“Here, let me.” Agent Dauna smiled and wiped Bernie’s mouth with a handkerchief drawn from her bra. “You’re drooling, like the first time I saw you, Pavlov.” Though the shark goddess loved to toy with her prey, she knew that she had to play nice with Interpol’s new star, Agent Bernie “Eggs” Benedict, the ‘god whisperer.’
The details of Dauna Robinson’s office slowly emerged. It was more or less a cocktail lounge with sultry saxophone tunes playing on an old Philco console. There were no books or even a computer in the dispatcher’s office. Chief Lyman said that she had a porno…uh…photographic mind. Ms. Robinson’s desk was simply a small round table with an old coffee-stained manila folder on top, two uncomfortable office chairs with blood-red stains and an overstuffed couch. Bernie didn’t see booze on the mini bar. Instead there were a few dozen bottles of water. She only drinks water?
It wasn’t just any old water. It was Bernie’s own Instant Hawaiian Ocean Splash — my own creation, my brand! Bernie had originally designed the ‘Splash’ as a gag gift, for splashing, not drinking, when he was a young surfer in Bolsa Chico. It had remained a great success. Has she been dousing herself in my ‘Splash,’ or is it really that steamy in here? What does she know about me?
Dauna opened up the window shade, turned her head and studied Bernie from beneath a thick mane of wet, gray-streaked, shoulder length hair. In the rays of sunlight, her complexion was the color a rich coffee latte beneath a cream-colored blouse — which was soaked throughout. Her “girls” appeared to wink at Bernie from beneath the wet cloth. She reached behind her and took a cigarette from a pack on her desk while gauging Bernie’s reaction. “Something wrong, sailor? Oh, yeah, sorry, but this blouse sticks.” Dauna’s 45-22-24 figure was further highlighted by the pencil skirt that clung to her like a second skin. He noticed Dauna’s pair of black pumps tossed into the corner. They’d been chewed on. Chewed on? Bernie began to feel uneasy.
“I’m sure that I know you from somewhere, Agent Robinson.”
“But I can’t put my finger on it.”
“You will, sweetie.”
“Aye aye aye aye? Ah, mi chorizo!” She pinched Bernie’s cheek. “Do you like magic? Señor, would you like to see a little trick that I picked up in a classy Tijuana bar? ¿Sí?”
Dauna spun toward her cocktail bar, then leaned back against it on one elbow. “Obsérvame.” She zeroed in on Bernie and then drew down an entire cigarette in one continuous breath. He’d seen her as the Queen of Kupaio do something that. However, this was a better. From beneath the hem of her skirt, a trail of smoke descended like a slo-mo waterfall into a pool about her delicate feet.
“Did you like that? Do you talk?” Dauna’s soft eyes were drinking in her new human chew-toy from head to toe. “Oh, I see you did like that.”
Bernie watched her rub her cigarette butt into her masochistic ashtray. ‘Masochistic?’ Why would an ashtray be masochistic? What’s wrong with me? Locked and loaded, rocking her curves, she closed in.
The rhythm! She is the shark that I saw while diving! THIS might be a good time to panic. The shark! The Queen! The waitress!
Bernie covering his shrinking embarrassment, cautiously backed toward the door as she came in for the kill, mercilessly dipping and swirling her thick hair beneath his nose, filling his useless head with a dose of Home Wrecker Perfume.
Dauna the Fijian Shark Goddess relished watching the silly mortal turn into easy-to-digest mush. Bernie fell into an angry chair. The chair didn’t go for hairy man butts.
Dauna Robinson spun again, this time into her office bathroom, she said, “Make yourself comfortable while I adjust my goodies.”
Goodies. Bernie took a deep breath and tried to relax. Relax. Fat chance.
“How do you like working with the COED, the Crimes of Exotica Division, hun?” she asked from the behind the door. “T.K. and Frankie are a hoot. Oh, and, uh FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!”
“Agent Robinson, is something wrong?”
Dauna poked her head around the corner. “Just having my morning Tourette’s, sweetie.” She stared. “Can I ask, where the Hell you dug up your wardrobe? Bad Will?”
Bernie had been asked by T.K. to study up on the subject of Panpsychism (“All things have a soul”) before moving to Hawaii. He didn’t know why — until now. Bernie had a feeling that everything in Dauna Robinson’s office was alive. The newly adjusted goddess who had entered the room wearing a fresh white top and a matching tight skirt, set her soft bottom upon the thrilled sill. Bernie’s heart paused in deep silent reverence for the old painted wooden board. Dauna paused to light another happy cigarette and admire another bit of Hawaiian ‘scenery,’ derelicts sleeping in pee on the sidewalks of Chinatown.
“SNAP OUT OF IT, BERNIE!” demanded a second woman’s voice from the ‘the Bernie file’ on Dauna’s desk.
Bernie jumped up, staring at the folder. “Dammit! Who the hell?”
“What is it, hun?” asked Dauna.
Both of them saw the image of the Virgin Mary spreading like a coffee stain across the manila folder. Uh, oh shit…sorry, ma’am, Bernie apologized to the folder. Mother Mary had appeared on his browser a couple of times, but the two never spoke. Mary scared all of her lonely son’s friends away with her icy condescending looks.
“I said snap out of it, Mr. Cupcake!” said Mother Mary, “or it’s your funeral!”
“Funeral? Please! Not now!”
“Who are you talking to, hun?” asked Dauna. “Is there someone on the folder? It isn’t your new pal, Lion Chow, again, is it?”
“Lion chow? Jesus? No. It’s his mom. Ms. Robinson, did you just call Mary’s son, Jesus, lion chow?”
Flat Mary rolled her eyes toward heaven and said in Latin, “Odio hoc canis (I hate this bitch).” The mother of God shook her haloed head in disgust and disappeared from the folder.
“P-leeeeeease, Ms. Holier-Than-Thou,” said Dauna. It seemed that Jesus’ mom had left the building. Dauna looked at Bernie, “Agent Benedict, let me tell you the truth about Mrs. Goody Two Sandals.”
“Mrs. Sno-fucking-White thinks that I’m trying to corrupt her precious little boy, Jesus. Do you know what I think? I think that your melancholy, haloed hippie pal wants to lay his blessings on my pink tang.’ The kid should be dating. Did you know that his dad, or mom, or their family cat cursed me with Tourette’s after I used the old man’s name in vain? So, I, Ms. Potty Mouth, have a free ticket to call Merkin Man whatever I want.”
“Merkin Man?” Merkin Man sounds like a commercial.
“What? Should I ask Mr. Love-In to forgive me? He knows that I’d just start cussing again.” She smiled at Bernie. “Do you know what? I think that it turns him on.” Dauna turned away and lit yet another overjoyed, happy-to-die cigarette. The small smooth scars on Dauna’s neck caught Bernie’s attention. The marks reminded him of a Youtube video that showed sharks mating — brutally.
Dauna knew what the new agent was thinking, even as she faced the window. “On my island, we call these scars ‘shark hickeys.’”
Shark Hickeys? What is she? Bernie was fascinated — dumbfounded.
“Give your peepers a rest, chew toy. Because if you were looking for panty lines, you’re shit outta luck. I need you to listen. Interpol, and I, both need your special powers. You can see beings that I can’t, and I can see plenty,” she said, sizing up the new agent. “Yeah, plenty.” She inhaled her very-Lucky Strike.