FROM THE DESK OF DONA PENZA TATTLE, ESQ. AND ASSOCIATE WRYE BALDERDASH
Dressed to the eights just shy of the nines, Tattle and Wrye practice dancing so they'd be ready for the Love of Literature Leap Gossip Gala's New Year's Eve Party. Wrye is in full white duck tails and top hat, including candy cane, while Tattle has a flowing sequin-topped ballroom gown that Ginger Rogers would envy, which Wrye wonders but did not say, why would she need ballroom?
"You're looking spiffy, my friend. May I have this leap?" Wrye invites.
"You're pretty keen yourself, I'd be delighted."
"m'Tattle, what's the difference between a dancer and a duck?" He spins her, dips, does not drop, and recovers. "A dancer is quick on beautiful legs while a duck is quack on beautiful legs."
"You think I have beautiful legs?" She becomes wide-eyed looking at her own pins. "You quack me up!"
"Let's make like a ballerina and ballerino and leap outta here!"
The duet's jump turns into a swirling dance step, but when they land they have to dodge an old WWI plane, which Wrye does easily by imploring an enrosque, a twist. He mouths, JANE TOOMB'S Historical Fiction, WWI Thriller, NIGHTINGALE MAN. "Did you Chubby Checker out my move?"
Tattle halts the dance, and ogles a WWI pilot, an eleven on the Hunkie meter scale. "Ooooh la la, he's the cat's meow... puurrrfect!"
"We must be in France," Wrye wonders as he practices heel tapping. Cummerbund too tight, he contemplates trying out for next year's Christmas Gala's Sugar Plump Fairy.
"Luke "Lucky" Ray, an American pilot, had been recruited by the British Secret Service from the French Air Force in order to rescue Nurse Edith Cavell. Adventure is afoot!" At which Tattle lifts her foot and wags it.
He notices she is wearing high-heeled combat boots, realizing it is apt for where they are at. "Ah, so we are in Germany!"
"Close but no parachute. Splat pending! We're in German-occupied Belgium, where Edith has been imprisoned as a spy." Tattle spins, watching her dress balloon not by a petard. "The perfect plan goes awry, and his group of agents are forced to split up. Plot twist! Danger looms! Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!"
Wrye tangos Tattle a couple of chapters ahead. "Ut oh, he has been captured by the Boche!" They both look at each other with ut oh faces, poising one finger over their mouths. "Shhh," one says.
They wrong turn, cheeks smack, tango tragedy! "Dooooooomed to be bumped off, shot! Where! Someone double-crossed him, was it a stool pigeon, and he doesn't know if it is his comrades, the spy-master back in England, or the beeeauuuutiful English gal he's falling in love with. A confluence of conflict! Biggie bad!"
"Lucky just might not be so lucky. Eh eh eh! Vampire dance." He grins showing a dental appliance left over from Halloween. "A fang tango!"
"Not so lucky when lovely Kezia proves to be more dangerous than the spy game. Double O no-no!" Tattle flings herself away in a dramatic movement but ends up on her derrière rather than in the graceful pose she wanted and this is punctuated with, "Buttt... read on."
Wrye does several ball taps, and offers his hand, "Shall we cramp roll our way through the book and see what happens?"
"If we are going to sound like horses, let's just do an equestrian leap to our next book stop."
"Dance breakfast?" "I hop!"
"It's dark," declared Tattle, shuffle-tapping nothing, she not recognizing they were in dead air where no one could hear you scream.
"Ut oh." He quantum leap dips her unceremoniously and then they re-lunge. "Sorrrrry, miscalculated, we landed outside the space ship rather than in it." He brushes off star dust.
"Oh, then we must be in the science fiction story HEROES DIE YOUNG by T. M. HUNTER." Rises from the dip and grins, "Warning... Will Robinson, we have a cutie alert. That Aston West is just to die for." She naughty Mae West poses, hands on hip, shamelessly flaunting the décolleté of her dress.
Handing her his polka-dot pocket square to towel off, he says, "Well, I don't swing that way. I'm a frogman!" and does a quick Lindy Hop... hop... hop.
"Why don't you come up sometime and see me?" Mae Westing her hair, "That hero can come unannounced to my door anytime."
