Just a Small Piece of You By Keith Rawson

“Fuck, Jerry, I’m bleeding to death. I feel like I’m going to pass out, man. You gotta get me to a doctor.” Nate’s voice was barely above a whisper, and he’d been saying the same god damn thing for the last half hour, and it was starting to drive Jerry up the wall. But that was Nate; he was a little OCD, and when he got stuck on an idea you couldn’t shut him up about it. It was a quirk of Nate’s he’d learned to accept. When you love some one as much as Jerry loved Nate, you learned to put up with a lot.

“Nate, if you keep interrupting, I’m never going to finish what I’m doing. And if I don’t finish what I’m doing first you can forget about the doctor, okay. So for the last time: SHUT! THE! FUCK! UP!”

Jerry knew he shouldn’t be yelling. His anger was something he needed to work on. His anger was not a quirk, it was not something Nate could not learn to cherish. He figured it was his temper that was causing Nate to spend so much time with Frank.

Frank, of all fucking people! The guy looked like Ron Jeremy for God sakes! Nothing but round bulges and thick dark body hair covering every inch of him.

They were in the kitchen together when Jerry got home from his shift, pretending to drink coffee, laughing like a couple of monkeys flinging shit at each other until Jerry walked through the door and suddenly the laughter was gone, their faces somber.

“Hey, Jerry, what’s going on?” Frank asked. Frank had been spending a lot of time over at their place the past couple of weeks, watching their TV, eating their food, drinking their coffee, and it was really starting to piss him off.

“Hey, Frank, get a job yet?” Frank chuckled his hedge hog laugh at that one. Frank called himself a “freelance” graphic artist, to Jerry that translated as Bum. Jerry side stepped around where Frank was sitting and grabbed a beer from the fridge; two left, there was a six pack in there when he went to work today, he’d counted and now there were only two.

“Jerry, we need to talk, man.” That was Nate’s bad news voice, he’d heard him use it a half dozen times when he was breaking things off with girlfriend’s over the last two years they’d been living with each other, and now he was using it with him. “Sit down, dude.”

“Naw, I think I’ll stay right where I’m at.” Jerry said, folding his arms across his chest.

“Well, dude, me and Frank have been talking the past few weeks, and we were thinking, well, that it might be a good idea . . . we thought it would be a good idea that maybe we move into together.”

“No, no way, Nate. There’s no way I’m living with Frank.”

“Well, dude. . ." Jerry’s voice trailed off and Frank finished his sentence for him.“You’re not invited, Jerry,” Frank said, his voice hard. “Because I don’t want to live with your weird ass either and neither does Nate.”

Nate didn’t say a word, he stared at the filthy linoleum, shuffling his feet and Frank stared up at Jerry defiantly, his face unyielding stone.

Jerry was starting to tear up, he wanted to break down in snotty, blubbering sobs, fall to his knees and beg Nate not to leave.

Instead he pulled his service piece and turned Frank’s face into a gaping, smoldering hole. Nate looked as if he was about to jump out of his skin. Frank should’ve known better than to get mouthy with a cop who was still carrying after coming home from the job.

Jerry took three long strides to where Nate stood in a puddle of his own piss, Jerry’s gun sighted unwavering down on Nate’s full mouth. It would be all so easy. The glock’s trigger was smooth and loose, and when it was in his hand separating the slug from the brass was as natural as punching a man. But he could never shoot Nate, ever.

He swung the butt down hard on the top of Nate’s skull.

It was all over now, Nate would be gone, he’d be in jail for killing Frank It wasn’t like he was in love with Nate; there wasn’t a chance in Hell Jerry was gay, it was just that Nate was the only person he had in his life; his folks were long gone, he’d never married; Nate was it, and now all he could hope for now was taking a small piece of him, and giving him the same thing in return. Jerry headed for the cutlery set and pulled the meat snips.

He was surprised how easy it was to cut through his middle finger, the pain was quick and sharp, he cut below the middle knuckle and cauterized the stump on the red hot electric stove burner. Jerry barely moved a muscle when he did the same to him, sans the cauterization.He was nearly finished with attaching Nate’s middle digit to his own nub with a sowing needle and fishing wire when Nate woke up and started his bitching.

“Jerry, please. . .”

Jerry was finally fed up enough to pull a bic from his pocket and let the let the yellow flames lick over the seeping wound that use to be Nate’s middle finger.His screams nearly broke his heart, but he would make him whole soon enough.


Paul D. Brazill said...

Brothers In ... fingers. Nice one Keith.

Christopher Pimental said...

"Meat snips" and "a little OCD". Classic.

I like this version, Keith.