Friday, January 23, 2009

Noirtistic License

Act 4: Naked Cajones

We entered the mansion and I wondered why the gates were open before we arrived.
There must be some tracking device or ID system like they have on planes, I thought.
Perhaps an IFF transmitter. Identification friend or foe. Heh. How ironic. To the Yakuza Yukio was a friend, but he and his organization are the foes of everything decent. Especially law and order.

Hmmm. That must be it. A simple GPS would be too risky. This information might come in handy. I'll hafta keep an eye out for some kinda control room. It would be manned, of course, and most likely guarded. Hell, what am I sayin'? I bet this entire compound is crawlin' with security and security devices. No doubt there are several ways to escape as well, if necessary.

Damn! Marble floors? Yukio, for once had understated his standing in the Yakuza.
He was grinning ear to ear as he noted my surprise at the wealth he had obtained...stolen, I reminded myself, in one sense or another, although thievery was the least of Yukio's crimes, of that I was certain.

"Wow, Yukio, I'm impressed!" I said, smiling. And I was impressed. Even though I hated Yukio. Not because of his wealth but because he was so damn evil.

"Wait until you see the rest of it," Yukio replied, obviously proud of his wealth and the power he wielded. "But first, I'm going to insist you get cleaned up and rested. Akira!"

"Hai!" Akira replied. "At your service, Master," he bowed.

Where in the hell did he come from? I wondered. I must need rest, because I was sure he wasn't there a second ago.

"Show our honored guest Mack to our finest guest room and get the doctor to attend to his wounds. We can't have those cuts getting infected. Then get him some decent clothes to wear, and anything else he wants," Yukio ordered. "I'll see you later tonight after you have rested," he continued.

"Thanks Yukio," I replied. Asshole, I thought.

"If you'll please follow me, sir," Akira said.

Annie and I followed Akira up the first stairwell we came to. At the top of the curved starwell we continued straight, took the first right and followed the long hallway to the end. I could see the Pacific ocean through the hallway window, maybe 60 feet below, lapping at a stretch of beach.
Akira opened the door on our left and we entered a gigantic bedroom, bigger than any honeymoon suites I had ever seen.

"May I ask your sizes sir?" Akira asked.

"Huh?" I replied, still lookin' around.

"For your clothes, and shoes," Akira said.

"Oh right," I said. I gave him the information he needed, near as I could recall. It had been awhile since I wore a suit. "Thanks, Akira," I continued, as Akira finished writing everything down. He seemed somewhat shocked that I had bothered to thank him, let alone use his name, to which he flashed a quick smile, bowed, and left, closing the door.

"Oh, before I forget, feel free to call for anything you want, sir. We have chefs if you are hungry. There's an intercom system by the bed. Whatever you need, we are at your service," Akira said, closing the door.

Where is Annie? I wondered looking around. I had lost track of her while I was talkin' to Akira. I continued walking past the king sized bed. Is that cedar? I sniffed. Sure smelled good. I finally saw a bathroom further ahead, and a door that was closed to my left, what looked like three large closet doors, and windows to my right with another great view of the ocean below. There was also a terrace that overlooked the beach. There was also four chairs, a large screen TV, and a mini bar.

I continued into the bathroom, passing three sinks, a few toilets, two urinals, and a huge tub as well as a seperate shower with several nozzles all over the place. Not just from above, but from the sides. Cool! I thought. But I was puzzled, because I still couldn't see Annie anywhere. She had to have taken that other door, I concluded. While I was there I decided to take a leak and wash up. There were plenty of towels and even some various housecoats and robes.
Is that silk? Oh man! I thought, feeling the material.

I got undressed and entered the shower area, playin' with all the knobs and gadgets. Soon there was a cloud of steam as I washed the blood and grime off. I wonder what a water massage is? Whoa! That's neat! What does this do?
Eventually, I got tired of playing with the shower controls, and shut it off. I quickly dried off, and threw on a silk robe. I had never had anything silk to wear before, so this was new to me. Amazing! I thought. I gotta get me one of these.

I went to the sink and opened the mirrored cabinent. There was some straight razors, electric razors, toothbrushes, aspirin, and all sorts of stuff in there. I popped four aspirin while I was there.

