Skip to Content
East Hollywood

Crumbling… ~ Part 7

9:59 AM PDT on July 14, 2008

We're in the home stretch of our 10 part flash fiction series by Rodger Jacobs...

I should explain that the Phantom Typewriter is not a person, per se. Of course, I would be getting ahead of myself if I said that so I won’t say it. According to police reports here’s what happened in the minutes between 2:53 PM, when I was laying out cold like stone statuary in the bar parking lot, and 3:18 PM when I was roused out of my coma by two of the LAPD’s finest:

Someone or some thing wielding an 11-pound Smith-Corona Wordsmith 200 typewriter suddenly arrived on the scene. The black midget who was crouched over me with the handgun in my face was the first to go, his forehead crushed into the sidewalk with the sharp edge of the typewriter keyboard. They found the amputee bludgeoned to death in his wheelchair near the dart board, the lifeless skull of the albino oozing blood and brain matter on the floor nearby. Poor Evelyn. I don’t even want to say what happened to her except to add that she had two blue eyes: one blew that way, the other blew that way. But to tell you that would be a lie. Evelyn had coal-black eyes … or haven’t you been paying attention to the narrative?

They haul me down to the East Hollywood Station with me feeling like three kinds of camel shit wrapped in Armenian bread and grilled on an open flame. They have questions. Lots and lots of questions. And I have no answers that seem to please them or make their greasy lunch easier to digest. A bunch of strange people in a strange bar in East Hollywood got bludgeoned to death by someone toting a typewriter as an instrument of death. What the hell did I care?

“Here’s the strange thing,” one of the detectives in the interrogation room said to me. “We ran the serial number of that typewriter through several databases …”

“We have some terrific databases,” the other detective chirped. Sunday school flunkie. Doing his “civic duty” as a cop. I hate those types more than the redneck Rodney King-beating bastards.

“And that typewriter comes up as a no-match,” the detective lingering in the doorway said. “That Smith-Corona Wordsmith 200 typewriter that was used to beat five people to death was, apparently, never manufactured. It’s a Phantom Typewriter.”

That was the moment I decided to buy a typewriter and become a writer. Providence had spoken. But I would be dead before I could make good on the pledge.

Part 6 | Part 5 | Part 4 | Part 3 | Part 2 | Part 1

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading!

Register to continue

Become a Member

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

Bronny James Cleared To Play Basketball Again By His Doctors

In August, the James family said that after comprehensive initial an follow-up exams, "the probable cause of Mr. James' sudden cardiac arrest has been identified. It is an anatomically and functionally significant congenital heart defect which can and will be treated.

November 30, 2023

Where To Eat This Weekend: Boozy Fresas Con Crema, El Ruso’s New Flour Tostadas, Heritage Fire, and Hotville’s Fried Chicken-and-Chorizo Paella

Plus, where to go for Jordanian shawarma, mezcal-cured steelhead trout tostadas, powerful hash crackers, a local viewing of KISS's farewell concert, and L.A.'s most opulent Sunday brunch.

November 30, 2023

Sonoratown Will Open a Long Beach Location Next Year

Expect to find the city's favorite flour tortillas and caramelos on 3rd Street in Downtown Long Beach, as soon as six months from now.

November 30, 2023

Glendale’s Excellent New Taco Stand Harassed By Self-Described “Police Informant”

A Glendale police officer says he had arrested Emanuel Gulakian for assault with a deadly weapon only a couple of weeks earlier, after the man threw rocks at another taco stand.

November 29, 2023

Ski-Masked Suspect Who Fatally Shot Man at L.A. Live Restaurant Last Night Is Sought By Police

A male suspect left the scene of the shooting in a white Honda, possibly an SUV. According to on-scene reports, the suspect was wearing an all-black sweat suit and ski mask.

November 29, 2023
See all posts