Saturday, November 22, 2014

An American Horror Story: 3 AM In LA Confidential


Eminem - 3 a.m.

Kelley Lynch's Email To FSB With Her Adaptation Of Pushkin's Queen Of Spades Dedicated To Phil Spector

From: Kelley Lynch <>
Date: Sat, Nov 22, 2014 at 5:57 PM
Subject: Haunted Places
To: fsb <>, "*irs. commissioner" <*>, Washington Field <>, ASKDOJ <>, ": Division, Criminal" <>, MollyHale <>, nsapao <>, "Doug.Davis" <>, Dennis <>, rbyucaipa <>, khuvane <>, blourd <>, Robert MacMillan <>, a <>, wennermedia <>, Mick Brown <>, woodwardb <>, "glenn.greenwald" <>, lrohter <>, Harriet Ryan <>, "hailey.branson" <>, "stan.garnett" <>

Hello FSB,

I don't believe I've shown you a short piece I created from Pushkin's Queen of Spades.  It is dedicated to Phil Spector. 

All the best,

Adapted from Pushkin’s Queen of Spades
By Kelley Lynch 2010

Dedicated to Phil Spector
The all-night card party at the rooms of the District Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, carried on into the wee hours of the morning.  Champagne and dinner was served to Steve Cooley, close friends in the criminal defense bar, various Deputy District Attorneys, Judge Larry Fidler, Lord Dixon, and Judge Sortino.  Investigator Marko, who was once a cavalry officer, guards the door to the newly renovated library.  Truc Do, the only female invited to the chic gathering asks Alan Jackson how he fared at Phil Spector’s trial earlier that day.   “I have no luck,” Alan Jackson laments:  “I play cautiously, never get excited, never lose my head, and yet I feel as though I go on losing to these losers!” 
Another player, Juror #9 from Spector 1, calls attention to Judge Larry Fidler saying he always comes to watch but never plays.  Larry explains, “I am not in a position to sacrifice the necessary in the hope of winning the superfluous.”  Youngish prosecutor Alan Jackson hangs onto Fidler’s every word and ponders the meaning of this luscious riddle. 

Lord Dixon, also once an officer, observes that Larry is simply being prudent.  The person who really puzzles him, Dixon says, is the ghost of Lana Clarkson, who Alan Jackson has come to believe was his lover when he was Czar of Russia.  Larry notes that Truc Do’s grandmother, Countess Anna Fedotoyna [who eventually migrated to Vietnam because she so loved the photograph of sand dunes that her husband the Count gave her when they first met] was shockingly famous and renowned in Russia because she never bet against the banker in card games.  Then he tells a little story about Edogawa Rampo who played a major role in the development of Japanese mystery fiction.  Rampo, Larry points out, was an admirer of western mystery writers, and especially of Edgar Allan Poe. His pen name is a playful rendering of Poe's name.  Rampo’s friend, according to Larry, Jun'ichi Iwata (1900-1945), spent many years researching the history of homosexuality in Japan.  Truc Do posited the possibility that Judge Fidler may have actually been Emporer Jimmu in his past life.  Emporer Jimmu, as Truc recalled, was the mythical founder of Japan and the first emporer named in the traditional lists of Emporers.  Marko, wearing a delightful Christmas ornament on his uniform, slowly moved towards the card tables standing idly but watchfully over District Attorney Steve Cooley left shoulder. DA Cooley recounted a story he heard from his uncle who was married to a famous female Nazi guard known as “Wilma.”  Female guards, as Cooley saw it, were collectively known by the rank of SS-Helferin and could hold positional titles equivalent to regular SS ranks.  Such positions were known as Rapportfuhrerin (Report Leader) and so on.  In the Nazi command structure that so fascinated DA Cooley, no female guard could ever give orders to a male guard.  In his own hierarchy, as he so frequently reminded Truc Do, he permitted female Report Leaders to give orders to male Report Leaders. 

