Category Archives: Morgan Boyd

Eddie Spaghetti

“Scary, cover the hippy cashier,” Screw said in the van, pulling the ski mask down over his face, obscuring the faded blue swastika tattoo on his cheek.  “He so much as farts, you put a bullet in his head.”

+++++“I’ve never fired a gun before,” Scary said, holding the .45 at Screw’s chest.

+++++“Point it at the Phish fan behind the counter when we get inside, not at me,” Screw said, pushing the barrel away.  “Smoky Dave.”

+++++“Yep,” Smoky Dave said, throwing the butt of his cigarette out the van’s window.

+++++“Herd the stoners into a corner.  If somebody starts acting like John Wayne, blast ‘em.  I’ll go first, and cut down that big security guard motherfucker.”

+++++“We wont actually shoot nobody will we?”  Scary asked, pulling the bill of her black ball cap low over her eyes.

+++++“I fuckin’ hope so,” Smoky Dave said behind a hockey mask, sliding two shells into the shotgun.

+++++Screw gave Smoky Dave a confidential look that put Scary ill at ease like they knew something important she didn’t before they exited the van, and approached the pot dispensary.

+++++“Eddie.  Eddie Spaghetti.  His meatballs are ready,” Scary said under her breath, and rubbed the aluminum tab torn from a soda can in her pocket.

+++++Screw bounded through the front door, and smashed the massive security guard in the head with the butt of his Glock, wilting the big man like a thirsty plant.

+++++“Everybody face the wall,” Smoky Dave said, kicking open the second door, ripping one into the ceiling, and counting four scarred shitless costumers.

+++++“Hands up,” Scary said, pointing the .45 at the white hippy with dreadlocks behind the counter.

+++++“Be cool lady,” the hippy cashier said, squinting at her.  “Be cool.”

+++++“I said get your hands up,” Scary said.

+++++“I know you,” the hippy said.  “We went to school together.  You were what’s his name’s girl.”

+++++“Shut up,” Scary said.

+++++“You just signed your death warrant,” Screw said, and squeezed the trigger.

+++++The hippy flopped around on the floor as blood gushed from the side of his head.  Panicked sobs and mournful cries erupted from the patrons.  Two middle-eastern men hugged each other, and a young white woman with tattooed sleeves and plugs in her earlobes, crossed herself, and tried to look for heaven in the ceiling.  An older woman in a red power suit and matching pumps stood frozen in a defiant stance.

+++++Scary winced at the dead hippy on the ground.  His name was Ricky Fred.  She remembered ditching P.E. to smoke weed with him in his V.W. bug freshman year.  He felt her up, so she punched him in the balls.  Scary hated him for that, but didn’t wish him dead.  There was only one person she wished death on.

+++++“Quiet down, or I start shooting,” Smoky Dave said to the customers.

+++++“I’m not scared of you,” the woman in red said, coming to life.  “I haven’t survived breast cancer to be killed by some punk at a stickup.”

+++++“Lady, I swear to god if you don’t turn around, and put your face against the wall, I will blow your fuckin’ head off,” Smoky Dave said.

+++++“You will not,” the woman said, clutching her purse.  “I’m leaving, and don’t try to stop me.”

 

*

 

+++++Scary woke in a large city planter box in front of the public library with a raging headache.

+++++“Eddie.  Eddie Spaghetti.  His meatballs are ready,” she said, and felt the aluminum tab in her pocket before plodding downtown, and scrounging through public ashtrays to assuage her nicotine addiction.

+++++“Scary,” Smoky Dave said, handing her a cigarette and a matchbook.  “Where you been?”

+++++She lit the smoke, and looked at her reflection in a storefront window.  Her blue hair was pulled back exposing brown roots.  Her face was swollen, sunburnt, and covered in runny scabs.  Smoky Dave wore a crusty black leather jacket, and no shirt underneath.  His long dark hair dangled in front of his face, obscuring his features.

+++++“Nowhere.”

+++++“Got a job for you.”

+++++“I don’t suck dick.”

+++++“It ain’t like that,” Smoky Dave said, and inhaled from a vape pen.  “You know my buddy Screw?”

