Next Thing You Know


Next thing you know somebody better call the cops, ’cause some bad shit is goin’ down. Problem is there’s nobody here to call the cops. The only ones here are me and the missus, and the missus can’t call ’cause she’s too busy covering me with her Glock. Besides, she wouldn’t call anyway because that’s not how she rolls. And I can’t call because I’m the one being covered, and I don’t think the missus would appreciate me making any sudden movements, such as taking out my cell phone and dialing 9-1-1. Plus, I’m pretending to be paralyzed and I don’t want to break character. So like I said, nobody’s here to call the cops.

“I can’t move my legs, baby. Please.”
I’m on my back, not moving. As I look from the blue steel barrel of the gun to the blue steel eyes of my wife, I’m not sure which blue steel looks scarier. The look in her eyes is one of murder. She’s dead serious, I can tell. Her finger is tensed on the trigger, and I don’t have to wonder if she has the balls to pull it, I know she does. I know it because it stinks in here, like gunpowder. And there’s hazy blue smoke in the air. And my ears are ringing. And there’s blood dripping out of a hole in my chest.

She has the balls, alright. And her aim is pretty good too.

Nobody called the cops. I would’ve heard sirens by now. I’m not surprised. This ain’t the kind of neighborhood where people call the cops. This is the kind of ‘hood where everybody minds their own business. Nobody sees anything, nobody says anything. An errant gunshot coming from an apartment in this building isn’t going to trigger a flurry of 9-1-1 calls. Which means I’m pretty much fucked.

“Baby, I’m dying,” I say. “I love you.”

“You lying piece of shit.”

“Baby, please.”

“Piece. Of. Shit.”

“I can explain, honey. Really.”

“I should shoot your dick off,” she says, and I wince, waiting for it.

But nothing happens. Which is good news. Because it means the missus still wants my dick attached to my body, that she still has some use for me. And I still have a chance to talk her out of killing me–if she didn’t already, that is. Because the way my chest is leaking and my breathing is getting shallow, I have no idea if the wound is fatal or not, and I don’t want to hang around waiting to find out. I want to go to a hospital. Now.

“Baby, I need an ambulance.”

“You need a toe tag,” she says, sending shivers up my spine. Or maybe it’s just shock setting in, hard to tell.

“Baby, listen. She meant nothing to me. It was a one night fling, nothing to it. It only happened because you were away and I was drunk. It was the first time in years I cheated on you, honey, please. I learned my lesson. It won’t happen again, I swear.”

I watch as the gun wavers in her hand. I can see her thinking, see the wheels spinning. We’ve been married for ten years, I know she loves me.

“Ten years, lover. Please, call an ambulance. Don’t let me die.”

She makes a face, but I can tell that she’s coming around. I’m a good hubby, and she knows it. Well, except for the serial cheating part, but I’m working on that.

“Next time, I’ll kill you deader than shit,” she says, and it’s music to my ears. She lowers her weapon.

“Call 9-1-1,” I say, reaching into my pocket for my cell phone. I hand it to her.

It rings.

She looks at the display for a second, and I’m thinking: oh shit.

She clicks on. “Hello?”

A pause.

“Yeah,” she says. “He’s right here.”

She looks at me, and her eyes have turned from blue steel to black.

She clicks off. “Another one?” she says. “You cheating prick.”

She throws the phone at me. Then she raises the gun again.

And next thing you know somebody better call the cops, ’cause some bad shit is goin’ down…

~ fin ~

Kevin Z. Garvey’s crime fiction can be found at Thuglit, Spinetingler, Mystery Weekly, Crime Syndicate, Out of the Gutter, Scars, Yellow Mama, and of course Shotgun Honey. Garvey is also an award-winning combat sports ring announcer and member of the NJ State Martial Arts Hall of Fame. Follow him on Twitter @kevinzgarvey.