The house next door is dark. The blinds are up, windows open. The smell of sex lingers in the humid air. I look at my phone—11:18 P.M.
A woman’s moans carry out the windows. Sounds like they’re having fun. I draw my revolver from its holster, open and spin the cylinder shut. Six rounds of .357 Magnum ready to go.
A noise outside catches my attention. I peer out towards the alleyway but don’t see anything or anyone. 11:24 P.M. It’s almost time.
Car lights flash high and low as an SUV hits an assortment of potholes plaguing the Queen City’s streets. It slows but doesn’t stop as it passes the house. 11:29 P.M.
I pull a small bottle of Tito’s vodka out of my pocket, one of those little shooters you get cheap at the liquor store and that the airlines sell for more than they’re worth. I twist the cap and toss it back, then put the empty bottle back in my pocket. I make my way next door.
The door is unlocked. What an idiot. The steps creak a bit. The sounds drowned out by the life of the city. The bedroom door is ajar. I take a peek inside. My skip, Alan Cummins, is lying on the bed, one ankle crossed over the other post-coitus. A half-smoked joint dangles from his lips.
Old girl enters the room, butt-ass-naked. She takes a seat on the bed next to him. Then leans into him for a kiss before stealing a long hit from his joint. I step into the room. The .357 Magnum hangs in my right hand. In my left hand, a copy of his bond violation and a bench warrant. Mr. Cummins was indicted by the Grand Jury for armed robbery and assault and is facing a minimum of twenty years. I toss a pair of Peerless handcuffs onto the bed. He looks up at me, and I know what he’s thinking.
“You a cop?”
“Nope, bail enforcement agent.”
“What, like some bounty hunter shit?”
“Something like that.”
There’s a long silence between us. I don’t like it. Even she looks worried, though not enough to cover her pierced nipples. His eyes dart from mine and land on a small-caliber pistol on the nightstand. Maybe a .32 semi-automatic.
“Don’t do something you’ll regret. That we’ll both regret.”
There’s only silence now hanging in the air; the musky stench of sex is gone. Alan’s thinking about it. I am too.
I repeat myself, more forcefully this time, “Don’t fucking do it!”
“Man, fuck you! I ain’t ever going back.”
“For once in your life, don’t be stupid. Your ass is going back to jail—tonight!
I nod towards the cuffs lying at his feet and say, “Either she can slap those bracelets on you, nice and gentle, like the way she fucks you, or I can do it rough and hard, like the way she fucks me. It’s your choice, big boy—makes no difference to me.”
“What the fuck did you just say?”
I don’t respond. I simply smile.
She rubs his thigh, kisses him softly, says, “It’s okay, baby, just listen to him. I don’t want you getting hurt.”
She grabs the cuffs and secures them on his wrists. Surprisingly, he lets her.
I holster the .357, “Thanks, Dollface.”
“Don’t talk to my girl like that!”
I laugh, “She ain’t your girl.”
“What the fuck do you mean? You better tell this motherfucker that you’re my girl.”
She smiles at him, looks at me, and says, “Don’t forget our deal, baby. Half of that bond money is mine as soon as it’s in your hand.” She spreads her legs wide, says, “Or you’ll never see this again.”
With cuffed wrists pressed together, Alan lunges for his pistol and grabs it. He shoots her twice in the face before I can bury three rounds into his chest.
“God damn it” I scream! Now I have to call the Sheriff’s Department and sit around here dealing with this shit, waiting for them to put an unofficial murder charge on his corpse, for nothing. Sorry, Dollface. Looks like neither of us is getting any bond money now.
J.J. Landry has had numerous short and flash fiction stories published online, and a story of his, Turner’s Bar, was published by Shotgun Honey, as part of their crime-fiction anthology, Recoil, in May of 2020. He lives with his wife, their three children, and two dogs just outside of Cincinnati. A Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, he enjoys reading and writing about crime-fiction and WWII. He can be found on Twitter @JJLandry82.