Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 8: Rip Her to Shreds
Part 5: The Slasher Hunters (Revision 3)
Part 5: The Slasher Hunters (Revision 3)
19 september 2014.
outside school. As Shira walks down Thirteenth Street toward downtown, away from the high school, a dark van stops beside her. The window rolls down to reveal a familiar face framed by a familiar shock of bleached blond hair. “Yo! Shira!” shouts a young Japanese woman with a Brazilian accent.
The shock of recognition hits Shira hard. “Arisa?!” Arisa Saionji, former juvenile delinquent from the sub-Yakuza biker gangs called “yankees” for their bleached hair.
Brandi Quinn, still in her blue school uniform, sits behind the driver. “You know ’er?”
“I know her from Japan.”
The van’s sliding door opens. Shira jumps in and sits in the empty seat that Brandi has reserved next to her. In the back seat are two large men in black leather jackets and glasses too dark for the night. “So what’s going on here?”
Brandi answers, “Ever ’eard o’ the Slasher ’Unters?”
“‘Slasher Hunters?’ You mean as in, catch psycho killers for money?”
Arisa says, “We thought you might wanna join us.”
“Ohhh,” says Shira, “you’ve been scouting me all this time.”
The driver says, “Why don’t we try her out.” English: excellent; accent: Israeli. “If she can pull of the job, we can let her have the whole bounty.”
A surprised Shira leans forward between the front seats to look at the driver carefully. “I thought you sounded familiar. You’re Lansky.” Martin Lansky, demolition expert and former Israeli commando.
In the back seat, the black man in night-vision mirrorshades says, “We’re always looking for the world’s best fighters to help us bring down the world’s most dangerous criminals.”
Shira spins around and looks over her seat at him. “And you are?”
“John Peck.” He holds out his hand.
As she shakes it, the Mexican-looking man wearing Ray-Bans beside him says in a Scandinavian accent, “He’s our team leader.”
Peck says, “This is our surveillance expert.”
“Lars Magnus Izquierdo,” says the Mexican-looking man. “Pleased to meet you. Brandi says great things about you, Shira Thomas.”
“I didn’t know you were Swedish.”
“Yeah, I surprise people that way. They like to call me the Mexo-Arab Swede.” Lars and Shira laugh.
Shira asks her new comrades, “So what do you have in mind?”
“Have you heard of Johnny-Johnny Johnson?” asks Peck in reply.
“You mean the ‘Sleeping Beauty Slasher’? Goes through open window or unlocked door, stabs his sleeping victim a bajillion times? Partner of Ollie-Ollie Oxenfree, mad-slashin’ human-egg speculator? I ruined their fun over in D.C. exactly one month ago today.”
“He’ll be hunting alone tonight. Do you feel up for a grudge match?”
“Alone this time? Then he’ll be easy.”
Arisa: “Huh?” Lansky: “How’s that?”
Shira grins. “He doesn’t know it, but he’s got one big weakness. What if his intended victim isn’t sleeping?”
20 september 2014.
Shira lies in bed in a strange dark room late at night. The night is still warm. The window is open, but not because of the warmth.
She’s expecting someone to arrive. He’s coming for her, and he’s coming through the window. But she doesn’t feel afraid. He doesn’t, either, but he should. She pulls the covers over her head. She doesn’t want him to know who she is and what she has in store for him.
The target arrives on schedule. Johnny-Johnny Johnson climbs through the window with the expertise of the professional burglar he wants the cops to think he is. His MO is to enter an open window and stab his sleeping victim till his urge subsides. His signature: he cuts off the victim’s head and takes it as a souvenir. Slowly, silently, he stalks his intended prey. Thinking she’s asleep and can’t hear him, he mutters to himself in a vain attempt to relieve his excitement.
Inside Shira’s head, her brain is working overtime. She likes to outthink her opponent. A strong intuition tells her that this one is comfortable in his killing routine. Patiently she waits for the target to make his move. The bait is the trap, and the trap is set.
As he’s about to jump his prey, Shira flings the covers over him, then kicks him in the chest with both her feet, sending him stumbling backwards toward a collision with the opposite wall. He struggles to tear himself out of the bedcovers. When at last he frees himself, he opens his eyes, only to see that the lights are on and he’s surrounded by three scary-looking men, a black woman in dreadlocks, and a punked-out Japanese kogal, all wearing night-vision shades and pointing semiautomatic pistols at him. The chill he feels is not coming from the open window nearby.
Shira sits cross-legged on the bed, wearing baby tee and short-shorts, and grins. “Hiya, Johnny-Johnny! We’re the Slasher Hunters, and you’re our meal ticket!”
