January 19, 2015 by Laird
I’m wrapping up several projects. One of these is a prequel to my Jessica Mace stories. Tomahawk Park Survivors Raffle is set in the late 1970s and features Jessica’s parents as recent high school grads trying to survive the attacks of a serial killer with ties to the CIA. It’s a slasher inflected by Ludlum and MR James. For interested JM fans, here’s a peek:
Tomahawk Park Survivors Raffle
- August, 1979. Palmer, Alaska. I’m going to kill you all.
Lucius pulled on her dress again, then the knee high go-go boots. Esteban lay spread eagle across the mattress like he’d gotten flattened by a truck. He didn’t even bitch that she was screwing and booking.
She lit a cigarette (Player No. 6, no substitutes) and glanced at her watch. The watch was a high school graduation present to herself swiped from a tourist-trap gift shop during a spring trip to Eagle Talon. A real watch with a quartz face, stainless steel butt plate (water-resistant to 50 meters!), and a band of interlocking metal links you could wrap around a snow tire. Not the prissy filament-thin chain girls always wore on their delicate fucking wrists. The kind of timepiece construction foremen and steely-nerved execs strapped on the way gladiators did it up with iron bracers and spiked cestuses. Backhand a fool in the chops with this baby and he or she was going down, minus teeth.
Save your life one day, Dad said when he saw it. Dad was the king of foreshadowing. His wedding ring had kept his finger attached after a piebald stallion chomped it in his horse-breaking days of yore. He was keen on serendipity and Jim Beam.
Lucius finished the cigarette. She slid on five rings—three costume gemstones on her right hand; a mood ring and a silver death’s head on the left. She scooped her clutch (black vinyl with a small bronze clasp of a bald eagle descending, talons out) and strode through the doorway without saying goodbye. I don’t say goodbye, ever, she’d told Esteban during their sophomore year when they started knocking boots. Especially to you.
Naturally, she stashed a switchblade in her purse alongside the compact and black cherry lipstick. The switchblade recently belonged to a gangster wannabe, ass-grabbing hick named Steve Morrow. Morrow didn’t come around town much since senior prom. The gemstone dents and death’s head tattoos on his greasy face were possibly permanent.
“Hi, Mrs. Mace,” she said to Esteban’s mom as they passed on the stairs.
“Hello, dear.” The older woman wore a kimono with a red heron stitched on the breast. Her hair was bound in green curlers at half past 10pm. “I miss anything?”
“Not a damned thing.”
“His father’s son.”
It was finally dark enough.
Butch Tooms slumped low in the backseat of the stolen Pontiac. Nobody ever looks in the backseat until it’s too late. He wore his dead mother’s nylon stocking over his face. He twisted its mate into a garrote. Mo-Town played in the background. Friday Night Countdown. Across the way, Lucius Lochinvar left the Mace house and walked north toward Main Street. She tromped along, mouth set stern as hell, arms swinging like she was on her weekend job as roller derby enforcer down at the Hippodrome North. Tough little broad. He evaluated her the way a mongoose assesses a cobra. Kill now, or kill later? He decided to kill her tomorrow night at the party. Easier to keep the bodies in one pile, right?
Watching those hips switch stirred his ambition. If the death gods were with him he’d get a little freak on, too. After he’d let the air out of her tires, for safety’s sake.
The Jackson 5 came on the radio to agree. ABC, baby! OneTwoThree, baby!