Tuesday, January 31, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... Lost Sheep

Davey didn't come down stairs. Just stayed in his room flyin' that little, android sky-pony. It was smart to. Turned neat, fast figure eights. Throwed back it's head and whinnied. This one was better. He was glad he got the Clydesdale. That other one was too puny.

Listen to them grown-ups yellin' downstairs. Mom-mom cryin' . Daddy talkin' a mile a minute. Mommy jigglin' the ice in her whiskey drink. He could hear that real clear. He was used to it. Sometimes he made out he couldn't hear it. Called it 'the rocky-rocks.' Davey would a been happier if the dog was up here, but that hound was pop's hound and he wern't goin' nowheres. 

Must a been about five cop tanks outside. Everybody makin' calls, bringin' in sniff-hogs. That's a new breed. You know how they used to train them French pigs  to sniff out truffles under all that damp shit? Well these porkers raised up from them. Just as good as dogs. Better, even. 'Cause if they don't do right you can always eat 'em. 

Whitey holed up in the stables. Just sat there dealin' hisself hand after hand a black jack. Just settin'. Just thinkin'. He knew Alec was dead. And he knew where he were. Maybe little later he'd be able to sneak off and meet that book son-a-bitch. Prob'ly could do so now. Still, no tellin' what them Texacos might 'require.' Send him out for somethin'.  Make him tote shit down from the attic. Whitey truly hated them. Used to dream 'bout smashin' in Zeb's head wit a rock. To bad he wern't th dead one. Alec wern't too bad, if you liked crazy shit. Set hisself up as a theater director. Live wit all them commmuniss hinky-dinks in Barsoom. Who the hell wanna sit through one a them fancy-talkin'-shit-shows anyway? 

So Whitey din't go nowhere. Just sat, right down there in the dirt. Saw two cops run out and grab somethin' from one a the tanks. Heard Miss Sissie warblin' one a her hymns. Bart was cryin'. That made him feel all tingly-like. Shit, that was scary.

Two seconds later he saw it. Fell right down next to his foot. Some goomer must a tossed it. Looked like a caterpillar wit rigor-mortis at first. But then the light from the stable catch somethin'. It was a fingernail, a human-bean, man's fingernail. 'Cept for the fact it was all chewed up 'round the base,  the rest of it looked OK. Even had a little tattoo  settin' right up by the knuckle. A. T., Alec Texaco. Little shit head did that to hisself when he was ten years old. 

Well..... at least 'some' a him was back.....


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Monday, January 30, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... A Killin'

Whitey just wheeled that sky-pony 'round and headed back. Then he put her in for the night and went outside. Kid wasn't there. He liked talkin' to Davey for a lot a reasons.  First of all, the kid was truly likable.  Second, he picked up a lot a inside information that way. Kids are like that. Spill the beans, if you know what I mean. Tuva-Tuva gals say things too. He knows some a their lingo. Hell, even Miss Sissie drops a few nuggets every now and then. Rich folks never think the 'help' know nothin'. And even if they does, what are they gonna do about it? 'Cause it ain't just what you know. It's who you know to tell it too. Don't believe me? Try gettin' past some uppity bitch receptionist. You might be privy to the biggest secret there is. You might have the Lost Ark of the Covenant and The Holy Grail collectin' dust right on top a your dining room table. You could be the most confident son-a-bitch on Mars. But jus' try snakin' your way passed some pig face receptionist. Just go try it. And see how long it take her to throw back her head and spit out the word 'SECURITY!' Less you got some 'cousin' on the other side, you ain't gonna git on that other side. Whitey know that. That's why he so careful. 

That big goomer, the one wit the limp, the one he seen out in the borderlands really did look like somebody. Now lots a folks come out to the ranch. Polvarosa barbecues is famous. Trooper Day is a big deal. They still do The Forth of July.  Hell, they got one most every month. And you KNOW how many months we  got here on Mars. Calendar got 'two counts.' the short count, which is the Earth way and the long count, which is our way. Little bit complicated, but we used to it. Hell, Miss Sissie got a shuffle in that old Jew calendar too. She still lights candles every week, even if nobody else 'round here pay any 'tention to 'em.

Whitey got a good brain. He will track that memory down and find it. 

Right now, they all runnin' 'round and hollerin' over by the big house. Mister Zeb and Miz India 'spected back from town. Gonna have a fancy celebration supper in honor of the soon-to-be new senator. Alec 'spossed to be comin' too. He the other son, Zeb's brother. I'll tell you 'bout that one later. But his wife just called, all frantic like. Seems he never came home from work to pick her up. Little assholes all dressed up (I hate them). She got her stringy, lady-bald head all weaved up for the occasion. Gonna take holograms and everything...... But the brother never showed. And he ain't answerin' his phone. 

Noise traveled all the way out to the stables. Air on Mars is like that. Whitey heared the whole thing. And what they was yellin' sort a jogged  somethin' lose from his brain. But he just sat there real quiet like. Put his beer bottle down in the dust and just stared. 'Cause he remembered the gimpy guy.  He  know where he seen him. 

Then, when he look up he spy two police tanks turnin' down the driveway ( almost a kilometer long). And two seconds later Mister Bart come runnin' out a the house all crazy-like  to meet 'em.


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Sunday, January 29, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... Cimmaron

Now do not think all the Tuva-Tuva are tamed. Sure, you see 'em workin' in stores and playin' nanny to snot nosed little bastids. But that's just some a them. The rest are 'out there,' far beyond where the Earth folks dare to go. Every once in a while they send army dudes into to the badlands on 'clean-ups'. And I mean dudes a both sexes. They fire off a few rounds, rattle some dried up bones, lasso a Tuva bandit or two. Once in a while they accidentally on purpose kill somebody..... You know what I mean when I say 'somebody.' I mean one a them orange hinky-dinks. ....Hinky-dinks is a big word out here. It's like what-cha-m'call it, or yadda-yadda used to be back in your benighted time. Everybody say it. You see a dust devil, it a hinky-dink. Cowboy start actin' crazy, he got the hinky-dinks.  Ugly babies is hinky-dink babies. Yah get gas  and start shootin' bunnies, yah go - 'scuse me, I got a bad case a the hinky-dinks. Some a the dumber ma's even tap it out on absence notes for they lazy, little fat asses...... Please excuse my little catfish. He got the hinky-dinks. ........ Me? I hardly ever say it. I prefer 'turdarific' myself. I believe it conveys a certain sense of dis-stink-shun.

Now, where was I? Oh, yeah. I was tellin' you 'bout them Tuva folk...the wild ones. 

