ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Billy the Kid Rides Again: A Short Story, Part 2

Updated on September 30, 2015

Before We Begin

It might help if you read the first chapter of this story before diving into this one. I’ve linked it to the right for your reading pleasure.

Sit back, relax, and follow along as Billy the Kid leads you through the underbelly of the beast, a way of life you won’t find on any tour.

Source

Morning Has Broken

A fiery ball rose in the east, an angry mistress looking for an ex-lover to scorch. I’m sitting on the boardwalk in Atlantic City as the sun rubs the sleep out of its eyes and prepares for another day of work. I’ve got the early morning blues, baby, right on the footsteps of the late night blues. No place to go that seems safe, just me and the gulls looking for scraps and hoping for the best. I’m not sure there’s a lonelier place on earth than the Atlantic City beach in late October. The festivities and gaiety of summer are distant memories. Now it’s all about survival of the fittest and there ain’t many who are fit as I look down the deserted street.

I took the New Jersey Aces from Penn Station to the Express, a twenty-nine dollar fare I couldn’t afford, but it was better than sitting at home waiting for Ivan and his goons to cut my throat. Do you want a word of advice from one who knows? Don’t screw the daughter of a Russian crime boss. Take that one to the bank, my friend. Take that one to the bank.

Who Is Ivan?

You ain’t from around these parts if you have to ask that question. Ivan runs Washington Heights. Anything and everything happens in the Heights because Ivan allows it to. He runs girls there, he pumps a steady supply of drugs there, he provides the loans there. You want to own a business there, you pay Ivan protection money. You want a little side job, like selling dime bags of dust, you pay the price with Ivan. Cross the line, don’t pay your respects to Ivan, and your body will be fish food in the Hudson. It’s that simple.

Ivan learned all about free enterprise in the back alleys of Lensk. He broke his first kneecap at twelve. Graduated to assassinations at fifteen. When the Soviet Union collapsed he saw opportunity in the New World and he’s been building an empire ever since.

And I screwed his daughter without permission.

A gull flies overhead, destination unknown to me but clearly doing better than yours truly. I pass two drunks on a tattoo parlor doorstep, sleeping off the screaming banshees, the air around them reeking of cigarettes, vomit and lost dreams. Waves rhythmically count the minutes of the new day, count down, most likely, the remaining minutes of my life. In the south storm clouds form, announcing their arrival, metaphors for my future. Two cats go at it in the alley as I pass, furious humping, primal sounds, reminding me of Room 2B of the Shady Rest, her golden loins sweating beneath the sheets, beneath me, her eyes bottomless pools of promise, calling me to a death Ivan will no doubt deliver.

Her name is Anna, five-feet four-inches of temptations and wet dreams and God help me, man, even thinking about her now I can forget about Ivan and taste her invitations. No excuses! I knew who she was. I knew what she was, trouble with two feet, the end of existence with a tight ass, but it made no difference then and makes none now.

Footsteps rapidly approach from behind me. I spin, gasping, but it’s only an early morning jogger, my reaction as frightening to her as her arrival is to me. I smile weakly, she nods her head and I wonder if she’ll be the last human contact I ever experience. A garbage can crashes up ahead. A siren blares in the distance. My father’s admonition resounds in my head, keep it in your pants, Billy, or you’ll pay to play eventually.

Source

What to Do

Not many choices to be truthful. Run as fast and as far as possible, with thirty-six bucks to finance the disappearance, with no guarantee of success, or return to the Heights and face the music. Maybe the Reverend can intervene. Maybe my previous work for Ivan will count in my favor. Maybe Ivan’s little girl will win him over and convince him that the poor Irish Mick would make a good son-in-law. Maybe Santa Claus is real and this is all a bad dream.

Running is no good. It’s no way to live and that’s a fact, Jack.

I look up as the clouds meet the sun, turning the early morning sky blood red. I turn around and walk back to the Express, my last few dollars paying for a ticket to a future that was determined when Momma decided not to flush me with the afterbirth. God bless her saintly soul.

Good Morning Washington Heights

Three hours later I’m back on the streets of my turf. Bobby Bluefly sees me step off the bus and waves me over. He’s grinning but there’s no happiness in that grin.

“Billy the Kid, are you out of your friggin’ mind? This is no place for your sorry ass. Ivan has the word out on the street. If we see you we dime you, simple as that. A thousand to the guy who locates you. Ten grand for anyone who bags and tags you. That’s serious money, bro, so get your ass off the streets and do it yesterday.”