Truc Do, the beauty of the DA’s office, dazzled Los Angeles society.  Unfortunately, she lost an enormous sum at court to the Attorney General of California in a game of faro.  After returning to her residence, she directed her mother to pay the debt.  The normally compliant woman refused to do so, pointing out that she had spent 7 billion Vietnamese Dong on Truc Do’s wardrobe for the Phil Spector trials.  In desperation, Do spontaneously admitted to writing a letter to old Count St. Germain, famous for the stories told about him–that he claimed to have discovered the elixir of life and to have found a way to turn base metals into gold. In his memoirs, Casanova said he was a spy. Whatever was true or untrue about him, he was always in demand at social gatherings, and Truc Do had fond memories of him, the most important of which was that he had money. 

The Count who was at her side whispered a secret card strategy to her that would enable her to win back her money. He explained that, one night at Versailles at the jeu de la reine (Queen Marie-Antoinette's own gaming table), his Grand Aunt had played against the Duke of Orleans.  Upon employing the secret strategy, she immediately recouped her losses.  His mother had entrusted this card secret to him and while he had refused to reveal it to anyone until this night, he took pity on Truc Do and her mother who had spent 7 billion Vietnamese Dong on Truc’s wardrobe for the Phil Spector trials.  The count told Do the secret, designating three cards she should bet on. Do promised him that after the night’s games ended she would never play cards again.  When she used the secret, she won immediately. Before the game ended, she had covered her and her mother’s losses–and won a little extra. That’s quite odd, thought Alan Jackson, she was on a losing streak and now her luck has changed. 

.The narrator flashes back several days to a scene that takes place a few days before in Judge Larry Fidler’s chambers.

In his chambers, Judge Larry Fidler primps before a mirror while three maids attend to Lizaveta Ivanovna, a ward of the court, who sits by a window embroidering. His bailiff, Tomsky, enters and asks permission to introduce a friend to the judge at friday’s Embassy ball. After Judge Fidler grants it, he and Judge Dixon discuss a woman Alan Jackson admires –a Miss Lana Clarkson, a dead actress who committed suicide with a gun at a mansion in Los Angeles.  The ward of the court reminds them that Miss Lana Clarkson has been dead for a number of years and shudders at the thought that she looks sexy with the back of her head blown off.  The young ward furtively attempts to signal her three maids with a cautionary gesture.  The maids know the meaning well.  Never should anyone inform Deputy DA Alan Jackson that Miss Lana Clarkson is no more than a has-been ghost corpse who committed suicide.

After the maids finish attending to the court ward, Lizaveta Ivanovna, Judge Larry Fidler goes behind the screen with her maids who help him finish dressing.  Lizaveta asks Judge Dixon about his friend Judge Sortino.  He tells her Sortino was actually once a soldier named Narumov in his past life.  Lizaveta Ivanovna asks if Judge Sortino was in the “engineers.”  “No, in the cavalry,” Judge Dixon replies.  “What made you think he was in the engineers?”

Lizaveta smiles but says nothing. From behind the screen, Judge Larry Fidler asks Judge Dixon to fetch him a Japanese samurai novel.   Judge Dixon then leaves.  Moments later, a Countess emerges and tells Lizaveta to have Marko order a pumpkin carriage so they can go for a drive.  After delivering the message, the young ward returns just as Judge Dixon brings books for Judge Fidler.  Lizaveta excuses herself so she can dress for the drive.  Lizaveta goes off and dresses. When she returns wearing her hat and cloak, the countess tells her she is overdressed for the occasion, then tells a bailiff  to open a window.  “Windy and bitterly cold,” the old Countess says. “Unharness the horses.” The drive is off.  Lizaveta Ivanovna thinks, “What a life is mine!” 

Indeed. Although the Countess, Judge Fidler’s mother, has a good heart, she is egotistical, eccentric, and avaricious. She attends all the great balls and holds her own grand social gatherings but now has trouble remembering the faces of her guests. Her servants take advantage of her and help themselves to whatever is available around them.  It is Lizaveta who must see closely to all the Countess’s needs–making her tea, reading to her, going for rides with her, attending balls with her. And the Countess is quick to criticize her, holding her accountable even for bad weather. At balls, everyone in Los Angeles ignores Lizaveta, except a mysterious bachelor known as Ron Burkle, even though she is prettier than the marriageable young ladies whom the men pay homage. 

The narrator, Tsi-U-Marpo,  flashes back a week, to a moment when Lizaveta is embroidering at the same window.

