Gradients of Artichokes (Surreal Fiction)

[Rough dialogue where the detective finds the ‘Secret Manuscript’]

“It this really it?”

“You tell me.  It survived the fire, but it’s in bad shape.”

“I’ll need to take it to the lab.”

The detective opened the wooden box and lifted a corner of the paper.

“It’s soaked.”

“It can be dried out. We’re lucky to still have it.  Many of our documents were destroyed.”

“There’s much more here than I thought.  I really need to take this with me.”

“Alright, let me get you the forms…”


“We keep records of everything taken from our collection.”

She returned with a bent and broken binder, pulled out a group of damp pages and set them in front of the detective.

“What is all this?”

Three pages stuck together.

“Please fill this out.” She paused.  “A donation to the library is customary.”

“Lives hang in the balance, ma’am.  I can’t be delayed here.  Give the forms to my secretary.”


The detective leaves with the box.

[Note:  the detective has no secretary]

The manuscript is ‘A Gift Horse Goes to the Dentist’, which follows.

‘A Gift Horse Goes To The Dentist’

A fictional biography

based upon events that never happened

 by Jehosaphat Q. Blatt

translated from the original

which was spoken ‘in tongues’

by Chester Knight Lester III.


Adventures in Baby-Carriage-Tipping

“Never again,” he remarked and sat silent while Lady Gaga look-alikes plummeted Wall Street in hopes of a better yesterday.  The marching band performed man-made, orchestrated maneuvers in the dark until the symphony lost count of the crows and the masochists restored Shelby’s sagging faith in polygamists.

“Iced crustacea make strange chairwomen,” she said, having only a vague notion of what she was saying since she was only repeating something she heard once on a radio show late at night after meeting with Mary Margaret.  Then again, it may have been static.

Meanwhile, Count Drachma took cottage flakes to needy prodders, whilst Julie was having her lozenges removed by the tinsel doctor.  Unfortunately, the plane was Kojacked before a crowd of angry early settlers landed.  Indeed, after economies trickled down Jack’s leg, the jousting came in droves.

“How did semen get on the corpse, anyway?” It was the first time she had mentioned this.  Jack started getting nervous.

This did not, however, prevent pigs from hurtling down the runway like models out of a bad dream not unlike one might imagine Hell to be like, should one wish to believe in such things.  Lyle, however, relied on wolverines to spay him all nice and ladylike.  He was quite surprised, then, when he noticed at the corner of his eye that Ninjas were pouring out of every orifice and reamed pedestrians until intervening police cast bull-genitals at the bucolic mob.  Katrina is really open for business, particularly to her bedfellows.

“You couldn’t be more wrong!” she shouted.  Terry ducked just long enough for the utensils to clear his/her head.

Russian President Jerkov swore up and down that his main motive was only to squash those who longed for the day when Imperialists brought automobiles before the Senate and then masturbated.  We took him away anyway while Captain Kirkov spooled at the mouth at the mere mention of silkworms.

Suddenly, a knock on the door caused Lord Willingham to jump, so much so that he bumped his head on the overhanging petrified fruit.  The lawyers came forth from the den and made the following recollections, announcements, and simple gibberish, as per usual. Meanwhile, Lady Everly ordered one of the maids to fetch some ice.  Here are the aforementioned announcements and such things:

1st Lawyer:       “Imbedded copyrights hemmed and hawed over what not to do tonight.”

2nd Lawyer:    “Seven-Elevens will remain open until closed.”

3rd Lawyer:      “Elks greeted the dusk with unprecedented ennui, emus winced.”

4th Lawyer:      “Is there a doctor in the house?”

No longer able to read, Heather over-belated chunk-sucked the value-added renegade truncated appeasement ulcers (yet over) lordships con-questioned numerous a fortitude breach.  She rated, then, on the grey scale.  Trucks begged for an away station.  Shit missed the urinal in sheer curtains.  Question-mark-shaped penises make for strange, kinky bedfellows and rather odd-looking closed-circuit television cameras.  Many found this offensive and, for this specific eventuality, the lawyers jumped into a large vat of putrified rat dung and chanted “WE NEED YOUR VERDICT, FCC!”

Teamsters and Teamsterettes, meanwhile, struck lightning, not realizing that too many showers can wash away the pores.  No one noticed, however, when Jefferson’s promiscuous cooking earned him jail time and left his wife prostrate.  Gargoyles, during this same era, prompted new fashions in a denim world.

“Blow hard and you’ll scatter the pay dirt.  Step to!” He said this almost constantly, which made Robert more alert to the silence when it finally happened.  Mimicking Elvis, Terry Lynn Sanders popped her pelvis and shot her television due to strained nerves.  Paul swam in Julie’s Liverpool, whilst beetles grazed on juicy macabre-like stenches from exotic places, such as Guilana, Jizzerbom, and Quincy (Adams rather than Jones or anything to do with Mr. Krugman).

“The poet knew all along,” she insisted.

“Mermaids make good international spies,” he muttered to himself in response.  She certainly didn’t hear it being too busy watching a dark LCD screen on which was projected a series of words, which started with what seemed to be a title: “The Tale of the Seven Mystics*.”

