Jeffw's Blog

Get OUT of my pub!

Just joking, WELCOME! Here, you'll find some short fiction stories, anecdotes and my possible grumpy opinion on pretty much everything and anything. As you didn't in the slightest asked for it and because I can be magnanimous, I'll try to wrap it all in a clever cocktail of sarcastic witticism and stylish dark humour of the latest fashion, under the icy sophistication of which, you'll discern my true cry of despair to witness our world going to pot... or maybe it's just something I ate.
Don't hesitate to leave a comment! Thanks you, come again.

Caution MAY CONTAIN STRONG LANGUAGE AND HAZARDOUS PUNCTUATION... and with a bit of luck, some English too.

Monday, 15 July 2013

The eye was in the tomb...

A few years back, I did a JK Rowling.
I challenged myself to write a stereotypical über-macho testosterone filled male oriented adventure/noire/gangster/action/”what-ever-else-I-could-cram-in-there” short story.
The experience was somehow liberating.
I exulted at the opportunity to write what was basically literary “shite” and I had excessive fun doing it.
Here's the result.

The Heli's Bar.
All that had been needed was a typo on a cheap sign and the name had stuck. The owner immediately became Jake 'Heli' McCunning and the artist had never painted another sign again... not with the number of hands he had left he hadn't. True to say that failing to have any charm, the bar had a reputation, beyond good or bad. It was the kind of place where no-one liked questions nor the people who asked them. You didn't even ask what was in the burgers... And if you often walked out with blood on your boots, you just had to be glad it wasn't your own and that you were still standing.

Jay walked into the dive with his natural swagger, as always, his slim silhouette outlined for a brief second in the doorway by the sun – still high – of the Nevada desert.
As he approached the counter, you could see his lean muscles playing under his black T-shirt, his biceps pulling on the seams of his leather jacket. His tight jeans, black and worn out, left nothing to the imagination either, sun and bad weather had given them the appearance and texture of a second skin. The few females in there hooked their eyes on him, captivated by his animal magnetism, his raw sensuality. They could all recognize a real man when they saw one, and you couldn't have manlier than Jay.

The room was already full of the regulars ugly faces. Somewhere, a Joke-Box bellowed the chords of the original Highway to Hell (1979,of a time before Bon Scott had drowned in alcohol...). “Fitting...”, briefly thought Jay, a nasty smile on his lips. He leaned on the counter, his every move calculated with a fighters precision, a well-oiled machine... of the blunt type.
Jay found the barman under the gaudy neon lights that covered the back wall. A new face which blended into the background. He was shaped like a beer keg, a fact that his moth-eaten old Harley T-shirt was struggling to hide, and his arms covered in tattoos, apparently drawn by a retarded kid who couldn't colour 'in the lines' yet. His beard would have made a Wookie blubber and he was missing two fingers on his left hand. Gambling debts, or a very clumsy mechanic.” guessed Jay.
- “ Single malt whisky.”, he growled.
- “And leave the bottle.” he added, dropping a folded $100 bill between the puddles of beer of the counter.
The barman complied without a word.
The burn of the first sip of alcohol immediately began to dissolve the dust of the journey in his dry throat.
He was turning is back to the room, contrary to his habit, his enemies were more the type to come from behind. But here, the huge dirt caked mirror above the counter gave him a good view of the rest of the bar. His own reflection returned his piercing steel blue gaze and his square face, weather-beaten by a life on the road. He could probably do with a shave.
- “The face Marlon Brando would have wanted.” Jay joked to himself, when he saw him. Cain.

The moron did not even try to hide. He was sitting right in the middle, under the light, three-quarter turned in relation to Jay, to face the door. He must have missed Jay's entrance, busy lighting one of his cheap cigarettes... Bad habit, smoking. He was drinking a generic European beer, he always thought it was classy.
Cain. Brute by habit and sadistic by taste. Cain, contract killer.
- “From the famous comedy double act Abdel and Cain...” Jay muttered, not taking his eyes off him.

