Harry, The Steppenwolf: What the Landladys Son Saw

Harry, The Steppenwolf: What the Landladys Son Saw

A Story by Malenkov
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What Herman Hesse never told you: The real Steppenwolf story.

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Harry, The Steppenwolf:

What the Landlady's Son Saw

by

Malenkov

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

I told mum we ought never to ‘ave had that wierdo Harry under the same roof in the first place--but would she listen to me? Allright, so ‘e paid his rent on time--had that going for ‘im, I’ll give yer that.

But he had some a the filthiest habits this side of the Bow Bells--don’t reckon we’ll see another sort like that in a month a Sundays, yer ask me.

What’d he do?

For starters there was that business about sniffing the house plants. Roses, tulips--you name it--whatever’s in them vases mum’s always putting out on the landing.

I ask you--is a man right in the head to do a thing like that?

Oh, and then there was that lark about inhaling the boot polish, like it was bloody opium!

There’s this time, I’m on my way back from Bingo, huffing and puffing up the stairs and nothing on me mind but a bit a footie on the radio, when I sees this balding, middle-aged bloke--fat dripping like a spare-tire off the waist--bulb of a nose sniffing the hallway like a bloody golden retriever hunting rabbits.

So I coughs all politeness like, and says, “’xcuse me Sir, mind telling me what yer up to this time a night? Not that it’s any a my business a mine, but I--”

“Oh, don’t mind me,” he says--likes it nuffing--“Just taking in the ambience--Nostalgia and what not, you know. Reminds me of the little simplicities . . . ” says he, giving me this wink and a nod--with these spooky eye brows that join smack bang in the middle--like I’m supposed to understand what he’s rabbiting on about.

Ambience? I thinks to meself. What’s the ambience in a bit of shoe polish and worn out carpet, and a manky old mahogany Victorian cupboard with a few souvenirs from Bognor Regis chucked in it?

Fella gives me this queer smile, and says, “You really don’t know how much all this domesticity means to a man like me--I’m a Steppenwolf, at heart you know.”

Man like me? What the hell’s he on about?

Now I don’t mind a bit of polish sniffing--kids theses days being on glue and dope ‘n all, so it ain’t like it’s anything new under the sun, if ya get me drift. But that’s nothing to what I sees coming ‘ome from the steel yard, hard day’s slog behind me like: I cops this big old codger, moustache like a walrus and--blimey all righty!-- I almost drops me newspaper--bloomin fish ‘n chips ‘n all.

It’s only him, ain’t it?

Mister, I’m the bloody-off-me-‘ead-Steppenwolf-from-planet-mars.

Geezers standing there in this trampy herring bone two piece, thread bare at the elbows, and ‘es got this dusting rag half stuffed up one nostril, like it’s some illegal stuff I’d rather not know about. And he’s got Peggy’s petticoat--Peggy, the cleaning lady--a petticoat wrapped in his big mits and rolling about like a mongrel on his back in the back yard; eye’s glazed over and virtually frothing at the mouth like he’s doing something unspeakable from the Karma Sutra.

And what’s ‘e doing I ask ya?--Sniffing it.

Sniffing and pawing this petticoat, stolen clean, I should say, from younder clothes line. Sniffing like a right blimmin great wart hog.

“Oi there!” hollers I, “What’s your bloody game, mate?” And I step up to the chap thinking, if I don’t get a good reason in the next ten seconds, I’ll knock this joker’s block clean off his head.

So he gives me this sheepish look.

Him. Standing there in this string vest and dirty long johns--garters dangling round these short hairy legs that’d shame a gorilla, and he gives it the little-boo-peep’s-been-caught-with-his-pants-down-his-ankles look.

“My dear Sir, you ought not to take this the wrong way--It’s certainly not what you might be imagining, albeit in these admittedly quite perplexing circumstances--” he says in this toffy accent straight out of Eton. “You see, it’s all perfectly understandable really:  I’m in the process of integrating my personality, actually. . . .”

'Actually'. I ask you. I kept my eye on the chap after that--can’t go letting them eccentrics out yer sight for a bleeding second: next minute you know the bugger’ll be thieving the petty cash.

Next time I sees the beggar it’s ten at night and the full moon's out. And you gotta remember we’re talking about mister stay-at-‘ome-no-friends-here. He’s done up to the nines in this black evening suit, looking like a penguin that’s been let out the zoo for the night, wing collars turned up like Count Dracula, and rolling out the door with this upmarket blonde lass-o’-the-night (the type yer pay for if yer get my drift), looking shifty like on his arm.

