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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Just like 'someone' left the cake out in the rain; 'someone' decided to broil a few thousand French Letters.

Submitted: February 08, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 08, 2016




A Short Story

Nicholas Cochran


Blasting out of the stinking kitchen, Emerson ‘Peanuts’ Gooch gathered up all the loose ends of whatever brains he had left and scampered for the side door.

Along with his dangling brain threads, Peanuts packed a full menu of outrageous acts of revenge. He planned as he ran. Each plan was replete with slow, wicked tortures.

The poor bastards as victims were to be the next sons-of-bitches who as much as looked at him goggle-eyed when Peanuts told them his story.

Peanuts’ tale involved a thunderous explosion that sprayed all manner of weird canine and feline fecal matter—along with a couple of cases of Starlac with Sell-By dates of three years past—to the four fetid winds. In addition, vessels of every size and use—huge wooden soup spoons, kettles—and just about every item on the range, was blown around the scorching kitchen area while various after-explosions and rumblings shook the family culinary depot for a full three minutes. Crockery was crocked; glasses tinkled and chinkled; then smashed.

The walls of the kitchen dilated to a point where the four walls outnumbered the ceiling. A hole was punched in it, through which were launched bits of elements, dials and recipes. Oven mitts and potholders accompanied the blast clear past the full-length mirrors of the second storey master suite, on up through the bedroom-ceiling mirror, and out into the light purple hue of the late California afternoon.

The three kittens slipped and fell into the dog’s water bowl. The dog raced down the long hall, out his flap, and into the weeds and brambles that comprised most of Peanuts’ and Ianthe’s gardening incompetence.

Once the two ceilings blew out, a hideous, reeking curl of black smoke began to suffuse every living thing with a drench of stench never before sampled by the general populace.

The kittens decided to stay in the bowl. The dog barked and barfed in three/four time. Squirrels and the homie raccoon hit full scamper before the kitchen ceiling surrendered to the hulking black mass of gawd-awful stink.

Damn! By now every fire department; police department—maybe even goddamned Homeland Security—is loading and buckling up to have me arrested. Damn!

Emmy left out the most important guests-to-be: Child Protective Services. They would roll up to, and then roll away with, the five little buggers who had been Peanut’s five little crosses to bear after Mom split with the Vector Control Man, i.e. Rat Killer.

Ianthe and The Rat Man met under that very low-slung area of the front porch where the little vermin bastards were reproducing at an alarming rate. They would have taken control of the whole goddamned house were it not for Abner, the Vector man.

Abner was definitely not what you’d expect a Rat Man to be.  Au contraire. Abby, as Ianthe called him, was almost twice as round as he was high. This made his under-porch squeezes very dicey at times. Abner’s employer had a contract with the city to employ Vector Men as pest exterminators. The list of interviewees had been short; thus, the choice of Abner, even with his annoying habit of getting stuck in any inconvenient crawl space.

Abner had no neck and his ears were droopy. Then again, Ianthe wasn’t exactly your Homecoming Queen. You could stand her in a field and fool the crows all afternoon.

Ianthe packed a few Trader Joe’s bags with her underwear, a pint of Captain Morgan, and all her unsuccessful beauty aids. Fully laden, she hit the road to ruin with Abner. 

Christ, what a cluster.

Peanuts heard the competing sirens wailing at each other as they coursed their way up and back around the corners of the switchbacks that jumped out squarely in front of anyone coming up Gooch Hill to the Peanuts and Ianthe joint.

Peanuts reached the rusted-out pick-up, turned the engine, and got a full blast in all cylinders. He slammed on the gas and sprung the clutch. Before the damn chariot shot away, it bucked like a stuck Brahma.

Damn! I’d forgotten what a pistol this thing is. Trent sure knows his shit when it comes to vee-hicles. Yup and yessireee. There’s one thing I don’t have to worry about.

Ambulances, it  turned out, are much better switchback-rides than fire engines; or even the police—a fact that really fried Sgt. Conga’s ass because his lame Ford Crown Victoria was sucking the tail pipe of two ambulances all the way up the goddamned hill.

Jesus! Who the hell would live up here? And what the hell was that rusty flash that just came down the road past us? Damn; that jockey was smokin’!

Caesar Conga, hailed as CC, hated (next to the idiot who chose his birth name) anyone who passed him in any contest; cars; beers; bocce balls. They were all the same to CC. First was first.

Finally, at the summit, CC was feeling more than a bit queasy from the combo of snaking road and ambulance exhausts. He immediately struck out for the smoking parts of the rambling shambles of living spaces used by the absent tenants. He quickly found himself in line behind the firefighters, the EMTs, the Vector company, and two lolling ambulance drivers.

CC, to everyone at large: “Well, what the hell is it? Damn! That som’ bitch is from the Devil’s ass; not human; what the hell is it?”

“Condoms,” a voice yelled through the sickening miasma of smoking rubbers.


“You heard me, CC; hundreds—probably thousands—of rubbers; just slammed in the oven and wound up from five hundred to broil.”

 Ianthe purchased the Super Deluxe oven online only a couple of months ago after winning a bingo prize at an illegal Catholic charity gig.

“But who would want all those rubbers? There must be a thousand –or more. Jesus; I think we just destroyed the UN yearly supply for Ghana.” These estimations were postulated by a big, balding, middle-aged ambulance driver who instantly struck one as just the type of ding-dong who would know this shit; probably a lot of it—first hand.

“Well, not ‘we’,” continued the belly-dewlapped EMT,” but the dumbass who decided to char a few safes for a pre-brekky treat for the little woman. Jesus; I don’t want to know what else there may have been in there; could be scores of dong extenders, for Christ sake.”

