pennies for the dead (part vii)

“Just be warned,” Joe said to me, “Hell ain’t what you think it is.”

“How so?”

“You just have to see.”

Joe, Pete, and I gathered our divinely blessed weapons and proceeded to the cellar in the woods. Joe went into the portal first, then Pete. I hesitantly went in last.

I felt my body break down into its molecular and atomic parts while time and space melted down. Then reality reconstructed itself and the three of us were in a large theater.

On stage was a nude couple: one an elderly woman and the other an average-looking dude with an abnormally large dong. A horse was also on stage. It was a community theater production of Equus.

“Ah shit. Now I know what you mean,” I said.

We rushed out of the theater, side by side, weapons on ready. We were men on a mission, a mission to find…and kill…Jezebel. And more importantly, we had to stop the dead from invading the earthly realm.

Outside the theater, we hailed a cab. The driver stopped and we all piled into the back. “Does anyone want to sit up here with me?” the driver asked. “Son of a bitch,” I said then got in the front seat.

“Where to?” the cabbie asked. “Downtown” Joe replied.

The cab driver then blasted Jon and Vangelis from the radio and was humming along. I turned to the backseat.

“Hell seems more boring and mildly irritating,” I said, “much like Minneapolis.”

“Yeah, but imagine spending spending eternity here,” Joe replied.

He had a point.

The cap pulled up to a downtown bank. We all piled out of the car. “Are you sure that the Empress of Hell and all of Damnation is here?” I asked.

“Of course, with their ungodly interest rates, there’s nowhere else she could be!” Joe said.

So the three of us…a wizard, an idiot, and a guy with a shotgun…walked into the bank lobby. We went up to a loan officer.

“We’re here to see Jezebel,” I tell the man.

“Do you have an appointment?” he asks.

I cocked the shotgun and blasted a hole in his chest. “She’ll be with you shortly,” the loan officer replied.

Security guards rushed into the lobby and began firing indiscriminately. Pete became an absolute beast and started slicing away with his machete. Joe unleashed fire bolts from his staff. I unloaded shell after shell from my shotgun.

As we looked over the absolute slaughter of security guards, with blood and guts strewn about the lobby, Joe nodded his head. “I think our plan is working out pretty good,” he said.

“I’m out of shells,” I said and dropped the shotgun. Then I pulled out the .38 and kissed it. “But I still got six shots.”

We all went into the elevator and Joe hit the button for the 666th floor. “Holy shit!” I said. “How many floors are in this building?”

32 minutes later, we arrived. Jezebel was in a conference call with all of her minions. She was planning the final stages of her Hellish invasion of earth.

“What took you so long?” she asked.

“Your slow ass elevator,” Pete said.

“You think your earthly powers can stop me?”

I lifted the .38. “Nothing can stop these bullets sister.”

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

roboCop 2: greatest sequel ever made

First off, thank you to those who continually read this blog. I love all of you like a bastard child I never knew I had. But if we did have a child together, then I don’t know you and please don’t reach out to me.

Now on to the subject at hand:

RoboCop 2

The first RoboCop is one of my favorite movies. Paul Verhoeven really knows how to tell a story from the perspective of the film’s ideology while simultaneously letting you in on the joke.

It’s a tough act to follow, and most claim that RoboCop 2 failed to live up to its predecessor. But I disagree. The reviews on IMDB are all over the place. Many say that it’s not a great movie, but there’s no consensus on why it’s not a great movie.

Yes, certain plot details go nowhere. This is probably the result of studio interference, which is typical for highly anticipated sequels. But my question is: who gives a shit? RoboCop 2 was made in the same vein as another infamous sequel released a week earlier: Gremlins 2: The New Batch and it should be viewed in that light.

Is it a GREAT film? Lol, no. It’s not supposed to be. When you make a sequel, you have two options: do something entirely different or double up on the same shit that was done before. The filmmakers chose the latter (which was the right choice).

Now Verhoeven definitely handled the gratuitous violence much more effectively in the first film, but that’s his specialty. At its heart, RoboCop is a satire on consumerism and corporate culture. The horrific violence and sci-fi aspects, which most people remember it for, was just the vessel to tell the story. RoboCop 2 threw up its arms and said “fuck it, we’re just gonna be satire”.

The villains are much more over-the-top, the commercials are much less subtle, and even RoboCop himself is more exaggerated. Many praised RoboCop for its self-awareness, well the same is true for RoboCop 2. In fact, it’s straight up mocking itself.

