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A raffle drawing becomes a public bondage display.
company old man or are you drinking alone?"
"Just me and your mother's ghost, dancing and talking shit."
"You sad old fuck. Bring that beautiful black bitch around here. I got a little red haired girl and her dad, would love to cruise with grandad."
"Just might do that mate."
"Listen, Dad... I worry sometimes. You need some company, some people your age to hang with."
"My age? We've done this jig before buddy. I'm only sixty-seven, I'm not going in some old fucks parking garage to rust... Just you... worry about your own little gang buddy."
"Love ya Dad."
"Love you too dick head, now go make more grand kids or something. Let me wallow. I'll see you Monday at work hey?"
"Ok then Dad."
He throws the phone in back seat. It lands in the puddle of blood. Stu slumps forward in the seat with blood in the corners of his mouth and ears and a blackened hole in the centre of his forehead that geysers brains and blood.
Instinctively he reaches for the glove compartment and takes out the magnum. He's holding it in his right hand as he stands beside the mustang looking into the empty back seat.
Lighting a cigarette he moves around to the passenger side and half sits, half leans on the doorsill. His eyes leak. "Stuey... What the fuck mate? Why?" he asks the still summer air. But there is no why. There never was. It made no sense then, it makes no sense now.
"Turn that up daddy. That's my jive."
He turns up the radio and watches the girls dance. Lucy holds Peggy's hand as she twirls under her arm and they laugh while they dance.
"So Strawbs have you guys set a date?"
"No, not yet Peggy. Frankie wants to finish paying for the garage first then we'll spend on a wedding."
"What about you guys?"
"I don't know. Stu's so... I don't know." The mood falls and Peggy goes back to the car for another little dose of the devils dirt.
"You seen him?" she asks Frankie.
He shrugs and gestures to some other cars parked further down the levee. "He's gonna find trouble with that crowd and their cheap shitty uppers, he's angry all the time."
"I know, I know, he just won't listen." There's a scream from far away, a woman, high pitched and never ending. Then more yelling and someone running. Stu explodes into the streetlamp and dives into the back of the mustang.
"Quick we gotta roll. Get the fuck out of here! Come on! Come on!" He's frantically gesturing to Peggy and Lucy, "Come on you fucken dumb sluts. Get in. Frankie for fucks sake hurry-" BLAM!!!
The night explodes with a flash of orange flame and the thunder of a gun. Stu lurches in the back seat and blood sprays from his forehead covering Peggy from waist to shoulder. She screams but Frankie hears nothing, his ears still ring from the shot. Behind him he hears someone yell, "No one fucks with the forty-niners!"
Then BLAM!!! Something hot and wet smashes against his head and he tumbles forward. He sees Lucy screaming, her eyes wide with terror, she reaches out for him then turns and runs. The dirt reaches up to him and folds him warmly into its black arms where he knows nothing.
There are lights. Flashing red and blue. Voices far away. Someone rolls him onto a stretcher and jolts him heavily. Pain flashes black spots in his vision but he sees through them into the headlight beam from his mustang. Lucy lies in the dirt with blood all down her legs and a gaping red hole where her face should be. He screams and reaches out but makes just a gurgling sound and bright white claims him.
"Stuart you cunt. You took it all away."
His reveries are interrupted by some awkward looking kids approaching.
"Hey old timer, giz a look at your rig." Some boys with their pants falling down swagger over to where Frankie stands. He's conscious of the gun in his hand so stuffs it out of sight in his belt under his shirt.
"Oh man, sweet old-school ride. What's it a 67 'stang?"
"64 half," Frankie eyes them suspiciously. They are too 'crowdy' of him while they mill about the vehicle.
"Oh right, pop the hood cousin, what block she run?"