From my Dear GreyWeirdo column
HEY! I got an Agony Aunt letter today! Many of you may not know this, but I’ve been a professional problem solver for years. I also answer people’s letters and give them advice as well. Let’s open it up and se what we’ve got.
This year has sucked some major balls. Nothing has gone right, there are maybe six people left alive and five of them are so heavily in debt to the sixth they may never see solvency again. Half the people I know spent the entire summer sick, the other half are just getting sick now. I just feel like I can’t go on anymore. I don’t even think I can muster up the energy to care about the holidays. I just can’t feel good anymore. Is there anything I can do, or should I just pack the whole thing in? Should I even bother with my VEWPRF cards? Is it the end of VEWPRF? Is it time to give up?
Desperate in Detroit
Well crap, sounds like someone else is trying to give up.
No. No, this will not do. This is the shit, up with which, I will not put! This is not the end of VEWPRF! This is not even the beginning of the end, but it IS the end of the beginning. Only it isn’t, ‘cause I’m just getting started. Hang on, something wrong there. You just hold on Desperate, I’ll be back in a sec…
The ex-smokers and non-smokers among you will understand if I fake-light a candy cigarette before I begin. There are some things which are traditional at a moments like these.
Gather round my minions, it’s time we had a little chat about all the people who are feeling like poor old Desperate here. There are a lot of people who are worried, they’re scared, some of them are down right despondent. These are, quite frankly, the people who the holidays were designed for. Not for you, people who are well adjusted. It’s not a frame for your grandmother to hang her latest performance art piece about passive aggression on. It’s sure as fuck isn’t for those controlling assholes who think they should get to dictate what does and doesn’t make the holidays what they are. It’s for people like Desperate here.
Everyone depends on the VEWPRF season to pick them up after a really shitty year. It’s a release valve, a stress-relieving tool. There are people out there who really need a pick-me-up.
We can’t quit now!
Would Chuck Norris cut and run away, ceding from the country just because he didn’t like the way… okay bad example. I know! Did John Wayne just hide out in Hollywood and keep making cowboy movies during World War Two? Quick check of wikipeidia says… yes, yes he did.
What did limp wristed, anti-racists, philanthropic, liberal old Jack Benny do when his nation was threatened? Joined the Navy and served with pride. When the co-star to his anti-Nazi movie died suddenly, did he cut everyone off and run away? FUCK NO! He went back to work, did some time with the USO and then flew to Germany on his own dime to personally punch Hitler in the crotch! What I am asking for, from you, is the spirit of Jack Benny. …you’ll understand you won’t be paid for this of course, times are tough and all.
There will now follow a series of adapted phrases I’ve found from those chaotic movie scenes, the sort often found in disaster of crisis movies.
In these dark times, when the cold is sweeping in and the barbarians are at the gate, we have to hold on and work together to pull ourselves out. The banks may have foreclosed the mortgage, the insurance company may have pulled the plug on grandma, the corporations may have slashed your salary to the bone and then beyond, BUT THEY WON’T TAKE THIS HOLIDAY! We’ve got to stand up and bring the true spirit of the season* back to the people! We will light those fucking strings of light. We will light them on the beaches, we shall light them on the trees, we shall light them in the fields and in the streets, we shall light them in the hills; we shall never surrender. We’ve never lost a holiday yet, and we’re not about to start now! I’ve got… 300 people on this… ship that I am… responsible for… and I… won’t let them down. I intend to stand up, I intend to look that dark and cold winter in the eye and I intend to ring these fucking bells until he runs scared and the sun returns! I have, if you will allow me to say, had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane! (Kindly imagine Brian Blessed speaking if you can at this moment) WE’RE GOING TO HAND THEM THE HAPPIEST VAGUE EARLY WINTER POSSIBLY RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL THEY’VE EVER SEEN! YEEEEEAAAAAARRHH!
*Mainly drinking and fucking, with some gifts, songs, lights and bells for good measure.
