It’s been busy the past few days. Sunday, I paid a visit to the Back Alley Beale Street Voodoo Bar. Good place. To get there, you have to go to the Voodoo store on Beale Street and head around back. Make sure you’ve brought some good liquor for the doorman. I brought him rum, as I always do. Hopped down the steps and left the bottle next to a man-sized chalk drawing of a guy with a tophat. I turned away for a second so neither was in view and heard the ordinary metal door’s lock click for me. Me being me, I couldn’t resist turning around to see the chalk drawing now sitting in a chair, bottle raised to its mouth, with the rum missing from where I set it. I egged him on for a second with “Chug, chug, chug, chug!” but he didn’t move while I was watching. As I opened the door and walked in, I heard laughter echo from thin air.
The bar was bathed in dark blue light. At times, the walls shimmered, like crystals, with occasional white lights flashing into place randomly or chasing each other through the walls and ceiling. Masks of various cultures decorated the walls. Don’t ask me to explain the lights. These eyes of mine aren’t just whited out. They provide me with what you call augmented reality and a nifty little HUD. I’m thinking about adding a picture of the front of my face in one area that looks around constantly and gets bloodier as more things hit me. Anyway, this nifty system is helpful for identifying people, but it has a huge problem here. Can’t identify very much if I ask it to, and especially not those lights. Magic, man.
The bartender looked like a woman. I say looked because I’ve seen all types stand behind that bar and each one had the same tics and habits. That and you can’t see her eyes or the eyes of any other bartender. They always seem to be just a little too shadowed in this lighting, though something gleams from back there. I told her I needed a man who could find some people for me. She directed me to a booth where man sat, looking around at the place and sipping a beer. As I approached, he snapped his fingers and a small glowing orb of light appeared to better light his booth.
“Not used to the lighting?” I asked as I neared.
He shook his head. “Not a problem is it?“
I slid into the opposite seat, “Probably not. Say, I needed someone to find me some people and the barkeep seems to think you are some guy for that.”
“That I am. Name’s Harry Kiri. Now who are you looking for, stranger?”
“None stranger than me. Call me Psycho Gecko. I’m looking for the crew of the TV show Storage Genocide. Apparently these people worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars go around buying the stuff from poor people who can’t afford to keep the storage unit paid up. I can’t wait for them to make a show about people who snatch candy from babies. Anyway, you find me those guys and you’ll also find yourself with some more money.”
While I had been talking, he pulled out a scrap of paper and began to draw something. A magical incantation, ritual symbols, I couldn’t tell. When he held it up, it turned out to be the name and address of another self storage place in town, “They’ll be editing on Monday, but Tuesday you can find them here.”
“Oh, you’re good. And fast. I expected you to do some fancy hand gestures at least,” I told him as I took the scrap of paper.
“I actually watch the show. That’s why I want one last episode before you do whatever you do to them,” he said.
“Oh. Ok then. That was easy,” I said.
“And the money? I don’t see a briefcase or a sack or anything on you?”
“It’s rude to look for a man’s sack. But here,” I tossed a prepaid credit card to him. “Ta da, the wonders of technology.” That’s no measly $25 or $50 either.
“Ah, that was also easy.”
I left then, intent on killing some time. First, however, I decided to ask around to see if there was anybody who could give me a fun little surprise for my reality TV debut. I found a conjurer, or perhaps it was a sorcerer or shaman. Anyway, she helped me put together a little something on short notice.
I wasted the rest of the day hanging around Beale Street, listening to the musicians, watching the street performers, and making sure I wasn’t recognized when the Honky Tonk Hero flew by overhead in his rhinestone-studded white jumpsuit, pulled along by his glowing guitar.
On Tuesday, I got to the place early. The staff was a teeny bit uncooperative about which lockers were being bid on, but the guy came around after the 14th swirly in the toilet. I personally think my clever and frustrated use of the plunger is what brought him around. I also made him fully aware I’d drag him to a portapotty for another round of swirlies if he warned anyone I was there.
He promptly quit his job.
I got my surprise magical guest into position and made sure he knew the code phrase. When the crew finally got there, I was coming around to walk up from the same direction they had come.
