Krazy 4 Koontz, by Joseph Rubas
June 17, 2014 – Is this a dream?
I’ve been asking myself that all day, even though I know it’s not. The warm sunshine on my skin and the cool, salty breeze against my face dispels that notion.
This is real.
I’m actually here. After all the years of busting my ass and saving every penny of my slave’s wages, of, months of trudging across the country and weeks of baking in the Utah-Nevada-California badlands, I’m here. The more I think of it, the higher I get. I’ve been wandering around Newport Beach all afternoon drunk with lightheaded triumph. My feet were sore and my skin ached from all of the sun it sucked up in the Mojave, but that was okay; I didn’t even notice. Sunny Southern California is everything I dreamed it would be, everything Dean promised me it would be. No wonder so many countless pioneers flocked from the crowded, industrial east in the 1800s, this place is breathtaking. The clear blue sky, the wavering palms lining the grand avenues, the warm, sun-kissed breeze and the sparkling blue ocean breaking on the white sandy beaches; this must be what heaven looks like.
Hell, this is heaven.
And in a few days I’m going to meet God. I feel like a sexually repressed schoolgirl in her first miniskirt as she watches The Beatles on stage. Not the gross, grody hippy Beatles, but the cool, hip Beatles of 1963, 1964. No lie, I’ve had an erection since I crested the hill and beheld the city spread out before me like some Utopia. I hope I don’t swoon when I meet him. How embarrassing would that be? I’ve waited my whole life for this moment. I can’t spend it giggling and fainting, or worse: gushing.
Yeah. Not gonna happen. I’m in control. I won’t act like a star struck Elvis fan. I can’t afford to. This is my big chance.
Oooh, God, this is wonderful. Not only the promise of meeting Him, but also just being…immersed in His world. All day my eyes were peeled, looking for sites I might recognize from His novels. I’m going to use the weekend to sightsee, and then on Monday I’m going to get serious. All work and no play, you know. I have no idea how long it’s going to take me to actually meet him, but that’s fine: I have a lot of dough saved up. I can comfortably pass the whole summer where I’m at. The motel’s a little seedy and the neighborhood is…rough around the edges, but…hey, it’s fine with me. I knew I could never afford anything nice. No high-rise hotels on Fashion Island for me. And though I’ve been dying to taste the sophisticated cuisine I’ve heard so much about, it looks like it’s pizza and burgers for me. I like both. No problem.
June 18, 2014 – Now, here comes the interesting part. How in the hell am I going to jaunt all around SO-CAL if I don’t have a ride? I didn’t really give that any serious thought. I was so intoxicated with just making it out here that I overlooked that one small but vital detail. Shit.
But this is just a minor setback, really. Maybe I can get one of the ghetto rats living in the slums down the street to drive me. Surely they wouldn’t mind riding whitey around for the day if whitey paid them well.
Hmmm. Nah, I don’t like that idea. They’d probably kill me for my Rockports (which I wear in honor of Him). I have a Heckler and Koch pistol (which I carry in honor of Him) in my bag, hidden away under dirty, sweat-soaked T-shirts and crusty boxers, but I don’t want to draw any attention to myself. Even a justified homicide is a homicide, and I don’t have time to be delayed by some stupid police investigation.
Anyway, I’ll worry about that later. It’s seven in the morning now. I think I’ll hole up here for another hour or so. I like to smoke my dozen cigarettes while watching Morning Joe, so I’ll relax, take a shower, and then hit the street.
What a day, and it’s only 1:30! I’ve been all around this city, and my jaw hurts from dropping so much. Not only is it gorgeous, but I saw several places I remember from Koontz books. How wild! I even went on a little trip up the Pacific Coast Highway. I shouldn’t have, though. In the countryside, cops are underworked and bored out of their minds, which means that they’re likely to run someone’s tags just for something to do. Had anyone run mine today, they would have found out that the license plate on this ‘Vette actually belongs to a station wagon.
I know, I know, I’m supposed to be cautious, but how was I supposed to get some wheels? I was careful. No one saw me actually taking it. I made extra sure of that. It was parked on the border of a cozy middle class neighborhood lined with shady pepper trees and quaint houses. I’m surprised it didn’t have an alarm on it. I fully expected it to cry out when I tired the handle, but it didn’t, to my shock. And it was unlocked. The keys weren’t in it, though, so I had to hotwire it.
Driving up the highway, following the curves through the mountains and past beautiful cliffside views of the crashing ocean, I felt like Zeus. Unfortunately, I had to ditch it when I was done. And since I don’t want any heat in my direction, I was done fifty blocks north of my motel. No biggie. After coming through the desert, that’s a cakewalk.
