Freedom Lane

Freedom Lane – Helen and Harold: Gay Exorcists

The house on Elm Street was empty, all except the priest, but plenty of noise was coming from the kitchen. Father McKraken held his crucifix, mouthing a prayer as the spirit in the other room banged pots and pans and screamed. It was his first solo exorcism. His medium had left because the spirit kept flashing his genitalia at her. It was just too much for her to handle, and Father McKraken was starting to slip too.

“I need a nice, thick man to help me in here!” the spirit called. “Who’s going to open this jar of pickles?!”

“Shit,” Father McKraken muttered, lowering his crucifix and heading toward the door. He left and found his medium, a tall blonde woman named Wanda, along with a couple of nuns who were comforting her.

“What happened, Bob?” Wanda asked. “Is he still in there?”

Father McKraken nodded. “You and I are not enough to drive this spirit away.”

“What do you mean?” Wanda asked.

“We’re going to need some more back up to deal with that kind of energy,” Father McKraken replied, “and I know just the two who can help us: Helen Masters and Harold Fuchs.”

****

Freedom Lane

Created, written, & directed by Budgerigar Orville Bigelow

Co-created by executive producer BluntSharpness

Season 15, Episode 3: Helen and Harold: Gay Exorcists

****

“How many are we talking?” Tony asked, sitting across from Silvio, a cousin of sorts of Paulie’s.

“I never got an exact count,” Silvio replied. “There’s probably hundreds of them, maybe thousands. Look, Tony, I’m giving you a discount because I need to unload these quick, but I can’t just give them away.”

“I know that. I’m a businessman too. I’ve been helping Paulie run this pizzeria for over thirty years.”

Silvio huffed. “See if you can get the loan, then call one of my associates. I’ll keep the merchandise for you as long as I can.”

“Thanks.” Tony got up and walked with Silvio to the door. “I’ll talk to you soon, Sil.” Silvio nodded and left, meeting Paulie outside, who was just getting to work. Tony swore under his breath as the two had a brief conversation. Paulie came in a moment later.

“What was Silvio doing here?! He said he had some kind of meeting with you?!”

“Boss,” Tony said, rubbing the back of his head. “He had a business proposition for me.”

“Madon.” Paulie rolled his eyes. “Silvio always has one of those. It’s best to tell him no straightaway so you don’t get him riled up enough to start dropping not-so-veiled threats around.”

Tony sighed. “So I guess asking you for a little loan from my future paychecks isn’t going to happen?”

“Not unless there’s a good reason.”

“Silvio has some stuff he needs to unload. I just need five hundred bucks, and I know I can turn into at least ten grand.”

Paulie sat down. “And this ‘stuff’ he needs to unload just happened to fall off the back of a truck, right?”

“Exactly!” Tony sat across from Paulie. “That’s what Silvio said. Was it in the paper or something?”

“I’m not gonna loan you money so you can buy stolen materials from Silvio. I’m a little too above-the-board for that kind of stuff.”

“OK.” Tony nodded. “All that material you used to fix up the basement was bought at Home Depot then? And the kitchen extension you had fixed up was inspected by the city too? I’m only asking because I know you wouldn’t lecture me unless you were one who practices what he preaches.”

Paulie looked at Tony. “You need five hundred bucks you say?”

Tony smiled.

***

Helen walked into the church rectory, looking around. Rose had dropped her off and opted to read in one of the pews while she had her meeting. Her initial inclination when Father McKraken had called was to tell him to fuck off, but he had talked her into it, claiming it was a matter only she could deal with. When she saw who was already sitting in the rectory office, she smelled a rat.

“Harold, you fat, old rodent. What the slime-green snot are you doing here?”

Harold huffed. “I was going to ask you the same thing, you crinkled battle axe.” He was as old as Helen and just as surly. He didn’t bother getting up or showing any signs of respect. He just stared at Helen through thick glasses, breathing with a renewed rage.

Father McKraken came into the room. “I’m glad you’re both here. Take a seat, Helen, please.”

Helen dragged the chair away from Harold, giving him a stink-eye. When it was far enough away, she sat down and looked at Father McKraken. “What’s the problem here, padre? Did you catch Harold touching himself during mass again?”

“I never did that!” Harold shouted. “I was scratching an itch. Lee will tell you!”

“Please,” Helen said. “Your hand was about seven feet into your pocket.”

“THAT NEVER HAPPENED!”.

“Please!” Father McKraken said, holding both his hands out. “I wouldn’t get the two of you together unless my need was dire, which it is. I’m going to be blunt. There’s a spirit that needs to be exorcised, and I need your help. I believe that you can help me exorcise it, together.”

Harold and Helen looked at each other and then back toward Father McKraken. They paused for a moment before bursting into laughter.

