Thursday, April 12, 2007

Knock, Knock

August Afternoon, c. 1940,
oil on canvas,
Hobson Pittman (1900-1972)

In posting snippits, I resemble the gap-toothed kindergarten kid who plucks at the nearest adult with her paint-still-dripping piece of watercolour art and whispers "See my pichsur!"

Further in A Malignity:

I had problems.

I needed a drink. I went through the arch to the dining room and dug a part bottle of port out of the sideboard, poured half a glass and guzzled it.

The icy snarl of brambles inside me loosened and melted a little. I poured another half glass and put the bottle away.

Something thumped on my front door. The way things were going I wouldn't give odds it was a someone.

I parked my glass and unholstered the baseball bat from the umbrella stand before I flicked on the porch lamp and peered through one of the narrow side lights to see what was afoot.

Another problem stood there. Almost ogre size. Two hundred or so pounds of problem. Sergeant Johnnie Thresher, waiting, with hands easy on his hips and Dumbarton sniffing his pant legs.

I didn't make the mistake of thinking his leather jacket, turtleneck and jeans made this a social call. He looked very good in casual, I noticed. Even nicer than the suit this morning. That didn't change the fact he was a cop with a grindstone mind and this was business. And I didn't have to read his aura to know it.

I slid the chain and opened the door wide.

"It's after eight o'clock, Sergeant. Do you know where your Animators are?"

Pour a drink into me and my mouth runneth over - the reason why I avoid alcohol most of the time.

Ole blue eyes took in my blunt instrument and nodded, then glanced down.

"Don't even think of it," he said.

Dumbarton lowered his hind leg, grinned up at him and ambled off. To decorate the driver's door I had no doubt, if he hadn't already.


December Quinn said...

Two things:

One, the officer with a "grindstone mind" makes me envous and admiring all at once.

Two, is drinking port a deliberate characterization? Most charaters would down some sort of whiskey, and a fussy old lady might drink sherry. I ove what port tells us about this lady.

Bernita said...

Thank you, December.
I'm not exactly sure what port may say about her.
What does it say to you?
It's there partly i must confess because I don't like whiskey, have tasted too much bad sherry, and I like port.

Amy Lavender Harris said...

This is extremely funny. The only thing I don't like is the word "icy" (perhaps "frigid" or "brittle"). I love the interplay of comedic and frightening elements.

Port. Yep.

Bailey Stewart said...

The icy snarl of brambles inside me loosened

I've experienced that many times - you've described it perfectly.

Good job! I'm loving it.

my verfication is usurf (not in this lifetime. LOL)

Bernita said...

Thank you, Amy.
Not fond of "icy" either. That image needs a tweak.

Thank you, Bailey.Glad you like it.

Anonymous said...

Dumbarton lowered his hind leg, grinned up at him and ambled off. To decorate the driver's door I had no doubt, if he hadn't already.

I like this. Oh, and the rest is fine reading also.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Steve.
I have a vulgar mind.

Robyn said...

Already loving the "cop with the grindstone mind."

Dave said...

Dumbarton has good ideas!

Jeff said...

I like the "cop with a grindstone mind."
Dumbarton decorating the driver's door is good, too.

December Quinn said...

Actually, I thought she didn't like whiskey, was taking a stand against sherry for some reason (or maybe it did bad things to people with her skills), and had some really nice inherited crystal to keep the port in. I pictured a ship's decanter.

It just seemed such a deliberate choice. Like how my heroes mostly drink Scotch. Because that's what men drink in my head.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

This is "fleshing out" really well!

Bernita said...

Robyn, he is described earlier thus: "A trace of sugar marked the corner of his mouth. A very nice mouth, on a face like a box of hammers with jaws like angle irons. Not that he was ugly, exactly, just- rugged - and as impassive and unrelenting as a granite outcrop."
Still feel the same way?

Because they are both alphas, Dave.

Think most males find it funny, Jeff. Thank you.

You have it, December. Waterford.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Bonnie.
Speaking of flesh, zombie shows up next.

Gabriele C. said...

Ogre sized and hammer jawed - an alpha alpha male indeed.

I love Dumbarton.

Bernita said...

Dumbarton delights me, Gabriele!
I'll have to see what else he might do.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Inspector Cramer, without the red face. Love the scene.


spyscribbler said...

I like, Bernita. :-) Thank you!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Asa.
I may have to change him then.

Glad, Natasha.

writtenwyrdd said...

I like the humor in this. I like the way you choose words. Unholster, the brambles, grindstone mind are all great.

I look forward to seeing more of it. I'll have to check back and see if I missed any of the wip in the past few weeks!

Ballpoint Wren said...

Your pichsur looks gud, Burneeta!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Written.
Hard to balance horror and semi-farce, I find.
Think there was an excerpt last Thursday.

Bonnie, you are a treat!

sexy said...