Right now I’m eating lunch in a small, pretentious restaurant near a shopping mall. I’m kind of excited about walking. Maybe I’ll even see some more Koontz locations.
I did, and I gawked at them the way a tourist would the Statue of Liberty. I took a few snapshots on my cell phone, and before I go to bed I’m going to upload them to my Facebook.
I was happy, but my feet were killing me, so I stopped off at this little pizzeria and passed about two hours. I ordered a Buffalo Chicken Supreme and fries, and washed it down with three ice cold Coronas. That pizza tore my guts up, though, and I spent at least forty-five minutes in the bathroom, shitting fire. Done, my asshole still burning, I came out and ducked off into the little arcade I saw going in. They had Pac-Man, Pole Position, S.T.U.N. Runner, Cruisin’ U.S.A., and a few shooters. I stuck to the classics.
Back here, I took a load off and watched TV for about three hours. SyFy was having a Twilight Zone marathon. Even though I’d seen most of them before, I watched in suspended wonder. Man, how great were those anthology shows? Speaking of TV, did you know Dean once wrote an episode for Chips? I hate that fucking show, always have, but his episode was excellent.
Anyway, when some stupid Dinocroc vs. Cockzilla movie came on, I flipped the set off and had a long, hot bath. Ah, relaxing. My tense muscles loosened up and my feet stopped throbbing. I was in there for an hour, I know. The water kept getting cold and I had to refill the tub a few times. I haven’t done that since I was a child.
It’s a little past midnight now. I know I should be asleep, but I’m too excited for bed. It’s fast approaching, my meeting with the man who molded me, who touched my spirit and kept me company on many long, lonely nights, who got me through my father’s abuse and my mother’s indifference; my two years in facilities and group homes; and my last five miserable years of poverty. I keep playing it out in my head, what I’ll say, what he’ll say, what we’ll do. That’s always been a cherished daydream of mine. I close my eyes and just drift, imagining us teaming up and fighting mutants and sociopathic hitmen. I better quit. If I keep on I’ll be up all night, like a kid waiting for Santa.
June 19, 2014 – I’m easy like Sunday morning.
That old song’s been stuck in my head ever since I woke up to the warm sunlight streaming through the window. Who does it?
Easy like Sunday morning.
This morning’s sure looking smooth. Except that I have to steal another car. I still have to tour Napa Valley (Intensity, baby!), go out and see John Wayne airport…man, I don’t even know what else. I have it all written down in my notebook. I should probably whip it out. I’m sure I’ve already visited a few places listed. I have to check them off. What a disorganized slob!
I’m in a Ford Explorer! A fucking Ford Explorer, just like a Dean Koontz character! I saw it in the parking lot of a strip mall down on the coast, a boxy green wet dream, and I just had to have it. Luckily, the owner left the keys in the ignition, and I was able to slip into it like I owned it. I feel a little self-conscious, though. It’s not really the kind of car you’d find cursing the strip. It’s more built for the mountains. Dirt roads, rolling hills, tall forests, homestead farms, small towns with four or five streets and rising green church steeples. Hopefully Napa’s like that.
Napa wasn’t exactly like I pictured it, but it was still beautiful. John Wayne was…well, an airport, but it’s our airport. Me and Dean. I’m back at the room and restless from the excitement of today. I think I might take a walk.
I did something bad, really bad, but it’s okay, no one was around. And even if they were, it was dark and they couldn’t describe me to the police if they were being paid.
I didn’t plan on killing him, it just…happened. One of those things. You know, the kind that just pops up, surprise! And it was. A surprise, I mean. I was just walking down the sidewalk past all these lovely homes when he materializes from the darkness like a ghost. I didn’t see what he looked like, he was only a vague silhouette, but I wasn’t worried about him anyway. It’s what he was walking that caught my attention. A golden retriever. A big, blonde, friendly beast that reminded me of Dean.
I froze in midstride.
It was destiny. I know that. When I whipped out my gun and finished the owner, the shots echoing back and forth off the dark facades around me, the dog didn’t bolt or take an aggressive stance. It sat, as though in anticipation of a treat. When I slapped my knee and whistled for him to come, he did. Meekly, but nonetheless. Maybe he was happy that his master was lying in a pool of blood and waste, his leg twitching like the leg of a smashed cockroach.
We ran, the both of us, him at my heel, and I giggled. I was elated, still am. I’m pretty sure he’s a boy, but I think I’ll call him Trixie anyway.
June 21, 2014 – The Koontz trifecta is now complete! I’m now the proud member of the perfect family: man, woman, and dog.
