Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Disco Inferno

With so many targets, sometimes it's hard to choose, but Disco? Couldn't pass that one up ...

Editor's Note: Because the first page of this one contains a spoiler for the previous story, I have chosen to pick up a bit further along. This isn't how the story begins, and a couple of lines have been adjusted to protect the guilty, too.

Disco Inferno

As he headed for Hell's South Gate, and home, Roy hoped he wouldn't ever do anything bad enough to get his memory wiped, because he was gonna treasure that particular one throughout eternity. Oh, Mama!
Mrs. Bentley was working in her garden next door, but she didn’t seem to notice him. Roy had picked up a nice-sized rock, in case he saw her fucking cat, but there was no sign of Sylvester. If he hadn’t collected some ammo, that cat would have been dancing back and forth in front him him, Roy knew. Trying to piss on his leg ...
Mtumbo was working the gate that shift.
“Hey, Toom,” Roy said. “How’s it hangin’”
Mtumbo, who was as naked as Roy, said, “See for yourself. Longer’n yours.” He got up and used the big key to unlock the faux-wrought iron gate, which squeaked like a pack of terrified rats when it opened. 
“Yeah, but mine gets bigger.”
Mtumbo laughed. “How’s life in the fast lane?”
“Stalled. Got kicked out. So I’m back where I belong.”
“Maybe,” came a voice from behind Roy.
“Good work up there, Roy,” Larry said. He flashed his fangs in a big grin.
He was a good-looking kid, Larry, less than half a million years old, blinged-out–diamond-sheathed horns and matching caps on his teeth, expensive watch, nice filework on his talons, both sets. And, unless things had changed since Roy had been Upstairs, still The Chief’s favorite son. That was always subject to instant revision, of course, but the kid was smart, and he’d recruited Roy from his old job keeping the gate here back into the espionage game after all the eons away from it. 
Mtumbo smiled nervously. He didn’t ask what had been good about Roy’s work, and neither Roy nor Larry volunteered to tell him.
“Walk with me,” Larry said, clapping Roy on the back with enough power to knock down a small tree.
Roy nodded. “See you around, Toom.” Though in truth, he had the feeling that he wouldn’t be coming back here to work the gate any time soon.
Mtumbo waved, ending the gesture with his upraised middle finger. 
“Yeah, that’s what your mother likes, too,” Roy said. “I’ll come back and do you after I finish with her.”
Mtumbo laughed. 
Larry had an office on The Chief’s floor, a big space with a receptionist who looked familiar. She was a six-boobed demoness, and it was the ruby teeth that jogged his memory.
“Say, didn’t you used to work in the Music Building? A&R?”
“No,” she said. She smiled. Yeah, those red teeth. And the clothes ...
“I couldn’t forget that Pendleton shirt and the attitude,” Roy said.
“You are mistaken, pendejo.”
Like hell, but Roy nodded. How long had Larry been keeping an eye on him? Because he was sure that this hardcase fem had been watching him when he worked that shift there.
Wheels within wheels.
“Something to drink?” Larry asked Roy.
“I’m good.”
“Doris, would you mind getting me a snake venom and soda?” He smiled at her.
It was as if she had seen the best sunrise ever. She smiled back, truly happy. “Yessir, happy to!”
In the office, Roy said, “How do you rate that smile from Doris? You wouldn’t seem to be her type.”
“Doris has–pardon the expression–catholic tastes.”
“She swings both ways?”
“AC/DC, broadcast, solar, wind, hydro, static, you name it, Doris will try it. I can’t bring Baskerville in here, I worry about him.”
Roy just shook his head.
After Doris brought Larry his drink, practically simpering when she did, and closed the door behind her, Larry took a sip. “Ah. Nice. A’47 Cobra, out of Ceylon. Sri Lanka they call it now.”
Roy waited.
“So, my father has a job in mind for you.”
“Uh huh.”
“It’ll involve some ... ah, travel.”
“Uh huh.”
“Don’t you want to know where?”
“Not particularly.”
“Oh, come on, Roy, you had fun up there in the village of the happy nice people.”
“Mostly it was boring.”
“Not what I heard.”
Roy looked at him. 
Larry smiled. It was a wicked smile. 
Son-of-a-bitch knew.
Roy shrugged. It was Hell. No Boy Scouts here. Quite a few Boy Scout leaders, though ...
“Come on.”
“Okay. To where am I traveling?”
“I’m glad you asked. Earth.”
“That cesspool? Why?”
“That’s a good question, but not as interesting as ‘When?’”
Larry smiled.

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