+++++“No.”

+++++“Skinhead with a swastika tattoo on his face.”

+++++“Maybe”.

+++++“I met him in prison a few years back.  He did a stretch for attempted murder.  He’s been staying with me since he got out.  We’re knocking over a pot dispensary by the highway called Papa Greens.  It’s easy money, but we need a third.”

+++++“Why me?”

+++++“Because I trust you, and because you owe me.”

+++++“I don’t owe you shit.”

+++++Scary used to buy heroin from Smoky Dave.  He wasn’t the nicest of guys.  He’d short her, and beat her when she came up short with his money.  Smoky Dave’s sister died of an overdosed.  It was rumored he was angry because she was stealing from him, so he spiked her hit.  Scary avoided Smoky Dave when she got a better dealer, but he always claimed she still owed him when their paths crossed.

*

+++++Smoky Dave placed the barrel of the shotgun against the older woman’s forehead as Screw smashed open the register, and emptied the cash into a black trash bag.

+++++“Get them sweet nugs too,” Smoky Dave said.

+++++“Fucking stoner,” Screw said, knocking dozens of small black plastic containers filled with various strains of marijuana into the bag.

+++++“Bob Marley blunts tonight,” Smoky Dave said just before the blast.

+++++Smoky Dave dropped his weapon, and crumpled to the floor.  Propped on his elbows in the doorway, the security guard fired again, grazing Scary’s shoulder.  Screw ducked behind the counter, and squeezed multiple rounds into the big man’s face.

+++++“Smoky Dave?  You okay?”  Screw asked, removing his ski mask.  “Shit.  Come on Scary.  Let’s dust these fucks and bounce.”

+++++Scary pointed the .45 at Screw.

+++++“Fuck is wrong with you? Grab the money and let’s dip.  I’ll take care of the witnesses.”

+++++“You used to beat up punkers with a baseball bat,” Scary said.  “A day doesn’t go by that I don’t dream of killing you.”

+++++“You were that kid’s girl,” Screw said in a moment of recognition.  “The last twenty years haven’t been kind to you.”

+++++“Rot in hell,” Scary said, but Screw pulled the trigger first, shooting Scary in the gut, knocking her back against a shelf, and toppling dozens of hash filled containers onto the floor.

*

+++++“I have something for you,” Eddie said, handing Cary the aluminum tab he’d torn from a Coke can.  “A talisman loaded with juju that will protect you from assholes.”

+++++“Why Mister Edward Jordan Green.  I’ll keep it always,” Carry said in a phony southern accent, and squeezed his hand as they entered the Vet’s hall.

+++++Carry and Eddie bounced around the dance floor, bumping people in the mosh pit as their friends’ band sped through three chord riffs.  Near the end of the set, the musicians brought Eddie onto the stage, and started chanting, ‘Eddie.  Eddie Spaghetti.  His meatballs are ready,’ until everybody in the packed hall repeated the words.  Eddie dove off the stage as the band tore into the Eddie Spaghetti song.  After the show, Eddie kissed Carry on the sidewalk.  Car brakes squealed, and punkers scattered as a gang of skinheads hopped out of the back of a pickup truck.

+++++Eddie never saw his assailant swinging the baseball bat at the back of his cranium, but Carry did.  She saw the hate in the man’s eyes, and the swastika tattoo on his cheek.  Eddie went down, and his skull bounced on the concrete like a basketball.  His eyes rolled into the back of his head, and he bit his tongue.  No matter how much heroin or meth Scary put into her veins in the coming years, she couldn’t lose the image of Eddie convulsing on the ground.

*

+++++Screw placed the Glock to Scary’s head, and pulled the trigger, but the chamber was empty.  Scary’s shot shattered Screw’s jaw, and he collapsed into a corner, hissing blood.  The hostages squirmed against the wall like sizzling sausage, frying in the fear of death.  Scary felt warmth leaking from her side as she approached the wounded skinhead.

+++++“Eddie.  Eddie Spaghetti.  His meatballs are ready,” she said, and replaced the swastika on Screw’s cheek with a bullet hole.