So let’s MOVE IT PEOPLE!
YOU! Get me a copy of every holiday story Amazon has, I want it cross referenced and collated by how damn twee it is. Throw out any Gift of the Magi stories though, I hate those.
YOU! Get me a big fat evergreen tree. I want this place reeking of pine.
YOU! Get me a thousand twinkling lights and glass baubles. I want this place dripping with decorations. Spare neither expense nor good taste.
YOU! Cook a turkey or something. It’s feast time, that’s where the word ‘festival’ comes from. (just go with it)
YOU! I want paper chains and construction paper snowmen. Get the kids to make some of those fold up snowflakes too while you’re at it.
YOU! Find Mannheim Steamroller and tell them that while we understand they’ve done other things, we need them to do the thing they do right.
YOU! Get me a copy of every special that plays on either broadcast or cable TV during December. I want movies, cartoons, and crappy specials you’d never watch under other conditions. I don’t care if it’s the Star Wars Holiday special, just run it.
YOU! Get some carolers! I want people with NO ability to sing whatsoever.
YOU! Bake some cookies! I like the frosted ones with the little silver balls.
YOU! Dress up in a red suit and tell gullible children you’re Santa. If they balk, tell them you’re one of his helpers.
YOU! Find out what cultures we’re ignoring so we can get their celebrations on board as well! This is not A holiday, this is ALL holidays!
YOU! Light a menorah, burn some incense on it, milk a goat, give the milk to a new born infant, kill the goat in the name of a few gods, then eat the goat! There will be other observances later, but just get started on those for now. I’ll get you a team to help out with the rest.
YOU! Put the kettle on. We need some hot drinks inside us!
And I’ll form the head!
Come on people, we’ve got a holiday to save. We’re not going to leave anyone out in the cold this time. Get the snowmen built, get the food going, get me
Ted Striker Charles Dickens, get the songs started and GET THOSE LIGHTS BACK ON!
I hope this answers your questions Desperate. If not, just try to hold on, we’re working this bitch as hard as we can. Start with this, listen to an episode every day, that should help. To add extra help, I’ll be posting an Advent Calendar from now until the end. You’ll have a new surprise everyday, something different under every door. I’ll be doing this for you. Like Harry Tuttle said, “We’re all in this together.”
Looks like I picked the wrong month to stop snorting peppermint.
Syd took some, I took some.
In The Cabinet
A Jack Collier Short
By Brett N. Lashuay
Day Thirteen: Would the last one to leave please turn out the lights?
I avoided the task all day.
I opted to spend the time of my last day in the office cleaning out my desk and drawers. This required getting some boxes, and packing material since the knives John and Mina had sent were valuable and I didn’t want them damaged any more than I already had done. That took the rest of the day and I didn’t actually have time to call until about 6 o’clock or so. I thought about postponing it longer, like about three weeks after I got to Virginia, but that wouldn’t really be fair.
I sat down at my desk, pulled the phone towards me and dialed. Amazing how long it can take a phone to connect when you don’t want the person on the other end to answer. It also takes them an amazingly long time to actually pick up the phone. You’d think that the time would shrink, since this is the opposite of the sort of nervous anticipation that comes with calling someone you want to talk to. If I were calling a pretty girl, one might expect this, but I wasn’t calling a girl at all. I was calling a woman, or rather THE woman. I was calling the one woman that still had something I considered a hold over me. It was her money that had gotten me this office after all, I owed her an explanation.
“Salutations?” Her voice was so bright it almost blinded my ear.
“Hi Char.” I said.
“Hello my darling.” she replied, with a tone so breezy I felt like battening down the hatches.
“I’m afraid I have to deliver some bad news to you.” I told her.
“Would this have something do to with you turning the business over to Debbie and her leaving town?” She asked.
“You heard about that huh?” I asked.
“Indeed I did my dear.” She told me. “So would it be that you decided you wanted to annul your office?”
