Flash Fic Challenge – Rage Walks Beside Me

The challenge is here, and I picked the title by zer_netmouse. I may do this again.


Rage Walks Beside Me

I found him at Jimmy’s Pub, blood still on his knuckles from the fight he got into in the alley. He was slugging back rotgut like there was a drinking contest and he was twenty minutes late. He didn’t notice me come in. No one did. I was another loser in a sea of them, washed up on this pitiful shore until the tide went out or I passed out, whichever came first.

He was tall and wide, a refrigerator stuffed in human skin, hard fat giving him a gut that was the only soft line on him. He was a man used to getting away with things. His life had been as brutal and violent as he was now, and nearly as ugly. You could have felt sorry for him, if he didn’t make sure he did everything to wipe out sympathy. He radiated menace like body odor, pungent and salty.

I watched him guzzle his rotgut like it could save him. It couldn’t, and it didn’t. Finally he filled his bladder to capacity, and once he disappeared inside the men’s room, I followed him.

The bathroom was just about what you expected in a bar of this caliber. Half the lights weren’t working, there was a quarter inch of water and slopped over piss on the broken tiled floor, and the stench was just about thick enough to grab and keep in your pocket. He was at one of the urinals, and I looked under stalls to make sure we were alone before I pulled out my tile knife and held it to his thick throat. I had to get closer than I ever wanted to him, and I wasn’t surprised he smelled like cheap whiskey, canned tamales, and failure. “What the fuck ..?” he spluttered.

“Hey, Carl, remember me? I’m one of the family you killed. Your family.”

He stiffened, and his smell turned towards curdled milk. “What?”

“Please tell me you haven’t made more families and killed them too. Although you were so bad at faking your own death the first time, maybe your technique’s improved.”

His booze soaked brain finally made some connections. “Misty?” he asked.

“Thought you killed me, huh? Well, you fucked that up too. You’re just a fuck up at everything, Carl.” I could feel him tensing, like maybe he thought he had a chance to fight, but I had not been searching for him this long to let things go that way. I dug the curved tip of the tile knife into the fleshy folds of his neck, and pulled.

The blade slid through his throat like a hot knife through ice cream, and blood splattered on the seafoam green backsplash and stained the yellowed porcelain. It gushed out like water from a garden hose, adding needed color to the drab ruin of the men’s room.

I let him fall to the floor and bleed out in the piss before stowing the tile knife in my oversized coat and leaving the toilet.

Maybe Dad botched killing all of his family, but I only had him to kill, and I didn’t miss. Guess failure doesn’t run in the family after all.


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