Next morning, I’m under the covers--enjoying my Sunday morning kip and deep in la la land--when I hears this bloody great din in the hallway: this laughing and slurred singing a going on, like it’s a herd of Arsenal hooligans stampeding about the place.

So I storms out my room thinking, hooligans or not, I’ll give ‘em a piece a me bloody mind--and what’dya know?

It’s him!

Tanked up to the gills. Smiling like a idiot. Swaying about the place like a drunken sailor in a storm on the sea.

“What the bloody hells the game, mate?” say I, lip trembling and mits up ready for a bit of fisty cuffs.

But he’s laughing away like he inhaled helium or som’ing; chortling and guffawing, ranting on about “the importance of laughing like an immortal,” or some such tripe, and he’s “joining his thousand souls,” and some such cram, and this “did you ever consider how immensely many sided we happen to be?” toss.

Bloody Nora! I ask yer--you ever ‘ear such crazy notions in all yer life? You might a told me Queen Victoria, God bless her socks, were coming for tea and crumpets. I would a believed you more than what was going on about me, right there under me nose.

I was on the blower in a jiffy. Dialling 999 like a man possessed, telling the boys in blue there’s a loon on the loose and they better step on it, before it gets outta hand.

Half hour later, this blue cop wagon pulls up the front garden, horses panting and out jump two strapping blokes, bobby helmets dipping, truncheons flashing, and they manhandle poor Mister Steppenwolf clean out the front door, all love and affection like--in this double arm lock grip that could a squeezed Hercules to death.

Shoulda seen the way he carried on--as they strapped him up in the white coat. Shouting and screaming, he was. Giving it: “Gentleman, please, this is a big mistake--you must understand, please, really you must--I’m becoming an immortal, I the Steppenwolf. This is an extremely delicate part of the integration process to interfere with, please I beg . . . .”

All the time laughing his head off like a nutter.

Well, they politely escort mister-bleemin-Steppenwolf off the premises--and good riddance too, I don’t mind telling ya. Last I heard, chap was in some loony bin--up Newbury Park way. Hear ‘es bin howling at the moon, and glancing in mirrors--checking if ‘es soul’s been mended and such toss.

Ask me, we ought to throw away the key and put him on bread and water. That’ll knock a bit of sense in his bleedin’ head.

Thank the Good Lord for sensible sorts like me and you.


 

 

--END--

 


© 2010 Malenkov



Author's Note

Malenkov
A little parody for Herman Hesse fans - helps if you've read Hesse's, The Steppenwolf.

My Review

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Featured Review

I feel like watching british TV again. I missed the accent. (or perhaps monty python tonight).

I haven't read the inspiring story that brought this along.

But I can say that the form, the use of accent, bringing up the color. This is how well the imagery has been painted. I can actually feel the character and all his culture talking right now. This is how a character of stories should be.

Very good flow, well imparted message.

A very good piece.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I've never read Hesse either but I love the wit in this piece. Brilliant and descriptive.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I feel like watching british TV again. I missed the accent. (or perhaps monty python tonight).

I haven't read the inspiring story that brought this along.

But I can say that the form, the use of accent, bringing up the color. This is how well the imagery has been painted. I can actually feel the character and all his culture talking right now. This is how a character of stories should be.

Very good flow, well imparted message.

A very good piece.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Though I have never read Steppenwolf I really enjoyed this piece i felt as if I was having a gossip session and I was so enthralled that even though I should have been headed to bed I couldn't stop reading... very nicely done!

~Frances~

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Never read Hess'e's, The Steppenwolf, but I like this. I love the way you used an accent when writing it, just as an ol dEnglish Geezer would have spoken back in the day. It's well written, and tells a good story as well. Very oringinal, and funny. XX

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Never read Hess'e's, The Steppenwolf, but I like this. I love the way you used an accent when writing it, just as an ol dEnglish Geezer would have spoken back in the day. It's well written, and tells a good story as well. Very oringinal, and funny. XX

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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1528 Views
5 Reviews
Added on March 14, 2008
Last Updated on August 11, 2010
Tags: short story, fiction, humor, parody

Author

Malenkov
Malenkov

Frankfurt, Germany, Hessen, Germany



About
I'm a Brit, a child born to the war, the Angolan civil war my mother escaped from. So I grew up in the shadow of London--Small town of Ilford, Essex, right on the end of London’s Zone 6. Portu.. more..

Writing