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Rhonda clocked me a good one on my cheek, this time cause I dissed her shitty personality.  I wisely resisted punching her out.  She was a mixed martial arts expert and I knew she could kill me with a well-placed hand breaking my larynx.

Fortunately, she felt she’d made her point, raped me, took forty bucks from my wallet and left. That’s my ex-girlfriend.  Bitch, beautiful but deadly, and I’d had enough.  Specially mad that she did the nasty and that I got it up in spite of myself.  She’s one foxy home girl, but that don’t give her call to break a rib like she did a month ago.


This was the third time the psycho had beat on me so I went to the cops.  “I want a restraining order.  Get a judge or something to tell that bitch to stay away from me.”


The cop looked cockeyed.  “Your girlfriend beat you up?”  Another cop goes ha-ha.  “Women don’t beat up men,” the booking guy said.  “It’s the other way around, brother.”


“This one is deadly.  When I show up dead, you’ll know it was Rhonda Jones did it cause she was pissed at something or cause I didn’t have no more money for her or….”


“Get your punk ass outta here and stop wasting my time.”  The other cop was laughing out loud now.

*  *  *

Lebron looked sympathetic, but maybe it was cause I bought him a beer.  I knew his old lady often beat on him, but he’s got a game leg and no job and he drinks too much.  “That Rhonda gonna kill you, man.  Best you do her first.”


“I don’t kill people, man.  Lebron, you think I’m a killer?”


“So get some other dude to do that thing for you.”


“What?  Hire a killer?”


He come so close to me and I could smell aftershave.  “Your Rhonda ain’t what she seem to be.  Know them black Muslims, the ones always talkin about goin to Syria or whatever?  Cept they all talk and no money.  I know Rhonda been gettin cash from the man for keepin an eye on terrorists.”


“She a snitch?”  That was as bad as him sayin she had AIDS.


“She a paid informer.  Cops or DEA or whatever collared her for carryin smack, and they turned her.  The man comes up to her now and she spills her guts about everythin she see.  Specially bout those homeys play actin terrorism.  Man, I love this country beside all the fact I can’t get no job and the landlord leanin on me and my old lady….   But those homeys are some mean muthas I don’t wanta know.  Rhonda’s the one got their balls in her hand.”


“Who the homeys, Labron?  Point em out.”


“You see em at the Fireside Bar on Bigelow.  Pinto, Toon and some other dudes.”


*  *  *


So I’m hangin at the Fireside maybe two three nights, dissin my boss, the man, my ex.  They all give me the stink eye cause I’m a stranger, but I expect that.  Finally this guy they call Toon or Cartoon cause of his jug ears says, “Why you always bitchin?  Can’t you say anythin nice?”


I say, “I been down so long I don’t know up.  If I didn’t have bad luck I’d have no luck at all.”


“Graveyard,” he says, cause that’s what I told em my name was, “Graveyard, I bet you’d smack your ex for a thousand bucks,” and they all laugh.


I say, “I would run Rhonda Jones over with my car for a Snickers bar.”


“Your ex is Rhonda Jones?”  And a little light goes on in his head.


I nodded.  “That ain’t the half of it.  She’s a snitch.  Some white boy from the FBI got her on the string and she spillin her guts bout everybody she know.  All this jihad stuff she hears.”


Toon and Pinto and his boys got real quiet, started whisperin amongst themselves.  I finish my beer and get up.  “Have a nice day, people,” I shout and hit the street.


*  *  *

Wasn’t but three days later, Rhonda caught a 9 mm in the back of her head.  I shoulda gave a high five to Pinto and Toon, but I didn’t want to mix with them muthas any more.


Wasn’t but four days later that a black SUV cut me off crossin the street and pulled me inside.  Bunch of white guys inside.  Big dude says, “Congratulations, my man.  You just replaced Rhonda.  Either cooperate or you’re goin down.”


“For what?  I ain’t done nothin!”


“Don’t matter.  We’ll find something.  Important thing is we need intel on some bad guys, so whyn’t you pop on over to the Fireside Bar and strike up a conversation.  Twenty-four hours and we’ll want to hear some good shit from you.”


#  # #

Bio:   Walt bounces between writing genres, from mystery to humor, speculative fiction to romance with a little historical non-fiction thrown in for good measure.  His work has appeared in print and online in over two dozen publications.  Two volumes of short stories, Cruising the Green of Second Avenue, are available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other online booksellers.  He's also bounced from Fortune 500 firms to university posts, and from homes in eight states and to a couple of Asian countries.  He now lives in New Jersey, a nice place to visit, but he doesn't want to die there.


Thanks for your interest.




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