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Gun Buck Before Dawn-Fiction by j. brooke
Grunt-Fiction by Kevin Z. Garvey
A Stab in the Dark-Fiction by Gary Clifton
Run, Robby, Run, Part 2-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Surprise Me-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Here They Come-Captain Jack, Part 2-Fiction by Michael S. Stewart
Evolution=Crime-Fiction by Calvin Demmer
Bike Killer-Fiction by Doug Hawley
Home on the Range-Fiction by Liz McAdams
Tickets to Heaven-Fiction by Paul Heatley
Free-Flash Fiction by Andrew J. Hogan
I Hate Dave Matthews-Flash Fiction by Carolyn Smuts
The Journey-Flash Fiction by Oliver Lodge
Running-Poem by Meg Baird
in your shoes-Poem by J. J. Campbell
At Midnight-Poem by Sergio Ortiz
Roadkill-Poem by Rachel Doherty
Skinny Dendrix-Poem by Joe Balaz
poet-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
Shy Dryad-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
Someone Else's Cat-Poem by John Doyle
Sundays-Poem by John Doyle
Farewell, Bibi-Poem by David Spicer
Rolling Down the Highway...-Poem by David Spicer
No One Ever Asked Winslow This-Poem by Gregory E. Lucas
The Adirondack Guide-Poem by Gregory E. Lucas
Why Back to Gloucester, Boys?-Poem by Gregory E. Lucas
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
The Gazing Ball
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Art by L. A. Barlow © 2017

Gun Buck Before Dawn

j. brooke


An Absinthe struck life, fucking Vegas, gun buck before dawn, another night boogying on the dark side, my side, jimmy the casket lid open, crack an amyl nitrite cap, drag the corpse of night out of the coffin, slap it on the floor, see what this twisted morning brings.

Summer, Vegas hot, it’s always fucking hot, like flames fluming out of the tip of a handgun barrel.

Doll Jane, PI here, have this NWA (Niggers With Attitude) RAP mix mastering in my head, all morning, you know, degenerate, stunning, violent, down with the truth, I guess that cop jackets me, I’m not going to fib about it. Most of the bent deviants in hard N. Vegas know me, well in the demonic dark side of Vegas that is.

I’m a blonde, carbon dated, misplaced in a modern world, twisted demur demon, with the preverbal whore’s heart of gold. I’m queer, love girl’s lips, skin, cunts, blah, blah, blah.

Coulda been a fashion model, but I detest beauty from birth. Beauty is a prison cell. You deserve no privilege ‘cause you were born beautiful. You don’t earn that booby prize, because you’ve done fucking nothing to deserve it. I work hard on my brain, my feelings, my emotions and try to be cognizant that I am lucky and most people aren’t.

I chose to be a Vegas PI/Bounty Hunter; a super-duper-sweeper-up of the human offal that populates N. Vegas. I love my two rescue pups, my two gold fish Stella and Stanley, menagerie of kittens, and my .44 Colt Defender as well as my 16-gauge Mossberg shotgun and the smell of gun powder after I take care of bidness slapping bad people in jail.

Dirty Harry had a .44, no mistakes with that baby.

Time to move, get that skinny frag body moving, a cup of Joe, maybe a smoke, work to be done, great night, great time, violence, sex, a beat down, the usual trifecta of glee that makes me phat. Stop bitch moaning, time to move.

Today’s a great day, I’m very excited, my Guns and Ammo magazine comes today. I’m a girl with a gun, lots of guns, can’t wait for tonight, I’m going to clean my .308, over and under Remington carbine.

My jacket, just to remind those that have forgotten my MO, gay, 5-10, 120, on a bad day, love thin, body dysmorphic disorder, among a host of nut-so mental illnesses. Nobody is perfect, don’t pretend to be. Love the image, alter boy hips, no tits, chain-sawed white hair, cripple, cripple greens, don’t do drugs, can’t afford to.

Drugs get a girl a one-way ticket to “Palooka Ville.”

IQ, like one a those cluster-fuck Quasars rumbling around in deep space, damn, Einstein is dead, the good ones die, we all die, no one gets out alive. And what replaced a genius, those jag-offs Kardashians. Like fucking vampires, those fuckers are going to live forever.

Life ain’t fair; no one ever said it was.

OK. Back to last night, beautiful, The Bent Club, N Vegas, and it was the usual wonder world, my world. I had a marvy time, doing my Styx around the stilettos, piercings, blood drinkers, rich-doctor gay men, bi-women, etc., looking for the usual suspects, some perfect girl or boy giving them a smile for an evening. It’s a shooter, slammer, “E” and melon ball world, then in the end, the Casino kids, after burning out, catch the next bus back to Kansas and never, never, never go back to Vegas again, for that terrifying berg could scare the white offa Count Vlad.

Anyhooo, had a contract from Hank at the bail bond place, me being a PI/bounty hunter and all. Hank always hangs me with the hard stuff ‘cause I’m a street-smart chameleon, gotta be street-smart, choices you see. I love to mix it up, love to test myself, combat, hand to hand, steel toed boots, always wear them. I’m an illusion, black belts Judo, Karate, I usually win the night. I need them all, just like last night, when I took down that real hard dyke named Tina (Dildo) Flicks, at The Bent, of course.

