Single White Psycopath Seeks Same (6 page)

BOOK: Single White Psycopath Seeks Same
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“Now you’re just being silly,” I said. “Nobody would buy my blood.”

“I said, people are trying to sleep!” shouted the angry woman. “Don’t make me come over there and kick your asses!”

“Let’s just kill ‘em!” whined the guy with the baseball bat. “Lemme break his head in!”

The junkie with the switchblade nodded. The guy raised his baseball bat, and then lowered it in surprise. “Holy shit! It’s him!”

“Who?” asked three different people at once, including me.

“Him! That guy! You know those death movies? Those things? You know?”  He began slapping his palm against his forehead, trying to concentrate. We all watched him. A moment later, his eyes popped open. “Anthony Mayhem! That’s who you are!”

“Andrew Mayhem, actually,” I corrected.

“Yeah, yeah! Remember those messed-up dudes who were makin’ tapes of people gettin’ cut up an’ shit? He stopped ‘em! I saw all ‘bout that on TV! It was fuckin’
sweet
!”  He began gesturing excitedly. “Dude, tell ‘em what you did with that skull!”

“I’d love to,” I said, “but I really need to help my friend.”

“Your friend’s cool, dude, he didn’t get stabbed that bad. C’mon, tell about the skull!”

“Really, this isn’t a good time, but—”

“Tell us,” said the guy with the nail board.

“SO I WAS climbing up the ladder,” I said to the fifteen or so people seated in a circle around me. “Now, I didn’t know what I’d find in that attic, but I knew it couldn’t be anything good. I knew that this might just be the day that I died. Let me tell you, being confronted with your own mortality in that way, it really changes a man.” 

I checked my watch for the forty-fifth time in the past forty-five minutes. “I know I’ve said this quite a few times already, but can I go now? I’ll come back to finish the story, I promise.”

Thomas hadn’t returned, which was disturbing enough, but the kidnappers would be here any minute. At least I had my new friends to protect me.

“Dude, quit interrupting yourself! I wanna know what happened!”

“Okay, so, I was being confronted with my own mortality. Then I—”

The door flew open and two men burst inside. “How’s it going, you bunch of degenerates?” shouted the first, a tall, athletically built man in blue jeans and a heavy brown leather jacket. His short black hair was slicked back, and he had perfect movie star looks and a thin mustache. “Don’t mind me, trolls. I’m just here to meet a friend.”

His partner was a bit shorter, a bit more muscular, and a lot uglier. He was bald, wore a parka, and was carrying what looked unnervingly like a semi-automatic rifle. He looked a bit embarrassed by his associate’s behavior.

“Who the hell do you think you are?” Nail Board demanded.

“I’m the Magic Man. I’m whoever you want me to be,” the first man informed him. He looked around the room, and then held his nose. “Whoa! How many rotting corpses have you got stored in this place? Haven’t you heard of the tradition of burying your dead? Or does that not apply to druggies? That was uncalled for, wasn’t it? Please accept my apologies, trolls.”

He continued surveying the room. I wanted to scoot away, but that would have drawn attention to myself. It didn’t matter, because a moment later his eyes met mine.

“Ooooh, just the person I wanted to see. And Roger, too. And who might your captor be, hmmm?”

Nobody spoke. The man peered at the people around us, and frowned. “Speak up, speak up, whoever you are. Insane minds want to know.”

More silence. The man shrugged, and then patted his partner on the arm. “Let’s get them out of here.”

The people who’d been listening to my story moved out of the way as his partner walked through them and pulled Roger to his feet. Without thinking, I quickly stood up. I glanced over at Nail Board. He gave me a slight nod, which I hoped meant, “Give me the signal, and I’ll whup ‘em.”

The two men exchanged a confused look. Then the second man shoved Roger aside and pointed his rifle at me. The first man took a pistol out of his jacket pocket and also pointed it at me. I raised my hands in the air.

“You’ve got about two seconds to explain this,” asked the first man. “Where’s the guy who brought you here?”

“It’s simple,” I said, trying to subtly wink at Nail Board. He shook his head, set down his board, and stepped back out of the way.

