Blood On Stacks by Robert Ragan

Crime Fiction, Punk Noir Magazine, Robert Ragan, Short Stories

Waiting in his car in front of the Brentwood apartment building, Gary Walter is turned in his seat staring up at a window on the second floor. He slaps the steering wheel, “Come on! What the fuck are y’all doing in there?”

Finally, he hears the sweetest music to his ears…gunshots going off.

Gary is spooked by headlights coming up behind him but the car passes by.


Looking back the doors burst open. Sinclair Simon stumbles out with the duffel bag and pistol clenched tightly in his hands. Before the doors close, Gary sees Justin Thompson limping down the stairs.


Sinclair doesn’t wait and rushes to the car. “Take off man, they’re coming!” Justin is limping across the street when the doors open up and shots go off in their direction.

Justin Thompson, J.T, makes it inside the car and ducks down as a bullet takes out the back glass.

Gary peels off…the shooters fire until the car is out of sight.

Away from the scene, Gary slows down to obey the speed limit. In the backseat, J.T. yells, “Fuck! They shot the hell out of me.”

Looking back, Sinclair pulls the toboggan off his head. He says, “How bad is it?” Looking at Gary he says, “Turn on the interior light.”

Looking back he sees blood leaking from J.T’s jeans right below the left pocket. Sinclair turns to Gary, “Yeah, they got him pretty good man.”

Looking in the rearview mirror Gary says, “What do we need to do? Drop you off at the emergency room?”

“Hell no,” says J.T. “You know I’ve got a warrant.”


Gary says, “If you don’t go to the hospital you might bleed to death.”

J.T. said, “Just drop me off at my mom’s, we’ll pick the bullet out and doctor it up.”

Looking back Gary says, “The bullet may have hit the main artery.”

Giving up J.T. rolls his eyes, “Drop me off, damn it. I got shot just so you two motherfuckers can make all the money off the dope while I’m locked up.”

Gary says, “Chill out! We’ll look out for you while you’re locked down.”

Pulling up to the automatic sliding doors outside the Emergency Entrance, J.T. can barely move. He says, “I feel dizzy, one of you are gonna have to help me.”

Sinclair speaks up, “Fuck that! Get your ass out.”

J.T. falls beside the car, taking off Gary nearly ran over his foot.

He and Sinclair head towards his ex-wife’s house. Leslie is a sorry bitch, but hey, she lets them hideout for a just a little bit of dope.

A car trails them for the last 10 miles.
Gary says, “The last thing we need is to get pulled over.”
Sinclair looks in his mirror, “I don’t think it’s the law,” he said.

Gary says, “Those crooked fucks could be driving anything.”

They both felt relieved when Gary switched on the turn signal and didn’t see blue lights at the last second before pulling in.

Leslie walks outside to meet them at 3 am.
Her blonde hair is golden, pretty face with rosy cheeks, she could be America’s sweetheart until she opens her dicksucker revealing awful rotten gapped teeth. She’s in her pink nightgown with white house slippers on her feet. Smoking a cigarette and already getting on Gary’s nerves before he gets in the door.

“How much stuff did y’all steal?”

Gary says, “Jesus Christ, tell the whole neighborhood why don’t you.”

Once they’re all inside Leslie asked them, “Where’s J.T?”

Sinclair screws the ball on the curved barbell in his pierced eyebrow. He tells Leslie, “J.T. fucked around and got shot in leg right when we were taking off out of their apartment.”

Leslie’s hazel eyes widen, “Shit! Is he okay?”

Gary says, “Yeah, he’ll live but he’s probably about to get locked up.”

He and Sinclair counted the money in the bag. Not much, just enough for a small re-up.

Gary says, “Oh shit look,” then he pulls out a 9 mm pistol from the duffel bag.

Leslie says, “Are you gonna give me a line or what…if not, you guys take your shit and get on up the road!”

Gary says, “If I give you some dope…will you shut the fuck up?”

Sinclair laughs and sticks his tongue out which is also pierced.

With full sleeves of tattoos and piercings, he looks like one of those guys you’d see stomping around a mosh pit in combat boots. His long stringy hair is clumped together in strands.

Sinclair has this big goofy dumb grin the whole time they’re separating the stash.
He deserves his part and J.T’s.

J.T. might be locked up…Sinclair may not be far behind.


Some wannabe henchman, fucking failed thug, made a sudden movement and Sinclair didn’t hesitate to drop him with a shot to the chest.

He didn’t want to kill anyone but when it came down to it he pulled the trigger.
J.T. didn’t have this same mentality. Too passive he tried to avoid letting his pistol off at all cost.

Sinclair would often tell Gary he needed to find someone more serious or maybe just put in some work himself.

When the sun came up they were both ready to go. They were supposed to meet with a dealer about buying the whole stash.
Neither Sinclair nor Gary was enthused about the idea of slanging the product on a regular basis. They wanted one big payoff out if it.

Meanwhile, J.T. was being held without bond. For failing to appear in court on a weapons charges.

The three of them were basically legends around their part of town. They started off with one gun between the three of them.
Back then Gary was hungry and would have been the first through the door not sitting outside playing the getaway driver.

