I'll come up with something in a minute.

MOTHER OF CHEESE!

IMGP0156

Continue reading

April 12, 2015 Posted by | Photo, Photography, Poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jack & Jill (Part Seventeen)

Jack & Jill (A Love Story)

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Read last week’s entry here.

 

Part Seventeen: Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill

 

            The hill didn’t look hard to climb, but that was a bit deceptive. There was a steep incline on three sides, and a nice shallow walk up on the other. We saw Cole doing his best to run up the shallow side and I fired a shot at him. There was a puff of dirt about three feet away, which wasn’t bad at the distance I was at and using a handgun. He turned and fired a wild barrage at us, not hitting much of anything as far as I can tell. We ran up after him, which could have caused trouble. I went around one of the steeper sides and started up it. It wasn’t so steep that I needed to climb with my hands, but it was steep enough to cause trouble.

 

            Cole was sitting at the top of the hill, waiting for us to come up the easy side. I looked at him as Jill got to the top with me. The hill top was barren of cover besides a single maple tree, and Cole didn’t even have the brains to try and climb it. Jill and I started to walk towards him, having come all this way to collect this bucket of piss we’d have to get him.

 

            “Cole?” I asked aloud and he spun around.

 

            He’d been crying, he was still sobbing in fact, wiping his face when he saw us. He couldn’t see very well though, and he was not even beginning to have composure.

 

            “You ain’t gonna take me in.” He cried, aiming his gun at where he assumed I was through his tears.

 

            “Cole! Will you stop you fucking idiot? It’s over! You’re done” I yelled at him. “Drop the gun and I won’t have to kill you here on this hill.”

 

            “You ain’t taking me in on a kiddie rape rap.” Cole growled at me, his gun still trained away from us. “You know what they do to guys on that charge up in Jackson?”

 

            “I know you’re looking at murder and human trafficking.” I told him. “And they’ll either put you in a Texas jail for what you did to the Mexicans, along with a whole lot of angry Mexicans or they’ll put you in a Georgia jail for murder and you can ride old sparky to hell. You’ll die if they send you to either part of the south. You’re a big guy though. You could fight off the guys who’ve got a thing against child molesters in Jackson.”

 

            “Fuck you.” He said as a well reasoned response and he fired a round which went into space.

 

            “Your choice.” I wasn’t going to wait for him to get his bearings and shoot me. I aimed at his right hip and let the Webley do the thing it was made for.

 

            The sound of a gun is never as loud or as booming as the movies make them sound. In fact, outside they’re positively quiet. It’s a sharp noise, lots of treble, and microphones never get it right. He hopped and shouted as the round punched through flesh and bone. I rushed him, hitting his gun hand with the butt of my revolver and then smacking his chest with my shoulder. He went over in a heap on the ground and then rolled onto his side, clutching at his hip. An entire second may have gone by, but I aged an entire year in that time.

 

            “You fucking idiot.” I growled.

 

            “Kill him!” Jill shouted with sudden ferocity.

 

            “What?” I asked.

 

            “Kill him!” She repeated. “He raped me, you should kill him for that.”

 

            There was logic to that, but suddenly I didn’t want him dead. I can’t explain why exactly, but I didn’t want to kill him. I wanted him to have a nice long stretch in the cooler. During that time, he might be inclined to tell me what the hell had been going on. I was still pretty much in the dark about that.

 

            “No.” I shook my head. “I don’t need to, he’s done.”

 

            “Kill him Jack!” She nearly screamed. “Kill him so we can be together.”

 

            “What?” I turned to her and let my gun arm go down to my side.

 

            Had my mother been around, she would have told me that this was my problem, I always lower my gun at the wrong time. That had been my mistake the last time I’d been shot too. My mother wasn’t around though, so she couldn’t help me this time.

 

            “Once he’s dead, you can take over for him.” She said, sounding desperate. “You’ll be my new owner and it’ll be perfect. You can make love to me instead of just fucking me.”

 

            “Uh, no.” I shook my head. “That’s not how it works.”

 

            “Why not?” She looked confused and bewildered.

 

            “Because you’re too young.” I said, trying not to sound like she’d just smacked me in the face with a carp.

 

            “Well I’ll grow up soon.” She smiled. “We can be together then.”

 

            “You’ll still be…” I shouldn’t have trailed off. I should have kept talking, telling her how I had a daughter almost her age, letting her realize what I meant on her own was a bad idea because she thought I meant something else.

 

            “It’s because I’m not pure isn’t it?” She started to cry. “I can’t help that he soiled me. I didn’t want him to.”

 

            “It’s not that.” I said, using my reassuring voice. “You’re less than half my age though. I’ll be too old for you when you’re old enough for me.”

 

            There were sirens in the distance, and I could see flashing red and blue lights coming toward us. I was so close to everything being alright, so close to being out of this situation. This whole thing was way too close to the end for it to all fly apart now. It wasn’t fair that I was five minutes away from the goal only to have things go wrong now.

 

            “Stop lying!” She screamed and the tears poured down her face. “Stop it!”

 

            “I’m not lying.” I said walking towards her. “But you’ll realize when you’re older that you don’t want me.”

 

            “Stop lying to me!” She fell to her knees and Cole’s big forty-five was right in front of her. She picked it up and pointed it at me. “Can’t you see how much I love you?”

 

            “Jill?” Was all I got out before she started shooting.

 

            Four rounds tore through me, much faster than any gun can shoot. All four bullets went through at once, and I felt like I’d been shot again. That would make it seven times that I’ve been hit. She may have screamed, she may have dropped the gun, she may have said she was sorry, but you can’t prove it by me. Why I didn’t collapse might be a mystery to you, but not to me. It was Michigan. This state wasn’t going to let me die so easily.

 

            I do know that the Webley dropped from my fingers because the thud it made when it hit the ground was the loudest and deepest boom since the dinosaurs stopped shaking the earth with their steps. I looked at her and she screamed that she was sorry, I think. I felt my holster flap loose at my side, because one of the bullets had torn the strap that held the holster to my right shoulder.

 

            I walked three whole paces before the hill sloped away and I ran out of level ground. My leg still tried to walk upright, and I fell down the hill. My body tumbled and spun and then Michigan put a big rock in my path, or possibly threw it at me. Who can tell? What I know is that a rock like object smacked into the back of my head and my descent ended. I could tell that I’d broken my skull, and that my brains were leaking out.

 

            There were sirens in the far off distance, possibly as much as ten feet away. I heard shouts and feet tramping and a few more screams from Jill. I managed to see her at the top of the hill and then watched as she fell towards me. She tumbled down the hill and bumped into my side. I felt her fingers on my face and her lips pressing against mine. She told me she was sorry, but she was a million miles away. I could feel her breath, but I couldn’t smell her or hear her and my vision was growing too dark for me to see her. I felt her breath on my skin though, and I could feel her weight on my chest.

 

            How odd, I can clearly remember raising my left arm and putting it around her. I may have even told her it was alright. I think I raised my head just enough to make contact with her. I’d meant to kiss her on the cheek, but she turned her head and I planted it on her lips. I think I told her not to worry, I can’t remember. It seems like the sort of thing I would say though, because I’m a tough guy.

 

            The world was fading away, I couldn’t seem to move any part of me. I felt Jill, but I couldn’t feel the ground or the stone that had drilled its way into my brain. I could just feel this little girl and her breath and nothing else. After a while, I couldn’t even feel her. There was just me, all alone in some tough guy nether world.

 

            And…

 

            And…

 

            And just this once, I decided it would be okay to pass out.

 

This Ends Jack & Jill: A Love Story

April 29, 2010 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

Jack & Jill (Part Sixteen)

Jack & Jill (A Love Story)

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Read last week’s entry here.

 

 

Part Sixteen: Purity

 

            When we got to the top of the hill, I could already hear the sirens in the distance. Cole was panicky, I could see the sweat leaping off his brow as we approached. He was scared, and with good reason. Jack made a noise so Cole would know we were there. He was noble that he hadn’t even drawn his pistol, leaving it in the clamshell holster under his hip.

 

            “It’s over Cole.” Jack said as he put his hands on his hips. “Let’s just go down and make this end nice and quite. I’m fairly certain I can get you a light sentence.”

 

            “You can go to hell Collier, and take that bitch with you.” Cole rasped and fired four times.

 

            Jack shouted, or at least he made a noise. He reached into his coat and pulled out the big revolver and aimed it. Cole was so dumb struck that he didn’t even shoot again, even thought Jack gave him time. Jack fired a single shot and then struck Cole in the chest, knocking him down.

 

            “You’re done.” Jack said and started to walk away.

 

            “Jack?” I asked him.

 

            “I think I’m done for.” He smiled at me. “Too bad really, or we could have been hsitory’s greatest lovers.”

 

            He collapsed too close to the edge of the hill and fell down it, I watched him vanish over the lip and heard him roll away from me. I looked at Cole, and picked up his gun. I stood over him and squeezed the trigger. A bullet struck him in the leg and he screamed like a little girl with a frog down her pants. He started kicking and yelling about the pain. I pulled back the hammer again and put the gun to his temple, just like Jack would have done I he were there.

 

            “Put it down sweetie.” A voice said behind me.


            I turned, but could barely make out the people who were coming up the hill because of the tears in my eyes. They were police, or government people, or something. Someone took the gun out of my hands and tired to lead me away. I looked around for Jack, and only then remembered him falling down the hill.

 

            Someone tried to put their arm on my shoulder, but I shook off their rude touch and went in search of my love. I couldn’t see him anywhere though, he had vanished. Then I remembered him falling after being shot, and saw a patch of dark blood on the grass where he had fallen.

 

            “Jack.” I ran to the edge of the hill and looked where he had dropped away. He was laying in a heap at the bottom of the hill, blood clearly pouring from his head. I ran down the hill, tripping and tumbling down the rest of the way, only stopping when I hit his still body.

 

            “I’m sorry this happened to you.” I said and pressed my lips against his.

 

            “Love you kid.” He put his arm around me and kissed me. “Don’t worry about it. I can take it. Tough guy. Be back on my feet in no time.”

 

            His eyes fluttered, and then shut. I put my ear agains this his chest and heard his heart beating. I don’t know how long we lay together like that, looking like leaves that had been blown away or nuts that had rolled to the place where they would be planted. I wondered if a pair of trees would grow up where we lay and if their branches would be intertwined like our hearts were destined to be.

