The Happy Valley: Not a Cat

20813823_10211778341267441_520477543_nI’m about ten chapters into this incarnation of the same story that I’ve been trying to write for years now. Naturally, I’m looking to get rid of half of the chapters, but I’ll worry about that later. The working title is The Happy Valley and this bit is from chapter 9 or so and it pretty much sums up where this story is heading.


Max Grander jolted awake as soon as he hit the floor. He may not have been all together there to begin with but he had more of his faculties about him than he had earlier. He took a moment to shake the remaining clouds from his mind. He looked down at his ratty dingy bathrobe and his filthy sticky flesh and grew increasingly appalled at his surroundings. He appeared to be alone in abominable basement. The latest intruder into his house, Deeds, was sucked into the storm drain. For he all knew, his ghost friend had only been a construct born out of his own maddened mind-

“She’s gone,” he heard the solemn voice beside him and his periphery grew black. Grander jumped, it was one more scare to add to the evening- or whatever time it happened to be. He didn’t know how much more his heart could take. It was as if his fevered imagination had come into fruition. He turned to face his shadowed friend. “Can you-” he stammered in awe and asked in earnest, “read my thoughts?”

“Oh-” Bracken paused and Grander swore he saw him visibly shudder at the thought. “Dear Gods no-nonono… no…” He trailed off as he watched Grander’s face grow etched in worry. Gingerly, he pulled himself to his wobbly bare feet and tugged his robe closer. The fusty fabric offered little comfort. “The mushrooms-‘ he muttered searching his surroundings for the fearsome fungus. “Where are the mushrooms?” The last time Grander saw them they were of infinite size and they were spreading. He ascended into the heavens with them and from there he watched the world burn. From just the thought of it happening he felt his knees give out. For a horrible second he thought he’d never stop falling, but he regained his footing.

“They are still in the coal chamber,” Bracken pointed to in the cramped room that no light dared to touch. “Albeit a bit squished, her fall kicked up quite a cloud, you received a heavy dose.” He said drolly.

“You’re not affected by the spores?” Grader asked and realized it was a stupid question the moment it came out of his mouth.

“Nope,” Bracken said, his tone was dour but there was a hint of relief in his voice, and he held out a hand. “There is nothing to cling to. They just pass through. You and her-” he motioned to the hole in the floor as if the beast that was once Deeds would explode back out of it.

“I don’t like this!” Max Grander shouted after a few seconds of silence. It was clear something was bubbling up inside him ready to blow, suddenly enraged, he screamed at the shadowed form before him, “any of it! The spores, the fever, I keep getting knocked out every night and waking up on the damned floor. There are intruders, and mushrooms, and monsters. I’m shouting at a ghost! I’m- I’m just sick of it!” He whined and opined his laundry list of complaints that had accumulated over the past few days. His spittle sprayed through Bracken, “everything!” He even saw the world end, but he dared not say that part aloud. But deep down there was a part of him that secretly wished it would. “I just want this insanity to end,” he sobbed for a second and managed to gain his composure. Max Grander huffed and fussed with front of his robe.  With new resolve he made his way to the rickety cellar steps that led to the world upstairs. “I’m going to get this off of me,” he motioned to his bare skin. “I’m going to have a long hot soak in the tub, and then I’m going to pet my cat until I fall asleep!”

On a mission, Grander disappeared through the blasted basement doorway. Behind him it appeared as if Bracken had grown ashen.


Tumblety’s Spiel

While I am still working on the character bios and chapter outlines of my current story: Cocksmythe and Deeds I have decided to revisit this. And yes, three years later it is STILL a work in progress.


A scene from an ongoing project of mine. A script about the infamous and illustrious career of Herbal Medicine Doctor and AmericanJack the Ripper suspect: Francis Tumblety.  So far, it is over a year in the making and I am pleased to say I have penned the first song. Yeah, it’s a musical.