Won’t go into detail, but it was a blast, and fulfilled most of my “Special Needs” for the night. You know, the truck-axle felon had a dildo like a dick of one of those Cape mother fucking Wilder Beasts, like you see over there in Botswana on the Nat Geo show. Before I beat hell outta her, cuffed her, she hammered the moonlight outta my cunt out in the alley, very welcomed. I thought I would need a liver transplant afterwards. I like it rough, wild, maniacal, she fit the bill.

I always keep the takedowns fair, meaning I use my combat skills like other girls apply their lip gloss. I’m like that stud Tom Hardy in the amazing flick “The Drop.”

“They never see you coming, do they Tom?”

That’s me, they never see me coming.


I, of course, kind of got off kicking shit out of the Flix kid, it was mano e mano, a fair fight, always is, could of gotten killed, never asked her to break the law.

Ya gotta pay the VIG; gosh, every gambler knows that.

She may a fucked my tonsils to oat meal, but I didn’t owe her nada, and come on, she was a criminal, a murderer and I was just sucking up the lint, that’s what I do. I’m sorta a violent white angel keeping the balance in this hell.

Fuck, I coulda given her a TOE TAG, but I didn’t, see I really am a sweet girl.

After, I dropped the kid off at Hank’s at the bail bond place over there in Henderson. Hank was grateful, glad to see me, most of the dudes are. All the hunters think I’m a crazy doll, a pretty gal, like that, what girl doesn’t like a compliment.

Got my 35 Gees, nice payday, though I don’t do it for the dough re me, but I like being a pro, appreciated. Later I will off load the cash at the Vegas Homeless Shelter, cool guy there, Father Bob, buy lots a cup a soups, maybe some Saltines, I hope. Hard times, bad times for a lot a folks, especially after Wall Street butt fucked them, stealing many of those good folks money, lives, futures in that fucking Sub Prime Mortgage grift, which fortunately my millions never went anywhere near.

My parents died, car accident, shattered me, left me millions, I try to do good with it when I can.

Needless to say, my adrenaline was pumping testosterone, way out of whack, like one a those Top Fuel rail cars over there at the San Berdoo race track. You know, those super duper, Ether sucking muscle car machines, with fire belching out of their ass holes as some maniac pushes the envelope at 400 MPH down the track, hoping the chute opens, so he doesn’t become a human deep fried pretzel if it didn’t.

After, had the top down on my beloved 59 turquoise, white custom tricked out Buick, loving the summer wind on my blond mop. Loved how the wind whistled past her tail fins, slouching on my tuck & roll seats I got done in Tijuana, I-pod cranked, boot on the dash, smoking, always smoke after sex, or violence, or getting my ass kicked, which are all and the same thing.

Speakers plugged in to my elfin ears, every thing is tiny about me, but my big brain, music ripping it up. “Trina” rapping, me singing along.

I love that bitch, un-manicured fingers tapping on the big Plexiglas steering wheel. Once, Detroit made them right, feeling ALL OF THAT in my black leather hip huggers, smoking, fucking life, perfect.

“Money over err, that’s my attitude, still the baddest bitch in the game, that’s my attitude, talk to ya man wen I get ready, that’s my attitude, have him blowing stacks, ain peti, that’s my attitude (yea) and I feel like im the shit, that’s my attitude (yea) that’s my attitude, that’s my attitude, I feel like I run this shit, that’s my attitude.”

Damn, Trina is the bump, she’s all dat, strong, positive, she’s my fucking girl, ghetto, love all of it. There are many different versions of me, not all good, but what the heckeroo. I’m always trying to be a better girl, what ever.

Oops, had finally found The Bent, parked, gave big black Mike at the door a cheek kiss, a c note; gave him two like their cousin uncle Benjamin earlier. He appreciated my classic style, got that huge smile, he is one sweet black man, entered, and wrangled up Glenda the coat check girl. I needed more, fuck I can be insatiable, go figure, and after all I did promise Glenda some girl action later, that’s how I roll.

So I scooped her up like the white cream cup cake that she is, held hands like BGFE, and we vacuumed out of the place, I always keep my promises. I’m the fella for the night. I can do the switcheroo, be passive at times, but not tonight, she being all girly Goth and all and so fucking young, so I am mister man for the evening. I can do that.

We drove, summer char in the air, she sat nice and close, Goth head on my shoulder, as I threw down some “Sade” “mood music”, smiled as the wind kissed her multiple tattoos, piercing, first dates are fun, we fit nice. Thought about buying the princess a chocolate malt, naw, Glenda is even thinner than me. So we whizzed back to my massive artist’s loft, the one stitched over Chang’s Chinese laundry. Fuck I love that movie China Town, “Jake, come on, it’s just China Town” and then we got down to girl stuff, the important stuff.

That’s Glenda there, white washed on my sheets, a white dollop of whip crème, raccoon eye make up, black hair like night, not a hair on her bod below her forehead, a lot like me.

Chreeeist, she’s stunning, a real bullet proof baby doll. I love her tattoos, Chinese dragons, the way they swirl down both arms, wrap around her back, all connected to that Japanese Calligraphy needle pointed into her small back, blending into that tiny butt. She’s got enough hardware pierced into her bod, ears, tongue, nose, nipples, belly button, clit, those little eye bolts in her forehead, enough chrome to open an Ace Hardware, and they’re sexy for now. But wait, ten years will whistle by.

