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“John, you exploded my client.” The Adventures of Dirk Jones

CW: Possible Plagiarism. I think. I actually don’t think any of the writing was stolen, but if you can prove me wrong go ahead. Rather, I think I was heavily influenced. However, the bisexual stories, that was all me (no, I’m not bi, I just like bisexual stories).

I was 13 when I wrote this story. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency was my favorite book at the time. Swamp Thing, Hellblazer, and Demon (the comic books) were my jam, and they show up heavily here down to it edging into fanfic as I lift John Constantine as a character.

Maybe this is just how people write fiction, by borrowing from other fiction. I wouldn’t know, because it’s apparently been over 30 years since I have written fiction.


Chapter 1

Clunk. Bloody hell. The muffler of my aged, navy blue Jaguar sped away from my car. I stopped to inspect it while leaving the motor of the car running. A mistake I realized as I was running down the hill to catch up with it. I looked rather funny with my coat flapping out behind me and my left hand on my head to keep my hat on. Luckily, I had left the door to my car open, so I grabbed the handle, which came off in my hand. Then I made a lunge for the door and missed, the car leaving me sprawled on the road.

Four hours later I walked into my office to find that it had been searched and my secretary was not there to clean it. I stumbled through the overturned drawers and piles of paper to the spring water dispenser. I could not find an intact cup, so I lay down on the floor, mouth wide, and pressed the little blue button. The water dripped into my mouth. Then I splashed some on my face, being too lazy to go to the bathroom. I walked outside and took the bus to my house.

Standing outside of my suburban house with its one and a half foot lawn, I realized that I kept the key to the house under the driver’s seat of my former car. Angrily I hurled my shoe through the window. Then, hopping on one foot in the wet grass I tried to clear the window of excess glass. I hopped up and sat in the window. I swung my legs around, hopped down, and landed in a moldy pizza. Disgusted, I closed the pizza box and threw it out of the window. Trying not to step on any broken glass, I picked up my shoe and walked to my bedroom. I didn’t bother to undress, just threw my hat and coat in the direction of the closet and fell asleep.

Chapter 2

The phone woke me at 6:03 a.m.. Who in their right mind would wake me at 6:03 a.m.? The answering machine said:

“Hello, this is Dirk Jones and either I don’t want to talk to you, you have just woken me, or I’m not in. Please leave a message after the beep. Have a nice day.”

“Dirk, hi,” his long drawled ‘i’ on the end of ‘hi’ really annoys me. “It’s me, your favorite client.”

“Stay on the line.” I said as I picked up the phone.

“Dirk I want you to know that purple cows do not eat frogs.”

“Oh Christ, where are you.”

“Big moo prevent me.”

“Are you in London?”

“Yes, ring, ring.” No matter how serious the matter, all clients cannot say ‘ring ring’ without sounding completely hysterical.

“Big Ben?”

“Yup.”

“I’ll be right there.”

I’ve found this particular code works best because it relieves the tension that my clients have when they’re in a situation. 

Being glad that I was dressed, I scooped up my hat and coat and went outside. It wasn’t until I looked in my garage that I realized what had happened the day before. I hurriedly flagged a taxi.

“To the clock.”

The cab driver made some remarks about the weather.

“I hate the fog in London, not like in Dublin it isn’t. The fog there rolls in majestically. Not like where where it’s always here anyway, but when it does come in, it sort of falls from above.”

The cab driver kept on yakking while I lit a cigarette. Then he said:

“That’s not good for your health, you know. My Uncle Louie died from that.”

“Did he.”

“Mmm, he acquired cancer of the lungs. Nasty stuff, all black. You know, you’re putting me in danger also. They say that secondary smoke…”

After a while I got fed up and mashed my cig out on the window.

“Could you let me out here?”

“Ah, sure,” He looked at his meter. “Seven pounds.”

“Seven, for this ten minute trip?!”

“Ah, yes.”

“Here,” I said angrily as I handed him seven pounds. “Keep the change.”

I stormed out into the drizzle that had formed while I was in the cab. Normally I like the feel of the cool mist on my face, but today the rain just made me even more irritable. 

Since the cab driver had let me off four blocks before the Big Ben, I had to walk behind Westminster Abbey to get there. I hate that place, all those graves.