 

            Eventually, someone came to gather us up, taking me away from him. They put him on a gurney and closed the doors, to separate us. I watched at the red and white lights faded into the distance before I collapsed into tears. I wanted to be strong around him, not to let him know that I wasn’t strong like him. I wanted him to think of me as being strong for him.

 

            Then there was the police and the lawyers and daddy. I don’t remember everything that happened, or all the things they asked me. They kept asking me the same thing over and over, and I kept getting confused because they’d go over something over and over again. I can’t remember any of it very well now, so I have to just go quickly over it.

 

            I do remember the lawyers kept telling me that they had to get the story right so they could put Cole in jail, but then all the sudden it didn’t matter anymore. All the sudden he was confessing to everything and I wouldn’t even need to testify to anything. There was some thing about some dead Mexicans that would have gotten Cole into even worse trouble, so they dropped that and just got him to confess to kidnapping me.

 

            Then there was the state psychologist, and then daddy said I needed to see a private psychologist. They were going to have to put me through a lot of therepy because I’d been so traumatized. I’ve been seeing one doctor after another ever since.

 

            All the while, Jack was still in the hospital. They said he’d broke his skull or something, which I didn’t even know you could do. They don’t know if he’ll come of the coma, and if he does he might not remember me. That might be for the best really, because if he doesn’t come out for five years I’ll have time to purify myself and I’ll be old enough for him to take on as a lover. I would need to be pure for him, I need to be clean.

 

            That’s why I keep going to this psychologist, because he might be able to tell me how to be pure again. I want to be clean for Jack, I want to be pure. I’m sure that when I’m old enough that he’ll fall in love with me if I’m purified. I’ll keep doing what I’m supposed to do, so I can be right and good for him. I don’t need to be pure in some religious way, but in the way he would have thought was pure and good. I need to be good enough for him, so that if he lives we can be together one day.

 

            I never tell the shrinks about this, because they wouldn’t approve of it. I found out quickly that they don’t approve of a lot of things, but if I’m careful I can get what I want out of them. While all this has been going on, I think I’ve started to understand Jack better. They keep telling me how he was paranoid, how he was troubled, but they’re wrong. Jack isn’t was anything because he’s still in the present tense. And if Jack is paranoid it’s with a good reason. He helped me understand that everyone is only working for their own goals and if I’m going to get ahead I need to make them work for me.

 

            The best way for me to do that is to get them to tell me how to be pure again. I need to find out how to cleanse myself of the touch of evil. I know that one day it will require me to kill daddy, and if I get a chance I’ll have to kill Cole King too, but that will be okay. When I’ve done those things I can be clean, I can be pure, and I can be worthy of my sweet love.

 

            Oh Jack, I wish you were here to see how much I understand now, how ready I am to love you. I only hope you get better and that you don’t die.

 

April 22, 2010 Posted by | Jack | | Leave a comment

Jack & Jill (Part Fifteen)

Jack & Jill (A Love Story)

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Read last week’s entry here.

 

 

Part Fifteen: Home Again, Home Again

 

            It was getting late when we pulled up into the driveway of the Piper house. I’d called and told Peter that we were coming, but he seemed disconnected again. When I drew up I noticed a dark Dodge Durango sitting in the lot, almost aimed towards the dirt path that lead to Piper’s acres of private land. I suppose I shouldn’t have felt suspicious about that, but I did. I reached into the panel under the dashboard and pulled one of the silenced pistols out. I checked it to make sure it was fully loaded and put it into an easily accessible panel in the door. Something sort of told me I would want it there.

 

            Not that the Dodge Durango is a rare vehicle, like say… a Hudson Super Six, but my recent experiences with Durango drivers hadn’t left me feeling positive towards them. Jill waited for me to get myself arranged before approaching the door. She grabbed my hand before going in and gave it a squeeze.

 

            “Thank you for everything.” She said and hugged me.

 

            “It’s okay.” I told her and gave her a squeeze around the shoulders.

 

            She opened the door and we walked in… and found Cole King sitting on the couch with Peter Piper sitting across from him. I’ll admit I should have thought more, but my right hand has this nasty habit of pulling what ever gun is in my shoulder holster out and pointing it at people who have previously tried to shoot me.

 

            “Mister Collier.” Piper said setting down the hash piper he was holding and standing up somewhat unsteadily. “How nice of you to come.”

 

            “Mister Piper.” I said, observing the bong in front of Cole and the bag of pot sitting on the table.

 

            “We were just smoking a bowl while waiting for you.” Piper reached his hand into the pocket of his robe and pulled out a small nickel plated hand gun. “Now please put that gun down before someone gets hurt.”

 

            “Piper.” I said looking him in the eyes.

 

            Cole took the opportunity of my not watching him to move and pick up his own hand gun which was lying on the couch next to him. He stood up and pointed it at me as well. I looked at him and then at Piper and then at young Jill. She looked scared, and disappointed.

 

            “I wasn’t supposed to find her, was I?” I asked.

 

            “No.” Cole said holding his hand out. “Gimme the gun.”

           

            “I could probably shoot the two of you before either one of you could get off a shot.” I commented, just to say something.

 

            “Don’t be dramatic.” Piper said grabbing his daughter by the wrist and dragging her to him.

 

            He pulled her in front of him and put his gun to her head. She didn’t scream, just looked bewildered as to what was going on. That was enough for me to want to kill him, that right there, but I couldn’t at the moment so I walked to a table next to the front door and set my Webley down on it.

 

            “Into the living room.” Piper told me.

 

            I started to follow him, but Cole decided to get cute with the butt of his gun and smacked me in the face. A bright plume of fire exploded across my mouth as I fell backwards and hit the ground. He grabbed my jacket and pulled me up, smacking me in the face again. This time the pain went across my left check and another one went over my eye.

 

            “Stop it!” Jill screamed, and the pummeling ended for a moment before starting again.

 

            “Enough.” Piper said and that ended it for real.

 

            I was shoved toward the living room which fortunately had a mirror. I stopped at the mirror and pulled the handkerchief out of my top pocket to examine my face. Cole gave my shoulder a shove, but I just looked at him. This meant looking down the barrel of his big ol’ Drexel automatic, but I fastened on his eyes and gave him the impression that gun or not I would end him if he shoved me again.

 

            “Sit down Cole.” Piper said. “Let the man attend to his face.”

 

            I looked at the cuts on my eye brow, the one above my cheek and my cut lip. I glanced at Jill and decided to try and be a stand up guy. I’d told her what being a tough guy was all about, so I let her see me being matter of fact about the wounds. I wiped away some of the blood, refolded my handkerchief so the blood wouldn’t be visible and put the handkerchief in my top pocket again.

 

            “Look what you’ve done to my shirt.” I complained to Cole. “You’ve gotten blood on my shirt.”

 

            They all looked at me for a moment, and I could see the wheels in Cole’s head turning as he tried to decide if I really was that tough or if I was just bluffing him. I wish I knew so I could have told him one way or the other. If I was really this tough, maybe I wouldn’t have that tight cold fist in my guts. Then again, there was no reason to inform anyone else that I might not be that tough if they thought I was.

 

            “Sit down.” Cole told me and I did as I was told, sitting in the chair Piper had vacated when we entered.

 

            “Sure.” I grinned and nodded.

 

            I did as I was told and Piper shoved his daughter down in the middle of the couch, sitting next to her and Cole sitting on the other side. My lip hurt, and blood kept dripping down the side of my eyebrow, but that was okay. I was a full blown tough guy in Jill’s eyes now. That was important, to be a fourteen year old’s idea of a tough guy. I could see the admiration in her eyes as she looked at me, and that was nice. Maybe she’d sew me a banner or give me a scarf that I could tie to the front of my lance one day. She might even have a cousin old enough for me to date and tell her all about me sometime.

 

            “So.” I smiled at the both of them, despite how much it hurt. “What was it really? Jill some sort of payoff?”

 

            “Not a payoff.” Cole said. “He wasn’t fuckin’ paying me off.”

 

            “Payoff insinuates that I was trying to get rid of Mister King.” Piper said.

 

            “She’s a reward then?” I asked.

 

            “I doubt your tiny mind could comprehend this.” He spoke with contempt, and I decided to rub at my lip to show that I wasn’t impressed by his jibe.

 

            “Try me.” I said.

 

            “No point.” Piper said. “Why explain things to a dead man?”

 

            “We’re gonna fuckin’ bury you out there.” Cole said, waving the gun out towards the grounds.

 

            “Oh come on.” I said taking my handkerchief out and dabbing at the blood. “What harm could it do? If you’re going to kill me anyway.”

 

            “No.” Piper said. “I think that it’ll be easier to just let Cole have his fun with you.”

 

            “Oh.” I said and reached behind me to rub at my left kidney.

 

            “What’re you doing?” Cole demanded, pointing the gun at me.

 

            “I hit my damn back when I fell down.” I told him. “It hurts.”

           

            “Oh.” He actually accepted that and set his gun down on the side table next to him.

 

            I have to say that I actually just sat there, utterly stunned as he reached for the bong and grabbed his lighter. He flicked the lighter into life and lowered it towards the bowl before I got my head back in the game. I hope I can be forgiven, since it’s been a long time since I’ve been exposed to anyone this stupid. I reached down lower, grabbed at the Marley and pulled it out as I stood up.

 

            I was trying to hit Piper in the leg, but I missed completely and the round tore a large hole in the side of the couch. I twisted and jammed my hand into the bottom of the bong, giving Cole a smack and sending the plastic tube flying. A spray of filthy water splattered on me, but I was already bringing the Marley down to hammer on Piper’s wrist. The gun fell from his fingers and then I was hit in the face again.

 

            “Kill him Cole.” Piper shouted as I hit the coffee table, or pot table perhaps would be more accurate, and rolled behind the chair.

 

            A big forty five slug smashed through the chair and missed me by about an inch before burying itself in the floor. I rolled across the floor to get away from the chair and Piper dove for his gun. I managed to crouch and fired a round at Cole, which missed again. I really have to learn how to shoot with my left hand at some point. The bullet hit the wall near Cole and sprayed drywall dust at him. He waved the gun and shot three times, one of those times hit Piper in the leg and sent him to the ground shouting.

