Right away, boss,” Steve replied, waving for the duo to follow him.
Back out in the heat, the detectives kept pace with the animal handler, taking in the sites on their way. Dumping the empty Lollipop stick in a garbage can, Jones quickly retrieved another sucker and popped it into her mouth. “So, Steve,” she began. “Has there been any other weird things going on at the zoo?”
The Australian thought about it for a moment. “No, just the normal weird,” he answered.
“What’s ‘normal weird’?” Pecan asked, scratching his five o’clock shadow-covered jaw.
“Doctor Felton’s been working late with one of his new experiments,” Steve stated. “Nothing too strange there, he gets caught up in his work.”
“What is his experiment?” Lollipop inquired.
Steve shrugged his shoulders. “I keep the animals, the lab coat boys can keep themselves,” he explained. “Although, sometimes, I hear strange noises coming from his office.”
“Was the doctor here when the graffiti happened?” Pecan asked.
“No, nobody was in the park when that happened,” the animal handler answered. “Security was outside the gate and never saw anyone come or go. Well, here we go.”
Steve stopped and pointed to the large concrete wall that was wedged between one of the forested enclosures and the stone outcroppings surrounding the lion’s den. Free the congress of animals! Read the graffiti. Each letter was at least a foot tall and done in bright yellow, white, or pink paint. “Animal congress…” Pecan read, drifting into thought.
“Yeah, I figure it’s one of those tree-hugging groups. The zoo gets a lot of mail from those groups, pleading for the animals,” Steve said.
“What did the other messages say?” Lollipop asked.
“All similar things, free the true lords of the land, free the wrongly imprisoned, you know that normal hippie tripe,” the zoo employee answered.
“Show us where the others were done,” Pecan grumbled.
“Can they clean this?” Steve asked, pointing to the two men standing beside the wall.
Lollipop nodded, the two men began scraping at the paint with their scrub brushes, and Steve began leading the detectives away. They stopped at each of the other walls that had been vandalized, their messages having already been erased. The duo gave a close examination of the areas where the graffiti took place.
“Tell Director Zaius that we’ll be back right before close of the zoo,” Lollipop stated. “We’ll be staying the night in the zoo.”
“Plan on catching the punks in the act, eh?”
“Something like that,” Pecan answered.
The detectives left and went back to their office. A message from the zoo’s director was waiting on them. Zaius sounded nervous about having the detectives in the zoo after hours. He claimed that he was worried their presence would rile up the animals. “Does that sound like a man that wants us to catch his graffiti artists?” Lollipop asked.
Pecan shrugged. “Maybe, he might just really like the animals.”
Lollipop turned to her partner. “Are you excited about spending the night at the zoo?”
“Yes,” Pecan replied. “We don’t even have to pay for it.”
“This isn’t a pleasure trip,” Lollipop reminded the behemoth. “We still have a job to do.”
“I know,” the hulking man replied. “Did you notice what I noticed?”
“I’m pretty sure that I did,” the petite member of the duo replied. “We can compare notes before tonight.”
As the sun touched on the horizon, the day’s visitors were making their way out of the zoo. Director Zaius and Steve were waiting by the gates for their overnight guests. “Well, most of the guests will be out and security will do the final walk through,” Steve informed them.
“What about Doctor Felton?” Lollipop asked.
“He may still be in his office, but he’ll leave at no later than eight tonight,” Zaius answered. “It’s a bit unusual, but we allow it because of the prestige that his research brings to the zoo. Well, shall we?”
Pecan and Lollipop stepped through the gate and headed back towards the office building beside the reptile house. This time there was no receptionist on duty. Sitting down a small backpack, Lollipop pulled out a thermos and a few wrapped sandwiches, which she placed on the desk. “You didn’t tell anyone but the security guards about us staying, right?” Pecan asked.
“Not a soul beyond them,” Zaius confirmed.
“Well, if you gentlemen will leave it to us, you won’t have any graffiti problems after tonight,” Lollipop replied, smiling.
Smiling back and nodding, the men left the detectives to their overnight vigil.
As darkness set and the only lights in the zoo were the faux streetlights that lined the paved walkways, the detectives sat waiting. “Are we sure about this?” Lollipop asked her partner, turning up the collar of her trench coat and shifting the sucker to the other side of her mouth.
Pecan shrugged. “It’s the best plan we have,” he growled in response.
The flip-out battleaxe sat on the desk with Pecan’s hand resting on the bottom of the handle. Lollipop knew that with the flip of his wrist, her partner could fully extend the weapon to its full height. She did not favor such weapons. As an orphan, she had been trained by the Fighting Sisters of the Closed Fist, a sect of nuns that believed in unarmed combat. It was there that she had mastered their ultimate technique, the Uber-Death Punch: a blow so powerful that it could atomize the bones within a human body. In the time of their career, she had also seen what it could do to geese and imaginary friends. Tonight, she may have to put it to use again. Cracking her knuckles, she wrapped her hands around the doorknob, leading into the zoo. Sliding the battleaxe into its harness at his back, Pecan Sandie stood beside his partner.
Since all the vandalized areas were surrounded by large stones and trees, there was only one other possible target that had not yet been vandalized. The fact that all the walls were adjacent to a very specific animal enclosure had led Lollipop and Pecan to surmise who their culprit might be.
As it was, the detectives were not surprised when they saw the hunched over shapes working the spray paint cans. “All right,” Lollipop said. “Why don’t you put down the paint cans and head back to your enclosure?”
The three gorillas turned around, putting their silverbacks against the wall. “It’s not so simple,” a raspy, English-accented voice said from behind a nearby boulder.
“Why don’t you come out?” Lollipop asked.
