Lina: Written By Stephen Fahey – Part 2

Joseph then when outside and left McIntosh alone in the kitchen. He hadn’t eaten anything in two days so after inspecting the eggs he shovelled them into his mouth. They were good. Very good. He had half expected to be poisoned and half expected the eggs to taste horrible, but they tasted great. And that unnerved him. There he was, captive, but well fed. It didn’t seem right. But food was food and McIntosh was starved, so when he finished the eggs he licked the plate. Through the window Fay watched as his guest stumbled to one foot and tried to walk, then fell to the floor with a shout. Determined, McIntosh dragged his slim frame on his elbows and his one good foot, and when he made it to the door Joseph watched as tears streamed down his guest’s face. Fay walked to him and lifted him by the arm and he slung his arm across his own shoulders and put his own arm around his waist. Then he walked him back to the kitchen.

That night the two men sat in Joseph’s lounge chairs and drank neat whiskey. McIntosh’s leg had started to throb with pain and the dulling effect of the alcohol was a welcome respite. Not to mention delicious.

“Tell me, Eli. Have you faith?”

“You mean, like, Jesus?”

“Yes.”

“I can’t say that I do, no.”

“That’s a pity.”

“Eh… why?”

“Just because.”

“Joseph, please. I did my time. And I repented in prison… ”

“I thought you didn’t have faith.”

“I… ”

“Don’t ever lie to me, Eli. Ever.”

“I, I’m sorry, I… ”

“No, Eli. You’re no sorry, you’re frightened. But you needn’t be. Haven’t I taken care of your leg and fed you well and let you drink my whiskey?”

“Eh… yes… ”

“And don’t you think that if I was going to kill you that I already would have?”

“Oh, God… eh… yes, Joseph.”

“Well then, don’t be afraid.”

“Please let me go.”

“… you wouldn’t last the night with you ankle. You need to heal.”

“And then you’ll let me go?”

“No, Eli.”

“But… ”

“No.”

Jesus fucking Christ what do you want!!

“I have everything I want right here, Eli. Your glass is empty. Here, allow me… ”

Again McIntosh was lost for words. And as another helping of twelve year old Redbreast was splashed into his glass he broke down.

“It’s ok, Eli. Let it out. It’ll help.”

And so, Joseph Fay comforted his guest with a hand on his shoulder.

“I’m f-fucking sorry, Joe. Fucking Chist I-I’m sorryyyy! I’m Sooooorrrryyyyyyyyy!!!!”

“I know, Eli. Let it out.”

“I w-was fucking drunk that night. I don’t e-even remember… I fucking did the t-time, Joe… God fucking knows I did! I got fucked all the time and I’ve been shanked and fucked and kicked around so bad that I pissed blood half the time I was in there! I’ve fucking paid, man! I’ve fucking paid!!”

“That’s it’s Eli. That’s it… ”

“And… a-and I’m fucking alone now t-too! No woman will e-ever want me and my family have f-fucking disowned me… ”

“… it’s ok… ”

“It’s n-not! I might as well have fucking d-died! I’m fucking shit! I’m shit and I s-should just fucking die, joe… just fucking kill me, man… f-finish me off. N-nobody would b-blame you!”

“Eli?”

“W-what?”

“Look and me, Eli.”

“What?”

“Look. At. Me, Eli.”

And as he turned and looked at up Joseph Fay he saw the end of a single barrel shotgun inches from his face and his heart lit up. In his drunken desperation McIntosh wept a silent welcoming of death that only those who have suffered the very worst of life know.

“T-thank you, Joseph!”

“Come outside with me, Eli.”

“S-sure thing.”

And out they went to the front of the house. Joseph Fay motioned for his guest to stand back and turn around. And then to hold his hand up above his head. McIntosh complied. Fay raised the shotgun. McIntosh sighed a sobbing, pathetic warble. Then Fay shot and cleaved all the fingers and most of his guest’s right hand off, dropping him to the ground in a spray of bone and blood and screams. Joseph didn’t laugh, he just pumped the slide on the shotgun and walked over and picked McIntosh up by the arm again. As his guest started to slip into shock hobbling back to the kitchen table, coated in his own blood, Fay placed his shotgun back in the cabinet and locked it.

Pouring himself a glass of whiskey, he looked over McIntosh’s wound and nodded to his favourite picture of Ola. It hung over the decanters next to the shelving in a rosewood frame.

“Right, let’s get you patched up.”

*

To be continued…

© Stephen Fahey

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