Closeup of a copper rivet on blue jeans.
Copper Rivet


Jared flung himself to the side as the advancing man swung wildly at him with the large wooden club. He felt the glancing blow and the warm dullness on the side of his face. Eyes still shut, he stumbled to a stop before ramming into the cool wall of the morgue. He realized his mistake too late, however, as he felt a sharp pain in his right side.

Two of them.

The sharp pain turned into a flood of warmth running down his hip.


He didn’t remember falling down. He forced his eyes open, seeking out his attackers. It was a natural response. Instinct from a more primal self. He squinted, and forced through the dizziness and pain.

Jared saw a tall, lanky man standing over him. He was wearing a sports shirt, jeans, and a ball cap. Despite the danger he was in, he couldn’t help but notice that the man was wearing it cocked to the side. Jared always thought that was idiotic. The further the cap cocked to the side, the more idiotic the person wearing it tended to be. At this point, however, the idiot was also holding a large wooden baseball bat. And it seemed to be painted a dark red…

Not paint. Blood.

He winced, not sure which injury hurt worse. His side was gashed open, and his head throbbed wildly. He could feel the cooling blood pooling under him, and his eye was already beginning to swell.  He squinted at his leering attacker, realizing he was talking to his partner.

“Home run.” The voice came from behind him. Probably the one who had stabbed him in the back.

The one with the bat laughed. “Yeah, third take today.” He thumped the bat in his hand. “Too bad he fell out like that.”

Jared felt the man he couldn’t see kick him hard in the side. He groaned, and twisted. He tried to push himself up off of the cold stone floor. The world was spinning, and although he could tell that the two were talking, he couldn’t make out much of what they were saying. He looked to the side, trying to focus his failing eyes on the second man who had stabbed him.

The man was small, bald, and hunched. He was wearing a black t-shirt, blue jeans, and brown boots. In his right hand was a large hunting knife. “He looks bad,” said the man as he wiped a red handkerchief across the knife’s edge. “Real bad.”

“Did him good,” explained the larger man. He dropped his bat, sending it clattering across the floor. “He ain’t no good for blood, I bet.”

The bald one giggled. “We can use him for parts.”

Parts? Jared was up on his knees now, clutching at his side. Blood smeared between his fingers. His eye throbbed, shooting pain every time he moved.

“How much do you think he’s worth?”

The big man clapped his hands together and rubbed them. “Depends. I hear they are paying over a thousand for a good kidney.”

Jared moaned. He pushed himself into a sitting position. He tried to focus on the two thugs, and willed the room to stop spinning around him. His vision was clearing slightly, but he suddenly felt like he was going to vomit.

“Let’s finish this,” said the smaller one. “You get the girl unhooked,” There was a short pause. “I’ll get the guy on ice.”

Jared grimaced, and clenched his fist.

I have a bad feeling about this …







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