Friday, July 24, 2009

SEVEN IRON

No one’s going to believe me now. Cops’ll shoot first and save the questions for my corpse. Tokyo, if you’re reading this, you got to know that everything I say is true. No reason to lie.

I’m writing this from the roof of the coffee shop, poaching their wifi. Stole another laptop. You’ll never believe whose this is. Mrs. Nerd.

Every fucking time I try to make things better, they get worse. How the fuck am I going to get my payoff and disappear with all this shit coming down?

I went to Mrs. Nerd, her name is Helen, to tell her I didn’t off her husband. A quick visit. I hopped the back fence, in case the cops were watching the front.

“I know you didn’t.” Her face was calm. There was no sugar coating on the woman anymore, but she wasn’t worn down. She seemed more real than ever. Watched as I finally washed all the sand and blood off my face.

“So you didn’t tell the cops about me?”

“No.” She was making me a sandwich. I ate an apple, handfuls of chips, couple of cookies. Still have an another apple in my backpack, some energy bars.

“They have any idea who did it?”

“No.”

I told her I was still on the hook for my payoff, but when I got it, I’d shine the light on Rodeo so the cops could get him for the Nerd’s killing.

She smiled at this, said that at least someone would get a payoff. Talked about selling the house, maybe going back to Florida. Something about bankruptcy and life insurance not covering the debts. Tried listening, but she was talking mostly for herself.

I ate the sandwich and she sat and watched me, then asked when I was getting the payoff from Rodeo. Didn’t know. Still don’t. Especially now.

Mrs. Nerd told me to wait in the living room and she’d bring some clothes down that might fit me. She drifted upstairs, silent as a ghost. Food wasn’t sitting well in my stomach. Felt sick. Something was wrong.

Like being in the Nam tunnels with my dad, using every sense I had. Just the smallest sound upstairs. The clean crack of glass. No footsteps though. She was that quiet.

I was reaching for my backpack when I saw the display on the downstairs phone. LINE IN USE. Another fucking doublecross.

I got my backpack on, ready to bail, when Mrs. Nerd comes down the stairs. She’s got a cordless phone in one hand, screaming, “He’s here! The man who killed my husband!” In her other hand was a seven iron. She was swinging the club like a fucking Viking. Vases exploded. Glass shelves disappeared into galaxies. I’m ducking and running like a crab to stay under the iron. She’s still screaming into the phone, “He broke in the upstairs window. I think he’s going to kill me.”

Bullshit, that bitch was trying to kill me. I saw the hole in the wall that was meant for my head. She dropped the phone and put both hands on the club so she could really swing it. No way I could get close enough to take it from her. And if I fought her straight up, gave her a right hook with a closed hand, it would just make me look more guilty.

All I wanted was an exit. She knew that and broke that house down all around me, blocking any clear run out of the place. I felt the clock ticking. Like a quarterback, don’t they say that? He knows when he’ll get sacked even if he doesn’t see the rush. Except when he gets sacked, they lose yards, maybe the game. I get sacked by the cops, I lose my life.

I picked up a chair and blocked some of the club, angled myself toward the front door. She came on strong then, even kicked at me under the chair. I wasn’t going to let her kill me. I wasn’t going to let her stall me until the cops showed up.

Before you judge me, understand that she wanted me dead. For no good reason. She knew I didn’t kill her husband. Should I just have laid down and let her put the iron in my skull?

No. Caught her on the backswing. Pushed the chair against her, ran her body back until she hit a wall. She groaned and her head snapped back into the sheetrock. She didn’t drop the club, but her grip was looser. This was my chance to get out.

I dropped the chair, grabbed her laptop from a small desk and ran out the front door.

Rich neighborhoods get the cops fast. I was barely a block away when I heard the sirens. Kept running until I remembered this spot. Took an hour for my heart to stop pounding.

Fucking bitch. If the cops weren’t looking for me before, I’m public enemy #1 now. And what the hell does she get for it? She knows I didn’t kill the Nerd. Why the hell would I do something like that?

Oh, shit. I get it. You probably saw it coming, didn’t you? Could’ve said something earlier. She wants to pin the murder on me.

Because she did it.

Say she cancelled his credit cards like I told her to. He comes home with his tail between his legs and no money. But it isn’t enough to have her husband back. Mrs. Nerd wanted her world back and there’s no way of that ever happening now. It’s all over for her, like waking up from a nice dream and finding yourself surrounded by tarantulas. Last time I had seen her, she was cracking, selling off the good life and losing her identity. I know all about leaving things behind. When you got nothing, you learn who you really are. I’m a stone-cold badass. At her core, she’s a killer. But the Nerd doesn’t know that. He walked into that house without a clue. Mrs. Nerd has him show her where the dead drop went down. But he doesn’t know she brought a kitchen knife along with her. They’re in the dark and she gets that calm look on her face. I know that look now. It means, “You’re dead.”


I’m dead.
Been dead since Ballentine. Might as well go down fighting.