Sunday, January 03, 2010

Dean Martin is crooning through the minivan's speakers, and it makes it harder to hear what's out there. But Rat Pack Christmas is the only thing th

Hey pallies, likes I told ya if you stayed tuned to this Dino-channel, I woulda shares with you the newest and grooviest Dino-sightin'.

Today's Dino-discovery is the start of a piece of scare fiction by auther Paul Bibeau that he has published at his "Goblin Books Get your creep on" blog site. The refrain of our Dino's stellar Dino-winter-tune "Baby It's Cold Outside" begans chapter 1 of Mr. Bibeau's tome "Dark As It Gets."

Seems that our Dino's croonin' "is the only thing that calms Douglas down." Douglas is "almost four" and appears to be wise beyond his tender years when it comes to diggin' our Dino.

Ain't it the coolest pallies to find more and more authors who are givin'the nod to our Dino by addin' the King of Cool to their creative effort?!?!??!?

Have posted a vid of our Dino singin' his version of "Baby" 'long with Mr. Bibeau's literary Dino-efforts. To read this in it's original format, just clicks on the tagg of this Dino-post to go to the "Goblin Books" site. Dino-sharin', DMP


Friday, January 1, 2010
Dark As It Gets: Chapter 1

I really can't stay… Baby, it's cold outside.
I've got to go away… Baby, it's cold outside.

Dean Martin is crooning through the minivan's speakers, and it makes it harder to hear what's out there. But Rat Pack Christmas is the only thing that calms Douglas down. Donald is sitting next to him in his car seat, and he's wailing and screaming for me.

"Help me, daddy," he says. "Help me!" But Donald's the baby, and he's more dramatic. He laughs and cries easily. Nothing really seems to get to him. I'm not worried about Donald. Douglas, almost four, is serious and quiet and thoughtful. The whole world seems too much for him sometimes. Anything can break his heart. He's absolutely silent and wide-eyed in the back, and he understands enough to know he should be scared.

"Are you okay honey?" I ask, looking at him in the mirror between glances at the row of white front yards and black-windowed houses. He nods and doesn't mean it. I go back to my business, searching in the sweep of the headlights as I turn the van and hold tight to the wheel. We skid on the ice. The trucks haven't sanded the back roads and subdivisions out here in the county, and the snow has been falling heavily since early this morning.

As the van slips I hear the hiss of glass chips sliding across the back seat. The rear window was smashed in completely. Through it a draft of wind slips in and makes the whole minivan's cabin numbing in spite of the heater. I had enough time to grab blankets to wrap Donald and Douglas. But I didn't have time to dress. I'm in my boxers, a T-shirt, and shoes without socks, because I pulled them off my feet, and I'm wearing them on my hands. I had to punch holes in them to work the Mossberg, which thumps around down on the floor of the passenger's side. I keep one foot touching it to know its location in case I have to get it quickly. But on the passenger's seat is the revolver, and that seems a quicker reach.

This evening has been… So very nice.
I'll hold your hands; they're just like ice.

My nose is still bleeding. I snort and taste rust. I cough every few minutes, feeling a sharp pain from what has to be a cracked rib. Two toes on my right foot feel crushed, and I'm covered with bruises. And none of that is as bad as the nub of the hunting arrow sticking out from my shoulder. I broke as much off of the shaft as I could. The head has hooks in it though, and I won't be able to get them without pliers and time. I have neither. I hunch to keep that part of my back from touching the seat, but now and again I brush it and a shiver of pain shoots through me. I still don't quite know who the fuck shot me with the arrow.

"Daddy, help."
"I can't help you now, Donald," I say, evenly, but my evenness is wearing thin, because of the cold and the terror, and because of that arrow.
"But I bet we can sing a song together…"

Donald shakes his head and his face crinkles up like he's about to cry. I start to sing along with the radio to get him interested.

I wish I knew how… To break this spell.

"I'll take your hat; your hair looks swell," Dean and I answer.
"No sing!" Donald says, "No, no, no!"
"Donald, please. We'll drive out of here, and then I promise you…"
"Donald, why don't we…"
"Donald!" I shout, but I never finish. Because then something bumps up against the window right next to Donald's tiny head, and I see it in the mirror. I don't see it long, but it has eyes and teeth and it looks right at my son, and then it's gone.

Startled by the sound, Donald stops crying. And then he breaks out laughing and laughing like it's one of our games, and I've just surprised him. Douglas doesn't react much, doesn't change expression. He just stiffens a little, and soon I smell that he's pissed himself. But I'm not looking directly at them. I've turned around in my seat, straining to see it, but the thing is somewhere beside the vehicle, just out of sight, and moving toward the open window in back. I hit the accelerator and the van jerks forward. I make it to the end of the street, and all of a sudden I swerve around, almost toppling.

Whatever's out there can outrun us. I know that. There's only one thing to do.
I click on the high beams and speed back, aiming for a trash bin and a clump of cardboard boxes with a shadow behind them. I barrel into the whole mess, taking most of my neighbor's trash halfway down the block. For a second I think I missed it, but then there's a thump from the grill and right tire, and it feels right. I pound the brake and fishtail slightly to a stop. Then I back up about fifteen feet and hit it again, trying to put my wheel right onto its head.

Then silence and stillness. Nothing but the curtains of headlight and street lamp spotted with snow. I jolt when the cell phone buzzes in the side pocket, but I pick it up with my left hand. I keep my feet on the brake and my right hand free to reach the gun. I'm ready to see something terrible rise up, and I'll have to shoot it without hesitating.

"Is everything okay?" Ellen wants to know, "I called the landline." She's been away for awhile, and she worries on nights like this.
"Oh yeah, honey," I say. "I had them in the bath."
"It's really late for that."
"I know, I know. They wanted to watch Airplane, Airplane. And then they wanted to watch it again, and I just, I just couldn't say no…" I chuckle unconvincingly.
"You sound strange."
"Just a lot of… stress. It's nothing."

She murmurs sympathetically. It's been a strange day. But it's difficult to be a stay-at-home dad. It's worth it, and I love my family, and every day is an adventure of course. Still, some days are harder than others.

"Don't worry," Ellen tells me. "You've got all the important stuff." It's something we remind each other when we run low on money or our work gets hard. Because if your kids are okay, and you're in love with your wife, then you really can't worry about anything.

"I know you're right, honey," I tell her. "Now, I gotta…"
"You have to put them to bed."
"Love you."
"You too."

She hangs up. I drop the phone. Even Donald is quiet now. Whatever is down there in front of us hasn't moved. It's time to kill it if I can. I almost reach for the Mossberg, but change my mind. The revolver. Because it has silver bullets…

The hidden full moon glows softly from somewhere behind the clouds. The interior lamp chases it away as I pop open the door.

"Daddy's got to do something, kids, and then we'll go have ice cream, okay?"

Donald smiles weakly. Douglas nods a little. I punch the emergency brake and step out to finish it off.
Posted by Paul Bibeau at 10:59 AM

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