The good Mr. Eno Sarris presented just this last week shocking revelations concerning everyone’s favorite journeyman backup’s backup catcher, Eliezer Alfonzo. Sarris revealed to NotGraphers that Mr. Alfonzo apparently possesses some manner of mysterious tincture in which a deceased snake resides.
Here is its representation in a certain scholarly journal to which I subscribe:
To be honest, though, I did not sate my interests with the information from Eno or the aforementioned journal article, so I felt inspired to dig a little deeper. Here is what happened:
I began this investigation the way I do most: driving up to Carson Cistulli’s sprawling Wisconsin estate. We dragged two chairs out onto the porch overlooking Lake Mendota and I laid out my plan. In the failing evening light, his faced glowed faintly yellow from the old man’s pipe in his lips.
“So you want to learn the truth about this Snake Juice thing,” he said between aromatic puffs that summoned images of my grandfather’s fishing trips. The trees lining the hill’s descent towards the lake had just begun to wear their full, green summer coats, and they swayed and rustled rhythmically and cheerfully.
“I’ve got a guy down in Puerto la Cruz,” I said. “Calls himself Supplies.”
“He’s the one who got Alfonzo the juice?”
“So I hear.”
“It’s back to Venezuela, then?”
“Looks like it,” I said, smiling as I shook my head. “Seems like I can’t escape it.”
“You want this again?” Carson asked as he placed his Smith & Wesson double-action .45 ACP semi-automatic compact pistol on the wicker table between us.
“It’s a question of whether I need it,” I said, lifting the heavy, silver gun and inspecting the chamber.
The hotel porter slipped an oddly shaped postcard under my door. I read the message scrawled on the back, written in the neat and cursive writing only appropriate of a Level-5 HTML Mage:
“We just got in touch with Supplies; he’s in the city now. He’s ready to meet. Screw this one up too, and you’re gone. —-Appel Man.”
Supplies was a German export, so to speak. Spent a few years in Afghanistan with the UN in the 1990s, but got kicked out of his own country after he brought back a penchant for suspicious imports and communist ideologies. He bounced around a few different countries, occasionally getting busted for customs violations and making his way into wacky news roundups across the world:
“German Businessman Caught Trying to Smuggle Elephant Tusks in Prosthetic Legs.”
“Sand Please? Foreigner Arrested for Selling Sand Marked ‘Super Salt.’”
In the early aughties, he moved to Venezuela and, as many people do in Venezuela, he kind of disappeared — thinned out like smoke from a pissed-on campfire.
“Mr. Supplies,” I said, extending my hand across the table. He ignored my hand and sat down. He looked around the room, and though I could not see his eyes through his aviator sunglasses, I imagined they were rapidly, insanely watching the room.
“Doctor,” he said. “Call me Dr. Supplies.”
“You’re English is very good,” I said, smiling.
“Where is Eliezer?” he asked abruptly, putting both his hands on the table eagerly. “Did you bring him?”
“Uh, no.” I set the menu down. “I tried to get in touch with him, but his agent referred me to you.”
“Den he is still in America, yes?”
“Yeah, as far as I understa–”
“Wait a moment! Eliezer does not have an agent!” Dr. Supplies looked around the room for another moment and then suddenly jumped from his chair and marched out of the building. Two men ran after him while another man across the street gave chase too.
“Not again,” I said, pulling the pistol from my boot. The restaurant goers gasped as I dashed out the door, gun in hand.
I could hear Dr. Supplies yelling in a nearby alleyway. Peeking around the corner, I saw the three men, each wearing civilian clothes, but identical blue tooth sets.
“I do not remember da precize formulation,” the doctor said, his back against the alley wall. “I cannot just recreate it by chance. There are infinite permutations.”
“Gentlemen,” I said, turning the corner with my gun leveled at the nearest thug. “I believe you interrupted my lunch with the good doctor, and I had sort of hoped I wouldn’t have to pay today.”
Dr. Supplies eased out of their midst and stood behind me. The furthest thug began reaching into his pocket.
“Wrong,” I said, firing at the man’s arm.
“Not a good decision!” Dr. Supplies said.
The furthest thug, holding his wounded arm, began to growl angrily. Under his fingers I could not see the slowly growing red of a bloodied bullet-wound, but instead some strange dark black and viscous ooze pushing through the staining shirt.
All three men began to growl in low, strange voices.
“Now I sink we should go,” the doctor said easing out of the alley. We turned and ran into the street with the three men behind us be mere feet. Just as we crossed halfway into the street, a dark blue convertible screeched to a halt behind us, splitting the gap between us and our pursuers.
The driver smiled and said, “Buenos dias.”
Jumping up from his seat with a Benelli M3 shotgun in hand, he blasted three rounds at our pursuers, and turned to us and said, “Quick, get in the car. They will be up in a few seconds.”
We jumped into the car as it sped around the twisting highway. Turning back, I could see the three men, slowly lifting themselves off the ground. Instead of red wounds from the shotgun, each man had a disfigured black mass where he had been shot, but the disfigurements were slowly moving, as though regenerating to the body’s original form.
“What are those?!” I asked. “And who is he?!”
“Who is he?” Dr. Supplies laughed. “Why that is the one man standing between our world and oblivion, the lone rampart of humanity. That, my friend, is Eliezer Alfonso.”
END PART 1
Puerto la Cruz Skyline photo source.
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