 

            “Come on!” I said grabbing Jill’s hand. “I’m not leaving you with these nuts.”

 

            We ran out of the house just fast enough to see Cole speed away down the dirt path. I fired the Marley a few more times but the gun was out. We ran to the car and I started it as Jill ran around to get into the car. I turned the lights on and we started down the dirt road after him. I think he was depending on his Hemi driven SUV to save him from me. I was driving a bootlegger’s car though, one that was used to hidden back roads just like this one. I started after him with all possible speed.

 

            “When this is over,” I said throwing my empty Marley over my shoulder into the gun repository, “I will take you anywhere you want to go. As long as I’m able, I’ll keep you safe.”

 

            “Thank you.” She said meekly.

 

            “Did you know anything about what they were talking about?” I asked.

 

            “No.” She shook her head.

 

            I looked at her for a second, glancing at the road to make sure. I think she really didn’t know everything, so there wasn’t much hope in grilling her. If I didn’t do this right, Piper could form any story he wanted and just make it that Cole came to kidnap her again once he’d gotten away. I would have to make sure I didn’t get killed so I could make a note to take them all in.

 

            “Okay.” I pulled my cellphone out and tossed it to her. “Find Alice in the phone book and call her. Tell her you’re speaking for me and where we are. We’re going to need all available help on this.”

 

            I saw the Durango’s lights in the distance and put on more speed to catch up to him. He tried to put on even more speed, but his mass produced power wasn’t cutting it. I reached into the side door panel and decided to hell with anyone finding out about the silenced pistols. I sped up, but it was sort of useless because while I could plug a lot of little holes through his back window, I couldn’t really see him to know if I was hitting him. There was a big meadow after a bit of driving along the single lane with trees on both sides and he drove into it to try and get away from me.

 

            I aimed the silenced gun out my window and fired four good shots. Both his back tired popped and when he tried to turn the Durango flipped through the meadow. I stopped the Hudson and opened the door. I saw him run away from the truck and fired at him, but I’m not as good at distance shooting as I should be and it was already getting pretty dark. Another twenty minutes and we wouldn’t be able to see a thing.

 

            “Take this.” Jill yelled as she shimmed across the bench seat and got out on my side. She held the Webley in her hand, which meant that she had a better mind for things than I did. She had stopped to make sure she grabbed it for me.

 

            “Thank you.” I said and slipped the silenced gun back into its hole, closing the panel.

 

            “She says everyone she can get will be on their way in a few minutes.” Jill told me.

 

            “Good job.” I said, patting her on the shoulder. “You stay with the car, I’ll got get Cole.”

 

            “No.” She shook her head. “I’m staying with you.”

 

            That could prove troublesome, and as you may have figured out by now it did. At the time though, it seemed like a good idea to keep her near so I could keep her safe. Besides, she knew this ground and I didn’t.

 

            “Okay.” I said. “Where is he likely to go?”

 

            “Up to Cobbler’s hill.” She told me. “That way.”

           

            She pointed in the direction he had run and we went after him.

 

April 15, 2010 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

Jack & Jill (Part Fourteen)

Jack & Jill (A Love Story)

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Read last week’s entry here.

 Part Fourteen: Cole King’s Confession

 

            I’ve been told by my lawyer that I need to write out this confession for my plea bargain. I’m supposed to write down everything that happened, so that they can have it on record or something. I don’t know why I can’t just tell the shyster or something, but I’ll manage. I can use a computer, I can type. My lawyer keeps telling me that it’s got to me in my own words or something. Whatever.

 

            I’ll start with the little bitch, because that’s what I’m supposed to be pleading to anyway. I understand that now that she’s back home she’s been claiming I kidnapped her and that I raped her and I stole her away from home. They also say I shot that detective, tried to kill him. That’s bullshit right there.

 

            I’ve been fucking her whenever I’ve been in town since her 13th birthday, and she started it by the way. At that party her dad threw for her, she came and saw me in the pool house late at night, after everyone had gone to bed. She looked so hot in her little red swimsuit, and she started striping it off while I watched. She blew me right there in my chair, did me in the hot tub, and she weren’t no virgin when I started with her let me tell you that. Little bitch was a slut long before I got there.

 

            I’ve still got all the txt’s that she sent me still on my phone, where she begs me to come get her and save her. She said it was horrible being there, she said she was being choked to death or some shit. I’ve got the records of all those IM conversations when she came asking me to come get her and take her back with me to my place. A year and a half that went on, with her telling me how she wanted me inside her, and how great it would be if we could be together, and all the things we’d do when she was with me.

 

            So yeah, I went up there and got her. She had a bag ready, so I was only there a couple of minutes. We didn’t want to attract a lot of attention, so we drove back down there instead of taking a flight. It wasn’t because I was trying to keep her secret or anything, it was just that we were worried people might think something was wrong with us flying together. Flyings a bitch anymore anyway. Fucking people won’t even let you take a fuckin water bottle on a fuckin flight no more. Some damn towel heads pull some shit and a decent American can’t take a fucking bottle on a plane, ain’t that some shit?

 

            I didn’t tie her up, and I didn’t leave her in the back seat with a sack over her head. The only times I did that shit is when she wanted it, she was a kinky little cunt. I had her right next to me, in the front seat where we could play road games. She’d blow me as I drove along, I’d finger her while the miles clicked by, it was fun. She was so beautiful, sitting there in the front seat smiling at me. She sat naked all the way through West Virginia, just so I could look at her as we drove. She just kept a blanket she could throw over herself in case a cop drove by or something.

 

            It was after we got to Texas that thing started to go wrong. She started missing home or some shit, I don’t know. Then that detective guy started poking into what was going on in Georgia and I had to straighten that shit out too. If he’d stayed away from the damn wet-backs it wouldn’t have been a problem, or I suppose if the Fiddlers hadn’t been sot damn stupid.

 

            Yeah, we hired illegal wet backs, you try and get white people to pick the damn peppers for Piper to pickle and still make a fuckin’ profit. If I can point out to you, it ain’t just us either. Everybody fuckin does it. Still, that ain’t the issue here. What happened to them poor wet backs ain’t got nothing to do with me anyway. I was at home that whole time and what the Fiddlers did down there is on  them. I didn’t have nothing to do with any of it.

 

            We did have to go to the plantation, so I could keep an eye on things. If I didn’t, then the fiddlers would have killed all them little spicks. I guess that’s what led them down there in the first place, taht’s what I heard anyway. If that detective could talk, he’d tell you all about it, but it sounds like he might not ever do any talking ever. Shame, ‘cause he’d tell you all about when the little bitch told him about how she planned everything to make sure she wouldn’t get in any trouble.

 

            I don’t know how she did what she did with the cell phone and computer stuff. She told me when they she started to get on my nerves that if anything happened to her she made sure I’d go up forever on a kiddie rape rap. That’s stupid because she had to know I kept records, even if she managed to get things removed or whatever the hell she did.

 

            I’ll cop to taking her out of state to fuck her, but that’s what she wanted me to do. She asked me to do that for her. She said we’d be together. She came on to me, I want that fully understood. I couldn’t never have kidnapped her and I couldn’t never have raped her cause she wanted it. Bitch was randy as hell, had me stick it in every hole too. She loved it. She was a fucking whore. She only changed her tune when she knew that the fuckin’ detective was on to her. Then all the sudden I was a horrible person who kept her in a cage in the basement or some shit.

 

            I never did none of that shit. I just took her when she wanted to go and let her stay with me. I didn’t hurt her, I never hurt nobody. I never done nothing to nobody, not never.

 

            I got the wet backs into the country, but I never hit none of them and I didn’t kill anybody. I never shot anybody, the little bitch shot that detective fellah. Yeah, I followed them when that fucker broke into my place and shot at me. He snatched her away, I thought he was gonna kill her some thing. How the fuck do I know he’s hired by her daddy to come get her?

 

            So I came after them, and yeah, I shot Piper, but the fucker had it coming. He fucked up everything, and he shot at me first so fuck him. He ain’t dead, he’s just hurt in the leg a little. Fucker should be glad I didn’t shoot him in the balls like I was planning. Fuckin faggit got off light I can tell you that.

 

            I never did nothing wrong, not ever. I’ve always been an upstanding guy, done what was right. All these fuckers are just out to get me cause I fucked the little bitch, and I only did that cause she fuckin’ begged me to. That bitch was a little whore, and the fuckin detecive was a goddamn fucking psyco. I don’t desrve this shit. I never did nothing to no one.

 

           

 

Bookmark and Share

April 8, 2010 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

Jack & Jill (Part Thirteen)

Jack & Jill (A Love Story)

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Read last week’s entry here.

 

 

Part Thirteen: Jill’s Ride Home

 

            There are times in a person’s life, when they can just totally and completely click with another person. It’s not even like they need to actually speak to one another, they feel it on a deeper level than that. When I woke up in the middle of the night, a dream of Cole’s foul face near mine still in my head, I knew Jack wouldn’t mind if I curled up next to him. I knew him you see, I knew everything I needed to know about him when he came bursting through the door of the room. I knew that he would always take care of me, that he would be able to love me.

 

            So when I woke up, trembling with the deepest fears, I was fully aware with the understanding that it would be alright for me to go to him. I walked to the bed where he was sleeping and lay down next to him. I watched him breath for a while, just observing the movements of that perfect cupid bow’s mouth. I inched my way near him, finally turning myself around and pressing my back against his wide and powerful chest. I took his arm and pulled it around me. In his sleep, he pulled me near him and nuzzled his face into the back of my head. I’d never, in the entirety of my life, felt so safe as I did at that moment.

 

            I didn’t have another nightmare after that. I only had good dreams, that’s what he did for me. Sleeping next to him made all the bad dreams go away, he made me sleep still and quiet. If you don’t understand how important that is to a person, you must never have been woken up by bad dreams in your life. Since I’ve never been able to sleep next to him again after that, I’ve had nightmares constantly.

 

            He woke up first, and managed not to wake me as he got up and went to take a shower. He was so considerate that way. I mean, he is considerate. I shouldn’t speak about him in the past tense, because he’s not dead and he isn’t going to die. He’ll be fine. He’s not going to die because he’s too tough for that. He’s like one of those heroes he told me about at our breakfast, when we were talking about movies and how he liked them I remember clearly talking to him about it.

