Thursday, September 15, 2016

Devil (Part 13)

     True to his word, the dead guy was nowhere to be found when we showed up at the club that Tuesday to shoot.  A weaselly looking guy in a tight blue shirt who introduced himself as Shadow let us in.  Shadow was the bartender.  He had already been there for a couple hours, trying to figure out why the ice machine kept pissing water.  We wrangled equipment and Small Steve began plotting with Sally for the best spots to set up cameras for footage of the dance floor, both establishing shots and shots of Bekka and Elspeth dancing.

     Our two male performers were relative unknowns.  I'd borrowed them from one of Angel's other studios up in LA.  They had worked for Inana before, performing in a group sex scene with a bunch of other performers from LA.  I was glad I remembered them, it struck me their sense of personal style would be perfect for this nightclub scene.  The two performers, Jeff and Hal, had confirmed to me over the phone that yeah, they liked to go clubbing, they loved industrial music, and they thought doing a scene in a club would be fun.  They were also happy with the compensation, $300 for the scene (double what they got for working in LA), plus a $75 per diem for food and gas, and motel rooms for the night.  Each of them had maybe three lines each, and Angel had assured me both of them had enough natural talent to do a decent acting job, as well as being good performers.
     The DJ showed up soon after, wheeling in crates of vinyl.  I introduced myself, and gave him what he'd been promised for working this gig: twenty hits of Smiley Ecstasy.  He looked at the bag and grinned.  "Too cool," he said.  "I'm kinda surprised, wouldn't it have been cheaper for you to pay my regular fee in cash than giving me these?"
     I told him, "Well, you know, I've got a good line on them, I'm actually paying less for them than the wholesalers do.  It's a long story."  I didn't have the heart to tell him that I got the damn things free, and had about 300 more in a bag in my jacket.  Not only would our performers be high, but all the random club-goers who came in would also be given hits.  I wanted this crowd to be acting as flamboyant as possible.
     I had pressed Roach into service as a doorman, to check IDs.  Anyone coming in had to be eighteen, with those over twenty-one getting a hand stamp so they would be served at the bar.  Roach would also be backup security.  He would have his Hell's Angels colors on, which would help discourage bad behavior, and while he didn't have a tough guy personality, he was pretty much fearless of anything on two legs and would dive into a fray without hesitation.  Also with us was Terry, who would be keeping an eye on things inside while we shot our non-sex scenes.  She'd run off any dorks who wanted to get too curious about what we were doing and make pests of themselves.  When it came time to shoot the fuck scenes, one of the club's regular security would replace Roach at the door, and he would help keep looky-loos at bay along with Terry.  Since the sex was supposed to be happening someplace semi-public, we'd decided we wanted to have people sometimes walking back and forth in front of the couples, ignoring them, as though two people having sex in an alcove of a lounge was a commonplace thing.
     The line to get in started building at 6:15.  The door charge at this place was normally ten bucks, so people were fairly keen to go clubbing for free, even if it was on a Tuesday.  There were eighty people in line by the time we opened the doors at seven.  I spotted a few who wouldn't get in, they looked like they'd finished their paper routes and come straight here.  It was a good mix of male and female, and a good selection of different types of club kids: ravers, goths, fashion plates, and general dance floor brats, all in their party clothes.
     The DJ cranked up some noise.  Spot on seven, we opened up the door and people began filing in.  I was standing just inside the door, and as people stepped through, one by one, I would grab their hand and press a hit of Ecstasy into it, simply saying, "Enjoy yourself this evening."  Nearly everyone would look at the pill, see the smiley imprint, then smile at me.  Most threw it into their mouths and dry-swallowed it before taking three steps.  One girl, dressed like a hooker's version of Little Bo Peep and wearing makeup so thick you could carve your initials in her face and not draw blood looked at the pill and cartoonishly pouted at me, "I want two."
     I grinned and said, "See me later, maybe."
     "No, now," she said in her cartoon character voice.  "Give me two, and later I'll jerk you off in one of the lounges."
     I gave her a brief look and said, "Tell you what.  I may be able to offer you a job.  Do you know what's going on here tonight?"
