Before I get to the window, I can hear with my over sensitized hearing what I think is an orgy in room nine of the Shady Palms motel. Shady is an understatement. It should have been called bottom of the shit tip motel. The place was as run down and filthy as a homeless mutt.
This is an easy job though, take some pics of my target getting it off with his lover, hand them over to his little wife and get paid. What do I find instead, the skinny ass dude wanking off to a porno flick? Not just any porno flick mind you but one with two guys and a chick, and here I am creeping around a flea-bitten motel being battered by a cold wind threatening to freeze my ass off. Randolph fucking Mary, this is not what I had envisioned the way I would be doing my job.
I had such almighty hopes that my business Chan Fahd Private Investigations would get cases with a bit of meat to them, well this has meat but not the kind I expected or wanted. I just know that when I hand the pics over to Mabel Cole she is going to want a discount seeing there was no third party involved, just her dick of a husband and a porno flick, it wasn’t even a good one.
By the way that’s me, I’m Chan Fahd, actually it’s Chanel Fahd, but I prefer just Chan. Why the Hell I was named after a fucking perfume, god only knows. The last person to call me Chanel got a punch to the throat.
Not the least bit happy I take the pics through the window of the dude and what he’s watching. Urghh…the snaps catch him cream his legs, my stomach roils with wanting to throw up my dinner, I’ll never eat stroganoff again after this.
If I hit Tommy’s bar before I go home I can wash down the bitter bile now invading my mouth, a few cherry whiskey Jacks will do it and hopefully wipe this memory from my brain in the process. One can only hope, my brain though is stuck in a tandem of once seen, can’t be unseen and wanting to go home and sleep.
I jump from the motel to the lane next to Tommy’s. Yeah, I can jump from one place to the next. I just have to think where I want to be and within a half a breath, I’m there. You wouldn’t believe how much I save on bus, train and cab fare. It’s not the only thing I can do I have two other abilities, that either make me a freak or downright fucking special.
I was fifteen when the first little charm came in, that being I could change my outfit in a blink of an eye, actually with a click of my fingers. That discovery came about salivating over a goth outfit in a magazine at the dentist office.
There I was in my jeans and tee and the next I was dressed as the picture I was looking at, including the make-up and hair. Catching my reflection in the clear glass of the reception counter, the blood drips from mouth down to my chin looked downright awesome.
I looked up just in time to see the dentist open his door to call me in. His face changed from a congealed pleasant smile to pure horror in seconds. Poor dude probably thought he was caught in a nightmare, he slammed his door shut and I was sure I heard him bolt it. He obviously hadn’t seen anyone in Goth before. I thought I looked pretty burning hot. Hence to say I didn’t get my teeth cleaned that day.
My aunt though was another story. As soon as I walked into the house and after she finished screaming and praying to the blessed Lord Jesus she dragged me to the bathroom and scrubbed my face to within an inch of my life, not to mention the ass whooping she gave me. Least it was better than when she had shaved all my hair off for getting into a fight at school. Never saw those clothes again though, so I guess she burned them. What she didn’t know was that with a click of my finger they could be back again, just not when aunt Amelia was around.
Aunt Amelia had raised me since I was a baby after my parents were killed in a plane crash, I don’t remember I was only two. She was great most of the time, when she wasn’t trying to teach me a lesson by baring my butt to her ladies’ group and paddling it with the hair brush or the flat of her hand. Still she was maybe a little over the top when it came to her religion. A little over the top is probably too mild of an expression, she was totally obsessed with St Thomas, her church, bible studies and ladies’ group.
She had formed a women’s fellowship group some years before, that she named God’s Obedient Disciplined Moll Disciples. I didn’t have the heart to tell her what was wrong with the name, and not just because it was a mouth full to say. You’d think she would have known going to church, I did get her though to use the first letters only, so I didn’t have to keep hearing it out in the full, so her little women’s group became G.O.D.M.D.
