By Chester Olden Earnest

(discovered by Thomas Pluck)

“Brown Sugar” Brookdale, the black Vietnam Vet kung fu master who “broke his bare foot off in the ass of The Man,” was the creation of Chester Olden Earnest. Brookdale went through many incarnations. He was originally created when Earnest, a Harlem protege of Richard Wright, saw the success of, but did not read, the plantation pulp novel Mandingo. Earnest assumed the title referred to an Australian aborigine who could transform into a were-dog to fight injustice.

The first Brookdale novel, Brother Coyote, reflects this. Brookdale was cured of lycanthropy in the second volume, where he encounters the eponymous Witch Queen of New Orleans. Our selection came late in the series and shows how Earnest successfully merged social consciousness with the martial arts novel. In it, Brookdale tackles an evil town of sex traffickers. We bring you the provocatively titled TITTY TITTY BANG BANG.


Brown Sugar Brookdale motored his chopper into the sleepy town of Titwillow and plunked his behind at the luncheonette wanting nothing more than a cup of joe and a bite to eat. From the glowers of the hardhats behind him, the blue plate special came with a free ass-whupping on the side.

The waitress, a dimpled cornsilk blonde, poured his coffee with a smile. The rest of the crowd looked none too happy to see a six-foot negro in a fringed vest and cowboy boots interrupting their meals. A signed photo of Nixon grinned at Brookdale’s situation from above the kitchen window, and the floor creaked as the five burly men blocked Brookdale in.

The tallest man had a mouth tighter than a chicken’s ass, but he managed to squeeze out the usual: “What you doing here, boy?”

“Having my lunch,” Brookdale said. “This is a lunch counter.”

“Just ’cause there’s no Whites Only sign out front don’t mean you can dirty up the seats.” The big man slipped a Crescent wrench from his back pocket.

“We don’t want no trouble, Burl,” the waitress said.

“I hope you’re not here looking for the Pussywillow Palace,” Burl said. “We don’t serve your filthy, uncouth kind.”

Cups rattled and chairs creaked as the customers leaned to watch.

“Burl, is it?” Brookdale smiled. “Let me show you something.” He tipped the pitcher of cream into his cup. “Watch what happens to this milk here.”

The men stared as the cream swirled into Brookdale’s cup of strong, black coffee.

Burl narrowed his eyes. “If you’re talking about mixing the cream and the coffee, we call that miscellany, and it’s a hanging crime.” He pushed Brookdale’s shoulder, but the big brother didn’t budge or spill a drop.

“No. The sweet white milk messed with something strong and black, and now it’s gone,” Brookdale said, then sipped his coffee and smiled. “Besides, it’s called miscegenation, you ignorant redneck.”

“Why, you dirty—”

Burl swung his wrench, and Brookdale blocked the blow with a fierce cry. He spun from his stool and sent the thug tumbling into his friends with a mighty backhand.

Burl’s hard hat clattered down the counter, and his friends caught his limp body. Brookdale calmly removed his cowboy boots.

Hammers, beater sticks, and Buck knives came out as the hardhats surrounded him.

They had weapons.

They had anger.

They had the dirty laws of Jim Crow on their side.

None of that mattered to Brown Sugar Brookdale. He had the soul of a warrior.

Forged on the Detroit streets. Fired in the white man’s war in the jungles of Vietnam. Tempered into razor sharp steel in the ancient temples of Shaolin.

He beckoned them over with a curl of his hand.

They charged. Brookdale snapped a flying spin kick into the faces of the first two, sending them tumbling like bowling pins. The next man set upon him with a scarred beater stick. The kind that rolls under the driver’s seat of an ignorant redneck’s pickup truck; the one he calls his “negro-be-good stick.”

Brookdale ducked and weaved, and the weapon shattered the spinning dessert case. He palm-struck the man in the solar plexus then twice in the face, and the stick fell harmlessly to the floor, followed by its owner.

The last man’s face twisted in fear, and he jabbed wildly with his Buck knife. An old woman screamed.