+++++The high-pitched whine of sirens approached as the hostages fled the dispensary’s carnage.  Scary sat on the blood soaked floor, clutching the aluminum tab.  Soon there would be hell to pay, but Scary didn’t care.  She was protected.

The Con After The Storm

The storm knocked out the neighborhood’s power. It was still raining the next day as Eddie and I drove through the old folk’s trailer park. Tree branches littered front yards, and the gutters overflowed with runoff and debris. The elderly residence sat under eaves on their front porches, waiting for the restoration of electricity. At the last trailer on the block an old lady sat alone in a rocking chair, knitting a quilt.
+++++“Her,” Eddie said.
+++++I turned the corner, and parked the van.
+++++I first met Eddie in Juvenile Hall. He was my cellmate. Like me, his youth was spent in abusive foster homes. Eddie landed in Juvie as a result of his violent tendencies. I gained residency in the Hall for borrowing other kid’s video game consoles. I didn’t think it was a problem, but apparently appropriating something from a locked house with nobody home was a no-no.
+++++Eddie was a massive hulking giant with an exceptionally small head, a limp and a harelip. The other kids in the Hall mocked him obsessively about his large stature, tiny head and goofy walk until he started cracking skulls. After that, nobody messed with him.
+++++I was an average kid of normal height and build with one exception: A shock of white hair blazed across the left side of my black locks. Everybody called me Skunk and ostracized me, but it wasn’t until puberty that I really attained freak status.
+++++Most kids have acne in adolescence, but one morning I woke up, and oozing red boils had colonized the entire surface of my face. Real estate was especially desirable on my nose. My carbuncular appearance made me the ridicule of every schoolyard I hallowed. In Juvie, Eddie stuck up for me. If my bubbly face offended some kid, Eddie offended the kid’s face with his fists. After Juvenile Hall, the plundering wens disappeared as mysteriously as they had arrived, leaving my head a pockmarked moon.
+++++Our socially unacceptable physical appearances, and our similar experiences growing up in shitty foster homes initially bonded us while doing time together, but it was grifting that solidified our camaraderie. Released from incarceration around the same time, we split the rent on a dumpy apartment. Stealing video game cartages from Wal-Mart, and hocking them at the used video game stores was our initial source of income. We made rent with this line of work for several months until the venture ceased being lucrative. Our next endeavor entailed rolling drunks after the bars let out, and again our enterprise kept a roof overhead until Eddie got a little too rough with a drunkard one night, shattering the poor bastard’s teeth with a ball-peen hammer.
+++++It was a rotten thing to do, but I figured nobody cared enough about an alky’s dental work to cause a stink. I was wrong. The incident made the evening news. They even broadcast sketches of the suspects. The profiles looked nothing like us. I don’t know how you screw that up because a haggard skunk and a giant with a baby’s head are sights you don’t soon forget. I attribute the misidentification to luck, but regardless of our good fortune, the gig was up, and we were forced to seek other means of gainful employment.
+++++We sat in the van, eating a cold pizza. I didn’t like the look in Eddie’s eye, and I certainly didn’t like what he’d done to the last old lady we’d marked. I meant to have a chat with him, but I never got around to it. I finished my half of the ductile pie, and pulled a dark work cap low over my brow, obscuring my hair and face. I exited the van into the rain, wearing a denim shirt and khaki pants with a flashlight in my pocket. Eddie stayed put, washing his pizza down with a two-liter bottle of Pepsi. When I reached the old lady’s porch, the rocking chair was empty.
+++++“Who’s there?” an old woman’s voice asked from within after I knocked on the front door.
+++++“Electric company,” I said.
+++++“Power’s been out all day,” the voice replied, and the door cracked as much as the chain allowed. “There was a loud crash last night, and the lights went out.”
+++++“Lines down all over town,” I said. “I’m here to restore your juice. Can I come in?”
+++++“You’re with the electric company?”
+++++“Yes,” I said. “We’re going door to door.”
+++++“I don’t know,” the voice hesitated.
+++++“It’ll be several days to a week before we can get you back on the grid if you miss this appointment.”
+++++“Okay,” the warbling voice said, and the door opened.
+++++I switched on my flashlight, and entered the darkened living room. A couch and a table stacked with quilts occupied the space. There was also a recliner, and an old television set. Embroidered kitsch hung on the walls, and a framed certificate of sobriety. A musty smell lingered in the air.
+++++“Where’s the breaker panel?” I asked, and the old woman led me down the hall to a closet.
+++++The tiny walk-in was filled with quilts. Various intricate patterns and colors adorned the folded blankets. She removed a stack, revealing a metal box in the wall. I pointed my light at the breaker switches, and rubbed my stubbly chin.
