^^Ö^^ The Countess’ ride from BATS. ^^Ö^^

Headed back to Damnalot in Bathory’s Black Sapphire Challenger. 

“There’s no place like homicide.”


JPEG Bats Mobile

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Lazarus and Bobby Jo

Cover Rock Invasion

They had met in a head-on crash. Terry and Bobbi Jo had both been jettisoned through the front windshields of their respective cars, smashed into one another in midair and died face to face on the rough wet pavement.

Rather than die alone, they had reached out to one another. Their cooling hands intertwined, forever bonded on that lonely country road.

Terry and Bobbi Jo had both been speeding: Blame it on youth.

Terry and Bobbi Jo had both been texting: Blame it on technology.

Terry and Bobbi Jo had both been sipping beers: Blame it on the alcohol.

Both had been scanning their radio dials: Blame it on rock ‘n roll.

The roads were dark and slick: Blame it on the rainy night.

The head on crash: Blame it on love.


There was a ballet in midair when their bodies collided, mangled and tangled. They’d almost reached their goal, the perfect melding of bodies and souls that the two teens had been working toward. They were splayed out only a few yards north of the wreckage, among a field of glass and burning debris.

“We just have to stop running into each other this way,” said Terry, who was always the class clown.

“Hey, Terry, listen.”

“Sirens. Grab my hand, Bobbi Jo. The response time is much quicker today. I have to admit, I called in the crash ten minutes ago on my way over to Highway 95 and Cedar Lane.”

“Fucking with their heads. That sounds like you, Terry. Do you think that anyone will catch on to our routine?”

“Before the light fades from your beautiful eyes, Bobby Jo, I want to give you new flowers.”

Terry’s last act was to hand Bobby Jo the bloody bouquet.

“Awwww, thanks Terry.” Blood spilled from her lips onto the pavement as she mimed a kiss. (cough, cough) “You brought me white roses this time. They’re beautiful. I’ll …I’ll see you at the funeral. I hope that they can bury us closer this time.”



“Poor thing. The flowers are still in her hand. Love at last sight,” said Don, the older of the two Highway Patrol officers, walking around the wreckage in the rain. “The girl’s car engine is still running. There’s still smoke from the burning rubber. This just happened. About a minute ago.”

“I’m so tired of this spot,” said his young partner Christine. “Are they ever going to put some lights out here?”

Don shook his head. “Oh. No. Another one. I feel like God is a seven-year-old boy who can only get off by watching shit blow up.”

This is so wrong,” she said. “Someone called this accident in over ten minutes ago. The boy must have been bent on suicide.”

“This kid was hell bent on killing himself and someone else as well. There must be a registration in here.” Don said as he searched though the glove box.

“Maybe it was her idea,” said Christine. “They both had to be going over a hundred to do this.”

“I hate this Damned Dog Park Road,” said Don. “In less than five years we’ve had half-a-dozen bad accidents at this intersection. Each time, bodies were launched through windshields.”


“Her name is, was named Barbara Jo Murray. Poor thing,” said the young patrolwoman as she held the girl’s wallet taken from the spilled purse. “Those flowers. She must have been coming home from a date. What is it about the name Bobby Jo that bothers me, Don? Do you remember, a few months ago, when some creep was stealing flowers from the graves at Acadian? I was there when they found the pile of vases and stems on a grave of another Barbara Jo — Barbara Jo Massey.”

“At least a few of the young female victims on this road were named Barbara, Bobby or Bobby Jo. Our boy was Terrence Lazarus, age 18,” said the patrolman holding the boy’s registration.

“Lazarus?” said Christine.

Don studied the wet registration card.

“What? What are you thinking?”

He looked up at Christine through the rain. “Jesus told Mary of Bethany, ‘Your brother, Lazarus will rise again.’”

“Enough! You’re scaring me Don. This is one time that I hope you are full of shit.”


“I wish they’d scoop us up and get us out of here already,” said Bobby Jo.

“Maybe next time we can get really mixed up,” said Terry.

“Mixed up? You’re talking about more than just holding hands.”

“Yeah, totally splattered. A Terry and Bobby Jo smoothy.”

Bobby Jo laughed. “They won’t know what belongs to who!”

“We’ll be totally together, babe! A tragic teenage romance!”

She loved how Terry always made her laugh.

“They’ll have to hose down the street.”

“Wipe off lamp posts for a mile,” she said. “Oh, Terry! That was sooo hot.”

“Just wait. I’ll get us faster cars, next time.”


