Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Twist Of Noir 120 - Tom Leins


Originally appeared on DZ Allen's Muzzle Flash

Queenan knows that Velasquez is dead before he even hits the bathroom tiles. He doesn’t miss from there. He sighs. This town is turning into a graveyard for lunatics. All collateral damage in Queenan’s demented war. The skeleton boy is touch and go, but this guy is deader than hell. Queenan stops running and lurches into a gaping shop doorway. The ceiling fan wafts recycled air lazily in his direction. He gulps down the stale morning air hungrily and reaches into his pocket for a cocktail napkin. He wipes it across his sweaty brow, but it comes back soaked in blood. He fingers his hairline tentatively. Fuck.

A low, rasping voice breaks his concentration. “Some wound you got there, boss.” His eyes are the colour of used bullets, his open sores a colour that Queenan has never seen before. He hears the knuckle-crack prelude before he second-guesses the filthy hombre in front of him. The brown fist connects with Queenan’s square jaw to negligible effect. He feels thin cigarette fingers grope for his revolver and cranks down on the hombre’s knee with his stomp bone. The mooch shrieks and Queenan stomps the same knee into the linoleum twice as hard.

Another damaged soul in this godforsaken town. This motherfucker will squeal if it takes his last sick breath to do it. Queenan jams his revolver into the hombre’s eye socket and waits for the teeth-spitting prose to leak out of the half-dead mouth. Jorge Ramirez. Gary Santos. Daddy Badwater. Enough is enough. Pause. Click. Bang. Queenan takes no pleasure in seeing blank flesh ripped from the bone and sprayed across the linoleum. He slumps against the wall and bleeds through the cocktail napkin some more.

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