…A priest mounting a thrashing, made-up corpse from behind…her makeup smeared. Her giant hoop earrings spinning in wild circles from her ear lobes.
…A legless, armless trunk of a woman is chained in midair by an “X” of chains. She sits pelvis high. A half-crazed traffic cop leers from the corner, not moving yet.
…short whacks of consciousness capitalized by the taste of bile, punctuated by the slam of gunshots into windowless rooms.
…A decomposed nurse’s outfit…no bottom jaw. No way to say “no”.
Rooms full of money. A hand covered in gold. The stink of chugging generators.
Wet bodies hit the floor.
Slick with blood.
Open door, open door.
“Cuuuuuunnnnnnttttttssssssssssssssss”, he chokes through a graveyard of bleeding teeth.
“What’s your name?”
He spits, groans.
“Alright Mr. Fuck You, do you know where you are?”
A crazed, ragged laugh. Half closed eyed roiling about their sockets.
“Fine, well here’s the situation. You’re in my shop motherfucker. Your leg is fucked up, and if I don’t help you, you are going to die.”
“Cunt-ah cunt-ah cunt-ah cunt cunt cunt ah-roo”
Another, more saturated laugh.
“He’s gone man, fix him up.”
“I’m not gone…anywheres…”
He groans and pushes himself up against the wall, making a clean trail through the blood and oil. He blinks and clears his vision.
“Not gone…not gone…I’m… RIGHT FUCKING HERE!”
He screams so loud that the gunshots get quiet. His eyes go red.
“Alright then. You here. Good. But you don’t have long so I’ma make this quick. You got a rep. I know all about you and what you do. I might could use you, so I am going to fix you up and turn you into one of my hitters. Just don’t fuck with me. I ain’t no Driver motherfucker, and I don’t take shit like your boy Prick. If I did, I would be cadaverous right now. Just like him. You respect me, keep your shit together, and I’ll take care of you. If you don’t, I will eat you my motherfuckin’ self. Got me?
He blinks again, licks his lips. They stare dead into each other’s eyes.
A gun goes off.
The priest comes, moaning.
Through the blood, he coughs, “What kind of shoes are those?”
Another long, ragged laugh. Longer than before. The look on his face is pure, maniacal joy. His mouth sweats blood.
“Alright man, you got my vote, now fucking fix me the fuck up.”
“You got it, Mr. Fuck.”
So I sent my doctors to go to work on him. The way he did his knee, he’s not going to end up a hundred percent. Pimp limp for sure.
What had happened was I got a call from one of my A&R guys. He was scouting some talent out by the old stadium, near this fucked up bar. The talent, she must have been a gymnast, cuz she was still fit, still wearing her sports bra. Prime real estate for drilling, but she was tough. My scout watched her rip Fuck’s boy in two. By the time I got there, she was about to go to work on him so I put a stop to it.
I got guys who work for me. Guys who get their hands dirty for a few pills or a few rounds with a Zombitch. It’s nice to have those people, but every once in awhile, I handle my own business, get my own hands dirty. I don’t want to lose my mode for this kind of work. The second you need others to do a job you can’t do yourself, that’s the second you are in the wrong line of work.
Plus, I needed this guy, so I wanted him to owe me. So, without scuffing my shoes, I gave her the lead root canal myself, yoked her, and stuffed her in the limo. He saw me, he knew who saved him. Plus, I picked up an asset. A stacked bitch like that will put up a fight. She’ll probably net me some supplies, some ammo. Maybe even a real bitch for those long cold nights.
I don’t believe in the “no-win” scenario.
I smack him with the side of the blade and his head hinges open. The crack of that skull gets me every time. Depending on how long they’ve been up and rotting on their feet, it always sounds different. The real dead ones, it just caves like rotten fruit. The fresh ones have more snap to them. Crack. Crack. Crack. I duck slightly and throw one over my shoulder; his head hits the cement and opens up. More slick spills on the ground. I’ll need to watch my footing. I’m still getting used to the brace on my leg and there’s three more at the end of the hall about 25 feet away…giving me about 10 seconds to take a coffee break.
