Mantula in the news: the tarantula is real!


(Online news article)

The tarantula is real!

Local media seeks to bury truth

By Kip Mooney

Verde Valley Blog News

VERDE VALLEY, Ariz. – While many of you may know me from my former job as a reporter for the Sedona Daily Reader, what you may not know is that I was fired from that position this week. There will be a lot of speculation in the coming weeks as to why I was fired. I am here to clear that up.

First of all, the rumors I was arrested are true. I am now on bail awaiting sentencing thanks to the kindness of my parents. Police found drugs in my apartment when they responded to a disturbance there. They found crystal meth. Do I plan to get help for my addiction? Yes, eventually. I was fired because of the drugs and the arrest combined. But there is another angle to this story that is being buried, one I tried frantically to get my editor to cover, whether I was the lead reporter or not.

I’m talking about the tarantula that keeps popping up in the Verde Valley, from Sedona to Cottonwood. As I got deeper and deeper into my investigation, it seems I was getting close to something I shouldn’t have investigated. I got on this thing’s radar. I was arrested after that tarantula paid me a personal visit, after that tarantula assaulted me. I have bruises over most of my face and upper body, resulting from an altercation with this thing. It’s not simply a tarantula after all, no spider the size of my hand could inflict these kinds of injuries. This thing had super-human strength. But who would believe this? I don’t even believe myself half the time and I was there. The bruises are real on my body and face. The news reports and eye-witness accounts of the tarantula (and a quail accomplice) are real. I’m not even the first person to be assaulted by this thing! But the police, my editor; they all want to ignore this important point. What is this thing? That’s what I am determined to know. Where did it come from? What does it want? These questions need answered before this terror strikes again.

This story first began at the beginning of monsoon season earlier this summer. The tarantula was spotted falling from the sky by a drone performing operations over Sedona. Later, a tarantula was spotted with a quail near the site of a car wreck on State Route 89A in the red rock community. A tarantula was also spotted near the site of a crash on 89A in Cottonwood, and is believed to have caused the crash, but this time the tarantula was riding atop the quail holding a one hundred dollar bill. At the time the two weren’t thought to be connected, until I spoke with Flight Services, LLC, owner Diana Sturgis, who owns the drone that originally caught the tarantula on video. She claims the tarantula that fell from the skies near Coffee Pot Rock was later recorded holding a one-hundred dollar bill as well. Coincidence? Not damn likely.

So despite what anyone may think of me, I am determined to get to the bottom of this mystery. I will not rest until the tarantula has been brought to task for his deeds. I may have lost my job at the newspaper, but thanks to this blog, Kip Mooney will not be silenced. On top of that, again thanks to my parents, I have the funds to offer a little something to anyone who may know something about this mysterious figure. That’s right, I am offering $1,500 to anyone with information on the tarantula.

Contact me here at my blog for details.

MANTULA will return.


MANTULA Part Thirty-One: Rebirth of ManQuail Part II

Mant-31Kolbe explained the healing process wasn’t one hundred percent foolproof. There were side effects to the reawakening, such as sounding and acting like a drunk-ass fool. Another seemed to be Glenn’s odd “pit-pit” noises, which Dymphna said (in her mumbling way) was the sound made by real quails. Not even saints had their amazing God-like abilities down pat apparently. Perhaps there just isn’t a good way to bring someone back to life when they’ve first been turned into a bird due to their addiction to crystal meth.

“Hey man,” Glenn cooed. He lifted a single wing, trying to caress Dymphna’s pale cheek. She smiled, which seemed weird on her sullen mug, and let the shaky wing smack at her face. His caresses needed work. “Or girl, I guess. Yer a girl, right? Why you holding me, girl?”

Dymphna whispered to him. Her voice felt soothing in my ears, calming. It even had an effect on me. I suddenly wanted nothing more than to curl into a ball and start snoozing. She could really turn on the charm when she wanted. I doubted Kolbe could say the same. “You can relax right here in my arms. You can rest now,” she said to him.

“Relashashon…” my friend mumbled, then drifted into sleep. He made a few “pit pit” sounds, and then started snoring. Our psychic bond made those snores pretty loud in my head.

“This is likely going to continue for the next day or two until he reorients himself,” Kolbe said. “Be prepared for your mental bond to overwhelm him as well. He will need to learn how to control it again. What you can do, if possible, is exercise a bit of patience and help him out when he needs it. Watch over him a little.”

“He’s my friend, Kolbe. I will help him out.”

