Bullet-headed Man

A bullet-headed man in a leather vest with swirling black tattoos on his shoulders walks up to the shooting gallery off the midway and asks the gap-toothed barker, you remember me? I was here yesterday with my girl. This fucking game is rigged. Three shots for 5 bucks, right? He throws a five on the worn hardboard counter. From his baggy jeans, he pulls a sawed off shotgun, which like the man holding it, is nasty, brutish, and short. His first shot takes out the wheel of tin ducks. The barker drops to the ground. The second shot blows away the peak-a-boo Bambi. People scream and scatter. The third shot shreds the dancing bear and punches a hole in the monkey house beyond the canvas backdrop, a colorful woodland scene painted by the lion tamer’s eight year old daughter. I’ll take that prize now, says the bullet-headed man, as he reaches over the counter and grabs the fluffy pink giraffe.

Two kids necking at the top of the Ferris wheel think they hear fireworks and look up into the night sky, expecting to see exploding flowers of light. Under the animal trailers, the macaque stolen from a research lab six months before scampers to freedom, leaving a blood trail seething with Ebola.

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Bullet-headed Man was originally published in Pif Magazine.