“Can ya whistle, Nick?”

Then she will be serving the breakfast special at I-Hop, wondering what the fuck she was ever thinking about. Kids, they never think past the moment, go figure.

She spanked a hit of “E”, offered me some, I declined, respectfully, but didn’t mind, don’t do drugs, love reality, can’t afford not to. It kicked in, and then we were two naked girls, she burning, you know “E”, love everywhere, senses expanded, touchy feely. I could a been a bent backed Burundi Gorilla, didn’t matter, man I can still taste our first kiss, feel that little stud on her pink tongue, kissing my tongue. Like I said I’m insatiable, though my insides ache, hurt big time from the lynch fucking the Flicks kid had administered to me in the alley earlier.

I like pain, need pain, part of my cerebral makeup, don’t know why, lots a people do. Black and blue welts for some girls, dinner, box of popcorn, a movie for others, don’t ever judge, can’t afford that either.

I guess I needed some TLC, and Glenda was perfect, soft, sweet, wild and velvet skin, lots a kissing, touching, and I needed that. I am a girl after all, and glad, real glad she was enthusiastic, a bit frantic. You know when you’re a kid on Christmas Eve and you’ve been watching those presents for weeks under the tree. Bingo, its Xmas morning, and there’s the pop gun and I was feeling beautiful, for I was the present she had wanted to open up for a very long time. 

She was a real muncher, me on my back, breath break dancing out of my swollen lips, blood flow spilling down my blue blood veins, tummy swelling, hitting my spine, her finger nails, black paint like her mascara, on my thighs, me groaning, fingers entwined into her hair, feeling that tongue, that gold stud, roaming, chewing me up. Me, babbling like I got Turrette’s, I think. You know, oooh, aaah, fuck, real sex gibberish, winces of pain, delight, wonder, then one, two, three, orgasm, more than one, she doing all the work. “E” is like the Energizer Bunny, a girl can go on, on and on, thank goodness for the chemists at Eli Lilly.

I’m not a selfish girl, so I reciprocated, good manners are important when a girl has guests over. And, what the fuck are they putting in the water in Vegas? She tasted like burnt copper and bee honey, that tiny little cunt, a real miracle of engineering. Me peeking, leering over the edge of that lasered little mound, at her tummy, tattoos, little girl blues, watching her get off, squirm, dance, vibrate there on the white sheets, telling me that she loved me, that will never do.

All us dynamite bitches have heard that shit before, for you know. “Cuming” makes people engrave promises that they can’t keep, ever, and we’ve all heard that crap in the dead of night when the fucking is over. Geese, maybe doll, we can see each other again, ride the bumper cars, usual bull shit from some guy as he sneak thief’s out before the crack of dawn, only thing left, a salt deposit he pix axed into your cunt as a reminder that once again you didn’t get off.

Fuck, thank heavens I am a lesbian.

Don’t get me started.

Anyhooo, we went back and forth, around and around, up and down, dildos were involved, they sell them at Wal Mart with nifty little motors in them. It hurt like fucking hell, I needed that pain, cleared my mind, orgasm after orgasm, both of us.  Then, bubkus left, sapped, brain sparking fire like frayed wiring in a cheap Beth Stur tenement flop, those little white sparks in my head, you know when you stand too soon.

Glenda, a trooper, leered at me, sweat everywhere, me, her eyes rolled into the back of her head, muttered something in Swahili, then passed out. Down goes Frazier, down goes Frazier, she was out for the count, thank fucking god.

That was hours ago, and now I’m in my usual get up, black hip hugger jeans this time, no leather, got blood on them, Chang’s dry cleaners down below later, Mrs. Chang is a Zen master at getting blood outta my clothes. Lace my small feet, white gym socks, into my black work boots, black body shirt, shoulder holster, gun hanging on the bed post, can’t forget that. Don’t want Glenda messing with my gun, maybe put a hole in her ear.

I grab it, sleeveless arms, cut like copper cables, glances in the wall mirror. I groan, god, fucking vanity, I’m a slave to it, but have work to do, an early morning sit down.

Gal I know, daughter went missing; nothing new about that in Sin City, and so, I gotta scoot. Glad about Glenda snoozing, I’m not one of those gals who likes to hang around, you know breakfast, chit chat, reminiscing, holding hands, making promises I can’t keep. Fuck, it’s my guy traits; I can be very butch at times, I’m working on that.

Got my PI office on an off-shoot of this 4,000 sq ft loft, will leave Glenda the standard girl escape note. You know, fab, marvelouso, magnifico, let’s hook up next time, no mention of love, can’t get the words out of my throat. Presto chango, tip toes, coupla a c-notes too on her pillow, just in case the kid needs a Uber, she can find her own way out, I’m gone.

No sleep, no time to sleep, I feel pretty good, except ever step I take hurts, hurts a lot. I feel like I have a drill bit stabbed in my cunt, brings smiles to my face, proves I’m alive. I’m always willing to pay the VIG for a good time, which I had on multiple levels last night.

