Mike W McCoy
<>1<> A hard pursuit.
The speaker flashes a slim grin on the sidestroke of the swinging antique blade. The half-naked slum-dog crumples completely with only a choked-out moaning sound gurgling from his new
mouth. Child sized hands fumble blindly trying to stop the crimson shower.
Once knelt beside the slowly spreading blood pool seeping into the earthquake damaged asphalt parking lot, the killer’s narrow eyes focus not on the dying, but on the shadows slipping free from the
surrounding midnight gloom of downtown Los Angeles.
He listens intensely to the background Soundtrack now stuttering sideways across the failed Foreign Financial District. Weird notes and odd looking drones drift down alongside the old
Freeway, a near-distant barking dog bites from the left, but it’s the distinct car crunched closing door that makes this executioner smile.
After sliding sideways smoothly to the next row over, a dented delivery van, still swaying from Night Moves, pulls his eye. The professional personality inside assures an approach of staying
slow with low leaning left to the back bumper.
Parking lot reflections rube off the latest crop of abandoned vehicles and show slightly slipped circular side-realities showcasing small details that twist his flesh and smear the ink. But
the character core-concept comes concrete and correct, a grim Reaper.
Sexy dark denim over polished steel capped Biker Boots, a left side ceramic kneepad, an empty deep scabbard strapped to the right calf, a bright black nylon windbreaker over a wife-beater
T-shirt, several strings of glittery gold chain, and a blank black baseball cap pulled snug over his balding tattooed dome completes the costume.
Just before tentatively touching the van, SWAMPT!
The sudden violent swing of the backdoor bangs bone bruising hard, and spins the bygone blade free! The stunned self-made solider stumbles backwards, intense pain coloring his cussing,
while on the same time-stamp, a shirtless thickly tattooed Filipino mini-hulk bounds out from the vehicle. The light skin assassin’s eyes twitch with excitement as he brandishes a massive
Screaming something in trash talking Tagalog; while the machete sized banana shaped blade dances dangerously close, a battlefield is defined between them. Ignoring his own fallen blade,
the Mexican tisk tisks the effort and assumes a defensive stance.
“Ao, your move. I ain’t got all night.”
Despite being of a tall medium shouldered build and possessing only singularly unremarkable racial features, there is a palpable vibe of maleficent menace radiated from the retirement age Mexican’s
dark eyes, especially when they smile.
“C’mon you pussy.”
The taunting teeters the grotesquely over-muscled Oriental assassin into immediately whip cracking the kukri underhanded. Dodging both back and beyond, avoids a seriously sharp shave, but it
still splits his hat.
Hiding behind an appreciating chuckle, the killer fakes lefts and rights, then whips a violently vicious snap kick into Mini-hulk’s leading shin. The staggering solid steel shod boot, slows
the return swing, but it too somehow shreds a strip of windbreaker.
The old man’s face changes, but not the eyes.The vowels stretch and scratch the Soundtrack. “I see some skill. Good training, fast arm, but not enough. I say.”
“Ha, ha, you funny,” slashing single swings on each word, keeping the game fresh. “Old man, you double-plus slow. I say.”
“Ao, punk,” acknowledging the player’s acceptance of the challenge.
“I’m gon’na break your arm before I kill you.”
“Big words.” The short Filipino slows a second, stops, then squeaks out with a manic cocaine 2nd-hit edge on the tones.
“B-big words from dead man. No matter this hand. End game is you die.”
“How so?” stopping as well on a casual and corporate tone.
“Babi Aura say make that Dark One third strike dead!” the kukri swings swift S-swishes. “That you Reaper.”
“Babi Aura? Where is she?”
“She ‘round,” tapping the blade against the thumb sized metal box stapled to his skull. “She always ‘round.”
“Contract or personal? What say?” no smile, or even a hint of one.
“Big Contract,” the blade stabs words, “to make you dead.”
The swing show starts short and sweet with dancing elbows and flying feet, which circles them towards more empty cars, no blood, but bruises of pride and flesh color the commentary.
The hand behind blade patty-cake ends abruptly as the old fighter dashes to a windowless two-day-dead stripped four door electric sedan. Freeway traffic starts to volume up behind his deep
voice which stays calm and confident, almost disarming, almost.
“I’ve been dead before you know,” focusing on the Filipino who limps fitfully forward, favoring his fractured leg.
