Naptime Interrupted


I’m sleeping on the floor, because I like to drink, and there’s never a bed when you need one. I’m on the floor and not the backseat because, like a drunken child seeking dim memories of the womb, I wanted to wedge myself nice and tight between the leather.

When the two men slip into the front seats, I start thinking of all the ways I’ve fucked up. First was parking in the wrong neighborhood, though, in this city there’s more of those than not. Second was sleeping out of sight, cause most people won’t fight ya for your ride, specially a shit-box of a 2004 Ford like this. Third…which maybe should be first, is that I forgot to lock the damn doors.

“We gonna run up on them, you ready for this, you ready?” A squeaky voice says. Guess I fucked up four times, counting leaving the keys up front, but I always loose the damn things, so I’ve taken to tossing them on the dash. They don’t see me, cause the sun’s gone down and the car’s angled just right. If the toggle by my steering wheel was turned up, when they got in the overhead lights would’ve turned on and given me away. As it is, I’m lucky, and fucked, because they’re starting the engine.

“We’ve got this, we gotta be real quick, in and out, fuck em raw.” For some reason I don’t think they’re talking about my kinda quickie. The other boy’s got a smoker’s coarseness to his words. They sound like locals, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they got inbred family up in the Appalachia. All the whiskey in the world can’t wash these kinda people from my life.

The car lunges left and right. Boys sound amped up, on that finger snapping eye dilating good shit. There’s a baseball bat resting across the backseat. A righteous Louisville slugger I actually found on the side of the road. The road was next to a baseball field, and the bat happened to be next to a duffel bag full of equipment while the owner grabbed something he left on the benches. Still, I was given this bat for a reason. If only there were some way to use it. Swinging a bat in a cramped car like this is hard. I could sit up and poke them, maybe lance them like the slugger’s a spear.

“I’m gonna put all six holes in them man, All six.” I see the gleam of a pistol raised in the air.  While more American than anything, baseball and guns don’t mix like Jack and coke.

Along a lonely stretch of road, I muster up my balls and pull the bat down to the floor with me. I hold it like a crucifix and I’ve never felt more restrained. Malnourished as I may be, I can swing the hell out of a baseball bat, if only I had the space…

“We gon get em! For Lilly man, for Lilly!” The car jerks sideways and the end of the slugger clocks me on the cheekbone. The front doors are blitzing open and there’s the almighty and familiar pop, pop, pop. There’s plenty of screaming, too, which is even more familiar. A shotgun blasts several times in a row, barking like a junkyard dog.

“It’s the fuckin Louvre boys!” I hear, right before “Hot shit, I got em, look at that, they heads gone.” I’m starting to think I’m saved, the enemies of my enemies are my friends, till I reach up and find my door handle locked.

“Lets burn it! Let’s burn they shit-box for what they did!” I hear and these boys must be drinking. The first Molotov is thrown through the driver’s door, followed by another and then, what must be, a half a tank of gasoline. My world becomes one of light and sneering flame. Go figure, it’s harder to break a window with the tip of a bat than you’d expect. There are grinning madmen beyond the fire’s lick, celebrating their victory. I shut my eyes, go back to sleep, and lick the stale beer from my beard.

~ fin ~

Nick Manzolillo is a twenty-three year old Rhode Island native that finds himself living in Manhattan. His writing has appeared in Thuglit and The New England Horror Writer's publication: Wicked Witches. He is currently earning an MFA in Creative and Professional Writing from Western Connecticut State University.