On the second day of the second month…

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Green Note: I have no real idea who Magical Mystical Teacher is, but said entity has taken over Sunday Scribblings, and this is the second of three prompts that have driven me into the biblical desert, and when that happens, there’s nowhere to go but bizarro.

“’Candid Crankster,’ Jerry Raines speaking. …Yes, Mr. Hess, what can I help you with? … You’re kidding! … Oh that is too funny, right up our alley. … Unbelievable! … How’d you leave it with him? … Good, we can use that as segue into his world. … Definitely. If this guy passes our checks, we’ll get a crew out there. … I’ll let you know. What’s the best number for me to reach you at? … Got it. … Absolutely. If filming goes well and we get a signature, you’ll get paid for the lead. … No, thank you, Mr. Hess!”

Jerry hollered over his shoulder toward the desk behind him, “Dave, we’ve got a red hot one!” then he picked the phone back up. “Sandy, we need a validation and background check, pronto. … Yes. … It’s for a Ronald Radditch, an electrician, at 315 Oak Street. … Thanks.”

Dave looked up from buffing his nails. “Whatcha got, Jerry?”

“Mr. Hess, an architect with Sketch & Sloan, received this guy Radditch at his office this morning to discuss an addition to his house which sits on just 1 acre of land. The house takes up 90% of that. Get this: Radditch calls himself Father Radditch, made Hess address him as that, and he wants to build a 4356 square foot extension of the finest materials for religious purposes, to accommodate, and I quote, ‘his flock of women.”

Jerry and Dave busted out laughing, barely heard the phone buzz. Jerry pounced on it, “Jerry here. … Hey, Sandy. … What’d you find on Radditch? … Good. … Good. … You don’t say! … Thanks, Sandy.”

“Ooo-wee!” Jerry spun around to face Dave. “He’s 57. No criminal convictions. No mental illness reported but get this: he was fired from his job at Ervine Electric 8 months ago. The company tagged him as an undependable worker. Apparently, during the last 6 months of his 10-year employment with them, he showed up to work less and less.”

Dave smacked his desk as he stood up. “We’re on!” he said. “Let’s talk angle!”

“As it stands now, Hess has scheduled a visit to Radditch’s property to analyze the building site. You’ll show up in his stead, a member of the Sketch & Sloan staff, say, appointed to this task. The script will be geared toward you appearing loonier than Radditch and we’ll see what he does. So bone up on your architectural terms, Bud! I’ll get the rest of the team on board with this. We’ll go on site tomorrow morning.”

# # # # #

Dave showed up on Ronald Radditch’s door step wearing a white tux and fitted with camera glasses and concealed microphone. He knocked. A few seconds later he heard a muffled rustling, like a Victorian lady’s skirts, and the door opened widely to a genial man in a black cassock.

“Mr. Radditch?” Dave said.

Father Radditch, my dear man.”

Dave looked at his paperwork. “Sorry, Father, it says here Mister—”

“’Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners’!” Radditch said in earnest, then quietly added, “That was 1 Corinthians 15:33, my son.”

“Ah, yes, Father, we have a similar saying on the planet I come from.”

Radditch raised his unkempt eyebrows. “Oh?” he said smiling, “How does it go?”

“’Do not be fooled by the chicanery in which they lay their claims. It is false… You will place your trust in FEAR…,’” Dave said. “That’s Black Veil Brides.”

“Ohhh,” Radditch said, frowning, “You are not of Satan are you lad?”

“What is this ‘satan’ you speak of, Father?” Dave said.

“The great dragon, the deceiver of the whole world, who poseth as an angel of the Light!”

“Ah!” Dave said, “Mickey Mouse. Larky no, I have no dealings with that louse!”

Radditch’s face clouded with confusion. Then, with a wave of his hand he said, “Very well, my son. How may I help you?”

“I am Erik Eichel from Sketch & Sloan Architects, here to assess the fitness of your property in reference to the addition you have proposed,” Dave said. And with a snap of his measuring tape, he added, “Shall we have a look?”

Radditch seemed unsure. “Where did you say you come from?”

“Sketch & Sloan, Father.”

“No, no, son, the planet you spoke of mere seconds ago!”

“L-Ark,” Dave said, “I come from L-Ark, a splendiferous place.”

“If that’s so, why are you here?”

“L-Ark encourages interplanetary tourism. I came to Earth and wanted to stay. You have more beaches!”

Radditch scowled.

“No worries, Father, I am more skilled than your architects here. Come, let’s have a look at your property!”

Radditch reluctantly stepped out of the house and led the way around to the back. As soon as he laid eyes on the little bit of land he had left to build on, he beamed, spread his arms wide. “This, my son, is hallowed ground! Can you feel it filling you with Light from the feet up?”

“No, but my head feels hot.”

Radditch put his hand on Dave’s shoulder and smiled. “Perhaps for you L-Arkians, it happens in reverse, but fear not, you will be filled, for the Lord is faithful, hath given to me a great vision and as my God-appointed architect, you shall see it too!”

“Thank you, Father,” Dave said. “Now about your acreage, you know you only have a potential 4356 square feet to work with here, and—”

“Last night the new vision came, my son! It shall be a tower and its top shall reach to the heavens!”

“I believe this residential zone has a ceiling of two stories.”

“Oh, but ‘The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as He did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes’” Radditch said. “That’s Deuteronomy 1:30, my son.”