"Excuse me, sir," I heard a woman say.

I quickly turn to my left taking a defensive stance instinctively. I didn't hear anyone come in, but I was in the shower.

A Japanese woman stood there, tryin' to hide her smile.

"I'm sorry, I'm doctor Sato. You may call me Hana if you like," she said, bowing.

"Um...hi," I said, staring at her. She is stunningly beautiful, I thought. And she looked no older than 20, maybe 25. Good grief! I'm old enough to be her father. "Oh, I'm Mack," I said, bowing back. It was hard to believe she was a doctor.

"Pleased to meet you Mack. I just wanted to make sure you were okay. How are you feeling?" She asked.

"Um, I'm okay,, Hana. The cuts are superficial, but the top one is starting to seep a bit. Might need a few bandaids, I guess," I said.

"Okay, I'll wait outside until you are finished," she said, turning around to leave.

Geez, I thought, quickly averting my gaze. I ain't never seen a doctor that looked that beautiful. I brushed my teeth, and decided to forgo shaving until later.

I entered the bedroom and the doc arose from a chair she was sitting in.

"Please, if you would lay on the bed, Mack..." she motioned.

"Yes...right," I replied, lying on my back.

Hana checked my heart with her stethoscope, checked my blood pressure, and felt my pulse.

"Where are the cuts?" Hana asked.

"My chest, and abdomen," I said.

At that moment, the door I hadn't explored opened and Annie entered the room, her hair still damp, also wearing a silk robe, although I thought she looked much better in it that I did.

"Oh, I'm sorry, am I disturbing you?" Annie asked, visibly shaken, before turning around and leaving.

"Wait!" I said, this is Hana," I said.

"Oh. I'm sorry. I'm so embarassed. I'm Annie," Annie said sheepishly, walking over to meet Hana.

"Not at all, Annie, I understand. So you are both..." Hanna trailed off.

"No, we aren't...that is, I mean..." Annie tried to explain.

"It's a long story," I said, chuckling. Hanna looked at us both, obviously confused.

"Okay, now let's see those cuts," Hanna said, shaking her head.

I sat up and began to take my robe off, before I realized I didn't have underwear.

"Uh...please excuse me for one moment," I said, getting up. I could feel my face getting red. How do I get some underwear? I wondered. Without them knowing? They were both watching me. Great.

I went back into the bathroom and looked around. I couldn't wear the underwear I came in with, because it had blood on it. Well, I could wear it, but it would look kinda stupid, I thought. I finally came to the conclusion there was no easy way out of this dilemma.

"Okay look," I said, walking back out into the bedroom, my um, underwear has blood on it," I said sheepishly.

"You're bleeding down there?" Hana said, alarmed. "It's okay, I'm a doctor."

"No, I'm not..." I began.

"Oh my God! You better lie down!" Annie said, tryin' to help me back to the bed. "I had no idea you were injured there. I'm so sorry I left you alone, Mack!"

"No, you don't understand," I said, sitting on the bed. "I'm not injured down there. However, my shorts do have blood on them...from my chest and abdomen."

And again, they both looked at me...puzzled expressions on their faces.

Good God! Did I hafta spell it out? I thought, in horror.

"Okay, okay, look...I need new underwear before I take my robe off," I said looking down at the floor.

I heard a click, "Hello? We need some new mens underwear up here," Annie said.

"Excuse me?" A voice said from the intercom.

Oh God...this is really gettin' outta hand, I thought, covering my eyes with my hands. Why not just broadcast it on the evening news? There might be someone who hasn't heard yet.

"Are you okay?" Hanna asked.

"What, are you frickin' retarded or something?" Annie said into the intercom. "I'!"

"All of you?" The voice asked. I heard snickering in the background.

"Listen you! Don't be a moron! Only Mack needs men's underwear!" Annie shouted, exasperated.

"I got a headache," I mumbled.

"What did you say, Mack? I couldn't hear you. Here, lay down, let me check your eyes," Hana said, pushing me down. She was surprisingly strong for her size!

