Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Twist Of Noir 119 - Tom Leins


Originally appeared on DZ Allen's Muzzle Flash

He looked, glassy-eyed, at my throat knife. Fuckin’ mooch. It sucked the joy right out of him with one fuckin’ swipe. The muted howl almost brought a tear to my lazy eye. Rosa said nothing, but in this sleazy, fearful town sometimes you don’t have to.

She has a complexion like burned-out brick. A rusty heart and a voice like quiet rain. She didn’t ask me to slice Eduardo’s neck - I decided to do that all by myself. Eduardo displayed a shabby indifference towards life. He was a two-bit knuckle-merchant with grot for brains. No more, no less.

That, I can tolerate. It’s when someone shows a shabby indifference towards my life that I get angry. I drop my blade and wipe my bloody hands on the TV Guide that’s lying open on Eduardo’s stinkin’ bed. It’s funny, you know, the only books I’ve ever read are TV Guides and Bibles. I don’t know about TV Guides, but Bibles say that a sin is a sin, whichever way you cut it. In my mind, that makes adultery and killin’ pretty even.

The glint of Eduardo’s blood on my knife brings back the things that I’ve spent the last two years trying to forget. Thin-lipped back-chat and the filthy stink of killin’.

Jorge drags Eduardo’s fat corpse out of the room without a word. Blood turns to brown on the carpet and I walk outside, leaving the bile-green motel door ajar. In the parking lot, Rosa is sitting in my car, smoking an unfamiliar brand of cigarette. Behind the motel, the bare limbs of mid-morning sex-workers gleam in the sun. I stand still to light a cigarette for myself and notice the misshapen whore bystanders passing a glue-bag between one another. I saved Rosa, but who will save them?

BIO: Tom Leins is from Paignton, UK. His short stories have been published online at 3am Magazine, Dogmatika, A Twist Of Noir, Beat The Dust, Straight From The Fridge, Savage Manners and Muzzle Flash Fiction. He is currently working on his first novel: Thirsty & Miserable. Get your pound of flesh at


Unknown said...

Good piece of flash, Tom.

Tom Leins said...

Thanks, Col. I'm glad you enjoyed it.