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Our Precious Daughter, Artemis (From Shark Fin Soup by Fred Barnett)

Our Precious Daughter, Artemis (From Shark Fin Soup by Fred Barnett).

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Our Precious Daughter, Artemis (From Shark Fin Soup by Fred Barnett)

a sorrento

Bernie had decided to take in a breath of cool night air before returning to his hotel room. It wouldn’t be easy to forget the poor headless bloodied beast left in the alley, as a gift from his cat Bomba. It was a comfort knowing that his cat still thought of him. He stopped at the Family Jewels store window thinking of buying a gift for Artemis, to cheer her up. Life on Earth was becoming unhealthy for the Goddess who’d been upstairs feeling depressed. How can I cheer up a goddess who is thousands of years and miles from her palace overlooking the blue Aegean Sea? Pizza! — and  a cute trinket!

Bernie’s wallet was on fire with the thought of buying Artemis a gift that he’d seen at the shop outside of the Flamingo Arms. A little sapphire charm that looked just like her own aubergine Barracuda car to adorn her graceful neck. Varooom! I could see her wearing that. Artemis likes ‘sporty.’ However, the store had just closed. Distracted by flashing lights, Bernie turned. “Zeus is Coming” flashed a sign on the the roof of the Hellenes ( ΕΛΛΗΝΙΣΜΟΣ) Greek Church across the street. Bernie decided to return to his room, where the Moon Goddess, Artemis waited for him with his cat, now her hunting companion, Bomba, when…

Beneath the street lights an attractive silvery haired couple, dressed in spiffy casual wear, approached on fancy bikes. They wheeled up to the curb, smiled with perfect teeth and stopped.

“Where the hell have you been?” the beautiful silver-haired woman said to Bernie as she swiped at him with her freshly manicured nails, tearing the collar of his cheap Hawaiian shirt.

“Have got your head on backwards, Mr.…uh, Cupcake?” said her handsome executive-type companion with the obligatory sweater tied around his neck. They both looked as though they’d just ridden off the cover of every other issue of Molten Silver Magazine.

Leto pulled her bike onto the pavement and bent down toward a display in the hotel’s gift shop window. “Look Zeus! Its a darling car charm. It looks just like Artie’s aubergine Barracuda! That’s cute.” Leto looked down at the pathetic human writhing on the sidewalk. “Is that charm real sapphire?” Bernie looked up at the Goddess, in wide-eyed torment. Leto winked at him and whispered. “You can call me Λητώ, or Λατώ.”

“Our daughter — she doesn’t need you or your cheap gifts, mortal. You need  her!” spoketh Zues from the bike above.


“Human!” Without warning, Leto smote Bernie across the cheek. “Listen to my husband!”

I’ve managed to piss off Zeus and Leto? Great.  Bernie was starting to get it.

Zeus, pointed a finger and zapped Bernie’s Chinese finger trap / chastity belt (applied by Artemis’ Goddess friend, Dauna) with a tiny lightning bolt. Bernie doubled over onto the pavement, then smiled when he’d realized that another strand on the trap had snapped. Thus spoke Zeus: “Buying my daughter cheap trinkets will not make her more beautiful. It is because of Artemis that ‘things’ become beautiful.”

“Owwwww,” croaked Bernie as he pulled himself to his feet by grabbing the bricks on the wall. They act like they’ve been smokin’ incense,” he thought.

Zeus spoketh again: “You’ve seen Artemis improve the luster of a diamond,  the scent of a gardenia, and the spirit of the untamed sea. How much proof of the divine do you need, Bernie?”

“She’s amazing.”

“Our daughter must remain pure,” said Leto, “Junk food! Television! A girl her age should be out with her girlfriends hunting across the heavens.”

“Her age? How old is Artie? asked Bernie.

“Artie? So, it’s Artie, is it? Our ‘Precious’ is five-thousand, give or take a hundred years,” said Zeus.

Five thousand years. And no boinky-woinky? Bernie thought.

“Give or take a hundred,” said Leto. “What my husband is trying to say is …What did I just hear you think young man? ‘Boinky-woinky?’”

“Five thousand years?” Bernie asked again.

“Maybe this upstart needs me to sling a bolt of lightning up his κώλος.” said Zeus.

“No, Zuzu,” said Leto. “Is that is your solution for everything? So, Bernie, do you know the damage you have done to our daughter with the bad food and her clothes?”

“What did I do to her clothes?”

“Our little Artemis is up there, (she said, pointing) — in your room — right now — wearing NOT her short tunic — She is wearing, thanks to your flea-bag cat, a handful of white downy feathers, placed in three strategic locations, upon splashes of perfumed gardenia oil given to her by your cat, Bomba!!!!”