I was having lunch at a small, corner cafe and worrying over the upcoming meeting like a child standing in line for a mall Santa, when she strode by, captivating me.
She was very pretty, with long brown hair and small, almond eyes, but she was also a strong woman, not just a cute plaything, I could tell by the way she bore herself. She exuded confidence and certainty. She was delicate, yet not fragile, sexy andsmart, most likely a business woman who lived alone in a tastefully furnished highrise alone, a hopeless romantic who yearned for the right man, yet could survive and thrive without one.
I felt the way I felt when I saw the dog. She was a Koontz woman through and through. I had to have her, to add her to my collection. She would look good between the Explorer and the Rockports.
Without even paying for my meal, I hopped over the little iron gate enclosing the outdoor patio and followed her. At that hour there were a lot of people out, most of them in business suits and yammering into their cellphones, and I almost lost her a few times.
Finally, after a half hour, she left the walk and went into a huge, uber-modern glass building at a busy intersection. I was afraid to go back and get the Explorer lest she leave without my knowing, but I had to. I parked along the curb across the street and waited.
Finally, at five, she came out of the building and walked straight for the car ahead of me, a small coupe. I lost her once in traffic and panicked, but found her again and followed her all the way home. Surprisingly, she lived in a small ranch house in an inferior neighborhood.
I parked down the street and killed the engine. I would have to go in later, when the world was asleep. When would that be? No one keeps decent hours anymore. And even if my Koontzette did, he neighbors might not.
As it turns out, they did. At one, the neighborhood had been out like a light for nearly two hours. I got out of the Explorer, softly shut the door, and crept up the sidewalk, making extra sure to stay out of the light cast by the streetlamps. At her house, I tiptoed along the side, past the plastic trash cans and recycling bins. All the windows I saw were barred, as if they belonged to crack dens in South Central. It was actually easy to get the cover off the window and climb in. As luck would have it, I was right in her room. She was asleep, softly snoring.
As I crouched there, my eyes wide and ears wider, a beast on the prowl, the obscene compulsion overcame me to snoop in her draws. What would I find? Was she a nympho? Would there be vibrators and dildos hidden under her lacy panties, and KY and Vaseline for anal fun in the nightstand? Maybe she was a drug addict, and I would find her paraphernalia sequestered away under blood money.
Nah. She wasn’t like that. She was good. That’s what had attracted me to her in the first place.
I took her fast and hard. I knew her totally, so I was well aware that she would fight me. I beat her over the head and knocked her out. I got the Explorer, backed it into her yard, and fetched her. She was lying on the floor in a heap, moaning in pain. She wore a long white nightgown the likes of which I haven’t seen since I last visited my grandmother before she died. I scooped her up and carried her away, my bride.
She revived a little on the ride, and I had to crack her in the temple a few times with the Heckler and Koch. In the room, spread dazedly out on the bed before me, she was a study in erotica. I took the dress off of her (it got in the way, and nearly tripped me in the parking lot), and beneath she wore blue panties and a black bra. Her legs were long and slender, her throat graceful, her muddied eyes enchanting. I thought then of stripping and taking her. Oh, how good she would feel between my legs. I pictured myself busting my hot load all over her firm stomach, and shivered.
But no. I couldn’t do that. I was the protagonist in a new Koontz novel, and guys like that would never rape a woman. I’m good, like her.
Instead of having wild sex with her, then, I prepared a cool compress with a dirty motel washcloth and held it against her forehead. She hovered in and out of consciousness all night, and I was right there, nursing her along. I kept telling her that I was sorry for my treatment of her, but I don’t know if she heard me.
Before I went to sleep, I tied her hands to the baseboard with my belt, and then watched over her, my groin afire and my heart aflutter. She was laid out before me like a banquet. I just couldn’t resist; I slipped my hand down her panties and felt her. Ohhhh, hot velvet, sticky sweet. My penis throbbed, but that’s as far as I went. I masturbated in the bathroom, and cried out with the power of my orgasm.
I caught a few hours’ sleep, and woke when she thrashed beside me. I’d stuffed a rag in her mouth, so the only noises she made were muffled and weak.
“Good morning,” I said with a sunny grin, “how’re you feeling?”
Her eyes widened, and she tested her bonds.
“Look, I’m sorry about last night. I can explain.”
She screamed against the rag and pulled at her restraints.
“Ma’am, please don’t do that. Listen, calm down and I’ll take that thing outta your mouth. Deal?”
Or no deal. She’s tuckered out right now, but for a while she was like a woman possessed. The way her sweaty hair dangles in her eyes is so sexy. I want to rip her panties off and take her up the ass like an animal so bad it hurts. Alas, I can’t.
