Gonzo slapped himself in the face a few times in hopes of gaining some composure and focus. Lenkley was tugging hard at his insides at this point and he feared that the internal struggle for control would cause him to explode upon confronting George. He might beat George into a bloody, gushing, mess or worse- kill him. Gonzo, still seated in his car, took a series of deep breaths. He felt the pressure of his pistol mashed up against the small of his back. The unyielding steel of the weapon imprinted itself upon the soft, malleable, canvas of Lenkley’s flesh as it was lodged between his bare skin and his jeans’ waistband. More than anything, Gonzo wanted a solution to this problem that would allow him to continue his life on earth, in Carson City, as Sheriff, peacefully as he knew it. He opened the door of his car, leaned out, shut the door behind him and started across the street to George’s apartment. As he walked through the cool night air he racked his brain as to a way to retrieve the mallet and ensure that George would keep his mouth shut. ‘Maybe I’ll just snatch the mallet and staple that miserable little cunt mouth of his’ Gonzo thought. Time was running out. Gonzo was almost at George’s door and he had to come up with a course of action on the fly. Finally, as Gonzo walked up the stairs of the apartment complex and found George’s door, he concluded that a solid threat might just do the trick. After all, George did know that he was capable of murder. It was the best he could come up with on such short notice, and the situation would not wait any longer. Gonzo took one last deep breath, used all of his focus to push Lenkley down as hard as he could, and knocked on the door.
Inside the apartment, Thomas George was stashing the mallet under his mattress and ignoring his wife’s inquiries about the object. She had just coaxed little Riley to fall asleep and laid him down in the nursery when she walked in on her husband hanging his bomber jacket in the closet and taking something out of its pocket. “What is that?” she asked plainly but Thomas brushed the question off, lifted a corner of their mattress and placed the object underneath it. She continued in a demanding tone, “Thomas, what the hell-” but she was interrupted by a gentle rapping on the front door. Thomas George went from a kneeling position to standing bolt-upright at the sound. “Tom, who would be visiting us at this hour?” She read the bewitched expression on her husband’s face. In an instant, his face flashed limestone pale and eyes beamed. She intimated that something was very wrong. There was another calm knock on the door. “Tom, what is going on?!” She demanded.
“Stay in this room and don’t come out no matter what. No matter what! Do you understand me?!” George shouted at his wife. She had never heard him peak with such grave authority and it frightened her. George pushed her by the shoulders and sat her down forcefully on the bed. She was in a state of shock and terror. She didn’t know what was going on but she gathered that it was very bad and very dangerous. George walked out of the bedroom but stuck his head back into the room and repeated, “No matter what!” Then he shut the door behind him and skulked over to the front door, feeling for his Glock 9mm in the front of his pants as he went.
Thomas George peered through the peephole. It was Lenkley alright. “Who is it?” he called out.
Lenkley replied immediately, “It’s Lenkley, we need to talk.”
“Now is not a good time Terrence, it’s late” George said.
“I’m afraid it can’t wait, I know you have something of mine in there Thomas. We need to talk this through.” Lenkley replied.
“There’s nothing to talk about Lenkley, now go away or I’m gonna get a squad car over here.” George answered.