Another of the formidable primates walked out from the stone façade. This one was different from its counterparts. Keeping its back straight, it was walking upright without the use of its arms. Something on its head glinted in the streetlights. The gorilla was wearing a colander on its head! “I see by your confused brows that you did not expect this,” the talking gorilla gave a smile, which looked more like a sneer.
The face of the great ape uprising!
“So, a super-smart ape,” Pecan commented, his voice sounding like a truck rumbling over gravel. “We figured it was Doctor Felton.”
“To some degree it was,” the ape said, drawing in a breath to begin monologuing. The detectives had faced enough foes to recognize the gesture. “I was in his office, finishing an examination. The cap, which I wear so well, was sitting on the table, shining so prettily. I took it and hid it, while I was escorted back to the prison. Placing it on my head, I was able to think unlike ever before. I knew how the men that run our jail would treat this discovery and quickly hid my ‘thinking cap,’ donning it at night to lead my gorilla brethren in protest.”
“Really?” Lollipop asked. “You are actually using peaceful protesting method to try and get changes?”
“Why wouldn’t we?” The gorilla asked. “Your kind has proved that violence never changes anything.”
“Why did Felton make the hat?” Lollipop asked.
“He’s been discontented for years to just run the research wing here. It was his hope that we would stage some form of revolt that could be placed squarely on the shoulders of Director Zaius, leaving our current administrator unemployed with Felton assuming the reins of this institution,” the ape explained. “He did not count on one very simple thing: we are discontent not savages.”
“Were you happy before getting the shiny hat?” Lollipop inquired.
“Of course, I was able to hang out with my buds. They fed us pretty good, but those days are past. I know what we are and how wrong it is. I hope to be the great liberator. We do not seek the overthrow humanity, but merely live peacefully among you” the great ape continued.
“Pecan get the hat, I’ll handle the paint brigade,” the smaller detective instructed.
“Defend me!” The hyper-intelligent ape shouted to his compatriots.
As the other three gorillas moved to protect their leader, Lollipop pulled a fresh sucker from her pocket and popped it into her mouth. Pecan, not wanting to let the gorillas get between him and their leader, rushed forward. With his shoulder, he pushed aside one of the defenders and stood face to face with the gorilla with the fancy hat. “You think your diminutive companion can handle my friends?” The gorilla asked, laughing.
Pecan Sandie’s hands flexed into fists, every knuckle cracking as loud as a firecracker, and he smiled. His smile was a vicious gesture that silenced the gorilla’s good humor. Raising its fists in a mockery of Queen Anne rules, the gorilla began to step from side to side.
Lollipop Jones saw her partner preparing to grapple with his target and knew that he could handle himself. The three gorillas had now encircled her. Do not Uber-Death Punchthe primates, she thought to herself. From the rear, the gorilla grabbed her ponytail. Kicking off with her back foot, the diminutive detective launched herself into a full flip, bringing her front foot onto the top of her attacker’s head. The gorilla released his grip, and his bottom jaw slammed into the asphalt walkway.
Unconscious, the downed ape began to snore. The other two seemed taken aback by this display, but they quickly recovered and continued circling the woman.
Pecan waded in and planted a large right fist on the intelligent gorilla’s jaw. The animal rocked back. Grabbing hold of Pecan’s wrist, his opponent led in and smashed a fist into the detective’s jaw. Stumbling back, the hulking man spit a wad of blood onto the ground. Still smiling, he turned back to his opponent. “You know for a human, you are quite resilient.”
“Thanks,” Pecan replied, stepping back into the fight.
This time, he was prepared when the gorilla grabbed his wrist and ducked under the animal’s swing and wrapped his arm around the corded muscles and thick fur of his opponent’s shoulder.
Attacking from the rear again, one of the gorilla’s grabbed hold of Lollipop’s trench coat. She slid her hands out and slipped free like a banana squeezed from its peeling, a scary banana that had just downed a full-grown silverback gorilla with a single kick. She shot out of her coat and attacked her other foe. With her hands held out rigidly straight, she dealt three open-handed blows to the gorilla’s knee, chest, and throat. The animal stood there for a moment and then collapsed backwards onto the ground. Turning to her final opponent, Lollipop saw the fear in the ape’s face. He looked at the coat in his hands, dropped it, jumped the nearest fence, and headed back for the gorilla habitat where he was usually housed.
Pecan saw Lollipop’s final foe flee but was too wrapped up, wrestling with his own opponent to comment. He had one massive arm wrapped around the gorilla’s shoulder, fighting to get further around to the ape’s back. The detective felt a fist slam into his exposed ribs, which provided just enough of a nudge to push the man within reach. Grabbing the rim of the colander, Pecan prepared to pull the device free of the gorilla’s head. “Wait!” His opponent pleaded. “Let me reason with you, surely we can come to some agreement.”
“We can at least listen to him,” Lollipop suggested shrugging her coat back on.
Almost immediately, the animal calmed down. “Thank you, does it not seem cruel to you to deny my newfound intelligence?” The ape questioned. “I merely want to be treated decently, advocating for my less intelligent brethren.”
“Why were they out here doing the graffiti?” Pecan rumbled.
“Maybe they don’t realize the conditions of their imprisonment, but I only wanted to help them,” the gorilla explained.
“Can you prove Felton’s plan?” Lollipop inquired.
The intelligent primate nodded. “Absolutely, before I found the thinking cap, he had been showing some very colorful pictures that clearly depicted his plan.”
After taking the incriminating documents from the doctor’s lab, Zeebo, the gorilla, agreed to return to the gorilla enclosure until the detectives had discussed things with the zoo administrator.
The next morning as Director Zaius listened to the detectives’ tale and viewed the evidence that they had gathered, he buzzed his assistant to contact security and have Doctor Felton report to his office as soon as he arrived. “I appreciate your help with this and also your discretion,” he explained.
