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T. Maxim Simmler
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Art by W. Jack Savage 2014

Visiting Hour

T. Maxim Simmler


"So tell me about wee Kenny then." Les says.


"Funny story." I say, "See, wee Kenny, he's here for the second day when he realizes just how many of the guys in his block he has tried to fuck over in the last few years. Now, there's no way he's leaving the slammer in one healthy piece, so he ponders his best bet is to convince direction he's as barmy as two poodles on speed."


"One might reckon a long look at the fucknugget should suffice." Les takes a silk handkerchief out of his pocket and rubs at an invisible speck.


"Yeah, well, he thinks the best way is to fake a suicide attempt. He rips his bed sheet apart, knots it into a noose, ties it to the window bars and when he hears the screw doing his morning round, unlocking the cells, wee Kenny waits till he's two cells away,


Slips his head in the noose and slumps down. Seems like the numbnuts forgot that the door won't open till the guard does a second round with the general keys. So when they look into his cell, wee Kenny was swinging softly in his own shit."

"He's ever been to jail before?" Les looks pretty amused. The fat in his cheeks wobbles upwards, almost closing his eyes shut.


“Won’t know about it.”


“Reckon, I’d rather buy his Mum a few flowers, offer my condolences when she comes to clean the offices.”


“I could see how that’d rub her the wrong way, considering he got himself nicked robbing a florist’s.”


“A florist’s? Jesus. And still some eejits think that Darwinism’s a fairy tale.” Les sighs and we sit for a while, looking at holes in the air, till Les slaps his forehead.


"Speaking of fairies... our Jimmy – he has called you? Or..."


"Whoh, huh, ho… wait a minute here." I interrupt him. "What’s that shit about a fairy?"


"God’s honest truth.” Les shakes his head. "I tell you that, Ian - Jimmy's family and I love him. He's blood, well, half of his blood is, in fact, but the boy's a heavier burden on me than a 300 pound mama. It's not like he's a fucking retard like wee Kenny, he's a clever bugger, so I'll never in my life understand why this pain in the arse went and pinched Tony Drago's drug money."


I don't like the direction this conversation is taking. 



"Jimmy robbed Drago? Nah. Why would he do that?"


For starters he'd do it because he needed a bunch of money as soon as possible to get as far as possible away from the moronic, psychopathic lardass of a half-brother, before the jellyfish fucker finds out that half of his blood is gay.


"Yeah, one would think that. You don’t have to be a friggin’ brain scientist to figure out the bloody tinker would think I'd be fucking with his line of business and go berserk on us. It's not like you could talk to these Romanian fuckmonkeys. They slugged seven shades of crap out of Matthew the next morning and the poor cunt was only at my house to fix the shitter."


"I know, Les. It's all part of me holiday package here in The Scrubs."


"And for what you did there I am eternally grateful, laddie." He nods so enthusiastically, his chins make waves.


It was a radical, but swift way to get away from Les. Within hours after Tony discovered that his strongbox hadn't lived up to its name, every place Les conducted business was surrounded by the Gypsy's Mercedes-Benzes. Around the street patches where Les' girls worked, you could see so many stars, you'd think the hens were hooking on Milky Way. They even showed up in front of the kindergarten and waved with baseball bats at Les' daughter. Not that you could blame them – with him being the only other player in town, the whole affair was a no-brainer to them and trying to reason futile. I didn't give two twips off a dead rat's dick about Les and the other bags of wank I was working with, but, hell - they were going after the kids and from whatever rotten ballsack they’d emanated notwithstanding, they were still just wee kiddies. So I told Les I'd take the fall.


"Why’d you do that for?" the fat man had asked and I told him that from the looks of it, there was going to be bloody murder. We couldn't parley with the Gypsies anymore, but if Les later would call the boss of these tossers and tell him that one of his men had nicked the stash without him knowing sweet fuck all about it till the old bill told him, there might still be the small question of what to do about the stolen money, but at least the gypos wouldn't whet their knives to have a go at everyone and their offspring.


