Authors: Christopher S McLoughlin
By Christopher S. McLoughlin
Soapbox Publishing Retains all rights to Kobe
© Copyright 2016
All rights reserved under international and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. With the exception of brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, no part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without publishers consent.
Trade Paperback Edition– 1-59408-273-X
Printed in the United States of America
For Tiffany McLoughlin,
Without you, none of this would be possible.
Thank you for believing in me when no one else would.
Staying beside me while I went through the hardest moments of my life.
Being a mother to my beautiful and crazy children
And most all,
Thank you for putting up with all of my bullshit.
I love you
Kobe (pronounced Ko-bay) is a great town and a decent place to raise a family. Our school district has high marks in both education and athletics. The caves and forests are great spots for hunting and hiking. Less than an hour south is a beautiful lake with waterfalls and caverns. Watch out for wolf spiders, although not poisonous, the arachnids are known to be aggressive.
The number one attraction is the world famous Grinder sandwich from the BBQ Pitt. Best BBQ in Ohio, maybe even the entire mid-west, but perhaps I'm biased.
Every town has its problems, such as psychotic drug addicts, or an occasional murderous stalker. You may run into devil worshippers burning young girls at the stake. We aren't perfect. However, the law enforcement in Kobe is top notch, so if a problem exists, don't hesitate to call. Bert's probably answering the 9-1-1 hotline as we speak.
So stop by the BBQ Pitt to grab a Grinder, and a cold Kobe brewed beer. Maybe if you're lucky Zed will let you sample his latest batch of finely crafted whiskey.
Make sure you tip your waitress, you never know what might happen if you're rude in
28 seconds Behind the Badge
as told by Sherriff Judd
It ain't easy struttin' with a six shooter in Kobe. To be a sheriff, you gotta make tough decisions every second. Those decisions could be to kill, to kick in a door with no clue what's behind it.
You can't bend or break.
Either pull the trigger or put the cuffs on 'em. It's as simple as that.
Yessir, killing ain't just about strippin' a soul from its skin, it's about keepin' yours secure.
First time I killed was for my wife. I was young and fulla baby batter back then. I didn't know what I was doing, especially about releasing another fella's spirit.
The second time I killed I was a rookie cop in the fall of ninety-three. My ol' man was the sheriff all them years ago. He'd seen the worst of the worst, well, for a podunk town like Kobe.
I didn't go patrolling with him much. Pops felt it compromised the situation.
'Feelings had to stay in the heart and outta the head,'
he used to say, but I rode with him that night.
Only two other officers were on shift, Travis, and McGrady, and they were out grabbin' a pizza. Kobe had less than half the population it does now back in ninety-three, and a fraction of the police force. Hell, we didn't need it. So instead of having about twenty officers, it was just dad and me runnin' the show.
There was this asshole drunk, Clint, that worked at the tire factory. A real piece of work, I tell ya. He'd go to the Watering Hole on payday, or whenever he could scrounge up drinkin' money. Sometimes he'd put his hands on a broad, or start a fight. We were used to picking this prick up for acting a fool.
We got the word Clint lost his shit at the bar, there was lots of cussin' and screamin' in the background when dispatch took the call.
The first thing I saw was the bartender. Shit, that girl couldn't have been more than twenty-four. She looked like a crocodile got a hold of her. Half her goddamn neck was missin', but it wasn't a knife that cut her open, her throat looked like a candy bar with a bite chewed out.
She was shiverin' and shakin', mouth fulla vomit or god knows what.
I radioed for the ambulance, but it didn't matter if the squad took ten seconds or twenty minutes. She was on her way to serve Bloody Mary's to Jesus by then.
Body parts were scattered from the booths to the dance floor, we totaled four dead from the wreckage. Bloody handprints covered the emergency exit from the lucky bastards who got away.
Bill Schmidt was by the pool tables, the last man standing far as I could see. He was swinging a cue stick at Clint, just tryin' to get a piece of him.
I saw that son of a bitch Clint grinnin' with chunks of flesh stuck between his teeth. The bartender's sexy neck just a floss away from being forgotten.
You could tell he was waitin' to let loose on Bill. Maybe he got a hold of some crack co-caine or PCP, maybe the devil stretched up from hell and grabbed him by the short and curlies, but that smile, it wasn't human.
My old man yelled to distract the monster.
