Johnny America


Dead Bar­be­cue


Ja­cob Hero’s life took a turn for the worse af­ter he killed the barbecue.
The first shot had ripped clean through it. The sec­ond though em­bed­ded with a
sat­is­fy­ing thud that knocked it across the deck where it twirled, accelerating,
in di­min­ish­ing cir­cles like a spun coin un­til com­ing to rest. He heard the
sirens short­ly af­ter that and qui­et­ly re­moved the clip from the .45 caliber
weapon and laid them on the pic­nic ta­ble next to the cit­ronel­la can­dle. He was
sit­ting in an Adiron­dack chair with his hands on his head when the police
of­fi­cers round­ed the cor­ner with their guns drawn.

The first of­fi­cer was old­er with eyes weary enough to in­di­cate he had seen
worse than a dead bar­be­cue. The sec­ond was young; with all the authoritative
pres­ence of Bar­ney Fife. The first sur­veyed the scene and hol­stered his weapon.

“Cuff him,” he or­dered the younger man, and he se­cured Jacob’s weapon. The
young of­fi­cer zeal­ous­ly snapped the hand­cuffs on Jacob’s wrists.

“Name, sir?” The old­er of­fi­cer asked.

“Ja­cob, Jake Hero.”

“What’s go­ing on here, Jake?”

“I shot my bar­be­cue.” This elicit­ed a small grin from the officer.

“I can see that. It screw up your steak?”

“I thought it would be a bad idea to shoot Bob. The bar­be­cue was,” Jake
trailed off for a mo­ment, “it was not Bob.”

Jake an­swered the rou­tine ques­tions. Yes, he lived there. Yes, in fact he
had been drink­ing and had pol­ished off the bet­ter part of a fifth of Wild
Turkey that morn­ing. Yes, he was mar­ried. No, his wife was not home and
prob­a­bly wouldn’t be any time soon.

“So, who’s Bob?”

“The guy fuck­ing my wife.”

“Ah­hh, that sucks.”


“I’m still go­ing to have to ar­rest you, Jake.” This re­mind­ed Jake distinctly
of the “it’s not you, it’s me” note on the kitchen counter. What the hell did
that even mean? Of course it was her. He wasn’t the one fuck­ing Bob. He was
how­ev­er the one who killed the bar­be­cue. The charges, as they were read to him,
did not in­clude bar­be­cue mur­der. They did in­clude il­le­gal dis­charge of a
weapon, reck­less en­dan­ger­ment and a few oth­ers. As he lis­tened to the deep shit
he was in, Jake con­sid­ered if it might have been more sat­is­fy­ing to have just
shot Bob

Filed under Fiction on December 27th, 2013

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