"When I whet my flashing sword and my hand takes hold in judgment, I shall take vengeance upon mine enemies and I will repay those who hate me"
The weight of it inside the sleeve of his coat felt good. Solid. Comfortable and righteous. It felt like a phantom appendage that had long ago been amputated. Back now for purpose. It didn't hurt nothin that he had, over the course of ten years or so, become a fucking conductor of classical pieces with the thing. Racking shells of .00 in as quick as he could pump them out. Full precision. And today would be a fucking ticker-tape parade of spent, contorted plastic tubes. The prodigal bastard son. Returned.
The tables of Ninnie's Dinner still held the same sticky condiment rack -frontside of the same greasy menus- on the wall side of the booth. Years of wiping down bottles with cold, day old dishwater had left a build up. He raked his fingernail down the side of the ketchup bottle, looked at the grime and wiped it on the leg of his jeans. Bile rose in his throat and made it to the back of his tongue before he could swallow. And, who the fuck was Ninnie anyway? Before he "left" he'd been here his whole life and never did meet a "Ninnie". Ninnie? The name bounced around in his head like names of far off places he'd never visit. A curious thing, like music you can ignore. But ignore he did as he lined up the cast of characters that were, as per usual, congregating at Ninnie's for the lunch special.
There was Sheriff Branson who went first. It was fairly close range, and all that was left of his left shoulder and neck after was a pink mist that sort of hung like the sunset from last night then settled on the filthy, sticky condiments there on the wall side of the booth. Swing steady and level to the left, some had ducked behind the pleather backs of their booths, but he knew Ninnie's like he knew his own bones. Mr. Tackett, the owner of the Savings & Loan and head of the City Council, was sitting in number sever like he always did. Only now you could see, through the wide hole in the back of his skull, the soup d'jour as he lay face first into it. Clam chowder I believe it was. Possibly Manhattan style. Now it was, anyway. "Big" Bill Foreman worked the grill. Actually, it was "Big" Bill's joint and I reckon running the show in the kitchen gave him a proprietary hard on. Now, "Big" Bill, sizzling on the grill, with his left leg in the ether somewhere and the kitchen knife he went for right before the Conductor pumped round after round into "Big" Bill still in his hand...the harder they fall and all that shit.
There was pure, white panic now. They remembered now. They remembered the injustice, the complete lack of tolerance. How they had done what they did for sport. As they shrieked and pleaded and ran amok in and through the booths - it was like watching static on television after three a.m. There was a chaos theory to it as he pumped another round though the chest of Coach Talbot completely vaporizing that annoying fucking whistle. Fucker. The symphony had come to it's climax and he thumbed 12 more rounds into the chute. He jacked the pump up and pulled down, fixing to bring it home. 'Where are you, Tommy Paul Shipley,' he mumbled under his breath. 'Theeeeere you are.' Tommy Paul with his stupid two first names. Tommy Paul started it all so very long ago, and now, Tommy Paul had soiled himself and was a blubbering hot mess. He walked over to Tommy Paul, said, "shhhh, now. shhhhhh...it'll all be over soon." Taking a sticky menu off the table, our Conductor held it fast to Tommy Paul's face with the business end of the Remmington and rocked the cradle, painting a rose on the wall behind Tommy Paul's head. Now, Tommy Paul was beautiful.
"Thank you for all of this." A voice from behind and under the counter. "Beg pardon," replied the Conductor. "These folks had this comin for a long time now. So, you know, thanks. One thing though - who are you?" The Conductor thought about this question. He thought abut the voice behind the counter, that cotton voice, the face hidden but all too famliar. "I know you, boy. My name - my name is Wrath. And I'm your new best friend."
"I been waitin for you," the disembodied voice replied.
"Don't I know it."