Charlie purposely drove passed the Cielo Drive turn, just to see if there was any activity to be seen up the hill, like police cars and/or ambulance flashing lights, or strangers milling about in gawking repose. But the drive was dead quiet, too quiet, really just too dead quiet….brrr!
A shiver went down even old Charlie’s spine. He was a bad-ass by anyone’s standards but he was un-nerved at the thought of witnessing a mass murder, even one he had so diligently orchestrated.
Charlie, like Tex, thought better of parking on Cielo, and instead, parked on Benedict Canyon Drive, walking with his “partner” the rest of the way to the gate.
They made the same jump over the chain-link fence, careful not to touch diddly as they did.
The first point of interest on this self-guided tour was the Rambler Tex had described as Job One. Yep, there is was, and as they slowly approached the car, Charlie was all ears, straining to hear if anyone was stirring around the place. No one was…they thought.
Tex was right. The kid was inside the car, all shot to Hell, his eyes still
Mmmmm…thought, Charlie, the kid doesn’t need them anymore and maybe I do. So off came Steven’s eye-glasses in one fell swoop, oh, so careful not to leave prints on anything as he did. Charlie saw the clock radio too but he knew time was the Pigs’ invention and had no use for that gadget. Before leaving the first stop on their macabre tour, Charlie, taking off his faded jean shirt, carefully wiped down the Rambler for any wayward Family member prints, yet accidentally left the driver’s side door open. (Oh well, one can’t remember everything, now, can one?!)
Job One done, the pair continued their tour, passed the Camero and the Porsche, Charlie wishing he could scoop out the engines to put them into his dune buggies. Now those would be two awesome dune buggies!, he thought to himself. But this tour didn’t accommodate for that, so on up they went, passed that hideous wishing well, and the first few splotches of blood on the sidewalk.
Charlie and his “partner”, tip-toeing and crouched, listening for any signs of life, didn’t stop at the bodies on the lawn as their main concern was the inside and the evidence that may have been left - Sadie’s goddamned knife, for one! Mmfftt! The front porch coach lanterns were still blazing and gave a ghoulish hue to the “PIG” blood writing on the front door. He smiled at Sadie’s handiwork, only wishing she had been a might bit more descriptive as this didn’t ring like a true copycat to the Hinman writing.
If you want something done right, do it yourself, was what Charlie mused to himself. He should have come with the kids, to make sure all the t’s were crossed and the i’s dotted, if you know what he means, but that’s blood under too many bridges now.
As they slithered their way through the front door, careful not to step in the mess of congealed blood on the porch, his “partner” accidentally touched the door with her chest and it swung farther open, giving off a creak that made them both jump. (Where the Hell was that creak when Tex opened it? Geez!)
The light from the desk lamp told them to turn left, and again, careful not to touch any of the blood splatter, they made their way around the two blue steamer trunks, one on top of the other as evidence that panic had indeed occurred, just like Tex had said.
Passed the trunks and passed the loft ladder, a body came into view at last. It was the man Tex had told him about, the insolent one who spoke out of turn. His face was swollen and bloody and he looked quite grotesque. Charlie knew he’d have to do something about that later.
Careful not to touch or walk on anything, the two made their way around Jay’s body and spied Sharon’s.
was what came out of their mouths simultaneously, the kind you couldn’t tell was a disapproving or approving exclamation, just an exclamation of shock & awe, not just reserved for Iraq invasions, ya know!
Charlie never connected the female body on the floor with the striking honey-blond haired women from March 23rd. No kidding! How could you?!
It was worse than Tex had said. It was unbelievable actually. Had Charlie trained the kids that well? How did they know to leave such a mess? Why did they allow for such mayhem in the murder? He shook his head and came back to reality, telling his “partner” to take the untouched American flag and use it to dust everything she saw for prints while Charlie did the same with an un-used pale yellow bath towel strewn on the floor near the fireplace. (Told ya, there’d be a use for the second towel!)
Charlie noticed how Tex had attempted the reverse KKK hanging idea, and for a moment thought about completing the task, but given that he and his partner weighed less than the victims, that thought was soon discarded with an audible sigh.
Charlie and his “partner” had, in their wiping for prints, searched high and low for Sadie’s damn knife, Mmfftt!, but it couldn’t be found anywhere in that room. And because time was ticking by, the quest had to be dropped, and the knife stayed right where it lay, blade side up, all shiny and new, peeking out from under Jay’s black leather jacket, silently mocking them as they passed.
Once both were done, his “partner” replaced the flag, though up-side-down in her haste, and Charlie laid the towel over Jay’s head, tucking it in, under the noose, like the hood it was not.
And on their return to the front door, Charlie pulled Steve’s eye-glasses out from his shirt pocket, wiped them down for prints with his left shirt sleeve and held them with his right,
They’ll blame all this on the dead kid, he thought, cunningly, forgetting the operative word “dead”…
The two never saw the Master Bedroom French Doors where Katie had left her print nor did they notice the bloody print on the front door, a calling card from Tex. There was just too much blood, way too much, and the stench from it mixing with the hot air made even these two devils gag a couple of times.They just wanted out of that room of death, like leaving it would make it all disappear.
They saw the bodies on the lawn, but only from a distance, mindful of the tracks they could leave on the grass. The “outside people” sure looked as dead and as bloody as the “inside people”, Charlie thought to himself. No need to check any further as Tex had obviously done a great job.
The two never got near the Guest House and because of that the dogs never barked this time, like the last time, only hours ago, so William never knew they were there and they never knew William was there, alive but un-nerved and un-willing to check the property as Charlie and his “partner” had. Just as well, I guess, for all concerned, huh?
The two skulked back the same way they had come, not noticing that the Rambler door was still ajar, and climbed back over the fence and down to the Ford, an all-too-used vehicle, silently waiting for their return.
Nothing was said on the way back either. What could you say? It was done and it was messy and there was no going back.
August 9, 1969 was over for Steven, Jay, Voytek, Gibby, Sharon and little Paul Richard, having died in utero only two and a half hours ago.
It was around 4 a.m., August 9, 1969. And although the day had not yet begun, the night was over for Charlie, as he and his “partner” returned to the ranch, determined to get some sleep before all Hell broke lose in Los Angeles…