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

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