Saturday, October 31, 2020

AMOK Halloween 2020


The owners of a white, newly-built warehouse rented the empty space to station W-AMOK for its Halloween bash. Along one wall, beneath glass-block windows, stood a seven-foot overseer's platform. It afforded ample room for the camera crew broadcasting live on Saturday at 10pm, a nice coincidence for the Wicca Horror Show. 

MC Wicca was joined by producer Ed, the dwarf Hecabano, the Dracula Bride Cambris, and a reporter from a women's mag who liked to quote Ed's zingers. Hecabano used a small fan to blow bubbles and black balloons over the party goers. No hokey Halloween tunes for Wicca; currently they danced to the Altered Images rocker Think That It Might.

A wide screen on the opposite wall featured highlights from classic TV Halloweens. Powered by Wicca's glass skull, they served as warmup for the Team Dan feature to come. A Gilligan's Island show offered his nightmare about being a vampire after being bitten by a bat. He swooped in on a victim.

"My favorite episode," Wicca said into the mike. "Mrs Howell finally gets hers."

Cambris sneered over fang tips. "What parody of a dread lord is this? I shall wring the black ichor from his veins." Such pleasant thoughts made her notice the reporter. "If you have need of the powder room, I can show you there."

Ed leaned forward. "You stay right there, Gladys!"

The next clip had the Munsters overnighting in a ghost town. Hearing noise downstairs, Lily was rousting Herman out of bed to investigate.

"She's always doing that," Wicca griped. "They all brag about dead relatives dropping in to visit. Give them the benefit of the doubt."

Hecabano showered those in range with German "misfortune cookies", which came with comically pessimistic predictions. "In this case, Maven of Misery, Lily is correct. Two con men try to scare them off the property."

"Whomever and whatever." Wicca motioned at the screen as Collide's The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum wound up its calypso beat. "Here's the showdown between the Dans and Count Rotbone."

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On a low stage, dancers gyrated to makeshift music: barrel drums, triangle chimes, wood flutes. Their "costumes" consisted of paint fanned on in bizarre patterns. Nearby in the glow of a red lantern sat Count Rotbone, whose bravos grinned in anticipation of a rumble.

Zena spoke low to Dan. "If he's been nipping at this crowd, he must be three and a third sheets to the wind."

"He has been hitting it pretty hard," Dan said. "I think you're onto something, seeing as how we're on the third floor."

"Where ya goin', Danno?" Pete, with Bonnie's help, tried to restrain him. 

Ed started to rise before Dan eased him back down. "You can't mix up alone with this doom shyte mofo."

Gladys: Let me jot that down for Ed to explain. Doom. . . .shyte. . . .

Hecabano: Er, scratch that out, madame.

Dan merely strode to the window overlooking the harbor district. "Nice breeze tonight. Count, you shouldn't fly after all that boozing."

"Vat are you trying to say, Daniel?" Rotbone's eyes glittered.

"That you can turn yourself into a sheet and float home. Unless you're scared to try."

"Rotbone," warned the crime boss Eliot, "get back here."

The count flung Eliot into a table of rowdies, scattering the dancers. "A most velcome challenge, Earth man!" He swaggered unsteadily  to the window and mounted the sill. "By the Fates and Furies, I'm a sheet!" A flyblown pile went splot on the cobblestones in the courtyard.

Dan nodded with satisfaction. "And that accent didn't let me down."

Zena peered down. "Whoa, like, that's not natural." The pile sprouted a skull and wings. "He can't be serious. He's gonna fly in that condition?" She ducked as the thing took flight and come through the window.

With a maniacal cackle, Rotbone-Pile flapped around the tavern driving terrified folks under tables. He didn't  notice the support column, into which he piled with a wet splat, then slid down with eyes crossed. 

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Cambris glared at the crowd laughter. "Since the arrival of the brides, he is less inclined to so disgrace the dark arts."

The reporter turned to her. "You have a good turn of a phrase. Can I quote you?"

"We need a quiet spot in which to be alone." Cambris' eyes became pinpoints.

Ed leaned forward. "You stay right there, Gladys!"

Wednesday, October 28, 2020



"Beaver is upstairs, Miss Landers. You can go right up." June Cleaver appreciated the "curb service" of having Beaver's teacher bring his missed homework assignment. It outweighed the problem of her movie star looks and intimidating IQ, but June nonetheless was glad her husband had earlier left for work. "I hope you can find out what's wrong. He says he isn't going back to school."

"I'll certainly try, Mrs Cleaver."

And no doubt succeed, Wonder Woman. "Er. . . .thank you!"

Beaver's surprise at seeing her come in didn't translate into action. A little embarrassed at being in PJs, he pulled the covers higher. "Oh, hi, Miss Landers."

"I brought your assignment and new arithmetic book." She set them on the nightstand. "What's this about your not coming back to school?"

Reluctantly he handed over a scrap of newspaper, titled "Local Girl To Wed". How could she do that?

Miss Landers spent a moment looking at it. "Beaver, I'll be teaching for some years yet."

"But Mrs Brittingham will be your new name!"

"Not in school. I'll keep being known as Miss Landers there."

"No foolin'? Still, you'll wanna start havin' babies."

"Not right away. Say--I'll bet you're wondering what the Culture Corner was today." The five-minute segments, just before recess, ranged from grammar and vocabulary to history and math; just about anything the class hadn't yet experienced. 

Beaver eased up to a sitting position. "I like those."

"All right, then." She sat on the bedside. "Take the word 'spark'. Create as many words as you can, at least three letters long, without rearranging any. Here's a clue: this one has the maximum possible, five."

He had to write it out, coming up with park, ark, and par. 

"The class found those as well. There's also spa and spar. It trains you how to analyze possibilities."

"Oh. How about the one for tomorrow?"

"Part vocabulary and part writing. The word is 'euphony'."

"Gee, I never heard of that one."

"It's defined as a pleasing sound, in music or speech. The dictionary isn't specific on how it's achieved, but it's essentially alternating vowels and consonants. Consider this: The ship's maiden voyage was a smooth one. Compare it with: The vessel's first cruise went without a hitch. Notice the hard stop between 'first' and 'cruise', where two consonants collide. That also happens between 'went' and 'without'." 

Beaver shook his head in wonder. "How come you aren't an atomic scientist?" 

"I'd rather shape the next generation. So then--you'll be in class tomorrow?"

"Sure! I don't wanna miss out on neat junk like that. Besides, you explained it better than my brother Wally. He said in a few years you'll be thirty--and old woman--and I'll forget all about ya."

"He did, did he?" Miss Landers had a strange little smile. "Do you think Wally would play tennis with me?"

"Gee, I dunno. Why?"

"Oh, just to give me a few pointers, since I help him with calculus."

"He'd like that. He's always showin' off for the girls."

Miss Landers patted his arm and stood up. "Fine. Tell him I'm looking forward to it." And showing him all the trophies after wiping the court with him. 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Team Hathor


Acrylic, 11x17. Actually, Team Falco were not the first into the Outworld. They were a rescue mission for the trailblazers of Team Hathor, who weren't quite up to the magic requirement. The group's survivors, the wizardress Sisra and Captain Hathor took shelter in a Ghoul River village. Later, Sisra would reunite with the sorceress Orchid, who had been carried off by a winged gargoyle. The background was originally bright orange, but it overpowered the subject. The more subdued blue harmonizes with the ominous oncoming storm, while a streak of retreating sun outlines the subject. For an interesting peek at nationalities: the blonde is French, the girl in white is Etruscan, and Hathor is English.