Daily Archives: March 24, 2019

Disco Werewolf – Chapter 4

DISCO_WEREWOLF_1

“Who is Disco Werewolf, Mr. Sugarshine?”  the girl asked.  “My readers are dying to know.”

“Mark my words, young lady,” Sweet Johnny said as he motioned for the girl to join him at the other end of the bar, out of earshot of any prospective snoops.  “Me allowing you access to this fantastic world is the absolute last time that I will ever do a favor for anyone.”

“What do you mean?”

“I called The New York Courant,” Sweet Johnny said.  “After getting the run-around for an hour and…can you believe?  Me, the Emcee of Funk, the Sultan of Soul, the Duke of Disco getting passed around on the phone for an entire sixty minutes?  Finally, I was able to speak to the city desk editor, one Mr. Ernie Pomeroy and he says you don’t work there.”

“Yet,” the girl said.  “I’m working on it.”

Sweet Johnny smiled.  “I like your style, kiddo.  I do.  And true, we were all nobody before we became somebody but you, my dear, are a nobody.”

“Please,” the girl said.  “Just a few quotes.”

“Claudette Jenkins is, and this is a direct quote from Mr. Pomeroy now, ‘A nice girl with a lot of chutzpah, but much too young to traipsing about the streets at night, looking for trouble.’  I agree and if you head for the door right now and don’t let it hit you where the Good Lord split you, I won’t bother to report that fake ID you flashed at me to the authorities.  Twenty-one my eye.”

“Ernie has been on a desk so long he wouldn’t know a good story if it bit him in his ass,” Anette said.

“That’s between y’all,” Sweet Johnny said.  “Bottomline, you lied to me, baby girl.”

“Lie is a strong word,” Claudette said.

“When you came to me a week ago and asked if you could come in, sniff around, talk to some of the dancers and get some quotes about Disco Werewolf, I feared you might be working on some kind of hatchet job,” Sweet Johnny said.  “But then I realized that all press is good press, so I agreed.  But now to find you not only don’t have an employer but aren’t even of an employable age.”

“I’m seventeen!” Claudette protested.

“Good for you,” Sweet Johnny said.  “And the supermarket is down the street, little bird, so fly, fly away and go see if they’ll hire you as a cashier, because they damn sure won’t hire someone your age as a reporter.”

“Mr. Sugarshine,” Claudette said.  “We’re talking semantics, here.”

“Semantics?” Sweet Johnny asked.  “Oh, my, now that’s a three-dollar word.  Where’d you hear that one? On the playground?”

“You’re right,” Claudette said.  “I don’t work for the New York Courant.”

              “No Shit, She-Sherlock.”

“But I am working on a story about Disco Werewolf,” Claudette said.  “But I can’t publish a story without answering the biggest question swirling around it, namely, the true identity of Disco Werewolf.  When I get that, there isn’t a paper in town that wouldn’t buy it from me so essentially, I didn’t lie to you.  I will get this story in print…eventually.”

“Go eventually stand in the corner and think about what you’ve done, baby,” Sweet Johnny said.  “Now pardon me, my viewers need me.”

Sweet Johnny stepped away, only to be stopped in his tracks by Claudette’s next words.  “You pay him, don’t you?”

A look of panic overtook Sweet Johnny’s face as he turned around.  “What the…who told you that?”

“No one,” Claudette said.  “Last night, I saw you tuck a wad of cash into his paw.  He isn’t just a regular customer who picked your disco over the other discos in town.”

“Flea infested rat traps, the lot of ‘em!” Sweet Johnny said.  “But Miss Jenkins, I’ll have you know that whatever business transpires between me and the illustrious Disco Werewolf shall remain between me and the unparalleled Disco Werewolf.”

“That line outside,” Claudette said.  “It was never that long before Disco Werewolf showed up.  You need him, don’t you?”

“Sweet Johnny Sugarshine needs no one!”

“I can read between the lines,” Claudette said.  “You’ll go into receivership without him.”

“Receiver-what?  Receivership?” Sweet Johnny asked.  “What are they teaching advanced accounting classes on that show with all the puppets you kids watch?  Get to steppin.’”

“I’ll go,” Claudette said.  “And I guess I could file a less interesting version of this story, one where the identity of Disco Werewolf remains hidden forever but…I’d have to mention that you pay him, that he didn’t just select your club because he found it to be the funkiest of them all.”

“It is the funkiest of them all!” Sweet Johnny said.  The Duke of Disco closed his eyes, exhaled, then calmed down.  “Look, kid.  If I knew who Disco Werewolf was, I’d tell you.  But I don’t.  Because he doesn’t talk.  He’s a giant werewolf, for Christ’s sake.  He barks.  He howls. He growls.  But he doesn’t make words come out of his mouth so he’s never told me his real name.”

“You have a business arrangement with him but you’ve never talked to him?”  Claudette asked.  “I find that highly suspect.”

“I talk to him,” Sweet Johnny said.  “He woofs or barks or sometimes just nods.  He doesn’t say shit, because, again, he’s a Goddamn dog man.”

“Huh,” Claudette said.  “Alright, I guess I’ll let the part about money changing hands slide but still, there has to be some way to find out who he is.”

Sweet Johnny held his hand out and waved it across the sweeping club scene, taking it all in.  “Child, look at there.  What do you see?”

“A bunch of idiots getting drunk and bouncing around until they puke.”

“Oh, Claudette Jenkins,” Sweet Johnny said.  “What happened to you that you have so little imagination at such a tender young age?”

