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Mark M Lichterman

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The Midnight Skulker 8
By Mark M Lichterman
Posted: Monday, September 26, 2011
Last edited: Sunday, October 02, 2011
This short story is rated "PG13" by the Author.
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The “Midnight Skulker being a shadowy character created by Johnny Hart in the "B.C." comic strip that first appeared in syndication in 1958.
Eventually I'll get to the reason for this title.



San Diego, California

February 28, 1974

1:16 p.m.  Pacific Standard Time

 Hands still clasped, continuing down the staircase into, ’United Arrivals’ the first person they spotted was a well-dressed, middle-aged man holding a handmade sign that read…


 “Welcome to San Diego

   Mitchell & Marsha!!”


“Guess that’s our guy.”


“Yeah, I guess.” Walking towards the moderately good looking man, “Hi, I’m Mitch Lipensky,” shaking hands, “and this is my wife, Marsha.”


“Marsha,” nodding his head, “Mitchell… Pleased to meet you. I’m Lennie Goodman of ‘Forrest Olson Real Estate’, and again, Welcome to San Diego.”


“Glad to know you, Mister Goodman…

“We’re not all that formal here in Sothern California, the name’s ‘Lennie’, please.” 


“Yes, us, too. Uh, Marsha and me, we’re not so formal either.”


“Good! You guys hungry?”


“They served some cereal and sweet rolls at about ten, so, yeah,” Marsha said, “we could eat.”


“Good. You like seafood.”


“Fish, no!  At least not for me.” Marsha said. “Seafood, yes. I love shrimp!”


“Seafood is fine with me.” Mitchell said, “But we’ve got to get our bags first.”


“Of course. The bags should be coming down any time now.”


“Okay then, I’ve a beautiful place for seafood, and the food’s pretty good, too.”


Following Goodman to the baggage claim, despite Mitchell’s objections, Lennie carried the larger of the two bags to the parking area where, Mitchell in front, Marsha in the back seat, in a newer model two tone – white and powder blue – Buick Road Master, they drove from the Lindberg Field parking lot to Laurel Street where the Buick turned right and right again on North Harbor Drive.


Following the coast towards the city of San Diego, the Pacific Ocean in open view, staring out the window, “Lennie, oh, my God, this is so beautiful!”


“It is, isn’t it!  San Diego is one of the prettiest cities in America, that’s why I stayed after I got discharged.”


“By the way, I’m Mitchie and that’s Marcie back there.”


“Good, thanks, ‘Mitchie’.”


“Were you in the Navy?”


“Nah, I’m a Marine.”


“Really! You were stationed here?”


“Nah, after ‘Nam’, they shipped me to,” flipping his thumb over his shoulder, “ ‘Pendleton’, uh, Camp Pendleton’s, about twenty miles south of here… You?  Were you in the ‘service’?”


“Yeah, Coast Guard. Stationed in New York. Got discharged in fifty-seven.”


“You in ‘Nam?”


“No. I’d had some prior service in the National Guard way back in nineteen-fifty, so I had no reserve time when I got discharged. Besides, when Viet Nam started I had four kids and was too old so never got called up.”


“Yeah, well, you were one of lucky ones, I guess.”


Wanting to change the subject, “So, you spoke to Alice?”


“ ‘Alice’?”


“Our Real Estate lady back home.”


“No, not actually. You got assigned to me through our referral relocation department.”


Disappointed that he hadn’t spoken to Alice, “You do know what we’re looking for, though, don’t you?” Marsha asked.


Glancing over his shoulder, then quickly back to Harbor Drive, “Marcie, yes! Don’t worry, I got all of your information and have six homes for you to look at that I think you’ll really like.”


“With pools?”


“Four have pools.”


Turning on Harbor Island Drive.


“Here we are.”  Pulling in the ‘Tom Ham’s Lighthouse’ parking lot, “This is one of my favorite places.”


“Don’t blame you,” Marsha said, “what a neat place!”


Parking the Buick, “Yeah,” opening his door, then Marsha’s, “it’s really beautiful here, isn’t it?”


Perched on a hill on the tip of Harbor Island, the restaurant, located in an old lighthouse, faced the San Diego skyline to the east and the ocean to the west.


Approaching the door, “Do they have ‘pissers’?”


Looking at Marsha as her husband held the door open for her, “ ‘Pissers’?”


