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Billy the Kid On the Lam: A Short Story

Updated on November 25, 2015

Thanks for Returning

I appreciate you following along as my anti-hero blasts his way through another adventure.

When last we saw Billy, he had just double-crossed a crime boss and a Mexican drug cartel, leaving six bodies in his wake. Now he’s putting some distance between himself and those seeking vengeance, and he’s got a sweet innocent with him.

Let’s see what he’s up to this week!

Is time running out for Billy the Kid?
Is time running out for Billy the Kid? | Source

Sticky Wicket

I’ve got the Russian mob looking for me up north in Jersey and Washington Heights. I’ve got the Mexicans eager to slit my throat in Key West. As I watch the miles flash by with Genna driving, I’m thinking now is a good time to see the U.S.A. is our Chevrolet, except Genna drives a late-model Lexus and she ain’t in the mood to sightsee. Genna had the bad luck to have insomnia and walk the beach at the exact same time a drug shipment came in. She was about to become collateral damage when I shot the Mexicans to save her. Now it’s safer for her to be with me than remain in Key West, and anyone who knows my history knows that’s not much of an upgrade in safety.

She glances at me for the umpteenth time, looking for answers.

“What do we do now?” she asks.

I wish she’d quit asking that damn question.

“There is no we, Genna. You’re better off dropping me at the bus station and then getting as far away from me as possible. The Mexicans don’t know your name and even if they do, chances are good they won’t nail you for this. They’ve got their drugs, or at least they will have soon, so all you have to worry about is your ex-husband. Put some miles between him and you and pretend this didn’t happen.”

We drove another twenty miles before she spoke again. The further north we went the heavier traffic was along the Overseas Highway. Cypress and oak scrub flashed by, then more water on both sides of the road, as the lady kept us at a steady seventy. Worry etched lines across her mocha face like some mighty river carving canyons after a heavy storm.

“Okay, forget about me for a second. What are you going to do?”

Variations of the same theme. I didn’t blame her for the questions. Her life had been tossed in a dumpster because of a late-night walk along the beach. It was just the wrong late night on the wrong beach.

“I’ve been dancing this dance since I was fifteen, first with the Italians, then the Russians, and now the Mexicans. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of running errands and doing scut-work for gang-bangers with more testosterone than brains. I need to lay low and find a way out of this life, but first I need some information. If you want a destination, why don’t you drive me to Atlanta? That’s as good a city as any for me to write a new chapter. Drop me off there, take half the money I lifted from Tiny Momma and go make a new life somewhere. Twenty-five grand will get you a new start in a new town. You’re pretty. You won’t have any trouble finding work no matter where you go.”

“What’s in Atlanta?”

“I’ve got a friend there. He’s got some information I need before I make my next move.”

“What information?”

“About the Russians and in particular about a guy named Ivan, who is dead because of me. His friends aren’t happy about it. Now how about you take a break on the questions? I’d appreciate a ride to Atlanta. If you can’t do that, or won’t, then drop me in the next major town and I’ll catch a bus.”

ATLANTA

After a hard ten hours of hard driving we pulled into the Big A at four in the afternoon. The city was humming with commerce, busy worker bees shuffling along to the sounds of currency, all trying to add to their tally and make their mark. All major cities are the same. The further one goes from the central business district, the closer one gets to the part of town you won’t find on travel brochures. My business was with a childhood friend, Pete Callaghan, another crazy Mick bastard and one of the few men I trusted. Last I heard he was working freelance, running numbers, skimming the cream, doing the odd job usually farmed out by the Russians and Italians. If anyone would know my current status it would be Pete.

I found him in a tavern on East Tupelo, his usual place of business. He was sitting in the corner booth nursing a draft when I walked in. He saw me, smiled, shook his head and the hand I offered.

“Billy the Kid! I’ll be damned. What are you doing here? I figured you for dead in the East River, but you always were a tough nut to crack. Do you have any idea how much trouble you’re in?”

“I’ve got a pretty good idea, Pete, but I need you to tell me for sure.”

