“A Living Fart from the Butt of a Lesser God,” by Eirik Gumeny

Apr 20th, 2015 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

Bartholomew Xander Wohlblätter III threw open the door to Indiana Scones and the Raiders of the Lost Latte with significantly more effort than was required. The little bell that hung from the entryway rang madly from the effort, like there was a tiny hunchback sitting on top of the door and just going absolutely nuts on it. Everyone in the coffee shop turned to watch the visibly frustrated man enter.

Bartholomew—tall, pasty, balding, and wearing a scowl that would have scared off even the most desperate of panhandlers – stomped up to the counter and said simply:


“What size?” asked the young red-haired woman behind the counter, putting down her rag and spray bottle.

Bartholomew pulled out his wallet and riffled through some bills.

“Give me… five bucks worth,” he stated, putting a five dollar bill on the counter.

“So… most of a small then?”

“Five bucks doesn’t even get me a small?”

“Nope,” answered the coffee clerk, wiping her hands on her apron.

The man glared at her for a moment and then looked around the cafe for the first time. Only then did he see the stacked bags of whole coffee beans, illegibly scrawled blackboard menu, malformed clay mugs, and piles upon piles of hand-pressed progressive noise-pop CDs.

“God damn it,” he said, shaking his head. “I walked into one of those artisanal coffee places, didn’t I?”

“The artisanal-est.”

“Is the coffee at least good?”

“Our organic, fair-trade roasts are made from the hand-picked, small-batch, pre-digested seeds of cartel-free Colombian coffee berries, extracted freshly from a llama’s butthole every morning and flown here on a vintage prop plane by a man who looks like a lumberjack.”

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”

“The llama’s name is Geoff.”

“But does the coffee taste good? You never actually answered.”

“Well,” began the redhead slowly, “that’s because it tastes like literal shit, sir. I didn’t want to lose a sale. We work on commission.”

“Commission?” replied Bartholomew incredulously. “At a coffee shop?”

“You think six bucks for a small coffee is bad, you should see the Uretra del Diablo Quadruple Espresso. Shit’s got actual Aztec gold in it.”

“Well, thank God I didn’t order that,” the balding man grumbled. “Can I please get my coffee now?”

“I guess SOMEONE doesn’t like polite chit-chat.”

“No. I don’t. I hate it,” replied Bartholomew. “And it’s been a long day. I spent the past—What time is it?”

“Three thirty-six.”

“—nine hours and twelve minutes of my life chasing down some stupid doll for my nephew. I have been to, literally, twenty-seven different stores today.”

“What kind of doll doesn’t turn up after twenty-seven different stores?”

“An ancient proto-Himalayan hex doll made from yeti hair. With limited edition variant accessory pack.”

“And Toys’R’Us didn’t have it?” the clerk deadpanned.

“No! Said it wasn’t even in their system. Can you believe that nonsense?”

“You must really love this kid.”

“Oh, no. Not even a little. He’s the human equivalent of late July swamp-ass.”

“Then why—”

“Because,” the man said with an exasperated sigh, “I’m sleeping with his mother and she threatened to tell my wife if I don’t get this stupid yeti hair doll for Colin.”

“Didn’t you say he was your –”

“His dad’s my brother. His mom and I aren’t blood relations. It’s cool.”

“Well, I don’t know if I’d say COOL…”


“Oh. Well. Yeah, that’s… technically accurate. I guess.”

“Can I get my coffee now?”

“Oh, yeah, sure,” said the clerk, shaking her red head. “My bad.” She grabbed a cup from the stack on the side of the register and turned to the percolator on the back counter to get his drink.

“Hey, you look like one of those people that knows things that don’t need knowing: how do you spell ‘Himalayan?’” Bartholomew asked, typing into his phone. “I think maybe I spelled it wrong the first time I Googled it.”

“You are long past Google, sir. Even if you did find someone selling that doll, that shit’s probably going to take forever,” said the woman. “Room for cream? It’s fresh-squeezed.”

“Uh, no. Black, thanks,” he replied. “What do you mean, ‘forever’?”

“I mean, a toy as complicated and weird as what you’re looking for? You’re not going to find that in any store.”

“Right, I just said that.”

“You’re in rare-as-shit country now, sir,” continued the clerk, unabated. “Chances are it’s gonna be some rich dude who collects crazy whatnots, in some other state entirely, selling it from his private collection of overpriced museum garbage. There’s no way you’ll be able to just drive there and pick it up this afternoon.” She slid the coffee forward. “Although…”


“I actually might know a guy who can help.”

“Why didn’t you open with that?”

“Because you JUST told me about the doll, sir.”

“Oh. Right.”

“Also,” added the redhead, “the commission.”