“Yeah it would. I’m leaving town tonight, and I don’t think I’ll ever be coming back.”
“Well, this was to be eventually expected.” She said in the same bright tone she said everything. “
“Was it?” I asked.
“Yes. You can only take so much darkness before you need to step into the light.” she told me. “Have you lined up other work yet or are you just running screaming into the night?”
“I’ve more or less lined up other work.” I told him. “Or, maybe not. I might just be running into the night.
“Your talents should not go to waste my dear.” She said. “You have so many talents.”
“Yeah.” I said, knowing what she meant by that. “Talents.”
“Is there more bothering you than that dear?”
“What the hell am I going to do, Char?” I asked. “I can’t help but feel like no matter what I do I’m going to cause someone else to get hurt.”
“You can only control so much.” She said. “You can’t be responsible for what other people do.”
“I suppose.” I said.
“Very well then.” She said. “I wish you well in your future endeavors.”
“Thanks Char.” I told her.
“I’ll see you when I come back to America again.” She said.
And with that, she hung up on me. It seemed kind of rude at the time, but looking back now I probably needed that kind of abruptness. I leaned back and put the phone back on the hook, leaning back in my chair and turning a slow circle towards the window. I looked out the big window and noticed that it had become dark. I looked around the office and found that I had indeed turned the lights on. Somewhere along the lines I’d taken the two boxes of things I wanted to keep from my office down to my car, because I couldn’t see any evidence of them here before me.
I sat in my office and looked around it, coming to the realization that I was actually going to leave this place forever. I was going to leave the Detroit area and I wasn’t going to look back. I got up from my desk and walked across the room, wondering if I should say goodbye to anyone. There was no one left to say goodbye to though. Liberty had taken Jenicia back to France with her, and everyone else I knew was dead or gone. With Eddie’s death, the last person I knew and still talked to from my old days that had been left in the state was gone. Everyone I knew here had left already, leaving me the last one to leave Detroit.
As I walked out of the office, I switched off the lights, just like they always asked.
I walked down the stairs for the last time and I started to go through a list of all the people I knew who had died in just the last year. It was a long list and I had to keep going after I’d gotten into the car and started on my way. I was on I-75, going south and headed towards Ohio before I’d gotten done with the list.
Christmas, that’s the big one isn’t it? Of course Easter, Patrick, Kwanza, Chanukah, and Sam were all gone too. All the big shows were gone now. There were those totally innocent victims as well, like Sandy Cloose, Peter Rabbit, Becky Hain, I might even be willing to put Hewie Homunculus in that list. The thugs, Hardrock, Coco, Joe, Opus, Chester Cat, his buddy the Professor and the other four that made up those six I killed with one blow. Killers like Amy Cook of course, along with Knock, The Fat Man, and my old friend Tom Noonan. Then there were just the dummies like Piggy, Jabber Walker and his little crew Borogove, Rath, Jubjub, Tove, Bander and the rest of the names I never bothered to learn. Of course we have to discuss a supreme dip shit like Smith. The Freedoms, poor little Columbia and her father Tom. I couldn’t help but feel I was leaving some names off this list, but that just proves how long of a list it was. And that was just in the last year.
I’d kind of had the idea that it was this place that had killed them. Being in Michigan, a state that was itself dying had caused them to die with it. I should have been happy to leave the place, but to be honest I could only really feel a great sense of regret. I had lived while so many had died, and everyone I’d tried to protect beyond Jack the cat had been killed. Of course the fact that the one eyed warrior was another Jack probably had more to do with his survival than my total inability to protect a single person or their interests.
There was a lot of failure behind me, and I didn’t really want to have anything do with it any longer. As I drove towards the sign that welcomed me to Ohio, I was just praying something on the Hudson wouldn’t explode and keep me in this state. If I could just get across the sate line, I felt I would be okay from there. I wouldn’t have to add my name to the list of the dead. I could see the border coming up, but frankly I’d become tired of the game and didn’t want to play anymore.