A while back, a small time Mafia boss – may he rest with the crabs – had found it funny to pair them together. Abdel Benkhalem, an Algerian thug, favouring oriental techniques and scalpel blades, and that young nameless brick shithouse. It was 17 years ago. They had quickly been nicknamed Abdel and Cain ; it got a laugh, but never for very long in their presence. And he just took the new name, without understanding nor flinching. The last time Jay had met Abdel, he had made sure that his fucking scalpels had been the last thing he saw, from very up close... If Cain bore any grudge over his partner's death, he was professional enough not to show it. So if he was here for him tonight, it meant that Jay had a contract on his head. But who?
The Chianti¹ brothers? Alvarez and his gang? Or even that good old Nic, as a last posthumous present?

Jay could see the bulge in Cain's jacket, indicating the presence of his famous Beretta 92F, a souvenir from the army. He must also have his stupid Rambo knife at his ankle, complete with compass and matches. It always made people laugh, until they realized that it was still a 9 inches steel blade that this maniac kept sharp enough to cut a hair in half, lengthwise.
Suddenly, Cain turned his head.
As soon as their eyes met, everything went very fast. Quick as a flash, Jay threw the whisky bottle with precision and seemed to chase after it. Cain was forced to raise the hand that was already going towards his weapon to protect his head. The projectile exploded on his forearm. This move was sufficient for Jay to cover the five meters that separated them. In one motion, he turned the table over and grabbed the glass ashtray, which he smashed in the killer's face. Taking advantage of the surprise, Jay caught the still half-raised right arm, and jammed it violently behind Cain's neck, crushing his windpipe with his own biceps. There was a brief status quo whilst the brute started to slowly suffocate, Jay's knee on his chest not helping at all. With the speed of the cobra, Jay's left hand intercepted Cain's, who was trying to reach for the knife at his ankle. A sharp twist of the wrist was greeted by a satisfying crack. Cain couldn't suppress a grunt, while the pain distorted his face. A strong downward jolt finished the move, pushing the knife through its sheath and Cain's though thick boot, pinning his left foot to the dirty floor...

Maintaining his iron grip, Jay asked in his ear:
- “Who sent you?”
His eyes half-rolled back and bulging in his puffed face already purple, Cain still managed to spit out, half-smiling:
- "I saw some light...
- Bad luck. It's lights out for you.” Jay uttered as a judgement, tightening his hold.

When he heard the click of a shotgun being cocked, Jay reacted in a tenth of a second, his legendary survival instinct taking over, and he leaped, vaulting over Cain while grabbing his gun. Buckshots hit Cain's chest in a wet and limp noise of cold meat. He had already stopped breathing. At cover behind the massive corpse of his enemy, it only took one shot for Jay to shoot the barman dead, a 9mm bullet in the middle of the forehead. After a moment's hesitation, he collapsed like 130kg of soaked leather behind his counter.

Jay had to go back to the city.
He could leave things as they were. The customers of the Heli's didn't like changes to their routine, especially not made by law enforcement. A few hours later, the bodies would find themselves far away in the desert where even the vultures won't attract attention, or under 50 tons of rock at the nearby quarry. He only hoped that someone would think to clean the blood and the brain & bone mix off of the mirror ...
He had a lot of questions which required a lot of answers.
Just after starting his bike with a powerful kick, he had one last thought for Cain, in the purr of his trusty V-twin ...
- “I wonder what was his real name...?”
He pushed the throttle and the machine sprang into the sunset, on the dusty road.
- "Maybe Keith. He looked like a Keith. "

~ The End

¹ Alfonso and Federico Giacometti, two drug baronets that had transformed Daddy's wine company into a thriving heroin and cocaine import-export specialist. To the sound of 100g per bottle, the wicker and wine rendering the bags invisible and undetectable – even by the dogs – that gave an excess of over one kilo of pure dope per crate.. After their last deal, Jay had left richer of one briefcase of bank notes and the brothers were left with three warehouses in flames. These are things that could be begrudged.

No comments:

Post a Comment