“There Will Be Hurt” by Drew McCoy
Mondays Are Murder features brand-new noir fiction modeled after our award-winning Noir Series. Each story is an original one, and each takes place in a distinct location. Our web model for the series has one more restraint: a 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays.
This week, Drew McCoy’s Detective Mercer takes justice into his own hands in Bardstown, Kentucky.
There Will Be Hurt
by Drew McCoy
Detective Mercer wasn’t all that sure the man he had bound in the trunk of his cruiser was the right guy, but he was sure enough that he’d risk his badge over it.
Bobby Lee thrashed inside the trunk, rocking the cruiser a bit. Mercer took out a pack of cigarettes and thumped one loose and got it lit. He was unshaven and his head was heavy with whiskey. He stood smoking and looked around as if he were deciding something. Then he dropped the cigarette, toed it out with his boot, and popped open the trunk. Bobby Lee was on his back, trying to free his hands and wrists. He winced from the pain and kicked out.
“You won’t break loose,” Mercer said. “You as might well quit trying.” He’d bound Lee’s wrists with baling wire, knowing if the son of a bitch tried to rip them apart the wire would cut through his skin.
Lee tried to say something, but his mouth was gagged and stuffed with an oily rag. Mercer made a noise like a laugh, then leaned and took the rag out and let it go and the wind took it, carrying it across the field.
“Fuck you,” Lee said, spit clinging to his mouth.
Mercer just stared at him for a long moment and smiled. Then he shrugged out of his jacket and pulled his tie over his head and unbuttoned his shirt. He balled them all up and set them on the passenger seat. He withdrew the Beretta, aimed it at Lee’s face, and said, “Get up nice and slow and walk out into the field.”
Lee shook his head as though he were confused. Mercer pistol-whipped him across the face. Blood gushed from Lee’s nose and ran into his mouth and beard.
“Get up,” Mercer said, nice and calm as if he’d done this before.
Lee was on his knees in the tall grass. The wind blew hard out of the west. Mercer had the Beretta pushed against Lee’s face, right under his left eye.
“Look at it,” Mercer said, palming a Polaroid of Brooke Carlson with her family.
Lee glanced at it quickly, his black eyes darting from the picture to the barrel of the Beretta. “I didn’t kill that girl,” he said, pleading.
Mercer leaned so that he was eye level with Bobby Lee. “Bullshit. I found her underwear and bra in your house.” Lee’s face changed—he looked surprised, even with the gun in his face. “You heard me right. I went in your house last night. You ought to buy better locks.”
Lee tried to say something, but Mercer smacked him with the butt of the Beretta. Blood matted Lee’s hair from the cut on his head. And blood smeared his face like tribal paint.
Mercer looked away, then back at Bobby Lee. “You’re a sick fuck. Brooke Carlson was only twelve.”
“You can’t shoot me, man,” Lee was saying, over and over like some strange chant. “You can’t just shoot me.”
Mercer smiled, then let out a quiet laugh.
“You’re the police, man. You can’t do this.”
He stuffed the photo down Lee’s shirt, then turned and walked off just a ways and watched the wind race across the top of the tall grass in the distant field. Grey clouds marbled the sky. Lightning bloomed above the horizon and the clouds pulsed with a low rumble of thunder. He held the Beretta by his side and looked up at the clouds swirling in the wind. The gun wasn’t heavy and it felt, in that moment, like it was an extension of him.
His body felt foreign and not at all his. He was tired. Tired of the killing. His body seemed unforgiving. It seemed he’d lived an entire life previous to this moment standing in the field. One of hopes and dreams, but he felt foolish as he recalled his past. A part of him knew the killing would never stop. It’s the way the world worked. And it’s what he was good at, putting away killers. And for so long he’d been trying to forget his past and fought to not be that person, but in the end he couldn’t escape it. In the end he folded and accepted it. He was a killer, no different than the men he chased, the men he arrested. He removed his badge, dropping it in the tall grass. There was one more person left to kill.
DREW McCOY lives in Kentucky with his wife and children. He’s been published across the web and in print. He’s been published in the anthology Southern Gothic Stories. His play The Long Way Home was a Heideman Award finalist. And most recently his short story “A Cold Winter” was published at Shotgun Honey. He’s currently at work on a manuscript.
Posted: Nov 5, 2015
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