     "Yeah, somebody's making a movie."
     "Yep.  We're making porn.  Becky Page is one of the stars.  I'm the producer.  If you're willing to jerk off a guy you've never met before just so you can get an extra hit of free drugs, you may be useful.  I'm just not sure how.  Wait with me here a minute."
     Little Bo Peep sized me up and said, "You make porn?  Really?  You don't look like you do.  I thought all the guys who made porn were fat and bald and sweaty and wore lots of gold chains and smoked cigars."
     "That's all right, I thought all club kids wore black and glared at everyone and had the conversational skills of Benedictine monks," I replied.
     Sue began to breeze past with a drink in her hand.  I called to her, and asked where Bekka was.  "Her and the guy she's working with tonight are blocking their fuck scene.  Are we really only shooting a half hour each of action with Bekka and Elspeth?"
     I said, "Yeah, when they're completed, these fuck scenes are only going to be maybe four or five minutes long.  We just want some action, then a money shot, and that's it.  It's an easy shoot for everyone."
     With a wide grin, Little Bo Peep looked at Sue and said, "Hi, honey!  Glad to see ya!  So you're here for the party?"
     Sue didn't quite restrain herself from rolling her eyes.  "Hello, Amber.  What brings you by?  Do you know Lenny?"
     "No, I just met him.  He gave me a hit of Smiley for free, but I want two, so I told him I'd jerk him off later for the second.  Now he says he wants me to be a porn star or something.  You know him?  He really makes porn?  Hey, I heard you make porn now."
     "I am," said Sue.  "Lenny is my boss at the studio I work for.  You know, Amber, someone just gave you a free hit of Smiley.  You really should just thank him and be on your way, instead of bugging him for more.  How high do you need to get on a Tuesday?"
     Little Bo Peep gave Sue a wide-eyed look.  "Today is Tuesday?  Oh my God.  I thought this was a Saturday.  Huh."
     Sue sighed and said, "Yes, well, those of us who do not have trust funds to live on need to pay attention to what day of the week it is.  The month is also sometimes important.  So Lenny, you were going to offer Amber a job?  Doing what, and for God's sake, why?"
     "I'm not sure," I said.  "All I know is that someone who is willing to jerk off a stranger for a hit of Ecstasy could be useful while making porn.  I dunno, she could fluff our males tonight.  Terry was planning to fluff, but those two dudes met her and are scared shitless of her, they're not used to fluff girls wearing shoulder holsters.  Maybe they won't find this chick so scary."
     Sue got a positively evil smile and said, "Hey, Amber honey?  How good are you at sucking dick?"
     "I make boys lose their minds!" Amber giggled.  "Why?"
     Me and Sue whispered in each other's ears briefly, then Sue said, "How would you like ten free hits of Smiley, plus the one you were bugging Lenny for?  All you have to do is briefly suck two guy's dicks.  You don't have to make them come, in fact, when you start their dicks will be soft.  You just get their dicks hard, then stop.  If you're good at sucking dick, it shouldn't take you more than ninety seconds to get each dude hard.  There, a total of three minutes work, and you get ten hits of Smiley.  How does that sound?"
     Amber's default facial expression was one of mild stupefaction.  Her eyes were open too wide, her lips parted, jaw slightly slack.  She looked like a Keane painting, if the Keanes had used mental patients as models.  She said, "So....  After I get their dicks hard....  Then what?"
     "Then nothing.  You'll get one guy's dick hard, and you're done.  Then about forty minutes later, you'll get the other guy's dick hard, and be done.  In porn, it's called fluffing.  You're getting the male performers prepped for a scene, getting them ready to work.  You keep your clothes on, you suck their dicks just long enough and well enough to get them hard, and that's it.  And we'll give you ten hits of Smiley for your trouble."
     "We'll need you in about two hours from now," I added.  "Just go up to the top lounge, the one where all the walls are painted red.  You'll get to see what it looks like when porn is being made."