Brookdale tugged his nunchaku from his back pocket: two pieces of a policeman’s nightstick, broken in half and connected with six links of iron slave chain.

The sticks blurred as Brookdale spun and swung them, and the crowd stared at the display. The knifer swung wild. Brookdale cracked the man’s wrist and sent the knife flying, then upswung into his groin.

The knife stuck in the photo of Nixon behind the counter. The crowd gasped.

As the man fell clutching his pummeled manhood, Brookdale scooped some lemon meringue pie with his finger and tasted it. “Ooh, I do like a good slice of pie.”

The old woman fainted into her husband’s arms.

The cook popped his big bald head out the kitchen window. “What the Sam Hill’s going on here?”

“Burl and the boys started a fight, Earl,” the waitress said.

Brown Sugar Brookdale peeled off bills from his thick bankroll and set them under his broken coffee cup. “For the coffee,” he said. “And your trouble.”

“Leave my place of business,” Earl hollered. “And you too, Alice. I told you we don’t serve coloreds.”

A fat man complained, “Aw, don’t fire Alice! She’s the last pretty girl we got round here!”

Alice threw down her apron. Brookdale picked up his boots and stepped over the moaning bodies of his foes.


 Brown Sugar Brookdale had found the sleepy hamlet of Titwillow in his quest to stay after dark in every “sundown town” in America and kick some redneck ass.

Sundown towns had once been easy to spot, with signs warning black folks not to be caught in them after sunset. Only in more direct and ignorant language. The signs were gone, but not the message. Some brothers in Chicago said Titwillow had the best go-go club in the country, but any black man who dared linger would disappear.

Brookdale straddled the long-forked chopper he’d fought a chapter of Hell’s Angels to acquire and fired her up. Alice the waitress slammed the door as she stepped outside.

“Sorry about your job,” he said.

“I should’ve known better.” She stomped up the road.

Brookdale kicked his bike along and followed. “I appreciate you behaving like a human being. I know that takes guts, around here.”

“That and a hundred bucks will pay my rent.”

Brookdale reached for his bankroll.

“I don’t need your charity,” she said. “You sure are free with your money.”

“When I get low, I bust up a Klan meeting and steal their wallets. This part of the country’s a gold mine.”

“I bet it is,” Alice said. “Sometimes I wonder what they make their beds with, since all their sheets are sewn up into pointy hoods.”

Brookdale chuckled. “You need a ride someplace?”

“On that heap? You’ve got leaky valves,” Alice said. “I’m surprised it’s still running.”

“Sounds fine to me. Maybe you should stick to waitressing.”

Alice snorted. “That’s just to make ends meet. I’m a mechanical engineer, and if that engine makes it another ten miles, I’ll turn in my slide rule.”

Brookdale frowned and revved the engine. He didn’t know machines. “So what are you doing in this backwater, Lady Einstein?”

“My father’s the Einstein,” she said. “He was hired by Willem Cain to help with the corn crops. He disappeared, and I’m stuck here. But if I leave, I’ll never find out what happened to him.”

“Is that when that big go-go club opened up?”

“A few months after,” she said. “You’re not going there, are you? It’s whites-only, and Mr. Cain’s got dozens of trained guards running the place. They all know karate. They train in the cornfields, in those white pajamas.”

“This Mr. Cain sounds like quite the character,” Brookdale said, “but I’d rather listen on a full stomach. Where can a black man get some chow around here without getting stabbed?”

Alice pointed a finger, but it didn’t direct him anyplace but up.


Brookdale followed the main road out of town. He rode until he came upon some tarpaper shacks huddled along the river, where the folks had faces like his own.

Women and children relaxed as the summer heat faded into dusk, but no men joined them. As his motorcycle approached, mothers herded their children inside and slammed the doors.

Brookdale held them no enmity. They’d been driven all the way to the waterline, and any stranger playing hero would rain hell down on them long after he left town.

As the sun dipped low, Brookdale circled back through the village and saw a man’s silhouette hunched under a bridge. He parked his chopper in the weeds and shuffled to the river, where an old man sat on an upended bucket and fished with a cane pole.

