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Reginald Blisterkunst, Ph.D.
Among the Remembered Saints: My Life and Subsequent Death
Pluto Wars

Greg Chandler
"Bee's Tree"
"Local Folk"
"Roland's Feast"
"Pond Story "

Doug Childers
"The Baptism"

Gene Cox
The Sunset Lounge

Clarke Crutchfield
"The Break-In"
"The Canceled Party"
"The Imaginary Bullet"

Jason DeBoer
"The Execution of the Sun"

Deanna Francis Mason
"The Daguerreian Marvel"

Dennis Must

Charlie Onion
"Love Among the Jellyfish"
Pluto Wars
"Feast of the Manfestation"

Chris Orlet
"Romantic Comedy"

Daniel Rosenblum
"A Full Donkey"

Deanna Frances Mason
"The Daguerreian Marvel"

Andrew L. Wilson
"Fat Cake and Double Talk"


Pluto Wars
Charlie Onion & Reginald Blisterkunst, Ph.D.

Editor's Note: This is a sequel to Reginald Blisterkunst's Among the Remembered Saints: My Life and Subsequent Death, which was originally serialized in WAG. Readers who prefer to begin at the beginning may read the first book by clicking here.

Part Eight

The sort of thing you freaks love

—Channel Blip News, May I help you?

—Dick Armando, please.

—May I ask who's calling?

—Charlie Onion of (here I cough momentarily)...WAG magazine.

She pauses for an instant but recovers beautifully.

—Just a moment, sir.

A patch of dialogue from a soap opera is piped in and then the Great Armando picks up on his end.

—What the hell's WAG?

—An alternative monthly, I say. They have a column dedicated to you.

—Oh hell, he says. Dick Watch. I know what you're talking about now. An intern brings that crap in sometimes.

—Yes, well...

—So what do you want?

—I'm going to be writing the column for a while and I just wanted to introduce myself and—

—Yeah yeah, grunts Armando. Look, we've got an unearthly abduction story making this place go wild, so if you want to come down and watch, that's fine. But I'm just too busy right now to talk.

—Unearthly abduction?

—Yeah. The sort of thing you freaks love. Get here no later than four and I'll have the receptionist buzz you back to the newsroom.

—Of course, I say. Four o'clock. Good—




I set down the phone and check my watch: two-thirty. Enough time to work in the garden a bit, if it weren't surrounded by a yellow-taped don't cross moat. I call Homicide and ask for Duty, but he's out and I leave no message. Best to wait, I decide. Who knows who else I'll find once I resume digging.

Instead, I unlock the front room, give Eddie's dad a moment to clear out and then settle into the desk chair with a stack of WAGs on my lap. It's a strange mix, I discover: routine film reviews, a vegetarian column, rather intellectual book reviews, an advice column written by a homicidal clown named Stinky and a back-page column called Reports from the Edge.

As for the Dick Watch, it shouldn't be too difficult: write it like an adoring queer and leave the damn thing unsigned.

I sigh and wonder what the other Charlie is doing—the one who decided to stay with Cindy and put up with the ovulation thermometers and the thrice-weekly lectures to smart-assed freshmen. Who's to say: maybe he's better off than I am.

At three-thirty, I lock up Eddie's dad and drive across town to the satellite-dish-festooned Channel Blip.


The receptionist is a garishly colored apparition who, after batting her purple-tinted eyelids at the sound of the opening door, notices it is only me—a nobody—and returns to her pectorals-baring romance.

—I'm here to see Dick Armando, I say, over the counter.

She looks up, scowls, asks for my name. I give it to her and wait. Momentarily, the door behind her buzzes and Armando emerges with a prosecutorial grimace.

—Onion? he says, hand extended.

I nod, return the grimace. Shake the hand. He is wearing an off-blue shirt and a stunning canary-yellow tie. It's the tie I notice first. Then the hair. Waves of lush, light-brown hair that alone could get you a shot on TV. Then come the wrinkles. In the flesh, his flesh shows more years than I suspect the camera does. Still, the hair's impressive.

—Follow me, he says.

The door snaps shut behind us.


We walk down a narrow corridor lined with illuminated photos of broadcast-news Illuminati and emerge in the low-ceilinged newsroom. Rows of desks, monitors, the squawk of police scanners. A few interns glance at us and return to work. Passing a blonde's desk, Armando snags a chip from a bag she is clutching and clucks.

—High fat, he mutters, without slowing.

I follow him to his office, where he suddenly turns on me and advances.

—This isn't a body-slam piece, is it?

I step back.

—No, I manage. Fawning. Absolute adoration, I say. Really. The word...fawning. Precisely.

