The Phantom of the Rap Opera – June 8, 2014

My name is Payne, Crystal Payne and I’m a private investigator.

I was sitting on my easy chair with Caesar sleeping on my lap one morning when the phone rang.  I was 11:58, and I thought, wouldn’t you just know someone would call at lunch time!

“Hello! Crystal Payne’s Spirit Investigations, Crystal Payne speaking.”

“AAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!” I had to pull the phone away from my ear and Caesar jumped down from my lap looking rather irritated.

Very expressive I thought, but said laconically: ” To whom am I speaking please?”

“I’m Sinthea Bratwurst!  I need your assistance at one!” a woman’s voice said imperiously.

“Yes ma’am, if you tell me what your problem is, perhaps I can see if I can fit you in my schedule.”  I said this simply because that’s how I react to imperious voices.

“I’m at the Ovaltine Theatre and there’s a being here who is ruining our rehearsals!  You must come at once … we open in just a week and we’ve already lost one actor!”

“Rather distracted on your part, do you often lose actors?”

“What???” she sputtered.

“Sorry I was joking.  Ok, It’s 12:03 now, I’ll be by after lunch at 1:00.”

“No, no, no!  You don’t understand, this is really urgent! I’m afraid that the being has, well, inhabited our lead actress.  She’s standing on the railing of one of the balcony seats reciting Lady Macbeth’s ‘blood on my hands scene’!  I’m so afraid she’s going to fall.  Of course we’ve put down some mattresses but…”

I had to admit that the situation did seem rather urgent so I said I’d come right away. Grabbing Caesar I ran down the stairs and got into my parked car ( a Primus) in front of my office-home.

At 12:28 we arrived at the Ovaltine Theatre where I saw a rather dishevelled young man standing at the entrance, obviously waiting for me, puffing away at an electronic cigarette.

As I opened the car door, Caesar jumped out and went up to the man, rubbing his legs.  Of course he immediately calmed down, that’s one of Caesar’s powers.  In the meantime I got my bag out from the trunk of my car.  Lit one of my stock of camomile candles then followed Caesar.

“Oh thank heavens you’re here!” I’d been mistaken, this was Sinthea Bratwurst.

We went into the dark theatre and I noticed the young lady on the balcony railing wringing her hands.  I went up the stairs to the balcony seats, Caesar with his bottle-brushed tail right behind me.

“Hello there, uhm madame.” I said as the actress turned to face me.  I was not a little worried that she might go over backwards.  I needn’t have worried though. I noticed that she was floating about 2 inches above the railing.

“Ah! So they’ve sent for help at last, the demons!” the actress said in stentorian tones.

Caesar meowed emphatically and I agreed with him saying: “Yes, do come into the box please.”

She complied as she couldn’t resist Caesar, but then began to whine:

“That I, the great Liliane Craptree, should have to be tortured daily by these clods!  They’re destroying Shakespeare!”

“Excuse me, but weren’t you one of the great experimenters who put Shakespeare into music?”  I remembered that back in the 30s there had been a troupe led by a certain Liliane Craptree.  They’d had a certain success until she’d fallen off the balcony in one of her more dramatic recitals.

“Of course!  But these people are rapping Shakespeare.  Rapping!” she howled.

There’s nothing like a revolutionary who’s been outclassed I thought.  This looked like it might be a little difficult.  I had a telepathic consultation with Caesar.

“Ah, but it’s not the rap is that correct ma’am?” I asked.

“No!  It’s that’ every other word is an F-bomb.”  She said that it was the only thing she regretted. I too felt that an F-bombed Shakespeare was a bit much.  I asked her to leave the actress so we could consult with Sinthea Bratwurst.

“It’s like this,” I said, “you won’t be able to put the show on unless you remove all the vulgarities from the play.  Ms Craptree was a great artist and creator in her day and she can help you make this show a success.  All she has to do is “inhabit” you for a couple of hours so you can consult together and clean up the verses.”

By 5:36 my job was finished and I went to have an early dinner.

“Macbeth Yo” was a huge success, hope you got your tickets before they sold out!

Other Crystal Payne stories:

The Case of the Silent Bell – June 6, 2014

The Case of the Pigspittle Ghosts – July 7, 2014






Grammar Criminal – Flash Fiction

The creative writing teacher’s red pen was doing over-time.

“Oh for Heaven’s sake!” she mumbled as she crossed out yet another line.  Then she started to read Sam’s summer theme.  It began:

ON3 5UMM3R D4Y 1 WA5 ON 7H3 BE4CH O8534V1N6 7WO 61RL5 JUM9IN6 1N 7H3 S4ND 4ND CON57RUC71N6 4 51ND C457L35!


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The Game – Speakeasy #166 – June 17, 2014


He taught me how to read people’s eyes. To get directions directly from their brains.  It was really the only way to get through the labyrinth of the surreal dream world he’d created on his modified Wii ©.