Glancing out the window, Lizavetta catches sight of a young man staring up at her. She does not know him, but the reader becomes aware that it is Ron Burkle, the bachelor billionaire super market magnet.  Out of modesty, she looks away but returns her gaze to the street five minutes later. He is still there. He continues to return to the window over the next few days until, on one occasion, she smiles at him. It was not this man that Lizaveta thought her friend, Lee Kanon Alpert, was referring to when he asked the Countess whether he could introduce Lizaveta to a friend. Her heart initially sank when she heard it was a not a Deputy District Attorney. Now she worries if the unpredictable Lee Kanon Alpert knows that she may be secretly interested in Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson.  This embarrasses her slightly.  It is not Lizaveta, however, that Ron Burkle really wants to meet. It is the Countess. He wants to use Lizaveta to gain access to the old woman so that he can wheedle the card secret out of her. He found out where she spent her days after making an inquiry on the street.

The narrator flashes forward, returning to the scene in Judge Fidler’s Chambers at the time the carriage drive was called off by the Countess.

Shortly after the Countess cancelled the carriage drive with Lizaveta, she changed her mind and again a carriage is ordered. When she and Lizaveta enter the carriage, Ron Burkle approaches, places a letter in Lizaveta’s hand, and leaves. The Countess questions her about the man, but Lizaveta vaguely shrugs the question off. After the drive, Lizaveta goes immediately to her room and opens the letter. It declares Ron Burkle’s love for her in polite, respectful language. Lizaveta is unaware that he had copied the words from a Tibetan novel. She is delighted at first, then uneasy about starting a secret relationship. It would be improper. Should she cease sitting at the window? Should see send the letter back?  

She decides to return the letter with a new one. In it,she tells the young man that they should not become acquainted in such a furtive manner. The next day, when he comes by, she drops the letter into the street. When Ron Burkle reads it, he is not surprised by her response. Three days later, he sends another letter.  It is delivered by a girl who works at the local milliner shop. Recognizing the handwriting, Lizaveta refuses to accept the letter but the girl insists that she take it. When Lizaveta reads it, she is offended to learn that he dares to ask for an interview with her and recounts a ghost story about the court house that was formerly a sanatorium and orphanage:

In the basement of Los Angeles Superior Court, there is an elevator that leads to the sub-basement. The sub-basement goes down another four floors and is nicknamed "the dungeon". It was said that when workers were laying the cement for the sub-basement a co-worker went mysteriously missing, his lunch and house keys were found but he wasn't. It was assumed that when laying the cement floor he must have fallen in and no one saw it happen. People who are new to the building are told about this ghost and the name given to him, "Stephen,” for no real reason.  There have been many reports from people who travel down there for old legal documents and Larry Fidler’s collection of Japanese novels. He will travel with you up the old steel elevators and you will get chills that will go all over your body. It feels like you have walked into a cold spot. And as soon as the chills start they will stop again. He will turn on the lights after they have been turned off (maybe to read some old law books). He has also been known to help people look for law books and California case law they can't find. Books will mysteriously fall off of shelves and it will be the book that you were looking for. People say that they can feel him watching them work when they work down in "the dungeon". Many people have seen him out of the corner of their eye, but as soon as you turn your head to look at him he's gone again. He's also scared a few people enough to never want to go down there alone or again but he has never harmed anyone. He's become a part of everyday court life with all of the people who work in the sub-basement rubber stamping temporary restraining orders for the masses.

Litaveta rips it up and tells the girl to tell Ron Burkle that he ought to be ashamed. But Ron Burkle continues to send letters, each expressing his passionate love. After they have their calculated and cumulative effect, she writes him a letter telling him that she and Judge Fidler’s mother, the Countess, will attend a ball that friday evening  at the Russian embassy. After they leave for the Russian embassy, he is to enter the Countess’s house and go to Lizaveta’s room, accessible by one of two doors behind the screen in the Countess’s room. The door on the right opens into a private study. The one on the left opens into a corridor leading to a winding staircase at the top of which is Lizaveta’s room. Judge Fidler and the servants will be out, and the maids will be in another room. 

Late that evening, after the countess and Lizaveta pull away in the carriage, Ron Burkle goes directly to the Countess’s room–not Lizaveta’s–and waits. 

