“The Mayonnaise Murders, Part 2” is scheduled to be released in late September/early October 2014. This is one of a series of posts leading up to that release.
Like with most of my characters, I’m not quite sure where the Gerruh really came from. They just appeared a few chapters in, letting me know it was time for me to introduce them into the Mayonnaise Murders storyline. And like any good writer, I obeyed. Although I do believe in outlines (flexible ones) because they help me focus and keep me from getting too lost on the way to an eventual conclusion, I also believe in letting the story take the writer by the hand. Because if a writer can’t trust his own muse, then what’s the point?
And what the muse told me about the Gerruh, and what the Gerruh soon let me know themselves, was that they are perhaps the most charmingly immoral and ruthless assassins I have ever met. Without a doubt they are the deadliest things I have ever created. But in the spirit of The Mayonnaise Murders, they’re also a lot of fun, provided you don’t mind some bloodshed and a few severed limbs stirred in with your entertainment. The thing is, the Gerruh can’t really help themselves because the murderous twins never exactly had any parents or any other moderating influence in their lives to steer them in any other direction. Created as part of a brief experiment on Planet 10 that was eventually abandoned, the Gerruh were set loose to make their own way once the experiment was terminated. Unfortunately for those who made the mistake of crossing their path at the wrong time, that way proved fantastically violent. It also proved to be something the Gerruh figured out they were damned good at, and since practice makes perfect and perfection (in certain crafts) can lead to a decent living, you might say the Gerruh optimized their opportunities.
If you’d still like to meet the Gerruh more up-close and personal, feel free to check out Chapter 8, Scene 1. Enjoy.
Pale, bone-white skin wasn’t the kind of skin to be stuck with in extremely warm weather, and that even applied to the Gerruh. Not that anyone would have ever known because no one had ever held that sort of a conversation with the two. Conversations took time, and the Gerruh simply did not believe in wasting time. Do the business, then move on. Like a shark in the deep sea, always moving, always hunting, never wasting a thing.
“How long has it been since we heard from him, brother? Do you think something may have occurred?”
“I’m not sure, but you must admit something does not seem quite right. This client has been somewhat more chatty than most, always wanting to keep in touch and all that. This may actually be the first client who has ever expressed a desire to keep in touch with us, wouldn’t you say?”
They were sitting at a park bench in Washington Park, looking relaxed but feeling uncomfortably warm and unsettled. But anyone who walked past that bench couldn’t tell what the Gerruh were looking like because they wouldn’t have been able to see them. All they would see was an empty bench enveloped by some type of strange pale haze. It was for this reason that even though all of the other nearby benches were occupied, it was a beautiful sunlit day, and the park was full of visitors, no one sat on this particular bench. Every so often someone, usually someone who had been jogging, would see the bench and look relieved. But once they came closer those expressions turned to curiosity, then slowly into fear. Then they would back away. Quickly.
“I believe you are probably right about that, brother. I can’t imagine why that might be, can you? After all we do to ingratiate ourselves with the community, offering our services as we do. You would think we might have…friends…?”
At that, the Gerruh broke out laughing, which caused several nearby dogs to howl and whimper. All the birds in the surrounding trees took flight as if they suddenly remembered it was time to fly north for the winter.
“But seriously, brother, I must confess I am somewhat concerned, seeing as how this particular client has been so generous in his compensation for services rendered.”
“Are you speaking of his voluntary generosity or that level of generosity that required our assistance?”
“Good point, brother, and an important distinction. I am referring currently to his voluntary generosity.”
“I see. So then are you suggesting we contact him to see where things stand on the project, or should we wait for him to reach out to us through the normal channels?”
The other didn’t answer right way but simply observed the passersby with an expression of mild amusement mixed with a bit of hunger. He cleared his throat several times, allowing his thoughts to run their course.
“What do you make of our two critter friends?”
“Oh. So then we do have friends after all? Why how fortunate for us!”
“Your humor is appreciated, indeed. But you know of course that I am referring to…”
“To the page scratcher Vee and her little lapdog detective friend Vid. Yes. Of course. So you want to know…?”
The other shrugged, then sighed.
“Just what you make of them. We have had other targets in the past, and yet…”
“I’m sorry but I’m afraid I must stop you there, brother. Certainly you remember that neither Vid nor Vee is an actual target, at least not as has been identified as such by our client. Correct? Unless our client has made some additions to our arrangement to which I was not privy, my understanding is that the target remains the MayoMadd business here in Denver and surrounding area. He expressed very specific instructions regarding that fact, correct?”
“…He did. Yes…”
“Why the hesitancy, brother? Am I wrong on this?”
Slowly he shook his head, his expression grim.
“You are not wrong, brother, which of course means it is I who am wrong in this matter.”
“Brother! I did not mean to imply at all or in any way that…”
The other raised his hand, ceasing the interruption.
“No need to defend yourself to me, brother. Not now or ever. I am simply admitting something to you, and that is the realization that perhaps we have been a bit too zealous in our continued pursuit of Vid and Vee. At one time it did appear that they were key to what we sought and to our contracted mission. But that time seems to have passed, and yet – and this is very unlike us, I’m sure you’ll agree – we have persisted in tracking them and harassing them for what would appear to be other motives that are somewhat troubling.”
“I wouldn’t upset yourself about it too much, brother. After all, even their fellow critters would be forced to agree that they are what the purebloods refer to as a ‘pain in the ass’. That is the correct phrase, is it not?”
The other nodded. Smiled.
“It is. Yes. Indeed it is. I am just concerned that we do not allow ourselves to be drawn from the path by anything so petty as personal irritations. These kinds of disruptions are what draw the sort of attention that the lesser thug breed is known for. We are of a higher order, and we must maintain certain standards. Without them we risk descending to the level of the common crook.”
“You are worried about the incident involving the car crash, brother. That is what this is about, yes? And about that young boy who saw us transform?”
The other nodded stiffly.
“That never should have happened, and it would not have happened had we not been so distracted by a desire to harass that pair of critter trash. Or, I should say, if I had not been so distracted, and then dragged you into this…”
“Brother. It is always we. And don’t worry. This is not a problem that cannot be rectified. It is minor. I say we …”
The phone rang. The Gerruh regarded each other, then nodded. At precisely the same moment they tapped a small button on the left side of their wraparound dark glasses. There was a dry clicking noise, followed by the appearance of a short, squat individual at the center of their lenses. He was standing in the middle of a comfortably-outfitted office that the scenery outside the floor-to-ceiling windows in the background made obvious was not located anywhere on Earth. Also there was no way a critter on Earth would have been allowed to operate such a luxurious office. The purebloods wouldn’t have allowed it.
“Good evening, sir,” the Gerruh said simultaneously.
The individual, who stood with both his hands clasped behind his back, smiled broadly.
“We were just discussing you.”
The individual’s smile faltered a bit, perhaps nervous at the thought of what this might mean.
“Oh…? Is everything not well? There hasn’t been a problem I hope? Your credits have all been properly deposited into the correct accounts?”
“Not to worry,” said one. “Be assured that if this were regarding a concern over payment there would have been no need to await your call for explanation. We simply would have sought you out to clarify matters. We had not heard from you in awhile, and seeing as how this did not equate with the normal behavior we have come to associate with you, we wondered if something might have happened. We see it hasn’t, so what can we do for you?”
“Ah. Well. Yes there is something, some developments, that I think perhaps we should discuss.”