“The Russians don’t forget, Billy. You killing Ivan just about makes you a legend among the Russians, and I don’t mean that in a good way. You’ve got a hundred grand on your head. They’re looking for you on the east coast, in Vegas, Los Angeles, hell, anywhere and everywhere. If I were you I’d find a big rock and crawl under it. Maybe this will all blow over in five or ten years, but I wouldn’t bet on it.”

“I figured that’s what you’d say, Pete, but I had to know for sure. I guess I’d better hit the road. You never saw me, right?”

“Saw who, Billy? Hey, remember the day we both lost our virginity with Doris Bowman? Damn she was a hot one. Those were good times, weren’t they?”

“They were indeed, my friend. Gone forever, I’m afraid. Neither of us are virgins now.”

GENNA

She was still sitting in the car when I left the tavern. Too afraid to drive off, scared shitless for waiting, she was flipping a mental coin when I opened the passenger door and got in beside her.

“You’re still here,” I said to her profile.

“I’m still here. I can’t figure out what to do. I want someone to wake me up and tell me it was all a bad dream, but that’s not going to happen, is it?”

God she was a good looking woman. The Atlanta sun glowed on her chocolate skin. Her full lips tightened as she waited for me to tell her everything would be all right, but her dark eyes held the truth of the matter.

“Listen, Genna. I’m about as hot as I can be. I can’t go to any major city. The Russians are looking for me. They’re offering one-hundred thousand to anyone who fingers me or kills me, and you could end up being collateral damage if they find me. My best bet is to hole up in some small town, somewhere the Russians couldn't care less about, and hope to shit this goes away. And then there’s the Mexican problem, so that means I can’t go to the east coast, or the south or the west coast. I need to disappear in some state like Kansas or Oklahoma, some hick-assed state where organized crime wouldn’t be caught dead in. I’d love to help you but honest to God, you’re better off with your crazy-assed husband than you are with me.”

Tears filled those beautiful eyes and began to flow down her cheek.

“I can’t go back to him. He’ll kill me eventually. Please, just let me stay with you for awhile, at least until we both figure out what we’re going to do.”

What was I going to do? I felt a responsibility towards her.

“Your pick, then. Kansas or Oklahoma?”

She started the car and pulled away from the curb.

“How about Iowa?” she said as she accelerated into traffic. A few minutes later she started laughing. I asked her what in the hell was so funny.

“I just realized today is Thanksgiving.”

As the car pulled away from the tavern, Pete wrote the license plate down. He pulled out his cell phone and placed a call.

Now What?

Who knows, right? Wherever Billy goes, trouble follows, so we’ll just have to wait and see if this country is big enough for Billy, the Russians and the Mexicans. Hopefully, Genna won’t regret her decision.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 20 months ago from Europe

      Love this story, especially your use of language. "...,as the lady kept us at a steady seventy.", and much much more. I'm curious why he was placing a call. You're a gifted writer, billybuc. Have a great day:)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 20 months ago from SW England

      As soon as you said he trusted Pete, I thought 'I wonder!' That's a great hook, bill.

      Love the phrase 'shuffling along to the sounds of currency' - wonderful!

      By the way, it's 'somewhere the Russians COULDN'T care less about'; I know you know that, because you've mentioned it before! Sorry, had to tell you about that :)

      These stories already make the beginning of a good novel and I can't wait to read the next chapter.

      Have a wise and wonderful Wednesday, bill.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm so glad you enjoyed this, Buildreps. And thank you for the very kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, thank you for catching that error. Sigh! Such a simple mistake. I guess I'm not immune to the editing bug. :) Anyway, I'm glad you are enjoying this story. We'll see if our couple even makes it out of Atlanta alive.

      Happy Wednesday my friend.

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 20 months ago from SW England

      And you've corrected it already - aren't you good?! I hope they do make it out of Atlanta alive, but you can never second-guess this lot!

