What I Found in the Trunk Chapter 8

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the Parti Poodle here once again to introduce Chapter Eight of my story. The Maltese and I are joyful because we now have a mowed lea outside, and we do not have to work our way through the tall grasses. This is marvelous and we feel a certain freedom and contentment because…

I was getting lost. Very lost. I was getting very lost in the tall grass. I am Tucker and I am a Maltese.

Yes. It was embarrassing. I hung my head in shame because of you.

I cannot help it I have short legs and my line of sight is low to the ground. Everywhere I looked was green.

Yes, well, I should also mention that there are brown bunnies out in the meadow as well. The leader’s name is Bernard and his is most antisocial. Every time I go over to introduce myself, he hops away.

That’s because you are scary.

I most certainly am not. I just wanted to introduce myself.

I think you are very scary…

Anyway, please enjoy my story. Amusez-vous!

What I Found in the Trunk

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Eight

It was midnight when Gary and Rusty pulled the Buick up in front of the cabin. It was a log structure located up on the hill overlooking Soap Lake. The interesting think about the lake was it was so full of minerals no one ever drowned in it. Everything seemed to float to the surface.

Bennet came around the corner of the house and stood under the floodlights. He was head to toe covered in the rich black mud wearing only his swim trunks with shocking pink hibiscus flowers on them and Maui Jim sunglasses. “Hey, Gary,” he said. “Who’s this guy?”

“This is Rusty,” Gary replied. “He’s our nightwatchman at the dealership.”

“What’s he doing here?”

“We had a little run in with those guys and thought it would be better if we both came here.”

“Nice to meet you, Rusty,” Bennet said holding out a mud encrusted hand.

“Likewise,” Rusty said not shaking it. “What’s that junk you’ve got all over you?”

“Dude, that’s the mud. It’s awesome for your skin. This place used to be a tourist attraction decades ago. It has the highest diverse mineral content of any body of water in the world. People would come here from all over to heal their skin because the mud and the water are so loaded with minerals.”

“What happened?”

“What do you mean?”

“This place is a ghost town.”

“Well, we still get tourists, but it never really took hold. Probably because it gets so cold in the winter. But during the summer this paradise turns into a stone’s throw from heaven. I love it. I can come here, chillax, do this full-on spa treatment. It’s mondo dope.” 

“Rusty’s from Oregon,” Gary said. “He’s never been to Soap Lake before.”

“Bummer. Well, welcome, Rusty. Come on in and take a load off. I’ll just go over to my outdoor shower and rinse myself off.”

Bennet trudged off and Rusty turned to Gary and said, “He does know it’s the middle of the night, right?”

Rusty and Gary entered the small cabin. The place was remarkably homey. It had a fireplace with a rug, a kitchen, a bookcase filled with books and a couch, recliner and rocking chair. The two men plopped down on the couch.

“How long are we going to have to stay here?” Rusty asked Gary.

“Long enough for me to figure out what to do,” Gary said.

“Maybe we should get to work finding this Rune girl. She’s the one who got us into this predicament. I mean this is a seriously messed up situation.”

“Well, it’s bad but I think we can deal with it.”

“No. This is messed up. You need to figure out what this Rune girl stole from this Durwin guy or it’s just a matter of time before these criminals figure out where we are.”

“I was thinking we could find a way to make an agreement with Durwin and his buddies.”

“I don’t see Durwin as the make an agreement kind of guy.”

“Maybe I can figure out a sum of money to buy him off.”

“It doesn’t matter what you offer that guy. Whatever Rune took from him is worth more.”

“It’s kind of odd he didn’t care about either the house key or the ring.”

“Maybe he doesn’t even know what they are. Maybe Rune just threw them in the box when she took off.”

“Maybe. But why?”

“My dudes!” Bennet announced strolling in wearing a pewter colored robe and shaggy wet hair. “So, can I get you guys some tea?”

“I’m a coffee guy,” Rusty said.

“Oh, okay. I can make you an espresso.”

“Triple mocha.”

“Fresh out of chocolate syrup. I have to get some from the store in the A.M.”

“Fine. A triple latte.”

“One third base for Rusty. You up for tea, Gary?”

“Sure.”

“Awesome! You’re barista to the rescue.”

Bennet went over to the kitchen and filled a teapot with water and put it on the stove.

“What kind of coffee you got?” Rusty called out to him.

“Dude, its these totally sweet beans from Guatemala. They are so awesome; they must be flown out in a private helicopter. Word is some of these whirlybirds get shot down. That’s how awesome the coffee is. They don’t want the beans leaving the country. They’re like a national treasure or something. I mean this brew is going to totally rock your world!”

Rusty turned to Gary. “How’d you meet this guy?”

“We’ve known each other since grade school.”

“Wow.”

Bennet ground the Guatemalan beans in his burr grinder. “I hope you like whole milk, Rusty. It’s packed with enzymes. I totally dig enzymes. They are super great for the digestive track and brain tissues.”

“I can’t eat enzymes,” Rusty said.

“Seriously?”

“No. Just make the coffee, Bennet.”

Rusty took out his cell phone. “How’s the reception here? Do you get any?”

“We absolutely get reception here, dude.”

“Hand me Rune’s credit card, would you, Gary?” Gary pulled the small strong box out of his blazer and handed it to Rusty. Rusty took the card and began surfing on his phone. “I can find out where the last purchase on this card was made.”

“It could have been weeks ago,” Gary said. “Maybe longer.”

“Maybe. Maybe not.”

“You guys want some cookies or something?”

“Yes,” Gary said. “I’m starving.”

“You should have said something. I’ll make you a nut butter sandwich.”

“You don’t have to do that.”

“It’s no problem, man.”

“Got it!” Rusty said.

“Really?” Gary asked.

“The last purchase on that card was yesterday early morning right before she sold you the car.”

“Seriously?”

“Yep. An Amtrack ticket.”

“To where?”

“I guess we’re going to have to find out.”

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first four installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist! and Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: THE ASSISTANT (2019)-Hulu

Firstly, I must explain something about this film. On Rotten Tomatoes the 229 critics who reviewed it gave the movie 92%. The audience gave it 25%. The critics are correct. What is disturbing is the great divide. Are audiences becoming more and more incapable of intelligent film viewing? Are they too incompetent to recognize a villain which they cannot see? This is a quiet and highly disturbing film reminiscent of The Conversation where we feel the presence of the villain who is always looming but never on screen. He hangs in the air like a disease corrupting everyone around him yet is never vilified…except by the one person who recognizes him for what he is. Jane (Julia Garner in yet another stunning performance) is a graduate from Northwestern. Highly intelligent, hardworking, and introverted she has taken a job at a successful New York production company in hopes of becoming a producer herself. But the company is run by a psychopathic rapist tyrant who nobody stands up to or for that matter wants to. Jane is his assistant but, and this is important, he bullies her but never sexually assaults her. Here’s why: A study was done in Nigeria once to look at who joins fraternities, and the results were eye-opening. Fraternities are made up of psychopaths, suckers, and grudgers. Psychopaths essentially run the fraternity, suckers enable them, and grudgers resist the psychopaths. Grudgers are the smallest group in population and outnumbered. Psychopaths are drawn to suckers seeing them as targets (both female and male) and see grudgers as obstacles as opposed to marks. Grudgers are intuitive and pick up quickly on the evil in charge whereas suckers become victims and/or minions. Jane sees her boss for what he is but must face a conglomerate of suckers who either fall prey to him or work to keep him in charge. Jane is called smart both by her boss and HR and told at one point she is “not his type” or in other words she’s not enough of a sucker to end up on his gruesome casting couch. A great touch is Jane must constantly clean up the room with said couch. Jane is constantly in conflict with her drive to succeed and her ability to recognize the company is totalitarian. The question is what if anything can she do about it?   

