On the seventh Daze of Christmas,
Tom Leins revisits some old friends.
Tom Leins revisits some old friends.
Slay Ride 2: Jingle Bullets by Tom Leins
The Merry Gentlemen Rest Stop.
The space-heater is turned up high enough to make me sweat and the slashed double mattress is lumpy with what is left of my fuckin’ loot.
My stubbled jaw rests on Marisol’s enormous belly and I can feel my baby boy kicking like a little mule.
There’s a knock on the door. Brisk and powerful, so it can’t be one of the scrawny junkie fucks that are always hassling me for smokes on the forecourt.
“No room at the inn, motherfucker.”
The knocking continues.
I clamber off the bed, tuck my Glock G19 into the back of my jeans, and press my
bloodshot eye against the fish-eye peep-hole.
“No fuckin’ way…”
It’s a particularly swollen-looking Santa Claus, with a sidearm dangling from his hip and a gold star pinned to his barrel chest.
He hammers on the peep-hole with the flat of his hand and I jolt backwards.
“Son, I’ve had to walk out on the Goddamn Crippled Civilian’s Festive Luncheon for this – the least you can do is open the door for me. The ladies at the recreation center promised to keep my turkey warm for me and I really don’t want to test their patience.”
I fasten the security chain and crack open the door. The icy blast hits me like an uppercut. I shiver involuntarily.
“What can I do for you, Sheriff?”
“Are you acquainted with a man named Terrell Frost?”
My ex-partner. The ghost of Christmas past. I left his skull meat splattered across a strip club called Lapland after he ripped me off and left me for dead last year.
I shrug. “I have a lot of fuckin’ acquaintances, man…”
“In that case, you probably knew that Frost was in hock to an out-of-town syndicate run by a man named Nicholas Saint. I have been reliably informed by my good friends in the Federal Bureau of Investigations that Mister Saint has sent a hitter named Demyan ‘Deadman’ Moroz down to my little backwater to recover whatever is left of the money.”
“Treat this as a courtesy call, young man. I really wouldn’t want something as distasteful as a blood feud to harm my re-election prospects. Next time I have to visit this dirt-box you call home, I’ll be hauling you away in handcuffs. Or a damned body-bag. Goodbye, Mr Janko.”
He shuffles back to his prowl car, the corrective heel of his police-issue footwear clacking noisily on the asphalt.
Before he can unlock the vehicle his lumpen body is shredded by submachine gun fire.
“Motherfucker! Marisol, get in the fuckin’ tub.”
She slides off the bed and waddles toward the bathroom as the weapon turns the motel door into firewood.
The shooter leers through the damaged door at me. He has a shabby electric blue suit and a shock of white hair. He is clutching a PP-90 folding submachine gun. The suit has seen better days, but the man wearing it looks positively cadaverous. “We can do this the hard way or we can do this the easy way….” His Russian accent is thicker than curdled eggnog. He flashes me a sour grin and unfastens the security lock. What is left of the door collapses. “Mister Saint has no preference, but I prefer the hard way.” He rakes the PP-90 across the floor at my feet, splintering my right foot with hot lead.
“Fuuuck! The money’s in the bed, man. Take it – just leave my girl out of it.”
He looms over me and his cheap aftershave smells like fresh animal piss. Another rancid smile. “She’s my girl now.” He absentmindedly sprays another round into my ruined foot.
If I live through this, my days of wearing fuckin’ flip-flops are over.
Marisol steps out of the bathroom; naked, apart from her panties.
She aims a gun at Moroz. The one I hid in the cistern, double-wrapped in a Publix carrier bag.
He is distracted by her pregnant belly and swollen breasts, and the submachine gun dangles impotently from his hand.
“Merry Christmas, asshole.” Her bullet kisses his hairline.