When the countess returns, he will ask her to reveal the card secret. A golden lamp burns before a shrine. A portrait of a stout man of about forty and one of a young beauty hang on the walls, along with Chinese silk. Stuffed chairs and divans stand “in melancholy symmetry around the room.” The hours pass slowly. After a clock strikes two, Ron Burkle hears the carriage pull up. Moments later, the house comes alive with the noise of servants bustling about. When maids enter the room with the Countess, Ron Burkle is in the closet behind the right door. After she puts on her nightcap and dressing gown, Ron Burkle emerges, frightening her.  “I have no intention of harming you,” he says. “I have come only to ask a favor and, if you would like, to tell you a ghost love story.” 

When he asks her to tell him the secret, she replies that it is a joke. There is nothing to it. When he tells her that he knows she once disclosed the secret to a man named Alan Jackson, she takes him more seriously. However, she does not reveal the secret. Ron Burkle pleads with her. Still she holds her tongue. Even if knowing the secret of the cards brings a terrible curse on him, Ron Burkle says, he still wishes to know it. The Countess remains silent. Frustrated, he draws a pistol and commands her to disclose the secret. She immediately falls backward and lies motionless. Is she dead? 

Lizaveta, meanwhile, is waiting for Ron Burkle in her room. When he does not appear, she seems relieved. She did not really know him, after all, and never heard his voice. Then she muses over events of the evening. Alan Jackson had actually danced a mazurka with her. All the while, he teased her about “Ron Burkle” and the nature of his comments led her to believe that he knew about her fascination with the man, whom he identifies by name. Ron Burkle, he said, was a devilish man who had committed three crimes and who had designs on Lizaveta.  

Lizaveta’s musing is interrupted when Ron Burkle enters her room. He tells her that the Countess is dead and that he caused her demise. Then he recounts everything that happened.  “You are a monster!” she says. After he tells her that he had no ill intentions toward the Countess and that the pistol was not even loaded, they sit in silence until dawn. She then instructs him how to exit the house via a secret staircase. After following her instructions, he reaches the street unseen.

Three days later, the church is full on the day of the countess’s 9 a.m. funeral. Lizaveta is, of course, among the mourners. So is Ron Burkle. He wants to show good will so that the dead Countess will not use a curse against him. After the elaborate funeral rituals, Ron Burkle kneels at her coffin to pay his respects. At that moment, he sees the dead woman dart a mocking look at him and wink.  

Ron Burkle steps back and, losing his footing, falls. At that very moment, Lizaveta faints. Whispers pass between other mourners, and a relative of the Countess, Judge Fidler’s bailiff, tells an Englishman that Ron Burkle was actually the illegitimate son of the Countess. 

After dining at a restaurant and drinking too much wine, Ron Burkle goes home and falls asleep. When he awakens in the middle of the night, a woman in white enters his room– it’s the dead Countess! She tells Ron Burkle that she has been commanded to reveal the secret. Then she identifies three cards guaranteed to win--the three, the seven, and the ace--and tells him how to play them.  There is a condition: After he wins, he must never again play cards for the rest of his life.  

Before disappearing, the Countess says she will forgive Ron Burkle if he marries Lizaveta. From that moment forward, all he can think about are the cards: three, seven, and ace.  

It so happens that a famous card player, Steve Cooley, is having a card game in Los Angeles and many gamesters young and old are seizing the opportunity to bet against him. Ron Burkle goes with Lee Kanon Alpert to get in on the action. After passing through Steve Cooley’s splendid suite of rooms, they find him in the drawing room at a long table with about twenty other players. He is keeping the bank.  

After the current game ends, Ron Burkle begins playing. When he bets 47,000 rubles, everyone stops to stare at him. Steve Cooley warns him that his wager is extremely high. In fact, no one in the room has bet more than 275 rubles. After Steve Cooley tells him he must place his wager on his card, Ron Burkle lays down a bank note for the sum.  

On the next deal, the right cards appear, and Ron Burkle jubilantly declares, “I have won.” There are murmurs of astonishment. Immediately, Steve Cooley pays off Ron Burkle, who then goes home. Lee Kanon Alpert has a hard time believing what he saw. 