“I’m black in America.”

“Touche, sister,” Sweet Johnny said.  “Touche.  But so am I and I’m older and yet, my mind is not as closed off as yours.  When I look out at all these people, I see dreamers.  I see people escaping from the hum drum machinations of every day life.  By day these people are doctors and lawyers, tow truck drivers, mail men, carpenters, hell some of them are even degenerate bums looking for a handout.  But they are also here in search of fantasy fulfilment. They don’t want to be Mr. or Miss Joe or Josephine Q. McGillicuddy, no m’aam.  They want to be disco kings and disco queens, the lives of the party, the beaus and belles of the ball.  They want to be beautiful, graceful, happening, or at the very least, they want to come here and pretend to be for a little while before their dreary lives come a-calling once again.”

“Are you getting to a point?”  Claudette asked.

“Indeed, little sister,” Sweet Johnny said.  “The point is, if you’re asking me the name of Disco Werewolf, I don’t know.  If he wanted me to know it, he’d most assuredly find a way to tell it to me, just as I am sure, if he wanted you and the readers you do not have to know it, he’d find a way for them to know.”

“OK,” Claudette said.

“Now,” Sweet Johnny continued.  “If you’re asking me to take a wild guess, I’d say our old pal Disco Werewolf is just like all of these people.  By day, he’s some kind of boring schlub.  Probably a loser.  A dope. Not much going for him.  He’s so saddened by his miserable life and his complete and total lack of an ability to turn his life around for the better, than he came up with a gimmick, got himself a werewolf costume and now he’s the king shit around here.”

“I thought that was you.”

Sweet Johnny grinned.  “Nah.  I’m just the Duke.”

“You think he’s wearing a costume?” Claudette asked.

“You don’t?” Sweet Johnny asked.

“He looks real enough,” Claudette said.

“Yes, well,” Sweet Johnny said.  “Looks real and is real are two very different things.”

“But you just said he can’t talk because he’s a werewolf,” Claudette said.

“I did,” Sweet Johnny said.  “But to elaborate, if he thinks he is a werewolf, then he must act as a werewolf and therefore, as a werewolf, he cannot talk.  Corgito ergo sum, Miss Jenkins.”

“What’s that mean?” Claudette asked.

“I think, therefore I am,” Sweet Johnny said.  “And if whoever Disco Werewolf is thinks he’s a werewolf, then trust me, he’s a werewolf.”

“Even if, technically, he isn’t?” Claudette asked.

“Well,” Sweet Johnny said.  “What’s the alternative?  That Disco Werewolf is an honest to God, genuine, bonafide, man stretching his body out to become a big ass wolf monster like in the movie pictures?  You believe that?”

“I’ve seen things,” Claudette said.  “It’s not impossible.”

“It not only impossible,” Sweet Johnny said.  “It’s downright ludicrous.”

“Now who’s lacking in imagination?” Claudette asked.

Sweet Johnny pretended as though he were wearing a cap, and tipped it the girl’s way.  “Very good, my dear.  You win this round of our verbal joust.”

“I don’t know if he’s real,” Claudette said.  “But everyone here sure seems to believe in him.”

“People will believe in all manner of wonderous things if it distracts them from the bitter, cruel world all around them,” Sweet Johnny said.  “I have a hunch you’re just too young to understand that.”

“Try me,” Claudette said.

“The sixties,” Sweet Johnny said.  “Oh, you were no doubt knee high to a dragonfly then, but let’s see.  The man who tried to bring this country together got shot.  Then the man who had a dream that white and black people would come together got shot.  Then the brother of the man who tried to bring the country together was shot.”

“JFK, MLK and RFK,” Claudette said.

“All my tax dollars aren’t wasted on public schools, after all,” Sweet Johnny said.  “But on top of all that, the man who said to hell with it, black people should go their own way got shot too, so really, there was no way to please anyone in that decade.  Plus you riots, bombings, murders, all kinds of death and destruction.  That’s all before you mention the war on the other side of the world that killed 58,000 Americans even though no one in charge could adequately vocalize why the hell any of them where sent there in the first place.”

Claudette nodded.

“This decade wasn’t much better,” Sweet Johnny.  “Nixon saw a desire among the public for the government to get shit under control and got his ass handed to him when he tried to control too much.  So, we said screw it, we’ll elect an idiot peanut farmer lacking in ambition who will just sit around and mind the store, but that led to the Arabs humping us on gas and the Iranians taking our embassy hostage.”

“Is this soliloquy going anywhere?” Claudette asked.

“Soliloquy,” Sweet Johnny said.  “Another big word.  You must keep a dictionary under your pillow, girl.  And yes.  It is.  What I’m trying to say is that adults today have been through some shit, and we’re all tired of trying to find a solution from the government, from big business, from anywhere.  We’re all convinced that traditional groups and communities will fail us, so we’re looking inward, trying our best to fulfill our own wants and desires.  Some do it by sitting on their asses at home and sulking into a bottle.  Others do it by coming and here and dancing the night away.”

“I’d rather live in reality,” Claudette said.

“Yeah,” Sweet Johnny replied.  “But the problem with reality is that it’s all so very real.”

“Ahhhhhhhwoooooooooooo!”

Disco Werewolf leapt out of the rafters, somersaulted through the air and landed in the center of the dance floor to uproarious applause from his fans.

“Still think that’s a costume?” Claudette asked.

