Nail Clippers, Pages 25 & 26

Remember how I said, way back when I started this, that I felt the whole story went off the rails and then I gave up? Sure you do, if you don’t it’s in writing. Here is where the wheels really began to wobble. See, I like Old Man Jenkins. I like him as a serial killer of sorts. However, I like him not as a serial killer of sorts. When I wrote this I wasn’t ready to make a decision, he kept being loveable and creepy. So I extended the story by adding new characters, in fact here are two now, a police officer and a reporter…see where this is going? Good, cuz I hope to get there. Enjoy. 🙂

Previously.

“Awesome game Banks,” Officer Coughlin said as he walked past Chloe Banks standing at the bar.

“Thanks,” Detective Chloe Banks said over her shoulder, “Bobby another round for the team.”

Already celebrating their victory over division rivals, the bar erupted in cheers.

****

“Silverberg!”

Running his hands over his unshaven face, he wondered what he had done this time. Standing outside the editor’s office, Jacob ran a hand through his thinning hair and straightened out his suit jacket. He tried to put on his best smile, but the best he could muster was his “not so downtrodden” expression.

“Shut the door!” Editor in Chief Ramsey yelled.

Jacob shut the door and sat down with a thud in front of Ramsey’s desk. Even though Jacob barely respected his boss, he always admired how clean and organized the man’s desk and office was. Jacob’s desk was a mess from top to bottom.

Ramsey held Jacob’s latest story between his thumb and index finger waving it in Jacob’s direction, “Do you read what you write before you send it to me or do you write it 15 minutes before deadline and hope that nobody notices?”

****

Parking in front of their garage, Jax checked the clock on dashboard. He looked over at Jetta who was looking back at him.

“One hell of a night,” he said, putting the car in park.

“Sure was.”

Later, lying in bed, Jetta rolled onto her side to face Jax finishing another book on crossbreeding roses, “What do you think about having Mandy over for dinner this weekend?”

He turned the page, put his finger between the pages, and set the book on his lap before responding. “Sounds like a great idea to me. We could use the grill.”

“I’ll call her and see if she has the time. How is the book?”

“This might be the ticket,” Jax said holding the book up, “I’m taking plenty of notes.”

A stack of Post-It-Notes sat on the nightstand. Jetta loved his note taking, she found some of his notes stuck to walls, clothing, or in other random places all of the time. Each time he responded the same way, “I had an idea.”

Rolling over she said, “Don’t stay up too late.”

****

Jenkins checked the kitchen clock, eleven fifty-nine flashed twice before noon flashed. Anytime now, Jenkins thought. Barbossa hopped onto the kitchen table.

“Meow,” she said sniffing around the table, doing her best to not look interested in the plate with two strips of bacon.

“Go ahead,” Jenkins said.

Barbossa sniffed the plate, snatched a piece of bacon, and hopped to the floor with her prize. Barbossa stopped eating, ears up. Jenkins looked outside, a Mayer’s delivery truck pulled into the driveway at that moment.

“Your ears are much better than mine,” he said, tossing the last piece of bacon to her.

Half an hour later Jenkins threw open the doors to the tornado shelter. The deliverymen had been nice enough to bring the boxes to the tornado shelter. Carrying the first box, he descended into the shelter, the musty odor overpowering. Jenkins set the box down and fumbled for the string to turn on the light. With a tug, the light illuminated the shelter, dirt walls and floor with vines sticking out of the walls here and there. Lots of potential and work, Jenkins thought as he headed up the steps to get the rest of the boxes.

“Meow. Meow,” Barbossa said rubbing up against Jenkins leg.

He looked down at Barbossa, “Go play.”

“Meow. Meow,” Barbossa said with a tone Jenkins recognized as hunger.

At that thought, Jenkins’ stomach rumbled loudly. Odd, how long had he been working, he thought as he looked to the tornado shelter entrance and saw night sky. He looked around the shelter; boxes and packing material lay in a pile in the center of the room. A wooden table and pegboard were against the back wall. A variety of hammers, saws, and other tools hung from hooks in the pegboard. Several blue storage tubs sat in the corner next to the table. Next to the tubs a large wooden frame stood. Where Jenkins stood, pieces for a larger table lay in a pile. On top of the pile were two table legs attached to the tabletop. Time flies, Jenkins thought.

“I’m sorry,” he said to Barbossa, “I did not realize how long I had been working. Let’s get some food.”

Puddles and Whiskers New 12

Previously.

Making Arrangements

“Why noodles?” Eth asked as he pointed at his bowl of noodles with his neon pink chopsticks.

“What’s wrong with noodles?” Chuck retorted around a mouthful of noodles.

“Don’t point with chopsticks,” Puddles said while pointing at Eth’s chopsticks with her chopsticks.

“What?”

“I said, what’s wrong with noodles,” Chuck repeated after swallowing.

