An extended moment of pure silence. Silence that sounded even louder than loud noise it was so silent.
Vic’s Cherry Bright Red GM Ford Chevy 1957 Mustang had hit the slightly inclined planking square on, inch perfect, right down the centre of the baseball plate and into the stumps. That was how good Vic was at driving. He could finesse a muscle car at a hundred and fifty and still have time for breakfast.
That’s why there was silence you see, because his brutish American automobile was flying gracefully through the air, easily clearing the huge gaping hole in the road left by mechanics that Vic had spotted even though he was driving incredibly fast.
A well paid movie director would have shot this moment from fifteen different angles, slowing the speed right down in order to marvel at the majestic sight of the bright red beast gliding a graceful arc – but this wasn’t a movie, it was real life. In New York.
Vic could see the Bay Area Bow and Arrow Beast skidding to a halt, turning, his eyes bigger than his head as he watched his hunter flying through the air in a crimson streak. But even he knew, because some killers aren’t just stupid, that he needed to get a move on.
As the car hit the ground, the suspension taking the weight and momentum, Vic pounded his foot on the handbrake, skidding and sliding around to pursue the sprinting maniac. They were closer than ever now, what with that daring shortcut, as they careened down Madison Avenue at nearly a hundred miles an hour, weaving in and out of the midnight traffic.
But what was that? Vic couldn’t believe it. The Bay Area Bow and Arrow Beast was making a beeline for the railroad crossing that dissected Fifth. And there was a train coming.
As Vic tore towards his man, the gates began to descend, the bells ringing and the lights wailing. The Beast launched himself through the air, in an arc almost as graceful as the one the car took, which was ironic. He landed on the other side, just as Vic slammed on the brakes, skidding dangerously close to the speeding train, cutting off his path to the murdering scum.
It seemed like an age, as the two mile long grain hopper train cut it’s way slowly through central Manhattan, and when it finally passed, Vic kicked the dashboard in annoyance, knowing his prey had escaped.
And now, with all this adrenaline pumping through his veins, Vic needed to get laid.
For a moment he considered banging some hooker in the trunk of his car, but the thought of cruising around Times Square Garden hunting for a skank that didn’t disgust him disgusted Vic.
In the old days, before he was a hard-bitten cop with nothing to lose, he’d have gone home to his ex-wife and found comfort in her arms. But not anymore. His ex-wife had left him years ago, and they were no longer married.
Vic snorted. Who cared about that bitch now anyway? He could have any woman in the city if he wanted, and right now, he wanted.
Pretty soon Vic sauntered into the local bar and took a seat on the stool. This is where he came to think sometimes, to exercise his already really muscular brain. He asked the bar tender for a shot and a newspaper. As he rolled the ice around his drink, he turned to a really hard Su Doku and began doing it quite fast. A 9 here, a 2 there, which meant that was obviously a 3. All the little boxes were filled in before any of the ice had melted, that’s how clever Vic was.
“That’s really clever how you do that,” a silky voice whispered demurely.
“What?” Vic growled, turning to see a busty red head in a tight fitting blue cocktail dress. Great rack, but Vic could do much better.
“Su Doku’s are really hard,” she mewed, “And the way you’re looking at these puppies, I think you are too.”
“I ain’t no So Doku lady,” Vic knocked back his drink. She wasn’t any sort of looker, in spite of that chest, and Vic would rather chow down on another Camel, or swallow the liquid seed of Jack than waste any more time with this broad. “Go pout at some crack hobo in the back alley, I’ve got better things to do.”
“Well of all the!” and with that unfinished sentenced hanging in the air, she stormed off in a womanly mood.
“Same again Sam.” Vic knew the bar tender, because he found it quite easy to make friends with people who were paid to be nice to him.
“Can’t believe you just turned that honey down Malone,” Sam said as he pulled the big beer lever and topped up Vic’s Jack Daniels.
“I’m way out of her league,” snarled Vic, snarling.
“That you are Malone, that you are,” nodded the bar tender honestly, knowing full well that Vic was indeed a ruggedly handsome man, even though he himself wasn’t gay.
Vic grabbed the drink just as another voice interrupted.
“Put that one on my tab Sam,” the voice was exotic, not from round these parts.
“Thanks lady,” Vic smiled, noting the gorgeous oriental woman by his side, long black hair, sleek slender skin, pert hips, glossy lipstick that made her lashes really full, mascara on her pout.
“My pleasure sir,” she giggled demurely.
She was more like it, and Vic turned on the charm. It didn’t take him very long to have her in the palm of his tongue. And just as she was yapping on about shoes or something, Vic grabbed her in his manly arms and kissed her the way a woman should be kissed. On the lips.
“I’ve had a bad day honey,” he said huskily, “how about you give it a happy ending?”
That final smooth line did the trick. She giggled and nodded, knowing full well what he meant. They were going to have sex.
As he followed her out to the car, he watched her pear shaped behind, caught tight in that black evening dress, wiggling provocatively with each step. It occurred to Vic now that she looked like the victim from earlier in the night. Almost exactly the same in fact. Still, Asian chicks must be a dime a dozen in this city. Or even ten cents.
It was raining as Vic drove them back to his downtown apartment on 78th and 9th. Maybe he was being paranoid, but that car two cars back, the really black one with the dark windows, it was sure hanging on to his tail lights.
Vic grunted to acknowledge he was listening to her. But he wasn’t listening to her, he was paying attention to that black sedan with the dark windows. He made the final turn on to his street, and it sailed slowly by. Not being followed after all.
She fell on to his bed with eager abandon, pulling Vic on to her eagerly and with abandon. Vic kissed her like he meant it. And as she kissed him back, Vic’s finely honed senses told him something. This broad didn’t want to get laid, this broad wanted to make love.
Either way, it didn’t bother Vic. His muscular good looks got him by, but he was also a seasoned lover too. If this broad wanted a good time, Vic knew a secret. There’s a part of a woman called The Clitoris, and Vic knew that if you did the right things to The Clitoris, almost every woman would have an episode. And unlike most men, Vic knew what those right things were. So he did them.
And she loved it.
Halfway through doing the right things, she stopped doing her nails and looked up at the wall behind Vic.
“What’s that?” she asked, stifling an aroused yawn.
“That’s just a reminder honey, of a bad man, don’t you worry your pretty little head about a thing.”
She was asking about the bow and arrow he had on the wall – a shrine he made when the Bay Area Bow and Arrow Beast made his first kill. A vow to catch the scumbag.
With that, they made love.
* * *
Vic awoke with a start as sirens blared down the street outside. Automatically he had grabbed his gun, ready for action. But it was just a patrol car chasing some punk. What he needed was pancakes. With coffee over easy.
Luckily he’d get that this morning, because there was a woman in his bed, so she could cook.
The white silk sheets were draped loosely around her naked breasts. If he moved it slightly he’d see her nipples. He asked her to make breakfast, but she didn’t respond. Maybe he’d tired her out with the four minutes of love making last night.
As he tried to shake her awake, he noticed something he hadn’t seen before. His bow and arrow were no longer hanging on the wall.
They were shot through her head.