Serial Saturday: All The Queens Men: Part Three by Robert Gabe

  1. Serial Saturday: All The Queens Men: Part One by Robert Gabe
  2. Serial Saturday: All The Queens Men: Part Two by Robert Gabe
  3. Serial Saturday: All The Queens Men: Part Two by Robert Gabe
  4. Serial Saturday: All The Queens Men: Part Three by Robert Gabe

 

 

Part Three

 

I figured I’d rent a motel room to set up shop. The place is called “The Blue Moon.” It sits on the fringes of town and it goes for about seventy a night. I park my ford focus and am greeted to its neon sign stuttering against the backdrop of a black sky. I grab the tarnished keys from the clerk, a haggard man in his fifties with bloodshot eyes and when I open the door to room thirteen I’m met with the smell of mildew and weed. I survey the room. There is a single bed with a lumpy mattress and a desk and a small bathroom with a shower without hot water. This is where people came to die, where the downtrodden let their hair down, where degeneracy festered. I’m told by the clerk that the police circle the place constantly looking to crack down on drug transactions. I rest Tana’s black book on the desk, lock the door and go to rest on the bed. My first thoughts traced back to childhood memories. When I was young I remember being at a similar motel with my father. I mustn’t have been over the age of four. We had rented out the motel room for a weekend trip where he promised he’d take me to a new theme park that had had its grand opening no more than five miles down the road. Instead he left me at the motel and went to get drunk at a nearby dive bar where he lost track of time. I remember the room being blisteringly cold and I wasn’t tall enough to change the room temperature thermometer. At midnight, cutting through the silence, I heard a high pitched cry come from the neighboring room. I stepped outside the door and when I did I saw a woman in her early fifties, skinny and all marked up with red scratches, frantically trying to escape an intimidating black man who had stripped her naked and given her a black eye. He shut the door behind her and left her to fend for herself in the wintery dead of night. When she finally noticed me standing there, she gawked at me with this dead vacant expression that made me turn rigid in fear. And without saying anything, she lifelessly crossed the empty freeway in the full nude and disappeared hopelessly into the thick woods that loomed from across the motel. My father came back in the morning and took me upon the knee and apologized. I said nothing about what I had seen. We went to the park the next day, but all the time I was joyless as I couldn’t forget the woman, hoping she had found shelter from the cold. Whenever I pass said woods in my car, I turn my head to look for her, as if she might emerge, clothed and smiling. But upon reflection, I felt that whatever fate fell upon that woman, it wasn’t one of pity and she more than likely died in those woods that night from hypothermia.

I fantasized about Tana in the middle of the night and it occurred to me I’d never done so before until I started investigating her life as Night Nocturne. I never really thought about her in such a way before. My motel room was dingy and oppressive so I lit a cigarette not caring if the staff would charge me for a smoking fee. I could hear a couple fighting next door—something about not having enough money to spend the week. I tried to drown out their screams by increasing the volume on my TV and turning on the bathroom fan. I began looking through Tana’s black book. There were names that meant nothing to me and others that blew my hair back. I tried to imagine her decked out in lingerie, the innocent school girl with a congenial personality wearing a black G-String and bow trim ruffle suspenders. The ass of an angel. The Ass of an Angel. The Ass of an angel. An ass I’d never get to witness as it was now buried six feet under… I clear my mind of said thoughts and when I do I feel more lucid and focused, the detailed exploits of her call girl encounters becoming major distractions. 

A night goes by and a dark shadow is casted over me as I pour myself a whisky and light up a smoke, trying to connect the dots between Tanas hostess job and how she got wrapped up in online chat rooms. They seemed to be at odds with one another. It’s eleven at night. The couple is still fighting. I go to shut the window and when I do the phone rings. Front desk. My card has declined and they want to know if I can pay cash. I grab my things, but before I can exit the room the table phone rings again. I slow my pace and cautiously approach it, putting the receiver to my ear with reluctance. A woman is singing in a deep soothing voice “Kick the chair right down from under me… Leave me hanging alone in misery…”

I know the song. It’s Rose.

 “What’s up? I say.

 “What did you think of last night?”

 “I want more.”

