Murders In Progress

Barn Birds

Cow Birds

(Episode 5)

‘Sound suppressor’…, Bob swished this around in his brain, taking another swig of cold beer.  That’s what the guys down at the gun shop had preferred to call them, but Bob didn’t know.  They were kinda nerdy and over-educated… one of ‘em wearin’ special glasses and glancing real close at things.  Ever since he’d been a kid glued to the TV it had been a  “Silencer”.

He supposed he had all afternoon to decide whichever: ‘Silencer or Sound Suppressor’.  Or longer than that.  He could take longer.  Sure he could.  He could take as long as he wanted.  ‘A guy with a Sound Suppressor is his own man,’ Bob figured as he shot another cow bird off the peak of his barn.

“This sound suppressor sure works.  Used to be with one shot, the birds  ‘ould spook, and he’d had to wait a coon’s age for another’n,” Bob said to his imaginary buddy in the empty lawn chair nearby.   “An’ then one more shot an that’n ‘ld spook!  It made for a long afternoon and a lotta beer.  But with this here sound suppressor,” he popped off another round after setting his beer carefully and sighting like a sniper, “they just fell of the peak of that roof like they was in a shootin’ gallery and he wuz takin’ all the stuffed teddy bears like they wuz just handin ‘em out.”  Bob grinned, so pleased with himself an’ full of beers, that he fully imagined his imaginary buddy grinning back.   ‘Damn!  I like this thing,’ Bob thought, ‘even though it don’t make no noise, to speak of.’  Harriet stuck her head out of the house to say something, and Bob pointed the gun at her… just in fun.  And she pulled her head back in.

And after about “Number 15” cow bird bit the dust, Bob decided that Sound Suppressor was what he was going to call it, ‘nerdy’ or not.   ‘It would make it sound more technical, like them boys down at the gun shop, and it might even impress Stan,’ thought Bob.  ‘Who could be mighty hard to impress, havin’ shot a bunch of people an’ all, an’ gotten away with it.  ..an’ probably raped several.’  Bob licked his lips… and felt that tingling in his groin.

‘Man, we is livin’ fast, ‘ thought Bob.  ‘Drinkin’ beer, killin’ cow birds, usin’ a silen… Sound Suppressor!’   Bob grinned wildly at his imaginary buddy again.

Ever since he had happened upon Stan his life had improved in so many ways, he could hardly sit still.   “A person wouldn’t normally think meeting a serial killer would have that effect on your life,” Bob explained to his imaginary buddy.   ‘But that seemed to be the way it was.  Nobody seemed to want Bob around for nothin’ nohow.  An’ now all of a sudden he’s got just about the most unusual friend ever.’  Bob shot another cowbird, (Number 16),  ‘leavin’ nothin’ but a puff of feathers.’  “Damn.”  Both Bob and his imaginary buddy just couldn’t get the shit eatin’ grins off of their faces.  They just kept looking at each other, turning away, and then looking back at each other again.

“There’s just the smallest whiff of a pop! an’ then thet cowbird was nothin’ but feathers,” is how Bob would explain it to Stan later, with his palms open to emphasize, after they’d finished eatin’ – with his silent wife keeping her own counsel – over the emptying dinner table dishes.  ‘Ya just couln’t get her excited over nothin’.’

‘Well, not entirely silent,’ Bob corrected himself, recollecting the event.

“You point that there gun there at me again, an’ you’re goin’ to encounter someone shootin’ BACK, Sound Suppressor or no,” Harriet had said with an angry twist of her head.  “An’ I won’t be aimin’ to miss.’

“You gonna take that from her?”  Stan said, once Harriet had stomped her way into the other room, carrying a load of dishes, after first spearing Stan with her gimlet eye.  Which gave Bob a little chill watching Stan.  Bob could tell Stan hadn’t liked it.

“Well.  Yeah.  I guess so,” Bob said.

“You gotta understan’ how marriages work.”  Bob defended himself to Stan later, trailing him up into the hired hand’s loft. “It’s a little give here, and a little give there that makes the whole thing work.”

Stan snorted, but never looked up from this plexi-glass case of curios and specimens ‘or somethin’ or other’ he seemed to prize so highly, ‘from the look of it,’ thought Bob.

“Plus, she’s a good cook and a good worker,” Bob added, while thumbing through some yellowed and stained bondage magazines, after several more minutes of rumination.  “Plus…”  Bob stopped turning the pages.  “The durn woman can shoot the nose off a squirrel!”

Stan glanced up, a quizzical look appearing on his face.

Photo by Carl Nelson

 

 

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2 Responses to “Murders In Progress”

  1. Donn Trenton Says:

    I’m getting the feeling that you’ve assembled a bunch of random photographs; you draw one at random and write a chapter on each. It’s the way someone like Brian Eno might write a story. Or you.

  2. schn00dles Says:

    Eldon Cene replies: A picture is worth a thousand words, and then I add the icing. It’s a good deal!

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