The Glibening, Part Six:
Your Routine Crazy Girl Call
Gilhooly and Kestrel reappeared in the elevator lobby of Thought! Magazine. The Muzak began playing a peppy brass instrumental. The receptionist had removed her own dress and was trying to fit it over the skeletal remains of Jane Fappington-Smythe, the very recent former editor.
“I like those things walking around in their skins better than I like them,” said Kestrel blankly.
At that moment two NYPD officers burst out of the stairwell door, pistols drawn.
“Okay, folks, everyone just stay still for a second until we can get this sorted out. Everyone OK in here? Oh, she’s not,” said the skinny redhead cop looking at the receptionist. His partner, a dark-haired beefy man, circled the lobby.
“Anyone injured? Any threats we should know about?”
Gilhooly and Kestrel shook their heads mutely, trying to figure out whether their situations had improved or gotten worse.
“Squirrels ate Jay-Fap.” the receptionist giggled, pushing the skeleton’s hand through one of the armholes of the dress.
“A whole bunch of them. They all got off the elevator and just ate her!”
The skinny cop looked at Gilhooly and Kestrel.
“Officer…Reardon, this poor girl is our receptionist. She’s only been here since Monday. She’s obviously disturbed,” said Gilhooly.
“Canadian, eh? And, who are you?”
“Dmitri Gilhooly,” he said gesturing at the directory board. “I’m an editor here,” he said, seeking to be as vague as possible given the circumstances.
“And you are,” asked Reardon, looking at Kestrel.
“Regina Kestrel, editor emeritus.”
“Former editor, now moved on to other things.”
“And who or what is ‘Jay-Fap,’” asked Reardon.
“This is Jay-Fap,” said the receptionist brightly, grasping the skeleton’s arm bones to wave its hand at the cop.
Reardon snorted at the grinning skeleton with the outlandish purple hair waving at him. “Uh-huh.” A routine crazy girl call, and this one wasn’t bad looking; he had a good view of her in her bra and panties playing with the skeleton. Probably she wasn’t actually crazy, but had been drugged by some scumbag. He planned to follow up on her in the hospital once the thorazine wore off and maybe score a date.
“Jane Fappington-Smythe. Jay-Fap.”
“Hey Reardon, Jane Fappington-Smythe is on the directory here,” said the stocky officer. “Also, Dmitri Gilhooly.”
“Okay, folks, can I see some ID from everyone. And where is ‘Jay-Fap,’” said Reardon looking at Gilhooly.
“Jane had to go,” said Gilhooly producing his ID and trying very hard to tell only the truth, and as little of it as possible.
“Thanks, Mr. Gilhooly,” said Reardon after looking at Gilhooly’s driver’s license.
“Morning sickness,” said Kestrel, reaching into her knockoff handbag for her wallet. “That wall ashtray there is full of her vomit.”
“I was going to ask about that,” said Reardon, nodding to Kestrel after checking her ID. “Normally your magazine offices smell like a urinal.”
“Room appears to be clear,” said the beefy cop.
“Roger that, Stern.” Reardon holstered his pistol. Stern continued to check the entrances and exits.
“So, you folks normally keep a skeleton in your lobby? What type of magazine is this, anyway,” asked Reardon.
“Officer, this skeleton is a prop. Something our art department was setting up for the Halloween issue photo shoot.”
“Magazine publishing has a long lead time. In October we’ll be finishing the New Year issue.”
“Stern, radio down to the sarge that EMS…”
Gilhooly started to remove his turtleneck, or at least that’s what it looked like to Officer Reardon who moved his hand to the taser on his belt. He bet it was Gilhooly who had drugged the girl. Tasing the SOB would help him score with her if that were the case.
“Sir, EMS will be here in just a minute,” said Reardon as he moved his hand to his taser wondering if Gilhooly was on the same drug as the receptionist.
Gilhooly’s trademark hipster turtleneck (“before it was cool, eh?”) slithered up over his head then jumped to the floor and unravelled some of its lower parts and scurried on its wispy tendrils toward Reardon.
“Sir, control your dog,” yelled Reardon, firing the taser at the sweater.
The sweater slowed briefly as the taser hit it but kept coming.
“Holy shit,” said Stern as Kestrel’s dress rippled and out slipped a matronly foundation garment which started running across the floor toward him on its garter straps, the metal hosiery clips making ticka-ticka sounds on the terrazzo floor, like the nails of a small dog.
Stern shot the lingerie item. The bullet passed cleanly through, the hosiery clips missing a couple of beats but then continuing their previous rhythm.
“Get this thing off me,” screamed Reardon as the turtleneck slithered over his head and uniform, pinning his arms to his sides like a straitjacket.
“They don’t take orders from us,” said Kestrel.
“Officer Reardon,” said Korb’s voice from Reardon’s radio earpiece, “please don’t struggle. Just go along with us and no harm will come to you or the other policeman.”
The girdle likewise swarmed Stern and encased his torso and arms.
“Don’t worry, Big Boy, I’ll be off you in a few minutes,” cooed Xylpig through Stern’s earpiece.
“Hey now,” said Stern, turning beet red.
“Okay, everyone, this is what’s going to happen,” said Korb. “Some nice women are going to come in and take poor Jay-Fap away. They’ll be in and out in sixty seconds Kestrel will keep Crazy McCrazypants out of the way. You two officers will stand here with us and not cause any trouble.” At the word “trouble,” Reardon bucked up and grunted.
Once the body is gone then we get off you two and go back to our hosts. You radio down that the scene is clear and everything continues like nothing else happened.”
“There never was a skeleton,” said Xylpig . “It was all in the mind of the girl who freaked out on drugs, called the cops, then did a striptease in the lobby.”
“What about the taser and gunshot,” asked Reardon. “We have to account for that shit, you know.”