A children's fable for grown-ups. A bad wolf, a deceitful lamb bust out of the asylum .
|Dr. Erica Mae Lamb waltzed with a false air of confidence as she left her office for the processing suite several doors and a floor away. She liked to jokingly tell everyone she was the director for the CIA’s R&D division, but it wasn’t that CIA. It was the asylum for the Rehabilitation and Detention for Criminally Insane Animals. Today, they brought over the Big Bad Wolf from up state. It took mounds of paperwork and even more red tape but she got him into her experimental program. If the therapy worked, she hoped, she could cure him and he’d become a productive member of society. She knew getting through to him would be a daunting task to say the least. She found him sitting behind a table wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and handcuffs. He didn’t look happy to say the least. The session is recorded by a deer from the AV section.
“Well Mr. Wolf,” she introduced herself as she sat across from him. “I’m glad you’re here…”
“Knock off the pretense babe…And don’t call me mister, that’s my dad’s name. Big Bad is fine…” he grumbled.
“Well,” Dr. Lamb exhaled taken back but not surprised. “I’d like to ask you a few questions about a certain lost goose…A Ms. Ida Honker…Do you remember her?”
“Of course, I do…Not exactly, we never met,” he barked. “Hey babe…Lets do some business. How ‘about a cigarette? They don’t let me smoke in the hole…”
She offered him a pack of cigarettes and an ash tray. The deer looked nervous as she filmed the encounter. Big Bad took a drag, enjoyed it and exhaled satisfied.
“About the goose?” Dr. Lamb probed.
“Never met her,” Big Bad replied. “I got framed for what B.B. did. Lucky whelp…He never had anything stick to him. Just my luck to have a twin brother eh?”
“You have a twin brother named B.B.?” Dr. Lamb asked surmising that Big Bad had descended farther into madness than previously thought.
“Yeah, and two sisters named Big Biter, Big Barker and a brother Big Bruiser,” Big Bad shrugged it off. “What’s it to you, honey?”
“So, what’s it like having a twin brother that has the same name as you?” she asked kindly.
“My mother’s not a pig!” he exploded and slammed his balled-up paws on the table top. He then yelled, “Where’d you learn about wolfs? I bet you got your degree from the Bahamas! B.B. is short for Bad Breath Wolf. He was driving the car when the goose got whacked… I wasn’t there…”
“Really?” Dr. Lamb seemed genuinely surprised.
The deer nearly had a heart attack.
“Really, babe. Yeah, the car was mine, but I was off on business so I let B.B. drive it. I gave it to him on a Monday said don’t dent it and went to Syracuse New York…”
“Why were you in Syracuse?”
“I had to bust a few heads at the Elks…They owed O’Wolf a wad so I went there with the boys to collect,” he shrugged and took another drag off the cigarette. “I haven’t had a cigarette this fresh in years…You wouldn’t believe what you have to go through just to get these inside... Any who I came back a week and a day later and I go to the den and get the car. A nice Duesenberg Model SJ…Black with chrome trim…Get up to 104 miles per hour in second gear…What a ride! Think…” he then laughed. “All I had to do was eat that pipsqueak of a mouse that tried to sell it to me!”
“You ate a mouse for a car?” she gasped. “And ‘O’ stands for what? Or is it an exclamative?”
“That’s ‘o’ as in ‘Oh, he’s from Ireland’. As for the mouse, I’m a wolf, sugar…” he retorted looking shocked at her. “What did you expect me to do? Walk in there and buy it?”
“Okay…As in that’s acceptable as opposed to O.K. the abbreviation for Oklahoma,” she slowly exhaled not realizing the slip. “Go on…”
“Anyhow I get the car from the den and take it to the pool hall down on the south-side of Pittsburgh off Carson…I’m aiming to sink this eight ball…I just raked Slim…”
“Yeah, he’s the cat that aced out Leroy Brown,” Big Bad chuckled. “Should’ve seen him tear up that moose! Can’t say I feel bad about old Leroy, he had a habit of wearing this big diamond ring he had on everybody’s face. Make enemies that way, no sense of judgement, he was just another stupid moose. I was about to sink it when Jessica…”
“Jessica de Rabbit, not a bad babe but she was drawn out to be that way…What a sorry story. If I feel sorry for anyone it’s her. Poor thing never stood a chance. I mean after what was done to her on the cutting room floor…Who wouldn’t be like that? She’s a onetime movie star who’s on the down and out. A real jinx though, Slim should’ve known that after what happened to her ex-whatever Rodger…And then Jessica says something like ‘Cheese it! It’s the fuzz!’ but before anything could happen I got four wolfhounds slamming me to the floor. They say I killed and ate the goose mentioned earlier. I tried to explain it to them but the pack scattered…Couldn’t get a corroboration for my alibi.”
“Do you hold any animosity toward ‘the pack’?”
“No way babe,” he shrugged. “Why? They’re wolfs…It’s what we do.”
“Do you know anything about a Little Red Riding Hood?” she asked and made mental notes.
“That’s a trick question darling. That wasn’t Big Bad me…That was my father Big Bad Wolf Sr. Now you want to hear about some animosity issues? Right there! Little Red Riding Hood, now there’s a half pint of evil…Dad’s between gigs and he needs some kindness and charity and look at her. That wench causes my mother to become a widow. That’s animosity,” he wryly smiled and lit another cigarette. He then looked at the deer behind the camera, blew her a kiss and smiled.
The doe then began to panic and after Big Bad licked his lips, she ran from the room screaming.