Gonzo hadn’t counted on any other police officers getting involved in the situation and was frankly shocked that George would be cowardly enough to call in the cavalry to come rescue him from one man. At any rate, he couldn’t risk any more cops coming to the scene. “Now Thomas, I know what you’re thinking about me, that I may or may not have committed that grizzly murder. Now I’m not here to try and convince you one way or another if that’s true.” Lenkley paused here and coughed wretchedly. George put his eye into the peephole again and listened intently. It sounded like Lenkley was speaking with two voices. Lenkley continued. “What I am here for is to take back what is mine and have a nice, calm chat with you. But consider this Thomas my boy,” an air of sarcasm crept into Lenkley’s tone, “if you do in fact believe I am guilty of slitting that boy’s throat then you must also believe that I am getting into this apartment whether you let me in or not. So before you slink over and reach for that telephone you should ask yourself, what do you believe?” It was time. Thomas George slowly drew his gun, pointed it at the door, and backed up to the dinner table towards the telephone. Gonzo put his ear to the door. He heard one footstep on the hardwood floor. Then another. It was time. “Alright, we gave Lenkley a try. Now Gonzo is gonna handle this situation.” he said in a low, raspy voice, then he stepped back, raised his right leg and thundered it through the door bursting the deadbolt in twain and obliterating the knob. The door swung open on its hinges. Gonzo stepped clear of the doorway expecting pistol fire. There was none. He peered over his shoulder into the apartment but saw no one. Then he stood in the doorway and inspected the apartment but saw no one still. He heard faint breathing. He grabbed the door with both hands and slammed it hard against the adjacent wall. George fell from behind the door, blood pouring from his nose. Gonzo immediately put all his weight into a kneel and placed his knee on George’s wrist, the one that was holding the gun. Gonzo took the gun from George. “Fuckin’ pussy, you couldn’t even get a shot off.” As George squirmed in pain on the floor with a streaming nose, Gonzo stood back up and shut the front door as best he could without a functioning knob. He pulled a chair from the dining table and sat down, hovering over Thomas George’s injured body. He pointed Georges own Glock at him and commanded in a calm voice, “Take your hands from your nose” George, with eyes fixed on Lenkley did not comply. Gonzo shoved the gun into George’s face and tried again, “Take your fucking hands from your face!” George slowly lowered his hands to his chest and Gonzo swiftly kicked the bottom of his boot into George’s broken nose and continued to apply pressure. George screamed in pain but Lenkley’s leg was unnaturally strong and he could not break away. “Where is the mallet?” Gonzo asked. No answer. Gonzo stood up for more leverage and applied a cruel amount of force down on George’s nose. He was practically standing on his face now.
George yelled and groaned louder. This time he didn’t wait for Lenkley to ask again, “In the bedroom!” He cried.
“Anyone in there?” Lenkley asked.
“My wife.” George answered, choking on his own blood.
“Does she know what I look like?” Lenkley asked.
“No” George gargled out.
Lenkley took his foot off of George’s nose. “Good,” he said casually, “now without doing anything stupid, pick yourself up and go get it for me. And do not mention my name or give her any clue as to who I am. I wouldn’t want to have to hurt her to keep her quiet as well. She’s better off not knowing who busted your face. If you cooperate, that will be all I do to you.”
George weakly got to his feet with one hand nursing his nose. Blood dripped on the hallway as he staggered toward the bedroom. Gonzo sat back down, feeling that he had the situation under control but anxious to leave. He heard a female voice coming from the bedroom. George’s wife, she was crying. Gonzo leaned back comfortably in the chair, feeling the gun secured in his jeans behind him and feeling weight of Thomas George’s Glock as he kept it pointed toward the hallway. He rubbed the ball of his thumb into the thumb groove of the gun’s handle. ‘Humans sure do make it comfortable to kill each other’ he mused to himself. He heard George’s voice, “Everything will be fine I promise, please whatever you do, don’t come out of this bedroom!” Gonzo leaned over and saw the broken George shut the door and hobble back toward the dining room, mallet in hand.
“That was some good advice you gave your wife just now.” Gonzo commented. “And you’re right , everything will be fine as long as you follow my simple instructions.” Gonzo felt that he had broken George’s spirit thoroughly enough that he would obey his commands from here on out. Gonzo was in control now. “Now slowly hand me the mallet.” he ordered.
George hesitated then spoke up, “If I give you the mallet how can I be sure that you won’t just beat my brains in with it?” His speech was slurred by flowing blood and a now obvious fat lip.
“George, if I wanted to kill you I would have done it already.” Thomas George still stood silent, unconvinced. “Fuck, ok fine.” Gonzo harrumphed and sat back down and put George’s Glock on the table. Then he spread his hands in front of him, palms up and asked, “Fair now?”