I stroll in to my PI office. Stylish place, twenty foot ceilings, sky lights, like the rest of my loft tattooed into the ceiling, pine floor, couple of old Persian rugs, two Kileems, a Bokhara, I love old stuff. I scavenged some old English pine antiques, desk, chair, comfy cushion for my tiny ass, thank god, armoires, tables, love Steuben, Dom Nancy lamps, got three of them, bright lights hurt my eyeballs. Place looks soft, bathed in morning mauve, low golden light bulbs, soothes my hectic mind.

I need coffee, bad, light up my Mr. Coffee machine, smells sweet, pour it in to my “Visit Las Vegas” mug, take a sip, the door bell buzzes down at the bottom of my private stair case.

I laugh looking at my little bamboo back scratcher I got in Thailand with the words stenciled on them saying. “Thanks for Visiting Thailand and fucking our twelve year old girls, come back real soon.” I had that thing custom made when I was in Bangkok.

I don’t wear a watch, keep breaking them on some mug’s teeth, digital feed on one of my two Apple machines says 8 AM. Perfect, Ginger is right on-time, I appreciate that.

Look at my monitors street video feeds, N. Vegas is a treacherous place, street people, drug addicts, gang bangers, a girl can’t be too careful. I see Ginger, good, smack the button, my security iron gate clicks, watch Ginger enter, time to go to work.

Talked to her on the phone, got some of it, her gorgeous thirteen year old daughter Missy, a waif, seemed like a real sweet kid, bad roll of the cubes, her ending up with Ginger. She’s gone missing, seen her once when I was peddling my bike around Vegas, a Shimono, love that ride.

Anyhoo, Ginger, I heard, had a bar maid gig over there at “Jasons”, the only other club in N. Vegas that is worth setting your boot heels in. Special, elegant, a real class place, private, very private, fabulous bar, kitchen, top chefs, booze, real silver, china, crystal, nice little cozy dance floor. It’s Cuban cool, locals only, run by one of the most stunning and spooky females on the planet.

Blond Bitches name is Mandel, a real stylilist, she owns the place, no tourists, ever, you only get in if she OK’s it, and I guess if she digs your vibe. This Mandel, well, she’s got a heart a gold, they say, lots a rumors, lots of echoes pinging of who she really is, rumor is she’s killed men, lots of men. Guess she hired Ginger because she’s got a big heart, lots of last chance broads show up there, most flaming out in the end.

Ginger walks in, I internally gasp, she looks ravaged, strung out, blue welt kissing one closing eye, lip cut, she’s about forty two, meaning she’s pressing a cold, hard sixty, in Vegas years. Youth evaporates real quick here, like one of those leaf mulchers eating tree limbs you see those Mexican gardeners using all the time on the street.

She’s thin, not like a healthy thin like moi, but more like a meth thin. You know, sunken eyes, black circles, dirty blond disheveled hair, once pretty white like mine, but not anymore. Her clothes don’t look right, blue jeans stained with something, flip flops, dirty feet, emaciated arms struck out of an old lime green tank top, hands noticeably shaking, eyes darting everywhere like some kind of lab rat. She pulls out a pack of smokes, generic, looks at me, I nod OK. She can barely find the tip of the smoke with her plastic Bic, smoke stacking out of her small nose. I nod at a chair, she sits; I don’t like any of it, any of it at all.

She is, of course, the poster girl for every young stunner that ever got off a Grey Hound Bus from Bangor, Biloxi or Fresno. You know, once tall, beautiful, stupid, having dreams of something, anything; anything better than being sodomized by a drunken uncle Chester, as then, her dreams turn into horrific night mares. They might as well give these hopeless girls play sheets when they abort the bus, you know. First comes a job as a show girl, if they have any talent at all, then the drugs, clubs, nude dancing, you know Rage, Tao, Badda Bing, Ghost Bar, Voodoo Lounge, and then the predators set in, and its all about the Voodoo, a black world that suddenly becomes these girl’s reality.

Rich men, older guys, clothes, gold chains, Benzes, Porsches, Beemers, goblets of dough, lies, bastards, palatial cribs over there in “The Lakes.” These ignorant, insane girls usually end up with these werewolves, if their lucky, most are not. 

It’s the fringe characters that eventually get IM.

Addicted gamblers, sweet talkers, road bump abs, drugs, booze, thugs and sketch artists of crime, pimps, real garbage, that’s what they do. Then, the girl’s burn out, turn out, next step stripping, then whoring, in call, then cocktailing, followed by corner rendezvous off of Fremont Street. Then, death or a bus ticket back home, dying locust, lives over, nothing left but bad memories of their one minute of fame. That is Ginger’s MO, so let’s crack it. I do not like those bruises on her face, but I’ve seen it all before, so I get to it.

“So, what’s sup? Something about Missy, talk to me?”

I can see she’s crawling out of her skin, jonesing, yellow stains on her fingers from letting too many dying butts burn down too low. She kills the smoke in my ash tray, mouth tics, eyes tics, she looks at me; I drill her straight with my eyes.

“Ayah, yeah, I ain’t seen her for three days. I been busy Jane, got in a little trouble, lost my job at Jason’s, you know Vegas, needed a little time, so I got Bobby to babysit her, ya know, he’s her dad, thought she’d be fine…fuck, I don’t know…”

“Fuck.” I murmur audibly.

Bobby O’Brien, a real dirt bag, a piece a filth, runs the night shift over there at that den of inequity “The Spearmint Rhino” a notorious strip club here in a bad part of N. Vegas. A true drug addict, runs in call whores, drugs, a habitual liar, criminal, runs numerous scams, addicted to the crap tables, a cop jacket as long as my arm, alright, time for the gruesome facts.

“You don’t know what?” Where the fuck is your daughter?” I bark, like the pissed off Doberman that I am.

My bark wakes her up, she lights another smoke, I want to shove it in her nose, and scream.


“Gees Jane, I fucking don’t know, aaah, uummm, seemed OK, when I done it…Fuck, Bobby said he lost her…Said she was playin’ with a doll or somethin’, she just was gone, he don’t know where…What am I gonna do, she’s my baby, I fucked up, please, can ya help me, I need her real bad.”

“Fuck” I groan again to myself, as she starts shaking, tears rolling down her savaged cheeks, mascara running everywhere, just making her look more hideous, smoke screaming out of her running nose, me knowing the truth. The darling kid could be on a fucking Jumbo Jet to Saudi Arabia, sittin on some Sheik’s lap, wearing gold bangles, eating humus cheese burgers between fucking all a the Emi’rs brothers, cousins and uncles 24/7.  

The white sheet set will pay a fortune for trafficked sweet young girls, top dollar. You know, suppress your own women, keep the boot to their necks, trick ‘em out in wool “Snuggies” eye slits, a hundred and ten degrees, servants, wash the dishes, pick up the camel poop in the sand, pump out the kids. Their virtual slaves, the men, sit around in the souk, sip mint tea, smoke hashish, fuck around all day, but I don’t think it went down that way; Bobby’s just not that bright, connected, though he can be a dangerous little weasel at times.

“He lost her, Ginger? You’re fucking kidding me. What is she, a set of keys? I’m assuming you didn’t call the cops, right?”

She’s ashamed, terrified, lying, I think, nods that I am indeed correct, and then stutters.

“Naw, Bobby said she’d turn up, stop moaning all the time, then he beat on me. I guess I deserved it, you know Jane, he’s been real good to Missy and me.”

I want to rip her lungs out of her chest, I don’t.

”Sniffle, sniffle, sniffle.”

I want to reach across the desk, and beat on her too, knock some daylight into her brain. Fuck, how many times have I heard this same story, in different versions, well, I can’t count the ways.

Suddenly, I feel gutted, the last forty or so hours, finally catching up. I pretty much know what I’m going to do, whether she gives me the green light or not. Two things I hate more than anything, guys who smack women, without permission of course, me being a permission girl when the mood is right, and some fuck-wad hurting an animal or a kid, who at the moment is probably disappeared into the cesspool Vegas is, and always will be. So I have to be coy, smart, because she loves this creep, and all it will take is bunch of dead red roses to turn her, even give up the kid, if it came to that. Drug addicts are like that.

“So, Ginger, you want me to ask around, look into it a little, you know discreet, Bobby doesn’t have to know, how’s that sound.” I ask, me taking inventory of what kind of weapons I will need when I visit Bobby O’Brien, hopefully in the next half hour.

“Aaah, yeah, Ok, I ain’t got no money Jane, can I pay ya later…ahh.”

“Sure doll, no problem.” I lie. “Now scoot, I’ll ring you up when I find something, OK.”

“Gees Jane, you’re the best, I can’t tha…”

“Scoot.” I seethe, trying to keep it together.

She sees it, the blood fury in my melting eyeballs, commits a homicide on her cigarette butt in my ash tray, stands, sways, looks at me one last time. She flip flops down the stairs, out the security iron bars and is gone, into what, I can only fucking imagine.

I know she’s lying, I know there’s something else, there’s always something else, and when I got the bit in my perfect teeth I can be a bit edgy, focused, like a Great White zeroing in on a seal. I need to make a call, get an update, news from my buddy over there at N. Vegas Metro, a homicide dick, a Lieutenant, one Victor Garcia.

Vic, a big roly-poly Hispanic cop, big smile, big personality and I go back a few years, met at Jason’s of all places, serial killer, killing the homeless. He figured the Mandel babe knew something, for she hung with this very hard, brilliant artist dude, named Mal. He has an old bakery he converted into an artist’s loft, just a couple a blocks from mine. Vic thought he was the killer, I didn’t think so, told him that. This Mal character is one handsome stud of stone; one of the few men that actually scares me.

Garcia knew my rep, asked me if I could snoop around, I did. Shit went down, Garcia got hurt, hurt bad, turned out the perp was some insane real estate mogul, bought up the slums, murdering the homeless, so property values would sky rocket, which they did, then they didn’t. It’s a long story Mandel, Mal, maybe a later day, maybe a better day for that story.

Needless to say I’m amped, pissed liquid mercury melting my brain, and no time like the present, time to roll, time to hit up LOU on the cell.

Speed dial, “ring a ding ling.”

“Hello” seeps out of the speaker. I get right to it, no small talk left in my mouth.

“Lou, it’s Jane, I need a little help, you offering?”

All cops call their Lieutenants Lou, love that.

“Hey Jane, some time, I miss ya. Yeah, sure, what’s up sweetness?”

“Young Girl, friend of mine, gone missing, I was wondering if you had any paper on her, any info.”

“Sure, no problem, what’s her name, how old, MO if you got it, let me have it.

