Inside The Bird Cage Saloon
the secret agent short novel
by Rawclyde !
The double doors are a rattling in the big birdcage above our heads. The log perch hanging from the cage’s arch is swaying. Giant formidable talons move nervously back n’ forth on the swaying perch. Of course it’s only my imagination gone beserk. The bald eagle up there in the dome is a statue made of wood ~ and is still. Maybe I’m the one having a nervous breakdown.
“Now, baby, now!”
Bang! Bang! The slick long-barrel derringer in Wayne Peeintheair’s spastic hand twirls thru the smokey atmosphere of the saloon. And one of his ears disappears for good measure. Agent Whapp, to the left o’ me, proves to be an expert markswoman! And nobody else fires a shot ‘cuz she’s so damn scary. A sullen skull chalked like a mask on her face contributes to making it so.
“So be it!” shouts Ted Newscent, just a guitar player, to the right o’ me. He covers all of ’em with his 45. He’s no longer grinning. His jaw muscles are taunt ~ working overtime ~ as his teeth grind.
The floor is smokin’. The boys are leavin’. And the Bird Cage Saloon is burning down.
The bristling cannon-ware of Submissivania (Has she’s grown 5 extra arms aiming all this stuff?) offers encouragement for all AR-15 conglomerates to fold-up and depart. And so they do. Some of these tough guys dance a little bit as they seek an exit, for the bullets fling & sing up outta the crackling ammo dump (I presume it’s a secret NRA ammo dump) in the cellar below.
Peeintheair’s four bodyguards have become statues. “Why don’t you guys move!” bellows my favorite old rock n’ roll star turned Obamasiah deacon. He waves the barrel of his Colt toward the door. Submissivania shoots somebody’s hat off ~ more encouragement.
Peeintheair is doing a jig! His clown shoes flip flop madly as he pyroots around & around, holding the ear-less side of his head as it spurts blood ‘tween his fingers. He’s kind of like a twirling lawn sprinkler spraying red dew on the smoking, splintering planks around him. The expression on his face is that of a grinning circus clown ~ even after having wiped off all his clown make-up. He’s got a grin on his face so big his eyes are squeezed shut. He seems to be in his element. The racket below is deafening. A carbon stench pervasive. Smoke is slithering around him like out-of-body experiences.
“Hell!” snarls Ted. He waves farewell with his gun & exits in disgust out the back door, grabs his guitar on his way out. A large section of the floor explodes behind him & flames leap up ~ begin waltzing with our NRA celebrity.
Peeintheair’s bodyguards remain catatonic. I guess they cannot decide whether they want to defend their looney leader or shoot him. They haven’t moved a quarter of an inch for maybe five minutes. One of them has a sawed-off shotgun half pulled out of his coat as if eternally posing for a camera that is not here. Meanwhile his a-whirl dervish boss starts singing:
“What stops a bad man
with a gun?
What stops a bad man
with a gun?
Maybe nothin’ can stop him
but the rising sun!”
The coat sleeve of one of Peeintheair’s bodyguards catches fire. This snaps the feller out of his statue-like stillness. He drops his guns & runs ~ like an Olympic torch-carrier for the front door ~ hollering. But he doesn’t get too far. The floor collapses under him in a burst of red sparks. He tumbles head first into the spluttering tumult of ricocheting bullets below ~ then comes flying out riding a piano-sized fireball that propels him back over our heads across the room. After that I lose track of this unfortunate individual. He probably just lies on the floor some where behind a table, perhaps on top of a table, a sizzling charbroiled hamburger.
editor / elvis bojangles