George eyed him suspiciously and queried, “What about the one in the back of your pants?”
Gonzo grew frustrated at this. He disdained the thought of negotiating with such an idiotic and cowardly human. “For fuck’s sake,” Gonzo exclaimed “how about the knife in my pocket, you want that too?” Then Gonzo had a notion, a surefire way to keep George’s mouth shut about all of this. What better way to scare George into submission, compliance, and subservience than to show him what he tried to keep hidden all along? It was so simple. It was right in front of him the whole time. Gonzo stood up, pulled the pocket knife from his pocket, flipped it open and proceeded to cut a deep gash into the front of his thigh. George looked at the masochistic spectacle , bewildered. Blood quickly poured down Lenkley’s jeans and onto the floor- only it was super dark blood. George focused on the pool of it now formed at Lenkley’s feet, it was pitch-black. His busted lip cringed as he saw that thick bubbles were rising up in the pool of black blood. It was boiling. “Neat trick, huh?” Gonzo joked.
George looked up, horrified by what he was seeing. He looked into Lenkley’s eyes and saw that his pupils were slowly dilating. The black got bigger and bigger until they enveloped the entire iris and he was staring into a pair of impossibly deep, black eyes. Eyes that seemed to have unlimited depth. He almost thought he could stare into them and see into some other world. “Wh- What the hell are you?” George stammered out.
“I’m a beast Thomas. A beast that will live on long after you are dead. Now whether that event comes soon or a long way down the road is entirely up to you. You can choose to cooperate and obey my simple instructions and live to raise that little boy of yours and bang that wife of yours. All I ask is that you keep your mouth shut about all of this; the mallet, our pleasant little visit here, everything, all of it. Or you can run your mouth and meet your end early and most unnaturally. To be honest, I don’t care too much,” Gonzo lied, “either way I will keep living, but I like to keep a low profile, get me?” George nodded. “Now give me the mallet.” George stood motionless for a moment, weighing his options. He knew he was defeated, but sometimes when an animal is backed into a corner and defeated, it does something drastic.
George slowly raised the mallet, yielding it to Lenkley and Lenkley reached for it, George tightened his grasp on it, pulled it away quickly and swiped at Lenkley’s head with it. George made clean contact. The impact rattled his entire arm. Lenkley was sent reeling to the ground and George reached for his Glock still lying on the table where he and his wife shared meals. He grasped it but immediately felt Lenkley’s shoulder plow into his knees. George fell flat on his back but with gun in hand. He felt Lenkley’s muscular body climbing on top of his, mounting him. George swiped at Lenkley’s head again with the mallet but missed and Gonzo collapsed himself on George’s folded arm. With his free arm Gonzo restrained the hand that George was using to hold the gun. Gonzo was laying all his weight on George’s folded arm and chest. The two were face to face. George looked fearfully into Lenkley’s eyes, still midnight black. Their foreheads and the tips of theor noses were touching as they struggled. Gonzo was snarling, growling and snapping his jaws at George’s face like a beast. Then Gonzo finally caught some flesh in his jaws. He bit and clamped onto the tip of George’s nose and tore the thick flesh off with a snap of his neck. George screamed in pain and Gonzo took the opportunity while George lost focus and pounced on his arm and the gun. He tried to rend the gun from George’s hand but he was clenching onto it for dear life. Gonzo couldn’t break his grip so he leaned his knee into George’s arm and with his free hand, he yanked the mallet from George’s unsuspecting hand. He raised the mallet high while still restraining George’s gunned hand with his left hand and knee, and sent it slamming down into George’s shoulder. George screamed. Gonzo raised it again and drove it down into George’s shoulder but he still gripped the gun. “Now you’re showing some fortitude?” Lenkley asked incredulously. A third time, then a fourth, then finally on the fifth hammer stroke George gave up and let go of the gun. He rolled over, utterly defeated and in unimaginable pain. Gonzo seized the gun and stood over George’s body. He produced the knife once again and stabbed George in both calves. He put his hand over George’s mouth as he screamed. “Okay, you want to do it this way?” Gonzo steamed. He dragged George by his now busted arm to the hallway. He left him there on the floor and pulled out both guns. He pointed one to the closed door of the bedroom where his wife was, and the other at the door of the nursery where his son lay.
