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Billy the Kid Pulls a Double-Cross: A Short Story

Updated on November 21, 2015

And the Story Continues

There are some people who seem to be magnets for bad luck. There are others who seem to attract violence, and then there are some, like the protagonist in this series of short stories, who simply cannot get out of their own way.

Is Billy a good man? Is he bad? Does he basically have a good heart or does evil overrun his kinder instincts?

This is a character I know very well. I understand what makes him tick. I may not approve of some of his career choices, but I understand them. Billy is as real as real gets, and there is a little bit of you, and you, and you and you and you, and certainly me, in Billy.

I hope you enjoy him as much as I do.

Source

Between That Rock and Hard Place

Fight or flight? The two basic choices all humans face when confronted with a threat. Fight or flight, which one do you choose, roll the dice, hope it don’t come up craps, brother, and live to roll another day.

Four dead Mexicans, a terrified witness, a drug deal gone bad and the prospect of legions of bad guys all wanting a piece of me….yep, it turned to shit real fast and now it’s fight or flight.

Here’s the thing: we are what we are. You can’t make a hero out of a coward, and you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip. You can take those truths to the bank. I was raised by a banty rooster of a man, ten years off the boat when he fathered me, as crazy an Irish prick as you are likely to meet. The cops in Washington Heights knew my old man by his first name. About once a week they had to drag his ass out of a tavern following a bar fight, bloodied and cussing, spitting teeth and dishing it out as bad as he got it, that was my old man. Keith was his name, from County Galway, the city of Galway on the River Corrib, a brawler across the Pond and a brawler in the States, and he raised his only son Billy (that would be me) to never back down, never run and always land the first punch.

So fight or flight was no choice at all for me as I watched the first sliver of sunlight rise in the east and the blood in the water change from black to grey in color.

The girl stood still ten feet from me, still looking at me with those doe eyes, searching for answers from me, silently begging me to make it all right. Not much chance of that happening. In about an hour Tiny Momma, a four-hundred pound sack of lard in Key West, would be wondering where her shipment of black tar disappeared to, and the Mexican drug cartel would be looking for their half-million in about four hours.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, this was not going to turn out well at all. My sainted mother must be rolling in her grave right about now, her only son once again knee deep in shit.

The Woman

She kept looking at me with those dark eyes, her raven hair spilling over her shoulders, hugging herself against the cold of a warm night. She had no answers. Her life just took a drastically wrong turn during an innocent walk along the beach. Hell of a night for insomnia.

“What are we going to do?” she asked me once more, as if I had a clue.

We only had one chance and running wasn’t it. Organized crime can find you no matter where you hide.

“I think it’s time for a drive. Let’s get the money and drugs into your car. Then I want you to drive me to Key West. That’s where I’m expected and I hate to keep a lady waiting.” I set the drugs and money in the sand and waded back out to the boat. The Mexicans were right where they had died. I grabbed one of their machine pistols. They wouldn’t be needing it.

Back onshore I slung the machine pistol over my shoulder, grabbed the drugs and money and followed my reluctant guide down the beach to her rental unit and eventually her car, a late model Lexus convertible. I had her open the trunk and I tossed the bag and suitcase in. I shut the trunk and got in the passenger seat. The lady slipped in on the driver’s side and looked at me.

“What are we going to do?”

“I really wish you’d quit asking me that question.” I smiled to let her know I was partially joking. “Listen, we’ve got serious problems. The cops won’t help us at all. The Mexicans are not an understanding group and Tiny Momma would eat you for lunch with the right spices. None of them will listen to us with a sympathetic ear. It’s a tough break for you but that’s just the way it is. Our only chance…and I mean our only damned chance…is to hit them before they hit us. If we do this right we just might walk away from this. Now, before we go, how about telling me your name?”

“My name? My name is Genna and I didn’t ask for any of this trouble?”

“I know you didn’t, Genna, but that’s just the way of it. My name is Billy and I guess you could say I’ve been asking for this trouble since I was a gleam in my saintly mother’s eyes. Now let’s go to Key West. If you know any prayers, now would be the time to say them.”

