Chapter 5

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Claudette got it all. Firmly entrenched in a hiding spot behind a few decorative ferns in the lobby of the Swankforth Hotel, the journalist without a job snapped pic after pic, documenting all the debauchery. She caught Disco Werewolf walking in with a babe on each arm and more on either side. Dozens of women pouring in after that.

She caught him dancing around while the ladies watched. She caught him howling while one particularly busty beauty scratched him behind the ears. She even caught him licking the face of a pretty strumpet, who, oddly enough, seemed to enjoy the depraved gesture.

"Ugh," Claudette said. "Gross."

Once Disco Werewolf and his harem were on their way to the penthouse, Claudette booked it for the exit, photographic evidence in hand. She knew Ernie would lowball her again on the photos and would spout nonsense about how they weren't proof that Disco Werewolf was an actual werewolf. She thought about sneaking into the party, posing as one of the floozies, just to see if she could get her hands on him. Yank on that face to see if it's real or a just a really good mask. She didn't want to stoop that low though she knew one day, if she stuck in journalism long enough, she'd have to compromise her principles just to get a story. That day wasn't today though. She figured as long as she kept on the story, she'd get the break she needed. She'd figure out the identity of Disco Werewolf, one way or another.

Outside, there was a chill in the air. She pulled her coat tighter and wondered how all those bimbos got by wearing so little attire. Her car was parked three blocks away, it being nearly impossible to find a good spot in Manhattan on a Friday night. She would have to hoof it.

Or would she? That tacky purple limousine with the golden grill pulled up to the curb right next to her. The window rolled down. The same old purple hat with the yellow feather popped up over the edge of the window, though no face could be seen.

That same old, high-pitched, squeaky voice had something to say. "Pardon me, mademoiselle, but might I offer you a lift?"

Claudette faked a smile. "No thank you."

The young journalist walked on. The limo followed, moving at a crawl. The occupant persisted. "Are you sure? There are many irredeemable reprobates walking the streets at this time of night, my dear. I would surely be overcome with misery and woe if some unsavory character were to abscond with your personage and have his way with your delicate person."

Claudette kept walking. "I'll manage."

The limo kept crawling. "Perhaps I have something I can tempt you with. A little champagne, perhaps?"

"I don't drink," Claudette said.

"Well, now's a perfect time to start," the voice said.

"No thank you," Claudette said.

"Perhaps some caviar?" the voice asked. "I'd say it was freshly squeezed right out of the fish's beaver this morning but that would be a lie. It's the canned stuff. Still delicious though. You know, I don't know why the hoity toity folk love this so much. It can't be the taste because, though not bad, it isn't worth the exorbitant price. I wager it must be the knowledge that an entire fish civilization is wasting away in your mouth. Quite a powerful feeling."

Claudette was starting to feel creeped out. She assumed that whoever was in the back seat of the ride was some kind of wealthy, eccentric pervert who was looking to abduct her. Naturally, she wanted no part of that. She declined to say anything in response this time, hoping the weirdo would give up and move on.

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