und wir ziehen die Bayern die Lederhosen aus
A Bavarian named Frank tells them the history of each beer. Zofia films from the corner. After each history lesson they drink the beer in question. It’s not long before they ask Zofia to say cock and then pussy. They ask her which word she prefers. She says cock. Zofia has a Slavic accent. Jill asks Andy which he prefers. Andy gives her the duh look, then says pussy in his Utah accent.
* * *
They arrive in Bavaria, a city called Regensburg. Frank takes them to beer halls, of which there are many. They order stein after stein of Bavarian beer.
Jack tells Jill he was expecting German beer songs. Frank tells them he knows one. It goes:
und wir ziehen die Bayern
die Lederhosen aus
There’s not much to it. Zofia pipes the loudest. They sing it in the beer hall, then outside the beer hall all the way to the stone bridge. They sing und wir ziehen die Bayern die Lederhosen aus over and over.
* * *
At the world’s oldest sausage stall twelve men in Bavarian hats cook sausages. Jill gets two. Andy Jack & Zofia get one. Frank gets one. While they eat the ancient sausages on the ancient stone bridge, Frank tells them about Emperor Friedrich II & the ice dam & the 19th century bazaar. Jill wants to know more about the bazaar but Frank has told her all he knows.
Jill looks at Jack. Jack shakes his head. Jill goes ahead anyway. She says Frank do you know if we can find a witch? Frank laughs, says yes I know where you can find one.
* * *
The witch does not wear a Bavarian hat. The witch wears a cowboy hat. He makes his own jerky. He lives in a black hole with three broken bicycles. He has pictures of horses on the walls and a collection of belt buckles on a shelf. His wooden table is covered in ash. An army of empty beer cans leans against the wall. The witch is a wild west Bavarian.
* * *
Frank does not go to visit the witch. Zofia & Andy do not go; only Jill and Jack. Frank told them it was a trap. Jill didn’t care. She thought he meant a tourist trap. She had plenty of money. It wasn’t a tourist trap. That’s not what Frank meant.
* * *
Jack looks into the eyes of the Bavarian wild west witch. The witch leans into Jack. The witch creaks his leather trousers. Then it is all silent. The witch puts his hands on Jack’s head. He tuts some. The tutting puts Jack in a trance. And Jill too. Their heads bob up and down at the same time.
* * *
Frank & Andy & Zofia go back to the Bavarian beer halls. They eat a big Bavarian meal and wait for Jack and Jill. After three hours Frank shakes his head. He says he can guess what has happened. He tells Zofia and Andy they need to check the hotel. The hotel is near the Bavarian witch’s black hole.
Frank shows the receptionist a picture of Jack and Jill. He asks if they checked into the hotel. The receptionist is a big bald man with no neck. He looks Frank up and down. Then he looks Zofia and Andy up and down. He shuffles some papers, says Ja. He gives them the room number, 333.
The lift isn’t working so they trot up the stairs. Andy knocks on door 333. No one answers. The door is open. They walk in.
The room smells of lemon. A large vine twists out the window. They find a bible on the bedside table. There’s a pink slip under it. The pink slip reads: diagnosis—broken crown.
About the author:
Marcus Slease was born in Portadown, N. Ireland but moved to Las Vegas at age 12 to become Mormon. He is no longer Mormon or a resident of Vegas. Recent fiction and poetry have appeared in: Banango Street, Coconut, Forklift Ohio, Monkeybicycle, Everyday Genius, Spork, NAP, Dogzplot, InDigest and others. His latest books are the novella The House of Zabka (a bizarro postmodern fairy tale from Poland) http://deathlesspress.com/ and a book of modern lyrical ballads from South Korea entitled Mu (so) Dream (window): http://www.poorclaudia.org/index.php He lives in London and teaches English as a foreign language. He is working on his first novel: Lucy Queen of the Pirates. Stuff happens at The House of Zabka: www.marcusslease.tumblr.com