“I’ve been through too much shit in my life to think otherwise,” Sweet Johnny said.

The Duke and the wannabe reporter stood at the bar and watched Disco Werewolf get funky as Boo Boo Larue filled the night with song.

“I’m telling the doorwoman,” Sweet Johnny said.  “Tonight’s the last night you’ll be allowed in here.”

“Come on!”  Claudette said.

“Nope,” Sweet Johnny said.  “That’s it.  Stay the rest of tonight if you like, but if I see you drinking anything stronger than a root beer, you’ll leave early.  Got it?”

Claudette pouted.  “I got it.”

Sweet Johnny began to walk away, then stopped.  “Oh, and Miss Jenkins?”

“What?”  Claudette asked.

“It’s a free country,” Sweet Johnny said.  “I can’t tell you to stop digging for clues as to Disco Werewolf’s true self but do keep in mind, if he felt the need to become everyone’s favorite beast, then he must be running from something.”

“Aren’t we all?” Claudette asked.

“Indeed,” Sweet Johnny said as he straightened his tie.  “Still, maybe it’s better to let sleeping dogs lie…”

The Duke looked out onto the dance floor, where the werewolf was holding court.  “…and to let dancing dogs dance.”

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Disco Werewolf – Chapter 3

DISCO_WEREWOLF_1

For those who had never been inside before, stepping into Sweet Johnny Sugarshine’s Electrostatic Groove Lounge was like landing on another plant.  The sights, the sounds, everything tantalized the senses.  The dance floor was made of thousands of individual squares, each one blinking a different color of the rainbow.  A disco ball hovered from the ceiling, bathing the room in a glow of twinkly lights.

Dancers in the gawdiest outfits moved to the beat.  Spins, turns, flips, they were all trying to outdo each other.  At the bar, booze flowed freely, with no one caring if anyone was overserved.

The house DJ took to the microphone to make an announcement.  “Good evening all you cats and kittens!  If you’re having a good time, let me hear you make some noise!”

The dancers roared with excitement.

“Now, clear the floor if you please, because it’s time to say hello to your host with the most,” the DJ said.  “He’s held many titles in his life.  Some call him the King of Swing or the Emcee of Funk.  Others, the Sultan of Soul.  But today, you know him best as the Duke of Disco…the one, the only…Sweet Johnny Sugarshine!”

Throughout the club, men stood behind massive cameras, recording all the action.

Poof!  A cloud of smoke erupted in the center of the dance floor.  This bought some time for a trap door to open that allowed the club’s proprietor to rise up on a moving platform.  Once the smoke cleared, it was as if he had magically appeared out of thin air.

Sweet Johnny Sugarshine was a dashing man in his early 30s.  From head to toe, his suit was golden, with the chains around his neck to match. His afro stood tall above his head and he had a smile so wide that it was hard to stay sad in its presence.

“Well, hello there my babies,” the host said into a microphone.

“Hello Johnny!” the dancers replied in unison.

“I hope you’re all having a good time in my Electrostatic Groove Lounge,” Sweet Johnny said.  “I wouldn’t have let you in had I not seen something special in each and everyone of you.”

“Wooo!” the dancers answered.

“You know, it’s funny,” Sweet Johnny said.  “About six months ago, the local cable access station came to me and said, “Johnny baby, we got to do something for all the people who will just never be hip enough to get down in your fly pad, you dig?”

Sweet Johnny strutted about the floor.  “And so I said, ‘Sure I dig.  What are we gonna do?’  And the cable people, and by the way, babies, if you haven’t hooked your television up to cable yet then you need to do so because let me tell you, being able to see cinema quality movies in the comfort of your own home is a real gas but let’s not get off track.  The cable people said, ‘Hell, Johnny baby, we’re gonna give you your own show.’”

“Wooo!” went the crowd.

Sweet Johnny looked directly into one of the cameras.  “So, to all your wallflowers at home, go on.  Get out of your Barcalounger and get some pep in your step, because it’s time for the festivities Sweet Johnny Sugarshine’s Disco Power Hour to commence!”

Across the club, the spotlight hit a main stage.  A group of musicians wearing bright colors played their instruments.  A breathtakingly gorgeous woman took stepped up to the microphone.  Her dress was white and covered with flashy gems.  Her eyelashes were long, her blonde hair stacked high on her head and she was revealing a staggering amount of cleavage.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Sweet Johnny said.  “Put your hands together and give it up for Boo Boo Larue and the Starlight Crew.  They’re here all week and right now they’re going to lay down their latest hot track.  Don’t you dare put your finger on it because if you do, it’s going to be scalded. That’s how hot it is.  Here’s Boo Boo with Love Another.”

              Boo Boo’s lips pressed out the lyrics:

Lover!  I never thought I’d love again.

              ‘Till I met you, my friend.

              You’re the best lover that I ever knew.

              Woo, ah-ooo.

             

              While all the action was broadcast live throughout the Tri-State area, Sweet Johnny switched off his microphone and moseyed on over to the bar.  There, his signature gin and tonic was already waiting for him.  It was on the rocks, just the way he liked it.

 

Moments later, a tall man, slender man in platform shoes bellied up to the bar.  He wore a silk, floral-patterned shirt, opened at the top to reveal a lush patch of rugged chest hair.  A golden medallion rested prominently on the patch.  His hide was covered by a pair of baby blue bell bottom jeans which were held up by a wide, white belt.  His golden hair was done up in a gravity defying perm.

