Rusty and Bud fell in at the coffee house on McDougal Street with their axes. They had a gig that night but were about 3 hours early. They were the only ones there except for the square hayseed waitress, who was new, and a poet named Al.

This little joint was seedy and didn't even have a name. It was bright outside, but this dive was darker than suicide. Candles flickered from Chianti bottles covered with wicker and rainbows of colored wax.

The tables had no table clothes and everyone used the floor for an ashtray. This was the place where all the heavies came. The L7 crowd stayed away from this joint. Junkies lurked around unlit tables. Hop heads and vipers stared into their java. People who never smiled stared down strangers with no mercy. This crowd came to think. To mull over dark secrets. To be with their own kind.

Al read his poetry with difficulty through thick black framed glasses. His contorted legs wrapped around a stool. His contorted mind elevated much higher than the tiny stage he spoke from.

the sidewalk promenade of translucent zombies
unnoticed x-ray vision mirrors reflect
the stainless steel jackets with button down brains
reptilian subway surrounded by darkness gently moves the bleeding cattle
through the mysterious lobby of the in god we trust bank and trust company
the postman delivers the stained letter from the merchant of atomic death
past lives peer at dad's new television from the post future black fog
broken pens and needles inject subtle venoms into empty spaces
the mailman brought dancing shoes put them on your hands

PJ bounced in grinning like a teeny bopper with a new Pat Boone record. He joined Rusty and Bud at a small table in the back of the dive.

"Gimme some skin, man."

"Where's Chick?"

"He caught the bus up to Harlem to cop some reefers for tonight."

"Look, when Chick gets here lets split this java fill mill and fall in over at Mirror's pad."

"What about the gig?"

"Screw it, man."

"That's cool."

Chick walked in the door with his bongos in one hand and a thumb up on the other.

"He's got the tea."

"Let's split."

Before Chick could make his way to the small table in the back of the room, the cats were grabbing their instruments.

"We voted to forget this gig and split over to that Mirror chick's pad."

"You cats tuned into my wavelength," Chick related on the downbeat.

The four hipsters strolled down the sidewalk passing the Harlem Gold Leaf back and forth.

"It is he who will send an apostle from amongst themselves," a yellow eyed drunk shrieked from his perch atop a newspaper machine.

Nobody spoke as they walked. Anticipations of revelations. PJ clutched the little piece of paper that Mirror had given him just like it was a C-note. They stopped in front of an old boarded up building. The place looked long abandoned. Scraggy.

"That crazy chick!"

"Man, like that lady had too much class to be squatting in this dump."

"Real gone."

"Weirdsville, man."

The disappointed hep cats started to turn and split. Bud sighed. Their wigs spun around in time when the sound of a creaking door permeated the sidewalk.

"Come in," Mirror called out, smiling.

She stood in the doorway of the decrepit building looking very happy that the cats had made the scene. There was a mad rush to the door to see who could fall in first. Everyone went inside and the door shut.

It was dark and cool inside. Mirror led the guys upstairs and down a long hall. No lights and no sounds. No furniture and no plaster on the walls. Mirror opened a door at the end of the hall and ushered everyone in.

There was a crazy carpet on the floor. Soft and thick. Royal blue with spirals woven in. There were no boards on the windows and the room was very bright. It was like the walls were glowing. There was no furniture in the room, only a big red wooden box and an antique wind-up victrola.

A strange looking bald cat was sitting on a big black pillow and he wore the same threads as Mirror. There were big pillows all over the room. The bald man gestured for the cats to sit down.

"Probably Buddhists," PJ whispered to Rusty.

"I'd like you men to meet Mr. Scary," Mirror said, sounding excited to be making this introduction.

"Hell Bud, Chick, PJ, and Rusty. I knew your forefathers very long ago," the man said warmly, appearing to be no older than his guests.

"Do you know why you are here?" Mister Scary asked.

No one raised his hand.

"You are all Scariens. Your fathers were Scariens, and their fathers before them," Mister Scary said, as if he was surprized that they didn't know.

"Is that like the Masons or something?"

Mirror laughed and Mr. Scary smiled.

"Your ancestors came from the Scarien Planet. Our people came here thousands of years ago to rid the earth, and its good people, of the evil mutants from the Arien Planet. The Ariens came here long ago to spread their dark magic and feed upon the souls of the earth's people," Mr. Scary informed them.

