Blinding Lights

A neon red light buzzes and flickers in a room that’s too small to be a walk-in closet. Click. Red is drowned out by a strobe of white. Shit, my eyes! Oh, sorry. Men are cramped in the room, surrounding a bed covered with a blue sheet; a woman lays there naked from the waist up. Her face is a delicate oval with skin of light brown caramel. Strands of shoulder-length hair that’s black as her dilated pupils fall to her sides disheveled. Her face carries a smile that’s starting to give the faintest hint of a grin. I hate it when they do that. Do what? Smile. Fucking rigor mortis. Click. A glassy stare shines like two lonely stars for a second before going dark again. There’s a small gaping hole at the center of her forehead surrounded by a purple bruise. Under her head, a dark red stain has spread and soaked over the blue sheets. Poor girl got a .38 kiss, not even two hours ago, judging from the body. Third one this week. Someone had lit a cigarette, mingling the stench of smoke, blood and a tinge of burnt flesh. Click. White over red, red over blue. Click, click, click. Someone call the body movers, sending a live one for cold storage; she’s beginning to stink.

Sweat trickles down your chest, your body crying in fear. Run, run! Satan’s hell hounds are not far behind, looking for your blood. You feel the gun’s warmth on your hand. Another sinner cast out. But now they’re on to you. You’re out of breath. Stop, police! Out of time. Drop the gun, drop it, man! Do it now! You raise your divine instrument, you shall not go to your just reward meekly. Oh shit, fire! Flashes of light tear your body, then darkness.

Yeah, man, shit went down! I was walking on 5th when across the street a group of cops were chasing some guy inna trench coat, right? Ok, good. Yeah, they cornered the poor fucker, but instead of giving it up, the guy starting talking shit. Sumthing about God and shit, crazy talk, y’know? The pigs were shouting at him like crazy too, drop the gun, lay on the ground, all that bullshit. But he didn’t listen, cool as ice, he raises the gun. Was he gonna shoot at them? Fuck do I know? Shit. Anyhow, it was all over in a blink, man. Bam, bam, bam, lights out. Dead fucker’s on the floor leaking all over, prolly shat himself too. Cousin told me dead people do that, shit themselves. But yeah, after that cops were all like show’s over, move along. Fuck’em. Now I’m walking down the street, rain’s starting to fall over, everything’s getting wet and dirty, I had to deliver some fine Colombian flour, ya follow? Nah, you can’t have any from my stash. Anyways, shut up…where was I? Ah, yah, so I was minding my own bidness when vroooom! One inch, motherfucker. Car almost ran me over, blinded me with his fucking headlights. Jesus…I tell you, fuck this town. Pass the chips.

Derelicts

The wound was clean, already the blood had dried. Maria looked at the palm of her hand where Carlos’s blade had cut her. She didn’t feel anything, not exactly. At the time she was high as a kite, and by the time she came down from her trip they had already bandaged her. She didn’t even need any stitches. Carlos was passed out, face down, on the ratty couch by the corner of their place. Sonuvabitch.

Maria stumbled over there, still woozy from her rush. Carlos was her fuck buddy. They weren’t dating or anything. Neither one had the emotional attachment, or the energy, for that. But it got cold in the empty derelict building they nested in, like the city rats that they were. Besides, he smelled good.

“Asshole!”

Her hand smacked the back of his shaved head hard, making it move sideways, then lay still. Carlos did not stir. Maria saw an empty syringe and a rubber band on the rotten floor boards next to the couch. She wanted to laugh at how stupid this whole mess was, but tears blinded her and she had to wipe them several times.