“Not that,” gesturing with his chopsticks Eth said, “the chopstick thing.”

“Heard it somewhere,” Puddles answered.

“I like noodles,” Whiskers spoke up setting down a neon orange with red swirled cup.

“Every time?” Eth asked. “Every single time we meet, we meet at a NiHo’s. Why?”

Puddles slurped down a chopstick load of noodles, Chuck looked to Whiskers, and Whiskers took another sip of tea, “Cheap, healthy, and best of all who is going to come here to listen in on any conversation?”

Looking around, “Good point,” said Eth.

Returning to his bowl of noodles, Eth ate in silence for a few moments.

“Anyone want to share some dumplings?” Chuck asked.

Puddles held up her chopsticks. Using the tabletop holo-menu, Chuck ordered dumplings. Eth set down his chopsticks and put his hands together in front of his face, thoughtful look on his face.

“What is on your mind, Eth?” asked Whiskers.

“Shouldn’t that be my question to you?” gesturing at them with one hand Eth responded.

“You look like you have something to say is all.”

“Number two dumpling platter,” the waiter announced to the table as he set a large steamer full of dumplings in front of Chuck.

“Thank you,” Chuck mumbled around a mouthful of noodles.

“I need you to do something for me,” Eth said talking over the waiter and Chuck.

Looking up from her bowl of noodles, Puddles said, “From us.”

“In exchange for what?” Whiskers asked.

“My usual fee.”

Puddles, Chuck, and Whiskers exchanged looks, “Must be important to you,” Puddles said.

“It is, but not just for me, some friends. Deal?”

“Deal,” Whisker responded.

“Great what do you need from me?”

“Two gangers.”

“Just two? Not a whole gang?”

“Just two and they need to want mechanical augmentation.”

“Why?”

“Long story, we need to get into a doctor’s office. They only take gangers who get augmentation…or at least we think. We can’t get inside.”

“I see.”

Whisker slide his tablet across the table, “Our information.”

Eth spent a few minutes reviewing the information before sitting back, hands in front of his face. “I think I can find a few gangers for you. It will take a day or two.”

Puddles said, “That’s fine. What do you need from us?”

“I need you to find Red Twist,” he said with some finality.

“Who?”

“Head of the Red Hands?”

“Still no clue,” said Puddles.

“Wait, the bike gang?” Chuck asked.

“That’s them.”

“Is he lost?” Whisker asked sarcastically. “I would think you would be able to find him,” he said to Eth.

“He’s hiding from some friends of mine…”

“And you owe them,” Puddles interrupted.

“Something like that,” he shot back.

“We just need to find him?”

“That’s all, find him, and keep an eye on him until my friend arrives.”

“Since we have a couple of days of waiting, we can get right on that,” Puddles said looking to Whiskers and Chuck.

Menagerie: Strike

“What a piece of junk,” Three-Tusk was never one to keep his opinions to himself, Wheez thought.

Wheeze shook his multicolored mane that flashed through several shades of red before settling on a deep red color. He looked over his right shoulder towards the back of the command deck where Three-Tusk operated the weapons console or at least looked like he was. In reality, he sat there staring. His porcine face, mouth open vividly displaying all three of his namesake tusks, at the vid-screen and the massive bovine merchant ship displayed.

The bovine ship was a long block-shaped beast. The front end was blunt nosed, with several square protrusions extending from each side. Extending from the back of the front-end block a long square tube that ended where the engines began; four massive engines that provided just enough power to keep the ship running. Spaced evenly along the length of the center tube were four cargo pod rings; the extra cargo pods could be ejected in case of trouble, but most often just to off-load the pods from the center cargo bay. Painted black, various degrees of damage all over the ship and the name “Majestic” painted on the front and engines completed the image of the bovine merchant ship.

“Yes, Tusk, that is the target. It may look like a piece of junk, but it is full of food and supplies that we can sell for a lot of isstas,” Wheez said sharply. “Do you have a problem with my choice of targets? Tongue, have they detected us yet?”

“They don’t know we are here. Move us in for the kill?” Long Tongue asked.

His tongue swept over his teeth and lips like he had just finished a huge meal and was looking for any morsels he had missed. Long Tongue’s unadorned mane shook as he adjusted the controls bringing the Death Cackle into attack position above and behind the Majestic.

As the ship began its attack run, Wheez began to laugh, a series of wheezes turning into a loud barking cough, echoing throughout the command deck. Long Tongue started his loud cackling laugh like a maniac shortly after Wheez started to laugh.

Looking like a knife, all edges and dangerous looking, the Death Cackle bore down, engines at full burn, from above and behind the Majestic. Red lances of energy from the Cackle struck the Majestic’s engines instantly melting the metal, causing the engine plating to buckle and the engines to shut down. As the Cackle moved along the top of the Majestic lances of lasers continued to strike the Majestic causing rows of damage all the way to the tip of the front of the ship.

