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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Who Threw Cold Water on the Dog?

Of course, any discerning person would ask, “What kind of stupid title is ‘Who Threw Cold Water on the Dog?’ for a respectable blog” And, of course, I have a legitimate answer. First, who said this is a respectable blog? I am inherently wicked, so I try to avoid the appearance of too much respectability. Second, the title succinctly sums up the story of my life, so I thought I’d use it. But before we get to that, let me introduce myself. I am the one and only Miss Havana, beautiful former substitute teacher at Redmond High in Buck Township near Chicago.

No, I wasn’t fired, as the words “former substitute teacher” might imply. Almost everyone loved me there, some more than appropriate, but nothing I couldn’t handle. The problem was that not everyone did. Some, it’s sad to say, didn’t love me at all. In fact, there was such extreme resentment and jealousy that many were involved with my death. I know. I know. That got under my skin too, but I did get back at the bastards.

Being all male, Lucifer took to me like a lost pet when I arrived in hell with my gaggle of slayers. Using feminine wile, I weaseled the keys to his kingdom, and became the Queen of Darkness. The bastards who did me in paid dearly then, and will for eternity. But enough about them, we’re here to talk about me. My life looked good on the surface, but in truth, if I can use that phrase without choking on it, it wasn’t all that great. My childhood sucked. My mother was a drug addict, and males who should have protected me used me for their own pleasure.

I learned to survive at an early age, to exist using the attributes all beautiful women have, but my life was a series of painful events. If something good happened, the bad would soon follow. That’s what I mean by, “Who Threw Cold Water on the Dog?” In the old days people separated “joined” dogs by throwing cold water on them, but I don’t think they do that any more—dogs mate in private now. Anyway, I always knew the cold water was coming. And it did.

My teaching stint was short, and my death early. By age twenty-six, I was already Lucifer’s toy. For once I hoped for the cold water, but no, they don’t have that in hell. There, it was hot coals, but I always knew they were coming, until the day I rebelled. I thought it over for twenty-one years; then, captured Lucifer and took over his horde. Finally, I had it made…for eternity. Or did I? Once again the hot coals came, but this time in the form of my daughter, who usurped my authority before I could become firmly entrenched. That sucked.

Only through treachery and cunning did I free myself to live in the spirit world between heaven and hell, but even then the cold water came…in the literal sense. I learned the hard way that inhabiting the living in the throes of passion, as they reach the pinnacle of erotic satisfaction…is considered stealing! Crap! Who knew? And again I was abruptly jerked from something that could have been pleasant into a litany of rules. Why must it always be the same? Just once I’d like something to go right for the long term.

I bided my time tormenting my guide in heaven’s probation, but he eventually left. I was alone. Forlorn. Woe is me. But soon I realized the spirit world could be fun. I could control the bodies I inhabit, so I took over an advice columnist named Jackie. Here’s a sample of her work under my direction.

“Dear Miss Jackie: My neighbor squeals like a pig while having sex. I can hear this unsightly noise through the wall. How do I broach the subject with her? Sincerely, Itchy in Indiana.”

Oh, this is too easy. “Dear Itchy: Assuming I’ve read your signature block correctly, you need an invitation to her party. That could be tough because some women don’t like to share, despite the benefit of gaining some really good friends. Nevertheless, you should try to worm your way in. Be seductive and flirtatious with her, but always remember you must have her buy-in before getting his. Work your way into her heart and he’ll come along, if you get my drift. On the other hand, if I’ve misread your intent and you really want to stop the howling, try inviting your neighbor to dinner. Serve roast pork. Then, during dessert, casually bring up the pig slaughtering process. Throw in a few examples of those horrific squeals, and casually mention that those noises can penetrate apartment walls easily. Then ask if she's been killing pigs at night because it sounds like a damn slaughterhouse over there. You should have good sleep thereafter! Yours truly, Miss Jackie.”

Okay, being a literal ghost writer turned out to be a side job. What the world really needed was a sense of justice, and without a guide, what was a girl to do. Yes, you guessed it, I assumed the role of The Angel of Death. Cool, huh? But even that was fraught with questions, as I thought through the tough situation in Juarez:

“I don’t know, maybe I’ve been brought here to settle a particular score, perhaps to avenge Alejandra Andrade, one of the girls individually listed in Tom’s thick file. The seventeen-year-old was kidnapped on Valentine’s Day, 2001, and six days later her nude body was found wrapped in a blanket and dumped in an empty lot in front of the plastics plant where she worked. She had been choked, her face savagely beaten, and parts of her breasts removed.

“Or perhaps I should investigate the dead fourteen-year-old discovered with her hands bound behind her back and tape covering her face. Little is known about some of the murders, except that the victims share the common fate of throwaways around the world. They are flushed from life with little regard for the poor and vulnerable, and their bones are dug up in fields outside town or hidden five feet under a warehouse, like the mutilated bodies of eight young women discarded in a cotton field.

“Or maybe I’m supposed to put a stop to the vicious turf battles between the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels. Clearly, the killing of young women began when the cartels took over, as did attendant violence and lawlessness. Gangster wars continue to bring daily double-digit body count, rendering the massacre of women a distant evil.”

The killing in Juarez was horrific, and my response equally so. Frankly, I enjoyed the retribution, and wielded the arm of death with enthusiasm – vengeance was mine! And then came the cold water. I guess I wasn’t supposed to enjoy it so much because I ended up in God’s woodshed. I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say this…you haven’t seen the last of Miss Havana!

To follow my hilarious exploits, please check out the following novels from Solstice Publishing (

The Substitute – Paranormal Comedy – Available Now. This novel offers a side-splitting romp through the final days of Miss Havana’s life, her trials in purgatory, and her afterlife with Lucifer.

The Substitute Blurb: Miss Havana’s public persona was far from the truth because, in her capacity as substitute teacher, the small community where she lived knew her as the breathtakingly beautiful young woman who demanded every student learn, but in her private life, ostensibly caring for aging parents in Chicago, she raced through the lives of powerful men, leaving a wake of destruction…and a deep desire for revenge. Little did she realize her conflicted life would end in a chaotic death at an early age, and to eternal conflict with the devil. Clever and witty, the reader will not guess the conclusion of this novel until the final paragraph.

Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! – Paranormal Comedy – Coming Soon. The second in the comedy series, this novel follows Miss Havana’s struggle in heaven’s probation and her self-appointed stint as “The Angel of Death” … until God dictates the surprise of her afterlife.

Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! Blurb: An act of selflessness lands Miss Havana in heaven’s probation, where she torments ‘The Brazilian’, herguide. She has a lot to learn, but even as she makes incremental steps of progress, her evil nature wreaks havoc. Her spirit frequently visits the surface, inhabiting an advice columnist by day and various assassins by night. She is chaos, and eventually appoints herself as the Angel of Death. The issues she confronts in the spirit are horrific, and her solutions so extreme God is forced to intervene. He rues sending her back to hell, where she will join forces with her evil daughter, Lilith, but doesn’t want her disrupting probation either. God’s solution is unique, clever and totally unexpected. Miss Havana could not anticipate her fate; nor will the reader.