Though she was Snazzy Moonbeam, Diva Queen, in the evening, during the day she was a he named Dan Lazar. Dan owned a sporting goods store in Griffin, Georgia; Snazzy emceed the drag show at “The Reacher Round” bar in Atlanta. Two separate worlds, about to become one.
“Good Evening. I’m Snazzy Moonbeam, Diva Queen extraordinaire! The Reacher Round proudly presents The Helicopter Girls!” Offering soundless white-gloved applause, Snazzy graciously gave up the stage, headed into the crowd and up to the bar, sliding in next to a pair of kissing girls.
A hand touched her arm.
nice work. Scary, but nice!.
“You presumptuous reacher! How dare you come here!”
He flinched, trying to ignore the small dog with the cigar. “Dan Lazar told me…”
“First of all, ‘moonbeam’, I don’t rep fantasy. Second, this is utter garbage! ‘Prince Griffin, Lord of the Moon Paths’? Sappy drivel!” Miss Snark snarled.
“M-my mother liked it,” he stammered, wondering if those really were brass knuckles the dog was slipping his onto paws and just why there was a hatch marked ‘Emergency Escape Helicopter’.
“Also, only Saint George looks snazzy in scrubs, take those off. Not here,” she added without even looking up
Those ARE brass knuckles...the kind that figure into Bad Luck and Trouble too.
The papers slip from his hands to swirl among the helicopter seeds. The wind infects Central Park's Literary Walk with a white plague of purple prose.
A griffin stands before him: beaked nose, hair coiffed into wings, voice sharpened to a talon.
She digs into a snazzy Burberry handbag, removing a stack of legal pads. "Reacher here wants you for her how-to. It's entitled Bitch's Brew: Homeopathic Remedies From Park Avenue's Pooch Princess."
Dan directs his gaze to the bulldog, grinning like a gargoyle.
"We're willing to grant an exclusive."
Reacher is a dog! Thankfully Lee Child is off at the Virginia Festival of the Book and will NEVER see this.
Mary Victor took off hurriedly in her snazzy new ultra-light helicopter. She was late because she had tried hard to not awaken from her dream about Dan Lazar, who had been snatched out of the moonbeam he was standing in and carried away by a griffin. Grinning delightedly as she flew, she planned a new short story about griffins invading D.C., though admittedly publishing it might be a bit of a reacher. Mary sighed when she landed in the employee heliport at the Agency. She decided her crabby boss would be the first victim in her story and smiled snarkily.
Miss Snark is quite glad to not have employees!
Jacqui Reacher was surprised when the helicopter landed on her lawn.
She was even more surprised when agent Dan Lazar, in a snazzy Armani flight suit, emerged from the cockpit.
“I usually travel by griffin-drawn chariot, but I wanted to get this here ASAP.” Dan handed her a familiar number ten SASE.
Breathless, Jacqui read the letter inside.
“Thanks for sending me your novel, MOONBEAM MCBRIDE SETS HER HAIR ON FIRE, but this project is not right for me at this time.”
Jacqui stifled her disappointment. “Thanks Dan,” she said. “It's true. You give great rejection.”
I love this! Armani flight suit!...AND a flaming coiffure, although it's sadly off the page.
When Dan Lazar arrived in his snazzy helicopter to a secret meeting with the head of Animal Authors’ Representatives he expected to see his old pal Killer Yapp. But last night the members held a meeting in the Central Park Zoo. The two rivals - Eagle Reacher and Lion Mozzarella agreed to share the responsibilities. It didn’t help that a single moonbeam was the sole source of light. The widely quoted message, tapped by Rabid Squirrel in Morse code, claimed that a griffin had been chosen and that it spelled doom for the all important nuts and seeds catalog publishing.
cheesy, very cheesy.
Dan Lazar sat in the moonlit helicopter teleport waiting to take control of the Snazzy 3000®. His designated moonbeam lead to MoonStation 15. "Why am I doing this?" he wondered aloud.
"Because you can't resist a challenge, Lazar!" Margaret Starshine said, eyeing him. She stood next to the flying griffin, the legendary Symbol of the Snazzy 3000®'s line of helicopters. "Ever since '15 when you got a taste of adventure."
