Warning: More than usual explicit content
“Be a man,” my dad used to say. “Stop whining and suck it up,” is what he added, putting his belt back on. Me, little Mitchell, cowering in fear before the Goliath of my childhood. That asshole deserved to die when he did.
All grown up, and again forced to the ground in fear. Next to me, also on his knees, also scared shitless and of his mind, the man in cheap suit is whining like a little boy. Maybe that’s why I think of my father right now. Or it has something to do with his old gang buddies having both that man and myself on the ground with guns to our heads.
“This is ‘Lost Boy’ turf,” says the fat guy in too-tight leather vest and fatigues. “You don’t do business here without first going through us.” The clueless man sobs and nods, his hands before his face like it would stop the bullet from killing him, should the biker decide to give up on his patience.
Some of the gang couldn’t be bothered, and went inside that glorified garden-shed of bar, Hell’s Kitchen. The few that remain are the most insufferable human pieces of shit I can think of right now. This feels like an old western-style outlaw dick-measuring contest. Them showing off their floppy cocks to let us know us who’s boss around here. Around us is nothing but that barn-turned-bar, and a whole lot of desert, rock, and dust.
The reason I’m here with my face pushed into the dirt just a minute ago, is my ‘best friend’, Nathan, of course. Him and that dead-beat new wife of mine. Can’t believe those fucking cunts left me behind, taking the drugs with them. I hope one of those bullets fired at them as they’re racing away hit them where it hurts most.
The sound of a tuned-up motorcycle comes to a stuttering halt behind me. I’ve heard that annoying, custom engine-rev before: Paul “Lost Boy” Harris, the leader of this gentleman-club. I should have known better than listening to Nate and his stupid ass fucking bullshit plan. I was supposed to be fucked by Sarah to heaven and back right now. Instead, I’m held captive by one of the meanest gangs of highway-rowdies this site of the interstate.
“Look at that,” the old man says before even coming around to look at my face. “If this isn’t little Mitchell Riley Jr.” I hate being reminded of my old man like that. “My boys tell me you’ve been a bad boy. Isn’t that right, guys?” His disciples of anti-hygiene monkeys laugh and feel validated in their pistol-threatening actions.
“Hey, Paul. Nice seeing you, too,” I say, instantly regretting the attempt to lighten the mood.
“You used to call me uncle, Mitch. I’m hurt.” He puts his hand to his chest, and underneath that white-grey tangle of beer-soaked beard, I can see his lips forming to a playful pout.
“Yeah, well,” I look down to the ground and stare at the rock pebbles before me. “With the old man gone, figured we have no ties no more.”
The old guys used to ride together. Funny enough, Paul was never one for child abuse or violent punishments—something about his own father, and the reason he become the first Lost Boy. His conviction, though, didn’t make him stop that bastard I grew up to hate for beating the living Jesus out of me.
“Yeah, I miss the old man. God bless him.” Fuck this shit, God had better sent that motherfucker straight to the burning pits below. “So, Mitch.” He now focuses his attention directly at me without any superficial courtesies. “Your friends ran off with some of our cocaine.”
“It’s my cocaine—“ Paul looks over to the man in suit. What an idiot. “…Sir,” he adds.
For a moment, Paul considers this. “And you are?” The man mumbles something inaudible. “I see,” says Paul, nodding at the biker holding the gun. “Not important.”
I think I hear him say something like “No, please,” but the gunshot drowns out everything for a moment. I can feel his warm blood splattered across my neck and the side of my face.
“Again, Mitch.” Paul takes out his own little pistol and waves it in front of my eyes. “Where are they going with my cocaine?”
“I really don’t know Paul. I swear.” I don’t know if I should be afraid or stunned at this point. The guy next to me just got his brains spread out all over the dirt. And nothing would stop Paul form doing the same to me, now would it? I just denounced any remaining connection we might have had—not that that would have mattered.
I say, “They fucked me over just as much. That bitch and I just got married, for fuck’s sake. And now they ran off with the case, left me her to rot with you”—watch your mouth—“fine people.”
“I guess I have no need for you then.” He gets up and haphazardly points the gun.
“Wait!” I say, suddenly thinking of my dad lifting his arm, the belt in his hand. The little boy inside of me braces for the impact, but, to my surprise, Paul actually waits. “Maybe I can help you out. We did just get married and shit. Perhaps, if you go after them, you can take me with you. I can talk to them. Make them hand over the case.”
“And lose out on a perfectly fine chase and the ensuing chaos and violence?” I can’t tell whether he’s being serious or not.
Better guess he is.
Without thinking, I say, “Sure, wouldn’t dare take that fun away from you. But the last thing you want is a bullet hitting that case or something, spraying that fine powder all over the dessert, no? It’s A-grade cut. Would be a shame.”
Paul hesitates. His buddies look between him and me, nervous, not happy with the way this conversation is swaying back and forth.
Finally, he pushes the gun against my forehead, and it clicks.
Is this it; am I dead?
I find I can still wince and sob.
“Be a man!” Paul’s laughing. Turns out, he clicked the safety back on instead of firing. His biker buddies join him in his laugh.
Guess we have a deal.
As always, go check out the Behind The Scenes (Before) post if you want to know how this scene came together, and how the Writer Emergency Card–#22 Zombie Attack–played into this.
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