“Evening, old timer.”

“Hush, son,” the man whispered. “Gonna scare the fish. Or worse, bring the night riders.”

Brookdale hunkered down on a stone. “Bring ’em,” he whispered.

“You’re so tough and smart,” the fisherman said. “That’s what my boy Cecil thought. They took him.”

“If the Klan’s coming, I’ll break a burning cross off in their ass.”

“Didn’t say Ku Klux,” the old man said. “They call themselves the Sons of Cain. They live beneath us, and at night they steal our men away.”

“They don’t look under bridges?”

The old man gave a toothless smile. “I’m too old for what they need,” he laughed. “They take white women, too.”

“What do they take white women for?”

“For that club of sin,” he said. “Any white girl walking alone gets grabbed up like a fish on a hook.” The old man tugged the pole, and it bent double. “Just like this here,” he cackled.

Brookdale hopped on his bike and roared back into town, his eyes peeled for a waitress’s uniform.


The main road was empty, the windows shuttered. Not a soul dared walk the streets. Neon flickered in the distance. Brookdale headed that way.

The Pussy Willow Palace glowed crimson at the edge of town. A busty neon dancer straddled the doorway and shook her goods in a manner that would give a real woman two black eyes and a concussion.

A pickup truck with the headlights dark patrolled the club’s perimeter. Men in karategi—karate uniforms—stood in the back. The truck stopped and the karateka filed out, searching alleys and buildings.

Brookdale puttered his chopper to a stop and kicked off his cowboy boots. He took his nunchaku and stalked his prey. As he neared the truck, Alice ran barefoot from an alleyway and screamed. Brookdale caught her and covered her mouth.

“Ready for that ride? Get on my chopper, while I take out these fools.”

A dozen men in white robes boiled out of the alley and surrounded them. Brookdale uttered a harsh cry and spun through a nunchuck kata to keep them at bay.

Two men stepped from the alley and racked their shotguns. Burl, with his cheek swollen like half a grapefruit, and Earl, the cook from the diner. They leveled the shotguns at Brookdale’s chest. “Strip him down,” Earl said.

Alice rolled in on the chopper, the engine wheezing. It backfired, and the Sons of Cain pulled her from it and let the bike crash onto the pavement.

“Told you it was dying,” she said, before a man’s brick-breaking karate hand covered her mouth.

The Sons of Cain took Brookdale’s chucks and tugged off his vest, leaving his rippled mahogany chest bare.

“Told you not to stay after sundown,” Burl smiled.


Brookdale did not struggle against his bonds. A Zen man knows to reserve his strength. The truck rolled into a corn maze, and Alice bounced against him. He steadied her with his shoulder.

The trucks parked in a flattened crop circle. Burl whistled. The circle of cornfield shook, then lowered into an underground silo.

“We built all this,” Alice said. “Willem Cain said he was creating a new Manhattan project, for the future of mankind. We built state-of-the-art labs, and he paid us well.”

“But why’s it all secret?” Brookdale asked. “If he’s helping humanity, something don’t jive.”

“Silence,” a beefy karate man said. He raised his hand, the edge horned and callused.

“I’ll speak if I damn please,” Brookdale said.

When he brought his hand down Brookdale twisted to take the blow, and then shouldered him above the knee. The karate man tumbled over the tailgate into darkness, his scream sharp and brief.

Two karate men knelt and chopped Brookdale. He took the blows in silence.

Light broke from below as the elevator entered a bright room. A row of white men in whiter lab coats stood waiting. A goat-like little man sporting an even whiter suit and a monocle stood in the center, tapping a jeweled, white gold cane.

The henchmen dragged Brookdale and Alice off the truck at shotgun point and threw them at the suited man’s feet.

“This is the one you wanted,” Burl said and bowed.

The karate men saluted. “Hail Cain!”

“Hello, Negro,” Willem Cain said in a nasally clipped voice. “I hear you are talented in the ways of brutal combat.”

“My name’s Brown Sugar Brookdale,” Brookdale said. “And I assure you, you’re messing with one brutal combat negro.”

