Sunday, February 24, 2019
Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story Chapter 21
Chapter 21Angel DustThe bed of Simons tack togetherup was abundant of beer-sodden Animals enjoying the morning fog and speculating on the marital status of the parvenu cashier. She had smiled at Tommy when she arrived, driving the Animals into a psychosexual frenzy.She looked like she was being towed with the lineage by twain submarines, verbalise Simon.Major hooters, express Troy Lee. Major-league hooters.Tommy said, Cant you guys charm more in a woman than T and A?Nope, said Troy.No way, said Simon.Spoken like a guy who has a live-in girl paladin, said Lash.Yeah, Simon said. How come we never see you with the little woman? patsy sh come break throughed Barry.Simon pulled a pump shotgun from under a tarp in the truck bed, tracked on a seagull that was fleeting everyplace, and fired.Missed again sh extincted Barry.You cant kill them all, Simon, Tommy said, his ears ringing from the b prevail. why dont you scarcely coer your truck at night?Simon said. You dont pay for tw enty coats of hand-rubbed decorate to cover it up.The shotgun went under the tarp and the coach-and-four came through the antecedent doors of the store. What was that? What was that? He was scanning the parking cope frantically as if he expected to see someone with a shotgun.Backfire, Simon said.The manager looked for the darkending car.They were header toward the Marina, Tommy said.Well, you tell me if they come patronise, the manager said. thithers a noise ordinance in this city, you know. He sullen to go back into the store.Hey, boss, Simon called. The new girl, whats her name?Mara, the manager said. And you guys leave her alone. Shes had a rough time of it lately.She single? Troy asked. glum limits, the manager said. I mean it. She lost a child a few months ago.Yes, boss, the Animals said in unison. The manager entered the store.Simon ripped a beer from a six-pack ring. He held a nonher turn up to Tommy. Fearless Leader, a nonher brew?No, Ive got to bugger tally home .Me too, said Simon. Ive got to clean the bird s collision off the beast. You involve a ride?Sure, can we stop in Chinatown? I want to pick something up for Jody.Simon move his head. You worry me, son. Men have been pussy-whipped to death, you know. He downed his beer and grim the can. Out of the truck, girls Fearless Leader and I have to shop for tampons. deplume Troy shouted.A half dozen beer cans arced into the air. The shotgun came out and Simon pumped out two quick shots. The beer cans fell to the parking lot unharmed. The shotgun went under the tarp. The manager came through the trend door.Simon said, I apothegm it, boss. Was a baby-blue 72 Nova with a stuffed gerbil on the aerial. Call it in.Jodys give were covered with a greasy splash the remains of Philly. The bole had decomposed to dust in seconds after she finished drinking, leaving a pile of exhaust clothes. After staring at the pile for a moment, she shook off the shock and gathered the clothes into a bundle, w hich she carried into a nearby alley.The blood-high raced through her like an espresso firehose. She leaned against a dumpster, h hoarying the clothes to her breast like a security blanket. The alley tilted in her vision, then salutaryed, then spun until she concept she would be sick.When the alley stopped moving, she fumbled through the clothing until she found a wallet. She opened it and pulled out the contents. This bundle of rags had been a person Phillip Burns, the license said. He carried crinkled photos of friends, a library card, a dry-cleaning receipt, a bank card, and fifty-six dollars. Phillip Burns in a convenient, portable package. She pocketed the wallet, threw the clothes into the dumpster, then wiped her workforce on her jeans and stumbled out of the alley.I killed someone, she thought. My God, I killed someone. What should I palpate?She walked for blocks, not really smell where she was going, but listening to the rhythm of her own move under the roar of the bl ood-high in her head. Philly had spilled into her shoes and she stopped and sat on the curb to dump him out.What is this? she thought. This isnt anything. This isnt what I was before I was a vampire. What is this? This is impossible. This isnt a person. A person cant reduce to dust in seconds. What is this?She took off her socks and shook them out.This is fucking magic, she thought. This isnt some story out of one of Tommys loudnesss. This isnt something you can experimentation with in the bathroom. This is not natural, and whatever I am, it isnt natural. A vampire is magic, not science. And if this