Sunday, September 17, 2006


From "Clover" by Billy Elizondo
The men packed around the pit, smashing hotly against each other. Tim was asked and he called out the name of the red challenger, Clover, shortly before the animals were released and they rolled at each other with magnetic force and rose together, chest to chest, not entirely unlike two men. Arms flailed, weight shifted, heads darted about as teeth slashed and fought for purchase. Almost instantly, bright red blood was flowing from both and both mouths were slick with it, but the dogs felt nothing and scrambled on.
After a long and mesmerising stretch of time, the crowd gasped to see the red dog pinned and helpless. The silver dog, Bullet, perched over him, head convulsing side to side as he attempted to dislodge a mouthful of the other's throat. When it became clear that the round was over, Johnny Villario leapt forward and dragged his animal back. The separated dogs dripped blood freely, dancing and panting throughout the minute of rest they were given. The men who had bet the long shot now snapped their fingers, cursed, and babbled their hopes that Clover might make a valiant return.

From "The Errand" by Dale Bridges
“I like animals,” Doc Hester tells me after the pills kick in. “You know why I like animals?”
“No,” I say. And that’s the God’s honest truth, because I really don’t. I hate animals. They make me feel superior – but not in a good way.
“I like animals because they’re soft,” he says. “Have you ever dropped E and then spent some time with a rabbit. Oh, Jesus. You’re missing out. You really are. It’s like sex but without the sex…if you know what I mean.”
Of course I know what he means. Does he think I’m an idiot or something?
“What about the lizards?” I say just for fun. I am really starting to feel it now, and when I really start to feel it I like to give people hell. Who knows why.
“What’s that?”
“The lizards. Jesus. Listen up, man. Lizards aren’t soft. They’re scaly and dry and…and they’re like tiny fucking dinosaurs, man. Is that how you want to spend the rest of your life? Surrounded by microscopic dinosaurs that can get inside your bloodstream and hunt down your white blood cells? Jesus. That’s no way to live. Little raptors snaking through your veins all day long. Did you ever see Jurassic Park? That shit scared the shit out of me. Fucking Steven Spielberg and his goddamn Jewish head games. I’m just saying that I couldn’t live like that, man. That’s all I’m saying. Jesus.”
When I started out, I was just kind of fucking with good ole Hester, you know, but as is always the case in this type of situation, I end up fucking with myself. Now, I’m thinking about the lizards and the dinosaurs and I’m feeling a bit creepy. Itchy, too, goddamnit.

From "Only the Strong Survive" by Seth Ferranti
That first morning when the doors cracked I went to go to chow. But as I stepped out the cell this shorty creped on a sleepy-eyed brother and cracked the "nigga" on the dome with a lock in a sock, a favorite prison weapon. The sleepy-eyed con stumbled as he started bleeding profusely from the head. The little shorty punished him and screamed, "Don't ever be dissing me again nigga." I stood transfixed by the violence before me as the shorty noticed me and said, "You didn't see nothing did you, white boy?" I shook my head and went back into my cell, skipping breakfast.
I later learned this was all about respect and in prison respect was the most important thing.In prison they say that your word is all you got and if your word ain't no good then you're some shit. The concepts of respect and disrespect go hand in hand with that and are at the root of most beefs in prison. Say you bump into dude and you don't say excuse me. This is a serious sign of disrespect. To get his respect the convict you accidentally bumped might stick six inches of steel into your gut.In prison you get respect by giving it and demanding it back, by force if necessary. If you lose face just once you could be labeled soft. And if someone thinks you're soft, they're gonna try you.

From "Chinese Finger Trap" by MLB
The first punch landed true and the cop’s knees buckled, but he didn’t fall. Steve immediately hit him again, staggering him, and then pursued him across the walkway, taking vicious swipes at his head. The man crashed into a support post and Steve was upon him, grasping the collar of the black shirt and packing a fist into the slack face over and over. When he let go and cocked his arm back for a final blow, the cop simply slumped away. He watched as the man piled onto the ground, next to a small tough shrub in the dry dirt of the planter-bed.
Steve felt as if his eyeballs were trying to strain out of their sockets. He was bouncing on the balls of his feet, his fists still floating before him, goggling down at the prone figure. The cop eased over and settled onto his back. One hand slid off the black-clad stomach and flopped onto the asphalt beside him. Seconds ticked by and he lay as still and unguarded as a person asleep in bed.
Steve flung a glance down the row of seedy room fronts. It was getting dark fast and in the sickly yellow walkway light, a fat man in a tent-like Hawaiian shirt was watching him--just standing there, mouth cocked open, and watching him. He knew he had to move.

From "Spring Break in Mexico" by DZ Allen
Brent couldn't remember what had happened. The last he knew he was drinking with his buddies. Then this big pimp walked him across the street to get laid. There was a girl…
"You piece of shit!" The pimp's face was beet red. His eyes ablaze with anger. "You kill my girl. You kill my fucking girl, cabron!"
"What? I don't know what the fuck you're—"
The pimp moved with a rapid grace not characteristic of such a big man. He had hold of Brent's hair before Brent could react. The pimp pulled his head back and turned him over toward the side of the bed. A small-framed woman lay naked and still next to him.
Brent pissed the bed. He felt it run off the side of his leg, warm and wet.
"I didn't fucking do that! No way did—"
Pain sheared through his scalp as the pimp shoved Brent's face toward the girl.
"Look at her neck! Look at her neck, asshole!"
Large purple bruises in the shape of fingers encircled the woman's throat. Then he remembered. Choke me. It makes me come hard. Brent screamed as the realization of what he'd done sank in. He felt the tears run from his eyes and mix with the blood still leaking from his smashed nose. "I swear to God I didn't mean to! She told me to choke her! Jesus Christ I didn't mean to!"
From "Violent Delights" by Harry Shannon
"Please." Use her name. Maybe it will make her feel more like you are a human being. "Please, Honey. It hurts."

She nodded vigorously. "Oh, I can believe that, man. But the shock should settle in pretty soon, and then it won’t be so bad. I just looked up ‘shock’ on my computer, and frankly it’s kind of totally amazing that you’re awake at all."
"This is murder," Jack whispered. "You know that, don’t you?"

Honey blinked. Her face contracted and she sighed dramatically. "Don’t threaten me," she said. "I was just about to offer you some water and a couple of Vicodin’s to take the edge off, okay? So you’d better fucking be nice."
I’m in hell, Jack thought suddenly. I’ve already died and this is hell. I will spend the rest of eternity, lying in my own shit, talking to this narcissistic nutcase about personal responsibility, just because I fucked up during my time on earth.

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