What I Found in the Trunk Chapter 7

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle returning this week with Chapter Seven of my story. This week I received a bath. It was dreadful. The Maltese received one too which makes me feel better. Just the same I hate baths. They are the bane of my existence. I am also due for a spa day as alas my hair is overgrown in front of my eyes. I look like a steel wool scrubbing pad. I look fantastic post grooming as you know. Luckily for me my novelist could not get me an appointment for two weeks for which I will gloriously enjoy frolicking in the newly cut grass in my shaggy unkempt bohemian style. But as for my penning I shall keep you waiting no longer. Here is my seventh chapter of What I Found in the Trunk. Godere!

What I Found in the Trunk

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Seven

It was nine o’clock P.M. by the time Gary got to the dealership. He parked his car in his usual spot and hurried for the front door carrying the strongbox in his Hopper Shopper bag. Rusty the young slightly overweight security guard with the curly red hair was there patrolling the place when his boss came rushing up. “Hey there, Gary,” he said.

“Hey, Russ,” Gary replied eager to get inside.

“Whatcha doing here so late?”

“I just needed to check on one of the cars.”

“Oh, yeah? Which one?”

“A beige one.”

“Oh…”

“Well, I’d better go get the key from the office.”

“Say, Gary there were these four college guys that came around looking for you right as I went on shift.”

“Oh, yeah?”

“Said they had a friend who’d sold you a car this morning.”

“Yeah?”

“Wanted to know if you’d sold it yet.”

“Huh…yeah, well…they say anything else?”

“I don’t know. I had to get to work. I think they might have talked to your dad.”

Great, Gary thought. Now they know who my dad is. “Okay, well…thanks.”

“Sure. Say, I just wanted to mention the candy machine is broken.”

“What’s wrong with it?”

“It’s out of Snickers Bars.”

“Yeah. Well, the guy comes on Wednesday. He’ll stock it then.”

“Cool.”

“Well…I’d better go check on that car.”

“Okay.”

Gary hurried inside the office to look for a non-descript beige car. The fatigue of the day’s unexpected stress hit him. He set the Hopper Shopper bag on the desk, moved over to the espresso maker, made a latte, and sat with his java at the computer. A lot of cars dad had at the dealership were too conspicuous. Too many Cadillacs, Jaguars, and BMWs. “Don’t we have anything dull?” he asked out loud as he continued to search.

But after looking at cars for another fifteen minutes, he finally located a Buick LaCrosse in a Pepperdust Metallic. “That’ll do,” he said. “That’ll do just fine.”

He hurried over to the locked keys, retrieved the one for the Buick, grabbed the Hopper Shopper Bag and left the office.

“Found the one you needed?” Rusty asked when Gary got outside.  

“Yup,” Gary replied jingling the key in his hand.

“Well, you have a good night, Gary.”

“You too, Rusty.”

Gary hurried towards the car lot. The Buick should be in the far back. No surprise it would be parked there. It wasn’t as expensive or glamourous as the other luxury cars his dad sold, and it had been sitting on the lot for at least six months and still no one had bought it. He unlocked the door and tossed the Hopper Shopper bag in the passenger’s seat.

He was about to start the engine when he heard voices yelling. He glanced into the rearview mirror and saw Rusty and three or four figures arguing. His heart started to pound. Was it Durwin and his posse?  One of the men shove Rusty who stumbled back. Rusty charged straight at the guy and right away three men were on him. They knocked him to the ground and started punching him. What should he do? He could call the police, but he was already picked up for the black widow incident. With his heart pounding, Gary turned on the car, his hands sweating on the steering wheel and started backing out. Then he turned the car around, threw on his high beams and hit the gas.

One of the college thugs looked up and saw him coming. He jumped back and ran out of the way of the oncoming vehicle. The other three turned and saw the fast-approaching headlights and took off leaving the fallen Rusty.

Gary hit the brakes, stopped right beside his fallen nightwatchman, and threw open the passenger door. “Get in!” he yelled.

Rusty turned his head and saw the open door. He struggled to his feet.

Gary could hear the pounding tennis shoes of the four guys coming back towards the car.

“Hurry!”

Rusty limped over and dropped into the seat just as one of the guys lifted a tire iron to strike his legs. Gary hit the gas with Rusty both in and out of the car and pealed out just as the tire iron struck the door.

“Who were those guys?” Rusty asked as they sped off down the freeway.

“I don’t know. I just met them today,” Gary said.

“What did you do to get them so ticked off?”

“They think I stole something from them.”

“What did you steal?”

“I didn’t steal anything. But I think Rune did.”

“Who’s Rune?”

“She’s their friend who sold me her car today and I found a strongbox in the trunk with three things in it: a housekey on a gargoyle keychain, a velvet box with what I think is a diamond engagement ring in it and a house address which is where these guys live. I found that out the hard way.”

“So, are you going to call the police?”

“I already did. Or rather I was hauled into the police station for letting a bunch of black widow spiders loose at a Kid Valley.”

Rusty’s eyes widened. “Why did you let a bunch of black widow spiders loose at a Kid Valley?”

“I didn’t know these guys stuck them in the strongbox.”

“Strange.”

“Anyway, I’m driving us over to my friend Bennett’s cabin in Soap Lake. We can lay low there till I figure out how to get us out of this mess.”

“So, what was it this Rune girl stole from these guys?”

“See that’s the problem. I have no idea what they’re looking for.”

“Did you try calling her?”

“Her phone has a disconnected number.”

“What about surveillance video?”

Gary shook his head. “I didn’t even think of that.”

“Well…I could call into the system, try and pinpoint a good shot of her.”

“Can you do that?”

“Sure.” Rusty reached into his pocket and retrieved his phone. “What time do you think she came by?”

“Early. Like before nine.”

“Okay…was she the first customer of the day?”

“Yeah, she was.”

“Okay…hang on.”

“So, when you find the picture, if you find a good one…”

“Say, she’s pretty…”

“…wait till we get to the rest stop so we can take a good look at her.”

“She sold you her car today…did she upgrade it to one on the lot?”

“No. She drove the car to the dealership then caught a bus.”

“Did you see which bus?”

Gary thought about this for a moment. “I think it might have been one heading to Bellevue. But I can’t be sure.”

“So, you have no idea what was supposed to be in that box besides the address, the key and the ring?”

“None at all. But there’s one more weird thing.”

“What’s that?”

“I found this in those guys’ basement.”

“What were you doing in their basement?”

“They put me there. Anyway, I found this.” Gary reached into his coat pocket and retrieved the small aluminum strong box. “It has Rune’s credit card in it.”

“Well, that’s going to help us a lot more than a picture.”

“How?”

“Let’s just say I know things.”

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first four installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist! and Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: BETTER DAYSHulu

For twenty-seven years Hong Kong has not had a movie nominated for an Oscar for Best International Film…until now. And WOW what a film! The last Hong Kong film nominated was Fairwell My Concubine in 1993. There have only been three films from Hong Kong in history to ever receive an Oscar nomination in this category (the first of the three was Raise the Red Lantern in 1991). And Better Days should have also been nominated for Best Film, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Actress as well. It was banned by Chinese sensors for a nearly one year and was kept from being shown at the Berlin Film Festival. Despite that the film went on to earn 230 million dollars worldwide and was the highest grossing film upon its first weekend release. The screenplay is based on the young adult novel In His Youth, In Her Beauty (2016). It is not based on a true story just so there is no confusion when you watch the movie. The film begins with a tragedy and one might say a changing of the guard…but not in a good way. This horrific event centers around the Chinese gaokao which is an intense two-day college entrance exam that determines the fate of many students and their families. One of the fallouts of the exam is bullying. When a highly intelligent studious girl named Chen Nian (Zhou Dongyu) shows compassion for another girl who was bullied she becomes the new target of Wei Lei (Zhou Ye) a popular and wealthy female psychopath who manipulates her female gang to carry out violent and disturbing terror against those she deems unworthy or threatening to her power. After several harrowing incidents Chen stumbles across a street fight involving boys her own age who put her in a compromising position which she serendipitously uses her pluck to get out of. In the process she inadvertently rescues Xiao Bei (Jackson Yee), a would-be street thug who turns out to be more than meets the eye. The two form a pact which puts them on the path to their unexpected destiny.  