Remembering, “Yeah,” Mitchell said, “Pissers…”


Seagate, New York

December 22, 1955

Having a major ‘erectile’ problem throughout the first week of their marriage, and anxious to try anything:

 “Sheepshead Bay.”

“What’s Sheepshead Bay?”

“A place for oysters and stuff… And it’s beautiful there!”

“Oysters? Yaght! For you maybe. What do you want oysters for?”

“I like ’em, and they say they put ‘lead in your pencil’.”

“Lead in your pencil?” She laughed. “What do they mean, lead in your pencil?”

Kissing her lightly on the mouth, “They’re supposed to make guys, you know, virile. Like if you’re not horny, oysters are supposed to make you horny.” Kissing her again, this time feeling her tongue on his lips. “You know, put lead in your pencil. Give you… uh, me, a boner, a hard-on… Make me screw like a bunny.”

“I like that idea.” Taking his hand, holding it to her breast, “Why don’t you try what the old guy said first?”

“What?” Sensing the start of an erection, “Oh, take a… poop?”

“Yeah! Go poop!”

Squirming a bit, “I don’t gotta. And you know what they say.”

Knowing what was happening beneath her buttocks, wiggling her butt, “No, what do they say?”

Putting his hand beneath her blouse, “If you don’t gotta, you don’t gotta.”

Lifting her left bra cup. “Seems like poopin’s easier than…” Marsha said as he popped her breast out, “eating a bunch’a slimy oysters.”

His hand filled with soft, warm flesh, “Sorry, I just don’t gotta.” His erection no longer in the growing state, “And oysters ain’t slimy.”

Taking his head in her hands, kissing him, hard… “You really think they’ll help?”

“Umm!” The tip of his index finger making circular motions on her hardened nipple, “First of all, they sure couldn’t hurt.” Kissing again… “And secondly, Sheepshead Bay is on my list of places I want to show you anyway. And if you don’t want to eat oysters…”

“Yeah! I don’t want to eat oysters?”

“Then there’s…” Lifting her blouse, looking at the breast held within his hand, Oh, God! Knowing what he wanted to do, but so afraid to start. “…lots’a other stuff for you to eat.”

Knowing what she wanted to do, but so afraid to start. “And you really think oysters’ll put lead in your pencil?”

“Like I said, they sure couldn’t hurt.”

“Yeah, that’s for sure!” Pulling from his hand, standing, going to the closet, “So, come on!” Taking her coat, “Let’s go!” Throwing him his. “What are you waiting for?”


On the fifth day of their marriage, after three failed attempts to break their virginity barrier, Mitchell and Marsha Lipensky, having bundled up in coats, hats and scarves, turned the heater to H, lowered the top of their convertible, and drove out of Seagate, through Coney Island, onto the Shore Parkway going east, to Sheepshead Bay.

Lundys was on the north side of the street, facing the bay. Across the street from the popular restaurant was a barrier of sea-tossed, granite slabs, Sheepshead Bay, and beyond, the Atlantic Ocean.

Now noon, a brilliant winter sun directly overhead, the bay churning with whiteheads, six- to ten-foot waves breaking on the slabs of rock, throwing geysers of spray into the air, “Mitchell,” said reverently, “it’s beautiful here.”

“Yes,” said just as reverently, “now that you’re here.”

“Come on, I want to show you something.” Taking Marsha’s hand, he led her across the street to an observation platform above and away from the breaking spray, but still, a fine mist coating their faces, the tang of saltwater could be tasted upon their lips. “See there?” pointing southwest, to a minute finger of land jutting into the ocean.

Shading her eyes, squinting against the glare of the sun, “I’m not sure.”

“On the very tip.” Still pointing, “There.”

Indecisively, “I… think so.”

“At about two o’clock… See it?”

Following the line of his pointing finger… “That, that looks like a skinny pencil standing up?”

“Yeah! You got it! That’s the tower.”

Since that first evening at the ‘J’, when they became reacquainted, Mitchell had spoken of Rockaway Lifeboat Station, Captain Ewing, and “that damned tower!”

“That’s it, huh?” From the moment they became engaged, Marsha had dreamt of being here—in New York—with Mitchell. And now that she was here with Mitchell, looking at the tower, seeing it across the misty expanse of the tossing ocean, it seemed…? Surreal—almost as though she was dreaming.

