Monday, April 22, 2013

THE LEGION OF NIGHT, CHAPTER 9

     Later that afternoon, I get a call from Tony-his Captain won't allow me to come with him to interview the girl from the clubhouse, but he's got an eyewitness I might like to meet; they'll be at Bill and Bud's about seven.

     In the meantime, I straighten up the place a bit, feed Dougie, and sit down to read the paper-these days, it's delivered in the morning, but I rarely get around to reading it until about four, when it used to arrive. Over the years, the Northcoaster has become another McPaper clone, with see-Spot-run writing and a decided topspin to the left-I read it more out of habit than anything else.

     I finish the crossword, and notice the time....I've got just enough time to get to the restaurant and not be late. I scratch Dougie behind the ears, and walk out the door to my 1960 Country Sedan wagon, sending up a silent prayer of thanks when it starts once again.

     Tony's near the back again, this time sitting with a stunning young woman of thirty-five or so, with long, reddish-brown hair, cat-green eyes, and an impish smile as she shakes my hand....for a second, I'm sixteen again.

     "Susan Maddock", Tony introduces her, "this is Damon Wishgood, Wish for short; we were partners when he was on the force. "

     I realize she's still got my hand, and I haven't even tried to retrieve it; she releases it gently, and I swear her smile got wider as she met my gaze.

     Tony says, "Sue reported this last night, and I caught the case, since it deals with our resident vigilantes. Tell Wish what you told me.'

     "Well, I was just leaving the Elysium Theatre about eleven ", she said in a voice mixed of equal parts Southern honey and Midwest twang, "when this guy, about fifteen or so, comes barreling past me, almost knocking me down....he yanked my bag from my hand, and ran toward the corner.

     Just before he got there, this black....shape  swooped down on him, picking him up off the ground. I saw it was a man, a REAL tall man, about six-six or something, in black clothes, a cape, and long black hair, and a pale face-he looked like Lurch dressed up for Halloween."

     "He walked towards me, carrying my bag in one hand, and the kid in the other, as if neither one weighed not much of anything. I was petrified, 'cause I'd seen the broadcast the other night, and read about what happened to the Kings in the 'Coaster.

     "He handed me my bag, then set the boy on his feet, holding him by  his shoulder. The kid was shaking so bad, he might've fallen down otherwise. The spooky guy leans down into the boy's face, and says to him, in this Christopher Lee voice-
"DO YOU KNOW WHAT I AM?"
the kid nods his head, too scared to speak, I guess. Son of Ghoul leans even closer, and says in a voice that was sorta quiet, but hissing with menace,

     "Isn't tonight a SCHOOL night?"
 The kid nods even harder,  and the scary guy lets go his shoulder. The kid takes off like he's on jets, almost slamming into a light pole, and rounds the corner, out of sight.

     "Then....Super Ghoul turns and looks at me, his eyes burning bright green, and....smiles. He shrugs his shoulders, and says,

     "Who knows, it just might work!"
and takes off, straight up, and disappears into the night sky. I walked over to Annie's, had a double, then called the cops."

     This is getting stranger by the minute. Part of me is really glad I don't HAVE to deal with this, but another part is hooked straight through the curiousity.

     Then, there's Miss (Miss?) Maddock; my hand is still tingling.


    

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