Friday, August 3, 2012


Andrew is the Jersey Devil. White paint and black eyes. Blood (corn syrup). Sometimes.
It depends on how much he’s feeling it that night.
 How much he’s feeling it is largely dependent upon what time of year it is.
In the fall Andrew immerses himself in the role.
October brings out the best of him.
Maybe it’s Halloween.
In the winter he usually just puts a mask on.
Just to stay warm.
The summers are the worst.
Last summer someone spotted him.
He never engages people.
That’s not his job.
But someone saw him.
They had pulled over on the Parkway to pee in the woods.
It was hot. The makeup and blood was melting off Andrew’s face.
He looked terrifying.
He was someone approaching, so he stood still hoping they wouldn’t see him.
Like a deer.
A deer in caked on makeup and drizzled fake blood.
He did not blend in.
The man pissing jumped.
He was startled but quickly recovered.
“What the fuck are you?”
The man wasn’t from around here.
He didn’t know about the Jersey Devil.
He didn’t care.
He ran after Andrew and caught him.
He delivered hard punches into the ribs and stomach.
“Pervert. What the hell were you doing watching me?”
Andrew tried explaining the situation to him.
It finally took him showing the man his identification card with the New Jersey Department of Tourism.
“Oh. That’s yewr jawb?”
He was perplexed.
“Yeah, it’s my job.”
Andrew was tired of being the Jersey Devil.

Thanks to Tyler for the picture.

Friday, March 9, 2012

In the Old House, and the Other One

"The moon is bright in the almond blue sky," I said. for the third time this minute.
"What does that even mean? Why do you keep saying it? Almonds aren't blue are they?" she said annoyed.
"I don't know. Isn't it a crayon color? Oh maybe it's cauliflower," I concluded. "The moon is bright in the cauliflower sky."
"Why? What is wrong with you?"
"I'm nervous. You know how I pace when I'm nervous? Well I can't pace in a car, so I talk."
"Great. Maybe you should walk there then."

We were on a mission of silliness; the house I used to live in as a kid was up for sale and I thought this might be the last chance to take a look around before some other family slid in, anxious at the chance for a cheap fixer-upper in a weak market.

Sadly that person wasn't going to be me. When we moved out of the house when I was 17 and staring at college and other delusions, and bitter about leaving a town that I had never like until recently after getting into a nice groove of walking down the street to meet up at the Revered Nicholas O'Leary's house where, for a small nominal fee, beer was secured and left at the basement window, where, after sneaking past Reverend Nick's parents, we headed to the basement and recovered the bounty.

As those drunken days wound down I figured one day, when I was rich, I would knock on the door of the house, thonk down a great big stack of cash and politely request whoever was living there vacate the premises in the next 48 hours.

That didn't happen.
I have no great big stacks of cash to thonk down in front of anyone, which is unfortunate because these are supposed to be the earning years. The prime years. When you're supposed to be making money so you can enjoy life, and one day not have to work.
I should have this kind of money to thonk down.
But I don't.
So I did what any forward thinking man, robbed of his dreams but not his ideas would do: get his girlfriend to accompany him to an open house.

We showed up as the real estate agent was scraping the crumbs off a plate where a pile of donuts once rested but now it only housed a single, lonely cruller.

"Oh are you here for the open house?" she was startled.

"Yes, we are Ted and Claire Beaumont, and we like this neighborhood," I answered stiffly.

"Well as you can see, Mr. Beaumont, we were just winding down here, but if you are interested in the house I can make an appointment for you and your wife to come back," she smiled hesitantly.

"Can't we look at the house now?" I hinted at irritation while looking in through the porch window at the kitchen. It resembled nothing but a barren, musky room, with boxes stacked in a corner.

"Well I just shut all the lights off Mr. Beaumont, and I do have other appointments later this afternoon. We will be having another one of these next weekend if it doesn't sell during the week, perhaps you can come back then?"

I looked at my girlfriend.

"Well," she started, "I guess we could probably make it back next weekend."

"Here, take one of my cards," the real-estate lady did her high-heeled waddle and handed us each a black and gold card:

Judy Simpson
Real Estate Agent.

"Feel free to give me a call during the week to see if the house is still on the market. Like I said if not we're planning on having another one of these next Saturday, they start at 2 p.m.  I'd be happy to take you through. Some really great attic space in this house, it's a little bit of a fixer-upper but at this price you're really not going to get a better deal in this area."

