Rounding up this trio of editor's treats for Christmas, I bring back a good ol' chestnut (being seasonal and all), a morality tale featuring my regular thriller character, Joe Hunter. Enjoy, and all the best of the season to one and all.
The Holly and the I.V.
(A Christmas morality tale featuring Joe Hunter)
I’m a bad ass mutha, and don’t let anyone tell ya otherwise.
You doubt me an’ I’ll kick your ass all the way to New Year’s Eve.
So don’t be doubtin’ me, man, an’ we’ll get along just fine. You start thinkin’ you can take a liberty with my good nature an’ I’ll do yer. Got it? Good.
See, the way it is, it’s Christmas, and even a bad ass mutha like me ain’t all bad at this time of year. The season’s good will can even affect a bastard like me. I can laugh with the best of ‘em. Last Christmas I nearly laughed my dick off when that punk, Jakey Cenato, got his balls crushed in a vice when her old man caught him with Sherry Bischoff. Jakey was givin’ Sherry a good ol’ seein’ to in back of the garage where they worked. Office romance, my ass! Jakey was just hot for the little whore and Sherry had just gone way over the top on the eggnog. Johnny Bischoff got two of his boys to hold Jakey down while he twisted the screw tight. Jakey won’t be filling any stockings on Christmas Eve ever again, I’ll tell ya. What a freakin’ wheeze.
Anyways, I’m whatchacall digressin’.
I’m tryin’ to point out that, see, when it’s Christmas, I’m not as bad as I normally am. So, I was just not on top of my game. Doesn’t make me any less a man than normal, just, like, not as up for it as usual.
I was in Blake’s Bar. My usual hang out. Most of the usual guys were there. We were drinkin’ for ol’ times sake and stuff. Thinkin’ about goin’ home and trimming the tree and all that crap. Some asshole had even put a Bing Crosby track on the juke box. Christmas in fuckin’ Kilarney or some other freakin’ Mick shit. I supposed it was a good match for the Irish whiskey I was putting in my guts, so I didn’t complain. I was havin’ a good time. I was as happy as a bad ass mutha could be on Christmas Eve.
Jakey’s nuts roastin’ on an open fire, Bischoff nipping at his balls...yeah, we even struck up a Yuletide carol. I was feelin’ warm an’ fuzzy when I finally stumbled outa Blake’s an’ hit the road. It was blowin’ a blizzard. Didn’t dent my good mood, though, just made me want to get home quicker. The bitch I’d hooked up with, Brenda, was waitin’ for me, an’ there was a certain part of me that was in need of hottin’ up.
Most of my pay check was in the cash register behind Blake’s bar. There wasn’t enough in my pocket to get me all the way back home. Them goddamn cabbies are on a good thing, way they bump up the price of a fare at Christmas they need their heads bustin’. Uncharitable pricks!
But that’s what got me thinkin’. Good will to all men an’ all that crap. All I hadda do was ask somebody an’ they’d hand me over their change. An’ if they weren’t feelin’ up for the season, I’d just hafta remind them. Problem was, there weren’t too many people out in the weather, ‘ceptin’ one guy who’d been sittin’ in a corner of Blake’s half the night. Once over I almost went over to him and asked him what the hell he was lookin’ at, but Billy and Clem had told me to leave it. Some sorta bad ass this guy was supposed t’be. Joe fuckin’ Hunter, Bill said in a whisper, the mutha who did the dirty work for that Jap dick over at Rington Investigations. Well, I owed Jared Rington big time. That slant-eyed gook stuck a shotgun in my neck an’ led me back to my bail bondsmen an’ got me a six-month stretch in the big house. It even got as far as me gettin’ up, but my buddy Clem grabbed holda me. He knows karate, Clem warned. Like I gave a fuck! He starts all that Bruce Lee jumpin’ about bullshit, I says, an’ I’ll show him what a kick in the balls feels like. Plus, in my coat I've got me ten inches of lead pipe. One slap upside the noggin with that should do the trick.
Maybe this Hunter asshole knew to get the hell outa my face. He got up an’ walked outa there before I could show him who he was messin’ with. Bastard doesn’t know how lucky he was. I downed another coupla drinks before I heard Brenda’s hot little ass callin’ me home.
Shoulda wondered what Hunter was doin’ standin’ there in the snow. But like I said, I was in a good mood, a bottle of JD down, an’ lookin’ forward to givin’ Brenda her Christmas treat.
Gimme fifty bucks an’ I’ll let my beef with Rington go, I told him. To show him I wasn’t beggin’ for charity I pulled out my lead sap.
Musta been the booze an’ my good mood.
Hunter kinda swarmed all over me.
He took a freakin’ liberty with my Christmas spirit.
If I’d been my normal bad ass self he wouldn’ta stood a chance.
But, hey, I’m still in a good mood.
Apparently when Bill and Clem found me I’d been makin’ some of them angels in the snow. Very seasonal, huh?
Two broken legs, two broken arms, a busted jaw…sheesh, is it any wonder?
First time I’ve spent Christmas in hospital, but it ain’t all bad.
I’m warm and I’ve got these pretty nurses fussin’ all over me. Not that the bitches’ll give me the sponge bath I asked for. An’ it ain’t the same eatin’ Christmas puddin’ through a goddamn straw or pullin’ a cracker when you’ve got a I.V. drip in your wrist. But at least I did better outa this deal than Jakey did last year.
At least when I’m healed I can get back to bein’ my normal bad ass self.
Matt Hilton is the author of the Joe Hunter thriller series, the latest of which is 'Dead Men's Harvest'. Matt has also recently published two standalone horror thrillers, 'Dominion' and 'Darkest Hour', available as ebooks via all Amazon platforms. Matt is the founder, and current thriller editor of Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers.