The day Rickie found the empty limousine idling outside the hardware store, he knew he’d made it off the farm. Steal it. Sell it. No more slopping pigs.
He drove the stretch black Hummer to a chop shop, but they weren’t buying. “BEAMERS, BENZ, AUDIS,” the fence said. “I can’t sell a fucking limo.”
Driving away, Rickie heard a moan. He peeked at the seats. Empty. He pulled over and found man crumpled on the carpet, facedown in vomit, arm twitching above his head.
Rickie had a brainstorm. Can’t sell the car? Sell the cargo.
He rifled the guy’s suit, soft as a baby’s blanket. No wallet, no phone. Just a wad of business cards. Sergei something-or-other. The card’s logo matched Sergei’s pinkie ring: red star in a pool of black. Rickie called the number.
Two hours later, the sun long gone behind his uncle’s barn, Rickie waited by the pig sty, the limo parked around back. His hostage looked more out of it than before. When a 7 series BMW pulled in, Rickie got a hard-on. He slid the barn door open and waved the car inside.
“Where’s Sergei?” asked the driver, hands bigger than a farmer’s and a suit finer than his friend’s.
“Not soooo fast,” Rickie said, leaning on a barrel. “You bring the money?”
“You bring Sergei?” asked Beamer Dude.
Rickie shook a greasy rag over the barrel and two toes plopped out. A bit bloody…but cut straight. He’d used the tin snips.
Beamer Dude smirked. “Could be anybody’s.”
“That would be a waste, wouldn’t it?”
The guy shrugged, tossed an envelope fat with hundreds on the barrel next to the severed toes. Rickie reached but the man lay a hand like an anvil on the money. His pinkie ring matched Sergei’s—red star, surrounded by black.
“I’m thinking the price just went up,” Rickie said.
The guy stared.
“I’m thinking, I kinda like your car,” Rickie said.
“Where. Is. Sergei?”
Rickie took the tin snips back to the limo, returning a minute later with Sergei’s pinkie, nice black ring and all. Beamer Dude slipped the ring into his pocket.
“Still warm,” he said. “Nice touch.”
“So, I get the car? It’s not like your buddy can drive. And the limo’s worth more.”
Beamer Dude looked at the hog, asleep in its pen. “Your pig. What’s he eat?”
“Slop. Whatever I throw in.”
Beamer Dude scooped the finger and toes, tossed them over the metal fence. The animal chomped so loudly they couldn’t hear bones crack. He said, “The car’s yours. Bring me all of Sergei.”
“I can’t carry him alone,” Rickie said. “Let’s just trade keys and you drive him home.”
“No. I help. We carry together.”
They dragged Sergei into the barn and propped him up next to the barrel, his head loose, trying to open one eye.
“In my business,” said Beamer Dude, “people rip you off. Nature of beast. What I cannot tolerate is being crossed by my own employee.” He nudged Sergei with his shoe. Sputum trickled down Sergei’s chin. “Sergei was driver. But when you stole limo, I was driving. Take Sergei on final voyage. Shot him full propofol. He talks. Some benzos. He sleeps. You know: cocktail. Was getting supplies at hardware store. Chain, couple blocks.”
“So you see, you help me, I help you.”
Rickie shook his head.
“LIFT,” the man said. Together, they flipped Sergei into the pig pen.
His leg caught on ragged steel. It went deep, stuck like the barb on a fish hook. They tugged and twisted, Sergei’s one eye wide open now, his moans forming words. The hog sniffed the hand with the missing finger.
“Lemme get the tin snips,” Rickie said.
“Never mind. Jump in. Push leg up.” Beamer Dude pulled a revolver, waved it at Rickie with a grunt of encouragement.
In he went, ankle deep in pig manure. One pushed, one pulled, and the leg tore free. Beamer Dude plugged two bullets into Sergei’s forehead. The hog sniffed the gunpowder and gnawed the dead man’s hand.
“Can you drive limo?” Beamer Dude asked.
Beamer Dude handed him Sergei’s ring and said, “You need new suit.”