Even more important to me, however, was that Les wouldn't figure out who really had looted the safe.


Only a few hours earlier, Jimmy had rung me up.


"Ian? How long do you need to pack?"


"Pack what, Jimmy?" His voice sounded far away and like he was recovering from a hard laughing fit.


"Toothbrush, condoms... I'll buy the rest. Dude, I'm looking at over 400,000 Euro sitting in my lap. Fuck Les. Fuck him flying, running and sideways. Fuck the fucking fat fuck." He also seemed to have a fair bit of the ole marching powder up his nose.


"That's quite a lot of fucking, Jimmy. Why don't you come over and tell me what that shit's all about."


And he told me. After that, coming over was off the books. All I could do was try and keep the fat man away from his half brother.


It was an on the fly plan, and right now I’m afraid it’s floating tits up in the water already.


"I don't even know what is worse.” Les says. “That he robbed the tinkers or that he's a bloody poofter."


"Poofter?" What the hell does Les know? I shove my hands between my thighs, in case they’re trembling a bit.


"Something wrong with your ears there, mate? Yes, a poof. A shit stabber. An arse bandit, casting his anchor into the deep brown bay. My own brother."


"Well, I don't know any..." I start, but Les swiftly bends forward, sheer hate in his squinted piggy eyes.


"But I know. I know everything, you stupid cunt. It's my fucking job to know. You think I didn’t smell a rain of bullshit when you so generously offered to fess up to the robbery? There was nothing in it for you. What can a little, insignificant, third class weed runner like you think to get out of this, I asked me. I hardly remembered your fucking name, you tit."


He leans back again, a fat vein throbbing at his temple like it wants to break out and strangle me. The jailer casts a glance over to our table, lazily and indifferent and I don't know where to look, so I stare at the little spit on the Resopal top. My heart has dropped straight into the hindgut. I nervously flick my thumb against my ring, a thin, simple golden band, engraved. "In love, always. Jimmy."


"Give me your hand." he demands and I let my left hand glide over the spittle. He grabs it, shoves a small, warm bundle into my palm and closes it shut, grabbing it with both of his paws. The officer at the door probably thinks it’s a right matey gesture - my man Les offering moral support to his poor cooped up friend. I’m sitting in a puddle of sweat.


"What I said about Jimmy being a pain in the ass... Well, I've got no idea what you fudge packers like about this shit, but just in case they'd do a thorough search I shoved this little present here up my ass and I can't see the fun in that." He clinches my hand a bit tighter, till I wince and then drops it like a lukewarm dog turd. I open the fist.


It’s Jimmy's ring.


Still on Jimmy's finger.


My blood stops running and my heart takes a long break, but somehow I feel much calmer now. I gaze at the ring. Inside it reads "Love always. Iain." The daft bastard at the shop had managed to misspell my name.


I close my fist again.


"What now, Les?" I ask, looking him straight in the eye, trying not to blink. "What now, you vile, fat piece of shit? You’ll tell me I'm next? That I'd rather watch my step here? Look out in the showers? What?"


"I don't know." Les says. His voice is calm, even soft. For a moment Les looks like the loneliest, saddest man in the room. "Really, I don't. It's all such a sorry, ugly business and I'm getting more and more tired of all the shit every day. Jimmy... I loved the son of a bitch, believe it or not. And now..." He stares at the ceiling and blinks a few times.


Hell, I almost feel sorry for the fat wanker.


"It's all I can say, Ian. I just don't know it now."


There isn't anything more to say. So we just sit here, in silence, till the officer says that the visiting hour was over.


Les nods at me, I nod back.


Then we leave, trying to figure out what might come next.



T. Maxim Simmler writes horror, crime and other weird stuff, mostly while     working as a night porter at a decrepit riverside hotel. Drop by and say hello here: 

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