Last night in L.A.
By Robin Wyatt Dunn
She knew I was a killer the moment she laid eyes on me and I knew she was a tramp the moment I laid eyes on her.
“What’ll it be, sir?’ she asked, and I put a C-note on the bar and leaned in closer to her to whisper: “I need an incision, on my left thigh.”
“What?” she said.
“Just kidding,” I said. “I need some whiskey, please.”
The boys from the Beach Arcology rolled in then, and I dove for the table nearest me, throwing it forward and ducking behind it as smoothly as I could manage, grinning as their shotguns tore off the arm of the pretty looking lady who’d been sitting there a moment previous.
The beautiful belle dame behind the bar, the tramp with the darkest eyes I’d ever seen called out: “I’ve called the cops already – they’ll be here in five minutes!”
“That’s long enough,” snickered Foamy Joe of the Beach, and tossed a grenade right at me. Call me a coward: I ran, right back to the bar, catching the belle dame just as she was slipping down the trap door on the rope.
I was down after her, praying to the loa of the freeway, the Interstate I used to love, back when we had gas.
“Commerce used to be classy,” she said, as I climbed on the back of her horse, and gripped her smooth hips.
“Now we get reorganized every three weeks,” she said, spitting.
“You want to leave town?’ I said.
“Not yet,” she said. “We have to establish the radiation zone.”
Urban renewal is different in an era of accelerated atomic decay: the newest nukes have radioactive half-lives of only a few hours. Real estate on the west coast of North America went through the roof as soon as the first one was used in the field: Canadian lumber was the new gangbusters.
“How about Canada?” she shouted back at me.
Canada means village. Maybe I can be one of the het-men: rise early in the morning to sit outside the general store and live in the strange unfoundering assurance of community appeal. Like the cigar store Indian, sometimes killers work best when they attain motionlessness.
“Can we go on the dole?” I shouted back.
“I’d never respect you!”
“But I’d fuck you every night.”
“I could get a better offer!”
“I always wanted to be a lumberjack!” Would they take a man with a permanent colony of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in his thigh?
“Shut up and watch for drones!” she said.
We rode all through the night, me and the real estate scout who could call in nukes.
- - -
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Last night in L.A.
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