Powder Burn Flash #110 - Rod Drake
Detective Help From Above
by Rod Drake
This was going to be difficult. I don’t usually do my private eye work in my stripper outfit, but this time the two jobs came together at Club Sweet Cheeks. Actually, the surveillance part has now boiled over into the confrontation scene, and I don’t have anywhere to hide a gun (or even a bullet).
And the Jigsaw Killer looks like he means business; he intends to make me victim #5, as ironic payback for trying to trap him earlier on campus. He must have followed me here and waited for my shift to end.
But I need to bring you up to speed. I’m Sally Gordon, your average girl-next-door, who’s a private eye, like my late uncle, and I’m also a stripper. My stripper name is Roxie Angel (cute, right?) but that job is just a sideline, a way to make money, and good money at that. As Sally, I’m a pretty good private investigator, and I use the strip clubs as clearinghouses for stray underworld information and the occasional criminal contact. I’m going to quit stripping as soon as my p.i. career takes off.
Okay, it’s a little more complex than that. My uncle, Alex “Flash” Gordon, was a great, famous, top-of-the-line private eye, who was murdered in what appeared to be a simple car accident. I was in the car with him, only 12 at the time, out for ice cream. I somehow survived without a scratch. Well, nothing physical anyway.
Although that accident created a strange link between us, which kicked in 10 years later, when I decided to become a private investigator; the spirit, for lack of a better word, of my Uncle Alex, enters my mind when I need his guidance, directing and helping me with my cases. It’s a little spooky, but it works.
And, boy, do I need his help right now. The Jigsaw Killer has me cornered in the alley behind the club, and I don’t think the cavalry is coming to my rescue.
The Jigsaw Killer has terrorized Neon City for eight months now, and left 4 young girls dead. After assaulting and killing them, he cuts lines into their faces, making them look like a jigsaw puzzle, hence the name. Aurora College students are his victims, and Club Sweet Cheeks is close by, so I trolled the area tonight, working with a cop friend of mine, in hopes of getting lucky.
Apparently Jigsaw saw my blue shadow and didn’t take the bait. But I must have appealed to his vanity, as he in turn trailed me to the club, waiting out here by the secluded back door for me. I remembered seeing him on campus, a creepy guy standing and smoking in a poorly lit doorway, checking me out.
Now I’m running down the alley as best as I can on too-high heels, looking desperately for something to use as a weapon. Jigsaw is tracking me like a cat to my mouse, knowing that at this late hour, screams won’t help in this neighborhood. I don’t even have my purse, since he knocked it out of my hand when he tried to grab me as I was walking to my car. Luckily I was still in my stripper outfit (too warm and tired to change, so I was just carrying my street clothes), and my flesh was sweaty enough to slip free him. Hey, it’s hot under those lights even if I am nearly naked.
Dead end. As I turn around, Jigsaw is already there, putting a very sharp knife to my throat and pinning my arms tightly behind me. “Such a pretty face to cut all up,” he purrs in my ear. “But not until afterwards. I’m going to really enjoy this; pity that you won’t.” Then he laughed.
Come down on his instep with your heel. Hard. I could hear Uncle Alex in my head. I followed his ghostly suggestion and tromped on Jigsaw’s left foot. He cried out in pain and released my arms.
Grab his knife hand and flip him like I taught you. Lessons learned from Uncle Alex as an adolescent might save my life tonight. I did it as smoothly as if it were practice in a nice, safe self-defense class. Judo helps when you’re small, and Jigsaw hit the concrete solidly, sprawled out painfully on his back, his knife ricocheting across the alley.
Good girl. Now kick him in the balls and call the cops. I did both, and as the patrol car pulled into the alley, I thought ‘Thanks Uncle Alex; you’re a life saver,’ hearing him laugh in my head at the pun and then felt his presence leave.
I hope the police let me get dressed before I have to go to the station and give my statement.
BIO: Rod Drake lives, works, thinks and writes in the neon wonderland known as Las Vegas . Check out Rod’s other stories in Fictional Musings, Six Sentences, MicroHorror, Flashes of Speculation, Flashing in the Gutters, Flash Forward and AcmeShorts.