“Excellent!” Wheez shouted and laughed at the same time, “Bring us around and make connection with the central cargo bay, we don’t want them jettisoning a cargo pod while we are in it.”

Puddles and Whiskers, A Chuck Tail Complete

I’m not sure if this is really finished, but this is where Chuck’s first “solo” tail ends for now. 🙂

A Chuck Tail

“Sal you crack me up,” Chuck said to the holo-of Sal the Salesman moving from door to door in an attempt to sell the latest in self-cleaning droid technology.

Sal the korogin holo-walked past Chuck’s favorite chair, knocking on the door in front of Chuck’s bookcase. A tired looking cymean woman wearing a flowered hat on the left side of her head stuck her head out the door; Chuck could not stop laughing at the image.

“Good afternoon, ma’am,” holo-Sal began.

“Afternoon,” the holo cymean woman responded in a high tone.

“My name is…[incoming call]…Sales…[incoming call]..”

Pressing pause on the arm of his chair, “Deity damnit!” Chuck swore while stabbing the call button.

“What!” he shouted.

“Is that how you greet your mother?” Puddles voice purred from the speakers around Chuck’s living room.

Sitting up straight, even though nobody, especially Puddles could see him, Chuck responded, “Only when she owes me money or interrupts Sal the Salesman.”

Puddles laughed, “You still watch that hundru show?”

Chuck’s fur bristled at the insult for a brief second, “Better than some of the crap you watch,” he retorted. “You have a job for me?”

“Maybe,” she teased.

Chuck thought too long for a retort or response, nothing came, he settled for silence, one the better responses, he learned, to Puddles needling.

“Chuck, you still there?” She asked, silence for the win.

Standing up, dusting remnants of his snack onto the floor, he would need a self-cleaning droid soon if this kept up he thought, “Yeah, I’m still here. What do you have for me?”

“Depends. How much free time do you have?”

Chuck swallowed the quick retort and went with, “I’m free for paying jobs.”

“Excellent,” Puddles responding, “Sending you the details.”

His watch blinked three times; details received, “Got the details. Anything I need to know before I read this?”

“Nothing unusual, a simple tracking job. Swing by the office when you finish.”

Case details replaced Sal the Salesman, “Will do.”

Puddles ended the call while Chuck walked around his living room reading the details. Puddles was not lying, a simple track job of Lorika wageslave for Tranco Citywide; follow her around for the day, taking vid of where she stops, and who she talks to, easy enough.

Eight hours later

Chuck staggered into Puddles and Whiskers Office, his clothing covered in food, his fur matted, and a haggard almost defeated look on his face. Flopping down in a chair in front of Puddles side of the desk, he tossed a vid-stick and a broken eyepatch onto her mess.

Puddles looked up, looked shocked-eyes wide, “What happened to you?”

“Watch the vid. You guys have any coffee ready?”

“Sure, check the break room.”

Puddles inserted the vid-stick into her desk display as Chuck staggered to get coffee, from the breakroom he could hear her laughter, then Whiskers joined in the laughter.

Easy Enough…

Hailing her cab was easy enough using the Tranco Citywide application. Standing on the 57th floor near the Cloud was not so easy. Chuck looked at his watch, ten minutes late; he wondered how Tranco stayed in business. Suppressing a cough from the pollution and backing further into the corner to block the biting wind, he waited.

With the beep of a horn and roaring of engines, a green Tranco taxi pulled up to the curb. The passenger door slid open, and a female voice asked, “You waiting for a ride?”

Adjusting his eyepatch over his left eye, Chuck swaggered, as he thought an important person would, over to the taxi. A quick look at the driver before sitting down, positive match to Lorika. Sitting in the back, he set his carryall on the floor behind her seat.

“Where you headed?” she asked.

“Mills Market,” he said in his best important person voice.

“Hold on,” she said as she roared away from the curb into the nearest flying lane.

All around them other flying vehicles jostling for position. Chuck watched three cars nearly collide when a car in an upper lane descended without warning. A new model Zephyr pulled alongside, the shiny two-tone paint distracting Chuck enough he did not hear Lorika the first time.

“What business you in?” she shouted.

“What?” Chuck kicked himself for getting distracted.

“Business?”

“Import-export,” he recovered with his important person voice, “I work with other businesses getting them to purchase imports and see what they have to sell for export.” Chuck hoped that sounded right.

“Sounds interesting,” she replied.

The taxi accelerated, pushing Chuck into the seat, then descended rapidly enough that Chuck swallowed hard to keep the contents of his stomach in place, and just as quickly stopped tossing his carryall under her seat. At least he did have to work on losing the bag, he thought.

“Here you are,” Lorika announced.

