One Man's Trash [A thrilling tale of grizzly suspense - written by Matthew Munsey]
“You see that? No, no. Here, this here! The inscription, see it?” Tony Herd spoke with the impatience of a man three-fourths done walking the plank. Fucking resigned to it. He held the gleaming blade directly under the bright desk lamps stark luminous, clearly naked bulb. The thin glow exposed each and every nuance of the delicate metal it shone down upon. Every fold of steel, every scrape of the whetstone. Every roll, chip and bend. It looked like an old piece of shit after all these years, and Tony knew it. And he knew this fat fuck staring at him knew it too. But it was still rare, and it was still worth something. It had to be.
There was an unsettling rattle deep within the man's great bosomous chest, as Fatso took one long, deep, treasonous breath and began to speak again at last. “Well, I just don’t know, chief.” The words echoed out from deep within his cavernous jowls. “It just looks like some old piece of shit, to me..” Tony was dumbfounded. He could see Fatso smiling from beneath that pile of loose flesh he called a face, gleaming bald head and all. Suddenly all Tony wanted to do was to tear all that loose meat right off, and stomp on it. His clenched his fists and tried to breathe. What had that fucking faggot at the meeting last night said? Breathing makes life a lot easier? God, talk about a piece of shit. Tony thought, taking one deep breath in, releasing, and then another. He felt a little better.
“Alright listen here Fa-” Tony stumbled with his words for a moment. “Friend. Listen here, alright?” Tony looked right into Fatso’s eyes, imploring him to understand. “This sword is old, and it’s beat to shit. No arguments from me man. But that’s the point, isn’t it? It’s old, it’s rare. The inscription man, know what that says? Hishoma Takanei. Master swordsmith of fourteenth-century feudal Japan. Nothing like this will ever be made again, man. Nothing. It’s one of a kind unique. As rare as rare shit gets, man. Come on, help a guy out here.” Tony smiled. He hadn’t forced something that hard since the first day he had shown up to the meetings, and they made him say hello to all those pussy ass hand holders. He couldn’t stand it that some fucking nerd in scrubs had the power to tell him where he had to be every other Thursday night, but that’s how it was now in this country. That’s what he had fought for. Tony’s smile faltered. Is that really what he had fought for?
Fatso rattled again, shuffled his sweaty sausage fingers, and began slowly. “Listen, pal.” Tony tightened up immediately, his body and mind simultaneously preparing for the worst. Fatso continued. “It’s not that I don’t believe you, but you gotta understand, that in this business, it’s all about the proof.”
Tony’s face was beet red. He looked like he was about to combust on the spot. Clenching his fists so hard now that little pricks of blood would almost surely be forming under his powerful, reckless palms. He breathed deeply again before speaking. “Listen to me, please.” The words shook loose out of Tony like a box of nails, tipping over from the side of a rusty workbench. They clanked down one at a time, each syllable plunking and chuttering as it fell into place. “This sword was given to me by my father in law, a man I respect. He got it himself from his father, and he from his before him all the way back, man. All the way back to when it was made. This is the real deal here, man. You’ve got to believe.” Those last four words rocketed forth from Tony Herd’s powerful diaphragm, firing out as if jettisoned from the barrel of a gun. He hadn’t meant to yell, but sometimes it just came out. No matter how hard he tried to hold the reigns, sometimes they slipped. But that’s life, isn’t it?
Fatso only chortled quietly to himself, his many flaps and folds gyrating up and down, side to side, as he did so. This was nothing new in here. One more guy crazy off his ass wanting someone else to care about his trash as much as he did. They were all the same, and Fatso was not worried. Just to reassure himself, Fatso reached one stubby tree trunk arm down under the glass desk where the supposed Hishoma Takanei sword now lay and felt the cold steel barrel of his Colt revolver. The phrase, a sword in a gunfight, raced suddenly through Fatso’s mind. He smiled.
“Is this fucking funny to you?” Tony had only meant to say the words, but somehow, they had ended up coming out as a scream. Fatso was only mildly taken aback - cleary, he’d seen it all before. He just stared at Tony, smiled, and slowly reached for something underneath the countertop. “Listen, guy,” Fatso said, his smile widening. “I know you’re hard up, I can see that. But I really can’t give you that much.”
That much? That much? Tony was aghast. That much. He couldn’t believe that the words had come out of this fat fucks mouth. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” It was all Tony could think to say. “Two hundred bucks and you’re gonna sit there and tell me I’m fucking you?!” Fatso thought to interject and say he had never actually said that, but thought better of it. Tony continued. “I’m standing here, giving your fat fucking shit licker ass a gift, and you’re going to tell me that it’s me who’s fucking you?” He was screaming again now, his eyes wide and full of fervor.
“Alright, enough’s enough. I think it’s time I asked you to go.” Fatso said the words bluntly. No sugar coating for him, ironically enough. Tony’s mouth gaped, still full of rage, yet somehow dumbstruck. There Fatso stood, short little fur covered stub arms, columneqse legs that look like they could hold up the pantheon. His fat face was screwed up in determined grit. A shining silver colt revolver held tightly in one of his sweaty, sausage-fingered hands. Tony let loose a short bark of laughter. He couldn’t help it. This fat fucking cunt thinks that he can shove a gun in my face? A fragment of thought raced itself around Tony’s head for what felt like an eternity. There was a click as one of Fatso’s thick bulging thumbs pulled down on the hammer hard.
How many times had he been shot at? Tony wasn’t sure. But what he did know was that after all of that shit. After all of the sand, and the sun, and the fucking sand nigger bastards trying to cut his fucking head off… He wasn’t going to go out like this.
Tony picked up his sword slowly. The embellished Japanese shone out briefly in the still glowing lamp light, Hishoma Takanei. A master swordsmith, Tony thought, and suddenly he was ashamed. He would honor this blade. He knew that now.
“That’s right now, boy. Get your garbage and get the fuck out.” Fatso spoke firmly, the shining silver colt revolver aimed firmly down the sights right into Tony’s left eye. It was clear that this was not something that was an entirely irregular occurrence for the great behemoth of a man. Or at least, he didn’t believe that it was.
But wasn’t it? Tony wondered if this fat cunt had ever actually shot a person before. Had ever watched as their blood had rushed out of a hole in their body that he had put there. Had he watched as they screamed and tried to plug up the hole with whatever they could find? Had he watched as they failed? Had he watched as they had died? Tony was sure that he had not. Fucking pussies, all of them. Is this what I fought for?
The gleaming metal flash streaked out across the old stale air of the pawnshop. Two sounds almost at once rang out solemnly through the still room. A deep squelch, and a resonating thud. Across the glass surface of the pawnshop table, a fat bald head now rolled, trailing behind it a thin drizzle of life and mud. Fatso’s eyes looked up at Tony - as if to ask, why? Tony only chuckled. A great smooshing thud rolled out as the gargantuan form of Fatso’s torso smacked resolutely into the hard wooden floor. Tony could see the colt, still clutched firmly in Fatso’s now white-knuckled hand. So much good that did’ya, huh, you fat fuck? Tony thought giddily to himself.
The thick, creamy flesh of Fatso’s neck had given the sword no trouble, even as old as the blade was. Tony had always made sure to tend to it carefully, after all. The vertebrae had severed just as easily, coming apart like a carrot under the brief weight of a child's table knife. Tony laughed again, wiping Fatso’s thick red blood from the blood with the tail of his own shirt as he prepared to leave. Like a fucking knife through butter, Tony thought and smiled as he walked out the front door and into the brilliant afternoon sunlight. No surprise there though, really. It was a Hishoma Takanei, after all. A masterpiece.
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