Bill Schmidt grasped the opportunity and swung his pool cue as hard as he could. The stick cracked Clint over the head, and the wood separated into splinters.
The blow didn't even faze him.
Clint wrapped his blood stained hands up in Bill's brown hair and pulled him toward his snarlin' lips.
The monster opened wide and wrapped his teeth around Schmidt's whole ear like it was a donut.
Saliva dripped down Billy's lobe as fear coated his face. His eyes locked with mine, begging for help, but I froze.
Clint chomped down and stretched the cartilage of Bill's ear to its full capability.
What spilled out of Bill's mouth...those screeches. Shit still gives me the willies. It was like a gasp mixed with a bathroom fan on the fritz.
Clint's head whipped back and forth, I heard the velcro sound of flesh separatin' flesh, and Bill's ear ripped clean off. The hollow tube inside his hearing canal was all that remained.
The monster finished his snack and settled his sights on me. His eyes had bright aqua irises surrounded by blood from a busted vessel.
Dad reacted quickly. He pulled his iron and fired a round into Clint's chest.
Shoulda split him like a Hollywood marriage, but it didn't.
Instead, he came straight for us. He jumped at least four feet high. When he soared through the air, it felt like one' them freeze-frame moments that roll through, you know what's gonna happen but you're paralyzed by Father Time.
Clint landed on my old man, snarling and angry.
I pointed my pistol at him.
Clint's jaw locked onto my Dad's jugular.
He yanked out my old man's throat.
The monster leaned back and chewed through the tendons.
A round entered the chamber on my nine millimeter.
A hollow-point sliced through the stale air and made direct contact. Half of the demon spawn's jaw split off and went flying across the room. Teeth scattered all over the floor.
I dove into that bastard and knocked him off my dad.
I grabbed onto his hair and busted open his nose with the butt of my gun.
I squeezed the handle on my gun as tight as I could, and pressed the barrel against his throbbing temple.
I pulled the trigger and the bullet cooked Clint's brains like a T-bone steak.
I threw down my gun and went to my dad.
I put my arms around my father's mutilated neck.
His last few breaths escaped.
I told him I loved him.
Just enough time for him to die in my arms.
The tall triangles of Leroy's mohawk flap vigorously in the wind. His pasty skin oozes sweat despite the chill of the autumn evening. Piercings and tattoos decorate his face like a punk rock Christmas tree.
Leroy stops in front of a corner shop with the words 'Kool Beans' etched above a coffee seed wearing shades. Leroy's nose ring clicks against the frosted glass as he peers inside the cafe.
Gooey snot gurgles in his nostrils, he wipes the boogers on his Social Distortion hoodie.
The desolate street is lit by the luminous glow of streetlights, and the subtle shine of a September crescent moon.
Leroy's beady eyes glance down the street, left then right. He casually smashes his fist through the window closest to the door handle. An alarm whines as he pushes away shards of glass and reaches in to unlock the door.
His footsteps are quick and quiet as he zigzags behind the front counter. Leroy inserts a screwdriver in the bottom of the cash register and pops it open.
"Shit the bed,"
Leroy whispers to himself.
A small steel lockbox underneath the register catches his attention. He kneels down and slides the flathead in the crevice of the safe. Once in place, he stands up, lifts his combat boot high in the air, and stomps on the screwdriver.
The lockbox snaps open and in a matter of moments Leroy has a fist full of cash. His happiness is quickly thwarted as the high beams of a police cruiser shine through the front window.
“This is the Kobe Police Department, come out with your hands up!” Distorted words echo through a bullhorn.
Leroy snarls, shoves the money into his pockets, and runs out the back door. To his dismay, a familiar staple of the small town awaits his arrival.
Sheriff Judd; a tall, stocky, hillbilly in his forties sucks on a lump of tobacco. He points his revolver at Leroy and cocks it. The criminal takes note of the weapon and stops dead in his tracks. He raises his hands and clasps them behind his head.
“Hankerin' for a cup uh Joe, son?" Judd asks as he holsters his weapon.
Leroy attempts to dash, but Sheriff Judd grabs him by the collar and presses the Junkie's oily face into the coffee shop's exterior wall. Drool smears on the bricks as the cop clicks a set of handcuffs around the punk rocker's wrists.
Judd reaches into his back pocket and puts on a pair of latex gloves.
