Episode Four

The slug, an evil looking beast at least two inches long, crawled over my cheek and up my left nostril. I whipped out a Kleenex with which to remove the beast, but it was too late...

When I awoke, Petal was leaning over me, cradling my head in her lap.

"Woo hedden den der er fonk," I said.

"Ooo you're awake," cried Petal.

"Wot doou fink a dint, limp ittle peen ickers?"

"Wait a minute, I'll take the slug pellets out of your nose and you'll be able to talk better. It was a close thing, he was an insectacidal maniac!"

"Where'd her, wot'd?" I asked with typical succinctness.

"He ran out of the window when I came back from the bathroom."

I considered her (Freudian) slip. It was a pink one from British Home Stores, which did little to conceal either Petal or the fact that we were 15 floors up and the window was a one-way express elevator - down.

I leapt up and pinned Petal's shoulders to the floor. I nailed her legs to the table and stapled her arms together. "Ok, baby. Tell me all you know." I demanded.

"Well, the area of a polygon is twice the excluded angle and in 1812 Napoleon..."

"You can't fool me with a story like that," I said. "I know you set me up for this."

"Perfectly true Mr. Gilbert," came a voice in my ear. I spun around - the room was empty. "No, I am no longer here Mr. Gilbert, but you can no more escape me than can the delectable Miss Petal - for you are both now under my control."

"It's true," gasped Petal from her rather uncomfortable position on the the floor. "He made me do it. I'm a good girl, I had a convent education, but her has me under him now."

I considered her comment. Unless he was hiding behind the chairleg, this last statement was false. But maybe it was another slip. This girl could put banana skins out of business.

The voice continued in my ear; "Yes, you are both under me now." I check the ceiling; maybe he was on the roof.

"You go for the missionary position then," I quipped.

"Your jokes are to no avail, for you are truly under my power - there is an atomic slug implanted in you, transmitting my voice and, if necessary, I can cause it to explode - giving you something worse than a nuclear heartburn."

I was taken aback. I put the back down and played it real cool, man.

"Your skill with the jazz saxophone is no use now Gilbert - you will help me in my plot to discredit Ginsberg (remember him?) or you will be blown up from the inside."

"So it was you who engineered the scam with the woman in the bath?"

"Merely the first move in my plan to take over Ginsberg's role as leader of the Four. My next move involves you, a personal vibrator and a Marino sheep."

"Not if I have any say!"

"You have no say; if you do not obey, my slug will be activated. You have five seconds."

I considered the situation. (FIVE). I looked down at Petal on the floor, her breasts bulging through her psychological bedwear. If I only had time. (TWO - hang on, what happened to FOUR and THREE?). What had she been doing with the slug pellets? Maybe what she said was true. (ONE). What should I do? (ZERO).