“For your plebeian amusement, I imagine.” added Zeus.

“Upon her writhing succulent body,” said Leto. “I can smell the oil heating up from down here.”

“Really?” Little Artemis? Writhing on my bed in oil and feathers.” Bernie was now paying rapt attention.

“I never said writhing, you worm! I will slay you!” said Leto.

“You did say….” Bernie thought again. “No, you didn’t.”

Zeus grabbed Leto’s smiting arm. “Our daughter, Artemis, is pure. Purity is what she does,” said Zeus, putting the brakes on his wife.

“Purity, like June Cleaver, Margaret Anderson, Shirley Partridge!” added Leto.

“I think that you should both need to talk to her girlfriend, Dauna,” said Bernie.

“Who?” asked Leto.

“Dauna the Shark Goddess, the Princess of Kupaio,” said Bernie. “She asked your daughter to watch over me. Have you two met Her Sauciness, I mean Her Highness?” Bernie felt a flush of heat rise. “Ooohhh …she is what you might call a bad influence. Peligro.”

“¿Qué? Zuzu!” said Leto.

“Leto really calls her husband Zuzu?” thought Bernie, trying not to laugh.

Leto ignored Bernie’s thought and turned to her handsome Zuzu. “Zuzu, do you know this Dauna ‘person?’”

“Remember the wedding we went to last year in Fiji, dearest? The pre-wedding party with the nice mbolo worm buffet?” Is Zeus sweating? “Dauna’s just your average goddess, dear. A really nobody.”

“Oh. Dauna was the sultry one who walked with the boom-chi-chi-boom.” Does she still have a problem…with sewer mouth?

“¡No hay problema!” said Zeus and Bernie simultaneously.

“The poor woman suffers from Tourettes syndrome,” explained Zeus. “She may cuss like a nymphomaniac sailor but she’s harmless. Believe me, I checked.”

“The trollop.” said Leto.

Bernie was forced to jump in. “Dauna is not a ‘trollop!’ And neither is she ‘sultry.’ You might call her uh… moi…Okay, let’s stay with sultry.”

“Smart ass.” Leto flicked her middle finger on Bernie’s forehead.

“Ow! What the…” Bernie felt a lump growing on his temple. “Am I bleeding?”

“No. I’ve just downloaded some information into your head.” said Leto. “It’s all you need to know except for — good fashion sense! You dress like a Walmart model. What adolescent California crap arrrrrrrrre you wearing, Bernie? C’mon Zeus. Let’s go. We have to meet the Buddhas at seven.”

… And they rode off into the night. Zeus calling back, “Remember I want her home by the twenty-second century!”

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An Interview with Kali (from the upcoming Shark Fin Soup) by Fred Barnett

Bloody Hand Print Dark

Interpol Agent Bernie “Eggs” Benedict’s first day on the job ended with a short but action-packed interview in his office with the Hindu goddess  काली (Kali).

A few minutes earlier, Kali, being her sweet self, looked down at Bernie through the splinters of his desk and grinned with blood covered 14K gold teeth. “I AM THE GREAT KALI!!!!” She circled the desk and castrated its four legs with a swipe of the Jambiya  घुमावदार चाकू (curved daggers) in her four hands, pinning Bernie to the floor in the middle of the rubble.

“Please, stop, काली!” Bernie pleaded.

“Call me dooooooooom. Tomorrow, Mr. Benedict, you will thank me for beating this lesson into your sappy skull,” the Goddess of Destruction hissed. “My गुंडापन Thuggee followers, who know me well, send me their children’s still-beating hearts in sweet little boxes on Valentine’s Days. I just want you to know that what, I, THE GREAT KALI!!!!, am capable of. What I can do to you…is NOTHING…Mwahahahaha…Nothing, compared to what that  HUSSY Dauna Robinson will do to you before you leave here TONIGHT! … By the way,” Kali said, grooming her fluttering eye lashes with a  flaming jalapeño tongue, “This is hard for me to ask.”

“Spare me, oh, great Kali! Your wish is my command, oh fearsome goddess!” said the fetal, quivering loogie named Bernie.

“Mr. Benedict,” Kali said while brushing off the dust, “do you think that you get me a date with your friend, Frankie?”


“I’m asking you as a friend.…Or else, Worm!”

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El Cinco de Mayo by Infinity Upton-Downes (from the upcoming Shark Fin Soup)

Cover Shark FinScene: The offices of Interpol, Los Angeles. It is quitting time at the time clock. Agent Bernie Benedict, again meets the sultry Goddess Daucina. Though Bernie deals with religious ‘visions’ on a daily basis, Dauna humbles the depressed man.

