Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jayne & the Satanists --Chapter 22


I phoned Dr. Alex Grant’s office.  His secretary said that he had left for the day, but that I could make an appointment for Thursday if it would wait, or she would give me the number of the nearest hospital emergency room if I required it.  I took the Thursday appointment under the name of J. Gatsby.  I said the J. stood for Jay.

Then, I drove back to the Insider office.  I returned some calls and checked some contacts on various film shoots.  Got some good leads that I could turn into tales of dissension on a couple of sets.  Then at five, I headed out.

     I drove over the Club Demon and cruised down the back alley.  There was a back door and a stairwell to a basement. I found a parking spot where I was not too conspicuous and could vaguely see around a dumpster to watch whoever might be coming and going from the club’s rear.  Lex made a good companion, but got bored after an hour and shuttled back to his hidey hole.  Shortly, I heard a faint echo of his snoring.

     I wondered how long Ariana could keep herself away from her favorite haunt.  How long would I be wasting my time sitting here?  About 8:30, a van pulled up and three obviously drunken sailors poured out.  At nine, the van pulled up again.  This time three women got out.  Judging by their apparel, I’d wager they were hookers.  At ten, a limousine pulled up.  A man about Scream’s height and build got out and held the door for what could only be the wraithlike form of Ariana.  She wore a leopardskin coat, high black boots and big black sunglasses.  The guy who might be Scream had his collar pulled up and his fedora pulled down.  He too wore oversized sunglasses.

     The chauffeur angled the limo into a park job between the club and the alley and then he cut the motor.  Then he got out and lit up a cigar.  I did not recognize him as one of the security goons from the party.

     I got quietly out of the car and put the leash on Lex.  Then I opened the pint of Old Crow from under the seat and took a healthy swallow.  Then, without closing the car door, I set out for a stroll down the alley.

     The chauffeur looked me over as I approached him.  I came to a halt.  “Nice night for a stroll,” I said.  I took a swig and offered him the bottle.  He looked me up and down then reached out for the bottle.  He took a good swig.  “Much obliged,” he said.  Jeez, I thought, does he get his dialogue from westerns?  “Don’t usually see many people walking their cats around these parts.”  These parts?  Yep, fancied himself a cowpoke alright.  Giddalong, liddle Caddy, yeehah!

     “It’s all in how early you train ‘em,” I said.  “They’ll be obedient as a dog, if you start ‘em out about three weeks old.  Here, I’ll show you Lex’s tricks,” I said handing him back the bottle, urging him to have another drink. 

     I bent down and whispered to Lex, then unclipped the leash.  “Watch this,” I told the chauffeur.  Then I stepped in front of Lex and tapped my shoulder.  Lex quivered in preparation, then he leaped to my left shoulder, making a perfect four-point landing.

     The guard stepped back, shocked.  “Whoa, that’s got to be handy,” he said and took another swig off the neck.

     “Watch this,” I said.  “Lex, foe!”  Lex arched his back, bared his fangs, raised a clawed paw and hissed a horrid yowl.  The chauffeur actually jumped back this time.  “Lex, friend!” I said.  Lex settled right down and rubbed his head against my neck and kicked over his unholy purr.

     “I reckon not many dogs chase that cat,” drawled the Caddy jockey.

     “None that want to keep their eyes,” I chuckled.

     “Jeez, that’s some cat.”

     We talked easily after that icebreaker, passing the bottle back and forth until it was gone.  “I hear there’s some pretty strange stuff go on in that club,” I said.

     “Yeah, it’s a club for rich folk to come down and act weird in the company of their own kind.”

     “Good place to buy some reefer?” I asked, conspiratorially.

     “No doubt there’s lots in there, but you gotta be a member to get in.”

     “Strange that it’s for rich folk, place is an absolute shithole on the outside.”

     “It’s not much better on the inside, but they want to keep what goes on in there pretty low-key.”

     “You mean like sex stuff?”

     He eyed me and then looked at Lex who perched contentedly on my shoulder.  “Somethin’ like that.  You sort of ask a lotta questions.”

     “Just passin’ the time, maybe looking for a bit of reefer.  This ain’t no police dog on my shoulder.”

