Saturday, November 17, 2012

Harris Tobias


OTTO and the Cloth Baby were just changing back into civilian dress after yet another astounding super caper involving an international crime cartel whose attempt to smuggle drugs in hollowed out cucumbers met with a stunning defeat. The two Department of Agriculture super heroes were going off duty and, hopefully, getting some much needed R & R.
They had changed into their secret identities: Otto as Clanston Mudridge, wealthy bachelor and gay man about town; and The Cloth Baby as his illegitimate son, Drone.
“You know I’m glad that caper’s over Dronie baby ‘cause I got a heavy date tonight with Troxine.”
“Don’t forget to to polish yer boots, Otto. We might be needed again any second and yours have cucumber all over them.” The way he said it made you want to push his face in. Yet it was just that pushy obnoxiousness that made him one of crime’s greatest foes.
Little did our heroes know as they parted company for an evening’s diversion that sinister forces half a world away were plotting a nefarious scheme involving avocados.

So they parted company and went to their separate perversions, Otto to his companion Troxine and the Cloth Baby to hang around the turnstiles in Queensboro Plaza.
They were about their diversions for less than two hours when the first call came in—a low humming in a poorly implanted device behind their left ears, the gizmo’s unsightly bulge poorly disguised to look like flesh. It took the Cloth baby only six minutes to retrieve his costume from his locker in Grand Central Station, don it and run panting up the nineteen flights of stairs to meet Otto in front of Delany’s office.
“You’re late, schmuck” said a scornful Otto. “What happened this time?” The sweating Cloth Baby still managed to look magnificent in his orange tights and matching cape. Otto stood in sorry contrast in his sagging blue uniform bunched and wrinkled.
“I’m late because I took the trouble to get the correct uniform, you stupid ox.” The Cloth Baby gave Otto a withering sneer. It made Otto want to pound his partner into something resembling strawberry jam. Instead, he just just gritted his teeth. The Baby was never wrong about the uniform. Otto had simply put his old one back on after a quick tumble with Troxine. It still reeked of cucumber and trans-gender sex.
Besides, there was no time to bicker, Delany was buzzing them in. Ralph Delany, chief of Agricultural Security for the Northeast Region, welcomed the legendary duo into his office. Delany’s desk was heaped high with produce—carrots, celery, cabbages, and leafy greens. In fact, there were mounds everywhere in Delany’s office. It looked like the produce section of a large supermarket.
“Come in quickly you two and close the door,” an obviously agitated Delany said. “Boy, am I glad to see you guys.
“What’s all this?” asked the Cloth baby gesturing around the room.
“They’re vegetables,” Delany replied, “and they’re all fakes.”

© Harris Tobias 2012

Harris Tobias was raised by robots disguised as New Yorkers, and despite an awkward childhood he learned to read and write. He has published novels, The Greer Agency and A Felony of Birds, to critical acclaim, short stories in Down in the Dirt Magazine, Literal Translations, Electric Flash and Ray Gun Revival, and is a favorite here on MuDJoB. He currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

1 comment:

  1. Now lettuce see what I can say about this story! You certainly know your onions, Harris, when it comes to writing this sort of thing.