CC stumbled through the damn-near particulate, gagging, smoke and stench of broiling French letters, to find out who among his precursors had claimed leadership for the investigation.

CC was damn sure he was going to be the one—and only one—to apprehend the person or persons liable for the enormous stygian cloud of gut-tugging pong that was headed for downtown L.A.

Apparently, CC was dealing with some superior intellects because far from anyone rushing to grab headlines on this number—as it were—everyone present, in or out of the feculent fog of unbearable rubber-smoke—to a person, all claimed ignorance and lack of authority to do diddily-squat about the entire expanding mess. By now, most of the surrounding acreage was smothered in clouds of an ebony hue.

Nevertheless, CPS did find the five little ones, all under six, tucked away in three extra-extra large fireproof suits that mommy had stuffed them into before she and The Rat Man made a run for the border.

Daddy Emmy was supposed to be there but the eldest stated rather formally that Peanuts had booked, “once the numbers really got going in the new oven.”

CPS chief on the spot, Oonagh Mugbump, was the savior who unzipped the pythonic suits to free the little ones. They all asked for candy and OM (she also had her birth-namer on her hit list) just happened to have a tub of left-over Halloween candy under some former foster-kids’ jackets in the trunk of her Beetle. Instead of carefully unwrapping each sweet for the tykes, she and Juniper Bunns—another birth-name-savaged Displaced-Iroquois from Windsor—hauled in the tub, plunked all five into the container, and let them have at it.

CC vigorously chomped his unlighted cigar. He sighed and pushed back his Popeye Doyle hat for a quick think.

He decided that whether he liked it or not, he was stuck with trying to sort out this musky mess, which he just assumed would result in arrests. However, there was no one else to be found anywhere in or under the huge structure.

He talked with OM and decided: firstly, that any conversation between them as well as any reports or other communications would address each the by the letters.

OK, agreed OM with CC.

Following one last house-shaking eruption from the oven, an eerie calm dropped over the tableaux of Emergency Personnel and the five now-puking little ones. What fire was left after the final quake was quickly smothered and extinguished in record time, with only two firefighters pitching over in a fetid faint.

 Suddenly, an extremely pushy sea breeze began to tear over the valley and up Gooch Hill.

This Christ-as-Balm wind was fervently welcomed. Smiles appeared. Groans from murk-mired workers were replaced with laughter.

Just as suddenly, the smiles broke off, and even deeper groans of polluted-air misery increased in both numbers and volume. The Balm of The Lord had been retracted, and in its place began to reappear the ‘cloud of the damned’.

Although several radios of the emergency cluster were screeching that the rubber cloud was last reported to be bearing down on L. A., anyone on Gooch Hill couldn’t fail to appreciate the proximity of the Devil’s Wind, simply by inhaling a snootfull of the Devil’s Vanguard that  was now being blown back up the hills toward its starting point by an unseasonably strong off-shore squall.

Everyone grabbed whatever they needed. Someone locked the front door. There was a Le Mans start in the front forty as the drivers zipped to their vehicles.

Amidst miniature dust storms churned up by over-spinning tires, the flotilla of public succor raced down the hills toward the advancing Billow of Beelzebub.

All vehicles had re-activated their lights and sirens, the latter now producing undulating waves of warning and danger. Unfortunately, the finely fused wails were more of a cacophonous clatter than a choir of celestial sirens.

Although the running drivers had more than outpaced even the fittest of Le Mans’ drivers, their driving ability fell off a cliff by comparison. This sad fact resulted in the loss of four emergency vehicles and six personnel, when the said vehicles failed to make the third switchback. They endured a free fall of some two thousand feet before auguring into the San Fernando greenery.

The five kids were spared, at the cost of speed. All windows were lowered and heads poked out. Inside, the default interior odor of the CPS vehicle fought to get somewhere right of ‘eau de candy-barf’.

CC also made it down the hill. He even managed to organize an APB for both parents. He accomplished this while driving with one hand and holding his nose in defense with the other.

After what seemed—and smelled like—rancid hours, the surviving switch-backers eased under, and then past, the obsidian mass of broiled bits of rubber-and-other. 

Once off Gooch Hill, CC alerted the bug-eyed maniac in the D. A.’s office that there were two delinquent parents who needed a lesson in parenting, with a lot of help from the jail staff while the cases against them were being put together.

They caught Mom and The Rat Man at the Mexican border. Peanuts surrendered, agreeing to a plea with no time for testifying against his wife and Abby. At first, Peanuts was a little reluctant to rat on the Rat Man because of the stories he had heard about the punishments meted out on anyone who turns in, or in any way compromises a fellow Rat Man.  

Nevertheless, CC promised the P man, some security—at least for a week or two—and this quelled the majority of Peanuts’ horrid imaginings.

Mom and Abby were forced by circumstances to abandon their elopement, along with their life of living happily ever after. But at least they were freed, because the older kids said Mommy entered the kitchen after the rubbers were installed and the oven cranked up by ‘someone’.

Peanuts got a quick divorce and took up with OM.

Whoever owned and inserted the broiled French letters, declined to come forward and collect any fire insurance that might have existed on the scores of boxes lost in the oven of chance.

CC got a promotion as well as a raise, but only because the dreaded black cloud left California and was last seen approaching Vegas.

One of the five kids later wrote up a piece for Grade Six English Lit about the whole affair and was promptly expelled. She sued the School Board and engineered a handsome settlement that was enough to pay for all the kids’ college tuition, with enough left over for her to audit a cooking class, with a major in broiling.

The End


© Copyright 2018 Nicholas Cochran. All rights reserved.

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