The Body in the Window

The cool night air pushed tendrils of blood down her side, a tickle she’d never feel.

She was lying over the windowsill, the broken glass still working its way into her flesh. She’d only been dead a few minutes, but the killer was long gone. He rabbited out of there the second he heard us coming up the stairs, leaving just the stink of his cheap whiskey and her body as evidence he was ever there.

The killer’s footprint was still on her back, a cold sign of a desperate man using the still-warm corpse for his escape. He must have heard us coming, jumping through the window to the fire escape, leaving his mark on the bloody corpse.

I walked over to the next set of windows, and pushed one of them up. Leaning over I could just make out the street, four floors below. There was darkness, and a dimly lit street, but nothing else.

I started leaning back in, but I stopped when I saw her face. Her body was on the sill, her head and shoulders resting on the rusty grate of the fire escape.

Even in death her eyes pleaded with me.

They asked me why I hadn’t been there to save her. They asked me why she had to die for me. They asked why I had broken my promise to be there for her.

I looked away, closing my eyes and fighting back the tears. This was no place to break down, not with my partner and the other men here, and not if we were going to catch this killer.

I leaned back in the apartment, and solemnly closed the window. I walked over to her body, taking in how such beauty could lie in such horror. I let my finger push a few of her hairs away from her face, as I’d done so many times when she was alive.

I wished that things had been different, that she and I could have just run away. But there had been a debt to be paid, and she was more than willing to help. Willingness that I should have ignored.

Now the debt could never be paid back.

I looked back at the men, at my partner who had been with me since the beginning of it all. They were all quiet, their faces telling me what I needed to hear.

I stood up straighter, allowing my fingers a last caress of her beauty. I looked at the men.
“Burn it all before the cops get here.”

As I left, the cool night air pushed the hair back into her face. A last tickle she’d never feel.


The Treacherous Road – Part 2

Note: For those who may have missed it The Treacherous Road – Part One

Carl shifted the black Dodge Challenger into third, grinding the pedal hard into the floor. She shook uncontrollably over the Nevada desert terrain. He felt her chassis tearing up good underneath. But he wasn’t slowing down. Not until that bitch was cold. If Joey pissed him off anymore he’d bury him too. He’d make up some story and tell Johnny how he just got in the way. “There you are, you…”

Joey already had Samantha in his arms. Carl shifted again and reached over for his .45 on the seat. Joey saw an opening. All Carl saw was a huge rock flying towards the windshield and he turned the wheel hard.

The car swerved, kicking up a cloud of debris, and the gun went off. Bullets turned the roof into Swiss cheese. He attempted one more round but the car hit a large boulder, slamming his hand against the window frame in the process. A tire burst. The gun flew. So did the car.

The Challenger took off like a rocket and came down hard, rolling in the process.

“Stay here Sam.” The barely dressed Vegas dancer didn’t say a word. She didn’t even move.

Joey picked up the gun, like he was King Arthur, out of the dirt. He checked the clip. More than enough.

The Dodge sat upside down. One of the tires still spun. It was totaled. The windows were spider-webbed and blown out. Carl didn’t wear his belt. Thought only pussies wore them. A mangled clump twenty feet away crawled to Hell on a trail of its own blood. Joey would help get him there a little faster.

Joey stood over him and clicked back the hammer. “Carl. Turn over, man. I ain’t shooting you in the back.”
It took him a good long minute, through some heavy pain, but he finally rolled.

“Look at… arugh… that. The pussy finally grows a pair.”

“Those gonna be your last words then?” Joey stepped in closer. “She didn’t have it. Do you hear me, you sack of shit? She didn’t even KNOW about it. Did YOU know that?”

“Who the hell cares…. hurrrgh… I didn’t ask.” Dark blood dripped from the corner of his mouth. “He just said take care of her. And if it meant… if I got a piece of that ass before I did it…well hurrah for me. That’s what….”

Samantha snapped her head toward the loud bang.

Carl’s death was easier than he deserved. Joey should have let him bleed out. It would have looked like an accident at first. But he was sending a message. The buzzards would have their way with Carl soon enough.