FRANCIS TUMBLETY works the crowd as an Herbal Doctor, peddling his medicine. He strikes an imposing figure. Standing slightly over 6 feet, he is a head above the rest of the crowd, as they wave money and fight for his attention. Dressed in the most up to date fashion, he is clearly a man of means. Behind him is his equally amazing white stallion. What is most impressive about the well-spoken and charismatic gentleman is his mustache, dyed black to match his hair, it sweeps grandiosely off his upper lip. In fact…

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It has been while since I posted anything here. The Boilertown book may be on the back burner (much like my musical comedy about Jack the Ripper suspects) but fear not for I have another project underway. And by underway I mean I have compiled, formatted, edited, and embellished 104 pages so far of my newest manuscript. It is a darker, harsher, and even more harrowing tale of my two year reign as a third shift gas station customer service representative. It is called DARK DAYS ON THE DIXIE HIGHWAY: DIARY OF A THIRD SHIFT ZOMBIE. Below is an excerpt of the introduction which has a heavy dose of foreshadowing.

How to be Subhuman

He squatted outside the convenience store with his back pressed up against the bricks hugging his knees as he stared off into the night. His eyes were wide and his skin was pale as if it had been a while since the unfortunate looking third shift cashier had seen the sun. Something was off about the guy like he was subhuman almost anthropomorphic. Whatever he was he wasn’t quite right. “My,” I drunkenly remarked aloud as I passed weaving my way inside. “He looks positively… Simian.” It wasn’t the exact word I was looking for and something told me that the statement should have stayed inside my head. “I hope I don’t turn out like that.” Perhaps I said this a little too loudly. For an instant our eyes met. He shrugged and took a drag of his cigarette before clipping it. Will that be my fate? I wondered. My mind raced as he cashed out my purchases. His detached gaze was disconcerting. It was as if he did not look directly at his customer but stared deep into the blank spaces of reality behind me. Am I going to turn into some kind of half deranged half brain -dead manimal like him? A saucer-eyed subterranean dweller like something out of an HG Wells novel. A Morlock or even one of those mad man-beasts from the Island of Doctor Moreau. What depraved and sleep deprived depths would I reach and how far am I willing to go? It wasn’t a question of if it would happen but when. When will I undergo my own transmutation? Soon I was to join their ranks.

Escape from Boilertown: THE BOOK


(Photo by Larry Combs)

I have undergone the painstaking process of converting the script of the Boilertown saga into a book format. Three weeks later I’m past the hundred page point and I’m having a great time finding clever new ways of filling the pages. Granted, this particular portion of the story is pretty much pulled out of Super Mario Bros.

Deep down underground in the pipes of Boilertown, barely visible in the darkness, shades of rust and algae were dimly lit by the phosphorescent glow of various plant and animal life. Fenmore LeMerde and Ms Marlybone trekked farther out of Boilertown, the place that held them captive for so long. No one one could say they would miss it much.

They were in a smallish tunnel compared to the ones that he was in previously. This one was only thirty feet high. Fenmore LeMerde looked toward the ceiling and watched a shadow bulge and loom overhead as a creature lumbered toward them from the opposite direction. It had a sharp beak-like snout, a wide brow, and a heavily horned head. The eyes were tiny, beady, and black. “What is that thing?” he asked tilting his head sideways and squinted his eyes for a better view. What they witnessed wholly defied logic. Even for Boilertown.

“And why is it on the ceiling?” Ms Marlybone instinctively pulled out her ray run. Fenmore LeMerde followed in suit. The bulky body of the beast came into view, sturdily reinforced with oval shaped armored plates, ribbed and ridged with rows of horns along the sides of the large outer shell. The clubbed and barbed tail whipped at them and smashed into the ceiling. Pieces of pipe plummeted. “Ahh!” Fenmore LeMerde started and shot up at the small-brained brute. The laser blast ricocheted off the armored body only angering it. Looking down at the offender it blinked it’s beady black eyes. Then the head and all four short stumpy legs withdrew into the shell. Just like that it dropped. Ms Marlybone shot him a look wordlessly calling him an idiot as the shell alone reaching at least fifteen feet in diameter came crashing to the sewer floor. Fenmore LeMerde held down his top hat and put away his pistol. “Duck!” he hollered and they split off, diving into the edges of the tunnel, laid down, and shrank in as far as they could. They sucked in their chests and stomachs and dared not breathe as the shell spun and hurtled toward them, bouncing off the sewer walls. The spikes sent sparks sailing with every impact. It missed the two of them by mere millimeters. Once the shell roared past, gaining momentum with the downward slope, Fenmore LeMerde stood up and dusted himself off. He offered a hand to Ms Marlybone and helped her up as well. All the while she gave him that look. “What,” Fenmore LeMerde said.