Bobby Bluefly and I go way back, back to the days of Public School 178 on Ellwood, shooting spitballs at old Mister Barclay and owning the playground with our good looks and bad attitude. He won’t smoke my ass, our shared history guarantees that, but he’s in the minority. His advice is gold, I know that, but I just punch him on the shoulder, thank him for his loyalty and head out in search of Ivan.

Ten a.m., a Tuesday, there’s only one place to look, Petra’s Kitchen, Ivan’s favorite café, back table, facing the door, he’s holding court for a group of six when I walk in the door. If he’s surprised to see me he hides it well.

The logical outcome when messing with the daughter of a mob boss
The logical outcome when messing with the daughter of a mob boss | Source

SHOWDOWN

I spread my arms as I approach him. His number one pats me down, taking far too much pleasure in it, then nods to Ivan. The big man kicks a chair out.

“Sit, Billy!” he tells me. I sit. He turns to his group. “What do you think of man who does not know his place in world? What should happen to such a man? What should happen to crazy Irish bastard who, what is word, deflowers? Yes, who deflowers my precious daughter. What should I do to him?

“Billy, you disappoint me. I have been good to you, yes? Took care of you when you needed help? Paid you good for little jobs? And you show gratitude by banging my beautiful Anna? I think I should cut off your balls and feed them to you, then nail your corpse to street sign, a warning to all Micks out there to keep their Irish peckers in pants and away from Russian women. These thoughts fill my mind, Billy. What do you think of that?”

My father was a crazy bastard. Loved his Irish whiskey almost as much as he loved his son. I never saw him back away from a fight. He told me once that a man makes choices. It’s how he deals with the fallout that defines him as a man. I thought of that while pondering Ivan’s question.

“Ivan, here’s the deal,” I told him. “I’m not going to lie to you. I think I love your daughter and I’m pretty damn sure she loves me. I know, I know, what do I know about love, right? And what’s a stupid Irish punk doing loving your daughter? But the thing is, I don’t give a flying fuck what you think or what you do to me, and I think deep down you understand that and respect it. You didn’t get where you’ve gotten by caring what others think, and I doubt you ever asked for permission growing up on the streets of Lensk when you saw a young woman who increased your heartbeat and left your legs feeling like jelly.

“So you’ve got a choice, Ivan: you can either cut off my balls or give me your blessing. Either way I’m not apologizing and I’m sure as shit not running.”

To Be Continued

Don’t you just hate that? Get all wrapped up in a story only to find out you’ll have to wait a week for resolution?

It’s called a cliffhanger, my friends, so live with it.

See you next week! Or not! Maybe this is the end. Hmmmm!

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 19 months ago from New York, New York

      You got me and now I just can't wait to see Ivan's answer next week! Happy Wednesday and hoping you have a great one, Bill ;)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine. I can always count on you no matter how busy you are, and I do appreciate that very much. Happy Wednesday my busy friend.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 19 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Always leave them hanging... ;-) ... wanting just a little more... ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll wrap it up next week, Bill. Thanks for the visit.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 19 months ago from SW England

      Well, bill, that's a cliffhanger if ever I saw one! He's got guts, this one. You had us with the first story and this one gets better so I'm itching to know what happens next. One thing's certain, you know how to tell a story.

      Brilliant!

      Ann :)

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 19 months ago from south Florida

      Wow, that Billy-boy has balls, that's for sure. Now the question is: can he keep them?

      Don't know how I'll manage to wait an entire week for your fascinating conclusion. Great story-telling, Bill. Loved this phrase BTW ... 'taste her invitations.'

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann! I'm kind of curious how this will end as well. :) I hope Billy lives to tell the tale to his grandkids. :)

      Thanks for the brilliant...you made my day.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you drbj...that was Bev's favorite phrase too. :)

    • Old Poolman profile image

      Mike 19 months ago from Rural Arizona

      Bill, you got me hooked.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 19 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Nice sequel Bill...hell more than nice...terrific. Now I just have to wait and see if Billy the Kid ends up with the girl and Ivan's blessing, or a very squeaky voice.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, Mike! Thanks for taking the time to read it. I'll wrap it up next week.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Time will tell, John! So far he's healthy, but time will tell. :) Thanks, buddy!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 19 months ago from Northern California, USA