As I walked around the corner the first thing that hit me was the terrible smell, the heat. Then I saw the charred remains of a car and the police and firemen standing around. I ran up to the nearest policeman and asked him what happened.

“Well there was a bound and gagged man fifty feet from the car, he must have been blown clear when the dynamite went off.”

“What did the man look like?” 

“Couldn’t really tell. He was burnt pretty badly. He had black hair and a bald spot.”

Christ, dynamite, what’s this country coming to?

“Is he dead?”

“Nope, but in critical condition in the emergency ward, they say he’ll probably have brain damage.”

My luck. Just then, something caught my eye. On the back of the car of the policeman that I was talking to are those little plastic bags they put evidence in. In one of them was the license plate of the burnt car. I collect license plates, and whenever I see one I cannot resist. I eased over to the car, bent over the police line, and shoved the plate under my coat. Then I walked swiftly and quickly away. I flagged a taxi and went to the hospital.

Chapter 3

J. Ward Moorethwait had absolutely no reason for anyone to attempt to kill him. Except that he was a paranoid schizophrenic and a lawyer. Those two never seem to mix.

I hate hospitals. The smell, the green-white tint, and the screams. When I walked into the emergency ward the first thing I saw was a bloody, screaming man being wheeled into a room. Disgusted I asked for J. Ward Moorethwait. The ditzy clerk said that she had no record of a J. Ward Moorethwait. I asked her about a man that had been thrown clear of a dynamited car, had black hair and a bald spot. The woman replied:

“Oh, you mean John Doe Numba Thoity-one, sweetie. He’s in a coma, are ya’ family?”

“Yes, I’m his long lost second cousin twice removed, now which room?”

“Thoity-one dear, down the hall on the left.”

I walked down teh hall of unidentified people to the room of “John Doe Thirty-One.” 

“Ward, oh Christ, you really are messed up.”

His blank, mangled face stared at the ceiling. I put the flower that I had stolen from John Doe Twenty-Seven next to his bed and walked out. I identified him and told Edna the clerk to call me if he came out of the coma. Then I walked home.

Chapter 4

Ouch. I cut myself on the glass that was still lodged in the window next to the door on the house, I was unlocking my door. I walked through the maze of pizza boxes and Chinese take-out food containers to my room. I hate Chinese food, but my clients have a tendency to send me it. Oy, I have to get a waterbed someday. I rewound my answering machine and listened to my messages. There was a call from some lady worrying about her precious Fru-Fru, a prank call from some kid, and last the call from my now brain-dead client. (I had mistakenly recorded it.) I decided to call my friend at Scotland Yard to ask him if it was possible to trace a call left on an answering machine, even though I know it isn’t. I called and asked for the chief investigator, a few moments later a voice came on.

“Inspector Lestrade”

Every time I hear that name I can’t help giggling. It must be some phenomenal coincidence that his name is Lestrade.

“Dirk,” he discovered this quickly. “What do you want now?” 

“Ah, I wondered if you could tell me if it’s possible to trace a call left on an answering machine.”

“No, Dirk, it’s not, and I’m a busy man. Now goodbye.”

Bloody grumpy public eyes.

I took out my license plate and looked at it. 2k474808, why is that number so familiar?

I decided that I should clean my house. I waded through and picked up everything off the floor that was moldy and threw it out of the window. Then I took a trash bag and taped it over the window. While doing this, my wallet fell out of my pocket. I decided that I might as well clean that too. First my credit cards, all expired, but many people don’t notice.  Then my license and registration. While I was arranging these something caught my eye. My license plate number, 2k474808. I pondered this for a while and then my doorbell rang. I walked to the door and opened it, only to find my dear friend Lestrade.

“Lestrade, what brings that town to this side of your face?”

“I can see you still have your wit Dirk, now let me in.”

I opened the door a little wider and made him squeeze through. 

“Here, I brought you some Chinese food.”

“Thank you Lestrade, but I’m sure you didn’t come here just to bring me food.”

“Correct as usual, Mr. keen insight. Now here,” he said this as he handed me my other license plate. “Does this look familiar?”

“No, but I collect them, how thoughtful of you inspector, first food, then a plate.”

“Not so fast…”

“I’m sorry, do I move too quickly for you?”

“I have reason to believe this belongs to your car.”