Slasher Hunters van. Shira calls Oliver Thorwald. He’s about to say “Who the fuck are you?” until he sees the familiar dark face and copper hair of his enemy. He gasps. “How the fuck did you get my number?”
Shira winks. “If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you.”
“What’re you tryin’ to pull, Shira?”
“Your leg, maybe. But this time I have two things. One [flips stack of large bills], the reward my new friends and I earned off your butt buddy Johnny-Johnny.”
“What the fuck did you to to Johnny?!”
“Oh, you’ll probably be able to buy his way back out of jail soon. But Ollie darling, I’ve got another thing, and that’s a question, and that question concerns last Friday night and a certain beautiful friend of mine.”
“You must be talkin’ about my bitch.”
Shira smiles ironically. “Your... bitch.”
“I can do anything I damn well want to my bitch. My father bought her for me fair and square from her patriarch, like the Bible says marriage should be. You’re trying to take my wife away from me. Don’t tell me you killed my father too.”
Martin takes the phone from Shira. “You are Oliver Thorwald?”
“You must be one of Shira’s new friends.”
The Israeli grins. “You can say that. I am Martin Lansky of the Slasher Hunters. Shira helped us capture your partner.”
“So you’re big fuckin’ smoke.”
“I killed your father.”
Thorwald’s mouth drops to the floor. He squeaks.
“I was paid to do it by the families of his victims and yours. And by Taylor Brinkman, the mother of your ‘bitch,’ who wants me to tell you that you and your friend Reno Corson should pray that you die before she can get her hands around your neck.” Lansky gives the phone back to Shira.
Shira smiles. “You wanna know what torment is, handsome quote-unquote? Torment is being a badass serial killer constantly being pursued by your victims’ families, constantly facing the possibility of being drawn and quartered, or just blown to ratshit like dear old dad. But that’s mercy. You know what Taylor Brinkman, who outclasses you in badass the way the sun outshines a teeny little flashlight, really wants to do to you? She wants to rape you with my infamous strap-on. Unharness the dildo, replace it with an electric cattle prod, and jam it right up your ugly ass. You can afford really nice shoes, Ollie, but oh, would I not want to be in ’em. Now answer me: did you rape Leila?”
“I can do anything I fucking want!”
“Ah, marital rape, the Corporate patriarch’s patriarchal prerogative. As it is, there’s a bunch of mean girls at my school who are trying to drive Leila to suicide, and if Leila commits suicide, that means no more bitch for you. See where I’m getting at, Ollie?”
“Get outta here!”
“So you don’t see. Fine. So. Even if she doesn’t off herself, here’s what I’ll do. I’ll take your bitch, and keep her for myself.”
Thorwald gasps. “Don’t you dare—”
“Hell, I can fuck her much better in one night than you can in ten lifetimes straight.”
“You. fucking. bitch.”
“Life’s a bitch and so am I. Sucks to be you, douchebag. Ciao.” Shira cuts off the call.
Shira’s apartment. “It was Oliver Thorwald all right,” says Shira. “I called him up myself. He didn’t just confess. He outright bragged.”
“That still doesn’t account for the presence of those Valiants on your rape video,” says Jennifer.
“Wait. It gets better. Turns out there’s an arranged marriage. Old man Brinkman and dead man Thorwald arranged it, like the Bible says as Ollie puts it, meaning there’s a shotgun pointed at Leila’s head, Wally’s holding it, and Ollie’s planning to screw her with it.“
“Oh my god—” gasps Polly.
“Meaning that if we can save Leila and I finally get to make her mine, there’ll be some screwing with poor Ollie’s messed-up head as a bonus prize.”
Jennifer asks, “But won’t that mean screwing with Brinkman’s carefully constructed political order too?”
“Carefully constructed house of cards, you mean. Built on firmest quicksand, even. Once Leila’s finally in my arms, we’re gonna love each other so hard we’ll blow the whole construction sky high.”
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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 2, 7/20/11: Unchanged from the original.]
[Revision 2.1, 8/9/11: Moved the introduction of Lars Izquierdo to the Slasher Hunters’ first appearance here so I can introduce the entire team together; made text revisions and one continuity correction accordingly.]
[Revision 2.2, 10/5/11: Corrected text errors and connected Johnny-Johnny’s appearance more firmly into Third Revision continuity.]
[Revision 3, 10/14/11: Added two new final scenes.]
[Revision 3.1, 10/22/11: Edited to fit new Third Revision continuity.]