cleric

LEAD MINI QUARRY

 Chapter   3

From Tee To Big Screen

                                                  

Leaving what was left of the House of Lint, as well as Bellybutton behind, the two Stubbies made their way to Golf Course Road.  Time was of the essence so they only had time to grab their cloaks, knapsacks, matches, and a couple of beers.  There was a chill in the still air and mist had begun to obscure the bright full moon which served as the duo’s only source of light.   Soon the fog became so bad that Dorfo and Jam Jar decided they could travel no further.  As they began to scrounge for firewood they heard voices from down the road.  The words were unintelligible but had a distinct rhythm as if a song.  “Quickly Jam, lie down in the gully,” whispered Dorfo.  “We should not be seen.”  The two Stubbies ducked down in the roadside depression just as  a number of figures in white rhinestone-studded jumpsuits passed by singing “You ain’t nothing but a hound dog ….”   “Elvis’,” mumbled an awestruck Jam Jar.  “It’s my dream come true!  Where are they going, Mr. Dorfo?”  Dorfo unplugged his ears shortly after the Elvis’ had passed and replied, “They’re going to a land  far away across the ocean,  an enchanted place they call Vegas.  They say the time of Elvis’ in Piddle Earth has  passed and they will gather in the last refuge where they are still appreciated.  Now c’mon, Jam, I need you to make me some dinner, I'm starving.”   It was useless.   Jam Jar was so mesmerized by the singing of the Elvis that he fell back into the ditch while trying to get up from his hiding spot.   Dorfo rushed over and tried to pull his oversized caddy out of the gully but didn't have nearly enough strength.  Next Dorfo slapped Jam so hard that it wiped the trance-induced smile from his face, but even this assault couldn't wake his friend.  “Oh well,” he thought,  “This is as good a spot as any to make camp.” 

The following morning Dorfo and Sam arose earlier than normal.  It was  near noon and they found Golf Course Road  packed with lines of Stubbies slowly meandering to and  from the Landfill.  Like ants mindlessly following a trail,  sometimes bumping into one another or stepping on the fallen, they carried  as much they could of  the food that was secretly left for the companions by the Elvis’ back to their hovels and then returned for more.  Wiping the sleep from their eyes Sam and Dorfo  waded into the crowd and grabbed a few picked-over  peanut butter and banana sandwiches, many cheeseburgers, and some special Elvis traveling bread called Twinkies.  The beginning of their journey into  the annals of Stubbie history was ground to a halt before it had started.   “We’ve got to get off this road, Jam,” stated Dorfo.  “We’ll never get to Limburger at this rate.  The pace is slower than that of a golf outing at Carcinogen Greens.   Let’s cut through the woods here and sneak across the golf course as soon as we finish eating.”

After breakfasting on mammoth portions of cheeseburgers and Twinkies the twosome packed up the  leftovers in their knapsacks, waded into the thicket at the edge of the course and made their way slowly towards what they hoped would be the wide open fairways and lush greens  of A Gusta Wind National Golf Club where they could begin to make some time on their journey.   After about fifteen minutes the woods opened up and they found themselves standing at the last hole of Eamon's Corner*.   Tears welled up in Jam’s eyes.   “Hold on, Dorfo,” said the choked-up caddie.  “I want to tell you that the next step I take will be about a half mile farther than the farthest I’ve ever been from the Landfill in my whole life.  I wonder what my Old Crapper would think of me now.  He always said I was too stupid to go very far but now I can say I’ve gone farther than he ever imagined.”   Dorfo was unimpressed and his face showed the irritation.  “I don’t want to hear anything further about your father or you going farther.  Here you are all wrapped up in  yourself and your need to please the Old Crapper.  What about others, Jam?  What about me?  Here we are on the tee of the greatest par 3 in all of Piddle Earth and I don’t have any clubs with me.  Not even a ball that I can just throw at the green.  I will never have this chance again.  Now that’s a real tragedy unlike your wimpy ‘the world revolves around Jam Jar' whine.  I'm sorry to say, but I’m very disappointed in you.  Now let’s get moving before we’re caught!  You know Stubbies are not allowed to be here.  Only Old Farts can be members and if we get caught not even Gambloss could save us.”  “Sorry, Mr. Dorfo,  I don’t know what got into me,” replied a solemn Jam as the two took off trotting down to the creek over the green and on to the 13th fairway.

As they strode over the bridge on to the famed 13th green, Jam and Dorfo  were violently knocked to the ground by two Stubbie-sized figures that came charging out of the adjoining azalea bushes.  The twosome hit the green hard, causing severe damage to the perfectly manicured surface.   Before they had a chance to look up and lob a parcel of curses at their assailants one of the ruffians proclaimed, “Well look who’s here, Pipsqueak, it’s Dorfo and Jam Jar!  You two are a mighty long way from home.  What are you up to?”  “None of your business, Mary,” replied Dorfo as he surveyed the damaged putting surface.   “Look at what you’ve done to the green!  It’s ruined!”

Pipsqueak interjected,  “The green?  I’d be more worried about what we did to those flower bushes we just came out of, if you know what I mean … or those rangers that are closing in on us!  Run!”   