"I said..." I began, before seeing a blinding light in my right eye. "Ahh!" I exclaimed, shutting my eyes.

"Did that hurt?" Hanna asked.

"Boxers or briefs?" The intercom asked. Again, I could have sworn I heard snickering in the background.

"Yes, that did hurt," I replied to the doc.

"Do you wear boxers or briefs Mack?" Annie asked. Both Annie and Hana were intently awaiting my reply.

"Boxers," I said, in a barely audible whisper.

"Is there a particular reason why? Are they more comfortable?" Annie asked.

"Boxers!" I said a bit louder.

"Alright, alright, don't get your..." Annie said, smiling. "Boxers!" She said into the intercom.

"Mack, I know this light hurts but let me check your eyes, okay? It will just take a few seconds," Hana said.

I nodded as she quickly checked my eyes. Damn! That burns, I thought.

"What size?" The voice on the intercom asked.

"How many fingers am I holding up?" Hanna asked.

"I don't know, I'm blind," I said.

"Mack what size..." Annie began.

"34!" I said, rubbing my eyes.

"You can't see?" Hana asked.

"Not after you blinded me," I replied. "My vision will return, won't it?" I asked, melodramatically.

"Mack, listen, you may have a concussion. Did anything hit your head?" Hanna asked.

"34!" Annie said into the intercom.

"No, but I was drugged," I said. "Oh wait, I may have bumped the back of my head on the deck when I..." I continued, leaving the rest unsaid.

"Any particular colors?" The voice on the intercom asked.

"I see. Is your vision clearing," Hanna asked.

"Yeah, I only see spots now," I replied.

"Listen you clown, just get white, okay? And make it snappy!" Annie ordered.

"How many fingers?" Hanna asked.

"Three," I said.

"Good, now how many?" She asked.

"Four," I replied. She asked me more questions, such as the date, who the President was, day of the week, and the time.

"I think you may have a mild concussion, Mack. You should be okay, but let me know immediately if you feel dizzy, nauseated, or have any other symptoms. You shoulds be fine after some rest. Do you know what you were drugged with?" Hanna asked.

"No idea," I replied.

"Okay. I would feel a lot better getting you into a hospital for more tests, but like I said, any symptoms, let me know. Now let's look at those cuts," Hanna said.

"Well I, um, need some underwear," I replied. Hasn't she been listening? I wondered.

"I am not going to wait for those idiots to go shopping and return," Hanna said. "I am a doctor."

"Yes, I know, but..." I began to say.

"Annie, help me get this off of him," Hanna said.

"Okay," Annie giggled.

"Now wait a minute..." I started to say as they wrestled my robe off. But Hanna didn't take it completely off. She placed it below my second cut. I wasn't sure if anyone saw anything, because I had closed my eyes.

"See that wasn't so hard now was it?" Hanna asked, smiling and examining my cuts.
"Ooh, this top one will require quite a few stitches! The bottom one too if you don't want a very visible scar."

"Just stitch the top one doc, please," I said.

"Alright, but I have to clean them out first after giving you a few shots to numb the area. You are going to feel a sting....and another," Hanna said. Before long she had numbed my entire upper chest.

"Will you give me a hand, Annie?" Hanna asked, then she whispered something in Annie's ear. Annie nodded. What is that about, I wondered.

"Just relax, Mack. Really, you don't have to worry," Annie said, sitting by me on the bed. "You are so tense!" She continued, rubbing my temples. I closed my eyes. It was as if I could feel all the tension leavin' my body and mind as soon as Annie touched me. I felt myself drifting off and I didn't fight it as I fell, or rather sank into a deep sleep.

For the first time since my family had been murdered I didn't dream at all, or at least I didn't recall dreaming. No nightmares, no waking up in a cold sweat. But I did recall a sense of rest, as if I was concious but not fully aware, in a blissful state of suspended animation. The feeling had become alien to me.

And then I heard "Kane!"

It was dark when I awoke. I couldn't help but notice I was under the covers. How did that happen? I was also naked. Man, I must've been really out of it. I felt a bandage over my chest. And then I felt a hand! A very soft, delicate hand. Snuggled up beside me was...Annie? It smelled like her, but it was too dark to see her. Holy cow! She was also naked!