 

Was the man happy or sad?  No one could tell his mood as his eyes were hidden away behind a pair of smoky colored shades.  He did carry an air of depression about him though, which was surprising, as he was in the company of two bodacious babes.

 

The bartender brought the man his usual – a pink cosmopolitan with a tiny little umbrella sticking out of it.  He sat and sipped in silence as the ladies ran their hands over his chest hair.

Five minutes passed.  Boo Boo moved on to another song while the patrons danced the night away.  Finally, Sweet Johnny cut the tension.  “Boogiedown Barry.  Are you seriously going to sit there like the saddest sack of turnips to ever fall off the back of the truck and ignore the Duke of Disco all evening?”

 

Barry scoffed.  “Ha.  Duke of Disco.  I’ve seen you dance, Johnny.  You’ve got two-left feet and all the rhythm of a rampaging rhino.  If anyone should be the Duke of Disco, it should be me.”

 

“Oh, here we go,” Sweet Johnny said.  “The green-eyed monster rears its ugly head once again.”

 

“You think I’m jealous?”  Barry asked.

Sweet Johnny swirled a swizzle stick around the inside of his glass.  “I know you are, daddio.  I can read it all over your face like a cheap dime store romance novel, baby.  Why don’t you take a deep breath, exhale all your resentments and let them go, before they eat you alive?”

Barry laughed.  “That’s rich.  You talk like a big man, but we both know you’d be nothing without me.”

“You think so?”  Sweet Johnny asked.

“I know so,” Barry replied.  “This club was nothing before I came along.  I could have danced anywhere, but I chose to dance here.  I liked your digs.  I thought it had a special savoir-faire, a certain je ne sais quoi.  But my moves brought the people out, Johnny.  If it weren’t for me, this place would have never gotten through its first year.”

Sweet Johnny sighed.  He reached over and rubbed Barry’s shoulder.  “You’re not wrong, hep cat, and for you’re the many funky dance moves you busted on my floor, I will be forever grateful, but you and my old man are cut from the same cloth.”

“Please,” Barry said.  “I’m nothing like that square.”

“You don’t think so?”  Sweet Johnny asked.  “Let me lay the straight skinny down on your head, you broke ass hustler.  There was a time when anyone who was anyone wanted to be caught alive inside the Dandy Haberdashery.  Jazz was all the rage but music fans are a fickle lot and once rock and roll took over, my old man refused to change with the times.  He kept trying to push Jazz on a public that was buying until he ended up in the poorhouse and he was just like you, ragging on me for being a sell-out.”

“You are a sell-out,” Barry said.  “You sold me out to a damn, dirty werewolf.”

Sweet Johnny held up a single finger.  “Rule number one of show business, baby.  Give the people what they want.  You hear the people ask for something, be the one who gives it to them and they’ll love you.  Give them something else and you’ll be tossed out into the trash can like yesterday’s rotten meatloaf.”

“What are you saying?” Barry asked.  “That I’m rotten meatloaf?”

“I’m saying that if the people wanted Boogiedown Barry, I’d give them Boogiedown Barry.  But they don’t want Boogiedown Barry no more baby.  They want Disco Werewolf.  The sooner you get that fact through your thick head, the better.”

“I hate that werewolf,” Barry said.

Sweet Johnny pulled a pack of smokes out of his jacket.  He offered one to Barry, who passed.  He took one for himself and lit up.  “Hate is a strong word.  And besides, doesn’t the world already have more than enough hate to go around already?”

“It could always use a little more,” Barry said.  “What about the dance competitions?  Those were my idea.  Those got people coming here.  Every geek off the street thinking they would come here, shake a leg, and be the next newly discovered star.”

“Those were your idea,” Sweet Johnny said.  “And I thank you.  I also never told you to stop competing in them.”

Barry downed his drink, pounded the glass down on the bar, then ordered another. “Bah! Like I could ever beat Disco Werewolf!”

“You need to stop letting Disco Werewolf live inside your head, dude,” Sweet Johnny said.  “Stop comparing yourself to that sexy dance monster and be your own man.”

“I can’t,” Barry said as he slurped his new drink.  “Disco Werewolf has ruined my life.”

Sweet Johnny shook his head in disgust.  “Fame is a fickle mistress, Barry.  Today she loves one cat, tomorrow another.  Hell, last decade, every red-blooded American male wanted to nail Elizabeth Taylor to the wall and now?  That old crone can’t give it away.  You think she sits around her big house, drinking and lamenting because everyone wants to stick it to Faye Dunaway now?”

Barry glared at Sweet Johnny, who instantly nodded in agreement.  “OK.  Bad example.  But you get the gist.  The glamour life is a great big game and we’re all players, baby.  When the game’s going your way, life is sweet than candy.  But when it all starts to go south, life is as bitter as a dill pickle.  At that point, you can either reinvent yourself and come back as something that all the other players want, or you can right off into the sunset like a sad yet, dignified cowboy, confident that you did all you can do in this life and you’ve got nothing left to prove.  Or you can just do what you’re doing right now and be a big crybaby about it.”

Without skipping a beat, Barry instantly replied, “Waah.”

“Whatever,” Sweet Johnny said.  “Don’t hate the werewolf, baby.  Hate the game.”

“I’ll hate that werewolf as much as I damn well please,” Barry said.  “He ruined my life.”

“I give up,” Sweet Johnny said.  “You have literally not comprehended a single word I have said.  Just count your blessings, Barry.  Look at you.  You got your looks.  You got your style.  You got your fine ladies.  At least Disco Werewolf can’t take that away from you.”