"I just hope to God it's still on the market so we can get a look at it Ms. Simpson, or else I'll never forgive myself for our tardiness."

My girlfriend looked at me incredulously.

"Now Mr. Beaumont, I'm sure if this house isn't available we'll be able to find something that meets your needs. If I wasn't in such a rush I'd love to get your info, but please call me during the week."

"I look forward to it Ms. Simpson," I shook her hand vigorously again. "Oh one last thing.."

"Yes?" she asked carrying the doughnut platter and her excessively large purse.

"I take it the owners of the house have moved out?"

"Yes, they retired down to Fort Lauderdale. Why?"

"Just curious of how long it would take us to get in should we be the lucky buyer," I smiled.

"Ah, well, not long at all I think," she smiled graciously but continued her pace out the screen door, waiting for us to follow. "I look forward to speaking with you."

She headed to her car in the driveway, threw the platter into the back seat, hurried into her car and took off out of the driveway. 

We stood by our car, by all appearances ready to get in and take off on our own way.

"You realize we have to go in, right?" I said to my girlfriend.

"What do you mean, it's probably locked, you want to break in?"

"No, I know how to get in from the basement. The one window only jammed from the inside but it never locked you can push it open easily from the outside, I used to sneak out and get back in that way."

"That was like what 15 years ago?"

"Probably more than that."

 "What makes you think that they haven't fixed it?"

"Because the house is for sale for less than we sold it for 15 years ago, there are giant craters in the driveway, the paint is peeling off, and the trees in the front are half dead. Does it look like they put any money into this house? C'mon we have to at least try." I pleaded.

"Why don't we just come back next weekend?"

"What if it sells? Oh c'moooooooon,"

She looked around. The street was quiet. No one was looking. No one cared. When you're about to do something illegal, if you're not already used to doing something illegal, you feel like someone is definitely watching you.  The FBI could use traffic cameras or satellites to somehow catch us breaking into my practically abandoned childhood home. A quiet, nosy neighbor, vigilant against such things was peeking through the curtain, with a phone in hand and 9-1-1 on speed dial just waiting for such an opportunity to unleash justice.

Normally I'd be let feelings like the ones preying on my girlfriend engulf me, but I felt safe. I felt like I knew what I was doing. Like cosmically, if not legally, I should be allowed to get a look at the house, to say some kind of morbid goodbye and apologize for not keeping up my end and having enough money to pay for it. It even went above and beyond: it hardly changed, it only aged, it kept it's price down. It was available. I was the one who fucked up, and I wanted to rub my own face in it. I wanted to see what I was missing. I wanted to imagine, in living 3-D, what could have been.

"Alright," my girlfriend relented as if seeing this despair in my face.

We re-entered the porch, the porch that had hosted a dozen birthday parties, and a few of my best temper tantrums about God-know-what. I was too busy being Mr. Beaumont and anticipating a full tour when we were glad handing with Ms. Simpson to notice that the porch had been closed in. A cheap, dirty carpet covered the red-painted floorboards that I remembered. The screens were replaced with drywall.

"Yeek. Maybe they did make some improvements." I said disgustedly.

We exited the back end of the porch into the yard, where my brother and I used to play baseball when we were kids. The yard wasn't big enough to play baseball but we did anyway, nearly killing each other on a few occasions. Everything looked smaller. My girlfriend had warned me of this on the way over.

"You were a kid, so everything is going to seem small now."

She was right. The clumsy above ground pool was gone along with the two decks that attached to it. The first was a small, wobbly  red (apparently my parents had paint left over from the porch) one that essentially consisted of a ladder to get up  to the platform and instantly jump in before the wood collapsed.

The larger deck that was put into replace the old one had the legs cut off and was rotting away in the far corner of the yard resting above the graves of countless family cats.

I shook all this off to look for the basement window. There it was; tri-paned and littered with hardened drips of maroon paint.

"That's it." I said and ran over and knelt beside it. I took a second to look in to make sure there wasn't a dog or dragon of some kind guarding the house.

"Well aren't you going to try it?" my girlfriend asked impatiently.

"Yeah sure I am," I pulled the window gently, assured that there is no way my plan wouldn't work.   It didn't move. I tried a little more forcefully. Nothing. I panicked and tried slamming my shoulder into and then pulling but nothing. I tried to get my fingernails under edges and pull but nothing. It was stuck.