“How much commission can you possibly make off five dollars?”

“Seven bucks.”

“How –”

“I don’t think you understand how artisanal we are.”

Bartholomew took a sip of his coffee. His face immediately recoiled at the taste, like an introverted vampire inadvertently walking into a crowded Roman Catholic garlic festival.

“No,” he said, blinking furiously, “I absolutely get it.”


Bartholomew Xander Wohlblätter III pulled open the door to Indiana’s Bones and the Temple of Vintage Looms with significantly more force than was necessary. The rickety glass door rattled like a skeleton shivering in a snowstorm before limply swinging shut again.

“Hi, how can I help you?” asked the only other person in the antiques shop, a ponytailed man pushing at least sixty, stepping out from behind the register.

“I’m here about a yeti doll,” explained Bartholomew, walking between two glass cabinets of ceramic naked babies. “Some lady from a terrible coffee shop sent me.”

“That could be a lot of people,” said the clerk, nodding his head. “All our children’s toys are in that corner.”

The older man pointed his bony finger at two bookcases in the far corner of the store. Bartholomew cast a quick eye towards them and saw only shelves full of rusting robots and impossibly bright plush dogs and cats and orangutans.

“No, I don’t think you get it,” replied the balding patron. “This thing’s not some kid’s toy. It’s an ancient proto-Himalayan hex doll made from yeti hair.”

“That sounds complicated and difficult to find.”

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t.”

“You a collector?” asked the elderly hippie, stepping back behind the counter and typing into the enormous laptop situated next to the register.

“No,” replied Bartholomew, taking in all the bric-a-brac surrounding him. “It’s for my nephew.”

“You must really love him.”

“God no. He’s a runny crap dripping down your leg after a night of heavy drinking. His mom asked me to get it.”

“Well, you must really love her then,” replied the clerk, still typing.

“Parts of her, sure.”

The old man looked up from the laptop. “Didn’t you say this kid was your –”

“I’m related to his DAD. Not his mom.”

“That doesn’t make it—”

“Look, I’m not getting all up in your business, OK? By the looks of you, you’ve clearly done a lot of drugs—”

“I have.”

“—and I’m sure that that, not to mention whatever counter-culture squirrel shit it was you did under their influence, was frowned upon by someone somewhere, so get off your high horse,” said Bartholomew. “Do you have this thing or not?”

“Not,” replied the aging peacenik, returning to the keyboard. “I’ve never even heard of a yeti hair hex doll before. And…” The clerk typed some more. “I can’t find any trace of anything remotely like one in any of the national antiques databases or our competitors’ inventories.”

“You have access to your competitors’ inventories?”

“My grandson’s one of those kids who can type his way into things with all of the internets. What do you call them? Computer pirates?”


“No, I don’t think that’s it.”

“OK, sure. Back to the doll, though…”

“No dice. You’re out of luck.”

“Damn it.” Bartholomew slammed his fist against the top of the chainsaw-carved, lion-shaped rocking chair situated at his side. “Do you know how long of a drive it was over here from that coffee place?”

“I don’t know, ten minutes?”

“Two fucking hours.”

“I figured it had to be either really short or really long.”

“I can’t believe how much time I’ve wasted on this stupid thing,” Bartholomew muttered, rubbing a hand against his enormous forehead. “I’m starting to think this frigging doll doesn’t even exist.”

“Well, I know a guy who would know. If this abominable snowman voodoo thing’s for real, at all, anywhere, he’ll have it or know how to get it.”

“I thought you said I was out of luck.”

“You are,” replied the clerk. “This guy’s a colossal dick. I try not to work with him if I can help it. You’ll probably get along like gangbusters.”

“Yeah, ha ha. Can you call him?”

“He doesn’t have a phone.”

“Seriously? Who doesn’t have a phone?”

“He’s very… old fashioned.”

Bartholomew sighed theatrically. “Fine. What’s the address?”


Bartholomew Xander Wohlblätter III knocked on the door to the basement apartment with significantly more force than was necessary. Tiny flecks of paint fell from the door like fairies who couldn’t get enough kids to give a shit about their continued well-being.

“What?” was the reply from within.

“I’m here about a yeti doll,” explained Bartholomew. “Some smelly hippie from an antiques store sent me.”

“Do you have gold?”

“What? No. Who carries gold around with them?”

“Then I can’t help you.”

“I have cash,” Bartholomew pleaded, his face dangerously close to the faded, peeling paint of the door. “American cash. That’s basically gold, right?”

“Not even a little. It’s paper. What am I, an alchemist?”

“I don’t know. Are you?”


“OK, fine. You do know you can use the cash to BUY gold, though, right?”