+++++“I’ll have your lights on in no time.”
+++++“Oh good,” she said.
+++++“It’s an easy fix, but it requires a fifty-dollar down payment.”
+++++“Fifty dollars,” she said, wrinkling her brow and wringing her hands.
+++++“Standard procedure.”
+++++“Hold on,” she said, and disappeared into the bedroom. I stood still, listening to a drawer open and close. She returned with a fifty-dollar bill. I stuffed Grant into my pocket, and flipped the breakers on and off.
+++++“Where’s your husband?” I asked.
+++++“Passed away,” she said.
+++++“Sorry to hear that. I left my voltmeter in the truck. I need it to check your current. Be right back.”
+++++Normally, I’d just take the money, and move on to the next sucker, but old people don’t trust banks. They tend to keep their savings squirreled away in their homes. Not to mention, I didn’t even know what a voltmeter was, or how to use one, but I sounded like I did.
+++++“How’d it go?” Eddie asked as I climbed into the van.
+++++“As expected,” I said, and flashed the fifty-dollar bill. “She’s alone, and keeps her money hidden in her bedroom.”
+++++“Dentures?” Eddie asked.
+++++“Let’s go,” I said, ignoring the question. “She thinks I went to get a tool.”
+++++I grabbed my loaded snub-nosed .38 from the glove compartment, and put it in my pocket. I wasn’t expecting trouble, but I wasn’t taking chances either. We exited the van, and made our way through the rain. I wished Eddie would at least try not to limp. If somebody saw us, and had to give our descriptions to the authorities, a giant with a hitch substantially drained the pool of suspects.
+++++The door was still unlocked, so we switched on our flashlights, and entered the living room. I tried to tell the old lady I brought along a co-worker, but before I could say anything, Eddie knocked her to the floor.
+++++Eddie was never really in it for the money. He enjoyed making people suffer. I came to this realization back when we rolled drunks. My interest was strictly financial, but Eddie delighted in blackening an eye, breaking a bone, or powdering some poor bastard’s teeth. Fortunately most old ladies we conned were toothless, but regardless, I needed to rein Eddie in before we lost another form of employment.
+++++“Lighten up,” I said. “She’s frangible.”
+++++“Grab the dough,” Eddie barked.
+++++I went into the old lady’s bedroom, and pointed my flashlight at an oak dresser, removing drawers, and turning them upside down. The top ones contained clothes, and the bottom ones were filled with more colorful quilts. I rifled through everything, but found no money. I was about to check under the bed when I heard Eddie swearing.
+++++“What’s wrong?” I asked, running back into the living room.
+++++“She’s got an emergency alert device around her neck,” he said. “I saw her push the button. We better dip before the cops show.”
+++++“We’re safe,” I said. “The power’s out. She can’t notify anybody.”
+++++“I don’t like it,” Eddie said, and removed the electronic pendant from her neck. “You get the money?”
+++++“I’m still looking,” I said, and returned to the bedroom.
+++++I tore apart the bed, and searched under the frame, finding more quilts. I pointed the flashlight at a nightstand, and removed the drawer. I discovered a leather satchel, opened it, and hit the jackpot, locating several thick bundles of cash. I snatched the money, stashing it in my pockets as something else inside the bag caught my eye.
+++++I trained my flashlight on an old yellowing photograph. The image was of a young boy. He looked about three years old. He had a toy ball in one hand and a water pistol in the other, and Band-Aids taped to both knees. A small streak of white hair marked the left side of his head.
+++++I paid special attention to the boy’s facial features. His smiling eyes were completely ignorant of the horrors that lay ahead. I ran my fingers over my scarred visage, gazing at the child’s smooth complexion until a mournful sound drew my attention away from the picture.
+++++I returned to the living room, and pointed my flashlight at Eddie. He stood over the old lady with his pants around his ankles.
+++++“Give me a minute,” he said, looking back with a sneer.
+++++The old lady was on the floor, crying. I drew my .38, and shot Eddie in the back of his tiny head. His massive body crumpled, and blood gushed from the wound.
+++++I pointed the flashlight at the old lady.
+++++“Don’t hurt me,” she said.
+++++I pocketed the gun, and turned the flashlight onto my face, removing my ball cap, and revealing the shock of white hair against my blackened coiffure.
+++++“Skunky-Poo?” She asked in bewilderment.
+++++I helped her to her feet as the front door opened, and a police officer with a drawn service revolver ordered me to put up my hands, and get down on the ground. I lay on the floor, realizing the crucial mistake I’d made: the emergency alert device ran on batteries.
+++++I had hoped to beat the rap on those home invasions, but fingerprints don’t lie. Fortunately I wasn’t charged with Eddie’s murder, or I’d be facing twenty-five to life. The judge at my trial deemed it self-defense. My return to incarceration has been hard, especially without Eddie there to protect me, but I can’t complain.   It could be worse. At least I have one of mom’s hand stitched quilts to keep me warm at night in my prison cell.