 

            “Who are the heroes you liked as a kid then?” I asked as the food came to our table.

 

            “Oh, you know, the normal guys for someone my age.”

 

            “Well, who’s that?” I asked as the plate appeared before me. “I’m not your age so maybe I don’t know.”

 

            “That’s true.” He said, and I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d made a mistake. Was it a problem to remind him of the gulf of years between us? “I liked guys like Indiana Jones, Han Solo, The Shadow, Dick Tracy and Tom Powers.”

 

            “Who’s Tom Powers?” I asked, trying to remember if I’d heard that name somewhere on a comic book.

 

            “That’s the part Jimmy Cagney played in The Public Enemy. The one who gets hit on the head and announces that he’s no so tough when he falls down face first in the gutter.”

 

            “And that’s tough?” I asked, wondering how falling down in the gutter makes you a hero.

 

            “Yeah.” He nodded. “Look at how many times Indiana Jones gets punched, knocked down, thrown around, and keeps managing to come back. You’ve got to get the feeling that a guy can get hurt for him to be a real tough guy. If he can’t get hurt, then he’s just a cartoon. That’s why the new Bond movie worked and why the Jason Bourne movies worked. It’s all about a guy who can get hurt, stay hurt for more than two scenes, but keeps going. That’s why you’ve gotta love Cagney. He’s got a big head wound, blood pouring down his face, and yet he managed to walk half a block before collapsing.”

 

            It took me a moment to try and work that out in my head, and I have to admit that I didn’t quite get it the first time. I’m not a dumb person, but this was the first time I’d heard this. My dad always liked movies where the hero just shoots his way through a hundred bad guys and never once winces if he gets shot in the side.

 

            “So let me see if I’ve got this.” I said putting my fork down and giving him my fullest attention. “You’re saying that in order for a hero to be a tough guy he has to bleed?”

 

            “That’s right.” He nodded and took a sip of water through his perfect lips. “Other wise he’s just a robot or something. I’ve got kind of a tricky time with my right leg sometimes because I was shot there once. The chip in my bone never really healed and it hurts in some weather. I still keep going though, because if I start not doing things because I hurt I won’t get anything done. You ever read the old stories of heroes, myths and stuff?”

 

            “Yeah.” I nodded. “I’ve read some.”

 

            “Well, in the good ones, the old ones, it’s always a struggle to reach the goal or save the princess. You couldn’t just hit a health pack and get a power up, you had to strive to reach the end of the quest, which was often only half the story because they had to get home too. If you could just fly in, slaughter everyone and fly out, what would that be worth? The story would only be about five minutes long and there wasn’t much effort put forth.”

 

            “So you think a guy needs to have effort to be tough?”

 

            “Yeah.” We talked a while longer, and then finished our breakfast.

 

            “It’s all about the attitude.” He said. “Not the grunting and snarling thing, but the never gonna knock me down part.”

 

 

            “No grunting?” I asked, and he smiled so warmly when I said that I wanted to kiss him.

 

            “No.” He shook his head. “A real tough guy can hold a girl’s hand and read books and know about poetry and stuff.”

 

            “You read much poetry?”

           

            “Not really, but I know some.” He said.

           

            It was interesting watching him, because if he wasn’t such a wonderfully sexy guy I would almost call his style of eating fussy. He was so prim and proper about how he ate, always making sure to wipe his fingers every time he had to touch something. He used his fork and knife more than anyone I’ve ever seen eating in a place like that, but he was so laid back and relaxed that it seemed natural and proper that he was doing it. He looked like he would be at ease eating anywhere in the world, from a royal ball room to some dusty bazaar in some tiny town in Istanbul where they drink steaming hot espresso in tiny mugs and discuss matters of deep importance.

 

            He was entirely unlike anyone I’d ever laid eyes on, like he was more alive than the rest of us and was dying to get away from these small places so he could go do great things. There was a reserve to him that I thought was covering up some kind of energy that would burst forth at a moment’s need.

 

            When we were done he went to the bathroom to wash his hands. He actually told me he was going to wash his hands, like I cared why he was going. Still though, it was cute that he explained he was going to wash his hands. It might have been an off handed comment, and probably was, but it was still cute. He came back a minute later and paid the bill with cash. It might sound strange to you, but I’d never seen anyone pay a restaurant tab with cash. My father always just handed people his card, my grandparents did the same. This was the first time I’d ever seen anyone who wasn’t a kid pay with cash. It made him so completely different from anyone else I’d ever known.

 

            We got in the car and he played me some old music. It was wonderful stuff, and he wasn’t afraid to play it loud. My mother never lets us have loud music, because it’ll hurt my ears or something. He played it loud though, and he drove fast along the road, passing people in that beautiful blue car of his.

 

            “So how come you don’t read poetry?” I asked as we drove along the highway.

 

            “I didn’t say I never read it, just that I don’t read it much.”

 

            “But how come?” I asked him.

 

            “Poetry can get dangerous really quick.” He said. “Even good poets fall into the trap of basically writing the same poem over and over again after a while. It gets boring pretty quickly.”

 

            “I write some poetry.” I admitted, and he didn’t seem too surprised about this.

 

            “Oh yeah?” He asked.

 

            “Yeah.” I nodded. “You ever write a poem?”

 

            “When I was in high school.” He admitted. “Enough to fill at least three books if I’d wanted to.”

 

            “You ever publish it, or read it in public?”

 

            “Oh lord no.” He said. “You should never do that.”

           

            One of my tutors is a poet, and she said my poems were good enough to be published. She was trying to get my dad to let her take some poems to her publisher and get them printed in a book. My mother thought it was a good idea and we were talking about doing it, but this happened and it never did get published. I only mention that because it’s was the answer to my next question that made me realize why I shouldn’t.

           

            “Why not?” I asked.

 

            “Sometimes you need to get thoughts out, so writing poetry is okay.” He told me as he passed a big red semi truck. “But when you let other people read it, or read it aloud, it just falls flat.”

 

            “What do you mean?” She asked. “My stuff doesn’t sound dumb.”

 

            “That’s not what I said.” He told me. “I said it falls flat. People who haven’t been where you are won’t really get it no matter how well you write your poem. And the people who do get it will know how you feel about it. Poems are pure emotion translated into words. When they know what your feelings are, they can use that against you. You need to defend yourself from that sort of thing. People are cruel and evil little monkeys, you need to protect yourself from them.”

 

            “Oh.” I understood then, I knew what he meant.

 

            “Besides, once you get known for writing poetry you have to hang out with other poetry types. Then they’ll encourage you to show off your art and after that there really is no hope. You’ll end up watching foreign movies and old b-pictures from Hollywood’s past and wearing strange clothes.”

 

            “You watch old movies and drive and old car.” I pointed out to him.

 

            “Yeah.” He looked at me and smiled with those perfect lips. The sight of those lips makes my toes curl even now. “But I’m a tough guy. I don’t show off poetry and art in public. I just run around being a private eye and sometimes an adventurer.”

 

            “If you don’t show it off, does that mean you make some sometimes?”

 

            “That would be telling.” He said.

 

            “I’d like to see your poems and art sometime.” I told him.

 

            “But then you’d know how to get me.” He said.

 

            I didn’t say it out loud, but I was thinking that it was just for that reason I wanted to see it. I wanted to know how to get to him, to get inside, and to sooth whatever wounds had made him this way. He was such a perfect man, and yet he was clearly in a lot of pain from a great many wounds. I wished that I could make him better.

 

            We drove into Michigan and he started to get me towards home.

 

April 1, 2010 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

Jack & Jill (Part Twelve)

Jack & Jill (A Love Story)

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Read last week’s entry here.

Part Twelve: Jack’s Ride Home

 

            In hindsight, I probably should have been more concerned about the position I woke up in. I didn’t bother taking my clothes off when we got into the hotel room, opting to just strip off my suit jacket and socks before crawling into the bed. I rarely sleep well in a hotel room, but that time I had no trouble at all. I had dropped off almost as soon as I hit the pillow. It had been a long day, and I hadn’t slept well before the long night started. I was impressed that I managed to undo my top two buttons and untuck my shirt before collapsing.

 

            When I woke up, I was still dressed the same, but I wasn’t alone. Somewhere in the night, while I presumably snored loud enough to shake the air conditioner loose, I gained a sleeping companion. I woke to find a girl tucked under my arm and her back pressed against my chest. I’m not sure how exactly it happened, but at some point she had crawled out of her bed and crawled into mine. I raised my head up to confirm that I was in fact still in the bed I’d started in and it wasn’t me that moved.

 

            I probably should have thought more about that, but at the time I rather thought that she was just scared or something. I tapped her on the shoulder with my fingers as I sat up, which caused her to turn a pair of bright blue eyes at me. She was cute, and as I have a cousin about her age I sort of thought of her in that vein. In fact, I know someone my age with a daughter about her age so I could have thought of her in that way too, but less successfully.

 

            “Hmm?” She half vocalized.

 

            “Morning.” I said sliding off the bed. “Time to get up.”

 

            “Hrmgingle.” She replied.

 

            “You can probably sleep while I shower.” I told her and took my bag into the small bathroom with me.

 

            I don’t particularly like hotel bathrooms, but I was going to have to use this one so I gritted my teeth, grabbed a tiny soap, and cleaned as well as I could. I didn’t even remember to pack my own shampoo and so had to use the little bottles of whatever it was they had on hand. It was lilac scented, which always reminds me of my grandmother’s bathroom in Flat Rock. She doesn’t even live in Flat Rock anymore, but the association of lilac and grandma’s bathroom will never die.

 

            I managed to clean myself up though, and leave enough cleaning products behind for Jill to use. Fortunately there were two bottles of shampoo and two of conditioner, and I managed only to use half of the one I had. I took my time, to give her a few extra minutes of sleep. I’ve often though about packing a plastic Ziploc bag when I go on the road, so that when I’m in a strange shower I can have the Marley in the shower with me. I suppose its part of the paranoia that the shrinks keep telling me about, I say it’s just safety.       