Oscars Reviewed

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the Parti Poodle here to introduce my novelist. It was the Oscars this past weekend and therefore I am taking a break from my story this week to allow my novelist to discuss the event. I believe I may have drunk too much sparkling berry cider during the show and still feel a little out of sorts. I remember growling at the Maltese and possibly nipping at him a few times. Not that he did not deserve it but because I may have been too excessive in my attack.  I fear it may be time for a bath soon and possible a trip to the spa which is always unsettling for me. I’m going to go take another nap now and will be back next week with Chapter Seven of What I Found in the Trunk. Till then, here is my novelist.

This week Gigi is taking a break from her story so I can talk a bit about the Oscars. This was of course an unusual ceremony and not as high in the ratings as years past due to Covid-19. Just the same there were some standouts amongst both the winners and the other nominees. I will touch on a couple of them.

One of the films I had as my Stream of the Week was Sound of Metal. I saw it before the nominations came out and thought about how amazing the sound was in the picture. My thought was this is not a traditional film to be nominated for sound, but it really should be as the sound is a character itself and integral to the story. This for me was one of the best and most accurate wins of the night and a hope that going forwards sound is not just a category exclusively for action pictures but considers and encourages sound to play a more important and essential element to naturalistic stories as well. The film also surprised everyone winning Best Editing, a category that looked like it would go to either Nomadland or The Trial of the Chicago 7. Especially since the American Cinema Editor’s Award the Eddie went to The Trial of the Chicago 7 for Best Drama. That said Sound of Metal did win the BAFTA for editing and the BAFTAs in general were probably the most accurate awards show as far as picking the Oscars this year.

Nomadland, which was my Stream of the Week last week was the big winner taking home Best Picture, Best Director, and the big surprise (albeit accurate choice) Best Actress for Frances McDormand making this her third Oscar win for Best Actress (she like Anthony Hopkins also won the BAFTA). Her performance is wonderfully understated, believable, and powerful and when I saw it, I could not deny this was the best of what I’d seen from the actresses although I have a soft spot for Carey Mulligan’s fantastic work in Promising Young Woman. I must add this is not the first time Chloe’ Zao has turned in masterwork in direction. I strongly suggest watching her movie called The Rider about a young rodeo rider who must come to terms with his physical limitations. I thought Joshua James Richards would win Best Cinematography as well for his breathtakingly beautiful work. But I cannot deny the quality work Eric Messerschmidt did in the black and white film Mank who took home the gold.

The most heartbreaking speech of the night goes to Thomas Vinterberg whose wonderful comedy/drama Another Round (titled Druk in Danish) received the award for Best Foreign Film. As he was making his acceptance speech, he talked about how his daughter Ida was going to play a part in the film. However, at the beginning of shooting Ida and her mother were in a car accident where they had stopped behind a truck and a car with a driver who was texting while driving smashed into them from the behind severely injuring the mother and killing Ida. Bear in mind Vinterberg had to go forward and shoot this movie at the school Ida attended.

One of the most anticipated wins of the night was Emerald Fennell winning Best Original Screenplay for penning (and directing) Promising Young Woman (Fennell won the Screenwriter’s Guild Award as well). This is an original and unique film well worth the win. And again, Carey Mulligan’s performance is an absolute standout. However, do not take this film as an accurate depiction of rapists. The men in the film are badly cast and the concept that rapists could be just your average guy is scientifically inaccurate. Rapists who are recidivists  have been shown to have white matter abnormalities and around fifty percent of them are psychopathic (Psychopathy: Manipulation, Deception, and Evil | Officer  & Hare Psychopathy Checklist | Psychology Wiki | Fandom (wikia.org)) which means they have a decrease in gray matter by twenty one percent in the prefrontal lobe and five to ten percent in the paralimbic system or in other words they have a smaller than normal amygdala (see The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience by Kent Kiehl ). Plainly put if you were to put say a “regular college guy” beside a “regular college guy rapist” the rapist is often going to have subtle qualities that make him stand out if you know what to look for although for some reason College Disciplinary Boards cannot tell the difference which is beyond all comprehension (see The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities by KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr). Rapists whether they be hardened criminals or college students are manipulative predators and if you were to read or listen to interviews with them (not just the “Frank” video by David Lisak which is an actor saying lines that were not from one rapist but taken from interviews with multiple rapists) you would quickly come to find a lot of them are strategic or tactical in nature, often preplan their attacks and are more than a little precise in choosing their victims. Also, in real life as in contrast to the movie a surgeon would have a much higher likelihood of being a rapist than an anesthesiologist (see The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Kevin Dutton). Emerald Fennell said her idea basically came from conversations she had about consent while attending a dinner party which isn’t a terrible thing and made for an entertaining revenge film just not a properly cast nor well-researched one.  

There was one film amongst the nominees which not only should win and did win but I believe had to win. And that was the film which took home the gold for Best Animated Short. A little film which I listed as one of my Stream of the Week choices that is only twelve minutes long. This gem has become a TikTok challenge where you must film yourself watching the film for the first time from beginning to end and post your video. The challenge is to see if you can make it through the film without breaking into tears. I made it through the film twice without waterworks, but I can see why many cannot. And this is a good thing because that means it has an impact on its viewers. The film is called If Anything Happens, I Love You and the filmmakers interviewed parents of children who had fallen victim to gun violence to create the film and the poignancy with which they tell the story is heartbreaking. It may not be the most visually stunning animated short out there, but it is certainly one of the most profound. Science has been studying mass shooters’ brains using SPECT scans which is a way of looking at how blood flows through arteries and veins in the brain and finding that shooters have lower blood flow to the prefrontal cortex and that some have more active brains than normal, and some have more inactive brains than normal. Also, chromosome mutations linked to genetics may play a role in violent behavior as in being born with an extra Y or X chromosome. In addition to better gun laws hopefully science may at some point soon be able to determine (or more precisely be allowed to determine) the genetic and physical mental makeup of a dangerous individual at an accurate rate and be able to act proactively before more films like this one about unnecessary tragedy need to be made.  

Gigi will return next week with Chapter 7 of What I Found in the Trunk.

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first four installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist! and Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: COLLECTIVE (COLECTIV in Romanian) – Hulu

This week’s movie is not for the faint of heart. Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary this is a riveting if not disturbing look into the workings of the Romanian health system. The film starts out with a fire in a club called Colectiv. The fire killed twenty-six people at the club…and then the real nightmare started. For some reason, the thirty-eight injured patients who were sent to the hospital, many of whom should have survived their injuries start dropping off like flies and a group of journalists wants to know why. With every fact they uncover the reasons for the deaths keep expanding to a nightmarish reality. And even with a new competent Minister of Health put in charge to solve the situation the far-reaching corruption in the national Romanian health system proves to be a mountain of unadulterated evil.

What I Found in the Trunk: Chapter Six

Good morning. It is I Gigi the parti poodle once again to post another chapter in my ongoing story. It’s that time of the year when my novelist gets all perfervid about the Oscars. There is no stopping her. She went to the store yesterday and procured appetizers. Last week she acquired plates, napkins, and sparkling cider. She also made sure we had fine chocolates on hand. Although she is eccentric when it comes to cinema, I have thoroughly enjoyed the films we have been watching as of late. I am especially fond of a great documentary that opened my mind to…

Hello! I am Tucker and I am a Maltese and I like watching movies with our novelist. I am especially fond of psychologically challenging stories. They make me sleepy. I can just shut my eyes and let the television turn into white noise.

