Chapter 1 Prologue: PRELUDE TO A KISS OF DEATH

The man looking at himself in the bathroom mirror was named Rudy Mahelona, and he was feeling a bit apprehensive as he got ready to work a private party at the Kuilimi Bay Resort on Oahu. Normally, he would be excited, as these kinds of events tended to be packed with an abundance of beautiful young female tourists, and, more often than not, Rudy would end up in one of their beds. He was the kind of guy that the young women traveling to the islands dreamed of meeting, as he was charming and, more importantly, particularly good looking with his tan skin, square jaw, and tall athletic frame. Unfortunately for Rudy, he had a second job tonight, and, while it paid a lot more than his primary job, it came with some consequences. Rudy, while being a typical young college student and part-time model, also had a criminal record and had served six months in Halawa Prison for burglary. It could have been a lot worse, for the original charges included second degree assault for drugging his victims with rohypnol, which came with the potential of serving up to ten years in prison. Rudy was lucky, however, in that he had been a starving student with no criminal record, and, because he didn’t rape or physically assault the people he robbed, his charges were plea bargained down to felony burglary.

     Rudy, however, didn’t actually see himself as a criminal, and having grown up particularly poor in Waianae, he saw himself more as a Hawaiian version of Robin Hood. His victims had been wealthy tourists with more money than they could ever spend, and he thought that taking their cash and a few of their trinkets was fair payment for them being able to enjoy his island home. Needless to say, the authorities felt differently, and, while they cut Rudy a break with the plea deal, he still had a felony on his record, which all but ended any serious job prospects, regardless of the fact he was about to graduate from college.

     So, when the man in the business suit came knocking on his door a week ago with an unusual offer, Rudy couldn’t help but take the job. He didn’t learn the man’s name or his actual profession, but he suspected he was some kind of lawyer or government bureaucrat, because he had serious money, and, more importantly, serious connections. He was willing to pay Rudy fifty thousand dollars and have his felony expunged from his record, but, ironically, Rudy needed to revert to his old ways for one night. Rudy agreed, though, now that the actual day was here, he couldn’t help but wonder if he was making a huge mistake. It had been hard to get the job at the resort, and he didn’t want to jeopardize his only income, but fifty grand and a clean slate was just too good to pass up. Still, the man was pretty intimidating, and there was something about him that scared the shit out of Rudy.

     He finished up by brushing his teeth then headed down to his white Ford Fiesta and plugged in his phone and brought up a playlist. Listening to music always relaxed him, and, now, with the music blasting, he headed off to the resort, which resided up on the Northern end of the island. From the H1 he turned onto the H2, and it eventually became a smaller two lane highway that wound along the shore and led to the entrance of the resort. Instead of going out to the main hotel, he made a left and pulled into the parking lot of the golf course. There, he waited until a white Chevy Malibu pulled up and parked alongside him, at which point, Rudy got out of his car and took a seat in the other vehicle. The man in the drivers seat slid on a pair of rubber gloves then reached down and pulled a manilla envelope out from under the seat.

     “Aren’t you being a little overly cautious?” Rudy asked.

     The man smiled.

     “You can never be overly cautious, nor should you ever take advice from the guy who got caught and went to prison,” he responded.

     Rudy shrugged in response.

     The man reached into the envelope and brought out the contents. First was the fifty thousand dollars in cash, which the man showed to Rudy before placing it back in the envelope. Next, he pulled out two vials filled with clear liquid.

     “As you can see, this vial has a P written on the side of it because it’s for the party. The other vial has a B on it, because it’s for the bar,” he said, before placing them back in the envelope.

     “Now, here is your target for the bar,” the man said, as he pulled out his phone and brought up a picture.

     Rudy scrutinized the picture.

     “She will be there shortly after the party, which should be around nine.”

     “Are you going to text it to me?”

     “No, put it to memory.”

     Rudy continued looking for a bit longer then nodded.

     “OK, I’ve got it.”

     “Good, now, considering your past, I’m pretty sure you should be able to get this done properly.”

     “Yeah, I can get it done no problem, but how soon will my record be cleared?”

     “If you don’t fuck up this job tonight, then by the middle of this coming week, you’ll no longer be a convicted felon, and you’ll be fifty thousand dollars richer.”

     Rudy couldn’t help but smile as he pondered that thought.