“Perfect for our experiments,” Cain said without lowering his gaze. He twirled his scepter and lifted Alice’s chin with its spangled bulb. “You’ve done fallen down the rabbit hole this time, missy,” he said, baring white little teeth. “Your father will be glad to see you.”

“What is all this?” Brookdale asked.

Burl jabbed Brookdale with his twelve-gauge. Cain strode down the line of scientists. “I don’t expect you to understand, but you are witnessing the rebirth of the world’s greatest civilization. The antebellum South. When men were gentlemen and women proper.”

“No one likes a sore loser,” Brookdale said.

Burl cracked his cheek with the shotgun barrel. “Quiet, boy.”

“You’re gonna wish you filed the sights off,” Brookdale said.

“And why’s that?”

“It’s gonna hurt more when I shove it up your ass.”

Cain shook his head. “See? Gentility is a thing of the past. Lust has destroyed the Southern ideal. But I have discovered a way to harness it. Thus, I have built the biggest and greatest monument to debauchery in the nation. I have made a science of sin, to turn it back against the most powerful generator of lust on the planet.” Cain whipped his scepter toward Brown Sugar Brookdale’s rippling muscles. “The male negro.”

Brookdale chuckled. “Well, despite the correctness of your theory, you sound about as crazy as a shi—”

Cain thumbed a jewel on his scepter. It fired a red-feathered dart into Brookdale’s chest. Brown Sugar took a shallow breath and slowed his heartbeat, but the tranquilizer worked fast.

Cain frowned at him as if scolding an impertinent child. “Give him a double dose,” he said. “And send sweet Alice to the Slutting Chamber.”

Alice cried, “What have you done with my father?”

“You will meet him soon enough,” Cain said and smiled. “He built the Jezebel machines.”

For Brookdale, everything went black. And not in a good way.


Brookdale woke to the ruby glow of napalm and the lung-shaking thump of artillery in the jungle night.

“Gimme tracer fire on that berm, soldier!” Sgt. Kowalski hollered.

Brookdale leaned in to the hungry M60 and fed it a belt of ammo. Green phosphorus lasered to the target. Chief Zero, their short Pima Indian, hurled his grenade true. Three black-clad Charlies flew into the air, silhouetted briefly by shell bursts.

They cut through the VC line and mowed them down like chaff, but their glory-hound Lt. Calloway overextended again. The Cong closed the pincer behind them and cut the platoon to shreds. Alone and with nothing but Zero’s tomahawk, Brookdale hacked his way through swarms of hard-fighting little men until the jungle came alive and shook and slapped him awake.

“Get up,” a hushed voice said. “The fun’s about to start.”

Brookdale jumped to his feet and gripped the man by the chin and back of his neck, ready to snap his spine. Brown Sugar opened his eyes on a slim brother wearing nothing but a loincloth. The man froze. Behind him stood two dozen other brothers in similar attire.

“Easy! There’s plenty of karate crackers if you want to kill someone.”

Brookdale released the man and surveyed the room. Steel walls painted red. Windows up high, with one glass wall opening on a stage. Above, lab-coat men studied them. Spotlights strobed the stage, and saxophones blared.

“Sorry, brother.”

“I’m Cecil,” the tall man said. “I was the doctor in Skunk Hollow, before Cain kidnapped us.” He extended a strong, smooth hand.

“I met your father,” Brookdale said and shook his hand. “I’m Brown Sugar Brookdale, general ass-kicker.”

Cecil chuckled. “You look like you could kick your way through half the Klan, but Cain’s about to start his show. It’s best if we play along, you dig? At least until you get your strength.”

The men lined up by the glass, and Brookdale joined them.

On the stage, scantily clad women sashayed and bowed, facing away from the one-way mirror. Their audience lay beyond, cheering and clapping at the parade of fine white flesh.

Cecil and the brothers whistled and rolled their eyes. All shuck and jive.

Brookdale looked up at the scientists and played along. The women took turns writhing on poles and flicking their tongues. They were fine enough, but their eyes were heavy-lidded, their motions mechanical. For a connoisseur of feisty womanhood like Brown Sugar, they were as bland as Angel Food Cake.