Love Garcia, totally professional, right to the point, he knows me, digs me, DITTO to LOU.

“She’s a Missy Smith, thirteen, blond, pretty, daughter of a sick head case, Ginger Smith, I’m sure you got stats on her.”

“Just a sec, let me see if a she’s in the box.”

I wait, need a smoke, light up a Marlboro, puff, puff, I’m starting to act like Ginger, agitated, manic, except I’m enraged, nothing new about that.

“Got her, yeah, this Ginger, lots a busts, shoplifting, drugs, peddling her ass, usual stuff, a coupla weeks here and there in the clank, nothing serious, you want me to bring her in?”

“No Lou, it’s my thing. If you don’t mind, run her kid through the system, see if she pops up, ring my cell if there’s anything, do you mind?”

“Not at all Jane, what else, anything for you Jane, you know that.”

“I know that, I’ll send over a pink teddy bear for that doll daughter of yours, just to say thanks. Gotta scoot.”



“Good job with the Flicks take down, saved me and the boys a lot a grief, boys here have big shout outs too ya, we all love ya, ya know.”

“Love back at you, thanks Lou, my pleasure, more later.”



“Be careful, ya hear.”

“Sure, real careful, later.”

I kill the cell, grateful for friends like Vic, stand, its all about “street creds.” Lou’s got ‘em, I got ‘em, so I move to my pine gun cabinet, spinaroo the dial on the heavy combination lock, open the door, smile; I always smile when I see my guns.

I love my guns, respect my guns, and glow looking at my AK-47, banana clip, a Saw hanging next to it, you know the kind those radical dudes in the Special Forces use killing bad guys in Afghanistan. I need something light today, ignore my Glock, Walther PP-K, my Smith & Wesson Viper and my lovely old school Colt 45, focus on one of two Berettas hanging on the hook. Still have my other Glock in my shoulder holster, but its Beretta time. So I grab it, fondle it, grab a thirteen in the clip bullet cage, slap her in the bitch, ratchet a slug into it. It’s the little things in life that make me happy. I then retrieve a black silencer, screw it on the tip, give it a tug, my baby is ready too.

I grab my 16 gauge Mossberg, over and under shot gun, a fist of shells, turn, grab my other Glock, put it to bed, close the door, spinaroo the lock, sit, and do one of my most fav things. I love the feeling of those red copper cap shells revolving in my fingers, they almost make me cum. I slot six in the scatter gun and now am ready to visit Bobby. He doesn’t know me that well, but he soon will.

“Click”, I check out my six inch switch blade with “Tampa Bay City” stenciled into the handle, love that too. “Click” back in the handle the blade goes, stab it into my boot, have one last caffeine hit, make sure my PI gun license is in my jeans pocket, turn, down the stairs I go.

POKER players often go “On Tilt” when shit goes bad, I don’t go there, but I am close as I cruise down Northern Ave, then pass MLK Blvd, check my GPS machine. It tells me to hang a left. I move down the block and moan. Tract houses, part of the new morgue Vegas has become, for sale signs everywhere, houses abandoned, garbage, lawns overgrown, fucking raccoons, coyotes, cougars prowling the street, almost. It’s tragic what’s happened to Vegas, but that’s evolution at work. Darwin, that brain wizard was right.

Wall Street fucked these people, with that subprime mortgage scam, and not one of the corrupt pukes went to jail. I should visit Goldman Sacs and put an air hole in that fuckwad Lloyd Blankfein’s forehead, he owns the whore house, and walked away with about a hundred million buckaroos.

Half way down the street, I see it, Bobbie’s dump, same deal, except his Caddy Escalade, black of course, is parked in the driveway, three houses on each side of his are vacant, perfect. I can use my Mossberg, no eyes, no worry; gun shots are a part of N. Vegas, as elevator music is to Trump Towers.

I rip the Buick into the drive, kill her dead, no open door, melt over the chassis, 16 gauge nestled in the cleft of my bare arm. I lift it, one hand ratchet a cap into it, love that action. I feel my shoulder holster holding my black Beretta, stiletto now in my hip hugger belt. My teeny tummy is sucking air, I’m amped, eyes like lug bolts, chrome and hard. I feel like I’m on acid, you know, you can see a pin at five hundred feet, move across the corpse of a lawn, get to the door, no time to hang around, truth time, time to move.

I’M  NOT one of those polite girls, you know, knock, knock, knock, lets have a conversation, that only ever works in the flicks, bad celluloid  and since a little angel’s life is at stake, I lift the Mossberg and “KABOOM.”

I blow a foot-square hole into the door knob, the plywood blasts open. I re shoulder the shot gun,  lift my Beretta, and cruise through the door, hallway, and then with my 9mm poking straight ahead, both hands, head into the living room.

The place looks like a poster for “Panic in Needles Park” one a my fav flicks, ripped up couch, over stuffed filthy lounges, torn up curtains, soiled clothes, old food cartons, Cheerios, Oreos, open packages of Little Debbie, the usual junkie foods scattered every where. Carpet ripped, burned, stained, I see empty bottles, looks like he’s a Dewar’s and Gordon’s freak. The smell of burnt eggs stinks up the place.  Junkies always revert back to eggs, it’s all they can handle when their done nodding out. My eyes are acute, scanners, miss nothing, can’t afford to. I see a .38 on a table, a user’s shoot up kit, dime glassine bag of heroin, a cell, some other shit, make note of it, important that.

