Chapter 1: Dead End Friends pt 2+3
I turned the key to unlock my front door when I saw Hemlock, the Police chief with Ragdale searching my room with three blues. I came in, laughed. Mrs. Connolly followed, then tried to leave, I slammed the door in her face and pulled her front and center.
“Boys, boys….you should have called first. You see, I have brought a lady friend.” I took my coat off, threw it on Ragdale’s face. He pushed it off, threw it to the floor.
“You wanna get rough, Jerk off!” He took his Billy club out and moved closer to me. The police chief put his hand on Ragdale’s shoulder. He stayed put like the well-trained dog he was. I hated Ragdale. Never a concern for the constitution, and all citizens were criminals to him. Every time I’ve been busted, he was the arresting officer. In county lockup, I would sit in my cell nursing a new injury courtesy of that rat bastard.
“We’re here on business, Mrs. Connolly. It’s none of our—” Hemlock tried to speak as if he’d went to college, but the only school he’d been to was obedience school.
“Your right, chief, it isn’t your business why I’m here. My husband would be interested in knowing why you’re harassing our employee.” She and I exchanged looks. I smiled sideways and shrugged at the chief.
“He is a suspect in murders, mam,” Ragdale said dryly. “Mass murders.”
“What murders?” I snarled.
“At the drugstore, wise guy! You were the last one seen inside Harley’s drugstore at around noon today. When a customer entered right after you, thirteen people were dead!”
“I can’t believe it… Ray is dead… Gina?” I staggered a little. It had to be a cruel joke. I sat in my chair by the TV. slumping down. They were good people. I didn’t get it. Who and why? I must have been talking out loud because Hemlock spoke in a growl.
“Believe it, Chambers. We just can’t see how you carried it off…..thirteen people mauled to death…torn to ribbons…..the blood….so much blood…..”
“He had accomplices!” Ragdale barked. He grabbed me and pulled my arms behind my back. He had a pair of handcuffs ready to slap them on when my room was filled with smoke so thick the person next to you disappeared in it. When the smoke cleared, G’nal appeared. The demon was just as tall as I was, about six foot, but it was stocky, boils all over its sickly green skin. His two large hands were really just long extended claws. His legs were bent and deformed as if he’d had polio, he had no feet, just hooves like a Clydesdale. His face was long and pointed, eyes wide and bulging out of its sockets, the nostril was just a slit and his mouth had several small sharp teeth that rested inside large black gums. The color of its eyes was a burnt umber. He had no horns, which if you’d said a demon was going to visit me, I would have had a vision of a creature with horns like the devils.
Everyone froze where they were, awaiting the worst. Mrs. Connolly clung to me, crying. Ragdale lay on his big belly, praying to God. The two beat cops were dead. G’nal had slaughtered them, both had been split in half, their torso’s laying on top of each other like in a trash heap. Hemlock stood like a statue, eyes wild, grimacing.
G’nal spoke, I thought the walls were going to cave in, the whole building shook. “Master…” He was inches from my face. I immediately puked.
The smell from his breath was a mixture of death and too much perfume. “Shall I continue the carnage….or as I read your thoughts…spare the lowest of the low?”
I got myself together. Wiped vomit from my mouth, spoke slowly. “Do as I thought…the way you read them.”
“As you wish….it is my gift…only I hoped our first meeting would have been…in calmer times.”
“Let’s try to keep all of our future meetings calmer, eh, bub?”
“Of course, Master. Per our agreement, you provide the stated amount of souls a year, I will provide the protection.”
I nodded. He asked if that was all for now, and you bet your ass I said it was all, and quickly pointed out that I may never need him again. G’nal laughed. The windows in my room shattered, glass fell to the floor like raindrops.
As the smoke enveloped G’nal, he said: “That, Master, is an impossibility.”
After several moments of silence, the rest took time to get themselves together. Hemlock and Ragdale helped each other toward the door.
“Chambers,” Hemlock said, composing himself, still grimacing. “We will arrange for someone to pick up the deceased. And if you’d like to, file a report of some kind, if not, then fine.”
“I don’t think so,” I said.
Hemlock nodded. He took Ragdale by the arm, led him out the room. I heard Ragdale say, “I think it’s a good idea to stop in and see Father Craig, don’t you, sir?”
“Sure thing, Ragdale. Sure thing.”
I looked over at Mrs. Connolly, she huffing a cigarette. “Looks like things are looking up for you, Chambers.” She said.
“I doubt that,” I helped her to the door, and in the hallway. “Especially in the afterlife.”
In the morning I saw Little Jimmy, hawking the morning paper. He called my name, I went to him.
“Want a paper, Chambers?”
“Yeah,” I said. “Sure.” I threw some money down, but he gave it back.
“It’s on the house,” He said.
That was when I noticed that Little Jimmy’s eyes were a burnt umber.