I told him how it was. I looked him dead in the eyes and shot straight into the middle. A lesser, more intelligent man would have heard it and walked away. But, no, not this one.
I spoke these words with authority and experience, “Son, you’re about to start down a path with no exits. Do you really think you can survive the consequences to follow? Because honestly,” I leaned forward over my desk and looked deeper into his black eyes, “I don’t think you have it in you.”
“Smirkin’ ain’t got nothin’ to do with it, kid.”
He chuckled a little and looked to the ceiling; shuffled a little to a slouching position, and then looked me in the eyes, shaking his head casually. He crossed one leg over the other and spoke, “I’ll manage.”
He wore a brown leather jacket, polyester button up that shined a gold color. He wore bell-bottoms that were navy blue; his black hair was wavy and had a Sergeant Pepper’s quality. He always looked like he could use a shave, though the scruff was always the same length.
No one knew his name and no one figured he’d ever need one, because he’d never be remembered so thus no one ever asked. Boy, we were wrong.
He would become known simply as The Rolling Stone.
As we finished our conversation, I remember the song on the radio was “Beast of Burden” by The Rolling Stones. At the time, I just enjoyed it and thought little of it. Later, I’d find it ironic. Mick made some valid points, Am I hard enough? Am I rough enough? Am I rich enough? I’m not too blind to see.
Where The Rolling Stone went wrong was he met a girl, but it wasn’t just any girl. She was the It-girl. She was the daughter of Big Fish Murphy. Big Fish was only the biggest thing in Babylon to date. He owned everything, he owned everyone. Nobody crossed Big Fish. Nobody disagreed with Big Fish. Everyone smiled and nodded.
But not The Rolling Stone.
Tiger Lilly Murphy was Big Fish’s daughter. She was a wife, though that was a joke and everyone knew it. She had whatever man she wanted, when she wanted. It didn’t matter if you were married, old, young or even gay. If she wanted you, you gave yourself to her. And the women couldn’t complain, they just smiled and nodded.
The Rolling Stone rolled into town and first appeared in The Dancing Cow God, a little night joint. It was known for its good drink mixes, disco and funk. Naturally, it was owned by Big Fish and it was where Tiger Lilly picked up most of her male patrons.
She spotted The Rolling Stone across the floor. She was out on the floor getting her groove on with three unsuspecting men. A single carpenter, a married plumber and a gay waiter. Her dance was interrupted after she scanned him; the music suggested to take a little trip with me and that was exactly what she was thinking.
“Hey, man!” she screamed over the music, she was higher than high.
“How you doing, chick?!” he shouted.
“I want you, man!”
“You don’t want me,” he said, “I bite too hard.”
“That’s it, do me!” she threw herself back onto a table near the bar and spread her legs.
“I ain’t flirting,” he explained.
The Rolling Stone downed his scotch on the rocks and walked her way, he grabbed her by the throat and she spooked for a moment, than thought it was part of the game and let out a hearty, “Yee-haw, cowboy!”
She was smiling and laughing, but he wasn’t. He looked her dead in the face and spoke, “You irritate me.”
He punched her in the face and everyone stopped everything. She tried to escape his grasp, but he held her in his left hand by her throat, “Oops, didn’t break it!” he exclaimed and with this he gave her another hard fist, this time to the nose. It broke this time and blood was pouring out to the table and floor. Tiger Lilly was gasping to scream.
“This is for your wandering eyes,” he gave two quick jabs, one into each eye and then he dropped her to the floor.
She was crying and screaming and cursing and bleeding.
“DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? YOU’RE DEAD. YOU’RE DEAD!!!”
Everyone watched him, wondering who was next. He went back to the bar, grabbed his shot glass and asked the bartender, “Another scotch on the rocks?”
“I’M TIGER LILLY!”
“Really,” he chuckled, “Like the Indian?”
This was his problem. And I told him to get lost. Big Fish was looking for the man who mangled his daughter and he was it. He needed to run. He needed to hide. He needed to cease to exist.
Truthfully, we all admired The Rolling Stone. He stuck it to The Man when no one else would. We all wanted to beat Tiger Lilly up a bit, but we lacked the stupidity to follow through with such notions.
Tiger Lilly had a big brother and that was big, bad news for The Rolling Stone, because he was the protective type. To say he was fuming or hot or mad or vengeful would be to barely cover the bases. When he saw his little sister’s battered face, he screamed and threw a vase across their father’s living room, “Who did this?! Who did this to you?! Give me his name now! I’ll cut him up. I’ll cut him into little pieces and feed him to the dog pound!”