           

            I didn’t need one as it turned out, but that only proves that people think I might have one with me. I dried myself off, slowly, making sure that I was actually dry before I got dressed. I’d included a clean pair of socks and undies with the few things I’d grabbed with my shaving kit from the trunk of the car on our way in. I’d managed to make myself look human again, even if I was going to be wearing the same suit for a second day in a row. That’s okay though, I can handle that, I’m a tough guy after all.

 

            I came out of the bathroom and found her sitting upright on the bed. She smiled at me and managed her way to the bathroom without help or comment. Her back pack that she had with her accompanied her into the room, and I sat and waited. I was torn between the idea of getting out on the road and having some breakfast sent up. I then checked my cell phone and found that there was only one call from Alice and that it was ten after twelve. Alice didn’t leave a message, but as she’d only called a few hours ago I decided that I probably could interrupt her. Maybe she would tell me that they caught Cole, that would be nice.

 

            I hit the buttons that made this ridiculous hand held machine try and connect to another of its species. I waited, as the sound of the shower turning on came through the closed door. The phone made a sort of ringing sound, that might make you think that there was actually a bell at the other end. I listened to the ring, waiting for the voice mail to pick up and explain that the person I was looking for wasn’t there. What I got was a click and then an answer.

 

            “Hi Jack.” Alice’s voice came through clearly and cheerfully.

 

            “Hi.” I said. “How are we doing?”

 

            “Are you on the road yet?” She asked, and remembered my endless paranoia. “I mean, are you still at the hospital?”

 

            “We’re not still at the hospital.” I told her, paranoia still in tact.

 

            “They haven’t found King yet, but we’re thinking he probably went back to his place in Texas.” She told me. “I appreciate the help you gave us, but you’ve probably caused a lot of people a lot of trouble. I don’t know how your client will feel about you when you get back.”

 

            “I can handle it.” I told her. “It’s not a big deal. Besides, it’s not my fault if the people pulling felonious pranks under his nose are so stupid. Besides, I am bringing his daughter back.”

 

            “I hope so.” She told me. “Give me a call when you’re home. I’ll come visit you.”

 

            “Okay.” I said. “I’ll do that.”

 

            We said our goodbyes and hung up, leaving me feeling alone and tired again. I shouldn’t have felt tired, because I’d just woken up and had an invigorating shower. The problem was that I wasn’t where I wanted to be, I wasn’t doing what I wanted to be doing, and I wasn’t with who I wanted to be with. I could have it all worked out in about three days if I wanted to, but clearly I didn’t want to. I heard the water shut off and sat down to watch the dust collect on the dark wood of the hotel dresser as the sun shone through the window.

 

            A few minutes passed, then a few minutes more, and I started to wonder if she’d done something that would cause difficulty when the door opened and she emerged. She didn’t look nervous, or scared, but alive and vivacious. Her bright eyes sparkled and she smiled widely when she came out.

 

            “Morning!” She said as she rubbed her hair with a towel. “Can we get some breakfast?”

 

            “Sure.” I told her, “What would you like?”

 

            “Oh, anything.” She announced. “I’m positively famished.”

 

            There was a small chain place connected to the hotel, so we availed ourselves of that. I was trying to decide how to approach her, since I hate looking like someone who keeps people at arms reach when we’re at a table together. The problem was, I wasn’t sure what I could talk to her about that we’d both have in common. The last time I liked a band that was popular it was because Blues Traveler suddenly got big after I’d been a fan of them for three albums already, and everyone was willing to admit that was a fluke for me. As I was sitting there, trying to decide how best to break the ice without bringing up current events, she came in like one of those big ships that they send in to open up shipping lanes in winter. 

 

            “Do you ever watch old movies?” She asked over her menu as we got settled.

 

            “I suppose it depends on how you classify old.” I said, wondering if I was about to get treated to the idea that Raiders of the Lost Ark was an ancient classic.

 

            “You know, like the stuff they show on the classic cable networks.” She looked at me. “You look like someone who watches a lot of movies where Robert Ryan plays the heavy.”

 

            It was impressive enough to find that she knew who Robert Ryan was, but even more impressive that we were going to agree that movies older than my father were what she qualified as old. I leaned back and looked at the menu for a while, trying not to smile too much. I was also trying hard to decide what sort of thing I would be eating this afternoon that I thought was morning.

 

            “I wouldn’t say that it’s all I watch.” I told her. “I have however always liked the style of the pre-war era and the just post-war era.”

 

            “But not the fifties?” She asked, smiling what she probably thought was a cute little twist on her mouth. It was cute, but she needed to aim it at a fifteen year old. Or rather, she needed not to use it until she was about nineteen. If she managed things right, she would be able to knock men out of their chairs at fifty yards with that smile in five years.

 

            “Not really a fan of the fifties.” I told her.

 

            “I thought so.” Her smile became superior. She set the menu down and leaned on the table with her arms crossed in front of her. I suspect she had seen that motion in one of those movies she was talking about and wanted to try it out. She smiled up at me and was examining me from that spot. “Your car is just this side of not being the fifties.”

 

            “The car was a gift.” I told her. “But it was given to me because I liked it best.”

 

            “Someone gave you that car?” She looked shocked, as I supposed she should have been. “Why would some guy give you such a great car?”

 

            “Well it wasn’t some guy.” I told her. “The person who gave me the car was trying to make up for something that happened between us.”

           

            “Oh, I see.” She nodded in a knowing way that she’d probably seen on TV. “A woman gave you the car.”

 

            “Well.” I couldn’t exactly explain why, but I felt like wriggling. “Yes. She had hired me to do something for her and it turned out badly.”

 

            “What happened?” She put her fists under her chin in another imitative movement.

 

            “My car was destroyed, things went wrong, and she gave me the car to try and make up for it.” I said, trying to avoid painful details.

 

            “But you still dress like one of those guys in one of those movies.” She commented. “You wear a hat like Jimmy Cagney.”

 

            “Actually, I wear a hat like Dick Tracy, only I got a different color.” I told her. “Good thing too, if The Shadow movie had come out first I’d have bought a huge wide brimmed hat and a red scarf and then I’d look silly.”

 

            It was a pretty good line, and it got a good laugh out of her. The waitress came and took out orders, giving us a natural break in the conversation. The conversation after that was roughly along the same lines, only we talked about what each of us liked about the pre-war fashions and how the post war fashions just didn’t work as well.

 

            It wasn’t like talking to a young teenager, it was like talking to an adult, and that worried me a little. Not that she spoke more maturely than I was prepared for, but because I found myself wanting to tell her. I managed to catch myself before saying it because of a big red flag and whooping alarm bells in my head when I caught myself thinking it. What I do know about sexual predators is that this is one of their favorite phrases. It’s an easy thing to flatter a child by telling them that they speak better than expected and considering recent history I wanted to stay away from that sort of comment.

 

            We finished our breakfast, which as I’ve said was actually lunch, and got in the car and began out ride home. While riding we talked more about books and history, which was pleasant. I sort of wished I’d met a girl like her when I was her age, I would have had a better time knowing someone like her. She hadn’t gotten to the point of trying to cover up being smart, being ashamed of liking something that not everyone was into, and that was a nice change.

 

            We drove along the road, heading north, with the windows down and the stereo playing music that was older than both of us put together. It made me think that maybe I needed to call Liberty, ask her about the idea of taking Jenicia on a trip to a museum or something. It might not be terrible to have a daughter around, just someone to take places and try to show new sights. I sort of thought that I would have to call Liberty when I got home, discuss it with her and see how they felt about it.

 

March 24, 2010 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

Jack & Jill (Part Eleven)

Jack & Jill (A Love Story)

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

 

Read last week’s entry here.

 

Part Eleven: Hospital

 

            I had Alice call ahead, and I even got a three car escort to make sure we got to the hospital unmolested. At least the car was unmolested, I sort of had a feeling that as far as my young charge went, unmolested would be a poor choice of words. I had to drive around the back to the emergency room and more or less allow the police to get Jill admitted. Since I was with them though I was more or less regarded as one of them. When the doctor came, a nice reassuring woman who’s name tag informed me that she was Dr. Muffit, I pulled her aside for a chat.

 

            “She’s a kidnapping victim.” I told her.

 

            “Yes.” She nodded. “One of the other officers told me. Is there something else officer?”

 

            “I’m a private dick out of Michigan.” I told her. “I got her away from the guy who kidnapped her. I would like to know if there was sexual contact if it was violent.”

 

            “Do you mean that you want to know if she was raped?” She asked, her hazel eyes searching mine, which is a waste because I couldn’t have shown anything if I wanted to, tired as I was.

 

            “Legally if he had sex with her, then it was rape anyway.” I said. “I suppose morally it was too. But yeah. I want to know if he forced her.”

 

            “Does it matter?” She slipped her hand into the pocket of her white coat and leaned back against the counter.

 

            “It does to me.” I told her. “I’ve got a bet going with the index finger of my right hand. It says that I should have let it pull the trigger and save us all a lot of trouble. I maintain that you can’t shoot a man without knowing that you should. Optimally you shouldn’t shoot someone unless they’re actively trying to kill you at that very moment.”

 

            “Was he a friend of yours?”

 

            “No.” I shook my head. “If I believed in shooting people on general principal I’d put him pretty near the front of the list.”

 

            “So you won’t be making any excuses for him?”

 

            “Hell no.” I said. “If he touched her, he deserves to go down for it. I’m just trying to decide how hard and how personal it should be.”

 

            “Okay.” She nodded. “I’ll find out.”

 

            “Thanks.”

 

            There was a knock at the door and one of the large jovial men that were serving as nurses tonight poked his head in.

 

            “We’re ready Dr. Muffit.”

 

            “Okay, I’ll be there in a moment.” She looked to me after turning away from him. “Are you okay? Do you need anything for nerves or anything?”

 

            “I’m fine.” I shook my head. “Just take care of her.”

 

            “Okay.” She turned away and we both walked out of the room together.

 

            One of the local cops, a well put together looking guy called Belsin approached us. He looked like he’d been sealed in plastic immediately after coming out of an injection molding machine in Flint. If there was a hair out of place on him, I couldn’t see it. I didn’t feel anywhere near as slick and cool as he looked.

 

            “I suppose at some point I need to talk to you about a statement.” Belsin said looking over me. “You want to try to give me?”

 

            “I suppose I could if you could get a stenographer I can give it a try.”

 

            “I’ve got one coming.” He looked at me, and tilted his head as if trying to decide something. “I heard a bit about you.”

