No, It Isn’t The Same One. This is a Different Overreacting White Bird Woman.

Hurry! Oh please hurry!

“We’re hurrying, ok?!”

I just pray we’re not too late!

“We might be more inclined to hurry if you told us what the big deal was!”

It had been a good day to hang around looking like a detective without actually doing any detecting; put my feet up on the desk, hitch my chair up against the window into the rain-distorted rectangle of light, leave a cigarette smoldering in the ashtray so that the lightning strikes light up the treacly coils of smoke like neon, and nurse one long, slow, cold bourbon while I wait for an exotic beauty with perfume in her hair, a derringer in her purse, and treachery in her heart to show up framed in the doorway.

Anybody familiar with my luck coulda told you how that was gonna turn out.

We’re almost there! Please, we’ve got to get there before it’s too late!


“It’s serious, Max, whatever it is. Try to keep up!”

In comes this dumpy little crane woman, to ruin my fantasy and to start squawking about some horrifying THING that was happening somewhere, only apparently it was too horrifying to tell us what it was, or say anything but ‘Come quick hurry fast now Godspeed!’

So as I run I’m sifting through possible things this could be. Murder? Mass murder? Mass murder with some kind of horrible mutilation?

Oh, here we are at Count Weirdly’s front door. Never mind.

She’s not a recurring character or anything.

It’d be inaccurately to say we burst in, because some kind of undead abomination was there to politely hold the door for us. So we just came in. “Ok ma’am, we came. Now where’s the fire?”

Over there… too much… can’t look!

“Cut out the Mrs. Rittenhouse and just talk!”

His shoes! she sobs, he went outside… in slippers!

She has got to be kidding.

Now they’re all wet and gross and clingy! She buries her face in her wings.

She’s not kidding.

“Sorry about the interruption,” I growl to the Count, because though getting called on someone ruining fuzzy slippers is frustrating, it aint his fault.

W-what are y-you t-t-talking about? H-how’d you g-get in here?

“Same way I’m about to get out.”  Maybe by the time I get back and dry off, there’ll be enough storm left to get some looking-cool time out of it.

Noice mood lightin, by da way, Max remarks as we leave.


The Final Word.


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