Entry 6 – A Winter’s Night Full Of PigsNovember 30, 2015
Argyle’s not much of a town. Almost in the middle of the peninsula’s knuckle. Lake Huron to the east. Saginaw Bay to the west. Catches all the lake effect snow. Once winter settles in, Argyle all but disappears.
It’s the kind of place you want to avoid.
The kind of place you need to avoid.
The kind of place where, when a guy walks into the Git Gas’s convenient mart wearing mirrored aviator glasses people take notice. Especially if it’s either or both of the Timmons brothers taking notice. Residents of Sanilac County know better than to make eye contact with Orlo or GT Timmons. A guy doesn’t want to cross paths with the Timmons brothers.
February in Sanilac County is called the Lonesome Month. Days are short. Nights are long. And there’s always the bone gnawing cold blowing in from two bodies of water. Not a lot to do in Argyle except drink, smoke, and screw.
The kid and his girl didn’t know any better not being from around there. The girl went into the Argyle Inn while the kid went into the Git Gas to get smokes. No more than ten minutes. Just enough time for her to get carded and settle in at the bar while he was across the two lanes of blacktop.
The kid wore the silver aviator sunglasses. He dropped a ten on the counter. “Marlboro Reds. Box.”
The clerk grabbed one from the shelf behind him. “Just get back into town, Maverick?”
The kid ignored the jab. He nodded at a flier announcing a President’s Day Wild Pig Roast. “Heard about the feral pigs up here.”
“Oh, yeah. ‘Bout ten years ago a truck crashed and a dozen got loose and well, they fuck like rabbits. So we got about three dozen running ‘round up here.”
“My girlfriend works for Michigan Wild Lands magazine. She wants to take some pictures.”
“She doing that now? It’s almost dark.”
“Sitting at the bar waiting for her smokes.” The kid grabbed the Marlboros. Got his change. Walked the forty feet to the Argyle Inn.
Red and white and black diamonds were painted on the Argyle Inn’s exterior walls. No windows. A banner announced beer specials. The kid went inside, walked up to the bar, stood between the center stools.
A tired, old man leaning his weight on an elbow eyed the kid. Smoke billowed from the old guy’s hairy nostrils.”Get you something?”
“Did a girl come in here about ten minutes ago?”
The old man took a drag from his cigarette. Smoke rolled out of his mouth in puffs. “Anyone here seen a short, blonde gal?”
Three men at a table stared at their beers. A waitress sat in a booth having a smoke. A woman watching the Keno draw shook her head. No one said anything.
The old man stubbed out his cigarette. “No one here like that.”
“Then how did you know Melinda’s short with blonde hair if she’s not here?”
“Maybe you told me.”
“I didn’t tell you shit.”
“Maybe you should get in your car and go.”
“Not till I find Melinda.”
A bathroom door opened. GTTimmons stepped out tucking in his shirt. In the mirror behind GT the kid saw Melinda. Nose broken. Shirt ripped. Eyes pleading.
The kid grabbed a pool stick. Made some tough talk. Brought the stick up.
It wasn’t enough.
GT caught the cue stick mid swing. Twisted it from the kid’s hand. Snapped it over his knee. Smashed the aviators from the kid’s head with the first swing. Broke the kid’s jaw with the second. Blood drained from the kid’s slack mouth.
The bartender, the three men, and the two women made for the door.
GT pointed the bloody nub of the pool stick at the crowd. “Sit your asses down.”
Everyone did. No one crossed the Timmons. Cross them now pay for it later.
Orlo came out doing up his pants. “What the hell is going on out here?” He looked down. “Oh. He with her?”
“All right, smart ass. Relax.”
GT pointed at the others with the pool stick handle.
Orlo looked. “Christ.”
The Timmons brothers made the three men and the bartender carry the kid and the girl out behind the Argyle. Out where the old guy kept a couple of the feral pigs he’d trapped for a winter pig roast. The sows grunted at the prospect of fresh meat.
Everyone watched Orlo and GT beat the kid and his girl with the busted pool cue. Nothing they could do.
“And if any of you fucks say anything to the cops, this’ll happen to you.” He brought the bat down on the kid’s head one more time.
GT nudged thegirl with his toe. She moaned. “They ain’t dead yet.”
“Fuck ‘em. Let the wild pigs feast.”Orlo pointed the bloody end of the cue stickat the pigs. The sows squealed with desire and delight.
“And the car?”
“Jesus, GT. Lose it. I got to think of everything?”
“Hey fuck you Orlo.”
“Fuck me?” He raised the club.’
“Oh? What? You gonna go after me now? Fucking limp dick.”
Orlo’s eyes narrowed. “Shut it.”
“She was right there in front of you and you couldn’t do a goddamn thing. Maybe if he had been there it would have been a different story.”
Orlo swung the handle. GT dropped. Orlo pummeled GT.
The stench of fresh hot blood drove those feral pigs mad. They slammed their tandem bodies into the pen’s gate. The padlock held. The gate’s frame did not. The pigs charged. Orlo swung the club catching one in its flank. Pissed it off. She bit him where GT called him limp. Brought Orlo down. The other pig snapped his neck with a single clamp of its jaws.
They pulled away the kid and his girl.
As for the Timmons boys?
Everyone agreed they would not be eating those pigs at the next roast.