I ran to the other basement window and tried the same thing. But nothing.
They were sealed. Locked, or stuck from years of latex paint mummifying in between the cracks.

"Maybe we should just go," my girlfriend suggested her eyes peering back and forth to  make sure no one saw me making a sporting attempt at breaking and entering.  "At this rate you might as well break the glass." she said coldly.

I looked at her, slightly coming to my senses. My knees were covered in mud from the wet ground.

"C'mon let's go. We can try next weekend. You can see all you want," she said warmly.

We left the back yard, and I took a long look around. The house wanted nothing to do with me. So we left.

But the weird feeling of nostalgia, crept over me. I didn't want to go home.
I wanted to try something else.
We stopped for a red light and I reached behind my girlfriend into the depths of the pouch on the back of the seat I slid my hand all the way down until I felt what I was looking for. It was still there.

"It's still there," I said as a grin crept across my face.

"What's still there?" she said.

I showed her what was in my hand; the garage door opener to the house we moved into after the one I'd just left.

"We're going for a drive."

We headed north, to the border of New Jersey, to the hilly development where I spent my college years. In a large house that I never quite felt at home in.

The development was a dead end with and our old house was at the top with a  marvelous view of the town and the hills surrounding it.

It was dark by the time we pulled up to the top of the street.
The lights were out and there were no cars in the driveway.

"Whaddya say?" I said to her as I aimed the opener at the door.

She rolled her eyes.
"Might as well, we drove all the way up here," she grinned, hoping quietly that even if it did still work that maybe the batteries had died.

I clicked it.
It was hard to tell if it had worked, much like it had been when I lived here, but sure enough the garage door slowly crawled up into the ceiling.
We looked at each other for a minute.

This would be a different adventure.
Someone still lived here.
We had no pretense to be here whatsoever.
We parked the car on the street.
My girlfriend was smart and checked the mailbox to see that there had been a large pile of mail stacking up inside.
We went inside.
The house was dark and quiet.
No dogs or alarms.

I flipped the lights on, as if I'd just come home.

We started exploring the rooms as I pointed out what was different when I lived there.
The house was too big.
Too big to ever feel like home.
Too sterile.
Too nice.
Too cookie cutter.
It was like living inside a movie.
It was familiar but not home.
Leaving it was ugly but not emotional.
I had no deals with it to ever return.
But here I was.
It was the silver medal.

"I think we have to have a party," I said to my girlfriend.

I have some fond memories of this house, many of them of parties.


I think we have to have a small party. We can use the deck, and the kitchen. If anyone comes home we'll see the lights or hear the garage and we'll scatter. All we have to do is get off the property and come back for our cars.

I texted a small group of friends.
Some came, others thought I was crazy and would get arrested.
I invited people I hadn't seen since I'd lived in this house.
My girlfriend explained the situation and let everyone know we had to keep it quiet and that if there was any sign of the owners everyone was to scramble at once. They would be on their own. Everyone stood on the deck where we kept a single light on as to not arouse suspicion.
I didn't go to the party.
I sat on the front steps looking out over the mountains and the rest of the town.
Waiting to see a car come up the street and give the signal for everyone to scramble.
"the moon is bright in the almond blue sky," I said to myself.
It wasn't home.
But it would have to do.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


The day that doesn't really exist.
This is an extra day.
When we're dead we can tell the zombies at the angel bars that we had an extra day on Earth every 4 years and that it usually rained on those days.
The zombies will be unimpressed and order one more peach schnapps and then the check.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Suicide in a Cloudy Font

Pencil lines everything looks and feels official. Everything looks and feels official and billable.
Somebody at another desk behind the wall said:
"Thank God for computers, I can't imagine how loud it was to work at night on a typewriter".
Yeah I guess.
I'm sorry I don't really have any idea what the hell I do now.

That number is always too low.
That number is never enough.
That number means I can't do things.
I guess I have no concept. I guess I should have thought ahead.
I guess I should want things more.
I guess I don't have as much time as I thought.

You should have heard her go off.
She didn't really.
But she probably wanted to.
She probably wanted to stand up and tell me to get my shit together.
Or get the fuck out.
Maybe not that dramatic.

But everything has stalled.
Engine revs. but there's no jolt.
I think the secret of being negative is to get everyone around you to slap on their most positive face.
Tell you everything is going to be fine.
Not to worry.
Not stress about things.

