Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Hello, everybody. My name is Vionna Vernet Valis. I am female, probably about 20 years old (my life, particularly my past, is kind of mysterious and complicated, and I don't even remember most of it) and I am a resident of the city of Zenith. Also, I am a close friend of the Black Centipede and Doctor Dana Unknown, and am also the adopted sister of Jack Christian, who used to be a kid superhero, but now works with Dana Unknown and writes up reports of her adventures. Some of you might have read the first one of those in Pro Se Presents magazine #13, which came out last year. Some of you might also have read the first two volumes of the endless, crazy adventures of the Black Centipede. 

Now, those are all good stories and everything, but, to be totally honest with you, they are actually very, very sort of somewhat boring compared to the stuff that happens to me and my best friend, Mary Jane Kelly. I don't mean those other stories are genuinely BORING boring, you know, like stuff you would have to read in high school, that's not what I'm saying at all. I just mean that ours are better and more exciting. I think the word I want is relativity

Like, if you had some kind of a thermometer or something that measured the excitingness of a story, okay, the Black Centipede and Doctor Unknown Junior would be about an eight, assuming that the scale only goes up from 1 to 10. And that's pretty good, 8 is uncommonly exciting. But the adventures of me and Mary would be an 11. (I know you can't have an 11 on something that only goes up to 10, but that is what you would call a humorous exaggeration, I believe-- I sort of copied it from a joke in this movie I saw one time about a fake heavy metal band that was really a bunch of guys from Saturday Night Live and that one guy from Laverne and Shirley, which is one of the best shows in history, in my opinion, as far as old-timey shows go. I like it almost as much as I do that one where Patty Duke looks just like herself and is her own cousin.)

Anyhow, what this whole thing is is me sort of introducing myself to all of you because finally, finally, me and Mary are going to have our own book, and I want it to have as much publicity as possible because I'm hoping we can sell an enormous number of them. Which we really should, because-- and I am being one hundred percent honest with you right now-- Vionna and the Vampires, which is what our book is called, is literally about a million times better than all of the Harry Potter books put together. And I'm not knocking Harry Potter. Again, the word relativity is what I would use here.

Me and Mary are psychic detectives, which means that we are detectives with psychic powers, sort of. By "sort of," I mean that they don't really work very well, but we have them, so it is not illegal for us to advertise ourselves that way. But, anyhow, that isn't a big deal, really, since we are very smart, and are excellent detectives, and can adapt to any situation, and so on. Mary got her powers by being killed in 1888 and then being brought back to life by the Black Centipede a couple of years ago. Being dead for a long time then coming back to life again is bound to give you some kind of weird abilities. I don't know how I got mine. That's a whole big thing, and I talk about it a lot in the book, which will be out this year, I don't know exactly when, but I want you to have plenty of time to save up your money or whatever you need to do.

If you read Blood of the Centipede, then you have met me and Mary, because we appear in that story, but not very much. Well, Mary is in it a lot more than I am, and it was a very traumatic experience for her-- not just being in the book itself, I don't mean, but what happened to her in order for her to be in the book was traumatic-- but I was only kind of jammed in there a couple times near the end, and don't have anything at all to do with the story, as such. Us being in it at all is what they call a teaser, because it hints at this huge adventure we're going to have later on, which has not been written yet, so I can't talk about it.

Now, about the title, Vionna and the Vampires, that was NOT my idea. I wanted to call it A Study in Scarlet, because Sherlock Holmes is involved in it, but Chuck Miller-- who edits all the stuff that gets sent to him by Jack and the Black Centipede and now me, then puts his own name on it when it gets published-- said no, we couldn't call it that because there was already a book with that name. I told him I knew that, but it didn't matter because, for one thing, there were two books called The Invisible Man, and nobody minded that, and for another thing, it would not be our fault if someone saw our book for sale and thought it was the original Sherlock Holmes one and accidentally bought it, and we might get some extra sales that way. So he said the second Invisible Man book did not have the "The" in the title, which didn't have anything to do with anything, in my opinion, and I said, okay then, just call mine Study in Scarlet without the "A," and he told me to quit calling him and hung up on me. That's just how some people are. He's very stuck-up because he went to college and did various things, and claims he once met Don Knotts, and I'm surprised he even let me be on this dopey blog of his. If he thinks I'm going to suck up to him, he's barking up the wrong kettle of fish.