“Really?” The shell crashed and boomed as it bounced and slid careening around the corner and out of view. Something snarled as it hurtled toward another obstacle as it continued on its perilous trajectory.

“How was I supposed to know that was going to happen?” 

BOILERTOWN: Dinosaurs in the Sewers

This is the prologue to the epic Steampunk backstory of my housemates and I. Larry Sparrow as “Fenmore LeMerde,” MaryAnne TheContrarian McClusky as “Ms. Marlybone” and I “Greta Scot.” The more we discussed it, our story grew crazier and crazier. It’s set in the future at the very end of the world. There’s violence, science, time travel, and potty humor. The project has been going on for about five years now. I’ve always thought it would make a great cartoon or comic book.


THE BOILERTOWN SAGA: Dinosaurs in the Sewers.
By Jessica Hopsicker 12/18/2013

FENMORE LeMERDE stands in the sewer pipe alone packing a pair of pistols. Directly behind him is a narrow metal spiral staircase, it raises up and up and disappears entirely in the darkness. Nor can he see anything before or behind him.


He says to himself for there is no one else around.


He reassures himself and straightens up his jacket, being the well dressed man that he is, even if he is in the vast underground sewer system of Boilertown.

Fenmore LeMerde raises his pistols and takes his very first step into the great unknown.

Cakes of rusty brown vibrate on the sewer floor beneath his feet. He stops and looks at his shoes.

The ground beneath him jolts and shakes suddenly.

There’s a loud crash. It sounds like thunder. Followed by a great wailing.

Fenmore LeMerde maintains his footing as he’s jostled about. His pistols ready to fire.

The wail becomes a growl and then a furious howl.

Far ahead he catches a strange light glinting off of something white: Teeth.

There is a loud thwack as powerful jaws snap shut.

Not one but two colossal creatures round the corner and rear into view. They’re reptilian out of something he’s only seen in his story books.

They fight to their death right before his very eyes.

The one with the long neck, whipping tale and equally impressive jaw opens up and rears back ready to strike. It’s opponent though far less graceful looking makes up for it with sheer girth and bulkiness, lunges forward and barrels into the body of his assailant, ramming the monster into the sewer pipe wall.

Chunks of brown rain down of Fenmore LeMerde’s head.

The beasts battle, tearing at each other with teeth and talons. All the while they continue barreling down the sewer pipe.

Severely out gunned at a time like this Fenmore LeMerde drops his pistols without a second thought makes a beeline for the spiral staircase.

Up and up he twirls to the surface, gripping the pole tightly with both hands for there are no rails to hold on to. Within reach of neither the surface nor the sewer floor Fenmore LeMerde finds himself in the midst of the the deadly duel.

The staircase just below him snaps like a dry twig as the stocky one rears up on it’s hind legs and lounges for its more slender enemy on the other side.

Fenmore LeMerde hugs the staircase as hard as he can for he finds his boots are touching nothing at all. He lifts his legs at a 90 degree angle as the two behemoths battle directly below his bottom. He hollers until he’s hoarse but his sounds are swallowed immediately by the roaring dinosaurs.

Fenmore LeMerde hoists himself up to the remaining staircase, as a swift flick of the graceful one’s tail knocks the top hat clear off his head.

His hat drops into the billowing dust clouds below.

The creatures disappear around the corner continuing to snap at each others’ throats.

Fenmore LeMerde launches himself up the last steps to the door that leads to his surface salvation.

At the top he looks down one last time into the murky darkness. His belongings have utterly vanished. The top hat he will miss terribly but he could care less about the pistols at this point.

Standing on a balcony with a thin spiral stair that drops off to nowhere Fenmore LeMerde sighs heavily. Exhausted and in a state of shock, he throws open the metal door and falls inside.

The only thing that sticks out of the door is his dirty brown boots.