“I don’t have a car anymore, inspector, I misplaced it.”

“Maybe in an explosion?”

“If you recall correctly, as I’m sure you don’t, my car was a dark blue 1974 Jaguar. The car that blew up this morning was a 1990 black Mercedes Benz.”

“Which held your client.”

“Right”

“Who is now in a coma.”

“Yes, how unfortunate, I’m afraid I’ll have to see you out now, there is a certain Fru-Fru I must attend to. Thank you for stopping by, next time call and I’ll have tea ready.”

“This won’t be the last you hear from me.” He retorted.

“Yes, I’m sure of that, ta now.”

I sat down to my minced chow mein, or chopped suey, or whatever they call that slop and turned on the telly and watched Fawlty Towers. My mind full of John Cleese, I dozed off.

Chapter 5

I woke up with the pink tongue of a demon in my mouth.

“Excuse me, but I don’t kiss someone until I’m introduced.” I said as I spit it out.

“Hello Dirk, I am Nagirte.” 

“My my.”

“I am going to give you a message from my master.” His voice then took on a different form. “Stay off the case Dirk.”

“John? John!”

“The one and only, long time no hear.”

“My God, what are you doing?”

“We can’t talk like this.”

“You’re right, meet me at Joe’s at 6:30.”

“See you then, luv.”

The demon then vanished. I quickly got up and took a shower. I ate some dry cereal and then skipped out of the house. In my hurry I had asked him to one of the fanciest restaurants in this hemisphere. I had nothing to wear, and besides that I had no money. Just then a cute little poodle walked up to me. As I bent down to pet it, I saw the familiar markings on its forehead and recognized it to be the one and only Fru-Fru. I scooped up the dog and tried to flag a taxi. None of them would take animals so I walked four blocks to the underground station. I stole the fare from a sax player, and ignoring his angry curses I took the tube to Mrs. Goldstein’s house.

Nicolette Golstein (and her husband Francois) have the most beautiful house I have ever seen. I walked by the fountains and into the courtyard where Mrs. Goldstein was sunning. The moment she saw me she ran over and cried:

“Oh Fru-Fru, my darling Fru-Fru! You brave young man!”

“I never fail, Madam.”

“How much do you charge? One thousand, two thousand?” I did some quick calculating, it wouldn’t cost more than three hundred for the tux, and two for the dinner. 

“Well for the retrieval of animals I charge five hundred.”

“Here, take a thousand. Do you have a wife?”

“Ah, not at the moment.”

“Good, then I can fix you up!”

For the next forty-five minutes I got caught up in looking at beautiful young women, including my ex-girlfriend, Natasha. I took her phone number with me, because I thought that it would be nice to see her again.

Chapter 6

Two hours later I walked into Giorgio Armani, hunting for a black tuxedo. The man looked me up and down and said:

“Those are rather expensive, you know.”

“I can read, you know. It does say Armani. I do know the price.”

After some time I had a tux and shoes to match. I flagged a taxi and went home. At this point it was 4:30. I realized that I had not made a reservation so I immediately called and reserved a table for two. 

As I was getting into the shower, I thought about the case. At this point I had three questions:

  1. Who did it?
  2. Why? (motive).
  3. Why was I being framed?

I got out of the shower and did my bathroom stuff. I then got dressed and made sure that I looked immaculate. For the first time in three years, I left the house without my hat or coat.

Chapter 7

John Constantine is the strangest, most attractive man I have ever met. He looks very much like me and pretty much has the same style. Except that he is for the labor party and I am a libertarian. He was born in upper class Brixton, and lived in America for eight years. He works as an occultist/demonologist. How he makes money, God, or rather, Satan, knows. I met him six years ago when he did an exorcism at Cambridge and needed certain people to fill the holes in the circle. We had an affair for a while, but then Natasha came into my life and we drifted apart.

The waiter seated me at my table. John walked in a few moments later. He looked better than ever. He was wearing a gray-silver suit with a matching tie and a gray shirt that I had given him. The first thing he said was:

“I hate the music in here, hold on a sec.” A few moments later the horrible soft sounds were replaced by the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction”. John came back and sat down. 

“I love the Stones, the Stone and Bowie. That’s all.” he smiled.