Well, I guess I better feed her. And the dog. Trixie’s been such a good girl throughout all this. She’s just been sitting in the corner watching me with love and admiration. What more can a guy ask for?
AHHHHHHH!!! The bitch escaped! She’s gone, fucking gone! Oh my God, dear Jesus on the shitter, gone! And she took Trixie with her!!!
I was away for ten minutes, right across the street getting a bag of hamburgers, and when I came back she was gone. The door was standing open and the room was empty. I looked franticly around, but didn’t see her. There was no telling where she was or what she was telling. I had to get out of there ASAP.
Without even going back into the room for my things, I leapt into the Explorer and got out of there. I didn’t see any police cruisers on my way, thank God…though I doubt she could describe my vehicle to the cops. I mean, it wasn’t parked in front of our room (some asshole’s red F150 was in that spot), and when I got her it was dark and she was dazed. I may still ditch it.
No. I already lost two important pieces of my Koontzian collection today, I’m not going to dump a third. All I have now are the Explorer, the Rockports, and the Heckler and Koch.
Anyway, I’m in another motel, this one closer to the beach. I think I’m going to go have some dinner.
June 24, 2014 – Okay. The ripple I caused in the pool of SO-CAL has petered out. It was never a really big story to begin with, and now it’s gone for good. There was another earthquake out east, bigger than the one in ’11 but just as pussified, so that’s been the hot story lately.
This minor delay hasn’t hindered me, at least. Yesterday I went out to Dean’s house for the first time. I was desperately hoping to see Him out on His porch, clicking away on His laptop with a cold lemonade close at hand, but the yard and porch were both empty. I double checked my notebook to make sure I had the right address. I did. Oh, God, this is where He lives, this is actually where He lives! EEEEEEEEEEEE!!!
I sat out there most of the afternoon. Around dusk a light in the front room clicked on, and I nearly had a heart attack. Come out; let me get a glimpse of your beautiful mug!
Sadly, though, that was it. Except for the shadow on the curtains later. Did He see me? Did the great man gaze upon me?
I didn’t know. I hoped.
Around midnight I went back home. I sat cross-legged on the bed and watched an old John Wayne western, giddy with the prospect of meeting the man who created me, the man who gave me life and purpose.
Soon. Not tomorrow. I’m not ready. I need to build up the courage to approach Him. Should I accost Him as He goes out to check His mailbox one morning? Does He even have a mailbox? I mean, at the end of every book there’s a P.O. Box address provided for correspondence, but…is that it? Or is it just for fan mail?
June 26, 2014 – I reread The Servants of Twilight yesterday. Man, what a great book! How in the hell is it not ranked up there with The Hobbit and The Stand?
Anyway, injustice aside, I think I’m going to go meet with Dean tomorrow. Time’s a’wastin’.
June 28, 2014 – Today’s the big day!
I woke at dawn, and spent three hours scrubbing myself clean for the reunion. Yesterday my throat was scratchy, and I didn’t want to get the man sick. Today, though, I’m at the peak of my performance.
I’m sick with nerves. I’ve been practicing my smile and what I’ll say to Him in the mirror, and I’m confident that I’ll make a presentable lad. I can’t wait!
I made a complete ass of myself!!! I should have known! Goddamn it. I get one chance to make a good first impression on my idol, and I blow it. I’d kill myself if I could.
It went down like this:
I left the motel room at around noon. I was hoping to catch Dean at lunch, as He sat down to refuel for whatever project he was devoting His day to. The traffic was awful. I’ve never seen such. It took me two hours juts to get there. I pulled up and killed the engine right as the clock switched from 1:59 to 2:00.
For a long time, I just sat in the Explorer, steeling myself for the meeting. Once I had my nerves settled, it was nearly half past. It felt like time had sped up. I expected the light to drain from the sky and then reignite and then to weaken again, all as I opened the car door and stepped out. Ahead, the house sat quiet and shady on its green, manicured lawn. I stumbled as I took the first step, delirious with joy. Here it was. I was finally going to meet the man of my dreams!
I crossed the street and the yard, my eyes glued to the house; oh, boy! I was salivating like a Sponge getting ready to bite into a hot Krabby Patty.
I think I was rubbing my hands as I mounted the steps. I know I was grinning. I caught a watery glimpse of myself in the glass screen door. I had reason to. I was so close to Dean I could hear Him scream if He stubbed His toe.
I hesitated at the door. I took a deep breath, steadied my nerves, and knocked.
Again, I knocked.
Come on, come to the door! I was bursting with anticipation. If Dean didn’t appear soon, I’d explode all over the place.