     "Oh, I really love porn!" exclaimed Amber.  "Especially gay porn.  The guys in gay porn are always so hot.  Gay boys always turn me on.  But they're mean, I'll find a hot gay boy and I'll be begging him to fuck me and he'll keep saying no, then act all pissed and leave.  They say they don't want to fuck me because they're gay, but what's that got to do with anything?  They're guys, right?  Guys have wanted to fuck me since I was thirteen.  I thought all guys wanted to fuck me.  I don't see why they don't want to just because they're gay."
     Sue and I looked at each other in amazement.  I said, "Uh....  Are you sure you're clear on how homosexuality works?  What gay dudes are into, and what they aren't?"
     Amber lit a clove cigarette.  "Gay boys are just mean.  I know they're perfectly willing to fuck me.  I have two who will fuck me, but only if I get them really high and pay them.  I met them in Balboa Park.  I like it when they fuck me, because they last a long time and we don't need condoms, since they can't get me pregnant."
     "And....  Why can't they get you pregnant?" queried Sue.
     "Because they're gay.  Duh.  The sperm from gay boys won't connect with a woman's ovum, their sperm swims in the opposite direction.  It's science."
     Unable to keep the patronizing tone out of my voice, I said, "Tell me.  You met these boys at Balboa Park.  Were they hanging around in the southwest corner of the park, near Elm Street?"
     "And were they fairly quick to bring up the subject of you paying them to fuck you?"
     "Yeah, and get them high," said Amber.  "They both like meth, which is cool.  I always have meth.  Both of them said the guys they date always give them money, so I had to too."
     I looked over at Sue, who was rubbing her temples and shaking her head.  I grabbed several hits of Ecstasy out of the bag in my jacket and handed them to Amber.  I said, "Here.  Take these.  I just remembered, we have someone else to take care of the guys tonight.  I don't need you to work for me, we'll be fine.  Go have fun tonight, okay?  Go on."
     "Are you sure you don't need me to...."
     Sue said, "Amber, go get a fucking drink or something.  Go away, you're making my brain hurt.  Shoo."
     "Okay, see you later, Sue," said Amber, and skipped off towards the bar.
     "Well.  Ever feel like you dodged a bullet?" I asked Sue.
     "Oh my God," Sue said.  "I knew the bitch was an airhead, but....  Wow.  Hopefully stupidity acts as a natural sterilizer in the human body, and she won't contract anything too terrible."
     "Who the hell is she?" I asked.
     "Amber is about my age.  She's been around the club scene for as long as I have, and will show up to a club no matter what's going on on any given night.  Goth, industrial, techno, she doesn't care.  Her family is rich, and from what I hear she has a huge trust fund, so not only does she not have to work, but she has the money to party as hard as she wants, with whatever she feels like.  Amber was the first person to make me realize it's possible to take too much Ecstasy, and too often.  She's had plenty of boyfriends, since she's always happy to buy them drugs and feed them and take them clubbing.  But between her drug use and her inherent mental instability, boys realize the price to ride on her gravy train is higher than they thought, so they don't stick around.  She's always tried hitting on dudes that are blatantly gay, everybody thought it was actually homophobia on her part, that she was taking it upon herself to straighten those dudes out.  I guess she really does think gay dudes are hot, and honestly can't grasp that they really don't care about pussy, no matter whose it is.  I knew she was a ditz, but I never would have guessed that she would be so naive that she'd hit on the stud hustlers at the Fruit Loop and not know what was going on, or who they are.  And Jesus Christ, they're fucking her bareback.  I'm glad we learned about her current dating habits before she put her mouth on the dicks of our performers tonight."
     "The worst part?  If she does turn up positive for HIV, she'll probably spend her money on some quack cure down in Tijuana, and keep fucking guys bareback."
     "It's easy to find human train wrecks in the club scene," said Sue.  "I just didn't know hers would be so gruesome."
     I had been handing out Ecstasy to everyone coming in the club, and it had been a very steady stream.  I stuck my head out the door and saw a good sized line of people waiting to get past Roach and enter.  The bar was crowded, and the dance floor was filling up.  I sidled up next to Roach and asked him how things were going.
