Super quick today, wasted too much time already arguing with spergs about weed today haha. But seriously if you want to see some spergy shit tell a stoner that weed is degenerate and see that motherfucker flip out so hard haha.
Ok so still working through the proofread of this beauty and if projections are correct and I don’t get side tracked into some shitposting flame war it should be up and ready for circulation some time next week, shooting for the first tuesday of the month but I’m already walking that back in my head maybe opting for another proofread.
I dunno, anyway as you know free copies for emails, that’s how this works my dudes and as always you can check out the rest of it unedited and raw on inkitt where I keep all my raw and rough work.
The house on J street was only twenty minutes from the rehab clinic, it was handy. Every thing seemed to be twenty minutes away in this town. He had some time before nightfall, that was when things would get interesting. He lit a cigarette and sat low down in the dodge.
J street was a loose string of flop houses kept standing with popsicle sticks and spackle. A glorified trailer park without the charm. Lots of empty cars and grey sky to look at as the red light on the end of his cigarette got closer. There had to be more cars per square foot than people, it was a regular grave yard. The dodge didn’t look too out of place, a pick up rarely did in any part of texas. He could be a contractor on a job or an honest crook taking a break from lifting copper wire. Either way no one would likely turn a pickled eye in his direction, cop nor crook alike.
He sat watching the house in his side mirror as he was likely to do. He had to assume Jack had seen his face, the amount of time he spent watching them. Someone had followed him to the meet with Mickey and the list of interested parties was limited. He had to think there was a reason not to kill him or there was just no reason. Maybe Jack thought someone might care if Porter Carraway PI turned up dead. And maybe someone would. But he had to know no one would care about Mickey getting some attic space in his head. Just going round in circles, none of it mattered now.
The house he was watching was a single storey yellow wood building with no garage. A small yard that pincered a concrete driveway and a metal wire fence around the sides. There was an ash tree off to the right and a yellow mustang parked around the right side in the shade on the grassy lot. In front of the tree there was a lot of garbage and debris that spilled out into the street. Broken furniture and cinder blocks with a sign behind it that read ‘No dumping’.
There were four windows in the front. The blinds drawn tight but two had lights on that must have been on throughout the day. They were on and he didn’t remember them switching while he kept watch. Working his way through his pack of cigarettes. The two windows on the left that had lights on had to be for the living room right at the front. The side on the right was probably the kitchen and the bedrooms were in back. The front door was a no go, it was locked and had a metal screen on it, standard for this neighbourhood. He might be able to jimmy it but it would make too much noise. Only then to be greeted by whomever was waiting for him in that living room.
There was a large gap between the house and the building neighbouring on the right. It looked like an abandoned chapel. A long building stretching back from the road covered in sheet metal. Probably to keep out copper thieves away.
The house on the left looked empty too. There were cars parked out front but were likely parked there because no one would complain. He hadn’t seen much activity, no lights, no coming and going. It was a small blue house with wild agave plants growing in the front yard. A tiny plastic kids swingset and slide and a medium sized green plastic lawn table with two chairs.
It got dark quick there and when it got dark on J street it meant it. There wasn’t a street light for a good quarter mile and none of the houses had working flood lights. A dull glow from the shaded lights inside, shadows flicking back and forth. Curtains creeping back and forth, furtive glances felt but unseen.
It was about time. He fell out of the dodge, quick and quiet, shutting the door without a sound. He crept around the truck ducking from car to car in the street, hopping them closer to the house.
He circled around to the left and traced around to the left of the blue house. He walked quick tracing the fence, passing the kids swing set that now looked like a tetnis trap. Around the left side of the house, the windows were dark and it looked like they boarded from the inside. He slipped around the back, the yard was empty and it looked like someone had been digging, the dirt was fresh. There was only a three foot fence separating the back yard of the blue house and the yellow house. Porter hopped it giving out a slight tinkling sound that reverberated down the line. Could have been the wind if there was any wind but there wasn’t. The night was still as a picture in a frame, the air hung cold and dank. There was a lot of moisture in the air and he felt like he could feel all the molecules and none would shake. Time was frozen and he was the only one awake.
The backyard of the yellow house was bare but for a few tipped over lawn chairs and old beer cans. There was a small back porch which lead into the kitchen. Porter circled around the right side, sticking as close as he could to walls of the house. The car was where it had been sitting for a few hours. The old yellow mustang was definitely the same one he’d seen Jack driving. There was nothing that interesting he could make out inside without a torch. Looked like the regular fast food debris and stuff like that and a gun on the backseat. He tried the handle and it was unlocked, the door creaked open but the light didn’t come on. He palmed the gun, it was heavy but he couldn’t make it out in the dark dimtime. It felt like a 45. It was long and squared away with smooth edges, the handle was wood and smelled of oil and smoke. He tucked it in the back of his pants and closed the car back up quiet.
Satisfied he was in the right place he crossed over back into the yard and to the back door. Taking great care as he mounted the back porch. Listening for creaks and voices of the people inside. As he got closer he could hear talking. But it was the static rehearsed talking of a loud television left on in the background. He could hear the pauses and the clicking of teeth and tongues.
The back door was open but for the screen. The door frame was thin as fire wood and he popped it open with a shrug and stepped into the dark kitchen. It was cold and lit only by a warm light coming from the living room where the tv was on.
The kitchen was small and tucked away, boxed in by an adjacent bathroom or bedroom or both. It was rectangular with linoleum floors and unpainted wood cabinets high and low. A fridge next to the door and a washer dryer in the far corner. It was a mess even in the dark. He could smell the plates rotting in the sink. Hear the bugs crawling through the damp under the cabinets. Surged on by a constant drumbeat of a leaking tap.