A howl came from somewhere high up in the rafters.  “Ahh-woo!  Arr, arr, ahh-wooo!”

The dancers went absolutely bonkers, totally out of control with excitement and anticipation.  The ladies pulled their hands away from Barry’s chest.

The DJ took to the microphone.  “Uh, oh, cats and kittens.  Did you hear that?”

Another howl.  “Ahh-wooo!”

“Disco Werewolf has entered the building,” the DJ said.  “I repeat, ‘Disco Werewolf has entered the building!’”

“Oh my God!” gasped the first of Barry’s galpals.  “Is Disco Werewolf really here?”

One more howl.  “Ahh-woo!”

The second lady grabbed the first lady’s hand.  “Come on!  We’ve got to find him!”

“Oh!” the first lady cried.  “I hope he’ll dance with me!”

And with that, the ladies bolted.  Barry flashed Sweet Johnny an I told you so face.

Sweet Johnny sipped his drink.  “Alright, baby.  I stand corrected.”

The Duke of Disco reached into his pocket, pulled out a few bills, and left them on the bar as a tip.  He then pointed at the sad sack.  “Even so, Boogiedown Barry, you got more pussy in your life than most men don’t get in a hundred lifetimes, so this funk you’re in is all on you.  Get your head on right and you’ll be feeling dynamite and out of sight.”

“Yeah,” Barry said.  “Whatever you say, Sultan of Something or Other.”

“Now, if you’ll excuse me,” Barry said as he straightened his color.  “I must mingle with my public.

Sweet Johnny didn’t get very far into his mingle when he was approached by a young lady holding a notebook and pen.  She was dressed way too conservatively for such a swinging establishment.  It wasn’t like she was dressed like a Grandma on her way to church or anything.  She just wore a simple striped polo shirt and a pair of tan khaki pants.

“Mr. Sugarshine?  Can I have a word?”

“Oh Lord,” Sweet Johnny said.  “Not you again.”

Tagged

Disco Werewolf – Chapter 2

DISCO_WEREWOLF_1

A long, luxurious stretch Rolls Royce limo pulled up across the street from the disco.  The vehicle was all kinds of tacky, from the purple paint job to the golden grill.  The window in the backseat rolled down.

The occupant was listening to the radio.  The sound traveled through the night air.

“Awoo, baby!” the disc jockey said.  “You’re listening to WNITE, New York’s number one station to listen to the disco tunes that make your body swoon, so get off your seat and dance to the beat.  As always, I’m Toe Tappin’ Teddy and I’m making my way through the top charts tonight.  By the way, we just got word at the studio that the one, the only, the incomparable Disco Werewolf has just made his way into Sweet Johnny Sugarshine’s Electrostatic Groove Lounge so if you’re one of the handful of lucky ones admitted inside, be sure to feast your peepers on that fuzzy dance machine, because I’m told when it comes to cutting a rug, there’s no one better than DW.  Awoo!”

The limo door open.  Out poured three foxy mamas.  The trio had been named after three of the occupant’s favorite jewels.  Ruby, Emerald, and Diamond – a black girl, an Asian girl, and a blonde girl, respectively.  All wore scantily clad outfits featuring skirts hiked high, leaving little to the imagination.

Whoever the occupant of the back seat was, he wasn’t very tall.  His purple hat, which featured a yellow feather sticking out of the zebra striped band, barely cleared the edge of the window.  A diamond tipped cane popped into view.

The occupant’s voice was high-pitched and squeaky.  “Bitches, do you understand the mission parameters?”

“Sure enough, Daddy,” Ruby said.

“Good,” the occupant said.  “Go on, then.  Do Daddy proud.”

The ladies turned heads as they sashayed up to Ecstasy.  Ruby pulled a plastic bag filled with white powder out of her purse and handed it to the doorwoman. “Big Daddy sends his regards.”

Ecstasy looked to her left, then right.  Seeing no cops in the vicinity, she grabbed the bag and stuffed it into her bra.  “Tell Big Daddy I’m much obliged.”

The doorwoman lifted the velvet rope and allowed the trio to enter, incurring the wrath of everyone waiting in line.

“Pipe down, you dirty animals!” Ecstasy shouted.  “Trust me.  If you’re ever good enough to go inside, I will let you know.  But rest assured, I never will because none of you will ever be worthy.”

Ecstasy looked at Bruno.  “We are going to get loose as a mother goose tonight.”

“Errm,” Bruno said.

“I might even let you do that thing.”

“Errm.”

“Right,” Ecstasy said. “Not in front of the riff raff.”

Back across the street, Big Daddy chilled and listening to his radio.

“Coming up next, it’s the hit single Love Me Freaky by everyone’s favorite disco kings from across the pond, the Vagabonds,” Teddy said.  “These British boys tore up the charts for years only to completely drop off the scene six months ago.  Where are they?  Your guess is good as mine, baby.  Perhaps they’re cloistered off somewhere, working extra hard on their next album, turning it into a surefire masterpiece.  Then again, if I were a betting man, I’d say one of the boys is holed up with a bimbo somewhere and can’t be bothered to entertain us anymore.  Oh well, if you see one of these lads, tell them Toe Tappin’ Teddy sure does miss them.  Until then, here’s Love Me Freaky by the Vagabonds.”

The end of a cigar peaked out of the limo’s window.  The end glowed red as it was puffed upon.  Smoke exhaled out into the air as the music played:

Love me…at your own pace!

