Cold Hearts

Author Note: I’m not going to lie, and you needn’t either.

Everyone has had those supervisors who are just a thorn in the butt to deal with on a daily basis. For some reason, these corporate creatures love to suck the life and soul of everyone around them. Everyone has had thoughts of murdering them.

I wrote this bit sometime in mid-2005. The story was a wreck. There was no way any market, paying or not, would publish it. In 2011, I found a submissions call from Runewright for an anthology called ‘Best Served Cold’. It was a paying gig, which was a big deal. I dusted off this story, as best I could, and it got the acceptance letter. Believe me, I was elated. The story, Cold Hearts, is an old one about a disgruntled employee who hates his boss. People can relate to the feelings about hating management but I do not recommend following this character’s example.

***

I give the ‘72 Cuda hell. I mash the gas pedal balls out to 115 on the speedometer. The throaty roar from the 440 picks up a beat. An oldie rock station thumps the speakers with a 1976 AC/DC live rendition of Livewire to encourage me on. I’m popping pills and swilling booze to ease the pounding in my leg from the 9mm slug buried deep in the raw meat.

My .45 is lying on the passenger seat, still slick with her blood from when I shot her. Putting her in the trunk was a bad idea, at least alive anyway. At least she has a shot-to-shit corpse to keep her company. I should have finished her off before throwing her in. The bitch is just kicking and screaming, trying to get out. To make matters worse, I have several of New Mexico’s finest hot on my ass. One of them is tapping the rear bumper. I hit the brakes hard, letting them smack the rear end to shut her the hell up. The troopers try that fucked-up PIT maneuver. I weave out of the way of the first cruiser but catch the bumper of the second. I go spinning in a cloud of dust and squalling rubber.

***

The stories are the same. You got a dickhead for a boss, and you know the type. He’s just a piece of shit. No matter how you look at it. You know you and him ain’t going to get along no matter what. It’s just the way it is in human nature. Danny was that boss who had to make life hell for me and had for several years. Some of the other guys tell me I am making it a big deal when it’s not, that I am reading too much into it, but I do not want to hear it. I’m looking for an angle to get over on him. That’s when Mina, Danny’s old lady, comes blowing into life one day.

She comes by just about every day around noontime bringing Danny his lunch. I’m hearing word around the campfire that Danny boy can’t get it up, and she is looking for some real action. She’s this great-looking Latino broad with big brown eyes and tight curves, and every day she smiles and winks at me. I also find out she goes to Diamonds nightclub every Friday night, so I go look her up. It was a matter of time before we hit the sack for some long fuck sessions. What perfect revenge.

One night, we’re lying nude in bed after some hardcore porn-style love sessions, sharing a smoke, and she says. “You and I could have a life.”

“Oh?”

“Danny has this life insurance.”

“What can you do?” I shrugged it off. Some people have all the luck. Danny was already a millionaire due to an inheritance from his departed father, the owner of a chain of burger joints around New Mexico. I had heard the old man was a stand-up guy, just bad luck that his offspring turned into a shit-bag.

“No, it’s what you can do.” She goes into this elaborate plan about how we can off him, make him disappear, and spend our lives together. She says she’s miserable living with him, and there’s no action in her life, and the fucking is…just boring as hell. The plan sounds good, and it looks like she’s thought it through.

I should have packed up and shagged ass home instead of listening to this shit, but instead, I agree to do this thing. We began to plan out the whole thing. The lure of not having to work anymore, bedding down this great-looking broad every night, and spending some cash is too much. It’s like winning the lottery and a dream come true.

A few nights later, we set the plan into motion. Danny comes home. I’m waiting for him in the shadows of the garage. He gets out of his luxury SUV, and I step up out of the dark with my 45. He has this fucked up look on his face like he doesn’t know if he wants to shit, run, or cry.

I smile and pop him in the love sack. He balls up, knees buckling, and inhales this agonizingly long rasp. I help him out falling to the ground with another shot to the right kneecap and he screams. I look around, see an ax hanging on the wall, and bury the blade in his skull. Removing the ax takes some effort, but with a sucking sound, it pops free along with most of his brains.

Mina is just standing there. She eyes Danny with this weird look of ecstasy…or was it pity? She reaches for me and drops to her knees, and begins fumbling for my trouser zipper. I have to stop her as much as I’d like to see her doing her thing. We don’t have time for a frenzied fuck. I’m looking for any signs of the cops showing up because some neighbor might’ve reported the gunshots.

So I go get the Cuda and back it up to the garage. I lift Danny’s carcass, and throw him in the trunk onto a tarp I placed in it earlier. Mina gathers up the evidence. Together, we scrub everything down with bleach or any other cleaner that helps get rid of the blood and brains. Mina retches every once in a while, but like a trooper, she keeps going.

I got blood and shit all over me. I gotta get cleaned up, I’m thinking. If I get pulled over by a cop…it’s game over. I go jump in the shower. Mina follows quietly behind me. She slowly undresses, slips into the shower stall with me, and finishes off what she started in the garage.

I ain’t complaining at this point. A hot release is what we both needed to relieve the tension, the stress…the long wait for this night…our night to freedom.

An hour later, we take off onto the midnight roads to go dispose of everything.

We get down the road about fifty miles on I-40. She wants to pull over. I’m figuring she wants to piss or vomit. I steer the Cuda off to the shoulder and put it in park. An explosion ripples through the stale air. I get it in the leg, hard, and blood is pouring out. For a second I’m confused as to what’s happening. I scream and look over. Mina has this cheap-ass chromed 9mm pistol pointed at me. The empty casing is stove-piped and is jammed in the slide. She keeps trying to pull the trigger. It’s shaking in her hand. If it hadn’t jammed, I would’ve had a gut full of lead already. So much for the slice of the American dream of money and fucking this broad.