They got caves, real deep ones, back from the days when Mars had its own water, before we brung them comets. Nobody go all the way down. Nobody want to. Look, you don't know about all the critters we got out here yet. What, you know 'bout them big, blue crickets? Hell, they ain't nothin'. You can eat  them. Cook up real pretty, just like hard-shell crabs. I gotta take you to a cricket shack. Show you what I'm talkin' 'bout. And then  you heared about the 'chupis'? All right, but we got chupi guns for them. We got zap fences. Them, we can beat. Sure they take out a few wide-eyes, screamin' settlers. Bunch a dopes. Should a never stepped off Earth in the first place.

And you know what gets me? The blood. The DNA. why is it all them varmints runnin' round  over here got relly-tives back on Earth? Somebody been playin' in the pet shop. Somebody been messin'  wit the herd. Egg-head types say it happened prob'ly back before the last ice-age. But we ain't never found no 'arks' yet. 'Less they out in the badlands. 

Ever once in a while Whitey take out a sky-pony. He like to glide low over the border lands. Not exactly bad...yet. Just a little bit mischievous. Sometime he see things. Sometime he don't. Once he circled for maybe half an hour, watchin' a bunch a chupicabras   gnawin' on what was left of a half dead human. Couldn't tell if it was 'boy' or 'girl'. They already chewed up all the good parts.  He a bit too far out that time.  Don't do that too often. His best trick is lettin the horse dump a heavy load a hot crap all over city folk. You know the type. Got guards. Got chupi guns. Got protein bars. Got face wipes. All duded out in that catalog ' gear they order up from Earth. Shit that makes 'em mad. But them sky-ponies fast. They go WHUMP-WHUMP-WHUMP wit them big wings they got and BAM, they out a there. 

Only this time, he did see something. Horse was up high, so maybe they did not notice. But he saw. He saw the whole thing. Two big  guys drag a tied-up dope outta  a 'tank.' (armored 'Hummer-like vehicle). Guy screamin' and pleadin'. But it don't do him no good. They just drag him over to a long, twistin' crack and start rollin' him in. He tense his body, tryin' to bridge the gap. They pick up a few rocks and drop 'em on his belly. He groans. He screams. He cries. He shrieks.  But he goes down. Took a little work. But they get rid of him. Then they get back in the tank, slam the door and drive away. Mars is real good at hidin' stuff. And them Tuva-Tuvas is real good at findin' 'em.

Whitey saw it all. And one a them goomers look like somebody he seen before. Who knows? Maybe it was just the way he limp.


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Saturday, January 28, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... Dinner time

Ole Effie led 'em all into the fancy eatin' room. Miz India had it all tricked out with rare antiques. The table was a twelve seater, made from two attached slabs a double thick pine, taken from the last Sizzler on Earth. It still had the original, carcinogenic, glossy veneer. And a close inspection will show you that a certain lothario, named Ray-Ray loved Bootsie back in '86. India wanted to sand that out, but the dealer said it only adds to the value. But Stinker Jones is a low-life. He don't know nothin' 'bout no antiques. Justs smacks hisself down and breathes heavy, waitin' for the food. Poor folks, which in most places means just about everybody, eats 'cultured' beef. They grow it in factories from discarded cow placentas. Some a them cells get twisted into chuck roast, or hamburger, or poor-folk-steak. Who cares? They buy it. They don't know no different. But rich folks eats the real stuff, made from authenticated, certified, dead bovines. That's what they were havin', big ole, thick, grilled rib steaks, hacked off a terrified, fresh slaughtered, young heifer. Her little boy went for veal chops. Same day and everything. Ain't that nice?! You know, that way neither one had to go on without the other. Them what kills 'em strives to be real humane.

Zeb sat back in his big, host chair (also an antique reputed to be from Pee-Wee's Playhouse)  givin' the fat man the ole fish eye. He knowed 'bout this dinner for weeks. Hobart fixed it all up. Had a shove a lot a 'hot peppers' (Trooper slang for money) up Stinker's ass for that one....... 'Senator'....... Senator Zebulon Vance Texaco from the great state of El Plano, Mars. And to be truthful, even if he did not like all the tedious, busy work involved, he did like the sound of it. Couldn't help but advance his status at The Mount Olympus Club. That a big town club. All the old Trooper (1st settlers on Mars) families keep memberships. Got the best food, the best booze and the best whores. And some a them whores even graduated theyselves into wives. You see, Mars is that kind a place. Folks ain't so formal here. People be graduatin' into all sorts a thing.

Look, here come Effie wit the food. Whole roast cow, on a silver platter. One a them new mini varieties.  Weigh 'bout fifty pounds 'fore killin'. Cleanin' and dressin' bring 'em down  to 'bout thirtyfive or so. Effie old, but she strong. She can handle it. Stinker get the head 'cause he a guest.

They say the cheeks (lips too) is the bestest part.

Yes siree, life in the later day a the twenty second century is mighty special...mighty special indeed.

See? He likes it! Look  how he dig out that fat, little tongue!


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Friday, January 27, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... Goin' to the WALGREEN

The Old Man took Davey out to the Walgreen. That was a big thing 'round here. They had a cafe and a department store and drogeria and a fooderia. It was the place to be. Cozy too. Not all under one big air craft hangar roof, but laid out like a itty-bitty, crossroads town. Davet 'specially liked the toy shop. That kid loved anything, just so long as it could fly. This time they were huntin' for a nice, little android sky-pony.  Now why the boy would want a toy one when he had the real thing at home, I cannot tell you. But Davey knew. You see, they don't let kids go  up on the real ones. And he wants to do that real bad. Little man-made ones is different. All he gotta do is clip that little plastic thing over his ear and let her fly. They got some kind a circuitry that keys into the human brain. It's all done by thought control. Military uses it too, but on a much bigger scale. Started 'bout twenty or thirty years ago when they first made contact with them goomers out yonder. In space, I mean. Sure they fifteen light years out, but who knows what they up to. And we don't wanna play no 'Monctezuma meets the Spaniards', if you know what I mean. What? You wanna know what them space goomers look like? I do not know. Nobody knows. Guy down in Brazil, on Earth, says they big, ugly lookin' things.  Claims he deciphered some a their squiggly-jigs. Says they tend to favor big Praying Mantises and wear velour jumpsuits and smoke cigarettes. But he also says they members of the Presbyterian Church. And how the hell could that happen?