              Love me…and repopulate the human race.

              Love me girl, your love’s so sneaky.

              Come on baby, and love me freaky!

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Disco Werewolf – Chapter 1

DISCO_WEREWOLF_1

Out front, the hot neon pink and yellow sign read “Sweet Johnny’s Electrostatic Groove Lounge.”  The line to get in stretched back for an entire city block.  Ecstasy Sublime, the notorious drag queen turned doorwoman, was notoriously picky when it came to selecting entrants.  After all, dancing the night away in the Big Apple’s premiere discotheque was considered by many (rightly or wrongly) to be a life changing experience.  Ergo, the honor couldn’t be bestowed upon just anyone.

Ecstasy wore a shiny, sparkly dress adorned with thousands of glittering sequins.  Her red wig stood a full two feet above her head and her makeup left her cheeks looking full and rosy.  Alas, there simply wasn’t a thing she could do about her Adam’s apple.

“I am so sorry, darling, but you simply are not on tonight’s list.”

“Well,” said a young man in his late teens with long hair.  “Check again.”

The doorwoman sighed.  “Sweetie, I can play the check it again game all night but truth be told, only the people who pique Mr. Sugarshine’s interest are allowed in the club and look at you.  You haven’t even had enough time on this earth to do anything remotely interesting, let alone appear as the tiniest blip on the Emcee of Funk’s radar.”

Ecstasy looked up and to the left, taking in the stoic face of the club’s bouncer, Bruno, who was six foot five and three hundred pounds of solid muscle, all stuffed into a black t-shirt and jeans.

“Oh dear,” the doorwoman said as she turned back just in time to see the lad’s face scrunch up.  The kid was choking back his own tears, trying but failing at the task of maintaining a manly façade.

“Tough love,” Ecstasy said.  “This is the part of my job that I hate with the passion of a thousand red hot fiery sons.  I really do.  I’m sorry, honey. Do you need a tissue?”

“No,” the young man said.  “It’s just, we’ve been waiting here for hours, you could have posted a sign or something.”

“Waiting in line for hours to be rejected at the door of Sweet Johnny’s Electrostatic Groove Lounge is one of the greatest experiences a New Yorker will ever achieve, child,” Ecstasy said.  “You’re not even a real New Yorker if you haven’t been told to get lost at the door at least three times so, let me help you with your first.”

Ecstasy put her hand on the youngster’s arm.  “Get lost, buttercup.”

The young man’s face turned red with anger.  “No!  I’m not going anywhere!”

A pretty blonde girl tugged on the kid’s arm.  She wore a little black dress, with blue eyeshadow.  “Come on, Derrick.  We tried.  Let’s go get pancakes.”

“Oh, yes,” Ecstasy said.  “Do go get pancakes, Derrick.  And don’t even think about coming back until you’re somehow relevant to the cultural zeitgeist of our fair city or at the very least, until you’ve done something about that hair.”

“What?” asked Derrick as he grabbed his locks.  “What’s wrong with my hair?”

“Nothing,” the girl said.

“No, Wendy,” Derrick said.  “I want to know.”

“It’s what they do,” Wendy said.  “They dump on everyone trying to get in, right?”

“It’s true,” Ecstasy said.  “I’m such a catty bitch, aren’t I, Bruno dear?”

Bruno was a man of few words.  “Errm.”

“Oh, my stars,” Ecstasy said.  “It would appear that Bruno is losing his patience, so if would skedaddle dear, I have to inform more people how they have failed themselves and how they might improve.”

The drag queen held the back of her hand across her forehead, pretending as though she might faint.  “Zounds, I say! A doorwoman’s work is never done!”

Wendy laughed.  Derrick wasn’t in the mood for humor.  He pulled out his wallet, retrieved two green portraits of Ulysses S. Grant and handed them over.  Ecstasy looked at them.  She handed one to Bruno, then folded the other and tucked it into her tissue stuffed bra.

“Thank you, doll,” Ecstasy said.  “Now be on your way.”

Derrick gasped.  “What?  But I just gave you…”

“I know,” Ecstasy said.  “And gratuities are always so humbly appreciated but seriously, kid, stop darkening my doorstep.”

“Fine,” Derrick said as he held out his hand.  “Just give it back.”

Ecstasy held her hand up to her ear.  “I beg your pardon?  I seem to have developed a nasty case of selective hearing loss.”

“I want my money back!”  Derrick griped.

“Huh?” Ecstasy asked.

A sound coming from high above the street broke the tension.  “Ahhwoo!”

Ecstasy clutched her tacky costume jewelry.  “Heavens to Betsy! Could it be…”

Bruno grabbed one of the two spotlights that had been shining into the air and pointed it at the top of the building across the street.  In doing so, he illuminated a character who was seven feet tall.  He wore a white leisure suit, a black shirt with a popped collar.

Also, he was a damn werewolf.

“Arr…arr..arrwooo!”

The line cheered as the beast, with all the grace of a ballerina,  leapt ten stories downard, only to land on his feet, completely unscathed.  As he crossed the street, he did a few twists and turns.  Fans hooted, hooted and hollered.  Cameras flashed.  An adoring female voice cried out from the crowd, “I love you, Disco Werewolf!”

Disco Werewolf pointed to the vicinity of where the voice came from, winked, then right there in the street, he cocked his hip to one side, pointed a finger in the air, and struck a pose.  The crowd ate it up.