"So they sent you?" Lazar asked, feigning indifference.
"I'll be your asteroid reacher on this trip. Guess they don't trust you," Starshine said, fingering the fierce griffin on her uniform.
"Why am I doing this"...I think that might be exactly what I'm thinking.
“Reacher.” Dan Lazar screeched through vocal chords rubbed raw in panic. “Don’t let ‘er die.”
Beth darted out, gulping in the dirt and stench. Moonbeam yipped, his shaggy coat slick with soot as she tightened her grasp.
Climbing onto the ledge, she grabbed hold of the griffin, apologizing for past references of ugly uselessness.
“You’re quite snazzy,” she prattled on, “if we get outta this, I’ll fill my next place with, umn, whatever the hell you are.”
Tree tops swooned in the breeze. A lone helicopter spun from its branch as Beth followed its spiraling descent to the pavement below.
I like the use of Moonbeam as a name!
One morning, Dan Lazar flew a snazzy young writer, Griffin Moonbeam Reacher III, to Miss Snark’s office in his private helicopter.
“Now, remember,” Dan said. “Be sure to address her properly, just as you would in a query letter.”
Griffin nodded and left the rooftop heliport but returned quickly, appearing quite disheveled and weary.
“That was fast,” Dan said. “What happened?”
“Well, sir,” panted Griffin, “I've never addressed an agent before. Getting the stamp on her forehead was easy enough, but all that kicking and flailing she did while I stuffed her through the mail slot was a bit unnerving.”
Miss Snark is vastly amused.
"Git this monster under control!" Theobold "Tex" Tsakis shouted. "I cain't reacher."
Samuel "Snazzy" Snarr twisted the throttle, but the helicopter, the latest in the Griffin XIX Series, shuddered and yawed.
"They must've hit the fuel line," Snazzy yelled. "We've got no lift."
From three o'clock, the Dan La-zar 183 lived up to its name, shooting a second bolt like a lethal moonbeam.
"Goddam, Snazzy," Tex hollared. "Why did we leave the parachutes in the back?"
"Because the yellow doesn't go with these brown flight suits, you idiot. Haven't you learned anything from seven days of shooting 'Queer Eye'?
Dan Lazar, missile man!
Moonbeam kicked Dan Lazar's body; retribution for sixteen flights of stairs. She pushed a finger into a hole in his snazzy Hawaiian shirt. It went through the bone.
A news helicopter roared by, hovering near the building. Moonbeam crunched across the gravel and looked over the edge. The corner of her mouth twitched upward.
"Drop the gun," she shouted, dropping her .22 onto the ledge next to the jumper. The cameraman extended his microphone reacher toward the conversation.
"Take my hand!" Moonbeam pried the jumper's fingers from the griffin. His eyes widened as he slid downward. "Thanks, man," she whispered.
I'm not sure I get this.
A silver moonbeam slanted across the lawn where Dan Lazar and Griffin O'Neal lay guzzling homemade gin. A regular Tuesday.
"Can't b'lieve Clooney signed with tha tramp, Snark," Lazar grumbled. "I coulda sold his erotic memoirs for more'n her."
"Clooney's a sonofabitch," said O'Neal. "Juss cuz he's gotta snazzy jet. Thinks he's God."
Lazar patted his buddy's shoulder. "Hey, you gotta helicopter."
"No," O'Neal shot back. "I gotta helicopter RIDE to the hosspital when I O.D.'ed."
"Saw Missnark in detox. Wantedta make out with her, but I couldn' reacher."
Miss Snark always carries a hatpin for straitjackets. That's one of the first things Grandmother Snark insisted on when enrolling Miss Snark in the Gin and Tonic Finishing School for Young Ladies of Salubrious Heritage.
Last time I saw Reacher he was running for that snazzy helicopter I’d heard about out at Central Command. Dan Lazar built her; shit, he called that sleek, black baby “the griffin.” Man could feel the smooth lines of that doll; arms like eagle wings, body like a lion; legs like that dish I met outside Tokyo in forty-five. Some night; one bright moonbeam and sweet jasmine. Dame couldn’t hold a candle to the baby I was looking at again; she’s gonna get me outta here and into the worst fighting the big guy’s are sending me to: Pynnogjung. Korea.