Fenmore LeMerde
I’m going to need a bigger gun.

He army crawls through the doorway and kicks it shut behind him.

TUMBLETY: Dear Florie

EXT. Ship Deck-Day

FLORENCE CHANDLER stands on the deck, her hands grip the rail as she  squints against the sun as it glints against the abundant waves. The ship pitches and heaves and her stomach does the same. She is green and seasick yet still a vision to behold for the cunning and trolling eyes of James Maybrick. She is a young debutante and the picture of wealth and southern beauty.

James Maybrick slides up beside her unnoticed.

(whimpers and swallows hard)
Please no. Don’t.

JAMES MAYBRICK raises his hands and politely attempts to back away.
I’m terribly sorry Miss, I’ll be out of your way-

FLORIE CHANDLER starts and smiles bashfully and places a hand on her chest as she finally notices him.
Oh! You startled me…I wasn’t talking to you.

And who my dear were you talking to?

FLORIE CHANDLER blushes a touch of color against her pallor.
The waves the ocean…

Are you seasick?

Yes, and I can’t help but keep thinking that land is just beyond the horizon.

JAMES MAYBRICK chuckles in spite of himself.
I am genuinely sorry to hear that, Miss. We have only departed this morning.

I know that. It’s just- and you Sir, if you don’t me asking, where are you from?

Liverpool, England. I know for a fact this voyage lasts six days.

Dear me- Liverpool, what is that like?

My favorite time of the year is June when everything is in full bloom.

That sounds lovely, I would very much like to see it someday.

I am sure you will.

The ship pitches. Young Florie who is too busy staring at James, she looses her footing and falls into his arms.

FLORIE CHANDLER pulls away after a prolonged moment.
I am so sorry Mister-?

JAMES MAYBRICK gives her a proper introduction.
James Maybrick.

FLORIE CHANDLER reciprocates the greeting.
Florence Chandler. I prefer Florie.

Well Florie, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am sorry we couldn’t have met under more pleasant circumstances. I would very much like to see you again, and it is my selfish hope that time will go by as slow as you think it does now.

FLORIE CHANDLER blushes and blurts out
Will you please have dinner with us?

INT. GALLEY- Nightfall

James Maybrick joins Florie, her mother the Baroness Caroline Chandler Du Barry von Roques, her older brother Holbrook and the Ship’s Captain for dinner.

JAMES MAYBRICK is as guile as ever as he’s introduced to Florie’s Mother.
My Madam, that is a lot of surnames. I am so pleased to meet you.

The Baroness Caroline Chandler Du Barry von Roques blushes just like her daughter.

Florie’s older brother HOLBROOK is uptight and having none of it.
Mr. Maybrick, from what I hear of the cotton trade, if it is going so well for you, whatever would possess you to want to leave the country?

FLORIE CHANDLER chides her older brother.

Death. You see not too long ago, I was mere inches from dying. Stricken with severe case of malaria my own mortality was almost squashed by a singular mosquito.

James Maybrick swats the table for effect.

Both Florie and her mother jump.

JAMES MAYBRICK mainly addresses Florie at this point with the utmost sincerity.
I will never forget gasping for air, each new breath drawn was a battle. I couldn’t breathe, but I could think. Oh God, I could think. It all became frighteningly clear that this was the end and everything that I worked for was for nothing. I thought about my legacy for there was none. Unwed, no children to speak of and no one to carry out my name. It occurred to me that material wealth is not everything. There was family. But by then I thought it was too late for me. With luck, I have recovered and have been redeemed.

Florie Chandler practically swoons.

The Baroness Caroline Chandler Du Barry von Roques has her eyes on the Ship’s Captain.

Holbrook sneers.


Young Florie is in her bedroom, getting ready for the evening. There is lightness about her- a radiance. She picks up her sleeping gown and dances with it daydreaming about a bright and brilliant future.


I’ll be the bell of the ball,
and make every social call.
I’ll have my fortune and my fame,
and cotillions in my name.
I’ll put on airs in all affairs.
Oh, how happy I will be in high society.
A stranger to strife never work in my life
if I could be your wife. Oh James.