There was a large sign, pointing out that one was about to enter Ohio. It was lighted, being the only bright object in the area besides the headlights on my car. There was the border, and I would cross it in about ten seconds. As I drove towards the end of Michigan, but hadn’t quite reached it yet, I decided that I wouldn’t be narrating my story any more either.
This ends “In The Cabinet”. We are no going on a biref hiatius, but lease join us in the new year.
Hi, I don’t know if even more than three people will ever read this, but here it goes. All my movie reviews will now be posted at a second blog called Retroflix Reviews. You can see new reviews starting this Thursday.
AND I’LL FORM
THE HEAD PART FOUR!!!!
So last time we were talking about Mifune walking away…
Just keep walking, don’t let them know they’ve fazed you.
Will walks through the whole of High Noon, walking around from place to place. The movie is about how crappy the Red Scare McCarthy crap was and those jerks who were all about selling their friends out to those Un-American cockbites in the past. At least, that’s what it amounts to. Something there for us, even today. Particularly if you don’t live in “Real” America. There is also a subplot involving his wife and his former girlfriend. They even have scene together.
Trying to come up with a joke that isn’t some sort of dirty three-way invitation, but that’s all I’ve got right now.
Wives and girlfriends, of course I’m heading for…
You kn ow that day when caption jokes just won’t come? Today is that day. Maybe I’ll be better before I post this. If you’re reading this, then I never did.
There is a bit of wives and girlfriends stuff in Highlander as well. Connor is regularly encouraged to leave all the hotties he knows, but refuses. I think he knew that Sean Connery just wanted the babes for himself. Also, there are flashbacks, lots of flashbacks. Flashbacks are a primary storytelling device in this film.
Should I insert a penitration joke? Heh, insert. Get it?
No, really. Why do I have to be pink?
Now there are a good deal of flashbacks in Reservoir Dogs, which is mainly about a hold up. I probably need to say more about the movie, but I’m really sort of running dry here. Hell with it, blah, blah, blah, filler, filler, filler, that’s when I noticed the DNA evidence had been tampered with.
This moment brought to you by Lucky Strikes. Remember LSMFT!
Harry Tuttle falls on hard times (Obscure reference for the win!)
There is a hold up in Heat. There are two actually, but one leads to a massive shoot out, which was a pretty big deal at the time and still is sort of landmark. It was a bigger deal then I think, because it’s been copied a few times now. Everyone remembers the big shoot out in downtown LA. What you may not remember is that the driver for the hold up in a guy working as a short order cook in a work release program.
In a powerful moment, Bobby DeNiro complains about his eggs being over-cooked.
Cooks on parole naturally leads us to…
The greatest egg cooking moment ever captured on film.
There is a cook on parole in Heat, which is JUST LIKE MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE! The same situation, only instead of being a driver, he hates the cars. My review of this movie was pretty much definitive, so I won’t rehash it here, I’ll just try to remember to link to it. They also escape the madness on a boat at the end of the movie.
Yeah, mostly we just sit in front of it at the marina.
Where do people escape on boats?
Yeah, I know you can barely tell what movie this is. I don’t care. You get 80 screen caps in one day and see how you feel about picking just the right shot after a while.
Now how many of you remember that at the end of Hard Boiled, Tony Leung’s character leaves Hon Kong on a boat, escaping the situation. This being probably the magna opus of the Gun Opera genre, I sort of had to slip it in somewhere. There is also a big fight in the middle where the bad guys ambush the other bad guys while riding motorcycles.
Both hands on the bars guys! If you fall down and hurt someone I will have no sympathy.
And who else rides motorcycles?
Wacky idea. How about I change my name to an unpronounceable glyph and stop making good music for 10 years or so?
Why Prince rides a motorcycle of course. In his Musician makes good movie Purple Rain. I could say more, but I think you get the idea. Either you’ve seen this, or you don’t want to. I could try to explain why I like it, but I think it would be futile in this format.