 “You’ll get it, but now is not the time.” Rose tells me she’s been fired without justification and she’s scared to leave her apartment. I tell her she’s being paranoid. No one saw us go home together, did they? I quickly end the conversation and tell her to come over because I’m starting to feel a little paranoid myself. When she arrives she’s dressed in all black, in fishnet stockings sporting an eighties post-punk look. 

Rose tells me about a basement party in a small church where a goth band is playing. I consider it a distraction, but it’s Friday night and getting away from Tana’s black book for a few hours might do me some good. We speed down I-95 and she lights her cigarette from her car lighter and cracks the window ever so slightly to allow the smoke to escape. The rain outside taps insistently on the windshield and ahead of me the asphalt’s yellow lines blurring indicate to me she’s going over the limit. From her radio, the vocalist mumbles “Like a flash of light, in an endless night, life is trapped between two black entities. Cause when you trust someone, Illusion has begun, no way to prepare, Impending despair.”

“You wanna slow down?” I say calmly “What’s the rush?” 

“How to tell me you drive like a bitch without telling me you drive like a bitch.” She says “I’m doing like ten over.” 

We get to the church and outside on the front steps are a bunch of scene kids tapping their feet on the pavement from the music coming inside. I enter the door and pass a front that holds holy water for baptism. The clerestory windows pierce the nave’s upper walls. We pass the altar where the crucifiction is held and go into a back room with a spiral staircase leading down, the music growing louder now and I wonder to myself how such a metal band managed to infiltrate a place of worship such as this. Inside, large tables have been set up for drinks and a crowd of people gather around a band who seem to have their faces painted in an attempt to mimic something demonic. I take a seat at the bar and watch. Rose sits next to me. 

“What a bunch.” I say flatly. 

“You’re no fun, Vincent.” 

“Someone is going to take the fall for this. This is not what I’d call Christian music.”

 Just then the band stops playing. The music cuts off like a buzz saw. The lead singer speaks into the microphone.

“How’s everyone doing tonight?” He says “We wanna take a moment to honor the fallen.”

 Oh no, I think to myself. He continues. “Tana Molnar was a sister to us all. She didn’t just wear the crown. She wore her empathy, compassion and resilience on her sleeve as well.”

The crowd goes quieter. He continues “She reminded us that beauty isn’t skin deep. It’s the light that shines from within.”

If they only knew, I think to myself. “This one is called ‘Midnight Queen’” The band starts jamming horrible noises and I can’t take it anymore so I tell Rose I’m going out for a smoke. Outside I bum a smoke from one of the kids and when I take a seat on the front steps I notice a man from across the way staring at me from across the street, his face shrouded in darkness. The kids run up to me and give me an envelope.

 “That guy across the street gave it to us.” One says “It’s for you.” I rip the envelope seal and when I do a note falls out, the paper aged and brittle. It bore nothing other than the words

 “Your curiosity dances on the precipice of danger. Give up your inquiries now or forever be a marked target. Consider this your final warning.”

 When I lift my head the mysterious stranger is gone and the kids look at me with concern. I crumble up the paper and throw it into a nearby trash can. Fear has now left my body.

After seeing the band Rose drops me back off at the motel. I offer her to come in and she does, but she is taken back by the sheer clutter on display. We order food from a nearby Chinese restaurant and she sits edgerly next to my as my desk looking at all my case files on Tana. I show her one of the names in the Tana’s book belong to a county judge named Brian Sennett. 

“Fucking wild.” Exclaims Rose Kay. “Hey, maybe I could see him as one of my clients and try to get some information out of him.”

“I don’t wanna put you in danger” I say rather dismissively of the idea.

“No, I’m having fun. This is fun.” She laughs “I’ve always wanted to tie up a judge. It’s on my bucket list.”

“How would we get him to seek out your services?” I say.

“Vincent! You underestimate me. You really do.” 

“Well how would you?”

 The following night I got a call from her saying they were meeting at a hotel in the inner-city for a dominatrix session. Perfect. It’s dangerous, but I attach a wire to the inside of Rose Kay’s robe. I tell her to tie him up first and once he’s subdued, lock him with handcuffs and start asking questions about Dream Rabbit. I’ll be listening from the next room over. I’ve also set up a hidden surveillance camera in the room so I can see the two of them in case things get out of hand. The session is at ten PM. At the high rise hotel, once again the rain is coming down hard outside. We wait in our room. 

