Wherein our hero displays aboriginal skills from another culture…
When you come home from a long day of whatever it is that you do, in a normal world, you don’t find yourself looking down the barrel of a shotgun for the second time… unless, you happen to be an unlucky police officer… or you’re me. Shirley, Marvin’s buxom, and immensely sturdy, wife, rested the double-barreled monstrosity against my forehead as soon as I opened the back door. It was cold, and strangely soothing.
“Is that your scraggly head, Frank?” She always sounded like an aging Country music star, after a life of bourbon and cigarettes: raspy, smoky, rough, ready, and able to kick the furry shit right out of you.
“Yes, Shirley. It is I, your humble tenant, in a great deal of pain. Would you let me in?”
She graciously stepped aside and let me in.
I hurried inside and surveyed the room for likely surfaces to perch on. Screw sitting at the bar! The stools were too high, and the seats were too small to rest my abused jewels on. It was find a chair, or drop all my gear and fall flat on my back on the rustic wooden floor. Luckily, there were plenty of chairs, and none of the ones near me were occupied.
Marvin and Shirley’s niece, Tracy, was watching my progress from the bar. I can’t imagine what I must have looked like to her, so I quickly put the whole lot of those thoughts to the side, and got down to the business of trying to sit down without screaming like a girl.
It was easier to put my goodie bag, gun, and sword down, before trying to lower myself into the waiting chair. Thank god, the chair had arms, or I wouldn’t have been able to control my descent.
“What happened out there?” Tracy asked me.
“Bad guys. Beatings. Death. Doom. Destruction. Normal.”
“You look like shit, if you don’t mind me saying so.”
“This ain’t all that different from what he usually looks like,” Shirley added, “except he’s acting like he got kicked in the nuts by a team of cheerleaders.”
“Thanks.” I groaned. I should have expected the commentary. “It would have been better if it had been cheerleaders. My target was the one who nutted me.”
“Oh!” Tracy exclaimed, with a sour grimace on her face. I hoped it was some kind of sympathy, and not derision. “You don’t feel any warm moisture down there, do you?”
“The impact could have ruptured one, or both, of your testicles. There would be… ahem… blood, and stuff.”
My face must have gone white, because Tracy seemed to teleport across the floor. She took my hand in hers, and started feeling for my pulse. It took her a moment, but she seemed satisfied when she found it.
“Have you checked them out?” She asked.
“Ah, you need to know if you’re intact. If you aren’t, then you’ve got problems.”
“What?” I’m ashamed how I squeaked.
“I’ll take that as a no. You need to. I can’t tell if all the blood on your pants is yours or someone else’s.”
“Wow!” Shirley yelled. “Marvin! Come on down! Frank might have lost his nuts in a fight!”
From somewhere else, I heard a muffled, “Oh!” Fantastic! I didn’t want an audience, but it looked like I was going to have one, regardless.
“Tracy, I am… moved… that you’re concerned for my testicles. I think I can even go so far as to tell you that they’re grateful for your interest, but I’ve only just started to feel a little better. I want to sit here for just a little while longer, and then I’ll go examine my junk.”
She gave me the dirtiest look I’ve ever seen. My penis would have hidden behind my prostate in sheer terror, if it had the energy to move. I put my hands up to stay her harsh feelings—or so I tell myself—but it was in case she decided to take a swing at me.
Funny how you prepare for one thing, and that isn’t the thing you get.
Tracy locked eyes with me, and held them, as she bent over at the waist, right in front of my hands. In the pregnant, tense silence, her hand shot out and tapped the zipper of my pants. I responded by giving her my best impression of a falsetto Maori Haka.
“Did you just scream ‘This is the hairy man who makes the sun rise for me’ in Maori?” Tracy asked with wide eyes.
I wiped tears from my eyes, and mumbled that I didn’t know.