I dump a little cocktail out onto my fist, right over my thumb. I don’t spill any. I look up and there is a hand out, almost touching me. He’s groaning like he wants me to share. I jam it up my nose and aspirate. I drown in fire. I choke on anger and violence. My eyes fill with blood and I’m back. I look up shaking and he’s 10 inches from me, his hand already on my coat. I can smell his breath. Everything vibrates – the world moves too slow, struggling to catch up with me. The two behind him claw at his back, ripping off long strips of his clothes, skin. I can’t fucking wait.
One swipe with the lawnmower blade and his hand is still on my coat, only he’s falling forward now. He hits the ground face first. The two behind him scramble over him. I hear his skull break under their boots with a fresh crack. That’s what I love about these things; they kill each other and don’t even know it. I once saw one stomp its own “kid” to death on its way to chew the legs off a trapped teenager.
In a second they’re both at me, crammed too tight in the narrow corridor, ripping their flesh to shreds against the concrete walls. I consider giving them a bit of my own, just so I can feel alive again but I feel the tap on my shoulder and it all kicks in. I get to swinging. The first swipe takes her arm off at the shoulder. The change in weight throws off her balance, and she falls into the wall. The follow through splits his ribcage and nicks his spine. His posture changes and I can see his right arm go limp.
I take another swing. Higher this time, and the blade sticks. Like a log that won’t split. This happens all the time, so I leave the blade and let her drop. Two steps back and I get the burner out. I check the clip, check the barrel, reload it, and get ready for the noise. I run a bead right between his brows, blink once, and the world catches up to me, panting, “Sorry I’m late, what are you….aw jeez.” I coil around the trigger and change my mind. It’s just me and him…blowing him away would be the coward’s way out. Plus my ears already hurt bad enough.
I take a few steps back, get some speed, run toward, and sweep his kneecap. It buckles like a wet sapling, throwing it out to one side, dropping him under his own weight. He gets a hand out and uses it to drag himself along the floor, kneeling on his one good knee, twisting and dragging the other one. There’s a scraping noise that’s thicker than fingernails…just bones, no finger tips. I watch his bones leave streaks against the concrete floor…like living chalk.
He looks up and once our eyes lock, everything leaves me. I can’t hear or see. All I can feel is the grit of the pistol grip in my hands. I filed it all down into jagged peaks when I first got it…so I would know when it was in my hand. I squeeze hard. A little blood runs down the barrel. A little more pools into the crease of my trigger finger. It’s beautiful.
One swipe and his head hits the wall. Another swipe and he’s got “Desert Eagle 5.0” stenciled backwards into his temple. A third and everything’s wet. A fourth and the job is done. He smacks the floor and everything spills out. My hand is sticky and I’ll need to clean my gun…
The intercom crackles to life.
“Why didn’t you use the burner?”
“I did use the burner, I’m just tired of blowing out my eardrums so I skipped the loud part.”
“Huh? Speak into my good ear”
“Oh I get it. Fucking hilarious. Fuck You.”
“Alright, start the clean up and we’ll send in some more.”
“Yeah, yeah. Hey, this woman you sent in here, how come you don’t pimp her?”
“Pssshh. Cos’ she’s ugly as fuck.”
“She’s not so bad…I’d fuck her.”
The reel spins off and slaps the back of the projector. The lights stay out. It’s black again, so familiar to me. But its not still, it seethes against its own black borders. Pulsing with the weight of the edges. Something is trying to get in, but it’s just me in here. The floor is wet and I’m dragging something. Its heft is familiar. The view is the same. Nothing ahead, nothing behind. I’m holding a huge slick bag bound with tape, chains, rotting bungee cords. Its heavy and I’ve been towing it for a long time. Sometimes it wakes up, whatever it is, and snakes around, trapped in the bag, fighting me. Screaming, snarling, dripping black fluids through the seams. It wants out, and I can’t hold on to it much longer.