     "Piece of cake," Roach smiled.  "I've had to turn several people away, they were either too young or didn't have ID.  I made it clear it wasn't up for debate, and they split.  Heh, another situation where flying the colors has its practicality.  I'll turn my back to the line to light a cigarette, everyone sees the colors, and I've got a whole bunch of very mannerly club kids.  Shit, better me than a lot of other dudes from the club doing this gig.  Could you imagine Big Ugly or Peewee dealing with club kids?  Especially the goths, all those guys in makeup?  Let's just say there would be some heavy cultural conflict."
     Small Steve came down to see how things were going.  I proposed to him that we wait another forty-five minutes, then get the shots of the dance floor and bar.  The place would be even more crowded by then, and everybody would be good and high, wanting to shake their asses.  We were both happy with the varied assortment of club types that had turned up for this gig.  It seemed like even if people weren't big into industrial, hey, an excuse to go party on a Tuesday, and with no cover charge.  I had kept the dispersal of free Ecstasy a secret, word getting out that gratis hits of Smiley would be available would cause both a massive stampede, and also put me at risk of being busted.  I'd yet to have anyone refuse a hit.  They all looked at the dose of Smiley in their hands, looked at the punk rocker who'd given it to them, shrugged, and popped in in their mouths.
     I waited another forty minutes, then stopped handing out the drugs.  There would be a sufficiently large percentage of people who were high to make things interesting.  Amber had been the only one to crowd me over the drugs, no one asking if they could score more from me or otherwise attracting attention.  People took their hits with a wink, a nod, and a very circumspect attitude.  I hoped the Ecstasy got people in an accepting mood.  Not only was word getting around that it was a porn studio that was filming that night, most of us didn't blend in with the crowd at all.  Small Steve was in his usual pocketed t-shirt, Levis, and Nikes.  Sally, Ace, and Bubba were also dressed in a similar manner.  In keeping in line with her character, Elspeth had more of a punk rock vibe to her appearance.  Bekka, obviously, was in costume.  Jeff and Hal sort of blended in, but they were pretty restrained compared to some of the human peacocks at that club.  Sue was her usual goth self, but hadn't gotten decked out like she would have if she'd been planning to party all night.  And of course, we had Terry and Roach, two outlaw bikers, one with a mohawk and wearing Hell's Angels colors.  Those two would definitely have people pointing and staring, a strange role reversal for the more outlandish club-goers.
     Terry came down, and we went to the bar for a beer.  I asked her if she felt Bekka and Elspeth were secure up there in her absence.  She chugged a little Budweiser and said, "Oh, fuck yeah.  We've pretty much taken over that one fuckin' room.  People stick their heads in, see all of us hanging around, see all the equipment, and back the fuck off.  It's obvious we're the fuckin' film crew, and we wanna be left the fuck alone for the time being.  I don't think anybody's stuck around long enough to even recognize Bekka or Elspeth."
     "Okay, cool," I said.  "In a while, we will want people in that lounge, just to hang around in the background.  We'll get Elspeth's and Bekka's dialogue shot, then get Roach up there so you and him can do crowd control while we shoot the fuck scenes.  I dunno, I think a lot of the people here believe they're too cool to be interested in watching porn being made, they'd view it as tacky.  So we might not have nearly as many looky-loos as we might, certainly a lot less than if we were trying to pull this shit off in some lame pop dance club.  Hey, are you sure you don't mind fluffing?  I can probably lay some bread on Sue, and she could take care of it."
     "Naw, that's fine," said Terry.  "Two dudes, and one at a time, no sweat.  Haw!  Although I think both of those fuckin' dudes from LA are kinda freaked out by me.  What the fuck?  They gotta stick their dicks in the mouth of some biker bitch?  Shit.  Tell ya what, I'll show them why outlaws stick with their old ladies, no matter how fuckin' big of psycho cunts we are.  Collectively, scooter tramps are better at huffing choad than any other group of women on the planet."
     I chuckled and said, "Well, you've always impressed the shit out of me.  Girl, you could make a statue come."  Terry smiled, leaned forward, and gave me a kiss.  We ordered more beer.