Life is a fluffy cloud.
At least it should be.
What's the fucking problem?
Well, there's problems don't get me wrong.
There's serious problems.
But what's the fucking problem?
There's ways around all that.
Nobody is happy.
Nobody is content.
Nobody is secure.

Pencil me in for next Tuesday.
Pencil me in for a lunch.
Once the check clears.
Once that other check hits the banks.
Once I check my balance.
Everyone is so loud.
Maybe we should just stay in.
Everyone's got something to say about something.
Maybe we could just watch a movie.
Escapism is hard to break out of.

So I'm not sure.
I'll have to figure something out I guess.
or not.
I'll keep going until I don't.
And then what?
Well I'll worry about that then, thanks.
Life's just a big fluffy cloud.
Or at least it should be.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The New Musical In My Head

Every day is your birthday.
And the radio is killing us one commercial at a time.
There's nothing else left to do so let's stretch it out a little bit before we bring the lawyers and priests in.

Let's stay indoors for the next three of four years and figure it out.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

When It's All Over

Johnny Russo’s hotel room overlooked a small, run-down Spanish grocery store where a man spent several hours every morning announcing: “Flowers!” and “Fresh produce!” to the passerby, Johnny looked out the window anticipating the man taking his place in a few short hours. “You sure you want me to leave?” the girl asked, pulling the sheets up to her chest. “Yeah, I’m sure,” Johnny answered punching out a cigarette on the coffee table. He continued to gaze out the window, where the regular routine had yet to begin in earnest. Stragglers in paper top hats with noise makers still clung to their dates and stumbled down the sidewalk. The girl slunk through her pink-glittery dress and grabbed her spiked heels in her hand. She grabbed a wad of crumbled up bills off the nightstand and stuffed them into her purse. “Well, Happy New Year,” she croaked through a groggy voice. Johnny nodded back shortly and she exited through the door. He sighed deeply now that he was alone and rose from his chair and entered the bathroom. His hair was long and greasy, his beard long and wiry. Bluish circles formed under his eyes. He splashed some water on his face hoping it would wash away some of the evidence of having been up for the last 36 hours. He re-tied the belt across his coffee beige bathrobe. He pulled a gold watch out from the robe’s pocket, it had been a gift from the record company after his first Gold Record. It had been only three hours since 1972 had dissolved into 1973 and he had a slight, unexplained feeling of optimism. After tonight he was going to get his act together. He had run into Fred Bannister earlier in the night and explained that he was looking to get back in the game. Fred didn’t make him any promises but Johnny knew, he knew that if he just applied himself, if he really focused this time, he could get back to the top. “Johnny you were never on top,” he recalled Lisa had told him when he broke what he thought was exciting news. “Besides, Fred Bannister? You know what he does these days? He books those oldies shows, they get a few acts who had hits like 10 years ago. They come out, play their hits with the house band and collect their check until the next time Fred calls.” This deflated him so much that he left the bar, infuriated at his wife for popping the first bubble of good news his career had had in the last 5 years. Convinced this was the last straw in a marriage that was already fractured he returned to home and grabbed a large portion of his wardrobe, including some of his stage costumes in the pockets of which he hid money from his wife mostly for when a dealer would come by, but also in case he ever needed to leave for a few days. That was two days ago and he had yet to call Lisa. He’d burned through most of the money, though he was sure he forgot a patent red leather blazer that he wore during his last appearance on American Bandstand and a white cotton sports coat that he wore on his first television appearance, (The Clay Cole Show in 1961) both of which had a small fortune in them. The room was dark except for the street lights glow leaking in through the paper thin curtains. He turned on the television and rolled the dial across the channels but they’d all signed off. Abandoning the television he slid a dime off the nightstand, rolling it around in his fingers for a moment he finally sprung off the bed, his hand clenched tightly around the coin, he left the room and headed down the hallway to the pay phone. “Hello?” a voice answered sleepily after nearly a dozen rings. “Hey,” he said nervously. “Johnny? No, we’re not doing this now,” Lisa said, anger slowly awakening her voice. “But, I want to come home,” he said sweetly. “You mean my home? I am the only one who pays for anything around here Johnny you do know that don’t you? That while you’re out there chasing whatever fame you think you’re entitled to I’m the one who is paying the bills, you do realize that don’t you?” “You have to throw that in my fucking face every time, Lisa?” Johnny barked. “I’m not doing this with you now, it’s almost four-o’clock in the morning.” “Fine, I’ll just twist out here in the wind while her holiness decides she’s ready to talk to me about it,” he screamed. “Keep it down out there,” a voice yelled through the door of the room in front of the phone. “Shut up!” Johnny yelled back. “Save your voice Johnny, remember you’re gonna be back on top,” Lisa said coldly and hung up the phone. Johnny hung the receiver up calmly and slowly walked back to his room. He sat on the bed, tears welling up in his eyes. The door closet still opened, half full with clothes he’d worn in better times. “Those clothes were on t.v.” he thought. “I was on t.v.” In his closet at home he’d taken the time to arrange them chronologically, and the fraction he’d snatched from home maintained their order when he hung them in them at the motel. Noticeably standing out from the elegant jackets was a brown, suede jacket with tassels. Johnny rolled his eyes when his eyes came to it. “That’s what did me in,” he said. “Fucking hippie bullshit.” In 1966 his manager decided since Johnny’s records weren’t selling like they used to that he was going to do a whole album of more contemporary music. Johnny grew his hair out to an acceptable shaggy-length and let his moustache come in. He started wearing peace-beads and bell bottoms. He was 29, only slightly older than some of his rock-n-roll peers. Stylistically however, they were miles apart and Johnny managed to alienate both his core audience who were accustomed to his carefully managed clean-cut persona, and the younger audience who recognized the record as attempt to cash in and save his fledgling career. He didn’t make another record for almost 4 years when he abandoned the counter-culture look and adopted a more laid-back style. His new manager told him “you’re not singing to kids anymore, you’re singing to mothers” he released an album of standards arranged with a contemporary pop sound. The American Bandstand performance aired the night before the album was released and Johnny was sure that this would restore his career. Unfortunately the sales were week and he spent the next two years touring as a supporting act, before ultimately accepting a 3 month stint in the lounge at the Sands in Las Vegas, however only a month and a half into the engagement he performed so drunk the manager was forced to fire him on the spot after a heated verbal exchange with a heckler. Since then he’d been plotting a career resurrection with no success. All these memories flushed through him right up until watching the ball drop in Times Square just a few short hours ago, in the arms of a hired woman. He kicked the empty, scotch bottle across the room and swung the closet door, bear-hugging his wardrobe and carrying them into the bathroom where he threw the pile into the tub. He flicked his cigarette lighter and held the sleeve of the light-blue, butterfly-collared shirt he wore on the Ed Sullivan show under the flame until it finally started to burn. He released the sleeve and watched the flame engulfed more of the shirt and blackened one of the crisp, ivory jackets beneath it. He stared at the flame feeling no sense of liberation. A wave of panic hit him in the chest as black smoke began to arise out of the mound of clothes. He quickly turned on the shower faucet and the flame was quickly extinguished. He shut the water and scooped the wet pile out of the tub and gently placed them on the bed, carefully drying the red-leather blazer with a towel. “You never know,” he said out loud to no one in particular, “I may get hot again.”

