by P. S. Gifford
|Sunday, September 17, 2006
An Appointment to Remember
This is the sixth episode from the rather gripping, yet wholly fictitious, absolutely imaginary, completely without any doubt what so ever fabricated, based on characters spawned from the rather unsavory mind of the even more unsavory author, appointment series. For those of you who are far more observant that should be allowed, you might have noticed a conspicuous absence of episodes number four and number five in the series. This was not due, as some have suggested, a mathematical error on the part of the author, no there absence is strictly down to P.S.Gifford receiving several rather menacing letters of protest from the society against cruelty to earwigs. Apparently some earwig owners felt that the stories exhibited far too many coincidences to their beloved pets…And felt that the pieces were only written as a sarcastic commentary on those who owned the earwigs.
This exceptionally gripping, exciting, fantastic, and might I be bold enough to suggest breathtaking narrative begins on a rather dull Tuesday morning at just around eleven. Our dashing hero, Trevor Steed, is doing what every manly, renaissance, modern man who finds himself at home during the day time does-He is engrossed by the daytime soaps.
It was just doing a particularly enthralling moment in the highly successful soap-opera, as the publisher’s world turns, when Trevor, his eyes full of tears, is just about to discover precisely what might have happened to the leading character’ bests friend’s jealous younger brother who, over the course of five one hour episodes somehow kidnapped his great grandmother and whisked her off into another universe through a rather mind-boggling time warp vortex portal quirk in the solar system in a space craft he managed to purloin from some careless day tripping aliens who were far too busy watching a marathon of the Twilight Zone to notice the crime taking place…When the door bell rang.
‘Who can that be?’ Trevor said as he put down his half depleted box of bon-bons and awkwardly pulled himself out of the genuine artificial leather chair generating a particularly unsavory noise in the process, and thusly managing to startle his half a sleep cat- Joshua .
The door bell rang again…Naturally it is the theme from Alfred Hitchcock presents…
“I’m coming, I’m coming, hold your hair on,” Trevor muttered as he made his way the twenty-three feet from the living room to the door.
When he opened it he was somewhat shocked to discover standing on his doormat a rather lofty lady with long wavy copper red colored hair flowing just beyond her not so shapely waist. Furthermore she was dressed in an exceedingly trashy bright scarlet dress that was distastefully short-managing to go down just about four inches below her waist.. Adding to Trevor’s continual nightmarish visual blitz was the fact that her gangly thighs were barely covered by a pair of fish net stockings, which were ripped in various disagreeable places. Adding to the disturbing vision she also wore black patent leather, thigh high, spiked heeled boots. On her particularly objectionably face lay an abundance of obviously cheap make up adorned with very little accuracy. In addition it was quite obvious she had failed to shave that morning, as above her pink painted pouting lips was the distinct sign of stubble.
“Trevor, good to see you,” she said in a deep, resonant voice; a voice that Trevor instantly recognized.
“Heavens to Betsy …Harry…Is that you?”
“Sure is Trevor! How do you like the look of me? I thought it was best if I came here in disguise,” Harry said as he cautiously peered over both shoulders. As he did this he managed to catch the eye of Trevor’s elderly next-door neighbor, the insidiously pious Mrs. Bates, who watched on in disgust, as Trevor promptly ushered Harry into his house, and slammed the door shut.
“Well what so you think?” Harry repeated in a rather disturbing high pitched voice as he spun about.
Trevor simply smiled. The sort of smile one makes when uncomfortable thoughts are careening haphazardly through your mind and promptly ushered him into his kitchen,. Finally after biting his lip he straightforwardly announced, “let me put the kettle on with have much to discuss.”
Moments later they both sat there, at the kitchen table, sipping on the hot sweet tea.
“So, Trevor,” Harry said, “I take it you got last week the same package that I got…A Platinum-Notion typewriter, from none other than Phil House himself.”
Trevor nodded brusquely as he furiously dunked his chocolate biscuit.
“What do you think it all means?” Harry said as he gazed at Trevor intently through his smudged eye shadow, making Trevor feel uncomfortable again.
It was then that the modest sized house, slightly off the beaten track, in the outer reaches of a quiet Seattle suburb, with peeling blue paint on its exterior woodwork, was once more filled with the distinct opening bars of Charles Gounod's Funeral March for a Marionette.
They both directly their eyes to the front door, just in time to catch the distinct side profile of a stout fellow, with two flabby chins, framed behind the bubbled glass…And as quickly as it had appeared-It was gone.
