The Silence of January, fiction by Frank Reardon

Before Arnie San­dlin could drop a fist­ful of ice melt out­side the door­way of The Ranger Lounge, his stom­ach explod­ed and he was thrown five feet across the room into a pok­er table. Dutchie Sel­by stepped into the lounge, ice crunch­ing under his feet, a Benel­li M-4 in his hands.

Dutchie walked over to Arnie's corpse and eye­balled the intestines hang­ing from his gut. Dutchie's head cocked to the right when he noticed Arnie's blood-splat­tered face smil­ing back at him, his hand still grip­ping the ice melt.

Cold out this mornin', ain't it, Arnie?” he asked the corpse with a laugh. “I know you're not open, but you don't mind If I get a drink?”

Dutchie leaned the Benel­li against a table and walked around the bar. Where's the good stuff? he asked him­self. Ahh­hh, there it is he thought, grab­bing the Jame­son. He poured a dou­ble and took a seat in the emp­ty lounge.

Busi­ness isn't too good this mornin', Arnie.”

He took off his brown cattleman's hat and placed it on the table. He took a swig and looked at the badge on the hat that said Ward Coun­ty Sheriff's Depart­ment, the state sym­bol for North Dako­ta in the mid­dle. The Ranger Lounge was dark and emp­ty. One TV in the cor­ner had a crum­pled up look­ing weath­er­man on the screen. Dutchie lis­tened as the weath­er­man went on about it being minus twen­ty degrees in north cen­tral North Dako­ta.

What an ass­hole,” he said after the weath­er­man men­tioned the tem­per­a­ture would be the same and a storm was com­ing. “No relief in sight? What a jack-off,” he said down­ing the rest of his drink.

Dutchie grabbed the Benel­li, walked back over to Arnie, and crouched down.

Where's Jim­my Red Bear?” he asked. “You don't know?”

He smacked his lips when the open door wel­comed in the Dako­ta win­ter wind. It felt like tiny pins stab­bing him in the back.

No mat­ter,” he said. “When Red Bear finds you, let him know I was look­ing for him.”

He stood up and stepped over Arnie's body. Before he walked out into the park­ing lot, he snatched up the shell cas­ing.

Wouldn't want to for­get that.”

The Ranger Lounge was five miles out­side the city lim­its, out in the prairie where the wind was fierce. Dutchie jumped into his patrol car, shiv­er­ing. He looked in his rear view. The open door of the lounge was swal­lowed by the silence of Jan­u­ary, van­ish­ing from his sight once he turned the cor­ner onto 83.

***

Jim­my Red Bear grew up on the Fort Peck Reser­va­tion in Mon­tana, but after he took con­trol of the Rez drug trade he even­tu­al­ly made enough to buy a house and a few busi­ness­es in Minot, leav­ing his cousin Har­ri­son in charge of the busi­ness back home. One of the busi­ness­es Jim­my bought was a piz­za joint called Chief's Piz­za. He also owned a few ware­hous­es and The Ranger Lounge. It was mid­day when Lar­ry the Pigeon knocked on Jim­my Red Bear's door.

What the hell do you want?” he asked the Pigeon.

Some­one shot up your place.”

What place?” Jim­my asked with­out emo­tion.

The Ranger…fuckin' Arnie Sandlin's dead.”

Jim­my Red Bear opened his front door wider, let­ting the Pigeon inside.

Thanks, Jim­my. It's damn cold out there.” The Pigeon start­ed to walk up the stairs, but Jim­my blocked his way.

My damn kids are home. Just tell me here.”

Got any cof­fee? It's real cold, Jim­my.”

No. No, I don't have any cof­fee, you mutt. Tell me.”

Larry's face straight­ened up. “Yeah, okay, Jim­my. Minot PD is all over The Ranger. Some­one opened the door and blast­ed Arnie.”

How do you know about Minot PD?”

Mer­ry went in for her shift and found Arnie. She's the one that called the cops.”

Jesus, how's she doing?”

Pret­ty shak­en up. Cops took her state­ment and sent her home.”

