Home > Chickee and the Paparazzi

Chickee and the Paparazzi
Author: C.D. Gorri





The cacophony of sounds that made up the Big Apple clanged and banged outside the basement apartment building where the meeting was taking place. He looked down at his nametag and grinned at the letter there.


Here, he would only be known by his first initial, not his unfortunate moniker, Clitton R. Russe, Clitt for short. He blessed the day his cousin, Harrison Greymole, sent him everything he needed to know about how to form his own POOP—every evil mastermind needed a Place of Operations Proper.

Clitt had the perfect place for his POOP. A secret hidey-hole, just a hop, skip, and a jump away. Okay, fine, it was his grandmother’s garage in Jersey City, but all he had to do was take the PATH train to the city, walk a few city blocks past the old churches, skyscrapers, and working peons and tourists, who came to this rat trap and dumped an ungodly amount of money there, to get to his new support group.

Clitt, er, C still couldn’t believe there was an entire underground network of mad geniuses needing like-minded allies to bounce ideas off of and help with their devious plots to take over the world. These were human bad guys, of course.

No one besides Clitt, er, C—at least, not since Wembley Ranklinger had joined, wanted to cure the world of the shifter infestation. It all started when they were children and C had come across Harrison mid-shift during a Greymole and Russe family reunion. Little did young Clitt realize that horrible sight would evermore be ingrained inside his still-developing brain.

Poor cousin Harrison had squealed and jerked. His entire body broke and rebuilt again, sprouting gray, coarse hair that felt rough against C’s skin as the mole pushed its way out of his cousin’s body. But that wasn’t the worst of it. The worst was the pain that lanced through his body when Harrison’s sharp teeth attached themselves to his hand, severing his pinky from the knuckle up.

The pain. The blood. The horror. The impossibly gory stump that was all that was left of his pinky!

To this day, C’s little stubby was a point of contention at family reunions.

For all you perverts out there, he meant his pinky. Not his other stubby, which was perfectly average, according to his beloved late mother.

Curse you, Bridget McDougal, who’d laughed the first time he showed her his stiffy in tenth grade!

Ahem. Focus.

C was above that kind of thing now. He’d had no girlfriends after Bridget, except for his crush on the star of that ingenious and very exploitive reality series, Hatched. How he missed the days of watching as the film crew followed young Chickee Prinz everywhere from the time she was two till she was fifteen.

Oh, he’d had a hard time. Forgiving Chickee from leaving the spotlight was not easy at all for C. But he understood fame was a fickle mistress. People with higher callings, such as he and Chickee, could only do so much in their lifetime. Not everyone had the stamina for it.

As a child, Clitt had been encouraged to forget his cousin’s grizzly transformation from boy to beast, but it had never left his mind. Ever since Harrison was sent to jail, the burden of his existence was a little easier to bear. True, he never stopped wondering what it would be like to have those powers for himself. But C understood they were a curse, not a gift.

Fortunately, C was born human. He’d communicated with his cousin infrequently but often enough to know the man was trying to stop the blight that shifters were on the world. Harrison was born cursed with the shifter gene. Poor thing. C had helped him when he could, using his computer prowess to steal identities and send them off to Ranklinger’s operation.

Their failure was shocking, but it only helped C conclude he was the only one to fix this problem. At least Harrison was not roaming the streets, lording his genius master over C anymore. Some genius.

Secretly, Clitt could not understand his cousin’s desire to be completely, and boringly, human. Being a shifter seemed to have some benefits, but perhaps it was not all it was cracked up to be.

Having to hide what you were all the time? Being at the mercy of your monstrous appetites?

No, that was no way to live. Shifters had to go. Others had come before C with their own hero quests, but each had failed. Just look at Harrison. He’d tried to aid the infamous mad scientist, Wembley Ranklinger, in his quest to cure the world of shifters using their own biology against them. It was too bad that Harrison was being held captive.

No, really, it was.

C could have used a henchman of his own. But that was okay. He didn’t need one for his plan to work. His plotting was pure genius in its simplicity. He just had to wait for the right time.

“Order! I call this meeting of Villains Anonymous Group, or as our name badges say, V-A-G, er, VAG, to order! Let us start with our creed.” The leader of VAG spoke into the microphone attached to the podium.

Every member of VAG stood up, hands over their hearts, C among them. He eagerly squinted his eyes to better read their creed, the very same one he’d found on their website on the black net just a few days ago. This was so freaking awesome!

C was shaking in his boots, size sixes. He’d had to buy them from the little boys’ section since his feet were so dang dainty they did not fit into men's shoes yet. He wiped his palm on the butt of his khaki pants and replaced it over his pounding heart.

“I swear to honor VAG,

To keep VAG healthy and clean of impurities,

To fill VAG with the biggest and baddest of villains,

To plug all holes, stop all leaks,

And wipe away that which blights us and our fellow members.

To the VAG brotherhood!”

“To VAG!”

“To VAG!”

“To VAG!” C joined in.

Most of the bad guys there were human, and though Harrison disapproved of him entering VAG, C knew this was the place for him. It was where he got all his inspiration.

Finally, after years of plotting, he had the answer. He would not cure the shifter problem with science and needles—far too messy for a clean boy like him.

Oh no.

Clitt was going to use his VAG connections to expose shifters to the entire world!

“Let’s begin,” the leader said, snaring C’s attention once more. “Does anyone have an evil plot or plan that needs fleshing out? Anything you want to share with the rest of us? L, how about you? No? Okay, well, I tell you what, we will partner up for feedback after everyone shares at least one idea.”

Hmm. That was problematic but easy enough to get around. C could not share information with the rest of the human world just yet. He knew what would happen. They would laugh at him then wait for him to say he was joking. When he didn’t, they would start looking at him with pity in their eyes.

Oh, how he hated pity! Afterward, they would try to reason with him, asking for proof of the existence of the supernatural, as if these creatures allowed humans to capture raw footage. Shifters were part human, after all. Sneaky little buggers, the lot of them.

Fine, so C had to share his plans. Well, he could make something up, talk about a robbery or heist. Meanwhile, he would sit and collect information. Being in a support group of villains had to have its boons.

C would listen and find an advantage or a tool to use or exploit, and then, he would put his plan into action. Bring the reality of the shifter world into the limelight. Maybe he could even host a reality show that interviewed shifters and followed them around whatever commune, reservation, or prison they wound up in. Maybe he could direct it too!

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