Note: I haven’t forgotten about this blog, I just got a little busy in the real world with a soul devouring job involving debt collection. Here is a new story, the first in a series about a character named Martin Key. I will be posting more of these as time goes on.
Three people got onto the bus at the same time, each was independent, meaning they were not together; they were just waiting individually, but looked like a group when they got on. So when one of the group opened his vest to reveal an explosive device it was assumed by those on the bus already that all were responsible. That is why after a three-hour ordeal involving the bomb squad the FBI and the ATF they were all sitting in jail and Louise Jacobs was furious. She had a dentist appointment to make and after that an optometrist and after that a date with Walter, such a nice name, Bonner. Her watch was confiscated, but there was a television set on just outside of the holding cell so she was able to determine that since Jeopardy had just ended it must be five o’clock and her date was due to arrive at her house in exactly two hours.
* * *
Susie Quinta would never in a million years ever have sex in the Dreadnaught bathroom. The place was rancid with yellowed stains clinging to every ninety-degree angle. She was drunk and the guy she was with was sexy as hell. He had claw mark tattoos all over his body and his head had little demon horns implanted under the skin, he been working at it for the better part of three years he had explained and was going to get another size up. The whole Luciferian thing was a huge turn on for Susie; she had lost her virginity at the age of fourteen to a Satanist who did things that still made her weak. So here she was in a disgusting bathroom with the sexiest demonic looking guy in the state ready to do a whole new batch of tasty depravities that should keep her fantasies charged until her mid forties. She looked up at him sloe eyed from the Jagermeister and ready to go down on this guy if he didn’t take her right fucking now. Something happened as she looked up, a new sensation that was out of place. She felt like a deer about to be hit by a car, or a rabbit running from a wolf. Her pulse pressed all her veins to the surface and threatened to blast free like an unrestrained fire hose. That’s all she got, one slow motion sensation and an analogy of her impending death and it was done. Her life didn’t pass before her eyes, and she didn’t really feel anything except a little resentment at the thought of dying in this slimy piss-encrusted bathroom. She would never in a million years have sex in the Dreadnaught bathroom and I guess that was still the case.
* * *
Murder in the Goth Club, that’s what the news called it. The club was mostly body mod enthusiasts and hard-core fuckers who would most likely beat the ever loving shit out of any Goth who dared set foot in their club. The whiney eyeliner-wearing first cousin of the emos were everything that the club goers of Dreadnaught despised. None-the-less it was a good day for the news with a bomb stand off and the grizzly murder of a part time stripper.
Entrails were strewn all over the bathroom, it was borderline festive. She was wearing a slinky green number that sustained a lot of damage from the attack. The way it contrasted with the slick red viscera it was like Pollack met Christmas. The police photographer was finally getting to flex some of that artistic muscle he’d been longing for since college. The detective in charge even commented on how he should bring the kids down to see this, provided someone throw some wrapping paper over the identifiable parts, like the head, everyone there had a good laugh.
The club was closed shortly after the body was found. All the bouncers lined up in front of the bathroom as the bartenders shoved the customers out. The owner of the bar was somewhat nervous that they would never come back what with the rude bouncers and the death and everything, but then he thought these guys are pretty hard core they’ll be back and now they’d all have a story, some kind of shared community like where were you when the planes hit the trade tower or when Kennedy got shot. These guys get this, “Where were you when Susie Q got murdered.” That sounded good, like money. He wondered if he could work that into an ad campaign.
* * *
Miguel fingered the left horn on his forehead and found its surface sticky and wet. He stopped under a streetlight and looked. The substance was red and tacky and tasted of copper. He furrowed his brow and hurried out of the light.
* * *
Louise had been in jail for just shy of seven hours, the ten o’ clock news just ended and her dreams of a date were behind her. A man, tall, mohawked was thrown into the cell with her. She started screaming, asking why they put a guy in with her. The only reasonable thing to do was throw a tantrum and demand that she be put in the female holding cell where she belonged. They ignored her pleas. The mohawked guy hadn’t spoken yet; he just laid on a bench like he was dead or something. After she calmed down and resigned herself to spending the night with the asshole squad she got curious about her cellmate. He was breathing that much she could tell, but there was something else as well, he had his hand on the floor and he was slowly drawing something. It was tiny, she wouldn’t have noticed had she not been this close, it was geometric kind of, a series of shapes interlinked. She gasped when he turned his head to look at her. His eyes were brown, his skin tanned, tattoos ran down the left side of his face. He put a finger to his lips and whispered “shhhh.”