Having no idea Marsha felt as he, “Yeah.” Feeling melancholy also, “That’s where I spent a million hours looking here, wishing I was here with someone like you.”

Remembering something he’d said, “You told me that someday, when we knew each other better, you’d tell me about you being the only person in the world that’s ever, uh… shit on a bird. Not that I believe it, but if it did happen,” pointing towards the tower, “it had to be there. Right?”

Marsha refusing to swear, never swearing, “ ‘Shit’!” Mitchell questioned, “Did I hear you say ‘shit’?”

“No! I’d never say that!”

“Yeah, you did! Hey,” cupping his hands, yelling to the ocean, “Marsha Lipensky said a dirty word!” Laughing, “She shed shit!” his baby tongue-twister causing him to laugh even harder.

“Okay! Okay, already!” Poking him in the side with her elbow, “So I said shit. It only goes to show you’re teaching me lots’a really great stuff.”

“Yeah! I knew you could learn, if you really tried.”

“Oh, yeah, don’t forget my ‘damn it’ from the other day.”

“Yeah, that’s right. I did forget.”

“Big deal, you taught me to say another dirty word! So, did you really do it… poop on a bird?”

“Yup,” he said with pretended pride. “I sure did!”

“Oh, yeah, sure you did! I still don’t believe it.”

The wind ruffling the wisps of hair that fell across Mitchell’s forehead, “You’re so cute,” kissing his cold cheek, “I can’t stand you!”

“Yeah,” The wind also ruffling the fuzzy white ball atop her hat, “You, too.” Kissing her back, “I can’t stand you, too… Say something else, Marcie. Say fuck.”

Putting her arms about his neck, kissing him warmly on the mouth… Her lips now an inch from his lips, “Fuck.” Whispering into his mouth, “I love you so much, baby, and I want us to fuck.”

“God, Marcie,” closing his eyes, hugging her, Please, God, thinking a silent prayer, “I will, baby. I promise you, I’ll do anything I have to. I will, baby. We will!”

Holding each other, happy to be in the arms of each other, Marsha and Mitchell stood amidst the symphony of breaking waves, blowing mist and the bright, sparkling day.

“Come on, baby. This air’s making me hungry.”


“Ummm, Marcie, this clam chowder’s great!” Taking another spoonful of the thick, chunky, creamy soup, then, dipping the spoon in the bowl, holding it in front of her mouth, “Come on, try some!”

A Lundy Hamburger Special on the table before her, “Clams, yaght!” She pursed her lips.

“What are you so worried about? They’re dead, see? They’re even cut into little pieces.” Moving the spoon to beneath her nose, “Come on, just try a little!”

It did look good, and it did smell good, conceding, “If I don’t like it,” she said, “you’ll stop nudging me? Promise?”

“Hey, baby, this stuff’s too good and too expensive to waste. Yeah! If you don’t like it, I’ll stop nudging you. I promise!”

“Okay, just one spoonful!” Marsha opened her mouth and he carefully tilted the spoon forward.

A thin stream of chowder ran from the corner of her mouth down her chin. Taking a napkin, wiping it away, Mitchell waited for her reaction.

“Waiter,” stopping the young man as he was passing the table, “can I have a bowl of this stuff, please.”


She watched a thick puff of steam rise from the deep bowl as Mitchell lifted the napkin, reached under, picked one out, detached it from its shell and, holding a small, grey object by what appeared to be a tail, swished it through a bowl of clear broth, into another bowl of drawn butter, then, closing his eyes in gastronomical ecstasy, put it in his mouth, bit through the attached end of the tail, chewed, and, “Aw, God!” he said. “I can feel the lead pumping into the old pencil already.” Reaching beneath the napkin, taking another “steamer,” repeating the process: in the broth to remove all trace of sand, then into the drawn butter and, “Here,” holding it by the tail, “try one… Just one!”

“Are you crazy? No!” she said emphatically. “No! No! No!”

“Okay.” Biting through the tail, dropping it into a bowl, “Ummm,” chewing the clam, “Boy, is this ever good!” Lifting the stein, drinking some of the foamy, dark beer, “Marcie, come on! I told you you’d like the chowder, and you did, didn’t you?”

“No, I hated it!”

“Don’t bullshit me. Yes, you did! … Say bullshit.”