“Then let’s hear it.”

I said the only thing I could think of. “I’m Andrew Mayhem, also known as the Headhunter.”       

Chapter 8

“I BEG your pardon?”

“You heard me,” I said.

“No, I’m pretty sure I missed something.”

“I’m the Headhunter. I promised to bring you Andrew Mayhem, and I did. Just not the way you expected.”

The man appeared completely flabbergasted. “So, what, you’re saying that you’re...him?”

“I’m him. He’s me. We’re we.” 

Yes, the “we’re we” part was pushing it, but I had two guns in my face disrupting my concentration.

He shook his head. “No, that’s not possible. That’s completely ridiculous. There’s just no way.”

“I showed up for the meeting, didn’t I?” I gave him my broadest smile. “Surprise!”

The man gestured at me with his gun. “I do believe we need to go somewhere to talk. Let’s go.”

I shrugged and headed for the door. The other man grabbed Roger by the back of the neck and roughly led him to the door as well. As we left the apartment building, I noticed that Thomas’ rental car was still there. We walked along the sidewalk for a few feet, until the first man shoved me against the building (which miraculously didn’t come crashing down) and pressed the barrel of his gun to my throat.

“Now, what do you mean, you’re the Headhunter?” 

“I mean, I’m the Headhunter. Fourteen victims in three years, the last dozen all killed by decapitation, and all by the same scimitar. I was going to call myself the Buccaneer, but that didn’t sound quite as menacing. The highlight of my life was killing off all five of those decrepit partiers at once. My turn-ons include women with pierced tongues, the scent of vanilla, and road kill. My turn-offs include law enforcement officials, asparagus, and shallow people.”

The man stared at me in disbelief. Then his expression changed to pure delight. “That is the coolest thing I have ever heard in my
life
! What a fantastic fake-out! Oh, wow, we have got some serious stuff to talk about, my friend.” He removed the gun from my neck and extended his hand. “Daniel Rankin.”

I shook it, which was a bit difficult since my hand was numb from the cold. “Nice to meet you.”

Daniel pointed to the other man, who was still holding Roger. “That’s Curtwood Foster.”  Curtwood didn’t react to the introduction.

“And what’s up with Roger here?” asked Daniel. “He didn’t know about you, did he?”

I hurriedly tried to come up with a way to get Roger out of this, but how could I explain away the handcuffs? “Not a thing.”

“That is
so
cool! Foster, put him in the van.”

I avoided looking at Roger while Foster dragged him toward a parked black van. If I was going to be the Headhunter, I couldn’t let any guilt show in my eyes. As it was, I could feel my legs trembling a bit, and my stomach acids were flowing like Niagara Falls. Things were without a doubt getting out of control, but any heroics at this point would just get both of us shot. I had to keep playing this out and wait for a chance to escape.

“I don’t want him hurt,” I said.

Daniel gave me a quizzical look.

“Not yet,” I amended.

“Well, of course. Gotta keep him in good shape for the games, so we can
really
hurt him. But you’ll learn all about that later.”

Foster slid open the van door, shoved Roger inside, and got in after him. I flinched as he slammed the door, and prayed that Daniel didn’t notice.

“Where’s your suitcase?” Daniel asked.

Thomas had packed a suitcase, just for show. But it was in the trunk of the rental car, and Thomas had the key. “One of those bums stole it,” I said angrily. “I would’ve gone after him and sliced his homeless head off, but I couldn’t leave Roger. Why did you have me waiting in there, anyway?”

“Just wanted to get your vacation off to an exciting start. I promised you a wild time, and I aim to deliver. Did you lose anything essential?”

“Just clothes.”  I pointed to some spots of blood that led down the sidewalk. “Looks like he left a trail, though.”

Daniel grinned. “Wanna go after him?”

“You better believe it.”

“Race ya!”

Daniel started running down the sidewalk. I took a step and nearly slipped. I was wearing sneakers, which weren’t the best footwear for sprinting down icy sidewalks. While my chances of getting the gun away from Daniel were better if we were out of sight of the van, it wasn’t exactly credible that a serial killer who could decapitate five people so effectively couldn’t run down the sidewalk without falling on his ass. I took another step, nearly lost my balance again, and decided to give it up.

