He’d been trying to muscle in on my business for a couple of months, upsetting my routine, the little fat-faced fucker. Leaving me threatening messages, warning me, that he was coming for me and sooner or later, he’d get what I so called owed him. Wasn’t my fault he was bad at math. Besides, betting against the house is for losers anyway. And he was a fuckin’ loser, saw it in his eyes the first day I laid eyes on him. I’d seen the same look on every other loser like him. Guys with starry eyed optimism, loaded with dreams, thinking they could beat the odds. Losers every one of them.
So I’d been ducking his punk ass for weeks – avoiding my normal territory, grazing in different spots, falling into new watering holes. But this evening she had to have a calzone outta the old neighborhood.
She was a slick number. A girl I’d met uptown. She had curves in all the right places to make you observe the speed limit when passing over them. Smart and funny. A chick with a high level of education. What she saw in me, I’ll never know, but we had a high degree of chemistry for sure. In a word, we just clicked. Just to see her come walking around the corner sent me soaring like a rocket. I’d met her through an associate of mine, named Johnny. She was his cousin out of Jersey.
I’d just run into Johnny a week ago. He’d told me some guy’d been walking around the old neighborhood asking about me. So being back here made me as nervous as a prostitute in church.
Fortunately, I could see Mickey’s restaurant, up ahead. We were just minutes from gettin’ off the streets, when all of a sudden, I heard a loud noise coming from my right.
The little, butterball came running through the mass of tables, rushing forward like a fat-faced kid with a supersoaker, pumping and charging, ripping up the sidewalk racing toward me. He rounded the bistro tables, yelling and screaming. He was kicking up so much noise I couldn’t hear what he was saying. I could only read his lips. I watched them mouth the words, “I fuckin’ warned you…”
He had one eye open and one eye shut, head cocked, resting on his shoulder as he took aim while sporting a devious smile. Unloading his quiver, shots came firing; emptying his cache into my bubble goose.
The first shot went right through the arm of my right sleeve. Feathers exploded into the air. The shot exited the back as white down floated to the ground. I could hear the steady cadence of shots, thwip, thwip, thwip, thwip.
My eyes widened, gasping for air in shock, as the second shot, was drawn back taut by stubby fingers. He let it fly with a shwoosh into my right thigh. Shot three, exploded into more feathers. Shot four, into the shoulder.
Shot five, struck me right in the heart. The momentum carried into my frame, bumping me back on my heels. I knocked over a table, knocked over glasses, catapulting them into the air, while water sloshed out of the stems.
She reached over and placed her hand across my chest for protection. But I was already in descent, pulling down a couple of chairs on my way. Two more arrows hit – six – seven – while I fell in the slowness of the moment.
She held out her arms, holding me as I struggled to sit up, gasping for air. I wrenched my neck forward to calm myself as I looked up into her eyes. I became all starry eyed as I sat up, riddled with arrows. I was slipping fast. I was falling in love.
“Ha ha ha.” I could hear him laughing behind us. He pulled up on the corner of his cloth diaper, switching the chewed butt of his cigar from the right to the left side of his mouth, as he walked away, “I warned you I’d get you, ya dumb fuck! Now you’re in love!”
By malakhai jonezs
(C) copyright 2016
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