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The Video Killer

The Video Killer, June 2014
by Dave Eisenstark

Spanking Pulp Press
Featuring: Johnny Tone
320 pages
ISBN: 1499730942
EAN: 9781499730944
Kindle: B00IOSBM84
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"Johnny Tone want to be famous, Laura wants to be loved, this is a match made in hell"

Fresh Fiction Review

The Video Killer
Dave Eisenstark

Reviewed by Shellie Surles
Posted June 29, 2016

Humor | Thriller

Johnny Tone thinks he should be making the greatest videos in the world. His only failure is he hasn't found the perfect dancer yet. Laura is beautiful beyond belief and a great dancer, she once danced on Broadway. The only problem is Laura is a little crazy, she was only recently released from a mental hospital, and she isn't quite right. Johnny's not quite right either, when his girls don't dance the way he wants them to he tends to kill them.

This pair of people is beyond messed up and when you read their backstories they deserve each other. Thing is everyone in this book is messed up. It seems to be dysfunctional people are us. Not a bad read though just some really messed up people. Lord help humanity if people like this get together and work together. I'd like to say the police are on top of it doing their jobs, but the ones in this book should be jailed themselves, at least Roy should. Laura's supportive sister, well not so much.

Psychopaths and sociopaths are out in full force, the only question is who walks away alive at the end of the story. THE VIDEO KILLER will have you hoping that no one does, but I won't give away the end, you'll have to read it for yourself. Have your therapist on speed dial, you may need some reassurance that there is good in the world. Interesting, very interesting, she said in an evil tone, is the best way to describe what Dave Eisenstark has created in THE VIDEO KILLER.

Learn more about The Video Killer


WANNABE MUSIC-VIDEO director Johnny Tone believes his next-door neighbor, Laura Causely - beautiful, suicidal, and just released from a mental institution - is his ticket to Hollywood.

ONCE A professional dancer, Laura had the moves Johnny craved, and for her part, she's convinced he could rescue her from her controlling sister, good-for-nothing brother-in-law, and the demons that scream in her head.

LAURA IS not the first pretty young thing to fall under Johnny's spell. What happened to those old flames was a secret horror but she had her own bloody past to obliterate. ONLY ONE of them can survive.

WHO WINS in a fair fight, the psychopath or the sociopath?


SAUCY ITALIAN blood flooded his veins, sweat stung his olive eyes, a police siren deafened his pepperoni-pink ears. He smashed a trash can, forcing a running-back spin against a garage wall just before the fire-white cop beacon lit up the whole filthy alley. The 27-inch Magnavox in his arms jabbed his chin and knocked his knees. Johnny Tone loved TV—not his own TV—but somebody else's.

A SIREN obliterated The Late Show's first punch line. Lottie Krantz howled. 10:35—time for folks to be in bed. Her swollen feet shuffled onto the front screen porch. Even at night and at ninety-three—Hilltown's oldest living resident—and even with her TV glasses on, she clearly saw the man's short, powerful body scamper across the street. Going too fast, up to no good, too hot for running.

Johnny burst through a fence gate, raced across the Reverend Thompson's backyard and reached the next alley.

THE POLICE car screeched to a stop. Patrolman Roy Hampton's blood boiled, excitement flamed behind his eyes, his right leg twitched, demanding he crash the fence, through the house if necessary. Michelle Maynard grabbed Roy's hand on the steering wheel. She was forty, Roy was twenty-five—he never listens.

"Don't, Roy, please," Michelle begged her partner.

The adrenaline wouldn't stop, the leg wouldn't quiet. This was why Roy had joined the police in the first place: the thrill of the chase, the mind clicking at lightning speed, fiery nerves perched right smack on the edge of mayhem.

"Damn!" Roy cursed. "That's the fifth TV this month."

"Let's try on the other side," Michelle suggested.


Roy slammed the car in reverse, scorching the tires.

JOHNNY HURDLED a low fence into a maze of alleys. He turned when he heard the car hit gravel. A green pickup loomed in the drive. A red brick wall closed one side and a wood-slat fence faced the other. Not enough room, not with the TV. Johnny whirled. The police beacon raced down the alley.


LOTTIE KRANTZ dragged herself through her living room. Balance and order—the secret of her longevity—were threatened once again.

ROY PUSHED the patrol car into a slide.

"Darn it, Roy," Michelle shouted. "You're gonna get us killed!"

But Roy knew just what the vehicle could take, and as soon as it rested comfortably in the Harrison's new chain-link fence, he jumped out, service revolver in the air.

JOHNNY CROUCHED behind a garbage can. The sound of two pairs of boots on gravel excited him to the bone. "Put the gun away, Roy, please," Johnny heard.

"Shh!" Roy commanded, and Johnny could tell the cops were coming his way.

Johnny searched the darkness. The thought of leaving the Magnavox and crawling under the truck never occurred to him. The gun worried him even as the thrill of it bolted up his spine like a good episode of Hawaii Five-O. Something else...a sound, what? From the next house over.

