pennies for the dead 💀 (part v)

“I don’t know Sheila,” I said, “you’ve faked demonic possessions before.”

“Try me, asswipe!” she replied. Then I pumped a few bullets into her chest.

Nothin

“Alright, so I guess you’re Jezebel,” I said. “Where’s Pete?”

“His soul resides in HELL for all eternity!!!!”

“Good, he’s a Boston sports fan,” I said, “he needs to know how that feels.”

“You will join him soon enough!”

“Sorry sister, I already live in Ohio.”

I pulled the trigger again but I already emptied the revolver. I threw the gun at her and started running down the hallway while screaming for my life.

I hid in the closet under the staircase. Of course, it didn’t take long for her to find me. Using her demonic powers, Jezebel began to eat my soul. I started praying. “God, I regret everything,” I said.

Then God responded. Thunderbolts began raining down on Jezebel from some unseen force and she retreated into the shadows. I was still alive.

I crawled out from the closet. In front of me stood a wizard-like figure dressed in white robes and holding a staff.

“Thank you Jesus,” I said.

“I’m not Jesus,” the figure replied. “I’m Joe Morris.”

I stood up. “Joe Morris? Shouldn’t you be 120 years old?”

“119 to be precise.”

Then Pete ran down the hallway. “Ty! I’m still alive!” he said.

“I thought you went to hell,” I replied.

“I did. It ain’t such a bad place. I got to meet Dave Cowens.”

“He’s still alive dumbass.”

“Are you sure? By the way, did you piss your pants?”

“I did. It’s a side effect of my elavil prescription. Where did Jezebel go?”

“She went back to hell to lick her wounds,” Joe Morris said. “We must go to the cellar, return to hell, and make sure she never returns.”

“Fuck that,” I said. “This ain’t my problem. I’ll just collect the money from Dorthy and be on my merry way.”

Right then, a possessed Dorthy flew down from the ceiling and attacked me. While I fought her off, Joe Morris released more thunderbolts from his staff. Finally, she flew off of me and began writhing on the ground before whatever cursed spirit that possessed her left her body. Dorthy was dead.

“Mother!” Pete screamed.

“She hasn’t been your mother for a long time,” Joe said.

I took a moment to gather myself.

“Alright,” I said, “I need to change my pants before we go to the cellar,”

TO BE CONTINUED…

pennies for the dead (part iv)

I quietly hoped that Pete lived a lonely, miserable life. He never mentioned anything about a spouse. His mother was barely cognizant of his existence. Honestly, he seemed to be a stupid sack of shit and nobody would have missed him.

But I didn’t want anyone reporting his disappearance. What would I have told the police? That he was sucked into some black hole in the middle of the woods?

I had to find Pete. And finding Pete probably led to solving the mystery of Joe Morris’ death.

Actually, I could have walked away from this entire thing and no one would have been the wiser. But I knew the spirits were listening in. I had to get to the bottom of this thing before they got to me.

I picked up the spirit box. “Listen here, damn you,” I said, “I know you can hear me. I want some answers! Where’s Pete? Who’s Jezebel?!”

The spirit box began scanning through the channels before spitting out “suck.my.penis.”

That’s it, I thought. I reloaded the .38 and went back to the Morris Estate.

It was 12:30am. I pounded on Dorthy’s door. “Is it the milk man?” I heard her ask. “Come in!”

I opened the door and there was Dorthy playing Trivial Pursuit alone. “Damn it Dorthy!” I said, “I need answers! Who’s Jezebel?!”

“Jezebel? She’s been dead for 20 years.”

“Records say she died in 1951. Stop jackin me around!” I pulled out the .38. I meant business.

The candles around the aged mansion began to flicker. Random objects started to move: books flipped open, mirrors were rattling, the record player was blasting Lionel Richie’s ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’. Dorthy meanwhile went into a trance. Her eyes rolled back into her head and she backed up into the shadows.

I turned on the spirit box. “Alright Jezebel! I know you’re on to me,” I said. “Talk to me! Let’s settle this thing!”

Suddenly the doors flew open. A woman floated into the room. Her eyes were as dark as night.

I lifted the .38.

But it was Sheila.

“Sheila, you’re drunk,” I said. “Go home!”