Bart (the Old Man, Hobart) picked up a nice, little pinto sky-pony. That was one sweet model. Had dusty, yellah wings, a mane to match. Davey liked it. Ran right over to it.........How 'bout this one? - said the pop-pop......... Davey said - What's its name?.........What difference does it make what its name is? You can call it whatever you want. It gonna be yours. - said the Old Man................ Lady behind the counter comes out. She don't like folks messin' with the merchandise. Maybe she knows they Texacos and maybe she don't........ But she says - Each one got a name. And it ain't no 'it'.......... Then she politely takes the toy from Bart, holds it up and says - Look here, right down on the underside. Can you see? This one a boy. See here on the tag? His name 'Chicito'..................... 'Chicito'? - say Bart. That ain't no name. It just mean 'little boy' or little 'cute' boy. I don't want my grandson playin' wit no horse like that. What else you got?........... So the woman took out a bigger one from the cabinet behind the counter. It favored a Clydesdale. You know, one a them beer totin' horses? 'Bout twice the size a the first one. All buff colored and strong...real strong, with big, ole light brown wings.  And you ain't gotta look on the underside to  know this one's a man.......... I want that one. - says Davey............. Wait a minute. What they call this one? - asks his pop-pop........... His name Geronimo. - say the lady. That tough enough for you?........... I want him! I want him! I want him! - piped the little boy. Give her the money! Give her the money! Come on. We gotta go get ice-cream............ So after a few more seconds, the deal was struck. Bart gave her eight hundred and ninety-nine dollars (ain't no sales tax on Mars) and she gave him  the android sky-pony, all wrapped up snug in his 'doubles as a stable' box. Even put it in a nice, heavy-weight, Walgreen shoppin' bag. Davey wanna carry it. He so excited.......... Quit swingin' it the way you do. Make it look like a God damned pocky-book - snarled the Old Man....... And Davey stopped.  Then they walked out onto the landscaped winding pathway and headed toward the Sassbarilla House. Some folks nodded to Bart. A few a them knew who he was. A few did not.  But he smiled back at all a them. Voters is voters you know, even if the game is fixed. And Zeb gonna be president. That boy better reconcile hisself to that fact. Senator just the first stop on that train.

So they sat there in the authentic recreation of an alpine ice-cream parlor (and who the hell know what an alpine ice-cream parlor look like anyway?). Some scrubbed up Tuva - Tuva fellah come over to take care a them. Davey had a Happy the Clown sundae. Bart had a Fu*k Face the Bastid mocha latte. They did not call it that. But that how he felt, 'cause this election' gonna cost him plenty.


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Thursday, January 26, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... Stinker Jones

So Zeb and Miz India stood there, all decked out like pigs at a stock show. She had on her best sequinned gown, all the way from Las Vegas, Nevada. He sported a more subdued look. Historians might call it 'Elvis meets Mad Men' circa 2150. But the boots were local. Hand tooled by a bunch a all cripped-up, Tuva-Tuva craftsmen. I don't know what kind a hides they was. Look a little bit human, but I don't think he'd do that. Stiffened a little (both of 'em) when the doorbell rang. Ole Effie, the Tuva-Tuva housekeeper went over to open it up. They don't keep no big staff over here at the 'Hide Away.' Who wants witnesses? You know what I mean?  And before the old native woman had a chance to mangle his name (she got a real bad Canyon accent), the robust personage, known as Stinker Jones, waddled hisself in and smacked his fat ass down into one a Miz India's prized, antique, Zsa-Zsa Gabor Era frou-frou vestabule chairs. Supposedly the last two left this side a the asteroid belt. She could hear 'em creakin'. Man, were her teef grindin'. 

Stinker spoke. He said - Why you make me drag myself out here!? Everybody in town know where this place is, everybody who count, anyway. And he fanned his puffy jowls with  a brand new,butter-cream Stetson, even though the air-conditioning kept all them gaseous molecules at a comfortable sixty-eight degrees.

Zeb made 'fast eyes' at  OleEffie and she run off to fetch a cold drink. Nothin' fancy. Just a lot a ice wit bunch a rot gut poured down on it. The roly-poly bastid don't know no better. Why waste the good stuff, right? 

'Sides, everybody know better than to let 'Stinker' get too flustered, 'cause a what he might do. So allow me to drip some smarts on y'all. In his younger days, he had a touch a the sugah. They told him to do them stem cells. But he too smart. Don't want to pay the mercenary bastids in Barsoom. So he find a cut rate doc (oh, he got a license and all) way out in Rodenberry. You know where I mean? And the guy does manage to patch him up. 'Cept there was a slight hinky-doo in the laboratory and Stinker got hisself juiced up with skunk cells. Doc did vet work on the side too, you know. And after he has his guys shoot the bastid (don't worry. not to torture him. just to finish him off and learn him a lesson), somebody's brother-in-law back in Barsoom hook him up wit a doc who does the job right. So now he ain't 'zackly tetched wit the sugah. But he does release a might powerful stink when he get a wild hair up his ass. Once had a fumigate the grand ballroom a the Green Clover Hotel, jus 'cause a certain coltish debutante ain't wanna dance wit him. You shoulda seed what it did to her hair. Not to mention she was blind in one eye for a week. Twitched a bit for a few months too. 

That why Miz India don't say nothin'. That why she put that grimmace-passin'-for-a-smile on her face and kiss his greasy cheek like she do. Lemme tell yah, them other cheeks woulda got kissed too, if he ast, considerin' the offer he 'bout to make. 

You see, Stinker Jones runs this place. And he 'bout to buy hisself a new toy soldier...a real glossy, fancy one, named Zebulon Vance Texaco.

So Miz India gonna be a senator's lady after all. Old Man Hobart gonna be happy (he Zeb's pa). All the folks out by Polvarosa gone be happy. Hell, all a Mars gone be happy.

All a Mars what ain't Tuva - Tuva, I mean. 

Ole Effie knows. That why she spit in the'taiters.


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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... Filly

She was real pretty. Dark and glossy like her mother, with a white mark right down the middle of her forehead. And even though the wings were still a little damp, you could tell they'd be long and graceful. David just sat there taking it all in. The mama, Sybil, was real nice. Some horses (and sky-ponies act like any other horse) get skittish. Some mares are different. But she was not like that. Just stood there, right next to her little one and quietly taking her feed.

David asked - When can I ride her?
Whitey, the stable boss, said - What you mean? Here, like on the ground, or up in the air?I know you know what yer cousins get away with, but they just a bunch a half wild, asshole, shitheads, if you ask me. And please don't tell yer pop-pop I said that. OK?
No, I won't - said David. I keep everybody's cursin' secrets 'round here. You know that. That's how come I got so much money in my piggy bank. So when, whitey? When can I ride her?

Don't you think it'd be better if you let her grow some first? - said the stable boss. Give her a while. You know how it goes. Gonna be nine months at least. And I am talkin' 'bout Mars months. Look,I know yer grandma still holds to that Earth calendar. Her and that crazy ree-ligion she got. But I was raised different.

Why you tellin' me all this? - said the grandson. I don't know nothin' 'bout no religion. One a the Tuva-Tuva girls got a little jade bowl she talks to. That a religion?

That's 'her' religion. - said Whitey. But he didn't seem to set much store by it. David reached out and softly stroked one of the black, iridescent wings. Sybil snorted a bit, but she wern't too scared. Horse life was good on the Polvarosa. 

