Las Vegas is a dangerous place and no hotel is more dangerous at two o’clock in the morning than The Hard Rock Hotel. You look around and see S&M dancers, gambling, big tits, and the effects of rampant steroid use. To your left there is live music and tacos, to your right, a tattoo parlor. Eddie wonders if this is the place Hunter S. Thompson was searching for. Eddie glances at his watch; it’s getting later, which means the risk factor of being arrested is increasing. Eddie is wearing his trademark oversized Elvis aviators. He smirks, as he watches the Black Jack tables, thinking that for a true payout there needs to be risk, needs to be danger. There needs to be a body. Eddie scans his head across the Casino floor, the look of the American dream, he thinks; of course, it’s hard to see underneath the aviators.
Five hours earlier…
Eddie is at MGM placing fifty dollar chips on number one. The roulette wheel spins three times with no luck so Eddie goes to the gym where he focuses on legs and back and then to the sports book at Bally’s where he smokes a cigar and watches the horses. After three failed trifecta bets it is time for Eddie to pick up his pink Cadillac in the front of the Casino. Eddie drives Sahara Boulevard north, passing palm tree farms and neon graveyards, and then finally hooks back onto the strip, landing at The Bellagio.
Eddie drops his car with the valet, grabs his bag and after five minutes locates Sal, his working partner for the night. Like Eddie, Sal will be dressed as Elvis. The big difference is that Eddie is a performer, and Sal, well Sal is a male stripper. This is the second bachelorette party they have worked in the past week. Sal approaches Eddie and tells him about his date the night before and how they both ended the night sucking each other’s dicks. Eddie wished Sal would just keep it professional with a low-profile on his personal life. The way Elvis worked.
There is a small dressing room off to the side where Eddie puts on his white jumpsuit, belt and scarves. He slides his TCB ring onto his index finger and then poses in front of a mirror. No need to attach the sideburns or put on the glasses, this is all part of the natural package. Eddie rummages through his bag, looking for his cape. No cape, where could he have left it? Eddie stands for a moment as he wonders. Outside the room Eddie can hear Sal working up the girls. He peeks out and sees the bachelorette kissing Sal on the mouth and grabbing his ass. Eddie takes a deep breath and walks through the door.
Elvis has entered the building.
Eddie starts it off with “I’m so Lonely” followed by “Hound Dog”, and then shakes his hips to “Shake, Rattle, and Roll”. It’s during the last song that Eddie gives one of his scarves to the bride to be. Her name is Courtney and she puts her hand down the front of Eddie’s shirt, eventually reaching below the belt. He laughs and backs away. Eddie plays “Suspicious Minds”, “Jailhouse Rock”, and then dedicates “Love Me Tender” to Courtney. At the end of the show Eddie slips Courtney a card that on the back has a hand written time and address. The front simply says, Elvis.
The North side of Vegas is where the real action is. Few cops patrol this non-tourist area unless they are filming television shows. The Lucky Paradise isn’t in the travel books, in fact it is so far off the strip even the hookers have trouble finding it. There is no roulette. No showgirls. No free drinks. There isn’t even a slot machine. The vending machine on the second floor carries only RC Cola.
Eddie is still dressed in his costume, sitting at the end of the bed, surfing channels on the television set, settling on a Nash Bridges rerun. Eddie picks up his bag and throws it onto a chair when a card for an escort service that was stuck to the bottom flies off. Eddie stares at the card, grimaces, and then tears it up. Looking around, unable to locate a trash bin, Eddie just throws the brightly colored pieces of cardboard into a corner. The overall look of the room is drab: drab curtains, drab bedspread, and drab carpeting. On the pillow rests a peppermint candy and a 3M sticky note that reads GOOD LUCK!
The knock at the door causes Eddie to look up at the door, then down at his watch. Courtney is on time.
Courtney falls forward as Eddie opens the door, landing on her left knee. She gets up and tries to lick Eddie who moves back, causing her to fall forward again, and this time landing on her right knee. Eddie asks her to make her self comfortable and relax on the bed. Courtney removes her shirt and sits on the end of the bed as Eddie stands with his back to her, opening a bottle of red wine. Courtney slurs something about her fiancée and how it isn’t cheating if it’s Elvis. Eddie mumbles something about cheating and then clearly replies, “Elvis was a religious man”.
“Whatever”, barely makes it out of Courtney’s mouth as she stands up and approaches Eddie, grabbing him from behind, by his Elvis belt. Eddie doesn’t budge, instead removing the cork from the bottle, and then dipping the corkscrew into the wine. “The blood of Christ” says Eddie as he turns around and plunges the corkscrew into Courtney’s forehead. She screams and falls back onto the bed. Eddie jumps on top of her and straddles her. The louder she screams the harder Eddie twists his wrist, sending the corkscrew deeper into her skull. Eddie grimaces once the skull cracks through, not his first time, but also not a sound you ever really get used to. Courtney shakes her hips and then there is nothing. As Eddie removes the corkscrew he notices the wine and blood now mixed along with brain mass, dripping onto Courtney’s face. It’s at this very moment Eddie remembers where he left his cape.
Elvis has left the building.