Who knew Tom Clancy read Miss Snark's blog??
"Y'all won't believe where I got this snazzy hat!!" she said, her entrance clamor to the parlor surpassing the sheer volume of her ensemble. Alyson was a reacher; new money always was. She didn't fit in. You could almost see her arms helicopter, propelling her beyond the point where others would halt. The bafflement was that she'd don the regality of a griffin around our husbands. "Moonbeam, get away from that," came Mrs. Worthington's disdain as she beckoned her butler from Alyson. She had all the subtlety of Dan Lazar on a Clamato bender, but none of the tact.
"Snazzy tattoo," she said, tracing the outline of the eagle/lion on Reacher's forearm. "What is it?"
"A griffin, and that tickles." Reacher downed his shot. "Knock it off."
"Ooh, I love a ticklish man." The girl with pink hair walked her fingers up his arm.
Knocking her hand away, Reacher stood to leave. "Christ, you're annoying." He turned away and paused in the doorway, scanning the empty dirt road. Hearing the reassuring whir, he nodded.
"Call me," the girl yelled after him. "Moonbeam Phillips! I'm in the book!"
In the helicopter, Dan Lazar shot Reacher a raised eyebrow.
Don't ask...do tell.
"Looks snazzy," the pilot says, pointing to the Reacher Building.
The griffin atop the nearest buttress captures a moonbeam.
"No. It's superb," murmurs Dan Lazar, conscious any discussion of the aesthetics of Le Corbusier, van der Rohe, Saarinen, and the semiology of postmodern architectural criticism would only delay his enjoyment of the Prime Rib Au Jus Cabernet, garlic mashed potatoes, and napoli vegetables attente sur sa table privée in the building's penthouse restaurant. An elegant meal, he thinks, yet one that stops short of pretension.
Miss Snark looks askance at her homestyle tofu and veg.
and calls for reservations at the Reacher Building Skylight Bar and Grille.
Griffin, Indiana’s population had, between last moonbeam and first sunlight, grown from 171 to 173.
They knew: he was Danish. He was a leper. They labeled him aptly ‘Dan Lazar.’
His wife – who’d been cleanly decapitated by helicopter blades at least six years prior – began an affair with a snazzy used car salesman who said things like ‘hooch,’ and ‘broad,’ and who did not have leprosy.
Dan the lazar found his comfort in the form of a cruel pun each time he answered the phone: “Nah, she’s off givin’ head in a parkin’ lot. Ya can reacher at the dealership.”
ewwwwwwwwwwwww on every single level, and yet also, funny.
“Holy Snark!” Dan Lazar said, wide-eyed. He turned to his left and faced Lee Child who piloted the private Helicopter. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t that Jack Reacher that just whipped by us? As in your fictional character."
Child remained silent, dressed in his snazzy suit coat and wool derby cap, but a knowing smirk grew on his face. It was as if he expected this all along. Like he knew Reacher, riding atop a legendary griffin, would follow the same moonbeam they did in search of answers that seemed just out of reach.
Great first paragraph...then splat.
Dan Lazar. Famous literary agent. Bon vivant. Dead man.
Moonbeam McSwail eased her way around the smirking griffin perched along the narrow ledge outside Lazar's snazzy penthouse. A helicopter buzzed nearby. She flattened herself against the wall, cursing softly till it flew off.
She'd escaped the coal dust of Reacher, West Virginia and arrived in town with little besides her virtue and a carefully hoarded bottle of Bombay Sapphire. Lazar had unrepentantly stolen her gin and innocence, both.
Well. Mr. Literary Agent about to learn how hillbilly girls handled gin thieves.
With duct tape. Stiletto heels. Battery acid.
I'm sensing a developing revenge motif here.
Dan Lazar held the helicopter steady while Reacher steadied himself by the open door. A moonbeam reflected off Reacher's snazzy weapon, as he prepared to fire at the oncoming griffin.
Blue fire erupted from the mouth of the laser and sliced toward the mythical creature. The stench of crisped feathers accompanied the beast's list to the right.
Lazar maneuvered to maintain Reacher's line of fire. The second blast sent the creature plummeting toward earth.