     “All right then, assuming everything goes to plan, we’ll never be seeing each other again, and you can go live happily ever after. If there is a problem, we’ll definitely be seeing each other again—and you won’t be living happily ever after. Got it?”

     The man hadn’t used this kind of language on their first meeting, and it wasn’t doing much to quell Rudy’s nagging unease. Still, this was his shot to get his life back, so he tried to appear confident.

     “Don’t worry, I’ve got this,” Rudy said.


     There was a moment of awkward silence, then Rudy climbed out and took a seat in his own vehicle and nodded before starting his engine and driving off to the resort. The man in the Malibu waited until Rudy was a short distance away before pulling out and following him at a safe distance. After Rudy parked, the man in the Malibu watched him as he put the contents of the envelope in his backpack then walked into the resort’s employee entrance. At that point the man in the Malibu smiled and pulled out his phone and dialed a number. Two rings later, his call was answered.

     “Well?” the other person asked.

     “Rudy’s a little nervous, but I put the fear of God into him, so I’m confident he’ll get the job done.”

     “Good, then everything is in motion, and, by tomorrow morning, it will be clear that John Matheson will never be the president of the United States.”


The Eskimos had a hundred words for snow while I had only about eleven for diarrhea. Beyond its official medical name, were a number of more colorful euphemisms such as the scudders, the runs, the squirts, Montezuma’s revenge, the green apple splatters, rocket ass, the Havana omelet, liquid fire, the trots, or quite simply—the shits, and any one of these colorful descriptions could have accurately described the building pressure I was feeling in my abdomen at this particular moment in time. I wiped the sweat from my forehead then gazed at my watch. It was currently seven thirty-six p.m. local time on a beautiful Saturday evening on the island of Oahu, and I was attending a luau to celebrate the engagement of two very close friends. One of the people in question just happened to be the current vice president of the United States John Matheson, while the other was Jessica Thurman—a friend and former client of sorts. Coincidentally, I was also the reason that these two found each other, and I was at last seeing the fruits of my labors rewarded with holy matrimony. Love was in the air, but so too were the tepid odors of a public restroom, which, for the moment, was thankfully empty.

     My stomach grumbled, and I looked down at the toilet before me and felt a great deal of trepidation, which was basically pointless, because I was only moments away from painting a masterpiece in my pants. I desperately needed to spill my innards but feared and abhorred public restrooms, so this was my only salvation—my only hope of containing the situation. Mind you, I was in a fine hotel, and the bathroom was relatively clean, though other problems were now plaguing my mind—namely the infrared sensor that automatically flushed the toilet. While it made sure that all manner of waste was sent on its way in a timely manner, its sensitivity often caused it to flush prematurely. That might occur when someone leaned to one side to wipe his or her ass, and it would bring about an accidental flush, with the unfortunate result being a fine toilet water mist spraying all over the dumper’s backside, cock, and balls—assuming that the person was, like me, a male of the species. So, right now, I needed to think rationally and call upon my unique expertise forged by a lifetime in the special operations, clandestine services, and, more recently, my work as a private investigator.

     The sensor was infrared and therefore triggered by a heat signature, and it would activate the moment it sensed a warm body then wait until that person left before flushing. That was the theory, anyway. The reality was very different, however, but I refused to be beaten by my little porcelain and chrome nemesis. Looking around the stall, I realized that my only tools were my wits, some seat covers, and a roll of toilet paper. Bingo! I had an idea. I needed to defeat the sensor, which could be achieved by simply blocking it with a swath of toilet paper. Simple, stupid, and effective. I tore off a good sized piece, folded it in half, and laid it over the sensor, thereby placating the mechanical monster. I grabbed a sanitary toilet seat cover, placed it on the seat, and dropped down, ready to do battle with my most fearsome of enemies—the public toilet. I wasn’t happy, but I would survive.

     I tried to relax by taking a minute to reflect on my current situation, and my thoughts turned to trying to figure out what in the hell I had eaten to end up in this particular predicament. I was also fairly buzzed, but the alcohol was at least giving me the temporary bravado I needed to endure this indignity. I needed to keep my eye on the prize, which meant shitting and getting the hell out of here before someone else came in. It seemed like a good plan until the door opened, and in walked a number of strangers. Worse still, they were obviously drunk and talking incessantly. The only thing worse than a public restroom was a crowded public restroom, and now I had to contend with both. Wait a minute—the voices were female. What in the hell were these women doing in the men’s room Goddammit?

     Two of the offenders walked into the adjoining stalls and literally trapped me in the middle, though their conversation was almost worse than their proximity. The woman to my right was complaining that her husband was a little light in the foreplay department, and that he considered taking off his pants to be more than enough to get her in the mood. The woman on my left, however, was more concerned with the odor emanating from her husband’s balls, and if he truly wanted that blowjob, then he might try showering before bed. What in the hell did I do to deserve this? At least I could take a small amount of solace in knowing that it couldn’t possibly get any worse. Wrong again. The woman to my right started peeing then let loose a long, terrible fart followed by a massive movement which, judging by the sound, was mostly liquid fire.

     “Jesus, Sharon! I guess you had the poi as well,” the woman to my left said.

     “I did. You think that’s what upset our stomachs?”

     “I think so. I got a funny feeling after I finished mine.”

     “Well, it’s a luau, so I figured I should try a little of everything.”

     Wait a minute. There was only one luau going on at the hotel, and it was a private affair, which meant these women were guests at the same party. Wonderful—there would be witnesses to my indignity. Suddenly the woman to my left started peeing and, like her friend, let loose a fart, though the gas soon turned into solid, or, more accurately, liquid, though it was hard to tell from the sound alone. A sharp pain in my stomach made me remember the fact that I too had a similar feeling after finishing my poi—the feeling in fact, which led me in here.

     “Nice one, Liz! I see the poi is having an effect.”

     “Wow, it is, and it doesn’t smell good.”

     She was, of course, correct in her assessment. It did not smell good, and in fact it smelled like shit—if you could make shit smell even worse than shit. Sharon, the woman to my right, let loose another salvo, and her odors started heading my way and mixing with Liz’s to create a vortex of unpleasantness so vile that I was on the verge of retching. Stifling the tiniest of gags, I accidentally let loose a pretty good sized fart that quickly turned to liquid and rocketed from my ass and hit the waters of my toilet with the intensity of a fire hose. Sweet mother of God, I had unleashed the Kraken, and soon another wave of waste was leaving my body in an expeditious and noisy manner.

     “I guess someone else had the poi as well,” Liz, the woman to my left, said, with a small chuckle.

     Here it was—the entirety of my life’s nightmares all rolled into one horrific moment. I looked around my small cell of torment and wondered how I might get free of this particular predicament—this veritable poi predicament, but nothing came to mind. I was trapped, and the only actual way out would probably entail suicide, though there would be no dignity in that either. I had to soldier on, hold true to myself, and muster through this time of great despair.

     Another explosion rocked my backside, and I prayed the toilet could endure this much punishment and not crumble and send me and my waste spilling onto the floor. Sharon responded in kind, as did Liz, and the air grew so thick with fecal scent that my eyes were beginning to water. The door to the bathroom opened yet again, and more people filed in, probably because of the very same food item that Liz, Sharon, and I had eaten. By their voices, I realized that they too were women, and I had to wonder why in the hell they kept coming into the men’s room. Perhaps the women’s was out of order, or the universe had just randomly decided it was time to decimate any sense of self-esteem that remained after high school.

     A great pain came to my lower abdomen, and I let out what was easily the largest fart thus far, and the entire bathroom became deathly quiet.

     “Are you still alive in there?” Liz asked.

     “Yeah, are you OK?” Sharon added.

     I stayed quiet, hoping to hide the fact that I was a rooster in the presence of so many hens.

     “Hello? You OK?”

     Fuck. They weren’t going to give up, so I needed to say something—anything, just to get them to leave me alone. I mustered my best female voice and spoke.

     “Oh, I’m fine, thank you. My tummy is just a little upset from the poi.”

     A familiar voice came from over by the sink.

     “Wait a minute. I know that voice. Excuse me. What is your name?” the woman asked as she walked closer.

     “Um, Natalie,” I said, now fully recognizing the woman’s voice.

     The woman in question was Lux Vonde, a close friend, former lover, and the woman I recently rescued from a place called Soft Taco Island.

     “Oh my God, Finn! What in the hell are you doing in the ladies room?” Lux asked.

     “I’m Natalie.”

     “No you’re not. I know damn well who you are. Now, what the hell are you doing in here?”