“You bitch!”

She gasps, eyes bulging wide, realizing the pistol jammed, and she is in deep shit. I take my .45 and blast her in the fleshy part of the leg to see how the hell she likes it. She’s crying, begging, and screaming before I pistol smack her across the forehead several times, knocking her right out. I grab the 9mm and toss it behind me where I hear it bounce off the rear seat and onto the floor. My ears are ringing from the atomic blasts and a mist of blood and dust floats lazily in the air.

Firing up the Cuda, I haul ass a few miles to the next exit before diving down a dirt road. I spot what looks like an empty bean field and tear ass into it. I throw the door open and step out around to the front of the Cuda. Taking my pocket knife, I cut a slit in my trouser leg to assess the damage. The bullet is still in there, probably down to the bone, but with the blood oozing out and the swelling, there is no way I’m going to dig it out. Through gritted teeth, I screamed to the night sky.

I know now.

I had the world by the ass one minute and double-crossed the next. What the hell was her motive? What was she thinking in those long passionate fucking we had just performed earlier? Was that a good-bye fuck session? She was bored with life and needed someone to kick Danny to the curb for her. Then once it was over, she planned on disposing of me. I fell right the-fuck into it. There was no way anyone was going to believe this mess, but Mina would have the media’s sympathies for years to come…maybe even a guest spot on Opera or some shit reality-talk show. On the other hand, perhaps she had a drastic change of heart. Maybe watching Danny get an ax embedded in his skull had changed something inside her, made her think this was all too much to handle.

Either way, it would only be a matter of time before the scheme became known. It would only be a matter of time before I would be heading off to Santa Fe prison to be traded around amongst the inmates for a few packs of cigarettes a pop. I wasn’t going to let that happen.

I hobbled around, feeling the slick, warm blood running down my pants to inside my boot. It pissed me off. I spent a good chunk of dough for those boots, and now they were ruined. Popping open the passenger door, I dragged her sorry ass around to the back of the car, opened the trunk, and stuffed her alongside Danny’s corpse.

I would have to dispose of both of them and let go of the money. That pissed me off but I wasn’t on any paper and I needed to get out of it clean. I had a bottle of Jack Daniels and some pills. Popping the top off the bottle, I took a few pulls of the amber fluid. Reaching over, I tore off a section of her dress and took a moment to try and plug the wound. The blood slowed but didn’t stop.

I quickly popped a few pills, chasing them down with Jack. She was coming around, her eyes fluttering to life. I slammed the trunk lid on her. She’s hammering on the inside, and the screaming starts. If possible, I was going to make her last moments on earth a painful hell. I took off for the freeway to the designated burial site for Danny and now, Mina.

I blew by a state trooper parked in the median at about 90 mph.

***

Ironies. They hurt like hell. The Cuda is smoking from a busted radiator after sliding into a ditch. Smoke rises from the smashed-up front end. The air is thick with a cloud of golden dust and the strobe lights reflect off them. I slump over and fall through the open door, blasting the .45 at anything moving or wearing a badge. The cops’ scatter for cover and scream for me to throw my hands up and drop the fucking gun along with all the police procedural jargon they can think of. I ain’t having none of it and I plan on blasting my way out to freedom or hell.

I scramble around to the front of the car. A barrage of double-odd buckshot and pistol fire rips through the air. I’m hearing glass breaking, bullets whining overhead, and that bitch Mina screaming.

I pop off a couple and curse when the slide locks back. Ejecting the spent magazine. I slapped in a new one just as a cop comes running toward the back of the Cuda all hunched over and blasting a Glock pistol. I felt a violent nudge. A hammer blow strikes my leg, but with the adrenaline pumping, I’m going all out. I released the slide, aimed quickly, and shot the cop in the head. He goes back, falling like a dead leaf in early fall. His pistol clatters to the asphalt shoulder. I blasted the remaining rounds into the dust cloud.

The slide on the pistol locks back again.

Empty and I’m cursing.

I forgot the other spare mag in the damned glove box. Mina‘s 9mm was also still in the car and I needed it to blast my way out. I move around to the passenger side low and quick. A bullet slams me in the chest like a hammer and another slaps my gut. I fall to the ground, but get back up and manage to get in one more step. I was going to get the mag, but I’m dying and don’t see much point in it anymore. This cop runs up, his pistol held out in front of him. He’s screaming something. I don’t hear anything except a ringing and a dead calm. I slump to my knees and then over onto my side.

A couple of cops come up cautiously, guns drawn, and, despite me dying, slap the cuffs on and kick the empty .45 away. One of the cops hears screaming from the trunk, gets the keys from the ignition, pops it open, and out that bitch Mina comes like a jack-in-the-box into his waiting arms. She’s probably going to put out some fuck love for that cop once this mess is all said and done. She doesn’t have a husband, the life insurance will pay out well, and she doesn’t have me in the picture.

Nice and clean.

I feel the life running outa’ me like a freshly squeezed orange and realize it ain’t long now. I can taste the iron blood welling up in my throat. The dreams of riches and bitches fading right along with my life. The bitch looks my way, mascara running down her face, arms wrapped around the cop, blood running down her leg. She gives a smile, small enough that no one notices, and then that wink.

What a fucking whore.

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