“Are you expecting anyone Trevor?” Harry whispered returning the rather dainty pink rose patterned tea cup genteelly back to its matching saucer.
“No, I am most definitely not,” Trevor replied. “Maybe you were followed Harry, are you sure there wasn’t anyone following you?”
Harry responded to Trevor’s accusing words by twisting the fake red hair in his fingers and sucking on his teeth.
“Well,” he finally answered “There was this nice fellow by the park dressed in a long black raincoat, who kept winking at me.”
“Oh,” Trevor said as a horrible image quickly entered- and was promptly kicked out again- of his mind.
“But, I finally managed to outrun the old sod …so I am sure it wasn’t him.”
Trevor and Harry ease from the kitchen chairs and cautiously make their way over to the front door…Trevor peered through the bubbled glass.
“Well, whoever was there they seem to have gone.”
Then with a shaking hand he little by little turned the doorknob as Harry watched on.
All at once the door swung open.
Harry stepped outside and glanced all about him.
“Yep, they’ve gone alright, whoever they were…”
Then in unison there eyes are drawn to a package wrapped in brown paper perched ominously on the door mat.
“Another package?” Trevor said as he eyed it suspiciously.
Harry reached down and picked it up, and carried it back to the kitchen and placed it down on the table.
“Oh my golly, Harry.” Trevor said, “It is ticking…”
The two of them just sit there looking at each other silently for a few minutes.
The only sound to be heard was the constant ticking…
“It seems to be getting louder,” Harry said. “Perhaps we should dispose of it somehow.
It was then it happened.
Something completely out of the ordinary…
Something completely unexpected…
Something neither of them will soon forget….
Trevor and Harry screamed out loud in shock and surprise.
An alarm went off.
It was then that Trevor smiled at Harry.
“I have just realized what that package is,” he said sheepishly, “It is my free Platinum alarm clock I got for subscribing for seven years to Epoch magazine…Since Platinum-Notion purchased it, it has gotten awfully good you know. I remember I was watching one of those late night info commercials a few weeks ago. I also signed up for a new weight lost plan…The W.B.C.”
Trevor scratched his chin.
“That must have been my retired English neighbor- Alfred- who dropped it off. My mail is always being delivered to him.”
“The W.B.C.?” Harry repeated as he tried not to laugh as he examined Trevor’s portly stomach. “That can’t be a bad thing!”
There was yet another uncomfortable pause.
“So Trevor, when you telephoned me earlier you told me that you had something that you wanted to share with me,”
Trevor nodded. “I do indeed. For you see my dear friend I have devised a shrewd and cunning plan.”
Trevor rubber his hands together as he continued.
“What I propose to do is write a story and post it on the Platinum-Notion website…It will be an exaggerated, fanciful story ever so loosely based on the Platinum-Notion empire. I have come up with a made-up name… Plutonium- Perception Publishing House.
I have, after nights of sleeplessness, trying to come up with a pen name for myself. I finally came up with a corker, if I say so myself, Bic Parker…Bic parker-pen-name-get it? Oh I crack myself up sometimes…I also have other characters too…I have based Bill Louse on the real and larger than life Phil House, D.S. Griffin’s fictional doppelganger is a rather annoying Englishman who calls himself E.T Friggin…Other characters are Fi Shapeless, Joe McNasty and Maggie Spencer….Bill Louse’s right hand girl…Marv Brand becomes Harv Grand- the resident reviewer… And so many more! Yes, yes, I feel it’s going to be splendid, simply splendid…In the first story I am going to have our lovable, and rather cute hero, Bic Parker, nervously going up Plutonium-Perception corporate headquarters and fun and wackiness mixed heavily with intrigue and old fashioned suspense soon ensues. And no-one will know that is I, none-other than Trevor Steed, pulling all the strings! I daresay there will be heavy speculation in the chat rooms as to who the identity is of Bic Parker...Some will love him…Others will hate him. But I sincerely hope that all take it in the spirit it is intended…I would never want to hurt anyone’s feelings. It is just that you and I both know how brutal the world of publishing is, and if we can’t make fun of ourselves who can we make fun of?”
Harry just listened to all this with a strange bemused look on his painted face.
“Yes, but, I am sure that Phil House will never publish it.”
Trevor simply winked at his co-conspirator…
“I bet you a case of root-beer that you are wrong…I think old Phil…Deep down, contrary to popular opinion, not only has a heart…He has a sense of humor also.”