Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"Coyote and the Witch" by Keith Harvey

I plan to post a long short story from my urban fantasy collection, entitled The Darker Age, in several parts over the next few days.


“The boy entered the bar at midnight alone.”

“How did he seem?”

“What do you mean?”

“Was he drunk or angry, happy or sad?”

The bartender sucked on his cigarette and blew a blue cloud of smoke into the air. His eyes were half shut and he looked gray from not enough sleep and too many cigarettes.

“He looked fresh.”

“What do you mean?”

“He had a tan and his long black hair glistened. He was healthy, you know, like he lived outdoors. He didn’t look like the average kid that comes into this place. He was sober. His eyes were clear and lucid. He knew what was going on. He was not like most of them, either drunk or stoned or wasted from one thing or another.”

“Who started the fight?”

“The French kid. He came on to the Spaniard. He kept rubbing his hands around on him and the Spaniard told him that he wasn’t interested and for him to leave him alone and then some of the others, regulars here, started in on the Spaniard.

“I was getting nervous at this point because these boys, the ones who come here every night, are dangerous. They carry knives and guns and they hurt one another. They may be fags but they can hurt you. Don’t ever underestimate their anger or their hostility.”

“Who threw the first punch?”

“Remy. He hit the new kid in the stomach and the kid looked shocked at being hit, like he had never been hit before.”

“Then what happened?”

“One of Remy’s mates kicked the Spaniard in the face as he bent forward from the blow to the stomach. The kick threw him back onto the bar and his face was covered with blood.”

“Did anyone else hit him at this point?”

“No, that’s when she showed up.”

“What did she look like?”

“She was in her thirties, slim and dark.”

“A black?”

“No, she had this great tan and she was wearing a black vest, with no bra, and tight black leather pants and boots, cowboy boots like they wear in Texas. You know, what I am saying?”

“Yes. So she walks in and Spaniard is leaning against the bar and she stands between him and these young boys?”

“Exactly. They tell her if she doesn’t move away from the boy, they will hurt her sexually.”

“What kind of sexual violence did they threaten?”

“Not rape, just things they are going to do her private parts. These kids are crude, man, really crude.”

“How does she respond to their threats?”

“She laughs at them and calls them little bastards.”

“What do they do then?”

“They go nuts and they start toward her and that is when the blood really starts to flow. She has a straight razor in her hand and she begins to start hacking and she doesn’t finish until half the bar is on the floor.”

“Where were you during this melee?”

“I am hiding behind the bar for most of it with my ears covered because I can’t take the screaming. And I am scared, really scared.”

“What happens when she stops?”

“She calls out to me and tells me to pour her a shot of tequila and then asks for a bar rag.”
“Do you do what she says?”

“Are you kidding me? Of course I do what she tells me.”

“Where is the kid?”

“He was standing next to her looking terrified.”

“Then what happens?”

“She drinks the shot, cleans the blood off her arm and hands and then she tells the kid to follow her and he does. At that point I call you but I already hear the sirens and I know that someone has called.”

“Leave your name and number with that female officer near the door.”

“Can I ask you how many she killed?”

The policeman rubbed his right eye and then said, "two dead and eight wounded. So far.”

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