The Quivering Corpse of Rudy McDowell

First off, a fucking corpse ain’t supposed to quiver.

Second differentiation I need to mention, this is my first Friday night off in seven weeks, and I get to spend it with a girl who’s got a problem. A quivering problem.

So is the motherfucker dead or not? None of my business, if I can help it. I get enough of this type business at work. In my off hours… ah, fuck it, who am I kidding? There are no off hours.

I rummage through the filing cabinet of my brain – that room is always hopping, no matter how many lights are shut down in the other lobes.

Loretta? Lucy? Not Lucinda, not with the file on her. I’d seen plenty of the stills. Not Lucinda, just plain Linda. Linda with the sparkling eyes and pert little nose. Shit, Michael Jackson had a bigger schnoz than Linda.

“So Linda, you know this stiff?”  Actually, he wasn’t all that stiff. Those legs were dancing around enough to drive you crazy.

Not to exaggerate, because this tale don’t need it.

Those legs weren’t dancing, exactly. They were just quivering in a most disconcerting way, a way that brought back a memory of my former partner Harry that I felt like a hard-knuckled punch in the gut by the nefarious Father Time.

Harry  – that name used to break me up because for him it was so apt, sonofabitch looked like a fucking ape – and I thought about his unfortunate demise at the hands of Doctor Remulak, and I was saddened, and then the corpse began to do the boogaloo.

Not to exaggerate, because this tale don’t need it.

That corpse wasn’t exactly doing the boogaloo, but it did release a gaseous emission of a noxious nature. Now I’ve been around the block, I know that dead bodies fart, it’s one of the many disgusting details about death. You don’t need to tell me a thing.

“…not polite to fart in front of a lady.”

It was Nickie! What was he doing here?

“The name’s not Linda, it’s Lagrenia.” 


“And the deceased underfoot goes by the moniker of Rudy McDowell. Runs an import/export biz for fish. The mounted type. Swordfish, sharks, what ever you wanna put on the wall.”

Yeah, I’d hear of the gent.

“Hey, did that thing just move?”

Who suggested the cloak room, anyway? This place was getting more crowded than a Mickey D's with free French fries.

I didn’t even know this broad, but she was right. The body had suddenly begun to breakdance.

Not to exaggerate, because this tale don’t need it.

The body wasn’t breakdancing, exactly, but rigor mortis was causing the arms to curl up a tad. Funny, in the dim light, the former Mister McDowell brought back memories, memories that I thought I had buried, much as this stiff should be buried, memories of a girl named Louise…

“I’m not just a memory,” Louise said, right before the worm-bait began to turn cartwheels.


© 2003, Mark Hoback