 

            “Did you?”

 

            “Yeah.” He said. “And then I called a guy I know in Detroit who got me in touch with a guy in Troy named Crammer.”

 

            “Possibly one of my biggest fans.” I said.

 

            “Yeah?” Belsin asked. “What do people who aren’t your fans say about you?”

 

            “That killing me on the side of the road is too good for me.” I told him.

 

            “So that thing a year ago was some people who felt indifferent about you?”

 

            “Actually, one of them really liked me.” I considered Amy Heart. “I have an effect on people.”

 

            “I’ll bet.” He remained impassive and impeccable the whole time. I sort of wanted to rub his hair, just to see if he’d shoot me as a result. However, it’d been a long time since I’d been shot and I had no intention of being shot again. “You want to tell me what happened today then? Just quick before the stenographer gets here? Crammer said you can probably be trusted just about as far as I could fling you with one arm, but no farther.”

 

            “See?” I said, as if that confirmed everything I’d said since my first word. “One of my biggest fans.”

 

            I had nothing to do for a while, at least until Jill was done being examined. I sat down opened the bag and turned it over, reserving only the strange conversation I had with Piper. Something was off about that talk, but I had woken him up at one in the morning so perhaps that was all it was. I told them everything else though, and it was a little depressing if I do say so.

 

            You always kind of think that criminals are going to be some kind of cool master minds, laughing at you from behind their poker faces. What you don’t expect is to ask two questions and stumble over a human trafficking program. He’d been supplying a dozen of Piper’s operations with people, and scamming them all. As far as I could see the only thing that made the story more interesting beyond that night was that Cole had escaped. Otherwise, it looked all sewn up with everyone in the world in trouble except for me. I was getting tired though, and I didn’t care anymore about any of that. I had what I’d come for and I would just as soon have gone home. Still I had to get her back from the hospital and for that I had to talk to Doctor Muffit again.

 

            I sat down with her in the abandoned hospital commissary, looking over what must have been a mug of coffee only because no one actually serves motor oil in hospitals. I was putting enough sugar and cream in it to make toffee candy, but that’s because I don’t drink coffee much. She grabbed it for me and it seemed rude not to drink it. I’ve found though that if I put enough sugar and cream in it, I can manage.

 

            “Well?” I asked as she sat down with a container of cottage cheese.

 

            “She’s not pregnant, thank god. There is some slight bruising.” She said taking a dainty mouthful. “But I wouldn’t suggest that it’s anything more than enthusiasm of an older man with a girl who is far too young for him. It could be from rape, but it could be inexperience. She said he didn’t rape her, but he scared her so much that I would say a rape charge could easily be leveled. Did you talk to her about it?”

 

            “No.” I shook my head.  “There hasn’t been much time. What with one thing and another I’ve hardly said twenty words to her.”

 

            “Really?” She seemed a little surprised at my answer. “I got the idea she’s known you for a while. She thinks you hung the moon and stole fire from the gods. She said she knew you were coming to rescue her.”

 

            “She probably means she knew her father would send someone to get her.” I waved it away. “I’ve honestly never met her before tonight.”

 

            “She’s traumatized.” She said, putting a hand to a tired brow and rubbing at sinuses. “Be careful with her, she may attach significance to you.”

 

            “Does she need any kind of medication or anything?” I asked.

 

            “I could give her a sedative, but probably what she needs is distance from this place and a few good meals.”

 

            “Meals?” I asked.

 

            “She hasn’t been eating right since she was kidnapped.” Muffit stirred her cottage cheese with the metal spoon that was just too cheaply made to steal. I happened to notice the lack of a wedding ring on her finger, but didn’t want to comment on it. “He hasn’t been feeding her much since he got her, and he hasn’t been feeding her the right things. She’ll need to get on a proper diet, and get some exercise.”

           

            “Okay.” I nodded my head, feeling the weariness all at once and sighing deeply. I was about to ask another question, when she jumped up and made a sound that can only be written as Euughah! I jumped and reached for her out of instinct. “What?”

 

            “Spider.” She pointed at something that could have maybe gotten from one edge of a dime to the other with its legs spread out as far as they could go. I took a business card from my pocket and got the spider to walk on it. I then flicked the card away, sending the spider flying.

 

            “Okay?” I asked.

 

            “Yeah.” She said sitting down. “Thank you.”

 

            “So, will she be okay?” I tired asking again.

 

            “I think so.” She nodded, still breathing heavily. “She’ll need to see a therapist, you probably need to make sure that she sees a real gynecologist as well.”

 

            “I’m not her father.” I told her, and extended my hands. “I’m only the guy who came down here to get her. If you give me as much information as you legally can, I’ll make sure her parents get it and I’ll make sure that they understand their daughter needs to see the right people. As for me though, my job is more or less over when I drop her off.”

 

            “Sorry.” She smiled and blushed a little. “It’s the way she kept talking about you. She really thinks she’s known you for longer than you do.”

 

            “She’s younger.” I told her, while stirring the coffee. “She’s not used to the fact that people come and go yet.”

 

            “Just be careful with her, okay?” She asked. “She might attach more significance to you being nice to her than you do. She’s vulnerable and she’s been through a lot.”

 

            “I’ll take care of her.” I smiled, trying to reassure, wondering why she was hammering this point. “I will treat her like she’s my own kid sister.”

 

            “Okay.” She laughed, finished her cheese and then looked at her watch. “We can probably release her now. Are you taking her home tonight?”

 

            “I’ll probably take her to a hotel first.” I said. “Get some sleep and get going in the morning.”

 

            “That’s probably wise.” She nodded. “Let’s go get her released then.”

 

            It didn’t take as long as it should have to get Jill out of the hospital and away from official eyes. However, probably everyone was tired and wanted to go have a look at their beds and see if it looked like they remembered it. We wheeled Jill out to the car, I helped her into the front seat and we drove away. She didn’t say much beyond thank you and okay a few times. She looked tired, she looked almost done in, and I suppose so did I.

 

            “I think we’ll grab a room and just get some sleep.” I told her.

 

            “Okay.” She said and nodded at me.

 

            There wasn’t any more conversation between us that night, and pretty soon it was clear why. Small snoring sounds came from her a few minutes into the ride. I got a few counties away from where we started and found a hotel to stay at. I didn’t carry her up to the room, but I did help her as she stumbled along. With my two day growth and exhausted face, I probably looked old enough to be her father and I claimed her as my daughter on the form.

 

            It was a simple room, two full beds, a desk and a dresser if we wanted to use it. I put the do not disturb sign on the door, put her in one bed, and lay down myself on the other. I don’t know of anything that happened after that though, because in a rare change of form for me, I dropped off almost on the instant.

 

March 20, 2010 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

Jack & Jill (Part Ten)

Jack & Jill (A Love Story)

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Read last week’s entry here.

 

Part Ten: Another Long Minute

 

            A silenced twenty-two is pretty much a scalpel. It’s a precise weapon for a precise job. You really have to know what you’re doing to kill someone at distance with one. Giving such a weapon to me for the purpose I was about to use was just like giving me a scalpel for a knife fight. If I wasn’t careful, I could end up dead. However, if I looked like I was being careful, I could bluff my way out of this. While still behind the door of the Hudson I aimed at the back tire of the truck and pulled the trigger twice. One of them must have done the job because there was a pop sound and the truck started to sag on that side.

 

            Dave’s head turned to look and I fired at the truck a few times, causing a window to explode. It’s a little disconcerting, because the gun was so damn quite. There was hardly a whisper from it, more noise was made by the working of the mechanism and the fall of the shells onto the dirt road.

 

            “You want this?” I asked, walking around the front of the car and pointing one of the pistols at him. “Who do you think you are? More than that, who do you think I am?”

 

            He started to raise the rifle, so I gave him one in the right hip. I was gratified to find later that I had shattered his hip and that the bullet had fragmented beyond recognition. He shouted, and the rifle fell from his fingers, catching the light as it spun through the air. I walked up, gave him another solid kick to the side to match the one I’d given him earlier.

 

            “Fucker.” I said slipping the silenced pistol into my pants and picking up his machine gun.

 

            It was the twin of the one Cole had been shooting at me earlier, and it was all ready for fully automatic fire. He was going to perforate me, just as soon as he had a clear shot. Fortunately, my brights had been on and I had shot him while behind them. Had I not used the silenced pistol that might have given me away. Lucky again.

 

            “Mother fucker.” He had managed to pull a big Drexel automatic from where ever he kept it and was trying to aim it at me. Even though I was holding a machine gun in my hand and could have shot him, my left hand went to the persuader and smacked him across his right temple.

 

            I picked up the big Drexel and stuffed it next to its quieter cousin. I walked to the back of my car, where I could see Cole’s truck flashing its hazard lights in the ditch. His door was open and I saw him moving around just outside of it. He was woozy and not moving too well. He didn’t seem to have any real co-ordination, or any weapon I could see, but that didn’t mean that he wasn’t in possession of either of those. I aimed at the truck as best I could and laid out a barrage of automatic fire at it until the gun was empty. Mostly I hit the truck, I might have hit him, but his hitting the ground could have just been him diving for cover.

 

            “You stay the fuck  down or I will fucking kill you Cole!” I shouted. I didn’t hear anything as a response, so I started towards him. I couldn’t see very well in the dark, but he got up on his knees and shouted to me.

 

            “Don’t shoot.” He shouted, and threw a gun to his left, sending it tumbling into the ditch at the other side of the road. “Please! Don’t kill me!”

 

            “You lay face down with your arms out.” I told him, while aiming the empty rifle at him.  

 

            He did as I said and I was faced with a problem. Putting the plastic cuffs on could be an issue, because that would be when he could try and get cute. I settled for standing well back from him and pre-looping two of them. I tossed the pair of them on the ground in front of him.

 

            “You put a foot in each loop, you put a hand in each loop.” I told him. “Then we pull it tight and you are caught.”

 

            He did what he was told, putting the legs in first. I was gratified to find that he even understood that I would want his hands behind his back when he slipped his hands in. I pulled them tight and pushed him over on to his back, letting him look down the barrel of the machine gun as I had done a few minutes ago. I didn’t want to kill him though. I figured he was on his way to a jail cell with a lot of thugs who don’t feel too happy about child molesters. I couldn’t say, just then if he had raped her or just molested her, and I couldn’t kill him if she’d been a willing participant at some point. If she had actually wanted to go with him, he should just go to jail.

