Welcome To Mosesville

By: Ernst Luchs

The rough-hewn sign read, “Welcome To Mosesville, Home Of The Twelve Tribes, State Football Champs 1989.” On either side of the sign stood a totem pole which featured twelve crazy-looking faces. A grey-haired man stopped his car, took a picture of the totem poles, lit a cigarette and then drove on towards town. He pulled into the first gas station he came to and inquired, “I was told I might be able to find here a Miss Helen Slenderhoof, daughter of Felix Von Peckerpuss, alias Doctor Helmut Fink.”

“She no come here no more,” said the swarthy hunchback from behind his black veil. “She kaput. Vamooshka. Fräulein a-go-go.”

A sneer of impatience came to the vistor’s face. “Look, my name is Karl Trouzerpantz. I’m a hunter of Nazis. But you are in no danger. I hunt only the Nazis and their spiritual counterparts, the Saudis.”

The gas-station attendant’s eyes widened in amazement. “You don’t believe me?” asked Karl. “I will show you.”

He opened the trunk of his car. It contained a small arsenal: rifles, handguns, boxes of ammunition, a couple of peashooters, and also a burlap sack labeled BAIT. “Ten thousand dollars in gold Krugerrands,” explained Mr. Trouzerpantz with a smile. “All Nazis are driven mad by gold. If you had been one I would already have caught you scratching at my trunk lid, howling like a hungry jackal. Now if you’ll tell me where the townspeople are hidden, I’ll give you a baby dinosaur.”

The attendant suddenly ran back inside the station and jumped, screaming, through a trapdoor behind the cigarette machine. His echoing cries faded into the darkness below. “Suicide,” thought Karl. “How refreshing.” He flicked his cigarette into the hole that might as well have been a bottomless ashtray. He had heard of such things.

Karl got back into his car and drove into the seemingly deserted town. On the outskirts was a barbershop. A faded sign posted outside read, “Haircut: $87. Shoeshine While You Wait Forever: $27.50.”

Beyond that place, the street widened until it reached the town square. It was laid out like a genuine Bavarian beer garden, complete with lush, ivied trellises and repugnant statues of Cupid. The fountains were, in fact, flowing with beer. That, along with the scattered piles of discarded lederhosen and black lingerie, was a telltale sign of a recent drunken orgy. Karl shuddered in disgust. He couldn’t bring himself to step out of the car for a more thorough inspection. No doubt Helen Slenderhoof was gone from here and well on her way to some other playground for the rich and filthy rich. No doubt her stereo was playing John Philip Sousa marches at full blast. No doubt she was making love at that very moment, giggling in the arms of some fascist gigolo while the world went to hell.

Karl took a stick of gum from his pocket and chewed it fiercely. Tears came to his eyes and he drove away.


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