Friday, July 18, 2008

Jayne & the Satanists --Chapter 29


I decided to pay an unannounced call on Betty.  The bookstore clerk’s comment about a star-quality woman with black hair and big sunglasses had set my cogs to turning.  I had the smallest nub of a plan.  I was going to bring up a story I was working on that Joan Crawford might be a hermaphrodite.  The word hermaphrodite rhymes with bite, while the name Hermaphrodite has a long “e” on the end, like Aphrodite or Ol’ Blighty.  If I kept gabbling on about hermaphrodites, maybe Betty would let on what she knew.  If anything.

     Betty’s lawn needed a trim and gave yellow evidence of not having been watered in a while.  It didn’t surprise me.  I hadn’t really pictured Miss Pain as much of a domestic type.  What the hell did a domina do all day, anyhow?

     The neighborhood was quiet, not a soul out in the sun.  I knocked and heard a shuffling come from inside.  The drawn venetian blinds clicked by the door.  Then the door opened.  Betty stood there holding what looked to be Lex.

     “What are you doing with my cat,” I gasped.

     She smiled.  “This isn’t your cat.  This little kitty’s name is Celine and she’s a she.  C’mon in.”

     “That’s a huge cat for a female,” I said as I stepped into the cool of her living room.

     “Yes, she’s a big healthy kitty,” Betty said, nuzzling into the glistening black fur.

     “Where’d you get the cat?” I asked as Betty set Celine down on the floor where the cat stayed, eyeing me with slitted orbs.

     “A friend couldn’t keep it, so he gave it to me.”

     “Who’s that?”

     “Just a friend.  I do have friends, you know.  Now, would you like a cold glass of wine?”

     “That’d be great.”  As she walked out of the room, my eyes locked to the rear of her white shorts. I realized that angle of investigation had been summarily shot down.  I reached out for the cat, who took a few sniffs of my hand then grouchily batted it away.  “My cat, Lex, could beat you up,” I whispered to the cat.  Its ears flew back and it hissed at me, baring an ample set of fangs.

     “Leave the cat alone,” Betty giggled from the kitchen.

     She reentered the room holding two tall glasses of white wine.  She looked a wonder in a red and white checkered top tied above her navel.  Her black hair was pulled back in a ponytail.  Betty’s skin was creamy.  “So, what are you doing out here in Mom-and-Pop land?”

     I went into my spiel about working on the Joan Crawford story.  I watched her eyes carefully as I used the word hermaphrodite.  It did no good since she immediately started barking with laughter to an extent that I thought she was going to pass wine through her nostrils.

     “Joan Crawford has a vestigial penis!  Oh my, Danny, you have the job of the century.  Where do you get this crap?  Couldn’t she sue you blue over printing something like that?”

     This wasn’t going the way I planned it.  “Well, you know, it could be true.  Such creatures exist.”

     “I’ve seen just about every sort of messed up sex type in the world.  Guys with little ones, guys with ones that are too big, girls who wish they were guys, guys who are growing tits, but come fucking on.  Real hermaphrodites don’t exist.  You’re too weird, Dan.”

     “They existed in mythology.”

     “So did dragons and unicorns.”

     I panicked.  “Well, there’s supposed to be some big Satanist shindig some time this month where they’re going to try and create one.”

     “Get a date with Joan Crawford,” she chuckled.

     “Have you ever been to the occult book shop on Wilshire?”

     “No.  Why?”

     “There’s a guy there that looks just like LaVey.”

     “Whoopee!  They all want to look like him.  I’ve got clients that look like him.”

     “Hmmm, good wine.  Let’s have some more, shall we?”  I stood to do the honors and at that moment the damned cat leaped at my right ankle, burying her front claws in my leg and kicking frantically with her back claws.  When I felt her needle-sharp teeth sink into my calf, I let out a yelp.

     “Get this damn vampire off of me,” I shouted.  Betty lurched and struggled with the cat to no avail until she threw her wine on it.  Then Celine, hissed and bolted somewhere to the back of the house.

     “That is a vile beast you’ve got there,” I sighed, looking down at the runs in my good pants.  Then, lifting my cuffs, I saw trickles of blood.  “Look what it’s done to me!”

     “Settle down, I’ll get you a clean cloth and some Handi-Tapes.”

     Betty ministered to my wounds, which were not as bad as they had felt.  She tired of my deriding her new cat and soon we fell into a mellow silence, sipping our wine.

     “Wanna fuck?” she said, out of the blue.

     “I’m a bit strapped for cash.”

     “Oh well, let’s drink our faces off then.”

     “I wouldn’t want to bare my jewels never knowing when that cat might sneak up behind me and take a swipe.”

     “Hey, that’s not a bad idea.  Some of my clients might pay extra for that.”

     “It’s all about money for you, isn’t it?”

     “Yup, and don’t try to psychoanalyze me.  I enjoy sex, but getting paid for it is an integral part for me.”

     “You must have had sex without being paid for it.”

     “Not satisfactory sex.”


     “Might as well bring the bottle out here.  Got any of that nose candy?”


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