My what a cinephile you are. Anyway, I think my novelist is calling me to fill out my ballot for our little competition. Without further ado here is chapter six.

What I Found in the Trunk

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Six

Gary turned back to the table to find black widow spiders crawling everywhere. The girl who wasn’t screaming grabbed her food tray and began slamming it down on the table trying to kill as many of the wretched arachnids as she could. Gary slipped his loafer off his foot and proceeded to help her kill the nasty things. 

The other girl kept screaming, “Help! Help! Help!” which prompted the restaurant manager to come running out.

“I’m calling the police!” the restaurant manager yelled upon seeing the situation.

“Please don’t!” Gary begged still slamming his shoe like a hammer on the poisonous spiders. “It’s under control!”

“It definitely is not!” she yelled back and dialed 911. Within three minutes the police arrived.

“So, let me see if I understand this,” the detective said as he sat across from Gary in the stark claustrophobic interrogation room. “You say this college student…”

“Rune,” Gary said.

“Right. Rune. This Rune sold you her car at your father’s dealership this morning and happened to have left a strongbox in the trunk.”

“Yes.”

“And in the strongbox was a key on a gargoyle keyring…”

“A house key. Yes.”

“A house key. And a diamond engagement ring in a velvet box and an address on a blank card.”

“Correct.”

“And you tried calling the number Rune left with the dealership, but it was disconnected.”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“Then around five this evening you drove to said address in Sandpoint to return the strongbox and its contents thinking this might be where Rune lives.”

“Correct.”

“And when you got there, you were kidnapped by four male college students who claimed there was something missing from the box, but they wouldn’t tell you what that something was.”

“Exactly.”

“And when you told them you had no idea what they were talking about they dragged you downstairs to their basement and threatened to take you for a ride. Then you escaped out this doggie door…boy, that must have been some dog if you could escape out a doggie door.”

“I was thinking possibly a Great Dane.”

“Right. And then you came face to face with the neighbor’s dog who attacked you.”

“Yes.”

“And the neighbor, an older female, got the male perpetrators to let you go at which point you demanded the strongbox back, drove to Kid Valley Burgers where you opened said strongbox for the first time since leaving…

“Escaping…”

“…the residence. And when you opened it black widow spiders came crawling out every which way.”

“Yes.”

“And you assume those spiders were put there by one of the four college students with intent to harm you.”

“Absolutely.”

“Okay. We’ll send a couple of our officers over to the residence in Sandpoint to check out your story. The two women and the restaurant have chosen not to press charges and you haven’t technically done anything illegal so you’re free to go. We’ll let you know what we find out about the house.”

The police officers dropped Gary off at Kid Valley Burgers where he hopped back in his car with the steel box which still had the velvet box with the diamond engagement ring and the gargoyle keychain with the house key inside. He reached into the pocket of his blazer and took out the small aluminum pocket box he’d found in the milk crate in the basement. He opened it and found a credit card. Upon closer inspection he saw the card had Rune’s name on it.

Gary turned the card over in his hand a couple of times and ruminated on how to proceed. He put the card back in the small strong box, closed it and stuck it back into the inside pocket of his jacket. He took out his cell phone and called his buddy Bennet.

“Sup?” Bennet asked when he answered Gary’s call.

“Hey, buddy,” Gary said. “I need a favor.”

“Shoot.”

“Look…I was wondering if I could come up there for the weekend and chill.”

“Yeah,” Bennet said with a mouthful of something. “I’m at the cabin in Soap Lake though.”

“Soap Lake? What are you doing in Soap Lake?”

“Man, I love it here. It’s quiet, I can hear myself think, I can go slap mud on myself like at a spa getaway…”

“Okay, fine! I’ll drive over to your cabin in Soap Lake!”

“Awesome! I could use the company.”

“Great. Thanks…I’ll take off in about an hour or so.”

“Say, you sound kind of, I don’t know, man…unhinged.”

“Yeah…well, I’ll tell you about it when I get there.”

“Alrighty. See you in a few!”

A few hours, Gary muttered to himself.

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first four installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist! and Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: NOMADLAND (2020)-Hulu

Clearly one of the best films of the year this is an absolute must-see Oscar contender. Gorgeously directed and edited by Chloé Zhao Nomadland is a character study on a large scale. Fern (Frances McDormand in a stellar Oscar nominated performance) is an ISTP female who has never been satisfied to remain in one place. After becoming widowed she makes a valiant attempt to stay in the town she and her husband resided. But during the Great Recession with only seasonal work at Amazon, she cleans out the home she can no longer afford, packs everything she holds dear and heads out in her van looking for work wherever she can find it. Along the way she becomes involved with an organized group of other nomads as they weave in and out of each other’s lives searching for their place in the great American landscape.    

What I Found in the Trunk Chapter 5

Good evening. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce the fifth chapter of my story. Late one night this week the Maltese had a rather horrific nightmare. He woke up screaming in a way I have never heard him emote. My novelist in her usual helicopter dog owner way pampered the inane creature and has been giving him far more lap time than he deserves. Just because I don’t wake her up in the middle of the night making unearthly sounds doesn’t mean I don’t deserve attention. Perhaps I should purchase a megaphone and express my insecurities in the middle of the night, and I would get treated with more respect. But enough about that. Here is my chapter.

What I Found in the Trunk

by

Gigi the Parti Poodle

Chapter Five

Gary’s foot kicked something. He bent down to find a milk crate. He reached into the crate, felt around, and found a small metal box, much smaller than the red strong box he found in the trunk. Small enough to fit in his pocket. He slipped it inside his blazer and started moving and feeling around his space again.

His hand touched a cold rough surface. He knew it was cement. Slowly he edged along the wall, sliding his foot out in front of him so as not to trip on anything.

Suddenly, light flooded in from above and four faces stared down at him. “We got to thinking, Gary,” the kid said. “We should all go for a ride.”

Gary glanced around the room and that’s when he saw the doggie door. It was big enough to let a large dog in. The door it was fashioned to was sealed off, but the canine entrance remained intact. Whoever had it installed must have had a Great Dane who liked to roam at night. Gary lunged for the escape, got on his stomach, and began crawling through. The boys pounded down the stairs as Gary kicked and pulled until he was outside. Unfortunately, so was Draco. Still attached to his chain the beast lunged at Gary snapping and snarling. Gary figured if he made a large enough arc, he could avoid the creature altogether. Gary was wrong.

Draco had been pulling on that chain a long time. And today was his lucky day. The spike to which his chain was attached lost its grounding and flew out of the dirt breaking the dog free from his incarceration. Pounding towards Gary like a bat out of hell Draco chomped down on the back of Gary’s leg.

Gary screamed in horror. With his other foot he tried to punch the dog in the snout. But he couldn’t get a good enough angle and the searing pain in his calf made it difficult to aim correctly.

By this time, the college boys had burst out the front door and were rounding around the side of the house towards the kafuffle when a small elderly woman with her hair swept up in a bun came shuffling out of the neighbor’s house towards the dog.

“Draco!” she shouted with great disappointment and smacked the mongrel on the nose. Draco not expecting this unforeseen discipline released his death grip from Gary’s leg. She gave him another swat on the snout. “Bad boy!” Draco whimpered and hung his head in unfathomable shame. “Are you alright, dear?” she asked Gary.

“No…but my leg is still attached.”

“I bought Draco as a guard dog. Can never be too sure. But you look like a nice young fellow.”

Just then the kid and his boys came running up.

“Durwin,” the woman said to the kid. “Is this man your guest?”

Durwin thought quickly and said, “Yes, ma’am.”