“I am not Sheila,” the demonic voice said. “I am Jezebel!”

TO BE CONTINUED

pennies for the dead )part I)

Yeah yeah, I know that my detective stories are unpopular and always peter out before I finish them. But I’ve never written a story with supernatural/horror elements in it, and a detective mystery is my only way in.

Will this story work?

Lol, I never promise that.

So let’s see how this goes…

****

So I was doing a seance during the middle of the night in a cemetery when a security guard approached me.

“The hell are you doing?” he asked.

“Conjuring the dead. What does it look like?”

“Well hurry up. Gates close in an hour.”

So I cranked up the spirit box and pulled out the Ouija board. I asked the spirit box, “is a Joe Morris present?”

The box scanned through the channels before saying “Beelzebub”. Oh shit, I thought. I probably just cursed myself.

“No no no,” I replied. “JOE Morris.”

The box continued to scan but I was receiving no answers. The Ouija board was no help either. It kept spelling out “anal sex” and “go fuck yourself”. This was getting me nowhere.

I packed everything up and took out my flashlight. Next to Joe Morris’ tombstone was the name “Jezebel Morris”.

Dorthy Morris neglected to tell me that name.

Joe was Dorthy’s father. He was allegedly poisoning in 1952. The autopsy, however, was inconclusive. Dorthy’s been wanting this case solved her entire life. Now, in her twilight years, she lived a reclusive life on her family’s estate while her brain slowly demented away.

In my opinion, Joe died by natural causes. You know how men lived in those days. But I hadn’t had a case in months.

Was it wrong of me to take this elderly lady’s money? Yes.

I immediately left the cemetery and stopped at the Voodoo shop. I had to do something to spurn any demonic curses, ya know? Afterwards I drove to Dorthy’s estate.

I pounded on the door. She was hard of hearing.

“Is that you Lyle?” she asked

“No ma’am. It’s Ty Carson, private detective,” I replied.

I opened the door and found Dorthy with a blanket covering her lap in front of the fireplace. She was playing checkers.

“Who are you playing checkers with?” I asked.

“I’m not playing checkers.”

I quickly moved on to the business at hand. “I did what you asked,” I said. “I went to the cemetery to talk to Joe. I found out that the dead aren’t too keen on talking.”

“But I talked to Joe this morning,” she replied.

I ignored that comment.

“Who’s Jezebel?” I asked.

Dorthy gave me a puzzled look. “Jez has been dead for years,” she said.

“I know. Who was she?”

“No. I can’t betray Joe like that.”

“But she might be key to understanding Joe’s death.”

“No. That matter is closed.”

I shrugged. I figured that I could just go through public records in the morning. As I began to leave, I turned around.

“Oh, by the way,” I said, “the spirit box and Ouija board came to about $150. That will be charged to your account.”

“$5,000 you said?” Dorthy asked as she pulled out her checkbook.

“Yes.”

TO BE CONTINUED

bill friedkin

The career of William Friedkin is a reminder of how hard it is to make a good film.

He hit two films out of the fuckin park with The French Connection and The Exorcist then kinda floundered from there (he did have a few notable films afterwards, namely Sorcerer and To Live and Die in LA, the latter of which I haven’t seen).

Sure Friedkin won his accolades here and there, but he is truly the maestro of one specific thing: directing car chases.

Everyone remembers Gene Hackman just plowing through cars and walls while Friedkin neglected to obtain permits to film such a thing in the French Connection (and apparently there’s a good chase sequence in To Live and Die in LA), but Friedkin’s crowning achievement, in my view, is in Jade.

Before David Caruso was spitting out one liners while rocking a pair of sunglasses in CSI: Miami, he tried his hand at being a film star. Jade was the absolute highlight of this period.

In the film, after Angie Everhart gets totally destroyed by a Ford Thunderbird, Caruso pursuits the vehicle in his POS Ford during a delightful chase where vehicles fly through the air down the streets of San Francisco (and Caruso does his best Gene Hackman impersonation).

The best part is when the chase goes through some parade and pedestrians attack the vehicles using martial arts. I guess that would make sense if you learn about other cultures while binging on cocaine.