She actually liked it saying “Well God is a healer, so it fits that he should be seen as an MD.” She had clapped her hands together. “And we, are his nurses. We help to heal the sick through prayer and good deeds, and minds that have diseases.” I had rolled my eyes and murmured, not so she could hear. Yeah good luck with that aunty. If anyone with a diseased mind stood before her she would clobber them with a broom, not pray for their souls.
Every Monday night she would have the churchy women over for prayer sessions, well until I dosed their tea with a bit of ecstasy. It was a dare by Tommy Harrington, Agnes Harrington’s grandson. He told me it was something that would make them happy. Yeah, I was a stupid teen who thought Tommy was a good catch. He wasn’t.
Their little prayers session almost turned into a love fest. If you think that sounds nice trust me a bunch of septuagenarians getting it off in the midst of tea, lamingtons and finger buns was hard on the eyes. Hence to say my night was spent trying to keep them separated and stop Agnes Harrington stripping down to her lacy black bra and knickers. Who knew a seventy-five-year-old woman wore such things. Not something I want to see again.
I never did tell my aunt it was me. It was a stupid thing to do, but then again, I was a stupid kid with a dark sense of humour and a crush on Tommy Harrington. She blamed the grocer for giving her a bad box of Oolong tea, convinced he was in league with the devil, she never did buy tea or anything else from there again. I’m surprised she didn’t put him over her knee and paddle his backside with a hair brush, her favourite weapon in instilling good behavior.
As I said aunt Amelia was religious, dragging me to church every Wednesday and Sunday until I turned sixteen, then I just refused to go. So, from there in every Wednesday and Sunday just before she left for church she would quote the same line.
Chanel don’t blame me when the devil comes to rip the soul from your body. The angels will stand and watch you being dragged to the pits of Hell and laugh at your behind.
Yeah, she was the only one that could get away with calling me Chanel, everyone else, well, they got a punch to the throat.
The ability to change clothes by the flick of my fingers created for some unusual situations. Like the time I was passing a club and caught four girls smoking cigarettes outside, all dressed in the same outfits.
Their low cut red sequenced dresses were pretty hot. I thought well seeing as they were all dressed the same, why the hell not, I changed with a flick of my fingers and followed them into the club. Everything was going pretty well, I even scored myself a glass of champagne. That was until I was confronted by the bride wearing a short white sequenced dress wanting to know who I was.
It’s not often I’m at a loss for words, but that’s what happened. When she yelled at a group of guys, obviously the groomsmen, all looking like line backers I hightailed it to the lady’s powder room.
When I finally came out it was to find them surrounding the door, they were as polite as shit apologizing and parting the way for my escape. Changing into old lady’s clothes, grey wig, glasses and cane was a smart move. I even hunched over and wobbled as they escorted me to the outer door, steadying me as I went. What polite young men they were.
I was eighteen when the second ability came, the feat to jump from one place to the next. I had gone to a concert and you know what it’s like when you think the lead singer is looking at you. Your knees go weak, starry eyes and your heart palpates just wanting to be next to them. He probably wasn’t even looking at me amongst the thousands of other screaming girls but the next thing I knew I was standing beside him, on the bloody stage.
It frightened the shit out of him, he dropped his mike and screamed like a girl. Fucking princess. Then his body guards tackled me in a body lock and hauled my ass out of there, tossing me out the back door. At least I got one good throat punch in before I went down. So, after that I found myself in some very strange places until I learned to control my thoughts through meditation.
I think back to Mary Donaldson, such a lovely old lady. I had met her when I was young, delivering some church magazines to her my aunt insisted I take. Mary though would have none of it, she didn’t much care for religion, and I never asked her why. She did though bring me into her small apartment and gave me a cup of tea, how could I refuse, she was sweet and frail, and I guess desperate for conversation.
Several years later I happened to see her standing outside of Walton’s bakery, she had checked the contents of her small well worn purse, put it back in her pocket then continued to stare at the delicacies in the window. That was until old nasty Walton came out to shoo her away with a tea towel, flicking so that it caught her fragile hip, Nasty old dick he was.
