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at the crest-Poem by Meg Baird
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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Art by Ann Marie Rhiel 2017

The Start of a Bitchin' Year

Luke Walters


I was fucked. Christmas…people bought presents and crap, so I didn't sell dick. That left me seven days.

Sugar, my supplier, he sent me this sick joke—a video. Wanted to show me what happens, I don't pay up on time. His boys made it with some sorry assed kid named Tony. Called it "The Carlos." It went this way:

Carlos, he’s Sugar’s main dog. He starts by telling this other guy, a skinny-assed dude, to go to the toolbox and get a screwdriver.

The guy asks, "What type?"

Carlos laughs and says the pointy one.

They got Tony on his knees, his hands tied behind him, and Carlos's holding his head up by his ponytail. Carlos tells his buddy not to forget to bring the hammer. Tony's bawling and slobbering and begging them not to do it.

Carlos keeps asking him, "Where's the fucking money?"

The kid keeps saying, "Don't got no money."

The skinny dude puts the screwdriver in Tony's ear and gets the hammer in his other hand. Says to Carlos, "You ready?"

Carlos shakes his head, "Hold up a minute. I gotta move. You hit too hard, you’ll go right through and get brain jizz over me." He yells out, "Enrique."

Must be the guy shooting the video.

"Move over. Make sure I’m in it."

         Tony's trying to move his head and shaking all over.

Probably can’t believe what’s happening.

Finally, Tony yells, "I’ll tell ya. I’ll tell ya."

Carlos says, "Ah! Shit! I been wantin’ to try this." He grabs the kid by the throat, choking him and saying. "Mother fucker! Why you'd wait till now to tell me?"

Before he passes out, Tony says, "It’s under my steps."

Carlos drops him and says, "Better be." He grabs the skinny dude’s phone to make a call.

Probably since Enrique’s using Carlos’s.

He says, "Hey, Sugar. Get somebody to check under his steps." He listens shaking his head, then says, "Damn I don’t know which one. Check the front and back. Just have 'em go...and see."

The guy shooting the video says, “You want I should pause?” and the screen goes black.

The video comes back on and Carlos is talking on the phone and nodding, "Uh-huh! Uh-huh! Yeah?" Then hangs up. He looks down at the kid and kicks him in the side. "Sugar says there ain't squat under any steps."

Tony's balling, snot running down his nose. "I fucking swear," he says. "Somebody must've took it."

Carlos says, "Yeah, right!" and points to the guy with the camera. "Get ready." He yanks up Tony by his ponytail and nods to the skinny dude. The dude, his hands all jumpy like he needs a line, jams the screwdriver into Tony's ear. Tony's screaming his head off.  The skinny dude hauls back with the hammer.

I didn't want to watch, but I did.

 He slams Tony real good…in the side of the head.

Carlos says "What the fuck? You missed the screwdriver." He shakes Tony's by his ponytail. The kid's head just flops around, because what's inside is leaking out. Carlos drops the kid and yells at the skinny dude. "You dumb shit! You ruined it."

The phone rings. Carlos sees who's calling and says, "Now what?"

It must've been Sugar, because Carlos says, "Your fuck wad cousin screwed it up." He listens. "Oh! That sucks," he says and hangs up. He kicks the dead kid. "The asshole hid the money under the kitchen steps," he says to the skinny dude. "The shit for brains guy Carlos sent didn't think to look there…till right now."

Enrique, he yells at the guy with the camera and waves his hand across his throat. The video goes black.

I watched it again. No way I'd let them to that to me, so I promised my bitch some good stuff, if she gave Carlos some action. Gave her some extra too for them to party, and she got me Carlos's phone while he was wasted.

Texted Sugar on it and let him think Carlos had collected early. Said…was because of the video. That’s how I got him. Sugar met me thinking…I was buying new white.

After, the cops popped Carlos on somebody's tip, they came across a video on his phone… somebody, they couldn’t tell who, sticking a screw driver in Sugar’s ear.

All Sugar said before he got iced, was, "No Carlos!"

Somebody, too, sent the cops the video of Carlos whacking Tony. Which really put a double hurt on him.

With Sugar and Carlos gone, there's nobody except me to deal with Sugar's main man. So things are sweet.  I got his feeling…gonna be the start of a bitchin' year.

Ed Radwanski, aka Luke Walters, resides in Arizona and enjoys the solitude of the empty desert after a lifetime of crowds on the East Coast. His flash fiction has appeared in Mash Stories, Post Card Shorts and in Envision - Future Fiction, an anthology by Kathy Steinemann, on Amazon.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2017