MH: Why, thank you SASD, I’m sure we’ll give your readers something to talk about. By the way, do you pronounce SASD like “sadist”, or do I have that confused with another acronym?
SASD: You can just call us “Sweet”, as in Sweet Jesus. And speaking of the Man, we understand you have a few complaints. We are fairly open here, as long as you don’t invite retribution. Feel free to get a few things off your chest … maybe even your blouse. We think the words “attention whore” embossed across the front is a bit much, although embossing is probably better than braille.
MH: What don’t you like, the lettering or the attitude? Being an unstable bitch is part of my mystique.
SASD (rolling eyes upward): Can we just move on? All we ask is that you keep it relatively clean.
MH: Great, I love an open forum, and you needn’t worry—I always keep my words soft in case I have to eat them. Let me get my list. Ah, yes. Let’s start with this. I hate to bitch about the weather, but it’s just too damn dry in Texas. People are killing mosquitos just to see if they’re carrying canteens. Hell, they’re catching catfish with ticks … and fire hydrants are bribing dogs.
SASD: So, is the Texas weather you only complaint for God?
MH: I’m not finished. The weather is beginning to impact Texas churches. Baptists are baptizing by sprinkling, Methodists are using wet-wipes and Catholics are praying for wine to turn back into water. But no, weather isn’t my only complaint. Too many people are escaping the heat at the beach, and some of that beach wear just grosses me out. Why don’t males realize that men who wear Speedos force women to wear blindfolds?
SASD: That’s a good question. Is that something you want God to address?
MH: Maybe. I hate groping around on the beach blindfolded, but Speedos are just the beginning of things I’m angsty about. I mean, why does my non-buttered bread land butter side down? And don’t get me started on disease … especially that one … ah, you know … the one where you forget everything.
SASD: You mean Alzheimer’s?
MH: Yeah, that one. I’m pretty sure I don’t have it because I still remember what sex was like, but I’m sure a lot of people I run into do have it, not that I’m judging. I mean that disease … what you just called it … is so debilitating God should do something. The only reason people with it exist is to be a warning for others, like they believe mistakes are too much fun to make only once. Karma used to come in the form of your children; now it comes in the form of your parents.
SASD: Not that we’re judging, but don’t you think railing at God for a disease is, well, kind of a “blond thing?” You know, we just don’t think He’s going to drop down here to fix that … or Speedos for that matter.
MH: Blond thing? Really. Everyone wants to be blond like me, even brunettes. That’s something I just don’t get. Why will brunettes ruin their hair trying to be blonde? I would rather have brown hair that looks like silk than blonde hair that looks like hay.
SASD: So you think God should do something about hair color?
MH: Oh, no, I’m not that shallow, although I do sometimes feel bad for brunettes. They just have to accept the fact that they are the statue and not the pigeon. Life is full of disappointments.
SASD: Okay, we are delighted for you … really … but can we get back to your issues with God.
MH: Ah, yes. I think my big issue is injustice. Everywhere I look, I find it. That’s the reason I took on so much of that crap in Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! The novel is another wonderful story about my continuing adventures. In that one, I get to be The Angel of Death … in the Old Testament sense. Unfortunately, I also answered my own question about how long I could go on doing God’s job. He’s rather sensitive, you know, and He won’t turn a blind eye forever. I thought he was supposed to have infinite patience, but I apparently pushed His envelope. Either that, or there could have been some jealousy up there … not that I’m judging.
SASD: Jealousy? We’re not following?
MH: Well, you know, I’m quite fetching, and I did notice that God only took action after I checked on the status of Mrs. God. I think she might have taken offense and put pressure on Him. I mean, certainly I could not have done anything so extreme to get in that much trouble, could I?
SASD: Ah, we’re not so sure. Do you have anything else you’d like to say?
MH: Well, I’d like to thank SASD for having me here. And for all of you readers who didn’t stop by, I’d just like to leave you with one thought: If you don't go to other people's funerals, they won't go to yours. So there!
SADS: You do realize, if they didn't stop by, they won't get your message, right? However, for those who did stop by, we’d like to thank you for being here. We have included a tag line, blurb and short excerpt from Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! below. The paranormal comedy is the sequel to The Substitute. The novel was released December 30, 2011, and is available for sale at Solstice Publishing, Amazon.com and other e-book outlets. It will be offered in print soon.
Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! Blurb: Having performed a single selfless act, Miss Havana finds herself on probation in heaven. After many missteps, she discovers she still retains the powers she had as The Queen of Darkness, and realizes she’s on probation as much to keep her from joining forces with her daughter, The Princess of Darkness, as anything else. The Brazilian, a large black man with a dreadlocks beard who waxes regularly, is her “guide”, but she ignores his advice until he’s taken off her case. Guideless and in a foreign environment, she consorts with evil spirits from her former realm, especially Waldo, a shadow creature so named because he’s so hard to find. She acquires a copy of “The Angels Guide to Earth”, comes to believe she is the Angel of Death, and returns to the surface as an advice columnist and assassin. She wreaks havoc before God intervenes for a final showdown...which, as it turns out, isn’t as final as most would hope.
Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! Excerpt: Tiny light creatures scurry over my shoulders like tailless white rats, their combs in constant motion until tangles halt progress. I grit my teeth with each painful yank, knowing the bastards will inflict as much discomfort as they can in the time they’ve got. One multi-colored weasel bites out a knot, leaving flared split-ends, shakes something like snot off its paws and spews vile commentary with the inflection of a put-out teenaged girl. “Yew! It’s such a tangled mess, just like your attitude.” It farts near my nose, looks up with an evil grin and belches a rancid stink before slurring, “They’ll work on your crappy disposition when you get where you’re going.”
Extreme insincerity permeates the degenerate’s voice. It must know I attach light creatures to the business end of a toilet brush in Lucifer’s den whenever I can catch the little shits. I enjoy a brief thought of one gasping for breath in Lucifer’s toilet before being jarred back to reality by an enveloping fog of hairspray. It sticks to my nose hairs and penetrates my lungs, but I refuse to cough or wheeze. These bastards are pissed I’ve been promoted, and are trying to make me miserable. I won’t give them the satisfaction of showing it.
Thousands surround me, standing on each other to reach my height while working at fever pitch to primp me for my destination. I glare at the one who left his stench and ask a cheery question. “I thought you eunuchs were genderless, but your voice sounds male. Are you ‘proud cut?’”
They all stop moving. Dead silence reigns. They don’t like being referred to as animals, especially fixed dogs.
A rotund fuzzy demon waddles forward, stops near my feet, places its tiny paws on its hips and rebukes in baritone, “We can only clean the outside, Miss Havana. Cleaning the inside would take an eternity.”
I kick at it, but it darts out of the way. As if by reflex, the others fall in on me. I can’t move anything but my mouth, and muffle out a protest while spitting fur off my tongue, “Give me some space, assholes!” I gather my strength and, with a vigorous shake of my body against their collective grip, feel extreme delight as dozens tumble to the floor.
They relax their hold and pass gas in unison. I gag for breath. It stinks like Lucifer’s Home, like kicking a skunk. Knowing they’ve silenced me for the moment, the combing resumes until the baritone somewhere in the horde mocks, “You have no idea where you’re going, do you?”
Come to think of it, I don’t. I was the Queen of Darkness before arriving in purgatory. Family ties speak volumes about a person, and in my case they are shouting, “She shouldn’t be here!” Lilith, The Princess of Darkness and absolute ruler of hell, is my daughter. The shithead Lucifer is my ex. Is it any surprise I never expected to arrive here? I probably shouldn’t admit it. Where I come from, we lie about everything. I should probably lie about this too, and answer with an insult instead. “To a place you’ll never go, twerp, unless toilets here flush up.”
I hear snickering, something forbidden below, but the primping continues until one of the little perverts shinnies up my leg. My body shudders with disgust. The deviant is taking advantage of the situation to sneak a peek. I swat at it when I hear its muffled prayer, “God help me, the devil’s pit reeks!”
I snort. It could be right. Hygiene isn’t high on the list of important items below, but things could be different above. I grit my teeth, ignore the humiliating “Whistle While You Work” ditty it’s warbling, and bear down like I’m giving birth. Phassttlatt! It’s a good one; makes my eyes water. I wonder if light creatures can whistle through a gas mask. The stunned swine drops from beneath my scoop-necked robe like a wounded fly, and I offer a comment dripping with sarcasm, “Not very good at your job, are you?”
On second thought, perhaps I should have held my tongue. After it catches its breath, it glares at me, grabs some tools, slips on a filtered mask and rushes back up my leg. It isn’t long before the plucking begins, one hair at a time. I won’t pleasure any of them by yielding to the pain, even though it hurts like Lilith’s Home. Instead, I reach out and grab two random creatures from the pile and squeeze hard with each pluck, being certain to dig my nails into their disgusting furry backs. Their tiny screeches make my pain bearable. I believe I could make music with their wailing if I could catch the baritone.
The plucking stops when one of my squeeze toys screams, “Uncle! Uncle! You were supposed to leave sadism below.”
I glare at them both. “If your pal so much as touches one more pube, I will damn well wax you both, and I won’t be gentle!” Just the thought of ripping off their fur with a hot wax strip makes me feel warm all over.
The author would also like to thank you for being here. Please stop by my web site at http://cookinwithmisshavana.blogspot.com/ for additional excerpts, book reviews and more. There are two free cookbooks and one award winning short story there … you just need to ask.
Thanks for reading,
James L. Hatch
Author for Solstice Publishing, xoxopublishing.com and Eternal Press