It began to rain, slowly at first, and then into a steady downpour. I could hear the wind picking up.

"Kane! He's not..." I heard, from outside, before the wind caught the words and tore them asunder.

Kane is here? What the hell is goin' on? I wondered. I strained to hear more, but no other words became audible.

As if on cue, Annie whimpered in her sleep and held me tighter. I instinctively put my left arm around her, to console and protect her, and she calmed down. I wondered what had caused that to happen. There was still so much I didn't know about her. I hadn't intended for us to sleep together, especially not naked, but I didn't wanna wake her. That would be rude. Since when did I worry about bein' rude, beyond basic stranger manners, that is?

Was I growin' soft or was she makin' me that way? I suppose there was no denyin' I cared about her on some level, or I wouldn't have bothered to stay here. Or maybe I just wanna see her get a fair shake, get her sister back, and then what? Kill Yukio or bring him to justice? How far was I gonna take this?

As I pondered all these questions, and many more besides, it occurred to me that Yukio had "given" Annie to me so that I would care for her. Sort of as an insurance policy, and he could use her for leverage and also her sister. I had to start gettin' some answers, one way or another.

The steady torrent of rain lulled me back to sleep, but this time I dreamed.

"No, you are doing it all wrong, Mack. Like this, see?" Master Toshiro said, showing me how to hold the bamboo sword.

I followed Masters example.

"Whack!" Master whacked me on the back with his bamboo sword. He didn't hit me hard, but it sure got my attention!

"Watch your feet. You are trying too hard. Don't think so much. Clear your mind and let your Chi flow," Master said. "Again."

After four or five more whacks I had finally managed to satisfy Master Toshiro.

"Yes! Very good, Mack! Remember this lesson and you'll remember how to let your Chi flow," Master said, smiling.

After class, and everyone had left Master asked me to walk with him.

"Do you practice religion, Mack?" Master asked.

"Well, no, Master. I don't go to church or nothin'," I replied.

"Do you believe in God?" Master asked.

"Yes, I guess so," I said, uncomfortably.

"You guess? You don't know?" Master asked.

"Yes, I do, Master. But I don't think God, or whoever made this universe, cares about me or even knows that I exist. If He does, I'm listening. I just haven't heard anything, you know?" I replied.

"You don't see Him because He is everywhere and inside of you. Don't quit seeking, Mack. Ask, and you will hear and you will know," Master said.
"Truth is worth the persistence and the patience, yes?"

"What religion do you practice, Master?" I asked after nodding.

"Ho! I can't tell you that. Not until you know," Master said, laughing.

"But how will I know?" I asked.

"Because you will know it is true, Mack. It is inside of you but you haven't recognized it for what it is yet. Once you know, keep seeking to know and you will keep knowing," Master said.

"The truth is inside of me?" I asked, tryin' to understand.

"Do you know right from wrong and good from evil?" Master asked. I nodded. "That is because the truth lives within you. Now do you see?"

I pondered for awhile as we walked before answering, "yes. I do see Master. So how we know God?"

"Absolutely," Master said, laughing. Absolutely! Absolutely!! Absolutely!!!

Master Toshiro stopped and I did too. He turned to stare at me and was suddenly much older! He grabbed my shoulders with an unbreakable grip! "Mack! The sword!"

I awoke with a psychic jolt! Master alive!


julie said...

"See that wasn't so hard now was it?"

Good thing I finished my coffee before coming to that line :D

walt said...

Ben -

I'm following this story closely. Every detail is important, I'm sure.

And the metaphysical clues in your dream sequence with Master Toshiro scratched the surface very deeply. His reference to "chi" showed the deep and abiding respect he had for his wife's culture. Of course, I am jealous of such dreams!

Silk pajamas, nekkid women, beautiful doctors so young they must have started Med School at 16 (i.e. smart, too!), even a choice of boxers or briefs: Mack is a real Man's man. Again, I am just jealous!

QP said...

SIZE 34 BOXERS - well that sure helped clear out the horror.ble images of the 12 HUGE, I mean FAT, men clothed in nothing but scanty briefs that arrived in an email this morning...thank heavens they weren't exposing Naked Cajones.