Lowering the weapon, Reacher pointed in the direction the griffin arrived from. "Let's find its aerie and finish this."
Well, at least no one's killing off Dan in this one!
An apocryphal winged griffin makes a reacher’s frail
hopes stiffen -
The query rebounds faster than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
In terms upbeat and jazzy comes a message less than
I'm a helicopter circling far beneath his rising star.
Tell me what thy earthly name is, asks a moonbeam of
Quoth the agent, “Dan Lazar.”
Thank goodness Dan Lazar is not from Nantucket!
Dan Lazar was neither simple nor a savant, which suited him fine until his brother came to visit.
He had always been overshadowed by the attractive, Rhodes scholar, griffin brother his parents had adopted from Romania.
Reacher was a ladies man, riding on moonbeams and playing the game like no other. One night, like a helicopter, he descended into Dan's apartment through the window. A green homburg hat with a red feather topped his head. The air hinted of gin.
"Well don't you look snazzy," Dan said.
"The ladies come for the hat but stay for the talons," he replied.
Amazing what 100 words can do, isn't it.
Damn it. I only wanted to reason with him, explain my plot, and show some snazzy illustrations, since he obviously isn't smart enough to grasp the concept without pictures. But now that bull-headed Dan Lazar is bleeding out on his floor instead, and I'm stuck running from the Griffin Police. I'm dodging moonbeams and the light from their freakin' helicopter, all because he had to be childish and snarky and say I had no voice. Bastard.
"Get down on the ground, Reacher, or we'll send the dog!"
Crap. I knew I should have written about dancing chickens instead.
You guys are starting to scare me on this revenge motif thing.
“DID YOU KNOW DEEDEE REACHER?”
“Did he reach her?”
“The hotsy totsy caught with Merv Griffin in a Crosley Moonbeam biplane?”
“YOU KNEW HER, RIGHT?”
“Who wants to know?”
“What’s he want with DeeDee? She died in forty-eight. Helicopter accident.”
“HE WANTS YOU TO WRITE A MEMOIR.”
“I told DeeDee, ‘Stay outta planes.’”
“They’re bad luck and trouble.”
“WILL YOU TALK WITH HIM?”
“She was beautiful in her snazzy dress with that silver moonbeam. And when she danced …”
“GRANDPA? You asleep?”
“Maybe tomorrow, Mr. Lazar.”
ohhh....clever connection to Swifty Lazar!
It was all over - because of Dan Lazar and some helicopter . First place was mine. I was certain no one could catch me, even if they found a way to harness moonbeams. No one thought to use the waterway. But I've always been a reacher. Nothing like victory via sailboat - especially one as snazzy as the one I managed to commandeer. How did Dan Lazar get a helicopter, anyway? He'd once asked me if griffins were real, and where to get one. I'd discounted him as flying high – looks like I was right about one thing.
Its a Mad Mad Mad Mad World indeed.
Helen’s heartbeat matched the intensity of the traffic helicopter’s thumping rotors as she exited the cab in front of Random House. She admired the grand edifice, (complete with granite griffins) wondering if the pile-up on 5th Avenue would make the news.
Later, she rehashed meeting Dan Lazar (her snazzy agent) and stroked his business card for the hundredth time.
“We’d like to publish you,” he’d said.
Later still, a stretch of moonbeam graced her dream-filled bed; wherein she was a published author, autographing her novel while the bookseller used a Reacher to bring down more copies from the shelves above.
ummm...agents don't say "we'd like to publish you". We're happy to figure in your visualizations for success but "we'd like to represent you" is what we say.
And Random House is at 1745 Broadway last time I checked.
Dan Lazar lowered the binoculars and rubbed his eyes. He punched a number into his cell and prayed Reacher would pick up.
“Helicopter over here pronto,” Dan breathed. “It’s the scoop of a lifetime.”
“You gotta see to believe. Meet me at the Moonbeam Bay overlook.”
Thirty minutes later the station’s snazzy new chopper settled in the deserted parking area. Reacher scuttled bent-backed to join Dan at the cliff’s edge.
“What’s so all-fired important you couldn’t tell me over the phone?”
“That,” said Dan, pointing to a griffin nesting in a snarl of driftwood on the beach below.
Dan has an eagle eye for the good stuff, no doubt about it.