I see him; he’s bare chested, sitting at a desk, what, he didn’t hear Mr. Mossberg? I see the ear phones, I-pod, on his ears, I get it. He’s a skinny dude, all sinew, barefoot, filthy Levis, computer monitor staked into it, thick red hair, freckles, he’s just about to take a snort from a pile of coke, could be meth, on a mirror on the desk, straw half way up his snout.

Surprise, surprise, he knows me, my rep, I hope. He sees my gun stabbed at him, he drops his straw, stands, takes a step towards his 38, I drop the hammer.

“Psssst, Psssst.” “Thump Thump.”

I drill two into the wall, about eight inches from his running nose. He freeze frames, mumbles

“What the fuck.”

 I’ll show him what the fuck.

He’s a human Flex straw, druggies you know, eyes like hub caps, all the usual face twitches. He moves towards me, this ain’t a home invasion, steps before his couch, fists bunched. I smile, pistol whip him in the cheek.

 “Crack. Crack”

 Sounds right, blood erupts, moan, moan, moan, and cause I’m in a bad mood, I whack him again, forehead time, just as he’s going down to the cushions. I do a little bunny hop, spread eagle ‘em, grab a tuft of hair, rip his bloody face to my stainless, hard eyes. I pry his bloody mouth open, stick my silencer tip down to his tonsils.

“Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle.”

 “Click” hammer back, he looks crazed, terrified, I guess he has a right to, as I seethe.

“Missy, where is she. Fuck with me, I’ll bury you in a junk yard in Barstow.”

He googly goops me, he’s a born loser, liar, doesn’t fit my mood, snot running down his lips, eyes spilling tears. I pull the silencer out of his mouth, pop one in the wall, then jab it back in his yap and ask this time, not nice like before.

“Where’s the fucking kid? It can be easy, or hard, you choose?’

His head, like one a those Dodger bobble head dolls over there at the ball park at Chavez Ravine bangs up and down as he sees I’m all serious and such, as he mumbles words I can’t understand. I want the kid, can’t afford to whack him yet, so I rip my baby from his mouth, stand, point it at one of his blue eyeballs; cock her. That “Click” usual brings the truth, as he touches the blood on his face, mouth, jerks eyeballs at his red fingers, and then glares at me, not so nice.

I can see the Kinko balls rotating in his head, measuring me. I am a shoelace after all, but I don’t think so, usual coward, whack some broad around, be a man, but he can see I’m a hard kind, different than other girls, as he mumbles some bull shit at me, which makes my hormones boil. I glance at my jeans. “Fuck” more blood, thank god for Chang’s dry cleaners.

Mrs. Chang is a genius with a bar a soap, always getting blood outta my clothes, like her for that. Drives me nutso though, always jabbering about her cousin Ming, a great guy. I think she said he raises rats to feed to pythons, a real success story, wants to hook me up.

I say, Naw, don’t have a snake, well I do have a pair of snake cowboy boots, don’t tell her that…WHAT EVER.

“Fuck Jane, you fucked me up, why ya gotta be that way, I don’t know what the fuck yer talkin’ bout.”

“Psssst, Psssst.”

I pour two into the pillows, dust, feathers fly, he jerks all around, bitch yelps, yips, fucking pathetic. I take a step, pistol whip him in the side of his head. He screams, moans, face in the hands, blood everywhere, bare feet jerking off like a motel quarter in a slot vibrator bed. I step back; he’s weeping, leers at me, my eyes, Beretta, as I seethe.

“Next one in the cabasa, amigo. Where’s Missy, now, not later.”

When will they ever learn? I like to think sometimes, but not really. He’s measuring me, but he’s a coward, as he spits out some words at me, so I listen, just praying to some Buddha head that he makes a play at me.

“Yeah, Ok. Jest don’t hit me no more. Fuck Jane, I ain’t feeling good, I need a hit, come on, just one, I’ll tell ya everything, please Jane, I feel sick, real sick.”

“Oh really.” Simonizes through my mind, knowing exactly what is going down.

I jerk my silencer at the crank on the desk, nod once, whisper, “Go.”

Why the fuck not, I got a lot of violence, like battery acid pumping through my arteries. Maybe I can get off, before he finally let’s go of the truth. Fuck, I’m selfish like that at times, can’t help it.

He stands, he’s right, he looks strung out, he’s got tracks on his arms. I can see he’s got the heebie jeebies; he doesn’t look that good, courtesy of Mrs. Beretta and the bitch at bat with her.

 He moves, all wobbly and such to his desk, eyes jerking over at his .38, his partially open drawer, then moi, then at the coke, and I figure he’s got a piece in the drawer; I’m hoping he goes there.

I have a plan, always think head, Bobby Fisher knew that, so I ask and I mean it this time.

“Where’s Missy. Last time I ask.”

“Fuck Jane, jest a sec, why ya gotta be so hard…Just a sec.”

He shoves the straw in his nose, hits the pile, I move to him, rip a tuft of red hair, lift his head, slam his face into the coke, breaking his nose as I do, white flake memories dozing in the air, straw protruding out of his nose, stuck somewhere up there. Those things are always a mystery to me when they happen.