He nods, eyes me skeptically.

—Might as well give you the tour, he says.


For a half an hour, I tail him through various narrow hallways. Through the newsroom, down the hall to the promotional room (full of computers and lonely albino males) past the door leading up the transmitters (we're not interested in that, though, says Armando) down the hall to the studio (air-conditioned and absolutely silent) and finally out into the parking lot behind the building, where a short man with an atrocious wig joins us.

—Hey Dick, the man says, smiling.

Armando grunts. We've come out to look at the transmitting tower, and he doesn't bother himself with the wig man.

—Talked to the UFO chick yet?

Armando glances down at wig man and scowls.

—Pretty cute, wig man says.

He lights a cigarette and glances up at the tower.

—I didn't see her on the tour, I say. Where is she, incidentally?

—They're hooking her up right now, wig man says.

—We have her in the Remote Booth, Armando says. Come on.

Armando pulls the door open and I step through.

—I was wondering, Dick, wig man says. If tonight you'd let me—

The door slaps shut on wig man, and I follow Armando down a series of corridors that end on a single closed door which reveals, on the other side, a miniature control room and, through a sheet of glass, a small room containing a chair, a camera and a young, frightened girl. Armando motions for me to sit down behind the man leaning over the control board. On a monitor overhead, I see the girl's face is being obscured. Inside the booth, the girl squirms, impatient and frightened.

I look up at the face on the screen, trying to see a figure inside its blur; to no effect. When the girl speaks, the mouth flutters like a sea of tiny squares: computer-pointillism. When her eyes close, it is like a pair of crazy-quilted window shades being raised and lowered. And when she turns her head, it is like a great dust storm is sweeping across an alien planet. Mesmerized, I—


A Voice from Afire


LONG SHOT PANS to show a grove of sun-dappled trees and beyond them a river rushing sprint-melt-brown. End on DARK ONE sitting on park bench; DOLLY to CLOSE-UP. On his face can be read one thought: suicide in the rushing river. Absolute despair. PULL BACK to show a pair of ducks swirling crazy-circles down a tributary and spinning to a stop at DARK ONE's feet. As we watch, the ducks enter a strange mating ritual that catches, we notice in an INSERT CLOSE-UP, the DARK ONE's attention. Then, cutting back to MID-SHOT of the ducks, we see that the male has mounted the female, who now struggles to break free. To stop her, the male bites her neck and plunges her head under water. She flaps her wings desperately and a few duck-sized bubbles blurp to the surface of the water, but the male's grip is strong and the female remains submerged. In a CLOSE-UP, we see the DARK ONE is mesmerized by the violent drowning. He has even, for a moment, forgotten the reason he has come to the river. Then we see his face fall, his interest wane. In a MID-SHOT, we see the male duck kick back into the main flow and shoot down the river, sated, while in the foreground the female floats limp and finished. We hear the DARK ONE sigh heavily as he stands up, his shoes creaking. Then, of a sudden, the sky turns dark and the swirling sounds of a rushing wind are heard.

Enter BLISTER, in a whirlwind. The DARK ONE, stunned by the whirlwind's brilliance, falls to the ground and cowers as a voice from the whirlwind bellows.


All in a whirlwind I come, hither and anon, nothing but a cloud of dust swirling and me rushing Dark-Onewards and then: puff. Cease the whirlwind, dispel the dust and
holy gamoly—but—I can't—
Yes, you spurned Miltonian, it is I, dear old Blister, an evil, an only evil, turned suddenlike into this pillar of fire before you. Rather impressive, what?
No no, stay where you are, old chap. Have a seat, in fact. Just wanted a word with you and—I say: what's with the duck? Rather dangerous to sleep in the water, what? Neither here nor there, I suppose, but...
But I digress. Where was I now? Ah yes. Look here, old chap, I want to take over your country. And I'll need your help doing it. Watchman unto the house of Blister, give them warning from me, and so on. What's say?

The DARK ONE, finished with his gaping, sets a finger to his chin and considers. Impatiently, BLISTER hovers.


Well, come on, man. We don't have all day. Do you want to destroy the world or not?


Sure. What the hell.

BLISTER smiles beatifically and draws a bundle from under his cloak.


Right. Well then. Welcome aboard, as they say. Death and Destruction shall lead us all, etc. etc. By the by, I'll need you to put this on, if you don't mind.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10



About the Authors

The late Reginald Blisterkunst was a college professor whose areas of expertise were Milton and the Metaphysical Poets. Among the Remembered Saints, his first novel, was also serialized on the WAG Web site.

Charlie Onion is a frequent WAG contributor.


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