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?”
“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.
“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.
Irish Times Crime Fiction column, February 2018
13 hours ago