      I'm hooked! Bill, this is why I record all the episodes of a TV series and then binge watch. Cliff hangers drive me crazy and this story has me craving the next episode like a drug addict. Love the story. Love the series.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad, Marlene! I'll try not to disappoint you next week. Thank you!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 19 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      It's going to be much interesting. I am excited to know what happens next. Waiting for next episode. And thanks for this series.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Venkatachari M. I hope you enjoy the final installment.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 19 months ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, all my senses are engaged in this story. You might as well feed me a sleeping pill if this is the end. Great expectations!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL..Dora, that was great. No sleeping pill for you. I'll wrap up this story next week and put a bow on it. Thank you!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 19 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This better not be the end, if so, I will do worse than ' De man. What a treat when you decide to do what you're supposed to do. ( Write about the down and dirty. ) Geez...

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 19 months ago from sunny Florida

      Ok...so I would not wish to trade places with our hero.....am hooked and being reeled in....will tune in for more happenings.....

      Angels are headed to you bringing blessings and hugs and all...ps

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan Robert Lancaster 19 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      As cliffhangers go, this is either a Huntcliff or a Beachy Head. Not somewhere to lean over to find out which way the wind blows.

      Let's wait and see what Ivan 'the Terrible' has for the mickey-taking Mick. William Bonney never ran it this close (another New Yorker with a taste for lead-poisoning).

      Dosvedanya moyo drug!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I promise, Ruby, this isn't the end. Stay tuned one more week. Gosh, I sure don't want you mad at me. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks PS. Let's hope Billy the Kid has a persuasive argument he can use because things look dire.

      blessings, hugs and love heading your way

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, a classic comment and I thank you! I suspect the Mick will work out a satisfactory deal with the Russian, but we'll just have to wait and see. Thank you sir!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Shoot I must be the only one who likes it when stories just leave you hanging. Now I can spend my time daydreaming up endings and endless possibilities. Right now I am fairly certain that Ivan will let Billy live as long as he kills just one guy and then and then and then. But tomorrow I will have the right hand man shoot Ivan in the nick of time toss the keys to Billy and say run away with the girl and keep on running! Oh boy oh boy!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 19 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      You're as much of a sass ass as Billy...you weave a compelling and exceedingly visual story, dear friend.

      I look forward to your next installment.

      Love ya, Maria

    • Marion Drury profile image

      Marion Drury 19 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Ok. I'm hooked. Can't wait to see how this goes down. Thoroughly enjoyed this 'chapter'.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 19 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I tweeted and you got me reading on. You have your own special way of writing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, thanks for writing the last chapter for me. My work is done! LOL Oh hell, maybe I'll write an alternate ending next week just for the hell of it. I hope you don't mind. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, I've been called much worse than a sass ass....LOL...thank you my friend. I'll try not to disappoint next week.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Marion, thank you so much. I'll try and make it a humdinger. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for tweeting it, DDE! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 19 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      I like the staccato style and the slightly gritty language. Reaching the finish of the story, I could see it ending one sentence away.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dang Bill I sure like this writing gig!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mike! I always like hearing from the voice of experience.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eric! I kind of enjoy it too. :)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 19 months ago from london

      You're entering the dark alley, Bro, but it's an exciting one. You're beginning to play the game. Cool, Great street wise chat and action. Pretty real, I'd say.

      Some told me not to walk in the no go areas of J'burg, but I did it anyway. Met some 'cool' dudes, he he.

      Gripping, stuff! see you next week, Bro, (if you make it) (chuckle, here). Peace.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 19 months ago from Cape Cod

      I sometimes used to get 'agita' when I would hear an ethnic joke. But then I began to understand that you can insert any name you wish into the joke , (Irish, Paisan, Polish, Jewish) and it is still funny. With this yarn you have taught me that you can do the same thing with criminals. Irish Mafia, Afro Mafia, Jewish Mafia, Russian Mafia etc. The only thing all of this has to do with your short story is that this is my way of saying that I loved it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Billrrr, thank you very much. I've never lived in a big city, have no knowledge of any mafia by any name, but your thoughts are probably right on.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 18 months ago from United Kingdom

      Oh you are a terrible tease, Bill. Fine, I will wait another week for resolution.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 18 months ago from Dubai

      Waiting for the next post, wondering what will happen! Not apologizing, not running, definitely he is out of his friggin mind!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Manatita! I can enter the dark alley from time to time if it helps me to grow as a writer. As long as I don't become emotionally invested in a piece I'm fine. :) Have a peaceful weekend, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sorry, Zulma. I promise resolution next Wednesday. I've already begun the next chapter.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I suspect, Vellur, that he just may be out of his friggin' mind. LOL Thank you!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 18 months ago from Central Florida

      Billy the Kid is no slouch, that's for sure. He learned well from his dad. Standing up to Ivan puts his life on the edge, but what's life without taking chances or going after what you want?

