FANCY EATING - RICHARD GODWIN
Whenever I took a piss there, my habit was to stand feet shoulder width, one hand firmly on my dick, the other deep in my pocket. The place had a reputation, and there’d been some shit going down.
Old habits die hard.
I needed that metal touching the tips of my fingers. It’s an inside move. Don’t get jumped while you’re taking a piss.
It’s all in the shoulder roll, you clock him in the tiles, see him move behind you there, you dummy him, spin round and bring it up hitting him in the neck with the blade.
Call it my pocket buddy.
I saw him loitering by the trash outside, a tattoo of a blue tear at the corner of his eye.
He walked past me with the look. Eyes firmly set beneath the eyebrows, head down, prison gait.
Don’t fuck with me, he was saying.
Yeah? Well, don’t fuck with me, asshole.
Except I took a piss and nothing. He came in and was about to make his move and must have seen me clock him and he just washed his hands and went back out again.
Trixy was waiting for me when I got outside.
I can see her now, statuesque, one hell of a woman, red dress, shimmering in the heat like an invitation that carried a warning that said are you man enough?
The sky was a cobalt blue and the air as dry as parchment and we headed to the Jeep.
‘I need a drink,’ she said.
And as I drove to Filthy Jack’s bar, I saw him tail us.
Filthy Jack’s got a reputation for serving the finest burgers round these parts. The meat’s good and deep and the sauces are full of hidden surprises. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.
I knew Trixy could see him behind us.
Saw her fixing her lipstick in the mirror and looking at him hang back a few cars.
I thought of what I’d been reading, guys seen with a black woman on their arm slashed to ribbons.
We went inside and I ordered our drinks.
‘Jack, Trixy,’ I said.
‘Pleased to meet you, Trixy.’
I could see him giving her the eye but she wasn’t interested. I don’t think she liked his look.
We sat down and she sipped her highball.
‘What is that on his lip?’ she said.
‘Jack? Oh, it’s his pussy tickler moustache.’
‘Well, I think it’s disgusting.’
‘Don’t tell him that. He thinks it’s a big hit with the ladies.’
‘Honey, I’m hungry,’ she said.
‘No, I don’t mean that. Take me somewhere fancy to eat.’
‘Yeah, you know the kind of place.’
Jack was polishing glasses and I shouted over to him.
‘Jack, fancing eating?’
‘No, I had a couple of tacos earlier.’
‘I’m asking you to recommend somewhere.’
‘Fancy? Fuck, who knows?’ he said.
It was hot, so hot the chilled glass oozed drops of condensation and my beer turned warm in my hand and I just had to get this thing done.
So I headed to the car park and the bloodbath.
Some guy was lying there with his head caved in and his wife was screaming.
‘He came at us from nowhere,’ she said.
‘Big guy, shaven head.’
She nodded and stood there shaking and trembling. I took her in with me and caught a flicker in the mirror over the bar as Jack went out back.
Trixy had got up from the bar and was over by the window getting some breeze and he stood a few feet away from her.
‘Hey, bitch, you like white meat?’ he said.
She gave him a look of such disdain it could have cut glass and said, ‘You ain’t got what it takes.’
And as I moved to them, he leant into her and she brought her stiletto up so fast he didn’t see it coming, the point ending right in his crotch.
I can still see it, her perfect calf leading out from the hem of her tight skirt and the red shoe connecting with him in ways he’d never imagined, his face crumpling like a piece of soiled paper.
He pulled himself up just as I got between them.
‘You like it dark?’ he said to me. ‘Like a lot of gravy?’
‘Fuck you, man.’
And I slipped him the blackjack.
It’s handy and it’s got a good spring action and his head spilt apart and lay open with this gash there right over his eye and he punched out at me but it was wild and I caught him with a right hook as he was coming up for air.
You could reach a finger into the hole I’d made in his head and a little spurt of blood was pumping away there.
‘You screw with me, I’ll fucking end you,’ I said.
He wasn’t moving much as I took Trixy’s arm and walked her outside.
I didn’t need a murder charge and figured he’d learnt his lesson.
The woman was gone and we walked to the Jeep and I got Trixy in.
But, as I turned, I heard a scuffle and saw him moving towards us, his head awash with blood.
Then I heard it.
The blast was ear shattering.
She must have gone back to her car for the weapon. She stood some way off but it was a perfect shot.
The first bullet opened him up like a piece of steak.
And she emptied the rifle into him as though she was fucking him, her legs astride, firing away without mercy, each bullet tearing a bigger hole than the last one. The middle of his chest opening wider and wider with each impact which made him leap forward across the car park until he was a bitter picture of ripped skin and lay there in a pool of his own blood.
I walked over to her.
‘Motherfucker, who he think he is?’
‘Well right now I think he’s dead.’
She put the rifle down and started shaking.
Jack was coming out from the bar.
‘What the fuck’s going on here?’ he said.
‘Where are you when we need you?’
‘Getting some barrels at the back.’
‘Can you dispose of this lady’s weapon and this asshole?’
He looked down at the body.
‘Good size,’ he said. ‘Cutter John’s coming over later, I reckon we could use him.’
The lady looked at him.
‘Need me to help you clear up?’ I said.
‘It’s all right. There’s a few there on his shanks and you know me, I never waste an ounce of spare flesh, thanks for the delivery.’
‘You’re more than welcome.’
I saw the lady to her car and Jack went to get his hose. Her man was bleeding but would survive.
Then I drove Trixy out of there.
She’d calmed down and I looked at her sitting there in the passenger seat and she was just shimmering.
BIO: Richard Godwin lives and writes in London, where his dark satire ‘The Cure-All’, about a group of confidence tricksters, has been produced on the stage. He has just finished writing a crime novel.