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Friday, May 21, 2010
Slot Cars, Vampire Women and A Bottle of Rye (crash WALKER Chapter 7)
As they walked out of the liquor store in the stale daylight afternoon, Crash Walker had a million questions to ask and all the time I the world to ask them. April Van Winter, resplendent in her jet black hair and eyepatch, walked alongside him toward her bright green GTO in the parking lot behind Jolly Joe’s Circus of Liquors.
“If I ever needed a drink before I sure need it now”, Crash gasped as he pulled the fifth of Fleischmann’s rye from the brown paper bag. “Why?” April asked, “what happened in there, anyway?” “What the hell do you think happened? My dad’s in the looney bin and had a major freak out. As if you didn’t know”, he grumbled, tearing the paper seal off the cap, unscrewing it to take his precious swig. “Oh, you poor thing”, she gazed on him pulling at the bottle. “Hey, pass that over here!” Crash passed the bottle to her. “Boy, do you have some explaining to do. How did you know my dad was committed to Camariilo? How did you even know who my dad was? What’s your connection to all this anyway?” April passed the bottle over and lit a cigarette. Her skin looked paler under the sun, casting a ghastly pallor. It was eerie, so much so that a car pulling into the parking lot thought the better of it, and turned around quickly. “I know a lot of people, slugger”. “Yeah, but I’ve never met you before and suddenly you know all about my Dad and where he’s been locked up. Funny, isn’t it?” “Yeah! Funny!” she puffed away. “I’m going to be doing this real cool picture in a few months in Rome, Cincecitta. It’s going to be a blast, Walker. ‘Billy The Kid Versus The Vampire Queen’. The ultimate Italian classic. A spaghetti western crossed with a giallo – The greatest gunslinger in the wild, wild, west in a showdown with the Daughter of Dracula, starring American film star Crash Walker and Italian movie starlet April Van Winter”.
Crash guzzled half the bottle in one go, making April more than a tad upset. After all, she paid for the bottle, damn it. “Sounds kooky, chick…how the hell am I going to get to fucking Italy?” “I have money, I’ll pay for it, I’m co-producing this magnificent production. I made millions of lire from my last movie ‘The Voluptuous Concubine of Naples’, I’m stinking rich and ready to make my kind of picture”. “What have I got to lose?” a torn-up cat ran up to Crash and smelled his right leg, smelled his left leg, and then ran off before he could get pet. “Nobody wants to hire me in America any more anyway. I probably fucked up that kid’s toy commercial anyhow. Shit.” April grinned triumphantly, throwing her full chest out so that her pointy nipples pressed hard against her foreign brassiere. “Now you’re talking! Hey, save some for me”, she grabbed the bottle and got a few girly nips in. “But you stall have to answer a few questions”, he felt the pavement slide and the sunset tilting. “How did you know…all about my father?”
There’s a conference room under Duffyland, right by the Duffyland jail. It’s in the sub-basement where nobody can hear anything at all, several thousand feet away from the happiest park in America, Duffyland. Little do the happy tots playing in Duffyland know that there’s a cartoon prison, laboratory, vault, and conference rooms just underneath.
Several important men sat around a conference room table, some with distinguished wispy white hair, some with gray hair, all dressed quite dapper, smoking cigars until the room is cloudy with smoke, and the brows furrowed with concern.
“What the hell happened to that idiot Flagg anyway?” Mr. Franks, the pork-sausage magnate wanted to know. “I don’t get it. The law abiding citizen, always getting in all sorts of trouble, how does that make us look?” “It makes us look like shit. He was a major embarrassment, that’s what”, Jack Duffy grumbled, tamping out his twentieth cigarette for the past hour. “That was just a bad idea, anyway, guys. We had that detective do a background check on him and he was just a loud, annoying drunk. He never would have worked out. Jesus, what a mess”, a man with platinum cuff links took a swig of rye on the rocks stated matter-of-factly. “Well, I guess everyone’s entitled to make a mistake once in a while, he wasn’t the right guy, that’s all”, Mr. Parker, the owner of several baseball teams shook his head. "You could say that again, covering up those drunk driving raps, the sordid motel rendezvous with all sorts, there's only so much covering up we could do for that sad excuse of a man. I mean, after all those goings on, who gives a damn how popular his show was? He was a major embarassment!" Franks frowned disgustedly.
“Okay, we took care of the problem, didn’t we? Everybody thinks it’s that Walker kid that iced Flagg. He’s still being watched”, Mr. McIver, the used car magnate with 100 car lots selling millions of cars in Southern California at competitive prices to serve you, lit up a fresh Havana bomber. A man at the head of the table cleared his throat loudly. “The unwanted element has been eradicated”. “Gentlemen”, Mr. Harry Starck, president of VIP Pictures announced, smiling, “Mr. Walker’s film career is finished as we know it. And that’s precisely the way we want it because that’s precisely where we want him, because he’s our man. He’s definitely our man”. “But why?” “It takes a bad actor to make promises the public wants to believe in, and they come no worse than Crash Walker”, Mr. Starck puffed away. “We need a bad actor to lead California. He’s our man.”
Crash and April, now very drunk, stood by Porky Pete’s Slot Car Emporium, watching slot cars race around and around on the track. Boys inside were screaming and jumping as their cars raced and spun out on the long track with its toy houses and miniature trees snaking around the length of the store.
“And another thing, how did you know where to find me? Tarzana’s in the middle of nowhere”. Pinball machines glittered and flickered around the walls of the store. “Let’s get back to the car”, April slurred, “watching those toy cars run around the track is making me dizzy”. They walked back to the parking lot. A crow flew by the trash cans in the lot, then landed and hopped. Sensing no impending danger, it ceased hopping and slowly walked across the lot. “And anyway”, she continued, “you didn’t tell me how soon you can leave for Italy.” “What’s your hurry? You didn’t answer my question, anyway. You show up in the middle of some dirt lot in Tarzana”, Crash slurred, falling asleep, getting into the back seat, passing out. April crawled in after him, lying on top of him, holding his head like a sacred gem.
“I’m going to tell you a story…once upon a time there was a very rich girl, she wasn’t very complicated, although everyone else seemed to think so. She liked to perform stunts for fun, and her parents hated that. She was very good at it, one of the best, believe it! Well, she did a stunt once and the roll bars from a stunt car flew out of their brackets, one of them went into her eye, instantly poking the right one out. It was awful, all that blood loss, her beauty was gone. I think she still keeps that eye in a jar, it’s no good of course, won’t work. Well, the poor little princess couldn’t really find any movie at home so she went to Vatican City where she would devote her life to Christ. On the way out of the airport she met Mario Bava who loved her missing eye and offered her work. The young princess quickly forgot about Jesus and began a career playing witches for Federico Fellini and killers for Paolo Pasolini. She became the queen of Italian horror. And she lived happily ever after”, April Van Winter looked down at the handsome sleeping figure lain limp, and kissed him tenderly on the lips. She then looked around, bared her teeth, and went straight for his neck.