 

            “Please.” Cole actually sobbed the sound and I noticed he was crying. “Please don’t kill me.”

 

            I went to the ditch at the side of the road and grabbed his gun before walking back to the car. I put the rifle and Cole’s gun into the back seat as well. I stopped near the car and scooped up the brass from the twenty-two off the road. I pulled the silenced automatic out and slipped it back into the hooch hold and looked at Jill. She looked scared, but she didn’t look like she was in shock or anything.

 

            “You okay?” I asked.

 

            “Yeah.” She nodded once.

 

            “One more minute and we’re gone.” I told her and stood up.

 

            Dave was starting to get up by the time I got to him. I hit him once with the butt of his own pistol and performed the hogtying miracle again. I wondered if I should inform someone about this. This could be something for a cowboy to use sometime. Sure, he’d have to rope the animals with their legs in front of them instead of behind, but maybe they could do it. I pushed him to the side of the road so that I could pass without running him over.

 

            I got into his truck backed it into the ditch behind me, got out and looked at him. He was coming to again and there was a snarl on his face. He wanted to get his hands free, and he wanted to get at me. I was glad that I had sprung for the more expensive plastic cuffs with the two individual loops and the thicker construction. I sort of wanted to shoot him, maybe just once in the leg. I showed him his big Drexel and put the barrel against his forehead, which shut him up at least.

 

            “Seven with one blow bitch.” I said into his ear. “Now maybe you’ll learn that I’m the baddest mother fucker that there is and there ain’t no badder.”

 

            “This ain’t over yet.” Dave growled at me. “I’ll find you one day.”

 

            “Pray you don’t.” I said firing a round that hit the ground next to his head. A small stone hit me in the face, which proves why you shouldn’t try to be too smart with people.

 

            I walked back to the Hudson, got in, and tossed yet another gun into the miniature armory I was building. I looked at Jill, who had pulled herself up onto the seat and fastened her seat belt. She looked at me and smiled a bright and fairly innocent smile.

           

            “Are we going home?” She asked.

 

            “We’re well on our way.” I told her and started the engine.

 

            The rest of the trip to the Piper Plantation was uneventful, although getting there was a bit of a time. It seemed that every car with the word “Police” or “Sheriff” from a radius of eighty miles had descended upon the plantation while I was away, which was a good trick if you ask me. I couldn’t have been away for more than half an hour all told, and yet the situation was in hand when I arrived. All I can think is that Alice had set the situation up well in advance and when told to strike they came all at once.

 

            While this is impressive, it did mean that I had to try and talk my way through a dozen different jurisdictions before I got fed up with trying to tell people my story before they were interrupted again and just called Alice. Fortunately, when I told a couple of the local boys about how the kidnapper and child molester was tied up a mile or two up the road they did the right thing and just asked for me to point the way. It couldn’t have been more than a dozen cars that went after Cole and Dave, but I figured that was enough for the way they’d been trussed.

           

            It took nearly an hour for me to get cleared to actually go to the house, and when I got there it looked like it might take me another hour to get away. There were so many officials that I began to wonder if getting out would require the same level hopping I’d done to get in. It took ten minutes just to hand over the confiscated guns and not let anyone take mine away. Both my guns tend to cause a lot of interest since the Webley is an antique and a rarity anyway and the Marley is no slouch in the collector’s market either.

 

            I had to make it clear that no one could touch either my guns, or my kidnapping victim but I would let them watch me reload the guns if they were nice boys and girls. It was while doing this that Alice finally managed to push her way through and get to me. She looked incredulously at me as I slipped the rounds in their half moon clips into the Webley, explaining how the zig-zag pattern on the gun helped in shooting.

           

            “Of course I find you delivering a lecture.” She announced as she put her hands on her hips.

 

            “Took your time, didn’t you?” I asked, trying not to smile.

 

            “Disperse.” She told the officers over her shoulder.

 

            None of them moved. She turned around and I waved them away, letting them know that we were going to have a talk. While they didn’t respect her, they seemed to have gained some respect for me and moved off. At least I hoped it was out of respect just for me, I would hate to think sexism had anything to do with it. In put the Webley back under my arm and broke open the Marley.

           

            “How many?” I asked, while dropping the shells into my hand.

 

            “About a hundred alive,” She said. “There are maybe ten dead. One of them was shooting them in the back as they ran.”

 

            “Yeah,” I said as I closed the Marley and put it back in my holster. “That would be Joe. I gave his revolver to someone, but his rifle was probably found with him.”

 

            “So those are your slugs in his belly.” She said, and she looked so beautiful that I wanted to weep. “I was wondering for a moment who could have caused all this trouble. They were sort of thinking that it might have been a small army or something.”

 

            “I didn’t start a fire or anything.” I protested. “Just took out a couple of baddies, and then took out a couple more. I didn’t even kill anyone, Joe will be fine I’m sure.”

 

            “You sure you didn’t slaughter the unbelievers mister Seven with One Blow?”

 

            “That’s a little unfair.” I complained. “I make an effort not to kill anyone and you treat me like I burned down Atlanta.”

 

            “Okay.” She put a hand to her head. “I’m sorry. It’s late and I had a full day. Maybe if I could get some sleep, or something.”

 

            “Well, I need to call the parents and see if they want their daughter home right now or if I should take her to a hospital or what.” I told her. “I mean, really I should be carted away to some station or other for tonight’s work.”

 

            “Well, you call and I’ll make sure you keep your freedom of movement.”

 

            “Thanks.” I said and smiled at her.

 

            I kept the car and my occupant in view as I walked away and looked for Piper’s number. I got the number and pressed the buttons to make the phone call and put it against my ear. There were a few rings and I wondered what time it was, but the only clock I have is on my phone. When the phone was answered there was a muzzy voice on the other side.

           

            “Hello?” Peter Piper’s voice said,

 

            “Mister Piper?” I asked. “It’s Mister Collier, I have retrieved your daughter.”

 

            “You did?” He sounded surprised.

           

            “Yes.” I said. “I got a lucky break and then a very unlucky break.”

 

            “Oh?”

           

            “Cole King kidnapped your daughter, and he was importing and abusing illegal immigrants.”

 

            “Well, yes.” He sounded like none of this surprised him. “What’s going on now?”

 

            “Well, the feds are sort of here.” I told him. “Some of King’s assistants were shooting some of the Mexicans and the whole thing is going to be sort of a shit storm.”

 

            “Oh.” He muttered.

 

            “But, the good news is that I’ve got your daughter safe.”

 

            “Yes.” He barely sounded concerned about that.

 

            “And I was wondering if I should bring her home now or take her to a hospital to be examined.”

 

            “Examined?”

 

            “To see if she was raped or otherwise abused.”

 

            “Yes.” He agreed. “Yes, you should probably do that. When they’ve cleared her, I suppose you can bring her home.”

 

            “Yeah.” I was beginning to wonder if I had the right number but was talking to someone too polite to tell me other wise. “Do you want to talk to her?”

           

            “I think probably you’re all very busy and you want to take her to see the doctor.” He told me. “I’ll speak with you tomorrow.”

 

            I heard him hang the phone up, and pulled it away to look at it for a moment. Alice approached me, a look of concern on her face as she approached. What ever was bothering her it couldn’t be much more bizarre than the conversation I’d just had.

           

            “How many people did you leave by the side of the road?” She asked. “They only found one who had been sapped and shot.”

 

            “Two.” I said. “The one I sapped and shot is Dave Fiddler, but I put plastic cuffs on Cole King as well.”

 

            “He wasn’t there.” She said.  “They found a couple of pair of plastic cuffs, but they’d been cut up.”

 

            “Can’t worry about that now.” I said. “I’m sure the locals will be interested in him on several counts now anyway. I’ll take her to a hospital, get some sleep and take her home.”

           

            “You going to drive home tonight?” She looked crushed.

 

            “I don’t think so.” I said. “I need to take her to a hotel so I can get a few hours sleep that isn’t on a floor.”

 

            “And you’re too paranoid to let her sleep in the next room or something, aren’t you?” She asked.

 

            “Probably.” I said. “I’m going to just fall over and go to sleep anyway. It wouldn’t be good.”

 

            “No.” She couldn’t help sounding disappointed. “Probably not.”

 

            “I tell, you what.” I put my arms around her and pulled her close. “You come to Michigan when you’re done with these guys and you and I can spend a week up north in a nice hotel failing to see the natural beauty of my home state.”

 

            “You promise?” She asked.

 

            “Unless I crack my skull open or something.” I told her. “What’s the likelihood of that?”

 

            “Okay.” She leaned forward and kissed me. “Don’t crack your skull then.”

 

 

 

March 11, 2010 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

Jack & Jill (Part Nine)

Jack & Jill (A Love Story)

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Read last week’s entry here.

 

 

Part Nine: Ambush

 

            I was asleep, but to claim I was in bed would be a fallacy. I wasn’t deeply asleep and I was deliberately not in bed. As I may have mentioned once or twice, I’ve been accused of being a bit paranoid. The problem with being accused of paranoia is that it’s so often paired with the concept that said paranoia isn’t in some way justified. They say that sleeping in an obscure corner when in a strange place with people you don’t trust is an insane reaction. Besides the fact that you can’t possibly get a good night sleep, people argue, it’s not like someone is actually going to sneak into your room and shoot you. The sound of the three shots firing in the small room which brought me to wakefulness tells me that those people are stupid.

 

            I saw the last shot as a red splotch on the inside of my lids. The bed side light came suddenly on and Daryl found the he had plugged some pillows and interestingly folded quilts that had been left in the closet. I’d gotten to my feet fairly soundlessly, and since the Webley automatic had been right next to my hand I didn’t need to fumble for it. I slipped my left hand to my back pocket where I was keeping a leather persuader.

 

            “What an interesting mistake for you to make.” I said stepping out of the corner and into the center of the room. “Drop the pistol or I’ll render unto you what you tired to render unto me.”

