Thursday, June 23, 2011

1. black whirlpool

by horace p sternwall

editorial consultant and executive producer: dan leo

illustrations by roy dismas and rhoda penmarq

1) black whirlpool

Brock was almost out of ammo for his Tommy gun; but what he wasn't almost out of was guts; what he wasn't almost out of was heart; what he wasn't almost out of was blood-lust; and, most importantly of all, what he wasn't almost out of was hand grenades.

so when hermann goering stepped out of his sleek black armor plated limousine, brock thought he still had a little surprise for him.

"careful, reichsmarshal, this man brock could still be alive."

that voice - where had brock heard it before? could it be...?

"i hardly think so," drawled goering. "with all due respect, my esteemed kamerad, i doubt this fellow actually has supernatural powers."

against his better judgment and his infinitely honed warrior instinct, brock lifted his head ever so slightly to get a look at the reichsmarshal's esteemed kamerad.

and that's when it hit him. suddenly his head was a black orchestra pit playing the thunder from a million colliding galaxies.

he reached out and there was nothing there... except the thunder and the laughter ... the hellish laughter ... the laughter turned into a red river ... and the red river carried him down to a boiling yellow sea... and the legions of the damned were laughing ... laughing at him... and the ones laughing loudest were the very ones he'd sent to hell himself... laughing.... go ahead and laugh, you yellow bellied sons of bitches... laugh while you can... i'm still brock.... i'm still brock...

suddenly a rowboat appeared on the shore of the boiling yellow sea... and in the rowboat was a dame... and what a dame! flaming emerald eyes, red hair cascading like waterfalls over a body as round and smooth as the sparkplugs in a rolls royce, down to legs so long he wasn't sure he could fit in the boat... even with his head exploding brock felt his mouth fall open even more.

"don't stand there like a monkey looking at an elephant, soldier. get in the damn boat and let's get moving!"

"sure, baby, sure..."

"that's yes, ma'am to you..."

he woke up. he was lying on his back on a cot in a little room about the size of the linen closet in a bowery hotel. he could hear bored, drawling voices on the other side of a half ajar door.
"hey!" he tried to call out, but only managed a soft rasping croak. the voices carried on as before. he croaked a little louder and the voices stopped.

"could it be?" a woman's voice - a no-nonsense voice, probably a nurse.

the door opened and a little grey-haired man wearing a short sleeved white shirt and a green knit tie looked in.

"hello there."

"hello." brock rubbed his head and his face. "what time is it?"

"what time is it?" the little man laughed. "you mean the time of day? what do you care what time of day it is?" he laughed again. "do you have someplace you want to go?"

"i might. i might have someplace to go. and i might have things to do too. yeah. i might have all sorts of things to do, doctor. you are a doctor, aren't you?"

"yes, of course i'm a doctor. what else would i be?" the little man looked brock straight in the eyes from behind his thick wire-rimmed glasses.

brock stared back. the doctor cleared his throat. "don't you want to know where you are? don't you want to know - what year it is?"

"sure, doc. those sound like good things to know. meanwhile, how about a drink?"

"of course, how rude of me." the doctor turned and spoke to someone behind the door. "nurse, please bring mister brock a glass of water. a tall, cold glass of water."

"water! and it's sergeant brock. master sergeant brock."

the doctor ignored this. the door opened after a minute and a woman - not wearing a nurse's uniform - squeezed her wide body into the little room with a large moisture-dripping glass of water in her hand. the doctor took the glass from her.

"thank you, nurse sherman." the doctor twirled the glass in his hand and held it up to the light as if studying a glass of wine. then he handed it to brock.

brock took the glass and pointed with his other hand at the nurse. "sherman. i bet your friends call you tank, right?"

she smiled evilly at him with large white teeth. "not in today's world, sergeant."

"today's world? what's that supposed to mean?"

"oh, you'll find out, sergeant."

chapter 2

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