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Keeping with the Season

On the second Daze of Christmas, 

Beau Johnson gives us a holiday tale about cleaning house.

Keeping with the Season by Beau Johnson

I have always believed in the spirit of Christmas and giving, but not in second chances. I’d like to, sure, but it’s never been a thing I felt I could afford. After the thing with the midgets, I believe this to be truer than ever before.

We bring in little people because kids in a rip bar just don’t play. Nicky digs the idea too, and since we began the addition a few years back business always upticks on top of the regular Christmas rush. We’d have them dress up as elves, you see, some of them even taking a shift on stage. Dudes love it too, especially the VIP service, where if they want, all they’re required to do is stand.

Hey, people gotta earn. No need to judge.

The problem was Rick, Nicky’s kid fuckin’ brother. “I just love ‘em, Billy. I mean, they’re like my goddamn fucking kryptonite!” He wasn’t lying, and Christmas before last, against my better judgement, I take his thumbs because of this particular obsession.

You think this woulda learned the man.

Nope. Not Rick. And now Barb, this year’s little person number one, she misses her second to last shift. Then Katie, little person number two, is found face down and bloated to twice her fucking size just below Culver’s dam. Parts of her eaten at. The papers don’t print that.

“It’s gonna be a problem, any way we play it,”  Nicky says. We’re in the liquor room out back, Nicky as put out as I’ve ever seen him. Like his brother, he’s overweight and balding. The nose on each of them closer to the sun than most.

“Like I told you last time, second chances, there shouldn’t be no such thing.”  It would have to be more than thumbs this time.

Nicky shakes his head and I don’t need an interrupter to tell he’s having a hard go. I remind him about our finances, how much and to whom we owe money. “And Mapone, last time I checked, he ain’t the limpest of dicks, right? Word is he’s taken to arm fucking. Quite keen on it, in fact. Wants his fist right up there is what people have been saying. Supposed to go and show people what animals already know.” 

It gets me what I need, into a two birds, one stone scenario we couldn’t afford to turn our backs on. I reiterate to Nicky I’d do my best to ensure his brother feels no pain and make it quick. A lie, yes, and not only because it allows me to keep with the season but because, fuck it, little people are people too.

Out front, above the Roadhouse sign, the bowie knife opens Rick up like a tauntaun and pounds of him drop. Think of tinsel, only thicker, slicker. The longer pieces swaying in the snow, almost touching sidewalk by the time it’s all done.

I wear a Santa suit when I do this so the cameras catch exactly what I want them to see. The message I push into Rick’s mouth becoming a combination of sorts: one part paper, three parts dick.  

The note reads: Midgets for MaponeIt would keep the cops from looking too close to home.

And to all a good night. 

Beau Johnson has been published before, usually on the darker side of town. He is the author of A Better Kind Of Hate, published by Down and Out Books. If you're so inclined, you can connect with Beau through the usual haunts, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.