Bernie knew that he must be careful. He decided to approach the graceful señorita with caution and with respect as if he were a Don of the old Spanish Court. He reared back and bowed before la condesa like a true caballero.

“Háblame. I know that you are new in town. If you get lonely, Bernardo, you can always visit my hacienda, Adobe Gillis. It is always open and there will always be a hot meal waiting for you. You are welcome to come often and there is additional parking en la parte trasera.”

“Your hacienda? Your generosity is most inviting, but as you see by my ragged clothes, I am just a poor simple muchacho.” Aware of his true social standing, he knew that he would always be the simple Don Bernardo from Bolsa Chico. “And I am too estúpido find my lowly locker.”

“Your manners reveal a man of fine breeding.” Dauna had removed the combination lock behind her but continued to unconsciously and rhythmically slide the handle of the locker up and down. “We must celebrate su primer día!” she said. “¡Vayamos de fiesta mi amigo!” Señorita Robinson grabbed, what she thought was a bottle of Tequila, but was a wedding gift bottle of Dionysus’ Ambrosia directly from Mount Olympus. She took the bottle from el casillero, took a swig and handed it to Bernie. “I feel … so warm, Bernardo.” She fanned the droplets on her delicious neck with her thick hair.”

“Soy, I mean, I am Bernardo??” He took a sip of the strange liquor that was never intended for mortals.

“Do you mind if I cool down? ¡Mira!” She leaned back upon the lockers and unbuttoned three buttons the front of her jeans and fanned her tan belly. There was a tattoo above the waistband of her silk panties. It said: “The Big Man José.”

“Should I be worried about this ‘Big Man José?’” asked Bernardo.

She smiled at Bernardo like the hungry shark that had attacked him on the Vinnie Maru. He shuddered.

“No te preocupes. There is no need to worry, Bernardo. Forget about him, even if  José is big enough to have his own postal code. The Big Man is merely a jealous, heavily armed, violent, and brutish bandido. I pity poor José. He hasn’t seen a genuine woman in six years. He will be released from jail later today, but It will be at least fifteen minutes before he arrives. Bernardo, this is our momento especial. Vamos a bailar — Dance with me, vaquero.” She leaned forward. “¿Ves?”

Her soft body radiated the warmth of the golden Aztec sun. Bernardo’s heart soared like the great bird Quetzalcoatl. He felt invincible. I will snap the península off that Big Man José’s postal code! In Bernardo’s mind he was a bronzed warrior bounding up the stone steps of Templo Mayor toward heaven, aware, damas y caballeros, that once he reached the golden crown of the pyramid, he’d draw his deepest breath, a gift for the god Huitzilopochtli. Then, with eyes wide open, he would prove his fearless love to the goddess, Daunita.

At the Apex of the temple with his arms extended, Bernardo would leap into the wind and  glide like an eagle above the pink clouds, toward el sol mexicano caliente, and into the voracious volcano below.

Bernardo stood with his eyes closed, prepared to plunge. If he must, he was prepared to plunge again and again. Daunita woke him from his fantasy world with her smokey voice.

“Señor. If you are going to climb Templo Mayor, you must not be afraid to look down.” He opened one eye and peeked.

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Hawaiian Hoary Bat Bill Flies to the House

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Einstein Meets His Match

Isla de Cosas Pérdida

From: Amok (The mad scientist) 

 At a Princeton University science forum in 1933, Albert Einstein, who had explained the mechanics of the universe, threw down his chalk, fell back into his chair and stared into the faces of his twenty male colleagues. Exhausted, bordering on tears, he wrung his tired hands. “Ach! Mein Himmel! Gentlemen, look up at the board. See? It iss impossible! We have failed miserably. Vee vill neffer understand vimmen.” 

Clueless to the idea of inviting an actual female to their discussions, the science department nerds remained baffled until the day that the two-time Nobel prize winning Madame Marie Curie briefly visited the campus to see her friend chemist and DNA pioneer Rosalind Franklin. For an entire hour, Madame sat down with the physics department while Ms. Franklin, suppressing laughter, sat and observed her friend. With the aid of diagrams, formulas and her ‘radiant’ personality, Madame Curie patiently unravelled, analyzed and defined the nature of women.

From that day on, the male scientists were left only more befuddled. 

Dr. Einstein, himself, could no longer find his way home from the Campus without the aid of one of his students.

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Infinity Upton-Downes Romance Writer

Infinity Upton-Downes Romance Writer.

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