by Paul Heatley
After a few drinks, someone in the clubhouse will always bring up Bo. They wax nostalgic about him, about the good-ol’-days. Inevitably, they wonder where he’s gone.
No one knows.
Most suspect he’s dead.
A few think, romantically, he rode off into the sunset, never to be seen again.
I know he’s dead.
I killed him.
When they tell the stories, they talk about the kegs of beer he downed, about the fistfights.
They don’t mention Donna Sanchez.
They don’t know about Donna Sanchez.
She got pregnant by Bo. He didn’t take the news well. Thought she’d done it on purpose, thought she was disrespecting him, thought she was demanding money. We were in a bar. She’d been all over town, trying to find him. He played it cool in front of witnesses. Invited her back to his place to talk it through, told me to go and get the truck. They were sitting in the back while I drove. Soon as we were on the road, his mood changed.
He started hitting her.
I told him to stop, told him only punks hit women.
He didn’t hear, or didn’t listen.
She screamed. I was shouting. He growled.
He kept hitting her. I thought he’d stop, thought he’d tire or realise she’d had enough, but he kept going until she wasn’t screaming anymore, or trying to defend herself. He told me to head to the desert.
When we got there, he dragged Donna from the truck by her hair. She was limp. Her face was gone, just a red mess with bits of tooth protruding from places they shouldn’t have been.
We dug a hole.
“You’re real quiet,” he said.
He grinned at me.
The patch protected him. The patch made us brothers, meant I’d say nothing, meant I’d seen nothing. Meant I’d provide any alibi he needed.
“Let me guess,” he said. “Your daddy beat your mom. That’s why you ain’t sayin anythin. All them memories. Got you worked up. Well, relax about it, kid. Ain’t none of us that didn’t see our daddies raise their hands.”
“I didn’t know my folks.”
“Didn’t know them?”
“Car crash. I was two. Sister raised me.”
“Sure. Her husband, boyfriend, whatever, he used to lay a beating on her from time to time, right?”
“No. She wouldn’t’ve let them. She doesn’t take any shit.”
He took a piss next to the open grave. I pulled my Bowie knife and stuck his kidneys, then turned him round and looked him in the eye while I gutted him.
I dug him a separate grave, away from Donna Sanchez. She didn’t deserve to have him on top of her while she was living, I couldn’t make her suffer it in death.
So when they talk about Bo in the clubhouse, I keep my mouth shut.
Nobody knows my Bo story.
And if there were other women he beat, those are the stories they never tell.
Paul Heatley’s stories have appeared online and in print for a variety of publications including Thuglit, Fried Chicken and Coffee, Horror Sleaze Trash, HandJob, and Crime Syndicate, among others. He is the author of six novellas, available from Amazon for Kindle. His new novella, An Eye For An Eye, is published by Near to the Knuckle. He lives in the north east of England.