Every week this year, the Lainsville Freak Town Herald is chronicling some of the alternative community's biggest players. This week, Todd finds out that his subject doesn't seem to exist.
The Red Spotlight: The Dog Who Wasn't There
by Todd Jones, FTH staff reporter and xenomorph egg inspector
I apologize for the delay. I was covering a big story, and you're about to read it. The first part, at least. Trust me on splitting it up.
I'm a features writer for a free alternative weekly and I make my living filming guerilla porn. I don't do real journalism. (Guerilla porn, you ask? That's hand-cam porn with actual cinematographic skill for you prudes. Why would a prude or square read this paper? Why am I talking to myself?)
I am supposed to find an interesting person in the kink/fetish community and showcase them, mostly to prove that kinky weirdos can be real people with real careers. So far, they all seem to have careers related to kinky weird shit. They also all seem to know each other, which is what makes this particular assignment actually creepy.
My victim was supposed to be one Kyle Blake, retired U.S Marine and partner in the now-defunct business consulting firm Benson, Blake, and Crawford. Kyle was a german shepherd, middle aged, and renowned for his unflinching play style. That last bit came from some of my kinky contacts. Kinktacts?
My first inkling that something was amiss came when I called their office. The phone tree said, "BCCS" instead. The receptionist assured me that the company was the same, they had just changed their name due to the loss of one of the principal partners. That was Kyle Blake, who was dismissed almost six months prior.
One of my contacts was employed at the company, a future subject for this series. Harley Benson, who is the most intimidating lion on the face of the planet. I work in porn, there are a lot of lions in porn, and he would make them all mewl and hide under the sofa. While I had a line open, I begged and pleaded with the receptionist and got Harley to explain why Kyle had been 'dismissed'. The answer:
"I grew tired of his poor attitude and inappropriate behavior. We had an... altercation, and then I simply fired him."
Yes, that ellipsis represents a movie-badguy pregnant pause. The lion went on to explain that he had intentionally lost contact with Kyle. Mr. Benson was quite busy and simply gave me what he thought was Kyle's number.
I called it. That mobile subscriber was no longer active. So, I went back to Michael Jasek, who I had heard was friends with Kyle.
The fox gave me Kyle's address, which belonged to a house out at the foot of the hills surrounding town. A woman answered the door and told me that she'd bought the house just weeks earlier at an auction. Apparently, it was owned by someone out of state who had to move for business, and he had been renting it to Kyle. When the rent checks stopped coming, the owner gave up and sent the mortgage bank some jingle mail.
The owner of the house was not in a very good mood when I called, and told me that he had no idea where Kyle was and to fuck off and stop asking.
Next stop: Tomasz Dusicielski, esteemed fetish photographer. I actually ran into him in person, which was very frightening. He backed me into a corner at a sushi restaurant, apparently just blocks from his studio. The first thing out of his mouth was that he liked how the picture turned out in the paper. I asked him about Kyle, and he was dismissive, pretending not to care. Or maybe he actually cared, but acted like he didn't. It was hard to tell, because his mood would change mid-syllable.
Tomasz also seemed more interested in interrogating me about my actual day job, so I had to write him off as a wash.
Everyone I talked to knew who Kyle was (a tautology because, of course, that's why I was asking them) but had no idea where he was, where he had gone off to, or what was going on.
As far as I could tell, one day, he simply got up and completely abandoned every aspect of his life, every person he knew, everything he owned.
I thought that was going to be the end of the story. Instead, Tomasz paid me a visit at the newspaper while I was bumming around in the office, discussing whether I should even submit the story. There was no interview. I had bits and pieces of nothing.
The cougar showed up, found me, and threw something at me.
It was a hankerchief. Inside of it was the dog tag that you now see attached to this article. "KYLE BLAKE - MASTER SGT - MARSOC". There was also a key.
"Is for storage unit," Tomasz said, and then left. "You are newspaper fox, go find it."
This is what we call a cliffhanger, folks.