No Room in Heaven

Smokin Aces. Hollis&Darwin. R. ~900 words.

A testament to how bad the shitstorm went down, Hollis cruises the Supremacistmobile through the crowd without a lick of trouble.

No Room in Heaven

A testament to how bad the shitstorm went down, Hollis cruises the Supremacistmobile through the crowd without a lick of trouble. No one strains their necks to look twice. There’s not so much as a glance spared for him, or for his passenger sluggishly leaking red blood all over the filthy back seat.

“Comfy there?” Hollis glances in the rearview, catches a glimpse at busted upholstery and empty junk food wrappers crammed in every available space, or, going by the ragged knife-edge cuts, spaces made available for them.

The slump and answering gurgle he imagines to mean yes.

Hollis could have left the asshole for dead–tit for tat, eye for an eye–hot blood curdling on rooftop pavement. Could have. Hollis’s eyes narrow as he takes a drag from the joint he’d found on the dash. Should have.

Story of his life.


A splash sounds behind the bathroom door, then: “What the shit?”

“Guess he’s awake,” Hollis says, mostly for his own benefit since he’s the only one in the room. The television buzzes as Pat Sajak spins the wheel. Clack-clack-clack. Bonus round.

Behind another door, Warren screams bloody murder. The handle rattles and the locks on the exterior strain. There’s silence for a few, blissful seconds before the hollow wooden thwack of nunchunks on particle board starts up again.

“I’ll take an R,” Hollis mouths, echoing the excitable housewife on the tube.

There’s more splashing, some cursing, and then Margie-my-son-has-some-clarity-issues is playfully chastising her latest patient for having a foul mouth and threatening to use soap. Tremor starts screaming. A second later comes the awful tink of a bullet landing in a steel basin.

“Shush, dear. Three or four to go and then you’ll be right as rain.”

Hollis leaves the familiar envelope he’d found in the Barracuda’s dash on the kitchen table. He stands up and struggles to tug his sweatshirt down.

Tremor howls like the devil himself has come to collect his soul and take him down to meet old Adolf. Warren’s voice rises to meet it in pitch, and wins out on fury and sheer crazy. In the riot of noise, Hollis almost makes it to the front door.

“Jesus fucking Christ,” he mutters, and turns around. He shuffles back to his seat, gathers up the envelope, and stuffs it back into the elastic of his pants.

If Tremor makes it through Margie’s patch-up job, Hollis can’t leave him here. Old Bill might have left another gun or two in the hopes that someone would off his psychotic monkey of a grandson.

“Pick F,” Hollis tells the housewife, but with S and T nixed, she goes for an N.

Some people are so predictable it causes him physical pain.


Beneath two days worth of beard, Tremor’s–call me Darwin, darlin’–cheeks are drawn and pale. He’s a little shaky just sitting upright, and he holds his fork with his fist, but Hollis assumes he’d hold his silverware like a shovel even if he wasn’t sutured up and purple with bruises.

“Just like momma used to make,” Darwin says. Scrambled eggs peek out half-chewed from behind his teeth.

“Aren’t you the sweetest,” Margie coos.

Darwin’s smile grows. He shovels a little faster, and accepts a big plastic cup of orange juice with a hearty, “Thank you, ma’am.”

Hollis fights a migraine and flexes his remaining fingers. He likes to think he’s more sane than anyone else in the house, but he’s still in the house, and that doesn’t say much in his defense.


“So where we headed?” If Darwin thinks Hollis has plans to drive him somewhere and shoot him all over again, he doesn’t show it. He does however wince a little when rolling the window down and stretching his arm up to rest it on the door.

“Honestly?” Hollis pulls out of the gravel parking lot of Lakey’s Souvenir Shoppe at a crawl. “I have no idea.”

“I got some family ’bout two hundred miles north,” Darwin says. He half-groans, half-sighs as he stretches his long legs out under the dash. “Y’ain’t a dirty kike, are ya?”

Hollis picks left. North, as it turns out.

“Cock-hungry faggot?”

The engine coughs and the ride smooths out right as they hit sixty.

“I hear Hawaii’s nice. Sandy beaches. Girls with great big titties.”

“Can’t drive to Hawaii,” Hollis says, which is probably the first thing he’s said to Darwin since pulling him out of the car and dumping him on Margie’s doorstep.

“Aw, now, sins you can repent, but God’s got no room in Heaven for quitters.”



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