“You’re awfully lucky I was here. Draco might have taken this poor young man’s leg off! I thought we had an understanding about guests and not letting them come near my backyard.”

“Yes, ma’am. He was just leaving.”

“That’s right,” Gary said. “If you’ll just bring me my red strongbox with the key and ring in it, I’ll be on my way.”

The three boys looked at each other, then the one in the gold shirt with the purple “W” on it hurried back to the house. A few minutes later he returned carrying the red strong box. He gave Gary a nasty look before shoving it at him.

The three boys looked at each other, then the one in the gold shirt with the purple “W” on it hurried back to the house. A few minutes later he returned carrying the red strong box. He gave Gary a nasty look before shoving it at him.

“Thanks,” Garry said. “I’ll be on my way.”

“We’ll be seeing you real soon, bro,” Durwin said menacingly.

Gary watched the four boys as he backed up and headed for his car. As soon as he hopped inside, he locked the doors, turned on the engine and hit the gas. He drove back through the University District and headed out to Green Lake until he got to Kid Valley Burgers. He pulled over and killed the engine near the yellow, black, and white sign.

Gary realized his heart was still pounding. Now what did he do? He didn’t want to drive back to the dealership. He didn’t want to go home. If Durwin and his buddies said they’d see him again that’s exactly what they’d do. What was this Rune girl into anyway? Were Durwin and his gang even college students or was this all a façade?

Garry checked his watch. It was almost seven. He could drive up to Bellingham, but he should switch cars. They probably already knew everything about this one. That would mean waiting it out, heading to the dealership and picking out some inconspicuous wheels and heading north.

Suddenly, it occurred to him he hadn’t looked in the strongbox since he’d gotten back in his car. He reached over to flip the latch. Then he realized the latch was facing him. What if they had put something inside?

Gary turned the box around, so it was facing the other way. No. That wasn’t good enough. He unlocked the car, snatched the box, and climbed out. He carried it over to an unoccupied outdoor table. A couple of young women sitting at another table watched him. They looked at each other and giggled. Gary knew that giggle. It wasn’t the kind of giggle girls made when they thought he was cute it was the kind of giggle girls made when they thought he was strange. Screw it. It there was something in the box that might be off he wasn’t going to get killed trying to look cute. Gary turned the box, so it was neither facing the women nor himself. He reached around and slowly flipped the latch and opened the lid. He jumped back causing the women to laugh more.

“My buddies like to play jokes on me,” he told them realizing how stupid engaging in conversation with them was.

Suddenly, one of the girls started screaming. Gary not knowing what he’d said to upset her said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you.”

Then the other woman grabbed her tray and ran over to Gary.

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first four installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist! and Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: THE FULL MONTY (1997) Amazon Prime

Finally, after many months one of the best comedies of the nineties is now available for streaming. Thank you, Amazon! It is near impossible not to adore this fantastic tale about six unemployed steal workers from the town of Sheffield in North England who decide to change careers and become strippers after a Chippendales show comes to town to perform a sold-out show. This excellent Oscar nominated script written by Simon Beaufoy tells the tale of Gaz (Robert Carlyle), his twelve-year-old son Nathan (Wim Snape) and his plump friend Dave who spend their time stealing and selling scrap metal from the old steel mill Gaz and Dave worked at. Gaz’s wife Mandy (Emily Woof) has left him for another man and downplays his fathering skills. Dave thinks his wife might be cheating on him with her coworker and is insecure about his weight. After the three of them sneak into the Chippendales show Gaz gets an idea. With the reluctant help of their former boss Gerald (Tom Wilkinson) who has ballroom dance training but has not told his wife he’s been unemployed for six months they decide to book their gig at the same club. They hold auditions at the steel mill with the help of Lomper (Steve Huison) a guard and trumpet player who agrees to join their dance troupe. They hire Horse (Paul Barber) and Guy (Hugo Speer) and set out to prove not only can they dance, but they can also go the full Monty.

What I Found in the Trunk: Chapter 4

Hello, there. My name is Tucker, and I am a Maltese. Gigi and I went on a trip this week. We went to the ocean. But we could not get out of the car very much because there were a lot of people around there who were not wearing masks. Our novelist is a hippocondoraddict…or something like that and she was scared we could sick so we got out of the car a little bit and she timed when we could get out because of the not wearing mask thing. But it was good to get to go somewhere because I get bored. Even though I sleep a lot I get bored…

No one cares about you getting bored! This is my blog by the way you insipid…Good afternoon. I am Gigi the parti poodle and this is my blog that my novelist gave to me to practice my writing skills…

I am happy Gigi has a blog now. She does not bite me as much as she used to…

I never…well, I might have given you a pincer or two…Anyway, here is today’s chapter.

What I Found in the Trunk

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Four

Gary watched the four college age guys walk over and circle the bean bag chair. He looked up at them not certain what to do but aware of what was coming next.

“So, minimalism is like control,” the kid in the chair said to Gary grabbing a box of Ritz crackers that was sitting by his chair, retrieving a stack, and opening the factory sealed package. “Cracker?”

Gary watched the four college age men circle around his beanbag chair. He looked up at them not certain what to do but aware of what was coming next.

“So, you see,” the kid said. “We have a problem here.”

“There’s no problem,” Gary said. “You don’t need me. You need to give Rune her box back with the ring and whatever this gargoyle keychain thing is.”

“See, Gary that’s the problem. Something else is supposed to be in that box and it isn’t there.”

“What’s missing from the box?”

“I have no idea if you took it or if Rune took it but I’m going to find out.”

“I didn’t take it!”

“Well, see now, Gary,” the kid laughed. “I want to believe you. My boys here want to believe you. But guess what? We don’t believe you, Gary!”

“Now wait a minute. You could at least tell me what’s missing.”

“Oh, we could, Gary. We could do that. We could sit here and tell you all about it. But see, we don’t want to. Because either you know what’s in the box because you took it or it’s none of your business!”

Two of the college guys grabbed Gary and picked him up off the floor and dragged him over to the kid in the chair. The kid picked up another RITZ cracker and shoved it in his mouth. He looked Gary in the eye as he crunched it. “Where is it?!”

“I don’t even know what “it” is!”

“Don’t mess with me, Gary! Tell me where it is!”

“I don’t know what it is!”

“Hit him!”

One of the boys slapped Gary across the face.

“Hit him again!”

The guy slapped Gary again.

“Answer me or they are going to do a lot worse than that!”

“I’m just a used car salesman! I just came here to return a strongbox a girl left in a car she sold me this morning! This violence is completely unnecessary!”

“Take him to the basement!”

“What?! Are you crazy?! I’m not going down into a basement!”

Gary kicked and struggled but he couldn’t get out of the hold the boys had on him. They dragged him downstairs to a door at the bottom. They opened the door and threw him inside. Gary stumbled around in the darkness not knowing what to do, his feet shuffling around on cement. He put his hands out trying to find the walls or better yet a door or a window that led out. How had he gotten himself into this crazy mess? He was just trying to do the right thing. He just thought maybe the girl would like her diamond ring back. He wasn’t sure about the keychain though. Maybe it was the house key to this place. What difference did it make? He was locked in a basement in a house he’d never been to before and if he didn’t act fast, he might never get out. He kept reaching out his hands. The wall had to be here somewhere…somewhere…

Gary’s foot kicked something. He bent down to find a milk crate. He leaned down and reached his hand into the crate to find a small metal box. Much smaller than the one from the trunk. Small enough to put in his pocket. He slipped it inside his jacket and started feeling around again. His hand touched a surface. It was cold and rough, and he knew it was cement. Slowly, he edged along the wall, sliding his foot out a few inches at a time so as not to trip on anything.

Light flooded in from above and four faces stared down at him. “Whatcha doing down there, Gary?” the kid asked.

