Story Go Round 10/21/2006, round 2, #1


(pre-titled by Terry)

Poor Marilou Ingabert looked up at the towers of the castle where they took the remains of her dead brother. She sniffed half-heartedly, and dabbed at the wound he had made when they parted. She didn't blame him one bit, poor Bert; he just had the Ingabert familial condition: Spasmodica, passed down through generations from father to son. She was used to it by now.

"Bert Ingabert," she said aloud," Where have they taken you?" she didn't know, but it was beginning to look stormy. She sought shelter under the stone eaves of the fletcher's shop. The damp night further sent her into declensions of despair. But her hope would not be extinguished entirely. She fingered the key she wore as an amulet, and let out a squeaker.

It rang like a dying cat through the still night air, birds flew up from the nearest tree and a living cat streaked out of the underbrush. Another one rang off the stone cold walls of the old castle, but it had not come from Marilou's dyspeptic bowels. It meant her brother, or at least his corpse, was not so remaindered as she had thought. But he'd been torn limb from limb - how was this possible? Only one explanation sufficed: they were putting him back together. But how? Why? Lightning lit up a hole in the castle wall that the cat had darted through. Marilou followed, her stomach rumbling. The lightning intensified as she crouched crawled through the dilapidated castle crack. Water dripped down her neck, cold and dirty, exciting a tiny putt-putt, off-gassing her surprise into the ether. The smell gave her courage, and she pushed on, deeper into the darkness.

The cat led her up stairs, through crevices, over crumbled crenelations, down dank and musty hallways. And not a soul did they encounter; several bodies, but no souls. Then Marilou detected a change ahead, a slight lightening, a shift in the air, and a scent she recognized.

The doctors had him hooked up to a table, with coils and orbs and a spinner with flaps. "He'll never be ready for the show if we don't get some lightning," one muttered.

The cat ran up and began nibbling on Bert's (yes, it was Bert!) Bert's entrails, which were dangling off the edge of the velour talkshow style couch he was sitting on.

"Damn, cat!", shouted a technician, shooing it off of Bert. "Somebody get makeup in here!"

His entrails twitched spastically, worrying the black cat into sitting back on its haunches to watch. Bert scooped them back up lovingly, coiling them neatly and stowing them on the little side table next to him. His toadying assistant would see them refrigerated and clearly marked.

"Bert!" his sister cried, emptying her gas with that exclamation. It was all or nothing now. The nearest technician swayed and fell over as the others turned to face her. But before they could react to her unexpected presence, Bert's assistant gave a strangled cry and they all turned around again, to see Bert's entrails wrapped around his throat and him flailing wildly.

Houseservants poured into the room from the kitchen, where they were engaged in Gin Rummy. They held Bert back stepping on his bad foot. A stablehand held Marilou, now totally without ammo. The second doctor approached Bert with his scalpel. "I should have done this a long time ago..." he began.

Dark clouds converged overhead. A rumble. A brilliant fork of lightning arced towards the castle, hitting the main rod. The electricity sang down the coil to Bert, who was still attached to the table.

The routine flatulence of his spasmodica met the capricious flare of untamed nature. Its power increased exponentially. One blast blew out a brick wall. The cat hopped clear. A second vaporized the servants, except for a feathered hat, which he kept. "Marilou! To me!" he called. Together, they stumbled into the night, with Bert holding his entrails.