This fucking dope head, Ronald Wiley, was a real piece of work. He was doing good buying enough coke and ice from me to support his habits and make a little extra money on the side.
I didn’t mind letting the kid hold something and then pay me later because he was good for it. But then Ronald decided he wanted to play homewrecker and start talking to a married woman who lived across town in some fancy housing development.
I’ve been around, seen, and heard a lot. I even fell for some broads myself. But Ronald Wiley wasn’t in love with the woman; he was obsessed with her to the point of insanity.
Everywhere he went, he talked about getting a handgun. I could have sold him one, but there was no way I would be linked to Wiley killing anyone.
Me and my best buddy Plug-Water both told him she was playing mind games and probably wouldn’t ever meet him.
Plug had a blunt hanging between his lips as he cut playing cards on the table in front of him. He looked up at Ronald and exhaled. He told Wiley he was crazy. Man, this woman is way out of your league. You better leave her alone before her husband kills you.
Ronald looked like those words scraped the skin off of his soul. He looked at me and said, “That’s if I don’t get him first.”
Cutting the nonsense, I said, “Wiley, you don’t have it in you to hurt anyone. So you best listen to Plug-Water and leave her alone before you get your heartbroken, or you get killed or something.”
When he walked out and got in his car, I told Plug that I’d seen Wiley with a few attractive women over the last few years. For him to have lost his mind, this married woman had to be something mighty special. It made me want a piece of her myself. I wouldn’t become obsessed or fall in love with her; I’d just fuck her like she wished her husband would. Then I’d send her right back to him.
Plug smiled and asked if I wanted him to do some investigating. “No,” I told him, “I had other business for him to take care of.”
Some stick-up artist was hanging around one of our labs. I knew he was plotting on the people I had working there. So I told Plug-Water to make it really bloody. That’s all I ever had to say. Plug didn’t have many screws left, but he was the most loyal friend I had.
Anyway, our buddy Ronald managed to get lucky. This woman, who I found was named Haley Snow, actually agreed to meet this addict piece of dirt. Man, Plug was right; she was out of his league. A sexy brunette real estate agent who wore skirts, pantyhose, and high heels. So, what the fuck did Wiley say to make her come and visit the slums? I don’t know, but I even smiled.
Mrs. Haley Snow had no idea what she was getting herself into. But it was none of my business; I was happy for the kid, but then in the midst of his intense joy, he fronted a good amount of ice and powder from me. I gave him plenty of time to pay me back.
Two months to be exact. Believe me, I was more than understanding. First of all, don’t add your drug connections on Facebook if you don’t plan on paying your debts.
I saw this little addict fuck post about jewelry he bought her, fancy restaurants he took her to. I’ll hand it to him; he went out of the way to make her happy and show her a good time.
Plug-Water said it best, though; Haley was used to living an extravagant lifestyle, so Wiley wasn’t doing anything her husband hadn’t done a million times before.
Come to find out, he was about to lose everything he owned out spending money to impress a woman who had her own money. She didn’t need anything from him.
I sent Plug out to have a talk with him and ask politely when he planned on paying me back. Plug-Water drove all over Harnett County, looked for him in Dunn, Erwin, and Lillington, but couldn’t find him. Someone said he might be staying out in Sanford with a cousin, but we couldn’t find him there either.
By then, I was pissed the fuck off. Wiley wouldn’t answer my phone calls or reply to Messenger. Plus, he deactivated his Facebook after Haley refused to leave her husband.
Fucking idiot could have been in a mental hospital after hacking himself up and sharing the bloody pics on Facebook. A guy like this you couldn’t scare.
He definitely wasn’t the same Ronald Wiley I met three years ago. He did ok with the ladies but let Haley Snow fuck his head up big time. He should have expected what happened. Haley snuck away and spent time with him, but it was nothing worth leaving her husband and ruining the cozy life she had. Poor Wiley, anyway, I was about ready to have Plug-Water put him out of his misery. One bullet through his temple, and it wouldn’t matter if she wouldn’t leave her husband for him.
Wait, fuck that! We can’t kill him but damned if he won’t, at least shed a little blood. Leave him alive, let his flesh and bones ache right along with his soft heart.
Anyway, he kept trying to get away from us. So I got this bright idea on how to bring him out of hiding. Haley’s office was in Durham, and it wasn’t hard to find at all.
Plug drove smooth as we played Nas and D-Block. Somewhere along the way, he turned down the music, lit a blunt he’d rolled while driving, and asked me if we were going to tag-team Haley. Laughing, I said, “No, I don’t mean her any harm. I just want her to get in touch with Wiley.”
Plug-Water exhaled smoke through his nostrils. It traveled through his neatly trimmed beard. “I thought you were trying to fuck this chick, man,” he said, “You don’t care if I hit it do you?”
“If she’ll give it up to you,” I said. “Go for it.”
“I’m cooler and better looking than Ronald Wiley, so I think she will,” Plug said.
He was my right-hand man, but Plug-Water wasn’t as cool with the ladies as Wiley. I just didn’t have the heart to tell him.
We pulled up outside Haley’s office just in time as she was on her way to her car. Damn, she was one fine little thing in a pink blouse and black skirt that showed off her long nylon-covered legs.
Plug said, “Goddamn, she’s one bad fucking hottie.”
I called her over to the car. She was reluctant but eventually walked over. The sound of her heels clicking the pavement was arousing.