      Ann :)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 20 months ago from SW England

      BTW, nearly forgot, Happy Thanksgiving for tomorrow, to you and yours. I'm sure you and your great family will have a wonderful time together.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I had to correct it while I was thinking about it, because my memory just isn't what it used to be. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Ann! It will be a large group and filled with laughter and love.

      bill

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 20 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Well Bill, I think my family and yours will have a much happier Thanksgiving than your Billy, but his will certainly be exciting. Another great installment. Thank you my friend.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 20 months ago from Taos, NM

      Great story, Bill and very engaging. Could Pete's phone call be a betrayal? I enjoyed reading this story. You and Bev have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 20 months ago from Northern California, USA

      OMG! I can see Pete is about to stir up some more mess for Billy the Kid.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you. I hope you, Bev, and the family all have a wonderful time. My daughter and her family is coming to my house for Thanksgiving, but she's doing all the cooking because my foot has not healed yet. Yep! I'm going to milk this recuperation thing for as long as I can. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda, and Happy Thanksgiving to you. Thanks for the spelling alert.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad you liked it, Suzette. I think Pete is going to be a problem for sure. You just don't know who you can trust. Happy Thanksgiving, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Marlene, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. All the kids are in town and it will be a full house for a few days. :)

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 20 months ago from Northern Ireland

      Great story, each bit stands alone, yet fits together.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Meg! Thank you so much.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      If Pete was a good friend, I wonder who he's calling and why? My guess he's still a good friend and will help Billy in such a way as only crooks know. Your chocolate friend sounds beautiful and in dire need of a friend, you! I love this story.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad you love it, Ruby. I'm certainly enjoying the journey. I wonder if Pete is really that good a friend? Stay tuned!

      Happy Thanksgiving, my friend.

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen Szklany Gault 20 months ago from New England

      Just hope Genna doesn't get something meant for Billy in his stead. Keeping me hooked, my friend.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 20 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Another great "Billy the Kid" instalment. We are all hanging out for the next chapter to see the effect of Pete's phone call...good or bad...hmm.?..just have to wait patiently. Enjoy your thanksgiving.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mama, I have serious concerns for Genna. :) Thanks for stopping by and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, John, for the Thanksgiving wishes. As for Pete's phone call, my gut reaction is it isn't a good one. :)

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill and the Kid have a lot to learn - and I mean you Bill. I get big mamma and I get Ivan, but Pete is a dead man walking - scum. Ivan's boys will kill him to get more info, thinking he's holding out. Snitches get stitches.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, a snitch's life can be measured in minutes rather than days. I personally don't think Pete should plan on living for much longer. :) Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 20 months ago from New York

      So much for Pete being a trusted friend. You know what they say "Money talks & B.S. walks".LOL. Looking forward to the nesxt chapter.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 20 months ago from The Caribbean

      Whose side is Pete on? Now my heart's beating fast till we see Billy again. You keep us hooked.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 20 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting and exciting. You are making it a great serial with tiny episodes. Now, Pete is hinting the Russians! Can't wait longer to see what happens next. But, why Russians are there in America? I can't understand.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 20 months ago from United Kingdom

      Wow. Pete's gonna sell him out. What a b******. It's her car too. Now they both in deep ****. I can't imagine what they'll do now.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 20 months ago from sunny Florida

      Dont you love this , bill. It seems the characters have just written this for you....I love it when they do that...awesome awesome journey you are taking us on...

      and Happy happy Thanksgiving to you and yours this special day...any Angels are bringing blessings and hugs to all....ps

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      KonaGirl, it looks to me as though loyalty has a price and Pete has found his. We'll just have to wait and see if you are right. :) Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora! I just don't think Pete can be trusted. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M, after the Soviet Union broke apart, many Russians came to America, and some formed crime empires here....especially on the east coast. :) Sad but true.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, put your faith in Billy the Kid. :) Thanks for stopping by. We'll find out what happens next on Wednesday.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, I do love it when the characters write the story for me. I'm basically a lazy writer so I'm more than happy to turn the story over to them.

