Monday, May 04, 2009

71 Sign of the New Los Angels Times

Land use in the New Los Angels Basin had changed dramatically over the last century, scrubland and desert had been irrigated by fresh water pumped from as far away as Colorado and the desert had bloomed, in the middle of nowhere in particular, Sam Marlo leaned on the hood of his converted replica Shelby (zero emission engine) and considered ignoring the muffled noise coming from the cramped trunk of his car.

He shouldn't have picked the Shelby for this, but Marbles Malloy was a small man, Marlo popped another H-Mary into his mouth, the desert flipped upside down and donut icicles made of pressed flower happiness drifted gently upwards for 15 seconds. Hail Mary or H-Mary, a strange contraction because it wasnt' any shorter to say, was a popular high-class hallucinagen, instant onset, 45 second half-life, For those times when harassed executives and bored housewives wanted a minor vacation from everyday but not a full weekend's worth of incapacitance.

After 30 seconds, Marlo grabbed a small gas canister and fed it's plastic tube through one of the inconspicuous holes he'd drilled in the trunk many years ago, tiny, only a psychological ventilation, still hot enough in there without the A/C running to hurt a man, but that wasn't Marlo's line, he kept the A/C on.

Environmentally conscious however, Marlo kept it at its minimum setting. He snaked the tube a little into the trunk, turned on the nitrous oxide and timed the dosage.

After 20 seconds he kept low and to the side and popped the trunk.

Marbles was laughing a little, dazed, blinded by the sun, sweat and oil soaked his suit, the throwaway piece (too small these days to find them all, some no larger than a thimble) had fallen from his hands, Marlo picked up the contraption, like a wire outline of a pistol made of coat hanger, aimed it at a patch of flowers and touched his finger to the piece of wire indicating a trigger.

The flowers burst into flame and then blew away in a cloud of ash.

"My my, a miniturized vapourizer, Marbles, the company you keep," mutter Marlo under his breath.

Marlo grabbed Marbles roughly and tossed him, hog tied, out of the trunk, knocked the wind out of him. nearby was a suitable location, a half dead tree, struck by lightning, one side blooming, the other dead.

Marlo tied Marbles to the tree and then drove the Shelby closer, parking with the headlights facing Marbles, who was regaining some of his senses in the freshening late afternoon air.

It still got cold at night in desert.

"I'm not talking." said Marbles
"And, I haven't asked you to," said Marlo, as he cut off Marbles' suit with a scalpel and a pair of surgical scissors.

And Marlo wouldn't, by dawn, with the headlights on, the cold, the fatigue and above all, the mosquitos, Marbles would tell him everything.

Marlo wouldn't have to ask a thing.

He never had before, why start?

That's what it meant to be a New Los Angles Detective, you didn't get paid for questions, you got paid for answers.

Marlo got back in his car and turned up the radio and the heat. Settled in for the wait, Marbles didn't seem like much, the wire gun was a nuisance, how'd he get his hands on one? He'd know in the morning. Ignoring Marbles' screams, Marlo drifted off to sleep. A Sleep filled with icicle donuts and 10 storey high mosquitoes and in the distance, Marbles Malloy having his blood pumped out by a giant aquatic Brazilian leech.

The long night, a New Los Angels trademark, stretched onwards.

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