MOIDER @ Seething Beach
by Chris Quinlan

z 12th December 2001

It was late afternoon and most of the day was a writeoff, my head was furry, I couldn't write, I couldn't get my website working and there was no booze or food left in the joint, I had to get out and walk it off, this bloody hangover, so I drove and then I walked .....

Not far from my pad, there's this place Macca showed me once, "Mate" he said as we were driving to it in his old Commodore, "This is where I go to seeth!" "After a day of serving bloody customers and copping their bullshit, I need to get here and seeth it out" ..... So Seething Beach was born ..... Campbell's Cove near Where-I- Be South is what it was in the Melways, a lover's leap, a place to bonk and bong- on, call it what you want, but today .... call it trouble.

There he was lying in the grass, next to his bass guitar, with the fifth string wrapped around his neck, I knew him, played with him once and I wish I never had, his only friends were other musicians, this obviously spelt trouble for him ... but he couldn't spell .... so he was dead; moidered!

I tried to feel his pulse, being a bass player, he didn't have any, being dead, he had even less. I wondered how he got here, I looked around and saw something a few feet away, it was a screwed up piece of paper with a scrawl on it, looking closer I noticed it was music, all written in bass clef, maybe if he could read he'd still be alive .... I studied it .... underneath every note, in pencil, was written the note's name, mostly the wrong name, was this some kind of clue, maybe a motive for moider?

I put the music in my pocket, I looked around for something else, I found it, I picked it up and wiped the prints off it, an empty Makers Mark "Boibon" bottle; most people spell it "bourbon", but remember that we're in Where-I-Be? ; I knew where to find it, I had dropped it there last night.

I had to think quick, pretty soon, the Jazz police would be giving me the once over, I would be the main moider suspect, I was there, I had played with him in a band, he would moider every song he played giving me a motive to moider him, I didn't have an alibi and if I didn't retrace my steps quick, I would be doing a life sentence at the Lavvie Lakes Prison and Reception Centre, playing an old Monkee's hit called "Mommies and Daddies" ..... yoiks!

I was there alright but I didn't knock him off, I didn't even know how he got there, was he tailing me? .... he must have, I would have spotted him, but I was driving this dame there ..... we were having a nightcap with the boibon, I never saw a dame swallow half a bottle so quick, then things got horny .... I remember her yelling out "Ohhhh, I'm going all giddy" as the shag proceeded on the bonnet of her car, "Watch out toots, you're denting the bonnet!" I remember replying ....... then things get blurry, I remember getting home and toots parking herself on the bed and quickly punching out ZZZZZ's, I quickly followed her lead to the land of post- coital euphorial sleep, it was a happy day, I was happy with music, I felt like joining a band again and I copped a rollicking good shag! It was good to be the king!

Waking up this morning she was gone ....... and I was left with this mess and the wrap .... I was on the hook and I had to find her and find her quick to get off it. I berated myself, "Karma, you idiot, you dropped your guard and let a dame set you up? Is that what happened?"

Retracing my steps, I pushed my dinky be-bop volkswagon to the limit down the Westagate freeway, as the lights of Where-I-Be? started to fade the glow of Melburnia got brighter, I had a bar to find, its name was "Eckee trade" in Footzroy st StKilda, I found a carpark in Grey st, dodged the lovely ladies of the soon to be night and walked into the top bar of a three bar establishment that used to be the Seeview ballroom, used to be the George, used to be a lot of things, right now, it was my place to start finding out what happened, I walked in ..... there she was, smiling and happy in a strapless evening dress, being very cosy with the bartender, I played it cool and braved a non-chalant smile ...

"Yes, mate?" ... the bartender asked, "I'll have a boibon, mate, boibon on the rocks." "No worries" he replied and pulled himself away from making the girl to making my drink.

She smiled, I smiled, we both smiled, then we smiled at each other, "Having a good night?" "Oh yes!" she replied, her lips were the color of the house red she was sipping, they were luscious and full, just as I remembered them, her hair was pulled back in a way that reminded me of how I was pulling her hair back a few hours before, she liked it then and it seemed she liked it now .....

"I think I'm frightfully drunk" she said "I think I'm Karl" I replied, she smiled and giggled almost at the same time "Oh no!" she laughed "My name is Roslyn and I'm frightfully drunk!" ... "Oh, I'm Karl and I'm frightfully Karma!" .... we laughed until we stopped. She acted as though she couldn't remember me, but in a nice way, her eyes were as glazed as a Homer Simpson donut, there was something more than red wine going on here .... the waiter brought my drink and I took a slug ....

Roslyn looked at me through her baby-blues, you could read a man's life story in a set of eyes like that, as glazed as they were, match them with the figure and the warm lips and a musician could forget what time signature he was playing in, she was drop dead gorgeous. She finished her drink, asked for another and said "Where do you lean politically Karl?" "Well, I'm quietely left I would say" I replied "Well, in that case I would be LOUDLY left!" .... "those bastards got in again and we can't do anything about it" .... her drink came and it disappeared down her throat almost as quick as a reception muso's free meal!

