Day 86, Chapter 86
The worst part about this little project of mine is the unrelenting consistency I have to maintain. Not in the writing, because that’s neither here nor there (and is rarely consistent) but in the physical consistency of getting up & reading this garbage every day for four frickin’ months. I met David Mitchell last night. I mean, c’mon! I have to go back to James Patterson after that?! (And Mitchell had previous knowledge of who I was, which nearly stopped my heart completely. It turns out that even famous, bestselling authors read the Book Catapult – so tell your friends to subscribe to my feed!)
Sigh. I shall return to Purgatory…pushing that Sisyphean boulder.
I think Maxine Paetro wrote this chapter herself & managed to keep it unedited by JPatt – it has an uncharacteristic flair and a skilled use of imagery missing from the previous 256 pages.
Keyed up but in control, Pete was aware of everything around him: the smell of newly painted lines in the parking lot, the shoppers walking out to their cars, the lights at Mervyns and Toys “R” Us, and the deepening dusk of the sky.
That’s not good writing, but it’s certainly more passable as being written by a professional than the rest of the book. (Not that you can really smell the painted lines in a parking lot. And the Mervyns thing? What’s up with that? All Mervyns stores closed down in 2009. Thanks Wikipedia!) But alas, I think that may be Maxine’s only paragraph in Chapter 86 – the rest falls back into the same bad prose stylings. I guess she only managed to slip those two sentences in.
The adrenaline charging through his veins sharpened his mind as he waited out the last minutes before he would execute the most critical phase of his plan. Once he’d eliminated the Three Stooges, he’d walk to his house and stretch out in front of the TV.
“Eliminated the Three Stooges” could mean several things: killing his wife Heidi & their two kids, murdering a hilarious, 1930’s vaudeville act, or it could be a poop-related euphemism. Considering this work as a whole, I would have to go with the third option, but I’m sure JPatt meant that Pete’s planning on killing his family.
Pete is waiting in the Mervyns parking lot, enjoying the smells of the freshly painted lines, waiting for Heidi & the kids to come out to the car, where he will then murder them in the style of the Lipstick Killer, deflecting blame off of himself. “It was a brilliant plan, and he had to give himself credit, because he’d never get it from anyone else.” The problem is that when Heidi heads across the parking lot, she’s talking to her friend, “that dog-faced Angie Weider,” making Angie a potential witness. When JPatt drops names like that – in situations where the characters don’t really need full names at all – and calls them “dog-faced,” I aways wonder who the real “Angie Weider” is and what she did to earn his ire.
“Hey, Pete,” Angie Weider called out to him, “you guys should come to dinner with us. We’re going to the BlueJay Cafe.”
“Another time, okay?” Pete said, dropping the gun back into the (shoe) box, fury flooding through him, a tidal wave of hatred directed at that bitch who had destroyed both his opportunity and his alibi in one blow. He thought for a moment of killing her and her tot, but he could hear Heidi screaming and see Sherry running and he’d never be able to murder them all without being seen.
Yeah man, murdering people is a total drag sometimes.
See, I wonder if the real Angie Weider ruined something for JPatt at some point – destroying some opportunity he had and ruining his alibi at the same time. Interesting. What are you up to, Mr. Patterson?
Go to Day 87