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first four installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist! and Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM-Amazon

This year’s Screenwriter’s Guild Award for Best Adapted Screenplay went to Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. And it is a wonderfully funny follow up to Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. The big twist in this one is Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) is going back to visit America but this time with his daughter Tutar Sagdiyev (bravely played by Academy Award Nomenee Maria Bakalova). Borat must come to terms with his daughter’s need to be her own woman and follow her own journey. The film has some hilarious if not wildly cringing moments as father and daughter tour America together.

What I Found in the Trunk Chapter 3

Good afternoon and Happy April Fools’ Day. Gigi the party poodle here with my third installment in my story What I Found in the Trunk. On a distressing note, it was bath week. The rotten little Maltese did not have to have a bath because he was recently groomed. I, however, was put into the tub sprayed with warm water and scrubbed with a lovely smelling soap against my very vocal protestations. I detest these horrors of hygiene. But as one should after such an ordeal I dried off and carried on. I plan on spending the weekend sitting vigilantly waiting for the Easter Bunny and focus my efforts there instead of reliving the bath experience. Without further ado, here is my story.

What I Found in the Trunk

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Three

Gary didn’t like this. He didn’t like it at all. Maybe he should just leave the box on the porch and run. This punk might be wanting to rob him. Maybe even kill him. Either way he had a bad feeling about the situation.

He turned and headed back to his car. He moved around to the trunk, popped it open, picked up the toolbox, grabbed a reusable grocery bag with a bunny rabbit and the words The Hopper Shopper on it, put the metal toolbox inside, slammed down the decklid and marched back to the driver’s side door. Then he hopped in and started the engine.

Gary parked the car on the backstreet one block down, got out, popped the trunk, grabbed the Hopper Shopper bag, and headed for the house’s back door. Tied up near one of the neighbor’s was a black and tan Boxer chained to a stake. As soon as the dog saw Gary, the thing went ballistic. He lunged at the trespasser snarling and barking and ready to tear him apart.

Gary jumped back stunned. He stumbled away from the ghoulish hound’s bared teeth, tripped, and almost hit the ground. He ducked right then dove left, but the beast cornered him at every turn. “Nice doggie! Nice doggie!” he said. But the creature was anything but nice. Hungry, angry, crafty perhaps but not nice.

Gary lunged left, dodged right, then faked left again and ran right making a beeline for the house with the fanged leviathan chomping at his heels. He banged on the back door. No answer. He clutched his bunny bag to his chest and watched the snarling villain jump up and attempt to snap its chain. Gary banged the door again as the dog foamed at the mouth. Still no answer.

Finally, the door opened and a college age guy, possibly a grad student opened the door. He was wearing a gray Husky t-shirt and a pair of purple sweatpants. “Draco!” the kid yelled. “Hey, Draco! Shut up!”

“Let me in!” Gary demanded.

“Draco!” the kid yelled ignoring Gary’s request.

“Let me in!”

“Draco! Stupid dog.” The kid went back inside and shut the door leaving Gary on the porch alone with the snarling creature.

“Are you insane?!” Gary yelled at the kid inside.

Three minutes later the kid returned with a fistful of raw hamburger. He hurled it at Draco just missing Gary. Draco ceased barking and engaged in wolfing down the raw meat.

The kid turned and looked at Gary. “You got the thing?” he asked.

“Yes!” Gary yelled, his face red with rage.

“Come on in, man.”

The kid held the screen door open and Gary, still clutching the Hopper Shopper bag to his chest followed him inside. 

“Is that…thing your dog?!” Gary asked.

“Oh, no man,” the kid said. “He’s the neighbors.”

“Isn’t owning something like that illegal?”

“Don’t know. You want to look it up?”

“No! I just want to drop off Rune’s things.”

“Sit down, man,” the kid said motioning to a bean bag chair. “Take a load off.”

“Look. I don’t have time I just want to drop off Rune’s…”

“You smoke, man?”

“What?”

“Do you partake of marijuana?”

“No.”

“No wonder you’re so uptight.”

“I’m uptight because I need to drop off this strong box for the girl who sold me her car this morning.”

“You mean Rune.”

“Yes, Rune. How well do you know her anyway? Is she your girlfriend?”

“Rune? Naw. I’m going to smoke a bowl.”

“Look, I’ll just put Rune’s things here,” he said motioning to an upside-down milk crate.

“Sit down, man.”

Gary reluctantly sat down on the beanbag chair and straightened his tie. The kid grabbed a bong from the side of his chair shaped like a gargoyle.

“Is this a drug den or something?” Gary asked.

“A drug den?!” The kid laughed. “No. Why would you think it was a drug den?”

“There’s almost nothing in here. You don’t even have posters on the walls.”

“And you think that means it’s a drug den, bro? Because we don’t have an appreciation for art?”

“No, it’s just…the place is abnormally sparse.”

“We’re minimalists, bro.”

“Minimalists?”

“Yeah. You know like those people who live in tiny houses.”

“This isn’t a tiny house.”

“No. But we adhere to the same principals. We live with more because we live with less.”

“Sounds like broke to me.”

“No, man. It’s true. Like a lot of college kids like me are going to graduate from school with a mountain of debt. You know why?”

“Because college is exorbitantly expensive?”

“No.”

“Because the government doesn’t properly fund higher education?”

“True. But that’s not my point.”

Gary looked at his watch. The ball game was on in a couple of hours and he didn’t want to have a pointless philosophical conversation with this guy.

“What’s your point?”

“My point is people are about appearances. Like where did you get that suit?”

“The Men’s Warehouse.”

“How many suits do you own?”

“Not that it’s any of your business but six.”

“Six?!” the kid exclaimed splashing his bong water.

“I need them for my job.”

“Yeah, man but six?”

“I hate to break it to you Einstein but there are a lot of folks who own more than six suits.”

“Wow, man. That blows my mind. Like six, huh?”

“Get to your point.”

“Okay, yeah, well…just a second.” The kid took another hit off the bong. “Okay, so like people are about appearances, right? You own six suits because you want to establish a certain status.”

“I own six suits because I sell cars.”

“Okay so you want to look successful selling cars.”

“Sure.”

“And so, you spend money on suits and you probably drive a fancy car.”

“I get my cars at a discount because I sell cars.”

“But they’re luxury cars. Am I right?”

“Sure.”

“And you live in a nice condo on the water.”

“I own a house.”

“Really? You look too young to own a house.”

“Is Rune coming to get her stuff or can I leave it with you or…”

“And you have nice furniture and new gadgets and stuff like that. Right?”

“Alright. Here’s Rune’s stuff,” Gary said standing up and setting the Hopper Shopper bag with the bunny on it in front of the kid. “I’m going home to catch the game.”

“Do you feel stressed, bro?”

“Yes, I feel stressed! Goodbye!”

“Hear me out man. Most people buy things because they think it will make them look a certain way on a certain sociological level. Like you. But us minimalists we live with what we need and only what we need. You on the other hand are stressed because you worry about how people perceive you. I don’t worry about how people perceive me.”

“Obviously. Goodbye.”

Gary started walking towards the door when three big athletic men came out of the room to the left, stood in front of the door, folded their arms, and blocked him.

“So, like I was saying, bro,” the kid said. “Here me out.”

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first four installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!  and Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: IF ANYTHING HAPPENS, I LOVE YOU-Netflix

This Oscar nominated short is the one you’ve probably been avoiding. But you shouldn’t. And recent events amplify its point even more. Honestly, the film shouldn’t exist. There is no reason this film should exist. But it does. The filmmakers consulted with the ones left behind to deal with the aftermath to provide a truthful story that should never have to be told. And if you are too much of a coward and think you don’t have the stomach to watch this twelve-minute film or if you are merely indifferent and would rather spend your twelve minutes watching something vacuous you are part of the problem and not the solution. I watched it twice.