“Nah, don’t worry about it!” I called after him. “He’s long-gone. Everything he took is replaceable.”

Daniel slid to a graceful halt. “You sure? We could cause him some big-time pain. It’d be fun.”

“I got here early, so it’s been almost an hour. Actually, I’m freezing to death out here. I hope we’re going someplace warm.”

“I don’t wanna wreck the surprise. Let’s get in the van.”

WHILE I feel guilty admitting this, the simple truth is that I’m a darn good liar. Now, Helen does tend to catch me on occasion, and I know I’m caught when I’m treated to The Gaze, but when my spouse isn’t involved, I can fib with the best of them. I am certainly not proud of this, and if I could change my ways I would, but the fact remains that I’m a good liar, and Daniel was buying my story.

Well, he acted like he was buying it, anyway. But he also made no secret of the fact that he still had a gun, as did Foster in the back. Even if I could wrestle the gun away from Daniel, which I probably couldn’t, I’d end up taking a few rounds of semi-automatic fire from Foster. Some might say that it would serve me right for all that lying, but that’s beside the point.

As Daniel drove, I explained how everything I’d become famous for was really a distortion of the truth. Yeah, I’d stopped the snuff film creators and distributors, but only because they tried to screw me out of my share of the profits. Nobody left alive knew the truth, not my wife, and especially not Roger. And I told them all about Ned Markstein, my second identity in Manhattan, complete with four (count ‘em, four!) girlfriends. Then I told them about the murders. I’d spent three days quizzing Thomas, so the details weren’t difficult to recall, though getting the attitude right was tough. I basically just tried to sound very proud of my accomplishments, as if I were talking about the time I caught sixty-three pieces of popcorn that were tossed across the room in my mouth, and really only missed the sixty-fourth because of a bad throw on Roger’s part.

Roger remained silent in the back of the van. I sincerely hoped he knew I was making up the story to help us both get out of this, and not to save my own butt. He wasn’t trying to sabotage my web of lies, so I assumed that he knew. I still felt like a total bastard.

“So why didn’t you tell me who you were beforehand?” asked Daniel. “You almost got yourself shot!”

“I love surprises. Besides, you had something special planned for me, you weren’t just going to shoot me.”

“Yeah, but what if my hatred for Andrew Mayhem was greater than my admiration for the Headhunter?”

“Then I’d end up slicing your head off and might feel bad about it the next day.”

“You don’t have your scimitar.”

“I have my ways.”

Daniel chuckled. “I think we’ll get along fine.”

WE ENDED up driving for three hours. I was exhausted, and a bit worried about blabbing my story in that state...I could make a continuity error and give myself away. So I reclined the seat and pretended to doze. Every so often I would steal a quick peek at Daniel, but unfortunately at no time was his gun resting on the dashboard with a little sign saying, “Take Me, Andrew!”

When we finally stopped, it was at a small, deserted-looking airport. I could barely even call it an airport, since it wasn’t much more than a runway and a building the size of a shed. I continued to avoid looking at Roger while we got out of the van. I wanted to give him some kind of signal that I had things under control (even if the signal would continue with the current tradition of ridiculous lies), but it wasn’t worth the risk.

There was only one small jet on the runway. “What do you think?” asked Daniel.

“It’s nice,” I replied, not sure how enthusiastic I was supposed to be.

“I own it.”

“Really?”

Daniel nodded with pride. “I own a lot of stuff. You’ll see it soon.”

The door to the building opened, and three people exited. The first, a woman, rushed across the runway, ran the hundred or so feet over to us, and threw herself into Daniel’s arms. They kissed passionately. I thought they were going to start chewing each other’s faces off. It probably would have been a good opportunity to catch Daniel by surprise, but Foster had his gun out and pressed against Roger’s back.

Daniel pulled away from the woman. She had black curly hair, wore blood-red lipstick, and was just a bit pudgy. She wore an orange halter-top and shorts.

