Friday, December 14, 2007

Jayne & the Satanists --Chapter 8

I phoned in my story from the cop shop. It was good dress rehearsal for making my official statement. I stuck to my original story, fully aware that the missing two hours that I had spent perched on the observatory could come back to haunt me if the cops asked my neighbors when I had left my apartment. But, somehow, I didn’t think anyone would believe my real adventure. I wasn’t sure I did myself.

Kennedy gave me the regular warnings, nothing more. He thought I was a dink, but he was pretty sure I was not a killer. My cooperation so far bolstered that opinion. So they let me walk out.

I expected an extremely disgruntled cat, but Lex was fast asleep in the car, now having found the back seat a good place to stretch out. I figured I had used up my share of luck, in that the car did not reek of cat crap, so I ran us home immediately.

I put out some Dinty Moore for Lex who took a few nibbles before making a beeline to his box. Sure that we had scooped the other papers, I called Weigel at the Santa Monica Fee Press and gave him an abbreviated version of the story. As I had with my own paper, I left out any reference to Al Stirling and just covered a killing, leaving myself out of the story, just as if I’d come running after monitoring the police radio, which had been what I’d told Hy. The reason people distrust newspapers so much is that they deserve so little trust. Enlightened self interest is a crime reporter’s philosophy. They do not pay you enough to get yourself killed, so you inform the public as much as won’t cause repercussions to your well-being. Kennedy had agreed that my name be kept out of the police public statement while he thought over his strategy of how I could be of use to his investigation.

I called Simone. Big hunting knife was probably the murder weapon. Heart the only organ missing. Ripped out by someone who knew where to find it and had the strength to remove it by hand.

I’ve always hated naps, so even though I felt like sleep-deprived dog waste, I showered and made a sandwich. As I was washing it down with a beer, I figured I’d have to get some quotes for the paper from some of Hughes’s associates for a follow-up piece. Precisely the way I’d carry on my vested interest re Stirling. But, it could wait, I was taking the rest of the day off. Getting disarming quotes from people was always best first thing in the morning before their minds sharpened up enough to be defensive.

Lex leaped up on the kitchen table while I drank and took a few notes. I was thinking of seeing what the B-girls were up to when the phone rang.

It was Jayne. “Did you hear what happened to Eric Boyer.”

My stomach rolled. Was Boyer up for some journalism award that would bring him great lucre and send Jayne into overtime in his boudoir? Had he finally rewritten one of my stories to have a book deal dropped in his lap?

“He was shitkicked within an inch of his life last night.”

“Oh, I thought it might be something bad,” I said and looked at the four beer bottles now arrayed among my notes.

“No, Danny, I mean serious. Wired jaw, missing teeth, danger of losing an eye, ribs cracked, two broken middle fingers.”

“Who did it?” I asked, thinking of my mention of Boyer’s name to Scream.

“I’ll be screwed if I know, but he was found crawling out the door of his apartment. Apparently, he won’t say who did it?”

“So, when are we getting together again?”

“Such sympathy.”
“Look, I’m sorry Boyer got stomped, but you must know I don’t care for the fellow. All he ever does is steal my stories and rewrite them.”

“So much for the brotherhood of the fourth estate.”

“Never was such a thing.”

“Anyhow, I’ll call you soon.”

“Hold it. I want to ask you about LaVey. Does he have some sort of interest in me, to the extent that he might be following me?”

“He likes to stalk people. It gives him knowledge that he can use later on. He fancies himself a bit of an amateur detective. So, he might be trailing you for fun. Why?”

I told her about my encounter with the coyotes. When I told her about the surging rats, she cut me off. “Lower creatures,” she said. “A sorcerer can command the lower beasts, scavengers and such. Rats and coyotes fall into that category.”

When I told her about the panther, she hemmed and hawwed. “That sounds like it could be Zoltan, LaVey’s cat. But, if it was, it sounds like that’s a good thing. That cat may have rescued you from beasts that some other black artist sent after you.” Then she changed the subject. “How’s Lex doing?”

“I’ve got to thank you for him. I’m getting really attached to him.” I told her how good he was in the car and how patient he was through the time I spent with the cops.”

“He was there at Griffith Park?”

“Yeah, patient as can be.”

Then, she started chuckling. “That’s an amazing cat you’ve got there. He must really like you.”

“Why, because he’s so patient?”

“Something like that. Anyhow, we’ll get together soon, sweetie. I’ll call.”

I hung up, thought about masturbating, then saw Lex staring at me. Locked in the gaze of those alien golden orbs, I lost my ardor and decided to sack out.

As I slipped into bed that night, I felt something under my pillow. I pulled it out. It was Eric Boyer’s driver’s licence.

* * *

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