His watch informed him the automatic deduction of the fee from his account. The door slid open; as he exited, he found himself standing face to face with her, he hid his surprise and before he could say anything.

“Good thing you needed to stop here, I need to get a few things myself. Have a good day and if you need another ride remember Tranco Citywide,” with a wave she headed into the market.

“Shit,” he mumbled to himself, “Figures, nothing ever goes right.”

The plan was to wait for her to leave and get another taxi to follow her. Now he had to go inside; adjusting his eyepatch and clothing, Chuck sauntered like an important person into Mills Market hoping he did not have to do import-export, whatever that was, anywhere around Lorika. Once inside he walked around the market hoping he looked like someone investigating potential import-export opportunities, mostly by walking up and down aisles picking up stuff keeping an eye open for Lorika.

“I see,” intoned a human man wearing what Chuck only assumed was a costume who grabbed the largest container of mustard on the shelf, “much travel and trouble ahead,” his voice reaching an epic volume and pitch as he smashed the mustard on the ground at Chuck’s feet, “for YOU!”

Mustard splashed and sprayed over Chuck’s boots, pants, and tail. Facing Chuck, the man grabbed a jar of something off the shelf and held it aloft, “You will face,” smashing the jar to the ground; pickle juice covering Chuck head to toe, “three obstacles.”

Chuck jumped back, as a bottle of ketchup splashed where he had stood.

“A woman with blonde hair!” the man shouted reaching for something else, “much blood and a fall. The signs do not lie.”

“What is your problem!” Beyond angry, Chuck stepped towards the costumed man.

Mayonnaise splattered Chuck in thick globs, stopping him in his tracks. Behind the man, store security raced down the aisle. At the end of the aisle, Lorika stood watching the scene, a bemused and shocked look on her face. The security officer tackled the man from behind, the floor covered in ketchup, mustard, pickle juice, and mustard providing no stoppage, they slid into Chuck knocking him on top of them.

From the bottom of the pile, “The signs do not lie.”

“Shut up,” Chuck said standing up covered head to toe in condiments.

You look like a work of modern art,” Lorika laughed. “Is import-export always this exciting?”

“Are you okay sir,” store security asked while restraining the now silent man.

Chuck looked himself over, a modern art mess for sure, “Other than the mess, I’m fine. Will you need me for anything?”

“No, sir. Everything is on vid. Would you like to use our facilities to clean up?”

“Is your cab still available?” Chuck asked Lorika.

“As soon as I check out,” she replied.

Looking at the security officer, “Thank you for the offer. I’ll catch a ride home and change.”

Store security escorted the man away; “No, import-export is not this exciting,” Chuck answered her question, hoping he was right.

Sharing a laugh, they walked back to the cab, after Lorika finished her purchase; “Back to your place?” she asked getting into the driver’s seat.

Thinking fast, making a show of looking at his watch and looking alarmed, “Oh dancor! I have a meeting I cannot miss, if I get there early enough I can wash up and change there.”

Lorika, showed no signs of interest, “Where at?”

“Aranoth Building, 59th floor, east side,” he replied.

Without another word, she launched the taxi into traffic.

“Wait, wait, wait,” Puddles stopped the vid, “You were supposed to follow her. What is this?”

Before Chuck could respond Whiskers asked, “I want to know how you got this vid.”

Back At the Office

Chuck leaned back taking a long drink from his cup of coffee. After putting the cup on the floor, Chuck rubbed his eyes, and sighed. His right eye started to burn, Chuck looked at his paw, and spotted mustard or some other yellow food he missed.

“I have a few micro-recorders,” Chuck responded to Whiskers. “I thought recording everything would help the case.”

Whiskers put a claw to his chin, thinking before responding, “Smart,” holding his paw up to stall Puddles, “out of curiosity where did you have the recorders?”

“Why didn’t you just follow her like I asked?” Puddles, ignoring Whiskers’ paw, blurted out.

Another long drink of coffee, “One in the eye-patch, another in the carryall, and the last in a button on my shirt. I did follow her.”

“This is not following her,” Puddles gestured at the paused vid. “This is…”

“Hilarious,” Whiskers interrupted, “Sorry. But what we have seen is funny.”

“Try living it,” Chuck sighed.

“Again, why didn’t you follow her?” Puddles asked.

“She’s a taxi driver. How was I supposed to follow her all day?”

Puddles closed her mouth.

“See,” Chuck retorted positive he won.

“You could’ve picked a different day to follow her,” Puddles retorted.

Before they wound up for a fight, “Does not matter,” Whiskers announced, “you did what you thought was right. Who is the man throwing food at you?”

Puddles stifled a giggle and looked at Whiskers, then at Chuck, then back to Whiskers, “You two don’t know who he is? Hold on a sec,” she rewound the vid to the costumed man.

Chuck shrugged.

“This is the Shaman.”