***

Paulie walked into his pizzeria. The entire main area was full of boxes on pallets. He looked around, walking through the maze of boxes. “What the holy hell is all this?”

“I’m working on it!” a voice exclaimed from within the maze.

“Tony?! What is all this?!”

Tony emerged, finding Paulie near the center. He had a huge grin on his face. “Five hundred bucks bought all this! Can you believe it?!”

Paulie opened the tops of one of the boxes. “What’s in the boxes, though?” He reached in, and came out with a huge, flesh-colored dildo. “Tony!”

“What?” Tony asked.

“Why are there a million boxes of fake dicks in my pizzeria?!”

“I bought them from Silvio!” Tony exclaimed. “Remember?!”

“You never told me the money was for fake dicks!”

“They’re called dildos.” Tony chuckled.

“I don’t care what they’re called!” Paulie looked at the dildo in his hand and hurled it across the room. “I don’t care where you have to put them, but I want them out of this area in one hour. You got that?!”

Tony chuckled again. “I know where to put them.”

“One hour,” Paulie breathed. “Capeesh?”

“Yeah,” Tony muttered as Paulie left toward his office, slamming the door. “Someone gets awfully insecure when they’re around fourteen pallets of dildos.”

***

Father McKraken and Wanda walked back into the house on Elm Street, ready to give the job another shot. Only this time he brought back up.

“Who the hell decorated this shit hole?” Harold asked, looking around as he entered the home. “It looks like my husband Lee did it back in his cocaine days.”

Helen snorted. “The only thing your husband ever snorted was dried up spunk.”

“Why you rotten bitch!” Harold snapped.

“What is it you need these two for?” Wanda asked, turning as Helen and Harold exchanged foul insults.

“I need them to do just what they’re doing,” Father McKraken replied. “Why don’t you guys go into the den. Your energy is best used in there.”

“What are you talking about, Father Snot-face?” Helen asked. “Aren’t we going to rape a ghost or something?”

“What?!” Harold exclaimed. “I’m not being part of any party that’s going to be raping any ghosts. Remember what happened to the Warrens?”

“The Warrens never raped a ghost,” Wanda sighed.

Helen and Harold went into the den. Helen sat down on the couch with a grunt, and Harold chose an easy chair on the other side of the room. He picked up one of the framed photos and studied it. “This schmuck looks familiar.”

“It’s probably some fruit you used to date,” Helen muttered.

There was some ruckus in the other room. Father McKraken was shouting some prayer, and Wanda was chanting. There was the sound of glass breaking as they continued their work.

“Do you believe that mumbo-jumbo?” Helen asked. “Ghosts and all that afterlife bullshit?”

Harold just gave Helen a short huff. His eyes grew wide as he looked at the picture. “Oh my God. This is Simon Richards!”

“Who?”

“You don’t know who Simon Richards is?” Harold asked in return. “He’s the fitness guru who was big in the eighties!”

“I remember him,” Helen said. “He used to prance around with all the lard-asses to music. Rose used to make me watch him every Saturday morning. His shorts were so short you’d see his nuts if he had any. I didn’t even know he was from New Haven.”

There was a loud crash in the other room, followed by silence.

“What happened?” Harold asked.

“I don’t know,” Helen replied. “Maybe the ghost of fruitiness past killed off the priest and his girlfriend.”

Harold looked at Helen’s face. “That’s not funny.”

“Which part?”

Father McKraken came into the den, his face covered in sweat. “We did it. The spirit is gone.”

“You sent him to Hell already?” Helen asked.

Wanda came in behind Father McKraken. “The spirit has left the home. That’s the best we could do with one as strong as it is. Richards didn’t die by normal standards, so he’s a tough spirit to beat.”

“How so?” Harold asked, enthralled by the explanation.

“His spirit simply left his body,” Wanda explained. “It happened during a botched rejuvenation treatment he used to undergo to keep his youthful appearance. When he realized how ugly he looked, he simply removed himself from his body and haunted his former home.”

“I’ll consider this a wash,” Father McKraken said. “Hopefully he won’t bother anyone else. Thank you two for coming and helping out.”

“For sitting around in a dead guy’s living room for ten minutes?” Helen asked. “Hell, remember the next time you want to do this to bring snacks or something.”

****

“Dammit!” Tony shouted, dropping another armful of dildos into the large trash container. The basement under Paulie’s Pizza was well lit, thanks to Paulie recently having some lighting installed. It was the perfect place for Tony to sort and inventory his shipment of dildos.

“Tony?” Paulie asked, coming down the steps from the pizzeria. “What are you yelling about… What are all these boxes doing down here now?!”

“You told me to move them,” Tony replied. “Where else am I supposed to put them?”

“Madon. First, I loan you five hundred bucks for a bunch of fake dicks, and now I can’t seem to get them out of my place of business.”

“Can you stop calling them that. They’re dildos. They’re not supposed to replace penises. They’re for entertainment purposes only.”

“I don’t care what you call them! I want them out!”

“Alright! Jeez. Most of them are no good anyway, especially the big rubbery ones. We’re about to take a bath on this whole deal. Fuckin’ Silvio!”

“Wait.” Paulie took a step toward Tony. “What do you mean ‘we’re’ going to take a bath? This was your deal.”

“Not if I can’t sell ‘em. I told you I’d pay you back from the profits. If I can’t sell them, there’s no profit.”

Paulie closed his eyes and tilted his head toward the ceiling. “Lord, please give me the strength to not send Tony to your kingdom.”

Tony chuckled. “Ask him if he’ll take some of these pallets too.”

“Do not mock the Lord!” Paulie poked Tony in the chest.

“Fine!” Tony pushed Paulie’s hand off his chest. “Take a pill or something. I’ll sell what I can and dump the bad ones. You won’t even remember your basement was full of dildos by the end of the week.”

Paulie took a long breath. “Good. I’m going upstairs now to try and forget you’re even here.”

Tony shook his head as Paulie went back upstairs. “Friggin’ guy is wound tighter than a drum.” A stack of boxes fell behind Tony and he jumped. He looked over at the boxes and the dildos that were strewn about the floor. The ceiling above creaked and the light flickered.

“What the hell is that?!”

***

The doorbell rang at Helen’s home on Freedom Lane. Her adopted son, Da’Quarius, answered the door, finding Father McKraken standing outside. “Can I come in? I really need to speak to Helen.”

“Yo, Biddy!” Da’Quarius called. “Dat priest is here for you!”

“Tell him to frig off!” Helen snapped. “It’s my day off.”

“You retired, biddy.” Da’Quarius moved out of the way. “Come on in, Padre.”

“Don’t let him in!” Helen exclaimed. “If he touches you, I don’t want to hear it later!”

Father McKraken sighed and sat on the couch near Helen, giving a quick nod of greeting to Rose, who was looking up from her paperback. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t important. The spirit of Simon Richards has returned. He didn’t move onto the other side like we had hoped. He’s still here in New Haven.”

Helen rolled her eyes. “And you need me to help you scare him off again, right?”

“Explain this to me,” Rose said, folding the corner of her page and putting her book down. “Why is it that you need Helen and Harold to help you do this? Helen doesn’t believe in the paranormal, and I’m not sure what Harold believes, if anything.”

“I’d rather not say,” Father McKraken replied.

“Well then,” Helen said, wiggling her butt to make herself more comfortable. “I’m not going anywhere until you’ve had yourself a good ol’ fashion confession, Father McAsscrack.”

Father McKraken looked at Rose, who urged him to go on. He let out a long breath. “You and Harold have this energy about you two, but only when you’re together. You’re both gay but seem to be anti-gay if that makes any sense. You’re so similar, yet so dissimilar at the same time. With the spirit of a deeply-closeted man like Simon Richards, it made sense just to have you two present during the exorcism.”

“Oh my,” Rose said, her hand on her chest. “I’m not sure which part of that was most offensive.”

“The whole thing was heavy on the bullshit,” Helen said. “I’m definitely not helping you now.”

Father McKraken got up, a look of defeat on his face. “That’s fair, I guess. I can’t force you to help. I guess Paulie’s Pizza is on its own.”

“What?” Da’Quarius asked. “Da’ ghost is at Paulie’s?”

“Yeah,” Father McKraken replied. “You know the place?”

“You friggin’ dingbat.” Helen stood up. “That’s my baby brother’s pizzeria. Let’s get that idiot Harold and scare that damn ghost back into the closet.”

“Shit,” Da’Quarius said. “I gotta see dis!”

“I don’t,” Rose said, opening her book. “I’ll be here if you need me.”

***

Father McKraken, his medium Wanda, Helen, Harold, and Da’Quarius all entered Paulie’s Pizza less than an hour later. Paulie stood behind the counter, ready to greet his customers. “Whoa! What’s with the motley crew?”

Father McKraken stepped toward Paulie. “I’m sorry, but there’s no time for pleasantries, Tony. You called about the spirit, and we’re here to help you expel it from your home.”

“Tony?” Paulie asked. “My home? I don’t think you got the right guy.”

“Tony’s apartment is upstairs,” Da’Quarius cut in.

As if summoned by his name, Tony burst out of the door that led to his apartment. “The ghost is up there now! Please help me!”

“What the frig is going on?!” Paulie snapped. “Why am I just hearing about this nonsense now?! Why is the priest, some strangers, and my family involved too?!”

“I didn’t want you to worry,” Tony replied. “Come on upstairs if you don’t believe me.”

Paulie huffed. “You guys do what you need to do. I gotta take a dump.” They all stood there as Paulie made his way toward the bathroom, a newspaper tucked under his arm.

“Is he always that charming to his guests?” Wanda asked.

“You don’t get it,” Da’Quarius said. “That was him bein’ charmin’.”

“Come on,” Tony said. “Enough of the small talk. Get this mook ghost out of my house already!”

***

“Leave this place!” Wanda chanted, walking through Tony’s apartment, which was full of boxes of dildos. “You are not welcome here!”

“I have to ask,” Da’Quarius said to Tony. “What’s with all the fake dicks?”

Tony snorted. “You call them that too?”

“We need to concentrate, please!” Father McKraken scolded. He was spreading holy water around Tony’s apartment and reading Psalms from his bible.

“Don’t let us bother you either!” Helen called from Tony’s kitchen table where she sat across from Harold. “We’re just here dispelling the gay energy or whatever.”

“The what?!” Harold exclaimed.

Wanda sighed, losing her concentration. “There’s too much sexual energy in here. It’s coming from all these sex toys. No wonder Richards was attracted to this place. It’s like a temple built to worship penises.”

“Oh,” Tony said. “Believe me, sister, the only penis being worshipped here is my own.” Everyone turned to look at him. “And not just by me either!”

“We’re getting nowhere,” Father McKraken groaned. “There’s too many people here, and…”

“Father McKraken?” Wanda asked.

Father McKraken looked around. He looked down at his hands. “Wow. This is trippy. Why isn’t there any music on?”

“What the snot happened to him?” Helen muttered.

“Hey there.” Father McKraken sauntered toward Tony. “Who ordered the tall glass of dick?”

“That’s no way for a priest to talk!” Tony exclaimed.

Father McKraken looked surprised. “I’m no priest honey.” He took a dildo out of the box and slapped Tony gently on the face with it. “Give you any ideas, hot stuff?”

“You don’t see that every day.” Harold watched, his left eyebrow raised.

Helen chuckled. “Looks like the good Father is finally acting on all those urges he’s been trying to lock away.”

“It’s always the pretty priests,” Harold sighed. “You have no idea how many I’ve deflowered.”

Tony slapped the dildo out of Father McKraken’s hand. “Get the fuck outta here with that shit!”

“You’re fresh,” Father McKraken said. “I like it.”

“He’s been possessed!” Wanda proclaimed. “The energy in here was too much, and he needed a host body to act on his spiritual urges!”

Tony backed away from Father McKraken. “Tell him not to act out his spiritual urges on me.”

Father McKraken giggled. “I’m gonna get that sausage!” He lunged at Tony, who moved out of the way. Father McKraken missed and went right through the window, falling outside.

“Bob!” Wanda ran toward the window. Everyone got up to see how bad Father McKraken had hurt himself in his dive from the second story window.

“He’s OK,” Tony chuckled. “He landed in the dumpster. It’s full of big, rubber dicks! He’s gonna have some weird shaped bruises!”

“I’m calling an ambulance!” Wanda took her cellphone out of her pocket and paced while she walked around Tony’s dildo-filled apartment.

Da’Quarius moved away, shaking his head. “Dildos an’ ghosts an’ possessed priests? Oh my. Dis shit is too much for me. I’m bowin’ out.”

“I’m out of here too,” Helen said, getting up. “I’ve had enough of this ghost nonsense to last me the rest of my life.”

Harold got up too, walking to Tony and tapping him on the shoulder. Tony turned around to find him holding a black dildo. “You mind if I take this one home? It’s for my husband.”

***

“All’s well that ends well,” Tony said, sitting in a booth and putting his feet on the table. “Isn’t that what I always say, boss?”

“Get your friggin’ feet off the table!” Paulie shouted, shoving Tony’s legs. “That’s what I always say! And what are you so happy about anyway?”

“I set up a camera in my apartment, and I just made a cool two grand selling the tape of that priest getting possessed and slapping me with a dildo.” He reached in his pocket and pulled out a wad of hundred-dollar bills. He peeled five of them off and put them on the table, pushing them toward Paulie. “Here’s the money I owe you, thank you very much.”

Paulie took his money. “Pleasure doin’ business with you, Tony. Though, there is the matter of the disposal fee.”

Tony looked at Paulie. “What disposal fee?”

“My garbage contractor hit me with a nasty fine because you overfilled our dumpster with fake dicks,” Paulie replied, taking the rest of Tony’s money. “This fifteen-hundred will just about cover it. Like I said, it’s been a pleasure.”

Tony watched Paulie walk away in disbelief. “Story of my life, I guess. At least that ghost is gone.”

There was a rattling from above, coming from Tony’s apartment.

“Dammit! I gotta get rid of the rest of those friggin’ dildos!”

The End

****

Edited by Mel Westcott

****

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