BLOOD ON THE HARDWOOD CONCRETE CH.2 - LET CURLY GO NUTS
Written by Annie Evett
You stand up and swallow the bile in your throat. The Globetrotters continue to stare slack-jawed at the naked man on the ground. You wave your hands at them, attempting to break the horrified spell the flasher’s junk cast over them. You grin and correct yourself. Not enough to be junk, gotta be litter or dregs.
Curly demands to be let loose on the man. You push him back. “Just leave him. He’s not our man.”
Twiggy hoots and rotates a ball around his trunk. “He ain’t even a man.” You all laugh.
The man groans and rolls to an unsteady crouch.
“Stay down, you pervert.” Curly ricochets a ball towards his head.
The little man catches the ball, and his beady eyes glitter murderously at Curly as his lip twists in an uncomfortable grin. “Caught me unawares once, but not again, Fred.”
You notice Curly’s normal jovial behavior suddenly drop as he stares at the man on the ground.
Wilt smooths his moustache and spins a ball on a finger. “Caught ya with your pants down, too. Not that anyone would notice.” You notice everyone laughing except Curly.
Goose slaps Wilt on the back as he calls over to the flasher. “Slink away, you weirdo. Come on fellas. We are wasting time.”
You notice Curly bouncing his ball from hand to hand, flicking it deftly behind his back.
With a flurry of heavy material swishing like a cape, the flasher leaps to his feet and crouches low, growling animalistically, his long coat settling around him.
Curly’s grin is wider that the harbor. “Now this is what I’m talking about. You lot, go. I want to have some fun here. I’ll sort out this perv.”
Twiggy and Wilt nod and stretch their elongated limbs out toward you. “Yeah, come on man–the murderer will be blocks away. Chief ain’t goin’ to be real pleased if we dust up a citizen and leave a murderer on the loose.”
The rest of the team begin jogging down the alley way. You are left between the flasher and Curly’s big smile.
“I got this.” His grin never leaves his face. “You run along. Let me at him.”
You frown. Curly’s mouth, stretched into that plastic smile, is near cracking his face. Something ain’t right about the scene.
Curly kicks a trashcan over and bounces his ball at the lid. It spins up and scatters across the cobblestoned pavement, knocking the flasher to the ground again.
You grab Curly’s arms. “Come on Curly, snap out of it. He’s just a pervert. We got a killer on the loose. Let’s go.”
You feel a tight grip around your ankle before you are tipped, overbalanced. That last slice of lasagna has done it. You land on your swollen belly; the bile that had threatened to erupt before makes a loud and theatrical appearance. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the grace to majestically burst like a fountain away from your body. It gurgles and weeps in hot lumps down your chin, seeping into your collar, pooling in an armpit.
You try to ignore it and turn your head to face the leering mug of the flasher. Curly leaps on top of him and begins to swing punches at his face. You try to sit up but slip in your own vomit. The flasher bucks and twists, unsettling Curly’s position, forcing him to the ground beside your second-hand lasagna. The flasher fluidly stands and forces his coat back to display his naked glory to the two of you.
The coat theatrically sweeps upward again as the flasher fumbles inside it. Too late you see slender stiletto knives being withdrawn from their secret spaces in the hemline. Your mouth is still full of chunky tomato paste and badly chewed lasagna sheets. Curly’s face crumples in disgust, but is immediately replaced with a look of blank shock. One of the knives appears in his chest as seeping claret begins to color his shirt.
A dull pain spreads across your chest. You think it strange, as you expected it to be sharp and hurt more. Your mouth empties the remains your stomach had retched up, and you now taste the acrid thin flavor of blood.
The flasher strides over to you, places a foot on your chest, and pulls out the knife. He looks at it momentarily and plunges it into your throat.