"Moonbeam loves the moon."
"What?" Mommy tried to ignore the constant whop-whopping of the helicopter making its...fifth circuit overhead.
The tot sighed. "Moonbear loves the moon."
She closed the book then tucked the blanket up to his ears—a polyester charm against evil.
"And I love you. Sleep time."
"Kiss Griffin." Dutifully, she kissed the stuffed mutant in snazzy pajamas and tiptoed out.
Never buy a house tucked between the penitentiary and state asylum for the criminally insane. Sage advice. But that Dan Lazar could sell anything. He even claimed he could sell fiction. What a reacher.
Dan Lazar is really Barbara Corcoran? Who knew!
The helicopter, an almost-invisible black-ops MoonBeam, should have carried Dan Lazar alive and well, not his battered and bloody corpse. How the hell could a corpse explain Lazar ignoring the favor he owed Reacher and selling The Hatpins of a Griffin--the memoir of Reacher’s long-dead snarky grandmother--for a million bucks? The agent (literary, not covert) had earned Reacher’s respect despite being a snazzy dresser, making the situation yet more curious. Oh, hell. The question became moot as the chopper, with a barking, coughing yap-yap-yap, lost altitude, engulfing Reacher in the painful flames of literal--not literary--annihilation.
Dan Lazar is a snazzy dresser, and yet still...dead!
It all came down to griffins. One griffin in particular actually. He was a hulking feathered figure incongruously named Moonbeam and he was rocketing around his aviary. Which shouldn't exist.
I am a pragmatic guy. I write mysteries like the Jack Reacher novels and include a SASE every time I submit to Dan Lazar. Griffins don’t practice helicopter hovers in my world. Moonbeam’s flight did not agree with my logic.
He landed finally in a storm of sand and feathers. The sunset caught the light of his snazzy rhinestone flight suit.
"So your next book is going to be fantasy?"
Rhinestone flight suit!!!
Miss Snark calls her seamstress!
Dan Lazar, high on opiates and believing he really was Jack Reacher, flew his snazzy helicopter through the moonbeam lit night as he tossed fistfuls of slush pile rejections across Manhattan and listened to CDs by Jimmy Griffin, Patty Griffin, and Johnny Griffin.
Miss Snark is going to need the opiates once Dan Lazar reads this IOM run.
Griffin gripped his Kalishinikov more tightly. He could hear rotors chopping the air into rapid basso-profundo pulses. They were getting louder.
“Steady, Reacher.” He looked at the civilian. Big guy, but could he handle that snazzy new moonbeam laser? The Pentagon thought so.
Reacher didn’t bother to take his eye from the sighting mechanism. “As a rock.”
The helicopter appeared over the ridge. A pearly white beam lanced out from Reacher’s station – and simply bounced off the fuselage.
Reacher swore. “Dan Lazar!” At least, that’s what it sounded like. Griffin was suddenly too busy returning fire to care.
Reacher is back in the Army?
I think I need my skates, Hell is freezing over!
They call me Reacher.
Helicopter blades whip the night air, thrashing moonbeams into dust.
Through murky binoculars, I see my mark, dressed in a snazzy little getup and wobbly stilettos. This can’t be right. She looks like Dan Lazar in drag, but I suppose every soul needs saving.
On my nod, the pilot descends. I extend my arm and reel her in.
I’ve got her, barely.
“Griffin, take us up,” I yell, as she struggles to escape.
A moonbeam grazes her neck. An Adam’s apple? It is Dan Lazar!
My grip unravels. I reach out, but it’s too late.
Dead again! Poor Dan!
As the world's most secret and expensive attack helicopter prototype jolted down through the jungle canopy, Griffin Reacher and Raza Land braced themselves. Perhaps the heist hadn't been such a good idea after all.
"If we survive the landing," Griffin shouted, "we'll need to fake our own deaths! Our former employer, the Moonbeam Consortium, won't be happy about the betrayal!"
"We'll need new aliases!" he continued. "You might consider a snazzy anagram. You could easily transform Raza Land into an inconspicuous Al Dazarn, or even Dan Lazar!
"Ooh, I like it!" yelled Raza as the ground rushed to meet them.
Dan Lazar, master thief!