Over the years they’ve pissed off a lot of people, but this time…they’d run up in a THC stash house.


THC as in Thugs, Hustlers, Cons. When Sinclair found out about the name he said, “They think it sounds hard but really it’s lame as fuck.”
Gary says, “Man we might be in trouble.”

The THC leader was an old school hustler who started out cooking crack in the 80s.
Over the years, Taye Lucas has gained the reputation of being a cold-blooded ruthless bastard.

It was rumored that a few of his boys knew who pulled the stickup. His little cousin Jason was shot in the chest and killed during the robbery.

Now, Taye had money on those white crackers heads. The only reason they were able to identify them was because J.T. bought loud from them on occasion.


When Taye Lucas had money on someone’s head…he meant it in the literal sense. Anyone willing to take on the challenge was instructed to decapitate the targets and bring their heads to him for proof on a job well done.

Sinclair and Gary were hiding out in a motel room when Sinclair got a call from J.T. This fucking cocksucker Lucas even has people in here.

He details an attack in the shower where two young black men attack him with shanks. Luckily J.T. made it out with only a few minor cuts. He said one of those young thugs yelled out, “THC motherfucker.”

Sinclair is on the nod, slicing off pieces of a suboxone strip. Gary pulls smoke as he holds the button down on a green dab pen.
He tells Sinclair, “Don’t open up that door for anyone! There’s no telling who might try to cash in on us.”

They both felt safer ever since Leslie switched cars with Gary.

When money from the sale started to run thin…these two were contemplating another heist.

Out of the motel and back couch surfing with random fiends. Gary looked over his shoulder more than ever. Around that time Sinclair went extra strength rogue.

While members hunted them down, he returned back to the building in the Brentwood Apartments where the shooting first took place. Pulling out a can, he spray painted Fuck THC in bright red letters across the front doors.

Gary got a big laugh out of it but still told him to stop. “They already want us bad enough. Now you have to make it worse?”

Sinclair says, “Look what I bought the other day,” then removed a chrome 40 caliber pistol from the waistband of his jeans.

Gary says, “Damn, you’re ready, aren’t you?”

Talking tough Sinclair says, “I’m ready to put holes in every one of those fake ass gangsters.”

He was all down for robbing another THC stash house.
Gary refused to take part in it saying, “There are other, lesser known, dealers we can hit without the threat of such consequences.”

There was still six more months before J.T’s eight-month bid was up. Sinclair said, when J.T. got out, they’d show Gary how it’s done.

With no other options at the time. Sinclair tagged along as Gary went to a nightclub his latest target frequented, a white wannabe dope boy; this kid was moving a considerable amount of powder.

Gary sat at a table puffing on the dab pen.
They both watched this guy’s every move.
Sinclair said something about the cokeheads following him around like sheep.

Gary asked if he had the new pistol on him.
“You know I do,” said Sinclair.

They both got up and walked outside. While going over the game plan they were spotted by THC members smoking a blunt in the parking lot.

One of them, wearing a black bandana, says,  “Ain’t that one of them cracker bitches that ran up in Taye’s cousin’s spot.

Leaning forward his partner with long dreadlocks looks closer and says, “Fuck yeah, it is them boys.”

He takes a colt 45 from the glove compartment and steps out of the car unloading towards Gary and Sinclair without warning.

Gary ducks down and manages to make it back in the club. Outside Sinclair isn’t so lucky. Sprawled out on the steps bleeding from bullet wounds to his chest and spitting blood as he wheezes.

From inside, Gary looks out as the shooter with dreadlocks comes towards Sinclair’s shaking body.

People yell for him to stop but no one tries to help and right before reaching Sinclair this savage pulls out a long hunting knife.

Gary could have kicked the door open and fired back but now…he was outnumbered.

He looked away only hearing screams from the people outside as this THC member took the blade and began sawing across Sinclair’s throat. For now, he couldn’t move on this little sissy coke dealer. Gary just wanted to find a way to escape out the back.

Now he’s in the woods, ducked down trying to see what’s going on. Leslie’s car is parked there but he doesn’t want to go anywhere near it with police swarming the area.

Gary’s phone was dead. It made him think of poor Sinclair. Motherfuckers got him.

Those thugs will take his head with the long hair and pierced face. Taye Lucas will make good on his promise. His people wonder what he does with these decapitated heads.

Meanwhile, Sinclair’s tattooed body is missing its top. As Gary makes his way through underbrush, limbs, and vines, sweat runs down his face…the sleeve was torn on the nice button up shirt he wore.

Soon he would be in the clear and make his way towards the highway. Gary would call Leslie and have her come and get the car.


He was still alive but dead broke.

Now Gary would have to put in the work by himself, well at least until J.T. got out of jail.

Gary had to instill the killer instinct into J.T. or else they might both lose their heads.


Bio: Robert Ragan from Lillington NC lives his life for art and writing. He has stories and poetry online at Vext Magazine, Outlaw Poetry, The Dope Fiend Daily, The Rye Whiskey Review, Drinkers Only, Under The Bleachers, Cajun Mutt Press, Punk Noir, Synchronized Chaos, and Terror House Magazine. Alien Budha Press has published his short story collection “Mannequin Legs and Other Tales”.