“Now, you wouldn't have any sharp objects that might stick me, would ya?”
“Yeah, my dick,” a snicker passes through Leroy's chapped lips.
"I doubt it. All the shit you pump into your system, that thing ain't stuck nuttin' in years," Judd slowly digs into the perpetrator's pockets, the cash crinkles in his hands. “Now what’s this here, son?”
“My lunch money,” Leroy spouts off, “my mom forgot to pack me a sandwich.”
“Cute. They’ll like that in lock up.” Sheriff Judd places the greenbacks into a plastic evidence bag. He escorts Leroy through Kool Beans and tosses him into the back of his cruiser.
“Easy there officer, I ain’t no duffle bag,” Leroy situates himself.
"Oh, I'm sorry Mr. Brown, I'll try and be more careful," Sheriff Judd gets in the car.
“How'd you know I'd run out the back door?" Leroy Brown asks. "Pretty clever for a fat slab of bacon.”
"You junkies ain’t got much gumption. I ain’t clever, just smarter than you stick pin dolls.”
* * * * *
Sheriff Judd drives past businesses on the main strip into the residential part of town. The houses scoot across the slightly tinted windows; balconies, garages, clean cut lawns.
“This ain't the way to the station,” Leroy says with a slight cringe in his voice. The snot runs down his ugly mug and catches in the pockmarks around his mouth.
“You'd know wouldn't ya?" Judd chuckles. "The two of us have taken that stroll a time or two, ain't we? Don't fret your pretty green head, Pumpkin, we'll be there directly.”
Street lights freckle the road as they pass a route twenty-three sign. Gravel spins underneath the tires as the cruiser enters a driveway. The predator and the victim drive until the main road is just a memory.
Judd stops by a wooden shack, shuts off the engine and exits the cop car. He casually opens the back door and retrieves Leroy from the vehicle.
“Take me to jail or let me go. I got rights!” Leroy spits in Sheriff Judd's face.
“Keep sweet talkin' me princess.” Judd laughs deeply from his chest and wipes the thick, bubbly mucus from his cheek.
The Sheriff cracks Leroy over the head with his nightstick. The green haired porcupine stumbles and falls. Blood spills from his mouth as his eyes flicker like old cafeteria lights. When he's down, Judd whacks him in the dick with the black club.
"Now you really are a princess, ain't cha." Judd pokes him in the guts. "I don't get to do this often, but when I do, I love pickin' you pricks out. Like veal from cages. Weak. Fragile. You junkies need a crutch to walk a mile."
Judd drags Leroy’s body into the shack. Inside, an array of dead pigs, cows, and deer, swing from meat hooks. Zed, a short skinny man with glasses, slices up a freshly smoked pig and throws the meat into a foil pan.
“Hey Judd, whatcha got there?” Zed shouts as he adjusts his bifocals. His greasy silver hair sticks to the side of his head with sweat.
Judd drops his captive on to the wooden floor boards near the entrance, bringing him back to consciousness.
“My, my, if it ain’t Leroy Brown,” Zed wipes his bloody hands on his jeans.
“I caught this sad excuse for a criminal breakin' into Kool Beans," Judd says.
Zed walks over to meet the prisoner. “He used to work as a cook at the Barbeque Pitt." The short skinny man bends down near the junkie's face. "Ain't that right Leroy? You use to take the trash out for me and wash dishes, ain't even smart enough to boil water."
“Appears it’s gonna be a homecoming for ya Leroy,” Judd tells the perpetrator. "Strip down to your spankies, boy."
Leroy rolls over and clutches his bruised, broken, cock. The tears and whimpers squeak out of him.
"The fuck?" Leroy spits out the words as slobber dangles on the edge of his lips. "I always..." Snot mixed with bits of dried blood hangs from his nose ring. "Knew you was weird, Zed..." he lifts his head for a split second and drops it down on the cedar floor, "but I never thought you was a faggot."
Zed picks up a pork chop and slaps Leroy in the face, "this ain't got nuttin' to do with pleasure boy, this has to do with bidness. Nobody here, probably nobody nowhere, wants to fuck that slimy ass of yours. Now yer either gonna strip down to your panties, or Judd's gonna pistol whip the ugly off ya."
'How'm I s'posed to take off my clothes with my hands cuffed?" Leroy whines.
"You sound like such a pussy!" Zed says, "ya get busted in the balls one time and ya act like yer whole world's gonna stop spinnin'."
