Chapter Three, Part 1
Wormsy’s tommy gun hadn’t stopped spitting in the alleyway. Empty shells dribbled down the sidewalk like breadcrumbs luring the unwary toward Broadway. Half a block later the trail of shells parted ways with that Skull Island floral scent. The coppers could follow the shells; I took the scent.
It led me to Central Park, plunging into the shadowed recesses thrown by a full moon. You might think a giant ape in the urban jungle would like the Park. You’d be right. I’d spent many a late night like this one plodding through its wooded areas, scratching my back on tree trunks, picking my teeth with the stray branch. At this hour I only risked being spotted by the occasional young lovers out later than they should be, strolling arm-in-arm and whispering none-two-sweet nothings at each other.
The scent led me into the trees around the Pond, growing more pungent even as another overwhelmed it—the stench of extracted viscera. Of still-warm human blood.
I stopped. Sniffed. Tensed.
The leaf cover exploded to my left, expunging a freight train of shadow bearing down on me. Steak knives clamped around my forearm. I knew that feeling almost as well as I did the perfume of Skull Island flowers. Ludicrous, tiny arms scratched at my chest.
Time was, I would have ripped a tree up by the roots and pummeled my assailant. But my misadventures at the Empire State Building, followed by six months of learning to knuckle-walk all over again, had taught me a thing or two about discretion. I rained blows on a toothy head with my right arm. No good—these things were stubborn, and no more likely to release their prey than a mousetrap sprung on fresh meat. I stopped thinking like an ape and started thinking like a sleuth.
Letting it dig into my left arm, I shook my right arm out of its sleeve. Easier said than done with that damned rod in my back, but I managed it. Right arm free, I reached over my shoulder and took hold of my trench coat, slinging it over my assailant’s head.
There isn’t a dumb animal in the world likes to have its head shrouded. The death-grip on my arm slackened enough for me to yank it free, taking a tooth as souvenir. Then I clenched my hands together and pounded that skull until it issued a squeal, turned tail and tramped into the trees, my trench coat trailing behind it like a cape.
The old Kong—that is, the young one—would have dashed off after it. Grabbed it by the tail and pummeled the life from it. But this big ape’d had enough for one night. I staggered back toward the Park entrance, nursing my bloody arm, knuckling my aching back.
A gasp stopped me in my tracks.
There they were, that young couple. And there I stood—one big ape, bloodied and naked but for his fedora.
“Park’s closed, kids,” I growled good-naturedly, and trudged past them. The girl’s eyes bugged out. I covered myself with a hand, tipped my hat. Her beau was bound to disappoint after this night.
Check back next week for the continuing saga of King Kong: World’s Biggest Dick!