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Jack Collier: Private Eye (Part Forty-Two)

Jack Collier: Private Eye

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Chapter Forty-One can be found here.




Chapter Forty-Two: The Angriest Song Ever

Alice Liddell’s Diary

 

            I have never seen that kind of savagery in my life and I hope I never see it again. It wasn’t just that he was angry, it was that he approached pure viciousness to a level I’ve never seen in my life. All while Daydream Believer played, imprinting it’s new meaning on my brain.

 

            If you investigate certain kinds of crimes, there start being songs you can’t listen to anymore. You can’t read some books, or watch certain movies, but it’s songs that are the worst. I can avoid watching the Texas Chainsaw movies, I don’t have to read Lewis Carol, avoiding the Billy Joel song Uptown Girl is a little harder. You see things, you hear things, you know that someone murdered fourteen children because they think The Beatles told them to, and it ruins a song. As a result, I will forever think of Daydream Believer as the angriest song in the world.  

 

                        “Look cunt!” He Pete snapped as he slammed the door and shouted through the glass. “You’re gonna get fucked to death. So you better just shut up, or it’ll be a lot worse! He ain’t gonna just suddenly come back and save you’re dumb bitch ass.”

 

            Then it started, and went all at once. He was laughing at one moment, and then there was a flash of movement and the world turned into pure violence. I didn’t even realize what had happened at first, just that someone was behind Pete. For a moment I thought I was in even more trouble than I was.

 

            Jack stood up, grabbed the back of Pete’s head and smashed him into the window. There were two more smacked into the window, but it didn’t break. He opened the door and shoved Pete’s head in and slammed the door twice, all while Davey Jones was singing that the six o’clock alarm might never ring. Jack stood back a step and gave the door a healthy kick, which caused a disgusting crack sound. There were convulsions from Pete’s body and a sound escaped his throat.

 

            Jack opened the door, which let Pete slide out of the car on to the ground. He reached into Pete’s coat and grabbed his automatic. He stood up, checked the gun, glanced at me and spoke in the gentlest tone I’d ever heard him use outside of the bed room.

 

            “You okay?” The sound of his voice was like rubbing silk across my face while kissing my ear.

 

            “Yeah.” I said.

 

            “NO!” Cindy’s voice cried out again. “Please! God! NO!

 

            “B-R-B.” He said with such a sweet tone that you’d never know how angry he was.

 

            He walked away toward the front of the SUV and crossed in front of it toward the bushes that they’d dragged Cindy to. I saw him in the headlights as he passed in front of the truck. His head was down and in order to look any angrier, he would need a cartoon storm cloud hanging over him. He didn’t walk towards them, he stalked. I lost him after he passed through the lights, he just vanished into the dark. Sleepy Jean was being advised to cheer up as he vanished from the realms where visible light had an effect and he became a force of nature.

 

            Then there were the gun shots. Eight of them, several overlapping to soon for it to all be from one gun. I saw the flashes, but couldn’t see anything else until Jack emerged back into the headlights with Cindy’s wrist in his hand. She was trying to keep her jeans from slipping down her hips, since they were still open. I think they only got to opening them and she just hadn’t buttoned the fly or redone her belt. I got out of the car and ran towards him. He waved at me with the gun hand.

 

            “Get in back, we’re going to get the rest of them.”

 

            “Are you okay?” I asked Cindy as we got to the SUV.

 

            “I’m okay.” She nodded, clearly shaken. “I’ll be okay.”

 

            She got in the back, so I got into the front seat. Jack walked around to the driver’s side and opened the door. He then looked down where Pete lay and fired two more shots from the gun. He tossed the gun to me and got into the car.

 

            “You once thought of me.” He sang sweetly with the music. “As a white knight on his steed.”

 

            He started the truck and started it away. I thought he might turn the song off, but instead he turned it up, way up. He kept singing along, except he was getting angrier as he did. By the time the chorus came around again he was banging his right fist into the steering wheel with his fist and roaring the words.

 

            “Cheer up sleepy Jean!” He roared as we raced through the night. “OOOOh what can it mean!? To aaa daydream believer and a… HOME coming queeEEEEN?!”

 

            He turned the lights off as he drove, clearly knowing where he was going, or not caring anymore. He was nearly screaming the lyrics by the last time the chorus was repeated. He stopped as we approached the house, which was just as well since the song was over by that point.

 

            “You keep the gun.” He told me. “Back me up.

            “What are you going to do?”

 

            “Take back our girlfriend.” He said.

 

            He walked toward the back of the house, where it looked like the kitchen was located. I saw Quayle sitting at the table with is back turned to the door, he was preparing something that looked like a Molotov cocktail made of a gas can and a rag.

 

            “We’re not gonna take it.” Jack whispered as he walked toward the back door. “No, we ain’t gonna take it. We’re not gonna take it, anymore.”

 

            “See, we make her drink this stuff. Get it all over her, and the fire will start to burn inside her.” Quayle was telling one of them men sitting at the table with him. “You then light this and toss it in, it exploded under her and you have bitch flambé.”

 

            Jack yanked the sliding door open and walked quickly into the kitchen. There was a gun on the counter next to the door, and I know that because he grabbed it and put a round through the head of Quayle’s companion. The sound was soft and almost not there, and I saw after he threw it on the table that it was one of his Rutthowers.

 

            “You want to burn someone?” Jack asked, so calm and sweet that I thought that voice might scare me the next time he used it to talk to me. “Let’s try you.”

