The guy in the car behind me laid on his horn. I could have made the turn, but the lady coming would have had to slow down a bit and I thought I’d let her coast through this small part of her day. The guy behind me had other ideas and hit the horn again. I don’t know what he thought he was going to accomplish, but it sure as shit wasn’t going to set me in motion.

I gave him a look in the rearview mirror. He was wearing a polo shirt with some company’s logo and was old enough to know better than to pull this kind of shit. I sat, held my stare at him for a few seconds, checked traffic, and made my turn.

He followed immediately behind me. It was a four-lane road and I waited patiently for him to whip around me and drive off giving me the finger. Instead, he stayed on my ass. After half a mile I put on my blinker and pulled to the side. Surely this guy wasn’t dumb enough to pull off behind me. 

He was.

I got out of the car and he was already running up to me.

“You fucking, granny-ass driving son of a bitch!” he shouted. He had his finger pointed at me in case I was unclear who he was talking to.

“Are you done riding my ass now?” I asked. 

“Fuck you, you could have made that turn!”

“Well, excuse the fuck out of me,” I said. He was really revved up. I didn’t know if he was having a bad day or was just this big of a prick, and I didn’t care.

“I ought to kick your ass!” he said. 

“What the fuck for? This is ridiculous,” I said.

“You took like ten seconds. To make one fucking turn!” His tirade showed no signs of letting up.

“Man, you can choke on ten thick seconds of my dick,” I said. 

I shouldn’t have said it, now this was going to end in a fight. Maybe not immediately, there might be a little more repartee, but it was going to end in violence. Knowing how important time was to this asshole, I just went ahead and punched him in the throat.

His hands clutched his neck as he fell. This guy was clearly not used to taking punches. He laid there at my feet gasping for breath. I gave him a few seconds to recover, ten to be exact. 

He reached for his pocket, but I locked his wrist before his hand got there. I reached in and pulled out his phone. I was glad to see it wasn’t a gun, but this just went to show how out of his league this dude was.

“Fuck’s sake, man,” I said, pity entering my voice. “You should be fucking embarrassed to call the cops.”

He looked up at me with tearful eyes.

I reached down, grabbed his arm, and pulled him up. I handed him his phone. He looked me over, stuck his phone in his pocket, got in his car, and drove off. First good decision he made all day.

I fight for a living. Not like MMA or anything clean like that. I’m sure if I ever got into an octagon those dudes would kick my ass in no time. My services are put to use for business purposes. I get paid to fuck people up when they need it.

Judge if you want to, but the good Lord, in His infinite wisdom, gave me a pretty limited skill set that I’ve made the most of that I can. I’m simply hired muscle. I’m the big, dumb son of a bitch that gets hired by the villain and then gets his ass kicked by an action-movie hero. Only I’ve never come across John Wick. Most people concede, and those that don’t, go down.

I’m a goon.

~ fin ~


Jeremy Grojean’s short fiction has appeared in The First Line Literary Journal. He is the author of the middle-grade novel Amelia and Harry: The Bumps in the Basement and has been a guest columnist for the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Professionally, he is an Immunology Technologist, performing laboratory tests matching patients and donors for organ transplants. He lives with his wife, daughter, son, dog, and chickens in St. Louis, MO, USA.