When he was done hamming it up for the masses, the lewd and lascivious Lycan moseyed on over to Ecstasy and came to a complete stop.

“Disco Werewolf!” Ecstasy cried.  “Look at you!  You’re fun!  You’re funky!  You’re astounding and you absolutely ooze gallons of fabulosity from each and every one of your pores.  Tell me your secret, darling.  How did you become so stunningly spectacular?”

The furry man of the hour cocked backed his head and howled into the moonlight.  “Awoooooo!”

The line erupted with a chorus of “Yeah!” and “Woo hoo!”  Another female voice shouted, “Disco Werewolf!  I want to have your baby!”

“I understand,” Ecstasy said.  “A maestro never reveals the inner workings of his concerto.  I guess you’ll just have to remain a mystery, and a downright sexy one of that.”

Disco Werewolf growled.

“Are you on the list?”  Ecstasy asked.  “What kind of a question is that?  You are beyond the list, baby.  You’ve got a standing invitation from Mr. Sugarshine every night of the week.  You know that.  Go on in and get down with your bad self.”

Derrick was displeased.  “Wait!  I’ve been out here all night and I can’t get in, but this guy can just waltz right in and…”

Ecstasy held up her hand in a stop motion.  “And he can do whatever he pleases, as is the want of a Disco Werewolf.”

The drag queen looked into the monster’s yellow eyes.  “Don’t mind the lowly rabble, DW darling.  They know not what they say or what they do.”

Disco Werewolf barked.  He surveyed the line.  He stretched out a pointer finger.  He pointed at a blonde, a brunette, a redhead, a couple of black girls, a couple of Asian girls.  His finger moved about, selecting one girl after the next until it wavered in front of Wendy.

“No!”  Derrick said.  “Don’t you do it.”

Disco Werewolf pointed at Derrick’s girlfriend.

“Right then,” Ecstasy said as she lifted up the velvet rope.  “Come along, ladies.  It’s your lucky night.  If Disco Werewolf says you’re the bee’s knees, then who is a tired old mother hen like yours truly to argue?”

The hotties were beside themselves with excitement as they abandoned the line and rushed in.  Meanwhile, a look of confusion overtook Wendy’s face.  She looked at the club, then at Derrick, the club, then Derrick.

“Time’s a wastin,’” Ecstasy said.

“Really, Wendy?”  Derrick asked.

“I’m sorry!”  Wendy said.  “But it’s Disco Werewolf!”

Wendy hightailed it inside.  Disco Werewolf blew kisses to the crowd then followed.  Ecstasy put the rope down just in time to keep Derrick from entering.

“Hey!”  Derrick said.  “Come on!  My girlfriend is in there!”

“I’m sorry, hun,” Ecstasy said.  “But there are a lot of men’s girlfriends in there.”

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Disco Werewolf – Prologue

DISCO_WEREWOLF_1

New York City – 1979

“Are we going to do this or what?”

In a dark, dank alley behind Sweet Johnny Sugarshine’s Electrostatic Groove Lounge, Private First-Class Steven W. Sykes, honorably discharged, felt the cold gritty pavement press into his knees as he looked up at the sizable bulge taking up space in the crotch of a pair of jeans that belonged to his longtime friend and army buddy, Rick Danfield.

“Yeah,” Sykes said as he took a deep breath, held it, then exhaled.  “Here we go.”

The moonlight glistened off of the gooey product that Danfield had applied ever so liberally to his curly hair.  “Come on, man.  This thing ain’t gonna suck itself.”

Sykes pushed his sunglasses up, leaving them perched on his forehead, sitting atop an American flag bandana he used to keep his long, brown hair out of his eyes.  “No…you got me there.  It certainly isn’t going to do that. Nope.  No siree Bob.”

Try as he might, Sykes just was not able to move his hand, mouth, or any other body party anywhere near his pal’s member.

“Jesus Christ, Sy-ko,” Danfield said.

“Don’t call me that!” Sykes barked.

“Whatever, man,” Danfield replied.

“I never deserved that nickname,” Sykes said.  “I served my country with honor and distinction in the war.  I was in complete control of my mental faculties the entire time.”

“Who cares?” Danfield asked.  “It was ‘Nam, brother.  Everyone did some crazy shit.  You mean to tell me you were able to walk around the jungle with an ear necklace  for four years but slurping the old salamander is where you draw the line?”

Sykes pointed a finger up at Danfield.  “I did not cut those ears off!”

“Whatever,” Danfield said.

“I found those ears!” Sykes said.  “I was holding them until I could return them to their rightful owners!”

“I’m not judging, man,” Danfield said.

“There’s nothing to judge,” Sykes said.  “Uncle Sam asked me to give Charlie hell and that’s what I did.”

“Fine,” Danfield said.  “But the fact remains that I’ve yet to find a steady chick, and you’ve yet to find a steady chick, so we might as well help each other out until our chick ships come in, ya dig?”

“It’s ridiculous that we’re both still single!”  Sykes said.  “Our fathers sailed to Normandy and cock punched Hitler and when they came home, they were swimming in poon, but we get forced to fight a war over the economy of a faraway Asian country where everyone is trading rocks for chickens and all the cooze says, ‘Oh no!  No hot snapper for you, baby killer!’”

“I ain’t kill no baby,” Danfield said.

“I didn’t kill any babies either!”  Sykes said.

“Check it out, man,” Danfield said.  “The country’s startin’ to pull its shit together.  Jimmy Carter done went and pardoned all the draft dodgers.”

