I'll come up with something in a minute.

I Wrestle Sharks

Guys, let’s have a talk real quick. We’ve got saying where I come from… “Go big or go home.”

If you’re going to lie to a woman, don’t tell a little lie. If you must be dishonest, tell a whopper of a lie that no one will ever take seriously, but tell it like you’ve got photos and documents in your wallet to prove every word. Don’t tell her you’re the manager of the I.T. department when you’re really the assistant manager… tell her you wrestle sharks! She’s going to assume you’re building yourself up a little anyway, might as well strain the very fabric of credulity and reality.

Now you can’t just leave it at “I wrestle sharks” of course, you’ve got dress it up in that dress you like and make it strut in front of the audience. You’ve got make that line seem like it has a shred of plausibility.

On my shark example…
“You know those documentaries where they get the close up shots of sharks? Well they don’t like using a cage these days, so someone has to watch out for the cameraman while the get the footage. So I swim near by and if any great white looks like it’s getting to close I get it in a headlock and give it a noogie.”

Don’t leave it hanging like that though, you’ve got to explain which documentaries you’ve worked on, what channel she can see them on, and how that has made you capable of making the perfect omelet. Obviously, you add that the perfect omelet can only be made in the morning after a night of sheet tearing sex.

If you don’t think you can pull off the shark wrestler thing, you could try a different tact…
“You ever read the comic strip The Phantom? I do body modeling for them. I pose for The Phantom actually, sometimes for Mary Worth as well. Not the torso, obviously, another guy does that. I do the hands for The Phantom. I can throw a still punch better than anybody else in modern comic strips, except the guy who does Mark Trail of course. That guy’s an artist though, you can’t compete with him. If you’ve got a newspaper, I can show you some of my work.”

Now if you think you can’t even pull that off, you can try something truly bizarre.
“I design leaves for a biotech firm. Have you seen those oaks outside the new town hall? Yeah, those are mine. It’s a totally new strain of leaf that turns a trade marked shade of orange. I didn’t do the color though, I designed the shape. If you look carefully, all the leaves on those trees are perfectly uniform, you’ll always get the same leaf from one of our trees.”

From there on out, you’re on your own obviously. I don’t condone lying to women anyway, I am only suggesting that if you do it then don’t tell these boring little lies.

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November 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In the Cabinet (Part Eleven)

 

In The Cabinet

A Jack Collier Short

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

Last week’s entry can be found here.

 

 

 

Day Eleven: Jack The Cat and the Murderer

 

            It may not be a surprise to you that my trip took me back to the house I’d been at when Knock decided to use my left hand as a testing pad for his sap. The sick fucker behind all this had probably watched from the window as Knock smacked my hand, which was now swollen and blackened. I would have to go to the doctor, get an x-ray at least. I squeezed my fingers closed, which caused an incredible amount of pain. The hand would close and open though, which meant I could go ahead with my plan. As I rested it on the steering wheel and hooked my thumb around the wheel, I noticed the arthritis in my right hand was hurting as well. That was nice, it’s always helpful when both sides get together and pitch in. Teamwork, that’s what I like.

 

            I noticed something different when I pulled up to the house though and I felt a new anger growing up as my lights passed over it. I got out the car and approached he large oak tree in the front yard. From one of the lower branches, a cat had been lynched. It was a completely black cat, hung by a formerly white piece of rope that looked like it might have started out life as a clothesline.

 

            I couldn’t stand to leave it there, besides there was the chance that it might not be dead yet. Of course it would be, with its legs waving in the growing wind, but I was going to make a stand with this one. Alive or dead, I was going to cut this animal down and I was going to take it into the house. There are some things I can’t stand, and some bastard hanging a cat is one of them.

 

            I’d never replaced my jackknife after I’d broken the blade off in Chester Cat’s thick skull. At this point though, I wasn’t terribly worried about that fucking monster seeing that I had the bowie knife on me. I pulled the knife out with my sore left hand and took hold of the cat under its chest at the rib cage. I can’t really explain why, but something inside me made me want to treat it as if it were still alive. I gently cut the rope away and set the cat down on the ground before slipping the knife back in place.

 

            As I pulled the noose away, I noticed that one of the cat’s eyes had been taken out sometime ago by violence. The place where the eye would have been was puffy and pink, missing a lot of hair but having more than enough scar tissue to replace it. I was going to kill the fucker, that should be clear by now, but I decided after noticing that fact it was going to take a bit longer and it was going to be a great deal nastier. I was going to make this a grisly, nasty kill, with lots of blood and screaming. I picked the lifeless animal up in my arms and stroked the cat’s soft fur as I walked to the front door. When I opened the door and walked in I heard a voice coming from where I thought the study was.

 

            “That seems to have taken longer than it should have.” The voice came from my right.

 

            “I came as fast as I could.” I said walking into the study and setting the cat down on a black velvet chair that the cat was likely never allowed on in life.