He didn’t creep her out as much after he started speaking, he had a nice voice, like a deep bass or something, she wasn’t sure she couldn’t remember the ranges. He told her about the murder and she told him she’d heard about it on the news, but that her story was better because she was roped into some nutcase bomb scare. Then the police came to get him, he got up and left. Louise tried to get comfortable on one of the benches.
The detective in charge of the Dreadnaught murder case was “Old” Willie Lester. He really wasn’t in the mood for this shit; the girl that was murdered was a zero in his book. Some little trollop that worked a strip club hooked with some deranged psychopath, he probably did a favor to society by getting her brand of STDs off the market. Still, a job is a job and his best lead was a kook they had locked up in a holding cell. The guy was trying to get into the bathroom, or rather he was in the bathroom when they got there, The bouncers booted everyone else, but this guy just waltzed in, bouncers say they didn’t know he was in there, which means he killed the slut. It was a big maybe though, he wasn’t running, he was looking at things like an investigator, had one of those little blacklight jobs and he also had a couple of other weird things on him. Some kind of rattle, a few pooka shells, some salt in a tied off balloon (They thought it was heroin, but turned out to be kosher salt) and some holy water. He poured himself another cup of coffee and wandered into the interrogation room.
“What were you doing in that bathroom?” Lester cut to the chase and put on his best I’m about to kick your ass voice.
Key took his time answering, “I was looking for a murderer.”
“Looking for killers is our job. You leave it to the professionals.”
“You’re not equipped to handle this kind of murderer, I am.” He spoke with no swagger, just fact. Lester was slow to respond so Key continued. “No human being could have done that, that was a beast, a monster. To put it frankly, it was a werewolf.”
“Fuck you.” Lester responded and almost laughed at the notion. Putting Key’s ludicrous statement in the past Lester opened the manila folder that lay on the table. “Martin Key, private investigator, no priors to speak of and you were at the scene, just walked onto a crime scene, bouncers didn’t even know you were there. How’d you get in?” His tone dropped to a more moderate level.
“I waited for the bouncers to kick someone out, they get a little over zealous, everybody wants a piece if someone gets rowdy and someone always gets rowdy in that bar, so I just waited and walked in when they were paying attention to someone else. Easy Peasy.”
“Don’t be so proud of yourself you could still be charged. Hell I’m still pretty sure you’re the murderer.”
“I’m not.” Key looked the detective in the eyes and repeated. “It was a werewolf. It’s a full moon detective, I can’t track it from here.”
He looked incredulous. “I’m done with you. Put him back in the cell. ” He said to no one I particular. A uniformed cop entered and ushered Key out of the interrogation room.
Louise hadn’t slept. She stared at the little symbol etched on the floor tracing its contours with her eyes. The activity was hypnotic and was slowly lulling her to a trance. Key’s re entry woke her.
“I wouldn’t stare at that too long.” He said faced away from her.
“It’ll give you a headache and it can act as a summons.” He sat down as he said the last part. “ I don’t like to use magic, almost never do, but right now I’ve got very few options.”
“What are you trying to summon?” Louise asked. She sat up.
* * *
Miguel stood outside the police station, just happened by it in his wanderings. He should leave, he kept telling himself, keep walking, the girl was still all over him, but he couldn’t move he was frozen in front of the station.
The station was an old two story building. The jail cells were on the top floor and the first floor contained the interrogation rooms and general offices of the precinct and the basement had the old file rooms, locker room and the limited arsenal of the station.
Miguel walked up to the front door, each step felt more like falling then the last until he was at the door. He gripped the handle, neurons were firing in his brain illuminating fantasies of gunfire and violence as soon as that door opened. He still didn’t understand the compulsion to be here, but the more he struggled, the more drawn to it he felt. The feeling didn’t fade as he crossed the threshold, there was an officer behind a large desk reading something. He was fat, balding, hadn’t been on the streets in years. He looked up at Miguel, boredom had watered his instincts to non-existence, stammered as he lifted himself of his chair reaching for his gun as he ascended.
There was a flash of red and Miguel felt the beast rising. His heartbeat rose, his adrenalin spiking, skin started to itch and he knew it would be soon. The officer had his gun trained on Miguel, “Stay right where you are.” He pressed a button.