“But—”

“Yea will the existing house be made over with much gold and silver and with purple and crimson fabrics! And the tower, it shall be built on the second day of the second month, shall be built strong with cedar and juniper timber, as a place of refuge and worship for my flock of shepherdesses!”

Dave looked around. “Shepherdesses? Where—”

“Yes, my son, they shall have eyes like doves and lips like scarlet ribbon and they shall be gathered to me at such time as the Lord upholds his promise. Yea, they shall descend in waves like a flock of goats leaping down the slopes of Mount Gilead!”

Dave sniggered. “Oh I get it, a harem!” he said. “You’re a sex cult leader aren’t you?”

“Get back, Satan!” Radditch boomed. “I am King Solomon incarnate!”

“Right. Well your secret’s safe with me,” Dave said. “And it just so happens that I’m a L-Arkian eunuch!”

“Really?” Radditch whispered.

“Would you like to see?” Dave started to unzip his pants.

Radditch grabbed Dave’s hand, whispered fiercely, “Not here, my son!” Then he smiled and said, “Verily, I will require a eunuch to take charge of my flock and administer beauty treatments. They must be prepared for me with myrrh oil, perfume and various cosmetics.”

Dave gave the signal to the crew. “Mr. Radditch,” Dave said, “You’re on Candid Cra—”

“I knew it!” A frumpy woman burst out of the bushes punching numbers into her cell phone.

“Who are you?” Dave said.

“Mrs. Welles!” Radditch said. “Get back in your own yard, you dung-laden Jezebel!”

“I knew it! I’ve been watching you Radditch, you sick poser, you degen—” Mrs. Welles stopped, quickly plugged one ear and began yelling into her phone, “911, yes, hello, the location is 315 Oak Street. There’s a mentally unsound and perverted man terrorizing the neighborhood! Send a paddy wagon round here lickety-split!…Oh! And he’s got a twisted sidekick!” She cast a hateful look at Dave and snapped her phone shut.

Dave raised his eyebrows. “What?”

Mrs. Welles just glared at him.

Dave yelled for the crew. “Jerry! Martin! Bernie? Sam? Get your asses out here!” He looked around, desperate. “Jerry!” There was no response, no movement.

Two police cruisers screamed up to the curb and officers spilled out, ran toward the house and around back. Dave took off running but the officers downed him. He fought like a wildcat and yelled a constant stream of obscenities as they manhandled him onto his stomach, got his arms behind his back and cuffed him, then got up and walked off, left him there. Everything was quiet.

Dave craned his neck to look around. “What the—”

“Dave!” Jerry said. “You’re on Candid Crankster!”

Fin

Click here for more on prompt “SS2 #3 – on the second day” from other Sunday Scribblings participants.

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In this story, Black Veil Brides lyrics are quoted from the “Wretched And Divine” album (get a full meal here).  BVB’s an awesome hard rock band. I hear bits of les délicieuses Chad Kroeger and James Hetfield in their lead singer Andy Biersack. Yum.

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12 responses to “On the second day of the second month…

    • Awesome, Robyn, I’m glad to hear it! because I never know – when I start out, I have an idea where I want the story to go, but as I write it, different signposts pop up and I follow them – and this story was a particular bitch because I was looking for an ending and it strung me out and out before it gave me one!

  1. Well I didn’t see that coming – that’s cheered me up no end. From your reply to Robyn I would think you composed it as you went along – if so, brilliant!

    • I’m thrilled the story cheered you up, Altonian! Indeed, that’s how it’s been working out lately: start with an idea, end with a radically altered product! This story started as an idea to have an architect go to Radditch’s place for a first meeting, realize he’s barking mad and try to leave, but Radditch never gives him a chance, keeps firing off bible quotes until the architect begins to worship Radditch, which freaks him out to the point he’s last seen fleeing his house with the architect hot on his heels trying to kiss the hem of his garment.

    • Thank you, EllaDee! Can’t say I’ve ever cared much for bizarro, though. I like a bit of gravity, content that hits deep—changes something in me—written in an inspired style: Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Fowles, McCarthy. Or I’ll take a bit of crazy if the style remains to-die-for: DeLillo, Denis Johnson, García Márquez. Yet all through NaNo I wrote silly, Gaiman-like things, and now here, more silly things… I think it must all boil down to having wavy hair and wanting straight ;-)

    • My ego continues to love you, Old Egg, and what Zen bit I have within me says Oh man, wouldn’t that be great? Imagine if we could get back folks like BJ Roan, Thommy G, TD, Ann Pino, Susan Helene Gottfried… I liked Xegbp’s stuff, too, and DJ Pare, Paschal, tumblewords… And remember that crazy-skilled Rose Dewy Knickers? Mercy! What do you really think it would take, Old Egg? Shall we brainstorm?

  2. Aha you are on a roll Miss A..bizarre..pah! The good book prevails..I am so glad to see you on Sundays..you always deliver a story that makes me sit still..focus until the last word.. Le fin x

    • A roll, yeah, I’m highly caffeinated during the day and wild on wine and music at night, and deep into the wee hours I’m gathering up my army, preparing for the grand coup d’monde, yet you do see me on Sundays sitting in the front pew in my Sunday best while the potatoes, carrots and onions stew round the roast, yes, ma’am! So are you in? I could use a Général d’armée…

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