What I Found in the Trunk Chapter 2

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce my novelist. As most of you know from last week my novelist has relinquished her blog to me. As I am a budding writer under my novelist’s tutelage, I thought I would use this opportunity to create a writing space for my own work. I am doing a good old fashioned serial story in which I write a weekly installment and share it with you. My novelist will continue to do the Stream of the Week section. She is recently concentrating on Oscar nominees. If you would like to familiarize yourself with some novels which were originally produced as serials you can look for them here: The Serial Novel: A Brief History with 30 Examples [Infographic] (booksonthewall.com)  As a side note, I must say the Maltese looks infinitely better after his trip to the groomers. I find I hate him a little less than I did before. But he’s still a retched cur and I despise him. Without further ado, here is this week’s installment of my story. Godere!

What I Found in the Trunk

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Two

“What was that?!” Gary exclaimed putting on the brake and turning off the car.

He threw open the door, walked back and popped the trunk. When he opened the decklid, he found the trunk to be immaculate. Not a speck of dirt in sight. But there was an object inside: a steel metal box with a handle.

“Must be for tools,” Gary muttered. The box was the same shade of red as the car. He picked it up, shut the decklid, opened the passenger’s side door, and set it on the floor. Then he thought better of it, moved it to the seat, took off his blazer and threw it over the box to conceal it. 

He drove the car to an out of the way place at the back of the dealership and shut off the engine. He checked the rear-view mirror to see if anyone was around. Then he pealed his jacket back from the box, unlatched the red lid, and lifted it. Three things were inside: a house key on a solid silver keychain with a gargoyle dangling off it, an index card with an address and a small velvet box. Gary checked the box and felt around but nothing else was to be found. Just key, card and red velvet box. Garry picked up the red velvet box and flipped open the lid. Glittering up at him was a pear cut diamond ring. The stone must have been two carrots and had a lot of sparkle.

“Huh,” he said puzzled.

Gary closed the velvet box, put it back in the steel container, closed the lid, and flipped the latch. Well, he thought to himself. I’m going to have to call the girl.

Gary headed back into the dealership office and started flipping through the files.

“Did you call Doug yet?” his dad barked.

“Going to do it right now.”

“Then why are you going through the files?”

“I need to find that girl’s phone number.”

“Why?”

Now Gary was going to tell his dad what he’d found in the trunk of the Beretta. But instead, he said, “I need to call her about the trunk.”

“What’s wrong with the trunk?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing? Then why are you calling her?”

“I just have a question about the trunk.”

“Well, it’s a little late now, don’t you think?”

“It’s never too late.”

Gary grabbed the office phone, dialed the number, and waited. The room felt hot for some reason. He got the message, “The number you have dialed is no longer in service. Please check the number and dial again.” He dialed the number again. “The number you have dialed is no longer in service. Please check the number and dial again.

“Sounds like she doesn’t want to be found, cowboy,” his dad said.

“I suppose not.”

Gary hung up, put back the file, and left the office.

At five o’clock that evening Gary got into his sedan and turned on the engine. In the passenger’s seat he had placed the red metal box under his sport coat. He turned on the GPS, checked the index card and typed in the address. The address looked like it was about thirty minutes away and traffic was lighter than usual. The place was near the University District in Sandpoint. He used to drive down there when he was in college and chill out by the water during spring and summer quarters. He figured it was probably a house the girl shared with other students.

When he pulled up to the curb and parked the car, he noticed the place looked like a rented house. The neighborhood was quiet. Quieter than he’d expected. He got out of the car, locked it, and headed for the front door. When he went to ring the doorbell, curiosity got the best of him and he tried peeking through the blinds in the right-hand window. The place was sparse. No real furniture to speak of. Bare wooden floors, a staircase, no pictures on the walls. He thought there would have at least been a television inside.

Gary rang the doorbell and waited…and waited. He rang it again. This time he heard fast heavy footsteps approach the door.

“If you’re dropping off a package, just leave it,” a young male voice said.

“I’m not a delivery driver.”

“Who are you?”

“A young woman sold me a car this morning and she left something in the trunk.

“Yeah, so?”

“So, I came to give it back to her.”

“Yeah, what’s her name?”

“The registration said Rune.”

Oh,” the voice said. “Her.”

“Yes…so…is Rune here?”

“Nope…what was in the trunk?”

“A red metal strong box.”

“Uh, huh.”

“And inside it was this address, a house key and a ring.”

This time the voice didn’t answer.”

“Did you hear me?”

“You got the strong box with you?”

“Yeah.”

“Did you drive here?”

“Yeah.”

“Drive around the block a couple of times. Park the car somewhere else. Walk back here with the strong box but don’t let anyone see you carrying it.”

“How am I supposed to do that?”

“Do you have one of those reusable grocery bags or something?”

“Yeah.”

“Duh! Put the strongbox in the reusable grocery bag and come back here. But don’t come to this door. Go around to the back door and enter from the other side of the street. You got it?”

“Uh…okay…why?”

“Just do it, man.”

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first four installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!  and Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (2020)-Netflix

Written and directed by Aaron Sorken this historical piece set in 1968 Chicago is a riveting and highly entertaining story about eight men who were put on trial for allegedly crossing state lines to start riots which occurred during the democratic convention. The movie is nominated for six Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Sacha Baron Cohen), Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song and Best Original Screenplay (Sorken). Leaders of Students for a Democratic Society Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne) and Rennie Davis (Alex Sharp), head for Chicago to meet up with Yippies (Youth International Party) Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong), as well as radical pacifist David Dellinger (John Carroll Lynch), Black Panther Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), and activists Lee Weiner (Noah Robbins) and John Froines (Danny Flaherty) to protest the Vietnam war. Hayden and Rennie attempt to get permits for the park nearby to help ensure a peaceful protest but are turned down despite their efforts to warn the city that many protesters are coming to Chicago. Riots do indeed break out between protesters and police, but which side started it is unclear. The eight men go to trial, seven of them represented by William Kunstler (Mark Rylance) and Leonard Weinglass (Ben Shenkman). Bobby Seale is supposed to be represented by Charles Gary, but Gary is unable to do so because he must undergo surgery and Seale is left unrepresented. All eight defendants must face the erratic and antagonistic Judge Julies Hoffman (Frank Langella) and attempt to prove their innocence.    

What I Found in the Trunk

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to begin my weekly blog. My novelist has chosen to hand the blog over to me indefinitely and I have decided to share my writing with you. Under the tutelage of my novelist, I have begun to dabble in the art of storytelling and am now prepared to share my work with the world. I will be releasing the story on the blog as a serial novel and will be delivering it in weekly installments. I call my piece, What I Found in the Trunk by Gigi the parti poodle. This is a great celebration especially since the Maltese is presently getting his first professional grooming in a year. I am most delighted with his suffering. So, without further ado here is my first installment in the story. Profiter!

What I Found in the Trunk

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter One

“She’s a real beaut, isn’t she?” Gary said moseying up to his first victim of the day, a pretty college aged woman sporting a mini skirt and a red scoop-necked t-shirt.

The coed looked the twenty-seven-year-old car salesman up and down. He must be sweltering in that suit she thought. “I’m not here to buy a car,” she replied. “I’m here to sell one.”

“Oh…,” he said disappointed. “Well, that’s…uh…I didn’t see you pull up.”

“My car’s right over there.”

The young woman pivoted in her white leather sneakers and pointed to a 1994 red Chevy Beretta. Gary frowned. That thing was near thirty years old. 

“Wow. Really?”

“I just need to sell it.”

“Well…we do buy cars. That’s what the Larry’s Luxuries sign says. Larry’s my dad you see. But the point is the sign says Luxuries. That’s the operative word here: Luxuries. Your little job there is not what I’d call a luxury. In fact, it’s one of the worst cars from the nineties.”

“The car is in great shape.”