Marriage Counseling

I didn’t love my wife Karen anymore. I liked her though. I loved my girlfriend Julie. If lady justice (who has a great rack I might add) weighed the feeling of like against the feeling of love, love weighed more every time.
+++++Julie had been nagging me to leave Karen for a while now, so we could start our own life together. I kept telling her I would, but I needed to get my ducks lined up in a row first, and ducks sure as shit don’t fall into line so goddamn easy.
+++++I didn’t want a divorce. I liked the equity I’d put into the house, and the money Karen and I managed to save, and the two cars in the garage, and all the modern amenities we had acquired throughout a successful twenty years of marriage. Divorce would destroy everything we hadworked so hard to obtain.
+++++I liked the hundred grand in life insurance I’d get if something unfortunate happened to Karen. That’d be some quality chicken scratch for Julie and I to start a new life with.
+++++I was out to dinner with Julie, and she was carping me about calling it off with Karen, and I was telling her soon, and that was the truth because I’d finally hit on the perfect ‘accident’ that would befall poor Karin. After dinner, I’d go home and draw a bath for my wife. Unfortunately she’d fall asleep in the tub, and cha-ching, I’m in the bread with a new pie.
+++++Julie had just finished her hors d’oeuvres when Donald walked into the restaurant, and sat at a table near us. Donald was an old friend of Karen’s and mine, and a huge gossip. If he saw me out to eat with another woman, it would be divorce city. I had to think fast, but it was too late. Before I could slip out unseen, Donald saw me, and came over.
+++++“Paul,” he said. “Good to see you.”
+++++“Donald.”
+++++“How’s Karen?”
+++++“Tired,” I said. “Under the water … I mean weather.”
+++++“Sorry to hear that,” Donald said. “And who’s this?”
+++++“Oh, um, this is my sister Julie,” I said, and Julie’s eyes turned to machineguns, mowing me down.
+++++“Really? It’s nice to meet you Julie. I thought Paul was an only child.”
+++++“It’s complicated,” I said.
+++++“I’m eating alone. Mind if I join you?” Donald asked.
+++++That son-of-a-bitch had me raked over the coals with a red-hot poker jammed up my ass. I had to endure the most awkwardly uncomfortable meal of all time. Donald wasn’t buying the horseshit I fed him about Julie, and the further I went down the rabbit hole of lies, the more I unearthed a simple truth: in order to avoid the turnoff to divorce town, Donald would also need to meet with an untimely accidental death.
+++++About halfway through our meal, Julie got an ‘emergency phone call.’
+++++“I have to run,” she said. “It was nice meeting you Donald. Paul, I’m staying over at mom’s place. Give me a call over there later. I want to have a word with you.”
+++++“Will do sis.”
+++++“It was nice to meet you too Julie,” Donald said. “Paul, I thought your mother was dead?”
+++++“It’s complicated,” I said. “What are your plans for the rest of the evening?”
+++++“Nothing,” Donald said. “I was thinking about heading home, and watching a movie. Perhaps some Hitchcock shorts. You want to join me?”
+++++“Yes,” I said.
+++++After dinner, I followed Donald to his dumpy rundown apartment. His flat was on the second floor, and it looked like a fucking shit bomb exploded in the living room. His belongings were strewn about everywhere. He offered me a beer. I popped the top, and chugged.