So, I did the only thing I could do and that was to jump into his store early the next morning and put one of his tables outside his store, filling it with all his product before he arrived at work. I put a very large sign on the table that said ‘Free – take what you want’, that taught the bastard not to assault an old lady.
I took a couple of eclairs in a box to visit Mary, saying I was just paying a visit. The dear love couldn’t even offer me a cup of tea, I didn’t fail to notice her cupboards were bare, reminding me of the old woman who lived in a shoe. Mary didn’t live in a shoe, but you get my meaning. Still she enjoyed her eclair. I didn’t eat mine, even though they were my favourites, I just left it for her to have later. I had paced my bedroom for hours trying to work out how to help Mary. My aunt had said she made her own bed so now she had to lay in it, whatever that meant.
It took me all night to work on a plan. The first stop was jumping into the local Meal on Wheels office before anyone came to work and put Mary’s name on their list for weekly food deliveries. I knew if I had just contacted them they would have paid Mary a visit and that wouldn’t have gone down so well, Mary was a proud woman, so this way was better, no questions asked. They would just leave the food boxes on her door step, ring the bell and then be gone before she answered the door.
Next, I went midnight shopping at the large supermarket in town and did a big shop, yeah really big shop. Took five trips jumping from the supermarket to Mary’s, my exercise for the week.
I slipped in and out of Mary’s apartment while she was out for her morning walk, no doubt being chased down the road by grouchy old Walton. I even put her shopping away.
I followed Mary not long after when she went to visit her husband’s grave and overheard her say thank you to him, convinced he had done this for her. I didn’t feel angry or hurt that she thought her husband had somehow helped out from the grave. I was just happy that she would have plenty of food now in her cupboards and constant weekly deliveries from Meals on Wheels.
I looked down at what I was wearing, which was pretty much the usual when I was stalking some desperate woman’s husband. A black body hugging cat suit, mask included. It was perfect allowing me to hide in the shadows, but sensible wear for Tommy’s bar, not so much. I would have every deranged asshole trying to buy me drinks and pinch my ass, and having what I had witnessed tonight, nope that wasn’t happening.
I changed to jeans and a tee, and for good measure a three-quarter length black leather coat and black knee boots. I slipped the camera into my pocket and walked casually around the corner to the bar.
Tommy’s is in the seedier part of town, at the end of Kings Cross, most call the darker end. I’ve been coming here for several years. I like the place and Tommy is good for a chat.
Walking in the door I am met with the usual stale cigarette smoke, sickly over sweet perfume, after shave, and alcohol. Yep, my second home. Most Thursday nights though, Tommy’s was dead, but not tonight it’s busy.
Making my way to the bar I took the furthest stool, the last one next to the wall. I’m not a particularly social person and after what I witnessed tonight the last thing I want is to be anywhere near a male.
As it is I just knew I was going to have fucking nightmares of skinny arse dudes, flea bitten motels and porn flicks, unless I can half wipe myself out on cherry whiskey jacks.
“Hey Chan, looking fine tonight girl.” Tommy said already grabbing a glass to pour me a drink and popping a bowl of cherries on the counter in front of me.
“Yep, thanks.” I murmured putting a twenty down on the bar and leaning back to take in the clientele. I like to know who is in the vicinity, I’m suspicious of everyone, that’s what happens when you become a PI. I was still pissed off with this last job.
Really if you are going to pretend you are working late every Thursday night at least make it a worthwhile venture, and not lock yourself in some scummy motel room to jack off to a porno flick. You would think with my heightened senses I would have been able to tell the difference between a real orgy and a god damned b grade movie.
When I was twenty-one, four years ago my senses had increased to freak level. I thought I was losing my mind at first. I was in the bath relaxing to Seals and Crofts’ Summer Breeze, berry bubbles, and a glass of red, I don’t always drink whisky.
Suddenly I hear Harold Matheson as if he is in the next room telling his wife he’s going on a business trip, and the clatter of dishes, Mrs Matheson laying the table for dinner. The thing was the Matheson’s lived three blocks away in the old Claremont house. Then it had hit me, I could hear every bloody person in every fucking house. As you can imagine that would be enough to make a normal person go insane, but then again, I’m not normal, far from it.
