Short Story – “En Flagrante” – Part 6
En Flagrante Part 6
by AG Bluvier
I practically ripped the door off the hinges to get in. I ran to the closet and pulled down the dusty old cigar box, and looked inside. It wasn’t there. The watch was gone, all that was left was the bottle of Whiskey. I sat back on the ground with a heavy thud and stared off into space. This wasn’t possible, was it?
Flashbacks, smoke, haze and gunfire echoed through my head. I struggled to push away the images, images that had haunted my dreams. I grabbed the Whiskey, and with it the promise of absolution. And I started drinking. I drank until the pictures went away.
It was almost Noon when I woke up, head filled with icepicks and no ice. Mouth dry, head pounding, pounding, pounding. No, that was the door. It was a long way away. I stared at it, willing the person on the other side to go away, but I had a feeling that wasn’t going to happen. It didn’t. The pounding grew louder. I managed to haul my 180 lbs of dead weight to the door. I paused for a moment. Whatever was on the other side, wasn’t good, that much was sure. Maybe I should just wait for them to kick it in.
“Open ‘er up Jackoff or we’ll kick it in.”
Right, they read my mind. Fine, I opened it. A couple a rats in suits exploded into the room. One of them was carrying a machete. “Only in Havana” I thought to myself.
“Lemmie at im, lemma at im.” the lunatic with the Machete whined while he carved the air with it.
The other guy, the big guy, grabbed my collar and threw me into the wall. “Where’s the money.”
“What money.” It was a sincere question, I needed to know which bookie was trying to collect.
“Yeah, Tommy Garbunko. What’d you forget lowlife?”
“Left front pocket.” The rat looked surprised.
“You tryin’ to tell us ya got the money?”
“Take a look for yourself.” He grabbed my pocket and ripped the envelope out. He pulled out the wad of cash and counted.
“Whatta ya know. It’s all there.”
“And if even a penny is missing Garbunko’s gonna know to pin it on you two ballet dancers.”
“Oh, funny. Sure.” He slapped me a few times like the fairy he was and they took off.
Well, at least that was one close call avoided. Now all I had to do was figure out how to stay alive for the next 12, no 11 and a half hours. Shit, I needed a drink. The Whiskey bottle was empty so I headed down to the corner bar. The one good thing about Havana, you can always find a place to get a drink. I briefly considered drinking myself to death, but there wasn’t enough time. More drastic measures would be required.
The sound of gunfire rattled through my head, the smell of gunpowder filled my nose. There wasn’t enough Whiskey in all of Cuba to drown it out. Soldiers yelling, a little girl screaming.
“Dammit barkeep, I need another.” I slurred.
It was on the bar in front of me before I had time to slam my fist down.
I looked up to thank him but he was looking behind me, and judging by his face, and the way he backed away, trouble was heading right for me. No surprise, I have a talent for it. I knocked back the whiskey in one slug, stood and turned just in time to find myself staring into the most enormous adam’s apple I’ve ever seen up close.
“I don’t recall us being introduced.” was all I could wheeze out from my position between a forearm like a telephone pole and the bar. Somehow the barstool had found a way to get jammed into my left testicle. The next thing I knew, I was getting real well acquainted with more of the furniture, all I could hear was “Monnnnneiiiieee!” between grunts as the gorilla smashed my face to the table. “Right Pocket.” Or at least that’s what I thought I said. It must’ve sounded like some kind of insult, all he did was scream. So I screamed louder. “RIGHT POCKET!! MONEY! RIGHT POCKET!!”
He stopped. I could see nothing but a blur, eyes filled with blood and sweat. I felt myself get frisked, heard a grunt, fell to the ground and that’s about the last thing I remember.
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