We’d been playing non-stop for about 6 hours.  Strange how time just kind of stretches like a rubber band, I thought to myself at one point.  I took my visor off.  But the scene hadn’t changed.  There I was, still in the surreal citadel, standing on the terrace just below the useless water wheel.

“John!” I shouted frantically.

“Maria!  Where are you?” he replied.

“Down on the terrace … but I took my viewer off!” my voice quivered as I continued, “But the scene … I’m still in the game!”

“Oh my God! Nooooo!” I heard the long fading echo of his voice … then silence.

I realized I was alone.


Speakeasy #166

Photo credits: MC Escher – Waterfall


A New Life – Flash Fiction – June 10, 2014

Building a new life, from scratch is our business but  we at the agency have our work cut out for us sometimes.   Take the time that little fugitive from Alpha Centauri was delivered to us …

She was a cute little thing, could have been twenty universal standard years old and had a lovely pale green complexion, soft yellow eyes and her long brown hair.  She also had a great singing voice and had used it often to make a name for herself so of course she wanted to ply her trade.  Problem was, she’d sung out loud and clear about the Triade, a potent gang of contrabanders that had the habit of killing people who sang the wrong tune, and secondly, she had four arms.

We gave it everything we had, but it wasn’t enough.  We were able to finally find a way to hide those extra arms and of course, complexion was no problem at all. The real problem turned out to be her voice.  It was hypnotically sensual.  She became known as Melany Jackson. She had a really special timber that was really difficult to ignore at a subliminal level.  Over the months she became so popular that her music took over the top ten charts and her public appearances were all one long rave party with people getting out of hand.  A lot of kids were born that year.

It wasn’t the Triade that got her in the end.  They barely even know we exist out here in the backwaters of the galaxy, no, it was an irate mother.

Melany was doing a Summer Solstice fest out at the Stonehenge  for a group of neo-druids when suddenly a shot rang out. Of course, there had been guards on hand with monitoring devices to make sure none of the “outers” could get to her, one never knows with the Triade, but no one thought to look for rifles!

The woman, who was immediately apprehended by the druids, just stood there in a trance of sorts holding that damned rifle.  When she was taken to headquarters she finally began to talk.  She’d decided that the world would be a better place “without all them goings on”, her words.  Seems she had three daughters who’d gone to a concert during the spring and each had come home with a little package, and didn’t know where they’d gotten it.  People in the neighborhood began to talk.

She’d did a little research on the problem and discovered that there was something peculiar about our singer’s voice.  She went to a concert, with wax in her ears, having experienced the effects of the music at home.  She observed and then made plans.

So Melany Jackson got blown away.  We had a lot of hassle with Intergalactic Pol and Mrs.Thomas’ family grew with an addition of a son for her and three granddaughters.  We gave them a new life of course.  I think they now live somewhere near Orion’s Belt.

Written for Speakeasy #165

Speakeasy – May 26, 2014

Signs @ Speakeasy

Signs @ Speakeasy

She’s travelled all her life, there wasn’t anything mystical or magical about another trip.  She’d lived on all of the four continents and maybe some people could get excited about the pink ice of Jesper’s Crepace but it was just another tourist trap from her point of view.

“But there really must be some place you’d like to go to!” Mikels shouted, exasperated.  “We’ve got to go somewhere for the summer!”

“Just why should we have to go somewhere, why not just stay at home?” Myscel felt put upon.  They’d been discussing the summer vacation constantly over the last few weeks. “If you want to go somewhere, go by yourself!  I’m sick of the whole thing!” she shouted at him.

He picked up his brochures of the various interplanetary tours then took out his portable matter transferer and popped out of the café, leaving her to pay the bill.

She finished her drink and put some money on the table then started to leave to take a walk in the woods.  As she was leaving,  Mikels popped back in and called her name.  She never looked back, she just kept walking.

I wrote this for the Speakeasy #163 … and published it before it was finished by mistake, it was published in draft form … I instantly made it private, and thought I’d rewrite the whole thing, it just wasn’t working for me…but somehow, I saw this morning that it was still out in the world! So I completed it.



Broken bits … May 11, 2014

behind me,
broken bits,
relics of my heart,
relics of a love
that should have been
that could have been …
but, the clouds shifted,
casting an ominous shadow,
on the ground …
the fire,
promise of life,
died before it began,
leaving me in emptiness …
you danced blightly,
towards another,
leaving only
broken bits
behind you …


Inspired by Speakeasy – May 11, 2014

How does Speakeasy work?  Here are this week’s rules:

  • Your post must be dated May 11, 2013, or later.
  • Submissions must be 750 words or fewer.
  • Submissions must be fiction or poetry.
  • You must include the following sentence ANYWHERE in your submission: “The clouds shifted, casting an ominous shadow on the ground.
  • You must also include a reference to the media prompt.
  • The speakeasy is for submissions written specifically for the grid. Please don’t submit an entry if you intend to showcase it to another blog link-up. Such posts are deleted without notice.
  • Please don’t post long explanations before your post. We want your writing to be the star of the show. If you need to clarify anything, feel free to do so at the end.
  • The badge for your speakeasy #161 post is found in the sidebar. Add the code to the html/text view of your post before publishing.
  • And don’t forget to come back on Tuesday and add your link to the Inlinkz grid!

