SAVANT - AJ HAYES
Fuckin’ guns. It’s always fuckin’ guns. They think they pull a fuckin’ gun and everybody just goes shit that’s a fuckin’ gun and falls down.
Jimmy’s got the hoodie cinched so tight only the tip of his nose is showing.
Take it easy kid I say. Relax. I torch a doob and pass it over. What guns? Where?
Down at the pig farm he says.
Jimmy talks different. I mean he ain’t hard to understand just different. But he don’t talk that much at a time so I figure maybe I go take a look. You know see if there’s any wallets or bags of dope left laying around. Usually is when there’s guns been out.
You hang here Jimmy I say. I’ll be right back. It’s only a couple blocks.
He says okay Bobbie and settles down with the joint.
I case the street both ways before I slide out of the alley. No cops. I figure this town nobody’s gonna call ’em. Just another quiet night at the beach.
I get to the police substation and take a look jerking my head around the door frame and back real fast. Dead cops. One behind a desk two on the floor. Looked like one guy almost made it out. But he didn’t.
I think Man you should never ever pull a gun on Jimmy.
So I’m rummaging around. You know wallet here ring there that shit. What the hell they ain’t gonna be needing them right? Then behind me somebody coughs and I wheel around spouting alibis.
Big mustache gold tooth bigger gun. Aimed right between my eyes. Couple bangers all muled up right behind him. Sanchez. Shit. Shit. Shit.
Hey Bobbie. ’Zup?
His fuck you eyes wander around the scene and come back to me.
How come you kill all my cops Holmes? You tryin’ steal my dope?
I start to tell him I didn’t and I wasn’t and he gets ready not to believe me and I know what’s coming next and it can’t go any way but bad.
Then Jimmy says Hey Bobbie and every head in the place does an exorcist turn to focus on the skinny black kid in the red thrift-store hoodie.
Sanchez gets it back together first.
Who the fuck’s that?
His gun muzzle starts to waver away from me and over to Jimmy.
José I yell. Don’t.
It’s enough to make him jump and swerve the pistol back to me.
Fuck you talkin’ about?
I jerk a thumb at Jimmy.
He don’t like guns I say.
Now he’s grinning bigger like he thinks I’m just trying to put off what we both know is coming. Like maybe I’m trying to save the kid too.
Fuck should I care what a twelve-year-old likes or don’t? He says.
He glances at Jimmy and his eyes narrow.
He a retard?
Jimmy’s just standing there watching. Smiling that smile.
No I say. Autistic.
José gets it.
One of them retard math guys like in that movie?
Yeah like the movie I say. But it ain’t math he’s good at. He’s got a different talent.
José glances at his Rolex. Blows out his mustache. Shrugs.
Tell ya what Bobbie he says. I’ll do the kid first. That way he won’t be scared.
I shake my head slow and sad.
Okay man thanks I say. And hit the floor fast. At least I tried.
I gotta give Sanchez credit he’s quick. Racks the slide spins and almost gets to pull the trigger. Couple of yells. Somebody even gets a shot off. Then it gets quiet. All I hear is the ocean.
S’okay Bobbie Jimmy says.
I poke my head up. Like I expected there’s a few more bodies and a lot more blood. I lift some more cash from the crooked dead cops. José’s dope is useless bags split open and the coke all soaked with blood. Jimmy’s wiping off his straight razor and putting it back in his hoodie.
He smiles that smile.
Later we’re at the ice cream shop and the squads roll past red lights code seven all swat and five-o shit.
Huh Jimmy says. Wonder where they’re going?
Beats me I say.
BIO: AJ Hayes is from San Diego and -- god help him -- good friends with Jimmy (Mad Dog) Callaway, who provides great advice and the occasional smack in the mouth with the butt of a .45.