Sexy Ass Sexy Everything (SASE)
She wore a snazzy bikini, sipping gin in Stilettos.
“What’s your name?”
“Dan Lazar — yours?”
Her oiled skin shone like moonbeam.
“What do you do, Danny?”
Why did she remind him of a griffin?
“Literary agent,” he said, “you?”
“I’m a writer,” she said. “Ever make love in a helicopter, Dannyboy?”
“Er — no,” he said. “Um, so what’s your book about?”
“It’s called ‘The Reacher,’” she said, “and it’s about a sexy woman who does a Hannibal Lecter on the agents who rejected her novel.” She smiled, hungrily.
Dan swallowed, then offered his representation.
He might be better off dead!
"This is a snazzy helicopter," said Dan Lazar.
"Yup," replied the pilot, sipping his beer.
"Are you okay to fly this thing?"
"Oh, yeah. The alcohol lessens the glare of the moonbeams."
"I didn't know that was a problem."
"Well, the moon makes it hard to see all the griffins flying around nowadays. Hell, back in '03 it got so bad that I mounted a mechanical reacher to the front of my chopper just to get them out of the way."
"I see," said Dan. "Well, this looks like my stop."
"We're in mid-air."
"I'll take my chances. Bye."
Miss Snark is glad she rides a broom after reading this.
Dan Lazar checked his watch. In less than twenty minutes, the helicopter would touch down at Griffin Airport. His whores, Snazzy and Moonbeam, were making out in the seat beside him.
"Hey, save some for Reacher. He's paying for it."
"Reacher's an ass," Moonbeam said.
Just then, a blade came loose from the chopper and sent the whirlybird hurtling toward the ground. Snazzy and Moonbeam died on impact. Lazar suffered severe brain damage, causing him to forget all about his glamorous life as a pimp, and instead he settled into the drudgery of the slush piles of New York.
Lazar says the helicopter’ll be here at noon, but that’s a reacher.
Noon or not, we need to be there on time.
We can’t get Miss Snark to reconsider?
For what--a gift of moonbeams and rainbows? It would be easier to get her to give up gin.
We’re gonna stand out snazzy in the daytime.
Just be on time. Lazar won’t wait for us.
Okay. Just be sure you bag Clooney the first time. I don’t need that damn KY biting me again.
Excellent innovation for "Dan Lazar"!
Dan Lazer lunged for the corner griffin, and swung into the crevice behind the hideous carving. Safe from betrayal by searchlight or moonbeam, he marveled at his dilemma.
A slush pile memoir, shredded after he had read six lines, placed him in the cross hairs of the Feds and a foreign consortium.
Air pulsed from the helicopter as it swept by. Dan shuddered.
His experience with international intrigue was safely acquired through fiction. Books had not prepared him for this.
Maybe they had, he thought.
Yes. A snazzy plan. His lone opportunity to survive was something worthy of Reacher.
Alive! Dan's alive!
"What the devil-?!" the wrinkled man cried in the bright light. "Turn off the Moonbeam," he ordered, boarding his vehicle.
"Don't boss me around," growled Frank. "If it weren't for me, you wouldn't be 'The Snazzy' Dan Lazar. Right, Danny?" Contempt shone in his thin eyes.
"No need when the moon's out," Dan muttered.
"I'm the Reacher here," Frank asserted, straightening his back.
"My dear boy, as long as you remain like this," Dan chuckled, tapping his wand against Frank's side, "the world will only acknowledge me. Now get moving, griffin."
Like a helicopter, they rose into the night sky.
"Who the hell is Dan Lazar?"
"A legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle?"
"Noooo, that's a griffin!"
"Name the male protagonist of Lee Child's highly sucessful novels. Jack...?"
"Reacher!" Snazzy Moonbeam wiped the sweat from her brow and leaned into her buzzer. One more question and she had the million dollar first prize.
"What mode of transport--"
The host shook his head. "I'll just finish the question... What mode of transport first hit the rails in 1804? The steam train."
Snazzy threw her Prada's at the TV screen. "Shit."
Well, at least Dan isn't dead!
"Helicopter or limo?" she asked.
Moonbeam on her hair, Dan Lazar knew this doll's secret.