“Yes, but why would I do that when I can make you get the gold for me?”

“Jesus horse-humping Christ,” muttered the pasty visitor, shaking his head. “How about my watch? I’m pretty sure it’s made of some kind of gold. It’s definitely expensive.”

The door opened a crack, the chain lock on the inside going taut.

“Let me see it.”

Bartholomew held his wrist out. There was a grunt, and then the voice inside the apartment said, “Yeah, all right. That’ll have to do, I guess.”

The flimsy door closed, the chain was unchained, and then the door was opened fully. Bartholomew was greeted by a wave of musty funk fleeing from the dark apartment on horseback, while a large, amorphous shadow stayed inside.

“Come on in,” said the shape.

Bartholomew took a deep breath and stepped into the tiny basement studio. The door was quickly closed behind him, dropping him into a mildewy cauldron of darkness. He immediately walked into an ottoman.

“Damn it,” he mumbled, stumbling. He took a step sideways and collided with another footrest.

“What is going on in here?”

After a minute, Bartholomew’s eyes adjusted to the dark. He saw ottomans everywhere, covering every part of the floor that wasn’t otherwise occupied by a trunk or a chest or a China hutch or what appeared to be a giant, wet sack of laundry. The man tilted his balding head and stared at the moist pile before him. Eventually he realized what he was looking at. He was standing directly in front of a large, hunchbacked troll.


“No,” said the troll. “Huhzabuh.”


“My name’s Huhzabuh. Not Jesus.”

“OK, sure.”

“The watch?” Huhzabuh raised a thick, green eyebrow and extended his lumpy hand.

“Oh, right.” Bartholomew undid his watch clasp and held out the timepiece. “Here.”

The troll snatched the watch from his hand and held it up suspiciously in the dim light. He turned it over and over. Seemingly satisfied, the creature stepped over to a crowded bookcase and threw the watch into a shoebox.

“Now,” said Huhzabuh, turning back to Bartholomew, “what was it again you were looking for?”

“An ancient proto-Himalayan hex doll made from yeti hair,” replied the man, adding, “with limited edition variant accessory pack.”

“The red pack or the blue one?”

“I don’t—Wait, you have it?”

“Yeah, of course.”

“Oh, thank God,” said Bartholomew. “I’ve been running all over town all day trying to find this stupid thing. You have no idea.”

“Well, no, actually I do,” explained the troll, with no small amount of condescension. “I mean, I HAVE the doll, with BOTH accessory packs. I clearly have some sense of how difficult an item it was to track down. YOU have no idea.”

“OK, right, whatever,” Bartholomew replied, waving his hand dismissively. “I’m just glad I was able to track it down while it’s still technically my nephew’s birthday.”

“You’re doing this for some kid?” asked Huhzabuh, taken somewhat aback. “People usually don’t end up talking to me unless they are SUPER desperate. You must really love him.”

“Oh, God no. He’s the shit-stained boxer shorts of the world.”

“Then why—” The troll raised an eyebrow. “You boning his mom?”

“Yeah, how did you—”

“I’ve got a sixth sense for these kind of things,” Huhzabuh replied. He lumbered over to an old trunk in the corner, lifted the creaky lid, and began rifling through it. “She threatening to tell your wife or something if you don’t get this doll?”

“Yeah,” replied Bartholomew. “Although, honestly, I think my wife’s got some idea already. But still, I’d really rather not give her any hard, admissible proof, you know? I’ve been through one divorce as it is and it was just such a pain in the ass. She got the house AND two of the cars. I mean, all I’ve got now is the BMW.”

The troll stopped searching for a moment, turning his head to face Bartholomew. “You are a tremendous dickhole,” he said, “you know that?”

“Tremendous is a stretch.”

Huhzabuh shook his head and resumed ransacking the trunk, tossing all manner of shrunken heads and monkey paws onto the floor.

“Hey, can I ask: what’s with all the footrests?” inquired Bartholomew.

“Chairs hurt my back.”

“Oh. OK,” replied the pasty man. “That wasn’t the answer I was expecting.”

“What WERE you expecting?”

“I don’t know. Something… weird, I guess.”

“That’s kind of racist.”

“I don’t think it is.”

The troll rolled his enormous eyes. “You never did answer before: do you want the red or the blue accessory pack?”

“Which one’s better?”

“I’m partial to the red variant myself.”

“Then I’ll take the blue.”

“You really don’t like this kid, do you?”

“He’s a useless, ungrateful, self-centered pile of nugget-shaped turdlets.”

“Well, he’s a kid.”

“He’s turning four; he should know better.”

The troll—yeti doll and accessory pack in hand—stood up from the trunk and stared at Bartholomew, blinking a few times.

