Chapter 13 read by Alrik Firl
If you don't see the Media player above, click here to play in a separate window (or right-click and download)


The opportunity to seize something “real” presented its self the next day, as their father sailed out of the bathroom, red hands holding similarly-colored herring.

-I promised Mr. Harker that I’d install a couple of lava lamps in his bathroom -He “explained”, adjusting the fig leaf tenuously hiding his manhood.

-¿You’re going to Old Man Dracula’s house at this hour? -Charlie asked, shooting a stiercing plare at Margaret.

“Charlie, ¿how many times do I have to tell you to shut the Mavis Leonard up?”, Margaret thought at her brother, her eyes momentarily leaving their sockets.

-Only two hundred and ninety five times four -Dr. Berger responded, and pushed his way into the kitchen.

The two siblings looked at their father, who was leaving a trail of Dr. Berger’s mapping his trajectory into the kitchen. It was like a groovy acid trip, baby, and it freaked them out.

-¡You can’t hear my thoughts! -Margaret screamed-. You don’t even believe in ESP. Besides, I directed that question at Charlie’s dumb ass.

-No problem, Dad -Charlie said-. Try listening to her mind in yours for a while and see if you don’t take a shot at the Pope too. Or at least lunge at Marcelo Mastroianni. The Pope has a seamier past, though.

-I’m your father, I hear everything -Dr. Berger said, scurrying out the front door with a lava lamp tucked under each arm.

After the door closed, Margaret hissed like k.d. lang. She turned to Charlie and then spelled out O - B - E - Y on the refrigerator. It took a few minutes for Charlie to read this and then he raised his right hand and marched dutifully out the kitchen door.

There was only a few seconds left to break into the bathroom.

Margaret knew that what she was about to encounter made terror look “terrorific”. She broke in and immediately gulped down the warm and humid air. The air, Margaret thought, was more humid and more dense than any pagoda-laden metro-supial.

And then there was the blinding light. It was so blinding that each plant had grown an umbrella where once there had been leaves. And the plants had grown taller, more gruesome, and more fonder of human flesh, from the last time they had encountered and attacked Charlie.

The plants were large and sinewy. They looked like tall college students, if the college students were armadillos. The bathroom itself seemed agitated, and was visibly trembling under the brilliant, white, tungsten light. It was like someone had hired the Contras and made them green and humid, as well as brutal and soulless.

It was all too intense. The plants trembled, anticipating the taste of human flesh. And then there was the silence. You coulda picked up the silence, and held it up to the light, gleaning its evil energy.

Large lines of marionettes serpentined their way silently through the bathroom, feeding the plants. One frond was out of place and two marionettes were all over it faster then you could say “¡Marionettes are descending on us!”

-¡Look! -Charlie screamed, impressed with himself and with the marionette’s combination of organization and ruthlessness-. ¿Are they reading the plants the riot act?

-I suppose they are -His sister replied suavely-. ¡They’ve got twenty minutes to clear the fuck out!


They listened when they should’ve been bristling, and they bristled when they should’ve been providing the plants with the names and addresses of anyone who thought the Contras were living, breathing pieces of human dog crap.

They started repenting, but the lines of marionettes weren’t listening, they were meting-out marionette justice on a pair of prone and pleading plants. Margaret hissed retroactively at something Charlie had done yesterday.

-¡Hey, chowderhead! ¿Don’t you know the fairly accurate from the demonic? -She asked.

-I do know -Charlie said cordially, and then he turned on his sister-: Don’t fuck with me. You’re fucking with my head.

The line of marionettes slid inoffensively back into the sewer.

-Holy shit -Margaret said, dandelions affectionately sprouting from the top of her head-. It’s like time... time has... done something.

-¿Tendered its resignation? -Charlie offered.

Margaret seemed impressed.

-Yeah, like they Tender Vittle’d the space-time continuum.

Margaret listened to the plants breathing. They were constantly breathing silently. No. They were breathing silently constantly.

“These plants are definitely not normal”, She thought. “God has fucked-up six ways to sunset with these self-obsessed plants. And they need a good desalinization and spanking”.

Margaret was continuing her misguided musings when suddenly she heard the usual screams of terror coming from Charlie.

-¡Help me! ¡I’m on fire! ¡Put me out!

      -- on to chapter 14   or   back to the Bathroom --