“And those cowardly sons of bitches are pulling down more trim than we are!”  Sykes said.

“Everyone’s startin’ to heal,” Danfield said.  “Startin’ to forgive.  Only a matter of time before the public starts looking at us with the respect we deserve.”

“I’m not asking for much,” Sykes asked.  “I’m just tired of being treated like a criminal for doing what my country told me to do.”

“Aren’t we all?” Danfield asked.  “But hey man, can I give you some free advice?”

“If it will delay me getting a mouth full of man meat, sure.”

“Look at yourself, brother,” Danfield said.  “You got your fatigues on.  You got that bandana.  Everybody’s trying to forget ‘Nam and you’re a walking reminder of it.”

“I’m proud of my service, Rick.”

“You should be.  I’m proud of mine.  But you’re more than a soldier, Steve.  And a’int no lady gonna give you the time of day if you keep walkin’ around, lookin’ like a billboard for the least popular war in American history.”

“Fair point,” Steve said.  “But wait, why should I listen to you?  What do you know about scoring with babes?  You’re out here trying to get your sausage gargled by a man.”

“So?”

“So, that’s pretty gay.”

“What’s gay about it?”

Sykes shot his buddy a look as if to silently say, “Really?”

              “I’m all about the pussy,” Danfield said.  “But I’ve been thinking, what if all the gay dudes are onto something?  Would it be so bad to try it and then if I like it, I’ll go all in and if I don’t, no harm done.”

“No harm done?” Sykes asked.  “But then you’d be gay!”

“What?” Danfield asked.  “A fella gets his pickle smooched one time and that automatically makes him gay?”

“Of course, it does!” Sykes said.

“If a man writes one sentence, is he a professional writer?” Danfield inquired.

“Well,” Sykes answered.  “No, I suppose not.”

“If a man bangs a drum, does that get him a spot in an orchestra?”

“No.”

“If a man runs a single mile, does he take home a gold medal from the Olympics?”

“OK,” Sykes said.  “I see what you’re saying.  We’re young.  We’re in our prime.  We should be trying new things.  Sampling the smorgasbord of life, as it were.”

“Exactly,” Danfield said.  “Now, enough talk, man.  Get to work already.”

“You got it,” Sykes said as he smacked his lips together.  “I’m…uh…going in.  Going in for the big suck-a-roo.  Here I come and…hey, wait!”

“What now?”

“What if you don’t like it?”  Sykes asked.

“Then I will have learned I don’t like it and I’ll never do gay shit ever again,”  Danfield said.

Sykes nodded.  “OK.  That makes sense.  I’m sorry.”

“Nothing to be sorry about.”

“I’m just nervous, you know?”

Danfield patted his friend on the head.  “It’s cool.  Just let it happen.”

“Alright,” Sykes said.  “This…this’ll be fine, right?”

“Totally fine.”

“It’s not going to traumatize me at all,” Sykes said.

“I don’t see why it would,” Danfield said.

“OK,” Sykes said.  “Here I come…no big deal.”

“Just like chewing on a hot dog.”

“Right,” Sykes said.  “I love hot dogs.”

“Who doesn’t love hot dogs?” Danfield asked.

“Not this guy,” Sykes said, pointing to himself.  Ever so timidly, he moved his face closer to the bulge before abruptly backing away.  “Wait!”

Danfield rolled his eyes.  “Man!  If you don’t wanna do it, then just say so!”

“It’s not that!”  Sykes said.  “It’s just…we promised we’d do this for each other.”

“Yeah.”

“But what if me sucking your dick teaches you that you’re not gay, then am I still going to get my dick sucked?”  Sykes asked.

Danfield blew a contemptuous raspberry.  “Pbbbht!  Hell no.  You can’t ask a straight man to suck your dick.”

Sykes stood up and threw up his hands.  “I’m sorry bud.  I wanted to do this for you but I was promised a certain level of reciprocity and if there’s no guarantee that I’m going to get it, then…”

“Shit, Steve,” Danfield said.  “Do you want me to go first?”

Sykes thought about the question, then shook his head in the negative.  “No, because then if it turns out I’m not gay, I’m going to feel bad when I realize I’m too straight to suck your dick, you hear me?”

“I get it,” Danfield said.  “Maybe this experiment was ill-advised.”

“Nah, buddy,” Sykes said as he wrapped an arm around his friend.  “I just think we need to find some bonafide, legit gay guyswho would just like to slurp our poles for the joy of doing so, with no preconceived promises of reciprocity and…”

Grrrrr.

              “Rick?”

“Yeah?”

“Was that you?”

“I didn’t say anything.”

The pair headed for the street when the sound came again.  Grrr.

              “You hungry?”  Sykes asked.

“No.”

“Then, what in the…”

Grrr.

              From out of the darkness, two yellow eyes appeared.  They glowed.  It was sheer chaos.  The soldiers had no clue what was going on.  One claw grabbed Sykes.  The other grabbed Danfield.  Their heads were knocked together, causing them to lose consciousness.

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Disco Werewolf Begins

I’ve been in a funk all year, 3.5 readers.  I’m hoping for a day when I can really sit and concentrate, put in all my hours on crafting books.

In the meantime, I need stories that have that special ability to flow out of my brain, through my fingers and onto the keyboard.

I’ve been starting new books and getting stuck all year until recently, for some reason, the next story that has apparently chosen to use me as its vessel appears to be:

DISCO_WEREWOLF_1

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