"Ethereal shapes bathed in cityglow skated the pale night over the empty parking lot across the street from the bar.
Poole and Hatchet had been the last to submit to closing time and they were leaning on Poole's car, neither willing to admit the hour or any fatigue. When's the last time you saw that little girl of yours? I don't remember; let's drop it. Poole wiped his eyes and stared into the crackling street lamp above them. I haven't seen mine in ten months. Drop it, Poole. Hatchet wanted to remind Poole that unlike he and Olivia, Poole's disconnection with his daughter was his own choice. You wanna talk about Delilah? Poole said. Nope. You wanna talk about your rent? Dexter. Let's talk about this, Poole spun drunkenly on his toe and slammed his palm against the hood of the vehicle. Hatchet heard a cat scream somewhere in the black void behind them and turned to peer into the windows of a tall rest home several blocks away just as the last lighted window went dark. Are you listening? Poole snapped. You haven't said anything. You ever thought about being locked up? What? Going to prison. Is this gonna be a philosophical discussion? Fuck you, Hatchet.
Poole turned his back to him and dug his phone out of his pocket and fiddled with it in confusion for a moment then placed it to his ear. Jail sucks, he said, there's nothing I hate more than going to jail; I ran from the cops once when I was eighteen just to give them hell for the last time they dragged me in; teenage logic at it most ironic. Are you talking to me? Yes, I'm talking to you, Hatchet! Poole faced him again, the phone still in his ear. Jesus, Dexter, just give me the keys. My daughter went to jail once when she was fifteen; she was in a stolen car with another girl; her mother wouldn't let me bail her out; she was supposed to be in a big play at school the next week; her mother just takes her script to her and tells her good luck; she called me on the phone, crying; I hadn't seen her in a year; she called me, daddy, Hatchet. Poole's face had faded to the color of the clouds migrating into the northern darkness. But her fucking mom, Poole shook his head and returned his phone to his pocket. What are you gonna do when you get that call, Hatchet? Are we talking about my daughter or going to prison?
We're talking about my daughter, asshole.
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River of Blood, a novel about anarchism, atheism, racism, violence, family, and corruption.
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Unless noted, all pics credited to Skitz O'Fuel.