... For years afterward,
from one generation to the next, the tale was told of the fight that night,
Dumble vs. Weinbach, one fall, winner take all-or-nothing. In hushed tones
was the battle spoke of, how windows rattled as far away as Arkadelphia,
how the moon had been spattered with blood and spittle. How the earth
had not trembled beneath the feet of two such titans since the time Paul
Bunyan had gotten really drunk and tried to put the wood to Babe the blue
ox. How the sun itself had feared to rise until it was sure the fight
had petered out, leaving Skidmark Row in utter darkness for over two weeks.
... This, of course, was all total bullshit.
... Dumble pounded the living fuck outta
that psycho, and within twenty minutes had reduced Brent Weinbach, once
the scourge of the Southwest, to a poorly dressed pile of tears and snot
... And God damn, it felt fucking good.
... Lily watched to see
that Dumble had the situation well in hand before hopping into Brents
Camaro and hightailing it down Skidmark Row to La Gordas Putero.
The neon sign on the roof was visible from blocks away: the name La
Gordas lighting up letter by letter, bookended with fluorescent
figures humping the night away. Their thrusts left trails burned on the
... From all appearances, it was business
as usual at La Gordas. The parking lot was full to capacity, the
license plates on the cars announced visitors from Alaska to Florida,
La Gordas being renowned from coast to coast for the finest cunt
this side of Heaven.
... But the only heaven-side cunt La Gorda
had to worry about tonight was headed for the front door of the Putero,
a freshly loaded Desert Eagle in either hand.
... Lily kicked in the front door like shed
seen done on Cops so many times. The spacious waiting room was filled
with oily johns, squeezed into their best suits like their dicks were
going to prom. At the sight of this wild blonde, armed to the well-capped
teeth, they all took a likely powder, the négligée-sporting
reception girls on their heels.
... La Gorda! Lily hollered,
Come out and face me, you heifer!
... Who dares! came a voice from
a darkened doorway. Who dares address the proprietress of this establishment
in such an insolent manner? The owner of the voice stepped forward
into the low light of the foyer, a caramel-colored business-lady type,
all done up like some Mexican Nina Hartley or some shit. The size of her
rack gave Lily a quick twinge of jealousy despite herself, but she kept
a wary eye on the butterfly knife that Latina Hartley gripped in one slender
... I dare, sweetmeat, Lily said
with a sneer. You go and tell your boss that her boy done fucked
up good. That if hes lucky, therell be enough of him left
to cremate. You broads underestimated the good Reverend Calvin Dumble,
and now youre gonna live to regret it.
... Ms. Guiterrezs eyes widened, and
not just at the fact that this tart had actually uttered that cliché
with a straight face. You lie, she said.
... Lily reached into her pocket with some
difficulty, trying to keep from blowing her own knee off, and removed
a bunch of keys. She lobbed them at Ms. Guiterrezs feet.
... Ms. Guiterrez looked down at the key
ring: a purple rabbits foot, a picture of La Gorda circa the late
70s, and a bottle opener that said Worlds #1 Grandpa!
Yes, those were Brents keys all right. And if this...this girl had
them, then the rest of what shed said was true. And so they were
all more well fucked than the Puteros most satisfied customer.
... Ms. Guiterrez dropped her knife and ran
back to La Gordas main office. Lily followed, chuckling, her guns
ready for business.
... Lily almost chuckled out the other side
of her face when she finally laid eyes on La Gorda. The office was ankle-deep
with wrappers and bags from every fast-food joint imaginable, even places
like White Castle and Hardees, places that didnt even have
franchises this far west.
... But even more impressive was the sight
of La Gorda herself. Lily had of course heard of the legendary girth of
the woman, but La Gorda had not been seen publicly since the heralded
Jenny Craig Wars of 1983. The daybed upon which the woman (or did she
qualify for the plural women at this point?) was folded nearly
in half under her weight, like an old cartoon race-horse about to be sent
to the glue factory. The flowered muumuu draped over the massive Mexicana
gangstress could be used on the Goodyear blimp while it was in storage.
... La Gorda is a hefty woman, is the point
... Oh, there you are, mija,
she said when she saw Ms. Guiterrez. Are my flautas here?
... Maam, I have some terrible
... ¡Ay, dios mío! Are
they no have guacamole again?
... No, maam, its not that,
... Sour cream is okay if is all they
have, its just it gives me the farts, thats all.
... No, maam, its
... But no lettuce!
... Maam! Ms. Guiterrez
said, Brent is dead!
... And that crazy preacher man is
probably on his way here right now toto do God-knows-what to us
... Oh, that, La Gorda said with
a wave of her hand. I know. I hear the girl.
... Ms. Guiterrez flushed. Wellwell,
what are we going to do?
... La Gorda sighed. I always know
this day will come. She flipped open a control panel next to her
... There was a large, shiny, cherry-red
button. A peeling decal beneath it read: Self-Destruct.
... Oh, shit, Lily said.
... Te amo, mija, La Gorda said,
but the good Reverend Calvin Dumble can suck my fat clit in Hell.
... Ms. Guiterrez, under her breath, from
trembling lips, said, Papi.
... La Gorda pushed the button.