Nazi Mike stood at the curb looking like a total fag. He wore his low-cut Chucks instead of his Docs, and his 501’s were rolled up high enough to go digging for clams. His black t-shirt was a size too small at least, and with his stringy biceps and cheap tattoos he looked as much rough trade as he did Skin. The real kicker though was the red bandana hanging out of his back pocket, a faded old thing that wiggled around gayly as he minced up and down the darkened sidewalk. He would stop with the mincing now and then to stare longingly into the headlamps of a slowly passing car, inviting the driver to stop for a night of who knows what. Yup, a real flaming fag-a-roo. Then again, that was just the point.
I watched Mike fag it up out there from behind a row of tall shrubs. I dug a little deeper into a 12 pack of warm Buckhorn. It was near midnight, and we had been on the Hill for over an hour, a block off from 14th and Downing, which was where the young hustlers lurked and the rich queers went to cruise. In that hour, a handful of cars had slowed down for a closer look at Mike, but not a one had stopped. I thought on that as I popped the top on about my eighth beer, wondered if maybe the bandana had been a little bit too much, a little bit too obvious, and that instead of acting as some concrete declaration of faggottry, had actually pinged like a red flag of warning on the gaydar of the savvy cruisers.
Well. Too bad for us. It was getting late enough that the cars had pretty much stopped passing altogether, and as I drained my Buckhorn and unzipped for a long horse-piss in an open window well, I figured it was well past time to chalk the whole night up to experience and get over to the liquor store before they closed. We could get a cold case or so and head back to the Big House on Washington, see what was happening there. It was me and Mike’s first time at this after all. I didn’t think we would get too much shit from the other skins.
I had just zipped up with one hand and drained my beer with the other, when Mike gave a quick whistle and I crouched down fast. I looked out from behind the shrubs to see a late model BMW with out of state plates put it in reverse and back up to the curb. The passenger window went down and Nazi Mike poked his head inside and muffled words were exchanged. It was strange, but for a second there he looked for all the world like less of a dress-up queer than an actual girl, some narrow-hipped sock hop chick from a fifties movie. Luckily the window went back up and Mike pulled his head out and the image fell apart. Then, the headlights went out and the driver cut the engine.
From behind the wheel stepped the queer, a tall, gawky fucker in OP short shorts and a village people mustache. The guy was all elbows and Adam’s apple, and was so completely goofy-looking that I nearly laughed my ass off at the sight of him. But it was the strangest thing. Hiding there behind the bushes, standing all alone in the dark, it just didn’t seem so funny anymore.
Mike took the queer’s hand and walked him toward the alley. He even started a conversation.
“Where you from?” asked Mike in an exaggerated lisp.
“California,” said the queer.
“Oh, how nice,” said Mike, and they went past the shrubs where I was waiting and into the alley. I counted five and moved to jump out of the bushes but something was wrong. My legs were like rubber and my gut was in a cold, wet knot. When my legs finally did move Mike and the queer were well past me, and I kicked about half the empty beer cans I’d been drinking across the cement on top of it.
The queer of course heard it, and he spun around and stepped in front of Nazi Mike like he was going to try and protect him. We all stood there frozen for maybe five full seconds until Mike punched the fucker in the back of the head and pushed him against the alley wall.
“Wait a minute,” he said, the whole thing dawning on him now. “What are you guys doing?” Then he said “Help! Help!”
I crushed a Buckhorn under my size 12 boot and moved my rubbery legs with the desperation of a man whose cock is going limp against the belly of a willing young girl. The dumb bastard panicked and pulled away from Mike and ran down the alley, and he was fast enough that he might just have made it, except the alley was a dead end.
He reached the wall in the darkness and he turned to face me, looking less like a man than a frightened child in a fake mustache. I caught him with an overhand right square in the nose, 230 pounds at a full sprint behind it, and I felt the soft nose bone push back into his face and watched the blood spurt out like a sponge soaked in it. I hit him a couple more times as he fell, and when he curled up into a fetal position I started to kick him in the spine and the back of the skull. In a second Mike was on top of him, shoving his hands in the guy’s OP’s and tearing out his wallet along with the pocket of his shorts.
Mike said “I got it man, lets go, lets go!” as he turned back up the alley.
The man said “please, please…” as he gurgled and his arms went limp.
And I thought I’m killing him I’m killing him as I brought my boot down on his head over and over and over again.
Allerton Mead lives in Virginia, where he makes his living as a PR hack in the military industrial complex. He is currently at work on his first novel, an account of the American punk scene in the early 1980’s. This is his first work of short fiction.