Monday, October 17, 2011

Face Off 2: Yellvis

"It's been nearly four months since Sean Archer allegedly disposed of long time nemesis Castor Troy, though some doubts linger about Archer's identity. Some question whether Archer, who allegedly volunteered to have his face removed and placed on the body of arch-Villain Troy. Troy, in a coma after getting blown into a wall by a jet engine in an airplane hangar, awoke to discover his face was missing. Somehow he was able to overpower a room of fully faced doctors and policemen, forcing them to restore Archer's face onto his body, then proceeded to burn the facility down with the doctors and police inside, thus eliminating anyone who knew Archer's true identity. After an unnecessarily long boat chase Archer (as Troy) was able to over come Troy (as Archer) with a harpoon gun. Afterwards, his face was transplanted back, and, at Mr. Archer's insistence, Castor Troy's face burned. From what we have learned Mr. Archer adopted Troy's illegitimate son who is roughly the same age that Mr. Archer's son Michael would have been had Mr. Troy not accidentally shot him while aiming for Mr. Archer. Mr. Archer's true identity was established probably by his wife because she's apparently some kind of doctor but does that really prove anything? Can we trust Sean Archer as chief of police or whatever he wound up getting promoted to? Let us know what you think when we eventually put this article on the Internet in about 2 or 3 years and offer a comments section."
-Santa Cruz Examiner August 7, 1997

Sean Archer wasn't Sean Archer, sure he was the same man that used to be Sean Archer, married with a confused teenage daughter who was trying too hard. But he wasn't the same after finally defeating Castor Troy. His life had become an obsession with catching Troy, extracting revenge but Troy was ever elusive and it never seemed as if his work would ever be done. After this last incident with the face switching thing Archer thought that Troy had one. He thought he was going to die with the face of his worst enemy while Troy went about ruining whatever was left of his life.

