Monday, February 20, 2006

A Pickaxe Named Mercy Death

DISCLAIMER: This story ends, quite predictably I might add, with someone getting their skull split open with a pickaxe.


Diego Valdivia was a fourth generation llama breeder. He owned a ranch at the base of the Andes. He'd married for love, and with his wife, Reyna, was raising two beautiful children.

Claudio Valdivia was Diego's older brother, and Claudio was emotionally disturbed. Claudio had a pickaxe named Mercy Death--he'd carved then burned it into the handle.

Life was good for Diego.
"How I love this land." Diego would often say from atop a hill at sunset, one hand on his staff and the other around Reyna's waist. "I love this land and I love these llamas."
Reyna would shoot him an angry glance.
"More than your love for the children and me?"
"Despite my love for the children and you." Diego would reply. "Despite." And he'd bonk his staff on the ground twice to punctuate the syllables in "despite".

"Reyna, my love for you and the children threatens to smother everything else like a tide that never recedes."

Diego would gesture down at the pasture lands. "It can only be through the kindness of some spectacular mercy that I have been afforded enough love to spare a drop or two for the llamas and the land."
Reyna would sigh with bliss then, and rest her head on his shoulder. Diego would tremble and shake his staff at the setting sun. Then they'd laugh and hug and kiss each other.

The exchange was some sort of old in-joke between them, familiar to the point of tedium but never losing its charm. And when the sun slipped behind Andean spires, they'd turn and head for home.

Diego and Reyna were happy. Then one day Claudio walked up the path.

"Hello Claudio." Diego greeted him, with a warmth he did not feel.
"Huh?" Claudio said. "Oh, it's you Diego."
"Yes older brother, who did you expect?" Diego forced a chuckle. "After all, it is you who have visited me."
"Hmm. Yes, I guess that's true." Claudio replied.

Then Claudio was startled by a butterfly, and as Diego watched in horror, Claudio chased the butterfly down and crushed it with his pickaxe when it landed on a rock.
"That butterfly was sick and in pain." Claudio explained.
"Of course it was." Diego replied.
"It's resting easy now."
"I can see that."

The brothers stared at each other for a while. Claudio cleared his throat.
"You expect me to poke the corpse of this butterfly with my finger, don't you Diego?"
"Do I Claudio?"
"Well I'm not going to." Claudio said with a haughty sniff. "I don't do that sort of thing any more." Then he promptly started poking the butterfly.
"Why are you here Claudio?" Diego asked with a weary sigh. Claudio thought about it for a moment, then looked up at his brother and grinned.
"Tell me Diego, do you have any llamas or children that are sick and in pain?"

And when Reyna pressed the butt of the gun to his hand, Diego wasn't surprised in the least.

Diego stared at the gun with a heavy heart.
"My children and llamas are perfectly fine. I think you should leave now Claudio."
Claudio laughed for a very long time, and it was streaked through and through with hysteria.
"Of course they look fine to you my brother, proximity is the enemy of impartiality--didn't our father teach you anything?" Claudio gripped his pickaxe with both hands.
"Let me look them over for you Diego--I'll tell you if your children, llamas and wife are sick."

And when Claudio stood, Diego shot him once in the chest; the firing pin broke on the second round. Claudio slumped back on the rock and blew a bloody spit-bubble--which seemed to amuse him no end. He grinned and started blowing more. The broken gun slipped from Diego's fingers and clattered to the stones at his feet.
Reyna whispered and buried her face in her hands.

Diego stumbled to Claudio's side, took up the pickaxe and raised it high.

"I saw your birth." Claudio said with a smile. It was a statement, not an accusation.

"I know you did." Diego replied, and split Claudio's skull open with the pointy side.


At 12:46 AM, Blogger Wulfenjarl said...

Dark. Very dark.

But not without some killer one-liners. "Proximity is the enemy of impartiality..."

Can I steal that? :)

At 1:54 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Man, that one was out of sight.

Richard Gere does something similar, only to rodents, not butterflies.

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous The Macek Collective said...

Way to ruin the ending, Flint.

I've never seen The Usual Suspects. Have you?

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Blog ho said...


of course Reyna is spanish for the word immigrant.

At 7:14 PM, Blogger Gil The Carnie said...

Ya'all really knows how to touch the heart Gunslinger.

At 9:23 PM, Blogger Amandarama said...

That sounds like how me and my sister parted ways. Except that she's alive and somewhere in the midwest these days. And something about a restraining order. Actually, it's nothing like how we parted ways at all and I'm not supposed to be talking about it because of the pending lawsuit. Whoops. My bad.

At 10:14 PM, Blogger ThePaula said...

Oh man...

I was so scared Diego was going to die.

What a sick trembling sense of relief I got from that last line.

Well done my squinty-eyed siren.

At 12:25 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

It's all yours good Wulf. Frankly, I don't even remember writing it.

Goddamn vile urban legends and lies!!! You know about my strange adoration for Kevin Costner, Keanu Reeves and Dwight Yoakam, right LBB? Well guess what? Likewise Richard Gere. I own An Officer and a Gentleman. (I'm not even kidding.)

Yeah, Macek--Bruce Willis turns out to be a ghost, right?

I don't believe that for one second Ho. (There weren't enough vaginas in the story for you to truly find it delicious.)

Gil!!! You live. (I'm a professional heart-toucher by the way. I get paid to touch hearts.)

Perhaps the similarities are emotional Amandarama. Do either of you crush butterflies from time to time?

Wanna know a secret Paula? The name Diego has five letters. Claudio has seven. And Latigo...

At 9:56 AM, Blogger Ari said...

Tales like this are why I come here.


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