So, Vionna and the Vampires is what we have, which I guess is okay because vampires are pretty popular, and having that word in the title might make people buy it. Of course, zombies are more popular now than vampires, but me and Mary have never fought any zombies, not yet anyhow. If we ever do, I guess we can call it Mary and the Zombies, even though that doesn't have as much of a ring to it, but fair is fair.

Anyhow, the whole purpose of me writing this thing is to get you to want to buy our book whenever it comes out. I can't think of anything else to say, so what I'll do now is include a little excerpt from one of our other adventures that we had a while back. If you like it, the book is exactly the same; if you don't like it, the book is totally different and a lot better. Either way, you need to buy it.

Vionna Vernet Valis
Co-President, WVC Psychic Detective Agency
March, 2013


copyright 2013 by Chuck Miller

The next morning, Mary returned to the office from some errand somewhere, and without so much as a hello, said, “Vionna, is it a common thing these days to see a gorilla  walking about unescorted on a city street?”

Mary is always asking crazy questions like that.

“No, Mary, I’m sure it isn’t," I said truthfully. "Are you just curious, or are you asking for a specific reason?”

“I’m asking because I just saw one.”

Somehow, I knew she was going to say that.

I thought about it for a moment, then shook my head. “I can’t believe a gorilla would be allowed to do that. Unless maybe he escaped from a zoo or something, but there are no zoos anywhere near downtown. Maybe you saw somebody in a big fur coat.”

“It’s the middle of August.”

“I can’t help that. Maybe it was someone that lives in the desert, and to them it feels cold here.”

“Honestly, Vionna," she said, shaking her head, "most of the time I don’t know whether you’re really as disjointed as you seem, or if you’re being disingenuous.”

“It can’t be that,” I said. “I don’t even know what that word means, so I can’t very well be it, can I?”

Mary sighed, stuck her hand into her purse, and fished out her cell phone.

“I anticipated this sort of an exchange with you, and fortunately had the presence of mind to take a picture of the creature.”

She fiddled with the buttons, then handed the phone to me.
I looked at the picture on the tiny screen. “Huh,” I said. I turned it sideways and looked at it some more. I said, “Well.” I turned it upside down, tilted my head to the right, and looked really hard. “I’ll be darned,” I said. I handed her phone back to her.

She looked at the phone, then at me.


“Well,” I said, “that isn’t a gorilla. I don’t know what it is, but it’s not a gorilla. Gorillas don’t look like that. Your picture is either of some totally different kind of animal, or it’s a man in a costume.”

Tilting her head and squinting at the little screen, she said, “Perhaps it’s a bear.”

I shook my head “Uh-uh. No way. It’s even less of a bear than it is a gorilla. Anyhow, bears don’t have permission to walk around by themselves any more than gorillas do. Those types of creatures are not able to act civilized enough to have the freedoms we take for granted. The first time something scared them, they’d probably start killing people.”

“I know human beings who are like that.”

“Sure," I said,"but if you’re in the middle of a city, it’s more okay to get killed by another person than by a gorilla. As far as society is concerned, that is. I mean, they have procedures  for that. A killer ape or bear has absolutely no social standing, particularly on a city street. They don’t have any constitutional rights or responsibilities or anything.”

Mary shook her head some more. She does that a lot when I talk to her.

I asked her to hand the phone back to me and I studied the picture some more.

“Actually,” I said, “that looks kind of like a Bigfoot.”

“You can’t see its feet.”

“It doesn’t matter. The rest of it looks like a Bigfoot.”

“You’re speaking in riddles, Vionna.”

“I am not," I said patiently. "A Bigfoot is a kind of creature that supposedly lives in the mountains or the woods or just any place where there’s lots of wilderness and not many people. Some people think they’re real, others think they’re just imaginary.”

“THAT again?” Mary said, plopping herself down into her desk chair.

“Yes,” I replied, "that."

“Like flying saucers,” she said.


“And vampires.”


“Both of which, as we have learned the hard way, do in fact exist.”


“So, do we believe in Bigfoot?” she asked.

I shrugged. “Might as well. We can be sure we aren’t likely to ever run into one, living in the middle of a city.”

“But I did,” she pointed out.

"Well, yeah."

"So where does that leave us?"

"Nowhere. I don't know. We're not responsible for whatever that is. We've already got a case. We don't need to go around looking for more trouble."



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