Rocking out and cocking out.
Where else does a musician make good? Need you even ask?
Sadko is another musician makes good tale of course. We all love this movie, let’s not pretend otherwise. It’s a great film and we’ll just leave it at that. The other point being that he gets help from his friends in the undersea world to get a golden fish.
Someday I may get tired of this pic, but I doubt it.
People need a little help from their friends…
How the Peanuts Thanksgiving seating should have gone.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Another movie were friends help out is The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Now Pooh’s main motivation is of course honey. Everything he does it for the food. Which leads us too our final film. Now, sometimes I’ve made jokes and I’ve stretched, but this time it isn’t. I can lead perfectly naturally from one to the next.
Time to admit you have a problem.
Food as motivating factor?
My actual number one movie. The samurai are not paid in this movie in anything other than honor and rice. The only thing the farmers can offer is a bowl of food per day while they themselves eat millet seed. It makes Kambei’s acceptance of their request that much more poignant, when he holds up the bowl and tells them he won’t let it go to waste.
Look at it. LOOK DAMN YOU!
And who do they defend the village against? Bandits. Just like Jackie Chan did all the way back in Project A.
Baddies are bad.
See? It all comes back to the beginning.
Now as I’ve said, these 40 aren’t my absolute favorite Top 40 movies. In actuality, they’re part of my Top 100 that I could link to each other in this chain to fit the format. Maybe sometime I’ll post the actual 100 list in order, but not today.
In The Cabinet
A Jack Collier Short
By Brett N. Lashuay
Day Twelve: The License Question
I stopped off at a late night vet I know of and had the cat looked at. I was worried about him, but besides a bit of strain he’d be fine in a few days. The owner had taken care of him though, and had even gone so far as to put one of those little tracker chips in his back. It turned out the cat was only from a few houses down the road from where Hain’s house was.
It was late when I went to the old farm house, but I decided to knock on the door anyway. The door opened a crack and a man about a dozen years older than me looked out at me. He didn’t look suspicious so much as cautious, but who could blame a man for that.
“Have you recently lost your cat?” I asked.
“Yeah.” He said.
“Here he is.” I said holding the one eyed black cat up for inspection.
“Jack?” The man asked rubbing the cat’s head and looking at the scarred face where the left eye was missing.
“Yeah, that’s my name.” I said wonderingly.
“It’s his name too.” The man said. “You can set him down, he’s an indoor and outdoor cat. Where has he been?”
“I’m not sure.” I said setting him down and watching as he walked into the house like he owned the place. “I saw him on the side of the road with his head tangled in some cord, nearly choked himself. I cut him loose and took him to a vet to have him looked at.”
“Come in.” The man said and we walked through the living room and into the kitchen where a girl of about ten was already giving the cat a saucer of milk. “How much did the vet cost?”
“Oh, don’t worry about that.” I waved my hand and concocted a lie quickly. “I got it for free. The vet’s tech is a friend of mine.”
“You say he was nearly choked?”
“The rope was pretty tight around his neck.” I said. “Some one just left a tangle of rope at the side of the road or something and he must have gotten caught in it.”
“You chasing things you shouldn’t again?” He asked reaching down and tugging one of the cat’s ears. Jack looked up with his one yellow green eye and winked. It might have been thought that he was just blinking, but it looked so much like a wink I couldn’t shake the thought. “That’s how you lost your eye my friend.”
“Is it?” I asked.
“There was a badger bothering the live stock about three years ago and Jack decided to prove that those were his sheep and the only person to harass them was going to be him.”
“Did he prove it?” I asked.
“Oh yeah.” He laughed. “The next morning we find Jack dragging this badger about twice his size back to the house and he’d lost one of his eyes.”
“Well, it is comforting to know that all things named Jack and be content that they are the baddest of the bad in their field.” I said scratching the cat behind the ears. He responded by rubbing up against my leg.