“Pleas, god no!” George cried. Gonzo cocked both pistols. “I won’t say a word, I swear on my life!”
Gonzo slowly turned his head to George, bloodied and beaten on the floor. He was reminded of Omar Ramos after he had destroyed his face and again after he had sawed his throat open. Gonzo’s pants grew tighter as he felt a rigid erection surging in his crotch. He was poised to take two lives at once and he had already beaten half the life out of a full-grown man already. He was in heaven. “You do swear on your life don’t you?” Gonzo said in a low voice.
“Yes, for god’s sake yes! I won’t say a word just leave them be and go.”
Gonzo stood with guns pointed at the doors, contemplating. His palms were sweating, in fact his entire body was being coated in sweat. He tightened his grip around both triggers. Then finally…he relented. He dropped both arms to his sides and took a deep breath. His reasonable thoughts had prevailed. He walked toward George still writhing on the ground and knelt. He tapped the barrel of George’s Glock on his forehead as if chastising a naughty child. “Not a fucking word of this, got it?” Gonzo ordered.
“Got it” George answered weakly.
Gonzo dug the tip of the Glock’s barrel deep into George’s temple and snarled violently, “Got it?!”
“Yes, got it, fuck!” George yelled like an infantry cadet.
Gonzo stood up, “Good” he sighed. “Tell the chief you got into a bad bar fight, you’ll get workman’s comp er some shit.” Gonzo stepped over George’s body and headed for the front door. As he stood in front of it with hand out, he thought, ‘Ah shit, no one’ll believe that…fuck it.’ He swung back around, pulled the Glock and sunk three rounds into George’s chest, killing him. With erection still pulsing, Gonzo stood over his kill. Then he heard the bedroom door open. A woman’s face poked out into the hallway. She caught sight of Gonzo’s face, then saw her husband’s lifeless body on the ground. She broke down in a sob and lurched to her husband’s corpse, collapsing on top of it.
“Hey” Gonzo gently called. No response. The woman kept her face down on her husband’s battered chest. A little louder but still rather gently, “Hey!” The woman looked up at Gonzo. “You should have listened to your husband.” He raised his pistol and put one right between her eyes. Her limp body fell atop her deceased husband’s. Gonzo let out a deep, labored breath and scratched his head with the smoking barrel of his gun. He turned toward the door when he heard another noise. Crying. He was hearing the cries of a baby awoken from sleep. Then he remembered, ‘The son.’ He stepped over the two newly lifeless bodies and went down the short hall. He opened the door to the nursery and the screams became louder. Stepping slowly towards the crib, Gonzo realized he never had any interaction with infants. He peered down into the crib, gun in hand. He was now face to face with something completely alien to him: an unassuming, innocent, human life. Gonzo marveled at the tiny human being for a while, still screaming it’s head off. ‘A human’ he thought, ‘yet uncorrupted, innocent. But destined for filth and desecration.’ He put the barrel of his gun up to the infant’s face. Little Riley held the steel of the weapon with both hands and stopped crying. “You like that? You like the smell of gun smoke?” Gonzo whispered in a baby voice. He gently cocked the gun, the pulled it away. He retrieved the mallet from the dining room and placed it in baby Riley’s crib. “I’ll see you in one way or another, at some time or other little one.” He walked out of the apartment, closed the door behind him, crossed the quiet street, and plopped into his car. He started the engine, gave a self-satisfied smile and whistled the tune to “On the Road Again.”