Take a look:

light sleeper

On the Mount Rushmore of cokeheads, Paul Schrader is between Dennis Hopper and Phil Specter (along with Stevie Nicks of course). Which is why I was excited to see Light Sleeper available to watch on Amazon Prime.

It’s definitely not a perfect film. Willem Dafoe plays an aging drug delivery boy employed by Susan Sarandon who runs into an ex flame which leads him to shoot up a hotel room (we’ve all been there). It’s a movie that should have been fleshed out more. The climax (the shooting up of a hotel room) didn’t quite pay off, and the sudden romantic interest between Sarandon and Dafoe in the end was odd, but there’s a lot of other things going for the film.

The sanitation strike, which played in the background and was often juxtaposed against the high class NYC lifestyle, was a nice touch. But the desperation of Dafoe’s character is absolutely heartbreaking.

I get what that’s about.

Dafoe is aimless. He wanted to be an actor, model, musician, and writer. His best years were spent strung out on drugs. Now he’s 40 and lacks focus.

Subtlety, Sarandon is in a similar position. She plays the boss but she knows the gravy train is about to leave the station. She thinks she’s some NYC hotshot, but by looking at her shitty apartment, she’s probably on the outside looking in.

Now that I type that out, suddenly Dafoe and Sarandon’s abrupt romantic interest becomes apparent: they’re both losers and now they have to settle for each other.

The soundtrack is incredible, for both good and bad reasons. The music itself is great. Where it goes off the rails is the damn singing. The visuals are powerful enough that you don’t need to be told how Dafoe’s character is feeling. Anybody could have written those lyrics. For example (in the style mimicking Bruce Springsteen):

I am walking down the street at night

I run into my ex girlfriend

We get into a little fight

I feel so sad that I just might

Stalk her at her mom’s funeral

Then she gets sad as well

Then we reconnect and start to kiss

She complements my erection

Then she tells me that she’s sopping wet

So we fuck all night then tells me to leave

Then I find out she’s back on drugs

Then she jumps out a window to her death

So I buy a gun from Puerto Rican man

Then I ride in limo with Susan Sarandon

Then I shoot up a hotel room

(Lyrics by Michael Been)

Despite all of that, this is a nice forgotten gem from the mind of Paul Schrader.

just one more thing..

So I was eating a bag of skittles when the phone rang.

“What do you want?” I asked.

The woman over the phone spoke. “Hi, this is Arianna. We talked last week. Just want to know that I’ve been fantasizing about you. I’m really, REALLY horny. I want to come over, sit you down, take you in my mouth then ride you as you slide in and out. I want to taste you. I want to feel you inside me. Just the thought of your cock makes me quiver with excitement. Please let me come over. Please PLEASE have your way with me.”

“Sorry, watching Columbo,” I said. Then hung up.

“dr. sí” part v

“Well shits assholes,” I said to Dr. Sí. “We’ve been looking for you. I guess the search is over! Can I go now?”

“Not so fast,” he responded. “I need to know where your Kill Squad is going.”

“First I want to know what happened to Angelika,” I demanded.

“Fair enough,” he said. Then Dr. Sí turned to the corner of the laboratory. “Angelika, come join us.”

Angelika stepped out, all dolled up with her red hair flowing down to her shoulders. “Sorry James,” she said. “You’re not my type because Dr. Sí is my type.”

The two kissed passionately in front of me.

“I do want to thank you, Colonel James, for returning her to me,” Dr. Sí said.

“Hey, not a problem,” I replied. “Can you return the favor by removing this explosive collar from around my neck? Once when they realize Angelika’s missing, this thing will blow my head off.”

“First, where is the Kill Squad going?”

“They’re probably coming here!”

“We are certainly not at where they are going.”

“Then what are you worried about?”

The doctor turned around and looked at a computerized map of the Hawaiian islands. “I am a man of science, colonel. In order for my experiments to work, I need EXACT measurements. I cannot afford unpredictability. So again…where is the Kill Squad going?”

I was running out of time. The collar was going to detonate at any moment. Then I remembered…

“$2 million,” I said.

“$2 million?”

“Yes, $2 million and I give up the coordinates of the Kill Squad plus any other state secrets you want in order to sweeten the deal,“ I replied.

