Aswirl in accusations, the noble gentleman fell, as the crowds spat and stomped on his bronzed cadaver. “Pig.” “Beast.” “Monster.” The crowd hurled insults and their children squatted over the fragments of the once-revered gentleman, and relieved their bowels on his broken chest and cracked head. “Churchill’s nothing to us.” “He’s nothing but a fuckin’ imperialist.”

Mr. and Mrs. Tremont walked away, triumphant in their sense of certainty, proud of their contribution. Today, they had smashed three statues and kicked over six gravestones of once prominent explorers, scientists, and men of letters, including the grand stone set before the grave of Prescott Oliver Hughes, Professor of Poetry, a nobody to the Tremonts, who took special pleasure in kicking his stone. “The fucker.”

Mr. Tremont was pissed. His wife told him to go to bed. Her son Neil went out with his friends. They planned to break into some parked cars. His friend Ben said there was a new Ford parked over by the station. They’d see about that. Trem, as his friends called him, liked to stab tires with his six-inch blade. “Fucking twat” was what he called anyone with a nice car. The guys assembled by the old bank. They hung around a bit, waiting for Larry. Larry was the eldest. He was a gas. He was good for a laugh.

Lar showed and the guys headed for the station. Might as well. “For fuck’s sake,” Cameron said. What else was there to do? The telly? Do his sister’s hair? They walked down the hill.

They saw the car. It was a Ford, all right. Brand new. Newer than his baby sister’s tits.

Navy blue. Wide stripe. Racing tires, deluxe rims. Larry called it a fucking gem. “Wouldn’t mind having it.” Larry was getting excited. Trem took out his knife. “Let’s take a look,” one of them said. “Come on, then.”

Fred Boroughs happened to exit the real estate office just as the boys approached, close enough to notice it wasn’t a Fusion, but an import. It was a Ford Mustang. Fred was a Yank. He asked what he could do for the boys, but for some reason, Trem panicked and rushed Fred with his knife. Fred shot him in the stomach. He let Larry have it, too. Trem and Lar lay on the pavement. Cameron ran like hell. Fred shot him, too, in the back of the head. Three for three. Ben got away. Fred wasn’t even mad. It wasn’t Fred’s car.

Took the police some time to get there. There were three bodies. Neil Tremont, Cameron O’Toole, and Larry Casey. The cops wanted to know why Ben had Neil’s knife. “What the hell were you boys thinking?” The realtor, Mr. Geoffrey Hodge, was able to identify the killer, an American all right, but he was nowhere to be found. The Mustang had disappeared. Ben said he would never forget the man’s face. Someone said if that was true, he should think about disappearing.

***

This is an excerpt from David Lohrey’s new anthology, Bluff City, coming soon from Terror House Press.