Friday, November 5, 2010


Please click play for some mood music
"Bob Wills Boogie" by Bob Wills and The Playboys. It can be downloaded HERE.

Who knew where we were?

Me and Linky had a job in Philly, did the deed, and were on our way back to Chicago by way of Bumblefuck, America.

Shoulda known better than to let Linky drive but I had a little too much hooch in me so I leaned back in the seat as some cat named Bob Wills on the radio sang me to sleep.

A few hours later, I saw we were buried deep in West Virgina. Wills wasn't singing anymore. In fact, the gospel told me we weren't where we were supposed to be.

I rubbed the sand out of my eyes. "Why the fuck aren't we home?"

Linky stared and stumbled. "Shade, I just kept driving..."

" --- YOU JUST KEPT DRIVING. Didn't you see signs for Ohio?"

"Shade -- " he said pleading, "-- The trip down felt like a straight run."

"Straight run my prick, Linky!"

I calmed myself down before I shot the fucking moron. In my brain, all I heard was my wife wanting to know what happened to her stupid brother and me making up some half-assed story she'd see right through.

"Pull into the next flophouse. We'll start fresh in the morning." I said, staring at nothing out the window.

Minutes later, in the pitch black of the roadside night, we pulled into Roy's Motel Cafe and set up camp. At check-in, we found out there was no Roy but for an extra finske, Doogan behind the counter threw in a pint of Jim Beam on account of there being no liquor stores in town.

* * *
The next morning, I woke up to the room's blasting transitor with some yahoo named Spade Cooley crooning a tune. He was no Sinatra, but the guy wasn't bad.

In the corner of the room, Linky was shaving and said that he heard on the radio there was a county fair not five minutes away.

"Link, don't get any ideas. Do you realize how many diamonds we have to deliver? We don't need any distractions," I told him.

"Don't be a crumb-bum, Shade," he snapped. "If you had the sense of a billygoat, you'd win my sister a stuffed bear. I'm getting one for Ingrid."

I burped up some bourbon. I killed that bottle the second we got into the room and passed out in my clothes. Catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror, it was obvious. We looked like fucking criminals in the middle of America's apple pie and this fucker wants to stroll a county fair like we're on a goddamn date.

"Fine, Link..." I said. "Whatever. We'll win the girls a stuffed toy."

* * *
The fairgrounds were airy and open with all sorts of townfolk trickling in. I was hungover and the cotton candy and hot dog carts weren't doing me any favors.

Linky was like a kid at the candy store and found the amusement stands before the bulk of the children. This is what I was dealing with.

Twenty minutes and three dollars later, we had our stuffed animals. Linky had to settle for an alligator since I took the last teddy bear.

"Happy? Let's get the fuck outta here," I said, knowing it was going to be a chore.

It wasn't that easy. Some little dish at the stand wanted Linky to escort her onto the Ferris wheel because of her fear of heights.

As he bought their tickets, I grabbed his shoulder. "You ride this fucking Ferris wheel and we're outta here. I don't care if she wants to taste you in the back of her throat afterwards, we're gone. Got me?"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah..." was the last thing he said before I saw them. And they were staring at me and Linky like meat.

"What the fuck..." I whispered.
"Whatsa matter, boys?" the dish said. "Don't be scared. We'll be nice..."

My blood ran cold. "Linky?" I asked. "Got your gun on you?"

He shook his head. "It's in my bag." Always an idiot.

"But we ain't colored," he said to the dish who was just laughing.

I looked at her. "We don't have to be. We ain't white to them."

I pulled out my gun from the holster. "Run... "

The stuffed toys were history and by time we got to the entrance gate, a few of the sheets were getting off. Funny, it's hard to run in that ridiculous garb.

The gravel smoke was furious as the Buick dovetailed onto the highway.

Thirty miles out of town, I pulled over and told Linky to get out of the car. This time, I couldn't contain myself and worked him over pretty well.

"Get in that fucking back seat," I ordered. "And don't you say one goddamn word the whole rest of this trip." He was bloody and moaning but I didn't care. He'd live. Linky maybe had a broken nose, if that.

By the time we arrived in Chicago, I had no worries about what I was going to tell the little lady about her idiot brother. And why she doesn't have that stuffed bear...


  1. That was quite a surprise at the kkkounty fair. Excellent mood, era and scene setting as usual Anthony, and Linky & Shade are great names!

  2. I absolutely Love the voice in this Ant. You set the scene so well I felt like I was there.

    I don't care much for fairs and carnivals, but you made this one fun!

  3. Great story, great music, great video.

    Did get so frustrated with that Linky!

  4. Linky was ready for a beat-down. If you have a bunch o' diamonds to deliver, and you've already got lost once, you don't hit the fair. Shade did the right thing. Good story!

  5. I'm pale as an Irish ghost and I'm still never white enough for these folks, nor white enough to want to be. These two better hit the road quick...

    Typo: Second scene, second paragraph has an extra period nuzzling up against a comma.

  6. Love this one, Ant. These two are begging to be in a bigger piece, like a novel. :)

    I'd have roughed Linky up right, too. Don't. Go. To. That. Fair.

    Brilliant stuff!

  7. One wonders how he managed to be convinced to go to the fair by a man who accidentally drove him to West Virginia. I'd have given him a few thumps as a lesson myself. Great story.

  8. I knew as soon as I read "Bumblefuck, America" this was a keeper.. You set such a scene, anr Linky & Shade.. love those names.. you have a gift for these pieces and I look forward to them every week.. Excellente Sir Anthony!!

  9. Bumblefuck USA. These two shared a noggin between them. Loved the voice, and the adventure. WV isn't THAT bad, though ;^) Peace...

  10. Nice gangster story, Ant. These guys have great chemistry too. Cool pic with the clan guys on the ferris wheel. I liked the line "twenty minutes and three dollars later" Now days it would be the opposite I bet.

  11. Great read, I had a Humphrey Bogart voice in my head reading it, I don't know if that's what you had in mind, but it worked for me.

  12. THis was the best one yet Ant. Time for an Ant Anthology.

  13. Excellent all the way through. Love the guys. Love that you cut loose with the dialog. Not as stripped down as your usual style, dug the extra flavor. The ferris wheel photo at the end was priceless.

  14. Kuite Kaptivating Kharacters, Anthony.
    You made it all so believable.

  15. Excellent mood and descriptions - think you really captured the feel with the dialogue and the music. Great story from beginning to end.

  16. That was some sharp tongue there! Adventurous, and I loved the contrast with the stuffed animals and Linky and Shade's choice of actions, language, and liquor. Classy stuff, Ant!

  17. The usual Venutolo class, sharp prose and mood music. Great story, Anthony.

  18. Very... Nicee... Blog.. I really appreciate it... Thanks..:-)


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