I knocked again, more frantically; the door rattled in the frame.
I was starting to get pissed.
“Let me in!” I cried.
“Let me in!”
Behind me, someone called out: “Hey, who are you?”
I spun on my heels. It was a black guy in blue shorts and a blue button up. He wore a cap and had a brown bag slung over his shoulder. Mailman.
“I want Dean Knootz!”
“He ain’t in there, man! He moved two years ago!”
My heart dropped. Moved? He wasn’t here? Bullshit. After all I went through, he was here and he was waiting for me, a metaphorical erection pushing out the crotch of his khakis. “You’re lying!”
He cocked his head. “Look, man, I’m telling you: the nigga moved.”
Something snapped in me then, and I went loony-tunes. I yanked out the Heckler and Koch and aimed. For a split second, the postman was frozen in place. Then, just as I squeezed off two rounds, he dove, landing behind a small red car at the curb.
“DEAN!!!”I wailed, “GIVE ME MY DEAN KOONTZ! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW!”
I was like a mad beast. I stood there panting and grunting, more insane ape than human, rage, fear, disappointment, fury coursing through me.
Snarling through bared teeth, I leapt off the porch and fired wildly. I think the bullet struck a window. I heard something shatter.
People had come out of there house. I saw a few curtains slide back. As soon as something happens, people are right there, gawking with wide eyes and drooling mouths. Ire swept through me. Retarded motherfuckers. Go back to watching The Price is Right!
“What’s going on out here?” an old woman called from her porch. She was standing hunched like Quasimodo under a hanging plant, squinting into the sunlight, her face like cracked leather and her sparse white hair flipping in the breeze.
Nosey old bitch! She was probably the neighborhood gossip, looking out her window all day and studying every little detail of every little thing.
I aimed and fired. The bullet missed her and embedded itself into the side of the house.
She screamed and went down. I heard shouts and yells. The black postman cried something out.
“SHUT UP!!!” I demanded, and fired at the car. The round crashed through the passenger window and out the driver’s side. Someone on his front lawn ducked to the side, fell, and then jumped up again, jogging away as if I were a walking, talking doughnut and he a fitness freak.
“WHERE IS DEAN? TELL ME!”
“He lives next door to that old woman you killed!” the postman cried. “Go shoot at him!”
I whipped around. There it was.
“The brown house?” I called.
“Yeah! Yeah! He’s in there chillin’ out. Take all that noise in there.”
“DEAN!!!”I broke out and ran for the house. In the distance, sirens began to wail.
I was on the lawn. I could hear Him clicking away, and Trixie nibbling on a bone. Gerda was in the kitchen, making dinner.
I was almost to the steps when something fast and hard from the right took me down, plowed into me like a freight train driven by Casey Jones. I don’t know if he was high on cocaine or that notion just crossed his mind, but he sure took me outta the game. I hit the ground, the wind knocked from my lungs. The gun flew from my hand and skitted away. The postman was on top of me, and others were rushing to his aid. Someone kicked the gun into the shrubbery along Dean’s front porch, and another stepped on my wrist, cracking it.
“AHHHH, THAT HURTS!!!” I screamed.
The sirens grew closer. I strained against my captors, but couldn’t move. I opened my mouth to scream something else, but before I could, someone spoke, and my lungs locked up. I knew that voice, that beautiful, wispy, angelic voice.
“This crazy motherfucker was gonna kill you, Mr. Koontz.”
“Oh my God.”
“DEAN!!!!”I cried, and fainted.
July 4, 2014 – That bitch picked me out of a line up, and the police linked Trixie to that guy I killed. The old lady didn’t die, un-fucking-fortunately. She was shaken, but survived.
My dignity, though, didn’t.
GUNMAN SUBDUED ON NOVELIST’S FRONT LAWN and MADMAN “KRAZY” FOR KOONTZ appeared on newspapers from coast-to-coast, and video of me being dragged away raving and screaming played endlessly on Fox and MSNBC. Dean even gave a press conference I wasn’t allowed to watch. It wasn’t actually Dean, I read in the paper, just some spokesman. He said the Koontz family was shocked and saddened by the events of the last few days. How embarrassing. I’ve never been so humiliated in my life.
I could have shook His hand!
When not writing fiction, Joseph Rubas daydreams about being a rockstar. Because he can’t sing or play anything, he’s cursed to compose tales of crime and the supernatural (it’s a good curse, at least). He currently lives somewhere on the coast of Virginia, and is plotting to overthrow the county government with an army of Mick Jagger lookalikes.
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Tags: crime, delusions, fanatics, Joseph Rubas, murder, novels, road trip