from The Blackout Journal

entry 5.07Z

Sometimes consciousness arrives like a sudden gust of wind blowing away all the dust until the scene forms in front of your eyes, and there you are, here and now.

In a room, private, "secret." Underneath the earth of California, inside the Sanctuary. It is moments like these, amongst these "people," whom I have whole-heartedly come to think of as "my people" that I don't question sanity anymore, or reality for that matter. The rest of you people can worry about that. For now, Eddie Crossbones, "the living skeleton" and most senior member of "the Society," Secret that is, is giving instruction on how we're all going to exterminate "the Mushroom Man."

Look, it's my life, don't hate me because it's more interesting than yours.

As I listened to the lecture I couldn't help looking one row forward and to the right. That's where she was sitting, always in the middle of other superhero chicks, as if they provided a coven of protection of some sort. Their ultra-sexy clothing no doubt their most powerful weapons. Who would dare strike something so hot you just want to stare and write run-on sentences then bam! You're toast.

Devilgirl. Aka? Lucy Hell.

Sitting in between Hourglass and Rubber Girl ... Yeah, I was distracted, but something struck me strange-like with Eddie's dialog about "entering into the mushroom world" again. Didn't we already do that? Didn't we already do that and get our asses kicked?

Behind Crossbones three of "the Blondes" [the Secret Society's resident geniuses] sat silently as he talked about their plan to inject a group of Society volunteers with a special serum which would enable us to re-enter the Mushroom Man's domain in a more determined state of consciousness.

Something's wrong with this picture. My hands automatically reached down into the side pockets of my peacoat, not the belt with the hidden mini-bottles, but just the regular side pockets where I keep the A-elixirs I think I'm going to need right away. My right hand grabbed the scotch, my left the vodka. The scotch: Thinking more clearly seemed to be the correct choice.

I opened the small tube of vodka and took a drink ...

Pig-Man, whose hearing is more acute than a human's, turned and asked: "Is that necessary right now? Is there a problem?"

I gave him the sign [classified] and he shut up.

I drank the vodka as Eddie Crossbones spoke.

I couldn't get inside his head (or skull) and I'm not sure I would want to; whatever his consciousness is, is his own. Wasn't him I wanted anyway.

I tuned out a thought by Lucy, tuned back in, caught myself, tuned back out, and focused on the silent Blondes.

Luckily Eddie was long-winded, where the wind came from no one knew, but he recounted our previous journey to the mushy world, including the details of each member's perception, conflict, et cetera. This gave me time to get inside the Blondes.

The first two, Blondes 4 and 11, if you've ever stuck your head inside a fully-colonized beehive, would be something like that: mathematical equations running alongside philosophical queries, pole-vaulting over quantum physics, and lying in the cool grass of spatial engineering. I don't even know what that means, I thought, moving on to Blonde 16.


She's infected. The current aspect of her twisted little brain almost made me cry out loud. That would not be cool. But I couldn't ignore the freak-show of her mind: spiders from mars and empty-boned aliens, cats meowing backwards, Bible pages revealing secret codes I didn’t want to hear about, blue flames burning naked monsters, gooey insects eating themselves, hands reaching up out of the mud of earth – eyeballs in palms speaking scary languages and evil dolls with teeth chattering, chattering, chattering. We're hungry. We’re hungry. We're going to eat you all and feed the American strips of your flesh to the Mushroom Man!

I immediately drank a shot of gin from my bottle belt. No practical application, just felt like having a shot of gin.

[Editor's note: Gin gives the Intoxicated Detective the temporary ability to float and/or fly].

As Eddie asked for volunteers I let myself rise up, cross-legged, above the gathering of metaphysical crime-fighters: Pig-Man, Hourglass, Devilgirl, Rubber Girl, Mr. Twisted, El Secreto and the rest ...

Pig-Man grunted.

Eddie couldn't help but let his skull face do that strange stretchy thing it does to form a smile. "You ... have something you want to tell us, Alcoholman?"

Blonde 16's eyes popped wide, staring at me, the intensity of her tripping, mind-controlled, other-worldly brainwaves attacking me ...

... with a song.

"I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you, and I say to myself ..."

"I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you, and I say to myself ..."

She's got that song fragment on auto-play in her freaking genius mind to keep the other girls out. They aren't psychic, but highly intuitive, and there’s always Kid Telepathy to worry about, but he's away on a mission with Dr. Atlantis. Yet, she made one mistake. She underestimated the incredibly strange powers of the Alcoholman.

"Blonde 16 ..."

I heard her voice inside my head then, a psychic bridge no doubt meshed together by the vodka and her mushroom poisoned psyche. "I'll do it," she said. "I'll do it secretly. No one will know. Meet me in Room ..."

"Blonde 16 has been comprised," I said.

She looked shocked, surprised that I didn't take her bad blonde bait. Like I don't have enough worries.

In the moment of confusion that passed Blonde 11 needle-injected a sedative into Blonde 16's arm. Maybe she suspected a double-cross after all. But just before she lost consciousness, I found exactly what I was looking for.

"He's here," I said.

Mr. Twisted reached up with an elastic arm and pulled me back down to my seat. "You're freaking me out with the genie routine," he said. "What did you find out?"

"Yeah," said Pig, "spill it."

"It's like the Kid tried to warn us in the beginning. He's already here. The Mushroom Man is here. In this reality. Bad news is he's on some sort of island."

"Island?" said Eddie. "Where?"

"I don't know, but it's a scary place, surrounded by weirdness, monsters maybe and deep strangeness, but I don't know where ... a mystery for sure."

To be continued ...


Episode 013: "Good Blonde Gone Bad."
Published Decemeber 27, 2009 by Mystery Island.
Copyright © 2009 by Mystery Island Publications. All rights reserved.