Wormwood Files Part III

"The Strand Brothers"

(Both of these guys have almost been totally cut from the book, although I loved their energy and roughshod ways. Maybe I'll put them in their own story someday.)

Five miles south of Wormwood, Eddie and Chad Strand had cornered a lizard among the mounds of beer cans in their living room and were arguing about who’d get to stomp the living shit out of it. They lived in a ranch-style house on a useless, rocky piece of land. Eddie, thirty and the oldest brother by two years, claimed that it was his turn to stomp something.

“No way. You got the last one, you lizard hogging motherfucker.”
“That was a bat,” Eddie said. “That doesn’t count.”
“Why the hell not?”
“It was asleep.”
“Well fuck me. Maybe I should have fucking woke it up first and made it some coffee. Sorry, Great Safari Hunter. My mistake.”

The Strand brothers wore dirty blue jeans, steeled toed boots, and black T-Shirts. Both men were tall and lanky with flat stomachs and muscular, knotted arms, though Eddie was bigger and more handsome than his younger brother, with curly golden hair. Chad’s hair was brown and rattier, no matter how much attention he paid to it, and he viewed the gap in good looks as yet another steaming pile of shit life had handed him.

“How bought we flip for it? We’ll get Pa’s silver dollar out.”
Chad lit a cigarette. Eddie always tried to pull this one. Along with everything else, he had better gambling luck, too.
“How about you go to hell, Eddie, and let me stomp this fucker flat already?”
“Hell,” Eddie said. “Fine, if you’re going to be such a whiny little bitch about it. Go ahead. I bet you can’t even catch him.”
“All right then. This lizard’s about to get a whole lot flatter.”

Chad stepped towards the lizard. It didn’t react. He took another step and smiled. His boot’s shadow fell over the lizard like a doomsday cloud. Eddie cupped his hands around his mouth.

“Run, motherfucker! Run!”
Chad stomped down but he was too slow and the lizard darted past him. Eddie ran to the front door, opened it, and whooped as the lizard slipped across the doorway and into the night.

“You asshole. I about had him.”
Eddie whooped again. Chad threw a right cross at the asshole’s chin, but his brother caught the punch easily and grinned.
“Who’s the Great Safari Hunter now, bitch?”
“Why do you always fuck me over like that, Eddie? It was my turn, fair and square.”
“Christ, Chad, I’m your older brother. It comes with the territory. How about I buy you a beer at Frankie’s to make it up to you?”
“You can buy me a beer, but you’re still an asshole.”
“Maybe so,” Eddie said, smiling as he got his keys off the coffee table, “but I bet I’d have a friend if I ever stopped by that lizard’s house for tea and hot cakes.”
“Lizards don’t live in houses, Eddie.”
“The fuck you say.”


starshrine said...

Great stopmin lizards Batman!

mikey said...

I'm pretty sure I went to high school with these guys. One's in jail now I think.

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