The Drive

With the top down we drove south on the Overseas Highway. At five in the morning there was no traffic. The warm ocean air was intoxicating, deviously peaceful, whispering tranquility while my mind screamed of the havoc we were approaching. Genna’s face was distorted with worry as she drove a steady sixty, water on both sides of us, gentle swells undulating to the ancient rhythm of life. Five miles into the drive she glanced at me.

“Why do you do it?” she asked.

“Drug-running? I need the cash. Simple as that. Some people drive a bread truck. Some are carpenters. This is the kind of life I’ve been in for years, and before you say it sure, I could go straight, drive one of those bread trucks, but so far I’ve chosen not to. I’m just a crazy Mick bastard who’s been lucky so far. I haven’t been shot and I haven’t been some guy’s bitch in the stir doing ten to twenty. I gotta tell ya, though, I’m done working with Mexicans. They’re too damned trigger-happy. So what about you? What do you do when you aren’t taking moonlit walks on the beach and interrupting drug deals?”

The wind blew her untied hair straight back, making her appear to be flying with a cape, some super-hero with the face of a mahogany angel.

“I’m running away from an abusive husband. The house I was staying at is a friend’s. I was trying to figure out what to do now that I’m rid of Jake. He doesn’t know where I am. If he finds me I’m afraid he’ll kill me.”

“What about the police?”

Her laughter held no humor. “What about them? Jake is the Assistant D.A. in Miami. I’m the black daughter of a sugarcane farmer. Who would listen to me?”

“I would.”

Just call me a sucker for a pretty woman and leave it at that. If I got out of this particular frying pan I would most likely jump right into the fire.

Death Alley
Death Alley

The Arrival

We pulled up in front of Death Alley, Tiny Mommas headquarters, at five-twenty. I turned to Genna.

“You can wait for me or take off. Your choice. If you wait I’ll be fifteen minutes tops. After fifteen minutes, if I’m not here, leave and drive fast. Makes no difference where you go but you can’t go back to that house on the beach. If I’m not successful then your life span can be counted in weeks. Understand?”

I opened up the car’s trunk and grabbed the machine pistol I had borrowed from the departed Mexicans, slipped it under my windbreaker and walked to the front door carrying the bag of black tar with more bravado than I felt. No way was Death Alley open for business, but I had no doubt Tiny and her goon Isaac, seven feet of pissed off, were inside waiting for my delivery. I knocked twice and immediately heard footsteps approaching. The door opened, allowing interior light to leak on the sidewalk, and Isaac motioned me inside.

“Tiny is in the back waiting for you,” he said. “I’ll have to pat your down before you go back there.”

Never show fear!

“Pat yourself down you overgrown steroid. Follow me in there but you aren’t touching me.” And with that I led him to the back office. I knocked once, entered and was greeted by Tiny, sitting on a sofa, sprawled out eating ice cream. She smiled at me. I smiled back. Just two old friends spreading the love.

“Billy the Kid. Right on time. I like that, and I see you’ve got the goods. Just drop it on the floor, Mon Ami. Your payment is on the table there.”

I took two steps towards the table, spun around and tossed the bag of drugs at Isaac. Instinctively he reached up to catch it and that’s when I pulled the machine pistol and raked him with ten bullets, north to south. The drugs hit the floor seconds before Isaac. I turned around to face Tiny, who was reaching under her tent of a nightgown, no doubt for the Glock she always keeps strapped to her thigh.

“Sorry, Tiny, but never do business with a crazy Mick bastard.” I shot her in the forehead. One bullet was enough. The ice cream was ruined, as was her nightgown, as was my appetite.

I wiped the machine pistol down, eliminating prints, dropped it on the floor and left the drugs. The Mexicans would have trouble figuring this one out. Probably chalk the loss up to the greed of a fat crime boss. I ran back outside, grabbed the suitcase of cash as Genna looked on, took it back inside Death Alley and left it by Tiny. I took fifty grand from the suitcase, traveling money, and left the rest. No reason to get greedy. Word would get back to the Mexicans that the drugs and the money were found, minus the cost of doing business.

Genna had the engine running when I left the bar. I climbed in.

“Now would be a good time to drive this thing north,” I told her.

She didn’t ask any questions. I liked her for that.

To Be Continued

Just another day in Paradise, right?

As you read this, Billy and Genna are heading north, putting some distance between them and their past. Where they’ll end up is anyone’s guess.

