Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Twist Of Noir 074 - Jimmy Callaway

IF YOU DIED TODAY, WHO WOULD TAKE CARE OF YOUR FAMILY? - JIMMY CALLAWAY

“How do you mean?” I said.

“What?” Tip’s gun wavered a bit. “Look, it’s a straightforward question,” he said. Yes, very straightforward. And meant to strike fear in my cowardly, craven heart. Jesus. Romano must be slipping, sending a guy like Tip. That, or he holds me in very low regard.

Tip doggedly began again. “If you died today—”

“Yeah, yeah, I heard you,” I said. “But to take care of someone or something, I mean, that can have all kinds of, y’know, interpretations. Aren’t you taking care of me, in a way?”

“Well...”

“I mean, you’re taking care of Mr. Bob Romano’s problem—me—by taking care of me, right? And Mr. Bob Romano’s general happiness is important to you, so you’re also taking care of that. I mean, there’s a lot—”

“Look, shut up!”

“You brought it up, I’m just—”

“Shut up, I said!” Tip blinked sweat out of his eyes.

“All right, I’ll shut up,” I said.

“Good. Now—”

“But you brought it up.”

Tip’s gun made a big noise across my face. I mean, don’t get me wrong, a smack in the face with a gun hurts, it always does. But Tip’s hand was shaking and he was pretty upset. Y’know. You can’t do any real damage to a guy, physically or otherwise, without being dispassionate about it. That’s been my experience, anyway.

“Tip,” I said, “let me ask you this.”

“What?” he asked, and I kicked him in the nuts as hard as I could. While he was bent over, puking, I picked up his gun and put one in the back of his head.

Who’ll take care of Tip’s family?

Who gives a fuck.

BIO: Jimmy Callaway lives and works in San Diego, CA. Please check out attentionchildren.blogspot.com for more hijinks.

4 comments:

Paul Brazill said...

Ba -dah! A joy!

Joyce said...

Oh, this was slick. Cold as ice. Loved it!

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Great title; great closing line. I pray, next I meet my sweet prince hit man, that I remember this story, keep my cooler as cool as the protagonist does, and try that "who's gonna take care of you" line out on him. Bet I don't remember, though. Bet I don't keep my cool. No, fiction's way better than real life, any day.
Keep em coming,pal.
xxx Ratboy

Josh Converse said...

I love anything with even the suggestion of a pistol-whipping. Nice!