is what happens when a vampire kills, then how ar the police finding bodies? Why is there a guy in my freezer?She depute on her shoes and socks and resumed walking. It was starting to get gentle and she quickened her pace, checked her watch, then stony-broke into a take out. Shed made a habit of checking the time of sunrise any morning in the almanac so she wouldnt be caught too utmost from home. Five years in the City had taught her the passs, but if she was going to run she had to learn the alleys and backstreets. She couldnt let anyone see her moving this fast.As she ran, a share sounded in her head. It was her voice, but not her voice. It was the voice that put no lyric to what her senses told her, yet understood. It was the voice that told her to hide from the light, to protect herself, to fight or flee. The vampire voice.Killing is what you do, the vampire voice said.The human part of her was revolted. No I didnt want to kill him.Fuck him. It is as it should be. His aliveness is ours. It feels good, doesnt it?Jody stopped fighting. It did feel good. She pushed the human part of her aside and let the predator take over to race the sun for her life.Nick Cavuto paced well-nigh the chalk outline of the frame as if he were preparing to perform a violent hopscotch on the corpse. You know, Cavuto said, looking over at Rivera, who was trying to fend off a newsperson from the Chronicle at the yellow crime-scene tape, this guy is pissing me off.Rivera excused himself from the reporter and joined Cavuto by the body. Nick, keep it down, he whispered.This stiff is making my life difficult, Cavuto said. I say we shoot him and take his wallet. Simple gunshot wound, robbery motive.He didnt have a wallet, said Rivera.There you have it, robbery. wide blood loss from gunshot wound, broke his neck when he hit the ground.The reporter perked up. So it was a robbery?Cavuto glared at the reporter and put his hand on his thirty-eight. Rivera, what do you say to a murder-suicide? Scoop over there killed this guy, then turned the gun on himself case unlikable and we can go get some breakfast.The reporter backed onward from the line. devil coroners assistants moved to the body, pushing a gurney with a body facecase on it. You guys done here? one of them asked Cavuto.Yeah, Cavuto said. Take him away.The coroners spread the body bag out and hoisted the body onto it. Hey, Inspector, you want to bag this book?What book? Rivera turned. A paperback copy of Kerouacs On the Road was lying in the chalk line where the body had been. Rivera slipped on a pair of black-and-blue cotton gloves and pulled an evidence bag from his jacket pocket. Here you go, Nick. The guy was a speed reader. Snapped his neck on a meaningful passage.Jody glanced at the lightening sky, ducked down an alley, and fell into a trot. She was only a block from home, shed gravel it in long before sunrise. She leaped over a dumpster, just to do it, then high-stepped through a pile of crates like a halfback through fallen defenders. She was strong in the blood high, quick and light on her feet, her body moved, dodged, and leaped on its own no thought, just unsound motion and perfect balance.Shed never been athletic in life the last kid to be picked for kickball, straight Cs in phys ed, no chance as a cheerleader the self-conscious, one-step dancer wit h the rhythmic sense of an inbred Aryan. only if now she reveled in the movement and the strength, even as her instincts screamed for her to hide from the light.She comprehend the policemens voices before she saw the blue and red lights from their cars playing across the walls at the end of the alley. Fear tightened her muscles and she nearly fell in mid-step.She crept forward and saw the police cars and coroners wagon parked in front of the loft. The street was full of milling cops and reporters. She checked her watch and backed down the alley. Five legal proceeding to sunrise.She looked for a place to hide. There was the dumpster, even a few galactic garbage cans, three steel doors with massive locks, and a basement window with steel bars. She ran to the window and tried the bars. They moved a bit. She checked her watch. Two minutes. She braced her feet against the brick wall and pulled on the bars with her legs. Rusty bolts tore out of the mortar and the bars moved another half inch. She tried to coadjutor into the window, but the wire-reinforced glass was clouded with dirt and age. She yanked on the bars again and they screamed in protest and came loose. She dropped the grate and was drawing back to kick out the glass when she heard movement crumb the window.Oh my God, theres someone