Thanks for riding along with them. I hope you’ll join me again next week when Billy the Kid rides again.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 20 months ago from New York, New York

      Aw, Bill great continuation here and loved getting to know more about Gemma here today. Look forward to the next installment now. Happy Friday and have a great weekend, too ;)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine. Here's hoping Genna can rehabilitate Billy just a smidge. :) Happy Friday to you!

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 20 months ago

      Great story Bill. When can we expect the next installment?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mike! I suspect Billy with ride again next week, good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise. :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Yea, next week we'll find out more. I fear for Genna, she's in two really bad situations. I think if I were her I'd stick with Billy. This story has it all and I am enjoying each episode..

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 20 months ago from The Caribbean

      I know that Billy will surface again; have to wait to see if Genna will. You're just so good at this, Bill.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 20 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, you've done it again. Can't wait for the next installment.

    • Ericdierker profile image

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

      I count 6 less drug running murderers walking the street. Good for Billy! Please don't let Genna leave without a good steamy scene for Billy, he deserves it after all that killing.

      Thanks for a good time buddy

      Have a great weekend.

    • Charu Bhatnagar profile image

      Charu Bhatnagar 20 months ago from India

      Loved the update. :)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 20 months ago

      For a bit of a lunatic, Billy is a real problem solver.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Ruby! Scary to think Billy is Genna's best option, but I think you're correct.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Dora! Have an enjoyable weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! I'm glad you're enjoying it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, you're mind works like mine. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. :) Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad, Charu! Thank you for being here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Pop, he's unorthodox at the very least, but like you said, he does get things done. Thanks for the visit and comment.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 20 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Great story. It is getting more and more interesting and thrilling. Will be waiting for the next episode eagerly.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 20 months ago from london

      Fast-paced, awesome and breathtaking stuff. No prisoners taken. Will he get the farmer's sweet daughter? This Compere I know at Poetry Café, has a habit of saying: "You're stealing my thunder!" Let me not steal yours, Bro. Great Story! Continue ...continue...

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 20 months ago from United Kingdom

      North? To the lions' den? He really is a crazy Mick bastard. Genna is interesting. Any sane woman would have run a mile. Maybe she's just as crazy as he is. Oh, what a great ride this is. I smell another novel in the making.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 20 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Genna (I like that name) has unwittingly jumped from the frying pan of an abusive husband (And he's the Miami ADA to boot? Ouch. ) into the fire world of our beloved bad penny. Wow. Leisurely night strolls on the beach don't get more exciting than this -- and neither do stories. This one is as intoxicating as that Florida ocean air. I love your imagery and the way you give us vivid snapshots of your peripheral characters -- such as the "overgrown steroid" Isaac. The Kid was smart, leaving the drugs and the bulk of that cash behind. And we kinda hoped that Genna was going along for the ride...well, at least for now. Love this! :-)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 20 months ago from SW England

      This all-action series of yours rolls along at break-neck speed and spins us along with it; brilliant!

      As Genna East says, you have innovative imagery down to a fine art, bill. We are right there, on the beach, in the car, in Death Alley. I can smell the air. Can't wait for the next one!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M. I'm so happy you are enjoying this.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, I will continue, my friend, as soon as the muse whispers in my ear. Thank you and peace be with you always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I'm not sure Billy is even crazy enough to continue north, but we shall see. Thank you for riding along with this modern-day Clyde and reluctant Bonnie. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, thank you for letting me borrow your name (yes, you were the inspiration). I hope you don't mind. I'll try not to soil the name. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann! I'm having fun writing this one. I don't have to take it too seriously. I'm just along for the ride like the rest of you.

      Have a superb weekend, my friend. Winter has arrived with a vengeance here.

      bill

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen Szklany Gault 20 months ago from New England

      Looking forward to seeing how far up north they get. ~:0)

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 20 months ago from south Florida

      What a great, exciting story line for a screenplay this would be, Bill. That Billy the Kid is leading a charmed life ... so far. Perhaps he and Genna will get as far as the Okeefenokee Swamp and you can bring some ferocious gators into the scenario. Just suggestin'. ;)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 20 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Life certainly ain't boring for Billy the Kid. Don't like to imagine where he may end up eventually, but it's a fun ride while it lasts. Good one, Bill.