     Lighting a Marlboro, I started getting that stared-at feeling.  Looking around, I saw I was being observed by a couple.  The guy was a tall skinny drink of water.  He had Robert Smith hair, plenty of eyeliner and mascara, and was wearing what appeared to be a trench coat made out of black surgical gauze.  The girl he was with had the same hair and makeup and was wearing a Catholic school girl's uniform that had been dyed black.  Both of them looked at Terry and me as though we were wearing clothes made out of pork chops.  Terry caught the movement of my eyes and pivoted to look.  I gave a nod in greeting.  Terry put on a cool smile and said, "Whassup?"
     Stretch paused, then said, "Why are you two here?"
     Terry and I glanced at each other.  I said, "Well, we're occupying space at this bar because this is the location of the building where they serve drinks.  Terry has her Budweiser, I have my Miller, that makes us happy.  Why do you ask?"
     "No, I mean why are a punk and a biker chick hanging around an industrial club?" sneered Stretch.  "They're not gonna be playing any Dead Kennedys.  Or Lynard Skynard."
     Terry remained silent, but her smile was showing a lot of teeth, like a wolf's.  I said, "Actually, I like this DJ.  He's not just playing the same Fear Factory and Front 242 tracks over and over. I'm hearing a lot of stuff that is new to me.  I'm glad he's doing a good job, since I'm the one who paid him to be here."
     "I don't know shit about this kind of music, but I like it," said Terry.  "This is pretty fuckin' awesome stuff.  I'm always up for expanding my horizons."
     "Wait, you paid who to do what?" said the Catholic girl.
     "I paid the DJ to be here tonight.  Shit, I arranged for this whole little shindig to happen in the first place."  I sighed.  "Look, I'm assuming you found out about this party through a flyer somewhere, right?  Did you pay attention to why this party is happening?  This whole club is a movie set.  We'll be shooting video down here at the bar, at the dance floor, and up in one of the lounges upstairs.  Everyone is here with the tacit knowledge they will be the background scenery for the project we're working on.  If you don't want to be on camera, stay the fuck away from the bar and off the dance floor."
     Terry added, "Lenny here is the fuckin' producer, and he also wrote the fuckin' movie.  It's gonna be awesome.  It's gonna be called 'Good Girl/Bad Girl,' look for it in about six weeks."
     The Catholic girl queried, "Wait, you're in the middle of filming a movie, but it's gonna be out in six week?"
     "Yeah," I said.  The production and post-production times for making porn are pretty damn fast.  It also helps that we work with video, not film.  Inana Productions is our company, you'll be able to reserve a copy at any video store except Blockbuster."
     Stretch stared at us, then sneered again.  "My God.  You are so full of shit.  You expect me to believe that not only are you a movie producer, but you make porn?  You're just some punk.  Okay, where are the cameras?  Where is your crew?  I suppose you're gonna tell me she's the star."
     "Nope.  Terry is part of my security detail.  The crew and equipment are up in the top lounge, we're waiting for the dance floor to fill up a little more before we start shooting.  You know, I'd tell you some of my other projects, but you wouldn't believe me."
     "No, tell me," said Stretch with a smirk.
     I made an expansive gesture and said, "Well, I guess 'Bewitched' would be the big one...."  Stretch and the Catholic girl began snickering.
     Terry said, "He also wrote and produced 'Rocker Girls,' 'Dangerous Desires,' 'Temporary Pleasures,' the sequel to 'Bewitched,' and 'Succubus.'  So what the fuck is so funny?"
     Stretch said, "Right.  This guy is responsible for 'Bewitched,' the most intelligent erotic film ever made, plus all those other movies you listed.  What is the trip with you two?  Do you really like to show up to places where you don't belong, then lie to people?"
     "Who says we don't belong here?" I asked.  "It would entertain me to see you try to keep us out."
     In a calm voice, Terry said, "Motherfucker, you're taxing my nerves.  So Lenny ain't who he says he is, because he ain't all fuckin' Hollywood-looking and shit?  Dude, you always judge a book by the cover?  Shit, if I was going to do that with you, I'd assume you're a fuckin' male prostitute whose clients are all homosexual necrophiliacs."
     Just then Roach appeared next to me.  "Okay, club security installed at the door.  Things are slowing down outside, there's only about thirty people in line right now.  Do I have time for a beer?"  He displayed the back of his hand, showing the "Over 21" stamp which he'd issued to himself, a couple years too early.
