Trevor’s penthouse was built as a temple where he could worship who he considered being the one true God; himself. It was 10,000 square feet filled with velvet couches, clothing racks and reflective surfaces. A cross between Paris Fashion week and a thrift store that only takes donations from Pimps and Merchant Marines. There was always a flurry of activity at Trevor’s hacienda. Style photographers were in one corner doing a magazine shoot with a harem of strung-out heroin vixens while an after-party for a new line of designer after-shave (now entering its sixth week) took place in another. He patronized a number of artists who used his residence as inspiration for works they perpetually painted. Nearly every moment of his adult life had been captured in film, tape or canvas. The entire room lit up like a strobe from the multiple flashes flooding the room with blinding light casting monstrous shadows against the wall. It took only a handful of seconds for everyone to realize Eddie Inferno was in the building.
“Sweet Jesus Eddie,” said Trevor with just the right amount of sass. “Did they not have a gym at that hotel you’ve been living in?”
“You think in a place with this many mirrors you would be able to see how ridiculous that outfit is” replied Eddie with a smile.
“I’m supposed to take fashion advice from a man who looks like he picked out his wardrobe from the lost and found at a methadone clinic?”
“Good to see you Trevor,” said Eddie. “Got anything to drink?”
Trevor clapped and snapped alerting every available server in the vicinity to descend upon Eddie with alcoholic options. Two dozen stunning models all eager to serve a drink to the newly resurfaced icon.
“Nice work Ivy,” said Trevor as he buried his head into a mound of finely cut Colombian snow. His nostrils flared as he pulled his head back kicking up a cloud of powder that hovered in the air around him.
“Can I cut in?” asked Grant, approaching the table with a gold razor blade. “I could use a bump.”
Grant cut rails with laser-like precision, able to turn the mound of powder into a row of the perfect line. From his pocket, he pulled a pre-rolled one hundred pound note and preceded to take down each line with the kind of speed and efficiency reserved for automated building processes.
“Oh… just lovely,” said Grant. “It’s got that smooth kick at the end… It’s from El Poblano. You can taste it.”
“Are we done with the pleasantries?” asked Ivy before digging a fingernail into the pile of nose candy and taking a sniff.
“Eddie?” said Trevor, motioning to the still ample pile of pure, white bandito blanco.
“Maybe later. After we conclude our business.”
“Ivy called ahead and said you had a plan.”
“Calling it a plan might be disrespectful to plans,” said Eddie taking a swig of vodka. “This is more of a crazy idea.”
“Don’t leave me hanging,” said Trevor, his right eye fluttering as the sweet devil dust kicked his nervous system into high gear.
“We were thinking about, you know … talking to him. ‘Take a meeting’ as you’re always saying.”
“I told ‘em it was shit,” said Grant, unable to direct his gaze anywhere other than on the Croatian server maneuvering the Cognac cart through the crowd. “This guy’s looking for a fight. We should go ahead and give it to him.”
“Not that I’m totally against the idea,” said Trevor while rubbing the remnants of the finest Bolivian marching powder from his fingers onto his gums. “I just figured you’d… you know.”
“Blow his brains out?” said Eddie. “It’s not like that. Can’t just kill the guy. I don’t even know him.”
“So we figured the best-case scenario, we go see Vincent Stain and convince him to cease his hostilities,” said Ivy as she dipped her finger in for another bump.
“Worst case, we meet him. Eddie hates him, and Kaboom,” said Grant, finishing the thought.
“I like it,” said Trevor, his smile showing off his diamond-encrusted teeth. “Simple. Effective. And it requires me to do almost nothing.”
“All we need to do is set up a meeting.”
“Let me make a few calls,” said Trevor as he picked up the ornate handset of his ivory carved rotary phone. “We can leave first thing in the morning”
Unfortunately, the meeting took longer than usual to schedule. Vincent’s tour was poorly run and lacked a solid infrastructure. Trevor’s army of managers, agents and publicists struggled to track down a suitable contact for Vincent Stain, who had been so busy touring that he hadn’t taken the time to hire a proper assistant. This led to a number of rookie gaffes which included the wrong kind of bottled water being ordered for most of his appearances to the death of 26 people at a diabetes fun run due to scheduling conflict at a Norman, Oklahoma park. Eventually, a courier was dispatched and Vincent was asked, in writing, if he would entertain a visit from four of the world’s most powerful musical icons.
“Excellent,” said Vincent before taking a dissatisfying sip of second-rate bottled water. “Everything’s going according to plan.”
Anghus is encore’s 2020 fact or fiction writer, featuring the serialized piece, “Burning Sensation.” Read the prologue and previous chapters at encorepub.com.