Whitey picked hisself up and went over to look at some tack. He always doin' somethin'. David said - But I will ride her, someday................ Yeah, someday. - said Whitey. But you can't take her up till you growed, boy. Law don't let no kids go flyin'. You gotta be eight years old. And I don't have to tell you I  talkin' 'bout Mars years........... I know - sighed the little one............... After that, nobody said nothin'. Just kept on doin' whatever they was doin'. And the settin' sun, shining in through them big, old stable doors, washed everything in a deep, warm golden light.

Whitey felt bad 'bout tellin' all that crap to the book-writin' guy. But life on Mars costs money. And he sure as hell wern't no Texaco, even though he did like the kid a lot.

So they just stayed like that till the skinny Tuva-Tuva girl come out to fetch the little one back inside. I think they call her 'Tillie' or somethin'. Davey did want to go into town with his ma and pa, but they hardly ever take him. But maybe after supper the Old Man will drive him down to the Walgreen for like a toy, or somethin'. They got two chupi-proof 'tanks.' Won't be no big thing.


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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... Miss India Speaks

Just what the hell do you think is gonna be the defining issue on this planet in the next ten years? Well, I'll tell you. And the thing is, you probably know. You're just too God damn dumb and lazy  to say it. - said Miss India. 

Zeb just sat there, sippin' his big, 'old fashioned' glass a 'Jack.' He did that every night. It was part of his routine. 'My medication' he called it. And he just stared off into the middle distance and let her go.

You know them son-a-bitches in Washington gonna start tongue-kissin' them Tuva-Tuva bastards. It makes me sick. It makes me want to vomit. 'Give 'em the vote'.....'Integrate 'em into society'..... Oh, I can't stand it. Look how they go walkin' 'round town with them wigs plastered down on their bald heads, like that's gonna make 'em look any more human. - she hissed.

They are 'human,' just a subspecies, or somethin' - mumbled her semi-sedated husband. DNA tes' proves that. Do we know how they got all the way out here by theyselves? No we do not. But apparently sometime back in the good old days, our orange tinged brothers got a lift. From who and what for is still a mystery. What you wanna do, hook us up with them fascists? - said Zeb. Man, could that boy hold his liquor. 

They  ain't fascists. They just a little bit practical. That is all. Now you just get youself dressed. He gonna be here any minute. And you gonna be standin' right there next to me when he come in. 

Her mate sighed, got up, dropped the towel and went into the wardrobe chamber, but he did take that half empty glass a Jack with him. India sat back in the chair (a Kennedy Presidency reproduction) takin' stock a things.

Don't you spill none a that crap! You hear!?- she yelled. I ain't gonna have that low-life stink in my house no more!

He just shook his head and grinned. Wifie-poo hate when he do that. She knows what it means. This house ain't hers. This is Texaco territory.

But she pretended not to notice. Just glared back, sizin' him up......... You know what that crap is doin' to you? - she says, It's givin' you chest like a tittie-woman.

He knew that was not true..... Well, not 'real' true. But she was happy she said it, 'cause it did shove a burr up his ass.  She could tell by the way he spin hisself  'round to look in the mirror. Tittie-woman, tittie-woman, tittie-woman. He hate that word. Old Man, Hobart, used to throw it at him when he was little. Zeb used to be a whole lot fatter back then.

So they groomed theyselves up like prize sky-ponies, stepped into the elevator and rode down to smile at their guest. Shame she had a little bit a lipstick on one a them Bugs Bunny teeth. 

Zeb saw, but he didn't say no God damed thing.

And then the doorbell rang.........


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Monday, January 23, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... POWER

Zeb went down to get her. Miz Sissie, I mean. First she tries scratchin' him. Wants to claw his face. Spins at him. They should put her in a home. Lock her up in old folk's jail. But Hobart won't have it. So she ain't even chemically controlled.  He show her a picture. Every time it's the same picture. Took in at Lake Verne back when she was young. Not Zeb. He didn't take it. He the son. He wern't born yet. Hobart took it. She likes that picture. Calls it her 'favorite little girl.' Then he slips her a little flask. She goes 'gug gug gug' smacks her lips and slumps back. First she cries for a minute. Then she goes back up. And that's it. Tuva-Tuva gals in that room out by the kitchen laugh. They peek 'round the door. They see it all. Sound like shakin' a can fill a dry rice when they laugh. Lots a people can't stand it. 

Zeb been thinkin' 'bout stuff lately. The Old Man, his dad, been pourin' lot a talk in his head. Want's to run him for senator. Yeah, they got senators on Mars. They got most everything Earth got, 'cept some folks wants more. Agitators they is. 'FM's' they calls 'em. That stands for Free Mars. Texacos ain't like that...not exactly. These people don't like rockin' no boats. But they sure as hell wants to be the captains. 

I don't know too much 'bout no science. I know they do still take lots a that 'molasses' out a the ground. Only now they cooks it into somethin' else. Big secret. Just commenced doin' it. Hobart been lockin' hisself up with them college teachers from the university. Been back to Earth a few times too. And he hates goin' back there. Says the gravity hurts his heart. Also gives him a big case a the shits. I ain't never been there, so I don't know.

Zeb don't care so much 'bout bein' no senator. It's his wife, Miss India, crave that crap. He tell her - 'Then why don't  you go out speechifying and grab that job for yourself?........ She just look at him and get real mad. You know, that quiet kind a mad. 'Cause Hobart ain't her daddy and he ain't gonna do it for no in-law. She know that. Zeb does too. Look, sometime he must picture hisself like that. And I guess it does appeal to him. He just don't like doin' all the the God damned work.

Yeah, I sleep in the stable. Not with the sky-ponies. Not with them. So, don't be funny. I got a little 'studio' I think they call it, over off to the side. But I hears 'em when they come out to ride. And I hears 'em when they swim naked in the pool. You know how dark nights are out here? Got sizzle wire and sizzle beams all over the place to keep out the chupicabras. But I knows where it is. I knows just about everything.

You want the address a their place in town? No! I am not talkin' 'bout the big townhouse on Canal Street. Everybody know 'bout that. I'm talkin' 'bout the other place. The secret place. Don't worry. You ain't never seen it. Well, maybe you did. But you ain't never knowed it was theirs...... Gimme the money first. I'll tell yeh. .......... Yeah...... OK, OK, OK, OK,... A little more...A little more..... That's all right. You can stop. I ain't no pig.......... You got a 'chupi' gun wit yeh?...... No reason. They just been a little antsy lately.

I gotta go.  Got a mare in foal. She due soon. You know it tricky wit the wings and all...... Wish she were mine though..... I'd truly value a horse like her.....Who knows? Maybe someday...... Am I right? Am I right? Am I right?.... Now you better get outta here, 'cause I can hear 'em off by the Big Pond.....


