Celebrating the upcoming release of Godzilla, I thought I’d share a couple chapters from my hardboiled Godzilla fiction (“Three Kings” and “The Mark In Blue”) from the Weird Noir anthology. (I already posted a section of “Three Kings” from the same anthology, here).
A Very Bad Dream
“Hell,” I muttered, glancing down. My side was a mess of rearranged gears and blue coolant weeped from a broad gash. There was another smear of coolant on my chest, in the shape of the letter, “M,” right over my heart. And next to me, one of my own cards sticky with oil, blood and God knew what else, “Godzilla, King of the Monsters.”
I nursed myself up off the floor. No need to hurry. Gingerly rubbing a dent in my head, I looked around. I was in an empty airplane hanger. All I remembered was a nightmare in strobe images—Tokyo in flames, a fight, a robot sitting in rings of light, a cybernetic head, bones at the bottom of the sea, a man with a black leather glove.
“This doesn’t make any sense,” I thought. I waited a while and, when no one offered me a hand, I helped myself up, then hauled myself across the floor. Leaning on the hangar doors for a moment, I noticed a tuft of red hair glinting in the parking lot lights and, at my feet, a stubbed out Lucky Strike.
The Kaiju Lounge
At home, I slept for nearly twenty hours. It was just after 1pm when I awoke. The trail was probably cold by now, but who was I to argue with the spins? I had more nebulous dreams. I thought I heard a voice say, “Here in Tokyo, time has been turned back two million years.”
I dragged myself to the bathroom and cleaned myself up over the sink. The coolant had stopped leaking, but my side was still stiff. I ran some water over my head. There was a picture of Minya taped to my mirror. Minya was only a kid, but he fancied himself my sidekick. I took it down. I didn’t remember taping it there.
An hour later I was at the Kaiju Lounge, a bar so far gone it was in danger of being taken out and shot. Minya sat at the bar sipping a Shirley Temple, as dainty as a bee at a buttercup. Minya had very round eyes in a very oval head. And his eyes got even rounder as I walked up to him. “Mr. Godzilla, I was starting to worry! I’ve been looking for you everywhere.”
If Minya were at the Kaiju, he surely was looking everywhere. “I’m fine, kid.” I looked over the scattered patrons. What a sorry lot, they were. I made a mental note not to become the class of person who frequents bars in the afternoon. “You seen Caesar around here? Red-haired lion-god?”
“Gosh no, Mr. Godzilla. King Caesar’s in Okinawa, everybody knows that.”
“I heard Caesar’s been palling around with Titanosaurus. I heard they had a job together.” Rodan was perched at the bar on the other side of Minya. Rodan couldn’t help repeating whatever he heard.
“That so? What kind of job?” I said, pushing the complimentary basket of pistachios over to Rodan.
“I don’t know.” Rodan pecked the shells off the nuts. “I do know that they’re supposed to be working for a scientist specializes in robots, a Dr. Mafune.”
“Gee, Mr. Godzilla, I was just gonna say you should have Dr. Mafune give you a once over. He’ll fix you up.” Minya chirped, “He’ll fix you good!”