WARNING: THIS STORY GETS VIOLENTLY GRAPHIC TOWARDS THE END!
The bar was packed and filled with first and second-hand smoke. The cigarette smoke was so thick you could get lung cancer just by looking at it. Even though smoking was banned in most public places, at the Bloody Kiwi nobody cared. The Has-Beings were playing some jazz fusion.
Everyone in the bar was spell-bound by their rendition of Weather Report’s “And Then”. Everyone expect for four individuals who didn’t know each other but in about two minutes their lives would intersect and it would not be pretty for three of them. Bob was one of them. He stood at the end of the bar facing the little stage were the band played. His elbows were propped on the bar’s edge. He smoked a long, thin cigar. He took long leisurely drags from it; then he would tilt his head up, and as he tilted it back down he would let the smoke flow slowly out of his flared nostrils. He smoked like a man who had all day, or an eternity.
Bob’s jet black hair was combed into a very slick pompadour. It was out of fashion in the 21st century, but it was in fashion in the previous century twice. Once in the fifties and another time in the eighties during the Rock-a-Billy craze. He wore a single-breasted wool black suit, a red shirt and a skinny white tie. His feet were encased in pointy roach-killer, cobra-skin cowboy boots. Bob looked like he belonged in a band.
A heavily made up woman stood next to Bob. She was slightly tipsy. She studied Bob carefully. She took a heavy drag on her cigarette and blew the smoke Bob’s way. With a sideways glance, he took notice of the woman with the garish make-up and the big fake boobs. The woman got closer to Bob and said, “Watcha drinking?”
Without so much as looking at the woman Bob replied, “I don’t drink.”
Like she had just seen something repulsive, the woman reeled back and said, “My mama told me to never trust a man who doesn’t drink.”
Cracking his face into a sarcastic smirk, Bob said, “Your mother’s right. You should listen to her, and visit her more often at that torture chamber you call a nursing home that you put her in.”
The woman narrowed her eyes at Bob and wondered how this man knew about her mom. Out of shame and guilt, she turned her back on Bob. Next, she tried to strike up a conversation with the heavy set man to her right.
Bob was on “Collection Duty.” His Boss had assigned him to “pick-up” three new souls. Bob trained his eye to the booth that held a nervous looking guy with an accountant’s briefcase at his feet. The guy kept looking at his watch and smoking cigarettes like a convict on Death Row. Next, Bob fixed his eyes on the two grim-looking men three booths over. They were calm. They smoked casually and drank slowly like they had all day. They were stone cold killers on a job.
Nervous guy paid his tab, grabbed his bag and headed out the side exit into the dark alley. Bob in a manner that can only be described as defying time and space followed him out. The alley’s smelled assailed Bob’s nostrils like a prison gang bang. The alley smelled of piss, feces, rotten food, human body odor (live and dead), menstrual blood and used condoms. Bob was in full-feral mode so he could smell these things as individual offending odors. He would have wretched if he could. Instead, Bob quick-stepped it so he could catch up with nervous guy. With his right hand he grabbed nervous guy by the shoulder and spun him around.
Before the guy could say a word, Bob revealed his true demon self. Nervous guy’s eyes bulged, his throat constricted, his skin smoked. His soul was sucked out of his body. It entered Bob’s mouth like some TV genie entering her bottle. Within in seconds, nervous guy’s body collapsed on the urine and vomit wet concrete. His body was dried up like beef jerky two years past its sell-by date.
Bob grabbed the bag. He scanned the alley. He noticed a homeless 15 year old girl cowering behind a dumpster. He grabbed her by the hair and pulled her out from behind the dumpster. He handed the bag to the girl and said, “Take this and disappear. You will never speak of what just happened here to anyone. Do you hear me?”
The girl, who was used to keeping secrets, nodded her head and ran down the alley with bag in hand. As she ran, Bob divined her future; he felt a type of warmth he had not felt in a very long time. Bob knelt over nervous guy’s dried up body. He rifled through the guy’s pockets tossing out anything that could ID the lousy accountant turned idiotic embezzler.
Just as he was finishing, the Club’s side door slammed open. The two torpedoes stepped out into the alley. The older one yelled, “Damn, this place smells worse than your mother’s armpits.”
The younger killer said, “Well, at least doesn’t it smell as bad as your sister’s pussy.”
The older hit man shoved the younger one and said, “Screw you.”
The younger one spied Bob kneeling over the remains of nervous guy and said, “What have we here?”
The older one said, “It looks like this fruit is queering off on our job.”
The younger killer said, “Yeah! How sick is that?”
Bob slowly rose to his feet and faced the two men.
The older man said, “Doesn’t he look pretty?”
The younger man said, “Yo! Faggot, whatcha do to him?”
Bob just smiled at them. The two men approached him. The older man delivered a right cross that sent Bob crashing into the side of the dumpster. The younger man moved over to Bob and kicked him in the knee. In human form, Bob could feel pain. The punch and the kick sent sensations to his brain he had not felt in a very long time. Bob fell down to his knees. The two men proceeded to pummel Bob into to a bloody pulp. Both were out of breath by the time they were done.
Bob’s body looked like he had been in the ring with twenty Mike Tysons who had sledgehammers for hands. The older man, kneeled down over Bob and said, “Look, faggot, before we finish you, we need to know what you did with the bag.”
Through puffed slits for eyes Bob saw the man and shook his head. The older man stood up and said, “It’s your funeral.”
The older killer turned to the younger one and said, “Go bring the car around. I’m afraid we’re going to have to get Medieval on this sorry ass pillow biter.”
The younger guy froze in his tracks. The older man looked at his partner and spun around. His eyes widened and his lower jaw dropped like a drawbridge over the River Styx.
Bob stood and smiled at the men. He looked great for a man who had just been severely beaten by two professionals. As a matter of fact, he looked like no one had laid a fist on him. Bob reached out and touched the older killer’s chest. The man’s entire body stiffened and rose a foot off the ground. It then came down with a heavy thud. The kind of noise lifeless body makes. Bob looked at the younger guy and said, “So, I’m a faggot? Go fuck yourself!”
Like a deranged marionette in a perverted puppet show, the younger man unzipped his pants, pulled out his erect penis with one hand, and with his other hand he drew a knife, cut off his still hard member and proceeded to shove it up his anus. He was dead within seconds.
Bob walked over to both men and touched them. Immediately, their souls were sucked into Bob’s mouth. Just then Bob’s feral ears picked up the sound of stiletto heels. His keen sense of smell picked up the scent of cheap perfume, a leather skirt, but no smell of female.
All living creatures have their own distinct body scent. The person watching Bob in the shadows didn’t have one. It only meant one thing. He arched an eyebrow and into the darkness he asked, “Bridgette?”
Collecting Souls © Trudge164, 2012
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