I’d say that RoboCop 2, along with Gremlins 2, might be the two most self-aware films ever made.

Does it deserve the 5.8 rating it currently has on IMDB? No.

A 6.8 seems more fitting.

hire me plz

I’ve always said that my dream job is to be a television writer for some dumb, formulaic show on basic cable.

This is because I’m not only lazy, but I’m also intrigued by entertainment that wants to have it both ways: it wants to display violence in a gritty, realistic manner while simultaneously ignoring the consequences. An example is SEAL Team and SWAT.

I find these shows delightful: many people die, friends get killed or mangled, yet every episode ends with the cast laughing over drinks or in despair over a romantic relationship. It’s completely hypocritical, it wants to show real violence while also numbing us from the true horror of it all.

It’s hilarious.

But all of these programs have identical story beats: the team (SEAL or SWAT) causes disruption, a male lead is banging a female superior, the superior’s superior rips into her, the team is given an imperative to fix the issue, moral quandary ensues, some people die, the day is saved, the team slaps each other on the back, the female superior informs the male lead that their relationship can’t continue, male lead is sad, executive producer credit is shown. (Sometimes there’s a “B” story featuring a secondary character, but no one gives a shit)

These stories can be written sitting on the toilet. And I spend A LOT of time on the toilet.

So CBS, give me a call.

once upon a time in montana iii

I couldn’t hit shit with my six shooter. I missed every target.

J Robert Oppenheimer’s 10 year old son, Malachi, watched and nodded his head. “Did you really know my father from the war?” he asked.

“Sure, why not?” I replied.

“Whose side did you fight for?”

“Uh, Abraham Lincoln’s?”

“Which detachment?”

“963rd, 9th battalion, 4th infantry, uhmmm, at the Battle of Waterloo?”

“Did you get injured?”

“Oh yeah. All over.”

Malachi scratched his head. He knew I was full of shit. “Are you sure that you didn’t know my father from the future?” he asked.

“How do you know about that?”

“He has a time machine in the barn.”

Malachi took me into the barn and lifted a large tarp off a time weapon—a similar looking time weapon that sent Mr. Ree, Oppenheimer, and myself back to 1879.

“Does it work?” I asked Malachi.

“Of course. My father built it. He can make anything work.”

Oppenheimer stood at the entryway of the barn. “That’s enough Malachi,” he said. “You run along now.”

Malachi shook his head. “Yes father,” he said and went back to tending to his chores.

“Why didn’t you tell me about this, Bob?” I asked Oppenheimer.

“It doesn’t work.”

“Malachi says it does.”

Oppenheimer paced back and forth, rubbing his hand across his face. “Look,” he said, “we can go over this all day. Sure, I can send you to the future, the past, whatever. But it’s almost impossible to get you back to YOUR timeline. I’m sorry James. But we need to look at the present. You’re here. Mr. Ree is here. I need help. This community needs your help. Please help me. I can’t fight Dickleburg on my own.”

I thought through his words. “You love Malachi,” I said. “But did you know that I have a child back in that timeline? If there is a chance, however slim, to get back there, I have to take it. Wouldn’t you do the same if you were me?”

Oppenheimer nodded. “If I’m going to help you,” he said, “then we have to secure these goldmines. There’s a property in gold that makes these time weapons work. To secure the mines, we have to defeat Dickleburg.”

I pulled out my Korth 357.

“I’m no good with those six shooters,” I replied. “But I can shoot a fly’s dick off with this 357. Can you help me make more bullets?”

“That I can do.”

TO BE CONTINUED

once upon a time in montana

“It’s hard being a gay man in the old west,” Mr. Ree said.

“Word. Wait…you’re gay?” I asked.

“Well I wouldn’t say I’m gay. But I exclusively have sex with men.”

I took a sip of whiskey. My mind was on other things.

We were in Montana. I reckon the year was 1879. Mr. Ree and myself have been stuck out of time, out of place, for the last two years.

Time travel does strange things to a man. For one, it strips you completely naked. Mr. Ree and me were found in San Francisco, ass to ass, behind a brothel on Haight Street when we emerged from the plasma ripple. But it does something else: you realize that everyone, and everything, you’ve ever known is out of reach.

I’ll never see Miriam again. Or my unborn child that I left back in another timeline.

But Mr. Ree maintained hope. “We might as well get filthy fucking rich,” he said. The gold mines in California were stripped by 1879. Resigned to our fate, we travelled to Elkhorn, Montana to start a new life.