Lollipop took the check for their services while Pecan took thin laminated strips that Zaius offered. They were lifetime passes to the zoo. Smiling, Pecan shook the man’s hand, being wary of his strength and excitement. After all, it would look bad to break a client’s hand.
“What about Zeebo?” Pecan asked.
“I’m not sure what to do with that,” Zaius admitted. “Any suggestions?”
“Give him a job,” Lollipop replied. “I bet you’ll see some improvements if you do.”
“I never realized how much you like the zoo,” Lollipop commented as the duo headed back to their homes for some much needed rest.
“It’s the animals. Did you know that Bill Murray’s mind was uploaded into a computer chip that was then inserted into a cat?” Pecan asked.
Science run amok!
Lollipop groaned. Her partner’s obsession with the icon bordered on fanaticism.
“I know how it sounds, but it’s true how else do you explain that cat having the voice and mannerisms of the world’s greatest actor?”
“They…” deciding not to argue, Lollipop conceded the point. “You’re absolutely right. They took this breakthrough and made a movie with it.”
“Seems like a bit of a waste doesn’t it?” Pecan asked.
Lollipop groaned louder in response.
The following afternoon, Zeebo dropped by their office to thank them for all of their help. He told them of his plans to go into the local government, even hoping to become governor one day. As the ape shut the door with one final thanks, the detective shared a look.
“I’ve seen worse candidates,” Pecan admitted.
There we go, for more adventures please visit the Lollipop Jones & Pecan Sandie home page here.
As I promised on facebook last week, the dynamic detecting duo have returned. So it is with great pleasure that I bring to you:
Lollipop Jones & Pecan Sandie
The Case of the Headless Lawnmower Man
Lollipop Jones and Pecan Sandie sat in their office, facing each other. Things had been quiet since the massive monster brawl that had occupied their time in October. The day was bright and beautiful outside with birds chirping happily. “Is it me or have things been kind of quiet?” Lollipop asked, shifting the stick of the ever-present sucker in her mouth.
The hulking behemoth across from her just shrugged, as he ran the wet stone over the blade of his flip-out battleaxe. “Too hot.” Pecan Sandie commented.
“Yeah, it is.” Lollipop agreed, lowering her hat over her eyes and propping her feet up. “I’m going to take a nap.”
Before the detective could get comfortable, hurried footsteps in the hallway drew their attention. Someone stopped outside their door and knocked. The duo shared a questioning look and then straightened up, making themselves look professional, or as professional as someone can look while sucking on a sugary confection or being a giant in a t-shirt. “Yes?” Lollipop called.
A very generic looking man entered. He was wearing a sweater vest over a polo shirt with khaki shorts and a pair of white canvas Keds. “How can we help you?” Pecan growled.
“Are you the detectives?” The man asked.
“Fantastic.” He replied. “I’m John Smith.”
“Suiting.” Lollipop stated, a perfectly normal, boring, generic name for a perfectly normal, boring, generic man.
“My neighbors and I have been having a problem. We called the police, but they said it was outside of their expertise. The chief told me to see if it might be more within your scope.” John Smith offered.
Police Chief Alyssandra Mendez was a close friend of the detectives and had called them in on several strange cases over the years. A recommendation from her always peaked the detectives’ collective interests. Leaning forward in his chair, Pecan towered over John Smith. “What’s the problem?” He asked their client.
John Smith seemed to shrink back from the rough looking character. “Don’t worry sir, Pecan Sandie is perfectly professional. We need to know what’s going on so we can help?” Lollipop Jones stated, trying to calm the man.
John Smith smiled, but still seemed incredibly nervous under the watchful eyes of the detectives. “It all started back in the 1950’s.” John Smith began. “I live in the Fancy Hills Country Club community.”
The detectives nodded, they suspected as much from the way John Smith looked and talked. Fancy Hills was the area where the wealthiest citizens of the city lived. If they had made a complaint, the police chief would have personally gone to see about it. “Back then, there was a gardner by the name of Maximilian Ludvisk. He was a German immigrant and an amazing engineer. As the sole caretaker for the community and golf course, he had a great deal of work. By all accounts, he was incredibly happy with his work, but felt he could be much more efficient.” Smith continued.
“He created his very own riding lawnmower, I’ve heard stories that it was better built than anything available for sale at the time. It seems that at dusk one night, he was cutting some of the residential yards when there was a mishap.” Their client paused and was happy to leave the story there.
“You should probably finish the story, so that we know what we’re dealing with.” Lollipop stated as she dropped the empty sucker stick into the garbage can and procured another from the drawer of her desk.
“Ah, yes.” John Smith replied as he continued. “According to the police report from the time, an empty clothesline had shifted down the pole and in the dim light Maximilian could not see it. The lady of that house saw the entire incident from the window in the kitchen. The line caught the poor man and with the power in the engine of his creation, it was a perfect combination to separate his head from his body.”
“Wow, you don’t hear about that too often.” Lollipop commented.
“What’s this have to do with your trouble?” Pecan asked.
“Well you see, there had never been anything more than rumors before, occasionally someone’s lawn would be cut differently, but now things are getting much worse and its been dangerous.” John Smith told them, as if his words had explained everything.
“What?” Pecan asked, raising his eyebrow in confusion.
“Why are things getting more dangerous?” Lollipop asked.
“He’s back.” John Smith said. “Maximilian Ludvisk and his deathmower are terrorizing our community.” An ominous peal of thunder echoed in the distance as lighting crashed, rattling the windows. Naw, I’m just kidding, it was like a super nice day outside (see the third sentence up there), but you know, I felt it added ambiance. Sorry, I’ll just rebuild that fourth wall.
