WRECKAGE - TOM LEINS
They were beating the Mexican to death in the next room, all attempts to rationalise with him long since abandoned. Queenan washed his hands with industrial strength bleach. He felt like he had a belly full of hell. The stink of the shallow grave still scratched at his nostrils. He had buried men like Bobby Southern before, and he would bury men like Bobby Southern again, but he would never get used to the sight of a human skull cracked like an eggshell.
The motherfucker finally squealed when Queenan jabbed a screwdriver into his bullet wound. The sound of metal grinding into bone was strangely comforting to a man in Queenan’s line of work. Queenan mashed the pedal of his rental car. This area looked like prime junk turf, and he didn’t want to attract any skullduggery. Although he had never been here before, he already knew this town off by heart.
The club was known as Varicose Alley, due to the proliferation of elderly dancers.The doorman had a face like boiled meat. He didn’t blink when he saw Queenan’s blood-splattered shirt. Queenan was already juiced on morphine and cola, so he just ordered a beer. The girl onstage looked like a Hitchcock blonde who had been dragged through a trailer-park backwards. She worked the pole like a Russian gymnast as Louisiana swamp metal bled from the speakers.
Later that evening, the dancer drifted over to Queenan.
“You wanna buy a girl a drink, big man?”
“Not tonight, doll – I’m working.”
She shrugged and Queenan watched wistfully as she melted into the crowd.
Eventually the barman brought him another beer. He had tattooed knuckles and a vicious gunshot wound. Queenan glanced down at the seepage. It was beginning to ooze with a new intensity. The barman grinned sheepishly.
“It’s a violent world out there. We just happen to live in a particularly violent corner of it.”
BIO: Tom Leins is from Paignton, UK. ‘Wreckage’ is part of his ‘Short Brutalities’ series. Further installments can be found online at: 3am Magazine, Dogmatika, Straight From The Fridge, Savage Manners, Powder Burn Flash and A Twist Of Noir. He is currently hard at work on his first novel Thirsty & Miserable. Get your pound of flesh at: www.myspace.com/tomleins
ON THE FRINGES OF THE FRINGE
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