Now that Troy was dead the feeling of relief that initially washed over him was replaced by emptiness. Who was there to chase now? Local thugs, punks, drug dealers? None of this appealed to Archer any longer and two weeks after he retired from the police force he left his family and rented a room at  the Carribean Queen Motel in downtown Los Angeles. He began researching strange surgeries, limb replacements, eye transplants, even botched plastic surgeries. There were no known successful face transplants on record.

See Sean Archer had a dream, something he'd secretly wanted to do before all this Castor Troy nonsense had started. A dream to sing, to dance; to entertain. He would have to go to Memphis Tennessee to execute the first part of his plan.

Meanwhile Castor Troy was again in a coma. Being kept alive in a secret facility just outside of central Los Angeles.

The first part of Sean Archer's plan was unsuccessful and he was thrown off the grounds of Graceland and cited for trespassing. After pulling a few strings he was released and returned to Los Angeles. He had spent three months (probably) trapped behind the face of the man he hated most in the world. He was now determined to spend the rest of his life with the face of the man he'd admired most in the world. But Graceland was a tough safe to crack and there was no guarantees that even if he could get in that he'd be able to use the face of the King of Rock N Roll to replace his own. But now he had another idea and this one would be cheaper.

Meanwhile Castor Troy remained in a coma.

Sean Archer returned to the hospital where his face was returned to him. A plastic bag in hand, he searched out the world famous surgeon Dr. Johan Franktuesian.

"Hi Doc, I just wanted to thank you again for fixing my face, I gotta tell ya, you do great work, I can't even tell this puppy was off."

"Thank you Mr. Archer, I have to say I consider your procedure my masterpiece."

"Well how bout I give you another crack at it?"

"What do you mean?"

Archer produced a gun from his pocket and shooed the doctor into a near by operating room.

"I want this on my face," Archer threw the bag down on to the bed to reveal a rubber Elvis mask.

"You're, you're crazy that would never..."

:"Just do it."

Castor Troy.....Coma.

Dr. Franktuesian's surgery with what can only be described as breathtaking results. The resemblance to Elivs Presley was uncanny, even if Archer had to apply an expensive Nitro Glycerin Jelly to his face every four hours to keep whatever remaining rubber elastic enough to support his facial movements. After a month of growing accustomed to his new mug, he started booking appearances under the name "Agent Archer" singing mostly standards, peppering his set with an occasional Elvis song, closing with "My Way". Unfortunately he tried to make up for what he lacked in vocal range by raising the volume of his voice the result of which threw him further off key.

After his third show the club owner, a short balding man name "Cocktail" Earl, approached Archer.
"Kid, I'm sorry but I can't use you any more. Sure you've got a great look but your voice, it's just not there."

"I understand Earl, I understand. Let's just say you put me on for tomorrow night, and I, well," Archer unsheathed his .45 magnum "I'll let you live."

"Archer, Archer, relax. Alright, I'll keep you on. Just put the piece away."

Archer headlined the club for the next three weeks. The Los Angeles Gazette finally reviewed his act gave him the moniker "Yell-vis" and described "enduring" a set as "painful".

Undeterred Archer continued to do his act, making slight changes when he felt appropriate but the more he belted out songs the smaller the crowds got, until finally Cocktail Earl's was practically vacant. Without any other options Earl went to the police. At first he wasn't taken seriously and was sent to the "Small Crimes Unit."

But as fate would have it the Commander of Small Crimes, Mimi Van Rogers, was once an underling of Sean Archer demoted when Archer left the force.

"If what you say is true, Cocktail Earl," Mimi Van Rogers said "than there is only one man who can stop him."

Castor Troy was still in a Coma when Van Rogers and Cocktail Earl arrived at the hospital. His face burned as per Archer's instructions however the remains were kept in an undefined clear liquid in a jar near his bed.

"I need this man, we have people being terrorized in this city Captain and you want us to just stand back and let it happen?" Van Rogers shouted.

"You remember what happened the last time he was on the streets? It was like Demotlition Man or that show from the 80's Sledgehammer. He was a menace."

"But wouldn't you agree Captain that to stop a maniac, we may need to send a maniac?"