“So Max and his lawn mower are what?” Lollipop asked. “I mean he was a gardener right? So is he attacking the new landscapers?”
“No.” John Smith stated. “At night, you can hear him riding up and down the neighborhood. My neighbor was almost run down while walking his poodle. If something isn’t done soon, he might kill someone.”
“Did he intentionally aim for your neighbor?” Pecan asked, crunching pecans in his hand and picking out the nut to much on.
“He came straight at him and never tried to turn. Poor Mr. Snuffles still has problems leaving the house. Have you ever seen an agoraphobic poodle? It’s tragic.” John Smith explained.
The only way to cheer up an agoraphobic poodle
Pecan and Lollipop chuckled. Neither of them had ever seen an agoraphobic poodle, but they thought it would be hilarious. “Okay. This does sound like a case for us.” Lollipop said, regaining her composure. “What time does Max normally show up?”
“Around ten.” John Smith replied.
“Why didn’t your neighbor make the report?” Pecan asked.
“I’m the president of the home owner’s association. We thought it might be better if I made the report.” He informed them.
“We’ll be there tonight around nine thirty, so let the guard know to let us in.” Lollipop stated.
“Thank you.” John Smith said standing.
As the door shut behind him, the duo looked at each other. “Rich people are weird.” Pecan commented.
“Yeah.” Lollipop agreed. “Did you think he was holding something back?”
“Yeah.” Pecan replied. “You know Bill Murray became an expert gardener while working on Caddyshack.”
“No, Pecan. I did not.” Lollipop sighed, pinching the arch of her nose. Her partner’s fascination with the actor was that of a zealot. Still, she knew better than to call him out on the veracity of his statements.
“He was able to produce a hybrid of grass that the golf course still uses. They say it is the greatest grass that anyone can ever play on. Bill Murray has secretly been sharing the technique with golf courses around the world to avoid litigation.” Pecan finished his fun fact with a grin.
“Good to know.” Lollipop replied. “Let’s get lunch.”
The Fancy Hills Country Club was a rolling expanse of beautifully manicured lawns and perfectly designed houses centering around the large facility that was the country club proper. It had horses, polo fields, Olympic-sized training facilities and one of the top rated golf courses in the country. Needless to say that Pecan Sandie and Lollipop Jones had never been anywhere close to the facility before. Lollipop parked her large, monster-wheeled, truck by the sidewalk and climbed down. Pecan just dropped from the cab and landed on the sidewalk with a solid impact.
The uniformed security guard from the gatehouse stepped out. “You can’t park that there.” He informed them.
Pecan growled at the man. The glint of metal from Pecan’s back, made the guard jumpy. Nervously, the man pulled his sidearm. Lollipop realized that the situation was getting bad very quickly. As a trained member of the Fighting Sisters of the Closed Fist, a warrior sect of nuns, Lollipop crossed the distance to the man quickly. Placing one hand on the slide of the weapon, keeping it from firing, she gave a quick tap to the guard’s neck. His entire body went rigid. “I know you can’t move.” Lollipop told the man. “I’m going to take this gun out of your hands and put it back into your holster. We are expected here. Mr. John Smith said that he would be telling you to expect us.”
Pecan Sandie lifted the man and carried him back to the gatehouse. Lifting his clipboard from a peg on the wall, Lollipop scanned the name. “See, we’re right here. Lollipop Jones and Pecan Sandie.” She announced, pointing at their names on the list. “We’ll just go on up. We’re expected.”
Pushing open the gates, the duo took in the expensive looking facades of the houses. Pecan let out a low whistle. A golf cart was coming down to meet them. It was John Smith. “Glad to see you made it.” He greeted them. “I’ll take you up to the area with the most problems.”
Lollipop climbed in beside him as Pecan sat on the rear. The small motor groaned at the additional weight. “Do you always have those?” John Smith asked, pointing to the sucker in Lollipop’s cheek.
“Not when I sleep.” She replied.
“Right.” John Smith said as they stopped in front of a cul de sac.
Pecan stepped off of the cart, causing the vehicle to jump at the absence of weight. “What makes this place so special?” Lollipop asked.
“This is the section of the neighborhood where he had his accident.” Their client informed them.
“Good place to haunt.” Pecan stated. “Very nice.”
“Yes, well thank you, but we’d really appreciate it if you could stop him.” John Smith reminded them.
“We’ll do everything that we can.” Lollipop stated.
Climbing back onto his golf cart, the President of the Fancy Hills Country Club Home Owner’s Association drove away to his comfortable house. The detectives stood in the middle of the street for a moment. “How do you stop a ghost?” Lollipop asked.
Pecan shrugged. “Not like an imaginary fiend.” Pecan grumbled.
“We can try our normal method first.” Lollipop offered.
“Works for me.” Pecan agreed.
The duo walked the street, waiting for an appearance of the ghostly gardener. Behind one of the houses, they heard a small choke, like an engine starting. It was followed by the steady hum of a lawn mower engine. Rushing towards the sound, they saw a spectral figure running over the grass. An old contraption that had not been seen for several decades rolled easily over the green of the lawns. It was much different than modern riding mowers, this one had a large round wheel of blades in the front rather than under the body. Sitting at the controls, dressed in coveralls was a headless man. “I need to get over the blades.” Lollipop informed her partner.
It was like this
mixed with this.
Cupping his hands together, Pecan nodded at the small detective. Running, Lollipop placed her foot into Pecan’s improvised launch pad. Throwing her into the air, Pecan watched as she soared in an arc towards the target. Lollipop’s trench coat flapped about her like brown wings. Preparing the ultimate attack of the Fighting Sisters of the Closed Fist, the Uber-Death Punch, she waited until she was on top of her opponent. Her fist struck out, passing through the ghostly man. The blow would have atomized the bones of a normal human, but the ghost did not have any reaction to the strike.