“Shaman?” Whiskers and Chuck said together.

“He thinks he can tell the future, but only using food.”

“Great,” Chuck said sarcastically, “What’s the costume?”

“Herg loremaster and some human history mixed together along with some bits and pieces for other species and cultures versions of fortune tellers, seers, and mystics,” Puddles said with pride.

Whiskers looked agog. Chuck put his head into his paws.

“How do you know this?” Whiskers asked staring hard at the vid.

“A news special or two,” Puddles responded, “he shows up every so often causing problems predicting the future.”

“Seriously?” Chuck mumbled. “How often is he right?”

“Are you serious?” Whiskers shot back.

“Yes,” Chuck mumbled.

“More often than you would think for someone grabbing food off a shelf and smashing it to the ground,” Puddles said. “There is a large group that follows his every prediction, Prophet’s of Stroud.” Puddles entered data on his computer, then flipped the holo-display to face Chuck and Whiskers, “See. This is one of the more active sites.”

“I’m doomed,” Chuck defeatedly announced.

“Let’s watch,” Puddles said with a giggle.

Whiskers moved the vid forward and hit play.

The Chase

“What happened,” Whiskers shouted at the vid.

On screen, the image radically shifted from eye-level of a guard to what looked like a polished checkerboard floor moving fast. The audio dropped in volume to the sound of footsteps and shouting. Chuck shifted nervously in the chair, under the expectant stares of Whiskers and Puddles.

“Stop! You can’t go through there without a pass!”

Just his luck, Chuck thought, on the run, his eyepatch slipped attracting the attention of an Aranoth rent-a-security agent and Lorkia sat in her taxi outside. The plan, walk into Aranoth Building, find a place to watch her drive off, get another taxi, and follow; except she wasn’t moving. Chuck tried to walk past the security station as if he belonged, just another wageslave, then his eyepatch slipped.

“Sir,” an officer said.

Chuck continued to walk; maybe the agent was not talking to him.

“Sir!” an officer shouted.

Yep, him for sure.

Turning to face the security station, the eye-patch fell off, Chuck barely caught the patch, and with two good eyes saw both security agents approaching him; behind them Lorika sat. How is a cat supposed to get a break, he thought before turning and running. Shouldering wageslaves out of the way, Chuck ran for the back of the building, hoping to lose the agents and catch another taxi.

Sliding on the polished floor, Chuck rounded a corner straight into hordes of wageslaves waiting for their express elevator in a mirrored hallway. Why mirrors, Chuck thought…maybe the eyepatch was not the issue he thought again as he saw what he looked like in the mirrors as he ran and shouldered his way through; so many food stains on his suit, no wonder he attracted attention.

Chuck bowled over an illietheril couple, he shouted apologies to them, as he slid underneath a herg carrying a box of pastries and coffee, and bounced off a korogin before hitting a wall and sliding around another corner. Behind him, shouts of anger, dismay, alarm, and maybe one of the agents telling Chuck to stop, as if.

More wageslaves, behind them the street. Leaning forward, Chuck ran faster. He saw right before impact the cymean security agent leap at him unable to stop Chuck rolled with the tackle, using his feet he pushed the agent off him and ran past the startled crowd onto the street. Bolting past pedestrians, Chuck ran down the elevated walkway, past a bus terminal, around a corner, and took a breath. Many breaths. Looking around the corner, no pursuit, now back to work.

A second after Chuck flagged a taxi; he realized his other hand was empty. Where did the carryall go?

Back in the Office

“Can we split the footage?” Whiskers asked Puddles.

Minutes later three displays appeared on the screen; in one corner, presumably eyepatch view-dark and furry; in another corner shirt view of the street; and in a lower corner presumably carry all view of a security agent looking at the carryall.

“Oh, that’s where the carry all ended up,” Chuck said.

On the Hunt

“Circle around the block,” Chuck ordered.

The cabi pulled away from the elevated walkway into traffic. Looking out the stained and scratched window Chuck looked for signs of Lorika’s taxi. Chuck hoped they would round the block in time to find her taxi. Heavy traffic made spotting her taxi difficult.

“That taxi there,” Chuck pointed to the right, “See it?”

Nodding, the cabi cut across and up two lanes of traffic to the blaring of horns and rapid maneuvering of vehicles in the way or about to be in cabi’s way before settling into Lorika’s lane of traffic.

Getting up from the floor of the taxi, “What was that?”

“I’m following the taxi you pointed at.”

“A little warning next time.”

“Next time don’t point.”

Settling back, “Fair enough.”

Four hours later, Chuck had seen more than enough of downtown Stroud and traffic to last him for the rest of the year. Lorika never stopped working, pickups and drop offs all over Middle and Upper Stroud. Several narrow escapes when his cabi adjusted to keep behind her taxi and the confinement of the rear of the taxi put Chuck near breaking. His stomach rumbled louder, the stench of condiments and whatever stained the backseat of the taxi, pushed him over the edge.

