Chapter Eight (Part Three)
“Shit,” I yawn as I wake up. I had a disturbing dream that I can’t remember upon waking which has kept me from sleeping soundly. This is so unlike me that I’m not sure what to do about it. Realizing that there is nothing I can do about it, I drag myself out of bed, disgruntled. I take a quick shower and dress in a flattering emerald-green top and slacks. I can’t believe it’s only Friday, four days after my personal hell started.
“Morning, Sunshine,” Vandalia says grimly tossing the paper on the table in front of me. The appetizing aroma of bacon and eggs is in the air causing me to salivate.
“Mowgli make it home OK?” I had gone to bed before Mowgli left, so I wasn’t sure how late he stayed. Or what the two of them did after I went to bed. By the looks they were sending each other, I have a hunch that they are more than just friends. Which leads me back to my question of what gender is Vandalia. I shrug as I pour myself a glass of orange juice. It’s really none of my business, and I don’t particularly care as I’m not attracted to her. It would interest me to know if she and Mowgli are lovers or have ever been, but it is purely personal curiosity to which I don’t often give in.
“Mowgli’s still here,” Vandalia says, her tone still hard. “He’s taking the day off.”
“Why?” I look at her levelly, not understanding the emotion emanating from her. She seems pissed, though not necessarily at me.
“Read the paper.” Vandalia turns back to the stove to look after her cooking. “He was going to go in later, but we need to call a war council.” I pick up the paper and scan the headlines.
“Lady in White Found Slain Behind Famous Strip Club!” I shut my eyes, knowing what is to follow. Jesus, those assholes must have a personal hotline to the press the way they control the flow of information. I’m sure when I open my eyes and read the article, Blanche’s name will jump right out at me. I knew I should have gone back to the club last night; I just knew it.
“Read it!” Vandalia barks, forcing me to open my eyes. She is glowering at me—an irate hausfrau wrapped in a bright red muumuu.
The story is sensational, though maybe not by San Francisco’s jaded standard. An ‘anonymous tipster’ had called the police in the wee hours of this morning after hearing noises in the same apartment building where Sylvian was killed. The cops burst into the apartment and found—surprise, surprise—Blanche White dead on her living room floor. Quite a coincidence that she lived in the same building in which Sylvian was found. The police revealed that the place was in shambles and it would take them some time to discern what—if anything—had been stolen. It is clear that Blanche White, nee Bertha Dubrowski—no wonder she changed her name—has been murdered by a single gunshot to the heart. In case anyone’s wondering if it’s suicide, she was hog-tied at the time of her demise. Not too easy to shoot yourself in the heart with your hands tied behind your back. As with Sylvian and Sato, there is no evidence of sexual intercourse, but Blanche had been severely beaten and tortured before she was killed. The cops say they have irrefutable evidence that Blanche White’s death ties in with Angelica Sylvian’s and Evelyn Sato’s, which means that folks, we have a serial killer on our hands, and it’s a female. As I read, I’m getting more and more pissed off. What’s clear to me is that I am an easy scapegoat for these fuckers to pin a whole plethora of murders on. I curse DiCalvo for walking into my life, and I know that he is going to fucking pay one way or another.
‘Colleagues who talked to Ms. Dubrowski before work say she seemed nervous and upset,’ Detective Beauregard says, his face serious. I stare at the picture of the handsome detective—six-two, dark wavy hair, blue eyes—committing his face to memory. Another asshole to add to my list of fuckers who are out to get me. Either this man is in the pocket of DiCalvo, or he’s being played like a mandolin. Either way, he’s now my enemy. I also wonder why the chief of police didn’t comment himself as is usual in a case like this. Is it because he wants to keep his hands clean or because Beauregard has convinced him to stay out of it? Either way, I need to find out more about the chief, too. I need to know exactly who in the police department has it in for me.
‘She mentioned meeting with an Asian woman before coming to work,’ Melody Anderson is quoted as saying. ‘There was an Asian woman in the audience the night before Blanche was killed. She seemed awfully interested in Blanche. Fixated, you know.’ I am stony-faced as I read the quotes from little Melody. She, too, is thrust onto my list. Melody goes on to say the Asian woman doesn’t fit the description of the suspect, but she was wearing a lot of makeup and seemed to have cut her hair short. She goes on to describe Mowgli, Greeley, and Vandalia whom the police call ‘possible accomplices’. Her descriptions are vague, however, and would fit half of the San Francisco population.
By the time I’m finished reading the article, I am speechless with rage. How dare these pricks do this to me? Not only do they kill without compunction, they don’t give a damn that they’re sending me to the chair. Whatever body count they end up with, they best add one more if I’m caught, tried, and electrocuted for crimes I never committed. Why the fuck me? How did they happen to chose me? It can’t just be because I’m Asian and because O’Reilly has a fetish for Asian women—that’s too flimsy. When I cool down, I can see that if my being Asian is a primary concern, then it had to be me. Let’s face it—there aren’t many female Asian repo men running around. In fact, I can’t think of another one besides me.
“Fuckers,” I say, not realizing I’ve said it out loud. I stop reading halfway through the article because I can’t stomach finishing it.
“We need to powwow,” Vandalia says, sliding a plate full of food in front of me. Normally, I don’t eat breakfast, but I make an exception this time. I’m so angry, I need something to fuel that anger. My therapist used to tell me that I had to let go of my anger which is one reason I think therapy is a crock of shit. Anger is a useful tool, and it’s much better than fear. Continue Reading