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Bobby's Big Brain

Meet Bobby. He's the King of Shit County. He's got big brains. He's the man with the plan and a bucket of chicken. It's pretty good chicken. The plan? Not so much.

Bobby's Big Brains by Paul Greenberg

“Your brain is way too big for that haircut,” joked Cassie.

I had to admit that with the sides as tight as they were, my forehead did appear to “pop” like that alien from that Outer Limits episode.

Jenna from Super Cuts laughed as she was finishing me up, rubbing gel in my hair, while Cassie critiqued and waited patiently.

As Jenna swept back the smock, Cassie walked over to the window and did a quick look back and forth. She gave me a thumbs up, which meant that the street and the strip mall were quiet.

I thanked Jenna and as she turned her back to ring me up, I took the smock and wrapped it around her neck. I pulled and tightened and dragged her to the back of the shop. She kicked and fought and I stuffed some of the smock in her mouth, while Cassie casually emptied the register of a couple hundred bucks. I finished Jenna off by punching her in the head a few times and banging her skull off the toilet seat.

I found her purse and grabbed a MasterCard and sixty-five dollars in cash. On my way out I checked the drawer where she put her tip money. Nine bucks there. I grabbed a handful of lollipops and put them in my shirt pocket.

Over all it wasn’t a bad score. Close to three hundred in cash, a credit card, and a haircut. Next stop, lunch.

I drove the minivan that we had boosted the night before across the street to a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Empty, except for the cook, who was also acting as cashier, we ordered the twelve-piece bucket with extra drumsticks and some rolls. Cassie used Jenna’s MasterCard to pay.

Cassie took the bucket to the car and I lingered by the soft drink cooler. I took out a can of Pepsi and motioned to the cook to come over. “Hey, you gotta dead mouse over here.” He came around and as soon as I had a chance I smashed him in the head with the can. He fell to his knees and I continued to beat on him. I only stopped when I realized I had just about taken off his right ear with the can.

I looked toward the van and Cassie was bouncing up and down in the seat munching on a drumstick. I grabbed two fresh cans of Pepsi, some forks, and a side of coleslaw. I stepped over the cook and took off.

Cassie was playing with the radio and trying to feed me when I realized I didn't pull any cash out of the KFC. Goddammit, I was pissed. I started banging on the steering wheel and swatting the chicken away from my face. Cassie was cowering as close to the door as she could get. She suggested we go back but I knew that that was a bad idea. I calmed down after a while, telling myself to go with the flow. Cassie coolly passed me a chicken breast, which I accepted. We drove for a while and I thought of that Springsteen song about eating chicken and wiping your fingers on a road map. Who the fuck uses road maps? I reached over and wiped my fingers on Cassie's tee shirt. She didn't mind much and I knew by the end of the day she wouldn't care at all.

I was starting to get a little tired so we drove until I found a park where we could crash. There were a bunch of people walking dogs, minding their own business. It looked cool.

“Goody,” said Cassie. “Let's have a picnic.” We parked near a shady tree and I pulled a blanket from the back seat and a couple of beers from a cooler and we sat down to relax.

“Bobby, when are we gonna leave for Vegas?” she asked.

“Soon, honey. In a couple of days, I hope.”

She thought we were going to be rich. I knew we were broke and always would be. I needed to clean up my trail and be gone, and that meant getting rid of Cassie.

I found that spontaneity worked best for me. Act first, think later. So as Cassie was working on her third or fourth drumstick, I popped her right in the mouth, sending the chicken bone right down her throat. She made a surprised face, her eyes kind of popping out. I laughed because she reminded me of a cartoon character I once saw on Bugs Bunny.

Cassie was gagging and coughing and choking so I held my hand over her mouth until she finally gasped and was dead. I wrapped her in the blanket we were sitting on and tossed her in the back of the van. I popped open one of the beers and sat there on the hatchback thinking that sometimes “act first, think later” isn’t the best tact to take. I had regrets that I hadn't fucked Cassie one last time.

I took a quick piss behind the tree and when I turned around there were three cops pointing their guns right at my head.

“Nice haircut, douchebag,” said Cop One.

“Well, thank you officer,” I said.

“You left her alive,” said Cop Two.

“Who’s that?” I asked.

“Jenna from Super Cuts,” he said. “She told us to look for a guy with a big brain. I thought she was off her nut until I saw you. She really nailed it."

“It was the last thing she said before she died," said Cop One. "Now get on the ground, you maggot."

Act first, think later. I grabbed for that second beer sitting next to me in the hatchback, and that’s all the motive they needed.

I was done.

“For a guy with such a big brain," said Cop Three, "he sure was stupid."

Paul Greenberg has always been a writer. Just hasn’t let anyone read anything until recently. Now he’s writing short stories. Stories about people. People who kill people. And submitting them. He wants that beer.