 

            He grabbed the cup of gas off the table, dumped it on Quayle and then smashed Quayle’s head with it. He yanked Quayle up and shoved him towards the hall, grabbing a lighter and setting the man alight. Quayle screamed as the flame took him and Jack gave him a kick in the chest.

 

            “Fucker.” He turned back to the table and grabbed his things, mentioning them as he did. “Webley, Marley, Laguiole, persuader, keys, wallet, phone and my mitts. Sweetheart, take the two Rutthowers, then no one will know where you’re shooting from.”  He snatched the gas can from the table and started toward the hall.

 

            “Jack?”

 

            “Go around the house, this is about to turn flamey.”

 

            He walked into the hall and raised his right arm swiftly, throwing his left hand into the crook of his elbow. The result was that his right hand snapped into the air and half way through its flight he let the gas can go. He just kept walking, cool as sour cream towards the front door. I heard a thump a scream and jumped to the floor as I realized what was going to come next. There was an explosion of flames and the screaming stopped, but a moment later the screaming of a smoke detector started. I ran out of the house through the back door and ran around to the front, not coming all the way around because I didn’t really want to be seen. There were eight or nine of them, all standing around Debbie as the flames really started to catch the house in earnest. Jack was walking down the stairs like a gun fighter, the wind blowing his coat around dramatically.

 

            “I am up to seven for this evening!” He announced as he stepped off the flaming porch towards King. “I am looking to break my old record.”

 

            “Kill this asshole.” King waved his came around.

 

            I started towards them, shooting with both of the Rutthowers at once, just like we were told never to do. It was amazing to watch him though as he shot at them with that antique revolver of his. He took no stance, not an approved one anyway. It didn’t seem to matter much though, he seemed not to miss. I’m not sure how much help I was being, since I’m still not sure about the range the Rutthowers had, but it didn’t matter. His gun handling would have given my old sergeant an aneurism, but he seemed to have them all taken care of so it probably didn’t matter.

 

            It only took a few seconds of shooting before I was out of bullets, but it looked like we got everyone but King anyway. I decided to approach the situation, picking up one of the dead men’s guns as I did. Jack looked even angrier, if that was at all possible. I almost thought I saw a cartoon cloud over his head.

 

            “You really want to kill me, don’t you?” Jack asked as he slung the big revolver into his shoulder holster. “Go on, draw your steel.”

 

            “You little son of a bitch.” King snarled.

 

            “I’ll help you.” Jack said, taking a small revolver off his hip and tossing it to the man’s feet. Then he pulled his knife out and opened it. “Let’s see what you’ve got. Go on, it’s fully loaded. We’ll see if you can draw and fire that before I can stab you with this.”

 

            “I’ll kill you.”

 

            “Let’s see you try.” Jack told him.

 

            “Fuck you.” King said grabbing the little ivory handled thirty-eight.

 

            I pulled the trigger once and hit him in the leg, a fleshy part of the upper thigh. Jack looked at me, and I looked back at him. He then looked at King and smiled, closing the knife. He tossed the closed knife from one hand to the other while King grabbed at his thigh and moaned of pain. I’m not sure either of them could see from their angle, but there had only been one round in the gun. The breach was stuck open, taunting me, looking like a baby bird that wanted to be fed.

 

            King looked at me, then at the gun in his hand. He grabbed the revolver in his meaty fist and put the gun in his mouth while pulling the trigger. Blood exploded from the nose and ears, but the bullet didn’t exit his head, it just deformed the skull. The body sat up for a second before the muscles lost their power and let the weight fall.

 

            “Huh.” Jack said. “I did not see that coming.”

 

            He walked over to where King’s body lay, blood pouring from the nose, mouth and ears, and took his gun back. He took out a handkerchief to wipe off some of the blood and put the gun right back into the hip holster he had for it. I watched him do it too. I didn’t say anything about evidence, or crime scenes, or anything like that. If I wanted an excuse not to say these things, the fire broke through the roof and began to burn away at the last remaining supports for the place.

 

            Instead of complaining, I walked to Jack and embraced him while Debbie did the same. We held him as he breathed heavily and squeezed us tight against him. I could feel the handle of his gun pressing into my chest, but I was hardly about to start complaining about such a thing now.

 

            “Is it over?” Cindy asked as she emerged from the side of the flaming house.

           

            “It’s over Cindy.” Jack said, an arm around each of our necks, kissing each of us on the forehead.

 

            “All over?”

 

            “All over.” I said. “I’ll go take care of her and get a car.”

 

            Jack tossed me his keys and we walked to the skylark he had driven here in. I pulled the car around and stopped next to them as Jack was shouting something about living in Michigan being so great because you never have gun fights with gangsters in Michigan. I got out of the car as he was shouting about how much he hated living in this state and then broke down, holding onto Debbie to prevent from falling.

 

            “Are you okay?” I asked.

 

            “Come on.” She said, waving at me to approach. “He just needs us to hold him for a while.”

 

            I put my arms around him, and Debbie put her hands on my arms. She put her hands up near my shoulder and I kissed her fingers sort of spontaneously. She touched my face with her fingers, rubbing my lower lip with her thumb. I kissed her thumb and gently bit the tip. Her fingers stroked my chin and I sort of knew it was all going to be okay. It would take a little while, but the three of us would be okay together. That was something of a break through, although it’s a strange one to make when surrounded by dead bodies.

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