“No wait,” warding off mosquitos. “Twice before.”
“You make no difference no more executioner,” a sideways stroke striking kneepad. “You no double-stop the work order.”
“You really think that?” a huff on the end.
“They say New Player moving tonight. Big insurance policy play, you bet.”
“Just tell me,” deflecting a stab and fronting a sweep to the crippled limb. “Do you know the Why of it?”
Both men slow to a near standstill, stalking each other with their eyes while the Freeway sounds punish them.
“Babi Aura already traded you away,” ignoring the Mexican’s question. “I say true, Reaper. I say,” with a pivot to the weak side.
“You Babi Aura’s marker on table. Double-plus bad, all alone, no crew, yo-”
“Talking about yourself.”
“I say not,” but the flash of happy-evil behind the dark eyes makes the knife man flinch.
“Babi Aura’s playing all hands tonight,” suicidal bravado steps sharp swinging the boomerang size blade. “They say Red Top Yakuza got sure thing going.”
“Red Top Yakuza? Who’s that?” the Mexican grunts, then holds position while the L.A. night fades the Freeway traffic, and the whimpering dog’s bark begs to take its place.
“Big Boss Lord Akira, his son. Tetsu’s top secret not secret no more.”
“Tetsu? Wait, he’s that retarded Tarashima kid?”
“Not now,” blurting the words. “Murder madness.”
“How you know?”
The Oriental thrusts a tight practiced pattern under the words. “Babi Aura on all junior’s boyfriends. Now new Red Top crew coming for me.”
“Enough,” jolting the rhythm of the Mini-hulk, who responds with an awkward combo move.
“Now that was funny,” the first man scoffs seeing the weak return.
They shift to a series of grunts, thrusts, and deflections that dominate the audio for what feels like minutes, but is actually less than half of one. Then as if sensing the end, more dogs
swiftly join the background noise, forwarding the fighting rhythm faster and faster.
“Ao, on your knees,” the unarmed Mexican martial art master tries again. “I promise, I’ll let you live.”
Ignoring him, the knife hand lashes out, but overreaches. Reflexively securing a vice tight wristlock behind the kukri, the executioner drops with a practiced twist that breaks the Filipino’s
arm in two places.
Cries of pain suffocate suddenly short as his Hate immediately stomps the wounded man’s throat into a bloody pulp that barely keeps the head connected to the torso.
“Told you I would break that arm,” spit with each step.
The Reaper’s breathing finally calms during a steady scan of the set, and soon his eyes express confidence that no one is concerned with another double murder, except that now barely barking dog.
After the reclaimed weapon thrusts into the scabbard with a sound of ripping flesh, and a quick march to the coal colored Cadillac, he immediately infiltrates inside and angles awkwardly across the
The dash brakes before the lock gives, but the crooked gap is enough to find the edge of the plastic evidence bag. The one containing the severed finger.
<>2<> Flexing fools.
Forty minutes later and fourteen miles closer, at the walled border of Little Tokyo Two, the malicious murdering Mexican takes a knee to pray. The night sky seems smaller here above the
powerful glow of the armed high-tech territory. His hands reach towards towering oblique angles of glass and steel, rising like sixty story trees, which now reflect a nocturnal washed-out
color pallet helping him to spot the Oriental duo emerge from the shadows.
Vagrants or sad salary men with hands held palm up and empty? No, these sentries openly clutch traditional shaped Tanto blades shimmering as sharp silver silhouettes against their shiny
symmetrical stylish silk suits.
The veteran executioner stops short, begins turning away, then spots the third man he had somehow missed, closing from the rear flank.
“Of course,” smiling at the cosmic coincidence.“Um, gentlemen must we do this?”
“Humph,” and so on, all three grunt.
“Just let me inside,” a disarming smile. “Please.”
Under-breath Japanese insults echo a circle or two and smudge the Mexican’s happy look, leaving him with one of frustration at amateurs.
“Ao then,” holding his arms wide. “Who dies first?”
“Oh yeah, that’s him,” the closest Japanese street solider starts. “I remember that voice.”
“So this is Chavezstro’s number one Reaper?” the farthest asks with obvious feminized flourish. “He smells like a number two.”
“Well, well Mr. Cajeda,” getting an eye twitch glint at his name.
“I do love the whole mad dog look. Muy macho,” Closest continues queerly effeminate.