I was bluffing about the state secrets part. I didn’t know shit.

“$1 million,” Dr. Sí responded.

“Deal. The coordinates are 113.998N 737.746W. Now get this collar off of me!”

Dr. Sí laughed and ordered the guards to remove the collar. “Thank you for your cooperation colonel,” he said. “But as an insurance policy, I’ll place this collar on one of your acquaintances.”

The guards rolled in Mr. Ree, strapped to an upright gurney.

“They kidnapped me too,” Mr. Ree said. “Can you believe that bullshit?”

“Ohh come on,” I said. “Don’t kill Mr. Ree! He’s cool! Besides, that thing will detonate before the squad reaches its destination!”

“That’s just a chance I’m willing to take,” Dr. Sí replied.

“Look, I don’t give a damn about Admiral Majors or the Kill Squad. But there’s a woman that’s traveling with them: Izzy. Please don’t kill her,” I pleaded.

“Colonel, relax,” he said. “I’m not looking to kill anyone, except for Mr. Ree over there. I just want to see that thing go off.”

“I don’t understand.”

Dr. Sí put his arm around my shoulders and started walking me around the laboratory. “I understand your confusion. You see, has anyone told you the truth about that missing nuclear scientist?”

“To be honest doctor, for this entire mission, I’ve kinda been asleep at the wheel. I don’t even know that scientists’ name.”

“Ah, let me show you.”

Dr. Sí opened a door and out walked an old man in a lab coat. I think I was supposed to be impressed by this.

“I don’t know who this is,” I said.

“That’s J. Robert Oppenheimer.”

“Who?”

“J. Robert Op…the father of the atomic bomb?! What are you? Some kind of fucking moron?”

“You cloned him?”

“No asshole! I brought him from the past into the future! Don’t you get it yet? I invented time travel!!”

I walked up to Oppenheimer and looked him up and down. “Welcome to the future,” I told him. “We killed Hitler.”

“I know that, dumbass,” he replied. “We should have dropped the bomb on him!”

I looked back over to Dr. Sí. “So what? You invented time travel. Big whoop. How can you use that against the Kill Squad?”

“That’s why I brought my friend Oppenheimer to the present. You see, we created a new kind of weapon: a time weapon.”

“That sounds pretty fucking stupid, Dr. Sí,” I said. “How can you weaponize time?”

“Well you see, if you can triangulate the space time continuum, the quantum field fluctuations will…”

“Okay, sorry I asked,” I interrupted. “That science shit is boring. Cut to the chase. What’s gonna happen to the Kill Squad?”

“I will fire a plasma energy weapon at their coordinates. When the weapon reaches them, it will generate a quantum field around them and they will be transported to a different time and place.”

“My god,” I said. “A non-destructive weapon. You’re a genius Dr. Sí.”

“So you’re not a complete fucking idiot after all,” he replied. “It is far more humane than the nuclear weapons of the last 80 years. Imagine: no more nuclear fallout, no more mass death…we simply transport our enemies to a different time, different place.”

I looked around the laboratory…at all the scientists running around, to Oppenheimer, to Angelika, and then over to Mr. Ree.

“I cannot deny your genius, Dr. Si,” I said. “But it appears that the only one in danger here is Mr. Ree. If you’re really are humane, you’d remove that collar.”

Dr. Sí nodded. “I suppose you’re right, Colonel.” He looked to the guards. “Remove the collar.”

The guards walked over to the gurney and removed the collar. As they were about to dispose of it, it detonated, killing and maiming several of them.

Out of the confusion, Oppenheimer attacked one of the guards, grabbing his machine gun.

“Put down the gun Oppenheimer,” Dr. Sí said.

“No,” he replied. “You’ve been holding me hostage here. I’m not your puppet!”

“But Bob,” Dr. Sí pleaded. “We’ve been building something special here. Don’t you want to finish our work?”

“No! No more weapons!”

More guards rushed into the room, forcing Oppenheimer to drop his gun.

“Sorry Bob,” Dr. Sí said. “It appears your time is up.”

Mr. Ree was released from the gurney. The two of us were ordered to raise our hands and were rounded up with Oppenheimer.

“Lock these these scum up,” Dr. Sí ordered.

TO BE CONTINUED