“He’s… four.”

“Look, I know how it sounds,” said the man, “but I don’t think you understand what an unflushable little crap he is.”

“Oh, I’ve got an idea,” replied Huhzabuh, handing over the hex doll to Bartholomew. “Now, do you want instructions on how to use this, or—”

“It’s a doll,” he replied. “What would I possibly need instructions for?”

“It’s a HEX doll,” countered the troll.

“To-may-to, to-mah-to. What’s the worst that could happen?”

“Death and dismemberment, among other things.”

“Eh. It’s just my nephew.” Bartholomew shrugged and turned for the door, half-assedly waving a hand over his shoulder at the troll. “Enjoy the watch.”


Bartholomew Xander Wohlblätter III slid open the glass door to his brother’s backyard with significantly more force than was necessary. It shook along the metal track like the ground beneath a herd of centaurs playing polo. Only one of the scores of children and adults swarming across the lit-up backyard seem to notice. She hurried across the lawn towards him.

“Bart?” asked Colleen Tiki-Wohlblätter, the brown-haired sister-in-law the bald man was affairing with. “What are you DOING here?” she hissed.

“What do you mean?” replied Bartholomew. “Why wouldn’t I be here? I’m Colin’s uncle. You invited me.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did.”


“When you told me about that stupid doll. I finally found one, by the way.” Bartholomew held up the ancient proto-Himalayan yeti hair hex doll. “WITH the accessory pack.”

“What in the sugar-frosted hells is that?” asked Colleen, her face recoiling from the sight of the ratty fur figurine like a werewolf at a silversmith’s gun show.

“A yeti hair hex doll,” he explained. “You told me it was the only thing Colin wanted and I HAD to get it. Or else.”

“It’s real?”

“Of course it’s real.” The balding man knit his brow. “What’s going on, Col?”

“Colin, come here,” called the brunette quickly. “Your Uncle Bart got you that… thing… you wanted.”

“Here you go, Colin,” said Bartholomew, tossing the raggedy hair trinket to the four-year-old as he toddled over. “Happy whatever.”

“What is this?” asked Colin, tilting his tiny head and looking at the doll.

“The proto-Himalayan hex doll you wanted, made from real yeti hair.”

“I don’t like dolls,” replied the four-year-old, scrunching his face.

“You really are a hemorrhoid on the ass of society, you know that, Colin?” said Bartholomew. “Just be thankful I got you anything, you leaky shart.”


“Bart!” chided Colleen, pulling him aside. “Stop being an asshole,” she whispered.

“I’m not the asshole here,” replied the balding man.

“He’s FOUR.”

“So he should know what manners are.”

“Jesus pole-dancing Christ,” she mumbled, putting her face in her hand. “I can’t believe that thing was real.”

“Why do you keep saying that?”

“This Neo-Tibetan sasquatch—”

“Proto-Himalayan yeti.”

“Whatever. They were just a random string of words I made up to keep you away from the party,” replied Colleen. “I can’t believe you actually FOUND one.”

“Why in the hell would you do that, Colleen? Do you have any idea how much shit I had to go through to—”

“Language, Bart!”

“Oh, come on. It’s not like I said it to him.”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“I met a God damned TROLL today, Colleen.”

“Oh, come on.”

“I’m serious!”

“This is why I didn’t want you here, by the way. God. You’re such a prick.”

“I’m a prick? I’m a prick?! YOU’RE the one who threatened to blackmail me over what turned out to be a wild God damned goose chase. Who the hell does that?”

“Who the hell sleeps with a paunchy, balding relative?”

“You! You do!”

“That’s my point! There is CLEARLY something wrong with me!”

“Oh God, not this again.”

As his mother and his uncle stood near the glass doors arguing with one another, Colin Wohlblätter looked over the bundled yeti hair in his hands. He tossed it up and down in his hands a few times and started thinking maybe it wasn’t such a bad present after all. Colin picked out a twig tangled up in the fur and dropped it to the ground, just as he saw his Uncle Bart start laying into his mother at full volume. The four-year-old instinctively pressed the hex doll tight against his chest.

And then Bartholomew Xander Wohlblätter III exploded. With a sound like a rotting pumpkin shoved full of M80s. Pieces of the balding man splattered against the sliding door like Spaghetti-Os and rained down over the partygoers like meaty confetti.

“What… What just happened?” asked Colleen, hands in the air, spitting pieces of Bartholomew out of her mouth.

Colin shrugged.

“He was being a poop.”


Defenestration-Eirik GumenyEirik Gumeny is the author of the Exponential Apocalypse series. He lives in New Mexico where he regularly has to fight giant atomic ants with a flamethrower. His website is www.egumeny.com.

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