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An Old Booze-Hound Expires With One Last Grand Finale.
I got lucky when Mackey checked out of The Bradon Manors Motor Lodge. He wasn’t the worst boozened old sod to expire in a Cahuenga Boulevard flophouse hotel. He actually paid his rent fairly regularly and seemed too played out to bring around drugs, weaponry or hookers. These made him a regular charmer compared to some of the “guests” I have on my books at the establishment.
It wasn’t Mackey I minded at all, it was that guy Muddy Chambers who kept asking about him. Chambers looked like a distilled spirit of intense violence. His face was scarred from more than one pointed weapon. His right eye seemed always yea close to distending and popping out when he got impatient with me for not producing Mackey.
Mackey wanted it that way. The only thing I remember him ever asking me to do was to not tell Muddy Chambers he was here no matter what. He had a desperate, pleading way of asking this favor. It was like Mackey would drop off his buzz all of a sudden, and get the shakes at the mention of Muddy’s name.
Three days ago, Chambers came to the front desk, ugly business as usual.
“I want to see Mackey.” He announces, shamelessly forgetting the magic word “please.”
“So do I, Muddy.” I smart off back. “He’s been owing me for a day or two.”
He then hesitated in a primal, menacing way. He gave me that stare of his that made that right eye look exceedingly precarious with respect to its perch in the proper socket. “Don’t f—k with me, Monkey Boy.” He said in a low, lupine growl. “He owes me so much more.”
At this point, I’m fingering the broken shotgun I keep below the desk. The one I’ve stenciled “Complaint Department” on the barrel of just for s—ts and giggles. I wasn’t sure The People’s Gayocracy of Queerifornica would consider it a righteous shoot, but I knew who I planned on sending off if it had to be him or me.
He then reaches into his raggedy coat and pulls out a full-blown Poulin Woodmaster and fires the sucker up right in my lobby. The saw growls and belches foul, stinking diesel fumes. Meanwhile, I’m getting over the initial stun and snapping the gun together.
He goes to work on the wooden awning in front of my cash cage and sends the splinters flying. He laughs at the entropic redecoration of the lobby and says to me. “You’re dead, B---h! Timber!”
I lock in to the here and now and whip my gun up to level. I unloaded it right in Chambers’ ugly face. The lead blew off freakishly ugly chunks of that modern art masterpiece of a mug. It exposed part of his pallet which afforded me a breathtaking view of greenish, rotting teeth in horrendous disrepair.
The disgusting visitor to my humble establishment of commerce didn’t even flinch. He grinned at me in a stupid manner and licked off some of the gore. He seemed to kind of like the taste. He lowered the saw and began to blow through the wood that was left between him and me.
It was here where The Good Lord had had enough and decided to intervene for my sake. Mackey comes out from the back rooms looking a little bit drunk and a whole lot confused and asked. “What’s all this G-- ---n racket!?”
Chambers grins like an imbecile. I doubt he found this a difficult task. He looked at Mackey and got this really hungry expression on whatever was left of his ruined face. He puts down the Woodmaster and says. “ I’m squeezing you with my bare hands.”
Mackey backs off a couple of steps looking very, very frightened. I noticed an uncomfortable wet stain spreading across the front of my pants as I watched the badly injured Muddy Chambers slowly close on Mackey. Mackey then pulls out a flask of Bowman’s Virginia Vodka.
Mackey gets his composure back and braces himself further with a shot of the awful, viscous vodka. “Fire, Water, Burn.” He says. Then he hammered down a good pint and half of the bad stuff. He kept a lot in his mouth, which made his cheeks poke out like those of a chipmunk.
Chambers didn’t know what to make of this whole scene, but saw no reason not to keep moving in on his adversary. His hands now extended towards Mackey like one of the dorky looking zombies in “Night Of The Living Dead.”
Mackey then exhaled a stream of the Russian Tonsil-Polish. It struck Muddy flush in his chest and then ignited in a majestic, arcing blue flame. Mackey collapsed on the floor from this exertion.
Chambers did anything but collapse. His rudimentary schooling had lacked the lesson entitled “Stop, Drop and Roll.” Muddy flounced around like a ballerina on PCP. The flames that came off him were beautiful somehow.
It took about four hours for Occifer Shady of The LAPD to decide he didn’t even care enough to disbelieve my rather inarticulate account of what had happened. He just had two dead Rum Blossoms that needed to be tagged and bagged.
My residents liked the free entertainment and stood around the lobby gawking. By 3am, things were kind of back to normal, in a f---ed –up, East Hollywood sort of a way.