Go to her house and bring her to my ware­house office over on North Broad­way.”

You ain't gonna hurt her, are ya, Jim­my?”

Jim­my snapped his hand back and punk-slapped the Pigeon across the face. Jim­my showed no emo­tion when the Pigeon grabbed his cheek.

No, I'm not going to hurt her. Are you stu­pid? I need to know what she knows. I don't need any heat com­ing down on me or my fam­i­ly. Christ, Lar­ry, you dumb son-of-a-bitch. I have no idea how you even walk on two legs. You must be at least three-quar­ters retard­ed.”

Sor­ry, Jim­my…”

Why are you still here?”

***

Dutchie sat inside Lilly's Din­er on the north end of town wait­ing on his third cup of cof­fee and the check. Butch Car­son walked over to Dutchie, who was gaz­ing into a street light watch­ing the snow fall out from the dark of the sky.

Com­ing down hard today. The weath­er­man said we could wake up with six inch­es.”

So I hear,” Dutchie replied, watch­ing Butch fill his cup.

Same as usu­al, Sher­iff Sel­by,” Butch said slap­ping the check face down.

Butch, let me ask you some­thing.”

Any­thing,” he replied.

Is there a Lil­ly Car­son?” he asked, still watch­ing the snow fall.

Sure ain't,” he said.

Not a Mrs. Lil­ly Car­son?” Dutchie asked, tak­ing his head away from the snow.

Nope, divorced. The for­mer Mrs…or, should I say the many for­mer Mrs. Car­sons have all moved on.”

How many Mrs. Car­sons have there been?”

Five. Six, if you count that one-night mar­riage to the show girl in Vegas.”

Six times,” Dutchie replied shak­ing his head in amaze­ment. “How come none of them ever stuck around?”

I dun­no, Sher­iff. I guess they couldn't take the cold. The seclu­sion does some­thing to a person's mind if you're not used to it. Nev­er both­ered me much. I couldn't real­ly say. They always get up and leave.”

Any kids?”

Three daugh­ters and one son. They've all moved out.”

Local?”

Nah. The clos­est one is in Far­go, but she's get­ting ready to move down to Nashville.”

The iso­la­tion get to them, too?”

If I knew, Sher­iff, I'd tell ya, but I haven't got the slight­est idea. One minute you're their every­thing. The next minute, they hate you. Then moments lat­er they get mar­ried, move to Tam­pa, and want to love you from a dis­tance. They call and all but only once every few weeks.”

Why not move your­self, Butch?”

What? And leave this Shangri-La?” he said look­ing around the emp­ty din­er.

Dutchie reached into his coat and pulled out a bot­tle of Oxy he had tak­en from a drunk he arrest­ed the day before.

You okay, Sher­iff?”

Huh?” Dutchie replied, look­ing at the name on the bot­tle of Oxy.

The pills. Are you sick?”

Dutchie swal­lowed two with a swill of cof­fee.

Nah, just a sinus thing. The damn cold, it gets to you. Ya know?”

You betcha, Sher­iff. My sci­at­i­ca acts up every day before it snows. It's like a warn­ing or some­thing,” Butch said, fill­ing up Dutchie's mug again, “I meant to tell you…”

What?”

Offi­cer Belichick from Minot PD was in here this after­noon. You know him?”

Yeah, decent enough guy.”

He said Arnie San­dlin was gunned down in the front door of The Ranger. You hear any­thing about that?”

Minot PD men­tioned it to us.”

Who would do such a thing? Arnie was a good old guy. Nev­er both­ered any­one. He said that who­ev­er popped Arnie didn't take noth­in'. No mon­ey, no liquor, noth­ing. It's strange to me.”

What's strange?” Dutchie asked.

Nev­er mind me, Sher­iff. I talk too much. I'll leave the polic­ing to you guys.”

No, go ahead. What's strange?”

Butch sat down in the booth across from Dutchie.

