Monday, October 20, 2014


            Carson rolled the toothpick back and forth over his lips and sighed. He looked up toward the museum’s loading bay doors and then at the clock on the dashboard of the getaway car. The piece of crap car Randy had picked up from some broad he used to mess around with on the weekends after drinking at Jerry’s place. Carson gripped the steering wheel and sighed again. It was only supposed to take ten minutes for Randy and Jerry to get into the museum, subdue the fat night watchman, steal the jewels and get out. Twelve minutes had already passed and their schedule was in severe jeopardy.

            This wasn’t professional. It was a dumb idea to get involved with these amateur thieves. Carson had pulled tons of jobs with the best kind of thieves, but times were getting pretty lean and good jobs were getting harder to come by. So when Randy suggested they knock off the new shipment of Gems & Jewels of Egypt from the museum, Carson jumped at the chance. He was a little drunk when he initially agreed to the plan. He’d been drinking too much lately. He was drinking to forget his debts, which only created more debts, which made him drink more and agree to stupid burglary plans.

            He checked the alley in the rear view and looked back and forth across the cross street for any cops or other security guards. Fifteen minutes had now passed and Carson was sweating. He had a feeling that the fat night watchman wasn’t perhaps as big of a lazy slob as Randy and Jerry had promised. “It’ll be like taking candy from a fat, lazy baby,” were Randy’s exact words.

            Carson cringed and shook his head. This was dumb.  He felt the urge to just speed off and let Randy and Jerry take the fall. It was already 4:45 in the morning and a beat up old Hyundai parked behind the museum’s loading bay doors was bound to draw attention sooner or later.  He looked down at the gas gauge and considered how much gas it would take to get to the other side of town without stopping for a re-fill. He should have had Randy pony up the cash for the gas. Carson chuckled a bit at that since he figured dumb ass Randy probably would have paid with a credit card and leave a paper trail miles long.

            The rear driver’s side door opened behind Carson and Randy jumped in. Carson jumped and nearly gagged on his toothpick. He wasn’t ready for that. He spit the toothpick out. He thought both Randy and Jerry would get in on the passenger side.

            “Drive. Now,” said Randy.
            “What about Jerry,” asked Carson.
            “Go. Just go,” said Randy.

            Carson put the car in drive and took off down the alley. How could Randy leave Jerry behind? They were like brothers.
            “How could leave Jerry behind man,” asked Carson as they peeled around the corner toward the highway.
            “I didn’t leave Jerry. Jerry’s gone,” said Randy.         
            “What? He took off on you,” asked Carson.
            “No. Yes. I mean, he’s, gone,” said Randy.

            Carson looked up at Randy in the rear view mirror. Randy was pale. His eyes looked deeply sunken.

            “Are you okay man,” asked Carson.
            Randy didn’t respond. He kept looking out the window.

            “Did you at least get the gems,” asked Carson.
            “We had them. Jerry had them. Something. Got him. He’s gone. The gems, yeah. I got them,” said Randy.
            “What do you mean something got him?”

            Carson pulled to a red light and stopped hard. He turned around in the driver’s seat and looked back at Randy. Randy was holding his stomach and blood was seeping between his fingers.

            “Oh man! You’re bleeding man,” shouted Carson.
            “Huh,” said Randy and he looked down at his stomach.
            “Dude! You’re bleeding everywhere,” shouted Carson.
            “Oh, yeah. I got… scratched,” said Randy.

            The light changed to green casting a sickly aura on Randy’s face. His eyes were glassy and far away. Carson turned forward and hit the gas.

            “We’re going to a hospital man. Screw it man,” said Carson.
            Carson made a U-turn at the intersection and started speeding back toward town.

            “You hear me man, we’re going to a hospital,” said Carson.

            Carson looked again in the mirror and saw Randy’s head had fallen backwards and his mouth was gaping wide open toward the car’s ceiling.  Carson swerved and Randy slumped over in the seat. Carson pulled the car over and nearly smashed into the curb. He put the car in park and jumped from the driver’s seat and opened the rear driver’s side door.

            “Randy man. Randy!”
            Randy’s hand had fallen away from his stomach and Carson saw the eviscerating slashes across Randy’s belly. Randy’s small intestine, or what Carson thought was Randy’s small intestine, was hanging out. Carson felt the hot sick rumbling up from his own stomach and he wretched the chili fries and two bears he had for dinner up next to the rear tire. He wiped his mouth on his sleeve and tried to catch his breath. He looked back at Randy. He could see he was clearly dead. Carson had seen dead bodies before.