There was an alcove that lead into the lounge through a little sitting dining area. He walked light footed through the alcove, past a small table and chair under a broken lamp and into the lounge. It was warm and smelled of smoke and other things. Burning plastic. The lounge came from the dining area and snaked around the front. The front door to the left of a big bevelled television sitting on top of four cinder blocks. There was some kind of movie on, one of those late night movies you watch when you can’t get to sleep. You sleep and wake up and it’s there waiting for you.
The lounge was a mess, clothes tossed all over the place, more fast food garbage and beer cans. The walls had dark brown stains on them he could only see when the movie got bright. There was writing too but he couldn’t make it out, cabinets off to the right with weird taxidermy animals in them. Looked like rodents, and a few birds in there. The whole cabinet stank of fermaldehyde and had little bones in it, rat skulls. Something a little bigger a cat skull maybe, it’s good to have a hobby.
Scanning from left to right there was no one there, he could see the back of a coach bathed in dry tv light and not much else. He rounded the coach in front of the tv and saw there was a door that must have lead to the bedrooms. He pulled the gun out of the back his pants and shook it a little to get used to the weight. In the light of the tv he could see it was an iver Johnson Trojan standard .45 auto, a nice gun if you could afford it. He held his hand out for a moment like he forgot why he drew it in the first place, he let it drop to his side.
A small thin hand wrapped it’s skinny fingers around his wrists soft. He was looking down at his right into the sunken eyes of brunette who looked half there. Lying almost flat prone across the dirty old coach covered in what looked like a white painters tarp. She lay on her front and could barely summon the strength to lift her head. She looked like she recognised him. Something that was definitely a bad habit because she was a stranger to him.
She was naked lying on her front. He could see her ribs and her ass looked like a flat piece of flank steak. Dirty dark hair sticking to the sweat on her back.
His eyes peeled up and there was something scratched into the walls above the coach. A crude cave painting etched into the chincy wallpaper. It looked like a woman with wild red hair but the face of a bull with a ring through it’s nose. A set of big tits at the bottom and the rest of the body faded behind the coach.
He stepped away from the coach and her hand fell limp on the floor as she drifted out of consciousness again. He checked the clip, seven bullets and one in the chamber made eight. He walked out of the living room into a dark hallway which connected the bathroom and the bedroom. The bathroom door on the right was shut, it had a little window over the top of the door, so he knew the light was off inside. On the left the bedroom door was ajar and had a weak thread of light bleeding out.
He lined up the Trojan and tiptoed towards the door. There was only the sound of the tv from the other room and a building crescendo of crickets outside. He got to the door and there was a familiar smell, acrid, strong and getting stronger. The hairs on the back of his neck rose and his guts did a little dance. He poked the door open with the barrel of the Trojan and nosed it through like a dog under the covers.
It was anti-climatic, he knew it already but he liked surprises, liked lying to himself too much. The butterflies in his stomach were there because he put them there. As soon as he got to the door he knew the truth already but it was too disappointing to put into words. Lying there sprawled on the double bed, a mess of dirty sheets was Jack lying on his back with a needle in his arm. Eyes wide open looking pleased with himself as he stared unblinking at the ceiling fan.
His skin was waxy and pale, eyes glazed over, vomit on his shirt and on the pillow, an overdose for sure. Porter sighed and holstered the gun in the back of his pants and started to push deeper into the room. He must have been dead the whole time he was waiting or the smell was on account of him emptying his bowel. Either way Porter wasn’t that interested in learning the specifics. Or sticking around too long. A cursery glance of the room didn’t turn up any suicide notes. No journals written in red pen with the title ‘I did it’ on the front. But the sawn off mossberg shotgun under the bed said something. It smelled like it’d been fired recently. The calibre ammo accompanying it seemed to fit the size of the hole in Mickey’s head, as they say, if the shoe fits.
Suicide, that was stupid, this was like the rest of this mess, that’s all it was. He wanted this to be big and complicated but it wasn’t, it was a big mistake, the whole thing.
There wasn’t much else to the room, a double bed benal paintings on the wall. Clothes strewn about, drug paraphernalia. A couple of side tables with full ash trays.
He stepped back and took a mental picture of dismay. A snapshot of purest self-destruction. Then ducked back into the hallway where the air was a little more fresh. The girl was still there but she’d shifted onto her side with her other arm still trailing along the floor. He skin was so white he stopped to check whether he had two corpses for the price of one. He put his hand in front of her mouth and he could feel her breath, it was weak and probably smelled bad but it was there.
He thought about asking her questions but small of her back was in no mood to talk. He got himself off and away from that coach and started walking.
“Are you looking for that kid that was here?”
Porter turned to the coach, she hadn’t moved, maybe she couldn’t but there was no one else.
“Are you his father?” She said into the coach cushions.
“Where is he?”
“They came here together and then they went out and then he came back alone” She hummed. Her voice had a dreamy faraway quality as if she were talking to herself.
Porter was convinced he was talking to a ghost now and he liked his ghosts to get right to the point. “Where did they go?”
“J has a shack, he goes there when he’s hiding from someone, it’s a dirt road off interstate 33 near his old house.” She said dryly, no hint of inflection in her voice, she spoke as if reading a script written on a coach cushion.
Porter started to walk off again when she asked “Is he dead? Did you kill him?”
“He did it to himself.”
That seemed to fit and she stopped talking like she ran out of quarters and Porter saw that as his time to exit.
He went out the way he came, cutting around back, out the kitchen and into the back yard. He took the Trojan out of the back of his pants, wiped it with the cuff of his jacket and tossed it over by the chapel. He snaked around Jack’s car working his way back to the dodge. Starting it up without putting his lights on and pulled out into the night.
Leave a Reply