Out for Blood Online - Mike Walker

Prologue

“Is Tom Cruise gay?

“That is today’s question, friends, and you’re listening to The John Phillips Show here on KABC Radio, broadcasting live from the heart of Hollywood! We’re back from our break, and hoping to get an answer to that query—no pun intended! And, we’ll also dig into today’s most shocking news story: Major Hollywood celebrities getting kinky in so-called ‘vampire sex’ sessions! Bite on that, people!

“My in-studio guest this hour, the man Newsweek calls ‘the world’s most powerful gossip columnist!’—Clark Kelly of the National Revealer. His column hooks millions with sizzling scoops about the hottest boldface names in Hollywood . . . and today, Clark, you’ve got a shocking new exclusive that’s breaking worldwide headlines, like this one from London’s Daily Mail: ‘Major Hollywood Celebs Hook Up For Secret Vampire Sex Games?’ Wow! Welcome again to the show, Clark!”

“Great to be here, John.”

“Okay . . . now, before the break, I got you to reveal the most-asked question when gossip fans recognize you in public, but for listeners just tuning in, tell us again. What’s the most-asked question for Clark Kelly, aka ‘the man who knows everything’?”

“Well, John, gossip fans hit me with all kinds of . . . uh, queries, as you put it. But over the years, the most-asked question, hands down, has always been, ‘Is Tom Cruise gay?’ ”

“Clark, I’m dying to ask how you answer that burning question! But first, everyone’s talking about your latest shocking scoop, which is making headlines from BevHills to Beijing to Bucharest: Roma Kane, world-famous Hollywood celebrity and billion-heiress to the Kane Industries fortune, allegedly went . . . ‘full vampire’ in an in-character, full-costume sex session with Damon Strutt, that handsome young British actor who stars as Kragen the Vampire on TV’s top-rated Bold Blood series!

“And here’s Clark Kelly’s kicker, he reports that sexy, bad-girl movie star Taylor ‘TayLo’ Logan secretly pimped this sexual encounter between her two mutual friends as a so-called, ‘surprise early birthday present’ for BFF Roma. It’s a shocker, Clark! The usual tabloid trashers are blowing your story off as unbelievable, but no one’s denied it, right? So, for the record, Clark Kelly, are stars really playing vampire sex games?”

“John, I print stories I believe to be true. Period!”

“Okay, but as I said, many tabloid-phobes are saying—”

“What they’re actually saying, John, is that this story sounds too good to be true. And that’s my definition of the perfect story. Because here’s the lesson I’ve learned, over and over, as a journalist—truth is often stranger than fiction. And nobody’s ever caught me printing fiction as fact, pal!”

“True enough, Clark. You’ve got an amazing track record. You break so-called unbelievable stories that are later confirmed, independently, to be absolutely accurate. Do you get upset when people question your accuracy?”

“No, John. Because that means my story is so sensational that they’re actually dying to believe it—they’re secretly praying it’s true. And that’s when you know you’ve got people hooked! So when—and please note that I’m not saying if—I’m proven right, The Revealer will sell even more copies and I can keep affording Louis XIII cognac at $130 a shot. Look, John, if I’d published, let’s say, that Damon Strutt took Roma Kane out to dinner at Spago, would people be so quick to question that?”

“Probably not, no.”

“Exactly! But why? Because what makes a story irresistible is the ‘you’ll never guess what happened next’ factor. Whenever I lecture at journalism schools like Berkeley and Columbia, I teach students my ‘Sweet, Sweet Sundae’ analogy. Like, if I said to you ‘Hey, John, want a scoop of vanilla ice cream?’ You might resist the temptation because . . . oh, maybe you’re on a diet. But, if I upped the ante by offering a scoop each of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate, and promised to drizzle it all with hot chocolate fudge, then threw in whipped cream, a sprinkle of chopped nuts and . . . hey, John, let me top it all off with a bright red cherry! Aren’t you now totally tempted? Sure you are. And why? Because every new tidbit makes it tougher to resist, right?”

“Curse you, Clark Kelly. Now I’ll have to order hot fudge sundaes for the entire show staff. Look behind the control room glass wall—our producer and technical director are both giving me a thumbs-up. By the way, Clark, will you have a sundae with us?”

“Not for me, thanks, John.”

“No? How about if I throw in one of those steaming hot cappuccinos you’re so addicted to,