Friday, October 16, 2009

The Bone Bridge: Chapter 21

Chapter 21
(The Boston Ritz Carlton)

It kinda creeped me out that Oliver Blood would rent a room in the same hotel where 53 people croaked just last month. I told myself not to look at the pavement as we walked toward the front entrance but I did, anyway. Lucky for me they managed to hose all the blood off the sidewalk. Otherwise I would’ve ralphed all over Greater Boston.

This is where Blood was staying during his time in Massachusetts and, in a way, it made perfect sense. I was sorry that Coffey wasn’t able to go along. For some reason, I feel better when he’s near me. He gives me a sense of security that I just don’t get with my folks or even Laura, now that I know what kinda shit she does for a living.

“Why wouldja wanna stay here, dude?” I asked him as we waited for the elevator to take us to the 10th floor.

“It makes perfect sense,” he said and my sister nodded when I looked at her. But I didn’t have any idea what he was talking about. If what Laura was hinting was true about ghosts being responsible for the mass suicide, then what chance would Blood have of collecting evidence that the cops wouldn’t already get? I mean, it’s not like ghosts leave fingerprints, foot prints or DNA at crime scenes.

We stepped into the elevator and listened to some schmaltzy song and Blood was humming, “…and when she passes, each one she passes goes… da dee dum… I never could memorize all the lyrics to that song. You guys know how the rest of it goes?” Laura and I both silently gawked at him.


We walked to room 1012 and he stopped to fish out his passkey. He swiped the card and the door clicked and opened. It was pretty ritzy (hence the name of the hotel, I guess) and was way better than any of the rooms my folks got when we used to drive down to Miami almost every winter to see our mom’s folks while Laura and I were growing up.

“Make yourself at home, Adam. Can I get you something?” He pointed to a mini fridge in the room.

“Sure. Do you have iced coffee in there?”

“Well, lemma check,” and he rummaged around for a minute and pulled out a small bottle of Starbucks iced coffee “Well, waddya know?” He walked across the big room and handed it to me.

“Thanks. How much is this room settin’ you back?” I asked as I popped the cap off.

“Not a cent. Uncle Sam pays for it all.”

“In other words, we, the taxpayers,” Laura reminded us as she walked past me to put her jacket on the bed. “Nothing’s free, guys.”

“Alright, I stand corrected,” Oliver said with a fake bow. He popped open a diet Coke, although I don’t know why he’d need it. The dude’s about as skinny as me. “Please, have a seat.”

Laura pulled up a couple of chairs for us to sit on. “Alright, I know it’s not gonna be easy for you, kid, but you need to tell us what happened in that house. Don’t forget any details. There’s no such thing as a small or trivial detail. But before you start…”

He pulled some big-ass pen out of his jacket pocket, pressed a tiny button on it and these thin red lasers flared out from the tip almost like an umbrella that extended from one side of the room to the other. All these little red dots slithered up and down all four walls. Blood held it high and passed it low while looking at a little green light on the shaft, especially when he got near the phones, ventilation grills, lamps, basically anywhere you could stick a bug. Laura watched him closely like she’d seen him do this shit before. I’ve never seen anything like that before and didn’t know you could use lasers like that. I thought they were just made for Pink Floyd light shows.

“OK, we’re all set,” he said as the light on his pen went out and he clicked the end with his thumb and the fucking thing actually was a pen. He pulled a small notebook out of his blazer and began writing something. “Now, tell me exactly what happened.”

I looked down at my sneakers and stared at the Christiansons’ blood, almost wishing the cops hadn’t given me my shoe back.

(Four hours ago)

“There’s no sense in trying to warn them about me. They cannot see or hear me,” the Nazi said.

“Who are you?”

“Henry Christianson.”

This Nazi dude would’ve set my teeth on edge even if I wasn’t Jewish. But I am and of course I’d heard all the stories of what the Nazis did to our people during World War II. I guess it’s the kinda reaction an African American person has when they see someone wearing Klan robes. Just seeing that uniform, hearing that accent almost, I dunno, put in my head memories of a Holocaust that even my parents were too young to live through. Details came and went, almost like he was some old black and white TV image that wasn’t ever quite right. But I could make out every detail on his uniform including his medals, ribbons and an Iron Cross.

