Authors: Ichabod Temperance
The Measure of Temperance
Copyright © 2014 Ichabod Temperance
All rights reserved.
The Adventures of Ichabod Temperance
Volume One: ‘A Matter of Temperance’
Volume Two: ‘A World of InTemperance’
Volume Three: ‘For the Love of Temperance’
Volume Four: ‘A Study in Temperance’
Volume Five: ‘In a Latitude of Temperance’
Volume Six: ‘The Measure of Temperance’
Volume Seven: ‘The Seventh Voyage of Temperance’
Volume Eight: ‘The Title of Temperance’
Table of Contents
I would like to thank my many friends
upon whom I draw inspiration
in bringing life to the characters for this story.
I am excited to entertain the talents of three artists
on the cover of this book!
Wolfgang Metzger’s silhouettes,
A.L. Williams’ artwork and artistic enhancements,
and the graphic design artist for the entire series,
the ever-obstreperous Sergeant Turk,
have all combined their skills for this book’s fantastic cover!
I would be inexcusably remiss if I were to neglect the one person to whom should be sharing equally in this and all the books’ credit:
The lovely, gracious, kind, beautiful, charming, love of my life,
Miss Persephone Plumtartt.
I will not endure the oppression of this dungeon another day.
The stench of too many men, sharing too little air, in too small of a confine, is an unending assault against me, my pride, and the terrible powers which I represent.
Vengeance is close at hand upon those that ruined the plans of the Sin-dicate. I should be enjoying my position as the Master of the Caribbean Isles. From the Gulf of Mexico to Venezuela, every island should be in my inescapable grasp. My VooDoo strength would be unassailable! Instead, I languish in this California jail, soiling my venerable person by sharing living space with a hundred dregs from the Los Angelos gutters.
Plans of revenge have sustained me through this ordeal.
First, I will tear the still beating heart from the worthless body of that traitorous and cowardly clergyman, Alonzo Dolomite. You will suffer for your defiance, preacher-man! More than that, I shall use your own status against you! As an ordained Holy Man, your sacrifice will hold a special value. As the foretold time approaches, I know that it is
who is destined to initiate the ‘
’. I will drag you, Reverend Dolomite, back to the island of San Monique and cast you into the fiery pit of the volatile volcanoe ‘
The next ones on my bad list are the sheriffs. No, what do they call them here? The police! Oui, I shall have my revenge on the policemen, O’Hagan and Smith. The impudence of these men must be punished! I will transform the brazenly disrespectful lawmen into mindless zombies! These police officers will become slaves that will help me rebuild my VooDoo Empire. For the two gendarmes, the big one and the little one, a living death as my miserable slaves awaits them both.
Then the last two on my list of persecution.
Every day, without fail, I have fervently chanted the incantations and prevailed upon the great powers and evil spirits to bring that horrible little odd couple, the Alabama idiot and his British woman, to me that I may steal their souls and make them a part of my death army as payment for their misdeeds. These two are like me, I think, in that they too have been affected by the passing of the
’. It has been several years now since the passing of that fateful heavenly body. The unknown comet entered the solar system unexpectedly. Caught by the Sun’s great gravitational grip, the comet was flung back at Planet Earth as if from the hand of an angry God. This world passed harmlessly through the tail of the comet, but many of Terra’s inhabitants were affected by the near collision. Humanity was beset by a plague of genius and enlightenment. Not all of the planet’s vast populace was enhanced by the strange, white fireball from the depths of the endless voids, but quite a number of us were. Since that time, my own dark VooDoo skills and powers that were already of a considerable strength became immeasurable! Never has the Earth known a power such as I! The many hexes and charms that had kept the magical island of San Monique hidden and isolated from the outside world were easily manipulated by my new found abilities. I was well toward accomplishing many incredible deeds when the five miscreants, Dolomite, Smith, O’Hagan, Tinkerboy and the lady aristocrat foiled my plans, but tonight, I shall slay and/or zombie enslave them all!
Then I shall make my way back to my home. My island. She misses her Grande Mystique, I am thinking, oui. The island of San Monique knows that the great time of upheaval is upon us, even if the rest of the world remains in ignorance. This is the year of the
The time is drawing nigh for my escape from these wretched confines! I must admit that I have displayed an uncanny genius with the collection of my needed charms and ingredients. The fools around me have no idea the mayhem I can wreak with just a few standard household items. My chosen targets that I have selected to be turned for my use will be on duty shortly. Hah, hah, hah, I shall soon be free!
“Whut’re yew so happy ’bout, Bizzarbo?”
A big white man has the nerve to address me. He stands in a circle of supportive comrades. I think the blond bulk’s name is Mahaffey.
“You’re over there snickering away, muttering yer’ heathern spells. Pipe down, Skully, we don’t wanna hear it.”
