Friday, 1 April 2011
BAD SEARCH by Brian J. Smith
After they tied him to a chair, the thick brown cords hugging his chest, Simmons slipped the nail file out of his right sleeve and sawed at the rope. The two heavyset men, one bald and the other blond, had already torn the place apart, knocking over half empty glasses, a digital alarm clock and half a bottle of Jim Beam; the noises they were making suffocated the sound of the nail file scratching at the restraints.
His gun, a nickel-plated .38, was lying in the toilet courtesy of these pricks and he was clueless as to what they were carrying. Once the rope broke and fell to the floor, the heavyset blond guy turned away from the bed and cursed loudly before slipping a knife from his pocket and slicking at the air at Simmon's chest. Simmons ducked the first swing, then the second, snatched the guy’s wrist out of the air and spun him around in time.
“Son of a bitch.” The fat man said, waving his hands in front of his face. “Don’t fuckin’ shoot, Louie.”
Outside, the night was rocked by thunder. The streets were wet with angels' tears.
The bald heavyset man fired his Colt .45 and struck his partner in the chest. Simmons slipped the knife out of the dead man’s hand, dropped his human shield and threw the knife across the room before the guy could get off another shot. The blade flipped, throwing spheres of rapid lightning across the wall and jammed itself into the shooter’s throat. Simmons ran around the end of the bed, grabbed the pistol and shot him twice in the head; soft red pulp sprayed the sheets like a bad finger painting. He tossed the gun onto the dead man’s chest, sat down on the edge of the bed, pulled his pants down and leaned against his left hip.
Simmons yanked the piece of cloth tape off his massive thigh with one quick pull. The sound of the tape coming off his skin reminded him of a dog hacking in dry heat. He eased the tape off the see-through CD case, tossed it into the wastebasket and held the case between two fingers. He hoped it was all worth it, hoped it was all worth dying for. Why did he have to ask himself that?
He was part of the crew who stole the damn thing, even planned it all out. They wouldn’t tell him what was on it but the money they were going to pay him sure made that seem meaningless. Now that he thought about it, maybe he should’ve known what was on it, should’ve known what was so important. All they would say was that it was “important to a lot of bad people” and they left it at that. No matter what was on it, it belonged to him now that the others were dead, each one of them killed because of a blank CD.
Which was why they’d come by in the first place, why they tied up, tossed his gun in the toilet and ransacked the place. They were looking for the original CD, not a pirated copy of The Donna Reed Show.
He hurried over to the window and stared down into the slick black street. The bee-colored Mustang idling across the street sputtered thick clouds of exhaust. Hillary, his beautiful girlfriend, raised the front of her hat and gave him a smile that turned his dick into stone. He returned it, held up two fingers and stepped over the dead man’s body to the bathroom. He retrieved his .38 from the toilet, emptied the chamber, dried it all off - including the bullets - shrugged into his camel-colored overcoat, dropped the gun in his right pocket and the CD in the other.
“Don’t want to keep my lady waiting.” Simmons said, “See you guys later.”
Saluting them, he shut the door on his way out.
Brian J. Smith has been featured in Drabblecast, Darkest Before The Dawn, The Forbidden Zone, New Voices In Fiction, Crooked, Postcard Shorts, The Horror Zine, The Flash Fiction Offensive, Thrillers, Killers and Chillers and Withersin Magazine. His story “For Rachel” was featured in “And The Nightmare Begins…The Horror Zine Volume One. He currently lives in Chauncey, Ohio with his mother, brother and their six dogs.