The Englishman didn’t have a chance. Not really. He fought like a demon once he realized what was happening. He wasn’t just getting rolled. Hell, he had enough sense to give over his wallet to a couple of ugly goons. No, robbery was just a blind for what these guys had in mind. He wasn’t sure how he knew this. He just knew. Something had been nagging at him these past few days. The way his friend had been acting.
Friend? Yeah, right!
Rainwater ran down a brick wall from the street above, and freezing wind whistled through the vacant underground shopping arcade as the big thug went through his victim’s wallet. The little guy propped the Englishman against the wall, putting in shots to his face and gut for nothing more than fun. Didn’t matter; those final whacks with the sap had taken the fight out of him. The Englishman slid down the wall, plopped to the cold, wet pavement like a puppet whose strings had been cut, taking whatever this little slope head dished out.
The giant, the one called Moon, stuffed the passport and wallet into his pocket, didn’t even bother counting the money. He rolled the Englishman over on the concrete, tore out the custom-tailored labels from his suit, checked his shirt for initialed cufflinks, and took his monogrammed handkerchief. But the point was really driven home when the giant pulled garden shears and pliers out of a canvas bag. He sat on the Englishman’s back, threw out his arms, grunted for the little guy to begin the manicure—right up to the knuckles.
The last thing the Englishman felt was his third finger being snipped off, and the last thing he saw was the little pug scooping it up, dropping the bloody stub into his pocket. Incongruously, his last thought was one of wonderment: why these guys didn’t want his own mother to recognize him. Mercifully, he wouldn’t feel his teeth being ripped out of his skull.
- Byron Bales, May 2011
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