As we sat in the local tavern, townsfolk glared at us. One burly man came up to our table.

“We haven’t seen your kind ‘round here before,” he said.

“So?”

“We don’t take kindly to strangers. I reckon y’all better drink your whiskey and ride out before sundown.”

“Why don’t you mind your own business buddy?” I said. “We ain’t bothering you. How about you ride your fat ass back to your table?”

“Them are fightin words.”

“Damn right pal! You don’t want none of this!”

“Now gentlemen,” Mr. Ree interjected, “there’s nothing here that can’t be settled by a good old fashioned duel.”

The burly man nodded. “I’ll see you outside.”

“The fuck are you doing Mr. Ree?” I asked.

“Don’t worry about it. You got a Korth 357. You’ll blast his ass into the future,” he replied.

“Ree, this is 1879,” I said, “they don’t make bullets for this gun yet. I gotta conserve my ammo. Besides, wouldn’t I be disrupting the timeline?”

“Nah. According to J Robert Oppenheimer, this is a new timeline, remember? We can do whatever the fuck we want.”

I just shrugged and walked outside. The burly man was standing in the street. The townsfolk all stood around.

“Alright,” I said, “fastest draw wins, or however this bullshit works.”

The burly man opened his duster, exposing his six shooter. “Ready whenever you are,” he said.

We had a stare down. The townsfolk stood around nervously, waiting for the fireworks.

Suddenly he reached for his six shooter. I drew my 357. The sound thundered from my gun, echoing across the town and down through the mountains.

I shot off the burly man’s suspenders. His pants fell down, exposing his ass and penis.

I twirled the 357 and placed it back my holster.

Suddenly a shotgun blast went off. The townsfolk scattered. Out of the shadows appeared a man dressed in black. His spurs jingled as he walked towards us.

“I won’t have this nonsense in my town,” the man in black said.

I recognized the face.

“I’m James,” I said. “And this here is my partner, Mr. Ree.”

“I know who you are,” he replied. “And if you fire that gun again, I’ll shove this shotgun right up your ass.”

“Doesn’t sound like much of a threat,” I said.

He stepped a little closer.

Could it be?

“I’m Oppenheimer,” he said. “SHERIFF J. Robert Oppenheimer.”

TO BE CONTINUED

“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

magnum enforcer viii

Come to find out that Mystery’s real name was Mr. Ree.

That was convenient.

We watched Maxwell for several days, plotting our trap. Unfortunately he strangled several more prostitutes under that watch. We did nothing about it. But we pushed forward with our plan.

One night, while Maxwell was cruising down Sunset, he fell into our trap.

“Hey sweetie,” Maxwell said while picking up a prostitute. “Wanna make some cash?”

She giggled and got in.

They drove up to the hills while I tailed them. They stopped in Griffith Park then Maxwell and his friend climbed into the backseat.

Maxwell started kissing his way up her legs before removing her panties. As he put his head between her legs, instead of a vagina he put into his mouth, it was a cock…Mr. Ree’s fully erect cock.

“Surprise surprise,” Mr. Rees said.

Maxwell attempted to stab Mr. Ree. The two wrestled in the backseat before I opened the door and ordered Maxwell out with my 357. Mr. Ree got out in full drag, cock still hard. Maxwell had his pants around his ankles.

“Alright, you caught me,” Maxwell said. “So what? They’re not going to throw me in jail.”

“Don’t be so sure of yourself,” I replied. “Hands in the air.”

Maxwell lifted up his arms. Under his sleeve was a detonator. His car exploded, sending the three of us flying through the air. Maxwell got up and escaped by stealing my Pontiac Aztec.

I laid in the street for awhile in a daze. I got up and saw Mr. Ree mortally wounded. He was laying in a pool of his own blood. I held him in my arms and attempted to stop the bleeding.

“I’m sorry Mr. Ree,” I said. “I want to thank you for your help.”

“It was….fun,” he replied. “It doesn’t look like I’ll be a registered sex offender after all.”

With those words, he died in my arms.

I hot wired a Kia Soul and went after Maxwell. I cut him off at the intersection of Franklin and Los Feliz. I rammed my piece of shit into his piece of shit. The shattered glass littered the road.

I climbed out of the wreckage. Maxwell was still in the Pontiac. He was unconscious. I walked up to the destroyed vehicle, 357 on ready. I checked to see if he was dead. At that moment, Maxwell fired his 9mm.