“Stop there, I’m starving.”

After paying the cabi, Chuck walked in and sat down in the first available booth. Flipping through holo-menu trying to find something his stomach desired. Tapping the largest rice bowl image, Chuck let out a little shriek of surprise, when Lorika’s face appeared on the other side of the menu.

“Where’s your eye-patch?” she asked with a smirk.

“Wha…”

“Your eye-patch?” she asked again while putting one hand over one of her eyes.

Shrugging, Chuck took off his suit jacket and sat back.

“Why were you following me?”

Puddles and Whiskers New 11

I know, back to back New Puddles and Whiskers and even better the story is progressing or at least the plot that started it all is on the move again…and a frying pan. This falls before yesterday’s post and there is at least one scene after this one as well, got to meet Eth over noodles. 🙂

Eventually, when the new material reaches critical editing mass for me, roughly 50 pages of material, I will post everything as one chunk and then go back to revising/expanding then washing and dry brushing.

Until then, enjoy. 🙂

Second Try

“It’s here!” Puddles shouted with excitement.

Whiskers walked into the office to find Puddles, excited look on her face, holding a large brown box and Zippy Delivery driver exiting. Before he could ask, Puddles tore the top of the box open and reached inside scattering packing peanuts all over her side of the desk; nobody would notice he thought. With a flourish and explosion of more packing peanuts, Puddles brandished a frying pan.

Eyebrow raised, “That was fast,” Whisker said.

“I had them shipped express.”

“Them?”

“I ordered a set of them. Figured I might need more than one.”

“You could give your Mother one of them.”

A thoughtful look flashed over Puddles face, “I could.”

“But you will not,” Whiskers mumbled returning to get his coffee.

The loud metallic crash informed Whiskers that Puddles had dropped the box from her side of the desk onto the floor. Returning to the office with a cup of coffee he was not surprised by the mess. Sitting down, he flicked several packing peanuts onto her side of the desk.

“Who do we know that could pass as a patient?” Whiskers asked.

Puddles stopped practice swinging her frying pan, “Who don’t look like us? Nobody.”

Clang!

“What the tonnan!” Chuck shouted from behind the front door Puddles struck with an errant frying pan swing.

Puddled put her frying pan down and held the door open for Chuck, “Sorry.”

Whiskers waved a greeting and returned to the computer, clicking through their contacts. Puddles leaned over to look at the list.

“See, nobody.”

“Nobody what?” Chuck asked on his way past the desk to get coffee.

“Whiskers thinks we need someone who looks like a ganger to get past the receptionist.”

“Hey, that’s a good idea,” Chuck shouted from kitchen. “Have you tried Eth?” he asked returning with a cup of coffee.

“Eth is cymean and so not a ganger,” Puddles sarcastically retorted.

Shooting her a glare, “Not as a ganger, because he knows gangers.”

“Excellent suggestion,” Whiskers said.

Puddles and Whiskers New 10

This scene falls before this and has a reference to this. Enjoy. 🙂

First Try

Whiskers took another sip of his coffee and stared out the window at the Medical Offices of Tablix and Aslan. Puddles positioned her tablet to record the front door. Chuck finished off his doughnut in one bite and began adjusting his eyepatch.

“Chuck, you’re up,” Puddles said to Chuck.

“Are you getting the feed?”

Whiskers looked down at his tablet with two vid-windows open, “Yes. Stay out of trouble.”

Chuck gave both of them his best “me, trouble look,” with his folded ear and eye patch looked more like “definitely trouble” and headed out of the coffee shop, tail swishing lazily to match his swagger.

“He’s going to get neutered,” Puddles said to Whiskers.

“I heard that,” Chuck’s voice came from Whisker’s tablet.

“Yep, neutered.”

They gathered around the vid-feed, coffees in hand, and waited.

Chuck stepped into the minimalist decorated waiting room and looked around, an exaggerated half-circle motion to get the entire room on vid. Blank tope walls, six office chairs against the walls in sets of two, one office table in the middle of the room, a reception desk with a solid door to the right; first impression, no long term visitors, Chuck thought as he turned to face the receptionist.

“Can I help you?” the korogin woman wearing blue nursing scrubs behind the low counter asked in a gruff voice.

Standing in front of her, Chuck tilted his head to get the room behind her on vid.

“Excuse me! Can I HELP YOU!”

Chuck slowly looked at her, while tilting his head, and put on his best “yes you can smile;” all teeth and whiskers, “I need to see a doctor.”

“We don’t take walk-ins.”

“I have an emergency,” Chuck replied, turning his head and leaning forward over the counter.

Standing, she put one hand on his chest and pushed him back, Chuck stumbled back a step.