    • Rabadi profile image

      20 months ago from New York

      Billy the Kid what an exciting story. Keep the hubs coming!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 20 months ago from Texas

      Wow, Bill, you do shake things up a bit, I don’t think I would have an appetite for that kind of life style, but is sure is interesting to read about.

      Blessings my friend

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mama! I know their next stop is Atlanta. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, I'm open to all suggestions. Thanks for being here and for the help earlier.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      John, guys like Billy don't have much of a life-expectancy, but we can always hope he's an exception. :) Thanks for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rabadi. I will do that, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shyron, I'm with you on that, but it's nice living vicariously through Billy. :) Thanks for spending part of your weekend with me.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 20 months ago from San Diego California

      I am enjoying this. Your line "...hit them before they hit us" could be accepted as wisdom in any walk of life, crime or otherwise. Even writing. Great story!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mel! I'm so glad everyone is enjoying Billy and his destructive personality. :)

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 20 months ago from Indonesia

      Wow I find it like a page turner. Billy goes north and might have successfully his 2 good lucks, the money and Genna.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 20 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      An interesting read! You show true talent.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 20 months ago from England

      Hi Bill, love the line, 'you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip' lol! yep you are right there! great story, and waiting on the next installment!

    • Nithya Venkat profile image

      Nithya Venkat aka Vellur 20 months ago from Dubai

      A great update, wonder what awaits Genna and Billy up North. Eagerly waiting for the next update, great write.

    • Amanda Drew profile image

      Amanda Drew 20 months ago from Cranston, Rhode Island

      You have inspired me to continue writing, awesome piece! I love the plot idea !! Very original !

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Agusfanani, I'm glad you are enjoying this story. Thank you so much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, DDE! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nell! My mom used to say that all the time, so she gets the credit.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Nithya, as we speak they are traveling north in search of trouble. Stay tuned, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Amanda and I'm happy if I inspired you in any way.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 20 months ago from Oklahoma

      Just a wonderful series!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm really glad you enjoy it, Larry! Thank you!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 20 months ago from Northern California, USA

      Loving this series!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Marlene! So am I. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Great series, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish and I'm so happy you enjoy it. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 20 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Interesting and attention grabbing. Looking forward to more. This would make a nice series.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rasma! I would love to get paid to write series like this one...oh, for the good old days. :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 20 months ago from Central Florida

      I'm loving the tension in this story. Billy has balls and thinks quick on his feet. How far will that get him and for how long? Can't wait to see where he and Genna end up. Will they become a team or is our good-guy-bad-guy better off flying solo?

      I'm looking forward to more of Billy's escapades!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 20 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Don't be leaving without ME!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks a lot, Sha! I don't know what's going to happen but I'm glad I'm along for the ride.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I wouldn't think of it, Deb. :) Thank you!

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 20 months ago from Cape Cod

      I love it Bill ! !! !!! I especially like the way you don't mind letting your protagonist blast everyone in sight. An equal opportunity gunman is a fascinating creature indeed. This work is beyond good. It's like an ultimate super-group composed of everyone from Hank Senior, Conway Twitty, the Beatles, Elvis, Roy Orbison, the BeeGees, and Alabama all rolled into one. Please pardon my analogy which probably hints at my partiality to the Western and Country genres.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I would be a fool not to like your analogy. Thank you very much. I learned from the very best....Lee Child and his Jack Reacher novels are my guiding light when it comes to this type of protagonist.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 20 months ago from Cape Cod

      I was a dedicated Stuart Woods guy. Then, laying on his side in the hot sun on a wobbly wooden rack at a flea market, I saw Reacher for the first time. A cardboard sign said 'any book $2.00'.

      " Killing Floor? Interesting title. I'll try it." I was of course, hooked. What luck to discover that book and have it be the first of the series. You could not have picked a better lead character. I still like Stuart Woods, but Child is the yardstick (or is it meter-stick nowadays?) by which all others are measured.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I couldn't agree more, Bill. Prior to Reacher it was Travis McGee....basically the same type of hero....never lost a fight and never avoided one. :)

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      So Billy's up to his neck in the proverbial? Really enjoyed this hub and am intrigued as to what's going to happen next.

      Lawrence

      I know Irishmen just like Billy! Shoot first, think later.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, I was raised by one. LOL Thank you my friend.

      bill

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