"I have to go!" she looked up and around and scampered off down the steps and out of the bar, I put down my drink and followed, by the time I made it outside I had lost her in the Footzroy st crowd, I hadn't finished with the bar yet, there was something wild in Roslyn's eyes that was more than the drink ... I went back into the bar. My drink was where I had left it, I took another slug and walked over to the barman "Hey there, that was a grand exit wasn't it?" "Sure was" he replied,

"I suppose you remember us here last night?" I asked, he was coy "Well, yes, vaguely." He started wiping down the bar with his cloth, I could tell he wanted to get away from this conversation but I kept going;

"Do you know anything about this?" pulling out the manuscript paper with the dead bass player's writing. "Uh, uh, no, never seen it before" .... his face went about as red as a Rammstein roadie ..... I leaned over and grabbed him by his shirt "Now listen, mate, something stinks and I want to know who's making the smell."

"Ok, Ok, there was a guy talking to Roslyn before you walked in last night, he was leaning on the bar, I knew he was a bass player because they're always leaning on something, he seemed mad about something, he showed Roslyn that piece of paper, his mobile rang and when he walked off to take it privately, you walked in and Roslyn took a shine to you, by the time the bass player came back, you two had just left and he rushed out."

I thought to myself ... "The Bass Player, ok , now I'm getting it, Roslyn used me to get away, he followed us, why? It wasn't me he was after, it was Roslyn, who got to him first and who was framing me up?"

I let the bartender go, and went to walk out the bar but my feet started to drag like two out of work violin players, my face was as hot as a keyboard players borrowed Korg, I needed to shave my tongue and my hands were shaking as fast as Edith Piaf's vibrato ...... "You bastard, you spiked my goddamn drink!" I could see a chesire cat smile on the bartender's puss, as the floor came up to meet my face, I heard a loud bang, I didn't know whether it was the floor hitting me or what seemed like something orange and flickering out of the corner of my eye, as the blackness welled around me, I saw the smile disappear from the bartender's face.

It seemed like a long voyage on a choppy sea of black foam, no matter how hard I swam, I couldn't break the surface of this black sea, then I felt a hand and a warm embrace, I could smell her perfume and that's what brought me back, it was Roslyn holding onto me, keeping me warm while I was going through the shakes, her warm body pressed against me tight, I could feel every contour now as she moulded her body against mine ...."Come back, Lover, Lover .... come back"

She was whispering into my ear, it was a song I used to play back in the good ol' jazz days when it only took five jazz musicians to make twenty jazz bands .... hang on a minute, my mind was wandering, nothing has changed! Maybe that's why the Melburnia Council cancelled their last jazz festival?

As I opened my eyes, she was looking at me, she kissed me softly and said "I loved him, I killed him, the bartender, he was a Lead Guitarist, if I didn't love him, I could well love a drummer like you, but it's too late, he was going to kill you, he killed the Bass player, who was going to kill me."

"That's a lot of killing," I mumbled "Why?" Roslyn cradled me to her tighter, putting her lips to my ear, she whispered "Bass player had all the gigs tied up, except he was a fake, the chart I gave him showed him up, he couldn't read, the studio would have had to get somebody else and that was his big worry, he would have had to rely on his Eckee trade, then last night, he spiked my drinks, he wanted to moider me, I found out he was a silent partner in the bar with the Lead Guitarist, I find out the bar is a front for the Eckee trade then you came out of nowhere and unknowingly saved me."

She continued whispering, "The bartender saw a chance to have the Eckee trade all to himself by moidering me and the Bass player and letting you take the wrap, he didn't count on you being the tough guy, and had to take you out as well, I couldn't let him do that, you were good to me, you saved me."

"Eckee trade?" So that was it, the creep did the Eckee trade, and Roslyn fell for the Bartender/Lead guitarist without knowing he was a part of it, without knowing that he saw what happened and took his chance to follow us and moider the Bass player and set me up as the patsy on Seething beach, and now they're both dead and the girl is holding me. Sweet .... but who is going up Where-I-Be creek when the jazz police find the moidered bodies of these Eckee addled musos? I made it back to my feet, then I made it back to my pad, I showered, shaved the fur off my tongue and made enough coffee to make me as jumpy as a jazz musicians bank manager. I had to think, I loved music, but right now she was being a cruel mistress.

I went back to Seething beach, the jazz police were there, Detective Ornette Coltrane was looking over Bass player's body, he turned, saw me, waved me through the jazz police cordon and with a rueful smile asked "Care to shed some light, Karma?"

I reached into my pocket and pulled out the manuscript "Eckee trade, Coltrane, Eckee trade, This guy's dead, The guy who killed him is dead, all for Eckee trade." "You were here, Karma?" Coltrane asked .... "Yeah, I was here, I was saving a dame, but I didn't know it at the time, it was her manuscript, she fell for a Lead Guitarist, who was two-timing her, setting her up for a fall." Coltrane lit a smoke and replied "Yeah, we know, we got the call about the Lead Guitarist, we knew about Eckee trade but needed evidence, he turns up dead in the bar and the girl turns up and says she had to do it to save you, what do you say to that?"

I looked at Coltrane and said "That means we've saved each other then, it seems she's done enough time playing with these Bozo's, she even fell for one of them because of the Eckees, if she can get off the Eckees she'll be a good girl."

Coltrane replied "She might have to do a bit more time, she was involved and knew about Eckees, she wanted out, and they were on to her, shagging you may well have saved her life."

"I have to admit I never quite thought of it that way" I said.

As I pulled away from Seething beach, I realised that this job got close, real close, I saved her with a shag, she saved me with a gun, she might have to go visit the Carpet Licking Shed for a short while, but I would wait for her, it was the least I could do.