+++++The liquid courage should have helped me do the deed, but instead it had the opposite effect. I looked around, feeling sorry for Donald. He was a pathetic, lonely and dirty bachelor, but then I thought about divorce, and losing my ass. I grabbed the toaster, snuck up behind Donald as he put a copied VHS tape into the VCR, and strangled him with the chord. Thiswas by no means an easy feat. It took a lot of time and energy to throttle Donald. He thrashed around quite a bit, and even managed to scratch my face.
+++++The noise must have ticked off Donald’s downstairs’ neighbor. No sooner had I choked deadthat gossipy no good bastard, then the door burst open, and a woman in a bathrobe and curlers stood before me screaming bloody murder at the top of her lungs. It took her a few moments to stop bawling me out, and comprehend the scene before her.
+++++“This isn’t what it looks like,” I said, but she wasn’t having any of it, and ran screaming back to her apartment.
+++++I gave chase, and was able to force my way into her abode before she locked the door. She was hysterical, and I needed to shut her up quick before she drew more unwanted and unnecessary attention to my surreptitious activities.
+++++On a counter next to the door, a marble vase held a plastic flower of some sort. I couldn’t tell you what kind of flower it was because I don’t really know much about those sorts of things, but the vase was heavy and durable, so I picked it up, and conked her on the head with it. She went down like a sack of bricks, but gave a little moan, so I gave her a few more solid whacks with the urn until she fell silent, and her face became blood pudding.
+++++Unfortunately her gore had splatter all over me. I went into the bathroom to wash up before making my exit, and that’s when I saw a young boy of about ten hiding in the shower stall. He was on the phone with the police. Needless to say, I was furious with the little tyke. I snatched the phone from him, told the police I was his parent, and that he was making a prank call, and then I hung up.
+++++I just needed there to be no more witnesses, and I wouldn’t have to keep killing. Why was that such a hard thing to have happen? I didn’t want to finish off the kid, but goddamn it, I didn’t want a divorce either, so I lifted up the toilet seat, dunked the boy’s head in the pot, and sent him to his watery grave. Again, I was surprised at how hard it was to drown somebody. It took way too long, and I ended up soaked in toilet water, which was disgusting.
+++++I grabbed a towel, and wiped away the blood and water as best I could.
+++++As I was about to leave, a cop entered the apartment.
+++++“Freeze,” he yelled with his gun drawn. “Get your hands up.”
+++++“Thank god you’re here,” I said, and walked toward him. “I just got home, and found my wife, my beautiful wife, bleeding on the ground.”
+++++I tried to think about what it would be like if I had come home, and found my wife dead, and it made me really sad, and I even shed a few tears. I got down on my knees, and hugged the cop’s leg, and started sobbing.
+++++“Did you check for a pulse,” the cop said, buying my boloney, and holstering his firearm.
+++++As soon as he put his gun away, I grabbed it, and shot him in the head. Again, and I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but I was amazed at how disturbingly gruesome a gunshot wound to the head is. The cop made spasm and twitched something awful, and I think he shit his pants.
+++++“Finally,” I thought as I made a hasty exit. “No more witnesses.”
+++++On the drive home, I couldn’t stop thinking about how Julie had behaved at dinner. She was sort of being a bitch. Was that what it was going to be like with her? If that was the case, forget it.
+++++I arrived home. Karen was already asleep. I took off all of my clothes, and burned them in the fireplace. I crawled into bed, and cuddled up against Karen. What a fool I had been. I didn’t like my wife. I loved her.