"The Guy From Seattle"
by Pat Lambe

“I saw Bigfoot once,” the guy from Seattle said.

“What?” I asked.

“Bigfoot, Sasquach, the ape man running around the Pacific North West; I saw him once.”

“Have you ever done anything like this before?” I asked him. I had my doubts about him, and it wasn’t just the Bigfoot crap. Most of the guys preferred smaller pieces, .38’ts or .22’s but not the guy from Seattle. He carried this huge gun; something that wouldn’t look out of place in a turret on a warship. I could only imagine the racket that thing made every time he pulled the trigger.

“Of course, that’s how I saw Bigfoot. I had to dump this stiff way out in the Cascades where he would commune with nature at a place no one would find him. I was halfway through digging the grave, when all of a sudden I smell this god-awful stench. Worse than the first time I drove down the Jersey Turnpike. I try to ignore it, and I’m digging away and I hear something in the brush. I shined my flashlight on the sound and there he is, Bigfoot. The fucking thing must have been something like ten feet high, covered in hair. I had my .357 on me and I could have put him down, but I didn’t do it. He looked too human.”

“You couldn’t shoot it because it looked too human? Isn’t shooting people how you’re putting your kids through college?”

“Yeah, but that’s business. I mean Bigfoot is like a natural treasure or something. Have you ever had anything paranormal happen to you Gino?”

The closest thing I ever had to a paranormal experience was working with this guy for the last two weeks, listening to his non-stop psychobabble about UFO’s and ghosts and Bigfoot. It was getting so bad that I was tempted to help him along in his research about life after death.

Sal ‘the Grazer’ Grazioli had this thing for his relatives. He didn’t trust anybody, not even his own bloodline; but he figured his relative’s relatives were easier to a get a hold of if he had to discipline somebody, so he hired them no matter how stupid they were. This guy from Seattle was some kind of extended Grazioli cousin who had botched a job out in Washington and came east to work for Sal. Since I was still the low man on the seniority list I got stuck showing him the ropes and the limited parts of the organization that I was familiar with.

It had been a rather boring two weeks, picking up bags of money and dropping them off; checking up on some of the girls, standing around a picket line on the Newark docks to make sure no one crossed it, typical stuff. Until Sal told me to visit a bartender named Humphries whose escalating and unsuccessful love affair with the ponies had outgrown the traditional pari-mutuel betting system they used at Monmouth Park. This was the first time in a while that I had to remove my golf bag from the trunk of my car to do a job.

“No, I’ve never had a paranormal experience,” I answered.

“That’s too bad. I ask everybody I meet if they’ve had one. You’d be surprised how many people have.” He put down the Fortean Times magazine he had been thumbing through, pointed at someone who had just come through the entrance of the bar and asked, “is that our guy?”

We had plenty of time to walk up behind Humphries as he closed up for the night because he had a hard time working the lock with his thumbs being in the condition they were in from our last visit.

The first thing the guy from Seattle asked Humphries after we had taken him out of the trunk and removed the duct tape from his mouth was if he had ever had a paranormal experience. Humphries looked at me, puzzled. I handed him a shovel and told him to start digging.

Humphries was about halfway done with the hole, and Seattle was halfway through telling him about some goddamned dinosaur that was still running around in Africa when I told him I had to take a piss.

I had just finished getting the last drop out, when I heard the loudest crack I had ever heard. I had listened to gunfire on a regular basis for most of my adult life and it generally sounded like firecrackers. This sounded like the initial stages of the original big bang.

I pulled my .38 and walked back to the hole, yelling, “What the hell did you do that for Seattle? We were just supposed to scare the guy a little, not kill him.”

But Seattle couldn’t hear me because he was lying fifteen feet from his shoes, wisps of white smoke rising up from his body.

Humphries stood outside the hole, the shovel at his feet, an expression of horror on his face. “It came out of nowhere, a lightning bolt.”

We both looked up at the full moon, our view unimpeded by clouds.

“Help me drag him over here, and I’ll give you a hand with the other shovel. You’re going to have to come with me to explain this to Sal,” I said.

Tony Carlisle was just a kid, couldn’t have been more than nineteen years old, and he was another one of Sal’s relatives, so I had some reservations the first time I picked him up to help me do a job.

“You ever have a paranormal experience Tony?” I asked him as he thumbed through the sports pages of the Daily News while we waited outside a restaurant for a guy who needed to learn a lesson.

“What’s that, like how they bet on the horses at the track? I hit a trifecta for almost a grand once.”

I had a feeling my new partner and I were going to get along nicely.

About the Author:
I have short stories published or coming out soon on the web at Plots with Guns, Hardluck Stories, Shred of Evidence, Crimescene Scotland, and Shots E-zine and in print at Crimespree.

Email: patlambe@patlambe.com