“Okay, then, it’s your loss.” But selecting another clam, swishing and dipping, holding it forward, “Go on, take it!”

Shaking her head, “I’ll gag.”

“No you won’t.” Eating it, “See?” As if speaking to a child, “Yum, yum! It’s sooo goood! Just one, Marcie! Try just one.”

“Okay, but if I puke, you’re the one that’ll have to clean it!”

“Yeah, okay, if you puke, I’ll clean it.”

“You lie!”

“No!” Crossing his heart, “If you puke, I’ll clean it!”

“Bullshit!” Marsha said. “Crossing hearts don’t work on Jews.”

“Bullshit? He smiled, “You said bullshit … So?”

“You are such a nudnik… Okay.”

“Okay!” Reaching beneath the napkin, selecting a plump clam, swishing very well, dunking it in the melted butter, holding it by the tail…

Looking at it a moment, closing her eyes, opening her mouth, Mitchell laid it upon her tongue.

Biting through the tail, chewing… “Mmmm! Hey, these oysters ain’t too bad! Matter’a’fact,” reaching beneath the napkin, taking another, “they’re pretty good! Guess we’ll both have lead in our pencils, huh? Or does it just work on men?”

“First off, these aren’t oysters,” taking one also, “they’re clams, and they’re called steamers. And secondly, yeah, it works on women, too, but instead of giving them lead in their pencils, ’cause women don’t have pencils, they take away pimples and gives ’em clear complexions.”

“That’s what you said sex was supposed to do.”

“Yeah, that does it, too.” Smiling, “So does eating ‘pissers’.”


“Yeah, these are called that, too.” Holding one up, “See this thing I’m holding?”

“Pissers? Yes,” she said, nodding her head feebly.

“Well, this is its pisser.”

“No! That’s not what it is! … Really?”

“Yeah, really! When one of these things is buried in sand and you step on it, or a bird tries to dig it out, it squirts… pisses water, and that’s why they’re called pissers. Marcie,” speaking as if to a child again, “can you say pisser?”

“Kockie, doodie.”

Laughing, “Come on, little girl. You can say pisser.”

“Nope!” Taking a clam, swishing, dunking and eating, “A bullshit and a fuck are enough for one day.

“Waiter,” Mitchell called, “a dozen blue points, please.”

“Blue points?”

“Oysters… I’m not sure if clams are supposed to do the same thing as oysters, but to be on the safe side, I think I better have some of them, too. And seeing as you like ’em so much,” sliding the bowl to Marsha, “you can finish these… And don’t worry, I promise, I’m not going to offer you any oysters.”

“Thank you so much!” she said sarcastically.

“Maybe we’ll come back next week and I’ll show you how to eat oysters, too.”

“Nooo, thank you!”

San Diego, California

February 28, 1974

1:47 p.m.  Pacific Standard Time

Perched on a hill on the tip of Harbor Island, the restaurant, located in an old lighthouse, faced the San Diego skyline to the east and the ocean to the west.


Approaching the door, “Do they have ‘pissers’?”


Looking at Marsha as her husband held the door open for her, “ ‘Pissers’?”


“Yeah,” Mitchell said, “Ipswich clams have a, uh, pisser that sticks out of the sand and… kind of squirts water on birds that try to eat ‘em so they’re called…”

Being led to a window table on the ocean side by the hostess, “ ‘Pissers’.” Leonard said. “Nah, we got cherrystones but no ‘pissers’.”

“Oh, yeah,’ the hostess said, “we got ‘pissers’.”

©September 27, 2011 / Mark M. Lichterman

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Reader Reviews for "The Midnight Skulker 8"

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Reviewed by Laura Fall
This is absolutely Fantastic as you sure have the true gift my friend as this is such a great story and much enjoyable read well done indeed Laura
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Your talent and words enthrall me. Very well penned, Mark; well done; bravo!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Texas, Karen Lynn. :D
Reviewed by Rose Rideout
Time has flowen by since I've started reading your stories and they have come a long way Markie. Great work.

Your #1 Newfie Friend Hugs, XOXOXO, Rose
Reviewed by Annabel Sheila
You know when I'm reading this and the story flashes back to earlier days with Marcie &'s like I knew them personally back in those've done a great job at allowing us to befriend the characters in your story, Mark.....well done!


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