Tweeprose: ‘Bite the Bullet’ by A. N. Gretly (For @deghaidiness)

 

Bullet in the head.

 

A middle aged man staggered through the streets of the city that wouldn’t sleep. The moon lurked behind a few layers of thick, dark clouds, watching, judging. It was Creekwell, the city of the damned, the lost, and the unfortunate. There he was, damned, lost, and very unfortunate, walking the streets in a state of half sleep and half drunkenness. Ian D. Kenneth, he was called back when someone cared enough to call upon him. He wore his grey suit, which was once of high quality, now nothing but rags upon rags upon skin that very much could be mistaken for rags. The man had everything at one point in his life, the house, the car, and gorgeous piece of ass he bought off the Old Man. But a few failed investments, and a pinch of bad luck resulted in him being kicked out of paradise, and into the blazing heart of hell itself. He walked like he always walked, around and around and around looking for something, and not knowing exactly what that ‘Something’ was. Even though he didn’t know what it was, he convinced himself that it was out there, somewhere in the middle of this chaos. It did not matter what that something was, the only thing that mattered to Mr. Ian Kenneth was that he needed find it.

Where are you? Where are you? Ian thought.

Inside his mind, through the weariness and the booze, Ian remembered the good times. He never actually forgot though. Ian D. Kenneth never forgot a single aspect of his once luxurious life. He thought about it all the time. His house, a mansion, overlooking acres and acres of green fields, with servants and butlers and footmen and on and on and on. Now he lived in a small apartment overlooking another small apartment overlooking an alleyway. The servants turned to rats, the butlers cockroaches, and footmen to a bug infested mattress that sagged too low, with springs poking into his back every time he tried to move. The sweet smell of grass intermixed with the aroma of well cooked meals that could make a cruel man’s heart flutter tuned into the reek of his own body. And so he walked. And walked. And walked.

He found himself on 62nd Street, where the ladies of Creekwell city sold themselves at what was known as the Meat Market. Even those turned away from him, some of them at least, and others weren’t too happy about approaching this raggedy man. With their wrinkled thighs bare, and their faces blotched with powder, they stood around him.

“Wanna have a good time, sweetie?” Said one of the women.

“I’ll do anything you want, handsome.”  Said another.

Ian just stood there looking at them, stared, really. His stomach made a growling noise that was a wee bit too loud.

“Oh, leave him alone.” One blue-eyed girl said “Go home, Mister.”

His face was blank. He looked at this beautifully sculpted blue-eyed goddess, and remembered his own mythical creature. Ian walked away, slouched, with his arms swinging back and forth on his sides in sync with his footsteps. He felt tears forming in his eyes, but the tears never fell. The moment he passed the alley right before his building, someone grabbed him from behind, and threw him into the darkness. Ian stumbled and fell. He landed face first into the ground, and felt a little bit of skin peel off his face. Ian stayed like this for a few moments, then he heard heavy footsteps behind him. He turned on the ground and looked up. Before him, stood a hulking man he knew so well.

“Where’s my money, Kenneth?” Eddy Dylan said “Where’s my fucking rent?”

Eddy Dylan, also known as ‘The Fist’, was the owner of the apartment building in which Ian had lived for some time; the bulky man also owned the shitty dive-bar called the Cave on the bottom floor of the that same shitty building. Now, he towered over weary Ian, looking like a very well fed grim reaper.

“I-I don’t have it, Eddy.” Ian sniffled, and the tears found their way out.

“I ain’t kidding here, you fuck!”

“I’m sorry, Eddy. I am sorry.”

“Sorry won’t cut it.” Eddy said as he produced a cannon of a gun, and pointed it at Ian’s face.

Ian felt his sweat instantaneously drench his worn-out cloths. He began to shiver, and felt his bladder about to let go.

“Please, Eddy, please!” Ian whimpered “I’m begging you, don’t kill me. I’ll have the money by the end of the week.”

The big man took a step forward, and smacked Ian across the face with his gun’s barrel. Ian felt the piercing pain on his left cheek spread all over his face. He took the hit, and landed on his side.

Where are you? Where are you?

His face burned with pain. Sweat and tears mixed with blood ran down his face, and onto his clothes. He tried to sit up again but he couldn’t. He tried to speak up, but his voice failed him. All he could do was lie there on the ground, and cry painful tears. Ian heard Eddy walking around him, like a predator waiting for the kill. He felt a shiver down his spin.

“Please…” Ian pleaded.

Eddy stopped by his head, and crouched down. He grabbed Ian by the neck, forced him to sit up. Eddy looked into Ian’s eyes, but all Ian could see was a blurred image of a mean face, a monster, really.

“Fine.” Eddy growled.

He let him go, and Ian fell on his side once more; his head hitting the pavement. Ian heard Eddy Dylan walking away, this, for some reason, made him cry even harder. But the heavy footsteps stopped for a slight second, then started again, quickly heading back towards him. Ian felt himself being grabbed by the neck again with those mammoth hands.

“I changed my mind.” Eddy said as he pushed the barrel of his gun onto Ian’s temple, and pulled the trigger.

There you are, my sweet. There you are, my love.

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About Ahmed Gretly

Ahmed Nader Gretly. Construction/Site Engineer, fiction writer, poet, psychopath, researcher, a book addict, and a daydreamer from Cairo, Egypt. Currently doing Construction Project Management, MSc, at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
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