A TICKET TO RENO
Otis set down his beer can on the park bench, took a moment to feel the sun on his neck, and turned to look at his friend Floyd. “I’m gonna kill somebody,” he said, “just you know, to feel ‘em die.”
Floyd chuckled. “Ya mean, like that Johnny Cash song?”
“No, duckweed. I said feel, not watch.”
“In Reno ?” Floyd asked. “Ya gonna do it in Reno ?”
“Fuck Reno . What’s in Reno ? You’d have to kill somebody just to make something happen in Reno .”
“Well,” said Floyd, “this is Sacramento . There’s lots to do. Sunny fuckin California . Have another beer. You don’t have to kill anybody.”
Otis drained his can and opened another. “A man gets tired of being brave,” he said.
“Who said that?” Floyd asked. “You didn’t think that, somebody else …”
Otis grabbed Floyd around the fat skin of the throat and squeezed. He dug his fingers into the sickly softness and watched the eyes bulge like baby balloons as smelly beer gurgled out of Floyd’s mouth.
He tried to pull away, tried to force off Otis’s hands, tried to kick at Otis’s gut. He even scratched at Otis’s face, but Otis felt more determined than Floyd, felt more determined on the inside and didn’t care about superficial wounds to the outer being.
Otis squeezed, fiercely, waiting, waiting and watching Floyd die …
Floyd’s body shuddered as if in some secret wonderful orgasm; his bloated tongue stuck out his fat lips like a wet parking ticket, and it was over.
Otis let out a long sigh, more out of boredom than relief. He just didn’t feel as much as he thought he might. He remembered watching his cat give birth to a litter of kittens in the garage and that carried much more feeling than this. He felt something stir inside his gut watching those little cats pop out all new and fresh and gooey like oven-baked cookies, just a little underdone. Floyd’s eyes popping out in a dead blank fishy stare and the snarl on his white face felt more like an inconvenience than anything else.
Otis finished his beer, then finished Floyd’s. The Greyhound bus station was just a few blocks downtown and a ticket to Reno didn’t cost that much.
Mystery Island Publications