Miss Snark was no griffin; no she could have been one of those snazzy babes in a Jack Reacher novel.
If Clooney doesn't show, tonight's the night, he thought.
(sorry Dan but you know my heart belongs solely to Mr. Clooney)
When I was an actor, I worked as Griffin Dunne's stand-in, because we're the same height. I remember an exciting night shot in a helicopter and I got to fly over Manhattan with a fake moonbeam lighting my face. Griffin, playing Jack Reacher, snoozed in his trailer.
I wrote about this in my memoir and queried Dan Lazar, who promptly responded with: "Thanks, but this wasn't snazzy enough for me. Why not try Miss Snark? Maybe it'll make her laugh out loud." So I tried Miss Snark and I'm still waiting for a response. It's been over a year.
That will teach you to query via email won't it?
The helicopter winch lowered wannabe secret agent Dan Lazar toward the massive stone griffin. Lazar used the light from a moonbeam to work, because the dork left his flashlight (and snazzy secret decoder ring) on the chopper. He held his breath as he stretched to place the explosive charges. The griffin, ancient symbol of evil publishers, stared vacantly at the reacher. Lazar finished his work, then signaled his partner to reel him in. Instead, Miss Snark screamed, “Your slush pile is mine now, Loser Lazar!” He realized he’d been betrayed as she pressed the detonator button.
uh oh, Dan's dead again and this time Miss Snark is at fault.
"Mr. Lazar, Arthur Treacher here"
"Treacher. Sidekick for Merv Griffin. We're sending a helicopter over to fetch you. Wear something snazzy. You're our first guest."
"Whatever." Dan Lazar rolled his eyes and moved to the closet. A moonbeam illuminated the parade of white stitched leisure suits, paisley shirts and Cuban heels.
"I never agreed to this," said Lazar.
"You wanted to be a world class literary agent. Now you have to pay." The devil popped an 8-track, cranked up Disco Inferno and smiled. "I love the seventies. Beats the hell out of hell."
Miss Snark loves this almost as much as she loves Satan.
Dan Lazar sprints across the tarmac to meet the descending helicopter. It lands soft as a moonbeam. Breathing through a tube in his nose and motionless on a blood soaked stretcher is Reacher. The medical team swarms around him, transferring him to a gurney and races it across the landing pad, into the brightly lit elevator. Reacher’s lip is bleeding, his eye is swollen shut and he can barely breathe. They tear open his snazzy shirt, and press new gauze into his bullet wounds. Reacher feels a pinch as another IV needle is inserted.
Lazar shouts, “Where is Agent Griffin?”
Thank dog Dan isn't dead!
Dan Lazar was the only person who could help her.
Overheard the helicopters were slicing through the moonbeams, snazzy-neon of the city streets. It was past curfew, watchdogs and mutated griffins out,
trying to catch something,
She was a go-between, from one person to another.
And it took too long through the back streets,
before she got to his door.
A dent in a alley on a sidestreet of nowhere.
"Dan." She murmured, as he opened, second hand that was hidden, unopening, "I need your help."
ohhhhh...this is nice work!
After the fifteenth query arrived, by helicopter this time, Dan Lazar started to steam.
Snazzy prose and imagery like 'the glittering bronze griffin standing in a moonbeam' was fine, but he'd rejected this author once, twice, five times - was he dense? Miss Snark said to query extensively, but this was ridiculous.
"Dear Mr. Reacher, Unfortunately..." He paused. To Hell with the form letter. "Enough is enough. If you trouble me with one more bad query, I will..." he looked up. Another helicopter hovered outside his window.
Grinning, he got his bazooka. What luck. He never thought he'd use it.
Yea!!!! Dan takes his revenge!
Who is Dan Lazar? That was the question that plagued Tom Griffin on the eve of battle. The thrum of the blades overhead and the rushing of the wind past the open door of the helicopter couldn't drown out the cacophony in Tom's own mind. Once again he held the letter up into the moonbeam that fell across his seat.
Anna's note was as frustratingly brief as it was ill-timed. It had arrived via courier, complete with the snazzy "signature required" instructions that had made the other men from Reacher Company take notice. What a way to receive divorce papers.
Dan Lazar, heartbreaker!