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Travis Richardson
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Art by Noelle Richardson 2016

Li’l Outlaw


By Travis Richardson


Genevieve pushed herself up off her knees and flushed the toilet. Tears soaked her gaunt face. That little parasite was trying to kill her and there wasn’t a damn thing she could do about it. Hypocritical self-righteous politicians had shut down almost every abortion clinic in Arkansas. Rich men who didn’t have to endure morning sickness and worry about feeding a wailing, pooping mess. She didn’t miss the irony that as a girl she’d protested the local clinic, holding up pictures of bloody fetuses with her youth group and screaming “slut” at the frightened women who entered.

That was back in the days when she was a good girl. Before the bad boys and the meth. Before Genevieve’s family disowned her and she moved into this crappy trailer with a scrawny dealer named Brian. The father of this unfortunate accident.

After she’d peed on several sticks, all of them positive, Brian had been more nervous and fidgety than his usual tweaking self. They’d need to go to Little Rock to have the procedure done. He left three days ago saying he’d get some money. Not a word since. That selfish a-hole didn’t answer her calls. And he took the only working car, leaving Genevieve trapped in the backwoods with nothing to eat but a jar of mayonnaise and a stack of stale crackers. 

Her heart leapt when she heard a car approach. Using a washcloth rinsed in ice-cold water (there wasn’t a hot water connection), she tried to wash the funk off and freshen up for Brian. She was surprised to hear a knock instead of a key turning the lock.

From the living room window, she saw Reid Perry and Mac Macpherson standing on her porch. The two vicious hillbillies worked for Buddy Grant, supplier of meth in at least three counties. Whenever they were around it meant trouble. They looked pissed, but then they always did.

“Open up, Genevieve,” Mac said, spotting her.

Genevieve clutched her robe tight. It was all that she was wearing. She might’ve run back to the bedroom for the 12-gauge, but Reid aimed a shiny revolver at her through the window screen.

“Now come on and unlock the door, sunshine,” Reid shouted, his crooked teeth showing through a malignant smile. “Or I’ll shoot you dead.”

He wasn’t bluffing. It was well-known that anybody who ran afoul of Buddy had a lifespan of hours once these killers were sent out.

As soon as Genevieve turned the deadbolt, the door was kicked in on her. She fell on her back, stunned. Reid dropped to the floor, shoving the revolver in her face. Mac charged down the hallway two-handing a Bushmaster automatic.

“Where is he? Where’s that punk-ass man of yours?” Reid said, his breath rancid. He reeked of body odor and chemicals.

Genevieve was too frightened to speak. Mac came back. “Ain’t here. Don’t look like he’s been here at all today.”

“Is that true?” Reid asked, jabbing the cold barrel of his snub-nose into her cheek.

“Haven’t seen him. Not… not in a few days.”

“Are you sure about that?” Reid pulled back the pistol’s hammer. The click sounded like the earth was shattering. 

Genevieve nodded as a tear ran down her face. Dammit. She wanted to be strong, not to show weakness in front of these bastards.

“Wh-what did he do?” she asked.

Mac laughed. “Oh Lordy. She don’t know.”

“You really don’t?” Reid asked, searching her face.

Genevieve shook her head.

“Your boyfriend killed Buddy an’ stole at least thirty K in cash from us.”

Genevieve caught her breath. Thirty thousand, she could live off that for several years.

Mac laughed. “Look at ‘er face go all bug-eyed. She has no idea.”

Reid wrinkled his brows. “You swear you don’t know nothin’ about it?”

Genevieve nodded her head emphatically. Thirty thousand. Brian stole thirty thousand and left her high and dry when she needed him the most. And all she wanted was a three-hour ride to Little Rock.

Reid shook his head. “Well that means you’re useless to us then.”

“Except for one thing,” Mac said. His face grew serious as his eyes focused on an exposed breast peeping through Genevieve’s robe.

Reid followed his partner’s gaze. “Nice.”

He shifted for a better view, pointing the barrel at the floor. When he pulled open the robe, Genevieve jerked her head up and sank her teeth into Reid’s wrist.

“Aaah, you fuckin’ bitch!”

He dropped the gun, punching her twice in the face. Hard. Half conscious and immobile with searing pain, she felt her body dragged into the kitchen. Heard something about linoleum being easier to clean up. Her robe was yanked off and legs pried apart. She had no strength to resist. Too dazed, hurt, and exhausted. Just get it over with and put a bullet in my head, she thought. Doesn’t matter since I don’t have any say about my body.

Reid and Mac argued about who should go first.

She opened a swollen eye and saw something she’d never noticed before: a revolver taped underneath the dining room table. How long had that been there? Brian probably had hidden it there for times when he did business at home. Why hadn’t he told her about it?

Mac shouted in triumph. His rock beat Reid’s scissors. As he unbuckled his belt, Genevieve swore she felt something inside her kick. Something that didn’t want her to die, but wanted her to fight. Wanted to live. Mac pulled his pants down and Genevieve shot up, tearing the gun from under the table.

“Now hold on—” Mac said before two bullets flew from the muzzle, cracking open his forehead.

Reid, who was lighting crank on the sofa, dropped the pipe on his crotch. Genevieve nailed him with four rounds before he could reach his gun.

She lifted $637 from the corpses and climbed into Reid’s Silverado. She needed to get out of town, considering Mac was the sheriff’s nephew. But even more important, she had to find Brian. She’d kill him if she had to... naw, she’d kill him regardless. That $30,000 wasn’t his. It was hers and the baby’s. Her l’il outlaw.

THE END Edit Text

Travis Richardson has been a finalist for the Macavity Short Story Award in 2014 and 2015 as well as the Anthony Short Story Award in 2014. His novella, Lost in Clover was listed in Spinetingler Magazine’s Best Crime Fiction of 2012. He has published stories in crime fiction publications such as Thuglit, Shotgun Honey, Flash Fiction Offensive, and All Due Respect. He edits the Sisters-In-Crime Los Angeles newsletter Ransom Notes, reviews Anton Chekhov short stories at, and sometimes shoots a short movie. His latest novella, Keeping the Record, concerns a disgraced baseball player who will do anything to keep his tainted home run record.

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