Hans Michaud

The alley. Gray like gangrene. Overcast day.

Was supposed to meet the guy here.

Strange name. Never forget it.

Ten minutes late.

Started to leave. The guy rounds the corner. Looks at the line of trashcans. Looks at me. Smiles.

Felt like my best friend lied to me.

His pace was steady. Not mine.

He was twenty steps away. Still smiling.

I felt for the piece. Still there.

He showed teeth through the smile. No wrinkling up at the eyes.

That's when I reached for the piece. At the same time I felt air near my ear. Snap at the brick wall.

Dove for the ground. The guy didn't flinch. Still walking.

Something exploded in the back of my calf. The guy reached into his coat. All over, I thought.

The guy pointed his gun to the sky. Peeled off four shots, arm like a battleship. Still no wrinkles at his eyes.

Another explosion, this one up in the thigh. Same leg.

Saw white light. The guy reached for me. Then he pulled off two more shots in the sky.

The guy dragged me. I heard something like a pumpkin hit the trash cans behind us.

The guy didn't care what my head hit on the way out the alley. More flashes of white light. Saw the long black car. Got put into the trunk. Couldn't see nuts.

I think I tossed my food in there.

Not sure.

When the light stung my eyes I saw the yellow cement room. Two men. Two frowns.

Whole head was a bee sting.

Couldn't feel the leg.

The guy was there. He said something to the other one. Couldn't make it out.

I was on my side.

Couldn't feel my leg.

Wanted water something fierce.

Something happened.

Went out again.

Chilly and wet like a Rhode Island November. Feet were freezing. Balls up in the abdomen. Tied spread open. No clothes.

Couldn't see shit. Couldn't hear shit.

Got punched. Right in the spine. White snap of light across the eyes.

I think an hour passed.

Couldn't see anything. Couldn't move. Wrists and ankles tied tight.

Got punched. In the kneecap. The bad one. Tried to toss my food. Nope.

Got punched again. In the side of the neck. Felt something go wrong in my jaw. Saw some white light.

I think a day passed.

Got punched. In the stomach. Wasn't ready for that one.

Couldn't see shit. Couldn't hear shit.

I remember my screaming. Had no control anymore. Just kept screaming.

I think a few hours passed. Stopped screaming.

Got punched. Right in the nose. I think I bled.

Tried to scream.


I think a couple of days passed, not sure.

Got punched. Right under the arm.

No voice but started screaming again, you bet I did. This time I didn't stop.

Woke up, I guess.

Nurses smiling.

That one, I'd fuck her.

Could feel my leg, finally. Wished I couldn't.

Wanted to scream.

Wanted a whiskey sour, more.

Had a sinking feeling. Like I lost something. Couldn't find it.

Looked at the nurse.

Leg felt worse.

Boy I'd fuck her.

Smiled again.

Hans Michaud has always written. Even when he was making films. He lives in Brooklyn.

To link to this story directly: http://wigleaf.com/201009punched.htm

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