Portland, OR: parking lot of a centipede-infested motel. No sun. No beautiful. Procession of black – one Price, one Shelly, one Hopfrog, a Myers, a Shea, and a bEast.
And the Barron.
Opened his eye, spoke, “Damn pussyfooting . . . I’ve never.”
Lot of nodding in agreement. Same as yesterday’s panel, The Dream Quest of a Lovecraftian Writer. No one disagrees with the Barron. Might if Lee Marvin was around and holding an .8 gauge. He sure as hell wasn’t.
Didn’t drop any other words on us. Left. We looked at each other, shivered a-might, felt we’d just made it out the apocalypse by the skin of our teeth. No, I’m not sayin’ our underwear was still clean.
5 hours later: I sat by the jukebox w/ the Judge. Played some old JT’s tunes, and the b-side of a Seeger hit, “Makin’ Thunderbirds”. We were on our 5th cup of tea, Earl Grey, and almost done w/ our pizza.
The Barron sat 3 tables away. Deep in his black notebook, mutterin’ and hissin’, sharp as a pack of madass hopped-up on blood, as he scratched away. Stopped sudden-like. Got up walked passed us. On the way back he muttered something about, “Designer food is shit.”
Classic Italian, peppers, onions, double cheese, hot sausage. Maybe yer not susposed to cook the meat? Too each his own I guess.
We’ll he sat there for a while. Smiled. Spit some more fire into his notebook . . . Still don’t remember why we didn’t bug outta there . . .
Barmaid came over told him he had an important call from Mr. Ellroy. He left. Stupid, but I went over to see what the hell he was writing.
Hell, Jack was right. The battle of the fangs is a love-tale red-written on the snow. These listless cattle just don’t get it. Death’s head rings, pours out 6 glares, the white-lumpen magpies fold. They stink of urine and sweat. Makes you want to bulldoze the whole zoo—
There was a thrak and 2 b’booms by the bar so I hot-footed it back to my table, played dumb real good. He came back, snapped his notebook shut. Left.
Only other thing I’d seen was SLOTHS in caps, w/ a hard line drawn through it. Yeah, scared me pretty good.
Next day -- Hollywood Theater 2pm: Panel on Put A Little Death’s Head Blues in Your Contemporary Lovecraftian Fiction. One Price, one Hopfrog, a Myers, a Shea, and a bEast. First one prattled, and then the next one took it for a spin. I was ‘bout ta bleed a fever about a room of mystery and darkness and some strange white savages I’d encountered when the Sergeant waved from the back door of the auditorium. I knew the wave meant time to haul ass. I mumbled something about an emergency and split before dust and sorrows stepped aside and terror fell.
As I hit the door I heard a loud rasping howl. Knew the voice, even in the city we’ve got wild dogs. Where they blow upon the streets you double lock the door and turn off the lights, hope they pass thinking nobody home. One foot in the hallway, one in the grave, I turned. Guess enough was enough. The Barron opened his eye, there was a flash and his knife came out, started taking scalps.
Newspapers said the brute was a mad god, he’d applied his teeth.
These days I stay away from blood meridians and cons where the whims and fancy of the New Master's lunge and whip. They say the super-max will hold the Barron. They also told me I could be President . . . Hey, feel brave, you go pull on Superman’s cape if you like. Me, I’m cleaning my .8 gauge . . .