Baffled, the detective looked to her partner. Pecan had the handle of his axe in his hand. With a flick of his wrist, the weapon extended to its full length. Striking at the mower, his axe head wedged in between some of the blades. The driver turned off the engine of the lawnmower and pantomimed scratching his head, only their was no head for him to scratch. He stepped off of the vehicle and both disappeared. “Did I do it?” Pecan asked.
“Maybe.” Lollipop answered. “Keep in mind I’ve never fought a ghost before either.”
From another yard, the lawnmower revved to life. “Guess not.” Pecan stated.
For the rest of the night, the duo watched the headless lawnmower man. He was not doing anything other than cutting the lawns. The detectives were puzzled. All the information that they had been given seemed to indicate that the ectoplasmic being was dangerous, but this looked like he was still on the job. “Weird.” Lollipop stated.
“We need to talk to some people.” Pecan stated, putting his axe up and cracking his knuckles.
Dawn broke on a lovely morning, with dew over the fresh cut grass. People were stepping out onto their freshly mowed lawns. It seemed that the neighborhood was filled with the people you would expect. There was Overweight Bald Man, Old Lady with Too Much Makeup, Trophy Wife and Mid-Life Crisis Guy, all watching the detectives. Rounding out the group was John Smith, riding in on his golf cart. “How’d it go?” He asked, stepping from the tiny vehicle.
“Well, we didn’t get rid of Max.” Lollipop replied honestly.
“All he did was cut the grass.” Pecan stated. “He isn’t dangerous.”
“He almost killed me and Mr. Fluffles.” Protested Old Lady with Too Much Makeup.
“The guy doesn’t have a head.” Lollipop retorted. “What do you expect?”
“Oh yeah, well he butchers my rose bushes, all the time.” Overweight Bald Man insisted.
“And that’s dangerous?” Pecan asked.
“If we have improper yards, we’ll lose our status amongst Rich People Neighborhoods Digest. Currently, we’re ranked number two, but we might drop if this keeps up.
“Look, you people suck, but I might have a solution.” Pecan stated. “We’ll go back to our office and be back tonight.”
Back at their office, Pecan Sandie sat down at his desk. The items that they had purchased on the way laid out before him. Picking up a paring knife, he began to slowly carve the butternut squash gourd before him. “What are you doing?” Lollipop asked.
“He needs a head.” Pecan replied.
“Wouldn’t a pumpkin be more appropriate?” Lollipop asked (clearly a stickler for Irving).
“You see any pumpkins?” Pecan asked. “They come into season much later, what we’ve got is butternut squash.”
With a few deft flicks of his hand, Pecan had carved a happy face onto the gourd. Opening a Mr. Spud Head figure, the large man took pink plastic ears and stuck them in at the appropriate places. “All right.” He informed his partner. “We’re ready.”
Armed with the gourd, Pecan Sandie and Lollipop Jones waited. This time when they rushed towards the lawnmower sounds, they had a plan. Stepping in front of the on-rushing spectral vehicle, Pecan hurled the gourd at the ghost. It hit the neck and stuck. Amazed the duo watched as the carved eyes blinked and squinted. Taking a pair of glasses from his pocket, Maximilian Ludvisk placed them on his new head, resting the arms against his plastic ears and waved at the detectives. Waving back, they stepped aside so that he could continue his job.
The next morning, as the neighbors came out, they marveled at how good their lawns looked. Even John Smith was impressed. “He did a really good job.” The President commented. “What did you do?”
“Gave him a head.” Pecan commented. “Where’s the grass on your golf course come from?”
“I’m not at liberty to say.” John Smith replied.
But we all know.
Satisfied that they had done a good job, and even more satisfied that they had overcharged the rich neighborhood, the detectives went off to see what other adventures might await them.
Still in Fancy Hills Country Club community, on moonless nights, you can still hear Maximilian Ludvisk run over that guy’s rose bushes.
Hope you enjoyed. Continue checking back to see what other adventures these two will get into, or just follow my own misadventures.
I know that judging by the title of this blog, you expected it to be about the time the chimp and I took on those seven foot tall twins in Tokyo but that’s really more of an Easter story. We were trying to find Mothra’s crazy colored chocolate eggs after all. No this tale is a story of a hard fought battle, of man against nature, of . . . a lapse in judgment.
An omen of things to come.
A little history before we begin, every year my wife and I along with another couple go and cut down a live tree to put in our houses and decorate it. Simple enough, right? Our friends had recently moved into a new house with a magnificent (i.e. insanely tall) ceiling. To accommodate this space while touring the tree farm, our friends on the advice of a third party (I’ll get to him later) chose a 14 foot beast of a tree. My truck sagged under the heavy load of this tree. Once back at their house, we discovered a whole new set of problems. How do we get the tree into the house? We couldn’t fit it down the stairs if we went in through the front door and it was too big to make the turn and fit into the basement. So there we were two reasonably intelligent men and Luke (our previously unnamed third party).
There are only two words to describe Luke: big and Luke (anyone who has met Luke can attest to my description as accurate). So there we stood when Luke came up with an idea. Let’s try and use ropes to deadlift the ten ton tree onto the deck 18 off the ground. There we were two intelligent men, listening to Luke. Thus began the lapse of judgment, because we agreed to try Luke’s plan. This is where things started going terribly awry. So we carry this monstrous evergreen to the side of the house, where we leave it. Then it is into the house and up the stairs to secure the ropes to the railing of the deck and then we wait, while the friend who purchased this gigantic tree headed back down to tie off the rope around his prize.