“Greetings, y’all! You’ll all be happy to know that stealing a supervillain’s stuff is about to get you higher ratings! Now, anyone want to tell me what happened to my gear before I have to get my boots covered in ass?”
This one bald guy who was a little thick didn’t take me seriously. He and some of the other guys who wanted to seem hard stood up to me, “You think you can take us on? You don’t even have your power costume, idiot.”
“I don’t need one. I take care of all of you without even getting my hands dirty.”
“Oh yeah?” asked baldy.
“Oh yeaaaaaah!” I said, prompting a crashing noise from the unit we were all in front of. They turned to look as a Moai burst through the door to the unit. It rocked from side to side to move forward, scattering them. I hit the button on a music player strapped to its back, so it chased them to the tune of Peter Tosh’s “Walking Razor,” because I could only come up with reggae as appropriate Moai chasing music. I don’t know, maybe Spanish would have been better?
Anyway, the Moai chased off the buyers while I grabbed hold of a man and woman who seemed to be the hosts. A panicky and loud lot, I’ll give them that. “Alright, folks, come here. You had your chance to be nice and civilized about this, but like someone eating fast food tacos, you’ve made a decision that will obliterate your anus.” I threw the guy against the warped door of the unit and reached in for whatever was close at hand.
“Wait, they sold it!” The guy shouted at me as he saw me pull out a kayak.
“You don’t have to do this!” The woman joined in the conversation. I began to hum that little la la, lalala la Smurf song because there was nothing good on TV last night and that happened to be on. I hate when that happens. A real pet peeve, you know. Not the end of the world, by any means, but I should never be tempted to watch History Channel’s “Secrets of the Nazi Alien Sex Experiments” just because movie channels can’t play good movies. Ah well, back to the matter at hand. I brushed off my hands and let the grunting man sink to the ground as best as he could. He couldn’t really bend so much at that point.
I looked over to the woman who so helpfully volunteered information before. She blurted out, “They took it to Triple X Dirty Pawn!”
“Hmm. Odd name for a shop,” I said, grabbing hold of her shoulder with one hand and reaching into the locker with the other. “Let’s see…nope, can’t use that. Too skinny. Too slick. Woops, whatever that was was alive. Ah, here we go.” I pulled out a vase full of plastic petunias.
“It’s a pawn shop reality show,” said the woman in my grip, then added in a smaller voice, “Please don’t hurt me.”
I was about to tell her it goes a little easier if you’re going commando, but a roar cut me off.
I let her go and ran to the nearest lane between the rows so I could work my way around to the source of the roar. What I found was a gorilla in a jet pack fighting my Moai. The gorilla just full on bitchslapped the Moai, but my Moai came right back at him with headbutt. Considering that he is just part of a torso and a giant head, the Moai’s options for attack are limited. The gorilla had to brace himself against the ground after the blow, and thus I was spotted.
“You!” he said. Or just grunted to sound enough like “you” for me to interpret it as such. Nope, my mind wasn’t messing with me. He followed up with “You defiled my home, you cad!”
“Is this about the zoo?” I asked as I threw the vase at him.
“Yes. I had put my life of violence behind me, but now I, Gorilla Awesome, will avenge your despicable intrusion into my peaceful existence!” He raised his left hand, which was covered in a metal gauntlet. A grappling hook fire from on top of it, no doubt to grapple with me. I kicked that shit to the side. He then raised his other hand, a thick metal armband on his forearm. A barrel rose out of the top and fired a laser at me. It singed my shoulder pretty bad, but I threw myself back out of the way.
Before Gorilla Awesome could correct his aim, the Moai dropped on top of him. Awesome’s head smacked the pavement and he was so out cold so bad, you’d think he was a gay eskimo.
“Good boy, Moai. Come, let’s away!” I said and ran over to my magically animated minion, hopping on top of his large stone head to be carried off, rocking back and forth to the sounds of Peter Tosh. Now I just have to hunt down a pawn shop in another reality show.
On the plus side, there’s bound to be power tools and someone who could use a Three-Speed Adjustable Craftsman Enema.