Episode Four (continued)

Etta

FUNNY THING ABOUT A GIRL LIKE ME, I punch harder than most people might think, especially these pricks in Gallup. We aren’t even supposed to be here, except Eddie and I are thirsty as fuck and need to find a room to rent somewhere in town. It’s just after eight o’clock but my eyes are blurry from overuse and I’ve got a headache pounding out a drum beat that would do Motorhead proud.  All we wanted was a drink and a bed. Plans are so easily derailed.

When my fist hits the side of the son-of-a-bitch’s head, no one expects him to crumple to the floor like his legs turned to jelly, but he does. Then he’s back on his feet and coming at me. All because I didn’t enjoy his friendly ass grab greeting. No one touches me without my express permission. It’s kind of a rule I have.

He never would have tried it with Eddie at my side, but he’s still outside finishing up his smoke. Can you believe this shithole bar in the middle of fuck who cares nowhere has one of those no smoking signs hanging in their cracked and dirty window? Bullshit. He’s gonna have a mighty big surprise when he finally gets his ass in here. Let’s hope he’s not taking his time, because this situation isn’t looking good.

Most of the guys are still reeling from the force of my punch, but Sunny, at least that’s the ironic name stitched onto his shirt, is hell bent on showing me who the boss is.

In fact, he even says, “Fucking bitch,” spits blood on the peanut shell floor, “someone needs to teach you a lesson.”

“Let me guess, you think you’re up for the challenge?” My daddy, God rest his soul, always said I had a smart mouth.

He nods. “Filthy cunt.”

To his surprise, and the shock of the handful of patrons scattered through the dingy bar, I laugh, because it’s sort of funny.

“Darlin’, I haven’t learned my lesson in twenty years, I highly doubt tonight’s the night I will.”

Pushing around a table, I knock a chair onto its side and kick it over to him. His feet get caught in the wooden legs and he stumbles, but somehow manages to keep his drunk ass standing. Must be a miracle from the Lord Almighty.

A man who has snuck up behind me grabs my arms. Jerking my head back, I catch him in the nose and feel the crack as his bone breaks. Pain flares in my skull, but I don’t want to get blood in my hair, so I dance away from him.

Sunny is still coming at me. There’s a pool table by the entrance, but the cues are too far away for me to reach. The jukebox is playing the Runaways song I selected when I first entered. Long hot summers make me wanna fight.

From behind the counter, the bartender says, “Come on, guys, take this outside.”

Asshole.

If these men get me outside they’ll rape and gut me. I know towns like this. After all, I grew up in Rector, population fucktards. Women’s rights don’t exist here. And men think they can do whatever they damn well please. They got another thing coming.

The knife is outta my boot before Sunny can close the gap between us. One of them shouts, “She’s got a blade.”

“Thanks for the warning, Captain Obvious.”

And I’m two seconds away from sticking Sunny in the stomach when the door slams open.

It’s Eddie.

Be still my metal heart.

 

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