“Now, this is a nice garden salad and these are roasted acorns,” Dr. Jill Elk told Big Bad as she pointed out the cuisine. She sat across from him and tried to hide her nervousness behind a friendly smile.
“And I’m supposed to eat this right?” Big Bad muttered looking it over.
“Yes, and make small talk…Like we’re on friendly terms,” she smiled and cocked her head off to one side.
“Okay I’ll play it your way, deer,” he chuckled as the medication Dr. Lamb prescribed had him seeing things in color.
He went along with it and found it a different experience. Normally he’d run somebody like Jill down and just eat her or maybe bat her around like a toy. However, he went along and found the situation almost agreeable. Afterward as he shook her hand goodbye he slipped back into his natural wolf with a twist. He laid the syrup on thick and stole a kiss. As he did Dr. Lamb walked in, saw it, and began yelling ‘Bad wolf! Bad wolf!’ and worked him over with a telephone book.
“You call that therapy?” Big Bad asked Dr. Lamb as he checked his jaw line for missing teeth. He then grasped at the air muttering something about seeing butterflies. “Therapy for what?”
“You’re supposed to be friends with them first!” she screamed.
“Friends? Why would I want to be friends with a dame? I got friends already,” Big Bad replied wondering where he actually was, and who she thought she was talking to.
“Bad wolf!” Erica screamed and wound up with the telephone book.
“I’m a bad wolf! A categorically bad wolf!” Big Bad winced and then said, “I’ll try to change! But I just couldn’t help myself…Her big doe brown eyes! Reminded me of Jackie O.”
“Well work on it!” Dr. Lamb shouted seething resentment.
She then went into the hallway and became furious when Elk said she found Big Bad charming. ‘He’s really a sweetheart once you get past the rough exterior,’ Elk noted. She then said, while exuding a glowing starry-eyed gaze, ‘I think I could get use to a wolf like that…’ Ironically, a week later, she found herself reassigned in the hospital as a billing clerk’s assistant.
Six months later Dr. Lamb stood before the Clinical Exploration Symposium for the Rehabilitation of the Criminally Insane, on the dais of the surgeon’s gallery. The gathering entailed the notables of medicine and the who’s who of university circles. Mostly sheep, a few elk, and a white elephant, nobody wanted to acknowledge who stood in the far corner. After her introduction, she showed her final film of Big Bad’s conversion. He looked at the camera and plainly stated, ‘I eat only vegetables now and I like line dancing. Someday I’d like to write a book of poetry…Yes, I feel guilt and shame over what I did in my past…I intend to devote my life to promoting an inclusive world where the diversity of life is respected, where all animals are treated with equality, admiration and dignity. My hobby is ceramics now…My ideal job would be as a florist as it lets me spread the joy and beauty of the great outdoors with aplomb…’ The scene then showed several figurines from the Wizard of Oz, plus a pot of Bachelor Buttons. Big Bad wore a tweed suit with a purple polka-dot bowtie.
After several rounds of applauds and an even longer session of questions, Erica and her esteemed colleagues went to the banquet hall. They stayed, ate and Erica played politics. Later that night after taking the long way home to throw off any tails, she pulled into the trailer park off Route 66. Unsurprisingly, she found Big Bad lounging in his recliner chowing down on a bucket of fried chicken watching Saturday Night Live. He belched as she cautiously looked out the front door for any signs she may have been followed.
“It went great!” she said and immediately began to disrobe on her way to the bathroom. “I had them eating out of my hands like only you would believe! Not only did I get the grant money but they gave me a credit line for more ‘research’. What a bunch of rubes!”
“So how much longer do I have on the lamb?” he asked her and cracked a can of cola and lit a cigarette.
“Another two to three weeks,” she said as she returned to the living room. “Then left turn! We’re off to Albuquerque!”
Big Bad handed her the bucket of chicken and she nosed through it. She then said, “I talked to O’Wolf and his lizard in accounting…the gecko… you know him?”
“Chris? I thought he sold insurance?” Big Bad replied and flexed his eyebrows.
“No…Wrong lizard, I know him too. Chris is on the straight up,” Erica replied and chowed down on a wing. “Bob…Yeah Bob’s our gecko and in O’Wolf’s pocket, he’ll handle the transfer of funds. O’Wolf gets his cut, Bob gets his and we get the big easy!”
“Smart move you thinking about how we could get paid for it,” Big Bad giggled.
“Well, the jail break was your idea,” Erica shrugged slinking off to the bathroom with the bucket of chicken. “Finally, a real meal, oh how I hate having to eat grass all the time!”
“I hear that babe,” Big Bad chuckled even louder. “Want to smooch? Nearly a full moon, we could go out back like old times….”
“I have a headache,” she dismally muttered. She then whined, “We’ll smooch and talk later…I need a shower bad. This get-up makes my pelt mat up…Hey want to get with your sister Big Barker and go take in a drive-in theater movie once we got the dough?”
“You know what she’s like around garbage cans! She puts both my cousins Where Wolf and There Wolf to shame! And that’s saying something knowing those boneheads…Figure that,” Big Bad replied with a contemplative tone. “Remember the last time?”
“Sure do!” Erica happily shouted as she stuck her head out of the bathroom. She still had a chicken wing stuffed in her mouth. “It was fun to watch!”
She then took off the rest of her costume, throwing it and the empty bucket for fried chicken against the hallway wall. Erica Mae isn’t a lamb at all, she’s not even a member of the family ovis. She’s a wolf to the very bone, wearing sheep’s clothing.
The Author has published in soft-cover 'He Came From Earth' and 'Hunters, Killers, Madmen, Part 1'. Available at Amazon.com