Lottie hobbled onto her back porch. A pinpoint of moonlight caressed deep wrinkles in the woman's forehead. Lottie Krantz, Hilltown's oldest living resident.

"Police officers! Come out with your hands up!" Roy ordered.

Lottie squinted into the darkness.

Roy crept around the corner of her house.

Michelle's flashlight struck chrome and glanced off the Magnavox screen.

Lottie spotted Johnny behind the trashcan. She gasped, grabbed the string overhead and pulled. The porch light flared above, searing a yellow image of Lottie's shaking, pointing finger into the cones at the back of Johnny's eyes.

"There he is! Get him!" Lottie screamed.

Roy whirled and fired, blasting the bulb, raining glass and tungsten on Lottie's gray hair. She dropped to the porch floor.

"No! Don't shoot!" Michelle yelled, wrestling her partner to the ground, grasping desperately for the gun.

Johnny wondered: what the hell are they doing?

"Release me!" Roy croaked, face burning anger, brain on fire. She's surprisingly strong—

"Please drop the gun," Michelle begged.

Johnny peeked at the two cops struggling on the drive.

One crazy chance you gotta take.

Johnny shot out from behind the truck. His left foot crushed Michelle's hand, his right stomped Roy's ankle. Shouts of pain pierced the night as Johnny made good his escape down the alley past the parked patrol car, Magnavox firmly in hand.

Roy disentangled himself and jumped upright. He tested his ankle and surveyed the area.

"Saddle up!" he shouted to Michelle.

Shaken, her knees aching, Ms. Krantz crawled back inside her house.

Johnny fought the burn in his thighs and bounded up his back steps. The door was unlocked—except for Johnny, Hilltown was virtually free from crime. The door slammed shut, the siren complained again and the great, white search-beam on the patrol car knifed the wall over Johnny's head.

Oughtta buy curtains for that door.

He was short, thank God, five-four, his salvation once again. He stood granite-still, not daring a single muscle twitch despite the ache. Focus on the future. This is just a prelude, a stepping stone to greatness. No pain, no gain. Think of the fame that'll blanket you like the early morning fog wherever you go. Worth it, Johnny decided, even as the light-shaft refused to move and the low voices of the police came to him, unintelligible and frightening.

"You could have killed her," Michelle said.

"I had to neutralize the light," Roy explained.

Like a supernova moving through the galaxy, the circle of light crawled off the wall over Johnny's head. He heard the patrol car creep down the alley and the siren fade. A cruel grin slipped into Johnny's mouth. He stood that way for a few minutes, a cool-down after exercise. He checked his watch. Six-minute mile with a forty-pound handicap. He counted the pulse pumping through his neck, calculating the aerobic benefit.

"You're gonna bust a vein," Michelle warned as they resumed patrol.

"Negative!" Roy shouted, his face turning even brighter red.

"Are too," Michelle muttered to herself.

"Keep a lookout!" Roy ordered.

Michelle knew what they looked like: Frick and Flack, Laurel and Hardy, Andy and Barney, Keystone Cops in an Interpol world. All because Roy insisted on making Apocalypse out of every little encounter with crime.

JOHNNY SWUNG the TV by his side and hefted it into the sitting room. It was an ordinary place extraordinarily furnished, filled with desks and end tables, each holding a TV, sixteen with the Magnavox. There were Zeniths, RCAS, GEs, Hitachis and one gorgeous, near-new Sony Bravia which filled Johnny with pride.

IT HAD started by accident a month earlier. Johnny had been jogging up one of the steep inclines that gave Hilltown its name. A young couple, graduates of the local teachers' college, moving to a bigger city, smaller apartment and larger aspirations, had left their Quasar unattended at the back of a yellow rental van. Johnny had picked it up in stride. The weight was nothing; he exercised daily when he wasn't working and he hadn't held a job in two years. He approached thirty years of age, but that was his secret. Except for the scars on his face, he still had his boyish good looks, most of his black, curly hair and a magnificent body. He had developed his own revolutionary new exercise program, stealing a couple of TVs a week, starting close, now picking targets a mile from home. An easy warm-up jog, a short wait by the window until a commercial signaled the victim's trip to the refrigerator, then Johnny slipped in the unlocked front door—no break-ins, he insisted—before the sprint back to his house.

There'd been problems. DVRs were a constant hazard and the new cable hookups could be treacherous. Johnny's first one was screwed right into the set and even his massive biceps couldn't wrench it free. The victim, forty-year-old car mechanic Sam Teller, had tried to make it to both the refrigerator and the bathroom during one commercial break—not even station identification—and had wandered back mid-theft, adjusting his fly with one hand, grasping a cold hot dog with the other, which Johnny was sure the poor sucker waved at him as Johnny absconded with his Panasonic. Since then Johnny carried a pair of wire-clippers. That's what he liked: a new challenge every night. Tonight, for instance, Johnny had encountered the police for the first time. A worthy opponent, he felt, physically fit in an old-fashioned, calisthenics kind of way, but burdened by legal restraints, moral scruples and narrowness of vision.