Safe in the knowledge that the ropes were tied tightly to the tree, he proceeded to join us on the deck. Three guys, young and . . . well we’ll leave it at young, took hold of those ropes with our gloved hands and we gritted our teeth together. It was time to pull. Several moments passed our muscles straining. We needed a break before we dropped the tree and lost all the progress we had gained. We tied off our ropes and looked over the rail. THE TREE WAS STILL ON THE GROUND. It goes without saying that our morale at this point had dropped fairly low. Fortunately, our stupidity was running very high.
Did we decide to try and get it to fit into the basement? No. Did we think to try and use one of another myriad of entrances? No. What did we do? We listened to Luke again. We brought the women along for our sleigh ride of frustration and labor, why? Because that was Luke’s idea and Christmas is about sharing.
So out came the three lovely young ladies, who have been laughing at us this entire time. With their added strength we were able to finally start making progress. The tree was almost halfway up when something grabbed the end of the tree. The massive evergreen suspended above the ground, as some unseen force pulled at the base of the tree. Was it gravity? I’ve heard that can cause problems when things are lifted off of the ground, or was it merely the hand of fate adding to the mishaps surrounding this tree? Neither, while we were hoisting the tree’s base had gotten lodged underneath one of the support columns of the porch.
So with shaking limbs and dwindling spirits, we sent Luke to free the base of the tree. Apparently it was an arduous journey because I know marathon runners that have finished in better time than Luke did for making the 150 foot walk. As his laughter filled the air when he saw the predicament, visions of murder danced in our heads as we maintained our hold on the tree.
Finally, after Luke completed his task and returned to us on the deck it was time to finish bringing this monstrosity into the house. It took five or six good massive heaves and we had the tree on the deck. It lay there for a moment as the deck gave several long, low ominous moans, but the deck held. Surprising given how many troubles had been associated with the tree. So it was that we beat the beast and wrangled it into the house. Of course now we had to set it upon the tree stand, but that is a tale for another day, tomorrow or maybe Wednesday. Check back to find out which.
With Easter approaching, I thought it was time for another story featuring our two fearless detectives. So for your enjoyment:
Lollipop Jones & Pecan Sandie
A Scrambled Caper
It was only a few days before Easter. Lollipop Jones and Pecan Sandie found themselves walking down the sidewalk, surrounded by pastel colored clothed people. “I’ve always liked spring.” Lollipop announced to her partner.
Pecan made a non-committal grunt. The detectives were not dressed in the soft colors of the rest of the city. No matter the season, Lollipop could be found with her trench coat and Pecan was wearing jeans and combat boots. “So what do you suspect our mysterious phone call was about?” Lollipop asked around the quickly dissolving sucker in her mouth..
“A case.” Pecan answered, his gravelly voice rumbling. “No idea why they wanted to meet at a diner.”
“I don’t mind, I’m hungry.” Lollipop responded.
Entering into the “Broken Egg Diner”, Lollipop and Pecan saw their prospective client. The farmer was wearing a well-worn ball cap and dusty overalls. Sitting down across from the man, they each gave a curt nod to their client. Looking over his steaming coffee cup, he returned the nod. “You them detectives?” The farmer asked.
“You Billy Collins?” Pecan rumbled.
“I am.” Billy answered. “I sure am hoping that ya’ll can help me.”
“Can you tell us what it is we’re supposed to help you with?” Lollipop asked.
“I’m the head of a small union of egg farmers near the city.” Billy explained. “We’ve all been hit by a thief.”
“What did they take?” Lollipop asked, taking a notepad from her coat pocket.
“Eggs!” Billy exclaimed. “What else do you think we have?”
Pecan chuckled. “Is there a big market for eggs?”
“At Easter?” Billy asked, stunned. “No better time to have a barn full of eggs.”
“Anyone that you can think of that would want to steal these eggs?” Lollipop asked.
“No.” Billy answered. “None of us has any enemies and without those eggs we’ll go bust.”
“Where’s your farm?” Pecan asked.
Billy gave them the address and then left. Lollipop and Pecan stayed to order breakfast, but with the egg shortage that had hit the city, most breakfast foods were gone. Lollipop decided to have a blueberry sucker, Pecan just scowled. Frustrated at the lack of omelets and pancakes, the detectives decided to get to work and pay a visit to the farm.
The multiple acres that stretched before them was filled with chicken coops. Short, white buildings that were temperature controlled, moisture controlled, and filled with rows of the little clucking birds. “Jeez, I feel like we’re in a Space Odyssey.” Lollipop said, referring to the futuristic look of the coops.
“Yeah.” Pecan agreed. The large mountain of man pointed towards a red building that stood taller than the others. “Egg barn.”
“Probably.” Lollipop agreed, as they started to walk between the rows of chicken buildings.
Arriving at the large barn, they saw that while its outside appeared to be red wood, the inside resembled a cooler. The large open door revealed a massive space that was almost completely empty. “Ya’ll made it quick.” Billy commented from the inside of the barn.
“Is this where the eggs were stored?” Lollipop asked.
“Yeah.” Billy confirmed. “Nothing’s been touched since we found it this morning.”
Stepping into the large interior, Lollipop and Pecan separated to inspect the floor of the barn. “Hey!” Pecan called.
Lollipop hurried to her partner. “What’d you find?” She asked.
Pecan held up a few feathers in his hand. Lollipop gave him a inpatient look. “Those are chicken feathers.” She stated. “The eggs come from chickens, so it’s safe to assume that these feathers are from around here.”
“What about these?” Pecan asked, revealing his other hand.
He had several brown and black feathers in it. “What are those?” Lollipop asked.
“Geese feathers,” Billy answered from behind them.
“Do you have any geese on property?” Pecan asked.
“No.” Billy answered.
“What about these?” Pecan asked, showing the chicken feathers.
“Those didn’t come from one of my chickens.” Billy stated.
“Why not?” Lollipop asked.
