July 1, 2005: When local development lovely Lara Tremor pulled into the parking
lot of the Samaria Lounge it was already packed with cars. Though
it hadn't rained for days most had license plates splattered
with mud. Making it impossible to read the numbers.
The lounge and its adjoining motel, the Samaria Deep Six,
were popular with pols and players from a wide swath of New
Jorksacutt. Nosy reporters had a habit of cruising the lot.
The feds made the rounds as well. Despite the interest of the
latter, both lounge and motel were guaranteed bug free.
Proprietor Nick Garbagapolous swept them twice daily. Using top
of the line bug detectors, paid for with Homeland Security
dollars. Courtesy of Governor Herb Kuspitor. Since the Gov often
consulted with his aides at the Samaria Deep Six, vigilance (and funding) was needed lest terrorists attack him in the sack.
The Samaria lay just over the Slaugerton county line. Which was
why dead political consultant Bob Slotsky had picked it as the
place to meet Lara Tremor and Slaugerton Mayor Terry McConn.
Earlier in the week Lara and McConn had murdered Slotsky in
McConn's condo. After discovering Slotsky was wearing a wire.
Now Slotsky was back from the dead and doing a shake-down. But
he didn't want to risk a replay of die Bob die. Not that Lara
and McConn had the foggiest about how to do a zombie.
At least Slotsky won't be wearing a wire, thought Lara as she
entered the Samaria. Nick didn't just sweep the premises: he
had security specialists using X-Ray gizmos at all entrances.
Slotsky would have to negotiate his "reparations" (Lara's lip
curled) in private. Just between friends.
The lounge was as dark as Lara's thoughts re Slotsky. She
couldn't tell if he or McConn had arrived. Until McConn's hand
fell on her shoulder.
"Lara!" McConn seemed in high spirits. Though just a few hours
ago he'd been whining about how much he hated to meet with
Slotsky. Hinting how only Lara should go. Saying he preferred to
remember his old buddy as he was when alive. Asking Lara if she
thought Slotsky would stink. No more than usual, she'd snapped.
She hated it when McConn turned needy. But now he was pumped.
His jowls quivered and his eyes glittered like chips of mica in
a buckled sidewalk. Lara wondered if he'd been to the john one
too many times.
Lara slid into a booth with McConn right behind. A candle in
red glass lit their faces from below. After the waitron delivered
their Zombies (McConn's little joke) Lara launched.
"Why so chipper Terry?"
"Do you like to sew?"
Now she knew he'd been hitting the blow.
But McConn was only making another ho ho. Letting it go, he
filled her in on the real. He'd just come from a meeting with
Alkar Y'hut, a real estate player from Grubana. A new face on
the Slaugerton scene. Y'hut and crew, in the non-profit guise
of Housing From Heaven, were buying up city slums. Flipping the
HUD "rehabs" into the hands of straw buyers. Dummying up docs.
Jacking appraisals. Banks were begging for the biz. Bundling
inflated loans. Wall Street was buying. The FHA was picking up
defaults. Everyone was happy. Only one problem. Not enough
straw buyers. Y'hut was tearing out his hair. Till one of his
underlings suggested using zombies.
Lara thought she saw where this was going. "If you're saying we
should pay off Slotsky in phoney real estate, he already--"
"Hell no honey hear me out. The nitty gritty is this guy who
works for Y'hut, he used to be an overseer at a jute mill back
in Grubana. Working zombies. He knows everything there is to
know about them. Including" McConn paused for effect "how to
Now Lara was interested. She moved closer to McConn and lightly
walked her fingers over his jowls. It was a long march. Do
tell she cooed.
"It goes like this. First you find out where they sleep. Then you
sneak up on them and cut off their head. Finally-- and this is
the important part because it keeps them from coming back-- you
fill their mouth with salt and sew their lips shut."
"I wonder if Slotsky is staying in his old place" mused Lara.
"Did I hear my name being taken in vain?" said Bob Slotsky,
lurching up out of the darkness. His face glowed like
phosphorescent fungi on a stump in the heart of a
"Bob-O!" McConn half rose, all glad hands "Looking good!"
"Shove over" said Bob, plopping down in the booth next to him.
Leaning past McConn, Slotsky leered hello to Lara. She gave
a bored hiya. Slotsky had always bored her. Dead or alive made
no difference. With one hand she lifted her Zombie to her lips,
with the other she toyed with the salt shaker.
To be continued...
Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff
"If you convey to a woman that something ought to be done, there
is always a dreadful danger that she will suddenly do it."
G. K. Chesterton, The Secret of Father Brown, 1927
Episodes of Revitalization, My Lovely
Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter One
Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter Two
Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter Three
Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter Four
Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter Five
Revitalization, My Lovely Reloaded; Chapter Six
Revitalization, My Lovely Reloaded; Chapter Seven
Revitalization, My Lovely Reloaded; Chapter Eight
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