Vengeance is the act Defondo Cantrell Shireson craves, a week having passed since his brain was near-deranged by the "A-rab's" misfired gun: its muffled "CLICK", its muzzle's brimstone taste, its heat from a former discharge scorching rancor inexpungeable. He reiterates:
This phrase, articulated audibly by Stalactite's hefty kingpin, spells intent without conveying Squatman's predetermined means, the threat nonetheless expressing malice aforethought.
The squad of henchmen does not flinch before their Lord-and-Master's ire; displays of weakness earn few perks: no freebie prostitutes, crack, or cash (the prime incentives for their unilateral loyalty)...
...unlike Willie, whose allegiance dates from
a tour in the first Gulf War
It was during this dismal episode he and Corporal Shireson met, both troops a mere eighteen, though Defondo was much-the-seasoned veteran—knowing bleeder points, knowing where to press, knowing how to apply a tourniquet, and knowing what to say when someone rabidly insists that his exploded prick and balls are Absent With-Out Leave.
"Can't feel my mister! Where's my mister! Lord Almighty, lemme die!"
"Pipe down, niggah. All that you got missin' is a king-size chunk o' thigh."
"Jesus, who this saint gwon carry my Black-ass home?"
Through a sandblasted mile of seething desert, Squatman schlepped his load: wounded brother, fallen comrade, overgrown babe-in-arms, whose life, from that day to the present, Willie believed he owed...
...the chance to pay his debt missed yet again...
...having ducked to save his own skin,
Un-reprieved, he had collapsed across the
...San Francisco's Meter Maids: entire platoons of them, in fuel-efficient Go-Fours, patrolling every neighborhood, citing mis-parked vehicles, summoning tow trucks, clapping on 'Denver' boots, and phoning a certain number upon detecting a certain Volvo to collect a certain sum (guaranteed to be nontaxable). This ploy worked. Except the bountied auto's owner remained, alas, at large.
A vicious SLAM from Squatman's pudgy fist sets bottles and beer cans quaking. Willie hastens to reassure his run-out-of-patience boss.
None dares speak... not even Willie, who has witnessed moods as dark as this before, occasioned typically when the ground rules Squatman sets have been infringed. Retaliation—fast and fierce—avenged all such infractions.
Defondo Lantrell Shireson repeats his muttered oath; somber is his audience.