"They do say heroes often die young, and Aston, an ex-military turned transport pilot, is considered one despite his motto to never get involved." Self-absorbed, Wrye clops as if a Holland Clog dancer and declares, "I'm a heifer... I love the moosic!"
They waltz through the derelict Rullusian space fighter that Aston West had stumbled upon. Tattle leads, Wrye hums, I Could Have Danced All Night. "Aston is also a space pirate, arrr, and when he found this ship obviously still smoking from battle, Smokey Bear warning, he was all ready to help himself to the horde of illegal weapons. Who wouldn't?" Tattle pauses, checking out the ship. "This place gives me the heebie-jeebies."
"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine. Not the sort of joint I'd like to hang out in, but I doubt Aston wants to stay considering it's about to be attacked. At least according to Jeanie, his sexy ship's computer. Technophobe? Maybe not!" He Bogarts, "Here's looking at you, kid."
Tattle floats her nose, mimicking Viennese Waltzers then indicates with her head toward an attractive armed female stowaway. "Someone's noooot happy about Aston. Pisssssssy Pissafert! I do think she wants to shoot him. Mallard!"
"Got the duck reference. Who is she?"
"Don't know. But Aston ends up having to help her. Plot device ping-pong! And later, he has to choose between saving himself or helping those in need.... Da da da daaaaaaaaaaaa!"
"Will he?" "Gotta read to find out. Let's scram!" Wrye accepts her bidding, more the laggard slowpoke, wanting to know more!
Tattle and Wrye appear in a herd of Mustangs. "Spread out!" Tattle declares.
Wrye remembering the strain on his cummerbund wonders if she is referencing him, and he contemplating that spread out is redundant.
"Spread out!" she repeats, using a tinny voice often found in a talkie. "We must be in PATRICIA BATES' Historical Western LOVE THY NEIGHBOR, and there's Rylee Parys, feisty, brave and adorable. Why that could be me! She's a mini me!" Pinkie- fingers the corner of her mouth.
"Rylee is forced to pit-n-pendulum herself against neighbors, Poe Rylee, neighbors who take exception to the fact that a woman, sexists' alert, controls the water rights. H20 to go! Not that she denies any of them water. Thought about it many times, I bet. They just don't like seeing a woman as the big cheese. So mousy of them!" Being rodentia influenced, Wrye bunny hops. "Put your right foot forward, put your left foot out, do the Bunny Hop, Hop, hop, hop!"
"Enter stagecoach left, Ex-cavalry officer, Tom Duncan, a guy a gal could carry a torch for any day, night, double outing or inning. Tee hee. A torch so hot that it would raise the ambient temperature of Sweden three degrees."
Quoting Fred Astaire, Wrye noting her pending panty shield problem says, "Would it be rude of me to inquire if there is any insanity in your family?"
Ignoring him Tattle continues, "Having just returned home from the Civil War, Tommy comes marching home again, hurray, hurray, the last thing he wants is to get involved in is a range war. Appliances are dangerous when hurled great distances. Plus, he wants to help work it out for Rylee. Hero? Beau? Do we know?"
"Does he do the politicians' dance? A quick side-step?"
"Rylee pulls a gun on him. Misguuuided! Yet he gets to her, she gets to him, love's a brewing, I knew they would, but Rylee is no pushover and resists. Is she running from him until she catches him? Meanwhile, his brother Darrell and Uncle Richard keep making trouble. Complication rumba!"
"Horsefeathers!" Wrye exclaims. "This has to make Rylee and Tom's encounters full of sexual frustrations mingled with anger and angst. What fun is that? A two-step from hell."
"No prairie patties, m' hoofer bud." "They'll never find their romantic destiny, or will they?" "We'll know only after we read."
Hope you enjoyed! Next month our hearts belong to SNAKE DANCE by our very, very close friends ANGELICA HART AND ZI, THIS TIME YOU ARE MINE by SUZANNAH SAFI, AND K. M. TOLAN'S ROGUE DANCER.
Have a healthy, wonderful, blessed Happy New Year!
Dona Penza Rutabaga Tattle, Esq. and Associate Wrye Balderdash of Blather City, Wannachat
Created and written by Angelica Hart and Zi KILLER DOLLS ~ September 2009
SNAKE DANCE ~ February 2010 CHASING GRAVITAS (working title) ~ July 2010
Tattle and Wrye can also be found at www.myspace.com/champagnebooks