Sour Sixteen

A sixteenth birthday is a time for a lot of fun and a little mischief.

In The Gutter, moderation is non-existent.

Sour Sixteen by Morgan Boyd

The day I turned sixteen, I wanted to get hammered. My mom was out of town with her piece-of-shit boyfriend, so I had the trailer to myself. I called Jimmy to see if he wanted to hangout, and get fucked up.

Jimmy was a hippy who always had weed. Jimmy arrived wearing a tie-dyed Jerry Garcia shirt and without weed. He said we could scrape his pipe.

That didn’t sound too fucking good, so I took the ten dollars my mom left me for Burger King and we walked to the bus stop across the street from Dave’s Liquors.

Early that morning, before my mom and her worthless dickhead boyfriend got out of bed, I’d swiped half a pack of Marlboro’s from dickhead’s truck. I didn’t feel bad about it either because that prick never does anything for me except give me a ration of shit. I mean, it was my fucking sixteenth birthday and he didn’t even give a fuck.

Me and Jimmy smoked at the bus stop while arguing about music.

“Tool kicks the Grateful Dead’s ass,” I said.

“It’s like apples and oranges, man. They both have their place.”

Mostly, it was square ass dick weeds coming and going from Dave’s. They all either looked like narcs or pussies, so we waited.

It started getting late, the smokes were getting low, and I was getting super impatient, when I saw just the right motherfucker: a dirty ass bum with a rotten beard. He pushed a shopping cart filled with trash across Dave’s parking lot.

“Hey,” I said, crossing the street.

“I didn’t do nothin’,” he said, startled.

His eyes swirled as he clawed at his greasy beard with blackened fingernails.

“Nobody said you did.”

“What you want?”

“Would you do me a favor?”  I asked, holding out the ten spot. “Can you buy me a twelve pack of Bud?”

“Can’t leave my cans,” he said.

“I’ll keep an eye on them for you.”

He thought about it for a moment, scratching that dirty beard with his rotten pickles, until he agreed, but not before he made me promise not to snatch any of his disgusting aluminum. I swore on my father’s grave I’d keep his garbage safe.

He took the ten and limped into the liquor store.

Nervously, I smoked and waited in the parking lot. It felt like an eternity. What the fuck was he doing in there? How god damn hard was it to buy some fucking beer?

Through the large glass windows, I watched the troll wander the aisles, talking to himself, until he finally grabbed a twelver.

At the counter, he tried to pay, but the clerk shook his head and pointed towards the door. They started arguing.

The bum got hella pissed, and I almost shit my pants when he shanked the clerk in the neck with a blade. A geyser of blood spurt from the clerk’s wound as the bum grabbed the beer and fled.

“Holy fucking shit,” I said as the bum handed me the bloody pack of Bud. “What’d you do that for?”

“Self-defense,” he said just before his head exploded.

The bum toppled over his shopping cart, spilling his aluminum cans and brains onto the pavement.

The clerk stood in the doorway, blood squirting from his neck, holding up a big ass .45. He pointed the piece at me, so I dropped the beer, and raised my hands to the sky.

I thought I was a motherfucking goner for sure, but the dying clerk sagged to his knees and keeled over onto his face.

Me and Jimmy hauled ass back to the trailer park, shitting bricks the entire way. Sirens howled in the distance like hellhounds.

“Fuck dude,” I said to Jimmy as I opened the front door. “I really wish you had some fucking weed right about now.”

“I wish you hadn’t ditched the beer,” Jimmy said. “Your fingerprints are all over that twelve pack.” 

“Fuck,” I said, and turned on the light. 

“Surprise,” my mom and her worthless dickhead boyfriend yelled from the living room. They held a store-bought cake. “Happy Birthday.”

Morgan Boyd lives in Santa Cruz, California with his wife, cat, and carnivorous plant collection. He has been published online at Flash Fiction Offensive, Shotgun Honey, Near To The Knuckle, Yellow Mama, and Fried Chicken and Coffee. He also has a story forthcoming at Tough.