Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Thirteen Cursemarks

Latigo Flint isn't afraid of anything, not even demonic possession. See, Latigo Flint is the quickest quickdraw there ever was; a squinty-eyed gunslinger born out of time. And squinty-eyed gunslingers tend to take things in stride. But unease ain't the same as fear, and so I'm not ashamed to admit there's something that makes me a mite uneasy:

I didn't think much of it, the first time a turtle bit one of my birthmarks off. After all, I had twelve more, and honestly, what were the odds of that happening again.

(It was a tad unsettling though when the wound scarred into a pentagram.)

I was pretty angry the second time a turtle bit one of my birthmarks off--both at the pet store owner and also at myself for believing him when he told me Mr. Bumples was a perfectly gentle turtle.

"Ow!!!" I hollered and heaved Mr. Bumples across the room. I shot the pet store owner a very angry glare. "Your wretched turtle just bit one of my birthmarks off!!!"
"That's odd." He replied. "Mr. Bumples has always been an exceedingly gentle turtle."

Then that wound also scarred into a pentagram.
"What the blazes." The owner exclaimed. "The spot where Mr. Bumples bit you just turned into a pentagram."
"Yeah, eerie ain't it?" I replied and pulled up my shirt. "Just like the other time."

Then he asked me to leave his store.

Some years went by and with them came a bizarre succession of turtle inflicted bite wounds--all to a birthmark, and all scarring into pentagrams. Let me tell you, I was pretty distraught the night I received my seventh, courtesy of a turtle on a shelf that I mistook for bookend. For with that, I officially had more cursemarks than birthmarks. I got good and miserable-drunk that night and ended up falling off a footbridge into a coy pond. My thrashing attracted turtles (of course) and just like that I'd collected bites eight through eleven.

Number twelve was a real bummer 'cause I saw it coming and was bit anyway. What happened was a little girl asked me to hold her pet turtle while she bought an ice-cream cone.
"I can't do that little girl." I explained. "If I hold your turtle while you buy an ice-cream cone the little bastard is gonna bite one of my two remaining birthmarks off and then it's going to scar into another pentagram."
She started crying and swore it didn't bite. She said it rarely left its shell, and besides, wasn't even a turtle but rather a tortoise instead.

Shamed by her tears I accepted the thing. It immediately hissed, jumped up and bit my second-to-last birthmark off.

"Son of a Bitch!!!" I shrieked as the girl complacently licked her cone and watched my wound scar into a pentagram. "Which live in the desert and which live in water?" I bellowed.
"That's easy." She replied, taking her pet from my trembling hands and giving it a little kiss on the top of its shell. "Turtles live in the desert and tortoises live in water."
"No no no!!!"
I howled, hopping around like a madman. "You've mixed them up little girl." I shoved her face close to the wound. "It's turtles that live in the water!!! You own a turtle!!! You lied to me and if I get bit one more time, I'm holding you responsible for my godforsaken soul!!!"

Then I ran screaming into the night.

That was about an hour ago.

So now keep your goddamn turtles away from me.

I'm not even kidding.

From here on out I shoot anyone holding a turtle if they so much as face the little beast in my direction. And that goes for hosts of nature shows too.

(I need a new TV by the way.)


At 11:04 AM, Blogger Isaac said...

This explains so much about so many things.

No doubt about it, Latigo: I owe you one.

At 12:58 PM, Blogger Trevor Record said...

Well Latigo, the pentegram has long been associated with Venus, the planet of love and passion. It could be that the turtles represent your growth into a man and lover. Then again, the number 13 could signify bad luck in the arts of wooing. Maybe your turtle-ban is wise.

At 2:48 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Boy that's strange. Almost as strange as what is happening to me. See, some writing is appearing on my forehead, and it looks like it's going to be: 667. Which means I am badder than bad, I guess.

At 2:59 PM, Blogger Monkeypotpie said...

Quick question for you, Latigo:

Have you been in to the mescaline again? And if so...

Why aren't you sharing?!

At 10:56 PM, Blogger Wulfenjarl said...

Indeed, sir!

You concerns are justified!

The only thing more dangerous that elk and turtles apparently, is bunny rabbits.

So I agree with your caution. Recommend bazookas.

At 3:23 AM, Blogger hen said...

Poor old Latigo. You do get yourself in some situations! Oh well, chin up, think on the bright side... which is er... no, I don't think there is one.

At 9:21 AM, Blogger Francis Marion Tarwater said...

Get an old priest and a young priest. That's all I can suggest.

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Cad Grublygold said...

Attracting a turtle will be the least of your worries if you were to thrash around in Bear Creek here in Merced……………might get more than a birth mark bitten off.

At 12:36 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

I've never held a debt, Isaac, that couldn't be paid with gift-wrapped beer. (Just sayin' is all.)

Peter Pan's got nothing on me Trevor Record!!! I shall never grow into a man and a lover. Never, do you hear me?!!! I shall be a happy little boy forever and ever and ever!
(Um... but actually don't spread it around that I said that.)

Or that you're really old, Old Hoss. One or the other.

I only use it as part of an elaborate and near-continuous religious ritual Monkeypotie and the Supreme Court says that's okay--so all for me, praise Gripsnarl the Wise, and none for you... infidel.

Wulf, I've laughed at more darkness than Ray Charles. Those bunny rabbits can do their worst.

It's just all so savage Hen, that's what I notice the few times I bother to lift my chin.

Nice Solace Layfield. Very, very nice.

And that's probably why I don't choose to live in Merced dear Grublygold. (Well, that and the Great Crested Grass Weasels of course.)


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