“Andrew, meet my wife, Josie,” said Daniel.

Josie regarded me closely. “Isn’t that—?”

“Yeah. He’ll explain everything later.”

“Pleased to meet you,” I said. “Aren’t you cold?”

“Better than being hot.”

The other two men walked over to us. The first was wearing a parka, had long, greasy hair, and looked like he’d shaved recently but missed quite a few spots. He wore a nicotine patch and had a carrot stick sticking out of the side of his mouth. He nodded at me. “Ain’t that—?”

“Yeah. He’ll explain everything later.”

“Oh.”

“Andrew, this is Stan Tringet. He’s kind of let himself go over the past couple years, but he’s still a good guy. How many hours without a cigarette, Stan?” 

Stan gave him a lopsided smile. “We’re back to minutes.”

The second man was also in a parka, but also wore a hat, scarf, earmuffs, and heavy mittens. His wide face was red from the cold. “I’m Samuel Striker,” he told me.

“Don’t be a dick,” said Daniel. “Give him your real name.”

“How do I know he’s not working for the cops?”

“If he’s working for the cops, we kill him.”

“Ooooh, that’s your solution to everything,” said Josie, slipping her hand seductively inside Daniel’s jacket.

“Fine, fine. I’m Mortimer. Can we get on the plane now?”

“Are the other prisoners on board?” Daniel asked.

“Of course they are. Locked down and ready to get out of this place. So let’s go!”

“Okay, then, let’s go.”

We walked toward the jet. Foster shoved Roger a lot more roughly than I appreciated, but I didn’t let my anger show. “So now can I ask where we’re going?”

“Seattle,” said Daniel. “First.”

“Then where?”

“Alaska.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Nope. We’re on our way to the Last Frontier. And that’s where the
real
fun’s gonna start.”

“WELCOME to Rankin Airlines,” said Daniel into the microphone. “Before we take off, I’d like you to observe some safety precautions. One, please contain all firearms, knives, bludgeoning devices, and electric chairs in the overhead bins until we’ve reached our cruising altitude. Two, in the unlikely event of a water landing, your seat cushion functions as a floatation device. However, your seat cushion also has the scent of blood, so expect to be devoured by sharks shortly after impact. If you are seated next to one of the emergency doors, you will be required to assist the other passengers. Since I can see that Stan is seated next to one, it’s fairly obvious that we’re all screwed. Thank you, and enjoy your flight.”

ROGER HAD been taken down below, with the luggage. Daniel and Josie sat across from me, making out, while Mortimer leaned back and listened to his headphones as he slept. Foster was flying the plane, none too smoothly. Stan sat in front of me, holding his carrot stick between his index and middle finger while he stared out the window.

So, I was going to Alaska. Wonderful. I had nothing against Alaska, never having been there, but any control I had over the situation was pretty much gone. What could I do? Maybe I could swipe Daniel’s gun while he was distracted, except that it was now inside his jacket and he’d most likely notice a third hand squirming around in there next to his wife’s. I didn’t know if Mortimer had a weapon, but I wouldn’t exactly have time to do a thorough search before a few dozen bullets ripped through my face. And for all I knew, there was somebody else down below guarding the prisoners. Maybe several somebodies.

Of course, there was nothing stopping me from gathering more information.

“Hey, Daniel?”

Daniel spat out a mouthful of cleavage. “What’s up?”

“How many prisoners have you got down there?”

“A few.”

“Are they secure?”

“Nah, we’ve just got them running around down there with machine guns. Gee, I hope the bicycle lock on the door holds.”

“Hey, I trust you,” I said. “I just like to know how things stand.”

“You’re right, that’s understandable. But don’t worry about it. You’re on vacation. Leave the details to me. Get some sleep.”

I really wanted to ask if I could go down and check things out, but I didn’t dare push the subject. Daniel resumed his slurping.

There was nothing I could do. I hated that. The only really smart course of action would be to move my seat far from its upright and locked position and get some sleep. I had a feeling the next day was going to be fairly eventful.

BOOK: Single White Psycopath Seeks Same
6.44Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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