EXT. SHIP DECK – night

JAMES MAYBRICK roams the deck alone at night unwilling to retire just yet.

Your beauty cannot compare
to such fruit that life can bear.
With your flowing golden hair
and your lovely dead-eyed stare
like you are neither here or there
With a figure so widely storied
you will be my crowning glory
and I’ll lithely slip inside Dear Florie.

James Maybrick doses.


The SS Baltic reaches land six days later. Two of the five Maybrick brothers show up the dock up to greet James, Michael and the younger brother Edwin.

James Maybrick grins like a cat that ate a canary.

Florie Chandler is linked at his elbow completely over the moon.

Behind them is Holbrook and the Baroness.

Holbrook sneers in their direction.

Michael Maybrick’s face changes in a look of growing concern as the happy couple approaches.

Edwin Maybrick leers at Florie.

Who is this?

Good question.

JAMES MAYBRICK greets his siblings exuberantly.
My brothers, how good it is to see you again! I would like you to meet my fiancée Florence Chandler.

You’re engaged to be married?

FLORIE CHANDLER greets each of the Maybrick Brothers with a big squishy hug. She can no longer contain her excitement.
Isn’t it grand?

MICHAEL MAYBRICK is less than thrilled.
You met in Norfolk I take it.

Oh, no. We met on the ship.

(in shock and disbelief)
On the ship? It’s a six day voyage!

I know!

MICHAEL MAYBRICK leans in closer to James just to make sure he’s hearing him right.
How old is she?


Michael Maybrick clamps his mouth tightly shut unable to respond.

EDWIN MAYBRICK gives James a good nudge with his elbow.
Good job.

Edwin then turns his attention to Holbrook who is still glowering even with all the excitement.

What is going on with him?

James Maybrick shrugs.

MICHAEL MAYBRICK still glowers at his brother.
(under his breath)
My brother is an idiot.

TUMBLETY: The Deathbed

Meanwhile in…


Dismal Creek Swamp, Norfolk, Virginia


A PHYSICIAN walks down the hall and plaintively knocks on the door at the end.

A dry wheezy cough sounds from the bedroom as the door opens a crack.

The door opens for the Physician.

JAMES MAYBRICK a wealthy Cotton Merchant from LIVERPOOL taking advantage of the post war turmoil to get a “leg up” in the cutthroat trade, lays in bed, deathly ill, lost in a state in delirium, stricken with TYPHO-MALARIAL FEVER. His face is darkened and flushed, hot and harsh to the touch. As he struggles to breathe, his mouth is slightly parted revealing a tongue heavily coated and brown, deeply fissured and cracked. His teeth blacked with SORDES, encrustations of blood, build- up and bacteria as he suffers the symptoms of the debilitating fever.

Typho-Malarial Fever occurs in the the end stage of malaria. A most pernicious disease. It is unfortunate this stage can be easily avoided if the proper care and treatment were to be administered in the first place. The fever comes on swiftly, suddenly and often without warning. The first paroxysm is marked with a chill occurring earlier in the day, subsiding at night. Though the patient may feel a couple hours of repose during this remission, the fever never fully subsides. Then the second paroxysm strikes, carrying on with as much or more intensity than the first attack. Thus signaling a series of fits following a remission that decreases in duration until it ceases all together. The fever assumes a continuous form.

MICHAEL MAYBRICK steps into the hallway and closes the door behind him to speak in private about his brother’s rapidly deteriorating condition. His face is tired, drawn and care-worn. The prominent composer who goes by the name Stephen Adams has come to Norfolk, Virginia to collect his brother and bring him back to Liverpool, England dead or alive. It is beginning to look like the latter.

Michael Maybrick and the Physician speak in hushed voices, though it doesn’t make much of difference whether poor James Maybrick hears them or not.

MICHAEL MAYBRICK shakes his head.
The quinine has no effect. In fact he is getting much worse. I don’t know how long he can go on. Earlier, he could barely breathe, much less speak, but when he did he begged for death. Yet, with every jagged breath he cursed the fact he is condemned to die in Virginia

There are far worse things than dying in Virginia.

