Puns, Punches, and Pyromaniacs
'I’m the champion!' she exclaims.
'No you’re not.'
Jacky stops. A stagehand who had been packing cable looks over her smugly and she glares into the stage hands eyes. He stares back for a moment before bulging his eyes slightly at her, turning back to twisting a cable into a loop on the ground.
She lands her hands on her hips, a death stare locked on the back of his neck before she is shoved aside by an official making his way out to the ring.
Turning her attention to the official, she reaches for her waistband only to find her trusty magnum is not with her. She huffs slightly and then storms to the locker rooms, sticking her tongue out at the stagehand who has yet to turn back towards her.
'Not the champion,' she snarls to herself.
'How am I not the champion?!' she growls in a huff, tilting a bottle of El Toro into a glass. She fills it to the top and then begins to rapidly drain the tequila from its temporary home. She then picks up a lime, crunching into it like an apple, chewing for a moment before spitting it disgusted into the trash can.
You only won one match.
She looks up to Ed who is sitting behind a desk across from the couch. Sitting is a relative term for the body that’s been dressed in a suit and tie that dangles off of its form and jammed into the seat. It’s empty eyes stare at the ceiling.
'One match more than you!' she retorts loudly.
'Yea, well I'm...I'm...' she stammers to herself for a moment, clearly fumfering.
Not the champion?
'Ugh, you can be so...'
Once again she is at a lost for words.
She glares at the corpse again and refills her glass, draining it just as quickly before once again biting through the lime, her face contorting with disgust.
'Why do people like this?'
'No the lime. It’s so bitter.'
You’re not supposed to eat it like that.
'What?' Jacky's face lights up and her eyes widen in surprise.
You have to....you know what, you’re nailing it kid.
She plasters a smug smile across her face, and begins to top back off the glass.
Is there even a need for the glass at this point?
Jacky turns her nose up as she lifts the glass into the air, one pinky up, her thick nasally accent slurred slightly, ‘I gotta be classy now that I’m the champ!’
You’re not the champion!
'Says who?' she says, her face locked with the side of Ed. A few minutes pass with no response and she sighs, draining the rest of the bottle into the glass.
Ariel and Waffles stand on opposite corners of Jacky's shoulders, eyes locked as Ariel approaches the center of her neck. Beneath them, Jaclyn can be heard snoring. She shakes her head in shame as she looks down at the sleeping clown.
Ariel: Why do you encourage her?
Waffles: For laughs.
Ariel: You have a different view of humor.
She looks piteously down at the drool puddle that is forming beside the broken glass and empty bottle of tequila.
Waffles paces slowly for a moment on top of the back of the unconscious jester. He turns on his heel, bowling shirt swishing slightly as he smiles at his companion.
Waffles: Want to hear another joke?
He reaches for his pocket. Ariel holds up a hand to halt the demon.
Ariel: I’ll pass.
She flutters her wings and moves to the shoulder opposite of Waffles once more, back towards him. He looks down at the coin in his hand, slightly dejected. Waffles paces along the comatose Jaclyns shoulder, before turning and kicking the side of her head. She mutters something about pizza on a bagel before returning to her snoring.
Jacky flips the note over. Blank. An envelope was casually slid under her door as she slept that contained a thousand dollars in hundreds and a note with three words, 'Follow the Signs'.
'What signs?' she sighs, reaching for the bottle, which much like that question turns up empty. Clearly this is a case but for what? She was getting paid, by who she didn't know. For what, she also did not know.
'No matter!' she says with sudden resolve.
Jacky grabs her large jacket and tosses it across her shoulders, hands landing onto hips
'I've got a case to solve!'
There is a long pause as Jacky is alone with the exception of the decaying body.
Jacky has a pair of glasses on, a clearly fake mustache, and a trench coat despite the springtime heat. She stands on the corner looking around her. There were a few billboards, but nothing that seemed to be calling her name. A poster for a missing cat. Her trigger finger itches slightly as she reaches for the banner.
She begins to scan the area. Pedestrians are making wide berth of her as she continues to look around before she does a double take, eye landing on Stop sign right in front of her.
'Aha!' she points it.
'Too easy' she thinks to herself, 'They want me to stop looking. Why didn't I think of-'
She gets cut off as a man shoulders past her, duffle bag slung over his shoulder and as he crosses, the electronic red hand changes to a man made of green pixel crossing the street.
'Eureka' she turns on her heel, beginning to make her way in his direction, 'A sign!'
She sticks both hands stuffed into the pockets as she begins slink after the stranger on the street with a gym bag slung over his shoulder. He peers nervously over his shoulder before crossing the road.
Jaclyn has seen this evasive maneuver before and knows precisely what to do: much like the infamous chicken, she too crosses the road.
He is somehow shorter than she is, but much more broad in the shoulder. He has scarring along his cheek as though his face was introduced to fire and then had a bad relationship. His eyes glare up at her, one hand pushing the bag behind him slightly.
'Why are you following me?' he shouts.
'As if,' she thinks, turning and looking around innocently as she whistles. No way she's gonna give up this killer disguise. She looks down at a watch that is not there.
He shakes his head and turns, pace increasing to a jog. Jacky, hands in pockets follows at pace.
'He's got all the moves,' the glue holding the mustache to her face giving way some as it becomes askew on her lip.
As he cuts a corner he slams right into a police officer, coffee shooting out of his hand and the duffle bag dropping to the cement. The man hesitates as he reaches for the bag before stopping to consider the cop and the clown and he sprints away.
Jaclyn tries to pursue but is caught by the arm.
