Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jayne & the Satanists --Chapter 23



When I opened the car door, Lex was nowhere to be seen, but I heard a trill from the hidey-hole.  Then, I felt a circle of cold metal pressing into my neck.

     “Don’t try anything tricky.”  The voice was high and wispy, but definitely male.  “Now, what are you doing out here?”

     I swallowed.  “Nothing wrong with a guy taking in the air.”

     “Entering a state park at this time of night is illegal.”

     “What are you, a park ranger?”

     “Very funny.”

     I felt a hand in my hip pocket.  “Take the money.  Just don’t shoot me.”

     “Maybe I’ll do both.  But mainly I’m just interested in who is out here watching things he shouldn’t be.  Daniel Holcomb of The Hollywood Insider.  Hmm, Scoop, I don’t think we’re looking for any coverage of this evening’s gala.”

     “Leave me alone and I promise I won’t write a thing.”

     “Well, I’d say we’ll have to go see our press relations director about that.  Open the back door.”

     I complied and then he told me to get behind the wheel.  He got in the back.  “Don’t be looking in the rear view mirror.  You don’t want to know who I am.  Now drive back to town.”

     I fired up the car and pulled a U-turn and headed back down the highway.  “You can put some gas into this thing,” came the voice behind me.  “There’s no cops out here this time of night.”

     No cars, either, I thought, hoping to see some headlights that I could swerve in front of, or a car behind that I could stomp on the brakes for.  But my headlights were the only holes in the darkness.  “Who are we going to see?” I asked.

     “A person with a passion for privacy.  Now, keep your mind on your driving,” he said.

     The silence spun out like silken kite cord as we raced back to L.A.

     Then, he yelped.  “What the...?”  And a yowl drawn from damned soul filled the car.  Where before all had been stillness, the back seat was now a flurry of activity and horrible sound.  Lex’s battle cry cringed my nards into hitherto unknown heights.

     I stomped on the binders and tried to get the car over onto the highway shoulder without fishtailing out of control.  The thug was screaming horribly.  When I finally got stopped I leaped out of the car.

     What I saw then, I can hardly believe now.  Lex was a black blur seemingly triple his usual size.  In the moonlight, I saw his eyes glint and saber-like claws flash.  Flailing again and again over the gunsel’s face.  The noise was so horrible my hand flew to my ears.  Then a shot went off and the roof of my car exploded.  Then there was silence.  “Lex!” I screamed.

     My heart was doing a Mexican hat dance in my chest and I pulled open the door with hands that were jittering out of control.  The gunsel’s body slumped out onto the road.  His face was slashed beyond recognition and where his eyes had once been, were now only raw bleeding holes.

     Peering into the back seat, I saw Lex gobbling down what appeared to be an eyeball.  He turned toward me and snarled, his ears back, fangs bared.  Then as he finished his gory mouthful, his ears came back up and he looked at me, his pink tongue lashing around his gore soaked muzzle.  Then he arched his back and raised his head to me and that macabre purr began again.  “Lex,” I said.  “Good fucking cat!”

     Lex lifted a bloody paw and began to lick it.  Then he stopped and cocked his head and looked me in the eye.  Now it may have been a digestive noise, or a cough, but I’ll swear to my dying day that the noise that came from his mouth was a victorious “Hah!”

     Though my mind was trying to mesh, the normal Lex before my eyes and the huge swirling dark form of vengeance, I thought I had seen in the struggle, I had bigger fish to fry.  My cat killed a guy, I kept thinking.  That, and I better get the fuck out of here.

     I pulled the body around the back of the car and grabbed everything that was in his pockets.  I took his watch and rings, and gun.  Then, I dragged the body into the ditch.  It rolled into some knee-high weeds.  That would have to be good enough.

Back on the shoulder, I looked at the ruined roof of my car and figured it would take a pound of Bondo to fix it up, not to mention how I was ever going to clean the back seat.  Lucky it was vinyl.  When I slammed the back door, Lex was in the passenger seat.  I jammed the car into gear and we headed off down the highway, fast at first, then slowing to the speed limit after a few minutes.  “Thank you, Lex,” I finally said.  “But we’ve really got to have a little talk one day soon.”


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