"That's really out there, man. Are you for real?"

"Like, are you some kind of sky pilot, daddy-o?"

"Their magic was too strong for us and they banished us from the earth 10,000 years ago," continued Mr. Scary.

"Like, wow."

"Many Scariens hid in an abandoned pyramid. They managed to evade discovery and they multiplied. They planned to overthrow the Ariens, but the struggle to survive was great and their plans were put to rest. Later generations forgot the plans even though the gift of Scarien music had been passed down to them. But they forgot how to use the music's power. I have come here from time to time to teach Scariens how to use the music, but their attempts to use the music have failed. I must be able to rely on you to learn the melodies and play them faithfully," Mr. Scary told the guys.

"You can save the world from darkness. Play your instruments and save your world from the evil that is spreading," Mirror said with sincerity dripping from her eyes.

"What is this jive you're layin' down?"

"Yeah, man. What is this hype?"

Mr. Scary opened the big red wooden box and brought out a stack of 78 rpm platters. Mirror began to wind up the old victrola. The sound of splintering wood downstairs shattered the silence.

"F B I ," someone shouted from downstairs.

The sound of twenty bigfoots floated up the staircase. The cats could hear the jingle jangle of handcuffs and knew up front a raid was coming down. Instinctually the boys headed towards the window. Mister Scary handed PJ the stack of wax.

"Get out of here. Use the fire escape," Mirror kindly whispered.

"Meet me at the center of the universe and I will bring you the red box," Mister Scary told Rusty.

The cats jumped out the window and were only half way down the fire escape when they heard the G-Men bust down the door to Mr. Scary's room. Busted. Gun shots popped like rim shots from hell. The cats jumped down to the ground and did a 50 yard dash to the street.

Some real serious looking cats wearing cheap black zoot suits tackled the guys as soon as they reached the sidewalk. The records PJ carried fell to the ground. Many were smashed into little pieces. There were four sad beatniks lined up on the sidewalk with their arms held behind their backs by goons with Charles Atlas muscles.

A short fat man in a fancy black suit stepped out of the back of a big black sedan and walked over to the cats. This square was uglier than a bulldog. He wore a bright red shade of lipstick. This cat was twisted, even by Greenwich Village standards.

"J. Edgar Hoover, F! B! I!," the fat man said as he flipped out his badge, "Why are you men running?"

"Like, man, we're late for a gig, dig?"

"Are you men Scariens?"

"Man, we're from Greenwich Village, no jive."

"Check their wallets to see if they have their communist party membership cards."

"We ain't no reds!"

"They have no wallets, sir," one of the goons told the little fat man.

"Let these fools go."

PJ stooped down and started picking up the unbroken platters and the rest of the cats picked up pieces of black wax spread out across the sidewalk.


Evil goons in black suits and shades were pouring out of Mr. Scary's shattered front door. Two men were carrying the lifeless body of Mirror. She looked very peaceful and very angelic. She had a serene smile on her face and her eyes were wide open. Bud jumped up from the sidewalk.

"Be cool, kid," PJ whispered, putting his hand on Bud's shoulder.

"God damn."

The cats stood still on the sidewalk. Tears in their eyes. Their hearts dangling down to their stomachs as the heebie jeebies shot through them. Real nervous like.

Two more goons came out carrying the red wooden box and put it in the trunk of Hoover's big black car. More creeps jingle jangled out of the building and climbed into their little black cars.

The cars squealed off. Screech! Hoover's car nearly hit an old lady who dropped her bag of groceries in the street. After helping the old woman pick up her things, the cats tiptoed over to the building and fell upstairs to Mr. Scary's room. No Mr. Scary. Totally gone.

"That Scary cat must have split."

The room was dark. The victrola was in pieces. Rusty leaned against the wall next to the window they had escaped from. He could then see very tiny droplets of blood dotting the window panes.

"Man, let's get out of here now!" Rusty blurted out with tonsils vibrating.

The combo shuffled out of the building. PJ led the way as they walked down the sidewalk in single file. PJ clutched the surviving platters with both arms, like he was carrying a new born babe. No one spoke.

This grimy bringdown made these high jivers pretty solemn. The sky turned a hellfire red as the sun went down. Cars and trucks blew a mop mop funeral dirge on their horns as the cats continued their stroll back to their pad.