Well, back when he sold the bar to Jim­my Red Bear, you know, after his wife died and he didn't want to take care of the place because he was always over at the ceme­tery, grief strick­en and all…”

Go on…”

Well, he became very strange. Out there, real­ly. He wasn't him­self any­more. He let the place go to pot. It used to be us good old boys always over there. You know. The shop own­ers. The farm­ers. The fire­men. You know, Sher­iff. You've been in there.”

He was mar­ried for 40 years. That would dri­ve any man over the edge.”

Not if you knew Arnie like I did. He was always up for a laugh and a drink. I tell ya. Sher­iff, as soon as Jim­my Red Bear was involved Ol' Arnie turned recluse. Qui­et. He wasn't the same.”

Well, you know as well as I do that Jim­my Red Bear is, and always has been, on the wrong side of the bar. If you know what I mean.”

You betcha, Sher­iff. I know. It was that fuckin' prairie nig­ger that did it to him is what I'm get­ting at. I have no proof, but I'd bet my life on it. I don't know why. I don't wan­na know. But I wouldn't blink an eye if some­thing hap­pened to Jim­my Red Bear. Ass­hole, if you ask me.”

The Oxy start­ed to take hold of Dutchie. He felt the per­fect still­ness seep into his bones.

Hold on, Butch. Don't go talk­ing crazy.”

I ain't gonna do nuthin', Sher­iff. I was just sayin' that it's sad is all. Minot PD has no idea who did it either. Might be they nev­er find out. And you know why? Because Red Bear has half of Minot PD in his pock­et.”

Now you're talk­ing crazy, Butch.”

Butch looked at Dutchie–his sidearm rest­ing in its hol­ster, the gold badge on his jack­et.

Well, maybe some­one ought to do some­thing about Jim­my Red Bear.”

What you just said to me, Butch. Don't ever say that to anoth­er per­son. You hear me?”

Butch waved his hand, “Don't mind me, Sher­iff. I was jus' think­ing out loud. You know me. Any­how, I got to get ready to shut down,” Butch said.

Hey, Butch.”

Yeah, Sher­iff?”

You nev­er men­tioned why.”

Why what?”

Why Lilly's?”

Butch put down the cof­fee pot and looked around at the crusty old din­er, and all the pho­tographs hang­ing on the wall that remind­ed him of a bet­ter time. He noticed how they had fad­ed and hadn't been dust­ed by him or his employ­ees in years. He looked at the snow and mud mix melt­ing into the rug he left at the front door, and the once fresh coat of yel­low paint now brown and black. Butch sighed, maybe for his dilap­i­dat­ed din­er. Maybe for his kids. Maybe for Arnie San­dlin.

I guess to give the place a lit­tle class,” he replied.

Dutchie left the mon­ey on the table and pinned it down with a salt shak­er. He put his hat on and head­ed out into the dark snow. What a bas­tard, he thought, his shoes slop­ping through the snow and muck. Before get­ting into his cruis­er, he took one last look at the snow falling through the glow of the street­lamp. He liked that it was some­thing falling from noth­ing. He smiled an Oxy-smile and climbed into his cruis­er. He looked at the clock. 8:55. Butch had turned off the lights to the front of Lilly's by the time Dutchie turned over the engine and drove off. He hit a side street about a hun­dred yards away from Lilly's, parked next to a bunch of old stor­age facil­i­ties, and opened his cell­phone.

***

The Pigeon and Mer­ry opened the door to Jim­my Red Bear's ware­house. It was emp­ty and cold. In the far cor­ner was a giant throw-rug where a few stand­ing lamps stood along with a few chairs and a couch. Jim­my stood on the rug, smok­ing a cig­ar.

Final­ly, Lar­ry. All day, you mutt,” Jim­my said.

Sor­ry, Jim­my. I had trou­ble find­ing her place.”

In this tiny city? With GPS and all that junk?”

Jim­my, it wasn't…”

Nev­er mind,” Jim­my said, rolling his eyes.

Mer­ry, in her usu­al dark jeans and blonde hair done up in one large braid, walked by Jim­my with­out say­ing a word. She took her puffy win­ter coat off and took a seat.