Dan Lazar was a spiritual atheist. He worshipped nothing except snazzy Hawaiian shirts with orchids propagating on beds of fiddlehead fern and Roxbury Lanes. A timid pilgrim to its glossy altar of three- fingered balls and crashing kingpins, he savored the musk of rented
shoes and secondhand smoke. Each time he rolled a strike, he imagined himself a cunning beast, a griffin hovering like a visceral helicopter atop a supple divorcée.
Moonbeam Reacher studied Dan from a lanefront table. He narrowed his eyes, downed another Heineken, and screwed its bottle cap into a table salt mosaic. No looking back.
Give a whole new sensibility to three strikes and you're out, doesn't it.
The weary griffin sat watch outside, moonbeam dancing off her wings and piercing through the window to the room she watched and the man inside. Dan Lazar slept, broken leg elevated, his snazzy Reacher, a temporary necessity, propped up nearby. He thrashed in the bed – his dreams shot through with visions of the helicopter crash – the propellers, and had that been feathers? Vague memories of being supported in the air and his bumpy landing and the harsh noise of an eagle's cry. And his sleeping brain formed the word he didn't dare think of in light of day: "Mom?".
He broke his leg kicking Miss Snark I'm pretty sure.
An overcast sky, a new moon: It's under these conditions you're most likely to spot the Grim Reacher slinking through your neighborhood, eyeing his next challenge. Obsessed with the intangible, the locked away, the closely guarded, the Grim Reacher snatches diaries, unspoken words, fleeting facial expressions. Moving helicopter blades, a single moonbeam, lost time. He keeps his treasures in a bone-studded labyrinth, where a giant griffin stands watch at all times.
I'm telling you this, Dan Lazar, because you're next. Yes, you, in the snazzy suit! He's after your attention, your approval. You are his most ambitious target yet.
“No one would know that but Dan Lazar.” Moonbeam hissed. Her disposition had never been sunny, but she seemed worse than usual. Jacque fought back the urge to let his fist slip and send her and her snazzy new manuscript into orbit.
“He lived in the 21st century for dog sakes. Take a motrin.” He countered.
“Pull over.” She gestured toward the Griffin Ozone Reacher Experiment (GORE).
“Lunatic. We’re not taking a helicopter to the LBF.”
“What?” She demanded. It would be easier to land an off-shore oil driller on an asteroid than it would be to deter her.
I've heard Dan Lazar can land off shore oil drillers on asteroids while blindfolded AND reading query letters.
He snivelled exquisitely whilst I lay into him with my moonbeam cannon. The spectacular rays enveloped his sanity, crushing it in a snazzy pattern of silver light. Dan Lazar had no chance of escape this time--by griffin or otherwise--and he would die well before The Reacher came.
This rooftop, bathed in summoned moonlight, played host to all my fears of reprisal from Lazar's cronies. The headless mob would seek retribution. As I took in the beautiful rattling of Lazar's dying body, I heard my fear become realized. The steady whuf-whuf of The Reacher's Helicopter grew louder as it approached.
geeze, poor Dan, dead again. He's worse off than Kenny!
Dan Lazar watched the helicopter lift. The griffin was on board. Or so they said, “Find the Griffin, before the helicopter leaves the city.” Who were they? The CIA? Teenagers wasted on moonbeam? It didn’t matter. What would Jack Reacher do? Dan pulled a snazzy move, grabbed a pontoon and swung into the cabin. There was no mythical creature there. Just a Pakistani with a gun.
“Where’s the griffin?,” Dan said.
“Look it up. The other definition is newcomer – white man from the west. The griffin is you.”
He pulled the trigger. Dan dropped toward river. They never found the body.
We need an MP3 for Another One Bites The Dust and Dan Lazar is the Number One.
A moonbeam through the window illuminated my coffee.
"I want you to follow Dan Lazar," I said.
Griffin snorted in his latte. "Stalking literary agents now? Real snazzy."
"I'll get representation or die trying."
"Yanno, you've only got one shot with Lazar," he said. "A run-in with the mob might not be right for him."
"Well, I know you can be a real persuader."
A helicopter droned outside.
"That's your chopper." I pushed the manuscript across the table. "You know what to do. Hell, be like Reacher."
