Fist Full (Past Tense)

by Thomas Edward

The dark, late model sedan settled into a parking spot. The driver turned the car off and opened the door. He looked over to see his friend waiting, leaning against another car. I dont want to hear it, Gary.

So, youre really going to do this? You know this won't go well, Brandon.

Sure it will," Brandon said with a smirk. "Ill be in and out so fast that he wont even notice.

I tell you what, Ill bet you a hundred bucks you get tossed on your rear.

Puh-lease, its not happening tonight. You know what, youre on. If you just want to hand over free money, thats fine with me. Brandon turned back, hitting a button on his key fob, locking his car doors.

Its not gonna to be that easy. Gary joined his friend as they began walking.

Just because youre a private investigator, you think you know better? Brandon asked.

You dont think hes gonna flip out?

I know him too well. Hes too cocky. Hes going to showboat and strut the whole time, just like a flamingo.

A muscle-bound flamingo. Gary stopped. "And he's right in there."

Brandon turned, looking inside a local pub. He wont even know.

You do remember the last time you and he were in the same room? The doctors in the E.R. got stories to tell future residents about removing objects in weird places.

Yeah, very funny. Hes never been the brightest person. I imagine he cant think that far back.

Its only been four months," Gary stated. "Youre in trouble when he does remember you. No, sorry, youre just in trouble.

I dont think Neanderthals are that far up the evolutionary scale. Besides, he does have a pre-humanoid, cranial ridge. Brandon handed over a folder.

Hes also six foot, four inches tall and the size of a Buick.

They're just numbers. Besides, Buick's suck. Wait, I drive one. Anyway, it wont matter, cause I just use a couple of big words and his brain shuts down. Wish me luck.

Gary began flipping through papers in the folder. Youre going to need more than luck. How about a rabbits foot? You want me to get a horseshoe off the police horse back down the street?

Brandon gave a sarcastic look back before entering bar, as Gary leaned up against a parked vehicle. The only commotion for a couple of minutes was the cars and pedestrians passing by. Soon, the music from inside was mixed with the sound of voices. This is not helping things! As Brandons voice became clear, he emerged, being pushed out the door. He landed on his feet, spinning around. Noticing the smirk on his friends face, Brandon quickly pointed. Dont. Gary smiled, throwing up his arms.

Brandon straightened his shirt. With a quick look back and forth, he mustered the intestinal fortitude to enter the establishment once again. It did not take long before the yelling started anew.

I know my rights! Ive read the constitution! Have you? I bet you havent, knowing that See Dick Run gives you a migraine just processing what the word run means! Brandons arguing went unnoticed as several bar patrons pushed through the door, carrying him on their shoulders. Brandon was dumped on the ground near the street. Quickly, he crawled back, huddling against a van. Looking up with apprehension, his fists were clenched.

A large, muscular man, who happened to be Brandons target, stood over him. Still trying to be the tough guy, after messing with me and my head? Aw, you got your fists up like this is a grade school fight. You dont want none of this. Ill hit you so hard, just like I did to your sister. Brandon remained still, eying him intently. Feeling satisfied with the lack of a response, the large brute turned away. Thats what I thought, a family of losers.

Once the brutish thug vanished back into the bar, Gary walked over, holding laughter under his breath. Brandon continued lying on the ground, then looked up and said, You got the baggie?

Gary pulled out a Ziploc bag and opened it wide. Brandon shook his hands vigorously over the bag. Gary zipped the bag closed and placed it in his pocket. Told you that youd be on your rear.

Brandon stood up and dusted himself off. Fine, I owe you a hundred bucks. Could have been worse.

I know, but since you didnt think this would be so hard, I thought seeing you get bounced around like a beach ball would be fun. He really had no clue you had a hand full of hair?

Like I said, hes a Neanderthal. I thought they were extinct, or dead until I met him. Now we can get that DNA test so he can start paying child support to my sister. Brandon looked back at the bar one last time.

How about we go down the street and celebrate. I can talk to you about coming to work for me.

Brandon Simmons, P.I. doesn't sound too bad. Do I get a badge?

Not if youre going to be a professional instigator.

Thanks," Brandon responded, "but Im not interested in job offers right now. Some corporate opportunities should be coming my way any day now. The only thing Im interested in is to get a few drinks in me.

I know a great dive we can hit. Its got a lot better atmosphere than this dump, plus that hundred bucks you owe me will buy lots of drinks.

Yeah, yeah, on my rear, dont remind me. Brandon followed his close friend, satisfied that his efforts to help his sisters plight were worth the drinks they will soon share.

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