He screams, bounces real good, falls back in his office chair, blood, coke, other shit splashed on his face, as he leers at me with terror in his eyes, then wails again, as I see his hand reflex into the drawer. I immediately kick it shut with my boot, shattering his hand, as he bellows. Fuck that had to hurt, twitches, jerks, weeps, balls all over; he’s totally fucked up; I never planned it any other way.

I get real close, put the silencer tit to his forehead, there’s that “Click” again as his eyeballs revolve to the back of his head, return to sender, and he gawks at me,  finally finds the mumbles I was looking for.

“Ok, ok, ok. Sheeeet, pleeeease, don’t hit on me no more…she’s good….The fucking VIG Jane, bookies…ahhhh my nose, fucking Kansas State, was a sure thing, missed the fucking spread…I’m sick…rented he…he…her out…gave her to this guy…she’s all good…I…I…”

I go Polar, feel like a sheet of stainless steel has plated my body, and then his words absorb. I straddle him, rip his head back, and this time not soft, like before, I break three of his teeth as I punch my heater into his mouth, and ROAR, wanting to pull the trigger, bad, real bad.


I rip the silencer out of his mouth, he begins to babble, and I can smell, as well as hear his own urine drip, drip, dripping on the floor, telling me he’s on page, fucking finally.

“Yo…yooo…you know ‘em Jane…Sure…Sh…shes all good…Ed…eddi… Eddie Jett, gga…gave me three grand…sa…sid…said he’d treat her Ok…Yeah, she’s at Eddie’s cr…crib…jeese, I thin I…I’m dyin…I.”

EDDIE JETT, my brain hemorrhages, not that deviant, ex Rocker, has hit on me a zillion times, no way, so I pistol whip the words right out of his mouth, he whimpers, groans, as I stand, shaking all over. My blood, boiling like lighter fluid, I face him, hand shaking, I want to kill him, one more cockroach off the face of the earth won’t be missed, I don’t.

“You’re not dead yet. If you’re lying, if you pick up a phone, write a fucking post card, I will come back and FUCKING put a bullet in your ear, CLEAR?” I bellow, he nods.

I turn, take a step, and then stop from a single word.


That’s always the magic word for me as my lips tick, I turn, find a smile, you know the kind, look at him, tilt my head, look more, smile more, perfect, Ooops-a-daisy, I can see he knows he’s made a boo boo. I am a biatch, and know this is the perfect time, for him to see just how big of a bitch I am.

I walk over to him, smile, then.

“Pissst, Pissst.”

I hammer two in his knee caps, he screams, blood, bone, sinew, splashed on the white walls behind him, he thumps to the floor.

No time to take out the garbage, I snarl. “You want more, I’ll be back.”

Arnold said that.

I turn, walk to the front door, don’t look back, move to my sweetie, hop the door, fire her up, lay two tracks of rubber out the drive, hit drive, mimic more rubber, I’m gone, a heat seeking, fire breathing Predator Drone on tract for one thing, and one thing only, Eddie Jett.

Everyone knows Eddie Jett, fifty eight, dyed black hair, gone to suet, an ex rocker star, like one of those Metallica, Dee Snyder, acid rock band guys. You know in the eighties, nineties, ripping it up, talent, drugs, groupies, power in their music, not my kind, but lots a kids went off on it. Then what, fame, stardom, two much booze, drugs, girls, everything gets twisted around, and they can’t get it up any longer.

They then make the leap, for the big Casino money, end up looking like Wayne Newton, Elvis, Liberace, burn outs, pretenders, ghosts of the past, two shows a day at the Bellagio, echoing their past hits by rote to a legion of semi comatose fans. You know, the plaid clothes, motor home set, broken down old broads with busted dreams, panties on the stage, you know the types, hitting the feed bag at the smorgasbord over there at Caesars Palace, one last orgy before the Celebrex and Lipitor Circuit kicks in and a concrete casket lid, which finally ends the pain.

Eddie Jett, well, he’s the worst of them, a real degenerate, leans towards the bubble gum set, that’s his MO, makes sense, Ginger’s kid now. He knows me, man he knows me really well. I see him at The Bent, and the Mandel babe’s joint, Jason’s and cause I’m a stick blond, a real beauty queen, he’s forever hitting on me. You know, come on doll, come for a visit, dinner, Crystal, some toot and a roll in the sack with a bag of sick, sagging skin, no thank you very much. I’d rather fuck a Zebra over there at the N. Vegas zoo.

I sorta have an open invitation to his crib, that’s good for my play, and have his number, am certain it will just a take a ring a ding ling to get an invite, which I’m going to do, right after I get a cup of black java, right there at Dunkin Doughnuts, just there.

But now I gotta chill, for just before I murder a man, I gotta get my heart beat down, my mind straight, so the top of my head doesn’t vaporize.

Let’s see, get a cup A JOE, a jelly doughnut, remember to get Lou’s kid that pink Teddy Bear I promised.

Fuck it, I can’t get past it, I got killing on my mind, Eddie Jett’s killing.

Time to roll.

j brooke is a writer with over 100 credits, and never lists them. It's simple for j, for it’s never what you have already written, but what you are going to write next. Contact info: jbrooke2001@yahoo.com

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