            “Oh Randy. This was such a bad idea. I’m sorry man,” said Carson.  

            Carson reached across Randy’s body and started checking his pockets. He’d said they’d had the jewels. Maybe he was just in shock and didn’t remember where they were. There was so much blood coating Randy’s body. It made it difficult to rifle though his pockets in the dark. In Randy’s front right jacket pocket Carson found a small muslin bag.

            Carson stood and angled himself so the street lights could give him a little more light. He opened the bag and a handful of rubies and emeralds and gold encrusted jewels spilled out. Carson rolled them around in his hand. It wasn’t a huge score, but the quality and size were impressive. They would certainly get Carson out of his money troubles for a while.  He carefully put the jewels back into the bag and stuffed it in his pocket. He closed the rear car door and went back to the driver’s seat. He turned the car off and started wiping down every surface with his sleeves. He was glad he’d worn his driving gloves but he wasn’t going to take any chances. He’d burn the gloves later.

            He closed the driver’s side door and started walking away from the car. He passed an abandoned old warehouse building and tossed the car keys over the chain link fence. He started to work on his alibi. People knew he was acquaintances with Randy and Jerry and eventually the cops would come to talk to him. He had a record for burglary, but had been pretty clean the last five years. Even so, the cops would come to question him. His imagination started to whir and devise a cover story for what he did that night.  He hardly noticed the shuffling noise behind him. It only caught his attention when he heard something kick something metal.

            He stopped on the sidewalk and turned around. There was nothing of course. In real life it was probably a rat or the wind. It was always nothing. Carson started walking again but stopped quickly when he heard a low growl. He thought he might have wandered onto private property and a guard dog was stalking him. He looked around but didn’t see any signs or fences. He started walking again. a little more quickly. He couldn’t risk someone spotting him so near the abandoned car with Randy’s bloody body in it.

            “Return it to me, thief,” said a voice from behind Carson.

            Carson spun around and stumbled a bit. This wasn’t happening. This didn’t happen. An old lady fingered you in a line up, no disembodied voices called you out in the street. Carson turned and started to run.

            “It is not yours to take,” said the voice.

            Carson jumped to his left; he felt the voice directly in his right ear and dove to avoid it. He splashed through a large puddle in the street and ran toward the sounds of heavy city traffic. He ducked down an alley and then remembered that ducking down an alley while being chased by a ghost or whatever was really just a dumb rookie thing to do. He slowed his run and tried to catch his breath.

            “I’m just freaked out. That’s all. Randy’s body and no sign of Jerry. I’m just freaked out. That’s all,” said Carson.

            He rested his hands on his knees and took a deep breath. He was trying to slow down and not be scared. There was no reason to be scared. It was nothing. It was always nothing.

            An overhead street light in front of Carson started to buzz loudly and Carson looked up toward it. It seemed brighter than an alley street light should be. Carson thought it was one of those new high-efficiency bulbs that was just brighter. He looked down at his feet and felt his breath coming back. He was calming down. He felt silly for running from nothing. He was a professional after all and professionals don’t run. He felt foolish and he smirked.

            “God, what happened to me,” he said under his breath.

            Carson straightened up and stretched his back. He felt his front pocket for the little bag and started walking toward the street at the end of the alley. He heard a metal scraping sound behind him. He told himself not to turn around. The biggest mistake people make is when they turn around. He told himself just to keep walking like everything was normal.

            Three gold tips of a trident suddenly burst through Carson’s chest just under his rib cage and he felt himself lifted off his feet. He tried to scream but his diaphragm was punctured and he couldn’t make his muscles work. He turned his head back over his shoulder but couldn’t make out who had stabbed him. With a trident no less. He was flung over backwards and the trident pulled out of his body. He flew and crashed into a brick wall. He fell into a crumpled heap and he tasted pennies in his mouth.

            “Return what you stole, thief,” said a growling voice.

            Carson lifted his head and looked up into the face of a jackal. Carson recognized Anubis immediately. He’d seen The Mummy. He knew what it meant.

            “In my pocket. My arms don’t work,” said Carson as he coughed on his blood.

            Anubis towered over Carson. His form was slick like polished oil outlined in gold and blue. He snarled at Carson and bent down. Carson felt the jackal headed God’s smoky breath on his face. Anubis pulled the muslin bag from Carson’s pocket and clenched it in his giant hand.

            “What did you do to Jerry and Randy,” coughed Carson.
            “Their hearts are being weighed, as yours will be,” snarled Anubis, “and you will fail.”

            Carson felt a follow up question coming but he started to fade just as Anubis drifted into vapor.   

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