“Well, I could just never,” Farthest flames and drifts along at an intercept, while the third threat appears to hold position.
“Shame really,” Closest continues cooing, slanting his surgical sharp blade seductively.
“Will you be coming with us alive or dead?”
The natural born killer inside holds the quickest way to trump a blade is with a gun, something he does not use, so self-recrimination flashes across his eyes, and confuses the young toughs.
“Hey d‘rough guy,” Closest snaps, swinging his blade. “Chose now.”
Decades of experience instantly idents these fashion-forward faggots as barely out of their teens trying to flash in a threatening manner, so his words smile slowly.
“I’ll try dead again.”
The Closest Japanese cutie lunges fast and fancy, but somehow a faint Jedi feeling sees another practiced distraction, a trick. The executioner instead confronts Farthest, the second
pimped-out punk. This one is rounder than the first, squints shyly, and shakes a poison dipped blade.
The career criminal’s constant training blocks the Tanto thrust with one hand while the other lashes face forwards fast. It’s a solid blow, staggering the GQ-gangster, but it fails to drop,
so a second lightning quick jab upside the jaw is needed to put him on the concrete.
The commotion convinces the first Sentry it’s safe to charge, so he begins pitting his own blade against the old man’s calloused empty hands. The kid isn’t bad, slashing with moves that could
split a face or throat, but the polished professional personality inside the Reaper can smell that this thug has never killed anyone, except maybe cowards or pussies.
A dozen heartbeats later, he sidesteps into a full power kick against Closet’s groin. Balls bleed, GQ-page-2 collapses to all fours. The old Mexican instinctively puts the dropped
knife through the Oriental’s gasping throat.
The Reaper’s six since feels more than sees the suicidal sharp silver sliver of steel the last Sentry stabs at his back. Reacting with a short series of spin kicks moves booth players
towards the crumbling sun-stained asphalt, and once there, the Now resets, and Side Realities slip .
They quickly grapple hand to hand, chest to chest, each holding the attack back. Neither dares to lose the deal first, so they battle a waltz of strength and leverage, no words, just grunts,
growls and grimaces competing against shuffling shoes and slapping skin. Then without warning both men break, opening a clear space between them.
Cajeda starts with an exasperated tone. “Ao, we danced a little. Honor is intact, you can stop now.”
The young gangster flexes his ego, screams a Japanese curse and thrusts. The talent is telegraphed, Experience reacts without thought, a sideways low swoop draws the enraged Oriental off
tilt. A follow up hip block and knock-down results in a Royal Roundhouse kick to the head.
“You stupid ignorant fool.”
Cajeda stands still and slowly scoffs each sour tasting word. “Red Top Reliable Insurance Services.”
The office foyer is four cement walls, two scuffed solid steel double doors inscribed by a large lavish logo, two steel chairs, and two top heavy Japanese big boys in cheap suits.
The bigger bruiser in blue blurts first. “Who are you?”
The mauler in mauve flexes forward. “What do you want?”
“I need the boss,” the tone somewhat angry.
“No boss here.”
“Are you sure?” the Mexican’s fingers offer gold chains. “No strings.”
Both big boys stand and blurt in unison. “I said get lost.”
“Well trained dogs,” sarcastically spoken with a sparkle in his eye. “I’ve been delt into this killing game, against my will, by this Red Top character.”
The disarming speech makes the boldest bully hesitate, “I’m here calling his hand.”
The big muscled brute fumbles on the draw, the crimson kissed Mexican crashes hard, taking them both down. The Japanese street solider clutches at both arms, tumbles like a mannequin, and
slams hard against the thin carpet.
Cajeda struggles, clawing the heavier man’s face, who’s left arm and torso hold him down. Then just as the Yakuza yanks his knife free he transforms into a writhing soon-to-be corpse.
The hard muscled pro rolls off the screaming man, assumes a sprinters ready stance, and listens to the Japanese bruiser fumble behind a face full of flowing blood.
The second thug eyes his brother Yakuza drop, and hears the howls of pain, but all he can focus on are the remains of eyeballs still suck on the Reaper’s hand. The mauler tries turning away,
but he doesn’t have that kind of speed.
The blade blow spins him like a novice dancer trying out a pirouette, lurching and collapsing midway through the tilted swirl. The young man’s death is not immediate, but based on the spilled
insides pooling on the floor, it will be soon.
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