My cell phone
rang the moment I arrived home from the Annual Retired Police
“Pete DeSalvo,” I
“I know your other
last name,” said a voice with an Irish accent. “The secret
one the Irish government gave you.”
“I don’t know what
the hell you’re talking about.” I slammed the phone down.
The phone rang again.
“Cut the crap!” I
yelled. “Otherwise, I’ll find you and bust your ass.”
listen,” the voice said.
That stopped me
cold. How did he know the highest levels of the Irish Government
called me by that name in their most sensitive reports?
Who the hell is
“Never heard of
you. How come you know the Irish version of my last name?”
“I’m a professional
researcher. I was checking government archives in Ireland for
a client. Saw your name on a hush-hush report. The one involving
you and leprechauns.
“Dammit! That report
was supposed to be sealed for seventy-five years,” I said. “How
come they let you see it?”
I read how you got rid of all the leprechauns in Ireland, ten
years ago. And how the Irish government renamed you O’Salvo
to save face, just in case word leaked out. If their citizens
ever found out a Sicilian-American, Los Angeles police detective
cleaned up Ireland instead of an Irishman, there’d be insurrection.”
politicians!” I hollered.
“You got shafted.
When St. Patrick got rid of Ireland’s snakes—which were nothing
compared to leprechauns—they made him a saint. Now they drink
green beer in his honor every St. Patrick’s Day. Have they
made you a saint? Have they named a day after you? What do
they drink in your honor?”
“Nothing!” I kicked
“If you saved Ireland,
why not save your own country? At least Americans treat their
heroes like royalty. They’ll put your name on cereal boxes,
tennis shoes, freeways.”
“What the hell are
you talking about?”
“A monster’s loose
in Los Angeles,” Dooley said. “You gotta find it and kill it.”
“I haven’t heard
about any monsters in town.”
“My neighbor saw
it on Hollywood Boulevard last night. He said it looks just
like the Frankenstein monster from the movies.”
“He’s nuts. Frankenstein’s
a fictional character. He never existed.”
“Frankenstein used to
be a fictional character.”
“Whadda ya mean?”
together a bunch of body parts and created a monster that looks
just like the movie Frankenstein. They even brought it to life.
Remember that big power outage that affected the entire country
“You mean the one
they blamed on UFOs?”
“Yeah. It had nothing
to do with UFOs,” Dooley said. “The nation’s entire electrical
output was used to create a gigantic burst of energy—to bring
Frankenstein to life. They succeeded. And now he’s prowling
Los Angeles. It’s only a matter of time before he starts invading
schools, churches, golf courses, crack houses, and kills everybody
in sight. Nobody’ll be safe.”
is probably making a monster movie. Maybe the guy playing Frankenstein
didn’t have time to remove all his makeup. Hey, I’m busy. Tell
the cops. Don’t call me again!”
Making a sandwich,
I recalled how I saved an ungrateful Ireland from the scourge
of leprechauns. The little creeps were responsible for committing
countless petty crimes. When I discovered they were planning
to expand to Los Angeles, I went to Ireland and wasted the
bastards in a preemptive strike. Wiped out over a million of
them. Irish radicals screamed, “Genocide.” Then they posted
a million dollar reward for the killer’s head. I’d hoped those
loons would never find out I was the culprit.
I watched a double-header on TV. Between innings, the camera
scanned fans sitting in the stands. It paused on the face of
a pretty woman for a few seconds, then moved to the guy sitting
next to her. He had the kind of face that haunted people’s
He looks a lot like Frankenstein!
I made a mental
note of the section number.
I figured he was
Frankenstein about as much as I was the Wolfman. My gut told
me he was a freakin’ leprechaun in disguise. Only a leprechaun
would be nutty enough to run around imitating a movie monster. But,
how the hell did he escape my dragnet in Ireland? Why is he
in Los Angeles? Is everyone too zonked to notice?
I decided to kill
him the same way I wiped out his brothers—with a compact flamethrower
that fit inside a student back pack.
As I packed the
flamethrower, I added two Molotov cocktails. They came in handy
in Ireland when I found leprechauns at the ends of rainbows.
I’d toss a Molotov cocktail into the woods, which would create
a roaring forest fire. That’s how I smoked out all those little
green freaks hiding in bushes. When they tried to escape, I
blasted them with my flamethrower.
I was on the freeway
and heading for the ballpark to assassinate the phony Frankenstein,
when Dooley called again.
“Please don’t hang
up,” he said. “I have new information about Frankenstein. He
was spotted at the ballgame.”
“I know. I was
watching the game on TV. He’s sitting next to a good-looking
you finally believe me. I hear noise in the background. Where
“On my way to kill
said. “I wanna be there when you do it. Let’s meet at the snack
bar closest to his seat.”
“No. I’m gonna
rush in, zap him, and get the hell outta there before anybody
has a chance to react.”
“But if I’m there
when it happens, I can record everything on my camcorder. I
should be able to sell the images to CNN for big bucks.
I’ll split the take with you, fifty-fifty.”
“Sounds like a
good plan,” I said. “Meet me there. What are you wearing?”
“Green shirt, white
Arriving at the
ballpark, I headed for the snack area. Halfway there, my gut
nagged me. I wondered why Dooley was so hot on getting Frankenstein
wiped out, and why he avoided telling the cops. Plus, he didn’t
ask what I was wearing, which meant he probably knew what I
looked like. Maybe he had me under surveillance.
I called a friend
who had a computer.
“Hey, Harry. It’s
DeSalvo. Do me a favor. Google on the name, Zack Dooley, and
the word researcher.
I heard fingers
tapping on keys.
“He’s a member
of LAGL,” Harry said.
League. A political fringe group. Says here they’re offering
a million bucks for the head of whoever killed Ireland’s leprechauns."
Sounded like a setup.
Dooley was a radical nut trying to snag me for killing Ireland’s
leprechauns. He was trying to smoke me out into the open. He
probably sent his leprechaun buddy posing as Frankenstein to
the ball game, and slipped a TV cameraman some bucks to get
Frankenstein’s face on TV. He must’ve done it to force a confrontation
between me, him, and Frankenstein. Then Dooley would shoot
me on the spot with a pistol disguised as a camcorder. He’d
chop my head off and take it to Ireland to collect the million-dollar
reward from his radical pals.
No way was I gonna
meet Dooley at the snack bar. I headed directly to the stands.
When I found the
section and walked toward Frankenstein, he stood and cheered.
The bastard was half the size of a Frankenstein movie monster.
Plus, his skin had a slight, greenish tint found only in leprechauns.
I put on dark glasses,
and my baseball cap down to shield my face. Walking past him,
I hollered something in Gaelic that no Irishman or leprechaun
could possibly resist: “Free beer at the snack bar!”
In a flash, Frankenstein
jumped from his seat and raced toward the snack bar. I followed.
He approached somebody
in a green shirt and white shorts standing by the snack bar.
I figured it was Dooley. Both yelled at the guys behind the
counter, “Where’s the free beer?”
I got both of them
with a single Molotov cocktail. To make sure, I blasted them
with my flamethrower.
I managed to get
out of the parking lot before cops erected barricades. Then
I took back streets all the way home.
Opening a beer,
I pondered the day’s events. That’s when the phone rang.
A man with an Irish
accent yelled, “Dracula’s alive! He was spotted last night
# # #
A Preemptive Strike by
published March 31, 2008