“Come on. Get up. We’re getting out of here,” Joey said. Samantha looked up, her face blank, still shaking from nerves.

“Look, Sam, we’ve got to get out of here,” Joey said. “Johnny is probably expecting Carl to report in when it’s done and we’re far past how long it’d take to… we gotta get movin’ baby.”

They walked in silence for hours in the scorching desert sun.

“Where are we going Joey? What’s the plan?” Samantha asked.

“Plan?” Joey turned toward her and laughed. “I’m making this up as I go along. Last night Johnny told me to pick you up and ask you a few questions. Now we’re here. Apparently something else was… is… I don’t know… going on and what I’ve been told was far different from what Carl knew.”

He stopped himself and walked off a few feet away from Samantha, taking it all in. “Look. I’m sorry Sam. I had nothing to do with you… this…. The world’s much better off without that asshole. But you… you’re just a dancer that Johnny forced into doing something he shouldn’t of.”

Joey turned around, “All you did was pick up a goddamn bag. Something got fucked up along the way and now he’s pinning it on you. It’s definitely on me now, too. God knows what he said. Maybe he planned it that way. Maybe it’s the coke whore…”

“I ain’t no whore and the coke was just that one…”

“I’m not saying you are… let’s just keep walking.”

“Any bullets left?”

“Yeah. Just one.”


Herman Dog Digs

Herman Dog digs in the soft dirt at the back of the yard and uncovers a face. He knows that face and that smell. It’s his Master. His Master has his eyes open and there’s a hole in his face and his face is cold. Herman licks the face. Nothing Herman’s no fool. He knows his Master is fucking dead.

Herman Dog

Herman sees two guys with shovels, and the dirt on the shovels smells like the dirt on his Master, and the same burning smell from the hole in his Master’s face blooms from the guys with the shovels. He doesn’t know why, but he knows they deaded his Master.

Herman growls and goes after the guys. They killed his Master, so who is going to feed him and play stick and let him curl up on his lap? Herman tells these assholes what they have done is bad. BAD. No! No! BAD DOG.
Herman is a small bulldog, barely shin high. He goes BARK BARK GR GR GR BARK GR GR BARK GRGRGRGR.

They yell at Herman. They are thin with sores on their faces. They smell like chemicals that his Master takes when his nose is stuffy. They also smell like the leather square his Master carries around in his clothes when he leaves, and puts back on the table when he’s home. One of the guys thumbs through the leather square and takes out rectangles and more rectangles and then tells the other guy, “No cash.”

“Shit!”

“Nobody carries cash.”

“Then we have to sell those fucking cards fast.”

Herman doesn’t understand. He doesn’t hear his name. He doesn’t hear GOOD DOG or BAD DOG or NAUGHTY or GO POTTY, although SHIT is a word his Master said a lot.

BARK BARK BARK GRGRGRGR BARK! He’s hopping around their feet now.

They yell at him and he understands “Go away!” But he hasn’t told them about his Master’s warm lap yet.

One of them points a square thing at him. It’s black. Herman knows what this is. His Master had one, and when he pointed it, it would go BARK and make fire and make things have holes in them, like the hole in his Master’s face.

Herman didn’t want a hole in his face, so he backs away. BARK BARK BARK GRGRGRGRGR.

The men keep going. They don’t make a hole in Herman and they ignore him.

Herman needs help.

***

Herman waits outside the door. Not his house, but he’s been there a lot. They keep Herman’s friend, a lady German Shepherd named Heidi. She is a big dog and he likes big dogs.

The door opens and Heidi comes out.

Herman says, “What’s up, bitch?”

Heidi sniffs the ground. “You know. Got to pee.”

“You want to help me? Someone made a hole in my Master and he’s dead.”

“That sucks. No more warm lap.”

“I know. You want to help?”

“Okay.”

So Herman and Heidi bound off into the woods together on the heels of the guys who made a hole in Herman’s Master. They smell terrible, so they are easy to find.