Griffin raised a brow. "That could mean bad luck… and trouble."
It does mean that without fail and to the enemy**
**other Reacher novel titles
To: Dan Lazar
Your latest expense report has been summarily denied. We appreciate your efforts to woo J.K. Rowling to Writer’s House – but enough is enough.
Snazzy dinners are one thing, but helicopter rides over Diagon Alley? Mani-pedis at the Moonbeam Mall? And what the hell is a griffin?
Even if we believed these were all necessary expenses, our accounting system is not equipped to handle direct deposits to Gringotts Bank.
Next time you want to impress a potential client, I suggest a good ol’ fashioned reacher-round. That’s how Zuckerman landed Ken Follett.
I think Dan and I have the same accountant!
Dan Lazar reads novels
Never a rhyme
But the minutes are ticking
I’m out of time.
No words, sentences
Can enter my mind
I’m thinking about my pet
That I did find.
About my griffin neither
Lion nor bird
But a mix of the two
Kind of absurd.
Covered with feathers
So soft and snazzy
His call in the wild
Is upbeat and jazzy.
He whizzes like a helicopter
Through the air
Chasing moonbeams in circles
With nary a care.
And when he is tired
He lands on my wall
A reacher is needed
He won’t come when I call.
at least Dan isn't dead in this!
"Moonbeam, the rope!" Sonny Reacher shouted down to his daughter while her little monster, Snazzy, whined in the rear of the purloined helicopter.
Dan Lazar was at the controls, struggling against a fierce wind, hovering as low as he dared over the highest point on the island of Rhodes. The rescue line danced across the boulders, but Moonbeam refused to clamber from between them.
"I'm going down," Sonny announced. He started his rappel, but halted halfway when a four-clawed hand shot from among the rocks, snagged the line and snapped it taut. The Griffin started to climb.
Dan Lazar, Colossus of Rhodes!
Snazzy Lazar was a helluva helicopter pilot, but his son, Dan Lazar, had no intention of following in his Dad’s cockpit. While Snazzy whirled across a blackened sky, daredevil Dan zoomed through moonbeams on his griffin, Reacher.
That is, until Reacher joined the Army, and left Dan grounded.
“While you’re playing soldier,” Dan cried, “I’ll dream up my own damn moonbeam.”
Reacher went on to command a team of gargantuan griffins whose job it was to destroy missiles hidden deep within enemy territory.
But each time Reacher found one, it was mysteriously pulverized by a Lazar beam.
The sky was hard to see against the rooftop floodlights, but I heard the telltale thump-thump overhead. Would this be Reacher’s helicopter? Dan Lazar hocked a louie to the street below.
“Nah,” he said. “Just Miss Snark, again.”
Suddenly there she was, all chic and snazzy, alighting like a moonbeam from the whirring griffin. Being sans culottes as usual, she didn’t wave — both hands struggled to keep her wind-blown dress below her famous knees — but she smiled at me demurely. (Later, over drinks, she chided me on this. “Demurely? But adverbs are so lazy! You should avoid them, mostly.”)
Miss Snark has famous knees?
The snazzy Apache helicopter skated through the moonbeam. Without warning, an explosion shattered the night. Weapons and fuel ignited. The impact tossed the unseen barrier downward. The airmen weren't as lucky. They were trapped inside the inferno.
Major Dan Lazar searched in widening circles, his frustration growing. They hadn't hit the hills and there was nothing else to hit. There. He saw blood. Curled in the exposed roots of the mangrove tree was a huge, injured beast. Using his reacher, Dan tentatively prodded the creature. It flinched instinctively, stretching out it's huge wings. Dan gasped. It was a griffin.
Finally, Dan Lazar in a heroic role!
A moonbeam gleamed as Reacher crept toward Dan Lazar. “Did you get it?”
Lazar jerked his head toward the door. “On the roof.”
“We don’t need it any more.”
“Do you have any idea how much trouble I went to, getting that thing?”
“Yeah, but I got a griffin.”
“That’s it,” Lazar said. “I’ve heard one too many of your mythical beast stories. I’m out of here.”
Reacher shrugged. As Lazar stepped into the stairwell, lion paws padded down the alley.