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Sunday, January 22, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... Chupicabra

The essentially human, Tuva-Tuva aren't the only reconstituted life form on the red planet. Due to the vacillating conditions, many organisms developed  similar methods of survival. One species, the fearsome chupicabra, occupies the top of the food chain. The original natives (the Tuva-Tuva) obviously call it something else, though they rarely mention it at all. Just breathing the name draws bad luck. But human colonists , collectively known by the nickname 'Troopers,' (gleaned from the classic, John Ford cavalry film trilogy) christened it with a moniker taken from Spanish tabloids. 

The creature, as it exists on Mars, can best be described as a huge, strongly built baboon or mandrill. It has a wide, strong muzzle, lined with razor sharp teeth and canines worthy of an ice-age saber toothed tiger. The big ones weigh upwards of three hundred pounds. Their skin, comprised of supple, fine lined platelets (almost like reptilian scales) ranges from a rosy brown to a sunset orange. The deep set eyes are yellow and cat-like. A thick, heavy, segmented, hairless tail functions as a whip. Chupicapras almost always hunt in packs. Indeed, an especially large pack (known as a 'party') decimated  Fort Bodine back in the first days of human habitation.

They don't come near the city. Barsoom (pronounced Bar-sum) is safe. But rouge parties, unafraid of isolated human settlements, like the Texaco holding of Polvarosa, are out there. Special weapons are required to kill them. Most are guns of one type or another, armed with plasma rays. A direct hit to the skull vaporizes the brain. Anything less is dangerous. Tuva-Tuva shamans brew a particularly effective poison, delivered through blow guns. It's good, but not foolproof.

Chupicabras eat their victims from the thighs up. They prefer 'live' food. A component of the saliva stimulates the heart and prolongs life. Some unfortunates take hours, if not days to die.

You want to go out in space? You take your chances. That's just the way it is. 

They've also been known to snatch people right out of their beds. 

But that don't happen this close in. You gotta go real far out for that...... At least the way I heared it... 

And don't think you're gonna hear 'em, 'cause  you ain't. 

Them things can scoot up walls like a snake. They knuckle-trot like a ghost. 

First thing  you see is the eyes......... Don't make no difference what you see after that....... They say rich folks use 'em for guard dogs back on Earth. Don't know how the hell they control 'em. But what the hell do I care? I can't stand them Earth Folk.......

Hear her? .... Hear her?..... Hear her screamin'? She doin' it again. Miz Sissie, I mean. Soon somebody gonna run down the cellar to get her. 

I hear it all the way out in the stables. She crazy. She got it real bad. Not like me. Not like Whitey... 

All I do is talk to myself.....


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Saturday, January 21, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... MISS SISSIE

The big house was quiet at night. All the windows were shut real tight. Don't wanna waste no air conditioning. Everybody was sleepin', even the two 'kit-kat' maids (excuse me. that was uncalled for), I do know better. They are Tuva-Tuva , native Martians. Look, just peek back at yesterday's post. It explains the whole thing. Scroll down. You'll see it. 

But Miss Sissie was different. She did not require much sleep. Her nervous system couldn't accommodate it. So after Hobart (you know, the Old Man) bounced hisself down on the bed and grunted hisself off to sleep, she crept out and went prowlin'.

Now a house is a different place at night, 'sepcially one on Mars. Ain't got no Moon shinin' down out here. No fancy, little ghostly beams dancin' in through the glass lightin' up the hardwood floors and all. Dark is dark. And she could not switch on any lights. But she did not care. You see, them what's got the money buys 'night eyes'. Dedicated, caring docs fix 'em up real good ('ceptin' for the ones who go blind). Puts a special nano-'lectronic film in they eyeballs, right 'long side a the retina. Reflects what little illumination we got. Gooses it up a few notches and presto-shimy-sham. Folks sees better than Old Yeller. Them Tuva-Tuva goomers got the stuff naturally.What? I can say 'goomers' can't I. So it is somewhat easier for the skinny old dowager wannabe to pussyfoot  her way 'round the palace. Kinda takes the place a the Moon we ain't got. And every night got a full one.

Sometimes she just pads through every room, touchin' all the 'tchotchkies' (that an old Earth expression) and rememberin' stuff. Runs her boney fingers along the tops a the dining room chairs recalling long ago gatherings and birthdays. Other nights she goes down into the cellar, picks her way over all the old shit and arranges herself in a worn out wing chair. That's where she cries. The 'fookies' don't bother her. She ain't afraid a no mice. And that's what they basically are....... basically.

Miss Sissie got her secrets. That why she don't sleep so much. Oh, one a the Tuva-Tuvas knew 'bout it. Not one a the two sleepin' out by the kitchen. Not them bald headed things in the maid's room. I am talkin' 'bout a different one, an earlier one. Chupicabras know who I mean. Hell they fed off her  for two nights...... and she did not die till the second one.

Don't be a stranger 'round here. Come on back. You'll figure it all out.

Shhh...hear her? She singin' somethin' down in the cellar right now......


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Friday, January 20, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... Biology

Soon we are gonna introduce some representatives of original Martian fauna. They lived there back when the planet was a hot, wet moister place, before nature powdered it up with a lot a Gold Bond. 

But they did not die out. They just dried up. Apparently the ocher orb went through a lot a those stages in the past. Them what lived there learned how to go with the flow, or lack of it, kind a like water bears on Earth.

What are water bears?...... Why don't you know that? What'd you do, cut too much tenth grade biology? Bet you know what a Chi-weenie is. But I am non-judgemental, so I will tell you.

Picture teeny-tiny little critters. actually very cute. shaped like huggable, pale green gummy bears. Only they got six legs and flatworms for cousins. We still got 'em, in ponds and bogs and deep inside Kim Kardashian's  more than adequate butt crack. It's true. Scientists have recently confirmed that fact.

But these almost microscopic animated boogers got a special talent. When the water goes 'way they just dry up. And they can stay dried up long as they want to. Ten years...Fifty years..... Half a million years.... It don't make no difference....They just close their eyes and hum to themselves (and that's all they do). N.A.S.A. geeks speculate that similar creatures could make it all the way to Earth (or Mars, or the food court at the mall) hibernating deep down inside some dark sheltered crack runnin' 'round a big old meteor or somethin'. 

Appears that a similar biological accommodation developed on Mars (like we said earlier) and it percolated all the way up to their version of us. Hoomin beans, I mean. They got Martian, not-quite-the-same-as-hoomin-beans who was dried up in deep caves till us genuine hoomin beans showed up and turned on the garden hose. 

We did not know they was there. But now we do. Look like bald-headed, russet skinned hoomins. Only big difference is they eyes. Irises go up and down like cats. Some bigoted bastids 'round here (and by that, I only mean about 95% of the populace) call 'em 'kit-kats' or 'pussies.' 

