Truckload of Trouble, fiction by Tom Leins

headerleinsI hear the rat­tle of the tow-truck’s rust­ed chain before I see it roll down the rut­ted track and into view.

The last time I saw the Mul­li­gan broth­ers they hung a guy known as Blood Bub­ble from a hook by the roof of his mouth then beat him with crow­bars until his pale skin burst. They left him hang­ing there when they had fin­ished, and none of us had the nerve to drag him down. I still remem­ber the queasy feel­ing in my gut when the dead weight got too much and his brain­stem cracked. He lay crum­pled in the dirt like an old fast-food wrap­per, flu­ids turn­ing black in the after­noon sun. Not even the dogs went near him.

I nev­er even found out what he had done.

***

The Mul­li­gans climb out of the cab, and squint at me like I’m roadkill–unidentifiable at first glance. James is the old­er of the two by a few years, fleshy and swollen-look­ing. He cracks the knuck­les on his right hand, one at a time, and clears his throat.

Lomax.”

I nod.

They start to laugh, although no one has said any­thing fun­ny.

Your broth­er around?”

I look over my shoul­der, half-heart­ed­ly.

Nope.”

My fuckin’ broth­er. I couldn't care less about him and his clogged nee­dles, his brit­tle veins, his junkie scams.

You gonna pay his debt?”

I glance around the yard at the rust­ed engine blocks and bro­ken-down machin­ery, then look back at James’s blood­shot eyes.

He smirks.

My mouth feels dry, but I spit in the dirt any­way.

Nope.”

They laugh again. Loud­er than before.

I have no inten­tion of mak­ing good on my brother’s drug debts.

You know, I was hop­ing you was gonna say that.”

I also have no inten­tion of tak­ing a beat­ing on his fuckin’ behalf.

They edge clos­er to me. Up close, James looks far old­er. Prison was evi­dent­ly bad for his health. He has a small cru­ci­fix dan­gling from his left ear­lobe, and gelled yel­low hair.

He smiles ful­ly, show­ing all of his remain­ing teeth, and fid­dles with his ear­ring.

Broth­ers, huh?”

***

James Mul­li­gan was incar­cer­at­ed in an adult facil­i­ty at the age of 14, after being found guilty of aggra­vat­ed rape. He cut the girl up pret­ty bad­ly after­ward with a bro­ken beer bot­tle, and left her crawl­ing around the Slop Shop park­ing lot, leak­ing blood.

Every­one in Tes­ta­ment agreed that he was rot­ten from birth, but Peter, his lit­tle brother–he was dif­fer­ent. He was sen­si­tive, or what pass­es for sen­si­tive in this town. A lit­tle slow, maybe, but like­able enough.

He trained along­side me at Shriek Watson’s Ghoul School. Back then we were like crabs in a bar­rel. Every one of us was des­per­ate to be the first boy out of Shriek’s cav­ernous base­ment.

It was 1987. The hottest sum­mer on record in Tes­ta­ment. Every­one in town want­ed to wres­tle for Fin­ger­fuck Flana­gan, in the Tes­ta­ment Wrestling Alliance, and most of us regret­ted it, one way or anoth­er.

Every few weeks Fin­ger­fuck came down to see Shriek and watch us fight. He sat on a fold­ing can­vas chair, smok­ing his cheap cig­ars, watch­ing us boys, slip­pery with sweat, jab­bing thumbs in eyes, rab­bit-punch­ing kid­neys and twist­ing scrotums–anything to get ahead.

I put a boy named Bur­racha­ga in hospital–just to impress Fin­ger­fuck. Tried to bounce him off the greasy brick­work and put a big old dent in his skull. Fin­ger­fuck cack­led with laugh­ter, pat­ted me on the back with a cal­lused hand, and told me I would go far in this town.

True to his word, he gave me my shot. 19-years-old. Mid-card at the ‘Slaugh­ter­house 4’ pay-per-view. Got my ass hand­ed to me by Tiny Dia­monds in a Russ­ian Chain Match. He choked me so hard with the chain that I shat myself, and I had to walk back through the jeer­ing crowd, legs and boots plas­tered with dehy­drat­ed yel­low shit.

It was three years before he offered me anoth­er fight. Bur­racha­ga. Fin­ger­fuck had inject­ed him with so much Metan­dienone he had swelled up like the fuckin’ Miche­lin Man. He beat me so bad I thought I was dead.

Pay­back, as they say, is a moth­er­fuck­er.

***

Peter Mul­li­gan was at the Ghoul School the day I bust­ed Bur­racha­ga open. I remem­ber him vom­it­ing all over his scuffed blue wrestling boots and pass­ing out. Shriek’s wife revived him with smelling salts. He nev­er did make the grade, but he has evi­dent­ly tough­ened up a lot since.

He is eas­i­ly the larg­er of the two broth­ers. Well-built, but his gut hangs over his greasy jeans like a bag of grain. He cir­cles me, unla­belled work boots leav­ing heavy prints in the dirt.

I hold my hands up.

Let me just take off my wed­ding ring first. I don’t want to dent it on your teeth.”

He grins ner­vous­ly at his broth­er, and James nods.

Fuck that.

I didn’t even take off my wed­ding ring when I fucked their cousin Nik­ki. She had a slight over­bite, and her pussy was con­stant­ly wet. Man, I would have gone to prison for that girl. Maybe not hard time, but I would have tak­en a jolt in the coun­ty jail for a sniff of her Fri­day night panties.

I make a show of tak­ing off my ring, and turn slow­ly towards my truck.

I have a long-bar­relled .38 under the seat.

I’m not even sure which one of these bas­tards I’m going to shoot, but the oth­er one will be pick­ing brains out of his hair all fuckin’ after­noon.

tomleinsTom Leins is a dis­graced ex-film crit­ic from Paign­ton, UK. His wrestling noir sto­ries have been pub­lished by the likes of Out of the Gut­ter Online, Spelk Fic­tion, Hor­ror Sleaze Trash, Five 2 One Mag­a­zine and Fried Chick­en & Cof­fee. Get your pound of flesh at http://​www​.thingstodoin​de​von​wheny​oure​dead​.word​press​.com.

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  1. Pingback: Truckload of Trouble @ Fried Chicken and Coffee | Things To Do In Devon When You're Dead...

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