Saturday, November 27, 2021
You’ve reached The Armadillo Files. Stand by for weirdness with some reality. Today’s Tidbit of Truth is certainly weird. How so? Read on.
Random Reader Things
The three things that drive this episode are from author and blogger D. L. Finn, also known as Denise. Click over and check out her blog, you’re sure to find interesting posts. Her random reader things are Shrimp, Bear, and Blue Moon.
Tidbits of Truth
Speaking of shrimp, have you ever heard of snapping shrimp? You might also know them by the name pistol shrimp. Those critters made such a racket that during World War II their constant crackling sometimes foiled military attempts to sound out hostile submarines. If you’d rather eat your shrimp, here’s a recipe from the era for shrimp, or crawfish, cocktail. There was another kind of shrimp — the Saunders Roe A.37 Shrimp. Although it didn’t have much of a part in the action.
Previously in The Armadillo Files
Harry Morgan told Fang and Dilly more about the “Calutron Girls” and his belief that they disappeared if they found out about the wrong things. A group of anti-alcohol fanatics showed up, and they didn’t seem to like women much either. However, nobody has any news of the missing women. You can find all the past chapters by going to the categories on the right side of the screen. Click on Armadillo Files.
15 — Why are you dirty?
Detecting subterranean activity.
“Operative Pinkerton, discontinue your current trajectory. The ground is unstable twenty feet ahead of your course,” TROLLEY ordered.
“TROLLEY, if they ever put you in a body, it will be a chicken — a mother hen!” Tatu Pinkerton replied drolly. “I know how to dig a tunnel. I’ll be fine.”
The artificial intelligence sent an irritating buzz directly into Pinkerton’s ear.
“Alright already! I’m sorry. You’re not a mother hen. You’re a lovely care bear. Listen, TROLLEY, I thought I heard somebody snooping around up there. Will you do a sweep? I wouldn’t be surprised if that crazy-eyed, Bible-thumping teetotaler comes back, looking for trouble. He really did smell wrong.”
“Yes. Commencing scan—” TROLLEY’s response cut short. “Seismic sensor alert! Return to surface! Tunnel collapse imminent,” TROLLEY relayed the updated readings with a warning.
A roar of falling earth suffused TROLLEY’s sensors. The operative did not respond to further attempts at communication.
♦ ♦ ♦
Juggling a long string of lights, I stepped out to the wide front porch TROLLEY had added to the “Pink Armadillo.” It boasted half a dozen small tables with chairs. As I tied the lights to the railing, I kept an eye out for Fang. He left that morning, only saying that he wouldn’t be gone long, that he needed to take a look around. I was beginning to get concerned.
Movement at the end of the walkway caught my eye. I stretched for a better view. It wasn’t Fang. Judging by the cap and the walk, it was Harry Morgan.
“How are you, Harry? You’re limping less. Is the leg better?” I asked as he came up the stairs.
“Yeah, thanks. But I think my motorcycle is a terminal case. The way I got thrown when the front tire blew, I guess I’m lucky I didn’t break my neck,” he tried to smile when he answered, but wasn’t very successful. “Looks like ya’ll have been hard at work. This porch looks good. Let me know if you need help with any of the heavy stuff.”
I smiled and thanked him for the offer. Then I ducked inside to get some of the shrimp cocktail with which I had been experimenting. I brought out two servings and sat down across from him.
“Be my guinea pig. I’m thinking about putting this on the menu. Fang’s not the best judge,” I suggested.
Harry tried a sample and made an appreciative sound. Then he polished off the rest.
“Where is your friend anyhow?” he asked.
“He went out to walk around. I’m sure he’ll turn up any minute,” I replied, but didn’t manage to keep a note of worry from my voice. “Any word on Marie?” I inquired about his missing girlfriend, but he shook his head.
“I thought I might find something in the tunnels she used when we would meet nights. She wasn’t supposed to leave the girls alone in their dorm, but they’re practically grown. Usually that was the only chance we got to have any privacy,” he confided. “Anyhow, I didn’t get very far when I found the tunnel caved-in.”
“You don’t think—” I stopped, afraid to finish my sentence, but he shook his head again.
“No, that cave-in happened after she disappeared. Although it makes me afraid that somebody knew about us… and that the cave-in was deliberate. To keep anybody from using that tunnel,” he speculated, rubbing his chin.
“Yesterday, some people came here. I’m not sure if they were witnessing for their church or strictly a temperance group,” I voiced my suspicious thoughts. “They didn’t give their names. Come to think of it, they didn’t even say what church they were from. The lead guy acted like he was deranged. You should have seen his eyes.”
“That sounds like Dick Potts. I don’t think he’s officially part of any group other than the few people he manages to draw to himself. He’s got a grudge against the world in general. If you ask me, he’s dangerous. You’d be smart to stay away from him,” Harry cautioned.
“He seemed to have it in for anything to do with the Secret City and anybody who works there. Especially the girls,” I added.
“You’re right. I asked a buddy of mine to look into his background. I need to check and see if he’s come up with anything,” he said and excused himself.
Harry left and I finished tying the string of lights to the railing. A moment later, Fang returned. He was a head-to-toe dirt.
“Golly, Fang. I was getting worried about you. Why are you so dirty?” I asked, astonished at his grubbiness.
“Church,” he stated as if that explained anything.
“Church? Church of the pigpen? There’s no way you got that dirty at church,” I countered, one fist on my hip.
“What? Can’t a guy go to church once in a blue moon? Besides, I wasn’t exactly in church. I was under it. I tunneled under it so I could listen to Mr. Wild-eyes and his cronies. I still didn’t learn anything about the Calutron Girls though,” he explained on a note of disappointment.
“You tunneled?” I exclaimed in disbelief.
“Armadillos are great at digging. I was a pink fairy armadillo for so long that some traits stuck with me. I wish the nearsightedness would go away,” he replied with a shrug.
Then he put one dirty-fingernailed hand into my already uncontrollable hair and further ruffled it. I looked up at him, protesting. Then realization dawned.
“Hey… you’re taller! How?” I demanded, knowing that he had been the same height as me.
“That’s right, Shrimp. It’s part of the transformation-thing too. After being tiny for all those years, I couldn’t go back to full size all at once,” he said as if that should have been obvious.
Shaking my head, I plopped down on a chair.
♦ ♦ ♦
Hmmm… I wonder what Fang might dig up? For those who are brave enough, or foolhardy enough, here’s the recipe from that vintage shrimp ad. I have my doubts about it, but you never know.
The history, particularly military aspects of this story probably make it difficult… However, this story isn’t really about religion or politics. So, please remember that this is my sanctuary — a place for all of us to be safe and away from political and religious commentary. Kindly keep that in mind with your comments.
Hugs on the wing!
The Andrew Sisters – Hold Tight, Hold Tight (Want Some Sea Food Mama),1942
November Journey Now Available!
Dead of Winter — All the Journeys
Universal Purchase Links
Journey 11, the Sumelazon Escarpment
Journey 10, Pergesca
Journey 9, Doors of Attunement
Journey 8, The Lost Library
Journey 7, Revenant Pass
Journey 6, The Fluting Fell
Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls
Journey 4, The Old Road
Journey 3, the Fever Field
Journey 2, Penllyn
Journey 1, Forlorn Peak
This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2021 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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