“All my hens are golden.” Billy explained. “Those are white and clearly have not been tended to. You can tell by the dirt on the tips.”
“So your chickens can’t get dirty.” Lollipop stated, disbelief clear in her voice.
“Each of our coops is hermetically sealed and our workers wear complete hazmat suits to prevent getting any outside bacteria near the eggs.” Billy replied. “We have the cleanest eggs anywhere in the world. It’s what makes them taste so good.”
Lollipop started to look at her partner and scoff, but when she looked at Pecan the big man was no longer standing beside her. Turning around, she found her partner standing at the barn door. He was kneeling down and looking at something. Leaving Billy staring at the vast empty space, Lollipop knelt next to her partner. “What’d you find?” She asked.
Raising a large hand, Pecan opened it to reveal three eggs, each crudely painted. Lollipop took a moment to appreciate that the giant hands of her partner were able to crack open pecans, but were gently cradling the eggs. “So what does this mean?” Lollipop asked. “Someone’s trying to get a head start on their Easter eggs.”
Pecan shrugged. “Maybe nothing.” He answered.
Following the tire tracks, they discovered more of the horribly painted eggs. “I don’t know who did these, but they are terrible.” Lollipop commented.
“Yeah, I’d leave them hidden.” Pecan agreed.
“Although I do like a good hardboiled egg once in a while.”
“Bill Murray only eats Cadbury crème Eggs.” Pecan stated.
The muscular man’s obsession with Bill Murray was almost fanatical. “Does he?” Lollipop asked.
“Yeah, Bill Murray can get them whenever he wants.” Pecan agreed. “He has an agreement with the Cadbury bunny.”
Bill Murray recounting his experience with the Cadbury Bunny
“Right.” Lollipop said, stretching out the word. “And maybe I can get an agreement with the Easter bunny.”
As they headed down the trail, they found another group of amateur painted eggs. These eggs were misshapen and odd looking. Pecan picked them up. “We need to go.” He proclaimed.
“Why?” Lollipop asked.
“Because these are rocks.” Pecan said, clanking two of them together. “We need to follow these tracks.”
“I’ll bring the truck around.” Lollipop said, heading towards the large, four wheel drive beast, which was her truck.
Turning the key, Lollipop smiled, as the engine roared to life. She maneuvered the vehicle over beside her partner. Pecan climbed up into the cab. “Follow the tracks.” He instructed.
“You know, I never learned tracking.” Lollipop admitted.
“Why not?” Pecan asked.
Lollipop just shrugged. The Fighting Sisters of the Closed Fist had raised the detective and taught her the greatest hand to hand combat techniques ever known, but she had never taken an interest in their tracking lessons. It just hadn’t seemed as fun.
“What’s that?” She asked pointing at the large thicket of bushes ahead of them.
“It must be the path.” Pecan answered cryptically.
Lollipop eased on her brakes. “Keep going.” Her partner instructed. “We’ll find the thieves on the other side.”
Giving an unsure look to Pecan, Lollipop decided to trust him and eased the truck forward. The large tires rolled towards the thicket, then as they were about to roll into it, the greenery parted around them. A lush paradise of shade trees and green grass stood before them. Still pools, scattered across the distance. “The Enchanted Thicket,” Pecan marveled.
“So the Easter Bunny did it.” Lollipop stated.
“Doubtful.” Pecan replied. “Why would he start stealing eggs now, I think he might have some unwanted guests.”
Shaking her head, Lollipop turned off the truck and exited. Pecan dropped down on the other side a moment later. “Well since you’re the expert here, where do we start looking?” Lollipop asked.
Pecan pointed to a large, pastel pink dome, nearby. The detectives made their way to the structure, seeing a jagged, yellow line, painted across the center of the dome. Reaching the base, the detectives split up and started walking in opposite directions around the dome. Meeting on the other side, they found a small door and two windows. Flowers bloomed in two organized beds underneath the windows. “Let me guess, the Easter Bunny’s house.” Lollipop guessed.
“Yup.” Pecan said, as he pushed open the little door.
They were greeted to signs of a struggle. There were overturned cups of light pastel paints, the small furniture had been shifted around, and a pile of carrots sat on the floor, underneath them were the broken pieces of a plate. Crouching to enter the egg shaped house, Pecan and Lollipop started to search the diminutive structure. After finding a room filled with cans of paint, and another that was a pantry of cabbage, lettuce, and carrots, they found a small bedroom. A small straw mattress sat upon a tiny wooden frame. On the other side was a small brown and white shape, tied up with ropes. Lollipop, able to move easier than her bulky partner, hurried over the bed, to the small shape. As she touched it, two long ears rose up and a perfectly adorable bunny stared at her.
A thin strip of fabric had been wrapped around his cute little bunny mouth and nose. Lollipop quickly removed the gag. “Is that better?” She cooed at the rabbit.
“A great deal, yes, can you please untie my hands and feet?” The rabbit asked in a high-pitched voice, sounding like someone having taken a great gulp of helium.
“You can talk?” Lollipop stammered.
“Of course I can talk. I’m the Easter Bunny.” The rabbit explained. “But you can call me Hopster.”
“Hopster, what happened?” Pecan rumbled from the other side of the bed.
The rabbit let out a little giggle. Lollipop looked at her partner, huge and deadly, crammed into the tiny space and realized just how ridiculous it looked. Not looking him in the eye, for fear that she would laugh as well, she quickly untied the rabbit. “I can’t tell you too much.” Hopster said. “A group of geese came in and tied me up. I’ve been here for the last several days, occasionally they bring me a glass of water and some food.”
“Geese huh?” Pecan asked.
“Yes, they dress funny.” Hopster admitted.
“Well geese are mean.” Lollipop admitted.
Geese are a-holes!
