Sunday, February 17, 2008

an excerpt from the short story, "Bloodbath" by Jim Battery

He'd never seen a driver pull over and stop the Chinatown bus to urinate before.
With all the junk he was holding, Dwight figured it must of been a trick. And, in fact, it was a dirty fucking trick; those feds had been waiting for the bus at the rest area. Dwight saw one of them duck behind a garbage bin.
"This is going to be a bloodbath," he murmured beneath his breath. His heart was pounding against the barrel of the .45 in his jacket.
He pulled the pistol out and jumped up, announcing, "I reckon the Lord don't always agree with what a man does," and he shot a hole through the back of the head of a man sitting towards the front of the coach, meaning to scare the piss out of the other passengers.
The young woman beside the sudden corpse thought she was still dreaming when she woke up and touched the blood splattered on her lap but she didn't begin screaming until she tasted it on her fingertips.
Dwight had seen her somewhere before, somewhere back in the city. A waitress? A stripper, maybe. It wasn't important. He yanked her out of the seat. She was younger than she looked, maybe 19 or 20, blonde, short skirt, cute legs in bloodstained white tights. The agents outside moved towards the bus with their guns drawn. Everyone on the bus screaming. So much goddamn screaming, Dwight thought, pushing the girl in front of him. He shoved the pistol under her chin. She began sobbing.
"Thank you, mister, thank you!" Blubbering.
The feds were shouting at Dwight to drop the gun and let go of the girl. He wondered if she wasn't the wrong kind of hostage anyhow.
"Thank you, mister! Oh my god, oh my god, oh god!"
Well, this is just the last thing I need, Dwight thought. He felt like vomiting. A trickle of blood dribbled out of his left nostril and settled at the top of his upper lip. He'd been doing all that blow.
Meanwhile, the driver was shouting in Chinese at the top of his lungs from inside the toilet. A baby was bawling somewhere. Somebody was cowering behind a seat, praying in Spanish. For a second Dwight thought he might could kill himself and everyone would be better off.
"You crazy! Now you get off bus!" the driver was howling.
Dwight pushed the girl slowly toward the door and suddenly realized why she looked familiar: her photograph was on the news the night before because she'd been kidnaped last week by the dead serial rapist whose brains were splattered all over her cute legs.
Dwight snorted a snicker abruptly in spite of himself as the squad outside closed in like a pack of tittering hyenas. You filthy pigs, he thought.
I'm a motherfucking hero. Doesn't that figure?