How are you doing, dear?” Jim­my asked.

She sized Jim­my up but didn't say any­thing to him.

It must've been trau­mat­ic. I'm sor­ry you had to find Arnie like that.”

Tell Jim­my what you told me, Mer­ry. Tell him.”

Will you shut the fuck up,” Jim­my said. “In fact, go stand over there.”

The Pigeon, all six feet, two inch­es, and one hun­dred and fifty pounds of him, walked twen­ty feet away. With each step he took his head bobbed like a pigeon's.

No, you dumb mutt! Go stand in the cor­ner of the build­ing. Far away!” Jim­my yelled.

The Pigeon bobbed to the far cor­ner. When he got there, he looked back at Jim­my like a pup­py who just got whacked across the ass with a news­pa­per after it had pissed all over the new rug.

Great! Now you look like a creep stand­ing over there.”

What's that? I didn't hear you!” the Pigeon yelled.

Go shit in a hat, Lar­ry.”

What? I didn't catch all of that! All I heard was you look great, Lar­ry.”

Oh yeah, that's it, Lar­ry.”

What?”

SHUT UP!” Jim­my shout­ed across the ware­house. The Pigeon dropped his head.

Sor­ry about that,” Jim­my said.

It's your place. You can say and do what you want.” Mer­ry replied.

This both­er you?” he asked, hold­ing up the cig­ar.

Nope.”

Jim­my tight­ened his lips and shook his head. He was try­ing to see if she was ner­vous, but she seemed more aggra­vat­ed than both­ered, like she could've been home watch­ing her shows. Or out on a date. Or drunk. Any­where but the cold ware­house.

All right then, how about I cut to the chase?” Jim­my said.

That would be fan­tas­tic.”

What did you tell the cops?”

Just what hap­pened,” she said, cross­ing her legs.

And that was…?”

That I went to work. Got out of my car. The front door was open. And Arnie was dead with a fuckin' pok­er table on top of his head.”

Did the cops look around?”

Sure, every­where.”

Did they ask you any­thing else?”

Like what?”

About me or my fam­i­ly? Maybe about some of the peo­ple who drink there?”

Just about you hard­ly ever being there. A few ques­tions about Arnie.”

What did they want to know about Arnie?”

Just typ­i­cal kin­da stuff, ya know?

No. What's typ­i­cal?”

If he always opened the lounge. If he had any ene­mies. If he ever men­tioned any­one sus­pi­cious. You know, jus' crap like that,” Mer­ry said, stuff­ing a piece of pep­per­mint gum into her mouth.

Jim­my stood up from the edge of the couch that was next to the chair Mer­ry was sit­ting in. He stamped out his cig­ar in an ash­tray and fold­ed his arms. He looked up at the ceil­ing and rocked back and forth on his feet. He looked to be in deep thought for a few min­utes, then let out a breath.

Now this is very impor­tant. I want you to real­ly think when I ask you this one.”

Okay.”

What did you say about me when they asked about me?”

Like I said, Jim­my. I just told them you're hard­ly around.”

They didn't ask any­thing about Fort Peck, or maybe my cousin Har­ri­son?”

No. What the fuck does Fort Peck have to do with Arnie? Wait, did some­one from the Rez kill Arnie?”

High­ly unlike­ly,” Jim­my said, unfold­ing his arms.

I only met your cousin Har­ri­son once or twice. He only came in when you were there. I don't think Minot PD has any idea who he even is. He's a hand­some man, always polite.”

Oh, yeah. Har­ri­son is a good kid. But no, he didn't have any­thing to do with Arnie.”

Jim­my was anoth­er local busi­ness man to those who nev­er met him, anoth­er guy sit­ting on a stool in the Ranger Lounge count­ing mon­ey. Some of the locals knew who he was, and knew what he was capa­ble of doing to them if they crossed him. But he tried to fit in with the com­mu­ni­ty, tried as hard as he could to come off as an upstand­ing cit­i­zen. He spon­sored a Lit­tle League team. He even gave both time and mon­ey to The Saint Vin­cent DePaul. To those who didn't know him, he was a saint, but up close, under­neath the skin, most saints are capa­ble of atroc­i­ties. Mer­ry knew it.