The four Stubbies ran off toward the 14th  tee but escape was futile and soon they were surrounded by several golf carts with rabid-looking men at the wheels.   “All right now, didn’t we just tell you to leave this course about an hour ago?” said a fat cigar-chomping man who appeared to be the chief ranger.   “And now you seem to have picked up a couple of buddies.  Remember those clubs we confiscated from you?  Well, I think it’s time to put them to good use.   Morris, hand me a 2 iron please.”  A burly thug responded, “Gotcha, chief.”  He stepped from his cart, pulled out Pipsqueak’s 2 iron, and handed it to the cigar chomper.   “Maybe this’ll teach you Stubbies to stay off this course.  You know we don’t allow your kind here.  The only thing worse than Stubbies is women.  Always hitting grounders and jibber-jabbering.”  As the ranger continued his tirade Dorfo noticed that the fairway was covered with worms that were coming out of the ground and slowly making their way to the second cut.  “Look Jam,” he exclaimed, pointing towards the ground, Have you ever seen anything like this?”   The leader of the rangers' train of thought was broken and he too looked down at the ground.   “The worms, they’re running away!” he shouted to his men as he turned to the Stubbies.  “That can only mean one thing.  There’s women on the course!  I can smell the recipes being exchanged!  You midgets have run into a bit of fortune.   C’mon boys, let’s go teach them broads a lesson!”

“Phew, that was really close,” stammered the shaken Dorfo.  “I don’t think we’ll ever be in a more threatening situation as long as we live!  We’d better get out of here before they come back.”  

The Stubbies raced into the thick woods that defined the edges of the golf course.   Throwing caution to the wind, they dared not look back or worry about what lie ahead.  Soon they unknowingly escaped the forest, bursting onto the sunken Limburger Road.   All four tumbled down the steep embankment, bouncing off one another until they came to a stop by the far side of the road.   Mary’s fall had been the worst as his momentum was halted by a bruising crash of his rump into a large oak.   Pipsqueak was the first to rush to the aid of the stunned Mary.  “Are you okay?”  he quizzed his companion.   A very groggy Mary stood up and reached into his oversized back pocket.  “I think so,” he replied while pulling out a huge bag of candy, “But I don’t know about my snacks.  They seem to have taken a bit of damage when they broke my fall.”  He reached into his bag of sour gummy bugs and pulled out a massive conglomerate of assorted smushed insects and began tearing it apart.  “Anyone care for a bug?”  Everyone reached out their grimy hands and received a generous portion of candy except for Dorfo, who was staring down the road listening intently to a strange noise that filled him with fear.   Tick-tap, tick, tick, tick, tap, tap-tick.  The noise grew louder and the leaves that blanketed the road swirled up ahead of an inky mist that shrouded a sinister form which was slowly approaching.  

Dorfo reacted quickly.  “Off the road everyone,” he urged the snackers as he began shoving them toward a broad opening in the  side of the tree that had mistreated Mary’s gummies.   He pushed a reluctant Mary and the gummies flew from the giant-sized bag  and stuck  everywhere … inside and outside the tree, on the road, and on the travelers.  As the inky mist approached, the form of a creature within could be discerned.  It looked like a Stubbie-sized man wearing shorts and a tee shirt.  He sported neck-length curly hair and wore large  glasses with coke-bottle lenses.  His fingers were tipped with pen quills and his teeth resembled typewriter keys, some straight and others jammed together as though they were pressed simultaneously.  The free keys were in constant motion, tapping out a guttural yet hypnotic sound.  He wielded in his right hand a sword-length fountain pen, and in his left hand he held an eraser as though it were a shield.  

The Stubbies shivered in fear as the creature’s teeth clattered.   Letters formed together out of the black mist and floated to  the hollow tree.  ‘Baggypants’ they said and fell to the ground.   Closer the figure moved, reaching out with his shield to erase the gummies that may have caught him in their sticky snare.   Closer and closer the black cloud inched as the word 'Baggypants' continued forming, staying in the air longer as he neared the ring.  Dorfo had not been this scared since a few minutes before on the golf course.  The monster was now so close that Dorfo could smell its foul breath.   McDonald’s, he surmised.   The scent of fast food overpowered him and he could barely resist the urge to nibble on the ring.  “Oh, for a Big Mac and some rings,” he thought as he began to fall into a stupor.  The creature sensed this desire and moved closer.  ‘Baggypants’ the letters once again formed and moved near, falling just beside Dorfo who, in a trance of desire for fast food, was unknowingly raising the onion ring to his mouth.  The monster took a quick step and reached out for Dorfo with his eraser, coming almost within a foot of the Stubbie’s face.  He tried again; this time the eraser nearly scraped Dorfo’s head.  Now from its mouth the word Aieeee was typed and raced out into the sky, awakening  Dorfo  from the stupor.   Glancing at the monster, he saw that its foot was stuck in a large pile of the gummy insects.   A sinewy goo stretched from its foot to the pile of squashed candy, impeding the assailant’s movement and reach.  Dorfo  jumped out of the hollow just as the creature made a final reach for him.   “Everyone, let's get out of here!” he cried.  “Where should we go from here, Mr. Dorfo?” stuttered the deeply shaken Jam Jar.   Pipsqueak shouted out,  “I know a place where no one will look.  The Old For …”   Before he could get the last word out a spray of ink spewed forth from the monster’s fountain pen and engulfed the Stubbies in a black mist.

* Eamon's Corner is the legendary three-hole stretch from the 10th through 12th  at A Gusta Wind National Golf Club named after the illusionist Eamon No'Ironplay, a 36 handicapper that miraculously eagled all three holes in the same round, going on to card his greatest score ever, a 102.   Sorcery was not allowed by the rules of the Order of Old Farts so it was deemed to be the work of the gods that allowed Eamon's miracle.   Many remain unconvinced.

Copyright 2002, 2012  John Keefe

 

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