Lazar was still trying to start the helicopter as they soared overhead. “Snazzy machine,” the griffin remarked, “but unreliable.”
Amazingly complete sketch here!
KY licked Snazzy Moonbeam’s face, dragging her back to consciousness. She lifted her skirt, removed a flask from her stocking and threw back a slug of gin. The gash on her head felt like a helicopter blade had taken a swipe at her.
Who had clocked her and why?
She struck a match on the bottom of her stiletto and lit her cigarette. Faster than Dan Lazar rejecting an e-query she knew!
“Dear Dog! Griffin Reacher! The author whose hook I publicly trashed!”
KY smacked his jaws. “He’s taken care of, Miss Snark.”
Her secret identity remained safe.
Miss Snark is secretly named Snazzy Moonbeam?? Shades of Frank Zappa!
Dan Lazar stood, looking less than snazzy after the plastic surgeon unraveled the bandages. Turning, he frowned in the mirror. It was his own fault really, not making sure they were on the same page. Instead of Icarus he looked more like a griffin, now needing a reacher to scratch his ass.
Since childhood he dreamt of gliding through the air on a moonbeam. During his maiden flight he tangled with a gaggle of bats, his eyes no match for echo location. To his detriment he miscalculated, broke free, and was mauled by an oncoming helicopter.
Well, at least he's not dead!
Eddie swam silently through the reedy pond. Spying the helicopter's searchlight, he dove.
He tried to count to one hundred, to wait out the searchers. But the image of Griffin's dead body, illuminated with moonbeams, seemed more real in the pool's depths.
Eddie escaped to the surface. Blinded by light, he couldn't see his captor. He didn't need to. Eddie knew Dan Lazar's voice. He would never forget it.
Eddie headed for the bank, to be taken to Reacher. Maybe Dan would let him change into a snazzy outfit on the way, for old times sake.
Well, at least Dan's not dead here either.
"THE Dan Lazar?" Her eyes lit up like moonbeams.
"No, not that Dan Lazar. He's all personal helicopters and caviar," I shrugged. My dates always start with disappointment.
The waiter brought fortune cookies before we'd even ordered. A griffin was stamped upon the note:
"Hey," said Blondie Golightly, "You don't eat the fortune."
"I'm sorry; I must leave," I said.
The helicopter on the roof wasn't private. My handler gave me a photograph.
"Reacher?" he asked.
"Must I say it?"
"The code phrase is compulsory."
"All right," I said while reaching for the rifle, "Let's Wang Chung."
Miss Snark is amused.
Normally Dan Lazar would have been elated to get his hands on a snazzy new helicopter. Running his hands along the shiny skin of this new bird he realized it was under armed for the task at hand. If he were going to ride this beast into the valley with little more than a moonbeam to guide him he would need a lot more fire power. The last three vessels that Reacher sent in never came back and Dan had no intention of flying in to face the griffin armed with a prayer and a pop gun.
"Hey,Toots, you look pretty snazzy in those stilettos."
I turned, startled. It was Dan Lazar.
"You too," I lied. His Hawaiian shirt sported nude wahines and moonbeams on a purple background. "Are we waiting for the same helicopter?"
Dan threw his chewed stogie over the railing. "Guess so, just you and me, Baby. Reacher's with Barbara Bauer and Griffin signed with Publish America."
I heard the sound of the Fox News chopper. I once told Dan if he was the last agent in America I still wouldn't date him. Funny how wrong you can be when push comes to shove.
Miss Snark is rolling on the floor. Killer Yapp swallowed his stogie. Even Grandmother Snark, genteel to the end, is laughing like a loon.
People say that knowledge is power. I'm finally going to have both. And the literary career I’ve dreamed of, too. What a piece of luck.
I turn the postcard over again. Check the address. It isn’t as snazzy as those cards in the Griffin and Sabine books, all artistic, covered with moonbeams and such. This one shows a helicopter, an OH-58A, like they used back in Vietnam. But the meaning is clear, even through my methadone fog.
Dan Lazar will finally believe me. He’ll represent my memoir. I have proof. Griffin Moss has left Sabine for Jack Reacher!
Intrepid mingling of titles and meanings!