I had to wear ear plugs for months until I got a hold on how to control it. Along with the hearing was night vision, now that was a bonus. No more stumbling through bushes with a shitty torch.
Taste changed too. I didn’t mind that I could distinguish individual tastes on a pizza or in a curry, but I could also taste the change of weather before it hit and smoke in the air.
The worse was when the church had burned down and the fourteen occupants including the priest and my aunt couldn’t get out and were burned alive. The taste of human flesh in my mouth refused to budge and hung in for months.
That’s when I found Tommy’s. He was good for a yarn and helped me through the worst of it. Tommy it turned out is an ex-boxer, even had those cauliflower ears and nose that had been broken so many times it sat flattened and off centre to his scarred face to prove it. He was a good listener though, and the whisky helped too, but the memory of it is stuck in my mind like a barb to the back of my brain.
I complained to Tommy on the first night, there were no cherries on the bar. I know what you’re thinking but I’m a cherry fanatic, I love cherries, fresh or those bottled black cherries. When I finished eating the bottled ones I added whiskey to the cherry juice. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it. Hence to say after the first night of my complaints to Tommy, he always had a bowl of cherries waiting for me.
A few months later he created my own cherry whisky Jack. I could taste the cherries and cinnamon but not his mash of secret spices, he would never tell me what they were. The drink was a winner as far as I was concerned.
The loss of my aunt left me incapacitated for longer than I care to remember, not being able to come to terms with her death. She had been a pain in the butt with her religion, but she was my aunt, she had raised me and regardless of my own religious ideology she loved me as if I was her own daughter, well I thought she did.
Bex didn’t agree though, reminding me often of some of the things my aunt had done to me, things I though were normal. Bex would often scream at me saying it wasn’t normal that she liked to control everything I did with a heavy hand and some things that apparently normal people didn’t do, like shaving my hair off or tying me to the bed stripped naked when I had been naughty.
My aunt and I had a dark secret when it came to my uncle who hadn’t been around since I was fifteen, and now it was just me that held the secret of what happened to him, no one knew not even Bex.
I had never told my aunt of my abilities, sometimes I wish I had in retrospect, even if it had have meant listening to her babble on about it being the devil’s work for hours on end, and maybe some punishment. I hadn’t told anyone except for Bex.
I took a sip of the whisky scanning the room. Love buddies Ted Thornbury and Chad Barley at the other end of the bar were in an argument over who would win the next tennis match at Wimbledon. They had the same argument every single night. Friends for fifty years the night would end as it always did, with the two of them arm over arm singing sailor’s ditties as they wavered and totted drunkenly up the street.
I scan across the wall facing the bar, barmaid Olive is chatting up a couple of blokes. I watch her flash her fake lashes and lean over to shake her bountiful boobs in their faces. If she came my way I’d let her know the two guys are a couple. I like Olive, but she is as thick as two bricks rubbed together. Constantly munching on Limburger cheese, apricots and garlic while serving, just don’t let her breathe in your face, and you thought my drink was crazy.
At the middle of the bar sits Wilbur White, he spends most of his time talking to his beer, he calls Jean, as if it is his girlfriend, probably the only thing he ever gets to talk dirty to. Wilbur used to be our postman, that was until his wife ran away with his dad. He couldn’t have missed his wife much, because her name was Sharon.
A bunch of dicks are crammed against the wall watching the footy on a black and white tv, above the bar. In between scores they’re debating which is the best pickup lines to use on a chick. Maybe I should send Olive over to them, they could be the worst pickup lines in the world and she would still fall for them.
When the door opens I spy Esmeralda shimmying in. Well his name is actually Matthew, but shit, he dresses up well. In the dim lighting no one could tell he wasn’t a woman. Esmeralda gives me a smile, I nod him over to the jack asses watching the footy. His eyes dart to the group before turning back to give me a wink and a wicked smile as he shimmies over to them. Yep, he’s good for the night.