The following evening, Ron Burkle returns to the game, lays down his bet, and wins 97,000 rubles. He takes the money and leaves, then returns the next evening. All the others in the room – generals, young officers, privy counselors, governors, attorney generals, prosecutors, the criminal defense bar, judges, politicians and law enforcement –suspend their own games and gather around to watch. 
When he sees the right cards appear again, Ron Burkle declares victory. But Steve Cooley tells him his queen has lost. Ron Burkle checks his cards. What he thought was an ace is the queen of spades, whose face resembles that of the old countess. The face smiles and winks at him.  The card then turns into the Ace of Hearts.  Steve Cooley looks devastated as Ron Burkle rakes in his winnings.

Eventually, Steve Cooley loses his mind and is confined to Killer King Hospital, where he spends his time repeating, “Three, seven, ace. Three, seven, queen.” 

Lizaveta has married the son of the late Countess’s former steward, a nice young man who works for the state and receives good pay. Lizaveta supports a poor relative. Tomsky has received a promotion to captain and has married a princess. 

Meanwhile, the terribly chic and invitation only all-night card party at the rooms of the District Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles are carried on into the wee hours of the morning.  Champagne and dinner continues to be served to various Deputy District Attorneys, Judge Larry Fidler, Lord Dixon, and Judge Sortino.  Various Supreme Court Justices, the IRS Commissioner, FBI Director, Director of the U.S. Treasury, and the United States Attorney General drop in for a game now and then.  Bruce Cutler, Ed Hays, Linda Kenney Baden, Doron Weinberg, Dennis Riordan, Donald Horgan, and Charles Sevilla have been known to sit in on a game.  Fabulously dressed actors and actresses lounge about the salons of the newly renovated, elegant Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

With the Phil Spector trials long since over, Alan Jackson continues to lament “I have no luck.  I play cautiously, never get excited, never lose my head, and yet I feel as though I go on losing to these losers!”  He sits alone in his office.  District Attorney Alan Jackson begins to daydream. All his old friends, including Truc Do (now a copyright lawyer and degenerate gambler), have left him behind.  He is old, sad, tired, and distraught.  

Thoughts of Lana Clarkson never leave his mind.  He looks at the photograph of a Russian Czar on his desk and pours himself a Bourbon.  He pulls the photographs of Lana Clarkson’s gruesome suicide scene out of his desk drawer.  They are old and warn now.  He still cherishes the missing fingernail he slipped into his pocket while attending the autopsy.  The blood he was able to smear onto the elegant small brocade pouch (from Lana Clarkson’s corpse) has now dried and fallen away.  It feels as though the exciting days of being a promising up and company Deputy District Attorney are all that’s left of Alan Jackson’s vacant and dead life.  He hides the “missing fingernail” away in the back of a desk drawer.   He walks over to the table where he has arranged his toy soldiers …

The Charge Of The Light Brigade
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Memorializing Events in the Battle of Balaclava, October 25, 1854
Written 1854

Half a league half a league, 
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd & thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack & Russian
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke,
Shatter'd & sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse & hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

A cool breeze chills the room.  Suddenly, an apparition appears.  It is the ghost of his beloved dead actress, Lana Clarkson.  She looks the same as the day she blew the back of her head off at Phil Spector’s Castle.  Jackson has lost all touch with reality.  He has, over the years, become increasingly consumed with the ghost of Lana Clarkson and she is now his entire obsession in life.  She is with him throughout the night and day.  Tonight, the ghost corpse – as has been their customary ritual - opens the door to his monumental office, scattered with trophies of his legal battles, and stands before him.  The ghost corpse of Lana Clarkson is mangled and bloody.  She wears a black slip and hand bag over her shoulder.  On her head she wears a long white veil.  She’s holding a photograph of Judge Larry Fidler in her left hand.  She has a Colt .45 with hollow point bullets in her right hand.  Alan Jackson whispers “Come, Lana, Come.”  She raises the gun, blows Alan Jackson’s brains out, and vanishes into the dark moonless night haunted by thoughts of Judge Larry Fidler.

The Emperor of Ice Cream
Wallace Stevens

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem. 

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.
Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

The End.

`Here!' cried Alice, quite forgetting in the flurry of the moment how large she had grown in the last few minutes, and she jumped up in such a hurry that she tipped over the jury-box with the edge of her skirt, upsetting all the jurymen on to the heads of the crowd below, and there they lay sprawling about, reminding her very much of a globe of goldfish she had accidentally upset the week before.
Giant Alice upsets the jury (literally)