Latest Flash

Mr. Big

In The Gutter,  

age ain't nothing but a number.

Mr. Big by Jonathan Brown

The road is always slickest after the first rain. We’d had twenty-nine days of scorching heat then the dark clouds moved in overnight like a bad omen. By eight a.m., I’m on the street and the road is like ice under my rubber. Still I go—gotta get there or I’m toast.

I gun it down Eastman and take a hard right on Main. Breaking slightly before the turn, I punch it coming out. The back end kicks out but I ride it and right it. I’m pushing it when I hear the sirens. They get close. I shoulder-check, seeing as I don’t have a mirror. A black and white Ford Explorer has all grill and roof lights flashing. I don’t care. I’m going for it. I grind the gears as I shift sloppily. I feel every bump as my rubber fights to meet the road. But I won’t be late—can’t be late.

I see my spot and accelerate, crank the wheel, and squeeze between the Beemer and the Audi, and tuck in like a Louisiana tick. The cops scream by and keep on movin’.

I leave the ride and take the steps two at a time. Sprinting down the hall, I deke left and double-deke right. No way is this horde of people going to stop me, not today. I grab the door just before it shuts. The place is packed. Mr. Big holds court. Nobody talks when Mr. Big has the floor. His sleeves are rolled up high on his thick hairy forearms as usual. When Mr. Big puts his pissed off glare on you it’s like being stared down by a Rottweiler. I try not to shake.

“Nice of you to join us, Mister Davis,” he says.

“Sorry, Mister Big,” I say, angling for a chair.

“Sorry? That’s it?” His voice is deep like actor James Earl Jones only add two tablespoons of gravel to it and that’s Mr. Big’s soundtrack.

The silence is thicker that grandma’s gravy. A thought hits me before I sit. “Mr. Big I apologize again for being late but I’m going to need, like, another thirty seconds.”

“Oh really? Why don’t tell us why we should wait for you? You do know that if you fail this final you’re looking at summer school? And if you fail that it means no high school for Mr. Timmy Davis. You’ll be looking at eighth grade all over again.” He pauses and folds his big arms. “Talk about middle school blues.”

“Yes, sir, I know,” I nod. “But I just remembered I forgot to lock my bicycle!”

Jonathan Brown recently signed a two-book deal with Down & Out Books. THE BIG CRESCENDO...A Lou Crasher Mystery releases late 2019 and the follow up DON'T SHOOT THE DRUMMER in 2020. He also wrote a bio-fiction book: A BOXING TRAINER'S JOURNEY...A Novel based on the Life of Angelo Dundee on Mentoris Books. It drops February 2019. The often misunderstood rock n roll P.I. writer lives with his hot wife in sunny Southern California. He believes Bogey had it right when he said: "The problem with the world is that everybody is a few drinks behind..."