Judd un-cuffs the junkie, "now strip."
Leroy unbuckles his belt and peels off his grimy jeans, leaving dark blue stains on his legs. His underwear reveals the shape of his busted walnuts.
"Whatcha gonna do to me Zed? I ain't never stole from you," Leroy whimpers.
"Mighta not stole from me," Zed shackles Leroy's feet to the tile floor, "but you stole from folks I know, everything you poisoned yourself with came from someone else's pocket," Zed reverts his attention to his brother, "ready hoss?" Zed asks as he grabs Leroy underneath his skinny ribs.
Judd helps his brother lift their victim off the ground.
"Now you might feel a slight sting," Judd tells the punk rocker.
The men position Leroy just right, and lower him onto a sharp, sterilized, meat hook.
"Je-suss!!!" the flesh stretches, than tears to conform to the steel, "fucking!" Leroy holds his breath as his jaw bulges with tension, “Christ!”
He yelps in pain and kicks his legs vigorously. Morsels of vomit expel from his mouth.
Zed raises a calm hand and pats Leroy's shoulder, “simmer down now. All that kicking and screaming ain’t gonna help you none,” Zed spits brown tobacco juice into a pail, “you was a piece of shit cook, boy, you know that? Always wandering off to get high with your stupid friends."
"I...I'm...s...sorry," Leroy's body twitches and trembles.
"I don't give half a horse fuck about what you did two years ago, but I care about what you've been doing lately," Zed says," I can't have any drugs in your system. It'll fuck up the recipe."
"You 'bout done with me, boss?" Judd asks, "I gotta get back to fighting crime before someone notices I ain't patrollin'."
"You're good, I can handle this junkie from here."
"See ya hoss," Sherriff Judd waves as he walks out the smoke shack door.
"Just us now," Zed tells his prey as he walks around the workshop.
Metal and plastic shakers full of seasoning fill the shelves. The floor underneath the hooks is tile, with a drain for easy cleanup. The rest of the shed is cedar and designed to work like a sauna, allowing toxins to sweat out as the body creates a fever state.
"How're ya feelin'?" Zed asks his victim.
"It... it hurts... really... bad." Leroy shivers.
"You'll get used to that hook holding you up. Wanna beer?"
Zed walks into the refrigerator and grabs two light lagers. He cracks one of the cans open and feeds it to his victim, some of it goes into Leroy's mouth while the rest dribbles through the stubble on his chin. Zed opens the other beer and chugs it down.
"It takes the edge off," Zed laughs to himself, "not really. It takes more than a sip of suds to ease your fried out mind. You're in the shittiest situation you've ever been in. Luckily, this is the last shitty situation you'll ever be in."
"Why?" Leroy belts out. Just a painful scream disguised as a three letter word.
"Leroy, you are a complete piece uh shit. You terrorize the neighborhood. Break into cars. Steal purses. You need to provide for yerself, have a job."
Speechless, the only thing that comes out of Leroy's mouth is slobber mixed with strands of pink puke.
"You never worked a day in your life," Zed says, "complete lack of determination. Lack of discipline. You got no redeeming characteristics at all. Is that enough to kill you?" Zed shakes his head. "You bein' a dirty, doped up fuckhead ain't enough for me to kill ya," he smiles, "but a legendary BBQ recipe is. And you're..." Zed pokes Leroy's nose, "the secret ingredient."
Zed opens a cabinet that displays knives, bone saws, and other butchering tools.
"It's a long process," the short, skinny man chooses an old-fashioned straight razor, "first a victim's brought back to the smokehouse in good condition. Bruising the body hurts the meat, and boy, you got a crack in your head the size of the liberty bell. We gotta let that sucker heal."
Zed makes small incisions in Leroy's stomach and thighs. The spike-haired victim sucks air through his teeth and clenches up his muscles.
"Next, the meat's injected with flavors and salt water solution. Garlic, onions, carrots, celery, almost like a marinade. As well as a good blood thinner. Well at the beginning. After the toxins escape your liver, we let it thicken back up.
That blood keeps the meat moist later on. That's one reason I like to make these little cuts, to see how fast you bleed out and how much I gotta tweak it.
"I'll keep you alive until your skin grows around that there hook, makin' it a part of you. That's usually enough time to get all the drugs outta yer system.