“He’s giving us a drug he thinks will cause a deadly priapism,” Cecil whispered.

“A what?”

“A killer hard-on,” Cecil said. He fought a snicker. The men around him winced in imaginary pain. “Come on, make it look like you’re dying.”

“Why should I do that?”

“He’s injected us with some crazy serum that’s supposed to kill us for looking at white women,” Cecil said. “So grab your junk and play along. The last formula hurt bad, but this one has no effect that I can tell. Let’s make ’em think it nearly kills us dead.”

Brookdale shrugged and writhed on the floor with the rest of them, trying not to laugh.

After the first girl finished, a strong freckled redhead crawled onto the stage, naked as the day she was born. The crowd roared. Brookdale peeked through his mock grimace.

He winced at the expression in Alice’s eyes. Her limbs moved against her will as her body played out a scene of lustful worship against the marble statue of a Greek god. Brookdale tore his face away from her humiliation and glared up at the lab coats watching.

Cain’s smile flashed from above, and the bulletproof glass ate his laughter.

When the show was over, Burl and Earl emerged from the room’s only door. Earl stood guard while Burl let loose with a fire hose, soaking the men and driving them to a tunnel exit.

Karate men with strange pistols herded them down the tunnels to a grimy underground cell. The water hoses reminded Brookdale of a lesson of Shaolin: It takes many years, but water can wear through a stone. He didn’t have years, but he would bide his time.

And then he’d shove that scepter down Willem Cain’s throat.


“Any of you know how to fight?” Brookdale asked after they received their meal pills. They tasted like chalk but filled the belly.

“We’ve been trapped here for months,” Cecil said. “There’s no way out of here, Brookdale.”

“We’ll see about that,” Brookdale said. He stretched his neck, popping the vertebrae.

“Anyone who fights, or even rebels by not watching the sleaze show, is used for weapons testing. Pulling the trigger, or playing target.”

“They make us shoot each other?”

“The guns were blowing up in the rednecks’ faces,” Cecil said. “Until they made us do the shooting, with another gun to our head. Then the ray guns started working.”

“Ray guns? Like in Flash Gordon?”

“No joke,” Cecil said. “They aren’t perfected yet, but they’ll knock you on your behind and singe off that mustache of yours.”

Brookdale frowned and listened.

“From what I can tell, Professor Rutnik is the only real brains of the operation.”

“Would the professor be a carrot top?”

“Why, yes he is. How’d you know?”

“That redheaded girl on stage, she’s his daughter.”

“We thought she escaped.” Cecil looked at the floor. “Rutnik wasn’t cooperating, but he’ll have to now.”

“If he can get me my nunchucks, I’ll blow this place wide open. Ray guns or not.”

Cecil chuckled. “I admire your gumption, brother. The professor supervises the injections, but we’ll be under armed guard. And maybe you haven’t noticed, but we’ve got nothing but loincloths.”

Brookdale cracked his knuckles. “A warrior of Shaolin is always armed.”


The shotgun twins and a half-dozen karate men led them to the science lab. The warehouse room gleamed white, cluttered with beakers, levers, and wire.

Burl prodded him ahead with the twelve-gauge. “How’s your pecker feel, boy? That jungle juice making it shrivel and fall off?”

Brookdale ignored him and studied the lab. Chalkboards scrawled with scientific chicken scratch. A jet pack strapped to a crash-test dummy. A Buick convertible atop four huge electric fans. Up the line, a doctor examined each prisoner in turn and then passed him on for injection by a lanky man in a lab coat and glasses. He sported a spray of orange hair and beard and the same fierce eyes as his daughter.

Brookdale’s reflexes sensed the inspection line’s natural weak point. Burl had his back and Earl covered the professor, but the henchmen were scattered between the science projects. Brookdale scanned for a weapon. He froze when he saw his nunchaku on display in a bell jar, wrapped in copper wire. The Sons of Cain had it surrounded.

Brookdale knew how to make use of his environment, and his nearest weapon was a racist cracker with a bad attitude.

