Not The Ipswich in England

  • k-avatar“The answer is easy,”
  • such a thing as sexually transmitted food poisoning
  • “Such, gentlemen, is my secret.”
  • “I demand satisfaction!”
  • then takes the form of a helicoidal or screw-shaped spiral

Tune In Next Time Part 51                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

Not the Ipswich in England, though. The one in Massachusetts. Which was a good thing, because the dinky chopper would never have made a crossing and the directives of Dr Minka Stiletto were irresistible.

And, as it turned out, there wasn’t enough fuel even for the local hop I had to make. Unlike a plane, when a helicopter runs out of gas it doesn’t glide smoothly forward. It lurches and drops rapidly in a steep parabolic arc, which then takes the form of a helicoidal or screw-shaped spiral. The controls do little to influence this trajectory, but with finesse a skillful pilot can bring the craft to ground at a survivably slow rate of descent. My skills and my luck were barely adequate to the challenge, or perhaps the haze of the trance I’d entered upon hearing the implanted phrase kept me sufficiently relaxed to avoid injury.

Wandering the outskirts of Ipswich, Mass, I searched for Minka Stiletto’s clinic. Asking passersby got me only glares and hasty retreats. “I demand satisfaction!” I roared at a leathery fisherman, whose gap-toothed yodel of fright woke me from Dr Stiletto’s clutches for the moment. My clarified thoughts coalesced upon the realization that the foul doctor was known throughout Ipswich, known and feared. But not yet in total control.

“Bravo,” said a silky feminine voice behind me. My blood froze.

“But,” Dr Stiletto continued, “you misapprehend one thing. Yes, they fear me. But also yes, I do have total control. Now follow me. You too, Fred.” As the leathery fisherman fell into step beside me, and we both stumbled in Minka Stiletto’s rose-perfumed wake, she elaborated on her diabolical mastery of this quaint New England seaside town. “Such, gentlemen, is my secret.”

If she divulged any actual secret, I didn’t recall it.

Minka Stiletto raised her eyepatch to study me more closely. The experience made me wonder if there was such a thing as sexually transmitted food poisoning. I tried to hide my revulsion, hoping the fiendish doctor thought me still hypnotized.

“You’ll note that Ipswich, Mass is the cleanest town you’ve ever visited,” she singsonged, “and you might wonder why. Mightn’t you?” Fred nodded avidly, seeming to have a lot invested in learning how this fact could be true of the place he had no doubt lived for many decades. “The answer is easy,” Minka said, laughing. “She who controls the sanitation guilds controls all!”

Her amusement over this proclamation verged on incapacitating, but all the while she kept both eyes glued to me. This would not be my chance to escape. Perhaps if I played along I could learn something important. But would it be worth the risk?

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