This retro diary is a supplement to The Demon Chronicles series, Volume I through Volume V.
This diary goes back four years to a time when Franklin Marsh, Kevin Ap-Rhys and Marcia Landon barely knew each other. Kevin and Franklin have just started working for their FBI supervisor, Don Padre. They prove to be a handful when they team up as partners for the first time. They are led into dark places they never wanted or planned to go into.
This is the second installment in the Retro Diary Serial. Enjoy and be Horrified.
Barbara Bain’s Rough night
She was happy. She was slightly dizzy from a
warm cocoon of liquor, good food, great friends and beautiful surroundings. It
all made her feel like she belonged in this pretty, clean world. For a girl who
was once so poor that she made her own toys to a 6,000 square foot home, two
beautiful children and a husband who was a university big shot, she had
reached the big time. She worked and slept her way through college and graduate
school, graduated with a mountain of debt from financial aid and was about to
go into the diplomatic corps when she met the love of her life.
He swept her off her feet and had her
pregnant before she could mail her applications. The happy, debt free couple
eloped and then confirmed their marriage with a big show that his insanely
wealthy family could appreciate. Her family consisted of a brother in the Army
and stationed in Italy. Her sister-in-law was more like a best
friend. A third brother practiced medicine with Doctors Without Borders. He was
married to a gorgeous Italian princess. She was a struggling clothing designer.
The three siblings had escaped poverty and
entered into the good life, away from broken down rooms that could never be
cleaned and away from the incessant fears that could swallow a poor person
whole. Barbara’s parents were comfortable in a new house trailer that they
vowed never to leave for the rest of their lives.
Her only vice was men. Her husband
traveled so frequently that she started to feel like a single mother. When she found
out that her husband was having affairs on two continents, she decided to do
the same. She sought a man’s touch, but only found quick and sometimes
satisfying sex in Los Angeles where no one knew her.
"I don't pick up men like I pick up
toilet paper at the grocery store, that's for sure. You won't see me doing it
with the handyman or the landscaper. I want a man of quality who makes me feel
special. I want to make a man feel special. Oh, who am I kidding? There’s
no better snob than a snob who started with nothing. I just don't want to think
about it any more."
She shut the negative thoughts from her
mind and paid attention to her friends. They were still snickering over a dirty
joke that one of them told a good five minutes earlier. One by one, a member of
the group would add an embellishment or a new interpretation. Cherisse had
obtained some killer pot, meaning that judgment was low and spirits were high.
"You're awfully quiet," Brittany said, poking her left boob. "Are you
missing the hubby?"
"No, and why are you poking my boob?
Why did you do that?” After the laughter died down, she said, “I was just
thinking about getting myself a dream hubby who would cancel his flight out of
here and sweep me off to Hawaii for a romantic weekend!"
"Why don't you go with him next
"Oh, I tried that. It's lonely being
in a strange country with no context. He's got his mistress and his work.” She
stopped and thought for a second, “Hey! If you all came, we would really have a
blast. Why don't we go? We get along just fine!"
That brought a new round of laughter.
"That's not a bad idea!" Tiffany yelled. "We leave the kids with
the hubbys and go to Europe!"
"I want an Amex and three nights in Paris!"
"I want a theater night in London!"
"I want a gigolo! A big, honking
That comment caused a wave of laughter to
roll through the entire bar. A man yelled from across the room,
"I'm a gigolo! Take me!" He was
adorable. His wife yelled,
"Yes! Take him! With the money you
pay him, I can come to Europe and party with you!"
The bartender wiped his tears and jokingly
told everyone to settle down. He was watching a newcomer he had seen a few
times before. The man looked familiar but he was not a regular. This meant he
stopped in when he was traveling some kind of regular route. This time, the man
was eying the regulars and the bartender did not like the look in his eyes.
“Those women come here on Friday nights to
have some fun. They don’t need that kind of stranger hitting on them,
especially when that fellow likes the kind of relationship that goes on for days
down in a basement.” He completed an order and continued his thoughts, “I may
be new in town, but I've been bartending for long enough to know when someone
is not right and this guy is sending off all kinds of signals."
While the bartender was busy thinking,
Deputy Brandson stalked into the bar and took a barstool. He was in civilian
clothes and was obvious about seating himself where he and the bartender could
talk. He looked like he was ready to buy absolutely nothing.
"Hey, Jason. See anything hinky in here tonight? I’m making
the rounds tonight." The Deputy kept his voice low and regular.
"Yeah, it’s a ‘don't look now’ kind of thing, but he's at ten o'clock over your left shoulder. I got nothing to
back myself up, but there’s something wrong with that guy. You need to keep an
eye on that guy."
"Good job. Hey! I got a budget
tonight! No alcohol, but I'll have an Irish coffee without the Irish. You even
get a tip!"
"Hey, man, you're moving up in the
"Ha! How are our girls doing tonight?"
"They’re high. They’re having fun.
They might not want to go through the drunk check at Waterston so I’m going to
make sure they’re on the Buddy Program tonight. I'm not letting any of those
girls out of here without an escort. I just have a bad feeling and I can't
"I know how you feel man. After that
crazy theater group killing, we're all on edge.
"Whoa! Here he comes. He's got the
"Wait. I’ve seen that guy before. He
looks like Honey Barton’s cousin, but Honey’s cousin... hmm... anyway, I'll
take care of it. Fire up the Karaoke, my friend and watch my drink."
Deputy Brandson left his seat and called
Kevin. "He's here at the Blue Lagoon! I don’t know for sure, but he sure
looks like one of the Barton clan. Get over here, please." He pretended
that everything was normal when he walked over to the tiny stage, picked up the
mike and yelled, "Hey! Are we ready for some groovy tunes, some rock and
roll, some smooth grooves?"
The entire bar erupted in groans.
"Not you again!" they yelled in unison.
"Heck yeah, it's me again! I got the
Deputy Branson made a near fatal
mistake that night. He did not keep his attention focused on the irregular bar