Wade Hackette travels southbound toward the devilish Hellmouth Lounge. Sinorita is locked 'n loaded and ready to go off. Sammie Redding gave the orders to kill. Something is written on a piece of paper.
Follow Wade as he journeys into Grime Street's local hellhole.
Fat, greasy raindrops slither down a brick wall as thunder growls within a boiling black cloud. Orange flames spit glowing sparks—embers drift on the back of a feral wind, and then smack against a long wet coat. The torch hisses while a polished coup rolls to a stop across the street.
“Hey. Vinny. Wake up. I think he arrived.”
The torch slobbers a mouthful of hellish particles upon Vinny’s bear fur coat.
“God damn it! Do you know how much I paid for this coat? It’s a Philip P. Butter…come on…let’s go over here.”
Vinny scowls at the torch, lifts up the coat’s collar, then strolls down the block. He reaches behind his belt and takes out a snub nosed revolver. Vinny thumbs the hammer the while squinting a blue scarred eye at the torch.
Vinny squeezes the trigger three more times.
“Come on! Are you kidding? What a piece of shit…you know how much I paid for this thing, Benny? ”
A drunk couple wobbles past Vinny. The smell of cheap spirits leaks out of their open mouths.
“Hey. Vinny. Calm down. What are you doing? Not now. Not here. Not ever. You probably forgot to load it. Let’s go.”
He pushes Vinny toward Hellmouth Lounge as an electric spider web shocks the sky above their heads. They place their backs against a vacant brick wall as a very large man emerges out of the darkness and enters Hellmouth Lounge. Fat, greasy raindrops drip from the rim of a very wide brown rimmed hat.
“…That’s when I stabbed him…Yup…I stuck him real good…in front of that blonde bitch mistress…ummm…what’s her name…”
The bartender shakes his head while pouring a glass of Bella’s Bloody Bourbon.
“You’re ice cold, Slug. Ice cold.”
Slug shrugs his tapered pinned striped shoulders.
“…It’s not like he didn’t have it comin’…someone else would have wedged something sharp in his spine…yup…it’s true…” He grips the glass of Bourbon and brings it closer to his lips. Slug opens his mouth, but instead of dropping down the Bourbon, words spew between chipped teeth.
“…Say…ummm…isn’t that Wade Hackette? Yes…I believe it is…”
Purple lights pulsate within lazy wispy columns of smoke. Black walls cast the illusion of eternity. Wade walks down a small set of carpeted stairs—a table full of glass tipping street walkers whisper to each other, and then rank and file up the small carpeted staircase. Wade pinches a vacant chair with his thumb and pointer finger and slams it beside a wooden round table.
Wade’s eyes drift toward a newspaper:
25 Bodies Found in Apartment Building
A roomful of unidentified bodies was discovered in an apartment building on the north end of Grime Street. Investigators report all blood had been drained from the victims and allegedly collected within a bathtub…
Big Boy Eats Garbageman
Big Boy ,”The Mad Circus Bear”, is still on the loose and claimed another victim on November 18, 1949. A devoured garbageman was found behind Marley Mildred’s Diner…
“Slug! My boy! I thought you were dead!”
A well-dressed man slides into Hellmouth Lounge. Vinny and Benny stride beside him—their heads swivel upon their crooked spines.
“…Oh…ummm…everyone thinks that…nice seeing you, Dirty…” Slug says. Vinny and his short friend stand shoulder to shoulder in front of the small carpeted staircase. Wade’s big finger glides along Sinorita’s barrel.
“Come on! Squeeze out the way, will you? Jeez.” Dirty Desmond says as he wedges between Vinny and Benny.
“You two need to chill out, okay? You’re cramping my style, got it? What? You two ladies think someone is going to come to a hellhole like this and shoot up the joint? Come on. People have better things to do. Where are the real ladies? It’s getting stuffy in here.”
He takes out a switchblade and points it at Benny.
“Didn’t your mamma teach you how to put on a tie? Pathetic.”
A sharp, serrated comb retracts out of a hollow handle. He rips the comb through a head full of curly red hair, and then slides down the carpeted staircase’s handrail.
Dirty Desmond sits at a table near a cigarette vending machine while patting his pockets.
“Come on! Where is this shadow lady? What? Do I look like a man who has time to kill? This place smells.”
He slides a green bill inside the vending machine.
He jumps backwards into the pool table.
“Who said that? Wait, it’s you, ain’t it, huh? Yeah. I know that voice.”
He straddles a chair; slamming a pack of smokes against his palm.
“So, okay, where is it? You got it? Please tell me you got it, shadow lady.”
Wade’s finger strokes Sinorita’s trigger. He angles the barrel inside his coat, and cocks the hammer. Dirty Desmond slides a hand across the table, then walks into a nearby bathroom. Wade aims Sinorita into a wall of darkness near the cigarette vending machine. He squints his eyes and the shadows squint back.
Wade Hackette stares into the heart of darkness and discovers something staring back—is it just a pair of lovely lady eyes? Or something else? Stay tuned and find out if Wade Hackette has what it takes to pull the trigger!
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