We almost done here?” Mer­ry asked.

Almost. Your dad, Matt, used to own the farm out towards Max. The Shaw place?”

Yeah. What of it?” she said.

He died not long ago?”

Been two years now,” she replied.

That's too bad. He used to come into The Ranger a lot.”

He was a fuckin' no-good drunk. Drove my moth­er to an ear­ly grave.”

Nev­er knew Vanes­sa. She was gone before I moved here.”

I was twelve.”

I'm sor­ry.”

I'm not. The ass­hole drank away all the prof­its. All of his time at the bar, rather than spend­ing time with his only child. And if he did make his way out into the fields, it was because the whiskey with break­fast straight­ened him out. He put us in the poor house. My moth­er died because she couldn't stand her own thoughts any­more.”

How did she go, if you don't mind me ask­ing?”

Pills.”

I'm sor­ry to hear that, “Jim­my said. “And your father?”

Liv­er dis­ease,” Mer­ry said. “I'm sor­ry, but what does this have to do with any­thing?”

You're tough as nails, Mer­ry. You've been through a lot. It's no won­der why see­ing Arnie dead didn't both­er you much.”

I'm not with­out a heart. I liked Arnie. Of course it both­ered me.”

Jim­my refold­ed his arms. He knew he wasn't get­ting any­where with her. He was piss­ing her off.

You got a cig­a­rette?” she asked.

He walked over to a desk, pulled out an old pack of Win­stons, and tossed them on her lap.

They're a bit stale. I don't smoke cig­a­rettes. Some­one left them here.”

You got a light?”

Jim­my lit the cig­a­rette for her with a Zip­po. Mer­ry noticed the Sioux Trib­al dec­o­ra­tion on the old sil­ver lighter.

Smok­ing will kill you,” he said.

Yeah, I'll try not to make a habit out of it.”

Jim­my was about to ask her more ques­tions when the phones rang. He had sev­er­al phones through­out the ware­house. One was on a table where he was stand­ing. One was over by the Pigeon, and a few oth­ers were scat­tered through­out the build­ing. They all had dif­fer­ent and dis­tinct rings. Mer­ry kept smok­ing. Jim­my looked at the phone on his desk then lift­ed his head towards the Pigeon.

Want me to get that, Jim­my?” the Pigeon shout­ed.

Jim­my nod­ded his head yes. The Pigeon picked it up. In the dis­tance Mer­ry and Jim­my could hear the Pigeon say­ing, “Hel­lo.” “Hel­lo?” “Hel­lo?” The Pigeon lis­tened and then hung up.

Who was it?” Jim­my asked.

I dun­no. No one said a thing.”

What?”

No one said any­thing!”

Jesus Christ, get your ass over here and tell me!” Jim­my shout­ed.

Yeah. Right,” the Pigeon said, run­ning over.

Mer­ry put out the cig­a­rette on her hik­ing boot and dropped the butt on the floor. She felt the cold steel of the straight razor hid­den in her bra. Months back, a drunk man at the lounge got rough with her when she went out to her car. He would've raped her in the back­seat if it wasn't for Arnie press­ing some steel up against his head. A Minot police offi­cer had to try and restrain the man, but when the man began wav­ing around a pis­tol, the cop called in for back-up. A Ward Coun­ty Sher­iff zipped into the park­ing lot after he heard the call. Mer­ry watched the no-non­sense dark-haired Sher­iff drop the guy with a sin­gle shot.

She lis­tened to Jim­my and the Pigeon dis­cuss the ring­ing phones, and when they gave up and fig­ured who­ev­er it was must've had the wrong num­ber, the phone start­ed to ring again. This time Jim­my picked it up.

Hel­lo,” he said. “Hel­lo?”

Who was it?” the Pigeon asked.

No one said any­thing.”

