David S. Grant is posting his latest fiction “The Devil Wears Black Leather” while he works on his latest book, the fourth and final installment that follows: Bliss | Bleach | Blackout. The working title is of course, Bleak. Why is he doing this? Because he loves you! (Note: Also, may be drunk, hence the third person intro.) For more information (or purchase/download) David’s books check out his Goodreads (Bleach 4.6 out of 5 rating; Bleach | Blackout 4.8 rating) or Amazon page.
Standing in the taxi line at the airport in Vegas is hot. Large men are falling over and the strippers arriving for the weekend are already removing their tops. Jagger is smoking a cigarette when he receives a text from Izzy that reads: FREE FALLIN’ which we assume is a reference to the Tom Petty song that references vampires. The next text says: CHECKING INTO VAMPIRE REHAB – see u in 28 days.
We are at a club named THUNDER at The Bellagio when Lucy texts and wishes me luck with Elvis and that New York Magazine wants to publish an excerpt from Making It Rain with a picture of me. I look up and Jagger is ordering Prosecco. He looks over at me and says, “We are in the middle of a Prosecco craze, we should both order Prosecco.” I agree and Jagger orders us each a full bottle. Jagger then says, “What we have here is a major exception, which means, two exceptions at the same time”, I nod, listening more to the music than Jagger. “Prosecco AND Vegas!” Jagger holds up the peace sign, “Two exceptions!”
The music sounds like cell phone ring tones turned into songs until “It Takes Two” comes over the speakers and Jagger and I both agree this song holds up surprisingly well. We both smoke a cigarette and drink down our Prosecco in less than 30 minutes. The bill comes and Jagger tells me we have to tip 25%, “It’s the new 20”, he says and then adds, “If you don’t it’s like saying you’re not a fan of Stevie Wonder, better duck because someone is going to take a swing at you.”
We go to The Flamingo and watch an Elvis impersonator who is wearing white gloves which are distracting because to me white gloves = jazz hands and Elvis is more hips than hands. After three songs and two more bottles of Prosecco we go to Vince Neil Ink so Jagger can get a tattoo of a balloon on his shoulder which he isn’t really sold on, but wants to still get it because it’s always a good night when it ends with someone getting a tattoo. I sit and wait while the tattoo artist works on Jagger and tells us his life story that ends with him losing a lot of weight. “Five years ago, if you opened me up you’d find a Cheesecake Factory.” He says this in a matter of fact way which can’t be true, but it still keeps me preoccupied because I’ve never actually been inside a Cheesecake Factory. I know it is a restaurant, but still, I associate hard hats and lunch pails for some reason.
After the tattoo Jagger is riding an ink high so we go Planet Hollywood and sit at a bar inside the casino where we order tall beers, Prosecco, and tequila shots. We agree we have to go home after the drinks. We play video poker at the bar and I lose four hands in a row looking for a straight and then finally win after being dealt four of a kind. Forty minutes later the bartender is laughing at me and I have no idea why and that is when I know it is definitely time to go home.
On our way out of the casino a stripper named Nashville recognizes Jagger and so we end up having one more drink at The Alladin (which turns into a bottle of Prosecco each) and then following her to the middle school about two miles off the strip (where she teaches part-time) and snorting large amounts of cocaine off the children’s desk. In between lines we critique the art drawings on the wall; then Jagger picks up a desk and throws it across the room and then apologizes to Nashville who keeps her head down and doesn’t notice, taking in another line. This lasts until the cocaine is gone and then Nashville tells us we have to go because they are opening the school in two hours. I look down at my watch and realize that my meeting with Elvis is in three hours.
I receive a text from Izzy that reads: SOMEONE BIT ME; CHECKED OUT OF REHAB. I have drunk almost a case of Prosecco and am riding a three hour cocaine binge. My friend has just been bitten by a vampire in vampire rehab and Jagger is running through the halls of a middle school where a stripper named Nashville has taken off her top and is chasing after him. My nose begins bleeding when a maintenance man sticks his head inside the 7th grade classroom. Vegas baby!