When the dogs see the guys putting the shovel into the trunk of a car, Herman says to Heidi, “That’s them.”

“You want me to bite their balls?”

“Yeah, bite their balls.”

Heidi launches towards the guy who pointed the firemaker at Herman. Heidi clamps her jaws onto the guy’s crotch and locks her jaws and there’s no getting her off.

The guys hits Heidi in the face but it doesn’t do much good. He fumbles with his firemaker and hits her with that, but it’s no also no good.

Herman watches, then he sees the other guy get a firemaker and aim at Heidi. Herman doesn’t want him to make holes in Heidi so he goes BARK BARK BARK GRGRGRGRGR BARK! to warn her. Herman jumps up on the legs of that guy while Heidi shakes her head with the balls in her mouth and tears skin. The other guy, with Herman hopping around him, gets confused and points his firemaker at Heidi, but the guy with Heidi whips around and the firemaker makes fire and makes holes in the back of the first guy rather than in Heidi, and Herman is very happy about that.

The guy with holes in him drops to the ground. Heidi lets go. She runs over to Herman. They sit and watch.

The other guy approaches the fallen guy. “I’m sorry, oh fuck, oh god. I was gonna shoot the dog, I swear.”

Fallen guy rolls onto his back, firemaker in his hand. He makes fire and makes a hole in the other guy’s face.They don’t move anymore and they stink like they made poopies.

Herman says, “Perfect”

“I need to go back and sit in my Master’s lap.”

“Sure. Don’t take that shit for granted.”

Heidi runs back through the woods while Herman walks over to the fallen guys. They stink too much. So he finds a trail back to his Master. Herman digs some more. He wants his Master’s fingers because under the skin there are bones, and he thinks his Master would have wanted Herman to take his bones. So he finds the cold hand, lies on the ground beside his Master, and gnaws on his finger bones. But he really wishes his Master was alive because he is cold and the fingers are cold and he really misses his Master’s warm lap.


Fucking Liars

The fuck fucked the fucking fucker. Not fuck as in fucked, but fucked as in fucked him up. See, the fucking fucker was fucking around with the fuck’s fuck, so the fucker was asking to get fucked. Not content with fucking the fucking fucker up, the fuck fucked with the other fucking fucker’s fuck too. Fucked her in the fucker’s car. Fucked the fucking car as well. Fuckin’ A. When the fucked-up fucking fucker saw the fucking fucked-up state of his fuck and his fucking car, he fucked off fucking fast. Returned—fucked cause he was still fucked-up—with a fuck-off shotgun. Fucking blew the fuck out of the fuck and said to his own fucking fucked-up fuck, “Now that’s that fucking fucker fucking fucked.”

“Thank fuck,” she said. “That fuck was a real fucking fuck.”

Later, they were fucking. Mid-fuck she said, “You didn’t fuck his fucking fuck like the fucker said, did you? If you did, you’re fucked, you fucking fucker.”

He said, “I can’t believe you’d think so badly of me, honey.”

“Fucking mistake,” she said, cold as fuck, fucking blade ever-so-fucking-shiny in her fucking hand. “Only fucking liars don’t say fucking fuck.”

He was fucked. He looked at her and said, “Shit.”


Disney Noir

Somebody threw a bucket of water on Daffy, putting the fire out.

Mickey leaned against a work bench and hustled a cigarette from a soft pack of Marlboros. Minnie lit it for him, then cooed, passing a hand over his crotch.

“He say anything yet?” Mickey said.

I shook my head. Daffy was breathing funny, like he had a cassette tape unwinding in his chest. A ropy drool hung from one corner of his beak. Most of the feathers on his back and shoulders had burned off. The rest were blood-soaked. The smell was outrageous. I swallowed a mouthful of spit and tried not to gag. I looked over at Chip, who was admiring the claw-end of a hammer, and Dale, who was fingering the grip of a chrome revolver. That’s when Donald walked up and popped him in the eye with a fist.

“That’s enough!” I said.

“You give up being a cold-hearted son of a bitch for Lent, Goof?” he replied.