“These are the worst geese I’ve ever seen.” Hopster stated. “And they work for someone, someone that’s not a goose. I think it might be a chicken.”
“Why?” Pecan inquired.
“All the clucking.” Hopster explained.
“Any idea where they are?” Lollipop asked.
“If I had to guess, I’d say they’re out by the big painting table.” Hopster said and then pointed the way.
“Stay here.” Pecan instructed. “We’ll come back when its safe.”
Hopster nodded and started straightening out his tiny house. Pecan and Lollipop left the little guy to his work and went in the direction that he had pointed. It did not take them long until they came to a large table, almost as long as an airplane runway. There were a large number of geese standing around, trying to paint the eggs. These geese were dressed funny, even funnier than a normal goose would, wearing clothes. They had loose baggy kid’s pants on and dark colored bandannas and skull caps covering the small heads. “The Loosey Gooseys!” Lollipop gasped.
Pecan turned towards his partner, waiting for an explanation. “This is the worst bird gang in all the inner cities. Worse than the Dove Lords, or even the Pigeon Kingpins, I wonder who brought them into this little venture.”
“I did!” Proclaimed a small chicken behind them. The detectives turned at the sound. “That’s right I did it. I’m tired of that little rodent taking all the credit for eggs. Who lays those eggs? Chickens! After the bad press I received about the sky falling, I wanted to do something to restore my good name and bring the recognition back to chickens for Easter.”
All Pecan and Lollipop heard was a bunch of squawks and clucks, but they knew what it meant. This chicken was a bad egg and needed to be taken out. As the detectives approached the small white fowl, it let out a single “Cockle doodle doo,” which is chicken for “ATTACK!” Before the detectives could capture the chicken, the Loosey Gooseys swarmed around them. One of the gang geese stepped forward. It swaggered up to Lollipop Jones and jumped into the air. It planted a webbed foot on her leg and continued its spin. Flapping its wings, it backed away from the detectives. “Did that goose just round house kick me?” Lollipop asked Pecan.
He looks like the type to Roundhouse kick, doesn’t he?
“Looked like it.” Pecan answered.
“Oh I don’t think so.” She said, throwing the empty sucker stick from her mouth. She dug in her pocket and retrieved a flavor that was perfect for a fight, sour apple, and took a step towards the offending fowl.
A few of the geese pulled switchblades with their wings, but given the lack of fingers they were having too much trouble holding onto them to really pose a threat. Reaching behind him, Pecan took his folded battle axe from its place. With a flick of his wrist, the weapon was fully extended and ready for use. A small group of the geese circled the large man, while the others circled up around Lollipop. It did not take long before they all rushed forward towards the detectives. Little did they know that they faced a full inductee into the Fighting Sisters of the Closed Fist, the keepers of the Uber-Death Punch, which could vaporize the bones within a human body. It had a very different effect on the geese. The first one that received the Uber-Death Punch, knocked all the feathers from the bird and when it had stopped rolling it looked like it was perfectly ready to go into the oven for dinner.
It had been no chance of fate that the first goose to fall had been the one to round house kick Lollipop. As the fight continued and the feathers flew, Lollipop pulsed through her enemies like Colonel Sanders through chickens, which works as an analogy because you know, geese are tasty birds too. After the last of the attacking geese had been reduced to an oven ready entree, Lollipop turned to find her partner. There was a large mass of geese and feathers. Rising out of it was the largest goose that Lollipop had ever seen. The bird towered over her. It raised up a battle axe and wiped its face with the back of a hand. Lollipop laughed as she saw Pecan Sandie covered in goose feathers. “What happened?” She asked.
“I worked up a sweat, the feathers stuck.” He explained. “What about the chicken?”
“He’s probably going back for Hopster.” Lollipop exclaimed, as the detectives rushed off towards the bunny’s house.
They saw the small pink dome and the door, standing open. Arriving on the scene, they watched the chicken come staggering out, his face an array of pastel colors. Hopster stepped out from the house. He was wearing a leather harness that held different paint brushes and a basket with a few eggs in it. “If you ever try anything like this again, you’ll think that acorn was the best thing to ever happen to you.” Hopster proclaimed.
He might be cute, but the Easter Bunny means business.
The chicken ran off, the detectives weren’t sure, but could chickens cry, because they thought this one had been. As Hopster led the detectives back to their truck, he explained the missing eggs. “I’ll have those stolen eggs returned tomorrow. I have a contract with an egg conglomerate in Indiana, they’ll be here in an hour. My “would be” successor did not know that. If there’s anything I can do, let me know.” Hopster offered.
“Can I get the Bill Murray deal?” Pecan asked.
“That’s Cad’s domain. I can’t make any promises, but I’ll ask and see what he can do.” Hopster offered. “How about you, Ms. Jones? Want hard boiled eggs every month?”
“No, I’m fine but thank you.” She replied as she climbed into the truck.
Pecan climbed in beside her. “Well this was definitely a new one.” He stated.
“Yes it was, but tomorrow we should be able to get those omelets.” She said.
“But first, let’s see that Loosey Gooseys do some community service.” Pecan offered. Lollipop raised a questioning eyebrow at him.
The next morning the city’s food kitchen had a delivery. All the Uber-Death Punched geese were dropped off. As Pecan arrived back at his place, there was a small basket sitting on the coffee table. A small note sat on top of it. The basket was filled with Cadbury crème Eggs. Opening the note, Pecan read the message:
Hopster told me what you did. I’ll give you one basket a month, nobody but Bill Murray gets the Bill Murray special.
Pecan smiled as he opened the gold, red, and blue wrapper. It was going to be a good Easter.
The Easter Bunny sculpture is courtesy of my wife, Caralyn. You can find the bunny and her other creations here.