“I am Doctor Heinrich Jodl. And you must be… Adam Moss.”

“How do you know my name, dude?”

“You told us your name, son.”

OK, this was seriously weirding me out. Hardly any ghosts had ever mentioned me by name. None of them had ever known or called me by my full name. The twins had risen from the love seat like they knew before me what was going to happen and maybe they did. Because the next thing I knew, they both began screaming and shot toward the Nazi with impossible speed. As fast as they were, though, this Yodel asshole was even faster.

“Son, are you alright?”

He sliced through the air with that scalpel and caught one of the twins across her stomach. I never knew that ghosts could feel pain and she was definitely in pain. She grabbed her gut, spazzed out in midair then disappeared, leaving the twin with the ponytail alone with this fucking psycho. If what my sister said about this dick was right, then he’s been dead for about 65 years and is probably better at fighting and shit than these girls who’ve only been dead since last year. I was hoping that defending their parents would give them the edge.

“Adam? Who are you talking to? And what are you looking at?” I forgot all about the Christiansons as this silent war was going on behind them. “Son, are you alright?” The father looked at his wife like he was about to ask her to call the guys with the butterfly nets.

“We have to get out of here. Now.” I shot up from the chair across from them.

“Adam, what is going on with you?” They both looked behind them to what I was seeing.

“Dude, if I were you, I’d get outta here, now.” Jodl, too, had turned invisible but I felt a cold hand on my right shoulder shove me down into the chair. I honestly couldn’t get back up. Then the other twin appeared, still clutching her stomach and the other one got behind the Nazi and they both flew circles around him. This Yodel creep now had a scalpel in each hand and he began spinning right behind the couch like one of those fucking things you see in blenders. The twins screamed in agony and they disappeared in pieces. The motherfucker shredded them. I never knew you could do that to ghosts. And I guess no one had ever thought that bad ghosts could injure and even kill the good ones.

“There, that’s better.” By now he’d stopped and repositioned himself behind the Christiansons who, for some fucked up reason, didn’t seem any more capable of getting up from their sofa as I was from their chair. But them not getting up looked voluntary, which just drove me crazier.

“Please, get up. He’s gonna kill you!”

“What? Who’s going to kill us?”

“Young man, I think it’s time you left,” Mr. Christianson said as he finally began getting up from the sofa. But like I would tell Coffey later, Yodel was faster. A lot faster. The scalpel slit his throat and blood sprayed out on my right sneaker before his wife even knew what was going on. In fact, I screamed before she did.

“Come on, stop it! Why’re you doing this?”

“To send a message,” the bastard said before he nearly decapitated Mrs. Christianson. Her scream turned into a gurgle then a death rattle.

“He killed the twins?” Blood looked at me like I was a ghost and I hate it when people look at me like that. That’s why I try not to tell too many people about my glimpses. He looked past my shoulder at my sister. “Even I never knew they could do that.”

“Look, I dunno if he actually killed them, alright? But I can tell you that he fucked them up both pretty good. They were screaming in pain.” I shook my head and looked at my bloody sneaker again. “And, trust me, dude, you don’t ever wanna hear a ghost scream for any reason, especially out of pain.”

“I’ll take your word for it,” Blood said.

“I wonder why Jodl left you alive…” Laura said behind me. I turned to her.

“Because he wanted me to tell somebody. Maybe you guys.”

“Or maybe because he was told to keep you alive,” Blood said, flipping his notebook closed.

“Told by who?”

“Hans Dietrich,” Laura said. I looked at Blood and he was looking at his leather loafers like he was trying to avoid my eyes. “Honey, I’m afraid we’ll have to take you into protective custody.”

“What? Hey, look, I didn’t sign up for this, guys. If he wanted me dead, he would’ve killed me.”

“He kept you alive for a reason, Adam. Or maybe killing the Christiansons was a warning of some sort.”

“Warning me not to do what?”

“What you’re already doing,” Laura said.

“What am I doing?” I asked her but Blood beat her to the answer.

“Developing,” he said.

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