The man, saint or whatever, cracked a bit of a smile. He craned his neck to the small bowls of vinegar scattered throughout the apartment. “I see that stuff actually helps a bit. Weird how it absorbs negative energy. But there’s more to curses than just that. Anyone in a bad mood can create negative energy.”

I sprang to the couch. “It worked enough to bring ManQuail’s addiction back full force.”

“And it’s made you a little bigger,” Kolbe acknowledged. “You probably haven’t noticed, but your larger than any tarantula I’ve ever seen. The curse is lifting, but only a little, and very slowly. We need to accelerate it.”

“Great. Now I’m a freak of a spider. Bad enough being a regular tarantula with human-sized strength, but grossly large? When can you get me, us, back into our human bodies?”

Kolbe looked surprised. He approached the couch and took a seat next to me. Sitting there next to him didn’t make me feel all that reassured about my predicament. I could hear my son in my head, however, urging me to take a deep breath and try to be nice. It’s how he would want me to be, whether I wanted to or not.

“Me?” Kolbe said. “I’m afraid you underestimate my capabilities. I can help you understand what happened and steer you in the right direction, but this is a curse we’re dealing with. A regular, run of the mill curse, but with something of a twist.”

“Something of a twist. Right.”

Kolbe’s voice grew deadly serious. “The soul of Jacki Sturgis must be laid to rest. For the curse to lift, and lift quickly, this must be done. You, her granddaughter Diana, or both of you together, can accomplish this. But it must be done soon. As I’ve told you, she has an idea you are a threat. She’s gathering soldiers to do battle against you.”

“Why would she do this? How can an old dead woman get this powerful?”

Kolbe stared into his hands grimly. Shadows fell upon his sallow cheeks and haunted eyes. “Her granddaughter has told you her story I believe. Her anger, anyone’s anger for that matter, can propel a soul into dangerous territory. She wants the curse to persevere. She wants to rain it upon us, Dymphna and I, by sending these afflicted souls to our doorstep. It’s growing, you know, the curse is beginning to spread like a shock wave. Soon it will affect those suffering in Flagstaff, in Camp Verde, Prescott and elsewhere. Within a year it could reach the west coast.”

“For what reason?” I asked.

Kolbe shrugged. “Hatred I suppose. Revenge perhaps. It’s hard to say. Miserable minds seek to make others know their misery.”

“I didn’t ask for any of this. I have my own misery. I just want that back and all of this… I want all of this to go away.”

“You’ll have to play a little longer to find that peace, Doug. Help Glenn here to recover and set the soul of Jackie Sturgis to rest.”

Glenn is back!

Saint Dymphna appeared beside me on the couch. Silently, she laid Glenn’s snoring body beside me. He looked like a regular little quail at that point, almost cute in a way. I watched his feathered chest rise and fall, still amazed he had returned to the land of the living. I wondered how he’d feel come morning. Could be he’d wake up smack dab in the middle of the night screaming for meth. That worried me a little, but I felt confident these saints knew what they were doing, at least a little anyway. With luck he’d give up on the stuff, but I knew it wouldn’t be easy.

“I’m ready to leave now, Max.” Dymphna announced.

Kolbe climbed to his feet. “Enjoy this peace and quiet while you can, Mister Lansing. It will soon come to an end.”

“Nice words to leave me with. Thanks for that.”

The two saints made their way out of my crappy little apartment without so much as another word. I was left with a reincarnated quail, my thoughts, and the feeling I was about to go to war.

 MANTULA will return

Mantula the Comic #3

tul1 (2) tul2 (2) tul3 (2) tul4 (2) tul5 (2)


MANTULA Part Thirty: The Rebirth of ManQuail Part One

Doug finds himself annoyed by a couple of Catholic Saints.

Gagged on pop culture, polluted by

depression, comes Mantula!

A special fiction series!

“What the hell are you doing here?” I asked the man, though to be honest I wasn’t sure if he’d be able to hear me or not. Seeing as how Glenn and I spoke via a telepathic bond, I kind of doubted he would get so much as a peep from me. His answer, therefore, came as a surprise.

“I’ve come to give you a hand,” he replied. “And, like your emails, I see your just as obstinate in the real world.”

I laughed. “The real world? Is that what you call this crappy life?”

“Nice to meet you, Doug.”

“Saint Kolbe. What are you doing here? What are you doing with Glenn?” I stared at the young girl. She couldn’t have been more than eighteen. Her mousy brown hair, parted dead in the middle, hugged her face in limp strands. Her sallow, pale face barely looked up from the dead quail in her arms.