 

            Sam Hain wasn’t ancient, but he was old. A ring of white hair crowned his head, but his face was fairly free of wrinkles. He looked at me, setting his pen down on the paper he was writing on. He leaned back in his large throne like chair, which had imps and goblins carved into the wood. His eyes fixed on me and his tongue moved around inside his lips.

 

            “Jack Collier.” He announced, and I could hear the lilt of his Irish origin in his voice. “The private detective.”

 

            “Here Peter Quince.” I responded, taking a step towards his desk. “Why the cat Sam?”

 

            “Not why Rebecca?” He asked lacing his fingers together and laying his forearms down on his desk as he leaned forward. “Or why all those other victims?”

 

            “Why the cat?” I asked. “We’ll get to the others. We’ve got time.”

            “Have we?” He asked smiling. “Aren’t the agents of justice winging their way to us now?”

 

            “No.” I shook my head. “No one knows you’re here but me. Why the cat?”

 

            “If one is going to perform a scorched earth campaign, one must scorch the earth?” He smiled at me. “Have to keep one’s hand in, you know.”

 

            “Let’s start with Hewie.” I tried to keep my voice from growling.

 

            “The little queer?” he asked leaning back again and resting his left hand on the desk, right at the edge. “Who cares about him?”

 

            “He cared about you.” I said reaching into my coat and touching the kurki’s handle. “He loved you.”

 

            “That’s the little queer’s problem.” He said trying to smoothly move his hand to the desk drawer.

 

            My hand snapped out of the coat and swung the huge wedge shaped blade of the kukri down at the corner of his desk. I didn’t do it as fast as I could though, giving him time to pull away, and the edge cut away a bit of the corner of the desk instead of his fingers. I smacked him across the face with the back of my left hand, which exploded into pain that I couldn’t dare how. I reached over and opened the drawer myself. A small chrome pearl handled S&W sat in the drawer. I tucked the kukri back into place and hooked the gun out of the drawer with my pinky stuck through the trigger guard.

 

            “Lame.” I said tossing my right hand up and letting the gun slip from my finger and cascade over my shoulder. “All this time, being such a scary guy, and you go and reach for a dinky little gun?”

 

            I turned and walked away from the desk and towards the cat. Somewhere along the line, the cat had actually started breathing again. The animal’s single yellow-green eye was open and looking up at me. It wasn’t sitting up yet, still building up it’s strength for that I suppose. I think it may have only just woken up in fact.

 

            “I am not a homo.” He announced suddenly. “It’s not my fault if Hewie decided he was gonna run away with me or something.”

 

            I picked the cat up gently and stroked its head. It purred softly, but didn’t rub its head against me because it would have to move its neck to do so. I suspected the cat probably had quite a sore neck, but it was alive. I probably would have found it funny that the one person I thought I had no chance of saving was the one person I’d managed to save.

 

            “You know, it’s the fact that you’ve decided even at this late stage to deny things that annoys me.”

 

            “I’m not denying anything.” He snarled. “I got Hewie and Knock kill those people for me. I even got Hewie to go against his nature and fuck my daughter before killing her.”

 

            “But the only one you actually killed was the cat?” I looked down and stroked the animal’s head. “And didn’t even manage to do that?”

 

            “I managed to get Hewie to kill himself, granted he went to your office for whatever reason.” He smiled broadly. “That’s killing someone, getting them to do it themself.”

 

            “Whatever reason?” I asked.

 

            “Yes.” He nodded, “How did you get involved? I’ve read about you in the paper a couple of times, but I wasn’t aware we had any connection.”

 

            “You don’t remember me?” I must say I was a little surprised. “I was Becky’s best friend for all of high school and a bit beyond.”

 

            “Oh.” He shook his head and then shrugged. “Are you one of the boys who hung around fucking my daughter?”

 

            “No.” I said. “Becky and I were never fucking. I was the one she always came back to.”

 

            “She said she was going to see that friend of hers from school to get me out of trouble.” He said rubbing his chin. “That actually was you?”

 

            “Yeah.” I nodded. “That was me, like I said before.”

 

            “She pay you in blowjobs then?” He said it so calmly, so matter of factly, that it was supposed to elicit an explosion of rage from me. I decided it wouldn’t.

 

            “No.” I shook my head and said in the same soft tone he’d used, “You got your little lover boy to kill her before we could discuss payment.”

 

            “I told you, I’m not a fucking sissy faggot!” He shouted and pointed his finger at me. The cat leapt off my lap and ran under the chair.

 

            “No.” I said remaining calm. “You’re quite a butch faggot and something of a sick mind controller who likes whipping little boy rumps and sticking them with all kinds of needles and things. You give the gay community a worse name than Cruisin’ does, and yet you can only kill the cat and can’t do that right.”

 

            “Listen you.” He growled. “When Knock gets back we’ll cut you into little pieces together. I’ll kill you myself though.”

 

            “Is that what you were waiting for?” I laughed. “Unless Knock can bounce back from having the top of his head ripped off in an hour and a half I don’t think he’s coming back in time.”

