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Clutch the Snitch
Motherboard #3
© 2023 James LaFond
A vision of dainty competence dressed in a black uniform and wearing a cute nurse’s cap appeared in his right eye, waking him. As the left eye opened to a dimply lit room he recalled as his healing place, the mechanically inclined nurse in his inner TV eye hissed, “Poppy, a breach is imminent, three hostiles—your kind of folks.”
A fire rose in his brain, behind that image of his saving maid, ‘No one violates this House!’
He swung out of the cot onto his strong right leg and it folded like a noodle. As he crashed to the floor with a crunch and a clang he recalled, ‘The rabbits say I’m all broke up. Guess they’re right—but I still got some bite!’
He heard the distinctive sound of plywood being hooked and ripped by a steel pry bar. With a grimace, a growl and a whirl, he rose and turned his back on the boarded up window. He could hear that there were two boards. He had a few moments.
He looked right and saw her there, dressed up like a news reporter, reciting news to a little mechanical monkey sitting in a miniature little willy jeep on the stainless steel table.
She looked up at him and winked, a wink of darling confidence that said, “You got this, Poppy.”
With a snarl of fury, and the cracking of something in his back, within the greater noise of the plywood being rent behind him, He regarded the weapon rack, balancing on his one left leg. There were his two crutches, the hooked one and the one with the drill bit.
‘Not enough space,’ he considered.
He then reached for the shotgun, pulled it down, opened the breach, held the gun cradled in his left arm, and reached for the two shells, encased in yellow, 20 gauge bird shot he recalled. One shell fell from his hand and he somehow knew that he could not get to the floor and reach under the cot in time.
‘Gimp!’ he snarled within as he slammed the breach closed, slung the barrel over his shoulder, felt there that he had not cocked it, pulled it down, cocked it, and put it on his shoulder again.
The outer board was being torn away by the pry bar and four hands.
‘The Bowie knife, oh yeah, baby!’
The inner board was being kicked in.
‘Turn around and hobble right. They will want her. Get to the dark side.’
He hobbled over to the far right corner with a “click,” a “drag” and a “clack,” put his back to the wall behind the dresser and watched calmly as the plywood was kicked into pieces. A hard leather boot attached to a long denim leg thrust through to the knee.
He let his right hip fall into the nice cherry wood dresser as the Bowie knife came down of its own accord, and clove with a meaty, bone shearing sound.
A human howl sounded without.
The pretty mamma at the table continued to educate her mechanical monkey, focused on that motherly task.
Rather then pull their fellow back and tend to him, two snarling men shoved their point man through the remaining board, the entire panel swept from the inner margins of the window by his long, lean figure. The gouting leg gushing blood on the rubber-coated stainless steel floor, the brassy belt buckle, followed by the particle-coated flannel shirt, and the blond bearded face of pain and dismay, draining to pale in mere seconds, was launched butt over dresser into the center of the room.
Beyond, the pretty mechanical nurse dressed like a news reporter, was spreading out a tin of 27 dominoes and using them for the mechanical monkey’s math lesson, a thing just born already in elementary school…
A face peered into his, a dirty face, framed by greasy blond hair under a Make America Great Again hat, worn to a greasy billed rag, no longer even red, but nearer to black.
The barrel of the shot gun was leveled at that face. As the invader’s mouth described an “O” of doomed surprise, the trigger was pulled and the hammer fell, causing, rather than a roar of face blasting ruin, a smokey hiss.
‘Kibble and snittle!’ groaned his inner force.
The mouth closed and creased into a toothy grin, and those teeth were smashed in by the smoking steel barrel of the primitive shotgun. That man had some fight in him! His eyes burned with a fury as he yanked that barrel from his blood gushing mouth, stripping it from the one older and damaged hand with an ease that infuriated Poppy.
Angrier still was Steely Jim Bowie, Poppy’s prized personality, the closest member of his toolkit.
That steely fellow sank into the black leather jacket and the black hooded sweatshirt, through to the rib cage, and still that man held a hateful grit, twisting in his sure death to throw himself down and away and snap his neck draped in dirty blond locks, taking Old Reliable Jim Bowie to Hither Hell with him.
The girl described the tile in her hand to the monkey, “The six/four is the best tile to lead off with.”
