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 Category:  Mystery and Crime Fiction
  Posted: January 21, 2020      Views: 73
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Chapter 8 of the book Punchinello
Hobo Jungle
"Punchinello Chapter Eight" by Brett Matthew West

End of Chapter Seven:

Flabbergasted, Mr. Miller responded, "Yes, Cody, you are as stubborn as a mule."

Cody promised, "I will not run in the hallways anymore, Mr. Miller."

He tromped away from his interrogator and looked back over his shoulder. The silver-haired man Cody saw in the library hastened down the corridor in close pursuit. Cody galloped. His hunter exited the school as Cody snatched his blue BMX Mongoose off the bike rack and mounted the two-wheeler. Cody would never forget the way his elementary school days ended.


The ghost of a lonesome whistle blew in an abandoned train yard on the outskirts of Astatula. Two bindle stiffs meandered past the deserted automobile scrapheap on the north end of the tracks along ripped up rails, weathered crossties, and loose gravel. Lagging behind, the grey-black neared the marshaling area, not far from Sullivan Lake. As he did, the Irish red beard discovered a gruesome sight smouldered on a barbeque grill. Apprehensive, they inched towards their revelation one fretful step at a time.

Drawn by the smoke emitted from the rotisserie, Bartholomew thrust his nose near the disclosure and squawked, "Looky-loo what's we got us here, Jebediah."

A thousand miles from nowhere, sand shifted with the tide, Jebediah replied, "I ain't a-touchin' thems nasty jiggers. Ain't no tellin' where those feets been."

Bartholomew smiled in fond remembrance of the last time he'd been with a lass in County Donegal. That was an eon ago. He asked, "Ain't they purty? Slender as they are, those is dancer's feet if ever I seen 'em." He sashayed forward on his right foot, paused, bobbed his shoulders back and forth, then slid his left foot to where his right one was positioned. He turned to Jebediah and stated, "Maybe even danced to on The Beautiful Blue Danube in their time."

Jebediah tossed his bald cranium from side to side. In disbelief he returned, "I swears, Bartholomew, you's forever yappin' 'bout Yo-han Sebastian Strauss."

Bartholomew cachinnated. From his abdomen he let go a deep belly-laugh that shook his clothes back all around. "It's Richard Strauss. And, back in my day I owned the biggest dance studio this side of Galveston," he boasted. "Why, I've seen those clear, blue sea waves crash and listened to seagulls mew like they sing about in all them songs."

Garrulous, Jebediah remarked, "Richard, Yo-han, they's all the same to me. 'Sides, whos in their right mind fry them up some dancer's feets on a grill? And, what's that red stuff all over 'em?"

Within sniffing distance, Bartholomew examined the tincture, looked up at Jebediah in wide-eyed wonder, and said, "Looks like paprika to me."

Shocked, like he'd been kneed below the belt, Jebediah slapped the palms of his hands to the sides of his face, felt the scraggly stubble, and exclaimed, "Egad! Paprika! What in tarnation does you puts paprika on feets for?"

Bartholomew lampooned an insolent smirk. "Maybe someone's been attacked by the munchie monster?"

They swallowed long sips from brown paper bags in their hands and Jebediah said, "Ain't no Head of no Food and Drug Administration, health food aficionado, or dietician connoisseur gonna likes no one eatin' no feets."

Bartholomew cackled, "Toss in a little salt and pepper, some select spices, chuck in carrots and onions, and voila, Jebediah, feets stew."

The knockabout stirred the coals in the grill with a stick he picked up off the ground. A puff of smoke rose in the air. He blew the vapor away.

Jebediah sulked and a portion of his upper lip raised. "Wells, they mights not be gourmet but theys got a nice texture. And, I ain't 'et in three days and nights. So, I says we dig in, Bartholomew."

A burnished shank flashed. Bartholomew plummeted dead at Jebediah's feet. From his earliest years, learned characteristics provided the Astatula Assassin a vengeful mean streak. As a boy he'd been a bully and believed himself capable of committing any act. But, nothing in his youth prepared him to become the Assassin or capable of murdering another person. It was in the rural villa he discovered his life's passion. No one knew his deepest, darkest, secrets as he played out the dizzying lair.

Terrorized, his mouth agape, the victim du jour, beseeched, "Nos, please don't kills me!"

The Assassin drew a settled breath then cursed Jebediah's bad luck. "Roast in Hell!"

He loosened his building anger and felt he was on a carnival ride. Smiling obsequiously, the Assassin esteemed the suspense and savored the melodrama as the scythe flashed again gashing Jebediah's throat. He toppled to the ground straddling Bartholomew.

Soaked with perspiration, the Astatula Assassin converged beside the grill and wiped the blood off the stiletto onto his pants leg. His trusty wood chipper at the ready seemed to underscore the madness of the moment. Pamala Landa's feet were his alone to feast on.

The book continues with Punchinello Chapter Nine. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
The hoboes' language is intentional to help create their characters. Therefore, their dialogue is not nits.

This is Evan, by Lilibug6, selected to complement all my Cody Schroder stories.

So, thanks Lilibug6, for the use of your remarkable picture that provides Cody sych an easily recognizable face on FanStory.
Pays one point and 2 member cents. Artwork by Lilibug6 at

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