A Work of Fiction in 7 Parts: Murder on the Edmonton Express – Part III

THE PHISH, THE FANTOM AND THE ESCARGOT

Queenie and I fell asleep aboard TWA flight 666 out of Gatwick Airport   that’s in London, by the way   immediately. I think I felt more than heard the wheels leave the tarmac and the hum of the engines while the wheel mounts retracted into the underbelly of the big flying sardine can. After that, I didn’t know, see, hear, taste, touch or have intercourse with any living thing… uh, anything, that is to say!!

Sometime later, the dark of my eyes broke open as they fluttered up and down upon my awakening. I blinked. I blinked again. I blinked a third time.  “Queenie!” I yelled at the top of my lungs… “Wake up!!!”

Queenie was snoring away on the other seat   but we were no longer in an airplane.  We were in some sort of deep cavern.  Tied to our seats.  I could tell immediately that we were beneath the surface of the ocean.  The rocks were moist, from what little I could discern in the dim light of the cavernous room.  Our chairs were of red ochre in hue  I really hate that colour   and matched the moist rocks for their comfort ability level.

I looked over at the Queen. He still snored away.  It was here I noticed his clothing was changed.  As was mine own! Queenie wore a lavender coloured three-piece suit with pastel purple buttons   double-breasted silk, if mine eyes did not deceive me. Myself, I found garbed in a ludicrous suit of deep ocean blue lined with thick red pin striping and a matching tie. Great Galloping Galaxies! Even my shirt was red!

“Who in the world dressed me?” I screamed, absolutely in shock. Heck, I know I’m the master of bad taste   but I think I met my match, especially noticing my black and white pimp shoes… I screamed again… And Queenie finally came around, belching as he always does when he gets up in the morning…

HEY! GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER! I KNOW THIS DUE TO OUR WORKING SO MANY OPERATIONS TOGETHER. OK? ALL RIGHT? YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT? IF SO, DEAL!!!

So, anyway, he belched. Then farted… “What did you EAT!” I looked directly down at him in the other chair and he blushed.

“Uh, I had a bowl of sauerkraut before the beginning of last chapter, Pep. Sorry. Say, where are we?”

I shrugged my usual shrug, not knowing. All I did know was how much I craved a cup of Second Cup coffee   or better yet, one of their mochas! Starbucks is out of the question… They are American, after all!! We looked around and back to each other, knowing instinctively what to do.

After how long, I cannot say, we managed to move the swivel chairs with castors toward each other by hopping up and down on the seats so that they bounced toward each other and made a lot of noise so everyone outside this cavernous cave knew we were awake and eventually we reached each other and swiveled the chairs back to back to begin unravelling our knots. In no time at all   say as long as it takes to read the dictionary from a z   we stood in the tiny room as large as a really large cave, the chairs tipped over. I flipped on my blue fedora, Queenie putting on his own lavender one. We   I hate to say it   we looked like something out of a bad spy movie, thick-headed mobsters. All we needed was a couple of Tommy guns.

Queenie found those in a closet by the metal door that would not open due to no handle or hinges on our side. All we could find in the room were two buttons. one said “Ring for service”, the other “Do not touch.” Queenie and I did a double take, grinned and touched the latter   we couldn’t resist. Really, we should have.

Unseen ports in the rock walls opened and the ocean above us began flooding the room. By my calculations we only had enough time to finish writing this chapter. Needless to say, a huge rock slide moved up and away from the far wall and we stared out of an incredible lead glass window into the ocean depths   and a grinning Phantom Shark. The water continued to rise and Queenie continued complaining about getting his ridiculous suit wet.

Attempting to console him, I noticed the tag on his sleeve. ARMANI. Oh my god…We were wearing ARMANI suits…do you have any idea about how expensive these suits are?   don’t bother about the colour coördination.  Whoever put these on us didn’t. I screamed banging on the door.

“HELP! Let me out! I don’t want to die! I’m wearing the first ARMANI suit I’ve ever owned and I don’t want to die in a $10 000 suit! I want to live, Live LIVE!!!”

Already the flood tide was up to my waist and Queenie climbed up atop my shoulders. “If one of us is to die, it might as well be you, PEP,” he said. I understood my friend’s reasoning. I would do the same for him in another predicament. I began crying. Queenie didn’t. He did what any good CIA trained freelance operative did in situations where we were in unknown territory, surrounded by tons of rock and the room quickly filling with sea water… He pushed the other button.

Immediately, the room stopped filling with water and a window in the upper half of the metal door opened. “Yes?” said the inquiring voice of a luscious brunette I’ve never seen before with cascading hair, a tight black dress and holding a wiener dog in her hands. Her skin, pale white, radiated a loveliness I never noticed in women before   her lips a blood-red, her eyes were a wondrous black and she wore these high heels Queenie squealed over.

“Get us out of here” I bawled   the suit ruined.

“Why?” She inquired. “You were stupid enough, Secret Agent Pep shi, to start the waters flowing in Dr. Peppa’s waiting room   why should I clean up your mess? The drains will suck up most of the water   there are mops and pails in the closet you found your Tommy guns in. I suggest you put down those lead carriers and pick up the mops and start cleaning   or Fantom there will be really pissed.”