The third man kicked Poppy in the chest, driving him back over the whole leg of the bleeding-out man, to fall just right of dying and far right of dead, to bounce with an uneven crunch.
The girl charmingly chirped, “Little Joe Willy, you don’t want to go to the boneyard…”
And the lean, older, gray-haired man, looking like a father to the two felled hostiles, leaped, too spry by half, to jump stomp with his engineer boots on Poppy’s more narrow chest.
Tearing something in his back, and something less painful and suddenly wet in his side, Poppy rolled left upon and over the gushing stump of denim leg.
His attacker, wearing all denim, looking quite sharp actually, a purple Ravens knit cab with beanie on his head, wielded a rod of sharpened rebar, squatting to thrust that 2 feet length of iron through Poppy’s chest.
Noodle Leg finally served a purpose other than to drag and foretell his approach. Poppy sold off that lame limb by raising it so that the sharp length of rebar pierced the tibial band above the knee and ran all the way of to his hip, causing a terrible shoot of pain.
“There you go, Little Joe Willy—way to lock up the board!” sounded the angelic voice to his left, beyond the plexi-screen.
‘I bet she’s pretty, with a voice like that.’
The man atop him abandoned the rebar and drew a .25 auto, pressed it to Poppy’s chest and fired a round into his old breast bone, which sizzled along the bone and got caught between the two central ribs.
Poppy’s left arm then pushed the other old man’s elbow across his chest and used his right hand to strip the pistol, driving it butt first into the Raven’s beanie and blowing a whole in the base of his own right hand below the pinkie.
‘Real slick, that was,’ groused his inner judge.
The man snarled and began head-butting Poppy in the side of the head, causing his ears to ring like those long unheard electronic church bells.
‘You’re fading faɡɡot—fight!’ snarled his inner critic among the ringing.
He was being punched in the gut, which was thankfully still hard from the crutching.
He took the beating, as the headbutting man was now blind in his left eye from the cap sliding down, the beanie bobbing soggy red above.
Poppy reached down, drew that length of rebar up out of his leg with a sizzle of well-earned agony, turned it out far right, so that the man on top of him with his knee in his pelvis could not trap it, flipping it in his hand as his bottom left rib was snapped off with a savage punch.
Unfriendly Cousin Re-Bar, a newly adopted family member Who would ever be cherished and welcome among Steely Jim, Hook Crutch and Drill Crutch, sang like a meat grinder with a hundred dull teeth as the sharpened point was sunk and driven through the guts of that menacing man, to pierce the spine from within, and pop out through the back of the denim jacket.
The man of a sudden quit atop him and gurgled, “Awe fuck, Clutch—you sho’ badass fo’ a snitch.”
“Thanks,” drawled Poppy, “But I ain’t Clutch...he live down da way.”
Then nodding to his crutches he mumbled, “Dey calls me Crutch down dataway.”
The man then groaned in dismay and began to cry, “Awes fuckklebe, done los’ all ova’ a missed-pronounce-eation.”
Poppy felt said, “You a tough sumbitch, man.”
“Tanks,” the man sighed as he lay his head down on Poppy’s aching shoulder and pulled out a blood soaked knot roll of money and mumbled, “Dis were scalp price on Clutch da Snitch. Ye earned it, ‘ave a beer on Three Boot Crew.”
The man gurgled out his life to the sound of the young woman, called Mamma by the Rabbit, who chirped, “Triage Little Joe Willy, First Aid before Graves Registration…”
Poppy raised his head to look into the next room and raised his bloody right hand, thumb to the ceiling, as the pretty lady in the mechanic’s suit and the nurse’s hat, wiggled and giggled, “Cool beans!” and clapped her hands together and cheered, “Poppy’s in the house!”
‘She changed her outfit in a heartbeat?’
‘Either that or I was out.’
The room swam as a mechanical monkey with a beeping whirly gig hat climbed over the gory fallen and looked down into his outer eye with two green lenses and declared in a tin like voice, “Poppy down, Mamma.”
His surly inner voice snarled, as the room spun for its last time, “Oh, you sure enough done for, son…”
House of the Brickmouse
Crutch the Glitch
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shrouds of aryаs
crag mouth
into leviathan’s maw
logic of steel
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