The phone rang again. Mer­ry couldn't help but crack a smile when the two men kept answer­ing and then bash­ing the phones down.

Some­thing fun­ny, bitch?” the Pigeon said.

Watch your damn mouth,” Jim­my said.

I didn't mean…the damn phones.”

One more word out of your mouth, and I swear,” Jim­my said mas­sag­ing his hip. The Pigeon knew under Jimmy's shirt was a .38 Spe­cial. He kept qui­et.

The phone start­ed to ring. Jim­my ripped the cord out of the wall, but it didn't stop the oth­er phones from ring­ing through­out the ware­house. He leaned into the desk on his fists. Mer­ry could see his white bones push through brown skin.

Lar­ry, go have a look out­side,” Jim­my said.

I don't have no piece, Jim­my,” the Pigeon replied.

Here, take mine,” Jim­my said, reach­ing under his shirt and hand­ing the Pigeon his .38 Spe­cial.

***

The Pigeon stepped out into the cold. The snow was com­ing down hard, and the wind that car­ried it made it hard to see. He walked out into the small park­ing lot with the bro­ken street­lamp and tried to look around, but the force of the wind pushed his head down. He gripped the pis­tol and made his way into the mid­dle of the park­ing lot.

Is any­one out here?” he asked with a cold trem­ble.

He stepped out into the dark­ness a lit­tle fur­ther, his hand over his eyes in a salute, attempt­ing to see into the silent dark. When he looked to the left, a street­lamp glowed at a dead end. The soft beer col­or illu­mi­nat­ing from the pole pissed all over the snow.

Fuck this,” the Pigeon mum­bled. “I'm going back inside. Jim­my can han­dle this shit.”

The sound of feet crunch­ing in the snow sound­ed off in the dis­tance. The Pigeon turned to look and tried to make out the dark fig­ure mov­ing towards him. The snow crunched loud­er. He moved towards the sound, his fin­ger on the trig­ger.

Who the fuck is out there?” he asked.

The dark fig­ure stepped onto the edge of the lot and stopped.

The hell” The Pigeon raised his pis­tol. “Who­ev­er you are, I got a gun.”

Keep flap­pin' those wings, lit­tle birdie,” the fig­ure replied.

The Pigeon gripped the .38 and walked toward the fig­ure.

This is your last…Fuck, Dutchie, is that you?” he asked.

Dutchie, half run­ning, moved right up to the Pigeon with an emp­ty 2-liter soda bot­tle, put his Glock 22 inside, and pulled the trig­ger. The bul­let popped the bot­tle and hit the Pigeon in the neck, knock­ing him to the ground. Blood flowed in raw streaks from his shred­ded neck and emp­tied into a tiny pool inch­es from his head. Dutchie stood over his body. The black cen­ter of his eyes stud­ied the minia­ture red riv­er. The Pigeon's dead face held a look of con­fu­sion as Dutchie dipped his index fin­ger into the bloody snow.

Aki­ta mani yo, moth­er fuck­er,” Dutchie said, paint­ing his cheeks with the Pigeon’s blood.

***

What's tak­ing that ass­hole so long?” Jim­my said.

He prob­a­bly took off. Left you here all alone with me. You gonna kill me now?”

Keep your mouth shut.”

Mer­ry stood up and start­ed to walk for the door. “I've had enough of this shit.” Jim­my grabbed her by the arm as she passed.

Sit your ass down,” he said, forc­ing her back into the chair.

Screw you, Jim­my.”

One more fuckin' word out of your mouth, and I swear to god…”

What, Jim­my? What? You gonna kill me? Bury my body some­where out in the Bad­lands like you do with every­one else? It's why you brought me here, isn't it?”

One more word,” Jim­my said, with his back­hand raised to her.

The door to the ware­house flew open. Jim­my stood up straight, look­ing in the direc­tion of the door. Mer­ry stood up behind him. Dutchie tossed Jimmy's .38, and it slid close enough for Jim­my to see the blood-caked grip.

What the hell did you do to Lar­ry, you crooked son-of-a-bitch?”

