After Lenny fired he lowered the rifle and stood on the ridge looking down at the scene unfolding below. He didn’t feel a thing except maybe surprise. In only one shot he’d hit a target over 150 feet away. Pretty damn good, he thought. Pretty damn good. He’d make sure his brother pointed out that fact in the book. Of course Mikey would probably say, “So what?” Mikey didn’t hunt or fish. He just wrote. What kind of shit was that? He didn’t even write books; just crappy articles for the fucking Reno Gazette. What kind of a life was that?
Too bad more witnesses to my miracle weren’t walking through the park tonight, Lenny thought, instead of the handful now ducking behind the trees. Usually that path was crowded with joggers and kids on bikes and tennis players on their way to the fucking courts to play that fuckingly boring game. Every night the same thing. A jog through the park or a game of evening tennis. They were all so fucking, fucking boring. I should have come another night when rain was not in the forecast.
A figure below turned and pointed at him and it was comical, really. He thought of Gumby. He couldn’t kill Gumby and so he posed on the ridge like goddamned Clint Eastwood, cowboy boots, cowboy hat, cigarette dangling from his lips for the Gumbys of the world to admire. Then he aimed the rifle towards the sky and shot off a few rounds.
He imagined his brother Mikey interviewing the witnesses. “He laughed?”
“Yes, like a madman,” they would reply.
Lenny then dropped his cigarette and ground it into the dust with the heel of his boot. He hated people who dropped lit cigarettes and didn’t stomp out the ashes. They were as bad as the people who tossed garbage from their cars. Real scum of the earth. Then he walked slowly back to his truck, laid the rifle in the bed, careful not to scratch the new lining, and lit another cigarette.
Mikey was high. Mikey was always high. Mikey’d been high since he was fourteen. But did their parents care? No, it was always Lenny who was the fuck-up.
“What are you doing coming to see me all toked up?”
“You asshole,” Mikey mumbled. He had a hang dog look on his face.
“Me? I’m about to give you an exclusive. I’m about to make you famous and you’re stoned out of your fucking mind.”
“What makes you think I want to write about you?”
Lenny rose and lunged toward his brother. “Let me ask you something. Do you want to cover city council meetings the rest of your life or do you want to write a fucking bestseller?”
The guard grabbed him by the shoulders and pushed him back into the chair. “Don’t make me say it again, Dean. Stay in your chair and hold your temper otherwise you’re going back into your cell.”
“A fucking bestseller. Is that what this was about?” Mikey lit a cigarette, “You know life is hell for Pa right now. . . ”
“What do you know about Pa? He’s tough. Unlike you, the never went to no goddamned college. In fact, Pa never even graduated from fourth grade but look at him now, Mikey. He owns the biggest goddamned truck stop in Washoe County.”
Ernie’s was the place all the good ole boys stopped at before heading east to Salt Lake. He was a self-made man whereas Mikey worked as a rat butt reporter for the Gazette making chicken shit pay.
Mikey looked him square in the eye. “You shot a woman in the back – a woman you didn’t even know.”
“Hell. I hit a target from over 150 feet away!”
Mikey rose from his seat and motioned to the guard, “I gotta get out of here.”
Lenny watched as his baby brother left with his head down. They were so different that people had a hard time believing they were brothers. Lenny was tall, blonde and muscular. An Adonis, their mother always said whereas Mikey was dark-haired, dark-eyed and wiry like their father. But for some reason Mikey always got the chicks. Lenny just didn’t understand it. Women were all stupid bitches.
“Oh you’ll be back, pussy. You know you want an exclusive with me.”
Note from the author: Lenny was a person I knew in high school. He shot a complete stranger in the back from a hill overlooking a park in Reno Nevada in the late 70s. He could never explain why. It was target practice and he wanted to make a name for himself.