     I could feel Lex’s claws dig into my shoulder and his fur bristle against my neck.  Then, the club’s back door squeaked open.  Quickly, I said, “Well, looks like you’re back on the job.  I’ll see you around.”  With that I turned around and wandered back down the alley.  I walked past my car and around the corner onto the adjacent street.  Looking back, I could see the lights of the limo come on.  When it started off the lane away from me, I doubled back and got in my car.  “We’re on the chase, Lex.”

     I managed to keep the limo in sight and followed it as it maneuvered out of the city onto the Pacific Coast Highway.

After the first half-hour I knew we were in for a long one.  We motored on, into the night.  Lex’s eyes glowed in the lights of oncoming cars.

The limo picked up speed and after we passed Malibu, I figured it might be heading for Zuma Beach.  Sure enough, it pulled off into the state park.  I pulled the car over to the shoulder before I got to the park turnoff.  I debated whether or not to take Lex with me and decided I could not risk it, despite his obvious desire to go.

     I took my penlight and my gun.  Then I started down the dark road to the park.  It was pitch dark and I turned on the penlight every hundred feet to catch my bearings.  Vaguely, I heard the sound of drums coming from my left, quite far away.  When the road opened up to the parking lot, I saw about a dozen cars in the moonlight, including the limo.  The chauffeur was sitting in the car with the inside lights on.

     I hunched down and skirted the lot, finally finding a path through the woods that veered off in the direction of the drumming.  I could smell a fire.  Eventually, I could see its flickering light through the trees.  When I could see the actual fire and people standing around it I left off the path and circled around through the woods.  Hunkering down, I looked at the various individuals.  I could recognize only Ariana with her long hair billowing in the wind, and Scream, now wearing his mask.

     The man who was at the center of the ceremony was wearing a traditional Northwest Indian mask with dark eyeholes, a prominent bird beak and hair and ruff of what was probably shredded bark.  Before him was a wooden altar, about waist high.  He was chanting and before him on a wooden platter lay the body of some sort of skinned animal, probably a dog.  In the firelight, I could see it was the shimmering viscous crimson gray of freshly killed meat.  Whooo boy, I thought.  Fido kebabs?

     The gathered all joined hands and they started swaying to the chant.  The sound might have been mesmerising if I hadn’t been scared spitless of getting myself caught.

     Ariana broke from the circle and disrobed by the fire and then she began to dance around the blaze.  I had seen the magnificent body in Al Stirling’s photos.  She annointed her body with some dark grease from a chalice on the altar.  Her skin shimmered in the firelight, but to me she looked like she was covering herself with crankcase oil.  My mind hitched when I realized there was probably blood in the grease.  Then she bent over the altar and the man in the native mask shed his robe and penetrated her.  His chants became louder and more frenzied.  Two other women came up and took some grease from the chalice and began massaging it in to his thrusting body.  Ariana moaned and growled like an animal in heat.  Then the others disrobed and came to the couple.  With no apparent regard for gender protocol, the assembled began to caress the couple.  Some fell to their knees and licked the copulating forms, reaching for their thrusting genitals, lifting Ariana so they could suckle her breasts, kissing her face and shoulders.  This went on for a long time.  The guy was obviously quite a swordsman and his thrusts indicated quite a sword.  Ariana seemed in the grips of orgasm several times.  When he climaxed, a couple of the women captured his jetting essence in a chalice.  Men and women serviced his organ to get the last drops.  Then Ariana raised the chalice to her mouth and drank.  All this time Scream had stood impassive and clothed, only observing the orgy. 

     The naked leader then sliced the meat of the dog and handed some to each participant.  Raising the carved dog over his head, he hurled it into the fire.  It must have been stuffed with gasoline bags, because when it hit the flames it sizzled for just a few seconds before bursting into a billowing full flame.

     Then naked and half dressed, the participants left quickly up the path for their cars.  After a few minutes, I could hear engines starting.  I stayed hidden and quivering as the dark man, still in his totem mask stepped by my vantage point and walked to the parking lot.  When I heard his engine start, I cautiously stood.

     What the hell had that been all about, I wondered.  I would certainly have something to ask LaVey about.  I waited there in the darkness for a quarter hour.  Then I made my way out of the park.


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