      Happy Thanksgiving to your family and many blessings.

      bill

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 20 months ago from New York

      And a happy Gobble Gobble to you too!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 20 months ago from london

      Another great one Bill, and the Kid is running well and smart, too. Genna is great, while not saying too much. Keep going Bro. Really fast-paced and clever story.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 20 months ago from Cape Cod

      You have one speed Bill - breakneck. You start at the top of the verbal roller coaster and and heave the train of cars down a sharp incline that only gets steeper. The pacing is brisk, taut, and tart; and leaves the reader gasping for breath upon reaching the final sentence. Truly a pleasure to read.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 20 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A very interesting story here. An enjoyable read.. Thank you.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 20 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      "The city was humming with commerce, busy worker bees shuffling along to the sounds of currency,..." This is great imagery, Bill, that is unique to your skills as a writer. Childhood "friend," Pete, jots down the license plate and makes a call. It seems he has a price tag that outweighs friendship. Genna suggests Iowa; I wasn't expecting that one; hopefully, neither do those Russians and Mexicans. :-) We all look forward to these installments, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you KonaGirl!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Manatita! The story will continue soon and I appreciate you hanging in there with me and the characters.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Bill. I think pacing is so important. In this, since it really is just a series of short stories, I don't mind going breakneck. In a novel I would go slower....but not much. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, thank you for your continued support. I am trying to improve my imagery so your compliment is helpful. As for Iowa, it's hard to imagine the Russian mob being interested in corn, but who really knows? :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 20 months ago from Central Florida

      Holy Shit! Pete's ratting his old friend out? That's some dirty pool, my friend. I'm thinking maybe Billy and Genna can come up with a plan that'll get her the hundred grand for his head. Could they pull that off and live in peace? Hmmm.

      Can't wait to see what Billy and Genna do next.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 20 months ago from south Florida

      Well, so much for trusting a best friend. That Pete is a dirty $#@&% and he'll get his one day. In the meantime, Billy had best come up with a plan and quick. For fifty grand, he can stay with me. Genna will have to find her own pad. Just suggestin'.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, you have a devious mind....LOL...no wonder I like you so much. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, I'm laughing out loud. I'll pass your suggestion on to Billy. Thanks for the offer. LOL

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 20 months ago from California

      Oh you are the master of mood! Pete is not the best egg in the sack my friend but you draw him so well

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Audrey! I really appreciate it.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 20 months ago from Dubai

      Pete is cunning and evil. Wonder what Genna is going to do, waiting for the next post.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vellur. It's good of you to follow along

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 20 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oklahoma is famous for the gangsters in the 20s and the Oklahoma Bomber. Sounds like Billy could melt into the earthquakes and the red clay dust in this area.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 20 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      So not even Pete is a friend. Guess the guy needs $100,000. Looking forward to more.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I think Billy would fit right in with that era and area. However, I think he's heading for Iowa. :) Thanks for the suggestion. He could end up in OK yet.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      We shall see, Rasma. Thanks for riding along

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 20 months ago from Oklahoma

      These adventures have been a lot of fun to read.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, Larry! Thank you!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 20 months ago from San Diego California

      I guess this troubled pair has to eat their turkey on the run. Can't wait to see what the next twist and turn lies ahead. Great story!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Mel. In fact, they did gobble down their meal. :)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 19 months ago

      That's a hell of a Thanksgiving!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Truly one to remember, Pop! I think I'll be satisfied with ours. :)

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      What do you do with a 'no win' situation? I'm sure they're both thinking that, but maybe in all the mayhem coming down on them they just might sneak through!

      I'm cheering for them, then again I tend to cheer for the 'underdog' as they put up one heck of a fight!

      Loved this installment

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lawrence. I'm not one of those writers who kills off the good guys, so rest assured Billy and Genna will find their way out of this mess.

      Merry Christmas, my friend, and thank you.

      bill

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 18 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It looks like Pete may not be such a good friend, but I'm not sure about anything yet!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, Pete is definitely not one to be trusted.....but what goes around comes around. :) Thank you so much for reading all these installments.

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 18 months ago from Florida

      Another good one. I'm going to find the next one now. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Missy. I'm glad you are enjoying my life mini-series.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 14 months ago from Texas

      Sounds a little like a dangerous live story is in the making. . .

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My goodness, Shanmarie, you are working overtime to catch up. Thank you!

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