“John, Christ you look better than ever.” I smiled back at him.

“You too, Dirk. What have you been doing lately?”

“Making an honest living, you know, P.I. Stuff, and you?”

“There hasn’t been anything really interesting, except…” at this point the waiter came and asked us what we would like to eat. I ordered leek soup for the first course, then lasagna. John ordered cream of mushroom, and a Filet Mignon. 

“Still a vegetable?” he asked playfully.

“Still a carnivore?”

He chuckled and sipped the tequila that the waiter had just brought. 

“Anyway, as I was saying, Nagirte my trusty demon set up the dynamite for me because your client was psychically disturbing the supernatural.”

“So he wasn’t schizo. That’s no reason to kill him.”

“I didn’t did I?”

“No, but…why was that demon kissing me?”

“Dirk, you’re an attractive man.” He started to turn a shade of red.

“John.”

“Okay, okay, once a detective, always a detective, I had him hooked up to my nervous system. You looked so innocent asleep. I’m not accustomed to that.”

What am I going to do with this man? While we ate I forgot totally about the case.

Chapter 8

We stumbled into John’s flat quite drunk. John asked me if I’d like another drink and we started to laugh again. I fell onto the couch and he pulled off my shoe and threw it across the room. Then I pulled off his. Then followed a wild distribution of clothes. I suddenly found myself wandering through John’s flat trying to find him. I came to his bedroom and lay down the bed. My bowtie was wrapped around the lamp and gave the room an eerie black glow. I stood up and helped myself to a few strawberries and a glass of champagne that were in the corner on the tray.

“Dirk, Dirk? There you are.” He came into the room and poured himself some champagne. He sat down on the bed and said: 

“To us.” We clinked glasses. He put his hand behind my head an drew me to him for a long kiss. On my way down I switched off the lamp.

Chapter 9

The sound of a megaphone woke me up. I untangled myself from John and tried to find my clothes. Christ, what a bloody hangover, my head was pounding.

“Constantine, we know you’re in there. Come out with your hands up. You are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. If you give up this right anything you say can be used against you in the court of law. You have the right to an attorney, if you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you….”

The megaphone kept blaring on, while I wondered why he was using the American arrest procedure in the United Kingdom. Too many damn movies. John was still fast asleep.

“John, wake up!” I hit him on the back and he lashed out at me.

“Grmnuuh, yawn. Dirk, turn down the radio.” Suddenly he realized that it was a megaphone, not a radio. He jumped out of bed and yelled

“Dirk, where are my clothes, where are my clothes!?” He quickly ran around in a circle for no reason. Then he proceeded to run around the whole flat screaming “Where are my clothes!?”. He found my tuxedo jacket and thinking that it was his pants, tried to stuff his leg in the arm. He hopped around with one leg through the jacket and then held on to me for support. Then he took his tie, and put it on, forgetting that there was no shirt underneath it. He grabbed my bowtie, there it at me and said hurriedly:

“Get dressed!”

The voice of Lestrade came onto the megaphone:

“Dirk, we know you’re in there also! Come out with your hands up! I told you that you’d hear from me again!”

These last words were low because the megaphone had broken while he was talking. I could still hear him swearing and trying to find himself a new one. While he was doing this the megaphone came on again, loud over the crowd that had now gathered.

“What the…oh. I’m warning you, come out by the time i count to three or we’ll come in to get you! ONE!” I grabbed John and pushed him out onto the veranda, which was five stories above Lestrade and his followers. John quickly covered up (with his hands) whatever he did not want the public to see. I realized at this time that I had put my bowtie on without realizing it. I grabbed a sheet and wrapped it around my waist. It wasn’t until I walked out that I noticed the sheet had a pillow wrapped inside of it.

“Put your hands up!” I put mine up and the pillow started to drag the sheet down. I put one hand down, grabbed the pillow, and threw it over the edge of the veranda. As it landed in Lestrade’s face and a barrage of bullets hit the wall above our heads, John remarked:

“That’s my silk pillowcase.”

Chapter 10

An hour later I was sitting in a room at Scotland Yard and being interrogated by Lestrade. John was showing magic tricks to the gumshoe.

“Where were you at 6:30 a.m.?”

“I was in a bleedin’ taxi cab!?”

“What were you doing there?’

“Smoking a cigarette.”

