Murder, My Sweet

Dead Planet LXXXIX

Murder, My Sweet

“Soundless as—
shadows on the grass”
—Raymond Chandler,
Farewell, My Lovely

Everyday was murder—just getting outta bed.

Snake noir—was the name of the game.

It was even on the cover—of Time Magazine.

That’s what it was all about—after the Abdication.

Even tho it was invisible—most didn’t even have a clue.

Except me—and the Jap Yakuza gangster warlords.

Around Clarence House—it was business as usual. Harry the new King kept incognito—only the Queen, Prince Philip, the Prime Minister & some Parliament queens knew the awful truth.

Them & a couple of kept boyz like me. I stuck close to Harry—stayed away from the phone. I didn’t have anything to do with Tokyo—and the Yakuza mobsters. What more was there to say—other than sayonara? Plan Royal Thistle was go—now what was gonna happen?

I was supposed to quantum jump—back to Fukushima. And take care of some unfinished business back then in the future—but I wanted to linger, lounge & schmooze with Harry for awhile.

I think I was in love with him—I’d fallen for him really bad. I felt sorry for the kid—caught up in the shitty Zeitgeist the way he was.

I wanted to stick around awhile—I felt kinda guilty & blue about things. I hadn’t felt like that for a long time tho. I’d been pretty jaded lately—back there in the Tokyo Red Light District. I wasn’t in a hurry to get back—the news said the Fukushima quake had never happened. Operation Dandelion—had been nixed.

I felt all the pain & hurt inside me from back then—it didn’t matter somehow in this new crazy present. Why, I don’t know. Nothing made much sense to me anymore. Except Harry…

It’s like I’d always been a slave to somebody—The New York Times, a Jap Yakuza mafia stooge, a paycheck for the droid Red District hustlers. I just didn’t know it, that’s all…until now.

I kept finding myself hanging around Harry most of the time—even tho it always felt like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Know what I mean? But then how could you—you’re in the future somewhere. Lost in a tangle of timelines…

Like I felt like this silent shadow—slithering in the grass. Harry was the other half of my so-called life—waiting for me to happen. Well, it happened—I was here. And he was now the new King—long live the Queen.

I kept finding myself diving into the quantum darkness around him—down I went into this bottomless pit. He was the kinda guy who kept making you fall down there deep—and there was no coming back.

A kind of free-fall motion sickness grabbed the pit of your stomach—it was like going down again with the Titanic. Like falling down an elevator shaft—all the way down to the Bargain Basement level. Except the only bargain down there was—Murder, My Sweet.

Around Harry there was always an air of shapeshifting...involving some kind of royal jewels theft, some kind of murder going on in the backroom, a fortune teller reading your palm & lying thru her teeth, plus a couple of other murders going on in the attic plus the usual deadbeats & same Night of the Living Dead characters hanging around the graveyard. Yeah, I was one of the living dead deadbeats…and I was a stiff one too.

Clarence House wasn’t that much—maybe a little smaller than Buckingham Palace, gray & drab like everything else in London during the winter, probably with some fewer windows than the towering Transamerica Building.

Harry was dressed to kill—he didn’t have anything on. Not that it mattered—nobody around the pool cared much. He didn’t, I didn’t, the cute bodyguard in the background didn’t.

Harry’s pubes were bright orange down there—the effect was to blind me & make me feel weak in the knees. His lapis lazuli eyes didn’t help matters. They looked too blue—blue as the pool. They were already bloodshot—Harry was smoking a big fat joint. Binga Zimbabwe. Big as a cigar…

What else can I say? He had a full set of curves as usual—nobody could improve on them. He had one of those so-so worldly-wise smirks—the kind of smirk he always had on his face. But his eyes had a cold look to them—as if they weren’t laughing at anything at all. The were deadly serious...

Harry sized me up again—probably wondering the same thing I was. Was I worth it—was I worth the trouble? He smiled sorta kinda but not much—yawning there in his chaise-lounge by the fetid pool. He gave me a hungry look—I could feel it slithering down there in my shorts.

“You’re a pretty goodlooking guy for your sort of racket,” he said cynically.

I shrugged. “It’s a crummy business.”

