Well, I’ll be. Gorillas and laser guns. “Pluto, Minnesota” I mutter, shaking my head. I looked down at the spectral chamber of my laser gun. My Salvia-10x. Five crystals left. That means one crystal was used to vaporize one gorilla. That’s a lot of juice for just one target. More importantly, that’s a lot of money spent in one shot. Thirty-nine scallions, to be exact. Thirty-nine scallions which I didn’t have.
It felt weird. I was taken back at how little back I was taken–considering that I’d just vaporized a cigarette smoking, laser gun wielding silver gorilla in my office, well, I felt pretty calm. Guess you could say I’ve grown a bit jaded. I guess. I walked up closer to inspect the remains. I’d called out Canola’s name as I did this. I had this strange feeling that she was in here somewhere. Canola. That beautiful dane. Blue hair. I really do love that natural blue hair. It was Intuition I guess. But no answer, though. Guess my intuition was wrong. The gorilla was rendered to a pile of silver dust, which was emitting smoke–rising just faintly, breaking occasionally through the pile of glittery debris, which was glistening with silver now. Strange glistening in the dark. Strange. In the corner of my eye, I spotted its laser gun. It was flung back, I’d guess, in the ricochet from the blast from my laser. So, I walked over and picked it up. It’s a Salvia-37. That’s a very nice gun. Much nicer than my Salvia-10x. Much more powerful, too. And not to mention, more expensive. But now I gotta ask myself, who the hell is supplying these gorillas with Salvia -37s? My gut, of course, had to answer: Phoenix Mayo, it says to me grumbling. I knew it would say that. So I grumble back. I might hate Phoenix Mayo, and my mind might justify that hatred I hold for Phoenix Mayo, but my gut, however, absolutely despised Phoenix Mayo–my gut wanted nothing less than to kill Phoenix Mayo. But Phoenix Mayo doesn’t know nothing about no gorillas. So I guess my gut was shooting ski disks. This stuff here was way too advanced for some money grubbing capo like Phoenix Mayo. This was big league. End of story.
I was pocketing the deceased gorilla’s Salvia-37 when then I heard a noise banging from outside. It jolted me. I crept toward the window, crouching underneath the seal, to get a look at it–with the tip of my newly acquired Salvia-37 peaking through the curtain. It was then heard the noise. Again: “AHUO, HUO, HUO-HUO,” The glass vibrated–the chrome tip of my Salvia-37 rattled on the pane as it did. Yup. Yes, sir. That was a gorilla alright. Right outside. Now, see, I’m not one to ever be too man to admit when I’m scared–and so let me tell ya, I was scared. I always get scared. There’s nothing wrong with getting scared. If you have half a brain–in this line of work–in this kind of town–in these kinds of times–you’d better get scared. I swallowed it down. That’s right. I always swallow it down. You gotta swallow it down. You always swallow it down. I pumped up some bravado. I crept past window. I stood up and rotated my shoulders. I shook my head. Let out some breath. I slinked myself flat against the wall and slid down the hallway–stopping at the next window, so to access the fire escape. I was about to open up that window when, it was then I heard that damn noise again–“AHUO, HUO, HUO-HUO.” There was now two of them. Two damn gorillas. At least two. Maybe more. My hands were trembling. I swallowed it down. You gotta swallow it down. I thought about other things–for just in that moment–for just long enough to bring myself to open up that window. I’d thought about blue hair. As soon as the window was opened, I tossed myself out onto the grates of the fir escape, and rolled myself back, promptly–snug against the brick of the wall. The gorillas were down below me, two floors beneath. I looked down. I saw them. There was four of them. I gulped. Holy Mackerel. I tried to think of blue hair again but, all I saw was silver. “HUO, where is he?”
Holy smokes. I couldn’t believe my senses. One of the damned things was talking. “Well, if he’s not back soon, we’ll need to leave him behind.” Woah. Now this was just too much. This gorilla was eloquent. The things are reasoning with each other. “AHUO, HUO, HUO-HUO” one of them said. “I know, I know” responded another. The four hulking primates then entered a police van with no doors. Police. Man, I should’ve known. They turned on the sirens and drove off into the night. They didn’t even care that they were leaving behind the one that I smoked with my Salvia-10x. What the hell were these things. I was overcome. This was too much. I was seeing little blue birdies flying circles–I shook my head, to shake ‘em off my axis. They then flew into the building. Not a good sign. “I gotta see Canola,” I says to myself. I’d kicked the safety latch on the fire escape and the latter shoots down, slamming to the earth. I threw myself onto the rails, but lost my footing in doing so. I slid the whole way down–cutting the palm of my right hand open. I landed in a pile of garbage. Beautiful. Damn beautiful. I stood up. wading through the black bags of shit and muck. Disgusting. I dust off my trench coat and run for my car. I need to see Canola. Right away. No time to lose. There’s apparently very much that she’s not told me, and I intend to find out exactly why that was.
Driving through the lower south side, Canola’s neighborhood, I didn’t even mind the fact that my palm was squeezing out blood on my steering wheel and leather seats. I finally arrived at the Oil residence: 35 Caster–I’d never forget that address. Fin’s old house. Canola better damn be there. I hope she lives there. Fin and Canola’s parents will be there, of course. And if Canola ain’t there, then at least they’ll tell me where to find her. I park the car. I swing open the door so hard, so quick, it slams back shut. I don’t even care to lock the car. I just march right to the front door. I knock three times. Hard. Mr Oil answers. Vin Oil, Fin’s father. Strange. He was just looking at me. Almost like I were a stranger. “Hey, Mr O, how are ya” I says. He says nothing. Awkward. Mrs’s Oil popped her head in “Curtis” she exclaims, almost screaming. Thankgod to see her. “That’s Curtis, Vin” she tells him. He was still staring right at me. “Come inside, Curtis” she tells me, waving her hand invitingly. I enter.
She sits me down in the living room with Mr Oil, and hurries off into the kitchen. “Oh, boy” I says to myself. I’m in for it now. She’s probably cooking me my second dinner. I look to Mr Oil to comment on that as a joke. But Mr Oil was just staring at me. Still. Something was off. Mr. Oil was an old man, but man, he was dazed. Something was off. I wasn’t so sure yet if he even recognized me. Man, this was not gonna be fast. I knew I was in for the old big hello here with Mr and Mrs’s Oil. It’d been a decade since I’d seen either. Since Fin’s funeral. Not such a bad thing to do the old big hello–under normal circumstances, that is, which these were not. I mean, yeah, the Oil’s were like parents to me–If I had even a shred of decency left in me, I’d spend at least a good hour or two just chatting. Just to catch up with these two good people. But I just couldn’t. Not here, not now. There was just too much to do, and I still knew too little. I didn’t want to be rude, but I was willing to because, man–well, I really needed to see Canola. I was looking at Mr Oil. Trying to keep up my smile. He was pointing at the wall. So I turned my head to see. He was pointing at his laser rifle. So weird. Beyond awkward that stuff is. I speak, I says, “Hey, Mrs’s O” I says, calling out to the kitchen. “Yes, what is it dear” she asks yelling back to me, responding. “You know, I saw little Canola the other day” I tells her. I looked down–I was bleeding on the carpet. Such a shithead I am. “Oh, Canola, she’s upstairs” she says. Well, I’ll be. She’s upstairs. Finally some luck. Canola. That beautiful dane. Blue hair. Blue hair.