“You should get some of that serum, Burl. Might make your johnson visible without a microscope.”

Burl raised the twelve-gauge to crack him on the skull. Brookdale spun and delivered a power punch to the ribs. The shotgun blast shredded ceiling tiles, and the dust fell like snow. Burl bent double and Brookdale twisted the shotgun from his hands, cracking his chin with the stock and sending him tumbling through a candy-colored collection of flasks.

The prisoners panicked, and the Sons of Cain leapt into battle. Earl aimed his twelve-gauge, and Professor Rutnik stuck him through the hand with a syringe. Earl cried out, and the shotgun barrel hit the floor.

Brookdale took two steps and leapt with a flying kick. His foot sank into Earl’s belly and sent the man sprawling.

“Shoot them!” Cecil hollered, before a karate man chain punched his chest.

“No,” Brookdale said. “It’s not the Shaolin way.” He spun the shotgun like a three-foot staff and cracked one karate man across the face, then pushed two more over a table of devices.

The air sizzled with electricity. Half a dozen karate men flew to the floor, their gi smoking. Professor Rutnik scowled and aimed a bulbous weapon shaped like a power drill. “Freeze,” he said. “Or be prepared to eat science.”

The henchmen raised their hands.

Brookdale offered the professor his hand. “Brown Sugar Brookdale.”

The prof shook it. “Doctor Ernesto Rutnik. Alice told me about you. They have her in the Jezebel chambers.”

Brookdale helped Cecil off the floor. “Let’s lock these brainwashed bozos up and go kick some Cain ass.” The brothers cheered as Rutnik handed out futuristic weapons.

“I took the liberty of supercharging your nunchaku,” the prof said. He handed them to Brookdale. The chain sizzled with power. “Hold it by the rubber insulators and strike with the copper catalysts.”

Brookdale smiled and tucked them into his loincloth.

“We’ll need the guards to open doors. Cain made me install fingerprint scanners.”

Burl and Earl groaned from the floor. Brookdale grinned and leveled the shotgun at their faces.

“Wait—you said that ain’t the way of Chow Mein!” Burl cried.

“Shaolin, you ignorant fool. I took a vow against firearms when I joined the temple,” Brookdale said. “Shooting people is not the way of the Buddha. But that big-bellied brother didn’t say nothing about sticking shotguns up an evil cracker’s ass.”


Burl and Earl hobbled and whimpered at the front of the battle line. Brookdale followed with a twelve-gauge in each hand.

“Cain began as a philanthropist,” the prof said. “Alice and I streamlined corn production, and soon it fed the poor of the entire region. He gave me free rein to develop new technologies, so I worked on my dream: the flying car. To unshackle humanity from the earth!”

“How much gas does it use?”

“That’s the beauty of it—it runs on corn! When Cain saw it, he flipped his lid. Locked me up and built the Pussy Willow Palace. Here’s the door.”

“Open sesame, crackers,” Brookdale said. He jabbed the shotguns in deeper. The two men fought to slap their hands on the palm reader. The door shushed open, and they tumbled face first on floor, the shotguns wagging like dog tails.

The Jezebel chambers were lined with silk pillows and naked, drugged women. Two bulbous white electrodes hummed from the ceiling, and the enslaved ladies fanned dozens of bare-chested karate men and tittering scientists in smoking jackets. Cain himself sat enthroned on a velvet divan atop a purple dais. Alice and three similarly overabundant stunners hung on his knees.

Brookdale spun up his electric nunchaku with a fearsome cry. “Party’s over, peckerwoods!”

“Seize him!” Cain shrieked.

The karate men leapt from their pleasures and attacked. The nunchucks crackled like an exploding lightbulb. The first henchman flew across the room, hair puffed up like a French poodle.

“Damn, Professor!”

The chucks whined like jet turbines as Brown Sugar mowed through his foes. Brothers in loincloths fired ray guns and sent henchmen sprawling. Professor Rutnik fired at the white electrodes, which slumped and fell like deflated serpents. Women shrieked and covered themselves with pillows, free from the Jezebel machine’s spell.