“Don’t get cute with me Mr. Jones.”

“I was on my way to the scene of the crime after receiving a distress call from my client. If you could just kindly escort me home I could let you listen to it, for I had the foresight to record it on my answering machine.”

Lestrade then walked up to the gumshoe and told him to take me home. John blew out the fire that had started on his fingertips, drew his blanket around him and stood up. 

“Not you.” Lestrade said rather firmly.

John kissed me and said “Bye, luv, I’ll call you” and proceeded to disappear. The gumshoe started to look under the table until Lestrade hit him. He got his coat and took me, the sheet, and John’s silk pillow home.

I walked into my house and rewound my answering machine. I handed him the tape and he put it in an evidence bag. He touched it using only a rag and two fingertips. I wasn’t going to waste his and my time telling him that it wouldn’t have any fingerprints on it because it was a telephone call.

“My boss will call you.”

“I’m sure he will.”  I pushed him out of the door and shut it tightly. My tuxedo appeared where the silk pillow was and I said:

“Thanks John.”

It was at about this moment that I realized that Ward was not dead and that John wanted him so. 

I tore off my blanket and grabbed my coat and hat. My new black shoes were handy so I quickly put them on. 

I flagged a taxi and told the cabbie to go to the hospital. He proceeded to go about one mile an hour in the general direction of the hospital. The cab had no front/back divider. I jumped through, pressed my foot on the gas pedal, showed him the badge that I had stolen from Lestrade and said:

“Police, out of the car!” He opened the door and jumped through. I slammed the door behind him and sped to the hospital. I rushed through the emergency ward to Ward’s room. I found the door hopelessly sealed. 

“I’m getting good at this.” I mumbled to myself as I threw my shoe at the window. I dived through and felt the familiar shock of electricity as I landed inside of John’s circle.

His circle was made of black sand. Inside of it there was a black pentagram drawn in black chalk. On each point of the star there was a black lit candle. In the center, facing the food of the star, John was sitting cross-legged, changing and drinking some sort of blood. Ward was writhing in his bed.

Just before Ward exploded I tried to destroy the circle. I was too late. I didn’t realize what I had done until John grabbed me.

“Hold on and we’ll go to the same level of hell.” 

He yelled this over the roar of the black fire that was roaring through the hospital.

Chapter 11

I have always hated hell, and I always will. John is the only go-between I know that can take people with him. Luckily I’ll never have to go alone.

We surfaced on a very shallow level, but even there I could feel the immense head and the fumes prickled at the back of my throat and eyes. 

“Oh Christ, not Hopcroft.” John’s remarks didn’t make me feel much better.

Just then Nagirte came by. He gave us a questioning look and then scuttled out of sight. John led me to the next room where a demon tried to hand us fume masks. Much to my dismay John turned him down. The demon opened the door and I found myself asphyxiating. John handed me a mask and I could breathe again. 

“How can you stand it?” I asked, my voice somewhat muffled through the mask. 

“You get used to it.” He replied.

I mustered up the courage to open my eyes and the first thing I saw was my car.

“That’s my Jaguar!” I exclaimed.

“I know, I swapped it for Hopcroft’s help.”

I gave John a skeptical look.

“Constantine, how nice to see you.” This throaty remark came from a huge, fat, warty, maroon-colored pile of blubber with horns and claws. I guessed him to be Hopcroft. It made me sick to look at him so I went over and inspected my car. John started to make small talk with Hopcroft. 

“Any firestorms lately?”

“No, Beelzebub has his way this cycle.”

That man amazes me. I was busy checking the oil when John came over and told me that Hopcroft would give me the car in exchange for something. I checked my pockets and came up with a butterknife (I always carry one), a pair of mini-binoculars, a paper clip, a nail file, and Lestrade’s wallet.

“Tell him I’ll give him the wallet of the chief investigator for Scotland Yard.”

John walked over and asked him. Hopcroft nodded his poor excuse for a head eagerly, and John handed him the wallet. I got into the car and John followed me. The next thing I knew I was in my own garage. 

I must have looked rather funny sitting there with only a trench coat, a hat, one shoe, and a fume mask on. Then I remarked:

“John, you exploded my client.”


A story from when I was 9

A story from when I was 19

Another tale of young past me


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