Two Tonys Prologue

Thanks to all of your help and feedback, the prologue for my next book, Two Tonys, now looks like this:

Sometimes at night, I lay on my bunk, staring at the swatted flies and mosquitoes stuck to the ceiling, reminiscing about the pieces of shit I whacked, which gives me weird thoughts. Probably not weird in the way you’re imagining. If you’re thinking that any of my victims might have been the next Bill Gates, or might have discovered a cure for cancer, or might have been the first man to walk on Mars, no, let’s be real. They were pieces of shit who might have blown your face off during an armed robbery or sold heroin to your kids. For almost two decades, I got away with putting dirt-balls to sleep. It all ended after my arrest in the early nineties, so let’s take a peek there.
In 1992, I was reading in my cell – books keep me alive, they keep me from fucking dementia – when the peep slot on my door slammed open, and a pair of eyes gazed in. “You’ve got a legal visit. Back up to the door and don’t try anything stupid.” A key rattled, a latch clicked and a hatch unfastened.
Glad to get out of my shithole, I put my book down, got up from the metal bunk, put my hands behind my back and fed them through the hatch. Handcuffs clicked on tight. Two pairs – a practice reserved for dangerous motherfuckers, like the big dudes in here who work out all day, and are into cage fighting or are ex-Marines, and have the strength and knowledge to get out of cuffs. I ain’t in that group. Then there are guys who ain’t physically intimidating, but their file says that based on their criminal and prison history, they’ll kill you in a heartbeat with a weapon. That’s more like me. But if I got free, I ain’t gonna whack a guard. I’d stab a child molester at a kids’ playground, lusting over a six-year-old girl on a swing: creeps like that.
“Step away from the door.” The metal door screeched open. “Come out with your back to us. Any sudden moves and we will face-plant you into the concrete.” I ended up between two overgrown hillbillies, trained to remain aloof, probably told, “If you slip and fall, don’t think a prisoner won’t grab your gun and kill you.” They were not gonna talk about who won the ball game or where the nearest pizzeria is. Chains jangled around my belly and ankles. The door clanged shut and was locked. “Down the corridor. Go!”
Curses and sewage smells rose from the cells as the guards’ boots clunked forward. When they guided me past Visitation, I knew something was up. “Where’re we going?”
“We can’t tell you for security reasons.” They brought me to a small room, and opened the door. “Can we bring him in lieutenant?”
 I shuffled inside: beige walls, a fluorescent strip light, no windows, a creaky fan.
“Three homicide detectives and a county attorney from Anchorage wanna talk to you,” said another fat redneck, who stood sweating through a tan uniform. “Have a seat.”
The plastic chair slid towards me scraped the concrete. Restricted by chains, I sat slowly, relishing the better air. “Do I have to talk to them, lieutenant?” I asked, playing dumb.
“Then I don’t wanna talk to them.”
“I’ll call the gate to see where they’re at.” He got on his radio. “They’re on their way up. When they get here, tell them you don’t wanna talk to them.” That was his ploy to get me in a room with them.
Dwarfed by the guards, the detectives and lawyer came in, eyeing me like a prize. With the three Alaskans was Dirk Taylor, a Tucson homicide detective I’d been jousting with for almost two decades. In a beige shirt, brown pants and snakeskin boots, he tilted his cowboy hat, revealing his face, leathery and tanned, with a bulbous burnt nose. “How’re you doing?” Dirk’s southwestern drawl was less rustic than the rednecks’. It was polite and coaxing, designed to get fools to incriminate themselves. But behind his charm, he hid the tenacity of a hunting dog.
“Just fine, but I don’t wanna talk to you.”
“We’re just looking to close some old cases,” said the Alaskan attorney, a skinny twerp. “We’re not gonna charge you with any crimes. We know you’re never getting out. Indicting you would be a waste of taxpayers’ money.”
Dirk steered his brown eyes, small and severe, towards the lieutenant. “Can you make him talk to us?”
 I kept my expression deadpan, but every fibre in my body itched for me to say, “What is it you wanna talk about?” But if you ask that question – I was taught a long time ago by the Mafia – you run the risk of dialogue with them, so you say nothing. It’s always best to plead the Fifth, even if they only ask for your address. To come all the way from Alaska to Arizona, it had to be serious. Someone must have ratted me out for whacking members of The Brothers, a biker gang that tried to muscle in on my cocaine business. So what if I left a few bodies along the highway. Those punks all had it coming.
The lieutenant shrugged. “OK, you can go.”
Glad to get away from them, I stood.
“Wait! Don’t you wanna save yourself from the death penalty?” Dirk busted open a manila folder and slapped down a photo of a big bald dude on a hotel-room bed, a fucking mess, blood coming from his mouth, some of it congealed, his eyes closed, one foot on the floor, one on the bed, most of his brains on the ceiling. “We found your prints at the scene. Is there anything you’d like to tell us?”
Gazing impassively, I thought, Who’s Dirk trying to fool?
Dirk slapped down another photo: a biker stabbed to death in a prison cell. “How about this one?”
I shook my head.
Slap! Slap! Slap! Bodies unearthed from the Tucson desert. “How about these?” Dirk snatched a folder from the county attorney. He slapped down another photo: a biker frozen in Alaska with a chunk of his head missing. “How about this one?”
I shrugged.
Slap! Another frozen biker. “And this one?” Slap! A biker with his throat slit. “This one?” Dirk gathered the pictures together like a hand of cards and shoved them towards my face. “You left a trail of corpses from Arizona to Alaska. Tell us something, anything.”
“OK. I have something to say.” Their gazes intensified. The detectives’ eyes were as cold as the corpses I’d left behind in Alaska. I wondered if hunting motherfuckers like me had injected ice into their hearts. “Don’t ever show up here uninvited without bringing me a soda and a burger.” I smiled at Dirk, who sneered. “Can I return to my house?” I asked the lieutenant. He nodded at the guards to return me to maximum security.
Just as I was about to leave, Dirk said, “When they sentence you to death, would you prefer the gas chamber or lethal injection?”
I didn’t even turn my head to look at the motherfucker.

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Shaun Attwood  


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