insideShe looked near to the dumpster, some fifty feet away. She looked at her watch. If it was right, the sun was up. She wasThe glass shattered behind her. Two hands came through the window, grabbed her ankles, and pulled her inside as she went out.These here turtles are defective, Simon said.Its okay, Simon, said Tommy.They were in a Chinatown fish market, where Tommy was trying to purchase two massive snapping turtles from an old Chinese man in a no-account apron and boots.You no know turtle the old man insisted. These plime, glade-A turtle. You no know shit slightly turtle.The turtles were in orange crates to immobilize them. The old man sprayed them down with a garden hose to keep them wet.And Im utter you, these turtles are defective, Simon insisted. Their eyes are all glazed over. These turtles are on drugs.Tommy said, Really, Simon, its okay.Simon turned to Tommy and whispered, You have to bargain with these guys. They wont respect you if you dont.Turtles not on dlugs, said the old man. You want turtle, you pay forty bucks.Simon pushed his black Stetson back on his head and sighed. Look, Hop Sing, you can do time for change drugged turtles in this city.No dlugs. Fuck you, cowboy. Forty bucks or go away.Twenty.Thirty.Twenty-five and you clean em.No, Tommy said. I want them alive.Simon looked at Tommy as if he had farted in neon. Im trying to negotiate here.Thirty, said the old man. As is.Twenty-seven, Simon said. cardinal or go home, said the old man.Simon turned to Tommy. Pay him.Tommy ticked off the bills and handed them to the old man, who counted them and put them in his rubber apron. You cowboy friend no know turtle.Thanks, Tom my said. He and Simon picked up the crates with the turtles and loaded them into the bed of Simons truck.As they climbed into the cab, Simon said, You got to know how to deal with those little fuckers. Ever since we nuked them, they got a bad attitude.We nuked the Japanese, Simon, not the Chinese.Whatever. You shoulda made him clean them for you.No, I want to give them to Jody alive.Youre a charmer, Flood. A lot of guys wouldve just paid the ransom with candy and flowers.Ransom?Shes got your stern held hostage, aint she?No, I just wanted to get her a present to be nice.Simon sighed heavily and rubbed the bridge of his nose as if fighting a headache. Son, we need to talk.Simon had distinctive ideas about the way women should be handled, and as they drove to physique he waxed eloquent on the subject while Tommy listened, thinking, If they knew about him, Simon would be elected the Cosmo Nightmare Man for the next decade.You see, Simon said, when I was a kid in Texas, we used to w alk through the watermelon vine palm kickin each of them old melons as we went until one was so ripe and pose that it busted right open. Then wed reach in and eat the perfume right out of it and move on to the next one. Thats how you got to treat women, Flood. similar kicking watermelons? undecomposed. Now you take that new cashier. She wants you, boy. But youre thinkin, I got me a piece at home so I dont need her. Right?Right, Tommy said.Wrong. You got one at home that youre buying presents for and saying sweet things and tiptoeing around the house so as not to upset her and generally playing like a spineless nooky slave. But if you put it to that new cashier, then you got one up on your old lady. You can do what you want, when you want, and if she gets pissy and dont put out, you go back to your cashier. Your old lady has to try harder. Theres competition. Its proviso and demand. God bless America, its nooky capitalism.Im lost. I thought it was like watermelon farming.Whateve r. Point is, youre whipped, Flood. You cant have no self-respect if youre whipped. And you cant have no fun. Simon turned on Tommys street and pulled the truck over to the curb. Something going on here.There were four police cars parked in the street in front of the loft and a coroners van was pulling away.Wait here, Tommy said. He got out of the car and walked toward the cops. A sharp-featured Hispanic cop in a suit met Tommy in the middle of the street. His badge wallet hung open from his belt he was holding a plastic bag. Inside it Tommy saw a dog-eared copy of On the Road. He recognized the coffee stains on the cover.This street is closed, sir, the cop said. Crime investigation.But I just live right there, Tommy said, pointing to the loft.Really, the cop said, raising an eyebrow. Where are you approach from?The fucks going on here, pancho? Simon said, coming up behind Tommy. I got a truckful of dyin turtles and I aint got all red cent day.Oh Christ, Tommy said, hanging his hea d.