You gonna meet 'em soon. We just thought you'd like to know. Oh, and anyone want a semi-domesticated, Martian chupicabra for a pet? I can't keep it, 'cause it killed  the neighbors and peed up all the rugs.....


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Thursday, January 19, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... Foundation

All the folks in the big house are sleeping now, so this is a good time to learn you all how it started. You know your Pilgrim stories? Well, it warn't like that. No, siree. Not one little bit. Maybe we gotta look back to them what founded New York, or New Orleans. Them folks came for the money. They came for the resources...for the good stuff. In the early days it was furs. Then they pimped out cotton and corn. Mars was no different. Earth had Cristobal Colon, nobody says 'Colombus' no more. OK, OK, OK, I know his real name was Christofero Colombo, but 'Colombo' ain't nuttin' but a yogurt. You got that? And Cristobal Colon worked for the government. He sailed for that pervert, people-roaster Queen Isabel and her frou-frou husband, whats-his-name. You know, the one dressed like the Burger King? Guys came after him worked for the government too. But then came the free booters and the pirates and the ladies and the families. Before you know'd it they got general stores and hurdy-gurdy men. Mars growed up that way too.

Let me set it out for you. In the year 2028 the first humans came over. A bigger moon expedition, that's what that was like, 'cept they flew a lot faster...a lot farther too. First man to set foot on the place wern't no man. He was a WOMAN and her name was Sally Ginsburg. It warn't supposed to be her. They had some Buck Rogers guy all picked out for the honor, but he got a case a the shits eighteen hours before touchdown. So he stuck up in the space Winnebago, wit his ass plastered down on a vacuum toilet readin' old issues a Consumer Digest or somethin', while Miz Sally sashayin' 'round somewhere north a the Valle Marinarus. You seen the holograms. Got 'em in every school book from here to Eternity. Excuse me, but if I am right, ain't that some place out by Jupiter? Oh, who cares? The hell wit it. I ain't worried 'bout that. I wanna tell ya about the family.

In 2051, Johnny came over. He was an energy technician. Like a prospector. Worked for some bastid company outta Texas. They was lookin' for somethin' cheap and plentiful to burn. Not just in  space ships, but to power all the outposts too. Couldn't go nuclear. Not out here. Not on 'the new world'. And he did find something. A gummy crap it was. Smelled like fried farts and cauliflower. But it was here and they used it and that was it. Nuclear woulda been better. Could a gone fusion. They did on Earth. They did on the Moon. Ain't too many three eyed babies back there. But...they didn't. Important thing was he, Johnny, I mean,  had a deal,  an understanding, if you will, with the big guys...two percent a everything. And they did sell a lot a 'molasses'.  Yeah, molasses. That's what they called it.

Know how they got all the air up here? Bombed the place. Dropped huge cylinders filled with... well, I don't know what it was filled with. But they slammed down thousands of 'em. Guess it was filled with whatever crap plants like. 'Cause then they rained down whole bunch a seeds and spores. Dropped a lot a tanks filled with water two. Maybe brought in a small comet or somethin' like that. I heared they blew coal dust all over the polar caps to melt 'em. You know. The dark color holds the heat and all?

Well, a generation later, Loretta comes out. She a botanist, or somethin'. But she also a school teacher. That's Johnny's wife, I'm talkin' 'bout. He twenty years older than her, only he don't look it. Mars got weaker gravity. Don't pull down jowls so fast. Folks stays tall longer too. None a that God damned shrinkin' like they do back on Earth. It's the spine. It's all in the spine. Stays stretched out. Good for the posture. We got good backbones up on Mars. Tall, lanky folk. Like basketball players, if you know what I mean. Yeah, there was some trouble with muscle fibers and calcium and shit. But they got that fixed up quick enough.

So Johnny married Loretta and they had Hobart, 'cept everyone called him Bart. He the Old Man you met last night. Had a brother, or somethin'. I don't know too much 'bout him. They don't say too much. And I don't ask. Bart married Sissie. They had Zeb and Alec. Zeb is Davey's pa. And now you know the whole thing. ............Yeah, right.........The hell you do.

Look, we can't stay out here like this. Got a sick chupicabra nosin' 'round. Usually I can smell 'em. But I'm all stuffed up. So we  gotta  go in. And no, I will not be sayin' nothin' to nobody 'bout what you're doin'. They don't have to know 'bout no God damned book. Thank you kindly for the money. I know where to reach  you. Let me get back to the stables. (I do love them sky-ponies). And take that new black top back into town. Won't find no chupicabras out that way.....Heh, heh, heh, but that don't mean they won't find  you. 

And with that, Whitey tipped his hat, turned around and disappeared into the black Martian night. 

Damn...What am I getting into?.......


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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... Recollections

Little David (though everyone called him 'Davey', or 'Prince') squinted up at the two sky-ponies tracin' lazy circles above the Cinnabar Hills. One of 'em was his. Oh, he ain't never rode it yet, but he will. Old Man bred it special for him. Bloodline goes back  all the way to Oberon and Titania, the progenitors of the breed. 

This was his favorite time. The sun hung low in the sky. Air felt cooler. Dust devils died down and the 'big blues' just commencin' to chirp. ............. Pop, - he says, how'd it get this way? Miz Footwasher say bunch a dudes from Earth did it. But I don't get it. She can be a red hot bitch sometimes. And I think she tell lies.

His 'Pop' chuckled. Man did that kid have a chili pepper tongue.   Why you makin' ruido like that? - laughed the Old Man. Who teach you them  words?.......... Aw, you know that, Pop-pop. Come on. Stop it. You did. - said the little boy............. And the Old Man playfully cuffed his grandson's chin, as they lounged back on the great veranda watching the orange glow turn to black.

You want me to learn you la verdad? - said the grandfather? Well, OK then. I'll tell you. But why you not cover up first with that old, native alfombra over there. It getting a little to fresca for my ole bones. Don't you feel it?

But even though the young one shook his head, the Old Man still grabbed two thick, rug-like afghans for them to burrow under. And then he commenced to speechifyin'.......

Lets see now. The way they told it to me, this here place was once just a big wad a red dust, 'polvarosa.'................. And that's the name of our spread, right, Pop-pop? - piped the boy......... Right, - said the Old Man............. Ain't it the biggest? - said the boy................Well, in Mars Montana it is. Don't know much 'bout them other states............It's the biggest. I know, - yawned the sleepy red head.............. Could be you're right, - said the Pop-pop...................... So, how'd they get it like this? You know, not just a big wad and all, - said the boy.................... What do you think they did? - said the Old Man..................... Build all the houses and bowlin' alleys? - said the cute, little guy.............. The Old Man laughed. No, before, - he said.............. Woke up all the 'kit-kats'?- asked the boy................... Hey,  you know your pa don't like  you talkin' that way. What you supposed to say? - said the Pop-pop..................... First-Folk, first-folk. I know. They the first folk, - said the kid. Excuse me. I din't mean nuttin'. you ain't gonna tell him, are ya? - he looked so sad..............No, I ain't gonna tell him. But don't say that word again. You don't want a start any more fights, do ya?..............The kid shook his head. 

Two seconds later the door opened. Big Mama came out. She said - What  you doin' out here so late? Get him inside, Old Man. What kind a dope are you?............ But the Old Man just 'made eyes' at the kid, as they climbed out a the big, cushioned, wicker settee and followed the granny-woman inside. Then she closed the door and locked it for the night. 

Them sky-ponies sailed down to the stables, folded their wings and settled right in. Polvarosa had a whole herd a them. But these two were the best. The spread was the best. The house was the best too. Big and wide, like George Washington's Mount Vernon, only blowed up and countrified. Just right for The Texacos of Mars. You see, these folks itchin' for the Stone House. They fixin' for a president or two. And who the hell 'round here do you think is gonna stop 'em?

Why don't ya ride back this way tomorrow? I'll learn ya. I'll tell ya how it all  got started. You think the Old West was sumpin'? You think the Out Back had it all? Wait'll you hear how much piss been sprayed on this red wad. 

Now, go on.Better go back to wherever it is y'all sleep. Chupicabra gone be sniffin' 'round soon. And I hear tell he hongry.


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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A YOUNG VAMPIRINO LEARNS WHY part II..a return to the night before Christmas Eve

Look back, oh best beloveds, for Jonathon sits with the scholars. He occupies a chair in the library of The Great Rashi. Do you remember it? Perhaps a trip back to our December twenty third post would be beneficial? Wander through that night and then come back, so that we may proceed.......

Jonnathon saw the lizard. He saw it run up the raw, stone wall and he knew. This was not his world. He was not on Earth. The details were wrong. Six legged Earth lizards do  not exist. And another 'disciple' seated at the table laughed. But then Rashi held up his hand and all were silent. 

Our Andalucian vampirino said - Why have these things happened? Why are we all changed? Explain it to me. For what purpose? I have asked others, but they hold back. They keep things secret. Why is this 'world' different from all other 'worlds'?.......Why?

Rashi looked at him, smoothed his linen tunic and spoke. He said - Because it was time. For every thing there is a season. And a time for every purpose under Heaven. Do you know those words?...........Jonathon nodded and the venerated philosopher of The Faith continued............. Humanity's cradle has been transformed. Other islands have been prepared for you, one in particular. Before, you inhabited only Eretz, only the Earth. But now you may build houses on another. Ma-adim, Mars, has been made ready for you too. Could it be that along some other 'river,' by the side of other waters, and I speak of parallel universes (you know that) mankind might have worked these wonders on their own? Of course. But that world is not this world. You see, Jonathon, we experiment and learn things just like you. Why do you think we gave you the Moon? And I know you've had this conversation with others of our kind before. But the plans were not complete then. Even acts of creation take time. The Moon was a stepping stone, a carefully positioned footstool, lovingly placed in the path of a toddler to give him rest...and confidence. Ma-adim is the next step. Then the water-worlds of Tzadek (Jupiter). I believe you have some knowledge of them? The manta ray people? The first 'aliens' you're set to encounter.

Jonathon whispered - What are  you? Are you God? Are you, all of you, I mean, a manifestation of The Divine?

Rashi said - No, not divine. Not in that sense. We use a term... Not the shepherd, but the sheepdog.....

Jonathon froze.

I believe you're familiar with the term? - said the sage. 

Jonathon nodded.

Your people, the life-eaters, the vampires, I mean, they use it too. I know that. And the old ones, the very old ones, are somewhat like us. You've seen things. You know. True, there is a difference of degree. But the seeds of what will be are clearly there. All life evolves. And that does not cancel out The Creator. Mankind may have sprung from lower creatures. But once the change was made, the CHANGE was MADE. And a new being set foot upon the world. You flow from them. And your kind faces many changes too...... But if all this is too fast for  you, I'm prepared  to give  you a choice. 

What?- whispered the Earth-born vampirino.

I will put you back into the position  you occupied before the rivers split. I will return you to a different parallel universe, similar to your own in every way, save one.... We, never arrived. Not in this manner anyway.

Will all those I love be there too?- asked Jonathon.

Yes - said the Rashi simulation.

Will I be human? Will I be back in Al-andaluz? - said the 'young' vampire.

No. - said the teacher. I cannot alter your form. But you will be with those you love. 

With Sarah and the others, you mean? Back in Philadelphia?

I can put you there.

Then do it. - said Jonathon.

The Rashi-thing just nodded. 

And a great pulse eminated out from every point in this 'reality'. The stone walls of the manor house became as static and disappeared. Then the deep, swirling clouds of Saturn dissolved, as a great wind enveloped our vampirino and carried him off through space. He passed through the realm of Tzadek (Jupiter). He sublimated through the asteroid belt. He saw the great briny, shield of water spinning perpendicular to the nearby surface of Ma-adim (Mars).  But then the time streams parted and he was back on Earth, sitting in the garden, staring at the moon. And he gasped at the finality of it all.

Somewhere in another place, a Great, Briny shield intercepted a dry, red world, bringing water to grateful colonists. But not here. Somewhere in another place lived Lailah and the Chevalier Jean-Michel. And somewhere he and Sarah had seen great things. Yet he chose to come back and that path was not his. 

A few heartbeats later, Sarah, his consort, quietly stepped out onto the cold, wintry back patio. She put her hand on his shoulder and said - Come. It'll be dawn soon. Let's go to bed. 

So he got up, put his arm around her and together they walked back into the large, stone house in Chestnut Hill. He picked up Annie's games and put them in the ottoman. Then he covered Edith (their human friend and 'housekeeper' who often fell asleep in front of the television) with an afghan. The 'elves' were in their place. The 'cherubs' in theirs. Other vampires known to him slept peacefully in other snug spots too.

But a moment later he stopped. He kissed Sarah, opened the door and together they went down to their own place in the dark.

Perhaps some night we'll visit that other 'stream.' Perhaps then we'll walk on Ma-adim and Tzadek. Jonathon will be there, Sarah too. But that night is not this night. And so it is done.

A new tale starts tomorrow - either EL RANCHO TEXACO or EMPIRE OF THE JADE ORB. Please join us. And before  you turn out the light wherever  you are, click on the SHARE button, so others may know too. Thank you and 'MAY YOU NEVER KNOW PAIN. MAY YOU ALWAYS KNOW LOVE. MAY YOU HIDE FROM DEATH NOW AND FOR FOREVER, OR UNTIL THAT TIME WHEN ALL FEAR SLIPS AWAY....an ancient life-eater (vampire) prayer.

A YOUNG VAMPIRINO LEARNS WHY part II..a return to the night before Christmas Eve

Look back, oh best beloveds, for Jonathon sits with the scholars. He occupies a chair in the library of The Great Rashi. Do you remember it? Perhaps a trip back to our December twenty third post would be beneficial? Wander through that night and then come back, so that we may proceed.......

Jonnathon saw the lizard. He saw it run up the raw, stone wall and he knew. This was not his world. He was not on Earth. The details were wrong. Six legged Earth lizards do  not exist. And another 'disciple' seated at the table laughed. But then Rashi held up his hand and all were silent. 

Our Andalucian vampirino said - Why have these things happened? Why are we all changed? Explain it to me. For what purpose? I have asked others, but they hold back. They keep things secret. Why is this 'world' different from all other 'worlds'?.......Why?

Rashi looked at him, smoothed his linen tunic and spoke. He said - Because it was time. For every thing there is a season. And a time for every purpose under Heaven. Do you know those words?...........Jonathon nodded and the venerated philosopher of The Faith continued............. Humanity's cradle has been transformed. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

EMPIRE OF THE JADE ORB --- choice two for the new story 'arc'

Please do not expect this one to be conversant in the preferred, classical manner. I stem from a remote corner by the Dragon's Spine Mountains in the western part of Meiguo, a land mass once known by the name 'Am-ree-ka. This one has lived in the Yinghuo city of Cinnabar for twelve years. I was sent out to this place, the planet known to your people as Mars, in the fifth year of the second San Shijie Emperor, to study the land and help develop its fecundity.

It was a great honor for one stemming from non-Han peoples and this one's parents were pleased to see me go. I traveled out deep within the belly of a sleek Sky Dragon. The ship held twelve hundred souls and made the transit in two moons. Was I sad upon my departure? In some ways. Kanji (Earth) was my home and this one's bones were suited to the gravity there. But the thought of setting shoes on another world tempted me. So I went.

Many people came to see us depart. Pioneers were given special silver badges. And forever after, the designation 'Pioneer' would be added to my name. My parents, siblings and relations have been out to see me many  times, usually at the season of the Lunar New Year, but they still reside in Meiguo, most in the vicinity of Mile-High-City. Do you know it? According to historians, it once bore the archaic name of Dehn-ver. And odd, it seems, to observe the Lunar New Year here on a world without a substantial moon. But the chronographers on Kanji keep us to the straight path in order that we do not forget. 

Have I ever been in the presence of the Second San Shijie Emperor? Twice. The first time, soon after my arrival, when he came out to bless the First Waters flowing through the New River. The second time occurred  during a trip back to Kanji. Although this one was not seated in the First Banquet Pavilion and only in the Third, I saw him as he progressed through the hall, acknowledging our presence, on his way to take his place at  the First Table.

But I also saw other things...and therein lies the sin. Please do not ask me to tell you now. Let us first begin to know and understand each other. Perhaps then I will bring you in. 

Life is complicated in The San Shijie (three worlds) Empire. And I pine  for the calming influence of Chanjuan (the Moon), for no such silver beauty decorates the Yinghuo skies. 

Ah, behold! Look, there lies the gates of Cinnabar. You'll like the city. It is quite cosmopolitan and in some ways the sister of Old Hong Kong. I know these beasts are uncomfortable. Two-humped camels are a most loathsome breed. Yet they thrive so on this world. See how their great camel toes dig into the rough, dry sand. What is it? What have I said? Why do  you laugh at me like that?..... Forgive this one. It is apparent I have much to learn about your world......


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Sunday, January 15, 2012


THE LITTLE MATCH BOY 'arc' is over. If anyone is interested and would like to see it, episodes run from about Christmas Day (12/25) to 1/15. It IS a nice, sentimental read for a cold winter's night. Would of made a really first rate 1930's black and white tearjerker. Freddy Bartholomew could a earned a special Oscar for it. Maybe in a parallel universe he did.

But now I need your advice. Two story lines are bouncing around in my skull and I have to pick one. TRUE, I WILL wrap up the vampires and aliens first, but I'm talking about what comes after. PLEASE take a few seconds to comment and let me know which one you think might be best.

first choice -
these are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO

Mars is colonized. A culture develops almost exactly like the Old West. Big, land grant families control huge spreads on the terraformed (made Earth-like) red planet. This takes place a couple generations in the future. Americans speak an amalgam of Spanish and English (Spanglish). The colonists refer to themselves as 'Troopers' (in homage to the old cavalry) and their 'national' anthem is SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (see the classic John Ford film...one of THE BEST).

Our pivotal characters, members of the powerful TEXACO FAMILY have a baronial holding called Polvorosa (red dust) just outside of the capital city, called BARSOOM. They raise herds of prize 'sky ponies' genetically engineered, winged horses perfectly suited to the somewhat lower gravity and high-plains conditions. The horses pound over the cinnabar flatlands, but then in an instant WHOOMP go the giant wings as they vault over the huge, deep canyons, only to effortlessly continue running on the other side. (horsemen never say 'gallop.' you 'let a horse run.' you don't let it 'gallop.' Gallop is for classic English show ponies with ribbons in their tails and false eyelashes.) 

Trouble starts when ancient, unknown, human-like folk start stumbling out of deep, unexplored caves. They've been freeze-dried for ages, but the recently thickened and moistened Martian atmosphere (a revival of their original habitat) suits them and they naturally awaken to re-claim their world.

The Troopers refer to them as 'kit-kats' due to the slit-like irises in their eyes. Some killings take place. Massacres ensue. Earthside government honchos come out on The City of New Orleans, a space train runnin' on bezar-drive (real potential high speed technology). But that only makes things worse.

Then a romance starts between a TEXACO scion and a kit-kat gal. Old Man don't go for that 'mushin' up with the natives' stuff. Lines are drawn. Sides are taken. And it's 'How The West Was Won,' just the way it probably will be (maybe). 

So if you all cotton to a tale like this, we'd be much obliged if you'd favor us with one a them COMMENTS. Much appreciate it if you'd tap on that SHARE button down below and kinda help with the smoke signals, if you reckon where I'm comin' from. 


choice 2 comes tomorrow-


A nascent CHINA controls the Earth (Kanji), the Moon (Chanjuan) and Mars (Yinghuo)....His Benevolent Majesty, the San Shijie Emperor (emperor of the three worlds) showers all with bountiful mercies as our planet serenely drifts into the Twice-Told-Age.

Huge 'Dragons' (spacecraft) traverse the Star-Strewn-Sea in this intricate fable of imperial splendor and court intrigue.

More quiet whispers, oh best beloveds, will be offered tomorrow.....