Chapter Three, Part 2
I found a shadow big enough to hunker in and watched to make sure the lovers left the park. I didn’t worry about raising an alarm over my sparring partner, not just yet. Anyone out and about at this hour, these young lovers excepted, had whatever they found coming to them. Humankind hadn’t treated me so well that I’d weep over the loss of a hophead or hustler. Sure, I could’ve at least mentioned the five-ton lizard lurking in the brush to the young lovers—but if the sight of a bloody, naked ape wasn’t enough to send them to an all-night diner for a stiff one, I’d lost my touch.
Turned out it was plenty. They emerged and crossed the street, heads darting about nervously until the lad hailed a cab and fairly threw his beloved in the back seat. I admit it: I grinned.
I kept to the shadows, the garbage-strewn alleys, my hat tangling in clotheslines. New York by night knew the sight of me well enough, but a bloody arm didn’t put me in a mood for stares. I stopped at a hospital and extracted some clean bedsheets from third-floor rooms. Bandages. Then I climbed atop said hospital and made my way toward the Hudson by rooftop, rattling awake not a few squawking coopfuls of pigeons.
You must have been wondering: given the fact that I couldn’t fit in my own office, where did the big ape sleep? Answer: a condemned warehouse on the Upper West Side in spitting distance—my spitting distance, at least—of the river. Though not so close its smells overwhelmed my big ape’s nostrils. Other than shooing away the occasional wino—thus giving the squatter the sobering-up event of his life—its apparent dilapidation grants me a measure of privacy. Over the years I’d swiped the stray I-beam from a construction site to bolster the superstructure. By now the old heap could take the charge from a herd of stampeding elephants.
Ducking through the loading doors, I sprawled on my bed of hay. That’s right: hay. Hard enough getting trench coats and fedoras made to size; I wasn’t about to waste the effort hunting after a Kong size mattress. Maybe hay lacks dignity, but so in my experience did most of the humanity snoozing away in their canopy beds or what have you.
Unwrapping my arm, I tapped a cask of liquor and cleaned my wounds. (Seemed this heap had been a storehouse for illegal hooch before a certain primate convinced certain would-be gangsters to skip town.) After applying new bandages, I lifted my prize into a shaft of moonlight:
One tooth, six inches long, stained with my blood. What a Tyrannosaurus Rex was doing in Manhattan, I couldn’t guess, but I knew T-Rexes, like giant apes, only called one speck of earth home on his ugly planet. And I only knew one other living soul who knew how to find that speck of earth.
The man who’d snatched yours truly from Skull Island. The man who’d been uncordially invited by the mayor of New York never to set foot in the city again. One Carl Denham.
Check back next week for the continuing saga of King Kong: World’s Biggest Dick!