More to Huff


Well, that surely was one helluva goddamn weird night. Me and Wheezy figured to bust into the paint store on Euclid Avenue and get us some more to huff. Wheezy’s been huffin’ years, mostly varnish and thinners, but I just started up. Soak a rag, stuff a bag, huff it deep, stoned for keeps.

We didn’t really want nothin’ else that night. And I knew straight-up the paint store was easy thievin’. That’s how I got the street name Howie the Dog. I can sniff out easy thievin’ wherever it’s at. True fact, I never been caught for any stealin’ I done, just for somethin’ I never done at all. And the goddamn judge gimme five hard years for it. But that’s a whole other story.

Anyhow, soon as we get to Euclid that night, we seen the moron supposed to bust into the paint store with us. Arvid was his name. He come runnin’ outta the Exotic Massage, buck nekkid except for his tighty-whiteys, with a blue parrot ridin’ on top of his head.

So Arvid’s runnin’ around in circles, right there on Euclid Avenue, nothin’ on but his tighty-whiteys, and the parrot clingin’ to his head is squawkin’ real loud “Jesus rides Harley-Davidson! Jesus rides Harley-Davidson!” And I guess the goddamn parrot is grippin’ Arvid’s head real good because Arvid keeps flappin’ his arms at it and rollin’ his eyeballs and yowlin’, “That pinches! That pinches!”

Meantime, up at the Exotic Massage, some tall Chinese woman in just a red bra and pink panties leans in the doorway, laughin’, “Tee tee tee. Tee tee tee.” Wheezy says it’s a good bet that ain’t her blue parrot on Arvid’s head, because if it was she wouldn’t be laughin’ at how Arvid’s runnin’ all over with it.

Next thing you know, for some reason the cops show up. So me and Wheezy figure we’ll forget about bustin’ in for more to huff and we creep over to the bar across the street, a mouse hole where your shoes stick to the floor a little when you’re walkin’ and your arm skin sticks on the table when you hunch down to snooze.

Well right off, we get this juicy waitress with ropey legs and wet lips come sashayin’ up to say she can’t serve no intoxicated patrons. Intoxicated, hell. Me and Wheezy ain’t had a drink since this mornin’, we just been huffin’ all day. She finally sashays back with a couple of Muscatels, but the goddamn pours are short. So Wheezy hollers at the bartender, “You just short-poured me and Howie the Dog, the most righteous prowlin’ burglar ever got outta the state prison.”

Problem is, the bartender’s nasty as shit on toast, looks like the goddamn Big Foot or somethin’, and he don’t care. Next thing you know we already chug down the Muscatels anyhow, and now he don’t care even worse.

So some gypsy woman strolls over from her barstool and says she’ll fix us with a potion. She’s got no teeth and just one good eye, but Wheezy says the potion sounds good, and we slip around to the alley, back of the bar.

Well, there’s the goddamn blue parrot, waitin’ for us, clingin’ to the rim of the garbage dumpster, squirtin’ his business straight onto the trash heap. But now he ain’t squawkin’ nothin’, he’s hardnose eyeballin’ me and Wheezy and the gypsy woman. So Wheezy says to her, “That’s your fuckin’ parrot ain’t it?” But she shakes her head no.

Anyhow, we give her two dollars for the potion she brung, she runs off, and we chug down the whole bottle with the parrot still watchin’ us. Next thing you know Wheezy starts poundin’ the dumpster and wailin’ a song about an Irish lass with an ass like brass. The parrot tries wailin’ along with Wheezy for the first three verses and then flies off, and for some reason the cops show up again.

Now put it all together and don’t it seem clear the gypsy woman was lyin’ to us? Like hell that ain’t her parrot.


This story is an original work of creative fiction. All people and events described or depicted are entirely fictional. Any resemblance to actual individuals or events is unintended and coincidental. Harley-Davidson is a registered trademark of Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

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Peter DiChellis is a Southern California beach town loafer. This is his second story at Shotgun Honey. His sinister tales appeared recently at Over My Dead Body!, YELLOW MAMA, and in the mystery anthologies The Shamus Sampler (Volumes I and II) and Plan B Volume III. For more, visit his site Murder and Fries