The bullet grazed my left kidney. Maxwell climbed out of the car and ran off. As I was on the ground, I fired off a couple of shots, missing him entirely.

I pursued him on foot.

He ran into a bean factory. As beans were falling off an assembly line into a hopper, Maxwell fired a few rounds into the cogs. The line went haywire and beans went everywhere, obstructing my path. I once again fired shots indiscriminately down the line, jeopardizing the lives of countless workers.

Maxwell exited the factory and ran onto the football field of North Hollywood High. A game was being played. I couldn’t get a clear shot. So I tackled the quarterback, grabbed the football and aired it out in an attempt to hit Maxwell. Unfortunately a DB intercepted it and I had to evade tacklers to get off the field.

Maxwell continued to shoot his 9mm. But he was out of bullets.

He chose Chuck E Cheese as his last stand.

Maxwell went in through the kitchen. He threw pots, pans, and pizzas as I chased him. Unfortunately I wasted several bullets shooting down the pizzas.

As he ran into the main dining area, I shouted “stop that man!”

Chuck E Cheese himself went in for the tackle. Maxwell fought him off, but he was cornered.

The jig was up and Maxwell raised his hands. I lifted up the 357.

“For LP,” he asked.

“No Maxwell,” I said. “For me.”

I shot him in cold blood and his body flew into the ball pit. As the screams of children echoed through the restaurant, I walked outside.

I could hear the sounds of police sirens in the distance. I walked down to the beach holding the 357. As I stared out across the water, I took one last look at the 357 and tossed it into the ocean.

THE END

magnum enforcer iii

LP and I got rip roarin drunk on the stakeout. We shared some laughs while we sat on a rooftop in Culver City over night. We watched the airplanes fly overhead as they began their descent into LAX.

“You know,” LP said. “I watched this city go to hell in a hand basket. When I joined the force, I wanted to serve my community. I wanted to do some good. Instead the city got worse.”

“The city’s always been a shithole, LP,” I replied.

“20 years I’ve been a cop. I’m really looking forward to retirement.”

I took a big hit off the Evan Williams green label and handed it over. “Just take a knee for the rest of your career,” I said. “Pick up your retirement check and take Stacy to Jamaica like you’ve always wanted. You’re just one man, you can’t change this city. No one can.”

“You’re right.”

LP looked down the scope of the M82 sniper rifle. Something caught his eye.

“Hey James, check this out. Get one hand free.”

As I peeped out through a windows cross the street, there was a woman decked out in BDSM whipping some poor sap with a contraption over his cock.

“That’s disgusting LP.”

He laughed and looked back through the scope. “Oh yeah! I wish Stacy would do that to me!”

LP’s finger slipped and he accidentally fired a round. The glass to the woman’s window shattered and the bullet hit the man on his bare ass.

“What are you doing LP?”

“Sorry. Got trigger happy,” he replied with a smile.

I looked up to the roof of the woman’s building and there was a sniper pointing his rifle at us.

“Get down LP!”

We dropped to the ground and the sniper opened fire. “Give me your 357, James. I’m going after him,” LP said. “Stay up here and return fire.”

LP ran down the fire escape and into the building next door. As the sniper reloaded, I got up and fired several shots. When I looked back through the scope, no one was there.

I took out a 9mm and ran down the stairs. As I approached the building, the sniper ran out the front door and fired his pistol in my direction.

Just then, Officer Maxwell pulled up in his patrol car. “Go check on LP,” I commanded. “He’s inside!”

I chased after the perpetrator. When I got a clear shot, I fired indiscriminately in his direction and emptied the clip. However, I lost him down the dark alleyways of Culver City.

I ran back to the building. “I’m sorry James,” Officer Maxwell said. There in the stairwell was LP’s lifeless body.

He was stabbed in the throat. I picked up the 357 from LPs hands. He didn’t get a shot off.

“Did you get a look at the killer,” Maxwell asked.

I shook my head.

“The chief’s gonna be pissed,” he replied.

I returned to City Hall. It was still dark. I was looking for the mystery officer I threatened to shoot on the toilet earlier.

He was sneaking around the bushes. He was looking for a place to piss. When I tackled him, his dick was still out and piss went everywhere. I put the 357 to his forehead.

“LP is dead,” I said.

“I had nothing to do with that!”

“Who does?!”

“I ain’t telling you shit!”

