Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday's Shorts: Cousins? by Joseph DeRepentigny

Milton was a well-built young man with a slight tan throughout the winter; add in

his love of working out year round and you had a big man most people avoided angering.

Therefore, when he noticed two people staring at him as he walked down the sidewalk,

he glared at them until they turned away. By the forth time, he stepped up to the person

and shouted, “You got a problem?"

The man made a face and ran. Tripping at one point and then running into

somebody. Laughing he said, "That's more like it." He then looked at the slip of paper in

his hand. The address was across the street. Whistling he crossed the street flipping off

any cars that blew their horns at him.

The address was a storefront with soaped windows and door that was ajar. This

was nothing new to him. His business called for anonymity. Pulling the door open, he

slipped inside the dimly lit store. The place was a mess. Boxes and crates lay on the floor

tumbled from stacks that lined the two walls. Stepping over the boxes he made his way

to the back where a man of about 5 feet in height on a box reading a newspaper. Milton

knew this was a Tcho-Tcho, an abhorrent off shoot of the human animal.

He looked up and smiled with pointed teeth, "You lost?"

He shook his head, "You're expecting me."

"Who are you?"

"Milton," he smiled.

The little man jumped off the box and headed into the darkness. A minute later he

came back with the newspaper rolled in his hand, "Master says you give first."

Milton pulled a small leather pouch out of his pocket. Letting it hang from his

fingers by the rawhide laces he looked at the Tcho-Tcho waiting for it to take the item.

Instead, a second one appeared out of the shadows and grabbed the pouch.

Milton smiled. He knew there was no such thing as one Tcho-Tcho. Looking

around he saw a dozen more crawling among the boxes.

"You him," the one on the box said holding the paper up. On the front page was a

man wanted for going on cop killing spree.

"No," Milton laughed. "But we could be cousins."

A minute later a Tcho-Tcho came back with a box. He said something to the one

who sat on the box with the newspaper. The language was that confusing tongue they

spoke. After a short conversation, the sitting one smiled his toothy smile. Milton knew

that people were cannibals and could render a live man down to bones and fillings in a

matter of minutes. Feeling on his hip, he massaged the pistol in his pocket out of a need

for security.

“Master says you take box,” the sitting one said calmly. “Good business!”

Milton took the box and left quickly. Once outside he let out a sigh of relief. What

the items in the pouch were, was unknown to him, but he had a feeling they weren’t what

the master wanted.

Looking to the left, he saw two cops talking to a driver. They looked his way

and one shouted “Freeze!” Instinct took over and he pulled his gun but before he could

fire, several round hit him in the chest and he fell dead to the ground. The box he carried

broke open revealing sawdust as the contents.

In a window above the storefront an old man in a Hawaiian shirt looked out and

then looked at the coins in his hands, “Gold doubloons , worthless gold coins!” He tossed

them on the floor.

A nearby Tcho-Tcho grabbed the coins and asked, “We have?”

“You have.”


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