Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Steele Bends


Derek Steele stared at the 45. In the hot, white spotlight from overhead he could see a trace of gun smoke leak from the muzzle, and he could see a wisp of smoke from the ejector slide. Steele looked down to his right side and inspected the hole his sport coat. The most recent round from the 45 had yanked his coat to one side and burned a hole in the cheap polyester-cotton blend ugly coat.

Crap, he thought, and I just got this coat from Goodwill.

He slowly looked behind him and saw where the second-most-recent round from the forty-five went. It was buried in the chest of his business partner, Jesus Jones. Jesus Jones had a surprised look on his face, slumped as he was across the vinyl and chrome sofa. It was the best they could do for office furniture. A small dribble of drool was forming in the crease of his lips. The bullet had plowed into Jonesy dead-center in the middle of his tie, an especially ugly and garish paisley tie now darkened with powder burn and blood, through the shirt, and shattered Jonesy’s breast bone, drove shrapnel and bone through his heart. His shirt front was soaked with blood. Jonesy might not have died right off but he was certainly dead now.

Steele carefully returned his look at the gun. He could see the dull-black 45 and the slender white hand that held it and the bright-red finger nails, and the slim wrist, and most of a forearm, covered with fine hair, and then see nothing as the arm left the light.

His face, his eyes, stung from the heat of the blast. He was about ready to mess in his pants, he thought, and he desperately wanted a drink of water. For the moment his hearing was gone.

Derek Steele was scared.