I cocked the 357. “Listen here mother fucker,” I said. “I’m clinically insane. Have you never heard of me? I’ve probably killed 152 people and I’m ready to kill the 153rd. If you don’t give me a name, I’ll splatter your brains all over City Hall. Do not play with me!”

The mystery man finished pissing himself. “Alright alright,” he said. “Look, there’s a man named Charles Krauthammer. He lives in the basement at a strip club in Long Beach. He might be your man.”

“How do you know him?”

“I can’t tell you that. They’ll kill me.”

I let the man go and wrote him a citation.

“What’s this for,” he asked.

“Now that I’m a cop, I’m giving you a citation for public indecency. Have fun on the sex offender registry. I’ll see you in court.”

magnum enforcer ii

“Tony! How’ve you been you useless sack of shit?”

“How’s it been hangin’ James?”

I hadn’t been to Tony’s on 4th in weeks. He brought me a Philly cheesesteak with extra grease. I told him it was my birthday and was ready for an early grave.

“Oh hell, James. It looks like the pawn shop next door is getting robbed. Should I call the police?”

I pulled out my 357.

“Don’t lift a finger you fat, stupid mother fucker. I’ll take care of it.”

I walked outside and the robbers were loading merchandise into the trunk of their Pontiac.

“Freeze assholes!”

They looked up and one of them fired off a 12 gauge. It grazed my right arm. Nevertheless, I managed to unleashed my 357, killing two of them.

The last one ran off. I fired off another round, blasting a hole in his leg. As he laid there bleeding out, I walked up to him and lifted my gun.

“Now I know what you’re thinking,” I said. “Did I fire 8 shots, or only 7?”

“You shot 3! Please don’t shoot me again!”

“Are you sure? Pretty sure I shot 7.”

“Please sir! Call an ambulance! I’m dying here!”

“Well I think today is your lucky day.” I cocked the 357 and a bullet fired out, splattering his brains all over the concrete.

“Holy shit, he was right. I did only fire 3.”

I was in the hospital all night while they sowed up my arm. I couldn’t sleep. LP nudged me the next morning at City Hall.

“Wake up,” he said. “The mayor’s speaking.”

I sat up in the seat and took my feet off the table. LP handed me a cup of coffee.

“Crime has gone up fivefold since I took office,” said Mayor Tortellini. “At this rate, I won’t get re-elected. This killer on the loose, what’s he called?”

“The Hillside Choker, sir,” the LA police chief responded.

“We must stop this killer, this coward, from choking again. He must be behind bars before election season next year.”

The mayor looked around the room. “Does anyone here have any pressing information regarding this case?”

LP stood up.

“I do sir. The rise in crime appears to be linked to the Hillside murders,” he said.

“Obviously, dipshit. Does anybody here have anything else,” the mayor replied.

I stood up.

“I think what LP means, Mr. Mayor, is that the Hillside Choker is motivated specifically by the rise in crime. All of his victims appear to be drug dealers, thieves, pimps, prostitutes, etc. The killer might think of himself as some sort of vigilante,” I said.

“And you are?”

“James, Mr. Mayor. Private Detective.”

“I’ve heard a lot about you,” the mayor said. “Admiral Majors speaks very highly of you. He told me all about your escapades in Nicaragua.”

“Correction sir, it was Honduras. And with all due respect, Admiral Majors is the dumbest man I’ve ever met.”

“Nevertheless, I am deputizing you for the duration of this case. Welcome to the Los Angeles Police Department. Please don’t destroy this city like you did to Honduras.”

“Thank you sir.”

“This meeting is adjourned.”

LP got up and patted me on the back. “It looks like we’re partners now.” We shared a few laughs and I grabbed my coat.

As I was leaving, I caught a familiar stranger glancing at me. It was the same police officer from Malibu and San Luis Obispo stalking me. He scampered off into the bathroom.

I followed him in.

I kicked open the stall door and pulled out my 357.

“Caught ya asshole,” I said.

While sitting on the shitter, he raised his hands.

“You don’t know what you’re getting yourself into James,” the man said.

I cocked the gun back. “Well you better tell me now or you’ve taken your last shit.”

“You can’t kill me here.”

“Haven’t you heard? I’ve been deputized. I can kill with impunity.”

At that moment, LP came in. “Drop it, James,” he said. “He’s not worth it.”

I lowered my gun. The mystery man got up, flushed the toilet, and washed his hands. “I’ll be seeing you around,” he said, and left the bathroom.

“Who is that guy, LP?”

“You’re in the LAPD now, James. There’s some questions you just don’t ask.”