Good afternoon. It is Thursday once again and I Gigi the Parti Poodle am here to introduce chapter thirteen of my story Power Grid Failure. This week was monstrous. I was shuttled off to the groomers where in the middle of winter my hair was shorn. I am freezing. My novelist puts me in my sweater to go for walks, but I am still shaking all the way. Here is a photo of me in that dreadful garment:
The whole thing is beyond cruel. I look like a prisoner in those stripes. I wanted my novelist to get me a lovely cashmere sweater from Naadam but did she? Not a chance. I am stuck either wearing this thing or freezing. I am utterly disgraced. And cold. I should start a Go Fund Me account so I can get my well-deserved cashmere. Not to mention Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and now I’m stuck with six more weeks of winter. And with that, here is Chapter Thirteen of Power Grid Failure. Mwynhau!
Power Grid Failure
Gigi the Parti Poodle
Craggy stands in Mr. Peaks office watching Tiffany as she sits in Martin’s executive chair. Tiffany thinks Craggy looks like a cross between a snake and a racoon. His intense stare has remained focused on her since she sat down.
“I don’t see the reason for separating me from everyone else,” she says.
Craggy continues to silently stare at her.
“Are you a friend of Dragontail’s or did he just hire you?”
Craggy doesn’t answer her question. Tiffany starts to get up. He takes a step towards her.
“I’m just changing my position.”
Dragontail knocks on the door. “How’s it going in there, Craggy?” he asks.
Craggy keeps his eyes on Tiffany as he moves to the door, knocks once, and then twice more.
“Sounds good to me.”
Craggy walks back towards Tiffany and crosses his arms.
“You do realize there’s nothing here for you guys to steal,” Tiffany says. “This isn’t a cash business or something.”
Craggy pulls a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket, shakes one out and sticks it in his mouth.
“You can’t smoke in here. It’s illegal. Not to mention Mr. Peak hates cigarette smoke.”
Craggy whips out a gold Zippo and lights his cigarette.
“You know I watched my uncle die from smoking. It was terrible. He lay there wheezing and coughing from emphysema. Couldn’t breathe at all.”
Craggy blows a billow of smoke out from between his lips.
“Besides. It’s a disgusting habit.”
Craggy exhales another cloud of smoke.
“You won’t be laughing when you get emphysema and your fingers have turned an ugly permanent shade of yellow.”
Dragontail knocks again. “I’m coming in.”
Craggy takes another drag off his cigarette before answering the door. Dragontail saunters in, heads towards Tiffany, and leans over her.
“Craggy,” he says looking her in the eye. “Have some respect and put out that cigarette.”
Craggy plucks the cigarette from his lips, walks up to Mr. Peak’s desk, and drops it into Mr. Peak’s coffee cup.
“Thank you.” Then he says to Tiffany, “Here’s the plan, Blondie. Reynolds is holding everyone hostage.”
“You’re holding everyone hostage,” she says.
“And me and my boys are going to disappear like thieves in the night.”
“What makes you think you can pin it on Reynolds?”
“Because my No Fun Stun Gun is only the beginning. Now, here’s what’s going to happen first. I know you own a cat.”
“How?” Tiffany says warily.
“Because I stalked Sloan stalking you. Except he always rides the bus back. I, however, know where you live, and I know your cat lives with you.”
Dragontail shows Tiffany a picture of her Scottish Fold on his phone. Tiffany can clearly see this is indeed her cat Silver sitting in her apartment. Then Dragontail swipes to the next picture. Her precious Silver is in a cage in a strange place looking up at the camera with doleful eyes.
“What have you done to Silver?” she demands.
“Nothing…yet. Although, she’d make a great physics experiment from the top floor of my apartment building.”
“There is something seriously wrong with you.”
“Not nearly as wrong as it’ll be for Silver if you don’t do exactly as I say.”
“Silver was a graduation present from my parents. I’ve had her since my freshman year of college.”
“And now she’s a bargaining tool. Do what I say, or Silver hits the ground like a sack of wet cement. Craggy, go check on the others.”
Craggy left the office and walked out into the glassed-in area where the others were standing around. He took another cigarette out of his pack and lit it with his Zippo.
“You can’t smoke in here,” Mr. Peak tells him.
Craggy shifts his gaze to Mr. Peak and bores his eyes into him.
Sloan leans over and whispers to Adams, “Send Unicorn the email.”
“I’m trying,” Adams whispers back.
“What’s Crystal’s animated thing anyway?”
“A dancing unicorn.”
“You’re kidding. That’s too ironic.”
“Unicorn will totally dig it.”
“What are you girls whispering about?” Remmel demands.
“He’s showing me porn,” Sloan lies.
“Yeah? Show it to me.”
“He’s trying to download it from his email.”
“Isn’t it just something online?”
“Hurry up,” Sloan whispers to Adams.
Adams tries to upload the attachment again.
“Give me the phone,” Remmel says leaning into the two guys and holding out his hand.
“Come on,” Adams breathes.
You can check out my books Chicane and all five installments of the Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!, Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!, Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!
STREAM OF THE WEEK: BLACK BIRD (2022)-APPLE TV+
Of all the 2022 miniseries/limited series and television movies, this one is Best of Breed. And that’s saying a lot considering some of the other outstanding shows this year like Dahmer-Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story, The Dropout, and Inventing Anna. The show has been nominated for two Screen Actors Guild awards for Outstanding performance by a male actor in a television movie or limited series.
The series is based on the true-life story of James Keen (Taron Egerton in a superb performance), the son of decorated police officer, Jim Keen (Ray Liotta), and a high school football star who turns down several college scholarships to become a thriving narcotics dealer. Keen does indeed get caught in a sting called Operation Snowplow and his luxury lifestyle ends abruptly when he is condemned to ten years in prison without parole.
A couple of months into his sentence he is approached by tough as nails FBI agent Lauren McCauley (Sepideh Moafi) and her FBI superior Edmond Beaumont (Robert Wisdom). Because of Keen’s congenial and charismatic personality, McCauley and Beaumont offer him the opportunity of a lifetime: transfer prisons, persuade a confession from suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser in his brilliant Golden Globe winning performance) and walk out of prison scot-free.
This is no easy task as Hall presently resides in a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane, a far more harrowing penitentiary than where Keen is presently serving time. And unlike James, Larry has a pending appeal he stands to win which would set him free, and the clock is ticking. Not to mention Hall is no normal criminal. He is suspected by FBI agent Brian Miller (Greg Kinnear) to have murdered perhaps as many as nineteen young girls. But the FBI have only found the body of one victim, Jessica Roach (Laney Stiebing). Even more frustrating, the court is not convinced Larry killed Jessica. They believe him to be a serial confessor providing what the court and law enforcement professionals think are false testimonies.
Further complicating things is Larry is also a monochorionic twin to his brother Gary (Jake McLaughlin). Gary was born healthy, but Larry had dwindled in the womb. Larry spent his first days in a neonatal intensive care unit due to lack of oxygen and was found to have a compromised IQ. Psychopathy also runs in Larry and Gary’s family on their father’s side and in his early life Larry was antisocial and committed arson, burglary, and petty crime. He was brought up digging graves with his father and learned to be a janitor in high school. He also became a fan of Revolutionary and Civil war re-enactments and Agent Miller suspects he travels around to these events and uses his custodial and grave digging skills to help him get away with murder.