He's wait­ing for you in the park­ing lot,” Dutchie replied.

Jim­my was too far to snatch up the .38, and he could see Dutchie's fin­ger tap­ping on the trig­ger of his Glock.

What the hell is that on your face, you damn lunatic?” Jim­my asked.

War paint.”

You're bent side­ways, Sher­iff. A branch scrap­ing a win­dow from dif­fer­ent direc­tions.”

Come again? I don't speak in Indi­an rid­dles.”

You're no dif­fer­ent than me, Sher­iff. Fuckin' crooked bas­tard.”

Dutchie nod­ded and smiled. Jim­my looked down at the pis­tol. He weighed his options. He won­dered if he'd have enough time to leap to the pis­tol and put one in Dutchie's stom­ach.

Don't think you'll make it, Jim­my,” Dutchie said, as he watched Jim­my cal­cu­late. “But here, let me help you.” He kicked the .38 a lit­tle clos­er to Jim­my. Jim­my looked but didn't make a move.

You kill me, Sel­by, and you'll have all of fuckin' Fort Peck crawl­ing all over this god­damned town. They'll scalp every crooked ass­hole in this town until they get to you. I'm the moth­er fuck­er in this town. I'm the one every­one goes through. I own you. I own her. I own the shit you flush down the toi­let in the morn­ing.”

Mer­ry leaped for­ward, grab­bing Jim­my by his salt and pep­per hair, and moved her razor across his throat with ease. Blood poured down his chest and all over Merry's fore­arms. She dropped Jim­my to the floor, chok­ing. Blood shot out and paint­ed her shirt, face, and the tips of her blonde braid.

Jim­my, chok­ing hard breaths, looked up from the ground, watch­ing Dutchie and Mer­ry stand over him.

That's one fucked Injun,” Dutchie said, pulling Merry's thin frame into his body. Jim­my watched them kiss while he choked on his blood.

Did you talk to Har­ri­son?” Mer­ry asked, kiss­ing Dutchie again.

Yup,” he replied, kiss­ing her back. The blood on her shirt soaked into his uni­form.

Everything's good then?” she asked, mov­ing her blood-crust­ed arms over his chest.

My guy Bil­ly Printz will be tak­ing over con­trol of the ship­ments and sales as soon as Har­ri­son can start send­ing the goods in.”

Baby,” Mer­ry said, “you're gonna own this town. No one is going to be able to touch you.” She kissed him again.

Jim­my kicked his feet when he heard that his own fam­i­ly had betrayed him. He lift­ed his hands to his neck and tried to stop the bleed­ing, but the breath was leav­ing his body. His eyes went in and out as he watched them stand above him.

There's no loy­al­ty among tribes,” Dutchie said, watch­ing Jim­my cling on the last sec­onds of his life. “You hear me, Jim­my?”

He looked at Dutchie and flinched and kicked when Dutchie raised his Glock. Jim­my nar­rowed his eyes into the barrel's dark hole. The wind from the storm slammed against the met­al sid­ing of the ware­house. Mer­ry leaned her body into Dutchie's. He wrapped his arm around her blood soaked jeans and pulled the trig­ger.

reardonFRANK REARDON was born in 1974 in Boston, Mass­a­chu­setts, cur­rent­ly lives in Minot, North Dako­ta. Frank has been pub­lished poet­ry and short sto­ries in many reviews, jour­nals and online zines. His first poet­ry col­lec­tion, Inter­state Choke­hold, was pub­lished by NeoPoiesis Press in 2009 as well as his sec­ond poet­ry col­lec­tion Nir­vana Hay­mak­er 2012. His third poet­ry col­lec­tion Blood Music was pub­lished by Punk Hostage Press late 2013. In 2014 Rear­don pub­lished a chap­book with Dog On A Chain Press titled The Bro­ken Halo Blues. Frank is cur­rent­ly work­ing on more short fic­tion, with a nov­el in mind.

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One Response to The Silence of January, fiction by Frank Reardon

  1. Eric says:

    Great read!

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