Please, we’re from Liverpool… And now, now, he just stares, lost to us in state of delirium and debility. And if this forsaken festering swamp takes his life-

We haven’t tried everything.


There is a hint of hope in Michael Maybrick’s voice, despite the fact that his brother is a bit of an asshole, he doesn’t want to see him die like a dog in Dismal Creek Swamp.


I could have had him up and eating, health fully restored before the first remission ever occurred. There would have been no need to resort to something so drastic as a mineral poison such as Fowler’s Solution.

It is a solution of potassium arsenate. A general tonic used to treat an array of afflictions such as ulcers, hypertension, and rheumatoid arthritis. And more severe conditions such as leukemia and syphilis. If you haven’t realized, your brother isn’t the only one suffering from malaria here in Dismal Creek Swamp. Would you like me to administer the drug Mr…?

Adams. It’s Adams. Yes please do.


Michael Maybrick pauses in the doorway of James Maybrick chambers. Expecting fully to see the all too familiar form of his dying brother.

The room is empty and so is the bed. The sheets are stripped and the mattress is bare.

Michael Maybrick looks puzzled. His brother is nowhere to be seen.

Wisps of smoke rise up past the window. Firelight flickers outside.

With trepidation Micheal Maybrick crosses the room to look out the window.

EXT. Outside the Manor- NIGHT

James Maybrick stands in front of a fire watching his bedding burn. He happens to look up catching a glimpse of his brother in his bedroom window. He’s no longer a sickly brownish hue, his skin is flushed from the heat of the fire and not the fever. He breathes in deeply and gratefully, stretching his legs, digging his heels deep into the ground, arches his back, and grins triumphantly and toothily up at his brother.


What was born from the ashes of the sheets of his deathbed was not dear Jim at all. He arose from his expiry as something entirely different. A creature-a creature of habit. Arsenic, I have seen it ruin many good men. Had I been there to intervene with my medical expertise instead of being so wrongfully detained, I could have stopped all this. We more than likely would have met later under less horrific circumstances.

TUMBLETY: The Homily



Francis Tumblety stands at the counter of the coroner‘s office dripping wet from a recent summer rainstorm and on his very last nerve.

The room is ill lit and quite cluttered with piles of paperwork and various organs preserved in jars.

THE CORONER sits at his desk. He is a deplorable looking man, dingy and greasy with questionable stains on his work clothes. He more than likely drinks formalin recreationally. Just the kind of man that Francis Tumblety is looking for. However, The Coroner ignores his only customer.

FRANCIS TUMBELTY clears his throat growing increasingly aggravated as time passes.
Excuse me, Sir. I am Doctor Tumblety and I request your services… Sir… Sir.

THE CORONER finally turns his head and faces his only customer.
(abruptly )

Francis Tumblety glares for a moment taken aback.

What- it’s one in the morning. Can’t you see I have work to do.
(impatiently motions to the paperwork piled on his desk.)
Out with it, I’m busy.

I’m inquiring about your matrices, I’ll pay you-

Mattresses? Look, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Matrices, and you are a man of medicine?

There’s a whorehouse down the street.

Francis Tumblety grimaces at the mention of the whorehouse. There is a short intake of breath then he blows up.

(gathers his composure and continues more candidly)
As I have said before I am willing to pay whatever price for any specimens you are-


Please sir, you are the only one who can help me, everyone turned me down even the Pathological Museum…

I can see why. You call yourself a doctor?

Yes, good sir, I am.

I bet you are, and I’m the fucking Queen of England. What did you say you needed these matrices for?

I’m having a dinner party.





Francis Tumblety’s quarters are well kept and well paid for. He is clearly a man of means and this party is held for Washington DC’s elite, politicians and military men. Noticeably missing from this particular party is women.

Seated at the card table across from Francis Tumblety is Colonel Dunham who looks around the room.

COLONEL DUNHAM catches his host’s attention.

Say Doctor, I happened to notice that aren’t any women in attendance. Why is that? My wife-

Francis Tumblety sets down the deck of cards that he was just about to deal. He looks at the Colonel, his eyes grow as dark as thunderclouds.

Women? No Colonel, I don’t know of any such cattle. And if I did, I would as your friend, give you a quick dose of poison than take you into such danger.