The Monster Rivals – May 4, 2014


“Tell me if you’re game.” Michael shouted.

“You bet I am!” replied Martin.

The two monsters looked at each other, their great jaws gaping … their roars deafening.  The earth shook as they trundled over to the hill not 40 meters from them.

They chewed into the earth itself, each trying to out-do the other. Two dump trucks filled up with dirt in record time.  The foreman shook his head.  He’d stop watched them, but, the fact of the matter was, they were tied.

Martin and Michael looked at each other, scowling.  Rivals and friends, they’d played this game for just over 10 years.  Sometimes one would win, sometimes the other.  They’d never tied before.

They got out of their mechanic monsters and walked over to the foreman.

“Hey Pete, that can’t be right!” said Martin.

“Sorry lads … unless we get one of those photo finish things no human eye can decide this one.”

The men shook hands.

“Next time!” they both said.

Written for Speakeasy #160

The Silver Fox – May 1, 2014 (Free Verse)

From the Speakeasy Prompt

From the Speakeasy Prompt

Kitsune walked alone hunting in the woods
Kami, in her foxy silver fur, she stood
Thinking about something good to eat
She began her nightly beat.

She met a moonbeam rippling on the ground
Thought that would be her evening prey …
She crouched down low ready to bound …
Waiting to strike, just before the break of day.

It fluttered for a moment,
magnificent in its struggle,
then wilted and lay still.
Kitsune, jumped but it was too late.

The moonbeam gone she shook her head
Wondering if perhaps it was dead.
She set off again to stalk the night
Wondering about that silver light.

I’m terribly late this week…to make my entry for the Speakeasy.  So, I’ve jotted this idea, and may develope it sometime later.



Romeo and Juliette – revisited

Young lovers, vow eternal devotion
Yet your vital emotion is thwarted
By sensible forward-looking parents,
In love with successful financial worth.

Off with you dear Juliette – away!
Your Romeo will stay behind they say
Time erodes your fond memories and then,
Into your life soon came, new faces, others.

Through the passing years you change direction,
Your memory has faded and too Romeo …
You wed another … forget your young love,
The passion that was yours is forgotten .

Your choice for the secure and safe bores you…
Life so mundane, you don’t really exist …
Until you walked into that park and saw
Your Romeo of so many years hence.

You are now on your own, no husband,
To walk here by your side…the marriage failed,
He too walks freely, he’s got no attachments
The magic of your youth becomes a flame.

Passion flares though your youth has long since gone
Romeo and Juliette find your love
No knife or poison will destroy your lives
No parents wisdom separate your hearts.
The rightness eclipsed every mistake made along the way.

Speakeasy Prompt # 158


Waiting for Spring (Speakeasy #157) – NaPoWriMo –

Leonardo da Vinci's Womb

Leonardo da Vinci’s Womb

Waiting for Spring –  Free Verse

Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.
As yet again the world was wrapped in cold.
The day had seemed so sunny and bright
Just a little too hot to really seem right…
When in the morn I rose from my bed
My feet were cold and snow inside my head.

I looked outside my iced window pane
And what I saw brought about such pain
Upon the ground was three inches of snow
And off to work in my car that day I had to go
“What is it with the weather this year
It seems that Spring just can’t get into gear?”

I thought that I wanted to go live in the tropics
Just to change those weather-worn topics
Like the British we now were fixed on the weather
But then how can it be different when winter
Refused to leave its neferious hold
And dropped snow on us in Spring and was icy cold.

Thus was our fate that last freezing year
As we waited for summer to grow near
But spring never came … we passed it right by
And went from the cold to temperatures high
Lament as we would, there was nothing to say
All we could do was cheer for a warm summer’s day.

The summer lasted but for a week
And then the sky began to leak
Drops of rain came tumbling down
And I laughed like the opera’s clown
The autumn was there but it was June
I think we all thought we should change our tune.

Climate change was seen as just hew-haw
And convinced we were we could go on
Just consuming and polluting as we saw fit
Until Mother Nature said she would quit
Cleaning up after those messy kids
The great human experiment – thus lost its bid.

napo2014button1NaPoWriMo 2014

Speakeasy Prompt Please visit the post by clicking the link to get full details about prompt and rules…It’s a fun pub my friends!