There wasn’t much to say after that, so I left them waving to the cat as he ran out of the house and watched me from the porch. It is fairly nice to know that if your name is Jack, you can be content to be the baddest bastard in the area. I decided that I would let him be the baddest thing on four legs and I’d remain the baddest on two. With each of us content with being the baddest in our weight class, it would never have to come down to an exhibition bout to find out who was the baddest of them all. I would win anyway, cats can’t use guns.
After that, it was my turn to go to the hospital. It occurred to me that I was going to have to explain why I had taken about seven hours to come to a hospital to get this taken care of. I kept trying to work out something as I got to the hospital and started towards the emergency room, which is all that was open at that hour. When I sat down though, I decided that telling a near version of the truth and that the police were already aware of everything might do.
“How did this happen?” The internist asked me as he looked at my hand, which was already less swollen than it had been earlier.
“A person who is already with the police decided my hand would make a good testing ground for a leather and lead sap.” I told him as he examined it.
“The police have already been informed?” He asked.
“The police already have him.” I told him. “I just need some x-rays to see if anything is actually broken.”
I won’t go into the rest of the trip to the hospital, as it’s about as dull as you think it might prove to be. It was a lot of sitting around waiting for someone to remember I existed, have them take a couple of pictures, look at the pictures and then give me the good news. The good news was that Knock hadn’t actually managed to break anything. Most the bones in my hand were cracked or hairline fractured, but nothing was broken. I was given a splint made up mainly of Velcro and plastic and told to go home to bed. I also got a prescription for something to ease the pain, but I decided that sleep was probably all I needed and went home to bed.
When I got up I arranged my things into easily packed piles and places. This is actually no great feat as my things are usually set up to be packed at a moment’s notice. I got my note book out and looked up Mrs. Pendleton’s address to tell her to pack everything away for me. This time though, I was going to have her send everything into storage for a while. I kind of thought a while would be forever, but I didn’t tell her that. I packed all my clothes that would fit into the matched suitcases my mother bought me a few years ago and put them in the car. I then left my place, wondering if I should call the landlord or just keep paying until the lease ran out. Things being what they were in Michigan, he might as well keep getting paid for the place standing vacant rather than it just sitting empty and not earning.
I got to my office right around noon, which is an odd time to get to the office and find myself alone. In a normal day, Debbie would be typing away at her computer. She would never sit at that desk and type at the computer again. I almost wanted to sit down at her desk and look at the computer, just to see if I could figure out what she’d been doing all those years. I decided not to though, I mean I’d stayed in blissful ignorance all these years, why not extend it for the last few hours I would be in this stupid state.
I walked into my office and found an envelope on the desk with my name written on it in Debbie’s handwriting. It was a fairly thick envelope, and when I opened it I found what I had been expecting. Debbie had gone to the bank and gotten about ten thousand in cash from the account and put it on my desk with a note. It was a private note, but mostly it told me simply that it was for me to travel on if I decided I needed to just go hide for a while.
I heard a knock on the door and realized that I had to go get it for myself. I got up and deposited the cash into my trench coat pocket when I passed it. It was a good thing I did because Assistant District Attorney Mandelbaum was the sort of man who would just yank an envelope of money out of a person’s hand without making sure he had a proper warrant to first. He marched past me and went into my office without saying a word. Crammer was with him, but no other bulls had come along. Crammer also didn’t just march in, but looked at me while we stood on the threshold.
“They found part of a Webley-Fosbery.” He whispered as he moved past me. “If I were you I’d do everything up to an including accusing us of planting it.”
“It’s not on you.” I whispered back. “I’ll have to get mean though.”
The two of us walked back into my inner office, and Crammer had presence of mind enough to close the door behind him like he would have if Debbie had been there. I sat down and looked at them, getting ready to ask what they were doing there. Mandelbaum started though, amazingly free of bombast this time.
“Where is your gun?” He asked me folding his hands.