“He ain’t talking,” I answered with a shrug. Always the deferential one.

“He’ll talk,” Donald said. “These fucks from Warner Brothers think they’re tough. But they ain’t tough.” His voice began to fail him, replaced by a hoarse whistle. He produced an inhaler and took a hit. Then he pulled out his dick and started pissing on Daffy.

Minnie favored the member with a covetous smile. Mickey rolled his eyes. Chip and Dale howled with laughter. Daffy struggled but the restraints were tight. I would know. I tied them myself. He wasn’t going anywhere.

I just shook my head.

This was all wrong.

We were three stories under the park, in a maintenance room west of the castle. It looked like an ACE Hardware had thrown up in there. Screw drivers and batteries and copper coil wires and nails by the dozen. Some broken glass. Bloody gauze. Teeth. The bric-a-brac of a capture and question. There was enough of Daffy’s bodily fluids beneath the chair to fill a bath tub. I heard the rumble of the Monorail overhead.

“You like that?” Donald said, stuffing himself back in his shorts. He adjusted his hat, straightened his bow tie and then spit in Daffy’s face. Daffy winced. An eye had swollen shut. He was having trouble keeping his head up.

“What are we gonna do?” I said.

“I’ll tell you what we’re gonna do,” Donald said. “We’re gonna find that no-account son of his—Danger—and I’m gonna carve him to pieces with a Miter saw…right in front of his old man.”

“Blarraargghhh,” Daffy said in protest.

Mickey cocked an eye at him.

“What’d he say?”

“Flurrrrffff glaaak shhhoooofff.”

“His tongue’s the size of a filet mignon,” Chip said.

“What’s that comin’ out his ears? Looks like maple syrup,” Dale added.

“He ain’t talking,” I reminded everyone. But nobody heard me. No one ever did.

There was a knock at the door. Minnie answered.

It was the dog.

“Hey, Pluto,” Donald said.

He didn’t look well. Like he hadn’t slept in a few days. His fur was mangy. An open sore behind his ear looked infected. We all knew he’d been on a bender. Dust. Meth. Easy to score over in Epcot. He leered at us, flashing a mouth full of rotten teeth. Then he gestured at our captive.

“He ain’t singing like we thought he would, boss,” Mickey said.

He took a step toward Daffy. We all grew silent. Pluto scared the hell out of all of us. He ran the park and nobody ever dared cross him.

“Want me to do him, boss?” Donald offered. He was always too fucking eager. Had bodies buried all over Frontierland.

Pluto looked from one duck to the other. Then with a paw he lifted Daffy’s chin, as if appraising him. In all my time with that crew I’d never heard him speak. Nobody had.

The sound of his voice chilled me bone deep. Nothing in my memory was as awful. Not the infant floating face down in Typhoon Lagoon. Or the scream from a severed head on Space Mountain. Or syphilitic Cinderella moaning in her padded room.

“Feed him to the escalator,” he said.


Two-Phones

Smart-ass in front of Slim in the security queue at Midway couldn’t keep his mouth shut, guy dumping his shit in the plastic box, two fucking cell phones and a PDA coming off his belt like he was Batman or something, a fat money clip with a Franklin on the outside.

“Take off your belt, take off your shoes, like being in the joint or something,” Two-Phones said. But Slim figured if some hack hadn’t made you bend over and spread your cheeks, then it was nothing like the joint. Slim gave Two-Phones his shower face.

Slim did his first jolt in Joliet at 18. Being fresh young white meat in that hole made him the blue-plate special on the shower menu, so he learned early not to give it up easy, and he gave it up so hard that pretty soon he didn’t have to give it up at all. One look at the shower face and Two-Phones decided to give his act a rest.

The Old Men wanted Fish Garbanzo clipped. Had a couple hot-shit trigger jockeys out of Detroit take a run at him last week, but Fish had that mutant nephew of his, Beans, with him – size of a single family home and some sort of handgun savant, like the only part of his brain that worked right was the part about shooting people. Beans left the shooters in the street sporting 9mm bindis.