I looked at Queenie   still on my shoulders. He looked down at me. “Who be Fantom?” Queenie asked. The beautiful girl smiled. That behind you:

We turned.

We Screamed.

We mopped up the room.

Fantom was this incredibly over-large muscular fish man   the same phantom shark we stared at behind the glass port. He had been exercising outside when he heard us open the gate to fill the room. The Phish was an OK sort of fellow   but not very talkative. Kinda Shy. Very good at being a superintendent, though. He told us how to clean up the place very fast.

After all was said and done, Fantom hauled us by the scruff of our necks down corridor after corridor, deeper into the underground lair and finally tossed us in an elaborately carpeted office. The beautiful brunette sat at an office desk. The wall behind her was another lead glass window looking out into the ocean. An occasional school of fishes went by. Queenie noticed the fishes.

I was too caught up in the low-cut dress the girl had on. It was so low I noticed she wore no bra…WOO WOO! The skirt was so high it revealed much. Man, I was sweating, let me tell you!! Crossing the room, the wiener dog in her arms, she same over to me, giving me the longest, deepest French kiss I’ve ever tasted. All the while, she fondled my   uh   my Tommy gun I brought with me from the Chamber. Yeah, that’s it… my Tommy gun.

“Nice piece of equipment,” she said.

“Thanks. Heckler and Koch, RPG Assault Rifle.” I managed to mumble this after wiping off tonnes of lipstick. I felt exhausted. “And who might you be?”

Queenie looked up at me, arching an eyebrow as he picked up the wiener dog and petted it fondly. “You don’t know, Pep? You’ve never met Sodium Chloride – Dr. Peppa’s right hand woman and professional home maker assassin extraordinaire??!?!? ”

The woman flashed her black eyes toward me, kissing me again, and tipping me over. Wow! I think I’m in love!!. Queenie sighed. “Miss Sodium Chloride, I would like you to meet my dear old friend and ofttimes confessor – Pep-Shi, international man of mystery, ghosts, wraiths, spooks and other assorted Paranormal phenomena.

“Pep, meet Miss Sodium Chloride.”

I had to pull her away to breath and get a good look at her. I staggered over to a red leather couch with an erotic painting hanging on the rock wall behind it. Adjusting my tie, I sat, looking at the woman of my dreams   her arms crossed and a leather cat o nine tails tied to her waist. I swallowed. Can anyone anywhere explain this LOVE thing to me? I’m confused. I just met her and already I want her to have my children   (and in a few years, she will, but that is another story. We’ll have three children Vanilla Ice, Sprite and Sarsaparilla).

I gulped in more air, thankful for the only break I’ve really had in this whole kit and caboodle adventure   and I’m not even in Canada yet! Anyway, the Goddess before me bowed and I offered my hand for her to kiss. It gave me a moment to gather my thoughts – and stare down her cleavage.

“Ok, Miss Chloride. May I call you Salt? What is all this about?”

She sobbed, falling into my arms, holding me tightly. The romantic music in the background flared and I yelled for Queenie to turn off the damn CD player. He did, the little wiener dog following him around like a friend. I learned later the dog’s name was King…. kinda appropriate, if you catch my innuendo.

Anyway, there I was, Queenie atop the desk turning off the love music, petting his dog. There I was, sitting on the red leather couch, Salt on my hands and wondering what to do. Salt continued to cry.

“Oh, Agent Pep shi. Please help me. The evil Dr. Peppa is dead!! The evil Mr. Christie pushed him off the High level bridge in Edmonton somewhere in Canada and is now after myself and Fantom Phish. Won’t you please help?”

I looked at Queenie. He shrugged, tossing King a little biscuit to chew on. “I don’t know, Pep. Maybe she’s right. I haven’t heard anything from Peppa in a long while. Maybe Mr. Christie is the killer and not the other way around!”

“What are you saying?” Salt looked into my eyes and I told her everything while she copped a feel! Damn, I always fall for that.

Several days later, several hours of intercourse later and several wonderful meals later, all five of us   Myself, Salt, Queenie, Fantom Phish and King were standing on the island above the secret Dr. Peppa hidden World Headquarters Organization for Really Emotional Management – WHORE MANAGEMENT – waiting for someone to pick us up. Apparently, the island is uninhabited by any natives in the middle of the south Atlantic ocean. I Also found out how we got there in the first place. Fantom ended up hijacking the plane while we were sleeping and crashed it a few miles offshore. Our clothes supplied by Salt and I gotta admit, I like her taste.

It turns out, too, that Salt may be speaking the truth. I made a few phone calls while down below to cash in favours I needed. Apparently, the body found in North Saskatchewan River may   or may not – be Mr. Christie. I’ll explain later… Really, I will.

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About jsmeraka

A writer and all-round contrarian, I've worked in and out of government and the private sector, shared radical thoughts on political and global change and aimed to live on the fringe of political and creative thought. That doesn't mean I do. I just hope so.
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