The Hand

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He dropped the warm bloody hand on the table. Bone was sticking out, and shreds of flesh were hanging from the limb.

“What happened?” said Harry.

Chuck looked back at him.

“Did you kill him? Where’s Trix? Where’s Bill?”

“Trix?” said Chuck.

“‘YEAH, TRIX!” Harry said. “The whore I sent you out with. What happened? You kill him or not?”

“You’re not going to believe what happened.”

Harry stood up. “Whose. Hand. Is. That.”

“Please, Harry. Let me tell you what happened.”

“I’m not a patient man, Chuck. I’m an angry one.”

“I know, I know! Please, just hear me out.”

Harry folded his arms.

“Me and Trix got there. She was wearing the long skirt. I had the gun and was waiting around the corner, just as you told me.”

“And?”

“And she started hitting on him. Seducing Kick, just as you ordered.”

“I know what I fuckin’ ordered! Now what happened?”

Chuck closed his eyes and took a breath. “Well, she had her arm in his, was bringing him my way. Bill was waiting in the car, kept it running. But just as I started around the corner, something happened.”

“What?”

“Kick shoves Trix, and she hits my wrist and my gun goes flying. Next thing I know, Kick starts punching me senseless, gets me to the ground. I’m yelling, you know, I yell the whole time for Trix to shoot him. I’m on the pavement, swallowing punch-after-punch, and then the shot goes off.”

“And?”

“And the punches stop. My vision was all fucked, but when I was able to open my eyes again, Kick was nowhere to be seen, and neither was Trix.”

“Shit.”

“Yeah.”

“What about the hand? Whose hand is that?”

“I was scared as shit, you know? So I ran back to the getaway. Bill was in the driver seat, and blood was everywhere. He was breathing heavy, eyes turning up.”

“Why?”

“He said he saw another guy. Came in a flash. Kick’s not alone, he’s got someone watching his back.”

“What about his wrist? Who cut it off?”

“He said the guy who cut it off was the same who took Trix. He said he was aiming out the window. He said he was gonna shoot Kick when a sword sliced off his hand. That’s where the gun shot came from, when the pistol hit the ground.”

“This was supposed to be the end, dammit! What the hell am I gonna tell Fatty?”

“I don’t know, sir. Tell him I did my best.”

Harry laughed, and shook his head. “Did your best? Come back with a hand, and it ain’t Kick’s, and you’re tellin’ me you did your best?”

Chuck stood up. “What do you want me to do? How was I supposed to know he’s got an accomplice?”

Reaching into his waistband, Harry retrieved his glock then aimed it at Chuck.

“NO!”

Harry pulled the trigger.

– Thomas M. Watt

I Need to Be

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Feel your stare your absent glare your want of knowing what’s in there,

Know you sought to know me through, I’ve got not much to say to you.

I’m sorry girl but don’t you see these thoughts have got the best of me.

Would rather here some more ’bout you like what it is you want to do.

Tired of the thoughts of me, tired of wanting, needing sleep.

Say to me the things unsaid the things most folks so often dread.

You know the words the rhythmic blues the fear of saying just what is true.

I know you feel it ’cause I do to, I know just what is plaguing you.

But don’t you see the vision’s free the only way to ecstasy.

You hear me spinning words like that, that’s just to get you on your back.

No I’m kidding, joking please. Don’t mean to make you quake you knees.

Ah nice slap that hurt a bit I’m sorry girl I cannot quit.

Sometimes the way these thoughts expel like flagrant breaths through quiets yells.

Baby girl it’s back to you, tell me so I feel them too.

Don’t ask me what, you know the answer, it’s penned inside your heart’s disaster.

Show me pain and misery I’ll show you mine but for a fee.

I swear it tears me up inside, pulls my heart out, leaves me dry.

Please don’t go there, please don’t please, please just see I need to be.

Not quite trying, nothing cares, here’s the secret I’d like to share –

Hold your moans your throbbing chest, you cannot let me get the best.

Oh quit trying to play me please it’s all a game until you weep.

Sorry girl, you have to know, the thoughts own me I have to go.

– Thomas M. Watt