      Reminding Ivan of how it felt to meet a woman who turns a man to jelly may be Billy's saving grace. We shall see.

      I love your music choices. Every time I hear Cat Stevens I wish he hadn't quit recording to pursue his religious calling. He was an awesome singer/songwriter.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 18 months ago from New York

      Bill you take us there, no matter where it is. I could smell the ocean, and other "aromas" in Atlantic City. I could feel Billy's emotions, all the things a great writer does to his reader.

      Now I have to tell you if you don't do part three we may have to hunt you down. I know there are two ways this story can go and I also know you're in control of which way it goes, but I'm rooting for Billy. Can't wait to see what happens!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      True words, Sha! I always hate it when a talent is cut short, for whatever reason. Oh well, he didn't need my permission, now did he? :) Thanks and I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I do respond to threats, so you can count on a final chapter. :) Thank you for the kind words. I'll try to make you proud on the next leg of this journey.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 18 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Definitely a cliff hanging winner in my book. I'll wait out of respect, but no other reason.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Respect is greatly appreciated, Deb. :) Thank you!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 18 months ago from San Diego California

      Great read. Looking forward to the next installment. You had me engaged from the first sentence.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, Mel. Thank you very much.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 18 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      So, whose the crazyiest? Ivan for even considering what Billy just said, or Billy for having the nerve to call Ivan's bluff? Or was it?

      Loved the story, can't wait for the next part!

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lawrence. I think there's a bit of crazy in both of them. :)

      bill

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 18 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      (Sorry I'm late in commenting, Bill. I had to take a sabbatical from HP for a bit.) I am thrilled that you continued this story...and in one of my old stomping grounds as a kid -- Atlantic City. "... just me and the gulls looking for scraps and hoping for the best" reminds me of the old Chicken Bone Beach. "I pass two drunks on a tattoo parlor doorstep, sleeping off the screaming banshees, the air around them reeking of cigarettes, vomit and lost dreams"....as sirens peal and trash cans collide in songs sung in so many parts of cities that others avoid. Once again, we are on those streets, feeling, sensing, the moment-to-moment pursuit of survival of Billy -- and so many others. This is magnificent writing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, I am honored. Thank you! If I can please someone who has been there then I've done my job as a writer. Much-appreciated, my friend.

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 16 months ago from Florida

      Alright, so I finally got to the next chapter. You know it seems it gets a bit hard to keep up with all the wonderful writers here along with my daily chores, but I hope you know that you are a favorite of mine, and from that first chapter of this story, I wanted to come back, and now I've made it! Yay Me!!!!

      I love your detail Billybuc. I think how you detail a story is the most important thing. You have to bring the reader into that world, and you certainly take us there.

      I think my favorite part of this chapter is when Ivan starts to talk. I see Ivan; this fat Russian dude with tons of jewelry and an intimidation that would scare a fly on the wall. He's ugly!! Or that's how I see him. lol... I definitely like Billy. He is either super brave or super stupid, right? In any case, this was another great chapter. Thank You!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Missy, it is very hard to keep up with the writers here. I finally had to cut back. I felt bad about it but my goodness, it was getting so there was no time for an actual life because I was reading and commenting all day long....so I understand and I am very appreciative that you took the time to read this chapter.

      Billy, brave or stupid? He's like a lot of guys I've known....act first, think second. They are ruled by emotions, an almost primal gut-reaction to stimuli. Billy is basically a pretty good guy with his own sense of right and wrong. There are some things he simply will not abide by.

      Anyway, I am very grateful that you stopped by again.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 16 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I am way behind in following this story, Bill, but I will definitely catch up. Billy is a very interesting character!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia! Billy is the reason I keep writing this story. I do enjoy him.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 11 months ago from Texas

      You sure are good at those cliff hangers! But the perk to reading after everyone else has is that I don't have to wait long for the next chapter!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Shanmarie...seven days, just like the old radio serials.

    Click to Rate This Article