Saint Kolbe sighed in frustration. He motioned to the young girl to sit. “Why don’t you first tell me about your night? I can see it’s been a busy one. You two are nothing if not busy bodies.”

I hit an arm against the door to the apartment. It slammed shut, blocking this weird scene from the outside world. I didn’t need the neighbors to talk. Kolbe, wearing a gray turtleneck sweater straight out of the 1970s, black slacks, and white loafers, watched me through his round John Lennon glasses.

“There’s nothing to tell. Just another wonderful night in Mantula’s Crappy Little Apartment,” I answered. “I did kick that bastard reporter’s ass tonight if that’s what you’re talking about.”

He sighed again. The young girl didn’t seem to be paying any attention to either of us. Was she mental? “Why do you insist on calling yourself that? I know you think it’s what you’re son would name you. You’re little attack is just making things worse for you, Doug. You’re setting a series of events in motion that I don’t think I can undo.”

“Undo? You haven’t undone a damn thing. For a saint, you’re not taking care of much. You don’t even send emails in a nice way. And don’t talk about my son.”

I could tell the man struggled to stay patient. “Kip Mooney isn’t your only enemy, but you can now count him among them. Count on that.”

“The crazy witch ghost. Trust me, I’m aware she isn’t a fan.”

“There’s another too. Someone you’ve only met briefly, so briefly you don’t even remember. A man who hates spiders because of you, a common street thug. He’s been haunted by his encounter with you, Doug. He’s been looking for you and the spirit woman knows this. They want you dead.”

To be honest, at that moment I couldn’t care less about some thug I’d never met. I couldn’t give two craps about the wormy witch or Kip Mooney. Were I human I might have communicated that to Saint Kolbe by showing him my middle finger. As a tarantula, it wouldn’t come off right.

Instead I trotted past the odd pair. “I think there’s been enough death for one night. Enough talk too. If you two would excuse me, I’m going to go to bed. Kolbe, I’d appreciate it if you ask your friend to put Glenn back on the couch where she found him.”

“You don’t have any idea who this is, do you Glenn?”

“Right now I could care less.”

“Dymphna? Would you like to introduce yourself to ‘Mantula?’” The last he mutterd in air quotes.

So this young little thing held the lofty title of saintliness just like Kolbe – the quiet, unresponsive saint copied on all of Kolbe’s emails, the patron saint of mental disorders, finally got involved enough to appear in my living room.

“I’d rather not,” she replied. “He seems like he’s in a foul mood. I don’t waste my time on cretins.”

“Cretins? Why don’t you two see yourselves out.”

Kolbe laughed, quietly, but with a hint of stubbornness. “Not just yet.”

“Whatever. Do what you want. I’m going to bed.”


Glenn gets touched by a saint.

“Wouldn’t you like to say hello to Glenn first?”

I stopped, a little taken back by the man’s brazen attitude. Kolbe was no friend of mine, not by a long shot, but I didn’t think he was that cold, not being a saint and all. Apparently I was wrong about that. My only real friend, as anyone in the room could see, hadn’t take a breath the whole time they’d been there.

“Just give Dymphna here a few minutes and you can,” he said.

Dymphna mumbled. She cradled Glenn’s quail body in both hands, but stared directly at me. “Unless you’re too sleepy. Then, by all means, go to bed.” Her eyes, the color of jade, seemed to cut right through me.

“What are trying to tell me here? Are you saying…”

Kolbe whispered just as an orange light began to pour from the young girl’s palm. “She can bring him back, Doug. For what’s coming, you will need your friend’s help I think.”

“Bring him back?” I was spellbound by the warmth of the glow coming from her hand. It pulsated orange, then yellow like a morning sun, then a dark orange.

Kolbe explained things as if he were a doctor talking to a patient. “It’s not as easy as you think. Had we been an hour later, there would have been no hope, but we got here in time. Lucky for us we didn’t have to worry about a locked apartment, with you out getting your anger off, as you left the window open.”

“You can really bring Glenn back from the dead?”

“He won’t be himself for a while. Remember that. These things take time and he will have to rest, heal from the death experience for a day or two, but I’ve taken care of the drugs in his system. I got to that before you arrived. His addiction, however, thanks to the curse’s ebbing strength; that will remain.”

“This is unbelievable!” I shouted.

The glow intensified, filling half the room, and before long I heard an odd “pit-pit” noise. The orange glow intensified, then suddenly faded. The quail in her hands burned a hot white in color, but I could hear him in my head. I could hear his voice in my head!

“It’s my birfday or sumpin,’ right?” he asked. Not sure why but he sounded drunk.