Everything moved in slow motion for Miguel. The desk sergeant reached for his gun as he rose from his seat. Miguel could’ve killed him in an instant. He had oceans of time between each languid movement, but the thrum of whatever drew him here still tugged at his mind, like he was falling more then walking. Other officers tunneled out into the lobby each with a gun, each feverish for the opportunity to fire on him. “I killed Susie Q.” he said, his Hispanic accent was thick. Miguel could hear the pulse of every officer in the room, the dull throb of heartbeats rose to the sound of his voice. One was turned on, at least three others were glad he wasn’t white. The smell of adrenalin hit him in uneasy waves, most of them were scared to death of him.
They cuffed him, Miguel resisted the urge to rip out the officers throat, he let it happen and they moved him through the station to the top floor. The only one not afraid, not excited in the entire building was in this room. He looked at the man in the mohawk and knew from his pulse, from his smell that he was calm, but the human part of Miguel told him he recognized Miguel for exactly what he was. They placed him in the cell with Key and Louise, he sat as the pull ceased, this was where he was supposed to be.
* * *
Two FBI agents walked casually into the police station. The desk sergeant was still standing looking at the door still anxious, still terrified. One of the agents spoke as he drew his badge, “We’re here to speak with Louise Jacobs.”
* * *
Key and Miguel sat facing each other, Louise stood watching them both. Miguel had a shaved head and horns embedded under the skin of his forehead a tribal tattoo on his chin giving him a sort of ornate beard, his eyes were blackened orbs. Key had his tall black mohawk and tribal tattoos down the left side of his body. They matched, outside these walls Louise would’ve pegged them as compatriots.
“I’m here.” Miguel spoke first, there was an aggressive edge to his voice.
“You killed Susan Quinta. This ends tonight, I can’t allow you to kill anyone else.” Key answered.
Miguel laughed at him. “What are you gonna do, I’m a fucking werewolf dude. You’re dead meat, every bitch in this joint is dead meat. You summoned me, so you’re the first bitch.”
“can you survive a gunshot? Can you survive a hundred gunshots? Not all legends are true.” Key saw him flinch, just a split second of wonder, he could hear his heartbeat, knew Key was telling the truth or at least it sounded like the truth. “You’re going to change soon whether you want to or not, but you have a decision to make here and now. Do you want to live through this night, because I can either help you escape or I can leave you here to rot. Make a choice.”
Miguel hung his head, but kept his eyes on Key. He shouldn’t have come to town, but he had and now a woman was dead, he liked her, wanted her, the smell of her skin the red speckled arousal on her chest and face, the heartbeat and then he wasn’t in control anymore, a different kind of lust washed over him and he was the beast. Hunger overwhelmed him and nature did the rest. Maybe he should die, maybe Key could kill him, he didn’t know. He lived in a trailer in the middle of the desert, no one for miles around him, he shouldn’t have come to town, but he’d been lonely and he thought he could hold it. It wasn’t the true full moon, that was tomorrow and he always had more control. Key was there, he could feel his scrutiny, the other woman in the room had been holding her breath, and he was still, for this perfect moment he was still and he had a choice.
A police officer opened the cage flanked by two suited men. “Louise Jacobs.”
She nearly jumped out of her skin when they said her name and she saw the agents. Then the excitement of the moment wore off and she was left with her previous anger at having sat for eight hours in a jail cell. “It’s about time.”
Miguel looked up at Key. “I made a choice.”
Miguel lunged at the agents, Louise could see the change, his body was rippling, his hands were twice the size they had been by the time they reached the first agent’s throat.
Louise shrieked “No!” The officer lifted his piece and fired, the bullets sunk into his flesh and exploded through his back. The first agent was dead before he hit the floor his throat eviscerated. The second was firing wildly into the cell.
Key grabbed Louise from behind and pulled her to the ground shielding her with his body. The second agent’s arm was pulled free from the shoulder and teeth ripped at his face, the final officer was still firing at the beast, round after round was erupting on the werewolf’s torso.
“Head shot!” Key yelled, but too late the officer was gutted as Miguel tore out his viscera. The werewolf continued out the door, more gunfire rang out.
“I thought you said bullets could kill him.” Louise said, her body was shaking from the adrenalin.
