“Gotcha.” I whispered, and crumpled to the cold sidewalk. “Nice, cold concrete. Good concrete. Make my balls hurt less, please.”
A large finger tapped me on my shoulder blade.
“You hit?” Shawn, the mammoth from across the way, asked me.
“No. I’m just resting the family jewels.”
“I’ll be blunt, man, ‘cause that’s the way I am: you’re one odd dude.”
“See, I think of myself as a man, forward-thinking enough to embrace the absurdity of our existence.” I explained. “I mean, look, this isn’t your mama’s zombie apocalypse.”
“Yep. You’re a weird fucker.” He snorted. “Would you like a hand getting up, Mister Zombie-Killing Freak?”
“I’d be obliged for the assistance, Mister Hulking Mass of Southern Manhood.”
I didn’t expect him to lift me up, bodily, into a fireman’s carry across his shoulders. I yelped when my bits slapped the side of his head.
“Sorry.” He murmured.
“Gasp.” I replied.
“For a hardened, killer of creatures that used to be our neighbors, you’re really sensitive.” Shawn commented.
“You call it being sensitive. I call it being charming and approachable.” I gave him a pet on his shaggy head. “Now, please take me inside and put me down, like a good Wookie.”
He started walking and I remembered something important, and asked him to put me down.
“What?” He asked when my feet hit the ground.
“When you complete a job, you need to have proof. I’m going to walk over there, and cut off my target’s head. That usually satisfies a client.”
I unsheathed my sword, walked across the street, and did the deed. It was somewhat messier than usual, because my bullet blew out the majority of the back of his head. I looked down at the trophy, and tried to decide the best way to carry it.
All things considered, I could have put my hand through the exit hole and carried it that way. I could have hooked my finger through the empty eye socket, and done it that way, too. Ultimately, I hooked my fingers in the nostrils, and carried it off that way.
“That’s sick.” Shawn commented.
“Maybe, but it is the least messy way to do it.” I said as I hobbled over to meet him by the door.
We walked through the crumbling front doors. Marvin, Shirley, and Tracy were sitting with their backs against the bar, sipping clear liquid out of shot glasses. It looked suspiciously like Marvin’s “Dire Distillation”.
“Isn’t it a little early in the day for moonshine?” I asked.
“No.” Marvin replied. “Your head is dripping on the floor.”
I looked down. Indeed, it was.
“Sorry about that.”
“That’s okay.” Marvin dismissed it with a wave of his hand. “I’ll tell you one thing, though.”
“If there’s any lumber or something in that hardware store, you’re fucking repairing my door and walls for this.” The look on his face brooked no argument.
“Yes, sir.” What else was there to say?