He yawned, uncrossing his legs carelessly.

“It’s a crummy business—but somebody’s gotta do it,” I said, looking at my watch.

Was Harry talking about sex—or the quantum jump business. He must’ve been curious—how coincidental me showing up. And all the dominos in a row—slithering their way to the Throne… Synchronicity & sex...hmmmm.

This other kid got outta the pool. He was a built hunk, young & muscular, dumb. With plenty of shoulders & shiny black pubes. One of Harry’s army friends from Afghanastan…or maybe the other side of the moon.

The young soldier had a cigarette in the corner of his mouth. He was nude too—and carried himself with a kind of carelessness that was meant to be noticed.

“So nice of you to come over,” Harry said to me. “This is my ex-chauffeur, Maurice. Fix us a drink, won’t you, honey??

The guy pouted, putting on a robe. He headed back into the cabana—slithering his way like a snake. He still had a tan from the desert—so did Harry.

The young Prince was always polite—like most of the Lizards & aging reptoid queens in the Clarence House. That rambling mansion wreck behind us. Everything seemed like it was decaying in slow-motion—but held in suspension momentarily just to be admired by us. As if hoping for one last gasp—a little bit of life-giving artificial respiration from the handsome lifeguard. Sealing his lips to mine...just in the fuckin' nick of time…

A kitschy kind of nostalgia clinging to the old joint—like it had seen better dayz & better nightz. Like the aging British Empire with its glorious past. The bored Queen like some aging haughty Norma Desmond—rotting there in her dumpy Sunset Blvd mansion. Looking for a decent comeback—plus a handsome kept man like William Holden to rewrite the script one last time.

Meanwhile, old Clarence House loomed in its doomed present—moping around about its better dayz, better times. I got the feeling that it preferred those past classier denizens—compared to the likes of me.

But then who was I to say? Old Empires were like snakes—they shed their skins & Voila!!! They were reborn—they renewed themselves for the New Empire. A new set of nefarious offspring oozed from its loins—and pouty progeny stalked the world for more slaves & power. Yawn...

I watched Maurice disappear into the cabana—the things he probably knew about all the royal sluts.

“Nobody’s in my complete confidence, you know,” Harry said, as if he were reading my mind. Who knows—maybe he was. Reptoids were telepathic some said. A survival mechanism of the reptilian brainstem.

I shrugged, sitting down & sulking under a nearby ratty old umbrella over an ancient green glass table. Clarence House had lotsa old money in the rooms & corridors—plus antique junk stuffed away up there in the stuffy minds. Some of it living—most of it dead. Plus lotsa grief & royal secrets…

“Most of us kept guyz are just down & out ex-hustlers,” I said. “Ex-chauffeurs, ex-bodyguards, ex-lovers… I get fired all the time…”

“Not for incompetence, I’m sure,” Harry said.

I nodded. It was my turn to smirk. Harry’s look said many things—things had a way of wanting to be said. But he skipped it.

“Why don’t you slip into something a little more comfortable,” he said. “And take a skinny-dip in the pool? You might like Maurice. I did...”

Later upstairs, Harry fell softly into bed. I bent over his face—and began browsing on it. I worked his eyebrows, feeling him up.

When I got to his mouth—I had to pry it open with my tongue like a crowbar. He was passed out again. Either that or he was playing hard to get—like an innocent virgin instead of the royal slut he was.

I squeezed him good—just to make sure. Yeah, he was just faking it. And his tongue wasn’t some cute little darty garden-snake anymore either. It was more like a Rotor-Rooter Man down my throat—getting down to some serious business. Like sucking my guts out. Dirty business was the name of the game. It wasn’t pretty—getting the royal family jewels off & all that.

Afterwards, he yawned real hard. There’s nothing worse than spoiled royal pretty boyz. A half-sarcastic smile smeared on his face—he wore it most of the time. His eyes had already gone slit-eyed on me—vertically up & down like a snake. Ready to devour me…

I got outta there fast—before he could turn into a badboy boa constrictor all the way. I wasn’t ready for a long drawn-out death-squeeze right then—it was too early in the day.

Besides I had to save some for Lord Barebottom that night—a guy’s gotta make a living you know…

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