Rose gets a text.

“He messaged me. He’s in the parking lot.” She says.

“Okay, You go into the next room. Don’t worry I’ll be watching and listening from here and if things get out of hand I’ll barge in.”

From the camera’s point of view, I hear a knock at the door and when rose goes to open it, Brian Sennett is standing at the entrance all soaked from the rain. He removes his hat to chaise the rain off of it and Rose welcomes him inside. 

“Hey Daddy.” She says. “You came to play with me.”

“Indeed I did.” He smiles “Look at you. You are beautiful.”

They kiss. Once again I feel a mixture of minor betrayal and jealousy. Was I falling for Rose Kay? I wasn’t sure. All I was sure of was the two of us were making a great team and we were about to get some answers on Dream Rabbit. Sennett puts the 1k donation of the night stand and starts removing his clothes. He urges Rose to do the same, but she tells him to go first. Sennett lays on the bed nude. He’s rather unashamed of his below par genitalia as he lays on the bed, arms stretched. First, Rose binds his feet with rope, then she handcuffs each arm to a post of the bed. He’s not going anywhere now. Then she does it. She smacks him across the face. He screams and gags him with a ball. 

“Now listen to me Mr. Sennett.” Rose says “I know who you are. You’re a judge for the local county who’s put a lot of people behind bars, some of which were victimless crimes. Right now you’re being videotaped” She points to the camera. “We wouldn’t want this footage to get back to the district attorney’s office now, would we?”

He shakes his head terrified. 

“I want to ask you some questions about a girl. You might have heard of her. Goes by the little known name of Tana Molnar…”

He sighs through his nose and tries to get out of the cuffs to no avail. 

“Now…” Rose Kay Says “I’m going to undo your gag. And if you as much as raise your voice above the way I’m speaking now I’ll whip you and torture you and gag you again. Are we clear?”

He nods and she undoes the gag. He gasps for air. Rose leans in close. 

“I wanna know about Dream Rabbit.”

“What do you wanna know?”

“How you came into contact with them..”

“You don’t come into contact with them. They reach out to you.”

“Go on.”

“It’s a sex trafficking ring for members of the elite. Your common civilian will never get an invitation.”

“How was Tana initiated?”

“I don’t know, but she was one of their highest priced commodities. Most of the girls are runaways, some are underage in their teens. They send them all over the US to work in and out of hotels and private brothels. They take their IDs and passports and are held captive never to communicate with the outside world ever again.” 

“Do you know Mr. Henry?”

“I don’t know him personally, but Tana did. She was his most beloved possession.”

“How many foot soldiers are there?”

“About  three hundred active members which doesn’t include the girls. They’re probably watching you right now. These people are more powerful than you could ever imagine. Their goal is to expand across the US and create a dominion, a self governing nation of kidnappers and traffickers that secretly rule over the commonwealth. Your daughters no longer will belong to you. They will become slaves of an illuminati class.”

“We know they’re watching us. They’ve warned us to back down.”

“Then you should take the hint. Solving Tana’s murder won’t get you any closer to bringing down these people. You will never find them.”

“Where is their headquarters based?”

“Somewhere in the heart of Philadelphia. That’s all I know.”

“Last question. Did Tana ever tell you she was worried for her life?”

“Yes, multiple times. She said she wanted out and they wouldn’t let her leave. She threatened to expose the organization and each time she went to an elected official they told her to yield and surrender.” He continues “Who do I think killed her? A man by the name of Jaques Mallick. He’s Mr. Henry’s right hand man. They call hits on girls all the time but usually they stage the deaths to look like overdoses or suicides. With Tana they just shot her right out in broad daylight. It was a warning to everyone. Do not fuck with us.” 

Rose Kay frees Sennett from his shackles. He throws the cuffs on the floor and immediately attacks her. I jump up from my seat and burst into the room. He clawing at her and she’s putting her arms up to defend herself. I tackle him to the ground and put a taser to his neck. He goes stiff and I tell him not to move or I’ll fry him. 

“Where do I find Jaques Mallick?” I ask him.

“He owns this hotel..” 

My stomach drops and when it does I hear a knock at the door. I let Sennett go and when I open the door a member of the hotel staff, a young spanish man in his early thirties, ask that we vacate the premises as soon as possible.

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