Chapter Two - The Storm Breaks

Uhoh, looks like the chief is mad about someting again!Meanwhile back at the station…okay, actually not meanwhile, more like "later". Dirk Armstrong was seated at his desk in direct violation of homicide department policy of not sitting at your desk asleep, with your feet mysteriously in a plate of the chief's birthday cake, with chocolate icing all around your mouth and cake crumbs covering your shirt. Dirk cared not for these things but Chief Mac "Big Mac" McMacmillan certainly did.

"DIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirk ARM STRONG!" Chief McMacmillian screamed, waking Dirk from his comfortable nap and causing chocolate cake fragments to be flung from his shoes all over the Chief's bowling trophies. "One of the boys from uptown just put in for a transfer and I'm assigning him as your partner. When you retire in three days I'm going to make him your replacement, so get him ready for the job."

"B-but Chief," protested Dirk, "I'm not retiring in three days and homicide detectives don't have partners!"

"Whatever!" Screamed Chief McMacmillian. "You're a loose cannon Armstrong and you're going to get me fired with your crazy shenanigans. You may think the ends justify the -"

Chief McMacmillian paused and looked at an index card he withdrew from his pocket.

"Oh shit," he laughed. "Sorry Dirk, that second part is for Detective Mayer. You're not retiring and you're not a loose cannon, but you're still getting a new partner. He'll be down here later this afternoon."

Dirk sighed with relief and the chief began to walk away. When he was roughly three steps from the door of his office he spun on his heel and stomped back to within an inch of Dirk's face.

"DIIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirk ARM STRONG! What the cuntwhore of a motherfucking Christ beast did you do to my birthday cake?!"

There was more swearing but luckily I will now play the "meanwhile" card and transfer the course of the narrative to the secret lair of the serial killer responsible for the murder and mayhem in the motel room.

Shadows enveloped the naked and muscular body of Slade Gangrene in a very sinister manner. To anyone who was looking directly at him he would appear as a shadowy crouched mass of sinew and evil tattoos with a leering well-lit mouth. He spoke to himself and to the demons that haunted him in a hoarse whisper, not to be confused with Oprah book club book "The Horse Whisperer". The bare walls of his dilapidated secret lair, which was either an abandoned insane asylum or some sort of abandoned abandoned insane asylum movie set, were covered with incoherent graffiti. Whether or not it had been put there by Gangrene himself, a previous inmate at the asylum, or a set design crew was not really important. The cramped text and the way it bent at all angles and sometimes even was written in really awesome spirals was just, like, symbolic of the madness of the man and the place.

"Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon," muttered Gangrene as he cut another notch into the coiled cobra of his forearm.

"You come and go," the knife cut wetly into his arm and he stifled a cry of pain.

"You come and go," he let the knife clatter to the concrete floor and began to sob.

"Loving would be easy," he whispered, "if your colors were like my dream."

Lights began to flash around him and slowly the face of the serpent began to take shape before his tear-stained face. He tried not to look at it because whenever he did it compelled him to do evil in the world.

"Red gold and green," he began to rock and the words comforted him. "Red gold and green."

"Yessssssss!" The serpent hissed at him. "For I am red gold and green. The flesh is weak Slade, but you are strong. I want you to go out and kill, and empty their blood into the streets, for this season shall be the deadly season of sloth. Find a sinner and flay the still-hot flesh from his, or to be politically correct, her bones. When he or she has been reduced to twitching muscle and cartilage crack open those bones and suck out the marrow, for it contains the secrets."

"I am the serpent!" Slade stood abruptly and flexed his muscles, but then he paused uncertainly.

"Wait, insane hallucination, what exactly is the sin of sloth? Like someone really slow? Should I murder the last-place finisher of a race or something?"

"Well," explained the serpent, "generally sloth refers to laziness and if you were to seek this at a race event it would probably work better to target one of those charity walks and kill the first person to give up. Usually some fat guy or some woman with asthma will give up after about five minutes and you can just kill them."

"But if they are at a charity walk at all wouldn't that imply that they aren't lazy?"

"Now you're just arguing semantics Slade, think about it. If anyone does ANYTHING they're not being lazy, so the laziest person would be already dead. Or even better the laziest people would be the sperm cells that failed to fertilize an egg, but do you think I'm telling you to go kill sperm cells?"

"No, that sounds pretty gross crazy hallucination, I think you mean just find someone relatively lazy and kill them." "Right, so why are you waiting?" The serpent asked this final question and then disappeared.

"I'm a man without conviction, I'm a man who doesn't know," laughed Slade as he walked towards the door of his secret serial killer lair. "How to sell a contradiction, you come and go, you come and go."

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