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July 15, 2024

Dinner With Henry 89: Delanceyville

By Bruce Memblatt

The sun was hazy on Delancey Street that day making the kitchen feel ghost-like and ethereal.

Clarissa's head wove back and forth, her tentacle swept wildly, lurching over the kitchen floor. "Stop it, Fransau, stop tickling me!" She buzzed.

Immediately Andre, Shakespeare, Maria, Henry and Diego formed a huddle. Andre whispered loudly, "She knows, she knows, she knows about Fransau! Somehow she knows about him, and she is taunting us, trying to get us to admit we killed him, and threw him behind her crazy door."

Shakespeare nudged Andre, "But we didn't kill him, he was the unfortunate victim of a roller skate accident."

"And just who is going to believe that?" Maria shrugged; her hands flailed, knocking into Henry's knees.


"So sorry, Henry."

"Never mind," Diego hushed, "the game is afoot, the cards have been dealt, and soon we will all regret." The huddle was out of control and no work was being done, which meant when Clarissa got hungry later, there wouldn't be food to feed her.

Suddenly, wildly, Clarissa's tentacle lurched across the kitchen again. The lights began to flicker erratically, and she buzzed, "Stop it, Fransau, stop it!"

"This is just too weird." Henry turned to Andre and said, "How could she possibly know about him, unless someone told her?" Then Henry glared at Maria.

"Why are you glaring at me, Henry?" Maria shrieked, "Is there something in your buggy eye!"

Henry did something he didn't do often, he smirked, and then he said to Maria, "Yes, the truth."

Maria's eyes bulged like an owl's and she said, "I am only going to say this one more time before I rip your insect head off, gringo. I didn't tell her!"

Andre patted Henry on the back and said, "I think this time she is telling the truth, Henry."

"What do you mean this time?" Maria seethed.

Shakespeare snapped, "I think you two ought to quit while you're ahead," causing Diego to stare at everyone and say, "Good idea, little one."

Then they jumped out of the way.

Her tentacle lurched across the kitchen again, and then they watched it sweep across the room and slither away behind the door.

It was then that Diego turned to Henry and said, "I think Fransau's ghost is haunting your mother."

Henry shrugged and said, "Uh-huh, dear."

Clarissa's body slunk down the hall, lurching, giggling all the way, she buzzed and buzzed again, "Stop tickling me, Fransau!" When she entered the loft she stretched towards the skylight and let out a harsh stinging buzz scream like a lonely wolf, while her tentacles scanned the floor in search of Fransau.

Then she heard him, "You can't touch me, you can't catch me, you fool, I am a ghost; I am what Fransau was, but I can touch you." Then his being ran toward her tentacle and tickled her again, laughing and smirking like a loon, "You, giant, are under my control."

"I will get Henry, and he will do something."

"Ha! Henry won't even be able to see me. They will all think you flipped your lid again, except for Diego, and no one believes her. Hahahahahahahahahahha!"

Clarissa's head stretched higher and higher towards the skylight and she buzzed, "You are insane! Oh, Henry, Henry, what will I ever do?"

Then Fransau's spirit tickled her again.

She lurched and buzzed, "What do you want?"

"That is the beauty of it, " Fransau gleamed, "I don't want anything."

She stomped her legs, like girders they clashed across the loft, her black eyes steamed and she buzzed, "How did you die, worm?"

"Your lovely humans killed me, and threw me behind the door because I was going to turn you into a side show attraction."

She smoothly stretched and sighed, "They love me, they really love me!"

Then Fransau's spirit rested atop a tentacle and he pointed up toward her, "Be careful giant, they fear you."

"No, they love me! And love can conquer anything. You will be beyond that door once again."

"Not a chance," Fransau's spirit smirked and tickled her.

She lurched wildly, and she buzz-cried, "But wait a second, this means that they know you; they know how you died, and they are probably scared to death that I will find out that they sent you through the door. That is why they said nothing; that is why they huddled! The rats!"

"Oh, what is the difference?" Fransau smirked, "You are still under my control forever, bug woman."