The room grows silent, his gentlemen friends look awkwardly amongst each other at the Good Doctor’s utterance.

Filthy vile creatures, Whorebeasts, Satan himself stemmed from a vagina. I have seen it. The mouth of hell itself.

Francis Tumblety abandons the game of cards and gets up from the table. He purposefully crosses the room to a pair of french doors that he slides wide open.

The parlor has been to converted into a study, or a pathological museum of his own. The room is furnished with cases, some round and square, comprised of glass and others made out of wood resembling wardrobes. Each shelf in each case is entirely occupied with jars of anatomical specimens. Some animal, but most of them are human.

At the Good Doctor’s behest the guests stand to join him in the doorway, puzzled at what Francis Tumblety is about to reveal.


Francis Tumblety approaches one of the wardrobes and swings the wooden doors wide open. As he does so he burst into a homily berating all of womankind with an emphasis on the “fallen ones.”



The sin and folly of dissipation
as self-indulgent as masturbation.
A licentiousness that plagues the nation,
evil is the seed of propagation.
And a whore is a scourge in reprobation
it’s divine right to end this abomination.

Francis Tumblety grabs a jar containing an organ that appears to be a uterus.

A PARTY GUEST leans into another.
Is that a womb?

FRANCIS TUMBLETY (cont singing)

Harlots and trollops,
Pinchpricks and dollymops and whores.
Harlots and trollops,
Pinchpricks and dollymops and whores.

As he sings he dramatically  presents the specimen to his party guests and places it neatly on a desk in front of them. When he is finished there are six of them in total.

COLONEL DUNHAM looks puzzled his eyebrows are knitted in a look of concern.

Well then… I’m sorry I asked.

The room is silent.

The Showdown at the Gloomy Whorehouse


Francis Tumblety immediately halts his musical splendor at the most inopportune time imaginable and steps right into the crowd.

The crowd stands around him utterly confused for a moment at Francis Tumblety’s sudden dramatic outburst and abrupt end.

Francis Tumblety purposefully parts the people as he passes them.

The looks on their faces go from shock to outrage as soon as they realize that the Good Doctor is making off with their hard
earned money.

The crowd quickly escalates into a MOB.

He’s leaving with our money!! GET HIM!

The Mob gets riled up, shouting, and calling him a thief and a quack among many other vulgarities. They begin to close in on the Good Doctor.

Francis Tumblety with his eyes still dark and stormy, face clouded in a permanent glower, indifferently swats them away like flies. He takes long purposeful strides across the road to the gloomy whorehouse.


In the lobby Francis Tumblety approaches his Whore Wife. Fists balled at his sides, his jaw clenched so tightly that veins are popping. Even his mustache bristles with rage.

FRANCIS TUMBLETY just inches from The Whore Wife’s face he opens his mouth and roars.

THE ANGRY JOHN who escorts her inside interjects.
YEAH! and I’m the one who paid for her.

Francis Tumblety ignores The Angry John

HOW? WHY? After everything I’ve given you! I’ve loved you.

Please, the only one you’ll ever love is yourself, Francis.
(she spits out his name in disdain.)

Francis Tumblety readies himself for a vicious backhand.

What, so, you have to sell yourself like- like-
(his voice breaks)

(interrupts angrily)
I said I paid for her!

Francis Tumblety suddenly turns his attention to The Angry John and grabs him by the shirt collar. Standing a head taller than the man and with surprising fury fueled strength, lifts The Angry John’s feet inches off the ground and shoves him bodily into the wall.

Francis Tumblety then turns to his Whore Wife as she glares defiantly back.

THE MADAM of the gloomy whorehouse runs up.

You Sir! Get out before I shoot.

Francis Tumblety turns to The Madam and sees she’s THE MADAM WITH A GUN and drops the Angry John

That’s a whore’s pistol.

The Madam With a Gun cocks her whore’s pistol and pulls the trigger.

A bullet flies past Francis Tumblety’s face within inches and pegs the wall behind him.

Francis Tumblety’s eyes grow wide.

The Madam With a Gun aims again using the second barrel.