 

            “Dead?” He asked. “You killed him?”

 

            “Jack the Giant Killer.” I told him. “Seven with one blow and all of that. Chief badass for the Tri-County Detroit Metro area.”

 

            “Did he tell you I was here before then?”

 

            “No.” I shook my head

 

            “How did you figure all this out then?” He asked looking very confused.

 

            “You know, everyone has this idea I’m dumb or something, like I’m just not the sharpest pencil in the box.” I complained. “But you know, even if I were as stupid as you take me for I can at least master pattern recognition. I mean Christmas pulled the exact same trick in December. Who was in the car, another innocent by stander?”

 

            “No.” He shook his head. “My brother died last month, and after we yanked his teeth out we used his body to make a close enough match to my DNA. Knock put his body in there, wired up with a hundred pounds of explosions or so.”

 

            “I see.” I nodded. “So why Becky then?”

 

            “My daughter would tell anyone anything, particularly over some sweated sheets.” He growled at me. “I couldn’t have her blabbing about what had happened and she’d already gone and gotten her old boyfriend involved.”

 

            “I told you.” I said. “I was never her boyfriend.”

 

            “Fuck bunny then.” He snapped. “Her daily source of protein!”

 

            I got up and walked around to the desk. He looked at me defiantly and I thought I saw his hand jump. I smacked him hard across the head and then grabbed his shirt and smacked his head against the desk. I then threw him across the desk and listened as a lot of objects fell both on him and the floor. Objects of glass shattered and brass ones made clanging noises. I heard a groan and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror.

 

            “Are you overcharged with awe?” I grabbed him by the collar and yanked him to his feet.

 

            I couldn’t hear his reply because my ears were filled with a thudding sound, like that of a watch when placed under a cloth. My left hand grabbed the bowie knife and it plunged straight into his heart. My right hand clutched at the kukri handle, and it swept across his neck. There was a spray of blood, but not nearly as much as I would have imagined. His body convulsed a few times, but after a second or two his eyes rolled up and breath rattled out of him.

 

            I heard then, quite suddenly the sound of a train. The rattle of wheels on rails, the cry of the whistle and the rumble through the floor. There were tracks half a mile from here, and I wondered for a moment if it was just a ghost train that had come for Sam’s soul. A look of peace came over his face, such as I never could have imagined might have rested there. The train kept rolling though, and I decided that it was probably just a supply train taking transmissions to a Ford plant.

 

            I have no way of calculating how long I stood there, watching as the blood seeped out of him and onto the floor. I don’t know what I was expecting to happen, but nothing at all happened for a long time.

 

            The cat had managed to stand on its own and was rubbing against my leg and making some meowing noises. I reached down and patted it on the head, and then I went to the kitchen to see if there was anything to feed this animal. As it turned out there were several cans of Fancy Feast, which I guessed meant that this had been a spur of the moment killing. I gave the cat a can on a plate and let him or her go at it. I hadn’t decided to go to the effort of discovering its sex, so I would have to say him or her for a while.

 

            The front door opened and five men in white jumpsuits came in. One of them looked at me and then at a device in his hand. He wore a holster on his hip, the top of which hadn’t been snapped down. He could have drawn and shot in about half a second if he wanted to.

 

            “Collier?” He asked.

 

            “That’s right.” I nodded as I took a step into the dining room, which was on the left as you came into the house.

 

            “We’re supposed to remove something for you.”

 

            “In that room.” I pointed over his shoulder to his right at the door to the study. “One body, I want the knives back please.”

 

            “We supposed to do anything to make it look like an accident or anything?” The one who was talking asked as the other four moved efficiently behind him.

 

            “He doesn’t ever need to be found.” I told him at the black cat leapt up on the table between us. “He’s already supposed to be dead.”

 

            “You want us to kill the cat too?” He asked nodding at the animal.

 

            “Do you want to?” I was a little taken aback by the suggestion.

 

            “No.” He said shaking his head. “But you’d be amazed what people ask me to do in this job.”

 

            “No, I wouldn’t.” I said picking the cat up. “The cat goes with me though.”

 

            “Okay.” He nodded and a thought struck me.

 

            “Hang on a second.” I said and walked towards them. “Can you make it look like he’s been dead longer than he has?”

 

            “We could cover up how long he’s been dead.” The guy said. “Is there a freezer in this place?”

 

            “I think so.” I thought, trying to remember. “In the basement.”

 

            “Let’s go look.” He walked past me and towards the basement door.

 

            There was a large chest freezer that was mercifully empty besides a few frozen pizzas and a price club sized box of flavor ice, but those are in every chest freezer in the Midwest. They dragged him downstairs and then went through the house wiping things they thought they might have touched. I mentioned the kitchen and they started in there as well. It might have been instructive to watch them go at it, but I had other things to do tonight still. I picked up the cat and left with him curled under my arm.

 

This is part eleven of thirteen, come back next week for part twelve and every Thursday until we’re done 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.

November 12, 2009 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment