Pat Coughlin's Blog

Your Home for Shim Shoy Folktales, Hidden Cities, and more

Month: September, 2011

Stanley Squantro, Part 3, The Walls Of House Bodkin

When we last parted company with Stanley Squantro, Boy Detective, The Boy who could talk to walls, The Squantro Family had decided to work together to solve the mystery of the disappearance of seven year old Lily Bodkin, the little sister of Stan’s new friend, the sullen and rough-made Rod Bodkin, two years ago now, by using whatever information Stanley might attain by talking to the walls in the Bodkin’s house on Chaldean Ave.

The next morning Dad Squantro drove the kids to school instead of taking the bus.  He had Stanley ride shotgun, though Brother Stevie had called it.  He dropped Little Sister and Stevie off first at St. Cameron’s elementary, but made a left turn instead of a right out of the parking lot. Stanley didn’t comment, he was used to Dad taking unexpected action. Dad, however, offered an explanation anyway,

-You’re gonna be a little late for school, today.  we’re going for a little ride.  I wanna talk to you about a couple things.

They drove out to and and all around unincorporated Rauhoff (Rauhoff, by the way, being the name of the suburban town that Stanley Squntro lives in), with it’s open fields narrowing into forest canopied roads and long gravel drives leading in the imaginatron to mysterious hidden abodes or withered ruins. Here are some of the things Dad Squantro said to Stanley in the course of this leisurely drive, lazily puffing on one of his hand rolled smokes from the silver case Stanley had found for him so many times, and would again,

-Chaldean Avenue is the oldest street in Rauhoff.  The walls of the houses there may be different than the houses you’re used to.  A long time ago the word Chaldean meant a god.  It’s a very old word, with very old meaning. So just be prepared, you know?  These walls might speak a whole diffrent language, so to speak.  Beyond that, and closer to practical reality, I suppose, is the fact that you’re taking it upon yourself to investigate a crime.  You could come up against some information you’re not prepared for, and you won’t be able to just forget it.  Ugly information, bloody information, information filld with fear.  Are you ready for that, Stan?

-I wanna try to find out what happened to her.  Rod would do the same for me.

-How do you know?

-I just know. It wouldn’t matter if he wouldn’t anyway.  It’s not about that, it’s about Lily.  I think I can handle it.  I’m going in Squire Errant style.

-How would you describe that, exactly?

-Open minded yet wary, keep my wits about me, be bold, be ready.

-That sounds real good,  Stan.  I’m proud of you, Stanley, wanting to help someone you hardly know this way.  You’re a good person.

Just then they noticed Rod Bodkin walking past them on the gravel road, heading toward Chaldean Ave.  They passed him by, and Dad exclaimed,

-He’s cuttin’ school!

He stopped the car and told Stanley to go catch up with him.  Stanley just opened his door and did as he was told without saying a word.  That was often how these two partners in crime worked, that is, with a minimum, if not total absence of unneccesary verbal signalage.

Catching up with Rodney Bodkin, the shaggy, sullen youth was happy to see Stan, and him to come over to his house, as his parents were away for the day.

Of the thirteen houses on Chaldean Ave, only five were occupied.  The Bodkin house stood two and a half stories up, a half acre from the gravel road via the gravel driveway.  Once inside, Rod Bodkin went straight for the fridge and cracked open one of his Dad’s tallboy beers.  When Stanley declined, Rod’s only response was a nonchalant “Suit yisself”.  Strangely, rod downed his beer and promptly lay down across a couch and fell right asleep, leaving Stanley alone with the walls of House Bodkin.

To Be Continued!


Shim It Good To The Hard Shoy

Whistle to the Tit-Whistler

And they will whistle to you

Dive into this notion

in this ocean submerge as goo

part of your brain is a jellyfish eating gummy worms

bioluminescent in digestion

Hidden City Phi-low-sci-fiers call it the glowbelly

awaken and awaken to your glowbelly and you can go to the alternate universes, the realities other with other brothers from other mothers

This is the glowbelly awakening call,

Glowbelly Glowbelly

Flowbelly Flew

awaken the light of your glowbelly goo


Shim Shoy!


Stanley Squantro Part 2 , Boy Detective

Everything old is new again when Stanley Squantro comes a’ callin’ to talk to your walls.

On his first day of High School, not knowing a singular one of his schoolmates in the cafeteria at lunchtime he took his brown bag and went to a table in the corner where two other boys sat at opposite ends of the table.  Stanley asked if he could sit there and the two boys both said yes and so Stanley sat in the middle, on the side of the table that let him look out the window. It was a beautiful blue and golden and white and green day outside of that window.  The two boys it turned out were among the elite, academically speaking, of the school, but by equal contributions from their own unique selves and immediate social culture surrounding them, these fellows did not enjoy “popularity” as we are familiar with the term.  As you can surmise, my intelligent Audent, the circumstance was much closer to the opposite, decidely fuzzier end of the stick.  Ever observant and quickly deductive, this is the kind of persons whom Stanley Squantro could instinctively identify and would immediately go toward, completely aware of social “status” and completely uncaring of such things.  Laufey Londberg was a smallish elfin genius whose decidedly superior smirk and slithery squeaky intonation put off most people, while Rodney Bodkin wore torn jeans, a weathered leather jacket and wore his hair dirty and shaggy and typically carried around with him a distinctive odor speaking to hygienic habits in need of improvement.  These, being their immediately apparent qualities, that is to say, how they appear on the surface, acted as walls.  Not the same kind of walls that make a room a room, but the kind of wall that separates and defends, but walls never the less, and as we here together know, Stanley squantro can see the faces of walls that no one else can see, and talk to them, and they talk back.

Stan and Rod became buddies outside of school, while odd little Laufey maintained aloofness and apartness away from the cafeteria corner table.  When Dad learned the name of Stan’s new friend he said,

-Bodkin!  That’s the boy whose sister disappeared two years ago.

Stanley took this in for a moment, as was his way, and said.

-Can you qualify that?

To which Dad responded,

-It was big news around here, I’m surprised you don’t remember.

Mom interjected,

-That was the summer the kids stayed with PawPaw Squantro, Hon.

-That’s right.  Rodney Bodkin? Lives over on Chaldean Avenue?  Hello! Earth to Stanley!

Stanley was distracted, thinking about the adventures they had with PawPaw Squantro that summer at his ranch in the mountains.  The gold coins, the prospector’s ghost, and the spirit garden.

-Chaldean Avenue.  That’s right.  Gravel road and everything.

-Well there’s very little to tell.  Lily Bodkin was last seen two days after her seventh birthday, walking home from school.  No one knows what happened to her.  She disappeared.

Little Sister May piped up,

-Maybe Stanley can find her!

-That’s true.  I could ask the walls if they saw anything suspicious.

-Now Stanley,

Ma geared up,

-I don’t want you talking to the walls in strange people’s houses!

By this time, the Squantro Family had come to realize that Stanley’s “Wall Talking” was indeed a real phenomenon and no simple uncanny knack.  As Dad Squantro’s first act upon this confirmation of circumstance was to take Stanley in the car over to a rich old lady’s mansion, where lived a rich old lady, of course, whom, Dad happened to be aware, was much distressed over the loss of one diamond earring of a set crafted for the Queen of Sweden, inconsolable, even.  Dad presented Stanley and rented the boy out for an hour, during which time he naturally found the earring, and she was so happy she gave double the agreed upon price, as she was far  more vain than miserly.  Given this circumstance, it fell to Ma Squantro to try and keep a lid tight on the strangeness that had come to guest at the Squantro household.  It was her unshakable decree, that since Stanley already had a reputation outside of the family as having a knack for finding things, and seeing as how those skills could clearly be of great benefit to him, there was to be no discouraging of this circumstance.  It is also known outside of the family, though to a lesser extent, that Stanley is so good at finding things because “he can talk to walls”.  This is the bug to squash.  Don’t say it, don’t acknowledge when anybody else says it.  Stanley Squantro does not talk to walls. Stanley Squantro is simply very good at finding lost things , due to a keen eye. this was the unshakable decree of Ma Squantro.

It’s not that she disapproved of her son’s uniqueness, she encouraged it within certain boundaries, it’s that she recognized that Stanley’s uniqueness was of a sort that would draw an exponentially greater amount of attention than that of their fellow small town suburban citizens looking for missing diamond earrings.

They discussed it at some further length, as the Squantro family will, there at the dinner table, and Ma finally relented,

-If the opportunity presents itself, see if you can find something out.  Just be discreet.


Dad exclaimed, and the rest applauded.


Ma brought it all to a halt,

-If you DO find something out, you have to tell us first.  We’ll work it out together.  Promise?

-I promise.

When we return to the times of Stanley Squantro, Boy Detective, Stanley delves into a mystery that turns maliciously mystical and malevolently mythical when he enters into converse with

The Walls of House Bodkin

Only Here, at Pat Coughlin’s Blog!

All The Shim Shoy Day

Good Day Good Day

Have yourself a good old day

Pay no mind to shifty shamblers

Focus on the good old day

Here is goofing here is laughter

strewn throughout the good old day

Think of me and smile

I’ll think of you and chuckle duckle

All sweet parts of the good old day

conspire together to gather the gladness

as we go together our different ways

living in these good old days

Shim Shoy!

Stanley Squantro Part 1, The Boy Who Could Talk To Walls

Stanley Squantro, like many humans in the modern world, spent a lot of time in rooms.  Rooms, of course, are made primarily of walls, which is to say a room can lack a proper floor or ceiling, but there is no such thing as a room without walls, as that would simply be outside.  Commonly referred as the “Out of Doors”,  roomless environments would more accurately be labeled the “Out of Walls”.  As a matter of fact and coincidence, this is exactly how Stanley Squantro referred to being outside.

“Where are you going, Stanley?”

“For a stroll out of walls.”

You get the idea.  It’s simply that the reality and importance of walls was very clear in Stanley Squantro’s unusual mind, and it sometimes influenced him in the way of little eccentricities like that.  To Stanley, “Out of Doors” was a problem experienced by housebuilding crews.

For your consideration, nobody can tell you how or why, but when Stanley Squantro talked to walls, the walls talked back.

By way of an explanation, he offers this;

“I can see the faces of walls.  Not always right away, sometimes it takes me a while, or maybe it’s a shy wall and doesn’t want to show me it’s face right away, but sooner or later I see it, and it sees me, and when that happens I can talk to it, and it talks back to me.”

Of all the people that ever shared space in a room with Stanley while he conversed with the walls,  no one could ever hear the walls talking to Stanley except Stanley, and what’s more, no one ever heard him talking to them, either.  To their senses, it appeared that Stanley simply stared silently at a wall or walls for a while, not exactly in a trance, just quiet, then he would “snap out of it” and report his findings, if appropriate.  Not that the walls care if their secrets get spread around.  Accordingly to Stanely, walls are dispassionate entities for whom such concepts as “secrets” are simply nonexistent.

“After all it’s people’s reputations that are at stake, not the wall’s.”  Stanley has often said in rebuke to the gossip hounds, or the overly curious, to be polite about it.  You can hardly blame such types for bothering Stanley Squantro, who has peeled back the concealing paint from the walls of so many historical mysteries.  But that’s for later.

What is Stanley Squantro? Is he a detective? A historian? A hero?  A villain?  All these and more, naturally.  To sum up, let’s call him a finder, outside, of course, from being a wall talker, which is obvious.

Throughout his childhood, he was Stanley on the spot for any and all lost items in the household.  Mom’s keys, Brother Stevie’s snakes, hamsters, mice, and various other small wild caught creatures (often found, unfortunately, in the same place, if you catch my meaning), Sister’s shoes and socks, Dad’s various secret stashes, always having to be moved to avoid detection and inevitably  forgotten.  Here’s how Dad approached it; Mom would be taking the kids along on a shopping trip or some such activity and Dad would request that Stanley stay behind to help him with  some project or other and when they were gone he would say real nonchalant like to Stanley,

-Say Stan, do your old man a favor and ask the walls where Dad put his stash last time, okay?

-Say no more.  Stanley would reply.  Returning with his quarry, for example a cigarette case tucked behind the bookcase, Dad would take it with one hand and pat Stanley on the head with the other, give him some cash and remind him that this particular finding was to be between the two of them only.  This kind of practice instilled in  young stanley the importance of discretion as well as it’s value.

You may be wondering at the nonchalance of this Dad person in regards to Stanley’s strange ability.  the fact is, Stanley never made a secret of his wall talking.  Whenever someone asked him how he was so good at finding things, he would just say the walls told him where they are. The Squantros were a witty and playful family, so to all of them but Stanley himself, his “talking to walls” was simply an adopted code the family used in reference to his bizarre success rate in the finding of lost things. You get me?

To be continued!

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