Zoe, meanwhile, removed layer upon layer of phlegm from Zeke’s room only to find a pesky hardened floor beneath instead of the gold bricks promised by the loot fairy.  Death always did make her giggle and blush like a schoolgirl.  He saw this clearly.  It was either Jeremy irons or Woody coats.  Coincidentally, Geraldine collects team penchants.  You may wish to ask her about it.  She was telling Victor just the other day about how all of those blood-sucking dentists stormed the Bastille, or so they thought.  Queers, on the other hand, spat all over the sidewalk while erstwhile faggots continued to jut out from the wall.  Not a pretty sight, but there you have it.

“A bloodbath can cure the common cold,” Sir Walter Valet kept chanting, up and down the library halls.  Many put up Christmas trees in protest to decrying fowl.  For example, John’s scrotum leaked acid on the freeway, causing a seven-pound twenty-ounce bundle of joyful backup on Laura’s Nubian bypass.  After several group-therapy sessions, the squid were much calmer.  The clams, on the other hand, are still sick, sick, sick.

Chewing Pectoral Sticks Can Greatly Reduce The Increased Risk Of Heart Rate.  Or so the headline read.  From underneath the bunker, Jimmy mounted his horse gallantly upon the Arch of Triumph, underneath which undulating breasts, Big-Ben-like, swung from its pendulous, crum-sucking kickstand.

“I can see you through the Keydet hole,” she said seductively.  All the while he yelled, “Jocund one, jocund one, faites-moi rire, and at the same time, screamed ‘Papa!  Papa!’.”  He instructed her to do this while maintaining a healthy erection the entire duration.  And the beat stopped for a bit whilst the nation mourned its ability to make-over an over-sung Indian heroine/crooner called ‘The Black Bitch’.  Amazing how pop music can lead you to [redacted].

“Carry on until egg whites rule the sea, and we’ll settle for just the waterways for now.  But just you wait, heroine addicts.  Joan of Arc will resubmerge, and her vessel will purport one and all to Thunderdrone, where we will all feed the chickens freely and with grueling remorse.”  When she had finished she recorded her last hit which featured the backwards message (only audible when played underwater at 1/5th speed): ‘Don’tya just wanna [expletive deleted] me now?’  Though the villagers voted against wall hangings, they thronged to see Mother Theresa’s lynching.

“Effigy sucks!”  They chanted.  It had been decided, through silent ballot, just the fortnight hence against pussies in the precinct.  Analysts now believe they did this fearing it would jeopardize emergency-response time.  Effeminists, on the other hand, drafted referendums outlawing football which is why jocular straps help suppress the giggling, witty vagina.  Moreover, semicolons partially digest food; the rest is up to masticatory machinations.  Grammarians beg to differ.

The artist picked up his brush with Death and panted, “Nevermore!  I’ve had enough of this goddamn canvas.” What emerged was a large black circle filled in with sauerkraut, but not before Death announced… “[unintelligible]”.

CHAPTER II, titled (for now) A Tree Gets Really Pissed Off is forthcoming, in which it is revealed that the oil-company ecologists have been right all along.  This is followed by numerous chapters containing Infantile Tips for Adventurous Carriage-Making.

*The Tale of the Seven Mystics:

One day, far away where the mystics all gather, there was a great meeting of the Seven Greatest Mystics of All.  At the appointed meeting place, the seven magicians of old, wise men and women who had the eons to contemplate the mysteries of life, the universe, and all things that are hidden from the masses, were at last in one physical spot on Earth.  They had traveled far and were waiting for coffee.

All had brought the magical scrolls and parchments of their trade with the intent of sharing their collected wisdom.  Some of these papers were stapled.  Thus, the magician who brought the staple remover was most revered for copies would need to be made for all.

Yet, as they all gathered near the great copying machine which was to make copies for all of the many parchments and magical scrolls amassed by these great wizards seven, the magician with the staple remover, having pulled it from his cloak, accidentally dropped it to the floor.

And all the magicians were amazed.  And they stared at this, a wonder.  And they saw that it was a sign.  One by one they looked to each other for interpretation and one by one they sounded off as to the nature of this mysterious event.

“It means that the toothy ones, the destructors, will fall at our feet,” said the first.

“It means that the tools that are used for extraction will be ruined,” said the second.

“It means that clumsiness is a virtue because those with teeth have been dropped to the ground,” said the third.

“It means that we must beware of the biting animals lest they rend our shins with their sharp teeth,” said the fourth

“It means that the end times have begun since the strong jaws of the mighty have fallen,” said the fifth.

The sixth wizard looked at the others and pondered as the seventh wizard chuckled to himself and shook his head.

The third wizard then said to the sixth, “What do you say about this?  We have all opined.  Now it is your turn.  Or how about you?”  He asked the seventh wizard. “After all, you have dropped the instrument of stapling. You may at least provide your opinion of this wondrous sign.”

The sixth wizard stood silent shaking his head.

The seventh wizard said, “I believe it means you should be a little more careful.”  And he handed the staple remover to the 6th wizard, who had been the one to drop it.

Moral:  Bring donuts prior to any meeting.  Well fed people have less of a tendency to overreact to minor calamities.

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