by Bob'n Around
Invisible matters of the mind turned real into the written word.
|"BOY, DID YOU PICK THE WRONG ONE."
Detached. That is what I was, not a feeling remained inside. No past or future intruded on the moment. I was pure focus. I didn’t care if I lived or died.
“Man. You really in the zone.”
“Let me inside.
“You work’n a job?”
“The blood make you notice?”
“You sure wearing it, brother. Is that your own?”
“Are you going to stand there asking questions until you have carry in a corpse?”
“Touchy. Just say’n. Try not to drip on the carpet.”
I let it all go when I shuffled inside. The shock stopping numbness of my injury now fire in my gut. Cold sweat became a fever baking my insides. Volcanic waves of pain roared through me, rising, drowning me in them. I welcomed total blackness.
“Hold still. Got a few more stitches left to sew you up.”
“How bad is it? Feels like a live animal chewing me inside out.”
“You’re talking, ain’t cha? Quit your bellyaching. Sorry. Bad joke. There. Finished.”
“Am I in the news?”
“If you were, we both wouldn’t be here. Drink some water.”
“Can’t. Hurts to swallow.”
“You are a sorry mess. Take sips on the ice. Moisture do you good.”
This time, when the blackness went away, it was Melanie, Harry’s wife. I lay propped up in a bed. Sun came through a window. The gut fire was gone. They’d pumped me full of something fuzzy feeling.
“Want to talk about it?”
“Less said, the better.”
“Harry’s finding you a place to stay.”
“Why not here?”
“Knew you’d ask that. Said to tell you, it’s too hot.”
“Things went bad, but I got the job done.”
“You’ll get paid. No one else could have done it.”
I slept. Dozed. Floated between the prick of needle shots. Sometimes it was day, other times night. The animal living inside me tamed down. Stopped chewing on me. Still felt like broken glass knifing me when I moved the wrong way.
“Where am I? What day is it? You been doping me, haven’t you?”
“Hold on, pardner. Easy. Let’s check you out. That hurt?”
“Bastard. Bust my gut.”
“Coughing up blood. Didn’t know you had it in you. Hold still.”
The prick of the needle. This time into Harry. I’d turned it, jabbed it there. It worked fast. He slumped, fell over me. I reached for his waist, for his gun. Rolled him on top of me. Waited.
Detached. Focused. Brittle but all here. Sounds outside the doorway larger than life. Talking. I listened. Gun warm, gripped in my hand. Hearing a gun go off. A deadly female scream. There my guy was at the door, ready to pay me with bullets. Several thudded in Harry.
I fired point blank. Watched fire seize my man’s gut. The animal eating him inside out. I focused. Waiting. Watched him crawl to me.
“Where’s my money?”
“Why did I hire you?”
“Boy, did you pick the wrong one.”