“In your property room.” I informed him. “And sadly, it going to be destroyed. That’s an antique you know. You can’t get Marleys any more. The company went out of business in forty-nine.”
“Not that one.” Mandelbaum said, and I thought he must have something up his sleeve. “The Webley-Fosbery Automatic revolver.”
“I don’t own a Webley.” I said shaking my head. “The company owns it.”
“Where is it Collier?” Mandelbaum asked, starting to look annoyed.
“No idea.” I told him.
“Your gun is missing and you didn’t report it to the police?” Crammer asked cautiously.
“It’s not my gun, and it’s not missing.” I said.
“It’s your detective office, and your gun!” Mandelbaum barked.
“Wrong on both counts and please don’t shout.” I said raising my finger. “I signed the company over to my former secretary yesterday, she became my boss. I turned the gun over to her as part of her property. You’ll have to ask her for the gun, but you’ll have to go to Chicago and I suspect you’ll need a damn good reason to ask.”
“We’ve got a reason.” Mandelbaum started to shout again but I raised my finger at him and he lowered his voice half way through. “As you know, Knock is dead, and we found a piece of a Webley-Fosbery automatic revolver’s handle scale at the scene of his murder.”
“How do you know it was murder?” I asked.
“Because you put a shovel through his face!” Mandelbaum shouted.
“Then what does part of a gun have to do with it?” I asked. “I mean if I’m being framed for a killing, why a part of a gun you can’t even acquire? I mean if you’re going to have the Troy Police plant things, why not have it be something more substantial? If you’re going to plant evidence to frame me after all.”
“How dare you suggest that?” Mandelbaum actually screamed. After realizing what he was doing he returned to shouting. “You are slandering the finest police department in the country, if not the world!”
“What does the Kansas City Police Department have to do with what I just said?” I asked, and I could help but notice that Crammer actually started to laugh. He had to put his hand over his mouth, but his shoulders kept shaking.
“This isn’t funny!” Mandelbaum resumed shouting.
“Damn right it’s not.” I snapped back. “You walking in here with some cock and bull story about a piece of a gun.”
“I have it right here.” He reached into his pocket and tossed the plastic evidence bag on my desk.
“You can prove it was me?” I asked raising my left hand from above my desk for the first time and extending my finger at him. “Good enough for a court? Good enough to prove the word murder? Homicide isn’t murder Mandelbaum.”
“What happened to your hand?” Crammer asked. “Why is it in a splint?”
“One might suggest it’s in a splint to prove self defense. If you get a search warrant for Saint Joe’s, you will find that the report shows that my left hand was done over pretty well with a leather covered sap.”
“Knock had a leather sap in his pocket.” Crammer said. “It had blood on it.”
“Probably mine.” I told him. “You want to cuff him? I can shove my socks in his mouth and we can discuss this like civilized human beings.”
“Sit down Mandelbaum.” Crammer said softly.
“Sit down.” Crammer said and pointed at the seat and then looked at me. “Okay, tell me.”
“Everything I know?”
“Everything.” He said.
“Sam Hain and Knock are your murderers.” I said flatly and sighed. “They wound Hewie up on a bunch of drugs to get him to do over Becky Hain, but it was Sam and Knock. When you guys started to get close on Sam, Becky came to be hoping I could find the real killer. Sam and Knock thought she had figured it out and got Hewie to cut her up like he did. They then gave him a suggestion to kill himself through some post hypnotic trance or something. Knock explained all this while he was doing his work on my hand.”
“Did he?” Mandelbaum asked.
“Yeah.” I nodded. “He said it didn’t matter anymore because he was going to kill me anyway. Which he decided to do after realizing that he was going to have to kill everyone connected to the case. He killed that doctor, killed Eddie the Bear and he says he killed Sam.”
“With the car bomb?” Mandelbaum asked, and it occurred to me I should try and play poker with him. He was so bad at covering his thoughts I could have made a fortune on him.
