Beau Johnson

by Horror Sleaze Trash on May 13, 2017

Beau Johnson has been published before, usually on the darker side of town. Such places might include Out Of The Gutter Online, Shotgun Honey, Spelk Fiction, and this place right here, Horror Sleaze Trash. Coming August 2017, a collection of Beau’s shorts will be released by Down and Out Books.

 


 

 

A LESS THAN SEASONAL FALL

 

“Since I’ve retired you are the third person to attempt this.  I want you to know that.  It means you are not as special as you think you are.”  I watch his head cock slightly upwards as I say this, towards the chandelier above. 

The images I have of him are multiple, from various angles and depths.  He’s even gone so far as to add a matching balaclava to his ensemble—one I myself had used many times before.   Intent, I lean forward and await his next move.  They usually take a few minutes doing this, trying their best to pinpoint the speakers and the cameras without drawing attention to what they’re actually looking for.  This one’s a bit different though, his one hand slowly effecting a crank as the other begins to salute.  Makes me smile is what this does—the action performed by a man after my own heart to be sure.

            I’m probably more on the nose with this than I should be, but hey, you don’t get to see the bottom side of fifty in this particular profession without being able to envision all the sides an angle might represent.  It’s how one kept oneself from being ventilated.  Or run from a business which will always be less than kind.

            Along with his finger, he goes one step better and removes his mask.  I like this move.  Actually, I can’t help but admire it.  His mug, however, would win him no medals.  Not unless the judges in question were gone and made blind.

            “You going to make me come find you, old man?”  Bravado.  Love it.  Reminded me of me, back in the day.

            He removes his gloves next, slides his hands through his matted hair and pulls it to the side.  I don’t answer, not yet, as I’ve found it best to let them stew.  More fun that way.  Not that my life had been boring since giving up the day job.  Far from it.  This here, Dude #3, he’s just a by-product of what men like me create.  I have become a prize is what this means, a notch upon a very particular belt.

            Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

            Not if you possess the skill required.

            I slide forward, lean more, and wrap my hand around the mic.  “Better men have tried this.  Again, it means you are no more special than the next.  You think I am an Emperor.  I know you do.  You believe I have no clothes.”  Did he even know to what I refer?  Did it matter?  Not really.  I had come to enjoy this little game is all.  As I’ve said: three times in as many years since giving up the gun.  Since realizing someone had been talking, my goal has been to find out who and purolate certain bits of these guys back as a response.  This had yet to happen, not as I’d like, so the garden out back continues to hold its color even though we are this far into a less than seasonal fall.

            “Funny you should bring such a thing up,” Mr. Matted Hair says, and poof, just like that, the game has changed. 

He continues forward, his right hand sliding along the wood panelling as if he and it were in love.  Was it his tone, then?  The subtle uptick to his posture?  Neither and both, I think.  Too late, my stomach wakes me to the error of my ways.  Too late, it registers the change of pressure in the room.  Too late, I feel the lip of irony touch the back of my head as I have touched so many before.

            “Some of the guys, they believed you were alive.”  It’s not the man behind me who speaks, but the man on the screens before me.  He’s cockier now, his arms outstretched and walking oh so slow towards the camera on his six.  “Once they did, I believe they tried what me and Frankie here are attempting to now.  Unlike them, we wanted to be heard from again.  So unlike them, we thought to try this in pairs.”

            Not to be outdone, Frankie chimes in, the smile I never see as tight as the words it helps create.  “Might mean it’s you who isn’t as special as they think they are.”

To be fair, I liked retirement.  I really, really did.

           

 

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