FP310 – Mulligan Smith in White Hot Rage, Part 1 of 1
Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode three hundred and ten.
Tonight we present Mulligan Smith in White Hot Rage, Part 1 of 1
Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.
Tonight, due to the pressing business of a Skinner Co. Saturday Night Board Meeting, we are preempting our expected Ruby tale to present this scene of anger and advice starring everyone’s favourite private investigator, Mulligan Smith.
Mulligan Smith in White Hot Rage
Written by J.R.D. Skinner
Art and Narration by Opopanax
and Audio produced by Jessica May
“Listen,” said Mulligan, “anger is an important natural response. I know there’s a lot of talk about how it’s a negative emotion – that it leads to the dark side of the force and all that – but sometimes white hot fury is all you have.
“You, out of anyone, should know that.”
Beneath a stuffed and mounted Northern Pike, Billy Winnipeg’s cliff-like shoulders heaved in indifference.
“It’s like my hoodie,” continued the detective, “it represents a direct line back to the kid-sized sweater Mom gave me when I was twelve. You can’t just let someone steal that kind of heritage from you!”
Winnipeg looked away from the dimming embers in the cast iron stove. At the best of moments the shack would have still been too small for the mammoth man’s comfort – but, now, as the last of their heat drained away, it only seemed to shrink.
“I was with you when you bought that thing,” he said. “You got it like, two years ago.”
“Yeah, but I was wearing the hoodie from a generation back at the time – and I was wearing it’s granddad the time previous.”
The pair fell into silence as the private investigator gathered his thoughts.
“The fire’s out,” he finally said, “If you don’t get angry, you’re going to get dead. Understand?”
Billy squinted, as if he were attempting to, but he still had to reply with a “no.”
“What I’m saying is, your Mom’s lasagna tastes like a cat vomited into its litter box and she smothered the whole thing in cheese before popping it in the oven.”
Winnipeg’s brow creased, but he persisted in refusing to look at his animated friend. “C’mon, isn’t this bad enough?”
As he spoke, his hand remained firmly on the copy of Rod and Reel Monthly that acted as his lone protection against the rapidly cooling air.
Mulligan replied, “bad enough? You know what, I’m willing to bet that Collins didn’t just steal our clothes at gunpoint. This is a story he’ll want to tell, but it’s not worth bragging about yet.
“Yeah – I bet he’s turned back to your place.
“It’s only a few hours: Hell, another fifteen or twenty minutes and he’ll be sweet talking your mom. Won’t be midnight before he has her tied to the bed posts and moaning his name. By tomorrow she’ll be so shattered by your death he’ll likely end up your posthumous father-in-law.
“Oh, and, meathead, posthumous means after you’re dead.”
The giant bellowed at this verbal slap, his modesty and melancholy forgotten, and Smith barely made it to the fishing hut’s splintered door before the mountain rose and gave chase.
The lakeshore was a mile off, but they covered the distance in eight minutes.
It was witnessed by just one man, Gregory Thompson, and he would speak of the pair of screaming naked men on every rare occasion that he drank till the day he died.
Three hours later, Mulligan pulled on his black sweater. Zipping its familiar lines felt as if he were stepping into a warm home.
Then it was Collins’ turn to run.
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