I ignore the blasphemer. I have more important concerns.
“That is yer’ name, rahght? Skully Bizzarbo?”
“You are beneath me, little mon. You would do well to keep your foolish tongue silent.”
“It ain’t me that’s gonna be silent, ‘Little Man’, I’ll shut you up right now.”
The defiler is foolish enough to look into my eyes. I work the hand positioning that will set my spell in motion.
“Ah! Bugs! BugsBugsBugs! They’re all over me! Get ’em off!”
The Okie’s band of oafs try to assuage their companion.
“Settle down, Mahaffey, there ain’t no bugs on yew.”
“Ah! They’re all over me! Get ’em off! No! They’re in my head! Ahhhhh!”
“If you are to speak my name, little mon, you shall do so with respect and reverence in your voice. I am the Mystique from the Island of San Monique!” I then call out my fearful name.
The tormented Mahaffey flees from my sight. His cronies cower in his wake.
Now that I am able to concentrate, I shall make contact with a feeble and easily manipulated mind, one that will readily do my bidding and assist me in my escape.
Once I am free from this jail, the World will tremble and bow down before the unstoppable machinations of, ...
… Sku Le’Bizzarre!
Ohhh, why couldn’t this cigarette break last a little longer? Maybe I’ll just stretch it out into a double smoker...
“Hey, Spike. Your cigarette break is over; get back to work! This hallway is not going to mop itself.”
Oh, ‘salt and vinegar’!
“Yeah, yeah, I’m comin’, Mr. Henpix.”
“Hurry up about it, Spike. There’s no time for you to loaf about smoking cigarettes, when I have just loads and loads of extra chores for you today.”
This Christopher Henpix takes the cake. I have a very carefully planned, maintenance schedule of my janitorial duties here at the city jail annex. My listless gait and imperceptible shuffle can make an hour’s chore stretch out into an entire day or more. Henpix will be lucky if I consent to mopping one hallway today. I have taken this last week to sweep it in preparation.
“I’m on to you, Spike Dodgers. You are not going to get away with any goldbricking with Christopher Henpix on the job as your supervisor! Extinguish that butt and hop to it, young man! I want the executive bathroom toilet bowl clean enough to eat from! See to it that you start there. No, wait. You’ve been procrastinating on mopping the hallways for over a week. Let nothing interfere with you before those hallways are properly and fully mopped, Spike.”
Ohhh. I don’t want to do this!
There is a reason that I hate mopping so much.
Ohhh. This is the one part of this activity I do not like. To get to the mop sink, I have to pass by a line of jail cells. This is probably the primary reason that more mopping does not get done around this cut rate jail house annex.
The last few months though, the trepidation I feel is much worse than the usual fear of the dangerous criminals that dwell within these cubicle cells. There has been one jailbird present that is different than the rest. That big black man with the French accent. I don’t think he’s from France, though. Maybe he’s from a Caribbean island or something. I don’t like being where he can see me. I feel as if he can see straight through me. It’s like he can see right into my head.
Ohhh, I’m so scared! Far more than I have ever been! Why is today different? The annex is strangely quiet. It’s never quiet in the day! It is impossible for this wing to be so completely silent! Oh, I wish the slow tread of my echoing footsteps would not announce my arrival and tepid advance. Despite the silence, or maybe because of it, the air pulses with fret-filled anticipation. An icy hand of fear clutches my heart filling it with a nameless sense of dread. Freezing tentacles of terror spread throughout my body, from the cold heart clutch, seizing me in their paralyzing grip.
A sinister and mirthless laugh floats to me through the spectral silence of the tomb-like cell block. The deep, dark, French accented chuckle is laced in menace.
“Hah, hah, hah. Spike, … listen to my words.”
Run Spike run! Run, run, run! See Spike run! Come on, feet. Aren’t you listening? Why do you just sit there? I am telling you to run!
“Hah, hah, hah. Listen to me, Spike.”
I press my hands over my ears.
“Mmmmyahm, mmmyahm, mmmyahm. I’m not listening. Mmmyahm, mmmyahm, mmmyahm.”
In my peripheral vision, I can see a shadow approaching.
“* Spike *”
Augh! His voice is in my head!
My eyes are drawn to him. The strongly built black man looms from out of the darkness. His eyes do not blink. His hands hold a crude, homemade doll. I recognize the effigy.
I cannot control the words coming from my mouth.
“You will do my bidding...”
“I will do your bidding...”
“You will cast away your self will...”
“I cast away my self will...”
“You shall turn against your supervisor...”
“I shall turn against my supervisor... Oop! What? You mean Christopher Henpix? Sure! Whatcha gots in mind? Oops! I means, I shall tuhn against moi supuhvisuh...”