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Short story: <i>Billy's Girl</i>



Weasel stood at the bar. His nose pointed to a mean tip like the end of a switchblade, and his eyes had a natural narrowness about them like he had a perpetual cigarette jammed in his mouth and the smoke kept smarting at his eyes.

His chin dripped down into his neck like wax and the little goatee and the pencil sliver of a mustache didn’t help that face one bit. One of his ears had been lopped off half way, leaving just the lobe and the beginning of some cartilage. It had been stitched up, but the stitchman had failed medschool on account of too much mesculin and not enough time down from the clouds and so the ear looked as thought, after it was sliced, a six year old with a darning needle had practiced unruly blanket stitch on the edges, and stuck some flourishes around the lobe for effect.

Weasel didn’t mind. Danny always had something for the pain and Weasel thought that his missing ear gave him a mystique with the ladies. He always kept his hair greased back to expose the ear to full effect.

Weasel’s elegant fingers smoothed the wood of the bar down absently as he jutted out a hip and stared round. He made sure his staring had a certain sneer and a certain bored world-weariness to it. He didn’t want to be caught staring as though he’d never been in a place like this before, no sir-ee. He wanted to make out like he’d been BORN in a place like this, hadn’t never left places like this, and was just casually hanging out here in his natural habitat like a coyote next to a desert watering hole. Or like a party of hicks at Des’s Bar, where he was the head hick, the hick with the shiniest gold tooth and the most narrowed eyes and the biggest knife and the meanest spurs and the most well oiled antique pistol that scared the crap out of the nastiest cowboy who came within spitting distance, let alone point-blank range. Weasel thought about all this and relaxed. Even at this party, he still had the shiniest gold tooth and the biggest knife and the meanest spurs. None of these idiots with their fancy outfits and their fancy drinks and their gushing descriptors like “Oh, darling, that diamond is breathtaking!” and “Isn’t it heavenly? I gave Conzuela the recipe myself, my grandmothers you know, and then the caterers...”

There was arm clutching and squawking and women in big silk dresses and little tight sheaths and long spiky heels clutching at huge stemmed glasses with vicious red mouths like harpy vampires out for a feed. The men were suited and booted and the pencil thin mustaches were nothing on Weasel’s. Weasel smoothed at his mustache thoughtfully as he looked around again. He knew what he was looking for, and so far he hadn’t seen it. But he would, if he was patient enough, waited long enough, and he kept a look out using his narrow eyes. He folded himself down onto the barstool.

A flash of blue silk caught his eye. At first, he thought he’d just imagined it—he knew what happened if you looked for something for too long, you just saw it everywhere—so he looked away quick and then turned back slowly. A flash of dark hair, laughing eyes, and then gone again, swallowed by the crowd.

It was her. He was sure. And this time, he was going to do it right.

Weasel slipped out of the barstool and rested his hand lightly on his hip, where the biggest knife sat. This time, he was going to get Billy’s girl.

This is the result of a thirty minute writing exercise. The only constrictions were the time limit and five randomly selected words from the dictionary. Today the words were: breathtaking, point-blank, weasel, heavenly, and party

Image courtesy of D.L..

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