"No, I wouldn't. But this is your case, so I don't care what you do."

Castor Troy's face was restored with three coats of house paint and some Spackle. He was brought out of his coma and brought up to date.

"So you want me to go after Archer, what's in it for me?"

"Your freedom. A full pardon for all offenses against you."

Troy considered this for a moment while a cigarette dangled from his lips.

"Alright, but only because it's Archer. Now get me my guns."

Troy's twin golden Beretta's lay shining in the velvet green box. He strapped them into the back of his holster and draped himself in an electric blue suit.

A helicopter brought him to Cocktail Earl's.

"We can drop you on the roof, you can sneak in through the fire escape."

"Oh no, I'm going in through the front door."

Castor approached the entrance and kicked the double doors open.

The club was dark.

"I've been waiting for you." Archer's voice rang out from the darkness. "I knew you weren't dead."

"As long as you're alive I'll be here to haunt you. You need me. You need me to have purpose."

"Not anymore. I've found something new."

The Jukebox kicked on along with the stage lights bouncing off a disco ball above the dance floor. Archer stood in a a sleek white, jeweled jump suite holding two magnums gleaming with rhinestones. Troy produced his two guns and aimed them, a flock of doves flew in from the doors behind him. They exchanged a knowing grin and sprung into action.

As if in slow motion glass was shattering everywhere. Troy gained an early advantage sending Archer retreating behind the drum set on stage. Archer quickly reloaded and came out firing. Troy flipped a long wooden table and took cover behind it. A cloud of smoke and feathers hung in the room, the jukebox had been shot out and not just produced a tinny, distorted buzz. Troy looked up at the poster on the wall in front of Archer. "Every Weeknight, Come See 'Yell-vis'" it read.

"So you're singing now?" Troy yelled across the room. "Elvis songs? That's pretty cool."

"Don't mock me. I won't be mocked," Archer shrieked and fired a few shots towards his voice.

"No, I'm not mocking actually. I used to love Elvis, before all of this started. Before all of this madness."

"Yeah, me too. I don't know how we got started on this. You start off wanting to do the right thing and the next thing you know you forget who the bad guy is."

"I don't know. I'm not sure I've ever know if I ever knew what the right thing is."

"What's going on in here?" Van Rogers and the Captain burst through the door. "Troy, did you get him?"

"No, he's back there" Troy motioned towards the stage.

"What's the matter Captain? Had to send Troy to do your dirty work?" Archer yelled and fired a random shot.

"Sean, c'mon. This is over. Let's just end this before anyone gets hurt. You can go back to your wife. Your daughter."

"No, I don't want that. Not anymore. I'm a performer now."

"Sean, we've heard you sing, it's...well it's terrible. It's really God-awful, I mean I honestly, what is it 1997? I've been listening to music for 43 years, and it's seriously the worst thing I've ever heard in my life. Seriously, setting Graceland on fire and pissing it out would be more respectful to Elvis Presley than what you are doing. I mean that."

Archer's eyes swelled with tears. "You really don't think I'm any good?"

"Sean, no, it's unbelievably bad. We gave a pardon to a career criminal just to stop you."

"Alright, I'll...I'll come out. I give up."
Archer began to rise out from behind the drum set.

"No, Sean stop. There's no reason you should give up your dream just because they don't like it. No, if you want sing Elvis songs then you should do that."

"Well I do some standards too, it's not all just Elvis."

"That's what you should do then."

"Well he's not going to do it at my club! He's too terrible!" Cocktail Earl yelled.

"Troy, have you forgotten about our deal? You want to go back into that coma?" the Captain snarled.

"No, but I think I'm about to make a better deal, count it off Sean"

"One for the money..." Archer belted and emerged from behind the drums, guns out and firing at the Captain, Van Rogers and Earl.

Troy leaped slowly to his left firing at the trio as well.

When it was all over Troy and Archer burned Cocktail Earl's to the ground. Any and all evidence of their various deals and surgeries burned up with it. They stole a powder-blue convertible, like the one Nick Nolte drove in 48 Hrs and headed to Las Vegas.

They started an act; Yelvis and Troy, it didn't do very well and eventually Archer couldn't afford his Nitro Glycerin Jelly and his face became a hideous sight. Troy went solo, playing folk songs. In 2003 he provided the soundtrack and starred in an independent art house film
In 2008 Yelvis and Troy reunited for a brief stint. As of 2011 they have no further plans to work together.