SHORT STORY | SLOW EDDIE THE WEASEL
Published by Ascent Aspirations
Slow Eddie The Weasel
With a name like Eduardo Casino, you might expect a bit more flash: suspenders, spats, an ascot. Or maybe a ducktail or even a razor in his boot, something. But what you get is Slow Eddie, a small time racket boy burnout from the Katrina-ravaged slums of Biloxi, who saw his mother naked once and hasn't been to bed without shades and a pig sticker under his pillow since.
Furrowing beneath the streets of North Vegas like a rabid rodent, he lives off other people's garbage, leaving a stain on everything he touches. If you need someone to breed rats for you, Slow Eddie's your man. He would have made a hell of a Nazi. Why Eddie hates women so much is no mystery, but analyzing the little worm doesn't help the women he stalked and then abused like they were accident victims that he'd found lying wounded along the road: or why those women all seem to be tall thin mousy things who look just like his mother.
Up until the day he got sent up to Angola for setting a hooker on fire, he'd never met anyone who'd died of old age: never had a birthday cake or a hot bath, or touched a woman who wanted to be touched. Maybe that was it, him wanting defenseless women he could control, crying out and helpless. Or more likely, that's all he'd ever known of human contact. Unfortunately, nobody told Angie about any of that, and now Slow Eddie's on full point, crouching in the alley like a bird dog on point, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce. "There's five large in it for you," Jake the Snake had told him. "Cut her deep and make sure she stays down. And make it look like a robbery".
"How hard can that be", Eddie tells himself, as unconvinced as he looks.
Angie's barely twenty-nine, but she doesn't feel a day over seventy-five: toothpick thin, five-foot-eight, pretty in a corn fed farm chick kind of way, even if she is a tough little Tupelo cracker with ice water in her veins. As bright, and experienced as she is in computer science and technology, she hadn't been able to find a job in Las Vegas that didn't require pulsating on a pole and letting drunks jam twenties down her underpants, so she went to Reno to give runway modeling a whirl: but no dice. "Too nice," they'd always tell her; "That innocent look is out this year. Find yourself a dirt bag junkie pimp, move into a hooker crib in North Vegas, shoot some smack, get your heart broken, eat nothing but dog food for a month, and then, after you get some character in your face, we'll give you a shot. And don't let the door hit your cute little cantaloupe butt on your way out."
As grease-streaked snow begins to fall on her old-fashioned, but oddly appealing, Jane Fonda Barbarella hairdo, Angie wanders lost down a toy-littered sidewalk that dead ends at the Reno River. Nursing a terminal case of humiliation, having been rejected for five jobs in one day, she staggers off down another no-named street, determined to get to her next appointment or die trying. It isn't in her to quit, which is apparently some kind of Dixie mob shit on her Sicilian father's side. More balls than sense, her mother always said.
Having lost her appointment book in the snow, Angie's walks up to a small white house to ask for directions. A diminutive dragon of a spaced-out Japanese woman cracks the door and says, "No way, lady, no model agency with that name around here. You got right street?"
"I thought so. Maybe not. Sorry. Can I use your phone?"
"What? So you can make a couple overseas calls, then knife my kids and steal my jewelry? I no think so."
"Fine. Thanks for nothing. Jesus, Where can I get some of that crack you've been smoking?"
Kicking aimlessly through the frozen leaves, Angie stops dead in her tracks, as blue as she's ever been. She doesn't notice a rancid smelling, loosely wrapped bundle of human garbage steal out of a back alley and shimmy up beside her, but she does feel the switchblade he's got nudged up against her ribs. Considering the day she's had, she mumbles; "Go ahead, Shorty. Stick it in. You'll be doing me a favor."
Looking nearly straight up at his prospective victim, the diminutive troll snorts out of the side of his crooked mouth, "Let's see some green, bitch!"
Not being a great fan of rejection or PMS, Angie stares into Eddie's lifeless squirrel eyes and snarls: "I'm a lot more afraid of me than I am of you, dick wad, and if I was you, which thank God I'm not, I'd be afraid of me too."
"Jesus, I'm gonna shit my pants I'm so scared! If I find out you weigh a hundred pounds, I'll fall over dead in shock."
Cool as a custom pool cue, Angie rubs her oversized purple purse menacingly against the troll's crotch; "As I recall," she says, "a .357 doesn't weigh all that much either, but just imagine the size of the hole it could put in a shriveled up shrimp like you?"
"Oh, shit, now I'm too petrified to pee!"
"Well now, too bad intelligence isn't having more of an affect on your reasoning there, Einstein."
Fluttering his rheumy eyes, the troll snaps back, "You think you're in a position to crack wise with me, you fucking giraffe?"
"Why lower myself, pardon the expression, and considering your obvious inability to decipher the freaking time of day, why bother? It's almost dark, dip shit, in case you haven't noticed. Shouldn't you be home fondling your little brother or something?"
"You gotta be kidding me. I'm the one with the blade here, you twisted twat. Now give me that fucking purse or I'll make you squeal like a pig!"
"I should have known you were a Deliverance fan. However, you may want to come up with a better line next time, considering the fact I've got a .347 Magnum pointed at your half inch piss stick.
What the hell, Angie figures, Pig Pen over there doesn't know she's bluffing; it's worth a shot.
Bewildered, the pint-sized runt stares at the lump in Angie's purse and scratches his head, thinking to himself: so maybe she really does have a gun poking up against his zipper. And, maybe she really is thinking about turning him into a eunuch. "Girls with guns," he says, "what next?"
Angie scoffs, her temper sizzling, "What comes next, you lily-livered piece of gutter trash, is you turn around and go play with your brain impaired junkie playmates down at the shooting gallery and get the fuck out of my face."
"That was a bit harsh, don't you think?" the troll jeers. "Jesus, who put a stick up your butt?"
"Fuck the money," Eddie mumbles to himself, "and fuck Jake the Snake. If I'd known the bitch was packing heat, I would have stayed home, torched a crack pipe, and whacked off to Playgirl."
Spinning around on one spiked heel, he executes a demure pirouette and snickers over his shoulder, "I think I hear my mother calling. I'll be seeing you around, Stretch, you whacked out alien freak of nature."
Flipping Angie a backhanded bird, he shuffles off into the bitter white night smack into the grill of a speeding cement truck that's just skidded on a patch of ice and jumped the curb, smashing dead center into Slow Eddie's already sunken chest. Angie's thinking he looks more like a basted Butterball turkey than a person: his gizzards, gravy, and all the stuffing, lying there in a polluted pool of blood, guts, and gore. "Serves you right, you cross-eyed little ferret," is all she has to say about it.
Eddie had seen the truck coming but panicked, springing straight up into the air like one of those jack-in-the-boxes, right before that stupid "pop goes the weasel" song starts playing. Unfortunately, he'd timed his jump about a second too late, forever enshrining in infamy his nickname, Slow Eddie the Weasel.