     “Oh for fuck’s sake. What the hell are you doing in here?” I asked in my normal voice, only to receive a round of gasps from the other ladies.

     “It’s the women’s room, jackass.”

     “No it’s not. I looked very carefully at the outside sign before coming in here.”

     “The one on the actual door or the one on the outer wall?”

     “The one on the outer wall.”

     “There’s your problem. The outer one is wrong. I know because I almost walked into the men’s room by mistake.”

     Lux was obviously fucking with me, though it was odd that there were so many women in here. Either way, I was mortified beyond belief and would very likely go take a flyer off the nearest cliff when this was over. That would have to wait, however, as I had one final salvo to deliver unto the bowl, and this one might actually take me airborne. I waited until I could hold it no longer, then released what felt like the mother lode. It was probably ten percent solid, ten percent liquid, and eighty percent pure rocket fuel, and it came out so quickly that it actually hurt. When it finally came to an end, my butthole slammed closed the way an angry woman slammed a door after a particularly heated argument, and now I was sitting in the stillness of the moment, with the room utterly quiet and everyone waiting to see if I had somehow survived.

     “Finn? Are you OK?”

     I stayed quiet, as I was still in shock at the violence of my anus.

     “Finn, speak to me goddammit!”

     “I’m OK,” I said, somberly.

     “Oh, thank God. I thought that last one might have killed you,” Lux said.

     “Only my self-esteem.”

     My body was completely empty, and I was suddenly feeling a lot better, though I desperately craved a shower. I reached down and grabbed the end of the toilet paper, and the roller clattered as I unfurled an adequate amount then wiped my ass. I repeated the procedure, and, after four good passes, stood and pulled up my pants. The last step was to remove the small piece of toilet paper from the sensor and watch as the toilet drained the muddy mess, which thankfully left the bowl without a clog. I made sure my fly was up, then I exited the stall, only to have the women around me erupt with applause. I walked to the sinks, pumped out four dollops of soap, then placed my hands under the faucet and washed them vigorously—all the while trying my best to remain stoic in the face of such adversity. The applause died down, and I dried my hands and moved towards the door but paused and turned back around to face the curious group of onlookers, as I felt that I should deliver some parting words.

     “Ladies, it’s at times like this that you really reflect and feel thankful for everything and everyone in your life, and if there’s one thing we all learned this evening, it’s that shit happens, and, more importantly, diarrhea happens even faster, so to that end, I have two simple parting words—moist towelettes,” I said, as I exited the bathroom and felt the beginning of tears forming in my eyes.

     I checked the sign directly outside the door and saw that Lux had been correct, and I was indeed in the wrong bathroom. I continued farther and discovered that the outer sign was reversed—probably just a minor oversight from when they built the hotel. Fuck, I really needed to be a lot more careful in the future. Of course, I wasn’t exactly bringing my A game after all the fucking rum drinks at the luau. Lux appeared a minute later and smiled and tried to hold back her laughter.

     “No need to say it. I see now that you were correct about the signs,” I said.

     Lux leaned forward and looked closely at my face.

     “Are you crying?” she asked.


     “You are! Oh, my God—I’m sorry. I forget how sensitive you are about going potty,” she said, reaching out and hugging me, which pressed her large breasts against me and almost made me forget the last, and perhaps worst, ten minutes of my life.

     “I’m going to go kill myself now.”

     “Oh, don’t be such a pussy. That was actually pretty funny.”

     “Yeah, to everyone else.”

     “Relax, no one gives a shit that you just took a shit.”

     “That shit was biblical.”

     “True, but you have to come to terms with the fact that everyone and everything on earth shits. It’s perfectly natural.”

     Several women exited the bathroom, and all of them giggled as they passed by me. The tall, pretty brunette at the back of the pack paused and reached over and patted me on the back.

     “Epic shit, my friend. I’ll never forget you,” she said.

     When they were gone, I turned back to Lux.

     “You were saying,” I said.

     “Just forget about it. What’s done is done. Let’s get back to the party—and, I think it’s a good idea to abstain from any more poi.”

     “Very funny. I take it that you didn’t have any?”

     “Hell no, too starchy, and it has the consistency of semen.”

     “You don’t like semen?”

     She smiled.

     “Oh, I like it well enough—just not on my plate at a luau.”

     “Good to know.”

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