New Pulp Press

"Bullets, Booze and Bastards"

Sample story from Sharp As A Razor

It’s been a while since someone stuck a gun in my face. My line of work as a teenager had me looking at the wrong end of a pistol a total of six times. When I was eighteen I nearly killed a guy. Took his gun and beat his drug-addled head senseless with it. Drug related crimes on the Mississippi Coast haven’t changed much in the nine years since.
This meth shooter in front of me is no different than the last idiot, a scared to death addict desperately seeking a mark in this quiet place of opportunity, hoping to stick me for a nice wad of cash he can poke into his scrawny arm.
I sighed with a sort of relief, trying unsuccessfully to suppress an eager smile. Held my hands up. I have been hoping, dreaming, for something like this to happen. Life has been BORING since I, myself, retired from crime. And the legit endeavors I’ve pursued in recent years are about as thrilling as watching two geriatrics drag race their electric scooters. This was the kind of danger I used to live for.
What happened to that guy?
He grew a vagina, my subconscious slapped me with. That nagging awareness has been too vocal for comfort lately.
“Give me your money!” the man shrieked at me, pistol waving, shaking two feet from my face. His shrunken features were pale, sweaty, and unshaven. Hair long and greasy, shinning grossly under the lights of the parking garage. His voice echoed off the concrete walls, roof, and the cars that filled nearly every slot. “You want to get shot? Give me your fucking money!”
I’m blessed with freaky-quick hands. Lethal weapons that were far quicker than the eye, and enabled me to live in the world of crime for over a decade without carrying a gun. To my mind, the gun in my face was just another punch mitt for my left-hook to strike like a viper, a move that I’ve perfected in numerous gyms and dozens of boxing tournaments. I had absolute confidence I could hit and stun his hand before he could pull the trigger.
My upraised hands and shoulders relaxed a millisecond before my left hand darted at the side of the gun, fist tightening, punch smashing his fingers painfully into the steel, knocking the gun to my right, out of his hand. My other fist followed, a straight right that drove into his fragile chin, two-piece combo tapped out in less than a second. He must have been a career addict, body starved for calcium, because his jaw seemed to splinter into a dozen fractures, a crunch I felt and heard before resetting my stance, diving for the gun that clattered to the concrete.
He cried out, landed hard on his ass, hands going to his chin, cheeks. He squealed loudly, a scream that couldn’t be voiced properly because of the inability to open his mouth.
I picked up the weapon and walked over to him. “Never stand that close to your mark,” I said, tilting the gun upward. I opened the cylinder. Six .32 bullets fell into my palm. I pocketed them, wiped my prints off the gun and tossed into his lap. “Lame bitch. You deserve worse for being so stupid.”
He whimpered in response.
I spun on a toe and marched off to the ramp leading to the next level up, feeling a supreme satisfaction that swelled my chest, arms, and Johnson.
Just sitting on the Hayabusa made me a king. The Suzuki was a ‘99 model, but had been rebuilt and customized so many times I’ve lost count. I put the key in the ignition between the handlebars, turned it. The headlight and taillight glowed brightly. Hit the starter button on the right hand grip. The 200hp race-spec engine ignited to life, powerful exhaust vibrating my entire body. My jeans, white tee and gray leather jacket buzzed. My arm hair stood up excitedly. The full-face helmet matched the bike’s paint, white and gunmetal gray. I pulled it over my head and closed the face shield, secured the chinstrap. The raw fuel smell in the air from the warming combustion chambers elated my chest as I backed the beastly machine out and tapped it into gear. Deafening snarls reverberated throughout the garage as I raced down the levels and onto Highway 90, leaving Pass Christian, heading to the interstate.
I had to hurry if I was going to be on time to meet my girl at our former trainer’s house. I could picture her waiting in the yard, arms folded, foot tapping. I smiled broadly. She loved to have an excuse to fuss at me. Or smack me. I backed off the throttle, and decided to enjoy the cruise, helmet tucked behind the windscreen, relaxing on the top of the fuel tank, heading east in no hurry.
Exit 50 leads to Washington Avenue and downtown Ocean Springs. I went south towards the beach and turned into Eddy’s driveway a few minutes later. My coach’s home was practically a mansion. The colonial-style facade, white and blue, had several columns and a decked-out second-story balcony. As I drove up the long steep drive, I noticed the flowerbeds were empty, and the bushes weren’t as trimmed as they looked from the street.
Guess it’s hard to upkeep when you’re dead, my subconscious told me. Idiot.