     "Yeah, sure," I said.  "They got Budweiser, Miller, Corona, and Heineken."
     Roach looked at Stretch and the Catholic girl and nodded.  He looked back at me and asked, "Am I interrupting something?"
     "Just these two questioning my honesty and integrity.  They don't believe I am who I say I am, that I write and produce porn, and that I'm the one who oversaw this whole gig happening tonight.  They have called me a liar."
     "Oh really."  Roach fixed a cold dangerous glare on Stretch, a glare the Hell's Angels hold a patent on.  What the recipient of the glare is being told is that he has crossed a line, is now the focus of what will be very unwanted attention, and should smile, apologize for everything he has ever done, and relocate himself very quickly.  To another state would be a good idea.
     Keeping his glare fixed on Stretch, Roach said, "Hey Lenny, maybe if this guy met your wife he would see just how wrong he is about you."
     I smiled and said, "You know what, Roach?  I'll be you're right."
     Looking both bemused and confused, Stretch said, "Your wife?  What would she say?  Who is she?"
     "His wife is Becky fuckin' Page, dude," said Terry.
     Stretch and the Catholic girl both began laughing.  "Oh my God," said Stretch.  "You're all in on this.  This is hilarious, I can't wait to see what you all hope to gain with all your bullshit.  Right, Becky Page is married to this guy.  And I suppose she's here."
     "Right upstairs," I said.  "Let's go meet her."
     "How stupid do you think we are?" squeaked the Catholic girl.  "You just want to get us alone somewhere so you can mug us.  No way, we're staying where everyone can see you."
     I said to Roach, "Hey man, would you do me a favor?  Would you run up and get Becky for me?  Lenny needs her to settle an argument."
     "Yeah, no problem," said Roach.  He began walking towards the stairs.  Stretch watched him depart.
     "Is he really a Hell's Angel?" asked Stretch.
     Terry cackled.  I said, "People who wear the Hell's Angels colors that are not members do not wear them for long.  Also, their health usually takes a turn for the worse when the club retrieves the colors from a non-member.  Yes, Roach is a Hell's Angel.  He's young for a member, but the club values both his backbone and his intelligence."
     "So you all really are just goons, huh," said Stretch.  "Why the hell did you animals show up here?"
     "We're not goons, we're fuckin' pornographers," said Terry with a small smile.  "So Slappy, I'm guessing you know what the fuck Becky Page looks like, right?  There won't be any mistake when you see her?"
     "Yeah, Becky Page is awesome.  She's, like, a dark angel of sensuality.  I've got three of her posters, and a few of her movies.  Don't try to tell me Becky Page is going to show up, you probably just have some chick who sort of looks like her around, so you can keep playing whatever bullshit game it is you're all playing.  Becky Page would never associate with people like you."
     Roach returned with Bekka in tow.  Stretch and the Catholic girl watched them approach, their eyes getting wider.  Roach guided Bekka up to the two and said, "Becky, these two wanted to meet you.  They've been calling Lenny a liar, on a lot of subjects.  We thought maybe you could straighten them out."
     Stretch breathed, "Oh my God, you really are Becky Page.  Um....  Oh my God, what are you doing here?  Are you really with.... these people?"
     The Catholic girl said, "Oh wow.  Miss Page, this is too cool, I'm so happy to meet you.  Where did you get those horn, those are so awesome."
     Bekka gave one of her demure Becky smiles and said, "The horns are from a special effects shop in Los Angeles, I don't remember which one."  She looked at Stretch and said, "To answer you, I am here making a feature.  They'll be getting video of me out on the dance floor, then I'll be engaged in various sex acts in one of the lounges.  This here is Terry, my personal bodyguard.  This gentleman is Roach, a fellow performer at my studio who is helping provide security tonight.  And this man is my husband Lenny, the love of my life.  He also writes and produces the features I appear in, and has for quite a while.  Didn't Lenny explain any of this to you?"
     Stretch stammered, "Um....  Aw, c'mon, no way.  He really is your husband?  He really does produce all the erotic cinema you appear in?"