Next email I opened, whose subject was "I'm ALIVE" was from a friend who choked on a bone from the best friend chicken she'd ever eaten. Yes - she wrote friend instead of fried. Anyway, her husband put the grip of Heimlich on her and saved her life. She advises to never eat alone. Sheeze, why send that message to a single fried?

Great writing Ben. I jest knew "Master alive!"

mushroom said...

For I moment I thought this was a lost work of Groucho Hammett, Dashiell's younger, smarter, funny brother. But the metaphysical aspects caused me to think it might be someone with more theological and philosophical depth -- like the Reverend Dr. Harpo Hammett, DD, PhD, ThD, CMDY.

In any case, my daughter walked through and wanted to know what I was laughing about. I did a quick alt-tab back to my code editor and said, "The way this guy did the eval loop is just hilarious."

Robin Starfish said...

Mack exhibits um, remarkable control, what with silk robes, massages, hot docs and 'undercover' dames, but then one of the cardinal rules of storytellin' is to not give away everything,

The director yelled "Cut!" just in time!

Bogart said...

Lishen, Mack me and Marlowe was talking about this case the other day. Reminds me of one I had back in '48. I plugged the big boss with my roscoe, but the cops nabbed the dame, and she's shtill doin hard time in the big house. Too bad, cause she was a doll with gams right up to here, a face that would melt an angel, but a heart of ice that'd frost a martini glass in a Florida heat wave. I'm sure you knows the type. I don't know nothin' about these Yakuzers, but Marlowe said to warn ya' that those Japanese are darn clever.
By the way, if that Yukio ain't lookin' can you heist me one of them new fangled portable transistor radios? I hear you can fit 'em in your briefcase, and still have room for yer roscoe, and a fifth of the good stuff.
Watch yer back Mack.


Gecko said...

No writers block here. Betcha
Julie will do a great cover!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Sorry I'm late with replyin' guys.
It's been kinda hectic lately...blah blah...excuse...blah.

Hi Julie,
Thanks! Funny thing, I didn't plan on putting that in when I started this chapter. I don't even know where it came from...okay, I know where it came from but not why.

When you write at night, mostly improvising (with some research done to hopefully get geography, names, etc., right) weird stuff happens. :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hey Walt,
(Notice: I'm tryin' to cut down a bot on exclamation points so I don't wear it out) Ha! I was wonderin' if anyone would catch that detail. I shoulda known you would. :^)

You know, writin' about silk robes sure makes me want one. Of course, if I hadone I would probably just hurt myself somehow.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hiya Qp,
Yikes! 12 really fat men in briefs? That is scary.

I'm glad your fried is okay, ha ha! I'm laughin' at the play on words you used. Brilliant! :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hey Mushroom,
I'm glad you liked it. I'm really gonna try to work on a family-friendly story one of these days. I think a few of my past (disappeared, more on which, later) posts were close to family friendly, if the "damn's" and "hell's" were edited out.

I had a close encounter with a chair and gravity in one story that wasn't funny (to me) at the time, but has aged well, and like any good cheese was kinda funny.
In fact, it was a good analogy of my life in a sense.
I'd like to think I have the right stuff to be a Stooge if not a Marx. :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hey Robin,
Good point! I try to leave some stuff to the imagination. Plus a little mystery is always good. I'm definitely not gonna go Danielle Steel on y'all.

A little steam goes a long way as "the little engine that could" demonstrated.

Wait, that's probably not the best example...I think I just heard the Director say "cut"! :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hey Bogart,
Always good advice, ha ha!
Yes, those Yakuzers are clever, and you always gotta be wary of fat men (especially in briefs!).

I'll work on gettin' you a talk box. They make 'em smaller these days. Smaller than most gats.

I'm glad to see that you n' Marlowe have been jawin'. Youse guys are my heroes, you know? :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hey Gecko,
Good to see ya! Yes, I would love to see Julie draw Mack...better yet, Annie! If she has the time, of course. A book does need a good cover, and my stick figures just won't do the trick.
Plus, the stick figure of Annie looks kinda funny (and top heavy).