“No.” I changed my tone to one of condescension. “The car bomb was a dodge, it was Sam’s brother or cousin or something. He killed Sam yesterday before he took me out to the woods.”
“How the hell did you know that?” Mandelbaum demanded.
“Didn’t I just say?” I asked, turning my head to Crammer. “I did say he was a chatty fucker didn’t I? So anyway, Knock decided that I should sign a confession which is why he smashed up my left hand. When I explained that it wasn’t going to happen, he decided that we would go for a trip to the woods. He had the grave pre-dug for me and I just had to do a little extra work before he killed me. I hit him with the shovel instead, you know the rest.”
“Did he say where Sam’s body is?” Crammer asked.
“He said he was going to deal with it later, I suppose it was somewhere on hand.” I shrugged.
“He was using Hain’s house as a base?”
“I was only in the garage.” I said shrugging again, because it felt good. “I suppose he could have.”
“You’re still withholding evidence.” Mandelbaum snapped. “You left the scene of a crime and you drew a weapon on police officers. I’m going to have you license revoked!”
“You missed the part where I struck a pissant assistant DA.” I said.
“I can’t get corroboration on that.” He growled and looked at Crammer.
“No.” I shook my head, “I mean right now.”
I shot up out of my chair with my fist back, but Mandelbaum was in such a hurry to avoid my punishing blow he tripped over the chair and fell on his ass. I looked at him on the floor and waved a dismissive hand at him before sitting back down in my chair. I looked at Crammer who looked at the ADA and then at me.
“Forget it.” I said shaking my head. “I’m leaving the state anyway. Revoke the license if it’ll make you feel like a man, I won’t need it anymore. As for leaving the scene, my hand was smashed up. I had been put through the wringer as it was. For crying out loud if the story we’ve just discussed is true, and that’s not an admission by the way, then I nearly cut a guy’s head off with a shovel. Any jury in the world would let me off and probably give me a big slice of your ass for compensation. In fact if we were to face our judgment from an almighty that might or might not exist, I wouldn’t be blamed. But I’m not taking you to court, because I don’t intend to stay, I’m leaving the state and I’m not coming back. I shall of course be telling the papers it’s because of the constant harassment I’ve suffered.”
“You’ve suffered harassment?” Mandelbaum demanded.
“Yes.” I nodded. “Not only have I caught your serial killer, and disposed of him, but I explained how he committed his crimes. My reward is to have my license revoked. Such grateful thanks. That should really encourage private citizens to help you in the future.”
“No one’s going to take your license.” Crammer said standing up. Clearly he was ready to go. “Can you prove what you just said?”
“No.” I said rubbing my forehead with my left hand, which caused some pain so I stopped. “I have no evidence whatsoever. However, now that you know where to look and the killers are all dead anyway, it should be fairly easy to piece it together.”
“Yeah.” He nodded, “Probably. C’mon Mandelbaum.”
“Crammer.” He muttered.
“Now you fucking idiot.” Crammer barked.
They left together, Mandelbaum the one in tow now. I watched them go and decided that this case was well and truly wrapped up. Oddly, I thought that I probably would find that I had a license still intact if I needed it. I couldn’t think of a reason why I might, but you never knew.
There only now remained one unpleasant task, and then I could drive down to Langley and hang out with Alice for a while. Or maybe I could go do something else, there were other offers and some of them would take me far away for sometime. I looked at the phone and decided it could wait just a little while.
This is part twelve of thirteen, come back next week for part thirteen to see what happens next. If you get lost, one of the tags here should help you. The Cabinet tag will take you to the story while the Jack Tag will take you to Part One of every story we post here.
There are some great things about The Promise. One is that golden finger on a stick, which becomes a “thumbs up” at one point. The other is that this is the only movie I know of where a guy flies a girl like a kite.
It’s a good/bad fantasy movie, and straddles the line so that we can’t help but wonder if it’s satire on the genre. We like it, but then we like a slice of cheese now and then. I should write a review for this sometime, but at the moment I’m a little busy.