Monday, December 13, 2010

A Twist Of Noir 642 - Tom Leins


Outside my window a mixture of rain and snow turns to slush in the gutter. It makes me think of sex.

The closer I edge to death, the more I think about sex. I’m 62. I don’t have too many good years left in me. I’d been seeing Barbette on-and-off for four months now. We met through a mutual friend and she flat-backed her way into my affections. I’m not a wealthy man, but I’ve got my own apartment, and that makes me a hell of a catch for a woman of Barbette’s limited means. She’s pushing forty, but she still possesses a certain spiny kind of beauty. Like all couples, we have our ups and downs.

She performs in a transparent skirt over at The Slow Club. Her dance routine is about as sexy as a jailhouse wedding, but at my age I take what I can get. The problem is, she can’t hold her sugar, and it’s starting to show. I kicked the cack back in ’97, just in time for my fiftieth birthday. The way Barbette’s going, she won’t make 50. The dragon will eat her bones long before that.

Lately her estranged husband has been sniffing around the club, on the prowl for a little meat to go with his wine. He’s a pro-wrestler - wrestles under the name of the Jazz Butcher. His real name is Alvin Lupus, and he’s one scary motherfucker. I’m old enough to remember him when he was a kid, just starting out. Back then, he was scrawny, like a bag of bones. Used to leak blood like a pussy every time he got hit. Now he’s one of the big dogs, weighs at least 280lbs.

The intercom screeches, and I buzz him in wordlessly. I slump into my easy chair, chest wheezing, knees sore. Fucking Florida can’t come soon enough. Alvin’s wearing a navy blue duffel coat over his spandex leotard. His face is creased with old scars, but he covers them up with thick, white circus make-up when he fights. It makes his black eyes look like bottomless pits. He can’t wrestle at the moment – busted his knees up pretty good in a Scaffolding Match – but he’s been filming TV spots for a new federation over in Testament. His face is freshly scrubbed, but his scars are still full of greasepaint.

“You want a drink, Alvin?”

He dips into the pocket of his duffel coat and plucks out a clear, unlabeled bottle.

“Didn’t know if you’d have any, so I brought my own.”

He unscrews the cap and gulps thirstily.

“Mescal. Picked up a crate of stuff when I was fighting down South last month. Burst some guy’s spleen with a steel chair. Put him in a steel fucking chair of his own. Those goddamn bastards used to be tough.”

“Do you have the paperwork.”

“Fuck, no. I’m here to pick Barbette up. Take her home and fuck her ragged.”

I sigh.

“I like you, Alvin. Don’t give me a reason to hurt you.”

He cackles his familiar machine-gun laugh.

“Hurt me, old man? You’re more likely to hurt yourself.”

He cackles again, shifting his huge buttocks irritably on the small wooden dining chair.

Barbette drifts out of the shadows, still wearing her transparent skirt. She flashes me a drugged smile.

“Hey, Alvin, how’s tricks?”

“Hey, babe. I was just telling Sugar Daddy here that playtime’s over.”

She caresses the back of Alvin’s neck, running her fingers through his greasy black hair.

“Sure was fun though, wasn’t it?”

She wedges the gun in his ear. It’s time to kill off the inexplicable ghosts.

Barbette fiddles with the hem of her plastic skirt as she empties the piece into Alvin’s skull. The problem with Barbette is, she never had any self-control. I’ll be picking spent bullets out of his mouldy carcass all evening.

BIO: Tom Leins is from Paignton, UK. His short stories have appeared online at Beat The Dust, Hit & Run Magazine, Disenthralled, Flash Fiction Offensive, Powder Burn Flash and A Twist Of Noir. He also writes a weekly DVD column, entitled Sex, Leins & Videotape.


Michael Solender said...

Well, that was nifty. Just like that, howdy do-pop. Remind me never to cross you. Fine tale here.

Naomi Johnson said...

Jayz, and he's still willing to sleep with her? He must be more than half suicidal himself.

Anonymous said...

That was a bang of an ending. I hope the old man doesn't become the next Alvin.

R.S. Bohn said...

Michael said it. Remind me never to cross you!

Fantastic lines and descriptions throughout. This was kind of a joy to read!

AJ Hayes said...

Never trust a chick in a transparent skirt. Her business distracts your business while she gives you the business right in your left ear. Tidy tale that rolls you straight through until the bang up finish rolls your socks up and down. Cool.

Unknown said...

Wow. erm. Just wow. Unexpected finish. Loved it!

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Nice job on the imagery and the narration and dialogue were really done well.

Nigel Bird said...

shows me that there aren't enough wrestlers in fiction. nicely executed.

Chris Rhatigan said...

Great job, Tom. Wonderful pacing and nicely sketched characters.

M. C. Funk said...

Good voice.

Joyce said...

Great characters and a slam-bang ending. Her elderly gentleman friend needs to watch his back for sure. Eliminating Alvin seemed to come quite naturally to her. This is terrific.

chad rohrbacher said...

Great first and last lines. The between wasn't bad either :)

Jane Hammons said...

Love the voice in this piece.

Al Tucher said...

Starts with a great title and goes on from there.

Anonymous said...

Good flip in the final paragraph.
Cuckhold justice.