 

            Daryl was confused about what had just happened, the man who he was supposed to have killed was walking out of a corner and pointing a gun at him. He looked at the bed, his gun still extended as if to fire at it. I’m not a brilliant marksman, but at a distance of two yards I can be just as good as Annie Oakley. I closed one eye, pointed the Webley and fired a single round at Daryl’s gun. The bullet caught the barrel of his Beretta and tore it from his grasp, causing a cut on his index finger.

 

            “Ow!” he shouted and sucked at his finger.

 

            “I told you to drop it.” I said. “Would you rather I shot you in the arm?”

 

            “Son of a bitch.” He growled.

 

            “Yeah.” I said and brought the leather sap down on his head.

 

            He fell down and hit his head on the bed side table for good measure. I checked his pulse and found that it was still pumping away, so at least I hadn’t killed him or anything. I pulled my suit coat on, made sure my tie was straight and went to my little bag of naughty things for a couple sets of plastic hand cuffs. One quick zip along his wrists, another on his feet, and a third to hold the two of them together. I wish I’d timed myself to see how quickly I’d managed to hog tie him, but it would be pointless. I would have to settle for the fact that I had in fact trussed him up quite nicely and that the feds would be here soon. I picked up my phone just as it began to ring.

 

            “Yeah?” I asked.

 

            “We’re on the way.” Alice’s voice told me.

 

            “Good.” I said. “With any luck I’ll have everything done before you get here.”

 

            I hung up on her and stuffed the phone back in my pocket. I turned off the light and heard some whispering and then heard someone run out of the house. That left one of them in here with me. I slipped the Marley on my belt, stuffed the Webley back into its holster for reasons I’ll never truly understand, and grabbed a few more of the plastic zip cuffs. Then I started down the hall and to the stairs. Half way down the stairs, where there would ordinarily be a stair for me to sit, the lights went out. Not just the lights in the stairway, all the lights in the house and outside, all at once. I took this to mean that someone decided to cut the lights, but I had just been asleep and the lights hadn’t been on long enough for my eyes to get adjusted. I won’t say that I could see as well as I could with them on, but I wasn’t doing so bad. I heard a few shots fired outside, but my problem at the moment was inside.

 

            When I got down stairs I could hear the rustling. I pulled the Webley out, closed my eyes, and fired a shot into the living room before rolling to one side. The response was that a few shots fired in my direction, but all it did was alert me to where the shooter was and that he couldn’t see very well. I closed my eyes and fired another round at him before slipping through a doorway behind me.

 

            I was in the dining room, I could see crystal candelabras on the table sparkling in what little light there was from the windows behind them. I won’t say that I’m perfect at guessing silhottes, but I could tell Dave when he came into the room after me. He went around the other side of the table, putting himself between the windows and me. I looked at him as carefully looked for me, listening for the breath I was holding. I looked at the table, and the candelabras. If I was nimble, if I was quick, I could jump over those and kick him in the chest, spilling him out the window. I pushed myself against the wall and started to move forward.

 

            Instead of leaping though, I grabbed the table and flipped it up, because that was the less stupid suggestion. I flipped the table and shoved at it, evidently sending Dave through a window if the smashing glass and groan was anything to judge by. A few shots fired, punching holes through the table, but I hit the kitchen door and ignored them. I came out at the back of the house and walked quickly around to see Dave trying to get up in the gloom. I pointed my gun at him, and I could have killed him right there. I’m not sure why I didn’t just pull the trigger, but I didn’t. Instead I reached down and picked up a rock at my feet. It wasn’t too heavy, but it was hard and relatively smooth. I hurled it at him, aiming for the chest.

 

            The rock struck him and he fell over flat on the grass. I ran towards him and gave him a fairly solid kick to the side, which caused something either in him or me to crack. I then hit him as hard as I could on the jaw and there was another cracking sound. I’m fairly sure the second crack was mine, because my hand continued to hurt for the next two days. Another three plastic hand cuffs, another ten seconds, and I was quickly becoming the hog tie champion of Banbury Cross, Georgia.

 

            I heard another two shots and it occurred to me what that sound might be. I started towards the sound and caught the muzzle flash of an old rifle firing and someone in the distance falling down. Another shot was fired and another person from what was clearly a running throng went down. I started towards the shooting, trying to remember how many rounds I’d fired from the Webley already. Terrible thing, to forget how many shots you’ve fired with a revolver, but there it was.

 

            “Stand still you wetback mother fuckers!” Joe shouted as he cycled another shot into what I now saw was an old fashioned Winchester. The gun was raised, but this time all I heard was a click and a swear word.

 

            “Joe!” I shouted to him, finally remembering that I had a gun too.

 

            “The fuckin’ detective?” He shouted and grabbed at the pearl handled pistol on his hip.

 

            I pulled the trigger five times, but it only actually fired twice, answering the mystery question of how many times had I fired it before. He went down with a groan, and when I went over to him to take his gun away, he was still groaning. I’d managed to put two rounds into his midsection, which could mean anything. Probably he wouldn’t die, but who could tell. I looked at the pearl handled gun in my hand and stood up.

 

            I couldn’t sit around here, I had a more important job than this to do. I walked toward the house and around to my car. I looked at the workers as they started to come out from the field. I hoped that something merciful would happen to them, but I couldn’t really worry about that right now. I tossed the Webley and the pearl handled revolver into the back seat of my car and started the engine.

 

            I know, I know, leaving the scene of a crime and all that shit. I had to go before Cole knew anything was up though.

           

            Even in the dark, even having to stop for a doe and her stupid faun that didn’t know about cars yet, it only took me four minutes to get to Cole’s house. I didn’t bother with formalities, I simply smashed out the glass next to the door knob out with the butt of the Marley and unlocked the door. No deadbolt, what kind of security is that? I opened the door, turned on the lights as I went and walked up to the second floor. There was a door with a key lock on it, and that was wrong enough for me to open it up and switch on the light.

 

            She was sitting on the bed, fully dressed with a bag next to her. It was as if she was expecting me to come to get her and if anything was starting to think I was late. She was a cute kid, if perhaps a little mistreated by the last couple of weeks. I took a step into the room and held my hand out to her. She was dressed all in white, and in the gloom I noticed that the room was pretty much white too. It looked like someone had some sort of purity fetish or something.

 

            “Let’s go Jill.”

 

            “Okay.” She said in a small voice and started towards me.

 

            “What the fuck?” I heard from behind me.

 

            The Marley thirty-eight is not a battlefield weapon. It has a two inch barrel which means that it’s only really accurate over distances of a meter and a half. After that I have trouble hitting the broad side of a barn. Add to that the fact that I wasn’t really aiming, and it should be no surprise that all I hit was the wall a good foot away from Cole. The fact that he actually jumped back and slammed the door was a bit of a shock though, but it didn’t leave me staring too long.

 

            We ran down the stairs, out the door, into the waiting car and I would have hopped into the car and driven away if I hadn’t come under fire at that moment. A bullet struck the ground near me and I saw Cole at the front upstairs window with a rifle in his hand. No old fashioned western rifle, but a nice new AR-15 or some such assembly of numbers and letters. I turned and fired the last five rounds from the Marley thirty-eight at the window, which probably just punched a lot of holes into the lower floor if my accuracy with the Marley at distance is to be trusted. I didn’t bother watching though, I get into the Hudson and tore away, and tossed another revolver into my back seat.

           

            “How are you?” I asked, “You hurt in a way that means I need to get you to the hospital right now?”

 

            “No.” She shook her head. “I’m okay.”

           

            “Here he comes.” I said looking in my rear view mirror at the pair of headlights that started to pursue us.

 

            “He’s coming after us?” She asked.

 

            “Yeah he is.” I said. “Don’t worry about it, I can handle him.”

           

            There was another pair of head lights coming toward us though, far off in the distance and I wondered if I hadn’t overestimated what I considered to be a reasonable amount of trouble. Of course this could just be some guy coming home late from shift work, but I didn’t like to assume such things. Paranoia told me it was Dave, slipped out of his bonds and out to help his boss exact revenge. Or maybe Dave didn’t care and just wanted to try a replay of that July night in a more isolated area, to see if I had indeed been lucky.

 

            I tried to decide what to do for a moment and then stepped on the brake a little. I watched at Cole’s Durango came in closer. The other truck was still a way off, but I wasn’t exactly sure if there was a road I could turn down between the Hudson and whatever it would turn out to be. Added to that is the problem that I didn’t know this area. I spent enough times driving around the rural areas of Michigan to know that a dead end is only marked about half the time.

 

            I reached under the dash board for a compartment that had once held three flat bottles of hooch. I opened it and pulled out something that was not a bottle of hooch. I’d sort of known I would need this silenced pistols, but I’d figured it would be a different situation. I’d sort of decided that if the girl told me that her kidnapper had forcibly raped her I would finish him with a quite one behind the ear. If she had gone willingly, I could let the inmates up in Jackson take care of things. With my two revolvers empty though, I was going to have to use at least one if not both of these guns and I really didn’t want to for this purpose.

 

            “Roll your window down and then get down to the floor.” I told Jill.

 

            She did what she was told quickly and without problem. I slowed enough for Cole’s Durango to get on the right side of my car. He kept turning his wheel like he was going to hit us, only he didn’t. He was just trying to shake me up, which is silly really. I’m a tough guy, and he isn’t. I looked at the other pair of headlights, still far ahead, and then leaned over and pointed the barrel of the silenced automatic at his window. I pulled the trigger once and the bullet went through his side window and punched a big spider webbed crack through his windshield. I put my foot down on the gas as his truck skidded to a halt and if I was right about what I saw in the rear view mirror, ran into a ditch. I patted the seat, looking for the spent shell, but didn’t feel it. It must have flown out the window, because I never did find it. No one else did to my knowledge either. That was okay, that was just fine.

           

            “Okay.” I said setting the pistol in my lap. “You can come up now.”

           

            “Where is he?” She asked, looking behind us.

 

            “Shot his window and caused him to wet himself.” I said.

 

            “What?”

 

            “Yeah,” I said and realized that the truck ahead had pulled up to block the road. “It’s cool. You might want to stay low though.”

 

            I drew up close enough that I could see Dave standing in the road in front of his F150. He had a rifle in his hand, and was calling for me to get out, waving the gun to indicate his intentions. I looked at the gun in my hand and opened the door of the Hudson.

 

            “This won’t take but a moment.” I told Jill.

 

March 4, 2010 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment