There are feelings that you’re intimately familiar with.  You know, the kind of feelings that come up frequently because life is cyclical, and we repeat ourselves, and repeat our feelings.  Same shit over and over.

Now’s one of those times.

I feel my insides constricted, but not crushed.  More like a vacuum is pulling my insides, my feelings, into nothingness.  My breathing is calm, and my body is relaxed but, I shouldn’t be.

That’s the thing.  That’s why I feel this sensation.  I should be consumed with anxiety, terror even, but I’m not.  I stand here, and I wait with a total calm.  A forced detachment that I know is unnatural.  Hence, the vacuum.  It has sucked my emotions away—my humanity even.

The wall is real though.  I feel that!  Every intricate contour of the bricks on my back is a distinct reality.  Like the Princess and the pea, I feel everything.

My shoes are too tight.  They’re new.  A solitary bead of sweat slowly makes it way down my chest.  Somehow the breeze is grounding.  It keeps me here, present.  Goddamn, I hate waiting!

The gun is cool in my hand.  Always is…

Now I hear his voice.  I know it.  It’s not like I know the man behind it.  He’s a shadow, and like a shadow, I pay it no mind.  It’s the body that carries the voice, that carries the life.  That’s the life I have to end tonight.

Poor fucker, he’ll never see it coming.

It seems like only an hour ago I was with Kieka, and watching she-male porn—her vice not mine.  As hot as Kieka is, and the way she gets down in the sack … I’ll take a pair of expensive titties and a dick attached to the same anatomy in my porn.  I’m cool with it.  No dudes in it though, and if it gets too weird I don’t watch.  Kieka doesn’t have a dick, so I’m all good.

His name’s Farhru Sarismin.  To be known in mere moments as fucking dead guy.  I don’t know what he did or who he pissed off, don’t matter one shit to me, all I know is by the sound of his expensive loafers clip-clopping along, and his voice giving some young thing the “you’re gonna love my car” type shit, he’s sixteen feet away; nine-and-change, steps by his current stride.

Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two…

I appear from the alley.  The extension of my left hand finds its own way to the heart, and before a conversation is even had between my brain and my index finger, it has pulled twice, smooth and measured, on the trigger—a double-tap through the ol’ blood organ.  Done, son!

The silenced revolver sounds like an amplified fly fart.

Farhru looks like he’s hick-upped.  At first anyway.  Then he drops like a meat sack.  The girl I bash real good in the jaw.  I hate hitting girls, unless they deserve it, but otherwise I hate doing it.

But I need her mind scrambled. 

“Yes he had a weapon, detective, it was a clock, no, a rubber chicken … Worcestershire Sauce, I think it was.”  I need her that fucked up because I don’t want to put two 158 grain pieces of lead through her.

Well, it all worked out well; he’s dead and she’s stunned.  I turn to leave, then something dawns on me.  Shit!  That’d be some Hell to pay if I didn’t check that angle.

I go back, and kneel beside the girl.  I slap her lightly to get her present.  She comes around.

“Don’t look at me , sweetheart.  I’m the Devil himself, and if you see me, I gotta take you down with me, Capice?” I still haven’t figured out what I see in that word.  I’m fucking Irish.

She nods and diverts her eyes the direction of the pavement.  Studying tiny pebbles, and learning, no doubt, at a geometric rate.

I chuckle, while I pet her head.

“Don’t shut down on me.  I gotta ask you something.  You with me?”

She nods, kinda, as she starts to cry, in a reserved, more pathetic than actually crying sort of way.

I know only one way to stop this…

“I kill cry babies … seriously.”

She shuts up lick idée-split.  They all do.

“So you with me here?”

She nods, eyes still intently mapping the landscape of the twelve square inches of sidewalk in front of her face.

“You a she-male?”

I don’t think she understood the question.

“Are you a she-male?”

By the way her head bobs around all willy–nilly I figure she wants to say something.  I never told her she couldn’t talk.  Goddamn, people are stupid.

“You can answer.”

“No, I’m not.”

“You’re not a she-male?”

She shakes her head.  Could’ve done that the first time.

“No cock-n-balls?”  You gotta be sure about these things.  Different peeps got different terminologies.

She shakes her head again.

“Would you tell me if you did?”

She nods.  Prob’ly lying.

Some black dude in a ridiculous leather jacket rounds the corner.

His eyes relay what they see to his brain (upside down, of course, because that’s how they do it—the eyes, not blacks), and his brain interprets that what he sees definitely isn’t “okay”, then sends a flight alert to all the muscles. This all happens in a mili-second. Still slower than the two .38 caliber rounds I send through his heart.

Heart’s always best; clean, efficient.

The brutha drops, then flops around a bit—we gotta live one!

I return my attention to the Q & A.

“You’re positive? You know what I’m asking right?  You haven’t got a dick?”

“No, I’m a girl.”

I’m tempted to check.

“Got any kids?”

She shakes her head.

“Well, thirty-something years from now, tell your grandkids they exist because you were straight, and honest with an hired killer whose girlfriend has a chicks-with-dicks fetish.  That’ll be one they never heard anywhere else, and fucking true too.”

“You get that?”

“Yes.  I’ll tell them.”

“Fantastico! Well … ‘night.”

I pat her nicely on the head before I stand to leave.  Then it dawns on me.  I kneel back down.

“Do you have any she-male friends?”

“No.  None.”

“Ya sure?  They look like the fucking real McCoy, I’m telling ya. It’s creepy.”

“Yes.  I only have a few friends, and I know they’re girls.”

“Okay.  You go to church?”

“Sometimes, yes.  With my Gran.”

“Well, next time you go, light a candle for the shitbag on your right.”  Of course I was referring to Farhru, who had just finished making a large pool of crimson on the city’s pristine sidewalk.

“Okay, I will.”

I stand, satisfied that all bases had been covered.  My fucking feet ache from these shoes.

“I’ll light one for you too.”

Damn … you just never know, do ya?  Sometimes I forget there are no bases to cover, and that at any time some tattooed, pierced-face, clubber-chick could say she’s gonna light your death candle, even if you have a pistol in your hand.

“No thank you.  No candles for me please.”

I pump two rounds into her heart, just in case she’s one of them “firestarter” types that just gotta light candles, and play with matches, and so forth.  Can never be too sure.

Another pedestrian comes into the shortcut alley as I’m reloading. He sees the carnage.

“Oh my God!”  How fucking original.

“I know, right?  Calling the cops right now.”

All you gotta do these days is pretend you got something in your hand, and wiggle your fingers, and you can get someone to wait for you damn near indefinitely.  I reload one-handed with the other.

“Oh my, will ya look at that!”

“What?” he asks.  Jesus!  I don’t know how I keep from laughing.

“I’m all reloaded.”  I hafta throw a double-tap through his sternum as well. At least this one was fucking funny.

Time to go I guess.

It’s starts to rain.  Good stuff.  Bye-bye trace evidence and microbes and so forth.  Stay home Forensics, no need for ya tonight.

Smooth and by the numbers, baby, as always!  That’s how it went down.  Yup, smooth and by the numbers.  And the boss said he thought I might be getting old, and sloppy.

Shiiit…  Double tap his fucking ass, and see if he still thinks I’m old and sloppy.

Pow! Pow!  Oh!  Do I need to translate that for ya?  I’m sorry, it’s .38 Revolver for, Shut The Fuck Up!

Shiiit. Now that’s funny.  Hell, I’m sharper than I ever was.

Too bad that chick didn’t have a dick though.  Kieka would’ve loved that.




Leave a comment


  1. Elle Morford

     /  January 30, 2014

    This… Was probably my absolute favorite of all Chris. There are way too many reasons to list. I’ve now read all of your picture prompted shorts and tomorrow read your THS Saga. I would so buy your book of all these. Thanks for keeping me occupied this week!

    • Christopher Shawbell

       /  February 8, 2014

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I have been away from my work for quite sometime, but am near completing this transition period that has kept my attention elsewhere. I will definitely be posting more work in March and the months to follow.


  2. Cool cat in your tale, but does he have to shoot, the brutha?



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