Bartleby and the Grigio
"Bartleby? Who in the hell names their child Bartleby?" A swindled stall of
ignorance; as if my word transcribed law. As if my word hinders his actions.
Whatever, it's all circumstantial. I need to change tactics. Something less
instinctual. Maybe more offensive, something better. I can do better.
"The sweat, is it fear? No, no there's no trembling to play
the theory." Mind games, showmanship; he's feeding his ego. I will let him.
“Maybe impatience fevers your body? Waiting for the inevitable will consume
such virtues. No, this does not work for one such as you. It is far simpler
than I could have imagined. It is your pride. You hide your emotions, yet
your body betrays you." It does not betray me. All is in accordance. All is
at my tempo. All is well. "The rest of your body says everything your lips
will not, and this will be the end of you." A smile, blatant, slashed across
his face like a fatal knife wound. That's a little dark, but accurate. He
played his trump. He played it overtly and quickly. And worst of all he
played it first. Such a horrible mistake.
“Hmpf,” My turn. “You fuck. You tryn’ ta mind fuck me?”
His speech is so proper, almost poetic. The use of vulgarity and slang to
someone with such class will do nothing but show disrespect.
Theory: Disrespect will convert to an irrational
Proof: History of humanity.
Such illogical backlash could fall in my favor. Or it
might not. “You piece a shit! Ya got me tied up here for some shit I know,
and you actin’ like I’m gonna give it to ya? You gonna kill me anyway
muthafucker. So FUCK you.” I spit at him. I miss, intentionally, of course.
Verbal impertinence is the best way to feed his ego. Anything physical might
set him off. I can’t chance it. I’m only four braids through the knot. Well,
four and a half. But it won’t mean a damn thing if I screw it up. This can’t
“Such language, how trifling.” It failed. Not too
surprising, but somewhat disappointing. What now? Will he reach for the
.357? No, he passed the holster towards his jacket. Five Braids.
His Jacket? What mysterious wonders could be waiting for me in there? Maybe
cigarettes? No, his fingers aren’t yellowed by the tobacco and he doesn’t
look like he uses a fag. A cell phone could be the culprit. No, such an
amateur move would disclose our position. Neither of us are this stupid.
Horror, a 9mm silenced pistol evacuated from the suit. Looks like a Bottega
Veneta, the suit not the gun. 6 braids. Inconceivable. Correction, logical.
One for show; one for work.
9mm: light weight, light recoil, affordable, reliable. Silencer is a
definite plus. Muffled gun shot plus gunshot residue will not match up with
.357 magnum: scary, intimidating, powerful, penis replacement.
A stare of stone glazes over his eyes and a monotonous voice issues a single
command. “Speak your peace.” A click of the hammer soon follows. Of all the
things I could’ve said these two words escaped my breath.
“It works.” His mouth drops and eyes turn to despair. The gun wavers. It
wavers only slightly. Seven braids.
Break the right wrist and juke right. The gun goes off like a broken
whistle. Grab his cowboy killer and punch to the upper lip. Large cluster
of nerves will cause a slight shock, one second, maybe. It’s more than
enough time to grab his Beretta. Both hammers pulled back, both barrels
pointed with a purpose. A fire in my eyes and hatred under my breath, I
tremble with power. A sort of “Prince and Pauper” except one dies. And one
will die. It’s inevitable.
“How opportunistic of you.” A half smile seems to claim two notions of
surprise and defeat. “And where is it we go from here? I am no beggar and I
am no liar. If you let live, I will hunt you. I will find you and kill you.
Your death will be sweet on the lips.” The smile broadens. It is surprising
as if the thought of sparing him had crossed my mind. Touché Bartleby, your
blunt subtlety slips in the doubt. It grows into paranoia and will lead to
my or your assured destruction; more than likely the former. I nipped it in
the bud. And have wasted time doing so.
“What should I do with you? Obviously I will kill you. I will kill you.”
It’s reiterated for an understood point. At least it’s understood on my end.
“Was it all a lie, a deception? Were the words empty and abided no
substance? If there is truth, tell me.” Is it delay from the
inevitable? No, we are in hell. This place is devoid of hope. All that is
left is the truth. And he can have it.
“Yeah, it’s all true. It’s proven and they all exist. In each choice creates
a new one and to infinity.” A silence, calming and a bit disturbed. The gun
raises silently, the cowboy killer. I need to see him dead. “I’ll give you
the same courtesy.” I check the safety. “Speak your peace.”
His mouth opens and the tongue hits the tip of his incisor, He stalls for a
half second then says his last words. “Gray, it doesn’t matter.”
I left content. Not in the fact that I had my life, in such that truer words
were never spoken.
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Philip Bateman.
Published on e-Stories.org on 07/14/2010.