The Sucker by Patrick Cooper

“What I’m sayin’ is, y’already gave the teller the note. You’re standin’ here with a pipe bomb danglin’ ‘round your neck. The things tickin’ for fuck’s sake. Why the fuck’re you gonna take a lollipop, all cool like? What man in his right mind is doin’ this?” Hoffman adjusted the nylon over his eyes so […]

Kid Cub Has No Chill by Patrick Cooper

Barley blew on his coffee and said, “It’s eight in the morning. We got somewhere to be. So skip dessert.” “Plenty of time,” Kid Cub said, sliding his plate of half-eaten pancakes towards the edge of the table. “You wanted to graduate to big boy jobs? I’m supposed to be looking out for you, is […]

Killing the Quails by Patrick Cooper

I’ve killed Curtis Quail fives times now. Six if you count the one at the flooded quarry. That was more of an accident. I meant to shoot him but he escaped down the edge of the quarry and wound up drowning. I got paid for that one, yeah, but in my heart I can’t really take credit for it. So five times. I’ve killed Curtis Quail five times.

The first Curtis Quail I did in the woods behind the strawberry farm on Route 206. That was the toughest one. He was the youngest and the sucker was high on speed. Had to plug him in the back from 300 yards or so. That was the first Curtis Quail.

Black Out by Patrick Cooper

First time I saw the little shit, he was posted up on the side of the liquor store. I pulled in, threw the Olds in park, and stared at the runt while the radio DJ went on about a murder that happened last night outside a local bar I used to frequent. Someone was stabbed a few dozen times with an electric turkey carver. Happy Thanksgiving, huh?

I was only half listening to the details. The other half of me was soaking in this kid. Dressed in his Sunday best, rusty blonde hair blowing in the November breeze. Must’ve been 15 or so. There was a murkiness about him.

I’ve seen some characters outside of the liquor store. The lowlife clowns of this city stuck to the side of its walls like flypaper. But a kid? That’s a new one.

As I walked past he said, “Pint of whiskey?”