Gary noticed how nervous she was. The way she bounced her hip and the vague wrinkles in her forehead that were not from age. Whatever this lemon was she was selling she was desperate.

“Well…I couldn’t give you much for it. The car is older than you.”

“There’s always a market for vintage cars.”

“That car’s not vintage. It’s old. Best I could get out of it is to sell it off for parts. And I’m not running a chop shop here you see.”

“I’m willing to bargain,” she told him in a despondent voice.

“Do you have the title? Because I’m beginning to wonder if the thing is stolen.”

“Of course.”

The young woman unzipped her cheap quilted cotton purse and produced what was, after Gary looked it over, a title claiming legitimate ownership of that piece of garbage parked by his dad’s business.

Gary shrugged. “I’ll give you four hundred for it.”

“Four hundred?! It’s worth at least seven!”

“No, it isn’t.”

“How about seven?”

“How about three?”

“Oh, come on!”

Gary wasn’t sure if she was angry or just putting on a show. “Four hundred and that’s my final offer.”

“Seven. Please.”

Gary looked her up and down. Sure, she was cute. Maybe more than cute. But he wasn’t a sucker. “Five and that’s my final offer.”

The young woman bit her lip and grimaced. “Okay, fine,” she grumbled.

Gary knew his dad was going to call him an idiot for closing this deal.

“Son, you’re an idiot,” Larry the paunch bellied sixty something owner of Larry’s Luxuries bellowed at Gary when he arrived at the dealership an hour later. “This is the last time I let you open my business in the morning ever again. I’m putting you on closing detail, you moron!”

“We can sell it for parts.”

“Are you kidding me?! We’ll be lucky if we can sell the rearview mirror! I can’t believe you let that girl walk in here and railroad you!”

“Oh, like you’ve never made a bad deal in your life!”

“I know when to buy and when to tell a con artist to hit the road. You should have told her to hit the road!”

“I test drove the thing and it runs smooth.”

“Son, I sell luxury cars and a 1994 Chevy Beretta ain’t no luxury car. This place isn’t called Larry’s Lemons it’s called Larry’s Luxuries. Now get out of here and park that tin can out of sight. Five hundred dollars! You know how much beer I can buy for five hundred dollars? Enough to forget about this screw up, I tell you what!”

“Alright, dad. I’ll go park the car around the back.”

“And call Doug. He’ll know what to do about that thing.”

“Alright, dad.”

Yep, Gary muttered to himself as he walked out of the office. He called me an idiot. Gary slogged out to the car and unlocked the driver’s side door. He got inside, sighed, and loosened his tie. He just wanted to help the girl out. It wasn’t like business hadn’t been booming for the last couple of years. He started the engine and began backing the car out. That’s when he heard something go clunk in the trunk.   

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first four installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!  and Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: SOUND OF METAL (2019)-Amazon

On Monday, this film garnered six academy award nominations: Best Picture, Supporting Actor, Original Screenplay, Actor in a Leading Role, Film Editing and Best Sound. It’s a profound movie that haunted me long after the ending credits. As I was watching it before the Oscar nominations came out, I thought, wow, the sound in this is amazing. But because a lot of movies that get nominated for sound are big splashy action films and this one probably will unfairly get passed over. Thankfully, I was wrong. The sound in this film is not only amazing but it is a character itself. Ruben (brilliantly played by Oscar nominee Riz Ahmed) is a drummer for a punk band he and his French girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cook) are in. When Ruben starts to develop tinnitus, he goes to an otolaryngologist Dr. Paysinger (Tom Kempt) and finds out he only has a little over twenty percent of his hearing left. The doctor warns him to try and protect what hearing he has and decide how to proceed with treatment. But Ruben is dedicated to his music and decides to keep playing. However, fate has a different idea and Ruben later meets Joe (Paul Raci in a terrific Oscar nominated performance) who presents Ruben with a new philosophy.

MUSICOLOGY: VOLUME FOUR, SWEETIE! IS ALIVE!!!

Musicology Volume Four is now available in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon!!!

And then there were FOUR! Musicology’s Circle of Four contestants prepare to battle it out for the title. But before they do, they must endure the seasonal Parents Dinner, Bear und Buggy and unusual mating rituals. Max believes he has figured out who The Kid is when he runs into an old acquaintance. Ruby drops a bomb on Max involving Robbie Sexton, a contestant’s dark secret is ultimately revealed, and the Musicology champion is finally crowned.

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here once again to introduce my novelist. As you can see this is release day of her fourth book in the Musicology series Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! As everyone knows a novelist must always befall some sort of disaster before a book can have a successful launch. Today my novelist chose for her fourth book in the Musicology book series to have that disaster be melting the rice cooker on the stove. Now, I found this a bit strange, even for a poodle who owns a novelist but far be it from me to stop her. She just burnt the little plastic legs right off the thing. Artists you see. She claims it happened because she was trying to boil some water for a cuppa and turned on the wrong burner. A likely story I am sure. Anyway, she told me to let you know that in addition to the release of her fourth book in the Musicology series you are in for a real treat. She and I had a good long chat, and she has decided to allow me to take over the blog indefinitely so that she can concentrate on her final book in the Musicology series due out in May and her new novel which she is planning to release later this year. Starting next week, I will be taking my own literary story which I have been penning and post it here on the blog. This will be done in serial style with a chapter a week. My novelist will continue to do the Stream of the Week. Until then, please feel free to check out my novelist’s books listed below. Au Revoir, Gigi.   

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first four installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, Musicology:Volume Three, Twist!  and Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: AFTER HOURS (1985)-HBO Max

Once upon a time, independent movies were not boring juvenile diatribes about dysfunctional families. They were about imagination, concepts, and ideas. And this little gem which won Martin Scorsese Best Director at Cannes as well as the Independent Spirit Award for Best Film and best director is one of those smart original films. This is not a story about a dysfunctional family. This is not a quirky love story. This is a film about a man who follows a white rabbit down an extremely dangerous rabbit hole better known as Soho in New York City. The film is considered to belong to a subgenre of films called “yuppie nightmare cycle” and it is one of the best of breed.

Let’s start with our Alice, a word processor better known as Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunn). Paul by the way means “small” or “humble”. Paul is also the only character in the story with a last name. One night after work Paul stops at a coffee shop and meets our rabbit Marcy (Rosanne Arquette). Marcy by the way means “god of war”. Marcy is dressed entirely in white throughout the course of the film just like the bunny. The two chat for a bit and Paul is smitten. He takes the bait and calls Marcy who invites him to her loft in Soho which she shares with her roommate Kiki (Linda Fiorentino), an artist who makes plaster of Paris bagels and other intriguing sculptures. Note that at one point Marcy mentions The Wizard of Oz and the difficult struggle for Dorothy to get home. Paul takes a twenty-dollar bill and catches a cab (in those days cabs did not take credit cards). The cab ride is quite harrowing, and his money flies out the window and he is left to fend for himself on what turns out to be an overnight odyssey that may be his last.

A couple of things to note in the film. Firstly, the use of numbers throughout which appear to emulate the mathematics of Alice in Wonderland. They come in the form of phone numbers, addresses, the time on various clocks, sales tax and most importantly the subway fare. Also, three prominent colors are used throughout the story: black, white, and yellow. Items such as a woman with a white and black bangle on her wrist, checkerboard prints in an apartment and of course Marcy in white and Kiki in black. Except for Kiki, every woman Paul meets in the film has blonde hair and blue eyes and wears either yellow or white which is opposite of Paul who has dark hair and brown eyes and changes his shirt partway through from a white one to a black one. Skulls such as a tattoo, a keychain and a belt buckle are littered throughout, and hints of death are woven in as well such as the Terminal Bar where a bartender named Tom (John Herd) and a waitress named Julie (Teri Garr) work. Look for Scorsese in a cameo midway through the story.