'Jaclyn Pierrot, what the hell are you doing chasing people?' he looks her over, not believing what she's decided to wear, 'And what the hell are you wearing?'
'I'm undercover!' she responds defensively. Her eyes dart to the the man who is moving at a full sprint down the sidewalk.
'Jaclyn, you cannot just chase people on the street. What are you following him for?'
Jacky stops and considers. That's a fantastic question. She shrugs her shoulder and pulls her glasses from her face.
The officer sighs, brushing more of the coffee from his uniform, releasing her arm. He lifts the bag which emanates the sound of clinking glass. The two stop and look down at the bag as Officer Markel slowly unzips the duffel to reveal what looks like a dozen or so glass bottles and some sort of homemade mechanical device.
Officer Markel lifts his radio to send in his address, requesting a bomb unit before slowly placing the bag down. Jacky walks over to the bag, lifts a bottle and untwists it.
'This looks like gasoline,' she exclaims, lifting the jar up and without hesitation takes a sip which she then spits out, drops of gasoline drizzling from her face, 'yep, Gasoline!'
The cop grabs her by the elbow and pulls her away from the bag just in time. A beeping rapidly begins and the two lock eyes before diving away, as the pavement opens up into flames which scorch the side of the concrete building.
Jacklyn sits up, covered in smoot and takes another drag from the jar
'Jacky, that's gas!' exclaims the cop, still laying prone on his back.
Jacky looks down at the bottle, cheeks full of gas, her eyes growing wide and then she spits it out again.
'I guess you were right Jacky. I can't say your a hell of a detective but maybe you'll have better luck as a wrestler.' he looks over incredulously at her, 'Jacky, what the fuck?'
Jacky is one again drinking from the jar. She looks down again and shrugs to Markel.
'Ugh,' she looks distraught for a moment then turns the glass back once more, 'now I got a taste for it.'
The scene has become a circus, clowns and all, as detectives and reporters encircle the pair. Police are working diligently to remove people from the scene. Jacky sits on the edge of the cruiser as a woman and a camera approach.
Deja: We've caught up with the Ragdoll here outside Kick'n Chicken where she has been aiding local authorities in their investigation of a serial arsonist. Jacky how are you feeling?
'Fantastic!' exclaims Jaclyn, nearly finished jar of gasoline in her hand, her brow is covered in perspiration and soot. What's left of the fake mustache dangles loosely from her lip and she is a bit too loud for someone who has not been drinking gasoline.
One of the detectives briefly enters the frame and there is a brief struggle over the jar. He manages to wrest it from her grasp and she looks longingly after it.
Deja: So I hear in addition to being a new talent here at Carnage Wrestling, you also moonlight as a private investigator.
'That's right! Jaclyn Pierrot, Great Clown Detective!'
Deja: Quite impressive. So Jaclyn, last Monday was your first match. You made quick work of Garbage Fence. How do you think you'll fair against someone like Hawthorne, after all he's a big guy?
'He can be as big as he wants to be, he doesn't have these guns.'
Jacky pulls the oversized magnum from her waistband, pointing it at the camera who then drops down, the frame shifting.
Deja reaches out and pushes the gun down while the camera refocuses on the scene.
Deja: Whoa, easy.
'It is!'' she levels the gun at the camera once more, drawing back on the lever only for Deja to reach over and pull the gun from the surprised Jaclyns hand.
Deja: Jacky, it's not just Hawthorne you need to worry about, this week will be twice as difficult. Your scheduled for a three way matchup and you'll also have Zach Taylor to contend with.
'Okay?' says Jacky, clearly intoxicated and not following along with the reporter. Deja pulls back a bit as she catches a wiff of the gasoline still lingering on Jaclyns breath before turning back to the camera, shifting further from the clown.
Deja: Jacky, do you have any last thing to say to your opponents?
'Yea!' Jacky squeals excitedly, somehow her revolver once again in her hand, as she aims it at the camera to the surprise of Deja, 'Welcome to the gun show!!'
She fires and the camera goes black and the sound of a heavy device can be heard crashing to the ground. Multiple officers can be heard saying 'Shots fired!' and there is a scuffle as Jacky gets tackled to the ground, guns drawn around her.
Deja: Goddamnit Jacky!
'You're lucky you didn't kill him Jacky! What were you thinking?'
'They fined me 3000 dollars for a stinking camera. Me, the champ!'
'I'm not much of a wrestling fan, but I do know you're not the champion,' he drops to a knee beside her, unclipping the restraints from her wrists.
Jacklyn ignores him and drops an elbow on her knee before propping her cheek atop her palm. There is a ringing noise near the pair and they turn simultaneously to the bush where Jacky fishes it loose. It looks like an old Razor cellular telephone that has somehow miraculously survived the explosion. Her and the cop lock eyes and he reaches for it before she flips the charred device open.
'You've got Jaclyn Pierrot, the great Clown Detective,' she begins, turning a shoulder to the cop as he desperately attempts to grab the device.
'Uhuh,' she stands and nods her head and begins to pace as she listens, Office Merkel in pursuit, still trying to get the phone from the clown.
She stops pacing.
'You wouldn't dare!'
Just as the officer gets his hand near the cell, Jacky hangs up the phone.
'Well, this case just got a whole lot hotter.'
'You've got a lead?' the officer says, once again reaching the remnants of the phone.
'Nope,' she says, casually sliding the phone into his hand, 'He just set a building on fire downtown.'
As she turns and walks towards his cruiser, his jaw agape he manages to stammer angrily, 'What the fuck, Jacky??' before rushing to join her in the vehicle.