Slug knocked back his double bourbon and looked at his watch. Death would be here soon, and he needed one more drink. He threw another five at the dancer attacking the pole in front of him and thought about his bladder. It was urging him to take a piss. He needed to get up, but those tits were perfect. How could a man walk away from something like that? He couldn’t and that was ok. Death would understand. Girls like Miss Perfect Tits never paid any attention to guys like him. Why would they? Old Ricky the Slug wasn’t much to look at. But he was flush. He had hit it big at the poker tables over at the Continental and he meant to enjoy it. The Slug ignored his bladder and ordered another bourbon.
The roll of bills sticking out of Miss Sweet Tits’ thong was growing large enough for Slug to catch a glimpse of the goods underneath. This, he thought, was a good time to get up and relieve himself. After all, she wasn’t going home with him anyway. She was probably banging that moose neck bouncer by the door. They always went for the bouncers. No, if death decided to pass him by tonight, Ricky the Slug would still be sleeping alone. Unless he decided to drop some dough on one of the “ladies” he saw hanging around outside. That idea had its appeal, but not tonight, he had other business to take care of. Bloody business.
The bathroom of Buddy D’s was exactly what one would expect of a midtown strip bar; putrid. The one rusty, piss stained urinal clung pathetically to the wall, and the shitter stall was dented and covered in filth and graffiti. Slug did his business and looked around. No windows, and a drain in the center of the floor. “This will do nicely.” He thought.
He had seen that fat fuck Rocco slip in and palm a Benjamin to old moose neck about thirty minutes ago. He had taken the bait. The news of old Slug’s epic run at the Continental would have traveled fast, and he knew it wouldn’t take long for a little birdie to sing in Rocco’s ear. That was just fine, because this time, Rocco wouldn’t be collecting cash.
Slug stood at the sink, washed his hands and waited. Shortly the door swung open and in walked Rocco, all cocky like his nuts were on wheels. Rocco locked the door behind him. “Well, well, look who washes his hands after playin with his willy? Your Ma would be so proud.” He said. Slug tried to look surprised and backed up against the wall.
“Hey Rocco, oh shit man, I was about to call you man!”
Rocco reached out with his hairy slab of a hand and pinned Slug against the dirty tile. The smell of Aqua Velva and Vitalis briefly masked the stale urine that permeated the room.
“So I hear you got lucky tonight?”
“Aw, you know, I hit a few good hands, nothin to go ape shit about.”
“That’s not what I heard. I heard you cleaned out a bunch of upstate rubes for close to twelve large.” Rocco tightened his grip on Slug’s shirt. “I don’t like hearin things like this Slug, not unless I hear it from you. It makes me think you might try and get smart. You tryin to get smart Slug?” Rocco punched Slug in the stomach doubling him over.
“No Rocco!” Slug said between gulps of air. “I wasn’t gettin smart I promise. I just wanted to unwind a little you know. It was a long round at the tables. That’s all.” Slug wasn’t nearly as out of breath as he let on. Thousands of crunches done in his little rat hole apartment had made his formerly flabby stomach hard as a rock. No, he had Rocco right where he wanted him, close and unaware. Unaware that he had made his last collection call.
“Give me that stack you’re sittin on you little shit and maybe I won’t break your knees.”
“Ok. Ok. Just let me go for a damn minute so I can get to it.”
“You fuck with me, even for a second and I will end you right here. You understand? And why the fuck are you all the way over on this side of town anyway? You ain’t never set foot in this place before. You lookin to move on me?”
“Nah man I just got tired of the same old tits downtown, thought I’d mix it up a bit.” It didn’t hurt that nobody would think of old Slug when they found Rocco’s fat ass in a dumpster all the way up in midtown. He thought. “Look I can’t get to my money belt with you all up in my shit like this, right?” Rocco let go of Slug leaving a clump of wadded polyester where his collar used to be. Slug felt his heart rate slow as he controlled his breathing. He widened his stance just slightly as he pretended to fish out his wallet. Rocco just stood there reeking of Aqua Velva; waiting for his money. “What a sucker”. Slug thought.
Slug took a deep breath, he thought about all those hours spent pounding his rolled up mattress; hardening his fists, and quickening his reflexes. This was it. He shot both hands out and slammed his thumbs into Rocco’s eye sockets burying them to the second knuckle. Rocco let out a scream that bounced around the tile bathroom. He slapped and clawed at Slug’s hands, trying to pull them out of his face. Slug could hear the steady thump of the bass outside the door. The next stage act was in progress, and no one could hear them. Perfect. Slug put one foot on the wall behind him and pushed off sending Rocco crashing into the urinal. The fat man howled and thrashed blindly as he bounced off the porcelain and fell to the floor. He kicked out wildly, but the fight was already leaving him. Blood ran down Slug’s elbows and dripped on the piss stained floor at his feet.
“What’s wrong Rocco? Your day not goin like you planned?”
“You son of bitch, my fucking eyes! You’re fucking dead. You hear me? Dead!”
“I don’t know Rocco, your eye balls are hangin out on your fat fuckin cheeks. Maybe you don’t talk so tough huh? Maybe old Slug’s been waitin for this day. What about that?” Slug kicked Rocco in the kidney and spit on his gored face. “Maybe you’re the dead man right? Maybe you’re just too fuckin stupid to see it. You think I’d come all the way over to this shit heap just to see some so so tits? No man, I needed to get you away from your boys.” Rocco moaned and rolled over onto his side. Blood was starting to pool up around his head.
“Alright, we…we can call it even. You don’t owe me nothing alright? Just get the fuck out of town and …” Slug kicked him in the kidney again.
“I ain’t goin nowhere. I been workin on this for a long time fucko. Since that beat down you gave me over at Stink’s poker game. You remember that? Yeah I didn’t think so. Well I didn’t forget. I been plannin this. Now it’s time to finish up. Death is here for a visit Rocco. He’s sittin on the shitter waitin to take you for a ride.” Slug pulled a short knife from his pocket, one of those black folding jobs with a serrated edge. It was a nasty little fucker; perfect for the job.
Rocco heard the click as the blade unfolded and began to thrash around again. He managed to kick Slug in the knee causing a sharp bolt of pain to shoot through him. Slug fell to the ground next to Rocco almost dropping the knife.
“Fuck you Slug! You don’t have the balls to do it. You’re just a weak little pussy! You better run on out of here cause when I get up, I’m gonna make you pay, and then I’m gonna visit that whore sister of yours. Oh yea, I’m gonna make that tasty piece of ass scream my name as I bleed her out. You hear me you son of a bitch?”
Slug held the knife in both hands and quickly stabbed Rocco’s neck with a flurry of downward strokes. Blood sprayed out like a sprinkler when he hit the jugular vein and he had to turn his head to keep it out of his eyes. Rocco flopped and twitched briefly, until his blood and his life ran out. Slug hovered over him for a moment, taking in the coppery stench of blood and Vitalis.
J David Jaggers is a Tullahoma, TN based investment advisor and member of the Fiction writers group and Horror writers Facebook group. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Kentucky University. He and his wife enjoy ballroom dancing, skydiving, and hiking with their Australian Kelpie Crackerjax.