“I lied. I needed time to think of a better plan.” He helped her up. Moved quickly to the dead agents. Pulled a wrist watch free from one of the agents wrists. “Silver is deadly to werewolves, bullets will hurt them, but they heal so quickly that unless you get a head shot you’re really just pissing them off. Wolf’s bane does work, fire is most effective, fire kills everything.” Key explained as he checked the agent’s gun. He moved to the open cell door.
Louise stood at the open cell trying not to look at the bodies. “What are we going to do?” Louise asked.
“This is silver.” Key held up a watch from one of the agents. “Hopefully I can get close enough to bash him with it, failing that I don’t know, blow up the building. If he gets out to the street he’ll murder everything in his path. Can’t let that happen.”
* * *
“Old” Willie Lester didn’t just shit himself, but he may as well have. His men were all behind a barricade firing on a fucking werewolf that for now at least had stopped advancing. Blood was everywhere and he was sitting with a gun in his hands crossing himself over and over again.
* * *
“When we get to him I need you to head for the door, there won’t be a lot of time, but it’s important that you not run, running will induce a predator response and he’ll go for you.” Key picked up things along the way, aerosol deodorant, lighter, flairs and Louise stuck close to him. Her brain was on fire, her heart was ratcheting up in her chest and she was having a hard time breathing very little made sense anymore and she didn’t feel the need to waste breath asking questions. She just nodded as he spoke.
She heard gunfire when they left the cage, but it had stopped and she wondered if the monster already gotten out into the world, distant sirens were approaching and the place apart from noises from the outside world seemed still.
They were close to the front now, she recognized room the desks were all overturned bodies were scattered through the room, the lights flickered creating a strobe effect and in a lump of darkness she saw the matted fur of the werewolf. It was hunched next to a soda machine and she could hear the ripping and chewing sounds of the creature eating.
“Go now.” Key turned to Miguel and blocked his view of Louise as he addressed the beast. “Miguel.” He said quietly. He lit a flair and held it out to his side away from his body.
The werewolf looked up from his supper, snarled at Key. He looked over to Louise then back at Key. His deep yellow eyes seemed to be working through the riddle attack the man or attack the woman. The bright light of the flair mad him nervous, and the woman was easy prey so the solution presented itself.
Lester saw the punk, Key standing in front of the creature, he thought for a moment to just shoot the fucker, but a woman was there with him walking towards Lester. The other officers were too shell shocked to do much of anything “Hands up!” Lester yelled. The woman obeyed. The Werewolf launched at her and Lester raised his gun again.
“No!” Key yelled at the beast and he shoved the flair into the creature’s flank, the fur lit instantly as a bullet tore into Key’s shoulder. Louise hit the ground and the Beast was on Key. Key lifted the aerosol can and lit it like a torch, flame erupted against Miguel’s face, he whimpered and hit the ground smashed his face against the tiled floor. Through the pain of the gunshot Key let another burst loose lighting the monster’s back up. The sprinkler system went on dousing everything. Louise crawled for the barricade Lester fired again at the werewolf but the clip was empty, another officer lifted Louise up and pulled her over the broken chairs.
There was just Key and the monster, they circled each other. Blood was draining against the floor from Key’s arm, but diluted as it hit the now watery floor. Key lit another flair a split second before the werewolf launched himself at Key. He managed to put his arm around the beast’s neck in a headlock and shoved the flair into his maw. With the now free hand he brought the silver watch down and beat Miguel’s wolfish face. Miguel bashed Key against every surface he could trying to knock him loose, but adrenalin fueled his grip and he kept bringing the silver watch down again and again each punch burning his flesh until all his strength left him and they both lay there with water pouring down.
* * *
Miguel was made of wounds now, he felt his heart slowing, the blood rushing in his ears had died down and he was looking up at Key. “I’m sorry.” he said.
“Me too.” Key responded. “It’s over now.”
Miguel closed his eyes and let go. Lester moved over the bodies. “You were right. Shit.” Was all Lester could think to say. Key didn’t answer he just stood up and nearly fell over from the blood loss. Lester caught him. “Let’s get you to the hospital.”
* * *
Reports on the incident at precinct 209 read that a bathsalts fueled perp escaped from his cell and that he was brought down by “Old” Willie Lester and the dedicated crew of the precinct.
Louise was not charged for the bomb scare as it was proven she had nothing to do with it.
Key was mentioned as a person of interest in Susan Quinta’s murder case, but nothing more. Miguel was cremated at the Lawton Crematorium the following day.