     "This motherfucker called Lenny a liar to his face," said Terry.  "We had to settle this fuckin' argument somehow, and getting you seemed to be the only way."
     Bekka glared at Stretch in silence.  She would owe the Hell's Angels a royalty for use of that glare.  After a few moments she calmly said to Stretch, "I am full-blooded Sicilian.  For Sicilians, honor is everything, especially when it comes to family.  You question the honor of my husband?  You are less than nothing, you are a waste of space.  Terry, loan me your Colt."
     Terry whipped her gun out of its holster and handed it to Bekka.  She gripped it, and shoved it in Stretch's left eye.  Then she stared in his available eye with a completely composed expression.  A clicking noise was just audible over the music: click, click, click, click, over and over.  Bekka was switching the safety of the Colt on and off, repeatedly.
     Bekka calmly stated, "What is currently stuck in your eye is a Colt Defender, a reliable and accurate semiautomatic pistol.  It is loaded with nine millimeter hollow-point ammunition, eight rounds.  The Defender has a muzzle velocity of 1100 feet per second.  Because of the hollow-point ammo, your entry wound will be fairly small, but the exit wound in the back of your head will be big enough to fit a softball in.  Tell me, can you think of any reason I shouldn't take you out to the back of this warehouse, put you down in one of the loading docks, then stand twenty feet away and practice my aim, and use your head for a target?  I can't think of a reason why I shouldn't."
     I commented, "Becky is a good shot, we hit the range every Sunday.  But if by some miracle she didn't connect in the eight shots she has, she'd just borrow my Beretta...."  I pulled out my gun.  ".... And have another fifteen shots at her disposal."
     "I will give you thirty seconds to speak," said Bekka.  "You must be very, very convincing in that time."
     The Catholic girl was frozen, except for her jaw, which was trembling.  Her eyes were huge.  Stretch began jabbering, "Oh God, oh fuck, fuck, I'm sorry, I really thought he was making shit up, him and this biker chick don't look like they belong here, I thought they were playing games, I'm sorry, I thought they were full of shit, fuck, I mean, I'm really sorry, I didn't mean to insult your husband, I totally apologize....  Dude, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to be a dick to you, you're totally cool, okay?  Um, fuck, I totally take back what I said, I was being a dick and I shouldn't have been, he was totally cool with me and I was a dick, and I'm really sorry.  Fuck."
     Bekka removed the Colt from Stretch's eye, but still held it up, pointing in the general direction of his head.  She said, "You should be a bit more trusting of strangers, even if you think they are out of place in their surroundings.  And when you do believe someone is telling you lies, you should simply smile, nod, and take your leave.  They really may be telling you the truth, and look where questioning their integrity can get you.  Thank you, Terry."  Bekka handed back the Colt.
     Stretch said, "Um, fuck, I'm really sorry, Miss Page.  You're totally right, I shouldn't have been all hostile with him and her, they said they dig industrial music up front, I was just being a dick.  I'm sorry."
     Gesturing, Bekka said, "I think you and her should find a different source of entertainment tonight.  Go to a movie, walk in the park, drive up Mount Soledad and watch the moon rise.  But you need to be somewhere else.  Am I clear?"
     The Catholic girl said, "Yeah, a movie is a totally good idea.  We'd better get going so we don't miss the last showings.  Let's go, honey."  The two of them trotted for the door, not even looking back.
     Terry looked at Bekka and chuckled, "Fuckin' a, girl.  That's why I never want you pissed off at me, you wouldn't leave nothing but the pieces."
     "I could stand a beer," said Bekka.  "Any remote chance they have Anchor Steam?"
     "Nope, just watery crap and Heineken," said Roach.
     "Miller will do."
     Small Steve came up and said, "I figured I might find you guys here.  The dance floor is looking pretty packed, and there's plenty of rather photogenic people out there.  Ready to dance, Bekka?  Give us ten minutes to position cameras and for Ace to get good sound levels, then let's knock out some video."
     "Oh yes, work," Bekka said.  "I'd almost forgotten."
     "What have you guys been up to?"
     "Oh, just enjoying the company of fellow club-goers."

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