FIVE: HOW TO TAKE OUT A WALRUS
I’VE ONLY EVER HAD to fire a gun in my house twice.
The first time was back in 1967. There was a Bigfoot involved. It was this whole thing. I ain't prepared to get into it just now.
The second was in 1982. I shot and killed a werewolf in my bathroom. I don’t recommend it. They bleed a lot. I went through a lot of towels that day. In the end I wound up redoing the entire bathroom: floors, paint, the whole nine yards.
I didn’t really feel like shooting anyone today. I don’t like killing. I won’t hesitate to do it if it needs to be done, and with some of these monsters it’s your only real option. But I take no joy in it.
Well, that ain’t entirely true. Taking out a rascally vampire can often make me smile, and the thought of putting a bullet into Abner Lemonzeo warmed my heart a bit.
But the Walrus? Well, he was just doing what he’d been paid to do. I’d rather see him in chains. Besides, I couldn’t afford to redo the kitchen like I’d done with the bathroom.
“You keep working that tape and I’ll have to put you down, son,” I said, my pistols steady, unmoving, rock solid.
He ignored me.
I took a quick glance behind me at the front door where Pat had fled just moments before. It wasn’t like her to run from a fight, and that had me concerned. Turning back to the Walrus I struggled to try and explain to myself just what Pat had done. Surely she hadn’t run. She must have gone for back up. That was the only logical explanation.
Meanwhile, the thick layer of tape that surrounded the Walrus’s wrists looked to be reaching their breaking point.
“I’m warning you,” I said, then reversed the pistol in my right hand so that I held it by the barrel. I leaned in close to the smelly beast and rapped him a smart one across the top of his head with the butt of the revolver.
If I’d hurt him, he was good at hiding the pain. Instead of groaning or shouting he just swiped at me with his hands. Lashed together as they were, they made one big fist, which took me fully in the shoulder. My arm went numb. I didn’t notice this right away, my attention had instead been drawn to the fact that I was flying through the air.
I landed on my back in the middle of the upturned table that lay in my living room, but I still held on to my guns, and that’s what really matters. It took me a moment to get up, and as I stood, a sharp pain lancing into my spine, the front door flew open and Pat walked in.
In one hand she held a pump-action shot gun. In the other she steadied a small battering ram that had been slung over her shoulder. They’re employed by police forces the world over to knock in doors.
“Catch,” she said, and tossed the shot gun my way.
I holstered my pistols and caught the shot gun. Pat, in the meantime, had taken the ram by the two flexible handles that looped out of its side.
The ram was a little over three feet long and must’ve weighed forty to fifty pounds. Pat swung it like a pro. As the tape around the Walrus’s wrists began to tear, the ram connected with the side of his head. The sound of the impact was thick and meaty, like hitting a side of beef with a sledgehammer.
The Walrus dropped. His eyes rolled into the back of his head, he let out a little sigh of pain, and then fell back like a sack of bricks.
“I thought you’d run out on me,” I said.
She just laughed. “Cover him with that scatter gun while I call this in,” she said, pulling a phone from her pocket. “He should be out for a while, but I’d like to get a couple deputies out here as soon as possible.”
I pumped a round into the chamber, keeping both eyes fixed on the Walrus. I noticed that blood trickled from a small cut on his temple where the ram had hit it. The blood was a dark gray, almost black. The fridge impacting with the top of his head had only left a lump. I wanted to find that curious, but frankly I just couldn’t make myself care that much. I just wanted him out of my house so I could get dressed and have my morning coffee.
“Everyone but Tim and Lyle are on their way,” Pat said as she pocketed her phone.
“So two guys then?” I said.
“You hired a new officer?”
“I did,” Pat said. “She just started today.”
“She’s going to have quite the initiation then,” I said and smiled.
“Here,” she held out her hand. “I’ll take the shot gun. You go put some pants on.”
In the bedroom I pulled on a dark gray suit, adjusting the tie carefully in the mirror. I figured I’d need to pay a visit to Lemonzeo. I can’t have people just sending folks out to kill me without some form of retribution. He needs to know that doing such just ain’t in his best interest. But that could wait until I’ve had my coffee.
I looked myself over in the mirror. I buttoned up my vest and adjusted the tie a few more times. I left the suit jacket on the hanger. I don’t wear suit jackets. They get in my way when I’m going for my guns. The long coat is fine, but a suit jacket falls just at that spot where it bothers me. Maybe others can do it, but not me. I can’t explain it, so I ain’t gonna.
The last thing I did was to strap on my guns. I checked each of the Peacemakers, rotating the cylinder as I slid each shell out, and then back in. Some may consider it obsessive, but I always like to check, double check, triple check, and then check once more before I check the last time. You can never be too careful when preparing for a gun battle.
Was I going into a gun battle?
Not likely, but I didn’t think I’d wake up to find a killer walrus in my kitchen neither, so I felt it prudent to prepare.
I stood, snatched the trench coat and hat—a fedora—from a hook on the wall near the door. I threw the coat over one arm and placed the hat on my head as I left the room.
I’ve been told, all too often, that I look like one of them FBI fellas from the 1930’s. And I suppose I do. Once I find something I like, I tend not to let it go.
I found Pat still standing over the Walrus and I tipped my hat to her.
She smiled in return.
We remained in silence for a few minutes, both of us watching the unconscious form of the killer mutant. The blood that had oozed from the wound on the thing’s head had stopped flowing and had congealed on the skin. The wound itself looked less shallow and not as long. It appeared to be closing, meaning that the Walrus, like me, healed with a quickness.
“You going to tell me why this thing was after you?” Pat asked, breaking the silence and interrupting my thoughts.
“Abner sent him,” I said.
“Lemonzeo?” she said. “I knew he’d gotten out, but what’s he got against you?”
“He’s still a little sore that I got him arrested in the first place, I guess.”
“Talk about holding a grudge.”
“I know, right?”
“You planning on doing something about it?” she asked.
“I haven’t decided,” I lied.
“Come on, Norman. We don’t lie to each other.”
“I might go have a talk with the man,” I said.
“Talking’s fine, Norman,” she said. “It’s the shooting that’s going to get me involved.”
“I ain’t never shot no one that didn’t deserve shooting,” I said.
“Regardless, we still have laws, Norman. You go downtown and do something stupid like shoot Abner Lemonzeo, well, I’m going to have to deal with that.”
“I have no plans to shoot the man, Pat,” I said.
“Good, keep to those plans.”
But, as I looked down at the Walrus and thought about what Lemonzeo had done, as I wrapped my mind around the fact that were it not for the lyrics to a Beatles song I might be dead, another Beatles song began to slide through my thoughts.
Happiness is a Warm Gun.
I couldn’t help but smile.