It wasn't a job really; Johnny despised the idea. He hadn't made a dime stealing TVs and didn't plan to. He'd had his fill of jobs from the time he was sixteen: loading, hauling, counting, hammering, putting things together and taking them apart. By living simply he was rid of money cares and planned to stay that way. Stealing TVs wasn't sport, either—not organized anyway; Johnny hated that too. Rules, equipment and uniforms—he was done with that. Stealing TVs was a habit like brushing your teeth, taking your vitamins or watching reruns of Maverick.

Johnny added the new set to his collection, plugged it in and screwed a cable to the back. He sank into the tattered green couch and clicked through the channels: The Office, Tonight Show, Taxi, Into the Night, Nightline, Hart to Hart, TMZ, Video Log, Mad Men, Evening at the Improv—a cornucopia of entertainment offerings and most nights any of the shows would have served, but tonight, in his excitement, Johnny wanted more. He switched to the DVD. Rock 'n' roll throbbed—The Scuds, "Blast Me."

It's not what you are, it's how you're lookin',

Give me a song and I'm cooking.

I'm your man and you ain't nothin',

Shake your butt, quit your cussin'.


She was stunning, young and spectacular, over six feet tall, even higher in spiked heels. She danced in sixteen different-sized TV images, strutting like a wild ostrich across Johnny's eyes.

Fry your brain like an egg on a pan,

You ain't heard rhymin' like your man can.

It makes you hot fit to boil,

Set to explode, like a snake in a coil.

So BLAST ME! I told you—BLAST ME!

Her name was Terri Beales. She flashed a sultry look into the camera, a fan blew her thick brown hair over one auburn eye. She smiled and winked and her wide mouth moved upward on one side. Thick red lips pursed together into a lemon-nasty kiss, an aqua g-string outlined wide hips and giant, jutting buttocks. Long leg-muscles fought a pink corset, white garters and black-lace stockings. Her legs were ravishing, yet Johnny loved her breasts most. Wrapped in a ruffled, electric-blue bra three sizes too small, nipples pressing fabric, the zeppelin-shaped protrusions flew to the beat, down and up, side to side and once—Johnny switching to slow-motion—flying apart like great globes repelled by electrostatic force, arcing out and away, nearly knocking Terri off her feet, a pair of planets bursting free at the first big bang. There was something fundamental about her breasts, Johnny believed, like the shape of Mother Earth, or the original apple plucked from the first tree.

I snatched you like all the rest.

When you do me, you do the best.

When you're with me, there ain't no others,

'Cept slimeball geeks and dipshit mothers.

So BLAST ME! (Didn't you hear me, woman?) BLAST ME!

It looked like a rock 'n' roll video all right—backlit smoke poured in from the side and colored lights flashed blue and orange. But the image stayed frozen and Terri occasionally drifted off-screen. Then the camera panned awkwardly, revealing the edges of the cheaply painted, city-street backdrop, cutting Terri off at the knees, then the neck, threatening to lose her altogether.

Johnny thought: beautiful. Classic. A statement—like a good beer commercial.

The dry-ice vapor curled up Terri's nostrils until she choked and coughed. The camera followed as she bent double in convulsions. She waved the mist away and stumbled off the set. The unrelenting camera stuck to her like wet tar as she clamored up the basement stairs seeking oxygen to fill her starving lungs.

Johnny clicked off the DVD. He was beginning to tire of her. Too loose, too uncontrolled, too big. She possessed none of the dancer's discipline and never would. Still, her body was devastating and for the time being, in Johnny's mind...she'll have to do. If she just had an ounce of talent. Suck it up; it's your responsibility to inspire her, to bring the best out of her, to find the magic.

"You're the director!" Johnny boomed out loud. He jumped off the couch, pumped his arms and worked himself into a pep-rally fervor. Johnny checked his watch. 11:00 p.m. Nightline going off, Rockford coming on. "It's time, damnit!"

Johnny descended the creaky stairs to the hot, dank basement. He stepped into the one large room, pulled the string on the overhead light and illuminated the city street backdrop propped against a rusty central pole. Stage lights covered with colored gels pointed at the scene, a video camera stood ready to shoot.

And Terri Beales slumped in front of it all.

Johnny crossed to the three horizontal freezers in the corner. He opened the Amana. Cold, frosty air spit up at him. He reached to a hook on the wall, jerked down his leather gloves, pulled them on like a surgeon and seized a huge hunk of dry ice. His muscles tightened, his face turned red. With a groan, like timber straining in a great gale, the ice broke free. Johnny threw the ice in a bucket of water. The vapor rose. He switched on a fan and blew the mist onto the set.

Her mouth gagged, her hands tied behind her back, her breasts wrapped in shiny-aqua acetate, Terri Beales slowly opened her pale, brown eyes—just barely.

Johnny grinned.

A tiny, pitiful moan escaped Terri's blue, bloodless lips.

"Wake up, Terri!" Johnny exclaimed. "It's showtime!"

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