Cain strutted from his throne and twisted his scepter. The end sprayed open with a bouquet of spiked leather, a sizzling cat o’nine tails. He whipped his way through friend and foe, his strikes sending men to the ground clutching their limbs in pain.

“The final battle has come,” he shouted. “Just as Father predicted.”

Professor Rutnik fired. The ray blast ricocheted off Cain’s whip.

Cain cackled. “When our housekeeper sneered that one day a man like Reverend King might be president, Father laughed and said we’d have jetpacks and rocket cars first!” He cracked the whip and struck Professor Rutnik down. “And you, you brought that terrible future to pass!”

“You madman,” Rutnik said. He clutched his singed hands. “We could have fed the world!”

“I had to return humanity to its glorious past,” Cain said. He raised his whip in a finishing blow. “You left me no choice!”

“Wake up and taste the future!” Brookdale sailed over the fracas and took the blow. The cat o’ nine tails striped his back. He landed at Cain’s white-loafered feet.

“Never! Your kind were not meant to rule!”

The air crackled as Brookdale snapped through a lightning kata. The sparks reflected in Cain’s monocle, mirroring the fear in his eyes.

Cain raised his whip to strike. Brookdale pounded him with a sizzling tattoo of blows, driving him toward the wall. Alice, clad in the bloody gi of a fallen warrior, took up a ray pistol and blasted the wall behind him. Cain tumbled through the gaping hole onto the stage of the Pussy Willow Palace.

Brookdale leapt onstage with a fearsome howl and brought his foot down on Cain’s chest. Men scattered and women screamed as they beheld the terrible fury of Brown Sugar Brookdale and his ear-splitting war cry. Cain collapsed in a heap, his scepter-whip rolling slowly off the stage.

Sweaty men dropped their dollars and stampeded for the doors. Brookdale snapped his chucks at the stage curtains, unleashing a lightning bolt which set them ablaze.

He turned his blood-streaked back on the shrieking mob of Southern elite and helped his brethren herd the enslaved women through Cain’s conquered lair to their freedom.


The shrine to Babylon collapsed in flames. Cecil led the freed men home to Skunk Hollow, keeping the professor’s weapons for the next time evil came to town.

Alice blotted Brookdale’s wounds with a wet cloth as her father showed off the flying Buick Electra 225.

“You turn the stereo to FM and pop the cigarette lighter, and it turns back into a normal Buick,” he said.

“I’ll take it,” Brookdale said.

“Daddy, let him rest,” Alice said. She wore a pair of horn-rimmed glasses, her red locks thrown back wild. “What will you do now, Brown Sugar?”

“I should return to Shaolin Temple and pay my respects,” Brookdale said, climbing into the driver’s seat. “But Cain got me to thinking. If we’ve got flying cars, maybe it’s time this country had a bad-ass black president, someone who’ll show those oil sheiks who’s boss and get us out of this endless war in Asia.”

Professor Rutnik rubbed his chin. “I’m not sure the world is ready.”

Alice slid over Brown Sugar’s lap to the passenger side. “Let’s blow this crazy corn town.”

Brookdale arched an eyebrow. “I offered you a ride this morning, and you flipped me the bird.”

“I like ’em big, strong, and not as smart as me,” Alice said. She squeezed his arm. “Besides, you’ll need me to fix this thing.”

The professor held up a pistol. “You sure you don’t want a couple of these?”

“The last thing we need is a ray gun in the White House.” Brookdale laughed and gave the Buick some gas. The fans lifted it off the ground with a whine of chopper blades. “Besides, I don’t need a gun to break my foot off in Tricky Dick’s ass!”

Alice clutched his arm as he raced the Buick into the warm black night.


Thomas Pluck writes unflinching fiction with heart. His work has appeared in The Utne Reader, Needle: A Magazine of Noir, Burnt Bridge, PANK Magazine, McSweeney’s, The Morning News, Beat to a Pulp, and numerous anthologies. He is also the editor of Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT. You can find him on the web at and as @tommysalami on Twitter.

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