“Can I help you?” she asked me.
I was trying to handle business, and Mr. Todd Kyle, aka Plug-Water, was nearly drooling when he interrupted me and said, “Damn baby, you one bad motherfucker.”
She was visibly repulsed and about to walk away. “Hold on. I was just wondering if you could get in touch with Ronald Wiley?” I said.
She turned around and looked especially disgusted then. “No, there’s no way I’m ever speaking to him again; he’s fucking crazy!”
“I’m not asking you to hook back up with him. Just tell him Nelson Riley said he better have that money soon.”
“No,” she said. “I’m trying to save my marriage. I’m not contacting Ronald again.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, I still didn’t want to hurt Haley. But she didn’t give me any choice but to get out and force her into the backseat at gunpoint. She was terrified, even after I told her she was safe and no one was going to hurt her.
Haley cried all the way back to Lillington. She just would not believe that we weren’t going to kill her.
Plug said, “Baby girl, you sound like you want to die or something. Trust me, I’ve got you, but you have to let me get some of that good loving first.”
I asked, “What’s wrong with you? You’re not normally this much of a creep.”
Riding beside Haley in the backseat, I said, “You have this way of getting men all out of character, don’t you?”
She said, “Ronald was depressed on social media. So I reached out and told him we could talk. I never knew he would become an obsessed lunatic. I shouldn’t have talked to him anymore after he threatened to break my nose, but he just had this tortured romantic thing going on that I loved.”
We were back at my place in West Hills when she finally made the phone call. Of course, I’d made her lunch and a rather strong mixed drink. I told her when she got Wiley on the phone to sound as terrified as she did when I forced her into the car earlier.
“Tell him that some guy name Plug-Water keeps touching your legs; plus, he threatened to rape you at gunpoint.”
Haley pulled the act off perfectly. Wiley even asked to speak to me. I said, “Well, it’s nice to hear from you. We all thought you might be dead.”
Bold, he said. “I’ll kill you and Plug if you hurt Haley!”
Just to fuck with him, I said, “Well, come on and kill us then,” before ending the call.
I told Plug-Water that Wiley would show up with a gun and to be prepared. Pulling out his huge 45, he said, “I’m ready to drop his ass.”
Haley had no more use for Wiley, but she still asked us not to kill him. He needed help, and it would be wrong to hurt him in any way.
Plug said, “What’s wrong is him owing Nelson money and running around spending every dime he had on you.”
Squinting her brown eyes, Haley said, “I never asked him for anything. In fact, I offered to send him money, but he wouldn’t accept it.”
Ten minutes later, we all heard a car door slam outside. Plug went to the door, and Wiley tried to push him aside and walk in. The two ended up locking up. Each had one hand on Plug’s 45. Haley screamed as I stood back in case the gun went off.
Eventually, Wiley overpowered Plug. I was about to move in and help him, but he regained his composure and ripped his gun away from Ronald, who went to reach for his own piece.
Wasting no time, Plug pulled the trigger. I couldn’t see the bullet leave the barrel, but we all saw the blood splatter on Wiley’s white t-shirt once it hit him in the chest. That’s all it took.
I had to tell Haley to shut the fuck up. Gunshots were nothing around West Hills. But a woman screaming afterward wasn’t good.
Plug was a little shook. “Damn!” he said. “I’m lucky the motherfucker didn’t get me!”
He walked over to check Wiley’s coat for a pistol, but all he found was a knife. We were both surprised, expecting him to be carrying a gun.
I said, “You’re ok, man. Now do something with his body while I drive Haley back to her office.”
The look in his eyes was sinister. He said, “You know what? Fuck that! I killed him, you do something with the body, and I’ll drive Haley back.”
“No,” I said. “It doesn’t work like that. If you want, we’ll both go.”
Plug ignored me and started in on Haley. “What’s up, baby? You gonna let me have some of that sweet little thing or what?”
With fresh tears in her eyes, she was hysterical. Leave me the fuck alone, you creep!”
Plug-Water moved closer to her, and I told him to back the fuck up and leave her alone. He couldn’t believe it when he turned around and saw my 45 pointed right at him.
“What the fuck, Nelson!” he said. “You’d really shoot me over this bitch?”
“Damn right, I will! I told you I didn’t mean her any harm. Now, you asked if she wanted to fuck, and she said no, so leave her alone.”
Plug shook his head and said one day he would get me back for pulling my gun on him.
Haley and I went and got in my car. During the ride back, she said, “I can’t believe he killed Ronald.”
I said, “You said yourself he was fucking crazy, and plus, he didn’t give Plug much of a choice.”
It didn’t matter because she still cried, and as soon as we got to Durham, I noticed the cops were everywhere. When we turned down the street her office was located on, I saw the police were parked outside and saw officers step out of the building.
I couldn’t drop her off there. So, I held the gun to her side and told her to be quiet as I drove right past it.
I said, “I’ll drop you off somewhere else safe and sound, just not here.”
Robert Ragan, from Lillington NC, has been nominated for both The Pushcart Prize and Best Of The Net. You can find his work at Vext magazine, Synchronized Chaos, Punk Noir Magazine, Yellow Mama Webzine, Close To The Bone, and Switchblade Magazine. He also has two story collections Mannequin Legs And Other Tales and It’s Only Art. Both published by Alien Buddha Press.