“We don’t take walk-ins,” she enunciated each word carefully.

Chuck clutched his stomach, doubled over, and screeched. He stumbled towards the desk, still screeching, and clutching his stomach, “Please let me see a doctor,” he said between screeches.

At that moment, the front door opened, two red-hand gangers walked into the waiting room. Clutching his stomach, Chuck gave the receptionist his best please look his one eye wide-open and sad look on his face, and screeched in pain.

“You two toss him out,” the receptionist commanded.

“What?” Chuck blurted out.

Before Chuck could bolt for the door, the two gangers grabbed him by his arms, dragged him to the door, and shoved him outside. Chuck rolled with the toss landing on his feet. Wageslaves walking past moved around him, some making noises or comments about rif-raff, most ignored him altogether. Chuck heard laughter, a few seconds looking around before he realized the laughter was Puddles and Whiskers over the commsystem.

“No wonder you had so much trouble with Lorika,” Puddles said between laughs.

Dusting himself off, Chuck stormed back to the coffee shop, tail lashing. He tore the eyepatch off, tossing the eyepatch at Puddles.

“You think you can do better?”

“I…”

Whiskers set a fresh cup of coffee and doughnut in front of Chuck, “No, you cannot. None of us is going to get past the receptionist. We are not the right patients.”

Nail Clippers, Pages 21-24

Previously.

I was tempted to split this into two scenes, but no matter where I choose it didn’t read right, so here is one long and fun scene especially if you know the music. Enjoy. 🙂

****

Jax and Jetta stood at the back of the parking lot admiring the decor; neon pink lights from every corner of the building provided enough light that they had no trouble navigating between the parked cars to get to the front of the club. Bass thumped from everywhere, a testament to the sound system, thin walls or both. A neon pink sign adorned with headshots of the main acts blocked their path to the front door.

“I don’t see Mandy,” Jax said pointing at the sign.

“It is her third night,” Jetta replied, walking around the sign.

Other than the neon pink edging lights the building was featureless from the parking lot to the front. The front however, a testament to neon, pink, and cats. “Pussy House Rules” in cursive neon pink lights adorned both sides of the pink leather looking front door. Next to the front door, a cartoon image of a female cat wearing pasties over her ample breasts and a thong waved a greeting. Standing in front of the door, a very imposing man wearing a black suit with neon pink accents. He did not look pleased.

Holding up his hand to Jax and Jetta, “ID’s please.”

They handed over their driver’s licenses, which he peered at, then at them, before handing the licenses back.

“Pussy House Rules welcomes you. Please take time to read the rules of the house at coat check,” he said in a monotone as he held open the door for them. The bass from the club music threatened to knock all three of them over.

“Is this where neon goes to die?” Jax asked.

He could not stop staring at the neon lights; neon pink or light purple lights bordered everything-mirrors, tables, chairs, the stages, the walls, and Jax feared if he stood there long enough he would get covered in neon. The neon gave everything a pink haze making it hard to distinguish colors.

“What?” Jetta shouted.

She could not stop staring at the stage; two women gyrated to a song she did not know, moving their hips, tits, and arms in beat with the music and the crowd of men in front of the stage ate up every move. When one of the women squatted in front of a group of men and began gyrating, money seem to explode out of the pack of men.

“The lights,” Jax shouted back pointing at the club, “Oh…” his sentence drifting off as he noticed the stage.

“Let’s get a seat,” Jetta said heading into the club.

“HEY!” a woman wearing a pink furry bra standing behind a counter shouted at them, “Coat check is five dollars!”

“We don’t have coats,” Jetta responded, walking over to the woman.

“Everyone has a coat,” the woman responded as she pointed at sign next to her counter.

A floor to ceiling sign announcing to everyone the “Rules of the Pussy House.”

  1. All patrons have a coat.
  2. All patrons must have a drink in front of them at all times.
  3. Patrons will not touch the dancers.
  4. Patrons will not get on stage.
  5. Patrons will be respectful of the women at all times.
  6. Failure to follow the rules will may result in harm to the patron.
  7. Pussy House Rules management is not responsible to any harm done to a patron because the patron did not follow the rules.

Jax handed over ten dollars to the woman.

“Thank you and have a good time,” she responded with a wink.

Jetta grabbed Jax by the arm and headed back into the club. They took notice of the three stages, one center stage where the two women continued to gyrate and two smaller stages to either side of the center stage, both were empty. On the far side of the room, a bar and DJ booth. The closest seating to the stage consisted of small two-person tables and as many chairs as could be packed into the tight space. The men nearest to the stage grabbed the closest chair when they needed to sit down. Drinks and empty glasses covered all of the tables. A main thoroughfare separated the stage seating and the next group of tables and chairs, arranged for small groups and couples. A smaller thoroughfare separated the middle section of seating for booths arranged against the back wall. A pink curtain covered entrance near the bar indicated where the private room was located.

The cartoon female cat adorned every available surface; walls, tabletops, glasses, napkins, stage curtains, and even on the seat cushions. Jetta noticed the outfits before Jax. Nudging him in the ribs to get his attention away from the dancer on stage, she nodded to a passing waitress. All of the waitresses had the same costume, furry pink cat ears, furry pink bra, furry pink thong, and furry pink cat tail.

Jetta sat down in a booth with a good view of center stage. Jax stood.

“Not tonight baby,” Jetta pleaded, “just this one time sit in a booth.”

“You know how I feel about booths.”

Jetta rolled her eyes, “I think everyone know how you feel about booths. Would you rather sit at one of the tables over there?” pointing towards some empty tables away from the stage.

Jax looked over his shoulder at the seating, and then moved out of the way of the cat waitress passing by.

“Fine, just this one time, but if we need to escape and cannot because we are trapped in a booth, I hold you responsible,” he said in one breath.

“Let’s hope that doesn’t happen,” Jetta said patting a space next to her and rolling her eyes.

Less than a minute later, a cat waitress appeared and took their order, Cokes for now, and returned less than a minute after that with two small glasses with watered down Coke.

“Seriously, seven dollars for this?” he complained.

“When she comes back, order us some beers, at least we will get drunk enough to forget about the cost,” Jetta responded.

The two dancers finally left the stage and for the first time since they arrived, the club was quiet. The stage lights dimmed and over the speakers “Jason” said in a woman’s voice followed by the opening notes of Talk Dirty To Me and the stage lights came up as Mandy strutted onto center stage wearing devil horns, a red reflective bra, red reflective g-string, devil tail, and carrying a pitchfork.

“…get jazzy…” heavy bass and she dropped into splits and popped back up to gyrate to the horns section. The men in front of the stage went crazy. In time with the music, she pointed to the men with the pitchfork and then Mandy grabbed the poll and swung around lowering herself to the stage.

“Uno, friend in Rio…” Mandy bent over in front of the men, squatting in front of them and gyrating her hips, before popping up to go around the poll again. When the horns section started up again she was extending a leg over the men and dropping down to let them stuff money into her g-string.

And just as suddenly, the music changed as Talk Dirty To Me ended, the DJ faded Marilyn Manson’s Sweet Dreams in so that by the time the audience had noticed the shift in music Mandy was dancing-acting out the lyrics “Some of them want to be abused,” when the first bass note hit, she flung her top off.

Mandy used the slow and fast pace of the song to collect money, dance, show off, and collect more money. Jax and Jetta could not take their eyes off her performance. Before the last note of her last song ended, Mandy had strutted off stage, her g-string stuffed with money and a new dancer was on stage.

A few minutes later, the waitress dropped off two more beers when Mandy sat down next to Jetta.

“What did you think?” Mandy shouted, grabbing Jetta’s hand and stood up, “Come on. Let’s go talk some place quieter.”

Jetta grabbed Jax pulling him out of the booth as the three of them headed behind the private room curtain. The private room was no different from the rest of the club-neon, pink, and the club’s cat on every surface. Banks of pink couches lined all of the walls with just enough space between banks to give the illusion that each bank was a separate space. On either end of the room were dancing polls. Other than the three of them, the room was empty.

“Where did you learn to dance like that?” Jetta asked as she sat down on a couch against the backwall.

“You liked that?” Mandy replied remaining standing.

“You were hot as hell,” Jax said sitting down next to Jetta. Immediately giving her his best “well she was” look.

“You were pretty hot,” Jetta agreed.

Mandy slowly danced in front of them to the music in the club, “I’ve been dancing on and off for a while,” when she saw their expressions, “No, not club dancing, just dancing. That’s all that was, dancing.”

“It looked..,” Jax struggled to find the right word.

“Hot. You looked sexy and like you were having fun,” Jetta finished.

“It’s more fun than I thought,” Mandy replied.

“Sit down and talk,” Jetta said patting an empty seat next to her.

“I can’t. If I am in here I have to be dancing,” Mandy said while dancing in front of Jetta, “I could get fired if Vincento walks in and I am not dancing.”

“I guess you should dance then,” Jax said with a smile, “Wanna a lap dance?” he asked Jetta.

Mandy stepped in front of Jetta, placed her hands on Jetta’s knees and pushed her legs apart, and stepped into the space. Moving with the music, Mandy slow danced in front of Jetta, her eyes always on Jetta’s eyes. She ran her hands over her body and used that motion to straddle Jetta’s leg, gyrating against her thigh while pressing her tits against Jetta. Jetta responded by grabbing ahold of Mandy’s ass, which earned her hands a slap and a waggled finger with a huge smile from Mandy as she danced off Jetta’s thigh and pointed at the Rules of the House sign in the room with a smile.