It’s 9pm. This is North American Indian News, and I’m Moonbeam with your latest headlines.
New technology will get a boost this year in the form of a special fair for laser technology. The event will be called “Laizzes Fair” and will be hosted by the tribe of Dan, said newly-named tribal chief, Dan Lazar. The snazzy publicist and media liaison was formerly known as Dan People-Reacher.
But not everyone is happy about this announcement. Dan Preserver is planning to protest the event. “It’s bad enough that griffins are being replaced by helicopters,” he says. “Now this.”
Dan Lazar jerked the steering stick and slid his snazzy new helicopter onto the moonbeam, waiting for the reacher arm to add enough thrust to send him into the atmosphere overhead.
Voices sounded over the radio implanted in his left ear.
"That red griffin is big as a dreadnaught. Watch its tail, Macy. Watch its..."
Macy's scream echoed in Lazar's ear even after the voice itself stopped. The battle was going badly, but as commander, he had his duty. G-force glued him to his seat as the reacher flung him skyward. The mythical creature filled his screen.
“Fuck!” he yelled.
Well, he's not dead!
Rescue and Recovery
Dan Lazar landed the helicopter in the dead zone surrounding the abandoned nickel mine and ordered the team to don their HAZMAT suits. He hoped they weren't too late for little Bobby Reacher.
Lt. Griffin led the team into the mine. A moonbeam illuminated each guard as he stepped through the adit. They reached Bobby after a two-hour slog through partially collapsed mine walls and standing water from prior flooding.
Griffin knelt by the boy. "He's barely alive."
Alive! Their dangerous trek was worth taking.
Bobby said one word before he died--snazzy.
Bobby's only dead once, he's got a long way to go to equal the number of dead Dan Lazars!
Griffin kept to darkness and the cover of trees. She darted between shadows and pools of silver moonbeam.
Overhead the helicopter noise chopped doplars. Dan Lazar, acclaimed taxidermist and collector of mythical creatures, was circling the sky, hunting.
Searchlights washed over the canopy of foliage, grounding in places between. Griffin was aware of Lazar's sunlight allergy, and awaited dawn horizon's snazzy bruising.
Night crossed the nexus to day.
But Lazar ignored the bleeding, yellow sky, always looking downwards.
And as the first rays reflected off the rotors, Griffin heard a scream, and knew that he would not reacher.
Dan is a vampire! That explains oh-so-much!
As instructed, Dan Lazar carried the carved griffin home in his pocket. A gin bottle rested against his door. Snazzy Snark must have left it. Should he ask her to join him? He’d rather hand it off now. Dog phobic, he used the Reacher to knock on her door. No answer. He left a note and retreated to the fire escape, where he watched a moonbeam make its soft glide across the brick as he sipped gin from a paper cup. Crumpling, then tossing it aside, he made his way to the roof. The helicopter was here. Where was Snark?
Snark is trapped in a prison of her own making; held hostage by google heads and her own nitwittery at not limiting entries to the first 100.
FIT THE FIRST: ENTER THE GRIFFIN
The Griffin's blood coursed ever quick
Pushing forward through the squick
and grime-filled city skies
A moonbeam marks where his prey lies
(A helicopter pilot sees
This creature glide above the trees
and turns true tale to reacher then
Is published by Hyperion)
The splintering of glass awakes
Dan Lazar who stands then shakes
to see the Griffin making tracks
Through his snazzy knicks and knacks
The Griffin's blood coursed ever hot
Paws pressing Lazar to the spot
while asking him with voice so teary
"Why did you reject my query?"
I'm feeling the need to come and go, talking of Michelangelo.
Big night ahead. Time to saddle up.
He liked riding moonbeams to the stars on the back of a soaring griffin. Sure, Dan Lazar could have used the snazzy Belltronics Helicopter his grateful clients had given him, but he was a Reacher-of-Dreams and a lover of the old ways.
The waiting griffin was green, and unusually ill-tempered. “Uh-uh. You can forget that saddling-up crap! This trip ain’t happening!” A gust of moist, anchovy breath enveloped Dan’s head and a scatter of pizza boxes told where the missing cell phone and credit card had gone. He was left with no alternative.
Finally, Dan Lazar has been given grateful clients!!!