 MADAM WITH A GUN threatens and motions towards the door.

And that’s a warning. Now get out.

As soon as I kill my wife.


Francis Tumblety slowly comes to his senses. He looks back and forth from his disgraced Whore Wife who glares back, the Angry John dazed but still standing and looking for a fight, and the Madam With A Gun pointed at his head.

On the other side of the door The Mob is shouting, pounding their fists and out for blood.

Francis Tumblety sees that he is surrounded. No longer able to stand the sight of present company in the gloomy whorehouse he raises his hands in a bitter sign of surrender and takes a step backwards towards the door.

FRANCIS TUMBLETY spits the words out as if they were rotten to the taste.
Fine I’ll go.

Angry John takes a step forward.

The door shakes and thuds with another forceful impact.

(to The Angry John)
I hope your prick goes gangrenous and a falls off… inside her.
(to his Whore Wife, dramatically)
AND THIS! This is on your head!

Francis Tumblety throws open the door. Within an instant several hands grab at him. With one last look to his dear Whore Wife, Francis Tumblety catches her mouth the word “FOOL.”

Clutching and clawing The Mob pulls him out the door.

Tumblety’s Spiel

A scene from an ongoing project of mine. A script about the infamous and illustrious career of Herbal Medicine Doctor and American Jack the Ripper suspect: Francis Tumblety.  So far, it is over a year in the making and I am pleased to say I have penned the first song. Yeah, it’s a musical.



FRANCIS TUMBLETY works the crowd as an Herbal Doctor, peddling his medicine. He strikes an imposing figure. Standing slightly over 6 feet, he is a head above the rest of the crowd, as they wave money and fight for his attention. Dressed in the most up to date fashion, he is clearly a man of means. Behind him is his equally amazing white stallion. What is most impressive about the well-spoken and charismatic gentleman is his mustache, dyed black to match his hair, it sweeps grandiosely off his upper lip. In fact, the only thing that can distract his clientele from doling out their hard earned money is the whorehouse across the street. With the utmost confidence and a cunning twist of his magnificent mustache he goes into his spiel.

Francis Tumblety unfurls his medical kit and holds it up for all to see and purposefully clears his throat.

The crowd is silenced.

Consumption, diphtheria, and cholera
whooping cough and scrofula
meningitis leprosy
no matter what ails you, whatever it be,
I will rid you of your malady.

Catalepsy, Effluvia, Pleurisy, Neuralgia,
Tetanus and Typhus, Grippe and Trush
Malaria and “Phossy jaw”
A case of Dropsy and even the chills,
My tonics here can cure ALL ills.

This is the edge in Allopathy.
And there is no need for surgery.
For I am a walking apothecary.
And if you have the decency…
Come see the Good Doctor Tumblety!

HECKLER calls out from the crowd

FRANCIS TUMBLETY doesn’t skip a beat and takes a flamboyant bow.
PRINCE of Quacks!!

He elicits and cheer from the crowd.


I’ve got tinctures and tonics, powders and pills!
Come on now and call out your ills!

Consumption, diphtheria, and cholera
whooping cough and scrofula
meningitis, leprosy
no matter what ails us, whatever it be

I shall rid you of your malady!

Catalepsy Effluvia, Pleurisy, Neuralgia,
Tetanus and Typhus, Grippe and Trush
Quincy and flux.
Malaria, “Phossy jaw”
A case of Dropsy and even the chills…

I’ll give you the vials when you hand me the bills.


He makes a big show of collecting the forms of payment from his clientele while passing out the medicine.

Whooping cough and scrofula!
Malaria and phossy jaw!


He shushes the chorus. In the brief moment of silence, Dr. Tumblety points to the gloomy whorehouse across the street.

From the wallowing whore knee deep in sleaze
to the all the trappings of highest society
Hell, I’ve even treated royalty.
You must see me before its too late,
better not hesitate for I will not discriminate!
I don’t need to beat my drum or even toot my own fife,
For I’m the Good Doctor you trust with your life!……

A Prostitute greets a John across the street. Side by side they  walk  inside.

Francis Tumblety’s face dawns in sudden horrid recognition. His eyes grow as dark as storm clouds.