His name was Big Bird, because he was tall. And he was fit, no he was ripped. He was incredibly in shape. He was fast and he was cruel and he fed off his anger.
After The Rolling Stone left my place, he went to the streets. Rumor had it that Big Bird and his posse were turning the city inside out looking for him. He knew he could follow the noise. The cursing, the gunshots. Eventually, he’d find Big Bird or Big Bird would find him. He figured it wouldn’t take long and I agreed.
Before he shut my door, I asked, “What’s in this for you?”
He smirked and shrugged, “Something to do.”
It was said you could hear the tune “A Quick one While he’s Away” by The Who playing from an apartment when they met on 13th Boulevard. The Rolling Stone was met with Big Bird and his posse,
“Stranger, you gonna pay for what you did my lil’ sis!”
“Well,” The Rolling Stone spoke calmly, “Let’s do it.”
“That’s right,” Big Bird replied, but then he stepped aside and the posse parted in the middle behind him. A woman stepped through the posse and into the front, she was taller than Big Bird and had more muscle. On her back was a large tank, it was connected to two hoses that came out around her biceps and in connected to two large barrels. She had one barrel extended from each hand, her fingers gripped the triggers. Big Bird spoke up, “This here’s Flaming Sammy!”
The posse cheered and any remaining people on the streets scattered into buildings and alleys. Flaming Sammy lifted her arms and barrels; she pulled the triggers and created quite an impressive light show in the night. A flame shot from each barrel, she crisscrossed them and twirled them around creating a heart in front of herself, then she released the triggers and blew the smoke away towards The Rolling Stone. The posse cheered all the more.
“You’re dead,” spoke Big Bird, spitting to the ground and wiping away the spittle that didn’t make it all the way out.
The Rolling Stone smirked.
Big Bird’s anger was pushed to its limit, “KILL HIM.”
At Big Bird’s command, Flaming Sammy walked towards The Rolling Stone in the street and the flames were flying and whipping back and forth as she made her approach. The Rolling Stone reached into his leather jacket and pulled out a large Magnum, much in look to the one we often see “Dirty Harry” use. He cocked it and aimed at Flaming Sammy, her eyes were large with concern, and she let out a growl and began to run towards him with arms and flames trailing behind her. He put the bullet through her stomach, out her back and into the tank. It blew up on penetration.
Flaming Sammy burst into flames like a ball, then it came down and there was the frame of her body running around surrounded and being licked with the flames. She was screaming and running for a large puddle of water near the curb beyond the posse. As she reached Big Bird, he took his Walther PPk from his holster and put a bullet in her head; she flopped down into the puddle of water. What little flames were left trickled out on her body, amidst the puddle.
Big Bird turned from looking upon her to The Rolling Stone, “You killed Flaming Sammy!”
“Yeah,” he chuckled, “What did you expect me to do?”
And with that, Big Bird tossed his pistol to the street and removed his sports jacket. He walked into the middle of the street, pacing about The Rolling Stone in half circles.
“Let’s do it, punk,” Big Bird taunted.
The Rolling Stone set put the Magnum back into his jacket, then stood with his hands on his waist, “Well,” he spoke up, “Let’s do it.”
Big Bird made the first move.
He charged The Rolling Stone, throwing a fist at his nose, but he dodged. The Rolling Stone grabbed his arm that was throwing the punch with one hand and with the other hand he grabbed the back of Big Bird’s hair, he thrust his face down to the pavement with his grip and slammed his left knee into his spine. It was rumored that the posse heard the crunch of his spine. Big Bird was rendered paralyzed instantly. The Rolling Stone took his right foot and kicked it into of Big Bird’s elbow while pulling back on the arm with his other hand. Again, the posse heard the crunch.
The Rolling Stone stood up and looked to the posse. Some say half had their eyes glued to Big Bird in his face down, paralyzed state and the other half kept their eyes on The Rolling Stone.
“I think I’m done here,” The Rolling Stone spoke to the posse, once more, with a smirk.
As The Rolling Stone walked down 13th Boulevard, never to be heard of again, it was said you could hear The Who shouting, You are forgiven! You are for-given! YOU ARE for-GIV-EN!
You are for-gi……… ven!!!
We’re all forgiven.
After this incident, Big Fish Murphy became the local running gag. Everybody had jokes for Tiger Lilly’s new face and Big Bird the Vegetable. Big Fish Murphy went into depression trying to take care of his son and his daughter became a recluse. It’s rumored she may have had her way with her vegetable brother, but you know how rumors are… they’re always over spiced.