So the Old Men called Slim. Fish was heading out of town – word was maybe a meet with the Feds. Airport suited Slim. Airport was the one place where Beans wouldn’t be strapped.

Fish and Beans were in the Food Court, Slim watching from the bookstore at the mouth of A concourse. Fish was a delicate old fuck, liver-spotted head, sipping on something. Beans sat down with a pile of slop he’d grabbed, shoveled it in. Then Fish and Beans got up, headed around the corner for the can. Showtime.

TSA pukes will take away your nail clippers, but Slim loved the shit they let you bring through. He had the computer power cord, the one with the half-pound brick of transformer, knotted up into a perfect sap, and he’d used the bench grinder on a toothbrush, filing that down to a point like an ice pick.

Beans was standing by the sinks when Slim pushed into the john. Slim snapped the transformer down hard right on top of Beans’ head. Not like that was gonna put Beans all the way down, though. Slim slipped under a massive right and drove the tooth brush up under the base of Bean’s skull all the way in to the bristles. He could see Bean’s face in the mirror, all Mongoloid looking now, eyes drooping, mouth hanging open. He caught Beans under the arms, backed him into the empty stall and plopped him down on the crapper.

“Fuck’s goin’ on?” Fish muttering in the handicap stall. Slim kicked the door in, the old man on the can, pants around his ankles, knees sticking out of his stringy legs like knots on tree branches. Slim waved his left hand up over Fish’s head, got his chin up, then drove the fingers of his right hand into the old man’s throat. Felt the trachea go. All over.

Slim locked the door to the stall then slid out underneath, did the same for Beans. He was just about to zip the power cord back in his bag when Two-Phones walked in the door and over to the urinals. Slim washed his hands, watching in the mirror. Fuck just leaves, he’s still good.

But Beans’ head was leaking and he must’ve slumped against the wall closest to the pissers. Two-Phones saw the blood oozing out under the stall – Slim could see him tense up. Fuck.

Slim bull-rushed Two-Phones, putting a forearm up against the back of his head, bouncing his face hard off the tile, then got his right hand around to the far shoulder, left hand cupping the chin, snapped Two-Phone’s neck. Before he dropped him, he plucked the money clip out of the right front pants pocket. Franklins all the way through.


“You’re a big man, but you’re in bad shape. With me it’s a full time job. Now behave yourself.”

Not long now. The first piece of flash fiction will be posted here on Shotgun Honey tomorrow morning sometime around 5 AM. Maybe earlier, but that’s not too likely as I don’t exactly jump up out of bed these days.

While I’m not going to divulge who we have coming up in the days ahead, I will say that it looks like we will be able to go with the plan of posting new stories on a Monday – Wednesday – Friday schedule.

And why do I keep saying ‘we’? There’s a reason, of course, but there are details to tend to. So… More on that another time.

I hope you all drop in here tomorrow and check out the first story. It’s a hoot, I’ll say that much right now.

And please feel free to leave comments. Honesty is just as appreciated as praise, but remember:

Be cool.

Or else.


Into the Breech

All right. Still tweaking the general look and all, but Shotgun Honey is ready to take on submissions.

Like the guidelines to the right say, I’m looking for noir, crime, hardboiled, or whatever you care to call it fiction, in 700 words or less.*

In regards to cussing, sex, and violence, a little clarification might be in order:

Life can be dirty, sexy, and bloody. Bring it on!

However…

If every other word is fuck just because you like typing the word fuck over and over, that’s not gonna fly.

Same thing with sex. Does it serve the story, define the characters, or are you engaging in fantasy on the page? If you’re writing sex, write smart.

If the gore is dripping just because you like to keep things squishy, again, you’ll be looking at both barrels of rejection.

Make it tight.

Make it hum.

I’ll keep the turnaround time as short as possible.

Let’s get to work.

* In the rare instance that a story just can’t keep it within the 700 word limit but is just so top shelf that I’d be a fool not to accept it, I’ll try to avoid being foolish.