"We shall see, you unfortunate memory," Clarissa buzzed and she swept across the floor, slithered out of the loft and stretched her tentacles across the hall towards the kitchen.

Stuff crashed and fell.

She buzzed, "Henry, oh Henry."

Having been so engrossed by the possibility that Fransau was now haunting Clarissa, when she re-entered the kitchen the humans and half- humans were still in a huddle.

"But, Henry! It's the only possible explanation! How else would your mother have even a clue who Fransau was?"

Henry shook his fist, "I'm sorry, Andre, I don't believe in ghosts!"

Diego elbowed Henry. "You are being too skeptical. I think the big one is right."

Maria's bracelets jingled as her hands shook at Henry, "Listen to your wife, Henry!"

Henry stamped his foot. "What am I supposed to do, forget all reason?"

"Look around you, Henry." Shakespeare snapped.

Then Clarissa buzzed, "Better yet, look above you, Henry! Henry, why haven't you been listening to me? I have been calling you! You all should be ashamed of yourselves, I know all about Fransau. He told me everything! So there is no use denying it!" Clarissa buzzed and then she began to laugh uncontrollably, "Please, Fransau, just let me talk to them."

"Mother, you are weird," Henry said staring up at his mother's big black eyes.

"Henry, when I say I am being haunted it is the truth, so don't even try, don't even try to wiggle your way out of this one. All of you are now on my shit list."

Hearing Clarissa's decree, Andre hardly able to contain himself, nearly leapt in the air trying to convince her of his loyalty. "But Clarissa, I have been going crazy trying to convince Henry you were telling the truth!"

Not to be outdone, Maria joined in, "Me too, me too, my lady, my dearest lady!"

Her black eyes jumped, "Oh, you two are such suck ups!" And then she began to laugh uncontrollably again, and she buzz-cried, "Can someone please stop him!"

"We can't even see him, my poor, dear, Clarissa!" Andre cried whilst his eyes nose and lips quivered madly.

Then Shakespeare elbowed his way past Andre and said, "I can't see anything, but I can sense him, and I know who can help you."

"WHO?" She frantically buzzed.

And they all repeated like wayward owls, "Who? Who? Who? Who? Who?"

Shakespeare grinned and said, "The witch, of course!"

Andre scratched his head and said, "The witch? What, are we in Oz?"

"No, you dummy," Diego breathed, "Sincere."

Clarissa lowered her head and she buzz-cried, "Of course! Get her! Well, for Christ's sake someone get her!"

Hearing his mother, Henry scooted to the back of the kitchen like a missile.

Then Clarissa said, "Just you wait, Fransau, now you are in big trouble."

"Oh please, no kitchen witch can lay a glove on me." Fransau's spirit said, hovering near Clarissa's eyelids.

"We shall see, you little lunatic. We shall see! Well, where is she? Where is she? Merci, Sincere!"

Suddenly Sincere's toothless grin peered out from the dark shadows in the back of the kitchen, and she said, "At your service, mum."

A half-eaten worm dangled from Sincere's lips and they all squirmed, except for Henry and Clarissa, who at that point was extremely hungry.

"Well, do your stuff, woman!" Clarissa buzzed while her head jerked in circles.

"Okay okay," Sincere whispered then she placed her thumb in front of her lips and said, "Quiet please, everyone."

This caused Fransau to giggle.

Sincere pointed at Fransau's spirit and said, "You too, Fransau, I can see you. I can see you dangling right by Clarissa's eyes."

Suddenly Fransau lurched.

Clarissa buzz-purred, and Sincere pointed her hands toward Fransau, waved them in circles and chanted, "Alacazam, bore, back behind the door."

And then as Sincere and Clarissa held their eyes on Fransau, he vanished.

Fiercely, Clarissa's head spun toward Andre, and she buzzed, "Well, I am starving -- what's for dinner?"

Andre threw his cap to the floor, sighed, and said, "Wanna get a pizza?"

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2013-04-29
Image(s) © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
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