AN EDDIE CROSSBONES THANKSGIVING
by BRADLEY MASON HAMLIN
with gravy & extra biscuits by the incomparably undead ...
If I told you it was a dark and stormy night would it make you mad? Snoopy would be whimpering in his doghouse under this kind of rain. Capital City is like that, calm and cool one moment, assaulted by invisible demons the next.
I wasn’t there for the weather. I was waiting for a downtown bookstore that only opens after midnight, but buying vintage words made of pulp seemed a bad idea in the downpour. Maybe I could slip into a late night monster movie at the theatre down the street.
Well, truth be told, this was my kind of climate. I could walk down the boulevard in the cliché of trench coat and slouch hat and not get tumbled by curious eyeballs. I mean, hey, living skeletons have feelings too.
The doors had just opened, with my luck, probably last show of the night, only a few brave movie lovers left in this part of town. They all quickly disappeared, melting into the watery haze except for one couple and their kid, a little girl. Some kind of argument by the car, wouldn’t start, so they started to walk …
Bad idea, but I suppose they didn’t want to hang around waiting for trouble. The man popped open an umbrella and the family headed north, uptown. They might be okay, I thought, not like people get molested for money and whatnot every evening.
I thought they might be all right until they entered the alley shortcut at 5th and Main. Idiots. I had seen this story. You’ve seen this story. Everybody’s seen this story.
Before they made it out the other side a man in a green golfing hat rose out of the darkness and blocked their way. A convenient flash of lighting illuminated the gun in the mugger’s hand. He waved the weapon at them and shouted while shaking his ugly face.
The father stepped in front of his wife and daughter – and two shots filled the alley with tremendous thunder. A slow motion drama took hold of reality as the body fell down to the dirty, muddy, bed of concrete death. A pool of blood swelled around the cadaver, splashing and splattering as giant tears fell from black clouds above.
I obscured my face as much as possible with my coat, scarf, and hat as I stepped up behind them. “You … all right?”
They looked at the smoking pistols in my gloved hands, then down at the dead guy on the ground, and when they stopped shaking the father said, “Thank you.”
THE SUPER THRILLING TALES OF EDDIE CROSSBONES THE LIVING SKELETON WILL CONTINUE ...
"An Eddie Crossbones Thanksgiving" by Bradley Mason Hamlin.
Art by Mort Todd.
Published November 22, 2011 by Mystery Island.
Copyright © 2011 by Mystery Island Publications. Edited by Lucy Hell. All rights reserved.
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